Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Work Climate Q2 2009

18th March 2009, Wednesday

The young couple went on their Gallic escapade for the next 3 weeks, so at work we are a little short-handed. Not that it is a subject to whine about since it's my responsibility after all which earns me my monthly dough, but you can see the stark difference when we have to run 3 locations at a time with the same amount of output.
Things are aye okay if everything went as planned but since the beginning of the week the robots are giving us problem while there are other small errors which aggravate the situation.

Not that the bosses are in dire needs of results or do they?
Shitty Green after embracing his new presidential homeland since January returns at the end of the week; despite that he is not the most likeable guy in my book, our department is like a ship without the captain at helms, very susceptible to incoming perils.
The Chinese American guy was almost negligent of us which may not be that bad for some as he doesn't clamp the style; but it was too aloof I felt.
He was gone for some conference apparently as well this week.

Since last week I had this slight migraine acting on the back of my cranium and by this week it became persistent and niggling especially during office hours.
I wonder if it is the poorly ventilated workplace or the lack of quality sleep for the past fortnight or just need another break, but if it doesn't go away by tomorrow, I am considering seeing the doctor on Friday.

The usual harbinger of bad news (and sometime good news), Beautiness gave insight of how bad the performance bonus for this year would be as his impressive netwroking skills had once again excelled.
With the ailing economy with the government cutting edges here and there, our sector is still considered rather secure but we cannot expect bonus of the incorrigible magnitude of those AIG management.
"0.5 month or nothing" said Beautiness with the recognisable tone of dejection.
Who wouldn't after 2 good years preceding this wretched year, I'm just glad to have my job seriously as I pray every night to the tooth fairy that my contract would come into fruition by May (a month before the current contract ends and the usual period when HR would prepare the new one)

The earth shattering news today was that the gym across the road will go into the book of history come 1st April (and I hope it's an April Fool joke).
With speculations of the gym wrapping up for months now, the HQ finally wield the axe when they managed to tie down with the alumni house on the slope behind us, we now have to the option of working out at the gym there.
Seemingly that place was much inferior to the incumbent in terms of the space, equipments and amenities which really upset a Chinese post-doc at our side who like myself a regular at the current gym. This is all on top of how inconvenient it is to make our way there but once the HQ made the decision, like all the Singaporean government and associated organisations, the decision would not be overturned.

I have always prepared for such a day to come but it still saddens me that the gym and their instructor which had grown to be an important aspect of my life will be gone... hope I will continue my regular work out still by then 'cos my health really banks on it...

Japanese word of the day: 終えなさい (Axe) They should just axe the shuttle service as well it's awful

Labels: ,

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Favorite Directors

16th March 2009, Monday

Caught "The Watchmen" with my buddies yesterday despite many complained of the film being an exact replica of Alan Moore/ Dave Gibbon s' comic book series for DC Comic back in the late 1980s, taking leaf directly from the pages from the 1st graphic novel which left me in awe when I borrowed it from a community library a good 15 years back.

While director Zack Snyder might be lauded for paying tribute to the award winning mini series, many like Foo who had read the series umpteen times found it a grueling 2 hour and 40 minutes with storyline they were already well versed with.
Alan Moore, the whimsical yet talented comic book writer had always distanced himself from the film adaptations of his work but he should be slightly proud of what former TV ad director Snyder had done with the Watchmen.
I thought Snyder had created the right mood for the entire story with an eye for details including the selection of the cast including Patrick Wilson as Daniel/Night Owl and Jack Earle Haley as Walter/Rorschach.
The beginning sequence to highlight the golden age superheroes was quite brilliant and though it might be too graphic with the violence, it was what the story leeched upon and wasn't done distastefully.

With his adaptation of Frank Miller's "300" right up my alley as well, Snyder has slowly joined the ranks of a few directors I took a liking on.

Got an opportunity to catch Danny Boyle's Academy Award winning film, "Slumdog Millionaire" on Sunday as well.
The story was so tight and well narrated and truly deserve it's accolades.
Director Boyle has no intention for it to be a Bollywood film and it wasn't yet it did not deviate too far to relate the difference in class and statures in present day India and the problems and prejudice the poor people in the slums still face these days.

It did reminded me of an earlier Boyle's film I had caught back in my Naval days as one of the fellow ship crew brought a "friendly" VCD version onboard once during sailing, "Trainspotting" which gave a vivid insight to the drug abuse problem in England and helped launched the career of Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle...There were still a few scenes that would vivid in my mind including a shit infested bowl which you better avoid during meal time.

"Slumdog Millionaire" 's main competitor in the 81st Academy Awards was "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" by another of my favorite director, David Fincher.
A renowned music video director, David had several big screen success including 2 of my all time favorite movies "Seven" and "Fight Club" which together with "Curious" is the Brad Pitt trilogy with Fincher.
His fiims tend to be a bit quirky but the background story is always solid and captivating.

Finally my heart will always go out to Peter Jackson for "The Lord of the Rings" of course but his lesser horror-comedy "The Frighteners" with Michael J. Fox is another worth a look.
Tim Burton with his staunch gothic style is a favorite for many since the days of "Batman", "Beetlejuice", "Edward Sicssorshand" and "Nightmare before X'mas" as for his more recent ventures I can't say they were as good but nevertheless he is still the king in his genre

Japanese word of the day: 監督 ~kan-to-ku~(Director) Wouldn't expect me to include Takashi Miike as omy favoriet Japanese director


Monday, March 02, 2009

Galileo vs Krauser

2nd March 2009, Monday

My wife had a big crush on Fukuyama Masaharu, the evergreen and ageless Japanese yuu-sei (actor) cum singer-songwriter cum thousands of other things he is good at...
Surely someone the guys love to loathe (due to envy) and women just couldn't stop swooning... Of course at the grand old age of 40 (still like like 20) and labeled as the most eligible bachelor in the Japanese entertainment scene (consistently winning title of "the male artist women desire"), Fukuyama had carefully chosen his career path without letting paparazzi or other side news ruined his career so far....

Anyway this post ain't about adoring Fukuyama as an Adonis or anything but over the weekend, the missus dragged me to catch a Japanese movie based on the popular Fuji TV dorama, "Galileo", starring of course Fukuyama and Shibasaki Kou.
The chemistry between the two (alleged romance as well) bind well with the intricate detective storyline brilliant concocted by famous mystery writer Higashino Keigo.
The fact that he added scientific theories to unraveled some cases is a breath of fresh air albeit can be a bit dry during the explaination.
However everyone enjoys the sight of Fukuyama as the stoic Physics professor, Yukawa, scribbling on floor when he had an epiphany or came out with the solution.

The movie version, "Yougisha no Kenshin" pit Yukawa against a Mathematician genius, his old college friend, Ishigami (reprised by the brilliant Tsutsumi Shinichi) who helped a neighbor he had a crush on (played by Matsuyuki Yasuko in her most bijin (beauty) form).
The usually stingy movie critic from the local free-to-distribute paper awarded this movie with 4/5 popcorns and mentioned one would feel the heartache after a intriguing crime-solving process which really surely describe my feeling after watching it.
The story was well pace and the actors displayed to their potential; even people who didn't catch the TV series and special should go watch this movie...

In the midst of the long, gruelling process of waiting for the movie to begin (it's GV cineplex afterall), the trailer for "Detroit Metal City" was shown.
By sheer coincidence I managed to get hold of a copy of the movie over the weekend, and since I was thoroughly entertained (more like "floored") by the anime series done by Madhouse Studio; I was really looking forward to the live action version starring Matsuyama Kenichi.
I know of 2 other persons who are crazy about watching this movie, my buddy TW who too was well captivated by the anime series, the other is Karen who grew into a Kenichi fan of sort.

The afterthought of the movie is that truly it would entertaining if you have no idea of what the story is all about.
It would be good to have prior knowledge of Japanese visual kei death metal music and oshiare (fashionable) kei style of music like Swedish bubblegum pop.
Thought Matsuyama did a brilliant reprisal of the anatagonist Negishi/ Johannes Krauser II (including that distinct running stance)and once again Matsuyuki Yasuko had her presence felt as the rather insane president of Death Records.
Perhaps watching the anime prior spoiled it for me as a few scenes I felt was funnier in the animated version plus a few interesting characters like the poor ojichan landlord who was converted into a disciple to DMC music unwillingly or the Capitalist Pig guy were sorely miss in the movie.
Perhaps the producers felt those scenes are not suitable for the general public...
Then some jokes were transpired badly in real life as well but the scene about Krauser disciplining Negishi's wayward brother at his home's field as well as the talking in the toilet of the amusement park between Krauser and Negishi's college junior who always had took him as an aspiration were still funny.

The ending was wry and Gene Simmons, the demonic bassist of KISS which had a lot of influence to DMC of course cameo as the legendary death metal king, Jack Ill Black didn't really constitute much of my interest. Though there was one scene about how he wanted to show everyone his actual passion in music floored me again.

All in all, 2 Japanese movies filled a weekend which I just wanna coop at home under the soggy weather...

Japanese words of the day: 甘い恋人 ~A-ma-i-Ko-i-bi-to~ (Sweet Lover) How cheesy Negishi can get with his lyrics...

Labels: ,