Friday, December 30, 2011

9th Annual Ignia Christmas Party

Though it was planned very last minute, it all worked out!


Aaron brought amazing wine and cheese from Italy!  Folks brought drinks and sweets.  Check out Sandy's mohawk on the left.


Celebrated with some drinks.  Tried Orange and Cinnamon instead of Lime and Salt for our tequilla shots.


Took a constitutional around the neighborhood.

Exchanged Secret Santa through Elfster.com.


I gave my elementary piano books to Linda's daughter - if she becomes a prodigy, I get half.


We always have one gift that was have a lot of fun with.  This year it was the Statue of David bike shorts and apron.




Mustache
Stockings, Face Masks and Home Made Tshirts
Temporary tattoos

We tried to reenact the photo from our 1st annual christmas party in 2003 by wearing something similar.



Lots of hair differences!  My face has rounded out, but I think it looks better than my original twink look that I had originally.  Oh yeah and I jumped on that NEON Corona light immediately!

Coming Close to Death


Merry Christmas.

I drove 3 folks up to San Jose from Los Angeles last week in my grown up car.  I spent 6 days in the bay area.  The mood was off since my 85 year old grandma is on her last couple of days. She has been diagnosed with stomach cancer and can't eat a thing.

The reality of death has made things less painful for my dad and his 6 remaining brothers and sisters who have been running around trying to figure things out.  "No games this year Christopher."


So after dinner we had a round table discussion regarding what to do.  Luckily one of the cousins was a doctor and filled them in.  The decision has been made:  if my grandma's heart stopped beating then the doctors and nurses have been ordered NOT to perform CPR and let my grandma's soul escape from her withering body to be reunited with her husband and late daughter who passed away from breast cancer.

I was going to post a picture of her here, but it was pretty evident that death was very close for her.  But I'm glad I visited her in the hospital.

"Pho, huh?"
"Yah... I drove up from LA."
"giỏi"  which means "you're a good grandson that did the right thing by visiting me"

My dad encouraged me to say more, but words escaped me.  My brother had even less to say since he never cared to try to learn Vietnamese.


I think everyone realized that Christmas shouldn't be completely depressing so we started to pass around gifts as usual.


Gifts were cool this year.  It was all about the kids and as I'm reaching my later 20's I no longer fit in the category.  There were so many kids this year since my cousin, the doctor... specifically the child delivering doctor, brought his 3 kids.  It's funny, he had two love interests in life and both of them already have kids...  I guess that's what happens when he finds love at his office... bum dum CHIsh!

But I do love how thoughtful my family is:

Cookbook - because I'm trying to cook
Shower Curtains - because when they visited me, what I had was disgusting
Money - which I used immediately that night at a cash only bar
Speakers - for the bathroom

I love my family for really trying and I feel bad that I didn't put as much effort this year.  Maybe I should do something for Vietnamese New Year since we probably won't celebrate with the anticipated passing of my grandma.



Here is the annual Bush of Noel.  Mmm.  needs trimming.

Other family news:
My dad has been looking for a military jacket for his New Years Eve performance.  He found something from Crossroads and is asking Mom to add more buttons.  He's gonna rock out.

My grandpa on my mom's side last month was caught on a surveillance camera stealing plants from people's front yards.  He responded in Vietnamese, "I'm old.. what are they going to do?"  The police followed him to his apartment and chatted with building manager.  Hopefully he understands that front yards aren't public property.

Aging is such a scary thought.  My grandpa is the same age as my grandma, but they booth seem to be deteriorating differently.  My grandma's body is shutting down while my grandpa's mind is drifting off.  I guess at this point in our lives we need to make sure that we have completely our life to-do lists so that when it's our time to go there are no regrets.  What a scary thought.

==

On my to-do list for the break was to organize my boxes of belongings that have been stacked in the garage.  Impossible - too many things I want to keep.  But I did discover how organized I am:


A spot for every slip of paper.  Does this make me a horder?

Stacks of school work. Papers and papers.  Also, my taste in music is evident at a young age when I found a list of songs that I liked from the Now! That's What I Call Music albums.



Am I a type A personality?  Cleaning the house fridge, balancing the bills board, ordering people around, making lists...., yet I'm not that detailed oriented, very forgetful and often procrastinate.  Gemini?

It was nice to be home - leaving dishes somewhere and miraculously they are washed.  Leaving my dirty clothes in the garage and bam they smell like lavender and are folded in a basket.  Not paying for meals.  I can see how folks can really get comfortable at home... but it was time to go.  I'll be returning soon though, my company allows some time off for bereavement.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Frustrated Humor

I have weird childish humor.  Like I laughed for 30 minutes at this pictures:


But I stay committed if I think something is funny.  For instance, I thought this was hilarious:



So I gave it a shot, but this is what I got.





Saturday, December 17, 2011

Case of the Ex - Timeline

Jimmy suggested that with the new Facebook Timeline I stalk people that I've previously dated.  Jimmy has weird humor, but I did...

Man... I can see where you've been, old wall posts, your "life events."  People seriously don't need to blog anymore because I can just get that snapshop of your life on your Facebook page.

Anyway, I found this on tumblr the other day:


Then I found this this morning:


Ryan, my first boyfriend when I was 17.  Seriously case of the ex up on his facebook.  I tried to delete these posts, but couldn't really figure out how, but I guess it doesn't hurt to have a reminder that once someone touches your life you tap in once in a while to check up.  Like once a year...or when you're weak.... or during the holidays.  And the other person can only ignore you because that's the best thing to do to wean you off  holding onto hindering memories.  Let go, let go, let go.

I can trace these dates to periods of my life
2006 - Facebook friended him
2007 - Broke up with college boyfriend of 3.5 years
2008 - Laid off from first job out of college, DUI other chaos.
2010 - Lonely

And why this guy?  Why not my college boyfriend?  Because Ryan was my first.

2011 is coming to a close and I didn't contact him once.  The reasons are obvious.  My life is stable, I wake up next to the man of my dreams every morning... I'm doing just fine.  In fact, I haven't even thought of him until Jimmy suggested it.

Thank you facebook for timeline - you make it really easy to see everything.... seriously everything about your life.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Living Room Upgrade

I don't think I'll ever be as into home decor as Old Brand New, but we upgraded our couch!! (Only because Eric was giving it away.)

Before


After

Heh, I guess the flowers, lighting, and boyfriend without lazy eyes helped with the upgrade.


===

Sorry for the load of updates - I'm feeling a lot of relief blogging in bulk when I am allowed the time this weekend!  I am almost caught up!  It feels good.

Pigging Out in October

Wanted to share some food porn that I had in October. Alysia introduced me to Food Gawker which is a site that aggregates the best (homemade) food porn on the web. They also have an app.  It's over!!!

Los Angeles you have the best food ever.


Chicago Deep Dish at Masa in Echo Park
Ernesto's good bye dinner *sad face*



Korean Boo Dae Jji Gae (Military Stew) at Johnson House
Better when you're drunk



Lobster Pad Thai at some place in Beverly Hills that I would never eat at unless work took me there.


Must have Thai dishes at Ruen Pair in Thaitown
Morning Glory?  Ongchoy?  What is that dish on the bottom right that I love so much?


Vietnamese Goi Hen (Clam Salad) at Via Cafe in Chinatown
Little Saigon has better (of course.)


Thanksgiving with a Friend of 12 Years

It was the first year I missed Thanksgiving with my family, but luckily Alysia was also an orphan.  We made Thanksgiving lunch together with our friend Anand in west LA (yuck).  I told others about going to an "orphan dinner" this year and they thought I was volunteering.  No no... I don't volunteer silly.


Alysia is a chef we made the following from scratch:

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Apple Pie
  • Sweet Potato Casserole with brown sugar and oats
  • Dinner Rolls

We only bought a Turkey breast and Leg because it was only the three of us.  Cranberry sauced was canned and stuffing was boxed.



I've known Alysia for at least 12 years.  For 12 years I've gone to her house to eat her food.  Nothing will break tradition.  She was also the one that always urged me to move to LA.  My stomach is very thankful for that.

Each of these dishes required a stick of butter... mmmm American feast.

I'm thankful for the friends I've made, the family I have and the boyfriend that I live with.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Halloween Fizzle


A little month late, but Halloween was a bit of a bust.  I think I knew it was gonna be meh when I had to recycle a costume.  Though I liked my outfit, some guy came up to me and asked if I was supposed to be a dude from the 70s.  NO IDIOT, I'm  FUCKING GIRAFFE.  God.  I didn't expect it to be as epic as last year's Halloween, but I must say this year was pretty bad.

NO ONE seemed to have plans.  So we ended up just going to an org event that turned out to be a bit awkward even though all of our buddies were there.  Lots of older folks and there was cover to hang at someone's house.  I guess I couldn't complain with the open bar, but still... someone's house.

Ended up in West Hollywood somehow only to pay for parking and then go home 5 minutes in because my sergeant boyfriend was drunk and samurai guy was tired.  Fiizzzzllleeeee.


My 2nd annual pumpkin carving event was a success.  Complete with pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer and korean chicken wings.


Some interesting ones:  Salormoon cat, iPhone Fail Whale and on the far right is Jimmy's first successful jack-o-lantern.  I'm amused that no one wanted to take their pumpkin home, but whateves.

Next year I want to paint my face for Día de los Muertos in the style of Michelle Phan.  Let's do something different!  And possibly go on a haunted hay ride.  Why not?  Plan early so that I'm not just wandering around last minute.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's So Hot.


Back in October when it was still Summer time in LA, I texted Dab that it was SOOOOO hot.  He took the bait and invited me and Jimmy over to swim in his pool that sits in a glorious downtown loft near LA Live.

I enjoy inviting myself over.

Boo to Dab - he's moving more West.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Straight Guys in the Desert

Random trip to the desert for J.Lo's birthday.
He bought a Groupon that granted him access to a condo for the weekend in Indio.

SO how do straight guys party?

Straight guys pour you drinks and challenge your manhood if you dont drink it.


...they keep pouring you drinks... and toasting...and yelling...

yup... that's about all they do... pour ...drink...

...no matter what it tastes or looks like you have to drink it....

and then you die....

you die outside... and you die inside


That's what you get for drinking with straight guys....


oh they draw on you too.  Straight guys love sharpies.

Amazingly - they woke up early, cleaned up and left the house while the gays slept in.  Oh.  The gays also took all the beds and sofas so the straight guys just slept on the grass outside... ain't a thing.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Korean Festival

I found it very interesting that none of my Korean friends knew about the annual Korean Festival in LA.  Nor did they have any interest in checking it out.  I guess because we live next to the giant that is Ktown - everyday we drive through it's like a Korean Festival.

But I was glad to check that off the list.  (Still need to celebrate Holi - Indian Festival of Colors and the Brazilian Festival that I missed earlier in the year.

Never seen Kim Chi in bulk like this before.  There were so many Kim Chi samples!  Lots of other foods too, but I couldn't read the signs... those circles and lines... is it the food item or price?  It's like hieroglyphic binary code.


Old man planning beer pong, free clay pot (the line was too long), floral crafts and a B-BOI competition.


Check out this giant white person. "ME WANT EXOTIC FOOD."



We continued our explore heading toward Northern Ktown where we found Zion Market nested in the middle of korean shopping mall.  I concluded that as you get more north, Ktown becomes nicer and expensive.  South of Wilshire Ktown is more hood - where Koreans and Mexicans fight for parking space.


We sampled this duk bok gi, loved it, and made it that night by adding ramen.  YUM!


Oh... Koreatown Pho is always suspicious.  Pho 24 also offers authentic Vietnamese gyoja and chow fun.  STFU.