:: What's New in the World ::
"I hate you."
In The Off Hours
Books :: None currently...
TV :: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, The 4400, Entourage
Anime :: Naruto, Bleach, Gundam SEED Destiny, Sousei no Aquarion
Music :: DHT - Listen to Your Heart
• Annoying Event Staff
• No More Work
• Night Pictures
• Winning at Poker
• No income
• Expensive gear
• Integrating flash and DBs
• Driving long distances
:: Thursday, May 29, 2003 ::
Find Event Staff's Shirt...
:: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 ::
That's the game we were playing in Vegas Saturday morning. Event Staff swore someone took his shirt but it was nowhere to be found. Actually he blamed SLim but she denied any involvement in the perpetration. However, aglimpseinside has uncovered revealing photograhs click here that clearly show the article of clothing in question being worn by the #1 suspect. Interesting? We certainly thought so. And so did Event Staff. His aim now? To get even of course. But is this a battle Event Staff can't win? Steamin and I both agreed it was. When we finally caught up to Event Staff now fuming mad and shirtless in the bay area, his comment "Kris2fur: i aint scared of no jobless chinese girl that swims all day." And there you have it.
:: posted by Z [10:46 AM]
Memorial Weekend Madness…
:: Thursday, May 15, 2003 ::
So tired, that’s what I think everyone said this morning with our alarms ringing as we all struggled against our post-party exhaustion and crawled out of bed, hung over, sore, but filled with a ton of new memories and in some cases a severe lack of memories (ahem, Chester). This weekend was everything I expected and more. Vegas is always crazy, so I prepare myself mentally because anything can happen but not to be outdone, LA proved to be just as wild.
We piled into the van late Friday morning; seven brave souls in a 15 passenger van and set out with dreams of sand and bright lights. After picking up Nela in Ontario we were eight but it was never going to stay that small because honestly that’s just not how we operate. I’ve given up trying to understand the phenomenon. The drive was as to be expected except for the extremely bad accidents we saw along the way, including one where dried blood crusted in dark red streaks below a shattered passenger window of a white jeep. All things considered, we made good time and checked into the Flamingo Hilton in the early evening bringing back memories of my childhood when I spent 6 or 7 weekends a year in Vegas at the Hilton with my family.
We got connecting rooms, making it especially easy to annoy the girls. Supposedly there were separate guy/girl rooms but of course it didn’t work that way. And on top of that, Chester’s high school friends got the room right across the hall. By this time we were in the low teens. Everyone changed and the pre-party started, but we still had no destination in mind. Finally we decided to hit up Bikini at Rio where the waitresses and bartenders are hot, but that’s about it. Luckily free cover thanks to Stace and a nifty little wristband that gave us free wells till 1am (something every club should initiate) made the night great. Afterwards, almost everyone went to Sapphire where Ellen got the best lap dance, Nela got a stripper that made sound effects, and Chester tried to get some private time. As for me I was too tired already and crashed.
In the morning it was the regular post-club discussion but supposedly what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so I guess I’ll omit all the good stuff. Somehow they did manage to fit 4 people (Chester, Stace, Nela and Ellen) in one bed. What a pimp huh? After some pool time, it was off to the Aladdin for a buffet. Unfortunately I was so hung over and tired I could only eat part of one plate. Kind of a waste of $25 but oh well. By this point we had reached over 20 heads. After dinner we headed back to the hotel and met up with Julie and Jiyon and started getting ready for Rain, or so we thought. When we got to Rain the line was to be expected but unfortunately we couldn’t find a bouncer willing to take 40 of us, so it was on to plan b and Studio54. Chester and I paid $20 each for cover but honestly we didn’t spend more than 10 minutes in the club. We just chilled in the lounge by the liquor store and pre-drank while watching a Mexican chick yell at some white skank. By 3am, some of us decided to go back to Rain. That’s where things started getting fuzzy for me. I manage to lose my camera in a cab twice and after that we lost Chester entirely and he was forced to jog back from the Palms to the Flamingo.
After a quick lunch, we began the long trek back to LA. We hit k-town and decided to grab dinner while waiting for Julie and Jiyon to catch up because we were staying at their place. Most of us went to Hodori but Vu, Coo Coo Chang and me decided to get the El Pollo Loco family meal. Damn that shit was good, especially jalapeno hot sauce. Mmmm… Then it was the big meet up at Julie and Jiyon’s and the record breaking 21 people in a 15 passenger van. Only Asians and occasionally Mexicans sneaking into the country travel this way.
When we hit the club the line was out of control, it made me have Rain flashbacks but luckily Julie was mad connected and got the 30 of us in like 5 minutes. So much thanks to her and to Nela for those VIP passes. Inside the club was tight with girls everywhere. There seemed to be a lot of hooking up going on and a lot of drunkenness. The surprise of the night had to be Alberto who got his first good buzz ever! So congrats out to him. Chester broke out his crazy Asian act, took off his shirt and started threatening a bouncer. Steve got into the act and started busting out the Vietnamese curses, confusing the already thoroughly enraged security guard. Needless to say they were quickly kicked out and along with Vu headed off to see what was popping at Ivar. Unfortunately none of them knew exactly how to get there and ended up going down a dark alley and meeting a drug dealer. After some discussion he was kind enough to show them how to get to the club.
Meanwhile, the rest of us stood around in a mob of 20 or so waiting for the birthday boy to show up and Jiyon threw up over 4 people at one time. I think that beats Lan’s current record of 3 set at Axiom on my birthday last year (Yes I keep track of those kinds of things). Once we got back to Julie and Jiyon’s, Chester passed out and being the good friends we are, we started to draw on him and take turns taking pictures with the birthday boy. Jiyon manage to pass out in Julie’s bathroom and we forgot about her till Vu discovered her around 4:30. Julie and Vu cooked for us while Julie entertained us about the 10 year old psychic she met in Vegas who got everything wrong but still was able to get $5 from Julie. We headed back down to SD around 5:30 I think but I don’t really remember. By this time I was completely delirious. I know I got back to my house around 8:30. The weekend was over. I was sad and glad at the same time. But at the time all I could think about was sleep.
:: posted by Z [4:01 PM]
The Matrix Has You…
:: Monday, May 12, 2003 ::
Or had me, Chester, Jorge, Polo, Vu, Alberto and Ellen yesterday as we saw The Matrix: Reloaded. Well without saying too much and spoiling the movie for anyone who plans to see it, which should just be about everyone who has good vision from both their eyes and even some who don’t, I thought the movie was good though not as great as the first one. For me, they just couldn’t recreate the mystery and awe I felt when Neo stepped back through the looking glass into reality and I, along with my fellow movie goers, discovered what the Matrix actually was and its true prupose.
All in all though, the movie succeeded its predecessor well and set up the next installment of the Matrix series with the mother of all cliff hangers. The fight scenes were visually stunning as to be expected from anything relating to the Matrix, and while some of the scenes stretched the credibility of even the Matrix’s lack of physical reality to its limit, I still enjoyed them. But if you plan to go see it, be prepared for a much deeper movie in terms of plot filled with long dialogs, history, philosophy, and religious overtones. Take the time and watch the first movie over along with all 4 of Animatrix currently available at www.intothematrix.com.
:: posted by Z [3:01 PM]
The Craziness Concludes…
:: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 ::
I can finally take a breath of relief, at last the long crazy weekend has come to a close and this one was one for the books. But such events hardly ever transpire without consequence and in the immortal words of Vu “damn I’m turred.” Like most things of this nature, it was for the most part spontaneous and started off simple enough. On Thursday night, after pho with Josh Tran, Richard, Lan, Helen and Aisle, I saw X2 with Josh, Penny, her roommate and her roommate’s boyfriend. The first showing we wanted to see was sold out and we were forced unfortunately to catch a later showing. It was a good movie with a ton of special effects, and enough loose ends to set up a third installment.
I planned to just relax on Friday night; having already agreed to go to Jiyon and Julie’s housewarming party in k-town the following night but fate or rather Richard had other ideas. It was 7:30 and I was just gearing up for the Lakers’ crucial Game 3 when my phone rings. It turns out everyone is going to Garden of Eden in LA and after a few brief seconds I am too. How do I get myself into these predicaments? I’ve come to the conclusion that 1) peer pressure is a bitch, and 2) I have no will power when it comes to alcohol or partying. So we drive the two hours up to LA and it was entirely worth the effort. The club was off the hook. Now if only I didn’t black out. I blame Julie for my first drink, Richard for my second, and Josh for my third and so on and so on down the list. But the Drunkest Fool of the Night award goes to Chester who didn’t even manage to keep his car. And the Slut of the Night award goes to Richard, details available upon request.
On Saturday, it was up to LA again for a relatively mild night of food and mingling or so I thought. But I guess the night didn’t really surprise me. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected when Vu is concerned. It began with no cable, much to the disappoint of every guy who came expecting to be able catch the Kings Mavericks game but ended up only watching Rocky in Spanish, don’t ask. So the boredom mounted then compounded as each passing second ticked by, until finally Vu suggested that each of us chip in $10 to get a stripper. Well $10 quickly became $20 and 1 stripper quickly became 2 and well, you can figure out the rest. So I ended up staying in k-town till 2:30 before making the long drive back to Long Beach which also include getting lost.
Sunday was my sister’s graduation from the Masters of Education program at Loyola Marymount which translates into sitting for a long time and listening to boring speeches. Afterwards I took everyone out to Cheesecake Factory to celebrate Mother’s Day. Then I passed out. And luckily, though I missed both games, the Lakers won Game 3 and 4 evening up the series with the Spurs. GO LAKERS!
:: posted by Z [10:01 AM]
A Crossroad of Faiths...
:: Friday, May 02, 2003 ::
At first I wasn’t sure if I would actually go through with it. I’m not sure if it was just complacency or perhaps even a slight fear of the unknown, but a Friday spent in frustrated anger over the sheer magnitude of my boredom helped ease my decision. It was about 6PM when I finally got out of bed, got dressed (the need hadn’t yet arisen to do so), took the elevator down 10 floors to the lobby and booked a tour at the front desk for Jerusalem Saturday morning. I used my Citibank MasterCard to pay and figured the total cost of the tour: $58, a chance to see Jerusalem: priceless, right?
So I got picked up 7:30am, bright and early. Saturday just happens to be the Jewish Sabbath, so traffic was virtually non-existent. We coasted down an empty Freeway 1, the main freeway that connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city, which strangely enough started as only a suburb of the ancient city of Haifa. Haifa has now been absorbed for the most part into Tel Aviv. This is the kind of random historical information I learned on my trip. I tuck it all away for later use and reference.
On the arduous climb towards Jerusalem, the city sits several hundred feet above sea level atop the Judean Heights; we pass by brown sculptures of army vehicles bearing Israeli flags which our tour guide tells us represent the Israeli’s liberation of Jerusalem from the Arabs. First stop after entering the city was Mt. Copus where a panoramic view of the entire city sprawled out before us. Every building, from apartment complex, to synagogue, to high rise tower, by law is constructed of the local limestone. It adds a unified feeling to a city that is anything but. Israel straddles three continents and Jerusalem is considered holy to three major religions. The country and city are in a constant state of conflict.
What follows was a whirlwind trip thousands of years into the past. The very first building we visited had the tomb of King David, Israel’s first true king, the room of the Last Supper where Jesus ate his last meal with his disciples, and a Muslim mosque. This single building illustrates the complexity of life in a city so divided. Next was the Dormition Church where Mary fell asleep. According to Christians, Mary never actually died; only fell into a deep slumber. In the crypt of the church, a sarcophagus supposedly holds her sleeping body still. After the Church we visited the birthplace of St. Paul the Baptist, now a church. Built in the 16th century, after the British ended Turkish rule in Palestine, the church is extravagantly ornate and hangs murals along the wall of major Christian events, most notably the beheading of St. Paul and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
After all the sites on Mt. Zion, we finally head into the old city through the Zion Gate, one of the seven ancient gates though the walls of Jerusalem. The walls are visible riddled with bullet holes and craters from shelling during the 1967 war. We walk through the Jewish quarter, eerily quiet except the echoes of girls singing softly careening though the high and narrow streets. We pass by a part of a road built by the Romans well before the birth of Christ on our way to the Western Wall, or better known as the Wailing Wall. I put on a kippo, which I thought was a yamaca, because it’s required and walk up to place my hand upon the wall. It’s surprisingly smooth, worn down by the reverent touch of the thousands of faithful that come here daily to pray. What do they see when they come here? What do they feel? To me it’s just a wall, albeit a very old one. It is the only remaining section of the second temple of Jerusalem built by King Herod in the 4th century AD. Perhaps this experience is wasted on someone like me.
We move on, and walk along the Via Delorsoa, the biblical path that Jesus took through the streets of Jerusalem after the Romans had nailed his wrists to the cross, until we enter the Muslim quarter. Where the Jewish quarter was silent and empty, the Muslim quarter was noisy and full of life. Shops crowd already tiny streets and merchants, whom I’ve come to the conclusion, are the same in every part of the world and most likely in any time period before or to come, hound us constantly to step into their shops and take advantage of special deals they assure us they make only for us.
Our final stop is the Church of the Holy Sepleca, the church Queen Hellena built over the quarry where Jesus was crucified, later died, and was buried in the grave of John before he was resurrected 3 days later. The church, built in typical Greek Orthodox fashion, possess a huge dome open at the top to permit sunlight in. A shaft of blinding light streams through the orifice and makes its way slowly down one of the eight gigantic columns that support the building until finally at noon, it illuminates the grave of Jesus in a column of light that could easily be described as holy or otherworldly. I step inside the cave, and kneel before the grave and once again the thought I had before crosses my mind. Even though I can appreciate the historic scope of everywhere I went today, it is in no way a religiously moving experience. There are quite a few people I can think of that would have loved to make a pilgrimage here, especially one that was completely paid for. I guess I’ll have to settle for feeling fortunate enough to have been giving the opportunity to stand at this crossroad of faiths.
:: posted by Z [1:05 PM]
Being a Good Samaritan…
I went out into the city again to eat dinner. I didn’t feel like paying $25 for the Mediterranean buffet like I did on my first night, so I went back to one of those cafes I passed yesterday and had a pretty good tuna and smoked salmon sandwich. While I was there, an Israeli chick approached me asking for 3 shekels, the equivalent of about 75 cents, for bus fare. At first she asked me in Hebrew which I thought was kind of strange. Did she expect me to know it? I’m not sure. But I wasn’t exactly sure which coin was a shekel though. Their currency is a bit confusing over here. They have two coins with 10 on them and a huge coin with a ½ on it. What’s that about? Anyway I reached into my pocket and showed her the coins I had. She took one of the 5s and went on her way. I figure it’s on my company’s tab anyway. They give me about $40 a day for general expenses. Not too shabby for of them I must say. The extra I get to pocket. How’s that for an incentive to be cheap? But the cost of things in this area is actually quite pricey. On my way home, I helped a couple push a car down the street. Actually we were trying to push start it, but since it didn’t end up starting, all we did was push it. And so ends my day of being a Good Samaritan, a term which oddly enough comes from the bible and you don’t get more biblical than Israel. Anyway, I should try to go to sleep early. I leave tomorrow at 7:15am for Jerusalem.
:: posted by Z [9:43 AM]
Standing in the Shadow of Terror…
Last night I finally got enough free time to embark upon my first foray away from my hotel and into the city. Since I didn’t really know the city well and had no native to guide me around, I decided to stick primarily near the coast. In the eventuality that I did get lost, all I’d have to do was find the beach and walk south until I found my hotel again. I searched high and low for a unique dining experience. The problem I quickly encountered was the lack of English menus. When I was in Thailand, a country geared heavily towards western tourism, all the menus were in English as well as Thai, but not so over here in Israel. I saw some nice looking cafes, and then thought twice about it. They just blew up that café a couple of days ago. Besides all they served were sandwiches and Italian food, things I could get anywhere back in the states. Finally after walking aimlessly for 30 minutes or more, I found a nice South African vegetarian restaurant which turned out to be great. The main entrée was potatoes in a tofu cheese sauce. Mmmm…
After dinner I decided to take a different route back to the hotel than the one I took getting to the restaurant. I did this for two reasons, one - I wanted to see more of the city and two - I didn’t think I could retrace my steps exactly so why expend the effort trying? Sometimes it really is preferable not to have any type of plan. I walked westward slowly along the narrow and crooked streets, where shop keepers were just finishing up closing up their stores for the day in the quickly fading light of a pale Mediterranean sun until I ran into the beach. In Tel Aviv, the wind picks up as the day wanes and by this time, the Sun had already set, so it was gusting full strength as I gazed south. I had originally planned to walk on the beach, but seeing the curtains of sand being blown off the top of mini-dunes on the beach made me quickly reconsider. I resigned myself to just walking on the streets and checking out the local beach front establishments. I passed clubs, shops, luxury apartments, and fast food joints. As I neared my hotel, I started to cross the street, and then standing there on the island, waiting for a hole in traffic large enough to permit me clear passage to the other side; I looked up and saw a sign above a building with police barriers all around it. The sign read “Mike’s Place.” It took me only a second to realize where I was, the sight of the suicide bombing two days past. I didn’t know how I was suppose to feel knowing what had transpired here only a few days ago. Three people had lost their lives here. I wonder how people ever make sense of such things.
:: posted by Z [9:36 AM]