Water is your best friend

I’m addicted.

Well, technically speaking I can’t be diagnosed as ‘addicted’ yet, but I can see the symptoms.

I’ve got three cups of coffee today, and I know that it’s not good.

But it’s just hard to resist the temptations, you know… When one of those good baristas say that, “Hey Marcella, do you want some coffee?” and I’ll just say, “Yep sure, why not?” without thinking.

And come to think of it, now I drink coffees twice a week (or maybe more).

This past week, I have coffee almost everyday actually, which is bad, I think.

And today, I’ve got Australian Travel Writing Festival as well at night, and they have wine and some proper cheese.

So I end up drinking a glass of 2008 Merlot and another glass of white wine which name escapes my memory.

Now I really think that water is the best drink so far.

The good part is: all the drinks mentioned above is free! ;p

Oh well, enough drinks for one day! ;)


The beauty of radio

Being invited by a friend, I have entered a radio course (out of nowhere) in SYN (Student Youth Network), 90.7 FM, during these past four weeks. I have no idea why I joined this course. My pronunciation is super bad, especially compared to the locals, I have no confidence in talking in radio, have no previous experience, and the greatest part is: I have never listened to radio before. Ever.

But joining this course opened my eyes to new things and equipped me with further skills that I may need in the future. First of all, I got to play around with the panels, mics, and radio software and such, which I may say very cool indeed. I have made a demo (a real demo in mp3, which I will hide in my external hard disc somewhere), and meet people that are really enthusiastic in pursuing their passions. It’s a good experience, and I may say, I’m actually quite proud of myself to have taken the decision to join the course.

The next question is: do I really want to be a radio-announcer? Well, not quite. The people there say that you can make your own show for 12 weeks (or three months) and actually be on air: LIVE. It’s really interesting though, except that my workloads have soared higher and higher and still higher. If only I can do a show once or twice, I MIGHT consider it (not really actually), but I feel sad to just doing nothing after spending 1 month learning about radio. But oh well, at least now I listen to the radio while I’m eating breakfast – I know more news than before, which is really important, I think.

Well, now that I’ve ‘tasted’ the radio thingy, the next stop will be: TV! ;p. The information session is tonight, so let’s see how it goes ;).

PS. I really do complicate myself lol. Instead of ‘subtracting’ stuffs to be done, I’m adding more!

Oh well, I’ll give you one of my favourite song in the radio now: JUST THE WAY YOU ARE by Bruno Mars! Hahah, enjoy!

5:15 pm.

I have a lecture at 5:15 pm
and I still bother to write something.
I guess it’s just a feeling to write
whatever the situation is.
I don’t even know what to write.
I don’t even know why I opened a new tab
and decided to click on that “New Post” link.
Hey, maybe I just don’t know what to do.
Which is kinda true.

5:07 pm.
I know I have a lecture at 5:15.
It’s Clinical Psychology today.
I like psychology, I just don’t feel like studying.
Doesn’t everyone like to say so?

5:08 pm
I know I have exam in 3 weeks.
and I have studied – but I have forgotten what I have studied.
I sometimes do not believe in the studying system that’s happening.
But hey, you can’t only study what you like.
you need to study all things.

5:10 pm.
I know, I know, I am procrastinating.
I have filled up my agenda with bunch of other things.
Which is do-able, I may say.
but you tend to do the ‘other’ things more.
Instead of focusing on your studies.
But hey, that’s the fun part!
Not always the right path, I’ll say.

5:12 pm.
Alright, I’ll go to my lecture.
Trying to keep awake and listen to the lecturer.
I hope I’ll be able to do some time management,
and start doing something useful!

Birdman Eating

mp’s rating: 4/5 stars

Have you ever wandered along a street and do not know what to eat, and suddenly see a restaurant with an alienated name that captures you in? Then you find yourself walking into the restaurant, seeing the dimly lighted room, with exotic decoration of Icarus (yes, Icarus, from the Greek mythology) flying above your head, and thinking, “what kind of restaurant do I come into?”

But then, the waitress with his professional marketing attitude, allocated you to the table with red and green chairs that match perfectly with the dark cafe atmosphere, and you find a candle in a small, tiffany blue glass that dims softly on the table, thinking – maybe it will turn out to be a good dinner.

Located in Fitzroy, Melbourne, with an infamous reputation for its breakfast menu, Birdman Eating Restaurant opens one more chapter in my food-o-logy in Melbourne. Going in with not much expectation turns out to be a superb dinner afterwards. The restaurant atmosphere is romantic (recommended for lovers or just casual catching-ups with friends), the food is cooked to perfection, the service is perfect, and overall a fantastic dining experience indeed.

Birdman Eating’s dinner’s menu consists of small platters, intended for sharing between people. And here’s the list of the five dishes for two people sharing that I have:
(ps. I am really sorry for the lousy image quality, it is too dark to take an image)
  1. Zucchini & fetta Fritters ***
    A delicate, perfectly cooked zucchini served with goat’s cheese. Never will be able to make it, it’s always a good thing to try something new.
  2. Grilled Ox Tongue ****
    Not knowing the real name of this dish (I think it’s on specials), this dish is just fantastic. The crispiness of the grilled ox tongue matches brilliantly with the greens they presented, not too overwhelming, but – just right.
  3. Sautéed prawns & chorizo with Spanish dry apple cider ****
    Another great dish. Six prawns with some other ingredients that suit seafood lovers.
  4. House made terrine with condiments ****
    Have you watched MasterChef 2010? Have you wondered how Callum’s terrine tastes like when he is praised by the judges? This house made terrine is superb, presented with a couple of sliced breads and onion relish – two thumbs up.
  5. Scallop *****
    Never knowing the real dish name, but this dish is just special. It’s definitely on specials, and really makes my day. The scallop is cooked to perfection that it feels melting in your mouth, presented with crispy bacon on top that compliments it with a brilliant mixed of flavour. Highly recommended? It’s a must-eat dish.

The service staffs are also equipped with the necessary skills needed to operate the restaurant. They know which kind of drinks that matches your taste, and they will recommend the food as well. A good technique of wine pouring, and a high service quality indeed.

Although it’s quite pricy (you will be looking for around $30 per person), I think one night of indulgence is needed. I do not recommend to spend your $$ on this kind of food everyday, but it’s good to have good dinner once in a while ;)

So overall, an outstanding dinner experience ;)

The Last Lecture (2008)

mp’s rating: 5 / 5 stars

I almost make it to tomorrow’s headline in The Age. It will be, “Yesterday, after attending her last lecture, a girl was reading the book “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch, which will be her last book to read as well, and got hit by a car.” Being so emotionally linked towards the  novel today, I literally could not let it off my hands. Apparently God still loves me so much that I was still given the proper awareness to my surroundings, and arrived at home safe and sound.

I finished the book in one day.

Having watched the last lecture video that Randy Paush gave a few months ago, I ordered the book from Borders online and received the book months ago as well. Nevertheless, I never got the time (or the will) to read it properly. Today I really feel the urge to read, and I grabbed this novel and started reading. It turned out that I couldn’t close it.

Randy Pausch was a professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. But it didn’t stop there. He was also an award-winning teacher and researcher, and worked with Adobe, Google, Electronic Arts and Walt Disney Imagineering. His lectures have impacted millions of people, and his life affected millions more. He left a legacy towards his students, friends, children, and even strangers. Randy Pausch lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008.

“I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children. If I were a painter, I would have painted for them. If I were a musician, I would have composed music. But I am a lecturer. So I lectured.” Randy Pausch

Reading up his book taught me many things; he gave so many wisdom that only a man who has lived his full life would be able to give. Considering him to be in his late 40s when he passed away, I really think he is one of closest perfect person that anyone could be in this era. He was living his dreams, helping others to live theirs, and having fun along the way – even when he knew he only had months to live.

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch titled his last lecture in Carnegie Mellon as “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. As an 8-years-old dreamer, he had 6 childhood dreams, and he did achieve all of them. First, he wanted to be in zero gravity. Second, he wanted to play in AFL. The third and fourth would be authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia and Being Captain Kirk from Star Trek. Fifth, He wanted to win stuffed animals in carnivals. Last, he wanted to be a Disney Imagineer.

Being able to have a 25 seconds experience in NASA’s zero gravity, played good football (although he never did play in AFL), authored the “Virtual Reality” article in the World Book Encyclopedia, met Captain Kirk and explained about the computer science technology to him, won lots and lots of stuffed animals (without cheating), and be a 6-months Disney Imagineer, Randy Paush really achieved his childhood dreams. They were bizarre. But we all should have lived ours, shouldn’t we?

I remember one story from the book. A 20-years-old guy named Tommy Burnett wanted to have a job in Randy’s research team. Interviewing him for what his goals and dreams are, Tommy said that he had a dream of ‘making’ the next Star Wars movie. He wanted to be the guy who made the special effects – the spaceship, the galaxy, anything. Randy helped him. He had been hired by the George Lucas’ company, and took part on the next 3 Star Wars movies.

“It does take a lot of luck. But all of you are already lucky. Getting to work with Randy and learn from him, that’s some kind of luck right there. I wouldn’t be here if not for Randy.” Tommy Burnett

I admire Randy Pausch, I really do. He lived his life to the fullest, found his calling, helped others to find theirs, loved his family, thought about his children, pursued his dreams, learned and passed on the lessons in living; he had fun. He knew how to be optimistic and be realistic at the same time. He knew how to manage time, and making the most of it. He knew how to look at life in different perspective; he knew how to dream big. He was a professor, a lecturer, a husband, and a terrific father. He was a life-changer.

I am going to devote the rest of this blog to give my favourite quotes from the book. I highly recommend everyone to read this book. It gives you a sense that you can do so much more, and actually be able to reach much more. You are to dream big. You are to live your dreams.

“So today’s talk was about achieving childhood dreams. But did you figure out the head fake? It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.”

Find the best in everybody. Just keep waiting no matter how long it takes. No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side, just keep waiting, it will come out.

When it comes to men that are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do. It’s that simple. It’s that easy.

The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

I probably got more from that dream and not accomplishing it than I got from any of the ones that I did accomplish.

Never underestimate the importance of having fun. I’m dying and I’m having fun. And I’m going to keep having fun every day, because there’s no other way to play it….Having fun for me is like a fish talking about the importance of water. I don’t know how it is like not to have fun…

To be cliché, death is a part of life and it’s going to happen to all of us. I have the blessing of getting a little bit of advance notice and I am able to optimize my use of time down the home stretch.

And as you get older, you may find that “enabling the dreams of others” thing is even more fun.

When I was in high school, I decided to paint my bedroom [shows slides of bedroom]. I always wanted a submarine and an elevator… And the great thing about this is they let me do it. And they didn’t get upset about it. And it’s still there.
If you go to my parent’s house it’s still there. And anybody who is out there who is a parent, if your kids want to paint their bedroom, as a favor to me let them do it. It’ll be OK. Don’t worry about resale value on the house.

Find the best in everybody… you might have to wait a long time, sometimes years, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting no matter how long it takes. No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side, just keep waiting, it will come out.

The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have.

Time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think.

Its important to have specific dreams. Dream Big. Dream without fear.

You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.

When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up on you.

It’s not how hard you hit. It’s how hard you get hit…and keep moving forward.

Too many people go through life complaining about their problems. I’ve always believed that if you took one tenth the enrgy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out.

I’ve never understood pity and self-pity as an emotion. We have a finite amount of time. Whether short or long, it doesn’t matter. Life is to be lived.

The person who failed often knows how to avoid future failures. The person who knows only success can be more oblivious to all the pitfalls.”

– Randy Pausch

I highly encourage these websites: they are marvelous.

…hey, what is your childhood dream? Maybe it’s time to give it a shot ;)

Despicable Me (2010)

mp’s rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

L… is for the way you look at me… O… is for the only one you see.. V… is very very, extraordinary and E… is even more than anyone that you adore and….. LOVE!!!!!! Oh, I LUOOOOOOOVEEEEEEEE this movie ;)

The Age reviewer actually gives this movie a 4.5 star rating! ;)  I am really voting for the adorable Agnes, cute minions, hysterical, exotic, funny Gru, the amazing story, and the great effects altogether. they really steal my heart away ;)

Stealing the Statue of the Liberty, check! (oops, the smaller version one). Stealing the other not-so-weird-exotic stuffs, check! Whoooo, what’s the next thing Gru, the super-villain, going to steal?

He…. is… going… to… steal….. the moon!!! Trying once again to rebuild his reputation, Gru considers himself as a baaaaddddd person, the villain! But having adopted three little girls for his bad, baaaaaad plan, Edith, Margo, and Agnes try to find a father’s heart from Gru. Will they succeed?

In 3D or not in 3D, this movie is a must-watch movie. Whether you are watching alone, with friends, with family, or even with your date, I am 99.99% sure that you will love this movie (except that you have a malfunction laugh nerve disorder. Err… I do not think that even exists).

One of my favourite scene is the ending part, where the three girls want a goodnight kiss, it is sooo sweet! and the fact that all the minions want a goodnight kiss as well (and one minion even wants twice! lol). Oh it is sooo adorable.

“One big unicorn, strong and free, thought he was happy as he could be. Then three little kittens came around and turned his whole life upside down. They made him laugh, they made him cry. He never should have said goodbye. And now he knows he can never part from those three little kittens that changed his heart.” Gru.

Come on, take a break, enjoy it! Sneak out some Tim Tams or chips to your bag and be sure to prepare your stomach for this laugh-taking movie!

adorable agnes ;)

Deeeesss.piii.caaaaa.bleeeeee.me. Des.pi.ca.ble.me.