here’s my ten cents, my two cents is free

Guess who’s back, back again? *sheepish wave*

It has been a while since I retreated to this corner of the internet, hasn’t it, like around half a year? Idk, I suppose I didn’t really feel like posting despite having things to talk about. But hey, I thought it was high time to come back before I stop being able to put thoughts and feelings into actual sentences, because we all know that the thoughts that flow through one’s mind move really quickly and are normally only half-formed. (Or at least that’s my experience? I tend to think in half-sentences because my mind knows what I’m trying to say without having to craft everything into proper thoughts as though I’m trying to explain something to another person outside of my mind.)

Things on my Screen

Yuri on Ice – I was surprised by how much I like this series (and no, it’s not just because it feels like the creators are making Yuri/Victor canon) I have very little interest in figure skating; I don’t even know the proper terminology or scoring system. But what I enjoy from this series is the character development, and the original music. Like in Haikyuu, even the rival characters are likeable, there’s no one sinister or underhand, and everyone is adorable like a cute cinnamon roll. And I like how the anime is focused on Yuri’s development as an individual. He’s insecure, anxiety-ridden, not exactly a prodigy or exceptionally gifted, but we see him slowly growing out of his crippling insecurity thanks to the efforts of the people around him. Personally, my favourite character is the Russian Yurio, to me, he’s the jerk with the heart of gold archetype. He’s snarky, rude and has defences so high, you can see his walls from the moon, but he’s not a bad person. (Even though he was so mean to Yuri in the first episode.) Plus he’s so gosh darn adorable when he’s all excited about cat-related things. Oh and speaking of cute, Minami can melt boulders with his smiles :D Also, he’s voiced by Murase, who does these keet voices really well.


Haikyuu – Season 3 is back with a vengeance and oh my god, every single episode… the pacing of this season’s episodes feel like a lifetime to me. I find myself holding my breath constantly throughout the episode because everything is so tense, like every second is a matter of life and death for Karasuno. (And they’re not even my top favourite team! I’m an Aoba Josai fan because of Oikawa. And Iwa-chan. Lol)


Watashi Ga Motete Dousunda – Honestly? I watch this for the crack. It’s so unrealistic but still so fun. Plus, c’mon, I can relate to all the BL things that our dear main character thinks about. Except I don’t ship people in real life because that’s just too weird. But arguing over shipping orders, or romanticising history, yeah, I totally do that.


Bernard Jou Iwaku – Short 3 min episodes with loads of content about books? Sign me up! There isn’t much of a plot going on here, but I really like the idea of characters just talking about books. So far, I know that I’m not very well-read, there are still so many iconic books out there that I have yet to touch, and the anime just makes me want to add more books to my to-read list. Of course, there are some books that are unavailable in English, because they haven’t been translated, but there are also loads of English books mentioned, which makes me think that the creators are super well-read.


Natsume Yuujinchou Go – Season 5! i binge-watched the first 4 seasons a while ago, and I’ve also caught up completely with the manga because dear gods, this series is so beautiful, and so heartwarming that I just can’t help tearing up in almost every episode/manga chapter. Artistically, I like how they draw Natsume – he’s simple looking, but there’s this ethereal quality to him. So far it has been pretty episodic, but you can tell that there is an overarching plotline underneath. However, just looking at the manga releases, it has been 11 years and 21 volumes, and it doesn’t seem we have reached even a milestone in the series?


Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Guys, it’s Season 4 and I still love it despite all the detractors on reddit complaining about plot/pacing/humour. Like, oops too bad, I’m the sort of person who goes for characters over story, so I don’t really mind. However I do have an issue, it feels like there’s some character flanderization going on, in which I think that Holt is becoming less ‘serious with a comedic undertone’ to ‘comedic because he’s serious about stupid things’? Or like how Amy’s character is just all about organization and being uptight… Idk.


Bojack Horseman – I just started this recently at the recommendation of Netflix and the push of some friends. Plus it does help that they have some big names for their voice actors, and it’s a satirical comedy of sort. Although the comedy seems to be getting darker and darker and I’m not sure if anyone has a happy ending waiting for them. Idk, I feel like everyone’s progressively getting closer to a breaking point and that’s when depression kicks in.


Dr Strange – enjoyable enough but oh so cliched. So, I get that they changed Tilda Swinston’s character to being a Celt instead, but it’s still set in Nepal… which doesn’t exactly make perfect sense either. Also, it felt like the location was where Batman learned his skills too?? Like, it’s a very similar looking set… The special effects were really cool though, I have to hand it to VFX teams. But plot wise, well, I know it’s an origin story, but I think we’re all getting pretty saturated. Hopefully the next Marvel movie will get a move on with a larger overarching plot… Lastly, I think I have to add that I went to watch Dr Strange not because of Benedict Cumberbatch (I’m sure that’s what everyone thinks, but I’m not really a Cumberbatch fan.)


Your Name – I didn’t expect to like this so much! I went in completely blind, didn’t wiki it up except to learn that it was an anime film, but I thought from the movie poster that it was going to be a generic high school comedy/romance flick but oh my gosh, it was so good. The music was pretty decent, but seriously, I didn’t expect that much plot, and the comedy parts were pretty well done too. Pacing-wise, it was all good until we got to the last 10 minutes or so, where I just wanted them to get to it already because it felt like we’ve been living in suspense since 10 minutes into the film!


Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them – I don’t think this needed any explanation. Harry Potter film = duh, of course I’m gonna watch it. First off, I really love the soundtrack and the general aesthetic of the film, with all the spells and outfits. The plot was pretty obvious, like c’mon, we all knew who was going to be the ‘special’ character, though I didn’t envision the villain to be the actual big bad in general. I thought he was just your typical power hungry bureaucrat, but hey, maybe I should have read the book, eh.

Gigs


SWF 2016 – Sayang theme + Gail Carriger
Nothing against the theme for 2016, but I don’t see how most of the SWF events could be linked to the theme. Most of the events were pretty general and perhaps it’s the lack of time (I hour per panel/session), but I found the events to be pretty shallow in depth and very brief. Sometimes the moderators didn’t seem to be on the ball either… but that’s just how I saw it. Maybe I expected much more despite the time constraint and how they had to be accessible to the wider public?

I bought a ticket for Gail Carriger’s masterclass, which felt like a… small lecture in university except we didn’t have time to go in-depth about things, but it was interesting. I’ve read most of her recommended books for class, though I can’t remember exactly what the module was, but there were quite a couple of gothic horror texts as well.


Neon Lights Festival 2016

SIGUR ROS! :D The main reason why I bothered going for the Neon Lights festival when I’m not that interested in the rest of the lineup. The Saturday’s headliner was Foals, but I’ve only heard one of their songs so obviously I didn’t go for that.

Because I’m no good at these sort of festivals and gigs, and since someone posted on the r/singapore subreddit, I jumped at the opportunity to meet up with other people going for the show. Lo and behold, I really needed the assistance. Fort Canning Park was absolutely muddy and huge, and it was good to have someone to grab hold of when you think you’re sliding on the muddy field and you’re going to land on your arse. Plus it’s more enjoyable when you can stand next to someone you kind of know and comment about the music/show.

Other than Sigur Ros, I also checked out The Tallest Man on Earth (good vocals, pretty amusing guy in general), 65daysofstatic (love the energy here!), and Jose Gonzalez (interesting sound, great groove, also, whaaat he’s swedish? lol). Also listened a little to George Clinton and Parliament ____ buuuuut they weren’t exactly my style.

Oh, and I spent waaay too much on merch, even though all I got was a t-shirt and a hoodie, but that was like 120 bucks already! D: And the food were definitely all overpriced, like 2.50 for mineral water, or a cup of soda??? Didn’t bother with trying the alcohol, since beer isn’t really my thing, and I didn’t really want to spend that much to get spirits/wines.


Coldplay 2017, or the lack of D:
The first Coldplay show sold out before we could even buy the tickets. Probably because of all the scalpers with their bots buying out tickets just to resell them at cutthroat prices. It was definitely annoying but what could we do, right? (other than the organizers saying that they will void such tickets.) When the second show opened, we pretty much camped at our laptops buuuut nope, no luck this time round either, in which we basically waited at the virtual waiting room for over 2 hours to get nothing. Fun. Sure, Coldplay is popular and all, but to this extent? I was a little surprised, but nothing too out of the ordinary.


Explosions in the Sky, yea or nay?
After Sigur Ros, I was thinking about whether or not to go for Explosions in the Sky, which I have to make a decision for by the end of the month, since that’s when the early bird prices end. I’m kind of interested, but I’m not sure if I like them enough to go for a whole full length concert on my own…

Music

New AFI album dropping next year!
I love AFI, not sure if the world knows it, but yes, they speak to me, despite how emo/vague their lyrics are. The Blood Album appears to be a return to their older roots, which I’m really looking forward to. Sure, I like that they experiment with their style, like their more pop sound in Crash Love, whereas Decemberunderground was more… emo? Lol. My favourite album is actually Sing the Sorrow, which is also the first album I’ve listened to. (First song was Silver and Cold, and it was an AMV of some anime that I can’t recall now.)

Real Life
interviews & aptitude tests
I went for a number of interviews these past months, and took some aptitude tests here and there. Not fun, and generally a waste of time, since no one called me back. But who knows, Mindef apparently takes forever to get back to people. But nah, no point, I’m employed at the moment, and I don’t really want to work in the government sector anymore.

farewell lunch for the last man standing
Back at my old office when I first joined, our lunch group comprised of 5 people, and slowly the numbers dwindled down. I was the fourth to go, and finally the last man standing has also left the organization. So obviously, I had to go back and meet up with the other old colleagues for her farewell lunch. There was some gossip, much bitching about work, but generally quite interesting to touch base with everyone. Plus, you never know when you need these connections.

clique meetups & the failure to decide where to go for our next trip
Despite busy schedules, I’m glad to say that we have had at least one clique gathering each month :D Which also means that we got to celebrate everyone’s birthdays, since ours fall consecutively, from July to Oct. The biggest problem we have is staying on track whenever we try to discuss holiday plans.

the Shauns and how I overeat with them
The Shauns invited me out to buffet with them and I have to announce that yes, I overate. So much. Like duh, we had to get our money’s worth of sashimi, and to silently go challenged accepted when the waitress asked us if we were sure we wanted that much sashimi. Like, she was totally looking down on us!

Video Games

Mystic Messenger – This game. Oh my god. It ate my sleep. But it’s fun and kind of cute and my real life is sad. That is all.
Okay, anyway, this is one of those otome games aimed at girls, but it has a plot other than just talking to cute animated guys (and one girl). I wouldn’t say that there aren’t any plot holes and what nots, but the story was deeper than what I expected, plus they touched on some interesting themes, like cults. 707 is definitely my favourite, no matter whose route I’m on, I’ll be like, fuck, I just want 707. lol.


Pokemon Moon – I preordered the game a while back and got the game in mid-Nov. I think I like where the story is going – it’s pretty cliched still, but at least less in your face than the previous Pokemon games (I’ve only completed X/Y & Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby).

While I like how we can choose to customise our player characters, i.e change their physical appearances and clothes, I think the male character has very little options… like c’mon, I want my Tsukki to be fashionable and cool without breaking the bank.

(Why yes, my character is named Tsukki because I got Pokemon Moon. Who knows, maybe I would have named him Hinata if I got sun instead, just to keep up with the Haikyuu theme.)

I loved my Fire starter Litten until I got to his final form and promptly felt reaaaally wrong when he gave me the winky face because wtf man. (If anyone’s interested, I named my Litten Kozume after Kenma. Because black and red = Nekoma colours obviously.)

My niece has been pestering me to lend her the game, but since I’m not done with it, I’ve been placating her with the older games, and dude, I know she’s only 4, but she’s wasting my Pokeballs! Like why would you use an ultraball on low level creatures like Caterpie???? D: And she has no interest in plot other than catching Pokemon and reading the Pokedex.


Civilization VI and the dangers of One More Turn – Apparently there’s a family sharing option on Steam and my brother shared his Steam library with me just so I can play the latest installment of Civilisation VI. I just downloaded the game yesterday but I haven’t had the time to play it, since I was away the entire night. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be sucked into the whole One More Turn vortex and lose all the sleep for the upcoming future because damn, these games are so time consuming.

Work
old office politics; or why lunch time can be infested with landmines
Since I’m back in the area, I’ve had the opportunity to meet up with the old colleagues for lunch, and I’ve been regaled with stories of office politics about lunch times. Yup, you heard me, there are apparently people who get all worked up when their colleagues go for lunch without informing them/don’t want to have lunch with them. Like, is this something to complain about to your mutual friend (who is no longer with the organization, but still.) So yeah, people, chill. It’s lunch, that’s non-work time where you get to do whatever you want.

new office and the period of adjustment
I… think I’ve been adjusting okay so far? Like there’s a lot of meeting to attend, plus I already have quite a number of tasks to work on and I’m expected to catch up with everything asap, but I think I should be fine. Like, I’m good at reading stuff. Throw 100k of words and me and I’m pretty sure I can finish it in a day. Ask me write something, I can probably come up with a skeleton or at least enough bullshit to tide me over within the day.
Everyone has been pretty nice too, but we’re all still in the small talk stage and I guess I don’t really know where I fit in with them. Plus it’s a much bigger group than back at the old workplace, but they seem to be close to my age group, so that’s still not too bad… Well, only time will tell.

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