Monday, December 29, 2008

End Year Travels D03

We plan to spend our third day in Akihabara and visit maid cafes and what not, but waking up really late doesn’t help our noble cause, and it winded up screwing with our plans.

We also plan to purchase our bus tickets to Toyohashi today, but that plan didn’t go well too because it was almost impossible to get bus tickets on the same day during these holiday seasons.

That was pretty dumb; I don’t remember myself being so over-reliant on things to magically happen even if I don't plan it well with a conscious mind.

So the only way to Toyohashi is by train, and that didn't sound good because we know that there is a LOT of Japanese people in Japan, and they are also going to ride the same train with us; just to annoy us.

We were in Shinjuku at the time while we knew that the bus tickets will be impossible to get; and then we realized that we still haven’t eaten anything that morning, so we decided to go to this Pakistani restaurant: Karachi to have our breakfast + lunch.

The place is pretty famous among Malaysian students and I remember us making a HUGE crowd by eating at the restaurant after Jumaah prayers together ramai-ramai.

For 1000yen, the all-you-can-eat system is pretty awesome. I got to eat rice with nan and a couple of chiken tikkas, chai, lassi, salad, corn soup etc. It was not the best meal ever, but it was definitely worth the money.

With our bellies full, we went straight to the Shinjuku Eki to get on our train, and it was packed full of people. It was pretty uncomfortable because it was a pretty long ride and we have to stand among all these people and it was hot and everyone seems to smell like salt.

Smelly salt.

I didn’t consider it a pleasent experience; that is why I don’t take any pictures.

Anyways, we arrived at Toyohashi Station at about 1800 hours and it was already dark. Sonn came with his type-R to pick us up from the station to his place.

As I walk into Sonn’s place, I could hear voices and laughers of familiar people.

I was surprised to see several of my old buddies from our ISI days being cramped up in front of the tv playing their winning eleven on the ps2.

It was the gathering of the guys from Toyohashi Univ, Saga Univ and Akita Univ; everyone from the same ISI batch. It was such a long time since I’ve seen these guys that I was dumbfounded by everything; it felt kinda unreal.

You know how it's like when you don't see someone for a long time, and then suddenly they were there in front of you; your brain needs to recalibrate and breathe a little to realize that all of it is real and you better thank god for this moment.

Tapek, Wak, Sonn, Ilzam, Razmi, Pak Lan, Daim, Apis and the two girls Uya and Yanti were all sitting in one cramped space. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of Malays that I could found that night in one room. What a rare occasion.

Later that night, we went to the nearest Joyfull (another family restaurant chain that was supposed to be common on there areas. They don’t have it back in Akita) to have our dinner.

I ordered a simple saba yaki set and it was pretty good; or maybe just because I was dog tired and hungry?

We chat and chat and chat and I don’t know how I got a cat moniker in the end, thanks to the creative minds of Pak Lan.

It was a pretty tiring day, but I don’t want to sleep in Sonn’s place because it was already crammed up with people; so I made a brilliant escape to Apis’s place and take shelter there.

I slept like a baby that night.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

End Year Travels D02

I woke up in the morning feeling refreshed; it IS true that a good night's sleep could really cure a bad night's outing.

Turned on the switch to see what's on the tube.

I was shocked by the news of the bad economy: another 85000 Japanese outsource workers were fired! Man, why now? Am I going to be fine next year when I start working? A cloud of anxiousness bogs my mind; this feeling really sucks.

I was again shocked by the next news. I was not only shocked, but also angry, sad, frustrated and confused: Israeli army has commenced an aerial assault on Gaza by bombing them with weapons of mass destruction targeting Hamas, killing innocent civilians in the process. I fully understood the complicated issues between Israel-Palestine, but slaughtering innocent civilians will never solve the problem.

Each innocent civilian they kill makes 10 more suicide bombers.

I pray for the safety of all the peaceful Palestinians and Israelis in this never-ending conflict, may GOD (whichever god you prefer) protect you and your family.


The reason why we decided to stop at Tokyo before going further south is something so simple.

No, it's not for anything hentai or sick or disgusting, that you might have thought I normally would do.

It's simply to re-visit Ekoda and ISI.

Ekoda is a small town in Nerima, Tokyo where I spent 1 year living with my PPKTJ friends while we took advanced Japanese language courses in ISI (International Student's Institute) in Shinjuku.

Although it was a very short period of time (Spring 2003 to Spring 2004), it was fully stuffed with major memories that molded and help build the current me.

Living by my own in a foreign country for the first time, I've learned and experienced a lot of 初体験 (hatsutaiken - first time experience).

We took the morning train on the Yamanote Line and stopped at Shin-Okubo, just like we used to do everyday going to school 5 years ago.

Before proceeding to ISI, we went to this newly opened Pakistani restaurant near the station for breakfast @ lunch; the mutton biryani there was terrific!

With our belly full, we start tracing our steps to the Japanese language school.

As we were approaching a junction that leads to ISI, I noticed the clinic across the street; the first clinic that I went to in Japan. Why is this clinic so special that I have to stop to take a picture, and then blog about it?

I remember it quite vividly. I caught a terrible flu just weeks after I first landed in Japan, and my class teacher (Ishitobi Sensei) advised me to go to the nearest clinic, so I followed her advice.

I got into the clinic, and asked to see the doctor to fix me up. The nurse immediately brought me into this room inside the clinic, asked me to lie down, and then she told me that she would ask me a few questions first while waiting for the doctor.

I was really sick, and I remember having a very bad headache and I was really tired and my shoulder suffers from stiffness, so I address my uncomfortableness to the nurse.

Upon hearing my complaint, the nurse in her pink nurse uniform, offered to massage my head.

Suffice to say that it was a good enough head massage; that I'm writing about it 5 years later. She even massaged my shoulder. I remembered having a boner right after she finished.

I didn't know why, but I didn't get to see the doctor. I don't really understand why, but the nurse gave me some pills and I was felt much better immediately and my flu were gone the next morning.

I think this is how I got my nurse fetish.

When you’re sick, you’re bound to be weak and helpless. In those (rare) weak moments, there comes a pretty and kind nurse in her clean costume, with her soft voice, treating you very kindly and with a genuine smile on her face; you felt like you’re being taken good care of and someone actually cared about your well being. You felt like you’re being saved by a gentle person with a pure heart. This is how nurse fetishes started. So my advice to women out there: if your man is sick, take a good care of him, because he might be a nurse fetish too. He will adore you for it later, I guarantee it!

Look at the picture above.

I'm standing in front of a rice-trading store; that used to be a small grocery store back during those ISI days.

Whenever I went to school, I never miss stopping at this grocery store first to buy my breakfast: a simple vanilla + chocolate flavored bread.

Being the strict Muslim that I am, I only bought the same bread every morning, because other bread sold in the store contained some form of ingredients that might be haram (considered forbidden in Islam's teachings).

My other Muslim friends also made it a daily habit to buy the same bread from the same store, so the owner of the store had to radically increase their stock to meet demands.

The problem with this is, when it’s the holiday season, the now large bread stock went to waste because the customers (us) didn’t come and bought those breads like we used to.

I wonder though why they went under and exclusively sells rice now.


ISI is located just about 100 meters from the store.

Visiting the school for the first time in 5 years, nostalgic memories were running through my mind.

Being there reminded of the crazy morning rush, the classes that we attended, our kind Japanese teachers etc.

I’m so glad that we did this.

We also stopped at the security guard’s office for a while to have a little chat, and of course the permit to take a look around the property.

The security guard was a really nice guy, a student trying to get into medical studies. He was actually studying for the entrance exam (20th of January 2009) when we went to his cubicle to say hi.

We took some photos around the place and when it’s time to go, we ask the security guard to be photographed with us in front of the school. If I’m not mistaken, his name is Hasebe, from Iwate Prefecture. I hope he pass his entrance exam and finally fulfill his dreams of becoming a medical professional.

After the short visit to ISI, we boarded the train to Ekoda through the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line.

It is getting dark already so we rushed to visit places that matters.

We went straight to Rikko Kaikan (some kind of a dormitory), the place we used to live in 5 years ago. Each and every Malaysian student doing the same Japanese language program used to live here; and we live next to each other, so cook groups were created and we take turn to cook for each other.

This is where I find out that the only meal that I could prepare is the mighty KARI AYAM.

Pic above is the common kitchen of the kaikan. It still looks and smells like shit, except we had it worse than this.

After visiting the kaikan, we took the long route to the Eki.

On the way, we passed a video rental store that basically introduced me to Maria Ozawa, bukkake, hentai anime and all the other educational contents that awesome Japan has to offer.

This is the place where I used to do most of my groceries. Their veggies were cheap!

This is where I got arrested by the Japanese police, as I wrote in one of my post here (click the link).

It’s getting really dark, so we decided to leave Ekoda, and fill out tummies with yummies.

That’s from Sesame Street or some shitty kid-program I don’t remember.

We decided to go to Shibuya, just to see people and more people.

On the famous Hachiko-Mae crossing, I was intrigued to see nationalist Japanese with their loud speakers preaching about the demon Americans and Chinese.

There were also Christians holding banners that try to scare the shit out of the Atheist Japanese crowd. This one read: Jesus will rise from the dead, and he will fuck all you non-believers!

Then we arrived at a Chinese restaurant specializing Kani-cha-han (Crab Fried Rice), just 10 minutes from the Yamanote Line Shibuya Eki.

It was a pretty good meal, and it did the job right. I felt so tired and kinda exhausted, so we went back to the Malaysian Student House in Meguro to have a good night sleep.

I dreamt about the world in a crisis because there are not enough penises in this world, but I come strong and saved the world.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

End Year Travels D01

Me and the roommate start our trip by boarding the cheapest (thus, lousiest) bus from Akita straight to Tokyo. 10 hours on that bus was pretty bad; my sweet butt cheeks were in severe pain because of the stiff seats, i didn't get the chance to sleep well because the snow covered road makes for a bumpy right, and Zarul snoring beside me definitely didn't help.

Thankfully, the bus survived the harsh snow storms of Tohoku, and we arrived safely at the Tokyo Station at around 8:30 am.

Tired, sleepy and miserable, we waste no time and went straight to the Malaysian Student House in Meguro (nearest train station: Nishi Koyama) to put down our bags. Not willing to shut our eyes off with an empty stomach, we went to the nearest Saizeriya (a famous Italian family-restaurant-chain in Japan) to take our breakfast and lunch, then went back to the Student House to finally lie on our backs and went on our power naps.

We only have one agenda that night, and it was the annual Malaysian Night held by MSAJ. I've never attended one, so I couldn't expect how it is going to turn out, and I really don't expect much as this is the second time they're holding such event; they must have little experience...

The event, or, [THE MOST HAPPENING EVENT OF THE YEAR !!!] as they advertised it, was most definitely not the most happening event of the year, but I respect their willingness, guts and やる気 to do such an event that bears the name as big as Malaysian Night.

Anyways, they got the Ambassador of Malaysia to Japan as their special guest, which is pretty cool, but it kinda back-fired because I think they shouldn't have invited such big figure to such a ... 'not so awesome?' event.

But not all is bad. At least they have halal food, prepared by the MalayChan, a Malaysian restaurant in Ikebukuro(?).

I was also impressed at this one Japanese student who could speak Malay; and although she wore a pretty and modest Malay traditional dress (I guess it was a Kebaya), she won the Queen of the Night title, *ridiculing* all the shallow girls that thought that wearing sexy is something that was socially accepted as 'vogue', modern and 'dressing budak2 bandar'.

Talking about Japanese girls in Kebaya though, have you seen Hirano Aya in a Kebaya?

My words could be harsh and unforgivable, but I wonder why do some girls, who expect to be respected and valued by men, choose to be fooled by the idiotic social pressure to be sexually attractive, just for the attention (or maybe recognition?) of their peers. The formula is quite simple: If you wear a policewomen costume, people are going to think that you're a REAL policewomen. If you wear a whore costume, don't expect people to think that you have dignity or need to be respected.

But as always, never judge the book by it's cover.

And wow, that was pretty off topic! Why should I even bother to comment on other people's freedom to choose how inappropriate they want their fashion sense to be?

I was pretty tired after the event, so we went straight to the Student House to go to sleep, and hoped a good night sleep could heal the damage done to our usually happy mood.

Friday, December 26, 2008

year end winter break

I’ll be away for a while for winter holiday.

Tomorrow I will be attending the Malaysian Night held by MSAJ at Chofu; the next day would be spent at Ekoda, Nerima to reminisce the old times and perhaps I might take a quick visit to the Japanese language school that I used to attend to in Okubo too.

Wow, I have no grasp of my own grammar; and don’t care about correcting it because I got little time to do that. I’m busy packing stuff for the trip.

Anyways, today I got a mail from my (future) company.

Along with some documents and contracts, they also sent me a nice calendar, a self-help book on working in a company… and a manicured fake nail, probably it fell into the mail package when the human resource lady was preparing the mail for me (third picture).

I’ll be off to Tokyo tonight. I'm sure I'm going to take some photos and write about it.

Time kat Tokyo nanti, Zarul ajak pegi maid café kat Akihabara. Takkan aku nak tolak kan? Kalo bole, nak cari maid massage skali. Maid korek teliga pon mcam best.


Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to everyone!

May you have a great one!

This is Sugimoto Yumi, holding fruits ;)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

christmas in japan

Written by Billy Hammond

Christmas in Japan is quite different from the Chrismas celebrated in most countries in which the population has a large percentage of Christians or a Christian heritage. Only 1/2 of 1% of the Japanese population is estimated to be Christian, with the majority of Japanese being tolerant of all faiths: Buddhism, Christianity, Shinto, etc. In spite of this, the Japanese are great lovers of festivals and celebrations, including Christmas.

December 25th is not a national holiday in Japan, although December 23rd, which is the birthdate of the present emperor, is. Although it is not an official holiday the Japanese tend to celebrate Christmas, especially in a commercial way. The Japanese celebrate Christmas Eve by eating a 'Christmas Cake' which the father of the family purchases on his way home from work (or his wife does in the case where he has to work on Christmas Eve). Stores all over carry versions of this Christmas cake and drop the price of it drastically on December 25th in order to sell everything out by the 26th. This has resulted in a rather interesting expression in which young girls are referred to as a 'Christmas cakes': marriageable until their 25th birthday and requiring heavy discounts to get married after their 25th birthdays.

In recent years, thanks to the marketing prowess of the folks at Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Christmas Chicken Dinner has become quite popular. Many Japanese even make reservations for their "Christmas Chicken" ahead of time. People line up at their outlets to pick up their orders. As a result of KFC's brilliant advertising campaign, most Japanese now believe that Westerners celebrate Christmas with a chicken dinner instead of the more common ham or turkey.

Christmas Eve has been hyped by the T.V. media as being a time for romantic miracles. It is seen as a time to be spent with one's boyfriend or girlfriend in a romantic setting, so fancy restaurants and hotels are often booked solid at this time. It is often also a time when girls get to reveal their affections to boys and vice versa. Because of this, extending a girl an invitation to be together on Christmas Eve has very deep, romantic implications.

Christmas presents are exchanged between people with romantic commitments as well as close friends. The presents tend to be 'cute' presents and often include Teddy Bears, flowers, scarves, rings and other jewelry. Christmas cards are also given to close friends.

Christmas presents tend to be things which are cute and sometimes slightly expensive because of the relationship to the person to which they are given to. More obligatory year-end presents are given during this season as well to people who have done you a favor during the year, however, in contrast to Christmas presents, they are given between companies, to bosses, to teachers, and family friends. These presents are known as 'Oseibo' and are generally things which are perishable or which wear out quickly for which the price can readily be checked because of the system of 'on' and 'giri' (loosely translated obligation and reciprocity). These presents are usually purchased at department stores so that the recipient can check the price and return something which relates to the scale of reciprocity.

For the more elderly couples, many hotels host dinner shows featuring major singers, actors, and actresses. Tickets to these shows, due to the season, are very pricy.

The Christmas season comes during the month of the year-end parties. Company groups, hobby groups, sports groups, etc. often book a section of a restaurant to have drinking parties, known as 'bonenkai' [forget the old year parties]. This phenomena leads to streets, subways, and trains full of people in varied states of intoxication during this season.

Christmas lighting and displays are often up at the end of October and this year many stores have displays featuring Teddy Bears. There is also a trend developing for make-it-yourself presents.

The New Year's holidays, which constitute the main holiday season for the Japanese, come closer to the American-European idea of assembling family and friends. Christmas seems to be closer to the Western concept of St.Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Engineering Humor

"For an optimist the glass is half full, for a pessimist it's half empty, and for an engineer it's twice bigger than necessary."


10.- The world does revolve around us... we choose the coordinate system
9.- No "couple" enjoy a better "moment"
8.- We know how to handle stress and strain in a relationship
7.- We have significant figures
6.- EK301: The motion of rigid bodies
5.- Projectile motion: Do we need to say more?
4.- Engineers do it to specification
3.- According to Newton, if two bodies interact, their forces are equal and opposite
2.- We know it's not the length of the vector that counts, but how you apply the force

Top 10 reasons to Date an Engineer

10. They are used to all nighters
9. They are always willing to experiment
8. They know how to increase and decrease friction
7. They know all about heat transfer
6. They do it with more torque
5. Engineering couples have better moments
4. They know how to deal with stress and strain
3. They know how to test their rigid cantilevers
2. "Lubrication, friction, and wear" is a class
1. They design and build large erections

Another Top Ten Reasons To Date an Engineer

1. The world does revolve around us... We pick the coordinate system.
2. Find out what those other buttons on your calculator do.
3. We know how to handle stress and strain in our relationships.
4. Parents will approve.
5. Help with your math homework.
6. Can calculate head pressure.
7. Looks good on a resume.
8. Free body diagrams.
9. High starting salary.
10. Extremely good looking.

And lastly:

The difference between men and women through the eyes of engineers:

Monday, December 22, 2008

M-1 Grand Prix 2008

i just have to post this.

last night the asahi broadcasting aired the annual M-1 Grand Prix 2008, and what a great show it was. every routine by each of the 9 manzai duos were terrific and high in quality; and my favorite one was from オードリー (O-DORI-) during the first round. just watch the video below:

i thought they (O-DORI-) are going to win, but the winner goes to NONSTYLE, which is totally fine by me because they're funny too.

with the year 2008 coming to an end, i'm totally looking forward to more entertaining annual japanese tv specials. this is the time when japanese tv went really crazy with their ideas to produce awesome tv shows.

come on, come on...

i recorded the video below (click link to reveal it) during the announcement of the winner.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Video Games for 2008 Winter Holiday

Yesterday I got my copy of Peter Molyneux’s latest masterpiece: FABLE 2 for the Xbox 360 and I were stoked to play it right away, but I can’t because I got a party to attend to. So I went to the party, do some eating-while-talking activities, trying to socialize with people; and then got home at around 2000 hours.

I immediately wrap-off the plastic cover of the game, put the disc into the console and played the game until I had a headache that I almost puke at 0330 hour the next morning. Then I went to bed, dreaming about fantasy lands…

It has been a while since I got so hooked onto a videogame, and it is for the proper reason: the game is brilliant.

I loved the first FABLE, and this second installation is far BETTER. I know it is not a perfect game; the combat is fun but kinda clunky, the animation is quite stiff and there were lots of other limitations; but all these negatives were so small compared to how much fun I got from playing it.

You got to utilize swords, guns and magic in combat, engage in quests to further the interesting storylines, own a shop or house to lent to make money, get married and have kids, get a job, be a hero or a jerk to the town and so on.

I’m still far from finishing the main quest, and I intend to fully enjoy the open game world by straying from the guided path by doing random jobs and mini-quests scattered all around across the huge map.

The dog companion was a great addition too! The dog A.I. really makes you feel like you’re adventuring out with the real man’s best friend.

And oh, I forgot to mention that I also got Gears Of War 2 and a Space Invaders T-Shirt along with my Fable 2 order. I need to finish Fable 2 first, and then I’ll take my dirty hands on Gears Of War 2. Those 2 games are basically my “Winter Holiday Games” for the year, and I think I picked a good choice.

What about you? What is your “Winter Holiday Games” this year?

Friday, December 19, 2008

easily amused cat is not amused anymore

When I moved up into my final year and got accepted into the lab to start doing my final year project/research, I expected that I’m going to be pretty busy; and I won’t have the leisure of time to frequently blog like I used to anymore.

But to tell you the truth though, I don’t think I’m THAT busy.


Of course, I have seminars to prepare and attend to, I have assignments and I have all the simulations and experiments to do, but I do think that I have the time to blog, as frequently as I want to.

“So if I have the time, then why don’t I blog as frequently as I used to?”

I was thinking about the question above while I was taking my hot shower this morning, and I immediately knew the answer:

Now I’ve changed to be a little bit hard to be amused at anything!


I used to be amused at anything; and I would blog about it.

I cut my hair, I blog about it.

I saw a pretty girl on the street, I blog about it.

I made chicken curry for my lab partners, I blog about it.

My little sister refuses to hold my hand, I blog about it.

I lost my wallet, and got it back, I blog about it.

I met some clueless Jehovah witness people, I blog about it.

My balls were tortured when I fall from snowboarding, I blog about it.

A strong wind blew the skirt of a Japanese high school girl up, I blog about it.

Ada awek datang nak raba aku time nak gi solat Jumaat, aku blog pasal tuh.

I had a boner, I blog about it.


The list of me being amused at EVERYTHING goes on and on and on, and I’m still blogging about it! I can’t believe at how easy it is for me to be amused at something; and just look at me amused at how easily I got amused!

But now, I’m not easily amused anymore; and when I'm not amused, I don't blog.


Like this morning, a cat was raping another cat right at the center of the main road in front of the library, and then a group of girls in inappropriately short skirts came to the rescue and they got the rapist cat running away, and the scared cat pisses while he runs (or maybe he was ejaculating? i don't know).

Usually, I would get amused at useless crap like this and immediately blog about it; but I'm not amused at all, so I won't blog about it.


Wait a minute; I'm actually blogging about it. Damn!

Aahh crap, I’m really bad at making any sense.


Anyways, to get to the point that I'm trying to say: the reason why I don’t blog as frequently as I used to lately is because I have become someone who is not as easily amused by life’s simple occurrences as before.

I’ve become numb to what is happening around me.

I’ve become a dead boring person.


Even if the town that I’m living right now was attacked by ninja zombies, I’m not going to be amused by the taught of the exciting possibilities of my brain being eaten while I scream in horrible pain.

I’m not going to be amused, even if [PUT YOUR MOST DESIRED SEXUAL FANTASIES HERE] happened and it was all for free.


I need to change.

I need to re-open my eyes to my surroundings and stop taking for granted of all the wonderful things that is happening around me.

Well, I know the economy is bad and the Japanese government is predicting 0% of economic growth for the country until 2010, which sucks for me because I might get less bonus (or maybe worse, ZERO!) when I start working next April.

Being amused at things is good, because it made my life a little bit 'lively', I don't know the word.


I need to be easily amused again, be thankful for what I got in life, and then blog about it.

Maybe I should start video-blogging too; that might be quite interesting to try on!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

more movie reviews woot

Tropic Thunder – 7.5
I expect a silly movie and Ben Stiller didn’t disappoint. The story of the movie is pretty bad, but what makes this movie watchable it its set of funny characters full of personalities. Ben Stiller is still funny, Jack Black is as always, the shouting fat guy and Robert Downey Jr is just brilliantly silly; his character is really refreshing if you consider how Ben Stiller likes the characters in his movie to be always the same. I recommend watching Apocalypse Now first though to understand some of the spoof in the movie. The movie also spoofed lots of other famous Hollywood movies, like I am Sam, Forrest Gump, Once Upon A Time In America, Mad Max, Rambo etc. and it makes it easier to understand the jokes if you’ve seen all those movies. Funny movie, but you have to have some decent movie knowledge to fully enjoy it. If you’re a fan of Ben Stiller movies, you probably won’t be blown away by Tropic Thunder, but you’ll surely enjoy the ride.

Taken – 8.2
Liam Neeson is a kick-ass secret agent retiree on a rage to save his daughter who was ‘taken’ by human traffickers. This film reminds me of 24, the Bourne series and a little bit of Hostel. The movie starts slow but once the action starts rolling, it was really worth it. The fighting sequences were fun to watch and the main character didn’t stop to think about whether he should pity him enemies, he just gave them what they deserve: PAIN. This is a popcorn action flick, so the sense of believability is very low but that didn’t bother me because I was on the edge of my seat the whole time to the end. Very entertaining movie and I would recommend this to action movie lovers.

Pineapple Express – 8.0
Seth Rogen is really a screenplay genius; he really knows how to write some seriously funny dialogs. James Franco (the son of Green Goblin in Spiderman) really surprised me with his amazingly brilliant performance as a lazy-ass stoner. The story is pretty silly but the whole cast in the film is funny with their distinct personalities and I just can’t stop laughing through the whole movie. If you like comedies, you’re going to enjoy this. Recommended.

Traitor – 8.0
I don’t want to spoil the storylines but I must say, this is a refreshing take on action movies about religious extremist and their way of doing things. The story about the cat and mouse relationship between a CIA Agent and a high-profile terrorist, seems quite cliché at first, but it got really interesting quite quickly that you’re always at the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. If you like the thinking man’s thriller, you’d probably want to watch this.

The Bank Job - 8.2
Another worth-watching movie about bank robbers, and how they got away with it, with Jason Statham as the lead. The movie starts slow but it get really interesting pretty fast and suddenly you were presented with all sort of small plots that tides up the end very well. I love thrillers about bank robbers, corrupt police and politicians, and I enjoyed watching this movie. And to realize that this movie is based on a true story, I was really impressed by how interesting the events that happened, and how they’re stringed together. Very easy to recommend.

She Cyborg (僕の彼女はサイボーグ) – 6.0
Like a lonely guy’s most desired dream come true, a pretty, genki girl appeared out of no where; turning one guy’s boring life into a fun, exciting one. The film borrows the time traveling cyborg plot very heavily from The Terminator, and made it more unnecessarily confusing and long, especially at the end. The first-half portion of the movie is quite enjoyable, but the second half is not. Thankfully, Haruka Ayase made a pretty good looking female cyborg.

The House Bunny – 6.5
I always liked Anna Faris in all those funny Scary Movies series; she definitely played that ‘stupid blonde’ character so very brilliantly, and she did it again in this movie. It was pretty funny but I think Adam Sandler (the director) is depending too much on Anna Faris to bring ‘life’ to the movie. I know, that’s what main characters do, but it seems a little bit too much. If Anna Faris is not in this movie, it would be unwatchable at all because the story is predictably lame and it was obvious that this is a ‘chick flick’ with all the outfits and themes of sister-bonding. Funny movie, but you’ve probably seen these types of movies before, and they’re better than this one.

Superhero Movies – 7.6
The barrage of parody movies never stops, and this time, it’s the superhero movies’ turn to be parodied, and as a silly and funny movie, you can’t ask for more. The jokes are stupid and fun; just don’t expect to be laughing all the way from start to finish. I enjoyed watching this because I didn’t expect much from these types of movie; it is light, silly and probably worth the watch if you’re bored and got nothing else to do.
Eagle Eyes – 7.2
The story of this movie immediately reminds me of I Robot and maybe a little bit of Die Hard 4; you know, the kinda story about artificial intelligence trying to control our human lives. Yes, it is not the best movie in the ‘computers controlling human’ genre, but the action sequences were done well and the actors did their job. I just hope Shia LeBeouf stop playing the same character that he has been in his previous movies like Constantine, Transformers, Indy 4 etc. This is just another decent Hollywood action thriller; quite entertaining but nothing special.

Sztuczki (Tricks) – 7.0
It’s hard to describe this Polish movie; it seems like the director has no intention to put a proper, normal plot into the narration. Instead, the viewer is left with a cute innocent young boy with his playful ways of spending his free time. The acting in this movie is superb, but the lack of a strong ‘point’ makes it hard to fully appreciate it. This is a good movie, but it’s not for the mainstream.

Pacchigi! – 7.6
This is not just another movie about a Japanese boy who has a crush on a Korean immigrant during the 60’s in Kyoto; it’s more than that. The movie portrays the hardship of Zainichi Koreans, violence between Japanese school gangs vs Korean school gangs, about teen sex and all the good stuff during the 60’s. A lot of Japanese directors put a very huge importance on believability, and this movie has that in buckets full of it. The movie might put some people off because of the ‘realistic’ approach to acting and how slow the movie moves, but this is surely one of the Japanese movies that I am going to remember. The only problem that I got with the movie is that it took the director too much time to get to the point, and this is a very distinct personality of Japanese directors compared to Hollywood. Still worth the watch though.

Get Smart – 8.4
This film is simply hilariously brilliant. It is silly and doesn’t take itself seriously, but the jokes were delivered very well and the action sequences are better than an average action film. There were no boring moments in this film as it was full of funny moments, and of course, Anna Hathaway is freaking hot! Steve Carell is so funny even when he’s not trying to be. I have a good, healthy laugh watching this, so if you love comedy, I’d recommend this movie for sure!

Burn After Reading – 7.5
The directors of No Country For Old Men, the Coen brothers is back with a new film that is very different from their last achievement. You’d be disappointed if you expected a film as violently cool as their previous work, because Burn After Reading is not one of those movies; instead, this movie focuses of how idiots people could be and how paranoia could really mess you up and end up wasting your time without leaving any meaning at all in the end. This is a good movie in its own, but don’t expect to be blown away. And one more thing, don’t expect the film to have any deep meanings; you’d want to burn it after watching.

Star Wars The Clone Wars The Movie – 7.5
I never watched a single episode of the animated Clone Wars series, but that doesn’t stop me from watching the big screen version because I’m a shameless Star Wars fan. The story is pretty much what you would expect from a Star Wars universe. Although not entirely bad, I just wished that they put more crazy, over-the-top, balls to the walls, awesome action scenes in it, because it does feel a little bit ‘empty and hey that's not enough!’. Well, this IS a movie for kids, so I guess I shouldn’t expect more of it.

Sukiyaki Western Django – 8.0
Taking heavy influences from Akira Kurosawa’s classic Yojimbo and also some famous spaghetti-western movies like Django and Fistful of Dollars, this latest film from the Japanese director with a cult status, Takashi Miike is all about visual, over content. This is probably the end result if you mix western, samurai, anime and off the chart, crazy saturated colors in a movie. This film is pretty bizarre in its weirdness, and the action sequences really make it a worth while experience. If you like unconventional movies, you’ll have to watch this. Just don’t expect it to make any sense at all.

JFK – 8.5
This is a very well directed and acted movie about the conspiracy theories behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Although it was long (about 3 hours), I was never bored because interesting story elements and information were told in the appropriate pace, making sure the viewer is not overloaded with information, trying to juggle all these set pieces and complete the complicated puzzle that is the JFK assassination. This is a movie about a very complicated investigation, so there were a lot of flash-backs and questions to be asked but everything was tight up pretty well to make it easier for the viewer to understand. If you like investigation movie that involves the secret service society, politics and the American military industrial complex, I’m sure you’re gonna love this one. The film demands you to think and to be able to manage and arrange information, so if you don’t like that, surely you would not enjoy watching this. Highly recommended to those few people who like intricate and detailed story-telling with a lot of information to chew on, but DEFINETELY not for the masses.

Shaolin Girl (少林少女) – 4.0
I love Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer. I hate the Japanese adaptation of it, the Shaolin Girl. Instead of a crazy guy with mad kungfu skills, they replaced it with a normal girl who does lacrosse. The entire movie is boring; the special effects were lame, the acting was bad, the story is terrible and the director even has the nerve to put ‘emotional’ scenes in it to fish for emotions from the viewer. This is a bad Japanese movie. Stay away. Just stick to your 2002’s Shaolin Soccer.

My Sassy Girl (Hollywood Remake) – 5.0
Why does Hollywood constantly remakes good Asian films, ‘Americanizes’ it, and totally messes everything up as a result? The original My Sassy Girl (2001) was one of the early films that got me into Korean movies, by introducing a very sadistic female lead, but still being cute and funny at the same time, and made you want to GET hurt by pretty women. The new Hollywood remake failed to impress me because it was not funny at all, the set-up was so ‘American romantic comedy movie’ –like, and the acting was terrible. Although the storyline on this remake is a lot easier to understand than the original, it really felt like everything was being ‘dumbed down’ for western audiences. If it was not for Elisha Curtbert, I don’t think I would even want to watch this to the end. Forget about this Hollywood remake, watching the original for the 100th times is better than this crap.

Incredible Hulk - 6.5
Don't expect an amazing story because this is a comic-book movie about a guy who turns into a mean green beast of a doofus when he got angry. The action sequences are decent enough and the last fight scene were pretty fun to watch. Other than that, this is just another lifeless comic book movie that is forgettable and so mediocre.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

OMFG I'm 24 !

Thanks to the awesome power of the internetsazz and facebook, my friends have successfully reminded me of my own birthday that is today.

Thanks for all the kind wishes, I really appreciate it.

But just like before, I still don’t understand all this fuzz about celebrating birthdays. I mean, what is the point?

Ok, I have nothing against having a small makan2 (people eating together) to celebrate one’s own birthday, but I just don’t understand those people who want to be treated like a Queen for the day, and went really upset if I don’t remember her birthday.

To tell you the truth, I really don’t care whether my friends don’t remember my birthday, because I sure hell don’t remember theirs! And I seriously have no ‘negative’ intention when I said that, really!

But because of social networking sites like Facebook that conveniently displayed whose birthday it is on that day occasionally, I was able to appear socially fit by letting me simply wish them their birthdays by typing something into their ‘wall’.

Don’t get me wrong here, I really do mean those birthday wishes from the bottom of my heart and I do wish them a good birthday ritual, and I do it because I know it makes them feel a little bit better and I want them to feel a bit special on their own anniversary of being able to escape from their mother’s womb; I just don’t understand why it’s so special.

I’ve never celebrated my own birthday, but I do attend birthday parties when I’m invited, and I always stood there wondering, why is it so fun to blow candles on cakes? Why do they need those balloons and fire-crackers?

I’m happy that they’re having a good time, but I still don’t understand.

Anyways, now that I’m officially 24, I can rent hardcore Japanese porn! Yay! Wait a minute; I can do that since 5 years ago. So… what kind of sick, disgusting thing that I’m legally allowed to do now that I’ve officially turned 24? A visit to the nearest soapland, perhaps?

Hmm nothing changes since I turned 18… so why am I even writing this?

Anyways, once again I would like to say thanks for those who wished me happy birthday, and I want to let all of you know that I really appreciate it. Maybe I should try to be more excited about my own birthday, perhaps that could help me be closer to being a normal person.

Friday, December 05, 2008

just for the sake of updating

Two weeks before, I got an invitation to be a beta tester for Sony’s newest edition to the Playstation 3’s expanding features: HOME.

It IS in beta stage, so sluggishness is immanent.

But other users are still excited with HOME.

Famicon got a customized virtual office inside the HOME space, it was pretty neat.

I played bowling, and danced with strangers.

HOME has potential to be great; maybe it could be as big as Second Life?


The next day, I went to Kamaku Land Akita with my fellow Akitarians.

I met Doraemon.

Ate the famous Yokote Yakisoba. (it was not as good as I thought though)

Become giants.

69 with steel gorillas.

Side down a 90 degree slide.

And some other random, interesting activities.

It was a good way to spend a boring, cold weekend.


Then on the evening, went to eat Anago Tendon.

The long ‘thingy’ in the picture is the 主役 (shuyaku – main/leading role) :the Tenpura Anago (Anago means Sea Eel). At 1040yen, it was a pretty good deal.


Fast forward for a week; I got to taste my first sukiyaki experience.

There was a lot of meat-eating that night, I really felt like a carnivore after the heavy sukiyaki dinner.

The next day, under the courtesy of Kak Syazi the awesome cook, I got to eat Ayam Masak Merah for breakfast + lunch!


Went to the Akita City’s Driving Test Centre yesterday.

Took pictures with the Toyota Crown that I’m going to use for the test.

At first, I thought I passed the test on first try, but of course I didn't make it.

Don't know when I'm going to take the test for the second time...


Pretty busy now, I don't even have time to update this blog.
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