the passenger seat


it’s been a long night in sydney too

Sitting here chillin’ with John Mayer’s new albumĀ 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.

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kids

If you haven’t noticed already, yesterday I made myself a new header for this blog. At least now I have a title. With that, I also made a new banner for people to stick in their blogrolls (Jason, Rex, etc.). Quick question though, can you tell that it has a kind of blue/grey background with diagonal white lines? If not, I should make it darker since it might not show up on some monitors and just look white.

banner2

Anyway, onto other news. Today was pretty full-on; I was out the whole day. I woke up just before 11am, and showered, changed, ate, packed wiimotes before being dropped off at Epping just before noon to meet Janet who had just finished tutoring. Taking advantage of the free train, we headed to Macquarie for a few hours, where we bought Ben a birthday present and ate and walked around. Then just before 4pm we headed back to Epping to get to Ben’s belated birthday party at his house, which unfortunately was not the surprise party that had been organised. Met up with Mindy then Carol and Annie (who disappeared soon after in search of a gift), Michael, Gabriel and Deva, before heading off towards Ben’s place. Ben’s house was really nice, and it was just nice to be with everyone there outside near the barbecue and playing with his dog, a big Border Collie named Joyce. About an hour in I left with Douglas and Deva (in the killing machine that is Doug’s car) to go back to my place to pick up my Wii, since everyone wanted to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It was a funy car trip, especially with Douglas’ precarious and often-joked-about driving combined with the wet road. After we arrive at my place and I had the Wii all packed up, I walked out of the house and there was no car in my driveway. Bugger. Fortunately, Douglas wasn’t smart enough to turn off his headlights, and I saw a house on the opposite side of my street illuminated and followed it to Douglas’ parked car on the side street. Suckers. I was too smart for them. So then we headed back to Ben’s place, where we ate, played Wii, watched MasterChef and had some of Ben’s Heineken keg bought by Carol and Annie earlier (which tasted bad, but I still beat Carol in a drinking contest). The party ended with most people leaving after 9pm.

Although it wasn’t the surprise party that was originally planned, everyone still had a great time and it was a good break from the monotony of school.

Onto other things, a movie that I want to watch in the near future (it’s already out in the US) is the new Pixar film Up. The animations and graphics in the film are spot on, and I love the style of the characters and scenery, in classic Pixar style. I’m sure many of you may have seen the movie poster at the Parramatta Greater Union and wondered what it was all about. Basically, the plot is that an old man fulfils his lifelong dream and attaches a lot of balloons to his house, and it flies away to distant places. The thing is, during lift-off there was a young boy scout on his porch, and he gets carried away with the house, too, and an epic adventure ensues. Sounds lame? I think not. Take a look at the pictures and trailer below.

up

up2

Speaking of Pixar animations, I hear Toy Story 3 is coming out next year… Definitely a must-see. Watch the teaser trailer below.

toystory3

And on the topic of children’s movies (which are not just for children), what better way to fix a hole in a wall than with Lego? Heck, now even a five-year-old can fix a wall. I used to love Lego as a kid; I still have a huge tub of Lego pieces. Pretty much for every occasion that required a present between 6 and 10 years old, I asked for Lego. I love to build things. I reckon if I was given a set now I would still love to build it.

lego

Lego too complicated for you? Maybe Duplo is easier.

lego2

And speaking of childhood hobbies, I kind of miss the things I used to do as a kid. One of the most memorable times was when I would play Star Wars with Ringo in year 1 (or year 2?), using different coloured hula-hoops as lightsabers. That was mad fun. Actually, speaking of Ringo, there was this one time in primary when Ringo drank some water and held it in his mouth with puffed cheeks. I thought he was just joking that there was water in his mouth, so I went in front of him and clapped his cheeks. He wasn’t joking; we still joke about that incident with eachother today. Digressing, after our hula hoops Star Wars everyone moved on to the connector-pen guns. I was never really good at making those since I didn’t have the 50-packs of textas that some people had, but it was still heaps fun to have epic battles all over the playground. Then there were Pokemon cards, which got banned at school, followed by Tamagotchis and Digimon (I wonder where my old ones are?). Raising the little pets and having battles were fun, but then people found the cheat to create a tiny, super-powerful Digimon (involving inserting and removing the reset tab and pressing a combination of buttons). Ah, those were the times. I wish we could have little things like that nowadays, but all I see are Ben 10 watches and kids with mobile phones and iPods. Poor kids.

It’s coincidental how I somehow ended up talking about my childhood in this blog, because I just saw Jason’s blog which also mentioned his childhood, as well as the candy that I loved as a kid (basically sugar and flavouring in a packet): the Wizz Fizz. I remember my friends and I (and my brother, too) used to wish for a golden or silver spoon every time we opened the packet, since they were the rarest, but we would always end up with blue or red or yellow. That was some good stuff, though, I’m surprised there weren’t more hyperactive kids in classrooms- it worries me to think how unhealthy that stuff was.

Anyway, I think I will end there. I need to get up early tomorrow for Netball training. I’m not sure when the game will be on, but I hope everyone comes to watch a bunch of guys (who mostly usually play basketball) play netball against some more guys when the game is on. Who would’ve thought guys netball could be so intense and fast-paced; I’m usually spent after training. Okay, I will really end this blog now.

“Kids” is by MGMT, from their latest album Oracular Spectacular.

Goodnight, everyone (even though probably no-one will read this tonight- it’s 12:53am).