I’ve been meaning to give rock climbing a shot, but with no real idea of where to go, or what to do i’ve held off from trying it. Last week on buywithme.com they offered a deal for Hanger 18 in Hawthorne for 1 month for 2 people. I got Jonathan to sign up and we left work early Friday to redeem our passes.
We happened to run into our friend Matt there where he tried to give us some tips, but realized we were complete newbs, and got one of the staff to give us an un/crash course on the procedures. After about 15 minutes of training we were scaling the walls and easing each other down the wall. Joy got up the bunny slopes with relative ease but sure didn’t trust me lowering her down and wouldn’t let go of the rocks. She struggled a bit on the harder walls, but i think by the end of the month she’ll be a monkey like me getting up the inclined walls. I picked up some tips in the past so i learned a few tricks like relying on more of your legs and so I was able to scale the wall faster than Jonathan could take up the slack on the ropes.
I’m feeling pretty good today, but Joy is sore all over. I can’t wait until i get pull myself up the ledges with just my finger tips.
I’ve done a pretty good job up to this point of basically removing myself from the Internet as possible. There are just a few loose ends with my blog showing up on google, and its pretty much private from the public unless you’re coming straight to my site. Now if you search my name, my iStockphoto account shows up, a few photo credits come up on a few sites and my marathon running times are about the most you can find up on me personally.
As an experiment though i still want to see if I can actually reap any benefits for all my food writings and so i’m going to start a new blog strictly about food and eating food. Taking the knowledge from what i’ve been doing for the past 10 years personally, and trying to practice what i preach at work to my clients i’m going to see if at all possible to actually make money running a blog. Since the only thing that i seem to spend money on is eating, i’m a 3rd year elite, and i’m twitter friends with a few other food bloggers i figured it’ll keep my attention on it the longest and i’ll end up with a few perks as well.
Joy will actually be joining this venture as a writer/cooker/eater, and i’ll actually be reaching out to a few of you who have your own business/website to see if you might want to partner up with a few ideas that i have. I’ll still keep up with my personal musings on this website but i’ll have most of my eatings on the new site, so watch out in a few weeks as i get the ball rolling and launch the new site.
Its been years since i went on a two man mission to the mountains, so in commemoration of the even i brought out my snowboarding jacket circa 1999. I picked up Ben from his house in Venice, filled up on a meal from costco at hit the road at 7:30pm. We made quick work of the drive and arrived to the Vagabond Inn in Bishop just around midnight.
In morning we woke up enjoyed the free breakfast from the motel, and hit the road by 6:30am. We arrived to the Mammoth Resort geared up and were one of the first in line for gondola. We spent the next seven hours on the slopes cutting the waits at the life through the single rider line, and crisscrossed the entire mountain. We road hard and fast racing many times down the trails. Hit a few natural jumps, and had nary a crash. We probably got in a good 30 runs in by the time we left at 3pm to head home from a great day of boarding.
The mountain was surprisingly not as busy as i expected, but much sunnier than expected. We were burning up in our jackets and eventually shed to just our shirts. The snow was hard and fast in the morning but softened up by the afternoon and it really felt like spring boarding, but in January. I had thought that it was a good idea to have a birthday celebration for Joy in February, but now with a winter heat wave i’m not even sure if they’ll be any snow by the middle of February. People were literally sunning on the lounge chairs, and just hanging out with their beers.
The drive home was a little more rough but by no means difficult. We stopped by Schat’s Bakery in Bishop to pickup some bread, and headed home with the dream of having dinner at Manna. We got back into LA at 8, and feasted upon mounds of meat. The turn ar0und trip isn’t for the faint of heart, but its great if you like to save a little money and like to sleep in your own bed after a hard day of riding. It was definitely a good time, and good memories of past turnaround trips.
Wednesday night is usually reserved for my weekly video chat with my sister of Top Chef All Stars. Last night our schedule got thrown off because both her and Joy and I had plans out of the house and had to reconvene later than usual.
When we got back home we got to watching the Lakers as it looked like they were going to be beaten by the Warriors and i happened to see on espn.com that the Clippers were actually beating the Heat. So I quickly flipped over just in time to see Blake Griffin of the Clippers and Mario Chalmers get into a tussle, and the very next play that had Baron Davis dishing a pass to Griffin for a dunk over Dwayne Wade and the rest of the Heat. The best was having Griffin just stare down the Heat as we walk back to the other side of the court, and the Clippers pulling off another victory over another elite team.
After the game my sister logged on and we were still able to watch Top Chef as normal, just at a later time. The show is still quite riveting now that tempers are starting to flare up and egos are starting to get the best of some of the Chefs. I was very excited to see another new edition to the challenges as the Chefs had to go fishing for their own ingredients (even if the Next Iron Chef did the same thing) but i do get sick of the team competitions since it just creates more bitching and complaining and less dish development.
In the end Carla won another competition, and the double elimination outsted Jamie (who should’ve left 3 episodes ago) and Tiffiani Faison (who’s attitude has changed for the better, but just felt like she was forcing it). As for the Fantasy Top Chef Challenge the win for Carla netted me five points, but with Team Black being very calm and very professional never get me any cursing or crying points. For that reason i’m still in last place by nine points behind Joy who is in the lead with 28 points. Thankfully she’s down to only two chefs left and I have three still.
and the Lakers did pull off a comeback for the win.
While the wife is away, the husband will play. Joy is heading to SF this weekend for a bachelorette party up in San Francisco, so i’m taking the opportunity to do a day trip up to Mammoth for some snowboarding with Ben. Its been a few years since i’ve ridden only with friends so it’ll be interesting to see if i can keep up since the last real hard day of boarding was almost three years ago in Jacksonhole.
This is also provoking a group trip up for Joy’s birthday but it looks like it’ll be a very small group with everyone so busy with their own lives. Looking up condos for rent in the city is a first for me, and thankfully it doesn’t look like its actually too bad. From $200-$300 a night you can get a place that can fit up to 6 people, and is pretty close to the slopes. We’ll see how it goes, but i hope it snows a little more too.
Part of my new diet is cooking and eating at home 5 days a week and Friday was our night out to eat. We’ve been wanting to go to Al Noor, but wanted to get out a little farther so we found out that Westchester has their own First Friday food truck gathering. There were about 10 trucks out there, but we went only for the India Jones Chow Truck for their roti rolls. They’re still not as good as the New York versions, but its a good west coast version.
Still was the night young so we went up to LA for some dessert at MILK. I don’t know what got into me since i don’t normally eat that much dessert, but i really wanted the Brownie Sunday with coconut ice cream, coffee toffee ice cream and pecan whip cream and a cherry on top. The craziest part was that we finished the whole damn thing. I was seriously buzzing off of sugar and caffeine on the drive home.
DineLA is coming back at the end of the month, but thats just the end of it. Tuesday was one of those days that just had my inbox just flowing with offers for food and drinks. The first thing to come in was an offer from yelp for Luna Park in Los Angeles of $50 worth of food for $25. I messaged Joy and my culinary parters Ben and Tiffany and made dinner plans for Saturday night. During the same conversation we realized that dineLA was going on at the end of the month, and if you don’t know about dineLA its a chance to eat at some fancy and not so fancy places at a set cost which at most places tend to be a deal (not all applies):
dineLA Restaurant Week is a two-week dining event that gives local foodies and visitors to LA the opportunity to enjoy a selection of specially priced three-course meals from some of LA’s best restaurants during the event.
So during the same conversation we also made a rsvp for The Bazaar by Jose Andres which is a fancy (expensive) restaurant at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. This would be my first molecular gastronomy experience hope that its mind blowing and people seem to get by eating there. Too bad Tiffany warned me that we’ll still probably have to go to In & Out afterwards to fill up.
This year i’ve actually set some Resolutions to work on for the year. The first was one that i almost broke on the second day of the year which was a Picture a day for the year. Last year i got through half the year with being able to snap a shot, but sometime in the summer i just failed and it was all down hill from there. Once i missed that day the whole world crumbled as far as the project went and i just gave up by October. Its by far not the hardest thing to do yet is possibly the hardest since it take dedication just to get one on in by the stroke of midnight by any one of the 5 cameras that i own. You can follow my status on my flickr account and see if i fail once again accomplish the goal this year.
My other resolutions for this year are as follows:
- Try not to be as negative/cynical. My co-workers were laughing hysterically, thinking that this guy is my British Alter Ego “it’s got a flippy-uppy flash…whoop-de-do”. I don’t really want to be known as the negative friend, and want people not to get so scared of my when they first meet me.
- Explain myself more, i was taught in college that the more you have to talk about something the less you actually know about a subject. Somehow i developed that same approach to how i communicate with people expecting them already to see the world as i do, but i look at the world in my own rose colored glasses and now understand that maybe i’ll have to throw in a few extra words just to make sure you understand what i’m talking about.
- Eat things that in the past i didn’t want to try, or try again things that i’ve told myself that i didn’t like. I already started off the year by having Honey Nut Cheerios which i always thought had peanuts, but when i read the ingredients it doesn’t even have nuts in it, but just almond flavor (what a ripoff!). The second was ginger soup which my mom used to make and stink up the house, and which Joy loves cooking and eating. Its a strange brew of spicy and sweet, and warming but good with sweet tofu and fried bits of crunchy. I still can’t handle the soup alone, but i can see the appeal of all of it together (i have developed a taste for ginger last year).
- Waking up, getting ready, and having breakfast. Those sweet moments in bed in the have been keeping me hostage in the cold chilling mornings, but i need to start the day off on a better foot. Which means getting up with plenty of time to use the bathroom, clean myself up, and sit down to have breakfast with Joy.
For the first year in many years I had plans for New Year’s eve a month before, and of course just like the previous years it was spent with Ben and Tiffany, but this time it was an actual party. The themed the party TMZ: Swank or Skanky in honor of Tiffany’s dress she picked up during Black Friday. I did my part by finding a tux shirt and bow tie at the thift store and throwing on my old suit. I even went out and bought some cufflinks, but failed to realize that i also need shirt buttons so i had to make due with a bunch of yelp pins and a green lantern pin to keep it together. Joy got to wear a dress she picked up in Santa Barbara and I grabbed my old fur coat which fit her perfectly.
The night was fun and Ben (Green Day’s Billy Joe) and Tiffany dressed up their house very classy. I was still recovering from my company retreat so i didn’t touch any alcohol for the night, and that might have led to me being really sleepy the whole night. I did make it all the way through the night and we eventually went home around 2am.