terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Back to Nature

Leaves Small
Originally uploaded by Terz.

"It's the idea that people living close to nature tend to be noble. It's seeing all those sunsets that does it. You can't watch a sunset and then go off and set fire to your neighbour's tepee."

- From 'Ishmael', by Daniel Quinn

So it's been just over three years that I was last on Pulau Ubin. Some things have changed: like the new ferry terminal at Changi Village to take the bumboats (along with the security screening upon your return to the mainland); like the sudden increase in the number of Singaporeans who seem to have taken to nature in a big way - there were hordes of them on the island in the last two days I was there. Interesting because from the way they were dressed for their day out in nature, the kinds of things they were carrying and the conversations among them, they're probably the ones who'd die in about one hour if they ever get lost.

But some things don't change.

I still know the island like the back of my hand. Managed to make my way on foot down to the jetty the last two days - couldn't wait for the vehicle the first time (besides, it gave me something to do) and couldn't wait to leave the set the second time (again, it was something to do).

Plus, I think lost some weight doing that on top of everything.

Always good to me, Mother Nature is.


"I said, I like the little things. The way a glass feels in your hand. A good glass, thick, with a heavy base. I love the sound an ice cube makes when you drop it from just the right height. Too high and it'll chip when you drop it. Chip the ice and it'll melt too fast in the Scotch. Good Scotch sits in a charcoal barrel for 12 years. Very good Scotch gets smoked for 29 years. Johnnie Walker Blue is 60-year old Scotch..."

"You had a drink."

"I"m an alcoholic. I don't have one drink. I don't understand people who have one drink. I don't understand people who leave half a glass of wine on the table. I don't understand people who say they've had enough. How can you have enough of a feeling like this? How can you not wanna feel like this longer?"

- Leo Thomas McGarry, played by John Spencer (RIP), from The West Wing.

Nothing like three glases of Remy Martin (granted, not 60-year old Scotch - courtesy of the parentals; thankfully, I have another, larger, bottle left on the shelves) on the rocks, and about two episodes of The West Wing Season Three, to make up for the malaise I've been feeling for a long time. Ever since I learnt (or, rather, come to the realisation) that my partial-baby isn't my partial-baby anymore.

Redundancy. It's been told to me that I should always work to make myself redundant. Nope. Not when you feel strongly enough for something. Anything.

How fun.

Friday, April 28, 2006

More Scenes from a Multiple Society

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Woman in the picture (centre) orders a whole ton of food from the Indian-Muslim stall at the coffee shop. Man comes by with all her orders and tells her the cost of the whole meal. She tells him to give her the breakdown of the costs. She does not listen to him as he lists out everything; instead, she gorges herself on the food in front of her. Then she nods and waves him off dismissively, handing him the money for the meal. When he returns with the change, she asks him again. The sum is correct, and he is dismissed again. While he's still within earshot, she sagely tells her children (boy hidden behind her bulk) that 'they' cannot be trusted. Always count wrongly, always give change wrongly.

Well, in this case, everything was correct.

racism - noun:

1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character and that a particular race is superior to others.

2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

discrimination - noun:

1. Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice.

2. Basing one's opinion of an entire racial or class group on what one knows from one or a minority of a racial or class group.

The sad thing is that this appears a well-heeled family, with all the trappings of being able to afford an education at the 'better' schools on this island; the boy spoke English well (ie, everything was grammatical) and, though loud, had opinions to share; the mother, when espousing her views, also spoke with in a clipped manner I normally associate with the civil service (like there was some course all those years ago that teach civil servants how to speak in a 'prah-per' manner; all three are dressed in the finest clothes I've seen at a neighbourhood coffee shop, on a weekday, at lunch.

Somewhere, somehow, I'm thinking when we had to consciously celebrate something like racial harmony, a la Racial Harmony Day in schools, something went terribly wrong.

Me. I finished my meal; debated internally whether or not to comment loudly to the guy from the stall, "Why are you bothering. Stupid woman isn't even listening to you..."; gave him a nod of solidarity instead; and went on my way.

Originally uploaded by Terz.


Had a shoot today in the building that looks like that building from the Ghostbusters movie. Went well, I guess, if I don't count the morons from security making the whole thing feel worse than I'd anticipated.

I'd received a forwarded email from the building people in which I'm to bow down to the great and powerful building maintenace staff: don't enter by main door; turn in your IC (and only IC) at the security counter in the basement car park; use the fireman lift only.

When we got there, it was multiple checks by multiple security guards at every point of access; my assistant having to show her face, because, heck, having just her IC with me to exchange for the really, really ratty security pass just wasn't enough. Dude, she's carrying the lights, light stands and every other little bit of paraphernalia . I'm not about to make her walk all the way to the security counter just to show you her face.

And if I appear to be rude and uncooperative: you try responding to being treated in the manner in which we were treated. Let's see if you can remain chirpy.

10 minutes.


Thank you very much.

* And it didn't help that one of the clients said something to the effect of, "but he only a photographer, what would he know about retouching?"

Yeah, right, lady. You're lucky you weren't one of the those getting shot today; how would you like it if I put some of your colleagues' blemishes and visible nose hair on you?

Think about that.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Originally uploaded by Terz.

It's only been two months, but the kitten, from those months ago is growing nicely into a good size for a tomcat.

Now, if only we can get him snipped before we allow him to roam the house freely.

Ink Stretches
Originally uploaded by Terz.


Meanwhile, does anyone else feel gypped when they order fast food on the phone, wait anywhere between 45-60 minutes, pay a $2 delivery charge and then open up the bag with the fries to find this?

Gyp 1
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Gyp 2
Originally uploaded by Terz.

And this isn't even after I'd munched on them for a while. Plus, has anyone else ordered the 'upsized' versions only to get pretty much the same number of fries?

Some things are left much to be desired.


Just watching title sequence to the new season of Alias, and I'm wondering if anyone else in the cast is wondering, "What am I? Chopped liver?"

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Weekend of Waste

It started off as the last break from mundaneness before the 'excitement' of the filming begins.

What better way than to attend Muddy Murphy's 10th Anniversary bash on Saturday night, where my favourite local band's playing from 9 until midnight?

Hey I'll go wherever the booze is cheap[er].

Only trouble was that by the time we got there at about 7, the place was packed and all we had was a little ledge on which to put our drinks. Not that that's so bad, just that my legs had been aching for a whlie and seat would have been nice.

Guinness Gallery
Originally uploaded by Terz.

We did secure a table eventually, thanks to Mandy, who managed to make friends with the people at said table, that we duly commandeered when they left.

Before the Set
Originally uploaded by Terz.

There wasn't space for the band when they arrived as well. Still, the atmosphere was what I'd expect from an Irish pub, crowd and all.

Wouldn't have stayed for too long, if not for Ruok's 16th birthday. Was feeling a little out of it the whole day and it didn't help that the music over the PA is louder than what I was used to in Walas. I really should have slept in the afternoon before going. Then again, I can't really complain about the $8 pints of Guinnesses available all night. That and the short skirts of some of the wait staff.

BDay Boy
Originally uploaded by Terz.


Sunday was pretty much the same. Woke up at noon, so I missed the football game on the field. Then it was WoW for most of the day, while waiting for D to call about helping him move stuff from the studio. Yeah, more evictions - go fig.

Just thought I should be trying to get as much XP as I can before the two-week hiatus because of the filming.

Anyways, we met up for dinner (turns out D forgot about calling me and moved everything to William's place in the end) where a not-so-unexpected announcement was made. I mean, seriously, no one was surprised, so I guess it was on the cards for a while already.

But congrats! in case I had forgotten to say it in our moment of feigned surprise.


The night was bad though. Was feeling the morose motherfucker towards the end of the evening and then tried drowning everything in a couple of glasses of vodka.

I can't wait to leave this country on a holiday.

Just the film to be done, one month. One month.

One month.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ink 1, Tom Holt 0

Torn Holt
Originally uploaded by Terz.

So, Ink's found a new toy in the house, one not sanctioned by us, but you know cats. And this is the result. The missus says it's reparable, but I'm not that keen on my books being in this state and then repaired with scotch tape.

Oh well.

'Who Afraid of Beowulf?"

Not Ink, it would appear.


While still on books, I've finally finished A Feast For Crows. Not that I took a damned long time to read it but because it's been on my shelves since it arrived in the mail about three or four months back - I read the thing in about 4 days, once I started remembering what had happened in the previous installment and that would have been about two years back.

Still damn engaging, but with my memory as it is now, I'm not sure if I won't need to read the whole series again just to refresh it.


You know it's been a strange night when you wake up and the cause of it was a dream in which you broke the top off a helium gas canister and for the whole duration of the dream, you're sucking in lung fulls of the gas and talking in that high, squeaky voice.

Funny when you're doing it, while drunk, at a party. Disturbing when it comes out as part of your subconscious.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Before you next use the bathroom scale:

Weight Loss
Originally uploaded by Terz.


So in the biggest semi-private local newspaper today, the headlines for the Home section tells me that yet one more contractor is unable to complete a building because they've run out of money.

Yet another victory for the three-quote system so favoured in the Service.

Speaking of which, whatever happened to the old adage of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'? Seems like every year when I file my taxes, I'm getting all kinds of stupidity. First it was the e-filing system that don't work on Macs; then there was the year with the issues with Safari and/ or Firefox; and when I thought they had everything running smoothly last year, this year we get this:

Originally uploaded by Terz.


And I'm not even going to comment on the butt-ugly (some say fugly) index page for the IRAS. Three quotes, anyone?


On Sunday I played almost a full match in about 4 years. Had to stop after about twenty minutes because this happened, though:

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Then it was another thirty minutes of rummaging through the storeroom looking for my other pair of boots, and finding only the first ever pair of boots I bought (when I was ten) - I would wear them if only my feet were still size 6.

All I can say: after 1994, football boots look 'better' but they don't fuckin' last anymore. The pair that got destroyed on Sunday had been with me since 1996. The leather's still supple, but the plastic's nowhere as durable. And today's line? 70% plastic.

Why do I think I'll be shopping at Queensway for the oldest pair of boots they have in stock? Preferably one manufactured before 1992.

Anyway, after I gave up looking for elusive spare pair of boots, I went back to the field if only to join the guys for breakfast afterwards - fortunately, one good thing about playing other people on the wrong side of their twenties and up, Alf couldn't carry on and his feet size are the same as mine. Played another twenty minutes before the sun got too hot. Like I said, almost a full match...

Then we had that breakfast.


Ink has discovered that he enjoys sleeping in the basket bed we bought for him (which is a sight better than, that he enjoys destroying the basket bed we bought for him). For a while, we feared the bed would go the way of Tuas Second Link.

Sleeping Ink
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

"No sir! I haven't been droppin' any eaves..."

Overhead at the coffee shop:

"The prata is Malay one," says woman in white, in Hokkien.

"Huh? Malay prata not nice leh..." says woman in green. Also in Hokkien.

First of all, the stall's Indian Muslim. And no one there looks remotely Malay. Secondly, how's Malay prata not nice? I don't get it.

Prata Snobs
Originally uploaded by Terz.


And in the lift after we returned from dinner tonight:

"What's the term when someone kills his wife?"


Friday, April 14, 2006

Student Images

Composite Small
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Some of the images from the second class to be over and done with.

Exhibition in two weeks; time to worry about organising the thing.

Thursdays Are Free

CTSS Final
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Two classes down, one more to go.


More UnXpected
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Weekend Hangover

Field of Dreams
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Pretty incredible weekend I just had...

Started with the Objectifs third anniversary party at the Wine Company along Evans Road, which then became a meet-up with the Cowboy, his missus and his boss, the Makan, the Duck and the Cousin, the Mandy and the LMD at One Rochester.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

And this was the night before I had to report to a premier junior college in the Bishan-Braddell area for an 8-hour shoot (official opening lah) at 7 in the morning with a VVIP as Guest of Honour. After that, it was dinner with the missus's folks at Hanabi, followed by casting at April's studio and a meeting with one of the shortlisted talents at Riverine at Robertson Quay.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Sunday morning saw me trudging to the waterlogged field next to the MRT station for my first athletic thing in about six months. 2 hours on the sodden pitch later, it was brunch at the nearby coffee shop, and then eight hours of D&D at home.

To wrap it up, there was the game of the night. Still seven points, but I'm happy to see the team fighting for just second.

Now, I gotta get me a Panadol...


In other news, the Ink didn't get neutered on Saturday because the blood test showed that his liver was fighting off some poison in his system and the vet didn't think that it was advisable to have him go under GA in case it'd kill him.

So for now, he can still do this:

Where'd They Go
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

More Mobile Morons

More Mobile Morons
Originally uploaded by Terz.

OK. Haven't fallen off the wagon if that's what people are thinking... just didn't have the time last night to post these photos and then to blog about Shining Example of Darwinism # 56123 (picture above).

At least, if he causes an accident, he'll be paying for it by being tossed out the windscreen from the impact. Kinda helps trim the gene pool so future generations won't be beset with the problem of stupidity.

(Hope this doesn't get the dude into trouble though - seeing that the company he works for is right there on the side of the van).



Just back from another early morning class. I guess if people aren't interested in doing well in anything, I shouldn't be too bothered about it.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Hey, their lives.


And to end it off:

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Experiment Again

Experiment Again
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Once again with the experimenting.

Just for fun.

And it keeps coming along...

Road Trip
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ink And Toy
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Ink's got a new favourite toy. And like me on World of Warcraft, he's been on it whenever he gets the chance.

The only problem is that he'll swat at it until it gets entangled in the towel bar and then he'll start meowing until I go fix it.

I'm starting to feel like Blizzard... The server's down again - "meow!"


Child Waiting
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Sometimes all it takes is a couple of really good students (ie, those with real potential) in a photography class to inspire.

All taken today and in the afternoon, on my way to, at and from class:

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Fancy Table
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Drive Through
Originally uploaded by Terz.

And to top it off:

April Sunset
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Recce Day

Mobile Fool 1
Originally uploaded by Terz.

You'd think that with all the hands-free sets out there, and the availability of bluetooth sets - some with enough funky flashing blue lights to give even a closet beng heavy wet dreams - people would learn to drive without having to resort to actually holding the mobile phone to their ear.

I first spotted this dude on the CTE when he tried to cut into the sliproad for the Braddell Road off-ramp (from the second lane, I'll add) between my cab and the lorry in front of us - when we were barely two metres apart. Of course he didn't make it, and when he overtook us later, he was still on the phone.

So. Here's my 12 megapixel revenge upon perpetrators of stupidity.

Mobile Fool 2
Originally uploaded by Terz.

I think he might have noticed me right at the end. Har.


Sometimes an accidental tap on the shutter button yields interesting shots:

Originally uploaded by Terz.


Then on the way back home for a rest before I leave for my afternoon class, I spotted these retiree-looking types sitting by the intersection of the Eunos PIE off-ramp doing what appears to be vehicle counting.

Strange Work
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Ah, the beauty of growing old in this country. We end up working at McDonald's (where, in other countries, is the happy hunting ground of teens looking to supplement their allowances), as security guards, and now, as it appears, vehicle counters under the open, uncertain sky.


And this is an amazing photo series.

Fuckin' awesome.