Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ah Long Pte Ltd & CJ7

Saw these two movies last week. Couldn't bring myself to write any review coz they were seriously pathetic. Here's my quick reviews of the two....

First off... CJ7. Definitely the weakest movie when compared to Stephen Chow's last two movies. It wasn't very funny. It wasn't very touching. Yes, it had a few funny moments and a few touching moments, but it was all quite average. I think he either tried too hard to move away from what he does best - making us laugh, or he was too preoccupied with the special effects which created the little alien. I am also mildly disturbed that Stephen Chow chose to use 3 girls to act as boys and 1 boy to act as a girl... i mean , come on... it can't be that there were no cute boys to cast as the lead kid rite? So-so movie. Give it at most 5/10.

Ah Long Pte Ltd.... Sigh. I didn't have high expectations at all... and even then, my expectations were still too high. This was one loooooong painful movie. The irony? The worst movie among the 3 CNY movies is also the longest. I have no idea what Jack Neo was thinking when he made this movie. His lousy jokes and poor editing aside, I have no idea why he decided to base the movie in Malaysia!! His previous movies poked fun and Singapore and I think it made some sense when we could at least pretend he was trying to make a statement by joking about us. But when he moved the location to Malaysia, he lost even that little difference his movies made. This was a really bad movie. Avoid it at all cost. 0.5/10. (The 0.5 is given to Mark Lee who at least had some funny moments in the movie).

No Country for Old Men

This movie teaches me that critics probably watch movies through some special glasses which allows them to see how wonderful & fantastic it is while I just see some other lame version through my normal spectacles.

No Country For Old Men has got glowing reviews from every major critic. It's like rated at some super high average score of 91/100 at

So, I went to the cinema with fairly high expectations. I found the movie soooooo boring. Yeah, there was some interesting moments. Yeah, the bad guy is somewhat spooky. Yeah, there was a chuckle or two. But I just found the whole movie pointless. I don't understand what it's about. I don't understand the ending. I don't understand the title. I don't understand anything!!

Even Jesse James, which was long and boring, had a more satisfying ending.

I think maybe I am just too shallow. I have no idea how to enjoy such a movie. At the end of the movie, I could only remark that it was some 'existential s#%t' which I can't understand.

If you are shallow like me... who enjoys movies like Transformers and Harry Potter, please avoid this movie like the plague.

If you are some arty farty dude or dudette, go for it. Knock yourself out. Whoopee.

Looking for Tuition Students

I've decided that it's time to start getting back into a bit of teaching... so if any of you are looking for Physics Tuition or if you know of anyone looking for a Physics Tutor.. leave a note here or you can contact me via msn... Thanks!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The evening after

Today's surgery went by pretty quickly. I reported at about 7.30am and I think I was prepped and ready for surgery in the operating theatre by 8.30am.

It's always a unsettling experience to lie on the bed and wait for the surgery to start. To the doctors' and nurses' credit, I think they tried hard to chat with me to get my mind off the surgery. I must confess that the best part of the surgery is going to sleep. They put the oxygen mask on you and ask you to take deep breaths. Then with a quick warning that they will be injecting the medicine, you will drift off to the land of nods in no time. The surgery went by pretty fast. By the time they woke me in the post-op ward, it was only about 9.30am.

The worst part of the surgery is the waking up and the recovery. Waking up is horrible especially if you still have the breathing tubes in you. I hate the feeling of having something down my throat while trying to catch my own breath. Today, they put me on a Vancomycin drip, the antibiotic used for my earlier MRSA infection, just as a precaution. But I think the dosage they gave me was pretty high. Within minutes of waking up, I was feeling all flushed and rashed started appearing from my shoulders upwards. It was really itchy. Thankfully, the doctor took me off the Vanco and injected some medicine to counteract the itch. After resting in the post-op ward for about 2-3 hours, I was wheeled into the day surgery ward to wait for my discharge.

After having a stone blasted/removed, the next really painful part is.... peeing. Yep. peeing. It's always difficult to pee the first time after the op. You just have no idea what is coming out. Usually, it'll be blood-stained urine and maybe some stone fragments/sand. Painful. Very painful. This time, for some reason, my operating doctor decided to give me a souvenir! I actually got a pic of the stone before it was blasted!

Finally left the hospital around 2pm. Came home, had porridge for lunch and went straight to bed to sleep off the rest of the anaesthetic. When I woke up, found my next and shoulders to be extremely stiff, like after you have exercised a muscle after a long time. I think it must be due to some awkward angle they had to place my head for the breathing tube when I was asleep.

Recovery seems quite ok for now. Other than the minor pain, everything else seems quite ok.

One down. Two to go.

Monday, February 11, 2008

sian... another surgery...

Going for another day surgery to remove another kidney stone tomorrow. Feeling sian with the whole thing coz I understand from my doctor that after this, I still have at least two more to go coz there are some kidney stones in other places.

I think I'm also a little more worried about tomorrow's surgery since the last surgery was the one where I probably caught my MRSA infection. And now that I have already caught it, I am (according to the infectious disease doctor) more susceptible to a recurrence. sigh.

I do find it a little frustrating. This whole stone business doesn't seem to go away. The last scan was also kinda demoralizing coz my doctor showed me the stones in my system. I think there are about 8 in all. One kinda big one and the others are smaller. It's like... when will it all clear up? I keep having to deal with these stones and they do affect what I want to do, like travel (coz I can't travel and coz the surgeries SUCK up all my money) and even work.

Although it's something I've kinda accepted a while back, it's still a little demoralizing to see the road ahead in the next few months. Believe me, kidney stone clearing is not the most comfortable of surgeries. I'm not gonna go into details here. Google it if you are really interested.

Oh well, it's almost 12 midnight. Gotta start fasting from food and drinks until the surgery tomorrow morning.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

How fast can you type?

Give it a try. How fast can you type?

66 words

free Touch typing

The boringest holiday of the year has begun...

It's that time of the year again...
... the time when no shops are open
... the time when no coffee shops/hawker stalls are open
... the time when we stuff our face with expensive bak kwa
... the time when tv shows are beyond crappy
... the time when we rely on movies for entertainment outside the house
... the time when jack neo releases his next not-so-funny movie
... the time when I meet relatives whom I have no idea what their names are
... the time when people ask me what I'm doing now not cause they care but it's the only small talk they can make
... the time when relatives ask when I'm going to get a gf and get married

Yes, it's the wonderful Chinese New Year.... the boringest holiday of the year!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Kung Fu Dunk

Work ended at 2pm today so I decided to catch one of the CNY movies before going home for reunion dinner. Had a choice of all three movies: Kung Fu Dunk, Ah Long Pte Ltd and CJ7. I decided to catch Kung Fu Dunk even though most of the reviews in the newspapers were really bad. I think it averaged around 1.5 to 2 stars out of 5! I am glad to say I didn't let those reviews make my mind for me. I really enjoyed the movie! It was a nice break from all the weirdish, bloody-ish movies I've been watching recently.

I think the key to watching this movie is to remember that you are essentially watching a japanese manga. There are parts that are just plain silly, but in the context of a manga, it's really very suitable.

Jay Chou does his usual good job in his I'm-so-bo-chup-that-I'm-so-cool role. Of course, it's not much different from his other roles... but you've gotta admit that he is the right person for such roles. Eric Tsang also does a pretty good job as his manager. I'm glad he practiced some self-control and didn't go over-the-top in trying to act silly. All the other roles were quite peripheral. Even the female star, Charlene Choi, was not very prominent.

The 'kung fu' elements were pretty well done and even though I don't watch basketball games, I enjoyed the way the basketball stunts were carried out. The special effects were also pretty well done. I just wished there was a little more of the 'qi' effects.

I liked the humour and pacing of the movie. It doesn't really go over the top but it's kinda silly in a manga-kinda way. Like I said, some people will be put off by the silly jokes and lack of slap stick humour. But if you think of it as a manga, it all fits very well.

Warning...Mini-spoiler: My only compaint is this little section near the end of the movie where Jay Chou's kung fu teachers swoops in to save the day. Personally, I found that whole section meaningless and force-fitted into the movie. I would have enjoyed the movie without that section at all.

Very good movie. Might watch it again. Now what next... CJ7 or Ah Long?

Coming in 2008: New Star Trek Movie

Some of you may not know it, but I'm a huge Star Trek fan. I like Star Wars too, but I must admit that I am a little partial towards Trek. It's really sad that there is currently no trek series on tv. I've been rewatching my Deep Space 9 dvds. Well, I'm really excited by the trailer for the new Star Trek movie coming at the end of this year.

Check it out at their official website:

The movie's being directed by JJ Abrams of Lost, Alias and of course Cloverfield fame. I'm hoping that he'll do justice to this prequel.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Our efficient hospitals

I think there is something seriously wrong with the efficiency/organization of our hospitals.

Today, I went for some Pre-Admission stuff at Tan Tock Seng. The place opened at 8.30am... very punctual I thought. But once I was inside, the timing just went haywire. There were about three of us who were there when the door opened. I was number 3. The number you see above is my number which also reflects the time of my appt. I was pretty optimistic when I realized I was third in line. I mean, how far off timing could they go right? Well, fact is, by 8.45am, there was only one staff at the counter and the number of patients appearing in the waiting area had grown to about 10. By then, the lone nurse, who was still serving the first patient called for another nurse who was in the section behind to come help with the counselling. Why weren't there more staff there in the first place if the opening time was 8.30am?

Thankfully, when the second patient was called (around 8.50am), the nurse behind came forward to help and I got called as well. She went through the admission procedures. I've done this many times, so I kinda just nodded to almost everything she asked. I didn't waste time coz I pretty much wanted to just get the check over and done with. Even then, it took almost 20min before I was done. Now, according to what I've observed, they basically gave out counselling appointments in 10min slots. If my zippy session took almost 20mins, I wonder how much longer a normal patient with questions would take. Now, isn't that just setting yourself up to have huge delays? If they knew this timing wasn't realistic, either have longer slots or more staff.

So after my counselling, I had my pressure taken and it was unsurprisingly a little high. I'd been getting more and more fed up as I sat at the waiting area. Well, I then moved on to the next waiting area to wait for my turn to see the doctor. By the time my turn came, it was about 9.30am. Now, I know I should be thankful that I got to see the doctor so 'fast'. The last time I went for Pre-Admissions testing, it took almost an hour before I got to see the doctor. But my point was I was only third on the list. And it took me so long to see a doctor. When I left the doctor's room, the waiting area had filled up with about 6 to 8 patients. I didn't dare to think how long they would have to wait in line to see the doctor. Again, patients are already unwell. What is the point of making them sit and wait so long to see the doctor? Either have more doctors or schedule them wider apart or have a better system where the patient needn't sit there for 1 to 2 hours to wait for his turn.

In fact, the last time I went to see my specialist, I had a late appointment at 4.10pm. I waited almost 2 hours until 6pm to see him! I don't really blame him coz I know he wanted to give his patients proper attention. Why can't the hospital come up with a more efficient system to inform us if our appointments are delayed so that we can come a little later? Why make us sit and wait for 2 hours to see the doctor? Even some shops I know have started a phone sms service so customers need not sit there to wait their turn. Instead, they can walk around then received an sms when their turn is coming up.

Yeah, I am basically a bit sore about the whole thing. It's just frustrating to have to sit through such 'ordeals', especially when you are not well or when you are waiting nervously to see the doctor. I can understand that hospitals have to deal with shortage of staff, etc. But I still believe they can come up with a better system of managing patient flow. It's incredible when you have to queue for a total of 3 to 4 hours when your appointment + bill payment takes maybe only 20mins.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

LTA near city hall

Always had a fascination with long corridors.