It's been more than a week since my last post and I've received many comments asking me to create a new post. I guess I'll just be typing up random thoughts that have been lingering in my head lately. So pardon the 'informality' of this post.
We're still in L.A. for the final week of training and I have to say that, overall, it has been a very productive trip for the team in terms of skills training and bonding with one another. Despite the hectic training schedule, we were able to spare one whole Sunday to visit Universal Studios. I was hoping to see some Hollywood celebrities in the area but the closest thing we saw was the house of Eva Longoria along Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives, which happens to be located inside the Universal City. I've been to Universal Studios maybe 4 times in my life already and until now I always look forward to riding the Jurassic Park ride which is similar to our log jam in Enchanted Kingdom with one long steep drop at the end of the ride that seems to last forever. That's my favorite! But that's the furthest I will go when it comes to rides. I admit that I despise daring theme park rides, especially roller coasters or rides that have jerky movements because I have quite a sensitive case of motion sickness. Most of the time, I become the 'safekeeper' of belongings of my teammates or friends when they decide to hop on such rides while calling me a 'KJ'. For me, that's perfectly fine. I wouldn't wanna ruin my entire day by having to walk around dizzy and light headed. Nevertheless, I enjoy visiting such theme parks because of its friendly ambience.
The next day, training lasted only a half-day because it was Memorial Day so we decided to make the most of our day by driving North for at least an hour to reach the closest outlet mall in Camarillo to get the best deals. That's how desperate we were! It was worth the drive. They had great shops like Gap, Polo, Aeropostale, Sony, Coach, Hugo Boss, etc. The 5 hours zoomed by so quickly without us realizing that it was already 8:00 pm because the sun was just about to set. Most of us carried lots of shopping bags on the way home. I bought two pairs of shoes only because I was able to get it for like 30% OF its original price (not 30% OFF). I initially decided to get only one pair but since it was Memorial Day Sale and it was a really fantastic deal so i decided to get another pair. Actually, I am pretty stingy or 'kuripot' when it comes to spending money. I like to save and save and save or invest. Very typical Chinese. I almost never shop in Manila. But I believe that if it's something that we really really want, then it's okay to spend once in a while since we have to enjoy life also and pamper ourselves from time to time. BUT, that is as long as you work extremely hard when it's time to work. However, one thing I do not scrimp on is food. I love eating delicious food, especially Chinese and Japanese food. I guess I got accustomed to it because of my dad, who does not mind spending for good food to satisfy our stomachs. Especially when there are guests around, there should never be a shortage of food! Very typical Chinese mentality too.
I mentioned about seeing celebrities in Hollywood earlier, well apparently, two of my teammates will have the privilege of catching Kobe, Odom, Gasol, Duncan, Parker and Ginobli in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center. The team was given only two tickets and we had to decide who will be lucky enough to be in that world-class arena together with stars like Jack Nicholson, Eva Longoria, etc. I'd love to step foot in that wild arena to catch a Laker playoff game, one of the NBA's greatest franchises, not to mention that I am a recent Kobe fan. Finally, we did so by having a 'half court shootout' (shooting the ball from half court). And coincidentally, the lucky winners are the first and last shooters, Kirk Long and Zags Gonzaga (our rookie from Ateneo High). For Kirk, I guess it's a perfect reward for being our designated driver here in L.A. for the past week. For Zags, earning his spot in Team A, through pure hard work and dedication after a year in Team B surely has its perks. Even if their seats tomorrow will give them an 'ant size' view of Kobe and the gang, I'm sure the experience will be incomparable! ... I'd still rather watch a Jay Chou concert live. Haha!
P.S. One of my greatest dreams is to watch a Michael Jordan game live, or even just see him in person. I guess the first one will be impossible to achieve and I'm still quite waiting for the latter.