Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PR 3106: Pharmacokinetics & Drug Disposition

I went to this exam with total surrender of 1 topic: dosing regiment. Luckily, God heard my desperate plea and nothing out of it came out. I am really really glad.. I wasted so much time to understand this topic (and I failed to do so) in the expense of mugging the tutorial questionts. Sigh. I got the feeling yesterday that I had to memorise Eli's questions because some would definitely come out exactly the same. I was right and I made mistakes.. To make matters worse, there was one question whose answer I changed 3 times and guess what: all 3 were wrong anyway.. Haiz.. There was another question similar to tutorial. I noted in the tutorial to check the uploaded answer at IVLE but thanks to stupid dosage regiment, I had no time to see that.. Well in any case: the benefit outweighs the disadvantage. I rather lose a few marks rather than losing an essay if dosing regiment were to come out as an essay..

Anyway the essay was doable.. But Eli's part is crappy.. He can teach pharm law too now.. Seriously some things are mathematically proven THAT way and there is no way to explain them. Haiz. I wish I scribbled some graphs to make my answer more marks-worthy but oh well, I realised it too late. The first essay was doable too..

The MCQs were rather terrible sigh.. I was hardly able to eliminate answers.. It was like: I know statement 2 and 4 are correct.. but not sure about 1.. Then the options had 1,2,4 and 2,4 only.. There were many of similar questions.. Kinda gg.. Bleah..

Anyways, I feel more alright after this paper as compared to law.. The pain of losing the 10 marks just like that is very sad.. together with losing my A.. and losing my first class (probably)..

Monday, April 26, 2010

PR 2102: Pharmacy Law

MCQ was easy.. Not much of a problem. Though I am a bit worried because I didn't have the time to check..

The long questions were disastrous. Let me start with the lesser of the 2 evils first. The last question was regurgitation from the law.. The 2 topics that I didn't include in the cheat sheet were the 2 topics that came out!! Call that unlucky T_T I will surely lose out to those people who manage to put everything because no matter how good my memory is, there is no way I can remember the sections, regulations, paragraph bla bla bla..

The first question was the bummer though.. I left a 10 marks gone.. Seriously, "illegal" means "illegal" and hence "cannot dispense" means "cannot dispense". What the fuck am I suppose to say such a simple "illegal so cannot dispense" to a 10mark essay? Seriously fucked up.. People should have more common sense.. But well, I guess common sense is something which lacks among the people I am with.. But oh well, test is a test, and the fact that I only wrote 2 sentences for a 10marks question, I am just fucked up.. With nothing written, there is nothing that can be awarded to me..

Sigh.. I guess that's it for me.. I am just waaay to unlucky.. Ask me to do the paper again, I will still have no idea what to write for the 10 marks.. Haiz. I am very stressed... emo.. I thought I can get an A.. I never want As so badly as this semester.. My cap is really at the borderline.. Either make it or break it.. Looks like it's gonna be the latter.. Oh well, I guess no point crying over something I cannot change haiz.. But that's just me T_T I should channel my energy to prayer perhaps.. Oh God.. I need a miracle.. that somehow other people will help the bellcurve to be in my favour..

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I saw him today!! Yes!! Hahaha... I am not a fan actually. But who cares? A celeb is a celeb!

Today there was the Brand's (Essence of Chicken) Music Changes Lives final performance at UCC. Haha.. I am surprised how people knew about it while I didn't. I knew it from a friend and by that time all the sign up slots were fully taken. Lucky at the last few days, someone wanted to find a replacement and I signed up. Hohoho..

To be honest, I was very disappointed when I was assigned at the door again! There went my dream to see celebrities. The MC was Utt and some other person (I don't know) and apparently Taufik and Hady from Singapore Idol and Rui En were performing too. Sob sob.. But then, I guess I have to say I was very lucky. Just after I finished putting stuff back in the office, the security told us we could not enter the hall yet because Lee Hom was coming out!! Omg omg!! Haha.. So ya basically as he was walking through the VIP corridor to the lift, he was just for me and some of my colleagues and some people to see. Lol.. He had to leave via backstage and he went back to the hall, right after I had debrief. So again.. managed to see him and this time he waved and made funny faces at us. Oh ya, got see Ken Lim also.. And I think he never fakes his personality on camera. His face is just as black as when he is being a judge in Singapore Idol. -_-

Sigh.. that's where the good story ends.. MY PHONE BATTERY DIED SO I DIDN'T BRING IT! Thus I DIDN'T MANAGE TO TAKE PICTURES :'( Sigh.. could have taken a very nice and clear picture when he was walking through the VIP corridor. Haiz sian.. Oh well.. as unlucky as I am, I guess I am lucky enough as compared to many fans out there who could only see him from afar. I was like within 1-1.5m away from him for two times today, saw him face to face, and he even waved and made funny expressions.. That's as far as my luck can take me =( My team leader was very nice. She knew all of us wanted to take photo with him so she wanted to ask Lee Hom. Unfortunately when he passed by, she was too stunned.. After that she chased after him to the backstage and it was too late.. He was already on the van T_T Huhuhu..

Anyway, he is much taller than expected and his nose is very pointy. Lol.. And though the girls all say he is very cute, I think he is more towards "good looking" or "handsome". He is friendly and not arrogant. He even bowed and smiled towards aunties and uncles who were waiting for their kids (and not for him) and happened to be near the lift he was taking. Well, I guess that's a difference between a Chinese with US-background as compared to well, Chinese. Haha..

Another interesting thing to mention is his fans! Omg.. I think some even came from HongKong etc because they didn't understand English. But the most awesome one was this girl without ticket. She brought a very huge bouquet (even bigger than her) and 1 plastic bag full of things she wanted to give to her idols (drumsticks, drum book, CDs, and many more stuff). Too bad she go attitude sia.. Until had to ask security to escort her.. This is the first time I am actually glad that I don't understand Chinese.. When I told her don't make noise to me because 我不会讲华语, she dared to say something along the line of "there what you just said is Chinese what".. And even more -_-, she then spoke to me in Hokkien or Cantonese I don't know.. Really some crazy fangirl..
That's all for today.. I hope that I can work for more celebrity-filled events and for the subsequent ones, I will make sure that I bring my camera along.. Even if its battery is dying :'(

Monday, April 19, 2010

Random blabbers...

I am feeling rather emo nowadays. The weather has been lousy or it is just my body which is feeling lousy. It rains quite often lately but I still feel very warm. I always wake up in the middle of the night feeling thirsty/dry, and sometimes worse, I will have a full bladder (thanks to drinking a lot before bedtime which is again because of the lousy weather).

I am also losing my appetite. I cannot count how many non-rice meals that I have. I am bored with the food at PGP. I am bored with the food at schools too. Even Subway and McDonalds, I guess I ate them very often this sem as compared to previous sems. I don't know why.. Perhaps it is one of the reason I am feeling lousy (or is it the other way around?).

Anyway I just got my medical check up results. Nothing bad actually. However, my HDL is still not >1.6.. And my LDL is really borderline 2.5xxxxx. Bleah.. Must think about food now :( As I age, I'm sure the values will deviate further from the ideals.. So must start thinking about them before too late..

While talking about body, let me talk about my HAIR! It's terrible. Sigh.. My mum always compliments my hair for being thick.. Maybe thick hair is a good think for females.. But for me, it is a disaster. My hair is too thick and too stiff that I cannot use wax to style it sigh :( No matter how much I put, gravity force is tougher and always pulls my hair down =( When I tried it, my friends said it looked worse and funny as if I got up from the wrong side of the bed. Oh scram!

Oh ya, the last time I worked, it was for a Malay show. Thus, I gave the announcement through the PA system cos people could not pronounce the name. Lol.. I think now I am getting better at it :p though of course my diction is not good yet. Anyway I don't know why at that time my breathing was laboured sigh.. At every pause, I could hear my breath through the PA system (sounded disgusting). Haiz.. I am dying dying dying..

Aaah I am glad that I got accomodation for next year. Yep.. that ends all my CCA journey hehe.. The cut off this year was rather high and many didn't make it. Well, to be honest I kinda bad and feel happy (instead of sorry for some people). I guess that's a very good lessons for slackers and cca point leechers lor..

I also want to change phone!! Bleah.. The price of the Satio has not dropped yet. Urgh!! Then 2 days ago, I met a friend who tempted me for iPhone.. Well, now I feel like having iPhone for internet, Blackberry for the keypad (not touch screen), and Satio for its camera.. But lo and behold, my sister said Blackberry must be charged daily (so must iPhone!). But iPhone is still the best! The battery cannot be changed!! Wow.. I guess I will strike off these 2 liao.. My bigger concern is for the provider.. I wanna change to Singtel already.. For the same monthly billing plan, Singtel's phones are >$100 cheaper than M1. Bleah.. My concern (as usual) is regarding keeping my old number!! Bah.. I am waiting for replies from both providers to see how. I even act thick-skinned to ask M1 for any voucher or I will change provider since it just makes no sense to stay with them (same monthly bill but phones are much more ex!).

I finished writing cheat sheet for Law. Sigh.. I feel like cursing and shouting and screaming. It is so troublesome to write. But well, at least it is a pseudo-open book this year.. at least now I don't have to memorise everything.. yup just the last 2.5 sets of notes.. Thus, I think I should be grateful instead of complaining!! Now more or less 3 more modules to prepare. The exam dates are pretty well-spaced so I really hope I can manage my time well and no last minute stress..

Friday, April 16, 2010

GEM 2507: Physical Questions from Everyday Life

Wew.. the final test was rather disastrous. I got about 20 marks (out of 50) completely wrong. Sigh.. I misunderstood the relativity question because time should dilate but my interpretation of the question was that the time shrinks =( So I have to skip that one.. The Turing question was also misinterpreted. I don't know what the question wants. But the last question was the sad part =( I nearly nailed it! But the "near" is still too far for me to get that 9 marks.. So yeah, that's like 9+7+5 = 21 marks gone.. Bleah.. I hope I still can get S le... Thus my only hope is to wish that other people are doing badly too and let the bellcurve save me.. Hehe.. Must be optimistic right??? Err.. actually I am quite emo on this..

Anyways, overall I think this module is good. I learn more interesting things about daily life such as: there is a physics theory which predicts alien civilisation out there (but we cannot see them since any travel between any civilisation will take millions of light years.. that is like how many generation of human life), there is cellular automaton to explain the various intricate patterns found in daily lifes (such as patterns of plants, vegetables, shells), how gecko feet involves nanotechnology (isn't that a big W.O.W??), and many other interesting things.

When the first time I see the module, I thought this was great since there was a mix of physics, chem, bio, computing, etc. But now I come to hate it. Lol.. I feel cheated (and somehow surprised) that for every chemistry, biology, and computing things, they all can be related (and governed) by some law of physics!! Yaiks!! Since I suck in physics, that is not a good news haha.. But in all, I enjoy this module: I only attended 2 lectures, there is no notes, I didn't buy the textbook (thank God I managed to borrow RBR book for 3 tests!! and in all only paid $1 for the fine I incurred today), and I got fullmarks for the second test! Lol. How rare it is for me in university especially..

So.. I just hope that I can get enough to S it.. And there it is, NO MORE ELECTIVE for me MWAHAHAHAHA...

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e

Ashiya Mizuki is a girl who disguised herself as a guy to enter an all-boy school. Her intention is to make her idol, Sano Izumi, a high jump athlete who has now stopped jumping. So her journey begins to convince Sano to jump again while ensuring that her disguise remain unknown to her friends. Soon her feelings towards Sano bloom into "love".

My opinion:
Well, since I have watched it, the show has to be funny in the first place. Lol.. The first few episodes are full of comedy, I guess something intended to gain support from viewers. I laughed very hard when I watched the scene when Mizuki spits out her milk in episode 1. Some people are mocking each other "Are you a girl?" (something common in a boys school) and she thinks her disguise is over, so in her shock, she spits out what she drinks. Lol.. I almost spitted the water I was drinking to my laptop screen. Anyways, the spitting thing becomes a recurrent thing in the show so I think it's funny LOL..

The plot is much better than the Taiwanese-adaptation (last time I watched it thanks to my sister). In the Taiwanese-one, the girl chases the guy out of pure fondness and keponess to make him jump again. Something I think quite lame and unrealistic. Here, it was told that Sano was injured when he was saving Mizuki from gangsters. After that, he no longer jumps and hence Mizuki thinks it is all because of him saving her. That is a more "solid" reason for someone to go all the way from America and take the risk of disguising herself as a guy in Japan right?

The reason for Sano not to jump anymore is not because of the injury. It is something personal so Mizuki helps him to overcome his feelings of insecurity and from then romance blossoms . Of course at the end of the day, her disguise is revealed and she has to return to America. That's the ending..

The ending was kind of disappointing. And the events leading to the ending are even more discouraging. How can a girl change her attire at school without locking the door?? -_- Though eventually, the rest of the school knows only because when she faints, they want to loosen her clothes and tada: the wrapping around her chest is revealed. The teary goodbye is also a bit lame to me. There is no way that suddenly everyone has a good memory with her bla bla bla.. As if everything becomes fun after she comes or as if they all do things with her. Lame and cliche..

There is a special episode to tell the events which lead Sano to like Mizuki. In the dorama, it is not obvious since he is a typical of act cool bastard kind of character. The special episode ends with the graduation of the 3rd year, with Mizuki making a cameo appearance at the graduation. A bit wth for me because she was out of the school anyways -_-

So other than the comedy, there is nothing much from the show. The plot (other than the background plot) is rather weak. The love story is just uninspiring. While I hate love story in general (too mushy mushy..), I certainly think that this show needs more females! And by that I mean, females who look like females (and pretty too). Haha.. I guess the gender imbalance is too great already and that affects my mood (though usually I get irritated watching bimbos too :p)

My afterthoughts:
Comedy-wise, it hilarious. The bulk of the comedy lies on Nakatsu. He likes Mizuki (a girl who is disguised as a guy) and so he is doubting his own sexuality. Unfortunately, the laughing material from the 3rd episode onwards become more gender-bending in nature. Here comes the "unrealistic" part, something I hate when I watch something, though it is kinda expected since the drama is based on a shoujo manga. I am pretty sure that the mangaka is a woman so she knows nuts about a boys school. Firstly, we don't cross dress (the school does not approve cross-dressing competitions too!) and secondly, the gays in a boys school will not go around hugging and kissing the people they like. I am pretty sick of seeing the cross dress and the gay parts to be honest -_-"

The actors are so lame and I think they really go so faaa~~~r to play their character. The girl actually wrapped something around her chest to make it flat! I was like OMG when in the opening scene, a guy touches her THERE and he says "so flat.. no muscles". Later on, it was shown that she wraps something so it quite makes sense that it is flat. Lol.. In the Taiwan version, the girl looks so big THERE and it is so stupid that people cannot tell it's a girl lor -_-. Then the males are also cross-dressing for don't know how many times.. And worse, there are some male-on-male kiss scenes. Lol.. crazy right.. And the cross dress is really like wear make up, long gown, etc.. Siao..

The only 'nice' part of the story for me is Sano's personal conflict. He actually quits jumping because he is tired of people's high expectation on him (he broke national record previously) and because his dad (a retired high jump national athlete) was too busy training and didn't even have time to even accompany his wife in her deathbed. This kind of conflict, happens to everyone I guess.

Personally, I am also tired being a good student, who has to study very hard, cannot even skip lectures, must be a role model to other teachers. Without being arrogant, I am thankful that so far I have been doing well at school (at least until pre-university) and sometimes that good results is a baggage. Teachers will say things like "Why do you skip lecture?", "Why do you not do your tutorial?", "How come do you badly for this test?". I am a human too.. and there are times when I am tired and lazy, so of course there are times that I skip classes, I neglect my tutorials, etc.. My parents can be equally anal when it comes to school.. As if what they care is just results results and results.. not caring about the well-being of the person. Now in university, I become totally cannot be bothered kind of person. I guess it is kinda liberating too, to be able to skip classes as and when I like, to be able to do whatever I like and no need to be "role model" bla bla bla.. Though I think I am a bit taking it to the extreme (I think my attendance for this sem is only about 70% at most LOL).

Sano jumps again in the end.. though the training after slacking for quite some time is not that easy.. I guess it won't be easy for me to return to the state I used to be too :) And as much as an anti-social he is, he still has a lot of friends who are caring. Unlike me =( Sad lol..

Below are the collections of various spitting scenes in the show LOL..

Monday, April 12, 2010

12 April

Happy Birthday to me~~~~
Happy Birthday to me~~~~
Happy Birthday to myself~~~
Happy Birthday to me!!!

Yup.. I am 23 years old today! So old.. Since it is a happy occassion I will try to write in a more positive mood today :D Save the bad things for tomorrow okay haha :D

Firstly I would like to say that I am really really touched by the number of birthday wishes that I received at facebook. They are just overwhelming. I think I am always an emo person, an antisocial, a person who is lazy to send a birthday wish via facebook, and someone who cannot be bothered to send birthday wish to people I am not very close to. Well, but to be honest, while I am happy that people are still caring to me, I rather that some people do not send me a birthday wish at all. Haha.. I have no idea what to reply to these people other than "thanks" or something along that line. To me, it's just weird, why are you wishing me birthday while we never even talk face to face in real life? Lol.. But I am seriously touched and sincerely wanna say thanks :) Last year, I didn't get this many wishes.. But then, last year I was sharing the limelight with Jesus' ressurection so of course I could not beat him rite :p LOL

My irritation for PK lab aside (save it for tomorrow), I did not expect that my group mates would buy me a cake and sing birthday song for me. Lol.. Again, I am very touched. And the oreo cheesecake is good :) Though I don't like oreo, I love cheesecake!! Lol.. In the evening, I had a celebration with my juniors. Wow.. thanks a lot.. They all look damn tired after their stretch of 6hours lecture. The mud pie/cake was good but it was too big! Lol.. I hardly could finish it.

I guess that's all for today. I will reserve the contrasting story for tomorrow: illnesses, hair disaster, work, lab, etc...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stupid asses..

Everyone is stupid!! And that is very very very stupidly irritating!! AAAAAaaargh...

I spent the last week preparing for 2 stupid tests yesterday. Sigh.. Anyway before I go on to talk abou the test, I am very upset and disappointed with the CA2 results gosh! I didn't expect to do so well but I didn't expect to do that badly either! Haiz.. stupid me!! Damn.. Yesterday was more irritating. I kinda expect that one of the writing questions would be on Dawn Syndrome, Somogyi Effect, Diabetic Ketoacidosis or Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic state because it is a trend that we are always asked stupid questions for the short answer. Unfortunately, I felt that the first two would be more likely to come out.. Urgh.. I was WRONG! What came out was the latter two. Even though I did prepare for them, I was not fully prepared. Gosh.. Anyways I hardly remember anything for pharmacotherapy and after the CA2 results like that, I am like anything anything la..

PK test was even more stupid o_0 The first few question are direct copy paste from the notes. So what is the freaking use of the test? Bleah.. Another stupid questions follow on the data analysis. I am pretty sure that most people would just ignore the yakking of the stupid teacher during the data analysis. So purely tikam and again, it's stupid to test on such thing. The last few questions were the most ultimate stupidity!! We were expected to do MCQ questions (and with the last option as NONE OF THE ABOVE) where the questions require us to draw best-fit curve! Oh fuck! I think the teacher is just too stupid. Everyone would estimate differently and there is no way we could get exactly the numbers in the options. So are we expected to round off? Or are we expected to choose the "None of the above"?? Plain stupid test..

PK prac report is postponed and that's not a reason for a celebration. Thanks to some stupid asses who spoke to the teacher, now we are expected to have more data. With that, it's like 50% of the effort to discuss the results is wasted because now the whole results for one experiment will be totally new. So yah now everyone cannot proceed because we need to wait for all the results. I sincerely hope they wait loong loong loong haha.. and still get incomplete set. The level of kiasu-ness is just disgusting. It's just for a freaking lab report so why on earth people went to say "Some people who were supposed to give results never gave results so we could not proceed". And guess what, thanks to your "supposedly smart action", it turned out to be a disaster when the teacher finally decided upon "use all your results no matter how good or how bad they are". Eat that you shit heads! To rub salts in the wounds, some people actually made ammendments to the experiment which we thought were already okay since last week.. Jeeez... seriously stupidity beyond imagination! But still to me, the utmost stupidity lies on the freaking fucks who made the deadline extended.. People have more time scrutinise the readings and see the shit we are in right now..

I am getting more and more disillusioned with the state of education I am in.. Some of the teachers are like -_-.. All the students are -_-.. Sigh.. reality check la.. no wonder all these suckers would just be stuck at hospitals and retails.. Bleah.. I went to life science career fair today and I really really really regret not choosing engineering! Sigh.. My qualification is deemed for "end products" only, not really suited for "manuFUCKturing process". Sigh.. It has always been my dream to work office job or in a manufacturing plant T_T Looks like there's no way I can realise it.. I will have to choose among facing stupid customers in retail, facing stupid+kiasu fellow health professionals as well as stupid people in hospitals, doing stupid experiments in research, or educate the stupid minds of the young in academia. It's like having to choose between hanging myself, drinking baygon, slitting my throat or jumping down from high storey buildings to choose my death.. Anyways, perhaps all the kiasu stupid shit in my class should think about life beyond school. There is simply no point of behaving the way they are now if eventually they can't even do anything in the face of scolding customers, or they can't even stand eye-to-eye with doctors and fight for the freaking sole dispensing rights whatsoever or they can't do proper research (they can't even FAKE properly now!), or they would just be equally stupid as the educators we have now.

One of my modules is categorised as "open-book". But unfortunately, due to the stupid and narrow-minded minds of people in my faculty where we never ever have any "open-book" modules, the teacher cannot even freaking understand the definition of an open book exam. Sigh.. Anyway the open book meant is writing a cheat sheet. Well, that's perfectly fine because many other exams are doing the same thing. But that perfection turns to a perfect stupidity now: we can only write in the paper provided by the school (ouch!) and we are supposed to pass it before the exam and we will get it when the paper starts (WTF!). So basically that just screws up my study plan. And I seriously don't understand what is the point of passing up the so-called cheat sheet. Can't they check on the exam day to check whether everyone indeed bringing 1 piece of paper? Sigh.. And what is so special about that green paper? Sigh... As if when students are using their own papers, their papers have special quality I don't know what.. Haiz.. This just shows either the narrow-minded thinking since they never experience what is open book exam before or the arrogance that as future professionals, we are expected to memorise every single shit in our head, that cheat sheet whatever is a shame for the profession yada yada yada... of how lowly the teacher thinks of the students that we will abuse the opportunity of this cheat sheet thingy..

People should use their common sense more... more than their brains.. haiz.. But then, my education has slaughtered not only our neurons.. it also numbs common sense and humanity.. So what's left with the so-called professionalism??

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter 2010!!

Time passes so quickly and looking back, this year has been much better than last year. I read my past year blog entries to check what I wrote last Easter. There was none actually lol.. Last year was a crazy busy semester and all my entries around this period was oh-well.. full of flames, profanities, and vulgarities. I am very very glad that this year is much smoother for me :) There are still stress due to school work and CCA of course, but last year was definitely much worse. Or is it because I experienced it last year that this year's sufferings feel more bearable? Lol..

It was not raining this Good Friday! OMG!! Maybe next year will be the end of the year! It has always been raining on Good Friday for as long as I remember.. Anyway, this year, it was a Bad Friday for me (not because of the rain thing). Last year I went to St Teresa for Good Friday and the Way of the Cross there was good. The words of the prayers were more suitable for current era. So this year I intended on trying Holy Cross. Due to PK lab, unfortunately, I missed out the 730, 1000, and 1230 service.. Sigh.. I did not want to go for the 1500 service because the Way of the Cross would be after the service and I certainly would be lazy. So I went to St Teresa again, hoping for the same good experience like last year.

It turned out to be the contrast. At the slope, I was almost bang-ed by a car. It was a very very gentle slope and there was a small jam. I decided to cross to the side of the church behind a car. And instead of going forward, this car rolled backward. OMG!!! I know I was THAAAT BIG that the driver could not see that behind him there was another car. So even if he didn't hit me, he would hit the other car. Bleah.. I was half asleep and I managed to avoid the car with a very unglam pose -_- The people in the car behind me confirmed laugh lor -_-.. Anyway I was tempted to kick the booty of the car and spew vulgarities but then hey.. I was at a church.. must have certain self-restraint.. at least I managed to dodge the car.

I could not concentrate inside the churche because the person next to me was suffocating. Haiz.. Maybe he didn't brush teeth or something.. Everytime he opened his mouth to sing or say prayers, the sickening aroma was emited. I hardly could concentrate. Bleah.. Anyway, I was surprised that there were actually Holy Communion in a Good Friday service.. I never remember there was one o_0 I thought everything would end after the veneration.. And last year I was attending one at that same church.. Last year must be very very bad period for me (refer to the first paragraph) lol..

I decided to try out the Easter Vigil at Holy Cross yesterday. Sigh I regretted it. I should have just stayed in my habit of going to Risen Christ. I shall not compare which is nicer etc. I just feel that the one at Risen Christ allowed me to experience God more.. At Holy Cross, the Service of Light was done outside. The bad thing about it is: 1) we hardly could see what was happening 2) it was so hot humid sweaty 3) after that we had to fight for entrance to the church (everyone was chionging for seat!). Totaly defeats the purporse of me -_- There was 7 readings (omg!) but there was nothing much to complain there. My biggest disappointment was at the baptism part. I find it more meaningful if before the Renewal of Baptismal promise, the congregation received the candles from the newly baptised, rather than from the wardens.. And during baptism, the choir was singing. To me, it would be nicer if we could here who were the people getting baptised, after all it was like welcoming new members to the family, so how can we do that if we don't even know who they are? Well, at least it was a new experience to me.. to see how different churches do things differently.

I read an interesting article from Catholic News. It has been a few months since the last time I managed to snatch for a copy. Lol.. Anyway the write up was about crucifixion. The writer explores the humiliation of crucifixion. He explores the idea that when Jesus prayed for the Father to take the cup away, He feared the humiliation more than the physical agony. Apparently, when someone is crucified, the person is completely naked (OMG!). Yup those loincloth in the pictures are just to make the pictures more 'decent'. Then the article also says that when the person dies, the bowel will loosen. That means it would be raining shit.. o_0 So gross.. I thought these are exaggeration by a Catholic newspaper so I checked wiki.. Wiki says the same things and I found even more gross things like: people can be hung there for hours and day so if they need to pee then they just pee there o_0.. Ouch.. I am totally grossed out.. my head is aching and I feel like vomiting..

Well, the gross feeling aside, it just makes me more amazed with God saving plans.. It's really unbelievable that a God would come down from heaven, to be in the midst of His filthy creatures, and to die in the most disgusting way humans can ever think of.. I am only a 3 year old baby catholic and I still have much more to learn in my journey of faith. Perhaps this can make me think on what are really important for me and in my life. Like the cliche being mentioned at every Good Friday, it's time for me to think "what is so valuable in me that God would suffer and die for me?". I have gone astray to far.. but it is never too late to turn back.. Though the soul is willing, the flesh is weak.. and really, what I need is to pray more.. something I have totally neglected in the past few months.. haiz... back to square zero again =(

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son (Jn 3:16)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-

7 Years before the main events in Final Fantasy VII..

Amazing.. Square Enix standard as usual. To me, this is my first full 3D RPG game, and I am very delighted with the graphics. The FMVs are of digital-movie standards while the in-game graphics are very colourful and rich in details or anime-like to me. Thus, it is the best from the both worlds.

"Normal" gameplay screen
Look at the details and rich colours of the background and the ground

Not an FMV.. But it is considered an event cinema (with voice acting!)

Graphics during battle

The movie-quality FMVs.. Woohoo.. (Plus voice acting too!!)

Angeal - Sephiroth - Genesis
The battle FMV is really like a full-action movie. Haha.. Even more hilarious, the writer of the game guide that I use describe his experience of watching this FMV as "orgasmic" lol

Other than the graphics alone, I also love the 'customisation' that Square Enix provides in following the story-line. When Zack's attire, hair, and weapon change, all the limit break and summon animations change too following his new attire, hairstyle, and weapon. The best is the part where Zack is at the beach. In the story, he is in his beach where and instead of a sword, he uses beach umbrella to fight. In the battle screen as well as the various animations, he is again seen his beach wear and beach umbrella. To me it would be lame if there is only 1 set of animations. Imagine if in the story, he is seen with one thing but when it comes to a battle, suddenly all his clothes change.. Soo lame..

Zack's attire, hair, and sword in the limit break animation will change appropriately. Basically there are 3 sets: 2nd Class SOLDIER set, 1st Class SOLDIER set (new clothes+longer hair+buster sword), beach set (beach bermuda+beach umbrella)

Another thing that I like is that the 'main' summons get their own FMVs! Wow.. They are pretty lengthy but they can be skipped. The 'minor' summons do not have FMVs but in their animation, they are interacting with Zack. I find this very cute and comical . Haha.. For example, Zack will copycat Cactuar and Chocobo's movement, while with Mog, Cait Sith, and Tonberry, he is like 'talking' to them.

Each summon has their own FMV! Wow! Odin's is my favourite

Ifrit indeed looks very infernal and brutal.. Suits his "Hellfire" image very well

Cute mog 'borrows' Zack's materia, levels them up, and returns them. Zack will wave goodbye when Mog is flying off at the end of the animation.

My most favourite Limit Break attack though the animation before that "I'm trying! I'm trying" gets irritating most of the times haha..

My only irritation with the graphics is the representation of some of the summons. Phoenix looks like a fat white chicken, rather than a majestic firey bird. That's just gross.. Bahamut looks more like a mecha/robot, rather than a dragon king. The bahamut fury has the worst animation for me: the attack involves some machines in outer space o_0 to me that's utter rubbish.

The battle system is real-time action RPG. Unlike traditional RPGs where players only choose the commands, here I can "fully" control Zack. The traditional commands element is still there. However, there are blocking and dodging effects. In addition, the direction and range become important now. Back-attack is really when you run behind an enemy to bash it. Even magics can also be avoided or can also miss. The traditionally single target magic and physical attack can be effected to multiple targets if they are located closely together or in the same line of attack. In short, it is possible to avoid damage and avoid taking HP refilling items now., though blocking is actually much better than avoiding since wrong timing of evasion is equal to taking the full damage. This is the only good thing about the gameplay.

Thunder-type magics attack in straight line making them easily avoidable

Battling against a summon: Bahamut Fury. It is unreachable by physical attacks and can only be attacked using magic.

The bad side about the real time system is that Zack (yup only one player) can be swarmed with tonnes of enemies (I think maximum is 10 enemies at one time). They can attack at the same time and when you add an element of stop or staggering status, survival rate is too low. The enemy hits very hard too! Within 3-4 received physical attacks, they can easily KO me.. If they use magic, it is worse, 1 or 2 hits KO. Since there is only 1 character to be played, this level of 'difficulty' is way to ridiculous for me.

Adding to the nightmare is the DMW (Digital Mind Wave) system. It means: random-ness.. This is the very frustrating part of the battle system. The summons, the limit breaks, the materia leveling, and the character leveling are random! Ouch.. Well apparently there is EXP calculation involved for the character leveling but the former 3 are totally random! The DMW system involves a slot machine which randomly rotates and stops. Only if when the pictures and numbers are of certain pattern, then certain limit breaks or summons would be activated. It makes the game much harder because usually summons and limit breaks can be abused to increase lethality or prolong survival in Final Fantasy games and for this game, these aspects are no longer abusable. The chance of getting something is low and the chance of getting something appropriate is even lower! Just imagine the irritation when you are dying but Aerith's limit break (healing ability) is never activated while when your HP is full, you keep getting Aerith's limit break. Getting the summons is worse. Firstly you need to enter the modulating phase, then you need to activate the appropriate mode (summon mode or chocobo mode), then you need to pray hard that it's the correct summon that you want which gets chosen, and lastly you need to get 3 of the same kind pictures to get it activated. Wew..

3 of a kind to activate a limit break (Aerith's limit break in this case)
The numbers will determine the level (i.e the potency) of the limit break

777 to level up.. though it seems that when you are ready to level up, the 777 combination will certainly comes out.

Chocobo mode needs to be activated (randomly!) to get the chance of mini-summons (chocobo, cactuar, tonberry, mog, cait sith). There is another summon mode to be activated (again randomly) to get Ifrit, Bahamut, Odin, Phoenix.

There are 3 types of attack: normal attack, magic attack, and special sword skills. The special sword skills are garbage, they are too slow to be effective: the enemy can attack you first as you are taking the stance for the attack. Even the normal attack is better (faster and capable of dealing the same damage). Only steal, mug, and costly punch are basically useful. However, magic is the best: fast, multi targeting, huge range! That makes Zack more of a magician, rather than a soldier.. A contradiction to me.. In addition, some of the names are very badly chosen. There is hell fire, hell fira, and hell firaga. Ifrit's attack is Hellfire. So basically there are magic which are even stronger than a summon. Wow.. ultra lame.. In addition, what the hell is Bahamut Fury?? o_0 Do they run out of ideas? I mean there are still other traditional summons like Shiva, Ramuh, etc.. Why on earth that they choose a Bahamut Fury? Ew...

Overall, I find the battle system sucks haha.. To me, the best real-time system is like the one employed in Tales series. That is really like playing a fighting game in an RPG. This one is lame.. Can run around, can dodge, can block like fighting/action game. But to attack, still have to press and choose certain commands. Neither here nor there..

Materia system is something I hate even from the original FF VII. Lol.. Last time I had to grind for exp but this time, I need luck to level up the materia. The problem is most of the materia is useless. It is more important to equip materia with status bonus for Zack (bonus HP, attack, etc), rather than the use of the materia itself. Most of the materia are rubbish except: mug, costly punch, and curaga. Mug is for stealing, Curaga is for healing, and Costly Punch deals 9999 or 99999 damage. Costly Punch makes it possible to kill the ridiculously tough enemies but at the same time it makes the game boring. Materia Fusion system is just fanciful at the start but not much used eventually. A redundant system in my opinion.

The equipment system does not make Zack's life easier. Initially, he can only equip a freaking 2 equipments!! He needs to get certain items to increase to 3 and maximum 4 equipments. I can hardly equip things to boost his stats since the negative status in the game is far more irritating. Thus most of the spaces is used up for equipments to negate the bad status, especially stun and stop. This is worsened by the fact that most good equipments are only obtained through the missions which are 'optional', not from the main storyline. That brings me to the worst part of the gameplay: the missions.

I spent more (MUCH MORE!) time for the supposedly optional missions than for the main storyline. I find this super boring -__- The missions are much harder than the story lines. By the time some missions are cleared, the main storyline becomes too easy. But to get the good equipments, I have to play the missions. It gets very frustrating to keep dying but luckily it is not a game over for failing a mission. This can be used as a mean to level up. I honestly cannot imagine how to complete the Japanese version since it is a game over for failing a mission there. OMG! Anyway the missions are boring: just a few maps being repeated, same few enemies with just different names and difficulties. To me names like Gaia Malboro or Holy Tonberry is just too much to show that Square Enix has already run out of names -_-

There is a secret super boss: Minerva. The supposedly manifestation of Lifestream or Goddess of the Earth. She is tough, very tough, but not impossibly tough. I guess she's ok as a secret boss since there is no one hit kill attack or something, just that her attacks leave Zack barely standing. However, I wish some of her attacks are avoidable. That will make the battle more interesting. It is a long battle but it is boring because I only need to attack a few times (only use Costly Punch) then block then heal then repeat again from attack. Keep repeating that until winning. So brainless -_-

Minerva from the ending cutscene
In the battle, she wears a mask and she looks like a gundam robot rather than a Goddess

There is actually a new game+ option and we can choose harder difficulty level. But no thanks, I don't think I want to repeat. The 'normal' difficulty level is already very hard. And harder difficulty does not make sense when there is Costly Punch which can deal 99999 damage. That just basically prolongs the battles. Bleah.. not an incentive to me to play it again.

The only good reason to replay the game is actually: play one time just to clear the storyline and ignore all the missions, then play another time to clear the missions to get the equipments (or in whichever order). I did both at the same time and as a result, I don't quite get the storyline because I spent more time on the missions. So perhaps, I may replay the game just for one last time to know the story better. That's all.

Zack will die for sure. I know it from the start. So I don't expect much from the plot actually. However, even though I am confused with the storyline (thanks to the LOVELESS riddles and hints), I think the story is quite solid to establish facts and explanations regarding FFVII and its subsequent epilogues: Zack's story, Zack&Cloud's friendship, Zack&Aerith's relationship, the background of the Nibelheim's incident, reasons behind Sephiroth's evilness, etc. The best part to me is how Shinra is portrayed as good in this game while in the actual FF VII, Shinra is the bad guy. Now I know why. Haha..

It's also heartening to depart from the emo-lonely type of hero. To me Zack's character is very real: he flirts with girls, he gets naughty and jokes around even with his superiors, he idolises other people, some people look up to him, and the most important thing is he is very nice to people, even to people from lower rank, especially to Cloud. Haha.. It is nice to see this kind of character. Haha.. Aerith and Cissnei are very pretty too I like LOL.. I like Aerith&Zack's relationship though it ends tragically. I like how the seemingly cold-blooded killers like Tseng&Cissnei actually wants to save Zack even when their hirers want otherwise. And it is certainly nice to see Cloud before he becomes a super emo guy.. Though I still don't like him because eventually he becomes emo anyway.

Aerith, a very nice girl.. A very suitable girlfriend for Zack. Perhaps, it is not a bad thing that she dies eventually. She can be with Zack now lol..

I like Cissnei!! Her limit!! And her weapon!! Lol..

I will say the story is quite good: Vincent is "there" though not physically visible, Cid is briefly mentioned, Tifa, Cloud, and Aerith prescence are quite significant. But Yuffie is a disappointment. She repeatedly appears as treasure hunter. But the fact that she is just a kid entering the various dungeons where the enemies are crazy just does not make sense.. To me, the attempt to make her appear so many times in this game is a total failure.

Another bad part of the game is the acquiring of the summons. Phoenix materia is found in a water tank o_0. Genesis summons Ifrit and Bahamut Fury and Zack beats them (wow.. can beat summons) but he only gets the materia after defeating Ifrit and Bahamut Fury in the lab o_0. So what are the summons in this game? I had no idea..

While graphics is the most important factor to make me start playing a game, replayability will be the most important feeling for me to say whether the game is good or not. For that, this game is certainly not my favourite. The gameplay is just too boring for me.. The story is awesome but the way the ending is presented just ruins everything.

Firstly, they make the Zack vs endless Shinra soldiers as a playable battle which is wtf.. At this point of time, I was level 99 and the soldiers could not kill me! I need to make myself be killed to proceed with the game. How lame.. They should just make a FMV rather than forcing players to play useless battle. In other game, usually if there is an unwinable battle, they will make the enemies hit like 99999 HP. Again, this is not applicable cos supposedly the numerous soldiers are lousy. They just win because of their numbers.

Secondly, the way Zack is killed is awful. He is killed by 2 soldiers.. So yeah, after he kills so many, he cannot kill the last 2 freaking idiots and he is killed just like that. That is plain stupid to me.

Thirdly, the way Zack dies is terrible. His face does not look and he does not speak like someone who is going to die.. The blood is there, but the expression, not like a dying person.. Omg.. I think even no matter how happy someone is happy to die, you will not have a 'living person' expression when you are dying. The ultimate bullshit is: Cloud just leaves Zack dead body there.. Apparently he knows that after he leaves, Angeal will bring Zack to the sky with him..

So basically, the awesome story line, the "desperation" and "urgency" that Tseng and Cissnei have to save Zack and the nice "sad" atmosphere created when Aerith gets the feelings that Zack dies, all just ruined because of the lousy ending. Really the ending gives a bitter aftertaste.

Zack hides unconscious Cloud before his final battle

Zack vs endless Shinra soldiers

Final battle
As Zack is dying, the DMW faces turns to stones. Maybe when someone is dying, they slowly lose consciousness and memory.

Sad Aerith knows Zack dies.. So sad.. They never ever meet again, not until both die.

"My honour, my dreams.. they are yours now"