Friday, March 27, 2009

New books again!

Sophie Kinsella's Remember Me: a time-travel-cum-love story. I am a fan of time-travel stories and relish the moment she woke up in the future. As the story progresses with her colleagues hating her and her journey in trying to find out the reason, I could not wait to discover the answer too. I wished that she could go back to the present though but I guess she had a better life in the future.

Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess: I liked this story better. I guess it appeals to me since I am now taking over the kitchen duties in my family. Her attempts at cooking especially, mirror my own, though I'm not as bad as she. Lol. The improvement in her skills due to the lessons learnt from her beau's mother are heartening indeed. I love the ending very much. She realised the beauty of simplicity and nature, and chose to forgo the high-flying life back in London. She showed determination in proving her innocence and the triumph she felt is indescribable. I was so afraid that her relationship would end for good but the two of them realised their love was stronger than they thought, and came back together. :) Now I really want to go to Paddington station!

LBD's The Rules of Gentility: rather authentic in its Regency setting and way of life. The pink cover is girly too, with the elegant embossments at the corners. It was a shock to discover that two of the suitors were homosexual though. Haha.

Where Angels Go: I love this book of happy endings with divine intervention in its course. It reassures me that our prayers are at the very least, heard. The stories which touch me the most is the one where a divorced couple get back together, after meeting online without knowing of each other's true identities, having learnt their lessons, and where a boy finally gets his Christmas present of a dog with red fur, after a stray dog of this type saves the family from a fire.

Trish Perry's The Guy I'm Not Dating: This was the first book that made me cry. The most I get is extremely disturbed. It is very poignant. I especially love the mingling of prayer/faith with romance/life. The traditional way of courtship is also a rare element. Indeed, it affirms my belief to wait for God's timing for love.

Kristen Sawyer's Not Quite a Bride: Has a pretty cover in turquoise green, my favourite colour. Love the perfect ending where Molly's best friend realises he has always held feelings for her and stops her from marrying her hired fiance. Eventually, she gets to plan her dream wedding again but this time, with someone she loves. Though it has less frills, it is warm and sweet, as it has a real romance involved. So appealing to women who have always dreamt of their wedding and having the kind of romance Molly has.

Chew Lee Li's The Mad Housewife's Diary: A witty account of life as a tai-tai residing in a condominium and with a rich husband to provide her with spending money. She is studying for a degree in English Literature, just like I did.

Never tired of the Little Nonya

I found the series on Youtube and have been watching certain scenes again and again. I really love the developing relationship between Anqi and Jonathan. I have this feeling that she wanted to accept his love, but he ran off after expressing his feelings. Was it out of shyness? He seems more sensitive and loving than Desmond. His understanding and empathy towards Yueniang as she told her story, is a giveaway sign. He is sensitive especially towards Anqi when she cries in the last episode as her Ma Ma thanks her for cooking, and Juxiang and Yousoke's love. He makes a better partner for Anqi. He exudes respect towards elders when he pays his respects to Yueniang upon her death. I wish the script had made his relationship with Anqi progress into love.

I also love the reunion between Yousoke and his family, as well as Little Kok Kok. It is so heartwarming, the coming back together of people who care for one another. I like the fiesty nature of Yueniang, when she deals with the two scums who make trouble for her and takes revenge on Tianbao for attempting to rape her. I also enjoy watching the kinship between Anqi and her Ma Ma, Tianlan and Yueniang, and Yueniang/Juxiang and Tao-jie. The tender moments are very real. The actresses act really well. Anqi's and Jonathan's sad looks as they watch Tao-jie limp are very authentic too. They really bring out the emotions very well.

I feel that Yousoke's and Juxiang's love is intense and intimate, not just sweet, and Chen Sheng would never be able to have that with her, even if they should marry. The looks they give each other are shared communication of emotions and words. They have gone through so much together and their love for each other is so strong that it transcends time and space. From the time he saved her from Da Sha till the time he lured the soldiers away from her to let her escape, and died as a result, they have each other in their hearts. She too, had faith that he would return to her after going back to Japan to see his father, despite people telling her otherwise, and waited for him outside their home every night.

Chen Xi's and Yueniang's love too was strong. I enjoyed their bickering when he met her while washing his hands, and the kidnapping incident was a turning point for their relationship. It was a waste that she did not take his deception very well and decided against being with him. I think Libby's love with him was not as strong, though they married. It is the same for Paul's love with Yueniang. Yueniang's love was so true and noble that she refused to be with Chen Xi when he wanted to divorce Zhenzhu, in order to protect his reputation. Chen Xi too, eventually let go of his love for her when he knew she was marrying Paul.

In a way, both mother and daughter had their true loves for a while. Their lives were worth living.

This show really reminds me of my Ma Ma and now I realise why I called her that. I also remember her for her cookery skills. I was her food taster. I just wish I knew more about her life than what I do know, but it is too late now.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What does Art encompass?

There was a vulgarity included as part of a sculpture in SMU. I think that it is unnecessary in bringing out the beauty of the art piece. Does the notion of art include such things and where does it end? Are vulgarities artistic in nature?

The location may send the wrong message to the students. Vulgarities are to be condoned and even appreciated? What are we teaching our future generations? Underwear, a user, thinks that ATan is being too conservative. I beg to differ.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Take Home Chef

This cooking show is about Curtis Stone, a chef, and his camera crew, looking out for female shoppers at supermarkets to cook their meals for them. The meals are based on the likes of the people they are cooking for, or on the type of supermarkets they are at. He buys the ingredients for the dishes he will cook and usually includes a kitchen appliance as a gift to them.

On the way to their homes, he gets to know them and things about the people whom they will be eating with. Once there, he cooks the dishes in their kitchens and teaches them some cooking tips too. Then together, they surprise the people coming over to the house. After finishing up the dishes, he serves them to the pair, introducing them in the process before leaving the pair to enjoy the meal. Interviews with him and the pair on their feelings about certain parts of the show are interspersed throughout the programme.

I enjoy watching this programme and wish that we could have a local version. Then again, I doubt that chefs here are that free to do what he does. It would be nice to have a chef approach me i0n the supermarket to offer to cook on my behalf, since I'm still a novice at it. However, cooking is a labour of love to me and by cooking for my guests, it is my way of showing love to them. This is how I've been brought up as a Nonya. Perhaps I am not suitable to be approached by a chef then. Lol.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

She's Too Young(2004)

This is a good educational medium for youths who engage in promiscuity and the power of peer pressure. Hannah is a decent girl who wants to fit in with her friends who boast about their sexual exploits. When she starts dating an older boy she likes, she rejects his attempt to get her to have sex with him. She eventually gives in to his psychologically manipulative attempt to make her feel bad about rejecting him, and agrees to have sex with him.

With her foray into sexual intimacy, she changes into a more liberal person who mistakes sex for love. She even tries to be intimate with her male best friend who has always been there for her but he gently pushes her away.

Her friends are found to have a STD and soon she finds that she has contracted it too. Hannah is later accosted at a party by her date's friend and fortunately, her best friend rescues her. Her parents pick her up from his place, after having developed an understanding towards what she is going through. As for her friends, one has a curfew imposed on her by her mother and this helps to turn her back to the right path, since she is forced to spend time with her family, while the other retains her rebellious streak and goes for a threesome with strangers before being sent off to a boarding school.

Beautiful Girl(2003)

This movie redefines beauty through a plump beauty queen contestant. Her beauty comes out in her confidence, her love for the children she teaches, her singing talent and her compassion towards a rival contestant despite being scoffed at. She becomes a role model for her rival and inspires her to stand up against her mother for forcing her to participate in beauty pageants. Her beauty even causes her to edge out her fellow contestants to win one of the top places in the contest.

In the process of exemplifying lasting beauty, she does fall prey to the empty perception of beauty. Dyeing her hair blond is one of the things she does to be conventionally beautiful. She almost loses herself and her loved ones while getting carried away in her preparations for the pageant. She manages to find herself again just before the contest and asks for forgiveness from her fiance.

Her mother also initially believes that she can never win the pageant due to her lack of conventional beauty and does not share her joy in having gotten the opportunity to participate. However, she slowly realises the error of her ways and gives her utmost support to her daughter at the pageant.