Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Japanese Word of the Day - 21 to 25

I think there should be more than 50+ Japanese words that I should had learned but I'm not. I feel kinda shameful that I did not follow through with my plan and honestly I have no excuse in this. When I set my mind to write this I didn't want it to be just plain Japanese words only but I wanted to share a story or an experience with every word to make it special. Sometimes it's hard because my memory just isn't as good as when I was in college where I could study and remember with photographic memory. I remembered those days where I can memorize slides that have been printed knowing at what placement it was on a page (I print 6 slides per page). Throughout the years I notice that my memory did not serve me well where I forget things that I wanted to say almost within 5 minutes. I can't even remember what I've ate last week. I think what I need is memory exercises if it exist. I used to play brain age on my DS to help and I totally stopped playing for a long time, maybe it's time to practice again. So in relation with what I've written I will again learn 5 words this time.

  1. shameful - hazubeki , 恥ずべき
  2. excuse - benkai , 弁解
  3. college - daigaku , 大学
  4. memory - kioku , 記憶
  5. exercises - renshū, 練習

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Japanese Word of the Day - 16 to 20


So when we reached SG on Friday night it was already quite late and everyone just went to bed after reaching my uncle's place. The next day, I woke up feeling hyped up and thinking what to do for the day already. I had my breakfast which I can't remember what. Later lunch which unfortunately I can't remember either, my memory has not been good like how I used to be when I was in college. I do remember what we did after that, we all went to Orchard Road for shopping. The streets were really crowded with people as I think most of them are aiming to do last minute CNY shopping.

It was a fine day but my cousin was sick so we rushed home when we had planned to have some ice cream :(. Totally took a nap before heading out for dinner. Dinner was messy as the place was flooded with people, the food was average nothing amazing. After dinner, my grandparents went back first, where else my family and I went grocery shopping with my aunt at Nex's fair price. I was shocked to see the place as it was so so crowded until trolleys was banging other trolleys, it was so hard to walk and look at every aisle. For a person as skinny as me, I already had difficulties moving around. It was crazy because I know people are stocking up for the holiday. So in conclusion it was an okay day where I feel it was not spent to the fullest. I suppose a holiday is a time where you rest and relax which I totally agreed.

So the words that I want to learn from this experience are the following below:
  • Home -  katei, 家庭
  • Crowded -  kondeiru, 混んでいる 
  • Shopping - kaimono, 買い物
  • Nap - hirune, 昼寝
  • Sick - Byōki no, 病気の 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Overbite


Meena Harper has a new life now where she has a new job since her previous employers was turned into vampires and then killed by The Palatine Guard. A new home because the Dracul had ransacked her house and destroyed most of the furniture there. Things totally changed where now Meena will be the physic for The Palatine Guard to predict her new  colleague's death so that they can better grasp what demon might come next.

Meena kept having the same bad dream lately about her previous boyfriend David who dumped her for another woman (Brianna). She had a bad feeling for him and all she could sense was darkness for him. So to warn him she had no choice but to meet up with him. The moment she got into his car, she could smell that he reeked alcohol. She didn't know how to break the news to him because his future seemed so bright where he was already married to Brianna and they now have a baby. She was regretting now because he acted peculiar.

David said that she was the one for him and he was questioning himself why he had let her go because she was magical. Suddenly David was making advances at her, where he kissed her and also his hands slipped down her neckline. David wanted her but Meena thinks that since he was so drunk, now it's not the time to tell him about his bad news. So Meena took his keys to make him take a cab home. When she opened the door to get out of the car, David took hold of her wrist tightly and opened his mouth wide revealing a set of pointed fangs. 

She could not believe that David was turned into a vampire and he attacked her. Suddenly the driver seat door was flung open and then David disappeared. He was on top of her and then he was gone, things happened so quickly. She was still in shock and looked around and then suddenly a body slammed onto the hood of the car. Meena screamed and when someone tapped at her side of the window she screamed again for not recognizing it was Lucien Antonescu.

Overbite  by  Meg Cabot is the sequel to Insatiable where the story continues with Meena's new life as an employee of The Palatine Guard. I totally love this book and I wished it never ended. The plot of the story has the main characters who are the same in terms of personality and also with a few new characters. The new characters made this story totally interesting and mysterious. When it comes to the main characters they are just how they were in the previous book but still wonderful to me because as the plot thickens, a different side of there characters were shown and I really enjoyed it.

This book no doubt is thrilling, romantic and definitely funny. It's not a romantic comedy kind of book but there is plenty of humor from a specific character that I will not reveal here. This book really got me hooked as it's not predictable at all so you just keep reading to reveal more plot. It's certainly refreshing for me because I have not read anything similar to this book before. I really love this story as during my reading process I read some chapters over again but not because I don't understand or anything. I just wanted to picture those lines over and over again. 

If you have read Insatiable, this is not to be missed because the first book made me want more of Meena Harper, her brother Jon, The Palatine Guards and not to forget Alaric Wulf. Hopefully Meg Cabot will have future stories for these characters as I feel there can always be more to tell on the demons and more depth to a characters' development in a story. It definitely won't bore me and if this was a longer series like Princess Diaries.This is not like Buffy or anything near Angel, because it's not packed completely with demon hunting and killing only.  It's my most favourite series from Meg Cabot overtaking Queen of Babbles series.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I've Got Your Number


Poppy Wyatt is in a big disaster, the kind that might ruin relationships between people. She has lost her engagement ring which belongs to her fiance's grandmother. Poppy was just recalling the situation where her friends and her was attending a charity luncheon in the hotel. They were all talking about her ring and everyone wanted to try the beautiful Emerald family heirloom ring from Magnus (Poppy's fiance). The ring went from one person to another and suddenly the fire alarm rang and all the guest was escorted out of the building.

When everyone was outside they heard that the event is be cancelled and all of Poppy's friends headed home. That's when Poppy realise the ring isn't with her and when she texted her friends to ask and none of them had it. She started to panic and have searched the event hall for a long time. She has gotten a message on her phone but the reception in the hotel was terrible, so she went outside to get better reception and then her phone got nicked by a person riding on a bicycle. Poppy didn't know how to react because her phone is like her life, all her numbers are there and then she had given this number to the hotel staff for contact in case they have found the ring. It was such a bad day for her, she lost her ring, her phone and worse part is her future-in-laws were coming back from the States tonight and how is she going to hide the fact that she lost their family heirloom ring.

Poppy just keep pacing around the hotel lobby thinking what to do and also hoping that the ring might just turn up while she was there. She is scanning the objects in her view while turning in circles, then she realise there is a mobile phone in the bin nearby. She looks around to confirm that no one is around and then quickly she picks it out of the bin. Since no one wanted it and threw it into the bin, then finders keepers. Poppy was glad that now she has a replacement phone, so she quickly text her friends of her new number and then passed it to all the hotel employees. Suddenly the phone rang and instantly she picks up the call. On the other end of the line was a man asking Poppy whether she is still in the lobby and whether a Japanese man is leaving yet. Poppy told him that the man was going to leave and that she does not know who is on the line and told him that she picked up this phone from the bin. The man asked her to stop the Japanese guy from leaving at all cost while he tries to come down to the lobby as fast as possible. 

Poppy went to the Japanese man and distracted him for some time and the guy Sam managed to get down and meet up with Mr Yamasaki. Poppy quickly left the hotel lobby because she wanted to keep the phone. Sam called later to say that the phone is company property and she has to return it to him as it was his PA's phone. Poppy told him her situation of lost engagement ring and begged him to loan her a few days because she has given this number to the hotel workers. Sam agreed in the end as he does not want to set the police on her and asked for her to forward all emails and messages to his mobile. And so an agreement was made between them for temporary use. This phone containes many messages and emails that sounded interesting and Poppy could not help but read to find out more about Sam. 

I've Got your Number by Sophie Kinsella is a story about two strangers with only one link between them which is a mobile phone. These two strangers meet under a complicated situation and somehow some incident happened which kinda made the relationship even weirder. I wouldn't want to leave too many spoilers so I'm trying to keep this brief but my excitement after reading this book is just uncontainable. I'm typing right after I've finished the book now. I'm really happy with the ending, it's somewhat what I've expected. When it's comes to chic lit stories I love what I expect to come true or at least a close version of it. I must compliment the way the characters are in this book where they just fit the story really well. The story has a lot of mystery element in it where it makes one to keep reading non-stop just to find out more. 

There are a few characters in the story that will catch you by surprise and that is something that I love because you cannot judge a book by it's cover and sometimes first time impression is not everything. This book really stresses on that point and that we as people should not judge or assume too much because sometimes it might cause a disaster. This book has some moments of funny and silliness happening which is typical of Sophie Kinsella, else you wouldn't called it her book. I really love Sophie's writing style and her story all the time, it doesn't cease to amaze me. This book however have a bit of difference compared to other books which I will not reveal but to me it's a bit annoying but still acceptable because it goes with the story.

This book just gives me the same excitement when I picked up and read "Twenties Girl" which puts it at the same ranking now which is my two most favourite books from Sophie Kinsella currently. If I read it again I would still love it just the same right now. Definitely a story worth every penny and worth your time reading it. So please read this if you love other Sophie Kinsella's books because this one is a story that made me dream about in my sleep too.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Merlin Conspiracy


Roddy Hyde is two court wizards' daughter and hence she travel with the King's progress and help with ceremonies that occurs.The King of Blest travels throughout the land to make sure the land is healthy and he brings all his subjects that are needed in the journey which is the court's wizard and their families. Roddy's father is the weather wizard and he is in charge and making changes to the weather according to the King's preference hence he is needed. The King was meeting with the Scottish King and when the Merlin presented himself, he fell to the ground and dropped dead. The Scotland King was highly insulted and left the meeting immediately and was guarding the borders. Roddy's grandfather was a Magid and he brought the new Merlin to Blest, while trying to resolve the matter that Daniel was in suspicion of killing the old Merlin.  With Roddy's grandfather Maxell helping out, the matter with the Scotland Kind eased a bit too.

Nick Mallory lives an ordinary life on Earth with his father who is a writer. One weekend, his father decided to go on a writers' convention and brought Nick along. His father is a big fan of Maxell Hyde and when he had a chance to meet Maxell Hyde he wanted Nick to be introduced too. That was when Nick arrived in another world when he approached to shake Maxell Hyde's hand. Nick can travel to other worlds but did not know how to do it and it usually just happens to him like right now. Some people were beckoning to him and complained that he was late. What he was late for he had no idea but he just went along with these people and did what he was told to do. After many hours, the people found out he was an imposter and chased him down. Nick ran and ran and followed down a path and wandered around in the darkness until he could not hear the chasing anymore.

With the new Merlin, the King's progress traveled again to the border of Wales for a different meeting. While on the way they stopped at Sir James's castle to rest. Sir James is Sybil's new boyfriend, where Sybil is Grundo's mother which is a boy where Roddy finds that she had to act as his big sister and protect him. Roddy has been doing that since Grundo was three.There was a ceremony at the castle where Sybil was offering water to all the court's wizards. Grundo said that there was charmed magic in the water which his mother did and they wanted to avoid the ceremony. So both Roddy and Grundo travel further into the garden of the castle. While they were there, they discovered a place that was filled with a lot of magic and so they lingered awhile. Suddenly they heard voices and went to hide in the bushes nearby. The voices was actually Sybil, Sir James and the new Merlin and they were talking about their plan that have gotten everyone to drink the water and made them be obedient to them. Everyone in the King's progress drank the water except Roddy and Grundo and after listening to the conversation, they are very sure that those three are up to something no good.

The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones is a book about two person's journey in a world of magic where they will eventually meet for a cause. I'm a big fan of this author's books and I enjoy all the books that I've read so far. To be frank, this book is not like the Chrestomanci series or other individual books such as Howl's moving castle or The Enchanted Glass. Magic in this book is soundless, no words uttered. Instead it's in the wizard's mind and how it really works, it's not explained. 

This book narrates between Roddy and Nick which makes it a bit hard to grasp the timeline of the book. Whether it's in the same day or same week I do not know until they have met up towards the end of the book. When they did met up, I felt that their encounter was too short and much was stress on their individual journey more. Although this story is unique on it's own, I wished more were mentioned on the antagonist of the story, more plots revealed, more dangerous things happening. I will definitely give credit that many magical worlds have been invented in the story and I loved how those places were described. This book didn't leave me with the usual feeling I have when I've finished her stories, the amazement and the gladness of an ending. This ending is not what I expect because it's too short and I wished more were written. Of course with this ending it's kinda obvious what is gonna happen but I still prefer to have read more.

In comparison with her other books, I have to say that this is my least favourite. This is because I wanted more on character development, development of relationships and also more of Roddy and Nick together instead of individuality. It's still a good read as the story is unique, where there are many travels and mystery of the lands in this book. Magic is definitely not the main thing here because you will not read how it is working. Truthfully, this book did not "Wow" me and I don't think I will pick it up to read again.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Japanese Word of the Day - 11 to 15


I've been MIA for quite some time as there was a really long holiday and sadly my computer is not functioning. I have to blog from a net book and all my resources are in the computer therefore this is not what I've been planning. Because I was away for too long it would be messy to write the Japanese word of the day as a singular post so I'm going to combine 5 together in one post.

This long holiday was a Chinese celebration on the new year arriving which starts a new Chinese calendar. It's an important holiday and for that my family and I flew to SG to celebrate with my grandmother and grandfather. Traveling is the word I want to relate here, Ryokō - 旅行. In Japanese, kanji is used and it's the exact same characters used for the Chinese language. 

One thing about sitting low cost flights, it's cheaper to bring your hand luggage instead of checking in. So the next word would be luggage, Nimotsu - 荷物. 

When landing in SG, the plane was parked at the furthest terminal where we had to walk really far to reach the customs counter. It was so far that I suggested to my sister in taking a wheelchair and putting our luggage on it. I know that is so unethical, I didn't really do it. Packing for a 5 day trip into a hand luggage sure is heavy.I tried to pack as lightly as I can because there is a weight limit. But still the luggage felt heavy and this year I didn't travel with my laptop which means I had less to carry. The next word I wanted to learn is heavy, Omoi - 重い. The first character is the same one used in the Chinese language and also has the same meaning.

Since this post is closely related to my trip the other word that I wanted to learn is airplane, Hikōki - 飛行機. The characters used are in kanji with the same meaning as Chinese characters. Lastly, this trip was tiring as traveling to the airport, waiting for the plane and everything else took a lot of time. I was tired because of carrying the luggage here and there and walking a distance to reach the customs counter. So the final word is tired, Tsukareta - 疲れた where the first character is kanji and is used to describe tired in the Chinese language too. But it's only one of the character for the word in Chinese.

For the next five words it will also be in a post that is related to my holiday. Hope this is helpful. I find that learning Japanese like this where I relate to incidents makes it easier for me to remember. 


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