Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tokyo Tower - Okan to Boku to, tokidoki, Oton

Based on the autobiographical book by Lily Franky (a Japanese actor, writer, illustrator, designer, essayist, lyricist, photographer, novelist and band vocalist), the dorama tells a heartwarming story about a mother-son relationship. Growing up in the village of Chikuhou, Nakayama Masaya (Ma-kun) is a spoilt kid who takes his mother's love for granted. In search of independence and a better life, he moves to Tokyo. Being separated makes him realise how precious his mother is. Upon hearing that his mother suffers from cancer, he decides to bring his mother to Tokyo and to take care of her. Unfortunately, their happiness is shortlived as the cancer slowly progresses.
My Opinion:
I was introduced to this series from its theme song which sounds very sad (sad in a nice way) from the videos (which unfortunately have been removed now) here. Initially, I was not sure that I would like the series as it sounded so 'ordinary'.. and ordinary means boring.. It turns out that not only I like it, I LOVE it!

Although, the dorama is based on the book (i.e not exactly the same), I find nothing is severely exaggerated or over-dramatised. The story and the characters are believable and certainly there are many occasions that people can relate to based on our ordinary lives.

The first episode serves its purpose well and keeps me eager to catch the next episode. However the following few episodes depicting Ma-kun's university life are pretty boring. But everything goes back to the heart-wrenching mode as the cancer kicks in. There are some episodes where I feel the pace is way too slow. But overall, I think the pace of the dorama is way too fast. For examples, Masaya's university education finished within 1 episode and Okan's restaurant business lasted less than 1 episode. With that, the series focus more on the high-s and low-s of Masaya's life, thereby increasing the impact of Okan in his life and essentially making the series sad, and touching, rather than boring autobiographical types. In fact, I feel that how can their life be so 'suay'. For "few minutes" they enjoyed a happy occasion and for the next "hours" they were in some shitty situations again.

While the story focuses mainly on Masaya-Okan relationship, the main underlying theme is truely mother-child(ren) relationship. I don't know it's a coincidence or it's dramatised that everyone around Ma-kun has problems with their mothers. Being touched by Okan's motherliness, they all start to appreciate their mothers and try to mend their broken relationships.

The amount of details to show late 80s-90s period is also convincing. Everyone is using public telephone (no handphone yet!), the lights are still the "pull-string" types - not switch types, and I even see a SNES (super nintendo)!

Perhaps the reason why I love and find the show very touching is because I can relate to many parts. Firstly, I am also a Mama's boy. And yeah, I also damn bloody scared of cockroach. And as much as I am irritated with Ma-kun's rudeness to Okan, I can understand as I am also like that. I maybe less rude but still, it's rude. Lol. I loved my mum's attention when I was younger. But once puberty kicked in, even simple questions like "How was school today?" became very infuriating.

Secondly, I am far away from my family. And it's true that only when you are far from them that you start to appreciate them. Watching this makes me treasure those phone calls. As a third person watching the show, I sometimes feel like "aaargh you stupid.. why don't you just tell your mother/son about your condition!". Reflecting on my own life, I act exactly the same way.. I never tell really "baaad" stories as I don't want my family at home to worry about me. Similarly, I always hear good things when my parents speak to me. But from my sister, sometimes I realise that there may be some 'war' brewing at home. We simply don't wanna make our loved ones worry about us.

In all, I really had great crying sessions. I cried without fail for every episode. Even the happy events are very touching and I cry happy tears. While usually I can watch doramas non-stop, I needed rest in between episodes. Not that my eyes were tired from watching, but they were painful due to all the crying. Each episode is beatifully linked with a heart-wrenching event which makes it difficult to stop watching before the series end.

My afterthoughts:
This really leaves me a great impact and somehow changes my view on what is important in this life. Life is so short.. You never know when accident, illness, and death comes. Really have to treasure whatever moments I have with my loved ones. One of the most significant impact on me is that when I start working, I will stop leeching my parents money. Though I am tempted to buy a new laptop and a new phone, I guess I will wait until I have my salary. I think my parents have sacrificed enough for me and it's time for them to enjoy their fruits of labour.

The mom was treated with CDDP a.k.a cisplatin. My #1 most hated drug because of my FYP. But that's aside, at one point of time, I was thinking that life can be meaningful if I can help these cancer patients to alleviate their suffering. But seeing how the condition deteorirates.. death.. etc.. I guess I am too "weak" to witness all of these.. Just not where I can be..

While usually I enjoy school or friendship theme in doramas, I find family theme to be more touching now :) And while certainly I enjoy laughing, I enjoy crying more when watching doramas. Haha.. Call me weird..

The touching OST which always made me cry, no matter happy or sad events were happening...

And seriously, among everybody in the world, MOTHERS ARE ALWAYS THE BEST!

Friday, February 25, 2011

FINALLY... I can blog with a relaxed and peaceful mind. Although I am sad that mid-sem break ended just like that, I am too ecstatic to celebrate the end of my lab work! Yay hohoho.. Now my eyes feel like popping out because I spent too much time editing the report. My supervisor is flying off on Sunday and everything must be chiong-ed before. Sigh.. What to do.. The cell work only ended on Wednesday and now it gave me a big headache. I rather not putting in that presenting a pretty 'crappy' results. I don't know how to present it and I don't know what my supervisor wants to present. Gotta wait for another reply for her :( I foresee her asking me to do some statistical test. I don't want T_T

I shall talk about my online shopping experiences through eBay. So far I almost spent all my income for the past 1 year of ushering to buy things from eBay! Lol.. It started with ONE anime book.. Then it became A FEW. Then it became MANY. Haha.. Then it became A FEW GAME BOOKS. And now it became A FEW GAME AND ANIME RELATED ITEMS! Lol.. I think it is really bad haha.. But so far, my experiences with books are alright. Many of the books are relatively old but based on the looks, they can come across as brand new. There are a few which had imperfections like torn pages and bent corners. Most are tolerable. For those intolerable ones, I told the seller (I was not even complaining), and I got refunds! Wow. Cool rite? Haha.. So far I had about 3 or 4 items refunded.

Of course not all is good buys. Recently, I bought a few plushies and caps. Jeez.. For merchandises, the pictures really tell a thousand lies. One of my chocobo plushies is a fake. One has no official Square Enix tag and the strings on its cloak dropped off.. Zzz... Damn pissed about this but oh well, there was nothing much I could do since it was underhand deal with a Singapore buyer :p Anyway, the Nodame plushie has the original Banpresto tag so I consider it original item. And now it stands next to Hamtaro to watch me sleep daily :D

 I am very angry since I got scammed for the Pikachu and Chocobo hats that I purchased. In the item description, these are the pictures:

What I received are the following crap:

Not only I got scammed, they were badly packaged and thus crumpled. I complained this and I shall wait whether I will get a full refund or not.. If not, I will escalate the issue to eBay directly. For now, I can only wait and take my revenge by giving negative feedbacks..

Well, the lesson learnt is: DON'T BUY ANYTHING FROM CHINA SELLER! There is high likelihood that they lie. I hope I get the refund. Then I can buy more chocobo plushies since I am still missing the White Mage one. The one reading book is still on its way to me. Hoho.. Oops that one is from China.. I hope it does not turn out to be like these crappy hats!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mid-sem break is finally here! Fiuh!! This week had been crazy. The moment the PT CA was over, the huge stress upon me was finally gone. Yeah!! I am very thankful that I was very 'blessed' for this CA. I hardly had the time to study thanks to stupid FYP. I even ponned lessons on Mon and Thurs to see someone doing the cell thing that I would need to do next week :( But thanks to the CA, I am spared from having to cultivate the cells. On Monday, I would get the cells ready to use. Basically, I hardly had the time to prepare for the CA. My decision to just read nutrition and to skip targeted therapy paid off really well! Hallelujah!! Thank God for the inspiration of checking how to calculate CrCl as well as 5HT3 antagonists dosings. Unfortunately, I forgot to check Dexamethasone dosing! Lol.. Well, at least I would not flunk very badly and I am satisfied.

Despite the huge stress, I am amazed that I still managed to finish watching TWO J-dorama series LOL. Wow.. I am just too distracted to do anything haha.. Since I cannot go back for this mid-sem break, I will go back during the 'study week'. Haha.. I think that is the wisest thing to do if I wanna concentrate on studying.. First class aside, I would at least wanna be proud of myself as "a second class with a first class CAP but slaughtered by FYP". Lol.. A living testimony for fucking FYP. Next week I have to go back to the lab for FYP. I keep telling myself "Last 5 days! Last 5 days! Just be patient!". But deep down, I am very worried that I cause some contamination bla bla bla and my experiment fails because of that.. Haiz..

I have been a pig for the past few days. On Wednesday, I had a cup of Spinelli. On Thursday, I had another cup of Spinelli (ouch) and Apple Crumble! And today, my friends and I went to Marche!! Lol.. But this time I managed to hold my horses :p I just bought a plain rosti... AND (haha there is still an 'and') an apple pie! What an unhealthy lifestyle.. I hope the pool sessions that we had before Marche compensated the calories gained. And today was closed with a jazz concert. Not my cup of tea but it was still a good exposure

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jeez.. I think I am being too nice as a person. As a continuation of my previous post, today I got blamed for any donkey things that go wrong in my experiment. It was my fault that the Electron Microscope was under repair. I was told that I am always making excuses to slack. Wow! Thanks! I got blamed for not reminding the person who is helping about something that I suggested to do. And guess what: on Wednesday, my supervisor told me that she would settle that. That was why I did not want to disturb anybody else. This is seriously getting worse. No point for me to continue.. Why the hell must I suffer so much just to get 2nd class?! Holy crap! I got blamed for not requesting for the cells earlier. Wow thanks! I DON'T even want to do the cells.

And frankly, I hate to disturb other people. Everyone is so busy with their own things. Do you think they will help me if I approach? Phui. That's why I rely on my supervisor. If she tells whoever to help me, they cannot say no. Isn't it better that me 'disturbing' them? Oh well.. I am just being too nice.. Too bad if she thinks that I am not communicating bla bla bla...

That brings me back to my complaints previously. In short: whatever I do and whatever I don't do, I will still be blamed. Now I fervently hope that the cells won't be ready. Wahaha.. Contamination anyone?

Lastly, thanks to the PhD students who also joined the fun in suan-ning me. Sorry, I have other things to do outside the stinking lab. Considering you people have no life outside lab, you won't understand! And hell yeah I won't understand what is inside your brains either. But please, rather than just talking, DO SOMETHING MORE HELPFUL! Help me! Or at least teach me! Your words mean nothing, fucker heads! If you don't wish to help, just keep your fucking mouths shut. Even if I rot in the lab until so late everyday, I will produce nothing. I just have no idea how to do the next stuff.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Everything is my fault..

I do things carefully -> I am slow -> My fault
I do things ->  I do too much -> Expensive -> My fault
I speed up things -> I make mistake and need to repeat -> Waste time/materials -> My fault
I am given so little materials -> I have nothing much to do -> I am lazy -> My fault
I don't ask questions -> I get blamed for not asking -> My fault
I ask too many questions -> I get blamed for asking too much -> My fault
The project does not work out -> My fault

Everything is my fault!
So tell me what should I do?

Gosh.. just few more days.. bear with it and be thick-skinned..

And I am so grateful that the microscope is under repair! And the person in-charge is away too!
Now I just wish that the cells don't grow in time.
I just wanna get this over and done with..
It's my fault for being too "smart" and get to do FYP
It's my fault for choosing THAT configuration and the computer selected this project for me
Yea my fault my fault my fault...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Welcoming Rabbit Year 2011-2012

Finally.. this is the first time that I am feeling relatively stress-free.. perhaps ever since FYP began :( I just procrastinated throughout this week and managed to submit my scientific essay yesterday. Wew! I am amazed that I managed to craft close to 4500 words of bullshit haha... Now I am just waiting for another the X-th round of scoldings. I did my best so there is nothing much I can do. I actually proof-read that piece of junk THREE times!! If there are still incoherence or grave grammatical errors, that is just the real state of my English proficiency. There were trying times like when the letter "E" on my keyboard became unresponsive. I thought that was the end of my laptop (thank God I have external keyboard). But 1 hour later, it fixed itsellf! Gosh.. suddenly I saw a string of "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" on my screen. Haha.. The best part was last night, just a few hours before the end of deadline, my EndNote screwed up. It disappeared from my MS Word.. I had to do my references manually T_T Have mercy on me, God!! Haiz.. Then after I sent the file past deadline, I did not know that abstract should be included!! Tadaa... Had to do that and resubmit.. Everything finished at about 3am.. I went to bed at 4am but I got too excited to sleep haha.. It felt so good when there was no stress lol.. Surprisingly I woke up (naturally! not alarm-induced) at 830!! So I only had less than 4 hours of effective sleep last nite. Gosh!

I am not looking forward to this 新年 because fortune tellers say it's a pretty bad year for me. Sigh.. My aunt just lost her mother-in-law so there was no celebrating for her family. But even if there was any celebration, I would have to decline to chiong for my report.. I still went for the celebration with my friends.. But I came late.. Haha.. Oh well, class ended at 6 on Tuesday.. So I missed Yu Sheng and photo taking!! Noooo....! But it was a great de-stress session playing Wii.. I never expect that playing a fighting game could be so fun at Wii... Anyway there was no joystick swinging etc, it's juat playing like usual. Perhaps it was crazy because we played a stupidly genius game! 

The game is Capcom vs Tatsunoko. The game itself is hilarious because of the characters. There is this little girl fighting with bucket and mop.. So when she was matched up to fight the boss (which is the giant robot), we all laughed and screamed like mad! She was basically trampled by the robot. I guess the bulk of the fun came from the fact that everyone had no idea on how to play.. We were basically mashing up all the buttons randomly, hoping to execute some special attacks. We did not even know how to call and switch with the assist character so everyone was screaming (while randomly mashing the buttons) in the hope that the assist character would miraculously appear and replace the dying character.

I enjoyed myself because I was quite good at it. Haha.. I won the first 3 battles.. at the state of total cluelessness of the gameplay. It must be because of my Chun-Li! Yeah haha... Female characters always kick ass in fighting games.. And Wii only have directional buttons and 2 pads to hit.. Surprisingly, anything that I press would make the character perform their special moves rather than normal kick or punch. No stress to perform up up left right A or something to make Ryu's Hadouken comes out or something. So yeah it was brainless fun.

Basically that's all that I did for this week. Actually my latest ebay packets came just nice on Wednesday. Presents for myself to celebrate this Lunar New Year lol.. I shall talk about ebay stuff next time ba.. Haha.. I shopped close to $1000 already! Lol.. Now it's time to play my PSP again! I never know that Dissidia can be this fun :D

Ui (my beloved rabbit plushie ^^) wishes everyone Happy Rabbit Year :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Sigh.. I hit rock-bottom again.. I am totally pissed with my stupid project. I am in the process of writing the 'final' report now but yesterday I just got scolded by my supervisor. Grr.. I am bloody angry and pissed.. It was not my fault, please! I am so stupid that I don't know what to do and I just follow whatever I was told etc. So how on earth would I know that I was recommended the wrong thing! I don't know whether I should defend myself and backstab my 'assistant' or I should just suffer in silence. Haiz.. To be honest the first time I read his report, I nearly died when I realised that the conditions he asked me to use differed from his. Is this assistance or sabotage sia? Oh well... I cannot complain oso since I oso am blur like sotong.. Don't know to do anything.. Bottom line is I am totally fucking pissed with getting scolded for something which was not my fault. Bloody shit.

I felt damn emo now.. After reading the full report, I realised now why my supervisor called me lazy slack etc. Might as well call me stupid lor.. Haiz.. The PhD report is just too.. overwhelming.. Sigh.. So much work.. so many things done.. it's really a work of genius.. It makes me feel that everything I do is shit in comparison.. And now what I am writing is totally shit in comparison to the template.

Compare compare compare...
Why do I always get the shitty things in this life? Other people can finish lab already.. Other people get good results.. My friends have the opportunity to work in cool companies like Koei or go banking for $55k per year.. My friend is doing an internship and got the chance to be sent to Korea for 5 weeks. What is this bloody shit? I work as hard or not harder then them but I got shit shit and shit.. I got shitty help for my project.. I got shitty scolding.. My results keep getting shittier... I will earn 1/3 of what my friend can earn etc.. Bloody fucked up life..

Oh ya.. and it's New Lunar Year now.. So what?  The year is just gonna get worse for me... At least that's what the fortune tellers say.. But do what they say always happen? I think only the bad ones happen. Screw the guy who told my parents (when I was still a baby) that I would have a bright future ahead of me. Fuck.. Don't even talk about bright future.. success.. if I can even survive and don't slit my jugular veins tonight, that's already something miraculous..

Ah and where is that fucking entity called God? Perhaps He is enjoying himself seeing sinners suffer.. Seriously, what the fuck You want me to? If really wanna throw me to hell, just send me there straight away.. Why do I have to suffer now here on earth if eventually my destination is hell.. Oh wait, why the fuck did You create me in the first place if I would be disposed for eternal destruction anyway? I may sound like some anti-Christ but believe me, I believe that God exists... But He is just an asshole who refuses to help me.. First He threw me to this fucking sad life.. without telling what I am supposed to here.. gave me nothing to survive on but keeps on giving me shit.. and the best part is no matter what I do, it's a lose-lose situation for me.. I end my life now -> I straight away go to hell.. I don't die now, I end up blaspheming and will go hell oso..  And yeah now I am gonna shout at Him: FUCK YOU! Thanks for fucking my life