Monday, January 19

One rainy day

The word "soggy" is so appropriate.

I like the word "ripples", too.

Held captive by the rain at the void deck.

I need an umbrella.

Everyone has an umbrella. Some even have a trolley.

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Thursday, January 15

In this job, I've had to look high and low for the following:
-- very tall men and very short men who are high-fliers [Difficulty level: 7. No one wanted to talk about how their height helped/hindered their careers.]
-- date-rape victims and potential rapists [Difficulty level: 6.5. No one wanted to use their real names.]
-- women who get drunk almost every night [Difficulty level: 5. Surprisingly not that difficult, many drunkards around.]

But my latest last-minute assignment takes the cake. I have at most three days to find three virgin couples. And they must be willing to have their pictures plastered in the national papers. I may have better luck photographing a dodo.

But if by any chance you do know of any such rare species, please please pretty please contact me. Can you sense my mounting desperation?

Wednesday, January 14

Update on the fame whore: The shameless man just called me to remind me that my photographer had not sent him the photos we took, which we were under no obligation to do so. I told him my photographer, who was assigned to go to Hong Kong for Anita Mui's big send off, just got back today and was not in the office.

And the fame whore had the cheek to try to pressure me by saying something like: "Oh, Hrithik is asking for them."

As if a million-rupee mega-star from Bollywood can be bothered about a lousy photo with his non-friend in Singapore. Yeah, right.

Monday, January 12

"I miz you, my lurve."

He says he wants to see me again. He says: "I miz you a lot."

I miz having someone miz me.

But the one I miz the most right now is my lurve, who has upped and moved to a new office.

Friday, January 9

Me: My lurve, how often do you cut your bangs?
My lurve: I'm going to cut next week.
Me: That wasn't my question...
My lurve: This is the first time I have bangs.
Me: That wasn't my question...
My lurve: Okay okay! You can have sex with the bartender.

Thursday, January 8

I believe I have met the most shameless fame whore in my three-year career of interviewing these so-called stars.

On Monday, I went in to work to find an email waiting for me, saying something like: “My friend, who is a famous Bollywood star, is in Singapore. Would you like to interview him? Call me.” And there was a handphone number given at the bottom.

So the ed asked me to check it out. My phone conversation with the fame whore went something like this:

Me: Hi, I’m calling about your friend who is in town. Who is he?
Him: Hrithik Roshan.
Me: Sorry, who?
Him: Hrithik Roshan.
Me: Sorry, can you spell that for me please?
Him: You don’t watch Bollywood movies?
Me: Erm, no.
Him: Don’t you have any Indian colleagues?
Me: Erm, no.
Him: He’s as big as Shah Rukh Khan. You’ve heard of Shah Rukh Khan?
Me: Erm, yes. May be you can spell his name for me and I can ask someone from another department.
Him: H-R-I-T-H-I-K R-O-S-H-A-N.
Me: Can I ask which are some of the movies he’s been in?

About 10 minutes, later, I was still copying down titles of movies such as Koi Mil Gaya and Kabhi Khusi Kabhi Gham. Then I hung up and turned to the small gay boy who sits next to me and asked: “Eh, who is Hrithik Roshan? Is he big?”

“Oh my god, he’s huge,” he exclaimed. “He’s very good-looking and he can dance.”

Next, I went up to the only Indian colleague I have, and pretty much got the same response: “He is not the next big thing. He is already a big thing.”

So I went up to my ed and told her that the mystery Bollywood star in town is Hrithik Roshan. And she squealed: “Hrithik Roshan! Go interview him lah.”

I called the guy again, and acted all contrite for being so ignorant about Bollywood and asked him to arrange an interview for me please.

Him: I have two conditions for arranging for the interview. The producer of his latest movie is also here and I want you to interview him too. And I want a photo of me and Hrithik to be in the papers together.
Me: Erm, OK, can I check with my editor and let me get back to you.
Him: I just want to have my 30 seconds of fame in the newspaper.
Me: Erm, OK. Have you told any other newspapers that he is here?
Him: No, I only told you guys because you are the biggest.
Me: OK, can you not tell anyone? We want to have the exclusive.
Him: Sure, if you can get my photo in the newspaper.

So, after a lot of to and fro about the timing, date and venue of the interview -- I absolutely refused a 10pm interview in his hotel room -- we set up something for the next morning in the hotel lobby. I stressed that my photographer would be with me.

At this point in time, the newsroom was quite abuzz, not only because we were scooping The New Paper, but also because there was a possibility that he was a fraudster.

When I met his “friend” before the interview, he kept stressing to me that I should not tell Hrithik Roshan that he had alerted the papers and that I should just say I heard about it because we had friends in common. And it turned out they were not even friends, just that they both knew the producer guy.

Finally, after a lot of anxious waiting -- “Hrithik is taking a shower” -- the star arrived. And ohmigod, he was not just the handsomest Indian man I’ve ever met, he was pretty darned charming too. Good looks, I can resist, but charm! As the small gay boy needled me later: “You regret not going to his hotel room last night, right?”

As I struggled to maintain my professionalism, the hotel staff forgot all about theirs and went mad taking photos of him.

The interview went very well, he was obliging to a fault, if not exactly giving exciting answers. But just gazing into those mesmerising ice-blue eyes was enough. Those who know me well enough know by now that I seldom gush and was unimpressed even by Brad Pitt in person.

So, as I was finishing up the interview, I shook his hand and noticed that he had an extra thumb. I filed that info away to check out later, to see if he was indeed the real thing or a very convincing look-a-like.

Rushed back to the office and pounded out the story in two hours, and made sure his shameless “friend” got his wish of appearing in the papers. During the interview, he even brought his wife along to join in the photo taking, so in the end, we had gorgeous photos of Hrithik alone [which we used really big], ugloo photos of Hrithik, the produer and the fame whore together [which we used small] and useless photos of Hrithik, the fame whore and his wife [which we had no reason to use].

And after checking with his No. 1 fan in the office, who also happened to be the department’s office assistant, I ascertained that Hrithik Roshan did indeed have an extra thumb on his right hand. So, there was confirmation that he was the real McCoy and we could run the story without worries. Phew.

The story appeared on Wednesday, but as I expected, the fame whore called me up in the morning. His name was misspelt on the Internet version of the story, and he demanded a correction immediately, so he could ask all his relatives in India to log on to read it.

Then came the most shameless part: “By the way, my wife is very upset that her photo didn’t appear.”

I gave him some weak-assed excuse that there were space constraints and hung up abruptly. I hope Hrithik Roshan never returns to Singapore, because if he ever does, this fame whore is sure to bug me again. And I never want to deal with him again, even if it is to meet someone as gorgeous as Hrithik Roshan.

Wednesday, January 7

“Your picture byline doesn’t do you justice.”

The best compliment received at the office party, even though it was totally unintended. And it counts for more because it came from a gay man, so he obviously didn’t have any ulterior motives.

Saturday, January 3

To my horror, while watching a TV trailer for The Addams Family, it struck me I’m doomed to never find the love I crave. Because my role models are the eternally undead Gomez and Morticia.

I love their undying devotion and the way they express it. He swoons when she utters French words and plants those exceedingly silly kisses all the way from her fingers up to her arm. She acts all nonchalant, like she doesn’t care, then they embrace and kiss and combust into flames.

A dysfunctional and macarbe love, that’s what I’m looking for. And I’m not even joking, that’s the most frightening part.

Friday, January 2

So, I gave in and kissed him on New Year. I wasn’t even that drunk, so that’s no excuse.

Then, when he called -- three times -- the next afternoon, I didn’t pick up. What a bitch I am.

Thursday, January 1

languid adjective
1 very slow and relaxed: He lifted his hand in a languid fashion and pushed back his blond curls.
2 a languid occasion or period of time is relaxed and pleasant: a languid evening.
3 literary someone who is languid is weak or ill.

Word of the day. Very apt considering how we passed the last couple of hours of 2003 and first few hours of 2004 in an alcohol-fueled daze. A very languid evening indeed.

Word of the year, even. Languidly is the way I like to do things. I intend to be very slow and very relaxed in 2004. And while I don't want to be weak or ill, I am resigned to languishing in my baikar fate.

I'm wishing all of you a languid year ahead, whether you like it or not.