Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Stone Roses.

I don't need to sell my soul
He's already in me
~ I Wanna Be Adored

Have you seen her have you heard
The way she plays there are no words
To describe the way I feel
~ She Bangs The Drums

These boots were made for walking
The marquis de sade don’t wear no boots like these
Gold’s just around the corner
Breakdown’s coming up round the bend
Sometimes you have to try to get along dear
I know the truth and I know what you’re thinking
~ Fool's Gold

I am the resurrection and I am the life
I couldn't ever bring myself
To hate you as I'd like
~ I Am The Resurrection

Adidas gear ladden King Monkey and his now defunct group...astonishing and fulfilling.Their un-edited, in full length version of "Fool's Gold" ranks up there beside New Order's original version of "Blue Monday" as perhaps one of the most musically exciting rock/dance infused song ever.

New Tortoises.

Took a Herculean effort to purposely go on a day trip up North today to collect these two tortoises. Left shows a Geochelone Radiata, about two and a half inch long. In terms of carapace "beauty", this is not the best representation of the species as I have seen in some examples which are truly amazing in its natural strips and marks ie the so-called "super high yellow" and "high yellow" speciments. Of course this would mean that the price, even for a baby of this size, would be very exorbitant. I particularly like the high dome shape of its shell. The main objective of this trip however is not the radiated tortoise but the one on the right. Also from the island of Madagascar, it is a particularly rare tortoise but the main purpose of purchase is not because of its rarity but rather its uniqueness. It has a ploughlike gular scute from its plastron. It is also high dome, another characteristics I look for. This particular speciment has been languishing in the care of the previous owner, resulting in a rather weak outlook. It seems stress as it is very young, about just tad meeting two inches in length. I suspected it also has a slight symptom of shell softness and observes a imbalance in the height of its shell, which means extra attention has to give this one to nurse it back to full strength ie adequate natural sunlight and diet. I am hoping to achieve the same level of "success" as I have done for Leo, if not more. I haven't thought of names to give these two yet, maybe over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Chloe ~ Scratch Dylan.

Awful occurance today, Chloe uses a pencil and poke/scratch at Dylan's forehead as they are playing together this evening. Lost my temper and screamed at Chloe, resulting in her being really terrified and shaken. Felt really guilty for what I the same time I wonder how to ensure she understands what she did was really dangerous. She seemed ok afterwards, behaving as normal, mischiveous as always, laughing and screaming whilst Dylan has a scratch mark on his forehead. But Esther later shared that Chloe is stirring in her sleep, more than usual, like having nightmares. Mom said that what I did was wrong and should speak to her in a proper but firm manner instead of just raising my voice. Lesson learnt.

Saturday, 25 April 2009


And finally, Tricky, whose sampling of Public Enemy's Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos is one of the best re-interpretation I have heard of that classic hit. After leaving Massive Attack, and with co-vocalist Martina Topley Bird, Tricky came up with debut Maxinquaye (1995, after his late mother's name). It sounds abit different from Portishead and Massive Attack, covering even greater grounds in term of fusing the elements of hip hop, jazz, soul and even electronica and classic rock. Tricky is noted for his singing speaking style aka Sprechgesang. The debut is also memorable for its "twin lyrics" with Massive Attack's second album Protection which are "Overcome" and "Hell is 'Round the Corner" on Maxinquaye and "Karmacoma" and "Eurochild" on the later. Words are Tricky "owe" Massive Attack some lyrics and he gave them the above. Although third album Pre-Millennium Tension (1996) did not chart as big as his debut, it still gave a couple of memorable songs, amongst them another personal favourite, Chrisiansands.


Please could you stay awhile to share my grief
For its such a lovely day
To have to always feel this way
And the time that I will suffer less
Is when I never have to wake
Wandering stars, for whom it is reserved
The blackness of darkness forever
Wandering stars, for whom it is reserved
The blackness of darkness forever
~ Wandering Star.

I don't want to hurt you
For no reason have I but fear
And I ain't guilty of the crimes you accuse me of
But I'm guilty of fear
~ It Could Be Sweet.

Portishead is another band from Bristol which came up with another favourite album called Dummy, their debut. Co-founder and band member, Geoff Barrow served as a "tape operator" during Massive Attack's Blue Lines session. The songs contain vocalist Beth Gibbons oft sullen voice back by sample heavy snippets which sound like those vintage detective/mystery European movies background music as well as elements from hip hop and even jazz. It is very laidback sounding, cinematic yet quite dark and occasionally could be depressing but in a manner whereby it transports the mind to a place where it is after midnight and raining on an empty street at a cafe, again something like that Nighthawks painting by Edward Hopper.

Mischevious Suetch...

I gonna get into big trouble with my sister and mom for asking Suetch to pose this much to my amusement.


Whilst awaiting for the arrival of Hot Toys Major Dutch Schaeffer and the original Predator version 12" figure to arrive, re watched this 1987 John McTiernan directed classic action thriller. Actually, I stumbled upon this movie by accident. I was looking for Die Hard, another McTiernan hit movie in VHS format during that time, when upon playback, it was showing Predator instead. Initially upset that the seller got the wrong content for me, I nevertheless decided to watch through the entire show, to my delight. Further more it features a leaner looking Arnold Schwarzenegger and a bunch of macho spouting, mean looking special action force doing some covert jobs/rescue mission in a remote tropical jungle of South America. If I am not mistaken it is also the only movie which features two future state governors together (Jesse Ventura). They are picked off one by one as the trophies of an extraterrestrial hunter, known only as the Predator. It would skin the boys, and take the skulls, leaving the bodies dangling high up in the treetops. Just like a big game hunter. It is just that this time around, the game are the humans. The Predator moves around camouflage and remain indiscernible from the surroundings using a special light bending device/suit. The best part is it also shows the Predator POV in thermal image, as well as in infrared after it removes its bio helmet during the mano a mano showdown with Dutch. The Predator is originally acted by Jean-Claude Van Damme before being replaced by the late seven foot tall Kevin Peter Hall for a greater imposing physical presence. The movie spins off a sequel starring Danny Glover and Gary Busey, which implanted the idea of a eventual string of Alien vs Predator franchise and comic book series after a scene shows the trophy room of which one of the skulls is unmistakeably that of an Alien. Personally, I would like to keep these two classics tales as far apart as possible.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Dylan ~ Apple.

Dylan enjoying his very first apple today...

Chloe ~ Hair cut.

Mom gave Chloe a haircut yesterday, the fringe is getting too long. Loves the bowl look.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Massive Attack.

Daddy G]
Trendy wendys you know what i mean
Hangin' around with girl who's rolling up her jeans
She watches her street cred 'cause she's no dummy
Saw rockin the microphone and now she's calling me a honey
Says I know what I want don't move with thugs
We're house parties hip hop and smoking drugs
And whoever's been the boss she's down with 'em
She's always on time 'cause the girl got rhythm
To avoid all complications i'll give some information
About a certain location under Paddington Station
'Cause when I host my show-a I avoid the girl called lola
Who's more pu-pu-public than the drink they call it coca cola
I’m just practice posing face is shaded in black
Is dominating as my color the massive attack
Right now i hit it kick it flow smooth hit middle wicket
I take a small step now it's a giant stride
People say I'm loud why should I hide
Only had a small taste so what a waste
I quietly observe though it's not my space
Bottom end's heavy you know we're never even
People call me Tricky for particular reason
I've got you see and I've got to let you know
See we're rockin' in your area rock beneath your balcony
My baby just cares for me well that's funny
Her touch tickles especially on my tummy
[Daddy G]
Now who's got the microphone
Now who's honey
[Daddy G]
A turbo turbo and chant with a charge
Addy, Daddy G wild bunch crew at large
Don't call me an officer just call me a sarge
Mashing up the country planning also abroad
Plan to go to America when I get a visa card
But gettin' a visa card nowadays isn't hard
[Daddy G]
So keep your ears glued listen to every chord
Tokyo city's one place that we toured
Four technic plus two mixer board
Sharper than a Wilkinson razor sword
When I was a child I played subbuteo on
My table then I graduate to studio one
’Cos D’s my nom de plume you know but 3’s my pseudonym
And around my neck you know I wear the Sony Budokan
Indigo blues you got me in my own shoes
The people dancing in the shape for what they make
They can't lose
Yes waxing lyrical but this time it's not satirical
It's kinda spherical so jam me in a #$%@
This is the miracle of the dubplate dub selection
[Daddy G]
So whether you're black white or half-caste in your complextion
Yes pull out your phono plug and tuck you in your phony
It's started by Marconi resumed by Sony
A summary by wireless history and only
The massive attack @#$ explosione
[Horace Andy]
Get away with you gangsters
We don't want it
Get away with you gangsters
We don't like it
Eternal love eternal love
Money money money
Root of all evil
Money money money
Root of all evil
~ Five Man Army.

By fusing the elements of hip hop, reggae, soul, cinematic orchestral arrangements back by ultra groovy looped bass lines and highlighted with some of the most distinctive vocals ~ Horace Andy, Sara Nelson, Tricky, Elizabeth Fraser of The Cocteau Twins, Nicolette Suwoton, Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl, from debut Blue Lines and second album Protection, Massive Attack (comprising of Robert "3D Del Naja, Grant "Daddy G" Marshall and since left Andrew "Mushroom" Vowels) created a complex, multi layered songs which is unique as well as laid back and lounge-y feel to it. There is not a single filler in those two albums I reckon. And even though third album Mezzanine would mark a departure of turntables and samples with greater emphasis on distorted guitars and live percussion, it still hit the right spot with tracks like Angel, Teardrops, Man Next Door.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

N. Bicalcarata & The Ant.

Picture of an ant which has since become very fond of Becky. It keeps visiting the newly developed pitcher and nibble at the "fangs" which secretes nectar. The ant also "shoo" away other ants which might come near Becky. Interestingly, it keeps itself precariously balance in between Becky's fangs and the peristome. I reckon that it is because the pitcher is not large enough yet.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Annie Lennox.

For I am just a troubled soul
Who's weighted...Weighted to the ground
Give me the strength to carry on
Till I can lay this burden down
Give me the strength to lay this burden down down down yeah
Give me the strength to lay it down
But my my I feel so low
My my where do I go ?
My my what do I know ?
My my we reap what we sow
They always said that you knew best
But this little bird's fallen out of that nest now
I've got a feeling that it might have been blessed
So I've just got to put these wings to test
~ Little Bird.

Annie Lennox ~ pop culture icon, sweet sweet distinctive contralto vocal, political and social activist. Got a collection of her solo works today and my oh my, how I miss her voice and songs.

The Velvet Underground.

Marguerita Passion had to get her fix
She wasn't well, she was getting sick
Went to sell her soul, she wasn't high
Didn't know, thinks she could buy it
And she would run, run, run
Take a drag or two
Run, run, run, run, run
Gypsy Death and you
Tell you whatcha do
~ Run Run Run.

A blackened shroud, a hand-me-down gown
Of rags and silks, a costume
Fit for one who sits and cries
For all tomorrow's parties
~ All Tomorrow's Parties.

You're put down in her book
You're number 37, have a look
She's going to smile to make you frown, what a clown
Little boy, she's from the street
Before you start, you're already beat
She's gonna play you for a fool, yes it's true
~ Femme Fatale.

It is said that In the history of rock n roll, VU's influence could only be rivalled by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Highly influential on alt rock, lo-fi, garage type music, even though they are not commercially successful as they would have hoped, history would prove otherwise, as evident on their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico through to their fourth album, Loaded. Their debut remains a favourite of mine, even though the late Nico's voice still sound "cold and flat" to me, it opens with sweet sounding Sunday Morning, then a song about junkies in Heroin and Run, Run, Run and close with the epic proto industrial sounding European Son. White Heat, White Light reminds me of Sonic Youth, Jesus & The Mary Chain and their early albums, as well as other noize smiths of the modern times. By the time third album called The Velvet Underground came out, John Cale is gone and replace by Doug Yule. Immediately, the influence of Lou Reed's more accessible and calmer/folkier songs structure as well as the absence of avant garde/noise are noticible. When Loaded came out, songs ownership dispute and internal strife have wrecked VU apart, of which Lou Reed departed a month before the album came out. Main drummer Maureen Moe Tucker was on maternity, so an assortment of other individuals are called in to fill in her roles during the making of the album. The late Sterling Morrison took his role as far as he could and eventually left a year later. Even so, this album gave two of the most memorable songs in rock history, Sweet Jane and Rock & Roll.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Led Zeppelin.

It's been a long time since I rock and rolled,
It's been a long time since I did the Stroll.
Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back, Let me get it back, baby, where I come from.
It's been a long time, been a long time,
Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time. Yes it has.
- Rock And Roll.

If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break,
If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin to break.
When the levee breaks I'll have no place to stay.
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan,
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan.
Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home,
Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well.
- When The Levee Breaks.
If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on.
And it makes me wonder.
And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.
~ Stairway To Heaven

One of the first heavy metal bands, and between 1970 to 1972 regarded as the biggest band in the world, Led Zeppelin draws primarily its sources from Blues and Folks and fused them into super guitar driven, heavy rock and rolling songs (for its time). Interestingly, they did not release any single from their albums. One of their most popular song Stairway To Heaven even earned the infamous rumour as having Satanic verses if played in reverse. Look no further if to understand what 70s rock is like.

Rage Against The Machine.

Your saviour's my guillotine, crosses and kerosene
Flex tha cerebellum, fire, uh!
Somebody gotta shell 'em
These evil angels lists, hittin' tha AM playlist
Paid ta say this
That one inhuman, illegal, single woman
Tha one wit out a room
The transmissions wippin' our backs
Yeah, comin' down like bats from Stacy Coon
Terror's tha product ya push
Well I'm a truth addict, oh shit I gotta headrush
Tha sheep tremble an here come tha votes
Thrown from tha throat, new cages and scapegoats
One caution tha mics a detonator unwound
Ta shut down tha devil sound
Shut down tha devil sound
Check tha heads bow in vietnow
Shut down tha devil sound
- Vietnow.

I give a shout out to the livingdead
Who stood and watched as the fedscold centralized
So serene on the screen
You was mesmerized
Cellular phones soundin' a deathtone
Corporations cold
Turn ya to stone before ya realize
They load the clip in omnicolor
They pack the 9, they fire it at prime time
Sleeping gas, every home was likeAlcatraz
And m*********s lost their minds
Just victims of the in-housedrive-by
They say jump, you say how high
- Bullet In The Head.

RATM is simply...incendiary.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira.

Perhaps the most popular anime movie of all time to reach a global audience is Akira (アキラ) (1988) by Katsuhiro Otomo. It also continues to generate discussion about the themes use in it as well as the ground breaking, labour intensive hand drawn super fluid cell animation use for the movie. However to truly understand Akira in its entirety, it would be the epic manga of which the movie is based on. First published back in 1982, it completed its serialised run in 1990 and then published as a six volume trade paperbacks the same year. Marvel Comics imprint Epic Comics once published a computer colourised version from 1988 to 1995 under a 38 issues prestige format, then collected into a six volume trade paper backs. These are hard to find nowadays and tend to command premium prices. Thus when Dark Horse Comics re-issue Akira in original Kodansha six volume trade paperback format between 2000 to 2002, translated and in black and white with original layout, I jump with joy.
Akira is an epic running well over 2000 pages in total. Said to be partly inspired by Star Wars and Tetsujin 28 (aka Gigantor), it contains extreme violence, drama, cyberpunk cultural reference as well as humour. Apart from main protagonist Shotaro Kaneda (金田 正太郎 Kaneda Shōtarō) and main antagonist Tetsuo Shima (島 鉄雄 Shima Tetsuo), as well as its main theme of psychokinesis, it also contains many other characters and plenty of sub-plots which are intricately weaved together until the very end. Akira has its beginning in Fireball a short story which Otomo intended to expand upon before abandoning the idea, then briefly revisited in Domu. Like all his work, it is a societal commentary on the urban youth culture, corruption and political machination and manipulation. It took place in Neo-Tokyo, year 2020, which is built over Tokyo Bay after the destruction of the original Tokyo City by a mysterious bomb back in 1992, which sparks off World War Three. The mysterious bomb turn out to be Akira, also known as No. 28, who is part of a group of 40 specially gifted children selected to be part of a secret government project on tapping into the immense and boundless power of psychokinesis. However, Akira went out of control and detonated a psychic energy which wipe out part of the city. Since then, Akira went into a comatose like state and stored within a specially designed cryogenic, deep beneath the newly constructed Neo Tokyo Olympic Stadium. Around the outskirts of Neo Tokyo, on an abandoned expressway, a group of juvenile delinquents led by 15 year old Kaneda is having a fun time riding their bikes along the area when Tetsuo, a brash but suffering from immense inferior complex member and a close friend of Kaneda, crashed and met an accident after overtaking Kaneda to lead the pack. Upon closer inspection, Tetsuo did not just crash, his bike literally exploded on the spot. Kaneda then saw a mysterious kid with No. 26 on his palm. The kid, who turns out to be Takashi (タカシ) one of the three government controlled Espers kept in perpetual childhood state, then eeriely faded away. The police arrived at the scene and took an injured Tetsuo away.
From then on, it would be a roller coaster ride throughout this entire complex epic, from Tetsuo's burgeoning psychokinesis which he uses to massacre The Capsules except for Kaneda and Kai (甲斐), the awakening of Akira by Tetsuo, how his arm was sliced off by the SOL laser satellite due to the intervention of Kaneda and then replaced with inorganic materials via psychokinesis to a disastrous consequence, the participation of terrorist group funded and mastermind by an opposition parliamentary member into the attempt kidnapping of Akira, the second psychic explosion over Neo Tokyo resulting in the emergence of The Great Tokyo Empire led by Tetsuo, his demonstration of his power by destroying half of the moon surface, the reconciliation of all the parties considered protagonists in the storyline, including Joker of the Clown Gang, a former rival of Kaneda, the intervention of American military and its subsequent destruction at the hands of Tetsuo, and finally, the showdown between Kei (ケイ) and a grossly mutated Tetsuo after the final stand of Lady Miyako at the temple ground. Over 2000 pages of intense action, drama and storytelling. Otomo's unique style is very cinematic like and incredibly detailed. Otomo also has enough time to more than flesh out the characters, including supporting roles..thus everyone is as unique as it can be.
Another interesting development is that certain characters may appear bad or good at the introduction but as the story progress, would become vice versa when their motives are revealed. This include Colonel Shikishima (敷島大佐), Nezu (根津), Lady Miyako, Joker, George Yamada and even Tetsuo himself who eventually become sort of anti-hero instead of totally villainous.

Katsuhiro Otomo's Domu : A Child's Dream.

Domu : A Child's Dream (童夢,Dōmu) is first serialised in Japan from 1980 to 1982. Translated into English by Studio Proteus and published by Dark Horse Comics back in 1995, it comes in three 80 pages issue format in black & white and later collected into a single volume tradepaper back format. Domu is a semi horror story which took place in an apartment complex. The place reminds me of the thousands of flats/apartments complex found in this country like Penang's Rifle Range or even now demolished Pekeliling Flats in KL for instance. I have had an opportunity to stay for a short period at Uncle Peng's then apartment in Penang when I first graduated back in late 90s. Density is high, noisy and everywhere you turn are walls and corridors. It somehow gives off the feeling of being like a bird in a cage.
The story is about a string of mysterious suicides which occurred at the Tsutsumi Housing Complex. What baffles the investigators are that these suicides occur at an extremely adnormal rate (thirty two cases within three years) and there are no known motives nor logical explainations behind these. It turns out that an elderly residence by the name of Chojiro Uchida is responsible behind all these apparent suicides. Old Man Cho, as he is also known as in the story, posseses powerful psychokinesis power, which he uses to horrific effect on his victims. He suffers from an advance stage of senility. Having abandon by his daughter and her family one fine day many years ago (which I speculated as maybe they saw what he can do or they could see him as a burden and no longer wants to take care of him), he now spend his time on his own and "identify" potential victim via his/her objects in possesion which might fancy him, be it a ring or even trivial ones like a pen cap. He has a mind of an immature child now and like a spoilt child, he would take whatever he wants by causing the victims to kill themselves by jumping off the building. His murderous spree is disrupted one day with the arrival of Etsuko, a young girl with immensely powerful psychokinesis ability of her own. She immediately stops Cho from throwing a baby from the balcony. Angered by Etsuko for interrupting him "playing", Cho then plotted a series of revenge against Etsuko, partly to "punish" her and partly to get her attention, just like a child throwing tantrum. Thus began a battle between them which causes numerous horrific deaths and eventual destruction of an entire block of the housing complex. It is interesting to note that Etsuko, throughout majority of the story, has more sense of responsibility although she is just a kid, whilst Cho is behaving like a irresponsible brat. In fact, to Cho, all the destruction and murders are just part of "playing" and perhaps even to make up for the lost of affections and loneliness. At one point, Etsuko gave in to her tantrum after failing to stop Cho from turning on the housing complex gas mains, simply lash out at everything and everyone, including one unfortunate fireman who is blown into half. She is pacified only when she saw her mother and immediately ran out to her.
Maybe Otomo is trying to convey through this story about responsibility and neglect. From a parent, a kid and even society as a whole. Adults who acted irresponsibly by abandoning their elders, not spending time with their kids and so forth. It maybe also about power in the hands of those who does not know how to use it responsibly, which will only invite destruction and death.
In terms of illustration, Otomo's work, of which he would explore to even greater heights in Akira, contain top notch technical details, and a cinematic sense of composition, and with background in architecture, he illustrated the buildings to great effect to convey the feeling of eerieness throughout the story. He also manage to flesh out enough characterisation, although it is only three issue long.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories.

Somewhere around 1996, in Perth, I came across this book in one of the local bookstore which name slip my mind. The name Memories and Katsuhiro Otomo (大友克洋, Ōtomo Katsuhiro) caught my eyes. Published by Mandarin Paperbacks in 1994, which I have not heard of, it contains about 12 short stories collected within one volume, created way earlier than his more popular works. Each story range from 4 to 15 pages long. It contains Fireball, an early prequel whose theme would eventually serve as the basic groundwork and idea to Domu and Akira. It also contains Memories, which I first seen on anime format collection of 3 short stories of the same name, under the title Magnetic Rose. Some are horror stories, like the one about living sands that devour explorers and another about the survivor of a ship wreck in a heavily polluted sea and its consequences. Some are bone tickling funny take on fables and famous stories, like Aladdin and The Magic Lamp or even the Old Man and the Sea (very twisted). Prior to the beginning of each chapter, Otomo wrote the origin and the ideas behind the story.

Fun Time With Dylan.

Dylan loves to tick me in the most unconventional manner...he got better and the wheezing has gone away. We notice he has learn to wince each time we try to take a snapshot of him, likely because of the flash. The photo looks like he is crying but actually, it is him wincing for the camera.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Monkey Cups ~ In Bloom.

Hot, bright morning, afternoon and cool, crisp air with plenty of evening rains for the past one month...notice the pitchers are starting to develop. Previously thought that N.Ampullaria ver. green speckle and light red peristome have stuck in some permanent stasis. Not so, at least one leaf is starting to show promising sign of having a pitcher in coming weeks. N. x Lady Pauline has completed a new pitcher but interestingly, it is greenish, instead of the wonderful color which the existing lone pitcher has. Lack of sunlight? It is also much smaller. The same goes for N. Bicalcarata. The lone new pitcher is smaller than when I first bought it. The coloration is greener with just a tad of bronze shading. As for N. Rajah, well, I think I am gonna call it the world's smallest largest pitcher plant. The most promising is N. x Hookeriana, the new pitcher is hugh in proportion with the leaf and more are coming.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Chloe ~ Save Mo Money.

I am cultivating "save more $" to Chloe ~ never too young to start a "piggy bank".

Chloe & Dylan ~ Good Morning.

My 2 precious tends to wake up really early in the morning. Dylan would often wake up around 3am for quick fix of milk to quench his hunger, then continue his sleeps until about 6.30am. Chloe would wake up at about 7.00am. Sometimes I could not sleep until about 5am, so when I woke up at about an hour later, my face would have that "hung dog, 6am look" which is just terrible...

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Photos Session For Chloe and Dylan.

Esther and I brought Chloe and Dylan to a photo studio opposite Asia Cafe, SS15, SJ today. Like our wedding photo session, it is tiring. Both precious refuse to co-operate, understandably so as the environment in the studio is dark and the flashes of the camera spook them out a little. At the end of the day, we managed to get them to "pose" abit, after much persuasion. We shall see the result tomorrow when we have a preview session.

Friday, 10 April 2009

The Flathead Western Shirts and T-Shirts.

The Flathead Western Shirt (CW-44H) with "pearl" snap on buttons arrives today with the t-shirt (THC-52W "Kamikaze"). Ordered it via a proxy from 2nd, which, as usual threw in a couple of nice freebies for the purchase. Interesting how my denim obsession "influence" my choice of other wardrobe as well. Have been wanting a "Wrigley" green and great that TFH finally produce one within the CW-44H range. One thing I like about TFH shirt and t-shirt is that the sizing and fit are exactly what I look for, not too long nor too tight, which compliment my short and fat-ish stature nicely... Quality and authenticity are another important aspect and The Flathead does not disappoint. The tees are supposely weaved on a vintage loopwheeling machine. The loopwheel machine can only knit one yard of fabric per hour. It is slow and labour intensive as compared to today's modern machine. The attractiveness of this style of weaving process, apart from capturing the vintage "spirit", it would produce a weave with very little tension. Thus the fabric created is soft yet extremely durable. Esther remarked that I am on the verge of being "molded" into the 50s greaser wannabe look...thick black spec frame, cuffed jeans, boots, chain wallet, t-shirt and cowboy shirt etc..only the quiff is missing...well, I am "cultivating" that, sans the pomade/brylcreem of course...can't stand the smell..

Mamoru Oshii's Avalon.

Watched this 2001 movie last year. Reminded me of The Matrix. Typical of award winning filmmaker and writer Mamoru Oshii (押井守) movie, anime or otherwise, thus far. Deal with reality ie what's real and so forth. The story took place in this stylish but depressive feeling sepia tone world whereby the population seeks escape from reality by playing this ultra addictive illegal online game call Avalon. The gamers basically hardwired themselves directly into the game world, much like The Matrix. It started promisingly until the very end which left me confuse as *&^%, again very much like The Matrix trilogy as well as Mamoru's Ghost In The Shell anime movies.It seems to me Mamoru very much like us to question our "self" and "perception". Unfortunately, it left me feeling lobotomise. And I thought Blade Runner is deep. Visually, it is stunning with some of the battle scenes incorporating this technology called "superliveanimation". And of course the movie contain all his trademarks - stare at empty spaces shots, minimal dialog or just scenes showing the tram moving or people walking about while a depressing song is being played in the background. As well as that basset hound. Consist entirely of Polish actors and actresses, protagonist cool loner Ash (Małgorzata Foremniak) curiously reminded me of Grey Death (Grey~Yoshihisa Tagami). Like most of Mamoru movies, I would watch it again for the visual, although the storyline is best reserve for those willing to delve further into "who am I" "are you real" cyberpunk sort of philosophical babbling mess...

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Billie Holiday.

Lady Day as she is also known as, led a tumultous personal live and died with just couple of hundreds of dollars with her. Her painful and bitter life experience are interpreted into most of her songs, couple which by now have been considered as one of the jazz standards to be measured against. Her distinctive delivery of each songs, through manipulation of phrasing and tempo, as well as a voice which is instantly recognisable (due to lack of range and subsequent years of substance abuse) give rise to some of the most emotionally imbued and profound songs I have heard from that era.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The Dark Knight Returns Limited Edition Hardcover.

After searching for this book since 1986, I finally obtained a copy from eBay online last January 2009. Honestly I am not too happy about the condition as it is definitely not near mint as claimed . Reckoned that due to the wear and tear, it may be somewhere between fine and good (if I am not mistaken about the "standard" comic traders/collectors use for grading). The dust jacket has fingerprint marks, worn and scuffs. There is also brown staining on the first few pages. The ex owner got it second hand way back then. I believe the original owner doesn't realise the value of this book! Nevertheless, I reckon the price I paid is still way below the market demand, even with all the above "defects". Also, I buy to keep, not for trade. With this version, my personal "classic" series of Bats late 80s comic/graphic novel releases are now complete. Here's a list of what I reckon to be the best of Bats by DC (not chronologically or preference).
a) The Killing Jokes.
b) Arkham Asylum : A Serious House On A Serious Earth.
c) Batman : Year One.
d) The Dark Knight Returns.