the passenger seat


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mamak sign

roti

mamak

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

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

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

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

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

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

flags

summer flight

tarts

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

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

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

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



the end
November 6, 2009, 6:40 pm
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The end is such a scary place to start
Everything is torn apart
I don’t know where to go from here
In the end, there’s no reason to pretend
I know you won’t be back again
I gotta find a way from here…

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

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

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

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

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

-“The End” by Jason Reeves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care everyone.



photographs and memories
September 24, 2009, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’m not sure if you noticed, but I’ve used this blog title before; a while back. But I just have to use it again since it’s so appropriate.

These past few days have been very interesting. So many people have been bringing cameras to school and it’s awesome. People like Marcus have come out of their shells and succumbed to the photo-taking craze, allowing people like me to capture precious memories of our grade just before it’s all over. So, here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening these past three days.

Tuesday: Tuesday was a pretty ordinary day compared to the other days this week, with the exception of the Awards Day Assembly that seemed to last for an eternity. There were a few photographs taken, but not even close to the amount on the two preceding days of school.

Flickr Set: 22-09-09: An Ordinary Tuesday

Wednesday: On this day we experienced the weirdest weather that we have ever seen in Sydney as everything became covered in dust and the skies turned red and yellow. As a result, I was afraid to take my camera out of my bag outdoors; and no-one really wanted to be outdoors for extended periods of time anyway. I did, however, capture a few shots of common room clean up that afternoon.

Flickr Set: 23-09-09: SCR

Thursday: Today was a mufti day for “Crazy Hair Day”, even though I saw maybe a tenth of the school embracing the real purpose of the day. Still, it was a nice day, dust-free, and everyone was out of uniform for a change. The library was unusually packed with the entire grade attempting to get their Scholarship and Medicine application forms signed by Mr. Deigan, and I am still yet to get mine done. At the end of the day we had a party in Physics where Kelly prepared a delicious pancake mix and everyone took turns cooking and eating them, including a few visitors to our class.

Flickr Set: 24-09-09: Mufti Day

I’ve made a collection on my Flickr with all of these sets and the ones from Friday and Monday in it, so that’s where they’ll continue to be added until school ends. Find it here:

Flickr Collection: Ruse 09: The Last Days

Oh, and one more thing. Be sure to check out the photographs that Janet took when she borrowed my camera over the weekend. I think some of them are better than any photos I’ve ever taken, so I’m sure you’ll like them.

Flickr Set: 18/19-09-09: Janet’s Photography

And that’s all from me today. I will definitely post a full blog next week when our celebrations go under way and school is finally over.

But until then, enjoy it while you can.



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!



sunny day

This will be my shortest post on this blog ever.

The only reason I’m making a post is to plug my Tumblr and my Flickr, where you can find some of the photographs Janet and I took today around Carlingford in between studying at the library.

My Tumblr: A Scent Of Evergreen

Flickr set: 27-07-09: Carlingford

Two of the best shots of the day:

wheel

bird

Keep checking back on both my Tumblr and Flickr, as I’ll be adding more photographs in the next few days when I get around to editing them.

Blog title, anyone?



symbol in my driveway

So today I had my driving test. Despite all the wishes of luck you guys gave me (which I greatly appreciate), unfortunately, I did not pass this time. One stupid mistake got me undone, so my car still looks like this:

lplate

I took my test at the Silverwater RTA. It was a terrible day to do it. For some reason the traffic was all clogged up all the way along Silverwater Road. I think there may have been an accident somewhere, because at one point we did not move for almost 10 minutes, and as a result the testing officer decided to cut one section of the course due to time constraints. Anyway, it was actually just before this long wait in traffic that I failed. One big mistake cost me the whole test; the rest of my driving was perfect, with a score of 95+%. So what happened was that I was at a 4-way intersection and the examiner told me to turn right. Keep in mind that I was freaking nervous throughout the entire test; I haven’t been that nervous in a long time. So I was preparing to turn right into the closest of  the two lanes on my right. The light turned green and I proceeded, but in my nervousness and also somewhat due to the sunlight in my eyes (not making excuses, but that’s how it was), I didn’t realise that it was not a green arrow and I forgot to give way to the people on the opposite side of the road turning left into the same street that I wanted to turn into. I hope that made sense. Luckily no one wanted to turn into my lane while I was turning, so we didn’t have an accident. Oh, and on top of that there was a stupid pedestrian who tried to cross (running) after the lights had gone off, so that added even more to the danger of the situation.

When we got back she gave me the score sheet and I saw that apart from that fail item I only had one or two other little mistakes; the rest was perfect. I’ll be going back to do it again the Monday after our Trials finish, so I hope I can pass then since I now know the course and its tricks.

Anyway, after the test we went back to Harvey Norman in Auburn, since my mum needed to pick up the photos that she had ordered on Sunday. I decided to stay with the car in the carpark and, since I had brought along my camera in anticipation of this, I went around shooting stuff. You can find the best of these photos on my Tumblr,  as well as a few from yesterday. You can also find my photos on my Flickr, where you can also see the settings I shot with if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

That’s all I have to report today. I’m going to Parramatta tomorrow and I’m bringing my camera along, so keep an eye out for some more photos tomorrow.

Oh, blog title? I’m surprised no one guessed the title for my last two. “Split Screen Sadness” is by John Mayer, off his album Heavier Things.



photographs and memories

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s blog that I’m actually home alone until next Monday. My whole family is overseas (albeit in different locations).

My brother is on a school trip (yeah, that’s Kings) to Sabah, Malaysia. He left last Friday, and I’m not sure when he’s coming back, but I know it’s after my parents do.

My parents left on Saturday to go on a China tour for their 25th wedding anniversary, and are returning next Monday.

So I’m alone in the house until then.

Luckily I have enough food and stuff (with minimal cooking effort) to last me the whole time. My mum left me some frozen meals, and on Friday night I went shopping and bought $200 worth of groceries- anything I wanted. I’ve also been left with $300. So I’m pretty much set with a good variety of meals and money for food and/or outings for the whole 10 days I’m alone.

One of the things that comes with living in a house on your own is that you end up having to do ALL the chores. This has involved:

  • Feeding my dog and fish (which I don’t usually do since I wake up later than everyone else)
  • Doing all the clothes washing and hanging (thank you for leaving a load of washing for me, mum and dad)
  • Preparing my own meals for the entire day
  • Doing the dishes every night
  • Taking the bin out and in
  • Walking my dog

Most of these chores I usually do only a few times a week, but I’ve ended up having to do most of them every day. Somehow I don’t mind, however. It’s kind of a nice feeling to have the house all to myself, and doing the chores isn’t really a big deal since I’m merely cleaning up after myself. It feels good.

Anyway, today was photo day. Individual photos were all good (where I gawked at their Nikon D200 cameras and pro flash gear), and then came the group and muck-up photos. The group was cool. Being the fourth tallest in the grade (actually I think Momo might be taller, but he was away) meant that I got to stand at the very top middle of the stands, next to Devesh- the tallest. The stands felt kind of flimsy though, but it was cool.

Then the muck-up. It was pretty hilarious to see the kind of stuff people came up with. James and my plans to make our piranha plant costumes went really well. We scavenged for cardboard boxes in the morning (in the big recycling bin near the canteen) and found some good ones. We were meant to have KO Netball training, but Ms. Eathorne wasn’t feeling well and so we didn’t. Instead, we (James, Anthony, Kris, Kevin and I) headed to the VA room to start painting. Kris assisting with the painting of James’ one did not go well. Kevin and Phat on my side were much, MUCH neater. Anyway, so we finished the job off at recess, but at the end of recess the “Pauline Hanson” lady came and busted us. We were actually the only ones who cleaned up after we used the paints, while everyone else dumped their stuff in the sink, but she pawned us. It was cool though. I quickly cleaned up the stuff I was using and bailed, albeit with some angry-ish remarks from the sub and Ms. McMillan. This, however, meant we were very late to maths, and so we just hung in the common room and assembled our costumes instead of turning up halfway through the lesson.

The rest, you all know how it went. Interesting how they decided to do the muck up photos on the stands on the front lawn this year; traditionally it was a high-angle shot down onto the quadrangle, but not this time. I reckon it kind of limited the execution of some people’s costumes, but thankfully we were allowed to stand in our green bins at the front. Special mentions to Deva (who did Michael Jackson), Ameya (Rorschach from Watchmen) and Chris & Shaun (Mario and Luigi, karts included). Photos are on various people’s Facebooks, which I will not link (e-stalkers alert!).

Overall it was a pretty hectic day. Tomorrow I have to miss my free period (period 2) for KO sport photos (I have 5). That sucks. Ah well, we have double chemistry, where we will hopefully be making soap (Fight Club style?).

Not sure when I’ll next blog. My routine nowadays is wack. I guess I’ll (i.e. blogging Jeremy) see you guys whenever something interesting happens at school. Probably Thursday, when the year 11 vs. 12 basketball game will be on. I urge all of you to spectate; it’ll be a good game.

But until then, adieu.

PS. Blog title? I think only one of you will get it…