Thursday, March 18, 2010


I think I am becoming a jealous person. Or more specifically, a jealous father.

As this week happens to be the school holiday week, we decided to let my parents (instead of EP's parents) take care of the beastie for the week. Ie. my parents would come over early in the morning (before we go off to work) to fetch him, and then in the evening they'd "return" him to us.

Last evening, we met up for dinner together at Bukit Batok, and during the meal, my mum proudly asked the boy, "你爱PAPA还是爱奶奶?"
To my great dismay, the beastie replied without hesitation, "爱奶奶!"

I felt a sense of betrayal at that declaration. What a turncoat! =P

This morning, EP also tried her Jedi mind-trick on the beastie (quite unfair, cos I think the beastie had just woken up, and was barely fully awake!). While I was busy preparing his milk, she triumphantly carried a half-asleep beastie over to me and asked, "你爱PAPA还是爱奶奶?"

Guess what he replied?


The traitor!!!

Lunch talk

Had an interesting lunchtime chat with some colleagues today - about movies and movie stars.

"Who do you guys think are the hottest babes in Hollywood these days?", asked one of my female colleague.

"Megan Fox = hot ! " was the quickest reply from a male colleague.

Stamp of approval.

"Jessica Alba is really hot too"


"Scarlett Johansson is chio!"

Drool... yes.

A number of other names were thrown up as well - Natalie Portman (we agreed she doesn't exactly fall into the hot babe/sex symbol category, but she is nevertheless a beauty); Anne Hathaway; Jessica Biel and Charlize Theron were amongst the others mentioned.

Interestingly, the guys (there were just the 2 of us - myself and CJ) agreed on most of names, whereas the girls seem to have a slightly differing view when it comes to gauging "beauty".

I think it is true that the 审美观of males and females can be quite different. Which is why when EP tells me a colleague or a friend is quite good-looking (as in, a lady), I will usually be rather skeptical about it, until/unless I see the person and decide for myself. Can't trust her judgement on these things, you know... hehe

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?

Our local newspapers has gone into overdrive recently to report the alleged affair of local movie director Jack Neo. This old timer (well, he's 50 this year, so I'd consider him an 'old bird' in the field) had supposedly had an affair with a (currently) 22 year old part-time model, and when things didnt go too well, the latter decided to go public with the affair.

That was the first salvo fired at Jack, though certainly not the last. Because following the revelations of his infidelity, several more women came forth with their own stories of how the movie director attempted to sweet talk them into giving in to what he wants. And it's pretty obvious what a 40+ (then) man would want with girls as young as (supposedly) 16.

Let's face it - men are by nature frivolous and tend to be distracted by what he sees and imagines. I am not a scientist or biologist, so I wouldn't know if the same is true for women (at least from a biological or physiological point of view), but from mere observation it does appear that men are more likely swayed by temptations of the flesh. I guess the correct (and dirty) word for it is "lust". Hmm.. perhaps that's why lust is one of the 7 sins (the others are: Pride, Gluttony, Wrath, Sloth, Envy and Greed. Oh, by the way, I loved the movie "Seven", starring Morgan Freeman, Gweneth Palthrow and Brad Pitt... ).

A male colleague of mine recently stated that there are 2 factors which would "lead a man to stray":
1) Wealth
2) Opportunity (ie. being away from his wife & family, and likely away from the constraints imposed onto him by the society at large)

I kind of agree with him. Look, a man who is struggling to feed himself and his family isn't likely to have the time and energy - not to mention the nerves! - to look for such extra-marital activities. This kind of men are also safe from the radar of predatory women who are out to fleece the horny and gullible man-folk.
On the other hand, if a man is loaded or has spare cash to spend, he is more likely to start thinking of HOW to spend the money to satisfy his primal needs. After all, what good is money is you ain't gonna spend it right? =P Think those uncles in their 50s/60s who have collected their pension or CPF monies - perfect targets for money-sucking predator-esses. It's a simple case of matching demand and supply.

As for opportunity, I guess much depends on the kind of job a man does. Some jobs are regarded as "higher risk" due to the fact that they require the guy to travel often, and to spend significant amount of time away from his wife and family. Without the normal levels of societal constraints (away from people whom you know, your friends, family members, as well as others who might judge you for your actions), chances are definitely higher for man to sway in his resolve to remain free of extra-marital sexual liaisons.

Coming back to the case of Jack Neo's affair (or affairs), I can clearly see the same factors at play. He's probably made quite a fair bit of wealth on the success of his directorial experience since his very first hit movie - Money No Enough. And since his work takes him overseas frequently - to shoot for the movie, scout for talents (of all kinds, I guess...), etc. - he certainly has ample opportunity to hit on these sweet young things whom he fancies.

It's becoming a trend these days for male celebrities who appear to have squeeky clean images to suddenly find themselves thick in the mud with revelations of post marital romps with women other than their spouses. Tiger Woods led the pack, followed swiftly by John Terry, Ashley Cole and now our very own Jack Neo in Singapore. To be honest, I'm not sure what the big fuss is about, really. Likely I'd mentioned earlier, men (like them) with so much money and ample opportunity to satisfy their lust would almost certainly do so. Whether they get found out or not is, of course a different matter. They just need to work a little harder to patch back their soiled public image, so as to win back sponsors who are paying them the big bucks.

As for the common man-on-the-street, such news make good entertainment for reading and leisure. We can only ponder (and wonder) if we'd have done what they did had we their wealth and means to do so.

Mostly probably NOT....

(We wont be so silly as to be caught! haha!)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Asian Folktales - Genus 2010 concert

After many years of sitting "on the bench" (like a substitute in a football squad), yesterday I finally participated in Genus's annual showpiece as a full fledge performer. And boy, did it make me feel really old!

Just sitting through a 2 hour rehearsal, hours prior to the actual performance, and my back (and butt! ) was already feeling the strain. It certainly didnt help that the chairs we were provided with were not exactly the most comfortable chairs for a classical guitarist - or any performer for that matter. They were a bit too low and the seats were shaped/angled in an 'butt-unfriendly' way.

So why did I do it? ie. agree to play for the entire concert. Well, it was mostly because our Resident Conductor - Mr Robert Casteels requested me to "lend a hand" (or more specifically, lend some sound!) to the ensemble. You see, this year, the ensemble concert repertoire is decidedly longer than usual. Instead of preparing for the typically 7-8 ensemble pieces, this year, we probably had like 12-13 pieces in all. Couple this with the fact that several of these pieces were composed/arranged in such a way as to make the first year players faint when they looked at the score (Yes - Raj's Satyagraha is definitely one of those! Plus Liang Shan's Giant Robo.. oh boy), I really have some sympathy for those poor juniors who have to go through the extra hours (and the auditions) rehearsing these songs.
I wondered how I'd reacted if I were a first year member who'd joined Genus some 6 months ago.... Might I have just called it a day and quitted the club? Maybe...

Anyway, back to my personal reasons for playing in the concert. I feel that the repertoire this year contained some really interesting songs which definitely made my participation in the performance more enjoyable and meaningful.
Raj's contribution - Satyagraha - an original composition based on some Indian's traditional tunes, was one of these tunes which kept ringing in my head. In my opinion, it would be a real waste if this song was presented just this once, in the University's UCC premise, and in front of a meagre 400+ audience, who had sportingly turned up for a undergraduate concert held in a relatively unknown (to the public) place, on a late Sunday evening!
Perhaps with the upcoming Germany trip, we could showcase this ethnic and authentic Indian composition, played on western (Spanish) classical guitars and Japanese designed Niibori instruments, and brought to life by the vibrancy afforded by a Singaporean guitar orchestra! Talk about integrating of cultures....

The only disappointment was that for Chrono Medley (one of Xpose's songs), our flautist did not managed to put up a credible show. It was, frankly one of her worst performances I've heard in a long time. I believe it was down to nerves and anxiety - but then, considering the fact that she's a seasoned performer, I'm pretty astonished about how it all fell apart for her on stage.

Nevertheless - and despite the backaches (and butt-aches!) suffered through the rehearsals and the actual concert - it was an enjoyable outing, and one which will add to the many fond memories I've had with the NUS Guitar Ensemble.