Monday, September 29, 2008

You, Me, and Haiku - 9/29/08

Thick is the old snow
Crunching hard beneath my shoes
Like shattered bones bleached

-David Yuen

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Maine Journey (Part 6) - Maine Blueberries Baby!!!

Around our last full day in Maine, we made the decision to finally stop by one of those old fashioned blueberry stands scattered across the Maine roads during the summer season.


One thing of advice for all future Maine travelers--besides Maine lobster, the Maine blueberry is another unique thing that this coastal state has to offer. The Maine blueberry, though smaller, is far sweeter and milder in taste than your typical grocery bought blueberry. In fact, its very texture is even softer and smoother in straight comparison to any other blueberry that you can find in the local store. Just look at those babies!

Advice Number 10 For Maine Travelers:

When in Maine, don't just try the lobster, but also try the blueberries. And one note of common sense--if you're thinking of bringing some blueberries back home with you, be sure to not only bring a cooling container with you, but also be sure to purchase the blueberries either the evening before or the day your heading back home.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You, Me, And Haiku - 9/23/08

The transfer of warmth
Through the passage of old air
An eye to eye smile

-David Yuen

Monday, September 22, 2008

Got A New Job!

Well, I did it! I’m back to the workforce as a cubicle drone, since freelance writing wasn’t working out for me.

I’m pretty much going back to doing the same stuff that I did before I tried out freelance writing, which is Clinical Data Management. In case, you’re wondering what Clinical Data Management is, it’s essentially looking over clinical data gathered from a clinical trial and making sure that it abides by the drug study’s pre-determined protocol. Sounds pretty action-packed, doesn't it?

So, with me now back to being a monkey in a cubicle jungle, does that mean I’ll stop writing and blogging? Absolutely not! Maybe, I’ll be doing it less, but I’ll probably be still keeping up with my blogs on the side, while I work. Maybe, once in a while, I might even write an article or two. But now, writing is now officially back to being a “hobby” for me as opposed to a profession (or more like an attempted profession).

Overall, there’s a few things that I’ve learn from trying to make a living as a freelance writer. Here’s a basic list.

1.) Freelance writing is NOT for the lazy! In fact it’s very hard work.

2.) Freelance writing is about being PRO-ACTIVE and not just waiting for an assignment to fall on your lap. Unfortunately for me, I learned that a little too late.

3.) Freelance writing requires more discipline and self-conditioning than most regular jobs in general.

4.) Freelance writing is all about advertising yourself, making contacts, and keeping contacts. This is another thing that I unfortunately didn’t concentrate hard enough on.

5.) At the beginning of any freelance writing career, starting a blog is a must.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day - SPIN

It's been a while since I had one of these, but from this juicy nugget that I found this morning, it's been well worth the wait!

According to the Youtube description:

A mysterious DJ is sent to a busy city block to mend a series of tragic events that occur in our everyday lives. Winner of 35 film festival awards worldwide.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Maine Journey (Part 5) – Acadia National Park

Our greatest destination in Maine was none other than Acadia National Park, where the mountains are high and the scenery is incomparable. Besides the drive by views we saw on the way there, our first major stop in the park was for lunch at the Jordan Pond House Restaurant, on the recommendation of a friend.

For more information on this restaurant, visit: http://www.jordanpond.com/

After a few detours and taking some winding roads through the park, we finally arrived to our destination and let me tell you that the Jordan Pond House is one of the best places, if not the best place, to have lunch in Acadia National Park. Why?

Well, #1 is because of the fabulous outdoor seating and #2 is because of its well-sized gift shop! As you can see by the pictures below, not only do you get to enjoy the wonderful outdoor air, but you also get to take in the wonderful scenery of the park, while being served at your leisure.

Though the price of the food can be a little steep for lunch, the lunch they offer is still quite delicious and their “popovers” are awesome. For those of you who don’t know, a popover is a unique pastry almost exclusive to Maine and it’s kinda like a cross between a crispy croissant on the outside and a fluffy pancake on the inside!

The gift shop at Jordan Pond is also a great place to visit given its convenience. Because, once you’re done with a great meal complete with photo-moments, you can also knock out a second bird with the same stone by completing your souvenir runs too.

Finally, after our lunch we headed over to Cadillac Mountain, which is considered to be the tallest mountain on the entire east coast. Supposedly, if someone were to stand at its peak during the first few minutes of dawn, that person would be able to see the sunrise before anyone else in the east coast. Personally, I never tried it, but, if time allows on my next Maine trip, it’ll definitely be something worth a try. Below is a little video of my slow driving accent to the peak, followed by photos from a few scenic stops that I took along the way.

video


Here’s a video of the peak (best to turn off the volume and watch it since the wind messed the sound up) along with some photos taken from there. Isn’t Acadia cool!!!

video

Here's me!



So summing it up, here’s a bulk of advice for new Maine travelers:

Advice #6: Acadia Park should be the one location that you should at least visit in Maine. And Cadillac Mountain should be the one location that you should at least visit in Acadia Park.

Advice #7: Set aside at least 2 whole days to spend at Acadia National Park. I would personally suggest more.

Advice #8: The Jordan Pond House is the best place to eat lunch in Acadia! When there, be sure to go for the outdoor seating.

Advice #9: When in Maine, every visitor must try, at least once, freshly made Maine popovers with Maine blueberry jam!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Interesting Site - "Storied Mind"

I found this very interesting site just the other week or so about writing, depression, and spirituality. It's called the Storied Mind. For one thing, this writer has a very stimulating "exploration" style to his writing as he freely ponders and philosophizes on the various layers of life and existence, especially through the eyes of one who suffers from depression.

Though I don't necessarily agree with some of his spiritual views, but I do find his entire exercise of contemplation to be very stimulating and almost poetic in many cases.

The link to his site is http://www.storiedmind.com/

From now on, this site will be included in the "Links" section of this blog.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You, Me, and Haiku - 9/15/08

Lethargic the moon
When harvest comes crawling old
Autumn trees stand gaurd

-David Yuen

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Maine Journey (Part 4) - Bar Harbor

Our next major stop was Bar Harbor, Maine. This nice coastal town is right by Acadia National Park and, let me tell you, visiting this place is a blast! The natural scenery was awesome and the shopping has a very quaint small-town feel to it.

Here are some of their ships.

(early afternoon)

(dusk)



And a nice view of their bay.


As I mentioned before, the shopping there is also quite awesome and it definitely has that nice small town New England charm to it.




Overall, Bar Harbor is definitely a location that you need to devote at least a full day to and it's probably the best location to find a motel in. Do not trust your travel agency (especially AAA) to find a nice cozy motel outside of Bar Harbor. Usually, when they mean outside, it could mean that it's an hour drive away from it (which is more work for you). It's best that you just book your hotels using your own research and wits (here's when the Internet comes in)!

To round this entry off, here's a little video footage from my first arrival to Bar Harbor. Note the whale watching ship (another thing that you should be prepared to book early if you want to add this to your trip!).



More Advice for Maine Travelers
Advice #4: Do not let AAA book your motels for you!!!
Advice #5: Devote at least one FULL day for Bar Harbor!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Maine Journey (Part 3) - Penobscot Narrows Bridge

Well, this one isn't really a stop that we made, per se, but it was another unique landmark that we ended up accidentally running into on our way to Acadia. It seemed to have been built fairly recently to replace another bridge and, from some information that I gleaned from a local nearby (since I stopped right by it to take a picture), people could actually go up to its pinnacle and see all the way to the sea. It sounds quite amazing. According to what I discovered this bridge is called the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and it's located on Route 1 North near Bucksport, Maine.


Take a look at that pinnacle!


Since we were in a rush to get to our next stop, we didn't have time to further explore the bridge, let alone take the elevator to its top. But just for future reference, for those who want to go to Maine sometime in the future (including myself), be sure to make time for this bridge! It's quite a sight!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Maine Journey (Part 2) - Kennebunkport

One of the first major stops that we had at Maine was in the nice small town of Kennebunkport. Yeah, I know the name's kinda weird and that's the first thing I thought when we were passing through. But the truth is, it was quite a beautiful place and it was pretty much by accident that we stumbled on this wonderful little chapel by the sea (St. Ann's Episcopal Church).


Besides its dated structure and its cozy interior, the best thing that caught my attention about this church is the fact that they had outdoor pews and stone pulpit right by the sea!


Here's some of the shoreline by the outdoor pews.


And, just for the sake of sentiment and to give you all an idea of where these pews are in relation to the chapel, here's a cute little picture of my mom and dad.

As I said before, the church's interior was quite cozy and beautifully simplistic. It was ornate enough to evoke the spirit of sanctity, but not overly ornate to the point of getting lost in the details. I especially enjoyed the stained glass windows that it had.







Here's more interesting craftsmanship that I found in the church, along a little schedule they posted for outdoor/indoor services.



Overall, if you're going to travel around the area, Kennebunkport is wonderful coastal town to visit.

Tip #2 for Maine Travelers
The coastal route up through Maine (Route 1 North) does not guarantee that you’ll see the coast! You’ll only get to see it sometimes, since most of the time, the trees will obscure the view. The secret to fully enjoy the Maine coast is to look out for signs pointing to specific coastal points and following them.

Monday, September 8, 2008

You, Me, and Haiku - 9/8/08

Spirals of color
Dance in obsidian pool
The spilled engine oil

-David Yuen

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Maine Journey - Introduction

Finally, after a few days of missed updates, I can finally write about my nearly week long trip to Maine (August 25th-30th). Overall, I’ve been to Maine about 2 or 3 times in my life and this most recent one really opened my eyes on the things that are wonderful about this state other than just lobster. So with each update for this Maine series, I’ll include a few photos or a video log or two along with some commentary. One or two pieces of advice will also be given for anyone who plans on going to Maine in the future.

So for this first entry, I’ll begin with a simple sunset photo of the first motel I stayed in upon arriving in Maine. You're probably saying to yourself "What? A motel shot?", but hey, I think this is a nice photo to begin with since it's the basic starting point of the whole Maine experience (besides the long driving).

First Piece of Advice for Maine Visitors
Advice #1: If you live quite a few hours away from Maine and you plan on driving there, devote one whole day to driving and don’t try to schedule any Maine exploration that same day. Not only will you be tired when you explore, but you’ll also be rushed and will probably not enjoy it as much.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shot My First Gun!

Continuing on with catching up from the previous weeks, on Saturday, August 23rd, I went with some friends to a firing range somewhere in Pennsylvania. It’s called Sunset Hill. And there, on that nice sunny August day, I finally fired my first gun—a 9mm Beretta! Boy, it was a lot louder than I expected. A short clip of it is posted below.



Overall, it was quite a blast. In addition to that I also got to fire an STG-58 machine gun, Defender shotgun, and a sniper rifle. To say the least, they were all pretty amazing. But I’d have to say that out of all of them, the shotgun was my favorite. Not only did it have a strong kick, but also all you had to do was aim it in a general direction and you hit everything in and around your target! A pic of my shotgun experience is right below.

Now that I’ve completed my first item on my “Bucket List” that should just leave the following:

1.) Go on a cruise. (never been on one)

2.) Visit the West Coast. (never been there)

3.) Visit a tropical beach. (nope, never been there either)

4.) Shoot a gun. (DONE)

5.) Visit Europe. (yeah, same as above)

6.) See the New Year's ball drop at Time's Square in person.

7.) Visit Japan. Eat some Kobe beef. (visited China, not Japan)

8.) Go snorkling/scuba diving.

9.) Eat a dog!!!! (seriously, you would think I would have covered that during my trip to China)

10.) Go to a wine tasting. (I'm such an uncultured twit)

11.) Go spelunking.

12.) Learn how to fly a plane.

Wish me luck on the others!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ain't He Cute! - My Nephew From Philly

On August 19th through the 20th, I went down to visit my brother at Philly for one last time before his family moved to Shanghai for employment purposes. Well, it was a little difficult to say goodbye and I'll especially miss seeing my nephew, Joshua, grow up. The good thing is, at least I have this video of him! In case you haven't already guessed, the lady in the video's my mom.

Monday, September 1, 2008

You, Me, and Haiku - 9/1/08

Colors stir and blend
Like fresh falling autumn leaves
In the white tea cup

-David Yuen

 

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