Missed out on updating this for a while again, since we got pretty busy. I'm currently typing all of this out from my brother's apartment: it's our last day in Toronto before the last Vancouver run, and my folks have gone off to do some last minute shopping things. Peter and I are done packing, so we're chilling out and waiting for them.




May 26

This was our last day in Washington do to whatever we could, so after sleeping in and eating brunch at our leisure, my family elected to hit the Mall again to cover the Museum of American History. That place had some of the coolest exhibits I've ever seen, and one incredibly impressive exhibit on America's involvement in the different major wars along with some of their own on the home front. Military history and the like are among my favorite topics of interest, so you can only guess how much time I spent bouncing around in there, gawking at everything.

(Have I mentioned, on a related note, that we caught field trip season while we were in Washington, so we've been constantly swarmed by crowds of irritating children? I sometimes wonder if I've ever been so unappreciative of heritage and culture at those ages.

Shut up, I'm an old woman.)

We spent most of our morning and afternoon there, and then we split up to check out places we were interested in. Mom hit the art galleries; dad, Peter and I wanted to take a look at the Museum of the American Indian. Everything about that place was amazing, and my only regret is that we really, REALLY didn't get to see a lot of it before closing time. I was hoping to pick up a good book on Native American beliefs - something like a general reference on systems of religion, worship and philosophy - but there doesn't seem to be one in existence. That saddened me greatly, because the one exhibit we really got to go through tackled that topic, and was so fascinating. ;;

My feet were smarting from the collective pain of constantly walking since Toronto by that period. I think I spent most of the remainder of our last day in bed.


May 27

We got kicked out of the hotel by 12 because of check out times, and since our flight had been pushed back into the evening, we were left to stroll a bit around town and lounge in the lobby until it was time for us to head off. That was the start of all the shit, I believe.

Because of horrendous weather conditions and lots of air traffic, our flight was pushed back at least seven times, which resulted in my family and everyone else waiting for flights coming from New York waiting in the departure area for over four hours. The long delay made us miss our connecting flight to Buffalo (and, subsequently, an extra afternoon and evening with my brother Philip in Niagara on his birthday), so after riding a plane that smelled of piss (no joke; I don't want to think about whatever went in there before we came around), we were forced to putter around for a hotel at 2 in the morning upon our arrival to spend an extra night in NYC. We nailed one, but they dinged my parents for a crapload of money that didn't quite add up to the services and room quality of the place we were stuck with. It was one of those hotels that used to be really classy but is now falling apart all over the place.

At least the shuttle driver who took us over to our hotel was really cool.

In retrospect, the situation really wasn't so bad because I had my family with me. I think I would have been a lot angrier (and maybe a little insecure) if I had been traveling alone. The last delay I had to go through was back in LA, when I flew off for a conference. That wasn't very fun. :\


May 28

Our flight to Buffalo was, thankfully, NOT delayed, and we managed to get our suitcases upon landing without a fuss (they had been checked in the day before and had gotten to the airport way ahead of us). Philip was there to pick us up, along with Russell, one of my white brothers. The road trip going to Niagara was fun. XD

Russell accompanied Peter and I on the Maid of the Mist tour, which was so damned awesome... the last time I had been to see the Falls, I had been very young, so encountering them again at an age where I could truly appreciate their beauty and power was something else entirely. After that, we all spent a night out on the town, checking the place out. They really built a tourist town on the Canadian end! It made me miss the company of my friends back home.

The only solution, it seems, is to come back there with them someday.


May 30

Did some last minute touring of Niagara (Russell, Peter and I hit the Journey Behind the Falls this time and got thoroughly soaked) then went for a pit stop at Niagara-at-the-Lake (lovely little town; got to eat Canada's best ice cream, or so the sign said) before heading home. Didn't get to see Geoff since we arrived pretty late, which kind of sucked. Blame it on all of those damned delays...

Attended Mass with Phil and his family in the evening, then spent the rest of the time settling down and bonding. The little bro and I were dragged out early the very next day to go around the Greater Ontario area, checking out some of the universities that my folks are aiming to send my brother to. I went, of course, because these are the places I will have to seriously consider myself, since we might be moving.

Phil, Peter and I picked Liza and Liana up as soon as we were home so that we could catch Kung Fu Panda 2, which was pretty damned good for a sequel. After that, we picked up ginormous sandwiches for dinner, and the bros and I talked on things - family, growing up, moving out - while waiting for my parents to get home.




This trip, it seems, has been all about thinking back, looking forward and wondering where the hell I am now, in more ways than one. I am occasionally surprised at realizing how I really feel about things, and I'm also becoming increasingly aware of the fact that there's only so much time to do everything I need to do, and all of the other things that I simply want to do.

Interesting, really, this process of getting older.

On other news, I'm on my second (and heaviest) day of my period. I will be in transit. Fun.
Woke up with a sore throat - it already felt raw the other evening, but it was worse by the time I was up. Parents decided to cancel our Victoria day trip and take my bro and I downtown instead. Dad took the car down to the station on the north end, and we took a ferry over to Gas Town. Spent the rest of the time walking, since our parents wanted to show my bro and I around while they ran some errands.

The city of Vancouver's just as pretty as the scenery, which is quite a feat for a place, if you ask me. The best part about wandering is being able to look at all the smaller details rather than the bigger picture, and, if you're in good company, occasionally talking about whatever comes to mind. There is also a special joy in strolling down a street with hot chocolate at hand and the wind on your face.

Of course, I might just be feeling romantic about that. It's probably something that a whole lot of people get to do down here. Try that in Manila, and... well.

Our next stop was Capilano Suspension Bridge. The park has seriously expanded and organized itself since the last time any of us were there. It doesn't JUST have the bridge; it has exhibits on the history of the place, and this really awesome path way that they strung up between the trees, allowing you to see things from a much higher vantage point. Peter and I were on the lookout for animals, and while my bro didn't get to see his racoon, we did spot a lot of birds and a pair of mallard ducks.

Passed out again early since I wasn't feeling too good - Mom and Peter went off to buy dinner at Earl's while my Dad kept me company. Woke up after three hours to kick ass chicken fritters and fries. Not much else to say about THAT, though, since I went to sleep for real after eating.

Now I'm up again at a decent time, and feeling worlds better. We're going to do another round around town, I think, since it's too risky for us to take that day trip to Victoria at this point.




First stop we made was over at the Museum of Anthropology within the University of British Columbia (which, by the way, has an incredibly huge campus). All of the stuff in their collection brought me back to my grade school days in Canada - they're really big on racial awareness and the conservation of what they now call the First Nations people. Wandered around a lot, spotted the exhibit they had on the Philippines, and bought myself a really nifty pewter necklace~

Dad brought us over to the house of an old family friend of his, and he and his wife treated us out to lunch at Fortune Garden, this awesome Chinese restaurant close to Granville. It was really, really pleasant, since Dad's friend really reminds me of Dad (they even say the same taglines), and his wife is vivacious and engaging. They went with us to Granville and toured us around before we stopped over for dessert. Peter and I got to feed the pigeons after we were done, which is kind of something that I've been itching to do since I was little.

Forgot to mention: we spotted a pair of American bald eagles en-route to Fortune Garden. Peter and I are still holding out for that racoon.

The lot of us parted ways close to dinner time; we headed back to the lodge so that my folks could prepare for another dinner with friends of theirs. Peter and I were supposed to tag along, but I was tired, and somebody needed to keep me company. Ended up sleeping for a long time (I do that a lot these days), and the bro bought me dinner from Earl's sometime before I woke up for real. We've just been chilling out now, occasionally watching stuff, occasionally packing.

We'll be off to Toronto tomorrow, which means another timezone, a colder place and my third older bro, with family. I'm feeling a lot better now, but it'd be awesome if I could stop sniffling.
One of the best things about traveling with one's family is talking. We ended up waking up at around 5 in the morning and just wandering around the room, talking. Heard some bad news over email with regard to jobs and the like the other night, but with that also came a sense of freedom. Mentioning it to my father brought up all sorts of nice quotes.

"When you plan you life, factor in the fact that you are not God."

"There are boundaries and there are obstacles in life. If it is an obstacle, goddamnit, fight it! If it's a boundary, respect it. Because you'll never win against a true boundary; you'll just get hurt."

"Since I'm imparting my wisdom to you, and you have no choice but to listen to me..."

"The curse of individualism is the lack of gratitude."




We drove down to Whistler after a light breakfast - the entire route was really, really pretty. I realized that you really can't describe the small and beautiful things about nature without seeing it first hand. The way the trees look, the layout of the mountains, the movement of the river... books will only give you so much, as will pictures.

Segue: before hitting the highway, dad drove us through our old neighborhood, from the exit on the highway to the shopping center mom used to do the groceries in to our old house, to my old school. It's really interesting how memories work; you just sort of dig them up if they've been sitting a while, and everything comes back in vague flashes. You also learn more about what your life was really like in the past many years after the fact. I suppose this happened to me because I was very young when I still lived in Canada, so there naturally wasn't a lot that I would've been told, or known about on my own.

After our little trip down memory lane, my parents decided to go for a quick stopover at Alice Lake, where my family used to go swimming during the summer. It was fucking cold, but beautiful. Bro and I kept our eyes peeled for squirrels, and ended up disappointed. The robins were cute.

Whistler has apparently changed a lot since the last time any of us have been there, and it's mostly due to the fact that they hosted the Winter Olympics last year. Had a great lunch in a pub (tried a Whistler Honey Lager; awesome stuff), then we went up on the lift. None of us were expecting a lot of snow. The long and short of it is, we got a fuck load of it. We even got snowed on, and went through a cloud. The silence was eerie; the landscape was haunting. Oh, and naturally, all of us frooze our asses off, but that in itself is a bonding experience.

We also got to see a black bear on the ride down from the mountain. Peter was amused at how he got to see a bear before, y'know, a squirrel.

On another note, being back in Canada really confirmed it. I love cities, beaches and desserts, but it's the strange, sometimes gloomy and always overpowering beauty of mountains and temperate countries that truly inspire me.

Everyone passed out en-route to the lodge - dad even had to pull over for a quick nap. Once we had changed, though, it was off to the house of one of my mom's very old friends. Her husband is an awesome cook (who ferments his own wine: how cool is that?) who fed us salmon (*A*!), chicken fingers and mashed potatoes. They were really happy to see us, especially my bro and I - we were wee little things the last time we came around.




Pretty much acclimatized to the timezone through sheer exhaustion and the like. Glad that I have net access at the moment. Helps me record things as they happen.


18442 / 50000 words. 37% done!

Solved the dilemma that I got myself into, but still too slow on the writing front for my tastes. It helps, though, not writing linearly!

I'll be posting my status reports over at [livejournal.com profile] stitchedophelia for the interested. The first one is over here, with an excerpt featuring I-pin.




Pimping this meme entry again, because I like to TL;DR!

Anyway uh so what happened to me and why did I end up wasting so much time in ADMU over registration. Basically. they changed their policies when it comes to filing for tuition discounts, making it ten times more hassling than it used to be with extra signatures and photocopies and all... we weren't informed either (at least I wasn't, and I don't remember any announcement going up at the department), so I only found out about it after lining up several times over.

If that wasn't enough, there's the fact that after going through all the hassle, I was told that my class got "dissolved" - or more like, it's closed to outsiders, since it was meant to be a special tutorial for some of the other MA students in the department. It was just listed as an "official" class by accident.

So I go on campus the next day, and attempt to re-enlist for another class. Stupid AISIS doesn't allow me to. Twice over.

Yeah, it was a glorious fucking screw-up, I tell you.

I do firmly believe that the registrar over at my university should go through the process that they've made, just to see how inefficient and hassling it is firsthand. Maybe it'll kick them into coming up with something better.




On happier news, I got to go out with the Faura smoket group and celebrate [livejournal.com profile] hamster_friend's birthday in their very excellent company. Trust in Ateneans to balance out stupid inuman shit with highfalutin personal philosophies and ghost stories.

(Note: must invite group to house. Parents get finnicky about people whom they have not met in person yet.)

My parents celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary the next day, which was nice and intimate. Anika was trufax adorable, and Mimi (Pio's first daughter, and my goddaughter! *A*) made a guest appearance!

Was tired as heck by the time I got home (haven't slept all that early since Singapore), but ended up staying around until 2 AM, bugging [livejournal.com profile] khursten and writing with my Dying Will. Just stopped writing to make this entry.

School's starting up again tomorrow. I feel a little more prepared to teach the subjects they've assigned me to teach this semester: now it's just a matter of preparing my syllabi and leaping into the water.
izkariote: (zen.)
( Oct. 31st, 2009 09:48 pm)
IN B4 I CHECK EVERYTHING because if I checked everything first I'll likely crash before doing this properly, which'll mean waking up and checking everything first and delaying this entry further. o_o

/incoherent

A-anyway uh so like I mentioned a few entries back and then some, I flew off to Singapore on the 27th with Khursten ([livejournal.com profile] khursten), Yukeh ([livejournal.com profile] yukitsu) and Lyn ([livejournal.com profile] kye_kestrel). This was our first trip out as a group (and Yukeh's first trip abroad ever), and it was the most glorious adventure we've had together yet.

SORT OF DISCLAIMER: I'm extremely lazy unorganized, and I'm not too fond of doing a blow-by-blow account of things, so this entry will likely be the "abridged" version of our whole trip with lots of personal teal deer on my end. Shove off to the entries my buddies will make if you want something to, er, supplement this. XD

They will also have pictures, which means that their entries will totally top mine by default.


SHENANIGANS. )


So now I'm back in my house, showered, properly fed, practically dead on my feet but feeling the best I've had in a while. I've missed home and I've missed my family, although I don't particularly miss my country with Singapore still on the brain.

I'll be frank and say that Singapore, while lovely, was probably a place that I'd like to visit again, but not live in ever. It's... got this weird feel to it. This neither-here-nor-there, lack of "cultural" ground ambiance that sort of gets to you if you're sensitive to that sort of things. I mean, it's safe and secure and really fucking pretty, but it somehow feels empty for me.

Of course, that's all an observation on my part. Whether it's fair or not, I don't know.

Nevertheless, I made some good memories in Singapore, and it will always go down in my personal history as the first place I traveled to in the company of friends. I am also likely going to go back there very often in the future if the economy is kind to me, because I've got some real friends there that I definitely wouldn't mind seeing time and time again, from here until whenever.

/takes a deep breath

SO NOW THAT THAT IS DONE it's likely back to the regular routine. Still got a few days of sem break left to enjoy, although faculty duties are bound to kick in for me, especially with the new subjects I'll be teaching. There is also NaNoWriMo to consider, and that open RP post that I'm supposed to do for everybody.

May also need some time to figure out how to get rid of the Singlish twang. I-it's even corrupted the narrative voice in my head, as I rather rudely discovered when I attempted to read some of my books during the trip.

And I still want chicken rice. Like, lots of it.




Sooooo, flist, what did I miss? :D

EDIT: WHAT THE SHIT FLIST 520+ ENTRIES?!
izkariote: (boobs.)
( Sep. 19th, 2009 03:30 pm)
New blog post up at Orzisms: The Fanfiction Meme, Now Available in Kae Flavor

Screwed up with that one. Forgot to click publish, so it didn't actually go up on the date that I specified it for. /sob




The good thing about having your parents out of the country is that you can smoke in your room without fear of getting caught, and you can eat wherever you want, whenever you want. Also: temporal freedom from Sunday Mass.

The bad thing about it is that your parents aren't around at all, and the house is incredibly, incredibly quiet.




Went to the doctor recently - [livejournal.com profile] khursten was kind enough to accompany me and keep me from flipping tables and snarling at noisy children. Have told the doctor that I'm okay with nuking my thyroid.

Will be AWOL over the summer because of it. Here's hoping all goes well.

Crazy year it's been so far, eh? The schizophrenic weather's just the tip of the iceberg.




Currently typing this from what will apparently be my last Saturday class session. This leaves my weekends free for bugging friends and getting all of my backlogged work out of the way. Apologies to the folks that I've been holding up on various fronts... will attempt to get things out and about soon.




Finished The World Ends With You in between doing my readings and my papers over the week.

Bone hard medical fact: Joshua is one of the most assholic characters in video game history.

Should I go and read Signal to Noise or should I collect the Secret Reports first?




There is something very refreshing about trolling around an RP with a creeper like Rokudo Mukuro. o_o
.

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