Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Miman Renai by Takashima Hiromi ... Kung-fu Master by Agnes Varda

I finished reading this fanastic manga Miman Renai. I found this on one of forums on ugly male leads.

It is about a relationship between an older guy and young girl. It is hilarious. I like non judgemental stance of the plot. We all know it's wrong, why is it wrong... Turns out his experience in love is similar to that of the young girl ... zero. So in a way they are quite matching. What is also great that the lack of hesitation on both parties, in a sense they are both quite sure of their feelings. In no way has he thought of tomoe like a daughter nor do tomoe see him as a father . They are equal in this sense. 

Kurose is really well drawn. I especially like way the mess of hair was done with marker.

It reminded me of a film of a similar plot Kung-fu Master by Agnes Varda. This time an older woman with a 12 year old boy played by Jane Berkin and Agnes Varda's son. That left an impression. I watched that almost 10 years ago at the Singapore International Film Festival where I worked, we were doing retrospective of Agnes Varda. In an earlier documentary by her, showed Berkin proposing the project and Varda asked her son if he wanted to play the part. Wow imagine having your mom asking you if you like to play a lover to your mom's friend or your auntie... That's cool! I always respected the french love of challenging social conventions. I can't remember if Berkin's character was divorced as a result of this or that she was already divorced. I do remember her having 2 daughters, the boy/lover being the classmate of the younger one. The wonderful opening shot was great too. The boy moving to arcade game music in a karate outfit.


Miman Renai can be found on miman translations  and http://www.mbtranslations.info or follow the links on mangaupdates.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

On saturday we went to watch Zeitgeist: Moving Forward by Peter Joseph. This is the third in the series. A very thought provoking film. There is no way what I can describe will do any justice to it, so for those wants more information just go to the website http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/ . I do like some of the ideas proposed by this movement .... stop the reliance on oil and use other forms of energy like wind and solar. (side track: over here in italy, some politicians have been selling the nuclear energy as green and renewable energy. The worst part of this is that there are some italians that actually believe them. ) ... equitable distribution of wealth ... a future more mechanised and less work for all.

However there were a lot of statements of what a more equitable and just world should be. As to how this could come about ... it doesn't give details. The end of the influence of religion, politics and best of all money on life. How will this come about?

As an individual, I'm average. I try my best to recycle and live frugally. I'm agnostic, not catholic but not atheist either. I am not so willing to give up some ideas that have picked up from religions. And why do I have to give them up, since those ideas served me well. It is difficult to change my own habits, let alone the habits of someone else. There are too many weak links.

Where does art and culture fit into this scheme? People have different ideas of how they want to lead their lives. How do you convince them to be a part of this? It's like herding cats. The doom day scenario will most likely bring about change, because we are already seeing it today, mass unemployment, civil unrest and natural distasters. We have the ideas of what to do, but how to go about it is still a big question.

Jogging in the mist

The scene for the past few weeks has been like this. I'm out of stamina and didn't make it pass via valarga. I have been doing late nights and find it impossible to wake up early. I jog when I can, but the cold is such a turn off. There was 1 cyclist that went up and down the slope and passed me by a few times.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Inspiration of the day! Backpack by kaorick mochasse

I went to the Japanese street for my usual update of the weird and wonderful japanese street fashion. This guy Shunpei Kodera outfit of the day is really nice. There wasn't a one single piece that was calm or matching prints. Everything that is suppose to clash didn't ...all blended very well together.

There were the manga print hood and shorts, which were great and went well with the dyed white hair. But my absolute favourite has to be the backpack. Details piled one on top of another. Dolls, fake teeth, action hero, toy eyes then top off with tons of colour paint. I don't I get tired looking at it. As someone who makes bags. I would never dream of adding fake teeth to my bags! Amazing!

I found the site of kaorick mochasse She does very interesting halloween costume type accessories. No a bad find for a grey day like today. Thank you Mai Tanno of Japanese streets for taking the shots.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

... and then it started snowing

It is not always easy to write about the present. The upmteen time I loaded the dishwasher, do the laundry, checked baka-updates for manga releases etc etc... but it is difficult to avoid and most times I wished I could edit out the boring bits of my life, and live only the nice bits.

This year has well and truly started, it no longer feels like december. The rush and the panic to complete something is real, although I am still holed up as usual at home.

Then it started snowing. The only good thing that comes out of the cold. I grew up in the tropics, so it is all pretty new and made bearable by staying indoors with heating. It lasted for an hour then it rained for the rest of the day. At least we had some moments of whiteness, that eluded us during christmas.

I made a belt out of denium material and recycled belt buckle, and an iron board cover. Mundane but positive.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Interview: Kieran

Happy New Year everyone! Presenting the interview with Kieran my god son and nephew. I recorded this interview on 30dec 2010. Excuse the laughter in the recording, Kieran is funny. Non l'ho tradotto tutto ma solo alcune parole.


Juunta: Can you let everyone know who are you?


J: Where are you now?

K: In Singapore

J: How old are you?

K: I am a thousand and fifty years old. (it: mille chinquanta anni)
J: ahaha I know that's fine, I know you are very old.

K: I'm nine... I'm nine ... I'm nine..

J:It's the school holidays now right?

K: Yeah

J: When it starts what level are you?

K: Uh? What?

J: Are you... what level ... like primary school (it: scuola elementari)
.... are you still in primary school or are you already in secondary school?

K: What ...If you say that I am thousand years old then I'm dead by now.


but if you say I am 9 years old then I'm still in primary school.

next year (2011) I am (in) primary 4.

J: primary 4

K: Five

Keran's mom Ginny: 4

K: eh? 4...


J: So what is your favourite subject?

K: Uhmmm.... English...


K:It's easy

J: Uh... ok

K: I hate chinese the most...

K: it's like jing jang ju...  jang jing jang


jang jing jung ja jing

J: Yeah I think Chinese was my worst subject.... but I don't like English...
my favourite was maths

K: maths? yeah I hate maths as well.

J: Oh you hate maths?

K:... plus 1 equals 5054 because there are 5054 plus 1 look there 5053 plus 1 and 1, 1 and there is only one equal and there is only one 5354 (scherzava)

J: Do you have a favourite teacher?

K: A favourite teacher ? yeah...

J: Is it your English teacher?

K: no. ... my science teacher, Mr Siew
He makes his lessons the most interesting.

J: Oh really... What does he....

K: maybe you can change my favourite subject to science like he lets us fish for tadpoles (it: girini)

J: You didn't stay in class for lessons? You went out for fishing?(it: pescare)

K: Sometimes we go fishing for tadpoles, catch frogs,(it: rane)

J: Uh ... you've caught a frog before?

K: No I caught tadpoles and fish...

J: Uh... where did you go? Is it...

K: My ecogarden...

J: Oh... You mean you have a garden (it: giardino) in your school?

K: Yup

J: wow you are so lucky!

K: my friend caught ... uhm what's that ah... a baby dragon fly (it: lebellula) and he didn't know it

J: really!

K: yeah!... and then by the time he gave it to me... by now if it was still alive it should an adult by now ... flying away. But the silly cat killed all the fish, so we had to throw it away with the dragon fly.

...wait let me turn on the video this is my cat

(puts the cat in front of the webcam)

J: He doesn't seem very willing... ahaha

K (as the cat): uhroaahhhuuu ....

K: hey brooke!....

J: what happened?

K: he closed the thing ... (switched off the webcam) that's how intelligent he is. there he is ...

J: Yeah...

K's mom: Stop sitting on the wires,  you silly cat!

K: next question...

J: Oh I know that you swim, and dance,... and do karate...

k: karate?

j: no you don't?

k: martial arts... (it: arti martiali)

k's mom: he is going to climb Mount Kinabalu in march (it: Mount Kinabalu)

k: and I'm going to tame my cat right now....

k: see! he's a monster.... he's a monster....

k: would you like to interview him?

j: yes... can you ....

k (as the cat) : hi godma ma .... mimi....

j: can you ask the cat what is favourite activity, what does he like to do the best?

I like destroying the toilet door....
(I would add that I don't understand what was being said. Kieran was doing it in his funny voice and it was drowned out by our laughter.) (it: mi dispiace ...non sentivo cosa stava dicendo....)

k's mom: since when I did I get a daughter....


k (as the cat): bye... thank you... (it: lui faceva il voce del gatto)

j: How have you been preparing to climb the mountain?

k: uhm by farting (it: scoreggiare) ... to eat potatoes and onions and fart my way up mount kinabalu


j: ahaha

j: so what have you been this holiday

k: during this holiday? Nothing much

k's mom: he does housework... (it: lavori di casa)

j: I'm being child tortured. .... aaaahhhh I begging you stoppppp...

k's mom: my helper went home for a few weeks.

k: stoppppp...

j: oh yeah,I know... I know... I read about it...You wrote about it on facebook...

k: no she didn't ....

j: oh yes she did...

k: no she wrote about child labour and torturing...

k's mom: he had to bank in the cheque for me today

k in the background: "you be a slave" (it: schiavo)

k's mom: return the videos, then when it's raining he has take the trash out to the dust bin.

when it is raining he has to put down the bamboo chick (it: tapparella di bambu)  in the kitchen.

k: when it's raining I have to take out the trash out into the dust bin .... do you want me to flood the trashcan (it: bidone) ... right?

j: Is he a good housekeeper (it: raggazzo della pulizia), Ginny?

k's mom: uh he is quite reliable... I'm quite pleased. Helped to clean the table

k: wants me to do this and that, whips me if I do something wrong... like go to bath room... (it:...scherzava)

k's mom: what rubbish?

k: let see what esle she throws the cats on me. She puts my head in the dustbin.


k: is this interview over yet?

j: no no, not yet I haven't ask you what do you like about this year (2010)?

k: what I liked about this year?...

j: yeah since we are going to finish it off soon.

k: hmmm I liked ... that my mom is giving me child labour (it: scherzava.... lavoro minorile) and the gifts would come in a wrapper


I like... I hated everything about this year

j: eh?

k's mom: he got promoted to junior assistant teacher at martial arts...

k: I hated ...

j: really...?

k's mom: and then now he is a devout alter boy (it: chierichetto) . After church camp (it: ritiro spirituale) he had renewed faith. So now whenever there is a baptism

k(in the background)(it: .... in sfondo) : oh be quiet....

k's mom: at a funeral and whenever they want him to serve

k's mom: but actually right... at wedding he is waiting to get ang baos ... (it: una busta con un regalo di soldi)

j: what? I can't hear you?

k's mom: he's earning money serving mass and wedding by getting ang baos

j: good good,  get extra income...

k's mom: you continue... (leaves the room)

j: wait wait ... one more question... what is your new year's resolution for next year (2011)?

k: erhm...

j: are you going to make more money by serving as an altar boy?

k: no that's not it... uhm ... beat my maid (it: la colf) ... whack her

j: why?

k: I don't like her

j: oh ...you don't like her

k: yeah.... "do this do that"... blar blar blar... all day when I am with her ... that is all I hear..  and now we have someone backing her up and also going zeh ha yeh yeh.... the conclusion is to get out of this place or I'll be hearing more zeh zeh zu zat...

j: why does she nag (it: brontola) at you so often?

K: I don't know she is just crazy... zeh zeh vlu zat... and once she starts ... jabbering (it: parlando, chiachierando) about something, she won't stop jabbering... the last time I had a conversation with I nearly fell asleep.

K's mom (just entered the room): what are you talking about?

K: no mom, you don't know you weren't home that day. She was jabbering...

K's mom: what are you talking about?

K: forget it mom... is that all...?


It was such a fun interview, sorry it had to end on such a sad note. Living with maids is a common issue in Singapore. Since young or as long as I could remember we had a maid in my parents' place. We had maids that would change every one or two years. I did not have fond memories about them, they would behave one way when my parents were around and another when they were with the kids. But with the parents away at work, sometimes it is hard to cope without them. Ginny my cousin is a single mom, with her irregular hours and hectic work, it's really difficult without her maid. Well, you can't live with them and you can't live without them.

I really didn't know what to expect of Kieran. I'm a bit out of touch as a godma and auntie. My mom was telling he is mature beyond he's years. .... certainly doesn't show up here. Conclusion: I'm related to a monkey. :P eheeheh.... sono una parente di una scimmia.

ps. just want to say hello the people from russia and croatia that have been visiting this blog. Thank you very much and Happy New Year! .... Happy New Year to all!