Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tamama again: too many fizzy drinks

Well, yesterday I blogged a cute Youtube video of Tamama passing some, ahem, gas. He actually blames all the fizzy drinks and colas he drinks in Momochi's house for his uncontrollable "flatulence".

The 1st time he appeared in a Keroro Gunsou episode was quite funny actually. Of course he could not avoid farting (and obviously embarrassing and infuriating Momochi!).

Here it is, with subtitles. Priceless...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tamama up to his tricks...

Oy, no comments here, but I think it's hilarious...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Being crabby, part 3

I am back and crabby again (but is that really something to be boasting about???). Anyway, I've been feeling quite tired as of late, and a bit anxious about my trip to Rio, since my passports are not ready yet. But I prefer not to talk about it - this way, I will not feel even MORE anxious.

This time, I will have Lenore instead of Lucy Van Pelt to portray my own "crabbiness". Lenore is the "cute little dead girl", and sometimes she gets crabby alright, in spite of being a nice little sould (ahem, most of the time).

Like me - even if not literally a "soul", of course.

Mkay, then... Here are some more little things that crabbify me:
  • Tyra Banks - especially when she turns any little event into a part of her own life and basically transforms America's Next Top Model in her autobiography. You know, we want to see the girls being bitchy, the catfights and so on... But not to hear TB going on about how great she thinks she is. Oh, and there's also those theatrical silly faces she makes. And the chicken legs. And...
  • December issues of most magazines - with those silly Gift Ideas guides. Seriously: have you ever bought anything based on those guides? Me neither.
  • People who spell "concealor" instead of "concealer".
  • People who spell "definately" or - even worse - "definatly", instead of "definitely".
  • People who spell "diSSapointment" instead of "disappointment".
  • Girls who insist in matching the colour of their outfit to their eyeshadow. Like: orange top, of course an orange eyeshadow. Green top? You guessed! Green eyeshadow! And so on... Haven't they ever heard of neutrals, ie, khaki, taupe, black, brown, grey, gold, silver? Or colour combinations? Green with browns, browns with reds, blues with grays, lavenders with pale greens etc etc?
  • My passports not being ready.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pumpkin eats pumpkin...

This happened yesterday, during Hallowe'en's celebrations and fireworks! Pumpkins decided to go Hannibal (Lecter). But that was after watching too many JHorror flicks, methinks...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Hero

Here's my Hero! He completed the Marathon in 3 hours 56 minutes. In his blog, you can read a description of his running adventures.

I knew he would make it!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mona Lisa's Face!

Taking a ride on Mark's post, I also morphed myself into the Mona Lisa! That website is addictive. So, my next step will be to morph myself onto Hello Kitty, maybe?

I morphed myself into some guys, but then I ended up with a beard, very weird. Some characters/people really "swallow" you and it looks just like them, not even very hybrid at all. These must be the ones with the strongest features, I think! Some others look cool though!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Kitty Most Pretty!!!

Yay! They are so cute! I will be listing them on eBay tomorrow. These Kitties are part of the Pula Loli (Gothic Lolita & Punk) series. These are duplicates that I want to try selling on eBay. I really like the way the pictures turned out!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Being crabby, part 2

More stuff that makes me crabby:
  • All the rave about some interchangeable blonde singers - Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, well... Bitchney Spears, I should add. I really hate those red lips and that silly quiff of the former. As for the Aguilera one, what is that... The latter, heh, what else remains to be said??? Seriously, when I say "interchangeable", some times is hard to distinguish between them, no? Blonde and talentless. Bleah...
  • Well, celebrity scents - by the way all of the above singing blondes have their own now. I would hate to smell like them.
  • User-proof packaging and wrappings - those that require you to use a knife and almost stab yourself in the process. Marks and Spencer's deli stuff is an example. Annoying...
  • Bureaucracy in general - I will not even mention examples here because it makes my blood boil. And this is not healthy.
  • The Olly Girls (is that it?) - a pair of dumb blondes (also interchangeable) in the cable TV here (E Entertainment TV, methinks). I don't even know the exact channels, but they are squeaky and utterly "stoopid" and have annoying voices.
  • Daytime TV with ads for: life insurance, death insurance (eh? Yeah, stuff like "leave more than good memories after you're gone", how morbid is that???), debts and loans, how to sue your employer or anyone else etc etc... They (media moguls, wha'ever!) assume daytime TV is something that only losers and people with one foot in the grave watch. Hey, I am not dying, 'kay? And I am not a loser either. Ha!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mark's Marathon

Mark is going to run the Dublin City Marathon on Oct'29th, in aid of MS Ireland! I have added the banner right under my blog header, in case you wish to make a donation to the society and sponsor him!

Thanks so much for your support!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Shu Uemura beautiful picture

Shu Uemura, the best makeup creator ever. I love all his products (except the bronzer, tee-hee!), and he is pure genius. In this business for years and with the most superb colours and minimalist designs. One can only love him.

I found this picture of Uemura-san in one of the Shu Uemura's websites. It is gorgeous, a wonderful picture. He is holding his famous Botan (peony) brush, which is very, very dear by the way! I love his face, his eyes and wrinkles. Just beautiful!

For more info, please click here.

OK then: which Death Note character are you?

I should be embarrassed to post this. Even because I am NOT a psycho! According to Mark's theories, he was expecting me to get this results since, in his understanding, I am basically a "moral" person and believe in punishment for crimes and injustice. Yes, I think I do, OK...

And, if I found a Death Note and read it, I would die to test it. I would not just ignore it, because I am very curious by nature. What can I do? I would probably start a huge conflict inside me: "Should I? Should I not?", and be completely stressed-out and restless for weeks. Then I would get name and face of a really evil criminal, a psychotic serial killer preferably, and make a little test after some time.

Sorry to admit, but that's what I would most certainly do. And I would probably befriend my Shinigami as well. Ryuk at any rate, was a very likeable character... I don't know what would happen afterwards but I certainly would not continue killing anyone else. I would be in a shock - yet again.

Well, yes, I am "him" in this quiz. Here's the results:

Quiz Result Provided By:

What Death Note Character Are You?

Hosted by Anime. Done right.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Being crabby, part 1...

Yes, time to vent a bit... Some things that make me crabby, real crabby:
  • People that refer to themselves in the 3rd person - that seems to be a bit of a fad among some bloggers these days. It really drives me nuts.
  • TV ads for car insurance, especially women's car insurance, eg, Diamond and Sheila's Wheels. I will not even link to them here because they seriously make me ill and do not deserve a single click. Ditto.
  • Being in a queue and having someone invading my personal space from behind, like almost leaning on me to the point where I can feel their breath on my neck. Even worse when you don't have where to escape.
  • Women with baby trolleys on a rampage. Just because they have babies they think they not only rule the world but also can run over you. Who cares about your legs? It's a mum with a baby, and in a hurry! I know it sounds mean - people get over-sensitive when you complain about mothers-with-babies - but let's face it: it can be extremely annoying.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tonight's Last Quiz: Keroro Gunsou Character??

He! I love this one because it is one of my fave manga!
Which Keroro Gunsou character are you?

Which Sgt. Frog character are you?

Hinata Natsumi!
You care a lot about your family, but can hate someone in particular, even if they haven't done anything bad.
Take this quiz!

Which Haruhi Suzumiya Character Are You?

Saturday night, time for Anime quizz (again, ha ha). This time from super-cool Haruhi Suzumiya series! So, I am (or seem to be)...

Quiz Result Provided By:

What Suzumiya Character Are You?

Hosted by Anime. Done right.

It says - in case you cannot read it:

"You are Mikuru Asahina.
You are a shy and caring person, but sometimes weird."

Oh well, I can be a bit like Mikuru alright, but mostly because I squeak a lot. Well, yeah, maybe I am weird.

By the way, Mark me brought a Haruhi doll from Oslo! He bought it in a Japanese shop there, Neo Tokyo! Actually he likes Haruhi, the anime series. It's quite strange and funny, a bit surreal in fact, and Haruhi is someone with whom lots of people must identify with. I have had lots of Aliens, Espers and Ghost experiences in my teen days - I really "wanted to believe", but that's something for another post maybe (or, to be really sincere, I don't feel like talking about that very much nowadays!).

At any rate, my doll is very nice and cute (most used word in this blog probably!) and already in my display cabinet along with Chi, Keroro, Tamama and others:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Which Inuyasha Character Are You?

If you're fan of Inu Yasha, this quiz is very cool! Here's my results (funny, I more or less expected that):

Quiz Result Provided By:

What Inuyasha Character Are You?

Hosted by Anime. Done right.

Er... It's impossible to read what it says, but here it is:

"You are Sango. You are introverted, organized, intelligent and determined.
You have a great potential to do almost everything you want.
Your only weakness is your emotions, which can sometimes get the best of you.
Learn to express yourself properly, and you will overcome this."

Rabbit X Ice Cone

Example of a very cool design. Also VERY cute...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vivara by Emilio Pucci

What really made me buy this scent was my memory of the original Vivara in the 60's, which my Mother used to wear and whose box and bottle I loved. I still remember how beautiful those flacons used to be - much nicer than the ones nowadays - and a real treasure for any curious little brat (as I used to be, easily amused - and enchanted).

Alas, I cannot quite remember the smell though. I try and try, but I cannot.

A soft Chypre, it is described as, and also as a lighter version of the original, a more modern approach to that concept.

I was absolutely attracted to the lovely flacon, which reminds me of some retro Murano paperweights - another cherished childhood memory. As one can see, I had some really subjective reasons to buy it, and I don't regret it. Not one bit.

This will certainly be one of those memorable scents (for me at least) of 2007. It is fresh, elegant, subtle, and sometimes I can smell some green pears and limes mixed to narcissus, orange blossom and jasmine in the heart notes. The bergamot in the head also reminds me of beautiful Amalfi, one of my favourite places in this world. A sudden whiff of Southern Italy, warm sunsets and deep teal seas.

As for the base notes, I can smell some very familiar accords, something that I really have smelled before, a long time ago, perhaps the remains of the original Vivara: rounded patchouli, a hint of silvery iris (or maybe violet, hard to tell) and a tamed and feminine vétiver note, lingering and striving to live forever.

It sometimes brings me to mind the lovely sweetness of the citrussy notes in Hierbas de Ibiza, and some almost Penhaligon-ish freshness also seems to try and make an appearance - but then again, I think it's only my mind playing tricks. Maybe. Maybe not! Smell of good things that I try to locate somewhere, and some time ago.

Vivara is a happy yet restrained little gem, a green fragrance that is sure to bring you many happy moments and fragrant memories.

To be cherished...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oink oink or woof woof?

Yes: doggy or piggy? You decide... But he is such an adorable little fella, no? Of course it's a dog, but somehow he looks like a cute little piggy too. I wish I had one...
(Where did I get him? Daily Puppy of course!)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Current objects of desire (scents)

Inspired by a trip into town today, I have compiled a little wish list of my current mainstream fragrances. I say "mainstream" because I normally don't go for department store or duty free stuff. I prefer creations from the more "obscure" houses, such as L'Artisan Parfumeur, Serge Lutens, Ormonde Jayne, Editions de Parfums, The Different Company and so on. They smell different, unique most of the times. Some would call that "niche" but, for some reason, I hate that term - it sounds snobbish and unnecessarily elitist. I would rather call it fragrances from "less popular" houses. Seriously. After all, it's not like they are hidden somewhere from the noses of the non-initiated souls or something wacky like that. They have been there for some time, and are not a well-kept Masonic secret nor a mysterious Harry Potterish formula, right? That's how I see it and why I dislike the "niche" term.

Well, then here is my list of those mainstream gems:

- Estée Lauder "Pleasures Delight";
- Dior "Midnight Poison";
- Marc Jacobs' "Daisy";
- Sarah Jessica Parker "Lovely";
- Fresh "Cannabis Santal";
- Kenzo's "Tokyo".

I tried most of them and really liked it. I haven't tried "Tokyo" though, but for me it's a hit always. I mean, Kenzo is a sure hit (no miss!). Always. And the concept of "Tokyo" surely attracts me lots: because I favour "men's" scents (note I don't believe fragrance has something like a gender, really, that's why I wear them all - men and women alike), and because I love Japan. That's why wearing Kenzo's idea of how Tokyo smells like seems like a must to me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

When language fails

On Friday we watched Babel, a "strange" little film which happens to be a masterpiece. Or at least one of those films that will be either loved or hated, with no "yeah, but" in between. I happen to love it.

To me it seems like a tale about communication (or lack thereof), diversity and understanding. Babel comes from the Hebrew word Balal, meaning "to confuse" or "to confound". The film is composed by 4 intertwined stories taking place in 4 different parts of the world: the border between the US and Mexico, Morocco and Tokyo. The protagonists of these micro-stories are all linked by a weapon, and for some of them, their lives will be irremediably changed.

4 languages are heard throughout the film. The characters all have their own issues in dealing with the world: an American couple separated after the death of a baby and now holidaying in Morocco, a Moroccan family where one of the kids had just shot a bus by an unfortunate accident, a Japanese girl who is deaf-mute, has recently lost her Mom and strives in interacting with her own Father, that same accidental shooting in Morocco that now risks to become an international crisis, two American kids going to a wedding in Mexico with their Nanny, the Nanny being arrested for crossing the border "illegally" and unable to communicate with the US authorities in equal terms, the same American couple united by tragedy and now striving to understand each other, and so on. Depressing situations, sad outcomes, one misunderstanding after another.

The actors were excellent (especially Rinko Kikuchi and Adriana Barraza), conveying the excruciating pain of being misunderstood and not being able to communicate themselves properly. It's sad to see Chieko desperately trying too have sex and attract the guys - who seem to be repelled by her being a deaf-mute. For her, in her own silent world, words do not work - it becomes clear in the night club scene. She has no words for people around her and, when she flashes her "hairy monster", it's like she is trying to make love to that same world that rejects her, trying to make herself comprehended by other means. If words cannot be said and thus, understood, then her actions may.

It's also hard to see Richard (the American guy played by Brad Pitt) trying to shout and be understood in the little Moroccan village in the middle of the desert, while his wife risks to bleed to death. Or when the Moroccan boys escape with their Dad thinking the American woman "has died". Or Amelia being questioned and humiliated by the US authorities. It can be quite uneasy.

Sad and depressing it is, but nonetheless worth seeing. Not for entertainment, not for fun, but as something that must be seen, because it shows how things happen and how people involved in these events may be connected, for good or bad.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Theoty by Shiseido (Bénéfique)

Adam sent me some samples of this lipstick, Theoty Bénéfique by Shiseido. My favourite colour must be the one in the picture, nr. 58, a brown, coppery nude shade, very warm and shimmery. The texture is amazing, and it stays for quite some time.

One of the things I love about Shiseido is the variety of lines and the amazing design of the items. Pity we don't have most of these wonders here in this region (they are Asia exclusive).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I love Amy! Awww....

This cute, adorable, precious little girl is... Amy Winehouse! Or should I say WineMouse? Heee! I found it in some web news, due to her gone in rehab (for real, I mean). Isn't she lovely? Yeah, I know it sounds pretty much like the Stevie Wonder song, but what a cutie! The same face as today's! People talk and talk about her, but I think she is just amazing. They talk about her beehive, her eye liner, how tiny thin she is, but let's face it: she is amazing, she sings like the oldies, classical ladies of Song, she is the best these days. I agree she looked gorgeous by the time of the 1st CD, Frank. And although I prefer Back to Black, she is not looking as stunning as she was then. But I love her for her quirkiness, and her vulnerability. She is a girl with problems, and she admits it. One must only admire her.

Reminiscing now... I once dressed up as a Mouse too. Not Minnie, but Mickey Mouse. I was much older than Amy though. 19 or 20, er, a bit too old for the part, I admit. It was a costume party and I went my Mum and my Stepfather, Paulo Boneff. I had black tights, a large denim short, a man's shirt (Paulo's), big round shoes, a black ribbon as a tail, white satin gloves, a nose painted just like Amy's and my Mickey Mouse hat. Why was that so memorable? Well, Paulo drank lots and lots and got seriously stoned. He was a huge man and I was scared because he was moving and shouting like a troll. I started to cry, and the only thing I remember is how black my poor satin gloves become 'cause I cried and wiped my face, cried and wiped my nose, cried and rubbed my face (including my very own rodent's nose) with my impeccable rodent's satin gloves! Everything was OK in the end, of course. But it was something I never forgot!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sexy Swimwear (huh?)

... Mmmkay then... I found this while browsing the web. It's priceless, really. And unbelievable. But, no, wait. It is for real. Swimwear that preserves "your modesty". With culottes, sleeves and all you need to look, well, unique (to say the least)... And moronic - to say the cruel truth:

But, what really disturbs me is that the pics in the website all show under age girls, sort of pre-pubescent, long-haired average all-American kids (and Caucasian, exclusively). Apparently their objective is to emphasize the "face"... No boys aimed either - and they show much more "flesh" in the beach, for that matter. As you can see, no diversity allowed. At all.

(Entertaining, nonetheless!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bad Boy Bonzo

This cute postcard dates from 1931 and was sent to my Dad by one of his sisters. I managed to scan it and it looks quite good. It is Bonzo, an extremely cute and vivacious dog who - apparently - was always involved in some sort of misadventure.

I wonder what kind of dog he is: a mutt, a shar-pei or a bull terrier? Whatever he is, it's way to cute, no?

Friday, August 03, 2007

The last few days... (and some drawings)

I haven't been feeling too well the last few days. I think I have a hay fever because my eyes are itchy, my nose congested and sometimes bleeding, and also very itchy. It is very annoying hto have an itchy nose, believe me! No, frankly now, since I came back from Rio, I haven't been well enough. I hope I will feel better soon and resume my activities, such as going to the gym and sitting down to draw a bit - once again.

It's not like I am lazy and long for staying in bed. I love staying in bed and sleeping, it's true, but not all the time, while things happen outside, most importantly, while time goes by so quickly. In this sense, MS has been quite a debilitating factor in my life. As for drawing, I have been thinking a lot about re-starting. Will it be OK? I mean, will I be able to draw again? Is it something that gets "lost" when you age? It used to be easy for me some years ago. Then I stopped and, now, when I want to go back, I am not sure I will be able to. It sort of freaks me out the idea of not being able any more. I guess I can only know if I try. Obvious. But, what if I don't succeed? How will I cope? It's true that my vision is not what it used to be neither...

Here are some examples of my art work. These were part of a Tarot deck, and I really enjoyed doing it. But that was like 18 years ago. Will I be able to do something like that again? I only wish...

They represent the 4 suits of a Tarot deck (and of a normal deck of cards) and its corresponding elements:
  • Clubs - element Fire, first drawing from left to right...
  • Hearts - or Cups, element Water, 2nd drawing...
  • Diamonds - element Earth, 3rd drawing on bottom row...
  • Spades - element Air, the last one.
I miss a plan right now. Maybe coming back to it should be one of my plans, from now on.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Makeup Wishlist for Fall!

I want it, I want it, I want it!

Lunasol Geminate Eyes in 05 Ruby - Lunasol (by Kanebo) is nowadays my favourite brand for eye shadows (and foundation). So smooth and shiny, impossible to resist. This shade would be a nice addition, maybe!

Kate Gradical Eyes S in GN-1 -these days I am in love with greens. It goes really well with brown eyes and this new palette looks gorgeous. Kate, besides, is not expensive at all and the overall quality is outstanding. Also by Kanebo.

T'Estimo new single eye shadows - these are lovely indeed and also quite cheap. You can buy a little case separately and make your own palette. The colours I want are (respectively): DG-01, GY-36, WN-32 and GN-31. Once again, from Kanebo!

Shu Uemura Komon limited edition eyeshadows - in Ebi and Sakura. Sakura is the one in the photo. Ebi could be described as a very deep purple with warm wine undertones, from what I could gather from the tiny swatch in the Japanese website! These two together would look great, I think. Shu Uemura is also one of my favourite eye shadow brands, along with Lunasol.

Shiseido Maquillage Sparkle Contrast Eyes II - in RS-753. I have a previous release of this palette and love the texture, especially the creamy eye liner that comes with it. This new one includes a nuance powder (top left), a shadow powder (top right), a creamy eye liner (bottom left) and a creamy base (bottom right), as before. The base was quite shiny in the previous version, and looked especially nice when near the brow bones.

Friday, July 20, 2007

When I was little...

When I was little I used to watch a really funny show, called Topo Gigio. Created in Italy- he even had a lovely Italian accent -, I really loved it. That was some time in the 60-70's... A long time ago...

Gigio was a really cute puppet and I loved watching him at night, when he would kiss the presenter good-night, saying in a squeaky, funny voice: "Agildinho, me dá um beijinho de boa noite?".

(That means: "Agildinho, will you gimme a little good-night kiss?")

I had a little cutlery set, bowl and dish and also some stuffed and rubber Gigios, aaaww, how I miss it!

And here he is in all his glory!

SnapShots : to have or not to have...

Today, I have decided to (at least temporarily) give up on SnapShots. I think it makes navigation a bit crummy sometimes. For example: in some posts I have lots of links. If, in one hand it's great to have the snaps, in the other hand if there are too many links it can become confusing and the snaps can end up being mixed up with pop-ups. And this can become quite annoying, no?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Feeds, subscriptions and stuff...

I have decided to revamp a bit this blog. I have lots of plans, but as usual I'm a bit too lazy (or confused, d'uh...) to start making them a reality, he he! Anyhoo, here's the deal:

If you kinda like it (by "it" I mean, this blog) and would like to keep up-to-date with my silliness (kyaaahhh!!)... - you can subscribe to it! See my picture with fluffy Scruffy O'Bear at the bottom of my profile (right hand-side please, pretty please?) ? Yes? Good... Immediately underneath you will see a hyperlink saying...

"Subscribe to Andrea's Random Lil'Blog by email!"

Click on it and the dialog to enter you email and that security thingy with letters (you know what) will pop up. Then you enter your email, copy the random letters in the bottom field, click on "complete submission request" and ta-daah! Fingers cross'd, fingers cross'd! You should indeed receive updates on this blog after activating your subscription via an email that will be sent to your Inbox by the domain ""! I love this name by the way, "email onfire"! Sounds cool or what!

Well, it is very, very, very easy indeed. Sounds complicate here because I love going yada-yada-yada when I'm excited and this post is no exception.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Playing piano... aaaahhh...

Browsing YouTube once again I stumbled upon Nora, the piano Cat! It's so cute, she is an adorable, clever kitty! And she accompanies her mistress so well... Her story is lovely too, and you can read it here. Look at the way she tries to imitate humans (Betsy is a piano teacher) and how she moves her little ears, just too pretty:

I am in love with Nora! And I think this "Sequel" is even nicer, especially when she starts purring at the beginning. She must really love playing the piano, and certainly love music! It is amazing how concentrated she seems to be!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

"Tales from Earthsea", the film...

We have received Gedo no Senki DVD yesterday from CDJapan and watched it tonight. It marks the debut of Goro Miyazaki (Hayao Miyazaki's son) as a director for Studio Ghibli, and is based in Ursula LeGuin's book "Tales of Earthsea".

I haven't read the book, so I cannot judge how faithful the film is to it, but I loved it. It's a much darker and gloomier film than the other Ghiblis, which may perhaps characterise Goros' style of direction. Then again, I am not an expert, just a big Ghibli fan, so if it's his style or if the story itself required so, I cannot tell.

At any rate, the film is very pretty overall (as one may certainly expect from a Ghibli production) and quite sad in parts. I am very impressed by the expressions and how well they transmit the characters' range of emotions. It is serious stuff and there is no place for cute sidekicks here - no dustbunnies or talking kittens, I'm afraid! It is an exquisitely crafted production and the attention to details is enormous. The soundtrack plays no minor role here, although it's not by Joe Hisaishi this time, but Terashima Tamiya instead, who also counted with the talented performance and collaboration of Galician piper Carlos Nunez.

I must say that what impressed me the most was the film's main song, "Teru No Uta" ("Teru's Song"), which is sung by the voice actress Teshima Aoi (in the role of Teru, of course). It is a delightful song, almost like a lullaby, perhaps a bit on the melancholy side, but beautiful.

Here's the YouTube video, so you can see what I mean (the lyrics are by our very own Goro Miyazaki, by the way):

Monday, June 25, 2007

Manga to Love - "Death Note"

Mark and I finished reading Death Note, but I want Mark to write about it sometime soon, since it's a Manga that he loves even more than I do. I don't really know if I should title this as "Manga to Love". Maybe it should be "Manga to Move" or something like that, it really makes you think... Apart from that I will only say that it is really beautifully drawn, perfect in (almost) all senses, but a bit depressing, maybe? I don't know. I loved it, but it left me feeling a bit empty. Somehow.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Shiba Wanko Books

I bought 2 of these books on EBay (where else!), and they are just gorgeous. These days I am quite obsessed with Shiba Inu puppies, and just could not resist to them. Since I cannot have the real pups, why not the books at least? And it can also help me to start drawing again, since it's very much the style I love, very colourful and detailed.

Hannari-Ya is the lovely Seller. I like buying from them because everything arrives super-fast and they have a great collection of Japanese goodies.

Well the 1st book in the series is called Wa no Kokoro, and explains the traditions and customs related to each season and holiday in Japan, from Tanabata to the Hanami season, and also how to hold chopsticks or to pray in a shrine, for example. The main characters are Shiba Wanko and his little kitty friend, Miike Nyanko, who introduce us to a typical day in the country and all its symbols and rich cultural background.

The 2nd one, Wa no Kokoro 2, demonstrates how to wear a kimono, and explains about Hina Matsuri (Girls Festival) and the traditional Kabuki theatre, among other customs. It also describes how to make incense for the Summer days, and how pleasant it must be to savour the colourful and exquisite wagashi (sweets). Ahhhh, that makes me think of Minamoto Kitchoan's delicacies... How I miss it!

The books are all in Japanese, no translation so far (let's hope!). However, the illustrations are so detailed that you don't even need a text to know (more or less!) what is going on, or what the meanings of such and such tradition or celebration may be. Of course, if you are already familiar with some aspects of Japanese culture it gets easier since you can recognise what it's all about. Otherwise, just don't worry, but relax and enjoy the lovely pictures. Not to be missed!

Selling on EBay!

Well, this week I finally started selling stuff on EBay! Audrey came here and helped me to set the "business". Now to what exactly I am selling... As you may expect, duplicates of my Hello Kitty mascots and netsuke, and other cute stuff, such as mobile phone pouches, notebooks etc...

We have listed only 5 items so far, to see how it works. But, if it turns out to be OK, I will also sell some manga books, DVDs, stationery and other things that became "redundant" down here! Let's see how it goes, let's see...

My stuff is listed here, in case you want to have a look!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cute pup goes toilet-training

Seriously, who can possibly resist to this??? From YouTube again, from a very fortunate owner of a cutilicious Shiba Inu. The puppie seems to be well trained toilet-wise, but very scared of the results... I want one (the puppie, not the poo, of course!)...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Snap Shots!

Introducing Snap Shots from

I just installed a nice little tool on this blog called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site. That's why you will see a little balloon following any links available inside the posts, indicating that preview is enabled.

Sometimes Snap Shots brings the information needed right to the readers, without them having to leave the current blog, while other times Snap Shots enables users to "look ahead," before deciding if they want to follow a link or not, saving them time and effort and increasing their ability to focus on the content that matters most to them.

However, should you decide this is not for you, just click "Disable" in the upper right corner of the Snap Shots bubble and opt-out of it. I believe some people may find it annoying at times!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Animation - "Corpse Bride"

We watched Corpse Bride last night and it is a gorgeous little film.

I love the way Tim Burton has turned "death" into something cute. The characters are so likeable and human, and I think it's great for kids so they can be a bit more understanding of death, maybe. Even us, grown-ups, are not so understanding, but this film lightens up such a gloomy and scary theme. Somehow.

The soundtrack by Danny Elfman is also remarkable, especially the piano solos played by Victor and Emily, and the musical pieces taking place in the world "below", very funny and well-choreographed.

It is also cool to see the contrast between the rigid, grey real-life world and the bright colourfulness of the world of the Dead. As if the Dead guys were the ones "released" whereas their "alive" counterparts are those restrained to a colourless, almost monochrome existence.

The characters of the brides (Victoria and Emily) are brilliantly voiced-over by Helena Bonham-Carter and Emily Watson, who bring emotion and grace to their roles. Victor, as one may expect from Burton, is of course Johnny Depp - also impeccable as the very Brit and shy groom-to-be Victor Van Dort.

Needless to say the animation is superb, and those characters are so pretty (well, the good ones at least!) that you end up by falling in love with them. They have big, soulful eyes and the expressions are perfect, as well as their movements. They seem to float effortlessly and you detect no stiffness or harsh moves at all. Lightly and gracefully. Beautiful indeed.

My favourite characters are the brides of course, and also the corpse-dog Scraps - who used to belong to Victor when he was a little boy. The plot is not only simple (no unnecessary frills here), but very clever and funny, something to be enjoyed by both adults and kids.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


This was in my Google page today, could not resist to share (from Dog of The Day)! He looks like a tiny Shiba Inu, and it's just too gorgeous. I wish I had one...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Manga to Love - "Inubaka"

Inubaka is a very cute manga released by Viz Media. I found it at one of our local bookshops, bught the 2nd volume by mistake, and managed to get the 1st one some weeks later from Justmanga.

It tells the story of an adorable 18 year-old girl, Suguri, who decides to move from Saitama to Tokyo with her dog Lupin (a lovely mutt, probably with some Akita blood I would say). She expects to find a job and change her life in the big city and, once there, literally stumbles upon Teppei - a handsome pet shop owner - when Lupin tries to have a go at his she-dog, Noa, yet another super-cute dog, this time a pure breed black Labrador.

Teppei gets really annoyed at Lupin's advances and to compensate for that, the embarrassed Suguri offers to work at his pet shop. Reluctantly, he ends up by accepting her offer.

From then on, the book revolves around her new life at the shop, getting to meet new people and new puppies, and showing how the customers interact with the animals, how they choose their pets, how puppies are cared for, and so on. Also, she happens to have an outstanding talent for the job, and her love, dedication and understanding of dogs is something out of this world. At one stage, Teppei even wonders if she is not a dog herself!

It's a very funny and entertaining manga, different from most, because it shows how a pet shop is supposed to work, how breeders do their job and how attached to a puppy anyone can become. Very interesting and extremely well-drawn, the manga is rich in visual details and research.

I read volumes 1 and 2, and cannot wait for what comes next!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Manga to Love - "Blood Alone"

I am back, finally, from my hermit days. Or at least, I hope so! I haven't been up to very much, really. Feeling way too tired most of the time, which is a waste of time, but then again I must accept that things are like that from time to time.

At least I've been reading lots lately, and finding some real gems of my beloved manga genre! This one is called Blood Alone, by Masayuki Takano, and tells the story of a girl (Misaki) who is not only cute and honest and intelligent. She is also a vampire. And she lives with a writer called Kuroe, who is also intelligent and gorgeous, and holds some mysterious connection with her own past. It may sound at first like nothing but ordinary, but believe me this is not just yet another vampire manga. There are lots of intrigue, suspense, unusual characters and romance too. And the artwork may be one of the best ones I've seen lately, very accurate (facial expressions are just amazing) and detailed, extremely elegant. Impossible not to fall completely for Misaki and Kuroe.

For screenshots of the book, visit the publisher's website and select Blood Alone from the list, so you can read it online first. I have not tried though, since I read the books already, vols. 1 and 2 (and back-ordered 3), but it must work!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Le Japon Artistique

My Dad gave me a book years ago, an encyclopaedia of Japanese Arts, when I first entered the University, in 1979-80, some time before he passed away I think... It's an amazing collection of 3 books dated from 1888, by S. Bing, an art dealer specialised in Art Nouveau and Oriental art. It may be the oldest books I have and, unfortunately, way too heavy to bring it home to Dublin. It's called Le Japon Artistique.

When I was younger I used to sit down at a table and copy some of the patterns reproduced there. It's an invaluable reference. I just found out in my last visit that there is even a chapter on "manga", showing old manga reproductions. Not the manga that we know nowadays, but the manga as is, ie, "irresponsible (whimsical) sketches", inside the large section dedicated to Hokusai. The collection is exquisite, and has everything one needs to know about Japanese Art up to some years after the Meiji era. Lots of text, black and white and coloured plates. Hard it is to preserve such an old book. It is in quite good state, however not perfect. Rio's humidity is to blame for its not-so-perfect condition, but still, if you handle it with care and love you'll gain an endless number of delightful hours. A gem...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

New Manga: Princess Tutu

Yesterday we went to Forbidden Planet and I bought myself a new manga, which was already in my wish list for some time, Princess Tutu.

It is a very cute story, in the "magical girl" genre, almost as cute as Cardcaptor Sakura, really. The story is very childish, and about a girl called Ahiru who is a ballet student and falls in love with a boy who is also a dancer in the same school. Mytho seems to be a bit too weird, and Ahiru's visit to a clothes shop (of sorts) opens the door of a magical world where she becomes Princess Tutu and no longer the clumsy little girl that she uses to be in the real world. As Tutu she will be able to rescue her beloved (or at least we hope!) from his apathetic and almost lifeless state.

Why did I buy this? The artwork is very pretty, especially the characters expressions and movement. I am not expecting any depths story-wise. Purely for the fun of it!

Back from Rio

I am back from Rio since last Sunday, the 22nd. I miss it lots of course. I had a nice flight back, ate some ice lollies and had a nice chat with some guys I met in the plane. It was OK. I also listened to lots of J-Pop songs while watching the films that were on. Yes. You got it, at the same time. Just reading the subtitles and listening to Japanese songs, which sounds a bit weird. But hey... Life is too short, right?

As Mark blogged about today already, we are fascinated with our new domestic appliances. It was a hard day though. but the house is (almost) spotless now. And we are very, very tired!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Back to the Gym!

Today I went back to the gym, after 4 days at home! Feeling much better! I did 12.6km in the bike and 2.5 in the threadmills! Very happy with it, it's quite a challenge, but I am loving it!

I took the picture below 2 days ago, in the library here, and used a color pencil effect from an old version of Paint Shop. I like the colours of the background, with the books and pictures in the wall...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

News from Rio...

Long time no posts, I know, but I am sort of taking a rest from computers in general, just relaxing and taking it easy.

Mark went back to Dublin on Sunday but we have been talking everyday of course. I miss him lots, and wish he were still here, but it's only 5 weeks now until I come back!

Only problem is I got an infection (caused by the so-called rotavirus), and was forced to stay home since Monday night. I am taking antibiotics and today, for the 1st time, I felt better and started eating like a human being. Until yesterday my diet consisted of 1 banana and 1 apple every meal, which is bleahhh... Really. But today I had a little grilled fillet steak with broccoli and mashed potatoes.

I missed the gym for 3 days but tomorrow I will be back, unless I relapse, which is very unlikely. So, I have not much to report since Mark's departure.

Apart from that I've been talking to my Mom and Maria and it's always a laugh because they are nuts! Maria is such a character, with all her folklorical stories of crazy ghosts and werewolves and she really tells it with such a vivid body language and emphasis that I almost die of manic, compulsive laughing... And mind you, these are things that "happened to me", she says, very seriously. Like the ghost in the banana-tree: "Do you know ghosts love banana trees??", she asked me, and then started to recount the episode... I will not relate it here since it's something to be heard directly from the source! But I have lots of fun with these 2 ladies here!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

New Comic Books (by Joann Sfar)

Yesterday we have been to Academia da Cachaça and, while waiting for my Mom to join us, we decided to check on the bookshop nearby, Da Conde. This bookshop is open quite late, until 1am from Thursdays to Saturdays and then up to midnight the other days. They always have the best DVD's and newest books and comics, as well as lots of art and philosophy. Very cool...

I was looking at the comics section and something immediately caught my interest. A series called "O Gato do Rabino" ("The Rabbi's Cat", check this Amazon page for reviews) by Joann Sfar. I decided to buy volumes 1 and 2 after having a quick browse at the artwork, which seemed outstanding.

I read it when we arrived home and it is simply brilliant. The story is told by a cat belonging to a Rabbi and his daughter, living in Algeria in the beginning of the XXth Century. The cat starts talking after swallowing the Rabbi's pet parrot and, on receiving the gift of the (spoken) word, he starts questioning his own Jewish identity, since he considers himself a "Jewish" cat. He discusses religious and philosophical matters with his master the Rabbi and decides he wants his bar-mitzvah - for he never had it. He also wants to start studying the Kabbalah (instead of the Torah) because "I like starting things from the end", he says.

The whole book is a very well-spotted tribute to Judaism and the life of Jews in Algeria and the Sepharad community in Northern Africa, full of humour and very cute moments as well. The cat is a strange one, of the Sphinx variety, and has expessive long ears and huge eyes. He is witty, intelligent and sarcastic, and loves questioning the world and those humans around him.

The book is also very touching in moments, for example, when the Rabbi leaves home and wanders around, depressed, until he finally meets a old acquaintance of his, the Sheikh Sfar (a wise man from the Arab community). Both of them travel together and chat and sleep and end up praying and celebrating the good news that the Rabbi has received in a letter from Paris. At the same time, the Cat and the Sheikh's Donkey (who also talks and sings) are having an argument on the origin of the names: is the name Sfar a Jewish or an Arab name? It ends up that it's both!

The translation (to Portuguese) is perfect and very, very funny; pretty much in the way we actually speak, with all the expressions and some hilarious slang. all in one, this book is indeed a little gem, mixing naivety and wisdom in equal measures.

I want to get the English version so Mark can enjoy it as well!

In Rio!

Yes! We are in Rio, finally! We arrived on Feb 25th. Mark will come back to Dublin next week, I think on the 18th, and I will stay until April 20th!

What have we been doing? Well, I am going to the local gym here, just across the road from my Mom's house, and I am loving it, although somehow it seems harder than the one in Dublin. Well... They made an evaluation today and I am kinda depressed, because I need to do something about my general form asap, and so on... At the same time, I am also excited, needless to say. It's gonna be though, but I am up to it. Plus, the staff are great and are always watching what you are doing and helping you with the machines. That's very good.

We have been as well to nice places like Academia da Cachaça, which Mark loves, and the new high-tech mall here in Leblon, the Shopping Leblon, which offers great shops and fantastic architecture. Unfortunately we are not allowed to take pictures inside. That is a bit ridiculous, of course, but at least the security guys are very polite.

And what else? Meeting friends and going places, all very relaxing... I will try and tell more about it these days, in short little blogs - if laziness allows me!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Apologias my amores, apologias!

And here's another funny clip, this time from The Fast Show. Same guys from Chanel 9 Neus, but this time in a hilarious soap opera, El Amora Y El Passionna. Actually this soap much resembles some of those low budget Mexican and Brazilian productions that are shown in some channels there in Brasil, he he!

(My favourite part there is when she finds the lipstick mark in her husband's shirt and screams: "Wah! Questo notaro sticko lip ?!")

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Baked Potato Song

I think this is just brilliant! Found it on Youtube, of course, and it's Matt Lucas from Little Britain singing a very, erm, peculiar song. Being Little Britain my favourite comedy show these days, I could only be thrilled with his performance here!

Baked Potato changed my life
Baked Potato showed me the way
If you want to know what is wrong from right
You must listen to what Potato say

"Do be good, don't be bad"
Thank you Baked Potato

"Do be happy, don't be sad"
Thank you Baked Potato

And if you want to have a better day
You must listen to what the Baked Potato say

"Do be early, don't be late"
Thank you Baked Potato

"Always eat what's on your plate"
Thank you Baked Potato

And if you want to have a better day
You must listen to what the Baked Potato say

Monday, February 19, 2007

My JList Wish List!

One can only LOVE JList ! They now got this great Wish List feature! So, today I am blogging my very own Wish List in the hope that my friends will think of me on those "special dates", ho ho!

Well, it's not new there, but only today I though about blogging it. It's really cool and can give you an idea of all the cool items they have on sale there! For example, now I think I really need those healing froggy eye masks... What else can be cooler, cuter and handier than that??

Friday, February 16, 2007

My gifts!

Well, here's the pic of the lovely gifts Mark gave to me for Valentine's!

The star on the card is actually a pin, the hearts are M&S champagne truffles (all gone by now!), the CD is Queen's A Night at the Opera (it was in my wish list and I am happy he remembered because I've kinda forgotten about it). And the little compact is a cool, new Chanel eye shadow palette, which I haven't used yet since it looks very pretty in the pan and I am hesitating to mess it up!

I gave him a box of Belgian chocs and a card with a cute cow, a Valentine's cow...

M&S is great although I hate their ads: "This is not just food, this is M&S food", aaaarrrghhh... The voice of the woman is just utterly pathetic in its attempt to sound sexy, and, in the end of the day, yes, it IS just food, for crying out loud. Nice food? Indeed. But just food, really! The ads irritate me a bit as you can see, but I still like buying there because it is nearby, and they also have a wider range of everything you need: fruits like yellow plums, avocados, golden kiwis, nice breads, pomegranate juice and gingerbread men.