Tuesday, 20 December 2005

To-do list

  1. Finish writing and sending Christmas cards
  2. Withdraw lots of money before going to east coast
  3. Pack
  4. Decide if I have time in June to go Europe
  5. Decide on a RI and PI/ project
  6. Decide on whether to change bank
  7. Read about Boston+ New York City
  8. Research about online Kumon
  9. Decide on my timetable for next term
  10. Get a job and SS
  11. Get a driver's license

Monday, 19 December 2005

Been MIA-ing for a while. Moved to my aunt's place for the holidays. Huge coincidence that her family decided to move to San Diego. So I'm staying in her place here in the high-class neighbourhood. Internet connection hasn't been up till few days back, that explains my MIA. My parents just left yesterday with my 2-year-old cousin. Missing them already.

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

Can't believe a term's already over. Can't believe my parents are here. Can't believe I'm staying in a Del Mar apartment. Can't believe I ate prawn noodles today. Can't believe I'm going Vegas tomorrow. Soon, very soon, I'll be freezing on the east coast. And very soon, Joanne's going to come to SD. And soon school will start again and I'll have to worry about getting the perfect timetable. But now, let me relax and enjoy our roadtrip to Vegas, and be wowed by Vegas. =D Don't think I'll be taking photos cos my dad's around and he's THE pro photographer with the film camera.

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

Sushi on the Rock

"Sushi On The Rock defines the new era of sushi in Southern California. With its rocking scene, fresh fish and sushi masters busy creating works of art, this restaurant established itself eight years ago as THE place for sushi in La Jolla Village! Voted Best Sushi, 5 Years in a Row, La Jolla Light."

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

Black's beach continued

This is what I went to the beach to see.

Beautiful, isn't it?


Pacific ocean and seaweed

Birds in the water

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

Just did a blog surf. Went Enping's blog, saw all his pictures with people studying in US and realise that I know so many of them. The world becomes smaller when I'm here. I didn't know Stanford has the biggest campus in US and I only learned that Tiger Woods was from Stanford when I visited Stanford in September. So strange to think of Enping as a senior, and then he meets up with guys who are in their freshmen year and I realise that those guys are his seniors. Weird. Then somehow surfed a few more blogs and ended up in Ruijie's blog. And he was talking about RI gep and DHS gep and so on.. And he had pictures of Stanford and Berkeley too. Didn't know berkley has parking lots reserved for Nobel laureates. Wonder how is it possible for everyone to travel to everywhere in the middle of the term.

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?

Black's beach

That's me

That's a desert plant, some sort of cactus.

Remember I said the nearest beach is a nude beach? Some naked people playing volleyball

Nice view

I have to climb all the way up to go back to school. Looks like a mountain. Can see tiny people climbing up and down.

There's a thin line. Very thin one between studying together and helping each other and one person studying everything and feeding the other everything.

Nvm. Here's more photos.

Making thanksgiving cards for old people in old folks homes

Card that I made. Not very artistic lah.

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

Horton Plaza

Why is this arrangement so strange today? Anyway, this is Horton Plaza, the equivalence to Taka in Singapore according to Dennis. It is a very touristsy place, like Orchard is, but there are lots of locals too.

Hot dog on a stick shop

Levi's shop

Letters hanging off from nowhere

Christmas tree

Ben and Jerry's

Monday, 5 December 2005

Torrey Pines Beach

Can't believe myself. Just lost 40 marks on O Chem cos I totally remembered this concept wrong. Bleah. I didn't even lose 40 marks with my 2 midterms combined.. Peter Vollhardt, the guy who wrote my chem textbook was here today and gave a lecture on aromatic compounds, a lot of people brought the textbook for him to autograph. "He's a very good speaker, but you might not understand what he's going to talk about." My chem prof said that. Haha.
Anyway, continuation of my photo uploading.

Sea water

Surfer dude

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

Blogger is strange. It only lets me post 5 photos a day. Will post more another day then.

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.

Birch aquarium


Nemo's home. Look! There's Dory.

Tuna. The fish I mean. With my uncle, aunt and cousins. Small kid is 2 years old.

Deep sea fish and plants

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.