Thankful For You

Blogging to this song on repeat…

This Thanksgiving, my mom, my grandmother and my aunt, the three matriarchs of the family have again left before the holidays to go to Hong Kong like they did last year. I understand the tickets are cheaper, but I just wish they would at least prepare me instead of letting me know an hour before they are leaving for the airport through a random voicemail. The holidays have always been difficult for me because I haven’t yet been able to let go of the past. Feeling disappointed by both parents has brought me to the conclusion that holidays, family time, and love are for suckers. I really miss the big parties my parents used to throw when they were together. I think I took it for granted. I used to complain about the loud karaoke all the adults were singing in a language I didn’t quite comprehend at a reasonable level. I’m more conversational Cantonese. Every year around the holidays, I yearn for those days when we were together as a family. In my fantasy world, my father never cheated on my mother, he never left our family, and my mother never took the guy’s side when I was violated. Of course fantasies only belong in movies and books. In real life, my fantasies turn themselves inside out and claim their stake in my heart in the form of a hard truth. And so every year around the holidays, I try to find some kind of distraction that will keep me smiling.

This year, I got the chance to see my favorite guy in the whole wide world, Will Friedle. Fortunately, the chance came before the holidays began so I was happy to have him as my distraction. I really needed him and he has no idea how much our interaction truly means to me. Whenever my mind begins to wander into the past, I can feel the tears start to fall and I have to remind myself all the wonderful experiences I’ve had this year. I am very thankful for many things that have happened this year and of course, the most recent, seeing Will was the cherry on top. Now I can have a pleasant experience to think back on to make me smile. I would have to say out of the three experiences I have had with Will, this one was the best. I mean, well, of course the first one was superb since it was a moment I had waited so long for. And the second one was amazing because I didn’t think he would recognize me but he did. But this time, I actually got to talk to him without someone else rushing me out of a line. I wasn’t on a time limit and that was my favorite part, talking to him like a regular human being. I was a bit nervous at first but I eventually got over it and began to be myself and enjoy being there with him. My friend captured the whole thing on video. I love being able to look back on it and relive the experience. If you see this Will, I just wanted to say thank you. You are one of my favorite people too and I am extremely thankful for you. No words can express how much I absolutely adore you.

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Got to take the eyebrow pic with him, something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile!
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Discussions & Concussions

In the last 4 weeks I:

A) really enjoyed Girl Meets Texas

B) somehow managed to make a vegan version of honey walnut shrimp (sorry for the shitty pic, I ate most of it already)

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C) got to see Finish Ticket finally play a big stage (they totally belong there)

D) witnessed my friend’s wedding proposal

E) slammed my head into the sharp corner of a wooden crate onstage and ended up in the emergency room (around 9:28…although, you’d never know I had gotten a concussion. The show must go on!)

F) spoke my peace at City Hall (I’m around 5:05:00)

And this Saturday, I’m headed to Reno. Can ya guess why? :0)

Gimme Five Minutes

So today is the last day to vote in my city. I planned on mailing my ballot so I put everything into my envelope and sealed it. This morning, I saw it and think, “Don’t forget to bring this with you to work so you can put it in the mailroom!” But of course I forgot it. Then I decide, I’ll just come home, grab it, and take it to the post office. Oh! The one by the airport closes late at 8! Yay! But, work gets crazy at around 3:30 PM. Next thing I knew, it was 6:52 PM! I thought, “OMG! I have to vote! I gotta go!”

So I leave work and as I’m driving home on the streets, I realize I can’t get on the freeway with this spare tire because it can’t go past 50 mph! (I got a flat tire yesterday. :0/ ) So I called my brother who is my landlord.
“I NEED TO BORROW YOUR CAR! OMG!”
“Okay, sure. Where you going?”
“I NEED TO GO TO THE POST OFFICE BY THE AIRPORT! IT’S THE LAST DAY TO VOTE AND I HAVE TO BE A PART OF THE CHANGE! EVERY VOTE COUNTS! WE NEED A NEW MAYOR! WE NEED TO PASS THESE PROPOSITIONS! IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT!! THAT’S THE ONLY POST OFFICE THAT CLOSES LATE! I CAN’T GET ON THE FREEWAY WITH THIS SPARE TIRE CUZ THEY SAID I CAN’T GO PAST 50 MPH!”
“Why don’t you just drop it off at the polling place at the end of our street?”
“Oh.”

That was a true 5 minutes.

Two Cool Weekends

It was such a great experience last weekend to have my first short film, “Accident,” showcased at APAture 2015! APAture is a multidisciplinary arts festival that focuses on Asian artists in film, comics, music, literary arts, This was actually the first event that I submitted to last year but I didn’t get in back then. My friend encouraged me to resubmit for this year and I’m really glad it got in this year. I’ve been submitting it since July 2014 and even up until now. It has been accepted into three festivals so far, including APAture. At first I was kind of bummed out that a lot of festivals did not accept it. However, I sent a message to Jason Marsden during the whole process and he reassured me that there is nothing wrong with that and to let it be a learning experience. I’ve really taken that to heart and I’m actually really happy now that it was accepted into APAture 2015. I feel like I’ve come full circle. I started with this festival so maybe I can end with this festival. No more submissions. They are costly and I’d really rather move on to my next project. Eventually, I will post my short film online and let the world judge it all they want. I love it and my opinion is the only one that really matters, right?

I did a Q&A afterwards…ok, I admit it. I HATE public speaking. Not that I don’t want to talk to people who saw my film. I’d LOVE to hear what they thought of it but being asked all these questions and being among my peers, I felt inferior, like I didn’t really belong there. People laughed at my answers. Maybe because of my delivery but I can’t help it. I hear it in my head and it comes out of my mouth differently than how I would have liked. It’s fine, I’m not mad. I don’t know how celebrities, teachers, politicians, etc. do it. Aren’t they afraid of saying something wrong? Or sounding like an idiot? Or being asked a question they don’t want to answer? I remember for the time before the screening and after I found out I had to do a Q&A, I told myself I wasn’t going to reveal the true inspiration for my film because I didn’t want people to think I was crazy or angry. Then I thought, well what are the chances they would ask that question anyway? It’s played out. Sure enough, the first question was “What was your inspiration for your respective film?” Oh man. In my head, I reached for everything I could think of to make up. I wanted to scroll through my phone and find my director’s statement so I could remind myself what I wrote. Then I thought of something I say instead of the truth, that I was inspired by my peers because they have been so supportive of my creative work. So when it was my turn to speak, the truth just rolled off my tongue. “I had an angry conversation with my dad on the phone one day and well, if you can’t do it in real life, you do it on film.” Please don’t think I’m crazy. Here’s a picture.

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I just realized I’m not crazy. Just angry. Like Taylor Swift, writing about her ex-boyfriends and telling the world how she really feels. I guess the truth isn’t so bad. Ok, I’m rambling. Other eventful occurrences yesterday: Girl Meets Texas was a 3 part series this weekend. Damn, that’s good marketing! You know people like to binge on this kind of stuff. This love triangle thing is really suspenseful. I have to say I’m pretty blown away by how the producers have handled this situation. I know social media has given some insight as to which direction the GMW fans want it to go. It’s basically Rucas vs Lucaya. For anyone who doesn’t know, “Rucas” is the moniker for the highly anticipated Riley & Lucas union while “Lucaya” is the moniker for those who are team Maya & Lucas. The writers have been giving hints as to what might happen. They said the biggest clue was in the pilot. So, I went to Netflix and watched the pilot. Well, I started to anyway. Then I thought, maybe the clue is in the first conversation Maya had with Lucas where she compressed their whole faux relationship/breakup into 9 sentences. She said “You don’t pay enough attention to me” as one of those sentences. Well, from what I gather in Girl Meets Texas, I feel like while Lucas does pay attention to Maya, he pays more attention to Riley overall. So maybe everything is being played out in this arc, expanding on those 9 sentences throughout the season. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. For now. :0)

If you’re wondering which pair I’m in favor of(I refuse to use the word “ship”), I would have to say Lucas and Riley. After watching this 3-part melodrama, I feel like Riley and Lucas have been taking things slow. So slow, in fact, that no one even realized they were doing this. It’s like a silent “I like you, you like me but let’s be great friends first” kind of thing. I know some fans think Maya has more chemistry with Lucas but it just doesn’t seem like Lucas feels that way about Maya. I mean, he stopped himself from kissing Maya. If you had that chance with someone you liked, you go for it. If it doesn’t feel right, you shouldn’t lead someone on. And if they did kiss, that would be horrible. Maya and Riley’s friendship could change forever. Just because Maya thinks Riley loves Lucas like a brother doesn’t mean it’s actually true. Riley is obviously stepping back because she wants Maya to be happy and always puts others before herself. And judging from the dumbfounded & confused way Lucas reacted when Riley told him he was like a brother to her, he obviously thought they had a mutual crush thing going! I mean, come on…ok, I am way too invested in this. What’s going on?? I’m 38! Moving on…

Oh my gosh, I got to see my favorite band perform last night when they opened for Twenty One Pilots! They killed it!! I had such a great time watching them jam out on this big stage. They have always been meant for the bigger stages. I love it! And I especially enjoyed watching them perform their new songs! I’m just adding to my playlist. I guess i could have stayed to watch the other opening act, Echosmith and the headliner but I was starving and needed to feed so I bounced.

When I got home, I started uploading my videos to YouTube when lo and behold, my favorite guy in the whole wide world, Will Friedle, tweeted a picture of the shirt I gave him! Oh my gosh, I nearly fell off my stool because my legs turned into spaghetti, haha! That was so random. I had always wondered if it fit though. I have two of those shirts, one in white and one in purple. I love it. You can wash it and the artwork will last for awhile as long as you are washing it properly.

Ok, it’s time to go to sleep. Lots to do. Shows to produce, scripts to write, and videos to edit. Happy Halloweeny, Mr. Feeny!

One-Month-Old Vegan

It’s been exactly one month since I turned vegan so I wanted to record my experience thus far. Where do I start? Maybe I should talk about why I decided to turn vegan. It didn’t happen overnight. Back in August, I had heard about a movie with a hashtag called #unitythemovement. I heard that Casey Affleck was one of the narrators and I LOVE Casey so I really wanted to go watch it, not knowing exactly what I would be watching. I didn’t care as long as Casey was a part of it. As someone who has always rooted for the underdog, I loved Casey while everyone else loved Ben.

“Unity” wasn’t a movie, I soon discovered. About 5 minutes into the film, I realized this was a documentary about human rights uniting with animal rights. About humans finding their compassion and finding out that there is a more peaceful way of living than we all know. They talked about history and all the wars the world has suffered through, all the deaths that occurred and questioned why after all these years of living, we still cannot get along and resort to war. The part that stuck with me the most was the footage of animals who were suffering and living a “life” for human consumption. The film was 99 minutes long. While there was only 12 minutes total of animal footage, those are the parts that stuck with me the most. They made me uncomfortable and since I was in a movie theater rather than sitting in front of a TV, I couldn’t change the channel. I had to sit there and watch the horror unfold before my eyes. That’s when I decided to go vegetarian. I still consumed dairy and eggs so it wasn’t that bad. Surprisingly, I found vegetarianism quite simple and I didn’t think I needed to go vegan. Besides, I would probably have fallen off the wagon anyway.

After 3 weeks of going vegetarian, I started researching more about dairy and egg factories. I started reading about how the dairy industry really works and I started to question why DO we drink the milk of another species that is meant for baby calves? The answer is that growing up, it was ingrained upon us that we need milk to build strong healthy bones and teeth, to stay healthy and to get tall. Slowly, I started to utilize what I learned in my Critical Thinking class in college. Exactly who is feeding me this information? The dairy industry of course. People who make money off of dairy are the same people telling us we need milk to be healthy. And the people telling us why we don’t need the milk are the people who don’t profit at all from telling this to us. Do your research, it’s true.

I was still afraid of turning vegan. I was afraid I would fall off the wagon. I was afraid it would be too difficult. I was afraid I wouldn’t get the right nutrients and I might end up not getting enough vitamins & minerals to survive. I decided to do it anyway because now that I know about how factory farming really works, I can’t go back to eating meat. I just know and have seen too much. So this is where it began, September 5, 2015. I turned vegan and my first breakfast was avocado toast, sprinkled with a little salt & pepper and drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil. I paired it with a glass of chocolate almond milk. After eating that breakfast, I felt great. I didn’t have any regrets and I didn’t feel overfull like I used to with toast and eggs with orange juice. My next meal was a vegetarian gyro I ordered at a greek restaurant and I asked them to make my order vegan. All they had to do was leave out the tzatziki sauce. That was it! Simple!

Doesn’t this look delicious?
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I was with friends when I ordered it. They laughed and mocked my new diet. I couldn’t blame them though. It annoyed me but I knew I had a pretty good track record of switching my diet every three weeks. They didn’t believe I would be able to stick to it. Honestly, I didn’t think so either, but here I am, a month later, and I feel GREAT. I haven’t fallen off the wagon even once. Yes, I had some opposition at first. Some friends requested that I postpone it or give it up for just one meal. Some people decided to exclude me from meal invites because they didn’t want to accommodate me. I can’t say that didn’t hurt but I still knew I was doing the right thing for how I wanted to live.

Yes, I did think it was going to be hard to give up meat, eggs, milk, ice cream, all the things I LOVE about being a foodie, but it’s really not that hard to be kind & compassionate. I would say that I have more compassion for animals than I do for some humans! So here’s the thing. I’m not giving up meat or dairy or eggs or seafood, I’m giving up animal cruelty which is the single most important reason for me to do it. I cannot contribute to their suffering anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love vegetables. I still struggle with them day to day. but I choose compassion. I choose to live a kind life. I know I won’t save all the animals from dying but I can choose to be a part of the solution rather than the problem. I cannot just sit there and buy into the “It’s part of the food chain” argument. It’s not. Animals are not a part of our food chain. In Unity, they said “We are not the same, but equal.” That’s the world I want to live in.

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There have been nothing but good things physically that has happened to my body as well. I’ve lost 7 lbs, my hair has been behaving every day lately, and my double chin went away. My double chin has been the one thing that has always bothered me whenever I took photos. However, lately, I’ve been noticing a lot less chin and a lot more smiles. My skin has gotten smoother, my energy levels are higher and most importantly, I’m eating with a clear conscience. No animals have been harmed because of my existence and that makes me feel much better. Veganism today is so much easier to do than it was 10 years ago. I think that’s why I’ve been able to stick to it. Almost everywhere you look, there are vegan options available to me. What’s great is that I have a wonderful support group of friends who share my values. One of them even has her own vegan Youtube channel: Astig Vegan.

All changes in the world happened gradually, nothing is immediate. Why should we afford one group of animals our compassion but not another? Children by nature are opposed to violence and murder. Now that I know about the violence and murder that animals have to go through to put food on my plate, I choose to be a part of the change, the vegan movement. I choose to live a conscious life. I choose love over cruelty.

If anyone is interested in living a kind & compassionate life, watch Earthlings on YouTube and open your eyes. It is possible to live this way. Or listen to Ellen DeGeneres. No animals raised for human usage is living a natural life.

DTM (Doing Too Much)

Man, I haven’t blogged in a minute! Been super busy doing hella shit, aka DTMing it. So much is going on so this blog is going to be all over the place, I bet. I know I’m really late on the train but I’m so happy to hear that Will Friedle got engaged!! I think he got engaged the week before his birthday. You know, for the longest time, I had wondered how I would feel if that ever happened. Would I be sad? Would I be heartbroken? Would I be happy? I was honestly unsure of how I would feel but after I heard, I discovered I was extremely excited for him!! All I want is for him to be happy and that’s all that matters.

The whole month of August, I’ve been trying to get a new job. Something in the filmmaking field would be great since I love it so much. I want to wake up every day wanting to go to work, yknow? I do have a lead for a job but it won’t be available until next year so for now, I’ll have to just grin and bear it.

I’ve also been venturing into vegetarianism. I watched this film called “Unity” which showed across the nation all at the same time on one night. That film was quite effective. It really opened my eyes as to what kind of person I truly want to be. I want to be the most compassionate version of myself that I can be. I still eat eggs and dairy but I think I’m inching my way towards a vegan lifestyle. I really want to watch the documentary “Earthlings” but I’m terrified of seeing any images that will make me sick. Here is a trailer in case anyone is interested. It’s narrated by Joaquin Phoenix.

Thankfully, I have a shit ton of supportive friends, some of which as also vegetarian/vegan so it’s a lot easier when you have support. I’ve been vegetarian for about 3 weeks now. Haven’t lost any weight though. As a matter of fact, I think I might have gained! I’ll need to re-examine my diet one of these days.

What’s also cool that happened today is that my favorite band, Finish Ticket, released their first major label EP!! This is the same band that wrote me a song specifically for my short film, Accident. You can check out the songs on their new EP here on Soundcloud. As a matter of fact, you should totally buy it since it is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Google Play. I am currently downloading it from iTunes as we speak. :0) They are going to do great things someday. They will be as popular as The Killers or Weezer someday. I promise you. Catch them now while you still can. They’re on tour with Twenty One Pilots right now as their opening act. People are being blown away by their music everywhere they go. I know I was.

Oh yes, and the best news this month, I received an email this week with this message:
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YEEEEEE!! This is the festival I had been wanting to get “Accident” into and I’m so glad it did! APAture is a multidisciplinary arts festival that includes film, music, comics, art, literature, etc. I had submitted it last year but it didn’t get in. Then a friend of mine encouraged me to resubmit and it made the cut this year! I’m so excited! I’m currently uploading the ProRes version of it online. It’s been going at it for almost 40 hours so far as it is 15.5 GB!! I can’t wait to see it on the big screen. I did have to fight a little bit because they had asked me to cut it down to 10 min (my short is 11 min 11 sec) but I had to kindly resist because while I did try, I ended up cutting out scenes that I was told were pertinent to the story. Thankfully, my protest got through and I was able to keep my extra 71 seconds of footage. Yesssssssss!!!!! It’s going to play on 10/10/15 at the SF Main Library’s Koret Auditorium. I can’t believe this is happening. If I don’t get into any other festivals, I’d be completely fine with that actually. This was the first festival I had submitted it to last year so that fact that it got rejected back then and now accepted a year later means the world to me.

I’m also excited to participate in the remount of Pilipino Counter Cultural Night (PCCN) next month. I helped produce this show a year ago and it was so popular that a lot of people requested we do it again so that those who couldn’t see it can see it this time. I actually heard that we already have an audience waiting for tickets to go on sale. Perfect! Oh crap, I need to be off book by Tuesday. Better get crackin!

Plus, my comedy troupe Granny Cart Gangstas has decided to do another show next year! We had a very productive meeting last weekend and I can’t wait to start on our material for the show. This time, we are urging some of the other girls to produce the show so that they may learn how to become a producer. This is one of my main goals for my troupe. I want everyone to have produced at least one project whether it be a film, a show, a photoshoot, anything really. Having this amazing sisterhood of women should somehow benefit us one way or another. I’ll post more updates on that another time. I need to go to sleep. Good night! Here’s a pic from our meeting:
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Still Got It, Never Lost It

No, not talking about my cell phone. That’s still in Paris, France. GAH!! Can we talk about Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels Goes To Washington right now??!! I admit, I didn’t get the chance to watch it live but scrolling through all the laughers and the cryers on social media, I felt like I kind of spoiled it for myself. I knew I wasn’t going to react to it the same way I would have if I didn’t read about other people’s reactions. So I woke up this morning and watched it and oh my god, puddles. It got me feeling like I was watching Boy Meets World again, a show that had COMPLETELY disregarded its label as a “sitcom” and decided to become a “sitdram” and make people cry and feel things and be open to new ideas. I would LOVE to live in a world where Eric Matthews made decisions for the future of the children. He has his heart in the right place. I love that line that Tommy(played by the original JB Gaynor) said: “Eric Matthews sacrificed himself for the future of a child. You sacrificed the future of children for yourself, Senator.” That one sentence spoke volumes of what the message was for me.

At one point or another, the line between kid and adult is so thin and I agree, a number should not determine whether or not you can make decisions for the future. Why can’t they have polls where teens can vote too? At least on issues that affect them? Some of my friends’ kids are teenagers and they are some of the most intelligent, compassionate and open-minded people I’ve ever met. I can envision them making decisions that are wiser than an “adult.”

I also really enjoyed the tag back to the “Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow” episode when Eric wore that green bathrobe and had that split chocolate milk. Ahhhh, nothing’s changed in his world. And for those who have never seen the original version, here you go.

Sigh…Will. After all these years, you never lost the capability to affect me. Yeah, you’re really good-looking and lookin good and good at making people laugh whether it’s intentionally or unintentionally. In addition, I remember really being able to see your range when you did that episode where you couldn’t adopt Tommy and I was floored. I can still remember that moment when you wrenched my heart and made me cry. This expression right here captured so much and gave me so many feelings I couldn’t even contain.
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And then 16 years later, Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels Goes To Washington comes along and they hit me in the face with this hug.
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Oh god, I hope there is a season 3. I really feel like they were planting seeds with this episode. Did you see that scene where all the phones went up? Brilliant. That is exactly what happens in today’s society. I saw a lot of people saying they want Will to be a regular cast member. As amazing as that would be, I don’t think it’s going to happen. I know there are a lot of people who thought Will has been literally sitting on his ass doing nothing since Boy Meets World ended in 2000 but he is actually quite the favorite in the voice acting world. At the time when he did that episode with Tommy back in 1999, I do believe he had already dipped his foot into voice acting as Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond. He even revealed himself as such in “The Truth About Honesty” and if you watched Batman Beyond, you would have gotten the entire irony of the joke.


I just love it when they do that.

If anyone is interested in hearing Will voice act, you can watch Transformers: Robots In Disguise as Bumblebee (yes, he talks now!) on Cartoon Network right now.

In September, You will be able to catch him in the animated series of Guardians Of The Galaxy as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord on Disney XD.

And if anyone went to San Diego Comic Con 2015, hopefully you got to meet this wonderful man there. I would love to see your pictures!

Here are a couple of interviews he did at San Diego Comic Con 2015. Enjoy!
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Oh and if you’re looking for the events he’s talking about, I believe it was Wizard Con and RICC, although I could be wrong.

2015 Europe Vacation

Ahhhh, back to North America. Europe was amazing!!! I had a great time and I hope I get to do it all over again someday. Traveling overseas is not something I do very often. The last time I left North America was when I went to the Bahamas on the NKOTB cruise in 2013. I don’t know if that counts but I did have to get a passport to go there. And before that, I went to Paris in 2001 so it’s been a long long time.

My first stop was London. I was on a 10 hr flight to Frankfurt and then a 3 hr layover and then a 2 hr flight to London from there. Maybe I’m weird but good God, I love airplane food!! Of course, no matter where I go, I always order the vegetarian which got me an eggplant pasta dish but it was so good! Not sure what is wrong with me but I have an an affinity for pre-packaged food that has a partial hot pak and a partial cold pak. I think it has something to do with my daycamp days when they used to feed us government lunches.

Anyway, my first impression of London were of course, the hot men! So well-dressed, so well-mannered and god, that accent! Loved every second of London. The streets were clean, the sights were gorgeous, the weather was perfect. We went to British Museum, Kensington Palace (where Prince William and Kate live), Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, we ate Fish n Chips at Geale’s, visited the Tower Bridge, and ate all kinds of stuff. My goal on this trip was to try some form of Asian cuisine in each of the three countries I was visiting on this vacation. In London, we ate Chinese food at a place called Y Ming. Can’t say I was very impressed. We ordered Shanghai noodles, some kind of Empress pork dish, some steamed dumplings, and rice. Our bill came to $62.10!! I couldn’t believe how expensive it was! I had heard that British Chinese food was one of the best but if that is true, I would like to know which restaurant I should have gone to instead. My favorite place in London was Harrod’s. This was a gourmet superstore stacked with style, class & grace in a Vegas atmosphere! I wish I could have explored it longer but we were on our way to other places that day. I also got to eat breakfast at a place called The Breakfast Club with a friend who also happened to have gone to London the very same day I arrived. What a serendipitous event!

After London, it was off to Paris. We took a Eurostar train and just like an airport, we had to go through customs and everything. I wondered what it was that I would remember about being in Paris 14 years ago that would pop into my head. When I got off that train and got onto the underground RER, boom. It hit me. Major B.O. I don’t know if the locals are immune to it but the smell was horrendous. Like someone who was really angry with the world and wanted to punish society had figured out a way to bottle up their after workout scent and shoved it into a bottle and sprayed it onto the walls of the trains. It really traumatized me to the point where sometimes when I walk into a small street that reminds me of Paris, my brain can recall that scent and cause me to believe I can actually smell it and my face just goes sour. I mean, I would rather smell weed, which to me, also stinks; stinks like a skunk.

Other than that, we went to the Louvre, Notre Dame, Mont St. Michel, Palace of Versailles, Catacombes, Eiffel Tower, Musee de l’Orangerie, Fondation Louis Vuitton, and a shit ton of restaurants. We ate French food, baguettes, Japanese French food, ice cream, macarons, fancy dessert crepes, street crepes, savory crepes they call galettes, Indian French food, drinking chocolate, french snacks, sandwiches, and lots of European water. At Musee de l’Orangerie, I was introduced to the works of a Russian artist named Chaim Soutine. I was really moved by his paintings of tortured landscapes. They had a lot of expression in them. After going to so many museums and sights, I’ve found that it is really difficult to truly appreciate the magnificence of art when the place is crowded with tourists, cameras and cell phones surrounding you. I miss those days of old when no one had cell phones, you had to wait to find out if your photos came out good, people couldn’t find you unless you were home and you couldn’t change the plans halfway through through a text message. You actually had to follow through with when and where you said you would meet your other party. Imagine that.

My favorite place that we ate at was Breizh Cafe, as recommended by food critic David Lebovitz. We had to go through our hotel to make a reservation as we heard that they don’t like to make reservations for Americans. Sheesh! It was delicious though. I noticed in Paris that when people are unable to be seated and ask for suggestions for another restaurant, the workers are happy to direct them to another delicious place in the area to try whereas in America, it’s pretty much “Sorry, we’re full right now. But if you want to come back around 9:45 pm, we might be able to seat your then.”

My friend read that in Paris, they are very big on helping small businesses so big businesses are not allowed to have sales because that would take away from the smaller businesses. There are certain times of the year when a big sale will go on throughout the whole city and that is when you can find discounted items. I think it only happens 2 or 3 times a year. Unfortunately for us, it was happening June 24, the day after we were planning on traveling to Prague. It’s not that I wanted much but I’ve been searching for a round blue toile butter dish to replace the one I lost when I got evicted in 2003. I bought it in Paris and left it in the fridge. I completely forgot about it when I moved and have been searching for it ever since. It was beautiful. It was an off white color with blue floral designs around the dome, but not some much decoration that it covered up the entire dome. Just enough to let you know that it belonged in a place of elegance. I have been searching since 2003. I can’t give up now. Someday, I will find it. As a matter of fact, I think I will go searching for it today after I get a kouign amann for breakfast.

After 6 days in Paris, we flew off to Prague, barely missing the taxi strike on 6/25/15 that resulted in violence. I never liked Uber anyway. I’ve never taken any of these private rides but if I ever started, I would go with Lyft. They seem more down-to-earth and inclusive. Prague is a gorgeous city. We took a private airport transport service from the airport to our hotel and I got to see a lot of beautiful sights along the way. We stayed at Hotel Josef, which was a very modern hotel from the looks of the website. They offered a gym, sauna, free water everyday, slippers, bathrobes, coffee, we could cover our windows with an automatic woven shade, and the beds were nice and comfy. You can tell I don’t go to hotels like these very often. I’m more of a moderate hotel kind of gal. Just given me a bed and private bathroom and I’m happy.

In Prague, we visited the Charles bridge, Old Town Square, the Dancing House, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, we saw the Astronomical Clock, the Powder Tower, and Prague Gardens. I also got to visit a Gastronomy museum which gave the history of cooking and kitchens from the Paleolithic Era all the way to modern times of today and even tomorrow! My favorite thing that I saw there was the kitchen faucet that had a blue light when the water was cold and then a red light when the water turned hot. The kitchen island also had a light that was turned on simply by brushing you hand along the side of the counter space. No switch, no indication at all that any kind of sensor was there to turn on the light. I’m so easily amazed.

We did a lot of walking on the cobblestone grounds which cause my feet to hurt a lot. I should have brought sneakers along. Not sure what I was thinking. The extra padding would have really helped. I spent a majority of the time looking for the butter dish in Prague but never found what I was looking for. It wasn’t really the cobblestone that hurt though. My feet hurt every day during the entire trip because we did so much walking throughout the whole day. I should have been more prepared. The things I loved most about the trip was seeing how beautiful all the cities were, the historic landmarks and architecture was jaw dropping. I also loved trying new food and comparing the Asian food over there to the Asian food over here. In London, I tried Chinese. In Paris, I tried Japanese. And in Prague, I tried Thai. London and Paris’ Asian food were pretty expensive but Prague’s Thai food prices were pretty similar to America’s, I would say. However, the taste is incomparable. I definitely love the Asian food in America much more than overseas. If I couldn’t have good Asian food in the city I lived in, then that is a deal breaker. I don’t care how hot the guys are over there.

My favorite part about this trip was just being in another environment with two of my best friends. One of them was good at planning out our trip, another was good at picking places to go, and I was good at directions so together, it was a perfect trip. I actually really enjoyed figuring out the subway system in each city although for Prague, it was such a small city that we did not end up using the public transit at all. London and Paris’ metro system was so efficient. We never waited more than 6 min for a train to come. Most of the time, they came within 1 or 2 minutes!! Amazing! Plus, the stations had stops everywhere in the city, unlike San Francisco which mainly only has 1 line going through the whole city. The rest of the way, you have to catch the bus and most of the time, you spent at least 20 min waiting for something to come. Another favorite part of the trip was our day trip to Mont St. Michel. This place is breathtaking. It was a 4 hour bus ride from Paris up North. I think we were in Normandy. Mont St. Michel is an island. We had a tour guide named Carine and I loved her. She was great. Her accent was so cute. She took us around at the castle up there and I honestly felt like I was on the set of The Hobbit, like that horrible scene in Desolation of Smaug where ugly Bolg fights with the beautiful Legolas in Laketown and causes his nose to bleed…

Imagine that place in the day time with bread shops and a blacksmith on the corner, or a fishmonger smoking outside his store, yelling out his daily catch. I took pictures and captioned them “Where’s Legolas?” That was fun to do. I also did it at the Prague Castle. It was funny because on my flight home, I actually did find Legolas as “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” was playing on the plane from Zurich back home. What d’ya know. The worst part of my trip would be when I lost my phone. I was sad because I lost all my contacts and info that was on there. The only thing I was able to save were the pictures. I learned my lesson from my last phone back in 2013 that died right before I went on vacation. So when I got my new phone, I set up all the pictures to automatically go to my dropbox folder. Too bad nothing else went there unfortunately. Fortunately, I was able to take pictures from my friends’ phone and email them to myself. Here is my album. Enjoy. :0)

2015 Vacation

P.S. I have to say that it was so great to come back on the BEST DAY when #LoveWins. Love is love.

There’s The Moon and Then There’s The Kids in the Hall

I can’t believe it’s already the last week of our show! It has been such a pleasure to produce this play, There’s The Moon And Then There’s You. All the feedback we’ve received has been so positive and humbling. I’m so happy that this was the first full-length play I decided to help produce. As much as I wish I could be there on closing night and take part in the traditional parody during the after party, alas I will be on a plane going overseas for vacation with two of my best friends. We’re hitting up London, Paris & Prague. I wish I could say I’m excited but it hasn’t really hit me yet. I was actually more excited to see the Kids In The Hall show when they were in town last month than going to Europe.

Yes, I am KITHophile. The Kids in the Hall have been influencing me since 1994, when I was 17 years old. Because of them, I got inspired to write “non-rhyming poems” which I now know are called “monologues.” They helped to breed my odd sense of humor into the vast, undefined genre that it exists as today. I remember writing about why the Number 1 was my favorite muni bus line or the neglected sidewalks that no one cared about. Yes, strange topics but when I did write something that rhymed, they were always about love, some sick, overly dramatic and disgustingly corny kind of love. Those “poems” were the type that floated around middle/high school with unknown authors and the word “love” always rhyming with “dreaming of” or “heaven above” or the far-stretched “can’t get enough.” Yes…they were terrible but I owned them and I am sure somewhere in the world, one of my poems is being distributed around from one person to another, ending with “Author Unknown” at the bottom. I know this because one of my friends submitted it as his own for his homework assignment and I recognized my own silly verses. He had changed the title but nevertheless, it was mine and I deplored him for stealing my words and claiming them as his own. Even when I confronted him and produced the original hand-written version, he swears up and down that he wrote that poem and I was lying. Sigh…high school. I do not miss a single minute. Although every time I think about the Kids in the Hall, they bring me back to those days, existing as one of the few fond memories I have of high school. So I chose to dress like my high school days when I took a group photo with them! :0D

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That was definitely my creative self’s dream come true. How many times does a person get to meet their idols? For me, apparently a lot and I love it! I don’t know how it is that I have managed to meet all my obscure celebrity crushes and idols but I’m so thankful that it happened.

Anyway, it’s almost 4 in the morning and I need to finish packing. Trying to eat all my perishables but it’s not working very well because I have since been eating out too much and am accumulating food that will probably die while I’m gone. I have so much more to write about but my eyes are fighting me for rest. Perhaps I will write something while I’m on the other side of the world. Good night. Or good morning!

Sidenote: I had a dream last week that Will Friedle tweeted a hint that he got engaged or married. It was a photo of two rings and it said something like “Finally decided to take the leap!” I thought I would be saddened if that happened but actually, I wasn’t. I was okay, which made me happy. I’m happy if he’s happy. :0)

I Love Music Hard

Did you ever watch the movie, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings? I love that movie. It’s my favorite movie of all time, for some reason. I think it had something to do with my love for independent music and how the whole film is centered around the world of independent music. Consequently, this movie is how I fell in love with my favorite band, Finish Ticket. I’ve even gone as far as New York to see them perform as a 20-minute opening act! That’s how much I love their music. What’s also wonderful is that these guys are as humble and down-to-earth as you can get and that is especially important in order to keep a loyal fan base. There are a ton of celebrities that can learn from that.

Anyway, the reason I mentioned that movie is because I feel like I’ve come full circle for the 2nd time (I’ll explain later) because my favorite band played a secret show just like Where’s Fluffy in the movie! I mean, of course it wasn’t quite as elaborate(or arrogant) as Where’s Fluffy but still, it was a secret show meaning they had performed under a different band name and you would have only heard about the show if you were on their mailing list or had bought tickets for their Ugly Sweater Social last year. By the way, what was really funny was that they asked me if I was over 21 and I said yes but they didn’t believe me so they drew Xs on my hands!11050706_10153276110285056_5364935601200905196_n 
This meant that I wasn’t allowed to buy any alcohol. I was shocked considering I’m 38. Must be all that coconut oil I’ve been eating. Incidentally, what an amazing show it was! I also love going to their shows because I always end up discovering some really awesome bands I had never known before if it wasn’t for them, which is the same exact way I discovered them, when they opened for Jackson Rathbone’s now-defunct band, 100 Monkeys back in 2011.

One of the bands I ended up loving immediately was Frankie. They opened for Finish Ticket and I loved them 10 seconds into their first song. So good. Here is one of their songs, New Obsession.

That was amazing, right? I dunno. I love quirky music. Matches my personality I guess.

So, I mentioned that this was the 2nd time things came full circle for me. The first time was when I went to dinner with two of my BFFs. They chose the restaurant. When we came out, I noticed a venue next door called The New Parish and I said, “Oh hey! The New Parish! That’s the venue that Finish Ticket performed at but I couldn’t make it.” I walked up to the window and peeked inside to see what it looked like and as I stepped back, I noticed a show poster for another venue and one of the bands performing was Army Navy! Army Navy is the name of the band of my favorite song on the Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist soundtrack, “Silvery Sleds” and I fell in love with Finish Ticket’s music because they reminded me of Army Navy! And incidentally, the venue that the secret show was at was at the same exact venue Army Navy performed at! Oh man, this is blowing my mind. I love it when serendipitous things like this happens. Here is that song. Check it out.

I realize they don’t sound like Finish Ticket vocal-wise but their catchy music is what caught my attention. Here are a couple of other bands that have opened for them that I absolutely love.

Night Riots “Remedy”

Picture Atlantic

Squirtle Pond

Okay, so the last one was a bit tricky. :0D Damn. I love music hard. Hella hard.

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