Sunday, May 25, 2014


Last last Saturday (yes I am that late) was the very first time in my life that I play domino. Not that I had a sad childhood as I am perfectly happy with my soft toys even up to now. Haha.. I am usually already very impressed watching videos of awesome domino designs and after experiencing the process of building something out of domino pieces, it makes me appreciate those videos more.

It may seem "simple" at first when you realise that there are "theories" to make awesome patterns like tumbling pyramids or walls or seemingly random patterns which actually form an image after toppling. However, the actual process takes a lot of thinking (which colors go where) and most importantly, a lot of PATIENCE, something that I am clearly lacking of. It is worse when I had no practice whatsoever prior to building. I thought that I got a simple part to build the letters. It turned out to be the most difficult one. It is not easy to "join" the letters: to make sure each letters are distinct enough to be recognised and yet the same time they have to be linked together to make sure everything topples smoothly. It was very frustrating because at one side, you want everything to be connected to topple and yet when you are successful in doing so, if an "accident" happens, everything will topple and you need to build again from scratch. Considering my inexperience, I consider myself to be a quick and good learner but I just can't overcome my impatient and easily frustrated nature. Haha..

In case you are wondering why suddenly I was playing domino, it was actually for my company's teambuilding event. This year I was quite lucky to win $30 voucher. Yay!! Initially I was quite sad that I won the 172th lucky draw out of 178 prizes. I was expecting to have some near-expiring product samples. I rather got a chance to win one of the top 10 prizes or nothing at all than getting a lousy prize and 0 chance of getting one of the top 10. Things went rather unexpected as my colleague who got the 60-something-th prize actually got a product hamper and that sucked. Fiuh.. so glad to get $30 voucher. Lol.. thank God for the good luck this time.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

X-men: Days of Future Past

Warning... Spoilers ahead.. You have been warned..

I watched X-men Days of Future Past yesterday during the sneak preview. My friend was very eager so when he bought the ticket and offered me one, I just said yes. We watched at Lido and I was surprised that it was sold out! The last time I watched a sold out show at Lido was for Harry Potter.

I have not read the comics prior to this as I just hate the style of the drawings in the 80s and I am never a fan of a time travel stories. But who can resist all the hype and promo surrounding this movie, especially with its larger than life casts.

I am very disappointed with the movie so this shall set a "negative" tone in what I write subsequently. To summarise, the movie contains all the elements that I hate in a book/movie: time travel, alternate realities,  and finally pointless death and resurrection. The movie itself is lacking of actions and has too much of talking. I am watching a superhero movie and thus I am expecting a lot of cool action scenes. The action scenes are rather repetitive and full of CG. Kinda expected since the enemy are sentinels this time.

In the present day, there are 2 fights. Storm and Magneto only fight at the second or the "climax" fight and they showed their awesome superpowers which made the rest looked like crap. And considering how crazy Storm and Magneto's superpowers are, I sort of understand why Jean Grey is omitted. With her Phoenix power, she could wipe out the whole Sentinel army and the dystopian future won't even take place. Haha.. No idea why they choose Bishop when his power is rather boring (and he isn't really a good guy in the recent comics). Warpath, Blink, Sunspot, Colossus, and Iceman participated in both fights and it is boring to watch them on the second fight as it is just a "repeat" of the first fight. No matter how their deaths are dramatised, it failed to invoke any emotion since you know everything will just "reset" again once Wolverine is successful in his journey to the past. Basically the mutants involved in these fights are just cannon fodder as the main story happens in the past.

I have to admit the initial journey in the past was hilarious. I really did not expect that even Wolverine can be involved in many funny scenes. Quicksilver is rather redundant but it is obvious that he is in here for the comedy factor and it works. Unfortunately, despite all the hoo-hah in the past, everything becomes lame when the mission turns into "persuading Mystique to turn back into a good girl". Everybody, including Wolverine, sort of loses their personality except for Magneto who is a bad as through and through. Even in the past, his personality to show mutant superiority never changes. In the end, Magneto wanted to kill the president and the cabinet and Mystique saved them all by shooting Magneto. I find it weird that the conclusion is "a mutant saved the president and the cabinet" and hence the Sentinel project was abolished -__- What on earth happened to the fact that a mutant tried to kill them in the first place?

The best part of the movie is only the ending which show the new "present" without Sentinel. Everyone is basically alive in the X-mansion. And surprise surprise, even Jean Grey and Cyclops are back!! Oh gosh.. Famke Jansen is hot in her crimson dress and hair. Rogue is shown with Bobby too. Yep, sadly just a cameo for these 3 so I guess the whole movie is just to "reset" the whole X-men universe which was screwed upside down by the X-men: The Last Stand movie. Sadly, no mention of Magneto and Mystique in this new "present".

There are some big questions marks in this movie considering the previous movies. Firstly, why is Professor X alive but no Cyclops and Jean Grey when all of them died in The Last Stand? Secondly, is Logan of the same age with Professor X and Magneto? I know he does not age but it is kinda weird to see Logan as "old" as Professor X and Magneto since his behaviour/personality is not like someone who has lived through 70-80 years. Thirdly, Pietro is supposedly Magneto's son so it is kinda weird to see him as a teenager/young adult in the 70s when Magneto himself is still very young.

People hate The Last Stand but ironically I find Days of Future Past worse than it. The only thing I hate about The Last Stand is Cyclops and Professor X being killed by Jean Grey which is sort of out of character for Jean. However, the action scenes and the mutant-vs-mutant fights are great to watch. There is great balance between fist fight and CG for the mutant powers. Days of Future Past is damn boring in comparison.

And ironically, after watching this, I have to say that The Amazing Spiderman is better. At least it does not make me feel bored throughout the movie.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Amazing Spiderman 2 at Gold Class

I won a pair of Golden Village Gold Class tickets during last year Great Singapore Sale and they are expiring in August 2014. I was planning to use it for Spiderman 2 and X-men: Days of Future Past and when Spiderman 2 was out earlier this month, I was disappointed to see "no free passes" sign. I thought it would be rubbish if I could only use the free tickets a few weeks later when the movie is no longer "hot". I was expecting another week for the sign to disappear so I was quite shocked when I checked this morning that that sign was gone. What was more shocking was that I only had today or tomorrow to catch 5:50pm show. Wew..

I claimed 1 hour time off from work just to watch movie. Yeah.. call me crazy.. Haha.. Guess what, when I checked the free ticket one more time, the back of the ticket stated that the ticket is valid even for "no free passes" movies! Holy crap!! I had been emo-ing for 2+ weeks for nothing..
Ticket stub for today and the other free ticket
Before I write about the movie, let me share the movie experience first. I felt pretty excited and I looked forward to watch in an elite environment :p My biggest fear was that I really enjoyed the experience that it made me no longer want to watch in normal cinema halls. Well, my biggest fear did not come true. In fact, I thought the experience was kinda underwhelming.

The customer service, as expected, was premium. It was my first time and the lady at the front desk guided me through things so that I felt less lost. I think it was kinda obvious that it was my first time. While waiting at the Gold Class lounge, she passed me the menu and I could actually choose to have the food at the lounge before the show or at the cinema hall during the show. It was quite difficult to choose without having pictures in the menu so I followed her recommendation of Beef Burger which "is pretty good and filling" according to her. I also got a brownie+ice cream for dessert and I was given a choice of when to be served with them during the show. They also provide ice water (for free) if you want to save money on the drinks.

I told her I wanted to pay for the food first but I guess she forgot about it. At about 5:45pm, another person informed me that the cinema hall was ready. There are only 32 seats in the cinema hall and I think there were only about 10 of us watching. Hehe.. I guess that is the good thing about watching a movie a few weeks after its release. 

Here are the reasons for my underwhelming experience. I find the couch very uncomfortable. Perhaps it is due to my small size that my leg is off the ground when I lean back. I saw no panel to control the tilting of the couch too! Bleah.. There was a blanket provided which was kinda pointless because I found the cinema hall was kinda warm! I did not mention but the lounge was also not cold. This is a major turn off for me as cinema hall should be "freezing" cold to make me feel shiok.. The table is also tiny. My main+dessert+water could barely fit so I can't imagine 2 people sharing that tiny table. The position of the table and the couch makes it very unconducive to eat and watch at the same time.

If great meal is a pulling factor for this elite movie watching experience, then at least it is a hit on this aspect. The $16 Beef Burger and $12 brownie+ice cream are reasonably priced and the taste can compete with other western restaurants/cafes. I am very satisfied with the food. The beef patty was thick but despite that, the whole burger was relatively easy to cut and not so "messy" to eat. The girl was right to say that it was very filling. Haha.. At a glance, the portion looks small but I am still full now.

Overall, Gold Class is not something that I would recommend or I will be interested in the near future. Well I have to return another time for the other ticket so let's see if my experience will be different then.

Let's move on to the movie itself.
Never seen this poster but I got this from Sony Pictures Singapore so that makes this official :)
It is kinda funny to think and to reason why I want to watch this. I am not a fan of Spiderman and in fact, I did not watch all 3 Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies. Cast-wise, I don't think Andrew Garfield is handsome and I hated Emma Stone in the first movie but their on-screen chemistry is just beautiful. I guess that is what happens when you have a real-life couple on-screen. My friend is not too pleased with the amount of romance here but I am fine since they look lovely together. Andrew Garfield is still a great Spiderman with his joker side and he cries convincingly on screen. Surprisingly, I sort of becoming to like Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. I guess it is a rarity to see a girl who can stand up for herself and to fight along side her superhero boyfriend, and not just becoming a damsel in distress. Her death is kinda expected so it takes away any surprise or sad factor.

Harry Osborn is played by Dane DeHaan. I don't know this name before but his face looks somewhat similar. He is actually the main guy playing Chronicles. He looks bad-ass as Green Goblin but his hair makes him look lame as normal Harry. Not a fan of the portrayal of Harry here as he already looks evil even before becoming a Green Goblin.

If you honestly ask me, I think the director is good in masquerading the lack or the weak plot with all the kaboom, explosions, adrenaline-filled action scenes. However, these action scenes are exactly the things that make the movie very enjoyable to watch despite its 142-minute run. The romance scenes are not really going anywhere so it is really a spam of Andrew-Emma kisses just like the countless times Andrew is shirtless while taking off his Spidey suit. The are a lot of easter eggs (hints of other things present in Spiderman universe which is not directly shown in the movie) that Spiderman fans will enjoy.

It will definitely be interesting to see how the 3rd movie will be, especially with people saying to re-cast Emma Stone as Mary Jane.

Friday, May 16, 2014

King & Queen & Joker (& 2 maids)

It is actually quite rare for me to be this updated with J-Pop as I am simply losing touch with them. Out of boredom, today I just looked at Sexy Zone and Hey! Say! JUMP fan pages on facebook and I found out that Sexy Zone just released their 6th single two days ago. From the title "King & Queen & Joker", it tells me two things: it is going to be something cutesy (typical Sexy Zone stuff) which I will like and Marius + Sou will be neglected again as per usual. 

I am right for the 2nd guess and am wrong for the first one. The song is very "bland". I have downloaded the PV and played it for the 5th time as I am typing this. The tune is not catchy enough for me to remember it. The tune is just something typical of any other J-Pop boybands and nothing really stands out. Kind of sad as I am something something cutesy from them. The PV also falls on the boring part as they spend more time with the dancing instead of making something interesting and playful with their King & Queen & Joker theme. 

Japanese idols are often regarded as "dumb" idols in the sense that they are not very talented and just use their star power/charm/whatever you want to call it to succeed in anything they do. Sexy Zone can be regarded as so. Their individual voice is not good or unique enough and usually for a group composed as such, it is better when they sing together instead of solo. Kinda reminds me of AKB48 too haha.. Unfortunately, there are too many solo parts of Kento, Shori, and Fuma for this song. Thus overall, the song is rather poor.. Bleah..

After watching the PV, I really think that the song should have been called King & Queen & Joker & 2 Maids (or butlers)

No offense for Sexy Zone fans. I actually kinda like them at the beginning. And as I mentioned repeatedly, I am a fan of good songs rather than a fan of certain groups. So even if I can like a band or a singer, if their songs suck, I will say so. But who knows if I will change my mind?? Haha.. Previously I also did not have a very good initial impression on their Dubai single but nowadays I can spam the replay button listening to it. Lol..
Can't get high quality pictures of the single jackets.. Well it is only 2 days old ^^

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

When hobby turns into obsession

A hobby should be something enjoyable and makes me happy. I no longer derive such pleasure from my figure collection. Space (or the lack of it) is the number 1 enemy as it forces me to judiciously decide what to buy or risk myself becoming a hoarder instead of a collector. Imperfection (paint defects, broken pieces, etc) is enemy number 2.

So where is money? Honestly, I do not really 'bother' about money when it comes to buying something I really want. After all, I am buying happiness. Having said that, all humans are created with greed. And ironically, the reason for my current bout of emo-ness is money-related. I am so far very pleased with Toy Coin ( since it helps me to avoid pre-order war in Japanese online shops when it comes to super popular figures like Kuroko no Basuke line from Megahouse.
If not because of Toy Coin, I will not be able to secure Kuroko and Kagami. That is why I was very excited for Kise. Sadly, the price is $115! That is shocking as Kagami is only $99 and both figures have the same Japanese retail price of 8600 yen :( A Singaporean user in recommended me ToysNToys ( which is selling Kise for only $93!!
I realised that the pre-order prices from here can be 20-25% cheaper than prices from other local shops (Toy Coin, Simply Toys, Figmation, etc). For example, Gray Fullbuster by GSC is about $120 at Toy Coin and Figmation but it is only $99 at Toys N Toys. Static Arts Squall is selling for $28 at Toys N Toys as opposed to $42 at Toy Coin (sadly I pre-ordered from them) and $34.40 at Simply Toys (even after the member + pre-order discount). Immediately I counted on how much money I have "lost" with my outstanding POs with these other shops T_T I wish I knew this shop before. Haiz...

Next headache is for figures from Free! Japanese retail price is 7800 yen and Toy Coin is selling them for $130 each, even more than Kise which cost 8600 yen. I really have no idea how their supplier gives prices sia.. Anyway since Free! is so popular, none of the online shops is giving any discount. I am still waiting for Hobby Stock (the distributor) to announce what the exclusive gift that they offer if I buy directly from them. No idea when they are going to announce it.
Please make the other 3 boys to make a complete set
My Final Fantasy Chrome collection is still about halfway to complete so I still have to check Yahoo! Auction Japan frequently. I am emo to find Rinoa and Boko which were not sold even at 6000 yen. Jeez.. I bought them for 8000+ yen each! Damn it! And today I missed Tifa and Sephiroth when the auction ended at about 830pm and I thought that the auction would end somewhere near 11pm instead. Damnit damnit!

Now Rinoa and Boko are relisted at 5000 yen. I am really tempted to get but I guess I have to restrain myself. I should only buy 2 of the same figures only if the duplicate has small number. I managed to get this Locke No 0001 after it exchanged hands so many times in Yahoo! Auction Japan. I got him for 24010 yen which I thought was not bad as compared to 50300 yen when it was first sold and 37833 yen when it was sold for the second time. Looks like the buyer failed to make a profit from re-selling eh? Haha..

Anyway I just got Butz No 0004 for 4700 yen only!! Haha.. FF V is never famous and it sort of helped that this piece has its metal plate detached. Well, I can easily solve it with a super glue and tadaa...
Currently Garnet and Sephiroth are being auctioned and I am still thinking on whether to get them or not T_T God help me.. This has really turned into a massive obsession for me!

As the lift upgrading work no longer involves drilling which causes vibration to my room, I decided to slowly display my resin statues again. I began with Chun Li and it made me very emo to notice a chipping on her shoes!! Haiz.. My first thought was that it was damaged when I moved house. But when I checked the pictures taken previously, the chipping was there right from the start T_T If I knew about it earlier, I could have asked for larger partial refund... I was too engrossed with the paint that got stuck to the styrofoam.. Emo emo emo.. Huhuhu...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Happy birthday, ui!

Happy Vesak Day! It is past 6 pm now and there will no more public holiday for the coming 2 months T_T and for sure I made the best use of it by sleeping at 5am this morning. Lol.. I watched the latest episode of The Amazing Race and I can't wait for the finale next week. Still feeling irritated that Brenchel did not get eliminated but I guess that served the Afghanimals right for not U-turning them last week! There was a footage from previous season when Jamal had to sing in German as one challenge. I was looking for that episode since I thought it would be quite interesting to see these people butcher the song. Haha.. I had to torrent it as it is no longer available on youtube.
Just a sneak peek. Anyway the song is Die Forelle composed by Schubert

Watching The Amazing Race always makes me wanna go travelling.. The pit stop for the above episode was The Gloriette of Schonbrunn Palace. Aaah.. it always feels good to see the places that you have visited before in TV. Haha.. It makes you appreciate the show more. I can imagine how tiring it will be to run from the maze to the pitstop.. Luckily for the teams, the pitstop was not exactly at the top of the Gloriette.

The heat is killing me even right here. Can't imagine to have another trip to Europe during summer this year.. I wish to travel somewhere nearer.. preferably with my family. I am always envious when I see other families can go for a family trip. My family members are a bunch of selfish people :( Can't we just have a relaxing holiday without the need to "chiong" visiting so many places in a short time (my dad) or the need of constantly finding places to shop (my mom and my younger sister) or to be more tolerant and less sulky (my elder sister). What a dysfunctional family.. My parents are getting older and with each year passing, it is another chance of a family trip lost :(

Anyway public holiday is a bad time to go out. Since last evening, I had this craving for eating pasta. I was planning to eat at Ambush at Junction 8 but it was crowded even at 330pm. So was the food court, as well as Popeye's at ION, and I ended up at Ambush at Takashimaya again. After that I wanted to use my free drinks voucher at Costa coffee and surprisingly both the Heeren and Plaza Singapura branches were full. Bleah.. They are never these crowded on the weekdays evenings wor.. I wanted to use the voucher and had a cake to celebrate ui's 21st birthday. Who the heck is this ui? Ui is actually my rabbit plushie back in Jakarta. She (yes it is a she) has a special place in my family for the past 21 years. Very sad to see her getting worse with age and still single.. When we were kids, we saw her soulmate (basically same plushie wearing blue so we take it as the male version) but my parents refused to buy him for us :( It was only Rp 13000. If I see it again now, even if it is for Rp 130000, I will still buy it lor :( Parents don't be ridiculous. Who says boys cannot play with soft toys? Be careful that because you don't fulfill their childhood desire to play and they will still keep looking for soft toys right into their adulthood wor...
Ui in 2008
Ui in 2011
The lousy quality for the 2011 picture is not because of my handphone camera. The picture was taken when the sky was dark and going to rain. Haha.. Looks like she always takes a photo every 3 years. Time to take one for 2014. Haha.. Even with Hamtaro, Nodame's mongoose, Kurokocchi, Tetsuya ni-gou, Squirrel, Polar Bear, Aladdin, Jasmine, and Peter Pan with me here in Singapore, my love is still the biggest for you, my ui!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

More Gundam Wing goodies ^o^

Seriously.. I am more excited and eager to take photos and write a post on retro merchandises as compared to the most recent merchandises or figurines. I wonder why.. Lol.. I guess I am staying true to where I began which is just to share pictures and information of rare/retro/ancient merchandises which are not readily available even in google.

This time it will be the following 3 great items:
Gundam Wing Digital Memorials, Digital Memorials II, and Portrait Collection
Gundam Wing Digital Memorials and Digital Memorials II are CD-ROMs containing resources such as character data, illustrations, BGM, voice data, and omake (containing wallpapers, screensavers, icons, etc). The first Digital Memorials was released in 1997 and thus contains the things from the anime while Digital Memorials II was released in 1998 after the Endless Waltz. The original retail price for each is 5800 Yen and inclusive of shipping and proxy fees I got them for $38.86 and $40.90 respectively. I am glad that everything is still in top condition, except for a few bumps for the box of the Digital Memorials. Even the postcard inserts for lucky draw or something are still inside.
The front and the back
 The other illustration inserts.. I am quite impressed that the text is in English!
Full content of Gundam Wing Digital Memorials
The BGM section is cute as as the music is playing, the characters (in chibi form) are animated above a podium. Weirdly, Heero is animated as a conductor while the other pilots and Relena are animated wearing their pajamas. The cells and illustrations contain many original artwork from the artbooks and they are available in .bmp format that I can copy to my computer. That is very cool!
 The front and the back
 The other illustration inserts
Full content of Gundam Wing Digital Memorials II
The animation for BGM section is even cuter here with the characters in chibi forms being animated against a music box. Sadly the cells only contain screenshot from the Endless Waltz OVA/movie instead of new artwork. And with the latest technology at that time, the cells and illustrations are no longer available in .bmp. They are put together as .cxt format and thus I am unable to get the illustrations to keep in my desktop T_T Darn it!

However, one surprise in the omake section is dentaku or calculator. Basically there are 6 calculators featuring the 5 pilots and Milliardo Peacecraft. Other than having their picture as the background of the calculators, the calculators feature their voices with each button being pressed. Before getting this, I have Heero and Duo's from a website many years back. I thought someone made an effort to make these on their own. Now I know that the source and I am happy to see that there are more characters. I think that website is a 2x1 (Gundam Wing yaoi fans will know what it means) so no wonder it only features Heero and Duo's calculators. Don't ask my why I venture into a yaoi webpages many years ago, k? Lol.. 
Gundam Wing Portrait Collection
I am a sucker for artbook. Even if this is not an artbook, since it contains artwork, I am also eager to get this. The first time I saw this was on eBay for USD 60 not including shipping. So glad that I waited patiently and got this from Yahoo! Auction Japan for $56.52 including proxy fees and shipping. The item basically is like a folder with the 10 sheets of artwork inside. I don't measure the exact size of the sheets but they are at least larger than A4. I have seen the coloured artwork before but not for those sketches. I am so glad to see them.. Hehe.. Of course, the photos of individual pilots below.
Chang Wufei
Quatre Raberba Winner
Trowa Barton
Duo Maxwell
Last but my favourite pilot: Heero Yuy :)
Just to show the caption above the coloured sheets
Initially I thought these are expensive things but now I am a very happy owner of these things. Happiness is expensive indeed. Haha..

Oh by the way, I think there is something wrong with the character data in both Digital Memorials. In Digital Memorials II character data, the ages for the boys are 2 years old than in Digital Memorials (as expected as Endless Waltz takes place in later year after the end of anime). However, their heights and weights are exactly identical. Come on! 15-17 years are puberty times for boys so definitely they will grow taller and heavier right? Perhaps the mangaka forgot about this fact. Lol..

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sucker's luck

G.E.M Magi Aladdin
I had been planning to get this cute boy since last December. I did not expect that the anime/manga is that popular and I was waiting for it to be put on sale. Months came and went before it finally went sold out o_0 I could have gotten it for $98 from ToyCoin but in the end, I had no choice but to fork out $120 from La Tendo. Overpriced, I know, but I have no other choice since after checking so many shops, there is no other shop selling this.

Coincidentally, the price is exactly the minimum amount required for a lucky draw and lucky dip chance at Funan IT mall to celebrate X-men Days of Future Past. The top prize for the lucky draw is Magneto's helmet worth $1000!! Okay let's not dream about it and talk about the lucky dip instead. I won a handphone case for.. iPhone 5! Yes.. well done.. It is essentially useless for me :( Wait.. don't say I am ungrateful as I at least already won something. It was a sure win lucky dip so definitely I will at least get something. I was aiming for the t-shirt, the cap, the sunglass, or the keychain.. At least these things are wear-able for me. I could have gotten a note book or a file, which is considered lousier than an iPhone case, which at least will be useful. I am aware that I always have a sucker's luck for this sort of lucky draws but I can't help but feel disappointed :(

The case itself is also ugly looking.. Aiya I don't know la.. I am putting it up on eBay for $20.. I hope there is some hardcore X-men fan that wants to get it before the movie is out lor.. If I can sell it for $20, at least it can help me to cover the Aladdin figurine.
Nendoroid 351 Kuze Hibiki
Moving on to the next cute boy: Hibiki Kuze Nendoroid. I have no idea who the heck he is.. Nor have I heard the series he comes from. I am not a fan of Nendoroid too. So why the heck did I buy him? Lol.. The tiger. Lol. I like pet! I thought he would be a great companion for Nendoroid 400 Sakura Kinomoto, which I am contemplating to get, that comes with Kero and for Nendoroid  418 Aoba, which I already pre-ordered, that will come with a dog. Again, I actually have no idea who this Aoba is. Haha.. Ironically, I am reluctant to get Sakura and Kero although I know them from watching the anime and reading the manga. I think Nendoroid is just for fun that I don't mind getting those characters which I don't know just because they are looking cute. For characters that I know and like like Sakura, I prefer to have a nice scaled figurine instead of a super-deformed chibi-style Nendoroid.
Nendoroid 400 Sakura Kinomoto
Nendoroid 418 Aoba
I bought this nendoroid from Rapid Culture. Guess what.. when I went home and check their facebook page, they had a 15% off if customers flash that announcement! Seriously holy molly mother of shit!! Damn it! I did not ask for a receipt because I thought there would not be any need of it. But when I went for the X-men lucky draw, the person also registered me for CapitaStar which allows me to earn points for every $20 purchase. Because I did not ask for that receipt, I lost $40 worth of points lor.. Sian..

I, too, had two occasions of good luck for the past 2 days. Of course these are small as compared to the shit luck I described above. Yesterday the nurse who helped me with the blood donation asked me if I was hungry. I had not had my dinner so I told her I was very hungry. It was not a small talk as she then gave me 2 meal vouchers instead of 1!! Haha.. Yea.. so no need to buy dinner again..

Yesterday I passed Costa Coffee but decided not to have it because it was already 830pm. I took a glance of their new menu on promotion: mango banana crumble.. Yum yum... Previously I had their apple crumble which I thought was pretty good. After my dental check-up today, I just went to Costa Coffee at The Heeren. It was 5 minutes before 11am so I still got a free upsize of my drink (well it only worth 50 cents anyway) and the cashier gave me a coupon for a small free drink. Yaaay!! Haha..

Anyway since I mentioned about blood donation earlier, it does not hurt to testify that the tagline "Give blood, give life" is not just a gimmick. Despite having a good night rest, I am feeling lethargy throughout today. Yes, even that coffee in the morning did not quite help. Haha.. So yea, it does feel like my life energy was sapped away and I need time to replenish it.. Lol..

Friday, May 9, 2014

Goody-Japan (Review) updated

I did not expect that there would be a lot of people who viewed my posts on my experience using Japanese proxy or deputy service. So it was really a pleasant surprise when I saw comments on my reviews. Thus I think I should provide an update on Goody-Japan which just had an upgrade to their system in end March-early April period. Basically, this is a follow-up from the review that I did more than a year ago.

The most significant upgrade is the presence of "My Account" now for users to view and manage the various bids and shopping orders they have with Goody-Japan. In fact, I was quite impressed to see all my previous orders (even before the upgrade) listed under my account.

Communication via email to request for this and that will be much less now as we can raise the request to make deposit, withdraw deposit, and request for shipping/combined shipping via "My Account". Previously, all of these had to be manually requested via email correspondence.

Unfortunately, they also made an idiotic change to their deposit system. Idiotic sounds very harsh but that's what I think. Previously, I can make deposit to bid an item and then top up whatever amount exceeding the deposit after all the domestic shipping, proxy fee, bank transfer fee, and international shipping. Now I can't! The new dumb system will allow the initial deposit to be used for bidding the item. They will subsequently bill me for the domestic shipping, proxy fee, bank transfer fee, and international shipping. I will have to withdraw the remaining unused deposit -__-

To put in numbers to make it obvious. Let's say I make a 10000 JPY deposit, I win an item that cost 8000 JPY, and the total of various charges is 5000 JPY. Previously, I will only need to top up 8000+5000-10000=3000 JPY and everything is settled. With the new system, since the item costs 8000 JPY, I can only use 8000 JPY from the initial deposit and I can't touch the remaining 2000 JPY. So I have to top up 5000 JPY (for the various charges) and then withdraw the 2000 JPY. I don't know why they want to make the accounting very complicated with topping up and withdrawing now. Haiz.. It just does not make sense. You can request to use the remaining bidding deposit to offset the shipping fee but that will take an additional working day for them to do the sums and send you a new invoice.

Another HUGE negative thing after the upgrade that I noticed is the customer service is becoming lazy and less responsive in replying my emails! And really, this is a major thumbs down for me..

So with all the changes, the pros of Goody-Japan are:
-Will help you to contact the original seller for more details of the items***
-Automatic email confirmation for your deposit and your bidding
-Able to help with return of damaged item***
-Great initiative to notify buyer about damaged item on arrival***
-Great packaging
-Idiot-proof and informative webpage
-Fair exchange rate

While the cons:
-No manual control of bidding
-No "search function" and no "translation function"
-Relatively pricey proxy fee
-Lazy customer service which does not respond to customer's enquiry

Overall, I am less pleased with the changes. I can live without the "My Account".. I rather make the effort to email them to request this and that than being ignored by them when I need help. The scary thing about poor customer service is if the item gets damaged. After the changes, I have not (and I hope I will not) experienced getting broken item so I am unable to confirm those points I indicated with *** above.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Pheew... I am overburnt from 'chiong'-ing the latest season of The Amazing Race. The last one I watched was episode 4 and the most recent one is the 10th. That's 6 episodes in 2 days. Haha.. Still feel kinda groggy today. Despite being an "All-Star" edition, I honestly find this season very boring. Most of the teams are very boring to watch, especially at this stage when the more "fun-to-watch" teams like the twinnies (I love their banters), the Youtube pairs (I find Joey can be irritating but Meghan is very sweet.. and they are very lovely together even when things are going bad for them), and Margie-Luke (the forever patient and encouraging mother with Luke who never uses his disability to play the 'sympathy' card) had been eliminated. I am rooting for Dave-Connor so I am glad that they are still in the competition.

The one that I really hope to be out is Brenchel (Brendon-Rachel). I just hate "kiasu" teams haha.. I know some people dislike Dave for being so bitchy about being U-turned by Brenchel and while he himself U-turn others. It was a poor decision for Dave-Connor to use their U-turn as they would have the chance to take revenge in Spain. But still, I could understand their emotion on why they wanted to U-turn somebody else at that point of time. Weirdly enough, they still gentlemanly informed and helped the Leo and Jamal that they U-turned. Like that, what's the point of using the U-turn sia?? I dislike Caroline & Jennifer even from season 22 but at this point of time, I have to say that they are very lucky despite their "mediocrity". They are just being nice and friendly and that's about it. Haha.. But hey, they finished 4th in their previous season and for this season, they escaped elimination 2x. Luck is a force to be reckoned with.

My finance is really in shambles. With all the insurance that I purchased and decided to pay annually, my bank account for daily expenses is literally wiped out to zero! In fact, I did not have enough money there to pay my credit card bills for the insurance premiums.. Sigh.. No choice but to transfer out some funds from my "deposit only" account :'(

My monthly accounting is also in a mess since March. A few things that I bought arrived damaged so the process of getting refunds or having to return the items to get replacement etc are taking time and makes my accounting very confusing. Sigh.. I will have to force myself to do it tonight. I guess I will also be shocked with how much I spent on toys.. Haiz..

Monday, May 5, 2014

We are young

Tuna~~nite.. we are you~~~ng...

Last Friday, I had a meet-up with a secondary school friend in Indonesia who moved to Australia while I moved to Singapore. It has been more than a decade since the last time we met. Internet was something very novel back then and thus we did not really have a lot of contact. We were classmates in our 2nd year and as expected, I am always close to smart girls in my class. Lol.. We were fans of anime/manga and the most common bond that we shared was our Mandarin Language CCA. Haha.. I was such a noob back then so when laoshi ( 老师 or teacher) wanted me to form a sentence with 吗 (ma), my sentence was 我是吗? (wo shi ma?). I intended it to be a direct translation from English: What am I? Of course it was terribly wrong as 吗 is just a particle said at to ask a question in Mandarin. I had it mistaken for something similar to "what" in English? Since then, everytime we want to have conversation, wo shi ma will always come to the picture.

We had dinner at Song Fa Bak Kut Teh near Clarke Quay. Not something that I would normally eat but since she missed Asian food, I decided to just go along. Anyway it is a famous place, as evident in the endless long queue, so at least I could "boast" that "Hey I tried that before!". Lol.. Since I don't normally eat this, I can't comment whether it was awesome, normal, or just over-rated. After dinner, we just chit chat at Starbucks until it was time for the last bus. I really wished that someone, like what Sam Tsui sang, would carry me home that night.

It is quite amazing that although we separated at an era when long distance connectivity was still primitive, when we met, we could talk as if we just met the day before. Other than her, I was also with another close friend who went to South Korea to study and work for awhile before coming to Singapore to work and with my ex-crush. Lol.. My ex-crush also moved to Singapore since a few years back but it was my first time meeting her in Singapore.. Yes.. I am that anti-social. Haha..

Anyway, my friend got transferred from Australia to Singapore because she has been promoted to take up a regional responsibility. Her name card states "Senior Manager". Hmm.. I wonder if her income already has 5 digits. And honestly, I am jealous!! Well.. live is like that.. I can't help but wonder. We are of the same age, we left our countries to study overseas (just that different countries), and now everything is vastly different: I am just a small fry at my work with lousy shit pay.. Haiz.. 

Let's move on to talk about Sam Tsui now. Haha.. Honestly I am not a fan of cover singers of Youtube stars etc. So the story on how I come across Sam Tsui began when my friend posted "Just Give Me a Reason" video from Glee. It was rather short and the song was quite good that I wanted to listen to the full song so when I searched for the full song on Youtube, his cover appears just second after the original by Pink. Song choices make singers as much as talent/vocal. I kinda like his voice especially when he 'strains a bit' to reach higher notes.. that actually makes his voice unique. Unfortunately, I don't like a lot of the songs that he covered, except for perhaps We are Young that I posted above.

I actually enjoy this more than the original!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Meet-the-Artist: Ivan Reis (Kinokuniya Singapore Free Comic Book Day 2014 Event)

I went for a trip to China Square Central to look for G.E.M Megahouse Aladdin. As expected, I could not find it and my back-up plan was to walk back to Funan I.T Mall to get it from a toyshop there. Unexpectedly, I found and decided to buy 2 display cases for Final Fantasy Coca Cola figures that I imported from Japan. With the big size, there was no way I could bring Aladdin which comes in a super big box too so I decided to just have my lunch at Takashimaya.

A trip to Takashimaya will not be complete without a visit to Kinokuniya. I did not plan to go there as I had nothing in mind to buy. Then, I realised that Kino was having a 20% sale to celebrate Free Comic Book day which took place yesterday! Dammit! Yep.. the first Saturday of May is always a Free Comic Book day. I deleted Kinokuniya email last week that I missed about this.

I came at about 330pm there and from 3pm, there was a Meet-the-Artist session with Ivan Reis. He draws for Green Lantern's Blackest Night, Aquaman, Justice League Trinity War, and Justice League Volume 4. At least these 4 are the latest comics by him that was advertised today.

Honestly, I am a fan of Marvel rather than a fan of DC. Having said that, when we talk about the artists, I know neither. Haha.. But since the queue for him was not long, I decided to just heck it and get Justice League Volume 4, get him to draw and autograph on it, and get a picture with him. I thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Ivan asked me who I would like him to illustrate. My favourite is actually Wonder Woman but since I am not sure how the comic industry in America functions, I was scared that his "main" thing would be Green Lantern or Aquaman. In US comics, there are so many artists being named that it is hard to know who gets to do or draw what. In contrast, for Japanese manga, they will only mention the mangaka name so you know that if this guy comes, he will definitely be able to draw all characters in that manga.

To play it safe, I just told him to draw his favourite character. I was crossing my finger that he wouldn't draw some obscure bad guy.. He drew me Sinestro, the enemy of Green Lantern. Not a very satisfactory choice for me but at least I sort of know him as he was my strongest card when I started playing Injustice in my tablet. Haha..

Here are some of the pictures :) Of course I omitted the picture I took with him since I don't like to put my identity on this blog. Haha..
Almost done.. And darn it I got the picture blur!! Gosh..
This is what he drew for me. Yay! Would be great to have it dated though.
After reaching home, I immediately googled him. I discovered that he could draw a lot of things.. Mwahahaha.. I should have said Wonder Woman instead T_T

Anyway, it was a great experience for me :) Still, I regret that I did not know about this earlier or else I could have brought my Trinity War that I hate and regret buying and made it more worthwhile with him drawing on it. I actually had Justice League Vol 1-3 and I thought this Trinity War was a continuation. It was actually not. A week later, Justice League Vol 4 came out and 2 of the chapters were also included in Trinity War and hence I was reluctant to buy.
On a hindsight, it was a blessing that I hesitated to buy and thus I bought it today to get it signed. It was also a blessing that I deleted Kinokuniya's email. If I knew about this earlier, perhaps I would give this event a miss as I did not even know about this guy.

So that was $25.42 well-spent. Thanks Kinokuniya for inviting Ivan and thanks Ivan for the drawing and the photo :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Jetstar: shit flying at speed of a jet

This is a follow-up on my previous post regarding my cancelled flight to share that it just takes 1 occasion of ridiculous flight cancellation and pathetic customer service to make me fall completely out of love with Jetstar/Valuair. I regarded Jetstar/Valuair as the best low-cost carriers previously. For the past 6 over years I am flying with them, I only had 1 occasion when flight was cancelled. This was when the planes for Valuair and Jetstar flights were still different. It was due to some technical issues and I was rescheduled to an afternoon flight on a Jetstar plane which has bigger leg room. Other than that, up to 2 years ago, Jetstar/Valuair was the only low cost carrier which provided free water and bread for the flight. They were not much but they certainly set them apart from other low cost carrier which did not even provide water, or even provided only peanuts as a snack to make people thirsty and purchase drinks.

As I reached my place very late at night, I decided to leave them an enquiry and a demand for compensation via online form. Hmm.. they promised a response within 15 working days! 3 weeks!! I think that is an absolutely ridiculous amount of time. I decided to contact them via their online chat to just at least confirm about the refund so after giving the person all the info required about my bank account etc, I was informed that the refund would be in (again) within 15 working days! Pfft....

Fast forward 2 days later, I received an email to inform me that they could not process my refund because missing bank details.. which was like WTF, I gave whatever info the person asked from me previously. I called the number given and was informed about 2-5 minutes wait for the next available operator. I hung up after 15 minutes listening to their stupid advertisements.. bleah.. I decided to follow up via online chat and it was about 8pm at my time and this was another anger-inducing experience. After waiting about 10 minutes to get someone to chat with me, this bitch got the nerve to "are you there?" me only after 1 MINUTE of not replying to her first sentence. Despite her impatience, during our conversation, many times she "ignored" me for more than 5 minutes. She still had the cheek to give me an excuse that she had to chat with 3 persons at the same time. After wasting 1 bloody hour with this bitch, I was nowhere closer to where I started as the only thing that she could do was to "put in the notes to my case". Wow.. That warranted another complaint submission and this time is pertaining to the customer service.

Finally someone called me on Friday to inform me that the refund had been approved and unfortunately Jetstar could not compensate me. The person told me that once I bought tickets from Jetstar, I agreed to their terms & conditions that they could reschedule or cancel flights at their own discretion. The person clearly did not even read what I typed in the complaint form and she just kept repeating these scripted template. Knowing that it was going to be pointless to even hurl vulgarities at her (since she was just some small fry being asked by their fucked up company to read the scripts), I just hung up on her.. I did not know which is more rude actually..

Seriously, their customer service people only know how to press the hot buttons in the already angry customers. After wasting my time for all the wait, these people still loved to waste time even more with patronising little talk like "How are you?" etc. Oh please.. spare me the formalities I just want my money back. In fact what made me ultimately hang up the latest bitch was her inconsiderate patronising remarks. She could even ask me of flying with them again.. and when I told her off that no way I would ever fly them again after this ridiculous fiasco, she even said that she hoped that I at least enjoyed my earlier flight which was not cancelled. That was the last straw for me.

In the evening, I noticed that the website has a form for travel request expense due to delayed or cancelled flights. As expected, the reply would be no but I just had to share the ridiculous email that I got from their Customer Service Manager. Basically this manager just forwarded me the scripted template answer given to her telephone team. Again everything that she typed was exactly the same as what the previous bitched have told me. This just shows how non-existent Jetstar customer service is! My complaint was not being read properly and important questions were consciously being dodged.

There is no mention on the volcanic activity which was cited as the reason for my cancelled flight. The woman kept blabbering about weather and weather when the weather on 20th April was perfect for flight. I kept asking about which volcano actually affecting Jakarta-Singapore flight on that day. If there is a very serious safety hazard, why were none of Indonesian airports issue travel alerts or close the airports? And lastly, why were other airlines still operate Jakarta-Singapore flights? The reply blaming the weather clearly did not address any of these things. In fact it was obvious that the cancellation was for business decision as the volcano actually affected Perth-Jakarta flight and I suppose their Jakarta-Singapore flight would be half empty without these passengers from Perth.

My concern about last minute notice of cancellation was also ignored. With the earlier Jetstar before mine was also cancelled, clearly there was NO excuse for not able to inform me much much earlier. And this stupid woman is clearly wrong for one thing: none of the Jetstar staff assisted stranded passengers to reach their destinations. The ground staff DID NOT EVEN KNOW why the flight was cancelled (they told us it was technical issues) and NO attempt to arrange for alternative flights etc. They were just distributing refund forms so how on earth was that supposed to help us to reach our destination?

And no, providing me with $70 refund IS NOT a gesture of goodwill. That was the amount that I paid for your cancelled flight so it is my RIGHT to get it back. And your $50 voucher is worthless as what I forked out more than $200+ for my replacement flight. And who will be so stupid to risk another flight cancellation when I used this voucher? Pui..

So for now, bye bye Jetstar for me.. On the bright side, I have to be thankful that I experienced this not when I am travelling for holidays overseas. Imagine the nightmare of missing connecting flights, having to book additional nights in hotel, ruined holiday plans etc.

I just realised that I finally exceeded 50000 views for my blog!! Wow... Haha.. Not something to be proud of since it is very low considering the age of this blog. Lol.. It is still a milestone so to whoever the 50000th visitor is, congratulations ^o^ Unfortunately, I cannot give anything.. and sadly, the post to "commemorate" this occasion is about this bad experience with Jetstar..

To whoever reading this, DO NOT FLY WITH JETSTAR. PERIOD!