Saturday, April 13, 2002

Pleas for bad debt
Quite an interesting news piece. Apparently loan sharks have moved onto the net as well.

One man, Daniel, who lost $50,000 on the stock market in 1998, and another $20,000 when his business failed, said he could not turn to his parents as they were bankrupts.

He has managed to clear half his debts, but is not sure how to settle the rest.

'I took a lift up to the 11th storey of my block, intending to jump down. But when I looked down and saw how high it was, I thought it was too painful to end my life like that,' he said.
Film Flam
Went on a film festival orgy with the short film finalists in the morning, a Tezuka tribute at 2, Oscar winner No Man's Land at 7 and finally the rather boring docu Big Mac, Small World at 9. Best film of the day had to be No Man's Land, a black comedy about the Bosnian conflict. Big Mac was disappointing and unfocused, tying together interviews of several restaurant manangers around the world. Someone from the Tezuka company was on hand to answer questions after the film but the crowd rudely walked out while he was speaking. Singapore audiences.. what's the rush??

In between, finished reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Some of the advice was rather mercenary and condescending; for example; it's ok to have poor friends so you know what financial mistakes they make and you can avoid them, but some of it is spot on. For example, a house can easily eat away at your financial independence and it's a fallacy that all property appreciates. The author also tells you to invest in real estate but that's almost impossible to do here unless you're loaded in the first place. A lot of jargon, a lot of sloganism, and non-stop barrage of quotes. I'd say it is worth a read because of it's boldness and frankness, and it does make you sit back and look at what are your assets and what are your liabilities. It seems to go vaguely over the concept of 'pay yourself first', and unfortunately not many will be as resourceful as the author and probably wind up accumulating debt even faster.

But worth the read lah.. especially to kill time in between movies.

Friday, April 12, 2002

Stupid idiot
There's some guy using my email account to send out mail. Not spam or any kinda porn mail, but general inquiries. Heck I even know his credit card number! Tried asking some of those who sent back email to send the original email with the full headers but most people don't understand what I'm talking about. Singnet staff wasn't very helpful either.
A friend set up a small booth outside Raffles City. They seem to be the in thing now - flea/lifestyle market type thingies springing up all around Singapore. He had a few interesting items but they were kinda pricey. Furthermore my wallet was still burning after the purchase of the camera. He'll need to expand his range if he wants to earn more.

Also borrowed Rich Dad, Poor Dad from Ah Jo. Time to go out, venture forth and see if I have what it takes. Get more freelance and do other things. Also really should get off my butt and send out more resumes. Will work on it over the weekend.
Some people are born under different stars
  - Entry from an old icq conversation with a good friend. Sending the archives back... just in case.

Listening to: Blur - Charmless Man

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Newest plaything
Colleague came back from the UK with my newest plaything, a camera the size of a keychain. Have been fiddling around with it, but it was quite a bitch to install. Finally got it working and the resolution isn't too bad at all. More fun with it later.

Listening to: Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
Went to watch the opening film for the film festival and helped out at the reception, but didn't do much. The film was excellent though the sound was soft and the print seemed heavily scratched. Full of stunning visuals, it showed a marked departure from what the director Makhmalbahf has done before. A very good start to the festival. Next up is No Man's Land and Big Mac, Small World on Saturday, but might catch the Tezuka tribute at 2 and the Singapore short film finalists at 11.
Feels like an alien creature is trying to squeeze out of my forehead. Hate staring at computer screens all day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

The Newspaper Test
Quite an amazing account of how Warren Buffet turned Salomon Brothers around.

Two days later Buffett flew to New York to take the reigns of Salomon. The new CEO instantly forced out the old management team and installed his own. Instead of shredding evidence, as Enron did, he turned it all over to investigators. Rather than delegating enforcement to others, Buffett named himself the chief compliance officer.
Just three days after taking office, Buffett told all Salomon officers, "You are each expected to report, instantaneously and directly to me, any legal violation or moral failure on behalf of any employee." He provided his home telephone number and added that parking tickets were among the few exceptions to his reporting requirements.

Warren Buffett asked employees to apply the "newspaper test" to their every decision: Would they be prepared to read whatever they were about to do in a local paper, "there to be read" by "spouse, children, and friends"? Buffett warned they would only succeed by "playing aggressively in the center of the court, without resorting to close-to-the line acrobatics."

Well today's the day for another film festival. Been like 4-5 years since my stint as the PR person. Those days were fun, despite the chaos. It's one of the jobs I look back at with true fondness.
The Sandman's Prayer (Fragment)
You shall wake on the other side of sleep
and find the world changed,
  but not you.
The first thing about diving
.. was to forget everything that you learnt about breathing.
Work out and then junk food?
Went to the SPH gym to work out despite feeling really tired. Guess I needed the exercise. After that came back and immediately bought a BK Black Pepper Burger meal. Totally unhealthy. Why do I bother? I guess I've managed to keep away the spare tyre, for now.

Eve wrote an interesting piece about the role of teachers. You're right Eve. The best teacher is not there to give you answers, but to get you to ask more questions. Too bad questioning isn't a quality that the Singapore education system aspires to.
Good lawyerly practises
You'd think they know how to handle a multi billion dollar job better..

While more than 50 companies have expressed confidential interest in acquiring Global Crossing, their identities are no longer secret to one another, courtesy of an e-mail message from Global Crossing's lawyers.

The e-mail message was sent to the potential bidders on March 28 by an employee of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the New York law firm that is serving as Global Crossing's counsel in bankruptcy proceedings.

Although the message included only routine information on bidding procedures for Global Crossing, it inadvertently named each of the more than 50 recipients by copying their e-mail addresses at the top of the message.

Listening to: Fatboy Slim - Ya Mama

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Got Cuban
Bought the tickets for Cubanisimo yesterday night after coming back late from the fringe screenings. Seats are ok. Paid a bit more than I would have wanted, but think the trade off would have been worst seats.

Listening to: Lisa Ekhdahl - Daybreak
Brain dead
Well the b2b site has launched, which is good. Also the support guy came in and he's actually a Malaysian who commutes between home and Singapore every day. Hopes to go back to Penang to work now that Malaysia is starting to boom. Passed me a copy of The Star which is a much better paper even though it's been castrated, but not as much as ST.

Also went down to Goethe and sat through the much hyped documentary made by two Singaporeans trying to get into Afghanistan from Pakistan. The cinematography, however, was horrifying. You couldn't make out details, and in some shots the subject was totally black. The filmmakers had hoped to get funding after showing the film, but doubt if anyone would acquire this. Just too badly made with little insight, and felt like a home video.

After that were some animation pieces, though there were two very long dance segments by The Brothers Quay. They actually weren't bad, but the audience was expecting animation. Thankfully, the three segments by Tezuka made up for it. The first, Jumping, was taken from a POV of a young girl who just kept jumping to greater and greater heights, and depths. Next was Broken-down Film, which I thought was amazing as it played with every scratched film/bad reel cliche in the book and ran away with it. Final piece was Pictures At An Exhibition , based on Mussorgosky's music. (Ok not sure if the spelling's right but it's 12:15 am..) Quite a lot of fun too.

Ok got to turn in...
Now to search for another apartment mate
Well Liam's moving out in about 1-2 months so have to search for someone to move in. Maybe I should take the room, but it'll be hard to rent out my room especially with the ice-cold shower. Aiyah.. sheesh.

Monday, April 08, 2002

We don't want to know
There was this extremely loud woman talking on the phone on the morning commute to work. Loud enough for everyone on the bus to know that her friend had lost money on the stock market and was blaming her. WE DON'T NEED TO KNOW! She talked throughout the journey as well. Was hoping for her batteries to run out but no such luck.
They've killed Kenny.. for good!
Bye Bye Kenny!

Listening to: Cafe Tacuba - Rarotonga
Going to the Goethe
Will be down at Goethe tonight to catch the Singapore documentary on Afghanistan as well as the Tezuka animation. My 'godma', who's doing traffic for the festival, just reserved a ticket for me for the Opening Film Kandahar on Thursday. Good of her. :)
My favourite books
Nobody asked me, but my favourite book has to be Tolkien's The Hobbit. (Not Lord of the Rings, which I thought was pretty slow and too heavy going.) I must have read it a dozen times. And yes, my Hobbit name is Drogo Proudneck of Tuckborough.

Listening to: Peter Yorn - Sleep Better
You pay my rent
Ok got the rent and utilities and PUB from Liam. Guess I always need to SMS him to remind that he's late with the money. Apartments watching Zheng Qing in the living room. Feeling damn tired. Should have gone to gym but made another appointment which I decided to cancel. I can be odd sometimes. With the film fest opening on Thursday I think I'll be quite busy this week anyway and helping out some nights. I miss the excitement. It's draining, but seriously, it's a lot of fun. (Yes Wee it IS!)

Listening to: The White Stripes - China Girl
In Jerusalem
Quite an intriguing Blog.
Consequently the atmosphere here in Jerusalem is a lot different. People are going out a bit more, but the city still seems quiet; walking around last night I felt like I was in a quiet little village. Suddenly it seems like there's not so much happening here: no shooting from Gilo/Beit Jala, no specific warnings of attacks, no periodically checking the radio or Israeli websites, fewer helicopters flying around.
Go Cuban
Picked up the Arts Fest booklet. One even that caught my eye was Cubanisimo! Guess I'll grab tickets to those when they go on sale Wednesday. It's not very clear if only Arts cards holders get the 15% discount, or if early birds will get it as well. I really expect that to be sold out very quickly and the price isn't too bad. $52. With discounts its about $44. Should be worth it. Not sure about the other events. Maybe Alfian's play Causeway.

Listening to: Chemical Brothers - Star Guitar

Sunday, April 07, 2002

Who knocked the lights out?
Woke up to a blackout and bathed in the dark. Someone swiped all the umbrellas so had to use a copy of The Edge for shelter. Got pretty wet. Then the MRT train was held up for ten-fifteen minutes. Well managed to get into the office finally. Time to get cracking...

Listening to: Next Stop Wonderland soundtrack.

Odd search term of the day: Wedding powerpoint videos.
Dinner at East Coast
Met up with mom, bro, sis-in-law, sis-in-law's mom and sis-in-law's aunt for dinner. Went down to East Coast for seafood and paid for the meal since I promised to after receiving the prize. Sis-in-law's aunt is the Malaysian Ambassador to Turkey, and she's back in these parts for about a month. Also means I could get accomodation if I ever drop by Istanbul. My folks (including my sis and future bro-in-law) went two years ago but I wasn't able to make it because of work commitments. Nothing much else to update but looks like sis getting married end of the year in Sydney, so better save some leave for that.
The Circle
Watched the Iranian film The Circle in the afternoon and thought it was all right. Some great images and tackles the subject of female oppression in Iran, but there wasn't enough meat for my tastes. Yes, it was an award winner, but compared to other Iranian films, I found it dissapointing.

Listening to: Bailando Cuba - Son de La Loma