Saturday, November 30, 2013

Family Thanksgiving 2013

What am I Thankful for?  A family that can cook!!  Our Thanksgivings are always all American.  Jimmy lent me his street SLR and I took it for a spin.  Photography is hard for me  :[

Check out my mom carving that turkey!

I thought these pictures were amusing.  First generation cousins and second.  Uncles using their smart phones

My cousin giving major cupping and Jessica my twin!  Check out those matching cheek bones!

I like this picture of my mom, brother and grandpa.  Finally got him to smile!

My cousin Sean's hair was ONE POINT that night.

Drinks and dinner

Kids and adults

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dia de Los Muertos

Ever since I attended the Day of the Dead celebration at Hollywood Forever cemetery two years back, I've been meaning to actually participate with facepaint.  I had it written all over my moleskin to do this and was thrilled to learn that Grand Park was hosting a free event with free facepaint.

No one seemed interested that day, so I went on my own.  I suppressed my extrovert anxiety and told myself that nothing should stop me from doing things that I want to do... not even the lack of company.  I stood inline for a hour to get my facepainted and absorbed the hordes of families gathering around.

Phil reached out, declaring that he also wanted to get his facepainted and rushed over from across town.  That's us before and after, my adorable makeup artist and me trying to sip through a straw.  To my rescue!  I was so lonely.  My artist did a great job.  Gave me teeth and gave me the wispy lines I requested.

Our friend David was actually MCing the event.  He looks amazing.

A lot of my friends are ethnic study specialists, activists, angry asian people - posts about white privilege and appropriating culture flood my blog feed.  Especially during Halloween when many poor costume choices are made... many in poor taste.

My quick opinion on that is avoid tragedy.  Geishas, Native American Headdress, Sombreros don't offend me...  they make me laugh as they are intended because they are ridiculous.  But 9/11 costumes, Terrorist costumes, Asiana Crash costumes and Trevon costumes are all in poor taste because it makes fun of terrible events.  Ignorance.

Anyway, I'm curious to how the Latin community feels about my costume top hat and my enthusiasm to be a part of a culture that is not my own.  Do they really care?  At least as much as my friends.

I turned to facebook and no one really cared because it wasn't their culture I was referring to.  The only response with thought - "u ask urself if it's a tribute and/or celebration of the day or an excuse to dress up and party."  The answer is both.

All of this sensitivity really takes away from the event.  I'm here as a guest.  I'd like to participate.  I will never be a part of your group, but thank you for letting me join for the day.  And let's leave it at that.

Food trucks and live music.  It was wonderful.  A live performance of California Love with a Spanish beat can be found on my instagram.

Sean called me to cross the bridge to East LA.  There was a real celebration that "I would love."  An event for the people, by the people.  The Grand Park event was more watered down and accessible.  But the grit and grime was over the 1st street bridge about a mile away.  So we made our way over.  We acknowledged the cars that noticed our facepaint.  I made eye contact with some Latin boys in a car and did a wasup head nod which they reciprocated.  It was that gesture that made me feel that I was welcomed.  I felt like I was having an Eat Pray Love moment....  I was a white girl in a strange foreign land, OH the Souvenirs I must purchase and the pictures of the interesting locals I must take!

Other events were happening that night, resulting in a full on traffic clog in DTLA.  There was a rave in Historic Park and kids shouted out their window, "YO!  Why ARE YOU LEaVING THE PARTY!?"  I lied and said I was going to a bar and told them that the rave was still going on.  Phil laughed at my blatant lies.

We made it.  And instantly I was overwhelmed by the crowds of people, strollers, Mexican food.  I saw generators out in the open that look like they would electrocute people if they touched it.  Local Spanish music was played on stage and community art was displayed.  This festival at the Self Help Graphics and Art was celebrating it's 40th year.  This was so hidden from the West.

Sean was right.  I loved it. Amazing art and stories and community. Love love love.

I asked to take a picture with this girl and she grabbed her entire family for a quick photo.

Thanks for welcoming me.  Now I have to head back to my boring life as a white person who complains about not having culture.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Colors of the Hollywood Farmer's Market

I'm thankful that I have Alysia in my life.  She takes me on Farmers Market adventures and encourages me to buy fruits and veggies.  I usually just look for plums and oranges.  I also split things with her if what she buys is too much for her to finish.

She gets excited with Strawberries.  "That smells SO GOOD!"  And we end up buying 3 baskets for a really good price.  She explains that they're about to go bad so I better eat them within two days.

Spice Alley is a new addition to the farmers.  Complete with a mini Hollywood sign.  The alley used to be full of trash, but the renovation brought another wonderfully charming element to the market.  When's it's the farmer's market the alley is called the EaCa Pedestrian Alley.  So cute!

I really wanted sausage for lunch... but... it was way to much.

This fun band greeted us out of the market.


On another trip to the market we tried Shop House... which is the South East Asian of Chipotle.  Oh god, it was terrible and in my opinion offensive.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween - Like Father, Like Son

Because of all the birthday parties in November, Halloween is usually an after thought, but thankfully Jon was having a birthday/costume party called Monster Birth.

I was excited!  I lent him 5 glow in the dark lights and some other decorations to adorn his cute Santa Monica bungalow.  Also made him Jell-O Shots for the event.  Thankfully I had Harry Potter costumes laying around from a Harry Potter themed birthday earlier in the month.

We are Harry Potters from all four houses.  Easy!

Jimmy got creative on photoshop and added some magic to our photobooth.

Epic wizard battle!

I think this one is particularly cute.

These three were costume stand outs.  ET and Elliot and a 90's school photo.  Nice job!  Thanks for these pictures Jimmy!

A couple weeks later, I stumble on my dad's Halloween pictures.  Apparently he had his own house party with a photo booth....and.....

AN ORGANIZED THRILLER DANCE!!!!  I wrote on his wall, "you inspire me!"  My dad as some sort of alien and my mom as a blond flapper.  Out of control.  My dad makes me look forward to growing old and staying young.  I admire his spirit.

Friday, November 1, 2013

October - Birthdays, Bicycling and Beards

October is always a hectic month since ALL of my friends decided to be born during this time.  Thankfully they were all creative and all had separate fun events which made this month pretty entertaining.

Erik's Birthday - Sushi Stop, UCB Comedy and some Bear

We spent the Friday night in Franklin Village enjoying a really cheap sushi dinner at Sushi Stop in a private back room.  Following this was an improv comedy show about Fucked Up families and scenes improv'd from random music from various iPods.  Went to the bar next door where the upstairs sitting area sat vacant waiting for us.  Ern is trying to sneak a blow on Erik's candle.

Irene's Birthday - Harry Potter Themed in the Park

I've known Irene since high school through Key Club and she was thrilled when I was able to attend her Harry Potter themed party in a park in Culver City.  She went ALL out setting up a legit game of Quidditch and breaking up the groups into houses using an electronic sorting hat.  There was a guy/girl combo who kicked my team's ass at Quidditch.  I was so out of breath but we managed to get a great picture.  I also slammed myself into JV trying to take another jumping picture - Ouch.  One of the games was put the 8 pictures of the Harry Potter characters in order by release/age.  We got Harry, so it was easy.  Hermione was impossible!  I also reused the costume for halloween.. how convenient!

Jlo and Brian's Birthday - Food Bank Volunteering 

Jlo and Brian went the giving back route and had their birthdays early in the morning at the LA food bank.  People usually mix of these volunteer opportunities with food kitchens where you serve food, but we were all tasked to put together care packages full of juices and cereal.

Jlo and Brian provided a wonderful Filipino breakfast to get the day going right!

Back breaking work!  And all about the assembly line!  The factory was huge with tons of volunteers and at the end they tell us how many meals we've provided.  It was pretty amazing.

Steve and Sam - Dim Sum and Shaved Ice

I tried to surprise Steve and Sam by lighting a candle in a piece of dim sum, but I almost burnt myself so we pretended.  After Dim Sum at King Hua and yummy shaved ice at Salju Desserts.  They have an amazing Vietnamese Iced Coffee shaved ice that I fell in love with.

Other Steve, Steve and Ed's Surprise

These video game nerds are united by some foreign language that I don't quite understand, but we had a nice green cake with some funny looking cartoon things coming out of it.  One of them was missing so they facetimed.  I played with the guinea pig.

Steve and Ed's Birthday - WeHo

Not very surprising.  WeHo is the simplest way to celebrate a gay birthday.  We danced and did the run way walk at Eleven Lounge.  Find the light and dance!

Sean's Birthday - Senor Fish

Sean celebrated his birthday at Senor Fish in Little Tokyo.  Mad Asian Americaness with #swag oozing from the bars.  Sean made these cute thank you cards with taxi numbers in case we all get out of control.  I was feeling the patio space... and Jimmy photobombed me and Andrew.

Ciclavia - Heart of LA

Downtown LA shuts down for CicLAvia.  It's definitely an adventure to ride bikes in a city dependent car culture.  It was particularly pretty to see the downtown skyline from the East LA.  I had left over kids sunglasses from Jimmy's birthday that I left at the information booth.  Those were snatched up SO quickly.  In the top left photo, you can see Erik learning how to mount a bike on a bus.  This is actually really useful.

Facial Hair

My boss was on vacation in Europe and he posted a picture of his long hair don't care beard on facebook.  I went ahead and printed that out and send him these pictures to show that we miss him.   I tried out facial hair in October - my coworker things I look rugged, but it's too sparse to have that true affect.... so here are more selfies with me and an animals.

Thanks October for being an eventful month.