mayoraasei: (Jdrama)
When did Fuji's golden chicken of Gekku start laying turd piles? And when did Johnny's golden boy become a turd magnet?

Probably around the same time.

Kimura Takuya used to be the guarantee of golden ratings, but his last few dramas have been disappointments to the channels. To be absolutely fair, the ratings for all dramas have been going downhill in the last decade. In recent years you'd be lucky to find 3 dramas that rate above 20% in a year, or 3 dramas to rate above 15% in a season. With that in mind, the fact that Kimura-led dramas have still been able to pull in audiences of close to 15% is actually not that bad, until you consider that the supporting cast all consist of main star quality/popularity actors, then the rating appears mediocre against their combined star power.

The thing is, I never really understood the appeal of KimuTaku or his acting. His posturing isn't as obvious as many of the other JE graduates, and he manages to emote adequately for every scene, but his characters are never sufficiently different from each other.

But this time, more than any other year, KimuTaku needed this drama to do well. Still floundering in the aftermath of SMAP's messy breakup (it's embarrassing enough without the government coming out to apologise because they had hired you for the Olympics), KimuTaku is really putting his eggs in this basket. Never known for being the most easy-going person to work with, this time he reportedly splurged 1 million yen on buying the entire cast and crew...custom made jackets?

The supporting cast has such stellar names as Asano Tadanobu (you last saw him in Thor, unless you saw Silence), Takeuchi Yuko (a shade of her commanding presence in Strawberry Night), Matsuyama Kenichi (you've first met him in Death Note and you'll know he's a formidable young actor in his own right), Kimura Fumino (a rising young actress who has enough presence to hold her own), Nanao (a decently popular actress who unfortunately gets typecast in anego roles), as well as a string of respectable older supporting actors. As you might see, if you know anything about Japanese dramas, these are all people who would at any other time be leading their own series.

Then it's a wonder how the script manages to take these photogenic actors with likable personalities, and write them into a story about the most gratingly immature and unprofessional doctors you'll ever have the misfortune of watching.

As the story goes, Okita (Kimura) has spent the good part of the last 5 years in America, learning amazingly advanced surgical procedures. It turns out his best friend Masao had gone behind his back and suggested to the hospital president that he be sent to America. With him out of the way, Masao married Okita's ex-girlfriend-or-crush-or-just-some-girl-he-liked-practising-sutures-with-Danjo Mifuyu (Takeuchi), who also happens to be the president's daughter, so then Masao climbed into the vice president's role. It's quickly clear that Mifuyu is Desdemona with her head in the clouds, and Masao snuggles with the hospital's medicolegal solicitor at work but sleeps in a separate bed to Mifuyu and their daughter.

Rounding up the cast is an uncaring surgical director, Matsuyama's hot-headed young doctor Igawa, and Kimura Fumino's refreshingly feisty (and smart) scrub nurse.

If I didn't know that Matsuyama and Takeuchi (and Asano) are more than capable of holding down amazing characterisation, I would have blamed the jaw-hurting ensemble on their acting. Asano brings a complexity to Masao's jealousy, but Matsuyama and Takeuchi manage to have a combined IQ of a squirrel, and I blame that on a terrible script that has characters spew out stupid things to create conflict only for the sake of conflict.

For example, the storyline of the first episode was Mifuyu's father (i.e. the president) needed a valve replacement, but developed a severe post-op complication. While Okita tried to find the surgical solution to fix it, Mifuyu yelled at him that she doesn't want any more surgery because "you promised it would be okay!" and "I'm saying this as the next of kin!" Then the next day when Okita interrupted the surgical department meeting, requesting to go ahead with the surgery that he has worked out, all the of the surgical department opposed him but all of a sudden Mifuyu stands up and asks Okita to save her father. What was the whole point

Then the second episode was about a man who had his thoracic aortic aneurysm stented, but developed a post-op complication due to a (rare) aberrant right subclavian (i.e. the artery that supplies his right arm came off the "wrong" side of the aorta), and his right hand was affected because the stent blocked off the supply.

When Okita put forward that they should go in and fix the problem, the surgical director overruled him based on the fact that "this will amount to admitting to a medical error and they'll sue us" because "we are a top hospital providing top quality medical care so we can't do anything that suggests we have made a mistake".

What. The. Actual. French.

Let's not even go remotely into the ETHICAL issues of KNOWING there is something you can fix and KNOWING there is a solution but choosing not to do it. I'm pretty sure that LEGALLY you can be dragged through the court and beyond for NOT DOING IT. In fact, I am pretty sure that is what MEDICAL MALPRACTICE is, given that there is CLEAR INTENTION and CLEAR HARM.

I'm sorry, that's the moment I decided this drama was too retarded to be worth my time. Any doctor or nurse standing in that room should go read the Hippocratic Oath and get their licence revoked.

This drama is clearly written by someone who have no idea how health professionals actually think and work. It's also written by someone who has a terrible grasp of character, and you have two major characters (Mifuyu and Igawa) whose personality switch dizzyingly from scene to scene, depending on whether the director needed them to be whiny rats or tail-wagging sidekicks.

I'd like to say you can watch this if you like the actors, but I feel like I'm angrier because I know what they're capable of, and the script has not been kind to anyone except the golden boy who's already lost his halo.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
And why this should be a lesson to us all that one can never hope to fight Murphy's Law.

Recently I went to DC (via SF and NYC). We had initially planned on a 2.5 day stay in NYC which would give us ample time to go shopping and whirlwind-sight-seeing before we headed off to the great capital of democracy (or so they called themselves). The east coast was literally melting in the 40+ heat but it was all for a cool change by the time we arrived. Our relatives happened to be in town and dropped us off conveniently at the airport. Everything was going to plan, and whenever that thought pops into one's head, it is time to beware.

Chapter 1: It begins in Sydney
We arrived in good time, 2 hours and 45 minutes before our plane was due to fly out. The line was not long, the queue only coiling around two aisles out of about five. An hour later we had moved about ten metres. Each group at the counter was taking close to 20-30 minutes. That was when the murmuring started: apparently our flight now read "Cancelled" on the screens and on the airport website. It was still open when we first began to line up, and the counter staff showed no inclination to address us regarding this issue. They were still serving passengers, albeit slower than a snail's pace, so perhaps there was a solution.

As we finally arrived second in line to be served, two hours later and about 15 minutes from scheduled departure time, a stern looking woman informed the anxious crowd that the plane was held up in Melbourne with a damaged wing and there was absolutely no way it was going to leave ground that day. Apologies were briskly made regarding the delay in informing us, the reason cited being "the information that came through was changing every minute, they were going to fix it and then they couldn't, and now we know they can't". She suggested that they would try to fit as many people as possible onto the LA flight.

There were a whole crowd of people who were originally booked onto the LA flight stuck in line for two hours because the SF crowd couldn't be sorted. One of the counter staff called them forward and spent the next half hour sorting them out while the two others continued at a snail's pace to process the SF passengers. Then, finally when the LA crowd was gone, the woman stood up and asked "is there anyone else going to LA?" and when no one answered, she walked off, leaving another 50 passengers stranded in the queue. Really fed up at this point (especially standing second in line and there was a chance we could actually get on the LA flight) I went up and asked her if the LA flight was full, and she nodded solemnly as she continued to edge away.

Completley resigned, I returned to the queue and waited until we were served by one of the other staff, who said SHE COULD BOOK US ONTO THE LA FLIGHT. The only issue following that was there were no more connecting services available that day to NYC, the next one being 6am the next morning, which would constitute an 18 hour wait inside the airport. She also said that the airline would not provide a hotel for that stay. Aghast at having to be stranded for 18 sleep-deprived hours inside LAX (of which I have no fond memories), we resigned to rebooking our flight out of Sydney for the next day and asked about a hotel stay for Sydney. She denied they provided it. I reminded her that the woman who made the announcement had reiterated about three times that they did. She did not know how to organise it and sent us blindly to customer service desk, which had another crowd of about fifty. Fortunately we saw the woman who made the announcement wandering around the hall, and she was able to sort it out for us very quickly.

The stay at the Mercure was probably the highlight of our trip to NYC. It's a very nice place with wonderfully soft linen and the staff were courteous and helpful. By the way, UA stipulates that it only provides $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $20 for dinner. Which is complete bollocks because you can't get any decent meal at the hotel restaurant or pub under $25 for dinner. However, breakfast buffet was an amazing $10 and had a very hearty selection.

Chapter 2: It continues on the plane
I remember a long time ago I used to like UA inflight food. The proportions are heartier than China Airlines (Taiwanese) but they seem to be getting smaller by the year.

But my chief complaint wasn't so much about the inflight service or the food or any of what the staff did, but I had the great misfortune of sitting behind two off-duty flight attendants. The one in front of me had a clearly broken chair that reclined to a luxurious 50 degrees. This made the female FA next to him extremely jealous and she kept rocking the back of her chair to make it recline more, even though it should be blindingly obvious that no one else's chair reclines quite that far and honey, you work for this airline, you should know that economy only reclines 15 degrees and is yet magically capable of crushing the patella of the person behind you. She kept fishing stuff out of overhead bins and on one occasion dropped her gigantic bag that missed me and two other passengers each by about 5cm. Also, the two of them never straightened their seatbacks during meals and the on-duty staff never reminded them until we requested them to. I don't know if it's forgetfulness or bias.

Honestly, though, if you work for any airline, you'd think you'd know to straighten your seatback when people are eating because you make that announcement every flight.

Chapter 3: and crap continues in SF
Now, when we checked in on the 2nd attempt, I made sure to ask the counter staff whether or not there was enough time to make the connecting service. Looking mildly affronted, he said "you have 1 hour 40 minutes, of course you do".

Bullshit. It takes 30 minutes to get off the plane on an average day. Then you need to make it through customs and it has never taken less than 1 hour for US customs in my experience. However, I remembered a time long past when there was a fast-track corridor between international and domestic at SFO, and now I wonder if I might have been flying Qantas that time.

In any case, we took his word for it because the flight number for our connecting service to NYC was exactly the same and on our ticket it said Stopover. Often that would mean the same aircraft, and we thought hopefully that perhaps we would go through customs in NYC.

That was not the case. In fact, when we asked, the crew on our Sydney flight had never heard of the connecting service's existence. We were to go through customs like everyone else. Unsurprisingly, we finally reached the customs desk at 12:25, 15 minutes after our flight started boarding and 25 minutes before it was due to leave. The customs officer optimistically said we might be able to make it.

Then the computer system crashed =_________________=

I know this is not UA's fault, but somehow it's hard not to feel that they added unnecessary stress by booking a connection that was not logistically possible. And we were told the day before that the domestic flights were all very booked, and if the UA staff hadn't said that it was possible to make that connection, we would have asked for a later flight because at least it would ensure we had a confirmed seat.

By the time we got the customer service counter, the only flight free was 10:50pm that night, 10 hours later. We were placed on stand-by for the 2pm and 4pm flights. Not having much hope, we trundled along to the terminal and found out that both of them - by this point no longer surprising - were delayed by 2 hours. I actually got called forward for the 2pm flight, but when I told her we were a party of three, she looked extremely irritated. I asked her to rebook me for standby for 4pm, which she agreed to.

By the time the 4pm flight came around, I discovered that my name was down the bottom of the list and my parents were at the top. Extremely pissed off and extremely emotional at this point, I asked them to rectify the situation, especially since we had seen our luggage go with the 2pm flight. The woman looked pained and said she couldn't change the stand-by list. I pointed out to her, as kindly as I could muster at that point, I had declined my seat on an earlier flight and that there was no logical reason for me to end up on the bottom of the list. She checked my name. And asked again whether I had a confirmed seat. I told her yes, I had one at 10pm. She frowned and tapped at the keyboard. After a long five minutes she told me that she had not only sorted out my stand-by position, she had also fixed up my initial confirmed flight because the chick who had given me the 2pm flight had cancelled my seat without rebooking me in when I opted not to fly. AND she hadn't told me.

I really, really, really wanted to strangle someone at this point. If I hadn't noticed our names on the stand-by list, if I hadn't told her that I had a confirmed ticket at 10pm, I would've been stuck in SFO at 10pm with no confirmed flight, forever.

The feelings were slightly mollified by fortunately making the 4pm flight, and the rest of the journey went without a hitch (including the luggage, which by this time I wouldn't have been surprised if it got lost in transit), but I was so fed up with UA I had vowed never to fly with them again.

Chapter 4: There is more...
The rest of this didn't happen to me, but it happened to two family friends who were booked with us, except that their return journey commenced 2 days before ours.

...But we met them wandering aimlessly around SFO by the time we made it there (after a 3-legged plane trip from east to west coast). Apparently their adventures were far from finished.

On the 16th they left for DC Dulles airport and immediately they hit a glitch. Because they had also been on stand-by for the 4pm flight on their journey to NYC, some clever counter staff had cancelled their booking for the return flight to Sydney. By the time that was sorted, they got their boarding passes and headed for the plane. As soon as the queue got to them for boarding, they were apparently informed that the flight had been swapped to a smaller plane and they could not fit any more passengers even though they were booked and checked in AND their luggage had been ported out.

They had an overnight stay in a DC hotel before trying again the next day. The flight out to SFO was delayed. Not only that, by the time they finally arrived in SFO, they were told that the Sydney flights were fully booked until Friday and they were placed on stand-by. They did not make the flight that night and the counter staff left as soon as the flight did, so they waited around 3 hours to be served at the main customer service desk, who told them that all their partner hotels in San Francisco were booked out. They ended up spending the night in the airport with just a blanket each. They tried 3 times to check where their luggage was, but some helpful counter staff had forgotten to give them the luggage number ticket at DC, and the wonderfully enthusiastic staff at SFO told them that it was too much trouble to look up and they should just do it in Sydney. And when they finally arrived in Sydney...the luggage had not come with them. Nor on any earlier flights. It was still stranded in SFO, like those of about 15 other customers recently arrived from the US.

I think possibly the biggest flaw with a large national airline like UA is it thinks it can always rebook customers onto the next flight, in particular because they have such frequent domestic flights to larger stops. If it begins to see that it is unacceptable to whimsically delay customers 24hrs to 48hrs to more, then perhaps it would make greater effort to facilitate people being flown out. Finding out that a flight is fully booked doesn't frustrate people as much as finding out a flight has open seats but being unable to fly because of administration or logistical inefficiency.

PS: In the scheme of things this is probably insignificant, but there was a strawberry jam on the breakfast tray on UA. This was a tray that otherwise included only a salty scrambled egg, a salty meat patty, a salty cheese pastry, and a few cubed melons. My mum asked the flight attendant if they had bread. Sounding for some reason extremely offended, the woman said, "EXCUSE ME??" and "NO, I don't."

WTH was the strawberry jam for.
mayoraasei: (Angry)
So yesterday we stopped over at Auburn Harvey Norman to browse and we bought a vacuumn cleaner because ours has a broken pipe. We waited around 30 minutes before we were able to speak to a customer service rep, and after some discussion about the models, they said they only had the display model left.

Now, obviously because it's the display model it looked a little manky so they offered a discount. My parents liked the feel and decided to buy it anyway rather than wait for new stock. The display model was not connected up to a powerpoint and because we were really starving by then (it was 2:30pm and we had a really light breakfast at 8:30), we bought it without trying.

When we got home and turned it on, it let out a horrible shrieking noise and shrieked unrelentingly until it was turned off. The box was missing the manual. After careful inspection we thought it was probably missing a part or there was an air leak somewhere, so we decided to take it back today to get the noise worked out and/or get an exchange.

Now, I didn't go, but my dad went and apparently the same guy who sold the vacuum cleaner to us was acting the absolute jerk. He said we "tried" the vacuum cleaner for an hour yesterday, which we did not - I think my parents were so hungry by then they bought it after a 10 minute discussion. He refused to refund us on account of it "working" yesterday when it was in store. He threatened to pull out store surveillance footage to "prove" that we "tried" it.

By this point my dad must have been "WTF" and he said, "GO AHEAD." (Go dad!)

The guy backtracked like no other and refunded us fully, and my dad walked out without a vacuum cleaner but having sworn to never buy one from Harvey Norman again.

Now, shitty customer service guy, let me go through the simple logic that happened here. We bought a vacuum cleaner because we needed one. We went back to exchange it because we needed one. Now we don't have a vacuum cleaner, but we still need one. Harvey Norman is not the only shop that sells vacuum cleaners. What have you just done? You lost a customer, and the loss is ultimately yours, not ours.

This all becomes ironic because Harvey Norman is one of the retailers with the loudest voice against online shopping. You'd think they would try to at least provide a service that would entice you to buy items in a physical shop, because, after all, face-to-face customer service is something you can't get online (apart from the occasional instant chats which is as close as you can get).

However, most customer service I've encountered from online sellers, whether it's dedicated seller sites or just eBay, have been enthusiastic and warm and generally amazing. Even Amazon provides more courteous customer service than here.

Harvey Norman's biggest whine is that they have to pay GST (goods and services tax), and therefore everyone who buys offshore should be taxed the same. I am not aware that GST is over 10% - and, just as I was browsing with my friend the other day, we found Terry Pratchett's book Snuff marked up to 300% of Amazon's price. That is the difference between $15 and $45. I am happy to pay an extra $2-$3...maybe even up to an extra $10 for import tax and customer service, but charging at 300% is financial suicide, just saying.

So wallow as you might in your stale self-pity. Don't complain that the world has moved on without you when you are dragging your feet
mayoraasei: (Angry)
So today I was on the bus and overheard this conversation between two high school boys:

"One time we were pressing the button every stop and the bus stopped at every stop and no one got off. And this lady got so fed up she stopped at the next stop and tried to kick us all off the bus and we're all like fuck you man. But then this fob, some thirty year old man jumped up and went off at us about how he needs to get to work and shit, so we were like alright and got off. Then me and my friends ran through this street to the next bus stop 300m up but the lady saw us and didn't stop but she needed to let someone off so she stopped further down the road. In the end only one of us made it on the bus. What a bitch man."

Seriously really wanted to turn around at that point and say, "If you pulled this trick this morning, you'd have been kicked off the bus too." And, "If you're going to be a fucking retard, be prepared to be treated like one."

What do they teach at schools these days?? You let the little old ladies and the mother with her pram onto the bus first, you don't swarm onto the bus and take up all the seats. You stand up when there are no free seats on the trains, not take up six seaters and continue talking loudly. And speaking of speaking loudly, if you have a bloody iPhone and you want to listen to music, USE FUCKING EARPHONES. And I do NOT want to hear about your discussions of periods, virgins and balls...and these were girls too =___=

This rant is making me feel really old.
mayoraasei: (Angry)
From all these ridiculous articles I cannot resist clicking on.

Depression? Don't believe it

Literally that is its title.

And it starts out with...

In 2000 the World Health Organisation named depression as the fourth leading contributor to the global burden of disease and predicted that by 2020 it would rise to second place. I suppose WHO didn’t mean it to sound like a target to be aimed for, but we seem to be rising to the challenge in any case.

Hey, I agree that depression can be over-diagnosed - but it is also under-diagnosed. I agree that people can be overly medicated for depressed mood (as opposed to actual depression). I agree that there is evidence that psychotherapy and CBT works.

But if the nutcase who wrote the article actually spent some time sitting in a psychiatric ward with some patients instead of reading the DSM from beginning to end and scoffing at it non-stop (and by-the-by, I agree that some of the disorders listed in the DSM borders on defining everyone as abnormal), maybe she'll see that you can never use blanket terms in medicine, and that SSRIs are used because they actually work, not because the "Big Pharma" made up the data.

I remember a lady suffering from terrible anxiety disorder, sitting in her chair quivering non-stop like she had too much caffeine. A week later, after a few ECT sessions, the change was remarkable. She managed to smile. She was sitting at ease. She could hold a conversation looking at us in the eye.

Sit in a room with a severely depressed patient whose countenance never cracks, who stares listlessly at the ground and barely raises the energy to whisper answers to questions...and tell me that their depression is imagined.

Overdiagnosis and overtreatment is a problem with any medical condition, but it is a danger to present the argument without a balanced view, especially with mental health still being a relative taboo in our society.
mayoraasei: (Angry)
Like, whut.

I should stop clicking on stuff that screams "I'm gonna piss you off" from miles away.

I have double-lidded eyes (in fact I think they're triple lidded now, so HAH) but my eyes look distinctly Asian. GETTING DOUBLE LIDS IS NOT ABOUT LOOKING CAUCASIAN *FACEPALM* While I don't actually agree with surgery for double lids as I think single-lidded eyes are cute in their own way, the reason why people get it is that it's a fairly small and safe procedures that can open up their eyes dramatically (depending on original eye shape). Again, it's not about looking Caucasian; larger eyes just tend to make people look more awake and energetic.

There are three main descriptors for beautiful eyes in Chinese literature: "phoenix eyes" (丹鳳眼), "peach flower eyes" (桃花眼) and "almond eyes" (杏眼). People often mistake "phoenix eyes" to refer to single-lidded eyes but apparently it only refers to the fact that the eyes have a slight upward sweep at its tail. "Phoenix eyes" are used without (much) discrimination to describe eyes in men and women, as one of the most famous generals in one of the most famous Chinese classic novels (Romance of the Three Kingdoms) was known for his "phoenix eyes".

"Peach flower eyes" are practically the synonym for "sexy" in Chinese. It is supposed to look like "peach flowers" when not smiling, with a greater curvature of the upper lid and a deeper set of the inner corner of the eye. What it's known for, however, is that when smiling it becomes beautiful moon-shaped crescents that combined with sparkling eyes is supposed to take men's breaths away.

Finally "almond eyes" is a descriptor commonly associated with pretty girls and refers directly to large playful eyes, round and dark like almonds. The Chinese, like many other cultures, believed large eyes to be more expressive and innocent, and this is something that's existed for centuries.

As far as the high-bridged nose is concerned, a lot of the northern Asians have high nosebridges. In fact the other reason for these to be desired is that in Chinese face-reading, well-defined noses are supposed to increase money and fortunes in a man (and in a woman it helps the husband increase his fortunes ==;;;), so there may be more than just beauty at stake here.

And finally white skin. I don't know why people automatically assume wanting paler skin means wanting to be Caucasian. The Chinese ideal is an unblemished snowy white, which is not exactly the same shade as most Caucasian skins anyway.

If anything, the rest of the Asian ideals are far from Caucasian-like and which the article cleverly omitted - small "watermelon-seed" shaped face, thin curved "willow-like" brows, small cherry lips, small delicate bone structures and physique...which is probably why Asia as a whole is so much more obsessed with slimness than western countries.

Seriously I get so annoyed when my Chinese friends/relatives laugh at girls walking on the streets who look perfectly healthy weight for being fat...and I'm not talking healthy "BMI 24" type sizes, I'm talking normal size 10-12's (in America that's size 6-8) being considered fat. It's ridiculous.
mayoraasei: (Ugh)

Listening to Popasia while I'm working. I haven't listened to it in a while due to the amount of monopoly K-pop seems to have on it. If it's not K-pop then it's Korean bands singing in really bad Japanese...and if there's one thing I can't stand it's weird accents Orz

They used to have southeast Asia pop and now they barely even have Mandarin or even proper Japanese pop, and that rubs me the wrong way when I'm in a bad mood LOL

They now have sections where they introduce Korean bands and they introduced CN Blue, who apparently debuted first in Japan before Korea and now tops charts in both countries, which surprised me since I've never even heard of them.

Thinking exams have made me such a hermit that I hadn't even heard of a Korean group managing to top Oricon so close to their debut, I looked them up....

According to Wikipedia their highest ranking single "Re-maintenance" released this year had a peak of #12 on Oricon.

I don't know what the exact definition of "topping the charts" is, but I was fairly sure that not squeezing into the top 10 on the biggest sales chart in the country automatically gets you disqualified.

Prior to this I always thought K-pop fans exaggerating the successes of their groups was just limited to a few bad apples, but this is ridiculous. The SBS brand has always been one for credible information (at least compared to commercial stations) and now my whole impression of it is ruined =____=

It would be wrong to argue that perhaps they did top some obscure charts in Japan and that the anchor did not mean deception, because when you say "topped the charts in Japan" people would automatically assume Oricon, just as if they topped American charts you'd automatically assume Billboard or one of the bigger charts.

*Back to listening to Nishino Kana*
mayoraasei: (Angry)
I hate myself for the curiosity that induced me to watch the Keira Knightley edition of Pride & Prejudice, thinking that since it's been years since I last saw her face (in Pirates of the Caribbean) perhaps I can get over her permanently Botoxed pout that reminds me so much of a certain Anoshito.

To start off the travesty, everyone speaks as though they've got a gun rammed up their asses and needs to get out their lines at twice the speed of comprehensibility so that they don't get shot. Can you understand, in those circumstances, how frightfully curt and pained they must sound?

The script runs like some high school kid's attempt at appropriating the great novel for an assignment and then ran out of time and copied&pasted the rest of the novel in. It is entirely not a coincidence then that the best lines are the novel's original. The rest of it is full of anachronistic and childish sentiments. "Don't you dare judge me, Lizzie." REALLY. Jane Austen can kill you with a pen.

Whoever wrote it had clearly not read the original. Neither, clearly, had the main actors. If Mr Bennet thought he had three of the silliest girls in the country in the novel, he has five of the stupidest, most ignorant and giggly girls in the country. Even sensible, kind Jane spent half her time giggling like an ill-cultured schoolgirl. Even Mr Bennet giggled in the end. UGH. And everyone in the bloody film appears to be in dire need of propriety. What does she mean to lope about in the countryside half dressed and alone before the crack of dawn??

And don't think you can distract me from the ludicrousness of the entire exercise by misty sunrises and twinkling piano music. If you can spend so much time filming landscape you could perhaps tell your actors to give situations their appropriate gravity. What does he mean by shooting out his confession (perhaps the most well-known confession of love in English literature) like he can't wait to get out of there and have a stiff drink???

I really liked Mr Bennet in the book. Oh, he's a terrible father, whose idea of education had been to allow his sillier daughters to expose themselves as much as possible in the hopes they could be burned by the exercise. He is a terrible husband, who trifles with Mrs Bennet for his own amusement. His sardonic good humour is what's been able to bear him through his life with such silly women, but it is also what brought about the predictable tragedy of Lydia's elopement, which served as a great lesson to him. None of this was present in the film.

Jane was supposed to be a sweet and gentle creature, possibly the ideal gentlewoman of her time. The film showed none of her kindness, her wish to forgive others for every fault, that set her apart from her sisters and made her union with Mr Bingley such a perfect fairytale. Mary spent all her time in front of the piano, without showing that it was motivated by an inferiority complex. Georgiana was again far too giggly and forward, she had none of the shyness that was mistaken for arrogance. Miss de Bourgh looked far too pretty and healthy.

And Lizzie is just a bitch. She is mean-spirited even in the book - not quite as vulgar as Lydia nor Kitty, but hardly as well-meaning as Jane - but she is NEVER outright rude unless someone has clearly overstepped decency to provoke her.

Darcy and Bingley might as well have been cast as trees for as much as I remember of them.

I am now going to rewatch the BBC version to wash my mind of this thing.


18 Jul 2011 03:50 pm
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Squeak?)
So after submitting my clarinet to "instrument neglect" for about...20 months or so, I dug it out today to play my ode of farewell for the last of the Harry Potter movies.

I've come to the conclusion that a leaky clarinet 20 months overdue for a service sounds almost as bad as a poorly played violin Orz

It can't be helping that all the abdominal muscles that had such a workout during band has now undergone liquefaction...or lipidification LOL

I still love the sound of Hedwig's Theme on the clarinet though. It's the exact sort of haunting melody that fills with echos and dimensions when played with a clarinet's vibrato-less woody timbre XD

On the subject of Harry Potter, this article perfectly expressed my utter apathy for the titular character.

Harry Potter is an everyman, and that is why he sells. If he can save the world then so can a cat.


There are actually a lot of cats who can boast of being instrumental in saving the world. Like Aslan XDDDD

I also met the writers of Harry Potter porn, who like to imagine the characters in different sexual couplings: Harry and Dumbledore; Dumbledore and Hagrid; Hagrid and Dobby. (To understand how disturbing this is, you have to understand that Hagrid is a half-giant and Dobby is an elf who acts like a drinking alcoholic.)

Oh honey, you obviously haven't seen LotR fanfics. My brain died at the sight of Treant and Legolas. (To understand how disturbing this is, you have to understand that a Treant is...basically, a tree, and Legolas is an elf who acts like a ninja. And his OTL is so obviously Aragon. LOL.)

This article made me LOL at its dumbness.

Harry Potter is not a jock. He is a twerp, although that does not exclude him from being a jock since his dad is also a twerp and, actually, a jock. He may have had rich and beautiful parents but they're kinda dead by the start of the first novel and he grew up in a cupboard. Okay he grew up for a few months in a cupboard, but you don't get much humbler than that this side of living on the streets. Which I guess feeds perfectly back into the previous article about humble beginnings and being dropped into fame and eventually working your way to heroship through a series of well-placed misadventures and other plot devices being the representation of what readers, living in our mundane everyday ordinary lives, want. On the subject of dead parents, that has frequently been a source of wangst in the books and you can't possibly feel you're not an outcast when everyone's gone home to meet their families for the holidays.

Ron is a misfit because though his dad is in a ministry job, the guy is far too straight-laced and not ambitious enough to be cool. Ron's also the perpetual recipient of hand-me-downs and good-natured bullying from his elder brothers, which is just uncool, even if your elder brothers are awesome (or unpredictably embarrassing, like the twins). Also, his mum may be big in heart and body but is also embarrassing because of it, especially when you're thirteen and the guy bullying you has a dad who stole his perfect blonde hair from...since I mentioned him before, Legolas.

Hermione is an outcast in a similar way that Harry is, both of them are dropped into this wizarding world with no prior knowledge. They're ten years behind everyone else and the way they've formed their worldview is vastly different to, say, someone like Ron. She's made up for that by studying much harder than anyone else, but there are plenty of general knowledge, practices, values etc that you can't pick up from simple reading.

I watched the last 10 minutes of the movie. I have to say I'm amazed at the number of redheads, red hair being a recessive gene and all. Must be a wizard thing.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
So let me tell you the story about a scary hotel that I once lived in (LOL)

Last weekend because of some lapse in communication between my dorm, the uni and me, they were apparently pre-booked for a conference over the weekend and proceeded to kick everyone out. Because it was such last minute notice and it was December and most of the inner city hotels were booked out over weekends, I ended up being booked into a dingy little place opposite 師大 called 泰安.

Frankly if I had done the booking I would never look for a hotel that charges by the hour...especially this close to Japan LOL.

Snip for length )
Was an absolute relief when I got back to my dorm after three nights =0=;;;;

Spent most of Christmas having 2min noodles in dorm because overblew my budget buying REALLY CHEAP TEXTBOOKS *_____*

Don't worry guys, my 2min noodles are always 豪華版(群毆) XDDDDDDDDD Noodlesx4 ($41) + lettuce 4 servings ($41) + tofux4 ($39) + eggsx4 ($24)...less than $40 a bowl, which is less than $1.50AUD XDDDD
mayoraasei: (Angry)
There is someone I know and I won't say who it is but I don't think they read my journal, and if they do then it's self-inflicted injury.

But seriously. If you're an entry-level anything...making tea for your consultant/boss/VIP/whatever is just PART OF WORKING LIFE. You're pretty much the little 跑腿 of the workplace. You do all the things no one else wants to do. Why do you think interns gets the glorious jobs of sticking their fingers up people's asses instead of consultants??

Just. DEAL WITH IT OMG. No one feels sorry for you. Everyone has been through the same thing, no matter WHAT your degree is. YES, after a med degree I'm going to be making tea for registrars and running paperwork rounds like a little secretary and it's going to suck, but that's what everyone else is doing.

JUST SUCK IT UP seriously.

I can't believe this reminds me of a line in Sapuri, of all places - there is no such thing as a perfect job, the perfect square hole for you to step into, you're going to have to pursue that perfect position by changing yourself. If you don't then STOP WHINING ABOUT HOW YOU DON'T FIT. Square pegs who don't fit round holes should either just give up or become round (or if you're brave enough, CHANGE the holes to a square), because WHINING about the holes not being square is going to get you nowhere.

OMG this reminds me of Anohito. NO WONDER.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
Sitting at the computer here 20 minutes before afternoon clinics start.

Got handed the flyers about the new prices that are coming in from April, and while I feel sorry for people who live close to the city, I'm pretty happy about what it's done to the Illwarra line, which is why I really want to comment on the SMH article that criticised it, especially its erroneous info about the current pricing:

...the $35-a-week Blue Travelpass - which covers commuters as far south as La Perouse, Rockdale and Hurstville...will no longer exist

Firstly, the $35 Blue Travelpass is bus and ferry only and does not cover train fares, whereas the new MyMulti will cover all three. Secondly the Blue Travelpass does not cover Rockdale and Hurstville. It covers only zones 1, 3, 6 and 7, which ends at around Arncliffe/Sydney Airport.

I've always been really annoyed at the pricing for Travelpasses on the blue line. It was supposedly priced on distance, therefore there's no way it can justify charging an extra two zones from Rockdale to Hurstville.

A current Red Travelpass can get to Ashfield in the west and Rockdale in the south. A Green one (the next level up) goes to Epping (10 stations from Ashfield) and KOGARAH (ONE F*$#&*ING STATION WTF IS WRONG WITH THEM). Therefore to go to Hurstville, 4 stations away from Rockdale, I have to get a bloody YELLOW travelpass, which can take me all the way to PARRAMATTA and WAHROONGA. Just because lots of people get off at Hurstville instead of Sutherland they had to make that three zones more?!?

Anyway, so I'm happy with the new MyMulti, which is the same price as the current Green Travelpass but can take me to Hurstville, Westmead, Epping and beyond!

Can't wait for the new pricing! ♥

Okay, running off now for more slit lamp funness...
mayoraasei: (Angry)
What is it with oncology and the unsheathing of claws of EBM (evidence-based medicine) obsessive nuts.

I'm listening to a lecture discussion about the use of psychotherapy/counselling for patients with metastatic breast cancer and I REALLY WANT TO STRANGLE THE GUY WHO KEEPS WASTING EVERYONE'S TIME by asking really pointless questions like, "Has anyone looked into the detrimental effects of this?"

I don't even know how to be sarcastic about it =________=

I don't know where all the vitriolic comments come from, either from this guy about how counselling was shown to improve quality of life of patients although not survival, or from the guy last week who kept clashing with the lecturer over the benefits of acupuncture on pain in terminal illnesses.

As someone said very insightfully..."Even if it's just a massive placebo effect, if it makes them feel better, WHO CARES. If you ram into them that it's not going to work and as a result you make them lose that placebo effect, then you've done more harm than good."

Especially since these patients are going to die whichever way you put it, it's human nature to cling onto anything that might give you hope. Neither of these methods is claiming to be able to treat cancer...if it makes them happier during their time left...seriously... If a patient came to me with terminal cancer and said they want to try acupuncture, I'd be all "go ahead...just keep taking your meds". You tell them you don't expect it to cure them, but if they feel happy about it, don't chain them down with your stacks of journal publications saying they don't work.

Besides, I think there's something fundamentally flawed about the idea of testing acupuncture and most aspects of Chinese medicine by western scientific EBM methods, but that's another rant that involves more research than I can be bothered with.
mayoraasei: (Gah)
The raws of the last chapter of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle came out today (is this person really writing her essay?) YES. I AM. I have 100 words to go and I need a really really long break.

My reaction to it is best summed up as WWWWWW. TTTTT. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.


I have to admit, this series tops Gundam 00 in WTFness. I KNOW.

CLAMP has always been a master of WTFness and I don't know if I put up with them before because I was young and tolerant =__=

But this, on top of Tokyo Babylon's type WTF WHYYY? also has X/1999 random cliffhanger's WTF WHYYYYYYY!!!!!!

This series is made of one long string of WTFness. Starting in page one chapter one with Syaoran and Sakura being locked in a glass tube. WTF!!!!

After the fans got used to the fact it's a protracted self-doujin, CLAMP changed pace from shounen to epic and that's when the WTF$hit really hit the proverbial fan.

So okay, by this point I don't care if I'm spoiling anyone any more, so Real!Syaoran is the son of Clone!Syaoran and Clone!Sakura, and he gets captured by trying to stop Real!Sakura getting killed, and in the process he gets locked up and cloned and Clone!Syaoran starts leading his life until the point where Real!Sakura's? Clone!Sakura's? feathers got scattered?.....okay, now I can't even remember when the Clone!Sakura came in Orz And Watanuki was also a clone of Real!Syaoran to fill some convoluted time loop. ARRRRRGH. What is this? Aeronautical engineering?

And all this Fei Wang crap was about him trying to resurrect Yuuko, who then disappears anyway, and WHY DID THE CLONES DISAPPEAR TOO?! Where's the plot device that forced the stupid choice on Watanuki and Real!Syaoran?

And so wait, wait, so, Clone!Syaoran and Clone!Sakura met in Hongkong in a scene reminiscent of CCS!Syaoran and CCS!Sakura, but THAT CAN'T BE RIGHT, RIGHT?! DON'T GO RETCONNING A PERFECTLY HAPPY SHOUJO MANGA FOR THIS STUPID WTFNESS!!!! Leave CCS!Syaoran and CCS!Sakura alone *cries*

The ending was exactly the same as the spoilers that came out a few days ago ==; Syaoran and Watanuki made opposing choices - Watanuki will always stay at one place (Yuuko's shop), unable to leave, while Syaoran will never be able to remain at one place. Syaoran said he can still feel the other Syaoran alive inside himself, hence even though it is impossible to revive the dead, it should be possible to find a physical form for a soul that's still alive. Sakura said she can't go with him because she will make it harder for him (why girl, learn how to fight and make use of yourself ="=) Fai and Kurogane both said they will travel with Syaoran, and Mokona is obviously going too because they need its magic. And just as Mokona teleports them away...Syaoran and Sakura reaches for each other and shouts, simultaneously, "My real name is...Tsubasa."


Let's hope it redeems itself in xxxHolic =____= It really needs a backstory about Fei Wang's obsession.
mayoraasei: (OTZ)
Malcolm Gladwell, an author and contributor to The New Yorker, forwards a theory that people of a southern Chinese background have a highly developed work ethic focused on problem solving from thousands of years tending to rice paddies. He says caring for a rice paddy created a tradition of hard work ubiquitous in Chinese culture. Chinese proverbs encourage working 360 days a year to become rich, and school is practically year-round.

- SMH article here

Wow...out of the arse of which retarded cattle did the guy pull this bullshit from?

How about:

1) Starting with China having had a meritocratic hierarchy for a few thousand years, and therefore academic achievement is one of the basic judgements of worth? A hardworking farmer is nowhere near as well-respected in society as a lazy academic. Sad fact of life.

2) Then going on to how the population crush in China has made getting a respectable job increasingly difficult (especially if you don't have a) good academic results and far more importantly b) good connections), and this terror of bringing their kids up to be nothing more than cleaners motivate Chinese parents to drive their children to study harder and harder.

3) Then putting forward the archetypal migrant's culture, which is prevalent in a lot of other ethnic groups that migrated somewhere for a "better" life but found instead the language barrier meant they could never achieve quite as well as someone born here but having similar qualifications. Instead they're consigned to doing work and getting paid far below their qualifications, and turning all their attention on their children so that their kids don't end up like themselves.

4) And perhaps rounding off with the general parental "my kid needs to be better than their kid" mentality, as well as the fact that kids in year 2 in China were doing what kids in year 7 are doing here in Australia for maths, and therefore kids who migrated in primary school had a HUGE head start on their peers, and they're going to keep on working that advantage if they find it hard to get an advantage in Humanities subjects like English or history.

Rice paddies culture my ass. Tending to rice paddies is a full time and thankless work (especially if you happen to have an Emperor that taxes you an arm and a leg for every harvest). It's unlikely that many families could afford an education at the same time. And how exactly does caring for rice paddies in southern China somehow translate to ubiquitous Chinese culture? What about people in northern China??


mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)

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