What a long and a slow month…


I don’t know but I have this feeling on why this October felt longer than usual? It may be due to me having lesser work in my job this month (felt the time is slower in the office; I should be happy, but I’m not…I preferred a more balanced distribution of workload). More accurately, I think it is due to the near 5 weeks span for this month with not a single day of public holiday. There is also nothing exciting planned for this month (no vacation, no celebration, no long break, etc). I just felt bored. I’m craving for a vacation (my next trip will only be on February next year).

I am now anticipating for Deepavali holiday next month. Not celebrating it (I’m not an Indian), but looking forward to that extended weekend break (Deepavali falls on 6th November, Tuesday) with one day of annual leave to be taken on Monday for me to enjoy the precious four-days long weekend. My plan; enjoying that lovely holiday back in KL with my family away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore.

Today, I was shocked to read the news of the death of a veteran Hong Kong actor named Elliot Ngok Wah. He is not a very popular actor but for those who have watched TVB dramas for the past decade, you would have certainly recognize him. His most memorable performances were in some amazing TVB dramas such as ‘Rosy Business’, ‘No Regrets’, ‘The Confidant’ and ‘Overachievers’. He usually portrayed mean, strict and wealthy dad / head of family roles in those dramas and he was excellent in all of them. Although all of his roles are just supporting characters, but he left deep impression to audiences. He passed away yesterday at Canada, at the age of 76. His last role was in the 2015 drama ‘Captain Of Destiny’. We have lost a great veteran actor.

Looks like there will be nearly another two more long weeks before October ends.

 

Advertisements

Moody week due to the frequent downpour.


Rain is good in countries with tropical climate like Singapore as it helps a lot to cool down the surrounding temperature and gives us a break from the hot scorching sun every day. However, it is also bringing a lot of inconvenience for people like me who have to walk a distance to MRT station to get to/leave work every day as umbrella will still not leave you fully dry. Cold weather outside plus the new air-conditioning for my new office made me felt like a snowman while working.

It is usual to rain frequently in this time of the year when the Qao Wong Yeh Festival (a Chinese festival) is happening. Whenever this festival arrives every year, rain would comes. The festival’s focus in Klang Valley region is at a huge Chinese temple at Ampang New Village where there would be colourful procession and parade, fireworks, night market and huge crowd of people worshipping (the celebration is more festive in the evening). People celebrating this festival will usually have a yellow ribbon on their hand. Not all Chinese celebrate this festival but my family does.

The Summer Youth Olympic Games is on going now from 6 to 18 October 2018 at Buenos Aires, Argentina. This international sporting event is not as popular or as grand as Summer Olympic Games or Asian Games but is still a world class event. There are a lot of major sporting events this year and I believe this one will be the last of the year. Our Malaysian female badminton player, Goh Jin Wei made the country proud by winning the country’s first ever Youth Olympic Games gold medal in women single match. A big congratulation for her, and the next big step for her is definitely Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Recently, I have been watching this new Hong Kong drama called ‘Life On The Line’ with storyline revolving around paramedics and it starred Joe Ma, Matthew Ho, etc. It is one of the TVB anniversary dramas of the year. It doesn’t have a big well-known cast but the plot in its first few episodes is very good. I hope it will continue to do well. Once the drama is finished, I will write my review. By the way, I haven’t seen Joe Ma for a long time. What made him to return to TVB? Since there is no longer any TVB awards in Singapore and Malaysia this time around, I hope TVB will allow oversea Chinese to vote in the Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Movie review for ‘A Star Is Born’ and ‘Venom’.


After a long week of working, it’s very deserving to spend some quality fun time in the precious weekend with a friend. We went for a movie marathon (2 movies in a row with a break in between), switched malls, and also had a karaoke session. The karaoke session is not planned but the sudden urge to sing made us go for it despite the expensive price tag and that we don’t sing well. It’s just for fun anyway and so we don’t bother and carried on to sing our lungs out.

The first film we watched is ‘A Star Is Born’. I went for this movie with high expectation because it starred Lady Gaga (I believe this is her first major film role) and it received huge critical acclaim and is being considered a strong Oscar contender. It is a musical romantic drama film that follows a hard-drinking musician (Bradley Cooper) who discovers and falls in love with a young singer (Lady Gaga). I felt a bit disappointed after the movie. The movie is being a bit too long and some scenes are unnecessary. I felt bored after the movie entered its second half. The final segment of the story where Cooper committed suicide (sorry for spoiler) felt rushed and lacks deep logic. It’s like a quick way to end the movie in a tragic note as an obvious measure to leave a touching conclusion to the film.

This is Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut and he is great in it. He is also the producer, the scriptwriter and the main lead actor in this and I have to give a big praise for that. His performance is good but I paid more attention to the female lead; Lady Gaga. This is her first major film role and she nailed it with an engaging performance. Her voice is powerful and that made her singing so brilliant in the movie. There are quite a number of songs throughout the whole film but the one with most impact will be none other than ‘Shallow’. It is a wonderful and an electrifying song. The final song ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ is also another masterpiece and it ended the movie in a highly emotional tone. Gaga also has a very good chemistry with Cooper in this film. Overall, I find the movie a flat and slow building film that couldn’t keep me engaged due to its overrunning length, but is worth a mention for its good cast performance, direction, sound and songs. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘A Star Is Born’ a total of 7.5.

The next film we watched is way more non-serious, fun and entertaining. This is to lighten up our mood after seeing ‘A Star Is Born’. It is ‘Venom’, a movie about a journalist (Tom Hardy) who is bound to an alien symbiote that grants him superpower. This story has no relation to the Venom featured in 2007’s Spiderman 3 and is now depicting this famous supervillain character into an anti-hero.

I didn’t expect this film to be so much fun with some genuine hilarious moments sparked from the interaction between Tom Hardy (as Eddie Brock) with the symbiote called Venom. Tom Hardy is doing an amazing job in this movie while Riz Ahmed who is the main antagonist is not so convincing. The action sequences are awesome, while the only slightly disappointing thing is that we don’t see any gore at all in this film despite Venom’s usual liking of biting people’s head off. Anyway, I am surprised when Malaysia plays a role in this movie too in its beginning when the spaceship crash landed onto a forest in Sarawak. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Venom’ a total of 7.3. A fast-paced, thrilling and entertaining film that features Venom in a different direction (it can talk on its own, being hilarious, and above all, being a good symbiote here).

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Starting the last quarter of the year at a new workplace.


Hold on. I am not changing my job as this post’s title implies. I am merely working at a new place beginning this month as my office is relocated to somewhere right in the middle of the city (near Tanjong Pagar MRT station). I have just started to familiarize myself with the former office’s location (near City Hall MRT station) and its surrounding after working for 5 months, and now I have to start all over again. There were only 4 stations in my MRT journey to work everyday previously and now it turns to 6 (and that means I have to get to work 10 minutes earlier from today onward…and that means 10 minutes shorter for my sleep; 10 minutes is a big deal!..haha).

The new office is in a great location as it is in the CBD, has many food choices for lunch (but totally terrified by how busy and crowded the hawker centres in the city are during the lunch time; it took me and my colleagues half an hour just to find a table and order our meal), conveniently near to my frequent meeting venue (next time, I can just walk over), and is surrounded by many skyscrapers (I enjoyed observing tall buildings). Our office actually looks half ready today as many installation works are not completed yet. I do like that ‘new’ smell, the open layout and the view from the windows. It took me about 2 hours just to set up my working desk, unpack my stuff and clean my working area this morning.

(Image source: http://www.griscom.com.br)

Relocation of office is actually a good idea as the previous building our office is located in is quite old and their lifts are always broken down. I was there for only 5 months and I had my first ever ‘trapped inside lift’ incident in my entire life there. Trapped for about 20 minutes with little air in the lift with several people and then had to jump out of the lift midway (that’s truly dangerous). Our former office area is also very small and doesn’t allow for expansion.

It looks like I’m seeing quite a number of new things recently. New workplace (and meeting more new colleagues joining my office recently), new blog’s background theme (had not changed my previous theme for 10 years!), bought some new shirts, pants and a pair of shoes last weekend (first time shopping in Singapore), and also had checked out the newly released iPhone models (of course just seeing them and not buying as they were too expensive and unnecessary). And this is my first new post right after the memorable 10th anniversary celebration of my blog 3 days ago. Now, I’m up for more encounters with ‘new’ stuff, challenges or experience. Have a great month ahead, folks!

 

 

 

My blog is turning 10 years old today!


Yesterday is a significant day for Google as it was their 20th anniversary. Today (28th September 2018) on the other hand is a very meaningful and historic day for me as it marks the 10th anniversary of my blog here. A decade has gone since I browse through the web looking for a platform for blogging and then decided to join WordPress, create a profile and well, you know where it leads to now.

When I first started my blog here, I didn’t see any long-term plan or future for it. Back then, I was just a teenager having a sudden urge to create a blog that I think won’t last for long. A very simple and informal blog that allows me to express myself on the internet without thinking of going far. I am not seeking huge number of blog followers, increasing popularity or any exposure.

‘www.vincentloy.wordpress.com’ then went through its 1st anniversary, 2nd anniversary, and so on…until today, when it crosses yet another significant milestone; 10th anniversary! Now, it has nearly 3.5 million views and over 300 blog followers. Presently, my blog also has about 400 views daily on average. This particular post is my blog’s 2050th post and that means I have written over 2000 posts in these 10 years, all by myself. Well, that’s an astounding achievement that I can be proud of.

I didn’t expect that I can come to this far and that there will be a lot more 10 years for this blog. No matter how busy I am in the past, present or future, I would still dedicate some time here to share my stories or any interesting issues from sports and politics to travel and architecture to everyone. This blog has become part and parcel of my life eventually and it acts like my online diary now.

In the following 10 years, I’m looking to expand my blog with better content and graphic, and eager to improve on my writing for higher quality posts. This commenced right away with the obvious change of my blog’s layout theme. It looks very different now and it sets a refreshing path for years to come. I would also look into producing posts touching on broader topics while further refining on future posts related to certain fields that I’m attached to such as architecture. And soon, I would be having my personal domain name for my blog. These would be my goals and my future direction for my blog from this point onward. ‘www.vincentloy.wordpress.com’ will stay active as long as me and the internet are here.

Last but not least, Happy 10th Birthday to my blog once again!

 

 

The ‘106’ and ‘118’ towers.


Whenever you see a postcard depicting city skyline of Kuala Lumpur, you will see KL Tower on the left and Petronas Twin Towers on the right with other shorter buildings occupying the rest of the picture. If you have been to Kuala Lumpur years ago and happened to be returning to the city recently, you would notice a dramatic change to the city skyline; there are a lot more new buildings being constructed in the city making it denser than before. The most noticeable would be one massive new tower now situated right in the middle of the view usually depicted in the city postcard as mentioned earlier.

It is the Exchange 106 Tower. It is a massive 106-storey tall office tower on the planned new financial district of Kuala Lumpur called Tun Razak Exchange. It is still under construction but has already topped out months ago to its final architectural height of 445 metres. Previously, many people including media and even the developer informed the public that the tower will be 492 metres high and will become the country’s new tallest building (dethroning the 452-metres tall Petronas twin Towers). However, after some research and study on its sectional drawing, I can confirm to you that the building will be only 445 metres as accurately shown in the CTBUH’s Skyscraper Center database.

The earlier claim of 492m is actually referring to the height of the tower when measured from the sea level. Exchange 106 Tower is indeed only 445m tall and is 7m shorter than Petronas Twin Towers. Nevertheless, it is still a huge skyscraper and its dominant presence in the city now is of no doubt. The tower will still hold the record for being the first building in South East Asia to have over 100 floors. The skeletal framing of the tower’s majestic crown is completed and work is on-going now for the installation of specially-made glass cladding to the crown. The tower is expected to be completed by end of this year.

Petronas Twin Towers remain as the country’s tallest buildings but that won’t last for long. Another building planned to reach a whopping 644m is currently under construction in the city too. It is the Merdeka PNB118 Tower. This tower is currently rising pretty fast and is now already towering over that region occupied by historical and low-rise buildings. When completed in 2021 (most probably will top out in 2020), it will be among the world’s top 5 tallest buildings. A mixed-use tower of 118 floors, PNB118 Tower goes beyond the 600m-mark thanks to its extremely long spire on its top.

That’s how it will look like when completed (rendering of the project superimposed onto the current construction progress image).

Can’t wait to see them fully completed and looking forward to more new skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur.

(Images in this post are from Skyscraper City forum webpages)

Mid-Autumn Festival isn’t complete without mooncakes!


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! Since there isn’t any four seasons here in Southeast Asia, we usually called the festival as Mooncake Festival. Well, the festival isn’t complete without the mooncakes. I love to eat them, especially the original flavor (lotus paste with yolk). However for this year, I didn’t get to eat snow skin or jelly mooncake which are my other favorites besides the original flavor. They are pretty expensive and taste very sweet nowadays; well, it’s alright since we only got to eat them once a year.

In case you didn’t know or didn’t realize, Mid-Autumn Festival is actually the second largest celebration for the Chinese. Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month in Chinese lunar calendar, Mid-Autumn Festival is a public holiday in China, Hong Kong, and also Taiwan. Since Chinese forms the major population in Singapore, I think Mid-Autumn Festival should be made a public holiday too since it is a rather important and meaningful festival. Singapore has too few public holiday annually.

I went back to KL last weekend and had a nice dinner with my family to compensate for the supposingly family reunion dinner this evening in conjunction with the festival. Well, the festival falls on Monday and is not a holiday, so it’s not possible to be at KL with family for the day. I have to save my annual leave for my Chinese New Year’s trip to Europe early next year.

Monday blues today and it get worst as I was feeling unwell; stomachache and headache. They both came at once, giving me fatigue and a huge discomfort. Fortunately, there isn’t much work today. I should have just taken a medical leave today but I didn’t, and I don’t know why. Weird. Guess I’m saving on my medical leave too (pointless). I’m going to get a good rest tonight and hopefully will return to a healthy being tomorrow hopefully. Still have to go through the remaining long week ahead.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)