Archive for July, 2008

Bar Review: Helipad at Central

July 29, 2008 2 comments

Most of Central’s new bar is housed within a circular extension (by the way, conveniently located beside the car-park) but a significant part of it juts out onto Central’s helipad.

Hence its name: The Helipad.

The outside area – designated as a smoking zone for bar patrons – has a marvellous view of the Singapore River. I could see all of Clarke Quay and yet be able to zoom-in on the architectural details of the shophouses. Clarke Quay’s orange brightness, almost like a birthday cake on fire, lit up the half-built sky scraping River Valley condominiums. Apparently, some of those condos were inhabited. There were lights twinkling on shadowy facades.

With the exception of several over-excited girls, the alfresco section of the Helipad is a soothing, reflective and rather enjoyable affair; even if we had to cart our own drinks from the bar. I could imagine shooting the breeze with drunk friends and pissing abuse on Clarke Quay.

That is, until the wind blew.

Most helipads are situated on the roofs of skyscrapers but Central’s helipad levelled out at the 5th floor – high enough for a magnificent view but next to kitchen exhaust vents. I and my date were drenched in oil fumes that smelled like Colonel Sander’s secret recipe (it’s in the oil), Teriyaki Chicken (she argued Tempura Prawn. But how do you tell from whiffing oil fumes?) and other grilled edibles.

One good thing came out of the sticky smells: we created a new drinking game that involved guessing the food that generated the oil fumes.

Where: #05-22 The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street. It’s just next to the car-park.
6pm to 1am (Monday to Thursday), 6pm to 3am (Friday to Saturday)
Happy Hour: 6pm to 9pm (one for one on all housepours)
What’s good: The view from Central’s Helipad; the bar’s unique concept; and new drinking games involving kitchen exhaust.
What’s not so good: The oil fumes from Central’s kitchens; self-serving our drink orders (apparently they are not allowed to serve drinks on the helipad); and weak-ass drinks.

The Helipad


View from The Helipad

Categories: Uncategorized

The language of MMOG’s (or TLoMMOG)

July 23, 2008 Leave a comment

I cannot understand an MMOG-er’s speech. It is far more evolved (or devolved) than my present grasp of language. I realised this truth while playing Gunbound: Revolution (Q: Why is it that almost every MMOG tags "Revolution" on to its title?).

Officially, I play games to understand the language of MMOG’s and how people act/react within interactive entertainment environments. So apart from positioning my misshapen vehicle and angling cannons to inflict maximum thunder and bazooka damage upon other tiny, overly-cute Gunbounders; I spend most of my in-game stint chatting with other players.

In-game chat is enabled via a dialogue line where words are typed in and displayed elsewhere onscreen. My part of the dialogue is usually peppered with asterisks and other unpronounceables: "%^$*$*!&*@^()#^()#&!()^#*(!!!!"

It is nonsensical but this merely expresses my frustration. It’s the other players’ responses that I sometimes find incomprehensible. Conversation snippet reproduced below.


A Gunbound Conversation
nicknames have been changed

Skybe (Me):
Arsswhip: ROTFLMAO
J=Enne{=>: afk
Timie: Wat a nublet! Skybe aim higher.
Skybe: Cheers.
Arsswhip: Bunge that nublet!
J=Enne{=>: WTF! Wind change!
Skybe: ????
Timie: ns. I still aak.
Skybe: Damn…Missed. *#&()!&()%^&)!$)@&#*()@!&()%^!@(*!!!!
Arsswhip: gg
J=Enne{=>: OMG! Skybe move to your left! N00b!

Key (arranged in order of appearance): ROTFLMAO (rolling on the floor, laughing my ass off); afk (away from keyboard); nublet (also newbie or n00b. Refers to a new gamer); Bungee (destroying the land from under an opponent. Specific to Gunbound); WTF (What the fuck!); ns (nice shot); aak (alive and kicking); gg (got to go); OMG (oh my god)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not like the folks at the Speak Good English Movement who subsist on pristine English. Language evolves with the medium and according to people’s needs. In this case, MMOG-ers need to quickly make a point and yet be perceived as sociable; thus promoting the use of acronyms – acronyms easily-typed and understood by long-time gamers.

Interestingly it spills over to real-world speech and writing.

For example, I know some people who laugh by repeating: "LOL! LOL!" Back when I was teaching, students turned in work filled with acronyms and emoticons: LOL, OMG, :). Even now, articulate professionals liberally litter their sms-es with similar acronyms and emoticons.

Given internet slang’s pervasive influence, perhaps the next best-seller will be entirely in internet patois? I eagerly await for it.

What is internet slang?

  1. WiseGeek (
  2. Wiki entry (
  3. Blog entry: The evolution of Internet speak (aka geek speak) (
  4. Forum discussion on internet slang (

Online dictionaries with searchable indexes

  1. Internet Slang Dictionary & Translator (
  2. (
  3. Internet Slang entry on Wikitionary (
Categories: Uncategorized

Music: Out of sight, out of mind

July 22, 2008 Leave a comment

Cleaning is a futile activity. After all dirt, stain, rust and decay are a big part of life, and eliminating them derails natural order. Also there are always too many pieces of furniture and floor to dust, wipe and shine.

Despite my disgust for the activity, it does have one redeeming merit; best expressed by an adaptation of Forest Gump’s famous quote: "cleaning is like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know when you’ll see what you hid."

Accordingly, I uncovered pieces of nostalgia whenever I sweep through the insides of musty cupboards – not counting the little packets of pink silicate gel.

Last week’s cleaning session unearthed CD wallets filled with games, installers, porn and music. Since then, I’ve been replaying old games – does anyone remember A Bridge Too Far, Rainbow Six, Commandos, Championship Manager – and reliving porn (sadly, it was trite. Everything – positions, depravities and scenarios – were very unchanged).

But it was the old songs that caught me by the ear. Naturally, I’ve ripped them into my mp3 player and bob whenever they take to the digital stage.

Cheers & good listening.

A Nostalgic Playlist

  1. Eye – Smashing Pumpkins (Lost Highway OST)
  2. The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning – Smashing Pumpkins (Batman and Robin OST)
  3. Perfect Drug – Nine Inch Nails (Lost Highway OST)
  4. She’s Lost Control – Joy Division (Substance)
  5. Leaders of Man – Joy Division (Substance)
  6. Dead Souls – Joy Division (Substance)
  7. 红豆 – 王菲 (唱游)
  8. Danny Boy – ??
  9. Gonna Fly Now – Bill Conti (Rocky OST)
  10. The Eyes of Truth – Enigma (The Cross Changes)
  11. Black Velvet – Alannah Myles (Alannah Myles)
  12. Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence – Sakamoto Ryuichi (Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence OST)
  13. Aquarela do Brasil – Michael Kaman (Brazil OST)
  14. The Real Folk Blues – The Seatbelts (Cowboy Beebop OST)
  15. 和世界面对面 – 四海小兄弟 (Mojacko OST)
  16. Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N Roses (Appetite for Destruction)
  17. I’m Deranged – David Bowie (Trent Reznor edits; Lost Highway OST)
Categories: Uncategorized
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