Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lake Perris Weekend Recap

"Dah-ling I love you but give me West Hollywood..."

Camping was so much fun. On Saturday we went to a place called Lake Perris, which is in Riverside, about 2 hours outside of LA. Pretty barren looking area - reminded me a bit of camping in Colorado, but without the mountains. I kept Pig tied to a tree most of the time - and I don't think she appreciated that at all. Especially when we stood far away from her while eating hot dogs. On Sunday I let her loose (no one else was around - the camp had cleared out) and on more than one occasion she just ran back into the tent and wouldn't come back out.

I wish I could say we did all sort of interesting things but basically we just sat around and drank and talked and hung out. A few of us went swimming (I declined naturally - I really only like swimming in heavily chlorinated pools) but we mostly just ate and drank and sat around. It was like an overnight picnic and was really fun. Here are some pics (I took some, Amol took the others):

Pig, tied to a tree next to our tent. I decided to attach two mini fans to her harness (blades were made of soft foam) to help her stay cool.

I don't think she liked being tied up. Or having two battery powered fans whirring right under her face.

Anyway, we had an awesome time!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hump Day

So, I'm sure no one will be surprised to learn that I did not end up ordering live tentacles at The Prince. I also passed on the "sauteed silkworms." Can I just say though, that place is AWESOME! It is even more old fashioned British-themed looking than I imagined. Really dark booths, oil paintings, velvety walls - I'm sure back in the day, when it was the hotel bar/restaurant for the Windsor, it would have been very elegant. Definitely Rat Pack/mobster-y. When we first sat down, Benjamin whispered, "I'm scared of this place!" altho once we got accustomed to the scene he mellowed out. I was a little disappointed that we did not get as many complimentary snacks as I thought we would. The reviews I read made it sound like you get more and more things to nibble on as the night wears on, but all we got were some chips & salsa, a kimchi pancake, and some pickled radishes. Hmm - it just occurred to me - maybe you have to finish the complimentary snacks before you get more? We all had a few radishes but I don't think we finished the whole dish. Or maybe it helps if you go with some Koreans? Benjamin had learned to say "thank you" and "I'm sorry" in Korean before he showed up but sadly I didn't hear him put those phrases to use. Anyway, we ordered two entrees - a spicy chicken which was not bad, and a kimchi fried rice which I thought was very tasty. Even tho it was a full bar, we stuck with carafes of lemon and lime soju. Soju is like a mild vodka - you can barely taste it. Lemon and lime soju taste like lemonade and limeade, respectively. Anyway, they give you little shot glasses to drink your soju so you end up having to refill your glass over and over again. I didn't leave until 12:30 - I couldn't believe we had talked predominately about Harry Potter for so long! I am exhausted. And I think I'm playing gpoker tonight - don't know how I'm going to stay awake!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Prince

So Benjamin and Rebecca and I are meeting up tonight for drinks and for shameless discussion of the new Harry Potter book. We've decided to try a place in Koreatown called The Prince, which I read about online. It's a divey bar that used to be a fancy British hotel bar/restaurant in the 1950's, but the current owners are Korean. The decor is the same (English themed), but they serve korean food and soju and oriental beers. Sounds bizarre and fabulous and seems like an appropriate place to discuss Harry Potter since it's British, and one of the books in the series is called Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince! I read online that there's a scene from "Chinatown" with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway that was shot there. What has fascinated me most about this place tho (apart from the free korean appetizers that come with each round of drinks) are the LIVE TENTACLES on the menu. I guess you can order live octupus tentacles are stilll MOVING on the plate. I read about it here and am trying to convince Benjamin to order them. It's a pretty long post so I'd just skim to the bottom where he finally gets around to describing his live tentacle experience. And I definitely recommend watching the video that goes with the review as well! Ewwww.....

Monday, July 23, 2007

Weekend Recap

Harry Potter of course!

I honestly can't remember what I did Friday. I know I went to work, and I know I came back, but I can't recall at all what I did Friday evening. Probably because I was so anxious for Saturday. Oh, it's coming back now. Max made a lovely herb chicken with a mushroom cream sauce, and we just hung out and watched tv and went to bed early and I dreamt about HP all night.

Saturday - brutal. Woke up at 7 a.m., like a little kid on Christmas morning. The UPS guy didn't deliver the book until 2 p.m. so I spent the whole day waiting in pain. I tried to distract myself by watching tv, but found myself screaming into my couch pillow and rocking back and forth during the commerical breaks. I completely bit down my fingernails - a habit I thought I outgrew in high school. Now I have unattractive stubby little fingers. I was literally in physical pain - like that feeling you get when you are so fucking anxious...or like when you have heartburn. When the UPS guy finally came I was so excited I ran and threw open the door (much to Max's chagrin as he was sitting only in his boxers - he didn't even have the chance to hide in the bathroom) and screamed "IT'S HERE!! IT'S HERE!! IT'S HEEEEEEEEEEEERRRREEEE!!!!" at the top of my lungs. Proceeded on a marathon reading session and devoured the book in one sitting. I actually developed a bit of a back ache from not moving for hours at a time. Once I was done, I started re-reading it immediately. I only stopped to walk Pig, to pee and to eat. Even when I ate, I pre-cut all my food so I could just shovel it my mouth while reading.

I won't be discussing the book here but I will say I LOVED it. There. That's all I'll say. LOVED IT.

Finally decided Sunday afternoon that it was time to return to normalcy. Showered, changed, and Max and I went out to dinner. We wanted to go to Old Spaghetti Factory but when we got there we discovered it'd been closed. Sad. In our early dating years, Max and I went there quite often. Mostly b/c I loved the kitschy decor and the prices - where else can you get a plate of pasta, salad, bread, ice tea, and spumoni ice cream for less than $8 while sitting inside a bus inside a restaurant? We went instead to Pomodoro, a small Italian restaurant next to a Target. The food was quite good actually. No bus though. Afterwards, we picked up some camping equipment at Target. We got a 2-3 person tent (perfect for me, Max and Pig) and a sleeping bag all for $40. Another good deal! I couldn't find the pet lantern but I did pick up some glowsticks. Figured I'd attach one to Pig and the rest might come in handy some other way.

So. Hmm. Life feels a bit strange post HP. Will have to find something new to obsess about!

Friday, July 20, 2007

I Can't Stand It

I really can't. Book 7 is almost here!!! I can't concentrate on anything. Benjamin and Rebecca are getting theirs tonight at midnight. I have to suffer and wait until UPS delivers it on Saturday. Argh.

Met up with Rebecca last night at a fun wine bar called Bottleneck. I don't know much about wine, but it was a cool place and rather crowded for a Thursday night. We opted to share a bottle and skipped out on the cheese and various tapas you could order to go with your wine. Our first bottle was a bit funky - I guess the cork had gone bad. We didn't know for sure if it was bad wine, or that we just didn't know what good wine is supposed to taste like but when we asked the waiter to check it out he said it was definitely bad. So he opened another bottle for us. Now we know what wine smells like when it's gone bad! Very musty and mildewy- like an old basement.

As a result of not exercising and eating a McDonald's vanilla ice cream cone every day for the past two weeks, I've completely outgrown my jeans. None of them fit me anymore! The other day I was so uncomfortable that I took my jeans off in the car before I started to drive home. Contemplated driving in only my underwear but I just knew in my heart that if I did, it'd be ONE TIME I'd get pulled over and have to step out of the car or something. Or I'd get in a car crash and get rushed in to the hospital with no pants on. To make things worse I was wearing a pair of novelty underwear my mom bought me and my sister. (definitely time to do laundry!) It consists of a drawing of a pig face in the front, and a drawing of a pig butt in the back, complete with an extra piece of fabric attached as a tail. Just imagine if for some reason I had to get out of the car!! Luckily, I had a pair of sweat pants in the gym bag from god only knows how long ago, so I slipped into those instead.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Glow-in-the-dark Pig

Am thinking I definitely need to get this for Pig:

Now you can see your pet wherever they go! Special lantern shaped pet tag lights up with every movement.
Motion activated using super-bright red LEDs. Emits 3 flashes and stays on.
Water resistant - Goes anywhere your pet does!
Write your pet's name and owner's phone number should your pet wander away.
Uses one replaceable CR2032 battery with 20 hours continuous run time.

So Close!

Have to be so vigilant now - poor Rebecca's already gotten accidentally spoiled - apparently some bastard posted who dies in the last book and the page numbers the deaths occur under the "comments" part of a youtube clip. So, have to stay off the internets until after I read the book.

I found someone's Wellsfargo ATM/debit card this morning on my way to work. I had stopped for coffee, and decided to get some cash from the atm machine next to the Coffeebean. The card was still in the machine. One "Jesse Glick" - cardholder since 1999. He's damn lucky I was the one who found it. Rather than withdrawing his money and going on a shopping spree (wheeeee!) I just called Wellsfargo and they cancelled the card immediately and instructed me to destroy it. It's the second or third time I've found someone's ATM card left in the machine. I think that happens a lot. I always call the bank when I find one. I can only hope someone would do the same for me. Same thing goes for lost dogs. Over the years, I've spotted many a runaway dog. Luckily they've all had tags so I usually just escort them back home or call their owners.

Been listening a lot to This American Life. It's awesome. I've been downloading the free podcasts. Highly recommend it to anyone who has a long commute to work. I can't believe how long it took for me to discover this show, which has existed for years on NPR.

Anyway, blah blah blah. Back to work.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Harry Potter spoilers are all over the place! What is wrong with these party-poopers???!! I'm all about theories and guessing but I HATE spoilers! Have to be super careful while surfing the internet for the next few days.

In the meantime, to take my mind off my HP obsession, I've been focusing on our upcoming camping trip. Called the park today - unfortunately all their pontoon boats are broken and unavailable for rental. That sucks - I loved hanging out on Max's pontoon boat in Grayling. They do have 14 ft fishing boats and paddle boats available on a first come first serve basis. Not sure if anyone will be interested in those however.

As for the pet rules, Pig is allowed on the boats, but not allowed in the water. "No body contact with water." Shouldn't be a problem since she hates getting wet! She's perfect for camping! She'll have to be on leash the whole time, even on our campsite, which is fine, since I was planning that anyway. I read a good tip about attaching a glowstick to a dog while camping so you can see where she/he is at all times in the night. Think I'll do that. I also checked with the park ranger about rattlesnakes, particularly in regards to dog safety (who cares about the humans, right?). She said that they shouldn't be problem on the campsites, but they do come out in the early morning and early evening on the hiking trails and that I should keep my dog close by. Guess I'll be skipping that activity! My biggest concern is heatstroke, for Pig of course. It's supposed to get pretty hot - almost 100, and that worries me a bit. I hope as long as she stays under the shade and hydrated she'll be okay. I'm thinking about picking up a couple portable fans and mini-mister things to keep her cool. I figure she should be fine - other people bring the dogs camping all the time in the summer. Worst case, I'll stick her in the car with the a/c on until dark!

Oh and I hate Michael Vick. I hope he ends up in prison.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harry Potter Countdown

Argh. It's killing me. Days are passing by so slowly. Weekdays at least. Weekends are of course a different story.

Had a craving for Indian food last night so Max and I decided to try India Sweets & Spices. We've heard a lot about this place from our friends. It's actually a grocery store with a small counter full of homemade inexpensive Indian food. Max was kind enough to go get it and bring it back for dinner. I had reminded him of the items I normally like - tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala, chicken vindaloo, saag paneer, aloo gobi - but it turns out none of those were listed there. I guess they don't really have a menu - just a counter top of food with names but no descriptions. I got a hilarious call from Max on his way back where he explained he had no idea what he ordered, and that he just pointed to a bunch of different dishes and said "Give me 12 ounces of THAT." Well - he did very well! The food was great - really flavorful. We still have no idea what we ate - definitely something with cauliflower and mushrooms in one, and something with homemade cheese but that's about all we could figure out. I'm not even sure we ate anything with meat - I think we got all vegetarian items. Excellent tho.

Anyway, after dinner Max had to go help our friend Tony for about an hour to do a pick-up shot for a music video he is shooting, so I plopped down in front of the tv and watched my usual Monday line-up of Hell's Kitchen and Big Love. Anyone else following those shows?

Oh and Lisa sent pics from her bday party! Thanks Lisa - especially for the photoshopping!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Weekend Recap

Cannot believe how quickly this weekend passed by.

Friday night we went to see the new Harry Potter movie at an IMAX theater. It was so AWESOME. I strongly recommend everyone to go see it in IMAX - the 20 minutes of 3D are spectacular. And the sound is soo much better than at regular theaters. I don't know if it was just a problem with Graumann's, but when I saw it on Weds night there were a few lines I couldn't understand. I figured it was due to the British accents, but I could hear them fine on Friday night - so probably the sound at an IMAX theater is just a lot better. Anyway, definitely go see it!!

The only bad thing that happened was I got pink eye! Or some sort of eye infection, presumably from the 3D glasses they passed out at the IMAX theater. I highly doubt they wash them between screenings. I did in fact try to clean my pair a bit with my shirt before I put them on - Josh says that had to be my downfall. He figures in my attempt to clean them I got pink eye germs all over my fingers and then probably touched my eye. I hate to admit it, but it does sound reasonable.

So due to the goopy itchy pink eye, I spent all of Saturday just sitting on the couch rereading a HP book again. Couldn't very well leave the apartment with my hideous eye and glasses. Max went out and bought me some eye drops that helped a lot, so by the evening, I was able to wear my contacts again. I really really hate wearing glasses! Anyway we had a big Sat night. First stop was at Lisa's birthday party at Q's. I watched Lisa do 2 Irish car bombs and 4 shots in about 25 minutes. Good lord, I was willing to be money that she'd be puking before midnight! Our next stop was at Edendale Grill for Kate's bday. Had a great time - the place is really nice and has a outdoor patio area so we just hung around and chatted with friends.

Sunday morning, we went to check out a dim sum restaurant in Alhambra. It's called Triumphal Palace - I liked it. The restaurant has a much nicer decor than most, and the food was pretty good. Only draw back was the price (a bit more expensive than most places) and the menu selection was on the small side. But I'm glad we went to try it out.

Got back home, napped and read on the couch. Before I knew it, it was dinner time. Max made up some really nice seafood kabobs and grilled veggie skewers. Yum. And that was that - the weekend, gone by in a flash!

Now I'm just counting down the days until Sat when the last HP book comes out!!!! Argh - CANNOT WAIT!!

Also, have decided to take Pig camping. A bunch of us are going camping next weekend for one night. I've been debating whether or not to take her - I'm terrified that she'll chase a squirrel and get lost, or eat poisoned berries, or worst of all - get eaten by a bear - but I've read up on some dog camping tips and I think it'll be fine. I'm just going to make sure she gets tied to a tree or, at the very least, me. I think she'll really love it! And on a practical note, I won't have to deal with finding a sitter. Also she is an excellent rodent detector so I won't have to worry about any nasty furry things crawling into the tent!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Potter...AGAIN!!!

Saw Order of the Phoenix at Graumann's on Weds night. It was pretty good. Frankly I'm always a little disappointed when I see the movies - what I really want is a movie that films every single scene in the book. In terms of adapting the book, I thought Goblet was better, but this is still pretty good. Solid movie. Will be seeing it again tonight at an IMAX theater - the last 20 mins are in 3D. Awesome. Love 3D movies.

Max talks in his sleep. Usually I can't understand him but the other night I actually heard what he said, which was hysterical. He said, "I've done this so many times I could do it my sleep." Haha. Ironic.

Put on a new shirt this morning. Forgot that there's a little zipper on the side. Got stuck in it in the most uncomfortable way - arms in the air, shirt around shoulders but could not pull it down or up. Ran to Max to get him to help (was really really stuck and could feel the threads beginning to tear). His response? Grabbed his cell phone and chased after me taking pics of me in my embarassing predicament. Nice guy, that Max.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Order of the Phoenix is Here!!

Argh. Cannot concentrate at all. Going to see the new Harry Potter movie tonight!!! My mind is like that HP counter to the right of this post - it's going crazy!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


2nd day of getting up and going to the gym at 6:30 a.m. Even Pig was like "What?? What is your problem?? Do you know how early it is??" This is how I interpreted the five minute GROANING MOANING WHIMPERING tirade she gave. I was pretty proud I made it to the gym even without Max going along with me. I guess he hardly slept last night and opted to sleep in instead. He had pulled a back muscle or something so he was tossing and turning all night long. He tried sleeping upright in a chair for a while, then on a couch, and then back in bed. I was COMPLETELY oblivious to all this. I actually had a great night of sleep. Not as great as that night I dreamt I met Prince after a concert and we totally hit it off and made plans to go camping (seriously awesome dream) or that night that I went on a date with Hugh Laurie who I kept calling Professor House (I think it was b/c he looks a bit like a professor I had in college - a very HOT professor who I totally had a crush on), but it was still an excellent night of sleep. Don't remember what I dreamt about but I slept really soundly and woke up all refreshed. Amazing. Exercising IS really good for you.

Went to Mishima's for dinner last night. I love that place - great udon noodles and really inexpensive bento boxes. Also, it's really close to where we live. Afterwards, we went to Trader Joe's to stock up on some healthy groceries. Not sure exactly what flax seeds are but we now have a pantry full of them. Oatmeal with Flax seeds, Cereal with Flax seeds, tortilla chips with flax seeds, etc. Sure hope that stuff really is good for you and we don't discover later that what it really does is make women grow hair all over chins and make men grow extra nipples or something.

As I was driving home from work last night with Pig, I saw the driver ahead of me turn back and look at me quizzically through his window. He looked a lot like my friend Tony - and turns out, he was! I pulled up next to him and rolled down the window to chat. He said he recognized Pig first, which is really funny because that's the second time someone has spotted me because they recognized my dog first. It is also the fourth or fifth time that I've actually spotted a friend while driving. LA is a small town after all.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Since June 26th...

Argh. Have been so busy and conversely so lazy that have not had time or energy to blog. Got back from Michigan last week. Had a spectacular time. We left on Tuesday the 26th on a red eye flight out of LA and got back at around midnight on July 4th. I ate, shopped, ate, went to a beautiful wedding, drank, fished, ate, pontoon boated, drank, bonfired, ate, and even snuck in some time to nap in front of the telly. As a result of all this activity, or rather, inactivity, i have put on about five pounds. Yikes. In the last two weeks I've had TWO people think that I'm PREGNANT. One, a stupid fucking waitress at a Japanese restaurant and two - my grandmother. Yep, the Chinese Costanzas, my aunts and my cousin Anders were in town over the weekend. My grandma took one look at me and said two words in Chinese that simply meant "BIGGER." Was a bit confused initially - what part of me did she mean? Boobs? That would be good. Muffin top? Bad. Ass? Good, actually - could use some junk in the trunk. Face? Bad. Also those two words could in theory mean "OLDER" - also bad. But apparently, as she clarified later, she just meant I looked bigger all over and thought I was pregnant. Was disappointed to learn I was not, and then she and my grandpa launched into a whole speech about how I really should have a baby - no need to get married - just have a baby. I thought that was really funny. M conservative old Chinese grandparents are so desperate for great-grandkids they want me to pop one out - married or not. Haha.

Anyway, hung out with the fam a bit over the weekend. I continued to eat and shop with them so am now approaching dire times. Have about ten weeks until we go to Hawaii. Aunt Marilyn and I have been discussing the possibility of training for a mini-triathlon. It's much less strenous than a full length triathlon, but you still have to run, bike and swim. At first I was pretty gung ho about it and even found a reasonable 8 week program that I cut out of my Fitness magazine. But then I thought about how I hate biking outdoors (fear of falling and moving at fast speeds), and how I hate swimming outdoors (fear of bugs, water pollution, and swimmer's itch - yuck) and how I generally dislike tanning (makes you age age AGE), so I don't think it'd work. I then considered having my own minitriathlon indoors - entirely in the gym! That would work. I'd run on the treadmill, bike on a stationary bike, and then swim in the pool. But this morning, I got on the bike and within minutes I was wondering why they don't provide padding for those damn bike seats! Argh! So uncomfortable! So, have to come up with some other kind of training program.

I am pretty proud tho that Max and I got up at 6:30 in the morning to go the gym.
Am now entirely exhausted and ready for a nap.