nyankoframe: (I rock.)
I haven't posted in a while - more than 2 months. Part of that is because I haven't been good about remembering to update, but it's also because of being quite busy )

I'm leaving on a week-long vacation tonight, which will take me to Chicago, Peoria and St. Louis:

- I'll be meeting [livejournal.com profile] tanyad in Chicago and hanging out with her. While I'm there, I need to try some authentic Chicago pizza (sorry [livejournal.com profile] testing4l, but Pizz'a Chicago in San Jose is probably not the real thing) and check out the city - would you believe I've never been to Chicago before, even thouigh I've passed through O'Hare several times?
- On Friday afternoon, I'll be driving down to Peoria for the Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. It's my first time taking part, and I am a bit nervous about it, particularly since I'll have to play all my contest entries from memory! Fortunately, most of them aren't a problem since they're ragtime pieces I'm familiar with - the only one that might be difficult is Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me", which is the required non-ragtime entry. The other pieces I'm performing are "Queen of Love" by Charles Hunter (who is probably more known for "Tickled to Death"), "Kitten on the Keys" by Zez Confrey, and "Swipesy Cake Walk", "Peacherine Rag" and "Maple Leaf Rag" by Scott Joplin.
- I'm meeting a friend in Carbondale on Monday, and will head back to Chicago to arrive on Monday evening. The reason is...]
- I will be taking a train to St. Louis! It's the first time I've taken a train since I took the Acela in 2007 (from Boston to New York), and it'll be nice to enjoy the countryside without having to deal with traffic or rest stops. :D
- I'll be spending an evening in St. Louis and have several places in mind to visit (thanks to some suggestions from [livejournal.com profile] reannon) before I fly out the next morning.

I'm going to miss Belle and Lillian, but I have a cat-sitter coming over to feed and play with them daily, so I hope they won't be too miffed when I return. Speaking of Lillian, I uploaded some new pictures on Flickr of her on the harness - she seems to like it more than she used to!

People and places I want to visit this year:
- [livejournal.com profile] samurai_ko and her hubby will be moving to Seattle, so I will definitely need to visit them more often.
- [livejournal.com profile] saraphina_marie and [livejournal.com profile] reannon - the best way to meet both of them would probably be at a con, but I also have an invitation to have breakfast with [livejournal.com profile] saraphina_marie at a Pfunky Griddle in Nashville. This makes me happy. :D
- I might drive to Vancouver to visit my aunts- I've been putting it off for the last 3 years, for no reason in particular, but this year is as good as any.

I'm really looking forward to the rest of this year!
nyankoframe: (I rock.)
It's a bit slower compared to handwriting but it can recognize my writings pretty well!

I haven't tried going out with it yet but plan to sometime soon. It has a SIM card slot for 3G access too.

For some reason I've been feeling particularly tired these few days. I hope it's nothing serious.

The Semagic UI isn't very touch friendly though.

ETA (via the keyboard as I'm sleepy): Happy holidays, everyone!
nyankoframe: (The rest is still unwritten)
I can't believe that I'm leaving tomorrow morning... *cue emo sad music*

It's been a great holiday, even if I had to deal with everyone making comments about my size and my apartment (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wao's heroic cleaning efforts). They were not undeserved, and I actually have made plans to address both of those issues. However, I'm going to keep the details a secret. ^^;;

I'm really glad that I got to meet a lot of my friends, including some from primary school, as well as Espada and Rosina (all the best for the concert!) There wasn't enough time to meet everyone, but that is one of the reasons why I will come back soon. :D

Other things that were notable:
- The humidity is still the same as ever. On the one hand I don't have to deal with chapped lips, and I drank a lot of water (even my mum was surprised), but being sweaty and sticky isn't that great.
- My niece is obsessed with cats. I wonder what will happen if/when she meets Belle and Lillian.
- Speaking of Belle and Lillian, everyone wants more pictures of them. I shall graciously oblige. But [livejournal.com profile] wao can't kidnap them.
- It will be interesting times ahead with the economy going the way it is, both in Singapore and in the US. I really hope things will be well for everyone.
- I bought almost 2 kg of bak kwa. Hopefully it will get through (it's vacuum-packed, so it should be okay).
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: (The rest is still unwritten)
Tomorrow morning (well, actually, in 13 hours) I leave for Singapore for 3 weeks on a holiday. It's going to be an interesting time since the weather in Singapore (hot, humid, currently extremely hot) and the weather in Bellevue (cold and snowing) couldn't be more different. :P I haven't posted much since just after coming back from [livejournal.com profile] testing4l's because I was really busy at work diving in to failure investigations and other work-related things that came in unexpectedly. In that sense it's good that I'm taking this break because, frankly, I need to get away from checking work emails for at least a week.

Things that happened the last few weeks:
- I met [livejournal.com profile] nakaemi for the first time and we had hot chocolate at a Denny's. While the hot chocolate itself wasn't too bad (especially the whipped cream), I found it a bit hard to talk to [livejournal.com profile] nakaemi for some reason. It could've been shyness, but I also felt like I was blocked in some sense. Anyway, I hope [livejournal.com profile] nakaemi and [livejournal.com profile] itsacz are feeling better now.
- [livejournal.com profile] wao and I went for Karaoke with some of my friends. There was a lot of bad singing, including some Japanese songs and [livejournal.com profile] wao doing Bicycle Race (the one Queen song I can't stand). I did Kylie Minogue passably well (well, for a guy anyway) although I'm still hoping some karaoke place has Sophie Ellis Bextor's music (Take Me Home / Murder on the Dance Floor). I felt bad that I couldn't see [livejournal.com profile] nakaemi off at the airport when she was leaving, but I had already planned this karaoke event for a few weeks. Given that it could've been an emotional parting (according to the text message I got), maybe it's better that I didn't go?
- [livejournal.com profile] wao and I went to the San Juans. Due to a mixup on my part we ended up getting there in the afternoon and didn't have much time to see anything in particular. The sunset was gorgeous though, and wao took a picture of it here, which I am using as the desktop background for one of my office computers.

There are a lot of friends to catch up with in Singapore - my family's interested to know how owning a car has changed things (or whether it even has) and a lot of my friends are going through changes in their relationships towards the next level. If I do decide to get married, I would like to get married at Lime Kiln Point in the summer. :P
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: (The rest is still unwritten)
I have taken pictures so far of my excursions to the Project-Cat Colony, KoLCon sushi, the Desert Botanical Gardens and other places around Tempe and greater Phoenix. All of those will likely have to wait until I get back home, though, since I forgot to bring my card reader with me to upload the pictures. :P

It's going to be a long drive (Live Maps estimated it at about 4 months hours) but I'm looking forward to it! I will most likely stop in Flagstaff for lunch or something like that, and try to get back to Phoenix by 7:00 pm or so in time for dinner and then catching my flight tomorrow morning.
nyankoframe: (Default)
It'll be good to meet several friends either for the first time or to meet them again. :)

And this time, my camera is ready to take pictures of all the places I will be visiting, including:
- the Phoenix Zoo
- Desert Botanical Gardens
- the Grand Canyon
- whatever else I might find visit

A cat-sitter has been found, so Belle will not go hungry or unloved.

But now, it's time to drive to the airport! Vroom~
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: (Accidentally in love)
Short post while I wait at the San Jose airport for my flight back to Seattle ^^;;

I ended up going for two and a half days of con, and it was really quite awesome overall! Some highlights (pictures to follow later):
Highlights of the weekend )

All in all, it was a really great weekend, and to put it in [livejournal.com profile] testing4l's words, I scored three times! I'm probably going to go back to work this afternoon, though I might work from home. We'll see about that...

Quick post

May. 22nd, 2008 12:09 pm
nyankoframe: (Default)
I'm off to San Jose this afternoon for Fanime 2008, as well as meeting [livejournal.com profile] testing4l and [livejournal.com profile] meerkat and hanging out with them (and [livejournal.com profile] testing4l's cats).

I also realize that I haven't posted any pictures of what happened on my last trip down to San Francisco. I'll do that soon, I promise!

Right now I'm trying to get some last minute check-ins done at work before grabbing a quick lunch. And hopefully I'll be able to fall asleep on the plane...
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
nyankoframe: (chu~)
Just a very quick post while I wait for my flight to Singapore to board ^^;;

I went on January 19th with some friends to the San Juan islands, which are near Puerto Rico off the coast of Washington state. It was my first time there and I'd heard about it only because it's a very popular place to go to for whale-watching. It also happens to be very beautiful and has a lot of history behind it (did you know that the English and the Americans fought over it, and one of the wars was caused by a pig?)

We didn't get to watch any whales this time (probably wrong time of the year), but we had a lot of fun and I enjoyed myself very thoroughly. ^_^

Some pictures )
San Juan Islands

I went skiing on the 22nd and it was pretty fun, even if I fell down a lot. :P I don't have a lot of pictures, but I do have this one which I asked [livejournal.com profile] itsacz to take while he was off being a snow bunny.

Skiing! )

Things were pretty quiet after that, with a lot of time being spent at work getting ready for the release of Vista SP1. I did go to Hula-Hula in downtown Seattle for a karaoke event, though, and it was really good even though [livejournal.com profile] itsacz couldn't make it. For one thing, I sang "Summer Nights" from Grease with one of the people from work who was organizing it and she's a really good singer. We did a really good rendition of it (and she told me I sang well, too!) and I only wish I'd brought along a camera phone or something so that I could record our singing. ^^;;

Nothing much else happened, except that I took part in Chilly Hilly on Sunday which was at Bainbridge Island. It wasn't very chilly, but it certainly lived up to the "hilly" part! After 35 miles of cycling I was barely able to walk for a few minutes, and I had to stop somewhat frequently on the route to rest my legs. It helped that there were a lot of people selling Gatorade, water and edible snacks though, and some of them were very cute. :P I have some pictures, but I'm too lazy to upload them right now so I'll post them when I get to Singapore.

Anyway, right now I'm off to Singapore (via Tokyo-Narita) for a week actually 4 days to relax, get some paperwork sorted out, catch up with my friends and go for Touch 2008. It's all about the Gershwin, baby :D
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)
To everyone who celebrates it, at least.

And it snowed here again ^^;
nyankoframe: (Default)
Or at least to those of you in the US ^^;;;

I'm really looking forward to the holiday, not because of turkey-stuffing opportunities, but because...

I'm going skiing with some friends of mine. On real snow and slopes.

What could be more awesome than that? XD

Anyways, I'll be leaving tonight and coming back late on Saturday, so don't be surprised if you don't see me online. I don't know if I'll be able to take any pictures, but this time I promise I'll write about it! *hides from [livejournal.com profile] wao's mpitten and its death stare cling*

Oh, and as an added bonus? I'll finally get around to posting those entries which I never did.
nyankoframe: (mpittened)
No, I'm not literally mpittened at work unless, that is, I bring along nyankopitten and promote it to mpitten to mpitten myself with, but I certainly feel like that today in particular.

The week since I came back has been alternately frustrating, tiring and exciting. It's frustrating because I keep running into limitations (some of which are meaningless and others which are crippling) of the tools that I use to develop these work items; tiring because I pretty much have to write everything from scratch since there isn't anything that previously exists which is also largely because things were in constant flux until very recently and also because there are hard/immovable deadlines for the work (which a lot of other things are also riding on); and exciting because for each piece of the overall project that I do finish (I've done about 5 or 6 pieces so far, and a colleague on my team's done about 4 or 5 other important pieces) I can put them together and watch things take shape (although they still have to be tested and debugged, which invariably results in more frustration, hair falling out and other things including a tendency to be snappish sometimes...).

At the same time, I started my driving lessons again today with the same instructor that I'd taken lessons with previously. It was pretty fun and I remembered most of the things from the last time, although there was a minor scare when the car went over the curb after I made a right turn and accelerated a little too fast, which I also blame on the car having a very twitchy accelerator pedal. But at least nothing bad happened and hopefully nothing will on Friday, when my next lesson is. ^^;;

And since [livejournal.com profile] wao has been complaining a lot about cat pictures, here's one to make her be quiet satisfied.

They are Pixel and Matrix, and they are made of awesome, win and above all, CAT )

I haven't forgotten about my trip holiday report, BTW. XD

Edit: I left work at 11:00 pm, and I'm cycling home now, to come back tomorrow and continue working.

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