Aku no Hana

It has been a while I got this excited for an anime. In fact, I can't remember the last anime that got me all worked out like this. Needless to say, I think Aku no Hana is a very awesome anime. I definitely recommended it to everyone.

A Year Older: Again

It’s that day when I got another level up in life. I’m turning a year older again today. So many things have changed in a course of a year. I read what I wrote on my birthday last year and I almost choked with laughter at how ridiculous everything sounds.

Goodbye 2012 and Hallo 2013

So overall, year 2012 has indeed been kinder to me. I have achieved what I set out to achieve but most importantly, I unexpectedly found love which is easily the highlight of the year for me.

Light Writings: Love II

I need an outlet to express how I feel nowadays. To be honest, things are going too good for me at the moment to the point that I am sort of living in fear for I do not want these extremely good feelings, and the love I have for him to end. If all these are gone tomorrow, there is a big probability that I might lose sanity.

Light Writings: Crush II

Welp, looks like we are having this conversation again after so many years. Well 2 years and 3 months to be exact. The last time I wrote about my crush, I was in a different state of mind where I know it can be nothing more than just that, a crush.

19 December 2006

Happy Feet

If you haven't seen this movie yet, what the hell are you waiting for?!

Go and give yourself a treat. You deserved to have a good laugh once in a while and Happy Feet is just perfect.

I love the five Amigos' characters: Raul, Nestor, Rinaldo, Lombardo and especially Ramón. They are so damn cracking funny. Never failed to bring a smile on my face everytime I remember their characters. Such good friends are hard to comeby nowadays.

I watched this movie 2 times within 3 days and still I couldn't get enough of the Amigos.

Here are some of the memorable quotes from the movie (all from Ramón as he's the reason I love this movie sooo much!)

Ramón: Just a moment. I hear people wanting something... ME!


Leopard Seal: Come here, sausage. I take you with ketchup!
Ramón: Yeah, but first you gotta catch up!


Ramón: You know, chica chica, boom boom.
Mumble: You are not interested in chicas?
Ramón: You kidding? Without us the chicas got no boom


Ramón: You just got to do exactly what I say!
Mumble: Okay.
Ramón: Did I say "okay"?
Mumble: No.
Ramón: No. What did I say?
Mumble: Do exactly what you say.
Ramón: EXACTLY what I say!


Ramón: Kiss my frozen tushy! Kiss it, kiss it!


Leopard Seal: Remember dumplings, I know where you live.
Ramón: That's right lardface, it's called LAND!


Ramón: We've got personality with a capital Y. Why? Because we're HOT!


Raul: What you huggin me for?
Ramón: He told me to.
Raul: Get away.
Ramón: No, you like it!


Hehehe. Lets boogey guys!! Mambo!!!

p/s: Also if you want to hear Britanny Murphy, Hugh Jackman and other actors in this movie sings, go and watch it. You won't be disappointed.

18 December 2006


Another gripping dark fantasy adventures for my collection. I heard about this book last couple of years but only recently had I bought it and I'm glad I did.

Sabriel by Garth Nix is the first book of the trilogy. It started off with a flashback in which Abhorsen saves his new born baby daughter Sabriel from death and from Kerrigor. Then it brings you to Ancelstierre where Sabriel grows up since she was five years old at the Wyverly college.

Abhorsen is a necromancer but instead of raising the dead, he lays the dead back to rest.

One night when Sabriel was eighteen, she receives a message along with his father's sword and bandolier that contain the bells. This could only mean that his father, a famous necromancer, is in the realm of the dead, and she as Abhorsen's daughter must taken on his father's title and duty.

This forced Sabriel to go back to the Old Kingdom to search for his father's body. But first she must crosses the Wall and go to Abhorsen's house. Since she was practically raised in Ancelstierre she has little knowledge of Old Kingdom. On her way there, she met with a Mordicant, Kerrigor's servant who determined to kill her by any means. She escapes from the Mordicant when she crosses the river but only memontarily.

At Abhorsen's house she met with a dangerous/funny soul that has taken a form of a cat named Mogget. Mogget has served the Abhorsen's family for hundred of years and was bound by the miniature Saraneth on his neck-collar.

Sabriel is convinced that her father's body must lay somewhere in Bellisaere. Mogget then accompany Sabriel for the journey but went wayward when they were attacked by another Kerrigor's servant. They landed in Holehallow where Mogget free of his cat form tried to diminished Sabriel and if not for the ring handed by Mogget before the journey Sabriel would have been dead.

At Holehallow Sabriel freed Touchstone that was trapped as a figurehead for 200 years. Touchstone swears then to serve Sabriel and along the way, romance bloom between Sabriel and Touchstone.

Sabriel found his father's body in Ballisaere and realized Kerrigor's want both his father and her blood to break the Charter stone that keep Old Kingdom from descending into evil. The only way to defeat Kerrigor is to find and destroy Kerrigor's original body which he kept alive with Free Magic.

In her journey to saves Abhorsen and the Old Kingdom, Sabriel had to endures almost impossible exhaustion, evil confrontation and near-death experiences that challenges her supernatural abilities as an Abhorsen.

I was sceptical at first and not sure whether I will like this book once I finish reading it but after few pages its an effort to actually put this book down. Nix brought you immediately into the action. You might feel disoriented at first but will get used to it quickly and glad that Nix made it so so that you are actually be part of the story and not just someone reading a story.

This is not your typical good-vs-evil kind of book. Nix delves deeply into the mystical world of necromancy, magic and the monstrosity of the undead. Who would have thought a book that uses bells to bind the dead can be so enjoyable?

I am already delving into Lirael, the sequal.

12 December 2006

Cinta vs. Nana Tanjung

So, as promised to alea, here's what I think about these two movies:

Cinta: Nicely done, thought-provoking, sweet and funny

Nana Tanjung: dumb, dumb, dumb and dumb.

Note that I would never waste my money to watch film directed by Razak. And I am not gonna start with this film. They are just too dumb for my taste and honestly it is shockingly bizarre to see people (malay mostly and most unfortunately) flocking to cinemas to catch this latest film of his, made it hit the box office in its first week! Just goes to show how stupid certain people are.

But I don't blame them (not entirely, no). Razak, being a lecturer, should has known his responsibilities to the public to produce/direct film that can elevates Malay, not stereo-typing them to become this stupid-good-for-nothing-except-make-a-dumb-ass-outa-themselves Malay.

How dare he earns money with films that always have the same basic story line, the same hero and the same heroin with a flop plot. How dare he makes profit from the hard-earn money people toil upon? How dare he thinks Malaysian public are so f*cking stupid by producing/directing films with such poor/non-existed quality? How dare he! How dare he!

Is he tries to duplicate what he had done with Anak Mami which have god-knows how many sequals? If he is, god help us all. But wait, the rumor I heard says that he had planned to make Nana Tanjung 2.

What the f*ck? Somebody shoot him already!

Look, I'm not just comparing Cinta and Nana Tanjung alone, but there are other Malay movies that are worth your money to buy their ticket and see it in the big screen like The Red Kebaya or Gubra or Sepet or Bilut or Spinning Gasing or PGL. These are the movies worth taking note of, movies that elevates Malay in the eye of cinematography world. Please avoid movies directed by Razak or Yusof Haslam. They were produced simply to make profit from your hard-earn money.

The next time you decide to watch a movie, think about this: Do you think you will halalkan the money you spent on that movie? If not, go watch another movie, or better yet, sedekahkan that money to the needy.

08 December 2006

Drowning Ruth

No, this book is not a sequal nor it is a prequal to The Book of Ruth I reviewed earlier. In fact the only thing they had in common (besides the protagonist's name) is both are featured in Oprah's Book Club collections. Oh and also there's a murder involve. That makes it two things in common then ;)

Drowning Ruth featured two (okay four if you want to include Mattie and Imogene) women characters, Ruth and Amanda (Aunt Mandy to Ruth). The writer, Christina Schwarz, first introduced to the reader the childhood of Amanda and the events that led her to came back to the farm where her sister Mathilda (Mattie) lives with her daughter Ruth which then a three year old girl. Carl, Mattie's husband has gone off for the First World War.

Because the conditions she's in (thanks to Clement Owens), Amanda deceptively forced Mattie to lives on the Island (where Mattie lives before Carl left for the war). The island will be perfect for hiding the secret she has growing inside of her. Mattie who always the one who likes to lives on the edge agreed despite the fact that winter will coming on soon, and the island would be obsolete from the rest of the world, which exactly the exact reason why Amanda chose to live there.

When Mattie found out Amanda's secret, she was first shocked but being a woman with full of life, she quickly support Amanda and pushes away all visitors that came to the island.

On one faithful night, Mattie mysteriously disappeared and was found days later, frozen in the lake. She had drowned.

Mattie then took care of Ruth, and her secret was given away to Mrs.Lingdren.

When Carl gets home, he found Ruth in Amanda's tenacious grip but gradually Ruth felt at home with his father. As the years gone by, Carl had been wondering what exactly had happened to his wife. Since Amanda will not say a thing about what had happened the night his wife drowned, Carl had been looking for clues which led to a big misunderstanding. He never really knows the truth about what had really happened to Mathilda.

Growing up, the event of her mother's death became more vivid to Ruth. Tormented she found refuge in Imogene and they basically grew up together. The relationship between these two are close. Amanda knowing who Imogene really is kept a close eye on both of them. When Arthur Owens came into the picture, Amanda became restless. This then led to some momentus event and the discovery of what had actually taken place the night Mattie drowned.

Amanda's character is intricately woven and has so many layer which made me felt sorry for her, and sometimes wanted to strangle her myself. I wish for the confrontation between some of the characters when the situation warranted it but I recognize the time period and the limitations they faced on behavioral 'expectation'.

The writer has a gift of pacing the story and makes it a thrill to unravelled the truth. I really enjoys the book although a bit disappointed at the end as I see it as anticlimatic. I will recommend it nevertheless though to both Oprah readers and mystery fans.

05 December 2006


"One of the pleasures of writing this novel, was to say to my Turkish readers and to my international audience, openly and a bit provocatively, but honestly, that what they call a terrorist is first of all a human being. Our secularists, who are always relying on the army and who are destroying Turkey's democracy, hated this book because here you have a deliberate attempt by a person who was never religious in his life to understand why someone ends up being what we or the Western world calls an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist." - Orhan Pamuk

Understanding is everything, although it does not immediately change anything.

Ka, a poet from Istanbul, return to Turkey for his mother's funeral after spending 12 years as a political exile in Germany. He then decides to visit a small Turkish town of Kars. His reasons are 1)his curiosity about the suicide epidemic among young girls 2)his love for Ipek - whom he had a crush when he was young.

He arrives in Kars when the snows start to fall which then quickly turn into blizzard, closing all major roads out of Kars. He was asked to report on the impending municipal election as well as to gets into the root of why teenage girls, mostly who have been barred from the secular university for covering their hair, are suicidal.

At his first day in Kars, he witnessed an assination of Director of Education, the man who has carried out the government's orders to ban the "headscarf girls" from school. He then comes into contact with Blue, "an infamous Islamist terrorist", a pious student named Necip and Ipek's sister, Kadife, the leader of the head-scarf girls. Afterwards, a military coup at the National Theater begins when soldiers burst in, shoot randomly into the audience, kill a number of people, then round up "dangerous" citizens, including some of the people Ka has encountered earlier. To cut long story short, Ka's life is in danger.

All the while his love and burning passion for Ipek intensified. In one brilliant sequence, he negotiates a statement of unity between the city's Islamist, Kurdish and socialist leaders for the sole purpose of luring Ipek's father out of the hotel where they live, so that he can make love to her. It is also in Kars when he regains his inspiration for the first time in four years, and poems come to him as if dictated by a higher power. Ka's rediscovery of God and poetry in a desolate place makes the novel's sadness profound and moving.

The title of this book is just absolutely perfect. This novel turn out to be governed by a "deep and mysterious underlying structure" similar to that of a snowflake. The deeper you read, the more the symmetries multiply. Nearly every character has a double, down to the narrator himself, who is eventually revealed to be a novelist friend of Ka's named Orhan. Clever twist. All these mirror images might create a dizzying effect, which is deepened by the snow that begins to fall on the first page of the novel and does not let up until nearly the end.

IMHO, this book does shed some lights of what our world as we know it is becoming. It is as much about Islam as about anything else. To most people nowadays - secularist or whatever they want to call themselves, religion is nothing more than a foreign word. God help them.

Bear in mind this book was published in Turkey and Europe before September 11. After reading it, I feel like the novel has an ominous prescience to it as it seems like life attempting an awkward imitation of his art.

I definitely recommend this book. The only problems with it IMO come from it being a translation but you'll enjoy it nonetheless. It may not be the easiest read, but it's an important one.

Understanding is everything, even when it changes nothing. Perhaps it is all we at times, can do.

03 December 2006


"Stories never really end, Meggie, even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don't end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page." - Mo

A truth telling as this book is unplanned for.

As the sequal to Inkheart, Inkspell stories of the Inkworld begins when Dustfinger was read back to the book by a strange charactered man named Orpheus leaving his apprentice Farid behind. Orpheus has always loved Inkheart and held Dusftfinger in highest regards. He's to him the hero of the story which explained why he purposedly did not read Farid into the story as per instructed by Dustfinger.

Right after Dustfinger disappeared into Inkworld, Basta came and if not for his quick feet, Farid would have been captured. He realized that Orpheus had been working for Basta and Mortola all this while.

Farid was determined to followed Dustfinger into Inkworld thus he looked for the only person he knew that can help red him in to the book - Maggie. When he reached Elinor's place, he warned Mo about Basta and Mortola but Mo did not think they will catch up with them anytime soon.

Meggie had been warned by Mo not to read aloud but Meggie didn't listened. She has been wanting to see Inkworld for herself and Farid had presented her with the opportunity to do just so. Without the knowledge of Mo and her mother, Meggie decided to follow Farid in to Inkheart.

In Inkworld, Farid went looking for Dustfinger and Meggie stayed with Fenoglio who have created a character based on Mo. Fenoglio who didn't like the way the story he created goes, asked Meggie to help him to changed it. He wrotes several new lines and Meggie did make it happened when she read them aloud but does things goes as he had planned?

Meanwhile in the real world, Mortola and Basta had come to Elinor's place. With the help of Orpheus, she brought Mo and Ressa to Inkheart so she can revenged them for her son's death. Once they reached Inkworld, she shot Mo.

Mo then was captured because he was mistaken with the Blue Jay. Meggie learnt about this and with the help of Dustfinger and Farid went looking for her parent thus the adventure trully begins.

Again, I did not dwell much on Dustfinger because if I do so, I will spoil everything but know this fact: Dustfinger has soared to new heights! The ending is unexpected (I'm not ashamed to admit that I shed tears reading it) and make it quite clear that it's not over as yet.

Note also then the evolution of Farid and Meggie's romance is heartwarming.

Can't wait to be enchanted by Inkdawn which scheduled to be released in 2008.

01 December 2006

The book of Ruth

Gosh, I have plenty of book reviews pending. Will try to find time to post it. Promise. So here's one I've finished read a month ago. This particular book took me more than two weeks to read it because at times I find the writer a bit overzealous.

The book is called The Book of Ruth and rightly so since it was supposedly written by the protagonist Ruth Grey who in my opinion is a bit mental in the head. She lives in a small town in Illinois with her verbally-abusive mother (May) and had a genious for a brother (Matt). The book basically tells the story of how Ruth survives with all the misfortunes that betide her family.

Matt is like the polar opposite of Ruth. He is a math prodigy and since he was a kid, May has been preoccupied with him and neglected Ruth. But Matt always felt suffocates with May's attention and he never gets along with Ruth. When he finally leaves for college, he cuts off communication with his family.

For Ruth to counter-balance the negativities that she received from May, she conjured up an angelic icon of Aunt Sid (May's younger sister). She found friends with the oddest personalities and fell in love with the worst.

Ruth married Ruby who in my opinion is more disfunction than Ruth. They has no other choice but to stay with May. Ruby and May did not get along at all. The tension is always there and it gets worse when her baby came along.

The ending of this book is twisted and unexpected. You expect something big to happen but then it hits you without warning. The last couple of chapters of this book were the only thing that kept me engaged and wanting to know more, which of course means I have to finish reading it eventhough it is 2.50am!

What astounding about this book is you can see Ruth narrates her families and the people around her with amazing astuteness and yet she remain clueless with the string of bad decisions and dreadful choices she made.

This is not the most upbeat book I've read but I'll tell you this: It sure is thought provoking.

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