the passenger seat


no such thing?

The movie Donnie Darko has been sitting on my hard drive for a while but for some reason, even though I have been meaning to, have never been in the mood to watch it. Well, tonight I finally did and it blew me away. It’s a psychological thriller that mixes in ideas of time travel and alternate dimensions, and while this may seem weird or cheesy or… actually, weird is the operative word. But weird in a good way. In comparison to the last psychological thriller I watched, The Shining, this one didn’t have moments that left me scratching my head and thinking ‘what the hell just happened and why?’ or an ending that made me ask ‘what was the point of all of that?’ Rather, the movie progressed well and made me want more and the ending was surprisingly cathartic, albeit with some questions still to be answered. Of course, I carried out the mandatory check of the movie’s Wikipedia page that has become so common following puzzling films, and to my surprise the answers were all there, by none other than the director himself, a rarity with films of this genre. The film did have its scary moments – those jolting, ‘jump off your seat’ events that are a hallmark of the horror and thriller genre – but these images were repeated and eventually became understood as integral to the story. Unlike the continued appearance of the twins in The Shining (for the few that have watched it) that, to me, were seemingly used only for shock value (until I read the Wiki), the periodic appearance of the frightening image of ‘Frank’ in this movie soon became exciting rather than shocking. Overall, I’d definitely recommend it. If you’re a fan of thrillers or psychological films and you haven’t watched it, it should be the next movie on your ‘to watch’ list. Even if you can only handle slight horror, this movie shouldn’t be too frightening. And anyway, the catharsis is enough to assuage all fears at the conclusion of the film.

A weird coincidence that happened while watching this film was when Milo pointed me to an image post on his blog about ‘lucid dreaming’ and how to achieve it. Donnie Darko was based around ideas of alternate dimensions and ‘lucid dreaming’ can have the effect of the dreamer experiencing an out-of-body experience or the illusion that they are in an alternate dimension. In a nutshell, a ‘lucid dream’ is one where the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming and is able to manipulate or control the dream. This prompted me to think about my own dreaming experiences and in fact most of the dreams I have (or can remember) are lucid to an extent (read about one of these two posts down). After reading the Wikipedia page on the topic, I think I will definitely try this technique one day soon and see where I can go with it. I already know that I am able to lucidly dream (as many people are), so it shouldn’t be too hard I hope. It should be fun, and I’ll be sure to recount my experiences here.

How fascinating are dreams and how awe-some (and I mean that in the literal definition of the word, not the colloquial sense) is the human brain? The fact that our brain is able to subconsciously conjure up such imagery is amazing. What the hell goes on in there that allows this to happen? Why hello there, all you Psychology students.

One thing that occurred to me when investigating lucid dreaming was the thought experiments carried out by Einstein to test his theory of special relativity (which we learnt in HSC Physics last year). Could lucid dreaming be used as a method to discard certain rules of materiality while maintaining physical laws (though part of the point and fun of lucid dreaming is the fact that physical laws need not exist) to test these theories or to come up with new ones? Food for thought…

And on that very philosophical note, I will end this blog here. To anyone who I haven’t seen in a while or don’t see/talk to regularly (which, sadly, is a lot of people), I hope you’re all doing well, and to everyone else, as always, take care.

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in relief

Wow, it’s been so long that I think I’ve forgotten how to blog. Ah well, I’ll see what I can do!

So Trials are FINALLY over. I cannot stress how relieved I am right now. Four weeks ago I was thinking to myself, “Man, I CANNOT WAIT until Trials are over. There are SO MANY THINGS TO DO, but it’s SO FAR AWAY.” Well, that time is finally here (and I apologise to those people who still have exams tomorrow, you may stop reading now) and I am very, very relieved.

Usually I’m not stressed at all about exams; I seem to cruise through exam week and they seem to come and go real quickly. Well, that’s what it feels like compared to what Trials were like. I think the magnitude of these exams hit me for the first time, and I put more pressure on myself to perform than usual. Especially after a few below average results last term (science research). Anyways, I really hate talking about exams on my blog, so I shall move on from that.

I had heaps of plans going through my mind about what I was going to do come post-Trials. Having purchased my camera in the middle of the holidays, I really only had that week to play with it a bit (albeit through some studying), and then it had to be heads down in the weeks leading up to Trials. Well, let me say now that the “heads down” thing did not work at all; I found myself procrastinating even the night before exams, even though I still had things to learn. Anyway, digressing, it seemed that I chose the perfect time to do a lot of things. I bought a camera. I got into photography. I started following a whole lot of photography blogs. I found a whole lot of photography DIY projects. Crap, it’s all photography. And all of those had to come just before Trials. Great. So I’ve been itching for the past three weeks to start up those DIY projects, browse Flickr for hours on end, read more and more blogs (I have so many unread feeds!) and basically just go out and shoot heaps.

So, the first bit of fun came today, after my Physics exam. Went with the boys to Parramatta Westfield to watch Inglourious Basterds, and brought the camera along. Had some lols along the way, including A-fat (crap, I typed A-fart the first time) ghosting some really hard dude in a wifebeater and sunnies with more tattoos than bare skin on his arms (although he was kind of short). What happened was the guy finally noticed, and A-fat casually walked back to the group of us like fifteen metres back, and the guy was full calling on A-fat, calling him names and stuff. He spat in A-fat’s direction, and when A-fat said “I’m sorry” he was like “Yeah, sorry is right!” Then when we got on the bus and passed by him, he did that pinky thing you see on those ads for speeding. The whole thing was so hilarious from my perspective, and we were all trying to hold in our laughs in fear of getting beat up.

So we get to Parramatta and do the usual eating/walking around thing that we always do before movies. I headed to the watch shop for a bit to get my watchband resized and to replace the battery in Janet’s watch, and while waiting I went and browsed the camera shop for a bit (I’m looking for a camera backpack).

While eating, we persuaded Bryan to eat his first ever Oporto Bondi Burger with chillis. And a triple fillet at that (since that was what Deva and I ordered). A truly momentous occasion.

So the movie. I must say, I was quite pleasantly surprised. I hadn’t really heard anything about the movie before I watched it except that Brad Pitt was in it, and that was good enough for me. But I soon found out that it was directed by Quentin Tarantino and that it would be a Pulp Fiction “chapter”-style movie, where there would be a few seemingly unrelated chapters that all come together in the end. It was great. Some parts (like the beginning) were really gripping, and the climax was just insane. But I won’t spoil it; it’s definitely a must-see.

Anyway, I think that’s all I have to say today. After I post this I might try one of the DIY projects I’ve been meaning to try: the DIY Macro Studio. I’ll see how that goes and take some product shots of some of my stuff.

Tomorrow morning I will (hopefully) be heading the the Wildlife Sanctuary right near my house (you know the one; it’s the one we walked through once for junior sport (I think) and the one that rec-sport people still wak through (I think)). That’s what I reckon, because last Wednesday I was at home studying and I saw people walk past my house. Anyway, I will be going there to shoot the creek and bushland and to test my new Hoya CPL Filter (refer to my Tumblr post). I was hoping that it would rain today so that the waterfall would be flowing, but to no avail. I’ll see how it goes, though.

But until then (might blog tomorrow), adieu!

Good luck to all who have exams tomorrow!

PS. Visit the Flickr set from today!



the life of the party

So, if you’ve already read Belle’s or Sandy’s or even Janet’s blog, you’ll know that last night we had a belated (exactly a month after her birthday) surprise birthday party for Janet at Temasek Restaurant in Parramatta.

I would’ve blogged about it last night, but I was too busy editing photos to do some writing. Head to my Flickr for the photographs from last night as well as all the other photos I’ve taken with my new camera.

So anyway, the day began with me catching a bus to Parramatta. I arrived jsut before noon and decided to have some lunch and browse JB Hi-Fi a bit. While there I also played Guitar Hero for some time, which I haven’t played in ages, so that was fun. I also went around to the camera stores and had a bit of an ogle at all the gear and lenses. While at one of the stores, an employee noted my camera and we had a little chat about it. It was a little awkward but cool at the same time.

I probably shouldn’t be saying this, nor should I have done it, but a little while later I headed to the cinemas to buy tickets for Janet and me to The Hangover, which we would be watching at 2:20pm later that day. But while there, I met three of my brother’s friends and they were hoping to watch Bruno- except that they were all fourteen. So they then asked me to buy tickets to Bruno for them and I wasn’t so sure about it, but luckily I convinced them to watch The Hangover instead, which was also MA15+ but which I figured would be a cleaner movie than Bruno. So I figured I didn’t really want them to be sitting next to Janet and I in the cinema, so I bought three tickets and decided to buy ours later. In hindsight, the movie wasn’t too bad in terms of adult themes/images, so I guess it was okay.

I met Janet about an hour after I arrived, and we then bought tickets. On the bottom floor of Parramatta Westfield there were two people costumed as Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, and a lady with a Polaroid camera giving out free photos to anyone who lined up. So Janet and I decided to go down there, and we scored a sweet Polaroid of us with the two characters. After some shopping it was almost time for the movie, so we picked up a pie each from the shop next the Woolworths and also an Easyway each, taking advantage of the “Buy One Get One Free” coupon (for both shops) that was in the free Westfield coupon book that they had at the information desk.

The movie was actually quite good. I had heard people saying that it was a good movie before I went to watch it, and it was quite enjoyable. Basically, the story is about four guys who go to Las Vegas for their bachelor party, but end up waking up the next morning with the biggest hangover possible and no memory of anything that happened the night before. Turns out, a lot of crazy ish went down that night, and the movie is about how they try to find out what happened and to find their friend who they lost on the way. I’ve probably cheapened it somewhat through my description, but I do recommend it to anyone who wants to have a laugh at the movies without wasting your money.

So, after that we headed just outside Westfield where we took some shots. Unfortunately there weren’t very many good ones; Parramatta wasn’t as interesting as I first anticipated.

It was about six o’clock when we started to head to Temasek, where, unknown to Janet, there would be eleven friends waiting for us. I used my cool stalling tactics of forgetting the way to the restaurant (actually, I really did forget) and we ended up getting a bit wet walking through the rain to the restaurant. I wasn’t really worried about going the long way (apart from the rain), since Sharon had called me earlier and asked me to stall for more time.

Anyway, we arrived at the restaurant and everyone yelled “Surprise!” and Janet received her gifts. Then I ordered and we ate. It was good food, we ordered (between two joined tables and thirteen people): Satay Chicken x2, Kecap Manis Calamari x2, Beef Rendang x2, Chicken Curry x1, Black Pepper Chicken x1 and one piece of Roti Canai each. Pretty standard Malaysian food (except the Black Pepper Chicken which is Chinese), so I was pretty happy that everyone got to eat the kind of food that is so familiar to me.

Overall it was a really fun day and a great night; I haven’t had a chance to catch up with friends at all these holidays so it was nice to see everyone again. To see the other side of the story, that is, from the perspective of the group that greeted us at the restaurant, read Belle’s or Sandy’s blog.

Also, don’t forget to check out the photos at my Flickr, also named The Passenger Seat. Also, keep a look out for my Tumblr, A Scent Of Evergreen, where I have constantly been uploading photos, too.

I don’t think I’ll blog for a while after this, due to studying and such. So until next time (which could be far away), do take care.

PS. Oh, and nice job to Rohan again. The last title was the song “Symbol In My Driveway” by Jack Johnson, from his album On And On. This blog’s title is taken from the Fall-Out Boy song with a similar title, omitting the “(After)”.

group

Flickr Set: Janet’s Dinner



split screen sadness, part i
Loving Norah Jones a lot right now. Her voice is so, so nice. It’s so relaxing.
Film
I’ve watched a few movies recently. The first, two nights ago, was Angels & Demons, based on the Dan Brown novel of the same name. When I say “based on”, I mean this very, very loosely. As a fan of the novel, I didn’t like the movie. The plot strayed so much from the novel’s story, and so many key elements were taken away and changed, which annoyed me. If you haven’t watched to film and plan on seeing it, I advise that you skip the next paragraph, because there will be spoilers.
There were many things that I was disappointed with in the film. The first was that the scientist that is killed at the beginning was not Vittoria Vetra’s father, but rather her “research partner”. Secondly, the movie showed Vittoria actually in the lab at the time of the murder, but in the book she was away, on an ocean research trip. This took way from the film because it took away some of the funny moments, including the parts where Vittoria enters Vatican City in shorts, where women are not allowed to show skin above their knees. Also, Maximilian Kohler was removed completely from the film. His character is actually one of the main characters- his wheelchair-ridden figure and cynical tone added a lot to the novel, and he plays a key part in the unravelling of the plot. Instead, his character was now the police chief. Furthermore, in the key scene where the Camerlengo brands himself, it was supposed to be shot from a video camera under Kohler’s wheelchair, but this was changed to a simple security camera with the chief of police holding the key to the videos. Two very, very important things that were changed: 1. The fourth cardinal, the one who dies by drowning, actually survives in the film, and even goes on to become Pope. In the novel, ALL the cardinals die, so I reall didn’t like this part of the film, although it was an interesting surprise. 2. The fifth brand, the “Illuminati Diamond”, was not the crazy ambigram that it was in the novel- it was simply two crossed keys. Hardly spectacular.
Anyway, I’ll stop my rant there. I apologise to anyone who read through that painfully, but I really didn’t like what the producers did to the story.
Another film is The Wrestler, which I watched last night. It was clear from the beginning that it was another arthouse movie, and it did play like one. Like most indie movies, the story moved slowly, but it was moving at times. It’s the story of an old wrestler (think WWE, but on a local level) that suffers a heart attack and is forced to retire, and then tries to reconcile with his estranged daughter. He also tries to form a proper relationship with a stripper he’s been a client of for some time, but to no avail. He goes through various jobs before he gets sick of it and decides to participate in a final wrestling match; a rematch of a really famous fight many years back. Anyway, he ends up struggling with his heart during the match, and we assume that he doesn’t survive after his final move which wins him the match. Overall, the film was kind of boring at first but it did get me watching towards the end, so that was good.
And the lastly, lately I’ve been watching a lot of Entourage. Now, I haven’t really been into many series before, mainly because I can never be bothered to follow it in its entirety, but I really enjoy watching Entourage. Great show; Ari Gold is awesome. For those of you who haven’t heard of or watched it, Entourage is a series about four friends who live together, and one of them, Vincent Chase, is a move star. So it’s basically all about him and his agent (Eric) getting movie deals and partying and the likes, but with a lot of lols thrown in. There are also side plots with the other guys- Johnny Drama (Vincent’s brother) and Turtle (a guy who does nothing a lot of the time except check out girls)- getting some action in the business, too. It’s an interesting take on media and the entertainment business. I’ve watched up to the end of season 3 so far, and I will definitely be finishing season 4 by the end of the holidays.
HP
Bruno
Design
Desktop
Hopefully I will blog next week with some very exciting news…. etc.

Loving Norah Jones a lot right now. Her voice is so, so nice. It’s so relaxing…

I’ve watched a few movies recently. The first, four nights ago, was Angels & Demons, based on the Dan Brown novel of the same name. When I say “based on”, I mean this very, very loosely. As a fan of the novel, I didn’t like the movie. The plot strayed so much from the novel’s story, and so many key elements were taken away and changed, which annoyed me. It looked awesome from the trailers, but the actual movie just didn’t cut it for me. If you haven’t watched to film and plan on seeing it, I advise that you skip the next paragraph, because there will be spoilers.

angels

SPOILERS BELOW

There were many things that I was disappointed with in the film. The first was that the scientist that is killed at the beginning was not Vittoria Vetra’s father, but rather it was her “research partner” in the film. Secondly, the movie showed Vittoria actually in the lab at the time of the murder, but in the book she was away, on an ocean research trip. This took away from the film because it took away some of the funny moments, including the parts where Vittoria enters Vatican City in short shorts, where women are not allowed to show skin above their knees. Also, Maximilian Kohler was removed completely from the film. His character is actually one of the main characters- his wheelchair-ridden figure and cynical tone added a lot to the novel, and he plays a key part in the unravelling of the plot. Instead, his character was now the police chief. Furthermore, in the key scene where the Camerlengo brands himself, it was supposed to be shot from a video camera under Kohler’s wheelchair, but this was changed to a simple security camera with the chief of police holding the key to the videos. Two very, very important things that were changed: 1. The fourth cardinal, the one who dies by drowning, actually survives in the film, and even goes on to become Pope. In the novel, ALL the cardinals die, so I really didn’t like this part of the film, although it was an interesting surprise. 2. The fifth brand, the “Illuminati Diamond”, was not the crazy ambigram that it was in the novel- it was simply two crossed keys. Hardly spectacular.

END SPOILERS

Anyway, I’ll stop my rant there. I apologise to anyone who read through that painfully, but I really didn’t like what the producers did to the story.

Another film is The Wrestler, which I watched last night. I don’t think anyone is planning on watching this one, so I won’t worry about spoilers. But, like before, skip the paragraph below if you think you might.

wrestler

From the get go, it had the look and feel of an arthouse movie, but apparently it isn’t and has won many, many awards. The story moved slowly, but it was moving at times. It’s the story of an old wrestler (think WWE, but on a local level) that suffers a heart attack and is forced to retire, and then tries to reconcile with his estranged adult daughter. He also tries to form a proper relationship with a stripper he’s been a client of for some time, but to no avail on both counts. He goes through various jobs before he gets sick of it and decides to return to wrestling and participate in a special rematch of a really famous fight many years back between him and some Arab guy. Anyway, he ends up struggling with his heart during the match, and it turns out to be his last; we assume that he doesn’t survive after his final move, which wins him the match. Overall, the film was kind of boring at first but it did get me watching towards the end, so that was good.

Holy crap, this blog is getting long. I think I’ll stop there and post the rest of it tomorrow.

Just as a side note, I have my second ever driving lesson with an instructor tomorrow morning. I had one on Wednesday afternoon, also. My instructor is like the cousin of a friend of ours, and he knows all the little tricks that you can lose points on over the course (I’m doing the test in Silverwater). So these two sessions are just to get my driving perfect and so I’ll have a really good chance of passing. Previously, my dad taught me everything, and that’s been pretty good except for those tricks that only instructors/examiners know. I’ll be doing the test on Tuesday, so wish me luck!

Anyway, that is all for now. Stay tuned for Part II of the movie blog tomorrow, where I’ll talk about Entourage, which is not a movie but a TV series, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I watched to day with my family. But ’til then, take care.

PS. WordPress word count lies. It says “Word Count: 1575” when in reality it’s like 800. And I know many of you will pick up the blog title. Split Screen Sadness, Part I, get it?



let the music play

Just a quick note: that movie post I mentioned in my last post will be posted tomorrow, after I have watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

This post will be about the music I’ve been listening to as of late.

My music taste has definitely changed a lot recently. I remember in year 7, Eminem and D12’s “My Band” were all the craze, as well as Usher and Chingy and all those guys. Man, those were good times. I look back and wonder “what the hell was I thinking?” All I did back then was go with the latest craze and listen to what everyone else was listening to. I remember going onto Take40.com, seeing any cool songs up there and downloading them on Limewire. Yes, Limewire. Awesome times. I was so naïve, and that was probably when I first started actually getting into music. I really didn’t know anything about music before then except that John Farnham and Human Nature were cool and the Bee Gees were okay, because these were the only artists I ever heard in my household.

Shoot forward one or two years and I only listened to indie rock and acoustic guitar artists. Remember back in the day when everyone listened to bands like Fall Out Boy and Panic At The Disco (back when they had the ! in their name)? Yeah, I was part of that craze. That was the only music I listened to for a long time. Throw in Death Cab For Cutie, who, as you probably know by now, are still my favourite, Anberlin, who I’d like to think are set apart from the other indie/punk/alternative bands are are also still a favourite, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, who I actually have not listened to for a long time.

I think my music taste has matured as I have matured. If any of you remember my blogs some time ago, I talked about listening to bands like Lymbyc Systym and This Will Destroy You- indie instrumental soft rock/post-rock. That was a phase where I somehow really got into a genre I had never heard of before and it was nice for a long time. The soft, gentle background music got me through that exam period and it was great.

After that, you might remember my post about MGMT and Empire Of The Sun. That was a short electronic phase. After discovering new post-rock bands, many of them were heavily electronic- and synthesiser-based, and I guess this stems from my liking of The Postal Service (of which Ben Gibbard is the vocalist, so, naturally, I like them).

From there, somehow I’ve started to like Hip-Hop and RnB a lot, mainly since I was introduced to Kanye West a while ago when his latest album was released. Some of my recent downloads include:

  • Mos Def – The Ecstatic
  • Mos Def & Talib Kweli: Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star
  • Ne-Yo – Year Of The Gentleman
  • Ne-Yo – In My Own Words
  • Akon – Freedom
  • The Foreign Exchange – Leave It All Behind
  • The Foreign Exchange – Connected
  • Wyclef Jean – Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs Of An Immigrant

A lot of these have been due to James’ influence. Right now I’m really feeling The Foreign Exchange and some of Wyclef Jean. I’ve pretty much been listening to only those artists for the past few days. There’s just something about the beats and production of some of the tracks that sounds really fresh to me. They feel clean, too, unlike to mess of guitars and drums and things like that in other music. It’s easy on the ears.

Actually, I’m listening to Norah Jones’ album Come Away With Me right now, which I’ve been meaning to obtain for a long time now. Really nice stuff; soothing.

I’ve noticed my music taste has really broadened in recent times. I find myself liking songs on the radio that I never would have thought I’d like, and that I know other people don’t like at all. I guess I’ve grown to be more open with this sort of thing, and I’m no longer trying to follow any trend or be “cool” and go with the crowd. I’ve just been listening with my own ears and deciding what I like and going with that. I think this is a result of growing up and having a lesser sense of peer pressure and more individuality. Oh gosh, that’s made me think about English. Yuck.

On a completely different topic, today I went to the city. Picked up a few bargain shirts which I’m really happy with, but while shopping I saw David Lam and Gavin shopping together at General Pants. Does anyone remember them? The crazy baller guys from a few years back; they were in year 12 when we were in year 8. Anyway, they were good friends back in the day, and I just find it really nice to see them still going out together and hanging out even four years after they graduated from Ruse. This is what I hope for in the future. I still want to be hanging out with my high school friends throughout university and beyond, and for those that this is not possible, I definitely want to at least keep in touch online or something like that. Reunions every now and then would be awesome, too, just to see everyone’s faces again and to catch up and see how people have changed.

But yeah, I think that’s enough sentimentality. I really love my friends here at Ruse, and you’re all awesome people, so thank you for that.

Anyway, that’ll be all today. Expect that movie post tomorrow, but until then, adios.

PS. Blog title? It’s a song by an artist I liked for a short time a while ago, after going to a concert… Well done to Swami for picking up the blog title, “Too Much Food” by Jason Mraz off his album Waiting For My Rocket To Come. You can have twenty points for that. And also thanks to everyone else’s comments. It’s nice to see all the different opinions on MasterChef.



they move on tracks of never-ending light

I’m exhausted.

Came back from the dance, “Santa’s Rave Cave” (I still don’t get why it was Christmas-themed), and I’m tired as hell.

I’ve also realised how slack my blogging has been. Exams really ruined my blogging routine and now I don’t have the same compulsion to blog every second day. During exams I was of course busy studying, and in the days after exams until now I’ve been busy catching up on all the things I wanted to do after exams. Anyways, onto the crux of this blog.

SRC Dance: “Santa’s Rave Cave”

When I first arrived at the hall at around a quarter to eight (having had Hills before), I was pretty bummed. The dance looked like a flop; the turn out was probably a half or two-thirds of the usual dance turn out, and there were not many people from our grade at all (damn you slackers). For a while it was kind of boring. Heard a few good songs and jigged to those and basically just surveyed the hall, seeing all the overdressed younger grades and couples that I never knew existed. Kids really grow up fast nowadays. I remember back in year 9 or 10 we had like three couples at most, but I saw at least six or seven in total from those grades at the dance. Anyway, digressing, a little while later the prefect boys went outside to practice a dance for their final assembly, and the rest of us went outside to watch Momo, Thashan, Grubsy, Milo, Swami and Peter rehearsing their routine. At that point James and I went to John’s car to retrieve his camera, and that was when the real fun started.

For a while I played around with the settings inside the hall, trying to get some good shots of things in there, but to no avail; it was too dark. Then John got out his iPhone, and turns out he has a program that can make words out of light by waving it in the air. We tried a few times to get some shots of it, but it was too dim and the timing was never right. So we tried to get hold of a glow stick, but they had all been sold out and no-one we knew had one.

But then Douglas brought out his little blue LED light. The whole group of us year 12 guys rushed outside, and we settled on the bench at the left corner of the hall, facing the mass of shrubbery between the hall and the quadrangle. I played with the settings some more and we tested some simple light trails with the LED, using a very slow shutter speed. It was perfect.

We then went ahead and tried writing words and making shapes and that sort of thing. The first task was to write “dope”, something James has been wanting to do with light trails for a while now. It took some experimenting to get the right speed of movement and lighting conditions and that, but we finally got a good shot. We shot words for a while; I did my name and people made funny shapes, but then Douglas had the bright idea of drawing penises with light. Then he had an even better idea, and I stood in front of the camera and Douglas outlined my form. It looked great, and from there we moved on to better pictures. By this time there was a group of about ten all sitting around the bench, huddling around the camera after every shot, eagerly awaiting the results after the camera had finished processing.. We shot lightsaber fights, Kamehamehas, more penises (this time drawing them on actual people), fart clouds, gun shots and shoops, with Douglas, Milo and I doing the majority of the drawing (I didn’t draw the penises), and James shooting. Deva turned super saiyan, Milo tried drawing 3D boxes (to no avail), I got some angel wings from Milo and Douglas cast a spell at me with his wand, among other things.

It was awesome.

We stayed out there for almost the entire night, returning inside only when a dance battle was announced. The battle featured Ringo, Momo, Grubsy, Victor from year 12, Murphy, Peter Kertapati and Nick from year 11 and Chi Wai from year 10. It was pretty sick. I tried taking some pictures during the battle, but it didn’t work. The predicament was this: to shoot fast moving objects, you need a fast shutter speed, but to shoot dark scenes you need a slow shutter speed. Anyway, after that was over we went outside and shot some more light trails, before people went home after 10pm.

When everyone left, I went back inside and joined the dancefloor. Linkin Park and YMCA played, and we created a huge conga line with Victor and I leading. It grew to be about 50 people long; almost all of the people still remaining in the hall. Mr Ma (Danny’s dad) even joined in, dancing with Victor while going backwards at the front of the line. The night then ended and I came home, extremely exhausted.

So that’s what I did tonight. Even though the dance wasn’t so great on its own, we made it great with our awesome light trails. Speaking of which, I’ll post up some of our pictures as soon as I can get them off James; probably Friday.

On a completely different note, I watched two movies last night: The Hurricane and Lord Of War. Both good movies, but I won’t really go into them right now; this blog is long enough as is. But, Denzel Washington was awesome in The Hurricane.

I think that will end tonight’s lengthy blog. Yes, there are no pictures at all in this one. I promise there will be a lot in the next one. Hopefully I can get back into my two-daily blogging routine, but I honestly doubt it. Ah well, at least you’ll only have to read when actual interesting things happen.

But until next time, adieu.

PS. 300 points if you can name the artist and album of my blog title. It’s a tricky one this time.



the unwinding cable car

I wasn’t actually going to blog tonight; I thought I’d have a rest after exams and blog tomorrow after I’d watched Transformers and played with James’ camera, but I just watched Crash, and I just have to blog about it.

crash

Yes, Crash was that film that in 2004 won all those Oscars (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing) at the 2005 Academy Awards, and I’d say they won them all rightfully so. I loved it. The storyline was complex yet it’s executed in such a way that you’re able to keep track of every character and their views and stories.

The film is based solely around the issue of racial tensions. There are four or five subplots, and in each there are always conflicts between races; the main races represented are Whites, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Persians. It would take me all night to explain each subplot, but all of these come together in the last thirty minutes or so of the film where there’s a massive prolonged catharsis that just keeps on hitting you with surprises. In the end all the loose ends are tied up and each individual character gains a sense of inner peace, and this is usually some sort of an understanding for the race they were previously against as well as an understanding of themselves. Just, you’re going to have to watch it if you haven’t already. I very highly recommend it. But if you’re one of those people  that are easily affected emotionally by movies, be warned. This film is packed with emotion and I’d be surprised at anyone that did not tear up even a little throughout the whole movie. I think it’s the emotional side of movies that gets me going (please don’t judge me). I watched Good Will Hunting a while back and it really struck me. There’s another great film to watch. As soon it finished I decided that it was one of the best films I had ever watched. Robin Williams and Matt Damon, how can you go wrong? Oh, and speaking of actors and actresses, Crash also has a somewhat stellar cast. Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Thandie Newton, Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard and even Ludacris plays a key role. I noticed that a lot of these actors seem to be playing their usual roles in this movie. Thandie Newton is an angry wife (as in The Pursuit Of Happyness) and Matt Dillon is a (quote) racist prick, as in a lot of his movies. Although Don Cheadle is quite a bit more serious than he was in Ocean’s Thirteen (Basher, the British explosives guy).

If you were dumbstruck while reading the last half of the previous paragraph, don’t worry. That was just my ramblings since I watched many, many movies last holidays.

Well, exams were over for me today. I’m not going to talk about any of them, because I hate that, but I’m very glad they’re over for now. For the first time in three weeks I have the freedom to do anything I like without feeling guilty about it. And yes I know we have an English Extension I speech, but that can wait until the weekend.

I spoke about my want for a Nikon D5000 in my last blog, and said that I was hoping to purchase is before next Tuesday to take advantage of the offer at JB HI-FI. Well, it turns out I won’t be getting it before then for many reasons that don’t involve me. In two weeks time I’m going to be home alone for a week or so (hopefully I can survive!). My brother has a school trip to Sabah, Malaysia and my parents are going to China for ten days for their wedding anniversary. Also, our hot water tank needs to be repaired, and so this is where all the family’s money is going, rather than to my camera. I offered to use the money in my bank account, but they wouldn’t allow that either, so now I have to wait until my birthday to get it (early August), which I’m totally fine with since it’s pretty soon. Also, the issue of price isn’t an issue anymore, since John’s sister works at Harvey Norman and can get me an even cheaper price than the JB HI-FI price, and it’s without a deadline (thanks, John!).

Anyway, that is all tonight. Expect another blog tomorrow night where I will review Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen and document my experiences with James’ camera, both of which I am eagerly looking forward to right now.

PS. The title of this blog was chosen because, well, I figured that if a cable car was unwinding, then eventually it would… Yeah I think you know. But where are my last two blog titles from?