happy holidays!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


woo hoo!

My first semester of law school is done!


one more...

One more final exam, criminal law, and I'll be done with my first semester of law school! I've also booked all of my travel plans, so here's when I'll be everywhere:

12/23: depart Chicago, arrive Los Angeles
1/1: depart Burbank, arrive Oakland
1/4: depart Oakland, arrive Burbank
1/5: depart Los Angeles, arrive Chicago

I can't wait to see everyone when I'm back in California!


almost there...

Two final exams down, two more to go... I'll be back in Pasadena on the 23rd!



- Threadless, an awesome shirt website, is selling all of its shirts for only $10!

- Don't watch Let's Go To Prison. It was horrible. Really horrible.
- I bought a ton of DVDs on Black Friday, in honor of buying a used TV from someone in my building. I'll give recommendations once I start watching them.

TV shows:
- Not sure if this counts, but I've been hooked on Prince of Tennis. I've also been watching Love Hina, as it is a shorter series, lasting only 25 episodes.
- I installed a Comcast DVR, as I miss my Tivo and Comcast only charges $9.99/month for DVR services. I decided to splurge as I hate watching commercials, and I get basic cable for free courtesy of my apartent building.

- Nothing new since law school started. Not sure if I ever posted this, but the last book I read was Evidence of Things Unseen, which reminded me a lot of Peace Like a River, both pretty good books.

- The Fray, The Kooks, Hellogoodbye. All recommendations from others, as I don't know anything about music. I also love Snow Patrol's second album, Eyes Open.



I know I promised an update during the long weekend, so here it finally is. Things have gotten jam-packed in the last few weeks, I think ever since November 1, when we were allowed to meet with the Career Services Center. Turns out that we should ahve all of our recruiting work done by the first week of December, to even give us 1Ls a tiny shot at working at a firm this summer.

My section also got slammed with two practice exams plus a paper, all in the week before the final research memos were due. Now that those are done, we have about three weeks left before our first finals period, which can make or break our law school careers.

One more thing, in the midst of the schoolwork was the class scheduling for the spring semester. At Cal, I scheduled classes via phone (TELE-BEARS...), then online, but there was nothing like the lottery system like we have here. Basically, 1Ls were allocated 700 points to bid on classes, with upperclassmen receiving more points (I think 2Ls got over 2000). You research classes and professros, bid your points online, and wait for the bidding period to end to see what you got stuck with.

I don't think I ever gave a run-down on what I'm taking but here's my schedule for this semester, including the professors:

Contracts, Wickelgren
Torts, Speta
Civil Procedure, Redish
Criminal Law, Rubinotwitz
Communication and Legal Reasoning, Provensano

Here's what I'll be taking next semester:

Constitutional Law, Calabresi
Property, Priest
Business Associations, McChesney
Jurisprudence, D'Amato
Communication and Legal Reasoning, TBA


coming soon!

I know it's been a long long time since my last post, but I promise a much longer update during Thanksgiving weekend!


two months

It hit me last night that I'll be a student for the next three years. That's as long as I was at BUILD, and almost as long as I was in high school or college! I'll be celebrating my 30th birthday as a student! The student lifestyle is so different from what I've become accustomed to the last six years, and it's hard to believe that I'll spent the next three years reading, writing and studying.

In other news:
- Shake a fist! I spilled salad dressing on my MacBook, and it's gonna cost me $200 to fix it!
- No more Twinkies and Cupcakes for me



I'm becoming very good at underlining.



- I miss California.
- Pringles are way better than Lay's Stax
- I drafted an OK basketball team this year - once again I bank on Tim Duncan.
- Here is a site with the rare McDonald's Monopoly pieces.
- One midterm down, three more to go!
- I still need a costume!


week recap

It's been an exciting week since I last posted:

- It snowed last Thursday!
- I got my new camera!
- I went to my first haunted house!
- I took my first spinning class!
- I ordered a cool calendar and some new t-shirts!
- I made sloppy joes and tater tots!
- I shared a car and bought a couch at IKEA!

Now I need to decide what to be for Halloween...



I love to shop. I no longer have to sit on a box at home, as last weekend I finally bought a set of chairs to go with my dining table. Here is what I have:

Four Polyside Chairs (one in each color)
Beeboard Desk - Large (in white)

Now I just need a sofa, television and television stand.

I also bought a new digital camera, a Casio Exilim EX-Z850.

In other news, my Dodgers got swept this weekend by the Mets, but the Bears stomped Oregon and jumped back into the top ten!



As part of our Successful Student Series for 1Ls, Northwestern has us all take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to see what type of studying, group work and career would suit us best. I ended up as an ISFJ:

Extraversion or Introversion
Sensing or Intuition
Thinking or Feeling
Judging or Perceiving

Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.

Basically, I'm warm and fuzzy, and like to help people. I think they mentioned most lawyers are ESTJ:

Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive, quickly move to implement decisions. Organize projects and people to get things done, focus on getting results in the most efficient way possible. Take care of routine details. Have a clear set of logical standards, systematically follow them and want others to also. Forceful in implementing their plans.

In other news:
Is Chicago coming up as a law town?


to the right

Last Friday, Northwestern invited all of its 1Ls (first year law students) to a Communications and Legal Reasoning class taught by none other than Justice Scalia, everyone's favorite humorous but conservative Supreme Court Justice. Luckily, a friend saved me a prime seat for the standing-room-only speech in Lincoln Hall (a random picture of the lecture hall). The event was awesome, with the Justice providing humorous advice on how to be a good lawyer and write clearly, and then opening it up for questions.




Sometimes I still can't believe I'm in law school, at Northwestern, and in Illinois. We took a short tour of the library today, and seeing all of the Illinois reference books really made me realize that I wasn't in California (or even New York) any more.

Another unique Illinois feature is Lake Michigan. I went on my first lakeside run yesterday, and the beautiful weather, combined with the gorgeous lake view, made the five mile run go by quickly. Hopefully I can get back into a running schedule like in San Francisco, as my student diet is horrible.

This weekend I vow to get some furniture. I'm tired of just owning a bed and a desk (no chairs, television, anything).

One more thing, I had dim sum this weekend at the Phoenix, and it was awesome!


how convenient!

As soon as I move to Chicago, the Times does a 36 hour travel piece on the city! Once I become more accustomed to my schedule, I definitely plan on checking out some of the tours and exploring the other neighborhoods. Of course, that means I really need a new camera as well.

Today for dinner I treated myself to a hamburger, fries and a shake from Portillo's Hot Dogs. The food was cheap ($8 total) and tasty enough for me to go back and try theith Italian beef. Up next, however, is dinner in Chinatown tomorrow!



Isn't that an odd name for a neighborhood? I live in Streeterville, which is part of the larger neighborhood known as the Near North Side. It more or less feels like I'm living in Midtown East, close to Fifth Avenue in NYC, as I'm blocks away from Michigan Avenue, Chicago premier shopping street. The Magnificent Mile is filled with tons of malls, food courts, and all of the big retaiil stores. I'm about two blocks away from Nordstrom, Virgin Megastore, Niketown, the Apple Store, and tons of other stuff. The only thing missing is good cheap food. I would go nuts for even just half a block of MacDougal Street.

Anyways, back to more reading. Classes have been interesting so far, but the biggest surprise is how dense the reading is. I consider myself a fast reader, but it can easily take me about two to three hours to properly read, digest and take notes on only 30 pages!


i'm back!

I apologize for the long hiatus, but I finally set up my internet connection at home! I'll kick off my return post with my Dream League farewell article (thanks guys!).

I've been in Chicago for a little over two weeks, which have included the week-long orientation, as well as my first week of school. All in all, everything about Northwestern has exceeded my expectations. The administration has been welcoming, the faculty impressive, and students are extremely friendly and considerate. Not to say that school hasn't been busy. I probably spent more time reading and doing homework during my first week of class than I ever did during the non-final school year at Berkeley.

Speaking of which, I'm off to do some more work this morning! I promise to start posting regularly again!

PS - For more about what I've been doing here, read about my awesome meal at Alinea with Gerald and Susana, who were here visiting for the Labor Day weekend.



The money I spent for internet access at the airport may just be the best $7.95 I've spent in a long time. After rushing to pack, ship and get to the airport, I learned that my flight has been delayed three hours!

On top of that, I left behind a ton of stuff at my apartment, including accidentally forgetting my keyboard and mouse!


this time

One of my favorite things to do is speculate about the future, and what my life will be like. I think, "What will I be doing this time tomorrow, next year, etc.?"

This time tomorrow I'll have moved to Chicago.

This time next month, I'll be a full-time law school student.

This time next year, I'll have finished my first year of law school and wil hopefully be back in New York for some type of lucrative summer job (otherwise I'm planning on studying/working abroad).

This time in five years, I'll be a practicing attorney in either New York or California, hopefully on my way to starting a family at the ripe old age of 33.


home again

Once again, it was extremely nice to return home after being away. This time it was a three night stay in Las Vegas with my old BUILD coworkers and my high school friends. It was good to see Suzanne, Ajuah, Paul and Shirin before four out of the five of us go back to school this fall. Plus, I'm glad I was able to finally make it to one of Mark's (warning: link to myspace!) big Vegas birthday bashes.

Unfortunately, my internet connection at home is not working, so I'll post a longer update once I have regular internet access.

BUILD Alumni

Four more days in New York!



I love how it feels to come home after being away for a few days. There's nothing like the sight of my made bed, clean room, and familar furnishings that put me at ease, usually following a long flight and taxi/shuttle/train ride. After a longer-than-expected trip in Chicago, I shouldn't have been surprised by the huge bliss of returning to my apartment.

Although I am headed right back out in an hour to catch my flight to Vegas (I'll be back Saturday night), I've managed to squeeze a lot of NY in the past 30 hours or so.

- Arrived at LaGuardia Airport at 10PM, grabbed my luggage and took a cab home
- Trekked to the 24-hour Apple Store in search of a neeprene sleeve for my new MacBook (sold out!)
- Picked up two chicken and rice plates from the awesome Halal cart on 53rd St. and 6th Avenue (one for now, one for later). The wait was still 30 minutes, even though it was past midnight on Monday.

- Walked to the Apple Store in Soho. Still no sleeves! Shake a fist!
- Made a ton of pre-law school appointments (TB testing, haircut, restaraunt reservations, etc.)
- Met my old D&P co-workers for lunch
- Checked out two new exhibits at the Met. I'll miss that museum.
- Ate the second chicken and rice plate for dinner
- Met with Andrea and Dickson for drinks at Cafe Noir
- Gave Dickson a tour of my favorite late night food court, Macdougal St, where he had his first Kathi Roll.
- Walked over to Gerald and Susana's where I got to see Janet before she left for b-school on Friday.

Now I'm off to Vegas!



I'm still in Chicago, but I've been thinking a lot about how to spend the remainder of my time in New York (less than two weeks, not including my Vegas trip):

- Meet with all the people I've seen far too little of since I (or they) have moved to NY
- Shakespeare in the Park
- Coney Island / NY Aquarium
- Run in Central Park
- At least one more nice dinner (Gerald, start planning!)
- Yankees and/or Mets game
- Monday night movie at Bryant Park

Hopefully today won't be as boring as yesterday, although I did catch a free concert at the Grant Park Music Festival last night. Today I'm upgrading my iBook for a new MacBook and getting my first iPod (which will be awesome considering I left my mp3 player in New York and have gone music-less this past week)!


right now

Right now I should be at an all-day Long Island wine tasting birthday party for my old roommate. Tonight I was planning on going out for the birthday of one of my Moe's Tavern basketball teammates. Tomorrow would've been my last Dream League game before I moved to Chicago.

But instead, I am stuck in Chicago waiting to sign my lease. At least it's a gorgeous day outside, which I plan on taking full advantage of after I finish running my morning errands.

On a different note, last night I finished Evidence of Things Unseen, which was a beautifully written book about love, hope and faith. It reminded me a lot of Peace Like a River, which I also really enjoyed. Next up is Moneyball, which I'm surprised has take me so long to get to.



I won't be homeless at the start of school! I found an awesome studio in Streeterville, the Chicago neighborhood where Northwestern Law School is located. Unfortunately, I won't be able to officially sign the lease until Monday, which means I am stuck in Chicago for the weekend. None the less, it feels good to have housing taken care of. I'll post more details once the lease has been signed.


Lava flowing from the Kilauea Volcano

I assure you this was much more exciting and awesome in real life.

Man, I'm spending too much time in the Apple Store.


the windy city

Greetings from Chicago!

I've decided that I hate looking for housing. I never thought it was that bad, until I realized that out of my last four apartments:

1. Berkeley (North Berkeley): moved into an empty bedroom at my friend's awesome apartment
2. San Francisco (SOMA): moved into a loft sight unseen, which turned out to be the nicest apartment I've ever been to in SF
3. San Francisco (Noe Valley): found the apartment myself in about 24 hours, and loved the neighborhood although I knew very little about it prior to moving there (other than it was close to the freeway)
4. New York (Soho/West Village): also moved in sight unseen after taking over the lease of a friend of a friend. Now it's far and away my favorite neighborhood in NY.

Basically, I've always had excellent apartment karma, but it seems to have run out here. I'll keep you updated!


more pics

Greg has posted his set of Hawaii pics for our viewing pleasure. I've stolen a few for my own flickr, but you should check out his entire set foor the cool pics he got with his waterproof camera.

Hawaii 2006 by GBeaze

Tommy and Mike in the Fishbowl, Maui

weekend update

This past weekend was a great one, for a few reasons:
1. I was finally back home. Although I loved my vacation, it was nice to finally sleep in my own bed in my own apartment.
2. Thien, my old roommate from San Francisco, was in town.
3. The weather had cooled down enough that it was nice to be outside.

Friday - I met up with Mike and Thien at Katz's, always a great place to take people from out of town. Next we watched Talladega Nights, next year's Academy Award winner for Best Movie Ever. Afterwards, we went to Forbidden City for Oliver's birthday, before finishing off the evening at Park. We also met up with Patrina, an old dorm friend I hadn't seen in ages.

Saturday - I gave Thien a much more proper tour of NYC than his last visit to NY. We walked around Soho, through Little Italy, all the way to Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown. After lunch, we met up with Mike in the Lower East Side, then back to my place in Soho so that I could show it to Mike's friend, who was thinking about taking over my lease. I'm sure my tiny apartment was not that impressive (aside from being a dirt cheap 2BR on the border of Soho/West Village), but I hope she was impressed by the roof deck. It was the perfect afternoon for a few beers in the sun. For dinner we had Lombardi's. It was my first time there, and I loved it. We didn't finish dinner until about midnight, after which we spent the rest of the evening at Uncle Ming's.

Sunday - We kicked off the day with an excellent French brunch with Mayumi and Will joining the three of us. During the afternoon, Mike and I hung out at my place while Thien prepared his stuff to leave. After walking Thien to the train station, Mike and I headed over to Prspect Park for some soccer with one of our Moe's Tavern teammates.

All in all, an excellent weekend. In fact, excellent enough that Thien is now considering moving to New York from San Francisco!


i love the beach

I've finally realized that my vacation days are over, and I won't be jet-setting away to another beach anytime soon (although Vegas is just over the horizon!). My recent two week Miami/Bahamas/Hawaii vacation has to rank among my best vacations ever. A month ago I never would have believed that a casual mini-trip (compared to my Asia and Europe excursions) could be so awesome.

Unfortunately, my beloved Nikon was stolen out of my checked luggage (shake a fist!), so I have no pictures of Miami and the Bahamas. The vacation consisted of largely relaxing with my parents, sisters and cousin, so there wasn't anything too exciting to take pictures of anyways. Here's the itinerary for the first trip with my parents, sisters and one cousin:

Day 1 - 2: South Beach, Miami
Day 3 - 6: Cruise in the Bahamas and Key West
Day 7: The Everglade National Park, Florida

I borrowed my dad's camera for the Hawaii trip, so the second half of my beach vacation was able to be documented. Compared to Miami/Bahamas, the vacation was much more filled with outdoor activities. Being the ninth wheel (four couples and me) among my closest high school friends and their significant others was not as bad as I thought it would be.

Itinerary (links to photosets)
Day 1: Arrive and hang at Nari's cousin's beach-mansion
Day 2: Road to Hana with Greg, Chris and Bo
Day 3: Bike ride down Haleakala Volcano
Day 4: Hike to snorkeling and the Old Lahaina Luau
Day 5: Fly to Big Island and relax
Day 6: Visit Kileuea Volcano Park and hike to lava flow
Day 7: Relax and shop for souvenirs
Day 8: Fly back to Los Angeles via Maui

Unfortunately, I came back with only a light tan after having slathered on the sunblock for two whole weeks (I've recently decided to avoid the premature skin aging you see all over Europe and Asia).

top gun

the greatest



aloha blogger?

Tammy introduced me to a new blogging service, Vox, which I may consider switching to. Take a look and let me know if you think if it looks better than Blogger:

eat when hungry, sleep when tired


i told you so

Last night I watched An Inconvenient Truth with my parents. It was a pretty good documentary, although it's target audience were people who don't know much about global warming. I think my parents both enjoyed it. After the movie, my dad couldn't stop with the "I told you so's." He works with a lot of NASA people and has been talking about global warming/rising water levels for ages. On the way home my dad wouldn't stop with, "I told you not to commute from San Francisco to Menlo Park all those years!" among others ("Everyone called me cheap for keeping the lights turned off in the house when I was trying to conserve energy!", etc.)

I do recommend that everyone watch this movie, even if you are as well-versed in global warming as my dad is. It is a bit scary knowing that the Earth has a great chance of being vastly changed, if not in our lifetimes, then definitely in our children's. It still boggles my mind how George W. Bush (and other Republicans) flat-out refuse to watch this movie.


greetings from maui!

Aloha! I'm in Maui now after a great trip to Miami and the Bahamas. My vacation has been fabulous so far, except for the fact that I failed to pack my camera. However, it's nice not to worry about taking the absurd amount of photos I normally do.

I'll try to post (or add to Flickr) pictures my family took in Florida, but here are a few shots that I've taken with my dad's camera:

Sunrise at the top of Haleakala Volcano

Maui sunset

P.S. - My last post may have been a bit ambivalent, but I am happy to announce that I will be moving to Chicago by the end of August to start at Northwestern (although I am incredibly sad to be leaving New York)!


ny's aaiff

NY's 29th Asian American International Film Festival will be from 7/13 - 7/21 in Manhattan and from 8/3 - 8/6 in Long Island.

Unfortunately, I will miss most of the festival while on vacation, including American Fusion, a movie that a friend's family helped make. But don't just watch it to support my friend, watch it because it looks like a great movie:

American Fusion

East Coast Premiere
USA | 2005 | 101 mins | 35mm | English, Chinese, Spanish w/E.S.

DIRECTOR: Frank Lin PRODUCERS: Robin Oliver, John Dunn, Jason Inouye
CAST: Sylvia Chang, Esai Morales, Collin Chou, James Hong, Pat Morita

Frank Lin takes a comedic look at the complexities of family, love, and race in this feature film that won the Hawaii International Film Festival's Audience Award. Set in California, AMERICAN FUSION concerns a divorced forty-something Chinese immigrant, Yvonne, played by the beautiful Sylvia Chang (ALL ABOUT AH LONG, see SUN SING THEATER retrospectives) who feels that the best of her days are behind her.

Yvonne's latest writing assignment lands her in the dental office of Dr. Jose (NYPD BLUE's Esai Morales), a handsome and single Mexican American. But her narrow-minded mother injures her back in a massage accident, and uses her suffering to emotionally blackmail her children into doing her bidding. In order to find true happiness, Yvonne must overcome her three demanding siblings and her ultra-conservative mother!

Showcasing an incredible cast of memorable characters that includes Fabio, James Hong, Eddie Shin, and the late great Pat Morita in one of his last appearances, Lin's feature debut goes out of its way to make you laugh and cringe. AMERICAN FUSION affirms that happiness comes out of accepting people and situations as they are.

Followed by Q&A. Frank Lin is nominated for the Emerging Director Award.

Sun 7/16 3:30 PM
Asia Society

Wed 7/19 8:30 PM
Quad Cinema


a new era

Today I start of the next phase of my life. No more 9-5 workday, so long paychecks, bye bye fiscal independence. Yesterday was my last day at work and now the only thing between me and law school is about six weeks of vacation.

It's a little scary thinking about going back to school. Barring any last minute changes, I'll be joining the class of 2009 at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. I know it will be a huge challenge, although I am really looking forward to becoming a student after six years in the workforce. My study habits weren't the best in college, but I think I am finally ready to succeed in a rigorous academic enivornment.

Here are my upcoming vacation plans, as I probably won't be able to update the blog while I am gone:

7/15 - 7/22: Miami and the Bahamas
7/23 - 7/30: Hawaii (Maui and the Big Island)

I wish all of you a great summer and promise to return with lots of pictures!


fancy foods

Yesterday I took an extra long lunch break to meet Gerald at the Jacob K. Javits Center for the International Fancy Food & Confection Show. As a member of the press (via foodite.com), I got free admission to the show, as well as a nifty press kit. Thankfully, I was there with Gerald so everytime I was asked a question about www.foodite.com I would pass it on to the founder/editor.

The show itself was overwhelming with over 5,000 booths of retailers, large and small, all trying to hawk their food items. What really surprised me was how poorly most of the food samples tasted. I only really enjoyed less than a quarter of all of the food that I tried. Part of this was likly due to floor plan of the event, where booths were organized by origin, rather than type. Therefore I would go from sampling soup, to candy, to pasta, to jerky, to dessert again, then chips, cured meat, cookies, etc.

All in all, I'm looking forward to going again next year, and for longer than just an hour!

Flickr photos for the Fancy Food Show


an old man and the sea (or movies/tv shows set in the sea)

Last Friday night, I caught Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on opening night with Tammy, Muller and Karen. Although it didn't live up to the first Pirates movie, I still say it's worth watching in the theater, just be prepared for a long (two and a half hours!) movie. I couldn't believe that we got out at almost midnight after getting to the theater early for the 9:15 PM show. I won't say much about the film here, but I refer you to the NY Times review which hit the movie dead-on.

On Saturday I may have suffered dehydration or heat sickness from playing basketball in the early afternoon (although I'm sure beer and a heavy brunch right afterwards didn't help). I was completely bedridden after getting home at around 5 PM. I didn't even have enough energy to sit at my desk and play warcraft, so instead I finished wacthing the remaining Lost episodes that Francis gave me. See my previous post about how I feel when I watch Lost. Even though I could barely move around in bed, I still managed to shake a fist whenever I got frustrated by the dumb actions of some of the show's characters (especially Jack and Kate. And Michael. And definitely Claire and Charlie).

Finally, Leslie and I rented About Schmidt last night. I was pretty excited to watch it, and was hoping it would turn out to be a funny black comdey, but instead it was a sad movie about an ornery old man. Jack Nicholson may have been a great young/middle-age actor, but I think Walter Mathau, Jack Lemmon and even Bill Murray play senior citizens much better.


west coast burgers

In addition to being excited about seeing my family and friends in California last weekend, I was also looking forward to having some of my favorite burgers. I've had some great burgers in New York, but nothing compares on a price/quality level to my two favorites:

Hamburgers (I always order two - one animal style, one plain) from In-N-Out Burger

Carl's Jr.'s Western Bacon Cheeseburger

I consider In-N-Out Burger to be a step above all other fast food chains, but after them, here is my ranking of signature sandwiches:

1. Western Bacon Cheeseburger, Carl's Jr.
2. Whopper, Burger King
3. Sourdough Jack, Jack in the Box

I don't have a favorite sandwich from McDonalds or Wendy's. The more I think about burgers back home, the more I miss the chili burger at Clearman's Galley.

- News tip from my sister: They're thinking of closing Magic Mountain! (you may have to log in to latimes.com to read the article)


holiday weekend

It's been a while since I last posted, but I promise to return soon with an update from my great weekend in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Hope everyone had a great long weekend (if you had one)!


go bear!

Tonight's the big NBA draft so I'll be sending my positive vibes out to Leon Powe. I wish he stayed one more year at Cal, but after his Pac-10 domination last year I can understand why he'd want to test the waters in this year's weak draft.

Let's also hope my Lakers get a solid contributor at #26.


steer 'n ale part 1

Steer 'n Ale is the name of a steakhouse right down the street from my house in Pasadena. Considering what big steak fans my friends and I were back then (and still are), I'm surprised I've never been there. I guess the exterior never looked that appealing, plus there's no way it could've beat the 50% employee discount we had at Outback Steakhouse. Anyways, I think of it only because steer 'n ale is the best way to describe my weekend.

Two of my teammates on Moe's Tavern are moving on to bigger and better things (more PT for me! j/k, we'll miss you guys!), so a couple of us decided to celebrate by taking the day off and having lunch at Peter Luger Steakhouse. This place came highly recommended, especially from my cousin Ken, a huge fan of steak and meat in general. Of course, prior to heading out to Brooklyn, I met up with Mike and James at Phebe's. They had already been drinking for an hour by the time I got there at noon. We watched a little ESPN (who else needs subtitles to understand Ozzie Guillen), had a few drinks and hopped into a cab.

Peter Luger's does not joke around. It's certainly got a Old-World feel, with a brick exterior and wooden interior that probably hasn't changed since 1887. My friends, Luger's veteran's, scoffed when I asked to see the menu. All you have to order is a round of Canadian bacon, and simply say "Steak for five" (or insert number of people eating). We ordered our steak medium rare, and it was the most perfectly cooked steak I've had in a long time. And of course, our steer was accompanied by ale (locally brewed Brooklyn Lager).

Everyone loves bacon

Grilled to perfection

Mike posing behind the steak sauce

The aftermath

The huge lunch kept us more than full the entire day, but we weren't done with the drinking. We caught the first half of the Korea vs. Switzerland World Cup match at Iona, a Brooklyn bar which unfortunately did not have their air conditioner on and turned into a sauna. At the start of halftime, we took the train back into the city. A few of us ran errands for a bit, while others (myslef included) went home for a quick power nap.

Phase II started off at d.b.a., a bar with an endless beer selection (which my friend James seems to have memorized). After a few beers downed, the rest of the evening was spent at King Size (which is actually tiny and intimate), Good World, Winnie's (James was disappointing with Prince's Kiss, but Jae and I made up for it with some rocking Bonnie Tyler), and finally Opus 22.

All in all, it was a quite a long day of meat and drink. Of course I was home by 1AM, as we had to rest up for the big Moe's Tavern BBQ on Saturday. More details to follow...

- Yours truly gets mentioned in a Dream League article!
- Thinking about SF taquerias make my mouth water.


check me out!

I will be a contributing writer on foodite! My first article may not be cheap eats though, as I'm hoping to hit up Peter Luger's for lunch tomorrow.

- cool SMS site (at least it looks cool, I haven't tried it yet), from the Alpha Blog
- I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who hates to be asked, "still or sparking water?"


wash 'n fold

I used to make fun of all my friends who didn't wash their own clothes, but instead dropped it off and paid by the pound at exorbant prices. Oh, what fools they were, to throw money away and pay more than double the normal cost of laundry! All you had to do was bring a book with you to the laundromat and spend a relaxing few hours reading.

However, I am now a wash and fold convert. I started off using the laundry service once every four or five loads, but now I barely ever wash my own clothesd, Maybe it's because my building doesn't have a laundry machine, or there's just too many things I'd rather be doing, but it is well worth the extra $5-6 every other week to have the nice old ladies at the laundromat wash and fold my clothes for me. Who wants to spend a beautiful New York morning or afternoon sitting in a laundromat?

Other random thoughts:

- Word for Word Series at Bryant Park: Another cool summer NYC event I want to check out
- Shakespeare in the Park: I'm planning on checking out Macbeth on my day off (this Friday), although I hear the lines to get the free tickets can be horrendous.
- I need to get a new PC laptop for law school. I'll miss my Mac :(
- Topshop in NY?
- I miss yoga...


got art?

My buddy Herb has been working hard these past few months on organizing a benefit party and silent auction for The New York Foundation for the Arts.

He promises "no shortage of hot, art patronizing ladies, brazilian beer and caipirinhas, food, and dope music." Check it out - Tuesday June 27, 7-10 PM in Chelsea!

NYFA's Blame It On Rio Benefit

I repeat: "no shortage of hot, art patronizing ladies, brazilian beer and caipirinhas, food, and dope music"


wild things

My weekend officially begin on Thursday night at the big staff party. I was expecting an extravagant, yet refined, evening with the attorneys and administrative staff, but instead they sent all of the attorneys to a different party, and our nice corporate event turned into a wild ghetto-fab bash. I drank way too much, which left me incapacitated the next morning, and requiring me to go home for a two hour lunch-time nap on Friday in order to be in shape for work. And of course, after work I continued the week-long drinking at Opus 22 with guys on my basketball team. They were having a BBQ celebration for their one-year anniversary, but I only had one burger as we ate at Pop Burger before getting there.

On Saturday I woke up early, played a little Warcraft and then headed out to the park for some outdoor hoops. I was thoroughly wiped out, as it's starting to get much hotter here, and the humidity is kicking in. On Friday night I caught The Great Yokai War, which was showing at the Anthology Film Archive for the NY Asian Film Festival. Billed as a Lord of the Rings-sized epic, it compares much more to The Neverending Story than anything else. An even weirder Neverending story with wild and crazy demons from Japanese folklore.

On Sunday I decided to take advantage of sunny weather and check one of the NYC must-visit sites off my list. I made my first foray into one of the outer boroughs, taking the long train ride with Gerald to visit the world-famous Bronx Zoo. It actually wasn't that bad, taking only around 40 minutes on the 2 train. I'm a big fan of zoos and was really looking forward to the trip, however I think the heat just got the best of me (as well as all of the animals there). The exhibits were decent, although most looked a bit dated and in need of a good cleaning/restoration. I think what really sapped my energy was how nearly all of the animals were lounging around and sleeping.

On the way home, we stopped by the Park Avenue Country Club, where it seemed like every young Korean person in NYC went to watch Korea's World Cup Game against France. Gerald and I dropped in for a moment to say hi to Francis before heading home to rest after an exhausting trip to the zoo. Later that evening we met up with Francis again, along with his friend Heson (sp?), for his birthday dinner at Gam Mee Ok, and then Nacho Libre, which is a classic Jack Black flick with hilarious facial expressions, bad teeth and hair and an underdog storyline.


moe's tavern

Last night we concluded our season with another tough loss. Our season may have been filled with lows on the court, but we more than made up for it with highs off the court, including an extended stay at a bar in Brooklyn after last night's game. I'll miss much of next season due to my pre-law school vacations, but I'm looking forward to donning the Moe's blue and gold again.

Other highlights this week included finally trying the fancy ramen at Momofuku, and an open bar, free food event at Bar 13. Looking ahead, our company is having its annual staff party tonight at The Rainbow Room, and then Moe's Tavern is going out for team karaoke on Friday night.


more on the cage

It's the featured court of Nike's NYC site!

I just watched another game there, a thriller that wasn't decided until the final 20 seconds. The international crowd really does get into it, and people aren't afraid to express their opinions about any of the players. Overall, good basketball times.

another weekend gone by

Prior to starting school in the fall, I'm trying my best to explore and experience all that New York City has to offer. This is especially true on weekends, and this past weekend was no exception.

Thursday: Watched a sneak preview of Cars with Winnie (who hooked up the tickets with reserved seating) and Andy. I wasn't expecting much though, not being a NASCAR fan or anything, but I really enjoyed it. It was easily the most family oriented and simplest of the Pixar films, but still had its moments. After the movie Winnie and I got chicken and rice from the famous Halal cart on 53rd and 6th Ave. Tasty and cheap! I'm looking forward to going. The line may be intimidating, but it's worth it if you have the time to spare.

Friday: Ran some errands at the law school, then got a haircut at SEI-Tomoko. I've never tried a Japanese salon before, and I probably won't again. I never walk into a haircut with a style in mind, rather I request for them to "cut it short, but not too short, and where it'll grow out nicely for a few weeks." However, the stylist at SEI-Tomoko really only spoke Japanese, with a smattering of English, so it was difficult for me to describe what I wanted. I walked away with a cut that was way too short for my liking and reminded me of when I got my haircut in Beijing and they gave me the traditional flattop with the hair thinned down to almost nothing.

In the afternoon Leslie and I went to the Met, where I wanted to see the Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh exhibit. It was sucha nice day that after the museum we took a nice leisurely stroll through Central Park and did some people watching near the big fountain. For dinner we gorged on KFC before watching This is Spinal Tap, one of my top five favorite movies.

Central Park is the best!

Saturday: Having taken it easy the night before, I woke up early and played a bit of Warcraft before heading out to the Big Apple BBQ Block Party. I got there first and jumped in line as Madison Square Park was jammed full of people trying to get their 'cue. Here's what I ended up tasting:

Pulled Pork Shoulder with Spicy Crispy Southern Mustard Coleslaw (x2), Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, Decatur, AL
Whole Hog with Mustard Coleslaw, Mitchell's BBQ, Wilson, NC
Baby Back Ribs with Beans, Memphis Championship Barbecue/17th Street Bar & Grill, Las Vegas, NV/Murphysboro, IL

My favorites were the pulled pork shoulder, spicy coleslaw and the beans.

Crazy queues for 'cue!

Pitmaster Chris Lilly, winner of the 2004 Memphis in May BBQ Cookoff

Everything that didn't get cooked from the whole hog

I love baby back ribs!

Gerald taking pictures as usual

After stuffing ourselves silly Gerald, Francis, Rachel and I headed down to Soho for some shopping. Rachel went off to do her girl shopping while the rest of us went to Crumpler Bags to check out their Beer for Bags promotion. I ended up turning in a case of Leffe and a bottle of Chimay for a Complete Seed bag. After I got my bag, we headed over to the West Village location where Gerald and Francis turned in two bottles of Patron for their own messenger bags. All the while, they were handing out beers in the store, and we took advantage of the free refreshments at both stores.

Me, Gerald and Francis enjoying Pacificos at the Crumpler store

And finally, on the way home I stopped to watch some high school hoops being played at "The Cage," a little black top court by my house. Basketball there can be competitive, and there was a pretty good AAU game going on when I passed by on my way home, complete with coaches yelling with loudspeakers on the sidelines and bystanders groaning and cheering with every play.

Crowd watching the hoops action

By the time I got back home I was thoroughly pooped and spent the rest of the evening at home playing Warcraft.

Sunday: I'm back here at work, but definitely plan on hitting the gym. Other than that, Crumpler is having their big beer party to give away all of the beer that they collected tonight, so I may drop by with G and Francis.


au revoir le pescadou, chau mekong!


Le Pescadou, the French seafood restaraunt downstairs, closed recently. I had not heard good things about it, so I wasn't sad to see it go. The place stayed empty for a month or two, but last week I noticed that construction had begun inside so I asked someone standing outside if they knew what the new restaraunt will be. Turns out I'll be living above MeKong, a Vietnamese restaraunt!

It's gotten pretty good reviews in the past, plus I love Vietnamese food, so I'm hoping it's somewhere I can become a regular as I'm sure I'll be eating out a lot once I start school.


summer reading

In addition to all of the movies I plan on watching this summer, I'm also hoping to do a bit of reading as well. Especially during all of my short trips. Prior to starting law school I'll be relaxing in the Bahamas, Hawaii and Vegas!

Here's a short list of books I want to read. Please feel free to suggest any additional books!

- In Cold Blood
- Moneyball
- The Namesake
- The Satanic Verses
- A Confederacy of Dunces
- The Things They Carried
- Reading Lolita in Tehran

Oh yeah, I'll be doing some summer reading for law school as well.


summer movie lineup

Last night Chih and I watched Army of Shadows at the Film Forum, a cool nonprofit theater right down the street where they show indie premiere and old classics. This was a French movie from the 60s about the underground French Resistance during WWII. While I was watching it, the movie seemed a bit slow and outdated, but now tinking about it there were a number of very powerful scenes that I haven't felt the like of in a while.

It's interesting to compare it to the last movie I watched, X-men: The Last Stand, which was all action and very little acting and storyline. Even though there's a good chance I'll watch X-men 3 again (probably today with Gerald), I'm looking forward to catching more restored films at the Film Forum.

That being said, there's actually a whole bunch of movies I want to watch this summer:

- An Inconvenient Truth
- Pirates of the Carribean 2
- A Prairie Home Companion
- Superman Returns
- Nacho Libre
- Cars
- Strangers with Candy
- Clerks II
- Miami Vice
- Fearless

In other movie news, here are some upcoming summer movie events:

- The New York Asian Film Festival 2006
- 2006 HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival


oh snap!

That's the sound of me watching Lost. Chih can attest to the fact that when I'm watching the show, I constantly disrupt whatever he's doing with a loud "Oh snap!" Full Metal Alchemist was more addicting, but Lost has filled in well during my self-imposed ban on World of Warcraft.


have i mentioned

How hot it' s been lately? I promise this will be the last post on it. Just wanted to tell everyone how much I love my new (used) a/c. It's awesome. I think the a/c will become the East Coast equivalent of the dishwasher (my must-have appliance).

In other news:
- Cal wins its first NCAA women's tennis singles championship
- Bill Walton flies economy class!
- Go Dodgers! Now that the Lakers' season is finished, it's time to switch to True Blue mode. Check out the LA Times Dodger Blog.

I was just told that there is an extra scene after the credits in X-men 3. Now I definitely have to watch it again.


man it's hot part 2

Now that today is nearly over, I have to announce again that this was the perfect weekend to get an air conditioner. This humidity wipes me out. I've sworn off Warcraft for the week, so I tried my best to have a more active holiday Monday:

- Watched a few episodes of Lost Season 1 (spoiler ahead!: The Korean woman speaks English! I was shocked!)
- Bought beach towels from Bed Bath and Beyond
- Walked around Union Square, soaked in some sun sitting on a bench
- Met up with Gerald and friends for a delicious lunch a Gotham Bar and Grill
- Picked up new shorts and a shirt
- Sat on the grass at Unions Square (which I will never do again, the grass there was pretty gross and I swear had fleas)
- Went home and rested for a bit in the air-conditioned apartment
- Ran a couple miles along the West Side Highway, which was very nice
- Took a refreshing cod shower
- Picked up Ben's Pizza for dinner
- Watched The Closet, a French movie, which although still good, did not live up the great memory I had of it

Now I am off to bed, even though it is barely 11:00PM here. The heat is draining...

Union Square from across the street

man it's hot

Picture 1

They weren't kidding when they say that New York get humid. It's only 9:30 AM now, and I'm already sweating like I never did in Callifornia.

Yesterday I was planning on working out after geting home from work, but I nixed that thought after picking up a used air conditioner off craigslist. Who knew they were so damn heavy? I was drenched in sweat after carrying down one flight of stairs in the LES, then cabbing it over to my place, then walking up the three floors to the apartment. And then after getting it home, I had to figure out how to install an 60-70 pound box without having it fall out of the window. I still don't think I installed it correctly so I'll probably try to readjust it today.

Other than that, I've got no big plans. I'm hoping to pick up a beach towel so I can lie out in Central Park or at the beach and maybe go running along the West Side highway.

Happy Memorial Day!


malcolm gladwell

Prior to last night's Dream League game, a couple of us were discussing Malcolm Gladwell. My opinion is that The Tipping Point was better than Blink, and most of his New Yorker articles are good, but there are still some misses. I haven't read his latest article/book review yet, but it looks thought-provoking as it's sports related.

I had mentioned to my teammates that he has his own blog, http://gladwell.typepad.com/, and today I found an interesting piece on CEO salaries.

CEO Pay, from gladwell.com
After reading the article in the New York Times yesterday on the hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation given over the past few years to the CEO of Home Depot, I ran across this: in 1949, the highest paid CEO in America was Charlie Wilson of General Motors, who earned $586,100 in salary, bonus and stock. That's roughly equivalent to what some of the better-compensated CEO's are making today. But what did Wilson pay in taxes? $430,350. Times have changed.

This fact, in conjuction with today's ruling on Lay and Skilling, show that there's something wrong with executive payouts in this day and age.


My old roommate Thien, who still lives in San Francisco, sent me a Gothamist link about the upcoming "Manhattan solstice." There was a short piece about it in the Times as well, "Stonehenge in the City."

In other news:

- I start having alternating Sundays off in June (working Monday - Friday, as opposed to Sunday - Thursday), so I'm looking forward to some full summer weekends!

- I took a knitting class with my cousin Winnie a few weeks ago at Knit NYC (the class was a birthday present from Gerald), and the wool hat I started in the lesson is nearly complete. Unfortunately, I mismeasured and now I think there's no way it can fit my big head. I'm looking forward to trying again though, knitting is easier and more fun that I expected!

- Leslie took me to Tomoe Sushi on Tuesday and it was some good stuff. We had the sushi deluxe and the sashimi deluxe, which was more than we should have finished (it was too good not to). I'll definitely be going back.

- Moe's Tavern has been taking a beating with four consecutive losses. Three of the games were nailbiters, but last night's game was not pretty. Therefore, I will only provide the game link for our last victory.


chuck norris

So, as usual with pop culture references, I'm a little behind on the Chuck Norris fanfare. I finally decided to spend some time looking into it, and found a pretty hilarious Chuck Norris fact site via latimes.com.

Top 100 Facts for Chuck Norris

Some of my favorites:
- Jeeves asks Chuck Norris.
- Chuck Norris was once on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune and was the first to spin. The next 29 minutes of the show consisted of everyone standing around awkwardly, waiting for the wheel to stop.

For more Chuck Norris facts, please visit what looks to be the official site:

"There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of animals Chuck Norris allows to live. "


she wrote her own

My good pal Shannon put her Pasadena High School valedectorian brain to use and created her own blog survey. As she is one of the more entertaining writers I know and a good friend from way back (even though she won't be attending our 10 year reunion!), I've decided to give her survey a shot. Plus I've been lax about posting lately, so this gives me an easy way to throw some personal info onto the web.

3 Things I'm Obsessed with Right Now
1. New York City
2. World of Warcraft
3. Knitting

3 Things I'm Obsessed with Permanently
1. The Internet
2. The Simpsons
3. Fantasy sports

3 Things I Believe are True, But Aren't
1. The Lakers are one player away from starting another dynasty run
2. Having water instead of soda makes up for the extra burger and fries
3. Magic the Gathering is cool

3 Things I Want People to Say About Me When I Die
1. What a funny guy
2. He was a great friend
3. Why didn't I buy him more gifts when he was alive?

3 Things I'm Good At (the conceited category)
1. Looking on the bright side
2. Talking about things I enjoy
3. Enjoying life

3 Things I'm Bad At (the low self-esteem category)
1. Typing
2. Controlling my diet
3. Whispering

3 Things That Baffle Me
1. People who can't seem to change
2. Combo meals that are more expensive than ordering the items individually
3. People who don't believe in global warming

3 TV Shows That Many Other People Watch, But I Don't
1. Pretty much everything but The Simpsons and The Office

3 Inventions for Which "I don't know how we lived without it" is Not Just a Saying
1. The Internet
2. Tivo (back when I had cable)
3. High speed Internet access


a few reviews

There's just something about posting past events that make me want to procrastinate. Therefore, it's probably best for me to do aa quick post about recent stuff in my life.

Food: Yesterday I was hankering for some red meat, so I decided to give Rare Bar & Grill a shot. I wasn't too impressed, although it may have been because I only realized halfway through my meal that they had cooked my burger medium, instead of medium rare. I should have taken a closer look at the little colored toothpick stuck in the patty that showed how well the meat was cooked. I remember Sizzler was my favorite place that used to do that. Too bad I didn't get a cheese bread (ala Sizzler) with my meal, because the burger was just too unmanagable for me too enjoy. I like eating my burger with my hands, not with a knife and fork. Anyways, I think I may have to try this again, before being able to rcommend it. Their biggest weakness was the fragile bun, which couldn't contain the monster patty or toppings (I got a fried egg and bacon).

Movie: On Chih's recommendation, I decided to check out Evergreen Video in the West Village, which turned out to be an awesome video store with a great foreign selection. Leslie found Tampopo (Wiki entry here), a movie she's been raving about and has had difficulty finding. It was very entertaining, and most of all made me crave ramen for the rest of the night
(speaking of noodle soups, I've been craving New Wonton Garden ever since Catherine introduced it to me). Overall, I'd recommend it to fans of Japanese movies, or those looking for a quirky food movie.

Website: My sister told me about www.pandora.com, a very cool streaminig music site that streams music based on your preferences. I listened to it all day, set up a few different stations (indie rock, country, etc.), and loved it! Definitely try it if you can listen to music on your computer, it's awesome.

Tomorrow: I'm hoping to meet up with some guys on my basketball team to catch the Clippers/Suns Game 7 (Go L.A.'s other team!) at Croxley's, home of the $0.10 wing specials. I'm sure they're no Ribs USA wings, but let's hope they are at least decent!


wow, long time no post!

I know it's been a while since I've last posted, but I promise to come back soon with a big update on my fabulous week in SF, as well as some very exciting developments with my law school plans.

Don't worry, things have been very good for me lately, just a bit hectic and busy. I'm looking forward to sharing my news! In the meanwhile, please enjoy my new pictures on Flickr!

- Sunset from Potrero Hill
- Jason and Misty's new puppy
- BUILD's 7th Annual Business Plan Competition
- My baby cousins - Maya and Madeleine
- Tour through my old Berkeley favorites


back in the bay!

I've been back for less than 24 hours and have already knocked off a few places on my list:
- Good mexican food (although I agree with my sister that Pancho Villa used to be better)
- Blue Jay Cafe
- Arinell's Pizza

Next up? I'll be hanging out with my sister today so I'm hoping we can grab some fresh crab at Fisherman's Wharf, and maybe doing some sopping for summer clothes (yay!).


that's a wrap!

I'm not sure if it was the plethora of movies, or just the hectic pace of having something planned every single night, but this past week has raced by. In just two days I'll be back in San Francisco!

With six movies in the past two days, there's just too much for me to write detailed reviews. Plus, I'm lazy. Here's a brief recap of the festival:

4/28: Farewell Bender
Three friends who reflect on life and growing up after reuniting for a funeral.

4/30: Comeback Season
Cleverly disguised chick flick.

5/1: The Promise
I didn't think it could get worse than The House of Flying Daggers.

5/2: One Last Thing
Great movie billed as a family movie, but I think its lessons apply to everyone.

5/3: I'm Reed Fish
Very sweet movie about a small town guy chasing his dreams.

5/5: The Big Bad Swim
You can't beat movies centered around a group of people attempting to overcome their fears and insecurities. I loved the cast and individual storylines.

5/5: Holiday Makers
Another great ensemble movie. I also love foreign movies, especially those that give us an insight into the thoughts and culture of the country of origin. This was a very sweet Czech film about a group of people who find themselves all on the same vacation tour bus to the beach.

5/5: Two Players from the Bench
Andrea and I got to the theater right at the starting time (7:30PM), and the festival had sold our tickets! Shake a fist! I'd been to numerous other sold out shows, and never before had they sold the empty seats so soon after the starting time. In lieu of the Tribeca film, we watched the Sentinel.

5/6: Fifty Pills
Funny, plus it was set in NYC! Best line of the whole film fest: "How do you feel about the Strokes?"

5/6: Goal! The Dream Begins
Great feel-good sports movie, with the added bonus of actually being set in England, not boring Los Angeles. I don't see why they couldn't just call it "Goal!".

5/6: The Shutka Book of Records
I may have just been too tired to really appreciate this humorous documentary about a Roma (gypsy) community in Macedonia. In addition to Shutka, the screening included a weird and slightly disturbing short, which may have just been too artsy for me.

I was thinking about doing a categorical "Best of" listing for all of the movies I watched, but it eally would be too difficult. A lot of these were great, well-made movies, and had the special independent creativity that the Hollywood blockbusters lack. If I had to recommend any of these, the top of my list would probably include "Fifty Pills," "I'm Reed Fish," "Holiday Makers," and "Goal! The Dream Begins."

However, I'm not sure if it's just the huge commercialism of the Tribeca festival, or just that I am new to it, I think as far as festivals go, I still prefer the SF International Asian American Film Festival. Hopefully I'll have another chance to experience Tribeca as a volunteer next year.

Thanks for bearing with me on this lng post!


36% done with tribeca


So far I've watched four of the eleven movies on my list, and I haven't been that impressed. Here's the recap:

Farewell Bender: reviewed below

Comeback Season: This buddy comedy starring Ray Liotta as the husband who's trying win back his family by moving in with the injured HS football star next door was in reality a chick flick about two people trying to restore their lives by finding their inner feelings. I like chick flicks as much as the next sensitive, in-touch-with-yourself guy, but please don't try to pass one off like a guys' movie. When I want a moving guys movie, I'll watch Friday Night Lights and when I want chick flick, I'll pop in You've Got Mail. Don't try to be both.

The Promise: Everything I had heard about this movie ranged from awful to "made me depressed about the future of Chinese film." That being said, it exceeded expectations at only a small step below mediocre. Best described as a fantasy film set in a mythical Chinese land. If only the CGI, costumes, acting, script, plotline and casting were not so bad.

One Last Thing: This was a sweet movie about one dying kid's last wish to spend a weekend with a supermodel. Although much of the plot was too contrived, there were a number of very tender moments. Not that I cried. Really, Gerald can vouch for me.


come on lakers!

I'm listening to the radio broadcast of the Laker's game at work and they've got me on the edge of my seat. Please let them win this game!

WHOO!!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE! Go Lakers!!!

one down, ten to go!

On Friday I kicked off my Tribeca week with Farewell Bender, a coming-of-age piece set in the Sacramento in 1996 about three friends and their lives after the death of a friend. Although it was a small indie flick (shot in only 22 days, as revealed during Q&A with the director), it still starred recognizable faces including Finch from American Pie (who will also be in Fifty Pills, another Tribeca film I'll be watching) and some guy from Remember the Titans.

After a big loss on Thursday night with my Dream League team, it was nice to finally win some games on Saturday. It didn't hurt that the sun was shining, there was the perfect breeze sweeping through the court at Sara Roosevelt Park, and everyone was out to have a good time playing ball. We closed out the afternoon with Pho Grand, and I also picked up a Vietnamese sandwich from Banh Mi Saigon in Chinatown before heading home.

Tonight I'm looking forward to seeing Comeback Season, a buddy comedy starring Ray Liotta. Buddy comedies are definitely one of may favorite genres, with the ages of the buddies spanning from young in Angus to ancient in Grumpy Old Men.


eight days, eleven movies!

Tomorrow will be the first of many Tribeca movies. Next week I'll be watching one movie every night from Sunday to Wednesday, playing a basketball game on Thursday night, and then watching three movies each day on Friday and Saturday.

Next week I'm also hoping to catch Christie's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale. If it weren't during the day, I would also go to their Prints & Multiples auction, where I can actually afford to bid on the art.


recently read and watched

The Opposite of Fate - Danielle lent this book to me after I complained about the lack of quality fiction on the Asian-American experience. This was a collection of Amy Tan's extraordinary memoirs, speeches and short essays. Although she did not have the typical Asian-American experience, her amazing, yet at most times tragic, experience was inspiring. One added bonus is that much of the book is set in the Bay Area, where she grew up and now lives. I've even met her while volunteering at the SF Asian American Film Festival.

A Wizard of Earthsea - This fantasy classic by Ursula K. Le Guin was a gift to me from my sister Emily, who was surprised to learn that I had never read any of Le Guin's fantasy work. this book did not impress me as much as Left Hand of Darkness, although I could tell it was the beginning of something great. I just need to start going to my local library to get teh rest of the books in the series.

Kinky Boots - This movie was not that good. I wasn't expecting Billy Elliot or Bend It Like Beckham, but at least hoped it would be Love Actually decent. Although inspired by a true story, I still found it just too contrived. Movies from abroad that I've liked better and want to watch again soon are The Closet and Forever Fever.

Empress Orchid (Currently reading) - I'm really enjoying this account of the life of Tsu Hsi, the mother of China's "last emperor." I had read one of Anchee Min's books, Becoming Madame Mao, and hope to read her autobiography, Red Azalea (although I feel as I've listened to the audiobook already).

The Islands - I watched this band with friends on Saturday night. For details, please refer to Francis' blog.

Did anyone watch Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress? I liked the book and was looking forward to the movie.


ballers of the world

Per my boy Gbeaze's (a.k.a. Gregory B.) request, I'll post a summary of my fantasy basketball leagues, now that everything's been said and done. This year was filled with highs, lows and even more lows. let this post be the last time I think about the 2005-2006 fantasy bball season.

League: Keeper League Year 2 (roto)
Team: Ballers of the World
Finish: #10 of 16
Recap: Started the season at the bottom thanks to the poor play of Stephon Marbury, one of my keepers, as well as Larry Hughes, my first round draft pick. Tim Duncan, my other keeper, also had a subpar (for him) year. Highlights included drafting Jamison, and picking up Mike James off free agency. Fortunately I also drafted Amare, who will be my second keeper next year.

League: Money Pit (head to head)
Team: Ballers of the World
Finish: #5 of 12
Recap: Hovered between #1-3 all season long with the exceptional play of Shawn Marion, Pierce, Andre Miller and Odom. Key pick ups included Jason Terry and Jamal Crawford. Frustratingly though, after leading the league for most of the season, BOTW was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by Taya, by only three rebounds (on the final day, had Brad Miller collected six rebounds instead of three, I would have advanced!). Some consolation wsa received when Taya ended up winning the championship as the #6 seed. Kudos to Art for a great comeback!

League: Too many names to remember (roto)
Team: Ballers of the World (but finished as "worst.season.ever)
Finish: #12 of 12
Recap: Similar to Keeper League Year 2, this team was doomed from the draft after picking TD and Marbury as the two potential keepers. I was able to stay away from the bottom for most of the season, with the strong play of Odom, Miller, and key role players like Rip Hamilton and Mike James. the team took a turn for the worse, however, when I traded Odom and Miller for Korver and Richard Jefferson, in an attempt to cut down on TOs and bolster my 3PTs. From there it was all downhill. At least I get the first pick in next year's draft.

In terms of real-life basketball, I was really hoping to shoot some hoops outdoors today, but the rain has spoiled those plans.


return of the mike

This weekend I booked my Jetblue flight from JFK to Oakland. I'll be back in the Bay from 5/9 - 5/15, most likely staying with one of my sisters in San Francisco. Although I've got a couple of things planned already during my stay, I'm looking forward to seeing the old crew in the old neighborhood.

I also can't wait to eat at my favorite places! Tartine Bakery, Zachary's Pizza, Emmy's Spaghetti Shack, In-and-Out, here I come!

- Craigslist bartering to the max
- Interesting old press release by Superman creators
- Article on Vik's, my favorite Indian restaraunt (but it's back in Berkeley)


spring is here and photo recap

Today was a landmark day - I didn't wear a jacket to work! The weather has been gorgeous these past few weeks, but I was always wary of possible rain or chilly weather in the afternoon. However, it's been so warm lately (I've broken out my sandals nearly every day), that I decided to so sans jacket to work. I love the sun!

It's been a while since I've posted any pictures, so here's a couple from last week:

Blurry picture of Christina, Gerald and me during here short NY visit

Knicks getting blown out by Paul's Bucks

Did you know there's a zoo in Central Park?

I can't wait to spend longer than a lunch hour at Central Park!

I love when people are out and about in the spring.

Dinner at Gerald and Susanna's place. Creme-brulee and Trader Joe's wine.

Susanna firing up the creme brulee with help from Gerald and Tzping.

Bonus picture from my SF going away party - me and the Killa Bee's!


those google geniuses

They've done it again! In addition to Google Calendar, which has all kinds of neat features, a friend introduced me to Google SMS last week. Gerald's blogged about it already, but I'll explain the concept again here. You send Google a text message with what you need info on, and they reply with the answer. Awesome!


happy easter!

What a beautiful Easter Sunday! Unfortunately, I am stuck here at work. As the spring progresses and we head into summer, I have no doubt you'll hear more of my gripes on having to come into the office on these beautiful weekend days.

However, I have to say that I have had a fabulous Friday/Saturday weekend. I had a bunch of things I was hoping to accomplish, and I was able to do everything on my list except for getting a haircut. Here's what I did:

- Had lunch at Katz's. I 've been really good about starting my day off with my favorite organic cereal from Trader Joe's, so I wasn't that hungry for lunch. I went with a hot dog (which was good, but over-priced at $2.75) and matzo ball soup. I had never before seen Katz's that full on a weekday, but I guess a lot of people had the day off. Lucky for me Gerald, Danielle and others had already gotten us seats.

- Bought tickets for all of the Tribeca Film Fest shows that I really wanted to see. Gerald hooked me up by purchasing my tickets with his Amex during the American Express pre-sale, and also using his ID to get the downtown (South of Canal, I think) discount. I picked up every show I wanted for only $8 a pop!

- Worked out. That's pretty standard for Fridays.

- Went to a going-away party for a project manager who is leaving our firm. Anyone looking for a hot up-and-coming tech career, check out Litigation Support. I've only been in the industry for a couple of months, but it's been booming since I've started.

- Went to Madison Square Garden for the Knicks vs. Bucks game with Paul. We had nosebleed seats (literally the last row at the very top), but it was still cool to watch a game at MSG. Or at least guys playing basketball, as it wasn't much of a game with the Bucks blowing the Knicks out from the start. Funniest moment of the night was when fans started booing a guy trying to make free throws to win a prize. I think he sank one free throw in 45 seconds. Thanks to Tien for the Knicks' ticket discount code!

- Watched a midnight showing of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, with John Cameron Mitchell (its creator and star) introducing the show. I had seen it ages ago with EJen at the Roxie in SF, but it may have been better the second time as the live cast performance was much less crazy and not as distracting as in San Francisco.

- Played ball outdoors at a park in the Lower East Side Saturday morning/afternoon. It was awesome. The weather was perfect, we had the perfect number of guys, I couldn't have asked for more (except to have made more of my open lay-ups).

- Had pho with the guys right after basketball. We ate at Pho Grand, which may have been the fanciest pho place I've ever been. It was steal at $10 (tax + tip) for the large #1 (pho with everything), and two spring rolls, fried and unfried.

- Met up with Chih to look at bikes. He had already picked one, so he just accompanied me as I checked out Recycle a Bicycle and a random used bike guy, both in the East Village. While we were waiting for his bike to be finished, we hung out at Tompkins Square Park and watched the dogs play in the big dog run.

- Got ramen with Leslie. My first ramen in New York City, and I must say it was excellent. After sampling some of her soybean based broth, I'm glad I went with the salt-flavored broth instead. In addition to the pho lunch, early dinner ramen, I also ended up getting pad thai later in the night to complete the Asian noodle hat trick.

- Took a nice lunchtime walk today through Central Park. It was awesome, just like the Central Park I had always imagined, with people and kids and dogs and joggers and bike riders. I can't wait to enjoy a lazy day at the park!