catching up - the strike

now that i finally have some downtime (and a working internet connection), i can catch up on recent events, beginning with the strike. i was actually looking forward to it, just to experience the first mass transit strike in nyc in nearly 25 years. fortunately, my law firm was very understanding and we were told just to come in whenever we could make it.

spanning three mornings, the strike was everything i imagined it would be. my commute began a few blocks away at the christopher st. path station, where i took the train uptown to 33rd st. from there i walked up fifth avenue to 53rd, and then cut across to my job at 3rd ave. it was really neat to see all the people on the streets, and luckily the weather was nice all week (quick note - the snow is finally coming down today!). Here are some pictures from my commute - my favorite was walking by the library each morning.

greeley park, the path station exit

walking past the library

one of those famous lions

at work, my schedule was crazy busy due to coworkers on vacation. with my heavy workload i took a company car home each night, so i never got to see how the commute worked going home.

looking back, the three day strike was memorable and exciting, but i can't imagine if it ran for two weeks like the last time in 1980.

anyways, off to go shopping now!


shake a fist! - internet

going forward, my "shake a fist!" postings will cover anything i find frustrating (taken from my friend ajuah - joshua w/out the "j"). she really does the physical "shake a fist" the best.

anyways, my internet connection at home is spotty again! i was hoping to catch up with some posts from the holidays but it looks like it will have to wait. damn whoever our internet provider is <>!


food i miss - la version

so many good memories... although san francisco is considered a much better food haven than los angeles, nothing beats comfort food from the old days. I'm sure I'm forgetting some great eats, but here is my list:

- ribs usa. mentioned in my earlier post, this is the place for ribs, hot wings and bbq.
- topps. the best chili cheese fries, chili dog, and zucchini sticks all come with the biggest heartburn.
- the boat (aka clearman's galley). they may have replaced the snow ice, but their cheese bread, chili burgers and famous salads can't be beat. i recently discovered that this spot is a favorite of my grandmother's!
- outback. just had a jacket potato right now for dinner. not as great as the one free potato i got every night i worked as a busboy (probably because i didn't personally put double butter and extra bacon on it), but still tasty.
- del taco. possibly one of the best 99 cent menus ever: works burrito, spicy chicken burrito, other stuff that i can't remember because i rarely order them. and the best chicken soft tacos. please, i hope i never learn what the secret sauce is. some things are not meant to be known.
- numero uno pizza. one of my all time favorite pizzas. a nice greasy deep dish, with fresh tomatoes and a slightly sweet dough.
- in-n-out. my dad's office was next to fifth in-n-out ever opened. it's still the size of my nyc apt, with only a few patio tables for eat-in and old school horns for drive-thru.

i'm sure there are more (zankou chicken, shao mei, school cafeteria, etc.) but i've gotta get back to work now!

what i miss - la version

i thought that since i have been gone from southern california for nearly ten years my list would be much longer. although short, i believe this contains everything i truly miss after leaving in 1996.

- family. although my sisters moved to san francisco, most of my family remains in southern california, including my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many cousins. i can't wait to see everyone when i go home in january!
- the dena ballers / l-clubbers. too numerous to name, but i miss all of the good times we've had and look forward to the even better times we have coming. mark your calendars, i'll be home from 1/24 - 1/30. (btw, i'm up for a '96/'97 rematch if we can make it happen while i'm home)

- hanging out at home. home truly is where the heart is, even after our big tree got cut down and my parents have rearranged all the furniture.
- eating home cooking. it still surprises me that in senior year of high school i ate dinner at home less than once a month. it also still surprises me that i used to be able to easily polish off cheese fries and a 16 oz. prime rib at outback, with room for dessert!
- balling at hamilton park. the old school fridays were still some of the best basketball memories i have.
- the card trader. i think only matt understands my true love of the place during the summer of '97. magic and nba jam baby!
- the pacific hastings theater. before there was stadium seating, i remember watching all the big summer blockbusters here. unfortunately, all my recent memories are of poor sound quality and aching backs.
- tuesday wings. $3 for all-you-can-eat wings and all-you-can-drink soda (personal record - 40 wings)! we would starve ourselves all day before driving out to burback to catch the 4pm special at ribs usa. even at $5 it was still a bargain, but i guess all good things must end.

coming soon - the christmas update and "food i miss - la version"!


happy holidays!

to my family and friends, merry christmas and happy new year! i've been away for a while, but i look forward to seeing everyone again soon! may you and yours all have a wonderful holday season!



busy busy

sorry for the lack o recent posts. i've actually got a couple of posts in the piepline, but just not ready to publish them. things at work have been pretty crazy, and coupled with my extended commute (due to the strike, which just ended today), i just have not had time to post here.

things have been good though. working at a law firm is a big change from working at build, largely because everyone is constantly trying to find billable work. there are times where it's really slow and everyone is asking around looking for work (like all of last week), and then there are time when there are tons of projects flying around, many which are rush, and all which need to be completed (like this week so far).

anyways, gotta get back to work...


intelligent ruling

kudos to the honorable judge jones for barring intellligent design from public classrooms (even as a one-minute statement). i won't go into detail about it here, but there's a terrific piece on this trial in a recent new yorker (sorry, it's not on the web, but i have it at my place). basically, all of these scientists testified in court about the nature of "true" sciences, the definition of a scientific theory (as opposed to it just being an idea used to account for something), and all of this other interesting stuff aboubt evolution.

anyways, long story short - intelligent design was just a "scientific sounding" way of saying creationism, which i think we don't need in our public schools.

long long day

contrary to what many people thought would happen, the mta walked out and went on strike. luckily, i live fairly close to a path train stop, and only needed to walk from 30th st and 6th ave to my work at 55th and 3rd (about 1.5 miles). many of my co-workers faced much longer commutes, coming into the city from queens, brooklyn and even long island, so i really can't complain.

what really made my day feel long was a long time spent working at the computer. everyone wasn't kidding when they said the work piles on once your training is complete. at least this allows me to get some extra hours in, as i'll only be working four day weeks for the next two weeks due to x-mas and new year's.

let's see how long this strike will last...


dear mr. wu,

today i sent an email to my future self courtesy of futureme.org. my letter is not to be sent untit 12/2009, and it really makes me wonder what type of person i will be in four years? i don't think i've changed much since high school, so i'm crossing my fingers that nothing will change after i finish law school. other than my earning potential.

garciaparra to the dodgers!

wow. a big risk, but i'm glad the dodgers are willing to make some moves. i'm hoping for a big year, with a new gm, manager, and key players.

gotta say that no matter how much i love playing and watching basketball, baseball is hands-down my favorite sport to follow. best drama, player movement, stories, etc.

new weekend schedule

friday and saturday do go by quickly when they are your only days off during the week, but considering how slow it is today at work, i still prefer it over working mon-fri. here's a brief recap of my weekend.

started friday off with an intense workout. mainly abs and legs, both of which i do not work out enough as evidenced by my current soreness. after discussing cheese with chih, he recommended that i check out murray's, right down the street on bleeker. it was a great shop, and i picked up some prima donna gouda (my current favorite) as well as a st. martin cheddar. this, along with half a baguette and leftover pasta, provided me with a very filling lunch.

the rest of the day was rounded out by dropping some pics to be developed at hong color, more kati rolls with devy, a cannoli (and other pastries) from cafe ferrera, and a late night shwarma from mahmoun's. yes, lots of eating and walking.

saturday was more of the same. for devy's farewell, suzanne and gerald treated us to a hearty british fusion brunch at the spotted pig, as well as some tasty homemade peppermint bark. after burnch, devy and i took the tour at the new york public library, walked around bryant park, and got pizza from bravo pizza. after taking a short nap at home, devy and i decided to catch the chronicles of narnia, which i really liked. finally we closed out the weekend with a doner kebab and grilled chicken sandwich from the other falalel place on macdougal (for some reason mahmoun's looked closed), whoch was pretty good, possibly even better than mahmoun's.

all in all, a great weekend. i recommend narnia to those looking for a light fantasy film, and i am looking forward to watching brokeback mountain next, as it got great reviews from friends.

coming soon: things i miss - la version!


k-town with j-tourists

tonight after work i met up with julia, one of my old co-workers at build. she was in town from philadelphia for the evening visiting a friend who was also visiting, but from japan. unfortunately, this friend had somehow lost both of her credit cards and i felt really bad as it wasn't easy to cancel her cards since they were all issued in japan. she was sad that she wouldn't be able to shop, but i told her not to worry since her boyfriend was on route to nyc as well (they all go flights for around $400 rt from japan).

the whole thing reminded me of when jack and i were in europe, and both of his credit cards got cancelled and i was his suger daddy for our final week in paris. luckily we were able to stay at my friend andrea's apartment, or else we would've really been screwed.

anyways, after the credit card situation was figured out we headed out to k-town. julia (who is korean) worked her magic and we enjoyed an excellent dinner at kum gang san on 32nd st. immediately after dinner, we all went together to penn station as julia had to catch the last train back to philly, and that's where i catch the 1 train home. it was really nice meeting her japanese friends, and it really made me want to go back. i originally went in 2001 with gerald, and we had an amazing time backpacking through the kansai region for about two weeks.

food i miss - sf version

it's only taken me one month in new york city to develop major cravings for my bay area favorites:

mid-scale restaraunts:
- osha. i may not crave this place like back in the days (jack and i went straight from the airport after six weeks in europe), but it takes effort for me not to overhype the crab fried rice
- blue jay cafe. budget gourmet soul food, just be ready to search for parking
- emmy's spaghetti shack. five dollar 40s and meatballs the size of my fist
- cha cha cha. one of my favorites, great place to go with friends and get more drunk then you think you are. mission location preferred
- delfina. i usually don't like italian restaraunts, but i make the exception here
- zachary's. so far haven't had pizza here that can compare
- little star pizza. its deep dish pizza also doesn't compare, but it's close and offers $1 pabst blue ribbons

fast food:
- three brothers. i can't remember what i did before they opened in east palo alto. actually i do, and i try to forget those days
- pizza: arinell's & cheeseboard. pizza to go (or to stay, as they say here) in nyc is not as good as in sf
- in-and-out. i try not to think about their burgers, although gerald says he's found a close alternative (blue9)
- top dog. there's truth to their name
- cafe intermezzo. still my all-time favorite salad place
- crepes-a-go-go. i'm sure i can find agood crepes place here, but i just haven't looked

snacks / desserts:
- tartine bakery. this place i miss alot. best bread pudding ever!
- see's candy. those new peanut brittle crunch bars are worth the candy you get stuck between your teeth
- recchiuti confections. their s'mores truly make me wish for s'more
- miette. good cakes. fantastic parisian macaroons.

- safeway. i hate shoipping in the tiny, over-priced markets we have here
- cheese: 24 st. cheese company & cowgirl creamery. prima donna gouda and dry jack have converted me into a bona-fide cheese lover
- johnson’s drakes bay oysters. 100 oysters for $30. just don't get lost on the way like i always did

two places that probably would have been favorites had i only visited earlier (instead of the week before i left):
- a16 - another fancy pizza place, but with fair prices for food and wine
- minako - affordable, organic japanese in a nice, private setting

comment: it's surprising in this day and age how many of these great places don't have their own website. is it really that difficult?


No work tomorrow! My Sun-Thurs work schedule begins this week, with a late start time of 10:30 AM on Sunday (and casual dress)! Woo-hoo!


what i miss - sf version

slow day at work, but perfect for me to list everything i miss (so far) about northern california. first and foremost - my family. i'm glad i had a few months with both emily and jennifer in san francisco, but i really wish i could be with them during the holidays. also, my cousins jeanne, angela, ajay and joanie, plus maya and madeleine, the new addition i haven't even met yet :(

people i miss:
- my old old roomies ejen and etam (and everyone else, you know who you are)
- my old roomie thien
- killa bees and sunnyvale friends (although it looks like now everyone moved to snta clara)
- and last but not least, my BUILD family - staff, students and volunteers (if you're in the bay area, support our young entrepreneurs and learn about build at our annual holiday sales bazaar)

activities/stuff i miss:
- the bay area scenic beauty
- thursday basketball
- saturday running
- sunday yoga
- snowboarding in tahoe
- hitting the driving range
- npr on my commute
- karaoke revolution!

places i miss:
- our parks: dolores park and golden gate park
- sf public libraries: main and the sally brunn branch (noe valley)
- ferry plaza farmer's market
- berkeley
- the fillmore / warfield
- musee mecanique (but its old location was better)

coming soon: "the food i miss" (my list looked way too long to fit in this post)


those selfish bastards

looks like telecom companies want to institute their own higher speed "toll internet". quite a change to see google, yahoo, and all the other big internet companies banding together to fight this. with those dot.com super powers fighting on the same side, i can't expect the telecoms to win. or can they? ultimately i'm not sure how this will affect the end user.

btw, sat in a long meeting today at work and wrote out everything for my next long blog posting. coming soon - everything i miss about sf!

colder than a witch's teat

or i think that's what my boy matty-a used to always say. here's a screen cap from my dashboard this morning (fahrenheit on the left, celsius on the right):

Picture 1

thumbs up, thumbs down

my mom left a message for me last night with first word from the law schools - rejected at george washington university, accepted at st. john's. two down, nineteen to go... not sure how this bodes for the rest of my applications if i couldn't get into gw, but i guess i'll have to wait and see. wish me luck!

quick sports update

the lakers beat the mavs last night, and have won 5 of their last six games to crawl out of the cellar in the pacific division (above sacramento!). i only wish i could watch their games, but i don't have cable and the games start too late out here. my buddy calvin did offer me a ticket to the knicks game last night, but i couldn't get off work early enough. a good thing too as starbury, my hopeful keeper in two fantasy leagues, played horribly.

on the other hand, the clippers lead the pacific divison! how long will this last?

cal football will be playing byu at the las vegas bowl on december 22. who will start at quarterback? levy again? longshore? please not ayoob.

cal basketball is off to a 6-2 start, although i hope their conference play is not as disappointing as the start of cal football conference play.

the dodgers hired grady little, paid the big bucks to rafael furcal, and have offered jeff weaver arbitration. will this turn things around? hopefully. when tommy was in town he said he saw tommy lasorda at del frisco's, so maybe that's some sort of sign (his back was turned when i passed by, so i couldn't confirm lasorda as my first celebrity sighting).

no big moves so far for the angels, although they did pick up j.c. romero, who was a monster set-up guy a few years ago.


internet book database?

thining about my last post on books, it made me wonder why there isn't an internet book database ala imdb.com. anyone know why?

lion, the witch and the super long wait

today i read two pieces in the times about two different books/series i've read recently, a feast for crows and the chronicles of narnia.

the first article covers the song of fire and ice, my favorite series for the past few years. it definitely paints a much grimmer picture than the lord of the rings, but at the same time it is more captivating because of its realistic depictions. i may have mentioned it earlier, but i did wait three hours to get my copy signed by the author, described by the articles author as "about 100 pounds overweight, ... like a rotund elf or Santa Claus." i highly recommend this series for any fan of the fantasy genre. the only negative about it is the two year wait between books in the series...

narnia is the subject of the second article, an op/ed piece. like the author, i also didn't realize that the stories were of a christian nature. however, after picking up mere christianity (but not getting a chance to read it), and after i saw a preview for the movie series, i became intrigued and re-read the entire series. a much shorter read than tolkien (the whole 8-9 books is less than the ring trilogy). this second time around, i was amazed at how christian the series is, and how i had forgotten the crazy plot twist at the very end! if you don't remember the series, and have time to spare, i recommend picking it up if only for a light, youthful read.

while i'm on the subject of books, i'll just share what i'm reading now - straight man. jordan recommended this book to me after i remarked that i wasn't impressed by richard russo's empire falls, which won the pulitzer prize (and that i picked up for $1 at the big sf book sale). he assured me that straight man is a much more entertaining read. luckily for me, he was right. i hopped on the wrong train after work today, and by the time i realized i was deep into queens, i didn't mind because i was enjoying the book so much. i think i may have even laughed out loud in the train...


austin powers

today i popped my celebrity sighting cherry! ken, devy and i were talking on the corner of 6th ave and bedford/houston when i see this guy crossing the street towards us on houston. i look closely as he passes by, and i quitely say to ken and devy, "that was just mike myers," to which ken confirms my sighting by shouting "hey mike!" and having him turn around with a tired/confused expression.

not bad for my first sighting, and it was cool how it looked like he was just walking home, looking like everyone else with a hat (beanie as we say in ca), headphones and in everyday dress. now i wonder who i'll spot next...

still connected!

wow... i'm trying not to get too excited, but my internet connection has been working for the past few days straight!

yummy food

hope everyone had a great weekend. i had a good one, thanks in no small part to a few great restaurants. first, i kicked off my weekend at my temp agency's holiday party. if anyone is looking for legal work here, update legal is a great agency. they came highly recommended and did not disappoint. after a brief stop for free drinks and hor dourves, i rushed back home, changed and made it back out to meet up with thomas, who i met at eric tam's wedding in sf. i soon learned that this was the one big asian party of the night, and ran into a bunch of other people - rachel and friends, julie (a lambda lil sis from ca), tammy, and mike owh and his buddy chris, accompanied by penny, who i knew back in our early days of greek life. anyways, it was apretty fun, albeit uneventful night.

saturday i met up with my cousin ken and his girlfriend renee (hope i'm spelling that right) for lunch. i decided on ino, which gerald raves about, and it was delicious. the paninos did not look filling, but they were quite substantial and affordable. the truffled egg toast was possibly the best egg dish i've ever had. i definitely will be back, especially as it's only a few blocks away. they also score points in my book for having a place on the wall for you to hang your jacket on. i hate just draping it on my chair and having parts of my jacket gtting dirty on the ground.

for dessert, i took them to rice to riches in soho. it was also my first time, and i must say that i wasn't too impressed. maybe i'm just not a big fan of rice pudding (although i did get an excellent serving from an old lady selling desserts in cancun - one peso for a styrofoam cupful). the one bonus s that you get a little spoon and reusable bowl with your order.

then for dinner devy and i went to kati roll in the east village. anoter rec from gerald, and i love this place too. it's basically an indian wra sandwich, with a naan-type bread wrapped around either chicken, beef, cottage cheese or spicy potato (add egg if desired). i've had the chicken and potato, but we tried the chicken with egg, and it was by far the best. i can't wait for my next kati roll.

devy and i kicked off this morning with a loaf of seminola raisin fennel bread from amy's bread (once again, gerald's rec). we munched on it (as i am doing now with he remains of the loaf), until we decided on brunch at shopin's. i'd always seen this place packed, and wanted to give it a shot. the service and ambiance were interesting, but the food was unquestionably excellent. check out the menu on their website to see how much crazy stuff they have. i ordered the cain and abel (pastrami, corned beef and chease omelette with rye bread), devy got the blister on my sister (some egg, tortilla concotion, with chicken, avocado, rice and cheese), and we split an order of cubed hass potatoes. i will also certainly be back, but without my cellphone, and in a part of less that four (they have very strict rules).

finally for dinner today, devy finished off her leftovers (huge portions at shopsin's), and i cooked pasta with italian sausage. nothing fancy worth taking pictures of, but still tasty.

now i just need to exercise/diet all next week to make up for the feast i enjoyed this weekend...


outsourcing: what's next?

just finished reading an article in the times about virtual sweatshops in china. that's just crazy. what happened to good old fashioned hard work, blood, sweat and guts? how will you know how to defeat that beholder or lich if you've never even battled kobolds or goblins? personally, i consider the two weeks my ultima online character spent chopping wood, carving bows, slowly increasing his strength and dexterity, as valuable "character" building (horrible pun intended). if i still played mmpgs i wouldn't be using one of these characters born with a silver spoon (in this case, silver dagger +3 of protection)...

web 2.0

during downtime at work, i like to search the web for articles related to litigation support in order to learn more about my field (which is supposed to experiencing quite the technological revolution). while browsing a few blogs, i came across an interesting pot about web 2.0. before I go further, here are links to the original sources:

What Is Web 2.0 article by Tim O'Reilly

the interesting table which caught my eye was:

Web 1.0 --> Web 2.0
DoubleClick --> Google AdSense
Ofoto --> Flickr
Akamai --> BitTorrent
mp3.com --> Napster
Britannica Online --> Wikipedia
personal websites --> blogging
evite --> upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation --> search engine optimization
page views --> cost per click
screen scraping --> web services
publishing --> participation
content management systems --> wikis
directories (taxonomy) --> tagging ("folksonomy")
stickiness --> syndication

anyways, interesting article and blog. just heard back from the attorney, gotta get back to work!

harry potter

anyone remember when it came out? before watching it with gerald, susana and danielle, we enjoyed a nice korean lunch, from which i brought home some kalbi tang (short-rib soup) leftovers. they still tasted good this past weekend (or was it last week?), and i was hoping to have them as a late night snack yesterday. here what it looked like:

not too appetizing, but it still smelled ok. maybe it would look better in a bowl?

not really.

i called gerald to see if he thought it was still edible, and he sounded horrified that i even still had it in the fridge. not willing to risk experiencing my own "goblet of fire," i remembered that i had some leftover homemade bread and an empenada that mrs. nijjar gave me. it ended up being very tasty with the green sauce from sophie's cuban cuisine (sorry no website, but i keep a stash of their green sauce in my fridge).

heavy snow

wow, woke up this morning and the snow was really coming down. however, i was less excited than i would have thought, probably due to watching coverage of the plane that slid off the runway in chicago last night. now i know what a "severe storm alert" means...


I just learned

that i can post to my blog simply by sending an email! this way i can
look like i am working productively, while actually informing the world
(all five of my readers), of my current thoughts!

however, i'll probably keep this as a minimum, as one thing i've learned
working in litigation in a law firm is that companies really do track
(or at least have the ability to track) every single email that you ever
send, as well as every single file attachment, aim conversation, etc.
slackers beware!

keyboard shortcuts

am i the only who has issues using keyboard shortcuts as a result of switching between pc and mac machines? why can't apple just place the command (apple) key where the control key is on pc keyboards?

i know my coworkers think i have a problem cutting, pasting, and using other shortcuts...


strand vs. sf bookstores

as i wait for the car service company to call me back at work, i thouht i should take this time to add another entry to my blog. i love to read, and there's nothing i enjoy more than picking up a used book at a discounted price. i was well acquanted with all of the many used book stores in sf, and hoped to find more of the same here in nyc. the strand bookstore came highly recommended, but it's been a disappointment my first few trips there. my thoughts:

the strand (one huge store) vs. sf bookstores (many little stores)

-- location --
the strand is conveniently located nearby in the east village, only a short walk away, whereas the bookstores in sf were spread all throughout the city.
winner: strand

-- selection --
although the strand has "18 miles of books", many are just the same books in massive quantities. in addition, i've found their used book selection to be especially weak when compared to the variety in sf. if one store doesn't have it, another will.
winner: sf bookstores

-- service --
i get a little of the superstore feeling at the strand, and i really prefer a small store feel when i buy my used books (otherwise i'd just buy books off amazon). it's nice when you can have a conversation with the people at the bookstore and get their opinions/recommendations and not feel rushed. the employees in sf also just seem to know the store/books better.
winner: sf bookstores

-- price --
like i said earlier, it's been tough finding the used books i want at the strand. they have numerous discount books, but it's like at borders where you really don't want most of what's on sale. i want to be able to buy recent, popular books now for a discounted price. in sf you may have to do some searching, but usually you'll find what you are looking for.
winner: sf bookstores

as you can see, sf bookstores win easily. maybe it'll just take some time for me to find the small independent used bookstores out here...


i've decided to spend part of my lunch break at work entering notes from my handy little notebook into my blog. many of these are thoughts that would have been directly entered online, if not for my erratic internet connectivity.

last night i had another splendid meal with tommy, sanjeet, and mr. and mrs. griffiths. unfortunately sanjeet's mom decided she had had enough of the cold weather after a day of sightseeing so she decided to stay in and order room service. this time sanjeet treated us to an excellent seafood dinner at the manhattan ocean club. afterwards we went back to the hotel to hang out with sanjeet's mom and enjoy the cranberry apple pie (from kitchenette)devy gave them on sunday. the pie was delicious, but the hotel charged us $14 for 6 plates and silverware!

prior to dinner also picked up my gift for the secret santa gift exchange my high school friends have had for the past 6-7 years. hope my secret santee (?) enjoys it!

tommy and sanjeet passed on a request from my secret santa to see what i need, but i prefer to be surprised. however, in an attempt to be helpful, here are a few lists:

needlist (stuff i will be buying soon):
- placemats
- vacuum cleaner
- reading lamp
- external hard drive

wantlist (stuff i don't really need, but want):
- digital camera (a smaller one i can actually carry around without my man-purse)
- hot water boiler (tea kettle)
- athletic shoes (for running/working out)
- boots (for the rain.snow)
- printer

wishlist (stuff that i really want):
- peace, joy and happiness for all!

still have more to add but gotta get back to work...

welcome fantasy bballers!

per aki's request i have changed the title of our fantasy league to instruct all of you you read my blog. i must say that have been disappointed in the performance of "ballers of the world v.pasadena league," but v.sunnyvale and v.lambda leagues have been off to fairly great starts. as long as i finish in the money for one of my leagues i'll be happy.

why does my isp tease me like this? i had access for about 30 minutes this morning, then after i shut down my computer and pack up everything, it starts up again! aargh (as my sf friends have known me to say, usuallly as i am destroying some feeble piece of furniture)! or shaking a fist (ajuah-style)!

firefox - i decided to create this post using firefox, as there is added blogger usability that safari doesn't support. however, as i do need to leave for work now, i won't be able to add links, pics, etc. until next time...


before i forget

our gas meter is inside of our shower. is it rude to ask the meter guy to take off his shoes befoore entering our home, bathroom and shower to read the meter?


Originally uploaded by MikeUCB.
nm. i figured it out. i took this yesterday on the way to brunch with tommy and sanjeet. i can't wait to walk through central park!

how the hell did i do the picture post?


did i mention

how much i love having internet at home? i love it!!!



my table is here! chih (my roommate) assembled it when it came in, so i got a nice surprise after coming home late from work. i'm actually sitting at my new table now as i type this entry.

anyways, just wanted to elaborate on the radio city show. i really didn't have any prior opinions about it, knowing only the kick step that the rockettes do from childish imitations in elementary school, but it actually pretty neat. i'm not a big show person, but there was a toy soldiers bit that i thought was really neat.

work was pretty standard up until 8pm. i was in the midst of finishing a project earlier than expected, so rather than leave at 8, i thought i would try to pick up some additional training. unfortunately it became a complicated project that lasted until after 10:30pm. i do consider myself fortunate that everyone i work with is very nice and although the work environment is hectic, it's not the crazy stressed out law environment i imagined.

another nice surprise tonight is that my internet is actually working from home.

tomorrow i'm hoping to leave work early so i can enjoy dinner and the evening with tommy, sanjeet and family. it's awesome having good friends visit, although it does make me realize how much i miss everyone else- family, friends, co-workers, and students.

i really should send a letter to all of my old kids one of these days. i hope they don't feel like i left them hanging...

currently listening to plans by death cab for cutie. i didn't like their last album that much, but i love this one. my sister jennifer also recommended jack johnson and the gorillaz, so i'll be uploading those to my mp3 player soon.

for those of you with the new ipod (no, not me), tommy showed me that you can rip your dvd movies and load them onto your ipod. neat! the software is called handbrake (don't have the link handy, but you can just google it).

ok, off to shower and get ready for bed!

sorry again...

but this time i won't be apologizing for a lack of recent posts (although there may be one), but rather for posting some horrible blogs. gerald, as likely the sole reader of my blog, commented that i've been repeating many of the same events/thoughts in my postings. upon a cursory review, i also discovered that my grammar is pretty bad too.

luckily, there probably weren't many people reading this, but even so i promise to try harder to improve my postings. what i may have to do is actually read my posts before i publish them (which i probably still won't do because i don't like to).

thoughts (hopefully new):

1. i really miss playing basketball. i wonder how my team is doing without me and my 0.8 pts and 7 rebs/game. i'm sure they are doing well but i need to find some pick up games around here soon.
2. i'm afraid of gaining a ton of weight now that i'm working again. these computer jobs always seem to result in me sitting in front of a screen while constantly eating. hopefully i can keep my weight close to/under 200lbs. especially since the chairs i got state a 200 lb. max.

events (i know these are new):
1. first snowfall! i just wish i had time to walk through central park, but...
2. my friends tommy and sanjeet are in town from los angeles (really bradbury near monrovia)and i met them for brunch at their hotel. it was really nice to see them. they are here with some family (tommy's parents and sanjeet's mom), unfortunately mrs. griffiths (tommy' mom) wasn't feeling well so her and mr. griffith were stuck in the hotel all day.
3. then we did a lot of shopping on fifth avenue - sanjeet's mom was soerly equipped for the cold and bought a new scarf, hat, gloves and earmuffs.
4. after changing into nicer clothes at home, i met up with them at del friscos, a nice steakhouse by radio city music hall. unfortunately, mrs. g was still unwell so devy and i took their seats for the radio city music hall christmas show, which was actually quite a neat production.
5. finally i stopped by gerald and susana's place on the way home to pick up my computer and went home.

thoughts 2:
1. i can't wait to watch neon genesis evangelion. this series dominated at least one year of my college life. what sucks is that my dvd player cuts off the subtitles so i can't watch it on my tv at home.
2. i really hope i don't gain more weight.

thanks for reading! maybe someday i'lll have some fancy stuff like pictures and hyperlinks...



my apologies for the recent lack of posts (although my isp is largely at fault). i will summarize the last few weeks as pretty awesome, and a continuation of the great experience i am having in new york. once again i will use bullets to list the big updates:

work! - i am a freelance database administrator in the litigation support department of a major law firm in ny. at first i was worried i wouldn't be able to handle the technical work, but it's been going well so far, and the pay is much more than i was expecting with no legal background.

nightlife - i have finally started going out (after i secured my job), after not going out once in my first two weeks in the city. it's been lots of fun, but very very expensive. mainly i've been going out with gerald and crew, and also mike owh, a good friend i met through other good friends at cal. i've learned that i don't think i can handle tow nyc nights in a row (maybe if it's a special occasion). here's a list of where i remember going:

saturday (a while ago) - ludo in east village for albert's birthday (a friend from cal), but met up with monica and friends, big j and his brother, tammy loh, along with gerald (who i went with). this was also my first time going dancing with devy! we stayed out late and closed the night with bereket falafel sandwiches (thanks j!)

saturday (another one) - back page bar in the ues for the big game where we stomped stanford! (thanks francis for saving us seats). then i met up with mike and we hit up the frying pan (club/boat), another hip hop club, and finally some fine sul long tang (oxtail soup) at gammioak in k-town.

friday (after thanksgiving) - went out once again, first lemon (bar in unon square), then i napped at gerald's, and back out to forbidden city and la caverna. james lin made a guest surprise.

cuisine - i have truly been eating well here in new york. maybe somee day i'll take the time to list all the great places i've been to so far, but it really has been excellent. two highlights for this weekend:

blt fish (the shack one) - had a great lobster roll when we went for g's bday
suripaphai (sp?) - according to zagat, the best thai in nyc. excellent, reasonable meal. however, my heart and stomach hhave to lean towards osha - crab fried rice i miss you!

sorry for all this in one post. hopefully i can resolve the internet issues at my place and start posting more regularly.


busy weekend

after confirming my start date for this upcoming monday, i had my first big weekend going out. highlights:

ludo (east village) - it was the birthday party for a friend from cal, and i met up with a bunch of my friends. devy took the night off from studying, gerald and the ieors were there, monica made the trip from queens and my friend jason was visiting from seattle. the place was nice, not too crowded. good music, and the first time devy and i danced together :)

bereket - after leaving ludo at around 3, jason, jon, tammy and i made it to bereket where i scarfed down my firstt falafel sandwich before monica and friends even made it there. then i gorgred mself and got a second sandwich - this time a tasty doner

morning - woke up early with devy, as she had to head back uptown in the morning. picked up bagels on the way to the subway. btw - devy also brought over some delicious chocolate cake from kitchenette last night, mmmm!

we bought a rug - ill try to post a picture of it soon. i bought it from a lady in the eas village, and carried it back to my place on the bus. finally we can walk around in the apt without our shoes on

chinatown - met up with g and susana in chinatown. we all got chinese style chair massages. i don't think gerald found his to be very relaxing. then we bought some groceries (got the dried pork i've been feening for!) and had pho.

the big game - after pho we realized that we were running realy late for the big game, which we were watching with the cal alumni association in the ues. luckily francis fought off strangers and saved a seat for us. awesome game, good prices, and great atmosphere made for an exciting time as cal beat stanford 27-3.

frying pan - on my way home my buddy mike called to see if i wanted to go out. conveniently, my bus was headed in the perfect direction, so i decided to extend the night. after a quick nap (i've been way too lucky about waking up at just the right stop) i walked to the frying pan. this plce is literally a boat they have a little gallery area, bathrooms that were way to hard for me too find, instead i kept finding mself in the area full of little bedrooms, complete with real beds! tammy and andy (monica's friend who knows a bunch of my friends, small world) also met mike there. they were smart though and changed at home.

hip hop club in west village - after the f.p. we taxied over to the west village where tammy's roommate was having her going away party. this place was pretty nice - i was definitely out of dress for this spot. however, tammy did have free drink coupons and there was chocolate covered strawberry action going on in the back room.

gammiok - after a short stint at the club, mike, his buddies chris and paul (who was my asian am t.a. 10 years ago!) went to koreatown for some sul long tang (oxtail soup). my first time having it, it was delcios and hit the spot. perfect for late night, not to heavy and you salt to your own perfection. the kim chi was excellent as well.

we split up afterwards, me cabbing downtown and the guys heading eastward. i slept in for the first time in ny, waking up at 11am. overall this was a great weekend, expensive, but w a good way to kick off my time in new york.


internet works!

so my roommate calls the cable company to complain about our internet, they say nothing is wrong, and a few hours later - voila! it miraculously works! i've got my airport express set up and everything so now i can play music from itunes wirelessly (even though i can't go far in my apt anyways).

anyways these last few days have been pretty eventful. here's what happened (in random chronological order:

- i got a job! registered with an agency last week, had a phone interview on tuesday morning with the hiring manager at the firm, and got the call this morning that i was hired! not i can stop worrying about money and spend to my heart's content

- i mailed off my health insurance forms. filling them out was actually quite stressful as i don't want to be without insurance during my first east coast winter - heard too many stories about trips and falls

- i waited in line for 3.5 hours to get my copy of "feast for crows" signed by the author, george r. martin. this is one of my all time favorite book series, i highly recommend it, starting with "game of thrones"

- i had a few choice meals with devy - golden crust in harlem (my first jamaican fast food experience) and at a very reasonablly priced and decent japanese place near columbia

- i picked up a cubano sandwich from sophie's in midtown. one of the best sandwiches ever... (oh, the green sauce...)

- i met up with paul and denize for drinks. two friends and former coworkers who are both out here for b-school. it was nice to catch up. makes me excited aboubt going back to school, although i doubt law school will be the same type of environment

- watched cal get stomped by usc. we better at least beat stanford this weekend.

that's all i can remember for now. off to meet up with bt and burger, who are back from europe and have a layover in nyc



sorry for the lack of recent updates. internet has been down at my apartment for the last few days but i'm sending this out from the apple stre, which is fortunately just blocks from me.

btw - the classes at the apple store are actually prety cool. i've been sitting in on a few classes as i like to sit in the auditorium as i surf the web.

job update - phone interview tomorrow, wish me luck!


katz's deli

wow, i just had the best pastrami of my life. today i had lunch at katz's deli with calvin and lawrence, two brothers i have known forever from our old neighborhood of hastings ranch in pasadena, and also gerald, my ieor and college roommate. the bus near my house that runs down houston (m21) only runs twice an hour during off peak, so i walked and it only took me twenty minutes.

man, it was delicious. all you meat-loving friends, you would love this place. the matzo ball soup was excellent also, although it didn't make obsolete every soup i have had prior, as the pastrami did to hot pastrami sandwiches.

the job hunt is still on-going, as i discovered yesterday that the job agencies here don't accept walk-ins and that i have to email my resume everywhere. i remember in sf i could just walk in, meet a recruiter, and they would have a list of jobs for me right then and there.

this morning i also applied for my ny state id card. i'll be sure to post a picture once i get it. i like to smile big on my id cards, but this guy mad me smile less because he said my eyes were too squinty in the first picture i took.


fall in ny

Originally uploaded by MikeUCB.
isn't this tree cool looking (btw, i just figured out how to post pics directly to my blog from flickr!)


marathon and more

the marathon was pretty awesome. i got a great spot about 400 meters from the finish, and ended up chatting with a Swedish guy and nice couple about living in NY and the marathon. the coolest thing was when one of the elite runners stopped with about 400m remaining to the finish. the crowd went wild and cheered like crazy until he started running again. it was awesome.

then after i came home i assembled my overhead lamp. i bought the pieces from a hardware store and put it all together with scissors, a screwdriver and googled instructions. little scary when i hit the switch for the first time, but it worked! now i just need to get a tall stepladder so i can nail the thing to my ceiling.

today i made my first freshdirect.com order. i temped at webvan during their startup phase, so ordering groceries online was a bit of a flashback. hopefully freshdirect will be better than webvan (although webvan did have an awesome employee cafeteria).


saturday and sunday

halfway through the weekend. my first nyc saturday was pretty eventful, as i shopped at the union square farmers market, bought kitchen stuff at chelsea market and saw a new jersey nets game with some friends i hadn't seen in a while.

the farmers market was different in a lot of ways from the ferry plaza one in sf. fewer vendors, MUCH cheaper, and not quite the people watching and tourist spectacle. still nice though. i didn't buy too much stuff, as it's every monday, wednesday, friday and saturday, so i'm sure i'll be back soon. i hate having produce go bad, so i try not to get a lot at one time. i bought a second hand industrial aluminum sheet for $6 as well as a veggie steamer for $6 so now my kitchen set is starting to really come together. it's actually quite exciting, as i've never owned anything more than a bowl and baking sheet the entire time i lived in the bay area.

last nights game was the nets vs. the bulls. attending were myself, lawrence, calvin, and calvin's wife gladys. our families have known each other since before i was born, so it was good to see them. calvin moved out here a few years back, and lawrence is currently in st. louis with plans to head back to southern ca. none of us had anything vested in the game, other than tyson chandler is one of my fantasy players (1 pt, 8 rebs! come on tyson, that's disappointing!) and gladys is from chicago so she was rooting for her home team. it was actually quite exciting, as you can read here.

anyways, today i'm gonna try to find a good spot in central park to catch the end of the marathon, maybe work out and also start researching the legal temp agencies that i'll be hitting up next week.


errands but still so much...

today was fairly productive.

things I did:
- exchanged my cell phone (turned in my Samsung 950 for the Motorola E815)
- Went to Apple store to try and fix my Airport Express. it's driving me nuts!
- bought a cookware set: http://www.tramontina-usa.com/cookware.asp
- cooked dinner at Danielle's house with Gerald
- explored J & R (huge electronic/appliance/computer/music store in downtown)
- bought stuff to make an overhead light from scratch
- ate at Blimpies for the first time

now that i have my nice set of pots and pans, i need to get abunch of other stuff to start cooking:
- groceries. i think i'm gonna give freshdirect.com a try next week.
- splatter screen. i like to cook fatty foods like chicken, salmon and sausages
- mixing bowls. i really took my last set for granted. they are quite useful.
- cutting board(s)
- pepper grinder and something to hold my salt
- tupperware. i miss my old tupperware

I have spent so much money so far, but i guess this is just how much it costs to move...



see some pictures at my flickr page

new york!

i still can't believe i'm here! it hasn't sunk in yet that i live here permanently, but i'm sure once i start working or the weather changes, i'll know i'm in nyc.

i'm new to blogging, but hopefully this will be an easy way for me to share my experiences with everyone!


unofficial bio

Pizza is my favorite food. Hot dogs are a close second. After that, I enjoy pretty much everything. I've been fortunate to live in the greatest food cities in America, moving from Pasadena to Berkeley to San Francisco to New York and finally to Chicago.

When not eating or thinking about eating, I enjoy being a student, exercising, reading and watching movies.

Thanks for reading!

about mike

hi, i'm mike. i'm not very good at typing, which is why my blog is in lower case. just getting the letters right is difficult enough. i'm 27 (sadly in my late 20s), and recently moved out east to the big city of new york... city.

why did i move and how did i decide on new york? i was born and raised in california, spending my first 18 years in southern caifornia (pasadena), and the next nine years in the bay area (berkeley and san francisco). i had an opportunity to move, so i quit my job, packed my bags, and showed up in nyc. i've always wanted to live in the east coast, but never thought i would have a chance. luckily, i found an nice apartment in an awesome neighborhood right before my arrival, and was able to secure a pretty good job after only two weeks in the city.

this year is my big vacation before i start law school in the fall. which law school? your guess is as good as mine. i did the shotgun approach, aiming high, low, far, wide, over, under, in the middle and in between, applying to a grand total of 21 schools. if you read through my blog, you'll see that i've gotten in to at least one school already, which means i'll definitely be a student come august. now you ask, why law school? i liked it better than all of the other grad schools. at build i worked with some awesome attorneys and law students. i will learn how to actually make a difference and someday be able to help grow some cool socially entrepreneurial companies. and hey, why not? i miss being a student.

so what kinds of stuff do i like to do? i love to spend time with the people i care about. in my opinion, without family and i friends you've got nothing. of course, i do enjoy my alone time, reading books, magazines and watching movies. spending time outside is one of my favorite pasttimes, usually just walking around and taking in everything the world has to offer. my belief is that our time on earth is limited, and it's up to us to make it count. how you make it count differs for everyone, but for me i want to make the world a happier, better, more fair and friendly place. life's too short to waste time on the negative - i gravitate towards positive thoughts, actions, attitude, people.

me in a nutshell? the zen expression: "eat when hungry, sleep when tired."

thanks for reading and i hope you find my blog enjoyable!

- Mike

drop me a line: mikwu@[removethis]yahoo.com
check out my pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikwu/