and we have a winner

The finale of Top Chef came and went, with Richard Blais coming out victorious over Mikey Isabella. This also meant that Joy’s number 1 pick for Fantasy Top Chef brought her a championship as well. Both chefs looked to have cooked a meal of a lifetime for each of them, and probably could’ve gone either way if there were no names attached to the meals. I actually liked how they got their sous chefs by having all eliminated chefs create a amuse bouche and the two chefs picking blind purely on taste of the bite. I thought this really should have placed together a team of similar tastes and styles. For once i think that the Chefs understood how to use their help and stick with exactly what they wanted cook and how to cook, unlike previous Top Chef Finale losers. I am also very happy they went away with those quirky finales with some sort of limitation or forced style, and just let the chefs cook.

Top Chef Masters Season 3 is coming up, and if you want in on the Fantasy challenge just let us know.


Baby’s got some brand new shoes.

Winter has ended and even if it still may be snowing i’ve declared that its time to get ready for spring. After doing the 5K in the morning, Joy and i drove up to Santa Monica so that i could get a hair cut, and do a little shopping. Its be high time that i did another wardrobe update and went looking for some real leather shoes. I know it might be out of place, but i realize that my vans just wont get me everywhere. I got some advice from Joy’s fashionable Jeremy who said i should check out Aldo and Urban Outfitters with a few instructions of do’s and don’ts. Surprisingly the shoes were much more comfortable than i expected even if they had like a one inch heel on them  and cheaper than i expected (< $100). Still it doesn’t mean that i wont turn down a brand new pair of vans, especially when they’re on sale for $20.

The finishing touch for the 2011 me, was a haircut to chop off the winter helmet. The hair had gotten down to the chin, and was just getting too much to deal with so it had to go. I went back to my favorite barber Floyd’s 99 in West LA across the street from my first apartment. I got a little nostalgic considering this was the place that i got my first faux-hawk, mohawk, emo which all defined a different era in my life. I don’t know what to call this cut, but it was something out of their style look book. The picture doesn’t quite do it justice since i still don’t know how to quite style it myself but you get the idea.


Run Fat Boy, Run!

 

This year, i want to run a 5k once every quarter. Training has been very difficult with the bad weather, bad knee, and a busy schedule. First up on the schedule was the Coaster Run at Knott’s Berry Farm. Joy and I decided to spend the night at my parent’s house to save time on the morning commute and it gave us plenty of time in the morning to get ready, grab some starbucks, and get there with plenty of time to stretch. I was really hoping that the course would go into Knott’s, but it never does, and only runs parallel to he south side of the park. The course was really flat and fast, and the only varying elevation is the walkway tunnel from the parking lot to the park. I made sure to pace myself at the beginning and i told Joy that if i slow down that she should keep going without me. A few times she got ahead of me, but somehow i steadily caught up with her. Even towards the end when i thought she was way past me, i blew by her on my last minute sprint to the finish. I was amazed that i was actually able to maintain at least a jog the whole time and accomplished the only goal i had was to finish under 30 minutes, which i did with a very respectable time of 28:16.00, coming in 21st in the 30-34 male range. We enjoyed a few bites of boysenberry pie, and headed home.


Family and Friends Meetups

I always find it funny when ever it gets to be the weekend, and I have absolutely nothing planned to do. Its probably even funnier to myself on how fast i can make plans at the same time. Saturday morning I woke up with no real plans but ended up running/walking 4 miles in Manhattan Beach and then went to visit the parents for lunch with some fat Pastrami Sandwiches in Anaheim. When we got back to the house my mother taught joy the secrets to making her kanom krok and gave us the pan, and ingredients to make them.

At the same time my dad was showing me how he learned to play Jason Mraz I’m Yours on the guitar. I guess he’s been practicing so much that he even made a cd to play in the car.

On our way home we stopped by Ranch 99 to pick up some food and thought about making Hot Pot since all the rain made weather really cold. Hot Pot for two doesn’t really work so i called up the Wangs for a Sunday Hot Pot Dinner. Janelle made her own kombu broth as the package that we bought contains like 75% of your daily intake of sodium, and msg so that was a no go for her or Noah. It was a very delicious, and spicy meal for a rainy windy night.


Shooting in Santa Ana

Weddings on a budget are always tough, but i’m always willing to help out where i can, so last Sunday i helped shoot some engagement photos for them. Shane had proposed to Joann at the Centennial Heritage Museum one rainy afternoon so it was the perfect place to shoot their photos. This time there wasn’t any rain, but plenty of sunshine, and the place had lots of places to shoot at. I always forget how difficult to shoot massive amount of set shots, and i even screwed up the first half of the pictures by not re-checking the ISO and finding out that i was shooting at 3200. Thankfully Ben tagged along and shot at the same time, so its always good to have a backup photog when you can get one. They were a lot easier to shoot compared to his brother, and the lighting was better this time around. Now its just sorting through a few hundred photos and editing the good ones, and tossing the bad ones.

View some of the pictures here.


Spring Boarding

The snow is melting the snow is melting! Its been an interesting snow season this year, with a big storm at the beginning followed by lots of sun and one final tease of a snow storm. Joy hadn’t been on the mountain this season so we drove up with a couple of her friends for one bright hot day at mountain high. It was another day of learning for Joy and she finally got the carving down on the flatter parts of the mountain, but its a start and it’ll be real soon before she’ll be carving up the mountain.

After everyone’s legs were tired we packed up and went to San Gabriel for a chinese foot massage, soup, and boba. Normally you’ll get an old lady or man rubbing down your feet and calves, but this time i got a girl that was younger than me. I almost felt guilty about having this girl rub me down, especially since i was wearing basketball shorts, but she had strong fingers to rub out the knots in my back and feet.


Return of Beauty and the Beast

What was suppose to be the original plan for Joy and my 2nd anniversary was a dinner and a show of Beauty and the Beast. Last weekend’s trip to vegas seemed to take of that even, so this became just some random night of fun. We drove up and got to Hollywood at 7pm so we figured we had plenty time to get some food before the 8pm call time. The new W Hotel is directly across the street from the Pantages and so we walked into the Delphine for some food. We ordered their burger (fried egg and bacon) and a beer, and relaxed a bit. Then we just kept relaxing, and relaxing, and our server said that our food was coming, but we couldn’t take anymore and went to cancel the order. The assistant manager seemed sincerely disappointed with the service but waiting over 35 minutes for a single burger was too much.

The show was very entertaining but very long. They perform all the classics that you know from the original Disney movie, plus a few new ones. I did splurge on this show and got seats in Section S, and it was nice to actually be able to see the performers faces and see the conductor doing his thing. The show was very entertaining and included much more humor than i expected. Including the intermission the show runs for about three hours and I knew going in that I was most likely going to fall doze off and i did of course in the middle of the second act following the title song.

Coincidentally a new movie called Beastly also recently was released starring Vanessa Hudgens about a modern take on the Beauty and Beast Story about some popular dude who gets transformed into a skinny white Māori looking character. If they really wanted to make him look like a beast they should of just made him an overweight, hairy, acne scarred teenager and lets see if he could find somebody to love him like that.


Two Years and Counting

Two years ago I got married to the most wonderful woman in the world. I had already gotten tickets for Beauty and the Beast at the Pantages Theater on the 11th, and dinner at Lucques tonight. Friday Joy and I had other thoughts and we booked a saturday night at the Palazzo and did a quick trip for the weekend.

It was pretty impromptu since Joy had an eye appointment in the morning and we got on the road right after. It was a pretty quick four hour drive and checked in before 3pm. The big question was where to eat for our celebration. We originally wanted to eat at Craftsteak at the MGM, but there weren’t any rsvp  since Eric Clapton was performing there. Since steak was requested we went to plan B at Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons.

After dinner we took a walk around the City Center and then back to the Hotel. Since we were staying at the Palazzo we got on the Lavo guestlist. It was a pretty awesome night even if we were some of the first people in the club because Joy got the special wrist band that meant free drinks until 11pm. Lets say we shared quite a few drinks and danced the night away. Thank god for staying at the same place so we just walked to our room without having to worry about getting a cab or walking on the street with bare feet.Sunday we actually woke up pretty early and had breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris Hotel. We lost a few bucks on the slots and went home.


Kings for the night

I’m actually a big fan of watching hockey games live. I think there’s something about the coldness of the arena, the sounds of the shots, and the crashing bodies against the glass that make it so exciting to watch. Although the last time i actually went to a game and knew any players was when Sergei Fedorov was still dating Anna Kournikova. I had some random thoughts thinking that it would be fun to go to a game again, and a day later Thomas messages me asking if wanted to go to a Kings game.

Tonight was a fun night to head out to the Staples Center once again, and especially for thomas since he lives in orange county as usually spends his night taking care of his kid. We got some eats and drinks at corkbar beforehand and got to the game during the second period. Our seats ended up being pretty good in the 200s section and gave us a close view of the action. Of course my favorite times were  when the girls in tight pants and half shirts come out to clear the ice during play breaks.

We left at the beginning of the third period to get some food back in Gardena since the tickets were free and everyone was tired.