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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dragon Year

One of the best Chinese New Years since coming to the States. Chinese New Year is a huge event for us. In Michigan, my friends and I would drive 3 hours to Chicago just to get a decent Asian meal or we would have dinner parties at a friend's place.

This year, besides having the typical night before Chinese New Year Framily dinner, a Malaysian friend whom we got to know invited us over to his apartment to celebrate the New Year with his family. Stepping into his house brought me back to the times when we were in Malaysia. Yes, we always celebrated Chinese New Year, but it was different without family.

Day before Chinese New Year

Mum would be pestering everyone to clean the house. Last minute laundry, dusting of windows, tables, making sure everything is clean and spotless. Oooo!! And last minute Shopping! I always had brand new clothes for the first three days of Chinese New Year.
Family dinner at our Grandparent's place (mum's side). My grandmother makes the best home cooked food. Typical dishes include Sharkfins' soup, steamed chicken..... GAH!! I've not had her cooking in SO LONG!
Obviously, we get our Red Packets from that side of the family that day :)

Day of Chinese New Year

Mum makes breakfast (Which is almost rare). We would have noodles (represents longevity) in clear fragrant broth and an egg each (represents growing a year old). After that, we would serve mum and dad tea and they would give us Red Packets. We usually visit an orphanage and/or old folks home. Mum and dad made it a tradition to bless other on the auspicious day.
The rest of the day would be spent visiting family and friend's houses, collecting red packets, and of course eating a whole lot at it.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful time. To new resolutions, hopes, and dreams.
Have a wonderful, prosperous, healthy, fruitful dragon year my lovelies :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Flowers of War

I heard about this movie from my Lynn a couple weeks ago. The only thing that I remembered her saying was that Christian Bale is in it and it's set during the Nanking Massacre. Two days ago, I was on facebook and the ad for the movie appeared on the right side of my facebook page. I clicked on it, and the next thing I knew, I had to stop myself from reading further into it because I had to see this movie without any spoilers.

One of the best movies that I have seen in a long while. I rarely go to the movie theatres because they are so expensive here in the city. But this was definitely the best $14 spent on a movie.

The movie left us feeling really sad and emotional.
Funny thing was that we saw the movie right before attending a Chinese New Year framily dinner. If you are Chinese, you would know, 'No bad thoughts during Chinese New Year', 'No wearing black!', 'No cleaning of the house because you would sweep away the good luck!'
So here we are heading towards the Malaysian Restaurant feeling all gloomy and beaten up by the ever so realistic film. Mind you, it wasn't a bad thing. It was damn darn good movie that kept us thinking. Also, the reason why we were so effected by it was because it hit close to home. Malaysia too suffered from the Japanese invasion and we've heard and read about the rape and deaths in textbooks.

I was told that my mother's grandfather was once a rich banker and one day he went out and never came back, killed by the Japanese. My grandmother on the other hand would have to disguise herself as a boy when she went out or else she would probably be caught and raped!

Yup, close to home.

About The Film

From internationally celebrated director Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, Hero, House Of Flying Daggers) comes a story of love and war - and a band of outcasts who emerge as unlikely heroes from the shadows of a city's occupation. At once lyrical and visceral, the film enters the apocalyptic world of Nanjing in 1937 only to find a vibrant human story about the invisible people of the city and a series of unexpected relationships that lead to a resonant act of sacrifice.
It begins when the danger in the streets of Nanjing throws together a group of opposites --a flock of shell-shocked school children, a dozen seductive courtesans, and a renegade American (Academy Award winner Christian Bale, The Fighter, The Dark Knight) posing as a priest to save his own skin, or so he thinks - all seeking safety behind a walled cathedral. Trapped by marauding soldiers, over the next few days the prejudices and divides between them will fall away as they unite around a last-ditch plan to protect the children from impending catastrophe.
Shot over 5 1/2 months in the most extensive production ever undertaken in China, the film recreates the reality of Nanjing after Japanese troops invaded the Chinese city, setting off one of the most shocking episodes of civilian suffering in the modern history of war. Yet THE FLOWERS OF WAR is not so much about the deadly battles in the street as it is about all the life that continues to go on behind the closed doors of a city in hiding.
THE FLOWERS OF WAR is directed by Zhang Yimou from a screenplay by Liu Heng (The Story of Qui Ju, Ju Dou) and Yan Geling based on Geling's novel The Thirteen Flowers of War. The film is produced by Zhang Weiping (here marking his tenth collaboration with Zhang Yimou) under his New Pictures Film banner. The executive producers are David Linde, ChaoYing Deng and Bill Kong.
Joining Christian Bale and leading lady Ni Ni is a cast that also includes 13-year-old Zhang Xinyi in her film debut as the narrator Shu; newcomer Huang Tianyuan as George, the boy who takes it upon himself to protect the school girls after the death of the local priest; Tong Dawei (Apple; Red Cliff) as Major Li, a war-weary soldier determined to save the life of a wounded compatriot; Atsuro Watabe (A Quiet Life / Shizukana Seikatsu) as Colonel Hasegawa, commander of the occupying Japanese army; Shigeo Kobayashi (Todai) as Lt. Kato, his ruthless sidekick, and popular Chinese television presenter, Cao Kefan, as Mr. Meng, a Chinese civilian who will do anything to save the life of his young daughter.

It is only airing in 2 movie theaters in New York. 

Landmark Sunshine Cinema at 143 East Houston Street


Regal E Walk Stadium 13 & RPX at 247 West 42nd Street

For other locations *click*

~adapted from www.theflowersofwarthemovie.com

Please do watch it and tell me what you think! :)

And yes, 
To Health, Prosperity, Love, and Success!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feeling so sick :(

Sunday, January 08, 2012

First Video of 2012

Been working on this song since I heard it about 2 weeks ago. I was going to record it on last Monday when my smoke detector ran out of battery and was beeping it's head off every 3 minutes.
Well, this is the first video of the year! Hope that there is more to come :)

Please enjoy and share! :)


Monday, January 02, 2012