My New Pet

My parents ended their world trip and came back with a new pet for me πŸ™‚ They picked him up in San Francisco, Chinatown where the old Chinese guy told them 2 rules:-

  1. Never give it a bath or get it wet
  2. No matter how much it cries or asks, NEVER EVER feed it after midnight

Too too cute, huh?

40 phrases for work

It’s Monday and yes, I wish I wasn’t in work but I’m encouraged by an email a good friend sent me last week, we’ve all read it before and like she said it’s still funny. Some days, I wish I could pull a couple of these lines at some of the meetings I have to sit through … positive thoughts now … in the meantime, I’ll enjoy the Ally McBeal moments that happen only in my head when I actually say one of these lines πŸ™‚

  1. I can see your point, but I still think you’re full of shit.
  2. I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.
  3. How about never? Is never good for you?
  4. I see you’ve set aside this special time to publicly humiliate yourself.
  5. I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.
  6. Who lit the fuse on your tampon?
  7. I’m out of my mind at the moment, but feel free to leave a message.
  8. I don’t work here – I’m a consultant.
  9. It sounds like English, but I don’t understand a damn word you’re saying.
  10. Ahhh. I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.
  11. I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.
  12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
  13. I have plenty of talent and vision – I just don’t give a damn.
  14. I’m already visualising the duct tape over your mouth.
  15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
  16. Thank you. We’re all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
  17. The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.
  18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
  19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks?
  20. I’m not being rude. You’re just insignificant.
  21. It’s a thankless job, but I’ve got a lot of karma to burn
  22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
  23. And your cry-baby whiny assed opinion would be?
  24. Do I look like a f..king people person to you?
  25. This isn’t an office. It’s Hell with fluorescent lighting.
  26. I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.
  27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
  28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
  29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
  30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
  31. Oh, I get it. Like humour. Only different.
  32. A cubicle is just a padded cell without the door.
  33. Can I trade this job for what’s behind door number 1?
  34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
  35. Nice perfume, but must you marinate in it?
  36. Chaos, panic and disorder – my work here is finally done.
  37. How do I set a laser printer to kill.
  38. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a salary.
  39. I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter.
  40. Wait a minute – I’m just trying to imagine you with a personality.

P/S: Oh yah … Happy Birthday, my dear husband πŸ™‚ Thank you for continually inspiring me to be a better person. That’s the other reason I wish I wasn’t in the office but at home with him … … so at 6:30pm today, no one gets in my way or they’ll get a #14 … at the very least a #20 πŸ™‚ Have a beautiful week ahead y’all!!!

Latest Desire – The iPhone 3G

I’ll even change my telco carrier to the one that I don’t like … there are rumours that Starhub will get the license too … so if I can hold out till then, I’ll buy it once they get it in their inventory. While I’m buying time and trying to figure out who to go with, I’ll hang out at Apple stores to whet my appetite till I get my own.

Good to be Home but Missing Tokyo (Jules)

Yeah, it’s nice to be home especially since I haven’t been spending much time with my husband. I’m looking forward to the next couple of weekends to chill with him (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that his projects end on schedule and they don’t give him more episodes to write) so it was nice to have a Sunday to clean the house, not do much and enjoy a sunset together.

That picture was taken at like 7:30pm on Sunday … is it just me or are we enjoying slightly longer ‘summer’ days? I do miss Tokyo though. It’s such a surreal city for me, two sides of a coin that’s constantly flipping, is the best way I can make sense of it. In a recent article Tokyo makes its way into the top 10 cities to live in, despite having 134 murders a year. None of the other cities came even remotely close to that. Crime rates aside, there’s an energetic buzz coated with politeness that appeals to my senses. Hey, there’s Tiger Beer in a Vietnamese Restaurant where businessmen in suits enjoy pho by themselves. I’m not sure that happens everywhere in the world.

More than that, I miss Jules. She’s the kind of friend that I can not see for weeks on end and when we meet, it’s like no time has passed. Our philosophies in life are so similar and she continually inspires me with her life choices πŸ™‚ When it comes to friends, I’m real blessed to have a number of them just like Jules πŸ™‚

While Jules and I catch up over msn, emails and our blogs, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to make my way to Tokyo again … and this time for fun πŸ˜‰

Building My Ghibli Library and a Celebrity Sighting

I’ve decided to face the fact that Studio Ghibli is not and has never produced a box set of its feature films. Yes yes yes, I’ve seen them too. As great as they look, I’m sorry to let you know they are not legit. I’ve searched Tokyo and have been told that no such box set exists. So after all this time of being in denial, I’ve decided to start collecting the Miyazaki features:-

NausicaΓ€ of the Valley of the Wind
Laputa: Castle in the Sky
My Neighbour Totoro
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Porco Rosso
Princess Mononoke
Spirited Away
Howl’s Moving Castle

So this recent trip to Tokyo sees the real beginning of this collection πŸ™‚ That’s the fun thing about starting a collection, there’s something to look forward to.

Meanwhile, I was in Tokyo when Miyazaki’s latest film, Ponyo On the Cliff by the Sea premiΓ¨red. I would have braved the crowds to check it out but since my Japanese is about as good as my Norwegian, I figure I better wait for the release with the English subtitles.

What would you do if you found a goldfish with a head? If you really think about it, it’s a really weird concept but if anyone can make a goldfish princess enchanting, it’ll be Miyazaki. It’s been a while since I’ve been brought on a great ride so I’m really looking forward to this πŸ™‚ And I had a celebrity sighting in Tokyo too!!

He is the cutest, isn’t he?

Eating in Tokyo

I can’t leave Tokyo without a post on eating πŸ™‚ Thanks to Jules I had an amazing organic meal as well as cheap and totally yummy sushi. Both in the Shibuya area. I’ve got to get the name of the sushi place but it’s a right after the Hachiko exit, cross a huge intersection, under the freeway and it’s the first sushi place you see on your right. If you’ve walked for over 7minutes, you’ve walked too far.

I love that sushi in the last picture. It’s some pickle and a herb, I can’t find it in Singapore and had my fill at this little hole in the wall in Shibuya πŸ™‚ Jules also brought me to this really nice organic place, Chef V also in the Shibuya are.

It has a nice enough ambience kinda reminds me of a couple of places in Singapore. We sat in the same spot Jules and Maki sat the last time they were there, which is a good sign since they had such a good time. We ordered a couple of starters, ginger ale and a risotto to share.

Yakitori and Ring Side Seats

Tonight my colleague (from the ministry that my agency reports to) and I decided to check out Shinjuku. We took a train that took longer than I anticipated and got lost wandering around. Most of the shops were closed but there’s something about Tokyo that makes you able to walk around aimlessly … ok, it’s just me and the effect Tokyo has on me πŸ™‚ While roaming the streets and enjoying a conversation with a new friend, we decided to pop into a tiny little side street place to have a late night snack of yakitori.

I had the veggies, while he had his fill of chicken, beef and pork … all the meat in one sitting. Just when I thought it was going to be an uneventful night, a fight breaks out along the counter we’re sharing with like 6 other men, most aren’t sober. Ok, not a fight fight but it started with yelling, rather loud yelling and one guy squeezing by everyone taunting the other guy to take it outside. I look over to my friend who’s calmly chomping on his Japanese version of satay and I wonder if I’m paranoid thinking we should make like a tree and get out of there. Inspired by his calmness, I take a bite out of my mushroom when the guy outside picks up a chair and threatens to throw it over all of us to hit the other guy AT THE OTHER END OF THE COUNTER.

He only threatened and never threw anything, after a bit more yelling that I didn’t understand, he walked off. Everyone went back to their yakitoris and all I could imagine was the headline in the Straits Time if he had indeed thrown something and hit me and my friend who by the way, were the closest to him and in the line of fire – Singapore Civil Servants Slain in Yakitori Bar Fight in Shinjuku.

Ok ok, I’m a tad dramatic … it was just a chair but hey, in Tokyo, one can never be sure that he isn’t carrying a knife πŸ˜›

Museum Ghibli and Tokyo University

As part of the seminar, we get a tour of the Ghibli Museum πŸ™‚ and meet up with the engineering department that deals with animation at the Tokyo University.Β  I already enjoyed the Ghibli Museum the first time around and this time, it still made my heart ache a little.Β  The place is a must for anyone who is remotely into animation.Β  Miyazaki designed it like a playground and you can’t help but feel like playing when you’re in there … just like his animation I guess, they bring you into a fantastical world full of imagination.

So as I walked the halls that I walked through just 4 months ago, I still feel the same rush of awe that fills you when you surrounded by the work of a genius.Β  In the middle of the visit, someone commented to me that the animation scene in Singapore shouldn’t pretend to be the next Pixar, we should focus on their niche strength and create stuff like Tomato Twins … … I wonder if he knew I was part of the team that created Tomato Twins and how my favourite series at that time was Powerpuff Girls.Β  That said, I’m very proud of Tomato Twins, sure it has its flaws and isn’t Totoro but it was the turning point for me in my animation career, it made me realise yes, we can do it.Β  I’m looking forward to when I find the right team and get to do it again πŸ™‚

Meanwhile, I’ll appreciate that my civil service job that serves the animation industry gives me the opportunity to visit some really cool places.Β  I’ll even be grateful to be sitting in a cold tutorial room learning about how other countries grow their animation industry πŸ˜‰

In Tokyo Again

Definitely not a bad thing for sure πŸ™‚ just wished I had time to roam the streets, check out temples, chill in parks rather than being in discussion on how animation impacts culture. Nonetheless, it is still an opportunity to learn and be inspired to think about creating kick ass animation again πŸ˜‰ More than that, it’s good to catch up with Jules again and bring her goodies from Singapore.

So we met up at Ebisu station where she now lives and where the cute Jap guys hang out … lucky Jules :p She was wearing a top from Momo and Tessycat when she opened yet another top from me … timing couldn’t be better as she I was about to send her the T-shirt I got her when my trip to Tokyo was confirmed, so she had it hand delivered πŸ˜‰

Momo also had me courier 2 cans of Pi Pah Kao drink :p I’m just happy to be back in Tokyo … this is one city I could possibly live in for a bit … … wonder if there’s any Japanese animation studio out there who would hire me πŸ™‚ I can dream, can’t I?

Off to Tokyo

Yep, I’m waiting in T3 to get on my plane … it’s mixed feelings as I’m excited to see Jules soon but I’m not sure about being stuck in a seminar for the next 3 days :pΒ  will update with pics once I get there πŸ™‚