Archive for May, 2006

holy fatherhood, batman!

I read this off a blog I subscribe to and nearly spurted milk out my nose.

Abe (age 3): I want to be Batman!
Theo (age 7): I want to be Batman!
Abe: I'll be the Batman of Earth One.
Theo: No, you have to be the Batman of Earth Two.

Abe (outside in polyester Thing costume, 85 degrees, sweating): It's clobberin' time!
Theo (from upstairs window): Yoo hoo, Ben, it's your Aunt Petunia!

Me: Hey, Abe, let's go for a walk.
Abe: No, Dad, let's run. You be the Flash who died. I'll be the one who took his costume.

Ah… the pleasures of comic in-jokes geekery… I hope my kids turn out like this, or at least my imminent nephew/niece/plaything.


fight of the century

Here’s something that’s too good not to post.

For the first time anywhere in the world a McDonald’s executive has faced the author of Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser. Steve Easterbrook, the boss of McDonald’s in the UK met the company’s sternest critic.

Quite a kick watching the UK boss of the world’s most evil-est company – Sorry, Bill! – trying to squirm his way out of Schlosser’s questioning.

Although I’m back to eating sporadically at McDonald’s, I was totally off it for months after reading the book. Problem is the book only dealt with McDonald’s unethical practices in the States, so I’m still quite curious bout the local version here. Unfortunately, Singapore isn’t exactly brimming with investigative journalists…

Fast Food Nation is seriously a must-read if you even half-care what you put into your body. The real kicker is when you realise the possibility that “There’s shit in the meat.”

20 Down, 32 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)

Mario Puzo’s most well-known for producing the Godfather novels, which I’ve not read. I vaguely remember watching Godfather 2 the film, but I’ll have to go back and watch those movies properly to appreciate the genre, I guess. I do love Brian De Palma’s Scarface – who has my 20th anniversary DVD?!!? – but that’s the extent of my involvement with the Mafia Dons.

I’m not exactly a fan of crime or Mafia novels, so despite the author’s winning track record, I’m still not a convert. Omerta is the story of the Don Raymonde Aprile and his adoptive nephew (and our hero) Astorre Viola. Needless to say, as per the genre convention, somebody gets whacked – no prizes for guessing who – and our hero gets to exact terrible revenge on all who are responsible. That’s really all you have to know.

Now I’m as much a fan of pulp ficiton as the next guy, but Astorre is written as an alpha male of a character who’s seemingly perfect in every way, so much so that its just really boring to read. Good-looking, check, popular with the ladies, check, respected and feared by his peers, check, super smart and unkillable, check. Boring, sia.

Come on lah, so bloody perfect, where got scared he die? Like some one-dimensional Jeffrey Archer protagonist, and I can’t stand Jeffrey Archer novels. Maybe it’s just me and my indifference to crime novels, but Omerta is just an OK read, good enough pulp fiction for reading in crowded hospital corridors, but not if you’re thinking to give your brain much of a workout.

(ISBN No: 0099296802) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book is Bret Easton Ellis’s Lunar Park.

11 hours

That's how long the surgery took. Bloody incredible for the surgeons to be on their feet and performing surgery for a marathon duration. If those guys aren't heroes, I don't what they are…

For me, those 11 hours started at 9am plus with a stab of abject terror as my dad was wheeled in, next, a hasty front of outright denial an hour later, which slowly melted into mindless boredom until about 530pm, when terror started to creep on me again, which subsided when the surgeons finally came out at 830pm to tell us that the surgery went well; my state of mind immediately flipped to a feeling I can best describe as HAPPY-LIKE-FUCK when they wheeled Dad out. I'm glad my 3rd and 5th uncles turned up for moral support, especially for my mum. Luckily I had/have Grace around to keep me sane as well. Thanks, baby.

Dad's doing pretty close to the best case scenario, no stroke, no paralysis, legs seem to be fine. Still unsure about the kidney and his blood oxygen levels are still quite low. Still in ICU, not really able to talk and feeling quite pissed off from being immobile and mute. He had a breathing tube in his mouth for more than 24 hours, couldn't sleep or talk properly, and kept giving us wild looks.

We've pretty much assuaged his fears of paralysis, but he's going bloody mad from constant itching. So still a little pissed off, but generally, this time is leagues better than his last operation 9 years ago. He was in a coma for 8 days then, and literally reduced to skin and bones. This time, he woke up pretty soon, and looks more or less like himself. We're incredibly thankful, hopefully he'll be fighting fit and home as soon as possible.

Thanks to my membersss Aaron and Willy for asking after him.

Dad’s operation tomorrow

I neglected to mention awhile back that my dad's operation was pushed back. Well, it's tomorrow, probably around 9plus in the morning. We'll be there at 7.
A lot of final details were only told to us by the doctors earlier today as we checked Dad into NUH. Quite a lot to consider at the last moment, but we're generally quite reassured. The element of risk is still quite large, but the lead surgeon assures us he's got it all pretty much covered.
Dad was in good spirits as we left, which is good.
Still, it'll be a long day tomorrow for all of us.

macbook pron

MacBook pics in the wild already! I’m trying to convince myself I really need this for NIE… Flickr set pointed out to me by Gizmodo.

Here’s a quick and dirty review from Create Digital Music.

As a portable music machine, unless you prefer bigger screens, it’s hard to go wrong with these computers. The only big downsides: black costs you extra, and like the mini before them, the integrated graphics are pretty limited for 3D.

And a slightly more in-depth look with better pics at Engadget.

Yes, you’re not getting that 15.4-inch display or the ExpressCard slot (remember, the iBook before the MacBook didn’t have a PC Card slot, either), nor are you getting that fancy ATI Mobility Radeon X1600, but you’re also forgoing that notably larger MacBook Pro power brick, mechanical latches, and a dimmer (though less reflective) display.

Yes, if I buy this, I will be making beatz… with a Z.

An upgrade to my preferred specs of 2GB Ram and 120GB HDD will SGD$3608 (with the Education promo, of course, heh), whilst MacBook Pro with upgrades will be SGD$5219.

Ooh, can buy MIDI keyboard and audio monitors with the leftover… then again, better let the early adopters spot the technical issues first, later macam like the MacBook Pro got heat and whine issues.

Mogwai live@Boston May 14th 2006

This is getting to be a bit of a habit. But here it is anyway, Mogwai in Boston just a few nights back. Unfortunately show opener Hunted By A Freak wasn’t recorded.

A taster for their gig here in August, where I will be orgasmically spasming for the entire set. Willy, you must hold me tight tight so I don’t fall down and make a fool of myself.

19 Down, 33 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)

Its been awhile since I’ve had the opportunity to immerse myself in a fantasy environment – not since my last reading of LOTR and the mind-numbingly tedious Wheel Of Time series – so it was with some anticipation that I picked up China Miéville’s The Scar at the recent book fair at the Expo. I figured at worst, I’d be down 6 bucks. Luckily for me, this was a damn good buy. High Browse has a write-up on the man himself here and here.

Fantasy’s probably too vague a genre here, I’d think in the popular vernacular of today, The Scar will fit nicely in Steampunk, which is a sort of mesh between the medieval and science. Kind of like if the future turned out the way Jules Verne thought it would, but fucked up further by many orders of magnitude. Miéville likes to term his stuff as Weird Fiction, which works just as well, I guess. Cause he’s one fucked up dude, man.

The novel takes place after the events of Perdido Street Station (which I now must read), in a world where science is more alchemy and magic than anything else, where sap-blooded cactus-men and mosquito men with sphincter mouths (you must read lah) live alongside human beings. Then there are the Remade, people who’ve undergone a thaumaturgical surgery of sorts, exchanging human parts for machine or animal parts. Some as punishment, while others for enhancement.

Bellis Coldwine, a stoic linguist, is on the run, undertaking an ocean voyage to the other side of the world, but hopes to return home once her troubles blow over. Tanner Sack – recently Remade for reasons not made explicit – travels on the same ship, but in the prison cells below decks, bound for the same place, but for a future as a slave. As in any good story, events transpire that they never get where they thought they were going, but instead go on to events beyond their (or our) wildest imaginings.

There will be undersea empires, interdimensional marine leviathans, the bloody EDGE OF THE WORLD (I’m not kidding), political intrigue and epic sea battles to satisfy the most rabid of fantasy geeks. All The Scar‘s really missing is one of those meticulously detailed world maps behind the front cover, but really, nothing beats a world that exists only in your head, and China Miéville’s a good a man as any to give you that world.

The Scar
(ISBN No: 0345444388) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be Mario Puzo’s Omerta.

the eraser

Oh my, two Radiohead posts in a row…

It appears we'll be having a little extra along with the new Radiohead album, as evidenced on greenplastic:

We received this message from W.A.S.T.E. tonight. It confirms the rumors that Thom has made an album:

this is just a note to say that something has been kicking around in the background that i have not told you about. its called The Eraser.
nigel produced & arranged it .
i wrote and played it.
the elements have been kicking round now for a few years and needed to be finished & i have been itching to do something like this for ages.
it was fun and quick to do.
inevitably it is more beats & electronics.
but its songs.
stanley did the cover.
yes its a record!
no its not a radiohead record.
as you know the band are now touring and writing new stuff and getting to a good space so i want no crap about me being a traitor or whatever splitting up blah blah…
this was all done with their blessing. and i don't wanna hear that word solo. doesnt sound right.
ok then thats that.

i think its out in july and im pretty certain XL are going to put it out.

love thom

I dunno, I can't really imagine a Thom Yorke album being in any way different from a Radiohead album. Still pretty exciting though.

Register for updates at the site here.

update: Release date will be July 11th and tracklist is as follows:

  1. the eraser
  2. analyse
  3. the clock
  4. black swan (apparently this is on the soundtrack of Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly!! Ooh, goose pimples!!) 
  5. skip divided
  6. atoms for peace
  7. and it rained all night
  8. harrowdown hill
  9. cymbal rush

Thanks to Stereogum.

Radiohead Live@Copenhagen May 6th 2006

Blimey, they even played Let Down!! It’s about bloody time they started touring again.

Get it here!!

Many thanks to Stereogum for the link.

update: Tamade, couldn’t get alot of tracks. Crap.