Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why watch a movie at the cinema

'Yeah,I'm at the movies'

... when you are such a hot-demand that you had to text thru 98% of the show, with glaring light shining out from the mobile's screen? (Not to mention not switching to silent mode)

... when the seat must have been really uncomfy till you had to fidget non-stop as though there were insects crawling down ur back?

... when the seating aisle is so narrow that you had to put your 'hong kong feet' up on the seat in front of you, which by the way was occupied?

... when you are obviously suffering from coughing fits that you had to clear your throat every few seconds?

... when you had to keep thrusting both your hands out in front for only-God-knows-why?

... when it's common sense that the place's not a yoga spot yet you went ahead and kicked your leg up, yes UP, not once but TWICE, as though it's an ordinary thing to do?

Because you are an inconsiderate, annoying person who thinks that by paying 6 bucks, you are entitled to cause discomfort to other movie-goers, with a bunch of equally lowly friends sharing the same passion of displaying their feet on top of cinema seats. In case you didn't know, everybody else paid 6 bucks too yet civil-wise.. totally day and night.

If anyone asks me, this would be one of the worst cinema etiquettes I have ever encountered. Call me unlucky/lucky, my seat was next to his so I could see his every movement but at least I did not have to smell the "scent" of his feet (poor girl in front of him) or have a leg shot up to block my line of sight (poor person in the seat behind him)!

Monday, July 28, 2008

MiNdBOx - Love Hurts

Bee posted the cantonese version of this song on her blog recently renewing my interest in the mandarin version by A-Sang, which I prefered over the former. Somehow, it sounded more heart-wrenching with its sad lyrics combined with the solemn voice of A-Sang. Plus I just found out that it's originally a Korean song and A-Sang did the Mandarin cover back in 2003. hmm, perhaps one day I'll check the Korean version out..

Meanwhile, enjoy the song. Oh, if you are reading this, Bee..don't worry, the song is on its way to your mailbox ;)

My love, wan an jiu bie zai wei nan
(My love, goodnight, don't make things difficult)
bie guan wo hui shou shang
(don't bother if I would get hurt)
Xiang kai ti liang wo yi jing xi guan
(I'm used to being open-minded and understanding)
bu ran you neng zen yang?
(how else otherwise?)

Zhe ge cheng shi tai hui shuo huang
(This city lies too well)
ai qing zhi shi ang gui de chu chuang
(love is merely an expensive showcase)
Yan lu hua li can lan chen lie tian mei huan xiang
(Displayed along with gorgeous, brilliant and sweet illusions)
shei dang zhen shei jiu shang dang
(that whoever believed it will be fooled)

Jing ran yi wei ni hui bu yi yang
(I actually thought you would be different)
dan ping shi me ni yao bu yi yang
(but there's no reason why you would want to be different)
Yin wei ji mo tai leng xu gou chu de wen nuan
(Because loneliness is too cold compared to the warmth of fiction)
mei li you neng cheng dao tian liang
(impossible for it to hold up till dawn)

Qian jin zhuan wan wo die die zhuang zhuang
(I stagger forward and around the bend)
zai zhe mi gong da zhuan
(turning around in a maze)
Si xin shi wang hui bi jiao jian dan
(Give up and be disappointed would be relatively simpler)
que you xin you bu gan
(but then the heart is unwilling to do so)

Zhe ge cheng shi tai hui wei zhuang
(This city camouflages too well)
ai qing jiu xiang ni hong deng yi yang
(love is just like the neon lights)
Shei li kai zhi hou que ba deng wang le guan
(Whoever left forgot to them off)
rang meng zuo de tai hui huang
(causing dreams to be too bright and brilliant)

Yi wei neng gou liu ni zai shen pang
(Thought I could make you stay by my side)
dan shi shei ken liu zai shei shen pang
(but in reality, who's willing to remain by whom's side?)
Yi shou qing ge dou bi yi ge qin wen geng chang
(When even a love song is longer than a kiss)
zhe jiu jiao zuo hao ju hao san
(this is what you'd called come together peacefully and part ways peacefully)

Bie shuo ni dui wo gan dao kui jiu
(Don't say that you feel guilty towards me)
bie shuo ni hui yong yuan xiang nian wo
(don't say that you will miss me forever)
Wo hen zhi dao gu dan zhe tiao lu zen me zou
(I am well-aware how to walk down this lonely path)
qing ni bu yao an wei wo
(please do not comfort me)

My love, wan an bie fang zai xin shang
(My love, goodnight, don't keep it in the heart)
Wo zhi shou le dian shang
(I am only slightly hurt)
zhi shi shou le dian shang
(only slightly hurt)

My Rating:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

MiNdBOx - Sempurna

It must be a Malay-songs-week as I've been waking up with one playing in my head every morning. Not to mention that I dl-ed a couple more the day before..

Anyway, today's song is called Sempurna (Perfect). It's by Andra & The Backbone, a rock group from Indonesia (Read more about them here and here.) This version is also the one playing on radios and has a more upbeat feel to it.

While I was looking for the said song, I stumbled on another version, a cover by Gita Gutawa, also an Indonesian, as the theme song for an Indonesian film, Love (more info on the film here). This is the soulful version which has a touch of sadness to it. But what amazes me the most is the singer herself. She's only fifteen (yes, one five) but listen to that soprano's voice! (Read more about her here.)

Both versions are nice in their own ways and depending on your mood, you might prefer one over the other. Nonetheless, enjoy... :)

Kau begitu sempurna
Dimataku kau begitu indah
Kau membuat diriku akan slalu memujamu

Disetiap langkahku
Kukan slalu memikirkan dirimu
Tak bisa kubayangkan hidupku tanpa cintamu

Janganlah kau tinggalkan diriku
Takkan mampu menghadapi semua
Hanya bersamamu ku akan bisa

Kau adalah darahku
Kau adalah jantungku
Kau adalah hidupku
Lengkapi diriku
Oh sayangku, kau begitu
Sempurna... Sempurna...

Kau genggam tanganku
Saat diriku lemah dan terjatuh
Kau bisikkan kata dan hapus semua sesalku

My Rating:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

MiNdBOx - Kenangan Terindah

Song was in my mind when I woke up this morning..couldn't get the chorus out of my head after that, guess it's begging me to share it out :P

Samsons is a band from Jakarta, Indonesia, formed in 2005. They classified their music as "Pop/Rock with a hint of Jazz". Kenangan Terindah is one of 2 of their songs I have in my collection and I liked it the first time I heard it on the airwaves, especially the chorus towards the end of the song where it was just accompanied by the strums of the guitar at first then in comes the drums and everything else.

Enjoy.. :)

Aku yang lemah tanpamu
Aku yang rentan karena
Cinta yang tlah hilang darimu
Yang mampu menyanjungku

Selama mata terbuka
Sampai jantung tak berdetak
Selama itu pun
Aku mampu untuk mengenangmu

Kutemukan hidupku
Kau lah cinta sejati


Bila yang tertulis untukku
Adalah yang terbaik untukmu
Kan kujadikan kau kenangan
Yang terindah dalam hidupku
Namun takkan mudah bagiku
Meninggalkan jejak hidupku
Yang tlah terukir abadi
Sebagai kenangan yang terindah


My Rating:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Project MOV3 - Furnishing, Furnishing, Furnishing

One exciting thing about moving is the planning of furnishings a.k.a what's best for the living room, dining area and most importantly, my room :P

Strategizing was easy; getting the measurements, browsing catalogs and get cracking on how best to utilize space while potraying in the mind's eye to see if it'll fit and of coz whether it'll look good. I'd even drafted it all out like an interior designer's blueprint with exact scale measurements ;)

Next came the hunt which was tiring. Imagine spending 13.5 hours in IKEA alone (that's equivalent to 1 and half day's work..) Only thing is one has money coming in while the other's only got money flowing out! Yup, I am officially broke..

Last but not least, the most exhausting and time-consuming process of all; the Lego-building. Too bad in reality, it wasn't as easy as stacking up Lego blocks. So do D-I-Y furnitures give you that extra satisfaction when you finally stand there and look at the final outcome?

Boxes, boxes, boxes Bookcase, bookcase, bookcase Wardrobe, wardrobe, wardrobe

Well, after 3 days of uncountable screwing, nailing, carrying as well as numerous bruises cum scratches for memories, yes, I am proud to say that I am satisfied with the furnishings and totally loving my new room :D

Before After

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Happening

I've always found M. Night Shyamalan's movies to be intriguing, from the psychological horror film, The Sixth Sense ("I see dead people") to the science fiction thriller, Signs (super cute Abigail Breslin) to the mysterious 19th century village in The Village. They all share one similarity; all the plots are built around a twist ending which is really cool.

The HappeningSo when the latest brainchild of Mr Shyamalan started screening on cinemas, I was on my way. Although it may not beat the likes of Sixth Sense but it does not disappoint either. The Happening is an apocalyptic thriller starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel. (hmm, come to think about it, I've never watched a single Mark Wahlberg or Zooey Deschanel movie at all before this..hah!)

Anyway, the film begins with a beautiful day in Central Park, New York. There are people strolling, relaxing on benches, dog-walkings.. all the leisure activities people do in parks when suddenly, everyone stops moving. Then a few starts walking backwards while others become disoriented, repeating their words and we hear a few screams. Finally, as if it's the next best thing to do, they start to find the quickest way to kill themselves. Before long, the pandemic spreads to nearby populated areas and there are people jumping off buildings, shooting themselves with guns and stabbing themselves. One zookeeper even feeds himself to the lions..gosh!

Believing it to be a bioterrorist attack, people start leaving the cities, Elliot Moore (Wahlberg) and his wife, Alma Moore (Deschanel) included. However they end up in a relatively small town not anywhere near their destination after the train's crews "lost contact with everyone". Here, they are left to fend for themselves as each news report paints increasingly grim and frightening pictures of more and more areas - even really small places not stated in maps - being affected by the strange calamity. There's even a heart-wrenching scene where a mother talks on the phone to her daughter only to hear the girl starting to repeat her words and sounding incoherent with the line going dead soon after.

There seems to be many theories as to why these unexplainable incidents are happening and they all agree that it's an airborne contagion of some kind that "short-circuits" the brain's usually protective awareness. It appears that doomsday is upon us in the most ironical way possible - us killing ourselves off (not that we aren't already doing so, albeit slowly.) And when it comes down to survival, it's really no surprise that there are selfish people out there who would rather stay locked in a house, thinking that by not letting any outsiders - presumably affected - in, they would be safe. And if these outsiders dare to venture too close to the house, the occupants will not hesitate to blow their heads off.

This is the first Shyamalan's movies I've watched thus far without a twist in the ending but it's kinda disturbing and thought-provoking. Oh, and not to forget one creepy old lady too. I remember reaching home slightly past midnight to an empty street. Suddenly there was a gush of wind and mind you, I totally quickened my steps! :P

My Rating:

p/s: Creative poster tagline too; "We've SENSE-d it. We've seen the SIGNS. Now... It's HAPPENING"

Sunday, July 06, 2008

ReC!Pe: Gunkan Sushi

Gunkan Sushi

Tuna GunkanGunkan means battleship in Japanese. In sushi, gunkan indicates a clump of sushi rice wrapped with a strip of nori (seaweed) to form a "vessel" and topped with ingredients. The toppings are usually some soft, loose, or finely-chopped ingredients.

What You Need:
Tezu (Bowl of cold water, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar added)
Sushi Rice (See here)
Nori, toasted and cut into 2 1/2-cm strips

Toppings are again up to your creativity or you can always take a trip down to a nearby Sushi King / Sakae Sushi to get some ideas ;) Suggested toppings are:
  • Chuka kurage (Seasoned jellyfish) , Chuka chinmi (Seasoned scallops), Chuka likado (Seasoned baby octopus)
  • Tuna/Salmon flakes
  • Ebiko (Fish roe)
  • Corn (without the cob of coz!)
  • Crabsticks, minced and mixed with mayonnaise
What To Do:Battleships in a row!
  1. Moisten hand with the tezu. Take 1 tablespoon of rice and form into an oval shape.
  2. Place the rice oval on a flat surface and wrap a strip of the nori around its sides, leaving the top and bottom uncovered. Note that the nori should be about 1cm taller than the rice it is wrapped around so that there's space for the toppings later on.
  3. Continue with the remaining rice, wrapping each with a strip of nori.
  4. Spooned the ingredients onto the gunkan. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.

And we are ready, battleship GO! ^_^

Saturday, July 05, 2008

ReC!Pe: Nigiri Sushi

Nigiri Sushi

SakeNigiri sushi or hand-moulded sushi is the sushi we're probably most familiar with and is the most common kind eaten in sushi bar worldwide.

What You Need:
Tezu (Bowl filled with cold water, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar added)
Sushi Rice (See here)
Shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)

Common toppings used are:
  • Sashimi tuna/salmon, thinly sliced
  • UnagiUnagi (Grilled eel), sliced
  • Squid/Cuttlefish, thinly sliced
  • Prawns, cooked (though I don't eat these :P)
  • Crabsticks, cooked (I rarely eat this outside because it's not worth it to me..hehe)

Note that I will be indicating right/left hand to make it easier to understand which hand I am talking about. But if you are left-handed, just switch the hands mentioned ;)

What To Do:
  1. Dip fingers of both hands in bowl of vinegared water, shake off excess. Pick up about 1 tablespoon of rice with your right hand, gently squeezing and shaping it into a rectangular shape with rounded edges.
  2. Pick up one slice of topping with the index finger and thumb of the left hand. Using tip of right hand index finger, scoop a dab of wasabi and spread it across the centre of the topping.
  3. Bend fingers of left hand to hold topping and place rice shape on topping.
  4. Enjoy your nigiri sushi with a cup of hot green tea :)Use right-hand index and middle fingers to gently push rice and fish together.
  5. Turn sushi piece over so topping is on top, gently push fish against rice again with the right-hand index and middle fingers.
  6. With thumb on one side of rice and index finger on the other, gently squeeze rice to straighten the sides.
  7. Repeat with remaining toppings. Serve nigiri sushi with sauce in separate bowl.

There, nigiri sushi..done! ^_^

Thursday, July 03, 2008

ReC!Pe: Sushi Rolls

Sushi Rolls

Cucumber tuna makiMaki or sushi roll is one of the best known sushi and also one of the easiest to prepare. Perfect for beginners and pro-s alike!

What You Need:
Toasted yaki-nori (seaweed) [Available readily toasted in 10 or 20 sheet packages]
Tezu (Bowl filled with cold water, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar added)
Sushi rice (See here)

As for the fillings, it is really up to your creativity ;) Some of the more commonly used though are:
  • Sashimi tuna/salmon, cut into 1cm-thick strips
  • Unagi (Grilled eel), cut into 1cm-thick strips
  • Crab sticks, cooked
  • Japanese cucumber, halved and cut into thin, long strips
  • Kanpyo (Dried gourd) [available at Gama supermarket]
  • Tuna flakes [e.g Ayam Brand Tuna Mayonnaise]

What To Do:
  1. Fold one sheet of seaweed in half, parallel with the lines marked on the rough side of the seaweed. Cut along fold. Place a half sheet seaweed, shiny side down, across bamboo mat, with the edge of the seaweed about 2cm away from the edge of the bamboo mat closer to you.
  2. Moisten fingers in bowl of vinegared water to prevent the rice roll from sticking to fingers. Spread rice onto seaweed with your fingers, leaving a 2cm space at the top of the seaweed sheet.
  3. Using fingers, swipe a dab of wasabi across center of rice, flattening it out evenly. This step is optional if you are not really a fan of wasabi. I would recommend a dab of wasabi if you are using sashimi tuna/salmon.
  4. Place desired ingredient, end to end, in a row across the centre of the rice.
  5. Starting with the edge closest to you, pick up the mat, holding it with the thumb and index fingers of both hands. Use remaining fingers to hold filling in place as you roll mat Flower-shaped kanpyo makiaway from you. Roll forward, pressing gently but tightly so that the empty 2cm strip seals the sushi roll.
  6. Unroll mat and remove sushi roll. Using a moist, very sharp knife, cut the roll in half. Slice through both rolls together twice, giving a total of 6 bite-sized pieces.
  7. Repeat with other ingredients. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.

There you go; Sushi Rolls! ^_^

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

ReC!Pe: Sushi Rice

I am starting a recipe section to share out any interesting recipes going forward. The first to do the honor would of course be - no points for guessing it right - sushi ^_^

To begin, I would suggest you to get a sushi-making kit. Each kit usually comes with

  • a bottle of komezu (rice vinegar) used in sushi rice,
  • a bottle of Japanese shoyu (soy sauce), a basic ingredient in many Japanese dishes,
  • a tube of wasabi (Japanese horseradish), and
  • a makisu (bamboo mat), essential when preparing maki (sushi rolls)

Sushi Rice

Sushi RiceThe essence of sushi is very much the rice. Short-grain rice is recommended and is readily available at your nearby supermarkets (Cold Storage, Tesco, etc). If you perfected the taste, everything else will simply fall into place ;)

What You Need:
3 cups (600g) short-grain white rice
3 cups (750ml) water

1/2 cup (125ml) rice vinegar
1/4 cup (55g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

What To Do:

  1. Wash the rice, of coz! Place rice in a large bowl, fill with cold water, stir with hand till water turns quite cloudy. Drain; repeat process two or three times until water is almost clear. Drain rice in colander for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the sushi vinegar. Stir combined vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl until sugar dissolves.
  3. Next, cook the rice with a rice cooker (which I believe exist in every household :P). Place drained rice and the water in rice cooker and cover. Switch to 'Cook'. When cooker automatically switches to 'Keep Warm', allow rice to stand, covered for about 15 minutes.
  4. Spread rice in a large, non-metallic flat-bottomed bowl/tub. Using a rice paddle, repeatedly slide through the rice at a sharp angle to break up lumps and separate grains, gradually pouring in the sushi vinegar at the same time. Note that not all of the vinegar may be required; the rice shouldn't become to mushy.
  5. Continue to slice the rice by lifting the rice from the outside into the center. Using the other hand, fan the rice until it is almost cool (I just on the ceiling fan here). This will take about 5 minutes. It is believed this quick cooling process helps the sushi rice to achieve the desired texture, consistency and flavor.
  6. Do not over-cool the rice or it will harden. When done, keep the rice covered with a damp cloth to stop it drying out while making sushi.

The sushi rice is now ready! ^_^