Archive for September, 2010

Happy Birthday Naoko

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Nice week, nice weekend. Monday I bolted away from work to go to my band practice, Tuesday I bolted away from work to meet Naoko and Zen for Naoko’s birthday dinner in a Brazilian barbecue all-you-can-eat type place.  Great food, nice atmosphere, corny waiter.  Nothing’s perfect.

Tuesday I also got the Boris and Ian Astbury EP “BXI”, with three original songs and one of Wata singing The Cult’s “Rain.”  The best song on the EP and it’s a cover.  But it prompted me to learn how to play it – hey, the intro’s easy!

Wednesday was 14-hour day, Thursday was another 14-hour day, and I sent my magazine to the printers.  Hooray!

Friday we hung out with colleagues and ate sausages and pizza.  Groovy!

Saturday we fought all day about homework and I worked on company stuff.  Not groovy, quite un-wonderful actually.

Sunday we had a nice day playing softball.  I got sunburned!

This is the Brazilian restaurant where we took Naoko for dinner on her birthday.  A native looks like he’s inserting an arrow into my neck, but that’s actually just a painting that we’re standing in front of (fooldja).

Dinner at a Brazilian restaurant on Naoko's birthday

Dinner at a Brazilian restaurant on Naoko's birthday

Zen gives Naoko a birthday kiss

Zen gives mama a birthday kiss

Zen gives mama a birthday kiss

Naoko and Zen

Naoko and Zen

This is the bouquet of lilies I gave Naoko – three stems, one white one yellow one pink, one for each of us.

Lilies for Naoko
Lilies for Naoko
Naoko, Zen, lilies

Naoko, Zen, lilies

Zen goofing for the camera

Funny chair Zen

Funny chair Zen

This is us after our haircut four weeks ago

Our haircuts from four weeks ago

Our haircuts from four weeks ago

This is us today – not much difference.

Four weeks after the haircut

Four weeks after the haircut

This lady looks so insane, I couldn’t help putting this picture here.

Is it me, or does this lady look insane?

Is it me, or does this lady look insane?

Gone back to Tiger Balm Gardens

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Today we went out for a nice lunch with our friends Brian and Yuko, and their two boys. We had a great meal, and wanted to head over to East Coast Park to do some rollerblading, kite flying and ball throwing, but it got rainy, so we headed off to the Singapore Science Centre. On the way there we passed Haw Par Villa, also known as Tiger Balm Gardens. Since Brian and the family had never been there, we decided to check it out and give the Science Centre a miss (to Zen’s complaint). When we got there, we saw that Brian had developed a flat. Not sure when that happened, but better to spot it in the parking lot of Tiger Balm Gardens than to feel it halfway to the Science Centre. Went to wander around while the guys came to fix the flat, and checked out the fantastic, surreal landscapes. Great, great, great stuff. The last time Naoko and Zen and I had been there was August 2nd, 2003, when Zen was just two years old, and we had only been in Singapore a few months. Wow! Here are two pictures taken at the same spot over seven years apart to show the difference:

Tiger Balm Garden, August 2003

Tiger Balm Garden, August 2003

Tiger Balm Gardens, September 2010

Tiger Balm Gardens, September 2010

We had a great wander through the grounds. Here are a few more pictures to show what we encountered throughout the day:

Tiger Balm Garden pixie

Tiger Balm Garden pixie

Three kids, one tiger

Three kids, one tiger

Zen rides the tiger

Zen rides the tiger

Zen rides the leopard.

Zen rides the leopard.

Kai and the Monkey King

Kai and the Monkey King

Freaky businessmen

Freaky businessmen

Seashellgirl

Seashellgirl

Mermaidgirls

Mermaidgirls

Crabgirl

Crabgirl

Cabaret Voltaire

Cabaret Voltaire

Action!

Action!

Action!

Action!

Action!

Action!

Action!

Action!

Peter and the gorilla!

Peter and the gorilla!

Seamen!

Seamen!

Pandas!

Pandas!

Tigermobile!!

Tigermobile!!

Scary monsters!

Scary monsters!

Peter and Naoko standing at the Gates of Hell

Peter and Naoko standing at the Gates of Hell

Yan Luo Wang, the chief magistrate of the Buddhist Hell.

Yan Luo Wang, the chief magistrate of the Buddhist Hell.

The Buddhist Hell.

The Buddhist Hell.

The Buddhist Hell.

The Buddhist Hell.

The Buddhist Hell.

The Buddhist Hell.

After that, we headed to our place and hung out all afternoon, drinking coffee, chatting, the kids played, and from 5:00 to 6:00 the boys went out to kick the soccer ball around. It was a wonderful afternoon. Brian also gave me a very good idea that I want to follow up on, thanks Brian!

Incidentally, here’s a funny picture I took on the 2003 visit to Haw Par Villa.

I don't know if this is good news or bad news...

I don't know if this is good news or bad news...

Carnation and Pinholes

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Not a bad weekend – I went to a live show on Friday night. I wanted to go with friends from work, but everybody bailed out on me, which wasn’t cool. But I went on my own anyway and made friends at the gig. Great. Pin holes played, so did Carnation from Australia (they’re here on a six-night tour of Singapore, actually). The band was very professional and came out and just rocked. Great stuff, guys. Here are some videos.

Carnation, September 3rd, Home Club, Singapore tour 2010.

Carnation, September 3rd, Home Club, Singapore tour 2010.

Saturday night I went to a barbecue held by Zen’s baseball team the Coconuts. Talking to the Japanese dads, I found out that one of them had lived in Germany and spoke German, and another guy had lived in Taiwan and could speak Chinese. He even lived in the same small city (Tainan) that Naoko and I had, so it was a night of coincidences.

Today I spent a lot of time at home, where I did a bit of work, I also had a lot of fun learning a new Black Sabbath song – “Planet Caravan.” Good stuff. Here’s a pic of me playing the guitar with my band:

live with Supertzar

live with Supertzar

Here are some interesting photos I took around town recently:

O'Bama's Irish pub in Singapore.

O'Bama's Irish pub in Singapore.

The world's number one vegetarian restaurant - rock 'n' roll!!

The world's number one vegetarian restaurant - rock 'n' roll!!