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!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Art Jamming

For her birthday, Yan received the very thoughtful gift of the Artjam... for four! So, on one beautiful Sunday afternoon, Yan, Ailin, Hoi Ying, and I headed to TST for a creative experience.

I didn't have much time beforehand to plan out my masterpiece. So I went with a replication of a picture I took in White Sands, New Mexico. I'm glad I had decided this ahead of time, because our time slot at the studio was only 2 hours and it can be pretty stressful!

To add to the stress, our time slot coincided with some children's group... and you know how I feel about those little demons. The space was small, the aprons were weird and kept sliding off, and we really didn't have any surface area to spread out our paints and brushes. Despite all these challenges, the jam of art was such a wonderful experience.

I'm amazed at how fabulous all the paintings turned out to be. It felt good to mix colors, play with texture, transform an empty canvas. But I'm afraid these two hours in the artjamming studio fed us a false sense of artistic ability. It won't stop me from coming back though!

While the experience would have been more pleasant for me without a million little kiddos running around, I'm glad these kids are lucky enough to get the chance to do something fun and creative. These kids grow up in tight quarters and do not have to space to house piles and piles of toys, crayons, and all the things that American kids can have. There's no room to finger paint or make a mess, there's no back yard to hose them down. There's no Michael's or Joann's or Target to purchase fun crafty stuff, and the few crafty things available here are not cheap.

I read an article a while back about how HK is really behind in the art scene, especially in comparison to other big cities. And while this may be due to a different set of priorities (make money not art) or a different way of thinking (in the box not creatively), maybe there's just no room to be creative here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hong Kong's 1st Redbull Flugtag

After just another week of being sick and tired (not just an expression), I slept the better part of Friday and Saturday and scraped up some strength for some Sunday action.

Redbull's Flugtag (German for Flying Day) events are held all around the world and finally on 10/10/10 it arrived in Hong Kong. While fun, outdoor, silly, and possibly dangerous evets are pretty non-existent here, I'm glad Redbull pulled this off pretty successfully. Lots of teams participated and it was a very healthy turnout and yet I didn't freak out from crowd claustrophobia.

None of the aircraft (is that plural?) took flight, and if they did, they would have crashed straight into the barge not far off the edge of the pier, collecting the remains of each teams' hard work. It was pretty hilarious seeing each project launch into the harbor.

While this sort of pointless fun is SO NOT Hong Kong, many of the aircraft beautifully represented the HK spirit: the ol skool aqua luna junk, a tram, dim sum cart, and of course Bruce Lee. Various holidays were represented as well. It was really nice to see all walks of life get into this event.