Monday, April 28, 2014

Health is wealth

After 1 month of using Benzyl Peroxide in the morning and Adapalene at night time and there was no significant improvement to my acne, I decided to abide to my mum's request to see a dermatologist when I was home last week. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical since I thought I already used a topical retinoid which is one of the final line of acne treatment and thus what else the dermatologist could do for me.
My prescription
So I am back with 5 different things to apply on my face: 1 facial wash, 2 creams to apply in the morning, and 2 creams to apply in the evening. On top of that, I am given 1 month of Doxycycline. According to the doctor, my acne has some inflammation which means P. acnes bacteria are also playing a role. I am reluctant to take oral antibiotic but I guess I really have no choice. I was also advised to wash my face 3 times a day as my face is super duper oily.

I have been teasing my elder sister for applying so many different creams and cosmetics and now I receive the karma. My morning and evening rituals have to accommodate this "make-up" session now. After a week, the big pimples are gone but there are still a lot of the small pimples.. Haiz.. perhaps I am getting way too impatient.

Although applying things on the face and antibiotic sounds very simple, it also comes with side effects. Firstly, I always have this funny taste in my mouth in the morning. I initially thought doxycycline causes some taste alteration although I was unsure since it is not something that I would counsel my patients on. I realise that that weird taste is because some of the cream goes to my lips and my mouth.. Yucks!! Antibiotics typically cause diarrhea but I had bad diarrhea with doxycycline. It was so bad that despite still passing motion everyday, my shit became as hard as clay. On Friday, I had to manually do rectal evacuation with my finger (yaiiks!!!). Thank goodness I did not force myself because I think I would end up tearing my asshole now. 3 days after and I can still my asshole sore bleah.. I 'overdose' myself with milk and even take probiotics over the weekend to help me shit. Sigh.. Never once in my life I thought that shit can be giving such a huge problem. Of course the most unthinkable thing is to do a rectal evacuation on my own!

Okay enough of the yucky part.. Sorry about that. Haha.. Ultimately it makes me realise that good health is the most important thing. Of course bountiful wealth on top of good health will make an awesome combination.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Toy fail

I survived slightly more than 3 months avoiding junk food + fast food + bubble teas etc for the sake of my face. I survived 40 days giving up Starbucks and Coffee Beans for Lent. But I could not even survive 3 days after returning here without buying any anime/manga related items. It is official that my addiction to these things are much worse than for food stuff that I successfully abstained from previously.

The craving was so bad that I made decisions that I later regret. Kinokuniya had another 20% sale to celebrate World Book Day and I grabbed a Prince of Tennis book. Unfortunately, it is not an anime/manga artbook as I expected. It is a book with pictures and coverage from Tenipuri Festa 2013. Basically it was a music festival with the seiyuus performing their character songs. So the book is basically full of pictures of the seiyuus performing and I totally have no idea who they are. To make matters worse, after thinking it through, I realised that I actually had researched this book previously and decided not to buy it then because of this very reason! Sian...
The only anime illustration in the whole book is only the cover.. and the poster insert which has the same picture as the cover -_-
My shameless self has visited Movie Replica shop at Plaza Singapura for countless times (basically for each time I went to Plaza Singapura) and not for once I had bought anything from the shop. Everything changed today as I spent $285 at one shot. Again, it was a brash decision as I bought toys which I consciously chose not to pre-order and hence buy this far.

First is Kuroko Tetsuya Master Stars for $35. I already own Kuroko G.E.M by Megahouse which has an awesome pose. Due to space constraint, I decide that I should just keep 1 figure per character. In fact, when I bought Kuroko and Tetsuya-ni-go plushies, the shop offered me to pre-order this Master Stars which I declined because I already had the G.E.M. Not to mention that Master Stars is a prize figure which definitely has a lousy quality. It seems that I am just a sucker for nice things. Kuroko Master Stars is HUGE at 26 cm and I fell in love when I saw him on display. The box feels heavy and sturdy too.
That jacket is the thing that finally swayed me to buy him
As expected from a prize figure, it is imperfect. The white paint is dull just like Kaito Kid's prize figurine. Both feet are not flat on the ground and I have to use the plastic support piece, which I hate, to prevent it from toppling down. So for my standard, I am disappointed. But objectively, this Kuroko is awesome for a prize figure standard.

Second is Sailor Moon Figuarts ZERO by Bandai. Although she is making a pose which is present in the anime, in the figure form, it is awkward as if she twisted her arm. Considering Bandai quality and the price, I decided to give it a miss. In the end, I bought it because as of now, I don't have any decent scale figure of Sailor Moon. It turns out not as bad as expected. The paint on Usagi herself is quite clean but the paint on her moon rod is atrocious. Yes, Bandai is still crappy for painting of small details. What irked me the most, however, is that her sailor uniform is grey instead of white! She looks very weird.. I don't know if that is meant to be the colour. While she is pretty, she is below my expectation of a $120 figurine. 
Her box is rather compact. I like because it will not take too much storage space.. Hehe..
What makes me really sad is that is having a 33% sale for her!! Gosh!! It is a repeat of my Prince of Tennis book fail! Last month, I was actually considering to get her from because of the sale but I completely forgot about it today. With the SAL shipping, I would only spend about $90 at most for her from Plamoya. Emo.. Haiz...

Lastly, Proplica of Moon Stick. Proplica is a new line of toys from Bandai and Moon Stick is the first item from this line. I find it too childish for me to have this and they have to thank their advertising team who successfully convert me to a buyer.

The pictures.. the video.. the packaging.. the price.. everything looks awesome and it does not look like a toy for kid at all. Unfortunately, Bandai fails to deliver again and I wasted my $130. The Moon Stick is too light that it really feels like a toy for kids rather than a collectible for adults. The "Silver Crystal" is too dull in real life and the plastic material is not producing any shimer like the one we see in the pictures and videos. I have not tried to light and the sounds as I have not bought the batteries. In addition, it is troublesome to change the battery as the battery cover is secured by a screw.. Bleah..

So I wasted $300 for the past 3 days and I did not enjoy any of them.. Fuck me.. Anyway, this is the first time I bought these things from a local shop and I just realised that I got the international version. I hate that they have to paste useless stickers at the back of the boxes (imported by Bandai Hong Kong, cautions in English etc) which is a sore for the eyes. Bandai opened and re-sealed the items to put their code for an online survey. I hope I can get something "special" to make my wasted money worthwhile.. Bleah..

Monday, April 21, 2014

Holiday that was not meant to be

It began with a flat tire which almost made me miss my flight.. It ended with a cancelled flight. My Valuair flight back to Singapore yesterday was cancelled. There was no sign or indication about the cancelled flight and I got a bad feeling after seeing a sea of people holding "Jetstar Refund Form". As a budget airline, there was no ground staff and only airport staff were around. They only cited "technical isues" as a reason, made no attempt to help stranded passengers other than distributing the refund forms. When being asked further about the refund process, they also did not know anything. They only know they were supposed to send the forms to Jetstar's HQ in Australia and Jetstar would be the one doing the refund. For a loyal Valuair user, I have to say that I am absolutely disgusted with this experience!

Jeez.. lucky I was in my hometown and I could arrange for transport, alternative flights, and so on. Imagine those poor tourists/travellers.. Bleah.. I had to return to Singapore no matter what as I had an appointment for my PR application this morning which I could not afford to miss. Ended up getting Airasia flight for more than $200+. No idea about my refund.. still too busy to even follow up on that.

While waiting for the flight, I went back home and when I checked my email, Jetstar actually sent an email to inform me about the cancellation at 1330. My flight was at 1500 and I was already at the airport at 1300. Obviously I had no internet connection. "Volcanic activity" was cited as an excuse. It was an excuse because there were so many other flights operating from Jakarta to Singapore. Only after seeing the travel advisory in Jetstar's website that they were referring to Merapi which was in Central Java. It seems that it affected their Perth-Jakarta flight. Kinda make sense but did not make sense for me on Jakarta-Singapore flight. Bleah.. definitely will think twice before flying with them again in the future.

Anyway my PR was approved. I got my IC number and am now only awaiting for the actual card. I felt a bit emo because of the photo. I thought that would be another photo taking for the IC but it seems that they will use the photo I gave today. I looked super duper damn fugly with all my acne.. It is just a small thing which should not upset me but it causes me unnecessary stress. Sigh.. 

I really think that the reason for my acne trouble is stress. Bleah.. I was supposed to start work today but thanks to the cancelled flight, I was not in the mood for work and I had to waste another day to take time off. Haiz..

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Movie marathon

I was lucky that I went to Mal Artha Gading at the beginning of this holiday. Usually I went there at the end of my holiday to stock up my toiletries and everytime I saw something nice at the pirated DVD store, I would not buy as there was no time for me to watch. This time I went a bit mad and I bought 8: Angels & Demons, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Rise of the Guardians, and The Adventures of Tintin.

I personally love Rise of the Guardians and thus I bought it. I liked Tintin but did not love it. I bought it for the sake of hitting the "buy 10 get 1 free" promotion. Haha.. I never knew that Angel & Demons had a movie while for Thor and The Hunger Games movies, I did not watch them as I was not sure if they were worth watching.

In the middle of watching Angel & Demons, I found the movie very familiar. That was weird because I had no memory of watching it before as I said previously, I did not even know that there was a movie on it. My sister and I guessed that we might have watched it when it was played on one of the local TV station. Darn.. should have not bought it!

Let's move on the 4 movies that I had not watched previously.
Not a fan of movie with just 1 super hero and thus I did not watch Thor as well as its sequel. My sister said Thor was boring and she fell asleep halfway so I did not really expect much. But after watching it, hey, Thor is not pretty good. The opening scenes are fabulous! I love how Asgard being portrayed here. And with Josh Wheedon here, the dialogues are funny and enjoyable. Thor's confusion on earth as well as the earthling's confusion with Thor and Asgard are believable. Unfortunately, the end is quite a disappointing. With another 4 Asgard warriors, it could have been a great all-out fight at the end but what we get is just a fight vs a giant robot.. Bleah..
Sadly, Thor: The Dark World is worse off than its predecessor. Again, the Asgard warriors are poorly utilised in what could have been a great all-out fight. It is a contradiction when it opens with an all out war between an army of Asgard vs the dark elves and it ends with just a one-on-one fight of an Asgardian (Thor) and a dark elf. And those space ships attacking Asgard? Is this Star Wars?
Not sure with all the hype for The Hunger Games as story-wise, it is very similar to Battle Royale I & II. I guess Jennifer Lawrence is the only reason for watching this eh :p Gotta admit that I was bored to death watching this. I find Battle Royale quite boring too but at least the surviving part is more exciting with all the fights and tactics among the participants than half of the Tributes immediately dead at the start of the Arena in The Hunger Games. Well, gotta give credits to the costume department for all the make-up of the Capitol's citizens and the reality show part is quite interesting to see.
I am honestly very surprised that the movie even got a sequel! My guess is write that for this, the fight will be amongst the ex-winners which I think will be double the boredom of the first movie as it will be a recycle of ideas. Hmm.. okay, the initial part on the revolution etc is quite interesting but things start to go downhill from the middle right to the end. It is really repeating the same thing: most of the people die at the start of the Arena and the boring killing parts. Despite all the talk about revolution etc, it is just "on words of the character" but on the actual screen, I see no action or no plot to show this. The ending is really a cliff hanger which makes the whole movie feels like something-in-the-middle of the whole trilogy.

I actually went to google the ending in the book. I will definitely skip both parts of the Mockingjay as the story does not end in a good light..

Hmm.. overall, I have to say that all 4 movies are wasting my precious holiday time.. The good thing is: now I know to trust my sense when it comes to movie. I hesitated about these movies and did not watch them on cinema and it turns out that I did not enjoy them...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Worst birthday

I just turned 27 years old and I just had the worst birthday every. I always fly back home to celebrate my birthday because I don't want to have my birthday ruined by stupid people I meet at work almost daily. However, everything turned out quite bad this time.

It all began with even the taxi journey to the airport. My houseowner helped me to get her relative who is a taxi driver. Due to the rain, he was stuck in traffic jam and arrived 20 minutes later than my request. It was still before 6pm so I would not be late. Guess what? In the middle of the expressway, we had a flat tire!! Gosh.. He just recently got the taxi so he did not know how to change his tire. Jeez.. There was no way for me to flag or call for taxi in the middle of the expressway.. I have to say that I was quite calm throughout considering how "relaxed" the driver was in handling the whole thing. My heart was thumping like mad and my brain wanted to explode thinking of what happened if I missed my flight. As expected, there was no way I could get a replacement taxi on the expressway and honestly I could imagine myself having the same face as those Amazing Race participants who got lost in the middle of foreign land not knowing what they should do. I was so glad when the driver called the office to get a replacement taxi which was coming in 7-9 minutes. Wew.. that was the most intense wait in my life!! I arrived at the airport 15 minutes before the check-in closed. Fiuuuh... Lessons learnt: get to airport early and the last time to check in 45 minutes before departure.

Upon arrival, I was so angry and upset to find my Indonesian SIM card unusable. Haiz.. That was very childish of me to immediately get angry at my sister. Yesterday I realised that I was the one who asked for just 1 month top-up and to get another 1 month of grace period before the card is dead. Currently it is still within the grace period and although it is not officially dead yet, it is still unusable.

The worst surprise came inside the car. My mum told me that I would have no aircon. Fuck! My sister complained that my aircon was not cold and my dad just changed it. It was not the first time that my sister did not know how to set my aircon. Previously, everytime I came home for holiday, I just changed the setting of my aircon and it would be back to normal. It is not a matter of nostalgia for an old item but my aircon is really cold and for the past 10 years, it has never broken down. The only issues it had were empty coolant and dirty filters. No leakage, no burst pipes, etc. But honestly what really upset me was the fact that nobody in the bloody house informed me about it. It was my room and I was coming back. I just expected a courtesy when something is done to my things.. or even my rooms. Looks like my family does not care about me anymore. This is no longer a home as I no longer have a say.. It just becomes a hotel.. a holiday chalet..

I am tired of being a good boy.. By nature I am an impatient and an inconsiderate now. Looks like I have been taken for granted. Why should I care about courtesy and care about other people's feelings when nobody cares about my feelings? Haiz..

But the ultimate thing that really makes me emo on my birthday is how I broke something that cost me $250 :( The perfectionist devil came to me when I opened up my display cupboard. Seeing Seifer's broken sword made my hand really itch to straighten it. As I was trying to straighten it, it made me realised how bad his broken leg is. I had always thought that the broken leg was glued on by the seller but apparently the white line has always been the CRACK line and not the glue line. To cut the thing short, my attempt to glue back that crack turned into a complete shit and I ended up damaging the whole thing to the point of no fixing. Fuck me.. Seriously.. Had to throw him in the end. Sigh..

As I was going to throw everything, something came up: the thought of possibly selling just the Odin. Not sure how much it will worth but perhaps I can still get something to earn back the $250. This is the figure that I am talking about. Looking back, it is quite ironic to see that I was so excited when I got it for the first time. Now, I felt only disdain and regret. Why the fuck was I so stupid to spend so much on an item this beat-up. Sigh..

Friday, April 11, 2014

Honesty and Integrity

Seriously, how low can people be? Yesterday I had another bad customer service experience. This woman suddenly appeared and hurled verbal abuse to my staff calling her lying and deceiving about expiry dates of the items. She claimed that staff lied to her that all the items had the same expiry dates bla bla bla.. According to my staff, she did not even check for the expiry dates! She was asked and what she did was to put on all the items for the woman to check herself.

Exchanging for the items was not an issue for me. Apparently, it was not the main issue for this woman too. Ultimately what she wanted was for me agreeing with her about my staff lying and deceiving her. I told her nicely that I was not there when the 2 of them talked earlier so I was not able to say whether she lied or not. I just told her what my staff told me. Guess what? The woman turned nasty at me. She said my liar staff even lied to me and she was so upset that I was siding with my staff! Told her again that I was not siding with anyone because I was not even there in the first place. That was the last words that I said as after that she continued with her dramatic monologue berating me. Unable to get me to agree with her story, she even called another colleague of mine trying to get her to believe her story by complaining about the staff lying to her, staff lying to me, and for me believing the lying staff.

Will she complain? Likely. Do I care? I don't really care. This time, I am confident to say that I was not in the wrong. Even if the same scenario is repeated, there is nothing that I would change. The easier way for me is to agree with the crazy woman and blame my staff. However, honesty, integrity, and pride stopped me from stooping so low! Despite her losing herself, I still did not say any apology because I was not being rude and I did not do anything wrong. Yep.. my self-worth is more important than KPIs whatsoever.

Come to think of it, even if I agreed with her, I believed the conversation would be steered towards what I would do towards the staff she called lying and deceiving. That would be worse for me. When you are fated to have a bad day, you will just have it. Haha.. I guess it will not matter as in the end she will still have something to complain. Not sure if I made it worse from 1 person to 2 now?? Haha...

Do I regret standing up for my staff? No. After that, I watched the CCTV. I am not going to care about the verbal accounts as I was not there and anybody can create their own story. But the recording showed that my staff showed all the items to the woman for her to check the expiry with her own eyes. For the 5 problematic items, my staff did not even look at the expiry dates as she was busy pasting label on the boxes. The woman actually only took a look at the box nearest to her. Now I know who is the actual liar..

Honestly it was quite embarrassing (perhaps humiliating is a more suitable word) for me but I have to admit that I lost to the woman. She clearly mastered the arts of creating a scene in public. Not only she spoke loudly, she took no "break" in between, not allowing me to even launch any return salvo.. What made me really happy was that today, another staff said good job to me for standing up for my colleague.. A~~~ah... Haha.. 

Honestly is a value that I think very important and there is no way I am going to betray that. It just irks me when someone lies.. and for this woman, not only she lied, she accused others of lying too! Not sure ultimately if she is going to write in but if she does and my boss takes it as something bad for my side, it will be my turn to "stand up" for my staff even against my boss.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Duty to the country

Indonesia will be holding its 5-yearly election on 9 April 2014. For I who stay abroad, the election was held earlier today. I did not bother registering but somehow I got the invitation letter from the embassy to participate. There were 2 choices: via post or via person at the embassy directly. As I just moved house a few weeks back and yet to update my address with the embassy, postal method was out.

With the inconvenient location of the embassy, I felt very lazy to go. After all, I did not even know who I would be voting for. But my mum advised me: it is still better to go and vote rather than be a "golput" which stands for golongan putih or the white group i.e the group who does no vote. The reason is it is better to use my voting paper to prevent anyone from using my unused voting paper for their own agenda. In the end, I did go. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people could be bothered to vote. Yes, Indonesia is in a terrible state. There is a crisis in leadership. All the candidates are obscure. Not sure who are the capable ones and even if the capable ones are elected, with the sheer size and complexity of bureaucracy, I am not sure if they are able to contribute to nation building effectively. Ultimately, we can either choose a candidate or choose a party (and let the party decide its candidate for the parliament). Since I am not going to send someone I don't even know for "easy money" as a member parliament, I just choose the party.

Despite the crowd, everything was very smooth and I did not experience any waiting. Kudos to the organiser. I spent quite a bit of time at the polling booth trying to figure out what to do. I remembered that the last time I went for an election, I had to draw a tick on the one I chose. I saw the posters on how to vote and I was a bit stunned. Did I have to draw a star or a circle?? That's weird!! Apparently I had to poke a hole on the party or the person that I choose. The star and circle that I saw actually represent the "poked" hole on the paper. Yea.. call me an idiot. Haha..

Anyway what I find really interesting today is that on the voter's database, my sex is registered as a female. I have no idea how they get my data as I never registered for election before leh!! Haha.. Unless there is really a female with an exactly same name as me. Ok it is quite funny but I also find it a bit irritating. I am still a male after all.

I checked my old blog posts for my previous election and looks like my memory fails me. 5 years ago I actually did not participate in the parliamentary election because I was lazy to go to the embassy. I did participate in the presidential election in Jakarta. I happened to be on holiday and my parents did not expect me to be there for election so actually they did not register me. I voted using my neighbour's voting right. No idea who this Roland is. Lol.. Now I am not surprised that somehow I become a female in the voter's database. Haha...

Saturday, April 5, 2014


One of the well known Bible story + Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) + Emma Watsons (Hermione) + good family working together to build an ark + tonnes of cute animals + nice CGI depicting a fight at the trailer. All the ingredients for a perfect movie seems to be there for Noah and I am very eager to watch this. Yes there are a lot of drama with it being banned by some Muslim countries but the Church does not call this blasphemous. I was a bit reluctant to watch when I saw a 2 star rating locally. However, it was at the top of box office in the USA last week and the favourable rating from Rotten Tomatoes etc are what tip the balance for me to watch it.

It turned out to be a waste of my time and my money. I just hate it when they make a movie based on something (be it the Bible, real-life story, comics, books) and end up desecrating the original material. That is exactly what happens with Noah. I think only the first 30 seconds of the movie which retells the Creation and the Fall of Man tallies with the Bible. The rest is bullshit.

Noah's Ark is built by the Watchers (which represents the Fallen Angels of God which were banished to the earth as stone golems) while Noah is busy finding wives for his sissy sons who can only think about getting wives and having children after the flood is over.Noah is also depicted as an apocalyptic asshole here. He thinks that his mission is just to save the animals. He refuses to find wives for his sons and decide that their family will be the last humans on earth. After they die, the earth will be free of Man and sins and will return to the Good state declared by God at the point of creation. This creates a family conflict with the rest of his family members who wants to procreate. Ham (played by Logan Lerman which I really loathe in this film) even let the enemy on board of the ark and killed some of the animals because of his grudge towards Noah who refused to save the girl he wants to marry. Hmm that's the reason of extinction of some species right? Lol.. And by the way, Emma Watsons play a non-existent character in the Bible -__-"

It is a complete disaster when compared to the Bible. In the Bible, Noah's sons already have wives and kids by the time they are building the Ark. They are sort of a good and happy family being hated by the rest of the people. Unless I am remembering wrongly, I thought they are building the Ark to save believers of God. They preach to the towns for repentance and because all the sinful men can't be bothered about them, God decides to send the flood and only save the animals and Noah's family.

I thought the war scene at the trailer depicts how the wicked man finally has had enough with Noah's family and want to kill them for their preaching and would like to destroy the Ark for once for all. During this attack, God save Noah by starting the flood. My imagination is too wild. Haha.. The war scene shown at the trailer lasts only 2 seconds in the movie when Methuselah (Noah's grandchildren) protects the Watchers. Other than that there is no other "superpower" shown in the movie. Oh and what actually happens in the movie is that when the rain starts to pour, the wicked man realised that the end of the world is really coming. So they are "attacking" Noah to gain entry to the Ark to save themselves from the flood.

The only thing that touches me in the movie is actually about the Fallen Angels. When they are banished to the earth, they "fall down" from the sky like shooting starts. They realise their sinfulness and always wish that they can return to the Creator. When they are destroyed, they are taken back up to the Heaven. The way I see it is that God's love is really limitless. He even takes back repentant Fallen Angels.

And a joke from my friend:
When someone asks you to watch Noah, just answer "No ah". Haha..
I agree. The movie is indeed *that* atrocious!