Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sense of Hearing

These days I keep mishearing things. Everyone thinks it's super funny but its actually a little frustrating for me. It makes me wonder is there really something wrong with my brain or I'm just plain silly.

Incident 1
An Indian sales girl spoke to me in Mandarin. It's either her accent problem or Me, expecting her to speak English to me. I misheard 70% (Qi shi ba xian) as cheese bath. I was like "EEW.. are they giving out cheese scented soap?" It took me a while to figure that she meant that they're having discounts up to 70% off.

Incident 2
This happened during PR presentation. Not mine but someone else's presentation. One girl was talking about treating people equally or something like that. And guess what I misheard equally as? E.coli! Images of sashimi flashed through my mind when I heard that. I even gave the O_o stare. Sorry! haha

Incident 3
Last Sunday night, I went to this bun store nearby to get some breakfast for Monday. There was this bun that looks really good so I asked, "What flavor is this?" And the lady answered "Buono chocolate" Sounds nice! Bought it immediately without hesitating. And next morning, to my horror, it's not Buono, Bueno, or any other Italian sounding name but WALNUT! I turned and look at my sister in shock and she said something like "I was wondering why did you buy it when the lady clearly stated that its walnut"

My Japanese teacher told the class an interesting real life story she heard from her friend. Apparently in a Japanese funeral, the visitors will take a pinch of powdered incense to their foreheads. However this foreigner, he couldn't see what exactly the visitors were doing. All he saw was their back view. So when his turn came, he tried to follow what others did but instead of lifting that pinch of powder in front of his fore head, he stuffed it inside his mouth. Before leaving, visitors would say "Goshusho-sama de gozaimasu (My deepest condolences)to the bereaved. And once again, Mr. Foreigner misheard it and said "Gochiso-sama deshita (Thank you for the food).

Is there a cure for mishearing? I don't wanna be like Mr. Foreigner.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I ain't no killer

It all started with a facebook status stating that "okonomiyaki is universal ;) maybe cooking tomorrow again" and everyone started craving for okonomiyaki. "Someday, Lets cook it!" someone suggested. And that someday was last Friday.

[L>R: Brendan, Irene Mandy, Nadia, Anitt. Kaireen, Azusa, Jocelyn in the bottom and Me]

The people who were present for the dinner. It was like an unofficial vegetarian cultural food night. We had Okonomiyaki, Japchae, Pasta and durian. and fortune cookies

Okonomiyaki prepared by Azusa. She's a cooking master! The way she chop the vegetables... we were like "WOAHHH! Restaurant way!" I'm so gonna ask her some Japanese food recipe.

Japchae prepared by Nadia, the Korean who speaks better Malay than Malaysians. I did not take this don't ask me who's finger was that. This was really good! Should have taken home some.

And Pasta, prepared by the other Irene . The sauce was really good! (not in picture) Lots of mushroom and carrots in it. My favorite!

And others, just eat helped out in the cooking preparation from cutting vegetables, mixing batter, cracking eggs, serving the food etc etc.

Thats me trying to flip the Okonomiyaki. And I did it at the first try. Beginner luck or not, I'm gonna make it for my sister next time and lets see whether she'll have an upset tummy after meal. And my amigos, you won't be able to escape from my okonomiyaki too.

After makan, we played the mafia/killer game. I was never once the killer and yet almost every round, I was on the suspect list. "It's so obvious that Ai Rene is the killer!" "The way she smiles, she's the killer!" I am that innocent citizen, in the risk of being murdered by that cold hearted killer and yet everyone's saying that I am the killer. Do I have the Yokoyama Yu bad guy face or what?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sense of Sight pt3

Yay! Sense of Sight is back. If you're wondering what is SoS about, it's an entry that I'll post a series of pictures that is totally unrelated to each other. Basically, it's about what I do or saw lately.

1. Onion skin looking moth

This moth is definitely one of the longest lasting moth I ever seen in my house. I f not mistaken, it 'stayed' here for about a week. Maybe it's because of the onion-ish texture? Usually the powdery looking moth will only last a couple of days here. What do you guys think about moths? Some said they're the spirits of the dead. But... I don't know haha

2. Wrong number

I think that I sound really unconvincing when I say "Sorry, wrong number." The less dramatic reaction I receive from the caller is "WHO IS THIS?" "WHERE IS THIS PLACE??" and the more dramatic one
"DON'T BLUFF! I know its you, Mandy!"
"Sorry, you got the wrong number, I'm not Mandy."
"Don't be like that la, where's Julie? Why didn't she call me?"
Although I don't like to talk, I absolutely have no reason to fake or hide my identity.

3. Dragon Fruit

This is my grandma's favorite fruit because it is fibrous and expensive It cost about RM10 for 3 of it. Quite expensive for a fruit. I like the bright purple color of it but it can be quite a trouble in washing it off.

It took me at least 4 washes to wash it off completely. Next time, Use a fork instead.

4. New Born

Every morning, a bird will fly out from a plant next to my house door and it never fails to make me scream out of shock. Then I realize this mummy bird has build a nest in that plant. Eggs hatched and the baby birds now looks like that *points picture above* Looks kinda scary without the fur but I'm sure soon, they'll be able to fly.

5. A Yakult a day keeps the doctor away

I'm not sure how much does Yakult contributes to good health. But I drink this everyday, thinking that I'll be healthy after drinking this. Sounds in denial eh? But the truth is university have been draining out my energy and I've been falling sick more than usual. Mummy thinks that I should start taking supplements because my once red cheeks are very pale now. Any suggestion for what kind of hamster feces looking supplements should I take?

6. Lomo

This is my lomo camera. I wanted to get the Diana F+ initially but I decided not to spend so much on something that I'm not sure of. I have absolutely no idea how will the photos look like. I've just send my film to the photo shop last night and it will only be ready by Saturday. If it turns out ok, you'll probably have SoS part 4 very soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Made in Japan

2 weeks ago, I attended the "Japanese Design Today 100" exhibition organized by JFKL. It was held at the National Art Gallery hence, no photographs allowed. It wasn't a big scale exhibition anyway. Yet, I can't really remember what was being exhibited besides SMAP's 2000 Live concert goods.

Japanese Design Today 100 shoots a glance at the achievements, past and present, of the country's design leaders.

Some of the items that were displayed includes:
(Pictures credit:Japanese Foundation)

Japan is really good in branding their products. "MADE IN JAPAN" is a very big brand. Somehow people would trust a Japan made product very much. Take Toyota as an example. Despite the call backs, I think that Toyata is selling even better over here in Malaysia. Malaysian drivers out there, have you noticed that many WT?/new plated cars are actually Toyota's.

Anyway, besides some of the older school designs, contemporary goods were exhibited as well. Touch screen is not new anymore but yet people still go WOAHHH over it as more and more products are going button-less. What about the bilnds? What is gonna feel their sense of touch?

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Contain spoilers and this is not a film review!

"Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler" is very different from what I expected. I wasn't sure what to expect from this film because the title sounds like it's about a gambling prodigy who knows every strategies and tricks, became unlucky, lost all his money and made a successful comeback in the end. The synopsis I found online was very vague as well. All I can say is thank goodness it was nothing close to that kind of cliche.

Based on Nobuyuki Fukumoto's hit manga series, psychological thriller "Kaiji" is about a job hopping bum named Kaiji who was 'encouraged' to enter a deadly gambling competition aboard on a cruise ship, to erase a large financial debt that he is responsible for a loan taken by his friend. He then got into a larger debt and had to work as a labor for the same company operated by the cruise ship to pay off his debt. The only way to liberty is to walk through 'The Brave Man's Road' which is a do or die thing.

To a certain point, it reminded me of Kishi Yusuke's "The Crimson Labyrinth" In Kaiji, The Brave Man Road scene was actually screened live to the rich that enjoys the sense of security they posses. When someone falls from that n story tall building or was electrocuted, the audience would laugh, treating these people's life as entertainment. Conversely,The Crimson Labyrinth is a thriller about twelve strangers who find themselves as actors in a preverse snuff film from which only one is permitted to emerge alive which very very much reminded me of Koshun Takami's "Battle Royale".

The common denominator of this 3 films/fiction is the protagonist being entrapped. In fact the entrapment theme is very common in Japanese contempt fiction. I can't help but relate Ryan's "Entrapment Theory" throughout the entire movie. His article has raised many questions and got me thinking for days.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's like Insomnia

So many questions have been playing in my mind lately. From "Whats after my degree? Masters? Work?" to the more trivial ones like "Whats for lunch tomorrow?" More or less, I think it has been affecting my sleep at night. I don't remember when was the last time I actually had an uninterrupted sleep. Things weren't that good after waking up too. A couple of days ago, I woke up, get out of bed, stood up ,suddenly slipped and had banged really hard against the side drawer.

My maid was amazed by the size of the bruise I've 'earned' from the fall haha. At least now I know that the side drawers were made of good quality wood that can withstand impact.

Whoever you are, thank you so much for inventing the tower fan. You've contributed so much in Rene's quest in combating the heat. I don't have a ceiling fan and I have a 'no switching on of air conditioner' policy. Without the tower fan, every morning when I wake up,I would look like I just came back from a marathon. I usually use only one tower fan but it's so crazily hot these days that I need double dose of wind.

My blanket doesn't match the bed sheets..I know

I am proud to say that the air con is no longer a necessity to me. *cross off air con from list* Step one of embracing the minimalist lifestyle,strike off unnecessary things! All I need is the tower fan and a cold shower before going to bed. See, it's not hard to give up something you're so used to.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I like pictures with shallow depth of field. Changing my phone's wallpaper to a macro picture makes me happy. I actually smiled to the phone when I switched the wallpaper. Haha entertaining myself with trivial things. =)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yo! Sushi Ouji!

A couple of people have been telling me how silly the film 'Sushi Ouji' is. "Don't tell me you like it because it's Koichi" is one of the most common expression I ever receive whenever I said that I love that movie. Okay, maybe Koichi did add some icing on the cake but this film is definitely not as shallow as you think. Besides the plot and story, every movie has a language behind it. Try watching with a thinking cap on and you'll understand the 'secret' behind the discourse of the movie.

Sushi Ouji (drama) is about Maizu Tsukasa who has been called Sushi Oji since the age of 10 due to his heavenly sushi making skills. However, an unfortunate event happend which caused him to develop the Fish Eye Phobia. Once he had an eye contact with the fish eye, he'll have this flow of super power flowing into him and he'll yell out "Omae nanka nigite yaru!" (I will crush you!) and start throwing punches at people. With such a phobia, how can he continue to make sushi?

A year later(2008), Sushi Ouji is back with a movie sequel. This is the description printed behind the 'Sushi Ouji- New York e Iku' (Sushi Price takes off to New York) DVD box

"After completing his quirky sojourn through Japan as sushi-making, fist-fighting journeyman, Sushi Ouji, Maizu Tsukasa takes his training to the next level in New York where he gets the chance to learn from sushi master Goro. However, a ruthless competitor drives them out of business with backhanded tactics. To save the restaurant, Tsukasa must face his rival in a sushi showdown in the Big Apple"

Ever wonder why the sequel took place in America?

In the end of the series, there was a preview that Maizu Tsukasa will take off to 'the land of rice'. When we talk about rice, most people will think about Asia? It's an Asian value to eat rice!. However, there is a reason why the director chose America as one of the sets of the movie. In Japanese, America is often written as アメリカ. However, the Japanese kanji, 米国(beikoku) which literally means 'rice country' also refers to the USA. Although the paddy field scenes were actually filmed in Japan, the American- Rice setting plays an important role to the movie as it acts as the back story.
Furthermore, Maizu Tsukasa has this catch phrase ,"Omae nanka nigite yaru!" Nigite Yaru... N Y.. the abbreviation for New York is NY. Another reason I can think of is Maizu's partner Kawahara Taro played by Nakamaru Yuichi was 'crushed' in the show. I think the director really enjoys playing with word puns. Maizu Tsukasa, when writing in Kanji is 米寿 司. However, it can be pronounced as Kome sushi (rice sushi)

Anyway, the message that I receive from this movie is how has globalization with a touch of postmodernism has affected the art of sushi making. Back then, from the rice, the soy sauce, the green tea, the flesh of the fish and even the temperature of the sushi maker's palm was taken into account in sushi making. Today, the sushi -go-round conveyor belt has encourage the usage of machines to replace the human touch in preparing the rice.

Furthermore, fusion sushi have been taking over the traditional sushi. Not sure about Japan, but that is what happening in Malaysia right now. Hmm..Maizu had a cultural shock when he saw the 'rainbow roll', thinking that it's a cake. So I guess western sushi is not so popular there?

Globalize sushi = sushi loosing it's identity? Good or not? I don't know. I actually enjoy the Western sushi more than the conventional sushi. Am craving for some Ropongi Beef Maki right now! As much as the show is telling us about traditional sushi making, it has a hint of Western influence in it. In one of the battle scene, Goro, the sushi master said "Sushi Must Go On!" I know it's probably a word pun from Koichi's stage play's catch phrase "Show must go on". But that line originates from western stage plays. And the theme song 'No More' sounds very Backstreet Boys-ish. Don't you think? Hmmmm...

I'm not very sure whether this entry qualifies for this month's Jblog Matsuri's 'Secret Japan' theme or not. Anyway, click here for more info about the Matsuri. Feel free to check out Gakuranman's Secret Japan too.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

10th of April 2010

Happy Belated Birthday, Dots! I'm really looking forward to what you have in store for fans this year. I don't have anything much to say whenever it comes to Tsuyoshi.He expresses himself so well that I'm out of words to write. Anyway, enjoy one of my favorite remake by him.

Originally sung by Mr. Children.

Yesterday, a janitor knock my leg with the floor polisher!!! My sister and I think that he did that on propose cause he was initially cleaning the other side and when we walk pass, he came over with the machine and bang me and he did not apologize. Seriously, whats your problem? My legs are really clean and I don't need extra polishing.

I did not look back and glare at him after the 'bang' cause if he did that on purpose, I wanna show him that 'Oh no, it didn't hit me' pride problem and I was too shock to say anything. It's like your waiting for the next train and some random guy just come and punch you.

Actually, it was really really painful. I couldn't walk and had to limp for a couple of minutes. I almost cried but had to hold back haha. I didn't dare to look at my leg cause I was expecting something bloody but thank God nothing serious happened, just a couple of peeled skin.

One more reason to not like Sunway Pyramid =(

Friday, April 9, 2010

Child of Spring

Song of the day

Cherry by Spitz

I wouldn't have come across this wonderful song if you didn't mention it on your Jweb.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Six degrees of Seperation

I have no idea why the radio is promoting the 'Six degrees of Seperation' concept right now, but it's a topic that is constantly playing in my mind. Especially this year...the world seems to be so small. Or maybe I was too ignorant to notice. In a nut shell, go out and take a look at the world? It's not that huge afterall? I have no idea what I'm trying to say.

Anyway, I'm currently on my 1 week long mid semester break! Yay! But I have assignments to be completed. Boo. And to make things worst, my modem busted and most of my findings were stored in Google. That's why I'm now in my school's library, saving all my notes. double boo. Actually, I'm playing Bejeweled Blitz hehe.

Everytime during assignments period, I'll get really easily distracted and I'm always full of ideas on what to blog while having a writer's block on my assignment. Am currently jotting down ideas for a couple of future entries And I've even decided to join the Standard Chartered KL Run which will be held on my 20th birthday. I'll be running with Estee and Kim so hopefully it won't be an impulse decision that I'll regret the next day.

I've been thinking about postmodernism as well. No idea whats wrong with me. Too much facebook I guess.

Why is my entry title always irrelevant to the content of the post?