Quality time

Spent the last two days with my parents who came over to KL to meet me. Stayed at Cititel, Midvalley. It’s basically the usual spot since it’s very convenient, the mall is just beside the hotel and from there we can take LRT to other places in the city.

They arrived around Sunday evening so after resting for a while, we went for dinner at Ying Ker Lau (Hakka Restaurant), The Gardens.

Took the opportunity to test out the new Sony a6000 (kit lens 16-50mm).
All the pictures below were not post-processed, just resized (because large pictures take forever to upload with the connection I have).

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Some tea and vegetables. We didn’t order meat and opted for a more…healthy selection?
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Fish!

Tofu! DSC00230

Then, we walked around and saw this new TWG shop below.
Huge banners hung above and when I looked down, the shop is the whole stretch.
I haven’t had the chance to see what it is though, maybe next time.

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This one was too bright. Should have lowered exposure perhaps.

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Saw some people getting cotton candy (under-exposed this time sigh)

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There was actually a Fashion Show when I arrived at noon. Saw lots of huge zooms, made me drool. But the place was packed, I was at a floor above so I didn’t bother taking out the camera to shoot. Come to think of it, I probably should have?

Next morning…breakfast at a small store at Lower Ground (the border between Gardens and Midvalley).

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Hot milo and half-boiled eggs.DSC00257

This shot below was not as sharp >.< I tried focusing at the bread but yeah, didn’t work well. Probably shook my hands…

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Decided to head over to KLCC, I’ve got some books to get at Kinokuniya xD

Took the KTM to KL Central.

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Since it was Monday, the place was quite empty.DSC00262DSC00267

Coach for ladies only.DSC00268DSC00269

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While wating for LRT, spotted a blind man. DSC00272

After getting the books I wanted at Kinokuniya, KLCC, brought my parents to Madam Kwan’s for lunch.
was bored while waiting for food to arrive…so took this shot, also to test lighting.

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Belacan Kangkung…super yummy.

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The curry chicken was so tender too!
Best of all, they’re not spicy, I can’t eat spicy food.DSC00281

Sweet and sour fish.

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Headed back after visiting Isetan.

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KTM took quite a while.
Bought some drinks. Wanted to try the BOSS coffee xD

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This caught my Mum’s attention at the bakery in Isetan. It was quite delicious!

DSC00299Some Tamago sushi!
DSC00303Last night, we had dinner at Canton-i.
Fish cake was so yum! Juicy hehe…

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I ordered Roast Duck noodle.

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They’re having this offer for a limited time whereby the chicken only cost RM1 !!! O_O
When they first told me, I couldn’t believe my ears lol…but it’s only once a year kind of promotion.

The RM1 chicken.

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Dad said there’s a banner outside. Obviously, we didn’t read it xD So when we finished dinner, I took this shot.DSC00319

A lot of new stalls around…have yet to try. There was a stall that sells Takoyaki and I initially wanted that for supper but after dinner, I was too full, so I gave up.
But the stall had Ultraman lined up at one corner! Wanted to snap a picture but saw the staff coming so I went away. I’m not comfy taking pics with people looking.DSC00320

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Dad and Mum busy packing this scooter for my nephew. Dad wanted to put it into the cargo so he tied it up neatly for easy carry.DSC00324

Read this book. I used the Intelligence Mode in the Sony a6000 for both of these shot (above and below) because I couldn’t take good enough pictures with the settings I’ve tried. I’m weak at low light conditions (>.<) but glad this camera came with this mode to help. DSC00329
Reading this book now, it’s about this medical student who doesn’t want to be a doctor but just wants to learn Anatomy. He’s got Asperger’s Syndrome. Got this on last Sunday while waiting for my parents to arrive at Borders. Read up to 138 pages already. It’s quite interesting!
The first few pages already gave me a laugh with the conversation below.

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This below was a note left by the room attendant. I think this is a new gesture because we’ve never had this before in the past years that we’ve stayed in this hotel.DSC00332
And this was just a bun we bought from Komugi.DSC00338 This was a nice experience with the a6000. I’m warming up to it. The dials made it easier to go to things like Aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Most important of all, it’s so light! I can already foresee myself taking tons of pictures, perhaps even more than I did with my Nikon D3100. This is also the first time I use EVF. As opposed to the traditional optical viewfinder, I can do settings and see the outcome before snapping. When I used the D3100, I usually took several tries before ending with a good picture, sometimes didn’t work out too. I do miss the optical viewfinder but for ease in usage and bringing it outdoors with you, I’d pick Sony a6000 anytime, any day.


black and white

Tried the Black and White setting and shot some pics around the lab.
Every fridge has this sticker.

All shots taken by a6000 with kit lens 16-50mm.DSC00138

Pipettes are basically our lifeline xD We use them every single day.

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I rarely take black and white photos but I’m kinda warming up to it now ^^

lonely Saturday at fac

Weekends in the faculty have always been quiet and lonely.

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Took some shots with the Sony a6000.DSC00105Testing kit lens. The only E-mount lens I have at the moment, hope to get a prime soon.DSC00100

After work, rain started pouring really badly.DSC00114DSC00111 DSC00118

Went to Drive-Thru McDonald’s for dinner.DSC00128

The grilled chicken is my favorite McD burger but I’ve eaten twice over the past 2 weeks so I opted for the usual cheaper McChicken only.DSC00129 DSC00130

The queue wasn’t long.

One thing I liked about the a6000 or any smaller mirrorless camera actually, is that, it’s so lightweight and easy to bring around with you. My D3100 is considered tiny for a beginner DSLR but it’s still much bigger and noticeable. Even carrying it around with me made me feel conscious of its presence. But the a6000 just slings on my body and I hardly feel anything.DSC00131

So I’m glad I made the change to mirrorless. Nothing against DSLR, I’m not a pro and photography is a casual hobby for me (I started out shooting my figures really). In that sense, I want traveling to be as light as possible. I love my D3100 dearly especially when combined with the 50mm f1.8 but I need to consider twice before bringing to travel. With the a6000, I don’t even need to think twice.

This one below is just a Japanese cracker I bought at Isetan. Pretty nice.DSC00134

around the lab

Random pics around the lab today. DSC00066

A senior labmate went to Aussie and gave each of us this little koala ^^DSC00067

Tried that Pop colour picture effect in the setting of Sony a6000.DSC00062

Was almost finishing this Volume of Shingeki no Kyojin.
Didn’t expect her to be one of those kyojins too!
It’s quite exciting actually.
Second season of the anime have to come faster!DSC00070
All pictures taken by Sony a6000 with kit lens 16-50mm. I’m still warming up to the settings. So forgive me for the lousy pics.

Sony a6000

Yesterday, me and my friends, we went to get this camera. I’ve been thinking of changing system from DSLR to mirrorless for quite a while. I wanted Olympus OMD EM5 initially and had been reading tons of reviews and lens recommendations for that. However, it all comes down to feel and handling I guess.

I went to KLCC to try the EM5 at a camera store. It felt so light (which is good) but it also felt plasticky and like a toy for me. When I press the buttons, they were squishy. The grip was a letdown, having come from a DSLR, I’m used to holding one with a thicker grip. You can get the external grip for EM5 but that’d be another money spent.

I tried this Sony a6000 at Sony Center. First impression was great. The AF was speedy and snappy, albeit, a bit loud? But that’s still fine. Basically, the ergonomics was nice.

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So I made the decision to get this. I’m new to Sony system so I’ve read the manual (half) and still need to familiarize with all the settings. Pictures were taken by Nikon D3100 with 50mm f1.8.

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The lighting in my room is bad though.DSC_0052DSC_0067So far so good. I didn’t have much chance to play with it yet because I had to charge it overnight. So today I hope to snap some.

 

Nissin cup noodle – Cheesy Curry

Saw this at Isetan, KLCC and thought of giving it a try. DSC_0002 DSC_0004

I thought the ingredients will come in a packet but apparently, they’re all ready inside. All we have to do is pour hot water.DSC_0009

After about 5 minutes or so, it’s ready!

There were some pieces of meat, not sure but they taste like beef ^^ Also some mushrooms.

Verdict:

Highly recommended. SO YUMMY!!!
I’m going back to Isetan and grab another of this ^_^DSC_0015

Alice no Toge [Alice's Thorn] episode 1 review

Opened a new blog exclusively for Japanese drama reviews. From now on, I will post reviews there.
Ritsu no Dorama Land

NEWS UPDATE: Pilot viewership rating was 14.2% which is highest among two other dramas with high anticipation – Mozu and BORDER. Mozu had 13.3% while BORDER (Oguri Shun) garnered 9.7%. This is a great kickoff for Alice. I’m sure viewers were curious and anticipate Ueno Juri’s return to drama after 3 years of absence. Add that to the suspense and fast-paced episode. Let’s hope the screenwriter will be able to keep things fresh and unpredictable.

*I hope someone will pick this drama up for subbing. I watched the first episode without subs because I couldn’t wait. First of all, Ueno Juri is one of my fav J-actresses and it’s been ages since her last dorama. In fact, the last one she did was the taiga drama, Gou (2011). So it’s really nice to have her in a regular drama again.

Secondly, there’s Joe Odagiri. I don’t really watch his stuffs but from all of what I’ve seen, they seem to be pretty good. Hence, having both Joe and Juri in one drama, it’s hard not to give it a go!

This is just a brief review/recap of the episode, I won’t go into details but just what I think. Ueno Juri plays the lead named Asumi Mizuno whose father, a doctor in Seirin University Hospital, died during an operation 15 years ago. She then embarked on a journey to investigate the truth about his father’s death as she believes something was not right. Basically, she studied to become doctor and joined Seirin. She found two different records of her father’s operation report and obviously, someone changed it indicating medical error.

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I love how this first episode went. I like the fact that her character was so dark and they didn’t wait till the end to show it. In fact, 10 minutes in, they already showed where she lives, the shabby studio-like apartment, and her secret den. She’s got all pictures of the suspects pinned up on one side of the wall. Tonnes of record files for each of the suspect.

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The first suspect she went after was the guy above. I like the reference of Alice in Wonderland and the Humpty Dumpty lol…I bet they chose him just because he’s bald.

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Didn’t take her long to move in to Humpty Dumpty.Alice no Toge ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_09.55_[2014.04.13_17.25-tile

She lured him up to the rooftop with multiple copies of the records one late night…

I wonder how long it took her to paste all these lol…

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Guy tried to remove some on the side of the wall of the building, climbed down the rope ladder, giving her the perfect opportunity to threaten him.Alice no Toge ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_12.44_[2014.04.13_17.25.18]

She said it’s been 15 years since the father’s death…she changed her name, threw away everything else and focused on chasing down the culprits who killed her father.

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Upon threatening Humpty Dumpty, he gave in and revealed everything. He promised to help her in her mission…so she got herself a spy within the society.Alice no Toge ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_14.27_[2014.04.13_17.47.28]

Next target is this Date sensei. Basically, she’s pushing this new technology called NOA. She found a perfect ‘mouse’ or patient for the system and despite Asumi’s doubt, she brushed her off saying ‘patients are meant to be mice for doctors’…that obviously, pissed Asumi lol.

Look at that death stare xD

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Midway, we’re introduced to Joe Odagiri’s character, Nishikado ^^ He’s a journalist and met Asumi at the hospital grounds one day. He seems to have taken interest in her. I’m not sure what relationship he had with her in the past, but in the flashback scene, it looked like he could be someone she knew.

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He knew Asumi’s father because we saw in the flashback, they were sitting under the sakura tree, eating together.

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It is revealed that Asumi has been adopted by another person, who owns a diner.

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While having dinner one night at her stepdad’s place, she met Nishikado again.

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She tried not to make much contact with him but he was making conversation with her. Alice no Toge ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_30.20_[2014.04.13_19.03.09]

Nishikado mentioned he came here a lot in the past with her younger sister. I wondered if Nishikado’s sister was once Asumi’s father’s patient, hence the flashback where they were sitting together.Alice no Toge ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_30.21_[2014.04.13_19.03.16]

Nishikado was surprised that the chef is Asumi’s father and said they’re not alike at all. So when her stepdad tried to explain to him and was pointing to the picture on the wall of Asumi and her real father…Asumi quickly pushed the wine glass onto the ground. That was a close call. She didn’t want Nishikado to know who her real father was.

But that didn’t stop Nishikado from suspecting something.

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For some reason, Asumi tried to get close to this guy below. Oh wait, did a little research. He’s Gendai’s son. Gendai is a higher-up Prof I think.

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Asumi planted a fake flower delivery to her, which released fake smoke at her apartment and when the fire department called, Date rushed home. Asumi then took the opportunity to explain to the patient she was trying to get for NOA system about the operation. She never mentioned anything about NOA to the patient so basically, the patient signed for the normal operation instead of NOA. This caused the Date to lose the patient for NOA.

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However, due to the support from the higher ups, the Date still managed to push for the NOA tech. She needed to prove the system in order to become Professor.

more flashbacks…

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I can’t understand in detail but it seemed like her father was framed for some crime after death. Young Nishikado (the guy below) showed her the newspaper clip at the funeral about her father.Alice no Toge ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_42.30_[2014.04.13_19.44.01]

This guy below, Gendai (higher up Professor who supports the NOA sensei) told her that her father is ‘kuzu’ or ‘society trash’ at the funeral. Wow…just wow…whatever it is, you don’t say stuffs like that during a funeral. That was hurtful even to me as a viewer, can you just imagine how that feels to a young girl?Alice no Toge ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_42.32_[2014.04.13_19.44.07]

Asumi trying to plot something against Date.

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I don’t think I’ve mentioned that Chiaki Kuriyama is also in this drama. She was in Team Batista drama last season, have yet to watch the finale of that drama. Well, she plays a nurse here. Not much screentime yet but we’ll see how significant her role will be in the future.

Asumi went to the reception for Date’s wedding (with Humpty Dumpty’s help xD)

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Asumi knew Date was tampering with the patient’s record so she tried to get data from her computer at home. After some ruckus with the fake cake delivery and some gas, the guests rushed out.

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However, when she tried to transfer data from the computer, the Date’s fiance caught her in the office.

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Now we’re thinking she’s gonna get exposed right?

Well…apparently, Date’s fiance acted like nothing happened afterwards and Asumi got away. At this point, we don’t know what occured between her and Date’s fiance.

During the conference for NOA patient, the records were different from those shown on slide and the handouts.

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Everyone was shocked that Date said she can finish this operation within 3 hours. However the real record showed otherwise.

I like it when Asumi has this subtle smile whenever her plan goes as planned.

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Date’s fiance appeared. So now we know that Asumi told him the truth about Date. He does not approve of Date’s doings.Alice no Toge ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_49.26_[2014.04.13_20.10.50]

Nishikado was there too for the press briefing.

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Prof Gendai was pissed with Date and Asumi is winning at the moment.Alice no Toge ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_51.52_[2014.04.13_20.17.58]

Things are just getting started! Asumi’s probably screwed up a bit in her head lol…

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She threatened Date next.

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Date then confessed to the mistake but also blamed it on another doctor who was there. So I guess…we’ll see how Asumi goes for the others in the next episode.

Poor Date got her tummy tattooed with Asumi’s father’s name.

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This is SUCH A GREAT FIRST EPISODE!

I am officially more than impressed. I didn’t expect Asumi’s character to be this dark and twisted. Ueno Juri does a very good job portraying Asumi so far and I can’t wait just to see what plans will she come up with next.

O_O looks like Nishikado found out her identity. He knew from the beginning when they met under the sakura tree. He asked her what’s her real plan in this hospital, until she changed her name? Is it to avenge her father’s death?

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I think I’ll review this drama from now. At first, I thought of doing this just for the first epi since it’s been a while since I do drama reviews. But this exceeded my expectation. It seems to be quite exciting and filled with suspense.

Till the next epi!