Archive for the ‘Something Special’ Category

I lost weight, ate healthier and even romanced the low humidity of the sunny state. Boy, I had a fling with San Francisco.

It all started with the battle of sleep and fervour. Could my overwhelming enthusiasm  settle my hurried heart and set my soul to rest in a 15-hour flight from Singapore to Taipei then Taipei to San Francisco? Apparently, I’ve decided to become a raucous beaver and brave the flight by only catching an average of 45 minutes of sleep. I kid you not. Also, I was armed with the determination to finish a 400-page textbook on the geography of California; titled “An Island Called California”.

Approximately fifteen hours and one arduous march to the transfer lounge, I finally breathed in the life of non-frizzy, non-clammy hair: San Francisco, I’m here to stay. The first gust of dry and chill wind threatened to form a crust on my lips. Seriously, the prospect of applying lip balm every 2 hours kind of excited me.

The bus ride out of the airport and into the city then into Atherton where Menlo College was was no more than an hour. Along the way, there was something about art murals and gleaming windows of corporate giants that juxtaposed quite beautifully.  It was as if industrialization never really defined the modern landscape.

Hugs, kisses and greetings: We were at Menlo College! Everyone was welcoming and I immediately felt home. I could also go on forever about the people I’ve met at the college, the timeless nights my 21 tireless friends stood up against, and how boundless and resounding the belief our 2 lovely chaperons had of us. I guess that was truly, if not a trying summary of what took place at the college. Again, words will admittedly fail to describe all emotions and I’m sure our gratitude and mine is better felt throughout and after the trip. Let’s keep it going guys!

On more lighthearted matters,  I spent the remaining days, four to be exact, just absorbing the lights and sounds of the city and its outskirts. The farms, the road trips, Yosemite Park… It reminded me of the school trip I had in Korea, but prolonged and experienced more fruitfully.

The farms were an interesting measure. Rows and rows of pastures, cows, goats and horses. Being born in a concrete jungle, I do bear the yearning of living next to neighs and deep-throated calls (do goats sound like that?! Or was I better describing a toad?). Somehow, life at a farm seems simple, quiet and slow. Ok, maybe bug infestations and the threat of slithering snakes might linger… But hey! Who said life was perfect? It can only be as ideal as one defines so. Why, don’t I sound like a 50-year old planning her retreat? Hmmm.

The road trips were sprinkled with pop hits, intermittent sleep and maybe some rustling of  plastic. That, you’ll know someone is clawing into a bag of chips or sharing M&M Peanuts with an army of dewy eyes, fresh from the depths of sleep. Somehow, 3 hours or even 4 hours was never defeating. We soldiered on and lent quiet support that our destination was not too far off.

The best road trip food I had (or only had, haha!) was a 3 ounce box of vegetable chips. I’ll speak about that in detail sometime.

Yosemite Park… Now how can words conjure the majestic beauty of its valleys and waterfalls? There, I hiked with a persistent bunch of seven and made it to the top of Vernal Fall! The trek might have been dangerous, but all our words of caution cushioned every step of the way. It was also a monumental end at the park with our team being caught in the first rainfall since June! It also taught me that warm soups and hot chocolates were invented for a reason.

The final day arrived and none of us, evidently, wanted to leave. Catching a glimpse of the final sunset at the Golden Gate Bridge, some teared while others yearned. Will we ever return?

My friends: Although we spent 2 weeks together, it sure seemed like we knew each other for eternity. I never once was part of a group who looked out of each other unconditionally and laughed at each others antics without being offended. (HAHA Sorority sisters!). Interestingly, we pioneered a couple of ideas and left our own legacies behind. Let’s never forget each other and continue to love others with the same passion.


President of the Sorority.


To think about it, I’m not the only ecstatic soul running amock, yelling, “Yipee! We have an oven!” Apparently,  my mom has gotten into the act.

About two weeks ago, my mom went into a baker’s frenzy (a term for a person who bakes uncontrollably) and baked what I call, yin-yang muffins. They weren’t a type of muffin, but more like in two batches, each with its own flavour. Why yin-yang? Let’s say when both factions met, one whole-wheat chocolate while the other, ham and cheese, they likened the yin-yang insignia.

Regretfully, I lack photographic evidence on my claim. However I assure you that I laughed so hard the armies of muffins nearly fell off their cooling racks.
Talk about like mother, like daughter.

You have a horrible boyfriend and you need to let off steam. What better way to do it than hit the sauna with a 15-women posse and have a dance-off with the man later! Female Korean drummers excluded.

After watching the 3.28 minute clip for the 5th time, I am more than determined to comment on it. First of all, bless the anticipative steady tempo of the drumming for the first 5 seconds. Probably caught your attention long enough to stick around for Shakira’s opening lyrics, “First floor, room 16…”. More on the deep heaving and exhaling later.

5 seconds in and we’re treated to our first glimpse of Shakira and her 15-women posse all decked out in white in a sauna. No idea why they are clothed but by golly it must have been sweltering enough for the lady to be holding a rolled up towel! Oh, my bad. It was a scene transitional prop; the kind you throw towards the camera that viewers are utterly captivated by it they have to stop and stare then boom! New scene.

In a clever relation, we see dolled up Shakira brandishing a white rolled-up towel and hurling it in the direction of a potentially emotionally wrecked man. In one skillful catch-and-release, the towel was banished to a corner by the man. There we begin our dance-off!

Interestingly, this dance genre is known as Contact Improvisation. For a moment, I got thought it was jazzy, tango-inspired version of Capoeira, then I remembered Capoeira is a non-contact art form. So what is Contact Improvisation? Basically, it is a dance form where the  point of contact between 2 dancers are to spark off an impromptu dance move (them taking turns to dance) and like the name suggests, no prior choreography involved. Personally, I enjoy watching the dance as the unpreparedness really showcases a dancer’s creativity and awareness to space and most importantly, their partners. Also, the fluidity of the movements and how each dance piece is a story-teller transforms each dance into a masterpiece.

Okay, back to the video.

Simply put, Shakira and her man (b-boy Daniel “Cloud” Campos) engaged in a show-and-tell of their rocky relationship, the endless fights and yup, the kiss-and-make-up moments. Some segments of the dance were particularly sexually-charged, but the rest was pretty much frustration, frustration, frustration.

What I liked most of the video are the nuanced slow-mo highlights, especially when Shakira, off the bed,  twirls him off her arms and takes on a matador stance and her hair is being suspended in mid-air. “Stunning” left my lips for the 100th time.

However, what confused me for this video is her use of the Korean drummers and that hypnotic hip action in the Egyptian bathhouse scene. Was it because of the electro-latino beats and use of the snare drums (sounded like them) which produced this multi-layered, multi-textured tone and therefore creating a multi-cultural feel to the rhythm?

In any case, it was a fun infusion all round and yes, the video became entertaining in a non-mainstream kind of way. It really felt as though it has more depth than it turned out to be. Hmmm, I ponder.

Lastly, the “oh”s which were peppered throughout the tune gave it an orgasmic aura. If you thought the video took a creative direction with its bed scene, oh boy any gaping holes are patched up with the cosmic, orgasmic “oh”s.

All in all, I rate this music video a 4.5/5 for a 3.28 minutes well-spent. Pleasing for the eyes, man candy in view and ever meaningful for the dance fanatic. Missed by .5 because I couldn’t understand the existence of the Korean drummers.

Oh yeah.

Last Wednesday was iconic and still in so many ways, I have no idea where to begin.

9.30am was probably the time I woke up. No more French classes in the evening so that meant Wednesday was no-school day. Finally!

Pan fried two pancakes to crispy outer layer and smooth and fluffy inside but ate one. Mom cooked an early lunch, so I settled for a 10.45am brunch and left a buttered pancake under a food cover. Well, that made tea.

Spent the rest of the hours watching Rachael Ray, Take Home Chef and an encore telecast of a Chinese drama. I was mostly watching cooking programmes. If you do not know me by now, I am one obsessed kid in the realm of televised food shows.

Around 2.30pm, I figured enough was enough and put on some trainers. Scaled 50 stories (or 100 if you considered walking down stairs scaling of some sort). As I speak, my hamstrings ache.

3.30pm and I was in the kitchen, portioning cooked rice in dog bowls. I believed it was then I told my mom for the 500th time how much I enjoyed topping my dogs’ meals with dollops of  processed carrots. It reminded me of those assembly-line food serving tuckshops. I could work in those canteens all day.

4pm and it was time to prep for the evening out. Euis invited Jeremy, Shawn, Suzanna and I to her uncle’s gallery opening. Some part of me was an eager beaver.

By 5pm, I was by my desk and figuring out some tutorial work. The workaholic in me simply cannot be tamed.

6.10pm: Bounding out the door in those 400-inch heels I have not worn for perhaps 300 years. That pair is hardly campus hiking friendly. Well, I should be out shopping for flats once I am done with the final examination. By golly I will! Was by the bus stop trying my hardest to finish up a chapter of Jane Moore’s Perfect Match.

Boarded 61 and met Jeremy by 6.20pm. I track time like a hound dog.

Pity Shawn and Suzanna could not make it as it would have a helluva reunion! Believe it or not, with the explosive (Jeremy’s word of the day) combination of Euis’ devilish brownies (more on that later),  I swear we would be rolling down the hill, along Chip Bee Gardens in knots of laughter.

7.15pm and we made it to the gallery. Sipped on diet coke and made friends with as many people Euis could introduce to us. Though regretfully,  I was apprehensive self around strangers. I caught myself more than once, tongue-tied. I was also a mess by not being able to participate in critiquing artwork.

Admittedly, abstract art captivates me as the void seems to be calling out to me, wanting to be discovered and filled. However, my days as a filler are far, off into the distance, slightly out of reach. Oh well, may honing it be one of my aspirations then.

Munched on some finger food at the gallery (Those brownies especially; with their crumbly crust.), met 3 pooches (such darlings) and strolled along Chip Bee Garden with Jeremy, looking out for dinner.

At 9.15pm, we left the gallery for a bit (much to our guilt as Euis was still stuck at work) and made our rounds at Holland Village looking for dinner. After an intense search and careful decision, we settled for Burger King.

Jeremy ordered a $10.35 Double Whopper meal while I savagely polished off a croissan’wich. I swear the infusion of mayo and buttered croissant was the stuff of heaven. At least close to, if my exaggeration was less apparent. Caught up with 6 months’ of lost time at the second level of the fastfood joint. 9.35pm was pretty close to closing (11pm) thus the restaurant was hollow, devoid of people.

Quiet. Peace. Still.

The meal ended around 9.56pm and a walk back to the gallery ensued.

The bright lights from Pantry Garden remain lit even at 10pm. I have a soft spot for all things bake, baked or baking so barging into the store was a pretty rational idea to me. Instead, I refrained and continued walking back to the gallery while conducting a hefty discussion.

A couple of minutes later, I had a glass of red wine in hand and no idea what type it was. Anyway, I fail as a wine connoisseur but qualify as a brownie ravager on all levels. Euis makes the greatest brownies (Jeremy admit it too)!

11.15 came and went. We bid our goodbyes and left with a promise to meet around the 16th of February. I  hugged Euis twice for approximately 50 seconds each time. I sure missed her like how a child misses their blanket.

By 11.50pm, I was home and probably exhausted.

Quelle journée, quelle journée.

Nirvana inducing music, windchimes and bird tweets… Guess who? Maroon 5!

You’re pretty stoked right? Well, based on 2 latest trailers released by my favourite man-band, it seems like the boys has taken refuge in a quaint and idyllic lake house in Switzerland. All that to attain eternal muse for their new material, flying to CD retail space in 2010.

If that does not get you off your recliner, watch the 2 trailers below for a quick perk-me-up:

Trailer 1: Check out the final 5 seconds for a brilliant Dolby Surround Sound tribute. 😀

Trailer 2: Quick poll. Do you like Adam the very spiritual looking, gruffy Adam, or clean-shaven and Dorian-Gray-brooding Adam?

In any case, I hope M5 will step up from their usual pop-rock repertoire. After all, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long was a slight departure from radio-friendliness, what with pop-rock with a bite track, Wake Up Call. Infatuation also gave fans a sensual and rauchy experience (screaming NC-17), unlike This Love from Songs About Jane, which had a PG-13 feel to it.

All I am hoping that the songs will be inspired by the environment the man-band is surrounded by. Now that is something to be stoked about! 😀

… ‘Cause I’m cool as a breath mint.

That was completely random and out of range.

Moving on, I found this Glee promo while I was looking for a close-up of Patrick Gallagher on Youtube. Why? Simply because the man looked awfully familiar the first time I watched the pilot of Glee. All I could think was, “Where have I seen him before?”

Patrick appears after the 10 second mark. 😀

Right. Being a TV addict and serial couch potato, I always, very compliantly squeal with joy whenever I spot an actor who once played obscure roles on TV or in movies. To rephrase that uber long description, let’s just say these actors are what mainstream media call… Calefares. Though however obscure, these actors are noticed by avid TV addicts like me.

The reactions on seeing them again vary from TV addict to TV addict of course.

Now, Patrick Gallagher has made an appearance in True Blood Season 1 and 2 as Chow. You know, the new bartender slash Eric’s other sidekick (apart from Pam). If you don’t quite recall, fret not! Memory refreshment is only a play button away…

Chow’s first meeting with Bill. What with the Wii comment and all.

Wow, that was some ramble about an actor I barely know. There really isn’t anything else to elaborate on, so I’ll leave you to burn Patrick’s face into your brain. Engrave it if it works.
Not, Patrick McDreamy.

Just to clear the air.

Thank god for FOX, thank god for Glee! Thanks to Glee, I now needn’t worry how else I can spend my time before True Blood‘s Season 3 premiere!

You know, my friend Leon told me that Glee reminded him a whole lot like High School Musical. My, I can already draw some similarities. (Ryan Evans as Kurt Hummel, Mercedes Jones as Taylor McKessie, Troy Bolton as Finn Hudson, Gabriella Montez as Rachel Berry… And the list goes on.) However, there is something about Glee that remains less teeny bopper than the famous Disney franchise. Welcome…

Acafellas! Formed by 2 not-so-aesthetically inclined individuals, 1 terrific 30-something wonder-talent-of-a-dancer and 2 High School jocks, it is the most talented bunch of fellas gracing the screens of Glee. Ok. I am guilty of paying too much attention to Matthew Morrison. (He’s the guy in the middle of the man-band.)

So he dances the best.

I pay too much attention.

Anyway, their performance revived what could be a New Kids On The Block original (watch Step by Step and you’ll understand) video.

Glee is sure heating up screens everywhere (US mainly). Watch out for the power surges. 😉