这墙里有故事

报道:杨漾 摄影:袁承锋(联合学生摄影队)

大部分的同学对组屋都很熟悉吧?现在的组屋,不但越建越高,环境设施也比以前进步好多。那阿公阿嬷那个年代住的组屋,同学们又了解多少呢?今天,就跟着大拇指去走走看看,认识本地最早的组屋。

孔思敏姐姐(23岁)从小就在中峇鲁生活、成长,她和家人在那一带住了将近20年。虽然现在思敏姐姐已经搬离了那里,但是她仍忘不了中峇鲁的旧式组屋和杂货店。而用思敏姐姐自己的话说,“中峇鲁有着悠久的历史,如果墙可以说话,它们一定有很多故事可以和我们分享。”  同学们,若你经过中峇鲁一带,一定也会对那里的屋子留下深刻的印象。  这些组屋不像现在修建的组屋那般高,大多数只有三、四层楼,而且还属于战前的旧式住房。大拇指仔细算了一下,这些组屋大概有将近70年的历史了呢!

每栋都有螺旋梯  
放眼望去,组屋的设计很有规律,每一栋楼都有统一的橙色外观和螺旋梯(Spiral staircase)。旋转梯级非常狭隘,上楼下楼要十分小心,不然肯定会滚下楼梯。而且,这些组屋都集中在一处,形成了一个很有特色的小区,不但环境幽静,在附近高楼的衬托下,更显得古色古香。  

大拇指在这一带游走时,碰到陈永顺老伯伯(58岁),他表示这一带的组屋已经有很久的历史了,而且在英国殖民地期间就修建好了。陈伯伯透露,其实有好些组屋还设有防空壕呢!果真很有战前殖民地时期的色彩。陈伯伯说:“防空壕以前是为打仗时准备的,现在就租出去给别人当仓库用了。”

组屋里的“飞机楼”  
更有趣的是,陈伯伯还告诉大拇指,附近还有“飞机楼”!但到底什么是“飞机楼”,陈伯伯自己也说不上来,他只知道,“飞机楼”是因为四周有组屋围绕停车场而得名,而且这个形容词在老一辈那里流传了很久了。  大拇指有了这个“线索”后,不停地一路找一路问,问了好几个住在附近的伯伯阿姨,竟然没有人知道这“飞机楼”在哪里。后来,大拇指来到一片周围有组屋围绕的停车场,看了很久,最后认为这里也许就是陈伯伯口中的“飞机楼”了。

旧组屋改装成酒店  
中峇鲁路第53座和54座组屋的组屋最近披上新装,摇身变成经济型酒店。这两座四层楼高的组屋,原本共有78间三、四房式单位。  酒店取名为华星酒店,目前已改装了150间客房。完成改建后,酒店就会有288间客房,并设有商业中心、居家办公单位、餐馆和商店等。酒店预计今年就能正式营业。

中峇鲁组屋经历过战火  
中峇鲁发展于1936年,这批住屋是在上个世纪30年代由改良信托局根据当时英国新镇模式建造。虽然屋子经历了战火,仍然完整地保存下来。1965年后,政府把单位卖给原住户,让他们拥有自己的房子。  

2003年,政府宣布中峇鲁为保留区,富有殖民地色彩的组屋区,永久地成为了我们历史遗产的一部分。

Taking pictures is the best you can do?!

I am amused at how cowardly people can be. Take a look at this example (the link & the left photo are from Asiaone.com).

The bitch was easily seen shamelessly securing four seats in the MRT.

And nobody told her off?

See, here you were paying the same fee & thus, entitled a seat (of course if you're gracious, you'll let the mother carrying a baby to take the seat). And you saw some woman bitch claimed four seats by ingeniously using her arm & her belongings. So you're naturally incensed & what did you do next? Taking a photo of her!

Wonderful.

As if it's going to make any effect.

Anyway, I'll shamelessly nominate this article to Tomorrow.sg (whether it's accepted or not is not within my power, but hey I'm doing something to spread how pathetic people can react to such a situation).

Everybody can do their part...to confront Real Life bitches/assholes.

I recalled once where I was queueing to pay my stuff in NTUC FairPrice (Heh. The website's not bad). One shopper right in front of me suddenly left her shopping carts in front of me & vanished from my sight.

Nothing magical about it, she vamoosed to get more stuff as the queue was quite long. Guess she expected me to understand that she reserved a queueing place with her carts & wanted me to push her carts along as the queue slowly moved forward.

Yeah, right.

This is what I did. I pushed her carts sideways so not to block my way. After quite some time (trust me, that bitch took her own bloody sweet time to shop), she popped into the queue line & loudly asked where her shopping carts were.

By this time I was already in the midst of paying for my stuff & I just grinned when she was heard to exclaim who moved them. When I left the place, I noticed she's back at her rightful place: at the end of the queue line.

The not-so-amazing spidey

With such a weather,
the itsy bitsy spider
is wet & cursing.


PS. Touch-up keywords: brightness, contrast, gamma with individual colours (red, green, blue) varied one at the time. Unedited (only re-sized) will look like this:

subdued family



life goes on.

only Suede still looks under cupboards and does her now routine whines, looking for something. and then she will sit quietly in that corner, waiting.







*YaaaaY !!!* You can post on Xanag anonymously now !!!

Thanks everyone !


My teen, I used Bon Jovi's song It's My Life.




Crop at Groovie Java.






Yep, what I am trying to do with my Life *LOL*





Thanks for looking ! Aida






Smokin' Aces

Not really impressed with the movie. Well, it's still enjoyable as in it's a cool shoot-out with a cool background music. Quite entertaining.

"A $1 Million Hit, Seven assassins, 1 Target, Awesome Shoot-Outs" that's what the United International Pictures Singapore says. By the way, the link also leads to a six-part online comic. Click 'Now Showing', click the movie poster, and click 'Featurettes'. Only read one about the master of disguise so far.

The show is rated M18 for coarse language (can't expect the hitmen to speak politely, can you?) & needless to say, violence.

One group of the killers, namely The Tremors are especially appealing because they are not merely crazy, but they are also smart. I'd like to elaborate further with one or two examples but that will spoil the story. Suffice to say the keywords: 'lift', 'motor', and 'FBI wallet'.

That will be the difference between Real Life & Fictional One. In Real Life, like the recent Virginia Tech Massacre, if the killer were to decide to escape & succeeded in doing so, I very much doubt that anybody would be thrilled about it.

In the Fictional Life, like this movie, audience can easily symphatize even with the bad guys. For example when Buddy 'Aces' Israel is coerced to agree that as part of the 'deal', he has to surrender his right man, Ivy to FBI, Buddy is shown very much ridden with guilt.

Dammit, that's a spoiler, isn't it?

If you're to watch it, you'll understand that it's not a major spoiler. This Wikipedia article, on the other hand, is a major spoiler. Anyway, it states that there's an alternate ending for the movie. I didn't manage to catch it, though.

I stayed till the end. I patiently let the credit lines scroll till the very end. Till the light of the theatre was switched on & the cinema attendances started clearing the room. Nada. No alternate ending. :(

Time-based Media?

What is Time-based Media? Why is 'time' an issue of importance in digital media and the contemporary artist? Why is it relevant to the arts and artists in Jamaica? What qualifies a medium to be placed in this category and is it specific to medium or is it more of an approach or aesthetic? How does it function in the fine arts as opposed to the commercial industry?What applications has it been previously used for and what potential does it have for our cultural industry? What about the creative process differs from using non-time-based media and does it allow for intuition and inventiveness? Should its value as a product be different from that of other media?

together again



Frazzle Black was taken by pest control but she is back, reunited with inseparable pal, Orange White. these small victories keep us all going.

on another note, cat flu has been making its rounds with Suede, the Malay family's ginger tom and a black tom from a neighbouring block being the worst hit. but they are recovering. hopefully that is the end of it.

love much, one day at a time


"Need not Panadol." / Hey, that's five and this will make / another haiku.

A splitting headache
Slowly soothed by a hot day.
The sweats ooze the pain.

It's raining, man!


Sudden rain falling.
Love the sound it beats the floor.
Nature’s lullaby.

New Media in Jamaican Art

What is new media, and how do you feel it can be used by Jamaican artists? What cultural interventions can occur through its use? Is it only for an elite set of privelaged techno-freaks? Does it deviate or dilute Fine Art or can it be used to assist the artistic process? Does it feel like a European or American import that is trendy at the moment or could there be more potential than we give it credit for? Should the artist using new media look to other mediums such as Painitng and Film to create value and determine aesthetics or does it require its own approach?

You are invited to discuss the above questions and raise your own.

Work-Life Balance

Came across this Asiaone.com article during lunch, "Work-life balance boosts workplace ethics" & sighed. I begin to suspect perhaps the term is oxymoronic. Perhaps there is no such thing as "work-life balance". (Or perhaps, I should not have skipped lunch again just to catch up with some news. Yeah, that too.)

No, I am not bitter. More resigned, maybe. (Or hungry. Never mind)

Some say to work hard and play hard. Well, I did try. With the expense of my sleep. That I cannot afford for I would hardly be able to do my best at work the next day.

Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises (1959-1994) was quoted to say:
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends, and spirit - and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. (The full quote: here.)

'Brian', 'life'. Hmm...somehow it reminds me that I have yet watched "Life of Brian".

Anyway. Just thinking aloud. What if Work-Life balance is indeed possible if your work becomes your life? *shudder*

Okay, so it may work for some. Those driven--no, make it 'whipped'--for excellence. You know the jargon. But me? I still wish to retain the ability to switch off my mind from work as soon as I step out from the workplace. And more time to catch up with my sleep.

goodbye sweet Bobby

it was the longest 48 hours as we watched if the treatment of last recourse would take. it didn't and Bobby passed away in the hospital yesterday, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts and an empty nook between the man and woman reserved only for him at bedtime.









it was the same day that our malay neighbour called to say that leukemia, ailing for days, has also succumbed.

we prayed for angels to comfort our suffering animals and they did one better.


(adapted from Sarah Jane Szikora's Heavenly Abode)

And Then There Were None.

Supposedly the best selling novel by Agatha Christie, "And Then There Were None" appeals me in its conciseness. The personality of the ten characters were sufficiently described--and killed of course.

Ten strangers with diverse backgrounds were invited to an island by a mysterious host that never appeared. On the first night after dinner, they were greeted by a recorded message who accused each of them of a crime. One by one was then killed according to a nursery rhyme, Ten Little Indians.

The killer won't be revealed till the end of the book.

It is a puzzling crime with a touch of horror as most of the ten guests were haunted by their past misdeed. Guilt-induced horror. Plausible without overly done.

You will like this book if you are tired with a crime novel featuring a detective. The good guy always wins. The detective will surely solve the mystery for you.

But here, there won't be such a detective. You are the detective. You will be baffled about what actually happened. And you will find out the truth eventually.

Indecently Stupid Proposal

Received the following email:

PROPOSAL.

Dear Friend,

My name is Mr. Chan Lee, I am a staff of Bank of China, Our late client named Mr. Hamadi Hashem made a fixed deposit amount of $17.3m he did not declare any next of kin in any of his paper work, I want you as a foreigner to stand as the beneficiary to transfer this funds out of my bank into your account, after the successful transfer, we shall share in the ratio of 30% for you, 70%for me.Should you be interested please send me your:

1,Full names,
2,occupation,
3,private phone number,
4,current residential address.

All I need from you is your readiness, trustworthiness and dedication. Please email me directly on my private email address: (chan01_lee@yahoo.com.hk) so we can begin arrangements and I would give you more information on how we would handle this venture.

Regards,
Chan.


Noted that the sender's email is ch_lee001@yahoo.com.hk. Hate such discrepancy. Okay, that little point aside, aren't 'Chan' & 'Lee' both surnames? Moreover, what kind of idiot addresses himself as 'Mr.'? Hi, my name is Mr. Earl. Right.

And even if the transfer is successful (though I very much doubt so), I don't think anybody will be stupid enough to give 70% of the money to him.

Sure sometimes greed blinds our judgement. We are all human. But please, I'm sure we are not that greedy.

Better luck next time, Mr. Chan Lee!

DISCLAIMER: The blogger is not to be held responsible if any of you is indeed stupid enough (long sigh) to send an email to this so-called Mr. Chan Lee--an action that may result to subsequent act of fraud whereby you will be a victim.

Hi, I am deaf. Would you like to ...

...buy a little something for $5?

That's what written in a little card put together on my table with the keychain shown in the picture. I stopped eating my dinner & noticed the person--a young caucasian girl--who put the items on my table continued to do the same on other tables.

The card had a little UK flag printed on it.

I was mildly curious about what to do with the stuff. That 'little something for $5' must have referred to the keychain. Assuming one wants to purchase, how to make the payment? I saw other tables seeking to learn how the people sitting there reacted. They must be wondering as well.

As to answer our question, the peddler was seen strolling back towards the tables. On some tables, she collected both items. On others, the cards & $5 leapt to her hands.

That's it.

I don't know why others bought the item. Pity on the deaf seller? Don't think so. I observed her constantly smiling not only while collecting the cards & the money, but also when she took back the cards & the keychains.

I viewed the card just as a tool to help the transaction to be understood. Must admit that I find the method is refreshingly guilt-free.

You know how it is when you are being approached during your dinner by someone looks so pitiful offering to sell you a packet of tissues. Pitiful because he/she may be old or handicapped or sometimes, both. See, you are feeling guilty if you refuse to buy the tissues. And you'll equally feel bad if you buy them because you know you don't need the tissues.

Not in this situation, though.

I was able to decide whether to buy it or not based on a simple premise of whether I need it or not.

The question of my decision is one may be lightly considered, and it should not be for you, kaypoh readers to presume to set yourself up as the one person able to answer it. And so I won't leave it with all of you: Which item was taken back together with the card from my table,--the keychain, or the five dollars?

PS. the last paragraph with apology to Frank R. Stockton. Can hardly resist. Heh.

My Name Is ...


Don't really like the comedy "My Name Is Earl". However the particular episode, "Buried Treasure" last Wednesday night (don't ask, it's supposed to be on Saturdays) did impress me. No, not that it's hilarious. Heh. I love the way the point of view is shifting from Earl to his brother, Randy to his (Earl's) ex-wife, Joy to the ex-wife's new husband, Crabman and finally to the librarian, Dotty.

And they all faithfully follow the format of the TV i.e. a little voice over prior to the title of "My Name Is ..." is shown.

It starts with Earl, Randy & Joy sneak into a library to steal. They take some silverwares. Too expensive to sell, hence the three of them decide to bury the treasure.

Earl then decides to send a ransom note to the librarian. He hides in the bushes & waits her to drop the money bag in the designated rubbish bin. While waiting, he sees his brother Randy greets the librarian. The homeless is then seen digging into the rubbish bin & the money bag explodes into his face.

A few policemen zoom in to catch the homeless. A trap. Don't underestimate the old librarian.

Earl realizes he is almost caught & thinks that it may be a Sign from above that he is not to be benefited from this particular venture. As if to further reinforce about the Sign, the bushes where he is hiding suddenly ignite.

Fast forward to the current Earl a few years later when he wants to return the silwerwares to the librarian as part of the List. He undigs the place together with Randy, but he cannot find the items. (As this scene will be repeated many times later, let's call it for short the Undigging Scene.)

Up to this point, the voice over (thought-sound, uhm, whatever) is mostly Earl's.

Then it shifts to Randy's, followed with a title "My Name Is Randy". He accounts on what actually happens. The flashback is shown about how Randy earlier undigs the silverwares & passes them to one conman. Randy is told the place where to collect his money. He is not told specifically from whom to collect. He is just told to ask "Do you have the stuff" to people in some place. That place is where the librarian drops the money bag.

As he doesn't know whom to ask that question. He asks everybody including the librarian. He also sees the librarian drops the money bag which he thinks as a packet consists of food. He tells the homeless that he just sees someone throws away food. The homeless goes to take the money bag which later explodes.

(Suffice to say, Randy will not get the money. He asks the same question to a gay which apparently shows him "other" stuff to Randy's shock)

Here Randy's voice over stops & the scene changes back to the Undigging Scene.

This time, the scene is witnessed by Joy who is sitting nearbly looking cozy & smug. Her voice over is heard & followed with "My Name Is Joy".

She narrates how she gets suspicous of Earl & Randy after the treasure is burried & how she decides to replace the treasure with common cutlery & re-bury the treasure some where else. She is very proud of her action & is shown driving a car later singing & smoking simultaneously. Incompatible activities which surely result to her coughing. She quickly stops her car & throws the cigarette butt which later cause the bushes (where Earl is hiding) to be caught in fire. The mystery of the burning bushes is solved.

Back to the Undigging Scene, Joy is telling what actually happens to Crabman. And this is when the Crabman's voice over taking over. Followed with "My Name Is Crabman".

The audience is shown that Crabman is actually undigging the exact place where Joy earlier buries the real treasure. He does so to bury his dead goldfish. He discovers the silverwares & sells them to...the librarian.

Back to the Undigging Scene where Earl finally decides that the treasure is somehow lost. Together with Randy, he visits the library to give some "donation" money. There, they are surprised to see the silverwares back in the showcase in the library.

And yes, here is when the voice over of the librarian is heard & the title page changes to "My Name Is Dotty". And that's the end.

Sorry for the spoiler. For consolation, I cannot catch what the librarian says. But I guess there must be some twist about what the so-called treasure. Perhaps, she always keeps the real ones safely at home? And the stolen ones are not valuable. Still just to put up on appearance, she reports them to be missing? Heh.

中峇鲁组屋改头换面变酒店

Click on image above for enlarged version

Bobby in hospital

Bobby reacted badly to a new course of medication for his overlicking. after unsuccessful but harmless attempts at antibiotics and steroids, anti-fungal seems pretty innocuous as a treatment but it has wreaked extreme havoc on his immune system. a possible diagnosis, although the attending vets have been vague, is Feline Infectious Peritonitis, characterised by breathing difficulties, lethargy, loss of appetite, visual disturbances, abnormal behaviour and a wobbly gait. it is rare but final.

our fragile, sensitive little boy, you hang in there.

WE ARE ABOUT FILM


A week or so ago, I was in attendance at the CPTC free Film Festival to see ‘The Future of Food’. The documentary was in keeping with the activist sentiment of many of the other films. It could be gathered that the audience was deeply affected by the intermittent muffled cries of surprise and shock at the thought of food being used as a political tool in America’s pursuit for world dominance. Conspiracy theories abound and left many of us vowing never to eat any food derived from U.S. corn produce (www.thefutureoffood.com). David Rubinson, the passionate festival organiser and CPTC for doing anything for free in our currently entrepreneur-driven Kingston and especially as it is something to benefit public awareness. Nevertheless what struck me about the festival was a statement made by Angela Patterson, CPTC’s CEO, before the screening: ‘We are about film’

CPTC is apparently seeking to secure its place in our still relatively untouched film industry. There is a lot of talk about film and Jamaica now particulary with the Brand Jamaica campaign which is active now. The idea of ‘Film’ and its related industry is cool, hip, seductive and perhaps for this reason connects with the image Jamaica presents to the world. What does it really mean to say we have a film industry? Which model will be employed in Jamaica: the Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood, European Avant-garde approach. Maybe it will be a new aesthetic related particularly to our culture. Will it have any bearing on artistic pursuit, fuelled and funded by political and state interests, or will it be replicas of imported genres? I suppose the point I am getting at is, what does it really mean to say in Jamaica that ‘We are about film’?

cats in silhouette

Malaysia Tak Boleh!

I was laughing when I came across this Asiaone.com article, "Malaysia seeks to rein in bloggers: report".

Malaysia may compel bloggers to register with the authorities to curb the spread of malicious content on the Internet, a newspaper said on Thursday, prompting cries of outrage from Web writers.

Citing national security concerns, a deputy minister told parliament on Wednesday that the ruling might be imposed on bloggers using locally hosted Web sites, the Star said.

Ridiculous. Who wants to go through the trouble of registering one's blog to the Authority? According to M-W.com, 'blog' is defined as 'a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer'. And the thing with 'personal' is it usually just doesn't mingle well with the Authority.

bobby, what a view



surprised i can still type. (revisit: this was taken a few days before Bobby became, now irretrievably, distressed. such a cheeky little boy before that. keep your tail up at the bridge, Bob Bob, we are thinking of you.)

yes Mary, it's so good to see how kittens from the animal family alumni have grown. here's Skoda. she now has her own blog which she shares with new mates, Braun and Mikki.

their mummy, Mighty Mouse faced the age old dilemma of cat lovers whole Singapore over, what to do with stray cats on death row besides turning their home into their very own SPCA? they chose to open their home once again and that's how Mikki and briefly, blessed Mikey, became part of their family.

the animal family still has 2 rescued strays in the utility room until we are satisfied that the streets are safe again. white grey has passed on, given up on this miserable life that has shown him little but the back of the pest control truck and the pound. all 3 cats were ill from something they caught from their cheerless transit (somehow, they don't come out quite the same). Gin-Gin and Bon-Bon however, have stayed strong and are recovering beautifully.

over the week, the animal family has been told that this all seems like an exercise in futility: sterilise cats, they still get caught, claim cats from pound and they end up not making it anyway. through all of which, no perceivable dent in the number of strays that continue to be caught and (humanely) destroyed has really been made.

still, we should not make it easy for them to continue their vicious culling cycle. they will just have to contend with the fact that some of these cats are not going to go quietly.

Looking at this poster is hard.


With two in a row...
Not looking, is way harder.
Quit smoking, you fool.

Can the campaign, please?
Disturbing ads everywhere.
TV and bus stops.

Promise we won't smoke.
Smokers, do read the captions.
Your own health, damnit!

Smoking is cool...Not.
Seven deaths every day here.
Choose to live, instead.

20th Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF): 18/04/07 - 30/04/07

The left logo was from the official SIFF homepage.

During the last year event, some of the movies I watched were "It's Only Talk" & "GIE", directed by Ryuichi Hiroki & Riri Riza respectively. This year they again will have their shows screened: Ryuichi Hiroki with "M" & Riri Riza with "3 Days to Forever".

Tried to book "M" (the movie, not the housewife.), it was fully booked. Called the hotline (just in case the SISTIC homepage was down), it was fully booked.



The timing for "3 Days to Forever" is a bit bad. Damn. I won't be able to reach the cinema on time during the weekdays. =(



I'm doubtful to catch the free shows like I did last year (Watched "Coffee and Milk", "Lonely Planet", "She3", "The Fish", "One Shot", and "Replay Revenge").

Then again, maybe I will.

As today, I have my eyes on "German Animation", "F*ck", and "Footy Legends". Hopefully by this evening, I should have some of the tickets bought.

Bird of Pray (2) - or I simply don't know what to title this.


A bird deep in thought.
Staring at the lone hand glove.
Curiosity.

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