This blog has now reached it's end. The American Adventure has finished. Will there be a sequel in the near future? One will never know, but for now let's let the credits roll...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chapter Hydrocarbon - CHristmas Adventure Final Pt

The roundup of the Christmas Adventures.

First Category - The Christmas Foods.
During this wonderfully festive month, I decided to treat myself to some extra delicious food. Some of you following me on twitter might have seen my delicious shrimp cocktail dinner on Christmas eve. If not, here it is again with some extra Christmas Meal roundups.

My own roast bird - looks impressive no? I assure you it was very very good.
Star Patties - I only took this picture because the formation in the middle was cool.
Christmas Dinner - It only occurred to me after I left to take pictures of my hosts. I will in the future. Great friends.
Christmas Ham before...
... and after....

Second Category - The Christmas Trees
Here's the last couple of pictures from around town featuring some Christmas trees and other decorations. The biggest one on display was strangely the one made by the scientologists. Don't quite understand how that irony works...

L. Ron Hubbard's Winter Wonderland - the scientologist one.

Decor at The Grove
Tried to get Santa and the moon...
The Grove Tree
Smaller tree at the Farmer's Market

The Highland Center tree.
Snuggie Chair at the back

Final Category - The Christmas Adventure.
The last Christmas Adventure - to The Grove.
An outdoor styled shopping complex. I've been there before when I got my Macbook. But this time around, I'm glad I went because it snowed.

Yes you heard me. It snowed right here in Hollywood.

See for yourself.

Ok, fine it wasn't really snowing. It was a nice little gimmick done by the complex to tease its shoppers. I just kept smiling when it happened because there's something magical about seeing your first snowfall - even if it's a fake one. And it's not even snow they're shooting from those things up there - it's actually really fine bubbles that look and behave like snow. It was still fun nonetheless.

And that rounds up the Christmas Adventures.

And goodbye 2009, hello 2010.

Happy New Year to you all. 2010 will be the year of great things with the Lord. I just know it.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Chapter Merry Christmas

The very special Christmas Special. Especially made special for you.

It's Christmas. And I thought I'd do a real meaningful post. Related to music of course.

As a musician, my world revolves around music - what I've played, where I've played and of course who I've played with. What's interesting is that I've played so many songs with so many different people on so many different occasions over the years and every song that I listen to conjours up some memory of a great time together. As I listen through my playlist on iTunes, everytime I come across a song I've played with someone sometime somewhere, I remember the great times attached to that song.

So I thought I'd share that with you. For those reading, this is a special post dedicated to you all.


Song - Band



Testify to Love - Avalon

I remember listening to a Spanish version of this and going absolutely crazy about it. And then sharing it with Ahloo and him getting all the lyrics for it too.

Singing Over Me - Building 429

Somehow now known as the DOTA song. I never played the two together at any time, but Ivan and Ahloo did. So now it's officially known as that.

Lifesong - Casting Crowns

Rooftop concert. And playing a crowns song for the first time. I remember the rule - never attempt a Crowns song because they're too hard. I think we pulled it off though.s\

Voice of Truth - Casting Crowns

Especially dear to me this song is. The VERY FIRST song I ever heard on Christian radio. The one song that got me hooked on it the moment I turned it on. I don't know what inspired me to do it, but that was the day I found PulseFm, and was forever changed. And Crowns remains one of my favourite bands till today.

American Dream - Casting Crowns

Remember this being the first song to receive a label - Father's Day song. I remember also doing it for real on Father's Day and organizing a sketch around it as well. Remember it being Edward's directorial debut. Remember it being the most elaborate 5 minute song ever attempted and it being a total and complete success. Really awesome finished product. Remember also the fine acting skills displayed. (Can I mention your names guys? haha)

Praise you with the Dance - Casting Crowns

I'm going alphabetically down my playlist here, hence the many crowns references. First time ever hearing a square dance country fiddle riff in a modern pop song and totally loving it. Attempted to learn the riff on violin and failed miserably.

Glory - Casting Crowns

The second crowns song I got a hold of (illegally I must admit at first) and totally loving it. Remember using it in my first Christmas production with Yew Meng and gang. I remember also teaching Kris and Nol the 'Alleluia' parts and harmony. Remember the unbelievable amount of laughs generated during the practices. To this day, it amazes me how we got things done at all.

Cartoon Song - Chris Rice

Laughed really hard at the lyrics the first time.

How Great is Our God - Chris Tomlin

Ok it was our fault we brought this song into the church. Remember jamming it with Ahloo, Calvin, Boss Lady. Remember the fun rehearsals we had at my house. Remember getting lost on the way to the youth campsite. Remember playing it with so much passion for a special occasion. Remember it being the spark of the many repeats back in church in the years to come. Our fault.

Made to Worship - Chris Tomlin

Remember dearly the improvised pointing at teen street that half worked almost. It was beautiful choreography. =D

My Chains are Gone - Chris Tomlin

Remember doing this in church for the very first time. Remembering the power of the most beautiful hymn ever written. And it's power during TeenStreet. And Passion KL. It's so much power...

Sing Sing Sing - Chris Tomlin

I remember seeing Chris live at the Sunway Convention Centre for Passion KL. Remember going crazy during the song. Also remember it being one of the most awesome times of praise at Teen Street. And my elbow hurting after being overly enthusiastic with it.

God of This City - Chris Tomlin

Yet another song that ties in so well with both my experience at Passion KL and at TeenStreet. This became my mission song. I remember playing it in church for the first time and getting an amazing response towards it. Greater things...

Here is Our King - David Crowder

Remember the rehearsal at my place with the old gang. The song that never was, but yet we had so much fun with it.

Foreverandever etc. - David Crowder

This reminds me of one thing - me ripping off the chord progression and structure and writing my own lyrics over it. I named it 'Jesus Fan Club' and we played it at the revive concert. It was a fun tune, but only after I wrote it did I realise I ripped off Mr. Crowder's tune. And I had to endure the jokes we shared singing my song over his whenever we heard it. Ahloo will never let me forget this one.

I saw the light - David Crowder

Remember being totally floored by how much fun it would be to play this. Also remember sharing it with as many people as I could to revive some old school hand clapping foot tapping fun. Also remember Edward going nuts singing it way into the wee hours of the morning during church camp. And it being made to ridiculous references to anything regarding lights.

There is no one Like You - David Crowder

I remember the Revive concert and Ivan on the drums yelling 'here we go!' at the top of his lungs, and out of time. haha!

Sing Like the Saved - David Crowder

First time worship leading at church camp. This was the 'warm up' song. Remember the older generation really dancing for the first time. Remember seeing Pastor Ronnie Teoh bouncing up and down. This song forever remains as proof that the church can get down with it. They just need to learn to do it more often...

Now is the Time - Delirious

Remember watching Delirious live for the first time ever at the AYA concert event.

Deeper - Delirious

I remember the same concert, and them forgetting their lyrics. And also the gang on the rooftop concert (adam included this time) playing it after me and Ahloo longed to jam this song for what seemed to be forever. We finally did. And we had too much fun.

Freedom Song/The Difference/Promises - Desperation Band

Remember listening to the desperation band for the first time and totally loving it. Remember sharing it with Ahloo and Ivan. Also remember Ivan singing 'The Difference' in his best voice. Can never stop laughing at that. Remember also attempting the freedom song for a Praise Night and still not getting the riff right *Cough*Calvin's fault*cough*

You Found Me - FFH

One of the earliest songs (together with Voice of Truth) I heard on the radio. Remember working out the amazing chord progression because it was so awesome. One of those 'we should sing this in church' discussions with Ahloo.

Testify - Fusion

My first Christian concert. I remember following friends to Glad Tidings (was it or not? I can't remember) and witnessing Christian Rock music for the first time in my life. Remember that turning point in my life. This was Genesis of my Christian music experience. Totally stunned by it's loudness and power - not like church music at all. Remember Jo falling in love with 'Lift up your eyes' - more on that later.

Better one Moment - Fusion

Played Saxophone in church for the very first time on this one. It was alot of fun. And alot of pain to my lower lip. Don't know why we decided to do this all of a sudden - I blame Ahloo. I'm pretty sure it was his fault.

The rest of the Album - Fusion

The whole album in it's entirety reminds me of the enjoyable car ride to Golden Sands Penang for church camp in none other than the Uncle Chris-mobile. Only sitting in his car can make a dull journey so much fun.

This Man - Jeremy Camp

Remember Adam playing the intro for this on broken strings for the Revive concert and still surviving through it. Kudos.

Beyond Measure Album - Jeremy Camp

I remember sitting on the beach at church camp late into the night with Adam, with this playing on Stella's little radio. I remember attempting making his sand balls, and never achieving his level of perfection. I also remember kicking one and hurting my leg.

Letters from War - Mark Schultz.

Remember going over this song with Ahloo and ultimately deciding it was the 'Mother's Day' song. Never got to play it for real. But it was one of the first to be labelled like that along with 'American Dream'.

Running just to catch myself - Mark Schultz

Remember laughing like crazy first time hearing this song and then sharing it with Ahloo who has working miserably at the time and him going 'That's exactly like me right now'. Recommended song for all those at work and not enjoying it really.

Word of God Speak - MercyMe

Remember doing this at the Revive concert as a powerful live version. Remember enjoying this song so much because of it's beautiful structure and chord progression and simple lyrics.

Where you Lead me - MercyMe

One of the few MercyMe songs attempted in church. Remember this being the first time we down tuned a guitar to C because Ahloo was dying on the vocals.

Everything Impossible - MercyMe

Remember the ultimate never ending prank played on Eugene Y. for the starting of the tune. Couldn't help myself. Still laughing as I type this. First MercyMe song attempted in church.

Here with Me - MercyMe

First MercyMe song I ever heard on the radio. And the one that lead me to buy their album Undone. And that is also the first album that I fell in love with every single song written on it. Every single one was amazing.

When I spoke your name - MercyMe

Another song from the rooftop concert. Did this one because we wanted something more 'rock' for Calvin's sake. Nearly killed Ahloo on the vocals.

He Reigns/Adoration - Newsboys

Remember these being two songs that I wanted to do so much in church. Remember them being the songs that made me go 'I wish our church choir was that good'. Sadly, never happened.

Shine - Newsboys

Epic opening song to the rooftop concert. Remember Ahloo 'rapping' for the first time. Well.. almost. The real rapping comes later. Remember teaching Calvin the riff for almost 20 minutes. Or more.

Wherever we Go/Something Beautiful/others from the GO album - Newsboys

Remember these being on the playlist of my first VBS being the principal, at the funfair event. DJ KJ had the juice.

It is You - Newsboys

I remember Ahloo showing me the video to this one and the revolving stage they were playing on. I remember wishing I could have a gig like that too with a revolving stage and a congregation all round.

Blessed be your Name - Newsong

Remember wanting to play this song for the rooftop concert. Remember first trying the normal-ish version by Tree63. And then remember wanting to make it more interesting. I knew I had this version but it never came to my mind until I heard it on CD again. And then we tried it. And rocked it. And then having to play it as an encore for the concert which we never prepared for and being totally exhausted by it.

Psalm 40 - Newsong

Remember hearing this on the radio and blown away by it's amazing simplicity. Remember promising myself and Ahloo doing the same that we'd play this song in church one day. Well, it became our 'audience participation' song for the rooftop concert.

You Are Holy - Newsong

Another song Ahloo talked me into. I shared it with him first, and he got hooked and repeated it in his playlist over and over for more than 50 times. You see.. the live track had this magic of having the opening and ending applauds completely blending upon a repeat. And so it lived in Ahloo's winamp or something for many a day, until we decided to do it in church. I remember not rehearsing, but nailing the piano intro because I can.

Before the Day - Newsong

Ahloo talked me into this one. Remember learning the piano part and falling in love with it. Remember it being so powerful during that morning's service in church. Gorgeous song.

Planet Shakers

Ok, these people get a whole category to themselves. There are too many songs from them for me to list. Remember their name being mentioned when our old gang was talking about christian music. Remember downloading (sorry guys) their songs after that Fusion Concert in GT. And remember compiling their albums. Shake the Planet made my mind explode. Reflector album was the first I bought. Lift up your eyes, I remember playing that for the first time in church for Advent with Jo and the rest and it actually being pretty darn awesome. Remember Buzzsaw and the endless discussions about what the noise really was. Remember all the songs we 'wanted to do' and those that we did. Remember playing 'Overwhelmed' and totally enjoying it. Remember doing 'Unto You' for the sole reason of it having an E to G modulation which sounds awesome.

Remember going to so many of their concerts just because it was them. Even when it wasn't 'them'.

Remember Eugene Y showing off his ability to play the 'Big' riff. Remember messing up the drum parts for that song when first attempting to jam it.

Remember watching them play live for the PS conference. Remember playing 'send me' for mission month. Oh so many memories with these guys.

I remember This is How We Overcome - I remember playing it on the beach on Stella's portable radio during church camp one time. And I remember a whole bunch of the youth dancing in circles to that tune. I remember also the drum beats giving Ivan another hard time.

Remember also speed learning Majesty for TeenStreet and poorly remembering all the stops and stuff. Remember also the guitar sound being referred to as the 'jegajiaow'. Thank you guys for that one.

Also special is Stand. Played that for the Revive concert and remember it being Isaac's song. He went nuts playing that thing. And I nearly lost my voice over it.

Lord I come before you - Salvador

First ever song I heard from Salvador. So instrumental, I was immediately hooked. Remember sharing this with Ahloo and him going nuts too.

Montana - Salvador

This song holds a special place in my heart. I remember teaching it to the church at camp for the first time. Se Movera! It was so much fun. The first experience a baptist church had, speaking and singing in tongues.

Be Thou Near to Me - Selah

I remember playing the piano for this thing. I remember Ahloo attempting it for the first time. I also remember subsequent people trying it in worship with me constantly saying that it's impossible because of the overlapping ranges of the male and female vocals. No one listens to the music major...

Steven Curtis Chapman

This man also gets his whole section. Too many tunes.

Remember the Declaration and Speechless CD that I got hold of for the very first time from the Chens. Remember listening to song after song from Declaration and loving it. Remember learning the riffs for 'Live Out Loud' and 'Jesus is Life'. Remember personally labeling 'No Greater Love' as the Good Friday song that I wanted to attempt but didn't. I remember learning that guitar riff and singing to it to make sure I could do it.

Also remember the Nintendo sound from 'See the Glory'. I remember hearing it for the first time and I burst out laughing. Remember Adam listening to it for the first time and continually repeating it to his own amusement.

I remember also Dive and coming up with a mime for it, that no one saw thankfully. Remember sitting in the Chens place attempting to figure out the time signature and chords for 'Next 5 Minutes'. And not succeeding because I was a poor guitarist.

I remember talking about the cute lyrics in 'Declaration of Dependence' regarding the flower and the sky with Mike.

Remember attempting Children of God and Ivan going mad because he couldn't get the drum break. Hilarious. And Calvin's guitar part being completely lost in the form.

Also remember Much of You as one of those songs my mom absolutely loved.

I remember hearing 'How do I love her' on the radio, and found it to be one of the most romantic songs in the world.

Superchick - no particular song

Remember buying this and showing it calvin for the first time in his car. And him being speechless. Christian Punk Rock. Oh yeah.

Cry out to Jesus - Third Day

Remember this being so powerful to me when I heard it. Remember labeling this one the 'altar call' song. Remember playing it for both the rooftop concert and also the revive concert.

I'm For You - TobyMac

Remember trying this for the Revive concert and failing and scrapping it because my voice couldn't take it. Remember squeaking in it and everyone laughing.

Gone - TobyMac

First song ever heard from Toby. And it being so catchy, I totally fell into it.

Diverse City - TobyMac

Yes. This is the official Ahloo Rapping song. First attempt at bringing hip hop music to the church. Remember also Boss Lady totally losing it and laughing during her part of the chorus. Haha!

You Are Good - Israel Houghton

Remember stumbling upon this on a CD that was given to my dad for reasons unknown. Remember putting this on repeat and listening to it over and over again in college during boring lectures (LAN anyone?). Remember attempting it in church and failing because Israel's voice is limitless. Mine is.

However this song is attached very dearly to my TeenStreet friends. Remember doing this song for the first time at the event and the lyrics weren't up. But it was a blast nonetheless. Remember also dropping my sticks right off the bat for the very first song which was this one, at it's epic ending.

Next Thing You know - Matthew West.

Another of Ahloo's attempted 'raps'. Remember this being a totally fun song to do. Remember teaching Adam the guitar riff at the end. 1,2,3,4,5,6 niau niau niau niau... and then rejoicing when we finally got it together. Also remembering Ivan's made up lyrics for this thing during the Praise Night when Ahloo was showering.

Next thing you know...


Last of the honorable mentions. What can I say. So many songs...

Let me see if I can list them. I remember Better than Life, and Ahloo sneaking it up on me for a presentation in church. And I remember Now that You're Near and me playing it for the first time having never heard it before in my life. And I remember the point in time when we couldn't stop playing 'My Redeemer Lives'. As with 'Heart of worship'. I remember Heart of Worship and the unplugged arrangement we did, which showcased my vocals for the very first time.

I remember using 'My Redeemer Lives' for my music school recital at Summit USJ with Jo, Aaron, Cheryl, Calvin and the rest. I remember that being the largest freaking band on stage.

I remember 'Mighty To Save' and I remember the story of Ashley Akinns at Passion. I remember crying when singing that song and how powerful it was to me. I remember playing it at TeenStreet along with Hosanna and Saviour King. I remember playing Saviour King for the first time and totally falling in love with the arrangement. I remember Jamie's super stance when playing the intro to 'Mighty to save'. I remember the wombat intro in Hosanna.

I remember sitting in Uncle Chris' car, with all these songs playing in it. I remember finally attempting some of our favourites like King Of Majesty, Tell the World, Break Free, Take it All and all the rest that came along with it when the youth finally kicked off their own worship. I remember Take it All from TeenStreet too, and completely ad libbing that darn tom intro. Somehow it also conjours up images of Ian floating in the sky for that photograph. I don't know why it's connected to this song though.

I remember also playing older ones like All Things Are Possible - that 2 chord pause thing. I remember playing it when we were spontaneously worshipping at Uncle Chris' place for new years.

I remember slowly bringing in my old favourites like 'Trading my Sorrows' and 'Eagle's Wings' into the church.

Did you Feel the Mountains Tremble - Delirious

I remember wanting to do this song in church since the day I heard it. It finally did happen, many years later. I remember their concert and the Dance in the River medley they did. And I remember using that same medley and shocking the church into a static state of disbelief during my worship leading. No regrets. Someone had to do it. I do remember it being alot of fun for the Revive concert.

Friend of God - Lakewood

I remember playing this for the worship team from Florida that day. I remember turning up in the morning and rehearsing like 10 seconds of each song. I remember being nervous for the first time in years. I remember it also being one of the best worship sessions I experienced.

Other songs worth noting that aren't on my playlists.

Christmas songs - Silent Night, Angels we have heard on High etc.

These continually remind me of my little stint with the CDPC gang at Subang Parade. I remember being 'borrowed' for this event and Adam being 'borrowed' as well. Honorary members of CDPC now, haha. I remember playing my heart out on the piano - being able to play a jazzy SIlent Night for the very first time to people who understood what on earth I was doing.

It also attaches the 'I've got ham but I'm not a hamster' joke we had running during our rehearsals.

And the cute little kid voice Darlene (am I spelling her name right?) made.

And the ridiculously fun arrangements of our favourite christmas tunes.

And me teaching Eugene S. how to swing.

I can't go a christmas now without thinking back to this wonderful time together with you CDPC peeps. And I can't play any of these songs anymore without using those arrangements.

Fields of Grace - Big Daddy Weave

I remember loving this song - and then I remember Adam butchering it in his attempt at it. Sorry Adam, but it's the truth.

Thy Word/And others - various artists

I remember sitting in a room with friends and guitars, staying up late during church camp jamming these old classics. And I remember a harmonicaman jamming with us. I remember singing harmony and generally having the most fun with 2 guitars I've ever had.

Forever/All Things are Possible/Others - Various

I remember playing these at Uncle Chris' house during his after hours new year party. I remember this being a night of pure joy in worship. I wish church worship would be like these moments. There is no greater sound than the sound of the saints worshipping together in one place.

Grace Like Rain - Todd Agnew

Yet another song in KJ's first Christmas Production with Yew Meng and crew. It especially reminds me of the 'kill the lights' part with our technician (who really is our everything man) Uncle Chris.

You were There - Avalon/Agnus Dei - Third Day/Strange Way to Save the World - 4Him/many others that I don't own the CDs to

These are special songs that I share with my mom. Either because we just enjoy them as beautiful pieces of music, or the fact that we've sung them together at some point. And she has so faithfully copied them and compiled them into CDs of her own.

And that's it for now.

These memories can never leave me because they are ingrained into the music I listen to. All you guys mentioned, you have a special place in my heart.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas indeed.

*Post is subject to editing should I remember some other songs in the near future*

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chapter blinkblink - The Christmas Adventure Pt 4

The LA Department of Water and Power puts up a whole mile of Christmas lights every year. I decided to bike down (it was pretty darn far and tiring) and check it out.

Note 1 - The cars you see in the pictures can't be helped. It's also a 'drive-by' tour and the pedestrians have to be on the other side of the road. So it was virtually impossible to take pictures of the lights with no cars in them. I did manage a few out of sheer coincidence.

Note 2 - Some of the pictures are blurry because my hands were shivering. It was very windy and almost 4 degrees C that night.

Note 3 - The little particles you see in some of the pictures obscuring the image - that's not snow. I wish it was. It's actually the dust particles blown up by the air and they're reflecting the camera flash.

But anyway, enjoy.

*Disclaimer - The audio has been blocked in 'certain countries' because of the music I'm using (which is weird because I got that off youtube in the first place). So if it doesn't work for you, let me know and I'll fix it.

Merry Christmas.

A very super special Christmas Post to come tomorrow on Christmas Day here in Hollywood.

Merry Double Christmas.

Chapter f=ma - The Christmas Adventure Bonus Level

Life is filled with adventures. God gives us opportunities everywhere we turn. Our only decision is to say 'yes' or 'no' to these open doors.

I choose to say 'Yes, Lord'. I don't know what or how you're working in something like this, but my answer is Yes.

I just got back from a twenty minute bike ride to east Hollywood. It's been a tiring night. What was on the agenda? Well, cleaning up a space to get ready for Christmas Eve service.

Here's the deal.

The place that the service is being hosted at just held a Toy Drive, giving away toys to the needy for this Christmas season. They had mountains of toys, clothes, bags, accessories, hygiene products, school utilities and others. And whatever that they didn't manage to give away was to be packed in boxes and sent to more needy people down in Mexico. Now, when I got there, the place was almost empty. Well, I say almost empty - in fact the tables were still loaded with things. But the lady in charge of the Toy Drive mentioned that they had helped more than 1200 people in the process, so I'm guessing a ton of it had already gone, but the fact remained that the remnant pile was huge.

So we were going to help pack up the rest into boxes, label and tape them up and store them aside, clearing the hall for our Christmas Eve service later today actually (it's one in the morning on Christmas Eve).

There's something magical about doing manual labor in the church. I don't know what it is, but there's something amazingly satisfying in all of it. I've had my fair share of doing manual work in the church - alot of heavy lifting and moving and setting up and tearing down - and it's just a joyous thing. There's no physical reward in it and it's a real tiring task and it really drains, but there's a joy that cannot be explained that comes as a reward. It's like God gives you this invisible pat on the back going 'well done'. It's amazing.

My feet are sore, my back is aching and my hands are tired to the bone. But I'm so happy I decided to say yes to going to this slightly far place at 10:00pm, riding through the cold, and going all the way just to work. I'm glad I decided not to stay at home.

And that just made my Christmas. There's nothing that instills the spirit of giving more than just giving yourself.

Merry Christmas Eve everyone.

There's more to come. One more adventure post before the long awaited KJ Super Christmas Ultimate Special of the Century's Best Ever.

It's a good one that one is and it'll be out Christmas Day. I promise. I have to tweak it abit more to make sure I don't forget anything. It's super long. And super special.

For now though, Merry Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chapter Nilent Sight - The Christmas Adventure Pt 3

Now comes the real adventure.

I got off my lazy butt the other day and headed down town to catch some christmas decor maybe around town and just to see if anything interesting was happening.

First stop, TOY DISTRICT.

Yes, from the sounds of it, it's ruddy interesting isn't it? A whole 12 blocks of nothing but toy shops! For an overgrown child like me, toys simply bring a certain joy that nothing else can. I love walking in and out of toy shops, never buying anything (ok, occasionally buying stuff) but checking out all the old school toys around. (And by the way, you should watch James May's Toy Stories while it's still up on youtube)

Everything from the toy robots to remote controlled cars, to action figures, to toy guns and weapons, to collectibles of all sorts. If I had all the money in the world, I'd buy every single Hotwheels car that exists. And build a mega track. And then I'd buy all the NERF guns. And then I'd buy a mountain of all those toy soldiers and make a war room.

Ok enough about that. Yes, toy district. We must get there. Like I said, it does sound incredibly nice doesn't it? For a person like me, it was a must see. So I hiked onto the train to downtown, to discover the longest escalator you have ever seen in your life.


It's so tall that it literally expands into the darkness. You can barely see the bottom clearly from my picture.

With a bit of walking, we arrive at Toy District.

The weather was overall crappy for taking pictures. It was gloomy. But that didn't dampen my spirits. Armed with lunch and my bearings, I was ready to hike all day long.

And it was an utter disaster. It was a total disappointment. Majority of the shops there weren't toy shops, they were just 'wholesale' shops. There were these mega bazaar areas that held shops of all kinds, selling everything from smoking equipment to christmas lights to body oils and lingerie. Toy District? Where are the toy shops?

I discovered them. But all of them were the same. They all sold the general 'made in china' toys. You know, those ridiculously plasticy train sets, those random dolls, those noisy cheap toy guns, those robots that walk and play stupid music, the toy cars that break when you drop them. It was a nightmare. There weren't quality toys in sight. Not one shop. I expected something better. Perhaps a store or two that held some more interesting and unique collections. This was just one mess of bargain goods. A collection of dull and tasteless toys. I was devastated.

Toy District had failed me. My hopes to find a place to see and admire designer toys and classic creations were dashed, replaced by a world of vulgar plastic and electronic lights.

Disappointed I continued my adventure. I ventured into City Hall, which boasted a huge tree. I suspect this could be the biggest one in Downtown, it being city hall and all.
The people you saw in the earlier shot don't give it perspective. Here's me, up close next to the tree. It's humongous.
See me there? I'm tiny.

I might want to venture back there at night just to see the lights, but we'll see.

Next up was the famous Cathedral of Our Lady of The Angels. Supposedly the 'people's cathedral'.
It was a monstrous structure. And a tourist spot too. It boasted a grill. And a gift shop. How many cathedrals do you see with that now?
Some traditional bells that actually sounded - or they were fake and the sound came from elsewhere...


A traditional manger scene... but aren't these just the most beautifully Christmassy flowers you have ever seen???

Next stop was the Music Center, which houses then Walt Disney Hall and some other venues.
On the way though I passed this memorial fountain, commemorating someone that I read about on the plaque in front of it and then promptly forgot 5 minutes later.
I liked the fountain though. I call it, the Jell-O fountain.

The music center boasts this gorgeous sculpture and fountain.
The wall design of one of the halls which I just found fascinating.

... and the world's most anorexic reindeer.

And it boasted quite a pretty tree.

I spontaneously decided to take an upclose shot of some Baubles.

And this gave me an idea....

Presenting... The 'KJ in Bauble' Christmas Collection.
In silver...
...or green...
...or would you rather have red?...
...or blue...
..or simply gold?

Pictures are available as post cards for a dollar each, or purchase the entire 'KJ in Baubles' collection for a mere 5 dollars.

Next stop, the LADWP christmas lights festival. Let's hope I make it.

Ho ho ho!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chapter Yingle Bells - The Christmas Adventure Pt.2

Ok now this is the official continuation of the Christmas Adventure. I'm labelling this one the Eggnog Adventure.

I actually went out for a real nice adventure today, but I want to keep things chronological, so I guess I'll post this one first and then another tomorrow.

Firstly, here's a Merry Christmas picture that everyone can enjoy.

Ok, Disclaimers are needed here. The alcohol isn't entirely mine. It's being shared amongst several people, so once you read this Mum, stop worrying. I'm not going to consume ALL of it.

Now what you might see there somewhere is a little box labelled 'Eggnog'. I decided to try some. It's a traditional Christmas drink and it's one of those Hate It or Love It drinks.

So my ingredients.

This is then me shaking the eggnog with all my might....

....sniffing the strange drink...

... Pre-Rum Eggnog...

... the important ingredient...

... Post-Rum Eggnog...

... The taste...

.... and the results.

I'm not drunk. It's a funny face. Deal with it.

I have to say. It's a weird taste. It really is one of those love it or hate it drinks. And I'll be the first to sit on the fence. It's... weird. It's got that 'cake batter' kind of taste, you know when you like the spoon when mixing cake mix? It's kind of similar. Egg and milk I guess, that's why.

Anyhoo, I don't recommend it to anyone unless you're willing to try a 'Love or Hate' drink. The fence is small. I took it up. So if you all want to try it, don't ask my opinion, and don't sit on the fence.

As for all these stupid pictures, I'm sure you'll want them as postcards. For sale - 5 dollars each. Unlimited use.


More to come on the Christmas Adventure.



I actually almost forgot I recorded this. The volume in this room is particularly high end for some reason. I'm guessing because everything is quieter, the camera tends to pick up the drums alot more. But I was actually playing really quietly. Oh well..

Anyway, this is the Jazz LPW Final as per last quarter, except only 2 songs this time around. Cheers.