火曜日, 8月 31, 2004

Bukit Bintang flood

fotopages is buggered at the mo'. thus, an excuse for this entry.

Well there's floodin' down in KL...

meandered about jalan bukit bintang prior to hitting low yat. we had to make a stopover at bentley. trabye tried out this RM8k beauty (yeah. yeah. we know. you have one. hehe.). also checked out the cheap(er) stompbox prices in the display. the ts808 and ts9 were back in stock, too. not for long, though, knowing how quick people sambar these much sought after gadgets. also chatted with a mutual mate of the kiasu king (now we know how the king was racun-ed) about the myth surrounding SRV's number one and the sabahan tycoon who can't really play, but owns a monterey strat as part of his immense collection. among other things.

by the by, i still need a power source for my boxes. help, anyone?

月曜日, 8月 30, 2004

First, it was Abbey Road...

Siapa berani langgar la...


...now i feel i should stop lunchtime traffic on jalan sultan ismail.

hehe.

selamat menyambut kemerdekaan tanah air kita yang ke-47 (think hasbullah awang for that extra touch).

Ada yang panggil dollar, ada yang panggil baht...

day one. my wallet was 1/3 its original weight after 20 minutes of haggling. by the way, i didn't do the haggling.

Tech heaveni needed a notebook. nothing really fancy. just enough to get by. i'll get a desktop proper when the time comes, whenever that will be. of course, low yat's the place to go. i'm no technophobe, but i ain't that techno-savvy either. therefore, i needed my brother's haggling (and basic cantonese) skills.

yup. haggling ain't a skill that's required in the bumi omputeh. also, i think i would've gotten lost in the labyrinthine corridors of the said bukit bintang complex.

easily.

after browsing for a bit, this dell caught our eyes. no dvd-rom though. it's ok, not that high on my priority list. as long as it has a faster processor speed and a larger hard disk space, that's fine by me. and that was when the thinning/lightening of my dompet occurred.

My new acquisition!

oh well. with a free wi-fi card, optical squeaksqueak and a bag; it was worth the ongkos spent. can't wait to spend more money.

really. ;)

not.

日曜日, 8月 29, 2004

Selamat kembali ka-tanah ayer

i'm back.

spent an extra 75 quid to get to london on time. i forgot that it was bank holiday weekend. probable traffic jam on the motorway? yup. probability of missing my flight? very high. decided on saturday morning that it'll be the train (instead of the bloomin' coach) to st. pancras. a black cab ride to paddington, followed by the heathrow express (not!). all because some wise guy said i have loads. hehe.

it was well worth it.

i arrived 5 and a half hours before my flight. not exactly flyin' by the seat of my pants, huh?

had the biggest BK lunch known to man (or woman) after checking in my luggage, which included my gibson (damn your limitation ruling on the hand baggage, malaysia airlines!). it was really nice of ash to send me off at LHR (thanks ever so much!). once on the plane, watched ali baba bujang lapok, of all things. then, slept like a baby. oh, flying over the bay of bengal this afternoon was pretty calm for some strange reason.

on arrival, paruk-ed at subang ria. later, my highlight of the sunday evening: pasar malam. hahaha. sad. i know.

tomorrow: a kingdom for a recon laptop. low yat, here i come!

金曜日, 8月 27, 2004

Gmail account up for grabs

a gmail invite if you can answer this music-related quiz.

This guitar, ok?


what is written (in big capital letters) on tom morello's grey home-made strat (with the fluffy cloud motif)?

[note: not to be confused with the one he's currently using in audioslave. oh ya. for those not in the know, a strat is a guitar...]

the first correct answer in the comments box will win the prize. please don't forget to give your current email address as well.

日曜日, 8月 22, 2004

Jalan panjang

Till then...


And I wished for so long
Cannot stay
All the precious moments
Cannot stay
It's not like wings have fallen
Cannot stay
But still something's missing
I cannot say, yeah

Holding hands are daughters and sons
And their faiths are falling down
down
down
down

I have wished for so long
How I wish for you today

Will I walk the long road?

vedder
©1995 innocent bystander

土曜日, 8月 21, 2004

A classic scene

after seeing this little tiff between the neon and king kiasu in the shoutbox, i immediately thought of this conversation.

I'm a mushroom cloud-layin' motherfucker, motherfucker!


Vincent Vega : I got a threshold, Jules. I got a threshold for the abuse I'll take. And right now I'm a race car and you got me in the red. I'm just saying that it's fuckin' dangerous to have a racecar in the fuckin' red. It could blow.

Jules : Oh, you're gettin' ready to blow?

Vincent : I could blow.

Jules : Well I'm a mushroom-cloud-layin' motherfucker, motherfucker! Every time my fingers touch brain I'm "SUPERFLY T.N.T", I'm the "GUNS OF THE NAVARONE". In fact, what the fuck am I doin' in the back? You're the motherfucker should be on brain detail. We're fuckin' switchin' right now. I'm washin' the windows and you're pickin' up this nigger's skull.

Buku dan duvet cover

oh, what the hell. let's jump on the bandwagon.

i used to read a lot of hardy boys and hitchcock's three investigators as a primary school kid. books were pretty much non-existent in my boarding school years (apart from being forced to read literature greats like tolstoy's anna karenina... it almost made me wanna jump onto the tracks at seremban railway station). years later, playing computer games like ultima iii and iv in the late 80's introduced me to fantasy literature. medical school? forget it. it's only recently that i felt i should start reading again.

When I get the time!

i've also got a row of books waiting to be read (like life of pi, as highly recommended by the neon, right?). anyway, the books seen here pretty much rocked my world for the past 9 years. kind of.

generation: a collection of contemporary malaysian ideas
amir muhammad, kam raslan, sheryll stothard
as it says on the title, this was an excellent series of newspaper and magazine columns from a film director, a magazine columnist and the editor of tone (miss the mag!). loved amir's take on trashy hiburan mags in this one.

five against one: the pearl jam story
kim neely
the definitive book on my favourite band, up till yield. one thing i've learnt was that i felt quite sorry for dave abbruzzese. he was such an excellent skinsman for the band. damn, guys!

heroes, ceritalah and journeys through southeast asia
karim raslan
i started reading malaysiana when i discovered rehman rashid's a malaysian journey (borrowed, not bought... hehe), ceritalah was pretty much the next best thing. i'm no literary critic, but i felt that the heroes anthology was refreshing. the ending of neighbours literally made my jaw drop.

the lord of the rings
j.r.r. tolkien
my original copy went walkabout. so, i had to buy another copy. like my journey of discovering the roots of rock music, reading rings was like discovering the source of the nile. i've read eddings' belgariad and malloreon, as well as feist's magician. nothing beats the original. read this during my a-levels and it took me 9 months to finish.

ghost rider: travels on the healing road
neil peart
written by the drummer of rush about his roadtrip on a bmw bike around north america after two devastating personal tragedies. this read was therapeutic for me. especially after demon-wrestling sessions.

the complete maus
art spiegelman
this pulitzer-winning tale of the holocaust was a birthday present. a compelling read, as well as being a depressing one (think schindler's list)!

gon
masashi tanaka
the manga of the cutest yet meanest madefake [sic] of a pint-sized t-rex.

mat som
lat
i loved lat since i was seven. i never knew he could be this good. i can read this again and again, without ever getting bored. pity the film was shite.

the catcher in the rye
j.d. salinger
my current read. holden caulfield is one pissed off, yet constantly irritating and whiny guy, isn't he?

as i please
salleh ben joned
i thoroughly enjoyed his witty and caustic rants in nst years ago. it was about time they republished this (missed it the first time).

金曜日, 8月 20, 2004

Three sticks. Wanna play?

Diane Lane in post-coital blisscaught the latter half of adrian lyne's unfaithful a couple of nights ago on the telly. just a standard, a little formulaic fare on the topic of infidelity. firstly, this ain't a critique of one of lyne's many analyses of the man-woman relationship (lolita, indecent proposal and fatal attraction, to name a few). i have to say this movie had some of the best shagging scenes in mainstream cinema! and yes, diane lane was simply... incendiary. :)

it had me thinking soon after about the subject of infidelity. why do people do it? we've heard it all. (s)he not treating me right, i'm fed up, i cannot stand it anymore. do all these reasons make infidelity okay, though? people just can't/don't communicate anymore to sort things out. one side plays safe to avoid hurting the feelings of the other. is it worth 'playing safe'? cheating would only end disastrously for all involved anyway.

in the movie, neither husband nor wife were unhappy with the lives they're leading. a house in a suburbs. a son. why did she cheat on him? these things are complex, i agree. lane's character's heart was torn between her desires (even when it is clearly wrong) and her love of her family. easier said than done perhaps, but i felt the choice was obvious. yet the bonk-fest with her newly-found french book dealer continued. was it really worth it?

the term gatai p*** (p**** for blokes) coinned by my good mate, don, comes to mind after watching the film.

be happy with your loved one. if you aren't, bloody go sort it out (why the hell did you hook up with him/her in the first place, if you don't wanna?)!!!

木曜日, 8月 19, 2004

The vinyl anorak

the advent of the ubiquitous compact discs in the 80’s have led to the gradual extinction of the music cassette. cassettes used to be the main medium for music in my teens (by the way, i’m old enough to remember the 8-track cassette player that you have in cars!). i remembered the pirated tapes that would sell for $3 a piece at ampang park or wisma punca emas, most of which came in the form of compilations of top 10 american or uk chart-toppers. for the rock aficionado, it was the apache brand tapes which had bands like metallica, exodus and dio out in the local market. the originals were in fact non-existent for some of these bands, unless you had a record player.

Communication breakdown

when i was doing my a-levels, i noted that the malaysian lln (now tnb) scholars in brighton were pretty much into buying turntables (no, not the wikki wa wa wikki wa types). besides, the uk top 40 charts were based on the sales of singles, which were pretty much in vinyl form, may it be 12 inch or 9 inch. i felt that vinyl records were cumbersome. imagine, a walkman wouldn’t have been invented if it wasn’t for the music cassette!

anyway, it wasn’t until when i read an article in pearl jam’s synergy that the band was intrigued by the non-degradable nature of vinyl, which led them to distributing the ten club x’mas 9-inch record single every year to their fan club members. viva la vinyl! i also remembered how warm the sound was, emanating from a vinyl record as opposed to the cold, clinical and precise sounds of a cd.

See this needle... a-see my hand, drop, drop, dropping it down oh so gentlya couple of years ago, i decided to buy a turntable. it had been seven years since i last bought a hi-fi separates component. as usual, what hifi? mag was my guide and i found the perfect turntable. i wanted something cheap, yet stylishly simple. i also wanted a turntable that used a drive belt that is manually moved between the 45 rpm and 33 rpm speeds. i found that in the pro-ject debut. it costed me 5 p shy of £110, and it was hand-made in the czech republic. it’s black, with only an on-off switch at one side, and has this cool anti-skate mechanism adjacent to the tone arm, which uses an ortofon stylus. nice.

it was from that day, i started to venture into the second hand record shops around sheffield on a weekly basis. with stuff coming in regularly into the shops, you’d never know what your next bargain would be. i also go to the occasional record fairs in pursuit of rare vinyl. i don’t do this often, as i am not really that much of a collector. i’m quite proud of the collection i have now (about 115 of ‘em, and slowly growing). most of them are stuff from that are pretty much pre-90’s. i try to make a point of buying vinyl over cd, when it comes to purchasing an album of a vintage persuasion. the only really recent contemporary stuff is the entire pearl jam discography (with the exception of riot act and lost dogs!).

i do try to get the classics. sometimes there are the occasional limau. some of them are even genuine 60’s or 70’s pressings. i tend to go for the british pressings, as the european ones tend to sound not as good. all my hendrix are british, apart from are you experienced? which is german and sounds pretty harsh and distorted. this pic here pretty much sums up the pride of my collection.

the beatles. sgt pepper’s lonely hearts club band.
1967 parlophone/emi records ltd
this was a 2nd pressing, 1969 i think. noted on the back: this is a stereo recording. a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

bb king. live at the regal.
1971 abc records
i paid like £20 for it, although i think this is a recent-ish reissue. bb king performing in the ghetto of chicago, basically one of his best live recordings.

joni mitchell. blue.
1971 reprise records
i first heard river on vh-1, performed by travis. post-divorce, this was one of joni’s best.

derek and the dominos. layla and other assorted love songs.
1970 polydor records
recorded by a drug and booze-addled eric clapton with help from some friends. just look at the pics of EC. wasted as hell! with bell bottom blues and layla, you can never go wrong with this one.

led zeppelin. II.
1969 atlantic records
this one was a 1970 pressing. produced by jimmy page, this one gives you heartbreaker and whole lotta love.

pink floyd. dark side of the moon.
1973 emi records ltd
a real no-brainer. this is the floyd album to own. this one was actually just a reissue (the original vintage wouldn’t have a bar code, would it?), came with a poster with the pink pyramids. roger waters’ exceptional genius coupled with the great voice and guitar playing that is david gilmour. this was in the album charts for more than 200 weeks or something. go figure.

the jimi hendrix experience. electric ladyland.
1968 polydor records
my favourite. a second pressing. the original cover with the nekkid women. the stereo on this throws you off. really. left, right, left, right… this is the reason why god only allows such genius to be on the face of the earth for such a short time.

the beatles. the white album.
1968 apple records/emi records ltd
absolute class. ‘nuff said.

bob dylan. highway 61 revisited.
1965 columbia records
a reissue. bob’s first foray into the world of the electric guitar much to the horror of the 1960’s acoustic folk enthusiast.

black sabbath. black sabbath.
1970 vertigo
proto-heavy metal. a sabbath recording has to be on vertigo, and not on some reissue crap. this one’s the original first pressing. the I-bV phrasing spawned a multitude of bands that swear by diabolus in musica.

guns ‘n’ roses. appetite for destruction.
1987 geffen records
the one with the banned robert williams’ artwork on the cover (the current albums have this pic in the inside). sleazy r ‘n’ r, marking the death of hair metal. also the reason for the hiked up prices of the gibson les paul.

john mayall with eric clapton. bluesbreakers.
1966 decca
this was an original stereo pressing of the eponymous beano album. the mono ones cost more, i think. a bunch of white guys playing the blues. to think that the blues made a ‘comeback’ in the ‘states in the 60’s because of a bunch of white british guys. ironic, innit?

火曜日, 8月 17, 2004

More on pandas

following my short take on lynn truss' pontification on the misuse of commas, apostrophes and the like, check this short rant out.

oh, in the spirit of the olympics in athens, check this out.

日曜日, 8月 15, 2004

Eh, lapar lah! (part VIII)

ok. it's time to go outdoors. weather today is as great as it was yesterday. meeting up with a mate at the upper derwent valley for sunday pub lunch. actually, my roast beef days (ahem) are over for some time. so, it'll just have to be fish for me today. hehe.



we had our lunch at the yorkshire bridge, the first pub on the A6013 to bamford. the weather was too good to pass for having lunch indoors. lucky enough to grab a seat outside as the place was pretty busy. the thing is in britain, people do drive a long way out into the countryside for a great sunday lunch. in my experience, it's these out-of-town public houses that serve the best roast! the kitchen had a great menu which included swordfish in provencale sauce and ostrich steak. i opted for the deep-fried grimsby haddock with new potatoes and vegetables (posh fish 'n' chips) while my friend had the roast leg of lamb with the usual trimmings of yorkshire pudding, new potatoes and vegetables. good food takes time. so while waiting for our order, i had myself some ice cold J2O orange and passionfruit. it was just perfect.

later on, we had a little walkabout at ladybower reservoir, taking some shots of the scenery. the upper derwent valley in derbyshire basically supplies water for the whole of the east midlands. the were quite a few people out on their mountain bikes, as well as just out on the grass with their picnic basket, basking in the summer sun. to top it off, a summer's day out ain't complete with ice cream in a cone with a cadbury's 99 flake! woohoo!

i'd say it was well worth the 15 mile drive to the peaks!

土曜日, 8月 14, 2004

Appear to be an animal, yet so polite

Saturday morning playlist

saturday. summer sun. no rain for a change. and i'm bloody indoors:

  • cleaning my flat. again.
  • listening to old vinyl records: the beastie boys, sabbath, the beatles, the allman brothers live at fillmore east
  • realising the genius songwriting of lennon/mccartney (and the occasional harrison). just listen to to the white album!
  • watching mtv2's 101 best music videos ever made, making me want to get my bjork cd out from the storage box
  • chatting with ash over the phone
  • jamming with ed and co. (played along with their touring 2000 dvd) with my LP custom black beauty (plugged into my marshall, via a 1959 marshall amp simulator, a dunlop crybaby and the ts-9... sweet). i heard about a man to whom i may be related... he's leatherman...
  • writing this entry

now, where the hell is nik????

The way to go, man!

FUCK CD'S!
VINYL IS THE SHIT.

don't mind me. listening to sabbath's war pigs at the mo'. an hour ago it was the beastie boys' license to ill lp. hah. i'd probably revert back to cd's the moment i step into my car (no 8-track!).

Stabbed with a fork

Asperger's never seem so cool before...last night, i was frantically trying to finish preparing a joint presentation for the trainee docs in gynaecology.

not.

i procrastinated my reading just to finish this offbeat book by mark haddon. hell, this was probably the second book ever that i finished in record time (hey, three days is quick by my standards; my record was four hours reading syed husin ali's two faces in 1997).

haddon's curious would have just been an unremarkable story about a teen investigating a canine's murder and his relationship with his dad, if not for the fact that christopher, the protagonist, has asperger's syndrome. asperger's is a form of autism. for one, they don't suffer from linguistic difficulties. they can appear emotionally detached, they take EVERYthing literally (the neon... don't you bloody start!) and they perceive everything in a logical (is mr. spock autistic?) manner; hence, making them brilliant mathematicians. in short, whilst he can solve complex algebra, christopher is unable to even to comprehend abstract concepts we take for granted, like god and emotions.

to add to the making of an excellent read, the story is told from christopher's point of view.

you are then treated to long, unpunctuated (*wink*) sentences explaining simply anything and everything. the chapters are numbered by prime numbers (n=2,3,5,7...). you get to see maps of places that he'd draw from memory. you'll be intrigued by his ambitions to be an astronaut and his profound knowledge in pure maths and theoretical physics. this was such a captivating read. certain aspect's of christopher's life slowly unfolds as he ventured deeper into finding out why wellington the poodle had a garden fork stuck in him that night.

highly recommended.

[credits to ash for the recommendation!]

金曜日, 8月 13, 2004

The benevolent one

Beware the swill merchants

a couple of nights back, i pulled out my untitled dvd (cameron crowe's 'bootleg' cut of his ever-so brilliant almost famous) from the depths of my collection. i feel that it was his best work since singles (as someone who's really into all things rock, probably i'm a tad biased). kate hudson was superb as the band-aid, penny lane, and it blew me away to see a bunch of non-musical actors fake a convincing live arena performance! one actor who, in my opinion, stole the show was philip seymour hoffman.

Jim Morrison? He's a drunken buffoon!

he played lester bangs, a rock critic in the 70's who was pivotal in inspiring cameron crowe to become a journalist. hoffman was did a splendid performance as bangs, and i simply love his little gems scattered throughout the film.

his take on the doors:

"the doors? jim morrison? he's a drunken buffoon posing as a poet. now, give me the guess whos. they got the courage to be drunken buffoons, which makes them poetic!"
on rock 'n' roll:

"... and 99% of what passes as rock 'n' roll these days... silence is more compelling."
on art and love:

"... because we are uncool. women will always be a problem for guys like us. most of the great art in the world is about that very problem. good-looking people, they got no spine. their art never lasts. and they get the girls, but we're smarter. because great art is about the guilt and longing... and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love."



on cool:

"i'm always home. i'm uncool. the only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you have with someone else when you're uncool."

i'm a golden god!!! yeah.

水曜日, 8月 11, 2004

Rebung masak lemak

OCD! OCD!i am a histopathologist by profession. in my line of work, i write reports. loads of 'em. reports that are meant for the clinician to read (if they read it) for the benefit of their patients, of course. it wasn't until i started training in histopathology, i began to immerse myself in the world of pedantry and semantics. in this increasingly litigious society nowadays, a pathology report has become more of a medicolegal document. be careful of what you write, it may come to haunt you ten years down the line if the case goes to court due to a fuckup!

i am not a pedant. a little OCD, perhaps (watch for the neon to pounce). when i check my reports prior to having it released, i make sure i dot the lower case j's and cross the t's, and have appropriate commas and punctuations. the wrongly placed comma can potentially alter the context of a sentence! this is where this book with the panda on its cover comes in. i bought it a month ago after seeing the clever title. the story of a panda in a restaurant (not!), but i felt it'll be quite interesting to see the views of the author on the correct use of punctuations. as well as getting a couple of laughs along the way.

the comma is the single most misused punctuation in my opinion, and this was reiterated by truss. imagine using a comma in the place of an apostrophe. a glaring error but this was noted on signs hanging in shops! in the later chapters (each dedicated roughly to a single punctuation mark) were pretty much educational, like the usage of semi-colons and colons in sentences (as opposed to bullet point lists). i'm glad that along the way in my working life, i have used some of them pretty much in the correct manner.

i suppose i do draw a line somewhere. heck no do i punctuate in my text messages or emails. truss was also pontificating on the usage of emoticons. if only she can see some of the emoticons i've seen (involving :P and (I)... go figure!). also, i don't really feel like telling someone, "there should be a comma there... and by the way, it's spelt..." (although i'd be like, "what the hell is that? and you are supposed to be this erudite/eloquent so-and-so... git!", if i see even the slightest mistake). i know. it's not right, but i do re-edit my entries like a gazillion times even after publishing. by the way, i don't have broadband. you do the maths!

life's too short to be too worked up about these things, but at least i now know that (...) is called an ellipsis. woooOOOooo.

[note: i am not awarding any prizes if you note a wrongly-placed hyphen or any other grammatical errors in this (or any other of my entries) entry!]

火曜日, 8月 10, 2004

The star-spangled banner

Find them at Grand Central Station, NYC

"The keeper of the light!
All hail K!
All hail K!
All hail K can you see...
By the dawn's early light..."


that was my favourite scene in MIIB (sky movies is doing a will smith week in conjunction with i, robot in the cinemas) where a bunch of furry miniscule aliens live in a town located within a locker(!), basically had me rolling on the sofa laughing. the movie was otherwise not that funny. ok. the pug singing a canine rendition of i will survive was. that's about it!

WANTED: does anyone know where to find a picture of the grand central station locker aliens? i found nowt in google.

日曜日, 8月 08, 2004

Eh, lapar lah! (part VII)

Stack 'em, pour syrup and cream, let's get fat!

look what i conjured up for brekkie. ok, after a quick punch-up in tribeca as spidey and a phonecall, this was more like brunch actually. i love the pancakes that my mama used to make. the first time i tried making 'em from the tesco ready-to-make packets, i ended up making crepes (how come the british don't make 'em the way betty crocker does?). i ended up learning how make buttermilk-esque pancakes from julie. piece of pie. easy as cake. since i had some leftover strawberries from yesterday, i decided to go all flashy. that's lyle's golden syrup, by the way. don't quite fancy the maple variety. a couple of spoonfuls of single cream. eat 'em by the stack. woo-hoo!!

Tap dancing shinto peasants

i'm having my second teh tarik, reeling from the baz luhrmann-esque ending in a movie i just saw. a jidai geki samurai film. you'd probably think kurosawa is on high spin, in a grave somewhere in japan.

Kitano's tribute to the samurai films of yore, with a twist!i finally decided to check out 'beat' takeshi kitano's zatoichi. i need a katana slasher fix. besides, it's been quoted as a renaissance of asian cinema. i can't help being facetious. it's unfair, i know. probably my only reference to samurai flicks are the handful of kurosawa's black and whites (and two technicolors) that i have on my shelf. i haven't seen any of kitano's other works (sonatine and violent cop, to name two). the quirkiness of the peasant segments (the peasant farmers working in time to keiichi suzuki's soundtrack, for example) in the film were clever. bizarre for jidai geki, but still clever.

the movie is based on a short story by kan shimozawa, but i can't help noticing similarities to kurosawa in many aspects. i suppose if you set a story based on japan's tumultuous history, you expect similarities. the village having several yakuza gangs and the ronin hattori looking for a lord to work for as a bodyguard (yojimbo) were reminiscent of yojimbo and sanjuro. the bullying of peasant farmers was somewhat similar to the issues dealt with in seven samurai. kitano admits that the swordfight scene in the rain was a homage to kurosawa anyway.

[spoiler warning!] the plot with respect to the redemption of the two geishas, osei and okinu, evoked that of the young vito corleone in coppola's the godfather part two. zatoichi himself was an enigma as we do not get to know who he really is or where he came from. in the midst of the violence and sprays of blood, was some comic relief provided by guadalcanal(!) taka's character of the gambling idiot, shinkichi. one thing that irked me was hattori's indiscriminate loyalty to his greedy yakuza employers that led to his and his ailing young wife's demise. the story was good but at times, a little dragging, especially with the apparent randomness of the flashbacks, albeit pivotal to the telling of the story. i personally wasn't too impressed with the modern soundtrack, although such idiosyncracies were also evident in the swinging 60's trumpet-y soundtrack by masaru sato in kurosawa'a yojimbo (tunchakchak tunchakchak tunchakchak PARAPP PARAPP!). for the cherry on top of the cake's icing, a bollywood/moulin rouge-like tap dance sequence as a parting shot. talk about fusion of cultures. hey, it's art (remember lat's art is anything cartoon?). the film did win awards at the venice and toronto film festivals last year, and had rave reviews by critics alike.

my next kitano fix will probably be one of his yakuza dvd's. i just hope he doesn't put in a parissiene revue in the middle of a gunfight scene!

土曜日, 8月 07, 2004

Believe it or not!

The webslinger! YOU the man!!

spotted on the rooftop of the london planetarium last sunday afternoon, while waiting for the bus at marylebone road. could it be?!

by the way, i've got the pics from last week's trip here.

金曜日, 8月 06, 2004

Androids don't dream of electric sheep, last time I checked

The originalwhen i was ten, i dragged my mom to the old (now non-existent) sentosa cinema at pj's section 17 to watch ridley scott's adaptation of philip k. dick's do androids dream of electric sheep that is blade runner. no, i wasn't this eloquent ten-year old who was reading asimov or bradbury (i was reading comic versions of some classic sci-fi short stories then). it was due to the fact that it was supposed to be science fiction as i thought it should be (spaceships! laser guns!) and it had han solo in it. little did i know the tale of a cop chasing after renegade replicants set in the depressing vista of los angeles in 2019 was a cult classic in the years to come. i came out of the cinema stumped, something that should be happening to a kid that age after watching something like that. it didn't help that i also (tried to) read the actual dick novel. at that age, i had to superimpose the characters that i saw in the movie on those in the book. what i didn't realise at that time was that movies like blade runner are usually screen adaptations or expansions of a book. reading it, therefore, was so tedious. not to mention frustrating. i should have stuck to playing with my star wars action figures!

many books of the science fiction genre have been adapted into screenplays. quite a few of philip k. dick's stuff are rehashed into the likes of total recall (we can remember it for you wholesale) and minority report (the minority report). arthur c. clarke's seminal 2001: a space odyssey (kubrick's cinematic interpretation was equivalent to an acid trip, especially at the end... i was like going whaddafuck??). looks like they got isaac asimov's i, robot this time, adapted into what i felt was a surprisingly excellent movie.

The delectable Bridget Moynahan, then... and nowwhen i walk into a multiplex, i want to be entertained. ok, perhaps jiggle the cerebrum a lil' bit (on dealing with any intellectual/ethical aspects), but most importantly, i need it to have a good story. nothing beats that. in this case, i, robot has one. the special effects are great, but then, in this day and age they should be. will smith was being, well, will smith. bridget moynahan was a lil' bit on the hapless-scientist/damsel-oh-i-can't-hold-a-gun side. it's ok, this is hollywood. and dr. susan calvin was a far cry from rachel the sultry coyote. alan tudyk's sonny the robot was brilliant cg, in gollum stylee!

the enslavement of machines by man has been a recurrent topic in cinema. everyone's watched the matrix trilogy, where the reverse is then true. osamu tezuka's metropolis was a poignant anime dealing with the relationship of a boy and a unique yet lethal robotic creation. in the movies where i see humanoid robots getting it bad from their human owners, i start feel sorry for them. i hate scenes where a robot gets killed (apart from the terminator series... bad robotses!). humanising a robot's external features is also freaky, in my opinion. especially, if any of them look like the ns-5 models in i, robot (i prefer the innocent, harmless look of the older ns-4 models). in fact, i think anything like r2-d2 is just nice and friendly-looking. although, i'm not saying that a robot should look too ridiculous like the one called robot (d'uhh) in the 60's tv series of lost in space. anyway, i better stop rambling now. you'd think i'll go droid shopping at the mall tomorrow.

perhaps i should go try reading the original asimov tome. i am older now.

Wet my pants (laughing)

Grab life by the ball...


saw the trailer for dodgeball last night. the trailer itself was bloomin' hilarious. somehow i have a feeling that not all the gags are crammed into the two-minute trailer slot, leaving zilch for the actual screening. this will be a must-see!

水曜日, 8月 04, 2004

(Cheap) retail therapy

Camden? Bukit Kayu hitam? Same...

honeyR, i saw this and immediately thought of you! check out the other bargains in the background...

火曜日, 8月 03, 2004

The smoke omnibus

as you can see from my recent short pictorials, i was in london recently. i was in london for a mere 8 hours last sunday. we made a promise to ourselves that we'd make a pilgrimmage to the hallowed road in NW8. so, off we went, led by jo, who played the role of the venerable bus route guide for the day (thanks!). also, i feel that i should divide this blog entry into bite-able segments. and as you can see, food played a major role in this 8-hour trip of mine!


Camden Town (Eh, kenyang lah!)

first stop of the day. we needed lunch. i've only been here once before (after living in this country for 16 years). made several stopovers. the market had loads of cheap tee shirts. got meself the obsolete fuct tee with the faux ford logo (just like zack de la rocha), along with a classic atari one. made a boo-boo where i bought a ratm tee one size tooooooooooo small. so, any of you who thinks (s)he has a waif-ish bod that would fit the tee, give me a shout. of course, they are all fakes. there were quite a few record shops as well, although most of which had real crap choices. anyway, i managed to wrangle myself a exile on mean street reissue. yeah!

food-wise, loads of choices near camden lock itself. simply loads. vendors basically pestering all passerbys with their culinary wares. yum. though, i have to say you get stuff which looks good, but the taste ain't (the donuts above). then, there are some which looks bad, but sure smells good. take the unappetising-looking tartiflette. it was a problem for me as the tartiflette got babi one. in fact, i joked that it looked like the sisa for the babis on the farm. there were crepes, curries, japanese fried rice, indonesian ayam goreng, freshly pressed/blended fruit juices. hoho. lunching al fresco was the way to go with the weather being absolutely gorgeous.


Tin Pan Alley

the neon has delusions that another valve amp in the works will be a good idea. denmark street was our next stop.

'75 Jazz bass goin' for about £1700

forget that gold prs. or even that burns. it's the '75 jazz bass i'm drooling over. maple fingerboard with block inlays. three-tone sunburst with a genuine worn out finish. vintage hardware, including ashtray bridge covers and everything. sod the relic series. if i have the ongkos to part with, this is the real shebang to buy. checked out some second-hand amps. no hiwatt. hehe. most of the stores were shut, though. so, we were left to salivate over the vintage and boutique stomp boxes in the window display.


Eh, lapar lah! (part VI)

Sod the calorie intake, have some fun!

more food. to anyone on the south beach/north coast/atkins/watkins/whatever diet, no apologies offered. i say, give yourselves a break and get stuck in! leicester square was our next stop. this time it was haagen-dazs. i had the praline caramel crunch. jo had the cookie crunch, and the neon, belgian waffle. click on the pic above to know what's in them ices.


Abbey Road

The destination of the daya few minutes walk away from st. johns wood is abbey road. the one with the most famous recording studio in the world. the beatles in the 60's. pink floyd in the 70's. for all you movie buffs, the soundtracks for star wars and the lord of the rings trilogies were recorded right here. grafitti can be noted on the white walls of the studio gates. it does look like it gets painted once a week, only to be covered by more grafitti soon after. in fact, an mpv stopped by the roadside and this kid got out to write some words on the wall under the watchful eye of her mom. in full view of the close-circuit cameras.

A homage to the remaining Fab Two...

to walk the walk, we monitored the pattern of the traffic, so as to know the best time to get jo to stand in the middle of the road for that shot. also, there were these american kids who were also re-living the album cover, like 5 times or something. it gave us an idea that the shot could be easily done as the traffic was not too bad. a sense of achievement was definitely in the air around us after confirming that we finally had the best shot.

ERRATUM

the title of the seminal rolling stones' album is exile on MAIN street and not mean street. apologies to those who had to pull off their hair fidgetingly on noticing the said typo. hehe :)

月曜日, 8月 02, 2004

Brain damage

and if the cloud bursts
thunder in your ear
you shout and no one seems to hear
and if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
i'll see you on...

The lunatics are on the grass...

... the dark side of the moon

(waters)
©1973 emi records limited

[UPDATE: for more details on the studio, go here.]

Come together

Sun Redd Sun, Abbey Road NW8