Saturday, January 21

A Picture Share!

At the airport, writing from my phone. I bought this sudoku book here, but the stores in the area don't sell pencils! Dilemma! Am i cocky enough to use pen?

Thursday, January 19

I'll get to it later... I'm too busy procrastinating right now

The plan was that I would finish packing for my trip tonight...

But I first wanted to make sure I didn't have anything left in the fridge that needed to be either consumed or thrown out. And where the heck was my camera battery charger? Photographs are very necessary, you know. While I was searching for the charger, I noticed that my brows needed cleaning, and my nails were too long. I didn't want to deal with tweezers and nail clippers while I was traveling, did I? Then I called my parents to remind them that I wouldn't be here for our usual Sunday linner. Did I have other phone calls to make? Just one or two maybe... Once I was done with those, I knew I'd be ready to pack for sure. Oh, shoot, I realized I had to write a couple emails too. Then I would lock myself in my room, promise. I walked into my room to stay there for the remainder of the night, but I realized that it would be best for me to take my plants to the living room so that my roommates would remember to water them for me while I was gone. And when I stepped out of my room, seeing my computer reminded me that I hadn't updated my blog yet. And now it's late, and I still have time to pack tomorrow. That's the new plan. It's a good one.

Well, at least my laundry is done (or most of it, anyway). Uh, and I'm sure the folding can wait til tomorrow too.

Wednesday, January 18

Video: laughing at Dane Cook

You already know that I love Dane Cook. LOVE. SUper crush! This is what happened when I showed Blaine Dane's SNL monologue. (Click on the image to watch the video.) Love it!

Tuesday, January 17

EAT Singaporean, Indian, Mexican, Shabu Shabu

I joined Claude for happy hour at Straits Cafe. We've met in the past where happy hour has turned into many, plural hours - more than originally planned - and we've found ourselves WAY happier than we probably should've been for a school night.

Tonight was the perfect amount of happiness for just a couple hours. My mojito martini was yummy, and our mee gorang noodles and banana blossom salad were yummmay. Not too little, not too much; everything was just right. We were like Goldilocks... the drinking version... with dark hair.

Straits has been around for a long time, but I made some food discoveries recently which I need to share.

If you like Indian food, Dosa is a must! I'm used to chowing down on my favorite Indian meal at hole-in-the-wall spots, but Dosa is no hole. It's nice without trying too hard. I would call it a good first date spot. They're only open for dinner, and they don't take reservations for parties smaller than five, so be prepared to wait. Savor some wine at the bar; the wine list was carefully chosen to accompany the cuisine. Service was friendly, and everyone was knowledgeable. If you eat lamb, don't miss the curry! And of course, share a dosa for the table.

Papalote is not new, but it's new to me. My family has been going to Pancho Villa for so long, that's my Mexican default. (Lee and I actually stumbled upon this 24th Street find when we were denied by Dosa's closed for lunch doors.) She ordered fish tacos, and I ordered quesadillas; and we both just sat there repeating, "Yum!" after every bite.

The ingredients were so fresh, I had to wonder if they had a secret tunnel directly linking them to Whole Foods. Maybe they fit a secret garden behind their kitchen? I don't know, but their "fresh & healthy" menu drew a motley crew of customers, from the typical Mission artsy types to conservative men in suits. They will definitely be getting repeat visits from a certain, food-loving blogger.

Drinking side note (of the non-alcoholic variety): Boylan Bottleworks and Reed's Ginger Brew, available at Papalote, are quite delightful! Be warned that the ginger ale is so gingery, it's actually spicy. Yum!

Monday was my cousin Jeffrey's 22nd birthday. Even though I'm not as young as these whippersnappers, I was invited to celebrate with his brother, friends, and with my brother. I was the only one no longer in my 20's. *sigh*

Perhaps because I'm no longer in my 20's, I was the only one who hadn't been to Cafe Mums before. All-you-can-eat shabu shabu and all-you-can-drink beer and sake for $35 per person is a good deal, especially for young'uns who can inhale mountains of meat and buckets of alcohol. If you're not a drinker, I think it's $12 less. Gratuity is included, so watch for that on the bill. I'm usually not a fan of buffets because of the lesser quality of the food, but that's not really the case here.

Even though dinner included ice cream, we popped into Japantown Center down the street for a geisha float: a green tea ice cream float with red bean and mochi.

And this is just a picture of a snakeneck turtle. I took this photo at the Academy of Sciences earlier that day and wanted to share. Random and not food-related. I know. But this is my blog, so I can post what I want. Isn't this little guy amazing?

Monday, January 16

Dating no no NO NO NOOOs

I haven't been prowling the dating jungle for years now, but in talking to friends, I realize that the jungle is full of beings who should be selected out by Darwinism... but they will probably end up preying on poor, unsuspecting souls.

Bad dates suck. Psycho dates are scary. There really should be a forum for writing and reading "user reviews" on daters. Guess what? There are! Check out,,,,

I put together my own little list of dating guidelines based on accounts in my past dating life, crazy (but true) stories from friends, and actual happenings on tv (reality television IS real, after all):

1. Do not use the word "reproduce" at any point during your first date. Did anyone watch the first episode of The Bachelor last week? One woman who didn't get picked actually went up to the guy to ask why she didn't get a rose. He told her that she kept saying she wanted to "reproduce" soon, and he didn't know if he was ready for that yet. Her theory was, "There's only one reason we're here on this earth - to reproduce." Gee, that's romantic.

2. Telling someone you love them too soon is usually too much for a dater to handle. What's considered too soon? Well, every couple is different, but I think it's safe to say that a second date is probably too soon. You could be quite smitten, and playing games isn't necessarily the way to go, but coming on too strong will make you seem desperate, even if you're not. I was talking to a guy, not even dating him, but we had a couple of decent conversations. I told him that I would be out of pocket for a while because I was prepping for studying for the bar. I specifically said that I would call him when I was done and that I would need two months of being left alone. What did he do? He called me five times during the following week. We weren't playing phone tag; I wasn't tagging back. He didn't exactly tell me he loved me, but that was too much too soon for me. I was really planning to call him after I was done with my exam, but after all that, I decided not to.

3. If the person you're dating says they don't want to see you anymore, don't send back an "accidental" text message to them to try to hurt them. For example, if you're a guy who has gone on two dates with Renee, and Renee tells you she doesn't think you two are working, don't then send a text to Renee which reads, "Hey Angela, I had a great time with you last night. When will I get to see you (in bed) again?"

4. If the person you're dating says they don't want to see you anymore, don't send a mean email stating that you really weren't that into them, especially when you were laying it on pretty thick in the first place. Don't email, "Well, Renee, I'm actually dating other really gorgeous models, and I always thought you were stupid anyway. I was just trying to get you in bed."

5. If you do happened to send an emotional email, do not send another email minutes later claiming that someone "hacked" into your account. It's not believable. It's immature. It's just plain lame.

Thursday, January 12

East vs. West accents

Lee and I always disagree about who pronounces certain words correctly (or incorrectly). The New Jersey girl she is insists that the California girl I am has a funny way of speaking. I tell her that she's the funny-sounding one.

She insists that when I eat too much, I say I am "fool" (like Mr. T of the A-Team asking, "Whatchu talkin bout FOO?!??"). I tell her that her version of having a happy tummy sound like "fuhl" (which rhymes with dull, meaning boring).

Lucky for us, the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary includes audio pronunciations for words. Lee says it sounds like the robotic voice of Speak and Spell. (Don't you think my version sounds more correct?)

Taer and I nerdily decided to explore different words. One that surprised me was the pronunciation of harassment. I always put the emphasis on the second syllable, but supposedly the first syllable, which always bothered me, is also correct. Another big surprise word was nuclear. Can nu-KYU-lar really be ok? That just seems plain old wrong. (Did they stick that in there just for Bush?)

Finally, we got a huge disagreement solved. "Orange" can be pronounced both or-inj (my way) and are-inj (Lee's way). Not to be a smart ass, but I would like to point out that my pronunciation comes first.

Alright, I'm a total smart ass. But orange you glad I'm not a banana?

A book a month for $9.95 with Zooba

Everyone's all in an uproar this week about A Million Little Pieces. The Smoking Gun stirred things up by claiming that the author James Frey "conned Oprah" because his nonfiction memoir is filled with "fabrications, falsehoods, other fakery." I watched James Frey's interview on CNN, Larry King Live last night. Frey kept saying that he still stands behind his book, and that the main parts of it dealing with being a drug addict and alcoholic are all true. Oprah even called in at the end of the show, and while she was disappointed by the controversy, she also continued to back the book.

I personally say, "Memoir, schemoir!" If it's a good book, it's a good book, and I want to read it. Lee recently read and liked it, so it was next on my to borrow list. To be totally honest, the controversy makes me want to drive over to her place now so I can start reading it this very second.

The girls were discussing this and other books during our ongoing group email when Camilla shared Zooba with us. It's like Netflix for books, except you get to buy rather than borrow for $9.95 a book. They're automatically sent monthly, but you can buy additional books whenever you want. What a great find - of course I had to share!

Here's a list of must reads based on friends' recommendations and books I've read recently (not all are on Zooba necessarily): Me Talk Pretty One Day, Kite Runner, Freakonomics, Middlesex, The Tipping Point, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius... and of course Sudoku books - not for reading, but they sure are fun!

Anyone want to add to the list?

Wednesday, January 11

Sparkling sake

I know what you're thinking: "Sparkling wine is divine, and I often accompany my sushi with sake which is either hot or cold, filtered or not... but sake doesn't sparkle, does it?" It sure does sparkle, and it sparkles oh so well!

My first sparkling sake experience happened at Nihon a few months ago. The familiar flavor of rice tickled my tongue with unfamiliar sweet bubbles, and I absolutely loved each and every sip! I later found another bottle at True Sake. I saved it in our 'fridge until tonight. We decided to open it in honor of two hours of Lost. (I'm so hooked on that show! Did anyone notice the images in the black cloud? We watched it in slo-mo via TiVo.)

Apparently sparkling sake is a relatively new thing in the U.S., and I hope it catches on. Try Harushika "Tokimeki" if you find it anywhere. Tokimeki means "the glowing feeling of being in love." Give me a bottle of this, and you can bet I'll glow!

Monday, January 9

Vote for Pedro... or me!

Dearest Lis sent me (and our girlfriends) the following email today:
jenn, i voted for you for best-kept-secret. :)

Her email was short and sweet. I didn't know about it before, and I'm pleased as punch she thinks this is best-kept-secret category worthy. Not that I'm asking, but if you agree... well, here are the rules: (And yes, I am asking after all.)
  • From now until 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, January 10, anyone can nominate their favorite weblogs.
  • That Thursday, January 12, three panels of 50 voters will receive an e-mail. It will list the weblogs that have received the most nominations in ten categories. The five receiving the most votes will become finalists.
  • On Friday, January 20, the finalists will be announced and voting will be open again to choose the winners. Voting will close at 10:00 PM EST on Sunday, January 31. The winners will be posted sometime between Sunday, March 13 and Tuesday, March 15.

People seem to be fascinated with blogging lately. If you want to explore more blogs, click on the Technorati icon to the right. (Scroll until you get below the archives.) I find their Top 100 Blogs to be particularly interesting.

Sunday, January 8

Burmese, Chinese, Eggettes

I waited in LONG lines to chow down on some good Asian grub this weekend.

BURMA SUPERSTAR is one of the few Burmese restaurants around, and I generally think it's worth the wait. Tina says it's good (and she'd know since that's the home cooking she grew up eating - her mom makes the most amazing Burmese dishes). I've indulged in superstar action several times, but this trip was particularly yummy.

I highly recommend the tea leaf salad (very traditional; Tina's mom's is ridiculously tasty), rainbow salad, shrimp curry, and platha. They're always out of the yellow bean tofu, which is also supposed to be very Burmese and delicious, so I'm going to have to keep going until I get to try that. The wait always seems to be close to an hour, and they don't take reservations. But you can call ahead to get your name on the list, and they'll also ring you on your cell when your table is ready. To pass the time, you can run across the street to visit the cute Japanese market with fun trinkets (and Hi-Chew candy which is a must try); you can also get a glass of wine or beer at the cafe next to that. You'll be a superstar before you know it.

If you go to SAN TUNG in the inner Sunset, you can't miss the dry fried chicken wings. (In Korean, this dish is called "kgam-pungi.") To explain the Korean connection further, some Chinese restaurants out there are Korean influenced. If you see black bean noodles on the menu (called "jcha-jang-myun"), that's a pretty good indication you're at one of those Korean-Chinese joints. I've found that the Chinese owners often even speak Korean. Anyway, the wait here is also painfully long and possibly not worth it beyond the chicken wings. However, one cannot live by chicken wings alone, so other good menu items worth ordering are the dumplings with shrimp and leeks, green beans, sizzling rice soup, spicy seafood soup (called "jcham-ppong"), and the aforementioned black bean noodles. Good, cheap grub. Yum!

We were on our way to Polly Ann Ice Cream after San Tung when a very excited Gallant stopped outside the window of EGGETTES next to Polly Ann's.

"I've never seen these anywhere other than Hong Kong!" he exclaimed before he rushed inside.

My first eggettes experience was a good one. They're basically cookie-ish waffle things. The shape gives them a good chewy yet crispy texture.

They're apparently sold by street vendors in Hong Kong, but in San Francisco we can get them along with pearl tea and fruit slushies with tapioca in a cutesy cafe, surrounded by a bunch of young'uns.

They taste better then they look. I promise.

Saturday, January 7

Happy noisy New Year

Here's my second video post. Just click on the image to play. They're so cute!

Wednesday, January 4

Stare dancing

I taught some of Taer's friends how to stare dance this weekend. It's fun and silly, so I'm going to share the rules here.

First, look each other in the eye. Unlike a regular staring contest, blinking is allowed. However, you must always maintain eye contact. And then...


Dance hard! Make faces! Feel the music! The first person to laugh loses. Tickling or touching of any kind is not allowed, but anything else goes. Go ahead and touch yourself if you want. Don't forget to keep looking each other in the eye as you dance. It might sound dumb, but it's a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Not to brag, but I'm quite good at stare dancing. Call me champ, if you want. (I'll also respond to princess.)

Tuesday, January 3

Holiday text messaging

I can't believe it's really 2006. I sometimes still feel like a kid who's stuck in the 80's. Prince's partying promises of 1999 seemed like they would never actually arrive. Weren't we supposed to be riding around in flying cars a la the Jetsons by the year 2000? (I'm quite happy with hybrids on the ground, personally.)

I realize we truly are in a new era. This is the first holiday season I received a lot of Christmas and New Year text message wishes. A lot. Did this happen to anyone else?

If I missed sending out cards via snail mail in the past, I relied on phone calls (and later in my digital life, e-cards). Nowadays, when I pick up my phone, I'm most likely getting ready to send a text message or take a photo or check the Internet. Does anyone use their cell phone to actually, ahem, call people anymore?

Anyway whatever works to keep my in touch with my loved ones makes me happy. Text messaging, emailing, friendstering, calling, smoke signaling, whatever. All the best in the new year, y'all!