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Shanghai Night-ing. Again!

First of all, I’d like to send big thanks to increasing number (I’m really surprised!) of readers for frequently visiting my blog. And I’d like to apologize for not concentrating much on my posts and commenting at fellow bloggers’. It’s been quite stressful these days dealing with health concern, car problem, late nights at work, my beloved Mac’s death (logic board dead…), I’m very overwhelmed and under alot of stress. I think I’m slowly handling and solving these, and hope to fully get back on my feet very soon.

Also I’d like to thank everyone for their support, warm messages and phone calls to cheer me up. I can’t thank enough for how much it meant to me and helped alot to get through this rough time.

ANYWAYS.

While anxiously waiting for my cancer screening exam date, I decided to re-visit Shanghai Night for some dumpling fix. My Japanese gang live mostly in Bondi area, now I’m slowly persuading them to come over to my area with yummy food. Oh, the last time I was there with Hisae and Maya, we sat on the table near back of the restaurant along with other customers. “Yas??” – I heard someone called me. As I wasn’t wearing my contact lens, it took me a few seconds to realize that it was Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella! What a pleasant surprise!

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This time with Mayuri, Mitsu, Hisae, Maya and myself. 5 hungry stomachs were more than ready to gobble up their yummy xiao long baos!

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Hot steamy Xiao Long Baos, steamed and fried dumplings – quickly disappeared from plates.

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And some greens and Hisae ordered 京醤肉絲 (shredded pork with peking pancake) – I didn’t see this on the menu, but they can certainly make one for you. And we got a free pancake dessert filled with red bean paste – because poor Maya had cut her upper lip with broken spoon they’d unknowingly provided. But no hard feeling, mistakes happen.

After our dumpling dinner, we all headed back to my place for desserts and video games. Yup, definitely not something people over 30 would do on Saturday night. We know. We really do.

Shanghai Night
275 Liverpool Rd
Ashfield NSW 2131, Australia
(02) 9798 8437


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Happy easter

easter

I’m gone chocolate hunting.
If you saw kids crying for missing chocolates, I have nothing to do with it.

One problem at a time.

Around mid November, I had a quick dinner in Bondi Junction with my friend. I drove down there, picked up my friend, and parked my car on the street – a valid parking ticket clearly displayed on the dashboard.

And. When we came out from the restaurant I found a penalty notice on the windshield – “Parked without valid parking ticket.”

WTF?

I had enough time left for the paid ticket and the ticket was visible from the outside. I know it rained a bit and it was dark while we were eating. I’d admit my mistakes when they are obviously at my fault. But this just didn’t simply make any sense to me.

So. The only logical thing to do is to COMPLAIN! I ain’t going to pay anything for someone else’s negligence. It’s not the money that matters but my PRINCIPLES.

Most fines for road offenses and penalties can be paid on State Debt Recovery Office’s website. They accept credit card, Bpay, cheques etc – They are ready to take your money alright. I assumed that penalty reviews could be claimed online. Wrong! You actually need to download a PDF,print it out, fill your details, and send it to their office along with supporting evidences. If they have a system to keep track of all offense records, couldn’t they invest more and allow us to lodge these claims? of course not.. ;p My claim form had been humbly (ha!) written and sent along with my valid parking ticket.

Anyways. It took them for nearly two months to respond to my claim.
Verdict: I WON.

penalty_waived
The letter says,

… We examined the offence and found the penalty notice was legally issued. However we considered the issues you raise and conclude that a caution should apply in this instance.
You do not need to pay the penalty.
Please make every effort to follow the road rules because similar leniency may not be given in the future…

EXCUSE ME? I’d like to know exactly what part was legal in this instance. Obviously the letter seems to be a template letter, but in my case this means “Be careful, parking rangers would do shitty job again and you might get fined.”

It’s not really convincing, but hey, at least I won. :p

And I don’t think I need to tell that I was fined by a police officer a week ago for (unknowingly) driving vehicle with expired registration label… (I forgot to remove the old one upon renewing!! Grrrrrr!!!)

***** p.s. *****
I’m extremely busy until the end of the month at least. I’m most unlikely to update my blog often…

Quite note: I can't be reached via phone for the next 72 hrs.

This is the 4th time I lost my phones!!
I’m getting a replacement iPhone in 3 days and my current number will be available again upon activating the new one.

squeaky clean.

OH MY GOD. Since the Christmas eve, my days have been full of food and booze. No wonder my new year started with an awful heartburn. (But surprisingly no hangover.)

I undoubtedly admit that I had really bad diet and irregular sleep pattern during this festive season. As a result, my face broke out with ZITS – those ones that are painful and wouldn’t go away soon! Yeah they are just pimples but I usually don’t have them at all – you know I have a flawless skin *gaisha laugh*

Face wash that I do every day – more than once. So in order to get rid of these zits as quick as possible, washing face throughly is something I’ve been already doing. Take enough vitamins, healthy diet and enough sleep – yeah I guess I’m going to have to work on these.

And. I remembered something my mother showed me when she was visiting Sydney last month.
It’s a Washing net.
washing_net

Well, it’s a washing cloth specially sold for making incredibly fine fluffy soap form from your daily facial cleanser. Your product would instruct to take small amount and make form first rather than apply directly. Apparently cleansing agents work better when lathered well (unless made to be used as is, of course), and that’ll also prevent soap from clogging in pore and being left on skin. So this washing net thing works pretty well.

A few drops or rubs on solid soap would make this much form!

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If you know me well, you know I want it. Like, right now.
But I came to think of it, it’s just a washing cloth. Though the washing net is usually finer mesh, but it’s pretty much like a body wash cloth. And I dug into my bath room cabinet and found another body wash cloth thingy. Just untie the washing cloth and cut it with a scissor.

Ta-da.
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I tested it with my daily cleansing gel. (This product is GREAT.)
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And here’s how it lathers up usually with my hands.
before
Not much form after 30 seconds rub. (well it’s actually a soapless cleanser anyway.)

and here’s with my hand made washing cloth.
after
What a difference!!

With that fluffy soap form, my face was washed and treated with toner and moisturizer – hoping my zits to disappear soon!

Happy New Year!

Hope you had a great NYE, and happy new year!

New Year Greetings

Oh kids.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas or festive season this year. As I posted, I had a quite eventful week in fact. I can’t believe we only have one more day till the new year! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!

On the busy christmas day, I had a phone call in the morning – which started with crazy scream. It was from Sho – my best friend’s son. Apparently he received and opened his christmas present from me! His mother had him call me to say “thank you” before he gets to play with it. But I could tell from his voice that his attention was paid all to the present. I got him the latest Nintendo DSi. Yeah I understand, I couldn’t be bothered to call anyone if I got a christmas present like that at his age. ;p

His father has passed away three years ago due to heart attack. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it has been for my friend to cope with it and raise her child alone. Other friends and I are committed to support her and her kid – just like she has been our dearest friend who supports us in any way.

During the conversation with Sho, he told me that I’m the best (of course!) and his mum is lucky to be my friend. (uh-huh you bet she is.)

And then, I certainly heard that sound. That echoing sound effect that Nintendo DS makes when it starts up. And I knew our conversation had just FINISHED.

sho

Here we have a new formula.

Gaming device > Yas

It must be the tiny things kids say. They’d say things so purely and simply. I could tell from her voice that what he had just said (before abandoning me for DS!) made her cry. “Ahhhh I’m so happy that I’m your child!!”

I don’t practice any specific religious teachings as I’m agnostic, but please God, let us lead to a better year for all children in the world and keep them away from unnecessary hardships, starvations, pains, terror, and sufferings.

Merry Christmas to me.

It was only a week ago when Mayu and I were on the phone saying that we should reward ourselves for non-stop working workload with something nice to end the hectic year with. I’d like to think I deserve it. We jokingly suggested a dinner at Tetsuya’s – knowing that there must be no way to book a table at this last minute.

And the reservation got confirmed with her and her husband’s direct connection to Tetsuya.

On the Christmas eve, happily married Mr. & Mrs. Tama and dateless old moi – three of us had a Christmas dinner at Tetsuya’s – which was filled with excellent and perfect food to drawn ourselves in a pool of indulgence. Oh yeah, Chrismas was just another excuse to dine out. It’s been nearly two years past (!) since the last time I had visited the restaurant. Long overdue that is!

mitsu_mayu

yas

After being welcomed by Maitre d’ and bunch of staffs, we briefly met Tetsuya himself in the hallway – and we totally appreciated his generous complimentary – Champaign and wines. (of course, not to mention that was for Mayu and Mitsu and I was a freeloader though. ;p )
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food_2
food_3

We all had each dish. Quite alot eh? In fact, it was about to strike midnight when we have finished. 5 hours had past just enjoying food and wines along with our conversation. I thought this was a perfect Christmas gift for myself this year for all the effort for the hard work I have performed. “The best Santa for me was myself this year.” – I thought.

But I was wrong apparently. Santa didn’t forget us, and gave us a big surprise at the end of the dinner. (we were literally astound!) I’ll just leave the details unsaid.

Tetsuya’s
529 Kent Street
Sydney NSW 2000

http://www.tetsuyas.com/

I wish you all have great festive seasons!

Interesting findings.

White Strawberries!

strawberries

After spending more than a decade, a nursery company in Yamanashi Japan produced a new variety of strawberry that never turn red.

I’ve just started reading,

200px-engulfedsedaris
David Sedaris’ new book, “When You Are Engulfed In Flames”
Because I like his books.


YouTube – David Sedaris on Letterman’s show.

Born to be efficient.

gift1

Christmas season has arrived and I’m sure everyone is getting ready for the festive events to come. Christmas dinner to prepare, gifts to buy, parties to attend etc.

When it comes down to gifts, I usually try to give what others want. Nintendo DS for kids, iPod for teens, stupid toys that 5 years old looses interest in like 3 days, whatever. My friends and I usually chip in to get something solid rather than giving multiple cheaper gifts individually – and it usually works well. Would you prefer to receive CDs/DVDs/books than a digital camera?

Around this time of the season, a group of my old relatives ALWAYS bring up this episode from my childhood. I haven’t celebrated with them ever since I had left Japan, but I’m sure they are still talking about it.

I was around 6-7 years old, getting excited for the Christmas, decorating our Christmas tree, enjoying Christmas themed kid’s TV programs – you get the idea.

Then, my mom asked me what I was going to ask Santa for a Christmas gift. And after a long “hmmmmmm weeeeeeell”, I apparently told her that I wanted his Credit Card.

Yup, Santa’s credit card. Bank of North Poll VIsa or Master, whatever.

“c… credit card? Santa’s credit card?” she asked. (with her disturbed face only reserved for something fearful or the time I told her that I wanted to grow up to be a circus clown.)

I simply thought of Santa’s convenience. I couldn’t decide what I really wanted for Christmas. I wanted to borrow his credit card so I can decide later and go purchase the gift by myself. You know, I didn’t want to bother him with my late request. How thoughtful kid I was.

“I didn’t know if you were a thoughtful kid or just too wise to be a kid,” my mom goes,
and finishes her sentence with “but now I see where that led to.”

She’s so getting another ugly sweater this year, if she brought up the story again.