I s O t O n I c

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Philosophies of Japanese Drama

I guess many people, me included, are attracted to Japanese drama because of their "feel-good" factor. We would like to feel encouraged and that we have learnt something. Whether is it family drama like Under One Roof, love drama like Love Generation and Long Love Letter, Occupation-specific drama like Hero, GTO and ER 24 hours, the motivational speeches and philosophical musings are omnipresent.

The common themes usually revolve around the attitude towards life and living, often delivered in the form of constant encouragement exchanged between the characters:--
1) Make the best of our current situation; work hard and treat the job given to us seriously;
2) Don't live in the past, treasure the present
3) If you give up, there is no hope left

Sometimes I wonder whether this feature of Japanese Drama, which has also been adapted into current Taiwanese Idol Drama and Chinese Drama, is a reflection of the outlook Japanese are brought up to have, and if it is a by-product of the World War or even a factor of Japan's successful metamorphism into a developed nation in the post-war era.

By the way, the other observation of Jap Drama is that they are generally shorter in terms of the number of episodes, and this probably reflects on their fast pace of life and the general intolerance to wasting time on long and draggy drama? At least these are my exact sentiments...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

David's Interview on 933

The link to the recorded interview of David Tao on his latest album, by someone in davidcn.com

Monday, January 17, 2005


There's a saying「买卖不成仁义在」; I guess in real life, a person's truest character can only be seen in times of rejection and loss. As Martin Luther King, Jr put it,
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
We all probably have, at one time or another, had the benefit of observing the "before" and "after" of certain events and figures, from different perspectives. Although the outcome may not always be as ideal as we would have hoped for, it nevertheless serves as a lesson learnt -- the real winners accept results with grace.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Singapore wins Tiger Cup

My doubts have been proven unfounded, and I am more than glad for that.

The Singapore team continued their tenacious fight against early favourites Indonesia in the second leg of the finals at Kallang Stadium, in the presence of a fullhouse of 55,000 red-shirted Singapore supporters.

Indra Sahdan Daud put the ball beautifully into the net in the 6th minute, dictating the pace for the rest of the game. After Abu Casmir converted a penalty in the 41st minute, Singapore looked set to win the tournament with a four-goal agregate lead. The Indonesians did find their persistence answered in the wake of a ruffled Singapore defence with less than 20 minutes to go before the final whistle. Fortunately for the Lions' supporters, complacency and arrogance were not allowed to creep in and turn the tides. The game was exciting throughtout especially for the first half. Lionel Lewis, who was later deservingly named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, did well to keep the scoreline of the second leg at 2-1 till the end of the game, which gave Singapore a convincing 5-2 victory and plenty to smile about.

The banner that was held by three Indonesian supporters left in the stadium as the camera panned to them spoke volumes with the word--"over", a folded version of "far from over". It has been long since the Singapore soccer team last won an international trophy in home ground. The jubilant faces of the players lifting the trophy would definitely be etched in the fans' minds, just like the 1994 Malaysia Cup and the 1998 Tiger Cup victories.

Looking at the way the young Singapore players played tonight, the future of the national team seems bright. Let's hope that we would not be disappointed.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Summary of Previous Posts

The "3"

Thanks to an invention called the USB hub, I have solved the problem and banished my old keyboard to the store.

New Channel U TV Schedule

With a few weeks to the end of its run, Fiery Thunderbolt is becoming more and more incredulous and exciting! The popularity of the show is probably due to people's affinity for controversy, bickering and sarcasm, and not forgetting the scriptwriters' ability to come up with sharp one-liners. For me, I like the good example set by the unrealistically perfect characters and looking at their business schemes (though in this respect Taiwan Ahseng seems to be better). Good for unwinding over dinner at the end of the day.

David Tao's new album (21/1)

I've decided after reading David Tao's blog about his current MVs shooting that I would wait for the modified version of the CD to be released and decide whether to purchase a copy instead of being tempted by the pre-order gifts. Though no profit-minded music company would release confirmation of whether such a modified version is in the pipelines, I have a feeling that a repeat of the Black Tangerine album would happen, where a modified version of the album complete with MVs were released later, to the disappointment of fans who purchased the first version of the album. No idea whether it would be pricier though. I would have to content myself with the waiting then.

My revamped blog design

Ans 1: MRT Tunnel
Ans 2: Used lightstick swinging (for one of MCS' SG idol finals episode)
Did you get them correct?

Tiger Cup Finals 1st leg - Singapore 3 Indonesia 1

I think nobody should be over-confident of Singapore's chances of clinching the cup as:
1) Indonesia came back from being beaten 1-2 by M'sia in the first leg of the semi-finals to beat M'sia 4-1 in the second leg of the semis in KL, and hence ousting M'sia from a spot in the finals. Most of the goals scored were late goals. The last minute goal against Singapore last week was reminiscent of that.
2) Following the suspension of Noh Alam Shah, it would be a question of whether his likely replacement, the less aggressive striker Indra Sahdan Daud, would be able to face up to Indonesia's tough-tackling defenders with his counterparts.

We have seen S'pore sports representatives like Li Jiawei missing out on the Olympics bronze medal after attaining a convincing lead and with victory in sight. Malaysia practically gave away their spot in the finals as they failed to soldier on after Indonesia scored the goal to neutralise Malaysia's lead in the second leg. It is crucial in any game that the players must play to win, dare to win and possess a never-give-up mentality of steel, and most importantly, never be complacent.

New Year's Resolution

I am changing it to Chinese New Year's Resolution already, and this speaks a lot about the state of the no. 2 resolution (fighting procrastination) on my list. There are certainly a lot of things to improve on, and no.3 (becoming organized) is desperately needed to save myself from lack of productivity!!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Stubborness (Mayday)






Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Ruhua Quiz (link)

For the benefit of avid fans of Stephen Chow's movie, here's an interesting contest by my dear cuzzie. Hurry, as the The Ruhua Quiz is ending soon...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New Year's Resolution

I remember at the new year's eve gathering dinner when everybody was supposed to talk about her new year's resolution, I said that my resolution was to come up with my new year's resolution by 10th Jan. It is now one hour past 10th Jan!! But don't worry, I have already come up wih it before that, just that I didn't get to put it down in writing.

As usual, I am rather greedy, so there are 3 resolutions instead. (Notice I can type the number "3" without annoyance! Finally,. I confirm it was my keyboard problem. Anyway, let's not digress...) My resolution:
1) To lead a healthier lifestyle
2) To fight procrastination
3) To be more organised (I know I have said this quite a number of times, but...)

While I believe it helps to put them down in writing as a reminder or some sort of an agreement with myself, after all, talk is CHEAP. So let's see how faithfully I can adhere to these...
(btw, it's 1.20am now...what am I still doing at this hour typing about wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle? Maybe from tomorrow onwards...then ain't I procrastinatiing? :p I think I'm feeling sleepy...)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Football Craze

After reading through the reports of Singapore's 2nd Semi-final game versus Myanmar, I was appalled to find that 3 Myanmar players actually got sent off during the game and the fourth--a reserve player got ordered off the bench into the dressing room! What a bizarre state of ASEAN football...

To think that this actually happened in Singapore...
Quoted from an FAS article:
"Myanmar's incensed fans, dear victory slipping from their grasp, were involved in running scuffles with Singapore fans and security personnel after Kyaw Thu and Lynn Thun's dismissals. Both sets of fans were culpable for the chaos as they taunted each other, squared off aggressively and flung the stadium's dustbins around before being subdued by security."

Like the maddened Myanmar fans who vaulted the 3 metre drop from the terraces to attack police officers, their team had lost the plot, leaving coach Ivan Kolev dumbfounded at their blazing fury as any semblance of team discipline or shape vanished."

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Tiger Cup Finals 1st leg - Singapore 3 Indonesia 1

I haven't been following soccer closely ever since the Malaysia Cup Games in and before 1994. Even after Singapore's 4-0 triumph over Pahang in the 1994 finals, it was quite a disappointment to learn the year after that Singapore's "Dream Team" had in fact won a corrupted Pahang side, and even Abbas Saad was involved.

From then on, my interest in soccer as a spectator sport was only sparked during the 2002 World Cup and 2004 Euro season, and perhaps, during the finals of games like Tiger Cup 1998 when Singapore was involved. Overall, Singapore's performance in recent years has been lacklustre, and talks of Goal 2010 have long been abandoned.

I was prompted to turn on the TV tonight when my friend changed her msn nick to indicate Singapore was leading 2-0. It seemed that Singapore had a number of foreign players in the team. The only three familiar names I heard (that speaks a lot on how long I have been detached from the soccer scene) were Lionel Lewis, Aide Iskandar and S.Subramani. According to the commentators, Indonesia was "classy" against the Malaysia Team in the Semis while Singapore performed quite badly against Myanmar, and thus Indonesia was "expected" to give Singapore a thrashing. Nobody expected Singapore to come off with a favorable lead of 2-0.

By the time Singapore scored the third goal, the camera panned to show members of the Indonesian supporters leaving the stadium, with 20 minutes to the end of the game. Those who stayed on were rewarded at the last minute literally, when a free kick from the Indonesian side was converted to a difficult goal.

Will Singapore be able to maintain the lead and win the Tiger Cup next week? Let's cross our fingers and keep our eyes glued to the TV...

My revamped blog design

In sooth, this is not a "new" design but a modified one from the existing template.

Banner: I hope to add a personal touch by using a photo I took and tweaked it... someone correctly identified it as my current msn pic ;)
Question 1: Can anyone tell what's the subject of the photo?

Background: My preference is always for a dark background (as opposed to a bright one) as I believe that
1) a dark background would help decrease my screen's chances of burning out
2) reduce electricity consumption for the display
3) photos look better mounted on a dark background
Hence, I dug out a recent picture I took with a dark background and fortunately it seems to fit well.
Question 2: Can anyone tell what's the object in the background pic?

Doodle-board: For comments as it is easy to miss out new comments under the posts (Therefore the decision was made not to show it). It also has more flexibility for customisation and emoticons than my previous tag board.

That's how it came about.

David Tao's new album (21/1)

Yay...finally there's something to talk about.

After a break of over a year, the first of David Tao's new line of album production, "The Great Leap", is going to be released soon, opening to preordering 2 days from now.

Seems like the majority of his recent songs smack of social consciousness and past relationships.

Check out the info site for more details and sound clip.

Track Listing:

Excerpts from the info site:

(by David Tao)
Production Concepts and Techniques for The Great Leap

I have long felt the need to simplify things in my own music while maintaining its diversity and fullness. That's often a difficult balance to strike. It's not just about the arrangement of the songs but also involves the lyrics, melody and overall vision of the production. The technology of music making has exponentially grown over the past ten years and we now have at our disposal an abundance of software, hardware, sounds and techniques for which to create music. With this, naturally, comes the temptation of abusing these resources of simply being lazy in the process of a production. I truly feel what we hear nowadays in Chinese music (myself to blame as well) is superfluous in terms of production values. Instrumentation, lyrics, and melodies are layered upon layers of meaningless elements creating not one cohesive song or sound but rather fragments that cancel each other out. Truly, the theory that "less is more" has been forgotten in music and, perhaps, everything we do.

Therefore, in this album, I have attempted to "limit" myself in the production and arrangement of the songs by keeping instrumentation down to only four distinct instruments. This returns to the more traditional setup of a four-piece band or quartet. For example, of a song were to have drums, bass, guitar and a piano that would then constitute as four distinct instruments. I would not "allow" myself to add additional instrumentation but would rather either substitute something out or alter a particular part to so it works better within the arrangement. If I felt the need to add strings in an already complete four-piece arrangement then I would be "forced" to remove one of the instruments so as to allow adding the string part. These seemingly restrictive "rules" would actually push me to think outside the box and make the instrumentation more meaningful instead of just simply adding more sounds and parts to create a fuller arrangement. This is perhaps a reductive method of production rather than an "additive" one but the outcome, in my mind, leads to a larger and more transparent soundscape.

This "four element" method has also been somewhat distilled into other areas of the production such as in the background vocals, melodies and lyrics. What I've tried to do is to keep each element as simple as possible so that it is accessible and easy to digest upon first sight and listening. You'll find less background vocals and parts than in previous songs of mine because I would hold back till I absolutely felt the need to add them. Vocal or instrument parts that were usually layered two to four times now are only stacked once. What you may find is that things have, in fact, gotten lager and fatter rather than smaller or narrower as one would expect. The attitude, character and performances of parts (vocals and instruments) has also been kept in their more original, raw form rather than edited or overly polished. What I'm attempting to do is to capture the honesty of the moment rather than creates and piece something together that sounds "perfect". Once you realize that you only have four instruments or elements to work with then you become more critical and tuned in to what each part is playing within the arrangement. Each instrument and song will sound thin, incomplete and dull. Rather than adding more parts to enhance a song, you now must work out and design a part till it fully complements its three other counterparts to create a single, organic and dynamic arrangement. There is less room for sloppiness, as your must trim the "fat" so that each part is a well-greased cog within the arrangement machine.

DT 1/6/05 5:54pm

Haha I am doing free publicity for DT's album :p

Sunday, January 02, 2005

New Channel U TV Schedule

With the merger of Channel U with Mediacorp, here's the new Channel U's tv schedule

Going by the current tv programmes that i watch, I would be facing the goggle box from 10pm to 12.30am every weekday...that's 2.5 hours of tv every day and at least 12.5 hours of tv every week...oh dear...

10pm - 11pm: Fiery Thunderbolt
11pm - 11.30pm: News
11.30pm - 12.30am: City Ladies

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Plenty of long weekends this year

Lifted from straitstimes again...providing some inspiration though...

Jan 1, 2005
Plenty of long weekends this year