nyankoframe: (Default)
I haven't updated since I got here, because I have been busy running around town, meeting friends and catching up on all the things that happened while I was away.

Outwardly, a lot of things haven't changed - most places still look the same (although Orchard Road and Clementi look very different now), and I can still find my way around without getting lost. :) There are a lot of new bus services now, though, and some existing bus routes were altered (some in ways that are rather incomprehensible). A lot of my old friends are still around, and even my former primary school classmates have found me on Facebook. It's really surprising to hear from them after almost 20 years - a lot of them are out of Singapore, but we can keep in touch through messages and so on. Quite fascinating that a lot of them are in the US and Australia, though a fair number are still in Singapore :)

There are also a lot of new places around - I went to a tapas bar with my sister, my friend and some of her friends and we had a really good time relaxing and talking about life in general. Working overseas means you have more to talk about with people, too - you can ask them about where they work and what they're doing, how the hours are, and things like that. And in return, they ask you about life in the US - it's quite illuminating talking about it with other people. A lot of people are settling down or getting engaged; perhaps that's just because I've been away for so long, but it comes as news to me. People have been asking me too when I'm going to settle down, and for the time being I haven't thought about it in particular.

The weather is still the same, and it took some time to get used to, but it's good to be back with humidity and tropical rain showers. :D Other things are the same too, like the home environment - I'm glad that I don't have to deal with it full-time...

My visa interview is tomorrow, and hopefully there won't be any problems. We'll see, though; if I need to extend my stay I'll do so, but it won't be particularly cheap (I think the change fee is $200 plus the difference in the ticket prices).
nyankoframe: (I rock.)
I haven't posted in a while, because I have been way too busy with work and other things, but here's a quick update:

- [livejournal.com profile] meerkat is coming on Friday for the weekend!! This makes me *very* happy and I've been planning things for both of us to do over the weekend! (as well as frantically cleaning up my place)
- [livejournal.com profile] wao is coming in December for a month! This is great news because I haven't seen her since February and she's been very envious of Belle and my general cat-ownershipness.
- Speaking of Belle, she's going to be getting a big sister tomorrow! I am adopting Lillian from the King County animal shelter in Bellevue (near the post office!) and bringing her back home tomorrow. It'll be fun getting both of them used to each other's presence!
- I bought an 8GB Zune on Monday. It's a nice blue color and I really love it! The interface is definitely much improved from the first and second-generation models.

I also have a lot of photographs to post, but I am just going to be lazy and link you to the Flickr sets individually.

Cherry Blossom Festival )

Sheep and Tulips )

Woodland Park Zoo )

Fanimecon 2008 )

Seattle Mariners baseball game )

Hypericon 2008 )

The Grand Canyon and Arizona )

HeroCon 2008 and the San Jose Sharks )

Go Sharks!

Oct. 19th, 2008 01:04 am
nyankoframe: (The rest is still unwritten)
I arrived in San Francisco on Thursday night, and met [livejournal.com profile] testing4l for dinner at, not surprisingly, Pizza Chicago, where we had, again unsurprisingly, a large John Dillinger (which is one of the best vegetarian pizzas I have ever had). After that, we retired to play some NHL '09 in which I kept losing the puck on faceoffs, and going offside a lot, and so on, but it was still fun.

On Friday, I hung out with [livejournal.com profile] gemlikeflame for a bit before going for the Justice dinner together with [livejournal.com profile] testing4l. It was extremely geeky and loud (49 people in an enclosed space), but the food was overall pretty delicious. I then met [livejournal.com profile] meerkat later that night and we played on the new Wii, where I was soundly beaten in tennis.

HeroCon today was awesome, and I especially loved the fact that I was able to not only meet [livejournal.com profile] samurai_ko again, but also attend her first workshop on recording movies!! She is really an awesome teacher (not surprising, considering she used to be a teacher), and the New York accent is also really quite pleasant to listen to. The second panel I went to, about CoX lore and story-telling, was also interesting in that I got to hear more about the backstory of certain signature NPCs, and the dev plans on how all of this would tie in together in upcoming issues. One of the other panels at the same time was about how to get that first job in the video game / MMO industry, and I'm hoping that talk was recorded and will be made available - it'd be pretty interesting to watch.

I was then "kidnapped" by [livejournal.com profile] testing4l and [livejournal.com profile] meerkat to go watch my first-ever NHL game live, the San Jose Sharks versus the Philadelphia Flyers. While it was a really close game and the Flyers held the lead several times, we always caught up and won the game with an overtime goal. The roar of the crowd at each goal and at the final whistle was comparable to the Merdeka Cup heyday in Singapore. :D

I have been told that I'm being kidnapped again tomorrow for "electro-shock therapy", and frankly I am more than a little concerned about what this might mean (possibly including random lunch dates with girls, or being forced to interact/mingle in a crowd, or even literally electroshock therapy??). But I don't have a choice in the matter, so I shall graciously accept my fate.

Speaking of which, I should enjoy this comfortable hotel bed (I'm staying at the Hyatt in Santa Clara tonight) while I still can. ^_^
nyankoframe: (Accidentally in love)
A brief rundown of what I've been up to over the past few weeks, in no particular order:

- Saw Ahmed Jamal perform at Jazz Alley live, which was definitely worth the money (though maybe next time I should try and go with someone :P)
- Attended the CoX meet & greet at PAX, where I met [livejournal.com profile] naeko and [livejournal.com profile] wolfieboy, among other people
- Drove up and down between my apartment and the Seattle Convention Center several times over the PAX weekend
- Actually went to the second day of PAX and sat in on the NCSoft panel, as well as randomly wandering around the exhibit hall and getting a sneak peek at Gears of War 2 as well as Lode Runner for XBLA (!!!)
- Went for the opening night of the Seattle Symphony's 2008/2009 season at [livejournal.com profile] meerkat's suggestion. It was totally worth it! Also, I loved the impromptu rendition of "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off" both singers performed as the last item, as well as Aaron Copland's "Simple Gifts" and "I Bought Me A Cat". It is too awesome to describe in a single post, so I'll just have to leave it at that. :D
- I helped [livejournal.com profile] itsacz move from one blob to another, and helped another friend pack up his belongings as he prepared to return to Singapore for good. While it was a lot of work and my arms are still a little sore, I feel good at being able to help, and got some things out of the bargain, too.

I still have about 6 months' worth of photos to post, but that'll have to wait until I'm at home.
nyankoframe: (Default)
the wonderful wizard of Oz!

...

Okay, so it's totally in the wrong state and all, but I'm flying to Nashville tonight to meet [livejournal.com profile] saraphina_marie and the inhabitants of the cottage caravanserai and spend a weekend learning about geishas and other cool things. ^_^ It should be very much fun!

And maybe I'll get to meet Elvis? XD

Edit: And on another random note...

08:24 -!- basket [~basket@polydactyl.cat] has quit [Quit: <Dorothy> We're not in Kansas any more, Toto.... <Toto> That's right, we're in Nashville!]

I am easily amused sometimes. :)
nyankoframe: (The rest is still unwritten)
I've never been to one before ^^;;; But a friend of mine who lives near San Francisco, and who I've known for about 4 years, mentioned it to me a few weeks ago, and I didn't think twice before going. Yes, I know it's New Year this Sunday, but frankly no one booked my time with anything, and it's not like I can't meet up with them any other time. I'll be having dinner with her and a friend of hers on Friday night, and then take the BART (also for the first time!) to [livejournal.com profile] testing4l's place, where I'll be staying the weekend and doing other things in the night. I'm planning on visiting the festival on Saturday during the day, and depending on how things go we may go again on Sunday.

Another side effect is that it'll give me a chance to take some time off from work. Since I'm planning for a somewhat long vacation (about 18 days or so) in December, I'm saving up all my vacation time from now on towards that. This means that I'll only be able to take time off during the weekends or public holidays, and probably not too far (though I may go to Virginia again to meet [livejournal.com profile] cheyannew and say hello to her kids).

Also, I'll get to wish [livejournal.com profile] gemlikeflame a happy birthday in advance and hang out with her! :D

Karaoke~

Apr. 1st, 2008 11:40 pm
nyankoframe: (mpittened)
I sang White Rabbit tonight (after being primed with some drinks and food ^^;;;; ) at our monthly Karaoke @ Microsoft social event (it was at a dive bar in Kirkland this time :P) and it actually went off pretty well - the original was sung in a female voice, so I obviously couldn't match it, but I tried my best and it was pretty good. I don't have any photos though (I forgot to ask my friends to take a picture XD). The funny thing was that when I sent in the request for this song, I was reminded of [livejournal.com profile] mewryuu who introduced it to me almost 7 years ago. That seems like it was a really long time ago and I wonder what she's been up to since then...

It was pretty fun, and everyone tonight sang really well. It's a pity that [livejournal.com profile] itsacz didn't want to join us, but maybe one day I'll get him to sing too >o
nyankoframe: (Default)
I had a short stay in Singapore, and didn't manage to get some things done that I wanted to, but overall it was really enjoyable. ^_^

Touch 2008 was really good and by itself was definitely worth coming for. But equally important was meeting up with friends and relatives, and having a good time.

Though I was shocked to find out that the piano at home is pretty much a gone case now. T_T But maybe I'll buy a piano in the US...

I'm landing in the US on Monday morning (March 3rd), and will be going back to work the day after.

Off I go to the gate now~
nyankoframe: (*sigh*)
My last trip of 2007 was to Michigan, to visit my cousin and her daughter there. It was a trip that was planned entirely a week before I left, since I didn't know until the last minute whether I could actually go there (I had been asked to work over the period of December 26th - December 31st). However, my manager was nice enough to let me take the 31st off, and so I started planning...

Michigan )

More pictures from the trip here

Two days after I got back from Michigan, it was off for another trip that I'd planned for a few weeks, this time to Los Angeles. I'd never been there before, so I was really looking forward to it.

Los Angeles )

More pictures here

And in other unrelated news, last Monday night (the 14th) was the first time I cycled back home from work in the snow and while it was snowing. I'll just say that it was an interesting experience and leave it at that. ^^;; Though I do agree somewhat with [livejournal.com profile] chibi_nasu that snow is pretty to look at, until it starts melting. ^^;;;;

And... happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] meiyo_chan! Hope today is a wonderful day for you ^_^

Tomorrow Today, I go skiing, for only the second time in my life. Hopefully it'll turn out well. ^^;; And I wonder what [livejournal.com profile] itsacz will be doing~ >O
nyankoframe: (Default)
Started posting this from Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport in Ohio (though what's international about it, I don't really know...) and continuing from Grand Rapids, MI, and then eventually at my cousin's house. What a long post. ^^;;

Skiing at Whistler Blackcomb )

I came back from Whistler pretty thrilled about it, especially since I had a lot of delicious hot chocolate with whipped cream. ^^ Things were pretty quiet both at work and in terms of social life, although it did snow quite a lot on December 1st, to the point that it was a winter wonderland:

Ooh, pretty snow~! )

I went to San Jose for a work weekend, and met [livejournal.com profile] testing4l, [livejournal.com profile] gemlikeflame, [livejournal.com profile] relsqui and [livejournal.com profile] zigdon there and much fun was had over Fluxx and Mongolian BBQ. Though I must say [livejournal.com profile] relsqui and [livejournal.com profile] testing4l are pretty good at changing the rules to suit themselves. ;)

One of my friends was going back to Singapore the following weekend, so we organized a trip to a gun range for her, since she wouldn't be able to do that in Singapore. And so it was that I fired a weapon for the first time (since I never did in NS), even if it was a 9mm pistol:

At the gun range )

Snow and Shooting

I left for Michigan last night to spend a few days with my cousin, and so here I am. :)
nyankoframe: (Default)
Yes, this is a long overdue post...

Boston )

New York )

I'm rushing for dinner right now before my flight to Michigan, so I'll post part 2 shortly (perhaps at an airport somewhere)~
nyankoframe: (Default)
On my way home last night, I saw an accident very near the building I work in. I don't know exactly what happened, but there was an ambulance, 4 police cars, and a cyclist who was being loaded onto a stretcher. His bicycle was on the sidewalk though and there was a SUV also stopped at the scene. I hope the cyclist is alright...

But in happier news, I went out with some of the other Singaporeans (and non-S'poreans too) and we had a really awesome dinner at I Love Sushi followed by a few hours of pool at Garage in downtown Seattle.

And yes, I did eat sushi too in addition to the chicken teriyaki I had together with a delicious mudpie. :D
nyankoframe: (Default)
A bit old, but I think at least one person would appreciate this. :D

You know who you are )

In other news, I went to Vancouver last Saturday on a day trip with some friends, and it was, for lack of a better word, awesome.
Vancouver )

On Sunday, I went to a friend's place for a barbecue lunch. Even though it was raining, he still went ahead with the BBQ, and it was surprisingly good. I enjoyed myself a lot there and felt like I had a good weekend overall.

This week's been quite busy with work and new responsibilities as a result of the review feedback that I'd gotten last week in addition to some things that were completely unexpected, which is why I'm really glad that I'll be going on vacation tonight for 8 days. :D I'm really looking forward to meeting [livejournal.com profile] haplo3k and [livejournal.com profile] fusilliban for the first time, as well as meeting [livejournal.com profile] relsqui and [livejournal.com profile] testing4l again in Boston. And then after that I'm going to New York for 6 days to spend time there with another friend of mine and visit some relatives.

I have a feeling that it's going to be an exciting week ahead. ^^
nyankoframe: (Default)
A rough list of things that happened over the last few weeks, not in any particular order:

I got a lot of anime DVDs and manga volumes, including Fruits Basket (both anime and manga up to volume 16), Lupin III, Ghost in the Shell (the movie, SAC, SAC 2 and SSS), Lain, Paranoia Agent, Last Exile, Haibane Renmei, Bottle Fairy, volume 1 of Princess Tutu (a special request I made to [livejournal.com profile] huegcaet), Nazca and a lot of other series that I can't remember

I found two friends at work to play piano duets with! ^_^ And I'm playing with one of this Thursday, which I hope will go well

I organized a Korean movie screening at my apartment tonight, since we couldn't really go to Imo's for dinner and my apartment is also very close to everyone's offices, and it was about 3 hours of non-stop fun together with eating a yummy take-out dinner from the nearby Paldo World. "I'm a Cyborg, but it's OK" is a movie that does a lot to improve your Korean vocabulary, and it's also really interesting how it can actually tackle the social issue of mental illnesses in a very matter-of-fact way. ^^;;

I've also been working out at the gym and I noticed that I was able to lift 15 pounds more for the lats pulldown, as well as increasing weights on some of the other exercises in my workout routine, though the shoulder complex is still the hardest/most painful one right now. ^^;; I also lost 6 pounds when I checked on Monday, which is probably a good thing
nyankoframe: (Default)
I'm leaving to meet a friend whom I've known for almost 4 years but have never met in person before this. ^^;; Will be back on Sunday night~ maybe with pictures, maybe not
nyankoframe: (Default)
...except this time it's actually almost my birthday. o_o

I 've been up for 17 hours today and I don't feel sleepy. ^^;;; This can probably be explained by drinking tea, lots of sweet drinks, a bottle of stout in the morning, energy and determination in finding bugs at work and getting lots of work done today (which I came back from at 9:30 pm >_>), playing MvC 2 against someone at work and actually managing to win only once, and just possibly, the fact that I'm one year older and alive and having things to look forward to. ^^;

I'm really grateful to all my friends and family who got me a lot of birthday presents, including some things I never expected. ^^;;;;

In no particular order, I'd really like to thank these people for their presents that really mean a lot to me~ (this list will be updated, too, so please don't feel left out if you're not on it yet):


  • red Blue blob and Yuu

  • grue Cow and Espada

  • a The mpitten

  • A dessert pudding

  • A warm, fuzzy, furry creature that can spit and is very beautiful :)


I'd also like to thank everyone who wished me online, either via messages or /kill (you know who you are ^^;;; ).

I really hope the year ahead will be better, and I'm really looking forward to it! I hope everyone else will have a good year ahead too, especially several of my close friends for whom things are somewhat rough right now.

In other news, I AM GOING TO START DRIVING LESSONS ON FRIDAY RAWR <_< This means I will be able to get CAT soon, hopefully~

The piece I'm listening to is from a 6-CD box set titled "Piano Fantasy: Music for Two Pianos" and is completely awesome~ Thank you so much to the friends who bought it for me~
nyankoframe: (Default)
I'm going to be visiting two special people in June~

And I'm also going to be flying on Business class for the first time in my life on one of the flights (there were no seats in Economy, and it was about a $300 upgrade, so I decided to take the offer). ^^;;
nyankoframe: (Default)
Today's commute to and from work, based upon the readings from my bicycle's trip computer (times don't include waiting)...

To: 1.33 miles (2.14 km) in 8 min 42 sec at an average speed of 9.2 mph (14.8 kph), max speed of 15.6 mph (25.1 kph)
From: 1.6 miles (2.57 km) in 6 min 28 sec at an average speed of 15.1 mph (24.3 kph), max speed of 77.2 mph (124.2 kph)

...

Something is seriously wrong there. XD

In other news, I went shopping crazy today (buying an XBox 360, some games, a mousepad with 4 USB 2.0 ports and various software for myself from the company store), picked up my keyboard bag, had pho for dinner with [livejournal.com profile] itsacz at a nice Vietnamese restaurant that wasn't too expensive and was in the neighbourhood, Got some Things Done (not in the email sense, but in terms of work), and generally had a good day.

Oh, and I signed up for a free basic Korean class at work, which aims to introduce Korean culture, traditions and basic spoken language. They also have intermediate and advanced classes which cover areas like reading and writing (for the advanced class, I think the goal is to be able to read a Korean newspaper?), but.. yeah ^^;;; I hope I can get in, though, because places are limited...

And I'm very happy that a certain package got where it was supposed to, and glad that the person who got it felt better. ^_^
nyankoframe: (Default)
But I like to think that I can cook decently for two. :P (The title of this post came about because [livejournal.com profile] itsacz was watching Iron Chef America on the Food Network while I was cooking. ^^;;; )

Recipe )

Changes from the recipe:
- There weren't any red chillies at least not that I could find, so I used mild green chili instead. [livejournal.com profile] itsacz commented that I could have used the chili padi or Thai chili, or even the extra-hot orange chili instead, because it was somewhat mild for him.. ^^;;;
- I didn't buy any spring onions because I couldn't be bothered to cut them, and I had a bag of salad leaves (with broccoli and carrot, among other things) in the fridge, so I used that instead.
- I didn't have dark soy sauce, so I used light soy sauce instead
- There weren't any wet noodles of the type that we usually use in Singapore, so I used yakisoba noodles instead. It was a somewhat large box and I used almost all of it ^^;;;;
- I didn't use any salt or sugar ^^;;;

I had fun playing Perfect Dark Zero and finishing Gears of War with Cz, and I hope I can finish PDZ soon. :) I also want to get my own Xbox360 too so I can play games, as well as a PS2... ^^;;;

I'm tired now, so I'll post the photographs tomorrow morning (and edit this post).
nyankoframe: (Default)
Weather when I set out yesterday: 43 F (feels like 36 F)

I had a great cycling experience (at one point, I was doing about 15 mph) until I met the first hill on NE Inglewood Hill Rd. That hill was a 12% grade -- which I didn't know before trying -- and it was way too steep for me to manage to cycle up more than a few feet without my legs aching severely, so I had to wheel my bicycle up the hill. ^^;;;; There were several more hills that were also pretty steep, but after the roundabout I was gradually able to get back onto the bicycle and cycle to my destination. My ride there took almost 2 hours, both because of the hill and also because I forgot something twice and had to cycle back to get it, which added about another 5-10 minutes of delay each time.

I still can't believe I cycled almost 9 miles each way, and didn't die anywhere on the way (which would've resulted in me having to find a bus or taxi, or hitchhike). ^^;;;;

I had a lot of fun at [livejournal.com profile] itsacz's house (even if I kept dying or getting both of us killed :P) and I was sorry to leave. ^^;;;

The ride back was fun because I went down Inglewood Hill Rd in almost total blackness, except for my bicycle lights and the occasional car behind me. The situation was pretty much the same on the road I turned into from there, although it was slightly better because there were more vehicles and headlights. They should build more overhead lights more often...

I stopped on the way at a Subway to buy some dinner, then cycled back through Marymoor Park. There were almost no lights, and very few other cars, so it was a very quiet, somewhat winding and flat stretch. I was glad for the peace and quiet because I could just cycle and feel my legs push me forward without having to concentrate too much on the road ahead (I did have to concentrate just enough to make sure I didn't cycle into the sidewalk or into Lake Sammamish, obviously :P It would have been quite the story for a basket (of cats or otherwise) to fall into the lake, especially if it wasn't drunk)

After that, it was smooth cycling for about 0.3 miles until I hit the next uphill stretch (the start of the Bellevue-Redmond Road and then the turn into NE 40th Street). This one wasn't so steep, but it seemed to take forever, and my legs were beginning to cramp so much that I gave up cycling and walked up about 95% of the hill, with minor pauses for me to try and cycle and pant heavily (and fail). :P I definitely need to go to the gym stat

I got home around 7:40 pm, about an hour and a half 45 minutes after I left, and was quite tired. ^^;; I felt really great, though. :)

Today was pretty uneventful, except for the fact that I cycled back home in a mild drizzle and consequently went much faster than I wanted to (around 20 mph in some places, I think). There was a scary part when I was turning out of campus where I nearly skidded while making a left turn, but other than that I was okay and fortunately nothing happened. :) There was also some frustration at work, but I won't talk about that here...

And finally, some random links. :P

Open Source (May not be funny if you don't understand)
Total CRACK (in Spanish). I think [livejournal.com profile] nakaemi might find this doubly hilarious. :P
High Pi I hope they really don't have a phobia about llamas...
Magnificent Steinway B Grand Piano, 6'10.5" mint - $49000 I so want to buy this. Pity I won't have anywhere to put it or the money...
Nerdy in Seattle (or, what happens when geeks meet broken coffee machine)

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