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!



Wow, this week went by fast! The weather has been wonderful all week, and I'm hoping it will stay nice through the weekend. I've got a lot of basketball lined up, playing recreationally tonight, catching the Knicks game with Paul (who will be rooting for the visiting Milwaukee Bucks) and playing more ball on Saturday.

One thing I may do this weekend is to pick up a bike with Chih. He's convinced me that biking downtown is safe as long as you stay off the side streets, and as long as I can pick up a junker for less than $100 I'd be happy to try it out. Hopefully I can go with him to the flea market on Saturday.

- Check it out, Google Calendar! It's only in beta, but looks awesome so far. There have been so many time's where I've wished I could have accessed my iCal via the web, and this may be the solution.


going to the movies!

Here it finally is, the long-anticipated list of movies I want to watch at the Tribeca Film Festival. I'm sure a number of these will be sold out, or the limited showings will not fit my schedule, but I've included all of the movies anyways. (FYI - tickets are already on sale for Amex members, but I left my card in California).

Unfortunately, there are no hyperlinks I can add so you've got to do your own browsing through their online program or you can print the PDF of hard copy program.

Without further ado, my Tribeca Film Fest list (* denotes movie I really hope to watch):

The Big Bad Swim
Comeback Season*
Comedy of Power
East Broadway
Farewell Bender*
Fat Girls
Fifty Pills*
Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig
The Groomsmen
Hanging Garden
The Heart of the Game
The Hip Hop Project
Holiday Makers*
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
I'm Reed Fish*
Kettle of Fish
Kiss Me Again
Love for Share
The One Percent*
The Promise*
The Shutka Book of Records*
The TV Set
Two Players from the Bench*
Viva Zapatero!
Goal! The Dream Begins*
Keeping Up With the Steins
Laura's Star
One Last Thing*
Zaina, Rider of the Atlas


roommate reunion!

I apologize that it's been so long since my last post. I blame it on laziness. And the nice weather. And having friends in town. And World of Warcraft.

Anyways, last week was filled with reunions. First, I had dinner with Andrea. She was my roommate in north Berkeley after I finally moved out of the fraternity house. We hadn't seen each other in years, with her leaving the country and me wholly self-absorbed in my own life.

Next up was Christina, my other roommate from the same apartment. Unlike Andrea, who moved to NY shortly before I did, Christina was only here for a whirlwind art tour from Friday morning to Saturday afternoon. Gerald (who replaced Andrea to live with me and Christina), Francis and I met her for drinks on Friday night before we all went back to my place, squeezed into my tiny bedroom and nearly fell asleep listening to Francis' mix tape.

Finally, last but not least, was Eric, my old roommate from the SOMA bachelor pad (come to think if it, that was his apartment before moving in with his then-girlfriend, now-wife). He was in town for some b-school orientation events (drinking, drinking and more drinking). I met up with him and some other friends on Saturday night, going from one bar to the next in the LES until we ended up at a late-night chutney place on Houston.

All that's left now in terms of roommates since 2000 would be the other Eric from my SOMA apartment and Thien from my Noe Valley place. If you're reading this, you guys need to come out and visit!


it's a bit sad

That I've been reduced to grocery shopping at my local CVS pharmacy. I guess I still pick up my milk and juice from a real market and got some good stuff at Trader Joe's last week, but I think I'm just a bit depressed from missing the old neighborhood Safeway. Living here has made me really appreciate the "super" in supermarkets. It's nice how there are little tiny markets everywhere (btw, why are they called bodegas?), but I miss my one-stop, heavily discounted, shopping.

Anyways, for lunch today I picked up a can of chili and some biscuits from Amy's bread. I actually had to buy a ton of bread since I forgot my cash and Amy's has a $10 minimum for credit charges. If you want some challah cinnamon loaf or black olive bread contact me. This is an old picture, but it looks EXACTLY like my lunch:



moe's tavern goes to white castle!

After a great win in Brooklyn, Moe's Tavern decided to celebrate at White Castle. Honestly, this was all I could think about all game, as there had been emails mentioning a possible trip. I knew that if we won, Mike (the other one) was getting the team a case of sliders.

We were on such a big high after our win, a couple guys on the team treated us all to TWO cases of sliders (60 little burgers), plus sacks of chicken rings (yes Cris, RINGS, not wings), clam strips and fish nibblers. I went for the even dozen but could only polish off eleven before getting stopping. I was highly satisfied by my first trip to White Castle. How could I not be impressed by any burger joints that inspects every crate of burgers for accuracy! (Although our second crate was missing the inspection stickers, and some of those burgers were found to be ketchup-less)



Although White Castle was no Shake Shack or Corner Bistro, neither are those places White Castle. I doubt you'd find at those places two random people in the restaraunt telling us how sick we'll be tonight (by the way, I am still feeling excellent).

it's snowing!

It's not just snowing, but it's really coming down hard! And I thought winter was over. I did hear that this April would be fairly rainy, but I guess that can only be expected after a beautiful March.


breaking news - Simpsons The Movie!

As a HUGE Simpsons fan, I am compelled to post this immediately:

The Simpsons Movie
In Theatres: July 27th, 2007

Google Romance!

I forgot to post this in my last update: http://www.google.com/romance/

"When you think about it, love is just another search problem. And we’ve thought about it. A lot. Google Romance™ is our solution.Google Romance is a place where you can post all types of romantic information and, using our Soulmate Search™, get back search results that could, in theory, include the love of your life.

Then we'll send you both on a Contextual DateTM, which we'll pay for while delivering to you relevant ads that we and our advertising partners think will help produce the dating results you're looking for."

good times...

My weekend kicked off with a beautiful Friday morning. I finally hit the gym after weeks of being sick or too busy to go, and as a reward, I decided to hit up the Shake Shack for a sunny outdoor lunch in Madison Square Park. Once I got there, I encountered the longest line ever - between joining the line and finally getting my food, I spent nearly an hour and a half watching the shade slowly overcome the park, and feeling the temperature drop steadily. Luckily, I had donned a long sleeve jacket to go along with my shorts and favorite sandals. However, all things considered, my Shack Burger, hamburger with everything, fries and a large strawberry shake were worth the wait.


Saturday seemed like it would be nice too, but after Gerald and I emerged from the theater after watching Nausicca and the Valley of Wind at around 2PM, it was actually raining! After a brief stop at home to change into shoes, Gerald and I hit up Demarco's for some of my favorite pizza. Then I spent the better part of the afternoon at home playing World of Warcraft before meeting up with my old co-worker Julia (coolest intern ever - if Jean ever comments on my blog she can be tied). We walked around Soho, running into Famke Janssen again (Julia was completely celebrity frozen for a few seconds), and finally stopped for dinner at the Sullivan Diner for some so-so Dutch pancakes.

Sunday was painful to go into work, as it was just such a beautiful day. However, after work I met up with my buddy Paul (also an old BUILD associate) for some excellent burgers at Corner Bistro. I wasn't very happy with my first experience there as I found the hamburger to be a bit bland and soggy. However, this time I ordered their Bistro Burger, which comes with bacon and cheese, and it was excellent. We got in at a good time as we only waited about five minutes for a table, but on our way out the place was packed with a line nearly going out the door! After dinner we hit up a bar to catch MLB's opening game and caught up as it had been a while since we last met up.

On a side note - Paul and I are hoping to catch the April 14 Knicks game against his hometown Bucks. Let me know if you're interested in joining us!