the passenger seat


ten million fireflies lit up the world
November 22, 2009, 10:00 pm
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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
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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



*fin

I am so beached right now. Totally exhausted. It’s been a crazy long day and an even more hectic week.

But, it’s the night of the last day of high school and our entire schooling lives and so I feel compelled to blog about it tonight while it’s still fresh.

I think I’ve pretty much covered all my sentimental feelings in my previous few posts, so I’ll try to keep that to a minimum this time round. But, if you’re not a fan of recounts, skip to the end for the more reflective stuff. Actually, after writing this blog I think there’s still quite a bit of sentimentality intertwined with the recounts. Okay, upon reaching the end I realised that there is no reflective ending to the blog. Maybe next time. (Yes these were added further into the blog, not at the beginning because that would be weird.)

Anyways, let’s start with Monday…

Monday

Monday was our farewell assembly. Arrived at school early for Single Ladies rehearsal since I only knew like the first five moves prior to Monday. It was fun letting go of our inhibitions and our dignity in the name of going out with a bang, and I definitely will not forget it. I never thought I’d do what we did on stage on Monday, but we did. And I never thought we’d wear what we wore, but we did. I don’t think I need to go into specifics about that. But it was just really awesome to do it with a lot of my friends; most of whom I never thought would ever put themselves in that position. I never thought I would ask a guy “So, are you wearing a leotard?” and hear the reply: “I guess so.”

Dancing with the Single Ladies was great, but I had two performances to prepare for the assembly, the other being the “4-Chord Song” with SY, Carol, Annie and special guest appearances by Angelina and Mindy, or rather “JACS ft. AM-Dawg” as SY has dubbed us. This performance was not on a whim; it stems back from our time in musical in year 11. Being only minor principals, we were not often required for actual rehearsals at late-night principal rehearsals. So, we spent a lot of time outside the hall and in the gym equipment storage room just jamming to a guitar; mostly to the “4-Chord Song” and its many variations. For those of you who don’t know it, it’s a medley of a number of different songs to the same four chords, since hundreds of popular songs in the last few decades have been written to the same chord progression. It’s been done many times before by Norwegian Recycling and AJ Rafael and friends, just to name a few, but ours consisted of: Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”, The Black Eyed Peas’ “Where Is The Love”, Alicia Keys’ “No One”, Sam Hart’s “Mario Kart Love Song”, The Black Eyed Peas “Where Is The Love” (the rap), Colbie Caillat’s “Realize”, Missy Higgins’ “Scar” and Ne-Yo’s “Easy”. Since the end of year 12 was a lot about remembering old times and reliving memories from our younger years, it was really nice to go out with this song, and I had a great time practising and performing with you guys.

Following the performances were the traditional speeches (although there was none by year 11s this year), video presentations and then our final roll call where we received our rams and walked to the back of the hall. Speaking of which, I would’ve liked the usual walk down the centre aisle rather than the side, but ah well.

After that there was the massive photo-taking and hug-fest. A little known fact about me: I like hugs. Some were more emotional than others, and frankly I was a little bummed that I wasn’t as sad as I’d expected. I guess I knew that I’d still see my friends in the following two days, so the reality of the end of high school hadn’t quite hit me as hard as it did for others.

Tuesday

The morning started with a mass shirt and book signing that only got bigger as the morning went on. At first it was difficult thinking of messages to write, but I think we’re all experts at it now. Not much to say except that I enjoyed this part a lot.

Then was the luncheon. I arrived in the hall a tad late and so the food supplies were low, but I managed to fill myself.

Then a group of us boys headed down to the oval for our last game of gridiron at school. Due to Deva’s request, our team became the “skins” team, along with Gabriel, Bryan, Ben and Eddy. Twas fun.

Tuesday night was Cabaret Night; the last school concert I will ever attend as a student. I kind of regretted not performing as I usually do, but it was nice just watching and cheering on the performers from our grade (and the other grades). Following this, I got home and proceeded to make the little puff things I brought for Winnie and Carol’s birthday picnic the next day.

Wednesday

I’m sure by now you’ve realised that I’ve kind of gotten a bit tired in the process of writing this blog. But anyway, I shall motor on with it. Don’t you just love unnecessary lines talking about the unnecessary nature of certain lines in a blog? Yeah, I’ll stop now.

Today I arrived at school to see everyone in mufti with their beach gear and everything. A few more shirt signings later and we had roll call (wait, what happened to our final roll call on Monday?), and during this, Rena from year 8 came to give Annie and I a little graduation gift and a final hug and goodbye. I found this gesture very touching, so although I know you don’t read my blog, thank you Rena, I love my monkey.

The beach was great, but unfortunately at this point I am too beached to remember the details. Briefly playing with Winnie’s skimboard, dunking people, eating at the picnic, doing a little bit of photography with James’ camera, a huge grade photo taken by a million different cameras… All in all it was a really relaxing final outing with the whole grade.

Upon arriving back at school, I noticed a few people pondering, and it was obvious to me that the end had finally hit them. For me, it still hadn’t. I knew that I would be seeing everyone again at night…

Winnie and Carol’s birthday dinner was held at The Ranch. There was a lot of talk about beer and there was a kind of mini-crackdown on underage drinkers but it all worked out somehow. I didn’t have any since I had to drive. I ordered the Scotch Fillet Steak Sandwich, which was pretty good, but the majority of the night was not spent eating. We watched Winnie and Carol open their gifts, we sang Happy Birthday to them and then the photo-taking started. Everyone just chilled out around the three big tables we had reserved and took luvos and just chatted. I lack the words right now to express how nice it was, so for now I’ll just use some an adverb and say that it was really, really nice. I guess it somewhat hit me at that point as people were leaving that I wouldn’t be seeing them properly again for a long time. But I know we still have the HSC and schoolies and ATAR BBQ and all that jazz. I think all of this is actually my mind making up excuses because I can’t accept the fact that it’s all over. But we’ll see.

After the dinner a small group of us headed to Karaoke in Eastwood: Janet, Winnie, Carol, Annie, SY, Angelina, Danny, Aryan and I stayed for the majority of it, while Leeanne left early on. Sang a few songs, then hugs all round as we left.

Anyways, I think that’s all I have the energy for tonight/early morning. Maybe I’ll write some more tomorrow. Photos from tonight should be up tomorrow or over the next few days.

But until next time, stay safe and don’t forget the memories we’ve shared at school.

Ruse 09; I love you all. And I truly mean that. We were the best grade ever. I am so thankful to have known you all, and for those I haven’t known so well; know that I have regretted it.

Take care everyone.



a day late

So I promised on my Tumblr blog that I would post a big blog today about my adventures at the Anberlin concert and the USYD Open Day. But, honestly, I’m just way too wasted right now to write much. And, it’s already been done by Janet on her blog. Basically the whole recount there is exactly what I would have written if I had recounted it too.

But I do have a few things to say about the past few days. Firstly, I’m pretty dead right now. My whole body aches; my arms from warding off the people around me in the mosh pit last night, my legs from standing and keeping my balance last night and walking all day today and my ears are still ringing like crazy from last night.

The most pleasant part about the Anberlin concert at the UNSW Roundhouse last night was the fat chicks and guys. There is nothing better than a 20-something overweight man with his t-shirt soaked in sweat pressing up against you. Or, as mentioned in Janet’s blog, bushy-haired girls stuffing their locks into your face.

But I won’t dwell on the bad side of the concert. It’s an experience; something that you’ve got to try at least once in your life (I wouldn’t mind doing it again). Speaking of which, did I see it on someone’s “Things To Do Before I Die” list? Anyways, the whole getting crushed thing was totally worth it. The three bands: The Wherewolves, The Academy Is… and of course Anberlin put on an awesome show; all three had great showmanship. I was pretty surprised about the first band, The Wherewolves. They’re Aussies from Brisbane and they were pretty damn good; I liked most of the songs in their set. I think Janet and Rohan both liked them also.

I haven’t listened to The Academy Is… for some time now, so I wasn’t really able to appreciate them as much as I could, although I did recognise a few songs. I think at that point I was just too tired from the pushing-fest just before their set.

And then there was Anberlin. Wow. The pains of the mosh pit and the thirst that I had built up was all worth it when they came on. When Stephen Christian walked on stage it was the best thing ever. Their setlist was as follows (the order may be wrong, since I found this list on the net):

  • “The Resistance” – New Surrender
  • “A Whisper & A Clamour” – Cities
  • “Disappear” – New Surrender
  • “Breaking” – New Surrender
  • “Adelaide” – Cities
  • “The Unwinding Cable Car” – Cities
  • “True Faith” – A New Order/Joy Division Cover
  • “A Day Late” – Never Take Friendship Personal
  • “Paperthin Hymn” – Never Take Friendship Personal
  • “Hello Alone” – Cities
  • “Dismantle. Repair” – Cities
  • “Inevitable” – Cities
  • “Feel Good Drag” – Blueprints For The Blackmarket/New Surrender
  • “Godspeed” – Cities
  • “*fin” – Cities

I was so so happy when “A Day Late” started. It was pretty much the one song that I wanted them to play; and they did; and it was awesome. So, so awesome. I had so much fun singing along to it with everyone else in the crowd.

I have a new-found respect for performers like Anberlin. They literally go insane and rock out (in the best possible way; not the gay punk rock emo way) for an hour and a bit, with no rest. Stephen Christian especially. He basically sings as hard as he can in every song, and yet somehow he doesn’t lose his voice; and his voice is bloody awesome. I was singing along and I lost it after only a few songs.

My life is that much closer to being complete after seeing Anberlin in concert. All I need now is to catch Death Cab For Cutie…

Now, onto today!

So it was the University of Sydney Open Day today, and it was quite interesting. Long story short, I think I’m leaning towards International & Global Studies/Law right now. It seemed pretty interesting, but I still need to find out a bit more about it.

Went shopping with Janet and had a look at some camera bags and bought myself a t-shirt.

Dinner was really good; ate at a Japanese restaurant called Wagaya and the atmosphere of the place was great with cheap-priced food. Shared three dishes with Janet: Korean-style octopus pancake, squid and cod roe (Japanese-style) spaghetti and tempura udon. Good food. Yum.

Oh, forgot to mention! I drove by myself for the first time today, after getting my P’s on Monday. It’s a good feeling. Granted, I did only drive to Epping Station, where I parked and caught the train to the city, but still fun.

Wow, anyone notice the decline in my blogging quality as it gets later and I get more tired? That’s really all I have the energy to say about the Open Day. Wait, hang on… Didn’t I say I wasn’t going to say much about the concert? Ah well!

I did take some photos today. Check out the set on my Flickr:

29-08-09: USYD Open Day

I’ll have more up tomorrow (today?) after I’ve processed them.

Don’t forget to keep checking my Tumblr blog! I update it more than I do here (albeit with much shorter posts and mostly photos).

A Scent Of Evergreen

But until next time, take it easy! Trials are over! We can relax! Well, at least for a little while longer…



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



too much food

Wow, what a hectic night. Well, it’s only because of one thing:

MasterChef.

masterchef

Most of you watched it tonight and boy, what a crazy episode and verdict, and the previews looked epic also.

I haven’t blogged about MasterChef since probably my third blog ever, back when all twenty contestants were still in the competition. I’ve followed the entire competition (missing out some episodes due to exams, basketball and other commitments), and it’s pretty much one of the most interesting reality shows I’ve ever watched. It seems that the rest of the country agrees with me, too, since the show has received top ratings and views for the past few weeks.

Anyway, so today’s episode was quite a thriller. I won’t go through what actually happened since I know most people watched it, but it’s the verdict that everyone’s talking about. I don’t think anyone saw it coming that Chris would be going home tonight. He was tipped to win, and most thought that he would at least be in the finale. I think what really swayed it tonight was the presence of Donna Hay (whose cookbooks and magazines are in many places around my house, owned by my mum) and the fact that there was that huge emphasis on the cookbook.

So basically Julie didn’t completely plate up any of her dishes- they were all missing some key elements, whereas Chris and Poh finished quite comfortably (more so for Poh). If the cookbook was not mentioned at all today and it was just regular judging, Julie should have gone home for sure. Her dishes were not complete, her chicken was a bit overcooked and Matt said her cake was a bit granular and not rich like it should be. And she’s done this consistently in the competition- she’s been stressed and panicky in almost every round, and I don’t think she has ever finished comfortably or without mistakes. Is this really chef material? I thought they were looking for a master chef who could perform well in the kitchen, under pressure. I don’t think Julie can do that at all. Chris, on the other hand, has the emotional capacity of a brick, as exemplified in his “brick” pocket/filled thing he made tonight. He would be a great chef for the kitchen. He’s always cool and calm and he’s been super consistent throughout the entire competition. His downfall tonight was that his dishes were not up to scratch and he didn’t woo Donna Hay like Julie did with her story of children and family. Yes, a lot of people who watch the show, as well as the contestants (bar Julia, ew), hate Chris, but is MasterChef really about finding the “master chef”, or is it about finding someone who the public likes and who will sell books for their franchise? He’s also got a great, straight vision for his future in food, so that should’ve worked to his advantage. That being said, his set plans and clear vision means that he probably doesn’t need to win the competition to get where he wants to go. I’m sure he’ll open his beer-mason’s restaurant regardless of his elimination.

But if the competition is about finding someone who can sell and who the public likes, then there probably isn’t a more fitting couple for the finale. Poh has been everyone’s favourite ever since the beginning. She was the only Asian in the top 20 (which appeals to most of us), and she has had some crazy, wacky, creative ideas that have been really interesting. Her style is so different to all the other contestants, and she’s young and not bad looking (yes, this is up for debate), so that all works to her advantage. And then there’s Julie. Every Aussie home cook mother can relate to her, and so she’s got that huge fan base. Her cookbook actually does sound really good (as opposed to Poh’s “Food from Mars”), so props to her for that. I still think it was a bit cheap to bring her children and family into it; that always gets the tears going.

All in all, I’m definitely gunning for Poh to win. Her style is just so much more interesting, as opposed to Julie’s regular home-cooked meals that my mum can cook. And also, I can’t really relate to Julie’s story of being a mother with kids and all that.

As a side note, but still on the topic of food, I cooked Spaghetti Bolognese from scratch (i.e. without using pasta sauce) for my family for dinner tonight. Quite proud of that, since I’ve never done it before.

Anyway, apart from MasterChef, there are actually quite a few other things I want to blog about. Notice the “categories”, so to speak, in my blog header above? Well, in the next few blogs I’ll be covering a few of those. I actually continued writing about the other things just then, but it’s way, way too long so I’ll post those over the coming days. I don’t want to hurt your brains too much.

So, expect a blog probably tomorrow where I will talk about the various films and such that I’m seen over the past few days.

But until then, take care.