An Ordinary Life

What I do, what I think

Getting married December 18, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — reneewong @ 12:13 pm

I think that God must love my father and Sniffles a lot because He has given them both the impossible, i.e. me proposing marriage and He has done this through the Singapore government’s HDB policies and the crazy property boom right now. It comforts me to know that the two most important men in my life have found favour with the Lord. And it is also uncanny how things can unfold such that in a 20-minute conversation, everything changes.

But it might all have started four days ago when I suddenly received an sms from my flatmate saying that the landlady has decided to raise the rent come February. That was not altogether unexpected given the property market right now. It did come at a surprising time because I’d thought that we had a lease which only expires in June. It was only revealed to me yesterday that the flatmate never did get round to signing a contract with the landlady and it was all a verbal agreement. And it was yesterday that I realised that the flatmate had no intention of paying more for this apartment and had decided to move to her late grandparents’ old house. I was invited to do the same, and at first I was averse to the idea because 1. the location is just impossible and 2. I don’t like old houses, especially those which have seen dead old people. But then there were two counter reasons: 1. very cheap rent and 2. I can have a dog!

Then, this morning, my flatmate informed me that her uncle was thinking of selling the house in 9 months’ time. What this means is that I’ll be facing the same housing problem at the end of next year and I’ll have to move again. And I contemplated the apartment that I’m in right now. I quite like it. Was there any way of keeping it? Because there is just no way that I will be able to find something like that even at the increased rent that the landlady will be charging. So a devious plan formed in my head: my father.

I guess I was thinking of asking him to subsidise my rent and at the same time ask for his advice. Except that during the conversation I just never did bring up the issue of him paying part of my rent. I don’t know why. The words just didn’t come out. So he went through a few options with me, and as usual, it ended with “Of course the best solution is for you to get married”.

Objectively speaking, he is absolutely right. For is this not the reason why the HDB has painful restrictions on singles under the age of 35? Obviously the top brains of the nation had been picked to find ways to force independent individuals to willingly take on the yoke of marriage, so who am I to fight against it?

So yah, marriage is in the cards. And yes, it is for the flat. Yes, the worst has happened: I have completely lost any remaining traces of my Parisian experience and sunk into the depths of Singaporean conformity.

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The Golden Compass December 9, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — reneewong @ 2:46 am

Nine out of ten movie adaptations of books will disappoint – that’s my general opinion, and this was no exception. What does make it exceptional is that people who have not read the book, like Sniffles, would say that it is a bad movie, and people who have read the book, like myself, would say that it is bad to the power of infinitive. I mean, take The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – that was an admirable effort. Yes, the book was still better, but one wouldn’t say the movie was bad. Even the Harry Potter series, where there was just no way the movies could have been as good as the books – something was translated effectively onto the big screen – the quidditch matches, the realisation of Hogwarts, right down to the costumes of the characters. Then, there is LOTR. I could never tolerate Tolkien. Even in my younger days, at a time when I read anything under the sun, I couldn’t get past the first five pages of The Hobbit, not to mention LOTR. I mean, I can read The Tale of the Genji, I can read The Brothers Karamazov, but I cannot read LOTR. I just can’t. But the movies… they were great. I will never watch them again, but they were great.

So, back to The Golden Compass. Nicole Kidman is amazing. She is exquisite in every way. Just watching her in her clothes is an immense pleasure. Daniel Craig was looking devastatingly gorgeous, even fully-clothed. But hey.. they’re just the supporting cast. The girl who played Lyra, the main character… perhaps it was just the really bad scripting and direction – there was just no saving grace about her, I’m sorry to say.

To be fair, even from the book, Lyra wouldn’t be a very likeable character. Well, at least not to me. There is something annoyingly crude about her. But in the book, it was possible for her to slowly evolve and time for her to endear herself to the reader, but not in the movie, I feel. And perhaps that was the whole problem with the movie – everything was being condensed to fit into two hours, and this is not a story that allows that. Even as I was reading the book , I was asking myself how kids could possibly understand the storyline. There are big words and theories postulated that would go over the heads of even adults. The attempt to make this into a movie resulted in something ridiculous.

So, about the religious controversy that’s been buzzing around the Net, even before the movie opened – I don’t see any cause for it at all. The movie, unlike the book, doesn’t even mention the words god or church. And rumours about how this is a story encouraging children to kill God so that they can do whatever they want are just unfounded, be it in the movie or the book. Yes, there are some religious elements – these are hardly present in the movie, but more apparent in the book – a book that has won many major awards as Children’s Literature. In fact, the last book in the trilogy that is His Dark Materials, of which The Golden Compass is the first book, won a Parents’ Choice gold award, so I don’t think there’s really anything seriously objectionable about the plot or the themes.

The final verdict? Don’t bother watching the movie. Try the book. It’s not as easy to read as The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter but it does make for a modern classic.

 

The passions of a 30-year-old. Not me. December 6, 2007

Filed under: Ex-boyfriend — reneewong @ 11:13 pm

So my 30 y.o. ex is acting like a 16 y.o. on Facebook over his 17 y.o. ex. He was back in town a couple of weeks ago because they had broken up and he had to change his plans of going to Latvia to visit her. When I asked him why, he said, “You know, young girls.” And I just couldn’t resist: “Yah, this is what you get for dating a 17-year-old.” And he was like, “No, it’s not her. It’s her mother. She disapproves.” And I repeated, “Yah, this is what you get for dating a 17-year-old – in general, mothers will disapprove if their 17-year-old daughter dates a 30-year-old man.” But at that time, he insisted that it was probably temporary. Seeing his latest status posts on Facebook, I think it’s not as temporary as he had thought. Am I gloating? No, not really. It’s just something to write about. Like, I could also write about him going to get Botox within 45 minutes of me telling him that he had wrinkles. But I shall not. Lest I am accused once more of being obsessive about my ex.