My Bed of Horror

>> Monday, April 30, 2007

I went shopping Saturday for bedding stuff. Me and ES had a long talk about bedding habit. I bought my bed 5 years ago from Ikea and it has been working well enough for us. The horrible thing is that my pillows were purchased when I first got to the States, which is 10 years ago and I inherited my mattress from my friend who was here before I got to this country. I'm blaming my allergy and nose bleeds to the fact that I'm allergic to bedbugs and my old beddings are probably infested with them throughout the years. I remember sleeping on a couch when I was living in providence and got a major rash from it. It is some scary s#!t.

While I'm talking to ES, I also talked to DC seperately and see how often they wash their sheets, and their respond is about the same; once in 2-3 weeks. I have two to three sets and I wash and change them every week and they are tearing apart really fast. I bought them from Polo and I can confidently say that I paid big money for them. So I'm quite disappointed that after a year or so they starts to tear, especially since I've spontaneously bought a slightly bigger memory foam pillow once and I have to stuff it into the case and while stuffing, the pillowcase from my nicer set tore. My nice $300 duvet from Hilfigher too, I washed it a couple times and now it's torn in multiple places. So I finally made up my mind to buy new ones.

Through ES' recommendation I checked out Target and Ikea for beddings, they have some pretty nice selection, I got a new comforter, a cover for it with two pillow cases, a bedding set with the fitted sheet and a flat sheet and two pillow cases, and two new pillows. They cost about $300 in total, pretty good deal. So I will try to not wash them so much from now on, and if I shop I'll try to look for the cheapest ones with good quality.


Kevin's Hair Salon

>> Sunday, April 29, 2007

I think I have mentioned the disapperance of my barber, KH. Last time when I go to the barbershop that I always goes to, his colleagues says he's on vacation and by the tone of his colleagues, I knew something was up. KH never goes on vacation, at least the seven years of our customer/hairdresser relation, he never did take any vacation. That's the life of an illegal immigrant.

So while feeling lost not knowing where the person in charge of my hair went, he called me two weeks later, informing me that he's opening his own barbershop down the very same street. Well, in the two by three blocks of our chinatown there's at least 10 barbershops, ok? So I was wonder how profitable it is to open a barbershop with such high competition. Do Asians grow their hair faster than any other race? And more importantly, how can he afford to open his own barbershop? Where did all his money come from?

I am never a person to save up, so I guess I'll never get the concept that with time the pay of a non-immigrant can enable him to open up his own shop. Of course, I'm also a pessimistic person. After he called me, I tried to refer him as many clients as possible. Throughout the years, I've already seen him as a friend. I gave him some money as a gift for his wedding, for his first born and now for his new store. I helped him with his computer, he lives in this little room with his wife in a Chinese owned complex. I guess the rent must have been cheap too. They have to share the bathroom and the kitchen with a few other families. I always thought you should own your own property before you own your own business, it tells you how naive I am.

After they gave birth to their first son, they sent him back to be brought up by his parents in China, so they can focus making money, now that is a sacrifice that I would never envision making myself. The wife left her waitressing job in a Chinese buffet to help around in the new store. I first thought his store will be smaller than the one he worked on originally, but it turned out to be much bigger and cleaner. So I went there for a coloring and cutting even though I didn't need it yet. And he tried to charge me less as to 'give me a discount'. But I refused and gave him a huge tip. But KH: "Can you give me a dark borwn color like I've asked you to? Why do you have to add that much red everytime???" Haha... *sigh*


Dining Out For Life with Cous Cous

>> Friday, April 27, 2007

Yesterday was "Dining Out For Life" where a hundred restaurant of so in the city donates one-third of their profits to HIV/AIDS service organizations in the area. Me and some of my colleague went to a Singapore vegetarian restaurant near chinatown. Us working in the field of health care and HIV/AIDS were glad to have an excuse to go out eating and do some good at the same time. But our so-called boss scolded us for taking time out of the office and supporting some organization that he did not like. He tried to guilt some of us into not going, and made a big fuss out of it, I wonder if he realizes what a jackass he sounds like.

The food was ok, I have a lot of experience with Chinese vegetarian restaurants and that wasn't quite up to par. We ordered a mock duck which was pretty good, my colleague wanted a sizzling tofu and one wanted a tofu with eggplant. The description was a bit different, but when the dishes came they were baically the same thing, same brown sauce with same vegetables. It's so much like those crappy American Chinese food. Fried stuff with goo.

After work ES, ES' son KEL and MP went across the river to a Moroccan restaurant called Cous Cous. The lighting is a bit dim and we sat on some couches and order a 10 course Royal Feast. 1. Lentil Soup, 2. Mixed Salad, 3. Chicken Bastilla, 4. Chicken with Lemon and Olive, 5. Lamb with Honey, 6. Beef Kebab, 7. Couscous with vegetables, 8. Baklava, 9. Fruit Salad with Cinnamon and 10. Hot Mint Tea.

The lentil soup was really good, the mixed salad however was seasoned a bit too heavily. I'm usually quite fond of carrot but in this case, there were so much cumin that I can't stand the taste. It's usually such a classic combination too.

The bastilla is a filo dough wrapped chicken, almond and egg pastry topped with powdered sugar. It's my first time having bastillas, it's really strange but good. It's like there's ground chicken inside an almond croissant, if you can imagine. The chicken with lemon and the lamb with honey tasted very similar, they are both lightly sweet and pleasant. The beef too tough, the couscous too soggy. Up to this point we were literally stuffed to the max, but I still had the baklava and it was one of the best baklava I have had. It's very light and tasty. With all the food and it's only $25 per person, very inexpensive indeed.

KEL was a bit sick and was whining a bit throughout the night which bothered ES a bit, but I reassured her that I would take care of him for the night so she can rest and relax. I think I did pretty good, KEL is actually a great kid. We catched up with MP and I generally had a pretty good night. We went to a Korean supermarket afterwards and got some groceries. Made gyoza for principe after I got home and slept like a log.


愛蓮新書 (New Lotus Poem)

>> Tuesday, April 24, 2007


This is a little poem I wrote about my boyfriend of five years who's leaving me in August. His family is in Argentina and he will go back to them very soon. I'm very sad of course, maybe we'll be able to be together in our next lifetime.


The Heat is Coming

First day of the year going back to the gym, it wasn't too bad. Obviously I don't feel like I can do as much as before, but I didn't feel too bad. I knew I was gonna get achy this morning but generally I'm glad I did it. I plan to go there every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I intentionally went to NY to walk around as a warm up on Sunday. I had a relaxing day shopping at Century 21. The weather was so beautiful, I felt great. Well yeah, it took me 4 hours on the bus back and forth and I only got to be in NY for 2 hour, but I still had a great time. When I got home it was only 4:30pm, and I get to do my laundry and read my novels. All and all it was a nice day.

I got a nose bleed the other day for picking my nose and it happened again last night when I was sleeping. Must be the exercising that get my blood rushing all over the place. I used to have a lot of nose bleeds when I was a kid, I can go to sleep all fine and wake up with a tons of blood on my bed. It's like "The Exorcist" all over again. I hate it.

Hopefully I can stick with this regimen. Arghh... Summer is coming, I hate Summer.


Golf Mentality

>> Monday, April 23, 2007

I was talking to ES on Friday about golf, strange topic, I know. I have never played golf before, I remember seeing a mini putting course in a park in Hong Kong with little bridges and archways, but I don't remember seeing people playing in there. She was telling me how her dad goes to play every now and then when they were in Tokyo and when she lived in Bangkok, she went to play as well. "The balls in Tokyo costs $20 for 5, but they costs $1 a bucket in Bangkok.", "The bagger lady always tell you which club to use."

Then we discuss why people like to play golf, which is quite an enigma for me. A bunch of rich white folks who got nothing to do but hitting a ball and walking aroung the grass field, it's one of the most boring thing you can watch on TV. ES says it's a social thing. People on the golf courses do business together and the entire environment is really friendly. "They never say anything bad to you even if you don't play well, they'll just say things like 'almost', 'you just missed by a bit' to encourage you." Really? They never yell out "You suck!" or "You should just go home and don't waste me time!"?

It got me thinking, if I wanted to be liked I should adapt the same attitude. Maybe that's what's wrong with me, I have been speaking the truth in a negative way; I have been too cautious and vengeful. If I adapt this golf mentality, this attitude and literally "turn my frown upside down", maybe I'll be happier myself. It couldn't be count as fake, I just have to choose a better tone to communicate. Or maybe it could drive me crazy trying to be cheerful and positive all the time. It sounds healthier to be cheerful though, doesn't it?


A Passive-Aggressive Letter To My Upstairs Neighbors

>> Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dear Neighbors,

I haven't been able to sleep much at night lately. It has been going on for weeks, but I just got around to express my feelings in this letter. I haev no clue on what career paths you both lead, so allow me to tell you that most of the population around the world goes to sleep before 4 in the morning. Me and my boyfriend for instance usually goes to sleep before midnight. I notice that you do not.

As another neighbor has told me before that we are living in an old building with very thin walls and I usually don't mind it that much; it is what I'm willing to pay for rent right now, so I understand that it couldn't be a perfect living environment. But it never cease to amaze me that you both could wake up around 8 while staying up so late. How do you do it? I always find it more ideal to sleep for at least 8 hours, sometimes even more on weekends.

One more thing, although it is not of my choosing, I can hear every word of your conversation clearly living beneath you. It's not that I want to intrude on your life, but I can hear the messages on your answering machine, the radio channel that you listen to when you are in the bathroom, your late night chatters and gossips, the movie that you are watching last week (was that Harry Potter?) and when you play video game (I have PS2, which console(s) do you have?)

Sometimes it got me thinking how close people are actually living with each other, it is so powerful that it shatters my own concept of individuality.

Have a nice day, I'm sure I'll hear about your day tonight.


Your Downstairs Neighbors.


The Fallen Tree

>> Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This happened around my block on Monday.

It's really a shame, it such a beautiful tree. This time of the year y9u can see streets lined with these trees on both side with all the flowers blooming on it. It's like the sakura festival.

The Virginia Tech shooter turns out to be Asian, who would have thought? I suddenly feel like my Asian appearance has drawn more attention than before, is it just me being self-conscious? I wonder what ticked him off to kill all those people. Could the motive have been that he has been discriminated against? Where did he get the gun? People online has been saying guns don't kill people but people with guns do, but without guns at least he wouldn't have been able to kill so many people in such a short period of time. I think they should revisit the constitution and stop issuing guns so easily.


Music Review: The Killers and Amy Winehouse

>> Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I was watching the Brit Awards on BBC this weekend, and there were two acts that really touched me. One was of The Killers, they are an American band that plays British music and made it big in the UK. I have seen their latest music video on VH1 called "Read My Mind". They filmed it in Tokyo, and I always give props to people that are willing to experience a different culture and the song was rather beautiful, reminded me of Coldplay. So I got their latest CD, Sam's Town.

The second act that impressed me was a girl by the name of Amy Winehouse. Her voice and style is very sultry, classic and beautiful, a bit like the great Sarah Vaughn and Petula Clark. A lot of people compared her voice to Lauryn Hill, which I get as well. Especially when she was singing the bridge of "Tears Dry On Their Own", the similarity is uncanny. I was watching her performance on YouTube all day yesterday and I'm quite impressed by her talent, her soulfulness and her timing. She seems to be able to control the mood and the melodies like playing with clay, it's genius.

She has published two album so far, one decidedly moody, jazzy album called "Frank", it is published when she was 18. Frank deals with crushes, young love. The perspective is young and sweet but the words and tone are mature and adult at times. The second album was published last year when she was 22 called "back to black", the entire album deals with her break-up with NaS, an egotistic Rapper ten years her senior. The album utilizes the music of 50-60s girl band, and manifests into a classic periodic mood pieces. The name of the title comes from the saying "Once you goes black, you won't go back." further emphasizing her infatuation with the black rapper. The first track of the album "Rehab" is a catchy tune that lead listener straight to the heart of the album, the depression that follows a break up. I have yet to be able to get it out of my head. "Back to Black" is so carefully arranged and her voice in it is so controlled that can easily rival any singers in the portrayed era. "Love Is A Losing Game" and "Tears Dry On Their Own" are gems on their own. I have always thought that legendary talents like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald don't exist in modern days, I guess I'm wrong.

The only regret I have is that the UK bonus track "Addicted" is not included in the US version. Maybe because it deals twith the subject of marijuana and the censors pulled it out of the album. Censorship pisses me off.

Stars are funny, some gets famous and start to change for the worse. Like The Killers, they became arrogant and start insulting other bands for their lack of originality. Forgeting their own music are not that far from other bands, either. Some start doing drugs and drinking. Amy Winehouse has took a liking to the bottles and, apparently, weed. While no study has found that weeds are actually harmful, I am very worried about her drinking. Given, breaking up with an egotistical well-known delusional married player/rapper of another race and country inspires materials and emotions to make good music but what does she really see in NaS? She had cancelled shows and concerts because of her drinker, made a fool of herself on the Charlotte Church show. I really like her, she's so talented and still so young, but I'm worried for her because of the very same reason. The talented ones have a tendency to take their own lives or cease persuing their career and change their aim in life on other pursuit, like Lauryn Hill, and she's an emotional one at that. I think her career is well worth following. I hope for good things to come.


April Snow

>> Monday, April 16, 2007

It's April 16th and it's snowing. The weather is really weird. I remember there was a Chinese myth that says if it snows in July, it means there were injustice somewhere. Someone must have been wrongfully accused, it says so in the show 'Judge Bao'. I wonder what happened if someone is wrongfully accused in any other month and how much snow would fall to show every single case of injustice.

I guess now the big industries and the republicans they have bought can tell you that there's no such thing as global warming. "It has been so cold this year, just the state of New York have had tons of snow." Well, the conspiracy theory would be that they bought tons of snow machine and start making snow in that region. Just kidding. But the new developed conscious of American people towards the environment has been really admirable. Now if they only can use action to back up their words. Start developing other energy sources for cars, not using oil or oil-added products. (Really, E-85 is bulls#!t)

I'm keen to have every households start using solar panels on their roof and start producing energy. I know there's is an upfront cost for installation and for the panels itself but the sun, the largest source of the cleanest, environmental-friendliest energy of all is left untapped. The government should definitely start a program loan money to people to do solar panel installation. But then they don't really care about that because their ties to oil and other energy companies are too big and there's no money to be made when people are self-sufficient. I used to have heard an expression - "The government is the parent of the people", when did they turn around and start scamming their own children? That's why I hate politics and politicians.


Death and Taxes

>> Saturday, April 14, 2007

They say there's only two things in the world that won't change: death and taxes. While I have finished doing my taxes a long time ago and get a pretty nice sum of money back, I can't help but wonder about death sometimes. My grandma is past her 80s and since she does have a bunch of kids around, I do think that if the time comes when she passes, there will not be any problem on handling her funeral and such.

My aunts all have children, so I get they are pretty well off as well. My uncles is a different story, given they are all married now but one has a young child, one has a step child and one has a divorce. I wonder what would happen if any of them died.

I wonder what will happen if I died, being a gay man is not easy. Since my pseudo-partner will be going back to Argentina in a few month, I basically will be single again. I need to start looking for a partner that would last me til the end of my life. Maybe start a family by adopting some kids and the whole bang. If I remain single and spouse-less, who will take care of my funeral and all when I die? (Definitely cremated and have my ashes scattered somewhere fun and romantic. Maybe somewhere with sun and ocean waves.) If nothing else, that will be the whole reason to get a spouse and start a family. But what if my spouse passes on earlier than me? So, my primary qualification to be my boyfriend from now on is to be younger than me and healthier?

How vain life has become?


Matching Pairs

>> Friday, April 13, 2007

Principe got strep throat last week, but I didn't know it was strep throat. I thought it was just a cough or a regular sore throat, so I dismissed it. Well, guess how I found out it is actually sore throat?

It's funny because it is not the first time we have matching disease and he's always the one to get sick first. Of course, whenever he gets sick it'll eventually be passed on to me. It just can't be avoided. I never avoid affection. I much rather get sick than avoid a kiss or two, it's not in my nature. There's why I can't give up anything for lent. (Well, other than the fact that I'm not religious...)

So my throat has been soring like crazy, it's especially worst when it's dry so I have to drink a lot of water, but it's so painful to swallow. I was gonna take off work just to stay home with my Principe. Last night after work, my colleague ES went to a Korean supermarket with me and we bought a lot of snacks. After I got home around 8, I went to bed and didn't wake up until this morning. So I went to the doctor and scammed him into writing two prescription, so he doesn't have to go to the doctors. I hope it goes away soon.



>> Thursday, April 12, 2007

One of the person who cheated me out of a bonus saw me at a restaurant last night and started small talking me like I'm a friend. It's strange, what is he thinking? Just because you saw me outside the office, does it automatically makes us "friends"?

He was being extra friendly in the office today. Yeah, right. All is forgiven, right? I lost my appetite when I saw him and his family and then got depressed by the fact that even in my time off, I have to see him. But really, I find his new found affection disgusting. Why can't people I hate just die and fall off the face of the earth? There's really nothing glorious about sleeping your way to the top.


Getting Older With The Stars

>> Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Don't laugh but I've always thought that I could be a star, that is one of the things that I put in for what I wanted to be when I grow up but I guess I never recognize that it would actually happen. When I first found out that there are singers younger than me coming out and became a success, I felt old. That was my first sign of aging.

Now when I was researching about the singers that I used to listen to and still following there careers, I find out that they are really not that much older than me. but then again they are all in the middle aged category. I don't really know what to think about that. Of course, they are all so much more successful than I will ever be. I feel useless, have I passed my creative peak?

Bjork is 41, Tori Amos is 43, Madonna is 48, Janet Jackson and Sinead are both 40, even Gwen Stefani is now 37. Comparing to their achievements in life, I feel so small. Nowadays, I'm just in front of the computer all day not having anything to do. I'm so bored, I'm just pointlessly browsing the net. I have to admit that I have chosen the wrong career path for myself. Maybe just the wrong company, but I still feel like I'm very far away from my dream job. Oh, what am I to do?


The Glory That is Tori Amos

>> Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Like many people from HK, I first learned about Tori Amos from a translated version of "Silent All These Years" sung by our beloved Faye Wong. I thought the music styling and the arrangement was brilliant, but like most of the feet with ears I didn't understand some of the references in her songs. I always have a preference for female singers, I always find their ability to express emotions are far more advanced than men and Tori is the epitome of that ability.

Throughout the years, my understanding of American culture has improved and my appreciation for Tori's music has grew. "Boys for Pele" remains to be one of my favorite album of hers and of all time. It fully illustrates her piano and harpsicord skills and it's controversial and offensive at times, challenging its listeners traditional concepts.

Her melodies and lyrics weave into a pretty picture of repressed, rebellious catholic femininity, it somehow hauntingly echos through me. It is so lonely, sad and open up a floodgate of emotions within me everytime I listen to it. I guess we all have histories and baggages.

Reading the article set up for her on Wikipedia I understand that she have had a bad relationship with her old recording company, I hope her new one would allow her maximum creativity license and create an environment that would nourish her artistic pursuit. A talent like her is hard to come by.

Recommended Album: Tales of a Librarian (It's like Tori Amos 101), To Venus and Back Disc 2 (It's Tori Amos 102), Boys For Pele, From The Choirgirl Hotel.

Favorite Songs: "Northern Lad", "Playboy Mommy", "Doughnut Song", "Hey Jupiter", "Mohammed My Friend", "Silent All These Years", "Cornflake Girls", "Putting The Damage On", "Way Down", "Black Dove", "Jackie's Strength", "1000 Oceans", "Strange", "Don't Make Me Come To Vegas", "I Don't Like Mondays", "Precious Things", "Cloud on My Tongue", "Purple People"... Well, pretty much everything.


SNL "Dora the Explorer" Spoof

This is a clip of "Maraka", a spoof on the interactive, educational, bi-lingual children's program Dora the Explorer. It is one of the most hilarious clip that I have ever seen.

Quotes like "Don't queston it, just do it!", "Do you know why my father left me ...? Bueno!", "Do it a**hole!" and "If Mittens chose to save baby penguin based on his beliefs, and Mittens' beliefs are not in his direct control, does Mittens really have free will?" are classics.


Twenty-One Weeks

>> Monday, April 09, 2007

It's 21 weeks until Principe goes back to where he came from and I'm feeling the pressure. Things got out of control Friday night when he was playing God of War II with me. Given I'm also in a little bit of financial stress, now that we have spent $500 that day on a suit and DVDs and food, but I didn't have to yell at him when he couldn't do a puzzle that is so obvious to me. Not to be a snob, but I couldn't really expect everybody else to have to same intellectual prowess as I do. (That didn't come out sounding too good now, did it? Well, whatever I gain in intellects can't make up with my lack of social skills.)

So I guess we are in the stage of preparing for him to go back home. He asked me to find him the cheapest one-way ticket for the end of August, now that's insensitive. I'm starting to feel very sentimental whenever I heard a sad love song about being seperated or broken off from a lover. I guess I'll be in a deep emotional wreck when it gets nearer and nearer to the day that he really does leave. How am I gonna deal with this? I'll probably fall for the next guy who comes along immediately to drown myself from the pain, whoring myself around or something. It's infinitely sad, but I think I feel my best in my infinite blue state, make peace to the fact that I would probablly be alone and loveless for the rest of my life. After you have reached the bottom, that's no way to go but up, right?

I've been thinking maybe I should go back to HK and try to make a living there, maybe I'll be happier that way. Quit being the scam that I am and use my language skills to my advantage, be with my friends, to have a social life again. I do think I feel more confident when I'm in Hong Kong. The only drawback is the family that I have, they drag me down. Maybe I can rent a place on my own, or get a roommate. Anyway, It will be something that I'll do at least twenty-one weeks from now.


A Moment of Silent For Cookum's

>> Thursday, April 05, 2007

I work one block north of City Hall, and for some reason this place becomes a cul-de-sac of office buildings and there are no good place to eat around. Sure, McDonald's is right next door, but it definitely cannot be defined as a good place to eat. Thinking clearly, nothing around is healthy. So usually I cook something extra each night and take the leftovers to work for lunch. That way, I can control what I eat and it saves me a bit of money too. Except Wednesday, Wednesday is oxtail day at Cookum's and I do love my oxtail stew.

Cookum's is a dark and dingy soul food joint with a bar attached. I think that keep the light very dim, so the alcoholic can drink all day without being recognized by their colleagues. The food is great though, fried chicken wings, fried pork chops, smothered pork chop, pepper beef, pig's feet, chitlings, collard greens, black eye peas. I'm probably the only non-black people who goes there regularly. When I step in on Wednesday, they already know I want Oxtail stew with rice and cabbage. When I step in on other weekdays, they know I want fried pork chops. You can't this kind of service any other place. The sense of community is really strong too, they put up a poster on your birthday, and they organize a trip down to Maryland every year for the crab feast.

When I tell other people about eating oxtails, so would shun while others acts repulsed. Growing up in Hong Kong, oxtail is something common that we usually see in local eateries. Oxtail soup mostly, with celery, tomatoes and potatoes mostly. But then I won't eat chitlings or pig's feet, I guess to each our own kryptonites.

Yesterday, when I pass by cookum's hoping for oxtail, I found out that the owner sold their liquor license and the store to somebody else, so they are closing the shop down now. The cook told me maybe the new owner will reopen the shop in a few months, but who knows if they will be selling the same food. I can understand why the owner would sell the place, it's really not in a residential area and their business at night might be suffering. But I hope they reopen and sell the same kind of food and I hope they renovate the whole place to make it brighter, more welcoming. I'm sure if they do that, they'll have to jack the price up but I'm already missing my oxtail.


Movie Review: "Death Note"

>> Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I saw the two movie installments of Death Note and it was really good. They changed the story a bit and shortened it, but all and all they tried to be true to the original comic book series. The logic has been improved and it was easy to follow. The change of the storylines adds a surprise elements to the ones who has already read the comic books.

It is still the same fantasy world, all I wish was to have somebody else playing Misa. B+ for me.


Comic Book Review: "Death Note"

>> Monday, April 02, 2007

I spent the whole weekend reading the series of "Death Note"s. The first episode that I've ordered from was lost in the mail, so I bought the english version from Borders instead. I couldn't have waited, I planned to spend one of my weekends reading them before watching the DVD version that I've bought. So I pretty much spent three whole days reading it until I literally felt sick from the whole thing. It's my obsessive personality, my shoulders and neck got so tense and sore from staying in the same position, but I can't help it, can I?

I've just finished all 12 episodes, I understand there is a 13th that further explains everything in detail and I would've read it if it wasn't lost somewhere between the shop in SF and here. But I really couldn't wait to give my two cents, afterall I've paid for the series and being a customer I know my rights.

It is a very cool concept, a notebook from death himself dropped on earth whoever picked it up can write names on it and the person with that name will die. Of course, the author also made a lot of "rules" along the way to make it more interesting, to fit the plot, to mend some holes as well as to promote their related merchandises which I find a bit shameless. (Oh... don't write my name in the notes) Some rules include: "You must have the person's face in your mind while writing their name on the notebook, therefore others with the same name will not be affected." "If you write the time, cause and method of death next to the person's name, it will be so unless it is impossible for the person to die in that situation.", "There are more than one notebook on earth and it maybe red, white or black in color but they have the same effects." "Blah, blah, blah..."

The hero (or anti-hero) of the series is a Straight-A student name Light who accidently picked up the notebook and tries to use the notebook to create a crime-free world. He writes down names of criminals he found on the news and online to send out a message to the world that if you commit crime, you'll die. Society responded by divided into two cults, one that whole-heartedly supports this phenomenon and one that denounces it and thinks they are being terrorized into submission. Investigation throughout the world has been established to find this person out and Light starts to abuse his power by killing not only criminals but people that are in his way from realizing his ideal world. L, a borderline austistic investigator, was sent to be in charge of this case and he is determined to find out the truth behind this phenomenon.

The first few chapters of the series deal with the discovery of notebook and the psychological development of a person who acquire such power which is intriguing. After that it becomes an all out psychological and investigational battle. At times, you can sense that the author tried too hard to maintain the logic of the whole story. Instead of being a comic, the whole page is filled with text after text forging a semi-logical story delicate enough that might shatter into a thousand fragments if not careful. Of course we all know that, if the story is as perfect as it seems, we wouldn't need to publish a No. 13 just to cover up more holes. But it is so heavy with "plotlines" that I'm bombarded with reasonings so much that I have lost tracks of my own thoughts and logic. I have to read a section more than three times just to get the point. At times, I wish it has more actions than watching them sitting in one place for 5 pages thinking to themselves. Bring the notebook outside, put them in more dangerous situation and kill someone to save their lives for god's sakes.

All in all they have an A for concept, but a D for logic. Plus other entertaining values, I'll say a B-.


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