Sunday, May 21, 2006

The power of silk...

Aaaaaahhh... I got this kimono on EBay some weeks ago. It is lovely and so soft. The Seller is amazing: Japanese Antiques. Very helpful and friendly.

I wish I could use kimono when going out, but people may probably think I am going to a costume party. I will be wearing it at home, but probably need to shorten it a bit, or wear with some high-heeled sandals (or geta maybe?).

This type of kimono is a called an iro-muji. Iro-muji are kimono in solid colour, with no patterns, except in some cases a mon (ie, family crest) stenciled or embroidered in the back. This type of kimono can be worn on both formal and informal occasions, however if a mon is present it becomes more of a formal outfit. Mine is in rinzu silk, with textured pattern woven into the fabric - waves, in this case. It's a dusky rose colour, very pretty, and it is lined - the lining being in silk as well. It is also a mon-less iro-muji.

The picture I took from the seller's auction page on EBay. I still haven't had time to take any myself. I have other kimono to get pictures from: my red pre-WWII with urushi (lacquer) leaves, my nenneko (travelling kimono for carrying babies in the back!), and the haori (kimono coat) I am receiving this week.

The haori I also bought from Japanese Antiques, especially for my friend Audrey's wedding, in Sorrento next week. I will use it over a silk dress, and will post some pics later on hopefully. I also got a black silk haori with mon, in transparent soft rinzu, and that was very, very cheap, also from the same seller. Lovely!

For more information on mon please go to the amazing Japanese Emblem Library website. You can spend hours looking at those wonderful patterns, seriously! It's such a fantastic reference. Well-done!

Friday, May 19, 2006

A maid's life isn't all a sea of roses de arimasu!

As I was saying on a previous post, when Keroro arrives to Earth (Pokopen) he is found by Fuyuki Hinata and starts living with the family. There, Natsumi Hinata assigns him to all domestic chores - that were up to her until then, since Aki (the Mother) works 24/7 as a manga publisher. He agrees, of course, in exchange for staying in the house.

In the first episode of the series, which I received yesterday, he gets acquainted to a vacuum cleaner. He loves it and gets so excited and so amazed with the appliance, that he ends vaccum-cleaning Natsumi's skirt, much to her justifiable fury, of course.

That reminded of myself some years ago. We got that vaccum cleaner and, before I started working, I used to stay in the house, cleaning. One day I vaccum-cleaned a toilet roll. En entire one. Inadvertedly, of course. And I was so perplexed that I was unable to switch the thing off. I was just staring as the roll was quickly swallowed by the greedy, crazed device. Paper and, most impressively, cardboard roll.

Needless to say Keroro was as well startled and could not manage to press the button to switch it off. Natsumi-chan was in a rage, of course, and could not stop calling him, "stupid frog". Yelling at him, that is... I so much identify with Keroro... We are very much alike, he he!

(See, a maid's life is not easy).

My Dad (just a little tribute...)

If my Dad was still alive he would turn 103 today, May 19th. I took the above picture some months before he passed away. My Mom and him. I love the way they look there, although they both seem to silently acknowledge that there was not much time left. I wish he was still around. I am sure now we would have lots of things to talk about.

I miss you.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mark and the sealion...

Just love this picture. Mark in the Lisbon Zoo being kissed by a sealion! Look at his/her moustaches... It bet it was a wee bit itchy, but I would just love to be kissed by one! Closest I got to that was to help removing a paper cup from a dolphin's mouth in Miami Seaquarium. It was great... A dolphin's skin must be the softest thing in the whole nature! And they know how to behave when they need help... Aaaaaaawwww...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Little beauty tips

OK! I was in one of these days where I had nothing to do and just wanted to chat online a bit (yes, that happens). I was in a girly board to which I subscribe to, then one of the threads was about beauty tips, namely, you should go there and add some beauty tips that you judge are handy, or cool, or beauty things you can't live without.

I have some. As in Brazil we say, if a piece of advice were really worth it, then it would not be given but sold. What I mean is, I don't follow all (or rather part of) these tips every single day, of course not. But I can safely say that I try and practice most of them.

I think it's always good to share those things.

- Do not wash your face with soap. That's my Mom's wise advice. She is 62 and has got gorgeous skin. Only water and products with no soap, no alcohol or abrasive chemicals are enough.

- Always use a sunblock. At least SPF15, even when it rains, in the office, whenever exposed to daylight, directly or indirectly.

- Do not use a cream with sunblock at night t
ime, when going to sleep. It will irritate your skin. Use instead, if needs be, a night cream. Your skin has different rhythms at night.

- Do use oil for cleansing your face: Shu Uemura (my favourite), FANCL mild cleansing oil, or RMK are great options. It leaves skin baby-soft and it's much milder than exfoliators.

- Do use a primer before foundation and after moisturiser. Clarins Perfecting Touch is gorgeous and does not irritate problematic complexions.
- Do glow: undereye concealer and a nice subtle shimmery veil always look nice. I use the Shiseido concealers or Clé de Peau stick (also from Shiseido), and for the "shimmery" touch a Japanese pressed powder called "Maikohan", from Sana. This goes over everything else: foundation, powder, blush if any, always dusted very lightly.

- Do not smoke.

- Do drink lots of green tea.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New Asian Horror Films

I have decided to get some new Asian horror films for my collection! Scaaaary! And I got quite a bunch of them from both Play and Amazon:

- "The Ghost" (aka "Ryeong");
- "Whispering Corridors" (aka
"Yeogo Goedam");
"Memento Mori" (aka "Yeogo Goedam 2");
- "Wishing Stairs"
(aka "Yeogo Goedam 3");
- "Premonition" (aka
- "Ju-rei: the Uncanny" (aka
- "The Eye 2" (aka "Gin Gwai 2").

Yesterday we watched "The Ghost", which seemed like a hybrid of "Dark Water" and "The Grudge". Lots of creepy and crawly hairy women coming out of the water (sounds familiar, huh?). The plot is a bit confusing. A group of high-school bullies in a dark tale of friendship and revenge. Average, I would say, but nonetheless entertaining.

The rest of the DVD's did not arrive yet, but since they will arrive while Mark is in Malaysia, I will not have the chance to watch them until he's back. I really do love horror films to bits, but I could not possibly watch them by myself, alone at night...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

In the GP today...

I went to my GP today, because I had the flu since last week and wanted to get a certificate and talk to him about my annoying and constant illnesses. We were expecting for the results of an ultrassound of my gallbladder since the 11th of April. The results never arrived and today he phoned Radiology in St. Vincent's Hospital to see what was the story. They read it to him and it turns out that I have "multiple gallstones".

Dr. Kavanagh explained to me that I need to pay attention and see if I get any pains, because since it's "multiple" stones there is a risk for the gallbladder to burst and thus for me to get a bad infection as a result. He was amazed that the Hospital did not send him the results until now, of course. He also explained that I might need to go into surgery, but he doesn't know how the surgery would be, ie, which method should be used. So, he gave me a referral letter and the name of the specialist (surgeon) that will evaluate the situation.

I was a bit anxious because I never had a surgery in my life. I mean, I had one once, when I was 10. I was born with a small tumour in my tongue and, when I was about 9-10, it started to bleed constantly. That's why I got the surgery, so it could be sent to biopsy. It was not malignant, of course. I had local anesthesia for a surgery that was supposed to be performed with general anesthesia. Why was that? I refused to get "asleep" during the procedure because I saw my Father years before, when he came out of an operation and was very shocked, since he looked dead. I never forgot that image. I Really thought if I got the general anesthesia I could die while asleep, never wake up, things like that. And since that age, I hated the idea of leaving things "undone", unresolved, unachieved. And to leave people "waiting for me" somehow. I was afraid of not showing up in that specific case.

My Father stayed with me for the operation, holding my hand all the time. I still remember that. It was quite bad and painful afterwards, I've lost lots of blood, for it seems the tongue is very irrigated. But he was there all the time and I had the strength to go on with that thing, thanks to him. I did not cry, I did not move, and could only thing about "not falling asleep" and show some guts. Now, these thoughts are back. I don't even know if I need a surgery with general anesthesia yet, but the thought of that really creeps me out.

I will only see the specialist on June 14th, after coming back from Italy. I will try and not think very much about it, really!

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I have received the DVD this week, from my beloved CDJapan, and what a lovely surprise! "Waterboys" is a light-hearted, witty, adorable comedy about these high-school boys that - initially trying to have a go at their new, attractive (female) swimming teacher - end up by forming a synchronised swimming team! Yes, all because the teacher was specialised in synch swim and a bit insecure about teaching in an all-boys school. Thing is, Sensei is pregnant and goes on maternity leave.

Meanwhile, they are discovered by the local news and cannot go back now and give up their plans for the school Festival - where they would hold their first presentation. It's funny to see them struggling with their fears and insecurities, and how they end up being "trained" (well, sort of!) by a wacky dolphin trainer guy (Isomura-san), in the local Seaquarium.

The humour is light, with some unexpected, hilarious scenes and unforgettable situations. It would look great in manga, I think, for its fast pace, very graphic scenes and daydreaming moments. There is, for example, a super-cool scene where the main character (Suzuki-kun, the leader) meets his soon-to-be girlfriend, and another where Sato-kun's afro hairdo goes on fire. All very well-performed and directed. All in all, if you love fun for the sake of fun, and clever, uncompromised entertainment, you should defo give it a go!