Tuesday, September 16, 2014

long anticipated

Ahoy,

I flew straight to Chicago from Seattle, leaving the RRS to fend for himself for the week. He would subsist on burritos and anime for a glorious week of bachelordom.

I went downtown with my brother and best friend to the Chicago Public Library for a class at their Maker Lab. We learned how to use TinkerCAD to print out things with the 3d printer. It was a lot of fun. They have a bunch for cool machines: 3d printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, wood mill, etc. They do crafty sorts of classes all the time, and they're free! I love the library.

I went with my brother to Lakeview to see N's new apartment and picnic on the waterfront. It was only mildly muggy, so sitting outside did not get us all drenched if we were staying still in the shade. As kids, my mom always had me bring my brother along to all my friends' houses because video games is not a legitimate baby-sitter. I've gotten used to dragging my brother along everywhere, and my friends have gotten used to him. Also, he gets good 'what not to do' advice regarding girls. I'm sure he's catalogued all sorts of stuff we've spouted throughout the years. We walked around the neighborhood a little before parting ways.

The RRS and I spent another day picking up sandwiches at the French Market in Union Station. We got in line for sandwiches because everyone else was in line. I got not nearly enough of my favorite mini doughnuts and devoured them before lunch. He spent a good deal of time deciding between iced coffee at DD (because there are none in LA area) or Intelligentsia. He was afraid his expectations would be too high and he'd be disappointed because it wouldn't be as good as he remembered. First world problems. Sometimes I question his rationale. We brought our sandwiches, which turned out to be bomb, to eat at the JazzFest in Millennium Park. My favorite part was dipping my toes and getting wet at the various water features in the park on the way out. After Buckingham Fountain, I remembered there was an exhibit I wanted to see at the Architecture Museum, so that was our final stop.

glaringly sprouted,
jt

Thursday, September 11, 2014

coincidental birfday

Ahoy,

On our last day in Seattle, it happened to be E's birfday. She had just moved to Seattle and I was so glad to get to see her and see she was doing well and enjoying her new environment, despite the troubles oft associated with moving. I had come to regard her as a good friend and regrettably, had not seen her as much as I'd have liked those last few months she was in LA. Sometimes life gets in the way. Being busy is not permanent, hopefully.

We met with her for lunch at an indian place in the dungeons of this corner building. It turned out to be spicier than I could handle, but I ate it all because I didn't want to carry the rest home. How many times in my life have I and will I stuff myself to avoid the tribulations of a to-go box?

Our next and most memorable activity for me was the lake/beach. It was the one of the most idyllic small town watering holes I've ever visited (READ: only watering hole). There was a platform a little away from shore you had to swim out to with diving boards you could leap off of. It reminded me of diving into my local pool as a child. I would leap without abandon from the diving boards until that fateful day I saw they had been removed, never to be seen again. I had a blast in the water, and it's a shame everyone else stayed ashore. After I dried off, we all moved to play bocce ball while I joined the children on the playground zipline. The playground had a zipline!

Visiting Seattle is always the most fun. O & H are the best at entertaining/hosting us. So much so that sometimes I feel like we may be better off living in separate cities until infinity and beyond. But then I think also that I would love to hang out with them all the time too.

enamoringly lucked,
jt

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

mosquitoes & rocks

Ahoy,

Picking up where we left off. The morning of Squamish was a mad dash to get new shoes for the RRS because we had forgotten his shoes back in Seattle. One of the most tragic of occurrences to befall his young soul yet. I will be lucky if he expresses as much grief and mourning upon my death. Luckily there is a climbing shop in Squamish and we picked up lunch & shoes in the area. He ended up purchasing new shoes that he had been eyeing for a while, so I guess it all worked out for the best.

Our first stop was in an area called the magic kingdom. The most magical part was probably the mosquitoes. I got about 59 mosquito bites here. 59! The audacity of those mosquitoes! They went through my clothes; I looked like I had the pox. After tackling some things here, we returned to the same area we had climbed at last time we were here. I think it's called the grand wall. Much to my relief there were absolutely no mosquitoes here to bite me. It was much breezier and open. Climbing days for me are usually a lot of waiting around so I always like to bring bubbles or something to entertain myself. Like a child. I will remember Squamish more for the harassment by the local fauna, than for the rocks.

We hightailed it out of there with as much speed as we could muster despite the traffic on the road to Vancouver. The goal was to make it back in time for dinner, but everything was closed, so we just ordered pizza and watched reel rock, as if we hadn't gotten enough of climbing in for the day. Thanks to O for being a champ and driving us home safe.

splatteringly dyed,
jt

Thursday, September 4, 2014

out of town, out of the country

Ahoy,

We departed for Seattle mid-August to visit our favorite Jewish programmer. For some reason, one of our friends got a ton of our other friends to go to Vancouver to climb at Squamish. How anyone could ever get a group that size to move en masse to another country is beyond me. It was amazing. It's difficult enough getting them all to drink boba with me. For fear of missing out, the RRS pondered very deeply over whether or not we should go because he was at the mercy of his academic schedule. What else is new? We ended up just going ahead and booking it because I was frankly sick of his moping, and I knew if we didn't go, he would continue to mope. "But our friends will never all be there again..." he queried. Oh, the drama (cue rolling my eyes).

Our friends O & H always pull out all the stops for us, which gives me hoster's remorse because I'm sure we don't give them the same royal treatment when they visit us in LA. How will I ever live up to the grandeur? After an evening in Seattle consisting of German food and bomb pie, we departed the next morning for Vancouver. We weren't in a hurry to leave because we had decided the night before that since the weather would be crummy on Saturday in Squamish, we would just call it a wash for climbing and spend the day in Vancouver.

Upon arriving, we dawdled our way out the hotel to catch the tail end of dim sum. It was delicious, probably the best mango pudding. We walked off some of the food (there was a lot of food to walk off) on our way to get java. It still hadn't rained, so our next stop was to rent bikes and ride around Stanley Park. The bikes we rented were probably the creakiest bikes we've ever ridden. It sounded like my bike was wheezing whenever I asked for more speed. The chains occasionally fell off or got tangled. Imagine my apprehension as I was going downhill wondering if my chain would dislodge itself on my back brake bike. It was a fun ride and weather was amiable.

For dinner, we made our way to Yaletown for some seafood.  It was all delicious and we ate everything. We were all pooped and ready for bed. The next day would be our climbing day in Squamish!

deleteriously served,
jt

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

quiet on the internet = loud unplugged

Ahoy,

Some things I forgot to mention.

We went to a ping pong social club event in August. I had seen these places while I was in NYC. They recently opened a location in LA and had a party to kick it off. The RRS says it's one of the more fun things I've dragged him to. They had rented a bunch of vintage arcade games in addition to use of the ping pong tables. We had unlimited play for the whole evening. The food was not spectacular, I would not eat those foods again, but the experience of the night was fun for me as well. The facility is in the Standard Hotel, and they try to create a sort of nightclub vibe. Truth be told, I would not really go to this type of thing, but I felt that the RRS would like it a lot, and my brother too. I had fun nonetheless. One day I will drag him to the ballet. He will nap, and I will have fun.

We also made a trip into Chinatown in LA last month for Chinatown summer nights. Typical sights in Chinatown include lots of people, pushy Chinese ladies hoarding freebies, lots of food, exploding confetti rocket thingers, etc. Since it was a KCRW event, there were a ton more hipsters and non-natives (READ: not Chinese people). They had several sound stages, a beer garden, djs, food trucks, craft & jewelry sale stands. There was a lot of excitement, uncharacteristic of the neighborhood. We also discovered a new boba shop! It's good enough for a repeat visit.

frothingly pearled,
jt

Thursday, July 31, 2014

no snags

Ahoy,

A's sister L visited us again. It is always a fun time when she comes because we eat a lot of foods. Normally, A starves me throughout the weekend because he is bad at feeding us. Sometimes I let him be in charge because otherwise he says I'm too bossy. Warning: don't let him be in charge of your children. They will starve.

The day L arrived, we decided to go downtown because a) national dance day was happening and b) the renegade craft fair was happening. They were conveniently located in the same park, so it was perfect. It was a bit of a scorcher, which I hadn't really thought about, but we persevered. Our first stop was to the grand central market for coffee, eggslut, and horchata. If you know me at all, you know I love a horchata bigger than my head. Eggslut surprisingly lived up to the hype. There's a line for a reason. Although I do feel like grand central market only recently became cool because of the slew of hipster places that got injected. It was a cool and fun place before and it still is.

We made our way over to the splash fountain at grand park. I splashed around with the kiddos while people danced. The water was warm and not as refreshing as I wanted, but after getting thoroughly soaked I felt okay about leaving the water feature for the craft fair. The RRS wilted in the sun waiting for us girls to look at everything. His pride prevented him from having a seat in the shade with the men, even though I prompted him to several times.

Dinner composed of deep dish pizza at masa of echo park. We've been meaning to try this, so we thought it would be appropriate to dine here before checking out the teenage mutant ninja turtle art gallery. The pizza was delicious and hearty. And the gallery was fun. The evening ended back in culver city for beer and ice cream/karaoke. Coolhaus is probably one of the best karaoke parlours on the westside.

The day was full of fun. And we were all surprised how smoothly everything went. I had a great time, and I hope you did too.

steamingly wilted,
jt

Friday, July 25, 2014

ropes!

Ahoy,

So we made the smart choice of taking the redeye on megabus up to Oakland last weekend. It was awful, the ride, not the trip. The redeye megabus was awful. I don't know what we were thinking. Who okayed that? Never again. Put that on the list of bad decisions. You would think since there are 2 of us making choices, one of us is bound to veto the others' poor choices. We got to his house and slept late into the afternoon. Had we taken the daytime bus, we would have arrived at about the same time.

I'd been dying to get on ropes again, so we got to go to not 1, but 2 Touchstone gyms to top rope. It was so much fun! I had so much fun! I can't wait for their Pasadena location to open! It will be so much fun! We also made a stop at Berkeley Bowl, the happiest place on earth, for snacks, the best food group of all the foods.

Other than that, we spent the days with his family running around SF and Berkeley. It's always fun to see what has changed and what remains. I feel like college towns are so transient not only of the people, but also the businesses. It's always a delight to see my favorites remain throughout the years.

Also, on the bus ride back, I got a super mario toy from the kid's meal. Probably the highlight of megabus is the food stops. Sometimes the company is alright.

distortingly summered,
jt

Thursday, July 17, 2014

oh, the sports

Ahoy,

Last weekend the RRS and our friend J made me go watch a soccer game. We went to a Nike party at 6th & Mill, they called it the Hall of Phenomenal. I guess I didn't have a bad time. There was a giant screen and benches. We got there early enough to secure great seats. Nike also provided snacks aplenty, which I'm a big fan of. Let's face it, it doesn't take much to make me happy.There was also a taco and burrito stand. This place had everything you need to watch sports, minus the alcohol. But I think it would have been nuts if they added alcohol to the mix, so it was more like good decisions on Nike's part. It was an incredibly pleasant experience and I would be happy to watch another sporting event there, even though I don't like sports or spectating sports in general.

Since it was right behind our climbing gym, we got to climb for a bit after the event. The evening ended with a party that was pretty low-key. I'll admit I'm of the demeanor where low-key parties are way more fun than rowdy parties. I've never understood the attraction of shouting over each other at other drunken people you will likely never see again. But this was a great party consisting of food, conversation, and board games. I aspire to lead a relatively PG life.

falteringly snored,
jt

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

sports

Ahoy,

The RRS took me to my first ever sporting event last weekend. I cannot honestly say I was thoroughly amused. I cannot honestly say I was paying attention to the baseball game. A got tickets from work, and the seats were in the shade. I was so glad for that because I would have been so, so, so grumpy if I had to sit in the sun the whole time. It was Dodgers vs Cardinals. My English teacher in high school was a big fan of the Cardinals, so I felt more of an attachment for that team. He was always in a good mood when they were winning. A says it was a really exciting game in that there were a lot of runs scored by the Dodgers. The chocolate malt was probably the highlight for me.

I'm not dying to go again. But I didn't have an awful time. There are a lot of people in the world more dedicated to fandom than I.

drastically posted,
jt


Friday, June 27, 2014

Kevin was here

Ahoy,

I went on a bicycle adventure with my brother but my bicycle promptly malfunctioned when we started bicycling. We took the bus to the Getty Villa with our bikes. We tried to hop on the architecture tour but had a lot of trouble hearing the fella, so we hopped off that activity. When we left, we had to wait nearly an hour for a bus that had space on the racks for our bikes. What a drag to be stuck on the side oceanfront for so long. We didn't want to ride on the side of the highway because, you know, the imminent death upon falling over thing. We were reminded upon multiple occasions to take pictures together to send to my mom, because, you know, her life is consumed by taking and showing pictures to her coworkers.

Immediately after we got on the trail, I noticed my bike had a flat. We were in between places and far from anywhere, so I probably rode on my flat for way longer than I should have. One could say stranded on the PCH is a fear I never anticipated. We made it to omusubis in Santa Monica and my brother liked them. I guess you could say this was the beginning of a rather ambitious walking food tour. We moved onto a taco truck in Venice and sausages shortly after. One might say this food part was successful because we had more food than we needed. What is a life well-lived if not filled with indulgences?



We ended up taking the bus the rest of the way home because, you know, my bike was broken. The bus driver ended up being super nice and interesting. K thinks he learned more from the bus driver than the museum tour guide. I sometimes find myself wanting to write positive feedback cards to bus drivers, because they only really get cards for complaints. I think excellent customer service deserves just as much recognition. I implore you, thank your bus driver today.

We went to the drive-in that evening. K worked on his Botcon costume until the wee hours of the morning. What an action-packed day.

woefully detached,
jt