New Year, New Addiction

Hello to my first post for the year.

Despite meeting the new year with a lot of stress-filled worries, and getting this and that illness along the way (for the past week), there is something I have been looking forward to for the past few days. I’ve recently encountered SHERLOCK, this amazing new BBC series that came out in 2010. With 3 episodes in the first season, and seemingly 3 episodes (with 2 episodes out so far) for this second season, it has gained some notice on my twitter feed for the past few days.

Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous (and infamous) fictional character, Sherlock (the TV series) brings Sherlock Holmes to a modern setting. Think of it like CSI or NCIS or Bones, but instead of fancy gadgets and teams cooperating with one another to solve a crime, you have Sherlock with his wits and his friend colleague John Watson. Of course, Sherlock doesn’t just take on any case, he takes on the weirdest and most challenging ones. He’s calls himself a consultant detective, someone the police ask for help when cases are beyond the police’s ability. With a quick look around his surroundings, his deductions and cancelling out those that are not possibilities, he comes to his conclusion which is perfect more often than not.  He’s kind of like a British Sheldon Cooper, because he tends to think in a practical manner and does away with his feelings. He’s also very blunt and honest, in a manner that oftentimes insults other people. He has very little friends, though he is more well respected in his field than Sheldon is. Alike, yes. But not the same.

Moving on. Do you know who Sherlock’s character – Benedict Cumberbatch looks like? The main character from Merlin – Colin Morgan, who of course plays Merlin. The first time I saw the episode, I thought it was a grown up Colin Morgan, or one of those digitally enhanced age-adding effects where they make Colin look older.

Click image for source

Uncanny similarity right?! I thought it was just me imagining things, but apparently it’s quite well-known on the internet. And oh, another amazing thing, Benedict Cumberbatch sort of sounds like Alan Rickman. I thought it was another thing that I imagined in my head, with me being such a Merlin fan and sort of fancying Alan Rickman, but apparently it’s not just in my head! Listen to the video below.

So yes. It’s not all in my head. And if you think this is the end of my new addiction and discovery, wait till you listen to the voice playing on the youtube video below this paragraph. It’s heavenly. It’s an ideal choice for the voice you’d hear when listening to an audio book.

The only bad thing about finding myself addicted to this new series? Waiting for the next episode to come. It doesn’t help that there are only 3 episodes per season, and the last season before this came a year and a half ago. It’s as frustrating as waiting for the new season of Merlin to come out. 9-10months of waiting for the new season, not really a short wait, is it?

I cannot wait for Episode 3 of Season 2 to come out. But at the same time, I wish it wouldn’t come, so I wouldn’t have to wait so long for the next season. Even with an hour and half of viewing time per episode, it’s really not enough. I’ll have to satisfy myself with countless episodes of CSI, Bones, NCIS, and other similar shows till the next season arrives. Of course, there’s still Sherlock Holmes 2 which I haven’t gotten to watching yet.


I’m no master of my kitchen

Rewind back to about a year ago, I was discussing with my friends about how we were going to go about living together when we were in China, and we decided to try to live in a flat if we could find and afford one. One great thing about living in a flat, and not in the school dormitories, is that you get a chance to cook for yourselves. At times it can be quite helpful especially when a person gets sick and tired of the food in the area, or if you’re saving on money and just want to have something simple to eat.

Me? I’ve never really been fond of food. I ate food because I needed to, and I didn’t really enjoy eating much. It’s only been recently, and when I say it like that, it’s only in the last maybe 3-4years that I’ve actually gotten to really enjoy eating. Last year, I got introduced to a good number of people who enjoying eating as well and they invited me to join them on their food escapades, and as a blogging group, we began to call ourselves The Food Club.

Besides that, being in China and being independent in a flat gave me the opportunity to be able to try cooking for myself. I’m no food cooking expert, and most of the things I know how to cook are canned goods and well, eggs and spam. That’s basically most of what i know. I took a year of cooking back in High School because it was required of students in my all-girls school to do so, so I had one semester of cooking and one semester of baking. The great thing about learning what I did in High School was that it gave me the chance to be familiar with cooking and how to handle utensils and how to try to understand the basics and workings of the kitchen. So when I got to Beijing, I was a bit afraid of how things would work out at first, especially when I moved to my second flat and the sparker for the stove in our kitchen wasn’t working and I had to manually use a lighter to start a fire going. Other than that, I had a few opportunities to cook when me and my roommates would try something, or when our friends would cook and we got to help out in the kitchen.

So recently, I got to watching Masterchef Australia, and Junior Masterchef Australia. And the show, is just amazing. I’m watching all these cooks and kids prepare these amazing dishes, and I am impressed beyond comprehension. I’ve never really been allowed to cook at home since the maids get mad at the possible mess I would most likely make, so my only chance to cook is when I’m out of the house.

I may not exactly be following what the chefs are cooking, but I’m watching in amazement at how fast they’re making these dishes and how beautifully prepared the end results are. And when the camera pans closer and they show photographs of the dishes made, I can feel my mouth watering. I would probably never be able to make a dish that good or that aesthetically-pleasing, but having watched so many episodes in recent days, it reminded me of how I had asked my mom if she would enroll me in cooking classes so I could try to learn simple dishes, not just for me when I inevitably have to leave the house to live independently, but also in preparation for my future as a wife. It just got me thinking that if ever I had to live abroad, I wouldn’t have a maid to do the cooking and well….I would not be ale to fend for myself, especially if I was married. Here’s wishing I marry a guy who knows how to cook well. 

Ever since my stay in Beijing, I’ve gotten to appreciate both cooking and eating. Beijing foods are delicious, and I’m not just talking about the usual Chinese food. Restaurants in Beijing serve delicious food, like Japanese or Indian food and the like, which is why me and my friends often went out to eat. Sure it was a bit more expensive than the normal Chinese side-street restaurants, but the food experience was worth it. Since arriving back, my appetite hasn’t been all that good though I’m still trying to appreciate the foods I eat, especially when I go out with friends. Hopefully soon, I will not only appreciate eating but being able to cook simple dishes as well.

As they say, the way to a man’s heart, is through his stomach. And not only that, food should not only be a necessity to survive, people should enjoy making food and eating food. It is an art in so many ways.

Succumbing to TV Series

I was never really that interested in any US TV series besides CSI, Big Bang Theory and somewhat with Ghost Whisperer. I was definitely more of at Taiwanese drama fanatic.

Back when I was in my last year of university, the fad TV series then was GLEE. Every one was so hyped up about the newest episode, and the characters, and whatever drama was happening inside the GLEE world. Back then, I was a tumblr newbie and I didn’t really understand the reblogs people did of GLEE. I knew the characters more or less, or was at least familiar with how they looked. I probably watched one or two episodes but didn’t really get hooked on them. Back then, I was grateful I wasn’t addicted, it would probably have interfered with my thesis paper and I know myself well enough to know I get addicted to things I become fond of.

When I got to Beijing, I brought with me an external HD with some TV series episodes on it. Most of what I was interested in then was really mostly the CSI trio and Ghost Whisperer. My roommates were big fans of GLEE at that time though, so when the first episode came up and they were all frantic about downloading the newest episode, I tagged along since it was fun to watch along with friends, and really fast download speeds were just awesome. I got hooked on GLEE soon after, though I didn’t bother watching the entire Season 1 (though I had watched some S1 episodes), and persuaded my roommate to give me her entire copy of the GLEE song list.

Soon after I finished off all the Ghost Whisperer episodes I had on me, I was looking for something else to get hooked on. And that’s when I found and fell in love with Castle.

A couple of my friends would fondly mention Castle on twitter, but I never really started taking interest in it till I looked around the web and read the description. I tried one episode to see if it was okay. I mean, the plot looked interesting enough, I related enough to Castle (to a certain extent) since he was a writer, and I needed something to keep me going. After the first episode, I was in love. It was comedic, it had drama, and I was in love with series that involved solving mysteries (Yes, CSI and Ghost Whisperer), not to mention that the main characters clicked and you just had to see how things would turn out. Some days later and with all the current episodes available downloaded, I was on track and watching Castle. About a week later, I had watched all the episodes and was already up to date with the current episode. My roommates never stop telling me how addicted I am and that I should slow down with my series. At that time, they were into their series like Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, Nikita and Pretty Little Liars.

Somewhere along the way, I got my friends hooked on Merlin, which my British classmate constantly tried to recommend to me.  I had always been a fan of European-related stories but when my friend first recommended it to me, I was a bit doubtful that I would actually get into the series. A few episodes later, watching with my roommates who were curious as to my dramatic gasps and sighs while in front of my laptop, I was totally into the series. At the beginning, we would watch Merlin together, but as our times together were not always in sync, we ended up watching Merlin at our own leisure times. It even got to a point that my 2 roommates got ahead of me and finished watching the series before I did. With not that many episodes per season, as it only airs from October-December, the episodes were soon finished and I was left looking for something new to watch.

So until recently, I was reviving my childhood with cartoon shows like “As Told by Ginger” and the like when, during finals week of all times, my roommate goes and tells me to download Game of Thrones. Now, this wasn’t the first time I had heard of the series, my friends on twitter who usually talk about Castle and the like had also previously mentioned Game of Thrones but I was at that time, preoccupied with something else so it didn’t really catch my attention. So, besides starting the downloads, I read up a bit on the story on the net and found it was quite interesting. The plot looked like it would catch my attention, and it takes place in a setting kind of like Merlin, I am really fond of these kinds of times.

We finished watching all 10 episodes of the first season and are awaiting the release of Season 2. Now, both me and my roommate are reading the first book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. though she bought her book ahead of me and she’s further into the book than I am. And we’re both reading the UK version. So far, the read has been interesting and I’m actually imagining the actors in the series while I’m reading through the book. The TV series is not exactly truthful to the book, word by word, but as far as I can see, it’s done a good job portraying the book.

Now, for the rest of the book, that’s for another blog entry…..

With September just around the corner, I can’t wait to see the upcoming episodes for the series that I’m waiting for. Can’t help but wonder if there are any new series that’ll be interesting to watch.

Adults can still love cartoons

These past few months, I’ve been nostalgia tripping. It began last semester when me and my flatmates were discussing old-school anime used to watch before the whole ANIMAX thing came to be. Because the internet is much faster here in China than it’s back home, it’s easy to spot and watch those old anime that a lot of young people aren’t familiar with anymore. Like Cooking Master Boy, Power Stone, Shadow Skill, Cyber Team in Akihabara, Wedding peach, etc. At least, some of these aren’t the really popular ones so not a lot of younger people are familiar with these.

This semester I switched from Japanese anime to English cartoons, I kind of promised my roomie I’d lay off the Japanese anime for a while because she said it was interfering with my learning Mandarin and that it seemed I was learning Japanese much better. Either way, I began with a series that I wouldn’t say is quite old, but has been something I’ve been dying to just finish from start to finish.

Justice League and Justice League Unlimited

In some way you can say this is pretty new, but pretty old-school at the same time. My mom had a lot of these DC and Marvel comics (Yes, I honestly cannot really tell the difference between the 2, forgive my ignorance!) packed away in this box we had at home. When I was much older, she let me read some of them, she even bound some of them together into a sort-of hardbound book. I’m not familiar with most characters as I didn’t really understand the concept of superheroes much when I was young, but the story of JL and JLU struck me as interesting when I began watching it on Cartoon Network a few years back. I’ve never watched the complete series so I took it upon myself to watch it all, and I did.

In fact, I finished it sometime last week, or the week before last. Now, I’m on to my second nostalgia trip.

The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest

In my childhood days, Jonny Quest was very much a vivid companion. I remember both the original Jonny Quest series, which was a much simpler version, and the sequel of which can be seen above. During the days I visited my grandparents in my dad’s hometown, I was at one time the only child in the house because my parents had me go alone so I could learn to be independent. And at that time, my younger cousins lived in the house on the other side of the street, so I spent many a days glued to that somewhat old-school fat television while watching Jonny Quest.  Even now, there are a whole lot of episodes that  remain familiar to me.

The one I have now though is incomplete and not as clear as my copy of Justice League Unlimited, but the amount of nostalgia is unimaginable. I can almost see myself as that young kid watching television really close to the screen while in that big old house in the province.

The next cartoon TV series on my list….

X-Men Evolution

This is definitely next on my list. After that, well…we’ll just have to see. My roomie is trying to get me to download Jetsons and the like. I mentioned to her old cartoons I suddenly remembered like Birdman, Blue Falcon, and some other Hanna-Barbera cartoons that I’ve just re-discovered via Google.

It’s quite funny though that a few days ago as I was watching my cartoons, my local Chinese flatmate spotted me and asked me why I was watching cartoons? Wasn’t I too old for that? It reminded me of my 6-year-old cousin whom I saw sometime last month. She saw me playing on my PSP and asked me why I still played with one when I was already 20 plus years old. She then proceeded to ask me why I was at my age and still unmarried. Haha.

Adults can still love cartoons, anime, and love playing video games. I don’t see how growing older or growing up has anything to do with forgetting the things you loved doing as a kid.

Tears to Tiara and FMA:Brotherhood

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been intently watching Tears to Tiara and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood on ANIMAX. Animax says it’s a simulcast, so it’s airing at the same time as Japan, which means that you can’t just watch everything at one go, and can only wait as it is being aired on tv. Every Friday, at 830pm, Animax airs FMA: Brotherhood’s new episode, while airing last week’s episode at 8pm (in case you miss it). On the other hand, Animax airs the Tears to Tiara show at 1235am on Monday (not Sunday as Animax keeps saying. I don’t even understand why they say Sunday morning when it’s actuallly Monday morning) with 12am featuring the episode from the last week.

So far, I find both shows very interesting. If you’ve watched the original FMA, you can tell that the FMA:Brotherhood is not the same story as the original one. Basically, FMA Brotherhood seems to be a sort of alternate universe where the story is familiar to the original one, with differences in some parts (such as Hughes daughter being born) and whatnot. I’ve noticed that FMA Brotherhood is more animated, with more comedic characters who just liven up the story. It find it very interesting though, and I love the change in the story, even if parts of it are far from the original.

Tears to Tiara is also a very interesting anime. I love the characters, they are hilarious, and also the scenery is wonderful. From the moment I saw the trailer, I fell in love with the anime. The scenery is very natural, and the characters seem so real and in-line with the story. Of course, this is also lies in the fact that I think the anime is very cosplay-able, and why shouldn’t it be? The characters have amazing personalities, the costumes are just as great, detailed and maybe hard to do but they look great, and the anime is so far, just as great as everything else.

Which reminds me, I need to catch up on my Bleach and other Taiwanese Dramas (like Devil Beside You).

Losing myself in Austen

Besides keeping (so far) to my Lenten sacrifice of not having any kind of softdrinks, and keeping myself from watching Taiwanese dramas, I have a new current fascination. Lost in Austen. It has been airing for some time on Velvet Channel (Thursday, 830pm local time [+8GMT] if I am not mistaken), I think, and has interested me very much. Though honestly, I have yet to read the book Pride and Prejudice, I was able to watch the movie starring Keira Knightley and it was then that I fell in love with the movie and the story.

Basically, what I have gathered so far is that the movie stars a girl, Amanda Price, who is a modern Brit living in well,  modern London. She is a very avid fan of Pride and Prejudice, to the point that she has memorized the story by heart, and has lived it in her dreams. And I daresay, I think she has also fallen in love with Mr Darcy, and his story with Elizabeth Bennet. That being beside  the point, one day Amanda finds Elizabeth Bennet in her bathroom and eventually the two end up switching places. Amanda Price then lives in the Pride and Prejudice story, made available by a secret door in the attic of the Bennet household, and a shower door in Amanda’s bathroom.

So begins the story. Amanda Price living the Pride and Prejudice story, with full knowledge of the story (from the book) and trying as best as she can to live up to the story, where it not for her possibly influencing the outcome of the story and having some of the characters fall in love with her, and vice versa.

As of this writing, I have only seen part of Episode 1, and some short clippings of the other episodes. I have yet to torrent the rest of the 3 episodes. But as you can ascertain from my other blog, I am a big fan of Pride and Prejudice. I can’t wait to find the time to be able to torrent the other episodes.

Off to bed now~

A reason to stay up longer at night

Recently, my parents were applying for a free trial with Sky Cable in regards to this Digibox thing, and some extra channels of some sort. I’m really glad since applying for extra channels means I get some of the channels I have missed, and missed out on over the years. Arirang is back, which is a very good thing for me. I remember spending many of my late elementary to early high school days watching Arirang shows like Music Tank, or what was the name of that show, uhm it was a drama/humor series about a group of college students and their life in S. Korea. Also, I watched other shows like Pops in Seoul and got hooked to singers like Dana and 1TYM. Sometime in my HS years though, Sky decided to move it to their premium service. Boo. At least it’s back now.

Also new shows I can watch with the upgrade are CCTV9, Channel V and Fashion TV! Yey. Sadly, they don’t have those other CCTV channels that I’d really like to watch, and though this CCTV is CCTV International, I will just have to make do. At least it keeps me updated on things that are happening back in China. Back in China, in my dorm in Sun Yat-Sen University, practically all our channels on TV were CCTV so I sort of miss that atmosphere. Channel V is a lot more accessible to me now since it sort of combines Velvet and MTV together. Also, I am really loving Fashion TV. I do not have to stay up at night to catch the Fashion catwalk shows on Velvet/Lifestyle.

Sigh, I just wish that I could have that Taiwan Channel that I used to watch a lot back in China. At night, it would feature a lot of Taiwanese dramas that I grew to love and to get addicted to. Oh, forgot to mention, this new upgrade allows me to watch this  channel called Boomerang which features a lot of old cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid, like the Flinstones, the Jetsons, Blue Falcon, etc. 🙂

A lot like reminiscing my childhood all over again.

Taiwanese Drama Addict

A few days ago, I finished watching,命中注定我爱你 (Fated to Love You) which is a Taiwanese drama about a guy who accidentally slept with (and eventually impregnates) a total stranger while on a cruise ship. [BEWARE SPOILER AHEAD] In both their drunken stupors, they didn’t realize that they had accidentally slept with the wrong person. It should have ended there, but fate has a weird way of dealing destiny. The girl’s pregnancy leads them both to get married for the sake of their future. The thing is, the guy has a girlfriend who’s a ballet dancer on tour. When she unexpectedly comes back, it leads to a lot of confusion. Also, the guy starts falling for the girl, though he doesn’t seem to realize it. There’s a lot of hullaballoo when a miscarriage happens and the girl goes to Shanghai and eventually changes herself, leaving the guy behind without a word. 2 years later, fate deals another hand and the two unexpectedly meet again, because of the girl’s artistic talent. It leads to more confusion and more drama as lies and truths unfold. This Taiwanese drama is really hilarious and dramatic at the same time. One can say, there is too much drama in some parts, yet at the same time, one can’t help but fall in love with the two characters. Honestly though, I’ve fallen for the male supporting actor, Baron Chen Chu He. Started having a crush on him since China, way before I found out about this drama series~ 🙂

Click here for the site where I’ve been listening (online) to the Fated to Love You OST. 🙂

Now, I think I’ll start on 惡魔在身邊 (Devil Beside You) which is another Taiwanese drama that was recommended to me a couple of months back. I’ve actually watched a few of the episodes before, but I never really had the time to watch it. Another drama that I recently added to my list of must-watch dramas is this drama called 黑糖瑪奇朵  (Brown Sugar Macchiato). While browsing through a list of dramas available on, I chanced upon this one. Title and description was interesting, and when I saw the first episode, it didn’t seem bad to me. It actually looks like it’ll be quite comedic and interesting.

In all honesty, I much prefer Taiwanese dramas to Korean dramas and Japanese dramas, though Japanese dramas don’t fall far behind my love for Taiwanese dramas. A lot of my friends love to watch Korean drama, but I prefer the storyline of Taiwanese dramas to it. Oddly, I began watching Korean drama way before I watched Taiwanese or Japanese dramas, because of Arirang Channel. Meteor Garden came in High School, a few years after my introduction to Korean drama. For some reason though, I really prefer Taiwanese dramas to Korean/Japanese ones. It could be the language, seeing as Mandarin is a language I’m quite familiar with, as compared to the intangible Korean (which I still barely understand). Japanese on the other hand is a language I’m quite familiar with as well, which is why I probably also have an interest in Japanese dramas. Boys-wise, I have a thing for Chinese Oriental looking guys, like Chinese/Taiwanese/Singaporeans/Japanese/Koreans/HK-ers and such.

Benefits-wise, watching Taiwanese dramas is good for me, because I get to practice listening to Mandarin, and I learn a lot of new words along the way. Even if I’m not in China anymore, via dramas, I am still able to immerse myself in a Chinese sort-of environment. For me, watching Taiwanese drama is a learning experience. Plus, it keeps me knowledgeable in Traditional Mandarin, which is what I grew up learning. In college though, they are more into teaching Simplified Mandarin, which has its pros and cons. At least, in this manner, I keep myself knowledgeable in both Traditional and Simplified Mandarin, which is a good thing for the future, in case I live or frequently travel to either places.

Oh, another Taiwanese drama besides 流行花园(Meteor Garden) and 流星雨(Meteor Rain) that I’ve watched is  恶作剧之吻(It Started With a Kiss) and its sequel, They Kiss Again. I think I watched Love Scar (or something like that) a few years back, but I didn’t appreciate it because it was shown on our local channel and had been dubbed into Tagalog. Not much to learn there.