Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fantastic 2015

It is the last day of 2015 and looking back, 2015 has been a fantastic year for me. I feel that I did a lot of adventure and achieved quite a few things.

At work:
~Involvement in SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games
~Completion of Clinical Pharmacist Preparatory Program

~First time I went to Batam. Batam is like a favourite weekend getaway place for people in Singapore so I am the odd one out to never visit Batam despite living in Singapore for more than a decade.
~I finally fulfilled my dream to visit Japan!! Hurray!! I hope I will be able to visit again for many more times in years to come
~I got to stay at Swissotel and Marina Bay Sands. Yeah!!!
~I went up to Gardens by the Bay Flower dome and Super Tree for the first time. I also swam and took pictures at MBS Infinity Pool. Hoho...
~I visited Universal Studios Singapore for the first time as well. 

Personal development:
~I finally joined a class to learn Japanese. It is going to be tough but I wish that I will be able to travel alone to Japan some day. It will be a bonus if I can read manga, watch anime, and watch Japanese shows without translations.
~Spiritually, I think I am slightly better this year than in 2014. At least, I went for Sunday masses more regularly.

Of course there are still things which I am still lacking in:
~Physical exercise. I literally did not physical exercise for 2015. My excuse is that I am scared after my surgery at the end of 2014. Actually the doctor already gave the go ahead to resume my jogging after 1 month of resting. I take it as 1 year so I hope I can start again in 2016.
~I managed to drop to 58kg prior to my trip to Japan. After that my diet and weight went back to square one.. until now.. Time to restart my diet again in 2016.
~I am still an angry, impatient, and arrogant boy. I hope to be a more patient and humble person.
~The most difficult thing is to actually control and cut down my shopping on anime/manga related stuff. Haiz.. I have been trying every year since I started working and I always fail.
~I am still single... aaah...

I am thankful for everything that happened to me in 2015. God has been very loving and generous to me this year. Thank God!! I hope that 2016 will be even more fantastic than 2015 and I hope that I will be a better person in 2016 as well.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Random thoughts on some mangas

Godhand Teru
After many years, finally Godhand Teru ends with the 62nd volume. I am talking about the Indonesian version of course. It is one of my favourite title as most of the stories are very touching and make me cry buckets. The beginning is really promising. In fact, it can be inspiring for young people who read this to become doctors although what the manga depicts may not be a true reflection of work life in a hospital. Lol. As the story progresses, there are more shounen action spices being injected like rivalry with another doctor and another hospital group. Unfortunately, I feel that the ending is very anticlimatic. It seems that after a long journey, the mangaka forgets about Teru's intention at the start of the series and the end does not tie back to that. Bleah.. we do not even get a nice wedding scenes after all that lovey dovey relationships. Heck, I think the mangaka was forced to just quickly end the series and hence we get such an ending. I know there is a continuation called Godhand Teru Kamigami no Souheki and although I am disappointed with how Godhand Teru ends, I will still read the continuation if it is translated by Elex Media Komputindo.
Fairy Tail
I had high hopes for Fairy Tail as I enjoyed Hiro Mashima's previous work: Rave Master. Fairy Tail slowly losing its uniqueness with artwork which getting more similar to One Piece -whose artwork I dislike- and trying too hard with all the fanservice. The fanservice is too much and the jokes are no longer funny. There is a limit on how Gray's shirtlessness, accidental booby grabs, losing clothes in the middle of battle, etc can be funny and I think they are no longer funny. I am surprised how Fairy Tail can retain its popularity as I already lose track with the main plot with all the side plots. This is going to be a long ride as I am still at volume 36 and the Japanese version is still ongoing at volume 52. I want to quit but the other part of me feel that I am way into this already. It is sad to see how Fairy Tail has moved way too far from its predecessor. Other than the artwork, there is no way to tell that this is actually done by the same manga who does Rave Master as Fairy Tail has almost none of the good points of Rave Master, especially the great touching stories.
Now if you want to have a fantastic example of great comedy manga: read Beelzebub. I wanted to stop this at the beginning as the story is almost non-existent at the beginning. However, this is the first manga that made me laugh out loud while reading it. The jokes tend to fall on the lame side but coupled with the stupid expressions that the characters make, everything becomes an explosive comedy. It is an interesting concept as usually humour is inserted to move the story along but Beelzebub is doing the other way. Well I am not complaining because even the filler story arcs -purely there just for the sake of the comedy- are hilarious. Fairy Tail should learn from this on how to make things funny with minimal fanservice. Yep, even the naked baby does not become the butt of all the jokes to keep things funny.
Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun
My sister informed me about this new title a few months ago and my only reason for buying this was good reviews that I found on the net. I did not even actually find out how the artwork looks like or what the story is all about. My first impression after reading the first few pages was not very positive as the artwork is too shoujo for me. But beyond that, everything is becoming enjoyable. Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun has an interesting approach with 4-panel per page per 'story' which reminds me of those comic strips in the newspaper. There is still a continuation from 1 page (or 'story') to the the next. The humour style is very similar to Beelzebub: funny and lame lines coupled with ridiculous expressions from the characters that makes me laugh out loud although not as loud as Beelzebub. Hmm... if this is considered LOL, Beelzebub's level can be considered giving me 6-pack from the laughing.
Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai
This is rather moutful as a title. The literal translation is 'Yugami does not have any friends' so thumbs up for M&C translation to 'Friendless Yugami'. I bought this just because of an end of year sale of buying 3 and get 1 free M&C manga. Last week I only needed to buy New Prince of Tennis 13 and just nice that so far there Yugami-kun is up to volume 3 so I picked those 4. As an antisocial, especially during my school days, I am naturally attracted to a story about an antisocial boy. Lol. The story turns out to be different from what I expected in a good way. Yugami-kun is supposed to be brutally honest, blunt, and self-centered but surprisingly his words and actions turn out to be very funny. The humour is similar to Beelzebub and Nozaki-kun above so it is not a surprise that I also enjoy reading this.

Yep, so that's how I end my 2015. Lol...

Friday, December 25, 2015

Missing Christmas spirit

Let me begin by wishing everyone
Based on Gundam, not on Star Wars.
I am safe and sound at ho ho home but Christmas feels somewhat underwhelming for me this year. With all the hustle bustle of daily activities, I am really missing Christmas spirit. APG preparations and operations since mid-November really took up a lot of my energy and attention. I did not even have enough time to listen to Christmas music. Not to mention that I have no new Christmas music since the last 3 years that listening to what I have start to become boring. 

It is almost a week since I am back at home but I have been out most of the days. In fact, today is the first day that I am able to enjoy myself at home. I arrived on Saturday and I went to Bandung for a day trip on Sunday to attend a session by Mr Anton Porat. The journey took about 3 hours via the highway. It is kinda sad to realise how old my family and I have become that we need to stop at the rest area to look for toilet. It is amazing that in the past, before the Jakarta-Bandung highway existed, the journey took many more hours through the mountains and yet we were able to hold our bladder.

On Monday, I flew to Pontianak to visit my grandma. I went there in 2013 so it is considered very early for me to go there. My grandma fell down earlier this year and I was worried that she would not have long to live. Thus my main reason to visit her was to see her while she is still alive. I don't know if this is going to be my last time doing that. I am actually very happy to see her eating more as compared to when I saw her last in 2013. 2 years ago, she would only eat 2 spoons of rice but now she could even eat tidbits after her proper meal. I also heard that she started to get senile but it was not as bad as expected. She still remembered me and spoke to me in Indonesian (the last time I called her she only spoke Teo Chew). Although what she said sometimes did not make sense in reality, the things she said were actually still coherent and not disjointed.

I went back to Jakarta on Wednesday morning and I was brought to my mum's office first before going home. It was shocking to see the condition of my mum's workplace. It was worse than her old job -before her retirement- as everything feels so run down and ancient. Not to mention that the traffic was also demonic. It took me close to 2 hours to reach there from the airport although they are not that far and the journey back home took us 4 freaking hours!! Bleah... Thank goodness the company has a new manufacturing plant elsewhere so most of the time my mum will be at the new plant. 

It was really an eye opener for me. I really think I have no right to complain with what I currently have at my work and I have no right not to take care of my mum. It is really amazing just to imagine how she survives doing this daily for the past 3-4 years. And it is amazingly ungrateful for me just to spend less than 1 hour for travelling to my office and to complain about my job etc.

I was planning to rest at home yesterday but my sister tempted me to eat at Outback Steakhouse because of her 1-for-1 credit card promotion. I have never tried Outback even in Singapore. Thus I relented when she assured me that the traffic was not busy and it would only take at most 45 minutes to reach there. At the end of the day, we spent 8 hours outside. Bleah.. Although I feel tired, I think the food was worth the trip and the time. Lol.. I ordered the Toowomba Sirloin Steak and I did not make a wrong choice. The Toowomba thingy was refreshing and went great with the steak. As there were 3 of us, we ordered the steak & ribs combo as the additional free one for sharing. If not because of the Toowomba thingy, I don't think I can finish both the steak. I did not order french fries as I was scared of being too full with each meal comes with 2 side dishes. The portion for the side dish was pretty small. I ordered mashed potato -which I usually hate and avoid- but I have to say that it was pretty good. The vegetable was fantastic too: they looked bright and fresh and yet very soft to chew. It was a great meal as I don't mind going there again. Haha..

So yep, that's all I did for the past week. It is too late to watch Disney Christmas cartoons that usually helps to get me into the Christmas mood. I was even too tired to pray. Sigh.. 2015 Christmas is a bad one for me indeed.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


People will call me dumb.. career suicide.. big mouth.. etc. I have to agree with the big mouth part though. Lol. Sometimes being too honest can be a bad thing but that is really me. I don't like to lie and sabo others just for my own benefits.Whatever others may say, I feel kinda liberated after saying what I am honestly feeling.

Today I told my branch manager that I have the thoughts of leaving although I do not have any solid plans yet. I have heard it previously but today was the first time that I 'officially' heard from her the plans that big bosses have for me: to train me up as future managers in anticipation of opening of new branches in few years time. That is nice of them and in return, I have to be nice also to tell them what I am thinking of so that they do not waste time and effort on me and in the end I really decide to leave.

There are a lot of things on my mind right now. If I am thinking about career progression etc, it is so easy to make a decision to stay on and just follow with everything. But on a more personal level, I know front line is not my passion and if I am committing myself to this, I am essentially committing myself to something I do not really like for the next few years. My passion is teaching and I enjoy doing things when the fruits of labour can be really felt. I do not get any sense of achievement when I do things just for the sake of meeting KPIs.

Still related to my pride, I bear some grudges. What's the point of doing so much and get little recognition while someone else gets promoted earlier although people do not know what the person has done. It is a big difference between "You have done well and I want you to be a manager" versus "I think you have a potential to be manager and I want to train you to be this or that". I don't mind with the first one but currently I am under the second circumstance. I am too proud and I refuse to be a pawn. I want to be myself. I do not want to be forced to change just so that I can be a manager that others want. I have been the 2nd most senior since 2 years ago and that was not even looked at all. I do not want to be "used" now only just because they have places to fill in few years time.

Haiz.. it seems that I still have yet to overcome the problem with my pride. But no matter what, I am not going to sell myself and my 'siao' personality just for career or money. After all if money is really all that I want, I might as well go sell my backside. That will be easier to earn money. Lol.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ticket to hell

"The proud, heaven rejects. The humble, hell rejects".

That is the phrase that Father wanted me to repeat during my confession. I am proud (see lah!) to say that my pride is the root of all my sins: from blaming others and God when things are not going my way to having a huge inflated head and completely forget about God when things are going great. I am impatient, temperamental, and can be quite rude to colleagues and family too. Sigh.. 

Knowing and realising that it is a problem is a step towards the light but I am always having the problem to change. Sigh.. I think it was very obvious that I am a very proud person and Father spent the whole time to advice me to be humble and not so much about me skipping masses occasionally and not having sufficient time for prayers.

Some of the words he said perfectly described my state of mind: feeling angry for not being promoted because I thought I had done a lot, getting scolded for trying to do the right thing, and it is very difficult for a clever person to be humble. With the level of pride I have, it is obvious that I am nowhere near to heaven. After all, the cause of Lucifer's downfall is pride.

You realise how sinful you are when you are fearful to go to confession. It is not easy to confront yourself and admit your failures in front of a stranger, even if that stranger is a minister of God on this earth. Although I was so excited yesterday when I heard about penitential service today, I got very discouraged when I realised skipping mass is even considered a mortal sin. Gosh... I am so glad and thankful that in the end I went and I had a good and meaningful confession today. 10x Our Father and 1x I Believe are too light for penance as compared to the gravity of my pride. Every morning I pray for patience and to be able to be God's blessings to the people I meet but every day without fail, I will explode just after 1 rude encounter. Not to mention how I fail daily in setting aside quiet time for prayer..

Friday, December 11, 2015

Post-ASEAN Para Games

1 week before and during: oh God this is super stressful and frustrating!!
After: So sian to return to branch
Oh well..

Good thing must end and finally APG was over. Although operation hours were extended till 8pm, I kept a clean sheet for the last day, just like the first day. Lol. I am so glad that there was 1 student who volunteered himself to help me for the last day. Otherwise, I have no idea how I am going to finish packing. It still amazes me that I ended up with more boxes this time around. During SEAG, I packed a total of 30 boxes and I had 4 people helping me. This time I had 39 boxes and only 1 person helping me. After a long tiring day, the last dinner was at DC comics cafe again!! Haha.. this time it was recommended by colleagues who were also doing the last day and packing. The first time I ate here was after I was done with the setting up. It is apt to eat here again after I was done with the packing up. No food picture this time as the Chicken Schnitzel that I ordered -not sure if it is based on Hawkman or Hawkgirl- looked pretty normal. Although the look was disappointing, it was still pretty delicious. I am used to super thin and super dry chicken meat in schnitzel but this one was of reasonable thickness and was not dry.
A drink named after Frozen Fortress
I am pretty glad that everything went smoothly without major hoo-hah this time. I was slightly irritated for a few times because some people did not read SOP to prepare for their shifts and did not use their brain while working. But overall, things were alright. It was a bad decision to take a photo on the last day because my hair grew and made me ugly. Not to mention that no matter how I tried to smile, my face looked very tired after all the packing.
It was even messier than bumping in >.<
End result
I realised that I have not posted any picture of the pharmacy at all!! Oh well.. Let's have a virtual tour through the photos then.
A very simple pharmacy set up: cabinets for drug storage and a table as dispensing counter
 Drug cabinets. Half of the 4th cabinet is to put staff personal belongings so I did not take a picture of it.

And now I will be back to my daily chores plus 3 weeks worth of delayed work.. Bleah.. I am already in a holiday mood for Christmas and New Year at home.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Graveyard shift

It is 5am now and I still have 3 more hours before the end of my overnight shift. Fiuh.. Initially I was a bit sian that my colleague wanted to do the overnight shifts and this was the only overnight shift I had. Now I am feeling very grateful. Yes, it is good to have a peaceful shift but it is difficult to resist natural temptation to sleep during sleeping hours T_T I tried to sleep on the chair but I failed. That is the reason why I am typing this at this hour.

My preparation for this overnight shift is clearly useless. I tried to sleep from 11am yesterday but I woke up at about 2pm because of hunger. I slept again at 3pm to wake up at 4pm. I was intending on going to sunset mass but it was raining heavily. I waited until 5pm+ and it was still raining so I decided to sleep again until 6pm+. After dinner, I bought 3 cans of coffee to standby but I am not feeling sleepy at all. I shall leave those 3 cans for subsequent people who may need it. My dinner was heavier than usual but I was already feeling hungry since 2am. At least the bread I bought is useful.

I am so bored and tired that I do not even have the mood to play games although I bring along my tablet. I want to revise my Japanese lesson but my brain is too tired. I have a student with me and he is a good companion for the first few hours. He cannot take it anymore and is sleeping right now. I want to sleep too but I cannot. Huhuhu...

Yesterday I thought that I can go to church this morning, sleep awhile, wake up for lunch and for Japanese lesson later. Now I am seriously thinking of skipping church and Japanese lesson altogether. Haha..

Bleah.. this is totally random post..

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Double confirm

I had a perfect plan for today: go for morning mass followed by a colleague's wedding after that, have my lunch there, and then go for my Japanese class. Of course I prepared plan B for a very likely event that I woke up late: skip the mass. Obviously I woke up late. I woke up at 830 and I was still thinking that if I could finish my bath and brushing teeth by 9, I would still be able to attend 930am mass. When I was done bathing, I realised that morning mass should be at 9am and not 930am. Oh well...

I guess God did his divine intervention again today. My mum sent me random messages as usual but she reminded me that today is first week of Advent. That was the reason I ditched my plan B. I went to my colleague's wedding first but unfortunately, the bride and groom did not appear yet. It was supposed to be from 1030am - 2pm as per the invitation card but I did not meet my colleague until I left at 11am. That was the latest that I could wait so that I did not miss 1130am mass. Lucky there was another colleague who was also early so I could ask her to help me pass my angpau.

The mass that I attended happened to be a Confirmation Mass with about 120 confirmands. Add another 120 grandparents and the church was packed to the brim when I arrived. Even on the second level I had to stand. I guess I should not be complaining since at least I got to stand against a wall.  It was very hot and uncomfortable. It is bad for me to say this but I think I felt less warm and uncomfortable when I saw the people around me felt more bothered with the heat and discomfort.

The guy next to me also kinda reminded me of myself. He was next to other 3 friends but seemingly only spoke to the person next to him. The conversation was kinda awkward too: "Are you going to have lunch with us after this?" and the guy said no because of parents or something. I can socially awkward in certain situations and often I will try to run away from social gatherings. Well, I honestly don't know why looking this kind of thing gives me comfort. I am weirdo.

Anyway the Confirmation Mass was really a blessing a disguise. That's why I say that everything that happened today was because of God's divine intervention. Although I did not feel anything Advent-related, the homily really struck me hard. If you don't have a vision in your life, your life will feel empty. What you do daily will not serve as missions to eventually achieve your vision and they will just become mundane daily work. If you have a vision, you will have the passion to do your daily activities as they serve as mission to achieve your vision and hence you will achieve your personal success in life. I say that the Archbishop's homily was really good. He did not only say the spiritual things but related those spiritual things back to the worldly things.

Hmm.. actually I do have a vision for my life: I just want to go to Heaven. Ironically, I don't know or perhaps I choose not to do things which will bring me to achieve my vision. It seems that I am just waiting for my time to go from this world by going through the motion. I don't give a damn about career and I am just working to earn money and to enjoy the money. Rinse and repeat. I hope that what I heard today will become something life-changing and not only being thought-provoking.

The mass also made me realise that perhaps having baptism and confirmation together is not a good idea. I was baptised and confirmed at the same time as I was baptised as an adult. I actually did not recall anything about my confirmation! I only remembered things about my baptism. I read back my blog post after my baptism and I wrote that the chrism oil smells good. Sadly I cannot even remember how good the smell is. Basically I don't remember anything about confirmation. I am wondering if I can be confirmed again. After all, we always say we want to double confirm things right? Haha...

Oh ya the guy next to me who reminded me of myself actually offered a handshake during the exchange of peace. May God bless him for offering handshake to a random stranger T_T I am usually to shy and awkward to even bow and smile to strangers during the exchange of peace. Most of the time, people only pay attention to their own friends or families and ignore the strangers. That is the sad reality of our church.

My Japanese lesson is getting more challenging T_T but I am still enjoying them. I really think that having no examinations and learning at my own pace with no stress is a very good learning experience. It does not stress me out or burns me out. For example, I was busy for the past week that I had no time to revise. I was a bit lost today but it is okay. I think I should be able to have more time to catch up this week. As an adult learner, I think examinations are not good. It is really a one size fits all approach and those who do not fit into such approach will just be left out or left behind.

It is quite sad to think that I had negative perceptions with music as well as Mandarin. I went for organ lessons for many years and I stopped just before I moved to Singapore. I actually like playing music. In fact, when I go home for holidays, I often dream about waking up late for my organ classes when I have my afternoon nap on Wednesdays. I like music but I really have no talent. I was struggling in the last 1-2 years before I stopped the lessons altogether, although the reason for stopping was my moving overseas, as I just had no talent for the improvisation and hearing components of the examinations. The last 2 examinations that I sat for made me really stressed because I was scared of failing. I had no problem with playing the music of my choice as well as sight reading but I really could not do the hearing. Similarly with my Mandarin module. Because of the semester system, the pace for the second module was too fast for me and I simply lost it. I barely passed the module (although I S/U-ed it). I did not mind continuing but since I already lost halfway the second module, there was no way I could follow the third one. Hence I stopped. Bleah.. hopefully my desire to be able to go shopping in Japan alone is strong enough to sustain my interest in nihongo o benkyou shimasu. Lol..

I was ready to miss AFA 2015 again because of my tight schedule for the past 3 days. I forced myself to end work early on Friday so that I had the chance to at least go for awhile. I did and I was pretty disappointed. I actually finished walking around in just an hour. I reached there about 6pm and I was surprised to see so many Nendoroids being sold out T_T That was only the first day leh!! I actually wanted to get Haikyuu's Tobio and Hinata Nendoroids ($45 each) as well as the playsets for Nendoroids ($35 per set). I was tempted to try some Ichiban Kuji but most of the interesting prizes were already won! Some of the Kujis, like the Natsume Yuujincho, were already fully redeemed. Like what the heck?? Only the first day leh!! There was no interesting or extraordinary display or experience zone that would draw crowd interest. The only interesting I saw was Titan cosplay o_0 which was basically a man wearing beige underwear with stupid expression. It was part of the show on the mini stage. Oh well =x The only good thing was that it was not as crowded as Saturday mornings because usually I go on Saturday mornings for AFA. It was the first time I went home empty handed too!! Most of the items can be found in the physical shops at cheaper price. In the past, usually I would discover something unexpected: be it very old items for clearance sales or very new items which were not at the shops yet. None of these things this time.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Here we go again...

I am out of office for the whole week to set up a temporary clinic at Marina Bay Sands Hotel for the upcoming ASEAN Para Games (APG). I guess that this is the closest I will ever be to staying at MBS and the only chance that I get to see how MBS suite room looks like. This is like a continuation of my involvement in SEA Games a few months ago. With everything being similar and at a smaller scale, it has been less stressful for the planning.... until the final leg of the planning o_0

This time, I was only given 5 days to convert an empty hotel room into a dispensary. Well, make it 3 since training was planned on Thursday. In comparison, I had about 2 weeks to prepare for SEA Games and for that, there was already existing counter top, existing desks, and cabinets. Now it is just an empty room and I had to decide where to put what and I even had to move the furnitures myself!
From this
To become this mess that I have to tidy up
Inventory was also more complicated with 2 different lots this time: 1 being the remainder from SEA Games and 1 being the new one. It was chaotic trying to consolidate everything. It was made more complicated when I realised that someone removed certain things and added in more things in the remainder lot from SEA Games. Basically I did not receive the quantities I was expecting and I had to recount the whole inventory. If previously I had 5 more people to help me, I had zero this time around. After settling all the drugs, I realised that ziplock bags and plastic carrier bags were not delivered. They were the other half of what I need for my operations.

Fridge was another problem. In the email, I was promised with the same fridge that I got previously. There was a communication breakdown and I was given a fridge without temperature monitoring. The temperature monitoring only came on Wednesday and the fridge was not reliable enough with the temperature kept changing depending on what being placed inside. With the fridge not ready, I had to delay all my cold items until then.

On training day, the pharmacy was only about 70% ready. I was worried that the nightmare I had previously would be repeated so I was glad that it did not happen. After the havoc I created last time, the other party assigned an assistant director for this one and things seemed to be much better. Previously, all the questions asked during the training were complaints. This time around, the questions were clarifications on how to do things. I was also happy that the consensus was not to set par level for the drugs and we will just order based on our gut feeling. Hehe.. one less thing for me to do.

Yesterday was the most 'relaxing' day in the past week as I only needed to print labels so that people know where things are being placed at, wait for the person to fix my printer, collect morphine, and wait for the fridge items. I even had the chance to have a 'luxurious' lunch at DC Comics Cafe. The price is quite high but honestly I think the quality justifies it. I will surely come back another time, perhaps on the last day. I am not a fan of Batman although I ended up ordering Batman-themed food and drink. I was looking for something chocolate-y and that was how I ended up with Oreo Milkshake. For the main meal, if I did not remember wrongly, this was a Wagyu burger. Well I may be wrong. Nevertheless, the meat is big, even bigger than the bun size. The salad dressing is amazing (I never ate vegetable that enthusiastically!) and the chips is a good change from usual fries. Total damage is $42.
Oreo Milkshake
Batman's burger
Today is the first day of operations but I asked the volunteer students to come for their briefing today. I got a mixed feeling lol. From their photos and communication through email so far, those who seem unconvincing so far turn out to be quite okay in person and the reverse is also true. Haha...

I am so tired.. I actually took an MC on last last Friday because I know I could not afford to fall sick this week. After 1 week, my nose is still running. I always got KO-ed at night and always skip my facial treatment. Gosh... Can't wait for another 5.5 hours before I can go home and rest. But hey, no matter how bad things are going, I keep reminding myself that this is still better than facing FONs. Haha.. Let's aim for 0 patients again today.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Bakuman (Live Action)

Can a manga about characters aspiring to be mangakas be interesting? I had that doubt about Bakuman manga. However, I took the plunge and bought the manga because I like the art style and I did not regret it. Although the synopsis is not too appealing, the story itself is quite engaging thanks to the interesting characters and behind-the-scenes moments behind manga industry in Japan.

When I heard about the live action, I have mixed feelings. I feel excited because Bakuman is unique and I would love to see it as a movie. However, similar to the manga before I read them, I feel apprehensive as  I don't know how they can make actors acting to draw mangas to be interesting to watch.

The main story of the movie follows the manga: 2 high school students, Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi, team up as mangakas by combining their talents with Takagi as the story writer and Mashiro as the drawer. Mashiro likes his classmate, Miho Azuki, who is aiming to become a seiyuu. Despite liking each other, they make a promise to be together when Mashiro is able to produce top manga and Azuki will be the seiyuu of the female character of the anime version of the manga.

The live action gives me the same sense of wonder as the manga to see the Shonen Jump office and the manga making process. The manga drawing scenes are not as boring as I imagined as the movie tries different ways: from real pencilling, 'fake' pencilling in which the drawings on the papers are changed to animated graphics, to the martial art fights to depict the friendly rivalry between Money and Intelligence (by Mashiro and Takagi) vs Crow (by Eiji Nizuma).

Other than those, everything else falls flat. Why? The biggest 'failure' of the live action is the poor chemistry between the actors while what makes Bakuman manga unique and exciting to read, despite the rather simple and unexciting plot, are the characters. Mashiro in the movie is not talkative like in the manga so the balance and dynamic between him and Takagi is somewhat missing in the movie. Nizuma in the movie is not eccentric like in the manga. The relationship between the people in the movie are professional and awkward instead of a more personal friendship like in the manga.

I think the main reason for the poor characterisation in the movie version is because the actors are way too old to depict 14-15 year old high school kids. They are not bad actors but they just no longer have the innocence and spontaneity to act as teenagers who may exhibit some over-the-top expressions. In the movie, Mashiro is too 'cool' and it makes Takagi's enthusiasm around him rather awkward. In the manga, Azuki is pretty and sweet but in the movie, Azuki is pretty but not sweet. I find her expression rather cold at times. Nizuma is just like any ordinary guy as he does not have everything that makes his character so unique in the manga. My biggest disappointment, however, is Mashiro's uncle. He is a friendly and likeable uncle in the manga while the movie version is too crude. In the movie, he looks unkempt rather than overworked.

The movie ends with a one-time success when Money and Intelligence was ranked number 1 -while Crow at number 2- and there is no follow up on Mashiro and Azuki!!! Mashiro was undecided to do a manga and he decided to do so because of the promise with Azuki and the movie does provide the closure on this aspect. Bleah...

I think the movie does not do justice to the manga. It is still bearable to watch though as the elements which make Bakuman manga unique and likeable are still present in the movie, especially if the main reason of getting hooked into the series is because of the behind-the-scenes of manga industries. Watching the movie is like a self-justification for me to splurge my money on anime-manga related things, especially artbooks I find even more appealing than figurines. I am actually supporting the mangaka for all their hard work so it is money well spent, okay! Lol. Say no to piracy to respect and appreciate these mangakas! Although at the same time I also hope manufacturers of figurines and merchandises also price their things appropriately. They are charging too much for sub-par quality and that is why there are people buying pirated stuff etc.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Suikyu Yankees

Inaba Naoya is a cry baby whose life was changed after he was saved from bullies by a yankee from Kasu High School. He grew up abroad but that did not stop him from aspiring to study in Kasu High School one day -his hero's alma mater. He returns to discover that Kasu High School is frowned upon by the townspeople as school of the hopeless and pales in comparison with Suiran High School which brings good name to the town for being the no 1 water polo teams in Japan. Not wanting the legacy of his yankee hero to be over, Naoya decides to save Kasu High School by bettering Suiran High School in water polo.

My opinion:
As a typical high school sports comedy drama, Suikyu Yankee has plenty of tried and tested formula to follow but in an attempt to differentiate itself from others, it successfully butchers all potential good things which can come from such genre. The title itself is an irony as there is very little water polo actions and the only yankee thing throughout the whole 10 episodes is Naoya's hair.

It is the very first series which feature water polo and they fail to capitalise it. The struggle of forming the team, finding a suitable training location (which obviously ends up in a water tank of sea aquarium), and the summer training camp are too similar too Water Boys which happens to be another Fuji TV drama from a decade ago. The practice scenes do not feel unique to water polo and it seems to be just a fanservice to have the boys in speedos. The matches are so short and not inspiring: they show neither how difficult it is to play water polo nor how intense water polo matches can be. The final match is made worse with the fact that Suiran is playing 'dirty'. I find it disgusting for a no.1 team to resort to such when playing against a bunch of amateurs. No matter how they want to spin the story, having 1 genius + 6 beginners in opposing team should not and cannot be a major threat against a no. 1 team. The most terrible thing is that all Goda's dirty actions are not punished until the end. 

The team bonding is also quite poor and each team member's reason for joining the team is weak. These undermines any potential emotional parts about team spirit and camaraderie. The victory over Suiran is rather tasteless and feels ridiculous for a team of amateurs which have only played for few months can win over a no 1 team in Japan. It feels kinda lame as I don't see any struggle or development from Kasu's team to be better in water polo and hence I cannot empathise their joy to finally overcome Suiran. They even fail to incorporate the yankee's never give up spirit and that makes all the inspiring words from Kurosawa (the yankee who inspired chibi Naoya) pretentious.

There is way more romance than usual high school sports comedy J-drama at the expense of the screen time for development of the water polo team. I think it does more harm than good.

The only unique and good thing that Suikyu Yankees handle uniquely is the sports rivalry between Ryuji and Torao. Instead of going the usual pathway of who is better as an ace, Ryuji realises that he won't compete with Torao. Torao is a better floater (i.e ace and scorer of the team) while Ryuji is better as a playmaker to support floater. Instead of competing with Torao to be the better floater, Ryuji decides to focus on his strength as a playmaker and will make Naoya a better floater than Torao. 

The characters are generally very one dimensional and there is very little character development. Most of Kasu water polo team are childish who take turns threatening to quit when something bad happens. Yes, even our main character is also guilty of doing that. Ryuji feels more like a sore loser rather than someone who gives up because of poor self-confidence. We also have the baka trio whose main contribution is providing comic relief and make up the number of the water polo team. Surprisingly, Chiaki is the one with more significant character development and maturation despite the initial outlook of joining the team for childish ulterior motive of impressing the teacher. That is a good surprise there. 

As much as I like Nakajima Yuto as Hey! Say! JUMP member, I think he can't act as a yankee. I mean he has this good boy vibe that he can't shake off., no matter how much he tries. But if you consider his character as a good boy trying to act as a yankee at school, then he acts pretty well. I also find it disturbing how Ohara Sakurako (who plays Nagisa) reminds me of Maeda Atsuko while Yamazaki Kento looks like a hybrid of Sato Shori and Nakajima Kento from Sexy Zone. Lol.

My afterthoughts:
Suikyu Yankees really reminds me of Water Boys albeit it feels like an inferior copycat of Water Boys. Water Boys series are one of the first few J-drama series that I watched -although I never write any blog on them as the drafts are still in a word document in my laptop- and Suikyu Yankees makes me want to rewatch them. I watched Water Boys almost 10 years ago and I feel emo to realise how old I am :( It is quite amazing how my preference still has not changed and after watching sports school drama, I still feel pang of jealousy that I never had the chance to play sports during my school days. Sigh if only I could turn back time...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Flower Dome

Today I will be writing about work. My branch continues on with the trend of 1 pharmacist leaving each year. This time, it is my boss' turn. The good news is that my previous boss who was transferred 2 years ago will be back. Sian.. I could sense that something was coming as she offered to treat all of us for dinner last week with a weak reason for our contribution for JCI audit. There was nothing to thank us for as the audit is part of our job and we were just doing my our job. My suspicion that someone is going to leave became greater when another colleague suggested for a dinner either only on 6 or 7 December. We don't usually have dinner together so it is very weird to have dinners on 2 consecutive months. Thus when she told me that she wanted to say something in private on Wednesday, I knew what was coming: either I will be transferred and she stays or I will stay and she is leaving.

It is very sad :( I am the last man standing from the original combination that I enjoyed from 3 years ago. Honestly I am not surprised considering how much working environment has deteriorated as compared to a few years back. I am personally thinking of leaving but I still have 10 more months of bond. A bond is a like a promise and I am not going to break it.

A part of me feels hopeful that the old boss will be able to get hold of technicians better. Because of the age gap, naturally people are more scared of her. However, it is still bitter sweet that she is only back because my current boss is leaving. The 3 of used to be working together and I have a lot of fond memories. Sigh.. If only she is back in exchange of my not-so-useful colleagues.

I just attended my company's Culture DNA day today. My colleague kept teasing me that my photos were everywhere. It is an overstatement. My name is in 3 different projects and that is the reason why my photos a bit more often than others. I honestly dislike this kind of 'competition' as I am a sore loser. I know I should have been grateful as the project that I anyhow submitted won $200 (Merit Award) and I have another 2 project within the top 10 ($400 each). I should not let the disappointment for none of the top 2 clinched the Best Project Award ($600 or just $200 more) ruined the whole thing but I can't help but to feel shit when seeing the winning project.

Anyway my main goal of attending the event was for free entrance to Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay. No way I will pay using my own money to enter it. The only thing I like is that the temperature inside the Dome is quite cooling. Other than that, everything looks so fake. It is nothing like the beautiful flower field pictures that I usually see in calendars. Bleah.. I am still amazed that there are so many tourists want to enter this.

I just discovered that there will be an OVA for Kuroko no Basuke. Can't wait for it!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Haikyuu! caught my attention since a few years back since it has mixture of the things I like from anime/manga series: school theme, sports theme, and a sports which is not basketball or soccer. I was waiting for Elex Media Komputindo to release the Indonesia version of the manga before following this. That does not happen until now. That is why I was paying more attention towards Kuroko no Basuke. Currently the second season is showing in Japan but that is not the reason for me finishing the first season over the weekend. Lol. I watched this because it is available for streaming at the same website where I watched Saint Seiya; Soul of Gold earlier.

There are no surprises for Haikyuu! as there are limited plot options for school + sports genre. The story begins with Hinata Shoyo being impressed while watching a short volleyball player dubbed "Small Giant" jumped to spike during a match in TV. Fast forward to Hinata's first encounter with Kageyama Tobio during a match in their junior high school which ended with Hinata's team loss. After graduation, Hinata and Kageyama ends up in Karasuno High School Volleyball Club. Being rivals, they have to learn to work as a team and it starts Karasuno Volleyball Club's adventure with the super rookies duo.

I may be biased -because I come to know Kuroko no Basuke first- but I see too many similarities with Kuroko no Basket: super rookies duo having to learn to fight as a team, a match with rival school, the return of great players who go missing during the initial match for various reasons, competitions at the Interhigh which ends with a loss and the story continues in season 2.

In the midst of similar series in which the characters have special inhumane techniques, Haikyuu! bravely does not follow the same suit: the characters are all normal players without superhuman abilities during the match. Honestly, that makes the matches somewhat more uninteresting. Despite that, team development, team bonding, and the emotional roller coaster during the matches are still top notch and I am still looking forward to the second season. I admit that it is an amazing feat to still able to craft such plots even without superhuman abilities.

Another formula that Haikyuu! breaks away from are arrogant antagonists who wants to crush everyone else and schools which are undefeated champions an so on. For example, Toru Oikawa from Aoba Johsai -which eventually defeats Karasuno- is very likeable and I am not surprised if people can even be rooting for him instead. Haha.. This approach makes the characters, the story, and the rivalries more down-to-earth and relatable.

Haikyuu! has a lot of potentials with the characters which are sadly not fully developed. The characters are quite one dimensional: we have the cheerful main character and the socially-awkward genius, strict and feared captain, caring vice captain, a kind hearted with thug appearance senpai, reluctant ace, cool manager, the benchwarmers and so on. The only missing element is an injured player. The interactions between the characters are very superficial and I don't really feel that they are well united as a team. I really hope that they dig the characters deeper and develop relationship better for the second season.

Overall, I think Haikyuu! is so so at the very best. While I don't find Haikyuu! bad, it is not good enough to pique my interest to get the figures of their characters. That may be a blessing in disguise as I have no space for new figures and new series. Having said that, I still bought the artbooks, I will definitely be watching the second season, and I am still hoping that Elex Media Komputindo will release Indonesian version of the manga. And most importantly, Haikyuu! is good enough to have the privilege of being the 1000th post for my blog. Lol :)
Final shot to end season 1 with all members of Karusuno. Another similarity to Kuroko no Basuke? Haha..

Saturday, October 31, 2015


28 October is a day of bitter celebration for me. That was the day in 2002 when I left my home for the first time to a foreign land. Until today, I don't know if it is a correct decision (not as if it was my decision) and if I left my home for the better and not for the worse. It is bitter celebration because usually I just give myself a treat to forget all the bad things that have been happening to me. This year, I was so tired and I did not actually eat out or treat myself.

13 years on, the same question always comes and I will always feel emo when I start to keep tabs of all the + and - of coming here and find justification that everything is worth it. Something different happened this year. I have a daily calendar with a daily quote from calendar or from Saints. I am not a holy person so I may not read 1 quote everyday. On the 28th, I happened to read the quote for the 27th October. It is from St Teresa of Avila:
"May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinte possibilities that are born of faith."

That quote struck me a like a lightning and it stopped me from feeling emo to compare about all the good and bad things that happened so far.

I was approached by strangers twice in the past 3 days. I am not a holy person and usually I hate to donate when strangers approach me because the reason of my donation is either to shoo the person away or just to help that person, instead of helping the actual people that the organisations are helping. Sometimes I wonder if there is a point of donating grudgingly.. Bleah.. It is completely different feeling when I donate voluntarily during the times when I am not in the dark side.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold

The first time I came across this was in April when I was celebrating my holiday at home. The first episode was released on the web (for free!) before I flew back. As usual, I am not a person who is patient enough to wait 1 episode per week so I prefer to be patient and wait to watch after all the episodes are released. I only remembered about this on Sunday and after much difficulty, I managed to find somewhere to stream and watch this online. Yay!!

Gold Saints play important roles in Saint Seiya but their importance always put a back seat for Seiya and friends to shine. Soul of Gold is special as finally the Gold Saints can play the central characters. The story takes place in between the fight versus Hades. After the Gold Saints sacrifice themselves and die in order to break past the Wailing Wall, they are mysteriously revived in Asgard. As Athena and Hades are busy in the Underworld, Loki grabs this opportunity to conquer the world beginning with Asgard.

I have a mixed feeling about Soul of Gold as it has a lot of both good and bad points. Let's start with the good. For a short series of 13 episodes, the story is pretty well-crafted and the plot twists are really unexpected and surprisingly good. Just a warning: spoilers ahead. At the beginning, the Gold Saints are all confused and want to know why they are revived. We are lead to believe that someone revive the Gold Saints to save Asgard from whatever threat it is facing. The Gold Saints are actually revived by Loki, through Polaris Hilda's maid called Lyfia, as reviving dead people is considered a taboo in Asgard. Loki's purpose is to get Gold Saints' cosmos to give birth to the Spear of Gungnir. Thus it is nothing about Gold Saints saving Asgard. But wait.. The plot takes another turn as Lyfia is revealed to be Odin's representative on Earth and the one who revived the Gold Saints was actually Odin. What the..

Having Gold Saints as central characters mean we also get to know their personalities better. I have to applaud what Masami Kurumada does with Cancer Deathmask and Pisces Aphrodite who are depicted in a terrible light in the main series. I mean they are like the antagonists and the evil unrepentant Gold Saints. Here, we actually see the heroic sides of them and we get to see them in a different like. I was actually cursing when Aphrodite is the first one to be "killed". I mean what's the point of reviving everyone and then eventually killing everyone again. Gosh... Aphrodite being the first one to be "killed" and swallowed by Yggdrasil is actually the key of everyone's survival. Pisces is immune to poison and thus survives inside Yggdrasil. Subsequently, when the other Gold Saints "dies" and gets swallowed by Yggdrasil, Aphrodite protects them so that they can survive inside Yggdrasil for the final comeback. So yeah, Aphrodite is damn awesome despite his short screen time.

Deathmask is another character that gets a massive personality makeover. Considering all the evil things that he did in the main series, to see him caring for a flower girl secretly is heartwarming. He even says thank you to Aphrodite for protecting the girl as Aphrodite "died" after rescuing the girl.

We also finally get to see how Gold Saints' relationship become post-Sanctuary arc with Aioros finally meeting Saga, who ordered his assassination, and Camus who actually killed him as well as Aiolia who bears hidden grudge against Camus who killed his brother and Camus who is hiding his guilt for killing Aioros.

Here come the bad parts. Firstly, the battles are boring as they follow the same old formula: they have to kill/destroy certain number of people/structure, with people sacrificing their lives before the main character is able to finally fight the final boss. The battles feel rather short although that is understandable considering the number of episodes. In comparison, 1 battle can usually run up to 3-4 episodes in the original Saint Seiya. It does not help that we are used to over dramatic battles between the Bronze saints against the stronger saints. God Warriors, the antagonists in Soul of Gold, are on par with the Gold Saints and the matches are over after trading 2 attacks from each person. No excessive bloody scenes and they just die. It is boring but I can still justify the matches to be that way because both parties are of similar strength and power.

There are so many plot holes which contradicts the main series. Considering Gold Saints' devotion to Athena and that this story happens in the midst of Athena vs Hades Holy War, it is really out of character for the Gold Saints who is revived to be spending time in Asgard instead of going back to the Sanctuary or back to the Underworld. Some even state that they want to enjoy this second chance of life and want to simply live in peace. The other out of character example is the unleashing of Athena Exclamation. When it is first introduced during Hades arc, the Gold Saints are extremely reluctant to use this forbidden technique. Here, they dish it out freely as the last resort against Loki.

Since this takes place in the midst of Holy War, how is it possible that Hades let the strongest of Athena Saints to actually get out of Hell, which is Hades' territory, to be revived by other God? Deathmask can also freely uses his Sekishiki Meikai Ha which brings his opponent to the borders of the afterlife and Hades is not doing anything about this.

The God Cloth thingy are rubbish for me! Obviously they are just some money making scheme to have new costumes for the same old characters. The modifications to the original Gold Cloths are lame as they are all about adding wings which practically serves no purpose. Those wings make the Cloths heavier and more difficult for the wearers to move and fight. Based on the explanation of that the God Cloth thingy can happen because the Cloth has come in contact with Athena's tears or blood, why don't they manifest it during the fight against Hades? And considering that it takes 12 Gold Saints in their God Cloths to defeat Loki, Loki is basically many many times more powerful than the other Gods who are defeated by Seiya who occasionally gets help from 1 Gold Cloth: Sagitarius.

Despite having great potential, it is not surprising that Saint Seiya is slowly but surely losing traction. Same theme keeps being repeated and with repeated deaths and resurrections of the same characters, it makes deaths no longer relevant. This is repeatedly echoed in the Soul of Gold: I am actually already dead, this is my second life and I am not afraid to die anymore. I consider myself an old fan of Saint Seiya and perhaps it is the nostalgia that makes me think that this series is not bad. It is not that fantastic but still bearable.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Disney Traditions (Jim Shore): "Magic Carpet Ride"

Disney Traditions is a Disney product line combining the magic of Disney with unique art style from the an award-winning artist/sculptor Jim Shore. Jim Shore's style of traditional woodcraft "feel" is unique and instantly recognisable, even when you see his non-Disney works. The traditional woodcraft "feel" can be polarising as you will either love it or totally hate it, especially when you look at the figurines from up close. At first, I do not really fancy Jim Shore's figurines as I thought they were made of wood which would not last. After realising that the figurines are made of stone resin, I definitely change my mind. I will not say that I am 100% love his style: the artistic treatment to his figurines is definitely special but I still don't like the edgy/pointy/woody feel on the surface of the figurines.

"Magic Carpet Ride" comes in a 25cm (L) x 16.7cm (W) x 23.7cm (H) box. The figurine is 20.5cm tall and the dimensions of Magic Carpet is 20.5cm x 12.5cm. This piece also comes with a light-up feature (requiring AAA batteries) and also serves as a music box playing A Whole New World. I have never come across to any Disney Traditions figurine which have the same features.
The box and the figurine
The front view of the box
The side views of the box
The top lid of the box
I love the compact packaging. But as you can see, something is broken :(

The romantic atmosphere is perfectly captured here
Close up of Aladdin's face
Close up of Jasmine's face
Details of the Magic Capet
Details of the Magic Carpet
The bottom side of the Magic Carpet
The cloud which can be better in my opinion
The LED lights are greatly incorporated into the figure which is genius.
The broken tassel :'(
The base of the figurine
Instruction sheet that comes with the figurine is rather unprofessionally done. I am not even sure if this sheet is official or provided by the seller. Lol.
Since the figurine comes with a light up feature, the next set of pictures will show the light effects. Under completely no light condition, the light is not good enough as it only allows Aladdin and Jasmine to be visible. Magic Carpet and the base is completely not visible.
The only angle that works when it is under complete darkness
With a little bit of room light
Under proper lighting (which is obviously not in this picture), this can look as if both of them are watching sunset.
In the animation, Prince Ali's attire is plain white and Jasmine's dress is plain turquoise. The patterns added to their clothes in this figurine give an appropriate cloudy and Arabian feel although I feel that the lines are too accented that the patterns don't look like pattern on the clothes but on TOP of the clothes. I am not a fan of the cloud which I think can be given more volume and the blue patterns on the cloud seem to be out of the place. The light blue shades on the cloud is too pale although I think it is quite nice of an attempt to resemble Prince Ali's and Jasmine's attire. Despite my reservations for the edgy/pointy/woody look, I think Jasmine's face is well done. Aladdin's face can be better but it is still on the good side and not as horrible as the face in WDCC Racing to the Rescue. Oh and although it plays music, Magic Carpet does not turn/spin on the clouds. How I wish it can be that way! Haha..

Having said all the above, I still think that this figurine still falls on the awesome side. I absolutely love the genius who hides the LED lights under the cloud. I absolutely love the overall romantic feeling of the figurine which is also conveyed correctly in the facial expression and body language of Aladdin and Jasmine.

In Singapore, Precious Thots is selling Disney Traditions figurines but I have never seen any Aladdin ones, except from the princess lines and that only features Jasmine. Thus I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this on eBay. Aladdin is not very popular although ironically Aladdin figurines always end up being rare. It is so difficult to get information about this piece like the year it was made (was it 2010 or 2011?? I don't know) or the original retail price. I actually bought this in May 2014 but only wrote about it now. I did not know how much the shipping cost me but I paid USD 75 for the figurine which is a steal considering nowadays I see this being listed for USD 250 and above. Of course because of the broken tassel, I had a full refund by insurance which means that I got this for free.

Let's compare with the other magic carpet ride from WDCC line which I wrote about many months ago.
WDCC piece depicts the sense of wonder at the beginning of Jasmine's flight: the outstretched hand, the windblown effect of Aladdin's cape and Jasmine's hair also gives a more grand and majestic atmosphere of the whole figurine as Aladdin is showing a whole new world to Jasmine. Disney Traditions piece depicts the romantic scene at the end of their journey, perhaps they are going to kiss soon as they are already holding each other's hands. No doubt in terms of the Magic Carpet and the cloud effects, I say WDCC piece is better. That also explains the difference in the price. Hahaha...

Since we are talking about this, I guess I should also share the following video. I am glad that they still sound as magical as 23 years ago and fame does not seem to get into their heads. Their voice sounds more mature now and perhaps this is how Aladdin and Jasmine will sing on Magic Carpet on their honeymoon trip. Haha.. But it is sad that Genie (Robin Williams) cannot join this reunion.