Saturday, November 11, 2006
1. Work is killing me. Slowly but surely.
2. I'm too tired each day after work or even on weekends.
3. There is nothing much to shout about.
Points 1 and 2 are especially true these days, so there will not be any updates till futher notice. It may come tomorrow, or it may come after my trip to Australia. :)
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Still, there's about at least 1 more month of waiting before we can finally move in. Until then, we've got a ton of tasks to complete, such as finalising on the colours, and shopping for the rest of the electrical appliances and the furniture. Even the selection of basins, sinks, and light switches need to be carefully planned and selected. It's not easy planning for your house but it certainly is an exciting time for me and Mabel. I'm looking forward to packing all my Gundam models, Ultraman and Kamen Rider and Garo figures into their boxes and shifting all of them to my new shelves. All my old manga from the era of Dragonball to Naruto also need to be shifted in. Heck I even need to get myself a new workspace, though I'll most probably be using my old laptop and desktop for the time being. Not much pictures to be shown for now, as the flat still looks like a complete mess with all the bags of cement lying around and the parquet floor being taken apart. Hopefully everything will fall in place in due time, and that we can finally have our little nest, and a place which we can truly call a home of our very own. : )
Remember the Kamen Rider Kaixa figure I told you guys that I really need to get last week? I've got it! Muahahah! Along with a Kamen Rider Faiz figure as well! It was quite a bargain at the OG sale, but it wasn't really that much of a surprise considering the the Faiz series have ended quite some time ago. I got the 2 figures at $25 each, which is cheap because the original price is around double that amount. Of course, Mabel gave me a hard time but in the time she managed to make a profit she forced me to trade my half of our Takashimaya vouchers (worth $100) for "permission" to get the toys. Well, whatever. Hahaha! *ouch*
Just completed my download of the subsequent Kamen Rider series after Faiz: Kamen Rider Blade. It's shown in 2004, and was the series before Hibiki, my actual first series which I completed viewing. I've yet to start on watching this yet, as there are quite a few shows on my harddisk, such as Lost season 3 (only the first 3 episodes so far), Death note the anime, Naruto, Bleach, and a new JDrama called Akihaba@deep. More on this series perhaps at a later post.
A version of Sukeban Deka (if you're not sure what I'm talking about scroll down to a previous blog entry for a introduction to this movie) is up for download at Jpopsuki, complete with English subtitles! Head on over there right away to download if you've been waiting for this show. It made it's premiere in Japan just a few weeks back and I'm kinda surprised such a good quality version with English subs have already been circulating. I've just watched the show..... and here are some of my thoughts. Spoilers abound so beware!
Well the subs are a little exaggerated at some places, and it made Ayaya overly vulgar in some of her speeches. As for the show itself, the plot and story are really, mediocre at best, and leave too many loop holes and unanswered questions. Most of the time you won't know what the agenda of the characters, on both the good and bad sides. As for the good sites, Ayaya really looked great in the show. Pity there wasn't enough fight scenes and certainly Charmy deserved more screen time. At least give her a better death scene! Ayaya's suit at the end was good, but there wasn't enough of her, and it seemed pretty absurd that she can defeat all those men with machine guns with a yoyo she didn't seem so proficient at yet.
End of the day, it's a forgettable film. Best part of the show? Ayaya vs Charmy. Worst part: almost everything else. Even the other 2 girls from Biyuden, Okada Yui and Miyoshi Erika couldn't make the show better. Ayaya's debut in the movie scene should have been much better given her potential. Given that, I still love her "don't screw with me" look in the show. Well, do give this movie a chance if you're an Aya fan like me, else, you might wanna considering the other Japanese shows such as Death Note or The Sinking of Japan instead.
Zero, a good friend who's also a fellow Ultraman fan and my Japanese class classmate, helped me to prepare for a spoken conversation a few weeks ago. We were supposed to use this conversation for a test, but sadly I couldn't make it for the test due to work commitments. Here's the conversation that he came up with:
What it means in English:
Sean: Nuthin, I’m cool.
Sean: I got busted when the toys I bought yesterday were discovered.
Zer0: As I’d expected. What did she say?
Sean: “If you waste money, you’ll sleep in the corridor,” she cautioned.
Zer0: So I see. Your wife’s like a Tigress. What a pity…
Zean: I didn’t want to make her angry, however I will not give up on my hobby.
Zer0: It’s not a good idea to make her angry. Well, if you’re gonna buy new toys, I can be their caretaker.
And due to this week's plot advancement in the Naruto manga, I am compelled to edit this picture of Pinky and the Brain with Akatsuki coats. Hard to explain why but if you read the manga you will know exactly what I mean.
Haha, Mabel didn't really show signs of happiness when being referred to as a Tigeress, but I can assure all readers that she's not as bad as it sounds. After all, I managed to get my stuff and we're still having fun together. All she wants is for me to be more thrifty, and I can understand where she's coming from because of all our new commitments lately. I've already promised to cut (some of) my expenses, and will try to save up more from now on. Ok dar? :p
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I've started watching the Death Note anime series earlier this week. It started its run in Japan earlier this month, and is currently at its 3rd episode. Based on a popular manga, the series has since spun into a live action movie on top of the anime series. I caught the movie yesterday, and like the anime, it shows a lot of promise and I must say I'm hooked onto the series. I'm contemplating on whether or not to get the manga, but after downloading the 1st volume, I've decided to keep to the anime due to its fantastic animation. But this way, I'll have to steer clear of the manga to avoid any possible spoilers.
Light Yagami is a brilliant, but bored, high school student who resents the crime and corruption in the world. His life undergoes a drastic change when he discovers a mysterious notebook, known as the "Death Note", lying on the ground in the year 2003. The Death Note's instructions claim that, if a human's name is written within it, that person shall die. Light is initially skeptical of the Death Note's genuinity, believing it is just a prank. However, after experimenting with it and killing two criminals, Light is forced to admit the Death Note is real. After meeting with the true owner of the Death Note, a shinigami named Ryuk, Light seeks to become the "God of new world" by passing his judgment on criminals. Soon, the number of inexplicable deaths of reported criminals catches the attention of the International Police Organization and a mysterious detective known only as "L". L quickly learns that the serial killer, dubbed by the public as "Kira", is located in Japan. L also concludes that Kira can kill a person just by knowing their face and name. Light realizes that L will be his greatest nemesis, and a race to prove mental superiority between the two begins.
As many of you know, GAM is the group comprising of Matsuura Aya and Fujimoto Miki. Since GAM's debut, Tsunku has decided to make this group a solid unit, instead of a one-time deal. On 13 September 2006 their first single "Thanks!" was released in Japan and made its debut at #2 on the Oricon Daily Ranking chart. The single made its debut - and peak - the following week at number 5 in the Oricon Weekly Ranking chart. The song has so far stayed in the top 200 for 5 weeks. It's also the theme song to Ayaya's movie, Sukeban Deka (see last post).
Their second single, "Melodies" (メロディーズ, merodīzu?), was released 18 October 2006. The single made its debut at number 5 on the Oricon Daily Ranking chart the same day. The NINKI weekly singles chart ranked "Melodies" as the 4th most anticipated new release of the week. "Melodies" features a more mature theme and contains several scenes implying a more intimate relationship between the two singers. Worth mentioning is the near kiss sequence featured in the televised form of the PV; just as the two of them are about to kiss the video comes to an abrupt end. As of late October, it has been speculated in the press that the Single V version of "Melodies" may include the full sequence, although not much information has been disclosed.
No it's not attack of the Spider-women, but rather the girls of Morning Musume in their new outfits for their latest single, called Aruiteru (歩いてる), which means "Taking a walk". It's their 31st single, scheduled to be released on the 8th of September. To be honest, MM has been going downhill ever since the departure of key members such as Mari and Rika, and with the recent departure of Konno and Ogawa, it's going to be hard for them to match up to the popularity they once had. Still, they can safely say they are still the number 1 group in H!P, although other groups such as Berryz Koubou, GAM, Def Diva are going to outshine them if nothing spectacular happens soon. At least the 8th Generation auditions are coming, so we can expect some new members pretty soon.
I've completed watching Kamen Rider 555 this weekend, and I must say I've pretty much enjoyed it. Kamen Rider 555 (or Faiz), is the 2003/2004 installment of the popular Kamen Rider franchise, and since I wasn't a Kamen Rider fan until the Hibiki series, it's taken me this long to realise how good some of the Kamen Rider series were. These shows ain't for kids. There's a lot of drama and suspense in the story, and the plot was pretty much interesting till it began to go down hill near the end of the series. Some of the key story elements fell apart, and many of my hopes and predictions were wrong (it would have been much cooler if they did came true). The ending seemed rush, but at least the character development still existed. I liked the suits in the show, and hopefully I can still find some good figures to start another collection. Well, maybe not a big one, but I must get myself a Kamen Rider Kaixa figure soon!
Now what's left is just to find time to head on down to the decal shop and have it done. Expect pictures to be up soon! Originally, I wanted to add an Autobot logo to the back of the car, but it seems that many cars have already done that, and since I didn't really want my car to be named Bumble Bee I've decided to go back to my Ultra roots and make myself known as an Ultrafan where ever I go. Chris is also in the midst of designing a set of car decals using the Lah logo, so hopefully it'll be ready soon. And thanks for your help in helping to vectorise my files!
Renovations work for our flat has finally commenced. It was previously delayed due to some HDB requirements for hacking of walls. Nonetheless, the whistle has been blown and all forces are working on giving us our home in within 5 more weeks. Just slightly over a month before we can finally move into our new place. Too bad I'll still have my Australia trip to contend with before we can finally have our own house warming party. But preparations are already ongoing, and there is still much to do before we can celebrate. We've yet to get some of the furniture although most of the appliances have already been settled.
Here's a view from our apartment of the playground that's just below our block. The theme, like you've guessed, is marine life. There's pictures of seafood every where, and even the training sheds, erm I mean multi purpose halls have sea shells as rooftops. Pretty colourful sight, and certainly better than that of a busy road if you asked me. I still stand by my decision to take an apartment which faces the inside of the other blocks. Sure we might have a little less wind, but I believe the view is worth it.
Another week, another post. Do feedback on what you think I should include in my entries. It's getting a little tedious trying to think of what to update amidst my now hectic schedule. Until the next post, keep your head on your shoulders!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
We went for a more casual style, and opted the beach as one of the venues for the shoot. We were dressed in our own clothes this time, and did many of our own poses. I went with my "Hibiki san" pose while Mabel went for her usual lucky 7 hand sign. There weren't too many people on the beach, which is good cause we didn't want to have too many people obstructing the view. Many others on the beach were stopping and looking at us, but I didn't really mind much. Mabel was a little embarressed, but we still went ahead with some dumb poses and had lots of fun. Piggybacks and sand kicking were all in good order and done in class. Strolls on the beach? Checked. Indian tree hide and seek? Checked. More pics will be posted up later, when we get the photos albums.
It'd take at least 2 weeks before we can see the pictures and another month before we can collect the prints. Hopefully it'll be in time for our new flat's house warming. We're entitled to 28 prints, and I'm sure I'll reject many of the pictures, simply because I'm not as photogenic as Mabel and absolutely hate how I look in some of the pictures. Either I look too fat (which I am slowly becoming), or look lost (which I am, sometimes).
Betty organised a birthday party for 2 our the Dunman Sec 4B 1996 alumni last weekend. It's been a few months since the last gathering, and it was great meeting up again, this time for a Japanese lunch together. Cedric and Andy were the birthday boys, and there was even a sumptious chocolate cake prepared for the occasion. I even had a chance to see Darren's car, a chio chio Mitsubishi Colt Plus with lots of add ons. Too bad I got no money to zeng my car, so the only stuff I can put in are my beloved Ultraman figures. I'll try and meet the guys to wash our cars, but due to me being on course these days it's hard to find time.... sorry fellows but I'll join in soon!
I've bought the last of the Kamen Rider Hibiki S.I.C series, which features Danki, Sabaki, and Eiki. It's the last of the riders which were shown in the series, and until they release the movie riders or the customised riders seen in hobby magazines, I'm happy that my wallet is safe for the time being. However, there are still some items which I've yet to get for this month. They are the Garo vol 6: Kiba, as well as the Soul of Vinyl Kamen Rider series. Mabel was already aiming at my neck when I told her I spent
nearly $100 bucks (on the S.I.C and the K.R Ultimate Soild series, which were great and now sitting on my office desk). Guess it's time to go slow on the figures..... for the time being.
I've been watching the Kabuto series for quite some time now, and I like it pretty much although some of the rider designs are a little bit over the top. I hated Kabuto's main rider design the first time I set my eyes on it, but as the episodes went pass I began to like it more and more. Perhaps it's due to the main character, who's the most egotistical person ever in the history of KR. Nonetheless, this person has managed to boost viewer ratings by making young Japanese girls tune in every week. The series is going through a confusing plot and is starting to dabble in time travel, so hopefully the series will end off in a high note and not like some of the other KR series which ended weakly. And as a side trivia note, Kabuto/Tendou's phrase "天の道を行き、全てを司る" means "Walking the path of Heaven, ruler of all". And he always quotes his Granma by saying "お婆ちゃんが言っていた。。。”
Here's some more information about the show: Kamen Rider Kabuto, Masked Rider Kabuto in English, is a Japanese tokusatsu superhero television series. It is the sixteenth installment in the popular Kamen Rider franchise of tokusatsu programmes. It is a joint collaboration between Ishimori Productions and Toei. The series is currently being broadcast on TV Asahi, and its first episode aired on January 29, 2006. The series represents the 35th anniversary of the Kamen Rider franchise, as indicated by a notice at the beginning of the pilot episode reading, in Japanese, "Kamen Rider 35th Anniversary Production". The series' primary theme is the use of "Forms"—That is, each Rider has both a sleek "Rider Form" and a bulky, defensive "Masked Form". Kabuto is the first New Generation Rider to shout the famous line "Rider Kick" before performing Kamen Rider's signature move. Though he uses a different kind of kick, other New Generation Kamen Riders never called their finishers as Rider Kicks (although Rider Kick is the name of Kamen Rider Agito's Ground Form finisher). Kabuto is the fourth Kamen Rider to have these lines accompanied by Kamen Rider 1, Kamen Rider 2, and Kamen Rider BLACK.
Some Ultraman Mebius news now. Mebius is going to receive yet another upgrade! It's his forth form, following Mebius Brave and Mebius Infinity. This new form is called Mebius Burning Brave, and will appear in the series in 2 weeks time. And guess who's making a come back?
Yes!! Ultraman Taro makes his appearance in the series! It's been over a few decades since fans last seen him, and boy it brings back some memories. Taro is Mebius's instructor back on M78, and have been sent here to assist Mebius. Will Mebius and Taro be able to take on the enemies and save Earth? I'm sure they can. All they need to do is to execute their special moves when their timers go blinking, and make the viewers wonder why the hell did they take that long and not do the freaking killing move in the first place. Haha!
For those who visit often, you'll notice an all new chat box. That's because there's a problem with the old one and it's been down an entire week. Do leave a message behind and give the new chat box a try. It doesn't take long but it lets me know who's been here and brightens up my day. Take care, and always remember: fun is as important as work.
Friday, October 06, 2006
To compensate for lost time, I'm going to make this a longer post and cram in whatever I've wanted to shout about for the past 3 weeks. There's much to talk about, and there's no better way for me to express my feelings through this blog. Some people find blogging an utter waste of time, and I was one of these people. However, after I've started my original blog on Friendster, I realised that I had a sense of satisfaction after people come up to me and tell me they've enjoyed reading my blog. On top of that, I see this as a good way to display the images I've created, as well as all the banners and signatures too. Most of the images and banners here are made by me, so it you like what you see and want to see more, do visit "Psyke's Creations". I've not updated it in a while but all my old work are there. I've not updated any of my sites in recent months, but I guess I'll have to do it eventually. Time management's not my forte though. Hmm, if only I can find out where I left my FTP account password...
Have you ever made such a dumb and stupid mistake that you wanted to murder yourself immediately? I did last week. I've done something so dumb and embaressing that I wanted to strangle myself till my eyeballs pop out. Story goes like this: I was driving home one day after work, and gave one of my guys a lift. I don't know how or why, but some how I "hollanded" and ended up on my way to Johore Bahru. Yes, dumb.... but true. I had misssed the exit to SLE and some how was headed for the Woodlands checkpoint. My friend woke up (yes he was sleeping) and I even asked him "Why today so many bikes har?" He sensed that something was amiss and by the time we realised we were on the wrong road it was already too late. I was surrounded by Malaysian bikes on their way back home. There was no way back and I spend over 30 mins making my way through the jam to the checkpoint. Both of us were in uniform and it must have puzzled the Malaysians as to what these 2 soldiers were trying to pull off. In the end, I had to explain to the customs officers on my blunder and luckily I was allowed to turn back after they recorded my ic number. It was a relief for the both of us and I swore never to get lost on the SLE, ever again. And yes, this is a true story. Cock right.
Our friends William and Huiming finally tied the knot last Sunday on the 1st of October. They ROM and wedding dinner was held on Sentosa, on the beach behind Rasa Sentosa Hotel. Luckily the rain had all been expended the day before, and the weather was excellent that day. Both me and Mabel were involved as their "Brother" and "Sister", and helped out in the planning process as well. I used a cmap and drew out a time line and tasking list, so that it would be easier to coordinate on that day. Mabel was the supposed coordinator but I found that more coordination had to be done to prevent any chances of screw ups.
Here on the left is the Cmap that I did. You can enlarge it by clicking on it. It's very similar to mind mapping but not entirely the same. It's a popular concept mapping software introduced to me by my unit's commanding officer. I find it very useful and have been using it for my self learning purposes and for planning events, such as William and Huiming's wedding. And as expected, things became rather hectic on that day. Luckily I had lots of help from the other brothers and sisters, as well as some of the guests who were close friends. Thankfully, everything went well. The live band was great, the hotel staff provided the pedals on time, and the photographers were very cooperative too. All in all, it was a great event and I'm sure it will be a memorable one for all the guests too. And we just wonder when little William or little Huiming will arrive......
Just slightly over a month before I embark on my first trip to down under. Some how I'm not feeling all too excited about this trip. I'll tell you why. Firstly and most frustratingly, I'll miss my Japanese Language Proficiency Test level 3. It's a international exam and is only held once every year. I'm still depressed by this, but work comes first and I'll have to take the exam next year, though I'll still carry on with my level 2 course next year, which takes 2 years of studies before I can sit for the level 2 exam, so no hurry for me. Secondly, my new flat would barely be completed when I fly off. Hopefully everything will be settled by then, and I can hold my house warming shortly upon my return. On the bright side, at least I can widen my horizons and maybe meet a few kangeroos there (yes, pathetic attempt and cheering myself up).
In case you still haven't figured it out, I'm a big fan of Morning Musume and Matsuura Aya. Mabel's not too pleased about this but well, she understands that I like them because of their music (yeah right). Haha, but seriously, I do enjoy their music. Matsuura Aya (松浦亜弥), or Ayaya, will be starring in her first feature film! It's called Sukeban Deka (スケバン刑事, Sukeban Deka), and as weird as it sounds the official english translation is "Yoyo Girl Cop". Yeah I know it sounds a little stupid, but it's a remake of an extremely popular series back in the 80s. Here's more details from everybody's fave encyclopedia, Wiki.
Sukeban Deka (スケバン刑事, Sukeban Deka), "Delinquent Girl Detective" in English, is a Japanese manga series by Shinji Wada that was later adapted into a mid-80s live-action television series and three feature films. Though each incarnation is different, they all share the basic premise of a female delinquent schoolgirl being taken in by the government and fighting crime to redeem her troubled past. Using a metal yo-yo that doubled as a police badge, she, under the codename Asamiya Saki, would infiltrate high schools and investigate strange happenings.The television series, though technically one series made up of three seasons, are essentially self-contained and separate, aside from sharing the same basic themes and premise.
There was also an OVA in 1991. The stylized and campy/cool action pits trained high school girls in school uniforms against local villains and national conspiracies. Their weapons include their trademark "razor yo-yo," lethal foil origami cranes, marbles, knitting needles and darts adapted from the game of jacks. The films in particular have achieved a cult status on both sides of the Pacific. 1987's Subekan Deka: The Movie is their feature debut, and generally thought to be their most evenly written and directed vehicle. Most of the lead actresses in the series also worked as models and singers. Yui Asaka from Sukeban Deka 3 sang one of the songs on the Katamari Fortissimo Damacy video game soundtrack
It was announced in February 2006 that a new film adaptation was underway. Titled "Sukeban Deka: Codename Asamiya Saki", it will star Aya Matsuura as the lead role, with Rika Ishikawa (石川利華 of Viyuden 美勇伝) cast as her rival. Yuki Saitō, who played the role of Saki in the first live action TV series, will star as Saki's mother. The movie is scheduled to be released on September 30, 2006, and will have the official English title of Yo-Yo Girl Cop. It will be directed by Kenta Fukasaku, best known as the screenwriter for the film Battle Royale and director of its sequel, Battle Royale 2. Here's an a video on the making of the film. Check out Ayaya and Charmy!
Garo's upcoming movie special is coming! A special 90-minute GARO sequel will be aired in two parts on December, titled "Demon Beast of the White Night." This sequel will feature the third Makai Knight named Byakuya Kishi Dan (White Night Knight Dan), along with classic characters like Kouga, Rei, Kaoru, and Taiga. Bandai's been milking us fans with all those awesome Garo figures, such as the Berserk Garo you see me holding in the first picture above, and with the introduction of this new Makai Knight you can be sure the a whole new line of figures is in the pipeline. I'm not really complaining, but my wallet's getting really thin and Mabel's face is getting really long. : ( Well, I'm still trying my best to save up but with the S.I.C Hibiki figures on the way too it's hard to resist..... At least I'll have a good break after this line of S.I.C figures are complete.
That's about all I've got to get off my chest for now, and it feels great to be posting once more. I'll try and keep up with at least 1 post per week, but it's kinda hard these days due to my course schedule so no promises here. I'll still be collecting information and pictures though, so please check back soon. Until then, wish me good luck for my course and see ya soon. Ja!