Thursday, October 11, 2012

Conversations with the mother, V

Mum: Didn't you see the note I left for you this morning telling you that there was breakfast in the oven?

Jenny: No, where?

Mum: Right on the dining table! I wrote it on a huge piece of paper! How could you not see it?

Jenny: There's always pieces of paper on the dining table..

Mum: That's why I cleared all the other pieces of paper away and only left that there!

Jenny: I usually go straight to the kitchen in the mornings, so I don't really look at the dining table.

Mum: So if I had left a suicide note, I can assume that not only would no one come to save me, but my body probably wouldn't even be found for a few days?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Conversations with the mother IV

Mum: What do you do when you go out? Do you still go to see bands?

Me: Not really. It's too loud, I'm getting too old for it.

Mum: Yeah, you and I, we're not loud people. Your aunt used to go dancing a lot when she was young. But not me. I was classy.

Me: HAHAHA. CLASSY. Talk about stroking one's own ego..

Mum: Of course. If I don't compliment myself, who's going to do it? Certainly not your dad.

Me: Sunny would, that little suck-up.

Mum: Yeah, that's why he's my best buddy. Except when I'm yelling at him.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Conversations with the mother, III

Context: My brother has a bad habit of not closing the door when he uses the toilet. He also has a bad habit of trying to come into the bathroom when others are using it.

Mum: Don't yell at him, it could be worse.
Me: How?? He tried to open the door when I was about to get into the shower!
Mum: You know how Jason [my brother's friend] was here this morning? When I was peeing on the toilet he walked in on me.
Me: Oh dear..
Mum: And then he said "Sorry". We just looked at each other. And then he goes, "Can I just come in and quickly wash my hands?"

Friday, August 31, 2012

Conversations with the little brother, I - Segway parties are more manly than Barbie parties

Brother: Where are you going?
Me: To a birthday party.
Brother: Can I come?
Me: Ask mum.
Brother: What are you going to do at the party?
Me: Have fun, talk to people.
Brother: Are there going to be boys there?
Me: I think so.
Brother: Tell them they should have a Segway party. Like the one Jason had.
Me: Why would anyone have a party on a Segway? What would you even do on a Segway?
Brother: It’s more manly. Not like your Barbie Party.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Conversations with the Mother, II

Me: You know it's Dad's birthday tomorrow, right?

Mum: Oh..... right.

Me: What you guys would do without me to remind you both of these things, I don't know.

Mum: Yeah, almost forgot about that ATM machine.

Conversations with the mother, I

Context: my brother apparently has an allergy to strawberries that makes him cough incessantly whenever he eats them. They also happen to be his favourite fruit/food.

Me: Why are there so many punnets of strawberries in the fridge? Isn't Sunny not allowed to eat them anymore?

Mum: He can't eat them, but we can. I used to not eat any, in order to save them all for him. But now I can eat as much as I want.

Me: Isn't that's a bit cruel - we're going to eat your favourite fruit in front of you, but you're not allowed any

Mum: I'm pretty sure he's been secretly eating them anyways, he's been coughing badly for the last few days.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Film, Jan-Jul

Where we spent NYE 2011/12 - if you squint, you can see the Harbour Bridge in the background. Optimal viewing point for the fireworks, but unfortunately I don't really remember any of it.

Moey's 21st, eating cheese on a milk crate - epitome of class

the aftermath:

More photos from trip to the US:
I'm on a helicopter, cool non?

Lincoln Memorial (if you look carefully in the lower left corner, you can see a bunch of people in red shirts and mini skirts, who were performing a dance to deafening music as part of the July 4th celebrations)
(I accidentally opened the back of the camera, hence the red tinge)

Oh you know, just chillin' with Miss Florida on her way to the Miss America Pageant.

At the UN General Assembly:

Times Square, yo.

On top of the Empire State:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The U.S of A, Round II

New York City, baby.

First stop, the UN headquarters.
UN Security Council:
The international politics geek in me could barely contain her excitement as it was, so needless to say, when the tour guide noted that they had just finished a meeting in there just ten minutes ago... I nearly shat myself.

Our tour group also visited the General Assembly hall, where we sat in the viewing area right behind Palestine's observer seat. When it came to question time, a young Israeli girl puts her hand up and asks, while pointing to Palestine's seat, "If the official name for Palestine is Israel, why does it get a separate seat?"

A stunned silence ensued.

Finally, the tour guide made an attempt to respond:
" you mean, uh... Palestine and Israel is one country and should have one seat?"
"Well, yeah."

Every now and then we hear about extremist views on both sides of the Israel-Palestine conflict who don't recognise the other state's right to exist, but to hear it out of a twelve-year-old's mouth, and to hear it worded like so, was just surreal - in a frightening way.

Rest of the UN headquarters was quite dull - I've found that at the end of my International and Global Studies degree I've become quite jaded - except for this guitar:
Wait - it's not just a guitar, it's a machine gun transformed into a guitar! There was a heartwarming story behind these (something about a musician wanting to transform the horrors of war) but again, jaded.

Visiting MOMA:

This was no where near as fun/quirky as it seems in movies and websites etc. For a world famous museum of "modern art", it is surprisingly dull, conservative and full of tourists showing their appreciation for art by taking pictures of them. This is one thing I never understand. Why do people do it? You could have just got a picture off the internet! It would have been clearer and better lit as well!

This Monet painting was well nice, though.


Museum of Natural History was also kind of a let down.You know the really cool retro dioramas shown in movies? Turns out, that's only on the first floor. The other floors are not much different to other museums, except that their exhibition halls carry names such as "Asian Peoples" and "African Peoples" - but none for "European Peoples". If these were all displayed in that retro diorama style, then maybe it could have been excused as being intentionally preserved to serve as an example of human archival habits (how meta!) as well as human progress when it comes to attitudes towards other cultures. But as it is, it just feels plain...orientalist and primitivist. Or maybe it is intentional, I don't know.

Brooklyn Bridge by night

30 Rock! Liz Lemon is my hero!

The real  New York Stock Exchange Building (go watch The Dark Knight Rises)





Times Square, yo!



Looking south from atop the Empire State Building, view of midtown and Wall St.

On our last night in NYC we had dinner at a very popular Shanghainese restaurant in Chinatown, and we ended up sharing a table with two cops. I did try to take a photo by pretending to be a typical texting-obsessed teenager, but every time I raised my iPod they would immediately turn and watch my every move. Thwarted.

Washington DC

The front door of the White House

The back door of the White House

The streets of Washington is basically just lined with beautiful buildings like this, all with incredible historical and current political significance. What does Canberra have again?
US Treasury; again, the geek in me was just bursting with excitement, but no one cared.

Capitol Hill

Lincoln Memorial

We also drove past the Pentagon on our last day, but no photos allowed. I did sneaked a very quick video, but I don't feel safe posting it up on the internet. I've been watching too much X-Files.

All of the buildings are quite awe-inspiring from the outside, but unfortunately are generally closed to the public. The Lincoln memorial is open to visits, but just as unfortunately, is quite dull on the inside.

More photos here.

...and Canada

Canadian Rockies

Lake Louise

Another Lake


Ya know, just chillin' on a glacier.

Drinking the flowing water from the glacier will make you ten years younger... or could turn you into a mountain goat, depending on which local legend you heed.






Lake Ontario

Niagara Falls
There actually isn't that much to do once you get there. I mean, it's a waterfall, you look at it. What you can do, is look at it from as many angles as possible. We went behind it through a tunnel, besides it on a rock ledge, over it on a helicopter, and (almost) under it on a boat. Quite an awe-inspiring experience, if not only for the bazillion rainbows in the surrounding mist.

View from our hotel room of the smaller American Falls:
The other side of that river is actually the U.S, and so we got bloody good view of the July Fourth fireworks without even having to leave the couch. Life was good.

Most interesting thing I saw in Vancouver (or was it Toronto):

See more photos here.