28 February 2011

To be read aloud with a very English accent

Recalling the past Saturday where I laughed so much, I recalled another laughter-filled weekend last month when Ms K and I went to see Wilde's Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville.  The dialogues are just exquisite.  This is one of them.

(To be read aloud with a very English accent.)

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. [Bowing.] Every one is dying to know the brilliant Mrs. Cheveley. Our attachés at Vienna write to us about nothing else.

MRS. CHEVELEY. Thank you, Sir Robert. An acquaintance that begins with a compliment is sure to develop into a real friendship. It starts in the right manner. And I find that I know Lady Chiltern already.


MRS. CHEVELEY. Yes. She has just reminded me that we were at school together. I remember it perfectly now. She always got the good conduct prize. I have a distinct recollection of Lady Chiltern always getting the good conduct prize!

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. [Smiling.] And what prizes did you get, Mrs. Cheveley?

MRS. CHEVELEY. My prizes came a little later on in life. I don't think any of them were for good conduct. I forget!

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. I am sure they were for something charming!

MRS. CHEVELEY. I don't know that women are always rewarded for being charming. I think they are usually punished for it! Certainly, more women grow old nowadays through the faithfulness of their admirers than through anything else! At least that is the only way I can account for the terribly haggard look of most of your pretty women in London!

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. What an appalling philosophy that sounds! To attempt to classify you, Mrs. Cheveley, would be an impertinence.  But may I ask, at heart, are you an optimist or a pessimist? Those seem to be the only two fashionable religions left to us nowadays.

MRS. CHEVELEY. Oh, I'm neither. Optimism begins in a broad grin, and Pessimism ends with blue spectacles. Besides, they are both of them merely poses.

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. You prefer to be natural?

MRS. CHEVELEY. Sometimes. But it is such a very difficult pose to keep up.

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. What would those modern psychological novelists, of whom we hear so much, say to such a theory as that?

MRS. CHEVELEY. Ah! the strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analysed, women . . . merely adored.

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. You think science cannot grapple with the problem of women?

MRS. CHEVELEY. Science can never grapple with the irrational. That is why it has no future before it, in this world.

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. And women represent the irrational.

MRS. CHEVELEY. Well-dressed women do.

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. [With a polite bow.] I fear I could hardly agree with you there. But do sit down. And now tell me, what makes you leave your brilliant Vienna for our gloomy London - or perhaps the question is indiscreet?

MRS. CHEVELEY. Questions are never indiscreet. Answers sometimes are.

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. Well, at any rate, may I know if it is politics or pleasure?

MRS. CHEVELEY. Politics are my only pleasure. You see nowadays it is not fashionable to flirt till one is forty, or to be romantic till one is forty-five, so we poor women who are under thirty, or say we are, have nothing open to us but politics or philanthropy. And philanthropy seems to me to have become simply the refuge of people who wish to annoy their fellow-creatures. I prefer politics. I think they are more . . . becoming!

For Yi Zhang (1935 - 2009)

I like the concept of lighting up so much. The dimly pulsating red, the curls of smoke.

How much does a shadow weigh?  I wondered as a child.

It turns out that a shadow of smoke weighs a wisp, but a shadow on a lung – a ton.

- A slightly different version of this picture is a contributing piece in the "Light" exhibition.  Goodenough College, 6 March 2011, 2 pm.   On hindsight, revealing the beer mug suited 姨丈 more: he was the man who gave me my first taste of beer - at age 5!

21 February 2011

Sunning the keropok

This is why I prefer HDBs to bland condos.

I can eat a whole basket of these btw.  Move over, English crisps!

Camera-phone series #23.

Edgeware Road at 11 pm

Positively pyschedelic. The kebab shop is heaving, the shisha shops are full, and the pharmacies and grocers open well past 11 pm.  Imagine summer.

Camera-phone series #22.

On the other hand

Yesterday, a friend recounted an old love.  He said they eventually broke up because it was long-distance and the love was not strong enough.

Then he remarked, "On the other hand, love wears slower."


01 February 2011

The name of this toad

Walking past the foyer of Hyatt Hotel, the mother complained, "TSK. Why is this car so noisy? Like a toad croaking."

Me: "Mother, the name of this toad is Ferrari..."

(And so it is true that a Ferrari is only nice if you are the one in it!)

Google logos

I stumbled upon the »repository of Google logos which is great fun to browse.  I learnt that apart from celebrating holidays, artists (in the wide sense of the word), heroes (dads and mums included*) and codes (bar, braille, Morse, Unix), Google also likes elections and games (Olympics, Tetris, Pacman).

Outside of the established Western world, Japan and Turkey got their customised logos quite early on, followed by Thailand, China and even Singapore (2009 - after they set up their office here). You also see that as the official logo got more established over the years, they took more artistic liberty to venture away from the confines of its shape.

Above is the customisation for Australia Day on 26 Jan 2011. 

* It is a bit annoying that mums always get just a flower, but dads get to lie in a hammock while the lawn gets mowed by the kids.