Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuesday Night Trail Run

Tarahumara training is in full force!  Tuesday I went on a 12k trail run with the meetup group.  Wowwie! 

Continue for a picture of the Midlevels ghost runner!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Boxing Day (observed) Explorations: Sharp Island and an Abandoned Amusement Park

A day exploring new territory.
And all wearing vibrams! The only shoe for the job.

Boating, hiking, bushwacking and trespassing after the jump.

Merry Christmas from the Kong!

Happy Birthday Jesus!
Official Christmas celebrations started with midnight mass.  Dim sum and beer followed of course!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bang Bang Pan Pan

Sunday Funday Part 2

After a shower and nap, it was dinner time!  Friends and visitors gathered around the table for DIY Okonomiyake at Bang Bang Pan Pan in Causeway Bay.

Feeding time after the jump!

Sunday Funday: Hiking Edition

My Friday and Saturday were packed with fun and adventure, so why stop there?  I'm a big fan of SUNDAY FUN-DAY!

the full report after the jump

Cousins & Cupcakes

Hanging with cousins on the other side of the family: Philip and his GF Ella. 

I've been to Manila several times and this time had no other objective than hanging out with the Big Guy and the rest of the family.  I spent Sunday night throwing back drinks with Philip and chatting away.  It was fantastic to have a weekend of cousin love.

Loads of cupcakes after the jump.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Meet the Big Guy

While in Manila and after the ING 20 race, I finally got to meet my other Caleb godson!  He's so cute and loves to dance...  just like me!  Here he is wearing an early Christmas present that I brought from the Hongk.   He's so snuggly in his Chinese pjs!

More family goodness after the jump.

Friday, December 17, 2010

ING Running 20 - 10k Race Report

Fort Bonifacio Global City - Manila, Philippines
Time: 1:18:16

My cousin AB and I turned 30 this year and have gone a little loco with the running. We ran the whole race together and it felt GREAT.

The full story after the jump...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

GoodBye 20s. Hello 30s.

Immediately after the beach birthday bonanza, we headed to Teal's going away party. Hong Kong will be a lesser place without her, but she's not going too far. She's headed to Beijing and will be back to HK regularly.

This is the last picture of me in my 20s. Wanna see what I look like now?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dirty 30 Beach Birthday

From the Plastic Beach to Shek O Beach, Jag Week was in full force!
I wanted three things: 1) home made lumpia, 2) a pinata 3) lots of love.

My big bro made # 1 for me, as you can see from the picture.  It was a big, big hit.  #3 is easy, when you have amazing people in your life like I do.  You guys rock my socks off.

Yeah, we never waste an opportunity to wear our jerseys.  JUNK SHOT!

but wait, there's more!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Plastic Beach

Jag Week continues with a trip to the Plastic Beach!

Striped shirts and monkey shoes set.

The most recent Gorillaz album as a whole is one of the best albums I've heard all year. It's magic. It makes me wanna throw punches in the air. It makes me wanna move.

special guest appearances after the jump...

Thanksgiving, the Final Chapter

I'm getting caught up here folks.  May I present my Thanksgiving creations!

I wanted to really really keep it real.  Both my Thanksgiving dinners with both my Hong Kong families were going to be multi-national (yet mostly American) and I wanted to properly represent.  I went with green bean casserole for the dinner shift, and pumpkin pie cheesecake.  Mmmm.

I've made both before, but went with new recipes.  Turns out they were both a HUGE hit!  Maybe I should continue my cooking streak.  The Chapati Man said my cheesecake looked like daal, but it still tasted yummy.  I'd like to refine that recipe and work on the texture.

The dinner shift at Joblio's.  He made the turkey and it was divine!  I'm still thinking about the stuffing.  Ohhhh stuffing!  At the table are Americans, Singaporeans, Brits, an Aussie, and a Bahraini.  This is how the pilgrims and indians wanted it!  With canned cranberry sauce of course.

Deliciousness after the jump.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Kicking off Jag Week - Post Race Disney Dim Sum

After surviving an early call time and 10k race, we needed something to eat! Last year we came back to Central and had to scramble to find a restaurant that could accommodate our group. It took a while and by that time we were hungry, tired, and cranky.

Since we were going to be on the Disneyland grounds anyway, I booked us a table for dim sum at the Disneyland Hotel. It's a beautiful place! You don't feel like you're in HK at all, except for all the mainland Chinese of course.

A few surprises... I lured friends by claiming this was part of my birthday celebration, but since a handful of us were celebrating birthdays around this time it's nicer to share in the wealth. Happy Birthday to Us!

Our crew, ran, fed, and ready for bed!

Everything we ate after the jump!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Unicef Run 2010

A quick timeout on the Thanksgiving cheer (those photos are on another camera) to get caught up on my blogging.

Check it out! Our post-race class photo!

This is the second year I've run the Unicef race around Disneyland, and the kick off to Jag Week 2010. A successful attempt at another year older, another year faster!

10 K
2009: 1:16:01
2010: 1:14:15

More pics and racy goodness after the jump.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Thanksgiving Story, Continued

Thanksgiving officially kicked off on Wednesday at lunch.  My office here is very small, and I take much pleasure in treating my non-American co-workers to a traditional holiday meal. A deli nearby was serving a special Thanksgiving lunch, and the pumpkin pie was fresh and fantastic.

Since there is no time off here for Thanksgiving, my dinners were scheduled for Friday night.  So instead, on Thursday, we threw a surprise bday dinner for Ro on her 30th birthday.  Our happy crew is sporting the awkward prom photo pose in the pic above.

Dinner was at the adorable 208 restaurant, dangerously close to home. We had a nice room in the back to ourselves, and had lots and lots of food!  Ro was surprised and there was lots of love in the room.  Thanksgiving continues...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving in the Kong 2010: Things I am Thankful for

Thanksgiving day 10k run along the harbor with my nearly new kicks!  I'm thankful for the pleasant weather and the ability to play outside without nasty heat or rain.

I have so much to be thankful for. There is not enough room in all the interwebs to contain how much I'm grateful for.

Even though I'm away from my family, I have the great pleasure of spending my 3rd Thanksgiving in my current home of Hongkers. I am so lucky to have amazing friends here who I consider family so I'll start there.

Things I am Thankful for, 2010

How it's possible that I am friends and family with the greatest people on the planet, I'll never know. I don't know why I'm that lucky, but I never take you for granted, not for one second. Everything in my life is influenced and supported by my loved ones, so it's you I have to thank for this amazing life! I'm so thankful to have friends and family that understand me, love me, support me, and can hang with my weirdness, fickleness, mood swings, crazy decisions, and general inanity. No matter what I do or where I go, it's nice to come home to you... wherever my home may be.

I'm thankful that Conan O'Brien kept his head up. I love that guy.

I'm thankful for a smart work staff. The things we accomplish in our office are only because of their hard work. We've done so much this year and the future looks promising.

I'm thankful for my godsons Caleb. Yes, that is plural, yes they are both named Caleb, and yes they were both born this year one week apart. I miss them every day.

I'm thankful for the ability to travel. Even though I don't have much $$ or vacation time, I manage to regularly exercise my passport. This is one of my favorite things in life.

I'm thankful for Coachella. My very first music festival of this scale, which I attended this year. The music was incredible, and it inspires me to be a better harmonica player, or something.

I'm thankful for the trips to Chengdu and Indonesia...  it didn't matter what we were doing, it was quality time with HK fam.

I'm thankful for Griffith Park, Los Feliz, Atwater Village, Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Downtown LA. The Hood that I really consider home, and the host of my very first half marathon. It was a joy to run through all the neighborhoods. The training was like a part time job, but I'm thankful that I'm able to still surprise myself with challenges like this.

I'm thankful for dodgeball. I love being on a team with my HK family. We're so weird, and we belong together. Junk Shot!

I'm thankful for my harmonica. Because sometimes I need to play the blues.

I'm thankful for World Cup. It made summer that much more fun.

I'm thankful (I think) for another year, another decade, more adventures, more surprises.

This is just the beginning.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oxfam Trailwalker 2010: Machines and Mechanics Edition

What I witnessed this weekend was absolutely humbling. Several of my friends participated in the local Oxfam Trailwalker race. That's 100 kilometers of hiking within one weekend for charity.

Since I am physically unprepared to handle such insanity, since training in Hong Kong during the summer would be a disaster for me, and since I don't have a whole lot of $$ to spare, I wanted to do some good, donate my time, and support my friends

more after the jump...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

UCLA vs UA: Football 2010

I love football and I love tailgating and I love my wildcats and a handful of special frenemies... but officially these are the things I miss most being a world away.

I was lucky enough to be home for a UCLA vs Arizona game at the Rose Bowl, and super duper lucky because I had so many of my lovies with me. My homegirls from high school (even though our friendship has really taken off in adulthood, it's nice having friends you've known for half your life!), college friends, my sis, and even a visiting friend from HK!

Exceptionally special because it was my godson's first football game... and Halloween weekend! I couldn't have produced more magic than all this.

More pictures, love, rivalry and baby after the jump...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Semi-Annual Versailles Dinner

Since I moved to HK, it's been tradition that I get together with a few old workmates and dine at Versailles when I visit home. It's a casual restaurant with great Cuban food. It's also my favorite professor's favorite restaurant. And as far as I know the only cubano place in HK closed a while back. I'm constantly playing catchup with friends, but it's nice to have quality time with people I used to see every day. Thank you to C for organizing!

I'm always overwhelmed by the menu and this has been my default selection: lechon sammy. Delish!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Inaugural Rock N Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

My 1st Half Marathon finished in 2:47:52!

E, Frosty, me, and Armie at the finish line!  Oh sweet victory!

More pictures, more love after the bump...
(it's a long one folks)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mid-Autumn Festival: Fire Breathing Edition

One of my favorite Hong Kong holidays is Mid-Autumn Festival. I'm not really sure why it's called mid-autumn since it takes place early fall, but I'll take the day off! It's a time for family and celebrating the change in seasons and the moon. And mooncakes. All wonderful stuff.

Since it's a time for family, I spent this one with my HK family. Me, Hans, Mr P, Party Foul, and his GF kicked it off with a hot pot dinner. Hot pot is the ultimate in family dining. These are just a few things for a sauce mix.

When dinner was over, we headed to The Roof to enjoy the moon.  The rain and quit it just in time for us to sit around and cause trouble.  We stocked up on candles and glow in the dark goodies, and other ffffamily members met us there.  It sounds totally weird, but the glow in the dark nails rocked my world!

Then we were told of ol skool mid autumn traditions. Such as taking the mooncake box tin, filling it with wax, starting a fire, and spitting water at it to create a tower of flames. This practice was deemed illegal so you don't see it anymore. Except maybe on a city rooftop. It took a lot finessing but eventually we figured it out. Check out our video below!


Junk Shot: A Member of the Hong Kong Dodgeball Association

Yes, there really is a Hong Kong Dodgeball Association, and you can check out their website for schedules, scores, and video of games! They've been around for a couple of years, but this season they really exploded. Dodgeball, F yeah!

Months back, my big bro says to me he wants to start a dodgeball team. He always has nutty ideas, but they are usually right up my alley. Over the summer before the season started, the D'ball association set up free clinics where we could play and organize teams for the upcoming season. With a lot of people and a lot of balls flying around, it's pretty scary. But a good kind of fear!

This is not the d'ball we played in elementary school. The balls we use are light like a nerf ball. But believe me, when one comes flying at you at full speed and hits you in the face, it stings. And there are 6 balls to manage, not just one.

Fall came and our team solidified. Team Junk Shot. Named after the plan to seal the gulf oil spill with garbage. No joke. But also, sometimes people take shots to the junk.

I love my team. They are a significant portion of my HK fam. Last night was to be my last game of the regular season before I set off for some travels. But due to some unforeseen events the game will hopefully be rescheduled for after my return. More reflections on d'ball days to come!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Things To Do in Indonesia

I was sent to Jakarta for work, and it happened to fall on a long weekend so I planned an extended stay in Indonesia and invited friends to keep me company. I've been to Jakarta once before for a weekend trip. It's a big city. Spread out. Not walkable. Last time we spent a lot of time in taxis. I live in a big city. I come from a big city. Sometimes you wanna get away from it all.

After I was done with my work in Jakarta, we headed to Ciater at the base of a volcano for some fresh air and outdoor fun. So here's my list of things to do when in Indonesia:

Order everything on the menu.

Make your way through a giant market.  And get several pairs of cheapy sunglasses.

Ride a horse through a tea plantation.

Take Jesus to a mosque.

Swim in a hot spring waterfall.

Soak in a hot tub time machine.

Late night soak in the hot spring waterfall.

 Enjoy the wildlife.

Zip lining!

Dip your feet in a pool of flesh eating fish!

Get some Robin Hood action

Shoot some guns.

Eat a banana covered in chocolate and cheese.

Get rained out and watch TLC in the bungalow of terror.

More late night hot spring soaks.

Find pretty mosques.

Get a rootbeer float before flight.

And some Dunkin Donuts too!