Monthly Archives: July 2010

Facebook “Friend”

IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ!

One thing came to my attention when I received an email from a girl a couple of days ago. She wrote to ask me about someone who is a “friend” on my Facebook account. According to her, X is some agency director who offered to help her get a job in PR, an industry she is very keen in. I composed a response to her and felt there’s a need to make this public because this could potentially be a dangerous scenario and it worries me that there might be some girls in the same situation but did not write to me.

Here’s the truth: I do not know all the “friends” I have on Facebook. The choice to add everyone was made in the past, and since my account became quite full, I have decided not to approve any more friend requests unless I know them personally. That is not to say that everyone on Facebook in my “friends” list could be frauds, or predators, but it’s important to know that there’s a need to be cautious. I cannot vouch for them and what they do, so don’t assume that just because they’re a “friend” of mine on Facebook that it’s okay to let down your guard and trust them.

Having said that, I don’t really have a method to help you sniff out the bad. It all boils down to communication and instinct. Sometimes you can write to “friends of friends” to see if the person is legitimate, or you can check out their profile, visit their websites to see if the company does exist and whether or not it’s what it says it is.

Facebook can help us network very quickly, but it can also be a dangerous place because there’s too much that we don’t know.

If anyone has any advice to share, please do.

In the meantime, do be careful because I want everyone to be safe.

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Gloomy economy = Poor dress sense

There is no lack of Japanese inspired fashion in Singapore and there’s no better place to witness that than at Far East Plaza. Nothing really caught my eye, maybe because there were too many of the same things.

When I got to Tokyo, I was appalled at the fashion display on the streets and in the shops. It felt like the gloomy Japanese economy has taken a toll on its fashion and people’s taste in clothes.

Summer is typically about light-weight fabrics, bright colours, sundresses, floral patterns, shorts, swimwear, straw hats, slippers, espadrilles etc. Somehow, the way the Japanese put it together just wasn’t aesthetically appealing.

The Bad…

Everything looks like some part of the fabric has been chewn off.

I don't get the whole T-shirt in a dress look. It's everywhere in Tokyo and hardly fashionable!

T-shirt, tube floral dress, tights and a printed bag just doesn't go!

There's something interesting about pairing shoes with floral dress, but this combination just doesn't look sharp or sweet.

No-no!

This looks sloppy.

Maybe if they switch tops, it might work better?

These sundresses look like sleeping gowns.

The sales girls tend to wear the outfits sold in the stores. Floral jumpers is one of those outfits that is unflattering for most. It looks frumpy because you don't see the waist nor the hips!

All is not lost, it is a matter of finding the right cut and knowing if your body type is suitable. Much of  Japanese fashion is borrowed from Hollywood celebrities, modified with a twist of their own style. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Nonetheless, here’s what I found in the August issue of Japanese magazine “Gisele”.

A jumper can look flattering if the proportions are right.

Long sun dresses - without a T shirt inside.

If tube and spaghetti styles are too revealing, choose sundresses with sleeves.

The Good..

If it's too revealing, throw on a cardigan.

Or cover up with a loose fitting shirt.

Or just make sure you style your hair, put on make-up and go really cute with it!

I think this is nice, but I do wonder if having a belt might give her a bit more shape.

The Quirky…

There's something very pretty in this conservative get-up. Her hairstyle complements the look!

I like the way she is able to multi-task with ease and still look so stylish.

I think young girls look very good when they dress like that.

The blue patch of hair sets her apart from the rest!

We have a lot of fashion options here, and I’ve seen girls wear clothes better than some of the examples shown here.

What do you think? Can Singaporeans do better?

“Mad Hatter” Jo

Everything else about Tokyo Disneyland and me, modelling hat pieces.

Map of the theme park

My first time taking this ride!

I'm happy already!!

The ride inside is very colourful and very cheery, and you get to see different countries, different costumes!

India!

Thailand!

I’m not going to show you too much! It’s quite a long ride and there’s a lot to see, so I would say take it twice if the queue isn’t that long!

The window display do not give you a fraction of an idea of what is being sold in the shops!

She is so adorable!

This is battery operated and would actually light up!

Adding a few inches to my height.

Mardi Gras Mickey Hat

I also like The Monsters' Inc Ride!

You shine the torchlight that is attached to the car at specific points for a surprise!! Very kiddish but fun!

Monster's Inc Helmet

Sully's my favourite cartoon character!

I regretted not buying this toy. His shy expression sort of works in this picture!

Life-sized Sully!! The queue to take a photo with him was cut off by the park ranger, so I couldn't pose with him.

Totally mismatching!

Aww...I thought this pair was really cute!!

UP

I forgot his name, does anyone remember?

Uncle!

This was the restaurant where we had our lunch. The portion sizes are pretty decent. I had the rotisserie chicken.

Cinderella's Castle

This was a gift shop inside the Cinderella Castle. I love the frescos on the wall, they are so incredible detailed!

A craftsman at work

Art pieces for sale

I've been to Tokyo Disneyland 3 times, and not once did I manage to watch the fireworks. That night it was canceled because of bad weather.

Disney Overload

I went to Anaheim Disneyland, Los Angeles, a year ago, and somehow Tokyo Disneyland still excites me more. I think it’s got to do with the Japanese and their “kawaii” spirit. Unlike the American Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland seemed to have more toys, accessories, apparels and cute collectibles; snacks and food are made in the likes of Disney characters; the containers/tubs in which they come in are designed for keepsake; almost everyone in Tokyo Disneyland, adults and children alike, has at least one Disney item on them.

I truly felt like I was on the happiest place on earth, because everyone was loving Disneyland, albeit in an overt fashion.

This was from the Winnie the Pooh popcorn pushcart. Honey flavoured popcorn! There are different popcorn flavours that come in different collectible tubs at different pushcarts.

Another variation of popcorn tub

Hairbands like this are very common.

Another variation of hairband...Dumbo-inspired.

You also have hair clips like that...

Even the guys have fun with accessories!

These masks are sold in the shops too!

I lost count of the number of Mickey Mouse heads on this lady who was in front of me in a queue for a ride. I love her backpack!

Close up of her T-shirt.

Close up of her companion's bag strap.

Minnie tee!

Mickey printed on an umbrella.

Or, you can get a Mickey Mouse raincoat from the shops!

And here's the Minnie Mouse raincoat to match.

Sorry you can't see this clearly, but even the traditional costumes they are wearing is printed with Disney!

It wasn't unusual to see many young people wearing traditional costumes during this season.

Mickey and Minnie are dressed in the traditional costumes as well! We tried looking for memorabilia of the Disney bear in the middle, but could not find it. I remembered from my last experience that there is an entire shop devoted to Disney bear in Tokyo Disneysea, so that's probably where this came from.

Not one, not two, but a whole family of toys, that I can't tell which is hung from where!

Looked to me like there was some beauty contest going on, because I saw several little girls dressed in princess costumes around the park.

Doesn’t this look like it’s a lot of fun?

地震之后的感想

好久没有用中文发表文章,不过觉得要谈这部电影,还是用中文比较贴切。

我对这部电影的认识是从电影院播放的一段很短,但是很震撼的预告片。

记得当时看了预告片之后,就开始对这部电影很感兴趣。

前几天被邀请观赏《唐山大地震》的首映会之后,只能说这预告片并没有透露这部电影细腻的故事描述和演员精湛的演出。

电影结束后,大家都是红着眼眶踏出戏院。它并不煽情,但它很诚恳,很真实,也让我认识到人是如何面付悲伤。

有位同事认为本地的导演们应该看这部电影,才不会要求我们在演绎悲伤时,做一些夸张的动作或表情。我呢,则在想,电影或许和电视的演绎方式不能相同。

当观众在毫无干扰的情况下,望着这么大的银幕,演员内敛的演出当然能有效的表现出来。演员更不能有太大的动作或太夸张的表情,要不然就会令观众反感。

但是如果是电视剧,家里尽管有再大的电视机,还是免不了杂音和干扰。广告本身就是一种干扰。那这么一来,要是演员太内敛的话,是不是观众就感受不到我们的情感呢?在说,有多少人是坐下来,目不转睛地从头看到尾?每个演员都内敛的话,会不会导致观众跟不上剧情,因此觉得很闷呢?

你们有什么见解?

我想就是因为这点,让某些演员和导演意见不和。也没有谁对谁错,因为都是希望能把最好的呈现给大家。不过,我个人觉得演员忠于自己人物的情感是很重要的,因为只要我们脑子里有一丝情感上的不平衡,就真的很难有说服力。这种内敛的表演方式有时在导演的小荧光屏上是感受不到的,那怎么办?太夸张会很假,内敛的演出导演有时又感受不到,那什么才能称得上是自然,真实的演出呢?是否可以在电视剧的其他制作方面下手,比如音效、剪辑等,来取得平衡呢?

当然我们不能混淆内敛和木訥。我们也不能否定一部好的电视剧或电影是多方面的结晶。

所以演艺一直都很吸引我,因为它是个很灵活的艺术,没有对没有错,有开始但没有终点。

希望大家能给《唐山大地震》一个机会,感受我们在新加坡没有机会遇到的天灾,所留下的疮痍不是到处可见的废墟,而是心灵上无法弥补的裂痕。

Pigging out in Disneyland

I managed to squeeze an extra day or two after filming in Tokyo Japan to go to Disneyland. Because it was my third time, there weren’t as many surprises. I did however notice that I was eating the whole day!

I can't remember what the exact theme was. It was some festival where you can write your message on this little piece of paper and hang it up.

I love wafer ice-cream!

Chewing Mickey's ears

In popsicle form

In popsicle form

These buns are so funny!

I never tried these, but I wonder if they taste as good as they look.

I think you can never go wrong with peach danish. I remembered having this the last time. Love the peach, but not so crazy about the crust.

Another flavour.

I eventually settled for a chocolate cheesecake.

I must always accompany my sweet treat with black coffee. The cake wasn't fantastic, I was hoping it would melt in my mouth like how some Japanese cheesecakes do, but it didn't.

The whiff of waffles warmed us on that cold rainy day in Disneyland.

I was looking for the pushcart that sold Smoked Turkey Leg but found the Teriyaki Chicken Leg instead. It was too salty for me.

What a happy place Disneyland is, with every wrapper saying this!

I love maple churros!! They really make my day!

Found this at Queen of Hearts restaurant during lunch. I've never heard of "Unbirthday"!

This was dinner, not very inspiring in terms of the way it looks, but taste pretty good. Beef, vegetable and rice.

Next up, all the lovable things in Disneyland!

He could have hanged to death

*

The rain may have subsided but the grass field was still soaked from the downpour last night. Not wanting to get his feet wet, Mr P decided to take  his dog, Fluffie, for his usual morning walk under the void decks instead.

Fluffie has an endearing disposition and enjoys the affection people shower on him. He has been trained to walk unleashed by the side of Mr P, and even though he may explore a little further once in a while, he would always come back and sit by Mr P’s side when his name was called.

This morning, Mr P and Fluffie wandered to another block of flats and crossed paths with Madam Wong and her little dog, Sparky. Fluffie was keen to make contact with Sparky, but when he tried to get close, Sparky would start tugging at the leash, barking and baring his teeth, displaying every intention to sink his teeth into Fluffie. Mr P steered Fluffie away from the scene to avoid getting his dog hurt.

*

Seventy-year-old Madam Wong was about to bring Sparky home when she bumped into Mr P. Seeing how hostile Sparky was towards Fluffie, she tried with all her might to pull her charging dog towards the lift, away from the object of his agitation. As Mr P backed away, Madam Wong managed to pull Sparky into the lift with her. She quickly hit the button for the seventh floor but just as the lift doors were about the close, Sparky dashed out of the carriage towards Fluffie. Before she could react, the lift doors closed and she realised she was holding on to the other end of the leash that was still attached to Sparky’s collar.

*

Mr P was standing about four metres away from the lift when the tiny dog charged out. As the lift doors closed behind Sparky, he didn’t understand what was happening at that moment.  He saw Sparky being lifted off the ground and was dangling from his neck against the lift door. The lift seemed to have stopped at the second floor. It took him about thirty seconds to realise that the lift wasn’t going to come down and that the dog would hang to death if he didn’t do something about it. Unleashing him, he placed Sparky on the ground before seeing the end of the leash disappear into the lift carriage.

*

This is not fiction. This is a true account of what happened this morning when my father took my dog for his morning walk.

Never have I felt more passionate about the importance of educating owners about training and understanding their dogs. Because before you learn how to control your dog, you must first understand dog psychology. And no one explains this better than Cesar Millan.

I was introduced to this person when I became a dog owner myself. You see, when I first adopted Fluffy, he seemed like the perfect dog. Everyone who sees him thinks he’s well-behaved and gentle. What they did not realise is that they are making this observation based on a comparison of Fluffy’s behaviour to other unstable dogs that they have seen, primarily hyperactive and aggressive types. This is not accurate. Fluffy had possessive issues when he was given bones/treats/dental chews. He would growl when you come close while he’s gnawing at it. Things got worse when he barked and nipped at the person who tried to take the treat away from him.

I began to read Cesar Millan’s book and understood that this was not natural behaviour and should not be left alone. Subsequently, I began to watch The Dog Whisperer, a series where Cesar shows the audience how he rehabilitates domestic pet dogs. In each episode, two dogs with behavioral problems will be featured and trust me, for dog owners, you will find similarities in those problems the dog has, in you own pet. It doesn’t matter the breed or size of the dog. It is not the reason for their behavioral problems. Humans are the cause of these problems, and Cesar is not afraid to tell dog owners that.

How he explains it makes a lot of sense. He believes that every dog should be calm submissive. Being calm submissive is not a repressed state nor does it mean the dogs are unhappy. It is seen as such by humans because we are using human emotions to rationalise dog psychology.

That is why I feel that The Dog Whisperer is a series that needs to be shown on both Channel 5 and Channel 8. There is no reason to ban certain breeds here (although I think some breeds should be banned based on the fact that they are just not suitable for our climate, but that will be another topic altogether) because ultimately, it’s the owners who should be held responsible for the dog’s behaviour.

What happened this morning could have easily been avoided if Sparky was a psychologically balanced dog to begin with.

Here’s a clip from one of Cesar’s episodes and I’m sure you can find more on Youtube.

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