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Archive for July, 2008


Nike Pulls ‘That Ain’t Right’ Ads Seen as Homophobic

It’s so funny that some people see everything so discriminately.

“Do I need chopsticks? Oh because I’m Asian, I’m supposed to use them all the time.”
“Would I want to eat Sushi? Oh just because I’m Japanese, I’m supposed to like them?”
“Do I want another muffin? What, you think one muffin wouldn’t be enough to fill my stomach because I’m fat?”

I'm trying to sleep here, geez.

Have you heard of or experienced Sleep paralysis? In Japanese, it’s called “Kanashibari (金縛り)” and you might have seen it in those Japanese horror movies. As Wiki explains it, it is a phenomenon that takes away your ability to move your body at all when you are in bed.

It’s happening to me quite often these days.

When I told this to my friends, some went all freaked out and told me all kind of bullshit like ghosts, spiritual crap and stuff – that I have absolutely NO belief in those at all. Not that I deny these, I just don’t care.

I’m simply very annoyed by this phenomenon preventing me from having a good night sleep.

As medically proven, this condition could happen to anyone, especially one is very tried or stressed. It usually occurs when you are about to fall asleep. Your brain gets ready to enter “sleep state” and shut down your body muscle to move. But for some reason your brain could turn back on all of a sudden after shutting down your body first. The state your body is asleep and brain is awake – that’s when Kanashibari starts. You can’t move.


I’d ignore it and continue to fall asleep, but when the phenomenon is about to happen, it ALWAYS gives me very fearful ringing in my ears… It usually starts with very high-pitch frequency noise, then gets louder and louder. When that noise sounds like happening right next to my ears, it’s too late to prevent from being bound. It’s simply damn annoying. And although I have experienced the same quite some times before, it still gives me horrific fear that makes me think “If I can’t free from it now, I wouldn’t be able to wake up ever again.”

It seems that this could be one of the reasons why people experience weird stuff like ghosts, aliens or astral projection and so on. I haven’t experienced or seen anything too weird or scary like some people say, but….

In Filipino Culture, this is treated as a superstition that unmarried adults over 30 usually experience sleep paralysis after eating a large dinner. It is also a myth that Filipinos who experience this usually die, leaving their neighbors to find them dead the next morning. Because of marriage’s importance to Filipinos, they usually share this myth so that their children, and other members of their expansive family, will marry well into their 20s.
From Wiki

That’s oddly specific, isn’t it. I eat alot and am an unmarried adult over 30. They think I should have been dead already. Thank you very much.

Extraordinary performing art – The Great Swallow

Performing artist Benjamin Verdonck has done his performing with his giant nest hanging on Weena Tower – 30m high up from the ground.

I myself don’t know what exactly is the concept behind this performing – it can be interpreted many ways. But wouldn’t it be so amusing to see a giant nest hanging on the tower in the middle of office district and watch “the swallow” in the city grow? Did the egg hatch? Will he fly away?

I found this incredibly impressive, especially the way this performance triggered me to wonder what would happen next and what it is trying to convey with the ending.

See more details at Nest Rotterdam website.

YouTube – The Great Swallow 1/3

YouTube – The Great Swallow 2/3

YouTube – The Great Swallow 3/3

Would you like a soy sauce with that?

“Soy sauce? Why? Because I’m Asian?!”

Indeed, one of the things I believe to be in my blood, aside from Karaoke & caffeine, must be soy sauce. It’s definitely a taste that I grew up with and very familiar with it.

Last weekend, I got to have a little taste of one-of-a-kind soy sauce from Japan. It was a kind called “Tamari” – purely made from soy beans. (Ordinary soy sauce is usually made from 5:5 of soy beans and wheat.) Tamari soy sauce can be found at Asian supermarkets in Sydney, but this one was from a local traditional Japanese soy sauce maker – producing premium soy sauce in a long-established method over 100 years.

I’m no expert on soy sauce, but even to me the taste was obviously distinct from ordinary ones. It certainly has another layer of flavor, which is very deep and complexed. It is salty as soy sauce should be, but also got certain sweetness and bitterness that are probably somewhat similar to carmel.

I was pretty impressed by the rich flavour of the soy sauce, and couldn’t help thinking “Oh this must go really well with Tuna Tataki, grilled mackerel with Daikon Oroshi (Grated white radish), and…” Seriously, if this creativity could be turned into energy resource, it must be able to solve energy crisis in the world.

Anyways. I was then on the internet searching if I could get a bottle of this tamari soy sauce. Unfortunately the maker doesn’t even have a web site and shops that sell it won’t ship out overseas. Bummer! I guess I’m going to have to carry the bottle back on my return from Japan.

Another interesting I found along the way is – Soy Salt!
Has anyone heard of this?!

It’s basically a freeze-dried soy sauce. It looks like rock sea salt, but also available in “powder” version. These are available in 6 flavours – Regular, light, Dark, Garlic & Chills, Garlic & Onions, and Soy & balsamic.

I guess it’s not like I had never seen anything like it – soup sachet that comes with instant noodles is pretty much the same thing. But it certainly is interesting to see as a pure soy sauce product, isn’t it?


I really do.

AGAIN for the third time in 2 months, Australia Post has lost my package. Plus this is the forth time they didn’t even buzz the intercom nor leave me a delivery attempt note.

I for one will not ever use Australia Post for important documents and package, nor purchase anything from shops that don’t offer alternative shipping methods…

Oh hai, I'm busy eating. Please leave a message after the burp.

My early Friday went really busy – a quick meeting at 9am, dropped by my local annoying post office to send out documents, and medicare office to get one of those certification that will allow me to say “Hey, you are not giving me medicare benefit, I ain’t paying for medicare tax.”

Before running off to another errand and meeting in the city, I went to Sideway cafe to get their yummy panini & soy latte for a quick lunch. And there I was, running into that beauty. It’s been awhile since I had seen you for the first time and been waiting to see you again…

Pavlova roll cake from Sideway deli cafe.

“Hi, can I have a roasted chicken panini and large soy lat… OH WHAT IS THAT THERE?!” *faint*

I’m actually not that big fun of pavlova, and I’d be the first one to loudly sigh if someone’s birthday cake was Pavlova. BUT. This one is the one I go “YES!” and of course I had to get one today. Oh wait, make that two.

Cream & chunky strawberry rolled with pavlova and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Not too sweet and goes perfectly with my latte. And damn, it’s generously thick cut.

After my panini, pavlova roll cake and soy latte, I headed out for a meeting. And I realized, after the meeting, I had a piece of roast pumpkin stuck between my teeth. Oh what the heck, it was very tasty.

It seems that the pavlova roll cake isn’t regularly on the menu like I was longing for it. Part of me wants to find it more often, but maybe that’s what makes our reunion more dramatic.

Now I’m onto the second slice. I have added this to be one of the places I want to die in. If you heard of news about a man dying from suffocation in a roll cake, that’ll be me.

Mitarashi Dango.

After some massive craving for Mitarashi Dango, I had to make it myself. Only one skew – because I didn’t want to make too many and fail. ;p

YUM! Should’ve made more!!

Sweets from childhood.

Do you remember the sweets you used to eat when you were kid? I’m interested to see what you had in your childhood as I spent most of my childhood growing up in Japan. I can guess what it’d be like in the US because I myself kind of experienced, but how about you guys in Australia? Sydney has alot of different cultures mixed together. There must be some interesting food that you grew up with.

As I previously posted, I had “Dagashi” as one of the sweets from childhood. But there’s also an interesting sweet category commonly identified as “Cyber sweets” I think Cyber Sweets should be officially defined in a dictionary as a word for “Sweets for children that adults would be disgusted.” You know one of those ice creams mixed with pieces of chocolate, cookies and candy warms – often called “Dirt.” Cyber sweets have the similar disgustingness, but it is called “cyber” and it had to take it to the different dimension. It uses visible chemical reactions..

NERU NERU NERU NE (Knead knead knead)

This is the most well-known cyber sweet that is still sold in Japan. It comes with two packs of powder ingredients, topping sauce/sprinkles, measuring syringe, plastic tray and kneading stick. You put the powder ingredients in the tray and pour water using measuring syringe. Mix it with kneading stick, and the colour of the mixed ingredients gradually changes and thickens. Then pick it up with the stick and put it in the sauce or topping sprinkles. Serve while it’s disgusting. Its texture is just like half melted marshmallow.

YouTube Video of NeruNeruNeru Ne. Commercial
(hahahaha this TVC hasn’t changed! This sweet is supposed to be “Witch’s magic sweet”)

I remember having fun with this – mainly because I wanted to play with it. Hmm, came to think of it, I guess I liked it as a toy of some kind. Not for eating.

The manufacture of the cyber sweets has many other cyber products.


As the package sort of tells what this is, you drip green liquid from the provided syringe into a solution made with provided powder ingredient, which turns into jelly balls in a glass. My mom used to be very disgusted with this saying “Eww that looks like frog eggs.” Exactly.

MukuMuku Soda

“Muku Muku” is an onomatopoeic word describing the state of something raising. Do I need to tell you more? As soon as you put the ingredient in a glass full of water, it starts bubbling which doesn’t pop. And you are to eat the bubbles. Ew.

Now that I’m way passed to even claim myself “young”, I don’t think I can ever enjoy these cyber sweets like I used to…


My to-do list for my short trip to Japan is getting longer and longer. As I previously mentioned, it’s humid scorching summer time in Japan. And I added these icy food to my to-eat list (which seems longer than to-do list.)

Premium creamy vanilla ice cream cube in frozen strawberry.

Pierre Marcolini Chocolatier Cafe – “Duo of white and red” I assume they are vanilla and framboise?

Premium Green tea Shaved Ice – only available in August! This was discovered by my friend in Tokyo. This tea room offers it as ‘tea’. Chilled high-grade premium Maccha (green tea powder tea) covered with shaved Ice and red beans. Taste of adult she said.

and for something not summery, my friends and I are planning on dinning @ ShabuAn – A Japanese restaurant that specializes in premium pork Shabu Shabu. (But we are onto their course dinner.)

and for Japanese style drinking @ Izakaya, I’m up for Tsuki no Shizuku (Dew of Moon) for some tofu cuisine and Japanese Sake. This place is just another Izakaya chain, but their interior is very Kyoto authentic and I love it. I’m booking for Ozashiki! (Private Tatami room) If you are in Japan, try this izakaya in Ueno or Ginza.

Shaved ice interpreted by patisserie?

I know, it’s chilly winter time in Sydney now. But I’m going back to Japan in a few weeks, and apparently it’s been unbelievably hot & sticky summer going on in Tokyo this year.

I was putting together a to-do & shopping list for my short (literally) trip to Japan. I always forget quite alot of things to do once I got there. And you know that more than half of my list is filled with food related things.

One of the summer food I can think of in Japan is “Kakigori (Shaved ice). There’re so many flavours available that I’d even go “WHAT THE HELL?!” When I was chatting with my friend online, she mentioned that she has had a shaved ice dessert at AOKI Paris Japan Boutique. AOKI is a high-end patisserie in Paris and Japan, and I was like, “Shaved Ice at AOKI? Really? Isn’t that too ordinary food for shops like AOKI?”

And what I found after searching was this:

“Kakigori Rose et Fraise” (Shaved ice of rose and strawberry)

So it’s not really a shaved ice we are familiar with. Description I found says the top part is more of a sorbet like shaved frozen strawberry juice and bottom is filled with rose infused mousse. Looks yummy. *adding to to-do* I also found something looking yummy on their web site, but too bad they are available only at their shops in Paris…

As I was thinking that it is interesting when such an ordinary food got interpreted uniquely by a patisserie, a newsletter email from Universal arrived.

Gaytime is returning to their dessert menu! Maybe it’s a good excuse to revisit for some gaytime. *wink wink*

25 things that make you ugly.

When I was reading my friend’s blog, I came across this list of things that make you ugly.

Person who…
1) Can’t smile.
2) Can’t say “Thank you”
3) Can’t simply enjoy eating. (Meaning, can’t say simple “yum!” when it is.)
4) Has no enthusiasm.
5) Has no confidence.
6) Always grumbles.
7) Has no envision or belief.
8) Always think it’s someone else’s fault that things don’t go well.
9) Doesn’t know he/she is ugly hearted and fits in this list.
10) Mumbles due to lack of confidence.
11) Gets hurt by tiny things.
12) Can’t be happy for others’ success.
13) Has no spark in eyes.
14) has his/her mouth always turned down at the corners. (sulking face)
15) is good at blaming others.
16) holds resentments/grudges.
17) Can’t think positively.
18) is unconscious that he/she has issues to solve.
19) Can’t do something he/she could do for others without a return.
20) Can’t believe in others.
21) Has no purpose in life.
22) has so much arrogance.
23) Can’t listen to opinions from others even if he/she doesn’t agree with them.
24) Thinks he/she is always right.
25) Says things or behaves in a way that brings others down when it’s absolutely not necessary.

Also, someone I admire once told me that it’s an ugly thing if you can’t find anything positive about something/someone.

I’ve still got alot to learn.