Monday, July 18, 2005

A really wet afternoon, but at least I can say that I have had a clean car for almost 24 hours before it rained. This event is a near world record and is worth noting on this page. The wet weather had me scrambling, umbrella in hand, to join Anthony and Vince at Acacia for lunch. I had to negotiate the numerous ankle-deep puddles in Bishan Park, trying as best as I could to keep my trainers dry. I hate wet shoes.

It's sad that few people eat at Acacia. This afternoon we occupied one table and had the full attention of the lone wait staff to ourselves. Just because the food tends to be too salty doesn't mean there's a need to have a general boycott of the place. You have a mouth, so just ask for less salt. I'm sure the chef will oblige.

Had to rush lunch as I was on duty at YJ, and I arrived just shy of my appointed briefing time. Anyway, I got caught up pretty quickly to what was going on, so that was ok. Listening Comprehension Exam. In Chinese. The exam text gets broadcast over the radio on the station playing Classical music, Symphony 92.4FM.

I guess there's a reason to use a serious radio channel for a serious exam, but the kids are seated at their venue just after lunch, half-an-hour before the paper commences, they're confined to their seats and maintain communication silence throughout. To hit their MTV-tuned minds with such "soothing music [qtd. from invigilators' instruction sheet]" and watch them slowly nod off to lala-land one-by-one seems like an inhumane thing to do. After all, shouldn't kids have the right to take their exam with a fresh, alert mind instead?

Maybe we should hit them with a dose of Good Charlotte or Green Day or Simple Plan instead so they'll stay awake and bopping for that interminably long lag period, and maybe it'll focus their minds on issues of social responsibility too while we're at it. Too bad it's not me making policy around here.

Lost my chance to collect my copy of the new Potter book again. I had it delivered to my Post Office instead of my home and for 2 days running I've been arriving a half-hour after closing time. That's kind'a frustrating. Mei says it's not worth my $40, but I've already paid for it so I'll have to enjoy it now like it or not. But first, let me get my hands on my copy!

Our Neverland Foursome met again tonight to watch War of the Worlds, which we had intended to watch since KL but never got around to doing so. It was a mad rush to catch the 7pm at Toa Payoh, at least for Vince and Amy. Let's not time it like that again, seems to be the consensus after today.

By our current set of expectations from a big-budget sci-fi blockbuster, the plotline from this Victorian age proto-sci-fi tale is ludicrously disappointing, and Spielberg's cutsey alien designs don't help much either in raising tension. But then again, as in similar stories, it's not the aliens we're meant to fear, but rather people in a crisis who simply lose their heads and become nasty, irrational, selfish and desperate, whatever they may have been before the crisis hits.

Other observations from WotW:
The New Yorkers standing around gawking as the first tripod rises from the ground parallels the behaviour of the beachgoers before the Tsunami hit.
The aliens are damn inefficient as exterminators -- those 2 beam weapons each tripod is equipped with will take forever to kill people off one at a time.
After an EMP attack, stalled cars get conveniently pushed to the side of the road clearing the way for other working vehicles.
In case you're wondering why Grandma's house (heck, her neighbourhood!) isn't affected by the goings-on in the world, it's because we need to look at the mythological resonances of 'Gramdma's house' rather then the literal. Grandma's house is the ultimate safe-haven. It promises reunion, conflict resolution, home and acceptance, the end of the journey, and so it is for our protagonist and his own. Else, how will we know when the movies over and we can go home... right?

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