Home and Away

my faith, my life, in a faraway land Livin', inspirin & lovin' it

Monday, February 28, 2005

Retail theraphy works for lazy journos

Hey guys, I'm back!

The past week had been hectic or felt hectic. I did try my best to finish writing the two features but as many of you would probably know. I'm a hard news journo! Who wants to write about food and personalities?! Ok.. those are pretty interesting too but too difficult. Besides, my source for my profile didn't get back to me until Saturday night (well, fact was I was too complacent and emailed him late and I was supposed to hand in this 1500-word piece today!) Therefore I ended up spending much time staring at the com and stressing my lungs and heart out.

But guess what, when I turned up in class today, I wasn't the only one who was without something to hand in. In fact, only two came prepared! Can you imagine that? At least I know that will never happen for students in UQ. As much as there is 10 times more work, journos here are just couldn't care less with the deadlines.. (except for my favourite Magazine Writing course.. hee). To add on that, the tutor just postponed the deadline again! Yes, for the second time! Both assignment are now due next week- even without a single student speaking up. What can I say except that Americans are truly blessed! I probably should just worry less from now on.

Anyway, today we had a warehouse sale on campus. Yessssss... clothes, clothes and clothes on sale!!! We should have that in UQ too! And Gwen, Mil and I could go crazy over it. But arhemm, the fashion here are really American.. which means 'casual and large'. But that wasn't even a challenge for an experienced shopper like me.. After just 15 minutes, I manage to dig out a bright, chirpy flamingo pink trenchcoat (at USD$29) and a flattering salsa skirt (at USD$12) (which is probably the only two pieces which are NICE). Not cheap at all but was worth the money for it's quality and design.

Here they are

So this is the start of Week 6, one more week to go before Spring break! I'll be off to Quebec, Canada, a trip partially sponsored by my pals in Singapore! But before that, I'd better stop spending money for a week (Cuz besides the $43 on clothes, I had spent $16 on three books and a $189 Mac software on Amazon.com in the past week.. Argh... ).

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

gracie's new role

He did it again!

Gracie needs money to install Quark Express 6.5 and to get some American summer fashion. So she thought she would try her luck at the Wochester Dining Commons - her favourite hang out with her Kor-Viet-Hongkie & 1 Sing gang - to get a $6.50 per hour dishwasher job or something. To her disappointment, she was told the job has just been taken up.

So Gracie thought that was it.

But as she was about to turn around and walk away with her head hung low, Manager Mark mumbled something like "unless you want to work at the Bakery at South-west?"

"Why not?!?" Gracie exclaimed (and claimed the job).( Lazy Americans won't even walk some 20 minutes but she would! It's not that far, right at the other end of the campus). And Manager Mark was quick to give the details.

"5am - noon from Friday to Sunday, ok?" he said. (Good God, those are Gracie's free days! And she would still have the entire day for revisions after work! Plus she would be assisting the baker, which means she'll be able to learn how to bake cookies and brownies, the likes of Mrs Fields!)

Then came the most important part: "It would be $7.50 per hour, if you don't mind?" (Of course she won't mind! Not even a little as all of her friends are earning $6.50, serving at the Dining Commons). "Awesome God...!" (Always providing the best for her) she sang as she trudge on the remnants of Snow and made her way home :D

Monday, February 21, 2005

Surprised visit

I walked out of my dormitory, not expecting her:

Snow's here again. When would she ever realize she's unwelcome? She messed up my garden, covered the leaves with her white pus and brought along a wind so strong, it nearly cracked my face. The worst, she didn't even knock! So rude... I had to head back to my room to grab my scarf and gloves and brolly, all because of her! What a bitch.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

the local mall

So much for complaining, I finally realised the local mall does have a lot to offer today. Not A LOT if we were to compare with Indooroopilly Shopping Centre or any neighbourhood mall in Singapore but, quality and price wise, America has it all! Yes, even in 'kampong' Amherst.

We were shopping at Target! Yes Target. I shop in Target in Australia too but Target America is way bigger. It's bag section is awesome, probably a 10m by 10m area just full of bags. And loads look like the replica of Ralph Lauren or United Benetton of Colours. And they are cheeeeeeaaaaaaappppp, 'like' (Americans love to say 'like') 9 to 10 bucks? USD I'm talking but hey, it's still good accessories for a reasonable price. And there were 'like' five to six rows of cosmetics and one of them was devoted to cosmetic storage, 'like' really cute and colourful and big cosmetic bags I've been looking for all time in Singapore! We spent almost 2 hours at the megamart before hitting the smaller stores.

Jihyen, my new Kor-American hall mate at the bags section (these are the cute Liz Clairbon, UCB, Espirit, DKNY, CK replicas!)

And I love the smaller boutiques toooooooo! I was just so excited about everything. I like the casual smart look (i don't mean smart casual), real stylish! I, of course tried loads of clothes.. the summers' in already. And the winters' on sale. But hey, I didn't get much. Just a top for $2.25(Yes! down from $19.90.. can you believe it??? And it's made locally.. NOT china) and The Oprah Magazine which I've been searching for ages..

Look how similar my new white $2.25 cardigan is to the $55 black Mango one I used to wear all the time

We later went for a quick dinner outside the cinema. There was nothing much to offer though. I had Taco Bells (but still, tacos here seem to taste better than Singapore 'like' how the Quarter Pounders in Australia's Maccas beat Singapore's cheese burgers). $4.25 for three Tacos and a ultra ultra large soft drink. Definitely worth it. Yumm!

back in campus after watching Aviator (awesome acting by Leo D C!)

Jihyen and Huyen (also from Sylvan. she's a Viet-American)

Jihyen and I

Before we hit the sack

Saturday, February 19, 2005

post valentines'

Gracie's philosophy of love is down to the basics. Honesty. But honesty makes love a struggle sometimes as the world does not think honesty is good. Or maybe, the world has grown to not embrace honesty anymore. Girls have to play hard to get and guys too. People become afraid to love because living in a world void of true honesty, they fear they have been reading the wrong signs, they fear rejection. Sometimes they fear they give too much and begin to question how much they would get back. I've received so many forwarded mails about stories which encourage honesty. "Tell someone you love them" is usually the underlying message. Yeah.. "before it gets too late". But how many actually do that? When it comes to facing the one you love, how many could ignore the 'I'.

What is love? I still can't really grasp it well. Probably true love is something only God can achieve. For me, at least I know what love does not mean. It does not mean posessing that person. Perhaps, believing that you will not have that person will allow you to be honest with him or her. Not fearing rejection, not fearing what you can get back in the end... that is how I love.

Friday, February 18, 2005

writing away . . . . . .

2 newspaper features per month

3 magazine assignments per semester

2 columns every week

these are what i'm busy with

Lady of Leisure - gracie's recommendation

well, not my recommendation actually, but karen's blog has been voted 2005's best-designed blog and I was 'just browsing' ya know ;)

I really like this blog, not just the design but the happy, blissful spirit she puts into this blog. So check it out!


Thursday, February 17, 2005

back to basics

Room 402F - where i keep warm

Monday, February 14, 2005

V-day muffin

a valentines' day muffin bar was set up for students over dinner today. it was a 'deco-yourself', where you could choose between a vanilla or chocolate muffin and decide on the kind of frost you would like on it. There were 3 choices for the frost: peanut butter, chocolate and vanilla. you could choose to be a lil more creative than others and spread half with peanut butter and the other half with chocolate or vanilla *but i suggest you not use vanilla as grace thinks vanilla sux...well, that's advice for you if you wanna make a budget v-day muffin too*. The last step to finishing the design' of the muffin was of cuz, the toppings! There were now five to chose from: chunky multi-colour hearts, red hearts, multi-colour mini beads, red and white mini sticks and multi-colour mini sticks. and you can choose to stick your muffin into the pails of toppings or gently pour them over. i chose to do it the gentle way to save myself from being accused of 'contaminating' the toppings with the frostings, like what happened to the guy queueing before me. lol! *he was so embarrassed* but anyway, here's my v-day muffin!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Amherst, 12.13pm

I'm sitting by the window and looking at the fresh snow that covered the pasture that was already out days before. Huge chunks of ice still kept falling from the trees, as if the snowing never ended. I can't help but feel humiliated. What good is this creation of God?

nothing but snow

Snow's not 'soft like cotton'. When snow comes, it comes in zillions zillions. It hits you in zillions zillions as if they were being sucked by a mega-power vacuum cleaner behind you. Your visibility goes down two times right away and some of them stick on you like irritating pests, causing your clothing to be soaked as soon as you enter the heated indoors.

I hate Snow. I really do. Its presence usually marks another lousy day for me. The temperature goes below freezing and forces one to stay indoors. I missed dinner last night, as I didn’t want to tussle with Snow…

Sylvan Area: I stay at the Cashin Hall, a ten-minute walk to the dining halls

the route I have to take from the dining hall to campus

I used to wake up everyday screaming ‘Hallelujah’. I hardly do that now, probably because I now have a roommate. I also used to pray a lot, but now, it’s tiring to even talk to myself.

It’s hard to grasp why I’ve not been able to feel the best since my arrival in Amherst. I would like to think it’s because of Snow. So at least, when I roll up the blinds and know she’s not there, I’ll know I’ll have a better day ahead.

better days: the same route but cleared of snow

But it seems like Snow isn’t the only one who’s responsible for putting me in depressed mode.

I really hate having two seminars for each of my four courses each week. I can’t take the workload very well. I hate it when university lecturers have to treat us like kids and take away our space and time to think and reflect. I also hate being in a college town... I’ve since understood the meaning of it. College town = University = Town and Town = College.

the campus

I’m looking forward for Sun to take over. I was told Snow would leave us for good in a month or so. I’m eagerly waiting for that day to come. It’s 14 weeks before I’ll leave for the Big Apple. By then, it would be summer. I think I would love it. Probably this is the only thing that will keep me going for now.

The cold is seeping in from the sides of the window as I’m typing this. I just rolled up the blinds to see if Snow was back… Thank God it’s Sun. But the cold Snow left behind is still hard to take. I’m on a fast today… so I’m going back to bed. It’s already 1.11p.m. I’m going back to bed. Probably I’ll read a book. I’ll read the book in bed. I need to get away from this cold. I’m counting down 14 weeks... 14 weeks to warmer days.

Count down with me.