Saturday, April 28, 2012


Singapore is indeed a nice country.. erm to visit and to shop, not to work and live :p For the past 3 days, I am doing nothing except going to Orchard and Bugis until sian. As usual I always visit Kinokuniya for new books if there are any. Since I knew my contract was expiring, I went to M1 shop in both Paragon and Bugis with the hope of different availability. I don't know what made me go the computer at Bugis to try whether I was eligible for recontract but I am glad I did. I always thought I could only recontract in 1st May leh! Haha.. So yeah, just nice to be able to settle this when work has not started. That was why I went again on Thursday to really survey the phones I was likely to get and finally on Friday to get the phone.

I did a blood donation on Thursday. Now they have a "blood donor" card which is making my wallet even thicker. Anyway, the card is not bad. It is made of plastic, not paper, and there is my name, identification number, and blood group. There is a barcode so in the future, I believe they will just scan this card instead of requesting my identification. At the back, there is a thing to scan (I don't know what the thing is called) with mobile phone to book appointment. Kinda neat.. After the blood donation, I noticed a poster saying that there was surprise for donating during my birthday month. Hmm.. I guess the surprise is there was NO surprise after all? Haha...

I also went to Bugis to help my sister look for Rhodonite. I don't think there is any so she will have to buy online. I am also looking for a singing bowl but Bugis is kinda dodgy with a price of $48 in a few shops. I guess I will have to buy online again. I need other cleaning method because my angelite dissolves in water (!) sigh.. no wonder I feel that it is looking worse day by day. I always wash it under tap water daily. Since my mum is also tempted to buy a bowl, I think no point having 2 bowls, I will try to find other methods ba..

Today I had my dental appointment. I was told that the gap between top and bottom front teeth are 3.5mm. The normal is 1-3mm. I am not too sure whether it will make any difference. Bite-wise, I think I am ready (or I give up!) to remove the braces. But there is one change I want: to level my bottom front teeth. After all, they are visible when I smile. So yup, I hope when that is done, the gap also reduces to 3mm. I am a bit pissed with the dentist leh! He should have told me to keep wearing rubber bands if it helps to reduce the gap. It could have saved me time! Bleah.. I wonder what he puts in his notes because everytime he always asks whether I got put or not. He never asks me to put of course I won't put lar!

Then I went to Liang Court but nothing to buy despite 20% off in Kinokuniya. There was Tokoso (or Yokoso?) Japanese exhibition at the ground floor. Can play Japanese arcade for free leh!! And there was no crowd! Too bad I was alone so I was a bit paiseh to try lar. The games are: dance, mario kart, guitar mania, drum mania, and Taiko no Tatsujin (with the real Japanese drum!!).. Aaaargh... I don't think there are fighting or shooting games though.

I have not really fiddled around with my new phone. No time sia.. Today I ended up checking all my stuff to look for my rosary ring :( I checked even the unlikely places such as the box where I keep my miscellaneous items (shoes, sleeping bags, insect repellants), my gadget box, my university notes container, etc. Sigh.. I can't believe that it goes missing. I always keep my rosaries together leh.. Those from WYD together, those from my baptism together, and one last stack together with the stuff I use frequently. I can remember clearly that it is definitely with me here in Singapore. I still remember I frequently saw it terribly dusty (the small white paper bag with blue picture) in PGP. I don't know why it is not together with the rest of the items in my mini "altar" because I put the rest of the prayer cards together in 1 ziplock bag. I am very sad. I keep so many rosaries (although I only use 1 which is my very first rosary since my primary school days) but I lose the most special one. This one is from Lourdes, given my aunt a few years back. I did not know what it was initially. But I know what it is now. And I need it!! Aaargh..

Just to show what a rosary ring or a finger rosary looks like
I thought I lost the gold pin for ties (was my grandfather's actually) but I managed to find it. So there is no way that I actually THROW away the rosary ring or something :( Could it be stolen? Sigh.. God help me find it or else I take it as a sign that I need to stop being a Catholic already :(

Friday, April 27, 2012

Complain King

I am back in Singapore. But I am not gonna talk about what I have been doing. Perhaps I leave that for the next post tomorrow and hopefully it will be a good one. For today, I would like to rant about the complaints I am making in the last few days.

First is regarding King Photo. My family did a photoshoot last year. The photos are done. I chose one of my photos to be enlarged to 50x60 size. Don't worry, I won't go into how narcistic I am haha.. The thing is they edited my photo for the 50x60. This is lame because usually what being enlarged will be the exact same thing as the digital file. The problem is: they edit to make it worse. In the original photo, the floor is grey which is a nice contrast to the rather black wall, my black pants, and black decorations. The walls are full of decorations too. After editing, the floor is darkened, way too dark that the other black stuff mentioned above are no longer visible. They also zoom a bit to make my face bigger and thus cut away the nice deco on the wall. The end result is: half black photo with my face.

I did not really check the photo and send it for framing immediately. Again, who will think that they will edit somemore for the 50x60? They also did not inform me. After realising this, they admitted their mistake. They are willing to reprint the correct one but I have to return the faulty one as a proof. I told them that my frame is going to be difficult to be opened. Unless they are willing to open the frame and fix it back or they are willing to pay for any damage, I am fine. Of course they are not willing. Instead, they suggest for me to buy the faulty photo for half price. Fucker! Why don't they refund me half price then? Zz.. So anal about proof when there is an obvious proof: the digital copy from which they admitted they edited lousily.

And truthfully I don't feel comfortable giving strangers my photo which is that huge. I don't know what they will do with it you know.. Fucked up lar..

Second is M1 (again!). I called them this morning and they said Paragon had enough stock of Galaxy Note. I went there and they told me no stock. WTF! Told them I called in this morning, the woman said perhaps it was from last night's stock. Rubbish! Yesterday evening I called them and they said no stock. So when they said that the stock was at healthy level this morning, it was natural for me to think that it had been replenished rite? So I went to Bugis. No problem with recontracting.

 The issue is about my deposit. It only came to my attention that the son of a bitch who attended to me last year only updated my mobile phone status to employment pass. He left out my mobile broadband plan despite my request. Bugis has no customer service to handle this so I was sent back to Paragon. My request could not be granted because I still haven't gotten my pass (I am still holding to the letter of approval). This is utterly disgustingly ridiculous. That letter is valid even for me to work. I used that for my recontract and used that to apply for the mobile broadband last year. And now they say it is invalid for me to get my deposit back? What a bloody crap!

Another ridiculous thing is that why can't they fish out the photocopy of my old pass from last year. After all, at that time I requested for both lines to be updated and the moron did not do so. It is M1's fault. I offered to scan and email the pass when I get it, again not allowed. Ask me to come back again as if it is not wasting my time. And don't recommend me "good timing" with less crowd because there is no such condition with shorter waiting time. I don't see a point of having 22 counters when only less than half is serving customers during off peak periods. The waiting time is just as bad as having all counters open during peak periods.

So yup, that's the xxth complaint letter for M1.. I can't keep track already. And this time I am and will be nasty if they just merely say sorry and apologise. Because it all started with their fault and now making me run here run there. waste time waste energy waste money..

With these, I am just amazed with the level of customer service that my pharmacy provides (and yet people still complain nonstop). Of course there are mistakes when PTs telling people that they can collect medicines (when in our system it is duplicate Rx and patients lose their original Rx) which sometimes can't be helped. But other than that, we are extremely helpful. If purely error from our side and we need people to be back, we give them our name and they can find us immediately to get things done (and skip the queue). Sometimes we even rectify the problem by going to patients house. So seriously how the fuck these companies can operate with such lousy system and yet still get awards etc? Or perhaps I am simply too nice of a customer??

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Speed up

Thank God for the invention of automatic car. I think it is possible for everyone to drive right now. For this holiday, I only had 3 chances to practise but my confidence shot up. Unlike previously on manual car in which I had no confidence at all despite practising everyday. First session, average speed was like 30km/h. Second session, whee, I was proud with 40-50km/h. This morning, I drove to the expressway around the city. And yes Jakarta is a big city. 80-100km/h is really kinda scary. Confidence level goes up does not necessarily translate to ability though XD

I think driving kinda reflects on personality. Or is it because I am just learning? Haha.. Anyway, I don't really care if I am too slow. I am a patient driver (although I am not a patient person). Safety comes first and I don't see the point of getting so worked up because the car in front of you is a bit slow and you have to chiong to take over. Zz.. If you are in hurry then I can understand for the rush. Otherwise, really what's the point?

My cousin, who is living in the US, is coming here for holiday. I am so touched that she helped me to buy ALL the books which I requested. The total was slightly below USD45. Reasonable for 9 books. And for all, the shipping charges are almost more than the cost of the books -__-. Some books were only $0.01. Unfortunately there are 2 books which were bought wrongly: Gundam Wing Episode Zero and Ground Zero. I want the manga. But apparently there are "magazine" form. Usually 1 manga consists of 5-6 chapters. Thus, it came out as 5-6 monthly magazines first before the manga version came out. My cousin bought the first chapters of both books. Oh well.. gotta ask for help from my friends who are in US ba. Anyway not a big deal because I already have the book (bought in Singapore) previously. But since they are now extinct, and I am a big Gundam Wing fan, I am thinking of having 1 set in Singapore and 1 set at home.

Left with 3 days before my agony begins.. Sian.. There are so many things which I want to do. As I have to put in new moth balls to my comic cupboard, I have to take the comics out. I might as well take photos of all the comics which I have. Thanks to the new sofa which is nice enough to lay out the comics. And sunlight is the best kind of lighting. Still have quite a bit to go tomorrow so I hope it does not rain. I am also planning to take photos of the packaging boxes of my toys, especially the Gundam robots. After that, I still have to clean my figurines display cupboard and to read the mangas which were just out last week.

Bleah.. so many holidays and the same thing always happens. Only on the last few days that I realise that I still have SOOO many things which I should have done.. Aargh.. Gotta hurry up

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sayonara my Playstation 1

Everyone in the house, except me, is garbage collector. They like to keep things which are no longer working, useful, fit, etc. I am infamous as the "rich" guy who always throw away things. That is only PARTIALLY true. I am extremely loyal to my items provided that they are not broken yet (or can be fixed if already broken) and I am foreseeing a future in which I am making use of them.

Today is an extremely sad day for me. After so many years, I finally played my PS1 again. You do not see the a wrong number there. Yes is is a ONE, not a 2 or a 3. I am glad that it is still working. However, I am extremely sad to find that the joystick is dead. Sigh, if only I played it on previous holidays, perhaps I would still be able to get a replacement :(, just like how I managed to replace the A/V cable. 

I actually still have another joystick. I regret why I did not buy more that time. Sigh.. Where is the fun to play Chocobo Racing alone :( The other joystick was for player 2. Yes, for my sister. It is funny how the 2P controller which is hardly played got spoilt very quickly and this is like the 3rd or the 4th one. The 1P controller, ironically, has never been replaced yet. Yup, that 1P controller is mine right from the first time. It is a miracle that it survived my rough manhandling for such a long time and only died when neglected for few years.

I tried searching on local forums and shops but nil. Not even a second hand one. There are some on eBay but the price is really not worth it :( Together with the shipping, it is almost $15. Buying a second hand PS1 full set is about $25. No I am not planning to get another set just to get the controller. I'm left with 2 options: fix my spoilt one or beg and hope that some of my friends donate their still-working-but-not-played controller anymore. I *think* I saw some shops in Pontianak still selling PS1 controller. Not sure if they are really for PS1. I am banking on my cousin to help me, or perhaps my sister is she is travelling there soon.

Anyway, I think I need to learn to let go these material things. Nothing lasts forever. Sigh.. Next on the list is my cassettes :( The cassette player is like half dead. Pressing the "play" button is like a lottery. It may take numerous tries before the cassette really plays. Haiz..

The hard thing is really the sentimental value. Not that as if I still have so much time to play my PS1 anymore. But oh well, I got it in 1999 (I still kept the original receipt! Zomg!). It is more than 10 years old already. It is a teenager now. Its childhood accompanied my teenage years.. Very difficult to just say goodbye.. When it is time to throw it, I believe my mum will tease me "Imagine if all these are money, you can keep it and use it now". Personally, I prefer these to money. After all, they filled my growing years. And all that memories are priceless.

Picture time.. Pardon the lousy focus. Too lazy to settle the dumb phone.
Not bad for something which is almost 13 years old right?
Except for the A/V cable, everything is what came from 1999. Yes including that blue plastic wrapper and the PS wrapper. Gamesharks were donation from a cousin.
GOSH! I still have the receipt. Bought in 30/05/99 for Rp 1.360.000,-
Actually my dad and sister bought it for me as a surprise. And my sister chose 15 lousy free games
Memory cards #1, #2, #3, #4, that's how I remember them. The bottom ones are gifts from my cousin in US. I think the 2 without tags are still empty.
RPG Games
Strategy and Fighting games
Miscellaneous games
Game walthroughs. Not including tonnes of game magazines which I keep for the game sections.
List of games which I keep:
1) Final Fantasy Origins/Final Fantasy I & II (Final Fantasy II is untouched)
2) Final Fantasy Chronicles/Final Fantasy IV + Chrono Trigger (Chrono Trigger is untouched)
3) Final Fantasy Anthology/Final Fantasy V + VI
4) Final Fantasy VII
5) Final Fantasy VIII (my favourite game!)
6) Final Fantasy IX (froze at the end of disc 3, lucky I still could proceed to disc 4)
7) Lunar The Silver Star Story Complete Demo
8) Lunar The Silver Star Story Complete (my another favourite RPG!)
9) Lunar Eternal Blue
10) Chrono Cross (nice character graphics!)
11) Star Ocean The Second Story (still never really play as Rena)
12) Suikoden I
13) Suikoden II (I still can't complete the Muku Muku's family members)
14) Tales of Destiny II
15) Thousand Arms (one of the more unique type of RPG)
16) Breath of Fire
17) Legend of Legaia (untouched)
18) Legend of Mana (untouched)
19) Wild Arms 2 (never play finish)
20) Xenogears (untouched.. although people say it is one of the best RPGs for PS1)
21) Arc the Lad collection/Arc the Lad I, II, III (only played the first game)
22) Rhapsody (first RPG with female lead.. Haha.. Nice songs though)
23) Saiyuki: Journey to the West (untouched!)
24) Eternal Eyes (I *think* I completed it. No memory of what the story is about though)
25) Valkyrie Profile (nice artwork and music, first game with adventure component which I cleared)

26) Brigandine (fun to play magic-based kingdom represented with green colour)
27) Final Fantasy Tactics
28) Hoshigami (too tough to complete)
29) Vanguard Bandits (one of my first few games but one of the ones played last)
30) Romance of the Three Kingdom VI (this introduced me to Sam Kok)
31) Tekken I
32) Tekken II
33) Tekken III (Hwoarang kick! Yeah.. Perhaps the only arcade game which I enjoyed)
34) Mortal Kombat Trilogy
35) Mortal Kombat 4
36) Gundam Battle Assault (the mechas are so "stiff")
37) Gundam Battle Assault 2 (still "stiff")
38) Kidou Butouden W Gundam: The Battle (still "stiff" but oh well, it's my favourite Gundam Wing!)
39) Kidou Butouden G Gundam: The Battle (I conclude that all gundam fighting games are "stiff"!)
40) Samurai Deeper Kyo
41) Inu Yasha Sengoku Battle
42) X: The Chosen Fate (perhaps the only Japanese fighting game I enjoy)
43) Ergheiz
44) Digimon I (never get past first location)
45) Digimon II (much better than the first one.. Left with the bonus dungeon!)
46) Digimon Rumble Arena (trust me this is a better fighting game than Gundams)
47) Digimon Digital Card Battle (impossible to get 100% card collection sigh..)
48) Harvest Moon (a huge craze even to my non-gamer sister)
49) Vagrant Story (untouched!)
50) The Eagle Shooting Heroes (in Mandarin! and I finished it. Haha..)

51) Chocobo Dungeon 2 (tried a bit but got bored with it)
52) Chocobo Racing (family's favourite)
53) Looney Toons Racing (well, I love Bugs Bunny.. no way in comparison to Chocobo Racing)
54) Dance Dance Revolution 3rd Mix (I used this for dieting)
55) Dance Dance Revolution Disney Rave (It's A Small World~~)
56) 3Xtreme
57) Space Jam (I love Bugs Bunny. The only Basketball game I ever play)
58) Klonoa Volley Ball (the only volleyball game I ever play)
59) Cardcaptor Sakura Tetris (bonus from a game magazine)
60)  Spice World (I have no idea how to play it but it's Spice Girls so.. keep it!)

61) Suikogaiden I (I like Suikoden I and II but I wonder if I will ever play this)
62) Suikogaiden II (I like Suikoden I and II but I wonder if I will ever play this)
63) Harlem Beat: You're the One (the only Japanese simulation game I completed to get the pictures because I am a huge fan of the manga)

Huhuhu.. I am depressed.. This is very very sad T_T Sob sob...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Umizaru, Umizaru 2: Test of Trust

Umizaru (which literally means "sea monkey") is the local term to describe Japan Coast Guard (JCG) officer trainees due to their wild drinking and behaviour in town. The first movie tells the story about 14 trainees spending 50 days together for their training. The second movie (is also known as Umizaru 2: Limit of Love) is set 2 years after the first movie with Daisuke Senzaki is a novice search and rescue member of JCG.

The first movie is terribly bad. Even though the synopsis mentions 14 trainees, the focus is only 3, if not 4, of the trainees. Senzaki, who is considered as a super rookie among his superiors, is paired up with Kato, perhaps the weakest among them all. Mishima is portrayed as Senzaki's rival who aims to graduate as the top. The main question posed to the trainees is "If you are 40m deep, only with your buddy, with only 30bar of oxygen left enough for 1 person to surface, what will you do?". Senzaki, as the main character, will do anything so he and his partner can survive, while Mishima thinks that the stronger one (who is able to surface) should surface. With that, the whole plot is extremely guess-able with Senzaki inspiring Mishima by saving him.

The idea of teamwork is good but it is not good enough for a whole movie to be based on that. At the beginning, it is shown how they are united to help Kato to pass the training. In the middle, it is quite lame with Kato being dead for failing to help a drowning man. That is how Senzaki ends up being paired with Mishima for the final test. The ending is even lamer. While Senzaki stays true to his words and does not leave Mishima under the sea, he does pretty much nothing except for sharing his oxygen tank. Of course hero may not do everything to make the story nice. But if not because of the Captain sending down the other trainees to search for them (by defying HQ's order), the 2 of them are as good as dead under the sea. Basically it fails to show Senzaki's will "to do anything for him and his partner to survive". Ironically, Mishima stays true to himself that the stronger one who is able to survive should surface. He actually insisted Senzaki on leaving him (his legs are trapped under a boulder) instead of dying trying to rescue him.

The second movie is much more appealing. No surprise that it was a huge box office hits in Japan upon release. It is somehow similar with Titanic because the setting is a sinking ship. Senzaki and his partner, Yoshioka, are trapped with 2 other passengers (one man with broken leg and one pregnant lady). As his walkie talkie is spoilt, the HQ thought they lose contact with i.e no chance of survival. While some still do not want to give and continue searching, some feels that it is not wise putting more people at risk when it is still unsure whether the 4 people are still alive. The director manage to present this dillema nicely without presenting the latter group as antagonist. The dillema of giving up the 4 instead of putting many more at risk is realistic. How do we compare whose lives are more worthwhile to save?

Of course no matter what happens or how sad it becomes in the middle, I sort of know that all the 4 of them survived. The idea of standing up for your buddy is successfully portrayed here. Yoshioka is trapped. Senzaki has to continue (to escort the 2 passengers to safety) so he leaves an oxygen tank with Yoshioka. The oxygen tank is left behind by the other search and rescue team, who was told to cease operation, because the team believes that's the only thing they can do: to leave help and hope that the trapped people can reach that part. 

Later on Senzaki finds a handphone and manages to contact with the rest of the team. Upon knowing that the 4 of them are still alive, even the people who initally suggested to cease operation agrees to continue the search and rescue effort despite HQ order to continue at 0600 on the following day.

I felt there was a gap between the 2 movies. And in the ending credits, there are scenes which I never see before. Actually after the first movie, there is an 11-episode dorama. From then, it continues to the second movie. Aaah, that makes sense! I also find out that there is a third movie Umizaru 3: The Last Message released in 2010 and a fourth one is coming out this 2012. Gotta find these missing pieces. But I am disappointed with the "14 traines" tag from the first movie, which supposedly opens the whole series. So what's up with the rest of them?

I actually bought the VCD boxset few years back and have yet to watch. This time I was worried that the VCD will go spoilt so I watched lor. Overall, I think it is a nice series. But I gotta watch the dorama and the other movies first to really say it is a nice series. After all the first movie is terrible. Lol. Ok I may be biased but the reason I like the 2nd movie is also because of Sato Ryuta (who plays Yoshioka). I always like to see genki character. And I watched him as the inspiring teacher in Rookies previously.

It is interesting to know a bit more about search and rescue. If there are disasters, we often read operation is called off due to bad weather. We often think why the authority is wasting time and letting any possible survivors die. But to be fair to the other side, it is always about making a tough decision about human lives: how many to (possible) survivors and how many are put at risk to rescue the (possible) survivors.

I recommend this to all selfish people out there who thinks friends are overrated. But if you are working on a life-death situation like this, you have to depend/rely/trust your comrades. I, too, hope I can have such "good" buddies in real life. I doubt I can ever find it. People who never brush life and death can never appreciate it.

Thumbs up for the director. I am amazed that he can make 2 movies with NO antagonist to spice up the story. Different attitudes are presented without condemning this one is good and that one is bad. Even in the face of disaster, we see 2 faces: one of those struggling not to give up and of those surrendering to fate. Again, those surrendering to fate are not necessarily "bad". Just imagine if you are trapped underwater alone, would you struggle to lift that boulder or would you just breath in and "sleep" peacefully while the oxygen tank lasts?

Ooops, this is longer than I expected! Haha..

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Childhood treasures

Following up my previous post, I decided to buy the 2 mangas. After a bit of hunting, I managed to find all the published ones. I also bought Overdrive which is about biking because I have never read/bought anything related to biking sports. It is 17-volume long! Phew. I definitely will run out of space in my cupboard. As such, I rearranged the last rack in the cupboard which is supposed to be for all my various CDs/VCDs/DVDs. I removed some of the PS1 games which I have never played or I have the intention to play in the future. Not much but about 10 titles were removed. I also threw away some of the pirated movie VCDs. So actually I did not really free up a lot of spaces.

I am so lazy to try my PS to see whether it is still working. If it is, those PS games are here to stay. Otherwise, I *may* throw away somemore. It is not gonna be all though, perhaps I would keep some as memento. I have been wanting to do this since last December but laziness always gets the best of me. Sigh.. And now I am only left with like a week to go.

I found lots of treasures from my childhood days. I will try to listen the old CDs and cassettes as well as watch the old VCDs. Otherwise, what's the point of keeping them right? I even found 50+ floppy disks (yup the ancient ones). I think it contains pictures from the very very first computer in my house. Unfortunately, I don't even have a floppy disk reader now!! My hope in my sister's desktop was dashed! After the last round of servicing, the person stole the cable which connects the reader to the motherboard rendering the floppy disk reader unusable. Motherfucker sia that thief! Zz... I am considering to get a floppy disk reader (before they go extinct) but not sure whether it is gonna be worthwhile. What if all my disks are actually spoilt liao?

When I came home for holiday previously, I usually only listened to my christmas, classical, Spice Girls, and Tommy Page cassettes. This time I dug my box deeper to listen to others such as STEPS, Britney Spears, Westlife. Aaah, really tempts me to download the albums online leh!! Haha.. Kinda sick with all the Japanese songs in my laptop currently. I am also re-reading the Famous Five series (I keep them together with my cassettes). Not sure that I will be able to finish 21 books though. These are the only non-manga books which I owned when I was young. Julian, Dick, George, Anne, and Timmy. I still prefer them than Harry Potter leh! Lol.. Harry Potter is good, no doubt about that. But I still enjoy simpler, shorter, but no less exciting adventure stories from the ancient times. And I am surprised with the translation which was quite crude with words like dumb and idiots. I thought people were more conservative in the past. Lol
 The full set which I own :D
The only English version that I have. That time Gramedia sold the English version for awhile. Rp 27600,- each. That was considered a lot at that time. A comic was about Rp 3800,- so this worths 8 comics.
One thing that strikes me most is how I can somewhat remember these things from my childhood years even though I never touched/listened/read them for the past 9 years since I started my studies in Singapore. It is really amazing since I hardly can remember the things I memorise/study more recently. Perhaps if I learn pharmacy when I was 12, I will be a better pharmacist now eh? And talking about that, I just received the notification for the new revised pay. Ok, so the promise was not a lie, the increase is substantial indeed. Although it is still not according to my expectations :( After all HOs/MOs pays were at least 4k right? Oh well, talking about money, there can never be "enough" for an amount.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Yup I am a quarter of century old today. Not that I am hoping to live that long. It is my first birthday at home since 2003. Not that I do any particular special thing at home this time but it surely feels good to spend birthday at home with family.

As I step further into maturity (and because I am no longer schooling), my birthday wishes change. Nobody wishes me (not even myself) good grades. These are things of the past. Perhaps it just means that grades are never important to begin with. I don't particularly care about money or career success too. Kinda ironic because I have started working.

Things which really matter are health and happiness. As I age and as I see my parents and other relatives age, health becomes no 1 importance. I am worried with my parents who are "naughty" and do not want to have regular medical check up. My mum just came back with elevated LFTs of about 300s which came as a shock. She said a year ago it was about 100s and she has not started on any new diet or medications. My dad has been complaining of swollen gums for few weeks and still insisted on not seeing a dentist until last week. The rest of the family is exasperated to encourage him to see a dentist. My elder sister keeps eating and eating and eating without caring the fact that she is already overweight (or perhaps obese). Perhaps not now but we are all worried about her developing -touch wood- diabetes. I just knew that my grandfather (from my mother side) used to have diabetes. Bleah, it's all in the genes already :( My other sister is also another lazy bum to take care of her skin. She keeps saying want to see doctor but then what's the point if she is so lazy to apply the creams etc. The info is already out there and the medicines will most likely be creams. I, too, am worried about my eyes. Haiz.. All the things which I like always involve my eyes: reading and playing computer. Perhaps "1 Litre of Tears" which I am currently watching also makes me a bit sensitive to health issues nowadays. Sigh..

In all, I just wish for happiness and health for myself and for my family. I pray that God will keep evil away from us and place nice people near us. For me, that means nice colleagues and nice patients preferably. Okay, the latter one seems impossible =x If I can't be surrounded be nice people, then I hope for strength, patience, and everything needed to survive. Of course if money is needed for happiness then I hope it is automatically counted :p

25 year old feels like a deja vu to me. Perhaps it is because of my childhood dream to get married when I am 25. Fast forward to 2012, I am still single, available, but not desperate. Lol.. Countdown 1 year to make my childhood dream a reality eh? On the other hand, I remember someone told me that each person is fated to have 3 major hurdles/events which may caused death in their life. Of course the third one is usually the unavoidable one. What I was told is that once you pass a hurdle, you can be rest assured that you will not die until you reach the next one. I have a "feeling" that this year is my hurdle but I don't know which number. Truthfully, I am a selfish guy, I don't mind dying young and leaving a good looking corpse. But in the end, I will leave it to the Creator.. Aah, should not have to say bad things like this on a birthday eh...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


My sister introduced me first to alternative therapy using gemstones. Since she testified that she experienced improvement, I guess it will be okay for me to give it a try. Even my dad gave it a try (after much persuasion) for his gout and apparently he felt some improvements too. Although he is a bit shy and unsure to admit, I think it is working because he is still frequently wearing the bracelet.

Previously, I was only interested for those which can help my eyes because my eyes are just terrible =x That's why so far I cannot tell whether it really works or not. Recently, as my tummy is ballooning, I am getting new stones to help me lose weight :p  This time it will be quite objective to see whether these things really work.

In layman's term, the way these stones "heal" is by absorbing the negativity/negative energy and balance whatever imbalances in the body. I will not go into (as I do not understand) the vibration and resonance to effect with the chakra etc. Too cheem. The stones have to be cleansed periodically (simply by washing under running water) to wash away the absorbed negative energy. Otherwise the stones would be "blocked". Believe it or not, my very first bracelet had its beads cracking and denting. Perhaps my negative energy was simply too much or perhaps I unconsciously banging the bracelet to the wall as I slept. Lol. Anyway, working or not working, it is still better to do something, rather than nothing, for health. Of course, they should not replace medical attention when deemed necessary.

Angelite/Angel Stone
Recently bought it from a USA seller on eBay. I demanded a partial refund because some stones came chipped and cracked, plus quite a few are having brownish inclusions. Clearly not "excellent" as described. I was given 50% sale so in total I spent $8.50 and the beads were enough to make 2 bracelets. I gave 1 to my sister.

The blue stone has whitish streaks which resemble angel wings and hence explains its name. Unfortunately, the streaks were not visible in the beads. Anyway the person at the shop where I usually buy my stones identified this as Angelite so I guess I am getting the right stone. 

I want this for the purpose of weight control. According to books, this may also help with being compassionate as well as accepting things which I cannot change.

As the name suggests, it has got something to do with appetite. Yup, supposedly this helps to reduce the appetite for junk food, increase metabolism, and hence aids with weight loss. It may also help to promote more humanitarian attitude, draws off negativity, and increases motivation. I bought this only recently from a USA seller on eBay. About $20 to make 2 bracelets. Again, 1 is for my sister. Identity has been verified with the shop again. Lol.

This is quite tricky because we usually associate Aquamarine as semi precious stones for jewelleries. And that is clear blue because it has been heated to remove the yellowish tinge. This is why the price is quite expensive (even for the "stone" grade and not "jewellery" grade which I have). Firstly, I bought a bracelet together with my sister at the gemstone shop. To split the cost, I took only 5 beads and made them into a necklace. These are the ones in the centre. The bracelet was purchased from some dodgy shop at Bugis areas for only $20. To be honest, I am not sure whether they are real or fake -__- That's the problem with semi precious stones, there are plenty of fakes. For a comparison, the bracelet I shared with my sister cost us more than double of that. People say the one I bought from Bugis is of higher quality as they are clearer. But to be honest, I prefer the one my sister had. My bracelet has yellowish tinge and I just hate yellow colour. Lol. And I prefer opaque stones with darker/stonger colour.

This is my favorite as it supposedly helps with the eyes, especially with nearsightedness, and it is also an Aries stone. Hoho.

Green!! Yay!! Another stone recommended for the eyes. It also helps with compassion, calming anger and irritation. My sister bought a similar one from Bugis for half of the price of mine but her green is much much lighter. So I am fine with this being more expensive because the green colour is stronger and I love green. Hoho.. Also another Aries stone. And I hope it does help to bring in wealth as what people believe.

I bought this recently from Hong Kong seller. As expected, nothing good comes from there or China. The beads are not round/perfect sphere. But no choice, I bought this for less than $20. The gemstone shop where I usually shop is selling this for like $100+. Although I have to admit, the one from the shop is more beautiful and the silvery streaks resembling feathers are more pronounced. Again, I have reservations with this being fake but the shop verified its identity. I do hope this really helps to promote weight loss :D

Tiger's Eye
My very first stone! Yup, this is the one I earlier mentioned cracked terribly. I bought a new one as a replacement and lucky no more cracking. Haha.. The most common tiger eyes are the yellow colour. This one is quite pretty with the blue and red tiger eyes together. I bought this for eyes and it also helps with motivation, energy level, and laziness. Yup, once upon a time in university, I was damn lazy and tired, I skipped all the morning lectures and had no motivation to go for lecture.

Interestingly, this is recommended to be worn for short periods only. I don't know why. Haha..

Lastly, I would like to share something called "Brain Wave Therapy". It is a "music" with specific frequencies to affect brain activities. Apparently it is scientifically proven with gamma and beta waves as the fastest brainwave frequencies and signify highest level of focus, alpha waves which signifies brain activities upon relaxing or creative thinking, theta waves for meditation state (on the verge of sleeping) and delta waves as the slowest frequencies and typically appears when we sleep. I am not sure whether it is true because I don't learn so much about brain. It is recommended to listen 30-60mins for 4-6 weeks to see any effects. Similar like medicine eh? Haha.. But still, this should not replace medicine. 
And it is quite ironic that I am the guinea pig who is willing to try all these weight loss things for my sisters who are obviously fatter than I am!! Well, I admit it: I am vain!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Unholy Easter

Money is the root of all evil. It is a saying which I'm sure many agree with. However, from my trip back to my dad's hometown over the Easter weekend, I think it should be changed to: Money is a root of all evil. Religion will be another root. Actually this is not surprising since Jesus has warned it 2000+ years ago about this that He will be the cause of fathers to go against the sons, mothers to go against the daughters, i.e fight in the family. Despite the close familial bonds, the topics of money and religion will still be able to cause discord.

I went to Pontianak on the Good Friday. And yes, it was a day for Catholics to fast! And in my attempt to be a good Catholic, I fasted. Not going church while I am in Indonesia is already bad enough so I should not forgo the fasting. So for people who are not fasting, then you bloody hell respect me for fasting! I did not even force you to eat vegetarians or what. I said "Go ahead and order whatever meat you want. I am fine but do not ask me to eat". It is damn irritating for my sister (who does not really practice any religion) to keep asking how long was I supposed to fast or an aunt (who is a Buddhist) to keep saying what's the point of doing this kind of thing only for a day and then behaving evil for the rest of the year. Hello.. I am sure even your religion has some restrictions and observations that you need to do and follow. Please respect that, especially when you know that another aunt and I are Catholics. It is irritating to keep hearing that what Buddha teaches you. I respect your faith and I respect if you keep it to yourself. Anyway I managed not to eat meat. Still I thought I compromised a bit with all the seafood etc. Bleah.. If I have the choice, I usually avoid any kind of meat for fasting. Well, that's my respect for the rest of you gluttons who cannot keep your stomach a bit empty just for a day.

My dad often chides me for being a selfish brat. Fine! I know being selfish is bad. But you know what is worse: selfishly forcing other people to listen to you and do what you say! Jeez.. I know it is a part of my dad's upbringing. His whole family is like that and this behaviour is always been the source of conflicts between my grandmother and all of her kids. Too bad I am one generation younger so I should put a "respectful" face in front of my uncle and aunties. To be honest, I feel like screaming at them to shut up. It is fine being selfish and stubborn as long as it is only for YOURSELF! It is human nature wanting to be free, not being control. When someone selfish and stubborn try to control others who are also selfish and stubborn, arguments will ensue. And that is what always happens. This will just be another reason why I hate going back to Pontianak.

Anyway I didn't do much there except for eating. For someone who is already fat, I don't enjoy food that much. And certainly, I am not the one who will travel miles and queue hours for "good" food. So that is not a good reason to make me happy there. One rare thing that I did over there was karaoke-ing o_0 Haha.. I suck in singing and that's it. But I guess it was not bad that I actually sang 3 songs (Stop - Spice Girls, Tong Hua - Guang Liang, and My Love - West Love). Paiseh paiseh..

So yup, that summarises my sad Easter weekend. Nothing holy at all at the supposedly holiest time of the year for us Catholics.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ungrateful, not unlucky

Another week is gonna be over and 2 weeks remaining of my holidays =x Sad.. emo.. but life must go on.. I just spoke to an aunt and she thinks my life has been so smooth sailing. Thank God for that. All her 3 daughters were sent overseas and none of them is as blessed as I am. Of course she only knew about my pay. I was quite surprised to know that one of her daughter, who is a lawyer in Australia, is earning less than me. Of course it is a human nature to simply compare and say that the grass is greener at the other side. But to be brutally honest, I agree that I have been very blessed and very lucky, to realise that this time, my side is greener.

I often (or is it always?) complain about being emo, sian, fuck my life, etc. Nothing is perfect, including life. And I always want a perfect life: good money, nobody scold me in work place, good work life balance, stay with my family, own a house, own a car, etc. That's the root of my ungratefulness :( It's really a problem of priority. If family and house are top priorities for me, I guess I have to be prepared to forgo the money and safety that Singapore offers me. Of which, I am unwilling to give up any.

The event that happened in Indonesia last year only magnifies how lucky I am to be in Singapore. While Singapore itself is not perfect (MRT breakdowns, social unhappiness with foreigners, etc), none of it compares with all the anarchism and crazy demonstration seen last week here. I was worried that it would be a repeat of 1998 riot which, thank God, did not happen. Fiuuuh... But again, it may be a matter of perspective. When I heard the news that the demonstrators managed to broke down the gates of parliament building, I thought it was crazy. When I told this to my sister, her reply was "Oh nothing new. The parliament gates have been breached many many times". o_0

Anyway, it was quite interesting to see the parliament session regarding the fuel hike. It was a big joke! It is unbelievable that the people there can act so.. animalistic. With the session being telecasted live in the television, it just highlights how pathetic our members of parliament are. It is a shame! Really! It is quite similar with the demonstrators, especially those from universities, who are supposed to be better educated but shows none of their educatedness. I don't read economics or politics so I am not the best person to give opinion about this. But nobody likes price increase. Rampant corruption only aggravates matters since any kind of savings are deemed to be potentially corrupted. But I think the citizens should also think about the nation. What if, because of no increase, the country collapses due to all the foreign debts? I shall leave my comments there since I don't really work of live here to understand the implications of all these things on normal daily livings.

I guess I gotta remember these things and repeat them to myself so that I don't grumble for the good life that I have.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I bought these for more than 1 month ago. Prices were okay except for shipping which, as usual, inflated the total costs. To be honest, it is quite difficult to find kimono for male and hence the prices tend to be more expensive than the female ones. And if you ask me why I am buying these, they are for my pajamas o_0 Haha.. Yup I don't have any pajamas in Singapore and the air con in my room is too powerful :p

This is the first piece that I bought. I thought it was the Kimono but I was wrong. Juban is more like a kimono wore underneath a kimono. Something like an underwear although it is not exactly an underwear. Lol.. For a really complete kimono set, there are still some other pieces (can't remember what they are called) which are really the underwear when wearing kimono. There are stains at the collar =x Sigh.. I am quite disappointed with this one. Blame it on inexperience simply because this is the first one. After buying this one, I found other jubans which have nicer design than this :( Oh well, to be honest, this is NOT that bad. Just the stains which irritate me :( Well, buying old stuff so I can't help it I guess.. Truthfully, it is a disappointed when COMPARED against other things. Otherwise, I find it quite nice and comfortable to wear. Lol.

Okays, so this is the real Kimono. This is made of wool so it is quite heavy and thick. For my purpose of wearing, it is good because it keeps me warm. Haha.. It looks plain because this is what male kimonos are like. The jubans are the more colourful ones (which I thought kinda defeat the purpose since they are wear inside).

Haori is like a jacket worn on top of the Kimono. Yup, that's 3 layers already for me. Haha.. Again it is plain. And it is weird that the design is, again, INSIDE. Nobody can se the design. Zz.. I really don't understand Japanese..

Kaku Obi
At first, I was quite shocked to find how long the juban and the kimono are. After seeing how people wear kimono, I find out that I am missing another piece of cloth which functions as a belt. Basically after putting the juban and kimono, they are supposed to be folded until the suitable height, then tie with the belt thingy. I only manage to find kaku obi to tie the outer kimono. I can't really find the cloth to tie the inner juban. Bleah..

Anyway so far, I have yet to learn how to tie the Obi properly. A bit lazy to learn but I will! Yeah...