Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Assault On Precinct 13

So anyway, last friday I rented the Assault on Precinct 13 DVD, and by golly, it was an absolutely great film! I can't believe I actually allowed myself to miss it twice; once in the cinemas and another time on the plane to NZ. Well, I haven't seen the John Carpenter original so I won't draw any comparisons to that, but by itself it stands out as a very well-written film, with a tight script, decent cinematography and excellent action sequences.

Laurence Fishburne still exudes charm in all the bad-boy ways, and Ethan Hawke shines as usual with his protaganistic, sentimental character. His character from Training Day kept popping up in mind throughout the show, and there are indeed some subtle similarities in both characters.

The DVD's out now in uncut format, compared to the censored version they screened in theatres, so it's a good deal and highly recommended.

"Damn cops, always messing with a hard working drug kingpin."


Attack of the Gun-toting Snowmen.


"Damn, I sure could use a smoke about now."


"So, is all of you as big as your gun there?"

Monday, August 29, 2005

Choir BBQ

It's up! I've uploaded the choir BBQ photos onto an online album, which can be found here.

Had a pretty lousy day today... Slept at 4am last night, woke up the next day at 2pm for lunch then went back to sleep till 6pm. I'm becoming noctournal! Boring. Here are some photos from the BBQ. It was an absolutely fun gathering! When's the next one??

Daphne & her own vegetarian mini BBQ pit. Hehe... Cute!


Valerie the professional BBQ-er.


The three musketeers: Siob, Wong & Ngaim, gazing out into the sea. They need beautiful views to make them gossip better. :p Or do they...?


Ah... That's how they look like from the front.


That's Evette knee-deep in sand.


And how can we miss the song presentation part for their dear instructor? Haha... Thanks guys, that was really sweet. Love you all!

Ugly verdict, Ugly Singaporeans

I'm sure we all know another man has just been sentenced to hang at the gallows of Singapore. Mr Took Leng How has officially been declared guilty. But just as guilty and ugly are the 60-odd people who, having absolutely nothing better to do with their sad lives, queued up for 3 hours just to hear his verdict, and then coming out to gawk and taunt at Took's distraught family.

Fair enough, it's not everyday that someone gets sentenced to death, and there's always the discerning retiree or two who attends court sessions for the right reasons. But apart from having to reside in a country that still adheres to something as archaic is the death sentence, I have to share the same country with people as ugly as this.

And to bring oneself to taunt the wife of a man sentenced to die in public is just incomprehensibly immoral and unethical. How to live your life everyday? Feeding on other people's misery and misfortune? Or is that what you were taught to do from young?

It's no surprise then that I, and I believe many others, are justifiably disgusted at such behavior exhibited by thoughtless members of the public. Trailing Took's family all the way to City Hall MRT station, clinging on to their every move... Is that necessary? Why don't you hop on a bus all the way to Penang with them. (I believe some of them would have done that had they brought their passports out with them!)

And there was the woman who complained frustratingly that she queued up for over three hours for a three minute long verdict. Well, I'm sure then that if she were the defendant, she'd prefer to have the judge take his own time to read out her verdict, and filling in along the way details on how she's going to be hanged, who's going to hang her, and how long she will be left hanging. How long do you think it takes a judge to read out a sentence anyway?

Busy Weekend

Finally! A post in over a week. Sorry I haven't been able to get around updating my blog much... It's been a busy week for me. Ok, ok, not THAT busy, but still busier than usual.

I've been working on a personal website, mostly to showcase my portfolio, and that's almost completed! I'm currently using a subdomian website that's ad-supported, but I might re-consider. The ads aren't that downright ugly, but Aik Wee has come up with some other recommendations so I'll be checking those out first.

I'll post my completed website URL here when it's finally up and running... which I hope will be soon! Fingers crossed.

Had a pretty good weekend -- had my LaSalle-SIA convocation on friday, choir BBQ on saturday and went over to Leon's new place on sunday, with the best part being shooting up Covenant aliens in Halo and watching Band of Brothers in true 5.1 on his respectable, impressively-sized plasma tv.

I definitely to get myself one of those!

Anyway, here are some photos from my convocation, held at the Ritz. Seriously, I think this is the best-organized event I've ever attended in my three years at LaSalle. Guess they finally got it right!

Caleb & me before the ceremony started.


Me & Livie from fashion design. Check out our color coding!


Group photo. That's most of the graduation DipMus class.


Me & Mr Lindsay Vickery, Music Programme Leader.


The rest of my convocation photos can be viewed at http://convo05.shutterfly.com.

Saturday was choir BBQ day; my BV students decided to organize one at East Coast Park and Valerie & Daphne did an absolutely fabulous job getting everything organized. The food was great, it had to be. Most of it was catered! Haha... Ngaim & Stanley, having attended countless BBQs in their very happening secondary school life, were undisputed experts at setting up fires. Even I need work on that.

Miscellaneous activities included burying Evette knee-deep in sand, attempting to push Hui Mian into the sea, celebrating Dilys' birthday and cooking excess food. I'll be posting the BBQ photos online so check back real soon!

Siempre el tuyo!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Mongolia Recollections

I went down to Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer yesterday for a debriefing session for our Mongolia trip. Over there, Pastor Jimmy outlined our future plans for mission work in Mongolia, and Seong Wah played the video as well as distributed DVDs containing all the photos that have been collated from the team members. In the evening was Young Adults Meeting at church, and it was nice catching up with the rest of the church folks that I had missed while I was gone.

Last night I was looking through every single photo in the DVD, and it was really nice to just browse through and recollect the events that happened whilst there. Many a time I broke into a smile as I saw something which recalled an anecdote or interesting event, and also finally managed to see the photos that were taken in the Museum of Natural History. What so important about these photos is that there are pictures of entire dinosaur skeletons and fossils! To take photos in the museum, one had to pay a ludicrously high fee, so we decided to "nominate" a few cameras to do all the phototaking and we would share them instead.

It has been wonderful being able to extend a helping hand all the way in Mongolia, and indeed there is still much to be done. As Pastor Jimmy mentioned, he hopes that this passion of serving in missions will not be just a one-off thing, but a continued effort. I sure hope so. There is lots to be done and I definitely want a hand in it. Anyhow, I'll upload the photos of dinosaurs (some are quite funny) and some pictures of the interior of the ger which we stayed in. Till then! : )

Friday, August 19, 2005

Wasted days...

Mongolia Photos
http://chinggiskhan.shutterfly.com/

* * * * * * *

I still think Andrew Kuan would have made a good presidential candidate. It came as no surprise to me when he was slapped with that civil lawsuit, what a shame. No hard feelings against our incumbent president, but Singapore politics is just getting even more boring by the day.

When I travel people that I meet sometimes bring up (in a jokingly manner, of course) how Singapore is constantly being run by the Lee or Goh enterprise, and I couldn't agree more. What DPM Tony Tan said about this no-contest didn't really appeal to me. He said something in the lines of "providing continuity for Singapore, which is good".

It's exactly this type of continuity that makes us Singaporeans a mostly apathetic bunch, disinterested in polictics and being "yes-men" to every policy that the PAP throws forth. Something has to be done.

Oh well. In any case... I've said my bit.

I've uploaded selected photos from Mongolia online, please visit http://chinggiskhan.shutterfly.com/ when you're free. Thanks! Beautiful country... Absolutely beautiful. Check the very first photo with Alison and Lie Peng washing their hands "rural"-style. I'll leave what happened before this to your imagination.

Met Heather yesterday as well as the day before for some coffee and sightseeing, and went for drinks with Aik Wee the night before. I need work!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Gaming Marathon / mongolia.day02

Mmmh, just completed an 11-hr gaming marathon the previous night. Ok, ok, I know it might seem like peanuts for others, but I haven't done that for quite awhile now. There I go, messing up my body clock on purpose again. Completed MGS3 in one shot, now I can put that aside for a bit for now.

It's going to be Junyang & Kiwi's birthdays soon, so a VS6 outing is definitely a must. Hope I don't have to be the one to singlehandedly plan everything again... Haha! JY, for your sake should I choose a secluded spot for dinner? We don't want to be mobbed halfway through you know...

Heh. Everyone in VS6 is getting their shot and fame and TV stardom... Jerry, Serene, Junyang... Heck, you can even download Kewei and her group's original compositions onto your mobile phone via GPRS. I did. Haha! And don't forget Jin Jing who is writing original compositions for Taiwanese singers... and so on. Jarrod... Carrie... when will it be our turn?

I'll be meeting up a friend from NY who just flew in to Singapore for coffee afterwards. Hope to make her shop till she drops. Heh. Nah, kidding. Ok, below is an excerpt for my Mongolia trip journal. More photos should be up soon... In the meantime, check out some of Colin's beautiful shots here.

* * * * * * *

mongolia.day02
ulaanbaatar

- post-trip journal -

Sunday morning warranted the need to get up early... for church service! We were looking forward with anticipation as to attending a church service in a totally foreign language -- that was truly an eye-opener. I found out at the church service that there were numerous missionary families, mostly from NLM (Norwegian Lutheran Mission) as well as visiting missionaries/social workers. Like us.

I managed to pick up some similarities... Namely, of course, the recitation of the Apostle's Creed as well as the Lord's Prayer. Some of their P&W songs were also familiar; they were Mongolian translations. Even Ms. Darlene's Shout To The Lord is being sung across Mongolia. Beautiful.

Mild hilarity ensued when Pastor Puje mentioned a bible reference, and we non-Mongolian speakers were hurriedly flipping through our bibles with slight confusion as to whether we were at the correct place or not.

After that we were given our own time to roam around the city centre. Most of them stuck around at a shopping mall called Flower Centre, while my topmost priority was to get a local SIM card for my phone. The mobile phone shop at Flower Centre only stocked topup cards, so I got a T10,000 one first (which is about S$14).

Me and two other folks decide to head down to the State Department Mall, which was about two blocks away. On the way there, we passed by another mobile phone shop and I decided to try my luck with the SIM card. Only then did I find out that one SIM card cost around T35,000! That's around S$50. Vile!!

It was without a doubt not worth it. After browsing through the State Department Mall, we headed back, put our stuff down and returned to the church to finalize lesson plans and set up the classrooms. The night concluded with me channel surfing through more than 50 channels availble in my hotel room. Whee!

On a sidenote, I've realized that the more backward the country is, the more cable channels available. Apparently locals only pay US$4 for more than 50 channels from nearly 10 different countries. Suck on that, StarHub.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Land of the Dead

FINALLY! My bluebottle.com email account is up and running. If you've sent any email to that account in the past 48 hours and got it bounced back to you with an error message, please kindly send it again alritey? Thanks!

Went to watch Land of the Dead last night, and I definitely wasn't disappointed! Though it slightly ranks below the Dawn of the Dead remake (IMHO) but it was scores better than the RE movies (especially the 2nd one). Oddly enough, some scenes were briefly cut out, despite being slapped with a generous M18 rating.

Ready or not, here we come!


Get away from me! I already told you, you're not my type!


C'mon... Just gimme a quick goodbye kiss...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Email account down

Hi folks, my bluebottle.com email address has been unavailable for the past 36 hours due to server downtime. Most frustrating. Please redirect all emails to jonathanang@myrealbox.com for the time being. Thanks!

Visit http://theskinsfactory.com/skinsfactory/ for some seriously funky skins to add to your desktop!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

aircon spoilt!!

Ugh, the weather is becoming really unbearable. Hot, sticky, stuffy... I miss dry and arid weather, really I do. It doesn't help that the airconditioning in the rooms of my beloved house is spoilt. Everyone's moving out to the hall or couch to sleep where the airconditioning is still working, I'm not kidding.

Have been taking three to four showers a day since yesterday... Icks, one more to go before I sleep! Didn't manage to catch Land of the Dead today, only becuase I was stuck at home nearly the whole day arranging my photos. At least they're all done now, phew. Went for band practice at church tonight, that's about it.

Tomorrow I WILL be watching LOTD with Lingna, so that should be just about the highlight of my day. Thinking of gaming through the night but I dunno why I'm so sleepy...

Beijing ROCKS for getting scores and CDs, by the way. I always knew they were cheap there, but it's a whole new experience being there, going crazy and stocking up on Ayumi Hamasaki CDs and Franz Liszt scherzos within the same shop. Yeah, I bought Franz Liszt scherzos. I know I probably don't even have the skill to pull that off, but I figured it'd be cool to just buy first and try later. Haha...

This is how it's gonna work. I'm gonna learn one bar a day, so by the end of two years hopefully I'll have not one, but TWO Liszt scherzos ready for my audition should I decided to do my BA at LaSalle-SIA. Haha! How's that sound, eh? :p

Anyway, some more photos from Mongolia. Enjoy!

Good horsey! :)


Mist rolling off the hills at dawn.


Mongolian ger camp, serves five comfortably each.


Hillside billy-goats.


Titus & me, Zaisan Memorial.


Peak view from Turtle Rock.


Why not go camel riding too...


Evergreen woods, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park


Cloudy sunrise. It's a hundred times more beautiful seeing it in person...


Colin going for the shot with his professional slide film SLR.


Wall murals depicting Soviet progress, Zaisan Memorial.


Splashin' good fun at the river!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

back home...

I'm back home, at last. I was actually feeling abit homesick yesterday when I was tramping through the Great Wall of China. Got in at 5:45 this morning, and didn't get much sleep on the plane so I'm still abit befuddled. Slept abit in the afternoon but that's about it.

Land of the Dead opens tomorrow, I can't wait!! It's gonna be good. Really good. I'll probably just stick around indoors for the rest of the evening, maybe go downstairs and grab a movie. Too lazy to do anything other than computer-related stuff... And I have even more photos to sort now. :p

I'll pose some "teaser" photos for now before I get down to seriously writing down my trip journal. Sorry for the lack of recent updates, I was too busy at Ulaanbaatar to get on the internet much, and Beijing kept me pretty busy too. Well, enjoy!

Daybreak at ger camp, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.


At the peak of Zaisan Memorial, Ulaanbaatar


Yaks grazing in an open field.


A must-do in Mongolia: Horseback riding!!


Stocking up on fake North Face jackets at Naraan Tuul market, Ulaanbaatar.


Having fun in class!


And here is the class' stand-up comedian.


Ger visiting in Ulaanbaatar.


Sukhbataar Square, Ulaanbaatar.


Rivers and mountains, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.


Tiananmen Square by night, Beijing.


At the Mutianyu sections of the Great Wall, Beijing.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Mongolian Review

:: Not much chance to spend much time on the computer, so I haven't got a proper chance to update my posts. Sorry 'bout that! ::

Ulaanbaatar is pretty small, and they're only so many things you can do. But once you get out to the countryside, it's absolutely beautiful. Will be heading down to a National Park tomorrow and spend a night in a traditional ger (Mongolian yurt), so that should be quite an experience.

So far, we've visited folks who live in traditional gers (within Ulaanbaatar), went to the countryside for some low-impact trekking and done some city-walking. Of course, not forgetting the daily English classes in the morning, which are loads of fun.

Will update as soon as i can! I'm stopping in Beijing for one night on the way back so hopefully I get an internet connection in the hotel itself.