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Jun. 17th, 2017

phew! so much things going on at home, at work, with everything and anything imaginable. thought i better pen all these down before the memories fade.

the two-week work trip to US was quite an eye-opener. no jet lag, and it took probably just a day for my sleep pattern to stabilize while my colleagues complained of interrupted sleep for an entire week. there wasn't much serious or mind-wrecking work for me when i was there, so i was able to continue my regular work via email. the hotel didn't provide daily breakfast, so we had to hit Walmart for groceries every other day. did a bit of shopping at the outlet malls and discount chains, but my fave experience was visiting the shooting range! shot with a handgun and 9mm bullets, the sound was so loud and it was so difficult to get a good aim! thoroughly enjoyed myself at the shooting range and the staff there were very accommodating with a large bunch of first-timers like us.

had a short two-night stopover in Tokyo, and i brought my colleagues around to the usual touristy places like Asakusa and Ueno but i guess they were too homesick and too tired/jetlagged to enjoy themselves fully. after i got back, reality hit and my dad is suspected of having some degenerative health problems. i thought long and hard, and eventually decided to shelve the long japan trip and the resignation plan. my dad still needs more tests to determine the severity of his condition, i'm crossing my fingers that it won't be something serious, but i still have to prepare for the worst. if i could survive two weeks in US just working from a laptop without missing a beat, then i'm sure there's some way i can work from home if i need to care for my dad in the future. plus the office is only ten minutes away, so maybe i can ask for half-work days or something when the need arises.

that said, however, few months back i entered ballots and won tickets for the SuG budokan live in Tokyo and Glay's live in Osaka, both in September. luckily i was able to score some cheap flight tickets for both trips, so i'm heading to both cities on two separate trips within the same month. equal part excited, equal part heart-pained. also lost out a bit of money on the early airbnb reservation and a jetstar domestic air ticket that's not refundable. on the bright side, i've been saving up my paid leave very dilligently, so i'd be looking at a hefty stash for this year, as both the September trips are short. toying with the idea of a trip to Korea for a Kdrama-themed week hehe.

and once i'm out of the office, i am almost a full-time nanny to my baby niece. SO MUCH WORK. SO MUCH EFFORT. some days i enjoy it, but some days i really just want to curl up in bed and sleep, or clean-up my room. a baby doesn't sleep long enough for me to get much done, other than maybe just getting the laundry out from the machine and hanging them up to dry. i really miss slacking my weekends away in peace.

put up a whole bunch of random stuff online to sell, not so optimistic but hey i've tried. giving them a hopeful second chance before they end up in the bin. which was why i was extremely cautious with my shopping in US, because i cannot allow anymore regret buys. was extremely selective of every item i bought, so much so that my new boss was amused and commented that i'm really disciplined. couldn't let those past mistake buys go without learning a lesson or two, right?
by some odd stroke of luck, i got to watch Lee Joon Gi at his fan meeting! though the process of getting the tickets itself was an equally memorable experience, which had me and my friend in a cross-island grabcar ride, a seller who gave us her instagram password so that we could access her inbox to get the message for the ticket exchange at the door, and being very, very late for the event haha! thank goodness LJG's segment was delayed, but we still had to run like mad at the venue. it was an outdoor event and the night weather was really nice and breezy. LJG can't sing for shit, but he was pretty good at dancing and working the crowd into a fangirl craze with cheesy hip gyrations and constantly teasing with his open collar! he covered a wide range of songs, from Big Bang to JJ Lin to Mayday and even Justin Timberlake. also did the TT dance, which was totally up his alley lah. verdict? glad he didn't pursue a career in singing, cos he really. cannot. sing.

whirlwind Tokyo trip! everything was awesome, except for the transit in BKK airport which was so incredibly horrible that i will never use BKK airport for transit ever again. the weather was unexpectedly cold, luckily i brought my down coat and thermal tops but i think my beanie is dying on me because my head hurts so bad whenever the wind blew. then i got really bored and tired of walking around in Ikebukuro trying to see if there's anything worth buying, so i grabbed the stuff that i was tompang-ed and went back to the hostel for a nap. then the hair-dryer brush i brought along died, but earlier in the day i found 2000yen on the ground so i used that money to buy a replacement so yay!

day two was extremely exciting, and extremely tiring. first i went out to buy the replacement hair-dryer brush, ate a hotdog bun and went for Takarazuka! my last musical was Masao's graduation show, so it felt really special to pick up with Takakichi's top debut musical this time. 'Grand Hotel' felt very different from the usual Takarazuka musicals, the storyline was whimsical and told in a rather lofty, satirical manner. there was little room to emphatise or feel with the characters. rather, it was as if the audience was to watch on coldly at the lives of the main characters, whose lives entwined for a day or two, then some incident occurred and after that life went on as if nothing happened. also, it didn't occur to me until the following day, but none of the rotating and elevating stages were used, so dimensionally the musical looked somewhat flat and i am glad that i got level 2 seats this time. the revue was great though, and gosh how much i missed those crazy glitter and feathers!

after Takarazuka, it was a mad dash to Harajuku for laogong-sama(s) live! was short on time and worried about the human traffic at the venue, so i skipped dinner and grabbed some onigiri instead. thankfully i got there with time to spare, and omggggggg i got a row six seat in arena!!! madness!!! went in immediately to queue for the toilet, settled my food intake and took some snooze time at my seat haha. oh gosh the familiar smell of deodorant and hair spray that hit right home. was directly along Uruha's line, and oh god when they appeared onstage from an elevating platform, i lost my mind totally and cried out loud. all that emotions in my heart, everything was just ripping me apart from inside. and it didn't help that they kicked off the live with a whole string of really old-school songs. songs that got me into them right from the beginning, and it was only after a long while that i finally could compose myself and watch them properly.

we've all aged, hadn't we? was my very first sober thought haha. laugh lines now run deeper, chins are no longer as sharp, cheeks seemed to have fallen alittle, and clothes are loose instead of figure-hugging. Uruha's thigh was, well, much more wobbly than before. Aoi reeked of uncle-ness all over! Ruki's face seemed wider, Reita's hair mess has gotten bigger, and Kai looked sunken and less beefy. gosh, we've come a long way together, hadn't we? we grew olddd. though i'm no longer as crazy and devoted, i'd never have made it so far if it wasn't for them. left the venue feeling super grateful, super contented, and super super satisfied. hopefully i'd have a chance to go watch them again this year!

fatigue hit badly on day three, where i had an early Takarazuka show. initially i wanted to bring my suitcase out with me and store at a locker at Tokyo station, but i was so tired that i barely had strength to move the suitcase out from the dorm room to the lobby. so in the end i decided that i'd go for the show, and then come back to collect the suitcase before making my way to the hotel at Narita Airport area. the fatigue got worse during the show, and i snoozed at the not-so-critical parts. then there were some stage problems so the whole show got paused twenty minutes, and i got a nap out of it. ate a good lunch, went back to the hostel, took a long nap at the lounge and then made my way to the hotel. this time i took the Access Narita bus service, and it was pretty good! staying the night before at a hotel near Narita Airport was probably the best decision made for this trip haha. maybe, maaaaaybe, it's time for me to graduate from hostels too. the quality of rest is simply uncomparable for a hostel and a hotel.

can't wait for the long trip to US and Tokyo in May!
for about 15-20mins everyday, i'd pour through the excel sheet itinerary for the long trip, and get really excited at the idea of extended stays at places i've never visited before, taking ferry trips across islands, maximizing my travelling mileage with multiple travel passes, etc etc. never thought i'd be able to pull this off, but as i do more online research and all, things are starting to fall into place nicely. i've started booking airbnb, and even a one-way flight ticket from Sapporo to Osaka to take advantage of the very low promo fares now (7440yen incl 10kg check-in luggage!). this really helps to spread the expenditure over many months so that i need not pump in large sums of travel money at one go. plus it keeps me constantly committed to make this trip work, and not be swayed by bits of uncertainty popping up every now and then. i hadn't told my parents yet since it's still early, but i doubt their objection (if any) will matter. :/

really looking forward to the March trip! laogong-sama(s) live is complete sold out, and they just announced Zepp lives in April. as tempting as it may be, i gotta save my leave so hopefully they'd do a tour or something in the three months i'm there. sadly i lost out on the ballot for SuG Day for the March trip, but i'd do whatever i can to get to their Budokan live in Sep. super looking forward to Moon Troupe's performance too! it feels like so long ago since my last Takarazuka show, which was also Masao's graduation show last July. feeling super, super loved by Moon Troupe haha! and now its time to start shortlisting the To-Buy List too, yay!

Jan. 29th, 2017

halfway through the long CNY break, did nothing except eat, sleep and binge-watch kdramas online. what glorious life hahaha. finally bidding goodbye to the first month of the year, and counting down the remaining seven months that i have on plan for work. funnily, every horoscope prediction that i've read all mentioned in one way or another, that i should lie low and hold on to whatever i have. be it the angmoh, chinese or even the japanese versions. but still my heart feels otherwise, and this time i've decided to go all out and heed my guts instead. i'm sure that i can manage someway, somehow. eventually.

so now that the date is set, all that's left is to fill in the rough itinerary for that three months. seeing how often i've been to Tokyo and Osaka, i thought it'd be nice to have extended stays in places where i've never really stayed much at, like Kyushu and Hokkaido. airbnb has definitely opened up more accommodation options, there're alot more newer hostels out there now and i'm open to capsule hotels. though i doubt i can duke it out backpacker-style though, that'd totally break my back literally. but i will still make Osaka my base, so that i can return for short stays for different Takarazuka shows. since i'm at it, why not live the life out of it? plus there's always my favourite hostel there where i can store my luggage when i go on domestic trips heh.

super excited to work out the rest of the details, like what stuff to bring for the trip, whom i'm going to meet up, etc. probably even down to nitty gritty details like preparing small packets of laundry powder. s-hooks, bulldog clips and some string rope  in case i gotta fashion a temporary hanging spot at dorm beds. maybe the extendable bar from Daiso will be helpful too. doubt i can afford to deal with too much luggage so i will have to make do with just one big suitcase and a small one for the domestic trips. let's see how i'm going to stretch everything out hehe!

finally can use this tag, again!

Jan. 15th, 2017

it's incredible how one week of shovelling higher-level shit around at work suddenly puts a lot of things into perspective. as i looked deeper and closer, i find that i no longer have any more in me to give to this current management. i feel a lot of hurt and frustration within, because i realize no matter how i try, it will never be possible for me to change myself to suit the "bigger direction". because that would mean denying the core of my work ethics and beliefs. i've grown so tired and exasperated at the behaviour of the people who wield decision-making power, yet shun responsibility and ownership blatantly and are still allowed to get away with it.

shall start to plan for a strategic exit later half of this year, and then take off to my fave country for an extended stay to clear my head, heal my soul and indulge myself in activities i've always wanted to do. like travel all the way up to the most northern tip of Hokkaido. take the coastal train line along Shikoku Islands. go for factory visits. take short, themed trips like bus-only excursions to places i've never been before. have stayovers at friends' houses. take road trips. everything. there is certainly more to life, my life, than to fret about the loss of good steady income.

concurrently, i've taken an active step to downsizing the material possessions by putting more stuff up for sale. so far one sling bag got sold, while some items have attracted interest. equally important is the constant self-reminder to stop buying unnecessarily. gosh this is going to be pretty tough.

Tags:

i usually don't bother with making new year resolutions, as chances are i'd never be able see them through. but this year i thought i'd pen down some thoughts of what i intend to do for 2017, and have a reference to compare to when year-end comes around.

2016 made me realize a lot about the importance of being more selective about everything. about who i hang out with. about who i bare my true feelings to. about what i put into my mouth. about what i open my wallet for. i hit this long stretch of self-doubt slump, as some relations at work crumbled which resulted in some of the worst behaviour i've ever seen. eventually i learnt that it was my mistake for always having worn my heart on my sleeve, for being openly honest with my views, and for being too trusting. it was a painful lesson, but i've moved on. i've finally learnt what it means, and takes, to separate myself when in work and out of it. though it may be easier to just give up and leave this job, but i've learnt to look at it from another angle; if i want to become a full-fledged bitch, then there is no better place to practise being one than this.

one thing i hope to achieve in 2017, is to simplify my life. not just by trying to stop myself from caving into mindless consumerism, but by being more conscious of the item's purpose, design and usability when making purchase decisions. just two days ago i sold off the white samantha vega handbag for a pittance, and it was a valuable lesson in itself. the bag was an impulse, last-min buy which i obviously did not put much thought into it's functionality and size. my first-use experience was a disaster. the shoulder strap goes onto the flap rather than the bag itself, which means i must close the flap properly or else the contents in the bag will spill out. but the two magnetic clasps on the front were so hard to close properly as the bag is too wide and my contents can't fill it up properly to prop the clasps up.after two uses, the bag was banished to cold storage forever. same goes to the other coach bag i have up on carousell. my first trip to US, my first outlet mall buy. in the end the bag has proved to be too big for my daily use, but functionally it still beats the white handbag so i feel less urgh about keeping it.

i guess, to make conscious decisions is to also be more aware of my own likes and user habits. to a certain extent its to know myself better, and only by doing that then i can better decisions on my purchases and not end up feeling regret at the end of the day. i hope i can remember all these, and constantly make conscious decisions for everything and anything that comes my way.
time for the annual throwback again!

Jan - nothing much memorable. Januarys are usually blink-and-miss months. but oh yes i started my weekly French classes in Jan! though it eventually didn't bear fruit, i'm glad that at least i gave it a shot. can barely speak it well, but i can recognize words off menus and signboards heh.

Feb - awesome trip to Tokyo and Osaka for Moon Troupe's Manon/Golden Jazz and Snow Troupe's Rurouni Kenshin! getting the tickets for both shows was truly awful, but it was so worth it in the end. spent the entire CNY week in Japan, met up with friends for many rounds of hotpot shabu-shabu, and even visited the Osaka Kaiyukan on Valentine's Day haha.

Mar - again, another blink-and-miss month.

Apr - another month of frantic ticket-buying, this time for musicals headlined by Takarazuka OGs in July. sadly i couldn't get any for Elizabeth, but i managed to get tickets for Chicago and My Fair Lady!

May - somehow May is always the month of work trips. three back-to-back trips to Penang, Busan and Suzhou were certainly tiring, but the experience was enriching and very memorable. especially the Busan trip, where i got bumped up to business class thanks to my colleague's platinum status, and we stayed at a sea-facing hotel along the Haeundae Beach! the first-hand experience of mingling with the customers and suppliers was eye-opening, and humbling as it made me realize how inadequate my biz-talk skills were. Suzhou was mad fun as i went with like-minded colleagues; we drank, ate and merried every night haha. oh yes and then there was my first ballet show! nearly missed the show as i mixed up the venue, but thankfully lynnette was damn chill about it as we dashed madly to the right venue. we missed abit of the first dance, but we got upgraded to really good seats on the ground level haha. the ballet dancers were all so awesome!

June - blink-and-miss month again. some management shuffle at work and i got a new boss, but my bonus was still pretty decent. oh and then Les Miserable! the musical was really good, but my experience was marred by the large bunch of uninterested and noisy school kids sitting behind. so bad that i raised my voice and told them off in the presence of their teacher.

July - summer sales in Japan, again! quoting my japanese friend, i bought a year worth of supplies haha! a very hectic trip too, as i squeezed in many musicals in the ten days i was there. Chicago! My Fair Lady! Nobunaga/Forever Love! Roman Holiday! met up with many, many friends. I LOVE SUMMER IN JAPAN! minus the heat, of course.

Aug - my first opera, again with lynnette! it was like hair-raising? hahaha! i never knew that it was humanly possible to sing at such high notes. the whole opera was in Italian so having to rely on the subtitles was tiring. also took on a last-min baito at a travel fair, it was so much fun as i learnt alot about Ehime and the Shikoku area.

Sep - the start of my descent into the bottomless pithole of kdrama, no thanks to the muchly-publicised Scarlet Heart Ryeo. i've always liked Lee Junki in period dramas, and i had alot of free time opened up as i ended my French classes. one led to the other, and soon i am binging on whatever drama recommendations that came my way haha! funnily, i've never liked how korean sounded, always felt it rough and couth, but they make such amazing dramas! two of my japanese teachers came over with their families to attend an ex-classmate's wedding, and we had this huge reunion of sorts over two days! it was a really amazing experience as it wasn't easy to get everyone to adjust their schedule, but somehow things just worked and it was so great catching up with everyone. almost 15-year reunion after graduation!

Oct - start of my baito luck! took up a three-day baito stint as translator for a sake fair, and games booth staff at the SJ50 matsuri event. other than that, work was pretty flat. got assigned this large-scale project that i am not completely fond of doing, and attended many, MANY talks and exhibitions for it.

Nov - another baito, this time for AFA as games booth staff! years since i've been to the event, and it has changed and expanded a lot! then there was my company's D&D, where fortunately/unfortunately i had a who-wore-it-better moment with a junior female staff. but luckily we were able to laugh it off and went twinning around for photos haha. and my first mcqueen clutch! though its resale but the condition was really good and i really liked the print and shape a lot.

Dec - more baito luck, this time for my sister's event. initially i wasn't really keen on it, but she counter-offered with better rates, so why not, heh. another management reshuffle at work, and i'm going to start next year with yet a new boss. this work thing is just not working out for me.


my biggest 2016 lesson, was that i realize i need to guard my heart better and put my trust in people more carefully, especially at work. it's been a very difficult year for me and my co-workers, particularly those whom i thought would support and wish for me to do well. also i'm beginning to feel weary and bored with my current scope, but there's nothing else that i can expand into within this company. time and again i've considered leaving for a different industry, but this comfort zone is getting way too difficult to step out from.

hopefully, 2017 will be better? idk.

Jan. 1st, 2017

time for the annual throwback again!

Jan - nothing much memorable. Januarys are usually blink-and-miss months. but oh yes i started my weekly French classes in Jan! though it eventually didn't bear fruit, i'm glad that at least i gave it a shot. can barely speak it well, but i can recognize words off menus and signboards heh.

Feb - awesome trip to Tokyo and Osaka for Moon Troupe's Manon/Golden Jazz and Snow Troupe's Rurouni Kenshin! getting the tickets for both shows was truly awful, but it was so worth it in the end. spent the entire CNY week in Japan, met up with friends for many rounds of hotpot shabu-shabu, and even visited the Osaka Kaiyukan on Valentine's Day haha.

Mar - again, another blink-and-miss month.

Apr - another month of frantic ticket-buying, this time for musicals headlined by Takarazuka OGs in July. sadly i couldn't get any for Elizabeth, but i managed to get tickets for Chicago and My Fair Lady!

May - somehow May is always the month of work trips. three back-to-back trips to Penang, Busan and Suzhou were certainly tiring, but the experience was enriching and very memorable. especially the Busan trip, where i got bumped up to business class thanks to my colleague's platinum status, and we stayed at a sea-facing hotel along the Haeundae Beach! the first-hand experience of mingling with the customers and suppliers was eye-opening, and humbling as it made me realize how inadequate my biz-talk skills were. Suzhou was mad fun as i went with like-minded colleagues; we drank, ate and merried every night haha. oh yes and then there was my first ballet show! nearly missed the show as i mixed up the venue, but thankfully lynnette was damn chill about it as we dashed madly to the right venue. we missed abit of the first dance, but we got upgraded to really good seats on the ground level haha. the ballet dancers were all so awesome!

June - blink-and-miss month again. some management shuffle at work and i got a new boss, but my bonus was still pretty decent. oh and then Les Miserable! the musical was really good, but my experience was marred by the large bunch of uninterested and noisy school kids sitting behind. so bad that i raised my voice and told them off in the presence of their teacher.

July - summer sales in Japan, again! quoting my japanese friend, i bought a year worth of supplies haha! a very hectic trip too, as i squeezed in many musicals in the ten days i was there. Chicago! My Fair Lady! Nobunaga/Forever Love! Roman Holiday! met up with many, many friends. I LOVE SUMMER IN JAPAN! minus the heat, of course.

Aug - my first opera, again with lynnette! it was like hair-raising? hahaha! i never knew that it was humanly possible to sing at such high notes. the whole opera was in Italian so having to rely on the subtitles was tiring. also took on a last-min baito at a travel fair, it was so much fun as i learnt alot about Ehime and the Shikoku area.

Sep - the start of my descent into the bottomless pithole of kdrama, no thanks to the muchly-publicised Scarlet Heart Ryeo. i've always liked Lee Junki in period dramas, and i had alot of free time opened up as i ended my French classes. one led to the other, and soon i am binging on whatever drama recommendations that came my way haha! funnily, i've never liked how korean sounded, always felt it rough and couth, but they make such amazing dramas! two of my japanese teachers came over with their families to attend an ex-classmate's wedding, and we had this huge reunion of sorts over two days! it was a really amazing experience as it wasn't easy to get everyone to adjust their schedule, but somehow things just worked and it was so great catching up with everyone.

Oct - start of my baito luck! took up a three-day baito stint as translator for a sake fair, and games booth staff at the SJ50 matsuri event. other than that, work was pretty flat. got assigned this large-scale project that i am not completely fond of doing, and attended many, MANY talks and exhibitions for it.

Nov - another baito, this time for AFA as games booth staff! years since i've been to the event, and it has changed and expanded a lot! then there was my company's D&D, where fortunately/unfortunately i had a who-wore-it-better moment with a junior female staff. but luckily we were able to laugh it off and went twinning around for photos haha. and my first mcqueen clutch! though its resale but the condition was really good and i really liked the print and shape a lot.

Dec - more baito luck, this time for my sister's event. initially i wasn't really keen on it, but she counter-offered with better rates, so why not, heh. another management reshuffle at work, and i'm going to start next year with yet a new boss. this work thing is just not working out for me.


my biggest 2016 lesson, was that i realize i need to guard my heart better and put my trust in people more carefully, especially at work. it's been a very difficult year for me and my co-workers, particularly those whom i thought would support and wish for me to do well. also i'm beginning to feel weary and bored with my current scope, but there's nothing else that i can expand into within this company. time and again i've considered leaving for a different industry, but this comfort zone is getting way too difficult to step out from.

hopefully, 2017 will be better.

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