Valentine Weekend

It has been very hot and humid in Jakarta lately. I can feel that I’m literally toasted when I go outside in daytime. Also since I’m back to commuting from Bogor, the conditions on the train isn’t really helping anyway. Today, the train that I rode was freakishly hot since the air conditioning was off >_<.

Valentine's Day is coming. I have no special plans other than to gorge in some lovely parfait somewhere in Jakarta with friends. My boss suggested a sashimi and sushi restaurant for me and my friends to have our Valentine's Day fiesta. Not sure that we would go there, though. Valentine's day and raw seafood doesn't really go together. I mean that's why they associate Valentine's Day with chocolates, right? So the rest of us who don't have that significant someone to have the same endorphin levels as the ones that do by popping chocolate hearts the whole day XD

Last week me, Shaki and Vro went for dinner and some window shopping at Grand Indonesia. So they have these fortune telling booths there so we thought we should go and give it a try. There were two fortune tellers and their methods were aura reading and card reading. Well, seeing that I can read Tarot cards every one decided to go with the aura reading. The fortune was a middle aged lady and my fortune was: 1. That I have a strong personality (I guess so), 2. Problems with health are mainly regarding to my stomach (I do have problems with my stomach lately), 3. No problem with money and jobs, but problems with my study (not so sure about this one since my contract will be over this March), 4. There won't be any chances for me to go abroad this year but she sees a journey for me next year (2011!!!), 5. I will meet my soulmate on April-May (I don't really believe in the whole soulmate thing but I guess we just have to wait and see). So yeah.

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food, movies, and On! Project this week.

Yesterday,  I was out from the office late because my boss needed to buy some racks for the laboratory so he asked me to help him buy it. It was for sure that I was going to miss the train. So I decided to call up my dad and have him pick me up. Before I was dismissed my boss treated me with a delicious dinner at Ootoya in Plaza Indonesia. He said that in Japan, Ootoya’s establishment isn’t as luxurious as it is in Jakarta. Ootoya is a chain store so they aren’t luxurious in Japan. But seeing that the Japanese prices are high (to this side and maybe the rest of the world) to begin with, so I can wonder why Ootoya shops in Jakarta are luxurious.

I ate the Kihada Maguro no Tsukedon, which was delicious. I checked on the official home page that it was 522 kal -____-” If it was, that was a hefty dinner. But I don’t remember my bowl had the egg so the calories must be lower… Or so I hope. It was delicious the rice really atributes the taste. I love the sauce and the sesame. YUM!

My boss went home straight after dinner and I decided to catch a movie while my dad was still in a meeting. I decided to watch Surrogates starring Bruce Willis. I gotta be honest with you, the only thing that made me wanted to see this movie was to see Bruce Willis. Haven’t seen him in a movie since DIE HARD 4.0. The movie was so-so. It didn’t leave any impression on me. Because movies of the same type has been made before. I see it as a mix of the Matrix; I, Robot and Minority Report. It’s a been there done that movie -___-” But seeing Bruce Willis is a treat even though he doesn’t pop out very much.

So, this week is Japan Week and they are having Japan-related events through out this week. The finale will be a matsuri called the Jak-Japan Matsuri (I really believe they could have chosen a better name, but hey what ever rocks your boat ^^) at The National Monument. On! Project will be there as well by the way (link 1) (link 2) performing 2 songs. I’m really sorry for the lack of updates of both sites. Since my departure from this blog, all my will to write has been decreased to 140 characters or less. But anyway, it feels good to write again as I shed my addictiveness to facebook. I might need sometime to get rid of the need to tweet.

live seafood in batam.

Before anything else, I would like to say: HAPPY BIRTHDAY hyde!!!!! OH MY GOD THE BIG FOUR-OH! THE BEST OF LUCK XD

-written on my PDA-

for dinner my boss asked me to recommend a good place to eat. since my dad worked in batam for almost a year, i asked him. he recommended 4 places. i narrowed it down to two places and then ask the taxi driver to pick the better one. he suggested that we go to Golden Prawn, where we could eat fresh seafood. not realizing the enormity of it, i agreed to his suggestion. the place was huge and the location is very nice, situated above a vast pond, very outdoor-sey.

when i got inside i realized that we had to choose our own living creature to kill and eat! in the past i had no problem in such place since all i had to do is left all the orders up to my parents and i just eat whatever that was order but i stayed away from fish most of the time since i can’t being stared at by my food. but in today’s case i can’t argue, since i have to guide them through the process of picking the best fish to eat. it was a stomach-turning experience. i was nauseated half of the time i was in the ‘market’ area -they have little pools and tanks of fishes and prawn and seashells. the meanest thing is that they have sharks and turtles! that’s just plain heartless. i almost cried when i saw them T.T

in the and my boss picked a KRAPU or garoupa that would be steamed, prawn that would be cooked in butter and some sort of big seashell named RANGGA or something that would be grilled. i enjoyed the seashell the most. the least was the fish, i kept positioning my glass of watermelon juice to block the sight of the fish. out of hospitality one of these 3 japanese men kept offering me the fish which was okay, until he offered me a big chunk that comprised of the fin. at that i felt a bit seasick -____-”

so apparently they have an open mic event on a stage and anybody was more than welcomed to sing karaoke. so long story short i went up the stage and sing ENKA! one is Amagigoe by Ishikawa Sayuri and Futarizake by Kawanaka Miyuki. next i did a duet with Kusuhara-san, who was completely baffled that i had a genuine interest for enka. we sang Kitaguni no Haru and Kita Sakaba. that was fun.

so there you have it my update on batam.

PS. I really want to go to Singapore T-T

hisashiburi no update

The last month I’ve been very busy >_< There were a lot of things to do. So, I felt kinda bad that I had to leave this blog with no updates. So, I’m currently on holiday until the 6th YAAAYYY! My boss won’t be back from Japan until the 15th, so I could relax a bit. My office is planning to hold seminars in Surabaya and Batam next year, so I’ll be busy. I already asked my boss about the possibility of me going to Singapore after the Batam seminar is over, and he said okay. But, I’m hoping that he still pays for my flight back to Jakarta.

So, to make it easy for me to update stuff, I’ve prepared some picture.

Meeting for Nihon no Matsuri in Sakana Restaurant

So, a few months ago I was asked by Nozomi chan (girl standing on the right), who works for The Jakarta Post and had interviewed me and my group of friends in a Japanese event, to help out Nihon no Matsuri, a Japanese event that is organized by the Japanese Embassy. I was asked to help out with the cosplay event. Be on the look out for this event, there will be a lot of acts imported straight from Japan like Honoudaiko and this lantern balancing act.

I gotta tell you something about Sakana. Before, I went there to celebrate the end of the 2 and half week long seminar I’ve told you about. This Japanese restaurant somewhat looks like a geisha tea house and serve a range of Japanese delicacies. It also serves fusion food. Coincidentally, the owner of this restaurant, Akai san, is the head coordinator of the event. So we can used the VIP room (and enjoy the delicious food… for free) thanks to him m(_ _)m. So in the first meeting I showed everyone some of my cosplay pictures. When I mentioned about Ganguro style, Akai san cringed and said “Ganguro kirai da!”. Then apologetically, I showed him this picture of me cosplaying as a ganguro. And he said “Kawaii yo kore,” instantly I said, “Uso deshou?” XD But then he was interested on my yanki cosplay. Turns out he is a fan of Japanese yakuza movie and on the second meeting when I mentioned I was looking for Sugawara Bunta’s movie, he borrowed me a whole bunch of yakuza movies including all of the volumes of Jingi Naki Tatakai (trailer here – you might seen a clip of this movie from hyde and ken in a Pa Pa Pa Pa Puffy episode where they re-enact a scene).

Dinner at Secret Recipe with Shakina and Vro

It’s been a long time since I last eat at Secret Recipe. So before going back to Bogor, we stopped by at Cibubur to eat there. The Mongolian Chicken was superb as usual. We all each ordered our food along with a tall glass of juice and a slice of mouth-watering cake XD

Another thing that happened last month was Vro’s graduation. I was invited and dragged to the shindig XD She also invited our bosses (didn’t really get on why she did that, but hey it’s her graduation). The event was held in Jakarta Convention Center. She was supposed to be there at 7.30. So we left Bogor on 6.15 after she had her make up done (I personally don’t get why you have to be fully made up for a graduation ceremony, but then again it’s her graduation). We arrived at JCC just at the nick of time.

I made a deal with her, that if I were to come to the event, I would come dressed up/semi-cosplaying. She agreed. So I went there l, in the words of my old boss, looking like a Japanese joshikosei (school girl), after school of course. I wore a fedora, with a black mini dress that I never wore before, argyle stockings layered with checkered socks, and my trusty colorful Converse sneakers. Pretty much looking like this:

Keeping myself busy before the event.

The event ends at 12pm (4 long hours) and afterwards all of our bosses excuse themselves because one of them had to go back to Japan. After it was all over, we went to Plaza Senayan with Vro and her parents. Me and Vro were left there after we had lunch, because we need to go to another meeting of the Nihon no Matsuri. So, we took the opportunity to do a bit of mall crasher. Vero was wearing a white kebaya she borrowed from our friend, Tina, that works in JICA as well. Must have been weird seeing a full-fledged kebaya wearing girl with a girl that looks like a joshikosei like this:

see the difference?

So we went here and there looking for some books at Kinokuniya and looking for a set of Sony earphones, we ended up sitting in the foodcourt waiting for Niceey to come and pick us up to go to Sakana for the meeting. We decided we should walk across to Senayan City to get us some Sour Sally.

That day I had planned to go back to Bogor after the meeting that I hope would end before 19.21 (which was the last train from Jakarta to Bogor). That hope was futile -_-“. The meeting ended at 10pm and I had to stay at Vro’s rented room in Grogol -_-“. I don’t really like staying over at Jakarta, but might as well.

The next day, my dad called and asked whether if I wanna go home or not, since I work the next day I guess it would be better for me if I stayed over for another night. And that’s that.

See you on the next update XD Happy Ied XD

Ladies and Gentlemen and Freaks Alike… The Dark Knight

This is something I rarely do, watching the same movie over and over again in the theater, but I just can’t get enough with the new batman movie. The crown jewel of the movie is of course the glorified final performance of Heath Ledger. The Joker still freaks me out. it’s not really the big thing he does like the disappearing pencil act, which pretty much sold me to believe that this joker is a sadistic raving maniac, but the small attention to details that really made me shiver. It’s his small gestures, like the way he wiggle his fingers, the way he kinda stumble upon every word and the way he’s changes his voice from a squeamish tone to a chilling hoarse groan, the way he walks (the hospital scene, in particular), the way he moves his eyes. Every dialogue was well written, it’s humorous and chilling at the same time.  I think the academy should SERIOUSLY consider the possibility of a posthumous Oscar nomination for him.

Christian Bale also did an amazing job on Batman. My faith on the character is restored. Since the disaster that is Batman & Robin, I thought that I can never mention Batman without ever thinking about the over used neon colors and bad puns. But Bale did a very sleek performance. Bruce Wayne is hotter than he had ever been, the guy looks good in a suit XD What _kinda_ bugs me was Batman emphysema-ridden voice. Apart from that, he really made me believe in Batman again.

Speaking of belief, it took me a while to believe in Harvey Dent. All of those viral advertising was just too much (www.IBelieveInHarveyDent.com, www.IBelieveInHarveyDentToo.com *block the text until you reach the bottom of the page, dismiss every H and A and you’ll see a message*, www.RorysDeathKiss.com and the most fun one to visit www.WhySoSerious.com). But Aaron Eckhart played the character well. I really wasn’t expecting that Two Face would turn out as realistic as it did.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is not the prettiest actress who played the role of the hero’s love interest, but she certainly did not bug me. I like her work in various indie movies. Performance wise I think she’s a better Rachel Dawes than Katie Holmes. The casting crew made a good -not great- choice of changing the cast, seeing that Katie Holmes would have made the balance a little off.

Another character that I really like is Commissioner James Gordon. Gary Oldman really put the Commissioner into life. He’s like the Commissioner I’ve always pictured in my head. Michael Caine as the faithful Alfred throws a strong performance too.Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox completes the cast.

After the fourth time watching this movie I gotta tell you that it does get a bit boring. But every time The Joker appears… he didn’t disappoint XD He really lights up the scene. I can’t get enough of his little gestures. Now that Heath Ledger is gone it’ll be hard to find somebody to fill in his shoes >_< There’s a rumor that Johnny Depp is asked to play The Riddler in the next Batman movie XD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!!! And Phillip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin. I like Hoffman but The Penguin? The Penguin is my least favorite villain and plus The Penguin is better left at the Tim Burton’s spin on Batman. But I would love to see Christopher Nolan prove me wrong XD But I think it’s best to bring back Catwoman. The feline fiend needs to get her name cleaned after that shambolic Halle Berry movie >_<. Anyway, I found a good site for those who are not too familiar with the DC Universe, like me.

Ohisashiburi no Oishii Chokoreto
My former boss just went back from Japan. Even though I don’t work for him anymore, he (and his wife) still brings me present from Japan. He gave me a box of Prafeuille Chocolat Hachimitsu (which basically is dark chocolate thins with honey inside, YUMMY!). I like it dark chocolate & I prefer chocolate thins to a chocolate bar XD You can see the official page for the chocolate here.

Matcha Moon de manzoku XD

Yesterday, I decided to go to Matcha Moon in Plaza Senayan XD I asked Shakina to go with me XD I also didn’t forget to bring my camera with me XD So, the place is kinda hidden from the crowded place of Plaza Senayan. It’s located on the fifth floor near the cineplex and the bowling alley. Before there were no signs featuring informations about the location so I had a hard time looking for it, there were also no mentions on the internet before. So, when you get in front of the shop you see this refrigerator showcase showing the products they have.

Here we have the Matcha Cake (above, Rp 18.900, I think) and the Matcha Tiramisu (below, Rp 29.800, again not sure O|Z, I forgot because I didn’t order these)

They specializes in everything about Green Tea, they have hot brews and cold brews. They also have non-sugar original green tea (Rp 20.000 up) which is the for hardcore green tea fans and the blended ones. They even sell matcha powder in cans. The can looks really nice XD But it’s a bit too expensive for my league. It cost about Rp 250.000 and above for a can. I rather buy CDs with that kind of money ^^. Other than drinks and desserts they also serve food like a wide selection of donburi, onigiri, inari sushi, etc.

But for me the real star of the shop is the desserts XD since I remember their tag line said “Japanese desserts and snacks”. They have Matcha English Bread, Matcha French Toast, Matcha Pancake, a wide selection of ice cream (matcha included, of course) and kakigoori (shaved ice). I’m curious about Matcha Moon Big Parfait (Rp 80.000), when I asked the waiter what it is, he said that it’s a large portion of matcha ice cream mixed with a little bit of everything on the menu and it feeds 3 to 4 people. Too bad the menu didn’t have a picture of it. I’ll try it one day, wait and see *waiting for people who loves eating as much as I do to come and lend a hand* XD

^- this is the Matcha Powder they sell from the top Matcha Organic, Matcha Premium, Matcha Second Harvest. Expensive O|Z

The interior as you can see is really nice and green they have this moon phase picture hanging on 8 different frames for every phase. The seats are comfy XD and it’s not really that crowded… yet. So, it’s a nice place to sit around and chat.

But, I was there to eat what I’m craving for the last couple of days, Matcha Pudding/Purin (Rp 12.000). It’s different from gelatin puddings because instead of gelatin they use eggs and fresh cream so it’s very creamy. See how to make a Japanese Purin here. In the past I made it myself with different recipes, but making it was a hassle because, I have to eat it most of it, my family doesn’t really like it. Plus I don’t have a decent oven so it’s really hard for me to control the temperature.

The matcha purin in this shop is topped of with a tablespoon of matcha syrup. I would eat this very slowly because it’s SO GOD DAMN GOOD XD I’m planning to return to Matcha Moon again in the near future and just splurge on that Matcha Moon Big Parfait XD

On other notes! I just found out that Kitagawa Yujin from the duo Yuzu is getting married. Read all about it here. It’s just a small news though.

「ゆず」といえば、岩沢の“相棒”北川悠仁がフジテレビの高島彩と結婚秒読みとみられている。「ゆず」&「女子アナ」という2組のカップルが揃ってゴールインするかもしれない。

It is said that Kitagawa Yujin is on a countdown to marry Takashima Aya of Fuji TV. This could be called “yuzu” and “joushi ana” to iu ni gumi no couple sorotte GOAL IN suru kamoshirenai.

Here’s the picture, ant”T”. I’ll update more later.

So it is my understanding that, Iwasawa Koji apparently told the media as it is said here.

And he WILL ALSO married to a newscaster too o.O”. Ooki Yuuki according to yahoo also. So this line made sense na~

「ゆず」&「女子アナ」という2組のカップルが揃ってゴールインするかもしれない。

The picture is from here.

This post is all over the place, Shakina is somewhere at a net cafe in rawamangun getting crazy. So to sum things up. Kitagawa Yujin will marry a newscaster from Fuji TV, Takashima Aya (she is the main caster in Mezamashi.. I think I’ve seen her before in all those L’Arc reports in Mezamashi, at least her voice) .

“Takashima Aya (born February 18, 1979) is an announcer of Fuji TV. She is from Koto, Tokyo. She graduated from Seikei University and became an announcer in 2001. When she was selected as a main newscaster of Mezamashi TV, she had been an announcer for only 2 years. However, her newscasting was steady and welcomed.” taken from Wikipedia article of Mezamashi TV

While Iwasawa Kouji will also marry a newscaster from TV Asahi, Ooki Yuuki, they met through a friend and both of them are fans of Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi. They started seeing each other six months ago. Will update if I can find more news.

To enlight Shakina on her question of what is the statistics of the divorce rate in Japan. I refer to this page.

“…In contrast, divorces have shown an upward trend since the 1960s, hitting a peak of 290,000 in 2002. Since then, the number of divorces and the divorce rate both has declined for four years straight. In 2006, the number of divorces totaled 257,000, and the divorce rate was 2.04 (per 1,000 population).”

So, I guess the chances are kinda slim(?). Because back then people JUST WANTED to get married right away but now they have a lot of considerations when it comes to marriage. True, that the they get married very late according to other Asian countries but they do give attention to the quality of the marriage, thus, the low divorce rate.

ironna food!

My current food boom is Chowking. Maybe because I’m now kinda broke -__-“. Chowking is good and cheap, which is just what I need right now. I really feel the need for some good nasi goreng (fried rice) or some gado-gado. Before, I also had the urge to eat in a certain food chain like Loco Moco ( a hawaiian food chain). I don’t really like junk food chains. I don’t eat at McDonald’s (at least if I really have to I stay away from the burgers) and at KFC, I stay away from the chicken. I’m not to fond of chicken really. I stay away from meat that looks like its original form. That’s why I only eat sushi and not whole fried fish.

Enough about food, I don’t feel well lately. My back hurts, my stomach hurts, I have headaches sometimes. I’m just tired probably >_< I need some rest. I want to go home this weekend and bake an apple pie and make mango pudding. YUMMY! I have to get myself some gelatin.

On other news, I just got Wentz Eiji’s Gegege no Kitaro yesterday XD Haven’t watched it. Will watch it this weekend along with Arashi’s Kiiroi Namida and Kyoko Fukada’s Tenshi. I haven’t seen Kyoko Fukada in movies since Kamikaze Girls, so this should be fun. And, oh, I got my first facial yesterday. It hurts when they squeeze stuff out of your face. IYA DA!!! Why did I decide to get it in the first place? Because I took the ojek (motorcycle taxi) to get to work yesterday. And when my mom asked whether if I want one, I thought, why the hell not. BUT IT HURTS!!! Afterwards it’s kinda soothing. But, I don’t like to pay for torture. So the next time I decide to get one, I make sure I REALLY need one.