Peaceful Saturdays, with no drama, are the best things ever. Mom cooked dinner with the help of my two younger brothers. My wife had time to work on her hobby in the afternoon. My youngest subjected me to endless YouTube videos of K-Pop boyband NCT acting cute.
Faith went for a walk with my mom just before dinner and her little cousins played in the playground. In the kitchen, as I scooped out the soup into the big bowl, I felt the absence of Sey Yi and felt a sharp pain in my heart. We will miss you dearly forever.
After dinner, we had some birthday cake, and the adults had a sip of Yuzu wine and Nikka 12. Followed by our favorite Chinese dating show where we all give our loud brutal assessments of the contestants. My youngest brother, my sister-in-law, Joy and I lingered a little longer to keep my mom company for the night.
As Joy and I walked home, talking about Instagram stuff, we saw the ice-cream man. Joy was very excited and we bought enough for the entire family. We were his last customers for the evening. It was a good day.
You know they tell you 30 the new 20? And 40 is the new 30?
50 is not the new 40. It’s all lies. It’s just 50.
But I spent it with my wife, who took the day off to be with me all day. After a visit to an Icebreaker merino wool store in Capitol, she treated me to a Japanese lunch at Hoshino, and even accompanied me to Funan, where I checked out gadgets and folding bicycles. She knows the things I like. With the restraint of a 50-year-old, I bought nothing. Just look look see see only.
And then later we had a last-minute invite to drinks and dinner with some old friends, talking about our kids because we are all already parents.
And we got home at 12.30am. Which may as well be 6am. Because you know, lao liao.
It was a heady day. I started the morning cranky. As a 50-year-old should be. But ended it sleepy. As a 50-year-old should be too.
I don’t have abs of steel. My face has some 老人斑. My Old Flower Eyes (presbyopia) are getting worse. Some of my hair is even white at the sides now, and due to be dyed. And my right shoulder hurts like heck. I’ll have to have that looked at.
But I have the love of a good woman. I have lovely children. I have a big circle of great friends. My mother still nags me and scolds me but remembers my birthday. My brothers are merciless in their teasing. And I have the support of a great extended family.
I cannot think of a better way to enter the second half of the century of my life.
This is us walking past the hotel where we had our wedding dinner more than 22 years ago. I thought it was a fitting reminder of our union and my blessed life.
Soon after this, we were knee-deep in conversation and Shochu with good friends. That’s how life should be, yeah? 50 and loving it.
Thanks be to God and thanks to all of my loved ones who have made my life a wonderful ride so far.
I watched the season premiere of 《我.董.你》 (#BeMyGuest) with my family, even though I was 13,655km away in San Jose. It was 6am where I was, and 9pm in Singapore when my son started streaming the show over Insta Live. I could hear the laughter from my family in the background and it felt like I was there watching with them.
The one-hour program covered stories of my family and my work.
We even had surprise guest join our little family screening…
mrbrown has a chat with His Excellency Scott Wightman, the British High Commissioner to Singapore, at his official residence, Eden Hall. We chat about his four years in Singapore, the elephant in the room a.k.a. Brexit, and what he is doing next at his next gig. Scott will be succeeded as British High Commissioner by Ms Kara Owen CVO.
Singtel and HBO sent the wife and me to New York City to watch the gala premiere of Game of Thrones, Final Season, Episode 1. When we first heard from them, I was like, REALLY? We get to fly to watch the long-awaited final season of GoT??? Before ANYONE else on earth?
My wife is an even bigger fan of GoT than I am. And this was MAJOR brownie points. Even my second brother, who is a hardcore fan (he has watched ALL of GoT from Season 1 to 7 at least three times per episode) was jellies. He wanted me to pack him in my suitcase and take him along.
So we packed our bags in a hurry, grabbed the Singtel ReadyRoad SIM Card, and flew to the Big Apple for the Big Event. We visited the huge Iron Throne at 30 Rock and queued to redeem our tickets at the HBO HQ.
You can see how excited we both were. Like little kids off to see the circus. Of course, we had to go to the HBO store to get us some merch. I got my brothers some GoT tees, to share a bit of the excitement.
That very night, we got dressed up and went to Radio City Music Hall for the show. The wife asked, "Are we watching all six episodes of Season 8?"
"Er, no dear. You wish. Only Episode 1. I think the stars want to go home and won't be able to sit through more than six hours at the screening," I said.
A large number of the cast came, and they graced the stage to a standing ovation. It felt like forever that the series began in 2011, and to see the cast from the first season till now, made the hairs of my arm stand.
And the a hush came over the hall and the show began. We laughed, we cheered, we clapped. It was like a reunion with the show that took an almost two-year break from Season 7. And then, it was over.
We walked out of Radio City Music Hall with so many questions. So many feelings. I sent out a live video with my wife, to the fans back home. And then we walked past the red carpet area where the stars walked, as they dismantled the scaffolding. Then we realized we had to wait a few more weeks before we could see the rest of Season 8. Sigh.
Do sign up with Singtel and HBO if you want to catch the rest of the final season of GoT. It is with a mix of anticipation, at the conclusion of a story we have followed for years, and some sadness, that it was all going to end, that we felt as we walked home to our hotel in Broadway.
At least we still had a few nights left in NYC, to see some shows, to walk in Central Park, and to visit the MET before going home. It was one of the best trips the wife and I have ever had in the States. Thanks Singtel and HBO!
Going home is such sweet sorrow. It was such a chore not spilling the beans on what I saw at the gala. But mrbrown is no spoiler of shows. So my lips are sealed. That's what I do: I drink and I know things.
I watched Dragged Across Concrete last night with the missus. It was 2 hours 39 minutes long but the slow burn crime thriller was very satisfying. I loved the storytelling and the characters in the movie. And my favorite character in the movie doesn't even have a name.
Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn play two dirty cops in this B movie that somehow manages to subvert the genre. Instead of non-stop violence, you are treated to long stretches of dialogue and waiting.
In one scene, you watch Vince Vaughn's character Lurasetti slowly eating his sandwich in a stakeout, and Gibson's character Ridgeman snarls, "A single red ant could have eaten it faster.” I laughed out loud at that silly moment.
But somehow the slow burn works and you are drawn into the story as it slowly unfolds, punctuated with moments of shocking violence.
The other amazing thing is how quickly director/writer S. Craig Zahler makes you feel for characters who are introduced out of nowhere, and who get sucked into the vortex of the criminal underbelly.
I didn't even realize 159 minutes had gone by until we left the theatre (the wife and I were the ONLY ones in the preview hall, it was like our own cinema), and then all the stores in Lido were closed.
It is to watch something clever like this instead of the usual blockbuster stuff we see all the time. Recommended if you like old school crime movies.