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Archive for the ‘sydney’ Category


Recently I attended the birthday party of one of my friends. It wasn’t actually her birthday, but I think she decided to have it early since her birthday is during the winter break. I was looking at the light fixtures in her house and thought, “Hmm, they look kind of Japanese.”

The pattern is like the one in the above picture (which is a “shoji lamp”, apparently) except the light was kind of a flat rectangle, and it was on the ceiling. I did see some pictures sort of like the lamp I’m trying to describe but nothing quite right.

And then there were other lights that looked sort of like what I saw when I was in Japan. I couldn’t find the right picture for that either. But I saw those kinds of lamps in my hotel rooms when I was in Japan. Perhaps there are such lamps in people’s homes too. I’m curious about it, but I doubt I will get the chance to return to Japan soon. (I wanted to go again so I can see Hokkaido, and the Sapporo Snow Festival, but it’s in January and I have school. Ugh, school. A lot of good cruise ship routes are only during the months when I’m in school so I can never go)

Well, my friend does not have Japanese lineage, as far as I know of, but I believe her father had been in Japan for a while, so maybe he was fond of Japanese-style things and decided to buy a house that had such features in California. That’s why my friend knows that if a few letters were taken out of her name, then her name would be the Japanese word for flower. Speaking of which, I didn’t think my name really had a meaning (besides famous cities being named after me – though the truth is that I’m named after the city), but then I looked it up and apparently my name is from Old English and means “wide meadow”. Hmm, not bad.

While I am on the topic of Japan…Sometimes I take a look at the bonus features on anime DVDs. I’ve watched an interview with Yui Makino and a day in the work on The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (that one featured Aya Hirano, who was Haruhi’s voice and sang the opening and ending songs – note I am talking about the original anime and not the re-release). I thought that their singing sounded different from their normal speaking voices. Do people always sound different when they sing than when they are just talking? I’ve been curious about it ever since.

Speaking of music, I started watching an anime called Da Capo, and now I’m on the second season. (I think the name Da Capo is cool since it is a musical term) When I was watching the opening sequence I listened to the song and realized that it was strangely familiar to me. In fact, I discovered it was a song on my playlist. (“Sakurairo no Kisetsu”, sung by Yozuca*, #37 on the playlist at the bottom of this page)

Also, Abba must be after me for some reason. My playlist is on shuffle and autostart so it automatically picks a random song on my playlist. Two times in a row, when seeing my playlist, I was given an Abba song. (Yes, I know, Abba is old and isn’t even singing anymore nowadays, but I thought they were sort of catchy. I guess I really am an old person after all.)

I learned something about Harrison Ford recently. Harrison Ford played Han Solo in Star Wars and was Indiana in Indiana Jones. I had never known for all this time that he was an actor in Star Wars until my dad told me…I guess I’m not that knowledgeable about actors. (Refer to my post in June 2009, “definitely hunting season for drivers”, there’s a part about my lack of knowledge about Angelina Jolie there)

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Today, my mom said that I should put my drawings somewhere so I don’t lose them. I definitely ought to, because I once had this great drawing of Lucario (well, I just looked at the Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew movie’s DVD cover, and copied it, but whatever) and then I lost it! I was really mad over it. Maybe someday I’ll find it again, though. Sometimes I do rediscover my old things.

I used to keep a binder with my drawings. I was 9 years old at the time, so the pictures are not so great. (In fact, some of my pictures from before I was 9 are there. They are silly, but they’re amusing to look at) It’s been so long since I updated that binder. A few of my dad’s drawings are in there, too. He draws really good, even if he was only drawing copies of what was in my “How to Draw Manga” book that I ordered from the Scholastic book catalog one year. I guess both of us are better at imitating other people’s art than drawing our own. That’s worrisome, because I don’t want to be arrested for violating copyrights or something like that.

Not that I’m not interesting in going to jail. To me, jail is similar to school, except they have higher fences. I mean, I heard we have the same meal program. That’s not fair, because the students committed crimes (uh…as far as I know, at least) but then, criminals are still people and have rights (though some might be a bit kooky). I heard they serve pizza in jail. That’s not so bad, is it? But my parents say I am silly for being curious about going to jail because people beat each other up and it can be quite dangerous. Plus, I heard that prisons in my state are getting overcrowded, and one time there was a riot at jail and some buildings were destroyed and people were injured, so I guess I should find a place with a nice jail. Sydney, Australia used to be where the British sent criminals, I think, and there is still an old prison (not in use anymore, I believe) on a very small island in Sydney Harbor… It must’ve been the jail with the prettiest view in the world.

Back to the topic, though, before I get sidetracked (as usual! I don’t really care if I get sidetracked personally, but it might confuse you, the reader). I also dug out my cello the other day. It’s not actually my own cello – it was borrowed from a friend of my mom’s. My mom’s friend’s son (well, one of them) wanted to be in Advanced Orchestra or something along those lines, so he took lessons out of school in cello, but he still couldn’t give in, so I suppose he gave up and no one was using the cello. So I took it since at the time I was still taking orchestra. I haven’t touched it for a very long time so the bow looks ruined, and the strings are really out of tune. Apparently, depending on the temperature, the strings get loose or tight, so you have to tune string instruments every day. Well, the cello itself is shiny still but it’s hard to use it since there aren’t notches in the bridge for the strings, so if you’re not careful the strings at the very sides could actually fall off the bridge, and then you would to have to put them back on. Very annoying, and scary too. I’ve been urged to take cello again but I’m not sure if I should yet. For one thing, I am afraid to find out whether I even know how to play reasonably well anymore. And I only did take Beginning Orchestra, so although I have knowledge of music (from playing piano all these years), would I still be able to do vibrato, or hold the bow properly?

I think someday I have to get over that fear. I don’t know when that day will come for me. It could be fifty or sixty years from now, when I am retired for real (although I really want to retire, it’s unlikely, like WHO WOULD PAY FOR MY EXPENSES? My dad says he will give me his money, but he wants to retire as well).

I’m an easily distracted person, and sometimes I start thinking, and old memories that I had forgotten for so long come back to me. (Thus the title for today’s post.) For instance, my carseat. I used to always have to sit in one. It wasn’t all that long ago. Maybe third grade or so… I think I started to sit without a carseat in maybe fourth grade? (Hey! Maybe that’s why I started getting carsick! I didn’t have a carseat any longer) I wonder where it is now. Is it in the garage? Or has it been given away? Sometimes I think it’s so weird how I could forget about something that I had for so long. But then again, I guess people are always preoccupied with their current lives and don’t have that much time to think about the past. It’s kind of sad that way. Life is so rushed, and technology actually seems to be making it busier instead of less busy…

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My mother and I have been butting heads (not literally, just figuratively) over the dilemma of what backpack to use for the next school year. I have the option of my trusty black Jansport roller backpack, or my brown can’t-sit-up-straight “regular” backpack, also of the Jansport brand. The roller backpack seems that it would be easier to use, what with not feeling the weight on your back, and thus improving your posture. But roller backpacks cause people to trip (sometimes a good thing, not always, does anyone remember the time I almost killed a PE teacher?), and often get unbalanced so you need to stop and flip it over every time it gets upside down. Plus, it seems that a lot of people are addicted to my roller backpack. If I have it, then they will insist on pulling it, or pushing the handle up and down for amusement. And the roller backpack is hard to use on stairs. I wonder about it myself but I have decided for now I will use the brown backpack since we should not be carrying much in the beginning of the school year (well, except for maybe textbooks, but I’m pretty sure they won’t give that to me on the first day…right?).

Other things are also questionable about the next school year. For one thing, I wonder if I will be walking home by myself or with the girl (I guess I could say neighbor since she lives on the street parallel to mine) I walked with last year. I guess maybe my mom or I will have to call them and ask about it unless they do on their own. I heard that the girl (keeping her name disclosed, though I used her initials in some other post) wants to ride a bicycle so I hope she will get to (for her sake and also a little for mine as well). If I am by myself I will not have to worry about inconveniencing her by stopping to take photos with my cell phone all the time. (Though I’d rather use a camera than a cell phone, because my cell phone can’t take as good photos. But I’m not sure if you’re allowed to bring cameras to school, and even if you are, not a good idea to keep it out since people might want to use it to take photos of me or themselves or even steal it)

I’m going to go back to the subject of my vacation since I’m sure I will forget most of what went on then unless I keep a record of it (if you think about it, my blog sort of serves as a scrapbook or something for me. Oh yeah, I heard one of my teachers last year liked scrapbooking, though that is pretty irrelevant). One of the people, whom I shall refer to as Harry, was with us while we were in Melbourne. He has two children, Lukey and Vanessa, Lukey being the younger one. I am still not exactly sure how Vanessa is spelled. You see, Harry probably liked tennis or something, because he wanted to name his daughter after Venus (one of the two Williams sisters). But something got messed up and an A was added or something because her name is not Venus after all. I thought it was kind of interesting, though maybe my name’s reason is more clear, as when I was in elementary school one of the YMCA day care staff liked to called me “Sydney Australia” or just “Australia” sometimes.

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My trip to Australia was pretty good overall (because I like Australia as a place), but there was a string of bad things, as well.

– I became carsick a lot. Apparently BMW sports cars tend to be fast overall so if you’re driving on a winding road, it’s easy to feel carsick. And sometimes you end up with a reckless driver, for instance, Andrew. Sure, he drives alright, but he tends not to drive within the speed limit. I heard he got so many tickets for speeding that eventually he was told that he can either not drive for a while (three months?) or he has to stay within the speed limit. So he set this thing on his car which makes a noise whenever he drives over 60 km/h. But even then I wonder if he notices it. (No offense to him if he does notice it.)

– We went on a tour of the Sydney Opera House – my family, David, Michael, Meggie, and Andrew. My dad used to live in the suburbs of Sydney, but he never went inside the opera house (back then you needed to see one of the shows to get in…My mom muttered to me that he was a cheapskate and they never spent much money on her). My mom had already called Lily, who works for a travel agency, to book English tours for us. The English tour is longer than the Mandarin tour, and anyhow I can’t understand much Mandarin, so it would be pointless for me to take the Mandarin tour. But then Gary, my dad’s friend, called Lily. First he said he was Meggie’s friend (which confused Lily, who didn’t know who Meggie was at that point) and then Gary insisted on having Mandarin tours instead of English. Luckily, it got changed in time for us to take the English tour.

– My camera broke. Aaaaah! This is probably one of the worst, if not the worst. I have a Nikon Coolpix camera which I’ve been using for quite some time. So it’s dear to me… (I have a strange attachment to objects which I’ve had by my side) It broke while I was in Cairns, having ridden the Rainforest SkyRail (it’s like one of those lift things, which are either amusement park rides or used for skiers…) to get to a place where they have animals, like butterflies, koalas, wallabies, and reptiles. Anyhow, maybe I was swinging the camera too much, or it was just really bad luck, because when I tried to turn on the camera, it would say there was a Lens Error and you couldn’t turn it off unless you took the camera battery out… I really don’t want to buy a new camera (I don’t know how to fix it, and I heard getting someone to fix it for me would cost even more) because of the money and also because I’d miss this camera. My parents insist they could buy the same kind of camera, but that seems pointless to me. If you have camera knowledge, please give me some tips here!

– My mom’s wristwatch broke. The strap came apart and we can’t seem to put it together again (it still tells time, but now since you can’t wear it, it’s just like a clock). So now she had to switch watches. She figures she’s probably going to try and buy a new one – she wants that is durable and which doesn’t need its batteries replaced (like a watch which has a solar battery, which is what she was using, or one that you can wind up every day. Omega watches are the wind-up kind, but Omega watches are pricey… So my mom wouldn’t want to use that to wash dishes and do laundry and things like that, and people could steal it, if you know what I mean).

There’s more, but I’ll continue it in a further post… (I suppose that’s more than three bad things, huh?)

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You might’ve heard of the book. I’m just using the title as a post title, though. Here I am talking about a balloon.

Yes, a balloon. It is a blue color, I guess you could call it sky blue even if it is not quite that shade. On it are various crooked lines which are supposed to represent the International Date Light, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Prime Meridian, and Equator. All lines and drawings were drawn on the balloon with a black Sharpie marker. The continents can be seen on the balloon, and they are labeled, along with some deserts and countries and islands, and of course the oceans.

Right now, the balloon in question hangs from a ceiling fan. This ceiling fan has two chains hanging from it. One you pull to turn on the lights, the other you pull to turn on the fan. The balloon has a white cord tied around its end, and the other end of the cord is tied to one of the chains of the ceiling fan.

The balloon has been residing in my house since quite a while ago, when I first brought it home. In my history class, we were doing an activity where we blew up balloons and drew the world on them. Neither of my “teammates” wished to bring it home, so I just held on to it all day. It was a problem walking home with it, so I attached it to one of my keychains. Ha! Having so many of them came in handy. I kept looking back as I walked to make sure the balloon was still there. It kept bobbing and swaying, but at least it stayed, until I came home, and found the white cord, which is its leash.

In a way, this is kind of sad. As I can’t have a cat or dog, because of my mom’s lack of love for animals, I end up leading a balloon of all things on a leash. Probably I should name it, if it’s already my pal. I can’t tell what gender it is. They call the earth Mother Earth, but the balloon just seems rather male to me. Maybe I should give it a unisex name, like my name…

Now for a switch of topics. Sometimes I read a magazine called Reader’s Digest. Mostly I read the jokes, Ask Laskas (it’s an advice column, I guess you would call it), and perhaps an article or two. This time an article about baby naming caught my eye. Apparently it is a very exciting thing. Some people just name their kids trendy names and others name them all sorts of things, like Lexus (a car!), Nevaeh (heaven spelled backwards), and so on. I found out that my name was the 41st most popular girl name in 1996. I didn’t know I was that common. D: And oddly enough, one of my friends, her name was 40st. So close together it’s scary.

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I see that people are as selfish as ever. They all want ice cream because it’s free. I know this since I showed up around 5:30 pm yesterday at the school, because I heard there would be free ice cream. However, many students were already there because they’d gone to the Cougar Fest (the Kennedy kids stay after school to do activites like pony hopping, rock climbing, bungee jumping, hoop shooting, and other things. I heard there were even Wii games. Probably just Wii Sports, though, and you get that for free when you buy a Wii). I paled looking at the long line of students, and my dad and I made a hasty getaway. We ate some cookies and cream ice cream at home instead.

I wish the Nature Center had been unlocked. I would like to show my dad sometime since he likes gardening. He wanted me to put his name and “A husband, a father, and a gardener” on his gravestone. So I thought it’d be cool to give him a tour of our school’s nature center, which is a garden of sorts that is sometimes used for scientific studies, especially in seventh grade (our classroom has a back door leading to the Nature Center). There’s all sorts of nice and not-so-nice things like two ponds (one is broken and man-made. The other is…thriving. One time we had a pair of ducks land in the Nature Center. They might want to mate there), many plants (ginkgos are my favorite trees since their fan-shaped leaves are kind of pretty), and benches (sometimes we have fern plants there, or “plaster of Paris” to use to make molds of fossils o_O;; ). It’s better than a stuffy classroom all day, anyhow.

I have been watching drama, a Korean one called One Fine Day. My mom checked it out from the library so I took a look at it. It started off in the city of Sydney so of cuorse I had to watch it, because I watch things that have my name in it (like Finding Nemo, a cool animated movie about a clownfish). Dramas are strange. There’s lots of yelling, cheesy background music, etc. I’m too used to anime, which makes Korean seem foreign to me. But I think my mom and I know some words in Korean now.

Ching-jang-neh-yo (that’s how you pronounce it, not how it’s spelled XD) is boss or team manager?
Abuji – Father
Amani (“Ama” for short?) – Mother
Neh (how do you spell that) – Yes
Deh – Either “no” or “pardon?” depending?
Oppa – Brother (I was confused about this at first. A character is called Gun but his sister calls him Oppa)

I have changed the layout of the blog. It is now Koda Kumi themed. I found it on Blogskins.com which has some pretty cool skins. You have to hunt for them sometimes, though. I have trouble getting my playlist’s HTML code to work here, so I have put a link to my playlist in the click away section, and instead put an Imeem song 30 second preview thing instead.

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This morning, I was curious, so I compared a “kids” book (Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep) and an “adult” book (A Kitzi Camden Mystery: Bead on Trouble). Emily Windsnap had fairly large text, and there was a little bit of space between the lines, much unlike Bead, which had small text squished together. It was readable, to be sure, but my dad seemed to have a little more trouble reading it than the “kids” book. (I guess that’s why needs reading glasses now.)

I’ve been oddly unoccupied lately, just wandering around the house wasting time, or going on the Internet. It’s ironic, as I was so busy a few weeks ago what with juggling homework and projects. My parents also seem to have free time. My dad was watching a Chinese movie about warlords and such last night, so he must have time. My mom is working in the kitchen, but her laptop, as usual, is set down next to her so she can watch dramas. I myself had just been watching anime, but I grew bored and decided to go write in my blog.

Our newish converter box is odd, since it takes radio signals as well. So you can actually listen to the radio using the TV. But it’s really weird since you can only see a pitch black screen, and the blue bar below it which tells you the channel, time, and so on.

Does anyone know how to fix a ruined DS screen? My old DS (it’s not a DS Lite) has had an odd screen for a long time. A certain part near the middle of the bottom screen, well, it doesn’t seem sensitive to the touch of the stylus (a stick/pen used to poke the screen). It’s probably from overbrushing dogs in Nintendogs (a game where you take care of puppies – take them on walks, put them in contests, etc.). I only wonder if there is some way to fix it, or if I have to continue using my other DS, a black DS Lite. What if that one gets ruined eventually? Then I’ll have 3 DS…And my mom would force me to give one to my cousin in France.

…Ah! It’s Divine Design! It’s one of my favorite interior design shows. The host is Candice Olson, and for me it’s on channel 75. That’s Home & Garden TV. Maybe it’s odd that I like this channel so much, but oh well. XD Last night, I was watching Designed to Sell, in which people who are going to sell their houses redo the house so that it’ll fetch a higher price from buyers. ‘

And then I watched House Hunters International. The featured person(s) will go with a realtor to look at three houses, and then pick which one they want. This time it was in Australia, only 35 minutes drive away from the awesome city of Sydney. It’s beautiful if you have a view of a river, lake, or ocean. But it’s pretty expensive. Though of course, where I live, houses can sometimes go well over a million, it’s still not cheap (Sydney and such suburbs are among the 20 most expensive places to live) as a big house would cost the approximation of 800,000+ US dollars. I’d like to see Australia someday, though.

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