Monday, May 21, 2018

Royal Wedding 2018

No, not my wedding sillies, Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle :P

I'm a sucker for this stuff (duhhhh I had the insane fever in 2011) and I'm lucky that one of my friends is an insane Anglophile obsessed with England and all of Europe's monarchies and we indulge each other in this nonsense. She even came across a notebook in HomeGoods that I made her get for me haha (I reimbursed her!).


In preparation for Saturday, I spent the night at her place on Friday to better make the 3am wake up call for the starting coverage. I was unprepared for that nonsense since for the last royal wedding in 2011 I lived in NYC and only needed to get up at 6 like normal for work.

We had a great time watching and commenting on everything going on, all the people, all the hats, all the outfits. We popped some champagne which was also fun, and concluded with some eggs and toast.


Yes we had multiple channel up since they
were both being fussy at times

My opinion is apparently unpopular, but I will say, watching that wedding, I was appalled. She looked frumpy and lazy with that loose hair everywhere and that baggy wedding dress. In some angles, yes, it looked nice, but from what you could see on the screen, it looked... bad.


There was even a moment the camera caught of Harry completely side-eyeing her loose hair! But, I digress.

In other news, yesterday was Anana's birthday... 11 years old! She had a nice day... non-stop treats, a trip to the park, and her usual steak birthday dinner.


I promise she was happier than she looks here, contemplating her 77 years of life...!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Wedding Shopping Day

I have a semi-long engagement, so it's just always felt like everything is so far away and it's so far out there on the horizon. But I guess, now that we're less than 7 months out, we really can get into planning...? It's closer than it's ever been, but it still feels pretty far away.

At any rate, yesterday I had the day off work and went up to LA with my mom to go ransack the Arts District for random odds and ends for supplies and some DIY crafts for the wedding.

Gassing up before hitting the road

Our snapmojis in DTLA.
Apparently my mother is
shopping but I am not

Only in the Flower District
in LA I suppose
It felt nice to get stuff (not so nice to spend the money but whatcha gunna do?) and it was great to cross stuff my off my list, but I swear as soon as you do that, another 5 things pile right back on...

Friday, May 4, 2018

Two Little Old Ladies Go To A Concert

Once upon a time, there were two old ladies who used to stay up late, go out anywhere and everywhere no matter the time or place, be able to crash at home at 4am and be up at 6am for work. After a few years, these two old ladies decided to go a concert nearby on a Tuesday night for a sweet NYC band LCD Soundsystem.

When the Tuesday came, both the little old ladies felt tired, and exhausted, and the thought of a concert that night was a lot to handle. Still, after work, one little old lady went to the other's. She had a box of wine left over in her car that she brought. Instead of making them feel adventurous, they got sleepy on the couch with Mulan on. They cuddled the dog and wondered how they would get to the concert.


The first little old lady finally got dressed and made a pot of coffee for them and the second little old lady drove them to the concert late, after the opening act and just in time to get a drink and squeeze into the middle of the crowd.

In the end, the concert was amazing, they woke up, they danced, they drank, they had a great time on a Tuesday night and remembered why they used to go out during the week. Plus, James Murphy is incredible and LCD Soundsystem plays so great liveeeee!




All the same, the first little old lady still had to take off the next morning from work to sleep because she was still too tired.

The End. (Until next time).

Monday, April 30, 2018

Luca is ONE! Colon, I Had a Nice Weekend

As of last Thursday, April 26, my nephew Luca is ONE year old! He went from this...


To this...!


So, not a lot of change in that crying department lololol.

Anyways, Heather and Justin threw a nice Seuss-themed bday party for the little Thing 1, even though he was pretty cranky the whole time and wouldn't be consoled with anyone else!





After that party, AJ and I went to meet our friends bowling and then to their house for dinner. On Sunday we both slept in more than usual, and then we went to sushi and to see a special showing of Labyrinth in the movie theatres! I don't even know what the occasion was but they were showing it yesterday, today and tomorrow I think. Anyways, it was fun to see it on the big screen! Then we went to Target (we're wild) and AJ had to do some work, so I took Anana out on a walk. The field I like to take her to was already locked up, so I took her a rose garden and let her off leash for a little bit.







She's so cute when left to her own devices! When I got home the weather was nice and I just wanted to read and make headway on my book, so I got a beer and went to backyard to sit in the sun, and Khaleesi was actually being really needy and wanting lots of attention, which is rare for her!






After that, AJ and I made dinner and worked on some wedding stuff, which I always enjoy. And getting up today for work sucked! It's a pretty busy week for me too, so I'm looking forward to a concert this week and another 1 year old's bday party on Saturday. This is my life now!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Silverlake

I got a taste of the LA livin' this week when my coworker and I had a Monday morning meeting with our graphic designer at their studio in Culver City, so I did a LA day with her in and around her place on Sunday night in the Silverlake/Los Feliz neighborhood and crashed there overnight. It was so much fun! It helps that her place is so freaking cute with the hardwood floors, arched doorways, so much space, back garden, balcony patio and Pinterest-vibed decorations.

We went to Moon Juice, which she found because Drew Barrymore recently posted about doing a cleanse from some of their juices and drinks and went to town on some of their overpriced products and dusts, and hit up a Goodwill for me to hunt for wedding supplies (hello $2 brand-new IKEA picture frames!) and then modeled my Moon Juice in front of a cool wall. Lulz. We went by the Elliott Smith wall (which has rudely been cut into), got dinner and drinks at Birds, a Jon Hamm favorite, and then went to a show at the Upright Citizens Brigade.






We went back to Jessica's place for tea and a Scientology documentary (our interest had been piqued since we were dining right across the street from it), and then went to bed, but I got woken up a few minutes later from Jessica needing to debrief and analyze a guy text situation... I've missed girl sleepovers!

In the morning we had coffee, got ready, and headed out to the studio in Culver City, which was adorable and we got to meet over breakfast with their dog in the office! We drove the streets to the office and I don't know what this sign means/meant...


After the meeting Jessica was working from home and I had to drive back down to Orange County. I still even worked out after that and then we went out to dinner with AJ's mom and the dogs. I was exhausted like 1/3 of the way through my day but it was funnnn!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

INDIA!!

Soooo... I went to India! And holy shit, I don't even know where to start. That was by far the most foreign experience of my life. And I think I was about exactly halfway around the world. It took 24 hours time to travel there. And considering I flew there over the Pacific, and home over the Atlantic, I quite literally traversed the world. Here are some overall notes...

It was a work trip for about 2 weeks representing the school at education fairs in Chennai, Bengaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai. On my flight from Hong Kong to Chennai I had such a knot in my stomach because the thought of landing in India was starting to freak me out! I knew it was going to be so foreign and overwhelming. And I knew I was in India as soon as I landed too. The airport was a little rundown, and there were shrines all over the place with Ganesh and other deities, with fruit and candles and incense and garland on them. The men staff had uniforms, and the women staff wore whatever saree they wanted it seemed.

When I exited the airport, that alone was a shock. It was about 1am so it was nighttime, but the Chennai heat hit me immediately, and even though all the lush scenery and palms was new, all I could see was the sea of Indian faces staring back at me, and there really wasn't much rhyme or reason. My hotel driver just moved a barrack aside and went around all the laid out infrastructure for our own route to the car.

The streets were insane enough driving them. Even to get to our hotel, we had to drive directly into oncoming traffic to get to the driveway to turn in. Endless little tuk tuk-type autos, scooters, etc. Sometimes there are lanes but they don't matter. People just drive wherever, and just honk constantly. Walking on the street takes all of your effort and attention, seriously. I almost got hit by a bus. No one slows down for a pedestrian, no matter where they are or if they've seen you coming for awhile. Scooters and tuk tuks clipped me all the time. If there are sidewalks, they aren't in great condition. Huge lush forestry and banyan trees grow everywhere, and cables and wires hang everywhere, some cut, some... who knows what.

Being a Westerner, and especially a white Westerner, was exhausting. I was constantly singled out and badgered and solicited to buy stuff or accept a ride or come in to a store or given cards to call later when I need a ride, etc etc. The haggling culture makes me too uncomfortable and the rupee is too inflated for me to do the conversions easily. The sight of the sickly, starving dogs made me want to cry, but the cows seemed to be doing just fine. The random religious shrines along the streets were cool, seeing all the street food and fruits and juices made me sad I couldn't really try them (didn't want to risk the potential sickness) but I still got a good sampling from my hotels (the only places I could really reliably eat!). The hotels were insanely nice and accommodating, like Vegas hotels. I got really sick (fever, chills, aches, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing etc) and the staff went out to the pharmacy and got medicine for me. I came down with it in Bengaluru on like my 4th day in India and battled it for the rest of my time there. I survived though.

Chennai was insanely hot and humid (and it was only the start of the hot season!), Bengaluru was beautiful... a farming area known as the "Garden City of India" and sadly the city I didn't get the most opportunity to go out in... New Delhi as the capital had a lot of stuff going on and obviously lots of history and sites and also had the most rampant population of cows and monkeys just hanging out on the streets, although I'm told they've cleaned it up a bit and made it less congested with them, and Mumbai was the densest, most intense cosmopolitan area...

My snapchat bitmoji traveled
the world... that's my personal bitmoji
with my work bitmoji. Wherever I go...
...there I am

I flew Cathay Pacific and in waiting for takeoff,
I saw that Riverside was listed on the map

So if you wondered what Riverside was in
Chinese... there you go!

Me in Hong Kong, Kathleen in
Japan, and everyone in the US
sound asleep...


The view from my hotel window in Chennai

The view from the hotel gym in Chennai

A statue series in the dining room like lol wut?

The streets of Chennai near the temple... hence all the garlands


It was a Lutheran church, I thought that was
interesting!



The guy on the steps was blessing (?) the store
front with a coconut and oils and fire

Indian room service... chicken vindaloo, garlic naan, masala chai!


Insanely beautiful Hindu temple



Inside the temple ground




Another temple



A Catholic church. I loved seeing Jesus in the
Indian culture!

A relic of the Apostle Thomas! He was
killed in Chennai and this was resting place!

Tomb of the Apostle Thomas

The Bay of Bengal


And, can't forget about work



Next up was Bengaluru (Bangalore). For the record, all the hotels were amazing, but this one was my favorite. They also greeted us with trays of oils and fire and flower to wish us good health and fortune and gave us the bindi dots.




Yes, I went out in the day and came back to a handwritten
note and rose lololol

I also came back to everything on the
bathroom counter organized and laid out neatly
on this dainty linen

House astrologer!

Yes, one more I drank tea and read the Bhagavad
Gita, which was in the hotel drawers

View from the hotel room... can you see the lake?

Panoramic view from the room

A view from the hotel hallway

Hotel grounds and dining


Just seeing/hearing new birds is a treat

Filtered coffee, a specialty of south India that I loved!

I sent this to AJ because it reminded
me of the joke in a Will Ferrell movie
(Talladega Nights) because he always
prays to "little 7lbs 4oz baby Jesus,
learning about shapes and colors" I said
that must be who they worship at that
church

Love the banyan trees!

Love the color infrastructure!

Love the greenery!

Love their orthography!


A group of us out to dinner at a a brewery
And then on to New Delhi...

Art in the airport

We drove through the embassy street


...and past the presidential palace


View from my hotel room

This place. Was. INSANE. It was the most beautiful, stunning
thing I saw in India and it was HUGE and sprawling and majestic
and peaceful and clean and they played Indian music...
it's called Akshardham and you weren't allowed to bring a camera
or cell phone so this was the only photo I got.
Check it out at akshardham.com !!

This was one of the main shrines inside Akshardham.
So, full disclose, this isn't my picture, I had to Google it,
but it's what I saw in there and it was jaw-droppingly
beautiful and awe-inspiring. Gold statues, colorful walls
and every inch dripping in jewels and gems

Camels spotted!

Elephants too!



We drove past so many beautiful buildings,
and there wasn't enough time to see them all!

This was a glimpse of the Purana Qila (see below)


The grounds of Humayun's tomb






India Gate

Night market


I also went by Raj Ghat, which is a beautifully manicured location where they had Gandhi's funeral and where I believe some of his ashes were scattered? Either way it was closed when I went by so I couldn't go in :(

And lastly... Mumbai!

Landing in Mumbai. Yes, that is smog


This photo kiosk was actually in our hotel hahaha y tho


Driving the bridge down to the bottom of Bombay

View of the Queens Necklace

Gateway to India

Chowpatty Beach - so many people out- families,
kids, etc, and it was a Sunday night, almost midnight!



Chowpatty Beach on the Arabian Sea

Good ol' Kingfisher, India's beer

Me and my friends from the tour!

Got so many mosquito bites my foot swelled up like double.
It was obvious where my pant leg ended, haha

Good ol work at the fair


My friend Rafael and I would take pictures
of each other at our booths and send them
when we weren't expecting them

I was right across from a school from Bordeaux!

My agent Binoy who helped me at the fair

What I texted my mom when it was all done

Relaxation station at the Mumbai hote


This mint iced tea was the most delicious,
refreshing, amazing drink I've ever had in my life


This picture is from the plane on the runway. ON THE RUNWAY!
Could you imagine living in those slums so close to it? India
is a different place indeed

My bitmoji in Istanbul for my layover

Taking off from Istanbul, it was cool to see the city
and some of the architecture, a lot of mosques
and stuff, it was cool!

I kept forgetting to check out the window
(I love looking out over what we're flying over)
and I just caught it in time to see the Norwegian
Coast... that's supposed to be Bergen!

And landing over Big Bear Lake coming
in to LAX
Aaaaand that was probably enough adventure for the year. That was an intense, exhausting, tiring trip! So happy to have done it though!

Oh and I came home with a new favorite drink... dirty martinis!