Friday, June 09, 2006


Tonight - it begins!

Some fans take the World Cup REALLY seriously...

While some female fans will follow the World Cup simply for:

Vincent's treat

We went for a group lunch today, courtesy of one of my colleagues, Vincent. When asked “what’s the occasion”, all he would do is to smile and say “one year anniversary in Reuters”. Not sure if that really was the reason, but we took it as that. (come to think of it, he’s spoiling the market with this treat! who's next har?)

Lunch was at this nice Teochew restaurant near Hong Lim area. It’s actually walking distance from our Raffles Place office, so off we went at 12 noon – trotting along like on a group excursion.

The food was delicious! And even though it was a bit ‘squeezy’ with 13 people in a table, we had good fun chatting about stuff ranging from World Cup (of course lah! Tonight’s the BIG night man!), betting (arbitrage opportunities anywhere? ) ,horse-riding, food, and movies.

That was when it REALLY became interesting…

Damn! I realized that I missed out a minute and a half worth of X-men footage, which supposedly came after the credits! (if Michael is to be believed… ) And apparently, Prof Xavier didn’t die???!???!! Should I watch it again? Hmmm..

But the real highlight was when Celine started describing the horrid experience of watching “Brokeback Mountain” on the plane, with her kids sitting next to her. She panicked when the screen showed the more, er… intimate scenes. It was hilarious (yeah, and disgusting) when she described how the 2 macho-looking cowboys first cuddled up to each other in the tent, then proceeded to do a tug-of-war, and finally ended up with the “big bang” with one behind the other. *shivers* I know it was the right decision –not- to go watch that movie… "The Story of Ricky" is probably better. (hmm.. come to think of it, I think I watched ‘ricky’ 4 times! Hahahah!)

Back to the food.

The cold dish was nice. I especially liked the ngoh hiang – sedah! Next was the shark’s fin soup, then the goose meat, the herbal chicken. All pretty tasty.

My favourite was the steamed fish - fresh and super yummy! So was the prawns that followed. It was peeled prawns, deep fried and sprinkled with cereals and mayonnaise seasoning.

The 2 vegetable dishes came only at towards the end of the meal, something which I’ve always found strange. Why do they assume that people only want to eat vegetables after they’ve tasted their fill of meat dishes? In fact, I would have preferred to have the vegetable dishes served first, just to “open up the appetite” a little, before hitting the heavy meat stuff.

Then came the fried noodles, which was nice, but a little too small portion for me to judge how good it was, actually. You know, many of these restaurants serve their fried noodles with more ingredients than actual noodles. It's sort of like eating a bowl of mixed prawns, mushrooms, bean sprouts, all mixed with a little noodles!

Finally, the Orr-Nee. I’ve never been such a big fan of orr-nee, but based on the OOhhhs and Aaaaaahhhs reaction from some of my female colleagues (who are obviously orr-nee supporters), it must have been quite well-made. To me, orr-nee is orr-nee.. :P

Anyway, the meal took us almost 2 hours, and was almost like a full 10 course dinner! I remembered Vincent saying something about “giving a simple lunch treat”… if this was a ‘simple’ lunch, I can’t imagine what his wedding menu must have been..

Thursday, June 08, 2006


发现自己越来越注重名牌. 这虽然也并不是一件坏事, 但也绝不是一件好事…

以前,买一件衣服,顶多花个$20-$30, 但现在却得花上$50-70. 这还不算是真正的名牌哦. 要是真正豁出去的话,买一件Hugo Boss的衬衫,我看少说也要花上$300-$500.

不过,对于某些东西,我就会比较讲究. 比如说,鞋子嘛,我肯定不会吝啬,一定得买一双比较好一点的. 我比较喜爱穿的牌子是Hush Puppies, 不过我听说 Clarks 的鞋子也很不错,超舒服. 嗯, 可能得趁这个GSS期间大开杀戒了.哈哈哈!!

说到名牌, 总得要提起这几个品牌:

1) Louis Vuitton
2) Salvatore Ferragarmo
3) Alfred Dunhill
4) Prada
5) Hugo Boss
6) Gucci
7) Versace
8) Bally
9) Tods
10) Hermes

当然,名牌多得是,还有一大把品牌也是贵地吓死人. 不过,我相信多数追名牌的人都会趋向以上的牌子,因为这些牌子比较多人认识,所以也会比较抢眼.

很多人会喜欢买Louis Vuitton (LV)的皮制品,比如象手提带,钱包之类的东西. 价格嘛,大约从$500 起吧. *note: that’s for a REALLY small wallet or pouch *

我嘛,最喜欢的品牌就是Dunhill. Dunhill似乎是专门为男士而设的牌子,所以它和许多其他名牌不一样. Dunhill的男装工事包,以及一些比较轻便的皮制包都是一等一的 “好料”. 不论手工或是制料都看得出是非常高级. 唉,只可惜,价格也是那么 “高级”. 我看上的几样皮制工事包,都要$1500以上!! 虽不能说是遥不可及,但总是不舍得花这么一大笔钱买这么名牌的东西. 总觉得太奢侈了…


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

X-men : The Last Stand

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed watching X-men – The Last Stand. It was actually better than I’d expected it to be. Having watched the earlier 2 installments, I was curious and more than a little expecting the 3rd (could it possibly be REALLY the last installment) part to be a letdown. After all, not many shows can boast of having their “Part 2” actually being better than their original movie, not to mention “Part 3” or beyond…

Examples are aplenty. Just look at one of my all-time fav – Predator. The original movie boasted the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers and Bill Duke. It was simply awesome! The action, the blood, the gore, the taglines… simply awesome. Com’on, how many movies has taglines as cool as “I ain’t got no time to bleed!”. And how about “If it bleeds, then we can kill it!”. Enuff said.
Then some silly producers/director decided to rip-off audiences by doinog a silly Part 2. This time, no Arnold, no cool fights, no taglines of note. Only a clumsy looking Danny Glover in a completely unconvincing setup. Hopeless…

Another disappointment – Matrix. It is one of those films which I don’t mind watching again and again and again and again…

Quote 1 :“You think that’s air you’re breathing? Hmmm..”
Quote 2 :“And you are?” – “Smith. A Smith” – “You all look the same to me..”
Quote 3 :“Woah.. I know kung-fu!” – “Show me..”

Classic movie…

Then you look at the part 2 and 3… well, the fight scenes were decent, even arguably good. But the entire movies just didn’t live up to the expectations build up by the first and original part. No where near..

Ok, back to X-men 3.

I liked it because it didn’t really have long periods of boring conversations and lull. Most of the time, the story just hopped along pretty quickly, with one scene (and action!) leading directly to the next. I particularly liked the scene where Prof Xavier and Magneto tried to ‘talk’ to Jeane (aka Phoenix). It was a scene with everything – intense and fast action, suspense (I really didn’t know what would happen next), and even emotions. Kuja sitting beside me was noticeably distressed when Prof Xavier got atomized and I have to agree that the funeral scene that followed was rather moving…

For the sake of the franchise, I do hope this movie IS the last of the series, especially since it ends of a rather nice note – the peaceful co-existence of human and the mutants. And since Prof X is now history, and his old buddy Magneto is another old man playing chess, I think a Part 4 sequel looks fairly unlikely. Still, the last scene, which shows Magneto trying to move a chess piece (which I assume to be made of metal??!?) with his ‘powers’, appears to be a move by the producers to leave a “space”, IN CASE they are hard-up for some quick bucks from the X-men fans again, sometime in the future.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Baby n the stroller

I didn’t know that a baby stroller could cost over a thousand dollars! Seriously.. for something as simple look as that, made of only plastic and and fabric, I am astounded by the large variance in prices.
Well, to be sure, it most probably can be attributed to branding – seeing how a small little Louis Vuitton handbag can cost a handsome 4 figure sum as well.

Oh, to clarify matters, I don’t have a baby. Yet.

The stroller we’re hunting for is meant for my brother’s little gal – Yuan, who’s 2 month’s old now.

We visited her last weekend, but unfortunately, she was having one of those ‘untouchable’ sleep routine, which meant that no matter how the people (evil, evil adults..) tried to harass her into opening her eyes, she simply stuck to her task, and focused on sleeping. But even in her sleep, you could detect a twinge of smile across her little mouth (which, incidentally, is usually in the wide-open position :O ) sometimes.

Congrats, bro!
What a lovely little baby.

Now for the not-so-lovely BIG bills coming your way …

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Flu and (performance in) the City

Fell sick yesterday, so stayed at home to recuperate... i hate cold/flu, it just makes you feel like shit, and with the constant sneezing and coughing, you seriously cant do anything constructive at all. Plus the flu medication - it's got to be the BEST insomnia cure, man. Took 2 of those after meal, and immediately knocked out for hours.

Back to work today, though still feeling like i'm sleep-walking a bit. Light-headed and generally dulled senses. Really hate cold/flu (oh..did i say that already?)

One piece of good news though :)

Eugene (from NLB) replied my email. It seems like Guitaresque has just secured a performing slot in library@Esplanade, sometime in September this year! Yay!!!

Now it's up to us to prepare and rehearse a suitable repertoire for about 45 min of performance. In fact, the group has already gotten down to doing that last week. We should be able to put up something credible by then. Some of the pieces we may play: Excerpts from Carmen Suite, pieces composed by Andrew York (Pacific Coast highway, Along the Edge, Dredlock), Albeniz pieces (Granada, Cap Catalan), a Telemann concerto, and possibly Fragile and the Oldies medley.

Really look forward to the performance in September!