Category Archives: Spending Spree

Ramen dating – Singapore (ラーメン店が萌える♥)

Thanks to the stagnant Japanese economy and Singaporeans’ taste for nippon, ramen shops are mushrooming all over the cosmopolitan heart of the city. Ying san and I are avid consumers of Cool Japan i.e. gaming, manga, washoku etc. and the constant yearning for the rich pork broth ramen we had during our trip in Japan in March this year gave us a mission in Singapore living.

Before Japanese ramen chains began their invasion this year, we used to slurp up the milky black pig ramen at Tampopo to quell our addiction. It is still rated as the best ramen in Singapore, probably. From the day Ying san invited me to get sashimi-ed by her at some ulu pandan part of River Valley Road, we spent over a hundred dollars on ramen and other gastronomic delights. Another ulu pandan part of the city where we went ramen hunting was in Parco at Millenia Walk. We tried Keisuke ramen which served up thick prawn miso broth and crab broth. Unfortunately, in a region where you can get prawn noodles for less than $4, I did not find the dining experience a unique and memorable one.

The egg salad was heavenly but the chicken charsiew rice brought us back to hell…


The thick, coying prawn flavour left me desperate to scrape my tongue.

The highlights of our gastronomic adventure would have to be Ippudo Tao and Sanomaru Sapporo Ramen.
Ippudo Tao’s noodles were thick and submerged in a bi-colored broth of white soup and black sauce.

We plan to return to the restaurant to try out the 爆裂豆腐 (Exploding beancurd?!). As for ambience, the Japanese customers set the mood with their rowdy, salarymen conversations, otherwise I’d rate it as average. The tea comes in a white chinese teapot and typically small chinese teacups (how authentic… ). Pepper and other condiments are rationed out by the waitress who would go from table to table to sprinkle fixed amounts of seasoning into the ramen.

Sanomaru Sapporo Ramen is rated tops by Ying san and me. I was a skeptic when my Japanese sensei raved on his facebook that he would give the person a full refund if the ramen is not good. After trying out the ramen, I’d probably do the same www. I usually approach miso/shio/shoyu soup bases with trepidation where the high sodium levels could crystallize my kidneys to rocks. But Sanomaru’s soups are surprisingly light and balanced without diluting the flavours of the soup.
Upsized Shoyu Ramen
Shio Ramen
Miso Ramen

For both visits to Sanomaru, we were serviced by a Japanese lady whose attentiveness, moeness and perfect english reduced us to grinning like perverted old men at her. She gave us warm water after we finished our beer. Isn’t that sweet? Now I understand why Japanese men queue up to sit in maid cafes and pay ridiculous prices for diluted coffee. It’s the moe factor which is a combination of attentive care, platinum customer service and a pleasant appearance which makes the customer a regular.

Sorry Tampopo… You should have worked on your staffing.

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I’ve Got A New Boyfriend (Asus U80Vを買った!)

After 6 years of faithful service, 2 hard disk replacements and 3 fatal crashes, my Dell inspiron 600m is finally put to rest.

Amen.

Things started getting bad after a software update. So horrible that I couldn’t even run Java or play an avi. movie smoothly.

I had no choice but to lug my office laptop to and from home on every working day and happily, there”s no optical disk drive nor user access to install programs.

That meant using my pen tablet like a bloody mouse with a shivering cursor and uncalibrated area.

It’s a physical torture to my wrist especially during paintchat sessions where I had no guts to sketch in case the cursor suddenly took a mind of its own and scrawls across some poor chap’s art work. Oh, and the shitty lines are an excellent dampener on my confidence. 

So… after weeks of scratching my pen tablet and watching minutes tick by as the Dell laptop tries desperately to squeeze an update download byte by byte, COMEX finally came.

I decided to zero in on Asus after visiting some tech forums and gathering insider advice of certain competing manufacturers.

Reliabilty and customer aftercare was one of my priority requirements before making a hardware purchase, kudos to those insufferable periods of anxiety when the Dell laptop decided to fail me.

I headed for COMEX in Suntec City Convention Centre on the 3rd day (Sat), at 12 noon which was the opening time. The linkway to the  convention centre was utterly thronging with people. I had to swim through the human flotsam, dodging baby strollers and flyer distributors, only to drown in more human bodies.

Impatient, I took the staircase and got lost in the labyrinth of hidden toilets and doors with restricted access. It’s really scary especially when I found myself at a dead-end on each floor and each turn. Imagine being chased by a chainsaw-toting psychopath in Suntec… It’s a definite Game Over for me.

Finally, I found an exit and reached the COMEX site. True to anyone’s expectations, it’s a hive of sales activity as exhibitors yelled discounts and tempting prices at bargain hunters. More dodging and side-steps and I finally reached the Asus booth.

I asked for the U80V for it’s sexy HD monitor, titilating keyboard and touchpad, average CPU, free Windows 7 upgrade and the substantial freebies like a 320GB portable storage disk. The salesperson gave me a $100 discount and announced that the last unit of this model has already been sold. Yea, so that another person who’s been wanting this model can lie in wait with a chainsaw to relieve my new notebook of its owner.

And below, is how my new boyfriend looks like.

After ironing out the annoying Vista hiccups, my pen tablet felt soooo good and comfortable to use. It’s almost orgasmic for my drawing hand.
I’ve spent the past few months dragging cursors all over the screen and praying hard that the cursor would suppress its Parkinson’s in a java environment.

Dell laptop/ Lenovo without the pen tablet driver installed properly (WOL and Frioneil)
No driver 01

Pen tablet driver successfully installed in U80V (WOL with rose)

The battery life lasted for 8 hours, compared to my office laptop which had a battery change recently but still cannot last beyond 3 hours. The new laptop is surprisingly cool after leaving it on for 3 hours whereas my wrists start to broil 15 mins after the office laptop was switched on. 

What more can I ask? He’s cool at all times but oozes with sweat-inducing sexiness and responds to my every touch in the dark.

Our honeymoon night was wonderful. So good that I stayed up till 6.45 in the morning…

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A New Change – Communications and Coiffure

There’s a few changes this month.

Firstly, my hairdo. Miss 1wRong couldn’t tolerate the mop of twisted hay attached to my head so we decided to go for a haircut at Tornado in Tampines. The hairstylist was such a lovely, bubbly lass from Malaysia and a master of shaping coiffures with her silver shears. Miss 1wRong and her mom were satisfied with the magic the hairstylist did to my hay. This is a good thing. But the only problem I had was it resembles the hairstyle of the heroine in the Korean version of Hana Yori Dango…the saccharine cuteness is the total opposite of my true personality.

Secondly, I’ve changed my phone number and signed up a new plan after my old phone succumbed to the white screen of death. Permanently. The new phone I got at zero dollars is a Sony Ericsson W980 which satisfies my music cravings with 8GB of internal memory.

A silly thing happened yesterday.

It started when I got a little jealous of Silver Taro after Miss A got really excited at the idea of collaborating with her. I admit Silver and Miss A’s drawing styles are so similar it’s hard to tell them apart. What peeved me more was that I felt I’m wasting everyone’s time since my drawing style is different from Miss A and I don’t know what to talk with her about except ero in broken Japanese. Thus, I got alot more reserved in the subsequent paintchats. This crush is scaring me and I think it’d definitely freak Miss A out. Hope absence does not make the heart grow fonder and abstinence is the way forward.

I was so engrossed discussing with Ying san about it that when I saw Miss 1wRong’s reply on her mom and my colleague that  ‘love will blossom between the two’, I mistook Miss 1wRong for Ying san.

I replied ‘Love ha nani? Taberarenai no ka? S san is Miss A’s soulmate and I wouldn’t like to put my foot between the two of them. I shall just be her ero partner www’.

When I realised my mistake, I sent it to the last person whom I’d ever think of sending. Hahahaha…(TwT)

So this is how a faithless adulterer feels like after getting caught. That all too familiar icy chill down my spine.

I found it so funny and ridiculous, I couldn’t help laughing till drool came out of my mouth. When Miss 1wRong replied that she didn’t know whether to be shocked or happy that she understood what was going on, I got a little concerned. ‘Concerned’ is a euphemism. Actually, I freaked out.

Ah, the stupid things I do… …

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Filed under Personally exposed, Spending Spree, The Funny and the weird

New hairdo … which cost me a bomb (死にたい…)

Gaaaa....!!! I cant think of any seme/uke characters with curly hair!!!

Gaaaa....!!! I can't think of any seme/uke characters with curly hair!!!

Bugged by split ends and tangles, I decided to head to the salon today to get a haircut by a professional stylist. I thought ‘hell yea, why not pay a bit more to get a nice haircut without the risk of getting my ears cut off? ‘

After much surfing around the web for the top recommendations of stylists trained in Japanese styles, I decided upon Kimage. I was dying to try out Hair Art Cinderella but it closed down after the Japanese stylist left for home…chikusho. And there were varied reviews on Shunji Matsuo so since Kimage got the top marks on customer reviews, why not? 

So with a $50 budget in mind, I made an appointment and the stylist was really quick at diagnosing my hair problems. He advised me to go for a digital perm and some highlights.

Well. Digital perm is way over my measly $50 budget… But I let the master do it anyway. He worked so fast and skilfully, he’s not called ‘master’ for nothing.

The price for the whole package? Just add one more zero to my $50 budget...

The price for the whole package? Just add one more zero to my $50 budget...

So there, a feminine version of me with permed hair… Very good camouflage for an otaku.

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Japan Trip: Square Enix and La Floret Bazaar!!!

21 Jul 2008

Initially I wanted to visit Odaiba but after 2 hectic days of walking with a bad intestinal problem, I decided to go easy on myself.

I had some udon for breakfast and it really has the same taste and texture as Waraku. The price ? 525 yen (about SGD 6)

Who says one has to eat instant noodles in Japan?

I decided to take a spin in Yobodashi Camera, searching for a new camera and travel adapter to buy. The Xacti has reached its useful life. So I bought a Casio 10 Megapix camera for abt SGD 270 (with face capture function). After getting my phone and laptop charged, I made the decision to visit the Square Enix shop which only opens in weekends and public holidays. It’s Monday. But it’s Umi no Hi (Marine Day), a public holiday!!!
So off I went with my map, walking and looking at the tall buildings in awe and stopping passersby for directions,until I reached the Hatsudai area. The long journey makes the goal even sweeter as I skipped towards the ‘ulu’ shop.
Nearer...

Nearer...

Goal! Its the Square Enix Shop!!!

Goal! It's the Square Enix Shop!!! Check out the slime smiling at me!

I entered the tiny shop and voila, I was greeted by a pile of soft toys and all sorts of final fantasy and dragon quest merchandise. I saw caps priced at SGD 120 and tees selling for SGD 60. Totally out of my budget. There’s a small elevated room where all the coolest goods were kept. The first thing that greeted me was this cool costume from Dirge of Cereberus.
Wonder whats the size?

Wonder what's the size?

And an amazing sculpture of Lenneth from Valkyrie Profile… which I did not finish…
Lenneth from Valkyrie Profile!!!

Lenneth from Valkyrie Profile!!!

Then there’s Cloud Strife from FF7 which I’ve never played before…
CLoud Strife from FFVI

CLoud Strife from FFVI

….And Sephiroth!!! OMG, It’s lifesize!!! In the floor of the shop!!! Even the hair looks real enough to comb. Unfortunately he gets stepped on by everyone including me …
Life-sized Sephiroth right under my foot.

Life-sized Sephiroth right under my foot.(^^)

Poor Sephiroth...

Poor Sephiroth...

It’s a really nice place with glass displays of rings, pendants, necklaces, key chains and other metal accessories. I couldn’t help but swipe SGD 110 from my card for those stuff and the sabotender soft toy.
A very satisfied person.

A very satisfied person.

After contributing to Square Enix’s revenue, I headed for Meiji Shrine. It’s a long 10 min walk and well, it’s worth the calories burnt. It cannot beat Kamakura though. If I’d a choice, I’d rather go trawl the bookstores of Ikebukuro. The whole area is so huge! So are the crows.
Crows as big as cats.

Crows as big as cats.

The main shrine

The main shrine

I washed my hands, threw a coin and made a wish.
Then went out to the wishing tree where people were writing their wishes into the forms.
A donation and the form is then sealed in the envelope before placing it in the box.
The fee to get my wishes fulfilled is SGD 1...

The fee to get my wishes fulfilled is SGD 1...

The wish is then placed in the box.

The wish is then placed in the box.

Bored, I made my way to Harajuku, the center of Japan’s teenage fashion.
I had lunch at Yoshinoya and was served by a China lady who thought I was from her country when she spoke to me in Mandarin and I responded. Jeez.
Then I left to join the thronging crowd into the street lined with clothing shops selling the craziest and weirdest fashion for kids.
full of the craziest fashion!

Harajuku Street: full of the craziest fashion!

There are also kids dressed up as lolitas and goths. I decided to seek refuge in Daiso where almost everything is sold at 105 yen (SGD 1.50 )!
It was 1 hr later, until I was standing at the checkout counter when I realised I had left my Square Enix bag at Yoshinoya!!! Oh my GOD!!!
I dumped the basket at the counter and ran back to the shop just in time when I saw a Jap guy walking towards the door, carrying the black Square Enix bag.
I was so relieved at that time when he asked whether the stuff was mine.
On hindsight, he was planning to take it home (i.e. steal it).
But hey, good thing he was more concerned about avoiding a ruckus than insisting the bag belonged to him. (-w-!)
Perhaps the Meiji Shrine trip was worth it after all…somewhat.
I returned to Daiso to pay for the merchandise and followed the crowd until a huge building loomed. There’s a mad crowd in there… in La Foret where Chihaya san suggested me to go.
La Foret. Craziest shopping experience in my life!!!

La Foret. Craziest shopping experience in my life!!!

The mall was thronging with people and it was soooo crazy! The shop assistants were CHEERING, yelling and clapping. They even made huge sign boards declaring hourly special sales. It’s really like cheering the customers on to buy. Consumerism is a sport here!
I stumbled into a shop where the lady assistants were cheering that any 2 items in the shop are priced at 3,150 yen (about SGD 33). It’s crazy because we’re talking about knitted dresses, shoes and pants! I can’t help but bought myself 2 dresses. And the best thing is a pretty lady assistant came up to me and said I’ve made the right choice and that I’ll look kawaii in the dress. I don’t care if she’s lying but it made me feel damn good. (-w-)
I ventured to other floors where it got crazier as I was pushed about by stampeding customers. It’s really amazing to see and hear men and women of the shops yelling and cheering the customers on till their voices were hoarse.
So there, weary from the retail workout, I headed straight to the JR station for a ride back to my hotel to take stock of my latest catch.
about SGD 140

Catch of the day. Total: about SGD 140

 

Tokyo… I doubt even one week is enough.

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BL OD (BLマンが買いすぎ!)

(Saya & Hagi. Nothing to do with this post though… perhaps Hagi’s bare chest?)

Aaaaaaargh. I’m quite broke now. There’s a gaping hole in my debit card.

I spent over $100 on comic anthologies (which I regretted cos the art is below my expectations) hoping to find a yummy one-shot by a prolific manga artist. Like my favourite, Ogasawara Uki 小笠原宇紀 (尊敬) or Inariya Fusanosuke 稲荷屋房之介(好き).

 

Now there’s too many BL manga to study. Study? Yes, ‘study’ because it’s a great way to learn how to draw human (male) anatomy.  From the head to the muscular structure of the torso and limbs to the *cough cough* which I don’t have.

And I’m so disappointed I won’t be learning much on that with this pile. Maybe on character design and settings…(Teacher x student, Boss x Subordinate etc)

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Filed under Blood+, Personally exposed, Spending Spree

FFCC:Shopping (攻略本とポーションが必要に)

Potion will be on sale on 23rd Oct 2007 to commemorate the 7-year anniversary of FFVII and to boost Suntory’s softdrink revenue (Square Enix’s royalty revenue too?). (@∀@;)

What better way to ensure the success of the drink manufacturer’s marketing campaign than the good old TV commercial?

… …I can’t believe Zack left the Buster Sword outside the convenience store.

I wonder how the Potion tastes like? Even though I know it’s basically made up of water, sugar and colouring… and that it raises my sugar  level rather than HP (HP↓)… OTL

 

With the yummy-licious pictures of Sephiroth, Zack, Cloud and other FF7 characters plastered onto the cans, these cans are worth collecting! 16 of them in all! Any self-respecting FF7 fan would gladly suffer diabetes for their favourite characters, no?

I gladly burnt a hole in my wallet, again. This time, giving a part of my hard-earned income to Kinokuniya. I bought the last ‘Crisis Core FF7 Ultimania’ strategy guidebook in the store, ‘The Boy’ by Germaine Greer, ‘Japanese Comickers 2’ artbook, 2 B’s Log monthly comic and ‘メイド・イン・王子’, a BL comic which I regretted buying (I don’t like shota). Total: SGD $170++

And there’s alot of books in my amazon.jp shopping cart waiting to be bought… (@Д@;)

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