Friday, January 20, 2006

Smooth Sailing. Dang!

The latest two-day voyage at South China Sea was surprisingly uneventful.

The sea was calm. The weather was perfect.
But I expected worse, thus(?) I was rather disappointed.

A case of lousy expectation not achieved, huh?

I don’t know. At the time of writing this, I was surprised myself of why I was feeling down.

Perhaps it was because whenever I went to that sea, I was always greeted by violent waves which caused many of us sea-sick while I was enjoying the experience of standing at the Main Deck admiring the strength of the sea and the furious wind that slapped my face.

Yeah, I rather missed that.

Still the trip was not truly wasted. It gave me ample time to think (hey, I finished working fast!) and reflect.

Seeing at the calm wave, I couldn't help but recall the story that I read once. About how a small wave feels depressed when it compares itself to the larger wave and how eventually it can find peace when it realizes that there should not be any differentiation between waves. As they're all part of the sea.

Now, isn't it bloody obvious--you may say. How can the story relate to us? Are we supposed not to feel small when we compare ourselves with others as we're all actually part of ...

Part of ???

Right, part of humanity?

Couldn't understand it. Perhaps in one untold story about the little wave, there is one where it comes to know that it is part of the sea. But it doesn't understand what "sea" means.

So what does 'humanity' mean?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Leaving on a jet plane?

Hardly. And I'll definitely know when I'll be back again.

Going out to contemplate "life, universe & everything"[1] at South China Sea today & tomorrow.

Will be back on Thursday.
Over and out.

The owner of this site therefore relinquishes any responsibility of whatever comments (thanks goodness I don't have that many a reader!)--bad and worse--posted in this blog.

[1] I wish. It's for working really. ;p

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I’m (trying to, at least!) lovin’ it.

Either that as a title or “The Heirloom: The Heir’s Doom?”

In a bid to try to enjoy the so-called mystical day of Friday the 13th, I went to watch the Taiwanese show, The Heirloom. (View the trailer here)

Guess whose idea it is to watch that show! Not me for sure. =) Although I don't understand why girls--ok, possibly an over-generalization here--like to see such a movie, if what they do throughout the show is just to cover their eyes now and then. :(

Anyway, armed with my old spectacles (I need to read the English subtitles), I went to Cathay Cineplex at Causeway Point.

I’m not particularly into a horror movie. When was the last one I watched? The Ring or The Blair Witch Project? Couldn't tell.

But the horror of the movie is not exactly because the supernatural aspect of it. It is more about the sickening extent how a family try to gain fortune.

As usual I’d try not to divulge too much information.

Now looking forward for: V for Vendetta. At least, the trailer looks cool! :)~

And if the movie follows closely the graphic novel from which it's adapted, I will say it’s a must-watch show. Because that graphic novel, published by Vertigo, is written by Alan Moore. Doesn’t ring a bell? Well, this Alan Moore inspires Neil Gaiman as the latter openly admitted and taught Gaiman about how it is to script for comics.

Moore is a guru!

And remember the masterpiece, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”? It’s also written by Alan Moore.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

A TV series in the 80s. Remember the show? It’s about a team of three trying to recover the cursed antiques that the late owner of the antique show had previously sold. One item per episode.

Can’t recall, though how the show was finally ended.

If I’m to refer to this site, it seems that the story was not satisfactorily concluded. A possibility for Season 4 then?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ads by Google...

My previous article, "Priceless indeed." had invited a spammer by the nick of ass2006 whose comment contained a link to an url that led to xxx-theme page.

Perhaps it's because I wrote $xxx.xx (which some may accuse me of being showy, although I'll tend to just laugh them off as the first x could mean any number & that includes zero, mister! =)

But seriously, just take it as an attempt to adhere closely to the original advertisement. By the way, it's about Mastercard & I recall it's widely used as a parody for even in a US presidential campaign (ok, I lost the link) which led to a lawsuit when the court of law finally decided that as long as the creative-twist of the advertisement served not for commercial purpose (apparently being a president there is not considered as commercially beneficial. It's a serious job. Heh), it's not against the copyright.

Well, do tell me if I'm wrong.
And if I am, I'd gladly delete that article from my blog.

Boy, am I not cooperative! ;)

What has it got to do with the title, you may ask. Take it as a little experiment, to see whether it's going to do any good to my site, my pocket, or both, or none at all (which I'll then simply remove this Adsense thingy--not sure how to do it yet, but I can always ask around).

Till then, let's give it a chance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Disagree: Honesty is hardly ever heard.

At least according to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary which claimed that “based on (users’) online lookups the #1 Word of the Year for 2005” is “integrity”—a word to which the explanation shows its synonym, “honesty”.

Makes you wonder why “integrity” is the most sought word.

Personally, I don’t agree that the synonym of “integrity” is “honesty”. Isn't the latter a subset of the former? Not equal to each other. Yet who am I to argue against an online dictionary?

On a totally unrelated note, the tittle—the major part of it—is inspired from Billy Joel’s Honesty.

A little comment on his first verse, in particular...this one:

But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind
It always seems to be so hard to give
Truthfulness is easy to give as long as you do not worry about being tactful or about whether you being honest may hurt the other person’s feeling. Then nobody needs to go blind if they’re searching for truthfulness.

But if you hurt other person’s feeling? Even when you’re not in the wrong, you’d feel damn guilty about it.

Just a little reminder to my future self.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Annotation to previous entry.

This ought to consist of verification whether the previous article's title is indeed derived from a song. Maybe yes. Maybe not. But if it's from a song, it's surely not a memorable one as I couldn't recall the tune. Now if the title is "November Rain", that will be unforgettable--the tune, not the lyric of course.

So this annotation will be about the movie, "The Shawshank Redemption" originally a short story, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption written by Stephen King.

I like the movie tagline: "Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free." Though if you do watch the show, the more apt caption--albeit lengthier one--would be something like this: "Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free. Determination helps too."

The movie is not merely about hope. It's about the main character who determines not to have his time just wasted away in the prison.

Enough said. Catch the show.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Have you ever seen the rain?

Hmmm...which I somehow suspect is a song title. Anyway, it was raining the whole day on Sunday. A condition that I normally find as a blessing. Especially when I'm indoor.

I was outdoor. Cycling home. Muttering to myself "Be positive. The rain refreshes you. In some countries, people are even praying to get this wet."

Yeah, right. Somehow it did not make me feel better.

I tried to imagine myself like the poster of the movie, The Shawshank Redemption. You know, the protagonist in the posture of opening his arms wide to the sky with the rain drizzling against him?

Well, I promptly checked myself. I was cycling and emulating the pose would mean an instant death for me with the certain risk of the bicycle losing its balance and rejecting its rider, me.

But to make the matter worse was not actually the rain. It was when I bought my dinner. The queue was slow and when my turn almost came, it just so happened that the guy in front of me was a certified auditor(?). Thoroughly meticulous, but an idiot nevertheless.

Coz he kept asking "What's this meal?" *pointing at tofu*
"What's that meal?" *at the fried chicken*
"How do you call this meal?" *at sweet & sour fish*
"And this meal?" *at some green vegetable (kangkong? - not sure the English word)*
"And that meal?" *back to pointing at tofu*


I was trembling behind him with the mixture of cold and anger. Glaring hard at him which he simply ignored. But that stare was not wasted to his thick hide. The stall owner could--luckily--sense that this guy might not even serious in buying from him, so what the owner did then? He just bypassed that guy and asked me what meal I'd like to order. Thank you! The guy in front of me looked so heartbroken it almost made me laugh. I just grinned instead & used the chance to show him how one should make a decision.

I ordered quickly and made a mental note that I'd definitely be trying to be a regular costumer there as I was impressed by the stall owner.

Heh, and the food was not bad, either!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Priceless indeed.

A taxi ride to the nearest MRT: $x.xx
A late dinner with her at NYDC: $xx.xx
A belated gift bought on Christmas Day for her: $xxx.xx
A very late stroll at Esplanade & together making fun of those pda-ed[1]couples (get a room, people!): Priceless.

There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s [insert-any-credit-card-brand-of-your-preference].

[1] pda = publicly displaying affection

Friday, January 06, 2006

Pass the story on, Octavio!

Octavio Paz. I came across this name when I was browsing the Asiapac book/comic, The Illustrated Heart Sutra.

Well, I always like to view the artwork of this particular artist, Tsai Chih Chung.

Anyway, there is this 2-page story in the book adapted from the work—alas, no specific title--of Octavio Paz.

In the first page, it’s about someone—let’s call him “A”—who walks through the dark city alone. When he does, he creates the noise. Soon he realizes that the sounds are ‘echoed’ by similar sounds somewhere behind him. Step. Step. Step. Step.

When he walks faster, the similar sounds behind him follow suit.
Stepstepstep. Stepstepstep.

When he runs, so do the sounds mimic behind him.

And in the final panel of that page, he stops and quickly turns around. He sees nobody. End of the first page.

Enter the second page (uhm…it’s the opposite page actually so it makes a very convenient visual comparison).

Started with the similar setting. Another person, say “B”, at the same dark city. Walking alone. And he hears the sounds of a person walking in front of him.

He uses that sound as a guide. When the sound indicates that the person walks faster or even runs, he does the same.

The sounds in front of him suddenly stop and so B halts too. In front of him (B), A is seen to turn around as if A acknowledging the presence of B or if I remember correctly, it's written from B's point of view that A looks as if “he claims to see (B)”.

A short commentary about the moral of the story is in the last panel of the 2nd page. I couldn’t say that I agree with it. I don’t aim to argue against it yet, though.

The point I try to make is I'm impressed with the story and I would like to know more about Octavio Paz.

1. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1990.

2. His poetry “Motion” consists of an impressive blend of parallelism with a creative usage of a point of origin that coincides with its point of end. (Confused? Yeah, me too. Do read the poem for a clearer picture.)

3. Again, the effective dosage of parallelism in “The Clerk's Vision” leaves me rather speechless.

This Octavio guy should have a blog on his own! :)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Curious Incident of the (Barking) Dog in the Night-time

With apology to Mark Haddon. Will definitely try to read the book (the title minus the 'barking in brackets', that is) one day.

Oh and by the way, be careful with the link, it consists of a spoiler.

It was not that dark and stormy night yesterday. But I just could not sleep. Opposite my block there was an open field which currently has a construction work ongoing. There was a dog in the vicinity barking. Incessantly.

It was almost midnight and I was supposed to sleep already.
But that darn dog was still barking. Incessantly.

What’s the hell wrong with the dog? I began to wonder.

Couldn’t retreat to sleep, I took a book to read: Adam Smith’s The Money Game. Stop reading the book after some time. Couldn’t concentrate because of the damned noise.

Lying on my bed I was thinking what the dog was barking about?
Looking at my watch beside my bed, hey, the dog had been barking non-stop for almost 45 minutes? No kidding?!

Not a dog person myself, I won’t know what kind of bark it was. Fear? Hunger? Anger? But why it was so persistent?

If it was fear, shouldn’t the dog bark for a while—if not for the sake of formality--and then run away?

If it was hunger, the dog was trying to get a sore throat to numb the hungry feeling within its stomache?

If it was anger, apparently the dog did a poor job to terrify whatever creature it was trying to show its anger, but then why the creature did not do anything to silence the furious dog? I mean it was such a raucous disturbance and if the creature was not supposed to be there, won’t the creature worry that someone might come to investigate?

I was thinking about it when I finally fell asleep and in the morning when I woke up, I heard the same barking. No kidding?!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sophie’s World – More Than A Mere Bagatelle

Finally…I’ve finished reading the book. Thanks to "Shakespeare Heroine" who lent it to me & patiently let me taking my time to read it.

I am undecided whether I like the book or not, though.

On the one hand, the book has an element of fiction too with a bizarre, frame-like plot which I found a bit disappointing.

On the other hand, it is like you could see the book as a brief, friendly summary of philosophy—you just ignore the Sophie’s part and focus on the philosophy teacher’s speech. The book also has an index!

Perhaps I can say that I like the book because of the latter reason: it encompasses a concise write-up of philosophies.

I will like it better if Sophie’s role is further expanded and not just as a glue to, uhm, glue the plot.

Still it’s a very unique book that you may want to re-read. Again & again.
For its compilation of philosophy, at least.

Note. Yeah, 'bagatelle' is one word that is kept repeating in the book. A rather annoying word, I'd say. And what is more, it's used by the teacher who's supposedly knowledgable in philosophies. The irony!

Whatever happens to treating a world as wonder if everything unusual you quickly dismiss as a bagatelle?! :(