Philosophical cow dung on the life of little Ms. Imperfectly Fine.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hurry, hurry..

Yes, I have fulfilled one of the most important requirements of living in Japan, riding the Shinkansen (bullet train). True to their boast, it is incredibly fast.

Did you pay attention to the conversation in the video?

I am the victim of modernization. I cannot live without the convenience of having less time spent on doing things. Like washing my clothes, or doing my assignments, cooking even.. My friends told me that I walk too fast. I told them it's coz I always have somewhere to go and things to do. I just don't hang that much.

Coming here and seeing everybody rushing all the time to get somewhere made me stop and think, are they happy to be going where they're heading? Or do they feel that it's just a personal obligation spun from having to do more things, now that they have more time from the convenience of technology.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Take me home, concrete roads

5 more days until I am back to where I came from. A little sad and a little glad. But, I rather not blog about "my most memorable experience in Japan" because there are too many and are already overused in conversations. I have something better to talk about.

I had my hair cut. (But why?) I dislike my long and unruly hair. (Why had it cut in Japan?) I don't wanna look like Tom Hanks in Castaway when I meet my family and friends back home. (Oh, come on!) Don't come on me! (But, you look nicer with long hair.) That's what they all say, honey. (So, how does it look?) Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Here's a picture.

Until next time, stay safe!

Disclaimer: I heard that line(title) in one of Miyazaki's anime.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A walk in the park

Despite the number of things that had happened, I was distracted from blogging. Johney made sure that I gave him enough attention and on top of that, I have been spending a lot of time making music with Jeff and post it on youtube. Well, the blogging culture did not escape me; it was only a matter of time until posting videos instead of blogs became the in thing.

So, I've been digging into my big pile of unused but rather amusing photos of my outings. This small comeback will be my attempt to describe some of the things I have done with pictures. This particular stock is when we had a field trip to Hino Gakuen, in Shinagawa. It's an elementary school pioneering in combining elementary and junior high in Japan.

What seem so surprising to me is that the kids were well behaved, (at least the particular class I was observing.) Every time they wanted to answer a question, they will raise their hands straight. And if they were chosen to answer, they'll get up, stand behind the chair, push it towards the desk and speak. Although this practice when done by all the students takes up a lot of lesson time, it all seemed so proper, polite and nice. And the kids were so adorable.

Bakh, Vanya, Jenna and I decided to have a walk around town after we were dismissed by our sensei. It seemed like we were walking forever, taking lots of pictures with almost everything that we saw. And then we came to a park in the middle of concrete. Tokyo has a lot of parks with teasing greens.

I was lying on the grass and looking up at the sky. The weather was a bit dreary, so my thoughts would run along that line. This city is so big, the world is huge. And little Ms. Ana is still small and nothing. I need therapy or a guy or both.

I will now run out of the topic and tell you how this reminds me of my affinity towards sad songs and bittersweet lyrics. But mind you, I'd like to think that I'm tasteful in my choice of depressing songs. I guess it's the easiest to relate to. All of us have been broken at one time or another, (possibly two or three) and to be reminded that it's not just us that are going through it is not at all bad. Then again, to be reminded of one's pain may not be entirely good. But, then who cares when the music lulls you away and makes you feel more human.

What are your top three favorite sad songs at the moment?
My list would look like this;
1) Lover, you should've come over by Jeff Buckley (R.I.P)
- The only good thing my last ex left me with; this love for one of the greatest musician to have graced this earth. And yes, lover, wherever you are and whoever you might be, "you should have come over because it's not too late."
2) Give by Dishwalla
- No list would ever be complete without a song by Dishwalla (my favorite band of all time). What makes this song so beautiful is; that long standing question of "what would you give?" to the person that you love but who can never really love or give you as much.
3) Rapid Hope Loss by Dashboard Confessional
- This song is pretty straightforward. Find out the lyrics and you'll unlock things that I'm too lazy to write on. ;p
so let me know what your top three sad songs are and we'll discuss them.

Anyway, let’s get back to the rail road and continue with the walk. We goofballs love taking pictures of odd places and things. I shall end this blog with graphics.

Totem pole


Vanya, 私, Bakh and Jenna

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

John Mayer's 3x5

I'm writing you to
catch you up on places I've been
And you, You held this letter
probably got excited, but there's nothing else inside it
didn't have a camera by my side this time
hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm
in the mood to lose my way with words
TODAY skies are painted colors of a cowboy cliche'
And strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky
are next to mountains anyway
Didn't have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm
in the mood to lose my way
but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life
You'll be with me next time I go outside
NO more 3x5's
I Guess you had to be there
I Guess you had to be with me
Today I finally overcame
tryin' to fit the world inside a picture frame
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm in the mood to
lose my way but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life
You'll be with me next time I go outside
no more 3x5's
just no more 3x5's

Love the guitar.

miss my baby (or not so baby anymore) nephew

Nabil and Auntie Ana

It's no secret that Dishwalla is my favorite band of all time. If you ask me why I like em', I probably won't be able to give you a technical answer. But somehow, I just do.

Angels or Devils is my favorite song by Dishwalla, my nephew, Nabil made sure of that. I remembered when my nephew was much much smaller, I played the song once for him and he liked it so much that from then on, it was his song. He would point to the CD player and say, "Naak...” and when the music starts to play he would hold up his arms towards me so that I would pick him up for a little slow dancing. My brothers enviously said that I had brainwashed him with Dishwalla, because he wanted no one but me. I was his favorite. “Ana... Ana...” My name was one of the earliest words he learned to say.

How I miss those days. I could still remember the feeling of his little arms wrapping around my shoulders, and his warm cheek touching mine as the song was nearing its end. He would look at me with his big eyes begging for another go. How could I refuse? The song was on repeat anyway and I’d be too late to tell him that it’s finished. Every time he came to visit us, my arms would feel sore afterwards. But I don’t care. The feeling of holding someone so precious in your arms is worth any pain.

Nabil has been doing what any kid does best, growing up. I miss a good three months of that. I know it’s not that long but… I wonder if he still remembers those moments when I was his favorite person in the whole world, or this song even.

NOTE: This is Jeff Kamakahi (he's from Hawaii, hooray!!), and he's a lecturer from St. John's. He's also my guitar jamming partner. Now that I have Johney, I'm into serious playing. ;)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Johney Honey

It's nice to have your birthday with family

I went to stay over my J-family's place in Tanashi for a birthday celebration. I love them, they really made me feel like I'm part of their family. Anyway, I got the halal chicken from Ameyoko and made Ayam Goreng Kunyit as promised. Hitomi loved it, I wish I had made more.

Cultural exchange

Sushi and Ayam Goreng Kunyit, side by side. Something you don't quite get to see so often. Anyway, they made plenty of Japanese dishes for me of which I would definitely try out and tell you all about it. One thing about my J-family is that they are so thoughtful. I got some winter accessories as birthday gifts and they are so nice and warm and soft.

Getting ready for winter

I bet now you're wondering where does the title of this entry fit in. Right about here..

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my new honey. こちらは ジョニさん です。 わたし の ジョニさん が しんせつ と すてきい ですよ。

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Meant for me

Ever since that concert I noticed how I'm beginning to love singing again. I mean, I don't usually sing because I was being considerate to my neighbours but nowadays I'd sing out loud anytime.

Of course, they would prefer my singing then my whistling, which is a different story to tell. I can't whistle, so Mark and a few other friends tried to teach me. I've been practicing my whistling quite often enough to make them regret teaching me in the first place. But, now that things are different, I bet they welcome the change, if not it'll be Jingle Bells or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, badly tuned.

Anyway, I made a short videoclip. I love this song.

DISCLAIMER: I made a couple of lyrical mistakes, sowreee..
P/S; I don't want to get back with you, honey. I just wanna sing like I do.

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's getting cold in here..

So, put on as many clothes as you could..

I know it's to be expected, we are nearing the middle of November anyway. But, it was so bloody cold in my room last night that I had to wear three layers of clothing, plus sleep underneath two thick blankets. I suspected that my heater wasn't working properly because all that was coming out of it was refreshing cool air. I turned it off and resorted to an act that would have conservationist throwing water balloons at me in the middle of the street so that I would die of hypothermia. Yes, it was that terrible.

I turned on all the lights in the hopes of making the room warmer. Did it work? Lets just say that as I was freezing on my bed, the lights kind of distracted me from the cold, so I wasn't thinking much about being a human popsicle.

Good thing the heater is working now, or else I might have to burn some stuff in this room just to keep myself from wasting more energy. I think I could start off by burning my ex's belongings that I stole from him before I came here. Mr. Snuffy, intimate diaries volume 1-6, a few back issues of dirty 'happy' magazines and some fossilized banana pancakes (maybe that should be enough to save Mr. Snuffy from the fires of hell).

Anyway, we had a field trip today and went to some really cool places. Ricoh and Asahi Brewery. If you wanna know what those companies do, please go to --> link courtesy of my bro, Acat.

Ricoh was big on recycling every single thing imaginable. Asahi brewery as well. Listening to their explanation of how it is important to care for your environment and do your individual part in being in harmony with nature etc, I felt a tiny bit guilty for leaving ALL the lights on for the night. Maybe I do deserve those water balloons after all..

Moving on, I finally get to see Mount Fuji in front of my eyes. Here it is.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Creep - Radiohead

Why I love Creep so much

It's a sad sad song for those who think they can never be good enough for the only one they wanna be with. And yet they still wish and so they get hurt. Because ultimately, no one ever gets to be good enough for anybody.

I love guitars, look at how I adore the guitar being played. *sigh I wish I had known how to play them well enough on my own.

NOTE: This is Tom Kain, he's a part-timer in the uni. He loves guitars, the Beatles and talking to random people. He is also a hair model and is doing his masters in Japan studies. Tom has a girlfriend and it's not a guitar.

The Sushi Party 101106

Before the John Mayer concert I went to Bunkyo Girls High School for their sushi party and made sushi from scratch. Below is how I think we made it.

Sushi California Style

Cooked rice with vinegar
salmon (sliced probably raw)
crab meat
sliced avocado
seaweed+sesame (norifuki or something like that)

Place half of the rice inside a square serving dish until it covers the bottom. Basically just layer it with the salmon, crab meat, avocado and a lot of mayo( I put a lot because I'm not really fond of salmon). Cover it with the remaining rice. Take out a flat board or something like that and push the rice until it's compact and nice and all sushi like. take it out of the dish, serve it on plate, sprinkle the norifuki (I might be wrong on the name though) and cut it with a sharp knife. There you go.

NOTE: They were actually delicious, the salmon wasn't bad at all. Salty salmon, sweet crab, sour mayo, soft avocado, and fulfilling rice added up really nicely. I'm gonna learn more sushi recipe to add to my cooking repertoire. ;p

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Love song for Ana

Tugging at the sleeves where I'm wearing my heart on

It was a last minute thing, to tell you the truth. I found out that he was in town the night before his 2nd show in Ebisu Garden Hall, just last night. I was listening to his songs and decided to google him and there he was waiting for me. Hehe.. Good thing I had a few Japanese friends around to help me get the ticket. We ended up buying it in a convenient store not far from the dorm. I was jumping with joy at the thought of seeing him.

The concert was awesome. It was electrifying, orgasmic, and sentimental. I would like to make a public announcement that John Mayer is currently the unrequited love of my life, make it the number one unrequited love of my life. I don't know why I like him so much, I just do. Maybe it's because of his sexy voice singing all those beautiful songs. Maybe because it's just him. Whatever that supposed to mean.

There were soooooo many people, pushing and shoving but I still had a good view of him somewhere third row or in between. There were times when it seemed impossible to move my body to the songs because it was that crowded but I stood firm in my spot because I knew John could see me from up there. There were moments when we sang together, word for word. In those brief moments somehow it almost feels like we knew each other. (I know, I know this is turning into a hopeless romantic vain story with minor embellishing, but I swear he really looked my way more than once because I could see his lips curved into a smile when I smiled at him.)

When he finished playing eleven songs and said "Thank you, doomo arigatoo!" and the band also waved goodbye and went off stage, I kept on clapping and shouted "encore" and "we want more" or something like that until people started to join in and we created a momentum and it forced my prince out of his castle. He brought out his acoustic and I shouted out "3x5, please." It turned out it was actually in the setlist incase the fans wanted more. Fantastic.

The last song that the band played was "in repair" and this song will always be special in my heart because John and I was making out through that particular song, symbolically of course. It was when he was performing awesome guitar licks and his fingers were everywhere and he looked at me and saw that I was so into him and he was so hot with his mouth parted and so was mine and we were moving together to the same rhythm of the guitar and he smiled because he knew what we were sharing and it was the best experience ever.

He is incredible, loving those hands and mouth, wondering what else they are good at. Ehem.. Anyway, I got his setlist which is still a prize next to his guitar picks, which was impossible to get sice there were too many hopefull and determined individuals around. I was particularly lucky though, there were quite a number of people reaching out for the two pieces of paper put together. Maybe it's cause I said "please" to the technician that's why he gave it to me.

The setlist

I got the chance to go back stage with the help of one of his band mates and took picture with the guys. Too bad my lil Johnny was not around.. *sigh But, then maybe it's a good thing, I might jumped on him or something like that and he won't ever recover. ;p

The band or 1/2 of the band

I am the kind of person who believes that everything happens for a reason. I do not know the exact reason why I should be so intoxicated and under heavy influence of Jo-chan, but I think it has something to do with picking up the guitar again and writing more thoughtful songs. I've always needed the push. Now, I feel inspired, like a song is somewhere sleeping between me and my pillows. If I could just wake him up, perhaps with a promise of a breakfast in bed, then things would fall into place.

Somehow, as impossible as it may seem, I have a feeling that John and I will meet again, another concert maybe, just a feeling.

John Mayer - Love Song for No One

Staying home alone on a Friday
Flat on the floor looking back
On old love
Or lack thereof
After all the crushes are faded
And all my wishful thinking was wrong
I'm jaded
I hate it

I'm tired of being alone
So hurry up and get here
So tired of being alone
So hurry up and get here
Get here

Searching all my days just to find you
I'm not sure who I'm looking for
I'll know it
When I see you
Until then, I'll hide in my bedroom
Staying up all night just to write
A love song for no one

I'm tired of being alone
So hurry up and get here
So tired of being alone
So hurry up and get here

I could have met you in a sandbox
I could have passed you on the sidewalk
Could I have missed my chance
And watched you walk away?
Oh no way

I could have met you in a sandbox
I could have passed you on the sidewalk
Could I have missed my chance
And watched you walk away?

I'm tired of being alone
So hurry up and get here
I'm so tired of being alone
So hurry up and get here(1st time Oh, yeah)
You'll be so good
You'll be so good for me

Touch your feet to the sky

Swing swing - The All-American Rejects

Days swiftly come and go
I'm dreaming of her
She's seeing other guys
Emotions they stir
The sun is gone
The nights are long
And I am left while the tears fall

Did you think that I would cry
On the phone?
Do you know what it feels like
Being alone?
I'll find someone new

Swing, swing, swing
From the tangles of
My heart is crushed
By a former love
Can you help me find a way
To carry on again?

Dreams cast into the sky
I'm moving on
Sweet beginnings do arise
She knows I was wrong
The notes are old
They bend, they fold
And so do I to a new love

Did you think that I would cry
On the phone?
Do you know what it feels like
Being alone?
I'll find someone new

Swing, swing, swing
From the tangles of
My heart is crushed
By a former love
Can you help me find a way
To carry on again?

Bury me
(You thought your problems were gone)
Carry me
(Away, away, away)

Swing, swing, swing
From the tangles of
My heart is crushed
By a former love
Can you help me find a way
To carry on again?

Kindergarten Nov2006

Being on a swing is like being in love. When you see your feet almost touching the sky, you feel like you could never get any higher than that. And you push yourself just enough until you get tired and bored and wish to stop. Afterwards you have to start all over again, and as you push yourself again and again, you realize you have been farther than you thought you could. Until you get scared and sick, so you let it slow itself and die on its own.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Digging the past

Karuizawa Oct2006

White roses, black horses.

Koré opened her dark brown eyes, only to discover that she didn’t know where she was. Strangely, she couldn’t even remember coming to that place. For one thing, she couldn’t register her surroundings since it was very dim. But somehow, the place was awfully familiar, as if she had been there before. Only she couldn’t recall.

Even in the dark, she knew that something different, almost magical that refused to reveal itself was present. It was very quiet, peaceful, as a pleasant kind of stillness lingered in the air. And suddenly, ever so swiftly, the world seemed to be waking up from a deep sleep as the sun rose up to greet the morning. And for the first time, Koré noticed her environment, an attention grabbing terrain in a new light.

The grass was a rich color of deep green and the heavens were a tremendous shade of baby blue. There was a small lake in the center of the clearing, a mirror of the vast sky. And tall trees, which stood like crooked pillars, surrounded it. Not far from the lake was a wooden bench situated under a cherry tree.

Koré saw sparkling dewdrops glistening in the sun. She heard a faint sound of a running stream and smelt a tantalizing fragrance of white roses blossoming. Very soon, she began to hear songbirds making music in the air. One wonder after another unveiled itself, and the sights and sounds of it all fascinated her. It was the most beautiful place in the world, she declared.

All of a sudden, the ground began to shake and Koré heard a soft yet distinct sound of running horses that grew louder and louder by each second. The noise was magnified and even the birds stopped their merrymaking and chose to run and hide.

Koré had the bizarre feeling that something big was heading for her direction. And her attempt to prepare herself for whatever was coming her way proved to be useless. Out of the thickness of the trees, emerged a group of horsemen on strong fierce looking black stallions. She was so scared that she even forgot the idea of turning her tail and run. The horses stopped within a few inches from her and Koré almost fainted clean away.

She nervously watched as a tall handsome rider got down from his horse and walked steadily, confidently towards her. The playful smirk on his face was the only thing she needed to feel foolishly brave and downright insulted by the way she was treated. Those hooligans almost made her jump out of her skin. Before she could launch a verbal attack, to her surprise, the stranger bowed courteously and spoke.
“Greetings, I am Lord Iruka of the castle of Azure. Welcome at last, Lady Koré.”

Koré was speechless, a wave of bewilderment swept over her. Out of politeness, all she could do was nod her head in acknowledgement and smiled uneasily. Iruka as the stranger called himself, raised his right hand and all the other men took it as a signal to leave the two of them alone. As fast as the wind, they sped off, leaving hoof prints on the grass.

“Come with me, Koré and I’ll show you whatever you wish.” It sounded more of an instruction rather than a suggestion. But he had a domineering quality about him, an aura of authority that made it impossible to refuse him. And Koré, half reluctant and half confused followed him as he took her for a walk

Iruka was amazing. He managed to capture her interest with his knowledge as well as his charm. The topic of their conversation varied from art to music, sports to food, nothing in particular and everything altogether. He listened intently to her opinions and even though they argued a lot, they were all in good terms. Iruka surprised her, he intrigued her, but most of all he bedazzled her with his mystifying qualities. And pretty soon, Koré began to feel something funny inside her heart, some kind of a silly pounding every time he looked at her with a smile so generous that it reached up into his eyes. They glittered like a pair of blue topazes shining brilliantly in the clouds. Something strange was happening, something wonderful was on the brink of taking place.

After the walk, they rested on the bench under the cherry tree. Koré was thoughtful for a whole minute. She was busy evaluating the situation. It happened so fast without her realizing it. There was something about him and this place that filled her with a weird sense of familiarity. But, something wasn’t right. He was still a stranger, since she hardly knew anything about him. Oddly, they only talked about certain things and about her for that matter, but never about him. It seemed that neither thought of bringing it up.

“Tell me about yourself, Iruka. Tell me something from your past.” She requested.

In that instant, his face changed. There were traces of sorrow in his eyes; a kind of forlorn discontent covered his face. He spoke softly, almost dejectedly.

“I don’t have one.”

“What do you mean you don’t have one?” Koré looked at him, confused and frowning. He was hesitating, anxious all of a sudden and somewhat distraught. But the pleading look in her face compelled him to reveal the truth.

“You didn’t create one for me.”

The statement hit her with a force so great that it almost made her collapse. And then slowly, everything seemed to fall into place. The white roses and the black horses; the bench and the cherry tree; and most of all Iruka himself. They were too perfect, too wonderful and too unbelievable to be real. Now she knew why, this was just a dream.

Koré felt her heart sank and her eyes burned with unspoken sadness. The truth had always been painful. But why didn’t she realize it sooner? Before he showed up, before she even had the courage to believe in him. He was just a figment of her imagination, for crying out loud. She had conjured him, and he didn’t even exist. Koré knew that there was only one thing to do. She must return to her real world.

“I can’t stay here anymore. You and I both know why, this is just a dream. It’s not real and it won’t ever be.”
The words tasted like poison in her mouth.

“But you can. You have a choice. Stay here and be with me, don’t leave and you’ll be living your dreams.”
He pleaded with gentle warmth in his eyes.

“No, I’ll just be dreaming. I don’t belong here. We are not meant to be. I have to go back. It’s the only way.”

He swallowed bitterly before he nodded understandingly.
“Close your eyes, and when you can hear me no more, open them and you’ll be where you’re supposed to be.”

Silence fell upon them like a blanket, burying and suffocating her. Iruka prepared his horse for departure. Koré just had to ask one final question, out of love, out of hope.

“Will I get to see you again?”

He mounted his horse and spoke.
“Maybe yes, maybe no, we’ll see. I’m always here, waiting for you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in me anymore, Koré. The important thing is, I am alive because of you. Even if it’s a dream, dreams do come true in the end if you believe in it.”

Before she could say anything, Iruka disappeared out of her sight. Somehow she understood. She closed her eyes and savored the sound of his black horse speeding off into nowhere until all that remained was a gentle whisper of the wind. She opened them and smiled with gladness at the smell of white roses blossoming. And she instantly knew that she was exactly where she belonged.

ANH Raffali,
July 22, 2002.

(1316 words)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Halloween 311006

I decided to become a pontianak for the halloween party. Here are the pictures of 'the Ana menace'.

Joe the Stitch

Chie the halloween princess

Masae the vampire bat

Jenna the mad doctor

Tom the Doraemon

Vanya the sailor/oliver twist?

Bakh the Kenpachi of Bleach

Chris the Tifa of FFVII

Hiroyuki the ordinary dude

Carolyn the fan in fanatic

Saori the lady in black

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The time of the year

I made Malaysianized pasta sauce to eat with Macaroni the day before my birthday and invited my Japanese friends. Ever since we found that shop in Ueno, my cooking repertoire has increased immensely. (Besides how many fish dishes can you cook before turning into a fish yourself?)

The Sauce

Minced beef
Onion & garlic (bawang merah & bawang putih)
Dried Chilli( I only used one because its super hot)
Prego (Okay, okay I cheated a little)
Tomato Puree
Green pepper
Button mushroom
Salt & Sugar
Lime juice
(Cream; My friend suggested this but I forgot to include it this time)

Blend the onion, garlic, ginger, and chilli. Heat the blended stuff in a pot with some oil and then cook the beef with it. Next, put prego and tomato puree (Add 2 cans of water) and let it soak in the beef. After that, add all the rest of the ingredients in moderate quantities.

Anyway, Yoshi-kun, Sho-chan, and Shu-chan said they were, "Ume.." Hehe.. after they had their second helpings, (Actually I made a lot for the whole house and more. But the 2nd batch of macaroni was still cooking in the pot.) I had my first birthday surprise, Yoshi-kun took out a box from the fridge and said, "For you!"

I screamed in delight. The chocolate cake was sooo kawaii. The most important thing is that they got my name right. It made my day. It was the sweetest thing for them to do. I told them, "Demo, watashi no tanjoubi wa ashita desu." They said it's okay to celebrate early. Of course. The cake was one of the best birthday cakes (mine and others) I've had so far. Chocolate heaven in a box.

Yoshi-kun brought his guitar so we looked up for chords on the net and did a little sing along. What's great about Yoshi-kun is that his guitar skills are much much much better than most and he pick up songs easily although he has never heard of the songs that I asked him (nicely) to play for me. Among them were my all-time favorites; Can't take my eyes off you, How do I, You were Meant for Me, Aitai Kimochi etc.

Then we played Simpsons Monopoly. Now even though I won the game, it doesn't mean I was making all the rules as we were going along, okay. I played fair, in fact I was nicer with them since it was their first game of monopoly. Okay okay, maybe it wasn't that fair. But I was the birthday girl after all. ;p

Exactly 0000, Kate came running down the stair with a goody bag for me. I was screaming again, she got me 2 mangas and a pair of red earrings that she made herself. I wore them staight away to go for karaoke.

We sang all night and by the time we got back it was only 3 hours away until I had my volunteering to do, at 8:30am. I sorta dressed up because I was feeling that great. We met Jeff and Kate Kamakahi at the station and they got me Pocky sticks (winter edition special) for my bithday breakfast. I've developed an obsession for Pocky/Rocky sticks by the way. I have to have them in my room. I shared that morning fix with everybody and it tasted even more yummy.

I was in charged of the Japanese green tea booth with Nobu-san, Aoki-san, Kajino-san, Tomo-chan, and Mika-chan. Dan also helped a bit in the booth. About the tea, Nobu-san told me to eat a piece of chocolate before drinking it. Thank God she told me that because it was soooooo bitter, it wasn't even real. The chocolate made it bearable and somewhat tasty in a peversed sense (whatever that supposed to mean). I had a great time serving the Japanese sweet cakes and saying, "Sho sho o machi kudasai. Go yukkuri doozo.." Please wait and enjoy the cake. Tomo-chan and Mika-chan really helped me a lot with my conduct since their english is so good.

Spending your birthday in a bazaar is not bad at all. I got a cool hanging watch from Bakh, a necklace from Vanya, Kate and Jeff, a ring from the lady in the watch store, some cakes and sweets from my new friends, 50% cut on my smokey quartz to add to my wrist collection etc. I did some shopping for the people at home too which will save me a lot of time among other things.

When I got back I was too tired and cranky to go to sleep so I called my sis and heard Nabil chatting like a grown up. Man, I missed the little monkey. Chatted with another monkey and got a birthday coupon for BK's Whopper(hopefully with the cheese in place) and Gulai masak lemak ayam. Waaa.. I'm drooling for home.

I guess my birthday went great. I particularly miss home, more than I did during Raya. I guess it was because birthdays are personal and stuff like that are hard to figure out. But, I'll always have my comfort food anywhere I go.

P/s: Thanks for the birthday wishes. It means a lot knowing that although I'm not around, I'm still being remembered.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Think about it, love

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing - Jack Johnson

Now I was sitting waiting wishing
That you believed in superstitions
Then maybe you'd see the signs
But Lord knows that this world is cruel
And I ain't the Lord, no I'm just a fool
And in loving somebody don't make them love you

Must I always be waiting waiting on you?
Must I always be playing playing the fool?

I sing ya songs I dance a dance
I gave ya friends all a chance
Putting up with them wasn't worth never having you
And maybe you been through this before
But its my first time
So please ignore
The next few lines cause they're directed at you

I cant always be waiting waiting on you
I cant always be playing playing your fool
I keep playing your cards
But its not my scene
Wont this plot not twist?
I have no place to read?
Keep building me up, then shooting me down
Well im already down
Just wait a minute
Just sitting waiting
Just wait a minute
Just sitting waiting

Well if I was in your position
Id put down all my ammunition
I'd wondered why'd it taken me so long
But Lord knows that I'm not you
And If I was I wouldn't be so cruel
Cause waiting on love ain't so easy to do

Must I always be waiting waiting on you?
Must I always be playing playing the fool?
No I cant always be waiting waiting on you
I cant always be playing playing your fool, foool

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

MonsteRocKnife 002

Joe and I waiting for the train
Last Sunday, Joe and I went to a gig in Shinjuku. Funny thing was, we lost each other coming out of the metro. It was most memorable because there I was in the middle of everything, clueless as to where I should go, having given the one and only map to the place to Joe. I waited for him at one spot for at least 15 minutes before I began to suspect that he might have walked further up. The next 30 minutes found me circling the station like a little lost kitten.

Finally I decided that I might as well try to find the venue on my own in the hopes of meeting my gig mate there. My first attempt to ask a passerby led me to the policebooth where the police officer took out a huge^$$ map and showed me the way to the Shinjuku ACB Hall. I was so excited having found out the way that I even stopped by Makudonarudo to get some refreshment, it was after all inching closer to 5:30pm.

When I got there, I couldn't find the hall and was beginning to doubt my sense of direction. The area was kind of dodgy to begin with but thank God there was another policebooth. After unsuccessfully following (perhaps misinterpreted) directions, one of the police officers walked me to the destination. As I was walking, this one mat salleh dude was about to pass me by when I recognized him to be my long lost Joe. Man, I've never been that happy to see him.

After thanking the officer, we started down the flight(s) of stairs to the underground gig site. We were the first to buy tickets, despite our earlier drama. Joe asked me when did I realize that he was gone (or I lost him). Well, I went outside and when I turn around to ask something he was nowhere to be found so I waited for him in a corner thinking that he might return to look for me.

He, on the other hand, lost me inside the station when he went to look at the big map. He waited for me about the same time I did but in a different location, then decided maybe he could find me at our supposed destination (although he actually thought that it was unlikely to happen knowing that he had "my map" with him.) Good thing I was the one who printed it and was able to remember basic information. It was worth getting lost though, the gig was awesome. There were six bands altogether, but I shall comment on my four favorites. Although the two other bands; Local Sound Style and at Anytime, are pretty awesome too, I just don't have any good pictures of them. ;p

my beautiful ending
Ironically this band went first. This band sings in english and their songs are unique because of the keyboard/piano. I like this one song called "tears are falling again". It has a very nice melancholic feel to it, soft yet powerful in a way.

Shove It
Nope, it's not a clone of pop shuvit. Punk rock, english songs and it's all good fun. They play with their hearts, I like. I like the basist as well, and the sweetheart gave me his pic. Aw.. ;)

Flash back
Now this band is hot. The vocalist is so sexy playing the guitar. Kinda reminds me of Duan of scts though, although I must admit minus the sexiness. Their songs are also in english, but it's not as heavy as other japanese indie bands I've heard before. I like the rawness of this band. Plus, this guy is so adorably polite and shy, and I got his pic as well. Love his hands.

Tribal Chair
Now this ladies and gentlemen, is the reason little Ms. Ana dragged her American friend all the way to Shinjuku for. I'm sure that if you went through my earlier posts you would recognize the name. Yes, Tribal Chair is rocking hot. I was closest to the stage, right at the center front, practically drooling over the band.

One thing about japanese gig goers is that they don't really mosh, they rock their bodies and nod their heads to the music and when the chorus comes they'll raise their right arms and make mock guns out of their fingers and wave them in unison. I tried following their lead but decided I'd rather do my head banging and culture clashing. I had one of the best times of my life going crazy in tune with their music.

Hide (Bassist) and Shiro (Guitarist)
Shiro was the one responsible in giving me directions to the map. And the best part was that he remembered me and patted me on the shoulder when he saw me. He also gave me his pic. ;)

Hiroki, my hero
I don't think I'll ever get a decent picture with him. But who cares as long as he's gorgeous in person. I almost melted when I saw the sparkle of recognition in his eyes as I said ohisashiburi to him. He was so gracious and warm *sigh* and even gave us the band's latest single cd (one each). I promise to see them again in Shibuya, after that steamy musical connection, who wouldn't make the effort?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Out the window

It had been raining a lot here these past few weeks. Big torrential droplets, the kind that seeps through the skin and into the bones, freezing your insides like cold steel.

Wet and weak, I often found myself struggling against the karmic wind, stumbling through familiar streets praying for a change, missing the warmth of the sun.

Sometimes, a patch of blue escape through and the rain was momentarily gone. Even the wicked wind was behaving and life would settle itself into a dreamlike state, but only for so long.

Just when I thought that the worse was over, and that someone did call the plumber to have the leaking sky fixed, yesterday's returning storm blew in and I'd be shivering all over again.

Day in and day out, I was soaked through and through. The only way not to get wet was to stay inside, but staying inside was not a way to get rid of the cold.

During these moments, the only way to keep warm was to keep myself occupied with small talks and big walks. The rain was less offensive when you're constantly on the move.

Suddenly yesterday, it stopped raining. Just like a flip of a switch, the sun lit up all smiling and warm. And like a scared cowering bully, the rain ran to hide itself in the blackest depths of the sea.

Looking out through the window, I could feel the sun heating up my skin and drying my face. My frozen parts are melting, I'm going out to play because here comes the sun.

Here Comes the Sun (Harrison)

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right
It's all right

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My new love

I've discovered that I love cooking. Surprise.. surprise.. My family are so gonna be shocked when I get back. I have more delicacies to cook apart from the angin masak kicap and air masak panas.

Last night I made dinner for two of my American friends who had to celebrate their birthday in a foreign country. I figured that if it was my birthday and I were to be at home, I bet my mom would cook something great just for me. I don't want to be anybody's mom (just yet), but I love cheering people up. Besides, these guys have cooked for me before. Joe with his special scampi, Mark with his first/second cooking attempt of veggie pasta, and Bakh for being my constant chef.

Mark's cooking because I'm that good in games.

So at 4 o'clock, Bakh and I set out to find the halal meat store. I promise the guys that I would cook chicken for them. It turned out that the shop closes every Wednesday. Tough luck. But I bought chicken anyway, if I promise anything I could do, I will deliver it.

So the menu was;
1. Ayam goreng kunyit (Bakh and I had to pass this though)
2. Cendawan goreng istimewa
3. Udang goreng mentaga.

Here is the recipe:

Ayam Goreng Kunyit

Turmeric powder
Green peas

Marinate the sliced chicken with turmeric powder and salt for 10-20 minutes. Fry em in hot oil (add some garlic) until they turn brown and crispy. Take them out, remove excess oil from the pan and cook onion, garlic, chilli and green peas (add salt if you want) but make sure they are not soggy. Put the chicken back into the pan and mix em well.

They looked tempting, I really didn't know whether they tasted the way they should. But Mark and Joe said they like it, they might be lying just so I won't feel bad. But the dish was empty when it got to the sink so it's all good.

Cendawan Goreng Istimewa

Turmeric powder

Heat the marjerine. Cooked the garlic until they turn yellow and nice-smelling. Next insert onion, chilli, a bit of turmeric powder and salt (your taste). Stir and mix em well. Then, pour in the mushroom, break an egg and stir-fry them before serving em hot.

They actually tasted pretty good. Sweet and salty. I don't know what the mushroom I used is called, but they turn out to be a good random pick after all.

Udang Goreng Mentega

Shrimps (I removed their shells)
Flour (Corn, please)
Curry powder
Butter (I used Margerine)

Break an egg and beat it well. Coat each individual shrimp with egg and flour and fry them in hot butter. Cooked them until they look mouthwatering good. Take them out. Break two more eggs inside a bowl, put curry powder into it and mix em well. Fry the eggs scramble like with onion and chilli until they turn brown. Insert the shrimps back into the pan and stir em well until the taste of shrimp soaks into the eggs.

This is my favorite because I love shrimp and eggs. I helped Justynn make this once, I had to do without curry leaves and corn flour though. But it turned out pretty alright as well. Joe finished em all.

Joe's attempt to eat with his hand.

In conclusion, it's funny how I suddenly realized that cooking is actually fun. I can't wait to explore and experiment. Oh yes.. It's definitely an orgastronomical adventure. And I'll be sure to document them here. ;)