Sunday, March 24, 2013

Best Moment

Playing: If U C Jordan-Something Corporate
Reading: Cat in the Rain by Ernest Hemingway
Last Thursday, March 21, I went to go see Andrew McMahon perform for the sixth time. Unfortunately, Rebecca got sick last minute, so I had to force Austin into going with me. The opening acts for Andrew were really good this time. Erland, who we talked to after the show, just got a record deal thanks to Andrew, so that's pretty exciting for them. Austin and I really liked their music. We also really liked the spiffy bass player in his vest and fedora and I really liked the cute guitarist/keyboardist. I'm going to be stalking out their music on YouTube because they were really good.
Barcelona was up next and they were so into their music; it was like they were in a trance. Chris was so intense on his synthesizer, while Rhett played the drums with his eyes closed the whole time, nodding his head along with the music. Brian, the lead singer, shared stories with us of how awful middle school dances can be. I know I said this about Erland too, but honestly, they were so good too.
When Andrew McMahon got onto the stage, there was no shortage of fan girling coming from me. After all, only a few months ago, I thought it was my last time seeing him live, but being able to get to see him again really brightened my whole life. I'm so glad I went with Austin because he literally just pushed ourselves to the front and I'm surprised no one yelled at us. I don't think I should even subject all of you guys to me telling you how bloody perfect Andrew is, since I've done that a million times. I sent Andrew a message a month in advance asking him to play certain songs and he played all of them except for one, so I was pretty happy. Here's the set list:
  • No Man is an Island (I asked him to play this, since it's going to be my wedding song and when he played it, a part of me thought he was playing it for me. I know that sounds silly, but...)
  • The Mixed Tape
  • Straw Dog
  • Television
  • Learn to Dance
  • Holiday From Real
  • Me and the Moon
  • Amy, I
  • Punk Rock Princess (Requested this one!)
  • Swim
  • I Woke Up in a Car
  • The Resolution
  • Bruised
  • Synesthesia
  • If U C Jordan (Andrew spent two months of his life at the Observatory, recording his album. Then for Grad Night, his high school always kept the location a secret until the night of Grad Night, Andrew hopped into the bus and when he saw it was being held at the Observatory, he just went, "Are you fucking kidding me?" Then Jordan got into a fight with Andrew over Andrew's girl friend and tossed a chair at Andrew, so there you go.)
  • Dark Blue (Requested this too!)
  • Konstantine
  • La La Lie
After the concert, Austin was really nice to me and waited with me outside of the side entrance, so that we could wait to meet Andrew. Austin is the first person to be willing to wait with me and I'm really thankful he did. I got the chance to meet Andrew for the first time right after meeting his parents and I could not hold in my excitement. Talking to him was one of the most surreal moments of my life. I discovered his music in fourth grade and have been listening to him ever since. In fifth grade, I saw him wearing black Converse and that's when I switched over from red and I've been through 12 pairs of black Converse since then. During his Something Corporate days, he wore thick black rimmed glasses and that's how I chose mine. I've written about him for five different school essays and I've done two school projects on him. I got my first hug from him and he signed my ticket that night. When I told him, it was my sixth time coming to watch him, he was surprised and it was just so wonderful to talk to him. Needless to say, it was the best moment of my life with the best person in my life.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

LA's Grand Park

Playing: Mr. Tambourine Man-Jack's Mannequin
Reading: Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Lately, I've been going to Los Angeles a lot. Since my dad went to UCLA, he knows a lot of places to go to. For lunch, he took my mum and me to Mitsuru Cafe, which is supposed to be classic Little Tokyo. I figured if it's been in Little Tokyo for several decades now, it must be good. I ordered the Pork Udon, which was surprisingly tasty despite the plain presentation. The broth had a nice porky flavor to it in addition to the normal vegetable broth and the serving size was huge. After I ate lunch, I also grabbed some dango to-go from there and I highly recommend it. It's hot, sticky, chewy, and incredibly delicious.
After lunch, I explored downtown Los Angeles to get a look at LA's Grand Park, which I've been reading about on a plethora of architecture websites and in various magazines dedicated to Southern California. Since I used to want to be an architect, LA's Grand Park was the perfect place for me to explore. I wanted to be an architect until I learned that their pay is pretty low. USC invited me to an architecture program over the summer, but I can't do it, since it's during the same time as an internship I'm applying for. By the way, here I am, in my adventuring clothes that aren't that great for adventuring in real life: an old Burberry sweater, an Ann Taylor LOFT t-shirt, Citizens of Humanity jeans, a Burberry Prorsum purse, and a Gucci silk scarf.
After Occupy Los Angeles, the city redid the whole park, since it was going to cost a lot of money to fix all the damage done to it by the protestors, so the city decided why not just change it completely? I really like how they redid it with all the sleek, angular buildings. The bright pink chairs on the lawn looked vaguely Seussical to me.
They had this wonderful fountain there and an area for kids to play in the water. I really want to come back here with my friends in our bathing suits that way we can lounge in the fountain and get a few photos before we get kicked out for being a public disturbance, since I'm guessing sitting in fountains isn't appropriate even though I saw many people walking through it. At night, there's supposed to be an incredible light show that they do with the fountain, but I didn't stay late enough to check if that's true.
What I really liked about LA's Grand Park was how accessible it was. You literally could walk across all 12 acres of it without feeling tired and walk to Little Tokyo in less than 10 minutes. Everything was done perfectly and the architecture was incredible. I started out from City Hall and then headed towards the LA Opera, so the architecture went from classical to modern to (sorry to say it) outdated. LA's Grand Park is in a pretty safe part of the city too. Since it's a very business oriented part of town, I think it's generally safe from gangs, since there just aren't that many non-businessmen people around. It's also close to the police station, so having a police presence probably makes it safer too. Overall, I definitely want to come back here soon with some friends. The architecture is amazing here and it's just so beautiful. If you're ever in Los Angeles, you have to spend an afternoon exploring it.

I took a lot of photos of Los Angeles that day and if you'd like to see them, click here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Couldn't Come Up With a Clever Title

Playing: Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On a Bad Bet-Fall Out Boy
Reading: Those Who Nailed It for Fall 2013 by Cathy Horyn
Over the weekend, I got the chance to try Taco Asylum, which was featured in Orange Coast. I must say it's one of the best places I've tried in a long time. Typically, I avoid Mexican food at all costs, but after looking at their menu, I was convinced that I should try it. For starters, I shared a Taco Plate with the Pork Belly, Wild Mushroom, and Surf n' Turf tacos, which also came with lentils and quinoa. Out of the taco trio, I would skip the Surf n' Turf taco because the arugula overpowered the lobster and pancetta by a long shot. The Pork Belly and Short Rib tacos were so good. I loved how the pork belly was braised in coconut milk and how the Short Rib taco was topped with pickled red onions. Everyday Taco Asylum makes several drinks freshly, so on the day I went, I got a Pineapple Orange Acqua Fresca, which comes with free refills.
The Nachos were so amazing. Topped with salsa verde, guacomole, scallions, pickled red onions, jack cheese, oaxaca cheese, cayenne creme fraiche, these nachos were unlike any other nachos I've ever had. First of all, these weren't your typical tortilla chips; these nachos were made of crisply fried potato chips. Second of all, these nachos were lacking the fake cheese spread that's always grossed me out in the past. Since I usually don't like Mexican food, I think I should toss in that many of the flavors weren't specifically Mexican. For instance, the Pork Belly taco's flavors were more along the line of Thai food.
After lunch, I also stopped by SEED People's Market to do some quick shopping. I've been looking around for more earrings and this pair is so long and perfect. I love how simple it is yet how it does make a statement. The only issue I have with them is that I have to keep untangling them from my hair, so I'm thinking of wearing them with a messy bun soon to keep my hair away from the earrings.
Left to Right: Austin (aka Cheese), Vivian, me, Alley, and Shabaan
However, I had to cut my shopping trip short to work on an APUSH video in which my group discusses why the Social Security Act is detrimental to the health of the USA. In my video, I played the parts of a Looper, Professor Audrey Gordan Levitt, one of Shabaan's wives, and my APUSH teacher. Our video is really random and it includes guest appearances from Stephen Colbert, Alfred Landon, FDR, Katy Perry, and the authors of my APUSH textbook. It's really weird and there's singing, dancing, drinking, and a murder. Hopefully, I don't get suspended from school for this video, but Vivian edited out most of the bad parts. We showed it to the class today and everyone asked us why half our characters were wasted and why Shabaan was running around shirtless. He wasn't shirtless by the way; he had a tank top on.

Congrats to Mei of Ice Pandora for winning the first prize of my giveaway and to Terri Leane for winning the second prize! I'll be sending both of you an email, asking for you addresses, soon and you've got a week to reply before I give the prize to someone else. Thank you to everyone that entered!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Playing: Off to the Races-Lana Del Ray
Reading: Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life by Lisa Chaney
Left to Right: Sarah, Rebecca, and Me
 Last weekend, I took my friends, Sarah and Rebecca, to Los Angeles, so that we could have a day of artsy, urban fun. Before we headed off to LACMA,we grabbed lunch at Johnnie's New York Pizzeria. Amongst the three of us, we had four cameras, not including our phones, which would've made it seven, to photograph our food and activities. Excessive? I think not. We're planning on submitting this photo to Pictures of Asians Taking Pictures of Food soon.
When we got to LACMA, we decided it was necessary to join the toddlers and parents, playing around in the noodle exhibit. Our maturity levels have really skyrocketed recently. Here's a good time for my outfit post: I'm wearing an Urban Outfitters scarf, a silence+noise blazer, BDG jeans, Cole Haan oxfords, and a Burberry Prorsum purse.
We walked through my favorite building at LACMA, which houses all the modern, contemporary, and pop art. Unfortunately, the second floor, which is my favorite floor, was closed due to new pieces being moved in. However, I still love the pieces in this collection, especially the ones that make you think, "What the hell?" It can also be very inspiring for interior decorating ideas, which is probably the last thing an artist ever wants to hear. Seriously, though, I love the quirk factor of modern art.
On the first level of the modern art building, they have these huge rusty metal sculptures that you can run around in like large caves and more importantly, have sporadic dance parties in. Sporadic dance parties are the best only when they have no reason to exist other than for the pure fun of it. They're probably even more fun though, when you're in an interesting or beautiful place. I should go to the desert with a huge group of friends to have a dance party. But then if I plan that, doesn't that make it a planned dance party instead of a sporadic one?
One of my favorite movies in the world is Ferris Bueller's Day Off, so I forced Rebecca and Sarah into reenacting this scene from the movie. Our spacing is a bit awkward and it's a tad too dark, so we'll have to redo this scene at the Getty or at MOCA. Rebecca and Sarah still need to watch the film, so that they'll know what to do and then I can truly act out my Ferris Bueller dreams. Ferris Bueller really is one of my role models. I told that to my APUSH teacher and he told me I need higher standards. It probably didn't help that I told him I also look up to Holden Caulfield.
After LACMA, we visited Whimsic Alley and let out our inner geeks. We decided that Rebecca would be a Hufflepuff, while Sarah would be a Ravenclaw. I would hope to be a Slytherin because Slytherins get what they want and are supposed to be extremely loyal to their friends. (Just as a side note, Slytherins aren't intrinsically evil.) Walking around Wilshire Blvd. is a lot of fun, since there's so many interesting places to eat and there are several tourist traps there plus the architecture there is incredible. It's definitely a must see area for architecture nerds like me.

By the way, there's still time to enter my 250 Follower Giveaway!