Monthly Archive for November, 2007

Travel Tips from Joz

-Make your plans in advance. If your plans involve your friend offering to fly you up in his private plane to where you need to be, make back up plans.

-Make sure your friend who is supposed to fly you actually puts your trip into the calendar in the right week.

-Be grateful that you did listen to your own advice and booked that backup Southwest flight.

-Don’t forget to do your laundry before you need to travel, especially if you have run out of weather appropriate clothes to wear in SF. If you did not do you laundry in advance, stay up until 3am the night before you’re supposed to leave and do a load.

-Figure out how you’re going to get yourself to the airport since driving yourself to your pilot friend’s home is no longer an option. Sometimes a cab or shuttle will do. If you’re Joz, beg and plead with Yoshi to be chauffeur. Be grateful that Yoshi rules!

-Once you get to the airport, get your ID and your pre-printed boarding pass out. Go through the security line and get stopped because your driver’s license is EXPIRED since your birthday was on Sunday.

-Now that you have been flagged by the TSA for attempting to get on a plane with an expired ID, have all your stuff searched through and swabbed. Also, be prepared to be hand-searched. Fun times!

-Make sure to have all your liquid/gel things in the ziploc bag. Don’t scatter them throughout your luggage and create more red flags as you are already being searched because of your expired ID.

-Once you get through security, check the signs for your flight and proper gate.

-Discover your flight has been canceled and realize you can either catch a flight that is an hour later than your original flight or one that is leaving in 15 minutes.

-Get yourself on the earlier flight and then call your ride (thanks, Akrypti!) to let them know that you’re arriving sooner. Tell your ride that she really doesn’t need to come earlier, but be grateful that she is super duper and is not going to make you wait after getting off the plane.

-Call Yoshi and to say thank you for the ride to the airport and for getting you there early so you could catch the earlier flight. Also mention having an expired DL and get called a dork for not putting your new license in your wallet.

-Sit and blog for a bit and hope that the flight ahead is not going to be as exciting as the trip so far.

-Heading up tonight for the 8Asians hapihour. Looking forward to meeting all everyone!

Thank you friends and loved ones profusely for overlooking your travel planning ineptitude. Especially be grateful to akrypti for picking me up at the airport and for Ernie for providing me a couch.

It’s my 27th birthday! (Again!)

I’m going to maintain the age of 27 so long as people keep believing it.

Mind over matter, right???

Brush fire in Malibu, Corral Canyon

I was awakened at 6:00am when my cell phone rang.

It was the Pepperdine Emergency Notification system with a message from 5:41am (dude, why does it take 20 minutes for me to get my notification!??!!?) saying that on-campus residents of Pepperdine’s Drescher and Malibu campuses were being asked to evacuate to the Tyler Campus Center due to a brush fire in the Corral Canyon.

The website is not updated yet, but emergency information is available at http://emergency.pepperdine.edu/

UPDATE @ 9:00AM: Pepperdine Responds to Corral Canyon Fire

After a period of being sheltered-in-place at the Tyler Campus Center (TCC), Malibu and Drescher campus residents and students were allowed to return to their on-campus homes.

All Malibu campus events scheduled for today, Saturday, November 24, 2007 have been cancelled.

For the most updated information on road closures, please call 310.506.7623.

Emergency Operations Committee remains in close contact with Los Angeles County fire officials and will continue to monitor the situation.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m so grateful that my Mom is here so we can spend Thanksgiving together.

My Aunt & Uncle host Thanksgiving at their home every year and every year we stuff ourselves silly with food and enjoy the company of family and loved ones.

I am so grateful that we could all be together for Thanksgiving.

We had some excitement at this year’s Thanksgiving. I guess you could say some sparks were flying… literally.

After we were through with dinner (or round 1 of dinner, as the case may be), most of us were gathered in the kitchen. Some of us were cleaning up after dinner; my cousin J and I were messing around with a batch of cookies in the oven (we JUST found out she might have a bun in the oven herself!!!) when the power went off in the kitchen. I guess the power was out in the rest of the house, too… save for the dining room in the middle of the house.

Then one of my other cousins said he saw something sparking in the wires in the backyard and then the next thing we heard was that the tree was on fire in the backyard!

“Call 911!” I heard my Aunt say.

My cousin J picked up the phone and said, “it doesn’t work.” (No power.)

My cell phone was in my pocket and I dialed 911, hoping it would route to the right place. I’ve got to give props to 911; after getting transferred to the right place, the police responded right away and then a fire truck right after that.

By that time, my Uncle had already put out the fire using the garden hose (dangerous, but necessary… the fire had spread quickly.)

The policeman and the fire fighters took a look around and determined that the fire was caused by some electrical problem outside in the backyard and called the electric company to come fix it.

For a couple hours, we sat (mostly) in the dark with each other, all in the vicinity of the one room with lights. I got to play with an iPhone for the first time (thanks, S!) and within a few hours the electric company had come out to diagnose the problem and call in the manpower necessary to fix the electrical line going to the house. They said that it could have either been the tree or an animal, so there might be a BBQ’d squirrel/possum/raccoon out there. Anyway, we were all good and we even got a few silly pictures in front of the firetruck, too.

Props to the hardworking men & women in public service who work everyday to keep us safe. Thanks.

Now that we’ve got power back, we have been playing videogames and now I’m stealing a moment to blog. Of course, my Mom keeps harassing me to make plans for my birthday this weekend, but I haven’t been wanting to deal with it. Oh well, I will make my birthday plans tomorrow.

PS – My cousin Andrew requests that I mention him in my blog post. He also wants me to mention his speech at the dinner table, but I think those of us who were there would rather forget what he said. :P

Well, *I* laughed at it…

One of the guys in my IS was doing a presentation & demonstration last Monday night (11/12/07) about Bit Torrent technology and asked the class if there was any content we wanted him to try to find.

One of the girls blurted out, “How about some Andrea Bocelli?”

In response, the presenter said, “Oh, ok. Let’s try to find a new Heroes episode.”

The rest of class started giggling, figuring that he didn’t know who Andrea Bocelli was and just decided to select Heroes as the subject at random.

But I started laughing. And I was the only person laughing.

Finally someone in the class said to the presenter, “She asked for Andrea Bocelli, not Heroes.”

And the presenter said, “Andrea Bocelli? I thought she said Angela Petrelli…”

I was still laughing, but sadly this bit of hilarity went over the heads over most of my classmates. Since we’re in class on Monday nights, it doesn’t surprise me that most of the class doesn’t watch the show, but I was the only nerd who was laughing at the accidental Heroes joke. Oh well. It was still funny to me.

The $20 Project: Spending it all in one place… the Kang Kang Food Court

For blogging.la, I participated in The $20 Project where bloggers went out and blogged about how they spent $20. The concept is that we all spend money, let’s see what people are buying with their $20. (Yes, we used our own money.)

I started out my $20 Project journey last Friday by first finding a nice, crisp $20 bill and entering it on Where’s George.

There are a ton of great places to eat in the San Gabriel Valley, but one of my favorites is a “fast food joint” called Kang Kang Food Court. It’s also known as Shiau Mei (for its name in Mandarin and also what the restaurant used be called when the Garfield Theatre was next door and before it was expanded and renovated).

They have a big ol’ drink/boba/tea/juice/shaved ice bar here, but I never have that when I come here. I come here for the giant menu (over 150 items) of Taiwanese and Chinese foods, in addition to the cafeteria-style offerings that are fresh, yummy, and piping hot.

And so last Friday, I spent my $20 here with the following:
(Apologies for the crappy photos. I decided to take my food to go and so the food got jostled in the car for the 40 minute trip home before I could open up the boxes and take pictures. You can see the pictures at the entry at blogging.la)

A three-item combo for $3.70, selected from the food line. Since I got there at the end of breakfast and before their lunch rush, there wasn’t a lot to choose from when I arrived. (I should have waited because by the time I got the rest of my order, there were many, many things to choose from.) I ended up choosing the Taiwan-style chicken, fish filet and vegetables in black bean sauce, and soft tofu. Like I said, not a lot to choose from at the time, otherwise I’d have ordered something with more veggies. The items from the food line do vary and so you have a huge selection to choose from. In addition to the 3 items, you also get a heaping bowl of rice and a bowl or hot soup (mine was soy sprout soup). This is usually enough to be two meals for me, but since it’s ready right away, I usually get a combo to go no matter what. That way I can sit and eat or take what I can’t finish home.

Aside from the combos, there are over 150 items you can order off the menu. The styles of food range from Taiwanese, to various regional Chinese foods (Eastern, Northern, Southern/Hong Kong). If I have time to order off the menu, I have to order a bit of Taiwanese comfort food, a Taiwanese “oyster pancake/omelet” (#21: Pan fried oyster cake with egg) which is my favorite food to have when I visit different night markets in Taiwan. This food always makes me think of my summers in Taiwan with my parents, and trolling the different oyster pancake vendors to taste the different variations that each vendor had. This made-to-order dish took a $4.39 chunk out of my $20.

Another thing I ordered off the menu is #79: Shanghai Pan Fried Small Bao (prounounced Shanghai ShengJianBao/上海生煎包). (A “bao” (short for baozi) is usually a steamed bun or dumpling with some sort of filling wrapped inside.) Although they are known as Shengjian Mantou in Shanghai, and the (Cantonese) Shengjian Bao is actually a different dim sum dish, when you are here, Shiau Mei is known for these pan-fried, pork-filled treats. Served with a vinegar dipping sauce, they are best when freshly pan-fried and still hot. The way you eat them is that you take a little bite off the top to open or make a hole in the bao. Then you carefully suck out the meat juices (soup) from the inside. If you’re a chicken like I am (and scared to be scalded by boiling hot meat soup), I just turn the soup onto a spoon and savor it when it’s less dangerous. If you’ve never been here, I’d say this is a dish that you should definitely try and at $5.31 for eight, it is great to share with friends.

The last thing I ordered was another Shanghai “bao” treat: the well-known #80 Shanghai Steamed Bao (XiaoLongBao/小籠包). Now Shiau Mei is not the only place that makes these, in fact, there are other places that are more famous for doing these exclusively (see Din Tai Fung Dumpling House in Arcadia) but since I was already ordering two things to order, I figured I’d order another one to round out my order. At $5.08 for ten, one of these costs a little over 50 cents.

Even though each of these dishes are best when fresh, these four dishes fed two of us well through most of a weekend. And here was the total:

$3.70 3 item combo
$4.39 Taiwanese oyster omelet
$5.31 Pan fried Shengjian bao
$5.08 XiaoLongBao (steamed bao)
$18.48 Subtotal
$1.52 Tax
$20.00 TOTAL

And for exactly $20, it was like a mini-trip to Taiwan and Shanghai via my taste buds.

More on the $20 Project

Asian Candy for the Eye (ACE): Chinese Lingerie Competition

From Mainichi Daily News:

Models in skimpy lingerie hit the runway during the “Ordifen Cup 2007 Lingerie Innovative Design Contest” held as part of China Fashion Week in Beijing, Nov. 6.

Click on the image for more.

‘Nuf said.

Photo source: Mainichi Daily News

Crazy weekend

It’s been a crazy weekend. I definitely did not have any time to rest up as I needed, but I knew that going in…

On Friday afternoon, I had to be on the Westside to begin a 1-1/2 day “simulation weekend” for school. Basically, there were 5 teams of 6 people who were competing in this computerized simulation where each team was managing a corporation that sold a similar product (in our case it was disposable cameras).

When my team was formed a few months ago, I became the CEO of our imaginary company. Before this simulation, our team had to write a 15 page paper outlining the strategy of our company and our plans in running it. We came up with a strategy which we all agreed to stick with, no matter what.

Luckily, my team was filled with amazing people. I ended up having a wonderful time and despite a few bumps and hiccups along the way, we all got along for the most part and weren’t adversarial or argumentative. Evidently, this was unusual as the other teams reported fighting, etc.

Throughout the two days, but especially on Saturday, our team was visited by 5 different professors (who were acting as members of our Board of Directors) who would come in and question what we were doing.

Also, between Friday night and Saturday morning, we were given an assignment to come up with two marketing campaigns in a mini-competition to gain a competitive advantage that would be factored into the game. Therefore, I stayed up for most of the night Friday night (I slept for about two hours) working on a campaign which ended up tying for second place. (Yay! Better than nothing!)

Anyway, by the end of the long day on Saturday, our corporation ended up winning the simulation by a long shot. Out company was in first place by almost every measure. It was a really good feeling to do so well and I have to give credit to my teammates for pulling through in their decisions.

Other than the temporary pride of winning the simulation, we don’t even get graded on the class (it’s pass/no pass), but it was still cool to win.

After getting home on Saturday night, I sat down on the couch and fell asleep (fully clothed and with my contacts in again) and didn’t wake up until 7am when I decided it was too cold to be sleeping on the couch and finally went to bed until 10am.

When I woke up on Sunday, I had a zillion things to do because I had to get my stuff together in order to be out of the house for a couple of days. I recently got my second promotion in 3 months and my new-new boss was coming into Newport Beach from Florida for a week long strategic leadership meeting with my old-new boss (her new boss). My old-new boss said that I should come down and meet my new-new boss for dinner on Sunday and spend the night at the hotel so I could meet with her early in the morning without having to brave traffic. Since tomorrow is a holiday, Yoshi was able to join me and we took a leisurely drive down to OC, stopping briefly at my parents house, and then on down to the hotel.

We had a late lunch at Fashion Island and then we went back up to the room when I was able to take a quick nap before heading down to have a nice dinner with my new-new boss. We ended up having a lovely dinner at Roy’s, a wonderful “Hawaiian Fusion” restaurant. I had the baby wedge salad to start, then the Classic Trio: Hibachi Grilled Salmon (Citrus Ponzu Sauce), Blackened Island Ahi (Spicy Soy Mustard Buttter, Sizzling Soy Vinaigrette), & Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish. As if that wasn’t enough, we shared a warm Macadamia & Almond Caramel Tart Baked in a Shortbread Crust served à la Mode.. Yum-my!

Anyway, after that I had to get a bunch of work done and now that it’s 2am, I’m finally getting a moment to blog about my busy weekend. I knew this was coming, so I am very glad I took Friday morning to visit Grandma in the hospital, especially because it turned out she had moved to a private room to get more care. I guess her condition worsened a bit, so here’s hoping that the weekend has been good to her since I won’t be able to get out there until Tuesday night after class.

I can’t wait for this semester to end (second week of December). For some reason my workload this term has seemed torturous, but with the Simulation weekend over, that’s a big load off my back. The next couple of weeks are going to be tough and I’m hoping I can squeeze in the time to see Grandma despite it all.

Saving the world, one undergarment at a time…

Former 8Asians contributor Min Jung Kim wrote in with this truly innovative idea to save the world, save the whales, and stop global warming in its tracks.

Check out The My Hashi Bra (or The My Chopsticks Bra), which according to pinktentacle, is an attempt by Triumph lingerie company to BOOST AWARENESS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. (Emphasis mine.)

The article says:

It features a pair of cups that resemble bowls of rice and miso soup, and a set of collapsible chopsticks that tuck into either side.

Triumph unveils the My Chopsticks Bra as Japanese consumers are becoming more aware of the negative impact that disposable chopsticks have on the environment. While it is becoming increasingly trendy for people to reduce waste by carrying around their own reusable chopsticks, Japanese consumers still go through an estimated 25 billion pairs (90,000 tons) of disposable chopsticks each year, which amounts to 200 pairs per person.

Funny enough,the lingerie company, Triumph Lingerie Japan, is an offshoot of parent company: Triumph Lingerie, which is based in Germany.


Squidoo reports:

The Japanese branch of Triumph Lingerie is known worldwide for their extreme innovations. Two of their most interesting bras are shown in the photos to the right. First, a bra that converts into a shopping bag! This is no joke, it was intended to bring attention to the huge numbers of plastic shopping bags that are thrown away every year.

So, Triumph created a bra with dual functions.

Second, a bra that has built in heat retention pads that can be warmed in a microwave, it is known as the Warm Biz Bra. It is not known if these are marketing successes, but they certainly do bring Triumph Lingerie a great deal of attention and free press.

Is there any kind of “dual function bra” you’d like to see them come up with???

No fair in the ladies having all the fun. Or as Brian says:

What about something for men? How about some My Chopstick Jockstraps.

More coverage: ITN, Spluch, Gizmodo, Coolest Gadgets, Inventor Spot, Salon

More pictures: Reuters, Iza!

Photo Source: Iza!

I don’t get paid enough for this.

I can’t believe it’s almost midnight and I’m still at the office.

Thank goodness for Yoshi who brought lunch to the office for me; otherwise I would have had nothing but popcorn and soda today.

I didn’t get to visit Grandma tonight because I was trying to get a bunch of stuff done before tomorrow.

Blah.

I’m going to try to visit Grandma in the morning before coming into the office.

But first I’m going to go home and try and get a decent night’s rest… not like last night. I was watching TV last night after getting home from class and must have fallen asleep while watching Nova.

The next thing I knew, it was like 4am and the TV was still on with the Teletubbies running around on the screen. I groggily turned off the TV and went back to sleep.

The next time I was semi-awake was when Yoshi left the house at 6am. Yoshi made some comment about not turning any of the lights off (in the den, in the living room, in the office where I had planned to get a bunch of work done).

When I woke up for real (9am… eek! Gonna be late for work!!!), I realized I was fully dressed and still had my contacts on. Ooops.

Anyway… I’m going to go home and NOT fall asleep on the couch in front of the TV!

Busy busy busy busy busy…

I am so behind in my work, this week is killing me and school is not going to ease up for a while.

Sorry I have no time to blog.

In the meantime, tell me a silly joke?

Rhythms of Life with Vox & the On Ensemble

Vox Femina Los AngelesAs a former staff member of Vox Femina Los Angeles, the premier women’s choral group of our fine city, I regularly attend the concerts by this wonderful group. But I know choral music can be a hard sell, especially in this town of a million things to do.

That said, my guests and I had such a wonderful time at the Vox performance tonight, I wanted to share some of the highlights so that anyone interested might decide to catch the (final) performance on Sunday afternoon. If you like music with a great beat, world music, or taiko (drumming), then you should definitely catch this concert. The women of Vox sounded amazing; their voices blended beautifully; sometimes they were the percussion section.

On EnsembleBut the highlight of the performance was the Los Angeles based On (pronounced Ohn) Ensemble, a troupe of taiko drummers who bring a unique world fusion mix to the tradition of taiko. With musical experience ranging from centuries-old Kabuki music to jazz, rock and electronica, the On Ensemble features taiko drums in conjunction with turntable, western drum kit, bamboo flute, koto (Japanese zither), and Tuvan overtone singing.

That’s right. Turntable. And throat singing. By some really awesome taiko drummers. (Only in/from L.A.!)

I loved this performance not only because each ensemble was excellent in their individual sets, but because they came together at the end as two L.A.-based groups performing as one.

And you can still catch them downtown at Zipper Hall at the Colburn School of Performing Arts.
Continue reading ‘Rhythms of Life with Vox & the On Ensemble’

Rhythms of Life with Vox & the On Ensemble

Vox Femina Los AngelesAs a former staff member of Vox Femina Los Angeles, the premier women’s choral group of our fine city, I regularly attend the concerts by this wonderful group. But I know choral music can be a hard sell, especially in this town of a million things to do.

That said, my guests and I had such a wonderful time at the Vox performance tonight, I wanted to share some of the highlights so that anyone interested might decide to catch the (final) performance on Sunday afternoon. If you like music with a great beat, world music, or taiko (drumming), then you should definitely catch this concert. The women of Vox sounded amazing; their voices blended beautifully; sometimes they were the percussion section.

On EnsembleBut the highlight of the performance was the Los Angeles based On (pronounced Ohn) Ensemble, a troupe of taiko drummers who bring a unique world fusion mix to the tradition of taiko. With musical experience ranging from centuries-old Kabuki music to jazz, rock and electronica, the On Ensemble features taiko drums in conjunction with turntable, western drum kit, bamboo flute, koto (Japanese zither), and Tuvan overtone singing.

That’s right. Turntable. And throat singing. By some really awesome taiko drummers. (Only in/from L.A.!)

I loved this performance not only because each ensemble was excellent in their individual sets, but because they came together at the end as two L.A.-based groups performing as one.

And you can still catch them downtown at Zipper Hall at the Colburn School of Performing Arts.
Continue reading ‘Rhythms of Life with Vox & the On Ensemble’

Grandma update

After work tonight, Yoshi accompanied me to the hospital to visit Grandma. My Mom was waiting at the hospital for us to arrive.

The good news is that Grandma seems to be doing a little better; she had a transfusion earlier in the week and that seemed to improve her condition a bit. She had been moved from the CCU late yesterday.

When I went to see Grandma, she was sleeping. I could feel that her temperature was elevated, but my Mom said that it was actually an improvement from earlier in the day.

Since Grandma was asleep, I didn’t stay long, so the three of us went out to have some dinner together. It was nice to eat together and spend some time together in the middle of the week. We ended up in Rosemead at the Jade BBQ and Seafood Restaurant. Even though they have roast duck there, my brother requested duck from Sam Woo. So after dinner, we made a little detour and picked up some duck for Bro and some char-siu (chashao) pork for Yoshi.

Of course, I got a treat to take home with me, too! My Mom asked her friend make her a bunch of Zongzi (糭子) and even though I was already full from dinner, I almost ate one when I got home.

Anyway, I’ll be visiting Grandma again tomorrow night after work since this weekend is a doozy for me. Yoshi’s parents are coming in from out of town and I have to work on Sunday + have a team meeting for a class.




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