I feel like this is some kind of catch-22, and it's too profound for me to grasp.
I slept over at my mom's new place (which happens to be my brother's old apartment, but I don't think he knows about that yet) last Monday night. We went shopping with my sister at the Mall of Asia, where I bought them their Christmas gifts (basically, I just gave them P1000 each to buy whatever they wanted). I'd rather have stayed home, and not just because I had a headache. My mom's cats had kittens last August, and they're SOOOOOO CUUUUUTE now. I was only there when the Mommy Cat (her name is Chocnut) gave birth, so the kittens were still tiny, worm-like things. Now they're adorable, fluffy, rowdy little beasts who like to scratch and bite everything in sight (including fingers and toes). For those who watch Prince of Tennis, they both look like Ryoma's cat Karupin. They're white with tufts of dark brown on the tips of their ears, tails, tummies, and paws; the female kitten (the other one is male) has one paw which is brown with white toes, like her mother (Chocnut is completely dark brown except for her white toes). I had so much fun teasing them with a piece of ribbon; they'd literally go around in circles trying to catch it. But I didn't get out of it unscathed, and I have several relatively deep scratches on my right wrist and left leg. But that's a small price to pay for such cuuuuute kitties. The downside with kittens is that they're too hyperactive to sit still for any significant period of time, so I lavished more attention on the Daddy Cat (his name is Nougat) who is an abnormally affectionate cat, even moreso than my deceased Mocha. I'd just be sitting on the couch watching TV, and then he'd suddenly be on my lap, purring for attention. Really, they're such an adorable family. I remember yesterday, Nougat was "wrestling" with his son, who seemed like he was in pain because he kept mewling, when suddenly Chocnut stalks over to them and Nougat jumps away from the kitten like he'd been burned. After that, he avoided his "wife" like the plague. I guess the hierarchy of THIS family is clearly matriarchal :))
I'll post some pictures of the kitties when my mom sends them to me. My mom sold the female one already :( I want to have the other one, but I'm not here 2/3 of the year and our house isn't really kitten-proof. But I waaaaant it (*hint hint* _chimoms have you asked your mom yet? :D)
I'd better rest my eyes for a while in case my migraine wants to make a comeback.
EDIT: I've updated my Christmas wishlist, in case you haven't bought me a gift yet :P
Obviously, I have nothing to write about. I've exhausted most of the anime I've been watching, and the ones that are left are being subbed sporadically. Even the new chapters of the manga I'm reading have gone AWOL. I recently reformatted my computer so it's noticeably faster now, but I'm not interested in doing anything with it. Oh, the irony.
Anyway, I think Cassy's about to leave. Maybe I'll blog again when I get home.
EDIT: My Christmas wishlist is ready, if anyone's interested. It won't show up on your friends page because it's dated out of order. Less f-list spammage that way :P
I just came back from the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel. I stayed there overnight since my mom had some seminar + awards ceremony + party thing; a bunch of insane psychiatrists (i.e. the Philippine Psychiatric Association) held some seminars and then partied all night long. And since this is a very long entry, here is the obligatory LJ cut.
In other news, I am addicted to Pokemon (again). I’ve been sleeping at 4 or 5 am for the past few days (except last night) because I couldn’t stop leveling up my pokemon. Pokemon Diamond (and Pearl too, I guess) has this cool new thing where you’re forced to team up with another trainer in certain dungeons, so your lead pokemon always goes to battle with the other trainer’s pokemon (he/she usually has only one). Most of the trainers I’ve teamed up with have pokemon that are useless offensively, like Chansey and Clefairy, but in one dungeon I had to go with this guy trainer who has a pretty decent fighting/steel-type pokemon (Lucario). Better yet, the dungeon we were in had mostly rock-type pokemon (Graveler, Onyx, Steelix), which is weak against both fighting and steel. And the best thing about the whole teaming-up thing is that your pokemon are fully healed by the other trainer after each battle, so you can stay there and level up for as long as you want :D The other thing is that instead of encountering only one pokemon at a time, you get two at a time because there are always two of you in a single battle, which means double exp :D But I got tired of it eventually; my pokemon got to be so much more powerful than that guy’s Lucario that he was rendered practically useless in the end. The thing about the new generation of Pokemon games is that there are so many more sidequests that you’re often distracted from your main goals – beating the Pokemon League and completing the Pokedex. Of course, this makes the game more fun and, consequently, more addicting :P
Anyway, enough Pokemon crap. I wanna watch Pisay. But I don’t have tickets and it’s likely that the screening at UP is sold out. I guess both Cassy and I will just have to hope for a DVD release.
My exams are finally over! Studying over the summer is really a distasteful experience, regardless of the environment. I'm too used to waking up after lunch (not that I don't do that here) and then spending the remainder of the day bonding with my PS2 or playing the piano or reading fanfics (or watching _chimoms mooch off the contents of my refrigerator :P). But at least it's finally over, and I'll be home in roughly a week. Not that I regret coming here (well, not that much). But if nothing else, this experience taught me that I definitely prefer wasting my summers with inactivity (or non-productive activities), especially since I'll have to start working in a couple of years; in all likelihood, I'll have no more summer vacations by that time :(
I had the weirdest dream a few nights ago. I dreamt that I was getting married o_o I remember that most, if not all, of Batch '05 was at the wedding, all dressed up in gowns and suits. I don't remember what I was wearing, or how I knew I was getting married; I only remember that I was standing beside the groom. The last thing I remember was talking to merkuryo before I woke up; he was asking if he could leave before the reception. He was about to tell me why when I woke up. And, upon waking, I was so flabbergasted at realizing that I had actually dreamed about marriage, of all things, that the identity of my groom-to-be (even just typing the word makes me nauseated XP) just slipped away. I just lay there trying to remember his face or name or something for almost half an hour before I gave up and went back to sleep. It's a good thing that I still don't subscribe to the Freudian school of thought that dreams are an outlet for our unconscious urges and conflicts; Freud could find sexual or violent themes in everything, from a lamp-post to a tunnel to a flattened frog. He was obviously a very repressed individual, not to mention a misogynist. I personally believe that dreams are just the brain's attempts to make sense of the random neural transmissions that occur during REM sleep, which explains why dreams are usually very weird. Freud was undoubtedly invaluable to the science of psychology, but many of his ideas are too.. perverted for me to take him seriously. Honestly, what kind of person labels stages of development as the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, and the genital stage? He even believed that children who are going through the phallic stage will either be sexually attracted to their mothers (in the case of boys) or hate their mothers because they (the children) were born without a penis (in the case of girls); he called the former the Oedipus complex and the latter the Electra complex. Yes, Freud actually thought that all women suffer from "penis envy" and that his female patients who reported instances of sexual abuse were only expressing their unconscious desire to be sexually abused. It's so tragic that someone so intelligent could be so idiotic. Funnily enough, one of Freud's students who vehemently disagreed with his teachings was a woman whose surname was Horney (yet another tragedy).
Okay, now I'm just spewing random Psych tidbits that come to mind. Here's another one: Anorexia nervosa is the leading cause of death among all psychological disorders, including clinical depression and schizophrenia; anorexics usually die of heart failure (or stroke) or suicide. So we should all stop thinking that those skinny models and actresses and porn stars are the epitome of feminine beauty :P And although I still want to lose weight (I want to be underweight again, actually), I'm not even close to being anorexic. Strangely enough, my mother was actually worried that I'd develop anorexia, since I apparently fit the psychological profile of most anorexics - something about insecurity, low self-esteem, and perfectionism. Well, she is a psychiatrist, so she should know what she's talking about, but no one with functional eyes would think that I'm anorexic. That I want to be on the anorexic side of normal has nothing to do with it :P
I think I've finally exhausted my desire to blather on about Psych stuff. I must have been studying too much. I don't particularly want to think about the fact that my 3rd year of university will be starting in little more than a month. And I don't know whether I should be excited about my next semester: I won't be living in the dorm anymore. Oliver and I will be sharing an apartment somewhere (he's still looking), and while I'm sure he'll be a good flatmate, I'm still worried about all the hassle living off-campus will entail - commuting, paying for utilities, living far away from school, etc. Oh well, there's nothing I can do about that now. I'm better off not thinking about it. And what better way to get your mind off something than to pursue useless activities? I think I'll try playing Warcraft again :D
Today, we decided to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. There was a market in front of the cinema, so we went early and explored the place. It was basically a wet market with some restaurants and delis. We watched the movie at 4:30 pm (although it didn't actually start until around 4:45). It wasn't spectacular, probably because I had high expectations, but it was decent. I liked Dead Man's Chest better despite the cliffhanger; it was a lot more funny and a lot less sappy. For some reason, Orlando Bloom looked better in his outfit at the end of the movie; maybe it has something to do with what happened to him (oops, spoiler :P).
The others are going to Toronto Island tomorrow morning, but I declined to join them. I think I've fulfilled my socialization quota for the next month or so. And they're leaving at 9 am. Enough said. Oh, and I have a midterm on Monday, but most of them have tests too and they're not letting that stop them for some unfathomable reason.
As expected, the gay bar was very interesting, in more ways than one. I was fairly sleepy by the time we got there, though, so no alcohol for me (drinks were expensive anyway). The only guy who came with us had a glass of beer (some local Canadian brand that he didn’t bother to remember). We didn’t do much besides sit around and wait for the Men’s Best Chest Contest to start, so I had a lot of time to compile a list of the good and bad things about the bar.
"Want to go to a gay/lesbian bar?"
I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. I'm not homophobic by any means, but it's not everyday that you get invited to go to a gay bar. As I'm typing this, she and another Singaporean girl are searching the Web for nearby establishments. They're planning to go later tonight, at around 10 pm. I was willing to go at first, but then the bars they're interested in got progressively farther and farther away from the dorm. I'm not homophobic, but I'm not gay either, and I don't feel like walking for an hour just to hang out in a bar (gay or not). They both seem so excited by the prospect, and apparently there are 2 Singaporean guys who're very keen on going as well. Growing up in Singapore must make a person very homosexually deprived.
Hmm.. To go or not to go.. I think going to a gay bar would be an interesting experience, but I really don't want to walk that far. What a dilemma: homosexuals vs. inertia. Who will win? I'm betting on inertia.
EDIT: They've decided on a bar/club called Woody's and Sailor (don't ask). They made me call the bar and ask for details like dress code, admission fee, and age limit, which is how we found out that the place will be having some sort of contest tonight. The name of the contest? Men's Best Chest Contest. If they were excited before, they're practically bursting at the seams now. The place isn't that far, so I might as well go; I think very few people can claim that they've watched a chest contest even at least once in their lives. If nothing else, it'll make a great blog entry :P
In other news, Toronto has been okay so far. The temperature is slowly starting to rise from sub-20s to mid-20s, which is a lot more comfortable for us tropical folk. My classes have been pretty easy so far; I'm taking an introductory psychology class and an astronomy class. They've both been kinda amusing, especially astronomy. I never thought I'd find people who are even more math-phobic than I am. Apparently, this astronomy class was meant for non-science students who have no background in math and physics (I don't suppose Pisay counts). Even so, I was still surprised at how afraid of math my classmates are. During the first lecture, our teacher was clarifying some stuff about the syllabus, and she was aware that most of the class was worried about the math. So she listed down some basic things we'd have to know, which are:
1) how to do simple calculations (e.g. 1/10 = 0.1) without a calculator
2) scientific notation (e.g. 3.0 x 10^8)
3) proportionality (both direct and inverse)
4) how to interpret simple graphs (e.g. straight lines, bell curves)
Nothing to be scared of, right? Apparently not. After she'd gone through the list, our teacher found most of her students staring at her with a mixture of shock and dread. And that's not all. During our second lecture, we were discussing energy flux, which sounds really deep and profound but really isn't, trust me; all we had to know was that flux is directly proportional to temperature raised to the fourth power (i.e. T^4). She gave us some sample problems for practice (e.g. if the temperature of Star A is 5000 K and the temperature of Star B is 10000 K, Star B has (10000/5000)^4 = 2^4 = 16 times more flux than Star A). She then went on to reassure us that since we weren't allowed to use calculators during the test, she'd only give us small numbers like 2^4, 3^4, and 4^4. When she asked if we'd be okay with 5^4, the class's answer was a very violent and vehement NO. Now, I'm not complaining about any of this. In fact, it makes things very easy for me, especially since I only have to pass my subjects (they're not going to affect my grades back in NUS). I just find it funny that my brother was apparently not exaggerating when he said that North Americans (in general) are a bit slow in the academic sense.
If anyone has the urge to refute my seemingly unjust judgment of North Americans, please don't. Just remember that my opinions don't matter in the grander scheme of things; if I'm wrong, then I'm wrong and it doesn't matter what I think. And to any North Americans reading this, you probably don't even know who I am, so my opinions shouldn't matter to you. The point of this post wasn't to endear myself to anyone :P
We just got back from Brooklyn (my brother lives in Manhattan). We went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden because my brother wanted to take pictures of the sakura (cherry blossom) trees. I was looking forward to seeing real sakura after seeing it on anime for so long (I’ve always wanted to visit the sakura grove in Ueno Park because of the manga/anime X/1999), and I wasn’t disappointed. The sakura grove at the botanic garden was amazing. With every gust of wind, sakura petals would float to the ground like pale pink snowflakes. The ground was a beautiful carpet of pink petals and bright green grass. And it felt wonderful to just lie down and stare up at the blossom-laden branches and the perfectly blue sky. The sakura trees weren’t the only attractions, though; one part of the garden had a multitude of tulips in every size and color imaginable. There was also a small creek with a weeping willow tree right beside it (think Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas). And then there was the bonsai exhibit. I never knew that bonsai trees were so difficult to create and maintain; I always thought people just used trees that were naturally small, but apparently they use normal trees and meticulously prune them to keep them dwarf-sized. For those who watch Prince of Tennis, I can now understand why Tezuka (in the TeniPuri family) is so protective of and obsessive about his bonsai.
After spending a couple of hours at the botanic garden, my brother got hungry so we walked to a pizzeria called Grimaldi’s, which supposedly has the best pizza in New York. I don’t know if it’s the best, but it was really really really good; my brother and I finished an 18-inch pizza by ourselves (I had 3 slices, he had 5). And we still had enough room for ice cream afterwards. My brother wanted to walk back to Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge, but I looked sufficiently reluctant so he changed his mind and we took the subway instead. I would have been willing to walk if it wasn’t so darn cold. I suppose the ice cream didn’t help with that :P
Funnily enough, the first thing I thought of after being enthralled by the sakura grove was, “This would make a great LJ entry.” Sound familiar? I think this officially makes me an internet addict.
( Warning: Not proofread, may contain grammatical errors )
Blah, I’m hungry. I’ll blog again some other time.
Must. Sleep. Now.
• I woke up 30 minutes late
• I got to the bank late (see above) and got stuck in the queue (which, contrary to what the noisy American guy who was behind me in the line said, was NOT a long queue but a short one that moved very very very VERY slowly).
• I missed the correct bus stop nearest the Canadian embassy and got scolded by the bus driver and some random passenger; I’m not actually sure if they were scolding me because I couldn’t understand a word they were saying (even though they were speaking in English).
• The consul at the Canadian embassy wouldn’t accept my visa application because I apparently did not have one of the requirements that, for the record, was NOT on their website and I don’t know why she was saying “I told you to bring this blahblahblah” when I’ve never talked to her before (and I hope I never will again).
• I was walking back to the bus stop, all depressed and thinking that the only way this day could get worse was if it started raining, when it started raining. Some higher deity out there has a nasty sense of humor.
• I was playing with my DS Lite on the bus when some random woman sat beside me and started chattering in Mandarin. I somehow understood that she was asking me how much I bought the DS for. I answered “San bai”, meaning 300 (in Singapore dollars; I got it for 8000 pesos, but I didn’t have a calculator on hand so I just made a rough estimate). And then she went on and on about some other console that was black and had a bigger screen, and I didn’t process it immediately so I said “Wo bu dong.. (I don’t know how..; I was going to say that I don’t know much Chinese)”, which led her to repeat her entire explanation. I eventually realized that she was talking about the PSP, so I said “PSP?” and she couldn’t understand what I was saying. She eventually just apologized and shut up. I’m kinda hoping she wasn’t the source of the horrible B.O. that I eventually noticed in my vicinity.
• I paid for the wrong plane ticket. I misheard the confirmation number that I got over the phone from the Jetstar people and ended up paying for another (hopefully nonexistent) ticket. Fortunately, they’ll be able to transfer the payment to the real ticket number.
• My dinner (beef hor fun) has tofu in it XP
The day isn’t over yet, so there might be more things to add. Let’s hope, for the sake of my sanity, that I’ll be able to get through the next hour or so without any more mishaps.
EDIT: After consulting with Cassy the Chinese guru, I corrected some of my translations.
I feel like such a bum. My "Hell Week" ended today, so of course I spent the last couple of hours playing with my birthday gift:
I wonder if I should name it (like Chimoms' Macbook). For those of you who watch Bleach, I found myself reminded of Rukia's zanpakutou, Sode no Shirayuki. I thought about calling it Yuki (snow in Japanese), but I kept imagining either Yukito from Cardcaptor Sakura (not necessarily a bad thing) or Yuki Eiri from Gravitation (ICK. As much as I like yaoi, this anime is just plain annoying >_<).
Yay, we're going to watch "300" tomorrow. The trailer really got me, especially King Leonidas' lines ("Madness? This is Sparta!"). I hope it's as good as it seems. It kinda reminds me of "Lord of the Rings" (probably because of the troll-like things and the men with piercings), which could be both good and bad; the LotR similarity makes me want to watch it, but it might raise my expectations too much. Not really a good reason to watch a movie but then again, Cassy only wants to watch it because of Gerard Butler (title role in "Phantom of the Opera" and King Leonidas) :P I hope it's not too gory, though. Even the official site is bloody; blood spurts out when you hover over the various icons o_o
I should go eat dinner now. Cecilia and I still have a lab report to do. A Life Science student's work is never done :\