Thursday, 31 December 2009
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So 2009 has come to an end. This has definitely been a momentous year, what with the many occurrences that has affected us. But what does it mean to you? What happened in 2009 that you remember?

For me,the first is of course entering college. I had finally left the confines of school, and took a leap forward. I had decided to take a different path from my friends, and took mass communication. But I didn't realize what it meant to me. I was finally doing something I like, but at the same time I realized that I did not like it as much as I thought I would. I also came to the conclusion that I didn't hate studying science; in fact, I had enjoyed it. But alas, it was not my path to walk. The perfect closure to school was receiving my SPM results. I was thrilled to learn that I had performed well, much better than myself or anyone else had expected.

Adjusting to college wasn't easy, and many times I had wondered why on earth did I want to leave school. That was another thing I learned about myself- I take time to adjust to different environments. I was in school for 5 years, and the last one was no doubt the best. Now, with my friends and I separated I found myself wishing that we could still be together. But we had also been able to stay close, for which I'm enormously grateful.

But college wasn't all bad; I still met wonderful people. And my classmates were just wonderful compared to the other intakes. I just couldn't imagine myself being with any other intake. Studying humanities had opened my eyes about the world in so many ways. I saw the world in a different light, and also learned about myself in the process.

So much has happened in this year, which proves for real how fast time passes. In just one short year I have completed college, and am well on the way to university. Just 365 days ago I was still considering which course to take and taking career advice. Now I'm waiting for my university application process to be completed. If all goes well, I will be leaving this country temporarily in February. If there's one thing I'm grateful for, it is the fact that if the world ends in 2012, at least I die with a bachelor's degree.

What do I hope to achieve in 2010? The usual- health, wealth and success. Of course, I shan't write the specifics down for there is a superstition that it won't come true if you tell someone. So my goals for the coming year will have to remain private. Next year would be a monumental year for me as well, even more life changing than this year. New year resolutions are good, for they help people set a goal in life, but at the same time we need to have the discipline to act on them.

So 2009, to me, has been the year of awakenings, learning and understanding. How about you?

Unfortunately, I have to stop here, as my Internet in Penang is awfully limited. Happy New Year!

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Monday, 28 December 2009
The Shades Just Clicked With Langkawi

The trip to Langkawi was awesome. We did just about everything that we wanted to do, and also much more.

 We rented an Innova, which only seated 8 but since we were not big sized people we could fit into it. Our 3 full days there were unbelievable. Although I've been to Langkawi before, I still did some other things I've not done while I was there, or anywhere else.

First was island hopping. Somehow with my family we never went for that, although we've been to Langkawi several times. This time, with my friends, island hopping was one of our top priorities. I think it was really worth it, and the view was breathtaking.

We also went for the banana boat ride. It was my first time on one, so I didn't know what to expect. When it started I thought it was child's play staying on the boat. At the end of the ride he just made a u-turn then (according to my friends) let go of the rope holding our banana boat. And lo and behold, the next time I know I was submerged in seawater, even managing to inhale some through my nose. We came up and started cheering although no one listened.

There's also the cable car. At its steepest it goes up 42 degrees. Being afraid of heights, I was really scared throughout the ride but who cares. An opportunity like this doesn't come so often. I won't say that I conquered my fear, for I am still afraid of heights, but I can safely say that I know I can overcome it when it matters.

That picture was taken in the car, at night. Somehow Yi Xian, Yuet Yin and I were sitting at the back, and we decided to camwhore for old times' sake. At one point Yi Xian said "Now strike a lala pose!" and all 3 of us did the same thing, without coordinating anything whatsoever. Yes, we're that good at mental communication.

Then there's water polo at the pool and also sea talk (modified after pillow talk) in the sea, and lots of laughter. There was this moment one night when we said something, and one by one our laughter triggered each other, and we spent the next few minutes laughing non stop for no apparent reason. It was like we were drunk or something; we were laughing every few seconds. I think the whole session lasted for about an hour.
That's what made the trip so unforgettable: the people I was with. We knew each other very well, and we could make fun of each other and laugh about it. And not to mention, we are camwhorers. Yi Xian says this is the very first time he used up his entire camera's memory, and we had another 4 cameras apart from his!
And then there are the close shaves. One happened in Underwater World, and another involved a police road block, but I shall keep it for our memories alone and not elaborate.
Those were just some of the more memorable moments of the trip. Others are just not suitable to be said here, or perhaps less important but still as unforgettable. I would say that this is definitely my best Langkawi trip ever, perhaps even one of the best trips I've been on.

Here are some of the pictures we took:

 Telling the direction of the wind

Yup, you guessed right, this is us pointing the finger. 

Trolley train!

At the Seven Wells Waterfall
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Sunday, 20 December 2009
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I'm back!

Being at Ipoh was like being in rehab. I had no internet, no TV (actually there was, but nothing that I watch), and only a few books I brought along with me. So what could I do? Laze around doing nothing, or read a book.

But the reason I was there was for a relative's wedding. An aunt, to be exact. And I'm reminded of huge weddings whereby the bride and groom are in the same room as their parents' friends, etc who they don't know, and also of how big my dad's family is. Actually, that's a pretty normal-sized family, I mean most of my friends have perhaps 6-7 aunts and uncles, maybe 12 grand aunts and uncles, countless cousins and distant relatives. But the hardest thing about it all is that there's a different name you call everyone, and I just can't remember all of them. And you have to double everything, for you have to take into consideration your paternal and maternal side.

Large families are weird indeed. You can be in a room full of strangers, yet you're related by blood or marriage. It's just so funny that I know more about my friends than I do about several cousins I see during Chinese New Year. In fact, I don't even know their names, just that they're my paternal grandmother's sister's grandchildren. Or perhaps my uncle (my grandaunt's son) who is actually still in primary school, or at the most Form 1 or 2. Imagine calling someone younger than you 'uncle'. Fortunately, due to the age gap, we've never interacted and I've never been forced to call him that. He mostly play with my younger cousin who's about the same age, and I just couldn't resist telling him one day that his 'friend' is actually his uncle.

And then there's the gossip. It's like real life Brothers & Sisters. Everything scandalous is known to all family members, but at least we don't talk about it, but just keep our mouths shut.

Although I can't adapt well to all of a family's customs, I find big families intriguing. That's just me. Big families are just more lively and more fun, at least that's what I think.
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Thursday, 17 December 2009
City of Shared Stories

After a few weeks of not seeing my friends I finally did yesterday. We managed to watch a movie, Couples Retreat which turned out to be really funny!

I can't believe how funny it actually turned out to be, there were so many instances where I just laughed uncontrollably. But the main character/ couple just seemed too perfect... It was as if they could sort out all of their problems without any help, while the other couples were more flawed and hence, normal.

Today, I managed to play badminton and also eat the Chicken Prosperity Burger. It was so funny, when I saw that it was out today I went and bought it. Then during badminton PH said "Chicken Prosperity is out" and we both said "I ate it already!" at the same time. Turns out we both went to the same McD outlet, bought it through the drive through during the McValue Lunch period, just 10-20 minutes apart.

Surprisingly, the next few weeks will be rather hectic as tomorrow I'm leaving to Ipoh for a relative's wedding, then next week to Langkawi, and the following week Kedah.

I just read from Bibliobibuli about this site, City of Shared Stories.
As you can see, it is a map of the city, dotted with little red tags. Each tag is a very short story told in under 1600 characters. And ... if you think you can do better, go right ahead. Locate your story at a specific spot on the map and write or paste it into the space provided, and then it will be there for everyone else to visit.

Picture I took when I went to Pavilion recently. I think the pic's pretty cool huh? Although I admit, I don't know how I did that!

Pretty cool huh? 

Oh and have you guys heard of Chelsea Lately? It's a talk show on E!, which is really funny, but it's not aired on Astro so to watch it go to YouTube. Chelsea's a stand up comedian, and she's uses it well in her show. I've watched some interviews and spoofs, and I laughed most of the time! She does celebrity interviews, spoofs and others. Here's a video of her interviewing Aaron Carter:

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Saturday, 12 December 2009
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One of my favourite Christmas movies is Home Alone.

I don't remember how I stumbled upon it, but I loved the movie the moment I saw it. It just really charmed me from the beginning, the thought of a child defending his home from burglars. It must've appealed to a lot of kids, too, the thought of being able to do something this big without the adults' knowledge. Kind of like Aliens in the Attic.

I remember I had the first Home Alone movie in the VCR tape, and I kept watching it. Even when I grew up I still felt it was a good movie, although I rarely watched it. And a result of a kid watching this much of Hollywood would be imitation and learning. Until now, I pronounce cops as 'cups' like the Americans do, because in the movie the boy kept taunting the thieves, saying "I'm calling the cops!" and it stuck, although I was corrected almost every time I say it.

Home Alone 2 was entertaining as well, but not as entertaining as the first as it wasn't his home. I never bought the third one in any copy so I resorted to watching it on TV every time it's being shown. The fourth one wasn't even nice. I can't even remember the storyline, but it was definitely nothing to do with defending your home against burglars.

Here's a video of the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince behind the scenes footage:

I found it really interesting, seeing how they film the movie. And I can see how hard acting is, the surroundings are really normal yet they have to channel the sense of being in a magical world during dark times. The house scene especially, I remember in the movie the surroundings were pretty dark but it looked like it was filmed in broad daylight. The actors didn't have the lighting, music or sound effects to help them.

I'm also thinking that it'll be pretty fun to work on a movie set. Maybe one day I'll apply to be an intern in some movie and get to experience the whole movie making experience.

It'll be pretty cool, without a doubt!
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Tuesday, 8 December 2009
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I don't know whether it is because I've been getting sufficient sleep lately, but I've been having trouble falling asleep. It seems like I need to take a long time before being able to fall asleep. I think if this continues I'll have to start setting my alarm clock to wake me up earlier.

I'm surprised that it's the second week of December already, time is really flying.

I'm finding that my holidays have been... eventful at the very least. Although most of my time is still spent at home, there's at least things like birthday parties, short trips to the mall and badminton to amuse myself. Not to forget the drama that unfolds every now and then.

Today I finished reading Voice of the Gods, the final book in Trudi Canavan's Age of the Five trilogy.

I also resumed writing a fan fiction that I had abandoned 2 years ago. I'm finding it much easier to write fiction, and it's also by writing it that I remember how much I like writing.

But yet, life has been uneventful enough that I seemingly have nothing to update on.

And since there is nothing else that I can write about, here is a skit on SNL featuring Blake Lively on the whole Tiger Woods issue:

To tell you the truth, I have not watched it yet. At the moment of writing, the video is still loading on my browser. The internet's slow today.
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Saturday, 5 December 2009
Trilogies and Revelations

I mentioned in a post sometime ago about a series of books that I enjoy reading.

Somehow, I have yet to pick up a book from A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think I've outgrown those books. Or maybe it's because I can't bring myself to read an astounding 13 books.

But recently, another series from my past has me enjoying the joys of reading again.

It is the Age of the Five trilogy by Trudi Canavan. It's a wonderful fantasy trilogy.

The author's an Australian, and I actually didn't pick up that series the moment I saw it. That was because I had already read her previous work, the Black Magician Trilogy, which turned out to be so good that I doubted the new series would be better. But somehow I decided to give it a try, and I wasn't disappointed.

Now I have taken to rereading the Age of the Five trilogy. It tells of the story of an imaginary world where gods (not an all knowing God, but something like Greek gods- Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, etc) lived. Auraya, a village girl, grew up to be a priestess and is eventually selected as one of the most powerful followers of the gods. 

It has been refreshing, although I have to admit that the similarities between the two series are very obvious. And there is a surprise at the end of the series which I didn't expect, although from what I read online many people had seen that coming from the first book.

As for the author, I saw from her website her visualizations of the two worlds she had created, and I am amazed with what she had come up with. She had created a different world altogether, with different plants and animals, even.

I have been told MANY TIMES that all I read are fantasy books. Yes, I do admit that magic has an effect on me, and I like reading books that contain stories about magic or something that does not exist in reality. And I do get comments like "Magic again?" or "Magical powers? That's not unexpected" or something like that when I buy a book or recommend one, and it does get on my nerves. True, it definitely shows that I lack maturity.

But it never occurred to anyone of them that perhaps those books carry a special meaning to me, or that some element in that book was something I could relate to. Or perhaps it's pure entertainment. Forgive me if I find the notion of being able to communicate mentally or transform into animals more interesting than a story of a tragic childhood. Even a story about a blackmailed lawyer is more interesting than that to me.

Or maybe it is something I craved in reality, that I do not have.

It is a false perception, yet one that I cannot blame anyone for thinking of me that way.
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Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Not So Gaga After All!

Today is the first of December. This is a very important day for me because:

One year ago, on this very same day, a swelteringly hot December the first, I took a huge step towards adulthood-

I got my driver's license.

Yeah yeah, many will say no big deal, but hey, it's an achievement! Plus, my birthday was in September, which was during the trail exams, which was followed by SPM. And I still managed to get my license a mere 4 days after my SPM. And I had liked cars and driving since I was a kid, so I was really happy to finally call myself a driver!

Anyway, Lady Gaga is famous for her outfits. Wherever she goes, people stare at her outfit. She doesn't conform to norms and I think that's why her performances are always refreshing and creative. A few days ago while browsing through a few blogs, I discovered something about Lady Gaga that I didn't know.

Remember the VMAs (yes the one where Kanye West stole Taylor Swift's moment)? Lady Gaga wore a total of 6 outfits that night, and I found out that they were all actually inspired by Alice in Wonderland!

 That was something I really didn't know. And she also admitted to not fitting in when she was in high school, and that she felt like a freak. Here's the interview where she talks about it:

And here's a song that she wrote specially for her father, to persuade him to get surgery. I don't think you see this very often, a Hollywood personality who is very close to his/her family.

She can be a role model to a lot of people- Do not be ashamed of who you are, and always be good to your parents.
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