week of april 29: the last time
time to reminisce: when was the last time you....
1. kissed someone? Yesterday!
2. drank coffee? Can't remember...I'm more of a tea person
3. read a book? This morning :P
4. cursed? Last Friday
5. had a nightmare? No idea
6. checked your email? 5 mins ago
7. had a crush? High school
8. drove a car? 2 or 3 years ago when I first learned how to drive
9. rode a rollercoaster? Can't remember
10. took a nap? Yesterday
11. went to the movies? Probably one or 2 months ago
12. drank alcohol? Drank Choya (contains little alcohol) last Saturday. I love this drink!
13. went to a party? Last year at my nephew's baby shower
14. said "I love you"? Action speaks louder than words!
15. cooked a meal? Yesterday
16. exercised? Long time ago!!!
till next time...
Friday's Feast
How fast can you type?
I can type pretty fast. I think my fastest rate is about 60 words/minute. (Anyway, I have to be fast as I am working in an administrative field.)
What is your favorite online game?
I don't play online games.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), how intelligent do you think you are?
Well, I thought it would be better if I ask a third party to answer this question. But I will rate myself between 6 to 7.
Main Course
Name three of your best teachers from your school years.
I couldn't remember their names, but I liked my English teacher while I was in Primary School, and my Arts and History teachers in High School.
What are your plans for this upcoming weekend?
Visit my dad as usual, and probably go out for some shopping. :)

Booking Through Thursday
  1. Does what you read vary by the season? For instance, Do you read different kinds of books in the summer than the winter?
  2. If so, do you break it down by genre, length of book, holiday, or...?

Don't forget to leave a link to your actual response in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

  1. Boy, don't I wish we have 4 seasons over here! And nope, even though if we do have them, it won't interfere with my choosing of books because I tend to read based on my mood. Heck, I don't even know what I will be reading next. LOL!
  2. My answer is as above.

Sorry, I know my answers are boring! :P

This picture was taken from a view in my office (I know, it isn't a good picture). It is raining cats and dogs this morning. In fact, it has been raining mostly in the late afternoons for the past few days, which I find it rather odd, because the weather is supposed to be hot and sunny especially towards the middle of the year.

Anyway, I am sipping my cup of steaming green tea while writing this, and hope we will get to see some sun later in the afternoon.
Officer Down is one intense crime thriller IMHO. It is no wonder this novel was the winner of the 2006 Edgar Award for best first novel. In fact, this is one reason I picked up this book, and I am not disappointed with it. And did I mention this is Theresa Schwegel's debut novel? I am totally impressed.

Samantha "Smack" Mack isn't your typical police officer. She works in Chicago's 23rd District, has a drinking problem and is involved with a married lover - Mason Imes, who is also her fellow officer. She has issues with Marko Trovic, a child molester which she vows to bring him to justice but fails.

Then one night, the Sarge asks her to fill in a co-worker's shift and she accepts it, because she thinks she owes him a favor; and so together with Fred, her partner and ex-lover, they follow Trovic's trail to a dark and rundown tenement house, whom they believe it is him they are chasing. They got split up inside the pitch dark house and later she hear gunshots. Then she finds Fred is shot. He dies later and Sam is called in by her superiors for some interrogations. Everyone thinks Sam shoots Fred by mistake although she claims she didn't and is positive Trovic probably hit her into unconsciousness because she wakes up with a nasty concussion. She is asked to put on administrative leave but she refuses to back down; telling herself she would investigate the case on her own after all no one is believing and supportive of her.

Mason says he will help her to close up the case, although she is still piss off that he doesn't leave his wife earlier when he told her his relationship with his wife doesn't work. Then someone begins to follow her and she is curious to find out the reason behind it. From there, the pace picks up quickly and I was anxious to find out who betrays Sam and why.

I like the way Sam is determined and her 'never give-up' attitude, although I don't agree with her drinking habits and why she wants to get involved with married men.
Ten on Tuesday
  1. Reading
  2. Shopping
  3. Working (yeah I know, it's impossible!)
  4. Relaxing & listening to music
  5. Writing
  6. Surfing (and here I mean internet surfing, hehe)
  7. Pondering over things or daydreaming
I don't have a ten, but I thought 7 will do.
Oh wow, look at this! I got it in an email this morning, thought I'd share.

Quoted in the message:

Water Bridge in Germany . What a feat!
Six years, 500 million euros, 918 meters this is engineering! This is a channel-bridge over the River Elbe and joins the former East and West Germany, as part of the unification project. It is located in the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin. The photo was taken on the day of inauguration. To those who appreciate engineering projects, here's a puzzle for you armchair engineers and physicists. Did that bridge have to be designed to withstand the additional weight of ship and barge traffic? or just the weight of the water?
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You Belong in Rome

You're a big city soul with a small town heart
Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome
Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand
And gorgeous Italian people - could life get any better?

Hmm...sounds perfect!
In the world where the Emperor Penguins are living, you have to be somebody if you can sing, and able to sing well too. But it isn't easy for little Mumble, because you see, he is born with no singing talent but unlike the others, he tap dances and is good in it. His mom, Norma Jean, thinks his little talent is cute, but to his dad, Memphis, like the rest of the Emperor Penguins, seems to think otherwise. Besides, they all know that one will never find one's true love without his or her own heartsong. Mumble likes Gloria, who has a great voice and sings well, but at times he feels he doesn't belong although Gloria accepts him as a friend.

Because of his difference from his community, and also to find solutions due to the declining of fishes, he leaves home and lands himself in another land - the Adelie Amigos penguins. Unlike his own community, though the Adelies are smaller in sizes as compared to the Emperior Penguins, they are actually a bunch of friendly penguins and love to party. They think Mumble's tap dancing is cool and very quickly they become friends of Mumble. It is through them that Mumble knows their Guru, who calls himself Lovelace and will answer any question in exchange for a pebble. Along with Lovelace and his new-found friends, Mumble begins their journey and shall prove to everyone that he can actually rocks the world with his extraordinary gift too.

I love this animation, it is so cute and heartwarming. (And did I mention penguins happens to be one of my favourites animals?) And the best thing is, my daughter loved it too, and she actually moved with the beats whenever she saw Mumble danced. I wish I had her videotaped. LOL!

Week of April 22: Name 3 of each....

1. favorite tv programs Hanazakarino Kimitachihe, Tokyo Juliet, Guess, Guess, Guess (Taiwan Variety Show)

2. favorite foods Too many to list!!!

3. favorite books Too many to list!!!

4. favorite people My husband, my mom, Jennifer

5. favorite movies Spirited Away, Infernal Affairs, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)

6. favorite vacation spots New Zealand, Gold Coast Australia, Bangkok

till next time...

Friday's Feast
I stumbled upon this meme and decided to play.
What is your favorite kind of bread?
I love all kinds of bread, so it's hard for me to choose just one.

When was the last time you bought a new pillow?
I can't remember, but I bought a bolster for my daughter just a few months ago. Does that counts? :P

Approximately how many hours per week do you spend surfing the ‘net?
I'm not sure if I can answer this, because I usually surf in the office as and when I'm "free" and/or need a little break. Although I have a PC at home, I hardly use it because my daughter will demand on climbing onto my lap and mess up everything. Usually it's the hubs who use it to do his work or downloading his files.

Main Course
What’s the highest you remember your temperature being?
Probably 40C. It was scary!

Fill in the blanks: When I ____________, I _____________.
When I read, I like to be alone.

Found this interesting meme at Debi's and Stacy's blogs, and I can't resist playing since it has something to do with books. Anyway, here's the Q&A:

1. What are you currently reading? I'm reading a crime thriller novel. The title is Officer Down by Theresa Schwegel. The book blurb stated it is a winner of the 2006 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, so of course I don't want to miss reading it! And I'm enjoying the story so far, it is very intense!

2. What did you just finish reading? I finished reading No Regrets by Shannon K. Butcher. It was a great read and a good romance suspense novel IMHO. You may wish to read my review here.

3. What will you be reading next? I simply have no idea. I have too many books in mind...and my TBR pile as well, hehe. I usually choose the book based on my mood at that moment. Currently I have the mood for reading thrillers, but next I might want to pick up fantasy or paranormal romance, so I can't tell. LOL.

So if you want to play, please leave a link so I can come visit! :)
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Booking Through Thursday
  • Okay, there must be something you read that's a guilty pleasure . . . a Harlequin romance stashed under the mattress. A cheesy sci-fi book tucked in the back of the freezer. A celebrity biography, a phoned-in Western . . . something that you'd really rather not be spotted reading. Even just a novel if you're a die-hard non-fiction fan. Come on, confess. We won't hold it against you!
Don't forget to leave a link to your actual response in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!
This week's topic is interesting! I can't wait to read what the others have to say about this, hehe. Let's see... The first thing that came into my mind is: erotic romance. Although I have nothing against this genre, (hey, some DO have great plots too) still I don't wish to be caught reading the book in public especially when the cover features a passionate couple embracing each other with little (or no) clothings...
Now it's your turn to share!
Attention all booklovers, please help to spread the words. Marianne is holding a contest at her blog; all you have to do is leave her a comment and you will get a chance to win a FREE book! The winner will get to pick a book from her library.

And the best part is, Marianne will happily subsitute one of her stories (your choice) from The Wild Rose Press as your prize (instead of a print book from her library) if you are the winner and live outside the US, so feel free to enter each week if you are fine with this option!

Good luck!!!
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I am wondering which POV do you prefer to read in books? Do you prefer to read them as in first person, or third person? Will you turn down a book just because it is written in the first person POV? Why?

As for me, I am comfortable with either one. A great book means a great book, no matter which POV is written. :)
OK... so I have posted the same thing at my other blog, but well, am wondering if anyone could please tell me where to find Fahrenheit's first album (which was released in September 2006)? Have a difficult time finding it... most of the music stores I visited said they were out of stock. *sigh* I am hoping the record company will reissue the album again... wish me luck!!!
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I have a good laugh when someone forwarded a powerpoint slide to me, with the title "Going on leave?". It listed some wacky suggestions what to do to your colleagues who are always going on leave.

Of course I do NOT recommend these ideas, but I thought it is fun to share with everyone. Have a good chuckle. :o)

Leave them some flowers.

Leave them some To-Do memos.

Spruce up their work area with some creative decor.

Everyone loves presents! Unwrapping presents is half the fun!

Clean their workspace. And to make sure it stays clean, protect it with something.

Let them know how you looked after their workspace while they were gone and kept "undesirables" at bay.

Hand-made gifts. A little masking tape and styrofoam goes a long way!

And finally...if they have had a bit of an "extended" leave, remind them that not much has changed since they have been gone.
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Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Hmm...I am not sure about the speaking part. Although I do speak up what's on my mind, I tend to stumble on my words when I am talking in front of an audience. Urgh!

The heroine, Noelle Blanche is a cryptologist. She refuses to accept a grant from the military when they asks for her help in an operation, although it will cause her her job for she wouldn't want blood on her hands should her specialized field be used for violence. But things don't go well as she expects when she finds her house is raided and she has no choice but to seek for safety.

David Wolfe is a former Delta Force operative and he thinks he has finally lay the ugly terrors behind him after the Swarm, a terrorist organization had murdered his wife. But when his former superior seeks for his assistance to work on a mission, he isn't sure if he is able to do it again but when he hears the Swarm members are back, he accepts the mission for he wants to wipe them out this time round.

And the action begins when David and Noelle go on the run until they found a safe place where she can work on breaking the code. It is at this time when their feelings for each other begins to grow but David thinks it is too dangerous for Noelle to be with him and that he doesn't want her to follow in his ex-wife's path. But Noelle has her own thoughts and she has no fear nor regrets being with David.

I enjoyed reading the story and how it flows smoothly, as well as the characters. I am also awed by Noelle's intelligence, as well as her bravery. I will be checking out Shannon K. Butcher's upcoming releases.
Week of April 15: 3 Wishes
If you had 3 wishes granted what would you wish for?
till next time...
How I wish this would be true!!! But alas, this is what I wish for:
  1. Have my mom back (she passed away last September due to lung cancer)
  2. Working part-time and just for the sake of passing time
  3. Healthy and be happy forever
I LOVE fridge magnets! I have collected these so far, and they have taken up most of the top half of our fridge. As you can tell, I love Hello Kitty, Forever Friends, Strawberry Shortcake and Precious Moments. They are all so cute, not to mention I have liked them since my Primary School days!

My best friend, Jennifer knows I collect them so she sent some to me. (The US Capitol - second from the top right, Aquarium of the Pacific (besides the Hello Kitty button on the first row) and Caladesi Island - State Park (the crab at the bottom). Thanks so much, Jennifer! :)

There is also a 'National Novel Writing Month Official Participant' sticker (along with other goodies) which I got it last year while I attended the informal 'get-to-know-every-participants' forum held by the local moderators. It was fun!

And then on the top left corner are books magnets sent from some of my favourite authors. They are: Kat Martin (she actually signed on it!), Janelle Denison and Julianne MacLean.

They are all so very special to me.

Note: You may click onto the picture to see an enlarged version of it.
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Booking Through Thursday

Have you ever missed an important appointment because you have become so engrossed in a book you forgot the time or were up so late reading that you didn't wake up in time? Been late to work because you couldn't resist the temptation and left the house too late?
Suggested by Jacquie.
Don't forget to leave a link to your actual response in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!
I usually read on the way to and from work, and sometimes during lunchtime or while our 3 year-old daughter is watching TV or sleeping at home. I can hardly read when she is around! LOL. But yeah, I did miss a stop while in the train one or two times (fortunately I just need to cross over to the opposite platform and take the ride back). And I don't read before bedtime during weekdays because I know I won't be able to wake up the next morning (i.e. 5.30am)!!!
Awww right, here are my TBR piles!!! LOL. When I told the hubs last night that I want to take some pictures of my (un-read) books, he raised his eyebrows and asked, "Are you sure you want to do this? It's a mess!"

Honestly I don't think it is that messy that I want to hide them, and so here they are. :)

I love this bookshelf. And we chosen this colour because it goes with our furniture in the living room. (In fact, the colours in our house is mostly dark brown and beige.) The left of the bottom shelves is where I keep all my mangas, while I keep some miscellaneous stuff (e.g. photos albums, magazines etc) in the three drawers on the right. And on top of that, there are also a few boxes which are piled on top of the shelf (not shown in the picture); those are the books I have read and I just couldn't find any place to keep in the storeroom!!!

Note: There are some Chinese romance novels as well (you can tell by the ladies on the covers. LOL!)

Another bookshelf. This is the first bookshelf we bought when we first moved into the house, it is smaller as compared to the bookshelf as shown above, and I think the quality isn't as good either. Oh well, but at least it serves its purpose. LOL.

This is another pile on our study desk. They look so disorganized (now I know what the hubs means, hehe.) On the extreme left is a set of manga which I am currently reading - a total of 23 volumes! I am hooked to the drama serial so I decided to read the manga as well.

Hmm...this week's topic surely brings back all the memories (both good and bad)! :)
  1. Encountered something spooky in the restroom
  2. Got 2nd place in an essay writing competition
  3. Started to have pimples!!!
  4. Being rejected by the principal when we (all the arts students) requested to take Chemistry/Physics instead of Human & Social Biology as a Science subject
  5. We were making Swiss Rolls for a Home Economics test and I mixed up the ingredients (I mixed eggs and flour instead of eggs and sugar! Without a doubt, I did this badly. LOL!)
  6. A classmate appeared on a local teenage magazine (it was like having a 'star' in the school! Hehe.)
  7. Sitting for GCE 'O' Level Examinations (S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L!)
  8. Been a volleyball player, St. John's Ambulance cadet and librarian for the school Extracurricular activities (quitted volleyball and St. John's after 2 years subsequently...too hectic, but missed the fun!)
  9. First crush (he was also in the St. John's Ambulance)
  10. School discipline (skirts should be kept at knee-length and long hair should be tied)

Week of April 8: Better Late Than Never
This week I posted the meme late Sunday evening. So that inspired this weeks topic, 'Better Late Than Never'. Are you usually late arriving? Late for work, school, parties...etc..? Or are you usually on time or even prefer to be a few minutes early? Are you late returning things as well? Library books, movie rentals...etc...?
till next time...
Well, I can say I am usually punctual for work. Sometimes I think I am too "time-conscious", meaning I will get very anxious if I am going to be late for something. I guess it has becoming my habit, which I am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing. I prefer to do things slowly within my control, rather than to rush things at the last minute. As for returning things, I think it is about being responsible and fair that I should return the stuff on time, don't you think? ;)
You Are a Morning Person

You're optimistic, alert, and full of energy to start the day.
While you would love to party all night, you rather be up at the crack of dawn.
You don't procrastinate or spend time worry about what to do next.
You take life by the reigns, and you like to have an early start.
Aren't these personalized notecards lovely? I received them yesterday, thanks so much to Karla whom I knew from the Ultimate Blog Party (where bloggers around the world get to know one another and say hello or leave comments) which was held last month. It was so much fun! (I hope you will hop over at Karla's blog for some great reads!)
Although the party was over, but it doesn't just end there because I have discovered some online friends along the way. :o) I am looking forward to participating in the blog party in the near future.

Note: I apologize if the image isn't clear due to insufficient lightings!
I am awed by these pictures. They are simply beautiful! Imagine the photographer spending a year just to shoot these!

I hope you are not eating while reading this... ;P (Surely I don't want to be held responsible for spoiling your appetite! Hehe.) Anyway, back to the topic... How do you feel whenever you are using the public restrooms? Have you ever encountered something strange, something unexplainable in there, or have you had any weird dreams about them?

I asked because I have an eerie experience to share. I was in High School then (don't ask me where), and I recall it was a cloudy day that day. At that time the restrooms were not equipped with automatic flushing system. So whenever one has finished his business, he has to flush it manually.

I got out from a cubicle and was washing my hands when I heard a flushing sound coming from the last cubicle. I looked up and noticed the door was opened. Apparently no one was inside, but then who flushed the toilet? And who would stay in the cubicle after that?! (I was very sure no one played a prank on me because no one left the classroom when I came out. Moreover who would want to stay and wait in a restroom just to scare people off?) Without waiting any longer, I left the restroom immediately. Till now, I get goosebumps whenever I thought about that incident.
Claire Doucett is devastated ever since her daughter, Ruby was abducted seven years ago in New Orleans. Dave, Claire's ex-husband works as a private investigator after he left the police force after that tragic incident and bury his sorrow by drinking. And his relationship with Claire worsen after he is involved with his former police peer Angelette Lapierre under the influence of his drinking, thus leading to a divorce by Claire but then she isn't entirely happy with her remarried life either (she is in the middle of a divorce).

Then Claire sees a doll in a shop window and is mersmerized by it, for it looked a lot like her missing daughter, with its frilly dress and all. Alex, her soon-to-be ex husband thinks she is obsessed with finding her daughter despite all the years, but she thinks otherwise and tells herself she would get to the bottom of it. So she approaches Dave whom is involved in an investigation when Angelette told him about Graydon Losier's missing daughter and asked if he could help. From then, the tension begins to build.

Readers will no doubt follow this taut suspense thriller, with the chapter begins with a thief stealing the doll. While reading this book, I really sympathize with Claire of losing her daughter, and not to mention I admire the way how she took it despite all the years and hasn't really given up hope... This is the first book I read by Amanda Stevens and it surely won't be my last.

I need something to perk me up on this Monday blue morning... and looking at these pictures does help a little, although it would be better if I could get a chance to savour them!!!! ;P

Where do you do most of your reading? Your favorite spot? (Show a picture, if you want to!)
(And yes, I understand that these might not be the same thing--your favorite spot could be the beach, but you do most of your reading at home . . . in which case, tell me about both!)

Don't forget to leave a link to your actual response in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

I missed last week's BTT! But then, it's always good to be late than never huh? ;P

This week's topic is interesting, but my answer will seem a little boring though. I usually do my reading either at home or on the way to and from work. At home, I like to sit on the living room sofa to read (sometimes the bed if I feel like lying down). And it would be good if I could get a seat in the train, it isn't easy to get a seat during the peak hours!!!