Sunday, 31 March 2013

Adventures To Neverland

Earlier this week, I met up with a bunch of the platoon boys, and we headed down to JB for a short trip. It was a land of half-priced food and adventures. It was my first time exploring Malaysia by bus so I did prepare myself mentally for it, but alas, it was a normal ride where nothing untoward happened. I suppose travelling with a bunch of guys probably deterred anyone from trying to mess around.

I feel that once you go to Malaysia, it takes time trying to assimilate back into Singapore's price point where everything is just so expensive. Where Nandos cost just a little bit more than our McDonalds, movie tickets costs less than even our student prices, and where eating a sumptuous seafood dinner by the sea costs no more than a few bucks. Ah, the land of cheap, good food.

We're planning another trip, but this time to KL, a place where I've tried to avoid but since it's with this bunch of people, I do not mind slogging it out a little bit. That's another adventure for another post I guess. Looking at these photos, my mouth is salivating at the thought of Subway and Baskin and Robbins and all the other good food.

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Today, I woke up at half past two in the afternoon, and even that is considered late by my standards. I have no idea that I could concuss for as long as I did, but sleeping longer doesn't necessarily mean that I've more energy to expend, because clearly, I don't. I feel more lethargic than ever, and I just want to remain in bed the entire day, which I did to some extent.

I settled dinner on my own, which meant Alfredo! I've always been more of a tomato-based kind of guy but I decided to try out cream-based pasta today because, why the hell not? I was alone at home the entire day so settling a meal for one isn't that difficult. Plus, it's good practise for hostel life and beyond. 

I keep telling myself that I'm going to clear out my room ever since forever, but I've just never put those words into actions. It takes a whole lot of willpower to continue going through my stuff, and I am very sentimental with my things. It doesn't help that I need to do this very soon, lest I find a job and have no time to do any of this cleaning up. Too many magazines, too many books, and not a whole lot of place to store them. I still have my Geography and Literature notes from JC that I've yet to clear because "I might need them for a module in university" and they were all research that I've sourced on my own. So, to thrash them away would be like there was no value of them at all, which isn't true. Another day spent in bed, another day spent procrastinating.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Birthday Blush

Yesterday, a group of us friends celebrated Gary's birthday at a Turkish restaurant called Derwish at Arab Street. Gary's one of those people who abhor celebrating birthdays for himself, so we told him that we're going to meet up for dinner. And we had to have at least a symbolic celebration to mark another passing year, so that all is good and well. It was a night of good food, nice ambiance, and great company.

Today was spent catching up on my books. It's nice to be able to read novels and not worry that there's some assignments that you're not actively doing. The perks of the free and unemployed are boundless. But money is a motivation to gain relevant employment, and I can only hope to receive calls from prospective employers willing to give money so that this guy right here could use all of it for his holiday.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Causeway Divide

Every time I cross over the bridge to the other side of the Causeway, I'm always grateful that I'm from this side of the border and not the other. As much as I grumble and complain, we have come a long way and we've developed so much. I feel like the next time I feel like venting about things, I'll just cross to the other side and experience life as it is.

Some people may like that slow pace of life, with little or no development. Where you can set up make-shift stalls anywhere, and still fish from the lake at the other end of your village. I know there are some people who feel like that's an ideal lifestyle, but it's totally not for me. I like glittering facades of towering buildings and I value roads without any potholes in them. I like to be able to converse in English and walk in streets with little or no trash.

So, I actually went over to Malaysia to get some items in preparation for my aunt's wedding. I love that she's getting married at an older age after she's experienced everything in life. Solo trips around the world, being able to afford her own house, having her own car, having her own personal flourishing bank account. All without a man. That's what an independent woman is to me, not one who's rushing to get married because it's society's expectations of them.

On the other hand, my cousin got offered a job to be a stewardess for Emirates Airlines, and should she have been single, she would have actually pounced on that deal. It's good money to be the leading stewardess of a cabin crew. But because she has kids, she has to think about everything. Children really holds you back a lot of the times.

As we were searching the decoration items for the wedding, my sister briefly mentioned that she'd like for me to help out at her future, 'supposed' wedding and I told her 'no' straight to the face. While I like things to be simple and elegant and chic and exquisite and fabulous, she on the other hand likes things traditional and dare I say, kitschy. I cannot work with that and I will never work with anyone who cannot see my very good point of view.

The other good thing about the trip was that I didn't spend any money despite being given a stipend by my parents. That's the only good upside to travelling with family. Everything is paid for by the super successful aunt. And we had the most awesome seafood feast for dinner. I'm probably gonna bring my boys over there when we meet up in the coming weeks.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Zombie With A Heartbeat

It definitely seems like I'm on a one man mission to single-handedly fill up the movie theatres because I've been to the cinema thrice this week. This is what happens when you are free, don't have a job, and not actively searching for one. I am literally part of the statistics of an economic model.

Warm Bodies is a nice teen drama that deals with impossible love at its very core. Can one person really change when they meet the right 'one'? At what lengths would you endanger yourself just to prove that this feeling you have is more than just infatuation or even lust? And how willing are you to forget a person's past, in order for you to move along in a relationship?

But of course, none of those questions were really the basis for the movie. I just thought about it as the film was churning along because as they say, once a Literature student, always a Literature student. I was trying to find meaning behind the actions and the scenes because it's the very least I could do since the movie was pretty surfacial across all factions. That's not to say it was bad.

It definitely appealed to the target audience, and it had nice tender moments but I never was able to shake off the feeling that I've seen something like this before. It can't be helped that each time I see Teresa Palmer, all I kept repeating in my head was that she was in The Sorcerer's Apprentice and I Am Number Four.

And something totally unrelated, but I found out today is Pi Day. There is actually a day that people set aside to commemorate something as insignificant as this mathematical term that was the bane of my existence. But anyhows, I thought it'd be fun to have some shepherd's pie for dinner as a nod to this kitschy 'holiday' because why the hell not.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Stoker Is Not A Vampire Movie

I thoroughly enjoyed Stoker as I'd thought I would. I was expecting a pulse-racing psychological thriller, so I was pleasantly surprised as the film took it's time to unfold the story at a pace that was neither hurried, nor was it glacial. 

Stoker, I believe, is more of an art-house film than a mainstream one although it is being marketed as the latter. Therefore, I can see a lot of people being disappointed with the pace at which the film was moving along, so that's a little bit of a letdown. I feel that such a pace helped in "seducing" the audience to go along with the ride, because there's no point in rushing to the end of the film when everything within it is just so lush and beautiful.

Even though the film didn't have the shock value most people are accustomed to, because let's face it, Texas Chainsaw Massacre this is not, there were still quite a few jaw-dropping moments which I felt brought the level of creepiness to another level. And the thing is, none of those scene were shown on camera. Most of it was done with side glances of the camera, and it was left to the imagination of the audience to think about what had just transpired. And when left to my own devices, I can pretty much think about a lot of horrid things. 

Stoker has this slight noir feel to it, and I think it adds to the timelessness of the movie. I love the neutral colour schemes throughout the movie, with lots of blues, and nothing gregarious. But when bold colours were added nearer to the end, it felt real and necessary and just showed how much power there was in such a simple act. In a way, the film reminded me a little bit of Hard Candy. 

What the film did teach me was that within each of us, there is a seed of darkness, even in the most purest of beings; children. What we do and how we react to the darkness is what is going to determine who we are and what we will become of. And sometimes, as the film heroine said, "You need to do something bad to stop you from doing something worse."

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Not Dorothy's Ruby Slippers

I can honestly say that my movie tastes have skewered a bit more to the mature side these past few years. Gone are the days when I found hard-hitting dramas to be boring and avoid them like a plague at the movie theatres. However, that's not to say that I don't enjoy a popcorn movie every once in a while.

I went to catch Oz The Great And Powerful yesterday, and I was blown away. I came into it not expecting much, because the production looked so similar to that of Alice In Wonderland and I was preparing myself to be disappointed with yet another Hollywood adaptation of a classic tale.

Everyone knows the tale of Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz, so I think I prepared myself by not thinking too much about the plot, which in my opinion, was non-existent since it was outright fluff. Instead, I got my money's worth by allowing myself to be swept away by the grandeur of the sets and the animation. It was beautiful and is what dreams are made off. 

Acting wise, with the calibre of cast, was kind of disappointing. James Franco was grating in parts, and I don't know whether it was because the role demanded of it, or because he was just taking it lightly. Michelle Williams, I felt, was trying to suppress laughter the whole time, thinking about the ridiculousness of her role, and is perhaps only doing it for her daughter. Mila Kunis was gorgeous in the first half of the film, and by the second half, she turned in a caricature performance of The Wicked Witch. Rachel Weisz deserved more than a beautiful gown. 

But to be honest, I get why these serious actors are in the movie. Should they have gotten other people, perhaps more comical actors, the film would turn into a B-grade, straight to DVD kind of a movie. So, the actors themselves were the anchors to make the movie a little bit more believable.

Despite the shortcomings, I came out of the theatre feeling good, and feeling innocuous and it was nice to get in touch with the more innocent side of life once more as I reminisce about good old childhood stories.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Change happens, and as much as I tell myself that it's for the better, sometimes, there is that niggling feeling that things should stay the same. That things should stay constant, and change would only cause discomfort, and much worst, grievance.

I don't abhor change. But change takes a little time to getting used to. I know that it's necessary; for the betterment of self, for the chance to grow up and be an adult. But change also signifies the loss of something, or someone.

Ever so often, I get very comfortable at one stage of my life, and then change has to occur, and I'll be forced to uproot myself from the comfort of life that I've been living in. It may surprise many that I'm saying this, but I actually got a hang of being in the Navy, and doing things at such a glacial pace. And to know that I'm in this cocoon, that I will forever be protected, and be taken care of by superiors whom I don't always agree with, but who will somehow always have my back.

And it's scary to think that people have gotten their lives together, and I'm still waiting for that one big break that may never happen. I'm twenty and I sound so jaded. I can't wait to be twenty-five and done with university, and not have a job, and then realise that my dreams will never be achieved and then to wake up one day and realise that there is nothing worth living for and take that final leap of faith into nothingness.

I feel myself being tugged into two different directions. One is forcing me to grow up and tackle life head on, and the other,  whispering into my ear, telling me to hold on to how things are for now, because there is no more going back to this period of time once I've crossed that threshold. Because it's okay to be twenty and reckless and always depending on your parents but once you're of a certain age, you better be able to start tanking your own shit.

Somehow, I feel like tragedy forces people to grow up and take charge of their life, and for me, having nothing terrible happen to me thus far perpetuates this belief in me that I am entitled to take things slow and easy because there will always be people around that will support me. And that really scares me. What if I happen to be one of those people who never leaves home and never experiences life? That's a death sentence by itself. No need to leap into nothingness, I guess?