I was a bit reluctant about watching the movie, Hachiko – A Dog’s Story. First of all, I tend to avoid stories featuring animals as the main characters because they usually turn out really bad or really sad. Secondly, I had read the story of Hachiko, the faithful Akita Inu, a couple of years back before my first trip to Japan so I knew that this was not going to be a happy story. But.. I watched it anyway. And thoroughly enjoyed the show (though my eyes were hurting so much from all the crying).
It’s a really simple tale, based on a true story, about a dog’s loyalty to its owner. The trainer and director did a great job in capturing the essence of Hachi’s emotions and demonstrating the beautiful bond between dog and master (played by Richard Gere). The movie was deeply touching and I was bawling my eyes out continuously for the last half hour of the film. My husband, who suggested the film solely based on the poster (and not a man to cry at the movies) was also sobbing like a baby. Ha ha.
If you have pets or are into dogs, you and your kids (it’s a family-friendly film) could do worse than to catch Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (US title). It will make you wanna hug your pets tighter and appreciate them for the companionship they’ve given you. :)
A strange thing happened to me in 2010. My New Year started without a shiny New Year’s Vibe. This year I decided to do without a proper New Year’s Resolution.
You see, I’ve become quite the compulsive goal setter. I set goals on a regular basis. I have monthly goals taped to my monitor. I have quarterly and yearly targets — both personal and business — defined on a spreadsheet. But my New Year’s resolution is always separate from my Goals. My goals are concrete and measurable, with clearly defined deadlines. My resolutions are positive declarations of change.
It doesn’t bother me that I don’t actually keep most of my old resolutions. I think the buzz I get from looking forward to a change in lifestyle, a new way of thinking, invites me to start the year with a super positive outlook. Plus it’s a lot of fun. I usually start the year on a loud, hopeful note: “This is the year that *** happens!”
2010 came quietly, without much fanfare. It just feels that 2009 got an extension. That was a great year. But it’s time for something new.
What’s your resolutions for the new year?
It was a fantastic, fantastic year. And now for new adventures in 2010.
Here’s a line graph of my Happiness against Time for the year 2009:
As you can see November had not been all that great for me. In fact it’s probably the worst month of the year: 2 deaths and then I got sick twice resulting in two cancelled trips. :(
Oh well, best to remember that life is a series of ups and downs. Cherish the good times and when you’re down, it’s good to know that you’ve had your fun and can look forward to a possible upswing in the near future.
Speaking of remembering the good bits, Gwen Bell (my blog find of the year!) has a fantastic idea for the month of December (I know this is a little late). It’s called The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge . It’s a look back on the parts you like best in the year 2009, so go ahead and check it out. I was really tempted to join in the fun but that wouldn’t be too wise: holiday season projects + many days off work last month = large Christmas Backlog Cake.
Hi everyone, I’m back from my trip to Tokyo, Japan. Had a great time there! Here are some pictures from the trip.
Tokyo Tower is the tallest self-supporting steel structure in the world and apparently, de facto icon for Tokyo and Japan. Here’s an embarrasing fact — before my first trip to Japan, I’ve never heard of Tokyo Tower. Back then, when I thought of Japan, Mount Fuji was the only thing that came to mind. Oh, that and Hello Kitty.
The design of the tower was inspired by a world famous icon — you guessed it — the Eiffel Tower in Paris. When I gave my mum a little Tokyo Tower souvenir replica, she asked me why I got her an Eiffel Tower thingy instead of something with Mount Fuji or geishas on it. LOL.
On a beautiful sunny day, we went to Meiji Jingu — a Shinto shrine near Harajuku and Yoyogi Park. There were a lot of boys and girls in traditional dresses at the shrine. So so cute, or should I say kawaii!
Wishes on votive tablets at the shrine. Shawn Yap from Singapore, you made me LOL. :D
We went to the Studio Ghibli Museum at Mitaka City (1000 yen). Was a little underwhelmed by the whole experience. I always imagined the place to be more magical and whimsical, the kind of feeling I get when watching Spirited Away or Howl’s Moving Castle.
We stayed near Akihabara Electric Town which is the place to get the latest electronics gadgets. Huge neon signs all over the place and a very noisy place too. Sales people stand in front of their stores shouting words of welcome and the latest deals. Pachinko parlours. UFO catchers machines.
There are a number of “maid cafes” in this area too, where the waitresses are dressed up in French maid costumes and addresses you as “Master”.
About 5 months ago, I reintroduced seafood into my diet. I got a little sick with having soya beans as a my main source of protein (is it normal to feel nauseous each time you drink half cup of soy milk?).
I ate mostly kake soba (hot soba), inarizushi, onigiri, mitarashi dango (rice dumplings with sweet and savory sauce) and tempura with rice. Here’s my ebi tempura don (prawn and vegetables tempura on rice) and miso soup which cost 500 yen. I didn’t eat any traditional Japanese sweets because I don’t really fancy adzuki beans (and they really love their red bean paste here).
I put on 2 kgs despite eating only 2 main meals/day and walking at least 6 hours per day. Hmm… I wonder why. Oh wait, I did eat a ridiculous amount of junk food there. I bought the chewing gum on the right (square boxes) because I remember eating loads of them as a kid. :) Not seen in the picture: a whole stack of Meiji chocolate bars.
And I still have a couple more bars with me right now. *Happy*
Hey guys, I’ve been really busy the past few weeks frantically trying to complete all stuff related to work. Why? Cos I’ll be flying to Tokyo, Japan next week for a little rockin’ n rollin’. So excited to be going there again! Will post some pictures if I’m not too busy stuffing my face with sushi and soba! See you later. :)