Monday, July 31, 2006

Welcome to Hazard! Hope you endure your stay.

Hazard. A song. A video. A drama. Couldn't even recall when I first watched the clip of Richard Marx's Hazard.

Always thought the title referred to a fictional town called Hazard. I mean, hey the residents must be very 'disturbed' if for some reason they chose to name their town that way. How then they call themselves? Hazarders? Hazardous?

But I realized later that I had been wrong. The town does exist. Well, to be precise it's a village according to Wikipedia.

So what? The song is still memorable. With a grim black-and-white shoot of the video that nicely complements the lyric. As a story of what happened in that old Nebraska town.

The video clip offered clues about the real killer. Indeed debatable as there's not a straight-forward killing scene shown. Yet the subtle scenes here & there could provide adequate leads to the answer of why Mary was killed.

Perhaps this song appeals to me also because of the seemingly so real-like portrayal of the main character. He was framed for a murder, his house was burnt down while he's still in police custody and he left the damned town dejected. That's it. The end. Just a man with so many troubles eventually trying to move on. By leaving the past.

PS. The clip is available here. The keywords for the two images: crop, brightness/contrast.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

130706 - Lost (Season 2) Summary / Spoiler

Previously on Lost: here.

Part 1. Flashback on Sun Kwon

It’s started with Jin & Sun Kwon in intimate moment, which then revealed how much Jin wanted to have a baby so that he would get a ‘safer job’ from his father-in-law. Whatever that means.

They had been trying for a year, but Sun Kwon was still not pregnant. They went to see a doctor & he explained that the problem was with her. Sun Kwon was accused (in front of the doctor—way to go, Jin! Sheesh) she might have known about her situation earlier. She coldly retorted that it could be true because she wanted to trap a fisherman’s son. The doctor inwardly wished the couple could grow up & not argue in front of him. Jin hurriedly left the room but not before he violently swept away the documents on the doctor’s table.

The doctor would later meet Sun Kwon & told her the truth. It’s Jin who’s sterile. He explained that he’s afraid to tell Jin about it because of what Jin did for her father. Whatever that means. A shady family business?

The Flashback also had Sun Kwon meeting Mr. Lee (featured once here) in a hotel room. For a private English lesson with Mr. Lee as a teacher. They treated it as a serious educational thing as emphasized by the “Do Not Disturb” sign hung outside the door.

Sun Kwon was an excellent student. She soon managed to be fluent in English. The teacher was proud of her. They engaged in small talks where Mr. Lee asked her why she wanted to learn English. (Why he didn’t ask that before the lesson first started is beyond me) She shared her secret that she wanted to go to America. To leave Jin. Mr. Lee advised her not to run away from her life & from how he said it, he seemed to did the same mistake once with that “American girlfriend” (also briefly mentioned here).

Part 2. The Island
After an argument because of Jin was angry that Sun Kwon spending time alone in ‘her garden’ (He pulled out all the plants out. He was mad that she was not being careful as she was last time almost kidnapped here. Not by the Others, though. By Charlie. In the 220606 episode), Sun Kwon suspected that she’s pregnant. She confirmed that using a test kit obtained from Sawyer. Kate was with her when the result was out & Sun Kwon was indeed pregnant. Which was impossible as Jin was sterile.

Sun Kwon insisted to double check with Jack who confirmed that the test kit was reliable enough. He also advised her to tell Jin the whole truth about her pregnancy. Not to let Jin to be the last person in the Island who knew about it. He was looking at Kate, though, when he said about the whole truth thing. Perhaps Jack was still a bit upset of not knowing how Kate’s feeling towards Sawyer.

Sun Kwon finally told about her pregnancy to Jin. She also said that it’s Jin who’s sterile. Not her. She swore that she had not been with other guy. Jin believed her & took it as a miracle.

Meanwhile, Locke decided that Ana-Lucia was needed to interrogate Henry Gale. She went inside the armory to talk with Gale. She told him what happened in the other side of the Island when she mistakenly thought Nathan as one of the Others (Happened on Day 19) & what happened to him.

Gale agreed to draw her a map that led to the location where his balloon was stranded. Ana-Lucia didn’t share the information with Locke and Jack. She approached Sayid for help. With a hint of contempt & amusement she admitted that she didn’t tell Jack & Locke about the map because “Jack and Locke were a little too busy worrying about Locke and Jack”.

Charlie joined Sayid & Ana-Lucia in their quest for the balloon. She noticed Charlie had a gun with him. Upon asked, Charlie accused Ana-Lucia to be a murderer (remember this one? Where Shannon was accidentally shot.)

Charlie gave his gun to Sayid instead. At night when three of them took a rest & Charlie was already asleep, Ana-Lucia told Sayid that she’s very sorry about what happened (to Shannon). In reply, Sayid let her know that he didn’t hate her. It’s not her mistake. It’s the Others. And if Gale was lying about the balloon (which meant that he’s one of the Others), something ought to be done.

The three of them reached the place where the balloon was supposed to be located. But no balloon in sight. Ana-Lucia being cautious told them to search the place thoroughly.

In the Hatch, Jack invited Gale out for a breakfast. Gale displayed some surprise about the Hatch, the computer, and the cereal. Gale commented that he was let out as a reward for the map he drew earlier. As Jack & Locke looked surprised, Gale grinned at how they seemed to have some trust issue. Gale reminded them that it’s lucky that he’s not one of the Others. If he was, the most logical thing he’d do was to give a map that would lead to a trap. So that the Others could trade their captives with him.

To be continued...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Recommended Books:

This particular article shall be continually updated. By 'recommended' it doesn't necessarily mean that I've read the book(s). Therefore, please refrain from posting comments that spoil the storyline. Heck if I know how to disable 'comments' for this entry, I'll do just that.

By the way, this article would be made as a permanent link. Yeah, an old idea. Did that once for the Link compilation. The slight difference (improvement?) would be that one image--a sample of the Recommended Books--would be attached underneath the text. That would provide me inexhaustible chance to play with different artworks as the image would be periodically changed. Perhaps...weekly?

1. Update on 27/07/06.
Left to Right: Fables Vol. 1-3. Legends in Exile, Animal Farm, and Storybook Love.

2. Update on 30/07/06.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol.1 and Vol.2

3. Update on 30/07/06.
Smoke and Mirrors - An anthology of short stories. Don't forget to read the Introduction for one 'hidden' story. Mentioned about it once.

4. Update on 31/07/06.
The Warlord Chronicles I-III. The Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur. Briefly wrote about these historical fictions once here.

5. Update on 01/08/06.
Pastwatch The Redemption of Christopher Columbus and Lost Boys. Haven't blogged about the former. The latter, though, is poignantly haunting.

6. Update on 01/08/06.
The Call of the Wild - Always a favourite. One of the earlier topics for this blog [1], also revisited later twice.[2 & 3]

7. Update on 15/08/06.
By the King of Horror: Insomnia, Needful Things, and It. Only wrote a tad about It.

8. Update on 15/08/06.
Supreme Power Vol.1 and Vol.2

9. Update on 15/08/06.
Treasure Box - which I vaguely remember there's a movie made out of it.

10. Update on 23/09/06
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, Watchmen, and Hellblazer: Original Sins. Blogged about the first two here.

11. Update on 23/09/06
Who Moved My Blackberry? and Ender's Game which were reviewed here and here respectively.

12. Update on 23/09/06
The Man Who Turned Into Himself

13. Update on 16/11/06
Marvel 1602, V for Vendetta, and Flight, Vol.3.

14. Update on 16/11/06
Q&A: A Novel and High Fidelity.

15. Update on 16/11/06
Epileptic. Reviewed here.

16. Update on...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Revisited: Fables

Not a comic book, but a graphic novel. Sigh. Set aside the stigma of a comic-book reader, when you visit DC/Vertigo official site [1] you'll see the 'graphic novels' prominently stated.

Without doubt it is a graphic novel. I like the way Wikipedia put across the definition: "(The term 'graphic novel') is commonly used to disassociate works from the juvenile or humorous connotations of the terms "comics" and "comic book", implying that the work is more serious, mature, or literary than traditional comics." [2]

Still I'm afraid I sound a tad defensive. So, let's not dwell on the definition. Take a look at Fables. Not a new topic. I've borrowed it--the 3rd volume: Storybook Love--and mentioned about it in my blog once. [3]

And by the time I came across The Imp's article about the, ehm, literature [4], I've relished the 1st volume of Fables: Legends in Exile. Please note that you don't have to read in sequence to be able to enjoy the story. (I skipped Fables Vol. 2: Animal Farm. To see Goldilock turned rebelious would be too much a shock for me. Hehe. Yeah, right)

PS. Touch up keywords: crop, negative, graphic pen, layers, play with opacity level for the 2 edited images.

Monday, July 24, 2006

8@Earshot Cafe

After not being able to attend the kick-off meeting in Nov 2005, the writing sessions on weekends, and the Thank-God-It's-Over (TGIO) party in early Dec, I eventually managed to have a glimpse of the seven WriMos at Earshot Cafe last Sunday afternoon. Incidentally, that explains why the one article before this had the tag of 'the first 60 minutes'.

However, some were extremely uncomfortable of their pictures taken. (By not looking at the camera, it doesn't mean that one has to cover his face. *grin* Hmm...perhaps I should have been more specific.) Must respect their wish to stay anonymous behind their nicknames, though.

Therefore in not any particular order: Valerie, rozen, ravensilvers, halfcrazed, sarahcoldheart, x Fledge, and AikiChaos. A pleasure to meet you all. ^_^"

Looking forward in joining the madness this coming Nov. Another 50,000-word novel, another chance to meditate in front of a computer monitor, another journey to the Writer's World.

Looking forward for the next NaNoWriMo.

PS. Touch-up keywords: Resize, Grey, Gamma (3.83, 1.57, 0.76 for consistency of the nuance for the 3 images). Yup, they're in sepia, aren't they? The colour of memory. Heh. I'm still very much influenced by Will Eisner. [1 & 2]

Hair for Hope 2006 - The first 60 minutes

The event started on 12.00 o'clock & I came a bit late. Not a good start. There were already a crowd--a mob, more like it--inexplicably pulled towards the stage. Snapping pictures using their cameras or simply cheering their encouragement to the bald and beautiful people.

I intended to focus merely on the ladies who volunteered to cast away their crowns. Commented about it once here. But the Sunday event was very well organized that it won't be fair if I were to be a for-ladies-only photographer. I just had to take more shots. Couldn't resist it. That's why I too was inexplicably pulled towards the stage.

1.And here the beautiful MC warned us to move away from the stage. Safety's first, people! Let the professionals do their job in peace.

2.So I moved away from the stage & saw these sweet, loving couple. The girl came to support her guy. I hate him.

3. But I don't hate them.

4. The 1st lady shaved for Hair for Hope 2006!

5. And the crowds cheered her...

6. And her family cheered her...

7. So please, shave with us?

8. No, no. More importantly, do help in any way you can.

9. The guy from (2). Okay, he had guts to go bald. I still hate him.

10. But I can't hate her. The 2nd lady to be shaved. She's from FXS.

11. Without regret. For a noble goal.

12. Did I capture a little regret here?

13. When asked by the MC how she felt, she candidly said she's nervous...because of too many cameras around.

14. Nope, definitely no regret.

15. See. Bald is beautiful, isn't it?

16. What are you doing here? What are you doing here?

17. Opposite the stage, there's a booth for a well-wishes box. Encouraging messages were put in & then read by the MCs.

18. The crowd...Man, they may not be the happiest folk in the world, but they sure were supportive & charitable ones.

19. Kudos for the tireless duo,

20. the tireless troop of hairdressers from Kimage Hair Studio,

21. and two tired ladies who came to show their support.