Monday, July 09, 2012

SMK Seafield Carnival

It was 11am and I just had no idea what to shoot there.. The people? The food? Carnival just seemed like something you see everyday.. food, performances, games, hot weather, crowds, shouting, water splashing, displays, sales, promotions and the usual. Therefore I didnt take much photos. My facebook album on that event only had like, 8 photos only.. Well anyway, here is one just to mark that event by me. :)

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Friday, July 06, 2012

My USA Trip?

Hey its been awhile and yeah, I have not gotten the inspiration to write (type) for now. Well its kind of weird to not have inspiration even after I came back from an exciting trip in the USA. I should be all fired up about my trip, but perhaps I just got too tired.

So I am home now, practically have nothing to do but clear up the house and my room as my brother is moving back in after 4 years of studying abroad. He and I have tons of clothing and my parents had to buy him a new wardrobe. This current house is too small really, but I can adapt.

I was In the states for about 4 weeks and theres so much that happened. It will be impossible to write everything down here. A book would sound great but I have no writing skills. When I was in Popular Bookstore with Soo Yin yesterday, I saw a book about a woman who cycled around the whole Peninsular Malaysia and, she has a book about her journey. I asked myself, why cant i do the same about my trip? Quite pathetic to know that I cant ever write a blog post about what happened there. Well for starters, Ill just do some highlights. :)

1. Whale watching. On the first weekend there, my mom, bro and I went to venture and conquer the Pacific Ocean by going on a boat ride to see whales. It was suppose to be about a 3 hour boat ride to the Farallones Islands or the Gulf of the Farallones Sanctuary. Quite a fancy name eh, it's a protected island that you are not allowed to set foot on the land there. It is a sanctuary of lots of aquatic wildlife and birds and whales are suppose to be spotted there.

Sadly we didnt reach there. It was a policy that if 51% of the people on the boat get sick, they would have to turn the boat around. 2 elderly people really felt unwell and that caused the boat to turn back. We were about half an hour away from the island but, we got to understand for them.

It was a very bad experience on the boat. The waves were very choppy and the weather was very cold. With the waves splashing water and the cold breeze blowing, it was such a discomfort. I threw up also because of being sea sick. I told myself that I dont care going through this shit but I would want to reach the island. Sadly we had to turn around and I said that I do not want to go through all that again..

2. Sky Diving that did not happen also. It was the monday after the whale watching that I was suppose to go sky diving. My brother went there last time because it was cheap, about $100. On the morning before going there, my brother called to cancel the trip. He did some research and it seems that the company that runs it has been sued and has many fines. My brother had a bad feeling about it because regular sky diving trips are about $250. It has been commented that the company does not maintain their aircraft and etc. Oh well..

3. Brothers graduation. It was a really hot summer at Stanford Stadium where a large parade took part inconsistently. Why inconsistent is because there was no proper arrangement of students, which wasnt a bad thing at all. Each student seem to have the freedom to do whatever they want for their graduation parade. Students made cardboard sized student cards, the palm tree entrance of Stanford University, Magic School Bus, Crayola, guys in red underwears and just about anything. Though messy, it was great to see the different ideas people had in celebrating the day they get certification by the university. Such a celebration! Of course the Deans and Presidents and admins of Stanford had their march in after the parade.

The best part of the whole ceremony was the speech of Cory Booker, a Mayor that would run into a burning building to save a person. I have no idea how to summarise his speech, but it left a message in me, his life story about him, his family and how they got through the hard times of being african americans last time and how he dealt with crime in Newark, has moved me.

4. Universal Studios. Well theres a whole post about it here,

5. Jet Ski at Lake Tahoe. We stayed at Tahoe Summit Village, a great place if you want to live in a suite. I stayed in a 2 room suite that has a kitchen, living room, dining room and even a place with a washing machine and dryer. In the lobby, my brother found a brochure that states 30% off for jet ski rides on the lake. I quickly agreed. It was my first time. We left at about 8 in the morning because the promotion only works before 9am. It was a cold morning. The lake itself is on a mountain so its cold.

We signed some papers and we were up.. me and my brother shared one jet ski. It was a yamaha something and it could fit 3 people. My brother being experienced in using jet ski manned it first and i just held behind.. He did alot of twist and turns, went on full speed and tried some stuff while i just held on behind.. It was so cold. Me and my brother took turns so when I manned it, i went on full speed. I didnt really dare to do some extreme turns like my brother does, but when he did, i flung off the jet ski, got dragged on the water for about a meter and was floating in to ice cold lake, so cold that i couldnt feel it any colder as my body was getting numb. I had a hard time to swim and to get on the boat. It was either that the lake was too big that i felt i wasnt moving when i was swimming or i just couldnt feel anything.. haha.. I gave up after half an hour because my fingers were freezing.. I could not clench my fist and control the throttle properly.. Haha. my brother just went on till the fuel got empty.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Universal Studios Hollywood

hey guys.. :) i know i should be updating video logs about my trip but travelling on a tight schedule makes it hard to record videos and editing them.. especially when youre travelling with others, having tons of luggages and driving long roads for long hours..

it was a 6 hour journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles.. We took a slow drive along the coastal roads and had a very very dark trip ahead. we arrived at LA at about 3 in the morning..

Along the way, i took lots of pictures both with my camera and my new Galaxy S2.. it has an 8mp camera and i quickly instagram my photos with the help of my brothers wifi hotspot..

we got up the next morning and my brother surprised my dad by renting a Ford Mustang Convertible.. my das always have loved the old mustangs, my mom had one last time in the Philippines.. however, the new mustang was enough to make him happy..

with an open top, we drove to Universal Studios! I didnt bring my dslr there because, who in their right mind wants to bring a dslr to a theme park? imagine the hassle of carrying all the heavy equipment.. even at its simplest set up, its still bulky and you will suffer thinking on how you wanna take the rides.. so all i had was my S2 and my bros canon sx230hs, which was such an awesome compact camera, recommended by me by the way.. :)

when we went in, we firstly went to watch Water World.. they used the same story for many years and it hasnt bored anyone.. 

we then went to take the thrilling rides.. they had Transformers, The Mummy and Jurassic Park.. :) Transformers was an awesome motion 3D ride.. it was about the NEST HQ were attacked by decepticons and u have to flee on an autobot.. it was a thrilling ride and u need to try it out yourself! :)

The Jurassic Park ride was a a simple ride going along a river where you see dinosaurs.. coming to the end of the ride, theres a setting of escaped dinosaurs and it ends with a 30 feet drop into water..

The Mummy was just ok.. i went onto a roller coaster cart where there is a smooth journey looking at mummies and beetles and at one point, i could feel the beetles crawling across my feet.. when the evil villain appeared, he cited some curse and i will found myself falling into some twist and turns of a short roller coaster ride.. i then ended up at a dead end and the roller coaster will reverse for half the journey.. thats all..

i had lunch with my family followed up by going into the Haunted Mansion.. it was a dark walk through with a big hall in the middle which was Frankeinstein's chamber. I also got to take photos with Dracula and, I dont know who the other guy is.. :/

After that, we went to watch Special Effects where they show how they use their effects to make a movie.. They showed classic physical effects all the way to the latest digital effects.. They showed how chocolate syrup was used as fake blood and the usage of green screens, metal frame bodies for animations, cables to make people float and many more. It was one of my favorite.. :)

We decided to go for the tour that takes us around Universal Studios, the stages or warehouses where they create scenes for different movies.. Here, they filmed most of the movies on the big screen today and even TV series such as CSI.. The main attraction was King Kong 360 3D. We went into a warehouse where there were 2 huge circular screens around us. We were on a tram and it had effects where the tram shook left and right.. They also showed us the cars used in their films, such as the Back to the Future DeLorean and Fast and the Furious Integra and Supra.. They demonstrated the accuracy of their robotic arms used in video effects to make cars fly or flip.. 

They showed us a housing area built for filming like Desperate Housewives. They even showed the set for the film Grinch and Wild Wild West setups.. Right above is the set for War of the Wordls.. On the way back, I was able to catch a glimpse of the Skyline GT-R used in 2Fast 2Furious. It was parked at their car modification and maintenance warehouse. They didnt display it sadly so I couldnt catch a photograph.. :( You could actually see the car from Google Maps.. :/

We moved on by watching Terminator 2 in 3D and Shrek 3D, Ogre Vision. 

The park was about to close and I bought myself a souvenir.. :)

I had a great but tiring day. We ended the day by going to Beverley Hills and a long way back to the hotel..