Friday, November 30, 2012

[Netflix Anime Review] Origin: Spirits of the Past


I decided to try watching this movie on Netflix because the synopsis was so appealing.  A post apocalyptic future where plants and nature are the dominant species?  Hell yes!  Unfortunately for me, this movie did not live up to my expectations.

First of all, I gotta say, most of this anime went over my head and I felt it was really boring.  This is mostly because the story, although possessing a rock solid plot, failed to elaborate on the characters' backgrounds and seemed to waste precious screen time on people traveling around.  I had almost no sympathy or feelings at all for most of the characters because I just didn't GET them.

The animation is indeed beautiful, reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki's elaborately animated settings.  Even the characters' sometimes overly exaggerated expressions reminded me of Miyazaki's films.

 Does this scene remind you of any Miyazaki film?  Hint: It stars a red haired girl...

I personally did not care much for the character designs.  They just seemed really plain and none of the characters stood out, even the main character, Agito with his white hair.


One of the things that REALLY bugged me about this film was the fact that the writers didn't elaborate or even bother to show some significant POV scenes for these psychopathic forest creatures!  I still don't really understand how they came to be or what their ultimate purpose was besides the obvious, forest creatures pwn Humans mentality.

Strange forest creatures (and I still don't know sh*t about them) surrounding the village elder.

I felt as if these 'forest creatures' in the scenes above served no purpose in the film aside from hording all the water from the Humans and to show the conflict between the Humans and the forest.  They didn't really play much of a role beyond that and I have no back story on how they came to be..


This particular character, Minka, seriously made me want to shoot her in the head with her stupid attitude and actions.  'Stupid' is actually the perfect describing word I have for her.  She did some laaaaame things in this movie and I FEEL this way because the writers put no effort into giving her character some stronger motives.  While watching her, all the while I felt as if she did all the things she did because of some childish jealousy and stupidity combined.


The lead heroine Toola, is a character that I'm seriously contemplating on whether I hate her more than Minka.  She seems to have a severe case of one-track-mindedness and continues throughout the entire film to convince herself that she is doing the right thing by going with the obviously suspicious white haired tyrant.  Even though Agito tries and tries again to convince her that she's heading off with a psychopath, her tiny brain doesn't seem to have room for reasoning.


For all this movie's hinted sci-fi glory, it really doesn't give too much of the sci.  The only time any kind of futuristic sci-fi scenes are shown is shortly in the beginning when Agito finds Toola in suspended animation (I liked her best that way), and toward the ending of the movie.  And even THAT whole explanation makes me feel like we've all been shortchanged.

 A scene with Agito gaining his new-found powers of the forest and proceeding to destroy a giant steam punk tank LIKE A BOSS.

Most things in this movie seemed to move in automation, with no real feeling in anything and no elaborations to help us understand the characters better.  I couldn't help but feel as if every action was being checked off down an insanely straitlaced list of events. 

An example of this is above with Agito:
He gains his new powers [CHECK] 
He somehow expertly destroys a giant tank [CHECK] 
He proceeds to save the lame-ass Toola [CHECK]

In cases like these, I wonder if the writers threw logic out the window and simply made Agito a genius who has pretty awesome control over his new powers the moment he attains them.

To wrap this up, I believe this movie's only redeeming qualities are its beautiful animation and perhaps, Agito.  

Because he's just a REAAAALLY nice guy.

 IMHO, he was the only honest, hardworking, loyal, and selfless character in the entire movie.  He appeared like this SO much that it gave me a tingly sense of Tohru Honda deja-vu.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review on Etude House Precious Mineral Sun BB Cream

As promised, here is my review of the Etude House Precious Mineral Sun BB Cream-! ( "^ o ^" )

I was introduced to this BB cream by Etude House themselves.  I stopped by their store in the Namdaemun district of Korea while on vacation and they gave me a sample of this with my purchase. I was quite intrigued by the the SPF qualities this product had and decided to purchase it online.

I also want to say that I just L-O-V-E samples because they're so fun to try out!  They can also make some serious sales if the person happens to like it.  I admit to being given certain samples with my purchases and ending up buying the sampled product because I ended up loving it so much.  
( ^.^ )


This BB cream is different from many others because it comes with a sponge applicator; The sponge is attached to the opening of the makeup tube.  It is removable as you can see.


This is what the makeup tube opening looks like with the sponge removed.  Personally, I like to keep the sponge off because it feels stiff and it makes the quite the unpleasant makeup application.  I also feel it's more sanitary this way.  

For blending, I prefer to use my trusty Beauty Blender (pictured below)...


... mostly because it's softer and has dual sides suited to different areas of my face such as under my eyes.


Back to the Etude House Sun BB Cream, you can also remove the sponge from whatever plastic base it was on.  The sponge being washable is definitely a plus for me, even though I prefer not to use it.  Maybe it softens over time?


There might be a lot of people like me out there who can't get an idea of exactly HOW MUCH product you'll get with 35g.  So I put my Nintendo DS Lite next to the BB cream to give an idea of how large the bottle is.  ;)


Here is a swab of the product.  I chose the color Natural Beige (W13) and it works fairly well for me.  My skin is maybe a soft ochre color.


I feel that the main selling point of this BB cream is its SPF properties.  It has SPF 50+  (I'm honestly not sure what 50+ means...  Perhaps a little more than SPF 50?... lol) and it also has PA+++ which means that while the SPF factor protects against the UVB aka 'burn damaging' rays, the PA+++ factor ALSO protects you from UVA rays that cause 'long term' sun damage.  With that said, it's pretty damn awesome for a sun protecting makeup foundation.

Now the main question is, does it get oily or cakey?  If so, after how many hours?

I used this product maybe a couple times when I planned to take a long walk out in the sun during midday and it has worked fairly well.  What I DID notice was that my skin started to look oily faster than if I were to use the Skin 79 Super Beblesh Balm Triple Function BB cream.

 [PICTURE BELOW]

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The best~!

I've tried methods such as putting on a translucent powder after application but I still feel as if my skin starts to look oilier faster than if I were to use my favorite BB cream (above).

But as a whole, I believe the Etude House Sun BB cream deserves credit because I've tried a lot of other SPF makeup foundations and the Etude House Precious Mineral Sun BB Cream proves to be superior to all of them in terms of holding its own against the perils of facial oils and cakey-ness and giving the skin a natural healthy finish.

Usually, SPF infused makeup products initially make the face look shiny and oily because of the SPF properties.  The Etude House BB cream seems to keep that in check as I didn't notice my face looking too oily after initial application.   

I have tried using the Etude House Precious Mineral Sun BB Cream on its own without any translucent powder, compact foundation, or primer and it holds up well.  It will get oily around the T-zone of the face if you have oily skin but besides that, it's a great BB cream to use if you plan to spend a considerable time outdoors and need the SPF.

My skin is moderately oily so my T-zone is generally affected after maybe a few hours.  Because my skin is the way it is, I go by the general rule that less is more when applying any kind of foundation to my face.  I just bring a paper towel or blotting paper and dab at the foundation when needed.  If I don't want to bother with that, I might apply less of the BB cream to my T-zone and that works great too.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Twilight Movie Saga is FINALLY over!!!


I went to see the last installment of the Twilight Series, Breaking Dawn Part 2 just because I had already watched the first three so I'm like, we've gotta watch the last one, just for the hell of it, lol.  I went with mom on this one.

And so ironic that in the post just before this one I'm b*tching her out, lmao.  Well, if it sounds that serious, it's not really.  Our personalities are just SO alike, that we often clash with each other.  We get over it fairly quickly.

If people look at reviews for the whole Twilight Series, it's often leaning toward the negative which I understand, because there are TONS of Twi-Haters out there.  I think it has something to do with them hating Stephanie Meyer's guts because her writing style sucks with her love for repetitive adjective spamming and they wonder HOW and WHY her books somehow got popular, even getting turned into movies.  I personally don't hold any hatred for Mrs Meyer.  Sure, she's set feminism back maybe a few decades, but I do applaud her on successfully brainwashing millions of young women around the world (I have been one of these women). xP

I somehow got out of my Twilight spell maybe around the book Eclipse because the writing was starting to get redundant and Bella and Edward were getting on my nerves.  By the last book, I was thinking this is one f*cked up fanfic!

WTF AM I READING?!!!

Anyway, back to the movie, I thought it was okay, quite entertaining as a first impression.  I really liked what the writers did with Bella's "Vampire Awakening" and her first hunt.  It was one of those moments where you think, "That's exactly how I imagined it in the book!  ( > w < )

There was a lot of careful detail in how her eyesight was um.... immensely improved?

This scene pic gives me a sense of Spiderman deja-vu...

"Imma eat a mountain lion, yum yum..."

The story seemed to flow at a good pace with nothing really too rushed.  The only thing I felt could use improvement was giving the majority of the new characters more lines!  

There were lots of new characters introduced in this movie but most of them had hardly any lines, maybe 3 lines each... more than that if they were lucky? 

I thought one of the Amazon Vampire women was hilarious because she reminded me of Tyra Banks for some reason, lol.

Introducing....  Tyra Banks' Amazonian look!

Most of the actors did a great job with their roles but the person I enjoyed watching the most was Michael Sheen who played Aro.  He's just fits his character so perfectly;  He seems to do well playing evil psychopathic villains with a sense of humor, lol.

"Me likey this role~!"

To my amazement, this movie actually gave a huge surprise.  I won't give any spoilers but I WILL describe how I felt.  At first I thought, oh, this must be some kind of dream sequence or hypothetical situation but as it continued on, my expression changed to this: 


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But then at the end of that scene, I found out that all wasn't really true and was like this:


Those guys almost had me fooled! lol.  It's just that the scene in question took so LONG!

I would have to watch that movie again to give a more accurate review because I went to that movie mostly for entertainment and it was certainly entertaining.  I just wish they gave some of the side characters more lines instead of watching precious screen time on ultrasuperboring make out sessions between Ed and Bel... ( -__- ) zZzzZZZZ

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why it SUCKS being the eldest child

I hail from an Asian American family so I'm just saying beforehand, my reasoning may not apply to everyone. 

I am the eldest child in my family and as the eldest child, most of the responsibility is pushed onto me in these forms:

1.) Cooking
2.) Cleaning
3.) Helping with basic chores
4.) Expected to know everything or the so called "common knowledge"
5.) Expected to take care of younger siblings
6.) Expected to be the 'role model'
7.) Expected to have all life experiences FIRST just because I'm the eldest

I'm also judged maybe 10 times more harshly than any of my siblings if I do something wrong.  A great example happened today.  I had to fix the curtain rack in my room because it was starting to fall off and asked my mother to help me with it.  She ended up taking off everything, even the curtains and I got worried because my mom loves to procrastinate and if I don't push her to help with some task, she tends to leave it unfinished.  So I ask her where the drill is and she says it's "somewhere in the garage" and that I have to charge it.  I go into the garage to charge it and I place the plastic container that's holding the drill on the hood of her car because it was nearest to an electric outlet.

Well, today I'm busy with cooking side dishes for the Thanksgiving dinner, washing dishes, and vacuuming the house.  So when my mom sees the 'plastic' container on her car, she accuses me of being a b**ch (which I admit, I am somewhat of one), scratching her car when I did NO such thing, and telling me things like how my first priority right should be finding out how to move out (like I've never heard that one before..  I should start keeping a count on how many times she spits out the same old lectures to me.  I'll say this is about the 6th 'move out' speech I've heard).  I simply placed the plastic container on the hood of the car so it was JUST sitting there.  So after accusing me of scratching her car and getting pissed about how disrespectful I was and blah, blah, blah, telling me to say "sorry," (which I did) and I claimed that it was the closest place to the outlet, she then goes on and [note example #4], tells me and I quote, "If you had any brain in your head, you would have known not to do that."  Sticks and stones I tell myself, but there are some times where I'm just thinking this in my head..


Now my siblings have done things much worse than whatever crime I committed here.  One of my siblings leaves all her sh*t scattered around her bedroom floor, leaves dark black mascara crumbs or whatever it is all over the bathroom floor (and VERY near the newly set wooden flooring might I add), and she also straightens her fake hair in the bathroom, leaving bunches of that nasty hair all over the goddam place.

Another one of my siblings literally EXPECTS my parents to have dinner or whatever else it is, available in the fridge each and every f*cking day or else he complains about it, leaves his messes in the kitchen when he makes food, has an overall bad attitude towards helping the family with anything (usually expecting something in return), and regularly behaves like a condescending prick.  He's like this so much that my parents regard his bad habits and behavior as normal!  Can you believe it?

And may I add that all my younger siblings almost NEVER help with any chores around the house and claim that on their days off or after work that they're "too tired" to help and b*tch and whine about how they were working all day/week/whatever and that they can't even do a simple task such as taking out the trash or washing a few measly dishes.

And after all this, my mom or dad never even bat an eye because it's done so regularly and also because uhm, they're NOT the eldest child so they apparently have absolutely NO expectations WHAT-SO-F*CKING-EVER!

Oh, and let me add one last con to my list, AS the eldest child, because so many things are already expected of me, if I were to compare myself to a younger sibling, say we made the exact same accomplishment chances are, my parents will praise my younger sibling incessantly and often times, not regard what I did as an 'accomplishment' so I'm pretty much hardly ever praised for things I do.  In fact, I'm actually sort of put down if I do something.  Say I just finished vacuuming the house, (and usually my mom does this), if she sees me doing this task, she'll make the remark, "shocking!"  Now this seems pretty innocent but if you consider that this task I do is REGULAR and actually not shocking at all, then.................. yeah, wtf?


It's times like these where I wonder what it would be like if I were not born the eldest. Sure, there's a few perks to being the eldest initially as a child such as getting the most trust to do certain things and getting more overall attention. But as you get older, I notice that the only real advantage to being the eldest is that your opinions are more valued which is great and all but with that being the only pro to all the cons I mentioned, I must say that being the eldest child isn't so great unless you're a genius who rarely fails.

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Nuff said.............. and Goodnight-!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

My experience working at a 'Posh' Department Store: The PROS and CONS

I mentioned in my last post that I got a job, finally! ( ^  o ^ ) ~*  I've been with this job for few weeks so far and I've already got most of my opinion about it.  The working pace is fast moving in these higher end department stores so if you work enough, you learn the system quickly.

So I won't mention any store names because I'm a private person who doesn't like to give out super personal info.  Get used to it! lol


I don't want to get too wordy here.  It's an area of my writing style that I'm trying to improve.  NOTE: I WILL be ranting like crazy on the 'cons' topics so readers beware-!


Now for the pros and cons:



PROS


- Cool co-workers (...... At least, most of them are cool, really helpful, and overall fun to work with. xP  Having awesome co-workers can make ALL the difference in the world.  They make you actually ENJOY being at work and even wanting to stay longer at the end of the day!  lol  At least, in my case, this is true and I think it's kinda sick in a way, lmao.
)

- Paid vacation time


- Flexible online scheduling
(Can be a good and bad thing, depending on if you're one of those workers who decides to have limited hours and pick up your own shifts.  For example for workers who already have set schedules but want to pick up extra shifts, the full time workers get first pick, then part time workers, then the rest.  As you can see, depending where you are on the totem pole, you could end up with all the so called, "crappy shifts" which are probably just night shifts.  IMHO, I don't think closing shifts are all that bad and I have not heard too many bad things about this system yet.)

- Hour lunch (Again, can be a good and bad thing...)


- Paid break times (2 breaks, 15 min each)


- Company buys lunch (sometimes)


- The pay is fair, around $8/hr  (I know so many people b*tch and moan about 'low pay' and 'minimum wage' but "HELLO PEOPLE!!!?"  This is a job that requires almost ZERO experience to do and ZERO college education!!!  This is the 21st century which means that you'd better have a well thought out degree to attain your dream career!)


- You always have something to keep busy (You will rarely get bored and that makes time pass faster.)




CONS


- Few asshole co-workers (Hey, the world isn't perfect, lol.)


- High sales goals (These things SUCK balls.  If you think about the bright side of sales goals, sure, it's a goal that you can work toward which could channel positive energy.  But the DARK side of sales goals is much more prevalent.  In dire times, there can be few customers and SO many sales associates;  This can make workers start to feel resentment and bad feelings toward each other because of either some weird sale mishap that leads to others believing that you 'stole' their sale, or vice-verse.  I'm just saying that the competition can get fierce in retail turning the workplace into a dog eats dog world.  I don't think that's a healthy working environment to be in.  Workers should focus more on helping and supporting each other.  Setting high sales goals doesn't help in that aspect.)


- Attendance system (I believe that workers will have either a love or hate relationship with this system.  In our workplace, we start off with a minuscule number of attendance points.
  If a person has kids, this system will really suck for them because if their kid got sick for example, they could possibly lose a whole bunch of points and have only how many left or worse, have none left and their job would instantly be in jeopardy.  This same situation could apply to a college student who just can't seem to get their schedule in order [if they're a part-time/full-time employee and get a set schedule].  It's also extremely difficult to earn these points unless you happen to work on 'special days' where they give them out like candy.  But for a simple seasonal associate, a few points could be all they'll ever need.  Besides the limited attendance points, this system isn't all that bad because it actually weeds out the people who always come to work late, don't come to work at all, and just make life harder for everyone else.)

- Kinda shitty training system (I say 'kinda' because they do make you do this computer training program which is supposed to teach you how to operate the register BEFORE working.  But nothing on a computer or book could teach a person how to do something better than actually operating a real register on their own.  The training system is mainly shitty because newbie associates are 'thrown into the water without really learning how to swim'.  On my first day, I was given the task of putting clothes back onto the sales floor.  Sounds simple enough except I have absolutely NO idea of where everything goes so I take F-O-R-E-V-E-R trying to find where just one item is located.  As for my first time using the cash register system, well, I guess I'm pretty lucky that I'm somewhat computer savvy.  Others aren't so lucky.  

Back to my main reason on why the training system is quite terrible.  It's like the more 'seasoned' sales associates are responsible for these newbie associates which isn't so bad except! for the fact that we're also responsible for sticking to our SALES GOALIf a sales associate is busy training a new hire, how in the hell are they supposed to keep track of their sales goal?!  I know I hate, hate, HATE the high sales goal but that doesn't mean that I'm irresponsible enough to simply ignore it completely!  Today kind of sucked and NOT because I had to help one of my fellow associates, but because as a result of helping her and training her on how to use the register, I got quite the low percentage on my sales goal for the day.  I know that I truly WANT to ignore the whole sales goal thing but most times I can't seem to do that.  Your sales goal is like an evil monster stalking you from behind all day long.  And it's a real let down when you look at that piece of paper after clocking out with a low sales goal and how after all your hard work, it's like it didn't really amount to much...  I sort of wonder WHY the department supervisors aren't responsible for training new hires..  I mean, they don't even have a sales goal!!!  D:<
Hope you enjoyed my huge rant on the high sales goals the corporation puts on its associates when this subtopic was supposed to be about the crap training system, lol.)  
Now onto my next con.

- Favoritism (No matter what, I think that supervisors/managers WILL have favorites whether they decide to show it or not.  It's f**king Human nature....  But that's the deal, it depends on whether they SHOW it.  I see a few department supervisors in our area and they seem to like certain employees over others as I gauge how friendly they are to each employee.  I guess it's not that big of a deal unless we're talking about promotions, better shifts, and other things being given to certain 'favored' employees but not others who work just as hard
.  I don't really see what's going on with this since I honestly don't care about promotions or schedule changes in this job.)

- Too many responsibilities on top of sales goals (This usually annoys me ONLY when I'm so focused on my ridiculously high sales goal and here is why: 
As sales associates, we're responsible for walking around our department area doing these things:

1.) greeting customers
2.) asking if they need help with anything
3.) informing them of special sales
4.) trying to convince them why a store credit card will be a good thing for them 

So here is the problem in this particular situation: IF a sales associate is walking around telling people all about these special deals they can get, the associate can EASILY lose their potential customer to another associate and it's like all their hard work was for nothing, and why is this?...  It's because it did NOTHING to improve their sales goal for that day and sales goals seem to be the one and ONLY thing that matters in this business.

As for other responsibilities on top of sales goals, the sales associate is supposed to:

5.) check fitting rooms every hour if at all possible
6.) 'try' to pick up department phone after 3 rings
7.) get people to open store credit cards [and yes, there is a goal for that too]
8.) find items for people who request it either over the phone or in the store [this is only bad if you're very busy]
9.) make sure your area is clean and this means picking up dropped clothes hangers/clothes on the floor)


Overall, despite all my insane ranting about the cons of this job, I don't do it enough for it to drive me crazy (I'm sort of between part-time and full-time and I do get adequate days off)I'm also lucky enough to be in a store that's not monstrously busy all the time.  I'm simply listing my experiences from this kind of job and what people should expect when starting a job in retail, especially in a high end department store.  
It may look like rainbows and sunshine from a customer's or visitor's point of view but the reality of it is, sales associates, at least in these department stores, have to work hard but the work can be rewarding and even fun, depending on what you're doing or what kind of day you happen to be having.

I think that this kind of job is okay if you have rather limited hours to do this job each week because I can only imagine how a 40+ hour week of this type of work could drive a person quite mad.  If you're looking for something more down-low and with much lower stress, I would opt for a small shop or a mini food establishment.
 
I'm personally just grateful that I even have a job in this economy and happy that it keeps me busy and productive.  I also like the fact that I'm lucky enough to have very enjoyable and agreeable co-workers!   ( ^_^ )