Friday, January 30, 2009


October 1992 marked the start of of Hana Yori Dango the comic book.

Following that in September of 1996, the Japanese animation was released.

Then, in April 2001, Taiwan released their own TV drama based on the comics, calling it “Meteor Garden”, followed by “Meteor Garden II” in November 2002.

In October 2005, Japan got their act together and released their own TV drama, with part 2 following in January 2007. They also proceeded to film a movie, released in June 2008.

And when you thought it all was coming to an end…Korea brought it all back to life in January 2009, releasing their own TV drama series.

I love the comics where your imagination could run wild and the most outrageous things happened. I love the Taiwanese TV drama series, which brought the comics to life! I fell for the Japan TV drama series, because afterall, Japan was where it all started. I’ve currently started watching the Korean TV drama series as it is still airing in Korea, so I’m unable to come to a conclusion yet, but GOODNESS, the Korean version pushed the boundaries of EXPENSIVE LUXURY to proportions that the other versions didn't or couldn't!

Though every version is slightly different from each other and from the original comics, but one thing remains the same...the poor girl Makino Tsukushi who finds herself entangled in the group of 4 handsomely rich boys who call themselves the F4.

Introducing Tsukushi Makino in her many appearances across Asia...

Holding firm on Makino's character as a tough and independent girl who stands up to her rights, I award Japan's Makino with best actress. She's small but tough, cute but not exceptionally beautiful, and young. The Taiwanese and Korean actresses didn't make my age cut...

And now, introducing the famous F4!!! Which group do you think looks the best together?

From the anime (left to right): Akira Mimasaka, Rui Hanazawa, Tsukasa Doumyouji, Soujirou Nishikado

From Taiwan (left to right): Soujirou Nishikado, Tsukasa Doumyouji, Akira Mimasaka, Rui Hanazawa

From Japan (left to right): Soujirou Nishikado, Rui Hanazawa, Tsukasa Doumyouji, Akira Mimasaka

From Korea (left to right): Soujirou Nishikado, Akira Mimasaka, Tsukasa Doumyouji, Rui Hanazawa

To me, the anime F4 are a little to skinny to my liking, the most muscular are the Taiwanese group, though in terms of looks, the fall behind the sauve Japanese F4, but the Koreans simple look too old to be college students, though their uniforms are to die for!

So, now let's dig deeper and analyse each F4 character, starting with...DUH...Tsukasa Doumyouji, the leader of F4...

My favourite Doumyouji is still Taiwan's (though Japan's comes close too). He's got the look, the muscles and the style! And check out Korea's (bottom right), what's up with his maggie mee hairdo!! GROSS!

As for the quiet but sophisticated Rui Hanazawa...

Japan is the winner! He's moody, but totally cute! And has that can't care look that is soooo Rui! And as usual, I'd like to diss Korea's one...too feminine for F4, though, there's a reason the 'F' stands for 'Flower' - as pretty as 'Flowers'!!!

And last but not least, the duo Soujirou Nishikado & Akira Mimasaka...

I like Taiwan's Akira for his supportive yet playful personality, and in terms of looks, Korea's Soujirou, though I haven't seen him in action yet so I don't know how well he plays that character.

So having said all this, I would like to wrap up with my dream team!

What are your takes?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I have finally uploaded my Taiwan photos! To view, click on September 2008 in the links on the left to access my Taiwan posts!!! ENJOY!

Just like old times...but different

When I was younger and our family was still living in Singapore, I thoroughly enjoyed Chinese New Year!

I remember shopping with mummy for new clothes and shoes (usually matching new clothes with my lil sis)…
But as we grew older, we had our own say on what we wore…and after moving to NZ, Chinese New Year was not even a public holiday, so we didn’t bother with this tradition anymore.

I remember every Chinese New Year eve, we would gather as a family for the traditional reunion dinner steamboat…
But after I returned to Singapore on my own and joined my grandparents, uncles and their families, it became a banquet of random dishes. Not as fun an event as the traditional reunion dinner steamboat. Perhaps steamboat was too troublesome?

I remember lying on my parent’s bed on the night of the eve, helping mummy pack money into the ang pows for distribution…
But as we grew older, and moved to NZ, there just wasn’t so many ang pows to pack anymore.

I remember being squashed between my uncle and my dadad as we made our way through the streets of Chinatown on the night of the eve, fascinated by my surroundings.
But as we grew older, we couldn’t be bothered going to Chinatown as it became too crowded. Perhaps it wasn’t so fascinating anymore?

I remember carrying a cute little pouch around with me, especially to contain the ang pows I received…
But as we grew older, the little pouch turned into an adult handbag, filled with my own things such as my wallet, keys, cards, etc. And of course, the odd ang pow we received.

I remember the excitement of secretly peeking into each ang pow given to see how much I had ‘earned’…
But as we grew older and moved to NZ, the ang pows grew fewer and we could estimate the amount anyways, there was no need to peek.

And I also remember the joy of eating lots and lots of ba kua at people’s places, just because it was yummy and the only time we could have ba kua…
But then we grew older and found ba kua fatty, and the availability of ba kua in Singapore meant that any time of the year I could have ba kua, it wasn’t as special anymore…

I was just about to think this year was going to the same as the previous few years…when I was pleasantly surprised.

1 week before Chinese New Year, mum asked, “Have you bought any new clothes for the new year?”
Suddenly, it seemed like I should have bought something new to wear. And so that day, I shopped. And the day after, I shopped. And up until the weekend leading to CNY, I shopped. It felt good again to plan what to wear on the eve for reunion dinner, what to wear on the first day to receive guests to grandpa’s house and what to wear on day 2 when I went visiting. It felt like old times…

“Let’s go Chinatown,” suggested EK…
With EK and his parents celebrating Chinese New Year for the first time in their lives in Singapore, EK thought of bringing his parents to Chinatown. But they said they had been there, so we almost didn’t make it! Afterall, it was far from the top of our list of things to do. It was an impromptu decision, after discovering Clarke Quay was not happening enough, we decided to walk over and to check it out again. And I’m glad we did. It certainly brought back childhood memories and seeing the people, the lights and the REDS revived the spirit of Chinese New Year in me.
While we're on the topic of Chinese New Year events...
Annually, Singapore always organised this event called 'Chun Dao He Pan' and for the first time in my life, we went to this event on the second day of Chinese New Year. The beautiful lanterns, all red and can't get any more Chinese New Year than this!!

But the fun of reunion dinner lies in the first word, not the act of dining…
Perhaps I’ve grown more mature, but I discovered it was a reunion with cousins I haven’t chatted with in ages…

“Ok…time to prepare the ang pows,” said Grandpa as he retired to his room after the reunion dinner…
And I smiled, remembering the old times. I too went to my room to prepare the ang pows…some things never change, I’m still helping mummy pack money into the ang pows for my grandparents…

But there’s one thing that I used to do when I was little but not anymore…
Pig out on ba kua…

Friday, January 23, 2009

Shoes on Purpose

Early this week, I purchased two pairs of shoes, and yesterday, another three. Each one with its purpose!

Call me sentimental, but I simply refuse to throw out my shoes just because it’s broken or worn out. No siree! Not before I find a replacement. When I purchased shoe #1 from Americaya on Tuesday 20 January 2009, it had a purpose. The black heels with a simple gold buckle were purchased purposefully to replace another pair of black heels that broke on 1 December 2008 – God rest its sole! And about time. I have been at a loss without a good sturdy black pair of heels that would match almost every other outfit I have…

Though I’m a woman and loves my heels, when my legs are tired, and the blisters are screaming, heels just don’t look so fantastic on me. I’m walking with a limp, wincing with every step I take, and struggling to make my way home. That definitely does not give others the impression of confidence and ego elevation that heels are supposed to achieve. So after that one comment from my dearest, I decided I was going to stick to flats (well…more frequently, that is). So on that same day, I purchased a pair of black flat shoes that was on sale. Purpose fulfilled.

But that one pair of flats cannot can never satisfy any woman who has a wardrobe full of all sorts of clothes. So yesterday, I had to buy more. Dragging my dearest along with me, we found her decked in shiny black with a bow on the front. When I saw her, I knew she would be perfect for my second day of Chinese New Year outfit. This was also going to replace my beloved pair of flats who, after continuous wears, finally broke down and gave up. But this new pair cannot entirely replace her because they are of entirely different class. The new pair on the block is shiny and elegant with her bow, while my old and comfortable pair is sparkly in her own funky black & white, shoe-laced self. Though she has begun speaking (soles are coming apart), and she is falling into pieces, but I do wonder if a little fix-me-upper would work on her…afterall, you can’t pronounce a person dead until she is really gone...

The second new pair of flats is virgin white, casual and sweetly unique. And in a way, I also see her replacing my beloved flats. Casual in her own way, she can match my black & white outfits as did my old comfy pair, which is what I’ll be wearing on the eve of Chinese New Year too! Together, my two new pairs of flats are to serve the purpose of replacing my one old comfy pair…yes, I’ve put my old pair on a high pedestal, but to any stranger coming along, they will never understand.

The last pair of heels is simply perfect to fulfil the upcoming event of the month – first day of Chinese New Year. Last week, I took a risk in investing in a purple blouse with white frills, without any heels to match it, but luck was just round the corner. There she was, hidden under piles of shoes. It was a blessing in disguise that I rescued her – the last of her lot – out of the mess or she would have been bullied silly by the next customer who was eying her up – she was a size 8.5, wanting to buy her, a size 7! Preposterous!

So that leaves me here, deliriously happy with 5 new pairs of shoes to walk over this new year to come!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Music in da House

I'm usually not into English music as much as Korean, but call me enlightened.

In our recent trip to HMV, EK and I spent a long time there.

We discovered the cool Ting Tings, funny name but awesome hit "THAT'S NOT MY NAME" (what you're hearing now)...

And I also rediscovered my liking towards Britney Spears. Yes, you heard correctly.

"Womanizer, woman-womanizer, you're a womanizer..."

But I also like her other song from the Circus album "Out from Under", a beautiful britney ballard. Brings back memories of her first album when she sang "Dear Diary"...took the words out of my mouth.

We also discovered some nice chill music by Ministry of Sound: Housexy. Good for a nice relaxing day on the couch, or while you're reading magazines in a nice elegant cafe...

But perhaps my sudden shift to English music is coz I've bought all my favourite Korean CDs already...haha

Saturday, January 17, 2009

eBay mayDay


When I saw her, I knew I had to have her. That long, blonde hair. Those heavily lined eyes. That drop-dead glam gown. Waltzing in with an alluring sleeveless taupe gown with a long hip hugging bodice of laced taupe ribbon and screaming with sex appeal, it was love at first sight.

I went around the world (wide web) in search for her, to the United States (the glorious land of Mattel), United Kingdom (the magnificent weight of the pound), and even to some parts of Europe (ooooi...the barriers of language)...

The journey a gruelling test of patience, a search for quality, a conquest around barriers and a challenge of confidence and trust...One I lived to tell the tale...

[the picture glows and blurs out to the next scene]

A long time ago - a few days ago - I decided to google the beautiful lady I’ve come to admire. The results were unanimous.

"VERY RARE" reported craigslist.

"As close to perfect as possible..." eBay commented.

Collectibles today marked it as a "MUST HAVE".

So I went straight to the one place I knew I could find her...eBay.

[Seller #1]
Buy it now: USD100
MINT Condition from my personal collection
Payment by PAYPAL
Ships only to USA
Offer ends in 1 day

I met my first problem. PAYPAL. Many ebay sellers prefer payment by after registering with, I got directed to set up my PAYPAL account. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to getting my own credit cards, so the ones I had were either NZ credit cards, or Singapore supplementary cards under my parents, whose billing address is obviously in NZ. And the catch with eBay Singapore is the linking PAYPAL account will automatically direct you to PAYPAL Singapore, which doesn't allow you to verify a credit card with a billing address outside of Singapore! Double URGH!

Thinking hard, I had to work around this. So I signed up to the (the general one), location still Singapore, but this time around with PAYPAL, I could verify the NZ billing address, and everything finally worked out...

You'd think!

One security measure with PAYPAL was that you had to confirm your credit card with a code that will be sent to your credit card statement. And processing this could take between to 2 to 4 days.

Seller #1's offer expired.

So I waited for another good offer to come along, right price and all.

[Seller #2]
Buy it now: USD 120

Bid from: USD 100'
MINT Condition
Payment by PAYPAL
Ships only to USA

Offer ends in 1 days

There was one other problem as Seller #2 so kindly replied my question, "I'm sorry but I do not ship internationally, shipping costs are too high."

So, asking around, I found out SingPost has this service called vpost where I can get a virtual US address where goods can be delivered and then SingPost will send it back to I signed up for that one, however with a skeptical mindset as to whether it'll work...

Seller #2's offer expired over the weekend as I contemplated. Sold at buy it now price of USD 120.

[Seller #3]
Buy it now: USD 150
Bid from: USD 75
MINT Condition
Payment by PAYPAL

Ships only to USA
Offer ends in 1 days

I didn't want to buy it now for USD 150, so I bidded for it...I input my maximum bid as USD 100 and left it overnight. As US operates at opposite times from us, when the offer expired, I was happily asleep so I didn't hear the bad news that I was outbidded by an offer of USD 100.99.

[Seller #4]
Buy it now: USD 225

MINT Condition with small crease on the box
Payment by PAYPAL
Ships abroad, ask seller for shipping cost

Offer ends in 2 days

USD225!!! That's very expensive, especially when the exchange rate was 1.5 to SGD, it was way above USD 300 and I didn't feel it was worth it. There was also shipment costs. Moreover, the seller's box had tiny crease but she so kindly confirmed that "the crease is very small on the lower left corner of the box. It is less than 1/4 of an inch. Shipping will be $37.00."

It was not worth it so I moved on...

[Seller #5]
Buy it now: £120 (SGD 260)
MINT Condition
Payment by PAYPAL

Ships worldwide, ships to Singapore at £8
Offer ends in 3 days

SGD 260 was very much cheaper than the previous seller, no shipping hassles as she ships overseas...

[Click: BUY IT NOW!]

Monday, January 05, 2009

Nightmares Tonight

I just know it!

I know that I'll definitely have nightmares tonight...and I can guess what it'll be about...



I don't know what's so sweet at work that's attracting all the ants to my desk! It's irritating, but thank goodness small black ants are the only insects I can tolerate because I can kill them with my handy fingers (yes, I'm not insect-friendly). BUT WHY! My colleague jokes coz I'm too sweet...awww shucks, thanks...

But the ants are even attacking my water! It's like every so often I have to check my mug to make sure no ants have crawled into it - and there were already a few incidents today that I had to wash my mug because of it! URGH URGH URGH!

Then, I'm blog surfing for famous singapore bloggers who might be suitable and interested in doing product reviews for our body care products and I visited the famous singapore blog XIAXUE and to my horror, there was another post about her MAGGOT INFESTED FRIDGE!

Yuck yuck yuck!

She went away for 22 days to the US for a holiday, and stupidly shutting off all electical switches including the fridge and when she got back, her whole flat STUNK and her fridge was infested with MAGGOTS! What did she do? Well, she took photos for her blog, but her nice live-in boyfriend hosed down the fridge and they got rid of the maggots...but after they thought it was safe again, they opened the fridge and found one more maggot crawling - YUCK, there was eggs and maggots in the rubber sealing as well. GROSS GROSS GROSS!!!

WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? The first thing I would have done if I was in that situation is...


Urgh urgh urgh...I just know I'm going to get nightmares tonight!

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Cinderella Story

As the clock stroke twelve, Cinderella rushed out of the palace towards her waiting carriage. Her glass slipper, as its name suggests, slipped off her feet during her decent. As the strikes continued to chime, there wasn’t enough time to return to collect her slipper. She leaped into the carriage, not knowing what the future had in store for her, but having gained the memories of a beautiful night.

I do not know what 2009 has in stall for me, but call me optimistic but I believe it’ll be another awesome year! And not because I know what’s going to happen, but for the very fact that I’m going to embrace life and make the fullest of my 2009 – blogging, travelling, sewing, exercising – I’ve made some resolutions of my own… Despite what everyone says about New Years Resolutions, and also despite my previous broken resolutions…I’m feeling optimistic!

Thinking back to 2008, I’m ashamed to announce that I fulfilled…drumroll…1 resolution and broken the other 9...BUT no one said a New Years Resolution cannot be carried forward to the next. If 1 a year is the trend, then in 9 more years, I’d have fulfilled all 10 resolutions of 2008! Like I said, I’m being optimistic this year.

Though I only managed to fulfil my resolution of saving my face (thanks for medical advances), 2008 has been a fulfilling year of joy and tears, fun and bores, and love.

2008 started out with friends of many years, meeting my prince, baking with my best friend, then I visited New Zealand and saw my family and close friends. Then I played a softball game and managed to pitch well too, surprising myself! I coordinated and managed our company’s booth at a trade show, from planning till breakdown. And I visited Taiwan with EK (ooops, photos!)…Experienced the first ever Singapore Grand Prix (which I was too lazy to blog about), and HOTEL 81 check-in. In the midst of the world economy crisis, I got a promotion…and finally bought my very first and most probably very last Vera Wang wedding gown!

2008 has been splendid…and I have no doubt about 2009.

I intend to write a lot more because I enjoy it.
I intend to exercise a lot more because I…will try to want to…
I intend to sew a bit of things because I miss it.
I intend to travel a bit to see more of the world…
I intend to achieve better for myself!