What I did today

25 03 2009

 

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Arrived!

25 03 2009

I’m in Japan, with a whole list of things to do before I start school, and a longer list of things to do after -.- Read the rest of this entry »





I’m in Japan!

22 03 2009

The title says it all. I’m finally in Japan.
It rained for the most part of today, so I spent most of my time sleeping in the apartment. I’ll probably go out with my parents tomorrow. That’s all folks!





Hi!

22 03 2009

Here’s a big thank you to everyone for your well-wishes/SMSes/emails/gifts and for taking the time to come and send me off at the airport 🙂





Packing is a bitch.

19 03 2009

I finally got down to packing -most- of my peripherals and gadgets into 2 bags, consisting mostly of chargers, camera accessories and other stuff.

I’ll probably be handcarrying them on the plane because I don’t want my portable HDDs to be shaken around too much, and laptops/netbooks can’t be checked in, if I’m not wrong.

This time, I’m trying to travel as light as I can, and buy what I need in Japan. Afterall, the clothes there are more suited to the weather, and not to mention, prettier as well 😀 Will probably bring a couple of sets of clothes which can be worn in school, one set of formal attire, and other clothes that look nice enough to go out in. I’m also trying to keep footwear to a bare minimum, but found that I needed 6 pairs – sneakers, heels, court shoes, sandals, slippers, dress shoes.

As for books, I’m bringing along a few maths drill books in Japanese, as well as Japanese novels, and around 5 non-fiction books in English to maintain my sanity.

Also, for some reason, my parents decided to bring a few bottles of sauces and seasonings in case these aren’t available in Japan. 

Sigh. I have tomorrow to try and fit most of my current life into a suitcase..





Lunch at Cedele

19 03 2009

I was treated to lunch at Cedele Depot at Wheelock Place yesterday.

To most, Cedele is synonymous with zero trans-fat and cold pressed olive oil – things that will not shorten your lifespan by a decade or so. 

I ordered a White Mushroom and Bacon pasta (penne), 

Yummy bacon bits with al dente pasta. Wheee~

and my friend had a Portobello Mushroom and Beef sandwich. 

Beefy and nice.

 

The Good: The food was, as far as I’m concerned, above reproach. Also, Cedele’s “healthiness” quotient was a sweet bonus factor. 

The pasta was chewy without being uncooked, and went perfectly well with the cream sauce, which was more flavourful and less oily than other restaurants. There was also a generous amount of bacon given, which imparted a delicate punch to the dish. 

Decadent without being sinful

Dessert was Lemon Jewel (Lemon-flavoured almond meal cake, supposedly with vanilla mascarpone but they ran out), and 2 scoops of icecream (Earl Grey and Fig, and Blueberry Cheescake).

The former was deliciously warm and moist, with a  delicately crunchy crust which went beautifully with the tart raspberry sauce and mellow vanilla icecream. 

The Earl Grey and Fig icecream was aromatic to say the least, studded with bits of pleasantly sweet and chewy figs. It’s a departure from the traditional Chocolate/Vanilla/Strawberry, but a nice one – I felt that the icecream was tasty without overdoing the sweetness. 

As for the Blueberry and Cheesecake icecream, it was comparable to Ben and Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake, maybe even better. A great blend of crunchy graham crackers and blueberry swirls that was just perfectly balanced between tartness and sweetness. 

 

The Bad: Service, unlike the food, was lacklustre. The wait staff took quite a while to respond to our frantic gesturing, and actually made a mistake with our icecream order. Our original order was actually for an Earl Grey and Fig, and a Caramel Sea Salt icecream -.- 

 

The Verdict: A definite thumbs-up for the food. Cedele has a rather varied and detailed selection of food both local and Western flavours, and it is also stated in the menu if each item is suitable for those with allergies/celiac disease. 

Cakes and other confectionery is made with unrefined sugar and has zero trans-fat, so those watching their health and waistlines may feel more comfortable with Cedele. The selection of cakes/bread/buns at Cedele bakeries is also very extensive, and tastes great to boot. I have to say though, their muffins are fantabulous 🙂 

The poor service was regrettable, but I doubt it will stop me from enjoying another meal at Cedele Depot again. Afterall it was  lunch hour when we were there.





Dragonball Evolution – WTF.

14 03 2009

Out of a lack of exciting things to do, and a craving to while time away in a cinema, I ended up watching Dragonball Evolution today. Marina Square Golden Village lacks good movies 😦 

It was so bad, it was actually entertaining -.-

In fact, I found the advertisements before the movie lame enough, such that I began to suspect my TV hiatus may have been too long already. (Think Singapore drug ads which could have been anything else….)

Well the movie began with the first in a series of frighteningly bad cliches – Goku (the protagonist) engaging in what seems to be a daily ritual of sparring against his grandfather Gohan, replete with the typical CGI effects of a Chinese action film. Thing is, these days nobody is really wowed by the exoticness of 2 guys fighting upside down while hanging from 2 parallel ropes -.-  

More cliches include: 

  1. Goku’s “favourites” which Gohan cooks for him: chicken feet, sparrow tongues and pigeons. Most Chinese probably wouldn’t find this strange in the first place.  Wait, is Goku even supposed to be Chinese?!!?!??! 
  2. Geek going for Hot Girl, and gets her in the end with his hitherto-unexposed talents. This is self-explanatory.
  3. Making an army of attackers punch themselves by using awesome evasion skills.
  4. One-size-fits-all trump move: Kamehameha. 
  5. Damsel-in-distress being unable to open her locker. 
  6. “You know, there’s so much we have in common…” – yeah, besides being kungfu-proficient Asian stereotypes? Try that line on a girl at a bar. 

 

The presence of stock characters – Goku the Asian Geek, Chi Chi the Hot Asian Girl who falls for the geek, the esoteric Roushi etc, in addition to the abovementioned cliches and exaggerated motions repeated again and again throughout the film, make for more than an hour of continuous facepalming.

Also, I noticed that the motion for Kamehameha is the SAME almost every time round. I wonder if changing the sequence of actions will affect the strength of the attack. A friend actually commented that it resembled Para Para..

What got my goat was how the adaptation of Dragonball into an American high school context was a complete flop. In fact, I don’t even see the point of it at all. The high school setting only serves a minimal purpose within the plot by acting as a medium for Goku to meet, and impress Chi Chi. Hell, one would even expect the high school bullies to play a greater part in Goku’s journey of self-discovery beyond being convenient props for him to show off his skills to Chi Chi. 

The whole movie just gave off the vibes of a B grade HK action flick: lots of high impact action with little explanation and CGI overkill with a WTF plotline and passe slapstick humour. 

Lines that would have sounded alright in a B grade HK action flick sound so wrong in English that I couldn’t help laughing. 

There were so many of them, I can’t remember a single one -.- 

There were also a few parts in the movie that I did not understand, possibly because I have never watched/read Dragonball prior to watching this joke of an adaptation. Namely, WTF the scene with Piccolo and Mai bursting in on a little hut in some place that doesn’t seem to be anywhere on earth, and the final scene where Piccolo, after being destroyed, is seen lying in the hut, being tended to. 

In all fairness, at least the ending theme was nice: Rule by Hamasaki Ayumi. 

“Just because my name is Chi Chi (boob) doesn’t mean I’m an idiot.”  – imagine this said in a sultry sexy voice.

Now try and take her,  and the rest of the movie seriously :O 

….

 

Then watch the credits and realise that the film was produced by Stephen Chow. 

Acting: 5/10 

Plot: 2/10 

Effects: 3/10 not very spectacular for a movie that relies heavily on them.

Final Rating: 4/10 (+2 for entertainment value)

Oh and, it’s White Day!