the passenger seat


ten million fireflies lit up the world
November 22, 2009, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s time for what I guess has become a weekly recap of my life.

Formal and aftermath…

This week was mainly about the formal, so I guess I’ll start with Tuesday.

Woke up at around 11am and basically just messed around at home trying to quench my boredom by watching movies, reading blogs, researching photography and playing games (killing zombies gets boring real fast, and I mean Left 4 Dead, not Plants vs. Zombies). It was all very fruitless, and that’s exactly how I’ve felt these past few days. While I’ve been at home I’ve done almost nothing; I try to pass the time with all those things. It’s true what everyone is saying, post-HSC gets a bit stale after a while. But things like formal and schoolies (leaving this Friday!) are here to break up the monotony of staying at home many days.

So I left home at 5pm with my dad driving and after a whole lot of traffic I arrived at Le Montage just after 6pm; early. At that stage it was just a sausage fest, and girls didn’t arrive until closer to the starting time. Used that time to take some photos of everyone then after Janet arrived we went inside. The venue was… underwhelming. The tables looked pretty crowded in the small room and the tables themselves were pretty crowded. I found it difficult to find a spot to place my camera while eating, so it ended up just going on my lap.

The formal itself… Photos, eating, photos, watching people dance, more photos… There’s really not much else to say. Left early with peoples to walk to the bus stop for the bus to the city, which didn’t come for quite a while, but we managed to pass the time with, you guessed it, photography. Bryan was our main model who posed a little too well for our fashion-style shots. Then took the bus to World Square where we got off and headed into our apartment on the 73rd floor of Meriton World Tower.

The apartment was… awesome. Walked in and it was a huge place- 3 bedrooms, nice lounge room with big TV (which unfortunately didn’t have a DVD player or compatibility with John’s laptop), and my favourite part: floor-to-ceiling windows. Quote James: it was a “photographer’s wet dream”, and he was not wrong. Before the formal I was debating whether I should bring my camera since I thought it would be a hassle, but upon seeing the view from the windows my decision was justified immediately.

Once again, I took some time to take some night shots of the view.

I won’t recount the rest of the night, but as others have already said, it was an experience and an eye-opener.

Most of us waited for the sunrise and watched it, and I don’t need to say what I was doing at the time:

After that, people started to crash and I fell asleep for a good hour and a half.

When I awoke, some people went home and some of us went to Pancakes On The Rocks for breakfast. I don’t remember the name of my order but I had two pancakes, two sausages, a fried egg, a grilled tomato and mushrooms. It was good after a night of eating chips and snacks. After that we headed back to the apartment and everyone left until Janet and I were the only two left. We had the lucky job of scouring the apartment for anything that had been left behind (did Annie find her wallet?), and there was A LOT of food and drinks left. My estimation is something like 20 cans of drink and 10 chips packets. So we loaded it all into three big plastic bags and Janet’s bag and decided to lug them home on the train so that we could bring them to schoolies this Friday (but not before having lunch at Pepper Lunch).

Photos at my Flickr:

17-11-09: James Ruse Year 12 Formal 2009

17/18-11-09: Formal Afterparty – Coming Soon! (I promise!)

I arrived home at 3pm and did the same old thing that I do at home. Decided not to sleep even though I was really really tired (I was literally half asleep and falling in and out of sleep during the bus ride home) because I didn’t feel like it for some reason and didn’t want to disrupt my sleeping patterns. Went to be at 11pm that night and woke up at 1pm the next day; 14 hours of sleep to make up for the lack of the night before, and then chilled at home the rest of the day.

Friday

On Friday I stayed home again but went to the Douglass Hanly Moir place across the road from Carlingford Court to have some blood taken out of me for a blood test to find out my allergies. After that we (my mum, brother and I) went to Carlingford Court for some afternoon tea.

Saturday

Awoke at 9am and drove to Epping at 10am to pick up Janet after her Intuition interview and headed to Chatswood, where we chilled and had Pho for lunch. We then went back to Epping to meet Mindy and Gabriel at Coles. We shopped for quite a while, for ingredients for home-made pizza, then went to Mindy’s place where we made the pizzas and boy it was delicious.

 

After that we watched two movies: In Her Shoes and A Tale Of Two Sisters. Two very different movies; one girly comedy and one… Actually they both involved two sisters I just realised xD, but the second was a Korean horror film, and it was pretty scary.

Sunday

Today I drove up to Terrigal with the family for a test drive to our schoolies house. Had fish and chips at Terrigal and then I did some photography at the water before heading back home.

And that is what I’ve done all week!

Anyway, I guess since I can’t blog next Sunday I’ll be blogging again after I come back from schoolies, which will be Friday week.

Have fun everyone. (: Now back to watching One Tree Hill…



it’s been a long night in sydney too

Sitting here chillin’ with John Mayer’s new album Battle Studies playing. Picked it up today and I love it. It’s classic John Mayer. The record is kind of a heartbreak album, and yet it doesn’t have a sad tone at all, rather it feels optimistic even though there are songs titled “Heartbreak Warfare” and “Perfectly Lonely”. My favourites so far are “Half of My Heart” (with Taylor Swift) and “Who Says”. Watch the music video for the latter here:

Anyways, onto the brunt of this blog; a not-so-quick recount of the past week of my life…

Monday

Monday was a day at Parramatta with the boys (plus SY and Mindy). Did the usual outing thing where we headed to Foot Locker then grabbed something to eat before heading to the cinemas to catch This Is It. I really, really enjoyed the movie; I didn’t really want it to end. The whole movie is a compilation of footage from the rehearsals for his This Is It tour, and I’ve never seen anything like it before. I found it amazing that MJ’s voice was still the same at fifty years old as it was when he was twenty. And this was just his rehearsal voice (which is apparently his 60% voice according to Milo), so that’s crazy. Admittedly, his dancing isn’t as energetic as it used to be, but that’s to be expected. Still, I could watch that guy dance for ages. The backup dancers were pretty awesome to watch as well.

Another thing I found out was that MJ was a perfectionist. At one point in the film he’s shown advising the keyboard guy on the right way to play a song. To us, the changes he makes are almost unnoticeable, and yet he was so picky about wanting every little nuance to be perfect, exactly how it sounded on the record.

This is a definite must-see film for anyone who is an avid fan of Michael Jackson. For those that aren’t that into him, I wouldn’t recommend it (Michael: “I almost fell asleep”).

Tuesday

I awoke at 11am and went through my morning routine before catching a bus to Epping just after noon. From there, I caught a train to Town Hall where I met Milo. I had come with my camera and my new 35mm lens, ready for an afternoon of photography adventures with Milo and his new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3.

lumix

From Town Hall we headed to Pepper Lunch for lunch where we both had a regular beef with extra egg (and took some shots of our food while we were there).

pepperlunch

We then headed to Market City to meet Winnie and Leeanne and we were soon joined by Sandy. We had some time to kill so we all headed to Darling Harbour and spent some time there. Played in the water bowl place thingy and on the rope climbing thingy (yeah, I’m awesome at describing) and grabbed some candy from Sweet Doctor at Harbourside.

winnieleeanne

winnieleeanne2

We then went back to Market City where Swami had been waiting for half an hour, and a few things happened after that which I don’t really remember then others arrived and we were all waiting outside Market City for the rest to get there. As a group we then went to Wagaya Japanese Restaurant for dinner. I ordered a Kimuchi Ramen (they messed up my order and it only arrived after like 40 minutes, but I wasn’t too fussed) and Eel Skewers. Both were really nice. Naturally, Milo and I snapped away with our cameras at all the nice food.

sushi

sashimi

unagi

winnie

After that a group of us went to karaoke which was fun before catching a train back to Epping and home.

Wednesday

Janet had her VA exam which finished at 11am, so we grabbed some lunch and chilled after that. Not much to elaborate here. xP

Thursday

Sign out day. I got to school at around 9:30am and began my trek around the school in the boiling heat to get signed off by every department. Ms. O’hare only had time to sign me off at recess, so before that I went down to the courts for a bit of basketball. That ended when it was time for recess (and it was way to hot to play anyway) and I finished signing out after a while (waiting for Mrs. Pooviah to chat to everyone took ages). After that Janet and I headed to Parramatta for some lunch and window-shopped.

Friday

Drove to The Brickpit in Thornleigh at 10am for a day of basketball with the boys. It was good fun getting back into basketball and playing a good game for the first time in ages. We had to get off the court at around 11:30 to make way for a big group of primary school kids, so we all went to the nearby park and played on the mad flying fox and spider web rope climbing thing (like the one at Bicentennial Park if anyone knows of it). We also had a bit of target practice where a person (mostly Kris) went on the flying fox and we took turns at trying to hit them with Deva’s gridiron ball. At 12:30 we went back to the courts and played until about 1:30. Everyone then loaded into Kris’ and my car to Pennant Hills for some lunch. I had a burger with the lot and chips and a drink, and it was good since I was pretty hungry by then (it was 2pm). At 3pm everyone caught trains or got a lift in our cars to wherever.

Saturday

Went to my brother’s basketball game at Newington College. Got there an hour early so watched the 1st team play, which was cool (Kings got thrashed 80-something to 40-something). Unfortunately my brother’s team also lost.

After that we went to “Taste of Shanghai” (I think that was the name) restaurant in Ashfield for lunch. One of the waitresses was really pissy. Some of our cutlery and bowls were dirty (had bits of what looked like porridge on them), so we asked her to bring us new ones. She made a pissed face and a pissed sigh and took away the bowl, plate and chopsticks and handed it off to a different waitress who brought them straight back to our table. We knew it was the same set because the bits of porridge were still there. Anyway, the meal was good. Got a few different kinds of dumplings and things like that, so it was nice.

Sunday

Today I headed to Macquarie Centre with Janet where we basically window-shopped again. Picked up John Mayer’s Battle Studies from Target (since it was cheapest there), and also realised that I had been ripped off by Borders for Matthew Reilly’s new book ($34 at Borders, $25 at Target). Ah well, at least I had decided not to purchase Dan Brown’s new one yet, which also had the same price difference.

Anyways, I hope my recount hasn’t bored you too much. And if you didn’t read it all, I understand. At least there are pictures and a video to look at. xD

I cannot wait till Tuesday, where I’ll get to catch up with all you guys again; the last time we’ll all be together as an entire grade, and all looking good too. I’ll see you all there. (:

But until then, as always, take care.



too much food
November 8, 2009, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday was a pretty eventful day for me. So much so that I didn’t have the time or energy to blog about it until today.

The day began with me waking up at 10am. I showered and got dressed before scoffing down a big croissant with scrambled eggs, while having to forgo the mango and pancakes that was on offer due to time constraints (don’t worry, I had them today instead). We (my family and I) then quickly jetted off in the car towards Sydney Grammar, where my brother had a basketball game at noon.

It was a nice day. The sun was out and I can’t remember the last time I was out of the house on a weekend, without having to study.

My brother’s team (Kings) ended up thumping Sydney Grammar. I had brought my camera bag along with me, but the lighting was even worse than it was at Hills on Wednesday, so after the first few minutes of trying to get a shot I just gave up. And the game was really messy at the beginning anyway; hardly any shots went up for me to capture. Speaking of which, check out my shots from Wednesday’s game on my Flickr: Basketball @ Hills.

After the game, we headed over to the main part of the city for lunch. We decided to try Mamak (hi Belle!), the famous Malaysian restaurant that always has a long line coming out of it but we lucked out. When we arrived there was only one other group waiting (as we exited after our lunch we had to push past a fairly long line to get out) and we didn’t have to wait very long to get a table.

The food was great. For our family of four, we ordered 2x Roti Canai, 2x Roti Telur (roti with egg), 1x Lamb Curry, a dozen Chicken Satays and 4x Ayam Goreng (fried chicken). For drinks I had a Milo Ais (Iced Milo, which is kind of one of the staple drinks in Malaysia), and the way it was all served and the quality of the food reminded me a lot of meals in Malaysia, without the hot weather. I’d definitely eat there again.

mamak sign

roti

mamak

After lunch I went to look for some new shoes. The first store we went into was called Espionage, and I immediately found the pair I wanted in there. They had my size, so I quickly nabbed them. This is the first time I’ve gone shoe shopping in two years. The last pair of shoes I bought were my white AF1s, so I’m pretty happy with how long my shoes last me.

We got home at about 4pm and I had half an hour’s rest on the computer before I hopped back in the car (this time with me alone at the wheel) and went to pick up Janet before heading the Parramatta for the Thai Festival on the Parramatta River, or “Loy Krathong”. I came armed with my camera bag once again, hoping for some nice cultural shots and the like, but it was quite a big let down in that category. I expected a big stage with lots of performances and a spectacular traditional floating of the Krathongs- tiny boats made of banana leaves with candles and flowers and incense on them- that I would be able to take some good shots of, but it turned out that the stage was a tiny platform on the other side of the river and the Krathongs were few and too small to photograph anyway.

The food was decent, but that’s another story altogether.

We arrived pretty early; at around 5:15pm (the festival officially began at 5:30pm), and there was already people milling around the few stalls they had. First we got a snack: one pork and one chicken satay, and both tasted really nice. When the others arrived (Mindy, Gabriel, Doug, SY, Sharon), we went to get some more food, this time Thai Green Curry and Pad Thai. However, the stall we were buying from ran out of Pad Thai just as it was our turn to order and the lady serving told us that it’d be a ten minute wait. So we told her that we would wait, but she told us to just line up again in 10 minutes. So we go off to sit in a grassy area and eat with the others away from the crowds and then return to the store some time later, where we find that the queue is moderately long. While waiting, Aryan, Peter, Dan and Bosco arrive (who, by the way, took an age to find the place), and then they headed off to sit with the others in the grassy area.

So as we were waiting in the line we thought it wouldn’t be too long before we got our food; there was maybe 5 people ahead of us. Problem was, there was only one lady serving (the same one from before) and the system was horribly inefficient and terribly flawed. What was supposed to happen is that she takes our order on one side of the stall, and then you move out of the way to the other side to wait for your food. Problem was, for some reason people started lining up on the “waiting for food” side and got served before the people in the actual line. The result of this was that the walkway got clogged by a HUGE queue, and we were stuck waiting near the front of it for about 40 minutes, without it even moving. FINALLY, I got to the front of the queue (Janet had gone to sit down since she was in heels and we had been standing there for an age) and can you guess what happened? Yep, they ran out of Pad Thai again. There was no way I was going to leave the queue and come back again, so I just waited there for the ten minutes it took to cook a new batch. Actually, that makes me wonder about their system. For some reason, they only START to cook a new batch of noodles AFTER the previous batch has run out. I have no idea why they didn’t start the new batch BEFORE the other ran out. So anyway, while waiting for the noodles I had a little chat with the guy next to me (40-ish man) and we had a bitch about the way the serving system (or lack thereof).

We eventually got our Pad Thai with chicken satay after almost an hour of waiting in line. Janet thought the noodles were a bit dry, but I think I blocked out that fact because I really wanted our wait to be worth the effort. After that we chilled and listened to the performances which weren’t that interesting. They had a Turkish band and Japanese string instruments at the Thai Festival. What the?

flags

summer flight

tarts

Anyway, that was the end of my eventful day. Got home at around 10pm and watched a few episodes of Scrubs before bedtime.

Today was much more relaxed; spent it chilling at home with my brother.

Hopefully I’ll have something to blog about in the coming days (headed to watch Michael Jackson’s This Is It tomorrow), but until then, do take care. Apologies for the long rant in this blog, haha.

PS. I know I’m reusing blog titles, but what the heck. xD



the end
November 6, 2009, 6:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The end is such a scary place to start
Everything is torn apart
I don’t know where to go from here
In the end, there’s no reason to pretend
I know you won’t be back again
I gotta find a way from here…

I don’t know where I’ll fall down
but I’m sure to hit the ground..

‘Cause it’s not over till it’s over
Every ending’s a new beginning
One more chance to get it right
One more chance to get it wrong
It’s not over till it’s over
Sometimes nowhere leads to somewhere
And it all starts again, yeah it all starts again
In the end

And it’s such a scary place to be
Everything is in between
I don’t know where to go from here
In the end I see it’s all up to me
To figure out where I should be
I’m going to find a way from here

And I don’t know where i’ll fall down
But I’m sure to hit the ground…

But it’s such a scary place to be
Everything is in between
I don’t know where to go from here

-“The End” by Jason Reeves

So it’s been ages since I’ve posted anything here, and boy does it feel good to be back. I’d forgotten how fun it was to blog. I hope all your personal HSC experiences weren’t so bad. For me, initially, I found myself thinking “Hey, this isn’t so bad,” and I felt alright going to the library every day to study and all that; it felt good and it was fun catching up with friends. I spent a lot of it chilling with my best friend from primary school, Jonny, so that was nice since we don’t really see each other much any more. But when the exams actually came round, I think the magnitude of it finally hit me and it became a big deal. Still, it wasn’t too bad, but towards the end I was so burnt out and I just wanted it all to end. I’m sure I’m not alone with that.

The HSC was a very weird time. The concept of a real “life” disappeared and our lives revolved around study. There wasn’t really time to think about anything else, although I spent a lot of the HSC thinking about life post-HSC. Actually, that leads me to the weirdest thing about the past few weeks: the HSC warps time.

For me, time was a huge factor. I found myself checking my watch a lot more than usual. “How long have I been studying for?” “When’s lunch?” “Crap, just wasted an hour checking feeds.” Every time I wanted time to go quicker (“I wish it was November 4 already…”), minutes passed like hours. Every time I wanted time to slow down (“Sh*t! Three 5-markers to go in 15 minutes?”), minutes passed like seconds. And yet, at the end of it all, it seems like it all flew by. The night before an exam I’d be thinking “I can’t wait till it’s all done with tomorrow afternoon…”, and by the end of it it didn’t feel that long after all.

And now I’m here, at the end of it all, and it literally feels like it was just yesterday that I was arriving at the library and sitting down at my single table in the back corner. Man, I’ll miss that spot.

When I was thinking about writing this post-HSC blog, the song “The End” by Jason Reeves popped into my head. We’re at the end of our schooling lives. For thirteen years we’ve been going to school. 9-ish to 3-ish every day, five days a week, 40-ish weeks a year for thirteen years. Thirteen years out of the eighteen I’ve been alive, and it’s the end of it all. Jason Reeves’ song sums it up pretty well. It’s kind of scary now that we’re about to go into the real world and have real adult lives. That’s definitely not the main feeling, but I’m sure it’s in the back of our minds. The more important line in the song is “Every ending’s a new beginning”. The end of our school lives is only the beginning of the rest of our lives (hooray for corny clichés!).

But seriously, I’m pretty damn excited about the future (not to menti0n the three months of holiday ahead).

Hmm, I feel like this blog is really disjointed. I’ve basically been throwing random thoughts onto the screen, whatever comes into my head, so I hope it all makes sense.

Number one on my post-HSC “things to do” list was photography. So on Wednesday, the first thing I did after the Physics exam was head up to Westfield Parramatta, where I picked up a new Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G (yep, James’ lens). Haven’t had the best weather to try it out yet, but I promise there will be photos soon. That night I went to my brother’s basketball game at Hills for the first time in a long time. I tried my hand at some sport photography and found out just how difficult it is to shoot fast-moving sports in far from ideal indoor lighting. I only got a few keepers, and I’ll throw those onto my Flickr when I’m done processing them.

Apart from that, so far I’ve been a vegetable at home, just resting and recovering from the HSC by watching lots of movies and Scrubs. Today I slept in for the first time in what feels like forever and awoke at 12:30pm, as opposed to the steady 8am-ish I’ve been doing since I began my library adventures and all through the actual HSC. It felt so good, and I can’t remember the last time I felt this awake.

I’ve made a few changes to my Flickr. I’ve tried to clean it out a little so that it looks more like a photographer’s Flickr and less of a photo-dump. So unfortunately, I’ve made all my photos of friends/family private. The only way to access them now is through a “Guest Pass”, ie. a special link that allows access into the set. So if you ever want to have a look at the photos, either come back to this post or ask me for the links. Also, I finally uploaded the photos from the last Monday (Final Assembly) and Tuesday (shirt signing) of school. Here are the links to all of them:

22-07-09: Janet’s Dinner
03-08-08: KO Netball
20-08-09: Inglourious Basterds
29-08-09: USYD Open Day
05-09-09: UNSW Open Day
05/06-09-09: Deva’s Place
18-09-09: At School
18-09-09: Re-edits
21-09-09: Junior Uniform Day
22-09-09: An Ordinary Tuesday
23-09-09: SCR
24-09-09: Mufti Day
25-09-09: Party Time!
28-09-09: Final Assembly
29-09-09: Signature Day
30-09-09: Birthday Dinner

Anyway, I think that is all for today. To all of you still with exams, I wish you the very best. To all of you without exams, go out and have lots of fun.

Take care everyone.