Monday, March 24, 2014

Bitter coffee, chocolate, and a good net connection. Ah, what a night! Haha.

Earlier, when I was in the kitchen waiting for the water for my coffee to boil, my brother and I accidentally head butted each other. I was going to scoop up my pet, Luffy, from the floor and my brother was trying to reach down to a box beside me. It's quite surprising that we clashed when we weren't even in a hurry. I remember watching his cheeks getting nearer and nearer to my face -yes, in slo-mo! But still, I did not move aside... In retrospect, I guess we were both thinking that the other would dodge and so we, inevitably and regrettably, collided. It hurt! How we take family for granted, for the smallest of things! Hahahaha. My brother and I got angry for a second and then we realized how foolish we were trying to blame the other for not dodging the other. Fools, I tell you!  Haha. We laughed it off in the end.

Anyway, here I go again. Trying to revive this blog. Or rather, attempting to dust off the dullness in my head again. Have I ever mentioned before that typing relaxes me? Yes, I feel good whenever I hear those tiny tapping sounds when I type. I feel like my brain is about to wake up from a deep slumber whenever I hear the familiar sound of the keyboard. Like a soft music for an alarm. Like the morning light slowly creeping in your room to fill it with warmth. I don’t know. Have you ever felt this way when you type?

Moving on. The Australian business that my company is managing has, unfortunately, been sold. And our team would be divested, most probably sooner than later. It came as a shock to all of us. We thought we were going to grow old in this job. Actually, we’ve had this divestment scare twice before. But I now believe that third time’s the charm. Well, it must be! There are brief moments when it can be very gloomy in the office these days. Just short pauses of sadness and then we try to cheer up each other again. There are people that I’ve been working with for almost eight years now. And it’s kinda devastating to think we might no longer see each other every day. I love the people in my team (most of them at least, haha). I don’t know if you’d ever find staff so eager for their team huddles like we do. Huddles are, to us, a time to relax. A few minutes to joke with each other. To have a good laugh and alleviate some of the stress from work. We have this little group in our company wherein people from different departments convene and get to raise their grievances to human resources. And then, they would try and help resolve the concerns raised. I was told that our department had to be the happiest people in the company. Whereas people in other departments had some issues with grave matters like integrity or respect, our team’s issue was not having a microwave in the pantry. Ahaha. And that, I tell you, is a good proof that I’m in good company. We are a happy bunch. =)

I don’t know how fast the changes in our organization are going to happen. In a month’s time? Or in a few weeks time, everything might change. Even my shift might change. There’s a big possibility I’d have to work on graveyard again. I don’t know if I can deal with that. But I’m hoping that in the department I’ll be transferred to there will still be the familiar faces I’ve grown to love. If not all, then at least a few of them. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

I hate having to write about sad stuff. I have a strong aversion to melancholy things. But sometimes I have no choice but to face them. At least once.

. . . . . . . . . .

So, okay, moving onto happy and fluffy things! I’m so blessed to have this little creature to keep me company. He’s so funny and squishable and adorable!  I took this picture the other day. I was trying to finish Mary Poppins (because I got curious about the original novel after watching "Saving Mr. Banks"). But he wouldn’t leave me in peace unless I give him a treat. Thankfully, I have those little paw dog biscuits handy. XD

my "Luffy-luff / BabyLu / FluffyLuff" XD

Monday, January 6, 2014

Year 2013.

In which obsession took the majestic form of Richard Armitage.

Uhm... yeah, that's pretty much it. Haha. Okay, that's not all of it. Look, I got to at least sqeeze in a bit of time to read/listen to some books last year.

So here is my list of books read, in no particular order, last 2013.

01. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins
02. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins
03. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins
04. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) by Lemony Snicket
05. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine, #1) by Ransom Riggs
06. The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass
07. The Elite (The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass
08. The Prince (The Selection, #0.5) by Kiera Cass
09. Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
11. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
12. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
13. Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
14. Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
15. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
16. I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (audiobook)
17. Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella (audiobook) 
18. Sylvester by Georgette Heyer by Georgette Heyer (audiobook)
19. Venetia by Georgette Heyer by Georgette Heyer (audiobook)
20. The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer (audiobook)
21. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

There. It's not much but I'm proud of that list. Not because all the books are great but because I spent time to finish each one. Never mind that some of them I only got to finish because I'd like to read something while I'm sitting on the toilet doing my stuff. And, I got to say, it takes a lot of visits to the toilet to finish a book. Hahaha. In retrospect, I rather look forward to those *ahem* visits at times. Taking a dump has never been this enjoyable. Haha. Forgive me for being gross. I guess you can say I'm a late bloomer when it comes to this. I never bring books, or any reading materials for that matter, before in the loo. I was always afraid that I'd get the book wet and ruin it. I was a boring kid, wasn't I? XD But all that has changed. Thank you android phones! Err, my phone is not waterproof though. But I guess I'm just a bit bolder now, now that I'm older. And more careful.... Yes, that's it! I'm bolder and braver now. XD

And I've really come to enjoy listening to audio books this year. I finally realized the advantage of listening to an audio book at certain times or situations. Because I can't read a book when I'm traveling. But now, say I'm on the bus, I could listen to it instead. Isn't that great? Haha. Yes, I've just crawled out from under a rock last year. Anyway, it was probably from Kinsella's books that made me realize the joy of listening to audio books. I had fun listening to her novels. You know, her books are probably more fun heard than read. I mean, her novels are really really funny. But I think the audio books bring just a tad more punch to them. And, if I might add, it certainly helped me in finishing Shopaholic before (just to be clear, Shopaholic is her only novel that I don't like, so far).

And of course, if we are going to talk about the books of Miss Heyer, I have Richard Armitage to thank for that. He was that one who read them. If you can see me right now you'd see a big smile plastered on my face. Hahaha. Heyer's novels are okay, I guess. Richard did a fantastic job reading her books. And just like with Shopaholic, the audio book (Richard's gorgeous voice) helped me finish the 'The Convenient Marriage'... Hmm, I've mentioned Richard's name in this post --uh, how many?-- 5 times already in this post. 4 of those are in this paragraph alone. Is that too much? ....Well, make that 6! RICHARD. Hahaha. Okay, I'll control myself now.

I've always wondered how can people read 50 books and more in just a whole year. I guess I've always been a bit of a lazy bum when it comes to reading. But for this year, I'd like to challenge myself. Maybe I'd
try those 50 books challenge.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Recent books read:
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

"I wrap my arms around his neck, feel his arms hesitate before they embrace me. Not as steady as they once were, but still warm and strong. A thousand moments surge through me. All the times these arms were my only refuge from the world. Perhaps not fully appreciated then, but so sweet in my memory, and now gone forever."    ---from Mockingjay

When I think of the movie, the Hunger Games, I'm immediately reminded of Singapore. I was visiting my sister in Singapore at that time and we watched it together. Although I wasn't quite impressed with the story (I thought it must’ve been influenced by Battle Royale), I think I was able to enjoy the film because I hadn't read the books then.

I have just finished the books a few days ago. Uhm, I quite liked the first two books. Onscreen Peeta and Katniss have no chemistry at all. But I’m glad that that’s not the case in the books. And, I have to say, the game’s arena in Catching Fire is cool! I can’t wait to see how they will recreate it in the next film. But I think the writer lost some of story’s momentum in the last book. Idk, it feels like she lost focus, felt as if she wasn’t into it anymore. I don’t want to give out spoilers so all I can say is I’m a bit disappointed with how some things went. Although, the ending is something I can accept, at least.

So now, what should I read next... Suggestions? Anyone?

I don’t know if I want to finish Banana Yoshimoto’s “Lake” now or if I want to start a new book first. I stopped halfway in the “Lake” but I don’t know exactly where. So if I pick up the book again I’d probably, inevitably, end up starting again from the beginning. *sigh* I started on “The Privilege of the Sword” by Ellen Kushner but I dropped it after the few chapters. I just… somehow lost interest. Lol. So what now? Meep.

Hmmm, anyway, I don't think I wrote about that trip to Singapore. Jhety, my colleague, and I went there March of last year. We stayed there for about a week and we allotted 1 day to Malaysia. The whole trip was supposed to be with another friend and her family, plus some friends of my sister who wanted to visit her too. But some things didn't work out and in the end it was just only Jhety and me who got to go.

My sister joined Jhety and me in our trip to Malaysia. It took 5 hours each bus ride to and fro Malaysia and Singapore. Probably one of the most memorable to me was how cold it was in the bus. It was freezing cold. And it was especially difficult on our way back to Singapore. I kept my eyes closed, trying –hoping— desperately to fall asleep. And that somehow when I wake, we would already be at the terminal. But I could not sleep…. I don’t remember how I made it through. LOL.

The main and only goal of our little excursion to Malaysia was to see Batu Cave. It takes 272 steps to climb up the cave. I think when you’re a tourist you subconsciously underestimate things or overestimate yourself, probably because you’re excited to see the unfamiliar place. Or at least that’s how I was. I underestimated the climb and thought of giving up halfway up. I was not physically ready for it. Plus, there were the surly monkeys eyeing us and creeping at our sides. Halfway up the climb, when I was seriously contemplating on giving up and scared of the monkeys on the steps up ahead, it started to rain. Maybe THAT was all the help I needed to reach the top. The nearest shelter, you see, was the cave. So up the cave I went –braving the steep stairs and unfriendly monkeys --well, they don’t really attack you unless maybe you’re carrying food or taking pictures of them.
Batu Cave
272 steps
Inside Batu cave, while waiting for the rain to cease

It rained quite hard that day and we stayed for a while in the cave. Until the rain abated.

When we made it back to the city, Kuala Lumpur, we hurried to the Petronas Towers. We each took individual pictures with the towers as our background (pics which I think I lost anyway or forgot to ask Jhet for copies) and then took off again to the bus terminal.

And THAT was how our day in Malaysia went. I wasn’t moved with what I saw and experienced. Suffice to day that seeing Malaysia for a day is enough to last me a lifetime. Ahaha

I don’t remember quite vividly what Jhety and I did in Singapore after that. We just wandered around the city I guess, shopping and sightseeing. We did not go to Universal Studios because we figured it’ll be more lonely than fun with just the two of us. My happy place in SG is most probably be Ikea. I love the place! I go there even if I’m not going to buy anything. I love the food there. XD

Some other food we enjoyed were from Saboten (I wish we have one here. Their tonkatsu are splendid! It’s like Yabu, but it’s not quite the same. Saboten is definitely better), Moss burger, TWG (I think we already have one here, just recently opened), and Hawker food (I loved the stir-fried wide hor fun noodles and oyster omelette. I forgot to take pictures though).
Tonkatsu from Saboten --best I've tasted so far
Love that gravy and cranberry sauce combi!
TWG macarons
The Hor Fun and Oyster Omelette, which are barely there in the pic. XD Sorry, I forgot to take a decent photo of them. But they truly are delicious.

We also rode the cable car even though I'm terribly afraid of heights.

And then, a month after that trip, I returned again to Singapore. This second trip was unplanned. L’Arc extended their 20th anniversary celebration and one of the stops in their tour was in Singapore. My sister wanted to attend the concert but didn’t want to go alone. And luckily, she asked me to come with her. Ahaha. I wrote a bit about it here in my lj, just in case you’re curious how it went.

I missed this place. I think I’ve said that countless times before. But I’m seriously thinking of reviving this blog. I miss writing. Even if I’m not good at it. It feels like I’m losing my words and thoughts ever since I have neglected my journals. It feels like I’m losing me. Little by little. . . .  

Err, I think I have to say something more. I don’t want to end this post in a grim tone, do I? *laughs* Well, I’m finally back. For good, hopefully. Yes, I’m going to brush off the cobwebs and scrub the floor of this room, so to speak. I’m opening the windows, pull up the curtains, to let the sunshine in. =D

Friday, March 9, 2012

I miss this place! It has been almost a year since I dropped by here. I'm afraid I might have lost the ability to write --well, I don't particularly excel in prose, but I don't want to lose the enthusiasm of writing my thoughts and my mundane activities. It feels good typing here. And so, I'm finally back. This is my space to fill. In here, I can hear my thoughts clearly.

Recently, I've bought quite a few books. But I have been too much of a loafer to finish at least one. I intend to finish at least one of them this month. I've bought one or two at a time impulsively whenever I'm feeling good and happen to pass by a bookstore. It feels good buying books, isn't it? I feel so smart as I carry a paper bag with books on my way out of the store. It's silly, really. I regret not reading them as soon as I can. They're in my room now and they've become to look like decorations more than anything. It's a pity. I'll start one once I'm done from my check up. I had to stay home from work today due to a bad case of cough and a runny nose. Mom's gonna be home soon and she'll accompany me to a clinic nearby.

Until mom gets back, I'll probably be watching Ongaku ni Chikara. Sho-chan is one of the show's hosts. I'm still ambivalent about Sho-chan's new haircut. But I think it suits him. Though, he looks a bit tired --look at those dark circles around his eyes. But he still looks good nonetheless *laughs*. He did a good job hosting the show. And, of course, Arashi's performance is wonderful as always.

*Aiko's performance*

So anyway, I have to cut this short. Mom just got home -I need to go. I'll be back here soon, hopefully. =D

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

(Source: furoido)
When the traces of my tears have dried,
I'll call out to you once again, so answer me
I realized that I'm not alone, let's make our way t
oward that shining door together

There's an endless sky out there
I hear a clear voice telling me now,
So shall I change this 'self' that is unabl
e to fly?
Let me take that first step and, no matter how many time it takes,

Start over again....

There's nothing you can't see
I hear a clear song telling me,
An undying hope is here
I'll always be ready to stand back up on my feet again
With all my might

--from Hatenai Sora, Arashi [translation from eternity subs]

My heart aches for Japan. For those people who have lost the
ir loved ones. For those who lost their home. For those who lost their town. For those who lost their lives. But, yes, there is an endless sky out there. Life continues like that horizon above us. It does not end here. I want to say "so be strong" to those people. I want to say "things will get better, for sure." Just like the sun never failing to rise every morning. But my voice is powerless at the moment. My words irrelevant and weightless.

Help is what matters at this time. I admire how quick Arashi fans have organized a fundraiser to help Japan. To date, they have already raised $21,000. Even though a lot of them may not know people personally who are currently living in Japan. Li
ke me, the people they probably know most are Arashi and the people that had worked with the boys. I don't get why people get exasperated by the overly concern of fans for Japanese artists. If that is how people relate to Japan, then I see nothing wrong with that. What matters is people are concerned and they want to help.

I'm still in the office at the moment, so I can't search fo
r the link of the fundraiser that the Arashi fans community has organized over at LJ. I'll edit this and repost it as soon as I get home.

Everything you need to know about the fandom fundraiser is here >>AQR<<

It doesn't really matter which fundra
iser one gives their donation to. As for me, the best option is 24HRS TV's. I don't have the link and the tutorial with me right now (the site is in Japanese). I'll put all link later when I'm home.

Here are the screencaps with guide on how to make a
donation to 24HRS TV, as shared by Matsubunny at Arashi no Jidai. The webpage is


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