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kc - loyeh - ahyung | 15-Oct-07, 12:30 | 書籍 | (81 Reads)

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Finished it just this morning. Not a very difficult read.

A typical historical romance novel of a glowing love between a handsome viscount and an ugly duckling.

What I like in this book:
the witty conversations between Miranda and Turner.
Miranda's subtle admiration for Turner.
Turner's gentle love making to Miranda.

What I don't like in this book:
the shallow character of Turner and his family.
the naivity of Turner and his family.
lack of description about the landscape and background.

What can be improved:
more ink on the mind and personality of the characters.
more ink on key events like the wedding of Turner and Leticia.
more ink on the environment...

I still hesitate about the next romance novel. I hope I will find a better one.


kc - loyeh - ahyung | 04-Sep-07, 15:42 | 書籍 | (138 Reads)

i've just finished Elie Wiesel's "Day".

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this book is well written, close to my mind and heart.

it talks about a man, just like Elie himself, who suffered from the days in the concentration camps and suffered from what came into his brain during the war. he was hit by a cab when he and his lover Kathleen were crossing the street to see a movie. he was sent to a hospital where his life was saved by a young doctor. the doctor felt that this seriously injured guy didn't want to live and he was curious to know the reasons behind. when being asked and challenged, this man went back to his childhood and his days in the concentration camp and discovered his old wounds and roots of suffering. he challenged how he could live when people kept on dying, how he could eat happily when people were starving, how he could love when he was confused...

i enjoy reading this book cuz at certain points our thinking about life and death are alike though i didn't experience the concentration camp torment. but death is so close that i agree living and dying co-exist so living is to die and dying is to live.

My favorite sentences:

  • "The problem is not: to be or not to be. But rather: to be and not to be."
  • "Hatred puts accents on things and being, and on what separates them. Love erases accents."

kc - loyeh - ahyung | 22-Aug-07, 08:30 | 關於他和他和他... | (112 Reads)

why did i dream about you again?

we're dressing like those ppl in the renaissance.

we're in the theater.

i saw your wife standing outside and her face was red.

you took my hand and got us away from the crowd. i felt exceptionally excited. but i was not sure if i wanted to go on like this.

i saw a saber in your wife's hand. i closed my eyes and put my hands on your chins to feel your beard. and that made me more excited.

i believed i loved you at that moment. but i was not sure if i wanted to go on like this.

when i woke up, i talked to myself, 'Oh my God...'


kc - loyeh - ahyung | 11-Aug-07, 11:14 | 關於他和他和他... | (162 Reads)

this gathering aroused so much warm and deep thought. the effect is much greater than reading the complete works of shakespeare or seeing ten touching movies. when i was lying on the bed, i closed my eyes and remembered many scenes and i hoped i would be brought back to the scenes in dream.  thank you for making this evening so wonderful so remarkable to my life. i really look forward to our next round. and promise, i will try to win less.

pete, your cooking is a lot better than mine. good job, chef! i'm not picky. my parents are great cooks and i'm a spoiled child. see?

ad, i love talking with you. i always learn a lot from you. i hope i find my dream my direction soon and take action to follow it.

tina, can't wait for your next worm....oops work! good luck to your stay/ study in paris.


kc - loyeh - ahyung | 05-Aug-07, 12:38 | 嗜好,喜好 | (295 Reads)

識我既人都知道我有鋪行文具舖癮,以前只係中意行同買,冇諗過做記錄,不過諗諗下,如果可以有系統將d資料整理一下,等第時參考下回味下都冇壞,所以今年攞埋部相機又再去番d文具舖影番一兩張相,寫下筆記。

深水埗係我出世同成長既地方,當然第一時間整理佢既資料啦~

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保安文具位於即將清拆既蘇屋村(杜鵑樓)。呢日同老闆娘傾下往事,以前我享附近番學,每日放學就會聞倒附近茶餐廳剛剛出爐香噴噴既蛋撻同麵包。問佢地諗住幾時搬,佢就話會做到政府要趕為止,真係敬業!而呢日老闆娘仲特登摷番d舊鉛筆俾我,d鉛筆好污糟,我話我唔介意,番去抹下就得啦,不過佢就一手攞哂去,幫我抹到好乾淨,真係感動!

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呢幾張相都係展輝未搬之前影既,原本佢間舖係咁大咁密質質,望落好亂,但係對我黎講就好似一個滿佈珍藏去尋寶既好地方。眼見展輝由大舖搬到細舖,好似目睹一個朝代興衰既過程,終須一日佢會享本地圖度消失,心裡面真係唔多好受。

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隆記歷久彌堅,皆因附近得佢一間有咁多款元寶蠟燭香,而且望落去好似有好多野賣咁,玩具啦,文具啦,係我細個果陣大部份文具舖既經營模式。

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買開sanrio舊野既人都應該識新興啦!仲洗鬼我介紹!

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江田文具...d貨太多所以擺得好亂,而且老闆同老闆娘兩個人看兩間舖(另一間享對面,淨賣玩具),都好難會有時間執番整齊。呢日其實係我第一次去,都俾我搵倒出面冇既鉛筆,真係好似中六合彩咁開心。

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嘩!三達原來已經開舖就黎三十年喇,唔怪之得佢有咁多舊野啦!我享呢度買左好多san-x既舊擦膠,鉛芯筆同間尺,埋單四百幾老闆娘都唔肯平d,佢成日話以前賣好貴,仲話唔係日本貨就唔入,咁就唔怪之得佢d貨仲可以擺到依家啦,就係因為佢對個價錢咁執著我先可以買倒,都算係一種緣份。

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順昌俾幾間小學圍住,理應都唔會有舊野,不過都俾我摷倒幾件,而且佢d筆賣得好平,我一買就十幾枝,佢地仲好環保,唔用膠袋,而係用將賣剩既花紙自製既紙袋。


kc - loyeh - ahyung | 04-Aug-07, 18:08 | 書籍 | (358 Reads)

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I can't believe that I finished reading this book in just a week!

I was first motivated by the title. I used to like unicorn and the story of virgin's seduction to the unicorn. Once I started flipping the first few pages of the novel, I just couldn't help enjoying myself in the interesting stories between the 'son-of-a-bitch' painter and the female characters - rigid lady in court, lady's young daughter in court, plump maid in court, proud weaver's wife, sharp weaver's blind daughter. In each lady, Nicholas (the painter) saw not just a different face but a different soul and a different desire that he hardly understood at the beginning.

The author, Tracy Chevalier, is smart that I totally got this disgusting painter out of my head when I was reading the book. My focus was always put on the ladies and their complicated yet delicate thoughts, interwoven relationships and their happy yet tragic endings.  The author used a special style to tell the story that each chapter is told in the voice of one character. Things look different in different people's eyes/ hearts, and that makes their personalities stand out from each other.

Of all characters, I like Alienor, the blind girl. I think she's got the happiest ending from all of the others. She got 'what' she desired for. She did everything to please everyone but at the end her parents planned to marry her to a 'stinky' wool dyer, whom had a smell of sheep's piss.  She broke the chain by bringing Nicholas to her sweet bed of lilies. She later got married with the cartoonist with Nicholas' son.

I have sorrows for Genevieve, the lady in court. Just like what Nicholas described, she was bound to the world of wealth and regulations. She had been sorry for almost her life that she didn't have the chance to be 'purified' in a convent. When Nicholas showed the tapestry of a Mon Seul Desir, Genevieve was just like the lady in it - hesitating whether to enter or leave the worldy place she had been living.

The more Nichloas knew about these ladies; the closer he was to their desires, their souls. He tried the best to put their characters into the tapestries. The Sight one was made for Alienor. In this tapestry, the lady was holding a mirror reflecting the image of a beloved unicorn, which lay happily in her lap. The image showed a happy face of the unicorn but the lady was looking a bit sad as her smile was crooked and her eyes were looking heavy and puffy.

Overall speaking, it's a good novel, which is written in the language of women's sensuality and sensibility.

Tracy Chevalier's website: http://www.tchevalier.com
The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lady_and_the_Unicorn


kc - loyeh - ahyung | 28-Jul-07, 11:23 | 嗜好,喜好, 書籍 | (289 Reads)

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Recently, I am crazily reading material about this lady, Katherine of Aragon aka Princess of Wales and Queen of England (b.1485~d.1536).

She was wife to Henry VII's first son, Arthur, and supposed to be Queen of England to be. After her 6 months with Arthur, the English heir died of a fatal disease.

Katherine came from an interesting political background. Katherine was the youngest daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Her parents made a clever plan to marry Katherine to England for an alliance against France while Henry VII thought Spain was a good ally to keep the French away. So they draw up a treaty to marry their children. When Arthur died, it ruined the Spain's plan. There's a turning point when Henry VII died. Henry VIII became King of England and had the right to choose his wife. To secure the relationship, although there were many political issues and religious constraints, he finally decided to marry Katherine 7 years after Arthur's death. Please note that  Henry VIII was 6 years younger than Katherine. Her old age was being criticized by the public and blamed for the failure of producing healthy heir to her husband.

Katherine did give births to several children but only one daughter survived her infancy and that was Mary (aka Bloody Mary). Since she failed to give her husband a male heir (at that time, female was illegitimate to be heir), Henry VIII looked around for mistresses and Katherine was always left alone in the Tower. Katherine felt unhappy about his behaviours but she did not give up her role of a good wife and good Queen of England. She loved Henry as much as their daughter, Mary. She was considerate and she even showed her understanding about the King's decision to divorce her.

Katherine, to me, is a tough woman. It was her destiny to be Queen of England. She had to undergo several times of financial hardships and cruel public humiluating criticisms from outside and inside in Ludlow Castle and then Windsor Castle. She had to conquer the fears in the difficult seas to commit the marraige with an English man she was destined to marry. Her courage was again proven in the way she conquered the 7 years of fears of losing her status and public attackes on making her the wife to Henry VIII. Those chill sweats made her thousand sleepless nights. She had to supress her true feelings when her first husband died, her mother died and her divorce.  Even though she had been dumped by her husband, she never failed his country and his people. She was such a beautiful woman and unfailing Queen of England.

Books
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This book is written by a historian with details about the 6 wives of Henry VIII. Each chapter is full of passion, love, adventure, courage and tears but not much happiness of these 6 women. Note. Weir had spent 20 years of writing a book about British Royal History. Amazing. She must enjoy very much studying the old times.Picture
Another history book about these 6 queens. Fraser's use of words and language is obviously more sophisticated than Weir. I prefer her story-like presentation of the history. Fraser has also written a lot of history books about England and other European figures including Marie Antoinette, and  lately a movie starring Kirsten Dunst was produced from her book. My next project should be Marie cuz her life is also very fascinating.
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This is a 35% fiction + 65% historical elements. Catalina is depicted as a romantic, witty and caring person in her multiple roles - daughter, wife, mother, princess, queen, widow, divorcee... I particularly like the way Gregory presents the heroine's mind between different events.

Websites
(in English)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_of_Aragon
http://tudorhistory.org/aragon/
http://englishhistory.net/tudor/monarchs/aragon.html
http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/aboutCatalinadeAragon.htm
(in Spanish)
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalina_de_Arag%C3%B3n 
http://www.aragonesasi.com/historia/catalina.php

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kc - loyeh - ahyung | 21-Jul-07, 15:00 | 電影 | (92 Reads)

I watched it last evening. And it is a good movie.

The movie is about alienation and dealienation. We can't expect everyone think or do the same; but we could feel the same.  When language fails to connect people, only love and the basics will bring us together.

Tom's performance is just so-so (perhaps I have too high expectations on him now!) but he is very good at making small gestures to show the character's feelings and emotions. I don't like Catherine's performance at all. I was a bit surprised by the minor characters, of those, I really like Gupta, the floor cleaner.

I know that Tom will play Charlie Wilson in Charlie Wilson's War, which is about Afghan. I don't think I'm gonna go see the movie cuz I don't quite get the background. I'm a typical Hong Konger who knows nth about what happen in the Middle East. I just know there have been a lot of fights over there for a long while.

Still, I like Tom most in Saving Private Ryan and Cast Away.... :-) 


kc - loyeh - ahyung | 15-Jul-07, 10:03 | 插畫, 電影 | (389 Reads)

因工作關係,再看雷霆救兵。

我喜歡這部電影,在於它切切實實地告訴我人命的低賤及人性的高貴。肉體只是工具,它不恆久亦不可靠,反之,心靈是主腦,它永恆而可靠,即使失去了作為工具的肉體,只要心靈尚在,任務還是可以完成。

最深刻一幕
搶灘那一幕,隊長看見同伴受傷,聽到他們呼叫,灘上煙火連連,飄浮著無數屍骸,那一刻的疾苦,悲痛,蒼茫,無奈及無助,在隊長雙眼上反射出來。

最痛苦一幕
軍醫Wade在雷達站一戰中被擊中,他傷勢嚴重,眾人心裡知道他是救不了,但仍然努力不懈地搶救他,臨別的那一刻,他狂呼Mama, mama, mama....直至換來一片寂靜,圍住他的同僚臉上一片空白,隊長走向另一邊,從石上滑下來,用石頭擋著同僚視線,然後抑壓著聲音飲泣。究竟是為了什麼?要冒著這個險?是否值得為了救一個人而犧牲眾人的性命?

最感人一幕
當眾同僚屢屢對救人任務的目的不滿,甚至質疑,隊長雖然偶爾存疑都試圖以不同的角度及道理來說服同僚,所有愛國愛民維護自由等等理由對眾同僚甚至乎隊長自己也覺得牽強,最後隊長向同僚表白,說自己參戰前是一名知道自己在幹什麼的高校教師,他發現來到這裡,此時此刻,他已經不明白自己在幹什麼,他認為如果可以找到Ryan,將任務完成之後可以回家,那便是他認為這次荒謬任務的目標。

最悲憤一幕
在Ramelle橋上,隊長挺而走險拾起地上的手鎗,他被子彈擊中,射殺他的竟是當天釋放了的那個POW(Prisoner of War),隊長倒在地上,目光呆滯,一味向著迎面而來德軍的坦克開火,試問一隻斷臂螳螂怎可能擋住一輛鐵皮車?但他仍不放棄,他希望盡全力將任務克完成。

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kc - loyeh - ahyung | 11-Apr-07, 18:47 | 推介, 音樂 | (160 Reads)

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I used to like jazz, instrumental jazz and jazz vocal. My favorites are Shirley Horn, Kenny G, Louis Armstrong, Sting, Michael Bolton... and recently, Liane Carroll. She's a British. Yes, a British jazz singer.

I never heard of this name before I bought her album "Standard Issue". I have hesitated. My taste is kinda jazzy too. For vocal, I am fond of hoarse & super powerful voice, double bass. Shirley Horn is quite good in terms of her voice and techniques but I've got too much of her already. I want something new, something fresh. Now I've found Liane Carroll. There's not much special about her voice. I bought this album mainly because it's a live recording in the studio. I always love live recording which is powerful enough to activate my musical nerves throughout my body.

In this album, I like "You've Got a Friend" (duet with Ian Shaw) the best. Tune is one thing. Musical arrangement is the key. When it comes to the chorus, it moves my heart. Another reason I particularly like this song is that I really like this song. haha. I still don't have the time to have a thorough digestion of other songs in this album. But I'm sure I will love them all. It's especially nice to play it on a quiet bus, on a quiet bed, in a quiet office...

Liane Carroll's website: http://www.lianecarroll.co.uk/


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