Sunday, February 26, 2012

Memories Rewatched

1. Disney's Beauty And The Beast 3D
2. Nobita's New Great Adventure Into The Underworld

So recently we've relived some old memories. Just the other day The Chief bought tickets for Beauty And The Beast 3D, which got us all excited as we weren't aware that it was screening then.

We never did get to watch The Lion King 3D that screened earlier somehow. We were aware that it was going to be out in the cinemas, but somehow we totally missed it. But for Disney's Beauty And The Beast 3D? No way.

You know, the first version of Beauty And The Beast that we ever knew of portrayed Beauty as having 2 other selfish sisters, a merchant father who got lost and found his way to a castle, stays the night and as he was leaving the following day plucks a rose from the garden for Belle only to be confronted by the Beast...

...Wikipedia has the story. Yeah, it's the same one right down to the bit where her sisters rub their eyes with onions to fake crying. There's no Gaston, no animated household furniture, no songs.

Disney changed that all right. We actually recall that we bought the cassette tape of the soundtrack even before we got to watch the movie. Knew the songs by heart. Then we borrowed the VHS tape from Randall and was wowed.

We think we had more impact from the soundtrack compared to the movie. Even after Beauty And The Beast, it was the soundtrack cassette tapes that we bought instead of the VHS tape of the movie for Aladdin and The Lion King. By the time Pocahontas came along we've made the slow switch to CDs (they weren't considered cheap then at nearly RM50 a disc!).

Gosh. The soundtrack. We'd that tape plugged into our Walkman playing so much we're surprised the tape lasted all the torture we've put it through. Fast forward. Rewind. Fast forward. Switch to side B, more fast forwarding and rewinding. We found out that the soundtrack was a stereo recording when our earphones weren't plugged in properly and we were surprised when half the townsfolk in "Belle" couldn't be heard at all, we thought there was something wrong with our tape!

Even though we've watched it again on DVD (last recollection was in Glasgow, the extended version with "Human Again" included), we always remember the scenes as though we were watching the blurry VHS version. Until we watched the 3D version.

Oh wow.

The feeling was the same as when we first made the switch to contact lenses. Everything bright and clear as we walked down Argyll Street!

The stained glass at the prelude depicting the story of the Prince transforming into the Beast!

And in 3D!

Somehow we were reminded of our 3DS, where the 3D effect was seen by a sense of depth rather than things popping out of the screen. And with such clarity. Made us want to run out and buy the 3D Blu-Ray version after the movie!

Well, so far we've resisted from buying the Blu-Ray due to the fact that we haven't a Blu-Ray player nor a 3D tv.

As for Doraemon, we admit that we had grown out of it a long time back. We admit, we used to watch the BM-dubbed cartoons (known for its high-pitch voice acting) and bought the BM-subbed comics. Asides from the short stories, there were the longer adventures that took up an entire book, featured a fair number of gadgets and had fantastic plot lines as compared to the mundane everyday setting as found in the short stories. Also perhaps we enjoyed it more because there was no "moral to the story" as found in the short stories.

The one we enjoyed most was Nobita's Great Adventure Into The Underworld, dealing with magic and demons.

So we got to watch the 2007 movie remake of that story, and we're actually surprised at ourself for not watching the original movie. Still, we remembered bits and pieces of the manga and were pleasantly surprised that the remake had great artwork and animation (like Doraemon's reactions when he sees a mouse!).

There were some changes that makes us want to get the book to read through again, just to see what they've removed and/or added.

The funny thing is, the DVD only has the cartoon in either Chinese (which we have limited comprehension) or Malay. In Malay, the translation is fine (although we're a bit puzzled at certain names like Lampu Moonlight and Bintang Devil instead of a full Malay translation), but we're somewhat disappointed by the expressions of the voice acting. Japanese anime tend to be rather extremely expressive and the voice acting here seems only half there to us. It's good, but could be better.

If we had the option we would have watched the show in Japanese with English subs. Perhaps somewhere out there there's a version of the DVD with exactly just that (we're not sure if we're ready for an English subbed version of Doraemon, though...).

Oh well. Now to wait for Disney to release The Little Mermaid in 3D!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

East VS West: Valentine

1. Chap Goh Meh Celebrations
2. Pre-Valentine Prep
3. V-Day

So if it wasn't for the Chief we wouldn't have known that Chap Goh Meh is considered the Chinese Valentine's Day. To us it was always more of a blind-date-fishing day where people throw oranges (and lately bananas...?) into the lake for other people to fish out and call the following day.

Although we can actually picture a scenario where a guy quickly snaps up oranges in a net, starts calling numbers (using a new prepaid sim card instead of his usual mobile number), checks to see which girl answers, and if he doesn't like her he'll hang up quickly and throw her orange back into the lake.

Anyways what this means for us now is that we have to prepare even more for the two days!

Interestingly for Chap Goh Meh this year it was celebrated with the Clan Chief and their friends in a big Chinese New Year dinner celebration, with the, ah, associated games to follow.

These dinners with the Clan Chief, we've never yet gotten over that stressful feeling when dining with them. Perhaps because of the language barrier. But then again we're quite thankful for that language barrier sometimes, it allows us to enforce our shy violet personality that we are.

We've also noticed since Christmas that we don't go window shopping as much as we used to. Gone are the days where we wander around spending the entire evening and night in 1U or MidValley planning out our purchases.

Thankfully (for now) there are still some gift ideas for us to get the Chief, and we've managed to prepare a small gift for Chap Goh Meh and started planning for Valentine's Day.

Yes well we place more emphasis for Valentine's and Christmas while the Chief gets more excited about Chinese New Year. Home decorating will be easy delegated once we stay together.

We've gotten the Valentine's Day card, the presents wrapped, and printed out the iTunes App Store gift (instead of emailing it), and instead of chocolates decided on cookies. We were almost late sending the card, though, but lucky for us the card arrived on the day itself! We're wondering if our postal service actually identify Valentine's Day cards, and hold them only to deliver it on Valentine's Day itself. Truth be told we were expecting The Chief to receive the card only on the 15th.

Now we feel a bit stressed, as if we now must make sure that the card always arrives on the actual day itself!

Amusingly the yearly gift-giving process (birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's, Christmas) led The Chief to jokingly ask us if it is okay to give us angpows instead in the future.

...because it's not that The Chief doesn't know what to get for us any more, it's more that what we want is extremely expensive.

No objections from us on that statement.

Well this year there's no predetermined dinner plans at any restaurant, in fact we were supposed to have eaten at home and watched Love, Actually or some other DVD. Turns out there was no dinner at home so the both of us made for MidValley for dinner and a movie. Dinner was good without being expensive as is the common belief (we went for ramen and they had a set which worked out cheaper then ordering a la carte, not to mention we had a discount using Citibank), we watched Chronicles (there wasn't any lovey-dovey rom-com this year, no?), walked around a bit and headed back home because, well, it was a working day the following day.

Hmmm darn it we still want to do Love, Actually again one day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Change Would Do You Good

1. And now, for something different.
2. The Subway Challenge comes to a finish.
3. Resolution 2012

So there's this app called Memiary (that started from a website if we're not wrong) that haves you jot down five things that happened every day. A good way for a quick diary entry and to remember things, for sure, although there are days when you certainly won't find five things to jot down.

So we're going to try something different over here.

We're going to try out putting up three entries per post instead. Hopefully this doesn't take longer than an hour to do (somehow we always end up taking ages to blog, never under an hour) but hey, who are we kidding. Even now we're using Blogger on the iPhone to type this out and two-thumb typing isn't better compared to having a physical keyboard to piano our way through a paragraph.

So just this Wednesday we'd somehow come up with the idea to try a diet of Subway sandwiches in replacement of our main meals (lunch, dinner, supper). Goodness knows why, perhaps the image of a tapering figure, like a carrot, came to mind. In any case since Wednesday's Sub-Of-The-Day was Meatball Marinara (if Subway hadn't come up with the SotD specials we wouldn't have even considered this, yes), we didn't see the harm of trying it out till Friday (we don't think we could comply with this diet on the weekends when we're out with the Chief, who may strongly object to having to follow suit just because we had a fancy and were not strictly dieting).

Wednesday started well with us having a late sub lunch, although by gym time in the evening we were aware that a 6-inch sub for lunch will not sustain us during our workout. Had our dinner sub after that and, yes, the supper sub turned out essential (and not too filling, it seemed!).

Thursday we only had two Roast Turkey subs (brunch and late lunch) because we'd promised mum we'd be home for dinner (there was Ipoh salted chicken, how could we resist?).

By Friday...we were thinking of Thai green curry chicken. There was a Secret Recipe near the workplace, we're sure they would have that. We were sick of just having Subway already, far faster than the time McDonalds had the special edition Coke Can glass and we'd ended up eating like crazy to collect...24 glasses.

Anyways we'd our Chicken Slice for lunch and before we headed off for our workout, and the final sub post-workout. And with that experiment done, we got ourself something else for supper.

Ramly Burger, how we've missed you. It's been so long that the price of a daging double special has gone up from RM4 to RM4.80 and we never knew.

And now, resolutions. After two drinking sessions since the start of this year, we've woken up with thankfully no painful hangovers but with that feeling that there's alcohol still inside our stomach that wanted out one way or another. And that nauseating feeling really is a crappy way to start the day, especially worse when on one occasion we were suppose to follow the Chief out early for a bunch of stuff.

The Wrath of Chief, thankfully avoided when we opted to tapau breakfast back to our house instead of eating at the coffeeshop, so we had a little more time to recuperate without losing half the day.

Incidentally the second session resulted from 3 pints of Blackthorn cider. Amazing how our tolerance has gone down the drain. And upon retrospect, we'd neglected to eat something or drink more fluids after we got home, which was probably why we woke up feeling terrible.

So we're making this year's resolution not to have more than 1 pint of beer or not more than 2 units of alcohol. And even this resolution, after being made, was already broken less than a week later. Sigh. Maybe we have to avoid such social gatherings altogether then.

But learning from our past experiences, we'd gone for prawn noodles (with pork intestines! Yum!) after the drinking session, and next morning we woke up feeling fine!

So let's see how well we'll hold on to this resolution before we begin amending the quantity.