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!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Splurging on toys... again...

I actually had nothing that I wanted to buy when I went to check some toy shops at Plaza Singapura. At Movie Replica, I saw an Aladdin Christmas 2017 Ornament set for $70. I was almost tempted to buy I decided to check it out online first. I bought the Aladdin only at Mandarake in December and it should not be that expensive. The search for it cost me a few hundred dollars as I found more Aladdin things.

In the end I bought the ornament set for 2000 yen at Mandarake. I also ended up discovering new Aladdin stuff such as Aladdin & Jasmine Magic Carpet Ride by Lenox, Aladdin & Jasmine Hallmark Christmas ornament 2017, and Disney Enchanting Collection from Enesco. There are 3 Aladdin figures from Disney Enchanting Collection (Abu, Jafar & Iago, Aladdin & Jasmine). I checked out Amazon again and finally found a seller who ships internationally for Jim Shore's Aladdin & Jasmine Wedding. There is this random porcelain figurine from Tokyo Disney Resort and Aladdin WCF set as well.

With introduction of Amazon Prime in Singapore, shopping from Amazon gets a bit more troublesome now. Ordering from Singapore's Amazon Prime must be from mobile app and I am horrified that my phone is considered too ancient to support the app. Bleah.. Amazon US also removes the free shipping to Singapore although on the bright side the shipping fee is still very reasonable.

Let's wait another 1-2 weeks and I will be complaining about storage space when all these figurines arrive. Sigh..

I made an interesting discovery on Youtube on the presence of Japanese version of Disney songs sung by various male seiyuus. Apparently there are already 4 albums titled Disney Date ~Koe no Oujisama~ volume 1-4. Since only male seiyuus are featured, it is quite funny to hear the couple duets being sung by 2 males. Haha.. Reading the youtube comments are even funnier as people are imagining these songs as yaoi involving 2 anime characters from the series that the seiyuus have worked on. Anyway the songs have new arrangement so they are not direct copy paste of the Disney version so it is still interesting to listen. They feel quite J-Pop like rather than Disney like.

Final Fantasy Dissidia NT is out and I am really tempted to get the Collector's Edition. Yes I don't even have PS4 and I really want it just for the Warrior of Light bust and the artbook. I really regretted not pre-ordering as even if I just want to get the bust and the artbook, the prices from eBay sellers which split them are crazy. As a consolation, I only get the US game guide for now.

Anyway there is no need to play the game as people were very quick to upload the whole cinematic cutscenes from the game to Youtube. As compared to the PSP Dissidia, I feel that the story for NT is rubbish and too forced. It is cool to see the final battle when both the good and bad guys fight together to defeat Shinryu but before that they are just faking their fights to make Shinryu appear. What the heck man!! I am also not impressed that Squall simply goes missing from the "main" story sia.
All the cutscenes

Gotta admit that this is cooler than the very first Dissidia introduction but the transition from 1 scene to the next is too fast

National Steps Challenge had an event at Bishan Junction 8 this weekend. I decided to join since it is near home. I tried the Completers Challenge yesterday and I completed it in 4:44. What an awesome timing and I think I would not be in the top 100 to get anything. Haiz.. I actually did not expect that the challenge will be this physical so I was not in the right attire. My jeans kept dropping and I had to adjust it repeatedly during the burpees and crunches.
I have never even done 20 jumping burpees at one go in the gym sia..
I did the normal challenge today which essentially was going around the shopping malls to find 3 stamps and answer 2 questions. I had difficulty finding the board near Din Tai Fung as it was placed in between the 2 kiddy machines. The prize contained $5 subway voucher and a small towel. Waste of my time sia.. For completing the challenges, I got 4 chances to play the Timezone machines for chances to win even bigger prizes but the queue for both machines and for both games were too long so I could not be bothered.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Monster at work

OMG OMG OMG my prayer is answered. The staff who asked for flexible work arrangement did not require it anymore so there is no further need of Q & A, managing expectations, etc. Halleluya!! 

Today is the last day for another staff and I feel quite emo about it. I am just in this position for less than half a year and I already "sacked" 2 people. Sigh.. Although on paper, they resigned voluntarily, I knew the real reason is still because they cannot meet the job requirements despite all the time and effort spent on their training. Again it is not my fault but I cannot help but feel like I am the monster since I was the one doing all the communication for these unpleasant things. Haiz.. If I wanted, I could gave them more or longer chance but I know that is not fair for the rest to shoulder their incompetence. I serious really hate this fucking job. I get to do all these evil things, collect all the bad karmas and bad mouthing behind my back, and I get nothing in return.

After 2 months of peace, I suddenly received an email on Monday asking how I am progressing with my epic fail project. I was like what the heck. I did not even get any official feedback about my project and I am completely lost. The next day I received the same question from another person. Siao liao I know shit starts stirring again. With nothing official, I only know of hearsay that I am supposed to ask my clinic head for support for the project but I am not supposed to tell him that someone is asking me to ask him. I was like what the hell man. You are asking me to ask something on someone else's behalf when I don't know head or tail about this and I am not supposed to say why I suddenly ask this also. Man.. this is really a politic game that I wish to avoid.

I attended a workshop to prepare for staff appraisal this year and knowing more and more how things work here, I just get more and more demoralised. So an "upgrade" is for those who have shown mastery at current role while a "promotion" is for those who have potential to take up more shit. Thus "promotion" is not a reward for work well done because that reward is through yearly performance bonus. The sad thing is no matter how nice things are lined up, there is always an exception for the pets aka those that the bosses love. That just confirms my negativity that it does not matter how well I do my things because what ultimately matters is whether I am in the bosses' good book which I am not because I refuse to boot lick.

The only thing that keeps me sane this week is meeting my friend yesterday. I did not expect that she would be going home this CNY and I was expecting it would be a long time to ever meet her again after she got married and moved to Korea last year. I proposed to meet for dinner at Picnic at Wisma Atria. I have always wanted to try it and somehow the name that got stuck to my mind was Green Market. As I was working and my friend was there first, she was wondering where the heck Green Market was. Lol. Anyway the food there were quite expensive. I tried Omakase Burger with the Cheese Fries but at least they were filling.

Her niece was coming along so she was quite a distraction as she kept running around and we had to keep an eye for her. Not exactly a good thing for my mood as I was already tired with work and all that. But hey it is still a good thing that friendship does not change even after marriage. Lol.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

It has been a long wait for the ending of the Maze Runner trilogy. I am actually not too sure why I am quite eager for this (after knowing the movie had delays because Dylan O'Brien was injured during shooting) after finding the second one complete rubbish. I actually cannot even remember the plot or anything from the Scorch Trials. Lol.

Thank goodness the Death Cure is more similar to the first Maze Runner movie than the Scorch Trials. The plot is simple enough to follow although it is kind of dumb from the overall movie perspective. In this movie, essentially Thomas wants to save Minho from WCKD no matter what the costs are: from hijacking train, entering the Last City, and entering WCKD headquarters.

The action scenes are actually quite exciting and I felt like having a hell of a ride in a theme park: from the excitement of hijacking a train, being scared by zombies and trying to escape from them in a dark alley, the crazy bus escape and the bus being hooked by a crane which in the end falls down.

Other than the fun with the action, the story is really stupid. I do not know how Thomas feels after realising that his blood can actually treat the Flare. If only he just follows Teresa and WCKD. Yes WCKD is not 100% good but at least if he were to follow them, Newt and Teresa will survive. He can potentially save so many people instead of the ending of secluding everyone in an island while waiting everybody else who is not immune or is already infected to die. I can't help but feel how "gay" the movie is because Thomas seems to be more into saving Minho and Newt instead of Teresa or even a bigger picture of human redemption from the Flare virus after all.

The movie is almost 2.5 hours and my bladder tortured me. I went to the toilet like 5 times thanks to the green tea during dinner. Yesterday I wanted to have McDelivery for the new beef prosperity burger but the online portal did not allow me to proceed. So I tahan until this evening to have that. Before the movie, I watched Black Panther trailer for the first time. I know there is a lot of hype about this but I honestly do not feel excited to watch the movie after the trailer leh :(

Sunday, January 28, 2018

FF cafe

The hype is real when I saw the announcement of Final Fantasy pop-up cafe at Watanabe Coffee, Shaw House. It turns out to be quite disappointing after the details are out: there is only 1 menu which is Moogle curry rice and special drink. Initially I wanted to wait until yesterday but I could not wait longer and went on Friday evening after gym instead. The special menu was already sold out. Sibeh sian! Some of the merchandises were already sold out too and that was only on the 3rd day from opening sia. I bought 2 Squall mini-plush that I did not buy in Japan and Lightning. Cloud was already sold out. Not surprising considering his popularity. The price is $30 which is a few cents cheaper than the price at Latendo if I were to pre-order these few months ago.
Another big disappointment after big hype is for this Digimon artbook that was just delivered yesterday. The paper quality is actually good but what makes me super disappointed is it does not have a complete list of the Digimons. Yes bolded and underlined to emphasize my irritation. Gomamon (and his further evolution) is not even featured and he is one of the digimons from the first Digi-destined sia. Lucky I only bought 1 book.

With this constant shopping, I have really given up on storage space. I enquired about the storage space facility and I have decided to spend additional $100 a month for the storage when Tsume Aiolos statue is delivered. I know it is stupid to spend that just for boxes but oh well T_T This hobby is really expensive but ultimately what's the point of earning money sacrificing everything if not to enjoy it.

That brings me to the latest headache at work this week. 1 staff is having family issues and would like to work in a more flexible hours. It sucks when HR and HQ cannot make any decision and leave the decision to me. Sigh.. It always the case: pass all the shit decision making to us at the branch while they keep all the decision making power for the good things like promotions.

It is a difficult decision because on one side I think the staff is in a pinch but on the other side I have to manage the rest of the staff. What if everyone also starts finding reasons (or perhaps "excuses" is a more suitable word for the rest)? Surprisingly I am the one who is more inclined to give while the rest which are usually nicer people have more reservations. It is quite irritating to get people to think and vote if they are simply sitting on the fence. My boss already said that this is not a decision to made on my own but must be a team's decision and hence I need others to vote. Yes you can ask questions, what ifs, etc but ultimately what I need is a yes and a no, not "anything" and not "follow you all lah". This may sound arrogant but I guess this is another reason why I am given this shitty leadership position as I still can somehow make my mind and decide on a vote when shit like this happens. I ask them to think over the weekend for final vote taking tomorrow. I am really praying that the staff somehow can solve the problem without the need of this flex arrangement. May God hear me since I have been good and miraculously manage to attend Sunday masses for 4 consecutive Sundays.

I received a note book from Red Cross earlier this week and I saw that there is a medallion for the 10th and 25th donation. I was only contacted to get my 5th donation many years ago. So this afternoon during the blood donation, I decided to be thick skin and asked anyway. Hahaha. The medallion for the 10th donation is available there so the person gave me one. For the 25th I was asked to contact Red Cross directly. Alamak.. I hate to ask things like this because it looks as if I am asking for recognition when in reality I am just a sucker for medallions sia. Lol I treat the as some collectibles. And that just reminds me that I somehow misplaced the completion medal for the Spongebob run a few years ago sia. Haiz..

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winter in Singapore

The weather this week has been very unusual with temperatures dropping to the low 20s. I can do without the rain but I certainly enjoy the cold weather. Hehe.. I can even sleep comfortably under blanket with my fan off. I can't believe that there are people complaining about such a nice cooling weather. I certainly enjoy cool weather as it allows me to wear nicer clothes. Too bad that I work on weekdays so I only had the chance to wear my long sleeve t-shirt today.

Last year I bought Singapore Mint coin rather late and I missed out on the Treasure Cove set :( I overlook that rooster is dragon's best mate and in a society that is crazy about having dragon babies, there are definitely a lot of dragons and rooster will be in high demand as well. Learning from that, I decided to buy the coin for Dog Year early. The unexpected surprise was the Abundance Dog set that contains a medallion with a silver foil of Mickey. They claimed that the original price is $108 and only for this weekend the price is $68. Since the set is cheaper than the prices of the medallion and the Mickey silver foil separately, I bought it.

I was so tempted to skip volunteering yesterday because the weather was so nice to sleep. Despite grudgingly going, I left feeling happy. This is not the first time and it really just proves that when we give ourselves to others, we actually receive something even more in return. That happy feeling is just priceless.

If I did not go, there would be nobody to dispense yesterday. It is another reminder that I am volunteering for this because I can make use of my license and not everyone can contribute in this role. I am happy that there were 3 PTs and 1 pharmacy student to help me dispense. I was basically just checking, intervening, and passing the cases to them to dispense. 1 of the PTs remembered me because she was once attached at my workplace a few years ago. I felt so bad that she remembered me but I could not remember her :( The student was a volunteer during Paragames in 2015. I remembered him and he still remembered me.

This week I learnt a new word: POR. It is a dialect that means boot lick or suck up. The list of January promotion was out this week. While it is never a surprise to see pets being promoted quicker than others, it is always a sad reminder that this company does not value hard work. So why the fuck am I still around? ... because noone else wants me. It seems that the holiday effect already disappears into thin air and I am back in FML mode especially when it is about work.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Counting the damage

With the end of holiday and unpacking, it is time to tally the receipts to see how much I spent for the few days in Japan for the goodies which were not budgeted for. I spent more than 100k yen in total and almost a quarter was just for photos. I spent 4x 1500 yen for photos with the Unicorn Gundam while Disneyland set me back by 10x 1540 yen + 2000 yen. The rest went for anime-related stuff and books which were not unreasonable individually. Photos seem to be huge waste of money but perhaps I am already growing old and I find that spending on memories and experience ultimately gives more happiness than actual material things. I only took photo at Mickey's house during my trip in 2015 and now the photo size is smaller and the cover is also different. Nice that they change things but not nice because it means that the next time I visit, things may change again which means I will buy again. Hahaha..

As expected work sucks and it is a torture to get back to work. Surprisingly the inertia to go back to gym is even bigger. The saving grace is that I feel more motivated because I did not gain weight after the winter trip so there is a bigger chance to lose weight now especially when I can resume my L-men dinner although I do not know how long I sustain the momentum.

I completed 12 months payment for gym and with the bonuses and suspension, my membership will still last until April. So it seems that paying for 12 months to get an actual 16 months is not that bad. A problem that I will face now will be how to clock the monthly $500 for my UOB One account. Hmm while talking about money, surprisingly the advertisement for DBS Multiplier account pop-ed up and I clicked on in. I knew they updated it a few months ago but I did not bother to check because previously DBS Multiplier account requirements to earn any higher interests were way too unattainable for me. Thank goodness the update makes it even better than OCBC 360 so instantaneously I decided to switch. Now I shall just wait for switching back my GIRO arrangements to DBS and I can say goodbye to OCBC 360. That reminds me that I need to chase after DBS about my missing miles. And while all these $$$ are not settled yet, I also need to start planning for the May trip to Japan with my family.

After away for 1 year, I managed to drag myself to go to church today. Let's hope that this will not just be a new year resolution that will go down the drain a few weeks later. But since it is a new year, it is just nice to adjust my Sunday schedule to fit in both gym and church commitments.