Friday, October 28, 2011


After all that walking and more walking around Vancouver, we needed something to fill our bellies.

Luckily, Vancouver is chalk full of great places to dine at.

Unluckily, my aunt really wanted to cook for her daughter that she hadn't seen in half a year and half our meals were eaten at home.

Luckily, they say that having 5 meals a day is healthier for you (what?).

I didn't know what all the fuss was but there were plenty of these Japadog stands around Dowtown Vancouver.
I think the novelty lies in the Asian-Western fusion as well as the generous dollops of Japanese mayonaise served on top of these babies.

Average dog: $5 each

I freakin' love raw oysters. I could slurp these babies up everyday. I was adamant about trying Vancouver's well-known amazing seafood and oysters were at the top of that list.

So after a full dinner at home, my cousin and I treaded out to try some of Rodney's Oysters. I love the ambiance of the restaurant-- something that looks like a house in the Hampton. (And I know what those look like because I've been watching Revenge obsessively.)

Average oysters: $1.95 a piece.
Average wine: $9 a glass.

Public MarketIf only all supermarkets looked like this one, I would go grocery shopping more often. (Ah..who am I kidding, I still wouldn't.)

But I did enjoy looking at all the fresh produce!

Gahhh... blueberries!

Mini-looking grapes!

This is called "Indian Candy" and it's basically smoked salmon jerky.

Saving the best for last, I finally got to taste the amazingness that is poutine--which is everything I most love rolled into one. A dish of french fries and fresh cheese curds, covered with brown gravy or sauce.

I loved it so much I recorded my first time trying it.

Praise the Lord for giving us the senses to enjoy food and to try different types of food and the joy of eating with good company.


Thursday, October 6, 2011


Who knew that science centers would be such a hotspot travel destination?

It sure seems like it by the way my last few trips had been going. I geeked out with Kel B while visiting San Jose late last year and stopped by another science center on the Vancouver trip.

Lucky for me, both times, I had a blast.

No, like literally, it was a blast of electric current

One of the coolest things we did at the science center (I know what you're thinking, "but EVERYTHING you do at the science center is cool, Janice!) was this machine that lets us see how we may look in 50 years.

I look like an older version of my mom. Hot stuff!

This was my favorite picture from the trip. It would make a lot more sense if you could see what we were "running away" from. It's dinosaurs! And not that teeny weeny bird to the right of the picture.

Talking about science and technology got me thinking about Steve Jobs, a man who's made tremendous advancements in both fields in the mere 56 years he'd been alive.

It's been pretty public that Steve passed away yesterday and his death made many people remember, over their Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and Tumblrs of all the great technology that he's given us that have changed our worlds.

As I sit here typing on my Apple laptop, it's hard for me to dispute that fact that Steve has altered my life. However, I think that even if Apple products weren't around, I would probably still be using a laptop and toting around a cell phone. (In fact, this is only the first iPhone I've owned.)

Rather, the bigger impact that he has had on my life is the Essence of Steve Jobs.

It is the main image, the big idea that Steve Jobs represents.

It's an impersonal word, but I think of it in terms of the Steve Jobs Brand. Not necessarily the Apple Brand but the two go hand in hand together. The Steve Jobs Brand is that of the Innovator. The man who dropped out of college to become a Great Success Story. The man who rocked one hell of a Comeback. The man who cared deeply for Customer Satisfaction. The man who envisioned the sleek, clean, minimalistic, futuristic aesthetics that is Apple. The man who famously makes commencement speeches and gives interviews encouraging others to chase after their dreams, to be less fearful, to be your personal best, to live like you were dying. That's the Steve Jobs I will miss and the Steve Jobs I will remember.

Some amazing quotes from an amazing man:

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” [The Wall Street Journal, May 25, 1993]

“I think it’s brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I’ve ever seen is called television — but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.” [Rolling Stone, Dec. 3, 2003]

We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build. When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.” [Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985]

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. [Wired, February 1996]

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

{Quotes thanks to WSJ}

Ding Ding Ding

The biggest reason I made the trek up North was this girl:

This is my cousin, Ding.

Ding is one solid lady. (I know that's a really weird description of someone but if you knew my family, you'd know that we can be kind of floaty sometimes) She's mellow and chill, like a cool glass of Cabernet Sauvignon (if you think I know my wine, hah! I just wrote down the first one off the top of my head.)

But she can also be the dorkiest, silliest gal to pal around with.
She played hostess with the mostest during my Vancouver vacay. Just wanted to shout out to her for all the awesomeness that she is.

Thanks for housing, feeding, and nourishing me in all the physical, literal, spiritual, and emotional ways!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Walk the Walk

When you live somewhere, it's hard for you to really play tourist in your living locale.

Usually, traveling just entails going from one place to the other-- you're not really stopping to stare at the people, observe the local sights, wander aimlessly from place to place.

Because my aunt and I were in town visiting my cousin, Liz, the three of us took a brisk stroll through the little square footage of ALL OF DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER one day. No big deal. (Tell that to my legs.)
That awesome building behind my cousin and auntie is a LIBRARY. Compare with the lovely library in my hometown:

It was nice to spend the day with my aunt and cousin. Liz even got to explore places she doesn't normally visits.

I learned that when I finally toured LA that us locals can really miss out on some real gems.

Gems like this beautiful Vancouver wall with a giant Heineken ad! Truly a treasure.

We really liked that wall. :) It made for great picture-taking.

After miles and miles of walking through downtown Vancouver, we finally hit our destination: the Science World (apparently, I enjoy science centers when I travel)
Post on our fabulous time getting our geek on coming soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Step At A Time...

One thing I love to do when I'm traveling is go hiking. Indulging in nature is sadly a rare treat in my hometown of Los Angeles, where it's apparently more vital to sit through three hours of traffic than to trek across rolling hills.

I knew the serene Vancouver outdoors would be a perfect place to go hiking and made plans with the Vancouver Native and his bunches of friends to do the deed.

Vancouver Native groaned the first moment he heard I wanted to go hiking. Yet, he suggested the most challenging slope of all-- the Grouse Grind.

Grouse Grind was probably not the best choice for a hike to take when you want to get reconnected with old friends. My conversation with Vancouver Native (aka D), whom I haven't seen in over a year, went something like this:

Janice: huffing and puffing
"Hey (huff) D, so, uh, how ya been?"

D: (silence but not really 'cause he's huffing and puffing)

Janice: D?

D: (nods head, huffing and puffing)



Eventually, everyone started trekking at their own pace. Sometimes I was in the front, sometimes, I was trailing behind.

I started thinking about my friend Michelle's post from awhile back where she noted the importance of looking at your feet in your walk in an age of looking up.

I'm a dreamer. I imagine big things for myself and for the people around me. I want to reach for the stars.

But at the same time, I need to focus on my own footsteps, one after another, on the steps of life. I need to take in the moment, knowing that sometimes I'm going to be struggling to climb another step, gasping for air. Other times, I could be on a roll, moving as fast as my legs can take me, pushing through the little boy in front of me (just kidding, I would never do that...)

At different points of my trail, I will be in proximity with different people. There were the group of boys blasting rap music on their iPhones that we took a break with at the 3/4 mark. There were the cute Asian family whose littlest boy could just barely climb over one step but was still shuffling through.

After a little over an hour (nearly two hours for *ahem some people), we made it to the top.

Look at that view.

I think only when you get here will you appreciate the entirety of the journey, the ups and the downs, the slippery rocks and the water breaks.

And even all the people who've journeyed with you.

That was a philosophical hike, huh? Don't worry, food and drinking posts coming soon!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Vancouver, Vancouver, Vancouver

You are one fine beast.

With your moody clouds...
And your quaint streets...
And your cleanliness...
And your lit nights...
And your interesting holidays (the Saturday I was there, it was "Zombie day," where hundreds of people dressed up like zombies and roamed around the streets)...

And your quirky little quirks (and once again, the moody skies)...

And your beautiful beaches (and the people who don't seem to tan)...

And... did I mention the moody skies yet? (I'm kind of in love with moody skies, if you can't tell)

I made the most out of my 3-day jaunt up north. Can't wait to share with you more stories and pictures in the next coming days!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Norcal Pt. 2: San Jose

After stopping by one part of Northern California, I made my way by train to another--San Jose, to be exact.
San Jose, woot woot! Though many of my close friends and former roommates were from this part of town, I've actually never been to San Jose before.

Luckily, I had with me, a most marvelous tour guide, the one and only Kel Banh! I tell you, people lucky enough to be in Kelly's presence, this woman is the best date-planner ever!

When I arrived, our first stop was to The Tech Museum. We unleashed our inner-geeks (which aren't really deeply-hidden) and checked out the many wonders and terrifics the museum had to offer.

This computer drew our face! Amazeballs AND a free souvenir! Can't beat that.

You just knew I had to take a picture of a double helix made out of books. (Though Kelly probably took this one. Note the awesome lighting?)

Being from UCLA's north campus, this freaks the hell out of us.

You can't see it that clearly but the blocks spell "kel & jan forever." Creepy, we know.

Then, Kelly took me jumping!

A great source of endorphins, people.

Of course, no trip to one's hometown would be complete with a jumbo meal.

In this case, a big bowl of some-vietnamese-noodle-that-is-not-pho-but-just-as-yummy!

Much love was had in the cold cold San Jose with this dear one. I really hope to go back soon. Soon! (And update this blog sooner as well. Sheesh, can't believe we're hitting April already!)