Singapore pet stores tend to only sell guinea pigs and bunnies.  Feel very, very bad.

"May cause pre-mature death." Don't cry, little Timmy. You just killed Peter the Rabbit.


Well.  It’s official.  100 days of Singapore. Celebrate!  The Asia Adventure continues.  And I’ve got an observation for you:

Watching movies out here, especially re-watching, invites a curious deja vu.  As you watch it all happen again, you find yourself wondering if something is missing.  Like driving past a house in your hometown and wondering if it was that color last time you were around.

The answer is yes.  (That something is missing.  The house?  It wasn’t that color before, and I hate the family that moved in there.)  It’s missing because movies out here are absolutely censored.  There’s a second cutting room floor somewhere out here in the Pacific.

What is censored?  Well, obviously porn is illegal.  I’m not sure what the standards for actual pornography are, and what’s allowed in and what isn’t.  But I’m thinking that Judge Scalia is not the arbitrary decision maker.  Because we might all know what porn is when we see it, but the consistency of the system is seriously confusing me.

They even edited out some of David Bowie!!!

One of my favorite movies, Zoolander, was on.  I was cooking.  My roommate was on the couch – he is on the couch a lot – and we kept on making these hiccuping noises with each censor situation.  He would say something like ‘wait, they just cut this scene!’ and then I would say ‘wait, wasn’t there another sentence there?’ We couldn’t believe that they removed the just-show-the-shoulders make-out scene.  They even cut out the line about the Maori tribesman.

But… you know what is OK?  All of Troy.

You remember that movie?  I know.  I try to block some things out too.

I say this as someone who watched a portion of Troy the other night, shocked at what hadn’t been edited out*.  Because seriously, I was seeing a lot more than just Brad Pitt’s shoulders, coated in baby oil, moving up and down, and I really really did not want to be seeing that.

But I have to tell you, watching the censored version of Inglorious Bastards made that movie a good 30 minutes shorter.  Apparently Team America: World Police is showing.  I guess that’s going to be about 20 minutes long.  I hope that ‘take that, Wolf Blitzer’ stays in the scene.

But other weird things get edited out.  You know how in ‘Zoolander’ the point is to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia?  They edit out the word ‘Malaysia’.  But when one of the characters says – because he is stupid – “Micronesia” they don’t edit it out.

Take that, Micronesia.  You’re not even worth censoring.

*I only watched six minutes.  I don’t actually know if it was censored or not.  I only know that I saw more of Brad Pitt having bad sex involving knives than I ever wanted to see.

So, after a long hiatus, we’re back.

Onward, Christian Housing Soldiers

These houses might be less creepy when people actually live in them.

And where are we back?  Singapore!

And who is we?  Just me.  Your original unreliable narrator.

But this should start slow.  It’s been a while.  I’m a bit rusty.  One step at a time. These days, Singapore is my main mailing address.  I’m working as a writer of the technical variety.  Quite possibly the only woman on earth whose first writing job can genuinely pay all the bills!

This *is* a magical land.

And one of my favorite things to do in this magical, steamy jungle land, is sit and watch storms come in.  It rains nearly every day in Singapore, and some of the storms are pretty damn fantastic.  Some of the best ones, for drama and visual effects especially, are to be had on the water – which when you think about it is a rather wide swath of this rather small island.

Fortunately, I now live on the water.  Through a series of unexpected and often unfortunate events, I live on the very edge of Singapore in the nicest apartment in my life thus far.  And there has now been many a time when I open up my glass sliding door, sit on the floor, and dangle my legs over the balcony’s edge.  I stare at the gray clouds in their gleeful and grim march into the northwest, and the houses still being built beside me lined up like soldiers, also watching heaven.

And then the sheets of rain come, and one by one, the rows disappear in the flood of water.

It brings a whole new meaning to living on the water.

Me: What did he just say to us?

Ouzo: Excuse me, but are you ladies lost?

Me: And you just said?

Ouzo: No.

Me: And his response?

Ouzo:  What a shame!  I would have bought you both drinks!

Me: Paris!  J’taime.

From Peter Stross’s Accelerando, a book that finally (90% done reading) proved worth its shelf price:


“… Some activities superficially familiar to you are merely stupid and should be avoided for your safety, although they are not illegal as such.  These include: giving your bank account details to the son of the Nigerian Minister of Finance; buying title to bridges, skyscrapers, spacecraft, planets, or other real assets…”

So I’m in Paris.

Having just been in Singapore, and then Japan, things are feeling a bit more surreal than usual.  So I thought I would share my surreality with you by showing you a neat little glitch in my iCamera.  I’d say iPhone, but that would require it working in a country that isn’t the USA.

On a related note: Dear AT&T, I am your valued customer no more.  You are dead to me.

Anyhow, my iCamera is the 3G version.  I don’t know if this is the case with iCamera 4.0.  I suspect, honestly, that it is.  You just get it in higher resolution.  What you see below happens every time I take a picture and then try to put away the device too quickly.  I have pictures of from so many different countries that look just like this – but even more exaggerated.  It’s mostly quite neat, but occasionally, especially when it happens to faces, it’s very unsettling.

It's like the whole Hotel de Ville is leaning away from the fountain.

I'm melting!

So I’m in Singapore.Drink me-?  Wait, what?

And it’s very comfortable here, temperature-wise.

I’m mostly just sitting around, applying for jobs and looking for discount housing while I apply for said jobs.  But you want to know what else I’m doing?


But not the kind you’re thinking!  8th grade biology style mimosas.  In the plants section, at some point, we all remember being told about tropisms.  Or you probably do if you haven’t managed to erase the tortured memories of frog-dissections and arguments about Darwinism out of your brain yet. So the two I remember are phototropism, which is the obvious plants-go-towards-the-sun movement, and then thigmotropisms, when plants responded to touch, aka rapid plant movement.

Which sounded awesome.

And no plants in North America seemed to do it, or if they did, it was something unimpressive, along the lines of, you poke a dead leaf with a stick and it falls off.

But the plants outside of North America, now those were thigmotropic good times.  The Mimosa plant was always the one picture, because it folds up like a fan if disturbed!  And in moments.  It’s like watching something wither – only it restores itself in five minutes!

And they’re all over the place!

So if you see a news story about some random American harassing *every single little weed* she sees, that’s me.  And if anyone asks what I’m doing, I’ll call it science!

Though now I want a real mimosa.