Mooncake & Ice Cream

30 July 2005
Every year on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, Chinese communities all over the world celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. It is one of the two most important holidays in the Chinese calendar (the other being the Chinese Lunar New Year.) Mooncake is represented as a tribute to the Moon goddess. This year (2005) the moon festival will be celebrated on 18 September.

So, what is the connection between mooncake and ice cream? You may wonder; as I did when I got a promotional pamphlet from Häagen-Dazs® (Thailand) a couple of days ago. Yes, indeed! Häagen-Dazs® is trying to expand its marketing campaign to the booming mooncake market in Thailand by introducing an ice cream mooncake, which comes in 4 flavors – Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate and Macadamia Nut. All "Mooncakes" are coated with rich chocolate and embedded with one "yolk" of Häagen-Dazs® Mango Serbet ice cream.

How on earth could ice cream and mooncake combine together? It’s worth a try, however, the price for Häagen-Dazs® trademark is expensively high: 225 THB (Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate) or 250 THB (Macadamia Nut) for a piece of ice cream mooncake. That’s a rip-off! I would rather have an ordinary mooncake from some well-known Chinese restaurants in Chinatown instead.

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It’s a Small World

28 July 2005

Today when I was browsing through my friend’s blog (click here to read what happened), I noticed a familiar name on one of the recent comments. Soon after checking the link directing from the name, I realized that it’s my long-lost correspondent’s web site. In fact, I met the guy by chance (on cyberspace) in Singapore when I was working there some 3-4 years ago. Back then, I left a comment in his old web site’s guestbook without knowing that he is my friend’s friend. He contacted me and said that he also knew my friend, thus we started our online correspondences. Doesn’t it sound nostalgia when I found his name – once again – on (another) friend’s web? It’s a surprise and I have to admit that it’s a small world, indeed!


Wings of Words

26 July 2005
For those who probably have no idea, "Chemistry" is the name of Japanese R&B male duo group. The duo consists of Kawabata Kaname (川畑 要) and Dochin Yoshikuni (堂珍 嘉邦.) They were the winner of Japanese talent show called "ASAYAN" held by SONY Music Japan in 2000. After the debut of the first single in 2001, the duo’s popularity keeps increasing with more and more of Number 1 singles and albums on Japanese ORICON chart. In my opinion, the duo’s name, "Chemistry," implies that their voices and music really have a good "Chemistry" together.

"Wings of Words" is Chemistry’s 15th and newest single to-date. In fact, the single is scheduled to be commercially released tomorrow (July 27, 2005.) The song is used as a new (and the 4th) opening theme for a popular Japanese animation called "Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny." At first when I heard of this news, I was suspicious. The idea of Chemistry singing an opening theme for Gundam is weird because most of Gundam’s opening songs fall out of Chemistry’s characteristic. Anyway, when I had a chance to listen to this song, I liked it. "Wings of Words" sounds different from all Chemistry’s previous singles with stronger beat and harder music, but the song still has a Chemistry’s R&B feeling. The melody is not too fast and not too slow. The lyric is good and could easily be associated with Gundam’s theme.
「Wings of Words」
慰めながら、不謹慎だけど
泣いてる顔も綺麗で焦るよ
友達の距離、少し縮めたら
君は愛しい壊れ物だった

くじけず夢を見ることは、自分と戦ってること
日ごとに増える擦り傷を自慢してもいいくらいさ

空は飛べないけれど翼ならあげよう
それはもう一人じゃないと、君の孤独剥がす言葉

どんなペシミストも恋をして変わる
選んだ道がもし行き止まりなら、そこで迷えばいい

下弦の月がナイフのようだね
そう言いながらデジャブ感じてる

予感と戸惑いの中で、瞳は君を探してた
二人じゃないと開かない扉があるこの世界で

空は飛べないけど翼ならあるのさ
それはふと触れた視線で君がささやいてたシグナル

いつかリアリストは少年に戻る
そのとき僕は君のためにどんな夢を見るのだろう

なぜか互いの翼をもって僕らは生まれてきた
未来へと向かうために You know the heart singing.
The Wings of the words.

空は飛べないけれど翼ならあげよう
それはもう一人じゃないと、君の孤独剥がす言葉

どんなペシミストも恋をして変わる
選んだ道がもし行き止まりなら、そこで迷えばいい
Find out more about "Chemistry" at their official site: http://www.chemistryclub.net/


Criticism

24 July 2005
I got this picture (see below) a while ago. It depicts a universal idea of human-being’s criticism nature. Some might say it’s a pessimistic point of view but I can’t deny that it’s true. In the picture, there are a boy, an elder man and a donkey. If a boy let an elder man ride a donkey, folks will say it’s an act of child abuse. If an elder man let a boy ride a donkey, folks will say it’s an act of elder abuse. If both a boy and an elder man ride a donkey, folks will say it’s an act of animal abuse. However, if nobody rides on a donkey but just walks with it, folks will say it’s a stupid act. In the end, no matter what you are doing, there will always be a criticism. Thus, if you think you have done a right thing, you should hang on to it till the end.

PS: I don’t know where this picture was taken. Does anybody have an idea?


We Belong Together

21 July 2005

This record-breaking song is Mariah Carey’s sixteenth number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It proves that Mariah Carey is the most successful female artist to-date and ranked third on number 1 hit singles, only behind The Beatles (with 20 #1’s) and Elvis Presley (with 18 #1’s) in Billboard history. Currently, "We Belong Together" is still number 1 on the Hot 100 chart and on the week ending of July 30th, 2005 it will set a record of 9 weeks on the top of the chart. Even though there is no commercial released CD for this single in the states, it still shines on the chart with a huge volume of radio station’s airplay and digital download impressions combined.

Universal Music (Thailand) has released "We Belong Together" single since Tuesday (July 19th, 2005.) This is so strange because there are not many singles that were able to release in Thailand as the market here seemed to rely mainly on the album sales. As for Mariah, there would only be the first singles from each of her new albums that could be released as a single because they came out before the full albums were released and served as sample songs for everyone. For Mariah’s latest album: The Emancipation of Mimi, the first single – "It’s Like That" – has been released since March 2005. The release of "We Belong Together" as a commercial single here in Thailand marks a special treatment for the song with a special CD digipak package that can be folded out and reveal a white rose pop-up in the middle of the pack. This is one of a kind package that hasn’t been feature anywhere in the world – of course, it would definitely be the precious collector’s item. The suggested retail price of the CD single is only 150 THB. I suggest buying one while you still have a chance.

 


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Revisited)

20 July 2005
It seemed that I just couldn’t get enough with Harry Potter craze by now. After days of reading this book continuously till the last page, all you need is someone to discuss the content of the book in detail. Anyway, there are still few people who manage to finish this book.
 
Well, finally, I found an interesting web-site to browse through. That’s http://mugglethai.com where there are huge array of information and discussion board to fulfill my need for a moment. From there, I also got a hold of a beautiful picture which is used as a full cover for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince U.S. Deluxe Edition of Scholastic Inc. The cover is illustrated by Mary GrandPré who skillfully depicted scenes after scenes in this book and all previous Harry Potter U.S. Edition books. Here is the picture of the Deluxe Edition’s cover. Click to view it in full size.
 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Finale)

19 July 2005
Finally, I have finished reading "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." Four days after its release date is not a bad record, though I planned to finish it within the weekend but the circumstance provided it to be not possible. Anyway, after nights of short sleep, I managed to reach the final page of the book just a while ago, and after the last word of the book, came an exclamation of mine; "What the heck is going on?" followed by; "It couldn’t be ended like this, I demand to read book 7 now." You would understand my feeling of surprise and disbelief if you finished the book like I did. So far, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" has provided me with enjoyment, funny remarks here & there, some love stories, and darker plots with an element of surprise, which I thought was lack in Book 5 but now manage to have effect in full swing in this installment. I am sure some sensitive readers would cry for the lost in this book, It is so… Oh, well, I guess I wrote too much. I didn’t want to spoil the fun and excitement from those who still haven’t finished the book. However, be warned, because it would be so hard to accept how J.K. Rowling manage her characters. I am sure there would be tones of questions spread around the readers communities worldwide regarding the situation in the book and the speculation would be so high for Book 7. As most of us know that Rowling said long ago that she had already finished the last chapter of Book 7 some time ago and it was safe with her, how she manage to continue the story from the way Book 6 ended we never know. That’s to be find out when Book 7 release and I wonder when. I just can’t wait to read it.

Ps. As for the question of who the "Half-Blood Prince" is, it will be not relevant once you finished the book. Some of readers may guess correctly, but I guess that would not be important anymore.