Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Day of 2009

Every year at this day I always look back at the previous year and compare. This year totally sucked compared to last year, life was more boring, work as well, I didn't moved forward much. Last year fresh out of college, just started working, everything was exciting, a good learning experience. This year second year of work, different environment, different projects, all seems to be a bore to me already.

This year I was often conflicted with why I choose this job, what I really wanted to do with my life, how far do I see myself in this line of work. These thoughts come and go often and it drains lots of happiness out of my life, and also my sleep time. Looking at 2008, there were so many good memories to cherish, happy times with my colleagues, with family and friends.

Next year 2010 I hope things will be better or at least I will try my best to make it better for myself. There is already something sad happening in the coming year, something I do not look forward to. My dear grandparents, uncle and family are moving to Singapore because my aunt got a promotion and have to move there. It saddens me a lot because I will be apart from my grandparents, every saturday my family will visit my grandparents and we always have dinner. After dinner we will chit chat at their home in Mutiara Damansara, my sister and I will play with my cousins. My dad's youngest sister and her son always join this night, it's our family time together.

With the coming year I will miss all the fun I had with my cousins, we've played Wii, badminton just recently, dance along with music, watch movies. I will also be losing the opportunity to see my cousin brother who was born this year April, another Ox in the family like me. He is such a cute little baby boy and since they are moving away I'm sure when I go visit my grandma he won't remember me at all. I really hope next year will be better but seeing how a part of my family won't be around, there is much sadness for me.

Happy New Year and let's hope that 2010 will have better economy, better opportunities and more happiness for the world.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Charming in my dictionary

Many girls of many age goes goo goo ga ga at Robert Pattinson, I on the other hand think that he is just not charming enough to be Edward Cullen. After reading the Twilight saga, I think there are better choices for this character compared to him. For instance I think Chace Crawford is really charming, more handsome and definitely hotter than Robert.

A picture speaks a thousand words:

Chace Crawford




Robert Pattinson

Robert definitely has messier hair and he likes it, I feel that his face shape is more on the edgier side which makes his cheek sunk in, almost like a drug addict to me. Chace on the hand has a good style with his hair, a sharp face shape. Anyway I feel that Chace also has a more gentleman look and Robert has a more bad boy look. Edward Cullen to me is definitely a gentleman since he was born during those times where men always wear suits. Vampires are definitely charmers so that they can lure/seduce their victims.

In conclusion, you can tell I just don't like Robert Pattinson :P. I like how Chace Crawford looks but there are also better choices that him.

The Host

Melanie Stryder has lived a life of running and hiding ever since the invasion happened. Many years she has been caring for her brother, stealing food to survive. Life was tough until she met Jared, the love of her life. Together life became easier as Jared is very reliable. An incident happened where Melanie makes her way into the city where the aliens are highly populated, she needs to search for her relative and go back together.

Melanie was caught and soon her body taken over, humans were made as host for "souls". Wanderer could hear Melanie all the time, her rebellious thoughts, her hate for Wanderer's kind. If Melanie was strong enough, she could take back her body, but Wanderer is determine to stay in Earth and to experience a new life. A Seeker is always pestering Wanderer for more information from Melanie, her memories whether there are more humans out there. Soon Wanderer was to give up and move to another body, while she travel to meet her Healer , Melanie convinced her to find her relatives, a hiding sanctuary that was mentions by Melanie's Uncle Jeb.

The story continues with Wanderer's adventure where she was found by humans, brought to the hiding place and live with them. There are man secrets as to how the place was built, how in the bare desert this place was found. There are many survivors and they all hate the "souls" calling them parasites. Wanderer tries to live on without being kill and found that Melanie's love for her brother and Jared are also hers.



Ever imagine what would it feel having to share your body with another person, hearing another person's thoughts in your head. Not having the control over your body or using all of your will just to move a finger or two.

"The Host" by Stephenie Meyer (the twilight saga author) is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. In my opinion, this novel is way better than twilight saga because it is more mature and the characters aren't high school kids which are crazy in love . In this book, the main character is Wanderer, how she lives with human, how she learns to love them and be loved in the end.

There is a lot of love in the story, not the kind of selfish love you read from Bella and Edward but a more sacrificing love. One thing about Stephenie's writing, there is always a triangle love but in the end the characters who are in the outs of the triangle will still end up with someone. For example, Jacob was in love with Bella but Bella chooses Edward and vice versa, in the end Jacob found the love of his life which is Bella's daughter. So in "The Host" Jared loves Melanie, Wanderer loves Jared but Jared can't be with Melanie unless Wanderer gives up the body.

There is also an interesting change in the hearts of human, you can never perceive people with your first impression. Ian who seemed like he will kill Wanderer will soon sympathise and want to be friends. Many humans learn to like Wanderer and be friends, she is one of a kind afterall.

What I like about this book is the concept of aliens taking over Earth to maintain peace. Those "souls" feel that we humans have too much hate, anger and violence, therefore to save the human race they invade us. They take over our bodies and lives life just as it is without all those violence. There are a kind which does not have much emotions and doesn't succumb to emotions controlling our actions. They need not pay for anything therefore there is no need for money. One thing's for sure, they are very united and all have the same goals.

I think it sounds good to have world peace with everyone having a same goal and not having any rankings in terms of wealth because no money system. Sadly the idea of an alien taking over my body is just plain scary. In the book, not many are as strong as Melanie to survive, most humans are just lost (which is dead) and they can never return anymore.

Another thing I like about the book is the romance developing from characters and also the change in human hearts even though they can hate something enough to kill, there can always be a change of heart. How the characters change are interesting in the book.I also like the title of each chapter, where a single word is used, it is enough to describe the chapter. Stephenie Meyer has a really good imagination and for me it outdid the saga series.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things I love when I was a kid......

Chip...chip...chip n Dale, rescue rangers! I was addicted to the TV most of my childhood days, watching cartoons and TVB dramas with my grandma. Cartoons were how I learned English, I used to watch a few hours of TV whenever possible. The cartoons that I loved watching was Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers, Tail Spin, Gummy Bears, CareBears, Smurf, Jem, Transformers, My Little Pony, Dungeons and Dragons, Thundercats, Looney Tunes and many more.

These cartoons are all unique and you don't see their stories overlapping or repetative at all. Children nowadays don't have cartoons like those times, now we have Ben 10, Teen Titans and many that I don't know. Most of it are action cartoons and children have also shifted their attention to Japanese animation.

When we watched Gummy bears, Smurf and Care bears we learn about community, living in a big family, helping each other. Those were the values being portraited, everyone working together towards a common goal and having a common enemy.

Besides cartoons being shown on TV, animation that are movies was also a favorite of mine. We have The Nutcracker Prince, Swan Princess, Anastasia, Cinderella, Snow White, Quest for Camelot, Beauty and the Beast and many more. If you ask the children about the old Disney movies they may know a few due to the Disney Princess having merchandisers sold worldwide. But I'm sure many would not know the stories they came, yes the name but not the whole story.

One thing that I find about those movies is that they have a great soundtrack, most of it always have very good love songs. In this new 21st century I can't remember any movies that like the ones that I used to watch, most of it are either 3D comedy, family related or action packed, I miss the good old love stories where the couple in the story always have a duet.

Below are pictures of the mentioned cartoons and also youtube video links of the wonderful songs:







Sunday, November 8, 2009

24 already....

Time really flies, just like that I've been in this world for 24 years already, if counting the 9 months in my mother's womb then it would be 24 yrs and 9 months :P. According to my mother I was suppose to come into the world on the 2nd of November, but I was two days late. As she planned for my sister to have to same birthday, she too was late by two days, coming into the world on the 6th.

If I was asked to remember my childhood days, I really can't bring anything up. Even if I looked at my baby pictures, I still can't recall. One thing for sure it has been a good 24 years, I think I've have been born into a wonderful family. But sometimes I can't help but wonder what if, what if I was born into a different family, what if I was born as a boy, what if......

These many what if make me look back at my primary years and secondary years, I've always wondered if I had a different personality would it have shaped a different future for me. If I weren't to study IT what other path would it be for me? All along IT was my secondary choice, I've always wanted to be a writer, if not an editor for books or magazines. I wanted to take journalism but I was put off by my father as he states it's not a good career in this country.

Voicing out your thoughts and opinions are difficult here, we have to be careful in what we say. Even if it's the truth, many reluctant to hear and many more think those are lies. With less freedom of speech given, there isn't much you can write to share. It is true that in books and magazine, we seldom have local writers.

I have always read books in english that are written by people who are from USA, England, Australia. Even when I read Cleo magazine I often note that the article writer have a foreign name. It is common that those articles are taken from past issues of Cleo magazines from other countries.

I really love to express my thoughts and imagination in articles, stories and if possible a book. The thought of having another person picking up your materials, reading it and having an impact in their lives, that gives me enjoyment. One day I hope I can improve and really have written something worth reading.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Magician's Apprentice

From the writer of "The Black Magician Trilogy", Trudi Canavan, comes a new epic story that happened hundreds of years before Sonea, "The Magician's Apprentice".


The new book from Trudi Canavan talks about what happened in the past where there is no Magician's guild yet and black magic was considered as high magic which was practiced everywhere. The story revolves around one main character, Tessia who loves healing but can't be a proper one because she is a woman. She assists her father as he is a legimate healer for a country ley. One day her world changes where she used magic naturally and was taken in by Lord Dakon as an apprentice. Lord Dakon also has an apprentice, Jayan who is near to completing his learning and will become a higher magician too. Jayan don't quite like Tessia and she could feel it, so she doesn't ask too many questions when Jayan is around in her training.

Her adventure begins where she travels to the city Imardin following Lord Dakon. While she is there she met new people and see how the city works. She was also introduced to the king as Lord Dakon's apprentice. Something terrible happened when they were away from home, the ley was attacked by neighbouring country , Sachaka. Tessia's journey continues on where she lost her home and follows Lord Dakon and many other magicians to chase the Sachakans magicians away.

The book also changes perspective to other character such as Hanara, a sachakan slave and Stara, a woman who is used to Elyne but brought back to Arvice (main city of Sachaka) by her father for a reason. These two people have a story of their own which connects to the main story. This writer loves to put female as main characters which I enjoy a lot. In the "Black Magician Trilogy", Sonea was the main character. In the "The Age of Five Trilogy", Auraya is the main character. All these character are strong women and have their minds set on healing most of the time. Often fantasy books have warriors, thieves, hunters and demons but Trudi Canavan prefers to write about women magicians/healers. I truly enjoy her writing and can't wait for more new novels from her.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The "delights" of Facebook

The most famous social networking site around, "Facebook". Some joined facebook to connect with their friends and families that around the world. You get to see pictures, share videos on the site. Others joined facebook for the "delights" that I'm bout to write. There are many flash games offered by facebook and it attracted people to join, it keeps people interested. Look what happened to friendster, it got boring.

When I first joined facebook, the games available were very static. It had games such as mafia, vampires, where you do jobs, level up and more options are unlocked. Those games had no flash, just pictures as descriptions of items, words, links and virtual money used to do buy/sell like Utopia the online game on the internet.

Slowly, more developers joined in developing applications either for making money or for interest which bring birth to flash games. I started with playing "Pet Society", "Who has the biggest brain?" which was owned by Playfish games. Then more games started to come and compete with them which brought Zynga's "Farmville", "CafeWorld", "Roller Coaster Kingdom" and many more from both.

Pet Society was about you having a pet, you earn money by racing and visiting other people, you use the money to buy clothes, food, furniture. Earning money was hard but it was fun to buy stuff, sort of like a Sims 3 game but in a much smaller scale.


Then the fun "Restaurant City" from playfish games became the hype, most of my friends were playing it. The game is about you owning a restaurant and serving customers a variety of dishes based on the ingredients you have. Everyday you'll get ingredient and there is also a quiz that gives an ingredient as a reward. Ingredients given are totally random so it's hard to upgrade your dish cause a few are needed for one dish. Serving those dishes to the customers (AI ones) increases your level in the game which unlock more space or more staff. Money is used where yo can buy furniture to decorate the restaurant and change the clothing of your staff.




Competing with Playfish games was Zynga. The first game I played from this group is "Farmville" where you own farm and you plant vegetables, you can have an orchard. All those grow in different timing. You also have farm animals to produce goods for you to sell.



After this game came out, Playfish games introduced "Country Story", in comparison, "Country Story" was drawn better but less vegetables are available for harvesting, but it had quest for you to complete that rewards points and food to level up and many items for decorating the farm.



Zynga has "Roller Coaster Kingdom" which reminded me of Rollercoaster Tycoon. Basically you own a theme park, you level up by having customers visit your park, you add more features by the money you earn. In terms of graphics, it is much better than "Farmville".



The current game that most of my friends are playing now is "Cafe World", the concept is similar to "Restaurant City" where you sell food and earn money to decorate. But one thing different is you get to prepare the dishes, there is a time limit on how long it takes to cook it, therefore you are not serving the same thing in your restaurant.




While some surf Facebook to check out on their friends and look at pictures, many of us indulge in the games that are available to spend our time using the internet. Facebook certainly changes the concept of Social Networking sites compared to Friendster, with this they remain interesting for all ages.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Twitter

I first heard of this application last year in Tech Ed SEA 2008, to me it was a new way of communication. Twitter was slightly famous in the US, but not many people have heard of it locally. Then 2009 came and more people started using it, even movie stars, singers uses it. The success of twitter finally came, because it was widely used by famous people like Ryan Seacrest, Ashton Kutcher, and John Mayer.

Now it has become such a hype that websites uses it, such as Engadget, Eonline, Wired.com, all to keep people updated from time to time. Twitter is a great way to market yourself to the public, for movie stars it's a way for them to let people know what they're doing, their thoughts, fans feel closer to them. One thing goo about twitter is that you can update it with your mobile easily, it's like sending an sms.

Unlike Facebook, you have to log in to change your status message, where else twitter is on the go, which is why it is widely used in the US because sending in a new tweet is just cheap. Unfortunately for people in other parts of the world, it will cost us a bundle. I like reading tweets from movie stars, they constantly update all the time. People I follow are like Ryan Seacrest, Ellen DeGeneres, Greg Grunberg (Heroes), Dane Cook. I do follow a few of my friends too, but we here in Malaysia are still a bit converse, we don't tweet about everything and anything. Sometimes we still like to keep our lives private :p.

This time is the right time to join twitter, learn to express yourself to the world through a simple application. You can always be creative and update it with special messages. You can follow my twitter account at : www.twitter.com/LiZan_Hiu. I don't update daily but from today onwards I'll try to be creative and update everyday :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Can you keep a secret?

Shh...Let me tell you a secret....can you keep it? You must promise not to tell another soul, okay I'll take your word for it. I actually saw my neighbour kissing another woman and I took a picture of it. Actually I have more to share, I feed my neighbour's cat chilli because it always shits in my garden. I once put salt in my manager's coffee and blamed it on someone else....I think I've talked too much. That's how the story is for Emma.


Emma has plenty of secrets, none that she can tell even to her best friend. Unfortunately she spilled it all out to a stranger that she met on a plane. She panicked as the plane had some turbulence and she could not control the things that kept coming out of her mouth. She thought all would be well because it was a stranger and then when she got back to work, the stranger is there. He is the founder of the company she is working for, big big disaster for Emma. She tries hard to avoid but he calls out to her most of the time for work.

This is a chick lit book that has much comedy like the other Sophie Kinsella books. Much mystery lies with out main male character. Emma has a wonderful best friend who is always there, a handsome boyfriend who everyones thinks they are the perfect match. But somewhere iside Emma she doesn't feel like she is in love with him, instead she notices her boss more. There is fun in wanting to know how the ending will turn up and how this typical story can be not typical at the end.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm not a Geek?

Geek is a stereotype for people in the IT line, owns many gadgets, know the computer well, can't live without a computer, the internet and many more. I'm often called a Geek by my sister, I remember when I was in college and we had some argument and she couldn't win, she would keep repeating, "geek, geek, geek" in a high pitch voice. That time it annoys me big time, but now I think being a geek is cool, it's the "in" thing. Sadly after reading a list of "100 Essential Skills for Geeks" I realise I'm not a true geek.

After analysing the list, here what I have from that list:
  1. Remove a virus from a computer. (That's because I have anti-virus software and Google)
  2. Understand what “There’s no Place Like 127.0.0.1” means.
  3. Know the difference between skills and traits.
  4. Understand the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel.
  5. Know why it is just wrong for Luke and Leia to kiss.
  6. Sleep with a Cricket bat next to your bed. (Mine's a baseball bat)
  7. The meaning of technical acronyms.
Out of 100 I only have 7, boy do I suck bad. Haha. Skills that I think cool to have from that list:
  1. Crack the WEP key on a wireless router.
  2. Leech Wifi from your neighbor.
  3. Screw with Wifi leeches.
  4. Program a universal remote.
  5. Recover data from a dead hard drive
  6. Successfully disassemble and reassemble a laptop.
  7. Build a fighting robot.
  8. Program a fighting robot.
These are skills that I wished I have, it's definitely useful. You can have "free" wifi because you're using your neighbours' haha.

Skills I find funny to have from the list:
  1. The ability to name actors, characters and plotlines from the majority of sci-fi movies produced since 1968.
  2. Have a documented plan on what to do during a zombie or robot uprising.
  3. Identify evil alternate universe versions of friends, family, co-workers or self.
  4. Be able to recite at least one Geek Movie word for word.
  5. Be able to trace the Fellowship’s journey on a map of Middle Earth.
  6. Know all the names of the Dwarves in The Hobbit.
I would say that not all geeks read fantasy novels, therefore some might not even touch Lord of the rings series. I did read all three of the books but I don't know how to trace the journey on a map. Maybe this skill is good for people in reading maps, haha.

Lastly skills that I myself feel that Geeks should have (not from the list):
  1. Know how to program "Hello World" in 3-4 different programming languages
  2. Is always updated with the latest games whether in PC or consoles
  3. Love playing strategy games and RPGs
  4. Always in front of the computer surfing, playing games, programming
  5. Understands acronyms used in games
  6. Know how to assemble a computer without instructions
  7. Is always updated with the latest technology news
I do have a few out of the above so I guess that still makes me a geek but not a full fledged one. The more I know the better I'll be. Knowledge is power.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to hug a porcupine

Porcupine are animals that will defend themselves with their quills when face with danger. "Porcupine" in this charming little book I found defines people who are defensive and difficult (annoying, bad tempered). Often in our lives we have to deal with people who are like this, whether at home, friends, working world, and even strangers. It is hard to deal with them as people who are defensive are hard to reach to.


Sometimes we ourselves are porcupines, there's definitely one in all of us. When dealing with people like them, we first put ourselves in their shoes, what made them defend themselves. Sometimes the words we choose and the gesture we show can be misunderstood and people will start to defend, it's nobody's fault, the best way to approach is to interact calmly with that person and find out what made them defensive.

This book offers simple steps to love "porcupines". It addresses "porcupines" that are your lovers, parents, children and work place. It's an interesting book to me because I only know that when people are defensive I either become defensive myself or I try to communicate calmly. This book managed to offer more advice because it's written by a psychiatrist. Best to listen to experts who have studied on this subject and apply them. The more you practise the more it will become a norm to you :).

Monday, July 13, 2009

She went all the way

She went all the way to what? where? with who?.....Rumour has it that it's with a movie star, who is she? Lou Calabrese famous screenwriter who won an academy award was stranded with Jack Townsend in Alaska. They have to survive in the cold cold wilderness and also from killing each other because they hate each other, and this hate has been around for 6-7 years. How did they survive?? Well we will have to read the latest novel from Meg Cabot, "She went all the way".


This book contains elements that are funny, adventurous, mysterious and also romantic, entertaining from start till end. At first I laughed a lot because the main characters hate each other and say spiteful things to each other all the time, which makes it funny. Surviving in the cold cold wilderness in Alaska makes the story adventurous followed by the running away from murderers makes you wonder who would go after a movie star who claims to have not offended anyone in his entire life.


The spark and lust that they both have for each other is the romance element of the book. They are both attracted to each other but both doesn't want to admit it. Lou kept thinking that it's not right to be attracted to Jack because he broke her best friends' heart and she does not want to date another actor again. Jack has never loved before and thinks that his feelings are just interest in Lou because she is a different type of woman that he has dated all these whiles.

The stories starts with the introduction of our characters then it moves on to how Lou and Jack ended in the cold wilderness, proceeded to how they survived and made it back to civilization, how they uncover the murderer and what comes of the relationship.

Everytime I pick up a Meg Cabot book I always enjoy the book. All novels that are written by her always have new characters with different personality and definitely a different kind of storyline. I have read her novel on a lady bumping into trouble and trying to solve it, another novel is about a blabber mouth who fixes wedding dresses and has a crisis in her love life and this one is about a screenwriter. You truly cannot find any resemblance and even the locations are all different parts of USA. I will definitely keep being a fan of Meg Cabot books.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Accenture Annual Dinner & Dance 2009

This annual dinner was on 10th of July just this Friday and it was my last time attending as I am leaving the company already. Currently I'm having my leave and my official last day is 15th July, it's kinda sad because I'll definitely miss all the good people and wonderful friends that I met throughout my time with the company. I hope I still have the opportunity to work with them in the future again. All is not too bad as technology is advance and we can always keep in touch and chat everyday. I'm just a MSN message, a Facebook message, an email, a sms and a phone call away, I'm never too far as I'm not going overseas for a job.

Anyway back to the main topic, last year's dinner was much better which is in terms of location, food and performance. The theme itself is interesting but I think the performances were not musical enough nevertheless good effort from the people, work is busy and they used their own personal time for practices. I was eager to try desserts as my convocation was there and the tea time food was good :) but sadly desserts weren't served at all :(.

Most of my colleagues were there except for two, sad that they miss out on this, the Shell DSO gang came in an interesting group "The Little Mermaid" and they won the best team dress up. The lucky draw prizes weren't as good as last year, they have to cut down on budget because of the economy I guess but still I think Accenture can afford as projects that are won cost millions.

Performances started with Phantom of the Opera which sucked, there were dancing but it ain't good, there wasn't the famous song, which I think they should have performed. Next were the Bollywood group, I think they did a fantastic job, there was a lot of dancing but still no singing. Then we have Beauty and the Beast, not bad seeing that they did a little bit of singing, only one sang and the most were just lip synching. Lastly we have the Grease performance which was the best there were lots of singing and dancing, about 3 songs from the Grease musical, definitely enjoyable. One thing that I didn't enjoy about the performances is they all put in elements of work. It's our annual dinner and we're suppose to relax and enjoy but no they had to remind us of work, oh well, nothing you can change about a company that promotes people being workaholics.

Below are some pictures that I've taken, not a lot, most of it are in my Facebook album. Enjoy!!









Thursday, June 25, 2009

Krispy Kreme

I haven't heard of creme that is crispy before nor have I tasted one. I guess the name for this doughnut might have been derived from the outside being crispy and the inside of the doughnut so soft and creamy, well that's what I've tasted.

Finally the famous US doughnut is here in town, for quite sometime actually since Berjaya Times Square has the first store opened. Now Midvalley Megamall has one too, it's right next to Pizza Hut at Lower Ground. This brand of doughnut is owned by Vincent Tan the guy who started Mcdonalds chain. With this new brand we see more competition with the other brands such as Dunkin' Doughnuts, J Co and Big Apple. I would say that the flavor between J Co and Big Apple is similar. Dunkin' Doughnuts have their own flavours and Krispy Kreme too.

Currently not all flavours are available in Malaysia's Kripsy Kreme, I asked the employees and they said maybe in future more will be brought in. Before I've tasted it's original flavour, I've heard many stories that if you travel overseas this doughnut is a must try. I have a colleague who studied in England told me that everytime his friends visit him they will definitely buy a dozen to eat.

I sound like I'm advertising for them, LOL, I just want to share my thoughts on it. The first bite was really nice, the whole doughhut is good, could be sweeter and slightly bigger because I can finish the whole in just 3 bites. It's kinda small, I notice all doughnuts shops are selling it at that size, I remembered it used to be bigger in Dunkin', oh well I guess the economy is causing them to be stingy. The flavours that Krispy Kreme is selling is different from the rest, they have cookies and creams, the toppings in chunks, peanut butter and chocolate, Hershey's, glazed chocolate cake (love this) and many that I haven't tried. Overall I give it a 8/10. The following are some photos of my sister posing for them :P.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Toradora!

This Japanese animation originates from a set of light novels with a total of 25 episodes. I have yet to finish the watching it, 3 more to go because I'm waiting for the subber to finish this project. This anime has 4 great opening and ending to it, I totally love the "Orange" the second ending sung by the three voice actresses of the characters.

You have your typical high school life, romance between the characters. Our main characters both live next to each other without knowing and then they met by Ryuuji bumping into Taiga. Taiga is a feisty little person, aggressive and both of them got on the wrong end. Little did they know, they were in love with each other's best friend and therefore decided to help in each to get the person they love.

This series is filled with fun, a slice of high school life and polygon romance. It's a bit obvious of who would end up with who just by looking at the openings. What I like about this anime is how innocent Taiga becomes when talking bout Yuusaku (Ryuuji's best friend) and how dumb looking Ryuuji is when next to Minori.

I'm sure the light novels are better but no doubt the animators did a great job bringing the book to life in short 25 episodes. You can read the light novels at Toradora Light Novels. Below are a sample of the opening and endings.





Pre-Parade (TV-SIZE) - Toradora!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Blood+ - 2


More hacking and slashing from chevaliers and Saya herself, of course the Red Shield gang is not left out with their guns, more shooting and more bloodshed. From Vietnam to Russia is where Saya had to go to search for Diva. Saya have yet to meet Diva but encountered her from her flashbacks of memories.

The story of Hagi and Saya is revealed a bit where how they met is mentioned. Saya had her memory jolted when she was in Russia traveling and fell of the train. More of her past becomes clearer and Saya didn't seem to like it. After falling from the train, Saya, Hagi, Riku and their guide in Russia manage to reach their destination but more trouble happens. Saya was attacked and a new gang of baddies appear where their story is not told yet.

The attack triggered Saya to leave with Hagi in search of the Zoo where more of her past is revealed. Finally Saya met Diva but something happened that devasted her. Diva escaped Saya and a clear difference in strength can be seen. Saya had to do something touch to save the situation, it's definitely not what she wanted.

The book ended with a sad ending, no one important died though but still sad. I wouldn't know what to expect next. This second novel definitely kept my attention compared to the first one, that's because more of Saya's past was revealed but still more to come. More fighting and the bond between Saya and her brothers are definitely shaken at one point but the bond definitely get stronger after every obstacle. The storyline progresses very well in this book and the mystery is still kept alive,in regards to action wise there are plenty. Looking forward to the third book as I want to know more of Saya's past and the story continues whether she will beat Diva and defeat all of the Chiropterans.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Choose to be Happy

With the hustle and bustle lives we have in the city, it's no wonder we have many unhappy people. The current economy situation is definitely not helping and giving more troubles to us. Although I am not trouble by the economy I still have other problems that make me unhappy, other dissatisfaction that makes me sad. I have been quite unhappy with my career since January because I was rolled off from a project and have been sitting at the office doing nothing until April. When I have gotten a project it didn't suite my career path. I was always worrying and thinking whether to correct my career path instead of being sidetracked.

Last month was a really emotional month for me, I wake up dreading to work, only feeling happy when I get to go home and the cycle goes on the next day. I was really depressed and it brought upon my family and friend many troubles and I thank them for being around to help console me. So I came across this book, "Choose to be Happy" by Rima Rudner. I know it is time to stop being depressed and make a change for my life, I will choose to be happy and walk the path that I want.

I am really inspired and determined after reading the first few chapters, whatever that I feared to do I did it because it released me from worries. In the book, the writer puts her life experience, how she choose to be happy, giving examples of what could cause unhappiness. It is hard to accept certain things and to forgive people who have hurt you but you can make yourself happy, life is in the grasp of your hands. The books highlights things that cause depression and how to move your thoughts in achieving happiness. All is in the mind.

Many people think happiness comes from material things, money, success, power and many more, but it comes from within. I have often been influenced to think that way too but right now with all the money in the world, I can't be happy unless I'm doing something that I'm passionate about, something I love to do. My current job is not allowing me to do so, and yes we can learn to love it, I gave it my all but I can't proceed therefore I have decided to leave my current work for something I have more passion on. I'm still doing programming but with a different technology and language.

There are still many things I want to do but one step at a time. I know I am much happier now that I was before and I'm excited about the new experiences that I'm about to gain. I've learnt that only I myself can change my state and to move forward. No fears and worries shall concur my life.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic

When I am sad I shop, when I am happy I shop. Oooh....look at those shoes, that jacket, wow that dress would look gorgeous on me. I pile up the stuff on my hand until it was full, I can't stop this sensation I feel! I'm not a shopaholic, OMG bills, more and more debts. Nevermind I still can swipe my card one more time, no biggie. That is Rebecca Bloomwood, the main character of this book written by Sophie Kinsella.


I watched the movie before I read the book. This book was famous before it was being made into a movie and all the while I've considered reading, buying it but didn't came across it. I don't know why but after the movie, I was curious on how the story in the book had been written so I've bought it. The book is definitely different from the movie, firstly the magazine she works for is successful savings in the start. She did not dream of working in a fashion magazine and many other details were different. The movie had more humour because the actress did a different portrait of Rebecca Bloomwood.


I like the book because it has a different setting, more characters and definitely more of Becky's personality. The things about books is character are slowly built and developed, where else in a movie you would have to cramp as much as you can within 1 and a half hour. I feel that the Becky in the book spends much much worse and lies even more. Other than that, she isn't that frank compared to the movie.

Overall, this story is something new out of a chic lit, not the usual type (triangle love, lonely, complicated relationships) talks more about real life situation and definitely funny.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dear Diary

Remember the first time we met? I think I was still in primary school, you were pink in colour with a cute little pink lock. I was so excited when I got you, I knew I have much to write, much to share. It was the beginning of a new friendship, secrets, thoughts and emotions just between you and me.

I started writing everyday, updating you the events of my life especially when I entered high school . I met new people, my world enlarged but still small, I became a prefect, had a lot of fun singing in with two of my friends, took part in competitions in the school and won. Slowly, I started to write less, especially the times when I was sad, being bullied, called names. I didn't want to put it on you so when I read again I would remember the sad times. I just want to remember the happy times.

As time goes by life become more routine and there was nothing much to update anymore. I write to you like once in a few months, I only write when I feel it was worthy to be noted down. Time flashed I'm in college, those days were fun, lots of new friends, a change in life and a new routine. Every new semester is a different routine, to me time seems too fast and sometimes when I'm bored it would be too slow. Four years and 6 months of college life was great, there were a lot of happy times.

Remember when we had a drama to perform? The practices were so much fun, then we had moral studies, more acting, more videos. Hanging out with friends were the best time in a week. Everyday in college it can either be fun or boredom of the routine. Now looking back I missed those times, why didn't I jot it all down? Oh well, it's too late now but I'll try my best to make everyday happy, it's tough but I'll try.

Currently I'm not happy with work, the environment, people here seems lifeless, so busy, we don't have the closeness I used to have in a different project. I wish I can make things better, make a change, and life always brings challenges so that we can grow. I will break free and reach far, that's what I believe. Just watch me, my dreams will come true!

Blood+ - 1

A girl with crimson red eyes, short boy-cut hair, in her hand a katana. She runs towards the enemy with her katana ready to strike! Saya is her name and she sworn to wipe all Chiropterans on the face of earth.

I have finished this book since long ago and now only I find the time to blog about it. Currently I'm half way through the second book and it's good. I started reading this because of the successful animation that was aired in Japan 2006. I didn't watch the animation because it was difficult to find good subbers. The book is very interesting to me because I know nothing of this story. Everything is a mystery because Saya doesn't remember her past.

Other than that, we don't what is the enemy's next move, who they are and what are their motives. Saya just fights them by instinct and her urge to protect her foster family. For one whole year Saya had a wonderful life, she had a family with a father and two brothers, one younger and one older. Suddenly everything changed when she went back to school to pick up her shoes. There was a monster attacking her and a stranger comes to her and gave her the katana to fight.

The story then follows through where Saya joins a team called "Red Shield" to track down the leader of the monsters and try to wipe them out. The journey continues to Vietnam and book 1 ends where the leader escaped from Vietnam.

It is a book filled with action and also the elements of sadness. The characters are potrayed well. I don't know how well the book is translated from Japanese but I feel that I didn't miss out anything. I couldnt stop reading the book because I wanted to know more about Saya's past but sadly in this book not much was revealed. The story is quite original as I have never watched or read anything similar. I recommend this book to those who enjoys fantasy and can imagine a good sword fighting :P

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How to win friends and influence people?

A skill that most people who wants to excel in : Communications. When you're in a party where you don't know many and know just a few you'll think I'm here to make friends, build up a network. In that room filled with people, you observe, you search for people to approach or you search for your regular gang. You can see that are people who stand just by the drinks table or the snacks table, some people mingle and have fun, some talking, some quiet.

You'll notice there are some people who can just keep talking and grasp everyone's attention. That's a skill that everyone wants, good communication skills. There are some people who are born with it, some who learn and build it up through the years. You will think how they do it, how you would love to have that skill.

It's simple, pick a book read it, understand it and practice it. How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. This book has been around for many years, since 1936.


It is Dale's dream to write motivational books and this is one of it. This book teaches techniques that are simple to understand. It also let me realise that the common thoughts of everyone including myself. One of the things highlighted in the book was people always put themselves first and in a conversation they like to talk about themselves. So whenever you want to approach someone always start with asking about them, their interest, their work, life and when they're done they will give you the attention. Always always be genuinely interested in what the other person say as insincerity makes people dislike you.

The writer uses good examples of his principles for this topic. Famous people's stories were mentioned such as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and also his own experience. Another good principle is "Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves". There are many more that I shall not mention as it is best to read it yourself. You either buy it, borrow it from a friend and find it in a library. It's definitely good help for yourself.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Graveyard Book

Ever wondered how it would be to live in a graveyard?? I didn't because I wouldn't want to be haunted or chased by ghost. You'll receive no help at all, nobody will save you, it's only when people visits. But nobody visits at night, you can't see in the night, there aren't lights there. If you can't experience it, you can imagine it, you can read about it: The Graveyard Book written by Neil Gaiman.


Neil Gaiman writes the most unique fantasy stories and two has been made into motion pictures, Coraline (animated) and Star dust. This book is one of the new edition into the family. The story begins with a climax where the bad guy is committing a crime, the last victim a toddler. The little toddler was not found in his crib, the villain kept his cool, searched the place. When he could not find him, panic starts to hit him, where could the toddler be?

The little toddler being an adventerous child wanders out of the house and walks up the hill and ends up at a graveyard. This is where the stories begins, the ghosts of the graveyard felt the need to protect the child so they hid him while the villain tried to find him here. Of course he failed, if not we won't have a story to read won't we?? They raised him up, and we have chapters highlighted his adventures in the graveyard. A definite unique storyline, unique characters and an ending you'll think you'll want.

There's a climax in every chapter, an excitement waiting for you. The boy who lives in the graveyard, grew up there, how he survived? I praise Neil for being unique and special, coming out with stories that none has thought of, maybe I don't read enough but this is definitely my first encounter on a story about a boy and a graveyard.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Taking one step forward

Marley and me, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Inkheart, all these movies have one thing that I feel strongly about: novel, writing and journalism. Deep down, somewhere hidden I have always wanted to be a writer. When I was 16 I had tuition for English and I look forward to it every week. The teacher gave the class a title every week and we were required to produce introductions and sometimes a full essay. I eagerly wait for my essay to return to me after being marked as I was excited with what the teacher would comment.

Since young I love to read, it started with Enid Blyton, moved on to Sweet Valley Series, Sabrina the teenage witch, Sherlock Holmes, Princess Diaries, and many more fantasy and chic flicks. I love being captured in the writer's fantasy, imaginations and their expressions. I want to write because I want to give the same feeling I get from reading, I want readers to find their fantasy, their dreams, a world within them.

Writing a novel is definitely not easy and it takes time. To realise my dream, I went to the book store to find help, to hope to improve my writing techniques from experts, to make an idea into a novel. It's still a long road ahead, so I'm taking my first step now. I will try to write one entry a week on my blog on anything that comes to my mind. Please feel free to comment on my writing, I appreciate all the help I can get.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

It was just last Saturday (28th March 2009) that most places of the world did something in unity, Earth Hour 2009, where lights were switched off at 8:30 pm. Of course the timing is different for all countries so we wont have everyone doing the same thing at the same time.

As for me, I was at my grandmother's place and at that time we were already done with dinner. The adults were watching a DVD video downstairs and the kids/young adults were upstairs playing games. As 8:30 approaches, my little cousins told everyone to switch off their lights, unfortunately the air con was on, which I think consumes more electricity. The adults didn't bother to participate, so downstairs was bright and upstairs of the house was dark. I was typing in the dark on my keyboard and often making spelling mistakes, haha.

We wanted the children to understand global warming but they don't really get it, they're just 7, 9 and 11 years old. Well my cousin brother who is 11 understands a bit but not the younger ones, they don't even know what causes global warming. They have enjoyed the air condition since they were babies, losing the air con would be a big deal for them, they'll sweat like mad. Back in the days when I was a child, I get a fan which is quite fortunate for me.

As I look out the window, I notice the neighbours did not bother with it anyway, I guess the message was not communicated with enough power to every nation. This event was to create awareness and I feel it is important and that it should be advertised more. What we need to address is to show how global warming happens, what impact it has on mother earth, how to help even if it's just a little.

Before we address going green, I feel the first thing we need to address is recycling, it is definitely not a popular thing to do yet because you still find many rubbish in the drains causing floods to Kuala Lumpur. People are just dumping rubbish everywhere and it pains mother earth. We need to tell children, teenagers, young adults the right message, the proper thing to do or else we all know deep down, earth will be lost soon, which is what the movie The day the earth stood still tried to tell us. We are killing earth everyday!

Because I was not in the city, I did not manage to see KLCC and KL Tower with its lights off. But I did manage to obtain some pictures for other countries' event. Visit the links below to see it's beauty even though it's in the dark.

Links:
  1. http://www.earthhour.org/home/
  2. http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/earth_hour_2009.html
  3. http://www.flickr.com/groups/earthhour2009global/
I still can't find any for Malaysia Landmarks, will edit this post once I do.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cute Game

Playing games at this age brings back the child in you, where you'll do what it takes to win, not in a mean and evil way I mean. When you're stuck at a certain level, you'll just keep trying, yes at some point you'll give up, but you see children don't give up easily compared to adults. That's my own opinion, sometimes I wish I have the type of concentration I have while I play games as I have at other things. When it comes to doing something you like, a person puts in more effort, more passion, more concentration and more love.

There are some games that I play where I lose interest half way, give up and quit. But the following games are just too cute to quit :p.
Available for both Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS. I played it on my NDS, it was loads of fun, it has cute character designs, you pick how you want them to look like, what they wear, what furniture they have. In the game, your sim interact with other people in the town, you participate in festival game. Everytime you win a festival, you attract more people to live in your town. You earn simeleons from winning and you can spend it on anything you want. This game is much more fun if you play multiplayer. I played with my sister and she beat me in every minigame :(. Some screenshots below:

This cute game is only available for nintendo exclusively which is a good strategy as they are more nintendo wii and NDS owners, I have read from websites that it's still a hot demand everywhere. Good for nintendo for being so creative and coming out with the next gen of console.
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