Saturday, May 05, 2007

First time in a long while that I'm wearing my CLs again. Hope my infection has finally cleared up. What happened earlier was that before I had realized that I had an eye infection, I thought that the discomfort I was feeling would be solved by replacing my old lenses with a new pair. When I started wearing my new pair, my left eye was still infected , and it damaged my new left lens so badly it went blurry on me. No choice in the matter, I had to buy yet another lens to replace the new damaged lens. Fortunately, Leow charged me only half-price for the replacement.

It's great to be rid of my clunky old glasses again, but I'm gonna have to be more careful with my lenses. Clean and disinfect them as directed, and not wear them any longer than is healthy. Guess that's the moral of the day.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The day of our planned for long, leisurely lunch began with a little anxiety about where to eat. The weekday high tea is almost non-existent already, and because we could only leave at 1400, many set lunch type places would be closing their kitchens within the next half-hour.

It was Josh that brilliantly suggested the little tea shop within Eclectic Attic in PS. Eclectic Attic stocks an array of antique furniture and knick knacks in such variety that made Josh's head spin. As it was, at our table, Amy, HP and Belinda shared an ornate bench carved with an ivy motif that cost nearly $4k; while Josh and I shared another $1k bench cushioned and covered over with black & white Holstein cow hide. Bizarre.

The set up is like an English tea house -- dainty yet not stuffy. The service is attentive and good humoured, they have to be to put up with us. They respond to the little porcelain hand bell placed at our table, and they come round often with hot water to top up our tea.

The a la carte lunch menu looks appetizing, though they feature foi gras which I try to avoid, but Josh gamely tried it as a side to his hamburger steak. My own steak, though juicy and tasty, was unfortunately quite stringy, held together by muscle fibre that took quite some work chewing. But then I think the place is better known for their tea menu.

I was quite impressed with the scones Amy ordered. They came hot and very fragrant served with butter and Devonshire cream and a choice of honey or jam. There are other cake pastries for the sweeter of tooth, as well as gelati. Their earl grey tea is quite remarkable in that it maintained it's pleasant flavour over a couple of top-ups and because the tea never grew too strong with prolonged soaking, there was no need to remove the tea bag at all. Dunno what brand of tea that was, but I'd like to find out.

In the evening, I had another steak. Met up with June and introduced NBS and Vince to Pepper Lunch. June chalked up enough stamps on her incentive card to get a free soft ice-cream. Macha flavoured, sprinkled over with a layer of green tea powder which I though was quite ok for $1.70, though June thought it was quite ordinary.

Another memorable Thursday spent in good company.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Never seen Sun Plaza so crowded before. Must be because today is the opening day for Spider-Man 3, and it's the Labour Day holiday to boot! A blockbuster tends to bring in good business for the mall too.

How was Spidey 3? Well, it was slick with a bunch of amazing CGI effects. Venom came off quite believably, though he didn't have as much screen time as I'd hoped. The Sandman, well, we've seen before, not all that much different visually from the sandstorm in The Mummy Returns, and I think they tested some of that sand-cloud effect in Ghost Rider from a couple of months earlier.

Compared to the previous 2 movies, #3 had a rather patchy storyline. Too many story threads being woven into too short a time frame to tell it all in. There was also a lack of a strong villain character holding the plot together, the way the Goblin in #1 and Doc Ock in #2 brought focus to the earlier 2. The Sandman, I suppose, came closest, but while he had pathos, his psychosis was not really from within himself, but rather as a result of being in wrong place at the wrong time. With Venom and the New Goblin, there are too many villain types sharing the spotlight. That may be a great opportunity for lots of action sequences, but dilutes the characterizations of each.

Speaking of character dilution, poor Gwen Stacey got the short end of the stick. She got an exciting sequence in the movie, but what Peter did to her was unforgivable, black costume notwithstanding. I know allowances have to be made for the film genre, but Gwen was Peter's first love and her character should never have been treated so shabbily. I'll always consider Loeb and Sale's 'Blue' as THE definitive Gwen Stacey story. So there.

Nevertheless, Spidey 3 still manages to play with our emotions (though not up to the intensity of 2). Not often a blockbuster movie ends with grown men shedding tears for each other, and perhaps some of the audience along with them. And JJJ and the Maitre 'd played by Bruce Campbell prove that the funniest scenes belong to those characters that take themselves the most seriously.

The Spidey franchise still thrills visually and charms emotionally, but it is getting a little tired and needs a nice long rest after this episode. In showbiz you always have to leave the audience begging for more.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Campus got transformed into something of a mini-carny today. Apart from these air puppets which never fail to make me feel inexplicably euphoric, there were other inflatable devices to bounce on too. The occasion, of course, was to celebrate the College's 30th birthday.

'deep took me on at the jousting station -- Othello vs the Duke. Whoever stays on his pedestal is the winner, though in our game I think the results were rather inconclusive. One thing I discovered was that our pedestals were intentionally unstable, so while we're trying to push each other off with our padded quarter-staffs, our legs and knees were wobbling all over the place at the same time. It didn't take long for a grown man to fall.

The celebrations were both formal and informal. The task of making loud music to keep the carny side awake fell to me and my trusty little crew of DJs. Actually, "DJ" doesn't accurately describe them, they were running their playlists off my laptop, so I guess that makes them mp3Js.

These are them who've been keeping me busy for most of the past couple of weeks working out a balance of scripted and unscripted on-air chatter to go with the noisy music they selected to play. On the one hand, they were supposed to keep the carny lively and happenin' while making various announcements as required every quarter hour or so, but on the other, they also had to announce for the formal part of the programme too: basically informing the people stuck on the carny side what the movements of the GOH were, and where various sets of people should be at what time. AND deal with a wildly successful (free) song dedication service as well. Most of them are either debaters or journos, which is how they volunteered (no quotation marks) to take on this duty. Great kids, these, and I'm so grateful to them for the job they did today.

And a couple of old friends dropped by to say "hi!" B'lina and Cara met us for a caffeine fix in Gardens after the celebrations were finally over. That was, after NBS (on my behalf) confiscated the laptop powering our little makeshift radio station, and that was all there was to the evening's entertainment. Everybody just had to go home then.

Nice to catch up with Cara before she leaves for post-grad and possibly work in Holland. Yeah. Who knows when she'll swing by around here again? Anyway, happy birthday to the college, and happy trails, Cara!