Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blue Mountain Part II

What an adventure this day was!

After waking up and watching price is right, went outside to see snow starting to fall. Didn't think much of it at the time - I mean, snow? in Collingwood, that's expected.

Then on to the car, and seeing on the dash a good ol' parking ticket. Nothing too bad right? Day could go better, but it's just a parking ticket afterall. Pay it when I get home, then I am good to go.

Start up the car, brush off the snow, and then went back into the car. Noticing that the mirror still had some snow on it, I rolled down the window, and brushed the snow off. Then pressed the button to roll the window back up. I pressed it... ... ... and nothing happened.

So here we are now, a little bit past noon, and it's snowing (blowing snow), we are in the car, and one of the windows is FULLY down. Snow was starting to full into the controls, and so I figured we gotta cover it w/ something (in case the snow gets in and melts, causing an even bigger mess). After a phone call home, I was told that in addition to the doors not working too well, that window I just pulled down 'normally can't go down cuz is stuck'. So thinking, AWESOME!, next step was to call CAA and see what they can do. Their response: sure, we will be there in 30 min to 2 hours...

In effect saying we are on our own for the next hour, we looked at a map, saw a Toyota dealership and thought, 'hey, let's go there and see what they can do'. So we started driving down, with snow blowing through the driver side, and all of us wearing our toques and big jacket like the day before when we went snowboarding.

As I am driving down, first I tried to go the no glove approach... which soon after I had to ditch and wear one glove (as luck would have it, there were no thin gloves so I had to drive with the thicker leather gloves). Pretty soon though my face was getting cold, so we pull up a red blanket and used that to cover the driver side where the window would be. Though because of the blanket, I could not see the left mirror, it was a reasonable trade-off, seeing as I held the blanket, I could feel the gusts of wind that would have landed on my face had I not have the blanket. I had two fully functional mirrors, so face vs. left mirror, bye bye mirror! :P.

I have to say, this was soooo ghetto, and sad to the point where by the time we got into town (which was about 15 minutes in), Swimming Buddy and I just started laughing. Sure we realize as we were in town that we had no more wiper fluid either, but how can things go any worse! In a little less than 2 hours since we woke up, we had an injured person, and 2 frozen popsicles. While we are laughing at our plight, we were debating heavily what we'd do if Toyota can't help us. Whether to:
a) turn up the heat and drive 1.5 hr on the highway to get back home
b) keep holding onto this red blanket as we cruise down the 400
c) drive to Canadian Tire and buy ceram wrap and duct tape to seal the open gap.
... after a few minutes, we decided to put these in the backburner, until it's confirmed that Toyota can't help us.

So we got to Toyota a little bit past 1:00pm.. right about when they were closing for the day. I rushed in, told them our situation, then the mechanic comes out, looks at it and gives out what I heard as an 'uh-oh'. Before I had time to react to the 'uh-oh', the mechanic starts banging on the door panel and then the window magically started sliding up! Holding my breath as the window continued to creep up to its fully closed position, I had nothing but 'thank you's and 'you are the best' for the mechanic. Toyota at Collingwood - really nice people. I mean, it's the 31st, they are about to close up, and they are willing to check out a stray's car! What nice people!

So after an hour driving around town, the window was fixed! We decided to go for a quick bite and warm up before driving back. Having been delayed by Price Is Right and this little hunt for Toyota, we come back to see the 401 jam packed eastbound. So as we saw how 401 is packed from the 400 all the way to 403, Swim Buddy and I decided to use our great navigation skills to chart up a new route to get back home.

Good thing we did because it turns out there were two accidents that happened, clogging up effectively the entire section from Keele to Kipling. So getting on right after Keele, we hit ZERO traffic!

Dropped off Swim Buddy at the hospital to get a checkup on her hand, and I proceeded to go buy some chicken wings to prepare for the tonight.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blue Mountain Part I

Waking up bright and early at 8:30am (the earliest I have waken up since I've been back), today began the trek to Collingwood for day of fun filled snow and mountains.

Debating the whole way whether I should ski or snowboard, I ended up trying out snowboarding... 2nd time in my life. This 2nd time I fell alot less on the bunny hill... I was able to actually make it down without falling a few times - but then again, this bunny hill seemed alot flatter than the one at horseshoe.

The worst idea of the day was probably being convinced to go up the non bunny hill on the first run of the day. Fell soo many times as I came down... and I swear there were times where I thought I was gonna die!.. lol. Good thing my subconscious survival instincts kicked in, and so I survived going down that hill! The coolest thing was that every time I fell, I could just lie there on the hill in the big star/snow angel form and rest... at any other non green hill, doing that would probably get me yelled at! In the past 10+ years, this is probably the 2nd time I've ever done that! (the 1st time was the week before at the bunny hill at horseshoe!)

So after that first run, we demoted ourselves and went back to the bunny hill. It took REALLY long to get up, because people kept falling off the conveyor belt lifts. So what we ended up doing was just walking up the bunny hill and going back down. After 3 or 4 runs though, tired of walking up, I braved back onto the big baby hill and tried going down it a few times. Fell quite a bit, but was slowly getting the hang of it.

So I was slowly able to do what the lesson we got last week at horseshoe had us doing (they were what I would call a semi-moon turn), but I never understood how that connects into a real snowboarding experience. But as I was watched from the lift, I got an epiphany as I watch one of the snowboarders come down the hill. The key lay in connecting these semi-moon turns... and supposedly when connected, they call that 'carving'. So trying this out on the next run, I was able to connect the first 5 semi-turns, and built after a decent amount of speed (for my level on the snowboard)... and then THUMP!

That THUMP came from my trying to make the 6th semi-turn, but failing because the transfer of my weight from heel to toe on the turn wasn't done properly. Falling backwards, my bum went down with a thud and then kablamo! Down I was, trying to get up immediately wasn't possible... lol. It was funny in a way, cuz I had to lay there for a little bit because I simply couldn't get up! I was able to get up and tumble down the slope eventually; but this fall took alot out of me and I never really recovered from it... All subsequent attempts down the slope did not hurt as much as this one, but I also fell quite a bit more...

After the numerous falls and falls, we went back to the cabin. As it turns out, on the first run, Swim Buddy had actually taken a pretty bad fall (a fall where the visor on her goggles popped out!). Unknown to us at the time, we thought she was fine. But back at the cabin, we checked out Swim Buddy's wrist injury and turns out it may have been pretty bad. So we went into town to see what we could pick up, coming back w/ aspirin and the location of the hospital just in case. But seeing its the 30th and pretty late, and that we were heading back out to TO the next day, waiting in the ER for 3 hours would not have done all that much. So instead, we iced the wrist for a lil while, and then I practiced my adhoc first aid skills and made a splint from what we had. A splint made from a hand towel, a bath towel, and a spachelor! :P. From afar, some may even think its a cast! haha. R-I-C-E... we did it all!

Seeing that we had this towel cast on Swim Buddy, we decided to stay in. Good idea because I was pretty hurt too after today!

So in summary, result from this day of snowboarding:
- Swim Buddy got a fractured hand :( -- found this out the next day...
- My bum hurts, both my wrists hurt...
- Concluded that the green hill is no baby...

I think I will ski the next few times I go to a hill with snow. Falling hurts! Maybe when I get those tushy pads, then I will try snowboarding again...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oyster Night and Wine Bar

Back in Toronto, it was time to revisit the Oyster Bar Starfish!

The Guiness Book of World Record oyster shucker wasn't there today, but as always, really good place with very very tasty oysters. They only had 3 kinds tonight, but they were all REALLY good.

Once again, Anime Buddy dressed to impress!... and one upped me again in attire! The next time we meet, I will have to wear my suit! wuhahahaha!

After oysters, being still pretty hungry, we went down a couple bocks to Jamie Kennedy's - a wine bar. Tried a red, white and a desert wine and alot of the appetizers there. Really nice place.

It was a great night overall. Was pleasantly surprised by seeing a side of an old friend that I haven't seen before. Guess even if you have kept in touch for 10 years, you can still learn something new about a person!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Family Week

Canada feels alot colder than I last remembered it. The 2nd day we went skiing, and I was pretty cold after a few hours. The most amazing thing was that Old Man, after 15 years, was able to go down the green hill! Even more amazing was that while us young folks went into the chalet after a few hours, Old Man endured all 4 hours outside. Good job!

On another day, tried snowboarding for the first time. It was painful! I don't think I have fallen that many times on the slope since I was in gr. 5... let alone on the bunny hill! It was a bit warm, and it was raining. We all got soaked, but nevertheless, it was pretty fun.

This year we didn't end up going to the casino for our family outing, but we still snowshoe-ed. It was alot more fun this year, because there were actually new snow. The guide leader fell once too!

A good week up at Horseshoe... Bummed around and had good meals.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Homebound Delays...

After being a little bit too close to missing the plane the last few times I flew, I figured I would arrive a bit early to bum around and not have to have the 'what if I miss my flight' thought running through my mind. Arriving at the 6:15am for a 8am flight, figure that was plenty of time. Well apparently, the airline did not, and decided to delay the flight by 2 hours after I checked in, then another hour.. and another. At 10:30am, the airline folks pull the ultimate delay... cancelling the flight. G-R-E-A-T! Figure the one time I make an effort to get there early, something completely out of my control happens. Ever find that fate seems to always like doing this? You learn from your past, you try to account for the unaccountable, then the first time you modify your whole flow, fate throws a pie at your face.

Well... anyway, supposedly there are two planes leaving at 11:45pm... let's hope I get onto one of those. Hopefully its one of them flights with the screens so I can watch movies... otherwise guess I will sleep.

On that note, I had to trade beer and wings for 2 meal vouchers to eat at the airport. Never realized this, but $12 can get you a pretty monster Burger King meal!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Frozen Pipe?

So the night before, I come home to find that no hot water flowed out of my kitchen faucet. Thinking that probably it was just too cold and the pipes froze or something, I just let it be and thought "oh, maybe it will just fix itself".

So today, I googled around for a quick 15 min to realize that letting it fix itself might not be the smartest idea. Something about bursting or something. So after quickly conferring with a few people, I decided I need to take care of this right away.

After calling the maintenance guy and such, and some adhoc attempts on my own, the water started to flow out again! (I turned on the oven, blowed dry the hot water tube). Not quite sure what caused it, and not even sure if it was because the water inside the tube was frozen.

I did hear a crackling sound inside the walls when the hot water first started to drip out again. Weirdest thing was that I swear I heard this happen above me and not below (though I am not sure now). Either way, that sound seem to correspond to the water coming out.

I guess what the news said was right - to keep the water dripping on the cold nights here...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Revisiting Imo

After a month or so of not having visited good ol' Imo, it was time to revisit it! Didn't sing this time though since we were up at the far corner, so had to be satisfied with just listening to the music of people singing.

After a few sakes, proceeded to Tia Lou's. Was pretty excited since I heard good things about this place, but I have never actually gone in.

At first, the place was pretty empty. But as the night gone on, the place started filling up. Nothing too too out of the ordinary though.

Chilled at Kirkland native's place for a bit, sang Complicated, then went back home at the wee hours of the night...

Number of drinks consumed = 5 == Still within the acceptable 3 drink/12 hour limit :)... SUCCESS!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Snoqualmie Casino

Feeling like doing something different today, decided to check out the new casino that opened 20 miles east of the city...

The casino was pretty nice. The place looked like a ski resort in my mind. Very convenient to get to too! (only 15 to 20 min drive away) the place had a club, and was pretty big in general. Drinks weren't free though at the tables... which was a shocker for me :( (The drinks weren't cheap either!). Also, smoking was allowed in here - so my jacket ended up smelling like cigarettes...

The pit boss was a pretty funny and cheerful guy though. And as always, the table I play at was rowdy and entertaining :P.

Killed a few hours today, got home at a decent time and called it a night...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thxgiving Wkend - Vancouver Part III

Goal today was to get back to S.town around 1ish, so that the fellow Californians can get back home at a decent time. Waking up at 10ish, we got to the border and then as a final Vancouver treat, we ended up waiting at the border for 3 hours! Not quite sure why the line wasn't moving, but because of it, CS Buddy had the idea that we should activate our visas, so off we tried...

(at the office)
CS Buddy: Hi, we came to activate our visas. We walked from our cars to here ...
Officer: Wait, what... where's your car?
Us: Oh outside in the line... (Officer looks confused) Oh... we have friends in the car.
...At this point, I sort of lost track of what the officer was saying, cuz it felt like dejavu from the last time I went to the border with Anime Buddy... but luckily, this time around, it went alot better :) (even though the steps was alot more unorthodox)...

What this meant though was that since we crossed the border, we couldn't go back to the car (as expected), so with the recommendation of the officer, we walked off the highway and waited for BJ and HHH at the local Subway. I guess walking off the highway is pretty common, because the border people didn't phase at all when we asked where we can go, and even suggested that we wait at the Subway. They must go through some pretty weird stuff...

Arriving back to S.town at 3ish, dropped off the Californians at the airport, where they took their rental car and started their trek back to SF... 13 hours later at 6am.. they arrived... lol...

Next time... to avoid all the lineups, will probably drive to Vanc and return from it at wee hours in the night...

All in all, pretty eventful weekend. Some new experiences and some fun times!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thxgiving Wkend - Vancouver Part II

After a late night, woke up regular time and then drove an hour to get to some 'lil dragon dumplings'. Seems like any road you go, you'd run into traffic here but I have learned the trick! Always drive on the left lane, and use the right lane as the passing lane.

After Shanghai dumplings, went to Aberdeen Mall... the pmall in Vanc. This mall was very nice I thought. Lots of space and open areas, reminded of the malls where TVBs are filmed in!

After that, off we went to the Capilino bridge. A suspension bridge that we weren't suppose to jump on or try to cause it to swing... but we did :). Surprisingly, we did not get yelled at... probably because we were the only ones on the bridge. We got there at 4:30pm, and the sun had set. Combined with the rain, the visibility wasn't too good, but the sound of the water flowing underneath us and the breeze was still very refreshing. There were also xmas lights set up for the treehouse portion of the Capilino bridge... I think it would be nice to see it on a non rainy night with these lights on.

For dinner, we went to Guu. So much I have heard of this place. And it did not disappoint. Almost every dish we ordered were different from what I've had before, and all the food tasted great! Even the beef liver sashimi!

After dinner, went back to the hotel and predrank, then headed downtown to see the Vanc nightlife. One word summarizes it: LOOOONG WAITS!. Seems like not only is Camie Road prone to long waits, but so are the lines into clubs here. 2 hours later, we moved maybe 2 meters... By 12ish we all gave up and went down the street. Ended up at a dive bar, costed $9 to get in, not to mention coat check... With this night of events, I was originally going to stick to my 3 drink limit... but as CS Buddy puts it so neatly 'come on, you are gonna stick to that even after all this?'. And so for one night, the ban was lifted :).

McDs after all this exercise, and with that, we called it a night. Ahh.... Vanc, so fun!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thxgiving Wkend - Vancouver Part I

After a brief visit to the first Starbucks and a drive by of the mini CN Tower, we quickly grabbed lunch and off we went towards Vanc!

Getting to Vanc was a pretty smooth ride... not much traffic... but once we got into Vanc...oh man. Soooo much traffic. Took an hour to get from the outskirts of Vanc to the hotel.

After a few Guu drivebys - and realizing the lines were horrendously long, we went to the backup plan --> AYCE Japanese hot pot! On rhe way though, typical of Vanc, we were stuck in traffic... this Camie Road we were on was pretty ridiculous. There was a merge right, followed by an immediate merge left... not to mention very many do not turn left signs. On this road, it took us 40 minutes to move 50m. We find out later that this road is being fixed up for the Olympics... but seriously, 40 minutes for 50m!?!? They might as well have closed the entire road down...

Anyway, reaching AYCE hotpot, we spent the next 2 hrs devouring food. Then at the strike of midnight, we started heading out to K! The first place we tried had no liquor license, so we went down the street and found one that had. This place must have thought the 4 of us were crazy... Here we were, at 1am in the morning, going to a karaoke when the place shuts down at 2am.... heh heh heh. Still doesn't explain why our last 3 beers required us to pay the bill before they serve us. But nevertheless, 9 beers, 2 bottles of sake, 1 round of shot and a whole lot of food later, I finally had my K-fit after 4 months :).

As with all vacations, the night does not end up at measly 2:30am. So on we went towards the casino, where I stepped into a poker room (and watched). One guy got a straight flush, and it seems that when this happens, the casino gives the person a gift. Pretty amazed to see that nevertheless. The most interesting and perhaps perplexing part was the table that HHH played beside someone who seemed like a homeless dude. If you are homeless, why are you playing at a casino and laying $25 bets... hrm... (But ya, the consensus after analyzing the fact was he was indeed a homeless dude). The funniest part was when the dude gave tips on how to play the game to HHH.

At about 5am-ish, we were all exhausted and decided to call it a night. There was a brief mention of going for food, but this was vocally vetoed because any second one of us were probably gonna pass out...

Back to hotel at 6am... Tourist day #1 complete!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thxgiving Wkend - Turducken Night

Waking up in the afternoon after a night at the Kirkland bar, I made my lunch and bummed around until it was time to pick up HHH and BJ from the airport to kick off the Thxgiving Wkend!

First off was the Turducken Thxgiving meal. A duck wrapped inside a chicken wrapped inside a turkey -- this conglomerate of meat sounded good no matter how I looked at it. And it did not disappoint! There was lots of food at the dinner, and lots of different wines to try out. Very nice meal overall.

Played dice and wine again... and drank 'normal' portions this time after losing... no more little sips here and there, but real portions... ahhh... how I miss it. Of course the game didn't last long because we weren't sipping, but it was so much more fun in my opinion.

A few more hours in, the SF visitors were tired and drunk from the flight and booze...and it was time to head home. After a quick midnight snack fix, the SF visitors called a night. As I come out of the shower, I find BJ, with remote in hand, passed out on the air mattress -- a mattress he thought was leaking... only to find that we had forgotten to plug the hole so as he slept, all the air went out...lol

Tomolo.. onwards to Vancouver!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Space Needle and Oysters... Mmmmm...

After a 4am-ish of dice cup playing at Dice Fanatic's place where we polished off 13 bottles of coolers and 1/3 of a Black Label between 4 people, today was a more relaxing day of going up to the Space Needle for a classy free meal!

Was very surprised with the food... they had a seafood bar with AYCE oysters and what not!!! It seems they weren't too clean though... because I visited the porcelain God twice this night after I got home... I guess everything comes at a price! hahaha

The view at Space Needle was not too too great this time around, but in the summer, I think I will go up again with my big lens and take some pictures :)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Whirly Ball and Red Lobster

Tried out this thing called 'whirly ball' today. In a nutshell, it's lacrosse on bumper cars, with nets like basketball nets. It was pretty fun. I have sooo many wide open shots to score and missed by a foot. Pretty sad if you think about it. I think this would be a special occasion activity though... too much of this would get pretty boring fast. That and also at the end, my back was pretty sore from all the shaking from the bumper cars.

After that, went to Red Lobster for dinner. It's been quite awhile since I last visited one (... about 10 yrs was it?)... In my memory, I had remembered it as a high class Swiss Chalet... but turns out it is just a regular Swiss Chalet style restaurant. Service wasn't as great as I expected it to be. They also broke my 'no ID' streak at 2 months. The meal I had was their all you can eat shrimp... Wasn't too too bad. Just felt very full after with all the cheese and what not. In hindsight, maybe I should have ordered the lobster instead...

Pretty eventful day...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween in San Fran - Part III - Oyster Farm

It had been rainy all weekend in the sunny land of California... Like the locals say, I must have brought the rain down here with me... Turns out they may be on to something, because it actually stopped raining today - the day that I am flying back out.

With no rain though, this meant that the half-baked plan (for lack of a better word) of a day out to the Oyster Farm is possible! Deciding for sure that we were going when we woke up (post 11ish), we grabbed food at a Chinese dim sum restaurant (it was a pretty decent one... though it was pretty $$$$ - $3 for the 'siu dim'), grabbed lil Andrew from his morning champagne drinking with his old boss, and by 3pm+ started driving towards oyster farm!

Arriving at 5:15pm, the sun was starting to set. We found the oyster farm, to find out that we had to leave the area by 5:45pm. But having drove almost 2 hrs to get here, we decided to pick up $50 oysters, and start shucking and eating away.

After this event, I am happy to say that my shucking skills have dramatically improved. Along with HHH, we managed to shuck all 50 oysters, and between the 4 of us, ate all of it... in half an hour! It was slightly rushed, but it was sooo much fun. Shuck, eat, grill, drink... all the while being outdoors by a picnic table overlooking the bay. In a way, being rushed added to the excitement... We had to make sure we shucked everything (cuz otherwise it'd be a waste), and when it got dark, we turned on the headlights from the car so that we can continue shucking. Great teamwork all around - some worked the grill, some shucked, all ate, all cleaned!

Definitely will go earlier next time though if doing it again - so can fully enjoy the scenary and the oysters :). All in all, shucking oysters, drinking wine... sooo fun!

So this whole weekend, did not get carded a single time for alcohol! Guess I do look older ever since my birthday... I wonder what it is that makes ppl card or not card... looks? what you order? how u dress? how ur eyes make contact when you look at them? .. hrm...

Was slightly rushed getting to the airport (since w/ my check-in luggage I should have gone there a bit earlier...)... but good thing everything worked out and allll was good! Got back home safe and sound, with my checked in luggage all intact.

So ends the weekend in the Bay Area! Fun times indeed! Many thx to my tour guides and hosts!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween in San Fran - Part II - Objectives Met!

Objective #1 - Craving for Chinese Food
Woke up at a decent time (11ish), and then got ready for some Shanghai food! Was expecting 'lil dragon dumplings', but when we got there, realized they didn't have it :(. Luckily, they had this other bun that had soup in it, and that one tasted really good. So all in all, it was a pretty good lunch indeed! Cali weekend objective #1 - check!

Objective #2 - The fabled black label
I blogged about this 2 years ago. In the Bay Area, it was possible to grab a bottle of black label for $25. In the last few years, I have asked various emissaries to bring back this treasure of the Bay Area, but no one could find it. Today was different though, because BJ the local tells me that it has once again resurfaced! So after lunch, it was time...

While BJ and HHH went for a haircut, into the store I went. Searching for 10 minutes, I wasn't able to find it. As I head towards the exit, about to give up, there it was!!! woohoo!

Black Label gift set - just like how I remembered it for $25 a pop. So swiftly I bought two.. heh heh heh. Also picked up a Remy along the way... they were doing promo and were giving out dice cups!!! It was just too hard to resist... ohh.. I love Cali!

Walking around the mall, with my 2 bags of booze, people thought I was buying gifts for an alcoholic! lol...

Objective #3 - Desert House
Mmm... Wasn't really expecting this to happen. But driving around, saw a desert house, so went in and enjoyed a desert! Soooo good!

Objective #4 - Chicken and Beer
Was here 2 years ago around the same time... and saw my picture on the wall at the store! Wow, the memories...

After this, went back and dozed off for a few hours, then got dressed and went to a house party. Met some pretty interesting ppl.. One girl had 3 jobs which I thought was pretty impressive. Her goals were pretty aggressive, but its an interesting idea I think - to be able to retire at an early age, and be able to live out my life however I want. Pretty nifty idea. Lots of work though!

After the house party, tried to go for chinese food but it looks like with daylight savings time, places close by 3am, so we went to Denny's instead and had food there. Food at night is soooo good!

Ahh...how sweet and fun life is!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween in San Fran - Part I

Slightly after 8:45pm, with another spur of the moment trip, here I was again in the Bay Area. It's been 2 yrs since the last time I was here. Pretty nostalgic in a way... even looked out the airplane as it was making its landing!

Greeted by the familiar RSX, I got into it and off we went to SF for some sushi and sake. The sushi was pretty good.. as expected of a city by the sea! Stll can't believe in those few hours over dinner, I probably had more drinks than I had on my birthday outing a couple months back...lol.

After that, we drove around SF to find a club to go into... Since we finished dinner close to 11:00, most clubs had hugeee lines. Driving half an hour later, we ended up at a place called 10.15. Nothing much different there, did see a Kool-Aid costume which I thought was pretty cool. That and the Twister Boardgame person.

Went back to SJ, had some after hours instant noodles, and called it a night. Ahhh... the good ol' days.. feels like res!

After 2 years, back in Cali!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Snow Lake Trail Hike

Went hiking today. Was able to get some really nice pictures.

It was very refreshing and mind clearing to hike up a mountain. All the simple one liners and various things I have been hearing the past few months just seem to come together...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Toddddaaaiii!

Mmmmmmmmmmmm...... been so long... WAYYY too long

The food was pretty good. There were sea snails today - no one at the table liked it, but I thought it was pretty interesting. Had crab, sushi and a bunch of other stuff. Felt pretty good after the meal.

The only downside was that the last serving was at 9pm. I was hoping it'd close later than that. Especially since I drove alllll the way into the city for it!

The highlight was the tako sashimi (octopus). Since they were closing, I went to grab one last helping of sushi, only to find out they were out of tako sushi. So I asked them if they have more and they told me they had to make it. Being ever so kind, I offered to save them time by volunteering to just take all the sashimi (so they didn't have to make sushi out of it). And the result, all the octopus sashimi they had left that was thawed... wuhahaha... looovely!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Phantom of the Opera

So today I went to watch the Phantom of the Opera. Just as I remembered it when I was young, it was an amazing show. From the beginning to the end, just liked it all around! Looking forward to the next musical/broadway that I get a chance to see.

Really like the song Point of No Return... The different voices overlapping one another was really cool.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wild Water Theme Park

It was free admission day so we ended up heading to a water park. Haven't been to one since I was really small so I was pretty excited.

The place was interesting. It felt like a mini-Wonderland. But if I were to choose, I'd probably be scared to take my own kids to it... lol.

Firstly, there was this ride where the landing area was really shallow. Even though it was a tube ride, the landing area should really be deeper. Saw quite a few heads bang when the tube flipped over at the end...

Then there was the non padded floor situation. The water park had no padding whatsoever! No turf, no mats. So what ended up happening was we walked on asphalt, and because there's debris and pieces falling off it, it felt like I was walking on pins. It's good if you are into acupuncture, but not so good if you just wanted to walk! Combined with seeing some slide connections leaking... that just doesn't promote a safe envt overall.

After the water park, went on a few rides. Here the attendants seemed very lazy and carefree. The lights weren't turned on, and they were just very inattentive overall. I wonder if it's me getting old or if the park just wasn't safe! I guess it's ok if its older kids going, but ya, definitely not a place where I'd take a little kid.

Speaking of little kids, as I was lining up for a ride, I had an adult with his two little kids behind me, and two little Asian kids behind him waiting. Forgot how the conversation got started, but all I remember is that adult asking if those were my kids! I was like... err.. no. How old do I look?... I found that funny, but also weird...

Just how old do I look!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

White Water Rafting

It was a beautiful day for outdoor activities today... worked out perfectly since today was White Water Rafting day.

The place, being pretty far away, took awhile to get to. Woke up at 9-ish and we only got there towards 1:30! On the way, seeing 4 cop cars and having a slightly longer lunch than expected, we got lost because of Gthe PS pointing us to some random place (note to self: never listen to GPS when you going to the wilderness), so we had to backtrack not once, but TWICE to figure out where we were headed. Even with Initial-D-ing down these hills, we were late by 20 minutes. Luckily, we only missed out on the boring spheel part of the briefing so we were still able to go rafting.

The white water rafting experience was not as intense as I thought it'd be. The rapids weren't really that dangerous it seems and it felt more like a float down the river more than anything. It was pretty nice though because the weather was great.

On the way back, had an interesting discussion
1. On what qualities a person has...
...A person that matches you may have the qualities you desire, but it does not necessarily mean that you will need to have those same qualities to match them. They may not be looking for what you urself desire... so if that person really matches you, you should look to see if you can perform the qualities the other person wants to be with...
Makes soooo much sense! Why didn't I think of that?!?!?!

2. For ladies, who would you pick between the two given everything is the same? A person who had half the salary but has motivation to succeed in what they are doing... or a person with higher salary also having that same motivation?
...This one was an interesting one. If by having a higher salary then the person would not be able to spend more time with you, then they would choose the one with half the salary. Also, another thought was if the salary difference is too large, then that may also not be good since there's a chance that you'd feel inferior...
Very intriguing answer...

Pretty fun and enlightening trip I would say!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Concept of BETA K explained...

I come to work and find the term BETA K bastardized...

To avoid further misuse, I immediately created the below...


heh heh heh!

Another day, another wise lesson taught

Monday, September 01, 2008

Los Angeles Part IV - The Cali Life!

Getty Museum was the goal today... but unfortunately, they apparently are closed on Labor Day... Noooooooooooooooo!!! Guess I will have to make another trip to LA... to surf and go to both the Villa and the Museum next time...

Making new plans, we ended up in West LA and after some hunting around, finally found a restaurant open. It seems like many places are closed in on Labor Day in LA (maybe that's why the plane tickets were so cheap :P ).

Anyway, after food, we walked around the area, ending up in a bookstore. Since evveerryone was buying a book, I decided to pick up Tues w/ Morrie, since it was highly recommended by quite a few people. Ended up finishing the bulk of it by the time I landed back in Seattle. Personally think the Alchemist is a more interesting read - but maybe I would think differently if I had read Tues w/ Morrie first. I think I will start building a collection of 'reading books' though. These books are actually pretty interesting. They are not too 'heavy', but they do hit a few points in life...

With the rest of the day, we chilled at an outdoor patio at a coffee shop. Sun shining down... but not too hot, and even a slight breeze ever so often. What a perfect Cali life!

What I realize in this vacation is that I am thinking wayyyy too much about money, and think too much subconsciously an object's monetary value. To some degree, having money is important. You need a certain amount to cater to your desired lifestyle - and because of this, you would start thinking how to get to this desired level... It is almost a death spiral though don't you think? You want a certain life, so you think how you can squeeze everything where you can to get to this state; ending up thinking more and more about it until it starts consuming you.
It's true that at the end of the day, money can buy alot of things and solve alot of problems, but what's the point if you have all the money in the world, but nothing to spend it on?...

Note to self: Do not forget... Money is a tool... not an end.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Los Angeles Part III - A Ferry Ride and a Club

Our plan was less aggressive today... wake up at 10am (instead of 9am), then go to Venice beach, follwed by a nice dinner at Del Marina, then proceed onto some LA nightlife.

Ended up waking up at 10:30ish (better than yesterday...), and then we actually ran some errands. LA Swim Buddy went to IKEA to buy furniture while other Swimming Buddy and I went grocery shopping. Picked up the laundry as well and then we headed off to the beach.

As luck would have it, lots of people were at the beach, enough that there was no parking... driving around for more than half an hour, we decided to go to Del Marina and see what there is to walk around there.

The most interesting part was the ferry ride conversation with the 'girl who never smiles in photos'. Very interesting girl who seems very wise (which you would never guess seeing how she forgot ALL her clothes after surfing the day before... lol)... But nevertheless, it was really refreshing talking to her. Quite a few interesting things I heard, but the one I keep thinking about is:
..."Anyone can treat you nice, but who do you see as someone who you can be with for the rest of your life and be someone who you can see your kids grow up well with"...
Its funny that as simple as this sounds, its something I have never really considered in the past. I agree completely with the first and second part, but really never thought about the third part at all. And come to think of it, that is exactly something that I would want in a person... and in myself...

Recently, alot of very simple phrases have been making quite an impact on me. Little analogies here, few one liners there, they all seem to make so much sense, just in their raw form. Makes me think that I have just been over-complicating and overthinking too many things these days. Should really take a step back and reevaluate where I am headed, and what my goals really are...

Anyway, moving back on to the day... Dinner was really good (the place was called Shanghai Reds). It was a seafood restaurant, and I was REALLY full by the end of it. We ended up having 1 bottle of wine, 3 appetizers (oysters, garlic bread, escargots), 4 main courses, and 2 deserts between the 4 of us. And my main course had lobster, salmon, prawns and clams in it... Mmmm...

Very good recommendation indeed!

We then headed back home and while everyone else was getting ready and putting chairs together, I took a quick nap... hahahha. 3 hours later (or 2)... we were ready to go, ending up in a lounge in Hollywood (there was not much going on in LA downtwon on Sun nite... which was really surprising for me)... This lounge is a bit different than what I've seen before. Most people were just talking, not really dancing, but there was not a whole of tables. It was more like a mingling center moreso than anything else. The other cool thing was that half of it was outdoors, and there was a 2nd floor where you can see the outdoor part of the lounge.

Got back home at a decent time... another fun filled relaxing day in good ol' Cali!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Los Angeles Part II - SURFING!

We were suppose to wake up at 9am... but ended up waking a little bit past that (ahem 11am...). So first thing we did was call up a surfschool and book some surfing lessons. After a quick lunch, we proceeded to go to Santa Monica for some good wholesome sun!

So this time, I was actually able to stand up quite a few times - which I thought was amazing. Sea water hitting my face... wiping out numerous times... being able to stand up... seeing the waves crash on top of me... I loooove surfing! lol

After a few fun filled hours of surfing, we chilled at the beach for a little bit, then went to a nearby bar and had some bubba shrimp. The shrimp was really good there!... that or maybe I was hungry from surfing.

Bumming around the area, we saw some pretty nice views of the beach and sunset, then went to 3rd street promenade for food. The funniest part was when LA swim buddy was hunting for a restroom at the gas station. Long story short, it was simply hilarious! Excerpt from that day...

LA Swim Buddy: Hi, can I use the bathroom?
Gas Station Dude: The girls washroom is broken...
(LA Swim Buddy just stands there, with legs crossed and twisting, eyeing the Gas Station Dude with that poor kid look as he served other customers)
Gas Station Dude: Do you wanna use the men's one?
LA Swim Buddy: YES! (Gas Station Dude points her in the direction, then she proceeds to run towards the bathroom... ... ... only to find it locked... ... )
.... At this point, I almost burst out laughing

Yes yes I know.... it's mean to be laughing, I did feel bad for her... but it was just funny how Murphy's Law ended up happening...

Had dinner at an Italian restaurant, then afterwards, saw this little girl (I think she was 8 yrs old) singing Alisha's No One song. That little girl was AMAZING and was soo cute with her piano and singing skills and marketing... She was selling her own CDs and was getting the crowd into her music and all. Can you imagine? A 8 yr old kid doing that... wow!

As we swung around the corner towards the car, we saw a crepe restaurant... so we jumped in for desert. Loooove crepes! Then after crepes we walked around and took some pictures by palm trees (Cali classic pics :) )

Pretty packed day... very fun and relaxing indeed!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Los Angeles Part I - First Night as a Local

A spur of the moment decision, a chance to see the Getty museum, and the possibility to surf...

Result: hopped on a plane to LA on Friday... and 3 hours later... there I was!

On the way there, ended up talking to the person next to me. It was pretty cool in a way. She lives her life by not thinking too much ahead; and so she ends up being pretty carefree. Same age as me, but just seems so hakuna matata. Guess that's a lifestyle I can never live...

Wouldn't it be great though, for just one day, to not have to think about anything at all... hrmm....

Arrived at the airport to rendezvous with my swimming buddies. Went to a local bar and tried some really cool and different beer. Then called it a day!

After 2 years.. I am back in Cali :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First Seattle Predrink Experience

The genius plan CS Buddy and I came up with last week was put into action this week.
Predrink... THEN go clubbing... easy parking, get some dinner, safe some money... brilliant idea indeed.

So first there was a Seattle night market... sponsored by a casino. It was pretty small scale. There was a few interesting booths, but nothing too too eye catching. Did have coconut juice though! Soooo yummy!

After that, went to good ol' Imo for dinner and predrink. No need to show ID anymore as I have become a 'regular' there... The food was great, and the house sake is always good and suitable to my mood. Ended up having 3 of these just because of timing... haha...

Time passes by fast when you drink 3 of them in less than 2 hours... lol. So into the club we go, meeting up w/ the bday girl. Had a few drinks, and realized that the predrinking was miscalculated a tiny bit... Definitely need to lower the buy count inside the club next time.

The cool thing was though that we did get some VIP passes for the next few times we go. Nice bartender gave me quite a few of these cards when I was closing out the tab.

Note to self:
Predrink Algorithm:
If 3 bottles of house sake, then this is plenty good
If 2 bottles of house sake, then one or two drink is pretty good
If 1 bottle of house sake, means I had a dinner at IMO
If 0 bottles of house sake, means IMO probably ran out of sake that night...

Ever since I've been back, I've been doing a whole bunch of random stuff... My life can be eventful and full of activities... but why do i still feel so empty?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Intern Farewell

The one night at Anacortes was not really enough for me to catch up on my sleep. But it was a good start. Olympics though is killing my sleep time with such ease! You can call me lor lei chin, but hey.. this happens only once every 4 years!

But anyway, as tired as I was from the recent activities, hearing tonight was the night of the intern farewell, how can I say no and not go. I was originally going to take a nap before I go, but then after doing a few random things, it was already time to head over. The nap would probably have gone a long way.

It was great that almost everyone gathered for this outing w/ the intern. It was pretty fun indeed. Didn't really drink all that much but probably due to lack of sleep, just crashed at Kirkland native's place and called it a night.

Woke up the next day at the regular time, then decided to get an oil change (since I was in the area already)... and off to Friday we go!

Man.. I really need to start finding some time to just sleep in on a weekend to make up for the humongous sleep deficit I have been accruing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An inter-office mail...

Having remembered that I was expecting mail, I went to the mailroom to pick up the package. Surprisingly, there was not one, but two packages sitting in my mail box.

Turns out the unexpected package was a book, with a note in it... apparently it's been there since Aug 8 (right at the start of Olympics!)...

Sorry it took so long for me to see it. But nevertheless, if you do read this blog... thanks for sending the book over. You have no idea how much I appreciate it... Funny how I would come across this book at this moment in time...Timing has always been the key to everything hasn't it?

More to come in a later post (probably on Mson's Collection...) but I did finish this book within a few days. Very thought provoking and a good book indeed. I think this is one of the first books EVER that I am actually rereading...

I only wish I can do something to return the favor as well... but the current me can't really do much right now. Just goes to show how much I have fallen, or that you have grown...

Thank you again... (I promise I will return the book to you some day...)

Update: Alchemist...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Anacortes Weekend - Part II b - The After Morning

Towards the end of the morning, we went down to the shore to 'clean the crabs'. It was pretty cool how the crab was ripped apart. I was even more impressed how easy it was to do.

Steps:
1. Find a rock, and then slide the side of the crab shell against the rock and pry open the lid and legs apart
2. Snap the crab in half using a twisting motion...
It was actually pretty fun doing that! Using my bare hands to open crab up. Funnnnn!

The 'cleaning' part of it was actually the notion of washing the fat off the crab (ie. the yellow, and red stuff that is on the crab legs after opening it up). As expected in western cultures, the lid and this good stuff gets tossed back into the sea!.. After seeing sooo many of these crab lids go back, I couldn't hold back anymore and started to keep a few of them so I can grill them later. I mean... even though it's a bit weird... how can I let good food ...FRESH good food like that go to waste!!! So I ended up taking 5 of the crab lids back up to the cottage and grilled them... soooo yummy... so fattening. My body must hate me... but since I scuba-ed this morning, it should balance out!

At the end of the afternoon, we went to grab the crabpots and there were a few crabs caught. Apparently it needs to be a certain size in order for them to be considered edible. That's where the crab gauge came in! :)

Throughout the day, aside from the beer and liquor, I ended up eating crabs continuously!...lol. I must have had easily 6 or 7 crabs throughout the day. Tried so hard to resist, but since it was staring at my face, the crabs were basically asking to be eaten... and so I did! Loooove fresh crab! Soooo amazing! Ahh... I gotta learn how to hunt for fresh crabs on my own and start making them. Can you imagine, wake up on a Sunday, go Scuba around the area, then come back with a few fresh crabs to eat at night (these crabs are pretty big too because if too small, you have to let them go).

Aside from all this, I also managed to conjure up a new drink that I have now coined as 'brain eraser'... because of the effects it produced after consuming it. This lost innate sense of drink mixing random stuff must have been relearned by me after having been drinking a ridiculous amount for the past month... The secret recipe is below:

1. 2 (maybe 3) generous shots of rum
2. Fill cup to 3/4 with coke
3. Add a shot (not more) of raspberry vodka (to give it a nice smell)
4. Add a half shot of whiskey (to give it a little spice)
5. Top off with coke to induce the natural mixing effect
Result: Very good tasting... very dam strong... and two of them later... .... ... ...

Anyway, having not really have slept all that much for the past 3 weeks (been basically sleeping at 3am+ for various reasons, and waking up at pretty early times... I was told I was passed out by 9:30. The 'brain eraser' probably contributed to my early demise, but in a way, I was glad it did because I got a very good night's sleep out of it!

Also apparently I did a kegstand of some sort... but don't remember that at all... lol..

Fun times.. fun times indeed!

Anacortes Weekend - Part II a - The Morning

Waking up bright and early, I woke up to participate in the crabpot dropping adventure. It was pretty interesting, boating out to the lake, then dropping these crabpots filled with chicken meat, trying to lure the crab in. After laying these into the water, we went back to shore, and suited up for a scuba adventure!

My objective was to be a hunter and fish my own keep. Having bought a goodie bag the day before and also the crab gauge, I was all excited and ready to hunt!

Result: No crabs, only found a snail... and when I cooked the snail, it wasn't even
edible!... lol

The dive wasn't too good though, because the visibility was REALLY poor - had a hard time seeing even one foot in front of me. So the dive consisted of holding on to a line and pulling on it to move forward. Goggles were fogging up quite frequently too... not quite sure why. Another new experience was that I tried using a wetsuit in the open Seattle water today. Surprisingly, it was not cold at all. On land, I would even say I was boiling!

The saddest part was that throughout the dive I had to kick with my one fin. Made a newbie mistake of letting go of my fin on the shore when putting on the other... something the instructor had always told us not to do... but I did anyway. Let that be a lesson to me to always listen... haha... so with that ... bye bye fin! :( Now I need to get a new set of fins in order to go surfing. Lucky I didn't get the super $$$ fins but the starter fins. Otherwise that'd have sucked!

All in all though, it was another new (but extremely fun) scuba experience.

And to think.. noon hasn't even hit yet... and I've already gone out on a boat, scuba-ed... and had a few beers!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Anacortes Weekend - Part I

Having gotten back only a few days ago, it was time again to travel. This time the destination is just an hour or so north of S.dot, at a place called Anacortes.

After a quick bite, we proceeded to head up and on first arrival, the weekend is off to a great start... because what laid directly in front of me were a few things...
1. Booze... and lots of it
2. Crabs... and lots of it
3. Clear sky... and lots of that as well!

After eating some delicious freshly fished crab, proceeded to have the India I vs. Canada ping pong match.. in which Canada won flawlessly and cruised easily to victory. Losing only to Team Japan, Canada did pretty well...

The highlight was when India I's knees gave out while filming the game between India II vs. Japan. Guess that's what happens when you say that B151 is just water... hahaha!

Pretty fun night, and tomorrow will be even more amazing... scuba adventure for crabs!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One Week in Toronto - Day 7

Final day in TO, and so had the classic lobster noodle with family, then off to airport I go!

On the plane, having exhausted the movie selection, I ended up watching Definitely, Maybe on the plane. The one thing the movie keeps striking home to me is 'timing' and second chances.
Timing's right, missed opportunities...
Chance shows up, seizing the wrong opportunity...
Timing's off, realizing too late...
Fate strikes once more, promising to not make the same mistake again...
Perhaps the best lesson is that to realize a future, the first step is to start at the present.


Anyway, come home to find that the car battery died ... it looks like I turned on one of the lights right before I left... which is the only logical explanation I have of why the battery would die. Good thing I am not totally alone here in Seattle, and had someone to call on to help jump start the car.

So ends one week in Toronto... worked hard, played hard... Sooo tired!!! But alot to think about... ... ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One Week in Toronto - Day 6

Day 5 in TO was chilling with high school friends. It's always awesome to see and hear how they are doing. Its so interesting to see how we are all doing different things nowadays!

Then on Day 6, had a nice lunch in the afternoon, and hearing all the fun times she was having makes me think why can't I do this here in S.Town? It's always nice to see her again... sure wished we can talk more!

At night, met up w/ Anime Buddy and Law for bbtea :). She was fashionably late... but it was well worth the wait because she was all dressed up and looked stunning!.. I guess next time I should dress better (instead of wearing whatever I can find :) )... felt like a bum in Anime Buddy's presence!!! Chatted about random stuff and what not, ahhh how nice it is!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One Week in Toronto - Day 4

Family BBQ time!

Big cousin brought some mixers to make margaritas.
Other big cousin was our chef.
Bro was shucking oysters.

My contribution: I was eating and drinking!!! :D .. I was also shucking a few oysters too... it's alot easier than I remembered it to be... I must somehow gained some experience as it was devouring oysters in S.Town.

Key highlights:
Family Portion vs. Regular Portion
So while big cousin was making margaritas, Hermie decides that there's not enough kick to it, so we unanimously up the ratio... resulting in the terms Family and Regular Portion.
Family Portion - The ratio that would have made a mickey of tequila quite enough for making margaritas for 15 people.
Regular Portion - The ratio that would have made a mickey of tequila quite lacking for making margaritas for 15 people.

Liquor Run
Running low on tequila the young folks' decision was that we needed to go on a liquor run... only to find out that the liquor stored closed early. So instead, we raided lil cousin's stash... hahaha...
Sadly there wasn't much though (half a shot of rum and maybe 6 shots of grey goose...) but it had to do!

Thx for the donation lil cousin!... heh heh heh

Sangria.... aka Red Wine
Carefully making the 'family' style Sangria, we added only 1 or 2 glasses of red wine into the mix. As the older folks went off to watch Olympics, Hermie decides to go crazy and pour the entire bottle of red wine into the Sangria!!! So fellow Waterloo alumni and I had to fix up the Sangria to make it drinkable once again... Hermie denies that the red wine Sangria tasted bad though (when EVERYONE who tried it has a grimace drinking his original creation)...

4x100m Relay
Not really related to the family gathering, but a noteworthy mention. Tonight was also the 4x100m freestyle relay final for the Olympics. It was a GREAT race (at least half the teams were breaking the world record). The finish was also just ridiculously exciting - with USA coming from behind to take the gold over France. With 20m or so left, the anchor for USA just inches his way with every pull to beat France. Same stroke rate, but just that raw power and determination. Simply an amazing race!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

One Week in Toronto - Day 3

Today's highlight is Rickard's White...oh.. and also Melissa's bday! Haven't seen the gang since Xmas, so was pretty looking forward to it. Can't believe after 3 years, my 'story' is still spoken about... hahaha. It's too funny when I go 'Hi, I am Manson' and then the response is 'ohhhh... are you THAT Manson'... lol

Back to the beer though... it was very smooth and very refreshing. Perfect summer beer! Wish they had it back in S.Town.

Two interesting question at dinner:
To a guy:
a. If you can be a girl for a day, what would you want to do/experience?
and to a girl:
b. If you can be a guy for a day, what would you want to do/experience?

For question a., the consensus of the table was.... nothing!.. haha.
For question b., there were all sorts of things... I think one of them was pee-ing standing up... lol

Guess girls do think more than guys perhaps?

Pretty good night overall, really nice seeing everyone again!

Friday, August 08, 2008

One Week in Toronto - Day 2

Was suppose to wake up for the Olympics, but missed that slightly by 3 hours!

Saw the repeat of it over some wings and beer, then headed out for a K outing... been soooo long!

Heard some beautiful singing, drank some great drinks... and played some dice, and afterwards, had some meaningful convos with beer. Ahhh... what fun times!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

One Week in Toronto - Day 1

Meeting up with fellow Waterloo alumni, my first infusion of drinking money in Canada arrives :) - I had totally forgotten that I gave her all my textbooks to sell/use before I left for the US.

So we did the usual and found a place to eat and chat. Very nice as always catching up with old friends. Turns out she was a regular at the place we went to today.

After the lunch, did a little work and then it was off to downtown for some dinner. Then after dinner, went to see my friend's new place and then to a bar... Didn't know you can own a hotel room. That was pretty cool!

Also got reacquainted with the TTC system. What a nice system. Fast and efficient!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

One Week in Toronto - Day 0

Working insanely for the last few weeks, the day finally came that I fly back for one week to Toronto. The reason I came back for originally had been cancelled months prior, but then since the flight's been booked, why not come back! :)

First time connecting through Vanc, and it is not really a great experience at all. Was very rushed at the airport in Vanc. The baggage people 'forgot' to load our checked in luggage... so a bunch of us waited for 45 minutes fretting that we would miss our connecting flight. One group of three actually missed the flight because of this! Hope everything worked out for them and that they got compensated somehow.

With bro picking me up, we went directly for some shanghai food. Oh man it was good... ended up with a biiiiig bill... lol.. oops! Thx Bro! :D

Ah how I miss Shanghai food!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Cubbing and Movie Watching

The last time I clubbed in Seattle was about ... oh... 6 mths ago. So it was time to go and check it out. Drinks were very hard to get this time around...always had to wait to be served. I guess I have lost my knack for getting served. It was a good time though. Quite a few people ended up going (I was expecting 4 or 5... ended up being almost 10 ppl)

Before leaving for the club, I began watching this chinese movie with alex fong in it. After clubbing, ended up going back and finishing the movie - was suppose to continue drinking and playing games, but I guess that fell through.. so drank and watched movie instead!

It was pretty good. The plot was very messed up (in a good way), and the twists in the movie were very subtle but impactful. It was nice and short, so I wouldn't mind watching that movie again!

The one take away from the movie: timing is everything...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chicken Ball Tasting Spring Roll

Originally, the plan was that Richard and I would take a new local tourist around town, introducing her to Pike's Place and of course, the Spaces Age Washroom. But as luck would have it, I was busy this Sunday afternoon, so I only had dim sum with the bunch.

At dim sum, so I ordered some beef balls, and turns out the restaurant ran out of 'kit chup'. A chinese restaurant without 'kit chup', I found that pretty funny. So to substitute for it, hey gave us sweet and sour sauce for the beef balls. Richard and I tried it and concluded that it tastes like fried chicken balls! I wonder what it would taste like w/ red vinegar.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Company Picnic and Batman

Wow.. can't believe its been a year+ since I've been here. So set to make all traditions repeat, I went to the company picnic and took the same pictures. Got my fortune told again and had my free wine. But this year just didn't seem as exciting as last year - everything was the same and there was not much differences at all. Even the fortune tellers were the same people.

After the picnic,went for afternoon K (no booze though :( ), and heard these amazing ppl sing. Wow! They were all pretty good. Can't belive that by the end of it all, 11+ pages of songs would have been sung.

Had dinner at this Japanese restaurant, then went to watch Batman at IMAX ... at midnight! It was well worth staying out this late to watch this movie. Soo tired, but sooo good!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fire Alarm Master

Randomly, the fire alarm at my places starts beeping periodically. At first I thought I forgot to turn off the stove or something, but then WAIT. This isn't res where fire alarms go off if you have a steamy shower!

So after some investigation, realized that the battery was running low, so I unhooked them from my place, then drained the juice from the fire alarms so they'd stop beeping... wuhahaha.

Guess all those years in res paid off!

Fire Alarm Master out.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nice Relaxing Night

Ever since returning from Vegas, I have decided that I would not try to hold myself back anymore trying to simulate the whole work-life-school balance thing in preparation for my next life exercise. So with that, I have decided to just go with work-life balance first, and throw in school when the times come. If anything, these past common months of simulating the work-life-school balance has been successful anyway, so I think contrary to what alot of people think, I think it is pretty possible to do.

So been working crazily these days - not quite sure how I signed myself up for this amount of work that... but oh well, numbers on paper are just numbers. And I think this beats just sitting around twiddling my fingers away. But work hard... means I should also play hard ;P

Wanting to unwind and relax a little, tried out this new Japanese food place w/ fellow CS Buddy called Wann, and it was a very good recommendation indeed! The place was perfect for a long week of work, and the best part was that the food didn't come all together, but one at a time - not the slow kind but it was the type where you finish one, they clear plates and next one came right away - so it was just pretty relaxing all around. The only slight negative was that it took them half an hour to close the tab for us... (that took a lil bit out of the relaxing atmosphere because we were getting agitated having to wait for the bill for so long!)

After that, went to IMO again, and dadadada girl was there. Didn't get to talk to her much though since shes working, but her hair seems different :(. It was a bit messy instead of the pure anime style hair... heh heh heh. Maybe next time I will just sit her down and talk... hahaha!

Pretty relaxing night overall though indeeed!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oysters!!! Reunited after months...

With Vegas adventure done and over with, it was back to work. Been working longer hours these days for various reasons, and so around happy hour time, saw fellow original CS buddy online at work and found out she didn't have dinner yet either. So the logical question? Let's go for oysters!

It's been a VERY VERY long time since I've had oysters... It must have been a couple months easily. So it was great to have them again. They are sooo good!

So I was asked again what I wanted and what success was to me recently... So I decided to ask original CS buddy what she thought of this topic. Her response was something pretty simple, but different and almost seemed to me like it was coming from left field... but it was so logical that I am not sure why I haven't integrated this into 'my' definition of success...

So her answer to What is Success: Summarized to the part that rang a chord in me... Am I happy? If I am, then yes, if not, then no matter how much recognition, or overcoming challenges or what not I get, I am not. So simple, yet so profound... So what is the stuff of my happiness? Maybe once I answer that, I can truly be on the path to success... or maybe, my effort is misplaced and what I am doing right now is actually steering me away from success. Hrmm...

Oysters and meaningful convos.. what more can I ask for :)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Vegggas III: Part IV: Downtime

Going straight to the airport after a sleepless night, I was sooo tired and sleepy. I wonder if this counts as lor lei chin... hahaha... but then again, this is something I would never get to do in S.dot since nothing will be open that late... Flopping around on the plane and airport like a fish (sort of when I took the flight to Egypt for grad trip), I realized how uncomfortable the chairs are in the terminal and plane!

At the LV airport, turns out there are lots of people like me who go straight to the airport. Saw quite a few tired faces and drunk people nudging themselves through security and into the gates. What I don't get though is why there would be little kids around (and awake) for these flights. I swear I saw quite a few.. but then, I don't remember all too well.. since I was pretty tired myself.

Getting back to the northwest, it was officially Vegas weekend downtime... sooo tired... took a nap and so ends Vegggas Numero III.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Vegggas III: Part III: Last Day/Night in Vegas

After waking up at 4pm... then went downstairs to gamble a bit more... (I swear I must have gambled more these past 3 days than I have for my entire life!).

Black Jack again, and doubled my chip count :). Waited for the guys to get back after their shopping spree, then rendezvoused with them back in the hotel room. Ate dinner, then I almost went inside LAX again for some clubbing (supposedly Pamela Anderson was going to be there tonight)... but we had to wait half an hour to get in, and that really made me lose any omfph to go into the club (especially when I have to pay cover and pay for drinks)... haha. yes I am cheap I guess (but when I can sit at tables and get drinks for free... it was like.. meh.. might as well just gamble).

So instead of going into the club, I decided to just gamble... (and no, I am not addicted to gambling... I had set a preset threshold for me to lose before stopping, but I was very lucky this time that I just never hit it :) ). So played some Black Jack, luckily won some money again, and so got slightly bored of it - been playing it for 3 straight days now. So I decided to walk around and learn yet another game.

Seeing Baccarat, I watched for a bit and it seemed just like a high class version of Casino War. Instead of 1 card, you get 3, and there are 7 decks. So watching a little bit, I decided to might as well sit down and play. It was a pretty risky game since each bet was $25. Swung up and down greatly... I ranged from having $75 all the way to $500+!!! The people at the table were craaazzy.. all betting with the green ($25) and black chips ($100)!! With my little bets of $25 and $5 and $1s, it was a bit different, but then meh, it was fun nevertheless. Highlights was that I betted 3 times the ever fun 'all or nothing' bet, and came out winning! The first time I did it (even though it was a small amount relative to the others on the table), it was a big bet for me... so it was REALLY fun. And since I won the first time I did this, the second time I went all in, you literally saw the table stacked with black and green chips from the other players... so much trust in me :). And well, the third time I did it, ya.. they were very happy both times.

So gambled here for I think 3 or 4 hours easily... towards the end, everybody lost everything we've worked so hard for :(.. except me :D. If only I stopped half an hour earlier, I would have been up another round trip plane ticket... haha... Too bad my flight was at 6am, so it didn't really make sense for me to stop at 3am and walk around for half an hour doing nothing... if only my flight was earlier...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Vegggas III: Part II: Casino War!

Waking up bright and early at 11ish. Went for a lunch and then gambled again... This time is this game called Pao Gao. Not too exciting of a game, but did get to just sit and get free bottles of water...

Dinner was the buffet at Bellagio. With all the good things I heard about it, I was actually slighlty disappointed. There were no oysters, and it was just really crab legs and such. I think I actually prefer the one at Rio or the one at Planet Hollywood. The food was decent, the service was ok, but not really hyped up to what it was suppose to be...

After dinner we then went to Caesar's to go to the club. This club I've already been to before so it wasn't too too exciting. But it was still pretty good seeing I haven't been going to places like these for so long! It was a nice change of pace than the life in the northwest!

After Pure, we went to a few places, then ended up back at Caesar's and started to gamble more. Haha... Lost Law's bro in the midst of it as we went to the cheaper casino so I could go play Casino War!!!

Best game ever. Especially when you are tipsy. Spent quite alot of time there and the pit boss even came to know me. Not to mention the dealer. Was betting for the dealer and all, and he was cheering for me to win each time. Easily the rowdiest again... from 4am to 7am in the morning... haha. When you sit there for that long, even if you only gamble $5 a hand, you get served drinks right away :).

Anyway.. headed back to Luxor at 9am... and called it another day. I think by the time I got back, the other guys were just waking up. They went on the scenic tour of Vegas and some crazy shopping, while I got visited by the cleaning lady 3 times (since I woke up at 4pm).

So ends another day/night in Vegas...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Vegggas III: Part I: First Night

So afternoon I hopped onto a plane. And a couple hours later, I was there... again.. haha.. 3 times in the past year.

The booze and club adventure... first night went had a quick shot of Black Label and then went for a quick bite, followed by landing ourselves at LAX. Luckiliy, since we were staying there, we got free cover. Nothing much really exciting there, but it was fun drinking and all.

Came back out and then gambled till 6am playing Black Jack... haha. There were these people who came and went, but basically, there were 3 of us at the table for the entire night... The 3 of us just kept playing and the best part was, all of us came out winning! Everytime we win, we would say Aruuuuba! (I think this meant something like great or something in Portugese... inspired by the Portguese sitting next to me... so we kept saying that everytime we won... lol).. I think we were easily the rowdiest table at 4am in the morning!

So at 6am, decided to call it a night and go sleep... Zzzzzzz....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Night in Kirkland

No ketchup for $$$ this week. But after a little bit of late night work, I did swing by and go up to Kirkland again.

Meeting up w/ Kirkland Native and Fellow Intern, the first drink of the night was ridiculously strong. A simple rum and coke, but I think it was 4 parts rum, and 1 part coke. Dammmm this is what happens when you go to a bar where people know you well! Every drink this night were double or triples :).

So apparently the two of them didn't remember much about the night. But responsible me remembered it all :). Such a good boy am I!

Some noteworthy events:
Bouncer Impersonation
Kirkland Native walks up to the door, then turns around and asks for ID. The girl actually gives him her ID thinking he's the bouncer... heh heh heh... as the real bouncer put it, veryyyy smooth! Very smooth indeed!

Top shelf tequila down the drain
With last call, I decided I wanted some nice tequila from this nice white bottle (I forgot the name of it). So here were the 3 shots, then one spills directly on my shirt :(. So an entire shot wasted, we then start evening out the 2 remaining shots between the 3 shot glasses... pretty interesting watching 2 drunk people + 1 good boy trying to pour tequila into 3 shot glasses from 2 in mid air... but magically, no spills or drippage at all!

$40 bill for a $100 tab
So it was towards the end of the night, and time to ring up the bill. Kirkland Native sees the tab, and starts putting down the tips. I am asking why he is putting so much, but he just goes yup.. yes.. I know. Ends up giving a $40 tip!

Next day:
Kirkland Native: Why didn't you stop me from tipping so much?
Me: You said you knew what you were doing last night
Kirkland Native: (bursts out laughing)... (turns to Fellow Intern) I think you might owe me some money...

LOL!

Note: So the idea was that because Kirkland Native is a regular there, we get better deals if we order through him. I guess with $40 tips, he should get VIP treatment!

Drunk Running
So after the bar, Kirkland Native and Fellow Intern decided to sprint home. Not quite sure why but ya, they ran real fast! The funniest part is they only vaguely remember exerting this much energy this late at night. Me? I just walked :)

Another fun night in Kirkland!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ultimate Frisbee

New year, new activities. Today would be playing ultimate frisbee for the first time. Last time I played frisbee in a team fashion was back in Gr. 11 in Cheeseman's class. That was a pretty fun year I remembered.

Anyway, ultimate frisbee is actually a pretty long game indeed. I think it was 1.5+ hours. It is an interesting game though, as I saw many different ways of throwing the frisbee around. There is this one where you throw it sideways up in the air, and it would somehow straighten itself... that was pretty cool!

Lots of running, but doesn't seem too tiring at all. Either I am getting more fit, or I should be running wayyyy more :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Live Crab in Sink... sooo Fun!

A typical lazy Sunday...

Waking up at normal time (ie. after 12pm), lounged around home a bit then went for a jog :) because it was sunny. I am now easily up to 16 min without huffing and puffing :).

Then proceeded to go grab my weekly intake of fish, but because it was so late, it was all sold out. Walking around the supermarket, I decided I'd instead buy a live crab and have fun with it :).

So bringing it home, the crab was quite a feisty one, but since I flipped it upside down, it could not upright itself (imagine a turtle flipped upside done.. heh heh heh). So w/ a knife, I'd poke it and the whole crab would move... come to think of it, I guess I was poking it in the groin area... LOL

After a few hours of letting it sit in the sink, it was time to do the deed. So I picked it up, and immediately it tried to grab on! Lucky I had my oven gloves. But anyway, because it was moving so much, it was REALLY hard to saw off its claws....

Then came a brilliant idea: Chuck the crab into the sink.. HARD. So I dropped it on the sink 3 times, and with each successive drop, the crab became less resistant.... guess I dazed it a tad... makes me wonder what the hard shell is for though... Anyway, once it was stunned, it was child's play to saw off the claws and what not. It was sooo fun though. Maybe I will buy another one next week just for kicks!

Note:
So Anime Buddy actually gave me a good tip. Instead of knocking the crab against the sink, supposedly running hot (or even warm) water over it will kill it. I wonder which way of death the crab would have preferred... a hot bath OR pound it 3 times into the sink, then saw and cut its claws off w/ a dull blade and scissors... hrmmm...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

1 Year Anniversary in Seattle

Time flies by! Can't believe one year has passed since I first got here!

So I decided that today, to match the theme of being different, I would try out new activities.

So first activity that was new was beta-ing the puzzle hunt for interns. This involved waking up at 9am and then solving puzzles from 10am to 5pm! Definitely something different. It was actually pretty interesting. Was really bad at it, but it was pretty fun. Wished I could solve more of them puzzles though...

Being half dead even prior to the event from the night before, crashed for a couple hours when I got home, then onwards to the 2nd new event of the day/night!

The second event was going to a Jazz lounge and listening to some live Jazz. With the original CS buddy (since there are actually 2 CS buddy's in Seattle), we went and it was a pretty cool experience indeed. I thought the people were really good - and it was pretty relaxing listening to them. An experience where we left feeling more cultured!.. woohoo!

Doesn't seem to eventful, but it was a very nice day exposing myself to something different!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Capitol Hill Bar Hopping

So after a night of drinking ketchup, I wasn't really up for drinking too much tonight... even if it is June. BUT it was someone's bday, and part way through the night, a DD suddenly volunteered their services... so I no longer needed to drive... wuhahaha.

So yes, finally after 3 weeks of wanting to drink, I finally got my chance. Best part was there were actually people to drink with. What great times! Feel sorry for the DD and CS buddy though. But I think they will forgive me :). I will be good boy next time!

The bartenders here were all pretty nice too (but then again, I never really ran into bad ones :P). The few times I said I was buying a drink for my birthday friend, the bartenders actually gave him a free drink. Both bars we went to did that... very impressed indeed (as reflected in the tips :D) Good service deserve good tips!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kirkland Outing.. $50 for ketchup!

It is June afterall, so if anyone tempts me with a drinking related event, the answer to it is usually a "yes, when and where?"... Today was no exception :)

So the plan is to tag along and hit a few bars in Kirkland. So after volunteering, whipped up dinner, then went to experience the bars at Kirkland. Meeting up w/ fellow coworker, we ended up going to two bars. Turns out it was one of his friends bdays.

Anyway, highlight of the night (Note: I was still completely sober at this time):
So here we were talking, and in front of us laid an innocent bottle of ketchup. Some random talk later.. then all of a sudden I hear "I will give you $50 if you drink this bottle of ketchup"... Now having ate half a tub of margarine as a dare before, ketchup seemed very doable... and for $50... haha.. that was awesome. So we laid down a few rules, and then off we went...

I was given 2:30 min to finish about 3/4 bottle of delicious Heinz ketchup. Two key factors contributed to the success making of $50.
1) As much as it wiggles and slides inside the bottle, Heinz really meant it when they said "It will come out when it's ready"... for the first 10 sec or so, nothing came out... solution: pound at the ketchup bottle so that the ketchup goes into a cup, then drink out of that
2) Ketchup in cup doesn't fall off - can't really pound at it cuz it will go all over my shirt. Solution: Using my brilliant engineering mind, the solution was sooo clear. Ketchup in one cup, beer in another... pour beer into ketchup, and BAM... viscosity problems solved! sooooo s-m-a-r-k!
Even with these two tricks though, it did come pretty close, took me 2:23 min to complete this task.

With all crazy actions, there must come some lesson. The lesson of the day is...
ketchup is actually spicy. It seems that if you drink enough in a short amount of time, the onion powder and spices can actually be tasted. If I didn't see the ingredients on the labe, I swear someone sneaked some Tabasco sauce into it!

Btw, a movie of this 2:23 min adventure is somewhere out there... just need to find it!...Maybe I will update this blog entry with it when I get my hands on it.

$50 for ketchup. wuhahaha... so ends another random night out of the house...

Updated:
Link to the youtube video!

Blue Label Opened

Slightly after midnight, I finally opened it...

Sitting on my shelf for 5 months, I've been waiting for a chance/excuse to open it up. The beautiful Blue Label. Each one numbered and coming in a pretty box. Today I finally opened it up, and poured out from it :)

So this is definitely a nice bottle of whiskey. I swear each sip gave me a different flavor; yet they were all very smooth. There was a nice tingle in my mouth at times, and it just seemed very flavorful in general. Maybe it is my mind playing tricks on me, but ya, its definitely tasted different than the other scotch/whiskey that I have tried.

Mmmmmmmmm.....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Drunk Badminton

So originally this night was actually slightly frustrating. After dinner, everybody wanted to do something, but no one wanted to do anything! 2 hours of talking about what we could do, gahhhhhhhhh!!!

Anyway, so the final plan was to go to a local bar, then play drunk badminton. To me, that's actually a better alternative to IMO (since if I had gone again, this would take my count to 8 times in the past 7 weeks!). So we drank a bit - well, I had 3 beers, but nothing anywhere to satisfy a weekend in June... especially today, then went off to play drunk badminton.

Armed with my 'special' red gatorade, I went about playing badminton :). First time since.. er.... grade 9?..hahaha. I think the years of not playing actually made me better than before. For once I could actually see the birdie unlike in the past. But turns out the rest of them actually knew what they were doing, so I had to basically try to mimic what they do on the spot (and that didn't go so well). It was pretty fun for me because I was just running around and wacking at the birdie (and sometimes it magically landed in the right place), but I wonder if it was fun for them. They didn't really seem to be too into it. Maybe they were tired?

So after an hour or so, a couple of them left and so I got badminton master to teach me how to smash. Smashed at (or tried to smash at the birdie) continuously for 10 minutes is pretty tiring... but sooo dam fun! Felt it the so much next morning though. My arm was hurting and my shoulders were too!

The interesting thing is that this little exercise just showed me that I can still be pretty active. Played soccer in the morning, then badminton at night, and I wasn't really all that tired. It was almost like the more I was playing, the better I felt!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Nice Night of Bbtea and IMO

Feeling like doing something, I decided to see what I can do. So a couple hours later, off I went for some bubble tea!

Now just any bbtea gathering would be not worth blogging about. But then today there was a strange twist to it...

So me and pye went ahead first. We walked up and down u-district trying to find this one store we went to last time, only to find out that we walked by it twice already! Then the rest of the crew came... bringing their own set of pictionary! I guess it's normal, because there are board games and cards at a bbtea place already. But ya, this was definitely different. So we played the game, etc, etc.

By the time the placed closed, it was only 12am, so me and pye decided to swing by IMO to chill (since the night was still pretty young). I think this is the 6 or 7th week in a row that I've been to IMO, but meh, its a nice place :). Some interesting convo and some interesting thoughts out of it, but I will leave it at that :)

Nice simple night, no heavy drinking, no super late night. Wouldn't mind if every week was like this. Only thing that would be funny is if Da da da da girl was at IMO too, that would have been interesting.. haha. As the waitress/friend told me, turns out I just missed the Da da da da girl by a little bit... lol

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Da da da da.... Da da da da

Was supposedly going to a hookah lounge, but turns out it was closed. So we ended up going next door to IMO (or emo?). So today marks the 5th week in a row that I've gone there...

So 2 weeks ago, we went to IMO and heard this girl sing this pretty catchy song. The coolest part was that throughout the song, she would smile at just the right moments. She was swaying back and forth, and if I remember correctly, even jumping up and down slightly.. She wasn't swaying because she was drunk or what not though, but it was more like the 'flow with the music' swaying. The best part was that she had this anime style hair going on (she had that trending downwards hair cut thing) and her voice was sooo cute! That combined with the smile... It was awesome! It was a Korean song, have no clue what it means, but I think for the past 2 weeks, I've been humming the chorus of this song.

So anyway, as luck would have it, this girl (henceforth called the Da da da da girl - because thats how the chorus sounds to me... might actually be Ha ha ha ha though) was there tonight as well. So being the avid fan I am, I go and ask if she would sing the Da da da da song again. I think that girl must think I am crazy. But crazy as I was, she did agree to sing (and actually knew which song I was asking for). Soooo happy! Loooove the way she sings it. Just brings a smile to my face.

For some reason she didn't finish the entire song though... maybe she was tired or something. But she did get to the chorus part so tipsy me was very happy indeed! (she did the whole smiling thing and everything). I guess thats the fun part of going to a karaoke lounge instead of just having a room. You meet random people and what not. I wonder if she will sing the Da da da da song again the next time I go to IMO... hrmmmm...

Second Full Outdoor Soccer Game In Years

Waking up bright and early at 9am, today would be the 2nd time I'd be playing soccer. So excited and got up early... even ate breakfast!

Got there, but game got delayed. So had to wait 2 hours before playing.

Supposedly the team we are playing again was pretty good. And looking at them, they were.. haha.. Lost 6-0 at the end. Think I was sort of responsible for 3 of those goals!... lol...

In consolation, I did deke past one guy soooo beautifully. It was the classic sun-tan-na move. Wuhahaha.

After the game, went for food, grocery, and took a 2 hour nap :). Waking up early is tough!

Monday, June 02, 2008

First Full Outdoor Soccer Game in Years

Probably the last soccer game I played that featured two 45 min halves was in first year (if not OAC). Being outside on the field, with my shin guards strapped on, and a jersey on my back... wow, I didn't think I would ever be doing that ever again! I realized I haven't wore the shin pads for quite a while when I put them on and realized that the elastics on it had turned slack. But since I finally got them socks shipped, it was ok... just had to keep pulling them up after a few plays :)

Ran alot, saw some pretty plays. My passing was a bit off and I couldn't lift the ball up as high as I would have liked for some of the passes. I even had one really good chance to score, but I botched it big time.... it was a perfect cross from one of my teammates, I handled it with my chest, but it bounced off just a bit too far from where I wanted it to and so the defender cleared it. In hindsight, I should probably have tried to head it in right from there instead of thinking of putting it onto my legs and taking a shot. But all in all, it was a good start. Not too bad for playing for the first time in a few years!

Total time on field: about 25 minutes or so...lol. Went in midway or so in the first half, then subbed myself out a couple minute before the half ended 'cuz I was wayyy too tired. Went back in for another 10 minutes or so at the end of the second half to pad up the lead :). I wonder if I will ever be able to play for 2 45 minutes halves again... hahaha!

On the good side, our team did end up winning. We started a bit sluggish and let in a few own goals, but we pulled together and came out winning. The other team did have one less player than us, and they were definitely fatigue towards the end.

All in all, game was pretty fun, team's pretty fun. Supposedly the next teams that we will be facing will be tougher than this first one. In which case, it would be pretty fun!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

My First Football Game in a Stadium

If only I graduated like the normal folks, my grad trip would have been to Europe, touring the continent while at the same time, watching the World Cup games. But of course that didn't happen.

I had always wanted to watch a football game at a stadium... the atmosphere, the live aspects of it. And today I was able to do that.

Having heard a month ago that the Brazil national team was playing against Canada today in Seattle, I had gotten tickets to go watch it! (ya, you'd think they play in Brazil or Canada... but Seattle???). Wasn't really expecting Canada to win or be even close; but then being the Canadian that I am, of course I still cheered for them... (and sometimes Brazil of course :) ).

The best part though was that Canada actually did pretty well I thought. They had a couple great chances to score, and that second goal by #6 was amazing! With the final score being 3-2 (for Brazil), it's proof that Canada didn't really do all that bad.

The atmosphere at the stadium was awesome as well (as expected when Brazil is playing). Lots of drum banging and horn blowing. As well as every time a goal almost happened, the whole section stood up to get a better glimpse.

After the game, went to IMO to drink a bit, where we saw a couple girls dancing and going pretty low. This IMO (or is it EMO?) place is pretty fun. No lineups, cheap drinks, friendly atmosphere... pretty fun place to be at.

What a great nite indeed!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Debut of Beta K

The missions of Beta K can be summarized best in a fellow youngling's blog entry...
"Beta 'K' is a code name for the pre-production stage of the official 'K' platform, which is to simulate the actual experience of a karaoke lounge and drinking at the pleasure of one's own home, ... and drink to his/her heart's content while removing the constraint of forcibly paying boatloads of dough for a good time."

So basically everything in the above blog link covers what I would have said. So less typing for me!

here's the link again! a fellow youngling's blog entry about Beta K...

Monday, May 26, 2008

End of Memorial Weekend

So woke up at 2pm today... ate lunch, then decided to do a jog. I am now up to 16 min! After taking a shower, it was off to a second BBQ. There were lots of bugs towards the end. So I think I will be feeling the aftershock of this later. That was basically the events of the day!

All in all.. this long wkend was pretty good.. didn't get to go to Portland and the beach (in hindsight.. probably could have gone to enjoy the beachy weather and Portland)...but did get to do a lot of outdoorsy stuff. I think I even got slightly more tanned from this weekend!

This weekend also made me think to be more hardcore about keeping fit. Maybe I got reminded by the Wii Fit game, but I just realized that I am very out of shape right now (as I have been saying for the past year!!!). But talk is cheap, so I will start doing little exercises at least once a day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Olympic Sculpture Park

Today, with fellow CS buddy, went to get cultured at the Olympic Sculpture Park. Have been wanting to go here quite some time. And what better day to go than on a nice sunny day that wasn't too hot.

So this park is where a bunch of sculptures are put out in the open and each piece has a short description of it. The coolest one I thought was this one called "Love and Loss". Don't have the pictures yet (you can see it on the SAM's website), but it was really cool. The description describing the piece was very insightful, and it was one of the few that I actually saw what the artist was trying to do!

There was another one at the beginning of the path that was a blue trumpet/sewer thingy of sort. Being the kids we were, we each took one end of the trumpet and tried to speak into it to see if he other can hear. Turns out you are able to hear it... not through opening, but just because the two ends were not really too far away...lol. After our wonderful demonstration, a little kid who was watching us decided to do the same... hahaha. 5 minutes later, the kid was still going at it... what good role models we are!

Another one that I thought was pretty cool was this one that was suppose to have the idea of 'empty being solid, and solid being empty'. The solid part was made of mirrors so that it reflected the surroundings... which I guess was the solid being empty part. But I wasn't really able to see the 'empty becomes solid' part though. Nevertheless, I thought this one looked pretty cool too.

After getting cultured, we were led to Tiger Mountain to find a park. You may ask, a park in a mountain... wtf?!?!?! My sentiments exactly! Gullible me went, and 10 minutes into the slugs and bugs trail, we turned back because there really didn't seem like a park would be there. So we ended up going to a nearby place where we were sure there was a park.

Also got to play Wii Fit today. Was told I am 35 yrs old, underweight, and that my balance is slightly off to the left.... hrm... there may be some truth in that!