Book Review: Going Off Script by Giuliana Rancic

Going Off Script by Giuliana Rancic

This memoir is probably the best one I’ve read so far. No wonder it’s a New York Times bestseller! I picked up this book to read last night, and I’ve given it ‘unputdownable’ status (a word reserved only for the best books). It’s utterly refreshing, absolutely hilarious, and just the right length, I’d say. Didn’t know who Giuliana Rancic was before I read this book, but now I think she’s a really cool human being.

She also ‘liked’ my post on Instagram😀 LOL

Giuliana Rancic book

It’s a mere 263-pages, but this book seems to lay bare all the ups and downs in Giuliana’s life since the time she was “born a celebrity”, how she got up to all sorts of crazy antics in school, how she saw news anchor Barbara Harrison on TV and made journalism her lifelong ambition, how she impressed Johnny Depp and embarrassed herself in front of Leonardo DiCaprio, and how she dated douchebags and rich dudes and eventually married the season one winner of Donald Trump’s reality game show The Apprentice! (And wait till you get to the heart-wrenching bits)

When reading the book, you’ll get the sense that this woman is unstoppable. Life will hit her again and again, and she will rise to meet its challenges. And her sense of humor is amazeballs. I loved the part about how she returned home after an operation (she had scoliosis) and got tormented by the “Terror Toddler”. I laughed so hard! And I was so thankful I was at home, and not out in public where a concerned member of the public would most certainly call the police. Also, because her parents are Italians who are not too fluent in English, there are so many more laughs. You really have to get a copy of this book – it’s a real treat!

At this point, I really do think that Giuliana’s life should be made into a movie. Her life has been quite extraordinary so I think it certainly qualifies as movie material. For one, she can count the late Joan Rivers as her mentor, she had her own reality show ‘Giuliana and Bill’, and there’s her not-too-pleasant experience with artificial insemination and how it led to her cancer diagnosis, that double mastectomy and finally, the birth of her son (Duke) who was conceived via gestational surrogacy.

(I’m still in awe of how she lays her life bare for us to read about, laugh at, and learn from.)

I’m rather envious of her. She’s one of the rare few who KNOW from a young age what they want to be when they grow up, work hard at it, and eventually succeed in the career of their choice. In this book, she calls journalism “the subject that had grabbed me at the age of seven and never let go”. So many of us search, sweat, and succumb (eventually), not finding out what we are meant to be doing on this earth. Lucky her!

And to wrap up, here are some of my favorite lines from this book…

  1. ‘Learning to compromise and not be right all the time is a big lesson for any couple”
  2. “…doctors aren’t gods… they’re human and fallible just like the rest of us”
  3. “…the power of perception and how your attitude toward something can make all the difference in the world”
  4. “You know how you know you’ve lived life to the fullest, and you’ve won? If you can say, I woke up happy most days, and I went to bed happy most nights.”
  5. “I turn forty in triumph. I feel more beautiful than I ever have, gloriously alive in this body that’s been crooked, infertile, cancerous.”

Go get a copy of ‘Going Off Script’. You’ll thank me for it later.:)

8 Money-Making Tips From Investment Guru, Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers gave a talk recently, right here in Singapore, about the current global financial situation. The event had a huge turnout, with many people from the banking sector all eager to pick Jim Rogers’ brain and score some investment and career tips. Some people actually flew in from their home countries just to hear what Jim had to say!

His talk was part of the ‘Industry Guru Series’ by the People’s Association. This particular session featured Jim Rogers and Minister Chan Chun Sing, and cost each participant just S$10 (inclusive of dinner and an autographed copy of Jim Roger’s book ‘Street Smarts’)!

Jim Rogers Singapore

Jim Rogers talk attendees

[ Pictures from Minister Chan Chun Sing’s Facebook Page ]

Before he began his presentation proper, Jim brought his daughters, Happy and Bee, up on stage to educate / entertain / impress the audience with their admirable command of Mandarin. Elder daughter Happy recited the poem  靜夜思 by Tang dynasty poet  李白 while the little one performed a tongue twister (绕口令) in Mandarin. The duo, aged 12 and 8 respectively, blew us away with their crisp Mandarin and stage presence. Yes, I adore the two kiddos, and Jim, BUT Jim is NOT impressed by Singaporeans’ command of English / Mandarin AT ALL. *hint hint*

Here are 8 money-making ideas from Jim Rogers:

  1. Own real assets: gold, silver, agricultural products.
  2. Be contrarian. If everybody is thinking the same way, then somebody is not thinking. Be very curious about the world. Think independently. Don’t follow the crowd.
  3. Career: Work for an Asian bank instead of US one.
  4. Learn about selling short. If a disaster comes and you sell short, you might make a lot of money. Gain knowledge first.
  5. Buy a Reverse ETF.
  6. Chinese tourism is going to explode for years to come.
  7. Is the Malaysian ringgit going up or down? Jim: “Tell me when he’s gonna leave. Tell me the week before and we’ll buy lots of ringgit. Disaster always leads to opportunity.”
  8. Everything in agriculture has a great future. Buy futures, fertilizer or tractor companies, buy a farm. If all else fails, be a farmer.

After hearing from Jim, I was eager to find out what the Minister had to say. And he did not disappoint. I suspect he has hired a speaking coach. (Aside: Did you hear his speech at the Bukit Batok rally on 5 May?!)

~

Here are some highlights of what Minister Chan Chun Sing shared with us that evening:

  1. Look outward: Our fate is determined by forces beyond our shores.
  2. Every generation must earn its keep, do not leave a burden of debt for the next generation.
  3. While our total fertility rate is at 1.9 (close to 2), one-third of our people are not getting married.
  4. Productivity has to increase.
  5. We have to stay together in spite of race or religion, in good or bad times.

~

At hearing from Jim and Minister Chan, two things were apparent:

  1. Competition is now stiffer. And complacency will kill jobs and companies.
  2. The only way to improve ‘job security’ is to up your productivity.

I walked away from that session with no doubts in my mind that Jim Rogers’ kids will beat most of ours within the local education system. Yup, his daughters study in local schools, not the international ones! Besides the sheer economic advantage they have, thanks to their father’s astounding wealth, the children have direction. They are not learning Mandarin (and clearly excelling it in) so as to pass exams in the government schools here. They are doing this with the aim of heading for one of Beijing’s best universities in future. Also, their formidable command of Mandarin will stand them in good stead after they graduate, thanks to the governesses and teachers their parents have hired to communicate to them (only) in perfect Mandarin. Many parents in Singapore think that Mandarin is not that important, since most of the subjects taught in school use English as the language of instruction. How short-sighted we are.

How To Keep Your Job In An Economic Downturn

The government and Labour Movement keep stressing on productivity and how we should upgrade our skills (double skill, triple skill, upskill, reskill, secondskill). But what I find lacking in the workforce is that sense of urgency, and readiness to gear up for the turbulent times ahead. Just as in an aircraft, we watch the in-flight safety demonstration, hear the instructions of what to do in an emergency, and buckle our seat belts before anything untoward happens, not during an emergency, and certainly not after.

Point is: What are you willing to do in order to keep your job / income, before plans to fire you have already been made?

Consider the factors that are beyond your control, and those that (fortunately) you have some control over.

Firstly, those factors you have no control over would be decisions your employer makes, such as who to fire first. Usually, the more senior, expensive, and “redundant” workers get the axe first. Hopefully, employers and government will feel pressure from NTUC and the unions to retrench Singaporeans last, and give foreigners ‘priority’ when it comes to getting that golden handshake.

Also, if the company decides to drastically downsize or shift its operations elsewhere, and you are unable to follow, then it’s time to get a new job, or start that business you’ve always been dreaming about?

But keep your hopes up! There are factors which are WITHIN your control, and which can help you safeguard your ricebowl, especially if you are the sole breadwinner for your family!

#1: MINDSET

I’d say it’s almost human / natural to become comfortable (or complacent) where we are. If you’re a civil servant and you think you’ll never be retrenched, yes, I’m referring to you too! If you’re not a civil servant, but you’re thinking like one, then you’d need to wake up your idea fast! You have to learn to get uncomfortable whenever you start feeling too comfortable. If you don’t feel the need to constantly learn, unlearn and relearn, then one day, you might find the rug pulled out from under you and you’re sitting with your bum on the floor wondering what just happened. Truth is: There are no iron ricebowls anymore.

One thing I learnt from reading a book about Elon Musk, the co-founder of PayPal, founder of Tesla (electric car company), and the guy who wants to help us ‘colonize’ Mars, is that employees have to step up whenever the company is facing troubled times. When Tesla was going through a rough patch, and orders were dropping (due also in part to the economic climate), it was an all-hands-on-deck situation as technicians, engineers and other support staff all picked up the phones and started reaching out to consumers, selling cars, and filling out orders. They KNEW that if they didn’t do it, the production line would stop moving, and they’d be out of jobs. Whether you THINK you are a salesperson or not, congratulations, you’re now one! Until the orders have all come in!

If you want to show your employer that you are invested in the future of the company, believe in its mission and direction, then you might even want to offer to do what some of Elon Musk’s employees did: They converted their salaries into stock options instead (they were betting on the company’s future), some took out money from their own pocket to become investors in the company, and others put in extra hours at work just to ensure the company gets back on track. When they help the company succeed, they are actually also helping to keep their ricebowls intact. On top of that, they have shown to their boss that they love the company enough to want to be shareholders. And you certainly do not want to fire your shareholders, right?😉

If you’re thinking “No, I can’t possibly do sales calls. I’m terrible at cold-calling!” then how about washing the toilets and taking over the job of the janitor? If the latter’s less appealing, then how about learning how to sell over the phone? You can pick up any skill you want, what with the range of courses available, and the support from the Government, the Labour Movement, and your own employers. Are you willing to change your mindset, and upgrade your skillset?

#2: SKILLSET

I read with interest the recent news article about Mediacorp actress, Julie Tan, taking a 6-month break from acting to pursue an acting course at the New York Film Academy. This comes right after she won three trophies at the recent Star Awards: the Rocket Award, Top 10 Most Popular Female Artiste Award, and Best Supporting Actress Award.

Many artistes in her situation would probably give themselves self-congratulatory pats on the back and rest on their laurels. But she’s off to New York to hone her acting skills. Perhaps, she’ll win the Best Actress Award in future?:)

What about you? What are the skills you currently possess? Which ones need an ‘upgrade’ now? What new skills would you require in order to help your company become the best and the most innovative in its industry?

#3: JET SET

By ‘jet set’ I mean that you are ready and willing to travel for work purposes. Elon Musk’s SpaceX engineers flew wherever they had to be for the rockets to be launched. In a biography of his, I read that engineers sometimes flew in Musk’s private jet and one person usually had to sit in the toilet for the takeoff and landing, because there weren’t enough seats for all of them. But it made more sense (and ‘cents’) for the staff to fly to where the rocket would be assembled and launched, rather than for Elon to recruit and train new staff in that area.

A friend of mine has recently moved over to Singapore with her husband. His employer had shut down the factory in Malaysia and moved operations over to Singapore. If he was reluctant to come over to Singapore, or if she had not been supportive of the move, then he would have found himself out of a job. He’d have become a retrenched PMET in Malaysia, just like many of his ex-colleagues.

It was arguably not too difficult a move as Malaysia is located so close to Singapore. And they can return home to visit their families pretty often. However, there are always some sacrifices to be made. For one, my friend had to quit her job in order to move to Singapore with her husband. Her income has definitely taken a hit.

Will you be willing to travel for work, if it means you get to keep your job, and maybe even achieve greater success in your career? Would you be happy to take a Business Mandarin course in order to aid your business negotiations in China, for instance?

~

Jim Rogers painted a pretty grim picture for us that evening. He’s not positive about the global economic situation, but he’s confident in our government (that’s why he moved his entire family here, and that says a lot). But a rich man like him would be able to ride the waves of a financial crisis. In fact, from short-selling, he might get even richer (imagine that!). What about the rest of us?

Do you have the right mindset, the relevant skillset and the readiness to jet set, even before the first financial tsunami hits our shores? We’ve probably already experienced the first few hard-hitting waves already, with many PMEs already out of work. Will you buckle up and ready yourself for a rough ride, or will you pretend that being in a plane is as safe as sitting in your sofa at home? In-flight safety announcements and calls to up productivity are oft-repeated to the point of being annoying, but they are there for a reason. And that reason will be made known to us very soon indeed.

Book Review: Kevin Tsai’s Way Of Speaking (蔡康永的说话之道) Part 1.3

Kevin Tsai book

This is the final post regarding my review of Kevin Tsai’s book ‘说话之道’ (Book One). (Read Part 1.0 and Part 1.2). If you have yet to read his book, I highly recommend that you get your hands on a copy soon. I love the illustrations (actually short comic strips) within, and the anecdotes that Kevin shares. Each chapter makes one good point, and each chapter is short (possibly 3 to 4 pages only). Even if you’re not a fan of reading Chinese books, just one chapter a day before you go to bed should not be too difficult.

And no, I have yet to figure out the rationale for using an umbrella as a prop for the book’s cover shoot. Would you have any idea as to why he did that? (>_<)

Anyway, here are the rest of my learning points from Book One…

  1. Be involved and interested in conversation with your elders.
  2. Self-deprecating humor helps break down barriers. Don’t attack someone just to butter someone (else) up.
  3. Choose topics that everyone can participate in.
  4. Exit quietly.
  5. Don’t say “I understand” when you don’t / can’t.
  6. Go for win-win situations when asking for help.
  7. Be ready to apologize when you are in the wrong.
  8. Read between the lines.
  9. Return praise.
  10. Personalize messages.
  11. Look for clues regarding the person’s character.
  12. Learn to care for others.
  13. Make sure they can feel your ‘care’ for them.
  14. Avoid jargon. Have your own speaking style.
  15. Communication: more than words.

And I’m moving on to Book Two.😀 There’s just so much to learn from this man that I’m glad he found the motivation to write book two. He had previously shared (on TV) that he was most reluctant to write book one. He probably thought no one would want to buy his books. (Hurhur) But the illustrator (likely a friend) had told him that the money he would receive for the artwork was money he needed to pay for his studies abroad. And so, that ‘pushed’ Kevin to quickly get the manuscript done so his friend’s plans would not have to be shelved indefinitely. All’s well that ends well, I guess.:)

Book Review: Kevin Tsai’s Way Of Speaking (蔡康永的说话之道) Part 1.2

Kevin Tsai book

Perhaps you’ve read my earlier post about Kevin Tsai’s popular book ‘说话之道’, or perhaps you haven’t but that’s fine. Reading Chinese books is not exactly a hobby of mine so good luck to the Government in wanting to promote literature in our mother tongue languages when many in this country don’t even like reading to begin with. LOL!

This book is really good though, and I think there should be an English translation, if there isn’t such a version already.

Anyway, here are more of the learning points from Book One…

  1. Remove the ‘sharp edge’ in your questions.
  2. Ask questions that will elicit a variety of responses from your audience.
  3. Avoid the (many) landmines: finances, illness(es), relationships, kids’ grades, politics, sports, hated celebs, religion, vegetarians vs meat eaters, etc.
  4. Numbers are more memorable if you link them to events. DO NOT ask about how much a person makes when you’ve only just met him/her!
  5. Pauses are important. Let your voice be a mental massage for others, not a verbal lashing.
  6. Insert a ‘hook’ in your conversation so people follow.
  7. Don’t wait too long before revealing the ‘climax’ in your story.
  8. Avoid canned jokes. Good jokes should prompt conversation after.
  9. Ask questions which prompt the speaker to continue.
  10. Be outstanding without sabotaging yourself.
  11. Don’t be in a hurry to answer. Keep quiet if you’ve heard that joke before.
  12. Be the first to state your name.
  13. Give praise that is desired.
  14. Don’t answer your own question, and don’t set traps for people to fall into.
  15. When on stage, make a good point every 15 minutes.

I’m not done with the book yet. Yes, it’s frustrating because I usually do speed-reading for books written in English. Gah! So I’ll have to update this blog again later. But don’t hold your breath. It’ll take a while.😀

Descendants Of The Sun: Special Episode 3

Descendants Of The Sun Special Episode 3

[ Picture from Descendants Of The Sun Facebook Page ]

In the Special Episode 3 of Descendants Of The Sun, we FINALLY get to see the bloopers, and behind-the-scenes takes, as well as some interviews with the cast. This kdrama has received over 3 billion views (online) in China and its stunning success makes the 258 days of filming seem well worth the time and effort.

 What’s really touching about this special episode:

  1. How the actors get hurt in the course of the filming but soldier on anyway: It wasn’t just Song Joong Ki who hurt himself. Jin Goo (who plays Seo) also hurt his knee(?) and it bled a little. The Director also shared that Big Boss, who hurt himself in the shootout scene in the carpark (when the bad guys were trying to gun down the North Korean soldier), returned to the set to film the hostage rescue scene after just 2 weeks. He put up a good performance though he apparently couldn’t even walk straight off-camera.
  2. The cast celebrated Jin Goo’s birthday. The camaraderie that’s clearly on display in the BTS footage is heartwarming. Song Joong Ki even calls it “bromance” (between him and Seo).
  3. So funny how the actor who plays the diamond-swallowing Jin Young Su has been given the label “national villain”. Indeed, his acting in Descendants Of The Sun is superb! I found his account on Instagram and was pleasantly surprised to note that he apparently is playing a member of the SWAT team in another show. LOL. The national villain has turned over a new leaf, it seems.😀
  4. How there was wind and rain which threatened to (seriously) affect the production schedule, but the actors put up their best effort anyway.
  5. The hardworking director, who was even happy to show Song Hye Kyo how he wanted her to kiss Big Boss.

Not sure if it’s a letdown or not, but there’s no epilogue! So what happens to Big Boss and Dr Kang? Will there be Descendants Of The Sun – Season 2? Let’s wait and see then.:)

~

If you’ve missed Descendants Of The Sun Special Episode 1 or Descendants Of The Sun Special Episode 2, click on their respective links.

Descendants Of The Sun Special Episode 2: That Deleted Scene :)

Descendants Of The Sun Special Episode 2

[ Pic from Descendants Of The Sun facebook page ]

I’m not quite sure why there are these special episodes of Descendants Of The Sun that mainly show highlights from the kdrama. The special episode 1 was kind of a letdown. Thankfully… in special episode 2, there is a scene which was cut from the show.😀

That particular scene was supposed to be right after the surgery in which the diamonds were extracted. Dr Kang hands the diamonds to Big Boss before he goes on his mission of recovering the stolen medicines that Myeong Ju sorely needs.

They hug in that scene, so the crew must have realized that it doesn’t quite make sense. If Dr Kang had ordered everyone to keep their hands off the operating table because the patient likely has a contagious virus, it is unlikely that she would go hug Big Boss when she knows she has been “contaminated’.

Well, I hope we get to see more of those deleted scenes, some behind-the-scenes action, and that much-anticipated epilogue. What really happens to Dr Kang and Big Boss in the end? We’ll find out next week, I guess.😀

Special Episode #2:

  • Dr Kang stitching up Big Boss’ wound after the earthquake
  • Her will is heard over the PA system
  • She speaks with Myeong Ju
  • The couple kiss on the back of the farmer’s truck
  • Parcel from Shin Ji Young
  • Saving the diamonds guy from Argus
  • The operation to extract the diamonds
  • Ice bath for Myeong Ju
  • Medicines stolen
  • *Before the 21-minute mark: Dr Kang hands the diamonds to Big Boss; he jokes that some diamonds are missing. They hug. 
  • Dr Kang kidnapped by Argus
  • Rescuing Dr Kang
  • Myeong Ju and the “dazzling” Seo
  • Dr Kang and Big Boss exchange “I love you’s” in the cafe
  • He’s leaving for a (long) mission
  • Big Boss gets injured
  • How Myeong Ju and Dr Kang cope with the “deaths” of the two men
  • They are alive!
  • The couple back at the beach again… KISS!😀

Descendants Of The Sun: Special Episode 1

Descendants Of The Sun Special Episode 1

[ Picture from Descendants Of The Sun facebook page ]

Just when you thought Descendants Of The Sun is over, there are three special episodes. Special episode #1 is not as exciting as we would have expected. I know some fans are hoping for a wedding (not between Dr Daniel and Ye Hwa, but between the two leads). Alas! It’s purely a compilation of the ‘best and most heartfelt scenes’ in this kdrama, as one netizen put it.

Here’s what you’ll watch if you view Special Episode #1:

  • Uruk airport chinook helicopter scene
  • Big Boss flipping handphone out of Dr Kang’s hand (#1)
  • Dr Kang treats his wound
  • Their first date when he flies off in a helicopter
  • He picks her up from work (before the hair-washing scene)
  • Movie
  • Meeting after her TV appearance, and ‘breaking up’
  • Sending volunteers to Urk
  • The chinook helicopter scene again
  • He ignores her
  • Candles and being backlit (#1)
  • Apology for his minefield joke
  • Beach
  • President Mubarat’s emergency surgery
  • Disciplinary action
  • Wine + kiss
  • Her car goes off the cliff + she records her ‘will’
  • Learning to use a walkie-talkie
  • Farewell party for Big Boss; Kiss – to apologize or to confess his love
  • He misses her
  • The earthquake – his return, he ties her shoelaces for her

~

I think fans are quick to praise the male and female leads for the success of this kdrama. However, after watching it multiple times, I think the post-production crew really deserve a lot of the credit too.

Also, I think Song Hye Kyo is an awesome actress. The vibes I get from her remind me of Gong Li. Like Song’s the Korean version of Gong Li. Her acting skills are superb. She truly managed to look youthful in Descendants Of The Sun, and she quickly switched back to more age-appropriate looks for the media appearances.

If only we had awesome actors like Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo in Mediacorp. Then perhaps more people would watch TV in Singapore.😀

Descendants Of The Sun Episode 16 Part 2

Descendants Of The Sun ep 16

[ Picture from Descendants Of The Sun facebook page ]

*Update* I decided to include the remaining bits at the end of this post instead of crafting a ‘Part 3’.😀

Truly busy day today. Such that I am not done watching Descendants Of The Sun episode 16 yet. But here’s Part Two of the synopsis for this episode, which I’m uploading while on the move. LOL. I hope I get to complete watching the episode and uploading the rest of the ep synopsis tonight!:)

Episode 16 Synopsis (Part Two) 

Dr Kang and Big Boss go fishing (remember the time he went alone? :D), they catch a fish and camp overnight. Later, he tells her that he’s going on a mission – something about “escorting a VIP”. It turns out that the VIPs are actually the girl group Red Velvet who put on a performance for the Special Forces. Big Boss waves a placard, Seo dances while holding a balloon, and the whole thing is recorded and televised(?) Dr Kang is furious, and she goes on TV and announces that she doesn’t have a boyfriend in what is surely a tit-for-tat measure. Big Boss is promoted – he becomes a Squadron Leader – while Dr Kang is the “most famous doctor in the hospital” (She walks into a seminar room asking “Do you all know who I am?” And this is kind of funny, especially with what happened to a Singaporean actress recently) Myeong Ju and Seo meet the Commander; Seo says he can’t leave the army. The Commander gives them both his blessings. Fatima sends Dr Kang a Christmas card, and meanwhile Dr Chi Hoon gets a video from the “Blackey” kid, and they fail once again to find out the kid’s real name. After Chi Hoon is done using Dr Song’s laptop, Nurse Ha takes over and finds the secret folder. Inside are her pictures from her teenage years to when she is in her thirties. Dr Song confesses his love, and the two will likely end up together after Nurse Ha is done repaying all the money she has loaned from him. Dr Kang names her car ‘Big Boss’ and at the car wash, she ends up spraying the real Big Boss with water accidentally. During a meal at the canteen, Myeong Ju and Seo end up kissing amongst all the soldiers. Dr Daniel and Ye Hwa are getting married in Vancouver, Canada, and have sent invites and plane tickets over. Dr Kang and Big Boss return to the beach with the shipwreck, and there’s (of course) more kissing. At Dr Daniel’s wedding reception, it appears that Seo has caught the bridal bouquet and he kept staring at it thereafter. (LOL) Just as Dr Chi Hoon is announcing that the show has come to an end, someone runs in to say hysterically that a volcano has just erupted. (In Canada?!) So the show comes to an end with everyone getting ready for some action – Myeong Ju rubs off her lipstick, Nurse Ha pins up her hair, Dr Kang prepares to ruin her heels again, etc.

~

There will be 3 more special episodes after this, so don’t get too upset that this is the end of the kdrama.:)

Descendants Of The Sun Episode 16 Part 1

Descendants Of The Sun episode 16

[ Picture from Descendants Of The Sun facebook page ]

Descendants Of The Sun is the only drama that I’ll watch even when there are no English subtitles and I cannot understand the language the actors are using. LOL! I watched episode 16 yesterday evening via YouTube where one kind soul was streaming it ‘live’. So I kind of followed the show and know how it ends. But nothing beats having English subtitles.:) Only done with half of ep 16 at the moment as I need to rush off to work but I’m including the synopsis for the first half of ep 16 below…

Episode 16 Synopsis (Part One) 

Dr Kang is at a loss – she cannot quite handle the reappearance of Big Boss. She alternates from pushing him away and weeping (“I don’t need you. I’m gonna be a nun”) and telling him she missed and loves him. It snows for the first time in 100 years in Urk, and Seo walks towards Myeong Ju in the snow. His arm is in a sling, and he tells her that he never wants to be separated from her again. They kiss. Ki Beom is not a Platoon Sergeant and even he weeps when he sees Seo. Myeong Ju returns Seo’s dog tags to him, and even helps him shave his face. It turns out that Big Boss and Seo were captured by the militia who locked them up in a prison cell for some 150 or 155 days. They were rescued by the North Korean Special Forces solder, Anh, whom Big Boss had helped previously. Dr Kang has fruit prepared for Big Boss’s (supposed) death anniversary memorial. And the fact that he reappears on this day gets her worried; she asks a passing medical officer whether he can see Big Boss. He replies in the affirmative. Then she receives a video call from her colleagues at the hospital in Korea. They see Big Boss eating the fruit at the ‘altar’ right behind Dr Kang and they get a fright, thinking they’ve seen Big Boss’ ghost back on his death anniversary. Dr Song hilariously falls off his seat, and stays on the ground. Seo and Big Boss are tasked to write reports “as thick as school textbooks” upon their return. As can be expected, Big Boss leaves this task to Seo, whom he once called the “Tolstoy” when it comes to writing reports.😀

~

I’ll put together Part 2 of the synopsis for episode 16 later. Stay tuned!:) Can’t believe I’m typing this in the back of a taxi, and the song that is being played right now over the radio is from this show too (“… you are my everything…”)😀😀

*Update* Read Part Two here.

Descendants Of The Sun Episode 15

Descendants Of The Sun Episode 15

[ Picture from Descendants Of The Sun facebook page ]

This is probably the most brutal episode in Descendants Of The Sun . First you’ll cry your eyes out, then you’ll realize at the end of the episode that you cried for nothing. Argh. I wish the producers of this drama would stop that he’s-dead-oops-no-he’s-not-hey-he’s-dead kind of storytelling. Just keep the character alive or kill him off completely ok? It’s not funny.😛 Haiz. I hope they get married in the final episode.😀

Episode 15 Synopsis:

Big Boss is listening to Dr Kang’s will again via headphones, and he’s seated in a hospital wheelchair. When Dr Kang finds out what he’s listening to, she (accidentally) lets go of the wheelchair, which rolls down a slope, and ‘crashes’ at the end.😀 Seo asks Myeong Ju out for a meal because she looks too thin. Both want to be the one to leave the army. Big Boss appears at Dr Kang’s home with beer, places candles everywhere so she’ll look pretty from every angle, and she later realizes he used the final card from Pres. Mubarat on the helicopter to save her from Argus. Gi Beom sits for his qualification exam. The whole Alpha Team shows up to support him. The team then goes on a combined operations mission for 3 months. The Commander tears up Seo’s application for discharge from the army; tells him to come back safely. Seo leaves his ‘dog tag’ at Myeong Ju’s door. Big Boss bids Dr Kang farewell and tells her that he’ll be off the grid. Even so, she sends him message after message just to talk about her day. While waiting for another chopper, Big Boss is shot from the back. Seo is shot too. Then a missile(?) causes an explosion. Alpha Team’s remaining 3 members report back to say that the bodies weren’t found. Big Boss’ dad collects his dog tag and is devastated. Dr Kang reads the will Big Boss left; Myeong Ju refuses to read the one from Seo. The army will announce that the duo were killed in a car accident during training; want Dr Kang to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement. Eun Ji pesters Dr Kang about switching to more expensive medication so her uncle can profit from the purchase. Myeong Ju returns to Urk while Dr Kang goes to the Albanian refugee camp; she continues to send messages to Big Boss. Daniel protests at the airport regarding patents for necessary vaccines. At the end of the episode, Big Boss reappears, looking a little worse for wear.

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I have a message for the producers: stop toying with my heart! Oh man. Actually this time it was pretty expected. Since no bodies were found, viewers had reason to believe that the duo would survive. Hehe! So I guess we’ll find out in the next episode whether Seo lives as well.

More than love stories, I think the drama really drives home the message that more needs to be done in the medical field. Medicines are not being produced because there are patents involved. And those who need the medicines or vaccines most cannot get access to them because they are unavailable or priced out of reach. Even for the wealthy, there are medical professionals / businessmen who want to raise prices so they can earn (much) more. Remember the real-life example of the man who wanted to raise the price of HIV treatment drugs by 5000%? ‘Descendants Of The Sun’ isn’t kidding. There really are people who are like that. Hopefully, Karma gets them all in the end.

I wonder what’s left for episode 16. Will Big Boss and Dr Kang get married? Will Seo survive and get back together with Myeong Ju again? The lucky folks in Korea will find out tonight, while the rest of us will do so tomorrow.😀