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Jul. 5th, 2008

[doctor who] better with two

Doctor Who: Journey's End

Um, okay. Just finished Journey's End in pretty crappy quality but at least have watched it properly and will try to form some coherent thoughts about it, which are under hereCollapse )

All in all, a pretty solid series of Doctor Who. I do think that Russell T Davies has had his time and I'm looking forward to seeing what Steve Moffat is going to bring. I also get the feeling, blasphemous as this is, that it might be time for a new Doctor - I'm sensing that a regeneration might be happening some time in the 2010 specials, as I'm sure David Tennant might want to get on with something else.

Going to go mull on this a bit more. Update on RL and the 4th later.


Dec. 30th, 2006

[doctor who] better with two

Friends Only

Friends-locked since December 30, 2006. Comment to be added.

Oct. 12th, 2006

[doctor who] better with two

(no subject)



Sep. 11th, 2006

[doctor who] better with two

(no subject)

Bit of a trying day, but it's eclipsed when you think of today on a larger, more substantial scale.

Remember 9.11.2006. The insanity must stop.

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Aug. 29th, 2006

[italian job] just drive

Rainbows and pots of gold

Song title meme thingCollapse )

Back in Los Angeles for three days before heading back out to New York for school, mainly for jet lag and packing purposes. After coming from lunch with Christine and Eliz (Claw, who I won't be seeing until Christmas, Eliz I will see in NY in a week), spent a lot of the afternoon mucking around trying not to fall asleep and looking over pictures from my entire summer. Must say that it has been an educational and productive 3+ months, and indeed mileage and airplaned filled, though I think all the various experiences are still setting and molding in my brain, so it will probably be awhile before I can think of and write out anything coherent as a summary.

A slight picspam of my favorite pictures from this summerCollapse )

Aug. 24th, 2006

[doctor who] better with two

Mini India Blog, Part II

Have this weird insane need to document my week spent here in Bangalore, for fear of forgetting even the smallest little details, because somehow every observation seems so important in a place so foreign. Bear with me, as I have Days Three to Six to record here, so scroll past if you'd like.

Monday, August 21 - Day Three

Still getting used to being pampered with breakfast every morning, usually eaten with Eshanya, her mother, and more likely than not, Savi, who apparently stays over here quite frequently, so frequently as to have accumulated quite a collection of her clothing in Eshanya's closet. After lunch went and got US currency exchanged for Indian rupees at TravelEx - don't think they offered me the best rate that was possible, but I am still constantly being (pleasantly) surprised at the so-called "bang for your buck" here in India when compared to prices in the States. Picked up more girlfriends of Eshanya's, Vinitha and Abi (and here I really may have butchered the spellings) at their college where they'd just finished class - Mount Carmel College, a local college which doesn't really enjoy that great a reputation; apparently it turns girls weird and ditzy. Walked around commercial area of town - quite possibly called Commercial Street, but I could be wrong - but didn't wind up getting anything except for a skirt for Mum that cost about $2 USD. Had tea at this place called Infinitea, and these dumplings called "momos". Everyone was surprised that I didn't know what momos were, as they all thought the dish was Asian or Chinese.

Headed out to Akhilesh's house afterwards to - get this - fly kites. Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I am not by any means an outdoorsy type. When it comes to sports, I spectate more than participate, and this applies for basically any exerting activity. Probably a good time to point out again that the vibe here in Bangalore is very nature and outdoors-based. In any case, was expecting a really large field or something of that ilk at Akhilesh's house, given that the image I (previously) held in my head about kite flying is sort of an archaic one - lots of wind blowing everywhere, running, squealing, Mary Poppins and Mr. Banks singing cheerfully. Was not by any means expecting that we would be flying kites off the roof, literally, of Akhilesh's apartment building, but not before clambering up to the roof on all sorts of wiggly rusty ladders that brought to mind painful images of tetanus injections. Kite flying experience ended up being really fun anyways, despite the fact we couldn't get any kites to fly because of rather irrtatingly unpredictable wind direction.

Three kites later, we went back downstairs to play foozball (foosball?), joined by Akhilesh's best friend Umong (I am certain this can't be the right spelling, will ask Esh for a correction tomorrow, but it is pronounced this way). Having been trounced quite soundly several times by a formidable Akhilesh and Eshanya tour de force, went out for ice cream and coffee at the Indian version of Starbucks, "Coffee Day", before going home for another Indian dinner. Finished the day off with a viewing of The Italian Job (yes AGAIN for those who know me) in Eshanya's movie theater (another very recent discovery).

Tuesday, August 22 - Day Four

Started the day with some early shopping at a quaint shop called Anokhi, where they sell mostly small bags and home decoration, and then at a large local mall called Garuda. Bought a pair of jeans for $25 USD that would have retailed for $79.90 back home (this I know for sure as they had the American tag on), as well as a cute makeup/pencil bag thing just because it was $2. Headed out for lunch at a really nice Italian place called Spiga with Savi and Vinitha in tow, which supposedly advertised dining "al fresco" so was slightly put off when the entire place was...indoors. In any case, had great fusilli with Italian sausage, and an outstanding Oreo cheesecake.

What proceeds is insanity - went to Mojo's, supposedly quite a famous beer bar in Bangalore, at 2PM. The place is exactly what places called "beer bars" should look like - very dimly lit, a few booths with seats, others with cushions on the floor. Got stuck in one of the cushion floor booth things, and upon joining up with Akhilesh, Umong, and another mate of theirs who showed up later on, proceeded to binge drink on very cheap beer for the next four hours. Got through about seven "pints" and a hell of a lot of peer pressure to try Indian cigarettes (though I imagine the amount of secondhand smoke I inhaled in that sitting rather made up for it, in terms of life minutes lost), as they are supposedly much smoother than American ciggies, but whatever. Really started having fun when the Manchester United vs Fulham match came on, and realized that all the guys were massive United fans - too bad the match was just a rebroadcast and that we already knew United had given Fulham a 5-1 beating.

Finally stumbled out into the waning sunshine and headed off to a shopping department store type thing called Lifestyle where Sharina, Eshanya's cousin, was picking up a hair straightener and blowdryer. Managed in semi-buzzed state to pick up a couple jewellery things including a really nice bangle for outrageously cheap prices. Got home and jumped into the shower immediately and a new set of clothing that didn't smell like a chimney, as had a dinner party to go to with Eshanya's parents at a work colleague's home.

Totally interesting dinner experience, watching the dynamic of how the families interacted wiht each other. Rather predictably though still intriguingly, it's much the same as Chinese (or perhaps just Cantonese) interaction - conversation is loud, funny, enthusiastic, controversial, with no dirty details spared. Didn't feel awkward even for one second being the only non-Indian person there, as discussion, particularly after dinner, veered inevitably towards terrorism and religion, and was happy to take part. Collapsed in a very tired heap afterwards.

Wednesday, August 23 - Day Five

Bit boring and short this one - think binge drinking and accumulated travel fatigue finally caught up with me, and spent most the day feverish and shaky in bed. Did emerge for meals though and long enough to enjoy several games of pool with Eshanya and Savitha, though had to leave when the boys showed up for fear of collapsing. Have gotten better at pool since the last time I played (in some seedy place in LA), but am still crap and the black sheep of my family. Wasn't feeling any better after dinner time, so Eshanya was forced to cancel clubbing plans, which felt quite bad about. Ended up watching the Indian film Water, which I believe was shown at Cannes and the like in 2005, directed by Deepa Metha, and depicts the plight of Indian widows in pre-revolution India, just as Gandhi was gaining momentum. Definitely a film worth seeing just for the social commentary aspect, though perhaps not so much for the acting.

Thursday, August 24 - Day Six

Felt much better in the morning, and even told Eshanya when she woke up that I had a deadly craving for English chips (read: fries), so her mother had the housekeeper fry up a batch which I enjoyed very much. Went out to an Indian buffet lunch at called Angeeti or something of that ilk, whose decor is supposed to look like a make believe "daba" - a roadside sort of food hut where drivers would take a rest after long hours of driving for food. A definitely posh sort of daba as it's on the roof of some hotel. Had fantastic mutton biryani, which is a bit like Chinese fried rice, with bits of meat and sauce mixed in. In any case, was joined by Akhilesh, Vinitha, Tapas and friend, and Sharina.

After coffee and dessert at a place called Fresco's, where I had a decent cappucino but thoroughly disappointing panna cotta, headed off to the main office of Eshanya's family's business, Karle Industries. Among many of the businesses, the main one involves garment manufacturing for American brands like Ann Taylor Loft, DKNY, and so on. Managed to pick out a couple of free things out of the sample collection, which is was good fun - a bit like a really condensed shopping trip, as picking these clothes out involved rooting around in small rather claustrophobic room for the right sizes and so on. After the factory visit, Eshanya and Savi took me on quite a quick drive-by of two very famous temples/shrines in the area, the latter of which is called Ishkon and is apparently the largest in South India. Very striking even in the dim sun, all white and very grand. Stopped by Eshanya's old house, the one she lived in before moving into the current place, but was a bit depressing as the house is basically deserted aside from the top floor being used for some Karle business.

On the way back home, Esh and Savi wanted to stop by and visit an old teacher, Ms. Lali, from high school. Turned out that Ms. Lali lives in quite a posh apartment complex, and were duly impressed by architecture, etc. Ms. Lali turned out to be a very very friendly and welcoming academic sort, and was very interested to know, of all things, that I was a history major. Headed home for dinner, at which Mrs. Karle served me a (very) strong hard liquor from Goa, made from the flower of the cashew plant. Excellent with a tiny bit of Sprite of 7-Up - it doesn't taste like anything that I've had before, completely unique taste that has no comparison to anything else. It's a bit like trying to explain what an apple tastes like.

Two more days here and it's back to Hong Kong, and then back to Los Angeles. Apparently am going out to a new club in town called "Fuga" tomorrow night.

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Aug. 21st, 2006

[layer cake] fcuk reality

Mini India Blog, Part I

HOW gorgeous are these two?Collapse )

Saturday, August 19 - Day One

Left the small creature comforts of Hong Kong home to get on insane long flight to Bangalore, India, with transit at Singapore's Changi Airport. Basically rather non-eventful except for terrible turbulence filled flight from Singapore to India, in which had to endure constant drops in air pockets the entire way with man next to me making threatening retching noises. Finally off the plane feeling weirdly light headed and faint, only to discover massive lines at Customs. Fought off crowd to collect suitcase from baggage claim, and made fatal mistake of carrying American passport in my left hand as I headed towards the airport exit; immediately got propositioned about about 50 Indian men at the same time. Miraculously found roommate Eshanya, her mother and cousin waiting outside amidst throngs of people before the rain really started pissing it down.

Trip from airport to Eshanya's home absolutely lunatic - driving in India is the craziest, most dangerous I've ever seen, and this is counting New York and Hong Kong's roads. There is non-stop honking, the lines painted on the road are just for decoration purposes, and the only rule anyone follows is stop for red and go for green. Incredibly grateful to have reached their home in about 30 minutes as fatigue and headache were really setting in. Eshanya's house is gorgeous - vaguely Spanish in the browns and the beiges, modern, and open-plan. Have been given one of 3+ guest rooms (I seem to be discovering new parts to the house...didn't know a movie theater existed til yesterday), in which was really impressed by large size of the bathroom. Unpacked to the latest gossip in Eshanya's life, and at long last went to sleep (thankfully unbitten thanks to the helpful mosquito repellent thing installed in each room.)

Sunday, August 20 - Day Two

Woke up pretty early given jet lag between Hong Kong and Indian time - Bangalore is two and half hours behind Hong Kong. After very therapeutic shower, had breakfast (this is the beginning of a lot of very good Indian food, 3 meals a day) with coffee, thank god. Met one of Eshanya's best friends Savitha, who is a good example of what Eshanya's friends are like - friendly, outdoorsy, enthusiastic once you get to know them, with pretty snarky senses of humor. Drove to Cabbon Park about 20 minutes away, which is home to the state assembly of Karnataka, Bangalore being the state capital. The parliament's structure itself is absolutely massive and architecturally stunning. Also in the area is the state library and High Court. Met up with other friends of Esh's, including her boyfriend Akhilesh, Savi's boyfriend, Tapas and her boyfriend, and a couple others whose names I shall not bother to butcher. Played a surprisingly exerting game called "Seven Tiles" which is an Indian game involving...seven tiles, a tennis ball, and a hell of a lot of running. Sort of like an Indian version of Dodgaball except harder.

Exhausted, went and had, to my great surprise, boba, and headed home for lunch. After a bit of lazing around, played Monopoly which got incredibly heated and dicey, and lasted several hours. I lost, which I am in no small way happy about seeing as I am supposed to be quite good at this game, and I have had my track record spoiled. Got bitten to bits by mosquitos because the terrace door was open and forgot to turn on the mosquito light thing. Horrible - have been bitten on right hand's middle finger and, more randomly, second toe on right foot, as well as other various places. After dinner, headed out to bar/lounge Opus, where it was Kareoke Night. Indians take their Kareoke seriously, and after a Cosmo and Long Island Ice Tea (the latter of which was lethal), was able to enjoy loud pitchless renditions of Bryan Adam's "Summer of 69" and U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", and other such great hits. After lurching home in Akhilesh's very fast car and debriefed by Sharina, Eshanya's cousin, on her own exploits of the night, went to sleep rather drunk.

And here I am, on the morning of Day Three, though it is almost noon but everyone is sleeping in. Tried out the huge bath with bubble bath this morning which was relaxing. Think will go read.


Aug. 18th, 2006

[doctor who] better with two

leaving on a jet plane, again.

Heading off to Bangalore, India tomorrow. Am rather trying to work up some excitement to fight off the ever increasing anxiety of being an American citizen travelling to a country where my own government has issued various travel advisories, warnings...I hate to let all the media hype and hoopla get to me, but it has, I think, in some weird subconscious way. I just have to calm down; I'm all packed, I've got all my meds and have been up to date on the malaria pills, I've got all the relevant contact numbers and addreses copied, etc. Just don't really relish the fact that I've got a long transit wait in Singapore, though I suppose I could amuse myself by buying lots of magazines as usual, provided that they accept US or HK currency. Or my credit card.

Think all my jetting around the domestic US and rather familiar and cushy lifestyle here in Hong Kong have made me complacent to "proper" travelling. GAH.

See you on the other side.


PS: I love you all.
PPS: Jack Davenport officially has one of the sexiest voices ever; see if you can get your mitts on him in Ultraviolet and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Aug. 6th, 2006

[doctor who] better with two

(no subject)

Just a random conversation to show the effect of the TV show Coupling on the collective mindset of Christine and myself. Don't read if you want to preserve your sanity.

Insanity under the cutCollapse )

In no mood to properly update besides to say that I hate being hungover, especially two mornings in a row.


Aug. 3rd, 2006

[coupling] the giggle loop

(no subject)

Officially hate the rain now. I think I got a bit spoiled after all that time spent in LA, where rainfall is far and few between, so I got all nostalgic and sentimental when it did rain. LA gets this nice damp newness when the rain comes down and washes away all the dry dust and pollution and it's actually nice to go outside and feel like it's nature. Got to New York where it rains slightly more often, but it was all good fun for the most part trudging along the not-too-far distance between class and the dorm in rolled up jeans and cute rubber wellies.

Hong Kong rain is a completely different matter, which I'd stupidly forgotten. Firstly, it rains all the freaking time here, because various typhoons (read: hurricanes) attack this tropical little island many times per summer, and sometimes even when it's not the rainy season. Secondly, the rain here is vicious and almost cunning - it comes down in great big soaking drenches so thick that you can't see more than a foot in front of you; needless to say an umbrella doesn't do you any good in these types of situations. That is, if you've managed to hang onto your umbrella before the whipping winds rip it out of your hands. However, usually less than twenty minutes later, the rain completely stops, leaving you staring baffled at a stormy gray sky, and things start to slowly dry up. Evilly, though, the rain isn't done with you - it usually starts up again in an hour or so.

Obviously, have spent most of my incredibly nightmarish day outside, but won't go into the details here, but suffice it to say that I have to do this again tomorrow, and that am really missing southern Californian weather.

EDIT: Bought a copy of Freakonomics yesterday for HKD$80, which is roughly $10 US. Thought it was a steal. Okay, shut up.

Also, meme time, stolen from dr_ingram:

Pretend you are going to be stranded on a desert island for the rest of your life, but it's a nice island (with DVD players) and you have time to pack. You are allowed to take ten movies and ten dvd boxes (i.e. one season of a tv show counts as one box). What would you take? This is not necessarily your list of all time favorites. Though it can be.

Under hereCollapse )


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