Monday, December 29, 2008
And if not, how will I do it all differently in 2009?
During these times of inventory, I like to avoid it all entirely and take Sake to the beach. Watching the Little One bound around with such pure joy always makes me feel seismically better about the days ahead.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
This is one of the 8 panda cubs that were brought to the zoo for the Olympics.
A grownup panda is really just mostly interested in munching down snacks. Still fascinating to watch. Note that all the pandas look much cleaner in photos! ha!
It was onto the magnificent Forbidden City after that. A good portion of the structures were refurbished, again for the sake of the Olympics and boy could you tell! There were the proverbial crapload of pictures taken that day, but I'll just leave you with this one.
Cleanliness and hygiene could be spotty in certain attractions and establishments. This restaurant calmed my western squeamishness with its shrink-wrapped serving set; but when I saw Dog Stew on the menu, well, let's just say the squeamishness came back.
I can't even really tell you much more about this picture than: Me + Llama = Awesome!I'm not usually a Starbucks drinker, but at the Great Wall? I had to do it. And with the milk crises going on, the default was soymilk. Perfect!
Definitely a highlight of my trip. I had to visit the 798 Art Zone.
A decommissioned military factory, it is now home to a thriving modern art community. And by chance there was an exhibit melding Christian Dior haute couture and Chinese artists. Here were curtains of pearls you had to walk through to begin the exhibit. This completely blew me away.
Some minor example of Shock Art. Naked chick on a bike (not me!).
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I had a travel post ready, but something has taken precedence. I couldn't let the day go by without spreading the word about SHOES! Yes ladies, shoes.. and not just any run of the mill shoes. But Hollywould Shoes. Created, by Holly Dunlap, they have acquired quite a cult following for those with a big budget and a penchant for heels. Afterall, some styles cost as much as $495! Yes, AMERICAN dollars.
But here's the skinny... everything on the website is now $99!!
Yep. You heard me. $99. Tough times, even for Holly.
I know they are an extravagance, but if you
Go forth and be well-heeled....
Monday, November 24, 2008
I'm 2 days into Beijing and I'm marveling at this transformed city. I thought Hong Kong was a chaotic blend of the old and new.. but it has nothing on Beijing.
While here I've visited both the Ancient and the Modern. The Forbidden City and the Great Wall humbled me with their majestic scale and history. But tears welled up in my eyes when I came upon the National Stadium(aka Birds Nest) and all the new history it had made in such a brief amount of time. It is a tremendous site to see up close; it's the 2nd building I have ever seen that has brought tears to my eyes. (The Disney Concert Hall being the First.). Perhaps it seems silly to cry at the site of a building. But visionary architecture can do that, it can soar above just steel girders and right angles to be glorious and full of hopes and dreams.
And one wouldn't think I would find it here, in the Communist Motherland. Where men(and women) spit freely and pick their noses with matching aplomb. But there's the juxtaposition. I fear using the toilet while away from my Ikea-like hotel because squatting is just not in my DNA(is there ever enough Purell??). But it seems this damn city is wired and I can surf the internet wherever I wish. The Great Wall warns against cellphone usage during thunderstorms; and I still find stewed dogmeat on the menu.
I reckon there are some things technology still can't do.....
Friday, November 21, 2008
It's been just 5 days here and there's a part of me thats already a tad homesick. Pathetic, right?
5-star hotel, room service, and a 3-hr massage and facial treatment. What more could a girl ask for? I think it's just the fatigue talking. It's been a full work week on top of jetlag.
I'm off to Beijing in the AM for Holiday. At which time I'm hoping to catch on me, and you of course!
In the meantime, this little doodah has been giving me laughs non-stop. Enjoy!
Video can no longer be embedded. You know, copywrite and all that stuff.
But here's the link, it's classic.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
This is not just another presidential election. This is a remarkable, transformational night.
Monday, November 03, 2008
**Edit: "State elections officials have identified the person responsible for a phony election flier that told Republicans to vote on Tuesday and Democrats to vote a day later.
State Board of Elections Secretary Nancy Rodrigues said Monday the flier bearing the Virginia seal and the elections board logo was a joke that got out of control. The flier was distributed early last week across Hampton Roads. State police confirmed it also was distributed by e-mail.
State officials declined to name the person who created the flier or a second person who began distributing it.
While distribution of false information to voters is a misdemeanor, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says no charges would be filed."
OMGWTFBBQ. Heads should roll. Of course, wait till we find out this was perpetrated by a 13-year-old...
- Everyone voting electronically... doublecheck your votes!!!! Early voters are reporting that votes are not being registered correctly.
- Report any and all f^ckery being perpetrated in not allowing you to vote. Record it, blog it, email to the Liberal, Gotcha Media (especially to my news hunk Anderson Cooper at AC360).
- If in Cali, vote No on Prop 8! Lest you forget, anti-miscegenation laws were not repealed in California in 1948! That's right, it was illegal 60 years ago for Whites to marry Asians. My ass would've been in jail. State law was finally overturned by state judiciary in the Supreme Court of California. And yes, if there was a vote, I bet you more than 61% of the state would've said keep marriage status quo between Whites only. Please let such dark days of bigotry and fear be bygones.
- Electronic voting reeks of potential tampering. If they can hack into the FBI database, they can tamper with an election! I say the country stays with the "times up, pencil's down" method.
- Why on earth is Election Day not a National Holiday??!!! For god's sake we need to address this antiquated voting day that's been around since the Farmin' Days!!!
- Get out there kids and perform your civic duty, flex your right, your PRIVILEGE to vote!!
- Ladies, 100 years ago we weren't allowed to vote!! Let's do it for Susan B Anthony, $1 coin styleee!!
Be Well America. Go Vote.
Monday, October 27, 2008
And anyway, at most workplaces it never seems it has any of true bearing on the eventual review given to me, or on the (minimal) raise I get.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
When I visited my trusted coiffeur, Alex S., it did not take long for him to appeal to my ever-hiding spontaneous nature. Ever the intuitive(and vegan) soul, he broke past my initial trepidation and guided my hair to its very own Carpe-Diem-moment. (But not before I shed a few tears.) Yay him!
Before the Big Reveal, let me take a moment to introduce the newly relocated Alex Sandor Art Studio. His new storefront still has that same funky, "I made this!", vibe about it. His trusty tools are still housed in a vintage.. uh.. Alex what the hell is that thing?
What's new is his commitment to going green and organic. Alex designed his studio usng only recycled refurbished and salvaged materials and furniture. And he uses organic, non-carcinegenic hair products on all those who walk through his door. But really that's just the beginning. Click here to get it straight from him. Note the salvaged wood planks from former wine barrels on the walls; and the stainless steel accessories,such as the trays, are from SF General Hospital.
I particularly loved this piece which serves as the refreshment station. The lemon ginger infused tea is a nice refreshing touch too.
But what you've all been waiting for!... *drumroll*.... TADA!! Here I am with my hair 10 inches shorter. Alex does it again. I walk out of his salon a brand new woman. And with my donation to Locks of Love, I've hopefully given a child an opportunity to Seize Their Day too.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Seriously, what the heck happened to summer? Every year, when June comes around, I get that 3rd grade feel of joy. WWWAAHOOOOO! SUMMERTIME!!!! But then I remember I don't have summer vacation. I have a 9-5 job.
With the nation's financial debacle on the horizon, taking one of those "Oh I summer'd in the Maldives" sort of vacation seemed frivolous. So I grabbed summer whenever I could. And now that Autumn is just around the corner, I can't help but reflect on all thats happened.
Then, what would a Northern Californian summer be without a little Overcasty Goodness at the Beach?
I also got to revisit the 80's, if only for 1 night...
Mid-August the planets lined up and the 2nd generation of Ips/Yips/Yehs reunited from east/west. Could I FIT more people in my place?
Oh hey! PIDGEON!!!
The Dog Day of Summer game at AT&T Park was definitely a highlight. Check out Sake on the Jumbotron!
I had a brush with Slo Food Nation.
D took me out for my first time surfing!(I forgot to tell D I'm not that strong in the water. But thats a story for another post. And this pic is merely a dramatic re-enactment..)
I developed a new obsession: Spring Awakening. But then again, sitting on stage watching these adorable kids sing and dance can do that to you!
Finally? The Brisbane Family Singers!! Ok. The Brisbane Fireplugs.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Ladies and Gentlemen (and Republicans too)... here is Pit Bull Palin doing the ol' Skirt the Issue in a major way. I see she has been fully prepped in the proper hand gesturing to imply sincerity.
If you'd like to see part of what Charlie Gibson's referring to.. Hmmm... Separation of Church and State anyone??
Thursday, September 04, 2008
I won't say anymore, because I think his own Spin Doctors can say it better...
Thursday, August 28, 2008
My joy at seeing Barack and his family on stage as the possible First Family of this country filled me with such joy and hope. I can't imagine what an emotional wreck I'll be once he wins the White House. (Not to mention what an emotional wreck I'll be if he doesn't win the White House.)
"The change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it—because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time. America, this is one of those moments."—
Four years ago Barack gave me hope for a UNITED States... and he did it again tonight. Yes. We. Can.
Footnote: Thank you Hilary. Thank you for an amazing speech. I understand the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pantsuit thing, but tangerine?
Monday, August 25, 2008
Well its over. Two amazing weeks of international competition. I'm an Olympics geek. I cry. And watching the Closing Ceremonies tonight was no exception. I sobbed.
Many pooh-pooh the commercialism of the Olympics. NBC always gets grief for poor coverage. And this year, China got much criticism for the exorbitant amount of money spent (43 Billion dollars!!), its politics, and for giving a cherubic gap-toothed young girl the Milli Vanilli treatment. I've even read some articles playing down the monumental accomplishment of Michael Phelps' 8 gold medals. Are you KIDDING me??! You try having 17 swims, in a variety of 4 different strokes, against the best swimmers in the world. I normally enjoy rooting for the underdog, sometimes the inevitable wins by the United States can make me cringe... but he swam and won with such sincerity and humility, you just had to root for him.
And here it is, are we so defiantly jaded that we cannot enjoy these Olympics? Are we so vehemently so opposed to the thought of the unifying power of the Olympics? Is there possibly a dry eye in the house when you see Iran and Iraq athletes marching in the parade of nations back to back? How about when you see the female athletes marching in for Afghanistan?
I normally love the Olympics anyway. I love seeing the one athlete arriving, proud to compete on behalf of their country. I share the heartbreaking joy when an athlete has their dreams come alive. I cry when I see the agony of a dream dashed in a mere second of a mistake. And this year, I was even more touched watching China stake its claim in history.
As a Chinese-American, I was so absolutely proud to see my countrymen produce such a jaw-dropping spectacle. I teared when I heard Yao-Ming say "I've waited for this day my whole life. Not just me, the whole country." And I can say my entire family was glued to the competition, well into the morning light. For 2 weeks straight I finally saw Asian people, Chinese people on TV. I saw them being competitive, strong, full of life and grace. The Today Show actually highlighted Chinese without accents speaking of fashion, cuisine, culture. I saw small pieces of me finally reflected back, and yes it felt great.
The Beijing Olympics meant so much to its Country and its People. It was opportunity to show the world what The People are all about. And here, on the other side of the world, I think the Chinese community waited with bated breath, hoping we would be proud of what we saw. And, underage gymnasts aside, by no means do I think we were disappointed.
Monday, August 18, 2008
The headiest withdrawal were the first 2 days without coffee, dear sweet nectar of the gods! I was groggy, slow, headachey and just altogether not myself. Sunday, with some solid z's under my belt, was much smoother. But as I was back in the office today with the usual lack of sleep mojo, I needed something and broke down with a decaf soy latte.
Lucky for me, I'm a big soy/tofu fan so the food has been manageable. Which doesn't mean, I couldn't do without a big honkin' burger right now! But I'm experimenting with alternatives and I reckon that's part of this whole experience. Tonight, I made a quesidilla made with teff tortillas, avocado, and vegan cheese. For grilling purposes the teff turned out just fine, but as it is gluten-free, I wouldn't advise eating without heating up. I imagine a $5 bill tasting better. And the vegan cheese? Well, it served its melting purposes but thats about all I can say thats fit to print.
Some thought the weekends would be more difficult than the weekdays but I'm not so sure. A full workweek ahead and far too much munchie time spent in front of the computer monitor. Eeeshk!
Friday, August 15, 2008
I don't think I have food issues. I love food. What's the issue??
I guess I just love it too much. Although, I do keep an eye on what I eat, I certainly do not deny myself. How can I with all the amazing food available to us here in San Francisco?
But tomorrow I embark on a 10-day test. I will be plunging myself into the Quantum Wellness detox: refrain from sugar, caffeine, alcohol, gluten and animal products. It is an experiement to see how much my body is actually addicted to these substances. While the author of this detox, Kathy Freston, says that I should do as much as I can do, giving up the five substances is admittedly ambitious. For many folks, it hard enough to just stop sugar by itself; and I'm not even shooting for 21 days as prescribed. I am being realistic with a 10-day goal. Each day beyond that I will take slowly.
Clear tummy, clear mind. Ohmmmm... Ooohh, is that a cupcake??!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Because aren't we all looking for our Next Big Thing? A new idea, a new event? A new job?
Its daunting enough to put me under the covers.... And truth be told I've found being under the covers ain't so bad. Granted, I've got a lovely Brocade Home duvet cover but I digress...
Its been hard to find the right topic. I've been an uninpsired blogger. I have always been challenged in the discipline of writing as an art form. Blogging has been a way to write daily without the pressure of being the master of words. But now I feel the pressure of being prolific. The pressure of being clever, incisive, snarky on a daily, nay, hourly basis. It drives a girl to want and just curl up under the covers with her iPhone...
Monday, July 14, 2008
In the time I waited in line I could've also:
- Played in a Texas Hold'Em Tournament
- Knitted a Sweater (and I don't know how to knit!)
- Flown to Miami
- Watched Juno 4 times.
- Cooked a turkey.
- Repainted my closet doors.
- Run a marathon (This being theoritical, of course.)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Situation: I live in a permit parking area in the Mission area. Who doesn't? Well actually one block up the 75 Degree hill I live on actually has no permit parking. But I digress.
A car has been parked for over a week on my block, taking up 2 car spaces. Highly coveted car spaces. My neighbor left a passive/aggressive note which I'm sure made THEM feel better; but really had no effect.
The car proceeds to sit through the weekend and well into the week. Never mind, it doesn't get marked ONCE for parking without a permit! And never mind that I, WITH a permit, have gotten a parking ticket for which the DPT is STILL reviewing after 3 months!. Car has now gotten a street cleaning ticket, but essentially has paid for over 9 days of parking for the price of one ticket.
By now I'm thinking perhaps the car has been abandoned (It doesn't LOOK abandoned, but whatever.)
I call DPT to report abandoned vehicle. This is how it went.
"Thank you for calling DPT. blah blah blah. Press 1 for English" *1*
"To report or call about abandoned vehicle press 4." *4*
"To report a abandoned vehicle, press 1." *1*
"Please say the license plate number of vehicle after the tone." *I wait for tone.*
"Please say the license plate number of vehicle after the tone." No tone, but I say *3XXX5XX*
"Please say the license plate number of vehicle after the tone." Still no tone but I repeat *3XXX5XX*
"Please hold while we transfer your call." *CALL ENDED*
I am so dumbfounded, that I stupidly I tried one more time. With the same results!!! WHAT THE F&CK!!! Seriously, at this point, will anyone blame me for turning into an angry green monster with shredded pants?
Footnote: Police came to tow away car. It was stolen....
Monday, June 09, 2008
The James Beard Foundation awards were handed out last night in New York. The awards, given annually, are basically the Oscars of the food world. And 2 of the top awards were not only given to San Francisco chefs, but to chefs that work their culinary magic in my hood, just 5 blocks away! Can I get a *whut whut*??!
Craig Stoll, chef and co-owner of Delfina in San Francisco, was named the best chef in California and Hawaii, one of 10 such regional awards. Stoll and his wife, Annie, also operate the adjoining Pizzeria Delfina which is delish but kind of a pain to eat at because of the neverending crowd. The New Yorkers took a lot of the big awards so I feel like it was sort of a gimme for Craig to go up against other Bay Area chefs in this regionalized award.
The other major prize, the Outstanding Pastry Chef award, went to Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, owners of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, as the best pastry chefs or bakers in America. The award designates a chef or baker who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. NATIONAL. AMERICA. Got that? The ham & cheese croissants? The savory bread pudding? They serve as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Warms my heart I tell ya. And my tummy too.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Here now some highlights (in no particular order):
Lever House. Located on the ground floor of the mid-century jewel of the same name. I was excited enough to just walk by and marvel at the architecture of the building; so eating there too was a real treat. From the NY Times, "In a reckless gamble, Marc Newson, the designer, more or less thumbs his nose at the severely elegant architecture around him, leading diners down a glowing enclosed walkway into a tubelike dining room decorated with a hexagon pattern on the floor and walls, like an Op Art painting." With the repeated hexagon motif, I felt like a bee cocooned in the hive; but in a good way. For lunch, the place filled up mainly with Power Players in Suits; I decided to forgoe the Power Martini and opted for the fresh lime soda($8). My seared arctic char came with a riesling foam, which I found really intriguing. (That damn Top Chef piqued my curiosity.) This place was uber pricey and at $100 a person(lunch!), it certainly is not a place I could ever afford without an expense account. But the ingredients were fresh and the flavors subtle, if not necessarily memorable.
Perilla. Yes. Cheesy. But I decided to throw caution to the wind and try Harold Dieterle's restaurant in the Village. (I always had a soft spot for the no-nonsense approach that led to his ultimate win on the first season of Top Chef. I know, 2nd reference.) Turns out his place carries out his no-nonsense approach. Small, unassuming, and reasonably priced, I had a great dinner. The highlight here was his signature appetizer, the duck meatballs. OMG. I could've eaten a whole BOWL of this! Spicy duck meatballs on a small bed of spinach and cavatelli pasta(infused with mint!); topped with a quail egg that you break open and mix in. Truly, this dish is a standout that I will remember for a long time.
Rare Bar and Grill. New York is a great city for burgers. I have already been to hall of famer Burger Joint(at the Parker Meridian hotel) and so decided to try something new at R.A.R.E Bar & Gril's 2nd location in Greenwich Village. I had the M&M Burger which was flambeed in whiskey. Nice. I thought it was delicious and juicy and flavorful. But the real deal of the night was the $10 trough of fried goodies: shoestring fries, waffle fries, and sweet potato fries. Said trough was also accompanied by 5 dippings sauces: basic BBQ , chile ketchup(bland), garlic mayo, chipotle aioli, and a honey maple syrup mayo dippy thing. To my surprise, and chagrin, I could not stop eating the sweet potato fries with the maple syrup dip. It was just so weird that my taste buds couldn't get enough. Try at your own risk.