Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shampoo ~ Herbal Essence Vs Aussie

All along I've been using Aussie shampoo (imported by my bro once every blue moon with his adhoc shipping). What I love about Aussie moisturizing shampoo is that: 1. I don't need conditioner. My hair is untangled enough after rinsing. Thus, less energy used to re-rinse the hair to take out the conditioner and less water used to check whether any conditioner left over on my scalp (the source of dandruff). 2. After using it continuously, I find that less hair stuck at the end of my bath tub, which is a good sign. Although, my hair is still committing suicide, but at least less is sacrificed during shampooing time.
But using Aussie shampoo has its own problem. If I run out of supply, what should I use during the vacuum time until my bro's next shipment, which is once every blue moon?
So, here comes the solution, Herbal Essence's Moisturizing Shampoo. At first I have doubts because of its Coconut and Orchid smell. I don't like anything related to coconut. But, well, the price tag is not excessive, so it'll give you some comfort zone to buy 1 bottle to try. And, I'm certainly not regretting of buying one :). Though I have to use a bit more than Aussie, in terms of quantity for every wash, it gives similar effect. So I was satisfied with that. However, I find that I need to wash my hair almost every day because it gets oily easier (my be it's just my hair). But I don't mind if the shampoo is nice hahahaha....
So you definitely can try one of those Herbal Essence new shampoos :). Blessings are granted :D.

CSI Las Vegas- Season 7 Ending

Ya ya ya, Singapore is super duper late on CSI season!!! I just finished watching the finale of Season 7, and now am in agony and distress. Ugh! The ending was a major cliff-hanger and CSI is one of the series that are very hard to find for streamings version, even in Youtube! And, you have to be in US to watch it on Veoh last time I checked, WTF??!!!
By far, this season is the most interesting season in CSI history because of the miniature serial killer frenzy. With all the lack of creativity syndrome is at large in Hollywood, they still have some brains working to produce this series. It started with 1 miniature led to another, with total of 5 models (equal to 5 homicide cases). Each models comprise of the very exact detail of the crime scene. And the finale is the most exciting episode, especially toward the end. But why it was left with a cliff-hanger?!?!??! I was left with the big 'WTF' and now I have to wait for another several months to know whether Sara is alive or not? I'll be more vigilant finding the streamline version of the Season 8 first episode. I Simply refuse to be curious for months especially for some old season CSI! Though I might be console with the CSI Miami as a substitute (expect Channel 5 to air the whatever left out previously on CSI Miami) But, still... CSI Las Vegas is my favorite Hollywood TV series thus far and the reason why I still on my TV to channel 5, not running Channel News Asia 24/7. For next season, I would expect more exciting episodes to come, better be exceeding this miniature serial killer saga.

Hana Kimi SP

To add more comment on Hana Kimi Posting on Pika2000's blog. I'm still still on part 7/8 of the whole movie (Veoh is very slow in loading this Hana Kimi, ugh). Launched in Feb 08 but just recently been fansubbed, basically Hana Kimi SP is the bridge to explain some of the gap within the series that was elaborate more in the manga. They call this segment episode 7.5 where Ashiya's American friend, Julia (complete with blonde wig and weird Jap accent) come to Japan finding Ashiya to take her back home.
Not to be left out, the bunch of herds from Dorm 1, 2, and 3 will always making you laugh your heart out with their hilarious antiques. Major plus points: 1. You get to see Nanba senpai got kissed (one of the best part of the movie). 2. Sano, as cool as ever, suddenly takes off his kakkoii mask when imagining Ashiya's sleeping face (absolutely hilarious!!!). 3. Nakatsu as genki as ever, face his mom's nagging to continue the family business and must prove to his mom of how determine he is to be a pro soccer player. And, the solution? You have to watch this to understand the laugh factor.
And the rest of the herd? The movie is so noisy that you won't feel any seconds of your time wasted in silence.
On top of all the scenes and commotions, the message is clear: You get to be young once, and you want to make the best of it so that you don't have regrets in the future. So, have fun!
A must watch for those dorama fans, and this number s a major instant stress relief, though it won't solve your problem, but it'll certainly make you happy :).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tamaki Hiroshi

Another J-pop singer is added to my fave list, and this time it's the beloved Chiaki Senpai, Tamaki Hiroshi. Didn't know that the guy can sing until today, and after listening to his songs on Crunchyroll, I decided to search for him on IMEEM and above is the list of some of the songs that I like.
What I like about his songs is that they are not too idol-like. Definitely not Johnny's Jr style. Though I like Johnny's Jr (from V6 to Hey Say Jump!), but they're just too many and something different for a change is good. I would say that style-wise they can be comparable to K's songs. But K is more artsy on both presentation and melody. Voice-wise, definitely pass the level of Johnny's Jr and graduate to be able to launch solo single/album.
Nevertheless, I still like them, good for bed time lullaby. Just imagine Chiaki Senpai serenade you and you'll be sleeping with a smiley face **wink**.
Definitely will keep a watch on Tamaki-kun and hopefully there are more to come :).
Also, don't miss him on Nodame Cantabile and Tada Kimo o Aishiteru. Love both of them.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

For destress...

I found this website link in one blog when I'm browing around. True enough, this blog is made to distress. But, beware, you certainly do not want to be caught as one of the postings in this website. Check this out: http://failblog.org/. At least may be this will brighten your day despite the devastating recession news nowadays.
News for the week... well, the headlines all say the same thing: all the stock markets around the world keep breaking the low record, of the year, 5 year, decades (soon of the century), recession, housing price going down, interest rate seems to join in the trend (hope it stays that way until next year heeee)....
BTW FYI, this time is a good time to buy some foreign currencies, seeing some downward trends in some of them (though USD is not a low as couple months ago), but off course Rp will always weaken against USD. This dear currency seems to have the motto 'dare to be different' from the rest of the herds haha...
But as always, don't buy in bulk, buy in bits because who knows it'll sink in lower than the last rate you saw. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

100th Posting

Yey! I reached the 100th posting of this blog... Congratulations to me! It means:
1. I have too much free time at night
2. I watched too many animes
3. I watched too many dramas
4. I baked too often (until 2 months ago)
5. I stressed out too often
So much for the life these days, but as long as it keeps you sane and happy... wouldn't be bothered with anything else hahahahaha....
Stay tuned for the 101th postings :d

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Latest Anime releases...

October has just become my favourite month today. It's the month of the new season of anime and we have a fiesta for 2008. Lots of Season 2 this time, but we all pull a long wait for them. On top of that, they also release brand new series to get this new season more colours. Well, without further a due, here is the must watch list of this time's new season:

1. Vampire Knight Guilty. I was squealing with joy when I saw it in Crunchyroll this morning. And off course, this is the continuation of the first Vampire Knight. After the major cliffhanger in Season 1, Season 2 starts with Zero's comeback and the drama continues. More twist and drama will be revealed in this season as the truth will start to surface.
2. Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2. Season 2 begins with 5 years after the major battle that ended Season 1 and left us with 'WTH, how come everybody's dead???' gloomy mood. Major Spoiler, Lockon is not dead folks, he'll appear in episode 2. Fans will start cheering again with a sigh of relief.
3. Nodame Cantabile Paris Hen. Who doesn't love Nodame?? All the 'Mukyaa' and 'Gyabo' are making the comeback to your TV screen, and all of us will welcome it with the tears of joy. Season 2 is about Nodame's life in Paris as the student of Paris Music Conservatory and the progress of the pursuit on the relationship with Chiaki *wink*.
4. Clannad After Story. The season 2 starts with the life of the 2 main characters, Tomoya and Nagisa, after their high school graduation. I didn't really follow this anime, but am sure this anime has a huge fan base to make it to the 2nd season. So, definitely, this anime is one of the watch list.
5. Toradora! Enough with the sequels. Toradora is the story of 2 often misunderstood high school student, Ryuuji and Taiga. And they're neighbors too. So stay tuned for the comedy and romance for this rather cute anime.
6. Kuroshitsuji. Loved the first episode of this anime. The story is about the 12 years old master of Phantomhive family and his perfect butler, Sebastian. Off course, there's more than meets the eye of this anime. The first episode didn't even reveal any explicit hint of what's the actual story of this anime except on the beginning. A very interesting anime.

Also there're some animes that just finished their season and it's sad to say goodbye to them:

1. Chi's Sweet Home. After captivating us with its super cuteness, Chi finally says goodbye in the 104th episode with a somewhat touching ending. Chi was sad in episode 103rd because her kurobuta cat friend's family has to move away after being found out having a cat by the landlady. But the memory of kurobuta will remain in the Moon according to Chi.
2. Special A. The series just ended at episode 24 but the rumour says that they will have a Season 2. The anime is based on manga with the same title by Minami Maki. The story revolves around the rivalry of Kei and Hikari. They're the No 1 and No 2 top student along with the next top 5 student were classified as a Special A class students. Lots of twist and emotion evolving stories that will make your heart move and cheer for Kei.
3. D-Gray Man. Yes, after a 2 year long reign, it finally ends with episode 103rd, for good, or not (?). Who knows, they will come out with another new season since the manga is far from finish yet.
4. XXXHolic: Kei. The sequel of XXXHolic. Always fun to watch Watanuki running around doing the errands of cooking dinner for Yuuko and the black Mokona. Only has 13 episode, but it's definitely adding some zest to your entertainment deficiency TV.
5. Macross Frontier. The direct sequel from the previous Macross series. Storywise it's similar to Gundam but Gundam00 displays a more daring controversial current political issues. And you'll wonder why anime (supposedly for kids) carrying such a heavy tragic storyline. That's why Japanese Anime is an entertaiment for all ages.
6. Ryoko's Case File. A sci-fi anime on supernatural phenomenon involving Yakushiji Ryouko, the heiress of JACESS but currently working in Tokyo Metropolitan Police, and her subordinate, Izumida.

And also, don't miss some of the still currently airing animes like:

1. Saiunkoku Monogatari II. Always love this anime since the season 1. Full of twist and turn of the plot with lots of strategic positioning of Shurei in maintaining her position as an officer. Further development in the romance department with Ryuki, or rather it's a downfall. Well, it'll soon reach the climax, so I always look forward for this anime.
2. Natsume Yuujinchou. I definitely always waiting for this anime to pop up on Crunchyroll every week. Each episode carries a heart warming ending. Natsume learns to open his heart to other humans and to understand the warmness of humans. Also, we always love Nyanko sensei for his obnoxious and glutton attitude.
3. Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief. An advanture of Chiko after being kidnapped by the Phantom Thief from her evil relatives. Currently at the state of Chiko restarting her journey to look for the Phantom Thief again.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home...

This weekend, again, my good friend will be loitering around Melbourne suburbs with her hubby to search for the hopeful candidates of what they would like to call 'HOME.' I myself had experienced the pain and suffering that she goes through right now to find the perfect home.

In a nutshell, you can think that home is just like other goods such as, shoes, bags, etc. You find what you like, pay it with cash (if you're rich enough) or credit card (if your have a bottomless pitt credit limit) or loan (like other normal people). The only difference is that once you got the house, it'll be your HOME, and you'll be stuck with it for a long time, if not forever. So, when you factor in this difference, it becomes totally another different story. My friend said that it's so hard to find just the right house and I totally agree with her. What makes it difficult? It always come down to how to find a house that meets the criteria as follow:

1. Budget. This is the far most important factor to consider when you're shopping for a house. You couldn't buy a mansion of 5M dollars worth even if you LOVED it so much, if you can only afford a 500K dollars condo, for example. Budget will determine how much can you fork out to cover for the down payment. It will determine what kind of house do you want to buy. A townhouse, an apartment, or a stand alone house? It will also determine on are you able to pay for the house in the end of the day, regardless of any economic turmoil drama that's been going on nowadays. In conclusion, what you want is not always what you get as illustrated from the example when it comes to the budget.

2. Location. Where do you like your house to be located at. My personal criterias of the perfect house must be: 1. Steps away to the public transport facilities (this depends on which country you live in) 2. Steps away from amenities (all the supermarket, eateries, post office, community centers are included in this) 3. Have a reasonable commuting time from home to office (my idea of reasonable is within 30min to 1hour max). 4. For parents, you definitely want a house in a nice neighborhood with a definitely nice, if not descent, school for the children. So, with these requirements on location alone, it'll take you quite some time to find the house that matches at least 80% of them. And location does make a difference in price and value of the house.

3. Size. Yes, size, after location, matters because it affects housing price. The price for a 3-bedrooms will definitely different from a 2-bedrooms within the same premise. Also, the price for a 1500sq feet 3-bedrooms apartment will be different from a 2000sq feet 3-bedrooms apartment. I prefer a unit with not so big area, so a 2-bedroom will be more than enough for me as I'm still single, yet have a high ceiling.

4. Interior. This is an important aspect, believe it or not, and I discarded lots of home candidates because of this. The latest units come with 2 kitchens, dry and wet. Dry for entertaining your guests with a mini bar counter, wet for your cooking purposes. My personal requirements for this criteria that got me hard time finding a house are: 1. The master bathroom must have a bathtub (yes, I like to relax myself every now and then if I'm stress, I don't care how much water will be wasted to keep me insane) 2. The kitchen must have a built-in oven. I like to bake, though not having done so recently. So this feature is really important as it'll save space for the kitchen. 3. The kitchen must be separated by a door/glass window. This is to keep the smell passing through the living room when I'm cooking 4. For a condo, it must have an inside washing room, so you don't need to hang your clothes outside the window, which is very dangerous most of the time. I have all these requirements because I don't want to renovate my house before I moved in. It defeats the purpose of buying a house with, for example, 500K dollars if you have to fork out another 60K dollars for renovation. So, with all these chirps, this criteria itself will give you enough headaches, let alone considering the other aspects.

5. Loan package. Unless you're paying by cash, as what normal people will do, you'll be worried about this part, together with the budget. This will determine how long you're going to have a long-term commitment financially to pay-off your house. Shopping for loan package is another different story as you have to go bank by bank to know what they're offering. You'll have to choose from several packages ranging from fixed, partial floating, and totally floating interest rate. When you buy the house suddenly become even more important, especially nowadays, because you want to capture the low interest rate. And it's always a better choice to have a fixed interest rate package for your peace of mind. Next, you'll need to decide whether you want to have 20years or 30years loan. The longer the loan, the higher the total interest, but you get a lower monthly payments. You also want to consider how fast you want to pay off the loan by refinancing and top up from some savings that you have.

6. Purpose. Most of people will buy a house for them to live in. But, lots of people also buy houses as a way to diversify their investment. Houses are pricey, but the price trend will be always go up in the end of the day, despite the fluctuation. One may buy a house that he wouldn't want to live in, but he may find other people who want to rent the place, or just resale it when the price is right. More and more people are turning to housing as an investment tool as uncertainties and risks keep increasing lately amidst to the financial crisis.

In conclusion, some people may even have longer lists of criteria that I've mentioned above when they're shopping for houses. The main idea is just to get a place that they could comfortably call 'HOME.'

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lesson learned in Blogging

In this Internet era, nowadays we can read, watch, post, upload, download whatever we want and whatever we don't even have a slightest idea of such things do exist in this world. In another way, the world is getting closer to our lap with just clicks away.

Above is the excerpt of one blog posting that had its 2-days fame before it ends its reign due to massive protests. Why such a massive protest you may ask. It looks like just an ordinary bitching session done in someone's blog as lots of other people has done in their blogs. The only different is that it's done using real name and using real time basis. So, basically the person was just bitching about his colleague on what had happened in the office. But, the person that he's bitching about is his senior and he's just 'the new guy on the cubicle' in that office. Internet, being thinner than the office's walls, soon made the postings reach the whole office's e-mail chain, gossip grapevine or whatever methods they name it. And within the day, the comment trails turned to nasty ones until the posting finally got deleted.

Why such a commotion? Does this mean that people cannot express their opinion in their own blog? Does it mean that the person who posted that posting was deprived on his freedom of speech?

Off course people have the right to speak their mind, let alone comment whatever they want. It's a free-speech era, especially in the Internet nowadays. However, the questions are: Are they ethical? Are they against company's policies, especially if you're working (FYI, companies do have Internet policies)? Are they offensive to particular person/group/nation? These questions will always linger around every single Internet postings and it become more and more in the spotlights as people starts to question how free is the free-speech, what is the limit of ethical/unethical.

Let's go back to our example above. Things may not get out of hand should he did the bitching using alias or using lots of analogy. It might not be as offensive if it's done with light humour or written nicely and with positive attitude. That's why companies pay so much money for the Public Relation / Corporate Communication division. In this case, the blogger might regret his decision to write this posting after the hurdle, but he should think more thoroughly before even make the decision to write.
Lessons learned from this mishapped. One must always remember, what you write in your blog can be read by the whole world. That's why Internet websites start with www. So, there's always a chance that your boss or whoever that you spite on your blog will read it. One also must always note that when you're in the workforce group, you're expected to act professional on or off office hours. So, don't think that you're out there then you can do whatever you want, it's not that simple. Next, one must never assume that people are ignorant or oblivious. We're human. We will get offensive/angry/disappointed if we see something that we don't like or if somebody attacks us, and we will launch a counter attack with with our might. That's normal, it's human nature. So next time you hit your keyboard, think further rather than 'just for fun' mode. The world is not that simple and ain't life's a bitch! *wink*

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Between Yoga, Combat, Boxing and Body Combat

I've been ranting around on the pain in whole parts of my body today. I guess not going to combat class for a long time has taken its toll. I've been trying too many types of diets, combining them with or without various workouts, to no avails. Don't get me wrong, some of them really did get me a result. I'd achieved my slimmest weight of 150 pounds with size 4 from the Maalox/SwissMiss/Multivitamin diet. Certainly not a healthy diet but it did get me the result. Do I want to go through that again? Hell no. I gained multiple Kgs after I stopped the diet.

I'm not an outdoor person, so all outdoor activities are not my cup of tea. I'm also not cut out for dancing, so dancing-type classes are just a waste of money for me (FYI, I tried ballet to Salsa). And I'm definitely not a sports game person, so Badminton and the likes are out (Had joined Badminton, Volleyball, Tennis club during my school time and they're recipes for disaster).

So, with so many things not working out for me, that leaves me with the Gym. Having personal trainer tortured me until my legs feel like jelly everyday (they call it motivation) did give me fabulously toned body. But, it's damn costly and once you stop, you'll get extra pounds back, more than your original weight.

But after lots of trial and error methods, I do find what works for me to feel healthy without dieting till crazy. Now I like to do Yoga, Body Combat, Boxing or Taebo. Still pay quite hefty monthly gym fee, but at least now I don't feel so draggy going to those classes and I feel the benefit. Why is that so?

1. Yoga. I have a light scoliosis. So with my S-shaped vertebrae, I'll feel back pain constantly, and it hurts and annoying at the same time. There's no cure to it, what a shame, but something can be done to prevent it to get worse. I still need to go back to my chiropractic therapist every now and then, but for day to day basis, doing Yoga really helps me feel better and less pain. Personally, I like the Hot Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Yogalates and Yoga Therapy classes. Hot Yoga to me is basically Hatha Yoga inside sauna room. It's more like cardio because you do lots of balancing and the hot temperature helps you to sweat more, which means slashing more fats, and increase the flexibility of your muscle (I feel I can reach my toes easier when I'm in Hot Yoga class). Hatha Yoga is my second choice of class. It's more to train your core muscles. I still in the beginners level and don't think will step to the next level anytime soon. Yogalates is a combination of yoga and pilates. It's lighter than Hatha but you will work more on your abs, which is what I need. Yoga Therapy is very beneficial wen you have back pain like me. It's relaxing and you'll feel very light after the class. A very good exercise after Hot Yoga. Click here for more details and common Yoga postures (all Yoga classes will have varieties of these postures). Things to take note when you do Yoga. 1. Always watch your posture. Different footing or angle will cause you injuries. No point of doing Yoga if you stretch wrong muscles. 2. Have a good instructor to guide you when you're first time doing yoga, and go to the class couple more times before you do DIY yoga at home. It really make a difference. So, Namaste anyone?

2. Body Combat. This is one of the example of perfect work out for a left-footer like me. It burns up to 600 Cal per session if done it correctly. The movement? It only has jab, cross, upper cut, hook, elbow for upper body and knee, kick, side kick and round house kick for lower body. You just need to imagine the bitch/bastard that you hate stand in front of you and you do all the movements. How perfect it could be. You could release your stress and have a healthy workout at one go! What I don't really fancy from Combat is that it has jump kicks, which is bad for my back. So, I didn't do most of the jumping movement. This class will include heart pumping music so those with weak heart must take extra cautions. Do it diligently like 2 to 3 times a week will get you a toned triceps and abs within 3 months. Things to note when doing this class: 1. Watch for the good instructors. More than yoga, it really make the difference. They will motivate you, make torturing your own body looks fun and they will show you the correct movement and most important, they'll correct you! For example, you must turn your hips when you do the hook, always lift the ankle and turn your shoulders when you do jab and cross.

3. Taebo. Alternatively, I'll do Taebo at home. Got the Billy Blanks' DVD from my bro and had a good work out sessions in less than 1 hour. It's very similar to Body Combat in terms of movement. There are several differences in both, some of them are: 1. Tempo. Though the music is slower than Combat, the tempo is faster, so you can't underestimate the counting 2. Movement. The only same thing about it is the jab, cross etc, but Taebo includes aerobic steps, which I don't really thrill about. For new movements, I need to practice couple of times to get the steps correct and finally enjoy the workout. But Taebo has less jumps or even no jumps compare to Combat, which is good for me.

4. Boxing. I just tried the class 2 days ago and it was great. It'll be better if we can use track shoes but it's still OK compare to the hazzard of the track shoes omission for Combat. Movement wise, it follows basic movements of combats, but with more intensity. You get to have a sparring partner and you can feel that you need to use more power to hit the rolled mat. More power = more sweat = less fat. Got the equation?

So, start your workout sessions after work today. You'll get to feel more energized during the day and feel lighter on your shoulder.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Legend of the Doll

Legend of the Doll is the first movie of Akihabara trilogy. It begins with Ryouta, an otaku specializing in action figures, having his rare action figure stolen but end up with the rare action figure called Airu. To his amazement, the action figure comes to life after he assembled it.

In the nutshell, this movie portrays the dream of the otakus all over the world. They will wish this happens to them. To make this movie eligible for otaku market, Airu is played by Noriko Kijima, a gravure idol and Yuria is by Yuria Hadaka, an AV idol. Lol, what more can an otaku ask for?

Off course the drama part is targeted as chick flick. This movie real theme is about love. The girl's love is represented by the live doll. You have to watch it to know more about it because it'll be a major spoiler if I keep ranting on haha...