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Random thoughts

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Happy Birthday, Bro!

It's my brother Richard's birthday today (yesterday, technically), so in honor of him, I am posting a picture that he sent me recently. This is him posing with his new girlfriend.



He's gained weight, thankfully, and is doing well, so I'm really happy for him. I really miss him though, so I can't wait for when he can finally come to visit me here.

Marvin the Paranoid Android

Marc and I watched The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy last night. I didn't expect the movie to be so popular but when we got to the Santa Monica promenade at 6:30 to catch the 7:45pm showing, the tickets were already sold out and there was a long line outside the theatre. We were hoping to make it an early night, but instead we ended up with tickets to the 10:20pm showing.

The movie was really cute, but I knew that I appreciated it better because I had read the book and Marc hadn't. There were a lot of details in the movie that were explained more elaborately in the book - the need for towels, the actual hitchhiker's guide, etc. The movie didn't really say much about those things, even though they made the book more amusing and charming.

The cutest thing I found in the movie was Marvin the Paranoid Android, who Allan Rickman lent his voice to. Isn't he just the cutest (Marvin I mean, not Allan)?

Well, that was awkward

I went to Ralph's today to pick up some apple juice and as I walked in, this guy who was pushing a cart by me looked up and fixed his eyes on me. I looked back and realized he looked familiar - I know I spend time somewhere every week and see him there as well. The problem was, I didn't know where the heck that was. I smiled at him and exchanged the usual pleasantries, and got away with just that. Picked up my apple juice (dodged him twice around the aisles) and stood in line.

As fate would have it, he and his girlfriend stood in line behind me. I tried to pretend I was focusing on the bagger, who was asking me if I wanted paper or plastic, but that wasn't enough time to cover my cashier time. So I had to look back, smile and make small talk again. After awhile though, it was becoming more and more obvious that I had no clue where I knew him from, so I simply stopped and turned the other way. When it was time to go, I smiled, waved and hauled ass out of there.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Katie is Cruisin'!


Maybe Brad Pitt and I can start dating too? Haha! Read about this juicy new couple (yes, couple!) here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

My New Athenas

Last night, as I was frolicking around the climbing gym, half-climbing and half-socializing, I saw a pile of boxed climbing shoes in the main area. I didn't think much of it until it was pointed out to me that they were actually for sale - at the cheapest prices imaginable. To top it off, they were actually evolv's, the brand that I had been looking at the past couple of days. I didn't get the exact one I wanted - the Rock Star lace-ups; I got the velcro version of it, the Athenas:



These are my scuff-them-up-all-I-want climbing shoes, for use at the gym, since supposedly climbing shoes don't last that long when used indoors. I have yet to find a really good pair for climbing outdoors, but at least I have these in the meantime - I won't have to use the old ones that are falling apart and that are starting to become unbearably smelly. Ewwww!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Perfect Night with Sarah

I had gotten the tickets awhile back and I was really excited about this concert, but when I checked the weather report, it said that it was going to rain this past weekend, so I was a little apprehensive about what the experience would be like. It was my first time watching a concert at the Greek Theatre, an open-air theatre in Griffith Park. I'd heard mixed feedback about it but most people seemed to think that it was a great venue, and I didn't want bad weather to spoil the experience.

Well, Sunday rolled around and although it was a little cloudy, it stayed dry. I spent the afternoon listening to a great speaker, Dan Millman, at the Agape center, and then it was time to get ready for the concert. Marc and I changed into warmer clothes then drove to La Belle Epoque, a small cafe about a mile away from the Greek. We had a quick dinner there and some wine to start the evening right, and then we walked over to the concert grounds (this guy at the cafe said it was walking distance, and it was). This Swedish band called The Perishers were playing when we got there. They were actually pretty good but I didn't really focus on them too much until suddenly Sarah came onstage and did one song with them. Soon after, the opening act finished and it was time for the main event.

No disappointment there. Perfect night, a few clouds but the stars came through after awhile, and the mountains in the background, and this beautiful, beautiful voice serenading everyone. I was expecting her to sing the usual songs, but suddenly she sat on the ledge onstage and said something like, "I didn't write this next song; it's one of my favorites - it's by the Beatles." As soon as she said "Beatles", I couldn't contain myself because I knew what she was going to sing. I had been listening to her version of this song everyday for the past two weeks, and I couldn't believe she was actually going to sing it this time. I felt myself tuning everyone out as she started to sing, "Blackbird singing in the dead of night...."

Sadly, it was over before I knew it, and I kept wishing for her to come back and do another song and another, and another. But the lights in the theatre came on and everyone started filing out. All I could think of was, I can't wait for the next one.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Shoeless in Santa Monica

Greg and I spent the afternoon hunting for new climbing shoes to replace my trusty old ones that are starting to fall apart. We made a special trip out to the REI in Manhattan Beach, only to find out that the branch there is actually half the size of what at least I was used to - the REI in Costa Mesa. They only had about ten kinds of shoes there, half of which were Five-Tens which I don't really like.

So we headed back to Santa Monica and went to Adventure 16 (even though I was just there a few days ago!). It turns out that they put more of their shoes on sale, and one of them - the La Sportiva Testarossa - was one of the ones I was lusting after. So I rushed to ask the salesperson to get my size.... and there was none. Nada. And the clincher? The size they did have fit Greg perfectly, so he went home with a new pair and I went home disappointed. All I had with me when I got home was some chalk and those silver Chinese balls used to exercise the fingers. Sigh!

Jean-Michel has offered to see if he can get me some good shoes on a pro-deal though, so maybe it's a good thing that I didn't find any today. I just hope he can actually come through for me on that. I don't know how long my shoes now are going to last!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Promenade Stories

I wish I could always remember that my phone actually has a camera. I saw a funny saying today at one of the store windows at the Promenade. I must go back and take that picture. But in the meantime:

Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.

....Done of course in a cute font so you laugh at the saying instead of being offended. Hmm. I guess I really have to post the picture so it can explain itself.

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I was browsing the Brookstone store with Marc, checking out the FOM pillows (they're like heaven in a pillow!) when Marc leaned over and said, "Meg Ryan's here." I whipped my head around and saw her - jeans, hat, dark glasses, jacket and boots. But the first thing I really noticed about her? Her lips. I'm sorry, but you could see them from across the room! Geez!

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Bag's Almost Gone

Angela and Joedie sent me a bag of the dark chocolate M&Ms via USPS. I was so desperate that I broke down and asked Angela to send me some, since I could not find any in my area. These stores suck!

It's only been a day since I opened the bag but it's halfway gone. I doubt that it will see the light of day on Wednesday. They're so yummy!

Thanks for the sugar rush, Angela and Joedie!

Back in the Saddle

I think I've recovered from the weekend (upset stomach, hangovers and extreme laziness), so I'm back - not quite full force, but back anyhow. I was able to climb the extreme overhang at the gym, did the normal V2's, with energy to spare. Maybe I'll be ready to try a V3 next week; that's how confident I feel now anyway.

So funny how frustration and helplessness and annoyance or anger can fuel an "I'm still a $%#&$&#$%&^^ great person" kind of mentality and help me get the energy to climb routes that I never thought I could do just yet. It helped that Mike and Greg were there to distract me too. I owe those two a lot!

This is the lowest I've been in the past couple of months so I know things are bound to change and there's no way to go but up. I can feel it. I definitely think that through all these difficulties lately, I'm starting to discover the attitude that will finally allow me to stop mulling over things that I probably should stop caring about, and thinking about people who might rather not be in such close proximity. Kind of sad.

So in that respect, yup, I think I might be almost back in the saddle too. Can't be sitting in such a bad place forever. Can't control people or situations, just the way I feel.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Not Bowling in a Bowling Alley

Last night, a big group from St. Monica's (+friends) met up at the AMF Bowling Alley on Pico. We had about three or four games going on simultaneously. Unfortunately, I had to settle for giving moral support because of a bad knee. I actually rented the shoes and had them on already, but since it was the left knee that was hurting, and it was what I was going to have to use for bowling, I decided not to push my luck. Returned the shoes and spent the night on my butt, cheering people on.

But then it was time to go to Mor bar, and I just couldn't resist stepping onto the dance floor. I usually prefer house music, but last night was still pretty good - hip hop and some old-school music. Besides, it was the company that mattered anyway.


I wasn't able to take pictures at the club (too busy dancing haha), but I did get a few good shots at the bowling alley.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Climbing in Malibu (Again)

Made another trip out to Malibu. This time Greg couldn't make it so it was just me and Mike again. I still had alcohol racing through my veins so I didn't do so well, and I felt so frustrated. Here are some photos (I couldn't take pics of Mike because I wasn't comfortable belaying him with one hand.):












Happy Birthday, Joooohhhhnnnnnyyyyy!!!!

Before going out to gorge ourselves on Korean food, Debra, Andy and I swung by John's birthday bash in Mirabelle. Here is a picture of me and John, in his hat and outfit that I helped pick out for him. I was chewing something so my lips are pursed and I look like I'm trying to seduce him in some weird way. Haha!

Afterwards, we drove to Korea town to meet up with Igor and the rest of his gang for some Korean BBQ. Even though we had already eaten a little bit at John's party, we couldn't resist the food selection at the Korean restaurant, so we went home pretty stuffed. I can't even sleep right now - I'm so full. But tomorrow (actually, today) is climbing day again, so I need to get some rest.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Never Copped A Feel

Funny clip about the Michael Jackson trial. Nothing too serious, just a little cartoon. Check it out (and make sure your sound is on):

He never copped a feel.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Time Lapse

I've been getting more and more interested in the time lapse option in cameras (and that means I'm becoming dissatisfied with the camera I have haha). I've seen some great time lapse projects; my camera was even used for a makeshift time lapse - it was put on a tripod, and a photo was taken every hour. Using iMovie from Apple, the photos were put together in one movie file, and it made for a really amusing clip.

Here are some more cool ones I found:

Sunset. I love the colors and how the clouds move in this clip.
Japanese action. I can just imagine the amount of work they had to do to make this film, having to move the figures so many times!
Cute Lego movie. I love Lego!

So anyway, I'm starting to do research on cameras that can do time lapses. I think I'd like to film myself sleeping and see what weird things I do at night.


One option: The Olympus Camedia.
Second option: Canon Powershot G6

Quote of the Day

We need to understand that humor and laughter are contagious, but so is cynicism. We often assume roles that have more to do with fitting in and conforming than expressing who we really are and what our sense of humor is. Remember, if somebody truly gets embarrassed, if exposing a weakness provides the laughter, if profanity is required to make it funny, if something sacred is made to appear common, if people are excluded from the joke - it is poor humor. But don't let fear stop you, humor is an integral part of our working life's, all of us are somehow involved with it.

Hmm. That doesn't bode well for Chris Rock.

Feeling philosophical

The way I see it, there are only two things you can do: focus on the disappointments in your life and live in despair and frustration, or keep your eyes on your blessings and throw yourself into the life that was given to you. You can choose to dwell in your past mistakes and be convinced that they have scarred you for life, or you can choose to learn from these mistakes and use these lessons to live your life better.

You can choose to say no to opportunities that you just don't really like, or you can grab the opportunity, try it out and turn it into the best it can be for you.

You can choose to settle for what you have, or strive to become better and better each day. This doesn't mean being greedy though - it means being filled with hope.

You can choose to dwell in your insecurities and give yourself over to depression, or you can grab life and take a big bite out of it.

Take your work seriously, but take your life and yourself lightly. No fall is so bad that you won't be able to get up and brush yourself off; all you need is the right attitude.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Here I Go Again

Alright, I finished watching the latest Scrubs episode. Here's JD's voiceover again:
When your pride's at stake, you can't help but have questions. A lot of times the answer is about sacrifice. Sometimes sacrifice is only wearing your uni when you're not at work; other times, it's about swallowing that damn pride. But ultimately, big or small, sacrifice is about doing something you don't really wanna do.

Sushi chef, sushi chef, sushi chef

Sushi chef!

Say that fast ten times, see if you can do it. Not so easy after three rounds of sake, that's for sure!

Well, here's to an okay night of climbing (I was able to do a 5.10b on lead, in spurts) and a great time at dinner afterwards. Mike and I were climbing pretty badly by the end of the night because we both hadn't had dinner before going into the gym, so after a couple of really bad tries, we packed up and headed to Sushi King, this little hole-in-the-wall sushi place on Wilshire. Now I know I ordered green tea with the sake, but somehow when the sake came, I just completely forgot about the tea. Haha! It was a much-needed break though; I was able to breathe out my issues to a willing ear, and ultimately make myself feel a little better. I think that's why I have been belaying like shit these days - Mike definitely shook his head at me at least once today. I'll have to do better next time.

So I'm home alone again, but I just downloaded the latest Scrubs episode (even though I've already seen it) and I have a couple of movies I borrowed that I have to watch soon. So it's time to curl up in my jammies and enjoy this alone time.

Gloomy Day

It's nice and sunny out here in California, but I'm feeling a little gloomy today. There's not much I can write without dwelling on the details (which I don't want to do), but I suppose things just have a way of happening, especially when you've been living in denial and ignorance for so long. But at least the time has come and the inevitable is starting to happen. I can only hope that good will come out of this somehow, and only minimal pain will be felt.

This day just makes me want to sit at home and watch sad movies until I get so tired of crying. But this bitchy little side of me won't allow something pathetic like this to happen so instead I'm climbing my arms out tonight until I can't move, and I'm filling my evenings with activities so I won't have time to stop and dwell on things I feel I have no control over.

My "new" life starts Wednesday next week, but I still have no idea what that will entail. Wish me luck though!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Moral of the Story

It's Scrubs night tonight, and I have the TV all to myself! Yay!

I was just watching the old episodes that I downloaded and I realized that it isn't just the humor that draws me to this sitcom; there's always some great insight that you can get from it. I suppose that makes it similar to that old-school sitcom, Doogie Howser, M.D., with the episode always ending with Doogie writing in his computer diary.

In a recent Scrubs, the lesson really hit close to home, because it somehow applies to something I feel I just went through and/or something that I'm still going through. The episode was called My Best Laid Plans and was all about dishonesty, and this is the quote (JD's voiceover):
See, that's the thing about trying to have your cake and eating it too - if you make the slightest mistake, you usually wind up getting neither. And really, who wants to risk something important just for a silly piece of cake?

Lazy Morning

Something about being alone in this big condo is making me really lethargic - it was so much effort just to get up and have breakfast. I was trying to get motivated to go to the gym (which is usually a pretty easy task for me), but somehow solitude is really tempting this morning. If this goes on, I'm going to be fat and bloated, and I won't be able to get up from the bed even if I wanted to. Haha!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Weekend Recap

I'm back from a half-supercharged and half-laidback weekend. Saturday morning, I woke up really early to take Tito Monching to the airport - he is in Paris right now, and I turn green with envy whenever I think about it. I got back around 5:00 and caught a couple more hours of sleep, and then I bounced right off the bed: Greg, Mike and I had made plans to go climbing in Malibu again. Mike had to cancel though, due to an emergency, so it was just me and Greg. We had brunch then went up to Malibu, where I got "bullied" into doing a 5.11b. And the best thing was, I made it - three times! Greg and I simply took turns on it, as if doing laps on a pool. It became easier and easier after every try, so I was all pumped up about it. Here are a few pictures from this trip:






And here are the rest of the pictures.

When I got home, I took a quick shower and then it was time to watch Sin City with Marc. We loved it! The way they shot the movie was so cool, we both loved the graphics and the lighting effects. With all that gun action and violence though, I think I may have mangled parts of Marc's arm, shoulder and/or fingers. I was so jittery that I had to keep grabbing him throughout the movie.

Sunday, we took our books to the Palisades Park and did some reading there, then we went on my quest for the ever-elusive dark chocolate M&Ms. We drove all the way down to the Target in Marina del Rey, and......... nothing. There was screaming in my head when we discovered they didn't have it. Is this an exclusive Orange County thing?!?!?!?! Marc's right - we haven't seen it advertised anywhere up here. Darn it!

But all in all a good weekend. I need to catch up on sleep though. Off to bed I go!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Goodbye, Great Man

While words can fail, pictures speak volumes. Here is greatness, sorrow, peace and mourning.








Oogly Woogly

Who says you have to be all tomboyish when climbing? This chalkbag definitely offsets the masculinity associated with the sport. Maybe I'll start baby-talking while I'm on the rock. Haha! Whatever the case may be, I'm getting one.

Picture lifted from the REI website

Mean Laughter

Once again I have to mooch some info from a friend's blog (thanks Pau!). This is one of those things that make you laugh, and then when you find yourself laughing, you have to stop yourself because you realize somehow that your laughter might actually be deducting points from your "going to heaven" score. It's just like that last episode of Scrubs. I suppose I could just laugh it out and then do something really, really good to compensate.

Check it out: Terri Schiavo's blog

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Distended Thoughts

The tendinitis in my wrist is acting up again. Last night I felt so weak that I couldn't climb my usual level. I did some lead climbing though, and I feel like I'm becoming more comfortable with it. I have yet to try the 5.10A on lead though, but I need to get over this 'injury' first. Damn this wrist.

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I'm on a Lenny Kravitz rampage today. I've been listening to his songs since this morning, off and on.

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Those dark chocolate M&M's are doing a pretty good job evading me. I've been to most of the grocery stores in the area, and nothing. Nada. Zip.

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Got into an interesting philosophical talk last night and now I can't seem to go one hour without thinking back to it. There are so many insights that I still want to discuss and sift through.

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Joey is on TV right now, and I'm semi-tuned in. I suppose the humor has gotten better, but it's still not a worthy post-Friends sitcom.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Where the hell is it?

I've had to put off going to the store to get a bag of those new dark chocolate M&M's, and finally today I was able to swing by Ralph's while I was on one of my errands. I walked into the store, ignored everything else and went straight for the candy aisle.

Passed the KitKats... passed the Reese's... passed the After Eights... etc., etc.

Me (in my mind): Where the hell is it?

I went through the whole candy aisle three times, and they were nowhere to be seen. What is wrong with that store? Joedie and Angela got theirs at Target, but the Target in this area is quite a drive from home. And there is no way that Whole Foods or Wild Oats would have candies like that.

That leaves two stores that I have to raid tomorrow: Sav-on and Albertson's. Please, God, let me have my M&M's!

Slow Death

My trusty Mad Rocks are on their last days. The soles are starting to come undone. They were my first real pair of climbing shoes. Sniff!


Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Pope, and an interesting Sunday

Pope John Paul II has died, and everyone's talking about it. Now I don't know him personally, but I feel the loss just the same. He was Pope for 26 years so he's pretty much the only Pope I really ever knew. And thus far, all I've heard about him is good. He was great teacher, an advocate of peace, and a person with such an open heart. So I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate a post to him today.

*moment of silence*

I went to two masses today, actually. Marc invited me to go to an Agape service. When he called me in the morning to wake me up and see if I felt like going, I said, "Are they going to talk about the Pope? Because I don't want to go to a service that doesn't mention him." I wanted to make sure that whatever worship I did today would recognize the Pope and the impact he had on the world. And yes, they did mention the Pope during the service, although it was a little less emphasized than I would have liked.

The Agape service was interesting though - lots of music, and readings from different sources, and a sermon that really made a lot of sense. I guess sometimes the homilies in a Catholic mass tend to be preachy and too cerebral; it was nice to listen to something that I could relate immediately to my life. The only thing that bothered me was that they kept weaving in announcements during the service, and it seemed like they were using the service as a kind of advertising channel for inspirational books and talks. These announcements kind of threw me off, made me lose sight of the topic from time to time.

It didn't feel right making that my Sunday worship, so I made it a point to still go to the 5:30pm mass at St. Monica's. As usual, Helena was up there with her great voice. She's pretty much the reason why I go to this mass - I enjoy her solos and ad libs. The other reason is that I usually get to see a lot of my friends during this mass, but this time, I felt so cold that I couldn't hang out afterwards. I saw Alejandro when I was walking back from communion though, and he gave me a big hug and wished me a happy Easter. He's such a nice guy.

Anyway, these two services plus climbing pretty much made my day really busy, and my body really tired. The time change has thrown me off too, so I need to get more ZZZ's in. Good night, everyone!

Planet of the Apes

Mike and I went climbing at this wall called Planet of the Apes today. We left around lunchtime, grabbed some food from Jack In A Box and made our way to Malibu Creek, where the wall is. After getting lost for awhile, we finally found our way half an hour later. Planet of the Apes is for top-roping, so we set up the rope at the top then started climbing. I was doing pretty well on the Christmas Pump (5.10A) climb but I got beat up by Shock the Monkey, the 5.10C I tried. I spent about half an hour or so hanging alternately between a big hold and a hold that only took two of my fingers, and I felt proud of my endurance, but finally my wrist started whining, so I had to ask Mike to lower me. Darn it!

Anyway, this is a picture of Jim, a guy who was climbing with his moody girlfriend on Spike, the route next to Shock the Monkey.

This is Mike right before his final climb on Shock the Monkey, which was my undoing.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Confessions of A Pilot's Daughter

You would think that someone like me, the daughter of a pilot and a manager of a department in Philippine Airlines, would be jaded about travelling and plane trips. You'd think that I would just be yawning my way through a ride on a plane. You'd be thinking wrong.

What I like about flying/travelling:
1. Booking the ticket. The anticipation of going somewhere, especially when it's somewhere I've never been, is just the greatest feeling.
2. Walking into the airport and checking in. When I step onto the floor of an airport and see all these people walking around with their luggage, talking on their cellphones to arrange rides, meetings, etc., I get this sense of infinite possibilities.
3. Taking off. This has got to be, by far, the biggest natural high I get from this. From the time the plane starts to taxi onto the runway, up till the time the wheels are pulled back in and the plane dips before rising again, that's when I feel the best. Especially at night, I love that last turn the plane makes, the one that takes it onto the runway. I always hold my breath in anticipation when I see the red lights on either side of the plane, and I brace myself for the speed rush.
4. Watching the wings. I guess I am my father's daughter. Lots of people try to choose seats away from the wings of the plane, but I don't mind. Have you ever watched the wings of the plane during takeoff or landing? You'll see them transform, the outer flaps extending and the inner flaps either going up or down or just flapping with the wind.
5. Landing. I'm a sucker for smooth landings, but then again, who isn't? I like hearing the brakes squeal and, if I'm by the wing, watching the inner flaps go up so high to maximize wind resistance.

Memorable plane moments:
1. Being in the cockpit during a landing. One Christmas, I went with my dad on one of his flights, and he let me sit up in the jumpseat in the cockpit. First of all, being up there at night is beautiful, you see an endless black carpet with little twinkles from time to time. In the morning, the sunset is just amazing. And during the landing itself, there's so much action going on, so many pilot jargon I don't understand, but it's very exciting.
2. My brother's vandalism. On one trip to the US, my brother wrote his signature on the sticker on the plane door, where they have the instructions to open it. When we were flying back, we saw the door of the plane we were on and knew right away it was the same one we took going to the US - his signature was still there.

So call me silly, but man, it really makes me happy!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Jetsetting

I'm heading out to Vegas tomorrow to give a former client some basic Photoshop lessons. Flying into Vegas in the morning, and flying out the same evening, so going through the airport checks should be a breeze - no bags except for the laptop case and my purse. Thank God because LAX can be such a nightmare.

I'm crossing my fingers that I get a long enough break to pop into the M&M store and grab myself some oddly-colored peanut M&Ms. This store is always on my to-visit list every time I'm in Vegas. It's almost painful to actually eat the candies because I don't see these colors too often, but of course greed is more powerful than the attraction to novelty, so they end up in my intestines anyway.

Sunset Series

We had our first gorgeous day today in West LA, and it felt like a sin not to be outdoors, so as soon as the clock struck 5, I had my feet on the walkway along Ocean Avenue. I didn't have my camera, but thankfully my phone had one, so I was able to take some pictures of the beautiful sunset. I had my iPod with me too, so while I was walking, Garden State was playing in my head. It felt surreal. I was (and still am) in a melancholy mood, so the whole experience felt like something out of a movie.