Thursday, January 29, 2009
In less than a year after being certified an Open Water Diver, we got 'massaged' into taking our Advanced. The rationale?
"Since you are already there doing the dives, might as well lah!"
Our first skill was Underwater Navigation. Unlike navigation for Open Water, where we went a straight line and U-turn back with a compass, this time round, we had to navigate in a square. We had a go at it on land, and subtracting or adding 90 degrees didn't seem so hard. But when underwater, and after 20 kick cycles or so, I cannot see the point where I started from, coupled with a little current pushing me off course... I, uh... didn't end up where I started. As a result, we had to repeat our navigation skill in another dive, and we cleared that thereafter. Oddly, the second time we did our navigation, the sun was setting and it was dark, but we probably were much more confident.
Deep Dive was another skill we had to complete. We did this skill at The Drop Off / Turtle Cavern @ Sipadan, and we were at a depth of 24.7 metres. To see how depth (and pressure) affects our judgement and alertness, we had to do a Math equation underwater: 1 ÷ 1 x 1 + 1
I proudly and confidently raised one index finger to indicate my answer =_=
Peak Performance Bouyancy had us repeat a skill we did during Open Water, and we were asked to hover. We giggled at Futaba's antics cos that girl is so damn light and the tank weighed more than her, and so she kept tumbling backwards.
I was looking forward to doing my very first Night Dive. On this dive, we also had to do night navigation. Because it was only a straight line and back, I confidently swam away. After reaching the required number of kick cycles, I stopped, and wanted to do my U-turn.
Jeng jeng jeng!
I got disoriented in the dark and didn't know which way was which. Panic sial. But my first night dive, despite it being quite intimidating, turned out pretty cool. Shrimps' eyes light up like rubies in the dark!
Our last skill, we had to choose from a list... and we went for something straighforward - a Boat Dive, just to get all 5 skills completed. Er, we back-rolled from theboat, and voila- boat dive done! *grins*
And my card arrived in the mail yesterday!
Whale shark, ftw! :)
Posted by Doreen at 10:54 am
Thursday, January 22, 2009
So I bought this little black dress last week, and ohmigod, I love it! I cannot wait to wear it out, but so far, have not gotten a chance to (read: no where to wear it to). It's not meant for the New Year, since I already bought a not-so-morbid-coloured dress for the first day. I put the dress on again when I got home from the mall, twirled around in it, sashayed around the house and all. Should have taken some photos! Realized something - in terms of fashion, I've made a 180° change! I gave it a thought, cringed at what I remembered and came up with 5 simple questions about the past. I sent it off to a few people.1. What did I use to wear?2. What about accessories? Did I wear any? 3. My hair - what was it like? Or how did I wear it?4. What was the one thing you never saw me in?5. How would you describe my fashion sense? Daphne (sister, 2 years younger)
- Baggy jeans, t-shirts, sneakers!
- Rocker accessories, like stuff with skulls on it. Black jelly bracelets!
- Your hair was short, and you wore it floppy. Like Nick Carter's!
- You never wore pink.
- Dorky! HAHAHAHAH!
Stefi (knew her since I was 17, post-highschool)
Dora (highschool classmate)
- Baggy and torn jeans, t-shirts, red BUM sneakers and different coloured socks on each foot.
- A watch, small earrings, and a silver ring.
- Hair always shoulder length, and always wash it late at night and sit there waiting for it to dry before going to bed.
- Sweet princess dresses, or anything that looks sweet.
- Rock; don't mess with me.
- Jeans and t-shirts. Specifically, t-shirts tucked into the jeans. Hahaha.. and white sneakers!
- Not really.
- Straight bob above the shoulders
- Big earrings?
- Typical 90s teenager... hehehe!
Jaclyn (also highschool classmate) sends an email saying "I agree with Dora totally about what you used to wear!"
Shreya (another highschool classmate) added this, "I remember most of us (if not all) had checkered shirts we'd wear. Doreen, I think u did wear a bracelet sometimes and those friendship band things that all of us used to wear!!"
Tee-shirt tucked into my jeans? WTF? I really did that? Then I remembered how Kelly and Brenda from 90210 had their shirts tucked into the waistband of their jeans too!
Posted by Doreen at 3:04 pm
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Posted by Doreen at 6:39 pm
Monday, January 19, 2009
We were discussing web banner sizes. "So what size did we have before?""125 x 125""Oh, so that's like a square!"...... Do pretty dresses make one dumb?
Posted by Doreen at 4:06 pm
Friday, January 16, 2009
My mom has awesome taste. She got me this dress from a little shop in Bali... and I love it!
Brana posed me a challenge - to wear something without a plunging neckline; like a turtleneck, for once.
Honey, you're gonna lose me like that.
V-necks make me, me.
Even my momma knows that.
And in case you're reading this - yes boss, I camwhored in the office toilet.
Posted by Doreen at 5:55 pm
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
In high school, I took French classes. Bad move. It was tough, and I hated it. Missed some 90% of the classes. And when I did attend, I spent my time using white correction fluid doodling on the wooden tables. Miss Marie Pascal, je suis désolé. To make up for skipping so many of Ms. Marie's classes, I am currently trying to learn how to sing a French song. I've even downloaded the lyrics! Sympathique by Pink Martini (1997)Excuse-moi. J'ai besoin de chanter. (Translate: Excuse me, I need to sing)I google translated it, you dweeb!
Posted by Doreen at 4:52 pm
Friday, January 09, 2009
A pair of ornate ghost pipefish! Aren't they so cool? We saw them at Paradise 1, Mabul, chilling about a rope.
As a new diver, I've got much to learn and see. As a new diver also, if you were to ask me what's my favourite marine life, I wouldn't be able to give you a definite answer.
I know I enjoy looking at big fish, the pelagics. First of all, it takes no effort (read: crowding around a particular coral, magnifying glass in hand) in spotting them. Secondly, big things are always good. Look at the Petronas Twin Towers, the Statue of Liberty, the Great Wall - they are all BIG. Sipadan was H-A-V-O-C.
Barracuda Point rocks! Upon descent, we were treated to a wondrous sight - a school of jacks and a school of bumpheads.
Crusing alongside the bumpheads is one of the most awesome feeling ever.
They make look nasty with those huge teeth of theirs, but I think they're special like that, and I love them!
Barracuda Point wouldn't make sense if we didn't see no barracudas. And that actually was the case for our very first dive there. The 2 subsequent dives - finally - a wall of barracuda - literally thousands of them!
Words cannot describe how I felt the first time we saw them. Two different schools of barracudas, then eventually merging into one huge wall. The second sighting, we had to swim, and swim and swim and swim to catch sight of them after the dive master spotted their shadows in the distant.
For both sightings, we only saw them towards the end of our dive. Thank God kan? But no, them barracudas weren't in their tornado formation. Just a wall of them.
Sharks were everywhere, and you don't even have to look for them.
Don't get me wrong - I like small things too. Diamonds are small, but who's ever complained of receiving them right? *grins* A nudibranch is always pretty to look at. And you don't have to swim or chase after them. They just sit there. The orang utan crab is hairy and cute!
The small stuff which made it into my highlights of the trip...
My first pygmy seahorse! These buggers are so small, but so darn cute! I now have a pygmy seahorse car sticker on my window! I love them so!
A nudibranch hovering above its eggs!
All the dives we did, were awesome in their own ways.
And we is happy.
(Thank you to Lynette and Bee Yong for the underwater images!)
Posted by Doreen at 5:30 pm
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you...
... the awesome SWV Resort on Mabul island.
Merely saying that this is one kick-ass resort and that I had one helluva holiday does not seem to do much justice to it... but I really, really love this place!
To people who head to SWV many times in a year, you can ignore this post.
The Reception / Lounge area has a bar and a sofa area. There is also a TV and a computer (surfing from your own laptop is free, but is chargeable if you use this terminal). Really, who needs aircon in a room like this? You open the doors to the verandah, you see the sea and feel the breeze. You open the windows, you see the sea too. Or your neighbour lah - depending on which window.
When I got into the room, I actually went, "Shit, they have no aircon", then realized how stupid I must have sound.
Do you know what it feels like going to bed every night in a room like this? You don't fall asleep to the sounds from your stereo/mp3 player. You don't fall asleep counting sheep. You don't fall asleep to the sounds of traffic. You don't fall asleep to the rhythmic tick of your clock. You don't fall asleep the sounds of your neighbour's TV. You are lulled to sleep by the sounds of water swishing right under your chalet, and the breeze sweeps through the room from the windows and doors left open. I've never been to heaven, but this must be what it's like! The entire resort itself exudes such a magical feel.
There is a watch tower, which so happens to be right outside our room...
From atop the tower, you can feel the entire structure moving (!!!) when the wind blows. The view is glorious though, as you see the sea and chalets spread out below you.
Oh, and there's a helipad too!
And then of course there's the Dive Centre.
The Dive Centre is well run, spacious and very organized.
Nothing beats 5-star service when diving- i.e. when people do everything for you and you just have to remember to take your own mask, fins and weight belt onto the boat! Me likey.
I love the sun deck at the dive centre. Watching the sun set from here is glorious.
I made myself a cup of coffee, opened my log book, and the sea spread out before me... Gosh, I wanna do this everyday.
Posted by Doreen at 1:30 pm
Friday, January 02, 2009
PETALING JAYA - 12-year old caused a ruckus at Hanazen @ Jaya One on New Year's eve when she ejected bits of edamame beans through her nasal orifice. The beans had been ingested orally a few minutes earlier, but after a series of laughter, "she blew them into a piece of tissue paper while clearing her nose!" shared a witness. Dinner with Lynette, Mel, Shen and Albert was an enjoyable affair. We ate, we shared, we laughed. Toffee nut lattes make good dessert. What were you doing on the stroke of midnight as 2009 ticked in? Me? I was changing the bed sheets. Earlier in the afternoon, I sent my car for a wash too. No, don't laugh. It's no small matter - I have not washed my car in, uhmm... 6 months? So yes, a clean car to usher in the new year. No. The bed sheets did not endure a 6-month no-wash. How was your 2008? In January, I made my first solo-leisure-travel to Bangkok. I realized I never blogged about the trip. Pictures here though. I started a new job, doing sales, and I can now proudly say that I've been there, done that, no more thank you. In February, I was on my way to being a PADI Open Water Diver, and was then doing my confined water sessions. I celebrated my birthday in March - how I don't remember. No entry on this either. Turning 27 isn't exactly sweet you know? In April, we got certified in Tioman! It was definitely my highlight of the year. May was a busy month, rehearsals for How I Learned To Drive were in full swing. I was tired. In June, my best friend got married and I never made it to attend because we were in the middle of the production at The Actor's Studio in Bangsar Shopping Centre. I was stressing out about my sales job. To change or not to change? July saw us heading to Mataking in Sabah. It was fantastic I tell ya! In August, I was torn because I saw something I wanted, but could not have. But I started employment at a new company. Tough times descended upon us in September, and it worsened by October. Kar Wai left us too, after years of battling with brain cancer. November was stressful, but she kept me sane. December was delightful. Seven Deadly Scenes opened at KLPAC. Work was madness, but each day of madness drew us closer to the much awaited trip. New Year resolutions you ask? None. Oh, except maybe to wash my car more often.
Posted by Doreen at 3:17 pm