Thursday, May 16, 2013


Hey there! This blog's now closed. Please visit for future reads!

Thanks for all the support (:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#12 Hiatus

As you would have guessed by now, my piñata exploded and madness got strewn everywhere like colourful confetti. Over the course of the long hiatus, I have witnessed a Dodgers game, roamed LA and Las Vegas with Emily, lived a #YOLO life, and of course, took a last minute flight into Tucson, Arizona.

Still can't believe I missed the homerun because Elliot was late! Much angst. Nevertheless a great US$20 experience watching the Dodgers! M. KEMP! ♕

Two weeks ago when Ms. Emily first got to LAX! Had a blast with this girl going #yolo ♥

The Griddle Cafe, I think on Sunset Strip? Or somewhere near Hollywood. Mega good and an extremely scary portion that three of us had to share. Poached eggs on potato wedges and ham with a chocolate covered, red velvet pancake.

The day we conquered Disneyland Park and California Adventure Park in a day!

Disney California Adventure Park. Scariest rides of the day: Rollar coaster, swinging ferris wheel (do not belittle this harmless looking Mickey ride!) & the House of Horrors' (not featured in photo) elevator ride that dropped me multiple times from 12 floors up. I swear my heart flew out the cage.

Seven Natural Wonders of the World: The Grand Canyon. This picture does not do nature justice; the Canyon was much too massive and beautiful!

Of all the days of visiting theme parks, Universal Studios Hollywood was my absolute favourite. They even gave us an annual pass for the price of a day pass, and my pass features the handsome Bumblebee   ♥

No words can describe how at home I was, especially when I saw Lisa, Bart, Homer and Marge mascots. Best, day, ever!

Pretty ain't it, Beverly Hills?

The whole of the United States at Half Mast after the unfortunate Boston bombings.

Had ramen again at Yamadaya after a run to LAX sending Emily off. Saddest moment ever with a really good meal. Contradictory, I know.

As a writer, I have always had the tendency to let my mind wander. Recently, it came to a point where by I found myself painting out the life I have had in the U.S. for the past three months, and pitching it next to what might have been if I had not left. Gradually, I began to convince myself that the life I am living now, while boring at times, will be to die for in a couple of years. When I look back at all my photographs in 2015, I know for a fact that I will miss everything about LA, like how I do miss my time in Shanghai right now. Just a few days ago, I was speaking to a RSAF superior about life in LA and I frankly admitted that I disliked it here, that I would give anything just to return to Singapore for a decent job right now. While what I said then held some truth, it was also difficult to not not regret making multiple sacrifices in January, just so I could be here for half a year; if I were given another chance, I would have made the same choices. 

Remember reading The Thought Catalogue where the author mentioned how travelling and seeing the world comes at a price? He/she was right. It is not just about being lonely without friends, family, or the familiarity of your country and culture with you, but rather the fact that everyone else back home has moved along without you - they had to, so did I. Speaking to friends and family back in Singapore made me realise the value of time and how it does not stop for you. Somehow when you leave something behind, you tend to remember in your head as the last time you ever saw it - but this could not be the case with the life I used to have back home. 

Time slows for no one. And ironically the time difference of 15 long hours has put me behind everyone else's past back home! Yet strangely enough, the biggest change in life that I have felt, lied within myself, not anyone else. And I constantly scare myself into thinking how unpleasant life would be if I got myself a job back home where I can no longer see the world. I am a worry-er, but for now as I have my feet dug into the desert sands of Tucson, Arizona, I am enjoying every second of its warm breeze, each buzz of crickets and the sight of every cactus.

A cactus-fied Tuscon International Airport.

My first meal after touchdown: Vietnamese Ba Chor Mee!

Such simple life is bliss.
P/S. Do take note of the new URL!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Change of blog URL

Hi there! Thanks for checking in The Asian Hollywood Diaries. With effect from April 1st, 2013, this blog's URL will be changed to:

P.S. Person who scammed my readers with your already existing celeb gossip website, damn you!!

If you like what you read, do share my blog with others too!

#11 Comfort's a tricky limbo

First off, pictures that have been long overdue!

Say hello to this giant, US$8 masala!

Nothing like a little Chinese comfort food at Panda Express. Being there just brings some unexplainable peace and familiarity inside. Nothing close to real Chinese food by the way.

El Torino's Tacos - Steak and Halibut.

Froyooo! From Yogurtland, but this isn't as fantastic as Pink Berry though.

After weeks and weeks of seeing this on TV, I finally got my hands on the NORM's Bigger, Better Breakfast. Awesome stuff and giant portion that lasted two meals!

Coco 奶茶 in Los Angeles. Who would've seen that coming?! This shop was the very thing that made me balloon in Shanghai. I have to now, approach with caution.

Indian lunch at Jasmine's on Sepulveda. Very, very awesome US$5.99 keema curry, naan and tandori. I'm drooling just looking at this photo! Craving it right now.

& Here is where all fatties truly unite; we spotted a new Danish pastry shop on Washington Blvd!

I can't believe that for the past 22 years of my life, I haven't had a single bagel. How did I even manage that? Bagels are amazing. Onion bagels with cream cheese? Even better!

I made a new Sheriff friend from LA County through my court issued subpoena.

Hold the reigns on your horses, and give way to the infamous In-N-Out burger!! Stay away from their fries though, they're horrible.

A quiet couple of hours at the Conservatory doing work is always ideal, but a little too pricey for the everyday, I'd say.

Norm's competitor, iHop. Amazinggg! I freakin' love American diners, they're like my everything in LA. This iHop eat was much cleaner and less greasy than at Norm's.

Our lunch after a trip to Mattress Land - Hula Burger at Islands Cafe. Excellent burger and the endless fries are to die for! This is why I never succeed in losing weight. So what if I'm running 2.4km each morning right? Fatty.

I was literally starving the other day, so I made this little turkey wrap for myself at 4 p.m.

I have not been around much lately, work has just been piling on. So these photos just about sum up my recent couple of days! Now for limbo talk.

I adapt quickly to things, but I'm not a fan of change. You will have to admit that at times change is good - a breath of fresh air just to keep your mind from going stale doing mundane day-to-day chores. And they were right to also say that we always gain some and lose some; no matter how positive the change may be, it will come at a price.

Family, boyfriend, friends, comfort foods - all of these comfortable familiarity gone overnight. Well life is just and balanced only when you get both the pluses and minuses right?

I have learnt the habit of reminding myself that memories are not evil, but past experiences to help me appreciate the present better. Many times, I felt lost in Los Angeles all by myself, and I start to wonder why I am even here. But I catch myself before I spiral into heavy nostalgia, which leads to sadness, then depression. Moving on and adapting to change is not easy, but the thing about change is that it is a choice for most of us, where we eventually agree and allow it to happen. Since it was a choice made by me, I grew the backbone to commit to it. Sure, I miss home sometimes and take a minute or two to just roll in that memory of comfort. But I snap out of it by asking myself the following:

(1) Did I opt for this change for positive reasons?
(2) Go back to 2012, would I have made the same choice?
(3) Would being where I am now matter a year later in 2014? Or even for the rest of my life?

The three yeses to these questions motivates me to keep on going - to pursue what I was initially here for. The memory of the comfort of home is always there and it is a tricky limbo which all of us run risk of falling, or have fallen into. Think back to the last time you ever asked yourself what's next in life? Or the cliche, "If I die tomorrow, will my glass be half full or half empty?". If you have never asked yourself the former and the answer to your glass is half empty, then maybe it is time to get out of that comfort limbo and starting changing things.

#YOLO - You only live once. I remember writing about life as a moving train that never stops; you would have to either run the risk of getting hurt and get on it, or be left behind in the tunnel of darkness. A lot of this has helped shape my perspective on things and on fear, especially when I'm met with difficult decisions. It definitely helps to take a minute and think to yourself, "Would this matter a year from now?" (Carlson, R., 1997). We all get a little too comfortable and fear change sometimes, but seriously, we all only live once. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, it does not matter because the mind is no longer the same and it is a whole new life altogether even if you are eventually reborn.

Fearing the unknown effects of change justifies comfort, and comfort stops us short from reaching our potentials. But come on, you did not spend 15 years of our lives tortured in classrooms and by homework to settle with comfortable! Believe that you can do better - we always can.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hang a sec, Beep-in*

*Beep-in (verb.) - Taking an hour off your present life to reflect upon your past, then re-appreciating your present


Every now and then for the past two months, I get some quiet time to myself which I use to reminisce past events and dig into nostalgia. Even when these sessions creep in involuntarily on a Friday night, they have taught me the value of "slow". As Singaporeans and Asians, "fast" is in our blood - efficiency is always valued right after intelligence and skill. It did not take me long in the U.S. to realise that, as I soon saw myself complaining and loathing the slow pace of life. I have always thought that I enjoy "slow"; sitting in Starbucks with a cup of green tea latte and reading a book in hand was my sort of thing. But the culture of "slow" in Los Angeles has way surpassed my level of tolerance and ability for appreciating the benefits of taking things slow. Americans love to talk. On weekends, cafes are filled to the brim with everyone dressed in casuals with their sunnies as a headband. Sometimes, it gets so busy and loud in these places that I even forget why my feet brought me there in the first place.

But that wasn't how I envisioned a "slow" me-time to be. To me, the purpose of going slow is so that you can appreciate things that you would have otherwise missed. One can even take the peace and quiet from going slow to better analyse situations and even calm the mind. That is what I love about taking a break from life, going slow and having your mind transport itself to an alternate universe where you can finally think - clearly.

In my hour tonight, I switched off the TV, MacBook and was only in the company of my warm room lights, and occasional sounds from the street outside. I was not staring into space, nor was I at all bored with flipping through my photos on my iPhone camera roll. I started from the top of over a thousand photos - when I first got back from Shanghai in 2012.

I realised that in the past year, I had been blessed with the amazing company of friends, family, school books and scrumptious foods. I was pampered by the protectiveness of my country, educated by the teachings of wise, experienced folks, and most importantly, loved by my family. I miss my impromptu brunches with Mummy the most, and while she still goes for them now and then, I just wish I can be there with her so she doesn't have to be alone. Photographs are indeed the best physical copies of memories one can keep and revisit, right after video recordings.

In life, we always seek to aim high or higher - brand new car, a beautiful house, a great job, and the list goes on. But we have never once stopped to say, "Hey, I've got everything I need. This is enough. This is me." It is never wrong to have dreams and work hard to make sure you achieve them. Just remember to never forget who you are and the people that have got you thus far.

Greed is dangerous and satisfaction is never enough. Perhaps it is time to come up with a new strategy in order to achieve good balance!

Enjoy the weekend, loves! I'll write about my week in a couple of days (:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

#10 Regrettably, maybe

Okay, folks.
Brace yourselves for a long-ass post! But first, I regret to say that my worst fears have come true - I've neglected Asian Hollywood Diaries (AHD) for more than a week, and for that I ought to be shot.

As strange as this may sound, right after I did a post on my dreamscape, I stopped having bad dreams. On the contrary, I dreamt that Jim Carrey waved to me in his big foot costume on the Oscars red carpet! I was not on the sidelines by the way. I was standing on the red carpet in a gorgeous dress, waiting to file my way into the theatre! Man, I really want to be famous. Well, I also did start sleeping on double pillows instead of one, and it feels better apart from the fact that now, I get up automatically at 4 a.m. each morning.

The past week into March 2013 has been really fulfilling - I made impromptu trips to Rodeo Drive, Griffith Observatory and Malibu! Hello, Two and a Half Men! But first, a shout out to my lovely Audrey Ong - Happy (belated) 25th Birthday!

I'm sorry the words turned out the opposite way. Well, Photobooth on Mac isn't very smart, is it?

Los Angeles was literally bathing in great weather last week; the sun was out and the ocean breeze was warm. Strangely enough, the deeper you go into the city, the cooler it gets because there's no sun. Outrageous I know. I was craving for dense dark chocolate cake anyway, so despite gloomy Beverly Hills, I still made a trip to Urth Cafe and chanced upon Rodeo Drive! Imagine my excitement right - Infamous Rodeo Drive, now who am I going to see next?! 

I didn't see anyone.
But I did pass by the store, Switch, which apparently is Lea Michele's favourite store to shop at. So, here it is! Presenting... Rodeo Drive!

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is one of the prettier places in Los Angeles I would say. Of course, not all of LA is this pretty. But this is Hollywood; where there are celebs, is also where the pretty sights and lights will be at. Sad truth.

I enjoy my tea breaks very much - a cuppa matcha latte, bagel, cake or waffle. Life is so sweet when you indulge in food, you know? But then, money also flows out of your pocket like water. Then again, friends always tell me to not think about that and enjoy myself to the fullest; after all, I'm only here for another three months right? I took their advice, and have since, never said "No" when asked out for an impromptu gathering. And the most awesome part of that is, I never regret it. I may be broke and a pauper by night, but hey, I've had the entire long day spent like a princess ♕! Isn't that what life was created to be like? 

So, Griffith Park and Observatory was way more beautiful than the Getty Center, where I had to pay $15 for parking - absolutely ridiculous, blood-choking amount. Griffith was FREE! Best word in a Singaporean's dictionary. It was a good hike up the slopes, and man, it was so packed on a Friday night. Now I know what else Americans do with their kids on a Friday night, besides getting drunk. With this trip to the Observatory, I've seen both faces of Hollywood. Pretty cool huh?

This is the left face of Hollywood taken from Griffith Park...

And this, is the right face of Hollywood, taken from Runyon Canyon.

The Griffith Observatory is definitely a place for geeks and astronomers. Most comprehensive museum of the Universe that I've ever seen. They also have a telescope on the roof deck, that is free for visitors to look into. Yea, kinda reminds you of the one in Dreamnworks' Megamind, doesn't it?

An actual moon rock! Geek alert.

Huge balls of planets hoovering overhead, which are created relative to their size from one another. Amazing place. Oh, and that's me looking all shabby.

Lights of Los Angeles - beautiful as always. Look at how grid-like LA is? Amazing, it is almost as if you'll never get lost if you start walking in squares.

Who would ever forget food right? Not this blogger! *points to gleaming self* All of us, Singaporeans, trotted happily to Roscoe's Chicken and waffles, only to have my starving tummy disappointed by the over-fried salty thigh of a chicken. The waffle was good though, but I mean, nothing can really go wrong with maple syrup, can it?

It was still a spectacular night out that ended with a bang - at Diddy Riese, guiltily and regrettably. It is almost as if I know of no other good ice cream places to go to! Oh wait, that is true. But I guess the highlight of my week was the horrendous two-hour long bus ride to Malibu, just to visit Charlie Sheen (I kid).

Me, trying to soak it all in at the rare 29 degrees celsius in California Spring!

Charlie Sheen was not here. I checked ): 

Being exposed to nature and all these beautiful sights that I would otherwise not get in Singapore, just made me appreciate pretty things even more. If say in your life, there is an exceptionally pretty thing or person, just remember that all these are not givens, you just got lucky. So do cherish them before they're gone! Then I had this nostalgic moment that took me all the way back to Sede Bella in Sheshan, Shanghai.

Sigh, one can only dream of being rich, famous and indulgent on the luxuries of life right? But for now, life isn't all that bad; I still have my tea lattes, bagels and almond croissants! Life's good. It always is (:


Friday, February 22, 2013

#9 A Day in the Shoes of the Weak

It frustrates me whenever I dream of myself being weak and helpless. I cross roads and get stuck in the middle because my legs just wouldn't budge. I try to punch someone in self-defense but my arms always end up all jelly and fail me.

Then couple of weeks ago, I had the most bizzarre dream. I don't normally remember my dreams, but when I do, they normally are nightmares. So in this dream, I was waiting at a secluded busstop in broad daylight for my bus to arrve. I was of course, all alone. Soon after, an old cadillac drove up the winding road, stopped just before the busstop, and a big African American man steps out. Well having had bad encounters with them at busstops in Los Angeles, I became paranoid in the dream too. So I hugged my bag tight and stared hard at the man. He walks pass me, without looking me in the eye, approaches this alter just five feet away from where I was standing, and started praying to the Chinese deity.

At this point, I was like "What the hell is going on?". Yea, I know, even my dream self was confused with this crazily bizzarre scenario.

He goes away, back to his car, and I was feeling all uncomfortable seeing this weird black man in sunnies and a cadillac, praying at an alter in the middle of nowhere right? And so I decided to run up to the front door of a nearby home, just in case I needed help. From where I stood, I could still see the man's every move at the busstop. Eventually, as I've feared, he came toward me.

I've had it all planned out in my head - if he does anything to me I'll scream and ring the doorbell like there was no tomorrow. Not quite sure if that was a splendid plan since he did not seem at all afraid when he took the steps and met me at the front door. I could hear voices and dinner plates clattering through the door and felt a little relieved. Well you wouldn't want to be standing in front of an empty house in such a dire circumstance, would you?! As I raised my hands to the doorbell, he whipped out a huge screwdriver and drove it through my bag in an attempt to stab me. It all happened so quickly, I ended up pretending that the screwdriver got to me so he would release his grip.

And that was when I woke up, 4 a.m., heart racing like I've actually been shot.

So now, here's the question: Why do we feel weak in dreams, like we can't escape, move, scream or fight back? I did a little research, and here's what I found.

I don't know how true these are, but they seem to apply to me in some way. When you dream of yourself caught in these situations, it normally means:

(1) You are facing some sort of existential dilemma, like how you may be struggling with some decisions in your life in reality, or
(2) You feel that you're inadequate and lacking of something in real life, perhaps you have low self-esteem, or
(3) You feel powerless towards something in the dream because in reality there is something you can't change and you feel frustrated about it, or
(4) You're just stressed.

So ultimately, I guess the best way to combat these worries is to learn to let go, and appreciate who you are as a person. If you find that hard to do on your own, I think it'd help to circle yourself with a group of good friends, friends who are truly supportive of you.

Well in my case, writing an entry like this is a way of soothing my mind. I would say that an issue to do with your mind, a mental barrier, isn't easy to overcome. But just know that not everything is within your control and not all things are yours to blame.

Have a superb weekend ♥
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