Some Darth goodness

Darth Vader Made Me Cry A wonderful little tale about how evil the Imperial Dark Lord truly is.

I quite enjoyed ROTS. Peter David has a review that neatly summarises what I liked about Episode III (and, true to form, quotes Python on that one amusingly Holy Grail-esque bit). He also writes about how Episode IV matches up from the end of Episode III here, which makes me sorely want to rush out and buy the DVD box set. Argh.

Instead of packing

No, not going home yet — stopping over in Korea for five days before finally making it back to Singapore on Monday. I do leave from SFO in about eight hours, though, and I’m tired of packing so I’ll blog a little.

What’s gone on since the last post:

Went with Tansuwan to Castle Rock State Park in the South Bay for a 4.7 mile hike. Reading the description on the page before we left, we were told the hike was “moderate” and that “a trekking pole (or two) is definitely recommended.” Trekking poles? Two trekking poles?! Also, “If you stop and sit on this rock, or any other, be careful not to fall off the side of the hill!” Woo! Fun!

The 1000-mile elevation change was definitely tiring, but the weather was great. Here’s a small selection of pictures:

View from the path View of the hills from the path

Blue hills Blue hills, great day

Large freakin rock Must I really climb up there

Not much else, really — more weekend ridiculousness in various bars and clubs around the city, some sightseeing and general wandering around the city. On the way to the MOMA with some friends, we passed by some storm troopers outside the Sony Metreon.

Storm Troopers Can I see your ticket, please

Ah, and there was Vegas, of course. I may have been back from there for more than 30 hours by now, but I’m still not certain I’ve fully recovered from the weekend. This trip was with the drawgroup (most of it, anyway), so things didn’t bode well for my liver from the very start. My last two trips were relatively sane, considering the company: once with JC friends, the types who are substantially less likely to develop serious alcoholism problems than those I went with this time, and another time with family.

This time, there was an unreasonable amount of gambling, and an equally unreasonable amount of drinking. I ended up down a little at the blackjack tables, but what I lost more than paid for the free drinks. I think I averaged about ten drinks a night, not that I could really count by the end of each night. And by “end of the night” I actually mean “8am in the morning”, which was when we tried to stumble back to the suite at the New Frontier hotel without getting hit by cars or puking all over the morning joggers. Who the hell goes to Vegas to jog in the morning on the strip?

So that’s all I have for this (part of the) trip. I realised that I actually started blogging on stupidchicken.com a few days before I left here after graduation to go back to NS. Feels nothing like that now, of course (ORD loh!!!, almost), but I’m sure I’ll miss all these crazy drunkard friends all over again after I go.

Sitting around and taking up space

Uh, hello, I’m still alive. And I still have internet, as my friends who keep seeing me online and asking “why the hell are you online so much while on holiday?!” can attest to.

I’ve been in San Francisco for close to two weeks now, and apart from spending a lot of money, I really haven’t accomplished very much in terms of real travelling, but that’s alright — I think I deserve a sit-around-and-do-nothing kind of holiday. Even if I did pay over a thousand dollars of airfare to sit around and do nothing (except take up space) in Toru and Sasank’s apartment.

More interesting activities:

  • Snow Patrol and Embrace in concert at the Warfield. Very enjoyable, even if I got my ticket kindof late and ended up nearly as far back from the stage as humanly possible. Snow Patrol’s excellent live rendition of Run definitely made up for that, though.
  • Bright Eyes and The Faint in concert at the Concourse Exhibition Centre. Bright Eyes was pretty decent (they mostly played from Digital Ash, the less popular of their two new albums), but The Faint was just ridiculous. Infectious energy, catchy tunes, clever animations, great performance. Definitely overshadowed the main act, in my opinion.
  • San Francisco International Film Festival: Caught three movies at the AMC Kabuki in Japantown: Phil the Alien, Boxers and Ballerinas and Mad Hot Ballroom.
    • Phil the Alien was stupid but amusing — think Napoleon Dynamite but lower budget. I did laugh out loud a couple of times, but I can’t remember about what.
    • Boxers and Ballerinas was a documentary on Cuban youth boxers and, well, ballerinas; more specifically, it was an examination into the contrast between those who stayed in Cuba and those who’d defected. Interesting for its subject matter, but not so much the actual delivery, I thought.
    • Mad Hot Ballroom, however, I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. Partly because it’s about ballroom dance, partly because it’s about schoolkids and teachers, but mostly because it’s so well-made. It’s one of those movies where I suffered from the Grinning-Like-An-Idiot syndrome throughout the entire movie. I hope it makes its way to Singapore, I definitely want to see it again.
  • Went to a SF Giants game courtesy of Jess’ company tickets (I’m not sure how you get free tickets after you quit, but let’s not question that), which unfortunately got rained on. Giants won, at least.
  • Visited campus for a day, crashing at Joakim’s little Rains apartment (a situation I’m not altogether unfamiliar with, crashing at Rains). Just in time to see the prospective freshmen show up on campus for ProFro weekend. They’re so… small. I felt like I’d step on a couple if I wasn’t careful. And they’re class of 2009?! When the fuck did the numbers go up so quickly?!
  • The best part about being here, of course, is just meeting up with friends from college times. It’s good to see everyone again after a prolonged absence, especially also since I doubt I’ll ever be able to do this again (or at least, bum around on holiday for so long).

Otherwise, the food’s good (though expensive, now that I’m earning in Sing$), the drinks are cheap (hence making my friends into semi-alcoholics on weekends, it seems), the weather’s alternately craptacular and fantastic, the futon I’m crashing on is very comfortable, we’re going to Vegas next weekend, and I’m with some of the best friends that a lost anti-social international student could’ve asked for in college.

Good times.