Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pares Mami House

How did that slogan go again? "There are some things money can't buy..."?

I just realized how true this is after I had my first pares from Pares Mami House.

For those of you who aren't familiar with this, pares is a local dish here in the Philippines which comprises of beef stew, soup, and rice. A lot of people would probably know Jonas as the number 1 pares house in the Philippines.

pares lunch in pares mami house

This is where I beg to differ. I love Jonas for their pares and siomai, but I think Pares Mami House is a very good rival for Jonas. And cheaper too, only P67 for a pares meal.

So Pares Mami House has no air conditioning in the Philippine summer heat; so the place is on a corner street, open air to all pollution; so you get to sit on the shop's bar with a bunch of other guys; but this is one thing you can't deny: The food is excellent because you can really taste the love these people put into their food. Call me silly, but I've seen and tasted how the person cooking can really change how food tastes.

And Pares Mami House? They love their food, they love their job.

And that, my friends, is something money can't buy.

I just hope my brother lets me go with him again the next time he visits the place. xDDD

A Hello Kitty Shoppe?

I've been going around and about Greenbelt 5 (?) thanks to my IELTS exams. Most of you know that I hardly get to go out and have fun thanks to my near impossible circumstances, so forgive me if I find the most simplest things in life amusing~ xD

Anyhow, I have to walk from the MRT station in Ayala to SM Makati, Landmark, then Greenbelt to get to the IDP office. The first time I had to do this was when I took my English lessons on Valentines Day.

And wouldn't you know it?

hello kitty shoppe in greenbelt makati

This is one of the things I saw on Valentines Day. I've seen this Hello Kitty icon in Hong Kong some time ago, and I believe it's a Hello Kitty Clothing Line for adults.

Yes, Hello Kitty has entered the fashion industry and is taking the world by storm. I'm actually curious how it will fair here in there Philippines.

And I'm pretty sure *someone* will be shopping there quite often.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

So Far So Good...

a.illusions yukee is so not happyA.illusions has been continuously receiving updates despite my super busy schedule. Although I still haven't been able to regain the 1 comic a week rhythm, at least it's off its indefinite hiatus as promised.

Tori gets a quick lesson on bugs and arachnids from Yukee in this update. Yukee is probably one of the most difficult characters to draw because of her long hair. >_<;;; I don't like using curve rulers because I somehow end up with very stiff looking hair..! ;.;

I'd prebably never get tired of drawing Chibi Lei-Lei though. *3* I have to think of the next Lei-Lei Explains segment, but I have no idea what to talk about. ;.; Someone give me ideas please?

You know, when I look at the first time I drew Rei's full body shot, I think the latest update made her lose a lot of weight. o_o;;; I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing when I think about it. Perhaps my anatomy is improving... even just a little?

Anyhow, I took my IELTS exam in Mandarin Oriental Hotel last Saturday (I took lots of interesting photos that day, but I'll save that for later). I think I did pretty well, aside form the sprain I got on my right ring figer for writing too quick and too hard... xD;;; The review really helped me out a lot in reminding my about the stuff I already know and teaching me new skills and techniques to tackle this "foreign" language.

My brother said he'll be taking the exam too. He wants me to teach him what I learned in class but I'm really not a teacher. ._.;;; I told him to pay the extra P2k to get himself ready but he simply refuses. -_-;;; He's not exactly the worse English speaker/writer out there, but he's not the best either. It makes me worry. *_*

I wish people would listen to me more. ~.~ But I suppose that's never going to happen due to my age... which can be a good thing at times, but this time isn't one of them.

I can feel the summer heat of the Philippines creeping up on me again. It's making people in the house a little more cranky than usual. I'm kinda worried about my mom since she always seems angry for the past few days. I blame it on the heat, but I think something else is bothering her. I think she's really worried about her sons whom she feels are getting no where fast. At the same time, her daughter's going to Canada and she's unsure how she'll fair in that foreign country because of the recession.

All I can really do is pray and hope to God that I'm doing the right thing.

Friday, February 20, 2009

No Reservations

no reservations movie poster, catherine zeta-jones and aaron eckhartWhen someone suddenly enters your world and you realize that you you are no longer the best there is, how would you handle the situation?

Kate is a master chef who had everything cut out for her. She takes her job seriously and runs her kitchen with a certain strictness that intimidates everyone from her co-workers, her boss, and to the Greenwich Village clientèle.

Unfortunately, Kate's sister had an accident and she is left to care for her niece, Zoe. Worse, sous-chef Nick filled in for her while she was on leave, winning the hearts of everyone in what she considers to be her world. Even Zoe opened up to Nick a lot easier than she would to her own aunt, making Kate feel threatened by her rival.

And just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, Kate's boss wanted to replace her with Nick.

The movie really got to me since I use to work like Kate. I took my work so seriously that I forgot about everything else life had to offer. This movie reminded me that there is more to life than the work place. It's a nice, "feel good" movie for workaholics to remind themselves to step back and see the bigger picture.

I have to say, Catherine Zeta-Jones still looks as pretty as ever. Maybe even too pretty for Aaron Eckhart. *^.~*

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thought Bubbles

sad aly/eichi/potato from a.illusionsI've been going through my Haloscan account, happy to find all my comments still intact. I'm also doing the mind-numbing process of having to copy-paste all the comments to A.illusions' new home because... Well, because I wanted to show my readers that I don't take any advise for granted.

It was then I realized that I had put something in the back-burner for far too long.

I was never fluent with my Japanese. Most of the time, I could repeat what I hear, but that doesn't mean I can spell/write it down accurately.

People took the time to be so gracious and let me know that some of my Japanese in the manga is off. I've also received comments that tell me how difficult it is to read in 2 different dialects. In order to correct this, I wanted to change all the Japanese dialogues into English. I still have the original files with me, so it won't be too difficult to change, but it will take a lot of time and effort.

Sigh... these are the days when I really miss having Tori and Shiji help me out with my webbie. ;~; But then again, it's about time I stop relying on other people and grow up already. I mean, I'm only beginning to learn the basics of HTML..! How sad is that?

It does give me a good idea to keep myself busy during the down times in the office on Sunday. Yes, I am the unappreciated loser who works during her weekends. Go figure.

On another note, I'm still debating whether or not I should get my domain name back... I've got blogspot as a free-host now, and all I need to do is buy my old domain name to redirect everything there. My only fear with this is that what if I suddenly don't have the money to pay for it again and I lose my readers again for the nth time? $10 a year is still $10 and you never know when that money will be critical for your survival.

Argh... I should sleep on this and decide soon.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Creativity Flows

a.illusions' tori avalon sheepishI believe I've had what is called a "creative week", which I really need more of.

A.illusions' page079 was a bit of a trial by patience. The final panel was a little annoying because of the bugs' details. When I drew the bug back in 2005, I was inspired by the Megaman manga series I had. I'll double check later who the mangaka is... You guys can view a close-up shot of the bug in page027 and a colored version in page030.

kurumi nui singing to the moonThis also marks the first time I used Sepia for the comic panels. It makes the panels looks like a flashback though, I'm not sure if I want to try and do this again...

I'm itching to create more updates for A.illusions though! I haven't been this inspired since I started this webmanga. I just hope it lasts since I'm in a bit of a pinch for the rest of this month.

See Tori's expression there? That's how I feel right about now... >.<;;;

I'm also drawing up a bunch of Onegai My Melody fanarts. This one is a sketch I did at the back of a meeting handout when I got bored... not during the meeting, mind you! I was on lunch break..!

All the sketching I've been doing lately reminds me to finish up another art meme that's been in the back burner for some time now... Maybe I can get that done soon too.

But my creative endeavors didn't stop with pen and paper.

I've been doing some clay art again. This time, some Hello Kitty Online creatures. The idea came about when we were discussing about the kind of HKO merchandise we wouldn't mind having... And with Abby's "The Grand Order of the Box Pig", I figured... eh... why not?

hello kitty online's boar / box pig clay art in a bottle

Gotta love DSLRs~! *o*

I still owe Ernest a sheep... I need to get some white clay tomorrow, and some more yarn to create another slouchy hat for cosplaying purposes...

It's funny how creativity sparks when I'm at my busiest... or rather, most stressed times.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Do You Need to Change Jobs?

I have been enlightened! Thanks, Jaz~

Would Hello Kitty be considered as a small animal?

Mademoiselle Butterfly by Ogura Akane

mademoiselle butterfly 2 cover chinatsuA beautiful, romantic, shoujo manga set during Japan's historic war with America, Mademoiselle Butterfly tells the tale of a little girl who was sold to become a geisha. As with many geisha of her time, Butterfly would be married off to whoever wishes to purchase her at the price her house determines.

When she was young, Butterfly often visited her neighbor Chinatsu, a tattoo artist. She loved watching him work, and she had always wanted him to tattoo her, but Chinatsu refused, because she was too young. So instead, he would draw on her arm using brush and ink.

Eventually, Butterfly fell in love with Chinatsu. But she almost could not fulfill her wish to become his wife when she was bought by a foreigner... ironically, one of Chinatsu's clients. Butterfly could not refuse since it was their custom, and it seemed Chinatsu accepted their fate to depart.

Butterfly was heart-broken and wept for days. Fortunately, the foreigner cared for her enough to return her to Chinatsu. He could not express his true feelings at the time, but Chinatsu loved being around her and missed her terribly when she wasn't around.

When Butterfly was of age, she and Chinatsu married. Butterfly's family was overjoyed that she had found happiness, even if they had to sell her away. Their love grew more as time progressed, despite the many trials they faced. One major trial was when Chinatsu was called to serve the military, leaving a preganant Butterfly to be cared for by his father.

Five years had passed since they last saw each other, Butterfly recieved a letter from the military that Chinatsu had been killed in the line of duty. She had a difficult time accepting that Chinatsu was gone forever, but her twin girls helped her find a purpose to live on.

Forunately... The manga has a very heart-warming ending that I will not spoil. :3

There's no point in a summary if I were to spoil the ending and mentioned all the details in the story. So go buy it, it's only 2 volumns after all... And I'm definitely buying them when I get the ch

Thanks for the recommendation, Yarrow. ^^ Now go update your blogs! >E

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Of Gundam Toys and Music...

Because of a 70% off sale in Toys R Us in Robinsons, I was able to get Buster and Duel for only P150 and P100 each respectively.

Being the good aunt that I am, I decided to give the Buster model to my nephew. Since I had given him a PVC of its pilot a few years ago, I thought it would make a good match.

gundam seed pvc model kits buster and duel

As you can see, we assembled them on our dining table... Gundams on an apple and flower tablecloth, who would have thought..?

Anyhow, it was fun assembling with my nephew last night. For some reason, he couldn't stop making small, hilarious comments all night long. Maybe because of his new toy, or something he ate, but it did make a good memory.

I'll probably put some weathering on it later. And apparently, my Duel is smaller than his Buster. I wonder if I made the right choice of taking Duel?

In other news, I'm still waiting for the single release of Yuna Ito's Trust You, Gundam 00 Season 2's second ending theme. I don't know why I love this song so much, but the beat and the lyrics really got to me...

For you Karaoke lovers out there, here is the lyrics thanks to Words of Songs. Enjoy!

trust you (TV Size Version)
Vocals: Ito Yuna
Lyrics: MARKIE
Composition: MARKIE
Arrangement: Nakamura Jin

Hana wa kaze ni yure odoru you ni
Ame wa daichi o uruosu you ni
Kono sekai wa yorisoiai ikite iru no ni
Naze hito wa kizutsukeau no
Naze wakare wa otozureru no

Kimi ga tooku e itte mo mada
Itsumo kono kokoro no mannaka
Ano yasashii egao de umetsukusareta mama
Dakishimeta kimi no kakera ni
Itami kanjite mo mada tsunagaru kara
Shinjiteru yo mata aeru to
I’m waiting for your love

I love you, I trust you
Kimi no kodoku o wakete hoshii
I love you, I trust you
Hikari de mo yami de mo
Futari da kara shinjiaeru
Mou hanasanaide
Flowers sway in the wind as if dancing
So that the rain moistens the earth
Even though this world is alive, coming closer together
Why do people hurt each other?
Why do partings come about?

Even if you go far away
You’re still always right in the middle of my heart
While they remain completely buried by that kind smile
Even if I feel pain
In fragments of you that I held, because we’re still connected
I believe that we can meet again
I’m waiting for your love

I love you, I trust you
I want you to share your loneliness with me
I love you, I trust you
Even in light, even in darkness
Because we’re together, we’re able to believe in each other
Please don’t leave anymore

Monday, February 2, 2009

More Golfing~

pangya kooh hole in one smileI am cursed.

There's really something about Pangya that I'm attached to. There have been other games out there like Granado Espada that got me hooked for a while (which reminds me, I need to update my client), but Pangya? I can't seem to let go.

I'm not even good at it. I mean, after playing the game a few times on the PC, I've only been able to achieve one lucky hole-in-one shot as you Pangsters out there can see since you're probably familiar with this pose of Kooh's that I cleaned up on the right.

And still, despite being a poor player, I find myself practicing and playing this game over and over again, hoping to achieve the legendary -42 in the Ice Spa map... Even though I won't be able to grab all the costumes for Kooh since they're 90% Astros (paid by cash), I still find myself picking through the 10% in pang (in-game money) to see which suits her best.

...yes, I am cursed.

At least I got to work on the next A.illusions update a little. A bit of inks and a bit of pencils are on the page, but a heck of a lot of work still needs to be done...

I just hate drawing backgrounds, but I know I have to do them, so... *works on them more*

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I. Am. An. Addict.

kooh pangya canon eagle poseAfter several failed downloads, I was finally able to play Albatross 18 (aka Pangya International) again. I blame Pangya PSP for making me want to play this; despite my knowledge as to how much I can get carried away when I re-develop my addiction to the game...

There are a lot of items available in the online game that not available in the PSP. As far as I can tell anyway... I still have several tournaments to win the PSP version.

There is also a big difference in the game play between PC and PSP. For one thing, my left hand doesn't respond as quickly as my right, so I miss my pangyas a lot for Albatross 18.

basic kooh pangyaSadly, no Vocaloid costumes are available in Albatross 18... But I'm happy to have at least earned enough pangs to buy a new skirt for Kooh. :3 You can't see it too well on the canon pic, but I'll take a nicer screen shot next time.

Nevertheless, it's a little disappointing that most of the items/clothing for the characters are only available for purchase in Astros. If I continue my pursuit in the International version, I doubt any amount of pang will make my Kooh as unique as the Kooh I have in the Philippine version.

Although I have to say, the reset of records is a great move. Now I can try to win more pangs and purchase more characters by beating my records one step at a time.

I just hope my impatience won't get the better of me. I'm still thinking of whether or not I should buy Arin and Kaz. Maybe even Max, but I can't decide yet...

So, anyone care for a game or two? :3