- Finish writing and sending Christmas cards
- Withdraw lots of money before going to east coast
- Decide if I have time in June to go Europe
- Decide on a RI and PI/ project
- Decide on whether to change bank
- Read about Boston+ New York City
- Research about online Kumon
- Decide on my timetable for next term
- Get a job and SS
- Get a driver's license
Tuesday, 20 December 2005
Monday, 19 December 2005
Vegas. Spectacular. That's really the word to describe it. After miles of nothingness in the desert, (it's called a desert but there isn't much sand, just lots of desert shrubs and weirdo trees), a city of bright lights appears. We arrived at around 4, the sun was setting then (it sets at 4.40pm) and the city was dyed in gold by the sun's rays. Really beautiful. Took a while to find our Aladdin hotel, park and check in. The Desert Passage (Aladdin's shopping area) was really Arabian like, with painted sky and lights that makes the place look permanently at evening time and it makes you feel that you're walking in an Arab street. The shops all had the Arab domes. Anyway, we went to look for cheap and good buffets that Vegas is so famous for.
Couldn't find any buffets which are cheap and good enough, or we were just looking in the wrong places, so we settled for a 16.99 buffet. Filled myself up with food and lots of dessert. The crepe was great. =) Then we walked up the strip to TI to watch the free pirates show. Watched the huge Bellagio fountains on the way. Walk walk walk, in the cold, ok lah, not that cold, about 2 degrees C. Went to TI and saw the place was dark and rather deserted... Checked out the sign and it said the show's dark from 10-23 Dec for maintainence. dots....
Ok nvm, let's go on to the next free show, which is at Circus Circus. Walk walk walk.. reached there, found the place, sat down, waited for the show to start. And then we saw people who sat down leaving one by one, and we wondered why. Then this security guard came over and said the last show was over 10 min ago and told us to clear out of the area. double dots....
Next morning, had brunch at a food court. Haha, too full from the previous evening. Then went to the Venetian. Woohoo, an indoor canal. Vegas really splurges on water. It's in the middle of the desert and there's water everywhere, huge fountains, a water volcano, an indoor canal.. Saw a guy in a Haagen Daaz icecream suit giving out $1 off coupons for Haagen Daaz, took one, he thinks we're Japanese. And realised that the Haagen Daaz listed the prices of all their items higher by $1. Cheaterbugs!! Anyway, we went to Caesor's Palace to take pictures of the Roman architecture and walked through their shopping area and saw all the brand names.. I wonder who shops there.. Then off to the other end of the strip to Luxor to wow at the huge pyramid, mummies and the Sphinx. Then went to Tropicana to catch the free air show. And guess what? The show's dark till Christmas. Triple dots...
Darn sian by the time, so we decided to go see a paid show. Wanted to see a Cirque de Soleil show, and guess what? shows for the night are either dark or sold out. dots again.... Sian, went to Vegas and didn't catch a single show?? Anyway we caught a glimpse of the lazy MGM lion sleeping under a rock.
So went to Rio to see the other airshow. And phew, this one's on. And it's good. Dancers and floats on the ceiling. And they were throwing out free necklaces. Very Christmasy. Then went to Circus Circus again to see the circus acts. The acts are great man, they're so professional, wonder why they're not charging people to see them. Saw the water volcano erupt on the way back.
Gambled a total of $1 and lost a total of $1. Vegas is a great place, just go at the right time. If you go the period before Christmas, hotels will be really cheap (3 of us stayed in a huge room with a huge toilet for $50/night) but beware of dark shows.
Sunday, 11 December 2005
Thanks peeps for the compliments on the photos. The sunset is beautiful here, that's how I manage to get beautiful pictures. And you can see sunset every day here. Almost every day.
Had a super hectic afternoon yesterday. Trying to pick 3 groups of people arriving at 3 different terminals at LAX with 1h of each other. And only 1 group had a phone. Pretty amazed at how smooth things went though. =) Really wished that LAX had a 1800-542-4422 phone thing that Changi has, where you can call and find out when the flight's arriving. So surprised that they don't have it.
Friday, 9 December 2005
Green tea ice-cream with strawberries and raspberries and blueberries. Yum
Sake. Sweet and warm.
Waiting to eat The Don.
The Don. Totally not what I thought it would be but it was good. Very good. Some raw fish on rice and prawn, crab meat, asparagus, avocado in the seaweed. And a dip that's really weird. Some Thai sauce kind of thing, sour and slightly spicy.
Thursday, 8 December 2005
Wednesday, 7 December 2005
My roommate has just discovered the marvels of webcam and voice conferencing, even though I Skype my parents every week and Festoon with bao and donk quite often this week. She's super excited to see her ex-crush and speak to him. He doesn't have a mic and she doesn't have a cam. Actually, among the 10 people in the suite, I'm the only one who uses a webcam and talk (really speak) to people online. Is our technology more advanced? Or is it just catalysed by us being away from home?
Nvm. Here's more photos.
Making thanksgiving cards for old people in old folks homes
Another card I made.
Thanksgiving dinner with Still Thoughts Association.
Looking through the Karaoke list. They have really new songs like Jay Chou's new album. Wonder how they are so updated.
Tuesday, 6 December 2005
Hot dog on a stick shop
Letters hanging off from nowhere
Ben and Jerry's
Monday, 5 December 2005
Anyway, continuation of my photo uploading.
Cousin and me. I look short and fat.
Nice big waves + my cousin
This is a picture of the sand. You see the glittering things in the sand? I suspect they're gold. As in Au the element. So if there's a way to separate the gold from the sand, you'll be rich.
Sunday, 4 December 2005
Studying for finals. Yup, 10 weeks have past. A full term has passed. Have I learnt much? I don't think so. Sadly. 10 weeks is too short to go in depth, especially since the first 2 weeks is spent doing revision. Brain's not functioning well enough now to blog coherently, frontal cortex is tired. Hippocampus, amygdala, rhinal cortex, medial thalamus have been working hard today. Did I even get the structures right?
Had a discussion on politics over brunch at IHOP yesterday. We talk about the weirdest things over food. Usually it's some bio probs or some argument/ bickering over small things. Now it's politics. Learned quite a lot, about people in power and about education systems. I will want to be around to see the results of the bet between the 2 guys. =)
I think the language in Singapore will be a great topic for linguists to study. From what linguists have discovered so far, children have an innate ability to learn language, well we all know that don't we? We have already seen the Great Experiment (experiment to find out how language originated) being carried out and got results from it. A community of people without a language will develop a form of communication. 1st generation might speak a pidgin (a mixture of 2 languages), if there's some form of language input from 2 sources. Language in Singapore (I mean Singlish, but Singlish has a derogative connotation to it, so I'll just call it Language), is obviously a pidgin. Mixture of English with Malay, Chinese, Hokkien.. Linguists also found out that 2nd generation speakers, people with a pidgin as a first language will creolise the language, meaning that they will create more language rules, more grammar, make the mode of communication more like a fully functional language. Language in Singapore has been around for quite a few generations, it should have developed its own form of grammar. Is there going to be a day when Singlish will be a new language? Is it right for the govt to promote learning of "proper languages"? After all, English wasn't thought to be a proper language before, Latin was the only proper Western language. If there is a decent language environment for children with correct grammar and vocab for both languages the children are going to learn, can they learn both languages perfectly? 40 years down the road, I wonder what Singaporeans will speak..
Thanks people for the compliments on that banana thing.
Tail of a gigantic grey whale. I caught it as it's flapping its tail. Haha, actually it's just a fountain outside the aquarium.
And I guess you saw the jellyfish on the page.
Wednesday, 30 November 2005
Chamber ensembles. Some were really good, some really bad. Was talking about how easy it is for strings to go out of tune, cos some of the string players were really really out. Then watched this Tibetan music thing today, and the guy played the Tibet erhu perfectly in tune and he danced while playing. I'm impressed. There was this violinist at the chamber concert, sy's classmate's roommate, he played a Paganini piece with a guitarist and he was so fantastic, the piece is technically extremely demanding, fast, lots of grace notes everywhere, pizz, spiccato, double stops, and he did all of them perfectly. Perfect enough for me at least. Highly enjoyable watching and listening to him.
Should be studying. But really sleepy for no good reason, I'm sleeping a lot, maybe not getting enough REM, slept for 8h last night, and took a 1h nap just now, but I'm still sleepy.. Anyway, I'm changing my studying schedule, decided to stop wasting time going for lects, and study and go for office hrs instead in the day, and rest, play, sleep, eat at night. For the next 2 days at least.. haha
Monday, 28 November 2005
Show off my banana baked rice. Haha. As usual, my style of making cooked food (can't call this cooking) is to dump everything together and hopefully it taste good. This does. More because of the bananas than because of the cheese.
Not an extremely exciting Thanksgiving. In fact, not exciting at all. Went to the beach at Torrey Pines. The sand there glitters, the water there glitters, there are specks of glitter in the water and sand. I suspect it's gold. People did come to California to dig for gold right? My little cousin is extremely terrified of getting dirtied by sand or sea water, wonder who taught him that. Didn't do much.. Went for lunch, then did some grocery shopping, bought crabs, went to someone's house and cooked the crabs. Oh yeah, toured the area where my aunt's family rented an apartment. Looks quite nice, good location. Played with the kid while they made food. Food was good. No turkey, no pie, but there's curry chicken, pork ribs, coconut soup (first time i tried this, it's good), veg, crabs, mantou + meat (forgot the exact name of this thing). And cake for dessert. Hee.
That's all tonight. It's only 11pm, but I'm tired. Probably from making that owl just now. Will post a picture of my owl when I'm done with it, if I'm done with it any time soon.
Sunday, 27 November 2005
It's cold today. supposedly 5 degrees Celcius now outside. Wasn't that cold in the day, though weather report said highest temp was 20C. That's quite low for a San Diego highest temp. Didn't feel that cold because of the big sun. Finally went to the beach to study today. See, I didn't just say it, I actually went to the beach. Walked down the paved road from La Jolla Farms road or sth like that, walked to Blacks beach and came back up from the trail at Torrey Pines Gilderport. Happy with my exercise of the day/ week. Didn't do much studying.. more like sit and enjoy the sun and scenery. The scenery is fantastic minus off the naked Ah-beis around. Had to choose a spot away from the nude men. I had my camera and took lots of nice photos. As I was leaving, this naked ah-bei walked across my path. I was aiming my camera at one of the parachutes/ gliders. And the Ah-bei started talking to me.. "They don't seem to stay up today. Even though there's wind.." Blah blah. The whole time I was giving 1 word answers and thinking, what is this Ah-bei doing? You want me to take a photo of you is it? Anyway manage to shake him off and start my climb up that trail. Alanna was right, that trail will be a mess if it rained. It was dry today and wasn't that easy a climb, I'm just glad I didn't go down from there, even though the trail is much shorter than the paved road, it's going to take me forever to get down there. Oh yeah, my sandals broke. China stuff can't be trusted. Anyway, I was on the cliff, waiting for the sun to set, the Ah-bei climbed up and smiled at me when he left.. erps.
Will post photos soon. Will blog about Thanksgiving hols soon too.
Quote of the day:
"Watermelon is made of fruit, not vegetable."
Saturday, 26 November 2005
Friday, 18 November 2005
Which brings me to my next point, did I say how messed up my next term schedule is? I think I did. I'm no. 340+ on the waitlist for genetics. The class size is 400. Ultimate man. Don't think there's any chance of me getting into the class. And if I try for another class, I'll have a timetable that either starts at 7.30am or end at 8pm on MWF. Haiz.. shouldn't blog about such messed up stuff.
International week fair. It was fun, though kind of hot in the sun. (All the people in other US/UK schools will be bashing me up at this point.) Temperature is still in 20+ degrees Celcius. The Italians sang opera, the Koreans took photos, the Singaporeans spoke Singlish.
Wednesday, 16 November 2005
从纽约回SD回得早也是件好事。至少让我吃饱了，睡足了，再搬家，开学。开学了，问题还是一大堆。我现在只报上了一个课，其他的不是不让我报就是满了，把我放上Waitlist。开学后还要继续搞这些烦人的 admin stuff. 不知道对我的school registration 有没有影响。要是有一天收到一封信说“You have been dropped out of the school because you have not enrolled in the minimum number of classes necessary” 我就又有好玩的了。
Did I tell you the big news? I can't find my thumbdrive. Darn. And you know what else? I dropped my camera, and it rattles now when I shake it. double darn. 烦人的事，迟早都要解决，不如早点解决。。我只想倒头大睡，希望当我睡醒后一切都解决了，我又可以当一个轻轻松松的学生，每天只需要上学，考几个A，回家睡觉。人生要是这么简单就好了。
Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind..
Monday, 14 November 2005
If you think I've crossed the line, any line, with my following para, please let me know..
I'm amused, very amused at the enthusiasm of a certain American girl towards the singapore/ malaysian club here. To tell the truth, I still have no idea why I'm so anti towards her.. Best explanation I can come up with is that she broke a social custom that she's unaware of and we are subconsciously following.. A custom where you have to work your way up the supposedly non-existent hierarchial ladder, a custom where you have to at least gain some respect and liking before you can start organising events and activities and expect people to support. If you don't work your way up but plunge right in, that's fine, as long as you do it appropriately. I don't know how, but I'll probably recognise it if I see it. If she wasn't that enthu, there's a much higher chance that she'll be accepted easier.. If she had waited till the next major event before she become this enthu, there's a higher chance too.. I'm waiting to see her next moves.. A very bad thing to do I know, me just sitting and watching, instead of doing sth to stop the situation from worsening..
Actually it's quite sad that she's the most on person. And, since this is an official sch org, people have the right to join and be accepted.. I don't know what the next step is or should be. I'm not the most proactive person, in fact I'm extremely passive, as I've discovered from communications class today.
Talking about communications class. The more I learn about communications, the more difficult communications seem to be. In fact the more I learn about anything, the more difficult something seems like. I am more able now to um, analyse a conversation maybe, but until I manage to use the info I've learnt naturally when I communicate, comm is not any easier.
Last point of the day. I'm really sorry I couldn't be there when people need me, ok maybe don't need me but need somebody. I'm sorry that I've been buried in my own tiny world and detached from people in the world. I'm trying.. to lower myself on my priority list, I'm still trying to find the right position.. If you need help, ask.. Someone might just be able to help. (hmm, that sounds like an advice I need) And help whenever I can.
Ok that covered pretty much what I wanted to say. One last thing. Don't get the wrong impression. My life is not happening.
Quote of the day:
"Trust the stuff you are made of"
Sunday, 13 November 2005
Saturday, 12 November 2005
I'm still deciding how to blog this.. whether to write everything into 1 long post or to split into a few long posts.. Actually why should I care, I'm blogging for myself right? I am the audience.
Light-hearted stuff first. Watched Corrinne May sing. She's really good. Feel quite sad for her, cos she's playing in Borders, for free, to an audience of 30, she drove 2h to get here, with all her equipment, and had to set up everything mostly by herself. The conditions reminded me of how our Yamaha demos were, it's quiter here but there are still distractions.
Remember the zpop concert when we were amazed at how big Gigi was? Well Corrinne was even bigger. We actually went to talk to her, and talked about, um, RJ. Haha. I like her lyrics. Found her voice uncannyingly similar to Tong En's voice. She is good on piano.. and she's nice. =) Glad I went.
After that went to watch Big Fish DVD with the gang. Hmm.. I guess everyone wants to be a big fish.. Including the semi-drunk people watching it. Oh, saw a star-filled sky, ok not really star-filled, but at least the same amount of stars as in East Coast Park. Don't really see that many stars around here, don't know why. But I saw that star-filled sky at 1.30am..
Wild Animal Park. Nice sunny day today. Clear blue sky with sun, not too cold. Great tourist weather. I love the tram ride. It's an hour-long ride around the whole park, the best thing is that there's an actual driver, which is the tour guide, so it's like in a safari, stop the tram when there are animals to be seen. Only thing different is that there are animals everywhere. And the guide was funny. Saw many types of rhinos (they all look alike), many types of deer/ antelope/ gazelle (they all look the same).. saw many babies, and saw attempted courtship.. Haha
Ok, tried to post pictures, but blogger won't let me. So I'll add them in a separate post. It's a beautiful place.. Would have taken more photos if the cheapo batteries I bought were not so pok. I liked it. First time seeing things like that bustard thing and the zebra/ giraffe thing. And we could get so close to the animals. The parrot in the birdshow was really really good. It's probably the best parrot I've heard, it doesn't sound like a parrot at all. Amazing.
Quotes of the day:
On a male rhino: "That's a huge reproductive organ."
In a tropical birds aviary, warm and humid: "It feels like home."
Thursday, 10 November 2005
It's 8.30pm. There was a concert at Mandeville, so we popped in. Graduate Improvisation thing. The impro at UCSD is way too new for me. I don't get it at all. They have scores, but they're improvising. I wonder what's on their scores. I wonder what happens during rehearsals. Anyway, there was a tenor sax, an accordian guy who plays elec guitar as well, a flautist, a vocalist and a pianist who doubles up as vocalist. Didn't get it. There's a thin thin line between impro and noise. And today's performance was walking unstably on that line.
Went back to Revelle. That's 9.15pm. Sian diao, then realised that there's supposed to be some Revelle event going on. So we went for the best Revelle event ever.. in my opinion at least. Because.. only 2 people went. Haha. There are more RAs than residents. Anyway, it's Microwave 101, learn to cook stuff in microwaves.. Really fun, cos we basically mash around with the food and add food colouring everywhere and because there's so few people.. So we ended up with red and blue and purple rice krispies and red mash potatoes.. Taste good though. Yup, so i'm real full now. Haha.
Oh yeah, 1 more thing to cheer me up. I haven't broken my record yet. Scored amazingly decent on my psyc test. Yay.
Wednesday, 9 November 2005
Living on optimism, and on autogear. Roam around sch, go to classes all by reflex action.. Study by reflex, fall asleep in class/ tests by reflex. Only class I'm still enjoying is Chem. Math has always been not easy, Ling and Psyc switch from fun to boring ever so often.. 1h20min lects are too long, that's all I can conclude. Hope I did fine for Psyc midterm..
Little things brighten up my day. A single informational meeting yesterday lifted my spirits, hopefully things will work out.. actually more good things than that happened, like the Chem dept finally found my petition and is processing it..
Perrin's office is so welcoming. A comfy couch, a clean blackboard, a view of the sch (ok, not very nice view), a nice rug, small group of students seated around.. 1 thing I like about uni is that the profs can give a satisfying answer to my questions. Remember sometimes when we ask Alfie stuff, he'll say things like go ask the molecules, or it just happens.. Now i'm actually getting reasonable explanations for such things. =) Think i ask really weird questions, cos he always has this amused look on his face when he answers my questions, and i don't see that look when he answers someone else's questions, maybe it's just my imagination.
Shall stick to talking abt good happy stuff today. Oh yeah, saw baby tadpoles and baby chicks and a bunch of dead baby frogs.. =)Yeah, the eyes in tadpoles/ frogs are really obvious. Oh, after I came out of the lab, I heard singing, in Chinese, from a classroom nearby, so I stopped to listen, Christian songs, very nice. Then this girl walked past and said hi. And I decided it's time to leave, then she chased after me and asked me to join them.. erps, sorry, I'm not interested to join in any religious activities.
Then I decided to go for the study break, which was a session on safe sex, da kai yan jie. Good thing was that there were banana splits. =)
Tuesday, 8 November 2005
Looks appetising? My attempt to use up all the chicken in my fridge
This egg, a bit failure.. Will try again some other day.
A pirate, prince, monster bullying me.. if you can see anything in this yellow light.