Friday, December 14, 2007

Eyes Wide Open


Before you think I am crazy, what do you think I witnessed just now? Any guesses? Haha. Before your imagination run too wild, let me give you a hint. It's something you don't find in Singapore. What's America culture like to you? Ah... so you guessed it?

I just witnessed...........................

A Nude Parade!!!!!!!!

Now, you understand my insanity? Haha. I am still engaged in disbelief what I just witnessed. Think I might not be able witness such an event again. Once in a lifetime man.

Some background information on the Nude parade. It's a tradition carried out by a group of Cal students who lived in Co-op, which is similar to the halls in NUS, just that it's not co-owned by the university and it's a smaller community style of living, a group of 30-50 people living in a big house with a common kitchen and dining room. So, every semester during the start of exam period, they will strip at the basement of Mofitt library, and run through every floor of the main stacks library , which is the underground library of Cal, a few rounds.

Guess what? I got the most shocking introduction before the actual nude parade. I was getting ready to go to the main stacks library via the elevator before I decided to take the stairways to save time, for I do not want to miss a single moment of the nude parade. And when I open the door to the stairways. POOF!!! A big bunch of half naked people greeted me, about 40-50 plus people. OH MY GOSH. Some of them got their boobs decorated with fanciful paints. I walked past them and asked them if they will run to the main stacks later. In response, they put their fingers on their mouth, "Sssssshhhhhhh." So, off I went to the main stacks in anticipation of their arrival.

When I arrived at the main stacks, the aisle was already full of people waiting to watch the parade. Wa seh man. So shiok. Most of them were ready with their cameras and some even got their SLRs. Wa kao. So I thought I should take a video of the parade too though I was initially against the idea. Hmm, at this point? I am thinking, should I continue with my description of the parade or would you rather I post the videos on my blog? Afterall, pictures speak a thousand words. But here's the issue of privacy versus excitement? Give me your feedback on my cbox. Majority wins. Polls ends on next Wednesday night, which is the last day of my exams. Haha. Create some suspense for you guys. Haha.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Trapped in Desolation

I almost couldn't make it home tonight.

Before you guys make any wild guesses what happened to me. Let me inform you guys I am safe and sound now. But what happened just now was enough to freak me out, if not to the extend of traumatizing.

Today, I did something different from my usual habit. Instead of studying in my usual hideout, the Bioscience or Mofitt Library, I decided to try out the main library to gain a new experience, since it is reputed to the 3rd largest library in US and Cal is famous for that library. This library is unique in the sense, it is built four underground storey deep and the lowest storey is connected to another neighboring library, Mofitt library via an underground passage. FYI, the 2 connecting libraries closes at 2am on weekdays and Sunday even prior to exam period and the library is scarily crowded even at 1am in the morning on normal school days. This very well explains the culture here in Cal.

So back to my main story. After studying till 1230am in the morning, I was too weary to continue my revision and decided to head back to the same main entrance door where I entered the library to exit. Little did I expect or suspect the following event to happen. I was TRAPPED. So how the hell did I stupidly get myself trapped? Can't believe I was the fool again!!!! ( CS the Great, sounds familiar?)

On my way to exit, I could sense something amiss, but I choose to ignore my sixth sense. The pathway towards the main entrance was eerily quiet and spooky, but my tired mind just continue dragging my legs towards that entrance. First, I have to open the door on the inner partition wall before I can move to the main entrance. Here's the moment where I felt my world started to sink. The main entrance was locked. Damn. I turned back and try to open the door on the inner partition wall but I couldn't. WTH. How could this happen? Double whammy. Holy shit. Apparently, the door on the inner partition can only be opened on one side. I went into a frenzy and knock on the glass door frantically in the hope I can capture somebody's attention. My efforts was futile for the first few minutes until a cleaner appear on the far corner of my visual field. I was crying out to her to open the door for me. But guess what? The most ridiculous thing happened. She choose to ignore my cries, shaking her head and waving her hands, signaling to me "I can't help you.". I was pleading to her I just wanted to get home and meant no harm. I wasn't even yelling at the top of my lungs for fear of scaring her off. But she heartlessly choose to vanish off my sight. How unlucky can you get? Just when you have some faint hope, fate cruelly take it off from your weak grasp. I stopped short of cursing her as I didn't think cursing would help my situation and I thought I can only blame myself for my own plight.

At that moment, I already resigned to my possible fate of sleeping on the cold floor in the space between the main entrance and inner partition. I wanted to try calling the campus police department to free me out of this misery, but I recalled I didn't store their number in my cellphone when I should had when the advisers for international students told us to do so during our first orientation briefing. Blame myself for being so arrogant and naive. I thought of using the laptop to search for the number online, but I didn't bring my laptop battery and there's no power point to be seen in my enclosed area. Arghhh.... Bad things do not come alone. Suddenly, by a stroke of genius, I recalled I might have placed the pocket brochure for campus safety in my bag and indeed, I found it. Finally, luck is favoring me. I can be saved!!! Haha.

Just as I was about to call the campus police department, my fortune turned even better than I expected. A nice cleaner gentleman came up, opened the partition door and unlocked the main entrance door for me. Oh my god. I can't express my gratitude for letting me off the hook. Guess my Karma is not that low that I am destined for sufferings. Haha. Phew. Give praise to any lord in heaven though I am a free thinker.

What a unforgettable night or rather a night to forget.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Inspiring Lecture

I thought I have to pen this down before I forget though I am racing against time to complete my revision for 18hours worth of upcoming exam papers starting next Monday. Never have I experienced such an inspiring lecture in my life. Though I have encountered lots of insightful and dedicated lecturers in NUS, however, they are no where near the passion or humor displayed by some of my lecturers here in Cal.

Today, during my General Endocrinology class, my Black lecturer, Hayes, a Harvard graduate was giving his first power point lecture on his research studies. His research topic was "The effects of pesticides on frog development." He started by saying he's a man of few heroes in his life and those heroes whom he dedicate his achievements to are his mum, grandmother, wife and children which was very heartwarming. He then moved on to share how he cultivated his interest and curiosity in frogs, his findings on his research studies and showed us majestic pictures of the different landscapes where he did his field research studies. Pictures from the sky, at ground level and all the different angles you can do with your camera. Didn't know research studies can be so fun and interesting as well. Get to explore and embark on amazing adventures while you conduct your studies. Cool.

Just as we were absorbed in his adventures of his research, he threw us a surprise out of the blue. He showed us a blank slide with just a line in the middle of the screen. He asked the class what's the thing on the screen. Somebody answered "a line" and here's where the excitement starts to buildup. "This is not just a line, but "the" line. The reason I show you guys this is because I have just crossed the line and I have good reason for it." He moved on to express his displeasure on not being able to get his papers published despite the concrete evidences he had gathered and favorable peer review he got from his fellow colleagues because of political reasons. He made a statement I still remembered, "They tell you as researchers, you just focus on your research and let the management make the decisions." Next up, he showed us the hierarchical structure in getting journal papers published for scientists, all the organizations and committees involved. Here is the stunning part. He plastered photos of the same person who was chairing in several of those organizations and committee and expressed he was the reason why he could not get his papers published. He moved on to debunk the arguments made by this person and his team of research scientists in verification of his findings on his research and contest on each of their reasons for rejection, which were very convincing. How courageous can you go. Well, this is America. Land of the free. Freedom of speech. Individual rights above anything else. But, I respect him not just because of his courage but the charisma he displayed while fighting for his cause. He wasn't degoratory or sarcastic in his rebuttal but he was a real gentleman who expressed his unhappiness in an amicable, persuasive manner.

In rounding up his lecture, he showed us why we should fight or even care about such things. He fights because he knows his research findings, which revolves around pesticide has a great impact on our environment and people. He fully utilizes the images of people and mother nature to capture the soft spot in our heart and empathize with him. And guess what happened at the end of his lecture. No prizes for the right guess. The whole class just stood up to give him a standing ovation which lasted close to a few minutes. Just amazing. You could hardly find such charismatic lecturer in NUS.

One key difference I observed between the lecturers in NUS and Cal is that Cal lecturers know how to mix fun with their work and are more eloquent or "animated" in sharing their passion, thus inspiring more students to pursue their fields of studies. Some food for thought. Hmm.

I leave you guys off with an quote I got from Hayes, "Each of us should remember that we are writing our eulogies everyday of our life."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lake Tahoe Photos

I can foresee this could possibly be my last entry before the start of exams in about a week plus from today. So enjoy these pictures before the next entry comes after the end of my exams.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, I hereby present my princess to you

Wahaha, this is absolutely amazing, magical, fantasy-like to me. I finally understood what my friends mean when they say when it comes, you just can't stop it. How true this is? When I look back at the times we first met, the path we took before we came together, I can't thank fate for playing its part in bringing us together. It's just so fleeting how everything fall in place in just a few weeks back. I am like living a double dream concurrently. Firstly, it has always been a childhood dream of mine to come to America and study in a top university. Secondly, I finally gotten my dream girl after 2 years plus of persistence and patience. All the coincidence and omen was so strong for the past few days I knew something good was going to happen. I just don't know when it would it be and I struck gold this morning, Berkeley time at 758am, 16th November 2007. Yes, my special one has said "yes" to me. For that moment, I felt I was the happiest man on Earth. I can't express my gratefulness for her acceptance though I know this is just the start of another new chapter in my and her life. As my special one is a shy girl, I promised not to reveal her identity here. But I can tell you she's currently in Singapore. So for those expecting me to bring home an US hot babe, I am sorry to disappoint you guys. But I can bring home US hot babes photos if you like. Haha. Just bug me on MSN. Below are some of my favorite love songs I like to dedicate to my new found princess.

This song is very special to me because this lyrics bring back my fond memories when we first met, have fun and have a crush for each other. In fact, she was my first crush back in NUS. It's sad we took such a long path before we rekindle those fondness again. But it doesn't matter as all good things are worth waiting. Isn't this so true? Suddenly, I felt all the waiting was worthwhile and make me want to treasure this relationship even more. The following verses struck a deep chord within me.

We were strangers starting out on our journey
Never dreaming what we'd have to go through
Now here we are and I'm suddenly standing
At the beginning with you

I do really feel we were back at the beginning. Those days when we have a crush for each other. Isn't this sweet, my dear?

This is one of my all time favorite Disney love song. I used to sing this song alot during my teenage days though I did not have any girl in mind at that time, but was just singing it in my heart to my future special one. Yep, I like to fantasize alot during my teenage days but which teenager do not fantasize? Today, I want to sing this beautiful song with my new found darling. I really wish you could be here in US cos I really want to "show you the world" and "share this whole new world with you". I will bring you to Disneyland one day. You got to believe that day will come.

This is my number one Disney song though it's not as popular as the earlier Aladdin's song. I fell in love with this song while watching the movie "Pocahontas". The lyrics were so touching I almost cried listening to it when I was in primary six. I even went on to buy the Original Sound track and still have it with me till today. Here are some of the verses I want to highlight.

If I never knew you
If i never felt this love
I would have no inkling of
How precious life can be

And if I never held you
I would never have a clue
How at last I'd find in you
The missing part of me.

In this world so full of fear
Full of rage and lies
I can see the truth so clear
In your eyes
So dry your eyes

And I'm so grateful to you
I'd lived my whole life through
Lost forever
If I never knew you

Isn't these verses romantic?

This is my favorite KTV duet song. I never fail to sing this whenever I go to KTV. The melody and lyrics speak for itself.

I like to sing this song as I can sing this alone when I can't find a female partner in KTV. Haha. But, this song describes my feelings perfectly now. That's why it's here on this blog. Another thing special is this music video is shot in San Francisco, the place I stayed for 2 weeks prior to coming to Berkeley. The famous tourist attraction, the Golden Gate Bridge is still vividly imprinted on my mind.

Ok, guess you guys should think I am mushy and emotional person after reading this entry. But this is my true self which is not often displayed to my friends. Haha. I am a die-hard romantic deep in my heart, but I do not have a channel to express this side of me in my normal daily life. But now I do. Haha.

I hereby end off wishing my love story will be as beautiful as those in Disney movies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Halloween Photos

Here are the photos as promised earlier. Unfortunately, I don't have the best pictures to show you as I forgot to bring out my camera in the morning. In fact, I made a return trip back to school in the evening to capture these pictures. Enjoy.

That's all I have folks.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Outdated Photos

Cal Campus

Yosemite National Park

I will upload Halloween photos in the near future. Hope you enjoy these pictures.