Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Christmas Time

The song I wrote for Christmas, I haven't finished recording a proper version yet, but I will do when I get home.
A short video is here on photobucket:-
I got Eva to sing (as my fear of public performance is still...lingering), Naz and Fadhl on the guitars and me on the piano. The piano got a bit drowned out by the guitars though, but Eva sounds great. Our friend Sasha filmed. She likes to talk..and not film whole segments of shows!

Lyrics for singing along! :

It's Christmas Time
[written by Helen Brown; yes she will receive credit for it, and the sheep of Bethlehem will sing in Joy]

G D Em C [easy peazy]

It's Christmas time
And the world will sing in harmony
Let the love flow right out of me
Into your heart.

It's Christmas time
Though the world may disagree
Let's forget about disparities
And fall into place.

Oh, Christmas,
My excuse
To kiss the Joy upon the people's faces
Oh, Christmas,
Well it proves
That the world can dance and sing as one
Oh Christmas

It's Christmas time
Put the pretty lights on the tree
I'll hold you up to put the star right at the top
Like the million suns against the dark sky

It's Christmas time
Hear the music from the hills afar
I will be dancing with my red hat on

Chorus x2, or until you see it fit to end in style.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Things Tanya Has Learned Since Becoming Helen Brown's Friend;

Something Tanya cooked up when she should have been studying for Maths!
Italics are Helen's replies.

- "Half custody does not mean cutting children in half [which can be painful and cruel...who knew?]"
Helen is glad Tanya realised this.

-"Being slower than a snail, a sloth and a stone put together does not necessarily make you slower than Helen Brown."
Helen still believes she is quicker than Tanya.

-"When there is silence at the other end, after just having told a witty joke, it could be compulsory to explain it."

-"Hate makes you strong...sometimes, lol."
this is solely according to Tanya. Before Helen's explanation on not hating makes you strong, Tanya believed hate fully made someone strong. She has since shifted her belief to 'sometimes.'

-"When Helen is talking to someone, jumping to conclusions is a bad idea."
Helen agrees with this.

-"When sitting next to Helen, expect nothing but a 'horsey' nod once in a while, as her hair is all you can see the whole lesson."
Helen has yet to see this happen.

-"Going to the toilet with Helen can have dire consequences if you do not bag the larger toilet and the space above the toilet roll."
Helen is proud of the fact that she wins this race.

-"When eating with Helen, expect unexpected body noises."
Helen would like to point out that these body noises only consists of burping, and that they do happen to be quite loud.

-"Expect her to me smarter than you in Maths."
this obviously would only apply to Tanya as Helen's Maths ability is limited as it is.

"She is never caught without a 'well-balanced' meal."
Helen likes fish.

-"She can be seen eating dish washing flavoured pancakes, once in a while."
This is Helen's hunger desperation when canteen food is at its worst.

-"Never expect the unexpected."
Helen is surprised that her unexpectedness is expected.

-"When playing badminton, never fail to notice the clothes she wears."
Helen does admit to having interesting clothes tastes. Sock and sandals are a highlight, so are her unconventional PJ's."

-"Make her speak Thai."
Interesting endeavour.

-"Always expect Helen with a huge red bag."
Mary Poppins would be jealous.

-"Catching Helen without a humongous smile is like watching a werewolf wear pink undies under a blue moon."
Helen would like to say that she doesn't smile as much as people think, it is only an optical illusion!

-"Observing Helen closely, when she eats can be fun because of how wide her mouth opens."
It is only an appropriate width to put the food in!

-"Expect Helen to day dream every 2 seconds."

-A toilet visit during lunch is always going to happen, due to the copious amounts of iced tea she drinks."
Iced tea is an important drink.

-"Listen out for girly screams when Mr. Connolly and Mr. Hornell exchange a few words."
Helen believes that these two awesome teachers could be best friends.

-"A Captain Planet fan [she's got the song in her iPod for Pete's sake!]
Helen would marry Captain Planet.

-"Taking good care of the environment is one way to keep Helen happy."
And yet, Tanya will take 3 tries to try and get a plastic wrapper into the bin.

-"Interrupting her during Maths can result in you being ignored."
Helen likes to concentrate.

-" 'West side.' 'East side.' ' Yo' = Helen's 'lingo' "
Helen would like to point out that these uses are for humourous endeavours only!

-"Oh yea, and an Obama fanatic."
Helen has always been rather apolitical, except for the recent election where the win made her run around and receive more exercise than she would have had in a week.

Tanya Retrokarma

Friday, November 28, 2008

17 times!

It's 12am, I'm 17! I didn't think I'd make it this far!
Well, okay I think I've had the best school day ever as well.
Even though it was a day before my birthday, everyone made it so special!
I was given the ultimate gift from all of my friends..a Banjo!
Yes, the white, round 5-stringed instrument. I think the instrument is underrated, and I think it sounds beautiful.
I got interested in this instrument after listening to banjo-playing artists, the likes of Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, Iron and Wine. AND if you actually listen, a lot of music in general does incorporate a banjo somewhere in there.
It's such a fascinating instrument because different hits of the string give off different textures of sound.
30 people contributed and I thanked the 30 people.
It's a great feeling.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fabuleux Destin d'...

She picked the right to hinder the dying,
as well as the photos off the floor.
And I had said that it was just a game,
but when I saw the grieving cry in joy,
my views refashioned,
Like the architecture of the 21st century
and the man who said he'd never cry.

It's only really contemporary,
but I like it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

I recently read a short story written by Flannery O'Connor called "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" and I was deeply intrigued by it. It really got my head spinning in logical places.
The story touched on the value of human life without the belief in religion and also the new era, that uses religion only as an image than an actual belief and acceptance.
The story's plot is simple but the ambiguity leaves it up to anyones interpretation. To read the short story please refer to this site : -
so then I can continue on with some of the deeper meaning and allusions of the story.

The family represents the modern family after world war two, where industrialization was at a craze in America. Automobiles were created faster than you could say 'CAR!'. People were becoming wealthier and so morals declined, people began to question life values, sometimes for the worse. As this family locates in the South, the Bible Belt, religion is still there but its been used as a means of image instead of truth. This can be noted with the Grandmother. A woman who believes that dressing in Godliness, is a main fundamental of Chrisitanity. Her image of holiness could be considered as only a means to indirectly get what she wants through manipulation. She is portrayed as a selfish, nagging woman, whose attachment with religion is only one of an empty facade.
The rest of the family lacks description which has been done on purpose by O'Connor. She does this to possibly represent the new America, the fall in spirit and conscience.
Bailey, the father is an easily manipulated man which the Grandmother takes advantage of.
Bailey's wife is so irrelevant that she isn't even given a name.
The two kids are portrayed as spoiled brats.

The Misfit
The Misfit is the symbolization of evil in the story, but only the symbol. He is given the true depth and characterization despite his role of meaning to be the 'evil.'
He even admits to being evil. When the Grandmother continuously says that he is a good man, he says he isn't good but he isn't the worst.
The Misfit blurs the lines between good and evil. He is considered the most important theoligian character in the whole of American literature.
He is an atheist because he believes that second hand accounts cannot be enough evidence to convince him of Christianity. He suffers from internal conflicts, self-inflicted on himself. He is not a good man, as evidenced in the story but he is not evil either. One is able to still like and show interest in his character despite what he does.
O'Connor references him to a fallen prophet. A man trying to find meaning in life despite his need to question everything that comes to him. He doesn't kill for fun, he kills because he believes he has to. He believes in some delusional state, that some sort of good will come out of his actions.
The Misfit talks a bit about his history, he claims he was punished for something did not do, yet he does not deny what he did entirely.
He questions punishment and the rules followed in Christianity.
In Christianity one believes that one sin is just as bad any other sin, whether that be killing or stealing.
"Does it seem right to you, lady, that one punished a heap and another ain't punished at all?"

The Misfit is a complicated man because he wants some sort of justification for his spiritual predicament. He is a man suffering from doubt. He hints the want for a rational system of human justice in which actions and consequences can be balanced out between good and evil, but the human condition is not able to do such. He will not accept Christ but he does agree that a world, where actions and consequences can't always be distinguished between good and bad, causes the distinction to collapse. Creating a world where he says there is 'no pleasure but meanness.'

A reason the Misfit can't accept Christ is the mysterious resurrection of Christ. Denial of the resurrection would make the Misfit's life much easier. If Christ did actually come back from the dead it goes against the system the Misfit wants to base his values on. He wants to base his system on logical consistency, that after one dies, then they die because of the actions and consequences, that there is no implying of the supernatural.

The Misfit does say that if Christ was resurrected and he saw it through his own eyes then he wouldn't be the person he was today because there would be a basis for him to mount his beliefs on, that there is the notion of Grace. His anger mounts when he wishes he could actually be there to find out if Christ was brought back from the dead or if he wasn't, so he wouldn't be caught in area of understanding yet knowing nothing about life.

So, the Misfit is stuck in the middle of uncertainty. The boundaries of good and evil blurred and his thirst for truth a cause for his complicated state.

For reality's sake, the Misfit is represented as the man who wants to find something to believe in. The agnostic-seeker. O'Connor represents this as the lot of people who lacked belief when the new era of America came through. They questioned and questioned until some people like the Misfit became lost in a grey haze of unknowing.

The end
The end of this story shows the Grandmother find some sort of Grace. Through all her selfishness, her last words bring her to her transformation. But it has only come during her final moments of her life. The Grandmother realizes that everyone can be forgiven by God and that everyone is a child of Gods.
"Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children"
As the Grandmother touches him, the Misfit recoils and shoots her three times in the chest.
The vicious and sudden action can be interpreted in so many ways.
I for one, interpret it as the Misfit liberating himself from the whole scenario. He is described as crying in the end, grief was something the Misfit had no feelings of before.
He then says that:-
"She would have been a good woman, if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."
Stating that although the Grandmother did find Grace, she only found it when she knew of her ultimate demise.

Not only did the Grandmother transform and find Grace, the Misfit himself also found some sort of hidden faith from the transformation of the Grandmother.
And it is then that we see some sort of new conception from the Misfit.
Possibly leading him down the pathway of finding himself.

This whole story could be interpreted in so many ways, but this is what I basically believe it is about.
Two characters, the Grandmother and the Misfit. One who hides behind an image of being religious and one who is real in character but does know his place in life.
Both types of people that O'Connor believes came out after the World War.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Man In The Mirror, aka, Capitalism Is Destroying The World!

So we say we all are what we aim to be,
Yet the man in the mirror said “What do you see?”
I see faces, and eyes with little delight,
They’re walking beside me, they’re walking at night.

They talk of money and future ideas,
They have plans of schemes and instant tortillas.
Some call them people, and some call them dim,
I call them zombies, of hurry, of sin.

The man in the mirror told me of hope,
He took my hand and gave me a telescope.
“Look for the small, the special, the fair,
The people of right, the people who care.”

I looked back at him, a tear in my eye,
“My dear friend, I almost forgot how to cry.”
He gave me a smile, and wave of goodbye,
And away did the man, disappear in the sky.

I walked back home crying, unsure of my state,
Was I happy or sad, scared or irate?
I was unsure, but I did not mind,
I have a hope, yes a hope for mankind.

So we say we all are what we aim to be,
But I’ll only agree if you will believe
That glory is here in the palm of your hand,
Closer to you than what’s in demand.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Luminary

The cleverest words,
The silliest smile,
The funniest song,
To walk us a mile.

I’m writing it out
and working it through,
But just to compare,
is not to pursue.

Well what do you mean,
you here in my mind?
Well what did you say
about us, mankind?

Lake here is rhyming,
it told us of you,
Birds here are flying,
I see me construe.

And to know you well
is just to listen.
And to understand,
is just a decision

you luminary!

dedicated to whoever you look up to :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Current State Of Mind; - To 4 years later. 15/8/08

As for you aspirations...
-Aspiring environmentalist.

And future education?
-What university are you attending 20 year old Helen? Don’t tell me you dropped out you lazy bum, pull yourself together!
I want to go to a Canadian University and then find a good environmental job in New York City. There has to be good environmental jobs in New York, it seems like the kind of place that needs to limit its pollution a bit more. I hope you’re doing that Helen/20.

And musical interests?
-Currently entering the realms of unconventional music.
-Currently waiting on Rufus Wainwright’s opera album.
; tell me 20 year old Helen, are you famous?

I want a t-shirt that says THINK BIG!

Interests on the scale of normality?
-Literature, music, awkward history, serial killer research, movie reviewing, genealogy, Google news, writing down words I’d love to use on an appropriate matter, secret political talks, old comic book reading, forum snooping, Greek gods, time travel...

Stop there please...
-I enjoy playing the guitar and piano, making music whilst limiting the cheesiness due to my young age. It’s a tough musical outing.

On to literature
-I’m reading Aisha’s book I borrowed. - A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius. I love the character, he’s crazy, rebellious, intelligent, funny, questions the world and I feel he suffers from dementia.

Highlights of the summer?
-HEY, I went to New York, I went to New York! I fell in love! I loved the cultural diversity, the fact that no 2 people looked at all the same. I loved the cold tomato soup and viscously strong coffee. I loved Prospect and Central Park, I loved the museums. I loved the feeling of liberty. I loved walking down the streets hearing people talk about everything, the interesting subjects -the ignorant talk, the funny talk, the talk of life, of love, of religion, of George Bush being a/an [fill in the gap].
-And highlights for the UK, hmm. I’d call my whole UK experience a true blast from the past. I came across old watches and jewellery, old homes, old childhood friends. Everything of before but still something that is very important to me. To reminisce the past, to perceive how I was and how I grew into my present self that is still undoubtedly growing into my future self; something that should only be taken as it comes, all in good time.

And on to future prospects.
-To marry someone who thinks big. Somehow I keep picturing Superman, is that normal? No, the person doesn’t necessarily have to be physically big, Jesus!
But I’ll stop thinking of tomorrow too much. It hasn’t come yet.

And as for now?
-I got my IGCSE results!
Art & Drama were low....D’s :(
BUT everything else was fantastic! Biology and English Literature were A*’s. Chemistry, English Language, Maths and Geography were A’s and Economics came to be a B.
I think my Art was too cartoon-y to make it eligible to be ‘skilful’ in terms of the examiner’s expectations. I love bright colours and flowers and peculiar objects such as aurora’s. Have a look at Mika’s album “Life In Cartoon Motion”. That probably explains why I got a D, oh well.
And as for Drama, well my teacher explains it all!
Oh 20 year old Helen, did you ever come across that man again? Is he a university lecturer now? Or a truck driver?
I have 2 years left of school, I want to do something different. I think I will take up cooking, and join a book club if they have a book club that is. Maybe I’ll write a book or maybe I’ll write a speech. I’ll visit my dog once a week and tell her I love her. I miss my dog.

End this please.
-So I’m going to leave now. I hope you (parent/higher power/random inquisitive reader/20 year old Helen) enjoyed reading this.

All the Best/God Bless/Regards/Kind Regards/Yours sincerely/Yours faithfully/Best Regards/Farewell...The End.

UK, the last and foremost;

31st July - Thursday
Early wake at 5.30am, eee. Left to the JKF airport, terminal 7. Luckily we flew British Airlines because American Airlines were having this huge baggage crisis.
No problem with the guitar on board the plane (phew). Airplane was pretty empty, which was good for our well being.
Watched half of Semi-Pro but got fed up, then watched the whole of The Other Boleyn Girl - not bad. Flight lasted 7 hours and we arrived UK time - 9pm. Rented out a car (Heartz this time, not Avis!) - a ford Mondeo. What a piggish car. Drove to Swindon-traffic. Ate at this service station for a late bizarre dinner. Checked in at Travelodge, spacious place.

1st August - Friday
Woke up at 10, went to Highworth for brunch, some butteries..heh, but nice tea :)
Then drove to Shrivenham to meet Mike Springs and get the keys to our Swindon house.
Mum’s been bothered by an old friend continuously. The friend’s sooooooooooo excited.
Got to the house, an okay condition despite it’s history (furniture burnings by the infamous Lamb) and is a temporarily live-able place. Went out shopping for some basic house necessities. Carpet change as well as a bed at a bed mall called ~Dreams. Bed salesman was the most unique salesman ever. Named Ben Sperring and he kept throwing free stuff in our faces to buy the bed, it was hilarious, and the stuck coffee mug to the table made me laugh.
Back home, dropped off the bought stuff-vacuum, grass cutter so an so forth.
Dinner was at an Indian Restaurant called Jewel In The Crown, not bad, but wayyy over staffed. We had waiters coming ‘round every 5 minutes asking us if everything was alright.

2nd August - Saturday
Woke up, left at 10 to Argos to buy MORE necessities such as a kettle..
Then drove to Sainsbury’s cafe for brunch, had a full English B’fast....omgzz - dad’s idea.
At the house we got the bed delivered, I vacuumed the living room and then fell asleep on the couch. After that we went to Asda to buy food stuff. At home, I helped pick up the grass my dad was cutting, as well as trimming hedges and brushing in protruding stones.
Ate cup noodles as a snack due to my amazing hard work, wow.
Dinner - fish ‘n’ chips.

3rd August - Sunday
11am wake. Left to the house and made lunch - spaghetti carbonara. Got really sleepy (typically) so I had a huge nap. Once I awoke from my slumber, I helped pick up some cut grass to put in bags. Not a very exciting day..
For dinner, went to a Thai restaurant, pretty hot. I’ve been hay feverish the past few days so my nose was ...runny!

4th August - Monday
Woke up 11am, feeling real sick. Went to the town centre of Swindon for my parents to get Brisith mobile numbers. I finally got myself a proper jacket yay. Got a Subway sandwich, not as nice as Singapores’. The cheese was strange. Went home and then ate again, of course, a vegetarian lasagna!
Another huge nap until 6pm, oops.. Got up and more food shopping. Dinner was at a Chinese restaurant--westernised...heh...

5th August - Tuesday
Woke up, checked out of the hotel, Went to the house for the carpet man to come, had lunch - fish on toast. Left for a long drive up North to Scotland. Stopped at Kendal (north of England) for a check-in at travelodge again. Dinner at another Indian Restaurant and it wasn’t so good.

6th August - Wednesday
Left travelodge and continued up North. Crossed the border and had lunch at Harwick, with me trying to get in tune with the Scottish accent again. My accent must be sooo mixed up - America, England and now Scotland?!
In the car it was KT, Keane and Arcade Fire accompanying me.
We arrived at 6pm - hello’s to my grandmother etc - chit-chat.
Dinner was......Salmon and Potatoes, yay! Interesting conversations.

7th August - Thursday
A chilled day. I ate, played guitar, got some tunes and then ate dinner - lasagna.
Yup yup...and oh, British television is much more interesting I must say.

8th August - Friday
4.5 hours of me watching the opening, I’m insane and strange, I know I know. From 1pm UK time all the way 4.30pm. I did NOT move from that chair, my lunch was there and I had enough water so I was good to go.
I’ll write about the opening.
Dinner - fried vegetable and rice, yay.

9th August - Saturday
Late wake.
For the evening, we went to visit Hannah, Andrew, Keith and Leslie at their house. Had some interestingly entertaining moments, especially concerning the music category. Showed our holiday pictures and touched on important worldly topics such as cutting down on food and energy. But nothing did beat the strange, though unique antics of my Uncle’s passionate enthusiasm on music. It did frustrate the rest of the family, but I must say it was a spectacular sight that only the mention of my influential artists that started him off!
Dinner was spaghetti.

10th August - Sunday
Off to the town of Keith, a place up north of Aberdeen. We went to the cemetery there where a lot of my relatives’ graves reside. Such as great aunt’s, great grandparents, and of course my lovely grandfather’s plaque is there. Took a few pictures of them.
After that we visited a lady called Anne who is my dad’s cousin, meaning my second cousin. She’s in her 60’s and she’s a lovely woman, especially with her husband in hospital with Alzheimer’s disease, she’s very sweet.
After that we drove down back South but through the coastal road where we went through little villages. Had a coffee at.........?
Then headed back down to Aberdeen. Got a takeaway at a popular fish ‘n’ chips place and ate home.
Watched a strange documentary on models of hand, legs and....other incriminating things. ^^

11th August - Monday
In terms of family relations, not the best of days.
Went to town, got school shoes, had lunch..a revolting lunch for sure. We then went to the car dealer - Arnold Clark to finish off car dealings. Dad’s got a Ford Focus Estate.. :|? Some shopping at Tesco’s. Returned home, did some musical play.
Dinner was Salmon and salad.
Interesting documentary, Bill Bryson on littering.

12th August - Tuesday
Last day in Scotland,
messed about, guitar, ate.
Dinner was..I don’t wanna mention, I didn’t like it :( it made me sad.

13th August - Wednesday
On the way down south.
Long drive, watched Beatles movies on my iPod.
Arrived at Crewe and checked into Travelodge. Had internet for one night and so my dad was able to change my airplane seat from the window to the aisle..YES. good good.
Dinner was......SERIOUSLY hot Indian curry, the hottest you can get, ahaha. oh well.

14th August - Thursday
Got up early - 8am. Headed down the highway back to Swindon. Got there 12.30 pm and got the delivery dudes to deliver our boxes all the way from Singapore. All 40 of them. It easily filled up the house, it’s box-land, a box-maze, box-mania!
Normally spent the day unpacking cutlery and crockery, half of it was much for “Interport: The Professional Movers - Delivering with care...Worldwide” - I’m unconvinced.
Also went to Argos, to buy an air bed that you have inflate to with a foot pump, it’s so happening!
No internet, and in the 21st century, it’s tough to do anything without it.
“For full details log on to www...” ahhh, everywhere, it’s everywhere.
Dinner was curry with rice.

15th August - Friday
Woke up at 10 from my air bed! Yes I was flying, just came from France! XD
Had tea, cornflakes, interesting discoveries, etc etc.
Lunch was soup and toast.
Parents went out shopping, I stayed home and was able to nick internet for about an hour, ahhhh not long enough.
Dinner was curry with noodles.

16th August - Saturday
Late wake, lazed about. Went to the Swindon recycling centre. Very interesting! Then went to Tesco’s to buy some food. Purchased a carpet for the living room.
Dinner was Ginger and Chicken w/rice.

17th August- Sunday
Late wake at 11, and got ready to visit old friends in Wootten Basset. Mum’s friend Dang and her husband Trevor. As well as my old childhood friends Daniel and Bo! It was such a blast from the past to see them, it really was. But it was a great feeling and everyone was really nice. We had a late lunch there and got up to speed on things, etc etc. This day was really worth something for sure.
Got home around 6.30, had dinner and watched Little Miss Sunshine. Love that movie as always :]

18th August - Monday
My last full day here. It’s emotionally complicated for me, but I still believe it is for the better. Watched Olympics, read some of my dad’s comics. Talked a lot. All things we’d once take for granted, today it seemed a tiny bit more important.
I got phone calls from my Grandmother as well as Dang and Daniel, all saying safe trip, etc etc.
My mind is foggy and sad but hopeful. To be a good human being in this world is to accept change. So I will accept it, and thrive in it. I will admit to mistakes but still envision a world I’d love to love. I will understand that not all things are simple, yet it’s not as difficult as people make it out to be. To live in whatever way I choose, yes, I chose this. I made this choice. I will always have doubts and ‘what if’s, but in the end I’ll make the most of it. I truly truly will.
Today’s also the end of my holiday. And what a ride it’s been. I couldn’t ask for anything more eclectic. Coming across 3 different continents/cultures. Asia-Thailand, North America and Europse-UK. And I couldn’t have asked for anything more than to have spent this last real holiday with my parents. Our bizarre antics and conversations, it’s special. It is what makes one person stand out from the next. We would never in God’s name, consider ourseleves normal, but in a world far from that word, I’m glad. Of course, this holiday was not perfect, we still miss Brownie like crazy and we did have our fair share of disagreements. But no one intended anything to be perfect. How together could a perfect world hold?
So I leave today with a sense of sadness, the end to a routine, no matter how small and subtle. The end to these first 16 years of my life living with my parents. The triumphs and tyrannies, it all added up to something I could never ever regret or forget. And of course, I would not ask for anything better. Never.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

USA-A-A 2008

18th July - Friday
Woke up real early, around 3.30pm, went to the airport and departed at 6am. After 6 hours, we arrived at Narita Airport Tokyo for only about 30 minutes until the next flight. There I felt sick and threw up! It seems I ate something bad in the plane. We then went on to our second plane travelling to San Francisco where the flight was awful and I threw up again and felt awful for the next 9 fun. Arrived at San Francisco, the time was 9am, so it was almost as if I travelled for only 3 hours, when in fact it was 15 hours, hah!
We took a speedy taxi, and my first impression of America was...HUGE. Everything was really big. Our hotel was pretty much in the middle of the city, called Hotel 480. We checked in and went straight to bed since we were all amazingly tired [nice hotel room!]. We woke up at around 6pm, heh kinda late, and we got ready to go out for dinner. Walked to Chinatown, really big area, and we ate in a Chinese restaurant. Our first mistake..ordering something without asking about the size. The portions were HUGE, we had to take it back with us to the hotel. After dinner we walked near to the bay, cold weather, about 10-12 degrees, ahhh.

19th July - Saturday
Woke up really early still due to jet lag, around 5am. Got ready went for breakfast, and the omelette I ordered was made up of 3 eggs!! AHH. Went back to the hotel while my dad went to rent a car. In the hotel I napped again, hehe. Woke up at 12, and we got ready to go on a San Francisco city trip. The bus picked us up at 1pm, and took us to the office to get on the proper bus at 2pm. We toured around the whole of San Francisco, saw the golden gate bridge, went down a street that still thinks it’s in the 60’s. Saw many buildings, went down the Beverly Hills version of San Francisco, tour guide told us that stars like Sharon Stone, Robin Williams and Nicholas Age live around there . We looked at a load of old buildings, all the Victorian styled houses, very nice. We also had a look at Alcatraz from a distance. The guide’s name was Bill and he had been doing this job for about 20 years and his humour was hilarious, very comical haha. The whole tour lasted 3 hours. After that we were dropped off at the Wharf, for some early dinner, an Italian restaurant called Scoma’s! We then walked back to the hotel, going up those steeeeeep San Francisco hills was soo tiring, but pretty :)

20th July- Sunday
Woke up at around 10.30, checked out of the hotel. Dad rented out a Chevrolet, still not used to him driving on the left side of the car! We drove down Highway 1 Pacifica. Stopped off at Rockaway Beach for a lunch at the Portofino restaurant. I had a Fettucine Davinci, yumm. I noticed a lot of cars with Obama stickers on them as well as houses with it. California’s a pretty democratic state. :]
We arrived at Santa Cruz, and checked into a motel called..America’s best inn’s and suites!! How pretentious.
We walked around the bay area, saw this guy, wore underpants, and a batman mask with a sign that says “Obama 2008” and he was just standing their shouting “Vote Obama!” and one woman walked passed him and is like “Oh, are you Obama?” and he’s like “No, I’m his cousin!” Everyone just LOL-ed.
We walked around the wharf, saw some Sea Lions being all..sealion-y, and saw this guy with a guitar singing Beatles’ songs. In fact, I’ve been hearing ALOT of places playing Beatles songs, I forgot how big the band was here, in the 60s. We then walked into a vegetarian restaurant!! woo. I had a rosetto. :]

21st July- Monday
An early wake, cheapo breakfast with just a table of pasty thingys in the reception. Checked out of the place and hit highway 1. We arrived at Monterey to try and find this 17 mile drive down some rich dude’s homes, but we decided against it because you have to pay meaning more moneys goes to those rich dudes!
Instead we continued down south and went to a small town called Carmel. At one point in this town, Clint Eastwood was mayor! The place is so strange, an area of houses like Hansel and Gretel visited in that children’s story. All those houses are like the Wicked Witches house, but in a nice way of course. It’s also the only place that has a row of rubbish bins, literally one metre away from eachother. We had lunch there as well, a HUGE salmon and cheese sandwich. It filled me up for the whole day, that’s how amazingly big it was.
After lunch we continued our drive and listened to Sufjan Steven’s instrumentals on animals. This must have been the most beautiful views so far. I even wrote a short poem just to describe it:

Ocean to my right,
So clear and wide
Another world
By my side.

Skies of blue
No cloud in sight
No drop of dew
No painted kite.

Hills of shrub
To my left
The palest green
Of fires that've swept.

I just had to write something, so pretty and large.
We passed the area of Big Sur, and had lots of scenic stops.
One point, my dad stopped to smoke right where a few firefighters were, lol. My dad pretended he wasn’t smoking when the firefighter came past him and we saw him smoking as well. the irony!
There’s been a lot of wild fires recently due to the dryness so that’s why there are a lot of firefighters about.
After all the hilly areas, we hit flat land near the coast and stopped to take in the beach area with funny little possums prancing around.
We drove to a small cute town called Cambria and checked into a pretty motel called the Bluebird. as...the place had loads of Bluebirds! We had dinner at a place called Sow’s Ear, the restaurant was teeming with tonnes of pig statuettes, hehe and the place didn’t have pork anyway. Very it get it? Patriotic, pigarotic? XD

22nd July - Tuesday
Woke up early again from a difficult sleep. Went to Hearst Castle for Tour 2. A one hour, 40 minute tour with tour guide Justin. It’s an amazingly enchanting place, over 120,000 acres of Hearst’s land, with this HUGE mansion/castle [ranch to what Hearst called it lol] of sooo many rooms all with so much architecture and art from around the Renaissance period [Hearst’s favourite era] as well from all over the world. From China to India to Venice, everywhere. He collected artifacts from all over the world and put them in this huge castle he made, Everything was made to such sheer perfection, the place is really a treasure. It’s never been given a price tag, because it’s priceless.
Hearst was a man that thought big and put his idea to inspiring use. A new inspiration on my list for sure.
After the tour, we had lunch. A SLICE of pizza each; note the capitals....One slice is the size of a small pizza you buy in Cold Storage in Singapore!! We ate, got attack by wasps, then continued on our down south.
Stopped off at Pismo beach for a coffee and a look around. Pretty busy, not sure if it is a holiday?
Drove down to Santa Barbara and checked in at a motel at around 6pm, called Motel Six. We then went for dinner at a Mexican restaurant, I ordered a veggie was..HUGE! Took half of it back to the motel for breakfast tomorrow, hehe.

23rd July - Wednesday
10am wake and an early checkout. Drove to the direction of Los Angeles. Passed Santa Monica and Malibu-those rich people’s homes. Stopped at Paradise Cove for fish ‘n’ chips. Continued deeper into LA, tried to do some celebrity spotting gahaha. Saw many paparazzi’s in vans though.
Stopped off at the Getty Art Museum and has the deepest car park I’ve ever seen! 7 floors of car parks underground, we ended up in P7. The museum was a very nicely done place. Saw a painting I really liked by David Hockney. They were selling posters of it in the shop but it was way too long. I might order it back home!! hehe.
After that, entered Hollywood to find our hotel-Best Western Inn. Talk about horrible traffic. According to a LA local, anytime is rush hour. Everyone honks their horns, crazy crazy. We finally checked in. For dinner I had ramen in a Japanese restaurant, woo :)

24th July - Thursday
Left at 9.30 to our LA ~grand tour. Headed to Mulholland Drive, and passed Charlize Theron’s home. We saw her assistant outside! Also passed Will Ferrel who has 2 houses in the same place...strange. Also down that drive is Sean Penn, Ice Tea (?!?!?) and Meg Ryan’s house. We drove up the drive and hit a high view where there was a clear view of the Hollywood sign.
After that we drove to the Hollywood owl and saw the LARGE theatre, many many seats. We passed Eva Longoria’s house-a nice pink house! :D
Then passed the hotel that filmed most of the Pretty Woman.
Then went to the Kodak Theatre at the walk of fame and the Chinese Theatre-the area where stars plaster their hands and feet and sign it. The whole area is filled with dressed up characters-the Riddler, 2 face, Spiderman, Jack Sparrow, and Jason the killer dude! Who came round to me and sliced me twice.
After that we passed Steven Spielberg’s house, on the highest hill.
Tour guide named Troy went passed all these hotels owned by different stars.
The Standard owned my Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz. The Hyatt chain in LA owned by Justin Timberlake. Saw Paris Hilton and Britney’s house..eeee. Some place called Ketchup owned my Ashton Kutcher.
All this was pretty much down Sunset Boulevard, a popular celebrity area, especially with the outdoor cafe’s where they want to be seen, hah. Also passed the infamous Viper Room owned my Johnny Depp and the place River Phoenix died coming out of the place.
After that we went to a fancy place in Beverly Hills where all the rich and famous shop, saw a 10,000 dollar candle!!!
Went for lunch at Farmer’s Market, a really funky place. :]
Then drove to downtown Los Angeles, which is pretty much the CBD area, filled with skyscrapers but quite empty. We then drove back to Hollywood dropped some people off, then continued on the last 2 hours on a ‘movie stars tour’. So we basically drove into Beverley Hills again except this time it was to the houses. Loads of famous houses, old stars like Marilyn Manroe’s old house all the way to Bruce Willis and Will Smith. And even....Tom Cruise...eeee. Ringo Starr lives there too! :O
After all that we were dropped off outside the Chinese theatre, saw the premiere for the new Kevin Costner movie called Swing Vote. Place was even more packed than normal.
Had dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

25th July - Friday
Airport dayyy, off to New York.
Woke up at 10am, ate yesterday’s Chinese noodles using my fingers XD
Drove to the LAX airport, got there at 1pm.
Checked in, crazy check in! Remove shoes, laptop checks, everything! They should have just made us walk in naked.
Went on American Airlines, the plane left at 3.30, a 5 and a half hour flight. On board I watched Horton Hears A Who and 21. Had to BUY food, ahh. Staff were actually quite nice and funny, especially with their reactions to a few delays.
Arrived 12am New York time. Airport trolleys charge you 3 dollars per trolly!! No free trolleys, I was stunned.
Took a taxi, the dude has a GPS system so he can never get lost, and at the back with us there’s a touch screen TV with news. Not that I’d look at it when I just arrived in NEW YORK CITY.
Arrived at the Holiday Inn in Brooklyn-Union Street around 1am, sleepy time for sure. :)

26th July - Saturday
Woke up late - 12.30 pm but was still tired-ish.
We walked to Prospect Park and got some hot dogs for lunch.
Sat around at Prospect Park for a while, really nice place and large. We then headed to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, you have to pay to enter and the girl almost ripped my dad off with 10 dollars, tut tut.
After the gardens, we walked to the Brooklyn Museum (this is all in Prospect Park btw, yes big big) saw Egypt, African and Asian sculptures and art. At 5, we went to the museum’s cafe, for snacks and coffee. I think I had the best vegetarian soup there EVER.
Walked back through the Botanic Gardens out through Prospect all the way to a nearby cinema. Batman....sold out, damn.
So we sat for a while, then went for dinner at an Indian Restaurant, not bad, but..not enough chilli for sure.
Walked back to the hotel, store shopping for fruit.

27th July - Sunday
Woke up, had some in-room breakfast. Took the metro to the South Manhattan Ferry area, to Ellis Island (Statue of Liberty). The area was soooo busy, so we decided to drop the ferry idea.
We walked down Broadway, saw the World Trade Center memorial area (very big) as well as many interesting landmarks. We had lunch then continued walking. Walked to many of the parks and then decided to walk to Chinatown to find a cinema and sunflower flip flops (lol) for my mum because the shoes she was wearing were giving her blisters (alot of walking).
It started to rain and was realllll windy, so we waited under the motorway connecting to the Brooklyn Bridge, with a pretty view of the water. We walked to the pier to look at shops and then.....we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn!!! Exhilarating. Exciting. Enthralling!
Once across the bridge, we walked around downtown Brooklyn, still trying to find a cinema. Even the malls didn’t have cinemas. Two things that are hard to find here, - Post Office/Box and a Cinema.
We went for dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant, yummy! My parents had couscous, while I had grilled salmon in this yummy sauce. :D

28th July - Monday
Late wake, oops, - 12.30.
Took the metro to Herald Square, Manhattan. Saw the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. We walked north to Times Square and had some lunch. Had a look at the famous buildings [David Letterman’s show building], broadway theatres. Stopped at a street filled with music instruments! Had a look at a view. We walked to the north down Broadway, right under Central Park and had a look for a cinema. Found a cinema showing only indie movies..oops. So we walked south, down 7th Avenue and found a HUGE cinema with 25 different rooms! Watched the Dark Knight - awesomeee [read my review].
After the movie, we took the metro back to Brooklyn and went to an Asian restaurant down Union Street. I had sushi and sashimi!

29th July - Tuesday
Took the metro to Central Park, 35 minute trip ahh. Before the park, we went for lunch at the Green Cafe, where I had a salmon, cheese and tomato sandwich!! woo.
We then walked into Central Park’s south entrance. Walked to Strawberry Fields, the memorial garden for John Lennon!
We then walked around the park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Huge but very interesting place. I would love to go there again. It’s the only place where you can pay whatever you want to enter. Reminded me of Radiohead’s latest album, gahah. They even had costumes worn in the comic movies. Such as Christian Bale’s suit in the Dark Knight.
After the Met, we walked through another part of Central Park to head back to the metro.
Got off, and had dinner at a place called the smokehouse, where I had fried chicken with chips and yummy spinachhh!!! :) The sitting area was nice too, could see the outside of people walking around, doing their daily things.
Alot of walking today, got blisters. :|

30th July - Wednesday
Woke up late again, ahaha.
Had lunch on 5th Avenue, cold soup. Too much tomatoes!
After that, we took the metro to Manhattan. Stopped off at a souvenir shop, then to the music street - 48th street. I boughts myself a guitar! A Taylor 210 CE dreadnought!! :):):)
After that, we had a snack break, then off to the metro back to Brooklyn.
Took a break at the hotel, then went for dinner. I had a vegetarian lasagne at a cute restaurant called Aunt Suzie, heehee.
My last New York day today, and I really did have an interesting and unique 5 days. :] Must put pictures up!

Next stop, UK..

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thailand 2008; 38 degrees of distress!

Summer Holiday 2008

This is my Thailand holiday, lasted for around 2 weeks in July, and I took note of each day on that day.

Stay tuned for..
USA!! :)

2nd July-Wednesday
This is the day where I left Soo Chow Way..forever! Away from the trouble and neighbours who prefer to give people a living nightmare instead of making their lives something more that’s worth living. Is it the fall of civilisation? Maybe!
Left to Castle Green Condo, where my mum’s friend let us stay until it was time to leave to the Airport.
I took an MRT to the Bugis library to drop off a book with Naz and then I then returned to Castle Green, well at least tried. The guard gave me a hard time, asking for my NRIC number, which I don’t have anyway. And I stood there for 5 minutes arguing (yes I actually lost my temper!) with him until I gave up and called my dad. My mum’s friend came down to tell him off, hehe :]
Went on Tiger Airways and ate Tom Yam noodles and watched an episode of Buffy!
Arrived at Na Tia’s (my aunt’s) house around 9, got internet set up! Wireless!! Ate noodle soup!- yum.
Watched Cloverfield..= ridiculously bad movie.

3rd July-Thursday
Woke up pretty late, walked to the market and Tesco express to purchase the ‘undying love products of food’. (lol that’d be a cool song title).
Ate at a Noodle soup place, set on a boat on the river. The specialty is Boat Noodle soup!! Lol-the irony.
Arrived home and chilled. Dinner was Green Curry with noodles. We watched What Happens In Vegas. Consistently brainless entertainment, no mind-boggling puzzles.

4th July-Friday
Woke up, got ready to go to Future Park Mall. Bought new Scholl shoes, FINALLY. Other ones fell apart, haha. Dad bought No Country For Old Men which we watched. Pretty interesting movie with morally hidden meanings, but slow moving. Green Curry with rice this time for dinner.

5th July-Saturday
Stayed home all day and ate whatever there was hehe. Na Tia (my aunt) arrived from Hong Kong at 4.30 just when me and Dad were spying in her car. Perfect timing.
We all talked a lot. Nothing big, except for the big dinner! :D
Watched some cheesy and seriously old film on Thai TV, about some woman possessed. Gave me the ultimate LOLs.

6th July-Sunday
Woke up and headed on a road trip, towards Udon Thani.
Drove to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) and checked in at the Sima Thani hotel. Took a tuk-tuk to the night bizarre and walked for ages trying to find a restaurant to eat at. It seems business isn’t doing so well. Walked back to the night bizarre dad bought a mp3 cd filled with 180 club hits. I nearly died of the cheesiness and the strange song titles.

7th July-Monday
Perfect timing! I wore yellow on a Monday :)
Most Thai’s wear yellow on Monday to pay homage to the King.
Checked out early and drove and stopped off at Wat Pahnom Roong (a temple). Its design was similar to Angkor Wat, it had some history to do with Cambodia and the Brahmins. Quite nice place. After the walk, we had some more noodle soup right outside the temple. The lady there also said business isn’t doing so well either. World recession is comin’ on, comin’ on on on. (too much club hits being played in the car)
Drove to Ubon Ratchathani and checked in at the Tohsang Hotel at around 6pm. No internet, roar. Took ages for dinner, finally went to a place called Smiles = :D

8th July-Tuesday
Checked out of the hotel and drove to Nahkon Panom. The journey was scarily quiet..not many cars on the road, price of oil is high for sure!! Everyone’s off complaining about it. We ate lunch at Mukdahan, a town 100 km away from Nahkon Panom. The weather was..wet. Wet season you see.
Found a franchise that sells coffee called “Cafe Amazon” and they are found at every PPT petrol station. They have nice cafe lattes!! :)
We arrived at the Nahkon Panom Riverview Hotel at around 5pm. Had wireless but truly slow. Ate at a nice riverview restaurant. YUMMY :D

9th July-Wednesday
Woke up around 9. Parents complained of noisy hotel neighbours last night. I slept through the whole commotion, gahaha.
We left at 10.30am and headed off to Udon Thani! - where my grandmother and cousin live. :)
Did many stops, mainly either 7/11 snack stops or shopping stop at Tescos to buy stuff for dinner. I fell asleep in the car most of the way through it (while my dad was still going through those 180 club hits he bought). We rented out a Toyota Yaris in Bangkok when we arrived you see, and well it’s a pretty compact car. Found myself having to bend my legs to sleep, and when I wake up, I can never feel them - pins and needles! AHHH. BUT, it’s a very clean car, uses as little petrol as possible. So the pained legs are worth it!
Arrived at Udon Thani at around 4pm-lots of greetings, etc etc.
Grandmother has a new puppy, fully black and is apparently half Labrador! She’s only a few months old and she’s really sweet. She didn’t have a name so all my saved up mediocrity has been used just for this moment... I named her....JOLLY :D Christmas cheer everyone!

10th July-Thursday
Woke up at around 9.30 am today. Everyone typically up before me. My cousin went to school, and me and my parents had to get down to some important business.
The night before, my dad stumbled on a fact that he needs a USA visa as well. So this has put my whole USA holiday on hold! AHHH.
My dad applied for a VISA today and now we have to wait and see, how long it will take before he can get it. :|
maybe we have to go on holiday to Scotland before USA first. Or maybe the US is is is is...CANCELLED :| oh the agony, we’ll have to wait and see.....

11th July-Friday
Right, well we went back to the internet cafe, to change air flight dates as well as plan what to do. It costs SO much to change flights and stuff and a lot of the flights were fully booked. dad tried his best and came up with...ditching Seattle (Washington) and ditching out Oregon :( . Leaving us with California and New York. We’ve lost 4 planned US days, so.. we’ll be leaving to San Francisco on the 18th and leaving New York to London still on the 31st. It shortens our US holiday to 12 days instead of the original 16 days. It was the only thing my dad could do I’m afraid, but we did agree that 4 states was kind of overdoing it. Now we have 2 states, which should be enough. Plus it’s still including my highly anticipated New York City. Though this is assuming that my dad is issued his VISA on time before next Friday. Hopefully so..

12th July-Saturday
Left Udon Thani early, said bye-etc. Boring day, lots of driving, etc. Arrived in Bangkok at around 4pm. So it was a 6 hour drive!!! AHH. crazy stuff.
I had an awful headache the whole day as well, kinda spoiled any kind of fun I could have fabricated. XD

13th July-Sunday
Wow, another boring day. I was stuck home on the computer doing nothing. Parents went out...was my dad’s VISA day. But he gots it, 2-3 days to be issused.

14th July-Monday
Hmm, today I was stuck with my Lonely Planet Guide reading on New York City, since it’s my job to plan the 5 days there, woo. Watched Bobby the movie at night, pretty sad, touching story actually, despite it's low Metacritic review.

15th July-Tuesday
Stayed home, searching up some new albums and artists such as Duffy, and Death Cab’s new album which I’ve been late in getting into. So far, it seems prominently better than the previous album Plans which had a problem with repetitiveness. These days have been so boring, just waiting for my US trip.

16th july-Wednesday
My parents went to get the visa, yay! Now America is definitely on.
Went out with everyone for dinner, including my aunt’s friend. The place was a STEAKHOUSE, ahh, you don’t know how hard it was for me to find something non-beef and non-pork on that menu. Luckily, I found a chicken spaghetti!

17th july- Thursday
My last day in Thailand.
Woke up and got ready to head to the airport to drop off the car, then head to an airport hotel. You won’t believe the amount of crap my dad got due to a scratch on the car, though it was there before we took the car in. They tried to charge my dad money but my dad refused and told them he’s gonna complain to the big boys XD lol. The company AVIS.
Anyways, after that commotion we checked into the Thong Tha Resort, which is still in construction! Only 5 months old! XD

Next in 2 weeks, USA.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Power Is Yours!

He's blue, wears red spandex, has dyed seaweed green hair, and has the cheesiest one-liners in all of environmental history.
Who is it?
It's Captain Planet!
The man with the plan to save the Earth from all those evil polluters, who are ironically generally portrayed as pigs or rats in most of the episodes. But of course! There is the evil Captain Pollution too.
Captain Planet was created by Ted Turner in 1990, with the intent on creating environmental awareness to the public, mainly of course, the younger generation. It was a successful show, running for 6 years, until it's cancellation in 1996. It seems people lost interest in the issue.
In the show, Captain Planet was created by Gaia, the Mother Earth portrayed in the show as a woman in purple, with jet black hair and possibly of South American descent. She had slept for a few centuries and awakens to find that her beloved humans have polluted the Earth so much that it's on the brink of destruction! Civilisation at an end!
She realises that "it is time" and distributes five rings containing the elements of Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Heart - to five young people, who later on are titled the 'Planeteers', all from different continents of the Earth.
An African named Kwame embodies Earth. A Brooklyn born and bred American named Wheeler embodies Fire. A Russian named Linka embodies Wind. An Asian named Gi embodies Water. And finally, arguably the most important of them all, A South American named Ma-Ti embodies Heart.
With their powers combined they are able to summon the ever so acclaimed-Captain Planet!

Now you're probably wondering by now, why am I talking about this cartoon show. Well, it's another one of those hasty flashbacks I came across today. When I was younger, I watched Captain Planet religiously, he was the ultimate guy, thought up by Ted Turner, a man who was caught between capitalism and environmentalism, so decided to accept both and create a cartoon on a mainstream scale. Now I've stopped watching cartoons, or actually television in general for many years now, mainly due to the upmost mediocrity you can get from it. But Captain Planet was an exception.
Captain Planet was a simple hero that brought about a huge message to kids. At the end of every Captain Planet episode there was always a sort of public service announcement, showing the Planeteers educating you on what 'you can do to help our environment.' I learned my 3 R's from those PCA's. I even demanded a compost heap at the back of my garden, but my mother looked at me like I was crazy saying that if I wanted to stink up the whole neighbourhood then go ahead.
Now besides the point of compost rejection, if I was influenced to do those things at the age of 6, then a lot of kids must have been at the same position. And that was a good thing.
Sadly Captain Planet is hardly known anymore. Sure you can watch replays on youtube, but the point of Captain Planet was to be shown every day, 6pm, after school on Cartoon Network, so it would be shown publicly to get its messages across.
It would be great, if Captain Planet was ever revived or another sort of superhero was created to have a similar message. The environment is becoming more and more of a desperate issue that people need to be aware of the damages that humans are causing for our planet. Look at the recent oil prices sky-rocketing faster than you can tie your shoe laces and the current issue of global warming. It's a sign that shows we need more sustainable solutions, we need more environmental awareness, we need more Captain Planet.
Of course it's already ironic that a cartoon, created by the huge entertainment industry, would want people to care about the environment. I mean come on, you need to turn your television sets off to save electricity so there's a tiny bit of hypocrisy in that.
But maybe that's why there are no more iconic superheroes that will take on the role of saving Planet Earth from the thoughtless mankind. People don't want you to save the Earth, they want you to make lots of money! They want you to buy fancy cars and fancy houses, not recycle your plastics!
It's scary to think how close we can be to the end of this civilisation. If things don't change then maybe we will be. I have hope in mankind, but everyday I need to reassure myself that people do care, they just don't know what to do.
For the way countries are run nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised if I turned the television on and stumbled across a Captain Capitalism.
But of course, Captain Planet would have owned his *** any day.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

We Rush

I, have been pondering over this for a couple of weeks, and I scared myself so much this evening that I had to write about it.
My simple issue is, we rush. We rush too much. For everyday I have lived, there's always this alarming obligation to just go somewhere, do something, quickly.
Self indulgence that is swift and effortless. And as we wander through our lives rushing, we begin to commemorate nothing and no one. We become selfish and we only believe in hurrying for that momentary feeling of gratification after. But it's not enough.
As we rush, we lose our identity, the one person we are because we never have the time to notice and appreciate it.
We begin to live like the empty-minded, only do what we are meant to do and to not even be grateful for it.
Everyone becomes the same. Same in a bad way. There are no bright personalities, no contrasting behaviours, no unique cultures and no significant religions.
Nothing to believe in. Just rushing. All the way to our grave. No one is keen on death, but we'll hurry there anyway.
Everyone wants to know what happens after we die, but we're satisfied in believing nothing takes place.
The modern civliisation is becoming nothing but a business, a world of capitalism feeding on the lives of people in just making money. And not many people seem to notice.
Oh, what have we become?

"They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhh!" - Sufjan Stevens

Friday, May 9, 2008

My Top DH/DC/Marvel Comic Movies So Far

8. Fantastic Four
Now I’ve always been a fan of Fantastic Four. I just liked the fact that it was a 4-people superhero group, all related to each other, trying to understand their powers but also get along with another. Now the first movie wasn’t so impressive, with a very weak ending, but that was substantially improved in the second one. Silver surfer was done VERY WELL, and the sequel deserves a bit more recognition with what it got from the ever-so harsh critics. I didn't exactly like the character of Sue Storm being portrayed by Jessica Alba, but she has kind of made the character her own, and she deserves something for that.

7. Hulk
The first movie didn’t do so well in the box-office nor did it do so well with the critics, but I’ve always liked the idea of the Hulk. An innocent man but with a deadly alter ego, kind of like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, (probably an idea Stan Lee got off anyway).
Eric Bana wouldn’t have been my first choice, but he potrays Bruce Banner reasonably and the movie is strong enough to carry forth the introduction of the Hulk.
Now, the Incredible Hulk! (the sequel) has saved the Hulk franchise. Edward Norton is an intriguing Bruce Banner, and the whole cast was very impressive. I prefer this so much more than the first movie. I saw the cameo appearance none other by the Tony Stark himself. And the Avenger initiative is just getting more and more exciting by the minute.

6. Spiderman
Now Spiderman, has all-in-all been taken on very well. All 3 movies were made very well. My favourite would actually be the last one, where 3 villains were able to be weaved into one storyline. I found that clever, though the critics found that too much, and they preferred the dead boring Spider man 2. Okay I’m being a bit harsh there, but Spider man 3 was far better in my opinion. Tobey Maguire is a cute Spiderman! I’ve never really liked Kirsten Dunst but she had the character look, I’ll give her that. My favourite villain so far would be the Sandman, AMAZING CGI, and a character you can connect with even at sympathy level.

5. X-men
OF COURSE, this movie was what started off this comic book to movie craze. First one not the best but it was so impressive when it first came out, everyone was amazed over it. X-men 2 in my opinion was the best, discovering new and witnessing their special powers, all fun fun. Now Bryan Singer directed X-men one and two, he in my opinion is a very good comic movie director. Problem was he pulled out of X-men 3 to direct Superman Returns (more on that later) and that’s where I found X-men 3 disastrous. Produced by Brett Ratner, only because they needed someone to fill in for Bryan Singer. If only Singer could have made both, then the the last X-men movie wouldn't have been so disappointing. But the first 2 X-men's make this Marvel group a joy and excitement to watch.

4. Hell Boy
Ahh, Hell Boy, what would I do without you and your hilarious tough guy humour.
I’ve always liked Hell Boy, the only real successful movie that was neither DC comics or Marvel, but Dark Horse! Hell yea, an independent comic company! I liked the original idea of Hell Boy. Guy from Hell but is GOOD. Ron Perlman is what MADE Hell Boy...okay well Stan Lee technically made Hell boy, but you get what I mean! And the first movie was extremely impressive, plus I highly respect the directing talent of Guillermo del Toro, same guy that did Pan’s Labyrinth.
Can’t wait for Hell Boy 2 :)

3. Superman Returns
Really liked the fact that Superman has been made into a very serious, well produced film. Bryan Singer of course, guy who abandoned X-men 3, for Superman. But I'll forgive him because he did Superman to such perfection. Amazing CGI, special effects, all so convincing.
Brandon Routh looks exactly like Christophe Reeve, coincidentally...but he brings that perfect man look with him. Because after all Superman is supposed to be the perfect looking man no?
Kate Bosworth was very sweet in this film as Louis Lane, and of course Kevin Spacey is perfect.
I really did like this film and was sad it didn’t do so well in the box-office, I mean COME ON it’s Superman-the man of steel, the man of all things pure!

2 Iron Man
Recently watched this, and I must admit was extremely weary of Robert Downey Junior playing Tony Stark. Junior hasn’t had a breakthrough performance in years, but I’ll be honest, I think Iron Man has catapulted his career back.
He IS tony stark. He’s got the quick wit, the humour and the sarcasm. I was just blinded by all of Junior’s personal life in the media that I forgot that he was and always will be the perfect actor to play Stark.
I really liked this film. Iron Man may come off as such a dull name..a man made of iron. But in the end, it has one of the most complex comic plots I’ve ever seen. Alot of hidden political punches in it. And we are able to see this once self-centered character progress into someone so different and amazing. Gwyneth Paltrow plays the sweet and lovable assistant Pepper. Good supporting cast with Terence Howard and of course Jeff Bridges as the Iron Monger!
Very very impressed, and Junior has once again, gained my respect. :)

1. Batman Begins
Who else could have brought us back a character that we thought was already killed in such mediocre, poorly directly films? Christian Bale.
Yes they’ve found the perfect Batman, and when you find the perfect Batman..well just get rid of all those awful Batman films and make Batman start from the very beginning again! And that's exactly what they did. Long gone are the cheesy one liners and tight suit.
No this time we see a bite of reality. A man who never had any super powers, becoming a superhero, who still didn’t have any superpowers.
Batman has been saved, by Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale, with a great cast (though wasn’t so keen on Katie Holmes).
This movie is my number one comic movie because it was able to turn itself around into a fantastic movie that starts Batman off from the very beginning.

Upcoming DH/DC/Marvel Comic Movies to be excited about:
-The Dark Knight: Batman sequel, can't wait. Heath Ledger's Joker should be amazing, same with Two-Face :D
-Superman: Man Of Steel: woo, new Superman!!
-Silver Surfer: We all love that guy! Come on, he's silver and shiny! And his own spin-off should be fantastic. Plus rumours that we'll see a human form of Galactus!!!
-Hell Boy 2: The Golden Army: Guess who's back....:D
-Iron Man 2: First one was great, second one shouldn't disappoint, plus we need more Nick Fury!
-Thor: OH YES, my dad was so happy when this was announced as a movie.
-Captain America: hmm, maybe too patriotic for me, but he doesn't sound too egotistical.
-The Avengers: Now THIS is what I'm waiting for. The Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Ant-man AND Thor?! This is just too much to ask for. :P

Thursday, March 27, 2008

KT Tunstall Concert, Singapore


I just came back from the KT Tunstall concert, and what can I say, she was amazing, just as expected ;)
She was not only impressive, but so was her band, which consisted of Luke Bullen (also her finance) playing drums, Arnulf Linder playing bass guitar, Kenny Dickenson playing the trumpet and keyboard, Sam Lewis with lead guitar and Cat Sforza & Ami Richardson as the backing vocals.
They were a nicely knit band, that played very well must I say.
Also note that, KT Tunstall can SERIOUSLY sing well, and she sounds even better live. She can hit those beautiful high notes with her raspy tinged voice. Very impressive.

Good thing was the sound was also very good, and did not suffer like it may have suffered if it was performed in the Indoor Stadium. Luckily it was performed in the Suntec City Hall, where the acoustics of the music could be heard very well.
The place wasn't that full, and it was only a small show, but I could see other people enjoyed it just as much.
KT went through many good songs from her new album "Drastic Fantastic" as well as "Eye To The Telescope" with the lovable song which everyone knows- "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree". This song was the song that made her known and she performs all by herself with her looping device which she so nicely names "Wee Bastard" (very Scottish).

They did one cover song, "Walk Like An Egyptian" by the Bangles. Always a favourite.

KT herself, is also a very humourous and a down-to-earth woman. She isn't the arrogant/self-righteous star that so many stars are. She is still Scottish at heart, and very self-deprecated.
Everytime she says thank you, you know she means it because at a woman who is 32 years old, some may say she's late in the popularity scene. But that also means she's gained the experience and is well grounded, and has finally achieved the success she most definitely deserved.

Her jokes are funny and she can sing. She has a very good band, and she can play her guitar well. She is the lovable star that people of the public adore, because she's not vain and she knows what she's doing.

A true artist by right, this has been the best performance I've seen so far.

"We'll be back here definitely again!"

I definitely hope so :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Billie-Joe, Paul McCartney.

Now, I may be just REALLY blind, but I swear I see a similarity here, possibly just the eyes? :D
I have way too much time on my hands;..

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

War is Over..(I Wish)


I was listening to Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and I was hit with a sudden wave of familiarity.
I decided to look through my old yearbooks, and BAAM, the 2002 to 2003 yearbook, when I was in year 6, my class performed this song for Christmas.
I had absolutely forgotten. For the past few months when I’ve discovered the Beatles’ great music (yes I am slow on these things) I always wondered how great it would be to perform a song, any song really. And I have! I have with 14 other people, and the song happened to be an amazing song as well.
I remember the night clearly, we were all dressed in red Christmas T-shirts, that had a letter at the back. One by one, we came on stage in complete darkness, except for the candle we held out before us, and shouted out a line from the beginning of the song. After the first person came on saying "AND SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS", I came on next saying "AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?"
One by one the 14 people came on shouting out a line at the top of their voice, the lucky number happened to take us straight to the chorus where we sang with backing music behind us.
We swayed from side to side singing, looking out into nothing but a few flashing cameras.
At the end of the song, we each turned around one by one, our shirts spelling out
"MERRY CHRISTMAS!" (yes some lucky person got to be the exclamation mark!)
I remember being one of the R’s in MERRY.

Now why all of this hit me today, I don’t know.
I looked up March 26 (the date here at the moment) on wikipedia, and found that the Bangladesh Liberation War began this day, when East Pakistani (now known as Bangladesh) declared its independence from Pakistan, and of course when ever a country declares its independence, there’s always stupid wars going on.
Is it a coincidence?
Yes probably. With the number of wars that have happened in the time humans have existed, every day probably has some sort of connection with a previous war that’s happened. And if it hasn’t, it probably will.
Now peace is still a far-fetched idea but many people want it and believe it can happen. I think it can happen, I think people will come to learn that fighting is ridiculous and a waste of humanity’s time and power. I think if more understanding people were put into power, the world would be better. This connects to Barrack Obama in a way, a man who does have a vision a lot like Martin Luther King’s. Of peace and of reconciliation. And that connects to the wonderful John Lennon.

The only thing left now, is for the people to want peace and a better world, and to speak out and say they want it. Not to live oblivious in their own little lives and not give a damn, but to do something worthwhile and to mean it.

"All we are saying is give peace a chance. " - John Lennon.

Sarah, Ellen, Me & Sathiya.

hah, look at my face :/