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...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chapter Ohm

It's been six months since I've been here in Tinseltown.

It's been six months since I've been in school.

It's been six months since I left home.

It's been six months since...

Things I've learned about myself
- I have a knack for losing small 'less important' things or belongings. I lose my pencils a lot and my water bottles. And I also lost my first cap I brought here. But I never ever lose anything truly important like my wallet, student ID, house keys etc..
- I enjoy talking to myself and with God to make walking less arduous. Since I have no portable music playing device, I resort to my own methods of entertainment.
- I am an American misfit. As an Asian that speaks good english I am an anomaly. White people won't strike up conversations as randomly with me because they don't expect asians to speak english. And Asians can't converse with me because I don't speak korean/japanese/good mandarin. I am a misfit.
- I do not need rice to live as most Asians do. Sure it's nice to have rice. But it's not a requirement.

Other things I've learned
- Cooking daily is not as easy as parents make it out to be. Creating a menu day to day is as difficult as painting the Mona Lisa. I pride myself on cooking well, but to cook diversely requires not only skill, but a brain that works in ways none can fathom.
- Grocery shopping is tedious. It's clearly impossible to purchase things for exactly a week. I can't do the once a week grocery shopping simply because I have no clue how long things will last. My powers of prophecy and prediction are not so powerful. So I end up buying what I need when I need it. Which means going to the grocery store more often than usual. Which sucks.

- The big one will have to be learning to live with other people. Tolerance often gets stretched to the outer limits and beyond sometimes. And this has been a particular struggle for me in these past couple of days. It's especially hard when one perceives himself to be more considerate and understanding than the others. I do not boldly claim to be, but it certainly feels that way a lot of the time. It almost always feels like I'm the one stepping out of the way and being considerate. But obviously the truth is that silent tolerance works both ways, so I haven't said anything but that doesn't mean that I haven't done anything that brings annoyance - it could just be that others haven't said anything either. It's most definitely mutual... but it's so easy to feel like it's not that way.

Sometimes I feel like paying it back. Sometimes I feel like making my own noise just to prove a point. Sometimes I feel like being an irritating moron when I've been taken to my own limit. I feel like paying it back. But I can never do so. And I feel like screaming 'UNFAIR! WHY MUST I BE THE ONLY THOUGHTFUL ONE!?'

Which is never true. Nor do I claim it to be. It just always feels that way.

A friend of mine joked - this is training for the future when/if I get married and I have to live with someone who's from a different planet for the rest of my life.

Dear Jesus,
Help. You know what.


Things I need to learn
- to defrost meat ahead of time
- to read my Bible more often
- never forget to wash the dishes before I sleep
- boil my potatoes 1/2 an hour before I plan to eat dinner
- use my coins when grocery shopping.. otherwise my penny pile will keep growing.

I'm not thinking of anymore. I'm done for now.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chapter 49 - The Jazz Bar

I'm going to do a series of music nights called the 'Jazz Bar' every now and then. Maybe on weekends once my holidays are gone. A treat, for all those who eagerly want me to show off the piano skills that I do not possess *cough*cough*mymum*cough*cough*

So, yesterday night was the first installment of the Jazz Bar. Here's a short video of what goes on.

Stay tuned to my MSN status or @kengjoon on twitter for updates on when the next one's happening. It'll happen when it happens, so keep a look out for it. I apologise for the 'key tapping' sound.. it's a cheap-ish keyboard so bear with it and just enjoy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chapter Chi Bi

After watching Red Cliff, both of them back to back, (which I seriously recommend you do because it's AWESOME) I've been getting very pumped up listening to this.

And of course if you want the extra visuals you can go for this version.

I've been looping it and getting so pumped. It's such an awesome theme.

YARRRR!! Now I feel like attacking somebody.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chatper Do & Nut

Captain's log, Tuesday, September 22.

We set out on the bi-pod explorer out of headquarters with a mission. After consulting the maps of Googol, we acquired a location. It was going to be an interesting day and an interesting hunt. The location wasn't too far. In fact is was nearer than expected. Since the other points in the map referred to somewhere much further, we decided to go for it.

We set our destination for... 'THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY".

Armed with the allocated credits required and a storage unit and hydration fluid, we set out on the trail provided by the map. Eyes peeled, we slowed as we reached the intersection. But the Factory was nowhere to be seen. The location was wiped from existence. Someone, or something didn't want us to find the Factory. We went twice round the block, hoping to have missed it the first time, but alas the location was completely removed.

We returned back to Headquarters, feeling defeated.

The map of Googol had lied. We hooked up our research team and found out that the Factory had long since been replaced by a Pizzeria. Our mission was postponed, but not defeated. Further research revealed a further location. It would be harder, but we would never give up.

-end of entry-

Captain's log, Wednesday, September 23.

After a strong headache had knocked us out last night, we awoke refreshed and ready for the second attempt. The enemy must have been trying to keep us from finding our destination more than we thought.

With the Bi-pod armed and ready to go and the storage unit prepped, we headed out for the second time. The distance was a near 7 Milosse there, and another 7 Milosse back. It would be a long run. Thankfully the terrain was clear and smooth. We set off at 1100 hours.

On the way, we came across this.

The huge monument was amazing. It was the West Angeles Cathedral. The moment was awe inspiring. Note: Explore the monument in next adventure.

Moving on, the journey was getting tougher. Thankfully the Bi-pod handled the small crests well. After 50 zectominutes, we saw it. The shining beacon of hope and happiness. The mission was a success. We found it. We found it at last.

Quickly, we docked the Bi-pod and entered the station.

"1 dozen Original Glazed please!"

The container was far larger than expected. Thankfully, the storage unit was large enough the accomodate the container. Once everything was strapped in, we prepared for the journey back. It would be tough. The Bi-pod energy was running low. The hydration fluid was warm due to the extreme temperatures outside.

Another 50 minutes later, Headquarters.

We opened the storage unit and inspected the container.
All is good. The container had survived the arduous journey home. And it was intact. We carefully opened it to reveal the goods.
The smell completely filled HQ. But wait.. something's missing...
There we go.

Mission complete.
We took a shower, flipped on the A/C and sat down to enjoy the spoils.


-end of entry-

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chapter YEAH!

This just came in the mail. YAY FOR ME!!!!

"Congratulations, you are a winner of a free Passion 2010 T-Shirt! Thanks for listening to the podcast.
T-Shirts will be mailed next week.
Please send your address so that we can get one in the mail to you."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chapter 5-25 - You're never too far from home Pt 3

Breakfast this morning

Points for guessing what's missing.


Btw, do remember to check the 'Things I miss so far' link on the right. It's updated whenever I feel I miss something. So check it out. It's rather long now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chapter LOL

Conversation with mum.

Mum : Now I have to restart the com to see if the sound works. It was still working this morning.
Me : Do what you must in the name of all that is good.
Me : May the force be with you.
Mum : How do I reply to that.
Mum : and with you too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chapter m(x)+c

It's that time of year again.


And here is the compulsary celebratory beer with my roomie.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chapter 5, and all that jazz...


The videos you are about to watch contain pure jazz material.
They also contain incredibly terrible sound quality, owing to the fact that my camera tends to pick up the high frequencies more and since the whole thing was played at a rather soft volume, the cymbals were the things that really sounded out into my microphone. Hence the drums might sound rather 'hot' and the melodies might be drowned. Do not complain. Enjoy. Or else.

3 IN 1 SUPER COMBO!!!!1111!!1!

I didn't manage to get the keys in the screen, partly because he's a stand in so I didn't know we were performing with him, but you can here the keys pretty clearly.
I had alot of fun doing this LPW and I'm hoping I get the full 10 weeks next quarter. It's all jazzy from now on. Comin' your way.

That's the last of the LPW videos for this quarter. I did promise to do more recordings and I did. I didn't capture every single one, but if you're unsatisfied, fly to Hollywood and watch me play every week. Or just be quiet and be happy with the stuff.

Big posts coming in the next 2 weeks. It's the end of another quarter and it's time to put some thoughts out there!

Stay tuned.

BONUS MATERIAL - Sound bites
- Go and watch the movie 'Der Untergang, or 'Downfall' . DO IT.
- The Jazz videos were up for quite a while before they appeared on the blog, so if you have time, check out the youtube channel every now and then. DO IT.
- If you are on twitter, get in touch. If you're not on twitter, get on twitter. And then get in touch. DO IT.
- LINK UP with Passion 2010 live link NOW! You have more than 24 hours (as of time of posting) and it's your last chance! DO IT.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chapter eh?

This is weird.


There's one food I'm craving right now.

No it's not roti canai of any sort.

No it's not nasi lemak.

No it's not hokkien mee or any kind of noodles.

No it's not satay.

No it's not home cooked food.

No it's not Ramly.

I never would've guessed, and I suspect neither will you.

The one food my tongue feels like having right now.

The one thing...


none other...


the one..

the only..


I'm not joking.


Jazz LPW coming your way. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chapter 4 - Fall

The heat is subsiding in Socal. (Southern California for those who are wondering.)

The sun goes down by 7:30.

The nights are cooling.

The air condition is being used no more. Well exception of some rare afternoons.

The quarter is coming to a close. A new one is beginning.

The tourists are gone.

The Boulevard isn't as crowded anymore.

The blockbusters have ended.

The Summer Music Festivals have come to a close.

The free jazz is finished. The paid ones carry on.

The city is that bit quieter. Although still quite noisy on weekends.


The summer has ended.

But not before leaving us with this.

That's the moon, made red by the fires in LA. A moon tainted by the dust, smoke and ashes. A fiery moon, making it's last stance against the change in weather.

A moon, serving as a reminder how hot the darn place became, and once again subsiding to another portion of forgotten history.

The fall is coming.

The fall is here.

Gaya leh.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...


Yes, you heard right.

I went to see John Williams in concert with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. It's such an awesome venue. And such an awesome atmosphere. 18,000 people showed up and Mr. Williams was there himself to conduct the orchestra.

Apparently he does it every year and every year it's different. This year we were treated to a whole set on Harry Potter (with the new movie out and all) and a whole bunch of favourites. I'm wayyyy at the back so don't blame me if you can't see anything because I couldn't either. But hearing some of these theme songs live just puts a smile on your face.

Before I get to the videos here are some pictures first. We actually had a picnic before the thing started at 8:30, but I didn't take any pics of that because I was too busy eating.

My ticket to the 'Music of the Movies' Night.
Up the escalator into the BOWL...
And into the huge mass of human beings.

Since I was so damn far away, that was the best lighting I could get for my camera in nightshot mode. Thankfully the videos are a little brighter for some strange reason.

Now, the videos bit was a little tricky. Since nobody had any clue what he was going to play next, it was a hit and miss thing with the guessing. I basically recorded the start of every song so I wouldn't miss the opening notes. Of course I ended up with a whole bunch of small clips that were meaningless and this meant I ran out of space really fast. And it didn't help that I only had 15 minutes on the darn thing.

They opened with a Harry Potter set (with the new movie out this year and all..). I didn't record the entire thing mainly because I realised I would run out of tape pretty quick and I could only record so little. And also because not many of you would know the songs anyway.

That was the opening. And it cut off pretty quick.

And now.... for something more.. SUPER

If you look to the left later on, they had screens on the sides showing the movie clips. I have no clue why Batman was in there as well. But there you go. I think you can see quite clearly the superman sign.

And last but not least... the one everyone knows..

The moment the song comes on the crowd goes wild and all the light sabres light up. It was hilarious. Everyone just goes nuts when this song comes on.

They played the Imperial March (to all you people who don't know what that is, it's the evil Darth Vader/Empire Armysong, then again if you don't know it you probably should kill yourself) as the finale. Like I said, the filming was pretty hit and miss so by that time I had already run out of space and my battery was dying. And I was frantically trying to figure out which videos I could delete... and I couldn't hear a thing. So I just decided to forget it and enjoy the EVILNESS of the Imperial March.

John Williams is awesome.

I might just see him again next year. Hopefully with some Indie Jo.