We Bought a Zoo

Watched We Bought a Zoo yesterday. While I still thought it was good, I couldn't help that the "Hollywood treatment" ruined this movie. Before we get into that, let's talk about the actors first. I was never one who thought Matt Damon to be extremely cool or anything like that. Lucky for him, he did the Bourne Identity movies and I also watched him in Green Zone and he started to kinda appeal to me. Anyways, the Matt Damon in this movie looked kinda chubbier but he's still so likable playing a widower. So good job for him. During the beginning of the movie though, the actor that stole the show was the daughter Rosie, who was very very cute! Everytime she delivered the line, we bought a zoo!, you just want to squeeze this cutie. The guy who played his brother is not so bad looking as well but his character was rather moody in the movie so he did come across as a brat. Understandable though considering their situation. Then we met the other casts, like Scarlett Johansson and Elle Fanning.

Elle Fanning's character was super cute. It felt so nice that she with her blond hair and dorkiness contrasted so well with the moody dark boy. If this movie needed any kind of love story element into it, then I thought hers and the boy was good enough. However Hollywood had to bring Scarlett Johansson. I'm not a fan of Scarlett Johansson and while I think she's not a bad actress, I thought her character's presence in this movie ruined what sweet, heart-warming, wonderful, inspiring potential this movie has :( You see, Matt Damon played a widower who's shown throughout to be still in love with his death wife and Scarlett Johansson played the head zoo keeper. There wasn't much attraction going on between them and yet Hollywood had to add the scene in the end when both of them kissed. Aarrrghhh!!! It's so Hollywood and that's why Hollywood movies can be so ... well so Hollywood (crappy) sometime, aarrrghhh!!! It's so formulaic that a couple had to kiss. I cannot help thinking that if they did have to add that in, why not just stick with the 2 young kids who obviously like each other a lot and way cuter together.

So that is how Hollywood ruined a movie and made me unable to like it wholeheartedly. Instead of a memorable movie that this movie could be, it went into some tv movie which will be nice to watch on a relaxing weekend. I did a bit of a reading this morning about how the true story actually went down and it's a pity too that Hollywood excluded the grandma in the story. Come on! If you add in the grandma, remove all the unnecessary Scarlett Johansson's part, the heart-warming factor will definitely increase. I do have to say it's not Scarlett Johansson's fault. Any girl playing that role will still ruin the movie *sigh* Other than those comments, I have to say that it's also nice to see the animals and a bear no matter how dangerous it can be, can still look so cute.

:) eKa @ 4:04:00 PM • 0 comments

Christmas Holidays

Merry Christmas! Well Christmas was yesterday but it's still a season of wishing good things :) How have been the christmas holidays for you guys? Mine was great. I've been having good things this holiday so I am what you call happy, or to underplay it a bit, rather happy :) One of the best thing about this holiday is being able to wake up late! It feels so glorious to be waking up after 9, mostly 10. Seriously the simple thing of waking up without the alarm is something that I really treasure. Well, let me tell you the other things that I did.

Saturday I went to watch Wicked with YeeMaggio. Wicked was wickedly good and I love it! I have to say that I love my seat too, it's worth the money and the super early booking and the whole thing felt like a nice christmas present for myself. I do have to comment that it's rather surprising to see the quality of the actual seat in Marina Bay Sands Theatre. I'm pretty sure the seats in Esplanade are better than MBS. We were commenting that some cinemas here may even have better seats than MBS. Anyways, don't want to complain more. Wicked was really good that the seat thing was a realy tiny minor thing. I love the set! They're awesome. The costumes (there's a Lady Gaga-esque girl) and actors were great but I guess it's the whole overall thing that made it so awesome. It's a very good production! One thing that came to my mind. The original Broadway actress who played Glinda was Kristin Chenoweth and I can totally see her in that role, being super bubbly and funny and blonde :D Anywho, it's such a great show and I love it and I was really really happy that I got to see it :)

Sunday being Christmas is Museum Open House Day in Singapore. To be honest, I have never made used of this open house thing. It was my first time and I was actually inspired by Oshie who made used of it some holiday back. So me and YeeMaggio went to National Museum of Singapore to see the Dreams and Reality exhibition, which contains some paintings from Musée d'Orsay. I had wanted to visit Musée d'Orsay when I was in Paris, but the queue was crazy long that I really didn't have the time for it. All I had from getting to the museum was 2 photos of a horse and rhino sculptures in front of the museum. So that was quite a shame but now that there are some paintings from the museum here, I really really wanted to see them and it feels really cool to see works from Monet, Cézanne, Degas, and some others. It was extra special for me though to see works from Monet and Cézanne since I've been to Monet's wonderful house in Giverny and I've been to Cezanne's town of Aix-En-Provence. The highlight of the exhibition was of course Van Gogh's Starry Night Over The Rhone, which was really incredibly beautiful and dreamy. I didn't bring my camera because I felt rather lazy packing them and I didn't know if photography was allowed which actually was. In the end, I took some pictures from my Nokia. I'm not really the type of person who takes pictures from camera phone. I rarely do that but my phone is all I had and it turned out not so dreadfully bad. The exhibition is not necessarily big but I think it was still nice all the same and here are the few that captured my eyes :P I actually googled each of this to get the title and the name of some of the artists which I've forgotten.


Philip Wilson Steer's Jeune Femme Sur La Plage
This was the first picture that got me snapping away. I love how it's just a girl by the beach. She looked beautiful, a bit lonely, but I just felt something with the painting. I love the simplicity in it and perhaps the solitude of the girl :)


Monet's Woman With Parasol


Monet' Regatta


Monet's Branch Of The Seine Near Giverny


Monet's Meditation, Madame Monet Sitting On A Sofa
This is interesting for me because I'm pretty sure I saw the red flowery sofa in the sitting room of his house.


Monet's Camille Monet Sur Son Lit De Mort
This felt sad because Camille was his wife, which I believe was also the lady with the umbrella. It must be sad for him to paint her this way when she's dying.


Cézanne's The Card Players
I had a feeling that this painting was in my elementary french book.


Cézanne's Madame Cézanne


Renoir's Railway Bridge At Chatou
I love the flowery tree. I thought it was Monet's but thank God for google search image :P


Théo Van Rysselberghe's A Costal Scene
You gotta appreciate the effort in painting with all those dots.


Fréderic Bazille's The Improvised Field Hospital
The man in the picture was actually Monet who was injured or sick or something.


Van Gogh's Starry Night Over The Rhone
This is the picture that captured everyone's attention. It was truly beautiful. I love the stars which were like little suns. The fact that all those brush strokes can form something so beautiful as this can only be described as brilliant and amazing :)

After the museum, it was off to the cinema to watch Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. We didn't get really good seats that I wondered if it influenced how I perceived the movie. It felt long. There wasn't anything particularly interesting that really captured my attention aside for the fact that I love the slow motion effects for the fighting scenes; they made the fighting scenes beautiful. It was still nice to see the interaction between Robert Downey Jr's Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law's Dr Watson. There's still something a bit too lovey dovey about their relationship, especially coming from Holmes. It was also nice to know Sherlock Holmes' brother. I really didn't know he has a brother. Overall, I think it's not a bad movie. I think it's still interesting but perhaps some people may find it boring.

The day ended with dinner and shopping. I had quite a good deal because of the sale so it was a good day for me again. This week is the last week of the year. It hasn't hit me yet but I suppose it will. 2012 is me turning 30 in a few short months. It's depressing but I'm trying to push this fact away from my head. I had a good week last week and I think this week would be too. As I am writing that, I've decided that I'm gonna be having fun this week. I'm gonna do things that I want to do and with or without people I want to do it with. I wish you guys a great last week too. Eat well and be happy :)

:) eKa @ 2:16:00 PM • 0 comments

Liberté

I am so tired and sleepy and I have so many things to write. Today's news have been filled with the fact that the metro system (mrt) in Singapore broke down again when the company just apologized yesterday for the Thursday evening breakdown. I was actually affected by it this morning. I am too tired to write what happened in details but I thought the staff didn't communicate well on what's going on to the passengers and what options were available for them. It was quite frustrating being on an almost empty, free bridging bus knowing that there were so many people waiting for a train whose time of arrival were ranging between 20 minutes. I sympathized with all the staff who had to work hard or who had to come to work on a Saturday because of this. However if they have to be there, they should be more useful. So obviously Facebook was buzzing with everyone giving their opinions on this. One facebook friend wrote that a metro breakdown is like a natural disaster for the people of Singapore. Another wrote it's like a freak event. Both kinda ring true. Someone I knew once said that one of the safe characteristic that Singaporea has is that its chance on getting a natural disaster is pretty low. I don't necessarily agree with that because I think if God wants to obliterate Singapore, He could easily do so. It does bring into discussion that the fact that Singapore doesn't really face things like natural disasters and the fact that everything is so effective in Singapore, things like a metro breakdown does feel like a disaster. Due to the fact that everything is pretty predictable in Singapore, I often feel that Singapore gets flustered pretty easily when a curve ball is thrown their way. I've been in this country for 11.5 years and I can only recall 2 incidents when there's a black out because there's something wrong with the electricity. 11.5 years in Indonesia, you'll be lucky if the number of black out is only 100 times more. However due to the fact that Singapore is highly efficient, it's also rather hard to accept that such thing happens in Singapore. If there's one place in this world where it shouldn't have happened, that place could well be in Singapore. The fact it did happen does make one wonder, what the hell is wrong with Singapore now? Why are you getting sucky? It does seem like a harsh judgement because shit does happen and things don't always go perfectly all the time but I guess because it's in Singapore where things run reliably 99.99% of the time, people are getting pretty critical about this. So well, that's my take on the whole thing.

The title of the post is to signify that I feel free today. It's like it's time to play now. Today was the last french class for this year. We had a test and I am totally disappointed with how I did. Mr. F decided to split the tests into 2 rounds, the first being last week. It was a reading comprehension test and I did badly, scoring only 13.5 out of 20. It was demoralizing and disappointing. The other day Max thought he heard I said 13.5 out of 50 and he was ready to laugh at me. Upon knowing it's out of 20, he thought I did good. I really didn't think so. The same score range was reflected all throughout today's rounds. In total I think I score 73 something out of 100. It's the worst test result I've had since I started studying french. I think the highest part I scored was for writing a letter, in which I score 16 out of 20. Mr. F thought I did a good job on that, writing a complain letter to a mayor, and yet he only gave me 16 :( Overall I passed each of the parts, it's just I didn't score particularly high. I was rather surprised with the marks I got for listening and conversation. I thought I would score pretty low on them. It's really disheartening not understanding the listening part but then when I heard my teacher or the other teachers speak and I could understand it, I thought man! it's pretty cool and how far we've come. The other day Mr. F was revising the grammar in using the different past tenses; all the explanation was in french and I actually got it. It reminded me to the time back in my Italian class where my teachers could be speaking all in Italian and I got it. It felt good and yet when it's time to watch something or listen to an interview and not getting it, I just feel so down. Anyway, no more classes, no more studying for test, it really feels like it's time to play. So I'm gonna be in a more relaxed mood these 2 weeks. Just need to put the shield up so that annoying people will not be able to enter my dome of inner serenity :P

I managed to watch 2 movies this week. The first one was New Year's Eve. I'm not gonna tell you that the movie is great. However I feel it's better than Valentine's Day. It had a weak storyline but as a girl I do get dreamy with all the sweetness. I think my favorite story was the one with Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Effron. By the way Zac Effron and short hair, HOT! As for the rest, I don't feel like commenting much. All I can comment on is how different Abigail Breslin looks now that she's older. Hillary Swank looked pretty though she's really not your typical pretty girl. Ludacris was cool but his character in the movie was pretty useless. I really didn't love the storyline between Jon Bon Jovi and Katherine Heigl. Sofia Vergara was of course sexy but much much dumber in this movie and you can kinda miss the feisty Gloria in Modern Family. Lea Michele sang in the movie, surprise? She should try to walk away from Glee like connection. It was good seeing Ryan Seacrest. Watching the host of X-Factor really made me miss Ryan and oh Josh Duhamel was as always handsome but you kinda wondered if it mattered that he's in the movie. Same goes for Halle Berry. Since my comments are as weak as the movie, I'll stop commenting it now.

Today, I watched Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. I though it was good. It felt pretty long but I think it was very well executed. I am most impressed at the stunt that Tom Cruise did in Burj Khalifa, Dubai. It was scary and the fact he did the stunt, he deserved an applause. Josh Holloway was in this movie but he died within the first few seconds :( So why do I feel the need to write about him? Well just because you kinda wondered what Lost's Sawyer was doing next and also because his wife happened to be Indonesian (lucky her). Anyways, not loving his short clean haircut. He looked so much better with Sawyer's hairstyle. The opposite goes for Tom Cruise. His haircut in this movie is not so nice. He looked better with short clean cut hairstyle. Aside for those 2 guys, I thought Jeremy Renner was kinda stealing the scene too. It's shallow of me to say this but there was a scene when I thought that he had a nice butt :P Okay, back to the movie. The action was great and they really went all out and it's really like saying that if one wants to do an action movie, one should really do it this way with seriously a lot of amazing action scenes. It's rather amazing that the director was Brad Bird who directed the animated movie, The Incredibles.

I have to add, there's a scene in the movie in which using a screen, the good guys could trick what a security guard was seeing. It made me wonder if the same technology was being used in the Transformer 3D ride in Universal Studio Singapore. They were able to deceive the passengers by making us believe we are in the middle of a crowded city with tall skyscrappers when in fact we're indoor in a building of at most 3-storey high. There are really so many amazing technology out there. I do recommend you to watch Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. I think it's one of the promising movies this holiday season. It's highly entertaining.

On other news. Well a few things did happen since the last time I wrote. One of it was when someone basically told me to be less of a bitch for a better future for my social self. As much as I think there's some truth in the request but I know that I'm just not that malleable. I register a lot of things in my brain and I just cannot forget a lot of things. Not just things like the details of what happened but also things like how I felt when those things happened. Hence I cannot get pass many things because when I think of a bad situation, I'll still get angry or sad and I cannot be all sincere in the "let's move on" action. So what I want is basically, you do your own things, I'll do mine. Don't be a dumbass and bother me and I'll also not gonna trouble you. Sounds selfish? Well I stand by my opinion that some people would have fared much worse if they had been in my situation. I react the way I react and whether it's the right or wrong thing to do, I could only react the way my heart allows me to do and I don't like being judged or whatever on the way I should react. I don't care if people think I'm such a bitch or anything simply because I don't care much for people who may think that way. They are not the most important people in my life. In fact they're not even in the list of people whose opinion I value. You see, I still get pretty intense as I am writing this. That's proof that I couldn't get pass certain things.

I don't want to end this post on such a negative tone so let me say my thanks. I am thankful that though I got confused this morning because of the train breakdown, I managed to find my way and thank God it was a Saturday morning so traffic wasn't too heavy. I was half an hour late but there were times when I was that late as well simply because I was slow in the morning. So overall, the damage for me wasn't too great. The thing I am most thankful about is that a little thing happened today. It was such a small thing and yet it managed to make my heart smile. So thank you God. God, if you can make the tiny thing bigger, that would be great. However Thy will be done and in God we trust :) Alright, I'm really tired and sleepy now. Good night loves!

:) eKa @ 12:05:00 AM • 0 comments

The Week With My Brother and Cousins

My brother was here the whole of last week and we got to meet twice. The first time was for dinner exactly last week. My brother and I are not close, we don't really talk to each other so the idea of having to spend some time during dinner was slightly nerve wrecking for me. It turned out to be pretty awesome. We talked a whole freaking lot that I'm sure my mom would be in the state of disbelief if she had seen us. After my opening of asking what he's doing in Singapore, conversation just flowed to other things and we had some good conversation that I felt it was such a pity that we didn't have more time to talk. I wanted to write that it's like seeing my brother in a new light but I think it will be more correct to say that it's seeing what he really is as an adult and I think he's pretty okay. It was rather eye opening and encouraging and humbling to be listening to his thoughts about life now and the future. Something that made me feel that he's rather wise and perhaps more acceptant than me is how he embraces the path he's in. Unlike me, I'm not embracing the path I am in and I'm pretty sure I am leaving this path. I'm just waiting for that sign when I feel I have enough. For my brother, as much as perhaps he didn't fall in love with his path on first sight, since he's already in it, he's making the full use of it and strive to be the best that he could be in it. I knew that he works long hours, I just didn't know what the drive was behind it and upon listening to him, I'm pretty much in awe at what I heard and it caused me to question myself on why I don't have the same drive and don't have the same willingness in embracing my path. I guess that's what makes us different. As I said it's a humbling experience listening to my brother and maybe I'll see things in a new light bit by bit. I do hope we get to hang out again. I guess we two as adults are pretty cool adults. Though we are different in how we think but there's certain similarities that we have, like how we want to kick ass, and how we're kinda pretty good in what we do. So if there's anything that I would like to be thankful about, I am really really really thankful to God that I got to spend a real nice time with my brother last week, especially after my weeks which hadn't actually gone trigger happy. So thank you so much God!

Other than my brother, 2 of my cousins and baby girl Mikaela were here. They arrived on Thursday and I got to meet them on Saturday as we were going to Universal Studio. My brother happened to be there also. He didn't plan to be there again since he has visited it on Wednesday but he was and he sent me an sms in the morning telling me about it. It seemed that he couldn't use his phone to send messages out anymore after that 1 message so I wasn't banking much on being able to meet him but lo and behold I spotted him as we were standing outside the entrance. My brother gave us S$30 food vouchers. So that's pretty good. His job seems pretty glamourous to me. So anyway me and the cousins entered Universal Studio pretty late in the afternoon. It didn't really matter for me because I only wanted to try the few which I missed on my visit last year, which were basically the monster house rock, the Madagascar ride, and of course the hyped up Transformer 3D ride. With my brother, Shrek 4D ride was the first we tried. Then my brother had to go. We wanted to watch the waterworld show but because of the rain, the show was cancelled for that hour. The rain was really stopping us from exploring everything. So anyway, then we went to the Madagascar boat ride. After that Mikaela was taking her nap.

Because of the rain and the long queue at Transformer, my cousins decided that they would just walk around and watch Mikaela and so I went to the queue alone. It didn't feel as weird as I thought it would be but perhaps I was too tired to think much about it. I think I queued for 50 minutes. It felt very long, snaking in and out. I got pretty nervous about the ride as I was getting closer to it. I think I started to feel it's not gonna be as mild as I thought it would be. My brother was right, it's a bit of a combination of the Mummy ride and Shrek 4D. So I was alone and I was seated at the end of the cart. I was a real chicken because I was really scared to the point that I really prayed that I'll be alright and not gonna die from a heart attack. As the ride started, I started to scream which took me by surprise because during exhilarating / scary rides like this, I don't scream. I don't know why I started to scream on this one. Maybe I was alone? It was a real awesome ride though. So awesome and I was blown away on how it looked like. I wonder how they made it. I wonder what's the track and surrounding actually look like. I was very very proud of myself that I managed to do this ride alone. After the ride, the girl sitting next to me was looking at me. I wondered if she's wondering if I was okay or she thought it was strange that I was alone. Overall I came out of it feeling utterly happy. It felt like a big accomplishment :)

After the ride, I met up with my cousins again. We watched the monsters house rock which I didn't think was awesome. Then we had dinner. After dinner was the fireworks show. Mikaela didn't think much of it, I think she didn't like the exploding sounds. My cousins thought it was pretty cool. I thought it was too darn short. It's the same thing as what I saw last year and to be waiting some time for it in a very bad weather with the rain, it just felt like a let down. However, they were delighted so I guess it's cool. I met with them again the next day (Sunday).

They weren't checking their phones so they didn't see my message telling them I'd arrived. By sheer luck, I spotted them, just like I spotted my brother the day before. I like how my cousin described it, it's like we're being pulled to each other :) I like those moments when words twined together in ways that I don't think of could light me up unexpectedly. So anyway, Sunday was spent accompaning the cousins to shop then we're off to Singapore Flyer. I think the improvement they did on Singapore Flyer was great. However the ride itself was boring for me. Maybe it's because I've been in it before and I was really tired, again the rain really brought down the spirit and energy level. One of my cousin was having problem with the height and Mikaela wasn't interested at all. You can never be sure with a 4-year old on what would interest them. She ended up playing and making lotsa noise with the other 4-year old Singaporean boy in the capsule. We ended up talking with the boy's grandpa. Anyway we ended up leaving the Singapore Flyer quite late and I was so tired that we decided to just take taxi. It was frustating because there was no taxi and I called every single number on the list and couldn't go through. I decided to stand by the street and there was a free taxi passing by but it didn't stop even though I was waving like crazy and almost stood in front of its way. I don't understand this and it often happens that an empty taxi just doesn't stop. I don't understand. Luckily behind it, there was a taxi which was willing to pick me up. I felt so happy because I haven't been standing long by the street but I did wait sometime at the taxi stand. My cousin thought I walked out to cry. So anyway, it's been a very tiring weekend for me. Maybe it's also because of the rain, I'm not feeling sickly these few days. Been having migraine a lot and feeling rather feverish. The brother and cousins had returned home and I kinda miss home a lot now. I miss my bed.

It still felt pretty nice to be spending time with the family. One thing I realize was that travelling with a kid can be quite a hassle. Do you know how fast one can walk pushing a stroller? It's weird considering that I've been pretty eager to see what kind of kids I'll have. After the 2 days with Mikaela, I felt pretty thankful that I am single and I have a lot of freedom to do things that I want to do. Not that Mikaela is a bad kid, her mom and auntie surely speak pretty highly of her and I know many people I know also speak highly of their kids. It's just having kids really does restrict you on the things that you can do and for that I am so thankful that I don't have all these responsibilities in life (yet). It makes me feel pretty good about being single and being able to explore the things that I want to do or just simply being able to walk fast without much care. Okay, it's been quite late. So I should stop now and lie down. Meanwhile, I leave you with a picture I took from inside the Singapore Flyer's capsule.

:) eKa @ 10:49:00 PM • 0 comments

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