Friday, April 27, 2007

korean men metrosexual

korean men defines: 'metrosexual'

This is an article I got from KBS global website. I guess ppl there haven't got a hang of the term, 'metrosexual' that Singaporeans are aware of. 'Cross-sexual'?? Haha.
The feminine looks of actor Lee Jun-ki in the hit movie "King and the Clown" have created a new 'cross-sexual' fashion code among men, with more representatives of the male gender opting for feminine hair styles, clothes and accessories these days. ''Cross-sexual' men are those who boldly infringe upon the realms of femininity by transcending the boundaries between masculinity and femininity to create a combination of both.

Facials not only for women
-a vast array of cosmetics targeting men has been developed recently

-not only lotions and nutritive water but masks, whitening and eye-creams, tinted lotions and even nail cosmetics as well

-hair-removal creams that help get rid of untidy body hair as well as eyebrow pencils are hit products

-BB cream, which stands for 'blemish balm', is used in dermatological clinics to cover red blemishes after treating acne and pimples and to promote skin regeneration.

-the cream is of more help to men than women because men have more skin-related problems. -they like it because it gives a natural tone to the skin. One cosmetics company has recently developed a BB cream specifically for men. (I'm a woman and I think that I need this! hmmph!)
-resorting to the professional help of dermatological clinics these days to improve their complexion. They mostly use skin scaling and peeling procedures to get rid of acne or to remove dark spots. Face-care centers in Seoul's Gangnam have even opened special rooms just for male customers.

more 'bold' fashion sense
-circle lenses have emerged as another fashion trend among men

-have outstanding taste in choosing clothes

-like extravagant clothes made of diverse fabrics and featuring big flower prints

-don't balk at buying clothes with bright colors, such as pink, yellow and green, as long as they look good, and prefer accessories made of leather or featuring exuberant patterns (those watching 'My Lovely Sam-soon' can relate this to Hyun Bin's character)

Men using hair-straighteners
-hair-straighteners, in particular, are indispensable for men who want to create feminine hair looks

-the layered hair-style that is so trendy among male celebrities these days is created using not only gel and other hair-care products but also hair-straighteners.

Just as men are becoming more feminine in their looks, women's fashion is becoming more masculine, with the 1980s' style being back in vogue and the popularity of the color black soaring. (oh yeahhhh...)

Feminine male underwear vs. Boyish women's panties
The boundaries between masculinity and femininity have been increasingly blurred in the area of underwear as well

-male underpants with huge flower patterns and embroidered G-string pants made of velvet-like fabric

-featuring black embroidery against a pink background on the front have gained enormous popularity among men

-girdle-like underpants that support the hips and tight triangular underpants that cover the belly fat. Such functional underwear helps cover any unattractive body fat and create a more balanced look (yes, yes we know that...they had better not wear hipster jeans/pants with this...)

-female panties are becoming more and more boyish by using wide waist bands, which are usually used in male underwear, and even featuring slits in the front, which are of course for decorative purposes only

-waist bands are used to create a sporty look

-latest designs of women's panties tend to forego ruffles and lace and feature neat designs.

-Boxer shorts for women that are designed to provide women with as much comfort as boxer shorts for men are also in high demand (i agree! they make great PJs too!)

Men in slim pants vs. Women in wide pants
The masculine-women/feminine-men trend is also conspicuous in outer garments, which is mainly ascribable to the return of 1980s' fashion.

Women's business suits these days have broad shoulders and wide pants that completely cover the shape of the legs. While sales of female business suits featuring skirts dropped six percent from the winter/fall season last year, sales of suits featuring pants surged 15 percent in the same period (there's a reason why such suits are also called, "power suits").

-women are going for boyish looks to express their charm in a masculine style

-men are increasingly choosing to display their 'pretty' body curves through slim pants, such as slim jeans and slim cargo pants (and boy, they sure look good!).

With appealing looks being a valuable competitive edge these days, an increasing number of men will likely dip their feet in the realm of feminine fashion and beauty care in the future.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hallyu: update

Hallyu: Korean dramas update

Hallyu drama fans who have cable tv, go watch these latest drama series on KBS (ch 100):

(Mon & Tue - 9pm)

Title: Hello! Miss / Hello Baby! / Hello! My Lady
Lee Ji Hoon as Hwang Dong Gyu
Lee Da Hae as Lee Soo Ha
Ha Suk Jin as Hwang Chan Min
Yoon Mi So as Suh Hwa Ran

**Lee Su-ha (played by Lee Da-hae) inherited the historical home, Hwa Ahn Dang, of the Je-an Lee clan after her father left for Seoul with another woman years ago and her mother died last year of stomach cancer. That is when her dual life began as the head of the nearly-ruined clan as she refused to give up on the Hwa Ahn Dang. But one day she meets Hwang Dong-kyu (played by Lee Ji-hoon), who asks her to sell the Hwa Ahn Dang to him by any means.
Dong-kyu is the grandson of a servant who 50 years ago ran away from the Hwa Ahn Dang after stealing its cow and a bale of rice. But after much bickering, Su-ha and Dong-kyu end up falling in love with each other. **

Hello! My Lady has yet another of my fave actress, Lee Da Hae, starring in a role that is not much different from the one in My Girl, where she's this adorable/jovial con-artist with a sad background, Yoo Joo Rin - so expect some good laughs.

Check out her character, the earnest Lee Soo Ha's crazy fashion sense. After all, she comes from a remote village. Pig-tails, knee-high socks, a myriad of weird colours and patterns... And who still calls a handphone, "portable phone"?

But I can't complain when she changed into a hanbok, for she looks absolutely gorgeous in that. True epitome of a traditional Korean beauty.

It's amazing that the 1st time I saw her acting, she was this scheming lawyer, determined to get back her ex-boyfriend in Sweet 18/18-Year Old Bride. Who would have thought that the person acting as such a mature woman was only 20, then?

Another thing, I dunno if Audi sponsored the cars in this drama but the AUDI convertibles are HOTTT!

(Wed & Thu - 9pm)

Joo Ji Hoon as Oh Seung Ha
Shin Min Ah as Seo Hae In
Uhm Tae Woong as Kang Oh Soo

**A love triangle will be occurring between the two men and a girl where a gift of psychometry and a tragic event of their childhood entwined their fates. The tragic event of their childhood entwined the fates between two men who are bonded by it and a woman who has an ability in psychometry into a love triangle.
Oh Seung Ha is a lawyer, who is destined to meet a police detective, Kang Oh Soo. Seo Hae In is a 25 year old mysterious librarian with an ability in psychometry. She is at the level of being diagnosed with amnesia/sleeping disorder and she tends to be in full concentration when she becomes too absorbed/focus into something.
Kang Oh Soo is from a rich family and accidentally caused Seung Ha to lose his brother and mom when they were young. Seung Ha studied hard to be a lawyer but he becomes a serial killer in order to seek revenge on Kang Oh Soo. Oh Seung Ha and Seo Hae In will have feelings for each other while Kang Oh Soo has a one sided love for Hae In. **

Those not knowing, Psychometry is a form of extra-sensory perception wherein a psychic holds an object in his or her hands in order to obtain information about the object or its owner.

Meanwhile, Devil/Lucifer is a stark contrast to the light romantic comedy that it replaced in that time-slot, Dalja's Spring (will go through this later).
Right at the debut episode, the plot already thickens with mystery. The sordid turn of events and the secrets carried by the characters really keeps one intrigued as each scene seems to carry clues to a dark past.

If one finds Shin Min Ah familiar, well, I guess fans of Rain (Bi) will know better. She starred opposite him in his last drama series, A Love To Kill.
Her character as the psychic who's constantly haunted by nightmares of a dark past is endearing to me and I'm curious to know how she'll turn out as she gets more immersed in her involvement with Oh Seung Ha, a lawyer with the dark, layered personality who carries a grudge from a tragic past.

The character Oh Seung Ha is played by Joo Ji Hoon, every girl's dreamboat when he became the aloof Prince Shin in Princess Hours/Goong.
His personality this time doesn't seem much different than how he portray himself in Goong. Despite the smiles and his 'pro-bono' approach as a lawyer- constantly helping under-previledged criminals; he is that cold, cold person who bears grudges deep within. And as he go around masterminding various murders, one can see that he's the sharpnel in everyone's blanket.

One might try to recall Uhm Tae Woon/Eom Tae Woong from any drama series but one that I know of is his role as the determined Byeon Hak Do in Sassy Girl Chun Hyang.
He doesn't come across a your typical hero but here, his character shines as the ever helpful detective who finds himself somewhat connected to all the serial murders that he's investigating. The mystery lies with the dark secret that he and his high school friends tried to hide. Just what convert him to be a detective from the troublemaker that he was, back in high school?

And just why is Seung Ha bearing a grudge against him?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

2nd hero syndrome

hallyu "2nd-hero syndrome"

Hallo. About the lack of updates? Erm, was it any surprise if I admitted to putting myself through yet another Hallyu drama marathon?

*okay, okay Bas. Wipe that smirk off your face.*

I finally bought Wonderful Life. I know, I know, for someone who's crazy bout' Korean dramas, I'm a bit back-dated with this one. In fact, when I caught sight of the DVD (w/ English subtitles) at Poh Kim Parkway last year, it was the last piece. But I was so broke then so I just turned away.

I saw the trailer for this series on the DVD that I watched previously, that showed all the best bits. Unable to resist the urge, I dropped by the same shop last week and managed to get hold of that same last piece! Maybe it's meant for me, after all! Got discount also!

I watched an average of 2.5 episodes everyday for 6 days. I started watching only after my mum's gone to sleep or she'll scream at me for sleeping late. Meaning I slept at almost 3am everyday then.

That show had me thinking about the storyline even when I'm in the office. I imagined what the next few eps. will be like. I resist reading the spoilers online while I'm at it (very difficult task, that one). And I'm not ashamed to admit that I watched the last 4 episodes with a box of tissues for company.

Hey come on! That cute little girl was supposedly diagnosed with leukemia. She's only 5, leh. And she acted so well that my heart felt like it was being torn apart watching her acting sick. And seeing how she held everyone together like that? So touching...!

Sad, sad scenes involving the little girl, Shin-Bi.

And once again, I crazily expect the heroine to end up with the 2nd hero (back-up guy). I always do that with EVERY Korean dramas I watched. Even when the lead is Rain. Or Bae Yong Joon. The 2nd guy (some even baddie) just seem more appealing to me.

I had expected there to be 18 episodes (because there are 6 discs, 3 eps per disc). I was looking forward to watching the final 3 eps. only to find that there only 1 ep. left to watch. I should be happy, I know. Considering it was already Mon morning, I should be glad to able sleep early, rite?

WRONG. I spent the next couple of hours tormenting my laptop, rewinding and forwarding, re-watching all my fave scenes. Especially those between the female lead and the 2nd guy.

Already, the actress, Eugene is my favourite, having loved her previous roles in "Save The Last Dance" and "I Truly Truly Like You". And that guy is Lee Ji Hoon, who got a great voice that you'll love to be serenaded with (yes, he sings too). I'm watching him in his latest drama, "Hello My Lady" on KBS.

He was described as, "ruby-lipped." That doesn't come as a surprise considering his lips are a tad reddish and pouty - for a guy. And his spoken voice, it may not sound as manly as others but still appeal to be. Aiyah, maybe I just have a crush on him la.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

viginia shooting quote

Students wonder why classes weren’t canceled..

Yeah, we wonder too....

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The 3-min rule

The 3 min. rule

I love watching infotainment shows on KBS, the Korean channel.

This 3 min. rule is just one of the interesting things I learnt from from one of their programmes; the title which I only recall as, "Secrets..."

Every week, they come up with a theme/topic and they have reporters highlighting secrets of various people/places out there that display interesting abilities which goes along the line of that highlighted topic.

This week the topic was, "Being quick."

They went to a business consultant's office and asked, "What's the secret to a restaurant's success?"

She gave a simple answer. "3 minutes."

They checked various successful restaurants (read: always crowded, high turnover, popular). All of thed had the food served to the customers in the range of 3 minutes. WITHOUT FAIL.

The secret behind this phenomenon? It's just human nature.

Human are at their hungriest 3-4 minutes after making their orders (when they start looking forward to their food).

They test it by putting a food out infront of 3 adults and collect their saliva at various times. Naturally, human drool when they're hungry, right? The more saliva released, the hungrier you are. Most saliva collected is of course, within 3-4minutes after they've been exposed to the plate of food infront of them.

The results are similar when they did a brain scan.

That's why, when you serve food within that time range, customers appreciate it very much. And they show it by the response they give to the food you serve. When you're hungry, everything taste nice, right? And your food taste VERY delicious to them. Keep up that service and your food will ALWAYS taste delicious to them.

They checked on less succesful restaurants and timed the service. Foods are served at a rate of 2.5x later that that of regular restaurants- in the range of 5-6 minutes. hmmmm...

And that's why, at fast food restaurants, despite the crappy foods they serve, are highly popular. The speed at which they serve their food gives their customers ample time to look for seats after collecting thier food and eat after 3 mins have passed.

And does the food taste good?


Saturday, April 07, 2007

bukit timah hike

hiking singapore's tallest hill... ekeke

It's a public holiday and the plan was a harmless hike up Singapore's tallest hill, which, admittedly has a height that is nothing to boast about.

Nothing could have gone wrong, right ?


Anyway, the first part was tough enough. I mean, I have not hiked for ages. Okay, so I've done MacRitchie but the ground there most level, with the exception of that crazy stairs after the bridge. But then again, those stairs are nicely constructed.

But stairs like these...?

I tell you, I wasn't exeggerating when I say that some steps have risers going as deep at 0.5m! And treads embedded with little rocks so sharp that it hurts everytime you landed on them.

They're supposed to be buried in the soil but naturally, erosion cause these little devils to cause menace on hikers (or literally, their feet).

Therefore, it's important that one wears suitable footwear. Never mind that the hill ain't that high. I doesn't mean that the forest trail is any less treacherous.

Entangled tree roots, fallen leaves, eroded paths, rock embedded paths, deep steps and muddy ground. All the things you expect of a rugged trail. Never mind that it's dry the whole week. The ground will still be muddy. Wet. Do go thinking that there's low chance of you slipping.

Because the nature reserve has THIS:

Spring water trickling from a natural source (mata-air), coming from deep within the hill.

Here, they build up an area to contain the cooling water for trekkers/hikers.

The water is clear, as one can see. Even if you see sediments in the water that you have collected, I guess, the water is clean once the impurities has settled at the bottom of the container.

This is one trip that bring forth a lot of blessings (and where my instincts works at full force- if only I'd listened).

I'm glad we started the hike up the main road, namely the easiest route. I've checked beforehand, that the red & blue trail is the easiest and I also took note that a trail of another colour is the most difficult. Problem is, I wasn't sure which one.

Succeeding in reaching the summit in 1/2 hr, I though of getting a tad adventurous. After all, the kids have had their fill and also stuffed their faces with enough chocolate to give them energy to last them a whole day.

So we decided to follow the 'yellow' route. It must have been a bad sign when the route starts with a treacherous climb down some really zany steps. Just when we thought that we should stick to the main road, we got on flat ground so, hey! That wasn't so bad...

So we got deeper. And then I realised that we've stumbled into the green trail but it's too far to turn back to get back onto the yellow trail. All this while, I had thought that the green trail must have been the most difficult. I mean, no trails can be worse rite, after all those crazy steps we have to climb up AND down?


I just read this, when I got back on the nParks website again just now.

Trail 3 (Green) 1-2 hours. Trail grade: moderate to difficult.

Trail 4 (Yellow) 2 hours. Trail grade: Difficult.

Gah! So the accidental stumble onto the green trail had been a blessing after all! Imagine what we would have gone through had we insisted on the yellow trail....

I mean, I have 6 & 11 year old kid, 2 girl tweens, 3 teens and another 2 super-unfit adults. My cousin's daughter brought a fren of hers; a bubbly girl, who got exasperated with every uphill climb, be it the steps or even slopes. But then again, she the same kid who ran/bounced down those crazy steps like an over-zealous gummi-bear. As opposed to her disdain for climbing, she LOVES going down.

I remember screaming after her, "When you climb up, you kept saying you wanna go home. When you go down, you're like a crazy girl. Slow down! BEE CAREE-FUULLL!!!!" Not once, I did that, ok? Many times, in fact.

So why is it that I wasn't surprised when I heard her scream and she was on the ground when I got to her? Geez.

Somehow, the anger inside me quelled by the time I came by her side. No point scolding her right? It's happened. Then there's the crying. Her endless tearing made me wonder if she's broken her ankle instead of just spraining it. Feeling around it, everything semed intact. It's not even swollen yet. But we can't take any chances.

Many other hikers passed by, some even families. To those who stopped to ask about us/give advice/offer help/drop so encouragement, I THANK YOU LOTS. It's really heartwarming to see that you sincerely cared.

Sending all the other kids away to rest at the visitor centre, my cousin and I stayed with her while she rest her leg and let the pain subside. Looking at the way she cry and badly handling the pain, something eventually crossed my mind. "Is this your first time? I know it's your first hike. But spraining your leg. Is this the first time..?"

She nodded.

Ah, I see. I turned to Sue. "I must have sprained my ankle so many times, it felt like something that happened every year... "

"Hey do you remember the first time you sprained your ankle..? Mine was so long ago but I rememebered the most embarassing time, though... I fell down the bus when alighting at the interchange. Imagine that!"

"Ekeke... I feel down at the shopping centre, wearing a skirt. My mum only laughed at me.."

So we got to exchanging funny stories about spraining ankles while that girl looked up at us, smiling amidst her sobbing. I guess my tactic worked after all, for later she said, "Cik CT, jom kita jalan. Dah boleh sikit-sikit.." (Auntie CT, lets move on. I can walk a bit..)

I want her to see the lighter side of this whole incident. So I just told her, "See? The first time you hike, you sprained your ankle. Some adventure, huh? Whenever you go through a bad situation, tell yourself, Nothing Can Be Worse Than THIS!" I gave her a wink.

She smiled. Cool!

I guess this taught her a bit bout pain endurance for later, she was hobbling around by herself, following us around when she should just be resting her leg. I guess she got the hang of it. But I took no chances and drove her back home with my cousin, as the mum of her friend to explain to her mum.

That incident aside, the green trail is still a blessing. Besides the gorgeous sight, that is the trickle of water from deep within the hills, I remember climbing up this treacherous flight of steps and seeing the others lagging behing, I had stopped at one of the steps and leaned on a tree. I gentle breeze made me turn and the sight that greeted me blew me away.

I was overlooking the valley that was overgrown with foliage that make up this tropical rainforest that the authorities were so determined to conserve.

It was such a gorgeous sight and before long, more gentle breeze blew subtly from across the valley and drain my exhaustion away. I can never thank Allah s.w.t enough for that opportunity to view and be part of this gorgeous landscape.

And Cave Path, true to its name - is indeed littered with caves.

Just too bad the entrances are barred. I would love to know what's inside. Though it kind of feel a tad creepy, seeing these dark caverns deep in the hill forest.

All in all, the green trail had been some experience indeed. I think I may just hike up that hill just to get a taste of that natural spring water...

And I shall part with a shot of this gorgeous flower, which to me, is reminiscent of the ginger torch.

MacRitchie - check.
Bukit Timah - check.
Next stop - Sungei Buloh!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

a sad tale

sad tale

I really did go for my 2nd round of Mukhsin. Partly to keep Shyba company and partly beacause I haven't had enough of that movie.

Never mind the fact that we have to travel all the way to far-flung Causeway Point, since VivoCity only plays the movie at 1850hrs. Never mind the fact that I end up knocking off late from work and end up taking a cab there (almost $16!).

Oh, I didn't know they don't have subtitles over there. In a way it's good cos' having been forced listen to the dialogue, I was able to absorb the movie fully. However, it's a waste that the initial scenes with the Chinese dialogues may just pass the Malay-speaking audience. And the subtitles to the French song by Nina Simone would have left a better impact as the lyrics are related to the scenes whcih has the song in the background.

I can't help making comparisons, having watched the same movie in 2 different situations. I can't believe I still laugh at the funny scene. The jokes still seem fresh, albeit it being my 2nd time.

On another note, my cousin had lent me this box-set of dvds since late last year and only today, have I been able to complete watching it.

Out of curiousity, I googled up on the drama (only when I'm almost done, so I don't end up reading spoilers) and got a rude shock.

Apparently, the leading actress had committed suicide on Feb this year. What's shocking is that I had been following this Korean show, Entertainment Relay on KBS and they've reported on her death when it occured.

I had been curious as to who the actress could have been. Little did I know that I had been watching her show all this while.

Yet another case of depression (not the first Korean in the hallyu entertainment industry). It's amazing, how fiesty and jovial their characters can be and yet, life never really imitate art. Somehow, things are more of the opposite.

I'm glad I only found out when I'm coming to the last episode of the show, cos' that discovery left such a big impact on me that I only feel a strange sort of emptiness when watching it.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

mukhsin & yasmin

mukhsin & yasmin

Thank goodness I didn't rush to watch Mukhsin at Cathay Causeway Point last Thu. Thank goodness my cousin informed me of the screening GV Vivocity for yesterday. Thank goodness....

.....for I get to meet her in person.

Yasmin Ahmad herself.

Yes, she was there at the 1420 screening at GV Vivocity yesterday. I know that the standalone mike at the front of the Europa theatre has got to mean something...

I had that gut feeling actually. And when I heard hushed whispers coming from the back, I was quick to turn. Lo and behold, Yasmin herself had made her entrance!

What was I feeling then?

Delirious. Exhilarated.

I mean, I've watched (almost) all her works,; from Rabun, Sepet, Gubra and not to mention her many ads on M'sian tv. And to finally see the whiz behind those works..? PRICELESS!

I can't can't recall fully what she said when standing at the front... but it kind of goes somewhere along this line: "...I'm glad there's more than 2 persons here (an inside joke; with reference to a certain incident back in M'sia one time).... Laugh loudly if you think it's funny.. cry... Enjoy the movie.."

My memory tend to fail me when I get excited. My bad.

And the movie IS good. The cinematography, breathtaking. The soundtracks, awesome. And the acting, fabulous. Many pleasant surprises here and there. LOVE IT.

And it's so funny! I shall personally label it: "Romantic Comedy". What? You think on Sandra Bullock is capable of carrying off such roles?

In fact, I'm going for a 2nd round. Right, Shyba?

I rushed out to look for Yasmin herslf. I know she's gonna be outside. And when I did see her... *sigh* I got a little bonkers and the pitch of my voice got a tad higher than it should, the speed of my speceh a tad faster and .... yes, I got more than a tad too excited.

Totally failed my calm and collected self horribly (in fact, my cousins did a take on how I've acted when i send them back in the car. I almost dropped them off at the highway). My behaviour was indeed, absurd. *malunyer aku...*

But at least I got to shake her hand. Introduce myself. Complimented Raved about the movie. And took a pic with her.

myself, my cousin Nor, Yasmin and my cousin Imah.

Utterly poor picture quality. It's times like this that makes me regret not lugging my camera along. It's not as if it's bulky anyway... Geez.

My 2nd gripe will be my lack of dress sense, on of all days- that one. I mean, I've always dressed up on weekends and I thought that the unsculpurous heat from that day is a good excuse for me to dress down.

Wrong. Timing.

Great. So what else is new?

Anyway, those who love Yasmin's past works ans still have yet to watch Mukhsin, "..So where the hell are you..?" (quoting from the 'Visit Australia' ad).

spiderman 3 trailer

spiderman 3

Notice at 2.02, when Brock looks up at Spidey, he was wearing a coat. But when the venom fell on him, he's just wearing a tee.

Just another movie mistake... Heh.