Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Alice Munro - Dear Life

two excerpts from a good book of short stories i'm reading:


"For years I thought I might run into him. I lived, and still live, in Toronto. It seemed to me that everybody ended up in Toronto at least for a little while. Of course that hardly means that you will get to see that person, provided that you should in any way want to.

It finally happened. Crossing a crowded street where you could not even slow down. Going in opposite directions. Staring, at the same time, a bare shock on our time-damaged faces.

He called out, "How are you?" and I answered, "Fine." Then added for good measure, "Happy."

At the moment this was only generally true. I was having some kind of dragged-out row with my husband, about our paying a debt run up by one of his children. i had gone that afternoon to a show at an art gallery, to get myself into a more comfortable frame of mind.

He called back to me once more:
"Good for you."
It still seemed as if we could make our way out of that crowd, that in a moment we would be together. But just as certain that we would carry on in the way we were going. And so we did. No breathless cry, no hand on my shoulder when I reached the sidewalk. Just that flash, that I had seen in an instant, when one of his eyes opened wider. It was the left eye, always the left, as I remembered. And it always looked so strange, alert and wondering, as if some whole impossibility had occurred to him, one that almost made him laugh.

For me, it was the same as when I left Amundsen, the train dragging me still dazed and full of disbelief.

Nothing changes really about love."


"He'd thought that it had happened long before with Isabel, but it hadn't. Not until now.

She had existed and now she did not. Not at all, as if not ever. And people hurried around, as if this outrageous fact could be overcome by making sensible arrangements. He, too, obeyed the customs, signing where he was told to sign, arranging - as they said - for the remains.

What an excellent word - "remains." Like something left to dry out in sooty layers in a cupboard.

And before long he found himself outside, pretending that he had as ordinary and good a reason as anybody else to put one foot ahead of the other.

What he carried with him, all he carried with him, was a lack, something like a lack of air, of proper behaviour in his lungs, a difficulty that he supposed would go on forever.

The girl he'd been talking to, whom he'd once known - she had spoken of her children. The loss of her children. Getting used to that. A problem at suppertime.

An expert at losing, she might be called - himself a novice by comparison. And now he could not remember her name. Had lost her name, though he'd known it well. Losing, lost. A joke on him, if you want one.

He was going up his own steps when it came to him.


A relief out of all proportion, to remember her."

Thursday, May 02, 2013

For The Love of Movies

One of my favourite movie critics, Lisa Schwarzbaum, had recently left Entertainment Weekly. Ive been reading her reviews ever since i started reading the magazine, which has been forever. Her occasional humour and sharp observations will be sorely missed. Below is her final article from the Feb 22 issue, #1247.

"Fourteen years after the fact, I still occasionally hear from readers angry that i didnt like "Fight Club". our years later, I still occasionally receive messages from people upset that I liked "The Twilight Saga:New Moon" too much. Eight weeks since opening day, both lovers and haters of "Les Miserables" still have a thing or two they want to tell me about my review. I've spent 22 years at Entertainment Weekly, 19 of them as a critic - a glorious tenure that ends with this issue. And I've heard from hundreds of readers fired up about movies and passionate enough to respond to something I've written in these pages.

Often the mail has been gratifying: "I love that too!" "I hated that as much as you did!" Sometimes the messages have been harsh: "you suck! EW should get rid of Lisa!" (Passing fun for the writer but crap of me, you-suckgrams have become a depressingly regular aspect of anonymous, online comment-board culture.) The pissed-off wife of a wildly successful producer of high-octane action schlock once sent me a popcorn bucket filled with stones because...well, Im not sure why, something about throwing atones at her husband's work. Anyway, she wanted to remind me that, while her beloved's pictures rake in billions, my stuff would be gone in 60 seconds. On the flip side, I once received an effing cool email from Josh Brolin telling me, and I quote, "you can f---ing write!" And promising to be in my movie. Not that i have any plans whatsoever to write a screenplay.

A writer always wants to feel she's connecting with her readers. And certainly, agreeing with me or disagreeing with me is a heartfelt form of engagement. But as i move away from regular criticism in this magazine (my plans include a book, an online project, speaking engagements about popular culture - oh, and a dog!), here's a party favour i want to leave with you: What matters is not if we're in sync about a particular movie but WHY.

My part of the conversation is to use my own experience, analytic ability, aesthetic understanding, points of reference, writing skills, and - lucky me! - EW platform to explain how i come to, say, adore the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy or despair the "Saw" sensibility. (I even explained carefully why i was giving away the ending of "Pay It Forward" - but some readers went into a hate-mail rage nonetheless. Seen it lately, by the way? I didnt think so. It's still hideous hooey.) Your mission is to read with an open mind, watch movies with an open mind, and use the places where we diverge as inspiration for an ongoing conversation about this ever-changing medium we love together.

Grades, stars, thumbs, and assorted icons are inevitably crude, if handy, quantifiers of quality - they're shorthand, attention-getting invitations to the party. Once we've both shown up, though, let's have a good time pondering both the complexities of "Django Unchained" and the simplicities of "A Good Day To Die Hard". Because then we'll never run out of things to say to one another.

So keep exploring. Keep responding. And just so you know: the experience of talking with you for two decades has been A+."

Monday, October 22, 2012


填詞: 黃偉文

共你乾杯再舉箸 突然間相看莞爾 盤中透著那味兒
大概今生有些事 是提早都不可以 明白其妙處

也像我很糾結的公事 此際回頭看 原來並沒有事

開始時捱一些苦 栽種絕處的花

到大悟大徹將虎嚥的昇華 等消化學沏茶

下半生竟再開學 入迷的終於醒覺 移走最後的死角
用痛苦烘托歡樂 讓餘甘彰顯險惡 如藝壇傑作

卻在某蕭瑟晚秋深夜 忽爾明瞭了 而黃葉便碎落

開始時捱一些苦 栽種絕處的花

到大悟大徹將虎嚥的昇華 等消化學沏茶


珍惜淡定的心境 苦過後更加清

到大悟大徹將一切都昇華 這一秒坐擁晚霞

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Melissa McCarthy

""Comedy to me is all about the bumps and bruises and weird tics," says McCarthy."It's everything you find out about somebody when you fall in love with them that on paper is really creepy but you find adorable. Like, Ben - maybe I shouldn't say this - he always thinks he's being poisoned. He's gotten better, but somebody put something in his drink in college and so now he's always paranoid. It's that kind of weirdness - not an eye patch and a mid-Atlantic accent - that makes you love a character." As for her own particular breed of percularity, Falcone says that his wife insists she has to jam her finger in his armpits or tap her fingernails hard on his front teeth before she falls asleep. "It's become a long argument where I'm just like,'You do not need that to go to sleep.' 'No, I really do. For me, that is important.'"
Success, as ell as the grounding of age and family, has helped McCarthy shed some of her own anxiety over her appearance, So much so that last year when a blogger famously whined about the nauseating idea of watching Mike and Molly's overweight couple make out, McCarthy was flooded with disgust rather than insecurity. "My first thought was 'Gosh, I hope she doesn't have a daughter.' And thwn after a second I thought, 'What a sad, troubled person. You're making such a s---ty judgement on people.'"

"Do I sometimes hope I wake up in the morning and people are like, 'What's wrong with her? She looks emaciated,'" she says. "Of course I would love that. I'm such a clothes whore I would love the opportunity to be a hanger. But I think I'm more confident than I've ever felt in my life." She grimaces at herself for starting to cry again. "I'm so weird. This is crazy,sorry," she says, holding a napkin over her face. "Because I met with Judd Apatow this morning. He told me his idea for me and was like,'What do you think?' It's an awfully great, weird thing to have people that you're like, 'Oh, God, if I could just get a one-line part!' and then you're sitting with them and they're like, 'What do YOU think?"

She pauses to wipe her leaky eyes with the lapels of her jacket and allows herself a quick, happy shudder of disbelief. "Chance like this just always seem to happen to other people or to a different type," she says. She sits there mystified for a second before her face relaxes into the year's most winning smile. "I always thought it was worth the fight. Now I know it is."

-- Karen Valby, EW #1179, The Comedy Issue

The underrated Melissa McCarthy has finally made it into the big league. With the hilarious role in Bridesmaid that stole almost the whole show, and the Emmy win for her role in Mike and Molly, she has definitely come a long way. I've watched her for a better part of her 7 years on Gilmore Girls as the charmingly quirky Sookie, and always thought she deserved more credit for that colourful character which nicely complemented Lauren Graham's Lorelai. I'm glad now the whole world not only can see how funny she is, but also how down-to-earth and inspiring this woman can be.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

容祖兒 - 誰來愛我


如果 爱情狂烈到可怕程度
除非 爱情没法有一种尺度

当 一心坚持为你好

谁来爱我 小心爱错
谁来爱我 请好好对我

如果 爱情是个最孤单国度
就在荒岛起舞 只得我知道
不懂得爱 不懂得我 别亲我

Saturday, June 02, 2012



生命是一塊鐵 沸騰才能刻寫
明天的我 是不朽或浮生一瞥
人體內6公升血 一顆顆都如酒濃烈
為愛瘋狂 沒醉過的人不了解

哪怕選手缺少優先權 沒得選
將目光都鎖在 同一個終點
前方越多的風險 冒險

我要我是誰 就算夢未遂
把理想都盜走 到老才數著後悔
感動是纖維 紡織後成為一張被

心意堅定如鐵 故事我自己寫
你別看我 安靜但內心很狂野
我體內所有的血 一分鐘都不肯停歇
所謂瘋狂 是不管他人的誤解

I'll be somebody someday


In EW's The Best of 2011 issue, Ken Tucker lists Fringe as the 3rd best tv show. He wrote:

"Fans fearful that following Olivia, Walter, and the elusive Peter into a third timeline might result in a trip down an unsatisfying narrative rabbit hole need not have worried. Fringe remains fearless - in a time when cutting-edge television is supposed to be dark, edgy, or pessimistic - about asserting the notion that life is a never-ending wonder capable of healing souls and bringing people together in inexplicable ways. fringe works in the speculative-fiction sci-fi genre to deal with themes of unity and duality, the spirit and the soul, love, and the agony of love's absence."

I have not seen Season 4 yet, but I never expected a tv series to have that much depth. Really got me excited to catch it now.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

this time

you asked me why Katy Perry always reminds me of you. i replied "it just does", which is not entirely honesty. you said "aww so sweet", and i said, "nothing to be sweet about".

the truth is, Teenage Dream was one of the last few songs you played. it was probably the 3rd time we met, where we shared a pair of earphones and was scrolling through the songs on the list. i cant remember what i picked, but u chose Teenage Dream. Katy's album was just released then, and it was a hit. at that moment, that uplifting spirit of the song, its meaning of possibilities, became synonamous with you.

it was also the last time we met, before you disappeared for a long time in my life.

And then you came back. i was caught surprised, and at the same time wary. who wouldnt be. i remember telling H that this is a testof temptation, and I passed. Katy remained a huge part of our times together. hey, you cant club without Katy right?

i was allright for a while, but something stirred in me when i met you a few days ago. we just chilled out to music and tea. many a times we werent even talking. and then we took a walk around the harbour. the silence was not awkward, im used to it with you. we talked, mostly about work, and walked. i was wearing a white hoodie and you wore a black one. at that moment i thought, how cute and funny.

it was all normal for me, until that final embrace in the lift. i've always liked your hugs - they are tight, warm, and comforting. it lingered longer than i expected - perhaps that's when everything started to feel weird. i exited the lift without looking back, and as i walk back to my room i imagined that he would be behind me, asking me to wait up.

the next morning i also imagined that he would call me for breakfast before i leave. None of what i imagined happened.

the effect of that lingering embrace lasted till i was back in Singapore, and the elation i felt when u texted me when u're back was indescribable. i scrolled through the messages we exchanged, and laughed at the same jokes i've said. im surprised at the amount of wit i had back then, and with you.

of course, the head rarely agrees with the heart. all these while i've been going through my head, telling myself how nothing of this will ever work out - you were always attached, i wasnt sure if u liked me enough, and most importantly, i was certain that i will not be able to sustain your interest and eventually, it will end with a bad breakup. it's better we remain friends now. this way, we'll last longer.

in the days past the emotions subsided. but it never really goes away. i've never felt so strongly about you before, and it terrifies me, because this time, the head and the heart never did agree with each other.

i realise this is the most honest i have been here. oh well. perhaps some honesty will serve me well in getting it off my chest.