15 July 2014

4th of july at the white house… no, really


when my lovely friend ying asked me if i wanted to spend the 4th of july at the white house, i said, why yes, i would. this, the day after purchasing a patio set for my balcony to watch the fireworks at the park across the street from my condo. while i really wanted to spend the 4th with my new neighbors at this bbq potluck, i had to break the news to them and let them down easy. needless to say, they were understanding.

the journey there was not as smooth as one would hope (my connecting flight to dc from dallas was canceled due to the tropical storms so i was stuck in dallas for a night), but it was all worth it. and yes, i did see the president! granted it was from a distance while waiting for popcorn without my camera or phone, it happened in a split second (okay, a little bit longer than that). i could see him wearing white and waving at us. it was quite exciting. the celebration was a lot of fun and i think we all felt very patriotic.

there was beer, wine, ice cream, popcorn, cotton candy, and of course, commemorative cups! that was the best part. we got one of each color (blue & red) but i could see others totally hoarding them. i think i saw 20 cups at one table! as a government employee, she could only bring 2 guests and her office wasn't invited last year so chances are, she won't be invited next year. the security wasn't bad considering the scope of the event. even the transportation home wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. we took the metro and didn't make it into the first train but with some forcing and squeezing our way in like sardines, we made it into the second train. after a few stops, the train emptied out.
the next day, we headed into dc to have brunch with my friend stephanie and see her two babies. i think the last time i saw her was at her wedding back in 2008! i hadn't realized it was 6 years ago that i was last there. i used to visit more often.

anyway, there was the annual folklife festival that weekend. it was actually the last weekend for the festival so i lucked out. they highlighted two countries, kenya and china. showcased at the festival were food, culture, and their respective performance arts. there was a stage in a tent for each country with singing and dancing. it was fun and educational!

when asked what i wanted to do on my last day there, i looked up "things to do in manassas." and what was the #1 thing to do? the battlefield of manassas. why yes, please. it was fantastic! out here in california, we have missions to visit. on the east coast, they have battlefields! apparently, there were two battles at manassas. the history there is amazing yet unimaginable.

i had so much fun! and i hope to be back soon!

new order again!

venue: bill graham civic auditorium (sold out!)
band: new order & la roux (opening)
when: 11 july 2014 (friday)
doors open at 7p

for some reason, i keep thinking that i've only seen new order 3 times before this show but it was actually 4. i kept forgetting about the area one festival where they headlined. in any case, this is new order #5. this year, i went with 3 first-timers and that was very exciting for all. i snagged pre-sale tickets this year so we had lower balcony seats (section 213). the capacity of this venue is 7000 which is more than double the size of the fox theater in oakland (venue of the last show). it was a crazy sea of people below. and we received a surprise second encore which they never ever do. when i first saw them, they didn't even do an encore. we waited but nothing. ages ago, i'd read that they didn't play encores because it's not technically part of the show. but in recent years, they've become more and more generous with their time. despite not having played any songs off of technique, it was another amazing show. especially with tommy's joynt for snacks afterwards! yum!

here is the setlist from the show:
1. elegia
2. crystal
3. regret
4. singularity (new song!)
5. ceremony
6. age of consent
7. your silent face
8. california grass
9. bizarre love triangle
10. 5 8 6
11. plastic (another new song!)
12. true faith
13. the perfect kiss
14. blue monday
15. temptation
encore: atmosphere & love will tear us apart (both joy division)
surprise encore #2: san francisco (be sure to wear flowers in your hair)

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ another fine time.

19 June 2014

this feeling's called glorious

and i don't need you or anyone
oh this feeling is glorious

i've got hope and hate
and i'm feeling kind of great
kind of great

lyrics from glorious by adorable.

26 May 2014

love

look what i got in the mail the other day! for those who don't know, broken heart surgery is a new album in collaboration with adorable's pete fij and house of love's terry bickers. it is not released until july 7th but i have connections. :)

if you look closely at the image, my name is listed on the booklet 7 lines down. and one more thing, i am in love with this album. and you will be too because it's brilliant.

12 May 2014

mermaid run & mother's day brunch

on saturday, kelly and i did our first 5k together. it was her first 5k, my second (having done the turkey trot last thanksgiving). her girls run the little mermaid run which we also did after our 5k. it was 1.5 miles. though it was very hot and dusty there, it was a lot of fun spending time with kelly and her lovely family.

so much fun that i spent the next morning with them for mother's day sunday brunch before heading over to my parents' house and celebrating mother's day with my mom.

kelly and i have known one another since the 6th grade (that's 1986) and have been friends ever since. we got closer when we went to uc san diego together and have been inseparable since i moved back to the bay area in 2001. despite having moved down to LA, i still saw her regularly because of a long distance relationship i had with a boyfriend in LA.

luckily, she eventually moved back up here. and now, i live less than 15 minutes away from her. our friendship has always been very special to me and i am so grateful for her and her family.

and these girls who i absolutely adore, it's been wonderful to watch them grow.

30 April 2014

cancer-free - 6 years and counting!

this month, i celebrated my 6th year of being cancer-free with new champagne glasses to drink my bubbly from! cheers!

31 March 2014

technopop

venue: fox theater (sold out!)
band: kraftwerk
when: 24 march 2014 (monday)

last week, i went to my very first 3D concert at the fox theater. i wasn't sure what to expect when i was handed this red envelop with 3D glasses. it was innovative and surprisingly amazing. i couldn't take my eyes away from the show. even though their music reminds me of music from 80s video games, it was very advanced at the time as it is still super cool. the german quartet stood at consoles on stage, in matching outfits. but what you see beyond that in 3D, was really fantastic. all of which was choreographed with the music perfectly.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

07 March 2014

glasvegas @ popscene

venue: rickshaw stop (popscene)
artist: glasvegas
when: 6 march 2014 (thursday)
doors open at 10p

yes, that's right. it says popscene up there. yes, it's been ages since i was there last. i don't even remember the last time i went dancing there. i certainly have yet to go to popscene while it's been at the rickshaw stop. the last time i went, it was still at 330 ritch. and i thought i was done.

but popscene is like an old friend who hasn't changed very much. even though the venue has changed and is better like a facelift sometimes is, it felt familiar and almost comforting. they still play the same music there, though much of it is new. i think the djs are the same. hard to believe i've been coming to popscene since i was 18.

unfortunately, glasvegas didn't come on until 11:30p. my friend had to leave at midnight and i wasn't sure i should stay much longer than that either. so what we saw and heard from them, we really enjoyed. the first thing that caught our attention about them is that the drummer is this badass woman. she not only rocked the drums while standing but she rocked the flock of seagulls 80's do too. we were very impressed by her.

they played a lot of songs from their latest album which i picked up on vinyl. very exciting. what else we noticed about this band was their front man, james allan. especially when he took off his jacket to reveal a shirt that was open at the sides and really nice arms to go with it. i don't remember him being especially sexy in their youtube videos. but from the second floor in the dark at the rickshaw stop, he was looking pretty hot. my friend concurred.

despite not really being able to understand most of it, i love love the scottish accent. that was a nice treat for me.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

01 March 2014

noise pop with bob mould

venue: great american music hall
artist: bob mould with zach rogue & jon ginoli (sold out!)
when: 27 february 2014 (thursday)
doors open at 7p

i usually look forward to the annual noise pop festivals but wasn't particularly interested in any bands this year. i just didn't know any of the bands performing. i didn't know who bob mould was but given free tickets to this sold out show.

jon ginoli was the first opening act. he was funny and folky. it seemed like they put some random gay guy in a pink shirt and pink converse on stage, singing songs about loving men. after the first couple of songs, the joke was sort of over. the second opening was zach rogue. he was much better. his soothing vocals were such a contrast from jon ginoli's songs. someone in the audience even shouted a request which he seems pleased about.

i'd heard some songs from bob mould's workbook as it was it's 25th anniversary. he was playing the album in its entirety that night. generally when artists do that, it's a special night. and it was. not only did the company (thanks nisa!) make it special but i was pleasantly surprised. the songs reminded me of a summer i spent just listening to music and going to really good shows with friends. we spent days and nights in saratoga sitting by the pool. it was in the mid-90's and an exciting time of music adventures which helped mold me into the proud music snob i am today.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

slaughterhouse

venue: rickshaw stop
artist: ty segall with burnt ones & the endless bummer (sold out!)
when: 25 february 2014 (tuesday)

i admit that ty segall is more noise rock than i am used to. and despite being a music snob, i still try to be open to new things. i think going to this show proves it. i'm all about action and not just talk.

i haven't been to the rickshaw stop in years (since 2008!). i remember it was not one of my favorite venues. so when this came up, i suggested that we get there early to get some prime seating on the second floor. we scored this cozy love seat in a corner where there was no one standing behind or over us.

the opening bands were quite loud and noisy. luckily, my friend brought me some ear plugs which made listening much more bearable. i rarely ever wear them but it gave me a better understanding of the music. it didn't just sound like noise. i could hear the guitars, vocals and drums more clearly. and when ty segall came on, i could appreciate the difference between good noise rock and bad noise rock. for instance, ty segall's vocals were much better than the second opening. it was a nice music adventure. i feel i've grown musically.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

30 December 2013

food adventures: lazy bear

i moved into my condo the weekend before xmas and i was off at work so i spent the majority of my time unpacking and organizing. the saturday after xmas, my bff asked me if i was free. since i was just unpacking and organizing, i was game!

i didn't know what lazy bear was but it turns out that is a food event with reservations that are much sought after. in fact, it took bff a month or so to get these. it is this concept of being an "underground" restaurant which was very new to me. when you make the reservations, you don't know exactly where you will be dining until closer to the event. we ended up in a venue that looked like an art gallery. also, it's byo wine/beer so you just pay for the food.
from top left to right: (first row) snacks! scrambled eggs in hot sauce & maple syrup; squid ink chip & hamachi tar tar w/ dried persimmons; oysters w/ uni on abalone shell; (second row) snacks (cont)! house made brioche & butter (served after the chowder); abalone chowder w/ baby yukon chips (third row) bay scallops w/ country ham xo, radish, sour orange & mustard greens; dungeness crab w/ chestnuts, egg yolk, brown butter & sunchoke; variety of carrots in coffee, maple, as ham with chicory root & kale; (fourth row) duck breast w/ beets, turnip, ginger & onions; meyer lemon ice cream w/ bay leaf & meringue w/ olive oil shortbread; and treats including a cream puff, not sure about the cubed fruit, fruit roll-up & caramel fudge w/ nuts. i'm missing the banana plate which i obviously didn't eat.

my favorites were the eggs steamed in a glass that also scrambled them; the chowder was so flavorful that it left me wanting more; and the duck was cooked gingerly that it melted in my mouth. the carrots were really interesting because it looks like it is wrapped in bacon, however, it is wrapped in a carrot! chef david barzelay came out between each plate to describe what we were eating. at the beginning of the evening, you are invited to go back to the kitchen to see what they are doing. and at the end, chef david comes out to chat with you. it wasn't anything i've ever experienced before and would do it again, in an instant. if you like food at all, you must try this, at least once. food restrictions are also accommodated.

26 November 2013

birthday extravaganza!

***yes, i'm back dating!***

first and foremost, i'm a proud h-o (home owner)! i finally got the keys to my condo on the 19th which is perfectly timed before my birthday. i was supposed to close last month and get the keys in october but this is just as good.

now onto the good stuff... birthday food adventures!! i started off my birthday with dinner at justin's in santa clara just down the street from where i now live. my lovely and fabulous bff took me. clockwise from top left: fried ravioli, baked brie, beet salad, winter prix fixe tasting w/ beers: salmon salad, rabbit & chocolate panna cotta; and sea bass.
for my actual birthday (saturday), my dear sister spent the day with me shopping and eating. i needed a couch and a dining table for the condo which i found for such good deals at the c&b outlet in berkeley. after that, we went to sausalito to hit the very last benetton shop in the bay area. and shopped some more in the city. and of course, we had to have dinner at one of my favorite north beach restaurants where the boys are extra nice to me. even without reservations, we didn't have to wait.

on sunday, i was invited to hot pot at my friend funie's place in el cerrito. the food was abundant and delicious! and the company was awesome and fun. it wasn't for my birthday but gets to be included in the birthday extravaganza.