terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

MOL (Morons Online)

To borrow a line from Red Green from The Red Green Show: You need to get a license to have a gun, but they'll let anyone use the internet...

OK! It has to stop: since yesterday I've been getting emails from other buyers of Apple stuff responding to a list (a fucking LIST, you idiots) e-newsletter, saying that they want to stop receiving the info. It's a fucking list, Chuan, A. Suresh and Wee Keong! (I'm pissed off enough that I'm not about to care about naming you idiots now.) Respond to the instructions at the bottom how to unsubscribe to the list.


"Quando omni flunkus, mortati"


Originally uploaded by Terz.

A confused Kingfisher got my attention today.

Was on a smoke break outside the studio when I heard the tok-tok-tok of something organic striking a hollow metal tube. By the time I ran in and got my camera, this little fella was already a couple of inches away from his original spot and looking sheepish.

I'll so miss this place when the developers it'll be more lucrative to tear down the entire street and build a condo in its place. Not many of these little tucked-away estates left in Singapore, and none of the new condo developments have any sort of real character.


Back in Singapore. Got about 400 pics from the trip in Phuket, but I haven't really gotten around to editing them yet. I'm guessing 50 pics would be a good selection for 200-page book - there are at least four other chapters with work by other photographers.

Been a bit nua because of the inactivity compared to the four days I was going all over the place and shooting, complete with the stress of losing 150 images because of equipment failure.

But I'll say this: Phuket is worth a visit. Phuket. Is. Worth. A. Visit.

Go there.

Go there because the people there need the tourist dollar to survive. Go there because the hotels and other entertainment places along Patong Beach have been rebuilt, restored and renewed, so new we could smell the paint and varnish of the walls and furniture. Go there because the beaches are empty. Go there because the food is excellent. Go there because the scenery is beautiful and the sunsets are amazing. Go there because the people are still as wonderful as ever.* Go there because people need to feed their families.

* (Beware, however, of the Indian nationals who have taken over some of the stalls along the streets. They're almost all over the place now, and they're not very good at bargaining. Well, to be fair, they're great at bargaining, but unless you want to pay up to three times more than what you'd pay at a stall run by a Thai for an imitation tee-shirt, I suggest not going to them.)

But go there anyway.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Mission accomplished.

Shoot done.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

... on my last day...
Originally uploaded by Terz.

... in Phuket
Originally uploaded by Terz.

And, in the words of the unfortunate Bob Sagat, "I'm coming home."

Photos shot from the balcony of my hotel room.

A whole new service standard...

Originally uploaded by Terz.

"You wan picture, you pay hundra baht!" says the girl in white in the picture as I tried metering for the light in streets.

I heard about it and read about it online before I boarded the flight to Phuket. Didn't want to believe it, that vendors have become pushy and are now openly ripping off tourists; but then again, it isn't the local people who are doing it.

It doesn't help that there are people like her around when the locals are trying to revive their only means of livelihood in post-tsunami Phuket.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


I'd wanted to post an entry about Phuket and how wonderful it's been since we got here on assignment. Then this had to impose itself onto the schedule: equipment failure.

I can't remember when was the last time it happened, but I suspect it was during the shoot with the Singapore World Schools Debate team some time in November when images were lost from the card. Then today, after a three-hour drive (return) to Khao Lak, and shooting like mad for the first time in a while (160 images in 3 hours' worth of work - including driving time in between), meeting wonderful people (survivors, volunteers) and getting great shots of them, I come back to the hotel and find out that only seven out of the 160 survived whatever it was that plagued my CF card. The rest were just markers, containing 0 KB of information.

Bloody hell.

So tomorrow, instead of going to Phi Phi for the rest of the story, we're going all the way back to Khao Lak.

Bloody hell.

In the meantime, enjoying myself here otherwise. Will return as planned on Tuesday.

Friday, August 26, 2005

One more meme before I go...

From bee:

200 things I've done (in red) at least once the past 33 years:

01. bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. swam with wild dolphins
03. climbed a mountain
04. taken a ferrari for a test drive
05. been inside the great pyramid
06. held a tarantula
07. taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. said i love you and meant it
09. hugged a tree
10.done a striptease
11.bungee jumped
12.visited paris
13.watched a lightning storm at sea
14.stayed up all night long and watch the sun rise
15.seen the northern lights
16.gone to a huge sports game
17. walked the stairs to the top of leaning tower of pisa (CLOSED! When I was there!)
18.grown and eaten your own vegetables
19.touched an iceberg
20.slept under the stars
21.changed a baby's diaper
22.taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23.watched a meteor shower
24.gotten drunk on champagne
25.given more than you can afford to charity
26.looked up the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse
30. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse
41. Ridden a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
48. Had two hard drives for your computer
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government's official in that country to avoid notice
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Benchpressed your own weight
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetized your records
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it
81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
90. Gotten married
91. Been in a movie
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn't have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office
97. Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice
101. Gotten a tattoo
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
105. Got flowers for no reason
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don't remember anything
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
109. Performed on stage
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night stand
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a check
124. Performed in Rocky Horror
125. Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congress person
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
134. ... more than once? - More than thrice?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
140. Wrote articles for a large publication
141. Lost over 100 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a seizure
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone's heart
146. Helped an animal give birth
147. Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone
150. Killed a human being
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
157. Ridden a horse
158. Had major surgery
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet
161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
174. Gotten someone fired for their actions
175. Gone back to school
176. Parasailed
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad
181. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
183. ... and gotten 86’ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196: Dyed your hair
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Been arrested

I guess I shouldn't be playing "I have never..." any time soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Sorry all, especially those who were planning, or have planned, to meet me this weekend. Will be leaving on Saturday for Phuket on assignment.

Will check mail only when I return on Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bad End to Good Day

Went to watch Perth: The Geylang Massacre last night with N and EJL.

That's 105 minutes of my life and $7 I'll never get back.

Look, I'm all for supporting the local movie industry, but when the movie is a case of let's see how much Singaporabilia we can cram into those 105 mins, it's probably not something I'd appreciate. Chief among those: talkative taxi drivers, foul-mouthed Bengs and their mobile phones ringing in the field while they are on reservist training, a protagonist called Harry Lee (nudge, nudge. Yawn), coffee shop politics, every local girl in the movie seen with a foreign boyfriend, a maid hanging out the kitchen window to clean them and gambling as a national obsession.

Spoiler space...

What's good about the movie
Lim Kay Tong. Especially in the scene where he gets drunk. Good actor, good range of facial emotions.

What bad about the movie
Lim Kay Tong. Perhaps it's just the script, but I find it hard to believe a 52-year old man, who used to be in the Commandos, then in the merchant navy, who was the batch of NSmen from 1967, speaks an amazing English. Good actor, bad script, wrong for role.

What's wrong with the movie
Gawd, where do I begin?

Pacing. Pacing. Pacing.

Gratuitous violence and swearing.

Each scene is about a minute or two too long. I was cringing the whole time during the scene when he beats on his wife. In the stomach. For two minutes. OK, OK, so Irreversible had something like that too. So what?

Harry masturbates. LOUDLY. VERY LOUDLY.

Protagonist was in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime, or just before the takeover, and meets a girl. He sees a girl many years later in Singapore, working as an escort, from Vietnam. And in one scene he speaks Vietnamese to the girl. In most others, he's speaking English to her. Huh?

Speaking of the Khmer Rouge: in a flashback, a Khmer Rouge fighter drags the Cambodian girl away. Said fighter is wearing the scarf that's used by all good Khmer Rouge men and women. Scarf is blue.

Decking an officer during BCTC gets you a $1000 fine.

Swearing for the sake of swearing only. I mean, how long can someone keep up that kind of swearing even when they're pissed off?

Captions? Or subtitles? Can somebody decide? Can somebody proofread the damned things before the movie got released?

Stereotypes all. Caricatures even.

Ang-mohs get beat up in this movie. A lot. Woohoo. And I'm asking myself a lot too: What the fuck for? Perhaps it's because all of them are portrayed as assholes who come here and lord it over us?

Massacre in Geylang? Massacre? Massacre? Five. Count it. One hand. Five. I realise it's the Singapore thing to add dumbass subtitles to movie titles because otherwise people won't know what the fuck the movie is about, but a little sense goes a long way.

What's funny about the movie
At the coffee shop, Harry orders a teh and a Milo from the coffeeshop owner. Coffeeshop owner calls out to the back of the shop their orders. Then in the next scene, he's making the tea and Milo himself.

It's the first movie in a long time I wanted to walk out on. That is saying a lot.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Progress Report 1

Progress Report 1
Originally uploaded by Terz.

At the end of Week One of casting.

Moving along as I'd hoped.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

It Is Here

After two-plus years of waiting: it will hit bookstores 8 November 2005. Except that I don't have to go down to the book store; my order with Amazon from 3 March 2004 (not a typo), is still open. So, yay for me.

A bit of a surprise actually, didn't know about this until I decided to visit Martin's home page here, and lo!

[Does happy dance around the room.]

(Interesting thing though, I've read this cycle from the first incarnation, A Game of Thrones, when it was a simple paperback version; moved on to A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords in their hardback forms; and now, it's a completely new and different hardcover design. I suspect I might end up buying the whole series again in one form or another.)

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Casting Call, Part 2

Hey there, all of you who've responded to my request...

Received an SMS from belle and brian today that basically said that they've she's replied to my email but it would appear that I haven't been receiving anything (something to bring up with the website provider).

So here's the deal: SMS me when you'll want to come down for the casting. The phone number's in the email I sent you.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Lunchtime Musings

Beemer Prick
Originally uploaded by Terz.

For the first time in a long while, when I was actually less dissatisfied with a cabby than usual, I run into another kind of idiot.

Said cabby, while surly, actually obeyed usual traffic laws and stopped at the edge of the yellow box you can sorta pick out in the image.

Then what happens?

Prick in the Beemer pulls up from the left lane, slots neatly into the space.


What else could I do but to take this pic on the wonky mobile (more about that later)? Again I say, idiots of the world, beware.


At lunch, I learn that our dear (and only) power company is charging a friend of ours almost double what he's normally paying every month for electricity use. That's in the letter he received after he wrote in to ask about the sudden increase in expenditure.

Their reason? It's the hot season so they're charging 15% more.

OK, to a layman like me, it seems like a double charge, doesn't it? It's hot, we're using the airconditioners more, or leaving them on longer, so we're already going to be paying more. And on top of that, it's costing more per unit?

Repeat after me, WTF?

I go to the website and the increase for the period 1 July to 30 September seems to be related to rising oil prices worldwide.

So which is which now?


Ending lunch on a good note, R tells the story of his friend who went to a massage parlour in Chinatown Malaysia:

Friend goes for a massage. He gets a full body one, then the young woman servicing him asks:

"Sir, penis?"

"No, no, no."

She goes on for a while, then asks again:


"No, no."

She goes on again, then:

"Penis! Penis!"


"Oh! Finish!"



After lunch, I dump my things at the studio and stalk my way to Parkway Parade so as to let loose on the idiots (well, one idiot) at the M1 outlet for the wonky phone they sold me.

Seems like the MMC they gave is really crappy and attempting to use the phone cam, while saving the images taken to the memory card, elicits a "System Error" message. So I was going to go there, raise some hell (especially since I made another trip to the outlet just last Thursday to get the card changed because it was losing me my images, only to be told that it's not an M1 responsibility, but Nokia's - unfortunately I was tired that day and didn't think through the crap they fed me: they were the last point of purchase. The fault was with the MMC which was not provided by Nokia. So why the fuck should I go to Nokia in the first place?), get the card replaced, glower at the idiot some more, then coming back to the studio to await a JC student who was coming to interview me.

Then lo, halfway to PP, I tried my phone again. It worked.

Bloody hell.

Took the long walk back, my thunder abated.

Still going to change the card though, but not a hot day like today.


In other news: the junior college has now taken five weeks to try to pay me. And it's still not all in yet.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Few words, pics

The lone flautist in the hotel lobby.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Lunch in a Kintamani restaurant, so-so food, buffet-style, overlooking Mount and Lake Batur.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Sunset at Kuta Beach,

Originally uploaded by Terz.


Originally uploaded by Terz.

And Jimbaran.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

More images (some only for Friends and Family) are here.

Obviously I wasn't there on a shoot. The camera, which I'd brought along despite the lengthy debate I had with myself whether or not to, was in the hotel room safe for most of the time, taken out with the missus and I only when we went on day trips away from our quiet little corner on Tanjong Benoa beach in the heart of Nusa Dua. So I was content with just the camera phone for the first three days of the vacation. And even then, I wasn't as trigger-happy as I usually am on such trips.

I was there to rest. And I think I did.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

All beached out

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Title says it all.

I'm back and I'm all beached-out for a while. I'll upload the photos from the trip (not that many, since I was on holiday) in a few days.

What I'll say now: there's nothing quite like spending the whole day on a beach, drinking beer underneath cool, green umbrellas, and reading Murakami's "Kafka on the Shore".


Casting Call Update:

Thanks a lot, everyone who's indicated interest. I'm back in Singapore now, so keep the offers coming. Please?

To those of you whom I've contacted, the casting calendar (all three weeks) is up already.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Casting Call

OK, I've put this off long enough already and since my schedule for the next couple of weeks has been cleared because of the holidays and the enforced break I'm taking, I might as well start now or not at all:

I'm making a casting call for people, male and female, who have tattoos. Anywhere, any design, preferably extensive ones (not one of those teeny, weeny little ones on bellies or ankles or stuff) - anything larger than maybe the size of a whole palm. I'm doing a personal project on people who think of tats as art, a form of expression, anything, and who want to show off and be willing to appear in a book I'll be producing at the end of it. There'll be an interview as well, and parts of it will appear in the book as well. So, if you have tats and don't mind appearing in an image in a book and have a bit of what you say to me during the shoot appear as well, leave a message in the comments for this entry.

I'm looking for about 60 subjects.

I can't pay for the modelling, but I can pay for drinks, meals, transportation. So let me know, leave a comment.


There's that... casting will be between 12 August and the end of the month, shoots will begin, hopefully in September and then go on for as long as it takes.


You know, I like AXN.

I love the programming, I love it that they air TAR, CSI and Lost (even despite the fact that they had to start screening the series after Mediacrap's Channel 5 did - apparently some contractual thing - I like how it's like a personal 'fuck-you' from them to be screening the Lost marathon every Saturday). I like how their screening times don't change to make way for other shows because I really like turning on the television set at a certain time and see the programme I was planning to watch in the first place (unlike some idiot station that changes, weekly, shows starting a) on time, b) fifteen minutes later, c) half an hour later, d) one hour later, and e) not aired at all, without notification, and so on).

I like that AXN doesn't screen the really good shows at ungodly times, then cancel the next seasons because "there isn't enough viewership to justify buying that series from the American networks." (If I'm not wrong, the latest season of The West Wing began on 5 between the hours of midnight and 1 a.m. some time ago, but of course, no one knew about it, and we've long since given up on catching it Channel 5; and "Scrubs" returned to the boobtube a fortnight ago, at the very prime hour of 2 a.m. or 2.30 a.m..)

Uh, yeah. Have all of you highly-paid studio execs, who are probably too busy organising the nth Star Charity event in the year, figured out why yet?

Lately though, the love affair's kinda soured: I hate it that the editors now choose to cut away to ads at the most inopportune time, sometimes cutting off the last bit of dialogue or action. I hate it that programmes don't cut away to ads at the points in the shows where the creators meant for them to do so. I hate it that I have to rush through a toilet break and come back to catch the start of the next segment, only for the show to go to commercial breaks within five minutes. I hate it that the teaser ads are getting really crappy (did someone get fired and now the job's in the hands of some fifteen-year old moron?).

But I especially loathe the latest ads that congratulate us, the viewers, for being part of the "the elite of Asia" watching AXN. Excuse me? Elite?

AXN Elite
Originally uploaded by Terz.

First of all, why are you reducing yourself to the level of that not-to-be-named local broadcast company and patting yourselves on the back for higher viewership? Is that even necessary? If people are watching you, they'll keep watching you. If they're not, then they wouldn't be contributing to making you guys the most watched international TV station in Asia, would they? Self-important, self congratulations? How very LC.

And secondly, and I ask again, "Elite of Asia?" Who the hell came up with that copy and who the hell signed off on it? Way to alienate the rest of your viewing public, dudes.

Not a good idea.

Not good at all.