Saturday, May 9, 2015

DadBod

Everyone is a little body conscious, but to what degree?

I look at this photo posted a few days ago from a Malibu beach trip and say... not bad.  #dadbod.

A slimmer gut which can be achieved by a few visits to the gym and some shoulder presses for a stronger frame.  I flirt with the idea of having an awesome ripped body for my 30th birthday via trainer, but that's all it was - flirting with the idea.

Because.. the gym is hell, working out is hell, exercise is hell and I'm not happy when I'm there.  For Jimmy, for others it's therapy, it's stress release, it's satisfaction.  For me.. it's something to do to wait out traffic.

Take a spin class?  Or sit in traffic.  Okay, you got me there.  I did enjoy swimming in the morning, but it's been so difficult to wake up.

I made this realization when I hung out with a cute couple in the swimming pool.  They both had dadbods with big bellies and they didn't give a fuck.  They didn't make compensating body jokes, they didn't get embarrassed.. they just took their shirt off and jumped in.  And that's what I did at Malibu.  Why should I give a fuck, ya'll my friends.

I guess the point is... I should remind myself to exercise for happiness and health, but to control the spillover and pant tightness. And never to keep myself from what I enjoy in life which is.. eating amazing foods. And moderate the things that aren't that great for me.   I guess, I'm on the right track.

#almost30






Coachella 2015 - Blurry Selfies

Preparing for Coachella was a bit more stressful this year.  Last year was a breeze since we were just tag-a-longs, but long story short, we paid a lot more housing than we needed to, but I need to focus on the fact that it worked out in the end and everyone was comfortable.  Though $1,000 is a lot to spend for a music festival 3 hours away.  (This includes food, housing etc.)  I also didn't know any of the bands which is why I wasn't too excited about it.


But when we finally got there, it was an amazing time learning about new bands being in the desert. I love heat.

We stayed at the Sonoran Suites about 10 minutes from the Tennis Gardens in Indian Wells shuttle stop.  We decided this is the best shuttle stop - low stress, ample parking and quick access.

We had a good group of 9.


I spent two weeks before Coachella figuring out what our group totem was going to be, but at the very last minute I found inflatable noodles in my beach bag.  It was so perfect, no one else had them, they were easy to see and compact.  They stated on the site: no totems this year and people were very well behaved.  I guess no one wanted to spend time and money on things that would just get taken away.  But people snuck some stuff in - nothing as interesting and amusing as last year though.  These things were so necessary to find each other especially since we broke off to see other bands.


I was really excited about transitioning from day time Coachella to night time Coachella.  Something about wiping off layers of sunscreen and looking at the sunset. Something about switching from hot to cool and watching everything light up. This year I brought tons of glow sticks and bought LED lights.  Security made a comment, "you're carrying uranium!"  I laughed.  The goal was to glow like the art installations.  I wanted us to be a rainbow coalition, but only one set of LEDs actually worked in the end.  I used the yellow led rope to tie around the totem which made it stand out even more.  People were so curious.. they thought it was a bong and kept grabbing them.   I had to chase this girl down when she took it from my hands and ran.  I grabbed her by the waist like a fireman while Jimmy called her a cunt.  lol.

I also bought these cute lanterns from the dollar store to try to imitate last years guiding light that Ernesto and Erik brought.

A photo posted by Christopho (@letopho) on



Music highlights:
Yelle - amazing performance!  
Marina and the Diamonds - so fun
Kygo - Charles introduced me to them.  Sad that we caught only the last two songs since we were waiting for Drake who turned out to be a buzz kill

I Saw: Kimbra, Azealia, Ryan Hemsworth, Lykke Li, Clean Bandit, Toro Y moi, Yellow Claw, Duke Dumont, FKA Twigs, SBTRKT, Flosstradamus, The Weekend, RAC, Kaskade, and David Guetta.

It was disappointed to see some of these DJs "perform."  It's like that SNL skit, they are just pressing buttons.  I want singers!!


I wish I saw Stromae, Odesza, Jennifer Hudson during Gorgon City Set), Jack White, Florence, Chet Faker




On the second day we spent the morning exploring sponsored tents.  No spotify tent to recharge your phone, but they had charging stations everywhere.  Instead there was the JBL tent which had this great underwater photobooth!  Other booths included massages, virtual reality, and face masks.


One of the exciting things is running into people organically.  It's impossible to meet up, but it feels so great to stumble upon other friends since so many people go.   When I ran into Sunny she picked me up and spun me around.  My camelbak shot out water from the excitement!




Charles had such an amazing time.  I told him that he's gonna have to plan next year.  As for me and Jimmy, we're still on the fence since it's so expensive and Jimmy wants to save his money to travel.




Though it would be really great to do a 2016 version of this picture.  It was so dusty in 2014 and green in 2015 #whatdrought

Other highlights:

  • Pool time at the hotel
  • Enjoying Hendrix and grapefruit soda
  • Making jello shots (should have made more to share with shuttle friends)
  • Eating at Pho Vu to get our Asian cravings out of the way for breakfast
  • Getting a good nights rest at the hotel vs. camping


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Thoughts


What's new with me?

Nothing really.  Trying to figure out my 30th birthday.  Party favors, food... time coordination.  It's less work than usual since I'm letting this charter boat take care of some of the stuff.

My mood last week was a low, is it residual Coachella withdrawals?  Is it that my company which was seemingly doing very well decided to do mass layoffs.  But I was spared, but have a lot more work on my plate.  Work that is more challenging.  But we moved into a bigger nicer office with standing desks which I love since I dreading getting the sit line; the crease on your stomach for sitting for too long.

I've been blogging a bit less because it seems that being more hidden about my life seems more appealing, but with my low energy and general dissatisfaction with weekday life, I feel like I need to return to my therapeutic hobby.  Also, I'm hosting my pictures on flickr.  My retina display is making the pixelation in compressed photos more obvious.  I suddenly have a thirst for sharp images that cannot be found if pictures are hosted through blogger or facebook... and now picasa which was never updated.  The entire interface of this neglected photo organizing software is pixelated on retina and the Photos App isn't doing it for me without real file control.

Last weekend was fun.  We did a handful of things and the weather was perfect.

N.A.O Ramen



Before we visited the "art piece" we had ramen and pleasantly found that the ramen was "on the house" because we had inadvertently came during a soft opening.


Vincent Lugo Park


After the ramen, we grabbed some boba at Factory Tea and goofed around the monster park.  I love these play structures.




An artist covered the Bate's Motel in Silverlake all white which made for good photos.  This building was such an eye sore since it was abandoned and tagged up.  Many squatters were found here.  They are finally demolishing it ... probably turning it into a mix use building.

Photo courtesy of Mitch

The weather was perfect.  That day was full of sunday funday drinking at the Eagle which was surprisingly fun.  Dinner at Sunset triangle and a movie at the Vista.  Never had I ever enjoyed walking around Silverlake, but it could be the 4 shots of Jameson talking.



This Sunday funday is spent at TomNtom.  With my roommates.  We're resting from a wonderful beach day for Charles' 32 birthday at Malibu.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sail the Twin Seas - 29th Birthday 2014




I never blogged by about 29th birthday last year which is a waste since so much went into it.  I decided to do a joint celebration with James and it took us a month to figure out what we were going to do.  The theme was golden:


It's quite brilliant.  Twin Seas... like twinsies.  Gemini.  Wow.  Above is the facebook event banner that James made.  Bless the graphic designer.  James also found the venue:  The Custom Hotel near LAX.  It had a neglected swimming pool and great rates especially since we were splitting it.



Nautical themed party supplies are actually quite difficult to find, but bless the Toy District in DTLA.  I was able to get fish nets, cute canvas giveaway bags (I should have taken a picture!), sea shells, napkins, balloons and signs.  Also, guests were more than willing to dress like they're going sailing.



We match!  James took care of our outfits.



Joe and Mony even showed up.  I was really happy there were there.



We had five cabanas to ourselves and I was able to set up a photobooth.  The lighting was hard, but Jimmy was able to figure it out with the reflector.  I was actually pretty shocked that people made use of the pool!



Some folks asked me if they could buy me a drink from the pool bar, but I told them that we were giving away about 72 drink tickets which include beer, wine and cocktails since it was ALSO HAPPY HOUR!  So they could just get me a shrimp plate instead!  LOL.  We really got a great deal.  James and I split the following package:

Happy Hour Stationed Appetizers
 (2) Fried calamari steaks with mae ploy sweet chili sauce
 (2) Rock and roll shrimp with shredded cocunut and chili sauce
 (4) Parmesan fries

Hosted Wine, Beer and Sangria Bar (72 Prepaid Drink Tickets)

Stationed Appetizers
 (20) Artichoke, olives, sun dried tomato salad on crostinis
 (20) Roasted fingerling potatoes stuffed with apple and bacon
 (20) Vegatable spring rolls, yuzu soy dipping sauce
 (30) Marinated beef kebabs with yogurt garlic sauce

Yes!  We took care of our friends.




The space by the pool across from the cabanas also provided a cool place to hang out.








Roommates!



Photobooth collage.







At night the place transformed



We all gathered around the fire.  Cindy took this one.  This #hiddenLA venue was all ours!




James' cake is on the left was a Baby Cakes Vegan Chocolate.  My cake is on the right: Ube Red Ribbon Cake with a huge Sail Boat smashed into it.  It reflects our personality.




Being the type A that I am, I grabbed 4 people to present the birthday cakes to me and James and we had to act surprised.  I remember giving a really bad birthday speech.

This year, for my 30th, I'm trying to plan something equally fun.  But the pressure is on; not because I'm turning 30, but because I want to throw an equally awesome event!  Thinking of sticking with the boat theme... but actually being on the water. Hmm!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Manbun // Top Knot

I'm at the point in my hair length where I would probably only need one month to get a good topknot.  But why? It looks ridiculous!

I stumbled on some pictures of my hair back in October when it was pretty long too.


I'm going to cut it off... but at least I tried to stay current.  Also, there's already an Asian in the office with baby pony tail.  There can only be one.

A photo posted by Christopho (@letopho) on



Oh dear - they sell Man buns at H&M.  Well actually they are for women, but men can appreciate them too now.

BTW I'm ESTJ.

89% extravert... oh dear.  Jimmy is INTP.... lol

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Break Up Season

Two years ago I wrote about being surrounded by gay couples.

It was an optimistic post that declared that gay long term relationships actually exists and that I have something to look forward to in the long run.  Two years later a 3rd of those couples that I mentioned in that post has broken up.  What's odd is that they all broke up at the same time ringing in 2015 painfully awkward, yet they all seemed to be reprogrammed to start new projects that are focused on self accomplishments.

Is there an expiration date?  Is there something in the air?

3 month mark - Superficial Reasons
6 month mark - Substantial Reasons
3 year mark - Start Over. New Chapter. Refocus. 
6 year mark - Shit.

It seems like for relationships there are time markers during which couples or individuals really reevaluate.  Maybe instead of celebrating anniversaries with Jimmy I should be celebrate passing these markers.  But as we get older, it really is an accomplishment.



How does it make me feel?

I feel like I should be more concerned and upset that I actually am.  I feel like my optimism has taken a blow and I should be protesting, but I've come to accept it as a reality.  Maybe it's because gay men challenge themselves to prove that they are better than what society expects them to be.  And this requires them to constantly reevaluate their achievements, relationships and life goals.

Anyway, I'm currently obsessed with Oliver Hampton from How to Get Away with Murder.  When they first introduced him, I rolled my eyes because he was a stereotype Asian character: nerdy, weak, taken advantage of... but as the show progressed the writers really fleshed out the relationship.  The latest scene got my emotions all tangled up.  And Oliver got so cute so fast. Of course I'm following the actor Conrad Ricamora on instagram.




Take it slow Oliver... but check-in in 6 months.


I haven't watched TV in years. I refer to youtube to find programing that includes Asian Americans.

Mass media seems to only include people look and think like you, but if you walk the footsteps of an Asian you'll learn things you never knew you never knew...

Fresh of the Boat is hilarious.   Let's make it through one season, that's all I ask.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Across the Golden Gate



Back in November, Jimmy and I planned a spontaneous trip to the bay area.  My number one activity was to bike across the bridge since it was something I've never done before.  The Sports Basement was the perfect rental with free parking and exceptional prices ($15 for 3 hours!)  Remember to check Yelp! for deals.



Before actually crossing the bridge, Jimmy and I discovered the many many views of the bridge stopping for many pictures.  Though Jimmy has all of the pictures of both of us, I have some cute pictures of him to share.  What a stud.




And off we go!  Here's a shot of us on the bridge.  Remember to stay on the side reserved for bikers for max efficient cruising.  It was windy, but we were well equipped!







We made it to the other side to discover Sausalito!  It's a really cute town, but we didn't have time to really explore.  We were exhausted by the hills and were in a rush to make our return time.  The ferry back option seemed like a bit of a cluster so we decided to bolt back!  It was a physical challenge!  And the bike lanes weren't as clear on this side of the bay area.  I found myself cramping up.  It seemed like most people opted to just get a ferry ticket so that they didn't have to deal.



We made it back!  And just in time to grab a dinner.


We returned to So for their famous spicy chicken.  But I noticed it had been watered down.  The waitress proclaimed that I was the first one to notice!  "Yes, we got complaints, people even walked out because it was too spicy for them to eat!"  Well, I have to say it was more manageable and enjoyable when we weren't dying from the heat.

That evening we went to the Castro and watched our friends get messy.




The next day we explored the Mission District and Valencia street with Mony.  Interesting to see the Latino community hanging on to a thread while Valencia gentrification spills over.  The sad reality.



All the grit is being replaced with artist anal chocolate and oozey pastries.





Got to spend a few minutes with JV and Andy before heading across the new bay bridge.  Not sure why this picture is so yellow!