Thursday, August 31, 2017

Running again

August passed and I survived the first month of my manager role. Thank God for all the help and support. It is a miracle things are not broken apart yet and I still survived.. just with more white hair and pimples. I have to be honest that lately my tyrannical side starts to surface. Gosh I know that this is one of my weaknesses that when noone is reining on me, I may just go crazy. Haiz.. Only God can help and rein me.

As part of training for the running event on 1st October, clinic organised a practice run at Toa Payoh Stadium on Wednesday. Wow.. that was my first time jogging again since my hernia surgery in 2014. For 5km, it would be 12.5 rounds in the inner lane. Obviously I did not complete and I gave up after 8 rounds haha... I did that in 20 minutes. It made completing 2.4km and cross country (4.8km) runs in my secondary school and JC more than a decade ago miracles. How the heck I completed them.. Well things remain the same: I would still fail my NAPFA.. and once I stopped a while to walk, there was no way I would be back up jogging till the end.

I am quite disappointed because all the time and money spent on gym for the past 9 months do not seem to bear any fruits :( Firstly I was even slower than I used to be :( Yes I know I am a more than a decade older now and bla bla bla but still :( I also only lasted for 20 minutes which is the usual duration of my gym sessions. Yet I felt as tired as the quarterly testing. Even more weird, I found my arms more tired than my thighs. Alamak.. arms were just swinging lightly for balance leh. So can't gym today, tomorrow gym is closed for public holiday, and saturday I can't go too.

On a good note, Final Fantasy Mobius Anniversary month has come to an end too. I did not get anything good from the boosted greater summon pulls. However, I got Tonberry and Zidane jobs from the free daily pull. I am hoping for Squall but I guess I should not be complaining. It is still better to get something than nothing.
I can only say that I am used to seeing Zidane in SD form. This will be what Zidane would look like if FF IX is made in normal scale. So awkward haha...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tsum-ing back

Let's take a break from all the movie post and have a diary post about my boring life. Lol. Until now I still have yet to catch any of the Pokego legendary birds that I am lazy to play it anymore. Usually I will still switch it on when I am on bus journey for the egg hatching but for the past week, I can't even be bothered about that. My gaming attention returns to Disney Tsum Tsum again! Lol.

I played Tsum Tsum when it was first released and stopped playing (and uninstalled it) after 2 weeks because it was frustrating to be poor with coins and with tsums. Lol. I still remembered earning only 100+ coins per play and to buy the next tsums, I need 30000 coins. I got hooked back because on the bus I saw someone playing with Beauty and the Beast tsums and I thought they are cute! My luck is better this time as recently I have obtained Romantic Ariel, Beast, and Lumiere tsums. With more varieties and stronger skills, it is much more enjoyable to play now. I consider myself lucky because Romantic Ariel is the rarest (1/15 chance) from the current gacha, Beast is one of the better tsums for coins (although I don't really like him as it takes too long to charge), and Lumiere is one of the newer tsums with good fever gameplay. Hehe..

The mid-year toy fair at Takashimaya ended last week. I am glad that I bought the things that I wanted 2 weeks ago because when I came back last week, everything that I wanted was already sold out. The turnover was surprisingly so fast. In fact, initially I came on Saturday and I was eyeing Yokai Watch storage box. I don't care about Yokai Watch itself but a 30cm x 30cm x 30cm storage box for $3 is quite a steal. When I came on Sunday, I saw a new pile of Saint Seiya D.D Panoramation. There were only 3: Leo ($15), Virgo ($15), and Sagitarius ($20) which were bloody cheap compared to the original price. There were only 3 Virgos and 1 Sagitarius left. As they are quite bulky, I even had to take taxi to go home. I decided to buy with the aim of selling them and it was a good bargain because yesterday I managed to sell both Virgo and Sagitarius for a total of $80. Whee!!! That paid for all my spending + taxi fare. Haha... I hope Leo will have a buyer soon.
Well that is a small respite after my impatience with Digimon plushie set from Premium Bandai which was available from Japan but not Singapore Premium Bandai. I was impatient and just bought it now for 12000 JPY which is reasonable considering the release price of 10692 JPY. After I bought, there was another seller selling for 9000 JPY :( Dang.. if I waited just another week, I would save a lot and perhaps it would spare me from another fucked up SingPost service about the delivery of the item. 
The box is 60cm x 25cm x 20 cm which is VERY big
Ahh.. finally I can get a Gomamon plushie :)
My dad finally agreed to go to Japan next May. Hurray!! I managed to use my credit card points to redeem KrisFlyer miles for First Class tickets. Yay!! It is sad that A380 is no longer flying to Tokyo and I will not able to experience Suites :( After much deliberation, I just decided to YOLO. Despite the departure flight will be a red eye flight (i.e midnight flight), at least I will be able to experience the Private Room. I was deliberating to take Business Class for the return flight but then again I decided that I should just experience First Class since I will be sleeping most of the time for the first flight. Another consideration is the miles 'cost'. By redeeming Business, 1 mile = 3 cents while for First, 1 mile = 6.5 cents.

I am flying to Osaka in a month time and I have yet to settle the train passes there, USJ tickets, exchange Yen, etc. Bleah.. Better start doing something about it tomorrow.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

I saw the trailer for the first time before watching Conan 21st movie in May and boy I was really impressed. The graphic looks gorgeous and the action scenes are exciting too. It is quite rare for me to feel that way as usually I am not too impressed for too much CGI. July came and unfortunately there were a lot of bad reviews: bad story, bad acting, etc. Not to mention that the number of screenings after the first week dropped quite a lot and I had difficulty to find a suitable timing as I wanted to utilise my free ticket. I finally managed to watch it today. I was prepared to be disappointed and I was watching for the sake of not letting my free ticket go to a waste.

Hey Valerian is actually not that bad and I left the cinema feeling quite happy. Perhaps because I had low expectations that it did not take a lot to exceed my expectations. I find the acting to be ok, not as bad as what people say.

The beginning sets up the movie pretty nicely as a science fiction that is still grounded on reality. The international space stations has grown big enough with more and more nations joining that the Mother Earth considers it a threat. For peace, it is decided that the space station to leave the earth gravity and to travel the universe. Fast forward a few hundreds to the future, other species (or aliens) join that the space station grows big enough to be called Alpha. 30 years ago, a war with an alien species resulted in destruction of Planet Mul. A group of survivor wants to re-create their planet and this puts them in conflict with Alpha to get the last surviving 'converter'.

The plot in the actual film is actually quite weak and is not as grand as it sounds in the synopsis. It is  a good and bad thing. The good is it is rather refreshing because the Planet Mul survivors are peace loving so the story does not go down to the usual war among the species. The bad is the lack of actual conflict making it rather boring. The 'antagonist' is not the usual evil power hungry human aiming for world domination. He just does what he thinks best for the human and the peace in Alpha although it is questionable to sacrifice a planet and its inhabitants.

The impressive graphics in the trailer is the best as it can get and in the film, they are only for the purpose of introducing how vast Alpha is. The futuristic space ships and control stations in Alpha is nicely contrasted with the natural paradise-like Planet Mul and the barren Planet Kyrian. Action scenes, other than the one at Planet Kyrian, is just like any other normal action scenes with guns. I find it a huge loss that despite boasting so many different species, the focus in this movie is just humans. Bleah.. There will be so much room for amazement if the aliens are also involved. Oh ya, I find Rihanna's dancing is a bit random too lol.

Apparently this is based on a French comic book series from the 60s titled Valerian and Laureline. I guess that explains the direction where the plot is going. If this is from America, there will not be peace loving Planet Mul inhabitants. Lol. They will be all out for revenge and the humans will be the evil race who wants to rule all the other species. No doubt it will be more appealing in terms of story lol.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Based on a super popular series, boasting popular actors and actresses, visual that is faithful to the original anime/manga as well as period drama, great box office performance in Japan: all the recipe needed for a good anime/manga adaptation. Although I never follow the original series, I decided to watch this Gintama movie without even reading reviews for the plot or the movie.

I feel that the movie will be have contrasting reviews depending on whether the person watching is a fan to begin with. I don't follow the original story so I find the plot is quite weak, especially considering Gintama is more like a gag series. I personally enjoy over-the-top performance to replicate the over-the-top expressions and scenes from anime/manga. I also find the references to another series (that is what makes Gintama quite unique for a comedy) hilarious because I am familiar with the series they are referring to. However, for non-fans, they will find the comedy lame and they will not get the references or understand why the fans are laughing.

The setting is kinda lame right from the start as Japan is invaded and ruled by aliens. Even so, I think they really cannot be bothered about the plot to begin with. The rather weak plot gets further thinned down with all the comedy elements in between that people looking for a good story will find themselves in a "WTF is this movie" kind of feeling. But then again I don't know if the plot follows the original anime/manga that fans will like it.

I can close an eye to the story since this is meant to be a live-action of anime/manga which usually is average at best in general. The thing that I can't stand the most is the CGI. The CGI is painful to watch and it is as if the movie producer does not even try to blend the CGI to reality. The CGI looks obviously like a computer work added in a post-production stage. Ouch.. I think not acceptable given the technology today. Even Power Rangers in the 90s is not this awful.

Gintama plays its trump card well with the comedy and self-depreciating jokes throughout the movie. For example, Gintama said that Elizabeth cannot be an alien and must be a human wearing a cosplay wear and a few moments later we are shown with Elizabeth falling down and the human legs showing. The casts sing the initial opening and closing song in a "can't be bothered style". In fact the initial opening scene is like a karaoke session with the karaoke video only showing Shun Oguri's name (the real actor name who plays Gintoki) all over as if he is the only cast in the film. But ultimately, just like the discussion between cartoon Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura at the start of the film, it will be difficult to win over new fans with this live action movie.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Looks like I have to forgo my secret desire to be an actor. I thought I am quite thick skinned but in front of camera, I am actually very shy :( I am okay with photos, I can tahan videos, but I totally cannot make it when it comes for interview.

About 3 weeks ago, I agreed to help a colleague for a fall awareness video since it would done in my clinic. Lucky I 'volunteered' myself or otherwise I would feel guilty if I were to find someone since it ended pretty late at 830pm. It was my first time to be involved in this kind of video shooting so I learnt that just to get 1 scene, multiple shots from different angles were required. With no script prepared, what I said for each take were slightly different. Haha.. Anyway script was not required because I was supposed to act out what I do at work everyday. So it was not really acting per se.

Today was another filming for a project that I am involved in. The discussion to get a volunteer was going nowhere so I just 'volunteered' myself since eventually the arrow would be directed to me as the smallest fry from pharmacy and the scene to be featured was a pharmacy scene. The pharmacy scene was a breeze since audio was not required. So I could just pretend to be dispensing as usual without worrying about my speech, grammar, language, etc. This time the production was even of a higher standard since it was by an external producer. There were big camera and big light too.

Then came the bummer which was the interview. According to the script, I would only have to answer 1 question so I prepared myself for that. During the actual shooting, I was given 4 questions! No matter how 'good' my English is, English is not my mother tongue. I was very nervous and particular of my own grammar if I had to do something impromptu. Not to mention when the questions asked were not for my personal opinions but I was expected to give answers which were representative of my project team members and my colleagues. Alamak!! It did not help that the producer wanted to have a different background outdoor and I had to do it at corridor. It was rather warm and uncomfortable. Not to mention that I was not sure if I should project my voice or if I should speak normally.

I did not know how many NGs there were and when I thought everything was over, I was given: can we repeat another time from a different angle? T_T It is a horror to see the end product but I really hope the final video will just exclude my interview part.

Gosh... now I really appreciate those celebrities who appear in TV. It is really not an easy job wor..