Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Ignia Christmas Party

Cards in Foothill Park behind my parent's house

Hello very neglected blog.  I hate how writing has fallen so far down my priority list, but it comes with the sad reality of just being busier in life.  I picked up a second gig helping a friend out with his app which takes up a lot of my free time.  Work, try new places to eat, gig... there is little room for writing anymore.

But I happy that I have a few minutes to spare while I wait for 24 gigs of photos and videos to transfer onto my external and traffic to die down.  What should this entry be about?  The 12th Annual Ignia party of course!!

The Portland girls asked to get some authentic Vietnamese food so we gave my mom a break this year and headed to Pho Ha per Sandy's suggestions.  I usually get gifts for everyone from that year's travel, but I didn't have time.  Instead I decided to buy everyone dinner.  Everyone gave me a big thank you except Sandy.  She responded, "can I have a box sir?"  Which made me burst out into laughter.  I gave her a giant hug.

I pulled out lots of alcohol, but the majority of us just enjoyed some Bailey's hot chocolate.

I control the Secret Santa and rigged it so that you did not get the person you had up to 4 years ago!  We agreed that next year will authentically be random.  My secret santa was Alysia, she made it easy with a wish list of obscure things like measuring cups that include 3/4 and 2/3 cups.  Are you kidding me?  A sleep mask that I actually own and Rooibos tea.  I went to 3 stores to get her that!

Our traditional group photo.  We sat in the same spot as last year.  I wish we kept the order all the years, but it's okay.  My dad suggestion us make monster faces... lol.  Close enough

There's a gap in the group photo because Caitlin was missing.  She was celebrating in Idaho that year.  Nothing that FaceTime on the iPhone 6+ can't fix!  check out that group photo.  I'm printing this one for our families.

We're a silly group of people who enjoy playing board games.  This year we played the following:

Concept - Diana's new pretentious board game
Things - Where you write and guess who wrote what
21 - A drinking game where you assign a rule to each number

Next year we might mix it up by bringing plus ones.  Or maybe we should spare our significant others the awkwardness that is our forever in high school energy.

Oh and Diana and Myself finally won a game of SPADE!  YES!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

321 is an old Victorian house built in 1890.  It's a perfect setting for a Halloween party, but we never made the effort because we do Christmas.  This year we took advantage of the 5 blacklights that we had from Asian Glow to do an Asian Glow part II, but this time... spooky!

The spider webs glowed well under the black light.  I covered the kitchen ceiling with trash bags and made an intricate web.

We used neon yarn to make another spider web for the living room.  We cut out neon bats for wall and found dollar store glow things to put up.  I originally bought from Amazon, but the choices at the Dollar stores is amazing.  Never again!  Scotch tape also glows so I used that to line chairs so people could see where to sit.  A lot of work!

I was quite proud of the hallway.  It felt like a haunted ride to walk through.

I made it easy for people.  No halloween costume?  Just wear white and you'll glow!

But people still got creative.  That's a homemade Chipotle steak burrito.  It's medium rare!!

These unicorns were fun!

I handed out glow in the dark glasses.  Jimmy's pecs are pressing against his neon suspenders Oh my!

I reused the tree branch i dragged from downtown for our Chinese New Years party and made it spooky.

The photobooth was simple, but complex.  A camp fire!  With real wood and fabric undulating on top of a fan.  Pure brilliance.  Watch out for those spooky eyes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

L'Invitation Au Voyage - Happy Birthday Jimmy!

I made reservations for Jimmy's birthday at Travel Town in Griffith Park.  It was $75 with $25 security deposit.  It was worth getting a designated table.  "What's the name of the birthday boy?"  They asked.  I guess the old train yard is reserved for birthday of younger children.

It was a sunny day and it was a great photo opportunity!

I got him two pies from Pie Hole!  I try to be unique with the birthday "cakes" since Jimmy hates cake.

We got all of our friends on the kiddie train that went around the park.  It was pretty fun!  I made a video:

We also take each other out to restauraunts that we've been meaning to try.  I surprised him by taking him to Night + Market Song and giving him Sex in the City box set.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

September Recap

It's been a while since I posted a month-recap, but September went by pretty fast and there were some nice moments I'd like to remember.

Saw Yuna at Grand Performances in Downtown.  This free show was over capacity.  The planners didn't realize how big Yuna was when they booked her.  Of course she agreed to do a free show, she lives in DTLA!

Though we had to stand, the view was great.  I caught her waving to us.  I wish Jimmy was there.

Afterward we enjoyed some street tacos at the carwash station near my house.  It wasn't as good as our go to Taco Zone, but I'm glad I tried it.

Thanks to Andrew, I got to see White People Culture Show at the Bootleg Theatre.

White people are really interesting and exotic.  I love their traditional folk dance.  Though it looked like they were being possessed, I'm sure it has some culture relevance to their faith.  It was pretty inspirational.  Only in LA do we get an opportunity to get exposed to so many cultures.

Alysia is having a tough year.  So I was happy that we got a chance to hang out at Manhattan Beach.  We jumped in the water and had some ice cream.  I love her.

I'm impressed with the 626 Nightmarket and their integration of youth culture.  They hire popular youtube personalities and have live art by really talented people.  The food... I wouldn't come for the food since the lines are terrible, but it's great energy and perfect for the community.  Here's Carlo taking pastry dick.

I made it out to see Joe survive his Malibu Triathalon.  I could say that I plan on accomplishing this in my life, but that's a lie.  I ran into a friend who was blending from his joints.  He told me that he ate it on his bike and couldn't finish it because his bike was warped.  Sucks so much.  I lent him my phone which he was thankful for.  I wore this giraffe shirt that Joe got me a while back.  Wanted to show him that I appreciated that thought even though it's 2 sizes too small for my fat torso.

Battle of the Bands industry event.  Lots of good memories here in previous years.  I go mainly to reminisce and run into old work friends.

Monterey Park has their own night market.  But it has a more local for the smaller community vibe.  The only people in attendance seem to be the ones from Monterey Park.  The 626 night market includes all asians in a 20 mile radius.  I enjoyed a sticky rice burger from a Thai restaurant in DTLA.

We checked out the Step and Repeat exhibit at the MOCA and took a picture at the step and repeat, but they never posted it.  They only posted photos of what Jimmy calls - Try Hards.  I'm glad I snagged these gems from the camera preview before they're gone forever.

Game Haus is amazing - a huge library of boardgames.  $5 admission and there's no time limit.  I just wish I knew how to play all the games before coming.  The time it takes to read and understand the rules is such a waste.  The highlight of the night was a retro game called Compatibility.  Really silly, but really fun!

We went on a hike to see the Sturtevant Falls pictured above, but what we got was the California drought.  This is serious guys.

Steve invited me to watch his performance in Chinatown.  It was Confucius day so the nearby school had an event.  Steve is really talented - composed music for some films.  He picked up the pipa which is a Chinese instrument.  Charles came late and missed the performance, but he got to practice his calligraphy instead.

The other night we had a jam session at 321.  Jimmy on keyboard and Steve on the ukelele.  We sang along and Phinn did a rap, it was sort of perfect.

September ended quietly with a game of monopoly. My body was shutting off, but I suddenly got a second wind when I started picking up property.   When you make money your body wakes up apparently.

Sam Smith Concert at the Greek Theatre LA

For Jimmy's birthday I bought him Sam Smith tickets.  I remembered at Coachella Jimmy was so excited when Sam Smith when he came on during the Disclosure set as a guest.  I could recall his smile and energy as we pushed our way closer to the stage. 

When I learned that Sam Smith was coming to LA I hunted for tickets and only lucked out when Sam Smith released a second day.  I was day dreaming about keeping it a secret until we were in front of the venue.  A couple of weeks before the date, Jimmy asked me if I wanted to go to the concert because our friend had two extra tickets.  Well fuck.  The jig was up and I told him I got him tickets for his birthday.  So much for it being a surprise. 

We didn't take many pictures.  My iPhone 4S is terrible in low light, but the only important picture is the one of us.  Everything else I was able to snag off instagram.  Thank you hashtag and geotags!  The credit for these pictures are in the file name.
If only we were this close!  But Jimmy and I got pretty good seats.  Better seats than what our friends were offering.  Heehee.
Though I suppose no seat in the house is that terrible.  The Greek is a great outdoor venue.  Go LA!  Though there were these two really drunk older ladies.  One fell over when she tried to grab her phone when she dropped it in the row in front of her.  "Do you need help?" responded the tween in front of her.  Hilarious. 

Sam Smith had everyone pull out their cellphones to light up the theater.  Pretty magical.

I took this video. So sweet. Sam Smith announced that aside from Stevie Wonder he prefers female diva singers. Which is why he did that cover of Whitney Houston. He's amazing live - lots of chills.  Here is a longer version.

Afterward we enjoyed a slice of Strawberry Pie at House of Pies in Los Feliz until Prime Time for Lyft was over.  Happy Birthday Jimmy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Recap

October is always a busy month with a ton of birthdays.  This is a recap of what happened!

Jimmy left his costco gummy vitamins in the car which caused it to melt into a wad
Charles reminded everyone how flexible he is
We finally threw away the frozen chicken that was in our freezer since 2009... made me sad because I'm sentimental

We celebrated JLo's Birthday at Grand Park during the Filipino Festival

We celebrated Steve's birthday by sort of playing a complicated game at his place.  We also played mafia and watched some tv.  Definitely more low key than usual.

For Erik's birthday we had a nice potluck... I didn't take any pictures but it was a surprise party.  It was something he needed since he doesn't think anyone would visit him at his new home in the Valley.

We supported Andrew's kickstarter for his film!

We visited San Jose.  Here is Jimmy near the San Jose state area

Alysia finally moved out of her place in where she had issues with the neighbors.   We got ice cream as a good bye to Whittier.  This place is so obnoxious to get to because our house was at one point of the triangle and her house was at the opposite end where the center of the hypotenuse was... if the highway path was represented by the triangle.


We did Ciclavia in East LA which was a lot of fun.

Eating Out October
Honey Badger Chicken Wings
Pizza Rev - Custom Pizza
Kazunori Sushi
Dan dan mien
Honey Badger Homemade Noodles
Coco Ichibanya Curry - level 4 is too spicy!
Ramen Burger - meh
Little Sister - Vermicelli Noodles
Hyperion Cafe - chilaquiles (meh)
China Chen (San Jose) - Surprisingly the only places that makes Bot Chien
Van's Bakery - Macaron Ice scream sandwich - Milk and Ceral with caramelized frosted flakes - AMAZING!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September - Misc

This is awkward.  Well the awkward family photo happening at the Korean Friendship bell i Long Beach in the background is awkward.  But what's equally awkward is posting something from September the next year.    But how could I miss posting about my hair in food?!?

Hairchive: I found my hair very tall in September, but also very wild when I got closer to the ocean. Loose strands everywhere!

Eating Out September. 

It was a lot of food.  Thai, Chinese Seafood, Szechwan, Korean, Gourmet Burgers.