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…

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exit music
Today was a pretty jam-packed and full on day, but a nice break from study (sort of). Woke up at 8:40am to catch a bus at 9:36 to meet Janet in Epping. From there we spent some time in the St. Vincent de Paul’s store browsing all the cool old stuff there. There are actually a lot of cool knick-knacks in there from like the 50s. While in there, I spotted a section that had some really cheap stuff, and it inspired a new project. I won’t disclose what it was, but I may in another blog once I have the idea all set. Anyway, after that we headed to the chicken shop near Intuition, where we had a Thai chicken noodle salad and the hot chips I have heard so much about. It was my first time eating here, and I was surprised by the quality of the food there. I will definitely go again. Another place I tried for the first time today was Pedro’s Pizza, where I’m sure many of you Intuition-ers have been. We shared a Chef’s Special which is pretty much like the 70’s Lot from Dominos which I really like. That was really good too; not like the ordinary pizzas from Pizza Hut or Dominos. It tasted and looked more gourmet-ish and herb-y, which was nice.
After Epping, we headed to Chatswood. Unfortunately there were no trains today, so we had to catch the 30 minute CityRail bus as opposed to the 17 minute train. There, we went to Chatswood Library and spent a few hours studying until about 5 o’clock, when we headed back to Epping to meet Mindy and Gabriel for dinner before musical. We ate at a new Italian restaurant, and shared three dishes between the four of us: pumpkin and spinach ravioli, tortellini in a creamy sauce and mushroom risotto. It was all very nice, and I think I’ll take my family there one day.
After this, my dad came to pick us up (as we were too late for buses) to go back to school for the musical. I’d have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance as I wasn’t really expecting much to begin with. It started off a bit slow, but it had its funny moments (loved the “Women” song) and thanks to a few standout performances, it was actually quite enjoyable for the most part. First and foremost, Frances stole the show. Her singing was spot on, and she was easily the best performer on the stage. Quote Deva: “The whole musical should be Frances on her own”. She was that good. Other standouts were Tim, who was great as the Baron and James, who brought the comedy to the show. Other good performances were Yuzhong, who had some good scenes although his singing could’ve been better, and Nick, who sang well. Overall I thought it was not bad at all, but still not as good as ours. It was also weird since this is the first musical I’ve watched since Godspell in year 7, of which I don’t remember much. Having performed in every other musical possible, it was quite funny at first to be watching everyone on stage doing the same actions and in costume and stuff. I felt like I wanted to be up there too like every other year, but I also realised just how lame the chorus actions always are. The chorus wasn’t too bad this year as a whole, but when you watch certain individuals, it’s so bad and funny at the same time.

Today was a pretty jam-packed and full on day, but a nice break from study (sort of). Woke up at 8:40am to catch a bus at 9:36 to meet Janet in Epping. From there we spent some time in the St. Vincent de Paul’s store browsing all the cool old stuff there. There are actually a lot of cool knick-knacks in there from like the 50s. While in there, I spotted a section that had some really cheap stuff, and it inspired a new project. I won’t disclose what it was, but I may in another blog once I have the idea all set. Anyway, after that we headed to the chicken shop near Intuition, where we had a Thai chicken noodle salad and the hot chips I have heard so much about. It was my first time eating here, and I was surprised by the quality of the food there. I will definitely go again. Another place I tried for the first time today was Pedro’s Pizza, where I’m sure many of you Intuition-ers have been. We shared a Chef’s Special which is pretty much like the 70’s Lot from Dominos which I really like. That was really good too; not like the ordinary pizzas from Pizza Hut or Dominos. It tasted and looked more gourmet-ish and herb-y, which was nice.

After Epping, we headed to Chatswood. Unfortunately there were no trains today, so we had to catch the 30 minute CityRail bus as opposed to the 17 minute train. There, we went to Chatswood Library and spent a few hours studying until about 5 o’clock, when we headed back to Epping to meet Mindy and Gabriel for dinner before musical. We ate at a new Italian restaurant, and shared three dishes between the four of us: pumpkin and spinach ravioli, tortellini in a creamy sauce and mushroom risotto. It was all very nice, and I think I’ll take my family there one day.

After this, my dad came to pick us up (as we were too late for buses) to go back to school for the musical- The Merry Widow. I’d have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance as I wasn’t really expecting much to begin with. It started off a bit slow, but it had its funny moments (loved the “Women” song- women women women women!) and thanks to a few standout performances, it was actually quite enjoyable for the most part. First and foremost, Frances stole the show. Her singing was spot on, and she was easily the best performer on the stage. Quote Deva: “The whole musical should be Frances on her own”. She was that good. Other standouts were Tim, who was great as the Baron and James, who brought the comedy to the show. Other good performances were Yuzhong, who had some good scenes although his singing could’ve been better, and Nick, who sang well. Overall I thought it was not bad at all, but still not as good as ours. It was also weird since this is the first musical I’ve watched since Godspell in year 7, of which I don’t remember much. Having performed in every other musical possible, it was quite funny at first to be watching everyone on stage doing the same actions and in costume and stuff. I felt like I wanted to be up there too like every other year, but I also realised just how lame the chorus actions always are. The chorus wasn’t too bad this year as a whole, but when you watch certain individuals, it’s so bad and funny at the same time. Oh, and speaking of bad performances- the grizette scene. Eesh, that wasn’t very good on the eyes, no offence. I still miss my time in rehearsals and the performances and all that last year. That was awesome, and thank you to all that were a part of it, especially the principals.

Wow, word count is at 1221 right now. I didn’t even realise I typed that much. Maybe I should end here, before I bore you all even more with this essay. (Edit: Wow, John, you’re right. WordPress decided to display double the actual word count. Weird.)

Or maybe not. Since we’re on the topic of music, here’s a game for you all to play. How it works is that I’ll choose a few songs that I like (that at least some of you should know) and post a line or two from the first 30 seconds or from the chorus. You guys have to guess the song and artist for each, and when someone gets it I’ll edit this blog and mark it down with your name. NO GOOGLE ALLOWED. Yes, i did steal this from Facebook. I’ll post the answers in a few blogs’ time. The person who gets the most correct can have a hundred points.

1. i’ve got a hunger twisting my stomach into knots
……….“The Sound Of Settling” – Death Cab For Cutie – Janet
2. it’s our problem free philosphy
……….“Hakuna Matata” – The Lion King – Joseph
3. one last glance from a taxi cab, images scar my mind
……….“Dismantle.Repair” – Anberlin – Janet
4. you’re barely waking, and i’m tangled up in you
……….“Collide” – Howie Day – Sandy
5. … and cannonball into the water, i’m gonna muster every ounce of …
……….“For You I Will” – Teddy Geiger – Eddy
6. come here girl, go ‘head be gone with it
……….“SexyBack” – Justin Timberlake – Janet
7. where did i go wrong? i lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness
……….“How To Save A Life” – The Fray – Swami
8. look at me, i will never pass for a perfect bride
……….“Reflection” – Mulan – Leeanne
9. i’m gonna make a change for once in my life, it’s gonna feel real good …
……….“Man In The Mirror” – Michael Jackson – James
10. and so it is, just like you said it would be; life goes easy on me
……….“The Blower’s Daughter” – Damien Rice – Belle
11. i can see it in your eyes, you mean all of what you say
……….“A Day Late” – Anberlin – Janet
12. she don’t believe in shooting stars, but she believe in shoes and cars
……….“Flashing Lights” – Kanye West – Janet
13. me and all my friends, we’re all misunderstood
……….“Waiting On The World To Change” – John Mayer – Sandy
14. i know she said it’s alright, but you can make it up next time
……….“Flake” – Jack Johnson – Janet
15. once or twice was enough and it was all in vain
……….“Bleeding Love” – Leona Lewis – Sandy
16. where are we? what the hell is going on? the dust has only just …
……….“Hide And Seek” – Imogen Heap – Janet
17. you only stay with me in the morning, you only hold me when i sleep
……….“You Give Me Something” – James Morrison – Janet
18. everybody look right, everywhere you look i’m standing in the spotlight
……….“I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” – The Lion King – Sandy
19. you will never stop it now, you’ll never stop it now
……….“RoboCop” – Kanye West – Janet
20. go ahead as you waste your days with thinking, when you fall …
……….“Move Along” – The All-American Rejects – Belle

An extra twenty points if you can give me the artist and album for this blog’s title. No searches allowed!



a movie script ending

To start off, I just want to say:

I really love 3on3 Basketball.

Not only is it a tournament for my favourite sport, but it’s just an awesome few weeks where everyone comes down to the courts to watch the games. Even though I may not know some of the people that are playing, I just like the atmosphere of it all: how everyone crowds around the court in a nice arc, how the crowd has their favourites and how everyone gets really excited when cool stuff happens. Yeah, I just made it sound so lame. But it’s more awesome than how I describe it.

Today’s games were the epitome of what 3on3 Basketball should be. The first game on at recess was our team (Don, Gabriel, Peter, me) against the year 10s (Joe and co.). Watching Don and Joe go against each other was cool, even though Don was way too dominant, and being able to play while there are a whole lot of people watching is really exhilirating; it just makes it so much more fun. Then there was Aryan’s team (Aryan, Ben, Grubsy, Peter) against Victor’s team (Victor, Michael Liu, Shiva) followed by Swami’s team (Swami, Michael Choi, Milo, Simon) against Sanji’s team. These two games were the most enjoyable 3on3 games I’ve watched for a while- it was awesome and funny at the same time to be watching a whole bunch of non-ballers playing against each other. My favourite player from today had to be Milo. When he hit that three everyone just went off. Awesome.

I mentioned in a previous blog that I have a dog named Tasha. Any dog owner would know how scary it is to lose control of your dog near a really busy road, that is, unless you have a really obedient dog who can walk without a leash. Well, this evening Janet and I went to Dominos for some pizza, and when we walked in there was a man sitting there, waiting for his pizza with his dog- a husky. We didn’t pat it or anything because it would have been a little awkward, so we grabbed our pizza and went to the bus stop across the road to eat and wait for Janet’s bus. About ten minutes after we had sat down, the man in Dominos came out with a pizza and his husky. Something must have happened to the dog’s collar or something, because we saw it take off, running back and forth across Pennant Hills Rd a couple of times. It was frightening to see the cars slow down when they saw it, and I’m sure the dog’s owner must have been scared as hell. The man was holding his pizza and some groceries, and crossed the road to try to get to his dog, who had run towards 7 Eleven. But as he crossed the road, the dog ran back across the road to the Dominos side. We saw it run down the back street near Dominos then back up and then down another street further down Pennant Hills Rd and even into the liquor store and newsagent, where it must have been shooed out of. At this point I think it’s owner must have given up and gone home (we assumed he lived nearby), hoping that the dog would return home on its own. After Janet’s bus came, I went looking for the dog, but it had run down to the K13 memorial. At one point I was about ten metres away from it, but when I tried to call it over and get nearer it turned and ran. It pained me to do it, but when it went round the bend past the memorial, I decided to give up and go home.

I still wonder whether it found its own way home or if its owner found it. I hope so, and even more so because he/she was a really nice dog- a white and grey husky.

Anyway, on a completely unrelated topic…

For anyone who follows MasterChef and/or watched it tonight: I called it.

Tonight I also finished the Adventure Mode for Plants Vs. Zombies. The mini games are easily more fun than the adventure mode.

But that is all for tonight’s blog. I hope the rest of the 3on3 tournament this week is exciting as it was today.



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.