When Horse Became Saw is a beautiful, gut-wrenching memoir from writer Anthony Macris about his family’s battle with autism. His son Alex was a seemingly healthy baby boy that suddenly and inexplicably (like so many autism sufferers) fell into a frightening and unstoppable regression at around 18 months. He stopped engaging with the world as read more...
[Note: Travel Diary has been updated to include Munich (including Neuschwanstein Castle and Dachau Concentration Camp) and Berlin!] I never thought I would say this, and undoubtledly it will be heavily disputed, but in my opinion it’s true: Prague is overrated! When I first arrived in the UK, Prague was near the top of my list read more...
We were walking around the Yong Kang Street area a couple of months ago on a rainy evening when we stumbled across a fine looking French patisserie called La Douceur. Even though we only just had dinner, the uber enticing cakes on display lured us in. Judging from the diplomas on the wall I assume read more...
Writing action sequences for any novel, not just fantasy, can be both exciting and frustrating. The aim is almost always to create fast-paced, intense action that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats, but it’s not always as easy as it seems. Writing action is a skill that needs to be practised and read more...
In my humble opinion, takoyaki is one of the greatest foods in the world. According to Wikipedia, it is a “ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan” and usually filled with octopus. I first fell in love with it while reading ろくでなしBLUES (translated in English as Rover Blues), possibly my favourite manga of all time.
I have tried many takoyaki places in Japan (Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo) and in my opinion the best place to have this delectable dish, by far, is Taco Tora, which has, as far as I know, three stores in Kyoto.
Back in the day (2002), I always visited the store in Kyoto’s Kamishichiken district, on Imadegawa, which was a long bike ride but well worth it whenever I am craving for a post-dinner snack. Last month, however, I tried out the Shichijo store for the first time because it’s closer to the hotel I was staying at near Kyoto Station.
The two stores, amazingly, look almost identical, from the layout down to the decor. I felt right at home. Here is the wall poster with the phone number, address (in Japanese) and opening hours. For those who cannot see the fine print, they are open from 5pm to midnight.
So what makes their takoyaki so good? See pictures below first.
They don’t look particularly special, but they are. At 600 yen for 8 balls, that’s neither cheap nor expensive, but there are several things that do set the takoyaki from Taco Tora apart from other joints.
First of all, their takoyaki balls are huge. Twice as big as ones you will find at night market stalls in Taiwan and some of the stalls at Sydney’s Friday night Chinatown markets. Second, and most importantly, the outside is amazingly crispy. Incomparably crispy. So many takoyaki places, even in Osaka, where they are supposed to be famous, have outsides that are soft and soggy and not worthy of your money. Taco Tora is the real deal. Super crunchy on the outside, moist and flavoursome on the inside. The tako is not just some little piece you can barely get your teeth around — they are huge and chewy.
The sauce is also surprisingly good, even though it is plain. Most places top off takoyaki balls with some type of dark okonomiyaki-style sauce (which is similar to Worcestershire) and mayo, but Taco Tora just has the dark sauce without the mayo. Now I love mayo, but it is perfectly fine without it here. Their sauce just seems tangier. The dried bonito flakes are of course the cherry on top.
Just writing about this makes me hungry. Do yourself a favour and try it out if you are ever in Kyoto. The unfortunate thing is that none of the stores are particularly close to train or subway stations (though I believe there may be bus stops nearby). You might just have to catch a cab.
Shichijo store (open till midnight): 20-18, Nishikyogoku, Daimon town , Ukyo-ku, Kyoto (京都府京都市右京区西京極大門町20-18)
Main store (open till 2am): Intersection of Kitaooji and Takano, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto (京都府京都市左京区北大路高野交差点上ル西側)
Kamishichiken store (open till 1am): Imadegawadori Nanahonmatsu Nishi Iru Kamigyō-Ku, Kyoto (京都府京都市上京区今出川通七本松西入真盛町726-40)
The first Iron Man was an instant classic and one of the best superhero movies of all time. The sequel, Iron Man2, bombed because it thought it could just take the successful template of the first film and make it bigger and louder (like what Michael Bay did for the Transformers franchise). So it’s great to see that the producers learned their lesson and turned Iron Man 3 into a home run. It’s everything fans could have asked for in a third installment – sufficient familiarity but also enough creativity and innovation to make it a completely different experience.
Iron Man 3 takes place after the events depicted in The Avengers (for those living under a rock, that’s the one with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk) and has Iron Man’s alter ego, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), battling demons from that bizarre alien experience. Mysterious terrorist attacks are happening in the US thanks to the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a new villain who may or may not be linked to someone from Stark’s past.
It seemed like a cookie-cutter premise from the start, and indeed, Iron Man 3 does take a little bit of time to take off. But once it does, director Shane Black (who also directed Downey Jr in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) takes the audience on a brand new adventure that has plenty of surprises and fresh thrills.
For starters, Iron Man is forced this time to spend a lot of screen time out of his suit, or in only parts of his suit, and must rely on his wit to get him out of dangerous situations. There are also several clever new inventions and ideas that show that the evolution of Iron Man is not just different looking suits, but actual functional improvements.
It’s also fantastic to see Gwyneth Paltrow, who has essentially played the damsel in distress in the first two films as love interest Pepper Pots, get to do some heavy lifting for once. Also taking on a physical, but different kind of role, was Don Cheadle, who provides the biggest laughs as sidekick War Machine, rebranded as the Iron Patriot. Unfortunately, every time I saw Cheadle’s face I was reminded of his dark turn as Captain Planet. Not his fault though.
Rounding out the stellar core cast are three excellent actors – the aforementioned Ben Kinsley, in a role I could imagine few others pulling off; Guy Pearce, also in a role few others could pull off (he plays a total freak geek who turns into a handsome devil; the last three films I saw him in were Lawless, where he plays a menacing eyebrow-less menace; Prometheus, where he plays a shriveled old man; and Lockout, where he plays a suave ex-con-turned-buffed-hero); and Rebecca Hall, in a role many others probably could have played (resurfaced ex-lover) but she excels here because she is so damn lovely.
The action in Iron Man 3 is also different and varied, so you don’t have to worry about seeing the same kind of sequences over and over. I can’t say much more without giving stuff away, but as usual, I urge those who want to see it to stay away from the trailers and gossipers because it will be a real shame to have some of the twists spoiled.
This is not a complaint, but I found it strange that after all that press about the film being co-produced by a Chinese company and that it will contain “Chinese elements”, there ended up being virtually no Chinese references. No scenes set in China. Maybe a Chinese actor in a cameo (can’t remember), but that’s it. Perhaps the “special” version released for Chinese audiences with bonus footage has something arbitrary thrown in for the sake of it.
Anyway, considering how difficult it is to inject freshness into a highly successful franchise, Iron Man 3 really is a very impressive effort all round.
4.25 out of 5
PS: Yes, there is a post-credits scene, though there is no reference to any of the other upcoming Marvel adaptations such as Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
PPS: I really didn’t want to see this film in 3D, but difficulties in acquiring a non-3D ticket on opening weekend forced me to fork out the extra dollars for the discomfort and added vision-obscuring tint. If I haven’t made myself clear, AVOID the 3D version at all costs! It adds absolutely nothing.
I am not a bragging man, but let it be known that I have had my fair share of tonkatsu, essentially a Japanese pork cutlet deep fried in bread crumbs. When people tell me of a good tonkatsu joint, anywhere in the world, I go and eat. It’s that simple.
Last month, the missus and I went back to Kyoto, the place where we first met as wide-eyed exchange students more than 10 years ago, for a brief anniversary holiday. The entire trip, I am unashamed to proclaim, was built around restaurants we wanted to try and mostly, re-try. Towards the top of that list was Katsu Kura (かつくら), the place where we first fell head over heels in love…with katsu.
Katsu Kura is a Japanese franchise that has at least three stores I know of in Kyoto (there are actually five). The most convenient one for tourists is located on level 11 of The Cube, a mall stacked on top of Kyoto Station, and that is the one we went to.
Given its unwavering popularity, expect at least a brief wait on most nights. The restaurant at The Cube is relatively small but crammed with a lot of tables.
Inside Katsukura at The Cube
Their menu is relatively simple. They have an assortment of different katsu, priced according to the size, type and quality of the pork. From what I understand, the pork loin (ロース, or rosu) has more fat and is thus more tender, while the pork fillet (ヒレ, or hire) is a little tougher but healthier. Of course, I went for the loin. The missus’s favourite is not their pork, but their chicken katsu, which I admit is the best I’ve had anywhere. For those who don’t eat land animals, there are also some seafood options, such as prawns and crab croquettes.
Grind your own sesame seeds
When you order katsu, you get a bowl of fragrant sesame seeds, which you grind yourself while you wait for the chefs to prepare the meal. Regular visitors of katsu restaurants are probably familiar with this tradition now, but 10 years ago it was a bit of a novelty. As you can see above, they provide an English explanation of how what sauces there are to mix with the ground sesame.
Part of what makes Katsu Kura so unbeatable is its sauces, which I believe are better than most.
Each table comes with a tray of different sauces. One of them is yuzu dressing for the unlimited shredded cabbage, which I can have truckloads of because it tastes so good. The other two sauces can be mixed with the sesame — the larger one is the original, and the best, while the smaller one is spicy for those who like a bit of a kick. The tiny white one is hot yellow mustard, which is a must-add for me.
Oh, and the rice and miso soup (not pictured) are unlimited too, so keep eating. We did.
Say hello to chicken katsu
The chicken katsu was as good as I remembered it. So was the pork loin. The magic of Katsu Kura is that the food does not feel very oily, even though it is deep fried. You won’t get that disgusting, dripping oil look with their stuff, so you won’t get sick of it. The outside is so incredibly crispy, while the inside is so ridiculously soft and juicy. The cabbage and the rice help balance the meats, and the sauces perfect the meal. It’s amazing, I tell ya.
We ordered two types of prawns, a normal and a jumbo.
In hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have ordered the prawns as well, as good as they were. It was just a very huge meal, and the extras just killed off any realistic chance of enjoying some dessert. For those who didn’t get enough, you can always try a takeaway tonkatsu sandwich. They looked awesome but there was no way we could fit any more in. Maybe next time.
Price-wise, we’re talking around about 1,400 yen-1,700 yen or so for a set, and if you get extras like we did, you’re probably looking at about 2,000 yen a head. That’s a relatively cheap, but extraordinarily quality meal in Japan.
In typical me-fashion, I am blogging about something that happened almost a month ago. That’s right; I’m talking about the 85th Academy Awards.
This recap is really for my own selfish benefit because I don’t want to forget it in case I never get invited again. Not to the Oscars, of course (though I still hold out hope that this could still happen some day – as soon as I have the time and money to write, produce, direct and star in my own film, Tommy Wisseau-style), but to be a consultant on its Taiwan telecast.
Allow me to take a step back and explain. A few weeks ago (well, a month and a few weeks ago), a colleague recommended me to one of the two TV stations with rights to broadcast the Oscars in Taiwan. These stations will air the Oscars (at least) twice – live in the morning (Taiwan time) and again at night with subtitles. Each producer will have a team of dedicated translators who will work tirelessly all throughout the day to get those subtitles ready in time for the second telecast.
Sounds easy, or so I thought, but it’s actually a lot of work. It’s more than just direct translations from English to Chinese — there could be a lot of obscure film, TV, music, pop culture or fashion references that need to be researched and confirmed; jokes, slang words or accents that are difficult to understand for non-native speakers; or just a lot of indecipherable mumbling and hollering that even most native speaker don’t get. All of it has to be impeccably translated, verified and matched with the recorded footage. While there are bits of scripted material and lists of names that will be translated in advance, the vast majority of the work is done on the day, on the spot.
Where did I come in? Well, notwithstanding the dozen or so high-quality translators they hired for the day, they still needed someone with English as their native tongue who knew a thing or two about the movies. Just in case. The pay, as is usually the case in Taiwan, is not great, but to be honest I would have done it for nothing. I’d have to take a day off work, but I knew the experience of being a part of an Oscars telecast was too good to pass up.
We started early. By the time I arrived at 7:30am, the two rooms dedicated to the challenge were already filled with translators plugging away and preparing for the dreaded red carpet (which would be re-broadcast with subtitles after the ceremony in the rerun later that night). The rooms themselves were small and crowded. One was crammed with tables and laptops for the translators, while the other was crammed with couches and a TV for people like me.
This is the TV I watched the broadcast on
The day itself was a blast. Very long but extremely enjoyable and insightful. It was fun to watch the Oscars live for once (it’s usually on during work hours in Sydney and it was impossible to avoid finding out the winners before getting home) and with a group of people who have a passion for film.
For the majority of the live broadcast I was glued to the TV with our other consultant, a radio personality in Taiwan who once tutored Chinese actress Gong Li (you know, the one with the icy stare from Memoirs of a Geisha and Miami Vice) in English for a year. Apparently she is…um…nice — in person, that is.
Gong Li stares
Every now and then we would hear a call from the other room for “er duo” (literally “ears”), and we would go scampering over to assist. Sometimes it would be to decipher the name of a fashion brand (especially during the red carpet), or the punchline of a joke, or the name of a person mentioned during the acceptance speeches. Sometimes it was just a whole lot of gibberish from William Shatner or Queen Latifah.
Shatner tearing it up at the Oscars
The only real “work” I had to do all day was to help transcribe a couple of songs from the opening act of host Seth MacFarlane – so that the translators could use them to do the Chinese subtitles. On this point, I am disappointed to say, I could not, for the life of me, figure out one of the lines in MacFarlane’s final song, Be Our Guest, in which he tried to make fun of the name of the nine-year-old Oscar-nominated star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, Quvenzhane Wallis.
Southern Wild had some luck, it was made for 50 bucks
With a star whose name looks like a …?
After listening to it about 50 times, none of us could figure out what the heck Quvenzhane’s name looks like. It didn’t really matter in the end because the Chinese translation simply needed to convey that her name was difficult to read or pronounce, though I must admit that the line really bugged me for the rest of the day. After researching on Google and Twitter I still couldn’t find a single person who knew what he was referring to.
(A few weeks later, an article I read suggested that he had compared the name to “a vision test” – which could be correct, but even watching it again now I still think it doesn’t quite sound right. Check out the video of the entire opening below – the line comes in at around the 13:44 mark.)
Anyway, the rest of the broadcast went along very smoothly, with Ang Lee’s win for best director, naturally, drawing the biggest emotional high. It was probably the only time during the day that everyone stopped whatever they were doing and just watched the man they call “the pride of Taiwan” (along with basketballer Jeremy Lin, pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, and any other Taiwanese person or person with Taiwanese heritage who has ever done anything remotely newsworthy in the world – though one must wonder why Justin Lin, the Taiwanese-born director of the last few entries in the Fast & Furious franchise, has barely gotten a mention).
The moment Ang Lee accepted his Oscar for Life of Pi
Much of the real work would come after the awards ceremony ended. You would think with a dozen or so people each translating a different segment that it wouldn’t take all that long to translate every word uttered in a three-and-a-half-hour ceremony and the preceding red carpet show – but it does! It really is hard work.
I must mention here that the translators we had working on the subtitles were amazing. Since moving here a little more than a year ago I’ve often been appalled with the quality of the translations in Taiwan – even for official government documents, brochures and marketing campaigns. But the people they hired on this day were all brilliant; I’m sure they are some of the best translators in Taiwan. I was particularly impressed by their meticulousness and their abilities to pick up the nuances and fudge difficult lines into coherence. One of them was a subtitle specialist who had worked on more than 5,000 films and TV shows, including good old porn (which is, allegedly, a pretty stiff job given that much of the dialogue occurs during hardcore close-up scenes…).
I feel I really should write a post on the plight of translators in Taiwan some day because it’s a topic I’m sure many people are passionate about. In short, it’s a shitty industry because the pay is so low and the work is so often very very hard. There are plenty of translation agencies out there taking advantage of translators by offering ridiculously low rates of say US$0.01 a word. At the same time, there are a lot of hopeless translators vying for – and often scoring – freelance gigs because they are willing to work for peanuts in exchange for horrendous translations. It’s a vicious cycle that keeps dragging down both the quality and the price of translation work in the country.
But I digress.
Oscars day was fun, and it stretched well into the evening and beyond the 8pm start time for the re-run thanks to the final subtitles for the red carpet. Contrary to my understanding of how Taiwanese media treat their staff, all of us were well looked after, with all three meals taken care of throughout the day. I really hope there will be another opportunity to work with them again in the future.
Thoughts on the Oscars
Seth MacFarlane as host
As for the ceremony itself, I thought this year’s was one of the better ones. Seth MacFarlane received average to negative reviews for his performance, but I actually thought he was pretty good. Not gut-bustingly funny but amusing enough for the stuffy Oscar oldies, and nowhere near as uncomfortable as Ricky Gervais. Yes, the opening monologue was a little longer than usual, but I’ve always considered it the most entertaining part of the show, so no complaints from me.
As for the low-brow humor, including the “We Saw Your Boobs” song (in which all the actresses were clearly in on the joke) and some orgy comments from his teddy bear creation Ted, I don’t think any of it was unexpected. I mean, come on, the show’s organizers knew exactly what they were getting when they signed the creator of Family Guy and Ted – no one could say with a straight face that they had expected him to be Hugh Jackman and keep away from the crude jokes. No one can beat Billy Crystal, of course, but at least MacFarlane was better than the disaster that was Anne Hathaway and James Franco in 2011 (almost entirely the fault of the stoned latter) and the bizarre duo of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin the year before.
My favorite parts of the opening monologue were those that received assistance from another star – the Star Trek segments with William Shatner and the Flying Nun skit with Sally Field. On the whole, however, it was one of the better openings in recent memory. As they say, it’s the toughest gig in Hollywood, so kudos to MacFarlane for at least having the balls to take it on when he knew he’d probably be savaged for it.
Seth MacFarlane as the Flying Nun
Winners and losers
Having finally watched all of the nine best picture nominees, I have to say that this was a strange year in which there was no real favorite because no film really dominated.
Argo, which won best picture, only had a single acting nomination (for Alan Arkin), while its director, Ben Affleck, didn’t even get a nomination. And let’s face it: it was a very very good film, but still one of the weaker best picture winners in Oscar history. At least it was better than Crash.
They may take away my best director nomination, but they can never take away this Oscar!!
On the other hand, you had Lincoln, which may have ticked all the boxes but was a bore that few would call the best film of the year. Amour was the token foreign film nominee that was far too depressing to win, and Beasts of the Southern Wild was a nice little fairytale (given its shoestring budget) that was too weird for a lot of people (including me).
Les Miserables divided audiences and critics alike (I was more against it than for it), while Zero Dark Thirty was too “controversial.” Personally, my three favourite films of the best picture nominees were Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook and Life of Pi, probably in that order.
If I were a betting man, I probably would have put my money on Life of Pi because it will probably go down as the most memorable of the lot, and plus Ang Lee won for best director, which I felt was totally deserved. But unlike many who have seen it I didn’t think it was that amazing. Django and Silver Linings Playbook weren’t perfect and were genres unlikely to win best picture, but they were by far the most enjoyable of the nominees.
At the end of the day, Argo probably won by default.
As for the rest of the major categories, apart from best director (for which I thought Spielberg was the favourite) and best supporting actor (Tommy Lee Jones reportedly had the odds on his side), most of the outcomes were predictable. Daniel Day-Lewis, the male Meryl Streep, rarely loses once he gets nominated. The annoying thing is that you know he totally deserves it every time. The only guy that really could have competed with Daniel Day out of the nominees was Joaquin Phoenix, and you know they were never giving it to him.
One of the best non-Ang Lee moments at the Oscars this year was when Jennifer Lawrence, who is on the verge of overtaking Kate Winslet as my favourite actress, won for Silver Linings Playbook. I thought Jessica Chastain was excellent in Zero Dark Thirty, but Lawrence really hit a home run with her performance and proved that her nomination for Winter’s Bone a couple of years ago was no fluke. To top things off, she stacked it on the steps while heading up to the stage. Right now she’s like the female Ryan Gosling – impossible to dislike no matter how hard you try – well, except he’s still looking for his first Oscar.
Jennifer Lawrence takes a tumble on her way to the stage
Anne Hathaway’s win for supporting actress in Les Miserables turned out to be the most “meh” moment of the night. Yeah, she was good, but she pretty much won for shaving her head and signing one song. I wasn’t anywhere near that bandwagon..
Christoph Waltz has now made it two for two in his collaborations with Quentin Tarantino. I think this is why his win surprised a lot of people, because few expected that he would win the same award for the same director two times in a row. All the nominees were great, but if we were being honest with ourselves we would admit that the guy who truly deserved to win didn’t even get nominated. Waltz won for playing a Nazi, so I don’t get any of this “too controversial” or “to villainous” argument against Leonardo DiCaprio, who absolutely should have taken home the golden statuette this year.
Let’s face it, Leo was robbed
One final comment about the best foreign film category, which to no one’s surprise was captured by Amour this year. I said the same thing a dozen years ago when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won it: how can a film in that category NOT be the best foreign film if it is the ONLY one also nominated for best picture? It may seem unfair to deprive films like Amour and Crouching Tiger of an Oscar win for best foreign film, but it also completely kills any chance the other nominees in the category have.
PS: On a side note, it was kind of ridiculous that last year’s best picture winner, The Artist, did not get a nomination for best foreign film because the award is actually “best foreign language film.” So despite being a French movie made by a French production company, with a French director and French stars, The Artist was ruled ineligible because the few words uttered in the film were, more or less, in English. Another reason for this is because each foreign country can only submit ONE film for consideration to the Academy, which is totally stupid too.
I’m officially in a slump. The original title of this post, back when I was initially planning on writing it about a week ago, was supposed to be something like “I’m back, baby!” or something similarly enthusiastic. But honestly, I just don’t have it in me right now.
Things have been, for lack of a better word, shit. Apart from a child who keeps getting sick from all the little viruses hanging around, the real scrotum crusher has been work. Generally speaking, I like my job, but I’ve recently had a temporary role change from writer to editor (for a couple of weeks) due to our top editor heading overseas to cover a conference and another leaving for greener pastures. The role requires a lot more work than I am used to, which means I get virtually no personal breaks during the day. The bigger problem is that I get all the hard articles, which take forever to do (some are almost complete rewrites), while the other editor gets all the easy ones that require hardly any editing because the bosses don’t trust that he can do a good job. I still haven’t figured out if it’s laziness or incompetence, though I suspect it might be a fecal cocktail of both.
Yet still, we get roughly the same number of articles to do, which means the other guy can spend half his day dallying with the fairies, whereas I am flat out from the get-go. Part of me wants to complain, but the other half tells me its for the best because I just can’t stand publishing sub-standard copy. Oh, and on more than one occasion I’ve had to fix up stuff he’s flubbed. Consequently, work these days often feels like this:
The other thing that’s been getting up my nose is the freelance gig that simply refuses to go away. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s for the Tourism Bureau, which is good, but the person I am dealing with on the other end is the most incompetent turd I have ever had the misfortune of coming across, which is bad.
Let’s see…where should I start. How about not having a freaking clue what sections she has sent me and what I have sent her? Is it that hard to keep track of emails and files? How about telling me it’s finished and then realizing later that she FORGOT to send me a major section? How about telling me after I spent hours on a section that, oops, she sent me the wrong version and I have to do it all over again? How about telling me AFTER I finished a section that the client needs to rework the original copy and that I have to do it all over again? How about sending me a scan and a file with no explanation whatsoever other than “please let me know if you have any questions”? Yeah I have a question: what the f%*# do you want me to do with the shit you just sent me? How about picking up your phone? How about returning missed calls? How about sending emails to the email address I told you to send it to? How about writing an email that ordinary humans can decipher in less than an hour? Aaaaargh!
Consequently, my after-work hours often feel like this:
(By the way, how is it consistent that Ibaka (in the first video) only got a fine after not getting ejected, and Bynum (in the second video) got a suspension after getting ejected as well? Is the stomach less serious than the nut sack?)
So yeah, not happy Jan. I guess that’s number 1,873 in my list of “Things to hate about being a former lawyer” — you deal with competent people for so long that you take competence for granted and when you head out into the real world and meet incompetent people it blows your mind.
Right now I’m getting home exhausted every night and feeling like I can’t be bothered to do anything. Writing blog posts or reading are supposed to be cathartic experiences but recently they’ve felt like a chore, so instead I’ve just vegged out on the couch or played Candy Crush (I hate you, level 135!). My plan to start exercising again is still not quite off the ground. I did about 40 minutes of yoga the other night and woke up the next morning feeling like I just swam the English Channel. First world problems still suck.
However, I am glad to say, the light at the end of the tunnel is not that far away. I’m working over the weekend but then I’m off to Japan next week for a little break with the missus. This will be the first time since I started this blog that I’ll be heading to one of my favourite places on the planet, so be prepared for some awesome posts. And when I’m back I’ll be back to being a writer at work, and hopefully the freelance gig will finally be put to rest.
PS: Another reason it’s been quiet around here is because I ran into some problems with my website. Apparently some cache plugins was giving my host server a lot of inodes, which was stuffing everything up. Yeah, I didn’t know what the heck they were either. Actually, I still don’t, but at least it has been fixed.