Thursday, March 28, 2019


I never watch the original Dumbo cartoon. I only know that it is the shortest Disney's cartoon with run time of merely 64 minutes and it has the racism issue with the crows. I did not really get the hype from the promotional materials as the CGI Dumbo looks rather scary: not as cute as the cartoon version and not as realistic as real elephants. Nonetheless Dumbo has a special place in my heart as it is one of my childhood plushies and that is my main reason of watching this live action version.

I think this live action Dumbo (subsequently I will just refer it as Dumbo) successfully adopts and modernises the story. Initially I was expecting the increased roles of the human characters will dilute or even destroy the overall focus on Dumbo. Fiuh.. thank goodness the human characters actually help to drive the plot without ruining the overall story.

The overall theme of Dumbo is faithful to the original cartoon while it expands on certain parts to make the movie have more adventurous slant. Instead of having Dumbo flying for the sake of flying, Dumbo is given a motivation: fly so that the circus can earn money to buy back Mrs Jumbo. Although things get bigger and seem to get messier at the Dreamland (is this meant to be a subtle poking at Disneyland), the main purpose of reuniting Dumbo with Mrs Jumbo stays. Thus I think the adventure part of the movie is a nice touch to make the movie more interesting to watch while still staying true to the overall theme of the cartoon. I am also impressed with the ending as Mrs Jumbo and Dumbo are back in the wild to be with an elephant herd. I find that a forward thinking and modern move instead of going to the direction of animal-human bond and Dumbo stays at the circus.

The homage to iconic elements of the cartoon is also done tastefully and believably. Few examples are the circus performance of burning building and Dumbo flies to spray water and extinguish the fire, the 'magical' feather (here Dumbo needs the feather to sneeze to initiate his flight), the pink elephants sequence (here Dumbo is not drunk but the pink elephants are part of the circus bubble performance), and Timothy mouse (albeit is just an 'easter egg').

Sadly Dumbo falls apart with the failure of exploring the human characters. The bonds between the kids and Dumbo and subsequently between Dumbo and Colette (the trapeze artist who rides Dumbo) are not explored. The bonds and trust are established within a few scenes which is not believable. Similarly with Holt and his kids, from the beginning until the end of the movie, I do not feel any development in their relationship as a family. The Medici circus' unity at the climax at the movie also does not come naturally as we never feel that they are that close bonded to begin with. The biggest loss is for Timothy. Timothy is such an important friend of Dumbo in the cartoon and here they are only in one scene together with no interaction. Yes I know elephants and mouse do not speak in real life but why cannot they be friends? I mean at least to live together and to play together or something.

While I am glad the live action does not ruin Dumbo, I think Dumbo is quite a bad movie relative to the previous Disney live action remakes. I never watch the Jungle Book and Alice in Wonderland but I kind of enjoyed Beauty of the Beast, Maleficent, and Cinderella. Dumbo is more on the 'meh' part which is a huge wasted opportunity as animal-human stories always have the potential to be heartwarming and amazing.

And to close this with an even emo mood, I miss my Dumbo plushie that my mum 'threw' away. How could she send it for dry cleaning but forgot to collect? T_T My heart hurts every time I remember this as it feels like a part of my childhood is gone. It has been 9 years and yet it still hurts.
Bye my Dumbo. I hope you have found your wildlife jungle too T_T

Sunday, March 24, 2019


I am feeling so blue because of the inability to get green apparels :( After surveying last week, I am finally ready to buy the green Reebok shoes at JD Sports ION on Friday only to find there was no size for me. My current Adidas shoes size 42 but the same size from Reebok is too big as the inside is not as puffy as my current Adidas shoes. At H&M, I saw a very nice green pants on sale for $20.95. Too bad H&M does not do alterations so I did not even bother to try. I am consoling myself that perhaps that leftover size put on sale will not fit me.

Today I went all the way to Jurong Point at Boon Lay to find the only other outlet of JD Sports. I have not been here for a few years and I do not feel that the mall is getting better. I was not aware that this is a 2-in-1 mall, namely JP1 and JP2. I was so confused because when I entered, I saw the signage for Fairprice Extra at level 3 but when I went up to level 3, I could not find it. It was because I already walked to the other wing. To make it even more confusing, the shop number is also repeated as initially when I went to the store number of JD, I found Shihlin Taiwan Street Food instead. The shoes model that I wanted was not even in the JD store here so it was a wasted trip. I was also surprised that the stores are opening quite late with many were still not open when I left at past 1030am. As I did not want to have a wasted trip, my eyes caught notice of the graphics singlet for $8 but again there was no size for the design I wanted. Bleah.

I am quite stingy when it comes to clothes, especially when it is not out of necessity. My latest place of interest now is the sale corner at Uniqlo. When I saw on Friday, I was quite amazed that the leftover pants/jeans were on sale for $14.90. I did not know my size so I only started shopping today after checking my size. It was a good call to check Plaza Singapura first as my size was not available at ION and Orchard Central stores. Hehe..

The better news is that my pants size has dropped by 1. Wheee!! Currently my jeans and pants are size 32 or waist 82cm but just now 82 was too big and I settled on 79. Just for the record, Uniqlo now does not use size anymore but simply use the waist size and it is in multiples of 3. So 73cm, 76cm, 79cm, 82cm, and so on. I bought a wine colour pants and another one that looks like army pattern. $14.90 each but I have to add $5 for alteration fee. Okay at least I have settled pants for my Japan trip. Lol. Left with the shoes.

I was so excited when I read that Final Fantasy Dissidia NT is available on Steam. I downloaded the free version and wow.. 16gb worth of data of download. Sadly, it is a false hope :( The game is so unplayable and keeps freezing/hanging. No wonder most of the reviews is negative. From reading the review, it seems that the game is fully online but the game server sucks. Lucky I only get the Free Version (or is it because I only get the Free Version?). For peasants like us, there are only 4 available characters accessible for play and they will rotate these 4 characters weekly. Otherwise, we have to pay to unlock the other characters. Ooops... I have uninstalled the game. Haha.. But it is really so sad. Dissidia and Dissidia Duodecim at PSP last time are pretty good. However, the graphics and the music for Dissidia NT are just superb and on a level above PSP Dissidias. There goes my excitement to play as Rinoa or Locke :(

Friday, March 22, 2019

Light as a feather

Perhaps not as a feather but this is the lightest I have been since I don't know when. I was so happy when I weighed myself on last Wednesday and I am finally reaching 65kg again. The secret is really by having L-men for dinner instead of a meal. My L-men stock is thinning and I am starting to look for an alternative in Singapore since I don't know when I will be back to Jakarta again. 

I listen to my gym coach and start looking at protein powder which I have been avoiding since I do not want to bulk up. I bought 2 packets to try first and to compare with my current L-men. The protein powder is lower in calories and in sugar so I think it will not bulk me up. The bigger problem is the taste/texture. The protein powder does not really dissolve (perhaps my glass is too small) and I feel like drinking sludge. Eeew.. but I will do anything to lose weight.

I have been going to gym on alternate days since my injury. When I have something on and miss a day, I will end up going only twice or thrice a week. Since I am paying for monthly membership, the fewer times ago, the more 'expensive' each visit is. When it is time to renew, perhaps it is time to look into if I should change my package. With things seem okay, I start to push myself to go for 2 days in a row before taking one day break. So far it seems alright but it still depends on the combination of the exercise. I was alright to go on last Saturday and Sunday consecutively before taking a break on Monday. However after the burpees on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was so tired today despite a break yesterday. I was planning to go today and the weekends but likely I have to skip tomorrow.

With the positive improvement with my weight loss, the temptations become bigger as well. Two weeks ago I managed to resist not to look at the interesting potato chips that I never saw before. Last week I lost. With the promotion price ending on the 21st, I decided to buy 4 packets. Haha... So far I am still amazed that I still manage to resist. I just tie the plastic bag and put it inside my pail. 1 more month until my trip to Japan is over and I hope I can hang on all the way. Hehehe..

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Bad things and good things

The wait and worry is over and now replaced with anger. I finally received an answer about the renewal of my re-entry permit. I only get one year and the reason (as well as the reason my application was delayed) is because I am screwed over by MOE system. I am considered as having not fulfilled my tuition grant bond obligation. I submitted all evidence in 2016 and in their system the status was 'acknowledged'. Now then I learnt that 'acknowledge' does not mean 'approved'. The documentation that they want is a letter stating an end date of my employment and how was it possible to have such a letter when I was still under employment in 2016. Monday and Tuesday were so frustrating for me to deal with inflexible civil servants who did not pick up phone calls (whether at 830am, 1000am, 230pm, 330pm, 430pm), replied email rudely, and had "that is not my department issue" or "refer to online" attitude. I was considering to escalate this with a feedback (read: complaint) through their websites since I know how public sector functions but in the end I decided that I should not waste my energy with these lowly executives. Life must go on and I trust that karma will eventually serve justice.

Disney dropped two surprises this week with the latest trailers for live action Aladdin and the Avengers: Endgame. I think it is official that my childhood is ruined after seeing the latest trailer for Aladdin. It feels like a Bollywood movie rather than a movie set in Arabia. Agrabah is a fictional city so to avoid all the debate where it is located, we should just follow the official OST Arabian Nights. The design of the city is amazing. It reminds me of Arabian Coast at the Tokyo Disneysea so I believe after the release of this movie, that part of Disneysea may become more crowded. I hope there is higher chance for Aladdin characters to appear more regularly there for photos as well. Hmm I am rambling. Back to the trailer, I am quite happy that some elements of the cartoon are kept such as the iconic "Do you trust me?" and the magic carpet ride while singing A Whole New World. I don't know if the actors are really singing the song so I shall say that the male voice sounds so similar to the 1992 Aladdin but the female voice is just too screechy compared to the 1992 Aladdin. It feels that she is performing instead of singing a lovely duet on a date. So not romantic.
Nevertheless, as I mentioned during the previous trailers, I WILL STILL WATCH THIS.

The latest Avengers: Endgame trailer is boring. Lol. With mostly scenes from the previous movies, there is very little in the trailer pertaining to the upcoming movie. I think Marvel is keeping their cards very closely to minimise any spoilers. Marvel is doing a complete opposite of the Infinity War trailers that showed many exciting parts of the movie and hyped the audience up with the promise of amazing fight scenes. Endgame trailer is all about talk and very little action. It does not mean a bad thing though as it is also hyping the audience up as with very little being known, we will be eager to find out what will happen and that means yes we will watch the movie.
The music!! The Avengers theme song is just chilling every time...

I finally borrowed wine uncorker from my friend and I tried the mead that I actually planned to drink for CNY. Seriously I am just not meant to drink. I only drank 50-100ml and I was knocked out for few hours. Although I did not get rashes on the body, I had palpitations o_0 As usual my face was as red as a lobster and until today I feel that the flushing causes my face to itch and my pimples to flare up. Interestingly, I found myself to be quite clear headed upon waking up yesterday. Hmm.. is this why usually people like to drink?

In about one month time, I will be in Japan for holiday and I decide that I should start looking for a new pair of shoes instead of procrastinating until closer to the departure date. I want to find a green colour one but I want the price to be less than $100. On Friday I checked out Takashimaya and on the way home I realised that Royal Sporting House at Junction 8 had more options. I should not wasted my time at Orchard. I checked out that Royal Sporting House has a branch at ION and at Lucky Plaza so I went to check out this morning. I gave up visiting Lucky Plaza as it was already crowded like siao at 11am. In terms of the items, I think I can get from Junction 8 if I am getting from Royal Sporting House. However, the pair that really caught my eyes is at JD Sports ION. There is a leaf green Reebok shoes discounted at $80. Hehe.. I was not wearing socks today so I have to come another day. I hope my size will be available.

I also went to Uniqlo thinking to replace my old jeans. Currently there is no discount for the pants but wow.. there are so many green tops. I love spring :) I am so stingy when it comes to clothes so even though they are tempting, I ended up only buying from the sale section. LOL. I bought a lime green heat tech tank top that I have no idea when I will be wearing :p It is only $7.90 and it bears Alexander Wang brand so yeah, maybe that is a reason to plan another trip this autumn or winter. I also bought an olive t-shirt for $4.90. I find M is a bit tight while L is too big but in the end, since the leftovers for sale were only the M, I just bought it. Haha.. I actually prefer the current season green colour but I shall wait until it is on sale too.

I managed to sell one of the Doraemon x Uniqlo plush that I bought from Jakarta last year. I am so thankful because I do not have high hopes with so many listings (including the pirated ones) at carousell. In addition, initially the buyer wanted to get it on Wednesday or Thursday but suddenly I heard nothing. Suddenly this morning he asked again if I was free for meet up today. Even better, he actually drove to my place to pick it up. Wow!! I am so glad that he is happy with the plush and finds the condition is as good as new. I am actually quite worried if the white parts already shows signs of aging (yellowing or black) or if the white colour is already like that since I bought it. One more to go so I am crossing my fingers. Hehe...

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Captain Marvel

Single superhero movie and an origin story are the perfect components of a boring movie that I usually avoid watching. The trailers did not get me excited at all. Well except for the part where she punches the old lady in the train but that is not a good enough reason to make me want to watch the movie. I asked my friend who watched it on the opening night and he said it was boring. He is more into superhero movie than me so things really looking not so good. At the end of the day, we all know that Captain Marvel will appear in the Avengers: Endgame and somehow the hype for Avengers: Endgame is the reason for me decided to watch.

Once you are able to accept that it is unavoidable that an origin story will tend to be boring, Captain Marvel is not as bad as expected or as what people say. While it is not fantastic either, I think it is okay and is still quite enjoyable. Perhaps it is our expectations that are getting higher.

Although it is wedged between Infinity War and Endgame, Captain Marvel is a still a well-thought standalone movie. The story is substantial enough on its own and it does not suffer from simply filling in the gaps or feeding in information with respect to the other movies in the MCU. Nick Fury and the Tesseract are the only two things in common from Captain Marvel and the present MCU. The Tesseract is not connected to the Infinity Stone at all while the Nick Fury part at least gives us more glimpse on why this guy is unfazed and not freaking out to see aliens invading the Earth (in the first Avengers movie) as he has been caught in between of an intergalactic war between 2 alien races. These things enrich the MCU without taking away or affecting Captain Marvel too much as a movie. MCU solid plot across the movies and across the years is also seen in the explanation of Captain Marvel's absence from earth all these while. It feels believable and still gels with what Captain Marvel movie is all about, rather than something that is being forced along the way to fit into MCU.

Unfortunately, that solid plot across the universe does not translate to solid plot for this movie. The back story on how Captain Marvel gets her superpower is quite wtf. Considering at the start she lost the memory of her earthy life, the way she navigates in the earth while searching for information does not feel as if she is new to earth. The lead up to the climax is also kinda convenient. For someone who just realised that she had been brainwashed all her life, she simply believed all the stories she heard from people she just met as truth. If I know that I have been brainwashed, I will definitely have some trust issues.

I am not sure if I like the changes made from the universe in the comics. In the comics, the Krees and the Skrulls have been at war for the longest time and it is unclear who is good or bad as both are simply threats to the earth. The movie changes this as the Skrulls are depicted to be the good side and trying to escape the Krees' annihilation and their only aim is to preserve their race. This is the first time we see the Krees and Skrulls in the MCU so as long as this change is good for the overarching future stories, I think I can live with that. However, I am irritated that Mar-Vell is gender swapped to a female. Nothing against the females but I just generally hate gender swaps whether it is in comics, animes, movies, books, etc compared to the original materials. You can find and exercise your creativity in many better ways.

It has been mentioned that Captain Marvel is the strongest superhero in MCU and we really get a glimpse of this. She basically can go super saiyan in the outer space without requiring any special equipments and then single handedly destroy alien ships and swat off alien army from attacking the earth. That outer space scene looks sleek and after catching a glimpse of the behind the scenes, it is not surprising: Brie Larson was hoisted to a horizontal pole which can be turned/rotated/directed and then she struck the all the cool fighting and flying poses.

The biggest surprise and the most exciting part of the movie for me is the mid-ending credit scene where we get the first glimpse of Captain Marvel's encounter with the remaining Avengers after the events in the Infinity War. Seriously this makes my friends and I even more hyped for Endgame. I guess this just reinforces what I said in the first paragraph lol.

Being the first Marvel movie to be released after Stan Lee's passing, it is a very touching tribute that instead of using the usual MCU opening sequence showing the various superheroes, the MCU opening sequence for Captain Marvel shows Stan Lee's previous cameos. He will definitely missed and lets hope the new generation of writers do not destroy his legacy.

For now, it is about 6 more weeks until the Avengers: Endgame. The hype is real and I really cannot wait :D

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Teething problem

Aging is scary. Things which have been working well for years can simply become damaging and not suitable to the body overnight. Rewind to slightly more than one year ago, my teeth had pretty bad staining and plaquing although I was not a regular cola / coffee / tea / coloured beverages drink. The identified culprit was mouthwash so I stopped since then. With nothing else changed for the past one year, it is confirmed that the mouthwash was the cause. The funny thing is that I never changed my mouthwash brand since the first time I used mouthwash.

From young I have a bad habit of grinding my teeth when sleeping -something unconscious and not I want to do again now the bad impact starts to show with the wear and tear to my teeth and gum. Sigh.. While it is not something I can control when I am asleep, at least it is a good reminder not to be lazy with my retainers when I sleep. I tend to overnap in the evenings and I end up sleeping without the retainers lately. Bleah.. The other thing that the dental hygienist wants me to watch out is whether I am subconsciously clenching my teeth when I am stressed. Ok maybe now I am less stressed but I may subconsciously do that when I am focusing on what I do. I try to pay attention to this and yup, I am subconsciously clenching. I suppose part of it is due to me wanting to ensure that my upper and lower jaws are still aligned nicely.

Out of desperation to lose weight, I make it a habit to drink a bottle of green tea daily and this affects staining of my teeth (minus the plaque). My front rabbit teeth are affected the most since they are the contact point when drinking the bottle so I need to find reuseable straw for use now.

Yesterday I had another solo session at gym. Today I went again and this is my first time going on consecutive days since my injury in September. After my physio session last month, I think I am on the correct road of recovery. I was informed that I need not to go again if my back is not having problems. So yay! I think I have reached a plateau in my weight loss or gym progress so the only way moving forward is actually to push harder for jump squats, burpees with jump, and run faster for mountain climbers. I am less inclined to push harder with the weights because of fear of another injury. With my L-men stock is running out very soon, I need to find a diet cereal replacement here and I am thinking whether I should try protein powder. I have been avoiding since I do not want to bulk up and I want to lose weight. Now I am thinking if I should give protein a try as it will help with muscle repair and as long as the calories are comparable to what I have from L-men, it should not cause me to gain weight.

I checked out Cold Storage yesterday and could not make up my mind. Today I decided that I should get a packet first so that I can do research on the content and I would like to get the wagyu sandwich from Paragon. Then I remembered that Holland Village also has Cold Storage so I cancelled my trip to Orchard. I bought DIY salad from Cold Storage which is very reasonably priced ($7.90 for the basic one) and is of reasonable serving and good quality. I dare to say that it is more worth buying this than Sumo Salad or other salad places near my office.

Today is barely the first Sunday of Lent and I am already feeling the hardship. Cold Storage is discounting its Kettle's potato chips grrr... I was so tempted for the Korean BBQ flavour that Fair Price does not carry. There were other potato chips that I have not seen before but I decided to turn away from checking their flavours and prices as it would make the temptation even bigger. I cannot recall the last time I tried to participate in Lent (definitely not in the past 2 years) so perhaps that makes this year even more challenging. God help me!!

My PR is expiring in mid-April and I just applied for renewal last week. I thought it would be an automatic renewal but that is not the case for me. I am more stressed after checking with my friend as himself, his sister, and his friend all had automatic renewal. I am not going to lie that I am worried but I am sort of accepting this. After all it is not something within my control and worrying is not going to help. I still consider myself lucky that I will come back from Japan 1 day before the expiry or I will not be able to enter here.

On Friday, I had a dinner with my lecturer friend. The last time I met her was a few years ago when I was taking a testimonial for my job application. Now that things are better for me, I asked her to meet just to catch up with no strings attached. Haha.. I am still grateful to God for the job change last year as it seems to be the best thing that happened to me last year. My friend said that I definitely look happier. My dentist and dental hygienist said the same thing too so yay!! Hopefully this will continue on :D

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Post V-day sickness

My last post was for Valentine's Day and the day to pleasure myself turned out to be a day to torture myself. I had potato chips and instant noodle to treat myself for the Valentine's Day and I end up sick until now. I started to have sore throat on Friday after the Valentine's during company CNY lunch and I was literally on the bed through the weekend due to fever. The fever went away on Monday but the cough and sore throat continued to worsen and I even took MC on Thursday to be knocked out whole day due to the cough mixture.

Ironically I did not learn and I had KFC Mac and Cheese Burger on the Sunday after that. Haha.. Add on McD Crispy Chicken and Popeye's last Saturday and no wonder that I am still taking cough and sore throat medicines until now. So far I have been able to stay away from bubble teas since 2019 began but my limit for potato chips seem to be two weeks. Lol. So yes, I still had one episode of my 2 weekly potato chips and on Sunday I had 3 packs of Jagabee and a pack of Kettle's since I was planning that they would be my last until Easter. I am aiming to give up potato chips and the fast food for Lent on top of the bubble tea.

For the past 3 weeks I have been binge watching a Thai drama and its sequel from Youtube. These are the first Thai dramas that I ever watched. Haha. One thing that I enjoy is how soft spoken Thai people are. Even when they are arguing, they are not really raising their voice like Chinese or Korean dramas. It sorts of remind me that the last time I went to Bangkok was in 2008 and looking back at the photos taken back then, perhaps it is time to revisit and retake photos. Haha.. Omg.. legs being cut off, slanted building, and I could not stand straight back then. 

Talking about travelling, with fewer days of annual leave that I have, it is time to find new destinations that I can visit during long weekends. My ex-colleagues are going to Taiwan this May and I decided that I should join them. Haha.. I don't care where they are going and what they are going to do since my purpose is just to explore a new country and to be acquainted with the system. They are going for a week but I will just be there for 4 days to save my leave and because I am not sure if I would love it there. I always consider myself to be blind, deaf, and mute there since I am a Chinese who cannot read, understand, and speak Chinese and that is the main reason I am avoiding Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan. Well this time I will have my friends as tour guides so why not. I did take a bit more time to do the bookings and I guess it was my luck since eventually I made the booking when Scoot starts a sale for Passion Card holder. I save about $50. Yay. Oh ya, another reason why I am willing to try Taiwan is that since I have Japan visa, I can simply apply for the entry permit online and it saves the hassle of applying visa.

Despite my sickness, the past 3 weeks have been full of socialising. I went for a Landmark introductory session (it is a pass for me because although it has a nice concept, it reeks more of marketing than a personal improvement course), a chit-chat session for my next volunteering stint as a youth career coach, a chit-chat and the first session of Landings, and my uncle's 70th birthday celebration on last Sunday.

Today is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent. I am too tired to type anything more since this is already 3-weeks worth of writing so I will write about it on a separate post. Meanwhile, I shall end this with happy news that today marks Digimon 20th Anniversary. Hurray... My 2 Patamon and Gomamon plushies are released and already on shipping today and I am looking forward to more Digimon merchandises. Lol.
Thanks for being a memorable part of my childhood until today :D