Everything Else

The Album Leaf

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/152/425240555_7976287c47_m.jpg!(The Album Leaf live at Esplanade)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/425240555/

What can I say? Their gig at the Esplanade Theatre Studio, as part of the Mosaic Music Festival, was simply fabulous.

I first heard their music on one of the most accessible music bibles of all time, The O.C. It was nothing really like what I had been used to listening – chill out, relaxed, mysterious and almost meditative. Weave in a few phrases of dischordant notes that leaves one with a vague sense of discomfiture and you get music that’s rather intriguing.

Somehow, I became drawn to it and when I realised that they were coming to town, it was an opportunity not to be missed.

They did not disappoint. While a little taciturn and awkward in the most charming of manner, they obviously played their heart out and were contented with the cheers and applause they got from a mostly sedate crowd.

Close your eyes and float along with the music. That’s the beauty of The Album Leaf.

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/163/425240916_7db9ef7001_m.jpg!(Our Heineken beer)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/425240916/

Everything Else

Heroes revealed

**POTENTIAL SPOILERS**

!(imgcenter)https://yannisms.com/pix/heroes.jpg!

I just caught episodes 17 and 18 and I was utterly blown away.

What makes “Heroes” an awesome show, to me, is its clever twists and the idea of ordinary people coming to terms with their not-so-ordinary powers. Just when you think you have come to understand one character, the writers throw out an amazing revelation that completely changes your mind.

And rather than having muscled men fighting injustice in the world and romancing pretty women, here you have a whole spectrum of characters to choose from – a Japanese geek who can bend time and space, an all-American cheerleader who can heal spontaneously, a gentle soul who absorbs powers through empathy, a drug addict who can paint the future. Its immense success could be traced to how the audience can readily accept the idea of these everyday characters gaining powers through genetic mutation as the human race evolves to survive. In a way, it’s as believable as how Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker became heroes through circumstances not of their own choosing or doing.

The line between good and evil is blurred, nobody is perfect in the world of “Heroes”. Some stay in the grey, some try to be good and some are evil, but not without nuance. Nobody is just a one-dimensional character, not even the quiet Haitian who manages to spring a few surprises on us despite not speaking much.

Can I just say that I think Masi Oka is so adorable. Of all the heroes, he is the most engaging and charming. Even little Hiro, as shown in a character’s flashback in episode 17, is as cute as a button.

I can’t believe I have to wait another six weeks for the next episode. But in the meantime, there’s always “Battlestar Galactica” and “Lost” to catch up on.

Friends

A little short on words

I’m not really in the mood to write much today. It’s been a really fun (yummy Spartans!) but tiring weekend and I am still paying the price for it.

Work wise, the moonlighting is starting to pick up again. I get to play with plenty of interesting gadgets and write about topics which I have great personal interest in. The additional cash doesn’t hurt too – it goes right into the Buy-A-Canon-400D fund, as well as the Wedding cum East End kitty.

I’m happy to say that the dude and I have talked it out and we have an idea of how much moolah we need for the Big Events and how we are going to do it.

To end off, here are some happy pictures of my pretty Christmas/birthday presents from two of my bestest friends in the world – Popartgirl and Trevor.

“!(imgleft)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/163/409764134_1e6109a74b_m.jpg! (Dior eye shadow palette from Popartgirl)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/409764134/ “!(img)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/124/409764194_bd0ffda823_m.jpg!(Escada perfume from Trevor)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/409764194/

The organised chaos

Like dying in the sun

It was bound to happen soon, the crashing fall and the strange, ringing silence that follows.

I lose my voice, I can’t speak but the thoughts are reverberating round my mind endlessly. It seems that everything is numb except for the hot tears that splash down my cheeks.

I can’t do this anymore, I need to find myself and be who I really should be.

But in the end, life goes on. You wake up to a reality that you cannot change. You just keep plodding through the disappointment, the disillusionment, the resignation. It pays the bills, it gets you the things you want. And for that you ought to be grateful, even if you are trapped in a swamp that dulls your senses every single second.

I need to feel inspired again.

Pick up that pen again. Grab a moleskine. Buy that chunky watch you always liked but never got. Sit in front of the computer and type. Lose yourself in a beautifully and brilliantly written book. Shoot with that camera which is gathering dust. Read the papers and lose that cynicism. Sit back and watch the world go by. Absorb the soundscape. Close your eyes and feel the wind on your face. Let go of the responsibilities. Feel young. Smile into the sunlight. Tap dance in your heels. Laugh out loud with no sense of inhibition. Twirl in the rain again. Listen to your skirts swish. Touch a baby’s pure smooth skin.

I wanted to sit down over a cuppa and tell you everything but you looked so tired and sounded so distracted, I changed my mind.

I need to believe I can still do it, even if the odds are against me.

Geek Girl

Happy 5th birthday, baby!

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/130/415218581_6458e05b51.jpg!(I love my baby)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/415218581/

“Baby” in this case does not mean the other half. It’s my precious iMac G4.

It’s been FIVE long years for my baby and I and our relationship is still going strong.

Except for that one time it briefly lost consciousness, my baby has never failed me yet. Its little 700MHz processor is still plodding on sturdily and despite its lack of frills and teeny USB 1.1 connection, it’s still my best computing pal.

Throughout our years together, we have seen many new models come and go. Yes, there have been times when I was sorely tempted to plonk my cash down for a newer, swankier and faster machine but there has never been a looker as gorgeous as my baby. Plus, it’s been so faithful that I cannot bear to give it away, willingly, to someone else who might not love it as much as I do.

Though it’s turning yellow now, my baby is still the best looking kid on the block. And at about S$2.4k, it’s been my BEST investment EVER.

So, happy birthday, baby and here’s to many more years ahead! Who knows, maybe this will be an inheritance for the future baby yAnns.

God only knows what I’d be without you!

Edit: Yes, someone on flickr has just informed me that it’s actually baby’s 5th birthday. I miscalculated! Urgh argh argh.

Silly things

3s

Since I have been double tagged by both Hucks and monoceros, there really seems no escaping this meme.

3 things that scare me:
Not being able to see or touch or hear or sing
(Flying) cockroaches
The thought of losing a loved one

3 people who make me laugh:
Jimmy
My six-year-old nephew Dylan
Bill Watterson (with his drawings of “Calvin and Hobbes”)

3 things I love:
Writing
Music
Feeling of being in love

3 things I hate:
Disharmony and anger
Rude people who push past me on the MRT
Singapore’s humid weather

3 things I don’t understand:
Why humanities and the arts are largely ignored in our society
Why people have children only to abuse or neglect them
Why friends say they love you but just don’t bother to make the effort

3 things on my desk:
My precious iMac
A tape of my SCGS choir performance back in 1996
A jar of pineapple tarts

3 things I’m doing right now:
Putting off researching for my next articles
Waiting for the masque on my face to dry
Reading the Jimmy Liao comic books that I carted home from Shanghai last year

3 things I want to do before I die:
Backpack around Europe
See the glittering Christmas tree in New York’s Time Square
Teach my children to sing and dance and to appreciate the power of language

3 things I can do:
Speed read
Write a good article in record time
Burst into song from seemingly out of nowhere

3 things you should listen to:
The sound of raindrops falling
Victoria Chorale’s solid rendition of “Stabat Mater” during the World Choir Games 2006
Virgin Radio

3 things you should never listen to:
Politicians
Negative people who have no faith in anything
Boybands

3 things I’d like to learn:
Italian or French
To cook and bake
To be less quick-tempered

3 favourite foods:
My mother’s curry chicken/chap chye
Succulent rack of lamb
Juicy, tender wagyu beef

3 beverages I drink regularly:
Plain water
My mother’s teh-si
100-plus

3 TV shows/Books I watched/read as a kid:
Sesame Street
Ronald Dahl
Channel 8’s Wu Suo Nan Yang (haha)

3 people I have to tag:
Rie, Cat and Dopey

Everything Else

Dirty Dancing

Back in those days when we were still staying in grimy Bedok, the Sista and I would always make a trip down to our local video store to rent our perennial favourites during the school holidays. Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing were two of them.

Oh, how we loved them! The fairy tale love story, pretty female leads (Julia Roberts in that brown polka dot dress? Classy) and hunky male leads…..it really appealed to our inner Venuses. We probably watched each movie at least 20 times, rewinding the tape and putting it on again immediately after the movie had ended. We fancied ourselves to be the lovely heroines, feisty and full of passion for the things we believed in and in some ways, we did fulfill what we had thought ourselves to be when we were younger and more idealistic.

I especially loved Dirty Dancing because of its gritty, 1960s feel and the dancing. Smooth, flowing and sexy moves that made me wish I had not two left feet and an awkward gait.

Till this day, 20 years after the movie has been made, I still adore the movie and its eclectic soundtrack comprising of sappy love ballads (Eric Carmen’s “Hungry Eyes”), retro ’60s ditties and the winner of the Best Original Song at the following Oscars – Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley’s “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”. Check out the Youtube video of the scene when the song played. The sleek dance moves, the way the group of dancers moved so amazingly in sync, the intimacy…it just sends a tingle down my spine.

And check out, also, this British couple who re-enacted the dance at their wedding and made it to the news. It’s so cute!

Those were the days when we could savour the delicious bubblegum delight of a summer movie. Sweet!