Friday, December 31, 2010

Top Ten of 2010

Hey hey hey, Year's Top Ten is back in business with another installment of the years... top ten. Here's to an awesome future!

1. The Suicide Survival Kit (Written: 27th Dec 2010)
Okay so I forgot about this until now. Chronologically, this should come first I guess. It's a couple of days before the IB results come out for our year, and of course everybody's freaked out of their minds, but I had been watching too much ImprovEverywhere and decided to get a couple of people to do something awesome to commemorate the occasion and, possibly, lighten the mood a bit. Thus the Suicide Survival Kit was born. It offered a cheap, affordable, easy way to kill youself if and when you find out you didn't meet your expectations for your IB results (and hell, in this country, nobody meets their own expectations). We distributed it discreetly to people we knew, and maybe it didn't have the kind of impact I was envisioning, but it sure was fun to make.

2. Love Hina manga series (Link) (Written: 10th Feb 2010)
This is one of the first few mangas I read; I remember borrowing it from a friend when I was in Sec 1 or 2. I never finished it though, and yesterday I finished the ending. Then I had this feeling; Juzzie said it was just the aftereffects of the emotional ride which stories often give you. I just found it so touching... I mean, Harry Potter gave the sense of awesomeness and Dark Materials had love in it too but I only felt it was awesome... this is the first story that made me love the characters, and not just the awesomeness of the plot.

3. Odyssey of the Mind 2010 (Written: 10th April 2010)
Naturally, one of the highlights of the year. All the girls this year were very friendly, and they all made me really happy. They made me consider teaching as a profession. And of course, I'm really proud of them and their achievements, even if they didn't get a real award. I met a whole bunch of wonderful people and I am happy to know that I made so many new friends.

4. Dog Licked (Written: 15th August 2010)
I have never been around dogs much, since my parents tend to keep their distance from them, but my friend Hui Jun has two, who are misnamed according to their colour (Guiness is the white one). So we were at his house for his birthday party, and I was sitting on the floor, and suddenly one of them just comes up to me and starts licking my hand. It was a mix of ticklishness and revulsion. In other words, it felt DAMN WEIRD but I couldn't stop laughing. Of course, I went to wash my hands afterwards.

5. Fried Rice Paradise: The Musical (Written: 22nd August, 2010)
I watched this musical today and it was a blast. It showed me that Singapore productions don't have to be bad, and it inspired with the idea of Audience: The Musical. And I met Dick Lee! Wow.

6. Getting my iPad nano (Written: 1st January, 2011)
So I've constantly advertised myself as a self-sustaining music player with no need for external inputs. That all changed when I bought myself my very own iPad nano at Comex. I am quite pleased with it, and now I can listen to music on the go! I'm still in the process of organising all the music on it though, which is a tough job considering the amount of songs I have rattling up there in my head. (For those who still don't get it, the iPad nano is the iPod Touch.)

7. Completing Final Fantasy VIII (Written: 1st January, 2011)
Okay this is one of those bittersweet things which is fulfilling, yet sad at the same time. I'm quite happy I finally completed the game (and found out what happened at the end of the story) but it's quite sad to actually finish the game which has been with you for about a third of your life and has influenced you in so many different ways. For the record, I love Selphie best. Squall's limit break is cool, but Selphie's is AWESOME.

8. Left 4 Dead 2 (Written: 1st January, 2011)
Sometime this year a group of us started playing Left 4 Dead 2 at a LAN shop somewhere in Upper Bukit Timah. I found out that I'm more a cooperative player than a competitive one (possibly because I don't like losing), and so Left 4 Dead 2 was just one of the best experiences this year. It's so much more interesting and engaging to be working with other people to stay alive in this endless swarm of zombies, instead of killing each other like in CounterStrike or other competitive games. We're still dedicated to beating the game proper, so we're probably going to be doing it again very soon.

9. Singapore's ComiCon: Toys, Games, and Comics Convention (Written: 1st January, 2011)
It definitely was one of the highlights of the year, even though it didn't live up to my expectations. But yeah, it's the first comic-ish convention I've been to, and I did get to see some awesome regional artists and their art, buy a lot of comic books for fractions of the retail price, and got an adorable kitty coin box. Who could ask for more?

10. Meeting with People (Written: 1st January, 2011)
It's one of the small things, but yeah, it's also one of the best things. It's nice to know that we haven't drifted apart so much, but we're still held together, just by a broader net this time instead of the small room-sized ones we used to have. Who knows what will happen when we drift into the world? (At five centimetres per second, no less.) But it was nice meeting up with the people I practically grew up with, seeing them again, laughing, making the same old jokes... I hope some things never change.

Highlights from the Media (in the organisation style of TVTropes)

Anime: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, 5 Centimetres per Second, Gatekeepers and Gatekeepers 21, Akikan
Haruhi gave me a glimpse into the world of the otaku. 5cm/s was just heartbreaking. Gatekeepers was nice, and it settled one of my childhood curiosities. Akikan was just because Boey asked me to - I liked the soundtrack. There might be more (I think I watched Spirited Away for the second time) but I only just started with the Anime.

Manga: Maximum Ride the manga, The Legend of Koizumi, Love Hina
Maximum Ride Manga was drawn by a Korean guy, but I loved the art and it was awesome to see what the Flock might look like in real-life (hypothetically speaking). I blame Bryan for Koizumi but it's so epic that I can't stop reading it and now I have to wait for the next compilation to come out and be translated. Love Hina was, and is, still the best, and it's the story that will stick with me for a long, long time.

Movies: Inception, Iron Man 2, Finding out about the Avengers (!!!), The Usual Suspects (DVD), How to Tame your Dragon, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnarsus, Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve
Inception was such an awesome mindscrew that I watched it a second time on the plane back from Australia. Iron Man 2 was just so awesome, I vowed to live to see the day when holographic computing becomes commercially available. And man, the trailers for Thor and Green Lantern look quite pffft, but I'm hoping the AVENGERS MOVIE, the first ever proper superhero team movie, will be awesome. Imaginarium was intriguing, but not really spectacular. Dragon was nice Dreamworks with the tsundere and the Stitch-dragon. Ocean's Eleven and Twelve were so awesome that I'm now desperately trying to find Thirteen. I still need to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 1 and Tron and Tangled.

Books: The Oathbreaker books, Kaimira: The Sky Village, the Alfred Kropp series, Maximum Ride, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.
I read a lot of books this year, mainly because I make a trip to the library every few weeks, but these were the blockbusters of the literary year. Oathbreaker was surprising nice and rewarding, a nice starter if you're interested in more fantasy-type stories. Kaimira was epic, so compelling and addictive, I'm now dying for the next book (it's been two years already). The Alfred Kropp series was another surprising set, with its mix of humour and emotion and fantasy adventure that is somehow a very compelling read. Maximum Ride was eponymous for the first three books, but then the author started going all environmental on the fourth, which is an important message to put across, but I felt it deviated from the original tone of the book. Hopefully the next two books are better. Hunger Games series was also another very interesting novel, and I went through the sequel as well, and now I somehow need to get my hands on the last book, Mockingjay.

Music: 8-Bit Dr. Horrible, Tim Minchin, Mike Tompkins, Glee
I listened to a lot of music this year, and hopefully DJ Earworm's 2011 mashup will summarize it for me. My MTV Awards are going to the 8-Bit Dr. Horrible soundtrack and game, which totally blew my mind from an already awesome show. Tim Minchin, with his hilarious lyrics and witty satire, gets honourable mentions here too. Mike Tompkins, the guy who bothered to do Dynamite a capalla, that guy is one awesome dude. Glee, I watched more for the music than the drama, which introduced me to a lot of new songs, one of which is stuck in my head now (Kelly Clarkson's My Life Would Suck Without You).

Games: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Command & Conquer 3 and Kane's Wrath, NeoSteam, Dragonica, Torchlight, Alteil, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Ah, a good year for games, since my computer got upgraded this year. I got to play three-year-old birthday presents (not as in, presents for three-year-olds), Ultimate Alliance and C&C3, which were both quite cool. NeoSteam was the MMO I got into with Ernest and Hui Jun before enlistment, and we dropped it when we got to army. I replaced it with Dragonica, because I thought it was cure and the art was nice and the battle system was quite unique. I eventually dropped that too. Torchlight, the first game I ever bought for myself, wasn't quite as fun as I expected; it has minimal storyline and repetitive gameplay, so yeah. Alteil, free online card game I found a couple years back but only reintroduced myself with it this year. Brilliant art by Japanese manga artists, and the battle system is also quite unique. I'm mostly playing it for the art though. Lovely art.

And that's my Twenty Ten. And hey, would you look at that. Nothing from army! Huh.

To 2011!
The Edna Man

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Come From the Land Down Under

So I just came back from a holiday in Australia. It was more of a parents' holiday, because it's more of stuff that they love doing (like shopping). It seems quite grating to travel halfway across the world just to go to their casinos, instead of doing awesome stuff that you can only do there.

Like feeding kangaroos, for instance. The tame kangaroos are really quite adorable! I also fed a cow with milk (not mine) and fuzzied a sheepdog (also not mine).

I did a crossword! A full one, like, in the Australian newspaper. I felt really accomplished after that.

You better take cover,
The Edna Man

Monday, December 13, 2010


Saturday was my first ever convention. In some ways it was a learning experience, in preparation for my participation at future conventions. And I have to say, I do want to go to more conventions.

So I went to the Toys, Games and Comics Convention at Suntec City. I wanted to get there right when the doors opened, and I did, except that I had to wait outside and watch everyone go in first.

I have to admit, I never knew there were so many cosplayers in Singapore. Some of the costumes were really nice and detailed, and they looked quite cool. There was this one group of people working on a pair of silver wings, which had a fan motor attached to the center, and had a wheel of swords (fake, obviously) attached to the motor. I never saw it working later in the day, but I thought it was quite cool. I remember seeing a really pretty Pokemon cosplayer, but none of us could identify what Pokemon she was cosplaying (yellow and green, if you know by any chance). Jc took a picture with a Venosaur, and Lou Ee got one with Megaman. (I got one with V! But that was later in the day.) There were also a couple of of dudes suited up as Halo shock troopers, those were quite cool.

People usually don't have many good things to say about cosplayers, but me being an actor, I know the kind of liberation you feel when you're dressed up as someone else. It reminds me of this picture I saw about Halloween, which said half of the people get into costume because it lets them be someone else, while the other half does it so that they can be themselves.

As for the rest of the convention, I guess I expected it to be... bigger? I assumed that it would be like ComiCon in the US, but since comics aren't big enough here, they diluted it with games and toys as well. The toys weren't really "toys" per se, more like those novelty gifts and figurines and stuff. Games were mostly new MMORPGs, and they had a huge area in the centre where they kept having tournaments and free demos. One of the more awesome things there was the Artists' Alley, where regional artists (and a few international ones) showcased some of their works. Imaginary Friends Studios was arguably one of the best there, though there was so much talent it was hard to decide a clear winner.

It was the comics that interested me most, and there were few there. There was a booth selling mint conditions of old Marvel and DC comics (I mean 1970s, 1980s), which didn't interest me much. I bought four Civil War trade paperbacks (squeee~!) for only $56 (squeeeeee~!) because they were selling them at a 1 SGD to 1 USD rate. The other three all bought issues of V for Vendetta.

We wandered around for a while before lunch. There was this really adorable cat coin box, where the cat popped out of the top and grabbed the coin before disappearing back in (which I bought, incidentally). Oh, I remember that there was this really pretty girl with an oversized teddy bear advertising for some MMO, but she was kept inside this small booth with a glass screen, and people (guys, mostly) kept stopping to take pictures of her. I thought it was quite cruel and depressing to see her stuck in that box.

There was this Marvel panel discussion in the middle of the afternoon, and I guess it was quite interesting to see the people behind all the great contributions to graphical stories. I remember people asking them quite typical questions, and I was going to ask one about how Asian art was influencing Western comics, but they ran out of time and I didn't get to ask it.

All in all I got a whole bunch of freebies and an idea of what to expect if I come for this expo next year. I'm hoping that they will bring in more comics the next time around though.

That night, we went to watch Walking with Dinosaurs. It's a funny story acutally: we went to meet at Junction 8 for dinner, where we ended up eating Manhattan Fish Market, and we only left at 7.30 (the show was at 8pm at the Indoor Stadium). But when we get to the train station, Shaun Ong managed to get in without having an EZLink card. So we waited for him to get a one-shot ticket, and when we get to the platform, we find out that the train was delayed due to some technical fault. So we stood around for a couple minutes, hoping that the train would come, until it hit 7.45pm. We rushed out of the station to catch a cab, and wound up there at around 8.10. Hopefully we didn't miss much of the show.

The show was quite spectacular. It was extremely well choreographed, and I loved how they made the plants with inflatable balloon-like things. The dinosaurs were so real; the animatronics were fantastic. The T-Rex was AWESOME (and the baby one was quite cute). I kept expecting the narrator to suddenly burst out in Crocodile Hunter, though.

So that was my Saturday. Comics and dinosaurs, always an awesome combination.

The Edna Man

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Chance Encounters

I take it back. You do meet random people you know on the street.

Today I was coming back from the library and I walked right past Hern Hern and her boyfriend. She didn't recognise me (or didn't notice me, either one, take your pick).

Then at the bus stop at Newton MRT, who do I see walking past to the MRT but Arun, who is apparently taking French lessons somewhere around there. Don't ask.

On the bus, I sit directly behind Mr Raymond Poon, who seems to recognize my face but not my name (I'm that forgettable). We didn't get to talk much because he got off at the next stop.

So yeah. Maybe I should have bought 4D or something today.

What were the odds?
The Edna Man

Monday, November 29, 2010

Slot: The End

And so Selphie cast her ultimate magic spell on my game and it ended. After seven years of investing the the Final Fantasy VIII game, I finally defeated all five forms of Ultemecia and got to the happy ending.

It's a funny story actually. I first played it seven years back when my cousin lent us her Playstation for the December holidays. I played through Disc 1 I think, until I had to return it when school started.

In Sec 2, I then managed to borrow the PC version of the game from Jun Yi. It was old and badly scratched, and the game hung occasionally, but I somehow managed to get to Ultemecia's castle on Disc 4. (By the way, I love the theme song for her castle. The pipe organs are the best.)

Earlier this year, I managed to procure a PS emulator. I played through Disc 3 (The Salt Flats) until my computer crashed. Fortunately, I had saved games. Unfortunately, they were all the way back in Disc 1.

So I fixed the problem and continued from the save game and fought through all the monsters and got all the GFs and smacked Ultima Weapon (he was quite pathetic) and I finished the game. I feel a mixture of accomplishment and disappointment, because now that it's over I feel like I'm going to lose six friends who I followed through seven years, four discs and hundreds of hours of gameplay.

It took me seven years to see that kiss, and it only lasted half a second.
The Edna Man

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wonder Girls Transcend Race, Nationality and Gender with Latest Audition

SINGAPORE -- The Ministry of Education (MOE) will lauding the Korean pop girl group Wonder Girls as the latest example of meritocracy. Today, its label JYP Entertainment announced its plans to hold a regional talent audition for the ASEAN region.

The audition is the first of its kind to allow applicants from outside the stereotypes of Korean pop (K-pop) group members.

"Anyone may participate, regardless of nationality or gender," said JYPE spokesperson Mr. Suu Kim Yi in Korean yesterday, at a press conference which was also translated into English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, Tagalog, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, Lao, Burmese, Khmer, and Vietnamese.

"It doesn't matter where you are from or what sex you are. If you have the talent, you can still make it big as a Korean girl group star," he said.

When asked about the reasons for this new international casting call, Mr. Suu replied, "We believe that music and art transcends things like gender, race and nationality. That is why we are doing this."

Local fans are delighted at the latest opportunity to become a famous K-pop star. Said Mr. Thavitharsan Sarmamugan, 22: "I love the Wonder Girls and I can do all the dance moves to their song 'Nobody'. It has always been my dream to be in a K-pop group and I will be so excited to be there for the auditions."

JYPE has also announced that they will not be changing the iconic names of their K-pop group. "The name is now synonymous with successful K-pop, and changing it now will just cause fans to become detached from their favourite artistes," said Mr. Suu. "We also wanted to give the fans and aspiring artists the opportunity to actually be a part of Wonder Girls."

"We want to give everyone a chance to be a Wonder Girl."

Singaporean auditions will be held at Republic Polytechnic on the 9th and 11th of December.


Okay, no offence to Korean pop groups and their fans, or to the Ministry of Education. I just thought that it would be funny if the Wonder Girls actually did host an audition to get new talent from anywhere, and still be labeled as a Korean-pop girl group. Also, no offence to any Indians or any real Mr Thavitharsan Sarmamugan out there, but just imagine photoshopping a typical Indian guy into any pic of the Wonder Girls or SNSD and the juxtaposition would be completely hilarious.

That thing about music transcending race and gender by the way, is true. I believe it anyway.
  1. JYPE Auditions, if you're interested.
  2. Lao is the official language of Laos. Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. Tagalog is the official language of the Philippines. You should be able to guess the rest.
The Edna Man

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Scientists Pinpoint Exact Cause of Hearing Loss in Teens

SINGAPORE -- A study conducted by researchers at the National University Hospital (NUH) has pinpointed the exact cause of hearing loss in youths today. Currently, experts believe it is because teens spend much of their time listening to music at dangerously high levels, but head researcher Dr. Stephanie Tay says that this is not the root cause.

"There is a reason youths are turning the volume up," said Dr. Tay, an otologist at NUH. "It's because everything else is too loud."

"Bus engines are too loud. The trains are too loud. And even if you're just walking from place to place, the drilling and pounding from construction sites are too loud," said Dr. Tay.

"It's either turn up the volume or not hear the music at all."

A survey of youths suffering from hearing loss also complemented the findings. "I take the public transport a lot," shouted Jeffery Lim, a student. "I keep turning up the volume on my iPod because the roar of the bus engines always drowns out the music." When asked if he experienced the same difficulties on trains, Mr. Lim only responded loudly, "What? I can't hear you! Speak up!"

Ms Chan Yan Sing, a student at NUH, tells us this story: "I was on the bus one day. I saw this lady not even bother to use headphones at all, and just blasted her music into the air."

"That's just how bad it is," she commented.

Up to one in five youths suffer from hearing loss in America, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. It showed that 19.5 percent of children aged 12 to 19 displayed slight and mild hearing loss, an increase from 14.9 percent in an earlier study.

Dr. Tay advises the public to take care of their ears, because hearing loss can be a life-long condition. "Wear noise-cancelling headphones, so you can listen to your music at a safe volume. Alternatively, don't take public transport. Drive."

"And if you are male and enlisting into the army, stay away from guns and the artillery officer vocation," she added.


Seriously, I think that it's kinda ironic that I bought my iPod Touch to listen to music on the go, but whenever I travel I can't hear anything over the industrial noise.

I wanted to add a couple of paragraphs about how public transport operators were angry with the accusations, but I couldn't see hwo to work it in without insulting public transport companies. Go, freedom of speech!

And lastly, some links. Aren't I so fun-ducational?
  1. Study on Hearing Loss
  2. Otology, if you don't know what it means
Oh and the lady blasting music into the air is a true story, by the way. Buggered me out on my way home today.

The Edna Man

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's Beginning to Look too Much Like Christmas

It's Beginning to Look too Much Like Christmas, parody of It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas as popularized by Johnny Mathis

It's beginning to look too much like Christmas
Everywhere you go
Once the Halloween profit fails,
Run out the year-end sales,
And line all the shop windows with fake snow!

It's beginning to look too much like Christmas
Toys in every store
When you go on your shopping spree
Must buy two, get one free!
And discounts galore.

They start to hang up the stars and give away cars
For advertising campaigns
Put up the tree as a guarantee
To increase their capital gain
Salesgirls in their santa hats: "Thank you, please come again!"

It's beginning to look too much like Christmas
Everywhere you turn
But the last that I remember,
It only turned November,
And I don't have that kind of cash to burn

It's beginning to look too much like Christmas:
Two more months to go.
This commercialized holiday
Must have started back in May
But I missed the memo.


In other news, a black kitten crossed my path when I was coming home today. It was ADORABLE. I stopped walking and it came up and sniffed my boot before sitting down in front of me. When I started to move, it gave me that upward glance by bending over backwards (you know the one) and mewed! Then it stretched itself and wandered off.

I guess this uniform does make you look like a tree.
The Edna Man

Thursday, October 28, 2010


It is rare that I fall in love with a new book or series, and such books are few and far between. The Oathbreaker books, which comprises of Assassin's Apprentice and Prince Among Killers, is one of those stories which really managed to engage me in the full experience of it.

I believe that this story is a good place to start into the forays of epic fantasy fiction. It's longer than its more "accessible" contemporaries, and starts off a bit slow. But that is what made me endear to Aron's character more, and throughout the chapters, I almost felt his pain as mine. I was so disappointed when Aron discovered the true fate of his love interest, and was delighted to find out that he still had a happy ending. I think that's what every great author hopes to achieve, to have their readers so absorbed into the story that they start to believe that the fiction is reality.

The series takes its place on my hallowed Imaginary Bookshelf of Awesome Stories, along with the likes of Harry Potter, His Dark Materials and the Mortal Engines series (all of which you should have read, be reading, or be reading in the near future).

To Stone go the Stones,
The Edna Man

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I Gotta Feeling (Bad Day), parody of I Gotta Feelin' by Black Eyed Peas

I gotta feeling
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad, bad day

A feeling
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad, bad day

A feeling (Oh no)
That today's gonna be a good night
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad, bad day

A feeling (Oh no)
That today's gonna be a good night
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad, bad day

Where is the moment
We needed most
You kick up leaves
The magic's lost

Tell me your blue skies
They fade to grey
Tell me your passion
Has gone a-WAY!

I don't need no carryin' on
You say you don't know but you're singing sad songs
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You're coming back down and you really don't mind

You stand in line
To hit new lows
You're faking smiles
Coffee's to go

Tell me your life's
Been way offline
Falling to pieces
And it happens everytime

It's stupid, it's stupid, it's stupid, it's stupid
So stupid, so stupid, it's horrible
And stupid, and stupid, it's stupid, stupid, stupid
it's stupid, it's stupid, it's stupid

'Cause I gotta feeling (Boohoo)
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad, bad day

A feeling (Boohoo)
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad, bad day

Where is the moment
We needed most
(We need it most!)
You kick up leaves
(Kick up the leaves!)
The magic's lost

Tell me your blue skies
(Blue skies)
They fade to grey
(They fade to what?)
Tell me your passion
Has gone a-WAY!

You stand in line
To hit new lows
(In line)
You're faking smiles
(Ha ha, hee hee)
Coffee's to go

Tell me your life's
(Your life)
Been way offline
(It's so offline)
Falling to pieces
And it happens everytime

It's stupid, it's stupid, it's stupid, it's stupid
So stupid, so stupid, it's terrible
And stupid, and stupid, it's stupid, stupid, stupid
it's stupid, it's stupid, it's stupid

Sometimes the, system goes, all on the blink
(Blink blink blink blink blink)
The whole thing, turns out wrong, can't even think
(Think think think think think)
You might not, make it back, and you're not wrong
(Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong)
That you could, could be well, well oh that strong
(Strong strong strong strong strong)

Well you, need a, blue sky holiday
(Bad day!)
The point, is that, they laugh at what you say
(Bad day!)
Take, take, take, take, take one down, you've seen what you like (like)
The camera don't lie, t-t-t-the camera don't lie

And I'm feelin' (Boohoo)
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad, bad day

I gotta feeling
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad day
That today's gonna be a bad, bad day

Good Night, parody of Bad Day by Daniel Powter

Tonight is the night, let's go live it up
I got all my money, let's go spend it up
We'll go out and smash it, like oh my god
We'll jump off that sofa, and just get it off
And then we'll do it all again

Please fill up my cup; hey thanks, mazeltov
Hey, look at her dancing; should just take it off
You want to go and paint the town red
You want to go shut it, and shut it down dead
And then we'll do it all again

'Cause you had a good night
You just want to dance
You take a nice song and you tune it to trance
You wanna get drunk
You bring out the beer
You just want to party 'cause the weekend is near
Your house is soundproof
You burn down the roof
You're bring the house down and enjoying your youth
You had a good night
You had a good night

Well I know that we will have a ball
If we get down, go out, and just lose it all
And then we'll do it all again

'Cause you had a good night
You just want to dance
You take a nice song and you tune it to trance
You wanna get drunk
You bring out the beer
You just want to party 'cause the weekend is near
Your house is soundproof
You burn down the roof
You're bring the house down and enjoying your youth
You had a good night

(Oh... Every night...)

We come or we go, we gotta rock
And we all turn out on top
You feel shot, body rock, and don't stop
Round and round, around the clock
And I'm in shock


Tonight is the night, let's go live it up
Oh, you and I
I got all my money, let's go spend it up

'Cause you had a good night
You just want to dance
You take a nice song and you tune it to trance
You wanna get drunk
You bring out the beer
You just want to party 'cause the weekend is near
You had a good night
You've seen what you like
And what you can have just one more time
You had a good night
You had a good night



I am not really proud of this mashup/parody hybrid, but it was funny when I thought about it first. The Powter parody was harder; the Black Eyed Peas are definitely not known for theit lyrical diversity.

Ruining nice songs since 2005,
The Edna Man

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NEWSFLASH: Indonesian Slash-And-Burn Farmers Actually Combating Global Warming with Geoengineering

Sumatra, Indonesia -- Global warming is often hailed as one of the world's biggest crises of today, but that is not stopping local farmers from playing their part in fighting this international problem.

Last week, slash-and-burn farmers in Sumatra and Kalimantan once again started burning large areas of tropical rainforest, in a centuries-old tradition aimed at combating global warming.

"It's a legitimate technique called 'geoengineering', and it will change the world," Wakarno Suparputra said yesterday, on the grounds of his family's farmstead in southern Sumatra. Suparputra is the chairman of Indonesian Agriculture for Climate Change (IACC), an organisation renowned for using radical techniques to reverse the effects of global warming.

"The science is sound," he explained. "Burning these significant amounts of organic matter releases millions of kilotons of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere. This gas transforms into sulphur dioxide droplets, an aerosol which reflects sunlight, and will eventually lead to global cooling."

"It also has the unfortuante side effect of creating hundreds of hectares of fertile farmland, and we are taking measures to control its spread by using them in the production of large quanties of crop," he commented.

Similar solar radiation techniques have previously been employed by The Krakatoan Initiative, a group of volcanologists who believe that increasing the frequency if volcanic eruptions would also contribute to lower average global temperatures.

"Nature has been doing this for thousands of years," said Dr Petrasiva Widjaya, a top scientist from the Initiative. "Historically, large volcanic eruptions have cause discernable global cooling. Mount Pinabuto's eruption in 1991 caused global temperatures to fall by 0.5-0.6°C, due to the huge amount of volcanic silica thrown into the upper atmosphere. The slash-and-burn technique is really just based on the same principle."

Mainstream environmentalists, however, are in an uproar over the drastic measures employed by the IACC, with one even calling it "the worst case of 'paving the road to hell' in the last decade". They are expressing outrage at the numerous negative side effects if the forest fires, the least of which is the large haze cloud which has drifted over the Malaysian peninsula, causing an increase in the risk of asthma and other breathing-related ailments.

"Not only are they destroying the habitats of thousands of species, they are increasing the likelyhood of acid rain, as well as thinning the ozone layer," fumed conservationist Peter Hartono at a press conference yesterday.

But Suparputra is adamant that his methods will save the world. "The western countries are still sitting on their hands with regards to climate change," he says, "and it is about time someone stood up to make a difference."

"At least this makes more sense than that Peruvian guy who wants to paint his mountain white," Suparputra added.

Man, the haze is really bad here.

First off, please don't take this the wrong way. This article is a work of fiction, and should be treated as such. It was an attempt to write a satirical news article a la The Onion, but it didn't turn out quite so satirical and not nearly as funny. You might learn a couple of things from it though...

1. Geoengineering
2. Stratospheric sulphur aerosols
3. Krakatoa
4. Peruvian Andes Whitewashed

I really hope you can sort the fact from fiction.

This is
The Edna Man
for E-DNA news. Goodnight.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


It's not much of a comment, but today's a Perfect 10. You gotta wait a whole millenium for these things. What an occasion. Too bad it wasn't really special or anything.

Ten Thousand Thundering Typhoons,
The Edna Man

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dr. Horrible: The Game!

Now as often as I've raved about the genius that is Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, I've never come across something as awesome as this. It's a Nintendo-style interpretation of the entire story musical, and it is AWSOME. I find the similarities in the storylines so well done and thought out, and it really is quite funny to see all these in game format. What's more, the 8-bit soundtrack is SO WELL DONE. It's not orchestra level audiophonics, but it was just so integrated and I loved the way he utilized the themes to great effect. Why don't you check it out yourself.

I hear that he's making a similar game for Glee, which I think might prove very interesting.

It's a perfect story, so they say
The Edna Man

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friends I Haven't Yet Met

If you don't know by now, I have a side blog called Friends I Haven't Met, which was set up on this initiative to start talking to strangers (against all my mother told me) and connecting with more people in this world. It hasn't been very successful so far, bit today I had my second encounter, so hopefully it'll kinda gain some momentum from here. I'm just slightly disappointed that it wasn't a cute schoolgirl though.

The Edna Man

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Teh-O! parody of Dynamite by Teh-O Taio Cruz

I come to eat, eat, eat, eat
The best kopitiam by the street, street, street, street
My kaki-lang come for a treat, treat, treat, treat
My tissue paper chope the seat, seat, seat, seat
(But, but)
The queue goes on and on and on
And it's so long, so long, so long


I throw my hand up in the air and shout:
"Auntie, Teh-O!"
"How come so slow?"
I need a drink and I need it now
Need a Teh-O
Auntie, let's go!

No Milo Dinosaur
'cause my throat still ache
Don't want teh-C, please
Don't want teh tarik

I don't want chin chow
Don't need Tiger Beer
Is it ready now,
Can you bring it here?

My favourite drink, drink, drink, drink
It is the best; don't have to think, think, think, think
I feel bandung is just too pink, pink, pink, pink
I always pour it down the sink, sink, sink, sink
(Yeah, yeah)
And it just flows and flows and flows
And it just goes and goes and goes


After some time you will get sick of lime
Get a Teh-O!
Don't be bodoh!
Don't have to ask me; you can ask my wife
She loves Teh-O!
Baby, let's go!

I buy it all the time
Just don't care the price
Drink it everyday
Maybe once or twice

Don't add anything
It won't make you choke
Don't need to make it cold
It's already shiok!

First make sure your cup's free,
And then make sure your water's boiling,
Add sugar and the tea
Make sure you don't drop any oil in
And then, then, then you leave it
And then, then, then,
You just wait a while, you just wait a while
I'm gonna make one more cup for you
More cup for you
Get one more cup for you

You know how hard it is to make this rhyme?
Get a Teh-O!
Don't be kaypoh!
You can't even cut it with a sharp knife
'Cause it's Teh-O!

'Cause I spend all my cash
Got no more money
Cannot even pay
For a kopi-C

'Cause I drink too much
Getting quite sian, leh
I think I changing to
Maybe Bubble Teh...


I'm not really into modern hip-hop/dance/electronic/Autotone, but I just was inspired to do this. Army sure teachs you a lot of bad English.

Thanks to Wikipedia's articles of Singaporean cuisine and the Singlish database on

And arr, missed anotherrr Speak Like a' Pirate Day. Avast.
The Edna Man

Thursday, September 09, 2010


There's a cute Japanese girl who takes the same bus I do home everyday.

The Edna Man

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Audience: The Musical

Since I'm hyped from watching the musical today, I was firing with all cylinders, and I had this idea for Audience: The Musical. Before I continue, I would like to stress that all these ideas are mine, influenced by ImprovEverywhere and Fried Rice Paradise and actually any musical which ever existed.

The basic premise is this: you have a musical where the audience is the stage and the performers are scattered around the auditorium. My basic story involves these random people who are part of the audience coming to watch a musical. The performance fails to begin on time due to technical difficulties, and the audience gets restless. The actual musical begins when the first performer in the audience begins to sing (probably about his irritation at why the show hasn't started). This continues in the vein of a normal musical, touching upon the stories of a few random "audience members" in a musical fashion.

Current ideas I have of potential numbers are: a young couple on a date; a man running in late; a family of four; a troupe of schoolchildren on a field trip; the supposed performers of the musical is actually there to watch on the real stage; and a STOMP-inspired percussion piece.

Of course, to be successful, the real audience cannot know the premise of the show before they are in the theatre. I'm wondering if it's false advertising to promote the show as something else, or maybe to keep it mysterious, secretive and vague about plot details. Then of course, in true ImprovEverywhere fashion, you have to get the actual performers to enter the auditorium with the real audience, blending in with the crowd, with their wireless microphones discreetly hidden under their clothes.

One of the snags I have right now is that once the surprise wears off after the first song or two, it will mostly be a musical, albiet that the performers are in the audience. Performer placement is another big worry as they have to be in a spot where everyone else in the audience can see them. A backup idea I had was to use live-feed cameras to spotlight on the performers, but that kinda takes out the whole, "unrehearsed spontaneous musical" feel.

Aside from that, this is something that I really really REALLY would like to do. Maybe it won't work in Singapore, or maybe it will, given the right creative team. All I need now is songwriters and lyricists and performers and a theatre and a director-producer-lights-and-sound team.

Shouldn't be too hard.
The Edna Man

Fried Rice PARADISE!

I just watched this production at the Esplanade. And I thought it was awesome. It was really funny at parts, and I discovered that Singaporean productions are actually pretty good. I loved the audience interaction, which is something you don't usually get in musicals or performances, and the music was amazing. Once again I'm reminded how much I would love to perform, and once again I'm reminded how much my parents love killing my dreams.

Oh oh oh and I met Dick Lee! He signed the CD that I bought. And I shook his hand! It's probably the closest I will ever get to someone remotely famous. Whoo!

Nasi Goreng, very nice!
The Edna Man

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Youth Olympics

I don't understand why some people are so negative towards the VERY FIRST EVER Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore. I mean, it's not about being patriotic or whatever. It's about the world coming together to celebrate the unbridled potential of the next generation.

I'm very much interested in these Youth Olympics. I've never taken much interest in sports, and I never followed the actual Olympics, but I'm very drawn to the ones being held here. Maybe it's because I know what it's like at competitions, when your goal is not just to win, but to meet with people and make new friends.

I strongly believe in tabula rasa. That's the idea that people are born as a blank slate, which mean that the possibilities are endless. I have worked with children for three years, and believe me when I say that children have so much more to offer the world then adults do. I have seen how parental influences can change a child's creativity and innocence, for better or for worse.

I see this first YOG not as another event in a list of a country's economic injections for the fiscal year, nor as an excuse to make a name for itself on the world stage, nor as a pride and propaganda for its people. I see it as an opportunity for youths all over the world to meet with one another, to open their eyes and see the world, an experience that will hopefully shape them into the awesome people we all hope to be in the future. And heck, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, happening right on your doorstep.

"I used to think that people from all over the world will be very different, but now I've learnt that we are all pretty much the same. We just live in different places." --Jasmine Alkhaldi, Philippines

The Edna Man

Monday, August 09, 2010

Light Up the Nation

Hello, fellow Singaporeans!

In commemoration of our nation's 100th birthday, let us come together to perform a feat never before attempted by any other country in the world. It is a very simple idea, and requires very little effort on your part, but we need your fullest cooperation from each and every one of you, if we are going to make this work.

On the 9th of August, 2065, the Google Maps™ satellite will pass over Singapore at night, for the first time. We took this opportunity to plan the largest national endevour since the Great Wall of China. And all you need to do is to either turn on, or turn off, the lights in your building, depending on where you are, for about five mintes. As the satellite passes over our island, we are hoping that it will capture the word SINGAPORE glowing on an otherwise dark island.

So we ask for your support, from each and every one of the seventeen million of you, to step up and Light Up our Nation.


Okay, so I had another idea.
The Edna Man

NDP Ideas

I don't know why, but this year's NDP doesn't seem to have much kick in it. I think in the near future, when our nation becomes more receptive to new and unconventional ideas, I'll go volunteer design some of the performances.

So the first idea I had was of a Singapore Song mashup. And I mean a mashup, not just one of those community song medleys, a real honest-to-goodness electronic-audio-manipulation kind of mashup. Someone go check if Norwegian Recycling or DJ Earworm do comissions. (Or better yet, find someone in Singapore who can do it.)

My second idea was to have some kind of ImprovEverywhere influenced flashmob in the audience. So we plant some performers in the audience (or better yet, get the audience to flashmob it themselves) and get some kind of larger and more meaningful audience participation. As to exactly what that performance would be, I still have no idea.

And my last idea (for now) is to have a song performed by many different instruments from across the performances and across cultures. Someone needs to find a way to perform a mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western instruments together in a Nat Day song. Then, you use one or two of those instruments in each performance before this one (which, incidentally, would be good as a finale or penultimate song). Then you fake a "technical difficulties" and get a portion of each performance (a number of performers, a float, etc.) to "accidentally" come on stage, looking bewildered, each trying to play their own instrument. Then they sync and come together in a impromptu song performance.

Yeah well. We'll see where this goes in the future.
The Edna Man

I Love My Country

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.


Happy Birthday, Singapore
The Edna Man

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Inception was one of those awesome movies that makes you think and think about it even when it's over. I understand why people can watch it multiple times (though wait for the DVD, it's cheaper) to try to understand the multiple layers. It's awesome awesome awesome, and you should really go watch it if you haven't. To commemorate this special occasion, here's a song:


Dream Within A Dream (Ode to Inception), parody of Dream A Little Dream of Me as performed by Mama Cass
Guy washes up onto a beach
Stealing secrets from the mind, out of reach
But water wakes him and he's forced to flee
Dream within a dream for me

Jap guy raises the stakes up
Falling and dying both make you wake up
But pain is felt psychologically
Dream within a dream for me

The new team continues deception
Not stealing ideas
They're longing to trigger inception
Despite the fears

But there's a problem that will chill you
His dead wife's around and trying to kill you
Don't sleep deeper than level three
Dream within a dream for me

(Instrumental Break)

The rules are making everyone confused
They think that the gravity's misused
To certain degrees

They plant the thought and get free
Synchronous kicks wake everyone before the
Abrupt endings making everyone disagree
Dream within a dream for me

Yes, dream within a dream within a dream within a dream... for me


Hoping for a train, that will take me far away,
The Edna Man

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The God Secret

Terry stepped into the Barnes & Noble bookstore, hair splattered with rain. The lady behind the counter pursed her lips as his jacket dripped water a little too close to her precious books for comfort, but Terry didn't notice. He was too busy staring at the rows and rows of books: fairytales, novels, anthologies and autobiographies, tomes, grimoires and manuals. He was more at home here that at his own house, which had a bookshelf against every wall and was situated next to a public library.

As he meandered through the aisles, glancing at covers and spines, he was suddenly reminded of something a friend had told him last week. She had said that bookstores were - what was it, exactly? - "graveyards of trees, their bodies mutilated and defiled with archaic runes". Looking at the leatherbound pages before him, he could not have disagreed with her more. These were sacred halls of knowledge, where most of humanity's collective information were sealed within paper and ink, silently waiting for its readers to unlock its secrets. There could never be any macabre feeling with bookstores.

Something caught his eye as he strode past the theology section. The aisle was dimmed, its overhanging lightbulb dead. Terry could just make up a pile of fallen books, toppled over in a jumble by the large glass window. Outside, the rain was hammering on the pane, winds rushing as though trying to force entry.

Terry could never stand the mistreatment of books, and stepped forward immediately to shelve the fallen bibles. As his foot entered the pool of darkness however, lightning suddenly flashed in the window, giving him a fright. But the sudden flash of light had also illuminated a small object lying on top of the pile of books.

Reaching down, Terry picked it up. Instantly, he felt something ripple across his skin, though there was no wind in this airconditioned bookstroe. It felt like a rush of power or knowledge, which emanated from the small pouch which fit in the palm of his hand. It was oddly shaped: pentagonal, made of old leather, with a gold lining around its edges. Each corner was connected with each other corner with another thin gold line, forming a star; and in the centre of the smaller pentagon was inscribed a circle.

Terry was confused by the strange feeling he had upon picking up the pouch. Giving in to temptation, he pulled on the drawstring and flipped it open. He was instantly struck by a feeling so powerful that he could only describe as divine illumination, and slammed the leathers shut again. The pentagonal pouch was no pouch, but a book, its pages yellowing with age. And the voice which spoke in Terry's head and heart told him that this was no ordinary book.

He clutched it to his chest protectively, and whispered to nobody in particular: "It's the secret. It's the God's Secret."

Inspired by a dream I had a couple of weeks back, which I unfortunately had no time to put down in words since then. I distinctly remember having a small book-like thing, and the words "god secret" were quite obvious in my head. I have been having more dreams which I can remember lately (which I blame the army and its screwing up of my normal sleep pattern for), and I guess it's an indication of how awesomely my subconscious is influencing (or being influenced by) my imagination.

Not meant for mortal eyes,
The Edna Man

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Silence Will Keep Us Alive

So I wanted to write something today about something that happened on Saturday but unfortunately events which transpired today makes it impossible (or at least, highly dangerous) for me to attempt to do so. I also had a number of highly creative ideas which will now never see the light of day due to the reinforcement of certain legislations which I ambiguously refer to. Perhaps if I lived in a different society, things might be better. Then again, I can't be arrested for having ideas.

Or maybe I can.
The Edna Man

Monday, June 14, 2010

Now That's What I Call CHANCE!

What do you know of chance? I've often wondered why, even though I know so many people, that I rarely (almost never) meet anyone in public coincidentally. True the chances are mathematically improbable, and there's also the time factor involved, not to mention the social justifications and demographics, but somehow don't you feel that you should be bumping into more people you know?

And of course, Lady Luck has that knack of dumping a whole lot on you at one time.

So yesterday I went out to Plaza Singapura to catch A-List with a bunch of friends (it was an okay movie; not spectacularly awesome, but entertaining nonetheless). So as I'm walking around I notice Nadia singing on the stage for some Great Eastern Kids' Performance competition thing. Cool. I went over to talk to her mom and wish Nadia good luck, then went to buy snacks (for the movie, obviously). And in the supermarket I met Kathy's mom. So we chat for a while, and I rush off to catch my movie. I'm walking past the stage again, and the previous team had just finished performing The Emperor's New Clothes and are being interviewed by the host. And who do I spot at the front of the group but Elena. I didn't get the chance to talk to her, but I did wave at her, and she kinda waved back, so I guess it's cool.

So ladies and gentlemen, that's not one, not two, but THREE OM-related people I met in one day.

Seriously, what are the chances?
The Edna Man

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Break Into Song

Okay, so I've been watching Improv Everywhere's musicals again, and I had this idea, see. This really awesome idea, which borders on the "how-the-hell-are-we-supposed-to-pull-this-off". But it's still really awesome.

Improv Everywhere has done quite a few spontaneous musicals, which, if you want to argue about it not being actually "spontaneous" when the performers rehearse beforehand, are technically spontaneous to the people who are watching. And it's a really great idea, both playing on the fact that in musicals (Broadway, movies, whatever) people can suddenly just break into song and dance, just like that. It's a very magical thing to observe.

The only problem is that the songs are mostly one-offs, that don't connect to a broader picture. It sure is entertaining, but it isn't part of a bigger story. But maybe we can change that.

So what my idea was is that we can have a whole musical, performed in public places all over a city or town. The ultimate combination of public art and Improv Everywhere-ness. I was thinking of having a story which requires people to travel all over the city looking for something, maybe within a day, and so at different times in that one day, the next song of the musical would be performed, according to a story. The people at each spot would be entertained by that single number, but only get a fragment of the story.

Maybe that's good, maybe not. So I'm thinking again, what if the producers had hidden cameras at each of the locations, and at the end of the whole thing, tied everything together into a single movie musical? A whole story of spontaneous musicals erupting across the concrete jungle.

That my friends, would be epic.
The Edna Man

Friday, June 04, 2010


You know why it's so inefficient? Let's look at it from the economic perspective. You've got a constant influx of surplus labour who are guaranteed job security and a minimum wage for at least a year and a half with no drawbacks unless you get caught, and how often do they police? Add this to the cultural mentality of "it's not my problem anymore" and "don't give me trouble" and you get an inefficient workforace which gets the job half done and cannot respond to quick changes within the system.

Sigh. Why doesn't MDC want me?
The Edna Man

Monday, May 31, 2010


I've finally been voted off the island. (Which, contrary to reality television, is a good thing.)

Yes it's almost been a week since, but I haven't gotten round to updating this blog since I've been reacquainting myself with some fascimille of civilian life before I get posted to my new unit, which I sincerely hope is MDC.

I've got a lot of stuff to say about the army, but since there's that whole information blackout regarding what I say in public to people who may or may not be listing, I have a convenient excuse not to publish any of my opinions on this blog. Which saves me the trouble of writing it down.

I do have something to say though. It's about the people. You meet a lot of different people in the army, and it's a whole new life lesson, learning how to communicate and interact with them without getting beaten up or arrowed into doing IC stuff. It's a delicate art, beign friendly enough to get friends who are willing to help you, yet un-famous enough to not have your name called whenever sergeants ask for volunteers. Inconspiciously under the radar, that was my life in BMT. I can count the number of commanders who knew my name on one hand.

That being said, I did everything I was asked to, to the best of my ability. Enough such that in the dying weeks, my section (what remained of it) started noticing (and mocking). Still, when I look at all the people who chao keng through the seven weeks of modified, less physically strenuous, freaking slack BMT, I wonder how these people survived life this long. Obviously, whatever social system we have in place is failing horrendously.

In the army, I saw both extremes of the human condition. There were sergeants and commanders whom I could really respect, and I don't respect people easily. They were fair, just, and did the best they could in whatever they did (as far as I could tell). Then there were those, mostly recruits, who make me ashamed to be part of the human race. Selfishness is the only word. Nothing could inspire these people to give something of themselves for someone else. Not the best characteristic for a fighting fit army. Probably why this was a PES C company.

But enough about the painful past. I will probably never see many of these people ever again, and in some cases, hopefully I never will. (I also now have a deep hatred for toilets in general, and dread the day I next have to clean one.) Let us, instead, turn to more delightful news.

Three MGS Primary OM teams went to the US last week. They will return over the next fortnight with a 4th, 11th, and 32nd placing. I'm really proud of them all, doing their best at such an international competition. I can't wait to see them when they get back to this island!

The Edna Man

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fighting a Losing Battle

It must be Fate. Either that, or whatever heavenly power up there doesn't like me.

My last OM finals was way back when I was just fourteen. It was such a blast. As the years went by, it seems like it was going to be my first and last OM World Finals. Then I started coaching. Maybe I could have gone again. But for the past three years I haven't gone. I missed the first one because I had to go to the FPS World Conference. Not too bad, that was a nice trip too. Then I missed one last year because of H1N1. Sigh. And now, my request has been denied by the military, so I'm stuck in Singapore for this year again. Three strikes: I'm out.

I have a lot of suppressed emotions which I know shouldn't go on a public blog like this. So let's just say that if I have to recourse because of my Attend C, I'm suing god. For irony.

They say you learn a lot of things in the army. I have to agree. I learn a lot about the society that is confined on this island. The more I see, the more I wonder how the island manages to stay afloat, when the pillars supporting it are cracked and rotten.

Fighting a losing war,
The Edna Man

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sweet Sweet Victory, Bye Bye Freedom, and other Famous Last Words

OM was great today. Even though not all the teams won something, I really hope they had lots of fun and enjoyed the whole experience. It was quite evenly spaced-out this year, meaning I got to watch all four teams, and hype them up beforehand and everything. Of course I'm biased, so I thought they all were good, but I didn't see many other teams so I can't really compare. But they're all really really cute and I'm so going to miss them all when I enlist in 36 hours. I was actually really really happy for all the winning teams when the results came out, so if I don't sound as enthusiastic here, it's because I've had six hours to think about 36 hours from now, so.

Something one of the parents said today kind of stuck with me. A few of the girls all made small little cards for me with little messages in them, and I was really touched by all their words. One of the mums said that I should really treasure these cards, because what a kid says is really from the heart. So it made me think about innocence, like a child's innocence. Why do we lose it as we get older? When we see how the world really works, both good and evil, why do we stop seeing like a child? I mean, interacting with people in society today is based on manipulation and concealment. But a little kid will tell you what they're thinking straight out. And the excuse parents give for them telling the truth is that "they didn't know better". Why is that? How does that work out? Why are people's feelings so important in this society that we try to keep everyone on good terms? Why can't adults be as innocent as children?

I realized that I'll never be a kid again. Not even a teenager. My next two years will be spent in the army. When I'm out I'll be twenty-one. I've got to become another "respectable" member of this contemptible society. There are so many things you can do as a kid that you can't do as an adult. I don't think I can see myself coaching OM when I'm like, thirty. For one, I'll be out of touch with their pop culture, which is changing at an incredibly fast pace. For another, I don't think parents will be very happy letting a thirty-year-old guy alone with their eight-year-old daughters. It's going to be very different. I miss my youth already, and I'm not even middle-age yet.

I'm really going to miss all the girls I've coached this year. I guess this is the first time that I can feel a bit like they're all little sisters to me, and I'm their big brother. But the bittersweet thing is, I'm never going to have that kind of real brother-sister relationship with them. I'm just a funny guy that can make them laugh and is an easy target for their teasing. And in a couple of years, they'll grow up, and they'll all be different. It's really quite amazing how people can change in just a few years, especially at their age. Today, I met a couple of girls I coached two years ago, and they've both changed quite a bit. Will I even recognize them five years from now? Ten? Twenty? Will they remember me?

I also realized this year that I can't remember a lot of names of the girls I've coached before. So this year to make sure, I'm writing them all down here. So Time Travellers: Sophie, Andrea, Elena, Stephanie, Kathleen (Kate), Roxanne, and Keianna; Lightning Bolts: Beatrice, Caitlyn (Cheese), Caitline, Sophie, Claire, Cara, and Charmaine; Lollipoppers: Mikaela, Sophie and Megan, Ely and Sonia, Ashley, and Renaeta; and Yummilicious: Elsa, Hannah, Jessica, Nadya, Jan, Amanda, and Natalie: if you're reading this, Hi! Now I only hope I can remember the faces attached to these names. And of course all the parents, who I only know by "Auntie" and "Uncle" and by who your daughter is; and the coaches, Tess and Danielle.

Now all I'm afraid of is the culture shock when I'm thrown into camp. After two weeks of nothing but OM, I'm scared that all the regimentation will just destroy my personality, mind and spirit. I guess I've just go to tahan through the seven weeks, and try not to die.

Speaking of which, death is another worry of mine. It's not the unintentional death that scares me; I know everybody has got to die, and it just depends on when. But I'm sure the chances increase exponentially just a few hundred metres offshore. I'm not saying that it's likely, or that it's likely to happen to me, but that it's possible. And if I do die, these might be my final words. It's not easy to think of what you want to say to the world in the event of your death, but in the wake (haha) of recent events, I'm going to try.

I love the world. For all its imperfections, it is still a wonderful place, and the only one we've got. I love my friends. For we have shared many a laugh together. Most recently, I love the girls I've taught in OM, both past and present, and this year's especially, because you made me happy right before my darkest hour. And my only regret is that I didn't manage to find a special someone before my time was up. But life's (and death's) like that.

Oh I almost forgot. I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but I'll say it anyway. If I die, I would really like to have the words "He Died Laughing" carved onto my tombstone. (If no tombstone, then any other prominent place will be fine.)

See you all in two weeks! I hope.
The Edna Man

Friday, April 09, 2010

Echoes of Stories Never Told

So in two days I'm thrown into the national offshore prison for a two-year sentence.

I guess it's not the most opportune time for that, since tomorrow I finish my third year of Odyssey of the Mind coaching. So after the most incredible high, I'll be chucked into this incredible low of which there is no escape.

I am so going to miss Odyssey of the Mind. I wasn't even originally supposed to do it this year, since I was going in in Feburary. But then I got postponed, and I got to do OM again, which was a blast, as usual. I'm going to miss them all. It's the whole feeling of the 5cm/s thing, since I know I probably won't be seeing them again. I mean, I see a couple of girls I taught in the past two years and I can barely recognize them, let alone remember their names. We're going to drift apart; people in this reality always do. I guess OM is the only thing that links us together, and after that there's nothing left. They have their school thing and I'm going to have my army thing so there's nothing similar anymore.

I am also going to miss the freedom that I've enjoyed for the past four months. Getting up whenever I want, doing what I want, sleeping when I want. Doing whatever I want, especially. After Monday there's no turning back. You're stuck with people planning out your day and your life from dawn to dusk, and after that, (probably) a nine-to-five job. Then university, and I don't even want to think beyond that. I can't even imagine doing something like teaching OM for a living in Singapore. I guess I'll just have to take it a step at a time, and try to keep an open mind. Doesn't help this huge feeling of depression in my chest though.

I guess this is one of those moments in life where you get all existential and wonder what you are doing with your life. The two-year army wall makes you feel so helpless and unable to control your own destiny. Everything seems out of your grasp.

Oh well. Tomorrow will be the last happy day for the next two years. Smile!

Why do all good things have to come to an end?
The Edna Man

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April. First!

Today is a very special day. It is a day that only comes around once a year. A day of laughter and enjoyment; a special day. So I thought I'd do something special today. I'm going to write down some of the romantic ideas which have been bouncing around in my head for a while.

I think I shouldn't be watching all these romance anime and reading all these romance manga. IT IS NOT HELPING MATTERS AT ALL. Eh, but whatever. Ideas are ideas.

So I've got this idea of getting a large number of ping-pong balls and chucking them down a staircase. I considered those bouncy fun balls at first but I figured they'd be too hard and destructive if they were bouncing around a house (because what other accessible staircase would there be?). So I figured if you get around 500 plain ping-pong balls (rough estimate) and painstakingly write "I Love You" on each one, then get your significant other to stand at the foot of a staircase (preferably lured there on some false pretense or mysterious note) and then you release the tidal wave of bouncing love notes. IN THEORY, it should be magical. Results may vary. And obviously, I haven't had the opportunity to test this in real life. Sigh.

I had another idea but at the time of writing this I can't remember what it is. Maybe I will update as it comes back to me.

The last thing I was thinking about was weddings. I had this idea that (just to be different) the bride can wear this black lace dress and the groom can be in this pure white suit. You know, just to be unconventional. And I think it would look really nice. I checked it up, and there's no superstitous or symbolic meaning of the white dress anyway; it's supposed to represent virginity, but that wasn't its intented/orignal meaning, so it's technically not that important. The only hard part (I think) is getting the family to accept it. HAVE FUN GOING AGAINST A CENTURY OF DEEPLY-ENTRENCHED TRADITION.

Happy April Fools' Day!
The Edna Man

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Umbrella: The Social Experiment

So it's been raining a lot the past few days and I have had this idea for a while now so I'm going to write it down here.

Have you been out and about when it starts to rain heavily, you know, the kind of category 1 storm that grounds planes and makes it easier for cars to inconsiderately splash you as they drive past? And have you gotten even more disgruntled when you search your bag and realize that, for the love of god, you've forgotten your umbrella again, and now you have to stay there stuck until the rain actually gets light enough to use your bag or until it actually stops before you can trudge out into the puddles?

So what I thought was, let's have a social experiment. Let's put a stash of umbrellas at major public places like MRT stations and shopping malls, that people can use if they forget their umbrellas. The only thing is that it's not for them to keep; at the next possible opportunity, they should put it back at the nearest Umbrella-Share station (what the stash of umbrellas is called). So it's like a public service, which is completely free, with initial investment but depends on the social conscience of the people who use it. We'll see how long it is before all the umbrellas are gone in sticky-fingers Singapore.

Actually, I've already thought about sharing umbrellas with complete strangers. It just seems to be such a nice thing to do, especially for people who are already halfway across the street with a newspaper over their head. The catch is that people obviously thing it's a violation of their personal space, no matter how dry they've become, and they'd rather stay wet and catch colds that stand within two feet of a guy with an umbrella. Yet I've done it once, albiet for a schoolmate. It was exam time and I figured it would be criminal to let him stand in the rain while waiting for the traffic light to cross to school, before freezing in the stupidly subzero exam hall. I've never talked to him before, and he never talked to me again. But, it's a start, I guess.

Under my umbrella, ella, ella, ey.
The Edna Man

Monday, March 29, 2010

How to Tame your Dragon

...if you know what I mean.

But seriously, it was a nice movie. I have to agree with the reviews that the art in this movie is also very spectacular, more than Dreamworks' usual, in fact. If they're aiming for Pixar's artistic quality, that's a step in the right direction for them.

I don't really have many witty things to say about this movie. I mean, they're the most Scottish vikings I've ever seen (Craig Ferguson voiced one of them, apparently), and Toothless looked a hell lot like Stitich, and Boey and Darrell said that Astrid is a tsundere, but that's about it. Oh and a dragon that huge should be physically impossible to fly. Just saying.

But you just gestured to all of me,
The Edna Man

Saturday, March 27, 2010


So I've talked a lot about being different from the vast majority of the normal people of society. It's one of those issues that is constantly on my mind, because I am constantly being reminded of it. Take today for instance.

I got this small job doing voice acting for some Health Promotion Board podcast thing, so I went down to this home recording studio in the realm of Yio Chu Kang. It was an interesting experience, doing voice-acting (for the first time!) and I wouldn't mind doing it again. I had to play this adopted son who was dragged to the beach by his adopted parents to reveal to him that he was adopted. Quite fun, so I had to act stunned and hesitant and completely "WTF" most of the time.

The people there are very... interesting. As in, if I had to describe them, they would be what Ally would be in about twenty years' time, but with like ten times more sophistication. They're really open and don't mind sharing stories and everything, even of the misdemeanours and evasions they did in army, of their repressed sexual fantasies and their overseas escapades. Perhaps that's quite new for someone like me, who is used to dealing with guarded and conservative Singaporeans. I'm going to hazard a guess and say that they were educated overseas, probably in the US because of their personality and command of the English language, and also the references to western pop culture about three decades old. It's a whole different type of body language. They don't even ask the normal questions that I've come to expect from adults. Anyway I think I'm making $200 from an hour's work. Not bad, huh?

So I was going home after the thing, and I was walking with the lady who was there to play the adoptive mother of my character. The sound guy/composer (who is quite a cool guy) brought us out to the main road and gave us directions. When we walked to the bus stop, I pulled out my street directory (I had to get there somehow, didn't I?) and told her that I think I'd walk to the MRT station since my card was out of money. I noticed that she stared at my street directory for a full two seconds before snapping out it. It was as if she had never seen a street directory before, or at least never seen a person carrying around a street directory before. I got the feeling that she was quite happy to get shot of me as I walked off. Oh well. At least I probably gave her an interesting story she would be quite happy to share with all of her friends.

I think that the people in this society is too focused on tiny details. I don't mean that tiny details are bad all the time; I keep telling the girls at OM to remember small tiny details in body language and movement when they're doing acting and performing. But as in the small tiny details in life, like if the colour of your shirt matches your pants, or if you need to walk a few bus stops to the MRT station, or if you... eh I can't think of any more on the fly right now. But my parents do it a lot, especially my mom.

Perhaps I've been influenced by Hermen Hesse's Siddhartha. I know it's cheesy to be influenced by a literature book about religion, of all things, but I now believe that I need to experience things instead of just reading or watching about them. That's why I've started walking from places normal people deem too far to walk to (or from). I'll never know if I can do it until I do it, right? That said, I don't have the courage to do a lot of things yet. A lot of things involving people, especially complete strangers, that's still quite a bit out of my reach. I guess it's the paranoia that my parents inculcated in me.

The Edna Man

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shiny New Computer

So here I am, typing at my brand new computer. It's sleek and shiny and missing all the stuff I had from my old one. Ah well. At least I can play games on it now! Not that I couldn't before; I mean I can play more games on it now. I finally cracked open two-year-old birthday presents (to offset this year's lack of them) and I find Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars to be quite difficult, seeing as I haven't played any RTS in a long long time, and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance to be a spiritual successor with few of the good qualities of X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse. But I have to say: Spider-Woman is HOT DAMN.

Windows 7 is really weird, but I guess I'll get used to it. I'm not used to the fact that there isn't a Quick Launch toolbar anymore, and it's really awkward to have to keep shuffling your windows around on the toolbar. The monitor's also 16:9, so it's great if I had movies to watch, but I don't, so I'll have to get used to my head swivelling a lot. Then there's also the thing about the apostrophes, which I think is being used as a hotkey for something, because whenever I press it, it signals the keyboard to come up with funky characters like é and ç and I don't know how to turn it off yet. So I can't type the word 'ços' because it comes out like that. Sigh.

On the plus side though, it's now super-fast and super sleek and super shiny, so it's distracting me from all these other unpleasantries. Ah well.

The Edna Man

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

5 Centimetres per Second

Today I watched 5 Centimetres per Second, my first anime feature film/movie. It’s also the first non-happy anime I’ve watched in my currently very insignificant repertoire of Japanese animation. I guess I didn’t feel as sad as I expected to, maybe because Jonas kept making guesses at what was going to the characters, but I think that was better, because I’m quite sure I would have cried if I watched it myself.

There is a story about this particular anime. I think back in 2008 Jonny sent me the link to the ending theme song, and said that it was one of the saddest things he had ever seen. So I watched it, and I found I had to agree with him. (I’m sorry I’m a hopeless romantic.)

So two years later, I’ve started watching anime, and Boey is trying to introduce me to anime that he likes. He says that he doesn’t like sad anime, and at that point I remember that ending theme that Jonny sent me so long ago. I sent the link to him, and said that it’s from a freaking sad anime that Jonny watched. By sheer coincidence, Boey was watching THAT EXACT SAME SHOW AT THAT EXACT POINT IN TIME. Apparently Zhang had told him that it wasn’t a sad anime, so Boey decided to watch it. Of course, after that, a hilarious conversation ensued with both me and Boey discussing whether to watch it or not because of the emo factor and if his parents were home and would he cry and stuff. MEMORY OF THE NIGHT: He asked me if it was sad because the guy/girl died (he had been watching too much Clannad) and I said no, it was worse than that. Then he said, “OMG IT’S A FATE WORSE THAT DEATH I’M NOT WATCHING IT”. That made me crack up.

So anyway. I had read the plot summary on Wikipedia before watching the show. Even though I knew what was going to happen, it’s nothing like watching it unfold in front of your eyes. I guess this is the one type of story that you can’t spoiler, because the plot isn’t a mystery, but it’s more of the emotional rollercoaster ride which it pulls you through. It was really sad.

5 Centimetres per Second is a collection of “three short stories about distance”, as the subtitle says. It tells the story about a boy and a girl, who grew so close together when they were young, but due to circumstances, had to move apart. Of course, they had to fall in love, which made it worse. Another girl fell in love with the guy, but of course didn’t have to courage to tell him, because she realized he was always looking into the distance for something else, and she felt that she could never give him what he wanted. So in the end the first girl got married and the guy was still searching for her in his heart. Apparently 5cm/s is the speed at which cherry blossoms fall.

In a way, this anime is the most realistic one I’ve seen so far (not that I have much to compare it with). It deals with life, a very real and tangible problem in our life today. It’s painful and depressing at the end, and I found myself wanting the circumstances to work out, even though I knew the story was going to end otherwise. I think the saddest scene comes at the end, where the guy thinks he spots his original love at a train crossing, but when he turns around to look, A FREAKING TRAIN PASSES BY and when that train has almost finished passing, ANOTHER FREAKING TRAIN PASSES BY IN THE OTHER DIRECTION and by the time both trains are done blocking his view, the girl has disappeared. DAMMIT LIFE HAVE YOU NO COMPASSION AT ALL?

The story aside, the other awesome thing about this anime was the exceptional artistic quality of the execution. The background art was amazing, highly realistic, and with such detail it was astounding. No surprises that it won some award for best art or something. But it’s not just that, the sound as well; the trains had a Doppler effect as they passed by, which I thought was very impressive.

All in all, it was a fantastic, depressing experience, and I advise all of you to go watch it.

Drifting through life at five centimetres per second,
The Edna Man

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Like I said, I’ve started watching anime recently. I have to say, it’s a whole new style of storytelling. All this time I’ve been more exposed to western-type stories; but it’s not just the stories that are different. The characters, themes, and especially how love is portrayed, is completely different. Quite interesting, comparing the two.

I can only claim to have watched three series so far (only season one of The Melanchly of Haruhi Suzumiya but both Gatekeepers and Gatekeepers 21 so I guess that evens it out?), but they all have some similarities. Oh and 5 centimetres per second too but that’s not a series. Not really. I’m just wondering why all these people seem to be falling in love at like, sixteen (Akikan) or eighteen (Gatekeepers) or twenty (Love Hina). I mean, I’m already nineteen; AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE? Sigh. Never mind. Maybe I need to go search up all those childhood sweethearts that I had. Oh wait. All-boy school. Sigh. NEVER MIND.

You know how you can learn so many different things from each story? Well the lesson I’ve learnt from anime is a very fundamental one:


So I realized that the characters in anime will never act that way in real life, and then I guess I realized that people in stories – western or otherwise – will never act that way in real life. Or in another way of saying it, nobody in real life will act as “dramatically” as in a story.

Complementing this great epiphany is the week-long intensive OM session I had. So with all the acting and dramatization and creativity and stuff, I started wondering about this phenomenon. I guess going to all the university talks and being vaguely interested in courses in psychology doesn’t help. Perhaps I should call this meta-psychology, or maybe meta-social skills. So why don’t people act like characters in a story?

I understand that characters in a story have to act more dramatically, with the situations more contrived and coincidental. Actions (in movies and performances) have to be larger-than-life, which is strange, because isn’t art supposed to emulate life? We spin tales based on real-life experiences or observations; why don’t people act in that same way? Maybe it’s because imagination comes into play, and the observations have to be exaggerated to make it more prominent or believable. Or maybe we’re just not that good at observing human actions? But that can’t be true since the overly-dramatized kinds of actions are really obvious: shrugging means uncertainty or is a sign of passiveness; holding your hands behind your back and shuffling one foot while standing on the other means shyness or nervousness; and so on.

So why don’t people act like characters in a story? I think anime is the most exaggerated of the lot. Granted, I’ve not had a lot of experience or chances to observe girls who have a crush on a guy and are afraid of confessing (which always seems to be a major plot device of romantic anime for some reason), but I’m sure that they wouldn’t be that nervous with all those actions and body language (one fist under the chin, one on the hem of your skirt, with the obvious blush and downcast eyes).

It’s especially the “corny” feelings that seem to be attributed to being overly-dramatic or flamboyant or awkward. If you notice, our society is not conditioned to telling the truth; the people in anime seem to be able to say serious things or comforting things or emotional things at the drop of a hat. But in real life, in this society, I know a couple of people who have to hide their compliments behind insults or snide comments; or even feeling corny when giving words of comfort or telling something you truly feel. It’s so strange.

Of course, all this may just be because a) I naturally just don’t see all these things happing in real life, or b) I don’t have enough experience reading people’s emotions and body language to identify all these things in real life, or c) I’m looking at reality and trying to see fantasy but failing. So yeah.

I see stories,
The Edna Man

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


So somehow my last selection of books from the library all happened to be about codes. It was quite interesting in a way; three different genres but all about a similar thing.

Kaimira: The Sky Village is my favourite of the three. It's a fascinating story about two different children on opposite sides of the world in another post-apocalyptic setting. But the story is actually very interesting. I love the whole idea of the beast/human/mek trinity and how humanity is somehow in the middle between the two other extremes, but it's not just the 'golden mean' but possibly a third aspect as well, so it's more like a triangle. And I'm freaking interested in the story now but it's book one of five and the other four haven't been published yet which is really really irritating since now I have to wait for it to come out. Sigh.

The Riddles of Epsilon was quite interesting. It's more supernatural fantasy, but the whole story is based on the codes and riddles which this girl finds in the stone cottage behind her house, which contains the solution to stop these freaky cultists from finishing some ritual about some cursed artifact. I found the riddles quite cryptic and fascinating, and the whole story was done really well, and it had a chronological quandary which can rival any comic book storyline I've ever read.

Finally the Jonah Wish trilogy: Thieves Like Us, The Aztec Code, and The Bloodline Cipher. Code-breaking action in a more modern setting, it's a story about a group of five youths who work for Nathaniel Coldhardt (what a name) as an elite team of thieves who specialize in stealing historical artifacts which are steeped in lore and superstition. It was a very well-executed series, and very thrilling, especially with good action sequences and a very intriguing plot.

I'll see what strange coincidental theme my next trip nets me.
The Edna Man

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Today I listened to music until around 2am on my aunt's laptop. I woke up at ten. I played a bit of DotA. I went for lunch at Island Creamery's Burger Shack. I met Bryan and Juzzie at Serene Centre. I got a free scoop of ice-cream at Island Creamery. We bummed around the comics shop for a bit. Juzzie and I waited for the rain to stop so we could get home. I played a bit of Final Fantasy Tactics: Advance on my aunt's laptop. My family brought me out to dinner at this ramen place. After dinner I followed them as they walked around the riverside. When I got home, I ate some cake and came up with a few OM problems. Then I went to sleep.

Well. I guess they can't all be special.
The Edna Man

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Genius of Tim Minchin

Hi. Today we're here to talk about the genius of Tim Minchin. Warning, most of the content of this post is NSFW.

I'm going to call Tim Minchin a mixture of Jason Mraz and Weird Al Yankovic. He does novelty songs, but he's such a manipulator of the English language it's mind-boggling. And it's not just that, but his piano is some unidentifiable rock-and-roll/jazz-blues mix which sounds really awesome. It's satire, nice music and wordplay. What else could you want?

5. Some People Have It Worse Than I

Nice satire here, and a nice melody. His ending riff is quite exciting. And just listen to the content.

4. Rock and Roll Nerd

Starts with a ballad, and it shifts to a rap-rock hybrid thing. It's hilarious. Listen to the words, they are awesome.

3. Inflatable You

Another hilarious song, its rhymes are brilliant. VERY NSFW. I love the way he rhymes in this one.

2. So F**king Rock

Not much words in this one, but awesome music. I have always been a fan of the way you can start with one instrument then build up individual kinda-loops of each instrument and put them all together in an awesome melody. He says the f-word more than an army sergeant, so use headphones or turn down volume, but only into the middle of the song. His lip-syncing and actions are also really well done.

1. Prejudice

This one is (obviously) my favourite. Misdirection is not only used by magicians and con-artists, but man when comedians use it, it is freaking hilarious. And the wordplay: MAN. Channeling Mraz's spirit, or something. I mean, it's not only the rappers who can do it, right? Epic brilliant.

Because only a ginger can call another ginger 'ginger',
The Edna Man