I know this might seem a little old but the issues (and problem) remain pertinent and very much alive. I'm referring to the recent shockwaves sent through the Singaporean anime community when Odex, a local company that releases licensed anime, started sending out letters to people who download fansubs of the licensed anime that they produce. Letters that threaten legal action unless the person to whom the letter was addressed chooses to settle the matter for a sum of money. This matter was also reported in the local newspapers.
The impact of course was immediate and intense. From the unilateral outrage expressed by the anime fan community, which incidentally comprises a far larger strata than the hardcore otakus, to the horror, shock and dismay of the unlucky few who were the targets of the aforementioned letters. The shock and trauma of receiving a letter that threatens legal action and explicitly highlights the applicable penalty for the offence (either a hefty fine or imprisonment) cannot be understated, especially for the layman.
So much so that some like Shi Hao, a former otaku, have been so shaken by the experience that they've given up on anime altogether. The current general mood of the community can basically be described as ranging from trepidation, the more casual, kiasee ones preferring to lie low for now to indifferent defiance by the more hardcore and tech-saavy members of the community. And of course the unanimous hostility towards Odex and all its products.
Before I continue, let me make this clear. The legal position is very clear. Fansubbing despite the reasons given remains illegal: copyright infringements of the original Japanese anime. Downloading copyright infringing material is an extension of copyright infringement. By purchasing the licensing rights from the Japanese companies, Odex is legally entitled to enforce its copyrights on behalf of the Jap companies with regards to the licensed anime.
That said and done, there's always the Right thing to do and there's always what a lot of people do. And fan subbing has been something that has been going on for a long time. Plus let's face it, a lot of anime fans only became fans because they started out watching the fan subs of a certain anime series and fell in love with it. You'd be hard-pressed to find a fan who became one because he/she simply walked into your local video store and decided to buy the VCDs/DVDs of a certain anime series on a whim.
They want to see if it's good before they're willing to part with their money. Fan subbing helped to generate exposure and interest in the various anime series and fans responded accordingly, whether by buying the actual series or purchasing the anime-related licensed paraphernalia. Now while Odex has the legal right to do what they did, I seriously doubt their actions would improve sales of their licensed anime.
Firstly, because their actions have evoked a serious backlash in the community. Incensed by their actions, anime fans have sworn never, ever to buy a single Odex product. This also extends to those currently too fearful to download. The rejection is unanimous.
Secondly, the quality of Odex products is deemed by the community to be lamentable. The resolution and subs lagging far behind those of the free fansubs and the price, exorbitant. As Maverick aptly noted:
"Well, let’s see, ODEX basically has almost monopolized the distribution of anime in Singapore, so we kinda have no choice but to go to their goods. But what do they do in return? Lousy resolution/quality, seriously bad dubbings (though they’re in dual-sound), and exorbitant prices. How exorbitant, you say? Let’s see, S$29.90 for a vcd box…which contains only around ~10 episodes. That’s like $3 for an episode. Is it worth the money then? The resolution is so bad, you dun wanna maximise to full-screen when watching them on your computer. The dubbing, the hell, you would RUSH to set the audio to the original Japanese before the characters start to speak."
Put these two together and you will understand why fans are (understandably) incensed. Arm-twisting tactics are unpleasant enough but throw into the equation inferior products that are highly priced and one can see why anime fans aren't thrilled with Odex. Free, High quality Subs vs Expensive, Inferior videos. Not much of a choice there.
Anyhow, just a few points to note on the whole saga:
First, there appears to be a common trend. Those who were caught were using Bittorrent or a torrent client to download. And the ISP provider was Singnet, which means it gave the logs willingly. Like some of the more tech savvy members of the community explained, bit torrent downloads are easily traceable given that your IP address is recorded once you start downloading the torrent and anyone accessing the torrent would be able to record your IP address.
Darkonlore gives a good explanation:
"How are they doing it?We(referring to the anime community) has noticed that the ones caught are all using bittorrent. This is due to the fact that each bittorrent client keeps info of who it is connected to (IPs), and is easily accessible by anyone who use the same .torrent file. There are also trackers that would list the IPs of users who are currently connected to it. So just take down the SG IPs and ask the ISPs for their info. Encryption of data in that aspect is pointless.
I do not think it is feasible for the ISPs to do an exhuastive search of everything downloaded by all their users, and since it would turn into an international affair if AVPAS requests logs from http servers that hosted the tracker/torrent file, using less well known sources might still be possible. "
And like he so astutely pointed out, http servers or other less well known sources are still possible/safe and hence are in all likelihood still used. Bittorrent bad, less well known sources good.
Second, some of the more common series and files targeted based on the letters sent out (See Darkmirage & Shi hao) are Code Geass, Bleach, D Gray Man, Tsubasa Chronicles (Season 1), Inuyasha and One Piece. Again all the files were torrent files. For the full list of licensed titles, check out AVPAS's webpage.
Third, be smart. I think enough has been said on this and indeed expounded on by numerous members in the community. It all comes down to knowing what to do and what not to do. For example using bittorrent and downloading massive amounts of torrent files at one sitting is not something anyone should do.
Lastly, if there's one thing everyone agrees on, it's as Shi Hao said on his blog:
"BUT STILL. I NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER WILL BUY ANY PRODUCTS FROM ODEX."
Yeah, neither will I. Tough luck, Odex.
Update: The crackdown continues, Odex sheds some light on the issues surrounding the saga.
Monday, July 30, 2007
I know this might seem a little old but the issues (and problem) remain pertinent and very much alive. I'm referring to the recent shockwaves sent through the Singaporean anime community when Odex, a local company that releases licensed anime, started sending out letters to people who download fansubs of the licensed anime that they produce. Letters that threaten legal action unless the person to whom the letter was addressed chooses to settle the matter for a sum of money. This matter was also reported in the local newspapers.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
I'd meant to blog about this yesterday but the last minute mad rush to prepare and finish the stuff for this morning's advocacy class left me with no time. Especially since a size able portion of the evening was spent rushing about doing damage control for the pierced ear. And spending a considerable sum of money in the process.
I'd always wanted to get my ear pierced for sometime now. The absolute lack of variety for magnetic ear studs: mainly constituting either a black or clear crystal stud in three sizes, coupled with the annoying need to remind oneself that one had magnetic ear studs on lest one forgets and tugs at the earlobe; were compelling reasons for wanting to do so. The thought of having another accessory to play around with, with the sheer variety available and building up a look along with one's outfit was also appealing.
But most importantly, I wanted to do it. And the main obstacle has always been the
Boyfriend's Husband's adamant opposition to me doing so. For some reason which generally runs along the lines of "Guys with Studs look Gross." So like a dutiful Boyfriend (then) I had always deferred. But yesterday the urge was really strong and I'd been doing a little research on that bit, so after meeting a friend for lunch, I decided to hop over to the body tattoo place at Paradiz.
Besides, I figured (and fervently hoped) that Sean would still accept his husband, pierced, studded or not. (I wasn't wrong in this respect, thank you dear:)). Anyhow, I settled on the body tattoo and piercing outlet because hygiene was of the utmost concern and the idea of a single use, sterile surgical steel needle was infinitely more appealing than being pierced by a grimy ear piercer hand gun done by your average Ah Lian at one of those cosmetic booth stores.
Even though it cost a considerable 40 bucks, I figured it was a worthwhile price to pay especially since it came with the choice of one surgical steel ear stud, for which I chose a curved matte black one, capped with little cones on both ends. A piece I was immensely pleased with for it was just the right size and totally matched what I was wearing.
The piercing itself was..interesting. Apparently it was all done by hand, so after marking the spot with a felt pen, the guy swabbed on the alcohol and removed the sterile single use needle which looked disturbingly thick. Which he then proceeded to drill through (by hand) the marked spot, an activity that probably lasted no more than 8 seconds. The sensation was a lot more disturbing than the actual pain; a sharp but not intolerable pain somewhat akin to one's first anal sex session or perhaps one with no lube involved. Sans the pleasurable bit of course. The 'scritch scritch' sound of skin and flesh giving way coupled with that sensation of tearing flesh was more disconcerting.
Anyhow, to cut to the chase I left pleased and happy, then realised to my abject horror I'd clean forgotten about the advocacy session the following morning. Which basically entails us having to go to court and present our prepared arguments. And there's no way one can go all dressed up, suit and all, with a conspicuously obvious stud and hope to survive the session unscathed/unnoticed. But because I was under the (very mistaken) impression that the piercing would simply be slightly damp and raw albeit a little bloody, I thought that I could simply swap out the stud with one of those clear plastic straws.
After purchasing the thick straws from the 77th Street outlet at AMK Hub, which the lady said was the same thickness as the stud, I went home. Merry and accomplished. Then I figured that I should swap out the stud for the straw then instead of attempting to do it the following morning. Which on hindsight was probably for the best, I can imagine attempting to do it this morning and getting the rudest shock of my life. Shudder.
Removing the stud was the easy part. What happened later was a veritable nightmare. The moment I removed the stud, blood welled out of the piercing, thick and copious. Which naturally made me more than a little anxious, my plan of inserting a clean newly sterilized with alcohol plastic straw into a damp and perhaps slightly raw piercing with little fuss now rudely dashed. Hurriedly dabbing away the blood, I attempted to jab the plastic straw through in one quick, clean motion, hoping to staunch the flow of blood that welled up and started to trickle down my frantically probing fingers.
Which naturally didn't work, it got in but it didn't exit. So I was basically jiggling it about frantically while pulling on my earlobe, hoping that it would somehow just pop through. Which it didn't of course. The blood was by now dripping from my hands onto the mantelpiece in what was starting to look like some macabre murder scene. Attempting to douse it with more cleaning alcohol only served to dilute the flow of magenta, which when coupled with my increasingly frantic attempts at shoving the bloody piece of plastic through, such as tilting my head so that I could attempt to see the exit hole more clearly in the bloody mess; basically meant that rivulets of blood flowed down my face and neck, soaking into the shirt or dripping on the floor.
I probably looked like something fresh out of Scream or your average horror film. But never in my life did I ever suspect that such a tiny puncture could spout so much blood, so quickly. Though my manhandling and desperate jamming about of the stick probably didn't help either.
After a couple more frenzied attempts that included trying a slightly thinner straw, running like a headless chicken to the toilet to get a clearer view and dripping blood over the Sister's cosmetic bottles, I finally gave up, the plastic stud still jammed in halfway and called a cab to head down to Paradiz. Which cost a whooping $20.30.
The guy while more than a little surprised (What? You removed it so fast? I told you to wait for at least three days!) was kind and nice enough to do the damage control for free even though I was prepared at that stage to pay for another piercing just to re-open the exit hole which had already closed by then. Damage control that basically entailed forcing the stick through by brute force. The poor guy had to exert a lot of energy and it was incredibly, incredibly painful. The sensation akin to having your ear ripped off. So much for a hygienic piercing ^^.
If having one's ear pierced by needle is akin to the pain felt at that very first anal session, having a too thick (which the guy commented, oh no wonder you had problems, the stick is thicker than the stud!) plastic straw forcibly rammed through an already closed wound is like being fucked with a 9 inch dick to the hilt without lubrication.
So now you all know, take it from an idiot. Don't remove your stud for whatever reason within the first three days. And if you do, at least do so with professional help. Or be prepared for a really bloody mess. Surprisingly though, despite all the abuse and trauma suffered by the ear and even though the guy said it'd be very likely to be infected after using such manual brute force opening methods, the piercing is just fine and dandy, not swollen, no infection or pus. Like what I told Sean, it could just be that I'm used to penetration. Which elicited a 'rolling of the eyes' kind of response.
Anyhow, I won't be touching the straw for the next two weeks. Once pierced, twice shy. In other news, Sean now officially earns more than I'll get as a newly called-to-the-Bar lawyer. And that coming from the guy who two years ago said I'd need to support him in the future. Congrats, dear! You really deserve it and I'm thrilled for you.
Now you can support me for the next 5 months. :) Ha ha ha.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
You don't really appreciate what you have till you miss it. And you appreciate what you miss a whole lot more when you get the chance to experience it again. So it isn't too surprising that people deem the 5 month postgrad Practical Law Course (PLC) to be a heaven-sent opportunity to chill out and enjoy the campus-like flexibility of skipping classes and planning one's time as one pleases. Especially when it'll be the last chance to enjoy such a slothful break or any decent break for that matter for the next 10-20 years.
There is of course a small but significant minority that do not have the ability to exploit this opportunity to its fullest either because they are valiant and fully paid members of the Legal Service or they are slaves of firms that make full use of the $500 monthly allowance during PLC and haul them back to work. And naturally, the minority isn't thrilled when the majority, inadvertently or otherwise, makes overt displays of where to go for tea later or how tomorrow's lectures seem incredibly boring and spending more time in bed is an infinitely more appealing alternative.
But seriously, I don't think the minority have it all that bad. Especially those in the Legal Service. ^^ They get paid their full salary, do half (or less) their normal workload and apart from the regrettable inability to slack blatantly and having to put up with jibes from the free wheeling majority; they get to
slack work at a measured, steady pace in their office and with some astute strategizing, make full use of PLC. And of course they get paid.
The slaves, naturally, aren't as well off. Their flexibility and ability to relax/slack are reduced significantly, having to return to their masters after lectures/tutorials to slave away. And unlike their counterparts in the Legal Service, they have neither fixed working hours nor their full salary. Which really translates into a lose-lose situation for the unfortunate few. Blame it on their rotten luck.
As for the majority, the top of the pack in terms of the Wealth-Free Time Index are undoubtedly those whose firms pay them the $500 monthly allowance gratuitously without expecting them to return to work during the course. Those have both money and the time to spend it and in my humble opinion should be shot if they even so much as whine about PLC being more tiresome than working.
Within the majority, however, there is a minority: happy, free, people who alas for some strange compelling reason only known to the firms employing them, are not paid a cent during the five months PLC. And yours truly is one of them. Happy, free but broke. Which makes staying at home and sleeping in (as often as possible) the de facto option for me and not a choice that the free wheeling, well-heeled majority are equipped to make.
Factor in the horrendous prices for the often sub-standard food at the lecture venues and the lala land inducing quality of most lectures; the de facto option doesn't seem all too bad. Of course having money never hurt anyone (not me at least since I never seem to have enough of it) and the pinch is keenly felt at times. Especially since the Husband, Sean, is perpetually broke himself.
But at least I have a perfectly justifiable reason for skipping lectures and sleeping/staying in/going out (sparingly). Something along the lines of staying at home and self studying diligently for the PLC because he is too poor to afford the transport costs for travelling all the way for a crummy 2 hour lecture. Not that I ever needed a reason, justifiable or not, for skipping classes and slacking off.
Waking up to an overcast noon with that mild, fleeting confusion as to which day it is, a light drizzle still falling outside, is a slothful pleasure once taken for granted, a luxury indeed. One that is all the more precious given its rarity once work proper commences again in December. And I fully intend to revel in it.
Ah, the joys of slacking.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
"I'm getting married in the morning!
Ding dong! The bells are gonna chime.
Pull out the stopper! Let's have a whopper!
But get me to the church on time! ..."
Get Me to the Church on Time. - My Fair Lady.
With its tongue in cheek humour and mildly salacious outlook, this was one of my favourite songs in that Audrey Hepburn classic, My Fair Lady. I never imagined the day would come when I'd actually hum along and mean it.
But edit out the part about church and having girls come kiss me (substitute that with cute boys ^^) and you pretty much have it in a nutshell. :)
I'm getting married in the mornin'. Ding dong! The bells are gonna chime...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Soon, this life of Bachelorhood will be coming to an end. The lack of stag parties or shag parties rather, to herald the end of an era do not evoke any feelings of regret. The prospect of going all wild and living the last 'few days of freedom' like the Whore of Babylon which may have been appealing once, is not in the least so now.
There is instead in its place, a quiet but growing sense of expectancy and an effervescent, immutable joy.
Now as promised, the next chapter of my life..
Age of Discovery
(The bittersweet years. Bitter, cause somethings just have to be learned the hard way. Sweet, cause I had so much fun doing stuff I'd never done before.)
'Torn' -- Natalie Imbrugia
"I'm all out of faith, this is how I feel. I'm cold and I'm shamed, lying naked on the floor.."
Officially contactable. First pager, an electric blue MTV one. Blasting Fantastic Females CD on the NJC classroom comp. Starcraft LAN gaming at school. Meeting up with Winston at Junction 8, the now defunct Bubble tea outlet, blowjobs at the carpark. Six-hour phone conversations till 3.30 AM. Coming to school zombified. Sudden craze with Chinese martial arts movies.
"This is your night' -- Amber
"This is your night, dancing free until the morning light. Together forever cause this is your night and everything's gonna be all right.."
NJC. Everytime it rained, the entire school leaked. Steps so many steps. Chemistry relief tutor (previous top student) trying to explain the concept of molecules or what not. Green and red balls. Blue too. Dunno what the hell she was saying. Zhao-ing (skipping) class to catch movies, meet up for sex or just game at home.
'Hero'-- Miss Papaya
"In the middle of the night, a Hero comes to save me. He's so nice. I'm gonna make him mine. Ah la de da da. You are my hero.."
Talking on the payphone. NJC games day. Setting up stall for the bazaar. Skipping lectures and staying in the library to surf the net/ print things/ read New Age stuff. Bell ringing, end of first lesson; walking past the Principal's office, out the gate.
'Oops I did it again" -- Britney Spears
"Oops I did it again, I played with your heart. Got lost in the game. Oo Baby baby, you might think I'm in love. That I'm sent from above. I'm not that innocent!"
Niche - Gay club that catered to the younger crowd; now gone. Flaming Lamborghinis. Slut waiter. Music blaring overhead. Particularly liked this song and it's 'I'm not what I seem to be' message or perhaps I just liked the 'slut' appeal in it. Often tiring (and troublesome at times) that people always viewed me from the wrong perspective, that I was in love and we should 'hook up'. Though it worked to my advantage at times - as far as getting into bed was concerned.
'Day and Night' -- Billie Piper
" I love the day, I love the night. You do the things that make me feel so right. My shining star. My shining light. Every day and night!"
Standard top 40 hit then. Niche packed. Sweaty gyrating bodies. Lost friends in the crowd. Got a Black Russian at the bar. Sat down. Trevor came. "Seat (beside me) taken?" " Er, no.." 1 hour conversation. Swapped contacts.
New Year's Eve 1999
'Blue' -- Effiel 65
" I'm blue da ba dee da ba dy da ba dee da ba dy.."
Dinner at Crystal Jade Kitchen(suntec) with Annie. (8.00 pm). Took train up to Orchard. Supremely packed. Everyone told to get off at Dhoby Ghaut. Pushed, shoved, plunged our way through an entire mass of people before finally ending up at Lido/ CK Tang. Bag got squashed by a stupid Bangala. Some (equally stupid) woman shouting angrily,"Dun touch me! Who touched me?" A lot of ang moh girls at the final destination in weird costumes. Angel wings, pointy hats, magic wands. Trudging back to hotel, exhausted and squashed. 1:30 am.
'All I Wanna Do is to Make Love to You' -- Heart
"All I wanna do is to make love to you, say you will, you want me to. All I wanna do is make love to you, one night of love was all we knew. All I wanna do, all I wanna do.."
Night. Sitting on steps of Marina Square. Work just starting on the 'durian'. Looking out on the bay. Trevor still a little down over last breakup. Long conversation, replaced by a comfortable silence. Trevor's head on shoulder, the weight comfortable and soothing. "But four months is all we've got." "Better than nothing at all." That heart warming glow of utter bliss.
'Back in my life'-- Alice DJ
"I want you back in my life. Want you back by my side cause that's where you belong.."
Venom. Memorising cousin's I.C. Ghastly tumor-like fixture. Metallic ball affixed to ceiling. Flashing lights. Good crowd, better music. Sitting on sofa beside glass pane; staring out and watching people & cars scurry about like ants on the street below.
'Kiss (When the sun don't shine)' -- Vengaboys
"I only kiss kiss kiss when the sun don't shine. Ooh Ooh. You wanna kiss kiss kiss then tonight is fine. Ooh ooh.."
Went with CJ to Sparks..( Some big Canto-beng like club at Taka.) Culture shock. Everything screamed Ah Beng!!! From the weird robotic/vibrator like jiving to the right on cue chants and slogans (which in later years my ah beng campmate demonstrated with startling alacrity) intersperced regularly during the songs. Left shortly and never returned. Big dance floor. Whynot, Taboo, much better ambience. Popular group drink. Jugs of long island tea, vodka lime and bourbon coke. Personal choice of poison: Black Russian, Gin Tonic, Lamborghini.
'Summer of 69'-- Bryan Adams
"Standin’ on your mama’s porch. You told me that you’d wait forever. Oh and when you held my hand, I knew that it was now or never. Those were the best days of my life.."
School playing music video of song. Attractive Malaysian scholar singing softly to herself. Eugene always harping ,"Why does she talk to you so often and not to me ah? Why?" One Seven. Pristine yet deliciously tainted somehow. MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) safety tips did not help. Parting ways with Trevor was painful. Couldn't send him off. Went home & cried.
'Change your Mind' -- Sister Hazel
"If you wanna be somebody else, if you're tired of fighting battles with yourself. If you wanna be somebody else. Change your mind..change your mind.."
Surfing net in school b4 assembly. Economics. Globalisation. On the phone with K.W. Pool at paradiz. CS LAN gaming. Fire in the hole! Brick red pants from Top Shop. Drinking at Niche with CJ. Coming back drunk. Mom in a fit.
'Wonderful Tonight' --Eric Clapton
"And then she asks me, Do you feel alright?
And I say yes, I feel wonderful tonight..."
P's party (I forgot who -probably Peter). Cozy ambience. Slow waltz. Memories of Trevor.
'Unforgiveable Sinner' -- Lene Marlin
"..And now she's up there, sings like an angel. But you can't hear those words.. And now she's up there, sings like an angel. Unforgiveable sinner.."
Regret, guilt & eternal damnation rolled into one song. Yet it was hauntingly good. Travelling on train. Classmate's (now deceased) 18th birthday, walking all the way in with a few of the guys and a bottle of XO. BBQ and raucous celebrations. 'It's my life' blasting from the comp.
'It's My Life' -- Bon Jovi
"It's my life and it's now or never. I ain't gonna Live forever. I just wanna live when I'm Alive. It's My Life, my heart is like an open highway but friend I did it my way. I just wanna live when I'm alive. It's my life.."
The prevailing theme of that period. Rebellious, adventurous, devil-be-damned attitude and on hindsight downright foolhardy at times. Sometimes, I barely believe I did the stuff I did. But then again If I had to go back, I'd probably do it all over again.
"Yeah, we are so young now, we are so young so young now. And when tomorrow comes, we’ll just do it all again"-- So Young by The Corrs.
Tower records at Pacific Plaza. At Starbucks with CJ. His excited plans on doing his soon to be girlfriend .(NB: he never got round to it--the getting laid part). Venom. Sex at the staircase. Clubbing at Whynot. Visiting those spas, the cheaper Blue Heaven & that considerably upmarket One Seven. Taboo.
'I think I'm in Love with You' -- Jessica Simpson
"Boy I think that I'm in love with you. Got me keep doing silly things when it comes to you.."
That sugary period when all was well and everything was working out fine (generally). Weekly Sat lunches with Annie at Anatolya at Far East Plaza. Him cracking up over the word "nut case" over Doner kebab and dessert.
Sep/ Oct 2000
'Wonderful' -- Everclear
"Some days I hate everything
I hate everything..
Everyone and everything
Please don’t tell me everything is wonderful now..."
'2 Faced' -- Louise
"Ow, ow, they’re so narrow minded,
Truth is so one sided,
But honey you rock. (so)
Stop you’re bitching
’cos you’re so sad
Bitching behind my back
Honey, I don’t need that
So kick it to the kerb because
I heard you’re 2 faced.."
Reflective of the unbridled hate and disgust I felt then. Backstabbed. That overwhelming sense of betrayal. False friends. Problems on the home front. Painful memories. Morbid thoughts of splashing own blood on wall before exiting in gruesome glory were entertained. Suicide considered and attempted.
Popped twenty five pills. Awoke with an incredible headache. Never tried, nor will ever try again. You don't live for anyone, why end your life as a statement? Live it and prove your point. (Note: All in all, suicide is a stupid thing, not because it's defeatist but cause ultimately the only one who loses is you.)
New Age: Tarots, Grimoires and the ways of the Wiccan. Much too lazy to carry on with the religious parts, the rituals tedious. Solace in solitude.
'Music' -- Madonna
"Hey mister d.j.
Put a record on
I wanna dance with my baby
And when the music starts
I never wanna stop
It’s gonna drive me crazy.."
The sharp dichotomy of life then. On one hand, the rebellious, "Shall have loads of fun since shall probably flunk my 'A-Levels" attitude. On the other, pissed off and upset by certain matters and people coupled with the growing terror that I would end up working at MacDonalds should I Really fail and the Mother stop supporting. As she would have.
Clubbing at WhYnot for last time b4 'A's. Person who tried to get me drunk got drunk instead. And threw up in the cab. Which stank. School became strictly perfunctory. Lost my entire set of clean econs lecture notes in library. First time reading Sloman (the Economics textbook). Poor bugger who stole useless notes.
'Rush Hour'-- Jane Weidlin
"It's so good, better when you're at the wheel. Can't believe the way I feel. It's such a Rush just being with you.. Oo you send me..you take me into the rush hour."
Adrenaline pumping. Fast paced. Catchy. Hooked, the first time I heard it being played over HMV. NIE library. Grappling with statistics. After the last paper of the A Levels: Physics. 67. CJ's place. Venom. Plaza Singapura. Dinner and wine at BBoss.
'Can't Fight the Moonlight' -- Le Ann Rimes
"You can try to resist, just to hide from my kiss. But you know but you know that you can't fight the moonlight. Deep in the dark, you surrender your heart.."
Grabbing shirt from 77th street. Rushing for Coyote Ugly at Lido. Second row from front. Drinking at Boat Quay after dismal prom. CJ staying over. Finishing the bottle of Martell VSOP, smooth and warm. CJ had difficulty swallowing it.
New Year's Eve 2000
'Let's get Loud'-- Jennifer Lopez
"Let's get loud! Let's get loud! Turn your body to the music, come on people let's get loud!"
Another favourite. The Cell. Golden Village @ Balestiar Road. Sneaking past sleepy old ah pek (uncle). Mildly disturbing. New Year's Eve. Venom Packed. Guy puking in toilet. Long Island T. Last song b4 midnight. Crowd went ballistic & really loud. Hot, Sweaty, Happy. 2001.
More to come...
Monday, July 16, 2007
If there's one thing I learned from the whole Diary-X saga, it's that it always pays to keep a soft copy backup of one's blog/journal entries. At least for the more important ones. So browsing through the old entries on the now defunct Windows Live Spaces blog, I chanced upon the Musical Timeline series of entries. Entries that evoke the different memories and experiences both when they were being written and when read again after close to three years.
The last entry stopped at Sept 2004 and a little updating looks to be in order. On account of the changed circumstances and conditions in which the entries were last posted, the entries will be tweaked considerably and be a lot
more explicit clearer. And in light of the fact one is left in no doubt about my preferences, certain aspects should be a lot less confusing than before.
Without further ado, here's the first entry in the series:
Different songs mean Different things to us at different times. Often we place particular emphasis on certain songs at different points in our life. We may or may not ascribe some meaning to the song but it remains something which we relate to at that time. An emblem, a snapshot of our life at that instant. Revisiting these songs brings back memories, sharp and clear, a journey of one's life thus far. And here is mine.
Age of Innocence (relatively)
(The earlier years were blurred, not clearly defined unlike my adolescence possibly because I seldom listened to music then. And when I did it was almost always off the radio.)
Lucky-- Kylie Minogue
"I should be so lucky. Lucky Lucky Lucky. I should be so lucky in love."
Hong Kong. Going shopping with my second aunt (who was young, trendy and incredibly fun then). Bopping and singing to Kylie along with aunt while walking back to the hotel, arms aswinging.
Dream Lover and Hero --Mariah Carey
"Dream lover come rescue me, take me up take me down take me anywhere you want to baby now.."
Chalet at East coast(before the first renovation). Sand in swimming trunks. Running around the airport. Regular visits to Leon's house which we wrecked havoc in, pounding up the stairs and tearing up the garden while our moms sat and gossiped.
I will always love you-- Whitney Houston
"And I (eeee I) will always love you (oooo u) and I will always love (that inimitable warble and of course ultra long note) you..."
Moving into the new house across the road. Planting stuff. Playing with earthworms. Belting out that famous line in parents' bedroom with sister. Parents mowing the garden downstairs.
Girls Just wanna have Fun-- Cyndi Lauper
"I wanna be the one who stands in the sun. Oh Girls, they wanna have fun, oh girls just wanna have fun.."
One of my favourite songs since Primary three, it only assumed significance in Primary six. Bouncy, happy and a tad wild(to me then). Old Thompson Plaza, attending some crappy computer course at Infomatics. Mother telling me the PSLE results.
I Saw the Sign--Ace of Base
"I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes I saw the sign... Nothing's gonna lift you up into the light where you belong. But where do you belong?"
Another favourite. Strangely enough, I always thought it to be Sun not sign, a misconception not corrected till much later.
All those car rides, to and fro from school. Rain falling heavy and hard against the window.
Age of Experimentation (The school bus years)
ACS(I) was loads of fun. It was a major change of environment and afforded a considerable amount of freedom. Remedials and choir practices were convenient & oft-used excuses.
Total Eclipse of the Heart-- Bonnie Tyler
"Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart.."
For some reason this song was always played in those bleary eyed hours of the morning. 6.30 am. Shivering in the cold morning air. A small air-con van, half asleep boys. Nodding heads.
Macarena --Los De Rio
" Dale a tu cuerpo alegria Macarena
Que tu cuerpo es pa' darle alegria y cosa buena
Dale a tu cuerpo alegria, Macarena
Purple and yellow Beverly 90210 school bag, tearing at the seams. Air conditioned classrooms. Hanging out at neighbouring void decks with ZW. 'Still life with Sarah' - Our rather attractive & sexy Art teacher who sent the already raging hormones of newly pubescent teenage boys out of control; half the class fantasized of doing naughty things to her in bed. Being neither a pubescent teen nor straight, the whole affair was understandably boring. Oily salty fries. Sudden hug from that senior.
Joseph & the Amazing technicolour Coat( Any dream will do)
"And in the east (echo)
The dawn was breaking (ah a ah)
And the world was waking(ah ah)
Any dream will do (repeat)"
The only musical I enjoyed in my four years in choir, probably cause it was neither composed nor written by Lim Jxx. The costumes were fun. Running around in a frock-like robe and skullcap felt amazingly liberating.
Practice, practice, practice. Sneaking to the canteen for snacks in frock-like robes. Drink stall auntie laughing and saying, "Wa so cute, like a little girl!" Polite frown. Chasing Adrian barefooted backstage. Feet thumping on the cold hard stage.
Age of Awakening
The joy and power that knowledge brings. Puberty, glorious puberty. The wonders of the Net and numerous opportunities it afforded made the Awakening more spontaneous, more gratifying. The consequences of having such knowledge(porn, fact that there were others out there and accessible) and putting it to good use, never an issue.
No More I Love You-- Annie Lennox
" No more I love yous..Language is leaving me in silence.."
Last month I sat on the school van. School van. Good ole Bus number 74. 45 mins of dozing off. First ever movie outing with friends. Fair game starring Alec Baldwin and Cindy Crawford. mIrc. Discovering and chatting on GayTeens @ SG (the predecessor of the SGboys channel on MIRC). Computer Lab. Checking out 'Dr Ruth' with Annie and descending into bouts of mirth at her 'expert sexual advice'.
Track 11 " Alerte, alerte...Anges purs"
The first song ever to have such a huge impact. The booming bass and powerful soprano of Mephistopheles and Marguerite entwining each other, each trying to do out do the other as they spiral up the scales with a final joyous epiphany as Marguerite breaks free and ascends heavenward. Uplifting.
Waiting for our turn backstage. Huddled over disc man. Shared ear phones. Goosebumps. Day after the dismal sec 3 finals. Chem 'O' level prac.
Jagged Little pill-- Alanis Morisette
"Swallow it down.. it's a jagged little pill..It feels so good.. swimming in your stomach.."
Literature project. K's (classmate) house. Books, paper, pen (We started with those on our attempt to start work-But you know how teenage boys are) Proceeded on to his PlayStation one. Then to the Computer for some good ole porn - that somehow changed from tits to dicks, not that I minded. And of course, Bed.
Do You believe in Life after Love?--Cher
"Do you believe in life after love? I can hear something inside me say, I really don't think you're strong enough."
Discovering the amount of fun a pack of cards could provide. Bridge, Taiti, Hearts, Spades. I had my own kakis (similar likeminded addicts). We played anytime: Recess, Chinese class, After school. And anywhere: Classmate's hostel, Library, classroom.
Kiss Me -- Sixpence none the richer.
"Kiss me beneath the milky twilight, lead me out on the moonlit floor. Lift your open hand...so kiss me"
Lido. Cineleisure. Neoprints. Lunch appointments with people off GTS on IRC, some good some bad. Bad ones got the boot, for the good ones we went for coffee and more.. One of which progressed from Office to table to carpet.
Prelude & Fugue in E Flat--Bach (by Wolfgang Ruesbam)
Grand, stately, majestic, imposing. If this kind of music was played in church I would go willingly sunday after sunday.. just for the worship session.
Pimples, one of God's incomprehensible gifts to man. Blotters. Conniving sales women out to make commission, selling useless facial products. Library. More Bridge. Ranting against USA govt in history essay. Library. Chemistry teacher selling sweets in class.
It must have been Love-- Roxette.
"It must have been love but it's over now. It must have been good but I lost it somehow. Oh it must have been love.."
Skipping choir practices to catch movies. More lunch outings. Of uniforms and under wears - Peeps with the aforementioned erm preferences. Doing a favour for a lesbian friend who needed to convince her dad she was straight so that she could go on a cruise with her gf. Standing outside the gate. Friend casting a worried glance back at the door. "I dun think he's convinced" She said. "Kiss me, quick!" "Huh?" "Hurry!" So I did. I never knew people kissed oranges.
"And when you get the chance..you are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.."
He liked ABBA too. Lido. French documentary. First time making out at a movie. Movie was boring, making out wasn't. Shopping at Far East plaza. 77th street. Starbucks. Venti mocha frapp. With cream. Lots of cream. Cream mm.
To be continued..
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Sometimes, you just have this irresistible urge to sprout something incredibly mushy about the Significant Other, stuff that might make the average, indifferent third party observer cringe in embarrassment, for you. And when this urge strikes, there is this tendency to gush about the mushy stuff.
Not because of any burning desire to declare to the world how perfect one's partner is or how 'complete/pure' the love between the two love birds is. There is of course a sizeable minority who might be thus motivated: primarily those still in the ephemerous high of dreamy romance, frolicking in the warm sunny comfort of puppy love. I am not one of the blessed few, not amongst those still caught in the sweet pangs of youthful love; the Significant Other and I both know how imperfect we are and our love is hardly cherubic or pure. Carnal and consuming might be a more apt description. Heh heh. ^^
But I digress, this tendency to gush upon the onset of a Mush Attack is almost invariably premised on the strange yet simple notion that when reduced to its most basic level is: Even though I may not know exactly why, I just XXXXXXXX you to bits. And an inexplicable need to get it off your chest.
So I happen to be in such a mood now, I don't know why and I don't care. But in recognition of my civic duty not to swamp disinterested readers with nausea-inducing mush, I shall tone it down severely. Tonight's Harry Potter movie was over hyped and with the exception of a couple of fight scenes towards the end, boring. What you did though, my dear, was a very pleasant surprise. Extremely pleasant and shockingly surprising especially considering your previous stand with regards to this whole aspect.
I love you to bits and for some inexplicable reason I just wanted to devour you today. Lock, stock and barrel. From the moment we met up. Now. I know I know, you'll say it's just the dick talking. It's not. It'll do the talking tomorrow. And if the urge to gush mush came about everytime before/after sex, this blog would be a mush pit and be dismissed as trashy spam written by a maniac whose brains have turned to mush from all the sex.
So no, the rush to gush mush is not dependent on the availability of sex (or god forbid, the lack of it). And sex is most certainly not dependent on the urge to gush mush. Did I mention how much I love you dear (even though we piss each other off sometimes)? [Insert various mushy statements.]
In the Heat of the Night - Sandra
In the heat of the night,
You'll lose your heart and sell your soul.
I lose control
In the heat of the night...
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
You've gotta love online tests, things you do to while away the time even if you might not have much time to start with in the first place. While blog surfing, I stumbled on this test that I vaguely remember having done before but it was only when I got the results and saw the image of that smug guy below that I realised I'd taken the test long ago... and attained exactly the same result. ^^
Just to qualify the result, which remains surprisingly apt for certain areas (especially the last paragraph ^^), it's a dating persona test. Which means it isn't indicative of one's personality or behaviour during a relationship. But as far as dating (and sleeping around) went, this much was pretty accurate. A fact Sean can probably attest to with some displeasure. Ha ha. Speaking of whom, I suspect he'd fall into either the Boy Next Door (RGLD) or The Slow Dancer (DGLD) category. There is some truth behind that old "Opposites attract" axiom after all.
Link: The Online Dating Persona Test @ OkCupid
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Sunday service is invariably either incredibly boring in terms of the hallelujah-the Lord-saves-prepare yourself for His Coming kind or the usual mind-numbing hellfire & brimstone eternal-damnation to all sinners, faggots, fornicators, alcoholics, materialistic bastards, (Insert any and every kind of 'worldly' vice that comes to the preacher's mind) type. Today was one of the latter, which really was the norm de riguer style of Pastor X.
His sermon, one of a 'short series of four' *Shudders*, was all about controlling one's thoughts, part of the key to being a 'victorious and Dynamic Christian'. Which basically entailed an entire sermon devoted to the ills of pornography, masturbation, fantasising with lust that leads to fornication and adultery, homosexuality. Even sitcoms like 'Ugly Betty' and 'Desperate Housewives' were not spared in the tirade against all things evil and worldly that degrade our 'moral fibre as Christians'. I'm sorry but the only tangible fibre I deem useful is the kind you get from fruit and veggies, not some prejudicial strait-jacketed view thrust upon one from the pulpit.
Anyway, as the sermon carried on, I noted with some bemusement that a rather uneasy silence had descended upon the congregation. No doubt wondering how many gold tiles got ripped off their heavenly palace cause of that wanking off session the other day. I still find it rich how X equated being a Dynamic Christian (as opposed to being a Defeated one) with surrendering one's 'sexual desires to God.'
Here's what he had to say on the subject of humans being sexual creatures (duh); "We are all sexual beings, that is the truth! But we must surrender our sexual desires to God to live as dynamic Christians! *Pause* We are all sexual beings unless you are a You-Nut (how he pronounces Eunuch). *Another Pause* And there are only three ways of being a You-nut. First way is you are born a You-nut. Second, someone chops off your organs and you become a You-nut. Last way, you become a You-nut for the glory of the Kingdom of God!"
With so many nuts in one sentence, one would be hard pressed to think the man wasn't a little nuts himself. Especially the third way of becoming a you-nut (Eunuch). I'm sorry but why the hell would anyone want to be a Eunuch (much less a nut) for the glory of the kingdom of God? You must be a real You-Nut to want to chop off your nuts and all. Which in retrospect, could be his point after all. I dunno it's just nutty.
Anyway enough about you-nuts because I am going nuts myself. The Boyfriend and I haven't met up for two weeks (largely due to work on my end) and I'm going crazy cause I haven't had any intimate physical contact let alone sex in two weeks. No sex for two weeks and no full-course action for three. As noted by Pastor X, we are all sexual beings. Amen to that (and only that). I'm one too and sadly for him, moral fibre of the kind espoused from the pulpit is sorely lacking in yours truly. Sex with the Boyfriend (the full course kind much preferred ^^) of course remains extremely high up on my list of needs as I am sure it is on his.
So thankfully, we do get a chance to meet up tomorrow (thank god for PLC) and god help anyone who knocks on his door cause ma'am I'm sorry but your son will jolly well not answer the door or you when his dick is in my ass or vice versa. As for the good and very loud Pastor X, I won't be taking his advice anytime soon; I'd much rather be Dynamic in Bed than be a Dynamic You-nut without his nuts.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
The past one and a half weeks have been the most eventful and certainly the most tiring yet enjoyable since I started work at the Firm 5 weeks ago. Staying back till eleven at night, marathon 9 hour session meetings, having the entire weekend burnt, the numerous research tasks, more admin and procedural matters to settle, assisting in the preparation of a defence to the opposing counsel's last minute application to strike out; the list goes on.
Needless to say, the erstwhile sacrosanct rule 1 of Surviving Pupillage 101 went out of the window some time ago. Staying back late though, wasn't all too bad. Here's why:
- You get to know how the system works and milk it for all its worth. Hence, the five dollars dinner allowance and the ability to claim for taxi fare after 8 PM were fully utilised; the dinner allowance was seldom claimed though as dinner was bought back by the secretary and charged to the clients throughout the entire course of the After the day's Trial-Client's meeting sessions. My cab fare came up to about $130.
- Getting all pally with the secretaries which is good because you hear all sorts of juicy details, know the ground better and best of all, they actually help you of their own accord and willingly at that. This duty is of course reciprocal: you help where you can and with regards to the same case.
- I found out the pattern of things in liti department: nice & relaxed working hours on normal days, hectic & heavy during the pre-trial and actual trial period. Something I think I'll be able to adapt to.
- You learn a lot more when you're on a big case. Naturally, you work a lot more too.
- I saved a lot of money on food. Everything gets charged to the client. Lunch & Dinner during meetings: Client. Pizza hut & Macs over the weekend: Client. Lunch at the Supreme Court Bistro during the trial: Client.
- I found out a lot of miscellaneous bits of information. Like how the conference room air con remote also works for the unit just above my workstation and how the office or more accurately the people left in the office really evolve after 8 : more chatty, we laugh more and I turn up the volume on my radio (kindly lent by the clerk) by 2 notches.
So even though it was tiring; hauling myself out of bed on some days was a Herculean task, going to work and staying late wasn't a drag. Shag yes, Pain no. Breakfast and Coffee certainly helped to jump start the day. Plus working on this mammoth case did have other benefits, I got to work with a Senior Counsel and an MP, see the way the case was handled and issues addressed, discuss the case, attend 4 days of the trial and see the Judge roll his eyes and diss the opposing counsels.
Some of the more memorable soundbites:
Mr A (Opposing counsel for 1st Defendant who got a real dressing down from the Judge on the first day of the trial and who got scolded daily thereafter): Your Honour, you are being fair to the Plaintiffs but you are not being fair to us, the particulars do not contain....
Judge: Mr A, can you please sit down so that we can continue with the trial? It is already 4.30 PM and you have wasted 30 mins of this Court's time on an issue I have said over and over again is a non issue.
Mr B (Opposing counsel for 2nd Defendant- after the Judge had dissed him on a number of his cross-examination points as being irrelevant): I'm sorry, Your Honour. Now, to return to my last meaningful question.
Judge: Which was yesterday.
Exchanges like these which were sprinkled liberally throughout the different days I attended were reward enough for all the late hours. Three days left for the trial, I've decided to pop in as and when I'm free after the PLC lectures to see the SC in action, this time in jeans and t-shirt while seated in the public gallery.
PLC is in itself a welcome break, 5 months of relative slackness, the ability once again to skip lectures and just laze about at home ^^. The Last Day wasn't bad, I got paid (finally ^^), got a couple of elusive chicks' numbers (even though they're old and wanted to trade numbers - secretaries remain infinitely useful) and went out with a bunch of the guy LA(junior lawyers)s for supper and Wine in what promises to be a monthly affair.
5 more months and I'll be back. And it's a thought which doesn't send chills down my spine or evoke any gloomy dismal feeling. The environment's nice as are the people (at my side at least ^^), the next 5 years will certainly be manageable. :)
Sunday, July 1, 2007
I'm sure most of you know about that stupid game, Simon Says, where a person says "Simon Says pull your left ear" and everyone has to pull his/her left ear, etc, etc. It's a game that's almost inevitably used as an 'ice-breaker' due to the sheer lack of preparation needed and the ability to make people do retarded things in the spirit of 'getting to know you better.' I say it's stupid because attempting to be an excellent listener and executing the most ridiculous sort of actions perfectly, simply cements one's status as an excellent peon.
Plus obeying commands from an unknown entity called Simon is neither logical nor appealing. Unless Simon happens to be a cute, hot, toned guy and Says ," Let's Fuck." Then I'll do as Simon Says. But when the Boyfriend says something, it needs to be addressed, quickly, even if I don't always agree with it.
So ok la, I haven't been mentioning him much in the past few posts which have been by and far largely work related. But dear, I'm pretty sure you do not wanted to be lumped together with lawyers with a lame sense of humour or in a post bemoaning the drudgery of work. Plus you know, the fact that I haven't been talking about the two of us doesn't mean I've forgotten about you.
We're still the same, glad to have each other for company, maybe a little more time together would be nice but on the brighter side of things, we save more money and have less time to argue about stupid things. Like why I went to watch transformers. (Ha ha kiddin). The conversation's the same, the company still appreciated, sex remains great. Alright, I won't mind more of the latter and I'm talking about the full course kind, work feeds the sex-drive more and you know my penchant for anal sex.
But basically, all I'm saying is that whatever I feel for you is not dependent on the number of times I mention you/us on the blog la you kotek and I know you know that too. So I'll just put that comment down to you having had a little too much to drink during that Villa Bali sojourn with Gerard and Gavin. ^^
I'm of course not blameless and Sean has said I'm becoming a workaholic, which I'm not, trust me. But when there are a multitude of things to be done within a tight span of time especially during this pre-trial period, staying-back late and burning the weekend is inevitable. So no point complaining about that right? :)
Even though I do space out sometimes, like earlier while on the phone with him while waiting for the cab I just called, I told Sean I'd call him back cause I needed to call my Dad to ask him to iron my work wear for tomorrow. Then the cab came and I got off the phone with my dad. And I clean forgot about returning the call; my mind instead filled with thoughts about the necessary documents/ authorities preparation before tomorrow's trial, additional issues for the research topic, necessary books to bring along, what time I had to haul myself out of bed in order to reach office by 7.40 AM, etc.
It was only when he called some 10 mins later as I was reaching home that I suddenly remembered I was supposed to return the call. He was understandably vocal in the loud but not pissed way when I told him I'd clean forgotten about returning his call. But I plead fatigue, after all staying back late for 4 days in a row and having my entire weekend burnt does exact a toll.
Still it's something I'll have to get used to, at least the pattern is discernible now. Relatively easygoing on normal days and really hectic/busy during the pre-trial and trial period. The DPP knows why I'm not complaining, that much. As for you dear, I'm still the same, maybe just in greater need of some recharging via my very favourite activity a-la-full course action. :)