Friday, December 31, 2010

Last post for 2010

*running* Please, I just want you to have this leek. It's delicious!

*disappointed* What? What do you mean you don't want it?

How can you say no to this leek? Don't you know it has feelings!?

*earnestly* Please!? Pretty please!? This leek is a must-have!

Forgive me, that little mini-drama came out totally unrelated to the subject of this post. An embarrassed Kagami in Miku cosplay never hurts. She's such a tsundere. Kyuuute.

Australia is one of the first few countries to step into 2011, so I'll be struggling to stay awake into the wee hours of the first day in order to extend my well-wishes to my parents over the phone. Separately, I think. Well, it'll depend on whether Dad has arrived home by midnight. Hmmm.

All in all, 2010 is going soon, so say goodbye to the bad things and cherish the good ones. As we all step bravely into the next decade, let's just hang on to our seatbelts and expect the unexpected. I will be getting my iPhone 4 (hopefully), the Sebby nendoroid and the Rin figurine, both of which I ordered yesterday (refer to post below). Woo hoo! Kagami will have some company finally. But yes, I digress.

See you all in 2011. Stay safe, kids.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nendoroids Spazz

I perused through the Japanese Good Smile Company website today for its latest products, and totally regretted my decision. The website is available in English, perhaps all thanks to Jimmy Choo's son, Danny. Erm... yes, THE Jimmy Choo.

Tohsaka Rin's pose in the cinematic movie poster for Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works.
Yes, even the hair was recreated down to its very strands (as mentioned in the product description).

 Awww, Kuroneko from Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai has her own nendoroid now! She's very cute, and her other poses are droolworthy. But unfortunately, her moe-ness is lost on me. This proves that I am 100% female indeed. Heh. I must admit, I look at her differently, now that I know what's the big spoiler in the light novels. I am probably one of the few who frowns upon it though. But there IS no doubt, she's a good girl... and kyuuute.

Kousaka Kirino, main protagonist in Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai - how cute! I wouldn't buy her because I don't really like her character at all. She's supposed to be tsundere, but it totally grates my nerves at how she abuses her poor aniki. It's not cute anymore. Give me your elder brother instead, damnit. On the other hand, if Kousaka Kyousuke was to be nendoroided... hmmm...

Can I have the second season now? Will there be one? Please say there will be one. I only watched the final episode this week, and I'm already suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Sob.

No ways, Takagi Akito from Bakuman! has already been nendoroided! Unbelievable. If I had extra money lying around, I would consider getting him. He's my favourite character in this series, well, not surprising for me because of his megane, hehe ... and of course, his intellect and otaku-ness. What a great combi! His other facial features are so kyuuute! Argh, very tempting.

Kaito from the Yamaha Vocaloid series. He was snapped up in the first release, and subsequently, in the second release during July 2010. I missed out on both. Now he's being sold everywhere at ridiculously high prices, because he's out of stock! Good Smile, could you pleeeease release him again? I am constantly looking out for him on websites, eBay and the likes. I won't rest until I get him. Never give up!

I wish I had that much passion for my studies. Pfft.

Sebastian Michaelis, from Kuroshitsuji. He's always somewhere on my list, and at least he's not sold out at a ridiculous rate like Kaito. I've always wanted to get him, mainly because of the last pose he can do which is utterly kyuuuuute! Now, if only they come with those set of sexy heeled boots he strutted in when he was first summoned from Hell.

Nagato Yuki (Disappearance Ver.) from The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Now, this version is totally MOE. It's unbelievably heart-rendering rending, even I am slightly moved to buy her. Anyway, this version of her seems nicer than her original version. The Disappearance version is so much more MOEEEE, especially the second pose. Oh gosh.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Blessed Christmas!

How's your Christmas going? 

I'm a little exhausted, to be honest. I got home this morning at 2:15am, showered and went straight to bed. I now know my body isn't as strong as it used to be, when I could hold up till the early mornings even after a party! I also think the people at the LPAB are sadistic, for setting assignment deadlines during the first 2 weeks of January. Poo poo!

My first maxi dress! Got this at Esprit, my all-time fav store.

No guesses where I got this summer dress from! Wore this for Anne's Christmas Eve party last night.

Thanks to Spreets, we found ourselves dining out at Kobe Jones in Docklands for $54 each on Thursday.

 Seafood Poke (Hawaiian style sashimi cubes marinated in poke sauce), Oyster Shooter (in mango fused sake), Volcano Roll (oven baked scallops layered on a crab salad and avocado roll, with their special cream sauce and a sesame seed and shallot sprinkle).

LollyPop Sushi
Tuna, kingfish, salmon, crab salad, asparagus and smelt roe, wrapped in thinly peeled cucumber with soy sauce vinaigrette

 Miso Citrus Lobster Tail
Grilled green lobster tail served in a miso citrus sauce on a bed of steamed vegetables and wafu thermidor sauce

Taking in the night view from our table. That's the West Gate Bridge in the distance. I used to drive up there to get to the airport, but now I take the non-tolled route.

Wagyu Hot Rock
Self-cook your wagyu just the way you like it, served with seasoning and two dipping sauces

Ama Ozen
Kobe Jones’s famous selection of dessert samplers with their trademark chocolate chopsticks

We definitely had a very nice night! Kobe Jones served up an unexpectedly delightful variety of Japanese fusion dishes, but the ladies were riled up at the sub-standards of the desserts. I personally didn't care about the desserts too much, as long as the main dishes lived up to my palette. Hee.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December, and all its pomp

♫ 東城衛 + A Chord - 夠愛

Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas! (in advance)

Yes, the silly season is upon us veli veli soon. Or perhaps, it already has truly descended. I went to the shops today at Box Hill, and boy, the crowd level was probably upped by another 10% or so. I found myself occasionally coming to a total standstill, as groups of people before me were obstructed by something. You'd think I would have gotten bored of Box Hill by now. However, the mere thought of challenging Doncaster Westfield, the next shopping arena closest to me was a little off-putting. I also didn't want to pay for parking really. Anyway, I got what I needed and scooted out of there fast.

Not exactly Christmas fare, but summer is beginning to affect me after my accident. Bummer.

Last week, I was literally attacked by a seizure of itches from nowhere. Over a few days, I would be 'coaxed' out of my deep sleep by an insistent urge to scraaatch. I lacked sleep over time and was beginning to feel crummy. The affected areas were confined to the new skin from my burns, so there was no mistake, my new skin was acting up like no tomorrow. Sometimes, I gave in and ran them over with my knuckles indirectly under my PJs, and other times, I felt like chopping my entire arm off. Then my face began to itch terribly, and before long, I looked like I was permanently in a sauna with a flushed oily face.

So glamorous.

As a last resort, I fled to my GP with arms flailing and oily itchy face as a bonus. He prescribed me Rozex and Elocon, 2 days MC and a referral letter to a dermatologist clinic in Hawthorn East. He'd seen me in this state exactly one year ago (yes, stupid summer!!) and he was still puzzled as to why I had dermatitis-like symptoms only on my burns. So, my wait now begins. Lovely!

My manager recommended Telfast in the meantime, from her personal experience. Bless her, it worked for me to a certain degree! On good days, I am itch-free, and on other days, at least the itch is controllable when my body produces more histamine than the tablet can contain. The GP told me that actually.

The storm is approaching. Wooooo.

I love watching the weather from my balcony door. Melbourne's weather is so fickle that it's not funny sometimes, but other than that, I'm sure it's great material for photographers. The lack of skyscrapers in the suburbs ensure that you have all that space to see rumbling clouds and sparse blue skies. It's always a marvel for me to see that, since I didn't grow up with that luxury.

The floor plan of my B-Pad : highlights of the electrical outlets

Recently, some of my colleagues and I got to talking about the electrical wiring of houses and they suggested that I should find out about mine so that I have the option to install more outlets whilst they're still in the building stage. It would cost a lot more (and messier too) to engage an electrician afterwards. I received this attachment from the floor manager, and my very nice colleague said she'd bring this back to her electrician husband for his advice on whether these were sufficient. I'm also considering floorboards all across the unit (excluding the bathroom) instead of tiles and carpets. Since I love Japanese designs, and Japan is well-known for small units, I'm hoping to glean some advice from those and try to achieve the look of a Japanese unit. Of course, only if I can afford it. =P

 My closet alter-ego screams for you

Truly, the highlight of my trip back home next month has to be the Super Junior Super Show 3. After the initial disappointment for not being able to procure tickets to its one and only show date in Singapore, the event organiser redeemed themselves by successfully getting them to open a second date. Love their work! So, I'll be watching it with Yi, Ling and Ling's friend. It'll be interesting because Yi's my poly mate, and Ling's my sec sch mate, lol. It's not just the concert I'm excited about, but the fact that I'll be going with my peeps makes the event much more happier. Believe it or not, this will be the first time I'm going to a concert. I'm not a concert-goer, and I don't fangirl any bands really. I like most, but I don't believe in going the extra mile. I'm definitely making an exception this time, and well, why not? I just turned 30, and I should do this before I get toooo old.

 The cutest magnae - Prince Kyuhyun  ♥

Happy Christmas shopping, all of you. Have a safe festive season!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Good end to the week!

I bought this nonya bak zhang from Yeoh's Groceries in Glen Waverley, and it was unexpectedly yummy! I'm as happy as can be, because I love nonya bak zhangs. They must be nonya. -nods to herself-

 My manager was in her Christmas mood, and to encourage that within me (the sulky one), she loaned me a USB-powered multi-lights Christmas tree to help usher in the festive mood. It is very cute, I must say.

First time at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds for our company's Christmas cocktail party. It was awesome.

Naruto's latest attempt to adopt the form of the Kyuubi wasn't totally successful. But it's cuuuute!!


I saw this bit in the latest manga chapter of BLEACH today, where they introduced the Hell arc and the antagonists in hell archaically said, "Let's get Kurosaki down in here". It was written across the page - movie debut - 劇場版 BLEACH 地獄篇. Out of curiousity, I went to google for it, and realised the movie premiere was... today! Haha, what are the chances? Anyway, I guess it could be another 6 months or so before it's released to the public in DVD. TM Revolution did an epic job with his songs, as usual. I'm already listening to it on endless loop. I'm just wondering how Kubo-sensei is going to explain this - Ichigo prancing around with his shinigami powers. Reading the forums, it seems that everyone has the same WTH!? questions as I do. No pun intended, of course.

* * * * * *

I just finished this book by Sharon Jaynes, and it has been amazing. When she means scars, she isn't just referring to the physical ones too. For me, it is good to understand what scars are to God, and the significance of them in His eyes.

The fact that I have scars which are not easily hidden and over a significant percentage of my arm means that I need to make a decision on whether I should wear it like a badge of honour, or hasten to hide it away from the public eye. The book touches on inspiring excerpts from other female believers' scars - both physical and emotional, and I realised that it is due to these same believers coming out to share their stories that people like me can benefit too.

It doesn't mean that I will stop spraying MicroSkin on my arm. I still need to shield the new skin from harmful UV rays which will potentially cause more damage than I can imagine. The scars that had formed are the physical memories of a traumatic accident. What the book has taught me is that if I am presented with an opportunity to minister, then I should. It can be embarrassing, especially for ladies because unfortunately, we seem to be more critical of each other.

The scars will bear evidence of God's strength and providence, the very fact that I am still alive is proof of His intervention. And when appropriate, to roll up my sleeves and show the extent of where my skin had burned, but not to feel embarrassed or not to speak up at all. Most of the ladies mentioned in the book went on to become speakers and are now touching people's lives everywhere, proudly displaying their deformities or disabilities, or sharing their not-so-glamorous pasts. Aunt Anne delivered an Easter prophecy last year, where I would heal people with my imperfect arm. If anything, I would be honoured to be used for His service. Secularly speaking, isn't it better to be useful with a deformity or disability than sit around and lament? One lasting example is the life of Nick Vujicic, who greatly touched me before my accident, and even more now. I don't need to be someone as far-reaching as these people, as long as the people close to me can experience God's love personally through what I can share.

We are ultimately always looking for a purpose. I hope I'm at least halfway there.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Yay! I got my customised skin today at work via FedEx, and it was in pristine condition. Phew. This is my second purchase with Gelaskins, the first which was originally meant for my iPhone 4, but the telco, Three completely messed up my order, and now, it's 5 months late (or never coming). So, the skin is still sitting there with 5 months worth of dust gathering on top of it. Not funny.

Anyway, I'm a happy gal. It came out just as I wanted, so I'm very contented. No special reason why I decided to skin my laptop. I guess I was just bored with it after a year.

Japanese fanart illustration of KAITO from Vocaloid. Pweetty.

Like I told Yi, I had this supremely beautiful and most breathtaking illustration which was running in contention for being chosen as the skin for my 17" laptop. Well, I decided against it ultimately because it would set many tongues wagging if I brought it out with me amongst the public eye. Heh. It shall have its place as my mobile wallpaper, although it just means I shouldn't let anyone pry into my mobile at any cost.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Construction underway

On Wednesday, I wanted to take advantage of The Face Shop's 20% sale so I drove down to it after work. Since I was in the area, I decided to swing by and check on construction.

 This bit was non-existent when I drove by 4 weeks before.

The left wing where my apartment will be situated, but one more level up ... and currently non-existent.

It seems that they have finished the length of ground floor's construction.

I'll be secretly laughing in my boots if they actually finish construction by June 2011. However, my current lease ends then, so it'll be best for all parties if they do. In the meantime, I'd been flipping through brochures for tiles and taps. I might want to scrap the tiles that they are giving to me as a package, and get some of my own instead.

I'd been having strange dreams this week, some of which I still remember clearly and others not. They don't make sense, and are really frown-inducing scenarios which I am willing to pay a million bucks to make sure that they never manifest. I think my psyche needs a long break, because even though I sleep early to ensure sufficient rest, my mind is very much conscious and producing all these appalling things. OK, perhaps I'm not helping with the things I feed to it ... yes, guilty as charged, Your Honour, so I shall zip it now.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Everything nerdy

♫ KAITO - Cantarella

Flowers from a colleague as a gesture of thanks. I totally do not deserve it, but anyway, the flowers look lovely don't they? I didn't have a vase, so I grabbed an empty Coke bottle, washed it clean and cut it open. And tada, temporary vase to the rescue!

* * * * * *

I highly recommend John Eldrege's Walking With God if you want something to read. It's insightful and intimate, Eldrege allowing the reader into his mind as he contends with God, and strives to put Him first in his thoughts. He even documents his questions, his pressing worries, how he prays, whether he waits for God to respond, how long the wait can be, his struggles, fears and uncertainties, his hurts, and everything else. It's also presented in a good format, with narration and dialogue styles as appropriate. I find myself journeying with him over his one year as he journals, and it's not weary or repetitive. I'd learnt a lot from this book, especially the much unknown aspect of spiritual warfare, and what to do when one feels the onslaught. He pens the process in exact details; what he does, what he thinks, what he says, his queries and debates with God in real-time, what he is physically feeling, what's happening around him in the meantime. It runs like a movie. Really good stuff. It is way better than reading a one liner that says, "Pray when...". Obviously we know we should, but then what? And most importantly, how!? So, I'm really glad I picked this up to read, and I managed to finish it within a month.

The next book I'm going to read is Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages - Singles Edition. Well, there's been much talk about his first book but I never bothered to check it out during the hype. I think it is meant for married couples, so obviously it isn't applicable. Then I saw this lying on the shelves during my shopping spree at Koorong lately (thank you, 20-25% sale), so I thought I'd pick it up anyway. I have 21 books left untouched, and that is just shocking, I know. I receive books as presents, and I still have a Borders voucher which my lovely colleagues gave to me as a birthday present this year. Unfortunately, I either drive or walk to and fro work, so I lost the luxury of reading on public transport. Perhaps I can catch up on my books' backlog when I move next year. I wish I don't have to hit the textbooks during the week. Urgh.

I formed the habit of putting a book on the bedside table, so that I could read before I sleep. I aim to crawl into bed about 20 mins before my preferred bed time, and I read until I crash. It's the only time when I can do any non-academic reading. It's been fruitful so far, since I managed to finish Eldrege's book within a reasonable timeframe.

But I must say, the newest thing in my life so far is my purchase of Glo. It is a highly interactive form of the Bible, and I'd been having fun reading the Scriptures and clicking on relevant web articles, web videos (watching Max Lucado and others talk on the topic) and its own documentaries as well. Love it, love it, love it! There's atlases, pictures, and you can click on them to zoom in and see real-life 360º angles of places like Mt Horam, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Capernaum etc. They have walk-throughs on the streets of Galilee, how Peter's house would have looked like, and as you read through the Bible, they have all these accessible materials which you can play or look at to further enhance your understanding - historically and conceptually. You can scroll up and down, left and right in the temple where Jesus preached, see how the Pharisees were dressed up in those days, and click on prompts to read more. I even learnt historical tidbits about King Herod, the myths about The Three Kings and understood the dedication of the 3 friends who lowered their invalid friend through the roof after scrolling through the model of a house in those days. It's like playing an RPG game really, where you walk through streets, corridors, look up and down, read narratives and helpful guides as you go along. It was just pure win!

Glo also helps with your Bible Reading Plans, since it keeps track and prompts you which scripture to start and stop. Totally customisable. You can make your own notes if you have an ah-ha! moment when meditating or reading. I especially love the way it can sort the Bible by topic. You can choose something which you want to find out more, e.g. addictions (haha), and it goes into sub-topics. It then brings up all relevant scriptures, illustrations and web references. One amazing thing I got to preview was the ceiling painting on the Sistine Chapel in Rome. I could zoom in and marvel at each section, where there was also a short narration and history on what Michelangelo was thinking when he was drawing.

It was nice to see the famous 'God & Adam's fingers almost touching' section right up on my screen in clear HD quality, haha. But gosh, it was not only breathtaking, it gave me a newfound appreciation of Michaelangelo's gift. It is truly a stunning piece of art. Definitely deserves its place in history.

Anyway, I find it rare for me to be so pumped up over the Bible. Yes, I shouldn't say this, but the paperback Bible has never given me such an anticipation! I had pondered over Glo ever since I first laid eyes on the demo which was running in Koorong over the past year or so. I did wonder if it was too expensive and if it'd end up as a a 'dead software' on my laptop. After all, it's very resource-draining due to its capabilities. However, my laptop hasn't taken a beating from it, and I'd enjoyed myself so much learning a lot more about Jesus. I loved one session where I had the view of the Sea of Galilee before me (real life captures), and I could click to see the surrounds too. I almost felt the sea breeze, serious. I walked where Jesus once walked, looked at the view where he once looked and marveled, and I somehow got a sense of why God chose this region for Jesus's birth. It's not the same as being there myself, obviously, but this is really as good as it gets (without getting sand in my feet and dust in my eyes, haha). It updates itself every time you start the programme, so I guess it's really very up-to-date with materials and resources.

I'll shut up and let the promotional video do all the talking.

I got it at a 25% discount eventually, so I was going nuts about it. Yeah, I'm getting quite aunty-like. Anyway, without further ado, I'm going to start on my reading today using Glo, so I bid you farewell here.

Friday, October 29, 2010


♫ Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Tell Me Baby

For the past few months, our organisation was busily working towards the 3 yearly QICSA accreditation. It's funny how time flies, but you can remember every single day in which you worked extra hard in order to make sure everything was sui sui for the accreditation. All meetings were held with a single goal in mind, every delegation and completed work for one purpose. It was pretty intense, but I think this whole exercise made me realise how teamwork could play such a role in achieving great feats which no single person could. And really, if every person chipped in and performed his/her role, then things could fall into place like clockwork. No dramas. I'd been very blessed to work with supremely dedicated people on all levels. It is very inspiring.

Today was the day of fruition, and I could feel so much pride for everyone at the feedback session for staff by the assessors. Such glowing reviews from them! I guess we could all get away with bloated heads for the day. And then champagne galore! I'm quite happy that there's the long weekend too, and we can rest well until next Tue. I forgot to turn on my Out Of Office message, but well, I'm sure most people in Melbourne would have taken next Mon off too. Hopefully the weather turns out fine for the Melbourne Cup Day on Tues!

And then it's back to work on Wed.

My manager bought spiffy blade-less fans to work in time for the notorious summer temperatures. It doesn't help that the building is a walking oven with a barely working cooling system and minimal ventilation. Still, it means I get to see these babies for real!

And there's the round ones at the other side of the building, like basketball hoops! Awesome.

I am wondering what to do for Sat, Sun, Mon and Tues! Ah, not doing anything may just be a plan too. Well, we'll see. I might want to pop around to the auto shop and grab some car accessories (rubber mats and convex mirrors) tomorrow. Hmm, I might shop around for a hat too, before the sun truly heats up soon. I tried out one at an Asian cart earlier, but got too self-conscious when both assistants stared at me. Urgh.

I got a Rice Water Cleansing Oil from The Face Shop today, after my Yuva one ran out some time ago. It worked like a dream, with all my eye makeup gone in one application. Nice. I like minimal effort. 

And I also grabbed a scarf for summer. It's supposed to 'dress up' your clothes without the wooliness of winter scarves, which I'll have to pack away quite soon. Speaking of which, I do need to pack and unpack my wardrobe for the approaching warm weather. There we go, my weekend mission it will be.

I just draped it on the first clothing I had hanging around, haha.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sorry, what was that all about?

Because Chrissy and I rocked up at Doncaster SC to catch a movie on a Mon night, and then realised the selection there was miserly, we had to settle for a title which wasn't scary, gory or simply crappy. We decided to take our chances on Eat, Pray, Love. I had wanted to see The Last Airbender (because I really like CG action scenes like that), or Legend of the Guardians (fluffy owls galore!), but that would have to wait for another time.

I must say, I did have some expectations from the movie. Y'know, it has been such a sensation and I think most people (or ladies) would have heard of it by now. The premise might resonate with some of them out there - stuck in a marriage which had fizzled out, not sure what their lives are all about, and wanting all that life and energy back which they lost somehow along the way. So, what Ms Gilbert did was to go through a difficult divorce in which she lost all her money (because she was so desperate to make her ex-husband sign the papers that she negotiated taking nothing from the divorce settlement and giving him all her monies/ properties/ retirement accounts etc). She had been in an affair, and after the divorce, she went into another relationship with a young struggling theatre actor (which ended up nowhere). So, she decided to select 3 countries, packed up and left New York. The ex-husband wanted her back badly, but in the end, he relented according to her wishes.

Let's be honest, shall we? If this had been written by a man, the backlash would have been tsunamical (I made that word up). A man who had an affair, decided to break the marriage off, flew away to Europe and Asia and settled down in Bali with his new love. That doesn't resonate like a life-changing moment, it just sounds like a clandestine affair in which a man uses the "I want to find my life back" notion as a major excuse to bow out of anything responsible, leaving everything behind.

But I didn't read the book, so I guess a lot of details might be missing. Perhaps Ms Gilbert did try to make the marriage work and it still failed. And along the way, she experienced spirituality in India, ate like a buffoon in Italy (which is lost on most of us because it's not like we are all eating grass usually), and then fell in love with a really nice man in Bali. Btw, there is a continuation of the love story as her new man lives with her in the States now, in her book titled Committed. They sworn complete fidelity to each other, with no marriage vows ever (because they were both divorcees and skeptics of marriage), but an immigration hiccup one day made them rethink of how they could continue their relationship as her new man was refused entry into the States.

Unless of course, they were legally married.

I am taking a shot in the dark here, but the movie probably did no justice to the book. There was no real pain portrayed in the marriage and one night, the woman just fell to her knees and prayed to God with tears, asking what she should do. And then God didn't respond, so she went back to bed despondent. All these within 15 mins of the movie. I was left wondering, "So... what was she on about? What was wrong with the marriage? Because her husband was a person who couldn't make up his mind on what he wanted to do in his career or something? And then she was disappointed because she confessed she had never spoken to God, and then she prayed something would happen because she decided to kneel down one night and pray?"

Don't get me wrong. God can make lightning strike a tree at first instance, and certainly a skeptic's prayer is more powerful than a lukewarm believer's if God wanted it to be so. I just didn't see her heart in that prayer. What was she asking for? What was she crying about? 15 minutes into the show, and it wasn't enough to see what she was miserable about. She was already pulling a long face  standing beside her husband at a function when the movie started rolling.

Then she went into a relationship with a young actor (cougar alert!) who was playing out a script which she wrote (I am assuming here, since it was mentioned that she was a writer). They made eyes at each other throughout the play. Then in the second shot, she had moved in, they had lots of sex, and then 15 mins into the movie, she was miserable and apparently they had quarreled a lot etc. I was left in the dark again about what they were up against. There were no shots on what they argued about, and what she wanted him to do or give to her. She certainly didn't offer him anything really.

Anyway, she decided to go to Italy for good food. Yes, her best friend ate salad for lunch, so she chided her by saying how miserable they had become. Oh, they had lost the appetite for life!  Off she flew then. I loved this bit because the scenery shots in Italy were beautiful.

But there were moments when she was quietly upset. She stayed alone, she hung out with people who were happy couples (always a mistake when you just got out from a relationship) and at the end of the day, she piled on some weight and laughed so much about it. She encouraged a friend to eat that pizza with her because she was tired of having to be so uptight about her naked body. "Men would never walk away from a naked woman, so big deal about some extra kilos!" 

Sure, I'm ok with that whole notion of positive body image. Be happy with yours, don't scrimp to the point where you become unhappy. So, was that why she travelled to Italy for? To rediscover her tastebuds? Perhaps eating a lot in another country makes it easier to justify all those extra weight? She did become happier, but still, those moments of loneliness would jar into the movie occasionally. I still don't know if she learnt anything.

Then it was India. All of a sudden, the screen was filled with loud noises, cows, honking, people, dirt and stuffs. She checked into a guru's temple whom her actor ex-boyfriend had introduced her to, and she did some legwork at the temple (cleaning the floors etc) as part of her stay there. She met a 17 yr old local who was there because she was a follower, but she was miserable as she was in the midst of being married off to another 17 yr old by arrangement.

OK, so she met an elder Caucasian whilst staying there. He called her "Groceries" because of the amount of food she ate (remember her lesson in Italy?). They didn't get along well because he was immediately clashing swords with her from the moment they met. To me, I guess they were trying to portray him as one of those who were there for a long time, and didn't like those 'hippy Caucasians' who thought it was cool to come along to an impoverished country seeking alternative healing. I might be off the mark, who knows? It was so random. They attended that 17 yr old girl's wedding where she and the bride had a quiet moment. She told her, "I had been praying to the guru for you, that you would become very happy with your husband. You will be." And the bride looked up at her and said, "I will believe in that, and I will gain happiness." Then, that was the end of the scene.

That was befuddling. She had been a little angsty because witnessing a marriage reminded her of her own. Then she had a short chat with her ex-husband (illusionary) where they were dancing during their wedding, and nothing much was exchanged. I was like, "Huh? Why is she thinking about this?" And why was she so certain that little girl would gain happiness in her wedding? I don't get it.

Anyway, the elder Caucasian and her bonded a bit because he opened up to her about his past, and he pleaded with her to stay in India until she could forgive herself. In the movie, she didn't even talk to him about anything except that she was a divorcee.

So, what was he asking to forgive herself for? Unlike her, he was an alcoholic and he almost ran over his 8 yr old son in the driveway as he was drunk behind the wheel. His wife witnessed everything, and took their children away with her. So, he came to this temple and meditated lots. He was perhaps trying to forgive himself because his 8 yr old son was now 18, and he missed out on his growing up phase. OK, that bit I can understand. So, was she supposed to forgive herself for marrying the wrong guy? That man eventually must have forgiven himself because he was shown leaving India and going back to Texas, with her bidding him farewell tearfully. I don't know, it wasn't mentioned clearly.

Anyway, at first she had trouble meditating. She thought of a million other things in her mind and I could understand that too. Meditation is difficult. You are always distracted. So, from praying, she's trying meditation and she succeeds in the movie. You see her in zen-like mode by the time she travels to Bali where she nails the technique. She left India (I don't know whether she forgave herself because it wasn't mentioned) and the next thing on the screen was the rice paddies in Bali. "Oh, we're in Bali now." I recalled thinking in my head.

Then she went back to this medicine man called Katuk, who prophesied that she would be back to see him, penniless, but having gained a lot more. So indeed, his prophecy rang true. She remembered him as she was planning her trip, and went to see him. She became his pseudo-disciple, writing out his spells for him as they were falling away to bits, and she travelled around Bali enjoying the sights and sounds. Then she was invited to one of the summer beach parties, and she was flirting away with a young deejay, but pulled out at the end when he invited her to swim naked in the beach. "This is Bali! Enjoy!" Then she bumped into a man who had earlier almost ran her down on her bicycle because he was distracted by the radio. That man became a self-appointed travel guide for her, and they enjoyed each other's company, subsequently becoming her new love. She got to meet his adult son, who was egging his father to sleep with her.

After a few days, weeks, or months later (I don't know, because no time was mentioned), the man invited her to his yacht in which he wanted to bring her to 'a place for themselves', since he belonged to Bali and she in New York. I think he was referring to an island. She just went ballistic and cried and wept, subsequently running away from him, leaving him heartbroken because he had told her that he was willing to open his heart again (his wife left him). I was completely confused at this stage because she literally said nothing much that justified her reaction. It was "I can't, I don't want to, I can't do this again." So, I had to pin it down to a fear of commitment. She didn't mention anything about being heartbroken again, but in the beginning, she wasn't betrayed anyway. She just fell out of her love with ex-husband. So, I don't know actually.

Then she took some time by herself, and talked to the medicine man who advised her that the balance of life also involved being unbalanced by the force of love. And she went back to see that man, who embraced her happily. Parting shot: they were kissing and making out in the speedboat towards... an island, I think.

The only highlight for me: she got to know this lady with her child in Bali, who was the equivalent of a pharmacist. She dispensed medicine and helped her with her leg wound as she got knocked down by that car earlier. This lady was abused by her husband and so she left with her young girl. She decided to rally all her friends together (back in NY, in Italy and that man who was now back in Texas) and they all pitched in money for her cause. In the end, she got enough to help build an amazing house for mother and child. Now, that was amazing and I was positively inspired by her.

I didn't make any sense of the movie because on hindsight, the movie was so ambiguous in its story-telling, direction and dialogue. It just made me feel as if Ms Gilbert was making a BIG deal out of nothing. In comparison to the people she met with some serious problems and healing to do, I just don't know what she was anguished about. Was that what her whole motto was? Going around to impoverished countries and realising that she was a privileged white woman who should have known better? And to cultivate an appetite for eating in Italy?

Then the ending shots involved her ex-husband happily married again with a baby, and her ex-actor boyfriend getting recognition at a play. Everyone found their own happiness.

I know, I know. From a bird's eye view, I understand what she's trying to do. If I eat like a shrimp, I do feel miserable. I feel happy when I had amazingly good food. I am delighted when my spirituality is encompassing. I am happy when I enjoy the love from God, family and peers. But I don't know what her story and her search attempts were all about. It just baffles me, and I shall blame it on the movie. But will I read her book then? No, I do have other books which require my attention for now, and unless I receive it as a gift (please don't do this to me), I'm not that inspired to reach for it.

There you go, my 2 cents worth of a movie review. I'm sorry for the funny flow of the review, but that was all I could work on from the movie plot.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Ideal Saturday

We were supposed to go to Peninsula Hot Springs on Sat, but certain things happened so we couldn't go. Chrissy called me on Fri at work, asking me what exactly our plans were because there was no real conclusion from all the emails to and fro so far. I had no real idea what had been discussed due to a lack of time to check my emails, thus I thought of some quick ideas which could be good on an evening for 4 girls.

1. Rent DVDs and chill out.
2. Check out Festival Indonesia 2010 at Federation Square.

When Ruth and I were housemates in Perth, she introduced me to the notion of renting DVDs, and watching them in our PJs looking dishevelled and totally shoddy. I missed those moments with her, because she had a good eye for movies and best of all, she knew exactly what movies would interest me. Ah, don't you just love it when it's all about you? -chuckles-

So, the girls liked the first idea, and DVD night it was. We met at the award-winning Shira Nui in Glen Waverley first where we had a sumptuous Japanese lunch (complete with thick yummy slices of sashimi and an unforgettable chawanmushi), and Chrissy managed to buy not 1, but 2 pairs of sunnies.

We then went to church together for the 4pm session, whereupon the topic was about fasting. It was an interesting sermon, especially because fasting has never been something which I paid attention to. I also spied this warm little scene in front of us between 2 guys.

Very interesting. Guys do show some affection at times.

We then shopped at Coles for dinner to munch on, and then rented 2 titles to watch at Anne's place. Chick flick night, we were planning.

But then, I spied a title which I just couldn't refuse. 

Yes, the last movie which Australia's beloved Heath Ledger was acting in before his premature death. It was surreal, I guess. I kinda saw it whilst perusing the shelves carelessly, and they were placed right at the lowest level which you'll miss it if you blink. I thought it was rather strange because you'd think the title would be placed in a more prominent spot, right?

Anyway, it was a good movie. It was very fantasy-like and quite a quirky ride. To be really honest, I don't have a conclusive idea of what I feel towards it. But well, there's a bonus! You have all the big male names in it, and the story was such that you just couldn't expect what would happen next. However, it's not a oh-my-gosh-you-have-to-see-it movie. If you have extra time, then give it a go.

Heath Ledger was, as always, a marvel to watch.

Yes, chick flick. We were tossing between Letters to Juliet and Dear John. However, Chrissy and I were not keen on the latter because we feared it would be depressing. We just wanted a feel-good movie in which we didn't need to strain our brains or tear ducts. Just, y'know, something that leaves absolutely nothing behind. It ain't too bad at all, and Anne got exceptionally excited because the male lead, Chris Egan is an Aussie. So, even though he had an exceptional British accent, I had the continuous impression that he was putting it on. Ah well. Didn't mar the experience much, he was good to look at for sure. It's a very predictable movie, with very corny lines and scenes. If it's anything worth saying, it was shot in beautiful Verona and so, it absolutely sets the mood for love and fuzziness. Feel free to watch this too if you have time to kill.

Nuggets, salad, chicken sticks, chocs, green tea, garlic bread, and then ice cream

So, it was a very nice night. Bel introduced me to the world of veggie chips. We snuggled in the living room with the heater on, and I was dressed in a comfortable sweatshirt with denim tights.

Pretty interesting to wear this to the mall and to church

Well, I try to create some amusement for life's little moments. I snap mental shots into my head on some days - when I am having a conversation, watching my colleagues laugh at something funny, a heart-to-heart discussion with a friend, watching the sky turn crimson from the balcony, a visual from the telly ... anything that prompts me to do so. Or wearing something fuzzy and different than what you'd normally don, just so because you can.

Life is ultimately what you make of. So, indulge in (or create) little moments whenever possible.