Friday, January 26, 2007

New manga I'm reading!

Chibi Vampire - read the 3 first books already. It's very cute and a bit weird. It's about Karin, a young girl born in a traditional family of vampires that now live in Japan. The problem is that Karin is a "reverse vampire", ie, instead of sucking human blood, she needs to bite them to donate blood! She has monthly blood cravings that are always signalled by heavy noose bleeds. She gets involved with Usui Kenta, a handsome yet sad school mate who also happens to be her neighbour. The artwork is very nice even if a bit dark - but then again it suits the overall mood of the story. The characters are also very likeable, especially herself and her Dad Henry Marker, who is indeed very funny (and extremely protective of his lovely daughter).

Yubisaki Milk Tea - this is the gender-bender tale of Yoshinori (aka Nori), a boy that works in a photography studio and, ever since has covered for his sister Yuki in a photo shot (bridal gowns none the less!) has started to feel the urge to dress as a woman now and then. Well, he gets involved with some lovely girls, one of them his cute young neighbour Hidori, and sees himself trapped in a bit of an identity crisis. At the same time the pains of adulthood start to breed: voice changes, growing up some inches... For how long is he going to be able to keep that hobby? The story is funny and sweet, however the artwork lacks a bit of detail and mid-tones, which I so much appreciate. In the other hand it is a very fluid and almost minimalist style, which is also OK and quite suitable to this specific storyline.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Latest News

I am quite happy because my friend M - who is in the Osaka University Hospital - has finally been operated and is very well. I know him for over 30 years now, we've been neighbours since then. He is a pilot/captain and during a routine flight from Sydney to Hong Kong last week, he collapsed. To cut it short, the co-pilot diverted to Osaka and where was immediately transferred to the hospital, where a brain tumour has been found. Surgery happened 2 days ago and lasted for 12 hours. I spoke to him right before that and he was in a great mood. My Mother told me today that he's been talking to his parents and is fine, same old guy as ever! So, I am very happy and relieved. We will meet him in Rio, for he will be arriving there more or less at the same time - by the end of February.

As for myself, still going to the gym and still liking it. I just need to try and go more often, however a flu kept me at home (again) most of last week. As usual, flus and colds. I guess it cannot be avoided with me! But I don't really think it's all due to my condition. I think it's the weather that triggers that somehow, since people otherwise quite healthy also complain about it. So, MS is not to be blamed - at least not exclusively.

Apart from that Mark is currently in London and will come back on Friday night. I really miss him! He left yesterday, but at least it is a short trip. Before he arrives, I intend to go into town, maybe get a haircut (I am desperately needing one). But certainly I will drop to Dunne & Crescenzi to eat some panna cotta. I've been craving some since last week but unfortunately they were so full on Saturday that we could not go in! The panna cotta is a bit like crème brulée, which, nowadays is probably one of my favourite desserts (especially the black tea one, yum yum...).

I also intend to go to Fallon & Byrne to get myself some madeleines, rose macaroons and, last but not least, some aniseed pastilles from Flavigny (pictured above). I love the violet ones, although jasmine are quite good too, he he! As for the madeleines, they are quite lovely, however my late Grandma used to make some really gorgeous ones, and whenever there was a birthday or celebration people would beg her to prepare some. I still remember their smell and how she would let them drying in the sunlight for hours in the early morning. It seems sunlight plays an essential role in a madeleine's flavour and delicacy, and it's true that a madeleine that does not "sunbathe" does not taste the same as those that are laid to rest under the Sun!

Anyway... Enough of the food stuff for tonight, it's making me hungry! And now, I still have to take my injection, bleah, and it's getting quite late...

Good night...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I'm back!

After a very, very long break from blogs and Internet in general, I am back! Happy New Year for everybody! I'm sure 2007 will be a great one!

What was I up to these days? Hhhhmmm... Let's see... Some highlights of the past few weeks...

Christmas - we spent some days with Mark's family in Ballina and it was nice. We've been there for Christmas and St. Stephen's Day too. I got lovely Christmas presents, including lots of Hello Kitty things, the DVD collection "Himalaya" (BBC/Michael Palin), a cool handbag, chocolates, and the new Sony MP3 player NW-S705F (see details below!).

New Year - we finally met my friend Monica, her boyfriend and fantastic son! We've been to La Strada for dinner and it was, as ever, gorgeous.

Gym - yes! Still going! Increasing the weights and so on. I just love it. Actually, I hate the cardio workout and LOVE the weights and stretches. I found out that my left leg is much weaker than the right one, but who cares... Anyway, it's very, very good!

Health - seems to be OK, better perhaps due to the gym, but I've been having lots of headaches, especially on the left side of my head, including teeth sensitivitya and ear ache. But I seriously suspect it's got to do with my sinuses, since I am always very blocked when I wake up! D'oh...

The Perfume - I restarted reading "The Perfume" by Patrick Susskind and, yesterday, we went to the IMC to watch it. It is a great film, very faithful to the book, especially when depicting the odours and landscapes. Dustin Hoffmann is brilliant as Maitre Baldini, and the guy who plays Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is an amazingly talented young actor. I would not be surprised if he got an indication for the Oscar as best actor (and Hoffmann as best supporting actor). There is also a Le Parfum coffret of scents that has been launched by Thierry Mugler, to coincide with the film release. I am very curious about it and think the idea is fantastic, although a bit too "conceptual" perhaps. For example: what can we expect from a scent called "Human Existence" ? If you read the book, you will know what I mean... Anyway, the descriptions of the scents are on the website, in case you are interested. However, the collection is a bit too dear, I'm afraid.

My MP3 Player - it's the cutest thing ever! When I opened it I said to Mark: "But it looks like a cigarette lightener..." and, I must admit, was a bit disappointed. However, it turns out to be the best thing ever! Especially when I go to the gym! Here it is...

Pink, slim and pretty!

Well, these are the news for today. I will be back soon, hopefully, if I'm not too lazy, that is!