Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all enjoyed a lovely day where you gorged on food, gave thanks to the day baby Jesus was born, relaxed to the max and spent an insufferable amount of time with the loved ones. That's how my Christmas went, anyway. I guess my family didn't get my bulletin announcement of how I didn't want anything for Christmas. They went and bought me some lovely knicknacks and pattywacks, for which I'm really appreciative of, thanks! Nevertheless, my favorite Christmas gift would have to be this:

When I first saw it in its comatose state of propped to one side and lying in the storage room, I thought it was either a big screen TV or a robot. But as you can obviously see, this is a mahjong table. A top of the line mahjong table that shuffles and sorts the cards by itself. All you have to do is press a button. Excessive? Not for our family.

Our family love ourselves a little gambling. They can spend all week on the casino floor of Vegas (and have). My young sister has an annual pass to Morongo. And our favorite way to spend away a rainy afternoon would have to be playing mahjong. And because we have a large family with many members itching to get in on the game, we're not content with just one table. We play with two.

Even though I'm not the biggest gambler in my family, I love playing mahjong because it is the one event (other than eating) in which our entire family can interact and hang out together. Our entire family - the grandpas and grandmas, nieces and cousins. Around the mahjong table is where we can spend some quality time laughing and playing, sharing stories and trying to gyp each other off (in a fun, family-friendly way, of course). And the money? It makes no difference who wins or loses. Okay, so yea, my cousin, Irene wins far too much, she has to have cheated, but whatever. No biggie. I'm no sore loser. So she took 5 HK dollars from me the other day. Whatever. Jk. Irene wins fair and square and I just have to suck it up.

The other big thing our family does together is eat. Post to come shortly. Enjoy the holidays, y'all! I'll be spending the New Year in BEIJING! 好 好 玩!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Yea, We Hit That

That being the LA County Fair.
Thanks to KKuo's keen fiscal ways, we were able to score ourselves a night out on the town courtesy of some super-saving tickets purchased with a coupon from Von's.

We got our game on trying to toss a ring around the duckies. FAIL.
We devoured a juxtaposical frozen deep-fried banana. WIN.
We posed for silly pictures (KKuo wasn't really posing)

Highlight of the evening would definitely have to be riding Speed, the scariest roller coaster I have ever been on! And as a roller coaster connoisseur, I've gone through my share of loops and drops. We didn't get a picture on the ride since, well, the camera probably would have whipped off my face, smashed on the ground and broken into a million pieces but this shot of us in front of the ride will have to suffice.
Fairs are fun in all their hokey animal petting, fried-food eating, shaky ride riding ways. But they're definitely a semblance of summer and now that winter time has come, I'm ready to embrace all that the cold weather (which I looove) has to offer! Bring it!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Love/Hate LA

After a fantastic evening with Bon-Bon and the Winner, watching one of the silliest, perverse, random, British and uproariously hilarious Tony Award-winning musicals ever, Monty Python's Spamalot, I was walking out of the Ahmanson Theatre to my car, still humming the tunes to "Find Your Grail," when I stopped dead in my tracks to find an absolutely beautiful view of LA's finest nightline. I immediately took out my camera and snapped the shot above.

As much as I know my heart belongs in another location, another city, as much as I wish to be anywhere but here right now, I also know that God has placed me around southern California for a reason. I'm just a little anxious to find out what that reason is. Just a little.

Just something to make taking ballroom dancing classes, driving a minimum of an hour whenever I want to go anywhere worthwhile, overhearing pampered twenty-somethings complain that the apartment their parents bought for them at the luxurious Villas near the Miracle Mile is too small, and being the only person to long for an umbrella when the sun is beaming worthwhile.

That gorgeous view of Downtown LA helps.

Ephesians 5:15 - 17
"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Flying Fish!

After puttering around Portland, we took a lovely train ride to Seattle, home of the first Starbucks, Nirvana and Grey's Anatomy.
Our abode, the conveniently-located Green Tortoise Hostel, provided us plenty of local sights and sounds to meander around.
We first dined at the Three Girls Bakery, a quaint diner where I had the best.meatloaf.sandwich.ever! For some reason, I am a very big fan of meatloaf. It gave me comfort in a time where I had some serious orthodontic discomfort (namely, adult braces).
The space needle!
Apple dumplings! Okay, so Seattle isn't famous for apple dumplings or anything but us being country bumpkins thought they were so we purchased it to taste. It was aitte.
The gorgeous Purple wine bar.

A lovely time had with lovely friends. :) Highly recommended to check out when in the city.
Of course, Pike Place Market: home of the flying fishes. When you order a fish, these burly fishing men would toss the fishes around to each other. Each person one tosses it to would perform a step in cutting, cleaning and wrapping it up until it is all ready for you to take home and devour.

Pretty. :) I like pretty things.
'Twas a lovely vacation and the last one I'll probably have for awhile. (I'm a working girl now.) While I'm on hiatus, why don't you check out my talented photojournalist bud's beautiful, The World Less Traveled blog. He should be an okay replacement for me for now, I guess (keke).

*Once again, the breathtaking pictures are courtesy of Helen Wong.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Love Art

cheap beer
amazing Californian weather
eye candy galore.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pretty Portland

Portland may not be the number one spot for a vacation but it was the perfect place for a weekend getaway for four overworked, over-schooled young ladies. The scenic routes, the fresh air, the abundant bicycles, ahhhhh...

We frequented many a shops but my favorite was poking through the ones of the antique variety. My family doesn't really like old things so I hardly ever get to play with 1950's cameras or don 1930's hats in their presence. Luckily, my kindred spirit doth favor the aged goods so we made many a trips to antique shops.

Favorite spot: The infamous Powell's Books. Picture this:
A gigantic treasure trove filled with books of all ages, sizes and races. Some at discounted prices, some just off the presses, new, old, fancy, simple, I WAS IN HEAVEN!


Portland: definitely good for one or two days. Any more just may want to fall asleep in the grass with a book.

*the gorgeous snapshots are courtesy of the one and only Helen!

Dear Helen

Helen and I were meant to be friends. Everyone who knows the two of us knows and says so. From our outlandish laughs to our love of all things colorful, musical and quaint, our two quirky souls were meant to align.

She's also a passionate traveler, so it was inevitable that we would embark on a journey together.
Before we traveled, Helen did the MOST AMAZING thing. She itinerar-ized our entire trip and made us handy dandy schedules containing all the useful information that one might need while traveling. I still have that guide and friends are still calling me asking to borrow it to use as a model for when they're planning their trips.

Oh and what a journey we had! Read on for deets (and pretty pictures!)

Meant to Be

"Janice, I'm Annie and I'm here to take you to the airport."

I blearily peek out under fatigue soaked lashes and stare up to see this blurred figure of a girl sitting at the end of my bed, staring down at me. Beside her is a young chap, worriedly pacing my tiny bedroom. I have no idea who both these people are.

"That's my boyfriend, James." Annie gestures at the boy.

"James?" I grumble, "but isn't your boyfriend's name Jerry?"

"What? No!" Annie exclaims. She then pulls out her phone and whispers, "Helen, I think she's...drunk!"

Helen, over the phone, adamantly states, "What? Just get her out of there. We have a plane to catch!"

I suppose I should back up and explain what happened. Run through the events that occurred hours before this bizarre exchange took place.

I am, by no means, an easy person to travel with.
You remember those terrible times in Thailand...or how about my little mishap in France...

But this time, I should be punished for my actions. I should be hit. I should be knocked out.

Oh wait. I was.

Knocked out, that is.

On Thursday, May 21, the night before I had to board a plane at 7:40 in the morning to fly to Portland for a fun rendezvous weekend with the girlfriends, I accidently celebrated my last LCC cast party a little too hard. I ended up back at my apartment at 5 in the morning and listened to some ill-advice about taking a one hour nap. I never woke up.

Well, I eventually did, to Annie's poking and shaking.

Annie and I have never met. We were going on this trip together through our mutual friend Helen. Because Helen doesn't live around LA, Annie and I decided to carpool to the airport together. She and her boyfriend (tried to) pick me up around 6 that morning but because I was KO'd, they ran through flames and knocked down walls to get to my bedroom and tried to forcibly, in person, get me into their car.

I did eventually hop in to the car but only after two annoying times of, "wait, I think I forgot my contact lenses."

We ran into the airport but that morning, fate just did not want us to get on the plane. Through various technicalities, we ended up at our terminal four minutes late. But those four minutes were enough to cause us to miss our flight.

Saddened by her unfortunate luck to be stuck with me, Annie broke down in tears. I felt so bad. I started working to find a solution to our problem and was soon informed of two options. 1) We could buy tickets from another airline for about $500 for the both of us. 2) Be on standby for the next flight.

I calmly approached this poor girl that I had unsettled so seriously and explained to her our choices. I told her I was willing to front the tickets for the other airline. It is a lot of money but I felt so bad for my drunken behavior to cause us to miss the flight that I was willing to pay for both our tickets.

Annie (KINDLY) said that she was willing to be on standby for the next flight. She knew $500 was a lot of money as well and didn't want to see me have to pay for that.

So we had a couple of hours to kill, which we efficiently did, telling each other all about our lives.

To our good fortune, we clicked! She overlooked my faulty ways and the beginning of a beautiful friendship stemmed.
I truly believe everything happens for a reason and this story is proof. So I missed a couple hours of Portland. Big deal, getting to know Annie on a one-on-one basis was a lot more worth it.