Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Getting cheesey

Is it just me, or don't you think that "fresh" and "aged" is a bit of an oxymoron?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Musical notes

Someone on my dog e-list ventured off topic to post about Raising Sand, the new CD from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss and how good it was. If she didn't do that, I may possibly have missed a good thing. Krauss is a blue grass singer and that's not something I usually listen to, so if I hadn't known, I would have skipped this CD altogether. Although I may probably pick it up because of Plant, the Led Zeppelin vocalist.

When I got it at the CD shop, I noticed that there was a new Best of Led Zep compilation, Mothership. So I got that as well. Now I'm truly stuck in the music of my misspent youth.

It's very interesting listening to the two CDs, one after the other. It is like watching (hmm, well, hearing) a musician evolve. Although the Plant in Mothership would've probably downed another double JD and asked you what you were smoking if you had told him that many, many moons later, he would be collaborating on something like Raising Sand. But I guess, like Brian May and his PhD in astrophysics, this just shows that he has earned the right to wear his hair long and curly, and his jeans tight.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Queen rocks!

Brian May, the lead guitarist from rock band Queen has just completed a doctorate in astrophysics and has been named as the next chancellor to Liverpool John Moores University.

Which goes to show that it is not a bad thing to play guitar, drink Jack Daniels, get tattooed, mousse your hair into big curls and wear tight jeans.

Definitely not time misspent. I should've done that instead of reading Beowulf.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monster movie

Beowulf is either here or coming soon, judging from the trailers on TV. And also judging from those, I was quite amused to see that Angelina Jolie is being used to sell the movie even though her character doesn't have a name.

And I'm not going to watch it. As much as I like Neil Gaiman (who co-wrote the screenplay), I'm not going to sit through an Anglo-Saxon epic poem. I'm still thanking my lucky stars that Beowulf, in all its original Old English glory, was dropped from the curriculum the year I started uni, because it was too tough for the students and everyone was failing it.

The Scandinavian heroes and monsters, a lot of fighting and even more funerals just don't appeal to me. Not even Angelina
Jolie wearing nothing, even if that was just FX. Grendel's Mother is not exactly the Wife of Bath. Even if she is speaking modern English.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Busy weekend

The bedlinen has been changed and the dogs have been bathed.

It's so nice to slip into fresh, crisp sheets. Unfortunately, Rupert doesn't seem to think so. He bounded happily onto the bed when he knew we were turning in for the night, but appeared uneasy by the lack of smells on the bed. He turned around and around and couldn't settle until we were all in bed.

I'm sure the bedding and the freshly bathed dogs will smell doggy in no time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Not made in China

This is a cotton placemat. The label says Made In India. All very believable of course, since it's rough Indian weave cotton.

But the bilingual bit in Chinese characters on the label threw me off. Funny, isn't it? I could've accepted Hindi along with the English. Made in India pride, etc.

But Chinese? It's either masquerading to be cover both industrial giants or it was made before the witchhunt over China-made products and thought that would give it consumer cred?

Friday, November 16, 2007

If the throne fits ...

The serf pays homage to HRH Queeni.

And then tries out the throne for himself.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007


M and A came over for dinner last weekend and A brought a bunch of DVDs for our edification. One of them was of Madonna's latest Confessions tour, partly because A thinks we don't get out enough and was shocked to hear we never caught any of the big shows that came to town.

And I can't make him understand that I do not like musicals as a genre and that I do not require spectacle to be entertained -- given a choice between a huge concert with flashy costumes, dance routines, soundscape and fireworks, and a small group of people in penguin suits sawing away at instruments, I'd rather pick the chamber concert. Unless the huge concert is a U2 concert.

And that's only one of the reasons why I cannot get into Madonna -- but dutifully sat down with them to watch. The other reason why I don't like Madonna is that her concerts -- however slick -- are peppered with more plagarisms than a college paper bought off the Internet.

One song morphed into Jimmy Sommerville. Another morphed into an Abba riff. Along the way, she was John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, down to the white suit. Then morphed into a Jimi Hendrix persona. And then took on Pat Benatar. So who's the real Madonna?

And what's the difference between Madonna and say, the Pussycat Dolls? Both still feel the need to dress up to carefully choreographed routines. Although, in the PCD's case, dress down might be more apt.

I honestly don't see the difference between Madonna and say, Rihanna. Both stole songs from other people. L -- who is no Madonna fan himself -- says I should leave off Madonna, that she has paid her dues while Rihanna is a young upstart. What, just because you've been around 20 years, you can steal other people's songs?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bah, humbug

I was a bit flabbergasted when I stepped into the suburban mall down the road from where we live on Friday. It was decked with boughs of holly and all things Christmassy.

Which meant that it was probably already decorated that way, for the shoppers on the public holiday the day before -- Deepavali. If I was Hindu, I'd feel dreadfully affronted, like my festival had been skipped over.

Is it just me, or does Christmas seem to come earlier every year? The Americans haven't even had their Thanksgiving yet. (I don't think the Canadians have either, but I'm not really sure when theirs is, except that it's earlier on their side of the border.) Or maybe our problem is that we haven't got Thanksgiving so we haven't got a last Thursday of November demarcation before which Christmas just isn't allowed to start.

I like Bing Crosby but I can't bear White Christmas in November. The poor cashiers at the supermarket, they're going to be subjected to two months of Christmas carols.

I was most intrigued to hear a cover verision of Feed the World/Do They Know it's Christmas. Whoever attempted to cover Geldorf & Co sure has got some nerve.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Got hustled again

Is it my face or something? Barely a week after a kid asked me for bus fare home, I got somebody else telling me a long story of how he got stranded without his wallet and farecard and can't get home. It was barely 10am and it was in the grounds of the hospital -- I was hurrying to the hospital where Dad has been warded two weeks, to catch his doctors as they go on rounds.

This guy, an old retiree, started telling me in Mandarin how he had just taken an even older neighbour to hospital, how the 80-year-old was alone with no one to fend for him, how he rushed the guy to A&E, and was now stuck at the hospital having left his wallet and everything else at home. I was terribly rushed and answered in English (no time for mental translation): "So what do you really want?" and knowing the answer of course.

And then came the English version of the long story. Are all hustlers bilingual? He even went as far as to tell me he used to drive an ambulance before he retired. So go find his former colleagues and friends, I told him. Oh, not to this hospital, he said. Complete BS. And how did he pay for the taxi fare to take his elderly neighbour to hospital if he didn't have his wallet? Oh, he just had enough money in his pocket. So why not call the neighbour's relatives? Surely they would thank him enough to send him home. Oh, the guy's alone, remember. No one to depend on. Not even to take him to hospital.

Now I was really running late and very irritable. I opened my wallet, meaning to give him $2, the smallest note, for trainfare. Just to get the damn monkey off my back. But I didn't have any thing smaller than a $10 note. So I gave it to him. Oh sure, he thanked me very nicely but while making fast tracks away from me. I shouted after him, I want his handphone number and IC number. "No need, no need," he answered and picked up speed. So I yelled down the road -- it was busy enough at the start of the working day as the staff poured in -- "Nobody give him any money! He's fleeced enough out of me!"

I was cross because I could have handled it better if I wasn't so rushed. I know where the medical social workers' office in the hospital is, I would have brought him there and handled him over to them. If I had the time. I was also cross because I made the effort to get up early and get to the hospital by train, instead of calling a cab -- mostly because I couldn't account for traffic on the highway. And now the money I saved on a cab has gone to some con man.

But later, in retrospect, if he was so desperate for $10, he might as well have it. It's not like I can ill spare $10. And most of all, I hope that $10 will buy my Dad some good karma.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Woud ma'am desire a coffee?

Today is a public holiday -- Deepavali -- and L is home, so he left me a cup of wake-up coffee on my nightstand.

I was asleep when he brought it in, and woke up only when a cold nose nudged my hand which was hanging over the edge of the bed. I opened my eyes to a very enthusiastic foxie with the thought bubble : "Look! Coffee!! You have coffee!! You have to wake up for it!! How exciting!!!"

Like he brought in the coffee himself.

Wish I had a picture.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Towards world conquest

First, we take the bed. Then we take the couch.

You take one end, I'll take the other. Divide and conquer.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Completing the circle

The other night, Rupert went to bed on the living room sofa and had a good hour's sleep there as I was reading the paper. When I finally turned off the lights to go into the bedroom, he wouldn't even budge. So I left him out there and went to bed.

And then I couldn't sleep. It felt funny not to have him in the room. So I went out and poked him a bit and he sleepily tottered into the bedroom. And headed for his now seldom used bed in his Cinderella corner. I think he was enjoying all the space he had to himself on the couch and didn't want to join the already crowded bed. Also, getting up on the bed also means tackling Queeni, who grants bed rights to him on a nightly basis, depending on HRH's whim.

I still couldn't sleep. Never mind that I already had one dog in bed with me. The other missing component meant that it just didn't feel complete. So I got out of bed again and got Rupert. Who promptly turned a few circles and pressed up against me, his butt to my face.

Now I could sleep.