happy chinese new year!

welcome to the year of the dog! things have been great here in pasadena. i'm hoping to post a more detailed version of everything i've done in california but it can all be summed up with three words - family, friends and food.

i'll be back in nyc tomorrow. although i'll miss everyone here, i'm looking forward to being back in my heated apartment, with wireless internet, a full-size bed and my full wardrobe.

take care all and happy lunar new year!

if you only watch one funny internet video this year

watch lazy sunday. if you plan on watching two, check out this video. those wacky rockets fans (and their computer game obsessed roommates)! [i have since been told that this video is actually quite old, and also discovered a slew of their clips on youtube. this one is still my favorite.]

as for personally recorded videos, my sister recorded this clip from the recent rubik's cube championship in san francisco. featured is leyan lo, a member of caltech's rubik's cube club, and new world record holder for solving the cube in the shortest time (11.13 seconds). those wacky caltech students! if only basketball games could be won with algorithms...


not alone

here's an article that my sister jennifer brought me about the popularity of messenger bags. over-the-shoulder bags are just to convenient to be ignored. now i just need to ditch my chinese knock-off (not that it's not nice, thien, just you know...) and get a nice lv or j varvatos bag.

los angeles update - i always forget how nice it is to have someone cook for you three meals a day, or as many as you'd like to have at home. all i've been doing is sitting around at home, visiting family members, and hanging out with my friends.

so far the only non-chinese meal i've had was at ribs usa, with mark, chris and bo on wednesday night. i have posted twice before (here and here) about this restaraunt, but let me reiterate that this is my favorite places for ribs and hot wings. forgot my camera, but took a cameraphone pic just to show how monstrous their ribs are (pictured below). i look forward to comparing it with dinosaur bbq.


today mark and i also watched Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior, which came highly recommended. the action lived up to expectations, with great non-special effects martial arts and pseudo-acrobatic feats, but the story line was just a step above mediocre. if you're a big jackie chan fan, or enjoy well-choreographed fight scenes, this is the movie for you.

i mistakenly thought this was the second thai movie i have seen. the movie that i thought was thai, but is actually from singapore, is that's the way i like it - a underdog movie inspired by saturday night fever. great story, plus you can't beat fobby disco!


"Who are you calling a tiny bug that escapes the wrath of a shoe because he's so small that he fits in the grooves and can't get squashed?"

no more full metal alchemist... underneath the humor and action was a great storyline with excellent character development and captivating plot twists. i'll really miss watching it, and not just because of the main character's occasional height inferiority complex outburst.

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what to watch next - lost, bleach or shuffle?

killing time pt 2

one last post before i go to bed. google earth. if you don't already have it, get it. it's amazing and was just released for the mac.

one of these days i want to put together tours of my europe and asia trips, but for now, check out my high school:



there's no place like home...

geez, i can't believe it's not even nine o'clock and i am exhausted. my fatigue is most likely due to the fact that i got little sleep last night, plus nausea from one of the roughest plane rides of my life. the highlight of the trip was watching nine episodes of full metal alchemist, leaving me with just one more! the ending to episode #50 was a cliffhanger, but i wanted to wait until i as in the perfect mood to watch the show's ending. i hope i doesn't disappoint, as the rest of the series has been amazing on so many different levels.

anyways, i made it home safe, had a western bacon cheeseburger from carl's, visited both my grandmothers (plus an aunt visiting from texas), and enjoyed a nice home-cooked meal.

here's a quick update on what i have been / am reading:

just finished: the cheese monkeys: a novel in two semesters by chip kidd. this humorous story about a young student entering college as an art major in the 50s started off great, even eliciting a few chuckles from me on the subway - resulting in a couple of weird looks from everyone.
just started: everything is illuminated: a novel by johnathan safran foer. i've always wanted to watch the movie, but i figured the book must be better. confusing so far, but hopefully things will improve.

killing time

with work so slow this week, i had plenty of time to surf the web, only to discover that the sites i normally visit eat up only about 15 minutes when seriiously browsed (full attention, no work/games/tv/conversation going on). therefore, it was time to add some new sites to my web bookmarks.

here are the old staples:
gmail, my yahoo!, yahoo! sports/fantasy sports, nytimes, cnet, flickr, foodite, amazon

and the new sites added to the rotation:
gothamist, sfist, pop culture manifesto, tienmao, craigslist

looking back, i think the reason i can't surf as long is because i've phased out the old gaming sites that i could spend all day reading - star city games and magicthegathering.com. we'll see what happens if i get into world of warcraft...

leaving on a jet(blue) plane

what's with super shuttle picking me up at 8:45am for a 11:45am flight out of jfk (about 30 minutes away)? i figured i must be one of the earlier pick ups, or maybe traffic is jammed this early on a tuesday morning, but no. i was the last pick up and we were at jfk by 9:15! shake a fist!

at least jetblue provides free internet. i actually haven't flown southwest in such a long time, but in my opinion jetblue blows them out of the sky (not literally). actually, i guess its not too bad since they've got tvs all over the place so i finally caught highlights of kobe's big game. i just wish i could listen in to espn with my radio, like you can at a gym. back to kobegodwin callled yesterday and he referred me to a great basketball statistics site (82games.com) which had a neat article about the value of kobe bryant.

i'm very excited about going home, even though the weather is amazing here in ny. after family, the thing i am looking forward to the most is eating. i'm planning on feasting while i'm in town, even though i should beback shortly for tommy's wedding in march. other than that, i have some law school stuff to take care of, and francis lent me the first two seasons of lost, so i may try to start on that .(but i have no idea how i'd find time to watch it regularly, as i barely catch my two favorite shows now - the simpsons and the office).

i still remember how while i was in college, i never ever missed my sunday night lineup of futurama, king of the hill, simpsons, (break time), x-files, and the practice. now i can barely sit still for more than one hour of tv.


81 points!

kobe bryant is amazing... second highest scoring total in league history (behind wilt's 100).

i also wanted to give a big congratulations to my friends danielle and edwin, who got engaged today (he proposed in central park)! best wishes and thank you for sharing your happy news with us!

also, here's francis' recap of their star wars marathon, in which i made a cameo appearance (in the marathon, not the movies).


bad case of the sundays

i really do not want to be at work today. not only is it beautiful outside, but i also would have preferred to recover from this weekend (my weekend being friday and saturday). overall, i had a great weekend. it was productive, social, fun. i tried new places to eat, hung out with old friends, met new friends and even squeezed in time for exercise.

the highlight of the weekend was definitely playing basketball. i'm not the greatest player (actually not even close to great, here are my stats from the last time i played dream league), but i just love the feeling of running up and down the court, setting picks, playing d, and grabbing boards. anyways, mike invited me to play with some of his friends, at a gym they rent every friday night in chelsea. i was definitely rusty, but it felt good to be back on the court.

later that night, after i had showered and gotten into bed, monica convinced me to roll out of bed, change and go out. i, of course, then called mike and convinced him to go out so i wouldn't be the only tired one. we were expecting a quiet laid-back night at the bowling alley, but we ended up at coffeeshop for drinks and then dancing at solas afterwards. i was so tired that everytime i heard the word "home" i stopped what i was doing (mid-dance/mid-sentence) and would ask, "oh, are we going home now?"

saturday was at least more relaxing. i spent the morning watching full metal alchemist (which i have gottten really into, but i'm sad that there are only about 10 episodes left), before heading over to gerald's cousin jeff's apartment for lunch. gerald, jeff, susana and francis had just finished attack of the clones in the middle of their star wars marathon (one day, all six movies!).
i stayed for episode iii, and fell asleep in the most uncomfortable position during episode iv (the actual star wars/a new hope). when i woke up the the middle of empire strikes back, i knew it was time to go home.

after attempting to nap, i met with charles and mike for some pre-party drinks, and headed out to earth for andy's birthday where i had a great time and once again was shocked at how many berkeley people are out here.

finally this morning finds me here at work. luckily i didn't have too much of a hangover - just the slight headache that comes from drinking enough that i mis-set my alarm, but not too much to sleep in past when i normally wake up anyways.


hotter than maude flanders

i never really got why maude flanders was the big hottie on simpsons, but it always made for great comedy with homer (until he accidentally killed her...).

anyways, i'm not sure whether to be happy or upset with the crazy weather we are experiencing in new york. on one hand, it's been as good, or possibly better, than any december/january i've spent in the bay area. on the other hand, i was hoping to experience something different, especially since this could be my only east coast winter ever. all i hear is "wait until the cold comes in february," but that what they said in december about january. i just better get some good usage out of the biggest jacket i've ever bought in my entire life.

as you can see below (courtesy of my apple dashboard), it's almost as warm here as in pasadena!

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sports stories get me emotional

i still recall (as do cc, lil j and maybe gerald) the first time i watched rudy. i woke up early on weekend morning, poped it into my dvd player and settled down in front of the tv with my korean blanket (they make awesome blankets). when my roommates finally woke up, they came out to find me sobbing like a baby, drying my eyes with my blanket and just an emotional wreck. i've since recovered, but a moving sports story can still get me.

before you start thinking i'm a big crybaby, let it be known that i do not cry in every single sports movie. just those where the protagonist has truly overcome great odds to get where they are. what triggered this post is this article in the times about nfl football player steve smith. i'm not a big football fan, and have never even heard of him before, but still i was nearly moved to tears at my office desk. just nearly though. i have yet to cry at work reading one of these stories.


schadenfreude and those big ass puddles by the sidewalk

there's just something amusing about watching someone getting splashed by a car going through a big puddle. i can't put my finger on why it is so entertaining. it's really not a nice thing to happen to someone, but even now i've got a smile on my face picturing a tall, 5-foot high mini-tsunami hitting the innocent, and usually unprepared, bystander. i guess it's just schadenfreude. anyways, this nearly happened to me last night walking from the lower east side, but i jumped out of the way in the nick of time.

what was i doing in the lower east side before narrowly avoiding disaster (and embarrasment, if anyone was watching)? i finally met up with my cousin sandia, who moved here about two years ago. i never got a chance to visit here in prior trips, as she lived in the boonies (way upper and pretty way east side), but we were finally able to schedule a dinner. i was beat from a long day at work (i was asked to be in at 8am to work, just in case something came up), but was refreshed by a great dinner at inoteca, followed by excellent desserts at the tasting room, where we were joined by greg, sandia's boyfriend. i highly recommend both spots, but be sure to make a reservation at the tasting room, as they have a very intimate 25-seat capacity (plus great music - they played my favorite nada surf and rilo kiley songs!).

this past weekend also had some clinary highlights, with great shanghai-nese at yeah shanghai deluxe (a great recommendation from tien), sangria and tapas at tia pol, burgers at blue 9, and las tbut not least, chicken and waffles at amy ruth's.

in addition to eating out, i also spent a few hours at the met on friday, as well as finally catching the darwin exhibit at the american museum of natural history with gerald and susana on monday.

too good to be true

i love lox, and to a lesser degree, it's uncured cousin - smoked salmon. in san francisco my saturday morning ritual was to walk down 24th st. in noe valley, browse the boutique stores, peruse the mini-farmer's market (occasionally picking up the random apple, plout or bag of cherrie), and getting a lox bagel from holey bagel to kick off my weekend. a creature of habit, i followed this same routine probably nine saturdays out of every ten.

which leads me to today, when i was delighted to see our cafeteria deli's daily special. not only was it smoked salmon with cream cheese on a bagel, it was a humongous mound of smoked salmon. the capers were missing, but i thought it a small loss for such a delicious, and well-priced at $4, lunch treat. i should have been tipped off once i got a closer look at the pallid, grainy texture of the salmon. my first few bites were coupled with thought of "maybe i'm getting to the good part," but with less than 1/4 of the bagel left, i sadly realized that there would be no good part. i'm not saying that i was sad on the level of "oh the humanity," or even agitated enough to "shake a fist." just bummed.

on a better note, here's something that's really good and true: trader joe's will be opening in new york!


review - the anti-narnia

today i finished the his dark materials trilogy, and i must say it lived up to the hype. although not as famous as either narnia or the lord of the rings, i realized what a hugely popular series this was once i started asking around about it.

my interest was piqued after reading an article in the new yorker where the author, philip pullman, discusses narnia (and a little tolkien) in a religious context. "his dark materials" could easily be a counterpoint to the underlying christian tones of narnia, however the book is so well-written with a compelling plot that the religious argument takes the back seat.

if you're a fan of fantasy, and can be patient enough to let a storyline filled with scientific details and a large cast of characters develop, pick this series up. you won't be disappointed.

all you never wanted to know about me

as much as i hate chain letters, it was my friend gerald who tagged me so i feel compelled to not ignore it. besides, 7 meme doesn't threaten me with bad luck in love, promise to make wishes come true, help a sick child, or get me paid by bill gates, so i know i am doing this completely out of free will. without further ado, here it is:

7 things to do before i die:
- get married and raise a family
- travel to all seven continents
- run a marathon
- win a fantasy league
- watch my children play with the children of my friends
- start my own business
- spend more time with the people i care about

7 things i cannot do
- stray from my heart's desires
- not listen to my body
- respect people who are hurtfully mean to others
- assume anyone is perfect
- not have fun
- stop procrastinating
- be suave with the ladies

7 things that attracted me to blogging
- pretending that people care about what i have to say
- being able to express myself without having someone physically listening (or pretending to listen)
- killing time in a somewhat productive way
- sharing my new york experience without having to call numerous people and tell the same story twenty times (now i just say, "yeah, last night was crazy! read about it on my blog! ok, talk to you later!")
- improving my horrible writing
- trying something new
- documenting my life so when i'm old i can look back fondly on what a nerd i was

7 things i say most often
- "whaaaat!"
- "pleeease..."
- "totally"
- "are you going to finish that?"
- "who cares?"
- "eh... we'll see."
- "my all-time top five movies are..."

7 books i love
- the alchemist
- interpreter of maladies
- maison ikkoku
- lone wolf and cub
- a song of fire and ice
- ender's game
- tao te ching

7 movies i watch over and over (too easy...)
- field of dreams
- rushmore
- princess mononoke
- this is spinal tap
- beautiful girls
- about a boy
- the life aquatic with steve zissou

7 bloggers that i'm tagging
- i made a solemn vow never pass on a chain letter (not inclluding those informative political ones that actually matter (but including those stupid health ones - like why everyone's favorite oyster sauce was supposedly carcinogenic)), which am i sticking to here. sorry!


and i thought i was well traveled...

this is neat, but also slightly depressing. i consider myself fairly well traveled, having made multiple trips to europe and asia, but looking at my places visited map leaves me feeling small and quaint...

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

my states visited is just as bad (funny how they are almost all "blue" states)

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.


naked without my man-bag

girls have it so easy with a purse. once i started carrying a bag to work, it's very hard for me to go anywhere without one. especially here i new york, where i am always on the train or bus, it's nice to be able to hold more personal effects that my pockets can carry. at the very least, i've got my umbrella, book, mp3 player, cell phone, keys, metro card, lip balm, and notebook, which mean's that i either stuff my pants pockets to the brim, use a fanny pack, or carry a man-purse. i chose the man-purse.

luckily my old roommate thien bought me a great one from his hk/china trip last year, which is the perfect size to carry around everywhere. it's even been complemented numerous times as "cute."

anyways, tonight i went out to dinner with friends to tia pol, and for the first time in a while that i was man-bag-less. i felt a bit vulnerable on the way there (what if my train stalls in the tunnel and i have nothing to read! what if my lips start feeling chapped!), but now that i've gone the whole night sans bag, i think i'll be ok when i can't carry it around. as long as it's a short trip.


hello again world wide web!

the internet connection at my apartment is finally back up!

now the question is - how long will it be before i buy world of warcraft (and will it be more addicting than magic online)?

taking down the law!

this morning i received an 8:00AM wake-up call from one of my managers asking if i would be able to make it to the courthouse by 8:45AM to assist the attorney's again with their trial. notone to pass up an interesting job, i rolled out of bed, threw some clothes on and rushed out. on the way, "law and order" was filming in front of a different courthouse, but i was running late so i didn't stop to watch.

once at the courthouse, it took only a few minutes to get everything set up. as my co-worker says, they had me there for the "warm fuzzies" - they just felt better having me there in case something went wrong, even though i spent the whole time either reading a book or watching the examination/cross examination of the prosecutor's star witness. i finally got to see the partner in action and it was much better than watching the opening arguments on monday.

it also reminded me of my star turn in court (really just a commissioner's office). it all begin a month earlier, when a police car nearly smashed head-on into the passenger side of my car. highly agitated, the officer pulled me over and after harshly berating me stated that if it weren't for his partner, who saw me proceed past the stop sign at the last minute, he would've t-boned me right in the middle of the three-way stop intersection. suffice to say, i drove away with a ticket for making an incomplete stop.

now i had made a full stop, i just didn't notice the police cruiser before moving forward. i decided to try my luck and fight the ticket in court. i borrowed my friend's "beat your ticket" book, which had multiple chapters devoted to beating speeding tickets, but only one paragraph for incomplete stops - it could only suggest challenging their observation of the transgression.

when my "court" date finally arrived (remember it was only in a commisioner's office near the berkeley city hall), i hoped that i would be lucky enough to have my officer not show. there were four of us waiting to be seen, and guess who was one of the unlucky two to have their cases heard? when my officer finally arrived, we both sat facing a commissioner, who would serve as the arbiter of justice in this case. the cop gave his account first, which was exactly what he had angrily expressed to me, this time much calmer. when it was my turn, i gave a brief account stating that i made a full stop. with both accounts heard, the commissioner opened up the floor for questioning.

this is where i put on my best matlock face, turned to the cop and asked him, "officer, did you see me make an incomplete stop?"

"no, but my partner did, which is the only reason why i didn't end up hitting you," replied the officer.

"but officer, did you see me make an incomplete stop?" I responded.

[long pause by the officer] "no."

"no further questions your honor" (yes, i did actually say that!)

after brief consideration, the commissioner dismissed the case, telling was lucky the officer's partner hadn't shown up. i tried to look humble, gave the officer one last smile and swaggered out of the room. i'd forgotten how exhilarating i had felt afterwards, but the moral of the lesson is that i did become a much more careful driver. (aside from falling asleep at the wheel on highway - but it was in rush hour gridlocked traffic!)


plan b

criminal trials always remind me of the tv series "the practice," about a criminal defense law firm whose famous tactic was "plan b" - where they would accuse the prosecutor's star witness (usually the victim's close friend/relative) of committing the heinous crime. their brutal cross-examination of the fragile witness would often shed reasonable doubt on their client (and sometimes even reveal the true perpetrator of the crime!).

anyways, i spent the entire day yesterday in the courtroom, assisting our attorneys with setting up some technology for the opening of a new trial. although the brunt of the day was setting up computers and then babysitting it while the attorneys wrapped up jury selection in a different room, watching the opening statements by the attorneys was a great experience. instead of the old, crotchety judge, we had a pretty funny (albeit still old) judge, a deputy decked out in '70s style suit (too many yellows and greens), and a boring female prosecutor whose opening argument was interrupted twice by a false fire alarm. my personal highlight was when the deputy acidently kicked and unplugged the projector during our attorney's opening, and i had to crounch and run past the jurors and in front of the judge to turn the project back on, all while the firm partner was giving his argument!

i've never seen myself as a litigator, but i've discovered that i do love making arguments. howeverm, arguing over dinner about how blockbuster.com is better than netflix (it really is) is a big step from arguing in court with someone's life on the line. i guess we'll have to see how i feel about litigation after law school.

after work yesterday, i was pooped (i know pooped is funny, but it's exactly how i felt). tuesdays are wednesdays with my sun-thurs schedule, and i had worked nearly 36 hours between sunday, monday and tuesday. even though most of the day was spent reading a book while waiting in the courtroom, i was still wiped out by the time i got home. i'm just glad i forced myself to go to bed early and get a good night's sleep.



whew... an unordinarily long day of work today, being it was a sunday after a slow week. i was hoping to catch simpson's tonight, but it looks like i'll have to make it out to gerald's place to watch it from his hdtv dvr.

anyways, since i worked such a long day i decided to treat myself to a shwarma at mahmoun's (especially since it's been over a week since i last ate there). finding myself still hungry, i headed over to joe's pizza on carmine st. i've declared demarco's as my favorite pizza, but wanted to compare the two slices at least one more time. although joe's usually wins the quantity contest, today it was a landslide as the guy at the counter gave me two slices, as they were both a bit undersized (but about the same size as a demarco's slice). i ate one slice immediately, confirming my preference to demarco's. the other slice was supposed to go in the fridge for later, but I finished it on the way home (who was i kidding? like i could walk two blocks without eating the slice). suffice to say, i am currently stuffed...

quick note - last night i had dinner with calvin and his wife gladys at jasmine, an excellent thai restaraunt in the upper east side, and i run into mark - my friend who threw the big new year's bash! and one of the people we were having dinner with went the med school where mark is going now (cal and gladys are both soon to be doctors)! what a small world!


review - the london below

now that i haven't been surfing the web at home, i've picked up a couple of fantasy novels to kill my web-less evenings. sometimes i forget what my life was like before high-speed internet, but i used to be an avid reader. last night i finished neverwhere by neil gaiman. i've always been a big fan of his sandman series, and his other novel, american gods, blew me away. neverwhere was not bad, but it fell short of his previous work. maybe it's because the alternate reality theme is a bit played out, or that i just didn't identify with the main character, but i just wasn't impressed. hopefully the series i'm reading now, his dark materials will live up to expectations.

bonus review - call me a sissy but i have been enjoying gavin degraw's chariot. besides the title track, i recommend belief, crush, nice to meet you anyway and more than anyone.


bye bye brownies, hello healthier snacks! last year there was no question which one i would choose from the machine below:

in 2006, i vow to pass on the peanut m&ms, my all-time favorite candy, in favor of the mixed nuts (with the occasional plain m&m). aside - i took this pic one day after foregoing the peanut m&ms, getting a huge handful of nuts, but not a single m&m. i don't expect an equal m&m to nut ratio, or even m&m to raisin, but come on, look at the jar! how could i not get one piece of chocolate? i was furious and decided to share my wrath with the world. thankfully i calmed down, and now i have a much less vengeful use for this photo.

so, back to the nuts. as another resolution of mine is to take more pictures, i set up my camera at work and experiment with different setting while photographing/eating. unfortunately, i ran out of nuts before i got the picture right...

see the rest of the set here.


the brownie stops here!

last week this would have referred to my brownie pit stops at 1PM, 3PM and 6PM, sometimes replaced by a cookie or rice krispie treat. however, starting now i am taking a the anti-brownie stand against the at-work snacking of these delicious, tasty, oh-so-good baked goods.

from now on, i will resist buying another brownie just to raise my lunch tab over $6.50 to stamp my frequent buyers card. i will turn away when we receive a gift package from one of our many clients or vendors. when a co-worker brings in baked goods for whatever reason, i will politely decline. even if it's fresh krispy kreme!

in addition to the end of the at-work snacking era, i also vow to be much better about exercising. with the help of a personal trainer, i've had some of the best gym workouts of my life recently, but i pledge to go to the gym more than once a week. i also plan to start running again, once i get a new pair of running shoes. no more broken folding chairs! never again will i experience the humiliation of having my pants button pop while sitting! this will not be me!


crazy bored

they've got nothing for me to do at work today, but it's still too busy
for me to blatantly sit around posting to my blog... yesterday chih
called the cable company and learned that our internet connection will
not be fixed until next thursday (shake a fist)! at least he got them
to not charge us going back to november.

at least i can read the books i just received from amazon today: his
dark materials trilogy and neverwhere.

review - mecha anime turned weird

i recently finished watching the entire neon genesis evangelion series. back in college, i loved this anime. i remember walking from my dorm to movie image every weekend to rent anime movies, and dubbing them using my own vcr and the vcr i would borrow from the building. i slowly built up a small collection of anime series, but evangelion was always my favorite.

watching it a second time, i relived the fascination i remembered from the past, as well as the disappointment i had forgotten. it starts off great, fast paced, cool mecha, funny characters, but slowly evolves into a psychological analysis of the protagonist. reading the wiki article reveals that the creator may have been attempting some deep symbolism, but i just wanted to see cool robots fighting stuff.

overall good, but i can no longer highly recommend it as it left me wanting more (and not in the good way).


wow, 2006

every new year i think the same thing: "i can't believe it's already ___! it's ___ and what do i have to show for myself! i'm already (____ - 1978) years old, without a career, no family plans, still paying rent, who knows where i'm headed! why couldn't i have done more in (____ - 1)?!?!"

then i calm down, reflect on who i am, and give thanks for everything i've been blessed with. in 2005 my family and friends all had good health, i was surrounded by great people, and i continued to learn, grow and mature as a person. looking back, i can't ask for more than that. i was thinking of doing a 2005 highlight reel, but i realized that every single day was a highlight, even if i didn't realize it then.

for 2006, i wish for everyone's continued good health, that my relationshiips with friends and family stay strong, and that i continue to have opportunities to make myself a better person.

thank you to everyone who touched my life in 2005, and i look forward to an even better year in 2006!

if you haven't seen it yet

hilarious - lazy sunday (free video download on itunes)

this video reminded me of another funny site - crying while eating. i think my sister actually sent in a video but i guess it never got posted. i think afshin is my favorite.

also, if you're looking for chill new music, my sister recommended james blunt. the single "you're beautiful" is nice. especially for a ballad containing expletives.

2005 --> 2006

even though i'm here at work on this holiday monday, i had a really great new year's weekend. here's how it went down:

i took time off of work to help devy take care of final moving arrangements. her super shuttle to the airport was over an hour late, but thankfully she made it ok and had an uneventful flight home. it was really sad to see her go, but my sadness is outweighed by her sheer happiness of the thought of going back to california. i'll miss her a lot, but i'm glad she's much happier now.

i was a bit sad at work, but in the evening my spirits were lifted when i had dinner with my friend and former co-worker suzanne. her mother joan made a wonderful lamb dinner for us, after coctails with the whole family (grandma ruth, jay, josh, danielle and alexander, plus our friend paul). it was really really nice to be in their company, and we had a great time. after dinner josh put alexander to bed, i lost all my cheerios in texas hold'em but dominated the boggle scene. i'll try to root out some pictures of alexander for everyone, he is absolutely the cutest, most adorable baby boy i know!

worked for a few hours and had demarco's pizza for dinner. it was recommended to me by tien, who originally heard of it on sliceny. anyways, it was good. i think this could be my favorite pizza in the city so far. no, it is my favorite pizza in the city. try it. i certainly want to try it again.

i started watching full metal alchemist, which i got a few weeks ago but never started. for lunch gerlad and i picked up cheese at murray's, and lobster bisque at the lobster place. i was excited to try it, but the bisque was a little too pureed and had an aftertaste that i couldn't put my finger on. nonetheless, still pretty good. after watching sky high (corny but enjoyable, with bruce campbell, lynda carter and some kids in the hall playing supporting roles) we went grocery shopping at chelsea market for our new year's halibut dinner with janet.

for the actual countdown, tien invited us to a house party thrown by mark, one of eric tam's good friend who i met at his wedding. the place was unbelievable, and it was one of the most festive parties i've been to in a long time. thanks again mark!

still no internet at home, so i checked my email at the apple store. they've got a really comfortable auditorium to sit in, and the classes are pretty cool. too bad yesterday it was the digital photography/iphoto class i've seen three times already. for lunch i met with gerald and janet at pho nha trang in chinatown. pretty good pho but i think the best i've had is still in westminster.

after lunch i felt like something sweet, so gerald led us to the chocolat michel cluizel inside the abc carpet and home store. we all got to sample a few chocolates, and gerald and i both left with our own assortments of delicious treats. afterwards, we tried to catch match point, but because the next three showings were sold out we ended up watching munich instead. all of us thought it was so-so, and definitely a little too long.

for dinner, gerald and i had burgers from blue 9, which were the best burgers i've had so far in nyc (only because i can't specifically recall the burgers at shake shack, which were tasty as well). from blue 9, we walked to bua for drinks with monica and her friends from out of town. i had a great time trying to convince one of her friends to move to new york, but i'm not sure if she bought it.

overall, this was a great weekend to kick off the new year. i got to spent a lot of time with friends - some i see all the time, some i hadn't seen for a while, and some i just met. good pizza, good burgers, good friends, good times.