Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Kiss

It's an old drama (yes, 2007 release is considered old already), but I just finished watching it (finally). At first I didn't really into this drama after watching the first episode because I got too irritated with Mio (the main heroine) for her selfish brat act. But, one Melbourne deary was a fan of it, keep ranting about the drama on her daily emails especially on Yuuki sensei (yes, I have to admit it, he's very cute and adorable). So, there I was, getting addicted to this drama and finished it this weekend as part of my JLPT learning (yeah right, *smirk*).

First Kiss is about Fukunaga Mio who decides to spend her possibly last summer with her brother, Kazuki, before she undergoes a 50-50 chance of survival heart surgery. This came to surprise to Kazuki who hasn't seen Mio for about 10 years and finds how different she is from his imagination. The Mio now is so hateful with bitchy attitude (the reason why I stop watching the drama). But as the drama moving on, Mio finds love and happiness and change her whole attitude towards life and doesn't want to let go.

Overall, it's a touching drama after enduring the first 3 episodes of bitchy Mio. But, other than Mio, Yuuki sensei will be another reason why we ladies pass our endurance test of watching drama. He portrays a young doctor who is considered by his bosses to 'care too much for the patients' and in the end as a character who will fight for his feelings and doesn't want to let it go just because of his career **ooo so touching**.
FYI, the girl plays Mio is Inoue Mao from Hana Yori Dango and Yuuki sensei is Hiraoka Yuuta from Gokusen (no wonder looks familiar) and Proposal Daisakusen (another must watch drama).

Another point why this drama can be so touching is the OST. They play the OST from string to piano version during the tear jerker scenes and original version during the happy moments and it fits nicely. For me, the OST stucks in my head and now my brain keeps rerunning the tunes which is why I have it on the imeem (alas, I only can find the music box version) on the top and the youtube file below.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Chicken Patties and Orange Salad

Still commemorating the salad week, now I start venturing other alternative for greenies because as our logic says, eating greenies for 1 straight week can be sickening if you're not a vegetarian. So, with that in mind, there I was, yesterday at Carefour's fresh produce section, pondering for almost 1 hour, practically memorizing all the price combination. FYI, now I can tell you how much is the minced chicken per kg compare to the filleted chicken breast (it's more expensive, btw). Or, how much is the towan fish compare to Cod fish, and start to calculate how much 1 bowl of salad will cost you after all the combination is calculated. Surprisingly you don't need excel spreadsheet to forecast how much you'll spend for 1 week salad combination. And even more amazing, I can memorize all these price tags with just one glance but can't even remember people's names that I just meet.

So during my venture with my brain keep working on combination and possibilities, one item hit me in the head, Orange! Why didn't I think of it before? It's CHEAP (cheaper than those greenies definitely), full of Vitamin C, and good for your skin, and it has flavor. So here is the next salad recipe.
2 small chicken patties, diced (recipe below)
2 oranges, peeled and diced
1/4 can chick peas (obviously what's left over from my previous salad experiment)
Dressing: Heinz Light Salad dressing (this time I'm too lazy to make my own dressing), max 2 tbsp
Alternative dressing: Honey mayo (mix mayo and honey with a dash of lemon pepper)
Assemble: Throw everything into a bowl and mix well
Recipe for chicken patties
500gr minced chicken
1 packet cilantro or Thai parley
zest of 2 oranges, thinly sliced and chopped
3 tbsp corn flour
Seasoning: lots of lemon pepper
1. Set oven to 200C
2. Mix all ingredients and seasoning well in a bowl. Make sure all the corn flour is well incorporated
3. Align baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease it with cooking spray. Using 2 spoons make huge chicken balls, lay it on the foil and flatten it. Repeat the step.
4. Spray the top of patties with the cooking spray and bake it for about 15 minutes or until it's well done.
Salad tips (yep, another one :p)
1. Do mix and match your greenies with fruit. It's fun. And it adds color to your bowl :). Try fruits like apple, pear, all kind of berries. melons (cantaloupes will be nice). Even the nasty watermelons are worth trying (I don't eat watermelons).
2. Never store fruits together with your greenies. While greenies can be prepared the night before, fruits will be the other way around. The best it to always cut them only when you want to eat them. But off course for busy bees that will be very tough, but you still want to eat fruits. So, the solution is buy an airtight container. Off course this container doesn't apply for fruits like apples, bananas, pears and the likes, which leads to point #3.
3. Soak cut apples/pears with salt water for about 1/2 hour and rinse them before storage. But this old school method won't last your fruits in their cheeky clean feeling color for that long too. Definitely not 24 hours. So fresh cut is still the best. Do allow 10 minutes of cutting fruits in your schedule when preparing salad for your lunches.
4. Add more protein to your bowl. Nuts and peas will be good. I initially want to use pine nuts instead of chick peas. But to my dismay, I can't find any pine nuts. I do find some sunflower seeds in the organic aisle. But why do I want kuaci on my salad? And pay a hefty price to buy it just because it's ORGANIC? So As usual, i try to find cheaper alternatives, and I remember Rachel Ray very often mentions to store chick peas can in your kitchen, it'll come in handy. Thanks Rachel.
5. Fresh fruits give you hassle because you have to cut it? You can have dried food instead. They sell from dried cranberries, blueberries, strawberries (surprised?), cherries, pineapples, apricots. mangoes, orange skins and even now durian is dried. But off course when fruit is dried, their sugar content is also higher than when they're fresh, so you might want to limit the usage.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Butterhead Lettuce Salad with Chick Peas and Balsamic Vinaigrette

It turns out that living healthy in Singapore is not cheap, folks. It seems like anything green and related to 'ang moh' eg. lettuces and the gang are priced like a gold in here. With a 5SGD bill, guess what you get, just 2 cute bouquet of red and green crispy lettuces, or a very, very slim romaine lettuce. I have to carefully reading all the descriptions on the price tags hanging above those lettuces. And I don't even bothered to go beyond lettuce. If the main salad ingredients are priced like this, it'll be more horrifying to see what's the price for the topping. This makes me miss US, where lettuce are abundant and very much bigger and cheaper.
So with this in mind, I have to be smarter and more creative in what I should throw to my salad bowl, or I'll spend equally like if I buy any salad from a bistro.
After mix and match, here is a new recipe that at least still fits in my budget.
1 pack of butter head lettuce (consists of 2 cute bouquet, just nice for 4 portion), cut to bite size
2 red bell pepper, diced thinly
1 can chick peas, washed and strained
4 eggs, hard boiled, sliced
Vinaigrette: 100ml balsamic vinegar, 50ml olive oil, lemon pepper to your taste, marjoram to your taste, mixed
1. On the bottom place lettuce, then bell pepper, top it with the chick pea and eggs
2. Drizzle the Vinaigrette for finish, 3 tbsp is enough

Storage tips:
1. All ingredients MUST be dry before go into the fridge. With that said, it means that everything must be strained to the last drop of water. Lettuce is the most particular. You'll get a rotten lettuce if you store it wet inside a Tupperware. One way to avoid this is to put 1 layer of strainer inside your Tupperware. This way, at least the water stick to your lettuce will be slowly go down.
2. Separate all the leavies and greenies separate. Mixing them up will cause them to rotten faster. It's the same principle when you see pre-packed salad bowl in supermarkets. They separate your dressings, croutons and greenies, so that it lasts long.
3. Greenies should not be stored more than 3 days, unless you like to have your greenies with dry and red colored ends. I'm very particular about this and that's why I'm so fussy about storage.
4. Eggs should be stored in whole, not cut. Only cut when you want to eat it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Salad Week

I finally reach to my limit of MSG intake and declare a lost and 'enough with the freaking MSG.' That means, no more mee siam, no more freaking economical rice, and no more ANY hawker food. I just recently realize that even the freaking Japanese restaurant use MSG. They don't call it Ajinomoto for no reason, folks. But this declaration means another thing, I must be diligent to stay in the kitchen after work which can be quite dreading. The laziness always sink into your head when you got back from the gym or worse, work, at around 9pm plus and you still have to think of what to cook. That can't do anymore.
Starting today I'll start a healthy diet for my recently poor nourished body. Today I had my lunch with a bowl of green salad and a bagel, and turn out it's not that bad. The bagel surely help to keep me from starving, after all 1 bagel = 300 Cal. So tonight I whipped myself a tuna mayo salad w/ some greenies. And I still have 2 portion left for tomorrow.
What I can hope for is that this diet lasts more than 1 week, or another saying is that my will and determination lasts for more than 1 week. I think that's good enough for me. 1 week with no MSG should at least lift some of my discomfort. So some support is needed to get through the first week :). If you see me eating greenies stuff, don't assume that I have cross over to the vegetarian lala land, I'm just trying to eat something healthier for a change.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday's blues?

Believe it or not, people can have a Sunday blues, but why, you might ask. Off course if you think tomorrow is Monday and you have to move your butt early in the morning to work, you'll have a Sunday blues. And this phenomenon is start sinking into my head now. I have 2 full-charged with electromagnetic vibes laptops in front of me. One for work and one for personal usage. Off course the thought of switching to my work laptop is very dreading. And the dilemma starts to kick in too. The train of thoughts of should I do it now, or should I do it tomorrow, flows in an alarming rate. Bubbles of plans for what priority items to do swarming, clouding the brain cells that was empty during the weekend. But to no avail, I still need to do something about work tonight or else, tomorrow will be another chaotic day. Sigh... I guess this is what it feels like having yourself in the working class.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I came across this Japanese blog (click here to check it out, it's pretty interesting, especially for fellow foodies like me) when I was browsing for pasta on Japanese Google. The blog features Motherleaf, one of the many Japanese cafe chains. Then, I proceed to Motherleaf's website, who would not be after looking at those tempting waffles and pasta glaring at you seduce you to eat them? So click here to symphatize with me. I'm still full with my Shokudo pasta, but after seeing these, my appetite revived and I do wonder why I'm getting rounder and rounder...
On the link above, you'll find that luscious waffle with topping that I've never seen in Singapore. It gives a new meaning to waffles. You'll want it for all yourself, no sharing is allowed! Got to give a hands up for Ruru, the blogger, her blog made my blog so plain and she knows where to go for good food. But then again, it's Japan, where tons of good food is up for grabs in front of your eyes, whereas in here you have to scrap and analyze the not so honest or rather exaggerating food reviews.

Shokudo Pasta

Today was another extreme makan sessions for me. After a full set lunch of black curry rice from Sun Dining at Chimes, I still have another round of pasta at Shokudo. I came to know this pasta join after having lunch with my department on some blue moons ago. Singapore do have a very limited Japanese pasta, let alone a good one! Off course it still can't beat the small smokey joint of St George in Seattle (heard that the place got bigger and smoke-free now, what a big difference from my time). But then again, after my second experience of eating pasta there, I still say that Shokudo is still better than Waraku in terms of value and quality. It left me with the impression that only go to Waraku when it's ladies' night, meaning 50% off the menu.
I had their basil sauce last time, which was nice, and this time I was lured by the wobbly poached egg over the creamy asparagus and hottate pasta. Off course, we also have to order the thin crust pizza as my deary may not have this kind of foot once she steps on the land of koalas next week. For our pasta, we had the option to choose either spaghetti or penne, but we'd rather stick with the original. I was a bit disappointed when my pasta came because the poached egg was rather runny than sit still on top of my pasta, thus looked uglier than the cute picture on the menu. But that negative feeling was swept away when the pasta went to my mouth. I'm usually take a step back when I encounter a creamy based pasta because it's so sinful and fattening. But this time I was so curious that I stepped out of my comfort zone. And it turned out not a wrong decision. The cream was lighter than I expected and I managed to finish my pasta and didn't feel so lethargic thereafter. It turned out that asparagus with hottate can make a good combination of pasta, thus another new point of learning here, too.
And off course what farewell dinner that doesn't end up with dessert. And this is another reason why I dragged my friend to Shokudo. I know my friend is an ice cream lover, and Shokudo may be the 'it' place when it comes to ice cream. Ice cream normally was not my forte as my teeth normally can't sustain the icy cold sensation creeping from my teeth nerves. But, when it comes to Shokudo's strawberry ice cream, I'd say, to hell with my sensitive teeth. And true enough my friend's black sesame ice cream screamed the same thing to her.
So all in all, I was satisfied with my food in Shokudo, while feeling guilty now as the fat start to sink on my stomach as I'm sitting on the couch now. But, as a foodie always say, We live to eat, not eat to live. So might as well enjoy it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Listings Starts Again....

Time sure flies too fast! By the time you realize it, Christmas chorus has started to chirp from every corners from malls to even my office's lobby. Then it hits you, year end is coming, and what have I done this year? I'm still busy in chaotic mode especially with the coming Quarter end and with all the forecasting, checklists and recons to be submitted in timely if not urgently manners. All of these will keep me as a buzzing busy bee until the end of the year. But, what's next? What's the plan for next year? Surely as we grow older and with all the recessions looming around, planning becomes more and more crucial for next year.
So, I start to carve my own to-do list for next year, and apparently my list is getting longer and longer, and it looks like I'm going to be a busy bee too next year. Some of my must-do items in 2009 are:
  1. Housing related ~ Pay property tax, pay TV license (totally forget that Singapore also do have TV license) and the bills are already laying on my table screamin at you 'Please pay!' Also, I have to renew my house loan, which means I have to do another loan shopping, calling all those banks, asking what's the rate and package that they're offering. Hopefully I'll lock in a lower interest rate thus lowering my payout amount.
  2. Immigration related ~ Renew my Singapore PR (yes! this is very important), renew my passport (though I rant and rant on it, I still have to do it), apply for US visa (another ranting but I still have to do it too, which much sighing)
  3. Further education related ~ Still stuck with CPA, and 2009 is full with dry subjects, ugh... so it'll be another saga to study read those materials
  4. Holiday related ~ in correlation to the immigration item, yep! I'm planning to go US in 2009. The will is firm that I must go US next year though, I still don't know what I'm going to do when I get there, but the point is, I have to get to US first, right? Have asked my boss for future off days and got an OK already, so I'm left with the visa.
  5. Fun related ~ OK, for this section, let me see. Hmm... With my current job, although I'm busy and work can be very hectic and stressful, surprisingly, I have more time at night than I'd ever before! So I've always been thinking that may be it's time for me to do other things that I like. Everybody knows I like food. So baking school is a top option. I've been eyeing to go for the UK City Guild 1-year certification, but I got put off before because of my master. But now as I'm taking CPA, it's a self study at your own pace, so it actually allows me to have more time on the weekdays to do other things and leave the studying to weekend section (this is the beauty of being single, you don't need to squeeze anything on weekend, just leisurely let the time pass through and do what you deem to be fit for the moment). A second option is language. I've been studying foreign language forever, but never move beyond the beginner level. I've tried and learned Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and even try to pick up French (but this one is a total failure). So, may be 2009 is time for me to further my language skill? That will be left to see.

So with that being said, I do have lots of things going on for me next year. Now comes the punching line, will I end up doing it in 2009? Or I will end up caving in again. You can list lots of things, but when it come to the doing it part, you'll end up in the spot that screaming the cliche, do I actually got the time for this? Can I afford to do this with so little time? Or just simply the worst, I don't have time for this. So, if you see me struggling to pass through next year, please give me a pad on my back because believe it or not, this girl really need it from time to time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mr. Children

Mr. Children is my first encounter with J-Rock, and I like J-Rock music since then. At that time, I didn't even know the term J-Rock, and even before I know J-Pop (I was one of the dorky kids whose house didn't have satellites). I just like the songs from this particular album that my brother bought in Singapore. That first song that made me a fan of Mr. Children is 'Dakishimetai.' The song is about loving someone by being there through adversity.
Included in the playlist also their latest single, 'Hanabi,' released on Sep 2008.
What I like about Mr Children is that their music is always different in terms of arrangement in each singles. Their theme and subject is also different from time to time. Something that rarely found in Johnny's Jr band. But the downside is that this irregularity results in not all Mr Children is easy on the ear. So, I end up skipping the songs that I don't really fond of when I play Mr Children's album. The good thing is that Mr Children compilation album is literally compilation, unlike V6, which tends to scatter their songs all over their singles and albums. Also, most of Mr Children's song was written by the lead vocal, Kazutoshi Sakurai. Though their music style differs from time to time, one thing that making it easy to recognize is Sakurai's vocal. I can easily tell Mr Children's song when it's aired on the radio, though I might not have heard it before or it's been long forgotten.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dance with The Wind

Another ballroom dance theme movie. And this time it's the Korean who made it. However, unlike its predecessors, Dance with The Wind tells a different storyline but with the same passion, the passion for dance.
In Korea, apparently ballroom dancing, unlike the Western counterparts, is identified as the dance that people do in bars which is involving naughty housewives and gigolos. So, it's a bit difficult for a man who really genuinely have the love to dance to express his passion, and he most of the time was being misunderstood as a gigolo, which he very much despised. The story ends with a heartwarming ending, and his search for
the dance that he's been wanting to have finally ended. This movie will leave you to ponder how far will you willing to go to pursue your passion, which in this case was done quite extreme.
Speaking of ballroom dancing theme movies, the hype was actually started by the Japanese with the title 'Shall We Dance?' which was released in 1996. The movie tells a story of how a man's life change after he discover the ballroom dancing. The boring life of salary man, which full of routine activities between work and family, makes him wonder of what's the meaning of his life. And he discover it with ballroom dancing. In Japan, where ballroom dancing is not really perceived as a man's sport, people are quite reluctant to admit to expressing themselves through this type of dancing. So the breakthrough that the main character have with ballroom dancing certainly emphasis the 'dare to be different' to obtain his own happiness. After all, everybody has the right to express their passions, as long as it doesn't hurt other people, off course.
So, with the success story of the Japanese counterpart, off course Hollywood would want to join the wagon. Thus, they make the remake (they're seems to be good at it now) in 2004 with the same movie title. Hollywood is not Hollywood if they don't throw in the big stars name in a remake movie. So they cast in Richard Gere as the salary man and Jennifer Lopez as the dance instructor. Although it's also a good movie, something is missing when you compare it with the Japanese version. My guess is because in Western culture, ballroom dancing is not a 'taboo'. People embrace dancing and the American salary man here doesn't have so much dilemma about his passion as what the Japanese salary man has.
In the end, it's all a good movies with the same message, pursuing your passion is liberating and give you the new meaning of life. What's better than enjoying life doing something you like?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baby Products

Yes, folks! Today is the first time I walk around the baby-care section in the department store. Not that I'm pregnant or whatever, but today I happened to be curious with my colleage's hype mode on baby bottles. What's so complicated about buying a baby bottle that you need to ponder and stressing about? Well, obviously I'm not a mother, yet.
So, there I was loitering around clueless at the baby section and my colleages all complaining why they end up with a son, not a daughter that they can do dress-up play on. Well, I can understand them after seeing how different between a boy and a girl baby clothing section. Baby boy's clothing only occupies about 15% (?) of the baby clothing section. And Goodness, the rest is all cheeky pink. What's up with the blue is for a boy and pink is for a girl? I never understand that until now.
Now, moving on to the baby products aisle. Basically, there are 3 main brands is there, Avent, Madella, and Pigeon. And we reached to the main topic, baby bottle. I was amazed with how many products launched just for baby bottle. It seems like the marketer never run out of ideas on how to market their products. With so many shapes, so many material, so many types, no wonder today's mother are so stressed over baby products. 20 years ago, maybe 1 brand only have 1 product and a mother just happily pick a brand that she likes. But, now? She has to read all the tiny description of the product. Is the plastic material contained particular chemical (I forget what it is)? How long should I use the bottle? Do I need to buy the little bottles too, for traveling? Which teats suitable for the baby? How soon should I change the teats for the sturdier one (FYI, they have different teat for each month, so you can count how much parents have to spend just for one baby, and this is only for the bottle!!!)? As my colleagues started to discuss these questions to no exact answer, I started nauseating. The thoughts are totally out of my league.
Now, they even have baby bottle sterilizer! OMG, apparently just using soap and water is not enough anymore! How clean do you want it to be? Well, again, this is the thought of me who obviously is scared of the thought of having a baby now! It's so intimidating!
Then, moving on to the other aisle, breast pump! For guys, you may be turned off by this. Now they have manual pumps, electric pumps, and even double pumps! Then, another set of totally different discussion begins. Which pump is better? Electric or manual? Which brand? Which is better? Which one is more comfortable for the mom? *FYI, pumping is not an easy job, it's painful and tiring (see, I began to sound like an expert haha)* What happen if I use the pump of a brand that doesn't sell the baby bottles for actual usage? Is transferring the breast milk to another bottle before storage inviting germs? Again my head started to spin. And these pumps are ain't cheap. Goodness, one electric pump costs you 300SGD?
After a long mother-to-mother talk (I was out of the picture already, obviously), my other colleague, who is a mother-to-be in counting now, asked my more experience colleague, who is a mother of a cute 2-year old, about the inflatable tub. As clueless as I get, I was amazed that they have a very cute inflatable tub that can even fit in your bath tub for your baby to play. It's cute, and also costly. The cash register rings at 50SGD for that plastic tub.
So, after 1/2 hour of baby crash course and all those new information (to me, at least), I was totally in awed with the manufacturers. Their marketing strategy is splendid! They know the worries of mothers, especially in this modern era where more information and innovation creates another worries for parents. And they optimize that aspect to the point of exploit it. And, my colleagues keep remind me, 'Wait until you become a mother, then you'll join us in the worries.' I honestly don't know. We'll see what I'll be become, given a chance. What kind of mother I will be. *wink*

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Orange Pocky?

Feel like having an orange milk with a stick?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Baby and Me

Another story about the life of single daddy. First, it's Rain in 'Sang Do Goes Back to School' and now here is 'Baby and Me'.
Joon Su's life changed when Woo Ram was left in his shopping cart when he did some grocery for the latter party in his house to celebrate his independence against his parents. Then, the life of a young single daddy started and it ain't easy.
What I like about this movie.
1. Off course it's the cuteness. The baby is cute, Geun-seok is cute. The pair make a good laugh itself. Geun Seok's role is very different from the one in 'Doremifasolasido.' In here, he portrays a irresponsible rich kid that suddenly must face the responsibility of being a dad. I like particular his acting towards the end of the movie. All the emotional roller-coaster and his dilemma of whether he should let go of Woo Ram or just follow his heart.
2. The storyline is not at all boring. It'll give you lots of laughs. Some funny moments are when Joon Su tried to hide Woo Ram inside the locker while he were in school. Or, when Joon Su left Woo Ram inside the train while he boarded off. But a drama is not a drama without touching moments too. Along the movie, Joon Su develop a bond with Woo Ram and it's hard to let go when the bond was that strong.
3. The message behind it. Teenage pregnancy is still not accepted in the society, but this is the reality and this movie reflect this issue behind the drama and comedy. It's hard having a kid to take care off while you're yourself still a kid. Going to school is tough. Looking for a job is even tougher. And, who will provide the food for the kid? The hardship that comes with is very challenging for a 19-year old kid. Especially if you're parents are not around, then you're on your own, Dude.
Overall, a cute and heart touching movie and definitely a must watch for Geun Seok's fans.

Corn Bread

Finally, the corn bread that I've been craving on just popped out from my oven. Fresh and brightly yellow, this bread is just nice eaten alone or with any of your favourite soups. And the ext catch is, it's very easy to make. The recipe itself is a no-brainer.
100 gr Cake Flour, shifted
100 gr Cornmeal, shifted
30 gr Sugar
10 gr Baking powder
4 gr Salt
1 Egg
166 gr Water
10 gr Corn syrup
60 gr Butter, melted
1/2 small can of canned whole corn, strained (I use my favorite, Green Giant)
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in 1 bowl.
  • Mix all the wet ingredients in different bowl.
  • Pour all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients' bowl. Stir gently with spatula. Be careful not to over-mixed.
  • Pour in the corn, and mix well
  • You can pour the mix into either: 1. baking pan, or 2. 12-pc muffin pan (I use muffin pan because it's easier to portion and you don't need to cut afterwards)
  • Bake in 218C for 15-20 minutes

Saturday, November 8, 2008


This week's feature is one of my favorite Jpop boybands, Exile. Though I don't know much about the group itself, but I like their songs. The group itself looks like consists of lots of members, but actually there're only 2 vocalists, Atsushi and Takahiro. Click here for more details. Exile music style ranging from balads, R&Bs and some dance songs, and is always presented in a rather subtle way, which is very easy on the ear.
The first track of the playlist above is from their single, The Birthday ~ Ti Amo, released in Sep 2008. Their latest single is the Christmas single, but I haven't found the songs on Imeem yet. Hopefully somebody nice will upload them so I can add them on my playlist :). There're still lost other Exile songs that I like, but the list will be too long and basically I'll be clicking on most of the Exile songs on Imeem *shy*.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Been wanting to write something about this rather new series on Chanel 5 called Reaper. It's been running for just 4th episode in here. The story itself is about Sam, just turned 21 when suddenly Satan visited him and told him that his soul was sold before he was even born and now Sam must work for Satan capturing the hell's fugitives and bring them back to hell. Off course, it's presented in American way with the company of Sam's retarded buddies, Sock and Ben, and the love of his life, Andi.
But, the idea of having to hunt the Hell's fugitives and send it back to where they're belonged? It sounds familiar, hmmm... let me think.... Does Shinigami (Death God) ring a bell? Here's the complete article on wikipedia.
The idea of Shinigami has been played out in so many ways, whether it's Anime, Dorama or movies. The Shinigami term becomes very popular because of the anime Bleach, which is still airing since 2004. The idea of Shinigami in Bleach is that their duties are to protect humans and hunting down Hollow and send them back to where they belong. How come it's so similar?
So here I am, every time I watch Reaper, I keep thinking why Shinigami needed all those weird vessels to catch the bad guys. The idea may be fun for 1st season, but the possibility of it becoming boring is there when it gets to 2nd season.
Sure it has some comedy part to it. But somehow, I cannot really relate to it. You can be annoyed with Sock's continuous retarded attitudes and way of thinking. Once in a while may look funny, but continuously? It's annoying! Another part is how Also the Andi's indecisiveness of whether she want to do part time or full time college is just silly. I think it's common sense that if you're short of cash, then do part time, but if you're loaded, then do full time, take some internships or whatever. How hard can it be. It's not like you need to decide on where you leave and whether you'll marry somebody or whether to abort your pregnancy. Moreover, she's not an international student, so college is cheap!!! You just save more money, get a loan, and you'll survive.
But apart for that, I'll just keep watching for now on because there's nothing else to watch at Sunday 10.30pm besides the news.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

James Bond ~ Quantum of Solace

In the middle of tight and hectic deadlines, demands and under absolute pressure, I still did get to see James Bond just because I bought the ticket in advance, thanks to the online booking, and the optimistic me for hallucinating that this week will NOT be so chaotic. So there I was, sitting for 1 hour 45 minutes in the cinema nearby my office (thank God, my office is at Cityhall). I'm not saying that the Bond movie this time is bad. It's definitely entertaining and worth your ticket money but there are couple of things that don't seem to be right and here they are:
1. It looks like this time Bond is going Bourne! I mean, from the first chasing scene, fighting scene, and even the setting and shooting technics, it's all so Bourne!!! I even feel so nostalgic seeing Bond jumping up and down buildings in Haiti. And there's this particular building with the stair case that looks almost exactly the same one in the Bourne movie. And it kept me thinking, 'OMG, Hollywood really lacks of creativity.' I must admit the first fighting scene is so captivating. It was so intense and nerve-wracking. But, after the Haiti fighting scene, the nostalgic feeling starts lurking around until it ends.
2. No gadgets, no fancy cars! What on earth is going on??!! It makes it look like this Bond movie is running on a very low budget. The only techie stuffs that they have are: 1.the table and computer screen where you just swish and swoosh the data by your hand. But this is so 'Minority Report.' We've see this before. We want more, especially this is James Bond we're talking about here. 2. Bond's phone. It got a GPS locating system, and some massive search engines. But it's not so totally new as lots of phones do have wi-fi and so on now. And I bet the current Blackberry can function the same too.
What about the cars, then? The Ashton Martin that seems like was borrowed from the previous movie just lasts for about 5 minutes (?) before it gets squashed. And after a series of old and run down cars, Bond is finally driving ... a Range Rover? There must be some other more flashy SUV in the market to show off the luxury side of the secret agent life.
3. Something wrong with Bond. He doesn't sleep with the Bond girl!!! Just a force kiss with not much passion in the end is kind of an anti-climax for me. This is definitely the first time in Bond movie history. To ensure the audiences of his sexuality, Bond did sleep with a girl, but she's not the Bond girl. And to compare previous Bond movies that have numerous bed scenes, it just feels wrong.
4. Bond seems to go from a dandy to a brute. With so many killings and whackings, the violence seems to be over-bearing. In this movie, Bond seems like to do the killings. He just practically kills every opponents he meets, even M is very concern over it. It suites more to a Bourne than to a Bond. To make it more assuring of Bond try being a Bourne, the expression shown when he whacks people looks so similar to Bourne. I just can't stop comparing throughout the movie because of this. To me, it looks like Hollywood tries to lower future Bond movies budget by roughing Bond's image. For all I know, James Bond has always been associated with luxury, until now, maybe.

My takings: You should watch it in the movie just because fighting scenes always look better in a bigger screen. But other than that? Just re-watch The Bourne Ultimatum DVD will suffice. Some says that Hollywood rushed this movie to the market to capitalize on the franchise, and I have to agree with them after seeing what I think was lacking for it to be a James Bond movie. Will it be a memorable James Bond movie? I don't think so. In my opinion, Hollywood didn't do their best in making this movie. It gives you the vibe of 'Just borrow something from somewhere and throw everything together, and the movie is up on the market.' A bit of disappointment is there but at least Hollywood didn't make it to the point of not even worth watching like their version of 'My Sassy Girl.'

There'll be definitely a sequel as they don't reveal a lot of things like what organization behind Vesper's murder. I'll be definitely expecting something more and definitely more flashy. After all, it's James Bond.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just Plain Stingy?

Today yet another bad day for me. Deadlines are suddenly lurking around under my neck, and stress made me even hungrier then ever. Then came lunch time. I went to this one canteen stall selling economical rice because I wanted to check out the baking shop couple doors next to it. As usual with economical rice, you get to choose which veggies to accompany your precious rice. I patiently queued thinking of, what chocolate mold the shop would have. Then came my turn to choose which veggie I would like to eat. I was served by this auntie and I got bad vibes already from this auntie. As I chose the veggies, the auntie scooped it. But when I saw the way she scooped my share of veggie, I was enraged in a big way. Here were the auntie's procedure of scooping: 1. She flattened your piece of veggie until so flat you couldn't see it anymore from the spot you stand 2. She scooped half of whatever flattened veggie of your choice which only filled up half of the small ladle that she used 3. After she put it on your plate, she put it back some of them to the pan. I was in total anguish seeing her doing that for 3 of my veggies. I tried so hard at my best ability to hold my tongue not to scream 'PLEASE LAH AUNTIE, DON"T BE SO STINGY'. I did end up blurting the whole sentence but rattled off to silent at the last word. I was such a coward. Found that it's baseless and a sure loss to be in a screaming match against a 'CINA' auntie.
Then seeing me with the very dark deep blue and black face, the auntie said to me 'What happened to you today?' with a not so nice tone, off course (what did you expect?). I was ready to shout at her at that particular moment with 'YOU, YOU, YOU were the reason that make me feel so excruciating for paying 3.5$ for tiny bitty scoops of dear veggies and 1 sunny side up egg'.
This is why I don't like CINA mentality. They think by treating customer this way they'll earn more money. Wait until there's a competitor lurking around nearby, then you'll eat your hearts out. On top of that, you also only earn bloody salary and don't even share the glory of profit for your 'lau pan' from your stinginess.
And, to make my day worse. The chocolate mold is so expensive!!! 35SGD just for 1 20-pc chocolate mold is a totally over-priced to me. So, must come out with another method of making chocolate truffle professionally but cost effective. I'm not running a bakery, let alone not a chocolatier.
I was so distressed by the time I left the shop that I went to Ateng's Bakery at Raffles Place, bought one of that chocolate cake and gulped it with no remorse. The cake was a bit too sweet to my taste so by the time I finished it, I was sugar OD and back to my work.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gundam00 Season II

Just finished watching the 5th episode of Gundam 00 Season II. You can click here to watch it. This is the reason why I love Japanese anime. Gundam again brings back the political-related issues. Who's the enemy? Is mass massacre for political reason correct? Is killing regardless of civilians or soldiers allowed to achieve what you believed in? As a soldier, who should you obey, your superior that gives inhuman order, or your consciences? All these issues were sparked in just 1 30minutes episode! Compact with full battle action, Gundam reminds us again on the core lessons: Nothing comes out from war. War will only bring sufferings and tragedies. Human greed and thirst for power are the root of war.
Also, the Middle East conflicts is also brought up in disguise, in reversed way. In Gundam, it's the Middle East that goes the opposite way for not joining the Federation for the share in solar energy.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ignorant and Oblivious

Today is not a very fantastic day for me amidst of chaotic spreadsheets and workings on my laptop. So, I ended my day with a migraine caused by stress because apprently the migraine quickly dissolved after 1 bowl of Laksa from Toast Box made its way from my throat down to my stomach.
So there I was on the MRT going home and the migraine ticked off again. In front of me, there were 2 teenagers (from now on, let's call them Kutu A and Kutu B) sitting. Kutu A was playing with his cellphone and Kutu B was with her PSP. In front of them standing a 6-month-old pregnant lady with a bulging stomach. Both Kutus raised their head up every now and then but yet, decided that their a$$ was more important than the pregnant lady and Kutu B was sitting on the 'PRIORITY' seat! The pregnant lady was too nice for not scolding them and there I was, ticked by migraine, tried my best not to explode at the Kutus' ignorance and act blur attitude. Did occur to me to smack the Kutu B's head for laughing and smirking with Kutu A. Come on, if you want to be bloody ignorant, don't sit on the 'PRIORITY' seat!!! There's a purpose why SMRT spent money plastering the word PRIORITY on those seats.
I wonder what kind of generation they will grow up into. No courtesy, no compassion, and certainly no kindness. For me, I would give way to those wrinkly aunties and uncles because I've seen and been grateful for those people who gave their seats to my dad. A simple gesture, yet for those who need it, it's a big help. And yet, those Kutus (now in general) usually either pretend busy with their PSP, Ipod, cellphone or whatever other gadgets they have in their over-sized bag, or simply pretend to sleep to ignore other people around them. And those who end up giving their seats are the similarly elderly people who might be easier to get tired from standing at the MRT than those Kutus. Off course, I also have seen those nice Kutus who vigilantly aware of those who need the seats more than them, but the ratio is just too small!
The question now goes down to: Why the Kutus act like that? This morning I read an article that its main message was we should not spanking our children, just a gentle spank on the hand will do. Spanking leave bad memories (Off course it leaves bad memory, that's what it supposed to do, to remind you that doing wrong and hurtful things hurts you back!!!) and it makes kids become rebellious and resentful in the future (I've seen the kids got battered during their childhood simply grew up to be much better than their parents, so those who had gone wrong lays with the kid itself, not in the teaching method). The more I read the article, my mind bubble of 'WTF??!!!' gets bigger and bigger. No wonder kids nowadays act more and more annoying, ignorant and oblivious. Their parents don't even do anything to tame them. So if, they don't even respect their own parents, how do we expect them to respect other people?
Excessive spanking definitely is a no-no as the other name for it is child abuse. But just a 'gentle spank' on the hand? It's the same as to tell them, go ahead do what you want, Mommy will just 'pad' your hand! As a parent, you also must be pretty ignorant to not knowing your kids laugh back at you for being too linient. And you see the kids in US and other Western countries act so wild and hysterical without the parents not being able to control them because spanking is illegal in those countries.
I don't have a kid yet and I may be wrong but I strongly believe in hitting the kid hard at least once in their life if she/he has done something really bad. Life outside home is tough and it's getting tougher. If we spoil them, how they'll survive out there?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ten Ren Tea

For those who do not so into tea, Ten Ren tea is a Taiwanese tea brand specializing in Chinese tea. Their franchises has gone quite a long way from USA to South East Asia. So yes, it's highly commercialized already. Yet, they not only sell the pre-packed tea, but also the expensive ranges of tea that were priced by weight. I've long forgotten about this brand since I left US until recently my boss boil 1 cup of tea in front of me. Curious of the smell, also part of it felt like a de javu for me, I asked him what tea that he boils. When he told me it's a Ten Ren Jasmine Green tea, it hit me with the notion of 'No wonder, it smells familiar.'
During the bubble tea frenzy in Seattle, the Ten Ren branch there decided to also sell bubble tea, but they use their own tea. With same price of 3USD, they brewed the Ten Ren tea of your choice (they have quite of selection for the bubble tea), add milk, the tapioca and the topping. I loved their strawberry milk tea because they used chunky strawberry puree instead of just the essence powder. It tasted so soothing that I bought them everyday before I went to my internsip place that time. How nostalgic.
The verdict, though commercialized and considered pricey for commercialized pre-packed teas, their products are true enough to be reliable. So, tea everyone?