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The Smoker’s Code of Conduct July 26, 2006

Posted by The Truth in ClubLife Originals.
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NOTE: This is an original unedited version of an article which is slated for publication on ClubLife. Do drop by, please (aiya, support-support a bit la) for more on the good life! Any grammatical/vocabulary errors are the author’s own, and he does not accepts responsibility for it. He is abhorrentthankful for your feedback.

Okay, so there are now little yellow boxes all around Singapore. Kopitiams are now increasingly smoke-free (much to the chagrin of smokers, i’m sure.) But will they really reduce the number of smokers in Singapore?

I’ll admit it. I picked up the fags in the Army. I’m stopping now, but if you shake a pack of fags in my face and offer me one, there’s still a 50% chance i’ll accept it, albeit with a guilty shrug and a sheepish smile. (I’ll try a cigar, anyday however, so will anyone treat me to one?) And here are some things which, as a fagger, you should watch out about. Spare a thought for the people around you.

  1. Your mom/dad/lover/siblings will bug you incessantly. Of course, you can fag in private. But since fagging is a social thing, where’s the fun in fagging in private? Well, be smart and cover your tracks, if you have to. You don’t want that irate parent/lover shaking a pack in your face, throwing all sorts of accusations at you. And can you imagine the disappointment they experience? Remember: THEY LOVE YOU, even if you fag. It happened to me once. I don’t intend for it to happen again. And that’s why i’m quitting. I don’t want to disappoint anyone, anymore.
  2. Get mints. Even smokers shun someone who’s just had two in a row, especially if your fags are the especially smelly kind (Reds, especially, of any brand.) If you must fag, and image is important, get mints. Or change your brand. Dunhills/Mild Sevens tend to reek less than brands like Viceroy or Marlboro. And they have nifty stuff like charcoal filters, which filter out more toxins. Smoke is bad for you, however. Don’t forget. Alternatively, get a box of mints which you’ll carry around you all the time. Pop two before you go for that important appointment.
  3. Smoke can be irritating. If you can, find a yellow box. If not, avoid bus-stops and coffeeshops. Smoke irritates the eyes of others, smokers included. If you don’t want people to tell you to get lost because your smoke/ash is getting in their eyes, change the way you smoke, or smoke less. Even better, don’t smoke in front of these people at all.
  4. Your hands are going to be smelly. It’s been shown in a study that your hands will only smell squeaky clean if you work in a chemical factory, or a week after quitting. Take that into consideration. How will that next handshake smell like? Of course, you can cover it with cologne, or if you’re smart, you can get a metal holder which those ah peks use to smoke their smelly Reds. That way, you’ll do away with the smelly hands problem. Alternatively, if you can finish a fag without using your hands, then i have nothing to say. Give that man a cigar!
  5. So will your clothes, actually. A-pack-a-day man? Watch those clothes. Summer cologne, which is offered by many brands, tend to be fresher and last shorter than eau de toilette. Also, get a muskier smell to mask the tobacco, not a fresh sprightly citrus zest scent. Also, the material of your clothes also matter. If your clothes are more porous, they tend to trap the smell for longer. Wash them regularly, if you will. Watch out, mister Tobacco.
  6. Cigarettes are NOT really that useful. Of course, they may help you get that leggy femme fatale at the club. And they may help you to detect laser motion sensors. And they’re useful in the Army, when it’s 4 a.m. and you’re stuck in some Godforsaken training area, complete with Commando mosquitoes. But outside, they’re not really that useful. Oxygen sticks aren’t exactly that symbolic of the Alpha Male of yore. Of course, if you can pull off the look, then do whatever cooks your noodle, y’know?

And that’s about it. My advice would be for you, dear fagger, to QUIT. Hopefully one day i’ll walk the streets of Singapore completely smoke-free. And those are just the social standpoints of it. I don’t want to delve into the medical aspects of it. Have fun. If you must light up, remember: put others before yourself. Consideration will go a long way in any society, be they smokers or not.

Earwax III: Saturday Night Fever July 24, 2006

Posted by The Truth in ClubLife Originals.
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NOTE: This is an original unedited version of an article which is slated for publication on ClubLife. Do drop by, please (aiya, support-support a bit la) for more on the good life! Any grammatical/vocabulary errors are the author’s own, and he does not accepts responsibility for it. He is abhorrentthankful for your feedback.

Do you like the ’80s?

Ah, the ’80s. I wasn’t born yet, but it was probably a time of big hair, boys wearing more make-up than the girls, the New Wave, electric pink, and the rise of Madonna. And so here i am (after a long hiatus,) back with you on Earwax. Tonight, we’re going back to Saturday Night Fever! All the songs you’ll ever need for dancing the night away.

Isn’t it amazing how Retro night is still wildly popular in the clubbing scene? Saturday nights at dbl O, for example, are still filled with people who were definitely not very ’80s-ish grooving away to the songs which were probably in fashion when they were just toddlers.

(Actually, all you need is a couple of vodka-Red Bulls, a keen eye for hot girls, and a good song from the DJ and you’re set.)

Songs from groups like Ace of Base, Irene Cara, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, or the Pet Shop Boys may make you cringe, but they’re really quite groovy songs…once you get into the mood, that is…if you really want to complete the retro look, grab a pink shirt, white pants, white shoes, aviator’s sunglasses, and you can Afro your hair if you will.

Oh, and you can look for retro acts like Alcazar, who produced a new retro-dance-pop album in 2004, Alcazarized. Or Bluelagoon. Apparently, in some parts of the world, retro is still in.

And here’s a playlist for you (which you can download, freeloaders…)

  1. Ace of Base – The Sign
  2. Alcazar – Physical
  3. Aneka – Japanese Boy
  4. Bananarama – Love in the First Degree
  5. Belinda Carlisle – Summer Rain
  6. Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – I’ve Had the Time of My Life
  7. Bluelagoon – Break My Stride
  8. Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer
  9. DJ Bobo feat. Irene Cara – What a Feeling 2002
  10. Hall & Oates – Out of Touch
  11. Lionel Ritchie – All Night Long
  12. Luther Vandross – Never Too Much
  13. Nena – 99 Luftballons
  14. Rick Astley – Together Forever
  15. Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up
  16. Safri Duo feat. Michael MacDonald – Sweet Freedom 2002
  17. The Buggles – Video Killed the Radio Star
  18. The Outfield – Your Love
  19. Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now
  20. Wang Chung – Everybody Have Fun Tonight
  21. Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby.

Have a good retro night.

Cognac Stingers. June 22, 2006

Posted by The Truth in ClubLife Originals, Im Allgemeinen.
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NOTE: This is an original unedited version of an article which is slated for publication on ClubLife. Do drop by, please (aiya, support-support a bit la) for more on the good life! Any grammatical/vocabulary errors are the author's own, and he does not accepts responsibility for it. He is abhorrentthankful for your feedback.

So i've (finally) finished that old bottle of Martell VSOP making me a Cognac Stinger tonight. It's one of those sweet after-dinner cocktails you drink which tastes a bit like cough syrup (and looks like it too, if i may add, considering it's green) but which leaves a satisfying warmth in your belly and a soft buzz in your head. And give it a while, but it'll taste like a minty version of cognac (and how cool is that?!) So, basically, here's the recipe for you:

2 parts cognac
1 part crème de menthe (green or white)

Shake with ice, and pour into a chilled martini glass.

It's probably called a stinger for a reason – maybe it's because apart from the strong taste which cognac already possesses, here's an added surprise for you: the sting of fresh peppermint, without the whole cocktail tasting too pepperminty (because the cognac overpowers it…) Unlike what its name suggests, it's probably not going to be very spicy…so you can drink this without fear. It's not a Bloody Mary with half a bottle of hot sauce inside, that's for sure. But it's a sweet way to serve cocktail, for the ladies and for those with a sweet tooth. A fine after-dinner cocktail for most purposes.

This also means that i can start attacking my bottle of Rémy Martin VSOP Réserve Exclusive. I bought it during BATTLEKING and it's been lying around ever since. I could never finish cognac quickly enough. YOSH.

And no, don't watch football drinking this. Give me an ice-cold Corona with lime slices anyday.

It Looks Deep Enough From Here, I’m Diving..! June 16, 2006

Posted by The Truth in ClubLife Originals, Im Allgemeinen.
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DISCLAIMER: Although this post IS a ClubLife Original, there's no way in Hell you're going to see it on ClubLife. Lalalalala.

Okay, so the title is a tad unusual.

Indeed, this statement is to describe how i'm feeling right now. So ClubLife.sg was launched yesterday, but i don't know if we were consulted at all. I know yours truly wasn't. Therefore, this statement pretty much sums up what i feel about it. I think our chief got a bit antsy and decided to just publish the Goddamned thing and be done with it.

You see, we were supposed to launch on dad-day. But oh well, what's done cannot be undone, can it? So, let's can it. How am i feeling? It's a bit rash. So i wonder why he pulled the plug without consulting us. Indeed, the morale behind 'it looks deep enough from here, i'm diving' is that although it'll look really cool if you do dive and come up safe (everyone'll think you're a guru at judging depths, even if you were plain lucky) but you could also dash yourself to the next world if you dive into a 0.5m kiddy pool from a height of 5 metres.

The wonders of myopia, i suppose. Or poor depth perception. Oh well, i doubt 2 days would've made a world of difference, anyway.

And no, me and my motley crew (about 2 out of 30-something, that is) of writers cannot ta all the articles…isn't it strange how everyone expects something, which they agreed to help out with, to run itself? The drought is going to go on, citizens of the Great Desert of Content, because there just aren't enough prayers to the temple to bring about rain. As i, your Oracle, says. It's time to repent. HAHAHAHA…just figure-of-speech, but i hope all of you know what i'm getting at.

In the meantime, i'd like to thank everyone who've contributed by being supportive and by giving us constructive advice. At least you didn't make comments like 'ah that's very nice but please don't show it to me for the love of God.' Either way, even if you thought that, thanks for not expressing it. (Well, i doubt you'd appreciate us setting the hounds on you, anyway. So.) 

Earwax II: Emotion June 11, 2006

Posted by The Truth in ClubLife Originals, Im Allgemeinen.
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NOTE: This is an original unedited version of an article which is slated for publication on ClubLife. Do drop by, please (aiya, support-support a bit la) for more on the good life! Any grammatical/vocabulary errors are the author's own, and he does not accepts responsibility for it. He is abhorrentthankful for your feedback.

Have you ever been sitting at home, doing nothing, when suddenly a song comes up on the radio and before you know it you're already keeling over in tears? Or you feel like you've been struck dumb? When the tears just well up in your eyes, but you can't seem to cry them all out? Or when you just want to drive down the expressway in a convertible, with the roof down in the middle of a tropical thunderstorm?

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Too much Vitamin E? Vitamin Emo, that is…

The other night, i was listening to the radio when a really emo song came up. I can't remember what it was…i think it was Stay With Me by the Shakespeare Sisters of Oz, which really torpedoed me back into Emoland. It's just the sadness of the songs, or maybe the pleading haunting voice of the singer, which got to me. It kinda takes everything out of perspective…flooding all your reason with emotion.

Don't have emo attacks? Lucky you. But maybe you're missing out. Hmmm. I'm going to let you, dear reader, decide that for yourself.

Going emo has its plus points…i mean, of course it's not healthy if you're emo 24/7…in which case you should go to a shrink… but i think it's a good mood to think about everything personal – love, your life, your friends…it's a time to mourn, a time to despair, a time to remember, and a time to celebrate. I always like to listen to emo music whenever i'm thinking of something which happened long ago – especially when i think about happier days…when everything really seemed that simple. Songs like Missing You by The Police…songs which are slow, pining and sad – i could spend a rainy Saturday night alone just listening to them and sighing.

You'll be able to find emo music from just about any point of time. Starting from the '80s, you would probably be listening to stuff like Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper…or how about that Top Gun hit by Berlin, Take My Breath Away? You could also try listening to Madonna, but the sadder songs. Not stuff like Material Girl…that's way too bubblegummy for the Emo Express. Moving on to the 90's…genderband mania for you. Boyzone. The Backsidestreet Boys. Westlife. Spice Girls. yadda, yadda. You know what i'm drifting at. Anyhoo, these boys and girls did sing a lot about love…think truckloads of heartbreak hymns and stuff like that. Viva Forever? I think i felt like weeping sometime ago when it came on the radio. Yes, i'm a wuss. Sometimes. How about I Love the Way You Love Me? There're loads of songs out there you can just listen and moan about.

There're also loads of emo tracks out there…here's every student's favourite emo track (i mean, they sing it all the time when a farewell's to be expected…) Donna Lewis and Richard Marx' At the Beginning…how about My Heart Will Go On? Céline Dion more or less immortalized herself with a song which captured the spirit of such a monumental movie, along with the hearts and spirits of millions worldwide. The dialogue version was especially captivating for me. All the hopes and dreams – an unsinkable ship – 'I'll never let go, Jack…' Or how about Secret Garden by Bruce Springsteen? 'You complete me.' Another million-dollar sentence which once made millions weep…sigh. Blessid Union of Souls also has a huge load of emo tracks…think Light in Your Eyes, I Believe, and so on, and so forth. The '90s were truly a golden age for emo tracks.

I mean, come on. You can lose yourself in music like Streets of Philadelphia, Fields of Gold, You Gotta Be by Des'ree, and a whole host more. If you've ever heard of Sarah Connor, the Key to My Soul album is pretty emo too. There's a song called Daddy's Eyes, when she sings about a child in her tum-tum…very very touching…(question: do women just know if they're pregnant? I know it sounds absurd but…do they have some kind of intuition?)

Emotion. Indeed…for anything, anytime. So stand in the rain (don't forget an umbrella or a rainjacket) with your waterproof iPod and just go emotional.

Wie heissen wir?! June 6, 2006

Posted by The Truth in ClubLife Originals, Im Allgemeinen.
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NOTE: This is an original unedited version of an article which is slated for publication on ClubLife. Do drop by, please (aiya, support-support a bit la) for more on the good life! Any grammatical/vocabulary errors are the author's own, and he does not accepts responsibility for it. He is abhorrentthankful for your feedback.

3 articles in a day. (I mean, on Die Neue Welle, that is…) That's a prodigious amount of literary output for one day, don't you think? But this article is business. It's got to do with a simple question…

Who are we?

Not 'Who am I,' as jacky chan shouted once upon a long long time ago…but who the hell are we?! I mean, to the untrained eye, we're probably just another motley crew of 7 who are trying to pull off another FunkyGrad. Well, sorry to burst your collective bubbles, liebes Publikum, but i'd like to set the record straight. NOW.

We are NOT trying to pull off another FunkyGrad. There are, in my high opinion, enough wannabes out there already.

We are a profit-obsessed organisation bent on world domination by the subtle usage of subliminal messaging through our articles. After completing our mission, we will order a space station built in orbit around the Earth so we can go up there and live forever.

That was a lie.

It's true that we're a profit-based organisation, but the very concept of ClubLife is very very different. We're a lifestyle magazine focusing on la dolce vita – the good life, aiming at an audience between 18-28 years of age. Basically, we're looking at an age group which mainly consists of students – JC, polytechnic, varsities. Which brings me to the very reason why we intend to set up splinter cells in the 3 major varsities. (No, for those of you with an over-active imagination, we weren't trying to take over the Singaporean education system. Stop taking amphetamines.) We plan to subsequently establish publication CCAs, which will publish an individual varsity ClubLife, while managing PR issues intra-, inter- and extracampus, from upcoming fac bashes to advertising partners.

It is also foreseen for ClubLife to open an online shop for online ticketing, as well as to begin selling novelty items, so keep your eyes peeled!

Think it's easy being us?

Think again. Weekend meetings at SMU above and beyond our current commitments. Motivation. Dedication. Endurance. Setting aside our differences. It's not easy at all. Of course, getting to check out nightlife spots for pictures or for some inspiration for any particular article…just a nifty side benefit. HAHA.

Of course, just to give you a sneak preview into what goes on behind those closed boardroom doors…what're you waiting for?! http://www.clublife.sg – we're coming!

Philosophical Introductions June 2, 2006

Posted by The Truth in ClubLife Originals, Im Allgemeinen.
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NOTE: This is an original unedited version of an article which is slated for publication on ClubLife. Do drop by, please (aiya, support-support a bit la) for more on the good life! Any grammatical/vocabulary errors are the author's own, and he does not accepts responsibility for it. He is abhorrentthankful for your feedback.

So! Philosophical feedbacks from yours truly. I was checking out a Tarot deck lately when i noticed something interesting. You see, although i won't display pictures for you, my creative spark was set off by seeing the same card in many languages. What struck me, especially, was The Sun and The Moon. You see, i noticed a gender swop between The Sun and The Moon (of course, in English, there isn't a gender for the definite article…you lucky maggots.) So it seems like this for the two main European families.

The Sun:    German-English: Die Sonne (fem.)
                  French: Le Soleil (mas.)

The Moon: German-English: Der Mond (mas.)
                  French: La Lune (fem.)

Gets you thinking, doesn't it? Maybe English was simplified for a reason…to avoid all this potential conflict between the sexes, both clamouring for emancipation and equal rights. Why, do you think, that in the Romantic languages, or languages stemming from Latin, the Sun was masculine and the Moon female, while in German, English, et cetera, the so-called barbarian tongues, the Moon was male and the Sun female?

Was it because the very concept of the Sun as a life-giver was different from the start? I mean, you can associate the Sun with raw power, creation, heat, warmth, stability, very masculine properties, i must say…but you can also associate the Sun with life-giving, nurturing of crops, motherly and feminine concepts. We talk of Mother Nature – surely the Sun has got to be a big part of it. If you think about it, the Sun is the very reason why Mother Nature exists…

And what of the Moon?

The Moon represents the receptive, reflected light, the night, silence, tranquility – surely qualities the war-hungry Middle Age man seeked not to possess. But the word lunacy stems from luna – the Moon – and perhaps ancient beliefs that the Moon had the power to drive a man insane could have made humans fear the Moon enough to imagine the Moon as a male god fully clothed in armour, armed and dangerous.

Then again, a man could go crazy over a woman. So much for that theory!

Similarly, many everyday issues today have a male and a female perspective. Just as your average male would have no qualms being straightforward and blunt, the woman tends to be more diplomatic and choosy with her words. Just as males can endure 20-kilometer route marches in FBO, but become surprisingly weak during the Great Singapore Sale, whereas the situation is totally reversed with the ladies. Just as violence is a solution for guys, but never for girls. And so on, and so forth.

That's what Venus v.s. Mars is all about, especially the Confrontation segment. Discuss, fight, scream and shout at each other – do everything, short of throwing expensive Ming vases (or grenades, for that matter) at each other – finally, it's time to shine the light of enlightenment on the other half of the human race!

Earwax I: Automobile Audio May 26, 2006

Posted by The Truth in ClubLife Originals.
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NOTE: This is an original unedited version of an article which is slated for publication on ClubLife. Do drop by, please (aiya, support-support a bit la) for more on the good life! Any grammatical/vocabulary errors are the author's own, and he does not accepts responsibility for it. He is abhorrentthankful for your feedback.

So here it is, ladies and gentlemen, liebes Publikum, and all our readers from outer space. Many of you have commented on the variety of music yours truly listens to (which is a fucking broad variety, i might add) and on how i seem to have good taste for music choice. Well, thank you all very much for all your support and encouragement. And with my new place as The Editor of ClubLife, and after some careful observation, i've decided to start a mini-series on music.

Music is everywhere in our lives. I mean, let's face it. You've got a huge array of portable music players, car stereos, computers, personal radios, human beatboxes, club DJs and a whole lot more. Music is part of our everyday existence. So!

Today's piece is on Automobile Audio. Of course, your parents probably insisted on listening to radio stations like Capitol 95.8 FM, Symphony FM, or maybe Gold 90.5 or maybe Class 95 (if your parents were more tolerant of modern music.) But truly, what kind of music would you play, if you had access to an iPod-compatible car?

Let's see. If you drive something like a Mazda MX-5 or maybe the BMW Z4, and have a knack for driving with the roof down, then perhaps you could blast techno tunes (try Maria (I Like it Loud) by Scooter v.s. Marc Acardipane if you want to show off your car's capabilities. Revving your engine in tune with the beat is also an option. Of course, to avoid the Bengster image, please read on.

If you're one of those who drive those PS cars (German: Pferdestärke) like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru Impreza WRX, RX-8, et cetera, as long as they are Japanese brands, then you should definitely be pretty familiar with techno tunes. An improvement while still staying true to your roots would be someone like Kate Ryan (yes, you can race to songs like Another Day and Désenchantée) or maybe the Maximum Tune soundtrack (arcade freaks. Bah.) Heavy gothic metal may work wonders for you as well, if you're one who's into hardcore drumming and sad melancholic gothic orchestra. It's a genre called rock opera, with well-known acts like Nighwish or Within Temptation. Good driving stuff. Especially for chiongsters and zhng-sters. Want to take you and your Integra Type R back to the Middle Ages? Then just blast these songs as you race down Old Holland Road.

So much for car types. Now for drive types. If you're one who's reduced to an emotional wrack just by listening to Class 95 on weekend nights (it happens sometimes to me too) then you just need a right dose of emo music to keep those tears flowing and the emotions going. Songs from the '80s and '90s, like Missing You from The Police, old girl-group songs like Viva Forever by the Spice Girls, Chinese songs which make you sigh, like 一路向北 by 周杰伦. How about 痴心绝对? Songs which make you pine over the past and which make you just want to step on the accelerator and moan the way to your destination.

So much for the emo drive. For long night drives, you need something which will keep you awake. So, if your aim is just to stay awake on the tedious journey home, you can try listening to Gavin DeGraw's Chariot album. Not exactly bubblegummy, but you can't say that he's not singing about love. Good rhythm, smart lyrics, and no, it's NOT all rock: you will definitely find some very interesting tunes inside! Try listening to Crush, or Meaning. And of course, there's also that One Tree Hill hit…

Another genre you can try on long night drives is live albums. Listen to people like Sarah Brightman, or maybe groups like The Corrs. Get a live album, like The Harem World Tour, or VH-1 Presents: The Corrs…and so on, and so forth. Yes, there's lots of applause, screaming and, of course, good music. I'm recommending The Corrs to all of you because normally they'll throw in a couple of instrumental pieces which are invigorating to say the least. And Sarah Brightman is for those of you who want to listen to a pop-meets-classic fusion while you drive. It's not bad, y'know…it'll probably make you a nicer driver, anyway. HAHA.

And lastly…the music you can listen to at all times of the day (but better to be first drive in the morning)…good mood music! A survey conducted with 100 drivers on favourite driving songs showed U2's Beautiful Day to be the best driving song around. And if you liked that, you will probably like a lot more songs, like Texas' Inner Smile, Summer Rain by Belinda Carlisle, and so on, and so forth. Just listen to whatever gets you in the mood. This is just a rough guide.

Happy driving!