Friday, July 31, 2009

~ BBC Reading List ~

I saw this on my friend's Facebook notes, so I will give it a try. I used to be a book nerd :)

"The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. Instruction: Copy this into your notes and tag the books you have read with an X"

Ok...I am going to highlight the ones I have read in green and the ones I started to read in orange.
  1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien I m a big fan of fantasy books. I loved the movies. But I just keep falling asleep when I am reading this!
  3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling One of my all time favorites!!!
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  6. The Bible - Getting there
  7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte Read this when my English wasn't that great. Had to read it twice to kind of get what was going on...
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - It was good!!!
  10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare I read Romeo and Juliet and MacBeth. I don't think you can get through the American education system without reading Shakespeare.
  15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier It's kinda twisted!
  16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
  18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
  22. Thee Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
  24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
  27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky Not only read, but analyzed and wrote papers about. You know how I am obsessed with yellow? I still remember writing a paper about how Dostoyevsky use color to set the mood of the book.
  28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
  30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
  31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
  33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
  34. Emma-Jane Austen
  35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
  36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
  37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden Another book that I couldn't putt down.
  40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
  41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
  42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
  45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
  47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
  49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
  50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
  51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  52. Dune - Frank Herbert
  53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
  54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
  56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
  58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley Another 13 page paper right here...
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
  60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
  64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
  69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
  71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
  73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
  74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses - James Joyce I have tried to read so many James Joyce books....just can't stomach it after a few chapters.
  76. The Inferno – Dante
  77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal - Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession - AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
  82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
  91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
17 out of 100! Looks like I may need to spend some time reading...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

~ My Treasury: Afternoon Romance ~

Haven't done a spotlight for a while! it is...a little Afternoon Romance...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

~ What Should I Cosplay As? ~

I have always wanted to cosplay, but never had the chance. I was sad when my friends all cosplayed at the recent anime convention and Baltimore when I was in Chicago. They all looked so good! Fortunately, there's another one coming up in New York in about 2 months so I am going to go! Now...the big first step is to decide who I want to be.

My fiance is going with me and he only wants to be a character from Bleach. After some discussion, he decided that he wants to be Grimmjow. The costume is simple enough. He will just need to work a little bit harder to solidify his 6-pack. Bad boys are so hot! :D

So, of course I want to match him. Though, I am not a big fan of the Bleach female costumes. My number choice for Bleach is Nell. She's such a hottie!

But...her uniform is not that cute.

Though I guess I can wear her other outfit. That's really hot. This is like the best Nell cosplay I have seen and it's all over the web. I will have to do 1000 sit ups a day and not eat any fatty foods for 2 months to wear something like that though.

Next up is Matsumoto. I don't think I can get my .... upper body to be like hers though.

The uniform is cute though!

Then, there's always Inoue. I like her arrancar uniform.

But, I really want to do Final Fantsy. Yuna has a few cute outfits.
This one is cute! It's nice and colorful.

Though, I think I would like this outfit more.

Then there's Rinoa.

A hotter version...

The easiest version....

I would be Lulu...but this is a very expensive costume. About $200!

Or, I can just do the easiest costume ever and be Asuka from Evangelion. I'll get to wear a yellow dress! Just need a wig and those red things in her hair and I am set. Ok, maybe blue contacts, but I doubt I can get blue contacts with my prescription.

Who should I be??

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

~ Fun, Hip Restaurant in Chicago Chinatown ~'s another blog post about food. What can I say? I just love eating! So, in most of the Chinatowns I have been to in US and Canada, most of the restaurants are not very cool. The food maybe great, but service usually borderline sucking, and decor is usually outdated or tacky. Simply put, if a guy takes me to a restaurant in any Chinatowns for a first date, there will probably not be a second date. Except if he takes me to Joy Yee's.

Joy Yee's Noodles opened probably about 10-12 years ago. Back then, bubble tea was a huge success all across Asia and Joy Yee's was the first one to bring it over to Chicago. They also make their drinks using real fruits, which fits so perfectly with the healthy lifestyles that we are striving for nowadays. What is bubble tea you ask? Well...It's tea or smoothie with tapioca balls basicaly. There are different varieties of gelatin like pieces that can be used instead of regular tapioca balls. Here's one that I got at Joy Yee's last time I was there.

It's Joy Yee's Jumbo Bubble Tea! Here's a look at the regular one. I must warn you that Joy Yee's bubble tea/smoothies are bigger most of the other restaurants. Maybe it's an illusion with the thick glass. I am not sure.

So, food wise, they are above average. It's not like spectacular like Isla Pilipina, but I wouldn't mind eating it a few times a week. That's also because they have such a huge variety! It's like the best of all the Asian cuisines, all gathered in one restaurant! Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese (of course) and more! Let's look at what we ate.

The Joy Yee Appetizer platter. It had spring rolls, egg rolls, unidentified fish cakes, and chicken lettuce wrap on shrimp cracker. It was good and a nice sampler.

Thai spicy shrimp bamboo rice. Isn't the container fun? It was yummy also.

You know what makes eating here even more fun? It's the life size replicas of the food by the entrance! Look at these noodles!

King of all Pho!

Fried fish with spicy sauce. I saw someone eating it. It really is served with the fish standing up like that.

Korean stone bowl rice....

Also, their menu has lots of pictures so ordering is easy. Well, it's easy to know what things are, but it's hard to decide what you want. Now, this food replica thing can be very tacky, but they do it so well! They also open all the huge windows on nice summer days so it's very nice to sit by the window and have people gawk at your delicious food.

They are also very creative. Every time I go there, which is at least a few times a year, they have new things. New menu items, new decor. Very hip and fun place to eat and hang out. If you are stumbling around Chinatown, wondering where you should eat, this is definitely a place you want to check out.

By the way, the restaurant walls are bright yellow so add 100 points for them :D

After we ate there, we walked around the Chinatown Bazaar and found another Joy Yee's! I guess they are doing so well that they opened a Joy Yee's Plus.

I didn't get a chance to eat there, but it looks like a sushi place from the displays.

So, Joy Yee and Joy Yee Plus are located in the newer section of Chinatown, around Cermak and Wentworth, 1 block away from the Red Line train station. Joy Yee is located very close to where the 12 zodiac statues are. Right next to Joy Yee's, there's Kan Kee which has awesome food too. Service and decor is not as cool as Joy Yee's but I like their food a lot more.

Joy Yee Plus is closer to the Walgreen side of the shopping center. There's also a really good bakery on that side called St. Anna's. That's where I like to get my BBQ pork buns, mini egg tarts and all other yummy breads and cakes.

Ooo yeah, Joy Yee is also in Evanston, on Halsted around UIC and in Naperville. I love how it's breaking out of Chinatown!

Monday, July 27, 2009

~ Facebook Fan Page Widget ~

I was just taking a peek at my Facebook fan page today and saw something new!

So of course I had to click on it and see what new fun awaits me. It turns out to be a widget that you can add to any website! I just added it to this blog. Check it out on the left side and, of course, please feel free to become a fan!

It's pretty cool! You can customize it to only show the button and/or a stream of your page and/or your fans using their user interface.

The default settings make the widget too wide for my blog, so I went in and tweeked it a little. Originally, it was:
<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript">FB.init("3bcba26752579364322c73188e0fac77");</script><fb:fan profile_id="44465104723" stream="1" connections="10" width="300"></fb:fan><div style="font-size:8px; padding-left:10px"><a href="">Happy Cloud Moments</a> on Facebook</div>

I had to change the width, height and connection to make it fit perfectly into the left column. I decreased the width. I had to take out a connection (fan picture) because it could only show 3 per row and the default 10 makes one picture stick out near the bottom. I also made the height bigger to compensate for the decreased height.
<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript">FB.init("3bcba26752579364322c73188e0fac77");</script><fb:fan profile_id="44465104723" stream="1" connections="9" width="200" height="625"></fb:fan><div style="font-size:8px; padding-left:10px"><a href="">Happy Cloud Moments</a> on Facebook</div>

I know all that code looks scary, but it's very easy to change. You can get more info on the Facebook wiki page. I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have issues customizing it for your blog/site and I'll look at it for you.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

~ Chicago Downtown Fun ~

A lot of my friends live in the South Loop in Chicago. So, on my last day there, they decided to hang out with me the whole day downtown. First, we started out with breakfast at the Bongo Room on the corner of Roosevelt and Wabash. It was so yummy!!!

I had an omelette with yellow peppers, red peppers and sausage. It came with hash browns and toast. So good!

I also tried my friend's banana something....pancake with nutella cream. It was super yummy! The pancakes are fluffy. The sauce is not too sweet and just the right amoount of nuttiness.

Overall, the atmosphere was great! Location is convenient. Service was great. And supposedly, the coffee there is awesome! I don't drink coffee, but my friend says he goes there only for the coffee.

It was hard to decide what to do next. What's there to do in Chicago on a random Tuesday??? We wanted to bike along the lake, but we ended up just walking down Michigan from Roosevelt to .... I forgot where. There was so much along the way! First we stopped at a random fountain...

Then, we walked past the art institute. Some of us wanted to go in...but, the boys just walked away...

Then, we passed by these .... things. The water is coming down the sides of these brick columns. There are all these kids playing in the water. So, of course I had to dip my feet in there. It was hot so the cooling water felt really, really good!

I just noticed that the building surface changed! Cool!

Behind these brick things, we saw some "Chinese sculptures".

This is very Chinese...

Then, we got to Millennium Park. I love this bean! It's so cool!

We had so much fun taking pictures!

This is the bottom of the bean. It's so awesome!

You can see the whole Chicago skyline on the bean!

We heard music, so we headed over to the stadium. Seemed like there was rehearsal with a lot of people watching.

Then, we passed by some family day event. All these kids just playing games and listening to music. It's sponsored by some Chinese Dragonboat organization I think...

Then it's time to shop! We headed up to State and went to Nordstrom Rack, TJMaxx, Filene's Basement, Forever 21, Ulta and...that's it. That's all the boys can handle. I saw these at TJMaxx. Usually I hate flats like that. But the piggy is so cute! I didn't get them though 'cause I don't think I will actually wear them.

Then we were off to rest up and prepare for dinner. The boys went to play ping pong and the girls hung out at a coffee shop. What's so special about dinner? Well, we took a cab to to Brazzaz, a Brazillian steak house. If you have never tried it, you should! It's fun! You get these little circles. One side says "Yes please" and the other says...something like "No more". I don't remember because I was looking at the Yes side most of the time :)

If you have the yes side up, then servers come by with slabs of meat and other grilled yumminess and cut you a piece. There's also a salad bar that has sushi. I have had it once before. The key is to mix in the meat with some salad. I think it helps you enjoy the meat more. There's filet mignon, flank steak, ribeye, ny strip, chicken, pork tenderloin, sausage, shrimp and the very very yummy, grilled pineapple. I was too busy eating to take picture of the meat. But, there's the dessert.

What a great day! So much to do in Chicago on a random Tuesday! If we were younger, maybe we would've gone to a bar or something. But this long day is tiring! We just headed back to my friend's place and hung out for a little bit. Thanks to all my awesome friends for showing me Chicago! Yes, I am from Chicago, but I never really hung out downtown. It was great!
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