Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Farewell-UPDATED

The wireless here is working in theory, like NATO. However no one seems to know the password and connecting it directly by cable doesn't seem to do the trick either. I've also just realised that the bung CD drive on my laptop got forgotten in the final rush, and that it remains..bung. Where are my geeks when I need them!!!

If I was in SF, where top-quality uber-geeks grow on trees, I'd make dinner or bake something and somehow my IT woes would be fixed by evening's end. Anyhoo, that's a big long-winded excuse for no pix today cos I still haven't figured out how to transfer them from my laptop to this PC.

In lieu of those, I decided to bust out the Paint app on this PC and totally impress you with my mad drawing skillz.

the wonderful Yen organised a gaggle of our friends to go to all-you-can-eat-and-drink shabu shabu and sake in Japantown. They weren't stingy neither. As soon as a platter of meat disappeared into the pot, another would miraculously appear in its place. Same went with the sake and the Sapporo beer. It was as close to the Hogwart's Great Dining Hall experience I've ever had.

Accurate rendition of our table

It was pissing down like a mofo outside, but inside it was steamy goodness all round and we were just one of many raucous groups of young Asians badly handling our alcohol. Also I got a big scrapbook of all the trips we went on and everything *sniff* good times..

Then, we were off to Fillmore Karaoke for some awesome 80s hits. Unfortunately we didn't realise they don't serve drinks in there. How does one do karaoke without alcohol??? The mind boggles.

So the wonderful Yen and Yee stepped in and smuggled the sake in our car into the room, where we promptly refilled our "water" bottles.
Amazingly accurate rendition of our karaoke suite

What my in-depth illustration lacks is our particularly rousing renditions of Air Supplies' "I'm all out of Love" and the time where I broke it down for Vanilla Ice's seminal piece of genius "Ice, Ice Baby". As I said, mad. skillz.

Then finally came time for us to turn off the George Michael. Not because we had no love for him, only cos we now had no voice left. And I did my farewell speechy thing. Which I totally was planning on not crying through.
Accurate rendition of farewell speechy thing

Oh well, it was a good plan anyway.

UPDATE: Strikingly real as my illustrations are, you don't really need them, but the boring ol' pix are here.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Skiing at Squaw

I have seen snow exactly twice in my life. The first at 5 in Italy, where I got right back on the bus after declaring it too cold, and the second in Niigata, Japan a couple years back. Neither time was more than a day-trip allowing a brief, tantalising glimpse.

SQUAW: Come for the quite derogatory name, stay for the awesome slopes

So, I was really stoked to hear that the heavy rain in SF had translated to some of the best snows the Tahoe-region has seen in years and happy to join a big group of our friends going. Lake Tahoe is a few hours drive from SF, and nearby is the Squaw Valley, which once hosted a Winter Olympics.

Hope the cable-car holds up: with Yee, Karen, Yen, Carmello and Deanna

First, the snow gear. I had no idea it would be so complicated. Basically, eliminate natural fibers from your person on the slopes, and you will keep dry and warm (enough). Managed to skip the goggles, and just used my big new sunnies instead. I had the fleece headbandy thing, a hat and my hood working with my turtleneck, but I think next time I'll go for a balaclava. Looking like a bank-robber is much preferable to skiing in freezing wind. Did I mention I'm a total cold-weather wuss?

Then, the car gear. If driving your own car, one needs to stop at the snow line and get out some chains to wrap the tires. Looks like your Honda is into bondage after they're on.

We avoided salacious associations with the Mazda by hiring a bag-ass SUV. With that privileged air that being high up in an SUV gives you, we arrived at a 'cabin' a short distance from Squaw. By cabin I mean a cabin-style 2-storey, 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom heaven.

A cabin-shaped pile of snow really

Our friend Jason rented it from a colleague and we couldn't have asked for better. Fully-equipped fancy kitchen, big bathrooms and fireplace. Woo! I think that 'cabin' style is mandatory in those parts, cos everyone built that way. But, you can tell the owners really committed to it inside when you see the impressive array of moose-bear-dear motifs they've assembled. From the antler chandelier down to the bear-printed coasters, they're keeping an entire industry alive I reckon.

I should have gotten a picture of those.. that would have been really funny.. but you see, mostly I was busy doing this:


Go here for the rest of the pix.


There's a lot of shit to catch up on account of I had a ski trip, packing up, farewell, and arrival in KL in the last 2 weeks. Ack!

Thousands of miles have been traversed, but here in my parent's place the distance seems even vaster. Yes, I know that's not a proper word. The ride here was a bumpy one, and I don't just mean on the plane!

Have met up with the wonderful Jo who is also in company with the parental units, and we've both agreed we feel about 15 again (even though she already has some gorgeous baby units to boss around). There has been door-slamming for her, and I am just about ready to enter the sullen/sighing/rolling-eyes olympics.

Anyway, let me hark back to another time, a whole two weeks ago.....back when I could still leave dishes in the sink as I pleased...

[insert flashback music]