Monday, 5 March 2012

Surf like a smurf

I surfed for the first time at Wave House @ Sentosa. Tried to, anyway. Even though the FlowRider is the equivalent of the wading pool in a swimming complex, it didn't stop us from being thrown around like rag dolls. Which explains why most of our photos turned out to be of us with our butts in the water and legs in the air. Not cool, but we had so much fun (well, the VERY sore neck the following day wasn't that fun).

My friends managed to take this hilarious snapshot (top) of me "surfing" - doesn't it look like I'm dancing or ice-skating rather than surfing? We also had fun standing by the side watching the pro surfers do their thing. One of them even had a smiley face drawn (with sunblock!) onto his bare back. That should make for one cool tan.

Friday, 2 March 2012


Yup, that's me holding our tickets to Wicked. Only one word to describe the musical: awesomely wicked! Fine, that was two - you see, one adjective didn't quite cut it. The sets, lights, sound and costumes were awesomely elaborate works of art. The actors were talented (though the actor who played Fiyero did trip on his happily-ever-after exit mere moments before the curtains came down) and both the plot and script, with their themes of love, friendship, acceptance and forgiveness, were brimming with brilliance and wicked humour. No wonder it's a Broadway hit. I was even enchanted enough to splash out $70 for the 'Grimmerie' - an awesome book detailing what went on behind the scenes. Oops, can't seem to get enough of the word 'awesome'.

One of my favourite parts of the show was 'Defying Gravity'. It was mesmerizing and touching. See for yourself:

Do catch it if you haven't already. If you're not familiar with the story Wizard of Oz, do google it before you go because it'll only help you appreciate the show better. Get seats in the A Reserve if you want a good view. They don't come cheap at $168/pax (or $148/pax if you have four in your party like we did), but every penny is worth it. Aisle seats would also be a great idea if you don't want your view blocked more than half the time by the poofy hairdo of the lady seated in front of you. True story (cue imagination of the 9gag emoticon).

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Leap year

This year is a leap year, and since Feb 29 won't appear for another 4 years, I hope you had a good one. It seems like the additional day in leap years are the equivalent of adjustments in accounting (my forte isn't in accounting, so do correct me if I'm wrong). It is easy to forget that February is not a 'normal' month. Just think back to all the numerous April Fools messages/emails you received over the years informing you that so-and-so have had a shotgun marriage and want to invite you to their baby's first month party happening on February 30. My responses have ranged from "Right. Try harder," to a very eloquent "...".

On the bright side (depending on whether you like to think positive), Feb 29 appears to be a popular day for guys to pop the question. Those who do are decidedly honest about the reason: they only have to remember it once every four years! I have had guy friends who wanted to kick themselves for not setting their marriage dates on Feb 29 after realizing the convenience it would bring them. Bet they didn't know that in some countries, Feb 29 is a day for women to declare their affections. You can read more about leap year traditions here.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Double exposure photography

Was playing around with double exposure shots and the results were so fascinating! Every single shot turned out vastly different, even when the subject was exactly the same. No post-processing whatsoever done on the photos! Don't you think the wild abandon of colour splashed across the self-portraits above are so interesting? Yeah, despite the uncanny resemblance (right down to those yellow eyes) to a certain character straight out of the movie Avatar. Way cool.

Monday, 27 February 2012

A catty wake up call

I have trouble waking up in the mornings, and often ask my friends for wake up calls. No easy task, I know. Which is why I found the cartoon hilarious. And after watching the animation below, I realized I should get a cat.

Okay maybe not.


Friday, 24 February 2012

The Illusionists

It's the weekend! If you were contemplating watching The Illusionists - the 'magic show' billed to feature world class magicians, you may want to continue reading.

The introductory opening act was good. It set the tone for a great show. That's probably why it was so disappointing when the rest of the show failed to live up to the promise it held. Honestly, the show was a little lacklustre - many of the tricks performed by the illusionists were the usual tired suspects that two-bit magicians perform on the television variety programs or on YouTube every so often. The few that were not hardly lived up to their potential due either to sub-par choreography or a lack of showmanship on the part of the illusionists. For example, the escape artist act (one which most would have expected to be one climax of the show) was not as impressive as expected. In fact, it was even a bit anti-climatic when he finally emerged. I think most of the audience was admiring his dripping wet chiseled body rather than the amazing feat he just performed. I know I was. Oops.

To be fair, I sat through the performance with some skepticism because hey we are all smart enough to know it's not really magic right? Doesn't help that the name of the show (flashed onto the screen every few minutes or so) served as a constant niggling reminder that all you're seeing is nothing more than an illusion. But this being my first live magic show in a theatre, I expected to be wowed more, you know? I was also excited enough to buy A Reserve tickets, which did not come cheap at $135 each.

All said, the show was entertaining. But if you're looking to be seriously impressed, then these illusionists will leave you disillusioned.

P/s: The act which got the most laughter was by Michael Halvarson, alias The Trickster. In a video of a previous performance (below), he played the exact same trick on a member of the audience while wearing the same purple suit. In my show, the volunteer was a sporting gentleman (French I think), and Halvarson mischievously took more liberties with him. Among other things, the Trickster announced he found a packet of Viagra pills in the pocket of the thoroughly confused and amused gentleman and proceeded to divest him of his necktie, wrist watch and cigarettes without him noticing. It was cute. And kinda cool.


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Underwater dog photography

Seth Casteel is the amazingly talented photographer behind this stunning series featuring dogs when they are underwater. Their expressions are both candid and artless...a truly refreshing angle from which to explore the worldview of our canine friends. The photos here are those I admire the most. If you're captivated as I have been, more of his work can be found here.

Now, if only I can go about getting a photo of Jessy when she's underwater.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

How hunger comes about

When I first saw this cartoon, the immediate thought that came to mind was "omg how true". It shouldn't be a scene too unfamiliar to most. In this situation, your late order means you join the queue while your friends are already tucking in. By the time you get your order, your companions are almost done and 3 possible scenarios then ensue.

  1. They surreptitiously ration their last few mouthfuls to keep you company for as long as they can.
  2. Impatient glances and/or repeated insinuations along the lines of "How long more are you going to take?"
  3. Attempts at polite conversation are met with prolonged silence because you can only reply in between huge mouthfuls of chugging down what's left on your plate.

Next time, just drink water. Oh, who am I kidding?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The secret of the Rain Oculus

We were at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands yesterday when we came across the Rain Oculus by environmental artist and sculptor Ned Kahn of San Francisco's Exploratorium fame.

Some people like to throw coins into the bowl for good luck, but that's just a distraction. No one there is going to tell you this, but the structure's real secret is: if you talk while bending close enough to the rim of the structure, anyone standing anywhere around the circumference of the bowl can hear you just as clearly as if you were standing next to them.

Cool huh? Try that the next time you happen to visit, and surprise the friends you're there with!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

David vs. Goliath reinterpreted

This clever re-interpretation of how David defeated Goliath made me smile. Who would have thought that Angry Birds could be woven so seamlessly into a classic biblical story? Props to illustrator Ben Chen, more of whose work can be found here.

Now, go and enjoy a great weekend ahead!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Photoshop just got easier

The new content-aware feature of Adobe Photoshop CS6 just made the software even more amazing, it's like magic! But at the same time, doesn't it also make you wonder how you're ever going to believe a photograph at face value again?

Not convinced? See for yourself:

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Automobile fashion

You would have thought that after Lady Gaga's meat dress, nothing in the fashion world could surprise you. Maybe this could, and more pleasantly too. The photos above are from the Lexus Fashion Workshop that appeared in the January 2012 issue of Vogue, where designers created pretty amazing outfits from the dismantled parts of a Lexus car.

Top left: headpiece created from a transmission starter and exhaust manifold gaskets.
Top right: jewellery made of valve lifters, crank bearings and hose clamps.
Bottom left: trench coat created from floor mats, sound-dampeners, leather seat cover, cargo covers and wire harnesses.
Bottom right: wedge shoes made from armrest leather trim, clear washer fluid plastic tubing and windshield wipers.

Cool, right? Guys, the next time your ladies are in need of some retail therapy, you better not stop them. Else they might very well strip your cars to make their own outfits.

Watch the video of the process below:

Monday, 13 February 2012

The men don't get it

If you are one of those guys who have been bragging about how their girlfriend has taken the initiative to decry the need for presents this Valentine's Day, think again. Here's some friendly advice: don't take that 'no gift exchange' pact too literally and ignore the occasion completely. Know that her initiative stems from her awareness that the occasion is over-commercialized and her subsequent reluctance to fall prey to those money grabbing corporations at your expense.

To her, it is more important that you celebrate your relationship instead of the occasion. It really doesn't take much to demonstrate your affection for her. For example, a personally-prepared meal that includes all her favorite dishes, a handmade gift, a card, a simple note would suffice to make her smile, or you could also plan activities for a special day or evening out - anything that can let her know that even though you understand her rationale, you won't let up the opportunity to pamper her (like you would any other day, no?).

That said, it's a day to look forward to and have fun. After all, it's just another date...simply another reason to spend time together. Enjoy!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Damn You Autocorrect

It is my firm belief that all iPhone users have at some time or other been frustrated by the unpredictable imp known as 'autocorrect'. I've lost count of the number of times I was at the mercy of those weirdly unfathomable autocorrect attempts.

No one is spared. Which explains the emergence of this website - one that is entirely dedicated to showcasing classic examples of the iPhone autocorrect function gone awry.

The ones above are a few of my favourites...hope they made you laugh too!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

We Not Naughty

Have you watched the movie We Not Naughty? Like all the other Jack Neo films, one cannot help but burst out laughing at some parts. To their credit, the actors interpret their parts well. However, the show tries to dabble in so many themes that the audience tends to lose sight of the big picture.

Add the incongruously blatant advertisements to this ambitious mix, and it becomes a classic example of a film that tries to take on too much. No wonder the fire alarm (complete with flashing red klaxons) sounded in the theatre halfway through the show. But everyone was content to remain seated to continue watching the star who stole the show - the little boy who played the role of Ah Bao (above). Unfortunately, no amount of googling seems to yield the actual name of this child actor.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Lovestagram: the story behind

Running out of ideas for Valentines Day? Check out the awesome story behind Lovestagram - created by the girlfriend of the founder of Instagram as a Valentine's Day present for him.

She had to learn how to code from scratch, and although she did eventually cave in to get some help to meet the Feb 14 deadline, it doesn't detract from the fact that it is a brilliant idea which I hope inspires you!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Singapore is a "strange, exotic place"?

Above is a screenshot of an article in the digital edition of today's Straits Times, which used a 2004 quote by the then chairman of the US Federal Reserve. I'll bet you never knew Singapore was considered a "strange and exotic place", alongside Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. My knee jerk reaction was a resigned shake of the head, before dismissively writing Mr. Greenspan off as an ignorant nitwit who has never have been to this part of the world.

But this Reuters article is an interesting read that got me thinking. Borrowing from the article, "Senior officials arrested in a corruption investigation. Subway commuters trapped underground without light or proper ventilation. Flooded roads in the financial district. It may sound like Indonesia or perhaps the Philippines, but this is Singapore -- the wealthy island state that has long been the envy of those neighbours for its ruthless efficiency, clean government and high standard of living." Ouch. Truth hurts. Gotta love the irony.

So I guess that awkwardly helps to qualify the 'strange' description. But I still fail to see what's remotely 'exotic' about Singapore - the McDonalds and Starbucks cafes that are a dime a dozen surely are anything but.

Ryan: the little king

Gloria Lee

Gloria Lee

Gloria Lee

Gloria Lee

Gloria Lee

Gloria Lee

The newest addition to the family: my little cousin Ryan. Apparently, his name is Gaelic for 'little king'. Pretty appropriate too, given the way everyone oohs and aahs over every little action of it (be it a bored yawn or a delicate rub of his eyes). It's all quite funny, really.

The first time I visited him, I couldn't resist taking a ton of photos. Isn't he just adorable? I just bought him 2 outfits from Baby Gap - one that says 'I love Mom' and another that says 'I love Dad'. Can't wait to see him wear them!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Welcome to 2012

Welcome to 2012!

In case you missed it, that was your cue to say "welcome back"! I've been missing from this space for almost 3 months now, and it feels good to be back.

In the time I've been gone, I've gotten my final exams over and done with (that's an epic story for another day), graduated from university, changed my ailing iPhone 3Gs to the 4s (before I realized that the hype about Siri is overrated and that it's only good for setting alarms), got an iPad2 and holidayed in Hong Kong, Macau and Malaysia. At the same time, I've also been job hunting. Contrary to popular advice, I've only been selectively applying for jobs which I'm personally interested in - as opposed to spamming my resume for every opening that comes along.

I thought myself lucky to get an offer from the first job I really wanted (incidentally, the first job I applied for), but was surprised to find the salary too low for consideration, especially since it's a rather reputable company. Oh well, but I'm not in any hurry yet. Need some time to bum around before I start work for the rest of my life.

Not a very enticing prospect by any yardstick, that.

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