Sunday, September 30, 2007

Time is soft there...

Image courtesy of AmazonSearch result slip

Saw the review of this book in The Star newspaper sometime back and I thought it was a fiction. So made a search when I was in Kinokuniya one day, lo and behold, it was in the travelogue section. Although I am more a fiction person, I still gave it a try because the book is about a bookshop, the one thing that has quite a place in my heart, and indeed I was not disappointed. Even sweeter, it was all true...

As someone who can spend a few hours "lost" in bookshops, Shakespeare & Co. sounds like a dream come true. Reading through Mercer's eyes and I could almost see the place for myself, the residents, the tea parties, and of course the beauty and tranquility of Paris. True, life seemed pretty difficult at times but to have that freedom of just reading a book a day or midnight story tellings by the Seine under the shadow of the great Notre Dame or even taking a metro/train to go over to England, Ireland, Spain is something I would yearn for.

How I wish to drop by the shop, maybe even spent a week or two in the companies of interesting would-be writers, poets, and four walls of BOOKS! But first, I need to save enough for a trip to Paris from almost a 1/4 of the globe away...

For now, I can only be contented with a 360° virtual tour of the shop at .

My Rating:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dear Boys

Rarely do I watch anything to do with sports except for the occassional football matches where certain clubs are playing (like the game between the Red Devils & the Blues last Sunday), or when a certain No.23/No.7 is playing for club/country..*winks

So I wasn't expecting much when I watched Dear Boys, an anime centralizing on basketball.

Here we follow the Mizuho High School boy's basketball team in their progress to win the prefectural championship. All was not well at the start and there wasn't even a team to begin with! Well, there was a team until Takumi Fujiwara, a member of the team, punched the coach in an incident during his first year causing the entire team to be banned for a year while the coach was transferred to another school. With no coach and only 4 members remaining a year later, revival was literally impossible...until Aikawa came into the picture.

Aikawa was the captain of Tendoji High's basketball team and a famous player amongst high school basketball followers. Thus, everyone was shocked when he decided to transfer from a well-known team to an infamous one. The reason behind was because he no longer enjoyed playing basketball at Tendoji as he felt the fun of playing had been compromised in their strict quest to winning games/championships. At Mizuho, Aikawa is like the final piece to a jigsaw puzzle, helping to make the team whole again and with his passion & enthusiasm for the game, he convinces Takumi and the rest to play basketball again. Together, they manage to get Miss Himuro, the coach of the girl's team to coach them as well. And so begins their journey...

As I mentioned earlier, I didn't really had high hopes for the anime but before I knew it, I was following the story quite closely especially during the championship games. Caught myself leaning forward in anticipation when 3-pointers were taken (shown in slow motion for full effect!). And don't think because Mizuho is the main focus, they'll be winning games easily because they aren't! They have to fight for it and well, you need to fall down before you can grow up so it's not all a bed of roses. Furthermore, the anime focuses on the character development not only within Mizuho but rival teams as well.

Plus we'll find out that a 5-member team can be very risky because if one player garners 4 fouls, he/she is out from the game and when there are no substitutes to replace, playing with only 4 members is a handicap. Thus, towards the end of season 1, we see a new member introduced but we'll have to watch season 2 to find out what happen next. An interesting anime throughout though you won't see me watching real life basketball games anytime soon ehhe..I'm sticking to my old routine just yet.

P/S: Oh, in case you are wondering why Dear Boys is the title, it has something to do with Miss Mizuho. In the beginning, she seemed rather strict but later in the anime reveals her attachment to her "dear boys". And coincidentally Aikawa, the playmaker cum protagonist, wears the No.7 as well kekekke..

My Rating:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sushi Week (Part 2)

Sakae SushiLast Thursday, I was tempted again to go for a 2nd round of Sushi King's promotion when my colleagues decided to give it a try after failing the evening before due to long queues at one of the outlets near our workplace. Alas, it was not meant to be as there was already a few groups of people waiting in line when we reached. And with only 1 hour of lunch time to spare, to join the crowd was definitely out of the question!

I didn't felt too bad because I already had my chance on Tuesday *wink..but my colleagues decided they wanted sushi..LOL so where did we go but to the OTHER sushi shop - Sakae Sushi! No queues but it wasn't empty either...I bet those who didn't wanted to queue just went there too keke..

In a way, you can sort of enjoy similar promotion here as well BUT only limited to a few varieties with Salmon the most notable of all! That's right, Sakae Sushi has the cheapest salmon dishes on the menu. At only 1.90 per plate (yup, cheaper by 10 cents too), dishes range from sake (fresh salmon) to spicy salmon, from salmon maki to salmon/spicy salmon temaki. Even better, the price is fixed all year round!

Spicy Salmon Salmon Maki

Sounds too good to be true? Well, there's a check-&-balance in place but don't think it's working too well (at least not on me, it isn't.) Though they have cheap salmon, tuna, and a few other dishes, they have expensive CRABSTICK! For 2 pieces of kanikama nigiri (crabstick on sushi rice balls), you have to pay 3.90. Imagine that...4 bucks for 2 pieces of crabstick? No-way! You can get the same for only 2 bucks @ Sushi King and even then I never go for them...I think that dish will always be at the bottom of Sakae's graph of popular dishes LOL.

Yup, 4 bucks for this!

Overall, Sakae isn't such a bad place, the outlet in PG looks trendy with a monitor at each table for you to browse and place orders, and hot water taps to refill your green teas. There's more variety here compared to Sushi King as well and it's not only limited to sushi or the common bento sets. For discounts, you'll need to accumulate 500 bucks worth of receipts over a 3-month period in exchange for a membership that will last for....erm, I dunno coz I don't have one =þ

Fresh Salmon Salmon Temaki

My Rating: (for the variety and the cheap salmons)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sushi Week

It's that time of the year again for Sushi King's RM2 promotion where all plates on the Kaiten Belt go for only RM2 each (Normal price ranges from 2-6bucks depending on the color of the plates.)

PS and I couldn't resist the temptation and decided to go on Tuesday evening. It was already 7.30pm by then and there was quite a crowd waiting at the door; even our names had to be on the 2nd page of the waiting list! Nothing we could do but wait.......when this dude in front of us (who was with two other friends, a guy and a gal) turned around and asked "How about we join up and get a table? And you can pay 10% of what we eat later on.", kind of in a its-the-best-idea-i'm-such-a-genius-your-loss-if-you-don't-agree tone.

Actually, we didn't hear him the first time but when we did the 2nd time, it was an obvious NO! Even after he said the 10% part is just a joke, it was still a NO! Why? As simple as 1-2-3:

Chuka Kurage (Jelly Fish)1) People usually come in a company of a minimum of 2 (There are people who came alone but that's another story.) Unless you have 4 people or more, you don't get to sit at booth-like tables but only at the sushi bar. There are more seats on the sushi bar than there are tables.

2) If you do the math, the probability of a 2 ppl company finishing their meals first is by far much higher than a party of five. Reason being, you only need 2 plates of each type of sushi for 2 person, whereas you need 5 plates of the same for the latter. And trust me, it's NOT easy to get 5 plates of the same sushi in one go, especially when it is unagi, or sake you are looking for (unless you are really, really, really lucky.)

Ebiko (Fish Roe)3) So to agree to such a deal as joining up for a table is absurd, and to entertain the idea of paying 10% of their meal is hilarious!

Though we said No, that we'd rather wait, the dude tried to convince us by saying you never know, the table might be empty first, or there might be 3 vacant seats first, think carefully, it's a chance of a lifetime (Okay, maybe I added the last 4 words but that was what he made us felt.) Well, if this guy is in Sales line, I'm afraid he might not make it very far LOL. To make a long story short, two vacant seats showed up and eventhough there were 3 groups in front of us, including the dude's group, all of them were made up of 3-ppl. They have a choice to split 2/1 but none wanted (Imagine the "lucky" one ended up sitting alone between 2 gangs having a good time! How pitiful...) So yours truly and friend got in first! LOL and if we wanted to be mean, we could have held up our green tea cups to him while looking at him from the inside of the glass panel.... *cheerz

Hotate (Fried scallop)Come to think of it, there are a few possibilities as to why the dude did what he did:

a) In that instance when there were 2 other groups of 3s in front of him, he realized the significance of the phrase "2's a company, 3's a crowd" LOL. First, the chance of having 3 seats in row emptied is rather low (see above 1.) Second, even if there are, the other two groups would beat them to it first. But if we were to team up and a table goes vacant, voila, we're in! So why didn't we agree to gang up? See above 2.

Sake (Fresh Salmon)b) The guy was hoping we were bad in maths..LOL. Cheap meal is good, cheaper meal is better!

Anyway, the night still ended on a high note as we got all that we wanted - unagi, sake, smoke salmon, ebiko, chuka kurage, scallop, ebi...*winks

Sake Roll Unagi (Grilled Eel)

My Rating: (delicious sushi, ~50% saved in total price..seriously, I wouldn't mind if the promotion goes on forever =þ)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Can I interest you in a dessert this evening?

Something special prepared by a rat maybe...

Yup, it's none other than RAT-PATOOTIE. Oops..I meant - must have been the Chardonnay - the latest animated feature film by Disney/Pixar, the creator of other animated productions such as Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), and Cars (2007).

Arguably the best film of 2007, it's the story about Remy, a rat who lives in France, has a great sense of taste and smell, who not only loves good food but is a great little chef as well. A series of mishaps later, Remy finds himself separated from his clan (including his father, Django, and cute brother, Emile), and ending up in Paris, home of the finest restaurants and greatest chefs in the world. He soon find himself in his hero, Auguste Gusteau's namesake restaurant, a 5-star restaurant once but is now a so-so 3-star. Here he teams up with Linguini, the garbage boy-turned-chef but who does not possess any culinary skills, and the two formed a bizzarre alliance to become the greatest chef in Paris.

There is one mishap after another throughout the entire adventure but every single one of them brings laughter to the viewers, tickling them funny. With a fantastic plot, humourous dialogues, mouth-watering recipes, and most captivating of all, jaw-dropping visuals, Ratatouille sure is cinema-worthy (even better when you get a buy1-free-1 deal@8bucks like I did =þ) for both kids and adults alike. let me get back to staring out at Paris from my monitor.

My Rating:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Me! MiNdBOx - Here we go again

"You're beautiful" by James Blunt was recently voted as THE most annoying song of all time in a British poll. LOL guess the song has been played one time too many (was No.1 in 11 countries in 2005, including 5 weeks in Britain.) Personally, I have nothing against the song and I bet you'll still catch me singing along to it..keke.

The top 10 list is as follows:
1. James Blunt - You're Beautiful
2. Crazy Frog - Axel F (yeah, THAT *ding *ding song by a frog on an invisible bike)
3. Hanson - Mmm Bop
4. Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby
5. The Tweet - Birdie Song
6. Lulu - Shout
7. Black Lace - Agadoo
8. Mika - Grace Kelly
9. Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On (who can forget the "you jump, I jump" & "I am King of THE WORLD!" lines)
10. Los Del Rio - La Macarena (don't tell me you have no idea how the dance moves look like)

Anyway, James Blunt has a new song out - 1973. Don't ask me what happened then coz I wasn't even born yet =þ but the tune's kinda catchy. Let's hope we won't be seeing it in any list anytime soon except the good ones

You're getting older
Your journey's been etched
On your skin

Wish I had known that
What seemed so strong
Has been and gone

I would call you up every Saturday night
And we'd both stay out 'til the morning light
And we sang, "Here we go again"
And though time goes by
I will always be
In a club with you
In 1973
Singing, "Here we go again"

Wish I was sober
So I could see clearly now
The rain has gone

I guess it's over
My memory plays our tune
The same old song

My Rating: