Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Weekend Recap

So I haven't really been blogging, for all sorts of reasons, but here I am now.

Max came to visit over the weekend and it was so nice to have him back. He came in town Friday night. We went back to my place for dinner (I made a garlic shrimp linguine type thing - overcooked the shrimp - surprise - but it was still good) and then headed over to AD's Badass Bachelor Pad. It was a pretty chill evening, which ended the way all Friday nights should - with someone running to get Taco Bell. There is nothing quite as good as Taco Bell, after you've had a few watermelon martinis (gross sweet drink, but I couldn't resist)...

Anyway, we spent much of the day on Saturday just laying around the couch, watching TV and napping. This is my favorite way to spend a Saturday so there were no complaints from me. We headed out to El Coyote for dinner with the intent of catching the 7:20 p.m. showing of The Matador (that new Pierce Brosnan movie) but opted at the last minute to return to our slothly positions on the couch and watch the remake of Bad News Bears instead. We both liked it - it's nothing to go running to Blockbuster to rent, but fun enough if you catch it on HBO some day.

Sunday was the Chinese New Year. Instead of making resolutions, Chinese people tend to wish others good blessing, fortune, health, etc. My morning started out with wishing my family the standard GONG HAI FAT CHOY, along with all sorts of personal wishes like, "I wish that this year, when we take spinning classes, our cooches won't hurt." I also got some very specific ones including being wished that "all of Pig's poop be good this year" and that I "don't stick my tongue out in any more pictures."

My family cracks me up.

Anyway, moving on, Max and I had a spur of the moment bbq gathering. A few people came over and we had some fantastic food. The best part was using the fondue set my brother got me for Christmas. It was awesome!! I think I ate about 3 whole bananas and a pint of strawberries dipped in chocolate all by myself. Definitely time to hit the gym again.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A Rather Unfortunate Camera Habit...

...but as Kate pointed out, better than many...like mooning for instance.

Someone please just help me out and remind me not to stick out my tongue the next time a camera's on me.

 Posted by Picasa

 Posted by Picasa

Where I can be found during a party

AD sent this pic out with the caption "Caught eating again!," which was a reference to another pic from a party a few years ago. Somehow, I can always be found by the food table...alone.

Caught eating again! Posted by Picasa

Me at a party a few years ago.  Posted by Picasa

Amol's Sat Night

The following is a series of photos depicting Amol's night at AD's party. There are actually close to 20 photos of him in various states of drunkeness but I decided to tell the story of his night in 4 pics.

Here we see him shortly after he first arrived.

Posted by Picasa
Here he has generously volunteered to tend bar and was called, for the remainder of the night, the "Naked Bartender."

 Posted by Picasa
Flirting with the ladies, after matching the bar patrons drink for drink...

Posted by Picasa
And then he passed out...

 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Weekend Recap

A most excellent weekend, the high point of which was discovering that there is in fact a Ramona Quimby book that I did not read as a child, despite being an obsessive fan of the series. More about that later though.

Weekend started with a call from Amol Friday afternoon, suggesting that we go get pho (vietnamese noodles) for dinner. A few calls later, I had rounded up a group but alas, all the good pho places are either in Monterrey Park or Chinatown or Silverlake or Torrance, all of which were too far away to drive to during Friday rush hour. We settled for Korean bbq instead and headed over to K-town, to a place called BCD Tofu House. The food was great, portions were huge, it's open 24 hours a day, actually has a parking lot (huge plus in LA) and the best part is there's a little doorbell type thing on your table that you can press to summon your waitress. With our stomaches full of spicy tofu soon, and our hair reeking of bulgogi, we headed over to Brass Monkey, a popular karaoke bar just a few blocks away from the restaurant. It was altogether a great night.

Saturday morning I headed over to the gym to take a step aerobics class. Step aerobics is my new "thing" - I love it. (Reminds me of you, elliot!) Anyway, Amol had agreed to go originally, but forgot and overslept, so per our agreement, he had to wear his swimsuit the next time I saw him. Which he sportingly did. Unfortunately for him, the next time I saw him was at AD's housewarming party later that night, where a good 40 some people had gathered. Haha. Poor Amol. Poor Amol who didn't even bring a change of clothes, so he spent the whole night in his swim trunks with a towel draped over his shoulders. Personally, I think he rather liked it.

The party was really fun - there was a lot of food and the guys had spent about $300 stocking up their bar. Somehow towards the end of the night, Benjamin, Courtney and I ended up having a conversation about the Ramona Quimby series. I LOVE that series. My first real non-picture book was "Ramona Quimby, Age 8" and I've always said if I have a daughter, I'm naming her "Ramona." In fact, Pig came very close to being named "Ramona." Also "Boba" but that's besides the point... Anyway, soon there was a bet about whether one of the books in the series is titled "Ramona Quimby, Age 8" or "Ramona Quimby, Age 5" (which of course it isn't), which lead to some internet researching, which lead to an amusing hour of taking online trivia quizzes on Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume novels. Can I just say, I love my friends? THAT is how WE roll...Anyway, in doing research, we discovered Beverly Cleary had written one called "Ramona's World" which none of us had read. Turns out it's the first one written in 15 years and was published in 2001. I've already ordered it from Amazon.

Today has been a mostly boring but relaxing day. Took Pig and Punk out for a walk, napped on the couch, watched two blow-out football games, and started reading a popular mystery series by Sue Grafton.

*yawn* I predict an early bedtime, which is my favorite way of ending a nice weekend.

Friday, January 20, 2006


So far, a very nice day. Woke up early, ate some more Dinah's banana bread (I bought a whole loaf on Sunday and I've been steadily working on it each day), and then went to the gym. I had a terrible instructor this morning for a weight lifting class. Dude could not count. "15....14....12....11....9...." The worst part of it all was that he couldn't keep to the beat of the music, so his counting was really more like "15....14....12..11.......9..." No one could really follow along. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when, at the end of cooldown, he told us to "put your right hand on your left pelvis, and your left hand on your right pelvis, and that's my hug to you guys - have a great weekend!" So what happened was that I snortled.

Afterwards, I went home, showered, and stopped at the library to pay off my $17 library fee. It's so sad that I just can't seem to return books on time. Did I mention the library is a block away from my apartment?

Worked a bit and then went home for lunch. Had leftovers from last night, took a short nap, walked Pig and Punk and am now back at the office again. Waiting for the minutes to go by before I can leave...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Am I the only one who thinks the billboard for "Underworld 2" was in fact inspired by the billboard for "The Room"????

 Posted by Picasa

 Posted by Picasa

Fun Michigan Facts!

I thought I'd post this (compliments of Max's Grandma T) for those of you who are natives of Michigan and have always wanted to learn some fun facts about your home state.

For those of you who are NOT natives of Michigan but have always wanted to learn about Michigan - you are weird, and I'd like you to stop reading my blog!

Q. What Michigan community grew from 3,589 to 45,615 residents from 1910 to 1920, leading the nation in growth during that period?
A. Hamtramck

Q. During the lumber boom era, what name was given to the row of saloons that lined Water Street in Bay City?
A. Hells' Half Mile

Q In 1936, what UP city processed 100,000 sq. feet of bird's eye maple for use in the English luxury liner, the Queen Mary?
A. Escanaba

Q. When the territory of Michigan was created on Jan. 11 what town was selected as it's capital?
A . Detroit

Q. Bloomfield Hills was first known by what name?
A. Bagley's Corners

Q. Where is the world's only marble lighthouse?
A. Belle Isle (Livingston Lighthouse)

Q. Utica was originally known by what name?
A. Hog's Hollow

Q. Approx. how many lakes are in the state?
A. 11,000

Q. The home offices of Life Savers candy, Beech-Nut gum and Squirt soft drink are in which city?
A. Holland

Q. What coastline has been given the name "Graveyard of the Great Lakes"?
A. Whitefish Point, Lake Superior (remember the Edmund Fitzgerald? It was only the most famous ship lost there, but there have been many, many more lost in that spot in the last hundred years.)

Q. In 1870, Detroit telephone customers became the first in the nation to have what type of reference information assigned to them?
A. Telephone numbers

Q. On Feb. 4, 1902, what internationally famous aviation pioneer was born in Detroit?
A. Charles A. Lindbergh

Q. On what date did the star & stripes first fly over Michigan soil?
A. July 11, 1796

Q. What ambitious automotive pioneer organized GM. in Sept 1908?
A. William C. Durant

Q. What annual license fee (how much) was charged to Michigan auto owners in 1905 to operate their vehicles?
A. Fifty cents

Q. In what year was the first policewoman appointed in Detroit?
A. 1893

Q What was the world's first urban freeway, completed in 1942?
A. The Davison Freeway, Detroit

Q. In 1879, what amount was paid to the Campau family by the city of Detroit for Belle Isle?
A. $200,000

Q. In 1866, what Detroit pharmacist introduced the world's first carbonated soft drink?
A. James Vernor (Vernor's ginger ale)

Q. At what Detroit intersection was the world's first traffic light installed in 1915?
A. Woodward Avenue and Grand Avenue

Q. Who in 1688 founded the first permanent settlement in what later became the state of Michigan?
A. Father Jaques Marquette

Q. In 1954 the world's first shopping mall opened in what Detroit suburb?
A. Southfield (Northland Mall)

Q. What safety and traffic flow feature was first introduced near Trenton in 1911?
A. Painted center lines

Q. Debuting in 1936 over WWJ in Detroit, what crime fighting adventure series used "Flight of the Bumblebee" as it's theme song?
A. The Green Hornet

Q. The Supremes were originally known by what name?
A. The Primettes

Q. What Detroit-based male singing group was known as The Primes until 1960?
A. The Temptations

Q. Under what name did Motown artist Stevie Wonder originally write "My Cherie Amour" in 1966?
A. "Oh My Marsha"

Q. Where does Michigan rank internationally in the production of dogsleds?
A. First

Q. What is the nation's largest indoor/outdoor museum complex?
A. Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

Q. Compared to Chicago, "The Windy City," how does Detroit rank in average wind velocity?
A. The same (10.4 mph) (note: Chicago earned the nickname "The Windy City" because of it's politicians in the 1920's (who their opponents in Washington claimed were big 'bags of wind'), and not because of the wind off the lake as most people think....)

Q. Arnold F. Wilt, born in Detroit in 1886, revolutionized the cosmetology industry by developing what process?
A. The cold permanent wave

Q. The Michigan state capitol is constructed of what material?
A. Ohio sandstone

Q. What is Michigan's largest fresh-market vegetable crop?
A. Onions

Q. Opened in 1904, what is the oldest freshwater aquarium in the nation?
A. Belle Isle Aquarium

Friday, January 13, 2006

3 Day Weekend


That about sums up how I feel right now.

I'm am so looking forward to the weekend. Not that I have any real exciting plans at the moment- laundry, taking Pig to the dog park, maybe watching some more BattleStar Galatica - but there are some possibilities brewing. There has been talk of dim sum. And talk of a party at AD's house. And talk of celebrating National Red Lobster Day on Sunday.

Oh and I do have plans for MLK Day. A bunch of us are going to celebrate MLK day like it's a snow day - we'll play video games, order pizza, eat junk food, drink Kahlua Mooies (Thode's bringing those), and prank call the people who don't get MLK Day off - while still in our pajamas.

It's going to be awesome. I love any excuse to eat poorly and stay in all day in pajamas.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

are so #$*&ing hard to keep.

My sister called me over the weekend to see how they were coming along. Very poorly. That's all I can say.

Case in point - am typing this from the office right now.

Also - have not found a charity to tithe to yet. Have not actually tried.

I did manage to make it to the gym last night and I have been cooking at home, so I probably shouldn't be so hard on myself. Considering how awful the food that I make is (there is a rather gross attempt at Chinese ma po tofu with ground turkey because I couldn't find ground pork and I figured it'd be the same thing but it's not sitting in a Tupperware container in the back of my fridge right now), I may actually lose the 3 lbs I gained over the holidays since I don't want to eat any of it. I've flossed daily, although that one day that I got the floss tangled around my index finger and the tip of it turned a scary blue while I ran around trying to find scissors was a good argument for NOT flossing so frequently. Also, the nasty look I got from the driver in the next lane while I flossed at a stoplight the other day also made me reconsider my dedication to this resolution.

I have taken up some new hobbies so to speak, but I don't think playing countless hours of the Harry Potter PS2 game and watching Battlestar Galatica on DVD really counts as self-improvement.


Pig's teeth however, are getting cleaner and last night she closed her eyes as I was brushing them. Which coincidentally is what I do when I'm at the dentist's office and am sick of counting ceiling tiles.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Today's Vocab Lesson

I don't know why movie reviewers feel the need to use fancy words in their reviews, but I came upon this word "MORASS" today in a review of the movie "Rumor Has It." And since I had no idea what it meant, I looked it up and now am sharing it with everyone.

n : a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot

Huh. Interesting. Being juvenile, I've just spent the last five minutes trying to find different ways to use to the word.

Where I can find some morass?

He got himself stuck in some morass today.

Someone stop me.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Why Self-Help Books are Bad

So while I was in Grayling over the holidays, I noticed the book DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF on one of the bookshelves. I actually have a copy of it (compliments of ElliotPreciousPants), and for reasons unknown, I picked it up and read it here and there, when I had some down time.

Anyway, I was feeling all enlightened and stress free this morning on my way to work. It really was a glorious morning - I think close to 80 degrees and sunny and I had just showered and was wearing a new shirt and in a very happy mood. I decided to follow one of the tips in DSTMS which was to smile and say hello to strangers. Now, I'm not crazy - I didn't do it with everyone. But I did say "good morning" to a neighbor of mine, waved to a shopkeeper I see all the time, and then waved to one of the street sweepers that I see about twice a week. I think he may be a bit slow mentally but he's really nice and friendly and always says hi and tries to pet Pig.

Big mistake.

The street cleaner guy smiles back at me and then opens his arms TO GIVE ME A HUG.

Good lord. There is nothing in DSTMS about hugging strangers. Especially strangers holding garbage cans and wearing picking-up-garbage gloves. This just sent my OCD alarms off like crazy.

So this is mean, but I just shouted (I had my earphones on) with a smile "I DON'T WANT TO HUG YOU - I'M SICK - I HAVE COLD - HAVE HAD IT FOR A FEW DAYS - DON'T WANT TO GET YOU SICK!!"

And he was like, "Oh okay. Alright. See you later."

And now I feel bad. Because he's a nice guy, and probably a bit slow, but I see him all the time and I just didn't want to hug him, not even once, because then I'd have to hug him every time.

I should probably add "Don't be a jerk" to my list of resolutions.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

One More Resolution

I forgot to add that Pig's resolution is to brush her teeth daily. She really is terrible about that so I'll have to nag her until she gets into the habit of it...

2006 Resolutions

Well, I made a bunch of resolutions last year, none of which I kept, I'm sad to say, so I almost didn't make any this year, because - why bother? But, that's not a very good attitude and I do like the idea of at least trying to improve myself, so rather than listing specifics like "exercise 4 times a week" I've decided to jot down a few general things.

1.) Be healthier

This is a bit broad I know, but I really want to live healthier. Don't get me wrong, I don't think my current life style is unhealthy, but I really should go to the gym more and quit eating so much processed foods. I should floss and take a multivitamin on a daily basis, and drink more water. And drink less alcohol. And sleep more. Stuff like that. You know what I'm talking about. I'm sure you all make the same resolutions too.

2.) Do things besides playing poker online and watching TV

Also broad and general, but hey, it's my resolution and my blog. It really occured to me that after work, I normally spend about 4 hours either playing poker online or watching TV. And I really should do other things besides that. One thing that works in conjuction with Resolution #1 is to actually cook a meal for myself, rather than nuking something up in the microwave. And going to the gym at night, obviously. I also want to read more - my reluctance to pay my $30 library fee has contributed to a lot of the TV watching and that just really has to stop. I do love Law & Order and Golden Girls, but there's no reason to watch over 15 hours of those shows a week. Might be time to take another class too. Like basic Spanish. Would be very useful living in Southern California.

3.) Donate
One 2005 resolution which I did not keep at all was to find a way to tithe regularly. I think that's the word - "tithe." Anyway, this year, I want to donate a certain amount every month to an organization I support and actually write a check, like I'm paying a bill or something.

4.) Work more efficiently

I know I do mess around at work a lot and so does the rest of the world, but I am going to try to make an effort to not do that. As much. I'd rather work hard for fewer hours and go home early that to hang around the office. Of course, I'm blogging at the office at this moment, so I can already tell Resolution #4 is going to be a tough one.

Anyway, those are my resolutions. I think I will do a monthly post like I started to do last year , just to see check in on my progress is. Hopefully better than last year...

Wrapping up 2005

I've changed my mind. I really did want to blog about my trip, day by day, since it was really wonderful and it was so nice seeing everyone, but now talking about it feels so...last year. So I'll just say I had an awesome time meeting up with friends and family, got tons of sweet presents, froze my ass off, ate an awesome burger at Fuddrucker's, drank brandy alexanders out of really pretty hand painted 12 Days of Xmas wine glasses, taught my Dad and baby sis how to play Omaha poker, managed to avoid riding in Marco's Vespa and snowmobiling with Max, played a lot of Big 2 (a Chinese four player card game which I will nag my LA friends into playing), mistaught a 3 year old child that there indeed is a Year of the Cat according to the Chinese calendar, drank five bowls of Mom's home made soup one night, got admonished by my baby sis for living on a diet of only Lean Cuisines, discovered that Jim Beam and champagne don't go together, went to the trio of Classic American restaurants - Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel and Big Boy and...so much more...but I'm just not going to get into it.

I just hope everyone had as good of a time over the holidays as I did!!!