Saturday, April 27, 2002

San Jose days
Typing this from a motel in San Jose, California. One more reading to go in Santa Barbara. It's been an enjoyable 4-5 days, though not everything has been rosy. Seeing San Francisco has been good but not the jolt I expected. I guess I haven't been that far removed from America. You can find the magazines on the bookshelves, read the papers over the net, and our television is innudiated with US programs. So is it merely a state of mind? Did get to go to legendary City Lights bookstore, which the poets are crazy about. Probably the biggest thing for me has been driving this huge SUV around; uphill/downhill and all over the place, particularly SF's crazily steep hills. Cheap and shallow I am.

Monday, April 22, 2002

It's Time, Gentleman, It's Time
Time to pack up and go. See you in ten!
Old writings
An ex-colleague asked me to send in my CV for my writing gigs. Was looking through some of the stuff I've written and came across the National Day Supplement I did for 8 days. 1999 I believe. Boy that was a while ago. I hope I still have that lying around; would be useful in promoting myself or getting more freelance gigs. I'm of two minds regarding the project since they seem to expect a full time freelancer, but that's really hard in Singapore. Things at work appear to be getting more interesting, but I'll see how things go when I get back.
Called the embassy personally and finally got the visa. Sheesh.. do things yourself, that's how it is. Got the passport and a ten year American Visa. Boy at least I won't have to go through that again for a while! (Aren't they worried I could convert to a fundamentalist group in the next few years? Bet they'll plug that loophole in a bit.)

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Fucked up travel agents
So true.
'The people are so rude, they are always busy and the phones are always ringing. I can't get good service or the agents' undivided attention.'

I had to call the US Embassy and find out what the agent had to do if she wanted to know the status of my passport. (I can't go through them myself as she has the case number.) This is really ridiculous. Talk about incompetence.
The kid named Lexus
Friend who volunteers for a cooking school said one of the kids there is named, of all things, Lexus. He has siblings too and wonder what they're called. Porsche? Ferarri? Mercedez?
Ah Berkeley
Summer Bullets
Flipping through the NYU Summer Bulletin and found many intriguing courses. Why can't they have some of these courses here? They even have a course on Almodovar and Scorsese. A number of courses are conducted overseas, such as Florence in the American Imagination: Florence in Fiction, History and the Present, conducted in Florence, of course, or Photography: On Location in Havana. Maybe it's the psyche of summer. Rejuvenation and rediscovery that Singapore needs so much of. The seasons propel thought and inspiration, and summers are for new beginnings.
Like Schroedinger's Cat
In about 40 hours I could either be on a plane bound for California or stuck in my room moping and cursing the American Embassy and the travel agent. I'm REALLY hoping for the former or at least know so I can get out of this freaking limbo. This will be my first big trip in a long time. Next one would probably be to Sydney when my sister gets married. Next year who knows? Finally the backpacking tour of Spain? Florence? France again? Visit my brother who might get posted to Washington or London (or Ros, for that matter)? I need to renew my globetrotting legs and get more chops in my passport. It's clean like a new notebook.
Joy Ride
Watched Joy Ride on DVD. Pretty good. It's about a couple of brothers who use their CB radio to play a trick on some redneck trailer driver, with dire consequences. There's about three alternate endings, but I like the original one best. I guess it's the creepiest and most tense. Very underrated movie that'll probably never get here. Leelee Sobieski is pretty cute, and girls will probably find Paul Walker scrumptious as well. (He has to walk into a diner naked in one scene. Don't salivate too much.) A good break from the heavy-handed film fest stuff.
Lesson #1 (x10,013)
If you want something done, got to do it yourself.
Got fed up and called SQ to see if I can change the flight date. No point stalling and waiting for the incompetent losers at the agency, or wondering when the Embassy will get off its butt. Will have to make lots of phone calls tomorrow to find out where the f*** is my passport and try to settle things once and for all. JUST GIVE ME THE VISA, DAMN IT!

Pain in the ass.

Anyway, SQ said I could cancel/change the flight three hours before departure, so I'll have to see what happens tomorrow. Man I REALLY better start packing tonight. My backpack is all dusty now... It's only ten days. Had thought about bringing a suitcase but remembered I'll be going solo from Santa Barbara back to San Francisco. Don't think I'll need much, else it'll be the usual smelly jeans.