Thursday, September 28, 2006

[California Here We Come]

I'M BACK!!! And it's time to get blogging again! Yes, about my trip to California.

Like the American's favourite word..."awesome"! Yes it was. I must say though that upon landing we weren't really impressed. The airport runway looked old and there were patches of earth with dried up grass. Very unlike what Changi Airport wld do to spruce up the place - even if it means beautifying the place with fake lawn grass. Even mum commented that Sweden had a bigger impact on her even upon landing.

Our first day wasn't very eventful. I planned a couple of things to do but we were pretty tired so we napped the day away...then I forced the two to wake up so that we could prevent jet lag. The receptionist during our check in (still remember his name..Kamal Ahmed) was pretty annoying. He was giving us all sorts of lame excuses not to give us a special rate viz. EEG Inst where mum was attending her course at. Luckily I was in my arguing mode - saved at least USD100 a night!! Our first dinner was Mexican food. Nice...but it's quite "muak" (dunno how to say it in English..but it's the feeling like..when u eat too much cream and u get so like "whoa enough already" haha). One meal and for the rest of the trip, we didn't want Mexican anymore.

Our first adventure was to Disneyland. Oh and might I add that I had an adventure with the Toyota Highlander that we rented from Hertz. HUGE SUV in fact...we had to get that instead of a smaller Hyundai cos we wanted the GPS ("NeverLost" system that would give us directions. Turned out to be really useful...we never got lost...just took a couple of detours now and then tsk tsk). Disneyland wasn't as exciting as I thought it'd be. The entrance wasn't that grand and the rides...well..perhaps cos I had to take most of them alone. Mum n Flo are not into motion rides...tho I managed to drag Flo on a couple. Was her first time and I must say she was really brave about it. You go girl! At least I got to meet Mickey Mouse haha. I got excited just seeing a fake "Captain Jack Sparrow"...he looked pretty close to Johnny Depp's character. I think if it'd really been him I'd have gone bonkers. We had an extra treat since it was their 50th Anniversary this year, so at the end of the day there was a parade going on with all the cartoon characters. Wish I were a kid again!

Universal Studios the next day was totally amazing. Best theme park I've ever been to, and way better than the one at Brisbane (from what I can recall). They lived up to their reputation of being the biggest and most entertaining theme park in Hollywood. The behind the scenes tour of the sets were very insightful...and really really cool. They had very realistic simulations - like the one where our tram stopped in a Mexican "town" and it started raining (the sprinklers turned on) and very soon the "river" overflowed and water gushed out and flooded the streets. The fire display commemorating the movie dedicated to firefighters "Backdraft" was one of the most thrilling simulations I've ever seen. Real fire mind you...explosions here and there...and the set was only a couple of metres in front of us. We could literally feel the heat...that short presentation made me feel in awe abt the brave men who fight fires almost everyday. We even got to see Wisteria Lane of Desperate Housewives...there was filming going on that day but too bad we didn't get to see the housewives. We got our drawings done at Universal too. The artist was so nice..gave us a discount..maybe we look like poor students lol.

Other highlights were the Mulholland Drive Scenic Corridor where we got to see a bird's eye view of LA. We drove along Topanga Canyon as well to see the Santa Monica Moutains...they were simply magnificent. I can't help but marvel at the fact that they have established a city surrounded by mountains. It's like..usually the moutainous regions I've been to in Indonesia are in the rural areas...but here in this City of Angels...surrounded by beautiful scenery even on ur drive to work. Wow. I got distracted while driving a couple of times cos I was gazing at the scenery. Would be a beautiful place to live in. The UCLA campus was also fabulous - huge and lots of greenery. I only saw a tiny section of it and was already amazed. Something we'd NEVER get over here! Sobs...

Oh and did I mention that I got excited everytime I saw the Hollywood Sign..tsk tsk. First time was when our dearest GPS directed us to a spot to take pics of the sign. Second was when we were driving along the moutains, third was in Hollywood...Flo cldn't understand why I was so excited. Wel, I couldn't Just that I've always wanted to see the "typical" Hollywood thing. Hollywood itself wasn't as exciting though..I guess it's the glitz and glamour of the stars that make it more alive. Hollywood Blvd was quite a disappointment. Apart from the Walk of Fame, near chance to catch Jessican Simpson (we decided she wasn't worth sacrificing sunset for), tour of the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars are held (and will be held till 2070 I think..), there wasn't much else to see. We had a bit of a thrill seeing where the stars to see Tom Cruise's Merz leaving his house. Unfortunately the closest I got to seeing Johnny Depp was his star on the Walk of Fame. Oh well, there's always next time. haha.

We had a bit of a detour on our itinerary. Instead of getting to Palm Springs, we spent a day at the hospital cos Flo strained her back It was pretty bad cos she was getting into spasms and all...thank god her condition was serious enough that they let her in only an hour after registration. There were patients who had to wait for like up to 3 hours, a few giving up and cursing the management and all. Boo to Chicago Hope and ER and what have you...the service there wasn't impressive at all. Flo was into major spasms when she was in the triage yet she had to wait another half hour before being treated, cos the nurse couldn't administer anything till the doc had seen her. And they didn't let me in so I spent 3 hrs alone in the waiting room worrying whether she was gonna be ok. Managed to chat to a couple of locals tho, learnt a few things from them like how their medical system works and how college costs USD30000 per year! The lady I was talking to was sweet enough to convey to my mum that I was waiting outside when she went into the triage with her daughter (who coincidentally had a back strain too). Then finally mum came out to smuggle me in so that I cld be assured that everything was alright. Flo was give a couple of Valium jabs (pretty strong..they wldn't do that over here). She got a bit drowsy after that. Subsequently, everytime she took her Val pills, she was a bit tipsy. It was scary but hilarious to see her behaving so childishly as opposed to her usual "controlled" self. So point to note: if you're not depressed, that's what Valium can do to you. Lol.

Santa Monica Pier was more brilliant. Thanks to my LA friend, Chris, who told us to go there to catch sunset. It was the most beautiful sunset ever (ok well..I'm a freak for sunsets and anything nature...). The setting was pretty romantic too - sunset, baskers playing romantic love songs, watching birds in the sky, lovers walking hand in hand. Ahhh..wished the moment lasted longer. Flo n I had a fantastic time there...lovely.

Okies, that was a lowdown on our LA trip. I don't feel that I'm done with that place, so if any of u have plans to go there, let me know!! Hehe. Lots more things to see! You can check out my photos here. There's loads...couldn't help not uploading a lot of them..even after a lot of careful picking and choosing. Oh well, the photography freak in me... :P

Monday, September 11, 2006

[westlife geek]

Yes, I'm still a Westlife geek. I was pretty shocked at my own excitement - after not paying much attention to the boyz from Ireland for ages (in fact I only listened to their Face to Face album a few wks before gg for their concert). But with their opening song - Flying Without Wings, I went bonkers immediately. The lads are brilliant on stage, and yes, they can sing...and dance! I went with my senior last Friday. Interestingly, we both pledged a couple of yrs back that we'd watch it tog the next time WL came over (we missed their previous show cos neither of us had concert buddies to go with) and coincidentally, we found each other to go with. So yeah, there we were - I was expecting her to go more nuts than me (err..she has tendencies...) but I think we were both off our heads the moment Westlife appeared on stage. Their most amusing number was their rendition of PSD's Don't Cha. It was hiliarious! They were showing off their booties, and changed the lyrics to "don't cha wish ur BOYfriend was hot like me". Lol. Irish humour eh? And then there was a medley of songs which included MJ's "Billie Jean", complete with his trademark hat, gloves and erm..crotch grabbing (well almost...). We got premiere seats so we were pretty close to stage. The guards kept shooing fans back to their seats...pretty dumb...what's the fun of not being able to run to the front of the stadium to scream at ur idols?? I was so caught up in the moment, I kept snapping shots after shots. Oh and might I add that I love my new camera cos it zooms so well!! Haha, as if I haven't said that before. They did their "it's our last song" trick just as I decided to join the screaming girls in front. There was one screaming boy too..who went like "I love u" with his really shrill pre-pubescent got the few of us ard him turning to see where the voice was coming from. Tsk tsk.

Anyway, I was pretty sure they weren't at their last song yet. And after some screaming for an encore (one girl actually went "an-core"...*rolls eyes*), they came out with Seasons in the Sun. Weee. My fave song. Oh and since I was up front, I could see the gorgeous lads...they look soooooooo good in real. The posters weren't lying afterall! Mark put on quite a lot of weight...he was showing off his paunch when they took off their coats at one stage, and he consciously pulled down his ahem..figure hugging tshirt so that his belly didn't look too obvious. Most of my pics are probably of him...if u haven't already noticed :P. He can sing really well, in fact they did pretty well live. Kian missed a couple of lines, but I guess it's bcos he's not used to taking over Bryan's parts. And some pretty rude audience members actually laughed at him. How uncouth! Oh and that reminds me - there was this couple who brought their kids along..the girls were barely 5 and 7 - I really wonder why they brought them along. Family outing? Cos half the time the girls seemed fidgety and whenever the fans screamed, mum and the girls covered their ears - duh..isn't that what u expect at concerts??

Ok ok, back to my drooling over Mark. He was really good - singing, dancing, smiling (awww). Oh and (in my imaginative mind), he even waved at me..yes yes he did! (ok lah..i guess he was waving at the bunch of us...but anyway.... I was telling my friend at the end of the concert that I didn't care he was gay - he's still adorable and will always be my fave!

We weren't so lucky being groupies - they left pretty quickly after the concert - in 2 merz cars. We were pretty much in denial, so we even stayed till the last van left and that was like ard 11.30!! Aida wanted to catch them in person, tho I doubted it wld happen. And well, it didn't.

The most ironic part of the day was when I got home, Saki told me that my dad told her that WL was staying at the hotel where he was working at. Goodness. And he didn't tell me! Talk abt insider info! He told me not to tell anyone...but duh...he said they checked out that afternoon already anyway. Humph! He apparently didn't tell ME cos he thought I wouldn't be interested. How wrong! Saki's the one who can't be bothered abt WL. Haha. And I guess I should be more detailed next time when I tell him I'm going for "a concert", cos he didn't know I was going for Westlife's concert. Damn...double damn!

It was a fantastic concert. I'm happy! But next time must rem to empty my memory card before gg so that I can take more vids with my cam (it kept saying memory full but it didn't show that my fireworks vids were still there..grr...). Oh well, I've got a few good shots and some recordings on my phone. Enjoy the pics!

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by princessaf1

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

[ya ya sisterhood]

Flo came over again last weekend (yay!), on fri nite so tt she cld accompany me to physio next morning. I was afraid I'd be in terrible pain like the last time I went to the ortho, so my sweetie agreed to accompany me. Was really touched, never had someone care for me so much. Ok yeah some say parents - but I think my parents decided I should fend on my own after I reached a certain age. No more accompanying me to doctor's appts, no more fetching me from sch after a long day. I guess that's part of growing up, but it wouldn't hurt if they did once in awhile. Ok well..emo child speaking there..

Anyway, we were watching Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood on sat nite (I refused to let flo go home hehe). Watched it cos Sandra Bullock was starring, and well, sakura asked me to watch it on dvd last time but I didn't. It was a very very emotional show. I thought it was gonna be some crappy comedy where she usually has bimbotic roles in, but it was so meaningful. Gist of it is about Sandra Bullock's character coming to terms with shit that happened in her childhood, mostly due to her mum's (Ashley Judd/Ellen Burstyn) behaviour - including several bouts of depression and unconventional parenting techniques. Sandra being the eldest took the brunt of the crap and had been in therapy trying to figure out what did SHE do wrong. And her fiance wanted her to figure things out since it was troubling her a lot..and basically..well...end her "feud" with her mum.

The movie kinda conjured up a few memories abt my own relationship with my parents. My mother went thru a couple of severe depression episodes as well; she was unhappy with her marriage, and things weren't easy with my grandmother picking up fights with her very often, and my brother was in the worst stages of his behavioural issues. I guess I was her stabilising factor, so she used to come to me a lot for support. Not that I didn't want to, but I didn't know how to, and well, after awhile, I got irritated. Why was she always coming to me? Can't she ask someone else for help? I had to deal with a lot of issues myself, like bearing my brother's abuse, which was much more than physical. And I felt that she didn't listen to me, and kept focusing on herself. I guess that's why I learnt to shut myself up in my little cocoon, bottling up all my issues.

And then there were several scenes in the movie where the dad loved the mum so much, even tho he knew he could never be first place in her heart because her first love killed himself. It was so freaking touching - he stood by her through her crisis, even shifted out of their bedroom to give her the space she wanted. And at the end of the day, he still reached out his hand to tell her that she was the best thing that happened in his life. My tears just flowed out, couldn't hold them back anymore. It was awfully moving, tho I wondered whether I cried because of that scene, or bcos of the scenes which showed them constantly fighting and arguing while the children were huddled up in their rooms wondering what might happen next, whether they'd be able to sleep that night - scenes which invoked memories I'd rather not talk about. And it could also be bcos I've always longed for my parents to get along, without the shouting and screaming that got worse, without me needing to blast my CD player at night so I couldn't hear what was going on in the next room, without the threats of divorce and what have you. Though I've come to realise now that things are much much much more peaceful now that my parents are apart.

I was thoroughly glad that Florence was there with me during the movie. She's the only one so far I've told all my shit to. And her hug was all I needed to feel better. Thanks dear =) I know you may not understand everything I'm going through, or why I'm going through what I'm going through at this stage of my life; but to have you by my side is all I need.

I'll probably be feeling emo for some time to come. Warning to those of you who still decide to stay in contact with me. Haha. I'm seeing a counselor cos I finally decided to tackle my issues, or even find out what my issues are. I'm glad I've taken the first step, altho I almost chickened out the first time my counselor called me. (And all she wanted to say was hi lol) But I think I'm gonna be eternally grateful to her, cos she's doing it on a voluntary basis. I'd feel better if I was paying. Dunno how to broach the topic tho. For now, I'll stick to bringing eternally grateful. heh. I melted when she said "I want to be a part of your healing process", and she said it so sincerely. Gosh, I think if I had the privacy of my room now I'd be sobbing again lol. =)
Your Seduction Style: Fantasy Lover

You know that ideal love that each of us dreams of from childhood? That's you!
Not because you posess all of the ideal characteristics, but because you are a savvy shape shifter.
You have the uncanny ability to detect someone's particular fantasy... and make it you.

You inspire each person to be an idealist and passionate, and you make each moment memorable
Even a simple coffee date with you can be the most romantic moment of someone's life
By giving your date exactly what he or she desires, you quickly become the ideal lover.

Your abilities to make dreams come true is so strong, that you are often the love of many people's lives.
Your ex's (and even people you have simply met or been friends with) long to be yours.
No doubt you are the one others have dreamed of... your biggest challenge is finding *your* dream lover.
You Are 24% Obsessive
You tend to have a few obsessive thoughts, but you generally have them under control.Sometimes your worries keep you up at night, though they usually don't interfere with your life.