Friday, July 30, 2010

Home At Last!

I've been on the low recently especially last week because...

I am now a full-fledged graduate!! *proud*

Even if my degree is the randomest thing ever.

Packing all the belongings accumulated over 3 years nearly sapped my soul away and I ended up tossing a lot of crap away (some of them not even crap at all!) but now I'm comfortably at home with my family and my dogs! =D

It's going to be really hard to blog properly until my Streamyx line at home is reconnected. Being used to being connected at all times, at my share-house and on campus, this is pure and unadulterated torture.

Until then, I shall have to content myself with going online at various wireless hotspots around KK! Gawd I miss this place! ^^ (It rains everyday here.)

I just got back 2 days ago and my old friend, Wongy wants to bring me clubbing at some place called Firefly tomorrow... Should be interesting. I've never really gone clubbing properly in KK before (read: WITHOUT parents). White Room sounds awesome too!

Drama-watching will have to take a back seat for awhile. :-(

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

I've been waiting for the live-action version of Toki wo Kakeru Shojo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) to be released ever since I learnt Naka Riisa (Yankee-kun to Megane-chan) was starring in it. Based on a 1967 novel about a schoolgirl, Kazuko, who suddenly finds out she can time travel to the past and discovers a secret about someone she thought she knew. This novel has been adapted to films and TV dramas many times.

2010 live-action film trailer:

The 1983 film is supposed to be a classic but I can't find it anywhere so far. A pity though. The 1994 TV drama version stars a very young Uchida Yuki and looks rather cheesy for my liking (idol stars, hmph) and the most well-known version is the 2006 animated adaptation, which is a pseudo-sequel to the original, where the protagonist is Kazuko's niece.

The 2010 live action version (poster above) is supposed to be a direct sequel (about Kazuko's daughter) which is why I'm waiting for it eagerly. Naka Riisa also voiced Makoto, the protagonist in the animation. Japanese people looove overwrought melodrama but I really hope this one will end with at least a glimmer of hope (Japanese cinema and their open endings!), unlike say, terminal disease movies like Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu (Ugh! So cute but ended annoyingly because they didn't stay true to the manga for dramatic purposes) and 1 Litre no Namida ('nuff said).

The only thing I have a problem with is Akiyoshi Nakao. I hope he's a really good actor because he better have something to make up for that 70's hair. I have previously watched him in Dragon Zakura but he wasn't very memorable. Sincere, yes, but I guess I was too distracted by Koike Teppei with pink highlights! ^^

2006 animation of Girl Who Leapt Through Time

It's been out since March but I have yet to find a raw or subbed version anywhere. I've watched the animation (it's as good as they say!) and this awful TV movie remake starring Morning Musume members (only worth watching for Asahi Uchida).

Hopefully this new version won't disappoint! ^^

Monday, July 19, 2010

My First Experience as a Promoter

Working as a promoter in Mydin, Terengganu was both fun and painful at the same time. Thank heavens it lasted only 3 days (for the Nippon Paint Roadshow organized by Olie Events) and I'm half glad I'm graduating and will be leaving this place soon because I think I greeted a few hundred people in the space of a few days and encountered a lot of people I knew. I fear being recognized on KT streets as 'that Nippon girl'.

Together with Ah Hau the mascot!! Ain't he cute?!

I was helping out a friend and I've never done promotion work before so it was awkward at first. Working 12 hours a day is no joke. Vanessa is complete rubbish at this, haha! I came back after midnight everyday because usually the team would go out for supper afterwards even though the promoters were usually half dead by then. But the work paid off because we got over 1000 people registered for Nippon freebies! :D

Love my free Nippon tumbler! =D

Being the way that I am around people (read: unsociable), it was quite a challenge to greet everyone with a bright smile and some people tend to get the wrong idea. *sweatdrop* Met a few nasty people of course like the unfriendly Ogawa promoter with white specs whose job seems to be to sneer at other people 'beneath' him. But then there were of course the friendly families, team members and comical shopkeepers (kids really). Made a lot of new friends! It's a pity I'm leaving in a few weeks...

On the 3rd day, of all days, there was a party of anti-BN demonstrators *cough*mak cik*cough in front of Mydin who were there to protest the situation about flour and sugar in the country. Before that a lady distributed free articles and I was like, 'How nice!' and then when I laid eyes on the contents, the header read, 'Saiful Tidak Diliwat' (trans: Saiful was not sodomised). *blink* *blink*

Mak cik power!

After 3 days, I am completely DRAINED. I'm going to recharge my batteries now. But this week is giving me no breaks at all. I queued up for 4 hours just to get my graduation robe today! There's also my workload, a barbecue at my house tomorrow (great, more people) and a Catholic student meeting the day after that.

I miss my me time.

P/S: Don't you think asking people their religion the first time you meet them is a bit much? Because I do. It boggles the mind.

Only in West Malaysia.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Maroon 5 is giving me Misery

Okay, cheesy blog titles aside, I heard this on the radio a while back but only bothered to look for it yesterday even though I recognized Adam Levine's distinct voice and Maroon 5's style of music straightaway and I was like, "Could it be?". *heart flutters*

The full music video is available on YT but I don't like it much. True to Maroon 5's (shall I say horny-ness?) style, it features a hot model who's really into Adam. This one in particular is Adam Levine's current Russian supermodel girlfriend in real life and here she completely embodies the term 'tough love'. I don't like violence in music videos especially and this one takes the cake.

Why I like this song? I pretty much felt like this in the hols. But I'm slowly grasping the threads of humanity once again and I love talking to random people on campus to fill in the gaps when I hardly spoke to anyone in the hols. Haha, so if you meet a random Sabahan girl this month who speaks crappy Malay in UMT, it's me.

Maroon 5's new album Hands All Over hits music stores on September 21.

P/S: I'm blogging from uni now... Let me tell you that Youtube and Facebook loads reaaaally slowly on campus and it's not even peak hours yet... *shifty eyes*

Image via On Location News

Monday, July 12, 2010

World Cup Finals in Kuala Terengganu!

And yes, justice was served on a platter as the team who ousted Brazil was thwarted after almost 2 freakin' hours! It was a win not easily achieved but I'm so glad Spain won... VIVA ESPANA! (And Paul strikes yet again. He has an immaculate track record this WC.)

My friend Eva and I deliberated whether to go watch the WC finals in Kuala Terengganu somewhere (we have no TV in our house). So we tried two of the nearby cafes which were chock-ful of ah peks and in the end, drove all the way to the 24 hour McD in the heart of KT, which was the safest choice, seeing some people even brought their toddlers along. There were even uni students there, I think I spied some juniors and seniors watching together at the other end.

Btw, driving in the dead of the night in KT is NOT fun, a strange black calf came out of nowhere and a canine roadkill nearly scared the living daylights out of us.

Two McFlurries, one coffee and one large Coke later, finally Andres Iniesta (Spain) scored the winning goal. At last! We were beginning to think someone placed force fields over the goals because it seemed to deflect every single attempt. Everyone leapt to their chairs and whacked their red stick balloons for all it was worth.

A strange guy gestured to his McD stick balloon outside to me through the glass panel and I was blur for a sec. Then he hopped over the railing and went inside to present to me these...

...used stick balloons! (complete with fingernail marks! wth) They smelled vaguely like smoke but to thank him, I gave a good show of using it. Him and his mates were high-fiving outside after that, lol. And made me cheer along with him through the glass window. Wahahhahhaha!

Funny man in the red shirt, you startled me. But you and Spain sorta made my night! XD

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quiet Thoughts...

When the wind sings a soft tune,
I heave a sigh and think of you,
Whichever path my feet will tread,
The one true path leads back to you.

What joy it is to spread my wings,
And soak in all the wondrous sights,
But come the time in my eyes, I see
The glint of yearning for familiar skies.


Gettin' more and more homesick everyday...
Somehow the closer my graduation day is, the more I can hardly wait to finally go back home... You'd think I would be used to this by now (I usually go back every 6 months), but not quite.


I met a junior here at church from Negeri Sembilan who was rather sad at being here. I have no idea what to do when people cry in front of me. *useless* Nobody seems to be particularly elated to be away from home at first, especially in a place like Terengganu. Talk about culture clash. :-/

I told her that uni is really fun, if you have good friends and can come to terms with the subjects you have to study, actually enjoy it, then uni becomes a very happy place indeed. She reminded me of a friend of mine who's graduating this year also who constantly weirds me out. I hope their personalities aren't the same but they look like mirror images of each other. @_@

But whatever choice you make. No regrets. There's just too much to live for. :)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Coming up: Hotaru no Hikari Season 2!

The drama gods heard my prayers or peeked in my drama wishlist because kicking off this summer is Hotaru no Hikari Season 2!!! If there's any flaw with the first season, it's that the drama ended with an open ending and there was hardly any character development. Such an nerve-grating but sweet series. I haven't felt the urge to burn Ayase Haruka at the stake yet, which might not be the case with some other Japanese 'actresses'.

Plus they're bringin' in Osamu Mukai. Oh sweet Jesus. Might spazz out now from happiness at this dream casting. He's a little stiff yes but hopefully not as wooden as his predecessor in Season 1, Kato Kazuki. His presence in any drama is somewhat comforting. I even stuck through the intensely annoying Mei-chan no Shitsuji for him but I cried off at the end. The awfulness just hit the ceiling then.

I wonder what this spells for the Buchou-Hotaru connection? Fujiki Naohito is as evergreen as ever (it's so weird that he hasn't aged since GTO... *suspicious*) but he's as soft spoken and gentlemanly as ever. Though I do wonder when Japanese actors will learn to leave their eyebrows alone. But of course I'll be on Team Buchou during the run of this drama! *\(^_^)/*

Hotaru no Hikari 2 will start broadcasting on the 7th of July. I didn't expect to find something good so soon after finishing Yankee-kun to Megane-chan and as you can see, I'm pretty stoked.

It's himono-onna time again! ^^

Pic credit: Dramawiki

Monday, July 05, 2010

Review: Yankee-kun to Megane-chan (2010)

Jdorama: Yankee-kun to Megane-chan (ヤンキー君とメガネちゃん)
Episodes: 10
Year: Spring of 2010

What started out as an ordinary school jdorama, turned out to be one hell of addictive ride. By far, my favourite jdorama this season for giving me new actors to stalk such as Koyanagi Yu. Based on a popular manga (aka Flunk Punk Rumble) about a troublemaker (called a Yankee in Japan, no idea why) called Shinagawa and a 'reformed' Yankee, Adachi Hana or should I say, Hurricane Ada (this gets revealed in the first episode so no spoilers...yet). Shinagawa never meant to be a Yankee but after winning one fight in junior high, people kept chasing him one after the other and having no choice but to beat them all up, he became known as the school's No. 1 Yankee. Sound cheesy enough for you yet? He's always wanted to be a doctor though and studies hard enough to get into an elite high school where he meets Adachi who's really pushy and Shinagawa's just too nice to say no.

Chiba and Adachi pestering Shinagawa

I decided to pick it up simply because I like school jdoramas (Japanese people are so good at this) and a premise with gangsters, bad boys and a possible platonic relationship (it IS a shoujo manga) sounds too much to resist. Plus a nerdy schoolgirl who can beat up guys? Awesome. I didn't recognize anyone besides the Yankee actor, the guy who plays Izumi and the teacher dude and even then, I didn't particularly like any of them enough to follow their work. It only took an episode to reel me in. Gotta love how short and sweet jdoramas are. Usually only 8-12 episodes clocking less than an hour each.

The entire class

I also like it for being less formulaic than other school jdoramas like the Gokusen series, where it always ends with the teacher beating up a whole bunch of people, each feat more impossible than the last. It's also more likable than My Boss My Hero, which was disappointing and had a crappy ending. *obliterates from memory*

The school council

The drama really got really interesting with the appearance of Chiba (Koyanagi Yu *cheers*) in episode 2. Eye candy! Not to mention, the talented Hongo Kanata (Seigi no Mikata, Tantei Gakuen Q), who's one of the brightest young stars today (he can act unlike some other Johnny boys). The Megane-chan (Naka Riisa) grates on my nerves sometimes but shines in her scenes with her Grandpa and Rinko. Narimiya Hiroki (28) was strangely 100% more likable than his other character in the original Gokusen (7 years later he's still acting as a high schooler). He always has this thing where he calls things 'Annoying!' especially Adachi and whenever he feels a 'connection' to Adachi, he always starts his fantasies with, 'This development...'. XD

Shinagawa and his parents (yes, that's his mum with 2 ponytails)

Anyway I never really got annoyed with the humor of this show, it was actually funny most of the time, especially Shinagawa's family. The dad, mum and sister are fabulous together, I don't remember enjoying a jdorama this much since since...Hana Kimi and Hana Yori Dango (I must've lost my mind back then). Almost every episode of YTM centers around the student council and helping other students. Of course, don't expect some things to make any sense, because the comedy is done in a really anime kind of way.

The school festival

Actually, I've just finished the last episode an hour ago but the ending was soooo cute and satisfying for a jdorama (I set my expectations really low for jdoramas whose writers seem to have a fondness for open-endings, the bane of my drama-watching life), that I just had to write a review while I'm still pleased about it. I'm trying to resist from posting some really cute pics of the ending. Let's just say, Adachi looks really cute without the braids and specs. Overall, Yankee-kun to Megane-chan should not be missed if you're a fan of the genre (like I am ^_^) and is one of the most charming dramas I've encountered this year. Maybe they should adapt more shoujo mangas like this one into jdoramas. It's good source material. ;-)

The cast off-camera - Chiba looks like a punk and Adachi looks kawaii!

Pic credits: the official website

I also watched Cyborg Girl which was pretty impressive in story and special effects. Delightful concept but ran a little too long.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Things I'll Always Remember...

July is here and only three more weeks till graduation!!! Can't wait because I haven't been home since December last year and I am of the opinion that if you don't go back home often enough, you start to change or rather, everyone else back home will have changed (hopefully not unrecognizably so) or maybe even a bit of both.

Orientation week for new students has already started in UMT and I might take a peek over there tomorrow and see how they're doing. I remember the time I received the offer to UMT, I was aghast and mourned for a week. I didn't tell my mother until the week was over, and she promptly sent me packing off to Terengganu immediately. According to her, I am LUCKY to get a place in uni. T_T I know my matrics grades weren't up to snuff but this is sheer cruelty.

I packed my bags, packing the most conservative clothes in my closet, goodbye hotpants and weather-appropriate clothing, and set off to Terengganu, fearing the worst. I refused to register early. Instead, my cousin, Nolda, brought me and my mum sightseeing in Kelantan before registering smack in the middle of orientation week. In terms of shops, let me inform you that Terengganu is worse than Kelantan and Pahang.

Guuessss which?

That might have been a mistake, because when I registered I was at a loss to where do I find the other students in my course. There were hundreds of students and feeling rather lost in the hall, I sat with the Marine Science students (lol) and I only found my coursemates in the afternoon. Who did I recognize straight off the bat? Shafwan, the weird person in my matrics lecture group who used to sit all the way in front and I was always all the way at the back. Didn't know his name back then. Kekeke...

They were pretty welcoming and Joanne and Ai Yin were the first two people I spoke to in my course and I became fast friends with Ai Yin (from Kelantan) after she told me her sister-in-law was Kadazan too, lol. Just for the record, I was the only Christian Sabahan/Sarawakian in my course. Talk about being an outsider. My BM had not improved much in Labuan either.

Ai Yin and I

When I unpacked my stuff in my hostel room, all the students were away at some hall or another and there was an awful din going on outside. Good heavens! Guys were actually YELLING for students who were skipping the briefing in the hall to come out, some form of 'ragging' probably and started to knock on girls' rooms rather loudly. Scared out of my wits, I gave myself up. Waving my white flag, this was when I first discovered how nice Peninsular people were to Borneo girls. The guy just completely shut up, smiled nicely and politely led me downstairs. Where was the the great shouting beast threatening to break down doors just a minute ago?

We also had a 'Survival Laut' orientation by course at Pulau Bidong where the Fisheries students were grouped with the Accounts students. All I remember was the awful kayaking partner I had, who puked his guts out all the way to the jungle track to the Vietnamese memorial. He made my kayaking experience truly memorable. Poor thing.

Did a few swimming and 'water confidence exercises which was nothing new, thanks to the rigorous training during sailing. You want to get REAL water confidence training? Try sailing. I've capsized in stormy weather, gotten whacked on the head with the boom of my sail multiple times, faced scary corals (I've gotten over that fear thanks to my course), swum with jellyfish and dumped in the middle of the sea with life jackets and told to swim to shore. Jumping off a boat into the sea passes for a water confidence test? Please. Well, shouldn't be harsh on the noobs.

Meeting Shu Kuan (Penang) and Eva (Kuching) was the best thing that happened to me in uni. These guys have always been there for me and we bonded at first because of a shared love of, wait for it...let's call it by its general term - anime. Hehe. We all came from girl schools, received Band 5 in the Malaysian University English Test and ended up being room mates for 3 years. I would never have survived Terengganu without them!!! Maybe that's exaggerating a bit, but they made it all the more fun! :-) Not forgetting the multiple Jacks and the one Dexter who may or may not have made uni life just a wee bit better.

Picture gallery:

Natallee and Melissa, two of my favourite church buddies. With Naja, Sette and her friend.

World Culture class! - my fave elective..

Terrapins!! Squee~

With other housemates and their friends

Church peeps (not all of them though)

Diving group! Great way to finish uni...

Les Trois Mousquetaires - Lantern Day by the beach ^_^

I have loads more pics but there's no way I can fit them all in, I've lost a lot of them too anyway... I should probably learn to watermark my pics but I can't be bothered really. It's not like I have DSLR camera. *cries with starry eyes* Someday...

Of course, there's been bad times in uni too, but with several cups of tea, candy for my massive sweet tooth and encouragement, I was always able to pick myself up again. Unbearable people, gossip (you either love or hate it), the heat, lecturers that make me want to murder them, pervs, animal haters, turtle egg consumers and unfairness are all not worth getting heated up about. Someone once told me how astonishing Sabahans can be because even when scolded, they'll keep on smiling and enjoying life no matter what. =)