Saturday, March 30, 2013

Top 10 Funniest Scenes in TBBT (as of till Season 5)

Earlier this month, when I were troubled by some doubts, and my faith being challenged, I needed some "breathing window" to escape. I turned to "The Big Bang Theory" for temporary-run-away-from-reality. Most of the time, when I'm free and alone, I would randomly pick some scenes from Youtube and let TBBT entertains me.

There are certain scenes in The Big Bang Theory that I could watch a million times and still can't stop laughing. It's hard to choose only 10 so I decided to pick only those that you don't have to :

Here's My Top 10 Funniest Scenes:

1) The Leonard Nimoy's Napkin(The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis)
To date, this is still THE funniest scene from The Big Bang Theory. For the first 15 minutes of the show, I was anticipating what would Sheldon get for Penny and what would she give him? Apparently, Penny is the biggest winner of Christmas gifts giver! The used, autographed napkin of Leonard Nimoy!
Sheldon's reaction is definitely one of the funniest minute that I have ever seen on TV, and his little hug at the end is pure gold! It's a Saturnalia miracle :)


2) Sheldon Comforting Penny at the Hospital
Sheldon sent Penny to hospital after she slipped in the shower and dislocated her shoulder. He is as annoying as usual. However, upon Penny's request, he has to comfort her. He, even though do not know exactly what to do, actually tried very hard. The face he makes, kill!!!


3) Joker's Smile
The scariest and the most hilarious smile ever!


4) The Tall Man from Cornwall
This is classic:
There was a tall man from Cornwall, 
Whose length exceeded his bed,
My body fits on it but barely upon it,
There's no room for my big Cornish head



5) Drake Equation
First of all, it is very entertaining to see how fast Sheldon Cooper / Jim Parsons can speak.
Secondly, that satisfactory smile on his face is priceless!



6) Sheldon talks to Amy's mother
Only Sheldon can say these without being wretched. He sounds innocent and clueless :)



7) Tiger Eye
This almost-0-conversation-0-action-scene always bring me to tears



8) Sheldon's Drunk Speech
Sheldon overcame his stage freight and started to sing the Elements Song
(I googled the "Elements Song" and this song actually exist!! No joke!! Tom Lehrer must be a real-life nerdiest pianist!! I blog about this earlier this month)



9)Sheldon's Acoustic Sweet Spot
I couldn't help but pity Leonard.


10) C-Men
Being Sheldon's friends could be very dumbfounding sometimes......

Friday, March 29, 2013

Farewell to USA

After we left Big Bear Lake, we drove all the way to the Hollywood Sign for some typical tourist photo sessions. It was fun, but of course, nothing much to do after a few shots. So, we drove along Santa Monica Boulevard for almost an hour, crusing through the various rich and famous areas, including Bevely Hills.


When we finally reached Santa Monica, we were very glad! The sky and Pacific Ocean is still the typical-post-card-blue. This is the amazing weather that I would like to remember. This is the shades of blues that I would like to carve into my memory.


We were not really keen of going to Santa Monica Pier, but we were very responsible tourists. We know, that is the place that you must at least take some "I was here" photos.


I love Santa Monica. It is very California.


After a brief walk at seaside, we decided to do our last USA window shopping at 3rd Street Promenade.


Of course, as usual, we always ended up in restaurants. This round is the Cafe Monsieur Marcel that caught our attention.


This is a great place for people watching! The staffs are very friendly too.


Most importantly, the food was great!

Gazpacho

Duck Confit

Argh, I can't recall the name of this beef amuse bouche

After our meal, we continue to explore the Promenade. This pedestrian only area is an shopping and dining mecca. Besides, just walking here was an interesting experience, with artists performing at the pavement and tourists/locals love them.

3rd Street Promenade in the evening




For our last hour before depart to LAX, of course, we MUST visit the Santa Monica Pier. I am not a fan, but at least I want the "been there, done that" experience :)

We didn't try any of the rides. I had enough of those through out our 3 theme parks visit. The most exciting that I have done was to take photo with the Route 66 sign, and to meet the Zoltar!! (For those that are too young to know who is Zoltar, this is the one that responsible in turning a 12-years-old into Tom Hanks in the movie Big!)


This, is how we ended our amazing 15 days road trip at South West USA!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

甦醒的大熊

隔天早上,天还未亮,我穿起外套、裹起毛毯、扛起相机,泡了一杯热腾腾的咖啡,坐在湖畔的懒人椅上,静待大熊甦醒。

大地依然沉睡,只有我,和一群早起的鸟儿鸭儿们。我喜欢这样的孤寂。总是在这样的时刻,我觉得自己和自己靠得最紧;总是在这样的时刻,我完成了自己在宇宙间最接近真我的寻觅。在日起日落的常规作息当中迷失的头绪,总是在这样的时刻给轻易理清。

太阳升起后,金色光芒渐渐为大地上色。我看着湖的另一端那些屋子由黑变灰变洁白,看着对岸山坡从黝黑变墨绿变嫩青殷红澄黄七彩一片。人生,不也一阴一阳地重复蜕变吗?不也这么平凡又旖旎的精彩吗?


湖面被旭阳下得秋叶染黄,野鸭的剪影优雅地划过那一片金黄,我的心,也就醉倒在那层层叠叠的涟漪里……


大地渐渐甦醒。野鸭、鸟儿都起床觅食戏水了,嘎嘎呷呷唧唧的,一群群轮流交替地在湖畔湖中心徘徊,好不热闹。


偶尔野鸭划过,在湖面画出缤纷线条。



湖边草地上都冷得结霜。我冻得手脚都麻了,握着咖啡杯的余温迟迟不舍得躲进屋内。好不容易等到阳光终于完完全全普照大地,我才开始感到一丝丝暖意。

也在大地回暖后,溜狗的、散步的、晨跑的才开始融入这湖畔 小镇的风景画内。

 
我们这一天的早餐,就是在温煦阳光下、在粼粼湖光旁……
















而我们住的小屋前那几棵树也在朝阳下尽显秋季的风情。


吃完早餐,我们到Big Bear Village去走走。漫无目的的。

万圣节的鲜橙艳红气氛在蓝天下特别浓郁,而蓝天下的红叶又把秋天衬托得特别清澄。强烈的阳光在空中跳跃着,在萧萧瑟瑟的秋风中叫人魂牵梦绕。两个在热带国家长大的姑娘,总算见识了深秋的灿烂。

  
我们又继续在Big Bear Lake附近走走,在湖边遇见一排树,像士兵似的,近乎固执的带着漫枝的金黄在风中矗立。 当地居民写意的在树荫下垂钓,阳光通过树丫在沙地上画起斑驳的抽象画。有一种任谁都无法抗拒的悠闲在蓝得近乎不可思议的晴空下飘荡。


和我想象中凄美的秋色不同,这儿的秋天爽朗豪迈的叫我不忍离去……

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

小心熊出没

我们离开拉斯维加斯后,一路尽是荒芜沙漠,在开往Big Bear Lake的蜿蜒山路上,树木一路转变,由干瘪瘪一片,到开始有了Joshua Trees,到开始看见松科……到了Big Bear Lake,我们才终于看见了秋色。

那时已经将近下午五点了,太阳西斜,枯黄郊野上深黄色的树木倚着栋木屋,那一山秋色绮丽的叫人双眼无法定格,为了捕捉住那一旬间的梦幻,我们停下车子,用手机把那一刻感动给记录了下来。

面对着一山的七彩缤纷,面对着一湖的波光摇曳,我誓死非湖畔不住!于是,我们在Big Bear Lake绕了绕,找了好几家看来不错的湖畔小屋。或许因为此时不是peak season,好多家旅馆的大厅工作人员一副爱理不理的样子.

最后,我们在Big Bear Frontier遇到了比较亲切的员工,再加上夕阳下那一栋栋小木屋看起来非常迷人,我们就这样子住了下来。

把车子停放后第一个进入眼帘的便是这一湖山色

Cabin #26
我们的Cabin 26就在湖畔。小木屋五脏俱全,厨房应有尽有,还有个fire place,可想象在这儿过冬有多舒适写意。

隔壁的小木屋里住着一对韩国情侣,正兴致勃勃地在草地旁起火准备BBQ,我们则忙着把行李抗进屋内。这,是最后一晚了,我们各自冲了杯热饮,在暖暖的小木屋里头翻箱倒柜地、像变身的Transformers似的,把十四天的琐碎之物做了个总结,把行李都准备好了,才想起吃晚餐的事儿。

我们的温暖小屋


我们在傍晚寻找住宿时,曾经进了一家名为Old Country Inn的餐厅。我单看名字,误以为是小客栈。进去问了问,发觉他们态度不错,餐厅装潢看起来也挺温馨舒适的,所以晚上,我们又回来报到。餐厅里客人不多,我们找了个看起来比较舒服静谧的角落,准备好好的吃一餐,谈一谈。

服务员看起来像是十来岁的中学生(不好意思,我总是无法准确的猜出白种人的岁数),看起来像是给老爸打工的样子。长得一表人才,彬彬有礼。老板兼厨师则是个高人,酷酷的,不苟言笑。

鹿角灯饰
每一次到一家我没有吃过的餐厅,我习惯上总是要求服务员介绍。这一次,老板亲自出马。我们于是各要了一杯热可可,一个南瓜汤,两支buffalo wings(餐牌上写着六支鸡翅,我说我们吃不了这么多,只要两支可以吗?老板很随和说顾客要求至上)和一碟德国香肠。最后,我意犹未尽,在餐牌salad篇指着说seared ahi tuna。

理论上我既然在一排salad当中指着说seared ahi tuna,那salad一词应该是understood的。所以,老板把seared ahi tuna送上时,我‘噫’了一声,我不是要salad吗?怎么来了个正餐?晶晶在一旁窥见老板一脸骄傲喜滋滋打开餐盖(只差没有ta-da~一声),却被我的‘噫’一声泼了一头冷水。他应该很“无瘾”,我则内疚万分。见他一脸严肃,我也不好意思再多说什么,尽力吃就是了。

后来我们偷听他和隔壁桌的顾客对话,方知道原来他可是个冷面笑匠。 隔壁桌来了一对六十来岁的男女,女的好说话,跟老板说:“今天对我们来说是个特别的日子。”老板问:“What's the occasion?”。女士说:“是我的丈夫的生日。”老板说:“哦,所以你把他撇在家吗?”我差点儿把口里的食物都喷了出来。后来他们又一搭没一搭的谈着,我怀疑他不喜欢叽喳的女人,句句了无痕迹‘顶住晒’。

Pumpkin Soup


Buffalo Wings






Seared Ahi Tuna


老实说,这家餐厅的食物很好吃,老板对自己的厨艺也非常有自信,可惜我们这两个胃口超小的马来西亚人让他好生失望。很无奈,两个主餐根本就是我们能力以外的事儿。打包了香肠和煎饼也算人事已尽。

晚餐后,我们到便利店买了两个杯面,打算隔天早上看日出时慢慢享用。然后回到酒店大厅上上网,聊聊。这样子就过了个写意悠闲的一天。

酒店大厅

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Elements Song

If you think I'm going to blog about Sheldon Cooper again, I'm sorry that I have to disappoint you :)

Because of The Big Bang Theory, I googled "The Elements Song" and I accidentally came across this real life funniest, nerdiest, coolest singer / song-writer / pianist / mathematician -- Tom Lehrer!! He is SOOOO adorable!

This is the life recording of Tom Lehrer singing the Elements Song at Copenhagen in 1967. I don't understand how could the audience sit there clapping calmly. If I were there, I would roar in hysterics.



OK, now let's sing along:

ARTIST: Tom Lehrer
TITLE: The Elements

There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium
And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium
And nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium
And iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium
Europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium
And lanthanum and osmium and astatine and radium
And gold and protactinium and indium and gallium
And iodine and thorium and thulium and thallium

There's yttrium, ytterbium, actinium, rubidium
And boron, gadolinium, niobium, iridium
And strontium and silicon and silver and samarium
And bismuth, bromine, lithium, beryllium, and barium

There's holmium and helium and hafnium and erbium
And phosphorus and francium and fluorine and terbium
And manganese and mercury, molybdenum, magnesium
Dysprosium and scandium and cerium and cesium
And lead, praseodymium, and platinum, plutonium
Palladium, promethium, potassium, polonium
And tantalum, technetium, titanium, tellurium
And cadmium and calcium and chromium and curium

There's sulfur, californium, and fermium, berkelium
And also mendelevium, einsteinium, nobelium
And argon, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, zinc, and rhodium
And chlorine, carbon, cobalt, copper, tungsten, tin, and sodium

These are the only ones of which
The news has come to Ha'vard
And there may be many others
But they haven't been discava

To see more videos of Tom Lehrer's video, you can go to The Tom Lehrer Wisdom Channel. I'm sure you would love these!

Pleasant Week Waiting for Me :)

I haven't finish the blog posts of my previous trip, and the next one is coming up soon. I know myself so well that if I don't complete it now, I'll never complete those blogs, ever!! (Just like what happened to my 江南 family trip blog posts. The titles staying in my draft folder for ever and ever). Argh!! I MUST finish the balance 3 USA blog posts, and yet, I'm here, writing about weather......

Based on my previous experience at Guilin, I know it too well that we should never under estimate "Spring". A few years ago, we happily went to the 四季如春 Guilin, and ended up caught in the 春冷冻死牛 situation. Hence, this time, I pay extra attention on the weather forecast, especially the one at Sapa.

I guess we are extremely lucky. The weather at Sapa is not bad at all (I'll assume the forecast is based on 95% confidence level. Haha!). Well, fine, I do notice there is one day of "a shower or thunderstorm possible" when we are there but I'm pretty optimistic about this.

Can't wait to explore another country!! :)




Monday, March 25, 2013

Sheldon Cooper

(Since Jim Parsons turned 40 on 24th March, and since I'm currently having mind block for my travel blog, I have decided to blog about Sheldon Cooper and continue my travel blog later)

In my heart, there's always a soft spot for physicists. I always believe that in our 红尘, in the academic world, they are those that closest to the truth. I love the intelligent and child-like Einstein, I adore the multifaceted Richard Feynman, and I even understand why that young lady fall in love with Yang ZhenNing.

So, I think it is pretty logical that I love the fictional physicist, Dr. Sheldon Cooper (B.S., M.S., M.A., PhD., ScD., and OMG :p ), one of the funniest and most original character on television.
A recently discovered species of bee in Brazil was named Euglossa bazinga.
An asteroid was named 247247 Sheldoncooper.
Looking at the facts above, I'm sure I am not the only one who love Sheldon Cooper.
 
Even though Sheldon Cooper is just one lab accident away from being a super villain, even though he is super annoying with inflated ego, still, everyone loves Dr. Sheldon Cooper. 

I love the geeky Sheldon. Even though I am not a Trekkie, I like the fact that he speaks Klingon. I think only person that can speak Klingon qualified to be a real Trekkie. 

I love the way he is specific and accurate about everything. He would blow his nose into handkerchief and ask others whether this is moss green or forest green; When he is to pick his car colour, he specifically wanted the 'light blue of Luke's lightsaber was, before the digital remastering'; He describes Acrophobia as not a fear of heights but fear of falling; I love how he explained his spot "In the winter this seat is close enough to the radiator to remain warm and not so close as to cause perspiration. In the summer it is directly in the path of the cross breeze created by the opening windows there and there. It faces the television at an angle that is neither direct, thus discourage conversation, but not so far wide as to create a parallax distortion"; "Love is in the air? Wrong. Nitrogen, Oxygen, Argon and Carbon Dioxide are in the air"; "It's not a cartoon, it's anime" etc.

I love how he and his friends fond of comic books, costumes, role-playing games, video games, collectible card games, action figures, fantasy, science fictions. I am not as crazy but I could always understand the fondness. I guess when other people look at how excited Wei Wei, En En and I talk about the movies / games / TV series that we love, they may think we are flibbertigibbet too.

I love his vintage T-shirts, be it superhero logos or the Philips Test Pattern or the Melting Rubik's Cube or the super crazily geeky "73" (Sheldon says “The best number is 73…. 73 is the twenty-first prime number. Its mirror, 37, is the twelfth and its mirror, 21, is the product of multiplying (hang on to your hats) 7 and 3. In binary, 73 is a palindrome: 1-0-0-1-0-0-1, which backwards is 1-0-0-1-0-0-1.”). His vintage T-shirts had made me fall in love with t-shirts all over again. Wei Wei and I have been "window shopping" for TBBT t-shirts online for quite some time.

I also love the fact that he is always very sure of himself in a lot of ways. "You know me to be a very smart man. Don't you think that if I were wrong, I'd know it?"

CBS released photo: Jim Parsons & Leonard Nimoy on the set

Sheldon Cooper is one of the most "spot on" and successful character in recent sitcom universe. The Big Bang Theory writers working very hard to put every possible imaginable nerdy awkward moment into Sheldon's character. He is the crazy smart that everyone loves to hate, and yet, Jim Parsons has successfully turned him into one of the most adorable character in the fictional world.

Thank you, and happy birthday, Jim Parsons.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sin City

The Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas is a very interesting city to most people. Not me and Sheldon. (Dr. Sheldon: You know, I'm given to understand that there's an entire city in Nevada devoted specifically to help people like Howard forget their problems. They replace them with new problems such as alcoholism, gambling addiction and sexually transmitted diseases.)

It's not that I didn't enjoy my visit there, it's just that I'm not so keen on casinos, entertainments and shopping. The one thing that I really can relate with and makes me really love the idea of visiting Las Vegas is CSI, one of my all time favorite TV series :) However, we didn't take any "CSI tours", all the advertisements seems a bit stupid to me.


We started our Las Vegas trip by doing shopping at Las Vegas Premium Outlets. Before we got ourselves accommodation, before we had our proper meal, before we did anything else at Las Vegas, we went straight to the outlets and had great time shopping. Both of us had almost equal share of spending and fun. It is a bit crazy for me, maybe once in a life time experience.

After the shopping, we drove along Las Vegas Boulevard for the scenic night view, and also to pick a hotel that we'd love to stay. Since there are so many hotels along Las Vegas Strip, it's hard to choose. We decided to let Agoda to make the decision for us. We drove to McD and use the free wifi, went to Agoda website, set the filter with "Las Vegas Strip", "5 Stars" and "below USD100" and agreed that the first hotel that come out from the search should be the one.


This led us to Flamingo Hotel, which happened to be a great deal! I dropped Ching Ching at the lobby so that she can check in while I waited in the car. When she finally completed the check in procedure, she came out with an expression that shout UNBELIEVABLE! This 5 stars hotel cost us only USD45, even after tax it's only USD50.40. This is the cheapest hotel we stayed for our 15 days South West USA trip!

Since we were way below budget for accommodation, we decided to spoil ourselves with some great meals (食餐豪的!) We went to the Olives at Bellagio, found ourselves a great seat at outdoor, just besides the fountain at Lake Bellatio. 3 minutes later, a waiter came and told us that the kitchen is closed. We checked our watch and surprised that it's already 10pm!! and we haven't had our dinner!!


So, no great dining experience at Las Vegas for us. Almost all fine dining / contemporary dining restaurants are closed after 10pm. We ended up having down to earth meal at our hotel. 



The next morning, we started our day with great breakfast at Serenipity 3, at Ceasars Palace. The restaurant is cheerfully decorated in orange and pink (a very strange colour combination but turn out surprisingly pleasant). We had our breakfast at the patio. It is fun to have small talks here while most parts of Las Vegas is still asleep.

After the breakfast, we started to walk along the Strips. It's totally different view and experience as compare to night time. There were less tourists in the morning, which means we could take a lot of photos without strangers in them. It also means we could take our own sweet time to walk rather than rushing along.




After exploring the Strip, we, just like any other tourists, went to Freemont Street. Of course, we were supposed to visit this place the night before, but we were too exhausted then, we decided that the Freemont Street can wait.

Freemont Street is not interesting at all during day time. We did some souvenirs shopping, and the little girl went to weigh herself under the sign of "OVER 350 lbs EATS FREE!" Of course, she is way below target even with her backpack.

Before heading to Big Bear Lake, we HAD TO take photo with the famous Las Vegas sign!

We were very surprise to see the super long queue, and we were not as patience as these people. So, instead of waiting in the queue, we decided to stand beside the queue, and had our post ready. As soon as the other tourists finish their photo shoot and before another one come into the picture, we could take some fine pictures :)



So this is how your picture looks like if you refused to wait in the line: