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...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chapter 365 (Photo updated. Read again thanks!)


- I was in McDonalds, in KLIA, as per tradition.
- My arms were aching from carrying my guitar across the airport.
- I hugged and said farewell to family and friends.
- I disembarked on my journey, as so many others have before me.
- I flew halfway across the world.
- I ate a lot of crappy food in a long metal tube high in the sky.
- I broke my in flight console twice.



Remember it.


Time to flex my poetry muscles.

A sonnet.

A year ago today, the twenty eight,
I took a journey cross the open sea.
Twas on this one and only fateful date
I left my home with I, myself and me.
I said goodbye to friends convened around
and to the members of my family,
there were sad voices and the tears did sound
we knew, that way, it surely was to be.

I waved my last farewell across the hall
while sight still lasted 'tween themselves and I,
and with a final nod behind to all
I crossed the gates and got prepared to fly.

The hours spent imprisoned in my chair,
a flight of many hours, eighteen long.
I was prepared for it and to be fair
I thought me fine, but I was oh so wrong.
Twas agony to be sustained in flight
with naught to do but sit and wait and sigh
with none but cloud and sky and sea in sight
I waited for the landing to draw nigh.

So finally my feet did find the land
the boredom of the flight cut with a knife.
Adventure waited, journeys were at hand,
A chapter, new, bestowed upon my life.

A year ago today does not seem long
and God has kept me well and safe and strong.

Much more to come, adventure all along,
For now, here ends my sonnet and my song.


Before and after picture. Of me. Duh. Who else.
This was me a year ago. I'm sure you remember it from the old blog.

Witness the transformation.

And the mutation.

Mum, I dare you to print those and frame them up at home. I dare you.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chapter AwwwwwwSum!

If you've been reading my blog, you would've heard of the great Catalina Jazz Club.

It's legendary. So many of my great heroes performed there.

And last Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to perform on that very stage.

I'm going to give the facts. You might think it's downplaying it's awesomeness but that's your opinion.

I played 2 songs.
1 of them was truly Jazz. I think the only Jazz song performed that night. Which made me feel even more amazing.
The concert was a showcase of the Guitar Department's graduating class.
The concert was put together by MI.
The audience consisted mainly of teachers, students, and parents, but it was open to the public so there could've been others.

Those are the facts. Sure it wasn't a full gig. Sure it wasn't the most public exposure.

BUT I got to enjoy the stage of one of the greatest jazz clubs in town, and I got to perform an awesome Jazz song together with an awesome band.

I'm completely blown away by the experience.
And if you're not, you're not my friend anymore.

PICTURES!!!! (albeit blurry ones. My camera does not do dark shots very well)

Apparently there's video too. The Guitar Department filmed the whole thing so I'll wait for that to release and then I'll clip my performances out and share them with you.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chapter BrBrrBrrrrBrrrrr Lawnmower! - The Mammoth Adventure Pt 3.56

IT's Sunday!

No it isn't.

But it is.

In this story anyways.

So yes. I need to wrap up the Mammoth adventure. It's been like 2 weeks already. I'm busy. But I have to get it done because I have more adventures to post and some tasty LPW videos. So onwards!

So Sunday morning. I wake up with aches all over my body. It's ridiculous really. But nonetheless me and Karen (refer to previous Mammoth post for picture) decided to take a hike in the morning to see the mountain town while the rest of the crew went for Day 2 on the Mountain. I would've joined them, but I couldn't afford it. Both financially and physically.

Sigh, I miss the snow already just reminiscing about it now.

To reiterate how much snow there was that day, here's your everyday street sign. Covered in snow.

Yes, it was that high. Fun eh.

More random images. Street clearing.
Gorgeous beautiful white snow!

A pair of hilarious snow shoes at some random shop.

I found the next series of images to be utterly hilarious. With all the snow, you see vehicles moving around town with what I call 'snow cakes' on them.

Then of course, some vehicles have been still for a little too long.

That's supposed to be a van. I think.

I make my first lethal projectile.

Sadly my plan to have everybody pelt me with snowballs failed. And I wasn't about to pelt myself with one. So I settled for some snow art instead.

But then my hands got too cold. So instead of a snowman, I settled for a crudely made 5-second snow-face.
Everything is so white that my camera is all screwed up. I don't even know what settings to put it on. It all looks so dark in the pictures, but in reality it's all shining white. It's so white it's almost blue. Seriously.

After our little hike, we met back at the Ski Lodge. While waiting for the rest to finish up, a few of the non-skiers went for a walk around the place. Some more random images.

Some plaster cast footprints of animals in the wild; Canyon Lodge where we were; Mammoth; A random bear; a random skier.

Lunch was stew. Yum.

And finally, it was time to head home.

The road back. The beginning of what will be KJ's photo tour of the mountains. The next slideshow of images will be available for postcard printings at a cheap $1 each!!! Order yours today!

And that concludes our Mammoth Adventure. But Nature wasn't done showing off yet. The night finished with this amazing moon.


Stay tuned for my little performance at the Catalina Jazz Club. Yes. The very same you've seen me post in the past. Very exciting stuff.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chapter Brr Brr Brrrr.... Motorbike... - The Mammoth Adventure Pt 3

As much as I like the previous post, we must continue onwards into the mountains before my other future posts start to creep up on me. I have some more LPW videos coming. I realise I haven't posted that many lately, but 3 are coming up right away back to back to back.


Where did we leave off?

Oh yeah.

The videos on Saturday.

As you can see, I'm quite out of breath most of the time. That's because it's ruddy tiring. And because it's ruddy cold. Check out all that snow.

So yes. Break for lunch. A beer and some sandwiches.

I'm surprised my sandwiches actually remained in tact. Having no bag for the sake of convenience, they rode in my ski pant pockets with me all the way down the hill 3 times, enduring the first runs that resulted in so many crashes. They were pretty flattened after that, but they survived. And they still tasted delicious.

And that beer sure felt good. A fresh cold beer is just as comforting in the blasting cold as it is in the blasting hot. Maybe beer is magical.

I skied (I just realised the past tense of ski is skied. Sounds like sky-ed) pretty much the whole day. Determined to not let the mountain defeat me and determined to get my money's worth, I opted to ski until the day went dark. Of course it didn't by the time I called it quits. But I sure as heck defeated the mountain.

But the adventure doesn't end there.

Being Asian, the ultimate highlight is...


Look familiar? Yay for steamboat.
Doesn't come close to steamboat at home, but hey you take what you get. And it certainly felt awesome.

And here's a snapshot of the gang.

From left to right top first - Colleen, Sean, Jodie, Baby Carter, Amy, Karen, Bryant, Ryan, Albert.

Me taking. And I missed out one more guy, Benny. I totally left him out. I apologise.

That concludes Saturday.

Stay tuned to the final part on Sunday which brings us home, and some of the most spectacular mountain scenery ever, or as I call them - postcard pictures. Assuming of course I've managed to capture them properly with my feeble camera abilities.

Till then.

Biex ikunu Kontinwazzjoni!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chapter not so Brrr

Are you ready?

Are you ready for some awesomeness?

Like really awesome?

Like awesome beyond awesome?

Like angelic outburst of song and dance with fireworks of gold and silver and cherubim?

Are you ready?

Behold, the awesomeness of my Jazz band, and a professional recording.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chapter Brrrrrr Brrrrrr - The Mammoth Adventure Pt 2

Day 2 of the weekend.

It's saturday morning and the view out the window looked like this.

And the car looked like this.

And I looked like this.

It was snowing all night long and it literally buried the cars outside. It's ridiculous. Our car was actually shaded from the wind by trees and stuff so it didn't get the worst of it. But it did get stuck in the snow.

And that's me by the way, in case you've forgotten what I look like now. Full skiing garb on. Ski pants, gloves dangling on the side, scarf, hat, and skis. Ready to take on the world. Well, maybe not the world. But a small hill covered in snow. Well, maybe not a small hill. A big mountain. But not the whole mountain. Just a tiny bit of the mountain. Well, maybe not a tiny bit, it's a whole slope. It took one lift chair ride up. Well, okay, maybe just a tiny bit because the mountain is huge. Well, maybe not that tiny because for a n00b like me, it's huge. Well, maybe not that huge.

Outside in the snow ridden world is a plethora of hazards. Yes I used the world plethora. Almost every house is riddled with these.

I tried to take 'artistic' photos of them because that would be neat, but since I'm just as useless at photography as I am in skiing, they ended up like that. I'm sure someone with a much better sense of photography could capture those in a manner that would make you go 'WOW' and 'Woah!!' and 'Ah!' an 'OOooh!' and whatever non-human noises you are capable of making, but for whatever it's worth, they made me make those noises when I first saw them.

I should've knocked some of them down and held them as a trophy. I saw a kid with one the next day - which I didn't take a picture of because that would be rude - and it was bigger than him.

They are hazards, yes. They can spear your brains if they land on you. Or maybe not. I can't remember the verdict on mythbusters, but I'm pretty sure they do kill you. I'm not about to test it though.

So, after breakfast it's off to the ski lifts.

I got my 'Noob' ticket.

There's so many things insulting about that ticket. Adult beginner. Makes you sound like an old lady behind the computer for the first time. Oh wait, those are called 'mothers'. And that 'Access these chairs only' makes me sound like a little kid. 'No you can't go there. It's too dangerous for you'.


So up the hill we go.

You might be wondering if it's really that dark. Well, it wasn't. But it was cloudy. And it snowed a ton. So it didn't make for the best picture taking in the world. And I know it doesn't look that steep here. But it got much steeper nearing the bottom of the run.

I considered strapping my camera somewhere on my body and filming a run down the hill. But considering the fact that I crashed so many times, I decided against it. It would've made for a good video though. It was either risk destroying my camera for a good video, or bore you instead with written descriptions of my ski run that would do no justice to explaining the sensation of skiing to you who sit there in the sun and rain all year long. I opted for the latter as you can tell because I knew the destruction of my camera would most certainly cause major disappointment to all of you guys who are so fond of my face and my other appendages.

I'm trying to be funny with words. Do laugh.

Since I typed so much this time, I'll grace you with some video next post. And the conclusion of my ski run.

It keeps suspense.

And I get to do this again.

Upang maging patuloy na!!!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chapter Brrrrrr - The Mammoth Adventure Pt1

It's finally here! I have over 60 pictures to share. Most of them are what I call 'postcard' pictures. Well, there are a couple with me in them, but for the most part - since I'm the one taking the pictures - they are of mountains and stuff. But they're certainly pretty.

Ok where to begin.

At the beginning I suppose.

Day 1.

I went up to Mammoth this last weekend. A weekend in the mountains, with the cold and the snow. It was quite a bit of fun I must say. It was a long drive - 5 hours on the road. Well, more than that because it was snowing pretty heavily on Friday night. We left in the afternoon and hit snow after dinner. Had Mexican for dinner. Tortilla chips and salsa can be ridiculously addictive. Especially when you have a free flow of it.

I must admit, I forgot to take pictures of EVERYTHING which I normally do. I dunno, my mind was perhaps preoccupied with snow. Waiting to see snow and experience it, I forgot to periodically whip out my camera and snap pictures of everything. So let me mention the other things I missed out of my photos.

When we hit snow, one of our cars had to get chains on. That's for snow grip.
It was snowing pretty hard on Friday night. Imagine night driving. Now add snow. It's even harder to see through than rain. Because it blocks out your headlights.

Ok, I guess I didn't forget that many things. Picture time.
On the road to Mammoth.

First sight of our snowy mountains.

Arriving at our destination. You can see how heavy it was snowing.

Path to our cabin.
Me outside.

First foray into the white stuff.

As you can see, I obviously had the wrong shoes on. I asked my buddy if my sneakers would suffice. Clearly they wouldn't. They were covered in snow and when it started to melt, my shoes were soaked. Thankfully there was a large heating vent in the cabin (which I forgot to take a picture of. It was 'clothes drying central' there. Boots, scarves, gloves, hats, shoes, jackets... everything that was wet ended up in that corner. It was hilarious.)

And here's our cosy little cabin.
It's small and comfy. Snug is the word I'd use.

And here's the video log of Day 1. Bear with the accent. I'm in 'American Mode'.

And that's Day 1. First experience of snow. We called it an early night and got ready for the big adventure up into the mountains. Stay tuned. There's lots more to come.


Like... really.... LOTS.