Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Transnational Litigation
Just came out from a surprisingly manageable Transnational Litigation exam. Unlike previous assessments, I didn't even fear the worse going into the exam room, even though:
  1. It was an assessment worth 100% of the final subject grade.
  2. I hadn't studied.
  3. My short-term plans (graduation in May and moving to Hong Kong in August) rode on the result.

Of course, it helped that it was only 2 hours long and the paper consisted of only one question. Back to working at the Show tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Show observations
A boy, around 6 years old, wearing flashing plastic horns and a cape, takes out a devil's fork, from the store's plastic weapons crate, and charmingly hisses, "I am Satan". His mother must be proud.

The regular newpaper seller comes up to me at the store, points his finger and shouts, "The police are looking for you! You killed four people! I told them you weren't here. You betta hide when they come around again!" Crimes against fashion... maybe, but homicide? That's just so pedestrian.

I hide behind the counter every time he some around now.
Some guy calls my mobile last night (during the Oscars telecast) and leaves a voicemail after my message: "You sound gay."

What the... ? There was no registered caller number, so I couldn't return the call and reply, "Duh, it's because I am!" A couple of year ago, I would have been really worried about the comment for days. I probably would have even considered trying to modify my behaviour and tone of voice to appear more "straight-acting". Now, I couldn't give a rat's arse.

No, I haven't been giving my number away to strange men (that I know of).

Sunday, March 24, 2002

He is so "Firefighter Cute"!
It's amazing how recent events can become inspiration for American teenage vernacular:

Ground Zero is a messy bedroom.
A mean teacher is such a terrorist.
It is a total jihad, when a student gets disciplined.
Petty concerns are so Sept. 10.
A comment on daggy clothes: Is that a burqa?
An insult to your mother: Osama Yo Mama!
A hottie is so firefighter cute.

Washington Post
Just put your lips together and blow
Just logged on to pay some attention to my infant blog. Had two incredibly hectic days working at the Showgrounds. Working 11+ hours till 10:30 at night has made me absolutely dead tired. I have done no work for College and have only completed basic notes for my Transnational Lit exam on Wednesday. How the hell will I last the two weeks?

Notwithstanding the occasional crazy customer, the constant tiredness and erratic thinking that comes with sheer exhaustion, the job is actually great fun. The company folks decided not to locate me at the Showbag Hall (good choice - it's hot as hell in what can only be described as a big tin shed and there is no opportunities for monkey business, with supervisors hawking over the sellers). Instead, I'm selling inflatable toys (the "clean" ones, people!) and assorted soft toys outside on the main street - excellent for people-watching and general mucking-around. My co-workers are a pretty great bunch - mostly travellers from Canada, the UK and Ireland (all astonished at how Australians could pay wad loads of cash on absolute crap). The pay is v. nice - $17.38 and there is no photocopying in sight!

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Kitty from hell
It seems that the brand-name clout for that infamous Japanese cartoon-creation should not be underestimated. Hello Kitty has clawed its way past companies, such as HSBC and Cathay Pacific, to become Asia-Pacific's fifth most recognised brand. The survey, conducted by brand consultancy firm Interbrand, named Sony, Samsung, Toyota and Singapore Airlines as the most recognised. Now, if only Sanrio could devise a way to produce Hello Kitty cars and manage Hello Kitty Airways, the "thing" would surely become the biggest brand in the region. I can see the cat rubbing its paws like Dr Evil already...

Apple topped the world's brand name list. Freakishly, Al-Qaeda was 14th - no joke. HK iMail

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Royal Easter Show
Every March, the Royal Agricultural Show rolls around. During the two weeks, people pay large sums of cash to ride on dangerous amusement rides, eat crappy food and pretend to have an interest in farm animals. The closest American equivalent would be the ol' State Fair, but with a lot more kitsch (and not the "retro-cool" kind of kitsch).

I haven't been to one since I was 14 or so. Even then, I only went to get showbags (I refer to them as kiddie crack). Showbags have had a long established tradition at the Show. Originally, they were free sample bags from confectionary companies, given to the kiddies to keep the folks happy. Like everything else in the world, they soon became commercialised (or more commercialised, since they were originally an advertisement, after all). Now, you can get a bag for almost anything, aimed at both kids and adults alike - Coke bag, Pepsi bag, M&Ms bag, LOTR bag, S&M bag... (OK, I made the last one up) - you get the drift. So, instead of getting a load of crap for free, people pay $1-20+ for crap.

Why am I raving on so much about showbags? Well, this year, I have gotten a job selling them!

Monday, March 18, 2002

The Two Towers
Can't wait till the trailer come along? Some clues to what might be shown during the preview are here, at Entertainment Weekly.
Oscar race
Every year, I make a resolution to watch all the Academy Award-nominated best films. Each year, I fail miserably.

I have decided that this year is going to be different. It's a week till the Awards (Sydney time) and I'm already well on my way to seeing all five:
  1. A Beautiful Mind
  2. Gosford Park
  3. In the Bedroom
  4. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings
  5. Moulin Rouge

My most recent venture to the cinemas was to see Gosford Park, yesterday. I have to admit, it took a while before I got into the film. A lot of time is taken to introduce the enormous cast and it did become (momentarily) a bit confusing. I couldn't remember most of the characters until the middle of the film, as my attention was diverted to tackling a v. large ice cream cone. Anyway, Altman should be praised for his ability to manage such a large cast on screen at the same time.

The performances within the ensemble cast are consistently good, especially Maggie Smith's Countess. Her character is absolutely horrible, yet like all celluloid grand dame bitches, she has the most wicked and funny lines.

Conclusion: Great cast. Jeremy Northam singing *swoon*. A really enjoyable film.

Still, LOTR still remains my favourite for the gong.
Build the towers
How does New York City rebuild the WTC site, while memoralising the tragic events of September 11?

Build the Towers has some inspiring design suggestions for the site. Designs were submitted by folks over the net and can be voted for.
Ace of spades
It was an absolutely glorious day. Perfectly azure sky. Incredibly warm weather. So ideal for people-watching on the Town Hall steps. Just when I thought summer had ended in Sydney, Mother Nature plays one of her trump cards. I will definitely miss days like this, when I move away from Sydney.

How long will this pleasant and care-free mood of mine last?

Probably till tomorrow.

Friday, March 15, 2002

Easter piercings
Billboard outside St Andrew's in Sans Souci:

Body piercing saved my life.
By the wounds of Jesus we are healed. see
Isaiah 53 : 5
Rotten tomatoes
The film review website, Rotten Tomatoes, has announced the recipients of their 3rd Annual RT Awards. Films are rated by aggregating the number of positive and negative reviews that were written on it, by a pool of esteemed film critics. The result is a percentage of "Freshness" or "Rottenness" on the "Tomatometer".

The best-reviewed film of 2001 and winner of the Award is Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings. Predictably, the worst film of 2001 is Lara Croft Tomb Raider.

Speaking of tomatoes, this reminds me of a line, from one of my favourite films of 2001 - Hedwig and the Angry Inch:

They threw tomatoes at me. So, I went home and made tomato salad.

Hedwig is ranked 11th.
The Two Towers
Hoyts are planning to attach 4 minutes of extra footage from The Two Towers to the end of Lord of the Rings from Friday, March 29.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Men Are Not Nice Guys
I've had many friends who have gone to the hairdressers, only to wind up dead. We wanted our album to be a memorial to all those who have died from shampoo related accidents. Look, I don't want to make a political issue of it but in my opinion, Toni & Guy are more dangerous than the Ku Klux Klan.

The French duo Grand Popo Football Club's explanation of why their first album is entitled Shampoo Victims, in a mini-interview in "DNA" magazine.

Amen to that.

Men Are Not Nice Guys by Grand Popo Football Club is currently 35 on the Aria Charts.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Most livable city
According to research conducted by William M Mercer, Sydney is the fourth most desirable city to live in. Zurich, Vienna and Vancouver held the top three positions.

Hong Kong ranks a poor 69th.

Monday, March 11, 2002

I see clones
Just saw the latest trailer for Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. It was featured at the end of the 5 o'clock news.

I'ld admit, the Clone War preview does reveal some impressively flashy CGI, but the trailer itself didn't grab me at all. There is no mention of the "love story" plotline, nor Anakin's descent to the dark side, which would make the film worth seeing. It reminded me of the incredibly tedious and highly forgettable Phantom Menace - visually spectacular, but with a plotline that made me fall asleep...*yawn*.

At least they showed Natalie Portman with cinnamon bun hair à la Princess Leia.

Woman In Love
It seems that even I can have too much of Babs... listening to the 40 songs can push any person to the brink.
Gay cliche
Went out to the city and had lunch with CreatineMonster at the QVB. Afterwards, we sauntered off to Borders to do the usual perousing. In a moment of weakness, I bought "The Essential Barbara" double CD (OK, it was hardly spontaneous - I wanted the CD ever since I saw the television ad on the weekend and almost wet myself), as well as a couple of queer mags ("DNA" and "Out"). It was only after much encouragement (from moi) did CM buy the Sondheim double CD he was intently looking at. (As a couple of poor uni students, we are definitely bad together - our wallets become way too loose.)

Before parting ways, I dragged him over to Marcs to check out their funky striped and paisley shirts (and the boys). At $250 a piece, they are way too expensive and so not worth it. Besides, I know I'ld look crap in one.

Sunday, March 10, 2002

In the beginning...

I decided to be a good little boy and start work on my Practical Legal Training . The course officially starts on Monday, but I thought a little pre-emptive strike on the course work would do no harm. After all, I always complain about playing catch up.

Advise to others: the problem with electronic distance courses is that one requires a whole lot of concentration and self-discipline to actually do the work involved (two qualities which I definitely lack and will surely lead to my undoing). Be prepared to have your attention diverted to other things, such as snacking, vacuuming and the internet...

What has four hours on the computer today produced?

My first blog.