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The Great India Temple Tour

Henceforth referred to as the TGITT, or The Tour That Shall Not Be Named, which is probably too much of a mouthful.

I swear on my newly-wed wife Evangeline and her 13-inch screen, that I had no idea this 12-day trip was going to turn into one long temple visit. More precisely, 13 long temple visits, though I wasn’t spared the kindness of pacing it one temple per day at least. I was annoyed when on the very first day, they visited a city temple, and our family temple near our old home, but thought that was the extent of the devotion.

How wrong I was.

The next day, we visited Sri Padmanabaswamy Temple, known for its reclining statue of Lord Krishna, visible through intermittent doors. On our way to Alapuzha, we also made a stop at Attukal temple.

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December 30, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila

Originally posted on Sayoni Speak

A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila is a MTV reality dating show, with a twist: the bachelorette is a bisexual woman, and 16 guys and 16 girls will be competing for her heart. Now, normally, I don’t watch reality TV trash. And I watch dating show trash even less, and MTV trash takes the place at the bottom of the ladder. But I was introduced to it by a friend, and in a couple of episodes, I was hooked already. How could I miss a program like this, a pioneer in the visibility of lesbian, and more importantly, bisexual women?

Tila Tequila, the bachelorette of Vietnamese descent, whose real name is Tila Nguyen [now you see why she changed her name to something so much more porny], is an undeniably beautiful, sexy woman. Her beauty can be fully appreciated in all the various outfits she appears in the show, all of which she does justice [except that awful dress made of metal sheets she wore in the first episode]. She is a very picky, often unforgiving person with regards to her suitors, complete with a free-spirited, sometimes child-like personality.

The suitors are a good-looking bunch, that is to be expected, with the producers only picking people who look fairly good on camera. Some of the men seriously did look like male models. But what was pleasantly surprising was that the women were absolutely gorgeous too, and these were real lesbian women, not the fake ones in porn or on The L Word. Even the butch/andro women were good-looking, in my opinion. So, anyone who claims that The L Word is unrealistic because “the women are all thin and pretty”… please look at the line-up in Tila.

The show itself is as dramatic as you can get. Maybe more dramatic than The L Word. The men push each other into the water, the women try to tear each other’s hair apart, one lesbian tries to use her sex appeal to get rid of the men, people threaten to leave… you name it. More than once, I’ve had to wonder how scripted it is, because it seems so unrealistic, that all the drama that does not happen on camera on straight dating shows happen on this show. Or maybe the producers deliberately threw in some unstable personalities. Or maybe they were “encouraged” to do so. Who knows – what I do know that it makes for a lot of entertainment for me, in front of the computer screen.

One major problem I had with the show is how they chose to approach bisexuality. They pitted girls against guys, and it was fairly obvious from the elimination each week that the producers instructed Tila to keep an equal 1:1 ratio of girls and guys as far as possible. Which really isn’t how it should work… this is a game of love after all, and the girls and guys are equal competitors. Most of the “challenges” in the show, which they had to win in order to win “alone time” with Tila, were organised along girl-guy lines, which did really make me want to hit the stop button. ((What did surprise me was that the girls consistently won most of the challenges, which were rather physical.)) Bisexuality isn’t about whether it is a girl or a guy, but whether the person is right for you. Tila herself made a lot of “I like girls for this, but I like guys for that” remarks, which made me roll my very bisexual eyes, and kept saying she had to figure out whether she really liked girls or guys. The suitors made similar remarks too. And the very next moment, she would justify herself saying she was bisexual, and was attracted to both guys and girls, and that no one understood her.

Only in the end, I think, she finally understood it wasn’t about choosing between the sexes. At least one person has gained enlightenment. One down, rest of the world to go.

Rating:


A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila – Full Episodes
A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila – MTV Homepage

From this part onwards, I’ll be talking about what actually did happen on the show, including the ending, so if you do not want spoilers, do not read ahead.
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December 30, 2007 Posted by | LGBTQ, TV Shows | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A White-washed view

What the Bible Says – And Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality
Rev. Mel White, noted pro-GLBT Christian author

I am not used to seeing a well-reasoned and well-substantiated argument from a Christian point of view, so this is notable for at least some ounce of logic and historical accuracy, and respect towards science.

P.S. Got this from Anj’s blog.

December 27, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Home

It wasn’t my choice to come back to India at this time, but now that I’m here, I’m glad I did. Travelling in the car, it feels like the start of an emotional pilgrimage for me, a chance to wash away the recent events of my life in the fast-flowing river that is India. Travelling on the roads here is rarely, if ever, comfortable The SUV rocks on the newly-paved roads of Trivandrum, making me hold on to the hand-grips for dear life.

It is India I see out of the window, men in lungis, women in churidars, dusty roads and bad traffic, horns honking away, roads coming out of nowhere, circle junctions which are more like mis-shapen asteroids, signs hanging precariously onto the street, advertisements plastered on gigantic billboards every 10 feet, and on every wall available. Continue reading

December 27, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tila’s Pick

Tila and Bobby

Tila picked Bobby. Surprise surprise, saw it coming 5 episodes ago. I know exactly how she feels, loving two people, but eventually picking the one she is in love with, even though Dani is the sweetest, cutest person on earth. Sometimes in love, you don’t pick the better person. You pick the one who makes you feel crazily in love, gets your oxytocin flowing. And sometimes that person is not someone who will necessarily make you happy, and might even have made you cry, and might have hurt you in the past. But we are human beings, and we go for the possibility of happiness, despite knowing we are going to get hurt.

And all that sounds so very Grey’s Anatomy. Actually Tila’s choice reminds me of Meredith. A lot. And Meredith reminds me most uncomfortably of myself.

In the most shocking moment of the show….

Dani

Dani wore eyeliner!

Danipicture-6.png

And then again, after she was rejected. She looks really good with it… almost Shane-like.

Before anyone asks, I don’t give a damn that Tila picked a guy. It is her life, her love. And it is really about who you fall in love with. It has got very little to do with whether it is a guy or a girl, and this proves nothing about lesbians or bisexual women. And I would say the same if it were a girl.

And still I pine away for Brandi… yes, I like emotional girls. So sue me.

December 24, 2007 Posted by | LGBTQ, Relationships, TV Shows | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Digging Themselves In Deeper

When I first read about Digg.com’s censorship of Lesbiatopia, I didn’t find anything remotely surprising about it. The issue has developed further. I don’t know how many people actually use Digg in Singapore, and might be affected by this. I myself don’t use Digg, never felt the need to invite internet junk into my Google Reader. I figure I’m never going to read 1/8 of what is on there.

Paula also made a point in her post, which is that the internet is dominated and catered for, by straight men, mostly geeks, who have no trouble objectifying women. I concur with her. The Singapore Daily, for example, who is run by anonymous editors as far as I can determine, posts daily pictures of women in various states of undress. And while I do not grumble about that, I have to ask, where are the pictures of men? Are they assuming their audience is entirely straight male, because surely, women (and gay men) blog too. Anyone who has played a MMPORG such as WoW will testify to the abundance of adolescent male testosterone in the game, asking for the female characters to take off their clothes, using the word “rape” and “gay” in the most unpleasant, offensive ways.

I hope that Digg gets the lashing they deserve. And I hope their example will not be followed by local aggregrators.

December 24, 2007 Posted by | Geek | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Alapuzha

24 hours of cruising around in a very slow-moving houseboat on the wide lagoons of Alapuzha, with nothing to do except eat, talk and watch the scenery.

The food wasn’t quite up to my standard, or what I was told it would be. I was told that they would be catching fresh fish and cooking them for us, but the only time we had fish was for lunch on the first day, and that they bought from the market. But it was still fresh and tasty. The service was fairly good,

For those interested, a two-bedroom boat costs about 10, 000 Rps [I think]. The view is great, and it is a really serene getaway. For those paranoid about privacy, I wouldn’t quite recommend it as a honeymoon spot, unless you don’t mind two or three guys on the same boat as you, cooking and sailing for you.

December 22, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Best Birthday Ever

I guess I should have suspected something N kept insisting I go out with her today. But I didn’t, and I spend two hours loafing about in Orchard, to be then dragged along to a hotel room for a made-up reason, and then have the door open and have a stream of foam-spray right in my face and all over me, with people shouting “Happy Birthday!”
Thanks guys, for the best birthday celebration I’ve ever had. Nothing makes a girl feel more loved than have her friends plan a surprise birthday party two weeks in advance, and be told how much she was missed in the two weeks she was gone. Thanks for your really generous gifts. And of course, how can I not thank you for all the embarrassing things you guys made me do while playing game of Bachelorette Roulette, where I was designated the sole player and hence the only one doing the dares. [And sorry if I’ve traumatised some of you for life with some of the dares I was forced to do.]
Seriously… thank you. With all the things happening in my life recently, thanks for this one night which made me feel loved, and really happy. Thanks to B especially, who organised this party, and to all those who spared their valuable time for me.
Rose bouquet
 Flowers from Liv. Probably the largest bouquet I’ve ever gotten, consisting of 20 flowers. And possibly the only.
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“I heart Freshman Girls” from N. I’ll make sure I’ll wear that once I get to second year.
 Grey’s Anatomy Season 3
Grey’s Anatomy Season 3 DVDs, also from N
 iWork’08
iWork’08, from seven of my friends – Irene, Anj, Al, Liv, C, B, XT
You guys are absolutely awesome!

December 22, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments

Night Take-offs

Night take-offs are something else altogether. I think it is the lights that dot the landscape like so many Christmas lights.

It always amazes me how fast the ground leaves you the second you take off. One second you were looking at the runway lights, the ground solid beneath you, and the next the engines roar, making the ground tremble with their sheer power, and I am up above it all, pressed against the seat of the inclining plane. I can see the PIE, the palm trees forming a neat line along the bright highway. It is all so orderly, so obedient, so Singaporean. Continue reading

December 20, 2007 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Back!

  • Firstly, I had nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing to do with the itinerary. So over the next few days, I’ll be writing a travelogue of a trip I was practically dragged into
  • I had no idea this was going to turn into The Great India Temple Tour. Refer to above point
  • I had 300 blog entries in my Google Reader and 80 emails collectively, even though I checked my email 2 times. Still haven’t finished reading them
  • Thanks to all those people who remembered and wished me a Happy Birthday.

December 20, 2007 Posted by | Announcements | Leave a comment