$15 milkshake

Over the previous weekend, I paid $15 for a milkshake.

You know that scene in “Pulp Fiction” where John Travolta was amazed that Uma Thurman would order a $5 milkshake, which essentially consisted of milk and ice cream?

Uma Thurman let Travolta have a taste of her milkshake (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!!!) (which to my shame is a joke I just got) and Travolta have to admit that it was an unbelievable shake? (His exact words were “goddamn, that’s a pretty fucking good milkshake”, if I don’t remember wrongly…) (total geekdom exposed) (again)

Well… I had almost the same feeling after tasting the shake I ordered.

It was TOTALLY unbelievable a shake could taste like that and still cost $15. (here, I am trying to write the $15 in caps, but the only way I would be able to do it is FIFTEEN DOLLARS, which does not seem to have the same impact. I digress…)

Granted, it looked pretty cool… with choco balls and a friggin Kit Kat sitting on top of the cup, but still… it’s a milk shake!

Anyway, the background of the whole story is that the Girlfriend and I decided to take a day out to explore this lil private island south of the Homeland, and in total accordance with our grand scheme to save money, decided to eat at a restaurant that serves $15 milkshakes.

And $10 pot pies…

And $12 salads….

Yup, along with the $0 ice water, we were the epitome of thrift.

Keppel Bay, prive, restaurant, milkshake, salad, chicken pie, windmills

Of restaurants with $15 milkshakes, fresh salads, hot chicken pies on an island with artsy windmills, wide open fields and a superb seaview to match

The island itself however, was pretty cool. You can check out the too cool for school windmills up there. Along with sprawling (albeit super tiny) fields of green and the surrounding marina, it was a little haven tucked away in a corner of the city.

For all my whining, it was actually a pretty good way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon.

I suppose if you really want to thrift it up, you can just order the bread ($3 for a loaf that comes with spread) and order the $5 coffee, which I heard is pretty goddamn good too.

Essentially, for $8, you can sit by the little cosy bakery restaurant with a newspaper/magazine/book, watching the sun set on boats that are owned by people who will think nothing of a $15 milkshake.

That’s not bitterness.

It’s just the little choco balls.

Garbage in, Garbage Out

So the story goes… I decided to give the local TV programs a chance after watching the Network’s anniversary celebrations over the weekend.

The anniversary gala was surprisingly good and really took me down memory lane. It is quite amazing how much of my memories thus far are tied to these local TV programs. Amazing and to be honest, totally terrifying that so much of my life revolved around the idiot box.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

As I was saying, I was watching this show on the local TV network that features 2 hosts going around visiting “less fortunate” families in the community with the aim of “bettering” their lives by “revamping their living conditions” through an hour of blood, tears and shameless exploitation for all to see.

I think that television is a good form of entertainment. And the impact it has on our lives in its short decades of existence is nothing short of phenomenal. At some point of our lives, we’ve lived with, laughed at, cried on, loved and hated one thing or another that had been presented to us in that little window to another world.

I believe that all of us have a selfish “I’m better than thou” mentality deep inside of us. Coupled with a morbid curiosity about the lives of others that are like us but not so like us, we developed this need to see people suffer and humiliated. All the better if it is in a public arena. Schadenfreude…

Enter the Television.

Over the years, the television had evolved with us, changing itself as far as the censorship board allows to quench our thirst for knowledge and to satisfy our deepest voyeuristic needs.

It should come as no surprise that television appeals to the lowest common denominator among its audience. After all, it needs to reach as many people as possible. It cannot afford to discriminate against people who are too stupid to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not.

Now is probably the time for me to get off my pedestal.

I have to admit that I enjoy my fair share of exploitative entertainment as much as the next guy. Cut throats trying to get each other off an island? Cool. Seeing how much garbage people are willing to swallow (literally) for money? Sign me up. Watching top models wannabes humiliated and cat fighting each other off the show? Yabba Yabba.

To be honest, I am pretty sure Houshun Takami’s “Battle Royale”(Live) would be coming to a small screen near you… it’s just a matter of time.

But the thing about all these shows is that they are blatantly exploitative and they bill it as such. There’s no pretense of exploiting all these people for any “greater good”. It’s just a matter of how much shit someone is willing to go through for money and/or fame.

So I guess my main jibe about this show is its totally pretentious and “holier than thou” attitude. From the hosts’ repeated incredulous snooty “Is this the way human beings live????” exclamations to their condescending attitude towards the “test subjects” to the very notion that they can change a family’s life just by interacting with them for a week and giving their house a makeover…. These ideas make me sick to the stomach that no other reality shows can…

So there…

I guess that’s the chance I’ve given local TV programs…

2009 is gonna be a great year for movies

And here I thought Watchmen will be the only movie I’ll be eagerly anticipating…

Adaptation of the most “it can’t possibly be meant for kids” scary kiddy book that I’ve ever read….  And totally in stop motion…

And is it just me, or does authors have the most awesome jobs in the entire world????

Holy Balls of Blue!

Just watched this and it got my panties all bunched up… hmmm… ok that might not be the perfect expression but you know what I mean….

SIMPLY AWESOME, right? This is THE comic that started it all for me.

Before Sandman, before Swamp Thing, before Animal Man, there was Alan Moore with his whacked out version of the Justice League. It is a tale that oozes with high concepts of truth, justice and morality. It provides an uncompromising look at the ugliness of humanity, forcing you to look into an abyss and seeing nothing. Yet, at the same time, it demonstrates how much humanity more we can be capable of.

That is why his characters are so bizarre and yet, so easy to identify with. His heroes are poster boys (and girls) of their own brand of insanity who are trying to save the world through their own path of self destruction.

watchmen cover skeleton kissing

Watchmen was the THE book that taught me comics can be much more than just my Incredible Hulks and X Factors (though those are pretty good too). It is also THE book I’ll impose on anyone who disses comics as a “medium for kids”.

watchmen cover smiley face blood splatter

And this was the first Trailer for Watchmen that came out some time back. I believed I made a vow not that long ago to stop watching trailers.

But what the hell, right? This is the WATCHMEN!! Don’t think I’ve anticipated a movie as much since NAAAAACHOOOOOO Libre

watchmen simpsonized version

Do you really talk like that???

Just read a (really old) back issue of Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey. For the most part, I am quite a fan of Gail’s. Her writing on Birds of Prey seldom fail to impress me. The plots are tight and you kind of feel for the characters. (Which isn’t hard, considering the leads are hot (cartoon) babes in tight costumes, fish nets and often caught in compromising positions).

Anyway, I have some particular issues with this particular issue (hur hur). The basic premise was that Black Canary and guest star Ted Grant (Wildcat) were sent on an undercover mission to a drug lord in Singapore.

While they were in Singapore, they interacted with a few locals who basically talk like retards. Here’s an example..

singlish2

Apparently, Simone got a local to “translate” her script for her, so the speech is rather accurately depicted. And here is the definition of Singlish according to Simone.

singlish3I’m not sure how accurate the portrayal of the language is.

But I for one, hopes that nobody speaks like this. I’ll personally give that man a thumping.

While comics are generally not considered international medium, how do you, as a Singaporean feel if you realise that this is the way the “World” looks at you?

Something to chew on…