Monday, May 30, 2005

the meek shall inherit the earth

Does standing up in what you believe in, despite of the obstacles in your way, lead to your own happily-ever after? Written by Kate Dicamillo, The Tale of Despereaux : Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread tells a tale of a mouse who lost his tail somewhere in the middle of the story (Poor pun, i admit). A mouse who was unlike from the others.. born different from the rest of the mice and bound to lead an exceptional life.

Despereaux Tilling, was banished from his own folks (own father, no less) into the deep dark dungeons of the castle after he does what other mice mustn't: Sit at the feet of a human, let a human touch him and speak to a human, and not forgetting falling in love with a human too. So how did he make his own destiny?

A wonderful and heart-warming tale to be share... i believe in fairy tales and the happy ever after :).. after all.. without hope or dreams.. what's left for us?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

i've gotto stop...BUYING BOOKS!!!

i've really got to stop buying books. i have got piles and piles of books that i have yet to finish reading (especially Dragon Rider and The Dark Materials Trilogy) and guess wat? i've gotten yet another pile of books from the book sale by MPH over this weekend.

Some of the more interesting books that i can't wait to read are:
The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes
The Devil Wears Prada : A Novel by Lauren Weisberger
The Leap by Jonathan Stroud
Buried Fire by Jonathan Stroud
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson

I'm really excited about starting on Peter and the Starcatchers... seems that it is a pretty highly fascinating, interesting and well-written book on the prequel of Peter Pan and how he got to Neverland. And Buried Fire is pretty well-received too.

There's a few interesting ones that i have to leave behind cos i actually set a budget for myself... MPH was offering The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell, Dustin Thomason at $10... but i kinda figured that i will get a copy another time as it is not so affordable as the rest which were priced below $10. Viewed as a "Da Vinci Code" type of story that combines history and suspense.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Segway me..

i have been reading up on Segway with interest for some time. Seems that after the initial launch of the Segway Human Transporter(HT) back in 2001, public interest on it kinda died down a bit. However, recently, with new golf models and the rental scheme that allows people hired the human transporter, riding on a segway doesn't seem to be that far a possibility. Though it did seem that the HT would not be brought into Singapore.

However, needless to say, i have been very keen on getting my hands on a segway to try and have a ride on it for the longest time.. and i got my wish today!!! Apparently, there is a local firm that is bringing in the segway to sell. The models i-series and p-series are priced at approximately S$8-9k. They was letting people have a go on the segway HT at Holland Village. I got my 5 mins on a segway today!

Segway p-series
This was the one i had a ride in.

It's really simple and easy to handle. Just step onto the segway.. lean forward to move in front.. and lean back to go backwards. A simple toggle on the left handle bar makes the HT go left or right. Honestly... it's a breeze to handle. The only concern that i have is the handling of the segway on our numerous kerbs..that one would have to hop up and down to bring the HT onto the kerbs and also.. how to park and lock it. Oh.. and the battery lasts for approximately 15km. Wat if you run out of juice on the way back?? How would you be dragging it home??

i'm really wishing for a segway HT for my birthday.. see my wish list :)

segway i-series
i like the colours on this model.

For those who are interested in the conceptualization, development and creation of the Segway HT, read this really cool book titled, Code Name Ginger: The Story Behind Segway and Dean Kamen's Quest to Invent a New World by Steve Kemper.

Code Name Ginger

found this review...

p/s a afternote: i'm really upset that i didn't use my camera which was in my bag the whole time i was riding the segway to ask the promoters to take a picture for me!!! *sob* *sob*.. how duh was i???!!! i'm very upset now...

p/s/s... isn't the segway amazing.. wat are the odds on putting 2 wheels, a stick and a platform and making it balance??? When you switch it on.. it is able to stand on its own.. defying the normal gravity that makes things fall over. Add a human on it.. and you are just ready to go.

MPH booksale

Heads up..

MPH warehouse sale at the Singapore Expo this weekend.

28-29 May 2005
9 am - 9 pm
Singapore Expo Hall 6B
Payment via CASH only!!

Let's see what good buys i can get this time round... and p/s i haven't finished reading the books that i've gotten previously.


This has to be one of the funniest and enjoyable movies that i have seen in a long time. Honestly, i enjoyed this more than the recent flick... which was Star Wars: the return of the sith.

Non-stop laughs and cheers from the mainly grown-up/adult audience.. parodies from so many movies like American Beauty, Cast Away, Zoolander, Saturday Night Fever.... ads and even from National Geographic. It's really cool.

The voice acting is fantastic.. and honestly.. i was so immersed in the movie that i forgot that it was ben stiller and chris rock. But i can see how perfect they were for the characters... and David Schwimmer as Melman the hypochondriac/paranoid/neurotic giraffe.... add the little nuances like tissue boxes as shoes... har har har.

Oh and the penguins steal the scene everytime they appear. *you didn't see anything!*

they even did a quote from one of my fave authors, Shel Silverstein. Guess wat was it? For those who aren't familiar, you can go and read up the Zebra Question by Shel Silverstein from the book, A Light in the Attic.

This cartoon will be a hit for all ages... i can't wait to watch it again. Will get my sister to loan me her kid. hee hee hee..

A definite DVD keeper!! See the Madagascar tee!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Wat a view...

Today was a great day.. clear blue skies... the only problem was that it was too hot and humid.

However, managed to get this shot. Ain't it a great view?

Marina Bay in the morning light

Monday, May 23, 2005

Sahara and more...


See my Sahara Swiss Knife... it's really cool.

i know that this is a bit of a old news. i have been wanting to blog about Sahara, the movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz for the longest time. Since the swiss knife rekindled my interest, i shall blog about it. i think that it was a good movie.. with enough thrills, action and a hint of romance to sustain the story. As i'm still in the mist of finishing the book, can't say if the movie does the book justice.. but one thing is for sure. i do think that Matthew McConaughey makes a dashing and good action hero... and this was way better than National Treasure. And when i think that it's a good movie.. you can bet that i'd be getting a copy of the movie on DVD. Can't wait to see if the Da Vinci Code movie will be better. Check out the trailer, k?

Some links:

Sahara : A Dirk Pitt Adventure by Clive Cussler

Sahara Movie Site

Matthew McConaughey's "Sahara" Stream Journals
This is where Matthew McConaughey blogged about his travels across the United States to promote his Sahara movie in a Airstream trailer. He travelled a total of 8,612 miles across US. Do check out his journals. It's a very interesting read and he's got a wicked sense of humor... (err.. remember the bongo playing incident?) Very cool!!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

20% off

Kinokuniya is having its 20% storewide sale this weekend. Wat better way to maximise my $80 vouchers. Some time back, i was asked wat kind of vouchers i wanted as a gift and i settled on kinokuniya's. i figured that at least i can use them to get some books and keep the books for prosperity and as a keepsake. So had to take a picture since these items are considered a gift.. somewhat... guess wat i got?

My purchases

1. Steamboy Dvd - saw that the vcd was out since last month... been wanting to get the dvd and luckily, managed to see it at Kino! Came with a free poster too.

2. Philip Pullman's Dark Materials Trilogy - i'm tired of reading incomplete book series... Bartimaeus Trilogy, Eragon, even Harry Potter... having to wait for so long for sequels.. so i decided to pick up a completed trilogy. Even though that i know that i could have and should have borrowed them from the public library....

3. Shel Silverstein's Runny Babbit - this book has been on my wish list ever since it came out... so naturally, got it.

Total cost of books and dvd? $103.85 - 20%= $83.08. So in the end, i just needed to pay $3.08 for all my items :)

Oh.. and while i was there? i came across a Sahara Clive Cussler promotion. With any purchase of books above $30 including a Cliver Cussler book will entitle you Sahara movie premiums. Hey... i bought the Sahara book from Kino a couple of weeks back and how come i didn't get the gift? So, i managed to speak to the manager, told him how i bought the Sahara book previously over the internet... got hold of the internet order.. and i got a very cool, classy and useful Sahara swiss army knife. can't wait to go camping with it.

Another thing.. i take back about wanting to work at kino or something simliar. i still want to be a personal shopper for books and matching readers with books. however, i think that it'd drive me insane to work in kino... customers treating the bookstore like a library cos they have all the popular materials to read.. with total disregard with the fact that the books are for sale.. and not for reading. Isn't ironic?

Kids spawling on the floor.. sitting everywhere... blocking the aisles and for hours i might add... i think that the staff there have a tougher job than librarians. At least we get some authority in controlling and enforcing the readers in the library.. and can tell them off politely if they are mistreating library materials and such. Don't think that the staff has that kind of enforcement. After all, you wouldn't want to offend a potential paying customer right?

Wonder if the bookstore have any guidelines to handle such unbecoming behaviour in the bookstore or have the staff grown oblivious to it. Oh.. and does it and would it mean that in order to cover for the damaged items, the books are priced at a higher price to cover the costs?

if it is happening or that is happening... it'd be dreadful. sigh.. wonder if anyone can give insights into that.

Apart from that..things/events to look forward to:

Madagascar movie this weekend. Saw it
Swan Lake by Royal Ballet in June. Bought tickets
Neil Gaiman's visit to Singapore on 3-6 July
Dim Sum Dollies - Singapore's Most Wanted in August. got the tickets as a birthday present
Cirque Du Soleil's Quidam in September. Bought tickets

Now.. who's been saying that Singapore is boring... With all these events coming up, i'm going to be broke.. unless some kind soul out there is going to get me tickets for my birthday!! :)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Wonderful tee

came across this tee that was selling at a really cheap price featuring characters from the upcoming dreamworks cartoon, Madagascar - featuring the voice talents for Ben Stiller (Gaylord Focker), Chris Rock (wasn't he in the fifth element or was it Chris Tucker? I get them mixed up all the time!), David Schwimmer (nerdy, needy, irritating Ross) and Jada Pinkett-Smith (Mrs. Will Smith)!! Looking at the trailers... i really hope that it is better than that Shark's Tale flop!

Madagascar Safari Tee

Isn't it great if i could wear it in the libraries???!!!! So apt.. describes wat the situation the libraries is like in reality. hee hee hee hee..

p/s the movie is starting this weekend on the 25th... you can bet that i'd be one of the first to catch it!!!

p/s/s interesting trivia, did you know that dodo birds used to reside on Madagascar?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Yo.. this is my aisle.. F- off

Was relating to one of my friends about the happenings in the library. Guess that patrons are no longer behaving in libraries. Sometimes, i blame the parents.. for the parents always think that it is the librarians' job to scold the children when they misbehave. This is something that i totally disagree. Yes, we can teach you library etiquette, but parents should be disciplining their own kids and teaching them to respect public property and proper conduct. The librarian will not scold you, rather, the librarian will chide your parents for letting you behave like a monkey in the library. Guess where the children learn their monkeying from.

Anyway.. i digress... so i was relating incidents in the library and i told my friend that there are gangs in the libraries. Gang members come into the library to recruit members and even have been caught fistfighting (think of fight club style?). Ok ..ok..ok.. i exaggerated. it's not that bad. PPLLEEAASSEEE come to the library!!!

My friend laughed really really hard and said that that had to be the funniest thing he had heard in the longest time. To him.. the library gangs had to be the geekiest and lousiest around. They can't fight with the gangs outside and hence have to bully the bookworms in the libraries?

So wat would they fight over? Books? Seats? Aisles? Girls?

Too bad i don't know how to upload my friend's bad-ass gangster imitation of the library gangs challenging, staking and claiming their was hilarious...

p/s maybe i can get him to record it and i'd post it up here... hee hee hee

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Why read?

As promised in the previous posting

Reading as a backup
Reading as a backup

Fiction and Fantasy
Wat's fiction and wat's fantasy?

Why comics?

There seems to be a spat of comics relating to reading in the past couple of days. i spotted some from Baby Blues and will be posting them up shortly. i love reading comics. often, they capture our idiosyncrasies so succinctly and to the point.

i remember the tv guide was the first thing that i learnt to read. i'd look out for "cartoons" to see what time they'd be shown on tv and then i'd turn to the comics section. Over time, the words started to make sense and i've been hooked on comics since then. From Beetle Bailey, Andy Capp, Born Loser to Snoopy, Calvin and Hobbes ... etc

Some teachers commented recently that their school children are all reluctant readers and they have no idea on how to help them. Sometimes i think that reading in school is deemed more as a chore than pleasure. Look at it this way, would you want to read if the teacher is breathing down your neck on wat you read and that you'd have to do a report?

Once i had to do a book report in primary 5 and i chose to present Wizard of Oz. A unabridged version if i might add. It was a really thick book and had so many words in it. The silly teacher dismissed it and said that it wasn't a proper book and was a kid's tale. i was chided in front of everyone and boy.. did i hate that feeling. Of cos i had to pick another book (i forgot wat's the title). Till this date, i can't figure out what her objections were. i think that to her, it was a kiddish read cos the story is for the younger children and was so familiar to everyone. Maybe that's the reason why i have never started on Alice in Wonderland and The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. BTW, i plan to read them soon. Managed to get copies from a recent book sale.

Seems that teachers in Singapore still have that kind of mentality... wat's a proper reading material and what's not. i say to hell with that.. just give them anything with words on them. Learning and developing a love to read take to shape in incremental stages and often over time. If teachers aren't aware of that, who is?

Why is reading better than television?

Here's the reason why if or when anyone asks. hee hee hee

Broom Hilda

And it is for everyone too!!! Can't beat that at all!!!

Broom Hilda

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Isn't this a common sight?


This is just so reflective of the libraries now... how can we preserve our sanity?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

new camera for me!!!

i'll be getting a new camera tomorrow.. most excellent

Wanna try to ask a librarian out?


This is the kind of answer you might get... hee hee hee..

p/s cute comic

I don't need a library...

i pointed out the new NLB library in town to someone over the weekend... well.. for someone who hasn't been to the library for over 15 years, the fellow didn't see a need for librarians and libraries.

"I can google." So he says...

The very next day, i got an email from the very same fellow...

"Ok Ms. Librarian, I have a couple of questions for you regarding searching for information.

Generally, is there some way for me to search for a public company's financials in Singapore?

Specifically, I mentioned to you that I am doing XXX for XXX. My supervisor wants me to get a comparison/contrasting between Co. A vs. Co. B, sort of figure out what are some of the pros and cons between the two, how they are perceived in the market place by the general public, etc. Know of any good way of finding any sort of information like that?

I know that it is entirely possible for there to be no such information available.. but thought I'd give you a try. Thanks."

Note: details were masked for privacy

Well... i could have forwarded the enquiry to the relevant librarians, but thought that i could give it a shot... and help a friend. So i managed to get the financials of Co. A, which wasn't too difficult as it was a listed company. Co. B was a bit tough as it was a private company (financials aren't filed as it wasn't required by law) but i did get some financials from a Singaporean publication of top 1000 companies.

Press clippings were easy to find too, using Factiva. From here, i could get the expansion plans, directions, news on the 2 companies.

As for the perceptions of the 2 companies.. it was a bit tough. Often, market research has to be conducted to gather all the consumer behaviour and feedback and such reports are mainly for commercial uses and one would need to pay to get or commission such a research.

Luckily, i managed to get my hands on some dissertations and case studies conducted by university students. One of the case studies was on Co. C. Co. C had identified Co. A and Co. B as its competitors. It listed the strength and weaknesses of the companies.

So i emailed my findings.... and got this email in return.

"Thanks. A lot of information to digest, which is great. NOW I see the importance of librarians. :) Though, I'm still suspicious of the necessity of LIBRARIES."
i wasn't surprised that he didn't get much relevant and usable data from googling... sometimes, one would need help to get direction on the tools and resources to use.

Well... what can i say to convince him the need for libraries? At least for a start, he now realises the role of librarians. i'm glad to say that i've got a switcher on my hands


p/s I'm reading The Cult of Mac by Leander Kahney. It's brilliant! i want a Mac too!!

p/s/s ok ok... not a very interesting story but wanted an opportunity to create and put up a ellen feiss switcher parody. hee hee hee

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Use Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix as toilet paper?

Over the weekend, there's yet another book sale at the Singapore Expo. This time round, it's by Times. They have lots of selection on contemporary novels and non-fiction books there. I don't think that i saw anything that was above S$10. i didn't spend much time looking at the adult contemporary fiction section, but if you like Ian Rankins, Robert Ludlum .. chick lit..self-help books etc.. that's the place to go and spend your weekend. Oh.. and they even had Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (hardcover) for sale at S$7. Yes.. you heard me correctly S$7, S-E-V-E-N. That's less than US$4. Cheap!!!! Can you believe it? To think that i bought mine at $35 when it first came out. Borders is too selling it $7.95. I was commenting to my friend, " Buy the book and use as toilet paper also can!!" Given that the book is so voluminous and can just buy and put it inside the toilet for reading and whatever purposes when the paper runs out! Just tear the pages that you have read!! heee hee hee.. They didn't have a lot of children or teens selection..i was disappointed but i did catch a sorry-looking Eragon by Christopher Paolini for $5. i had bought my copy at a previous sale for $10.

Which makes me think.. should i wait and buy such books such as Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince during book sale like these? There's bound to be an overwhelming supply. However, this will mean that i will only get it 2 years down the road!!! AARRGGHH.. will i be able to resist the wait?? Nah... don't think so. Anyway.. i have placed an order with the distributor of Harry Potter and he promised a discount.. *rubs my hands in glee* Hee Hee Heee!!

Some of the great buys that i got:

  1. Modern Library: The 200 Best Novels in English since 1950 by Carmen Callil, Colm Toibin (US$27.95) - S$5
  2. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy by John Clute (Editor), John Grant (Editor), Mike Ashley, Roz Kaveney (US$85) - S$8
  3. The Last Hero (Gollancz SF S.) by Terry Pratchett, Paul Kidby (Illustrator) (US$10.58) - S$6

There were other books that i bought... but don't think that i will list them cos i wanted to give them as gifts.. wait people call me El cheapo!!

Spent close to a hundred dollars at the sale. I'm great at buying books but lousy at carrying them.

Will give you the details of the sale just in case you are able to make it this weekend
The Book Sale
Singapore Expo Hall 6B
till 2 May, 9pm