• Chapters

    Thailand Under Water

    I knew that September/October was the rainy season in Thailand so thats why i booked my trip back for the end of November, but i had no idea how bad its been this year. For the past week i’ve been following the daily news about how entire towns are flooded and that Bangkok is now being threatened.

    While i’m still hoping that the water will recede in the next three weeks but i’m starting to plan that this trip will be more of relief efforts than a pure vacation.

    Its not like just one city is affected but seems like an entire country is being drowned, and i have yet to hear one word about it on our local news outlets. 300+ people have died yet the only thing i see on the western news media outlets is how there’s going to be a shortage on Western Digital hard-drives.

    The interesting story line that is coming about is about the newly elected Prime Minister Yingluck (brother of ousted former prime minister Thaksin) who just came into power in July, but seems ill-equipped to deal with such a national disaster. There is growing concerns that her administration is hesitant to make decisive plans and enact special powers for fear that the military will stage another coup to overthrow her party once again. Its very sad that during this time of need for an entire country the people in power to actually deal with the problem are too worried about themselves to do something for the greater good of an entire nation.

    It almost coincides with what’s going on in this country when people complain about why the government is doing this or not doing that yet they can’t come up with any better solution instead. Its seems like the only thing people can do now a days is just complain about a problem, and wait until someone else comes up with an idea, rather than trying figure out a better solution for it themselves. At least when Bill Simmons complains about the NBA he comes up with a plan that sounds somewhat plausible.

  • Chapters

    Bargain Shopper

    I don’t often buy new clothes in bulk, but when i see a deal i’ll just one it with the quickness. This past week while one of our after dinner walks we went to the new Nordstroms Rack. I’ve actually been on the look out for upgrading my work clothes for some slacks and some more dress shirts. Too bad i didn’t find any, but i end up picking up some new basketball shoes instead. I’m playing with fire just a bit with these shoes since they don’t have as much support i’m used to, but today i played in them today quite well.

    Last night after my mom’s birthday dinner we went to the mall for some purchases for Thailand. While Joy shopped for some cosmetics, i browsed the discount racks at Macy’s and got some board shorts, and walking shorts for six bucks each. I love a good find.

    As far as groupons go, i’ve slowed down quite a bit on purchasing the coupons. I’ve basically settled on only purchasing coupons to things that i’ve done before, or its so cheap that i wont mind if i never spend it at all. Last week we used our $25 for $50 opentable.com coupon at Paul Martin’s but ended up eating way to much, and spending more money than we probably would have otherwise.

  • Chapters

    Don’t Stop Believing

    The sister has all year long been making a quarterly pilgrimage back to LA to make up for the past few years, and having our weekly video chats during Top Chef have kept us in pretty close contact for the entire year. So this weekend’s trip back up to San Francisco didn’t seem so long since the previous trip up last year.

    Joy and I made this trip an extra long one by leaving Thursday afternoon all the way until Sunday. Since we got there in the afternoon we had to take the BART into the city where we killed time doing some browsing around until my sister got off work. After she got into the city we headed to Hog Island for some Happy Hour Oysters.

    Nina took Friday off to hang out with us, and we made the most of it. In the morning we took a run to Chinatown to get some Jook and Chinese Donuts to start the day off right.  The day was fully booked with a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito so that i could get a replacement to my “Friends on a Deathstar” shirt that i lost, and for me to check out the small town for the first time.

    Next up with the Walt Disney Family Museum which is based more about Walt than Mickey. It was a pretty interesting seeing the early drawings that he did to the evolution of his first drawing to the 3rd most recognizable character in the world. It was an interesting evolution of just a guy trying to do something that he loved that eventually became the faceless corporate monster which it is today.

    The rest of the day was all about getting ice cream and other goodies to eat, but nothing much else eventful.

    Saturday was a little more random with Nina having her Hula dress rehearsal before her big performance next week, so Joy and I tagged along to get some breakfast on Fillmore and explore Japantown for the first time. We went to their “$1” store and picked up some kitchen tools, some allen wrenches for myself and other stupid stuff.

    For lunch we picked up Jesse and Koa to grab lunch down the street. The weather was the best i’ve ever seen in the city with temperatures in the high 70s, no wind, and just an overly nice shorts and t-shirt weather. That said i still carried around my jacket because i never trust SF weather.

    The finale of the trip was heading down to Mountain View to check out Journey in concert. There was a ton of traffic heading to the venue and when we got there, it appeared that they oversold the event. We had the general lawn tickets but when we got there it looked like there wasn’t an inch of room for us. We eventually made it to the very back where there was a stage where we could see one of the big screens.

    The whole weekend was fun, and filling so it was good be back in the bay. Can’t wait until they come back down for Christmas.

  • Chapters

    Kids popping up everywhere!

    With the recent announcement that my sister is with child now, its time for me to get prepping to be an uncle. Ran through about a decade of scenarios in the span of a weekend and i think i came out of it A OK.

    Saturday afternoon was spent in Temple City for Joy’s friend Emily’s baby shower. Its the first of her friends that are about to pop out a youngin and it was a pretty fun day of making fun of one another and pointing to who’s going to be next. There were the assortment of baby games, that a pair of parents won all the events.

    Sunday was the 10th birthday party for Joy’s niece Phoebe which we celebrated with everyone in Canoga Park. Before the party though was our present to the birthday girl was a trip to the mall to go clothes shopping. I ended up somehow having to watch the other three kids in the crowded mall, but thankfully they just wanted to play in the indoor playground. Thankfully they’re relatively well behaved and didn’t cause any trouble other than zigzagging as they walked through the mall. I also learned that i have a pretty booming mean voice that i was even surprised to hear when i told them to stop running. It was almost James Earl Jones-esque.

    The birthday party was at one of those indoor bounce house places where the adults out-numbered the kids but somehow i ended up getting all the adults to race through one of the houses that led to some very funny moments, a few injuries and lots of kids who wanted to play along, but were shoved aside.

  • Chapters

    Thirty Two again and again

    Normally i actually like to make a big deal for my birthday, but this year it just didn’t feel right. It was the opposite of the perfect storm, that this year it was my 32nd birthday (big whoop), it fell on a wednesday, and the trip back to Thailand was recently booked. Although I didn’t have a big party I did find a way to get together with friends and family all week long.

    The Saturday before last I went out to dinner with my parents at Roy’s in Newport Beach. Since my sister was traveling to New York for her birthday my mom had to fly up to San Francisco to dog sit, so we had the dinner early. I chose Roy’s because it always seems the right balance between fancy and comfortable. Their happy hour specials are worth it enough, and for $5 the Roy€™s Original Hawaiian Martini is well worth it. Although though i was disappointed in my steak i enjoyed the rest of the night.

    My actual birthday dinner Joy took me to Gjelina on Abbot Kinney with Ben and Tiffany. This is a restaurant that i’ve had on my list for quite a while, but never quite found a reason or could get a reservation to eat here. The dinner couldn’t have been better, we got seated outside next to the fire pit (loud interior) and all the food was awesome. We tend to order a lot with the Manichans and i was happy with everything we ordered. Between the Arugula, Shaved Sweet Corn salad, Ravioli in brown butter, Squash Blossom pizza, and Grilled Asparagus with fried egg the meal did not miss a point.

    Saturday night was a night traveling south to Boiling Crab in Garden Grove for a big bag of peel and eat shrimp, oysters, corn and fried catfish with Tbang, and Shane. Between the four of us we could not finish 4lbs of shrimp but cleared off everything else. Afterwards Jonathan met up with us for drinks at Gaynor’s Lounge which we thought would be some Asian run bar, but when we walked in, it was like we were in a Wyoming truck stop. After a shot and a drink we were out of there.

    Overall the week was great, and i’m looking forward to my future birthday gift of the new Kindle Fire … unless i find something else to get.