06 September 2010

twist of vate.

So I know that we're anxiously awaiting the New Apartment post, but not all of our furniture has arrived yet, and so I'm holding off to make the experience more...authentic? Suffice it to say, for now, that we are moved in -- all three of us -- that's me, D & E for those playing the home game -- and that life is progressing apace. Classes start tomorrow, and so it's all down hill (and like into the volcano...) from here.

Since I can't give you a photo-tour just yet, I thought, well -- they like reading about my attempts at putting things together, and -- it just so happens! -- I put something together the other day, and so I thought I'd tell y'all about it. That way, there are kind of sneak-peak pictures of my new bedroom, but the rest remains as yet a mystery.

In any event, I put together a lamp.

An Ikea lamp (that song never gets old), of course, complete with stupid instructions that don't make any sense, and the Naked Guy there with his allen wrench -- and, of course, because I am unapologetically myself, I bought a weird lamp. Not just a lamp lamp. I have taken to calling it the Bubble Lamp, or the Holy Orb, or the Looks Like a Cocktail Onion Lamp (that last one needs work) -- so of course it's even more complicated than a regular old garden variety lamp would've been. And being from Ikea, it has a proper name: Vate. I suppose we should start at the beginning.

This is what the box said it should look like, more or less, and here is the dangerous electric-type piece and, of course, the eensy weensy allen wrench, adorable.

Here are the rest of the pieces.

Do they look like they make sense? No, I thought not. From here, of course, we move to the floor, because these things require a certain amount of acrobatics (I mean, they do for me, I dunno about the rest of you. But if I can't explode all over the floor with a box of Ikea parts, then nothing will ever get put together.), and the lamp is rather...not large, per se, but long, I suppose, and so here's a sneak peak of my pretty marble floor, along with Vate's first steps toward Lampdom.

Looks more or less like a keyhole. Or the shape of one. No idea what you would need a keyhole that big for, but you never know. The Key of Life. The Key TO Life? Nope, just a lamp.

So the next step was figuring out a way to get the circular bottom bit attached to the floor bit...before it falls over, which it does inevitably, being a circle bit, and physics and gravity and such. I resorted to pinning it upright with my legs, and so now y'all get a good shot of my luscious thighs...clenched to this stupid piece of Ikea art deco tomfoolery.

I would like to note that I would not have to go through this bullshit (over and over again) if Singapore did not have a bizarre fixation with fluorescent light. There is a perfectly usable light built into my ceiling, but it pours down the most horrific, white, awful light that you have ever seen, and frankly I am a creature meant to live in soft glows and pooling shadows. So I persevere.

At last, Vate was on its feet!

What you see beyond Vate's tentative first attempt at standing are the doors to the corridor beyond my bedroom (on the left) and to my bathroom (on the right), and of course my desk chair which follows me everywhere.

Next, I got the shade to look right, but I was too busy wrestling it into submission to take any pictures of the process. It happened very fast. Not without some cursing. A reenactment, perhaps?

"How does this fucking work?"

Shade says nothing.

"Fucking -- attach, you piece of--"

Shade says nothing, smugly.

"--Be orb-like! Dammit!"

Shade submits. Christine moves on to the more complicated part. Where the hell does the light bulb go?

Hm, no. Perhaps not edible.


Just one!

I figured it out shortly after my brain started oozing out of my ear. Didn't take pictures of that either.

And behold! Vate glows!

More to come as our furniture arrives.

Light on, people.

14 August 2010

around the world again.

Yeah, don't get excited.

Classes start again in early September, and so expect me to rapidly vanish once more -- BUT -- I'm here for now. And so I thought I'd say a few things about the summer and the upcoming year (my LAST one) at Tisch Asia.

There is like no way to condense my whole summer into several pithy paragraphs and a few frightening pictures...but I'm gonna try. Because I don't believe in giving up until you've had like a limb torn off (sorry Jenny, I tried to be limb-unspecific, if that helps) or something. Like at that point, okay, throw the towel in, but before then? Never give up, never surrender!

(a cookie to whoever gets that reference first.)

So first of all, I have no idea what's up with this template. The picture on my original template has disappeared into the ether of the internet (where technoinfo goes to die...) and so I kind of scrambled to find something to replace it. This is...charming, kind of? I don't know. If anyone finds anything that appears to better suit this blog (and I don't mean like a template about getting caned people, seriously, I know you all too well), feel free to shoot it my way. Until then, I guess we're stuck with stars and vines and...that bird. I shall name him Flint. Flint's not Asian or anything, but maybe he wants to be.

Anyway, the summer. God. Okay, so I did an internship over the summer with World Film in New York City, but I was living at my parents' house in Philadelphia. So this meant that I was up at 5:30am three days a week to haul ass up to Manhattan. I know this makes me sound like a madwoman, but I was still paying for my apartment (+bunker) in Singapore, and the idea of paying for two apartments over the summer made me bleed out the eyes (and wallet). So I did the heinous commute described above, made slightly better by the Bolt Bus simply because it has free wifi, and sometimes they give you free rides. Commute aside, though, my internship was awesome and I got to read some really awful scripts, as well as some really good ones, have my opinions listened to, and keep my brain working in a dramatic-writing-kind-of-way over the summer, despite getting nothing done on my thesis idea or anything else, really, all summer long.

Speaking of theses...nope, no. I can't even think about it yet, I'm still jetlagged. Suffice it to say that I'm very scared of the upcoming semester. Lotstodo!

Back to the summer. When I wasn't shuttling back and forth between NYC and Philly, I was hanging out with as many friends as I could manage to -- which, before any of you say so, I already know was not enough of you, or frequent enough, and I'm sorry, I really am. Couldn't be helped. This is why, people, we need to get on cloning technology. Because if there had been two of me, it would've been a lot easier to hang out with everyone! I mean, as cloning technology currently stands, if I did clone myself then the clone would probably a) die really quickly and b) be kind of stupid (which is not unlike me, sometimes, but minus my impeccable charm, I'm just not sure it'd be worth it -- sound off?), but I guess for like a summer-long stint it wouldn't have been a bad idea to try it. Ah, well. Hindsight.

Anyhow, those of you I did manage to see -- it was lovely! And to those of you I missed -- uh, sorry! I'll be back in June!

So I'm back in Singapore now, and things are...calm. Which makes me nervous, after this summer, because calm = fuck, I've done something wrong. But I haven't! I've done everything right! D and I have theoretically found a new apartment for the year, so I'll post some pictures of that place once we're there. We're currently looking for a third roommate, whose initial will no doubt appear on this blog sparingly as well. Should be fun. In the meantime, I'm sort getting my head rearranged from work-friends-fun-summer to holy-crap-last-year-of-grad-school, which is happening with incredible speed, I might add. I've never been a grade grubber, honestly, but As are like heroin. You need another and another and another or the good feelings start to go away.

That's right, I just compared getting good grades to doing heroin.

So this coming semester I have to write a short film, a thesis, a screenplay, a half-hour comedy, lord knows how many comedy sketches, and I'm sure just a freaking tsunami of other stuff. So much comedy this semester! I feel profoundly unfunny.

One thing I will say (without going into, which ought to be maddening) is that I was incredibly successful this summer, and so I head into the school year with some confidence. Or at least not the heart-crushing terror of last year. I faced Jaws, bitches, and I walked away with my head held high (like not for real, though, I just had to watch the movie, remember?).

So I know I said there would be pictures, but it turns out I managed to hide from the camera all summer long. So...

Good morning, Singapore!

And that's all you get. For now.

10 February 2010

the condensed version.

Oh, blogger.

I know, I know. I am dead to you.

That's all right, I'm dead to almost everybody else, too.

Oh man, let me see, how do I summarize the past...three months? Well. I survived my first semester in Graduate School and actually managed to rock a 4.0, much to everyone's eternal amazement. My mother taped my grades to the refrigerator...I am 28 years old.

I am 28 years old! My birthday happened! Some of you were there. :) That happened in Philadelphia, while I was home over the holidays -- I hit Philly and New York in rapid succession, which left me dizzy with booze and well-wishing, and I saw an ass-ton of family and friends in a very short period of time. I do not yet have pictures from most of these events, but...

Oh wait! A New Years photo!

I was very festive this year.

Christmas happened, as well, and my Uncle Mike was on-hand with his camera, and managed to post only the WORST pictures of me on Facebook. Here's one:

Yeah, I look like I'm about ready to burst, and Sean looks like she's about to say something dirty. But Dana looks nice! These were the Ellis guests at Christmas Dinner at my grandparents' house. It was all very exciting. I don't look excited -- but trust me, it was. See this? This is me -- unafraid -- fearless, posting horrible pictures in the face of ridicule. Judge me not.

So, right -- in chronological order (which I do not adhere to here, because as I am learning this semester -- linear is for PUSSIES!) we had Christmas, New Years, and my birthday. Eventually, I'll have pictures from that last adventure -- I think my mother has a few, at least one of the morning after, which is...well...probably better than the ones of the actual Night itself. There was much debauchery...and I did some dirty things, too.

Anyway, since returning to Singapore, there's been a LOT going on. Which is why I have been shirking my blog-related duties. My classes are like twice as much work suddenly, and I'm taking a free workshop on writing for children's animation (which could be a disaster, you know...ME...writing for kids?), which is really cool but just MORE work.

On top of all of this, we had the Next Reel Film Festival here which lasted a week, and disrupted everyone's zen. It was neat to have a bunch of international filmmakers running around, plus several Deans from NYU Tisch in New York who gave lectures, and Oliver Stone was kind of bopping around the campus glaring at people -- don't get me wrong, he's awesome, but he does sort of have a perpetual glare on his face. That's what happens when you think a lot in life. I may be doomed.

With ALL of these things going on, my homework has just piled and piled. But I'm still working on my science fiction screenplay, and my graverobbing full-length play, and I wrote a short piece about a woman dying of cancer who traps Death in a big cage, and that was fun. I'm busy busy, but it's all very interesting stuff and I couldn't be...okay, if I was sleeping more I'd be happier, but otherwise, everything is quite groovy.

And I'm in Singapore, which I know is what most of you care about, and as soon as I manage to spend some time IN Singapore, instead of in my apartment or on campus, I promise you will hear all about it. Oh wait -- I DID go to a concert last week, featuring XX and Florence + the Machine, which are both incredibly cool bands and I highly recommend everyone check them out. Apparently, it is rare for Singaporeans to rush the stage at a concert event, but they did! And we rejoiced.

This coming week! It is Chinese New Year. Fuck Valentine's Day. Year of the TIGER! It's kind of GOT to be my year, people. I'm so ready for it. Pictures of the upcoming pandemonium in Singapore on-coming.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

21 November 2009

I am not dead.

I have been promising my mother for over a month now that I would write a new blog entry -- she tells me that nobody is going to read this thing anymore because it's been so long since I wrote. I think she's probably right, but I decided -- damn the torpedoes -- I will write a blog entry instead of homework, and so here we go.

It's Friday night here in Singapore, and I went to a restaurant called Bar Bar Blacksheep for dinner, where I devoured what must be one of the tastiest burgers in the world. It's in this part of Singapore called Holland Village which is largely populated by ex-patriots, so it's unsurprising that here is where the Burger would be found. It wasn't technically a restaurant, actually, it was more like a Hawker Center for white folk, which is kind of a conundrum in and of itself, but it worked somehow. And nestled between the beer bar and the Indian food -- lo, the Burger. True to Singaporean fashion, you don't get much choice where the Burger is involved, nor do they care to tell you anything about it before they serve it to you except that it is beef and you may have cheese on it. Actually, they didn't say you could have cheese on it, I just told them to put cheese on it, after asking with big puppy dog eyes whether or not it was possible. So they put this monster down in front of me and I quickly realize that they've put not only cheese and mayonnaise on the burger, but also caramelized onions. I'm not a big fan of onions on the whole, but I figured: what the hell. Try something new. So I took a big ol' bite, and -- holy crap -- there are onions ALL UP in this burger. Cooked right into the patty itself. And I have to tell y'all -- it was delicious. So, thank you, Singapore. Your onion-mayonnaise-cheesy-burger of goodness is one for the books.

In other news, I've been working on a full-length play about grave-robbing in London in 1826, and a feature length movie about space pirates and an intergalactic civil war -- so, needless to say, that's why I've been too busy to blog of late. I also got incredibly sick a few weeks ago, after I spent my Asian Halloween drinking and dancing in the rain on Arab Street, which I hesitate to say I regret doing, despite the subsequent week of plague. There's something magical about getting drunk and dancing in the street in your bare feet while locals pound trashcans and drums on the curb, cheering you on. Might be worth the fever. But I'm not really in a hurry for a repeat performance, so don't worry.

Richard Wesley, the head of the Tisch Dramatic Writing Department, was here visiting last weekend -- we of the writing department convened at a restaurant here in S'pore that specializes in Peranakan food. I ate a dish called ayam buah keluak, which involves the poisonous nut from a tree in Indonesia, the fruit of which is called a "football fruit". The nut is poisonous until detoxified in very specific ways, and at least one of them involves burying it in ash for like two weeks or something. Complicated stuff. So they cook it and take it out of the shell, mash it down into a paste, and then stuff it back into the shell, and later on you come along with your little nut-spoon and scoop it out and eat it. I can compare it to the mole sauce of Mexican cuisine, is very, very weird. But I ate it and did not die, so I'll take it. I've resolved never to eat blowfish unless I'm in Japan.

Look, a picture!

We're writers, look at

I've also been working on a script with my new friend Lizz, called King Con, which she will set about filming in the months to come -- it's about anime and cosplay, and so you can all imagine how tickled I am.

Look, another picture!

There's me and Lizz at the Halloween party -- before the drunk, and the dancing, and the rain. She went as Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, and that's my drunken, artistic attempt at drawing Starbuck's tattoo on her arm with eyeliner. Trust me, it looked better before the rain.

At any rate, now you can all see that I am not dead. And that I have not forgotten you. And that I am busy, but I'm still managing to have fun as the occasion arises.

Tune in next time, sports fans, when SEAN makes her debut in Singapore, and on the rampant adventures of the Intrepid Non-traveler. Right here, at


20 November 2009

My plant is still alive, which is more than can be said for certain sections of my brain.

More to come.

05 October 2009

Just wanna send a quick shout-out to Mama Ellis -- it's her birthday!


Have a glass of wine and relax on this, your ::garblegarble::th birthday!

Love you. :)

01 October 2009

Just a quick update for all you worriers out there (hello, Parents!), as news of the gigantic earthquake yesterday in Indonesia siphoned at last to the States, I have been getting a buttload of emails from y'all wondering if I'm okay.

Never you fear -- I slept straight through it, and didn't feel a tremor.

That being said, please keep the Indonesians in your prayers in the coming weeks, because the 'quake and subsequent tsunami has been totally devastating to Sumatra.