Friday, July 30, 2010

Want to really experience the amazing? Go to a circus.

Let me tell you of an unforgettable night...

My dad had gotten advanced tickets to Cirque du Soleil's "Kooza" show. We sat in one of the first few rows of the blue'n'yellow tent. It was a bit to the side for my liking, but the show was incredible.

I had seen the Cirque (a Quebec-based contemporary circus company that was started in the 1980s) once before in Vegas (the show was called "Mystere"). However, those performers never cease to amaze me.

Multicoloured lights. Multi-storey sets. Wacky costumes you would only see in a Dr. Seuss books. And, might I add, daring acts.

The most eye-catching of all must have been the first act after the intermission. Get this: a giant rotating contraption with spinning hamster wheels on each arm, with (yes) people in it. They don't just ride it. They attempt all these things like somersaults and backflips on it, and they look like they actually enjoy it...

The next best thing was the tightrope act. Imagine: one tightrope, 2 bicycles, a long pole resting on the shoulders of the two cyclists, a chair on the pole, a third performer ON on the chair...

Not the mention the tower of chairs...

And don't forget the comedians!

There were 8 big acts in all, but the show was more than 2 hours long. Mystery, theme, colour, art, wonder, MAGIC...I dunno. It's all in there. And at the end of the night you feel like one of those kids in those imaginative storybooks that had just been transported to another world full of adventure, came back to his room, and wondered if it had been real all along...

Monday, July 19, 2010

When reading goes epic! Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Location>> bed.
Weather>> sunny/cloudy.
Mood>> like I want to do something..

I think all of us have gone through it before: the epicness of reading a book. (That is, if you're the type of psycho who has yet to discover the dire epicness of reading books). For the last few day I've been spending hours on the couch/deskchair/bed in awkward and uncomfortable positions ripping through all 800+ of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson. Heck, it was one of the most EPIC books I've read!

The rage about it happened about a month or two ago in Vancouver. I have to I'm late in joining the rage...(sadly, missed the trilogy 30% off sale). It's a hit in Sweden and other places in Europe, and has been for a few years. But recently the thrilling movie started a stir and it looked fantastic, so I decided to read the book.

Let me first say: THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR KIDS. I've been reading adult novels for a while, but some of the violence in this one is really be ready. The first sections of the book were albeit slow - it discussed the backgrounds of the first two characters. Blomkvist is a financial journalist who's magazine has just fallen apart due to a libel conviction by a big businessman. The other is a somewhat psychopathic personal investigator/hacker (Salander) and she's one of the most intriguing characters I've met. She becomes his sort of sidekick, and just wait till you see what her definition of revenge is. Basically, Blomkvist is hired to ghostwrite a family chronicle for the wealthy/successful Vanger family (owner of the Vanger Corporation) and at the same time try one last time to aid Henrik Vanger to solve the mystery of the disappearance of her niece almost 40 years ago.

The beginning is a bit slow because he cannot find any new leads the police haven't. But once the first breakthroughs are introduced you're swept into a whirlwind of conspiracy, corruption, and violence for violence's sake. The plot is not worthy of any other word except for "ingenious". Also, you can't help but feel a little disturbed by what the rich business folks arereally doing.

Hopefully, along the course of my summer reading, I'll enjoy more books like these. Looking forward to more cramped nights with the rest of the Millennium Trilogy.

What kind of epic reading have YOU done?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer so far.

So what have other students been spending the summer so far with? This is about my weekday in a nutshell.

10:00 - Wake up, eat breakfast, watch TV.

11:00 - Read, or do some authoring. Or play piano. Or go longboard. Or jog. Once every two days, remember to water your family friend's garden, because, get dough. And free tomatoes.

12:30 - Lunch. Watch more TV. Slack off.

14:00 - If on Mon, Wed, or Fri, go volunteer for 2 hours at local music school - more like an internship than anything. Make a good impression because you might get hired...
Oh, and remember to record Buffy the Vampire Slayer that runs at 3 because you're finally watching a show and not giving up... If it's a Tues or Thurs, do what you did in the morning.

16:00 - Return home. Watch what you recorded. If feeling studious, do theory homework.

18:00 - Dinner.

19:30 - On Tuesdays, go to Richmond for musical analysis theory class. If not, go biking/longboarding with friends in the trails or whatever. Complain when your butt hurts too much or your knees get busted going uphill.

21:00 - Usually home by now. Go on the computer, read blogs, watch YouTube, contribute to that outrageously long Facebook thread about that weekend outing that seems impossible to plan.

24:00 - Turn on the fan or the windows and sleep.

My life is almost interesting, isn't it?

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Vancouver's super hot now. As in, it got up to 31 C today. It's going to lower back down for the next couple of days, but still, for us, it's quite hot.

Okay, so you tropical people out there are probably saying "Gee, that's nothing. It's like 50 degrees HERE." But for us, it's a big deal. I mean, for a city that doesn't have AC in residential houses and where people where hoodies for most the year anyways, heat is becoming a larger deal over the years.


Sometimes we get droughts. No, really.

Last year, there was a gianormous heatwave and if it weren't for my mom's study (which is the only room between everyone I know that has AC), I think I could have died. The temp was the highest recorded according to CBC: 33.8 C.

"Vancouver heat wave melts communication lines in mayor's office" -->

Not like I don't know "real" heat. I've been to places like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Italy, and the Caribbean, where summer temperatures soar well over 40 degrees. I easily get heatstroke, too.


Hopefully, global warming won't kill us..


I shouldn't complain though. I live in one of the best biomes on Earth. This temperate rainforest is a beaut, and I have plenty of ice cream in the fridge to keep me company.


Only bad thing is, can't go outside to longboard because the roads are BAKED.

So, how's the weather, wherever you readers are?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My ideal writing desk!

Pretty much the one I have right now.

Hm, I have the "messy" option, and the "clean" option. Personally, I'm a messy person, so I think I'll go with the messy option first.

It all starts with my new MacBook Pro! I prefer writing at night, so the backlit keyboard is terrific. Plus, the keys are pretty silent so even if I stay up to the young hours of morning the folks will not notice...

My current writing desk is nothing short of messy: my neglected driver's manual on the right, iPod dock in front, lamp that's not turned on, last year's school schedule on the wall, scrap paper filled with mathematical formula littered everywhere, organizational boxes that don't really organize, stuffed dog biting my iPod...that sort of thing. The 'rents are always telling me to "will you just friggin' clean your room" but a messy room makes me feel, I can never find anything in a clean room...

Well, if I DO manage to clean the desk this would be pretty much what it'd look like: cleared large desk of light-coloured wood (from Ikea!), futuristic-looking MacBook Pro on top, dock blasting music, tissue paper on the side in case I sneeze...that sort of thing, but that's boring. I prefer the messier option...

By hand
Anyhoo, I prefer typing instead of traditional writing, but I DO write traditionally if I'm travelling. The ideal writing desk would be an airplane slide-out tray, a Campus notebook, and a Uni Jetstream 0.7 pen. These pieces of simple equipment are AMAZING. Campus notebooks have the best fullscap I've ever used, the paper quality is just lets your pen glide over as if its dancing on a shiny, freshly-mopped ballroom floor. The Jestream pen is also a brilliant invention. The ink just keeps flowing and flowing, not like a river, more like a waterfall, with complete control.

I get these tools when I shop in Hong Kong. Asia has some good stationery stores where the entire wall is just stacked with different pens and pencils and you can test them out on pads of paper.

Like that, but the whole wall...

- CharTheShark-----shark out

Monday, July 5, 2010

Foreign languages, and what I think of them...

Location>> messy desk
Eating>> toast with butter 'n' jam
Drinking>> So Good
Weather>> Sunny! With a high of 19C.
Mood>> kind of neutral..

The Positives and the Negatives for each one, so it's (somewhat) respectful.
NOTE>> Mandarin and Korean are gonna get it because there's tons of those speakers at my school who don't know a lot of English, so I have to deal with their ramblings everyday and, after a while, the respect gets sucked out of you...

  1. FRENCH: Negatives>> people sound like they have digestive problems, it's too guttural, and even though I probably knew what they were saying since I STUDY French they talk so fast it's a landslide of tongue rolling. Positives>> it's Canadian (YAY!!), sounds more classy than English (compare "La guitare" vs. "The guitar"), besides, it sounds super cool when you're ordering French food ("Le coq au vin, s'il vous plait!").
  2. GERMAN: Negatives>> sounds so sharp, and it's kind of english-y yet not english...which confuses me, and I always wonder why people don't trip on those "tsch" sounds, words are also way too long! Positives>> I have Austrian friends! And, it's handy when you're trying to talk classy in the field of music... (I know "Empfinderskeit", "Sturm und Drang", and "Getsamkindswert", which is about the only German I know...). My spelling is probably wrong too..
  3. MANDARIN (this is gonna be fun): Negatives>> LOUD, OBNOXIOUS, super annoying when all you hear is "GAN MA!" in the hallway as if they OWN the hallway, but I guess it's only bad if the rude people say it and say rude in really, really, annoying. Positives>> When classier people say it, it's a nice-sounding language, you can make a lot of poetry out of it, and I need to learn those four-word proverbs to make myself sound like a smart 16 year-old Confucius...
  4. KOREAN: Negatives>> also LOUD and OBNOXIOUS, they always sound like they're pissed off, and I can never get how they pronounce those "oeul" kind of sounds... Positives>> sounds a lot better in songs! Less obnoxious than skyrocketing Mandarin, and the Tae Kwon Do language....TKD is cool...
  5. JAPANESE: Negatives>> super fast (how on earth do they do it?!), very dramatic, don't like those cutsey, high-pitched announcers in the subway, and I kinda get annoyed when they tweak foreign words to make it Japanese, since I can never tell what's being meant. Positives>> generally a nice, sounding language, I like the quiet-ness, and the syllables sound nice, besides, I listen to it all the time with my own free will since Japanese music pwns.
  6. CANTONESE: HAHA!! I can make fun of this one however I want 'cos I speak it. Hmm, well, generally I think it's loud (depending on who speaks it), and it probably sounds terrible to those who don't understand it. But it also gives me a homey feeling cos there's less and less Canto people in Vancouver.
Um, that's all for today...hope no one got offended.

Oh dear Wednesday's gonna be 29C, and there's gonna be 3 days of 28C after that. Who else is worried??!! And I thought the volcanic ash would shield us this year...

- CharTheShark

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Half Price - the annoying fine print in sales

So, if any of you were at the Richmond Mall today they were hosting a mall-wide sale thingy and my parents insisted me on accompanying them on a periodical shopping binge (because my parents like spending money. Don't ask.)

Anyways, as bored as I was, I decided I DID need a new pair of shoes because my current longboarding shoes are totally scuffed beyond recognition and Mom says I look like a hobo. Besides, pumping requires a thick sole and I think I've done considerable foot damage to myself...and I hate foot massages. I paid a visit to my favourite surf/skate shop and was TOTALLY STOKED when I saw the "1/2 price" tag placed next to these awesome $79.99 DC Chelsea skate shoes.

Well guess, what? They weren't $40 at all. Everyone had missed the fine print until we were standing at the corner and the guy reluctantly pointed it out: it was BUY 1 GET 1 1/2 PRICE not just 1/2 price.

Dang it. I was in a bad mood for the next hour. Guess my feet will have to endure another month of pain.

Anybody gone through a similar situation? If so, let me know in the comments below!

Just to say: I've already got an idea for tomorrow's blog-o'-the-day! Stay tuned.

- CharTheShark

First post...

Location: messy desk
Weather: sunny/cloudy
Mood: excited
Drinking: H2O

So, today's the first day of my blogging career.

So let me first tell you - shortly and sweetly - how I got started.

I was on Facebook, like any other old teenager, when this thing pops up at the sidebar saying "Teen Writers Needed". I clicked on it because I'm a teen writer myself. I got to this weird site that I didn't understand how it worked, so I re-searched it on Google and found an even better site: teenswritingforteens.

Lemme tell you: there are some AMAZING people out there who write books. Growing up, I've always thought I was the weird one. Other kids played soccer and went out to see movies. I sit at home on my computer and write stuff. I didn't know there were teenage writers super-active out there, and some of them are actually published.

This gives great hope to me. Why? 'Cause I'm a young writer myself. I've been forming stories in my head and "making books" since I knew what they were. I've written 3 novels in my life so far, the first one which I started at age 9. I'm working on a 4th one that I'm making my friends read (teehee). My dream is to be published, to have others enjoy what I do, and to enjoy what I do myself.

I hope this blog will gather interest in my work, and a utility to showcase work to the professionals. I ask for all of your support. I hope I'll build a strong following, but this will only happen if you, the reader, is willing to help.