Thursday, December 16, 2010

Today I took my Volvo in for its 30,000 mile check-up and got new spark plugs. Maybe it's psychological but I swear it's running better post-service. My Volvo mechanic is my brother's best friend from high school and nothing's better than finding a mechanic you can trust.


After Volvo, I drove to Shoreline had SoonDoBoo for lunch with Kenny, Megan and Emi. I always forget that I'm trying to start the blog up again until the end of the meal so here's a shot of the aftermath. I really love Korean food and it was fun hanging out with the Barron Family. After lunch we all went to Costco where I filled gas and bought groceries. Emi was really great all day but started acting up toward the end of our Costco shopping. I don't really blame her, after a lot of time in Costco I start to lose it too.

Tonight, Jazmin and I decorated our tree. Here's a pic...I think it looked better before I put the lights and ornaments on. It really was a nice little noble fir and now it looks all crooked and lopsided. Oh well.


I'll end with a video of myself dancing with Emi. I didn't realize Kenny had the video camera rolling but the video is pretty funny so I'm going to post it. Quickness with the video camera is a good skill for a parent to have; kudos, Kenny.

video

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Home

I love being home, hanging out with friends, sleeping in my own bed, but those things just don't inspire me to blog. I'm going to force it for a while and see if I can get into a rhythm.

Today I was planning on meeting Davis, Renee and Mingie for Happy Hour in Bellevue but I never told Jazmin and she booked us for dinner at Kenny and Megan's place. Luckily, I was able to get the Kenny and Megan dinner pushed back to 7:30 so that I could do both. Communication is important in a relationship and I need to get better at that. I was a single roamer for 5 years and I'm not used to having to plan for anyone other than myself.

Here are two pics: One of Oysters from Happy Hour and one of Emi, Kenny and Megan's daughter. Emi is one year old and at a really cool stage of life. She's sweet and loves sharing, is just starting to become vocal, and is curious about everything. She also likes to mimic people so you have to be extra careful about what you say around her.


Monday, December 13, 2010

The City

I really love New York City and could definitely live here at some point in my life. Mike and Jenn are always so hospitable when I visit and I've never had a bad trip to New York. I have some other friends that live here and I'd like to come back soon, for longer than 2 days, so that I can catch up with them all.

Today we had lunch at a burger place in Madison Square Park called Shake Shack. The burger reminded me of an In 'N Out burger and I think everyone knows how much I love my Double Doubles. Obviously I had to get a shake and I wnet with one called the black and white. I think it was a half-chocolate half-vanilla mix and tasted pretty good. Here are some pics:




After Shake Shack we went to a bar on 14th Street called The Blind Pig to watch the Arsenal-Man U game. Mike is a huge Arsenal fan and had high hopes but it was a pretty bad game for Arsenal and they lost 1-0. Man U's defense is really good when Vidic and Ferdinand are healthy and Arsenal couldn't do anything all game. Man U got a fluky goal from Ji-Sun Park on a lucky header off a deflected ball but they definitely deserved to win. JS Park is amazing and definitely the best Asian soccer player of all time.


At the bar we had 2 beers and 3 bloddy marys even though Mike had a hockey game to play later that night. After the game I went to Trader Joe's Wine Shop and bought 6 bottles of wine. I always buy a ton of wine at TJ's because it's so damn cheap. 6 bottles and a reusable wine bag cost me a total of $36. What a deal. My friends Julia and Lisa came over to watch a bit of football and we put a dent in the wine. Mike drank water to sober up and at 10 PM we went to his hockey game.

I play co-ed soccer in Seattle and I was kinda expecting something similar. I suck, half the players on my team never played soccer when they were younger and we would probably lose to a serious group of 12 year-olds. The hockey was very different. I was shocked at how fast they were and how well they played. Mike had to try out for his team and 2/3 of the players who tried out didn't make the cut. Our soccer team is a hodge-podge group of high school friends who want to screw around on Wednesday nights. The hockey game was really exciting but sadly, Mike's team lost 3-2 in overtime.


Groupie!!


Mike's so fast, he's a blur.


Faceoff


Our Hero


Casualty of War

I'm flying home tomorrow and I'm excited to see my girlfriend. It's going to be a busy two weeks with Christmas right around the corner: I've got a lot of present shopping to do, I'm hosting Christmas at my house this year so I've got a lot of cleaning to do, and my brother will be in town December 23-31 so I've got a lot of drinking to do. Holla.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

T-Dot Layover

I guess the weather's pretty bad in Newark because the airport has ordered a complete ground stop of incoming flights. There will be more information in 45 minutes but the amount of time I'll be lain over is indefinite. I'll use this time to post some pics, using the free Internet in Air Porter's lounge. Air Porter rules, I can't say it enough.


The weather outside was frightful. Amazingly, my five-fingers provided enough warmth for me to walk for about a mile before my toes got numb and I had to hop inside a bar to avoid frostbite. The cold was never an issue but the snow and slush on the ground eventually got the shoes wet and wet shoes in 20 degree weather are never good. I owe the warmth to the socks that I recently bought, the five-fingers are much colder without socks.



The fight was pretty awesome. I won $300 off Daut, which is pretty much the most I could have expected to win. Two of my big underdogs came through and I ended up going 6-3-1. Holla!! GSP dominated Koscheck and really humbled the man. Koscheck is a tough dude and wouldn't get knocked out but he was contrite afterwards instead of being his normal asshole self. I think getting punched in the face for 25 minutes was like a spiritual awakening. The crowd still hated him for what he said about Montreal a few months ago but he did his best to almost retract his previous sentiments.

May 8th:
“Don’t worry, Pittsburgh Penguins are going to kick your ass next week baby! And then I’m going to beat St-Pierre, so you guys are going to lose twice. How about that? Yeah, that’s right Montreal!!!”

It must be pretty sweet for GSP to be able to defend his city with his vicious left hand. I'd love to get in a ring with David Stern for what he did to Seattle. I'm pretty sure I could take him and defend Seattle's honor.


I had some absinthe last night and it was delicious. You don't see absinthe in bars every day so I had to take advantage. Yum.



We also ate poutine. We didn't go to any of the fancy or famous places, just some cafeteria-looking fast food place. It was still delicious and artery-clogging. Daut complained the whole time he ate but he still shoveled it down. Yum.


Football kicks off in an hour and I'm going to miss it. I was really looking forward to eating pizza on Mantan's couch this afternoon but I guess I'll fill up on free almonds in Porter's lounge and "watch" football updates online. Oh well, I guess that's better than getting on an unsafe plane and skidding off the runway. I'll get to Newark when I get there.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

UFC 124


I'm really pumped for the fights tonight. Daut and I looked for action on the fights but couldn't find any decent lines so we bet each other. It's probably a mistake on my part since he's 100x more knowledgeable than I am but I like to gamble. Here are my fighters:

Pierson +230
Bocek -115
Almeida -160
Miller -230
Audinwood -135
Bongfeldt +160
Howard +260
Danzig +250
Miller +155
McCorkle +135

We bet $50/fight so if I go 0-10, I lose $620. I definitely can win a lot more than that if I go 10-0 because I have 3 of the 4 big underdogs. Anyway, hopefully neither of us get buried too bad and if someone does, it's Daut. We didn't bet the GSP fight because the line is so big, like -400, and neither of us want to be seen rooting for Koscheck. I can only imagine what the rowdy French Canadians would do to us if GSP lost and one of us was celebrating. Plus, look at that photo above...how could you ever root for that Koscheck clown?


The only other goal we have is to get Poutine by the end of the night. I would love to hit the bars and whatnot but the weather is really gnarly and the meatheads are out in full force. It's just not that fun when everyone looks and acts like they're straight out of the Jersey Shore. Anyway, that's enough negativity. War GSP!!!

Heading to NYC tomorrow, gonna watch football with Mike the Mantan then go out for dinner and drinks at night. Monday we're going to watch Arsenal-Man U and then I'm going to Mike's hockey game at night. Tuesday I fly home. Pretty nice little weekend, if you ask me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Montreal



I made it to Montreal!! Hope no one was too worried about me. The flight to Newark sucked, I was in the middle seat between two fat old guys, but getting to Montreal was awesome. Porter Air is an amazing airline and I thoroughly enjoyed their service. Their planes are smaller so everyone has an aisle or window seat and they give you small meals, even on 1.5 hour hops. I'll definitely try to take advantage of this hook-up again.



Fisherman's Night was awesome, as promised. I ate 3 plates of food so fast that I forgot to take pictures. This is a pic of my friend Matt's plate. The food was unreal and I got just drunk enough to ease the pain of my stomach stretching. I made a dumb joke at some point, Jazmin went to jab my ribs, and she was rib-blocked by my turgid stomach. It was rock hard and I'm confident I was pretty close to its maximum capacity. Yum.

I wandered around Montreal a bit this afternoon and bought groceries. There were a lot of meathead types wandering the streets too and I have a feeling that the bars aren't going to be as much fun with all that testosterone floating around. I'll try to have fun anyway. Tomorrow is the big fight and I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ants in my Pants

Woop Woop!! I've been running around all day, getting ready for my trip to Montreal. I'm on a red-eye to Newark that leaves Sea-Tac at 10:40 PM and arrives at 6:15 AM. I was originally planning on spending half a day in NYC but no one is going to be awake at that time. When I land in Newark, I'm going to head to the Porter Air desk and try to get on an earlier flight so I can spend more time in Montreal. Wish me luck.

Tonight I'm going to a Norwegian function called Fisherman's Night. Here is the history of the night, if you're interested. Basically, it's a huge banquet with unlimited seafood and booze. The seafood is always top notch because all the fishermen like to show off how good their catches are. I'm really excited. I'm going to gorge myself and get drunk from 6-9 PM then head to the airport, drink lots of water, and pass out on my plane. Sounds grand to me.

I'm still loving my Kindle and if you like reading, you should definitely think about buying one. I just bought Lost Vegas by my friend Paul McGuire and I'm excited to read it on this trip. I haven't read a single sentence yet but I know it's going to be awesome. Pauly is one of the best writers I've ever met and his ability to capture the nitty gritty details of stories is what sets him apart.

I've been learning French using Rosetta Stone's software. I finished Part 1 of Level 1 yesterday and I'm pretty proud of myself. There are 4 parts to each Level and 5 Levels total so I'm 1/20th of the way there. It's pretty addictive and I'm really enjoying using my brain again. If I stick to it, I think I can finish in about 6 months and hopefully be able to read and understand French. I have no delusion of being totally fluent and probably can only develop my speaking ability by immersing myself in a French speaking country for some time. Maybe I'll love Montreal and want to move there for a few months!!

Next post will be from Montreal, hopefully with pictures of tonight's delicious seafood buffet. Holla!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Pot Limit Omaha



The Huskies won last night but they still look sloppy and need to work on a lot before they can be considered a real contender. I guess that's what the early games are for and I hope we look better once the conference schedule is underway.

Today I played a bunch of PLO and won a little bit. I feel like I'm getting better but I still like to 10-12 table and I always lose when I do that. If I could stick to <8 tables I'm pretty sure I'd be a big winner. I just get bored and distracted too easily. When people ask me for a poker tip, I tell them that patience is key. Most people these days know what hands they should and shouldn't be playing but the people who can stick to their "rules" are the ones who can be consistent grinders. I need to start practicing what I preach.

One of my friends posted a video on Facebook today that made me cry. For real. It's Fred Rogers, aka Mister Rogers, testifying before Congress in response to Nixon's proposed funding cuts for PBS. Mr. Rogers delivers a phenomenal address and really wins over the crowd. Check it out.



Mr. Rogers. What a hero.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Starting Fresh

What's up.

Obviously the list-type blog idea failed so I'm going to try to go back to normal blogging. I want to start over from scratch and considered opening a wordpress account and just blogging in the dark for a while, but I like this address and I like feedback so I'm going to stay here. Hopefully the 3 or 4 people who have me bookmarked will click that bookmark and find something worth their time.

On Thursday night I'm flying to Newark on my way to Montreal. My cousin, Marisha, has a hookup with a Canadian Airline called Porter Air and somehow I get to fly that airline for free. Newark is the only American city that they fly out of so I had to get there for the flight to Montreal. Flights from Seattle-Newark were $300 and Seattle-Montreal was $700. I actually have to pay $50 in taxes to Porter Air but $350 is, ummm, about half of $700 AND I get to spend 2 days in NYC visiting friends. Holla. I'm only going to be in NYC for about 8 hours on the way to Montreal but I get about a day and a half on the way home.

Anyway, the point of that story is to brag about going to Montreal. It's definitely toward the top of my list of places I want to visit. Off the top of my head, here's my top 25...places I've never been or just barely been:

Croatia
Malaysia
Philippines
Egypt
New Zealand
Brasil
Costa Rica
Poland
Russia
Lebanon
Montreal
Guadalajara
Portugal
Scotland
Morocco
Ecuador/Galapagos
Nepal
Seoul
Sweden
Bali
Argentina
Greece
Cuba
Mayan Peninsula
Austin

Again, these are just off the top of my head, in no particular order. My Dad spent a lot of time in Montreal when he was younger and always raved about the bar scene. I've also met a ton of people traveling who love it and for some reason it's always held a special place in my heart. Looking forward to reporting back with pics and stories.

The reason I'm going is to see GSP fight Koscheck in UFC 124. I went to Toronto about a month ago and my cousin Marisha told me she had 2 extra tickets to the fight. I am a mild UFC fan at best but my 6 months living with Ryan Daut made me a huge GSP fan. I contacted Daut, who said he'd love to go, and now shit is on. GSP is from Montreal and it'll be awesome to see him fight at home. I just watched a bunch of his old fights and they got me all fired up. Here is my favorite:

http://georgesaintpierre.com/gsp-vs-matt-hughes-3/

Tonight I'm heading down to the Bank of America Arena to see the Huskies play the University of Portland. Should be a blowout and a fun game to watch. Go Dawgs!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Errands

Good:
- Hung out with Mom for 45 minutes.
- Walked the dog.
- Ate lunch with Dookie, Davis and Jazmin.
- Unloaded the U-Haul.
- Ran a bunch of little errands.

Bad:
- Lunch was at a burger place and I ate a giant plate of Yam fries. At least they were delicious.
- Haven't packed at all for my trip to DC.
- Lost money playing poker.

To Do:
- Pack for DC. Flight leaves at 1 PM, gonna have to catch a bus at 10:30, so I better get up early.

I'm pretty pumped for the next 10 days. DC this weekend is going to be a blast and then I get to visit with my brother for a week. I'm home on November 8th and will probably be local through New Years. Holla.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hooooome

Good:
-Made it home from San Fran in 12.5 hours. Google maps says 13h50m, boo-yah!

Bad:
-Ate at Micky D's twice for my only meals. They're so GD convenient and I was trying to get home fast so I sacrificed my health. One day I'll eat healthily, one day.
-Texted and yakked on the phone way too much. The weather was pretty gnarly and I think I was a bit unsafe on the road today. One day I'll stop texting and talking on the road...but maybe not.

To Do:
-Unload U-Haul.
-Wash clothes and pack for DC

I'm heading to DC on Thursday for the Jon Stewart rally this weekend and will hang out with my brother the following week. DC is a fun place and I'm excited to get out there for a few days. Here are some pics: The double rainbow appeared on the drive this afternoon and the other one is an older pic from the Olympic National Park.



Monday, October 25, 2010

San Fran

Good:
-Drove to San Francisco. ~1000 miles down, 813 to go.
-Spent all day drinking beer with Robert and Nichole. Lots of good convo and whatnot.
-Woke up at 5:30 AM to start the drive. So nice getting out of LA before traffic got bad.
-Walked Nichole back to her hotel around 10 PM. Got about 2 miles of walking out of it. Holla!!
-Ate Ethiopian food, family style, with our hands. Delicious.

Bad:
-Ate McDonald's breakfast. It's just so good and so convenient and so cheap. Argh.
-It's midnight and I'm still awake. I'm getting up in 5.5 hours and I'm driving 14 hours. Gross.
-Didn't call Mom. Must do that tomorrow from the road.

To Do:
-Drive to Seattle. Only 13 hours and 50 minutes. Great.
-Call Mom.
-Answer all my emails and texts and crap that I've been avoiding.
-Learn Guitar?

Today was an awesome day. Left LA at 6 AM, got to San Fran at 12:15. Ate lunch with Robert and Nichole came over at 2 PM. We bought 24 beers and drank them on the roof of his apartment...does it get any better? Long drive tomorrow, wish me luck.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Let's get Motivated

Yo.

Life is pretty damn good. There are a few things I could bitch and moan about but no one wants to hear about that crap. I'm going to try to get the blog rolling again, this time using it as a motivational tool to improve my life. I think I'm going to use a simple list format with the categories: Good, Bad and To Do. Kind of like this:

Good:
-Drove ~530 miles from Tucson to Los Angeles. 1/3 of the way home.
-Bought dinner for Swass because he's letting me crash on his futon.
-Told my girlfriend I love her.

Bad:
-Overate at dinner. Toooo much sushi.
-Didn't get any exercise.
-Didn't read at all.

To Do:
-Driving to San Fran tomorrow. Should make an effort to walk a few miles around the city. Maybe some push-ups in the AM.
-Eat at least one healthy meal. Maybe some fruit for breakfast and In N Out for lunch.
-Call my girlfriend and mother.
-Spend some quality time with my San Fran friends, Robert and Nichole.

At a minimum, I'll try to get something like that up every day. At a maximum, I'll ramble for a few paragraphs about non sequitur junk. We'll see how it goes.

I just spent an excellent weekend in Tucson. My girlfriend, who moved to Seattle in June, is from Tucson and this was her first trip back. These homecoming trips always end up being too busy...so many people to see, so little time. In addition to catching up with old acquaintances, we packed a U-Haul with her bed, dresser, clothes, shoes, nightstand, etc and I'm currently driving it to Seattle. Jazmin was with me today for the drive to LA but she has to work tomorrow so she flew home tonight. I don't mind driving, road trips are my favorite thing in the world, but I'm going to be a bit lonely as I cruise North on the boring I-5 route. I think I've driven that route ~15 or 20 times. I do enjoy Mount Shasta and Silva's Restaurant in Weed, CA but the rest of the 1000 miles are pretty painful. Anyway, I'm hoping to hang out in San Fran tomorrow night, not drink too much, get up early, and get home late on Tuesday night. We'll see how that goes.

I recently got a Kindle and it's rekindled(HAR HAR) my love of reading. As a child, I was constantly reading. Charlie and the Chocolate factory and any book by Roald Dahl were my favorites. At some point in High School, I basically stopped reading unless I had something assigned. Over the last few years I've read ~1 book per year. Pitiful. With the Kindle, I read 1.5 books just this weekend. The book that I started at the Seattle airport and finished in Jazmin's mom's living room is called Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History. The book was pretty interesting, although the writing style is a little dry. The authors are being extra careful to give you all the facts and the book comes off kind of like a scientific textbook. I think this is because much of the information contradicts the Ringleader's account that he gave Wired Magazine from prison. You can find that here. Anyway, the book is a good read if you want to learn about diamonds, Antwerp, or Italian criminals. I certainly don't regret reading it. The book that I'm halfway through is Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the book that the 1st season of Dexter is based on. It's pretty good and the author does a good job of painting images with his writing. The storyline is pretty consistent with the show but it's still fun to read even though I know what's going to happen. So far, so good.


Last week, my brother was in town and he introduced me to Five Fingers by Vibram. These shoes make you walk as if you were barefoot and that has all kinds of health benefits. My brother owns 6 pairs and tries not to wear anything else. Since I trust his judgement, I immediately bought 3 pairs and haven't worn anything else over the past week. They're a great conversation starter and I've found them to be really comfortable. My feet do hurt but I think it's a good hurt...strengthening my arches and whatnot. I'll let you know if I develop stress fractures and cripple myself for life but for now, I'm enjoying these things. The next step is to buy a pair for running and start jogging. Baby steps for now.

There you have it...my foray back into the world of blogging. I'll leave you with a pic from this weekend's UW-Arizona tailgate. The pic was probably going to be a good one but for some reason the camera on my phone was set to "Solarize". Strange. We won't talk about the game itself but tailgating was pretty fun. Hope to see you again tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Israel

We've been in Israel for about 20 hours and I'm really enjoying myself. It's pretty amazing how well everyone speaks English and I heard two great jokes at dinner yesterday that I want to share.

First, we were eating some appetizers which included 2 different kinds of hummus. Dani was teaching me that "huh?-miss" is incorrect and his cousin interjected with "Hamas is a terrorist organization, don't go around asking Israelis for Hamas. It's 'hoo-moose' that you want to eat." It was funny and delicious at the same time.

Second, the owner of the restaurant was talking to us about the Super Bowl and how we felt about it. I told him I was rooting for the Saints and he said, "yes, it's good to help the people of New Orleans forget Katrina...now we need Haiti to win the World Cup." This brought down the house because Dani and I had talked earlier about how it was kind of ridiculous how often commentators were bringing up the hurricane even though so much time had passed. Brilliance out of the kind restauranteur.

Tonight we're going to hit the town and hopefully I'll have some good pics of Israeli girls for everyone. =)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Man

I was planning on limiting my drinking in February and then I went out and got DRUNK for 4 straight days, Feb 2-5. The worst was last night. I threw a going-away party for my buddy Marcus who is joining the Peace Corps and ended up getting extremely sauced. I had a flight this morning at 8 to NYC and it was one of the most miserable of my life. Oh well, the party was a blast and Marcus enjoyed himself so that's what's important. I bought a bottle of Louis XIII at the Canadian border about a year ago and I had been waiting for a good reason to open it and this ended up being that reason. It's weird having a bottle of liquor that retails for $1500-2000 and it's been hard to deem an event worthy of the opening. However, Marcus joked early in the night that we should open it and I suddenly felt really good about doing so. Marcus is a guy who definitely enjoys and appreciated unique experiences and I'm happy he was the first one to share a shot with me. I'm thinking I should ration it out for close friends at big events, like births of children, weddings, and other cool things that happen in lives. It should be easier to ration out now that the seal has been cracked.

I feel like some sort of sick is coming on and that would be brutal since I'm flying to Tel Aviv on Monday. I rarely get sick so hopefully all I need is rest but being sick on vacation is the worst.

Here are some pics from the party and my buddy's balcony in NYC. This is such an amazing city, I would love to live here for 6 months to a year. We'll see if I can make that happen.





Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pics

I'm bad at this because I use Facebook way more often. Anyway, here are a few pics.