Archive for September, 2008


Thursday, September 25th, 2008

i am singing a song and dancing a jig, because i am in pain.

which is great! been pushing myself hard for training these past 3 days, dragging my sorry ass after work. it’s such a mental chore to move myself after a mind-debillitating day, but i’m getting better at it! totally miss panda not being around. she’s currently paddling away at slim river in perak with the rest of her rj colleagues. gah. rj is coming between me and my regular training buddy! so this week, i’ve missed my regular trail run buddy and joanne’s horror stories about bangalas hiding in the bushes in macrit has deterred me from going alone. sheesh. anyway, speaking of panda, maomao and i had a really bad joke going about panda falling into slim river, thus displacing all water and hence earning it the moniker of “dry river”. not very amusing, i know.

still! it’s been 3 great days of training and i’m looking forward to nothing more strenuous than a swim tomorrow. i think i’ve been subconsciously making up for the crap run i had on sunday with panda (pre-slim river) and maomao on the 4 hills/southern ridges route. the route stretches from mount faber to henderson waves, telok blangah (i think), hort park, kent ridge park and then labrador park. under normal circumstances, i think the route wouldn’t have been so bad, given our comfort at doing hilly trail runs, but the insane temperature of like, 40 deg that morning was seriously punishing. i got a tan line from one morning! if it wasn’t for a particular furry-headed creature who over-catnapped, we would probably have managed to avoid the worst of the sun. bleah.

post run and post post-run stuffing, i caught mama mia! with kyo. i’m completely addicted to movie musicals. since the days of fantastic classic hollywood with soundtracks the industry has never equalled since, the movie musical has been my one guilty indulgence. i’m not about to go into an entire digesis on the genre right now (in less brain dead days i probably would have, but thinking analytically takes too much effort these days), but suffice to say that i’m now an abba fan. which is highly embarrassing.

since we’re on the topic of training and music, i thought i’d share my favourite music playlist that never fails to keep me going hard. when you’re half dead, music matters. now and again, i feel like i’m “cheating”, but oh well, whatever floats my boat.

so this is in no particular order and you should try these if you’re ever in need for a sprint push.

1. gimme! gimme! gimme! (a man after midnight)– abba/mama mia! soundtrack
2. does your mother know– abba/ mama mia! soundtrack
3. paralyzer– finger eleven
4. breakin’ dishes– rihanna
5. disease– matchbox twenty
6. let’s get loud– jennifer lopez
7. ain’t it funny– jennifer lopez
8. minority– green day
9. hitchin’ a ride– green day
10. american idiot– green day
11. feedback– janet jackson
12. scream– michael and janet jackson
13. beat it– fall out boy
14. as if– blaque
15. candyman– christina aguilera
16. somebody told me– the killers
17. get your number — mariah carey ft jermaine dupri
18. sure– take that
19. break the ice– britney spears
20. don’t stop the music– rihanna
21. shut up and drive– rihanna
22. everything– michael buble
23. falling in love (is hard on the knees)– aerosmith
24. twisted transistor– korn
25. the middle– jimmy eat world
26. run the show–kat deluna
27. mei fei se wu– sammi cheng (this is totally lihui’s fault)
28. she bangs– ricky martin (how embarrassing)
29. smooth– santana ft rob thomas
30. victory– bond
31. livin’ on a prayer– bon jovi
32. gasolina– daddy yankee
33. impacto– daddy yankee ft fergie
34. love it when you call– the feeling
35. curbside prophet– jason mraz
36. linkin park– bleed it out
37. it’s like that– run dmc vs jason nevins
38. metallica– enter sandman
39. how far we’ve come– matchbox twenty
40. can’t get you out of my head– kylie minogue

so that’s the pop music running playlist. next up, i shall share my jazz for running playlist. yep you can run to jazz. no kidding.

threadless and senseless

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

thanks to lihui, i’ve just spent 2 hours looking through quirky t shirt graphics on, possibly placing strained retinas on a fast track to myopia hell.

hoohoo wouldn’t i love to wear this to one of those intellectually atas-sikit open reading sessions.

word play art! lemon-aid

dripping lemonade..

hurhur.. somehow no one thinks this is funny save for me.

it’s a communist party baby!! stalin, lenin, mao, marx and guy with cap (can’t recognize that guy in the back) partying like it’s 1917.

this screams david escher! or at least to me it does. BAH. the only t shirt design that i actually wanted to buy and wear, but it only comes in a print! disappointing.

optical illusion ala escher, no?


t shirts graphics aside, i realise it’s literally impossible to accumulate good karma in singapore when we’re beseiged by ******* left, right and centre.

to illustrate.

this morning, mao mao and i went for a trail run at mac rit (alas, sans panda, whose iron stomach was having a temporary lapse from its usual self of being impervious to all sorts of flesh-eating bacteria) and despite it being 715am, the entire place was packed.

the running bug has hit singapore in a really big way, that much is obvious. which isn’t  much of an issue unless you happen to have a little pink vehicle to park.

for lack of a more suitable parking lot, mao mao started to park on a set of double yellow lines, just before they turned into double zigzag lines. the whole idea here was to shift vehicle onto double yellow lines fully and not touch the zigzags, to at least give some face and not screw over TP rules too much.

while mao mao was reversing pink vehicle into the space between lines and another parked car behind, this OTHER vehicle blatantly just came out from the side, cut right in and took the space that mao mao was *very* obviously in the process of reversing into.

let’s just say that if YOU are the driver of SGF 4471 _ (drats can’t recall the last letter) at mac rit this morning, then there is either something very wrong with your vision, also known in not-so-nice hokkien terminology as *pa jiao*, or you are simply devoid of the decency gene.

and mao mao, being the usual her, on a one-way express ticket to nirvana, refused my war-mongering stance and thus, we went on our run, with the ******** in his stolen parking space.

i’ve heard this rubbish theory that singaporeans are not gracious by nature because we have no time. actions like holding open a door for people or keeping the lift waiting for stragglers are precious milliseconds wasted on the ever-speeding clock of unstoppable economic achievement, also known as, the furious computer-monkeying behind a 1.5m square office cubicle.

i can accept that most of us may not be extra conscious to the effect of socially gracious behaviour, but it’s the intentional acts of meanness/rudeness/downright kiam pa-ness that get my gander up. we don’t all have to be nice all the time, but there’s no excuse for intentionally behaving badly, save the sad postulation i am forced to make, that alas, monkey, apes and gorillas we may have started out, but some of us have not evolved in tandem with the rest.

i have a brilliant idea.

i’m convinced that singaporeans respond better to negative, rather than positive reinforcement. so instead of the lameass courtesy lion cartoon, i propose that mcys or whichever ministry is responsible, start issuing these following group of people with a special little something.

1. litterbugs
2. mrt carriage road kill (aka the people who nuah and crash on the mrt floors)
3. leg kickers behind your cinema seat, that no amount of evil staring in the dark can alleviate (at instances such as this, i wish with all my heart that my one super power could be cyclops’ laser beam eyes)
4. spitters, urinators, poopers and other excretors of unwanted bodily emissions
5. car park lot stealers
6. parking idiots (the kind who block other ppl’s cars)
7. noise polluters who refuse to communicate below 500db in public
8. smokers who blow their ******** secondhand smoke in the faces of hapless, lung-loving, longetivity-seeking non-smokers
9. NFL player wannabes, the kind that practices the skill of shoulder-shoving that would put any NFL player to shame (makes me wonder why we aren’t a nation of rugby greats. just check out the action at the GSS/ katong laska stall/ bus stop queue)
10. the invisible men/women who *chope* their seats in public places (libraries, cafes) and then disappear (or maybe they’re actually around, but they’ve devolved to amoeba form that they can’t be seen)  

so, instead of the permed-mane smiley lion, the courtesy police should issue abovementioned offenders of public decency with this:

imagine that. gorrilla stickers handed out to said offenders–“hello sir, did you just *kope* someone’s parking lot? well, here’s a sticker for you to add on to your car decals. have a nice day.”

once in a while. a visual cue may work wonders to remind ourselves that although we may be living in a “concrete jungle”, one need not take the metaphor too literally.

brain death.

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

i am officially the walking epitome of brain death.

i confess, i haven’t blogged in a while beacuse i’ve had nothing illuminating to say, no bright sparks of brilliance jumping off the page and no incisive quips and axioms to pepper my lines with.

brain death i tell you.

i recall fondly my time as a lit student where i had a license to daydream in the library behind a pile of dusty, important sounding tomes. i could squint into the distance with a slight frown, as if contemplating the perils of anachronistic writing in a postmodern clime.

and sometimes, i actually had something going on behind the squint and the frown.

but these days, cue dust bunnies in the department up there.

said thought elicited rude enough shock to spur me into making small steps into writing (news next week!) and some serious consideration for a post-everest masters in literature, before the brain death invasion is complete.

and these days, i increasingly miss being a lit student, living in the library, reading 5 novels a week and having a lecturer to discuss research topics with.

i confess my geekdom. i loved and still love, geekdom. not the faux-geek outer trappings of huge coloured glasses and mullet heads, but actually deriving pleasure from finding a great book, writing a good critique and getting a happy grade. i confess to having written for special permission to do two extra research topics and loving every minute, every page of it. 

now, my brain is addled by civil service SOPs. a romantic end.  

i was trawling through my old old old blog (which i will *attempt* to update again) and reading some of my back entries has caused me to squirm and weep for my current state of brain death where my single daily contemplation is the peanuts comic in ST life. how embarrassing.


27 04 2007

that’s how panda pronounces metafiction.

some of my brain cells just died forever.

finished the very gruelling metafiction exam this morning and i don’t think my eyes have opened any wider at the sight of any other exam questions.

for me, the problem with postmodern literature is that it’s totally great to read and all, because it’s a site of alot of contention so there’s plenty to think and discuss about tradition versus innovation, intertextuality, multiple epistemologies and the pitfalls of mise en abyme etc. in other words, it never gets boring. i should know. i could never go back to willingly reading pre-modernist lit again. the trouble is actually writing about pomo lit, of which metafiction is one aspect of. when you’re thinking about the novel in your head or discussing it, there isn’t really a need for a coherent “answer” and more often than not, thought processes are more fruitful precisely when you cannot pin down a particular point of view. imagine the concept of the rhizome ala deleuze and guattari, where you have multiple nodes, each connected to other multiple nodes, so there’s a definite richness in pomo lit and its potential for multiple layers of meaning that are in perpetual animation because the text simply does not tie itself down. 

which also spells exam hell. and i also suppose that the trouble with pomo lit, unlike a more traditional mode like the victorian realist novel, is that it’s such a new ideology of writing and reading that much of what has been written or said about it is really a series of questions in the phraseology of academic critique. everyone knows what it is not, but no one really knows what it is.

or maybe i should say that no one dares claims to know what it is.

anyhow, on a much much much happier note, i got back my metafiction essay from my lecturer before the exam started. i was supposed to get it back from her office last week, but i was terrified at the prospect of seeing her, since i had to get an extension for the essay for the first time in my life, thus very highly probably falling from grace. even then, thanks to writer’s block i.e. brain-deadness, i still managed to hand it in 7 hours late. which was how long it took me to finally sit down and get it out. so when my lecturer handed the essay to me with a frown (for email-ing her the essay instead of submitting a hardcopy), i figured the expected horrible exam was going to start on a bad note but i actually got an A+ for it! and the best essay prize of a new book! yay!!! *super huge great big beam* i have no idea what title it is but i’m hoping its a fantasy one. children of hurin!

speaking of which, fantasy writing is really not all fluff (harry potter is not in the equation here by the way. i refuse to glorify an extended children’s fairy tale. it’s mother goose for the star wars generation). the trope of an alternate universe is a great avenue to start thinking about alternative ways of approaching the concept of a singular experienced reality. presented with an alternative universe with its own series of narratives, myths and codes, one can also begin to examine the authenticity of the idea of universal meta-narratives, around which our own narratives are organized. which brings me to the point that it irks me when ppl say that fantasy writing is crap since it’s all about escapism (which is a stupid statement btw, cuz this pretty much invalidates all literature since even the most mimetic of fictional realities are all still constructs). i suppose fantasy is ostensibly more “escapist” than other literary genres, but the pertinent question it asks is, what does escaping into a different realm allow us to see about our own? fantasy to me is an oblique way of criticizing the centre from the periphery and reinvigorates the interrogation of the centre as we know it by postulating an external perspective.

i am rambling. my brain is in overdrive.

anyway, i love tolkien and his son just edited and published possibly the last book that can be posthumously written, “the children of hurin”. the idea of tolkien from the grave is rather disquieting.

jane is bored. i need to be typing my resume but i hate it.

i took a chance with my metafiction essay and wrote about the concept of meta-art instead, of which meta-painting and metafiction are branches of. it was my sneaky way of getting around the writer’s block by talking about something i’m more familiar with. i love magritte. he is the perfect epitome of how conceptual art doesn’t have to look like something a cat with paint on its paws can scratch out. not a big modern art fan. magritte is completely interesting in that while he propagates the oldest notion of aesthetic theory, that of mimesis, in his representation of images, the way he constructs his paintings ironically undermines the assumed function of mimesis-as-truth in art. magritte turns mimesis and knowledge predicated on seeing as experience, to show that the “truth in appearances” is paradoxically to be found in the form of the “appearance” of the canvas surface and not what is seen in reality and the only epistemology is the epistemology of inifinite representation.    

favourite magritte paintings! since i’m bored. plus on a basic superficial level they appeal to the bimbo in me. they’re pretty. =)

this is hilarious. classical concepts of mimesis, especially during the renaissance with the addition of linear perspective, was analogized as the canvas being a window frame and that the painter should paint exactly from nature as he sees outside the window. maybe i’m the only one who finds it funny when an academic concept is taken literally. moving on.

i find magritte really unsettling sometimes. he painted the empire of lights at least ten times, right until he died and there’s something mystical about a night scene below a daytime sky that i just can’t pin down. it’s surprising cuz you don’t expect to see the two go together and until now, i’m still not sure what the purpose of the juxtoposition is. or maybe it’s a trap and there’s not supposed to be a purpose. the purpose is to recognize that there is no purpose and art is an arbitrary construction of an alternate reality. let’s just panic and keel over.

it’s a mermaid!!! i love this. so totally hilarious. it’s amazing how even though this SO does not look like a conventional mermaid, the image of a mermaid that one uses as a yardstick to judge this as “odd”, immediately comes to mind. it’s amazing how the mind and cultural knowledge works in such a way that it makes the imaginative leap and closes the gap between the arbitrary signifier and the signified, such that human + fish = mermaid, so what if it’s the wrong part of the human and the wrong part of the fish. even the very recognition that it is wrong stems from flipping into the memory bank of how a mermaid should look like. semiotic signifiers. nice.

back to one of magritte’s pet themes of seeing as non-epistemology that challenges mimetic art as illusory truth. one can see everything about a scene and yet know nothing.

likewise, you can also read an interpretation into something that you cannot totally see because a fragment of the signifier is all that is needed for the mind to make the imaginative leap. like the image of that famous dalmation made up of dapped shadows.

i’m annoyed. i can’t find my ultimate no. 1 favourite magritte picture of his bowler hat man with botticelli’s spring on his back online. at times like this i wish i had my laptop with me. or a portable hard disk drive with everything.

i love magritte and i am boring myself with extreme geekdom. time to write that resume.


current day p.s. if i ever want to study semiotics in art, magritte would float my boat any day.

time to save myself from further brain death..