Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekend at Pontianak

Last December, I had a thought of spending a weekend during this April holiday at Pontianak since I will be taking 2 weeks of leave. The idea was short of shelved as I had the idea of spending a week escaping to Japan. When I came back, my dad asked me if I wanted to go over the weekend. I dislike going to Pontianak but I am okay if it is just for one night.

I heard my grandma has been in declining health for the past 3 weeks. I saw the blood test results and I personally feel that my uncle and aunties are just making a big fuss. Humans are just no numbers. She has not been eating well so it is not unexpected that the albumin is lower than normal. Liver function tests show elevation but as long as not >3x upper normal limit, usually there is nothing much to worry. I do not how a d-dimer test was done and that becomes the main problem. The elevated number suggests risk of clot but as far as I know d-dimer is used to confirm any embolism / DVT / clotting events or DIC and not to be used to say "Oh high d-dimer means blood is thick and needs a blood thinner". I can understand people are concerned etc so perhaps I am a bit heartless here having met and reviewed a lot of elderly at work: my grandma is 101 years old this year, the purpose should be palliative and to ensure good quality of life until the end. We should expect that all humans eventually die and I do not like to see her being "tortured" in the sense that being forced to eat and drink. I heard she was given clopidogrel once and the next day the blood test showed even higher d-dimer so everyone was even more scared. Haiz.. don't play with drugs lah.

On Saturday, my grandma condition was as usual: one moment she remembered me and the next moment she forgot. One reason I hate going to see her is because of this. I do not know if I am there is making her more stressed trying to remember who I am. I do not know if she is hard of hearing or she cannot understand when she does not respond.

On Sunday, for the first time it seemed that she was temporarily back to her old self before the dementia is as bad as now. Not only she remembered me, she could speak like the olden days: she was telling all of us could go out for dinner and she would take care of the house, she said she liked bakkwa that I usually bring from Singapore, and she even gave me angpau. It has been years since I saw her like this so it was very nice. Previously she always cried when we wanted to go back to airport as she felt people were leaving her. This time, she was like her old self as she knows that we do not live there and we will definitely go back home after a few days there. I do not know if this would be my last memory with her but if it is, at least it is a happy one. I did not even bother when my uncle and my dad were recording my interaction with her.

At this age I really feel like I just want to be a hermit. I am lazy to entertain those questions about girlfriend, wedding, future, etc. Deep inside I don't have any willingness to live long. I am so tired of living and that is why I am so lazy to commit myself to long term stuff. Not to mention that obviously I am still having a childish and egoistical thoughts of thinking only about myself. Like that how to even have the heart to care for others.. Haiz.. thinking about these things only make me more emo.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

31

Well it is official. I am old. Birthday is no longer a happy occasion and in fact internally I cannot be bothered about birthday anymore. It no longer bothers me if noone wishes me birthday on facebook and I find it irritating having to reply those whatsapp messages. The only unchanged thing is my self-treat for a dessert on birthday lol. This year I tried Pablo because I am curious of all the hypes surrounding it. The cheese tart is good but the matcha and chocolate versions are disappointing. I thought the matcha and chocolate versions are the same cheese cream mixed with matcha and chocolate respectively. They turn out to be like a matcha cake and chocolate cake and that is why they are not as nice as the cheese version. The cheese cake smoothies also does not really taste like cheese cake which disappointed me because it was extra calories for nothing great. Lol.
Birthday wallpaper from AAA global fanclub. Definitely a nicer design than last year.
Before this holiday, I still had thoughts of secretly finding a cheap air tickets to spend a week in Japan. I have a complete change of mind now haha.. I do not even find any tickets as I am enjoying my room and my home that much. Yes nothing can beat the "coming home" feeling as a holiday. I have 1 year worth of manga to read and honestly I feel like giving up Kuroko no Basket and Ace of Diamond. I am not saying that they are not nice but the Indonesian manga version is waaay to slow and having watched the anime series till the end, reading the manga is not that exciting.

I received a sad birthday present from SQ. There is an aircraft change for my May flight to Japan. I have a First Class redemption and now the aircraft is changed to the new B787 which does not have First Class. Haiz.. I am not going to spend money for an international call so I shall sort it out once I am back in Singapore. It is a pain to contact SQ with facebook page messaging is answered by bot and there is no dedicated email address for reservation. I sent an email to generic address and the automated reply says 3 business days to be expected for a reply. Sigh.. what a pathetic customer service for the so-called world class airline.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

After 1 year

Wow.. the unlucky streak from last week continued this week. I sacrificed my time to arrange staff interview on my own and yet I could not hire them. One is because he is a foreigner. I did not know that we cannot hire foreigners anymore. Sigh.. I was so damn bloody pissed with HR. It has been so many months and there are not many candidates sent to me. Among the few sent, more than half were rubbish quality. Now that my colleague tried to source candidates on our own and we got a good one, everything was just shot down easily.

I am pissed with the other one because in the evening after the interview and I told HR that I wanted, the person who recommended me the candidate 2 weeks ago said that she had second thoughts about the candidate. Kns! Okay I should not be that ungrateful because at least initially she wanted to help but hey this was the second time she recommended someone "good" which turned out to be quite rubbish. To be fair, I usually do not do reference check and I tend to be too nice and trusting. But for this time since I had to inform HR to cancel my offer, I asked another friend for cross reference to confirm that this candidate might not be so good. The worst part is she lied. Well everyone lies during interview but I hate liars. So after what I thought to be the end of the tough manpower situation at work turned out to be back to square one all over again.

Anyway I had my sweet "revenge" during the session with the big boss on Thursday. Hehe the HQ people were shocked with the kinds of questions that my staff asked: more leave, more time off, comfortable shoes, and so on. I hope that lets gives them a reality check that there are so many shit staff who do not give a damn about work and how we are all burning at the ground having to manage them.

I did last minute packing this time around as I did not bring any toys at home: partly due to rumours of more irritating customs at the airport and also because my room at home is also already full of things. Sadly things were not peaceful as on the last minute, my aunt asked me to get Lim Chee Guan. The thing was she only sent me a picture of the packaging which stated the brand name but not the exact item that she wanted.

I was very restless at work today as time was tight until my flight and I still had to do some shopping. Luckily today ended relatively early and at about 115pm I could not be bothered and took my leave already. It was raining so heavily so it was a constant adrenaline rush. Thankfully everything was great and I was not late. In the airport, I still had to find a wine that my dad asked. I was lucky to find Guardian to get my Metronidazole gel there. I wanted to get it at Junction 8 but it was the lunch time for the pharmacists. Lucky I did not wait another 20 minutes until the end of the lunch time otherwise definitely I would be late.

Finally I am home now for the holiday I have been waiting for and looking forward to. Since I went to Japan during December holiday, I did not really spend time home so this is like a holiday home after 1 year.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

When things go wrong from all sides

Work has been so shit lately and that makes the wait for the trip home this time even more unbearable. I just want to go home and leave everything about work behind.

After a few months of silence and relative peace, suddenly the topic of my project surfaced again. Not only sudden, everything also happened fast and furiously. I had people suddenly emailing and calling me to urgently schedule a meeting to get the project going again and I had people chasing after my reference table. So it is officially that I have re-do this project and the most irritating thing is the fact that my interventions have already been adopted and spread for the use organisation-wide. I got bombarded like shit, I had to re-do, and yet I am considered failed and I have to re-do the whole thing.

Manpower situation at work is also shit and someone made a complaint about empty counter. Honestly I cannot be fucking be bothered about the asshole and I was glad that he asked for a written reply so that was for my HQ to settle. I really hate this kind of self-entitled people. If you think you are so damn good and capable, come and apply work in this company (provided you can be accepted in the first place).

A colleague left to return to the Philippines last week. It was a bitter sweet farewell. As a foreigner, I am quite happy (and envious) that he is able to chase after his other dreams instead of getting stuck here. It is still sad because I have known him since the first day of work here. Though I managed to tahan in front of him, I almost teared on the bus on my way home. I am soft in the heart after all.

During farewell dinner, I had a good chat with staff and ignorance is bliss. Sigh.. now I know how much shit is going on among staff or even with colleagues. I think one thing that I need to learn is that I am not responsible and not in control of every single thing that is happening at work so I should learn not to get too bothered with all of these things. I have enough shit going on for myself.

I went to church for Easter mass today and perhaps the push was partly due to all the shit in my life currently. I do not think that the mass did much good anyway because I was surrounded by other people who drove me mad and I had to keep reminding myself that that church is full of sinners (including myself) so I should not be too upset with the inconsiderate people around.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Unlucky Aladdin

In February, I went for a splurge for Aladdin figurines. Now I can officially say that all that I bought from eBay ended up in failure and refund. Sigh..
Aladdin and Jasmine Magic Carpet Ride
This is a piece from Lenox released in 2017 so it is still new. The one that I got had a part of the carpet painting came of -_-".
Aladdin Magic Carpet Ride
This is an older piece from Lenox released in 2008. It is so rare to find this is mint condition and the prices in eBay is crazy even for those damaged. So when I saw a listing with one of the carpet's tassel broken (but the break looks clean and I can glue them back) with a reasonable price, I made an offer for US$ 100 and I got it. Sadly when it arrived, the broken piece is not inside and Abu's tail is actually also broken. The seller said that he was helping his friend to sell and he was not too familiar with the item condition. Oh well another full refund.

You can say I essentially got both figures for free. Yes they are not perfect but are still in good enough condition to be enjoyed.

My order for Enesco Disney Enchanting Collection completely went missing. There are 3 figures (Aladdin & Jasmine, Jafar & Iago, and Abu) and the seller was so confident that item was held up at customs -_-" I never had things shipping from UK took so long to arrive. Until now almost 2 months later, I had nothing. With no tracking number, I had a full refund. I want to order again but I am worried if somehow these 3 magically appear and I end up with duplicates. So I shall wait until I come back from Jakarta in April. In addition, most listings for these items are based in UK. I am worried if it is actually the same seller with different user names? Haiz..

Aladdin.. Aladdin.. why so unlucky??

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Rental storage space

This cough is damn irritating. Looks like the 1 week of Augmentin was not working although at least I did not have the fever anymore so work and life must still go on. Actually life is affected as I only went to gym 3x this week as I feel that the cough and phlegm is bothersome enough.

After signing up with Extra Space last Saturday, I completed my moving this week. Just nice since my landlord and landlady went to Malaysia from Wednesday to Friday. I do not want them to know I am moving some of my stuff hahaha.. I rented a van via Gogovan and although the distance from my home to Extra Space is quite near, the charge is quite expensive for $35. Of course it is still cheaper than multiple trips by taxi or Grab or Uber considering how big my boxes are. I decided to store all Tsume boxes here since the boxes are so bulky and I do not think I will want to pack back my Tsume statues into the boxes.

For record purpose, the size of my locker is 1.10m (depth) x 1.22m (width) x 1.31m (height). The sizes of the Tsume boxes are Virgo 82cm x 60cm x 49cm, Shiryu 78cm x 50cm x 48cm, Leo 77cm x 46cm x 45cm, and Ikki 48cm x 38cm x 35cm, It was quite pointless planning how to store to maximise the space as on the day itself, everything was not in optimal condition to execute the plan. Firstly my locker is on the upper shelf (for obvious reason the lower shelf is more popular) so it is not easy to maneuver my body as well as these bulky boxes. Secondly I wore my working clothes so it was not easy to climb with my working pants. Lastly the trolley ladder that is available is lousy. It is not stable at all so safety is ultimately the main priority.
So this is the best arrangement that I could have. I just hope whatever is still inside the boxes are not damaged :( I think Ikki has an alternate face, Shaka has an alternate face, and Aiolia has an alternate face and lighting bolt effect. The remaining half of the space will be for Sagitarius and Cancer when they are out. Sigh what a sad life: buy toys => not enough space => rent space => buy more toys => and so on. With 20%, the storage fee per month is $55. I think it is justifiable to have more space and retain my sanity in the room.

An uncle of mine is in Singapore currently for hip replacement surgery. The surgery was on last Sunday but because I was still taking antibiotic, I avoided meeting him. I went to visit on Tuesday after completion of my antibiotic and that day happened to be my aunt's birthday as well. With the current concern of healthcare costs in Singapore, it is quite scary to see what is happening at the private hospital. My aunt shared with me that initially the estimation given was $34k (excluding the surgeon fee and what paid in the surgeon's clinic). My aunt returned to the surgeon as before the surgery, the estimation was $34k for everything. The surgeon made a change in the form and when my aunt went back to admission, the estimation became $14k. Seriously.. they should do something to the providers instead of punishing patients or the insurance holders sia.

Yesterday was my off day so I could help my aunt with the discharge. I had my hernia surgery there a few years ago so I am a bit familiar with the discharge process and how to interpret the bills etc. Since I was already there, I decided to be thick skin to ask my aunt to pass me the cash while I used my credit card to earn miles. Haha.. If only I was not sick last week and I went with them during admission, I could even get more miles.

I do not play FF XV but I am tempted with the artbook. Kinokuniya member sale is finally here and I just bought the book today. Honestly I was tempted to get the Collector's Edition which includes a certificate of authenticity signed by the team. The 1 month wait since the first time I saw the display at Kinokuniya until the sale today allowed me to be more rational. Haha.. Yesterday I tried to find the review and I decided to just get the Limited Edition ($244.50 before sale). I like the cover better than the regular release ($78.50) but shockingly the regular release was already out of stock o_0 Actually it is quite crazy that the price triples simply for a different cover, a packaging box (although it is an amazing box) and 2 art prints. Of course the biggest shock is that the Collector's Edition is exactly the same as Limited Edition except for the additional certificate of authenticity but the price is $468. $200 over just for 1 piece of paper, I am not that crazy thank you very much. Haha.. When I went today, there were only 2 copies of the Limited Edition and the display in the glass cupboard was already replaced with something else. Wow.. I really do not expect this to be so popular leh.
The Art and Design of FF XV

Monday, March 19, 2018

Digimon Trainer

Happy Plant and Thank You Card
Another year has passed and it is time to say goodbye to my pre-reg. After a roller coaster painful ride last year, I am glad that I have a good pre-reg this year. No doubt I am regretful that I did not spend as much time as I should or I wish but I am glad that he is good with the little supervision.

Same as previous years, I am still stubborn and I am not going to give any present or farewell gift to my students as I do not want to 'bribe' them. The pre-reg gave me the farewell gift of Happy Plant which is supposed to be able to absorb radiation from computer screen. The sweeter thing, however, is the thank you card.

The message goes:
Perhaps from a guy to a guy, a card is weird but I am still gonna write it. Haha!
Thank you so much for training me during my time at -------. Sorry for all the stress and incompetencies that I have given you.
Your card was designed with Tai and Agumon because just like them, I have learnt so much from you. You nurtured me like Tai did with Agumon and now I can fight (practice) like Agumon did, alongside you.
It was an enjoyable journey and I have truly learnt a lot from you. Despite the several occasions where you send stressful questions my way.
You are a great preceptor and one who truly cares for his student. Thank you!.
Let's keep in contact and meet up online!
PS: Nurture the plant well, like how you nurtured me >.<

Hmm things like this are more valuable than money and that's why I like teaching. For an otaku, of course I feel happy if people think I am like an anime character and in this case is a digimon trainer wor. Lol..

The funny thing is I just bought Greymon and Taichi G.E.M Megahouse figure earlier last week. After waiting since last year, the discount never came and I decided to buy it for $180. Megahouse is coming out with Precious G.E.M this year with Wargreymon and Taichi as well as Metal Garurumon and Yamato. At $300+ they are not cheap but when I saw them for the first time, I knew I would get Metal Garurumon and Yamato as the posing is unique with Yamato sitting on top of Metal Garurumon. The preorder also just opened on Saturday. After seeing how big Greymon is (and the box) and how big the box is, I was hesitating to get Wargreymon and Taichi especially since the pose is also normal. But because of this card, heck lah okay I shall get Wargreymon too. Lol.. Anyway I have decided to rent storage space from Extra Space as well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ace of Diamond Season 2

Season 2 is a continuation of season 1 and there are 51 episodes. This season begins rather slowly with the first 3 episodes are just recap of season 1 but once the recap is over, we go straight into Fall Tournament. For Fall Tournament, there is no division between west and east Tokyo so there are new opponents with different styles which make the matches remain interesting and not repetitive. Unfortunately the match gets a bit boring for the semi final and while the final is still very exciting (despite knowing spoiler that Seido will win, my heart was still beating very fast when watching the episodes 49-50), the final episode is quite anti-climatic.

With the 3rd years graduating, there are new faces to make up the 20 members of the team. I feel that the transition is quite abrupt because from the first season, we do not even know about some of these faces. I feel that perhaps the author does not expect the series to run that long and hence does not really care about the "others" during the first season. It feels quite awkward to suddenly see some of these new faces when they are not really introduced as the second stringer or something.

Finally Eijun gets more spot light as the main character. He gets to learn new throws, he overcomes his yips, and he even pitches for 1 full match. Despite this, season 2 does not neglect the other characters for development. We also get to see how Miyuki has to step up as the new captain, how the team transition goes rocky at the start, and different players have their own spotlights. Kudos because really it is not easy to balance so many characters. Sadly Eijun's childhood friends seem to be forgotten. They came to support him during summer qualifiers where Seido lost in final and Eijun made a blunder but only Wakana appeared for this fall final match. Not to mention that there is not direct interaction between Eijun and her. Sigh..

One thing that irritates me the most is the use of injury plot point. It seems that Furuya has to be injured so that Eijun and Nori get the chance to pitch during official match. Miyuki has to be injured in the final to have him missed a few chances and that makes the match go very close. I mean seriously.. why is it only Seido team members are so unlucky to get all these injuries while the opponents seem to be all healthy. Recall that in season 1, Tanba is also injured so that Furuya and Eijun get the chance to pitch.

There are 2 OVAs which concludes this second season with the graduation of the year 3s. It is quite bittersweet to see them graduate as they play quite a huge role in the series. Nonetheless, Ace of Diamond is really a diamond among sports titles. It shows the struggle of the main character (instead of the usual noob turning into ace or a super ace main character), it is able to share the spotlight among so many members of the team, it is able to carry the story even after the year 3s are no longer playing (usually story will just end after the current match season ends), and finally the main character is able to reach that Koshien dream.

The OP and ED songs are still great and at the end of each episode, the cute illustrations are still there. I definitely will try to find the titles for the insert songs used in the anime because they never fail to make me feel emotional. I know the manga continues with act II and I definitely cannot wait for it to be made to season 3 of the anime (if it will ever happen).

I have a bit of regret of following Ace of Diamond late only after the manga is translated to Indonesian. Now I grow to like the characters and their figures are already out of stock. Haiz.. at least I still bought Eijun's one.

When I was writing for the first season, I could not find any of group pictures showing a lot of characters at the same time. Surprisingly there are a lot of group pictures for this second season. These are actually stills from the OP and ED songs.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Busy like siao

I sacrificed CNY holiday to start planning about appraisal and promotion forms and in the end, procrastinator always procrastinate. Just before submission, I ended up re-reading the whole write ups and editing again. Fiuh.. with everything submitted, I feel that a lot of my burden has been lifted.

This is my first time as a reporting officer to appraise people and it is not easy. I am honest so I do not want to lie. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and the difficult thing is too balance both in terms of writing. It seems that the bosses want perfect people (while nobody is perfect): if I write only the good things I will be lying and I will end up suffering on my own if the weaknesses are not addressed but if I write all the negative things I will end up hurting these people's progression. Another challenge is objectivity. As a perfectionist, I tend to be hard on myself from having too high expectations. I have to keep asking myself if I am being too critical vs the person really needs improvement. The past week had been a nightmare for me to keep revisiting what I wrote and trying to edit them in the most objective and honest way possible without sounding too critical or too subjective.

With all these TPM and appraisal stuff, I ended up forgetting my own responsibility to my pre-reg! The deadline for the pre-reg evaluation was yesterday and I only knew about it yesterday morning because of the email reminder. Without the email reminder, I would definitely forget about it. Luckily earlier this week I already asked my pre-reg to bring the whole file. But yeah, I still had to OT last night to do the evaluation and I had to sacrifice my off day today to do the evaluation. Cannot complain since it was my own forgetfulness. Anyway I got an excellent pre-reg this year so it was a pleasure precepting this year. In fact, I felt a bit guilty that I did not spend as much time as I wanted with him. But on the bright side, he is doing well and does not need so close supervision.

Yesterday I collected Jabra Halo Smart as prize from the National Steps Challenge Completer's Event. It is the prize for the 36th to 55th place (out of 100) so I was not too bad lah hor. Haha.. Of course the greedy me is not too happy for not getting something better or more useful lah. I am not too gadget-y as a person so I don't foresee myself using this kind of thingy. Anyway I am selling it at carousell and I hope there will be a buyer.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Black Panther

If it is not because of Chinese New Year, I will definitely skip Black Panther. It is overhyped, the trailer does not get me excited, and it only features a lone superhero: all the reasons to skip. In order to get myself working on those promotion forms, I decided to get my butt out of the house. And what else to do during CNY holiday when a lot of shops are not open other than watching movies.

Black Panther turns out to be great and exceeds my expectations. The plot is actually very simple and borderline lame for a movie instead of the usual convoluted superhero movies plot which tries hard too impress but end up confusing. Despite the simple plot, the movie does not feel draggy so all the "fillers" in between are actually well done and enjoyable. The story is also believable and the antagonist, Killmonger, has noble reasons for his actions instead of just mere revenge. Quite sad that he turns out to be an asshole as a person or otherwise he would be a good antagonist to like.

Wakanda's depiction is also awesome. Wakanda always has this mysterious charm even in the comics: hidden in Africa, has advanced technology due to vibranium, yet still have the spiritual mystic aspect with Bast the panther god. I am really wow-ed with the way the movie presents all these aspects: the African culture in the throne challenge scenes, Shuri's lab to show all the technology, and the ancestral plane scenes are gorgeous. All these are in stark contrast with the 'current' world that we live in with their scenes in Busan and that makes everything about Wakanda and the setting of the movie more realistic.

The action and fight scenes are exciting but I am not a fan of hand-to-hand combat and a single superhero movie as no matter how good the action scenes are, it will never be as good as having multiple superheroes fighting with different skills.

When I watched the trailer, I was worried if I could follow the African accent. Thankfully that was not the case when I watched the movie. I think the pace of the speech is not too fast and that makes it easier to follow. Subsequently I guess my brain just gets used to the accent and no problem in understanding.

While I think that the movie is great, it is still not enough to make me watch it again. One thing for sure though it gets me very hyped for Avengers Infinity War. April quickly come!!!