CHILL is an annual winter wonderland event at the Queen Mary in Long Beach and it involves ice skating, fake snow and ice sculpture. It was pretty neat and probably a lot of fun for Southern California kids who don’t really get to enjoy “real” winter seasons. I went to the VIP opening night and got to enjoy the park without the giant crowd.
Personally, I’ve never really had a close relationship to the Holiday season — Thanksgiving or Christmas. There was a point in my life when I questioned my religion (I relate more to agnosticism, by the way) and I was turned off by the consumer aspect of the holiday. Not that getting presents is not awesome! But, the insane consumerism aspect is a whole ‘nother topic — I mean, I can’t even think about ‘Black Friday’ these days without getting a little disgusted at people.
Either way, I am not someone who gets overly excited about Christmas. I don’t ‘ooo’ and ‘ahhh!’ over Christmas decorations. Decorating a tree is too much work! The only years that Christmas is special to me is when I get to go back home to the Philippines and spend it with family there! Plus, let’s face it, Christmas is more fun in the Philippines. In fact, I am probably a little more excited about Thanksgiving because let’s face it, it’s the one day when gluttony is accepted.
I wouldn’t rain on other people’s parades though and I love seeing other people enjoy this season so much, whatever or whichever versions it is they celebrate!
The Ice Kingdom at CHILL was pretty nuts though (in a good way) and supremely cold. I don’t do well in below freezing temperature. The Ice Kingdom is based on the Nutcracker story but it’s inside a dome where everything was made from ice. You can even climb up on this Queen Mary ice replica then slide down a tube of ice! As you can see, everyone had the option on putting on a winter jacket they provide at the entrance so you don’t freeze to death.
I can’t help but point out how long it has been since my last ‘weekly accomplishment’ entry and how much I’ve neglected my own personal blog. I won’t apologize but I will make up for it by trying harder in the future. I can blame lack of inspiration but I know that is my own fault for not finding any!
My cousin, Amira, introduced me to Ozery Bakery a few months ago and it has been a pleasure working with them. Originally, I was hired to create their images for their social media platforms but they have been giving me work that involves many of their collateral marketing items which is fun for me because I get to stretch my creativity a little bit.
My full time work pushes me to step up when it comes to graphic design but working for a weekly magazine can get repetitive still.
I don’t really take on a lot of freelance work because of time constraints but I am happy that I can be “picky” when choosing who to work for. I love the marketing girls at Ozery as they are reliable and easy to work with. If only all freelance clients can be more like them. I would do this full time!
Referring to myself as a ‘host’ is kind of a strange thing. I must have mentioned this before but I prefer work on the sidelines instead of in the spotlight but guerrilla entertainment on the web has pulled me in. Recently, Jeff Burns (the creator of Super Knocked Up) asked myself and Gizzy B (my co-host on the Defective Geeks podcast) to help him host his weekly web show, Super Geeked Up. I am definitely still learning the ropes of co-hosting in a live setting with my face in front of the camera but it has been fun. We’ve gotten to talk to many other web series creators, actors and writers.
The experience is actually making me reconsider creating my own video blog at one point — but I lack the motivating idea for it at the moment. And the time!
Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo was a lot of fun again this year. I met RuPaul and Dean Cain who happened to be my ultimate childhood crush. I want to watch all of Lois & Clark again! I also got to participate in my first real, convention panel called ‘So You Wanna Start a Podcast’ with some of the indie greats of podcast.
Honestly, I felt a little intimidated because even though my own show is almost 3 years old, I still feel like a ‘baby-podcaster’ who doesn’t really know what she’s doing. The other panelists were definitely a lot of more knowledgeable about the technical and business side of podcast. I decided I was going to speak from the heart and come from a place of someone who just loves doing it with her friends. The world of podcast is still finding its place in entertainment and it’s still constantly changing, which is why it’s exciting! It was a great experience to talk to people and pass on the little bit of knowledge that I have. I felt that we did help out the people in our audience who needed to know where to start.
I do encourage everyone who wants to start a podcast to try it and record at least 5 to 10 episodes. Even if you decided not to put it out there, it’s cool to have a recorded history of conversations with friends or other people about topics that you care about.
I got to be Batgirl again. What’s a better accomplishment than that?
Till next time. Stay productive, everyone!
Typhoon Yolanda (or Typhoon Haiyan) hit central Philippines hard and caused massive destruction with thousands of death.
Growing up in the Philippines was a constant weather adventure and I saw my share of typhoons, floods and spending days without electricity. I am grateful that my family in Manila was not affected by this tragedy but many, many Filipinos have lost their homes, family members, friends and their jobs. Many do not have access to food, clothing and medical help.
It has been heartwarming to see online communities, social media, search engines and celebrities give their shout-outs and support to our country.
Please donate if you can and if you can’t spare the money right now, help spread the word.
Las Vegas, where my hair smells like cigarettes at the end of each day. I don’t think Vegas can ever become my favorite place in the world — it is still way below my city of choice if I want to go on a trip. I have to admit though that the poolside lounging opportunities (with an alcoholic drink by your side) at the Vegas hotels and the amazing restaurants will probably entice me to still go to this town of tacky debauchery.
Seriously. The Las Vegas strip is the tackiest trap to fall into but for Californians, it’s the easiest and sort-of-cheapest place to go for a long weekend.
I went with Taglebot for Olympia weekend and since my allergies prevented me from getting drunk (the only way to tolerate the other drunk people in Vegas), I made up for it in eating a lot. We stayed at the Orleans and we tried their oyster bar which was not bad at all.
We went to lunch at Serendipity 3 on the strip. I have been lusting going to this restaurant for awhile — ironically, I didn’t order their famed frozen hot chocolate (which I had in the New York location years ago) or any of their desserts. Jason and I were being conservative because we had a special dinner reservation on the same day . . .
But their mac n’ cheese wasn’t bad at all! Next time, I gotta have one of their alcoholic milkshakes. Even though they’re $15 a pop. I suppose that’s the normal price of a drink in one of the bars though.
But the best meal we had was at Gordon Ramsay Steakhouse at the Paris hotel. We shared the seared foie gras appetizer which I highly, highly recommend. One of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. Unless you’re not into fatty liver from a forced fed goose or duck. Yes, I am very aware of the animal rights issue surrounding foie gras but my gluttony gets the better of me most of the time.
I had the signature Beef Wellington, which was delicious, of course and a side of fingerling potatoes with truffles. The beef wellington was just a perfect dish!
We didn’t have time (or room) for dessert during this visit but we were so impressed by the impeccable service and atmosphere of this restaurant that I am pretty sure we will return for seconds. I am definitely a sucker for fine dining.
Their drinks were also delicious but quite strong, so be forewarned. We discovered that night that it’s hard to sit still in a 3-hour live show while tipsy.
A good meal makes me a very happy girl. Yes, this restaurant is pretty expensive but it’s worth going to at least once if you want to ‘treat yo’self!’
An ex-boss had told me a story about how she knew someone who ate sashimi everyday and actually got mercury poisoning.
But horror-health-stories about sushi will never deter me from actually binging on delicious, raw fish. When it’s fresh, it melts in your mouth like butter. That indescribable umami flavor that I love so dearly.
Nozomi Sushi in Torrance, CA
Nozomi was a random pick via Yelp one night for me — the description promised of a more traditional sushi restaurant. You won’t find krab meat here for your California roll.
Started the meal off with an order of fried oysters. Then we ordered the “Premium Special” chirashi box. So pretty — I loved the presentation – and so good. Is it worth the $42 price tag? Sure was! Yes, there is an expensive price tag but it is probably one of the better sushi you’ll have in Southern California.
I noticed that a lot of the customers who came in knew the owner/employees of Nozomi so there is definitely a more intimate setting. It’s a quiet place without too much bells and whistles inside. The food is definitely Nozomi’s biggest centerpiece.
RB Sushi in San Diego, CA
For a less traditional setting, RB Sushi is a Friday night sushi party and it comes with several different cocktails and a live DJ.
The cocktails are pretty good if you like your drinks sweeter. Or bright blue. As far as the food itself, its your typical American sushi restaurant with several kinds of rolls listed on the menu (and yes, krab meat for your California roll). The quality wasn’t as bad as I expected though and the fish tasted as fresh as they get in these type of places.
RB Sushi does offer a tabehodai (All You Can Eat) option but we decided to stick to an order of salmon sashimi and two rolls off the menu. I already forgot what these rolls were called though — mine had yellowtail.
On Labor Day weekend, I went up to Big Bear Lake, CA with my boyfriend and his cousins. Although I am now suffering from an unexplained and persistent rash (I know, so attractive), the trip was pretty fun and nice. I am much more of a city girl but a weekend away from the daily fast-paced grind was a good way to recharge. Plus, fresh air is always a good thing.
We stayed in a “cabin,” which is of course, more like a house made to look like a cabin. A nice 5-bedroom rented via AirBNB.com.
I took some fun shots of everyone playing volleyball at Swim Beach.
If you believe in ghosts or spirits, our cabin was definitely haunted! On our first night, I felt something touch the back of my ear and hair — as if an invisible hand tucked my hair away for me, ever so slightly. That kept me awake for another hour and when I finally fell asleep, I kept having the same dream of a man in a suit standing inside the bedroom we were in. I haven’t had a strong paranormal experience in a long time and it was hard to shake it off during that weekend. Another girl from our group had sensed the presence in the house.
On the second night, we decided to watch a scary movie which did not help me beat my slight insomnia! But how can you resist purposely scaring yourself when you are in fact staying in a “cabin in the woods”?
My lack of sleep during the trip which resulted in me being more tired than rested by the end of it. Besides the possible haunting, I think I suffered from a bit of altitude sickness. I guess I wasn’t made for high altitudes.
I am a pretty lazy person. If I had a choice, I would want a bajillion dollars to fall on my lap so I can spend my lifetime on a permanent vacation — traveling, eating and sleeping. Sleeping, a lot. I am pretty convinced that this will make me happy!
Instead, my life is a lot like other people’s, going through the daily motions of getting up, working, trying to find the time to enjoy the money I’ve worked for and then vegging out during the weekends. The majority of my week is spent at my full time, day job which is at times easy enough to sit in a cubicle for 8 hours a day . . . and of course, there are days when I just want to throw myself off a cliff. I go to the gym a lot after work for my own health and to shake off the stress. Half the time I go home to work more as I build my small list of freelance clients. Thankfully, I get to be picky about who I want to work with because freelance is just extra money for my savings or more fun! The other half of the time, I spend on my own personal projects: Defective Geeks, blogging, podcasts, web shows, etc.
Somehow, I find time to watch Netflix a lot (okay, I do a lot of my watching while I am working on freelance, I admit!), clean (my mom would argue that I probably never really clean), take care of my pets, family, friends . . . I also always try to reserve the weekend for purely resting or having fun with my significant other.
Yes, it can be hard to find the balance and to juggle everything. Most of the time, I just want to be left alone so I can finish whatever task it is I have my mind set on. Sacrifices are made a lot. Mostly hours of sleep.
What is the ultimate goal? Honestly. Absolutely nothing. I want to keep busy, be productive and also have fun. This might seem very “zen” to say for someone who only ultimately has to worry about myself since I have no children or family to support, but I’ve looked up this so-called corporation or career ladder (or whatever you want to call it) and found nothing appealing. Perhaps that is what makes me an ‘artist’ ultimately because I find that sacrificing my own creativity for material gain too much to ask for. Or perhaps, I am (somewhat) young and just naive.
When it comes down to it — I just want someone to give me a bajillion dollars already! I hear Keanu Reeves like to give his money away. . .
Things that made me happy recently: shopping for dresses online – I love ASOS.com / Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans Go! / fast food breakfast . . . so bad / friends and making new friends / participating on a live web show called Super Geeked Up / coupons and sales / my dog’s never ending devotion / new freelance clients who are awesome! / reading YA novels / upcoming small trips and vacations.