Day 45: Meryl Streep, The Descendants and the Merlion

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This is going to be a stir fry post – i mean  a lot of different things put together and blended into one post. The idea is not to be coherent, but only to put things out as they occur in my mind.

I love Meryl Streep. I mean, I looovvvveee Her! What a talent! If you observe the range of her characters from Kramer Vs Kramer, Sophie’s choice, Devil wears Prada, Julie and Juliet and now The Iron Lady – it’s simply OMG. I saw Julia and Juliet immediately after watching The Devil wears Prada and I was totally blown away by her character. Such actresses are rare and Kudos to Hollywood for bringing in all these amazing roles for an actress like her. In India, an actress past her age would now be playing cranky mother in laws or plump mothers as the supporting character to the Hero (usually older than her). The Doubt is another amazing movie . She has undoubtedly invoked an entire generation of moviegoers to the true power of acting.

In the Iron Lady, there’s this scene where she looks out the window and the screen only shows her face. There’s the sound of something in the street, a bicycle at one corner, suddenly the sounds of birds chirping – and we see this all on her face. What’s more she’s very old, probably suffering from Dementia and each sound invokes different emotions in her – it’s amazing how Meryl Streep does this! I tried doing this scene myself. I imagined myself myself to be old, then sick and forgetful, lonely and bereaved, but I was once a prime minister and some of that strength ought to be there somewhere – and then I do this drama on my face. It was hard to just pretend to be slow and old, and to put all of the above together – impossible. I am quite sure I looked retarded – I found my chinese land lord staring at me weirdly when I turned back.  I briefly considered explaining all this to her – NOW that, would have been an oscar winning performance (She doesn’t know any English and I don’t speak Chinese)

 

Then I saw the Descendants today – another great picture by Alexander Paine. I love Clooney in that. That boy loving bastard has done it again – a brilliant performance, untouched by stardom – a plain human being. While the Iron lady has nothing special in terms of script and is carried along by the sheer brilliance of Meryl Streep’s acting, The Descendants is all about the script. It’s such a gelato script. The depiction of what would have been a families’ sad and tragic story in the terms of humor. Kudos to the script writer. I should specially mention the three kid actors in the movie (I’m including Sid – the retarded bf to Susie). It must say volumes about the movie that the theatre in Singapore that I went to see it was fully packed.

After Up in the Air, another brilliant performance by Clooney (but not Oscar worthy)

Also, been exploring a lot of Singapore. Went to the Raffles place today – Great view from the bay there. I’ll put up some pictures as soon as I am ready to upload by blog on Singapore exclusively!!

 

 

 

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Day 44: Why do chinese twinks dress up gay?

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I notice lot’s of chinese people everywhere – and there are a disproportionately higher number of chinese twinks around me given that I work in a university – who by most American standards would be considered gay. This is not in their mannerisms but in the way they dress. I saw a couple today and I swear to God, I couldn’t make up which was the guy and which was the girl. I guess this is where Singapore’s metrosexuality has led it to – to complete unisexual identity. Many kids dress up rather wierdly – very pronounced hair color, really tight fitting t-shirts, often very revealing tank tops, sometimes with even eye liners. Also, common is the caesar cut hair style – which I have seen in so much profusion only in American gay Bars.

Just when you think that they are gay, they will prop up a girl in either side and start making out. Perhaps the error lies in approaching fashion with prejudices in mind. For example, In India, it is quite common for men to walk holding hands. Of course, it is fast running out of fashion as a ‘gay awareness’ spreads through the middle class. Also, just out of necessity, it is quite common for men to share rooms and even beds in many cities, so it is in general not considered inappropriate to have some body contact, as long as it is the right parts that are touching 😉 I see guys racing along in motorbikes with the guy at the back tightly hugging the person in the front – and THIS IS NOT GAY! In the states, you would think twice about putting your arm around your buddy. Perhaps the western society is getting too sensitive about the whole gay thing.

I’m curious to see how the whole gay scene is like in Singapore. I just learned today that Grinder and Jacked are huge hits here as well – big shocker 😉 Sex somehow has a way of breaching cultural and linguistic barriers 🙂 If anyone has an idea of how to go about being gay in Singapore, do let me know….

Day 43: In Singapore and the world’s smallest room.

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Wow! Can’t believe that I haven’t written anything for over a week now. I wanna blame it on traveling and exhaustion – but the truth is that I was simply lazy to do so.

I am in Singapore now. Today is my third day here. I’m living in the world’s smallest room. It’s so small that the only free space is the size of a box – even a dog would feel cramped in here. What’s more there is no window – which implies that there is no natural lighting. Every second of every day looks exactly the same. I can easily run experiments on human biological clock here – there is no way anyone can tell the time. I’m attaching a picture, just so that you know I’m not exaggerating.

The world's smallest room

Apparently, rent is very expensive here. It’s after all a very small city – the total end to end length is hardly 35 kms. That’s nothing. Kottayam, my hometown and my no means a big city, is larger than this. But Singapore also has a huge population – over three million – a mix of Chinese (majority), Malay and Indian. On the very first day here, on my drive from Changi airport to the university, I asked my cab driver if people had private cars in Singapore. He told me that only the very rich had their own cars. The government requires every car owner to purchase a Certificate of Entitlement (COE! C – O  – E! He emphasized it ten times before I got what he was saying) that in itself is worth over 50,000$ (sgd) This in addition to the cost of the car, taxes and insurance premiums make it inexorably expensive.

But the people don’t really need cars – the public transportation is that good. If the bible were written in Singapore it would start like this –

                            God said “Let there be MRT” and Singapore was made.

The MRT goes everywhere, is affordable and very clean. The bus service is equally good – all air conditioned and easily understood. I don’t see how anyone can get lost here – you’ll reach an MRT at least and then make your way to wherever you wanna go!

But of course, being a hub of multi millionaires from all of South East Asia, I wasn’t surprised to find many private cars as well.

The second line of the Singaporean Bible would be:

 God said “Let there be food”. And all was food.

I had a Kaya toast for breakfast. With half boiled eggs and creamy coffee. I had chicken rice with roasted chicken for lunch with a side of Korean red bean curd. Followed by a soy green tea latte (Yumm!!!) from Starbucks. Yesterday’s lunch was grilled fish with butter rice. Tomorrow I’ll have some fish balls with noodles. All this has hardly cost me 10 $ (sgd). That’s approximately 8 USD!! It’s so cheap. In fact, people here – especially students and bachelors don’t cook at all – it’s as expensive to cook as it is to eat outside. I better phrase it like this: It’s as cheap to eat outside as it is to cook. So then why cook?

It’s like every single cuisine in Asia converge on this one spot. It’s surprising that I don’t see a lot of Obese people around. Wouldn’t all this food make one fat? I am yet to see an eatery that was deserted. People eat everywhere. But maybe the key to this in the next bit of wisdom that my  cab driver told me: Everyone works in Singapore. Nobody has to look for work.

That would make sense – people eat and then work. In about three month’s I myself can testify to this. Either I’ll be a fat little pig or else will remain exactly as I am now. Will let you know!!!

Perhaps I should start a separate blog on Singapore. I’ll fill it with pictures of food!!! I’m definitely buying a lot of Kaya from here. Will have to make this popular in the states. Wait and watch!!

Day 42: A flashy day!

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It’s official. I’m in love with Flash CS4. Kudos to a site that I came across that had the Actionscript sequences for a number of cool videos. That’s when I began to realize the power of flash, and things started falling into place. Here’s the website, incase anyone is interested:http://www.pixelhivedesign.com/tutorials/

Check out the live water demo. How awesome is that!!

I’m cautiously optimistic about the website now. After a lot of struggle and having spent over half of my allotted time, I now have a mental image of what the site should look like and how to get there.

Let’s see where this is headed.

 

Day 38: The fraternity of the ring

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Ever since I heard about fraternities, way back when I was a child, I have wanted to be part of one. I was very drawn by the idea of brotherhood – of being united at the soul with a lot of other young people. Perhaps it was the loneliness that I used to feel growing up – Yes, it is true. I felt very lonely in my early teens and adolescence. I was surrounded by people, but lonely nevertheless. I was a very good student, had many friends, was fairly popular and had so much work to do that I hardly had the time to be lonely – but it was true – I felt that i was alone.

This was something that was purely a construct of my mind – the loneliness was in my mind alone. It is only now that this feeling as gone away.

What has happened that I feel so much better, though if you look at it rationally,