Thursday, 29 September 2005

Hall study break today. Meaning everyone who's free takes an hour off studying and go do something fun together. We went to graffiti this school building today. It's a building housing all the arts departments. Haha. There's this hidden stairway that leads to the rooftop and the stairway is covered entirely with graffiti. So we went and graffiti-ed more. Hee.

This is the rooftop. I didn't bring my camera, again. So can't show u my masterpiece. Oh yeah, that's the be-er mug-ger shirt that no one gets. Cos no one knows what a mugger is. Ok, qualifier, quite a lot of Singaporeans have told me they got it, after i used it as my personal message on MSN..

Mission Bay photos

Artistic shot of the sail while I'm on the sailboat.

Suitemates and a friend waiting for sailboat to come back.

I like this shot

The beach.

Wednesday, 28 September 2005

I will resume studying in 20min, not like I have a lot to study, but still must study.

Just came back from free Thai dinner from Cultural Awareness Network. Not bad at all. I mean the food. Had free dinner last night too, from Still Thoughts Association. Don't let the name fool you, they're not religious and they don't meditate. They are a bunch of Chinese people doing community service and other stuff. Had a very good Chinese dinner buffet. Reminded me of Astar meals, but the food was good, and there was a lot of variety, about 10 dishes. Oh then the whole night's events were in Chinese. Played games in Chinese. Heard how badly some of the ABCs spoke. But was fun overall.. kind of felt that I was in Singapore. I don't even speak and play games in chinese in Singapore.

I think I am an irritating idiot who doesn't show appreciation for other's work.. Will need to appreciate others more or at least show that I appreciate them more.. It's good to know that there's always someone is always looking after me, but I don't want to give them trouble, and I know I am adding to their loads unintentionally. Thank them. Don't know what I'll do when the seniors graduate.. which might be really soon..

Been listening to my collection of music, realised I have quite a few recordings. Each of them brought back memories. Oh, I tried the piano downstairs the other day, it sounds really bad.. I need to get more stuff to play. KL gave a really good suggestion the other day, too bad it won't work, I'm not that lucky to stumble upon such good opportunities. I miss my job which I didn't get paid. Oh guess what? Yamaha Singapore is giving out free trial electone (or is it Clavinova) classes to kids.

Watched Corpse Bride the other day. Did I blog about this already? My first movie in the US. Animation is good. But think I expected too much, the plot was not fantastic, but the show was funny. "People are dying to get here." Said by this ghost. I miss my Chinese subtitles though. And the movie ads before the movie are all the same type of movie as the movie that's showing, meaning we only saw movies rated G and those kids movies, like Harry Potter. Harry Potter's good man, Dian already made up her mind to catch the 1st show that comes out already. And movies come out at midnight here.

I'm really slow. Bad at this multitasking. It's been half an hour. I was supposed to finish this thing in 20min.


Saturday, 24 September 2005

Music giants sue China's Baidu over music downloads

HONG KONG : Music giants Universal, EMI, Warner, Sony BMG and their local subsidiaries are suing Chinese search engine Baidu for allegedly infringing the copyright of hundreds of songs, a press report said Friday.

They allege the search service makes it easy for users to download illegal copies of their songs, the Standard newspaper reported, citing a source close to the music companies.

Cinepoly, Go East and Gold Label are also suing Baidu in a move that could force it to shut down its MP3 search engine, a key to the company's popularity among young Chinese internet users, the report said.

In a statement cited by the newspaper, the Chinese company said it "acknowledges the litigation in question" but as a matter of course, it does not comment "on specific litigation already (in) legal proceedings."

The group insisted it "has always been an advocate of improving copyright protection on the internet and has been in discussion with relevant parties."

Although the music companies are seeking compensation, what they most want is the suspension of services that allow internet users to gain free access to copyrighted material, the newspaper said.

As internet usage soared in Asia in recent years, the music industry's revenue has fallen dramatically, largely due to MP3 downloads from unauthorised sources.

Liang Dong, Baidu's vice president of marketing, was reported to have met several music company executives Wednesday to discuss copyright issues and the outcome of the meeting was "positive", the source said, adding the goal was to "cooperate and make a platform for legal music downloads."

The company's stock sale in August was one of the year's hottest initial public offering whose value surged 354 percent with some analysts nicknaming it the "Chinese Google".

Chinese music company Shanghai Busheng Music Culture Media also filed a lawsuit against Baidu in June alleging unauthorised downloads.

There has been a growing concern among investors over the company's prospects. Its shares dropped 28 percent in New York Wednesday after two analysts warned the stock was seriously overvalued. - AFP /ct
I will sleep early tonight, even though it's a Sat night. I'm tired.

Lessons started on Thursday. Linguistics, very interesting questions raised by the prof. Potentially a very interesting course. Psychology, not really sure if I'll like what I will take. Then discovered the traumatic fact that I have to take this evolution and ecology course that uses Campbell as textbook. Traumatic cos I never liked evolution and ecology in JC, I never liked the Campbell chapters on evolution and ecology, I never thought I would need to take this course here, I didn't bring Campbell. So I went for the first evo and eco lect. Didn't think the course will be difficult, in fact, think I'll be totally bored and plan to do my readings during the lect. First lect talked about the big bang and how the first amino acid came about. Did Campbell talk about that? I was pretty bored. Anyway, I've decided that if there's no way to escape this course at all, I'll take it next quarter, when my mom brings me my book, or next year.

Organic Chem. Teacher's good, I can tell. Met Weihao there, so sat with him in the 1st row. Gosh, don't understand why he likes the first row. Then it was Maths. Calculus. Teacher has a heavy European accent, good thing he writes down all the important things he's saying. I had to pay a lot of attention. Got me quite tired by the end of the lect. I don't think Calc is easy, even though everyone aced it. I sat next to this Singaporean guy fr VS who came US during high school during Math. He didn't seem to take any notes at all. Must be a smart guy. Weihao was in that class too, and guess what, he was in the first row.

First official Singapore Malaysia Student association meeting, at Desmond's place. Food was good. Finger food, but I got quite full, maybe cos I ate lunch at 2+. Master chef and host both made great food, and there were mangoes. =) Met people, did I? Didn't really talk to anyone I didn't know already. Talked a lot more to the graduating undergrads, wish they were staying longer, they know so much. Found out how exciting some people are, great ballroom dancers, great surfers, campers, travelers, oh yeah, best humanities student, haha.. I want to do exciting stuff too. Will go find people to FINALLY learn dance with me.
Seniors were talking to the grads, new pple talk among themselves. The most outrageous thing was that one of the grads gave a probability question and everybody, that is seriously everybody there except the freshies, an engine grad, a climatology grad and a international relations grad. oh and the host too. Here's the question:
In a game show, there are 3 boxes. One of the boxes contains the Grand Prize. The other 2 are empty. You get to choose once which is the box with the prize. After you've picked your box, the host opens an empty box from the 2 remaining boxes. Should you change your mind after the host opens a box? Assume that there are no other factors influencing your decision like the audience or the host's face.

What do you think? It kept people debating for the entire night.

Then the discussion went on to Biology. A group of them was talking about cyclins and cdks and cmk and so on and whatever other abc, defs. They call it occupational hazard. But I guess I will discuss about my work too with people more experienced than I am when I have the chance, when I have work. Kok Lim was telling me that next time I go for a gathering, I need to do my homework and readings first, so that I can understand what they're talking about. These people are seriously intellectual. My roommate thinks they're dorks.

Wanted to leave at 11.50pm, but was waiting for one of them, who's in the maths discussion (note the time), to pass me his textbook, so ended up waiting, waiting, waiting. Reached dorm at 1+am. My roommate is starting to call me a party animal. By the time I finish showering and so on, it was 2am. Then 1 of our suitemates came over cos her roommate was sleeping with her boyfriend in the room, and somehow, all the suitemates who are not asleep already came over to our room. They started talking and talking and talking, I was secretly wishing that they'll take the talk somewhere else, I don't know when they finished talking, cos I impolitely went to sleep while they're talking.

Today. Went to the beach. Mission Bay. School organised event, as usual only freshmen went, really good. We didn't want to wait in line (learn this phrase, queue is not a popular word here), so we stood at the area where the front of the line will be before the line even started. So we got onto the first bus and were the first pple at the bbq. Good burgers. Oh yeah, bbqs here mean cheese burgers with bbq-ed meat. Not bbq chicken wings or satays or sting rays or anything like that. So since we didn't want to wait in line, we gobbled down our burgers and went to kayak. That's when I feel sad for my friends again. They have never kayaked before. And they're Californians. Anyway, to make a kayak move is not difficult, so we were out in the sea/ ocean/ lagoon before anyone else was. Had a long enough time at sea before we were asked to go back. Then we went sailing. Bob cat sailing? is that what it's called? 2 parallel boats tied together using 1 set of sails. Basically we just sit and enjoy the ride while this sailor adjust everything. Real cool. Loved it. Then we lazed around in the sun before hopping onto the 2nd bus back to school. Got tanned, but not burned. Good.

I'm not done yet. Tonight. Went for Diavolo performance. It's a Cirque de Soleis thing, acrobatic dance. Best thing is that it's only $5. US dollars of course. It was really good, very pretty. The dancers are so tired, they were dripping in sweat when they've finished. They even coordinated their breathing. There were moments when I thought one of the girls would fly out and the guys can't catch her but they were all caught safely. It was fantastic. My seat was great too. Really in front. Courtesy of Revelle's good tickets and my trusty info source. Everyone around me was from Revelle. I even saw Renee there. After the performance was a party, Indian music + trance. I thought the music was better than the music at the all campus dance. But I'm tired and I can't dance, so i'm here, preparing to go to sleep. Nite.

Wednesday, 21 September 2005

Revelle rocks

Night ice skating last night. Reached like 11pm last night. See my artistic shot? Can see the movement in the pic right?

Suitemates. 4 of us anyway.

Revelle at UNolympics. We won again!! Prize is a golden shoe. Haha. The Sixth dance was really really good though. Music was fantastic, dance styles were good. But we won overall. Yay.

I just realise the significance of having the same class as Wan yue. Same class? Stress.. She'll top the class definitely, and i'll have to climb my way up up up up to that A. And it's a Letter class. Hope I make it. I'm definitely not going to die this quarter. Great thing is Jane might be taking that class too. =)
My bed

My desk, shelf, fridge. I'm a messy person.

Pacific Beach and surfer dudes

A few things to say

First. I miss playing in a band. Watched the pep band today for a while, well, didn't really feel like joining them. Listening to FF soundtrack now, so nice, i'm like melting into the music. Zarnakan now. Courtesy of my roommate. The band plays outdoors, like to pump up spirits.. will go for orch audition soon, some time, when i figure out when and where and how, and hopefully pass it. Read Han zhong's email on what RWinds are playing for December concert, I wanna play!! It's a full concert!!

Next. About blogging. I read channelsnewsasia today, after many days of not reading news. Couldn't be bothered to buy newspapers over here. So here's what i found, among other things.

Lawyers for two bloggers to try for reduced charges
By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia
SINGAPORE : The case for the first two bloggers charged with posting racist comments online has been adjourned to next Tuesday.
This is the first time bloggers are being charged in Singapore.
The charges come under the Sedition Act, which lawyers say has not been invoked in at least 10 years.
Twenty-five-year-old Nicholas Lim Yew and 27-year-old Benjamin Koh Song Huat appeared in court for the second time on Wednesday. Koh faces three charges while Lim faces two charges. Both are facing charges under the Sedition Act for allegedly posting racist remarks about the Muslim community online.
The two, who were unrepresented last time, were accompanied by their lawyers. The lawyers say they are trying to have the charges reduced.
Said Helen Chia, Lim's lawyer, "We've just applied for an adjournment to do representations to the Attorney-General's Chambers to see whether perhaps they could reduce the charge."
A third blogger who made racist comments in a separate case was also in court on Tuesday.
If convicted, first time offenders can be jailed up to three years and fined S$5,000 for each charge. - CNA /ct

Watch what you blog people.

Tuesday, 20 September 2005

It rained last night. Thunderstorm. It's not supposed to rain in San Diego! The school is not designed for thunderstorm weather, not like NUS, or any Singapore schools where every building is connected by covered walkways. Nothing here is covered and nobody carries umbrellas. So if it rains, get yourself wet. Oh yeah, during orientation, we made artificial rain. Haha, just the sound of it actually.

Just ponned square dance and took a bus ride around school. Actually I feel quite sorry for the local students, ie my suitemates. I took a school tour in a car before orientation started, walked around school numerous rounds to get admin stuff done, had a good personal tour guide, not to mention so many people whom I can ask where's everything, so I knew pretty much where everything is. They were seeing ERC for the first time and wowing at their new-ness, while I've been to I-house so many times, even went into I-house rooms before. It's quite sad that they don't have anyone to drive them around and my roommates don't really seem to have seniors to help them along. People are amazed that I'm here alone, think I must be real independent and so on, I think they are amazing, they don't have the readily available help that I have and survive really well. We went out the other night to celebrate Kok Lim's end of rushing-for-deadlines. My roommate made me takeaway food for her and she's saving the food now in my fridge, rationing a bit for every day. They don't have the priviledge of going out to eat often. They don't have the chance to go to Convoy and Ranch to get nice Asian food.

Went ice skating just now. All the Astar pple are going to haha at me here, cos i never went ice skating with them in Singapore under the reason that there's no ice in San Diego. Well there's an ice skating rink very near school. Special offer today at $3, went, didn't fall, but only went 2 rounds, cos not much time, a lot of people and I'm really lousy.

My suitemates are really nice. Update on angmoh/non-angmoh ratio: 2:8 currently. The 8 of us hang out together. actually already sort of splitted into 4, 4, but still, the caucasians don't hang out with us. One of them sticks to the boyfriend, the other one plays elec. bass and hangs out with guys.

Monday, 19 September 2005

Mid-Autumn Festival

Ate home cooked food and mooncakes at Xinyi's place. Food was good. Kenny is a fantastic cook.

Then went for my first ever party/ dance. All campus dance, in this open field in school. Didn't really like it. Music was, well, I don't know the songs anyway, so I can't comment. But basically I could only hear the bass booming away and not the music nor the lyrics. So just shake to the beat. It was really crowded, and the girls were like rubbing themselves against the guys, gross. Some guys were topless and threw their shirts around, so there were flying wet cloth around, gross. Most people are less than 21, since mainly freshmen went, and I definitely smelled alcohol and smoke, whatever they're smoking. If it wasn't for Tanya, I would never have got into that crowd. Stayed for about half an hour and left.

I was so glad that the company was good. We formed our own little circle on the dance floor/ grass and danced to ourselves. When we move, we made sure that everyone's still around and not lost in the crowd. When someone pushed one of us, other people will try to block the guy's push. Really glad that the company was so protective.

Left the dance at 11.50pm. Then hung around till midnight when the whole party was over. Went over to International House where the NUS exchange students are staying, and it was so happening over there. There were many many parties around. So we went to one of the NUS pple's suite, and guess what, there was alcohol. Not many people there were over 21. But well, everyone's drinking and quite a lot of them are half drunk. Met this gay guy, that's the first real gay guy I've ever met. He's very American, and he's my age even though he looks much older. Sian diao after a while, so I told them I wanted to leave. We left at 1+, reached my dorm at 1.30am or so, Tanya's quite obviously a bit drunk, and I went to sleep.

Yay. I got my Chem class, finally. I think they lost my petition but heck, they let me register for my class, that's all I care about. =) Oh and I nearly lost my phone just now. Darn careless of me.

Sunday, 18 September 2005

All the stupid things I do.

I moved out of the triple room to a double room. That's not the stupid part. I stuck my key into the door of my new room and opened it. Cool. I dumped 1 luggage inside and locked the door while I went back to my old room to get more stuff. Cool. When I got back, my key won't open the door. Not cool at all. I went to look for the cleaning lady for help, cannot open, everyone helping me move tried, cannot open. I called residential office to ask for the lock guy. Forgot why, but I just decided to go downstairs, and met some other residents on the first floor, the guys. Great people, cos 1 of them came up with me to try the key again, and guess what, we realised that I've been trying to open the wrong door. I identified the wrong room as my room. First time i could open the door was because they didn't lock the door.

Anyway, so now I have a double room, roommate's not here yet, so my aunt stayed here for the past 2 days. hee. Now she's on her way back to Kansas. Got myself a fridge, and she stocked it up with food that, well, I don't think I'll finish any time soon, things like juice and water and soya bean and cereal and fruits. Americans are weird, they need to add dietry supplements to their diets, like my cereal has extra vitamins in it. Just did my laundry, the dryer is fantastic, best one I've used so far. My clothes are dry and hot. But don't know if they shrank.

I need to go read my stuff, get my inventory list done, arrange everything neatly in my room and take photos of my room! Hee. Must keep all my junk before I take photos. =)

Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Moved in

Orientation is tomorrow. I've moved into my residential hall. I call it a dorm. A triple room. 2 full size wardrobes, 1 small wardrobe, 3 tables and shelves and beds. Shall go into the details of how I got a lousy bed later. Most screwed up thing about the hall is that it doesn't have wireless connection. Grrr... I want to move out already. Somebody, please cancel your contract!!

Using the school's comps now. The comps are really really fast. Flat huge screen. I love this comp. Shall come here more often to use the comps.

Tanya and I have been living off Desmond the past few days. Depending on him totally on everything. Exactly what I expected but didn't want. Well, I've moved on campus, maybe this will help a bit. School will start next week, hopefully I'll be busy enough to not worry about things like living conditions.

Talking about school. My bills are still not paid, I still don't know how to pay my part of the bills, my Chem petition is still missing and the Chem advisor is still on leave. Quite screwed. Just hope they don't cancel my enrollment, then I'll be in deep trouble.

Just tried to get a credit card. Got it before I realised there's an annual fee. Nvm. Screwed up life. At least I've done my essentials shopping. Got everything I needed except a desk lamp. Will dig through the pile of junk in Desmond's place to see if I can get other stuff there. There is a huge pile of junk.

That's all now. I should go back and unpack a bit. Hope my roommate is nice. She didn't seem very friendly just now.. Hispanic girl. The RA is extremely friendly though. Also Hispanic.

Thursday, 8 September 2005

If I had a choice, I wouldn't have come US so early. I'd rather stay in Singapore for another week. Slacking, meeting up with peeps, and play one more time for the girls. I miss my Saturday afternoons..

I would be outside socialing and watching TV if I haven't been so dumb to lose their phone. So I'm hiding in my room and blogging and talking to my dad on MSN.

Monteray. I think that's the spelling. It's a beautiful place by the sea. I'll upload my photos soon. As soon as I find my camera cable. Still hidden somewhere in my luggage. Wonder where though. Quite a long drive from San Jose, but it is really gorgeous. We drove past mountains/ hills (I can't tell the height, i think it's like the height of bukit timah, but I seriously doubt it), farms, the coast. So beautiful. That was the best day of my stay here. I wanna climb one of those mountains/ hills one day. They are not like SEA kind of tropical forest, full of trees, bushes, grass blah, but dry, countable number of trees on 1 side of the hill, and dried grass-like, shrub-like thing covering the rest of the mountain. Looks like desert shrubs/ grass to me. And there are sand hills (maybe they're mountains, i can't estimate height around here). Some people have "carved" words onto the sand hills. One said RIP . erps. I feel like going sand surfing.

Went to the 17-mile drive. A scenic expensive area. Really really rich people with big mansions. Saw the price of the chalet at the golf course, $500 for 1 night if you golf. Crazy. Saw really good scenery which made us hungry, so we went to eat Vietnamese Chinese food. Pretty good rolls. Then went around trying to buy a kite cos we saw pple flying huge colourful kites on the beach. Couldn't find any kites so we went to the beach anyway without a kite. My friend here has never flown a kite before in her life, so she's so excited that she went to ask a man to lend us his big professional parrot kite. I was so surprised that the guy actually agreed, cos he was packing and preparing to go home when we arrived. So we flew the kite. Very easy cos the wind was strong and the kite was really really good. One of the best kites I've flown before. So played for a while, the sand was good, it's white and fine, like Sentosa sand, just that it's natural, not imported. Then we saw another guy flying this high difficulty kite, a kite with 2 sets of strings, one on each side of the kite. Apparently you can make the kite do tricks like turn in circles and so on. We tried. I couldn't get the kite off the ground for more than 3 seconds and I was the most expert one on kites.

The sun is really really bright. It's not so bright in Singapore cos of all the buildings around blocking the light and maybe cos the air's not so clear. It's so bright here that I can't even look west when the sun is setting. Don't think sunglasses help much either, even though I've never tried.

Wednesday, 7 September 2005

San Francisco, reminds me so much of Hong Kong. A cross btw Hk and european cities. Tall buildings near the street, like Hong Kong, but architecture are more European. It is a city and I think I'm a city girl cos I really like cities. Feel much more comfortable in a place with high rise buildings next to each other and public transport and jams. Ok not the jams. Ah, I like pple walking on the streets.

San Francisco was cold. Much colder than what I expected. San Jose is OK temperature, cool. In the day, don't need to wear jackets. San Francisco is just 1h drive from San Jose and it's so cold. I was shivering in my jacket. If I had know that it was so cold, I'll bring a scarf. Walking near Union square, that's like the Orchard Road of SF, the shops have very nice decor. Tanya borrowed a jacket from Macy's. OK, not borrow, bought, but she intends to refund the jacket soon. Everything here can be refunded with the receipt. That's why the clearance items are always so cheap. They're all returned items. Haha.

Went Fisherman's Wharf to eat. Clam chowder in sourbread bowl and calamari. The clam chowder was really good. Calamari also. Sourbread is too sour for my liking. Oh yeah, we took the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf. The cable car is cool. Too bad I didn't get a chance to hang on the edge of the car. Must be really cool and cold. Queued really long, like an hour for the cable car. The cable car U-turned on human power. The conductors have to actually push the car. Back to Fisherman's Wharf, it's afternoon, so the fog was clearing and the sun came out, so it's a lot warmer. But the wind was still chilly. Wanted to go Alcatraz, supposedly the unbreakable prison. But it's so popular that the tickets for ferries to Alcatraz are all sold out for the day and the next day. So we looked at Alcatraz from the shore. Alcatraz is an island by the way. Saw the sea lions lazing in the sun, sea gulls flying sideways cos the wind was so strong. I want to be a sea gull too. I want to FLY. Anyway we lazed around in the sun for a while behind some rock that blocked the wind. So comfy that I wanted to fall asleep. Then we queued for cable car again to Chinatown.

Oh there are many buskers around. They're really good. Some are dressed in strange costumes, like there was a guy wearing a dalmatians suit holding a dalmatian. Another guy dressed in silver and painted his face, hair, hands silver too. The musicians are good too. Many panflute players.

Chinatown. It's so Hong Kong. There are 点心 stores, they even sell 菠萝包。There are hanging 招牌 everywhere, but no neon lights. The streets are crowded, there are even shops selling 咸鱼. Shop owners speak in Cantonese before English and Mandarin, so the place looks, sounds, smells and feels like Hong Kong. But shops close very very early. We had dinner in Chinatown, 煮炒 (very good food), and the shops were all closed by the time we finished eating.

You know you're in US when:
1. everybody uses cards and not cash (discount cards, credit cards, discount tags, blah)
2. advertisements online are suddenly relevant (cingular, t-mobile..)
3. e-banking is more common than going to the bank

Monday, 5 September 2005

Arrived in San Jose on saturday. It felt cold at night. Moved into Tanya's cousin's house. Nice cosy apartment with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I miss my mommy and my daddy and my home and my friends and the familiarity of Singapore.. Talked to my parents 3 times the first day I reached, they called once and I called twice.

Going through spurts of emotions. Sometimes I feel that I won't be able to survive even till school starts. The only thing that keeps me from turning around and going home is knowing that I can't turn back.. Sometimes I feel hopeful, excited about what's going to come. At other times, it's just neutral, doing things and taking things as if I have been doing them every day.

California. It's filled with Asians. There's even a Chinese TV channel in San Francisco, so sometimes I don't even feel that I'm in US. But I am kind of intimidated by the blacks, not being racist or anything.. If you hear an exceptionally loud voice in the mall, it would probably have come from a group of blacks. I, not being used to this, will feel that someone wants to start a fight, I'll look around and realise that it's just a bunch of teens fooling around with each other.

Went Stanford. Stanford is really rich. They have their own golf course. Apparently Tiger Woods was on Stanford golf team and he lives pretty near Stanford. Palo Alto sort of revolves around Stanford, there's Stanford bookstore, even a Stanford driving school with Volkswagen beetles. I like the town. It's pedestran and bicycles friendly.

I will upload photos when I find my camera cable. Hope I brought it.