Category Archives: personal

Hawaii, part 5

Day 5: COMPETITION. We got up pretty early for a good breakfast so we’d have enough energy for the day. The buses took us to the theater where we competed. Each group had their own dressing room. It ended up being a little cramped, especially since we have so much stuff for each costume. I took some photos in the dressing room.

Sign on our dressing room door
Sign on our dressing room door
Naomi listening to her iPod while sitting on the floor of the dressing room
Naomi listening to her iPod while sitting on the floor of the dressing room
Norinne sitting on her stool, from below
Norinne sitting on her stool, from below
Connie in the middle of putting her makeup on
Connie in the middle of putting her makeup on
Lil' T putting on her pointe shoes
Lil' T putting on her pointe shoes
Emily testing her pointe shoes
Emily testing her pointe shoes
the painful cuts from Norinne's venture at the beach on Day 2
the painful cuts from Norinne's venture at the beach on Day 2

Lil’ T and Emily did a great job on their pointe duet, even though Emily had a major spaz because she almost dropped her fan, but I thought they did really well anyway. I spent most of the morning stretching, thanks to the ballet instructor from workshops yesterday. We performed our “lyrical” piece, Kaleidoscope, which really wasn’t very lyrical at all, especially since THERE ARE NO LYRICS. We did okay, especially considering my ankle had swelled up overnight and didn’t seem to want to do anything resembling an elevé. Naomi got ready for her lyrical solo while the rest of us chilled in the dressing room. I started eating lunch early. 🙂 We had ABC market food that we’d bought the night before. When the first half of the competition finished, there was a short awards ceremony before the official lunch hour. Lil’ T and Emily got Gold for their duo (gradings were either Gold or Silver, based on the number of points the judges gave), Kaleidoscope got Silver, and Naomi got Silver for her solo.

After the lunch break, Connie danced her “naked” solo, as she calls it. I think she did well, but I was putting on my Chinese toe shoes for my solo. Norinne had a solo from her other studio, so she was putting on all the billions of parts of that costume. She did a really good job with her solo, too. Barely half an hour later, she did her AMAZING modern solo. Entitled “Walking in the Rain,” it’s set to a popular Taiwanese song about trying to forget a past love. In the dance, Norinne wets her hair in a bucket, then flings the water all over the stage as she climbs on a chair. It’s really cool. I performed my solo about ten minutes later, which went pretty well, except the stage was MASSIVE. I ended late because I had to run so far >.<
Our group ethnic/folkloric piece was the last, and I thought we did really well with good energy (except Connie messed up a little at the beginning, but it turned out fine). Afterwards, we changed and watched the last few dances before awards.

Rows of trophies
Rows of trophies
banner for the dance festival on the stage
banner for the dance festival on the stage
Emily and Lil' T waiting for awards to start
Emily and Lil' T waiting for awards to start
Connie's picture of what she'd look like with three legs
Connie's picture of what she'd look like with three legs

All our solos all got Silver; same with our group piece. For the special awards, Lil’ T and Emily’s duet received Best Costume for the teen category, and Naomi received Best Emotional Expression in the senior category.

All of us after awards
All of us after awards

I missed sunset today, but it started raining while we were on the bus on the way back. For dinner, we went to Chili’s, where we stuffed ourselves silly. Norinne got a cool drink.

Rain from inside the bus
Rain from inside the bus
Norinne and Naomi trying Norinne's drink
Norinne and Naomi trying Norinne's drink

Yay!

Hawaii, part 4

Day 4: Dance Workshops! I skipped breakfast and ate some tater tots that Norinne and Naomi brought back for me. Then we got on buses to the place where we were taking workshops. It was the first time we saw the other groups, which was kind of intimidating. One group from Australia (Queensland) called Addicted 2 Dance looked really professional in matching shoes, skin-colored tights, shorts, red jackets with “Addicted 2 Dance” embroidered on them, and hairstyles. It was crazy. Then our teacher told us off for not wearing our shirts. BUT! Norinne was wearing hers–one point to Norinne.

Norinne being the cool one with her Dancing Sun shirt
Norinne being the cool one with her Dancing Sun shirt

I was too busy dancing to take pictures during the workshops, but it was pretty fun. First we had hula, which was interesting, considering I’ve never tried hula before. Our instructor kept making us laugh, and he taught us a cute (but eventually annoying because it was stuck in our heads) song with the word “Aloha!” After hula, a bunch of the Hawaiian dance groups showed up, including some hardcore ballet students and some amazing and cool hip hop students. The ballet instructor, Densil Adams, stretched us to oblivion then taught us a really complicated but short combo that was completely lost on me and my sub-par ballet training. We took a break during tap, since everyone on the floor was already really good at tap and looked really crazy with their shoes on. Ryan Lohoff, the tap guy, was SOOOO cool. He basically fused hip hop and tap with a really cool combo. After tap, Connie, Naomi, Norinne, and I got back on the floor for hip hop, with the instructor Luam. We had so much fun trying it, even though the Hawaiian hip hop group totally owned us. Norinne said it was so uncomfortable, but then again, hip hop isn’t really her thing.
We went to Jack in the Box for lunch. I got a Jumbo Jack meal with a blackberry milkshake. That was interesting.

My blackberry milkshake from Jack in the Box
My blackberry milkshake from Jack in the Box

In the afternoon, we had a lyrical workshop with Amy Blake. She was really nice, but after trying the first turn in her combo, my ankle started hurting so I decided to take a break. The combo looked like fun, so I really wish I could’ve tried it. The instructor kept giving us really good advice on how to appeal to the judges while you’re dancing. After lyrical was advanced hip hop with Luam again. I decided to stay off my ankle for the time being and ended up falling asleep on the floor. When I woke up, I got to see them do the combo a few times through before we had to get back on the buses and go back to the hotel. Again, no pictures because I was lazy or asleep.

Our teacher made us rehearse AGAIN in the afternoon because our competition is tomorrow. I felt so pathetic because I kept forgetting things in our hotel room and I had to go back a couple times to get stuff. Plus, I was still tired, which was not helping the situation. By the time rehearsal ended, I had a really bad headache and was really pissed off at life. Buuuut we went to the beach again, just in time to take a picture of the sunset. I called Eric, who was a very good therapist (not the|rapist) and made me much less emo. Connie pigged out on gummy bears and I kept calling her a fatty. Not like I’m one to talk… XD

Connie eating gummy bears
Connie eating gummy bears
take 1 of the sunset in Connie's sunglasses (blurry) (take 2 at the end)
take 1 of the sunset in Connie's sunglasses (blurry) (take 2 at the end)

I went with Lil’ T, Emily, their mom, Connie, and her parents to dinner at a Japanese-style Korean Barbeque (this would be a good time to give a weird face. Like this: ô.o). We children weren’t that hungry, so we just ordered chicken, spare ribs, and fried rice.

The grill in the table
The grill in the table
our raw meat platters
our raw meat platters

When we got back, we were exhausted from workshops, rehearsal, and the beach, so we fell asleep early.

Hawaiian sunset, Day 4 (except you can see me in it -__-;;)
Hawaiian sunset, Day 4 (except you can see me in it -__-;;)

Hawaii, part 3

We got up extra early today (5:30am, Hawaiian time) and ate at Perry’s Smorgy again. We were all really tired, and I have a few dim pictures of Norinne and/or Connie looking completely out of it. Not terribly post-worthy. Actually, we were up early to board the tour buses to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. Turns out they only let a certain number of people in per day, so everyone lines up for entrance tickets super early, forming a massive line goes 1.5 times around the field next to the museum building. Our tour guide, E.T., was really cool and taught us some Hawaiian words on the way to the Memorial.

Me on the bus, flanked by Norinne and Naomi
Me on the bus, flanked by Norinne and Naomi
E.T. while waiting in line with us on the field
E.T. while waiting in line with us on the field
Norinne's crazy shirt and Connie making a face (we were getting bored in line)
Norinne's crazy shirt and Connie making a face (we were getting bored in line)
emo Norinne
emo Norinne
Connie slapping Lil' T's hand really hard during the slapping game
Connie slapping Lil' T's hand really hard during the slapping game

Once we got our tickets, we had about an hour and a half to kill, so Norinne, Naomi, and I sat around for a bit, watching a fountain, then watching an old guy feeding the birds (even though he wasn’t supposed to). Then, Norinne decided that palm trees are ideal for sitting under; therefore, she proceeded to go sit under a palm tree. It took me a couple shots to get it right because I kept making the palm tree parallel to the picture edge, and then the whole picture looked crooked (then I figured out the palm tree wasn’t straight XD). Naomi and I joined the fun, but we fell asleep since we were so tired from getting up early.

Norinne chillin' like ice cream fillin' (my Jason Mraz phrase of the morning) under a palm tree
Norinne chillin' like ice cream fillin' (my Jason Mraz phrase of the morning) under a palm tree
Naomi and Norinne asleep before I fell asleep next to them
Naomi and Norinne asleep before I fell asleep next to them

We woke up in time to enter the theater to watch an introduction video to the events of WWII and Pearl Harbor. I knew all about it, thanks to a good AP U.S. History teacher (I was going to get him a cool poster, but I forgot). When it finished, rangers and US Navy sailors ushered us to the little boats that took us to the USS Arizona Memorial, which is out in the bay, constructed over the sunken remains of the battleship. The whole memorial is open to the wind and sun.

Flag flying over the memorial
Flag flying over the memorial
my dance teacher placing her flower lei in the shrine room
my dance teacher placing her flower lei in the shrine room
the open structure of the memorial, as viewed from just outside the shrine room
the open structure of the memorial, as viewed from just outside the shrine room

After the boat brought us back to the museum, we went back to the tour bus, whereupon E.T. drove us around the island of Oahu. All my pictures came out a little blurry because the windows of the bus were fogged up between the panes with humidity.

View of the north side of the island as we emerged from the longest tunnel ever (three of us tried to hold our breath but almost died)
View of the north side of the island as we emerged from the longest tunnel ever (three of us tried to hold our breath but almost died)

For lunch, we wandered over to the international market, where Connie and I had shoyu ramen, even though the weather was plenty hot and steamy. Afterwards, we found out the koi fish in the hotel pond was nothing on the international market pond koi. What on earth do they feed those things???

Lunch--yummy
Lunch--yummy
lots of fat koi
lots of fat koi

Connie and I went wandering through the outside markets. I finally figured out what kind of necklace I wanted, which made finding it a whole lot easier. I decided to find a bird necklace, since I’d seen a lot of flowers and turtles. I managed to spot it in the middle big board with literally hundreds of pendants on it. Picture later. We had rehearsal again this afternoon, and I actually took pictures.

Norinne dancing her solo
Norinne dancing her solo
what my feet look like after wearing my Chinese toe shoes and dancing my solo. X[

Of course, since we’re in Hawaii, we went to the beach again after rehearsal! I made a little castle around the hole I dug with my feet once I got out of the water. Lil’ T built one, too, but mine was infinitely more amazing because mine had a flag.

The flag on my castle... yes, it's made out of the corner of a Goldfish cracker bag that was thrown in the sand
The flag on my castle... yes, it's made out of the corner of a Goldfish cracker bag that was thrown in the sand
my bird necklace with its chain sitting in the palm of my hand
my bird necklace with its chain sitting in the palm of my hand

To keep the daily tradition, I went hunting for a different Hawaiian sunset picture for today. Connie came with me, all the while talking to her boyfriend on the phone. At some point she made me spell out this domain for him to visit, and it took us practically ten minutes -__-. I think he got it in the end… Hi Dan!

Sun reflecting off the water
Sun reflecting off the water
Connie looking sad because the ocean attacked her pants
Connie looking sad because the ocean attacked her pants
Connie on the phone with the sun setting behind her
Connie on the phone with the sun setting behind her
the jetty we walked out on to get a good picture, tearing our feet apart in the process
the jetty we walked out on to get a good picture, tearing our feet apart in the process
the sun glowing while slipping past the horizon
the sun glowing while slipping past the horizon
Lil' T pooping in her "castle" that looked more like a toilet bowl while Emily looks on in disgust
Lil' T pooping in her "castle" that looked more like a toilet bowl while Emily looks on in disgust
my footprints in the sand
my footprints in the sand

And the winner is…

Hawaiian sunset, Day 3
Hawaiian sunset, Day 3

I love Hawaii.

Hawaii, part 2

Day 2 started off with breakfast at Perry’s Smorgy, two blocks down the street from our hotel. It’s also an open air kind of place, with no distinction between the indoors and outdoors.

Sign at the front of Perry's Smorgy
Sign at the front of Perry's Smorgy
cool picture of Norinne at the stoplight
cool picture of Norinne at the stoplight
view from our table at Perry's
view from our table at Perry's
my second plate of food, the Plat Orange du Jour
my second plate of food, the Plat Orange du Jour
all of us eating at the table
all of us eating at the table

We took our time eating, and at some point I decided to go bird hunting. I shot a few.

Small bird on the ledge right next to our table
Small bird on the ledge right next to our table
birds at the pond-side at Perry's
birds at the pond-side at Perry's

Later Connie, Tiffany (aka Lil’ T, to differentiate between her and me), Emily, and I went wandering around the hotel. We found a pretty koi pond with the FATTEST koi fish EVER in it.

Flower arrangement by the pond
Flower arrangement by the pond
fat koi fish
fat koi fish

We had a two hour rehearsal in the afternoon, then we headed to the beach, where we at a late lunch / early dinner. I forgot to take pictures of the food, but I have lots of cool pictures from the beach. We went in at first, but we got cut up pretty badly from climbing on the retaining wall thing, so we retreated to the shore, where Connie, Lil’ T, and Emily played with the sand while Naomi and Norinne threw rocks around. (And I was taking pictures, in case you were wondering.)

Naomi and Norinne skipping/throwing rocks
Naomi and Norinne skipping/throwing rocks
Lil' T, Emily, and Connie building a sandcastle
Lil' T, Emily, and Connie building a sandcastle
desktop-worthy photo of a palm tree
desktop-worthy photo of a palm tree
Connie looking very happy to be playing in the sand
Connie looking very happy to be playing in the sand

We came back around sunset, then Connie, Lil’ T, Emily, and I went looking for pearl milk tea. What a sad goal… but we found it! My camera was out of batteries by then, so no pictures. Now I’m sitting up late, finishing this blog even though we don’t have free internet, and everyone else is asleep. This is probably really bad for my eyes. Oh well!

Hawaiian sunset, Day 2
Hawaiian sunset, Day 2

Hawaii, part 1

Ahh Hawaii… the weather here is a little overcast and windy, and it rained this morning a little. My dance group is here for a competition, which is very exciting. We landed yesterday about half an hour behind schedule. The flight was… not very productive. Mostly we played cards and argued about whether or not we wanted to buy an overpriced Northwest Airlines snack box. They didn’t even give us free peanuts!
When we got off the plane, we stepped into the humidity and open air airport, with palm trees growing all around. Two tour guides met us at the terminal and lei’d us!

lei'd Naomi at the baggage carousels
lei'd Naomi at the baggage carousels
awkward picture of Connie's Threadless panda shirt and her lei
awkward picture of Connie's Threadless panda shirt and her lei
Jay the tour guide talking with one of our parent chaperones
Jay the tour guide talking with one of our parent chaperones
Connie's dad searching for our luggage
Connie's dad searching for our luggage

Once we collected all our luggage, we got on the van and took the parents to the rental car place. We had to wait in the car so I took a bunch of random pictures.

the massive tour van
the massive tour van
Norinne's cleft tongue
Norinne's cleft tongue
pretty picture of Tiffany
pretty picture of Tiffany
close up of my lei in my hand
close up of my lei in my hand
Connie on the phone with her boyfriend
Connie on the phone with her boyfriend

By the time we got to the hotel, all of us were STARVING, but it took forever to get checked in. The whole lobby is open to the courtyard, and there was a pretty row of orchids.

Orchids!
Orchids!

We probably should have looked around for someplace Hawaiian to eat, but all we wanted was KFC or Burger King right across the street. But before we could go, we got lost on the way to our hotel room, I lost my key card, and we found out our luggage almost didn’t fit in the room. Finally, after eating, we came back to our room and watched TV and fell asleep due to 3-hour jetlag, which is pretty darn sad.

Hawaiian sunset, Day 1
Hawaiian sunset, Day 1