Julia Saner;

“Going up the red carpet is something that can change a career. Having to show up in front of hundreds of photographers screaming your name is a kind of weird barometer of your celebrity… well, let’s just say it’s not a moment where you want to miss on your outfit.

But let me tell you that, in Cannes, everything is organized around it. Hairdressers, make up artists and stylists are walking around the hotels like crazy, and each couture house has a suite full of fantastic evening gowns. Jewels are the final touch. What is funny is that when jewels are handed to you, they come with a bodyguard…

In these pictures are the last minutes before Julia Saner goes walking up the steps. She’s wearing a stunning Pucci dress and Chopard jewels… Look at that emerald! So beautiful I am out of words…” – Garance Dore

Just had a really awesome day with fantastic meetings on the progress of investigations. Sometimes I really love my job. You feel as though you are getting somewhere. A small team, but everyone’s really earnest, and brilliant. I learn so much from them, all the time.

I’ve moved on to social reading, The Accidental Billionaires – glamourized version of the start-up of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg, and I’m zeons late because the movie, The Social Network, was released so long ago. Plus, my best friend Irving wrote this great review of it (and he never likes modern movies):

“It’s been advertised as the movie about our cyber-technoid generation but I see it more in the vein of the American dream type of story – the facebook element is pretty superfluous to the whole plot. Mark Zuckerberg/Jesse Eisenberg could had discovered anything – so long as it was something that would make him look cool. And in today’s day and age – what could be cooler than being the CEO (you bitches!) of a 500 million Finals club?

It’s the ‘bitches’ part that summarises what the movie is about for me – along with the two assholes line in the movie (‘You’re not an asshole Mark, you’re just trying so hard to be one’). The Social Network is about that self-important attitude that tells you that you deserve to be something great or alternatively be with someone great that leads to a kind of failed attempt to reconcile intellectual arrogance with a desire to be part of the cool group at school. It’s that angle of the movie which I found the most fascinating and even now I’m not sure whether I’ve made up my mind about whether I approve of Jesse Eisenberg’s character or not – which is perhaps one of the best complements I can give to a movie – that it opens itself to interpretation.

There’s a similar ‘in your face’ attitude to the movie as Fight Club (same director), except this time it’s a more subtle ‘I’m doing things that no one in this room is intellectually or creatively capable of doing’ sort of rebellion rather than the merely physical sort – an attitude which seems to be really popular among audiences. We all laugh at quotes like that because we’re rooting for Mark Zuckerberg – we know that FB is a (huge) success – we like to be on the winning smart side – we get a malevolent dose of joy at seeing dumb(er) people being put down. We like it when someone seemingly ordinary with everyday troubles of fitting in turns around and punches everyone in the face with a website that has everyone crawling on their knees begging you to let them use it.

It’s fun and fulfilling to see smart people being recognised for doing smart things. That is the American dream storyline in action.

What makes The Social Network more than just a genre picture is seeing all the bits and pieces that were left behind on the way to success, leaving a bittersweet feeling that nothing at all has changed in his life despite all that success. That trait of self-importance carries with it both the ambish, without which Mark Zuckerberg would never had succeeded, as well as the epithet of emotional unfulfillment. On the one hand, it’s hard to blame Mark for wanting to prove his ability. On the other hand, what’s so great about being in a Finals club anyway? What’s the personal motive behind that?

I really liked this movie. The dialogue runs at a screwball pace – in that witty self referential way which I love where the dialogue falls over backwards on itself – you can never anticipate what will come up next. Don’t miss the first 10 minutes.”

Hey Irving, I now know what you were talking about, and I loved the film!

I remember the days when facebook suddenly broke out on campus. Suddenly everyone was on it, posting photographs, events, cancelled lectures/notes all came flooding through fb, campaigning took place through facebook, and it was so fun flooding D’s and J’s walls haha. It was in early 2006 for me, and since then I suppose I am a guilty facebook addict, though less so now.
J and I met up for dinner, and he told me, amongst others, of some Top Gear host who started up a programme on old toys and created, amongst others, a two-storey house made of lego.
The above photograph  – resembles a pretty toy town, the kind you find with coloured toy tracks. But its actually an aerial photograph of Rekjavik, Iceland – I do want to visit one day.
S and I were talking about hosting a dinner in a wild forest setting. Something a little messy, a little lux, with hot candles and a free spirit, a little bit of jewish songs and too much alcohol, traditional dishes and old wooden cutlery. S came from Canada and rode horses for most of her childhood, ended up in law and has now started her own hedge fund (its so fun telling what the boys to do, she says) and we used to cook together on thursday nights in the summer. S loves sunflowers, turkey and carrots, and stockings with cherry emblems.
In my conversations with S, I always feel so inspired- there is nothing in the world that can stop what we can do together – we can cook for hours and eat by the fire and talk about art and beautiful things. She describes her favourite horse and I tell her about poetry and the obscure theory I am obsessed about for the moment.
All this before we return to the real world where horses rarely tread and the way we live is much more mundane. But I dream of half Canada half Singapore every once in awhile.
A story shared by Christine which I think you will like, Irving:
“When I was in kindergarten, like many little girls, I had a Bonnebell glittery chapstick that I would wear around my neck like a necklace. I’m sure it was the “in” thing when I was five.I still remember her name; Annabell (I remember this fondly because it rhymes with Bonnebell). Annabell asked me if she could use my chapstick. Being the germaphobe that I was, I denied her of her request.Wrong choice of words.Annabell threatened to tell the teacher that I refused to “share”. We had just learned the art of “sharing” a day or two ago so I would’ve been totally fucked. I didn’t want to disappoint my teacher so I reluctantly handed her my beloved chapstick.

Annabell took my chapstick, rolled it all the way up, bit off a huge chunk, and ate it.

This is why I don’t share. ” 

Dear, you.
Forgot to write about the closing of the Fairmont Hotel jazz pub. All the good jazz places are just disappearing from Singapore. Singapore is just not a good place for jazz. Sharon and I were just chatting over lunch on how rare it is to find good places nowadays, those little smoky hideaways where people come in devotion to the music are a thing of the past. In Japan, America, even parts of Asia, the jazz culture is vibrant, reinventing itself, whereas here they try to fit the music into a straitjacket. Sometimes the rare gem comes by for a visit, but then somehow perhaps jazz people don’t make good publicists.
But I love Melissa, I’ve grown a little fond of hearing from her on weekend nights at the Mandarin Oriental Axis bar. In my last week in Fairmont, she was filling in and doing some pieces with a guitarist, but I really liked that intimacy. Forgetting everything but the music. People who come for the music. I think Melissa is a dear and her voice is honeysuckle.
The cocktails have such quirky names. But I think I’ll actually be able to coax Irving to have a Hemingway Daiquiri.

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