Stranger Than Fiction 離奇過小說

It has a strange name. It had a strange beginning. It has some strange scenes such as the meticulously counting-down of daily chores superimposed by fake, sci-fi and high tech graphics which looked equally mysterious and grey. It has some strange reminiscences of films like Gattaca or Minority Report.

Can a boring, middle aged geek whose life is intruded into by a narrative voice make a good storyline? This “hearing voices” expereience became so huanting that it eventually changed the life of this officer worker over the course of a few weeks. With the feel of a sci-fi movie, this actually evolved into a comedy-drama. Will Ferrel plays the arithematic and detail oriented IRS agent Harold Crick, who audited the tax return of Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal), the Bohemian Harvard Law drop-out and bakery shop owner. The strange voice following Harold led him eventually to Professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), the knowledgeable literary expert at a local college. Slowly eliminating the probable culprits giving Harold the headaches, a dated television interview pointed Harold to Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), the more schizophenic author who also appears to be the voice of narration. Harold managed to catch up with Eiffel, who is in the midst of wrapping up her next novel with the Hero who would have been written off to a tragic ending. If my brief résumé has been confusing enough, you would definitely appreciate the quasi-clarity brought on by the director Marc Forster, based on the screenplay penned by Zach Helm.

Even when I was watching the film, the plot didn’t seem very clear nor logical. The beauty of this film was the ability of the director and the actors to hold my attention together and not dissipate until the intriguing finish, evening though conventional wisdom could point to flaws if one really wants to dig deep into cause and consequences. Apart from the sci-fi mentioned earlier, this project also shouted John Nash and A Beautiful Mind for the self-indulgence references. Even though three Hollywood flicks dotted this review, Stranger Than Fiction ended up a sleepy but pleasant delight as I saw it on latenight TV.

meticulous routine

meticulous routine

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gâteau aux fruits 果脯蛋糕

其實真不知道怎樣翻譯fruitcake,看過字典發現水果蛋糕是詞不達意。“水果”裏的“水”其實已全抽乾,因為用的是然後加糖的糖腌、 蜜餞“乾果”。烤這蛋糕其實非常簡單。一份乾果、一份橙汁(或咖啡)和一份自發麵粉,攪拌後放加熱至150度的烤箱不用一小時便成。這是很簡單,但並不完美的食譜。自己試做一次後再慢慢改良吧。

une recette incroyablement simple même si elle est loine d’être parfaite.
mélanger une portion de chacun qui suit:
jus d’orange (ou café)
fruits secs
farine à gâteau
et mettre tous dans un four chauffé à 150C pour moins d’une heure.

I haven’t really baked while in Hong Kong. The almost, if not over forty-year-old oven is still functioning pretty well. So I decided to try out something simple, just to impress my folks ;-).

An extremely simple recipe
Ingredients:
1) orange juice or coffee
2) dried fruits
3) self rising flour

It takes less than an hour to bake, be ware the caveat that this is NOT the perfect recipe, but its simplicity trumps everything else. You can always modify after the trial to calibrate into your “perfect” recipe!

soak dried fruits in orange juice

let it soak

let it soak

vigorous exercises as hard labour for your hands

briskly mix everything 快速攪拌

briskly mix everything 快速攪拌

put them in the oven at under 150C

dans le four 放焗爐內

dans le four 放焗爐內

then they are done within an hour

et voici les gâteaux finis

et voici les gâteaux finis

mystère – on me renverse, je me relève

En cherchant un one-hit wonder que j’aime beaucoup, j’ai trouvé que Chumbawamba a enregistré une version française de la chanson ‘tubthumping’. Peut-être c’était une version pas vraiment circulée. Certains sites comme wikipedia ont mentionné la version française a été sortie dans le marché québécois.
Curieusement, j’ai aucune moyen de ‘relever’ les paroles sur l’internet. Si vous en avez une copie, faites moi signe tout de suite. Relevé, par contre, est la mémoire de NYC à 1998, quand j’étais étudiant à l’école supérieure, lorsque ce ‘hit’ est sorti.

On me renverse, je me relève, on ne m’arrêtera jamais

Cette version est une bonne découverte, bien que Chumbawamba ne soit pas médiatisé ces jours-ci.
Je respecte la philosophie derrière du groupe, étant un band anarchiste, dans cette ère de l’injustice sociale qui recule jamais.

I get knocked down but I get up again you ain’t never gonna keep me down

Their performance on Letterman carried a surprise political message at the end. Artists with backbones versus making millions of dollars, these two seem sadly to be mutually exclusive.

酥皮焗叉燒包鼎不住通漲

物價騰飛的日子,找到便宜又好吃的美食真不容易。

叉燒包 BBQ pork bun

叉燒包 BBQ pork bun

去年十一月米其林(港譯:米芝蓮)食評的一星餐廳添好運賣的酥皮焗叉燒包才港幣十二元三個,兩個多月後的2011年元月到其深水埗分店,發現已加至十四元

Tim Ho Wan's  menu 2010年添好運的餐單

Tim Ho Wan


la bouffe vraiment pas cher? Tim Ho Wan à Hong Kong était un bon choix. Mais à cause de la QE2 des Américains, on doit trouver une solution trois heures par avion au nord, à Pékin, se trouve dans un resto tellement modeste offre des nouillies

encore pour quatre pistres renmenbi novembre 2010. Même si la chance de l’augmentation de prix est plus

possible que jamais dans les mois-ci, ce plat chuade reste toujours un des PLUS bon marché l’on peut

trouver au plein coeur du centre-ville.

四塊錢的刀削麵,還要跑到民工開餐的簡陋店子吃,但這是北京市中心的地方!希望這麵檔能比添好運更能抗通漲吧。

刀削麵 4rmb hand peeled noodles

刀削麵 4rmb hand peeled noodles

un an après 一年之後

just over one year ago, the earth shocked under this island country in the Carribean. Upon digging this unpublished stock photo I have, it fitted in a soberly silence manner about the natural diasaster happened just over a year ago. To make things worse, the political instability in Haiti is hindering the reconstruction of infrastructure in the country.

eerie reminder ?  可怕的聯想?

eerie reminder ? 可怕的聯想?


海地地震一周年,翻看這舊照片裡的展覽覺得頗到題。雖然自己是借題發輝,大家且看看本來的評述吧。
and I didnt tell you i superimposed my opinions to the offical descriptions of the exhibits, but here they are:

primo – referring to the “rubbles” on the ground

Calm

Calm

secondo – for the two plaques on the wall

dah dah dah dah

dah dah dah dah

Jumping from Middle East to the Carribean, the irony of “peace” – message borne by the display is lacking in the post-earthquake Haiti. The “voices” of the islanders were not heard either. Restoring normalty to the country will be a long and slow process.

higher 高些 plus haut x2

一年前寫了在香港detour 2009的一諷刺樓價和樓宇高度的展品,其實往北兩千公里的京城的某藝術館也曾經有另一個異曲同工之妙的作品。

Cette installation à Beijing, comme celle de Hong Kong que j’ai décrit il y a un an, guiderait notre imagination vers l’augmentation de loyer? ou plutôt le marché de bourse?

從低開始 start humbly

從低開始 start humbly

宏觀情況  big picture

宏觀情況 big picture

驚人的發展 zooming in on the explosive growth

驚人的發展 zooming in on the explosive growth

How you interpret this exhibit, linking prices, standard of living and what not, could results in frustration or joy depending on which locus of the continual spectrum you are in. Regardless of North (read Beijing) South (say Hong Kong) divide, artists seem to have similar ideas in mind, or are they simply the fidèle recorders of economic changes?

birds of a feather X 5 – Holiday decorations

Continuing the wùyǐlèijù 物以類聚 theme, end of year means light pollution everywhere, literally! First in Beijing:

off WangFuJing in Beijing, Nov 2010

off WangFuJing in Beijing, Nov 2010

JoyCity, XiDan, Beijing 北京西單 大悅城 每年皆有大型燈飾。

JoyCity, XiDan, Beijing 北京西單 大悅城   2010-11

JoyCity, XiDan, Beijing 北京西單 大悅城 2010-11

pouring holiday spirit onto the pavement:

Is that Willy Wonka's hat?

Is that Willy Wonka's hat?

and then there is Hong Kong

in Tsuen Wan

City Walk, Tsuen Wan

City Walk, Tsuen Wan

as well as in Langham Place, a mall in the extremely dense Mongkok 旺角朗豪坊

Ferris Wheel, part of a London theme installation, Mongkok 摩天輪 主題

Ferris Wheel, part of a London theme installation, Mongkok 摩天輪 主題

au milieu de Landmark à Central

Bisous à Lanmark, Central, HKG  置地廣場的吻

Bisous à Lanmark, Central, HKG 置地廣場的吻

a touch of white on the roof:

Hut

Hut

occasionally money saving displays give new meanings to “two birds with one stone”. Oh I really meant “two festivals in one set of lights”. Can you guess the second fest to come?

2 fests in one

2 fests in one

by the Star Ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui

la foule à l'Ocean Terminal

la foule à l'Ocean Terminal

Last but not the least, the conceptual artists must be reading my Gaudi related entries here and there.

Sagrada Familia in HKG?

Sagrada Familia in HKG?

so much for the decorations and happy 2011 everyone!

C’était le 5ème qui se ressemble s’assemble (birds of a feather 5 物以類聚)