Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring! Garden! Veggies!

It's getting warmer and almost time for t-shirts and shorts (and most definitely flip flops). It also means time to make camping reservations and casino trips. I love this time of year because it no longer gets dark at 5 (when I feel like I'm staying late at work everyday and don't want to do anything once I get out because it's so dark).

And spring also means I get to plant warm climate vegetables in the garden! I've been neglecting the garden because 1) it's been getting dark so early, 2) I get home late from work, and 3) I haven't had to water thanks to the steady Bay Area rain. This past weekend I went to the Flowercraft and picked up some starter seedlings (since slugs and snails and birds have been picking off the ones I grow from seeds). I picked up more cabbage because I think they're beautiful and the last batch made for some good soup. The hard part of gardening is getting rid of all the weeds after letting them go wild for months. I wore my plaid flannel shirt because I knew I'd be doing manly weeding and manly soil-turning and other manly things. It took a couple hours to clear out my two tiny plots.

I love when my plots are nice and tidy. It's much more inviting that way. Below is a photographic inventory of what I've got going in the garden so far. You can bet there'll be more updates soon(ish).


Cauliflowers from last year. One of them finally started to actually get big.

Summer squash (round zucchini)
I've been growing zucchinis every year since they produce so much fruit and are so easy to grow. This year I've moved on to round zucchinis.

Three kinds of cherry tomatoes because I'm indecisive. There's a red one, orange one, and yellow one.


A mix of regular and Roxanne (red) cabbage

Chard mix

Artichokes, also from last year. There are two plants left after one was dragged into a hole by a gopher.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Leonard Cohen is, undoubtedly, the man. His songs are like soundtracks for lonely motel rooms (it's a good thing!)...they're magically sombre.

Remember when they played Jeff Buckley's version of "Hallelujah" on the season one finale of The OC while Seth was sailing away on his boat? Ugh, so heartbreaking.

After seeing Leonard Cohen's performance below, I'm pretty bummed I didn't get a chance to see him when he was in the Bay Area. If he ever decides to come back, I'll be there...pumping my fist for the old man.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A ton of albums that I used to/still love but don't listen to

I used to buy lots and lots and lots of music—to the point where I stopped learning the lyrics to the songs...or even the song titles. Here is a fun little list of 10 20 a bunch of albums I used to have on repeat on my boombox.

Looks like I've got a lot of listening to do.

In alphabetical order:

Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
Björk - Post
Blur - Parklife
The Charlatans - Some Friendly
The Cure - Wish
De La Soul - De La Soul is Dead
Digable Planets - Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)
DJ Shadow - Entroducing (I crashed my first car—not my fault—while listening to this CD on the way to class)
Erasure - Pop!
Erykah Badu - Mama's Gun
Grant Lee Buffalo - Might Joe Moon
Janet Jackson - Janet
The KLF - The White Room
Latyrx - The Album
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Morphine - Cure for Pain
Morrissey - Bona Drag
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Oasis - All of them, including B-sides
O.M.D. - Best of O.M.D.
The Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
The Pixies - Doolittle
Pizzicato Five - Made in USA
Portishead - Portishead
Primal Scream - Screamadelica
Pulp - His N' Hers
Radiohead - The Bends
The Roots - Do You Want More?!!!??!
Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - Getz/Gilberto
Stereolab - Emporer Tomato Ketchup
The Strokes - Is This It?
Suede - Dog Man Star
Tortoise - TNT
Weezer - Weezer (Blue Album)
The White Stripes - De Stijl
Yo La Tengo - I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Better living through computer graphics

This video has popped up on pretty much every tech (and some non-tech) blog I visit, and it's totally justified. Alex Roman made a short film about architecture that is mind-blowingly beautiful and technically amazing. I couldn't believe this entire thing was made from CG. Even at full-screen, I couldn't tell it was CG because the animation is so ridiculously photorealistic, especially in the beginning. Have a look below. Do yourself a favor and put it on full-screen.

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

For those who still don't believe this is all CG, check is out:

Compositing Breakdown (T&S) from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

Friday, December 11, 2009

2010, you HAVE to be better than 2009

Man, I can't wait for this year to be over. There were some good things, but overall it sucked ass. Here's my annual list of things to work towards in the new year.

1. Post more list oriented entries on this blog. This was #10 on my list from last year, so I'm putting it up top this year.

2. End the Ikea takeover in my apartment. I'm 31, it's time.

3. A new car. I know I just got my car only a few months ago, but I'm gonna have to upgrade to a car with power everything. And air conditioning. Seriously, I don't want to have to hand-crank my windows up and down anymore.

4. A classic: exercise more. Mainly for health reasons and to prevent me from feeling like a sluggish slob, but also to look decent while shirtless.

5. Practice philanthropy. I've reached a pivotal point in my life where I've got the means to help others, either through donations or volunteering, so I'd like to try and make the most of it. I'm rejoining Taproot Foundation to put my professional skill set to work and enrich local busineses who can't afford the service otherwise.

6. Be a better friend. I consider myself a pretty decent person and a good friend, but there's always room for improvement.

7. Get to know my family better. Though I love them, I've never been as close to my family as I'd like to be. Maybe in 2010 that will change.

8. Excel at my job. In 2010, with a new job, I'll try to do more than just meet expectations.

9. Less Facebook, more blogging. Facebook is like an ADHD exercise. I've got to learn to commit myself to writing a whole blog entry more often.

10. Dress like an adult. It was inevitable: I grew up. Now my clothes have to do the same. I guess it's good that I don't own very many graphic tees but do own a few pairs of corduroy pants. It's a start.

So here's to an awesome new year for me and you.
N.B. I failed miserably in my resolution to drink more in 2009. May 2010 be a drunken haze!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wow, ok

Tonight I got a text from my sister saying that our autistic cousin was missing and she wanted to know what the best way to get the word out about him (tv news, radio, flyers, etc.). I thought it was a joke at first since, come on, how often do you get a text saying a family member is missing?

She was driving around San Jose looking for him without any luck (as you could imagine) while I was calling all the local news stations to see if they could put out an announcement and checking with all the hospitals just in case. Frantic was way of putting it. Shitting bricks is another.

Since he's autistic, he rarely goes anywhere by himself except to and from his adult education class. I was ready to drive down to San Jose to join her in aimlessly driving around when I got another text saying that the police had found him outside of a Target store miles away from where he was last seen. Man, I would have been pissed if I had actually left. What the hell was he doing across town at Target while everyone was freaking out? Ironically, I was also at a Target store when I got the initial text.

Lesson learned: implant a GPS chip under any of your loved ones' skin...immediately.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not completely wasting my time

Lately I've been trying to spend my time doing things other than being online or at work. Or being online at work. Last week I volunteered at the San Francisco Food Bank. It's kinda fun in an assembly line kinda way. We repackaged bulk granola and brown rice into one-pound bags, which then went into boxes. My job was to do the initial filling of the bags as close to one pound as possible. I've discovered that I've got a knack for this (hitting one pound more often than not) and one of my teammates suggested that I'd be a good drug dealer.

I didn't really think about the people who would be there, but it was surprising that most of the people there were my age or younger. I guess I expected to see more of the mom type (because that's what I see on the news when they do stories on food banks during the holidays?? I don't know).

This year I'm also doing the Adopt-A-Family program at the Raphael House again. My friend Lucie told me about it and I thought it would be nice to contribute. The house is more or less a shelter for homeless children and families in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. The program asks that you provide gifts for the children as well as a family gift and a gift card to some place practical like Safeway or Target. Last year I spent way more than I really should have, but it was really fun shopping for my girl and her family (hence the overdoing of the gifts).

My motivations aren't completely altruistic, though. Growing up, we were pretty poor and my parents used services similar to these and lately I've been feeling like I have a responsibility to "give back," as they say. If you have the time or money, you should, too. And not just because it's the holidays, but because I told you to.

You can email Anne at SF Food Bank (more info here) or Anna at Raphael House (more info here) if you are a good, decent person.

This stuff isn't going to repackage itself into one-pound bags.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm stressed out as fuck

So, to relieve some of that stress, I'll revisit this blog, which I more or less abandoned months ago. The thing is, I've got two presentations tomorrow and lots of stuff to design. I'll be working til at least 3 in the morning tonight. But I've got sketches done!

Adult life is tougher than what I had imagined as a child (or hoped for). Recently I've been reminiscing about how stupid I was to complain about life as a kept kid. I didn't have to pay for anything and got everything. Oh well, those days are gone, so I should probably worry about today. And these projects. And the presentations tomorrow.

Back to work.

Oh, and thanks, mom and dad, for the braces and those Nike Cortez shoes you got me way back when.

In Bataan, Philippines

Monday, July 6, 2009

One wasn't enough

Shortly after starting to contribute to Uyen's food blog, I wanted something even quicker and more instantly satisfying. It's a food diary filled with camera phone pictures of the things I eat throughout the day. Maybe I can sell it as a book one day. Probably not, though.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It was inevitable

Uyen and I have started a food blog. It's two people who eat too much writing about the food that make, eat, etc.