the passenger seat


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.

Advertisements


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…



no sunlight

This blog will be back to “normal broadcasting”, so to speak; it’ll be about some more art and videos that I’ve found on the net recently.

The emphasis on “living green” and “sustainability” has experienced a rising trend in the past decade or so as people have come to realise that some of the things we take for granted may not be around in the not-too-distant future. This is mainly resources such as land, soil, fossil fuels, metals and other non-renewable resources. As a result, so many people have been constantly searching for renewable resources to use and new inventions or devices that could potentially reduce the use of energy and resources. Environmentally Conscious Organization (ECO) is a design and manufacturing firm dedicated to improving outdated and wasteful food packaging. Its first product is by far one of the simplest solutions I’ve seen, with the potential for worldwide use. The video below is of a pizza box they have designed made of 100% recycled materials. But the eco-friendliness doesn’t stop there. This is not one of those boxes that gets thrown away after everyone’s taken a slice and put it on their plates. The lid of this box breaks apart to form four serving plates, while the base of the box can be easily folded into a very convenient storage box for leftover pieces. This means that there will no longer be any washing up to do, saving on water and electricity (if you use a dishwasher). The need for a plastic container to store the leftover pieces will also be eliminated. This box would not cost much more to make than a regular box, either; I think all pizza shops should consider switching their boxes for these.

The next video kind of defeats the whole purpose of the eco-friendly box. It’s called “The Sticky Note Experiments”, using ordinary sticky notes to produce art, in a sense.

Below is an amazing video called “Carousel”. Somehow, the camera is able to move around a scene while stopping/slowing time- showing all angles. It speaks for itself, really. It’s about a battle between some clowns and the cops.

On the topic of stopping time and impossible camera shots, try to figure out how they did these two photos. The man has no safety equipment and no parachute. As always, click for a larger view. (These were found on FFFFOUND!)

kickedoff

falling

After looking at the photos, the only way they could have done it is either by sticking the pictures of the men on to the photo of the building, or else there was safety equipment that was erased afterwards.

Speaking of editing, ever wondered how stop motion videos are made? It’s a lot more complex than just taking a whole lot of photos of something. Take a look at this video showing a battle between two Transformers¬†figures and the process involved in making it.

And going back to the green theme, here’s an eco-friendly alternative to the ordinary wooden/metal/plastic chairs which are all made out of non-renewable resources. This one, like the pizza box, is made out of 100% recycled materials. Again, it even puts the packaging to use as part of the finished product. For more photos of it being assembled and used, go here.

chair

One of the most interesting art forms I’ve seen are these sculptures by Yuken Teruya. There’s really not much to say about them except that they’re sculptures made out of toilet rolls, books and bags. For more photos go here, or go to his website here.

toiletroll

toiletrolls

And on the topic of trees and the like, I have some photos of my own.

As I came home from school today and was just about to walk into my house, the Japanese Maple in my front yard caught my eye. The sun shining through the red autumn leaves had a really nice look to it, and I just had to capture it, so I quickly went inside and grabbed my camera and took many photos. The photos below are the only ones that stood out from the rest after editing in Photoshop. I highly recommend you have a look at the larger versions in the set on my Flickr. I love autumn colours. The pole going across the first photo is the top of our broken swing set which is now used as a sort of mini-goal for soccer.

crossbar

red

burst

closeup

wisp

“No Sunlight” is off Death Cab For Cutie’s latest album, Narrow Stairs.