Friday, January 29, 2016

Another free USS trip

I just came back from another free trip to Universal Studios Singapore and I am so shagged! It is another free entry as an appreciation for my involvement in the APG in December. After a similar one for SEA Games, I was very reluctant to go again. Not only none of my friends were going, it was held on a Friday and it was only from 7pm to 12am. I used one of my friend's ticket to ask another friend and as it had always been raining in the afternoon for the past week, I told her that I would cancel the plan off if it was raining this afternoon.

Apparently it did rain but I told her that I would still go to Vivocity and if it was still raining, I would just eat dinner there. We ate at Fish & Co and there is a reason why the last time I ate there was many years ago when my friend was not even in Singapore yet. Haha.. It was raining when we started but it stopped when we were done so in the end we still went to USS. Yay!!

USS is ready for Chinese New Year although the CNY decoration is only at the Hollywood area (which is essentially the first area where public enters). It felt very quiet for a Friday evening and I realised that this time the whole USS was 'reserved' just for us as everyone was seen wearing the yellow wristband which was the entrance ticket. Whee :) That was unlike the previous appreciation event which was on a Saturday afternoon and USS was still open to the public. Unfortunately, my friend was not interested in the rides. If I went with people who like those things, they would be over the moon as all the rides were only 5-20 minutes queue long.

At the entrance, we took a picture with Woody Woodpecker and the girlfriend. The queue was like only 5 people. Lol. We then went for Shrek 4-D adventure which was a waste of time (boring, too much talk, and I found the 3D was too hurtful for the eyes). As we were going back, there was a Madagascar meet & greet. We had no idea who the characters are and we just took photo for the sake of getting photos. I think USS character meet & greet is like very poor thing as people are not interested to take pictures with them. We also saw Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop and noone was queueing to take pictures with them. Ouch!

Sadly because USS was 'reserved' for us, a lot of eateries were not open and the whole area was quite dark in the evening. Not that I cared since my main reason for going is to take photo souvenir for team NILA. I wore a green shirt and the backdrop of the photo was also in green!! When I compared with the photo I had for SEA Games, I realised that I was actually wearing the same shirt so of course the same disaster was repeated: I blended in completely with the backdrop the photo turned out horrible. Haha.. This time I saw 2 of such photo booths so I had another try on the other photo booth and nothing could help my blending in. Lol.

I could not use the $20 voucher as we were already full from dinner. I did not regret eating Fish & Co as we were both so hungry earlier but I admit some of the food were very tempting T_T I just had an ice milo as the milkshake was already unavailable. Meh.. It was only past 9pm. I feel a bit emo because I cannot share the photos taken with the characters as my friend was also in the picture. Not that I am worried that people will think we are together but because I am afraid that her boyfriend in Korea will be jealous!! After all, he did not let her go for a holiday to Australia just with me.

But looking at the positive side, it was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience to visit USS as an 'VIP' as the whole place totally felt not crowded. Hehe..
The finale of my APG experiences :) Thank you for all the memories

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Our Times

This is very late! I watched Our Times (我的少女時代 is the Mandarin title) in mid-December which was also already quite late. I had to shamefully admit that I watched this online through a link that a friend shared. I felt ripped off as the proclaimed HDRIP quality turned out to be an illegal recording in a cinema -complete with shadows of people going to the toilet. A week later another friend shared a link to the HD version. It is really HD but I do not want to re-watch it haha... I actually wanted to watch it in the cinema but between free stay at MBS vs watching this in cinema, the winner is pretty clear.

Our Times had a lot of hype, particularly for the reference to the 90s. I belong to the 90s generation too so I am quite interested to see what the hype is all about. People also compare this to You are the Apple of My Eye. That is not exactly appleaing (meant to be a pun :p) to me as the only thing I remember about that movie is that there are funny scenes and the last kiss. I totally cannot remember the plot which means the plot is completely forgettable.

I am pretty glad that I did not watch this in cinema. Honestly, I felt so bored for almost the whole movie. Our Times does not offer anything new or unique pertaining to the 90s settings or high school love stories between a delinquent, a shy girl, and the most popular student at school. Although it is quite expected that the bad boy will end up falling for the shy girl (and vice versa), it is quite cute that he does not have the guts to confess. This is only revealed near the end when the boy leaves for America and leave behind a cassette recording for the girl.

The last 10 minutes, however, make all the yawning for the earlier 2 hours worth it. The girl is big fan of Andy Lau. After the boy's confession and fast forward a few years later, it seems quite random that we leave the lovey dovey part and back to the girl fangirling again. It is funny to see her frustrated for not able to ever get a ticket for her idol's concert for the past many years. So it is a big nice surprise when Andy Lau really makes an appearance (as himself!!) in this movie. It becomes to an even bigger surprise that the whole Andy Lau thingy is actually a fulfillment of the boy's promise many years ago to have Andy Lau sing for the girl. So manly tears are shed at this point and the music also creates the appropriate tear-inducing atmosphere. The movie ends with an exchange of "Long time no see" and although that does not give any closure to their love story, it makes the ending memorable. I can particularly relate to how they feel as there was no internet and international phone call was so expensive in the 90s. When someone moved overseas, you could simply lost all contact. When you unexpectedly meet that someone now (especially if it is someone dear to you), you will definitely get the 'feel'.

Oh ya, I am not a fan of Jerry Yan but I have to admit that I like to see him here as the adult version of the bad boy. 

The soundtrack

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Chicken overload

After tongue, stomach is the next body part which may lead you closer to hell. I can't believe that I skipped church this weekend just because of my stomach. Oh God please forgive me T_T Well God is distant so it is alright to sometimes prioritise myself over God. But no, I followed my stomach desire when it also meant that I would be eating poison.

Egg is a poison to my body and I have proven it during my end of year holiday that eggs really triggered acne breakout. After bombardment of various salted egg cuisines in my facebook, I lost my restrain last night and I kept thinking about salted egg popcorn chicken. Sigh.. I can't remember who shared it but on my facebook newsfeed, I saw about the Chicken King which is located at Toa Payoh. I pass by the area daily so if I want I can get it after work but a part of me keep urging me to try it today and keep my weekdays for diet.

Since the beginning of this year, my sleep cycle has been completely destroyed. I could no longer take a 1-2 hour nap in the evening as I always overslept until 2-3am :( which means that I may not brush my teeth (eww!!!) and put on my acne creams. I always shower before dinner as I hope that it would keep me awake longer and I don't need to take a nap. It does not work but at least I still shower :p The same thing happened last night and I fell asleep while waiting for the uploading of my photobook. I woke up at 1am and only slept again at 4am. I woke up late and because I played game too long, I skipped my usual 1130am mass. I thought I would eat my salted egg popcorn chicken for lunch and then go for my Japanese class. I played game longer than expected that I did not even have time for lunch. I only bought Kkuldak popcorn chicken at Plaza Sing before my Japanese class.

After class, it was a tough decision between going for evening mass vs having dinner. Obviously I chose dinner with the excuse being not having proper meal since lunch yesterday. I bought the normal ($5) and the salted egg popcorn chicken ($5.40) from the Chicken King. The normal one is pretty good, even better than Kkuldak, as they are not dry and well marinated. The salted egg turns to be as I expected: over-rated and nothing special. Booo!!

So yeah.. 3 servings of popcorn chicken a day. No more of it for the next 3 months!! Haha.. Time to get back on diet again.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Photobook

In the era of digital photography, gone are the days of printing photos to keep in a photobook. Although it is nice to be able to browse through the pictures digitally, nothing beats flipping through a photobook -just like how I can never enjoy online manga as much as reading directly from a book on my hands. There is this online photobook website that has perpetual discount codes from groupon but I only finally got the 'mood' to properly do one this year.

Honestly, it is not an easy thing to do and it is very tiring. I have been doing it for the past 2+ weeks and sacrifice whatever free personal time I have. Haha.. I started with the photos from my Europe trip in 2013 and the most difficult thing to do is the selection of the photos. Initially, I did for a 40-page portrait photobook as the available groupon discount code was for that. It took me a week to complete and by the time I wanted to get the groupon discount code, I realised that the photobook website itself is running a promotion for 40 and 80-page landscape photobook!! It was the last few hours of the promotion and luckily it was for the discount codes only and the timeline given to use it is until May. Landscape is always a better orientation for a photobook so I decided to re-do everything T_T There went all my effort for the past 1 week and I spent another week to do the 80-page landscape photobook. I hope it will turn out not disappointing. I will only write about my experience (especially with the use of the software) after I receive the end product. Haha.. Biasness detected.

I actually bought 2 more codes for 40-page because I am planning to do more for my Japan trip and Korea trip but after these past 2 weeks, I should take a rest doing these photos until Chinese New Year. Lol.. As a new customer, they emailed me a discount code for a free small photobook. Hehe.. I thought I wanted to use this for all my personal narcissistic photos but I realised I don't have enough photos to make a 40-page photobook. Lol.. Well I still have until end of this year to fill this photobook. Lol.

I finally completed my 3rd consecutive working Saturday since the beginning of the year with company's Active Day. That was the first physical activity I did since before my surgery in 2014!! Wow.. I played frisbee for a while and I still think that it is one sport which looks simple to play but very tiring to play. I ran out of breath and simply gave up on the last point despite at 1-1 condition. Well, we played for fun anyway. I also completed the 2km walk (jogging or running was forbidden as this was meant to be a walk assessment) and all my body is aching until now. I hope it will kickstart my exercise habit again.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Small surprises

The things are no big deal. But because I totally do not expect them, they become pleasant surprises for me. After I reached my room on Sunday, the first thing I noticed was a missed registered mail from Singapore. I did not order anything locally. I was very curious and at least it was an excuse for me to leave work on time on Monday. And what a great a surprise it was: a Christmas card and a pair of Cathay's Platinum Movie Suites tickets from my financial advisor!! Hohoho... Cathay's Platinum Movie Suites is something similar to Golden Village's Gold Class. I have been to Gold Classes for a few times and I am looking forward to try Platinum Movie Suites. Just nice that in 2016 there are plenty of super heroes movies coming out.

Yesterday I received an expensive looking item from Switzerland!! Wow.. Again, I did not order anything from Switzerland. It was Swissotel membership card. I really did not expect that the card will be sent from Switzerland directly. I will definitely patronise Swisshotel again --when the rates are reasonable. Haha.. 

It has been challenging to become a better person this year. It is hard not to feel upset when you try to help but the other party does not appreciate your help. That happened to me on Monday.. yep.. just the first working day in 2016. I keep reminding myself of Mother Teresa's "Do good anyway" even when others do not appreciate it. Oh well.. I have gotten over it but urrgh...

My resolution to set aside a few minutes everyday for prayer has been working so far despite the great effort to fight against the ZZZ monster. I can't seem to recover from my 3-hour sleep after my flight back on Sunday. I have been able to revert back to my diet to lose weight. It has been very challenging and I am feeling hungry every evening :( In the past, that 1 glass of cereal was sufficient. Clearly my stomach has expanded and I need to adapt back to this 200kcal dinner.

I was honestly surprised to find special appearance of Atsuko Maeda and Yuko Oshima during AKB48 performance in the 66th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen. It was so difficult to find the video of the performance but yesterday I found it on Youtube!! Yay!! My guess that AKB48's popularity is fading with graduation of their famous members finally become reality. Something must be terrible if they had to call 2 of their former members for a national TV performance. Honestly, the performance was rather rubbish and it was only made interesting because of the appearance of Acchan and Yuko. A part of me feels quite sad that these 2 former members actually overshadowed the current members for this performance but no doubt that they have more star power than the current members. Anyway it is good to see both of them look much fresher in this performance than when they were still in AKB. And I think nothing tops AKB48's performance in 2011 (i.e 62nd NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen).

Mickey and Minnie Mouse also appeared with V6 but sadly the song chosen was rather disappointing.