Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good Bye my little friend

H2 & I: At the airport, all excited, right before our big trip!

I'm not very good at good byes. Don't like it very much, in fact I hate it. And this year has been one of the toughest. This year I've had to deal with more good byes than any other. Click here, see I'm not kidding. I'm usually the one that leaves; i.e. when I left for the US to further my education and leaving F'ville upon graduation. I've never had to deal with people leaving me. Now the shoe's on the other foot and it sucks. I should be happy to know that my friends are moving away to bigger and better things but I'm selfish for wanting them all to myself.

H2 & I: Summer free concert on 9th St 2005 which we did again in 2006 :)

One of my best, best friends in Columbia is leaving today (Thursday 9/28). She is the first person I got to know when I moved to Columbia over four years ago and we instantly connected. After six months of knowing one another she moved in with me. We lived together for a year and eventually she moved out. Not long after that, I too moved out of our cute little apartment on Sears Ct and I bought my first property. We've been through thick and thin. She's the one that would accompany me on my weekend trips to KC or StL, we even made a trip back to Malaysia together. We would have little Malaysian cook outs, go to movies together, explored little restaurants, visited our regulars (china wok & house of CCB) and made impromptu visits to the mall (she was my shopping buddy!). We had very similar taste and would crack each other up for no reason. Approx. two months ago she moved back in with me again to avoid signing a lease and today she's packed up everything and we're saying our goodbyesWe have kept very little secrets from one another; she was a sister, a pal and a confidant. I will definitely miss my little friend.

H2 & I: Up above the beautiful Pinnacles. Those were the days...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Year of the Babies

Cute lil Baby KuanYen 1 day old

I guess this is indeed the year to have babies. I know so many people that have either given birth or are preggies right now! For me personally, I am blessed with two nephews in this red dog year of 2006. The first nephew this year is Tatsuya (my oldest brother's 2nd child) and the second is Kuan Yen (my 2nd brother's 1st child!). I would just like to congratulate my brothers for their amazing little ones. Kuan Yen came into this world on Sept 24, 2006 at 4:52pm weighing in at 2.48 kg or 5.47 lbs. Makes me feel like a cow since I weighed 8.5 lbs. I'm now an uncle three times over, scary! Here are some pictures of little baby Kuan Yen, enjoy...

So cute all dressed up & tiny baby w/ proud daddy

This is what Yahoo's astrology page says on the Dog year:

"...This kind of planetary environment is at first sight not so easy to live with. It is above all the one that provokes profound calls into question. It incites all natives of the sign to devote themselves to a very critical analysis, not only of themselves but also of their general situation and of their relationships with others. If you know how to profit well by such influxes, then you'll succeed in giving your existence a new and more exalting meaning. This will on the whole be a lucky year -- on condition that you do not undermine it with errors of judgment and vain gossip. You'll have plenty of good ideas and perfectly achievable original projects. Don't disclose your plans; remind yourself that 'the lion while hunting doesn't roar' (Nigritian proverb). Beware of the persons whom you might have let into your secrets, as some of them might profit by them at your expense and you become aware of this only too late..."

And not forgetting myself here is what it says about people from the year of the Snake

"...It would be a good time to recharge your batteries so as to recover your strength and energy. You might profit by a small financial success (aiyo only small?? why no big??); but if a too-enticing proposal (hmmm I wonder how enticing...) is made to you, gather all necessary documentation before giving your approval. In your life as a couple, (Couple?? yeah right!!) don't show too much independence and personal freedom. The moment will be favorable to highlighting your innovative ideas and to presenting your creative projects..." mmmmmk....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Goodbye my Honda

Well after being on the market for approx a month, my Honda (just like Lynda's) finally sold. Did not get my asking price of $6500 but I overpriced it anyway. I ended up getting $5500, WAY more than what dealersell your soulships were offering me on trade-ins. It was really sad to see my Honda no longer be in my possession, the car had it's little problems but overall it was a great car that required very little maintenance. I bought this car in Dallas (Toyota of Irving) at 85K miles, drove it up to Missouri and made so many trips on it such as to Dallas, Fayetteville, Minnesota (pics), KC, StL and many other cities in it ending up at 145K miles.

My ad in craiglist, also advertised on the Tribune

I sold it to this kid name Blaise (cute! but young) and his Mom, Dory. The Mom was the nicest, nicest lady with the cutest little dog that went wherever she would go. She drives a similar BMW as mine but a wagon type instead. Her son had apparently bought a Subaru WRX w/out their permission and so they made him return it losing $10K along the way. So as punishment he gets my makes me feel great! :) Ahhh, who cares, it's theirs now, they can do whatever they want with it. I delivered the car to her on Monday after my KC trip (they live in a cute little neighbourhood south of Stewart Rd) and that was the last time I saw my Accord :( I will miss this little car...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Kansas City Weekend

This past weekend has been both fun and hectic. Looks like everyone is trying to get their summer travels out of the way before the weather gets too cold. This weekend saw James visit Columbia, Justin to StL and me/H2 to KC. I got to spend some time with James on Friday night. We started at McNally's and worked our way to Heidelberg where we had such a blast. I got quite tipsy towards the end and just didn't hold much back. Our group got to be quite TVMA towards closing time. Thanks to Carrie for driving all of us drunkards home =)

Great time on the roof of the Heidelberg. You can see I'm getting progressively redder as I consume more alcohol.

The next day we drove to KC (first out of town trip in my beemer, ride was amazing!!) and had lunch at the very missed Lucky Wok. After that went back to Tze's for Terri's baby shower and birthday celebrations. It was good seeing familiar faces again. Seeing the kids run around (Andrew & Ian) reminded me of the times at home with family. I felt very grown up talking about life and career while the kids are running around with not one worry on their minds.

Now I'm really drunk (R) & Acting stupid w/ James and KK pouting bcoz he's hungry LOLz (L)

Sunday morning we drove up to the Plaza area and met up with Kenneth & Jeff for brunch. We got a tour of their cute, cute house and met their little dog, Jasper. KK later met up with us and we ate at Eggtc, a new restaurant, not too shabby. We then went to the basement of Hall's (G central) to do a little shopping. While there this hot, hot Ricky Martin look-a-like started staring at me. He was cute and totally ripped and was coming on to me BIG time but I failed to return the flirt and therefore did not end up with any number :(

Teaching godson necessary trade skills (L) & Adults conversing about life, career...i feel so grown up (R)

After that, we drove down to Tharu's bbq and met up with CP+Jim and Rachel+Egwin and a bunch of other people. Showed them my new ride and then drove back to Columbia. Received my first Blockbuster DVD (same concept as Netflix) and watched a few episodes of Nip/tuck season 1 and called it the night. The weekend absolutely flew by...unbelievable!

Off into the sunset w/ not a single worry

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My new love affair

I did a little impulse shopping (not really here's proof) recently =D

Anyway as many of you already know, I recently purchased a new car (a 2003 Steel Gray w/ tan leather BMW 330XI) to replace my Accord. Nothing was wrong with the Honda, I was just getting tired and wanted a new toy. Oh geez, I sound like some 50 yo chikopek going through a mid-life crisis. Anyway I guess in a way, I am going through my own little mid-life crisis. In my world, once one goes over 30, they are considered ancient **eeeek** how scary is that as mine is approaching fast!

Just got done washing/polishing my new baby. About ready to pull it into the garage.

I've never owned a European car before and boy have I been missing out. The driving experience is definitely quite different. I have always driven and owned Japanese which aren't bad, they definitely have their strenths as well but the handling, performance and overall drive of this car definitely blew me out of the water. To top it all off, this car is also equipped with tons of extra packages (eg Cold weather & performance package) which includes such luxuries as heated seats, xenon head lights, harmon kardon sound system and tiptronic(sp?) gear shift. I bought this car from a private seller (John S) in Quincy, IL. He is the owner of Castle Mfg and definitely took good care of it. The outside and inside are in such mint condition that it looks practically brand new. So far (knock on wood) I have yet to find any major faults with this car.

Turtle polish definitely gives an amazing shine!

So I guess this is a good time for me to reminisce on the cars I've owned so far. Well my Mazda 323 (BCA 1600) back in Malaysia is technically not mine since my parents' owned it but I remembered how proud I was that it was one for me to call my own. It was an old but reliable car and with it's bright orange color, it was one car that made an immediate statement wherever we went. It was a perfect student car, small and nimble and got great gas mileage. After me, my parents eventually sold it to Paul and he in turn sold it to some stranger. Till this day, my brothers say they see it zipping around KL traffic.

I love this angle of this car, very aggresive looking

The first car I ever bought was here in the US while I was going to school at the Univ of Arkansas. I shelled out $2400 for an '86 Accord coupe that was very well taken care of. This little car was amazing as it took me all around the country. I drove it to Nashville, North Carolina, Texas and many other places. It never broke down on me once. After graduation, the car started to show signs of wear and tear. It was time to replace the timing belt, clutch, air conditioning and brakes I decided to upgrade to another Honda, this time a '98 Honda Accord EX sedan. Ironically, I bought my Honda from a Toyota of Irving dealership ;)

My new car with my house with new (due to hail storm damage) roof, sidings and garage doors.

So with that said, this beemer will be car number 3 excluding my Mazda since my parents owned it. I have yet to own a brand new car. All my cars have been used. It's just a much better deal, to let someone else take the fall for all the depreciation ;) But I will definitely own a brand new car eventually. Till then I'll be enjoying my German ride.

Pictures from Portland/Seattle

Welcome to downstown Portland.

I know...I guys are probably saying it's about damn time I'm posting these pictures right? Anyway here they are, enjoy. So like I said in my previous post, we spent Saturday through Thursday at Portland, so majority of our vacation was spent here. It's a really pretty city with plenty of culture and character. The weather was amazing and they had the MAX that pretty much takes you everywhere. We did a really bad thing and never paid for our tickets the entire time we were there but no one ever checks so I guess it all worked out good.

Down by the waterfront.

Down by the Pearl District where all the really nice lofts are (L) In the Pioneer Square downtown with lots of alternative and homeless crowd (R)

So being in Portland for approx 6 days allowed us to really explore the entire downtown. Went to most of the shopping malls and different districts. We also went out to the clubs and bars just about every night. On Thursday morning, we picked up our rental car and headed to Seattle via the Oregon coastal roads stopping in Cannon Beach and a few other small tourist cities.

Love these very artistic pictures at Cannon Beach, thanks to Justin =)

Tower of Astoria (L) and Me, Dave and Justin at the famous Cannon Beach (R)

So we spent a couple of hours driving along the very beautiful coastal roads of Oregon. We finally arrived Seattle later that evening. Our hotel was quite ghetto as it was the cheapest one for the entire city. It was the "best value inn" so you can imagine how it was ;) We were also located at the SEATEC area which is really about 20 mins South of Seattle downtown. So we only had Thursday night, Friday and Saturday morning in Seattle. Not too much time to explore this wonderful city. I really have to make another trip up there. I managed to meet up with Bobby and Brandon while there. We all had dinner. The clubs in Seattle are definitely hoppin'!!

Facing the beautiful Pacific Ocean (L) Down by Pikes Place(birthplace of the world's 1st starbucks) with a view of downtown Seattle in background (R)

Chilling by the Capitol Hill area in Seattle right before we all went out to the clubs and bars. Love this City!!!