And the winner by a country mile and a half is…

Asia Blog Awards 2004:

Best HK Blog

Best Mainland China Blog

Best Korea Blog

Best Taiwan Blog

Best Singapore Blog

Best Malaysia Blog

Best Thai Blog

Best Indonesia Blog

Best Japan Blog

Best Philippines Blog

Best India Blog

Best Bangladesh Blog

Best Pakistan Blog

Best Vietnam Blog

Best Central Asian Blog

Best Newcomer 2004

Best Designed Blog

Funniest Blog

Best Non-Asian (Foreign) Blog

Best Political Blog

Best Essayist

Best Journal/Diary

Best Photoblog

Xiaxue didn’t win! Xiaxue didn’t win! She’s doing a Fiona Xie! She’s doing a Fiona Xie! (OK, I’m trying my darndest to hype this up into a Channel 8/Starstic Awards frenzy).

Congratulations all winners! I’ll win next time, as soon as they’ve got a category called ‘Best Blog with Blue Background, Yellow Headers, White Text, iTunes Auto Info, Cricket & Rugby News And Written By Mr Miyagi’.

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Crossroads – Ry Cooder – Crossroads, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Work still in progress

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

At Banda Aceh airport yesterday a German air officer was trying to find out who could arrange slots for aeroplanes carrying a field hospital, while Australian and US air force personnel began building a temporary plywood air traffic control tower that has no radar.

Banda Aceh’s air traffic control chief conceded the ongoing problems but said many were beyond his control because the airport was not set up for the 160 helicopter and plane movements a day. “It’s difficult getting planes out of Medan because the apron is full and the same thing happens here,” he said.

But help is coming because our boys and girls are on the job:

The MATC Tower, jointly owned by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), was sent to Banda Aceh today via a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) C-130 transport aircraft. The control tower at Banda Aceh airport had sustained damages after the earthquake and tsunami on 26 Dec 04, reducing the number of aircraft the airport can handle for humanitarian relief flights. The MATC Tower will help increase the handling capacity for flights.

There’s still a lot to do, and there’s still a lot to coordinate on the ground. Because already the UN is copping some flak:

At the same time, US officials were briefing journalists about the lack of a UN presence at the airport in Banda Aceh.

“Look around and see who’s present, and you will also see who’s missing,” said one. “I think you can read between the lines. They [the UN] have their compound in town, their cars, but are they getting food out? Are they setting up clinics?”

Surf stop: Comics by Jampot
iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Il Proprio Fine – Erna Hemming – , of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

As popular as the bookstore with the very loud cinema ad

Maybe I’ve had as good a chuckle as when I read the quote ‘If English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for you’, but Xiaxue’s latest get-back at one of her detractors, in her own inimitable way (don’t argue ok, I say inimitable means inimitable) has got me chuckling again. Remember to scroll down to the post proper if you’ve already seen her photo before.

Meanwhile, back in Safetypore, I’ve been vacillating between slamming corporations for being stingy and lauding the Armed Forces for doing a good job, and in the time in between, I’ve been mulling over whether I, personally, could do more. I’m not very good at mulling, but one of my online friends is, and she’s again gotten what I feel down pat. You go, girl, you’re the Mull of Kintyre. There. Another tune to stick in your head for your effort.

On another matter altogether, voting for the Asia Blog Awards 2004 has closed, and results will be posted on Saturday. To say the winner of the category in which this blog was nominated was a foregone conclusion would be a big understatement, so I won’t say it. Congratulations Mr Brown.

I am really very surprised and flattered to have been nominated, and always expected to be an also-ran, so not coming in stone motherless last is a bonus. In fact, if my last name were Shaw, I’d be Also-Ran Shaw.

Thank you all nonetheless for having nothing better to do and voting for me. I love youse all!

(Of course, there’s a down side to the relative increase in popularity. Some friends of mine (online and in the flesh) have stopped blogging cold, but they’re still keeping a journal on Microsoft Word, citing the unwanted traffic to their blogs from mine. Hogwash! A blog’s a blog’s a blog. You waaaant people to read you. Come back, you, you and you.)

This is the Winter Sonata of our discontent. Some Korean dude/chick tries to translate this blog into Hanggul. Mianhae, don’t think it makes sense imnida.

Surf Stop: Seoul to Soul
iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Wonderful – Annie Lennox – Bare, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Five days gone

So the first work week of the year rolls on, and at least some of us got off to a colourful start. Should get me some German housemates. Then again, better not. I’m still recovering from my flatmates from five years ago.

But yes, I’ve been a busy man this week, so busy that even LMD says I’ve been a busy man, because I’ve declined her invitation to drinkalittle several times in the last week, non-alcoholic beverages included. I did treat myself to a quick beer on the way home though, and there’s no better quick beer than a Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit. One is enough to smack you in the face. You can get a bottle at NTUC Fairprice for $4.20, but I won’t, because I’m still demonising this ‘cooperative’.

I’ve been busy enough not to have seen my family till Wednesday evening, when my mother asked me, ‘eh, why you cut your hair like that?’, and before I could answer, she asked me how much money my ‘celebrity friends’ donated to the tsunami charities. So I told her I cut my hair like that to save on shampoo. Then the maid did something that didn’t please her, so I was left alone to slink away unnoticed from the dinner table. Some mothers are funny like that, you know?

Yes, like I said, I’ve been busy, and I’m so busy some friends tell me if I keep this up, all my chakras will be blocked, and that won’t be good for me. (I told them I’ve never liked chakras, not even in fish head curry.)

But like a bumper sticker I once saw, I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go.

Elvis Junction
It’s now or never. Damned green light takes forever at the junction of Dunearn Road and Eng Neo Avenue.

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: The Thrill Is Gone – Nina Simone – Tomato Collection, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Sight for sore eyes, sound for sore ears

Samantha, Sam for short, called me as I was completing my previous blog entry, and immediately launched into a tirade about me changing my phone number.

“I had your number memorized for the past two years, now I have to scroll down to check if it’s the right person I’m calling, can you change back to your old number?!”, she ranted.

Normally, I’d shout back at Sam, such is the fiesty nature of our relationship. We love each other a lot like that.

But Sam went on to tell me she’d come home from Phuket on the 29th, and that she was mostly sheltered from all death and devastation because her hotel was more or less on a hill. She said it was a most bizarre scene the days following the tsunami because life carried on at the hotel she was at. The pool was open and used by guests from the day after Boxing Day, still ringed with languid sunbathers. When she left on the 29th, Phuket’s airport seemed just a little more crowded than usual, with the occasional injured person being wheeled through the hall, and the only other significant difference being the use of a previously blank wall for the posting of missing persons’ notices.

So, I didn’t shout back at Sam. And Sam wasn’t upset that neither myself nor any of her friends knew she was in Phuket.

It would’ve been odd had we gone the ‘Omigod are you alright were you hurt’ course of conversation, so I guess that’s why we didn’t. I merely thanked her for calling, and we ended our phone call after she said she’d chat with me again soon.

You go, boys!

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: 島唄 – 夏川りみ – てぃだ ~太陽・風ぬ想い~, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.