Thursday, September 05, 2002

Weekend Getaways: Las Vegas

I haven't journaled in more than a week. During that time quite a bit has happened. First off, I'll be leaving for new york on September 20th at 9:45 pm. I'm flying over to Washington DC with Michelle and meeting up with Cindy in Maryland. After that, the three of us will be driving up to New York.

As for what has been going on. Last Tuesday night I meet up with Michelle, Matt and Tim Lau at Chuck E. Cheese's to hang out. Matt had a coupon for 100 tokens so we all played Skee Ball to our hearts content. It was pretty fun. They have this new game that is a ride and it takes your picture for you. It was only 2 tokens! By the end of the night, we had 600+ tickets. We wound up sending 200 of them on cotton candy and the rest on these little motorcycle men that were 15 tickets each. We wound up with over 30 of the motorcycle men. I wish I had a digital camera so you could see them. But they are freakin awesome! After that, Mike Yim picked me and Michelle up from Chuck E. Cheese's and we went to The Loft to eat with one of Mike's friends. The night was fun because it was a spontaneous get together. I miss spontaneity.

On Wednesday, I got one of my lower wisdom teeth pulled out so I was out of commission for a while. My medication was making me barf so I wasn't doing much besides resting. I watched a few more movies: The Graduate, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Double Indemnity.

Then late Friday night, I went with Michelle and some of her family to Las Vegas to help out at a Chinese concert at the MGM Grand. We got to Vegas pretty late on Friday so we just went to sleep after we arrived. Since the show wasn't until Sunday, we had all of Saturday to ourselves. After sleeping in until around noon, we went downstairs to eat lunch at the Grand Wok. The good thing about this trip was that I didn't have to pay for food or the room because MGM pays for it as part of the concert deal. This way i don't feel bad about ordering expensive food or eating certain things. I ate a tuna roll and shrimp salad. After lunch, we spent a good part of the day driving Michelle's grandmother and great uncle around. We took them to the Bellagio and to the Fashion Show Mall. In the afternoon, Michelle and I gambled a little and ate at Wolfgang Puck Cafe. We had bruschetta and spinach and cheese dip. I drank a watermelon martini that was the color of swamp water. It wasn't very good. I can't remember what we did after that, but I know we ate again at the Studio Cafe. Mich and I shared an apple crumble a la mode, which was really yummy. That night there was a production meeting that we had to attend. I felt like a complete dolt because I don't speak mandarin. Afterwards, we went to Studio 54. On Sunday, we spent all day getting ready for the show with rehearsals and sound checks that we had to attend. It was really cool being able to see what it is like behind the scenes and what it takes to put on a big concert. The concert was held in an arena sized venue but only half of the seats were opened up. Another thing, Ada Choi can't sing worth crap. We got about a 45 minute break to eat before the show. So we ran down to the studio cafe and rushed through our meal. During the show, I just sat on the left wing acting as security in case something happened like if Emil Chau left the stage and went into the audience. Next, there was an after party at Pearl. It was really annoying because a bunch of middle-aged women who were already eating at the resturant saw Ada Choi and Emil Chau and went into our section of the resturant trying to get autographs and pictures. One lady was especially rude because she kept poking her head in even after she got her pictures. A bunch of the crew hung out in the casino after the dinner. We were just wandering around the casino and drinking. We found out the Emil Chau was hanging out at one of the casino bars, so we went over there. It was really funny because he was totally drunk. He kept saying the most random things and singing "We are the world." But he was cool too because he bought everyone drinks and was really nice to everyone. I also got to talk to some of the other people who were helping out and found out some of them were pretty cool too. One of the guys is from queens so we're gonna hang out with him when we get to new york. At around 6 am, there were only about five of us left at the bar because Emil and his entourage already left. We decided to call it a night.

On Monday morning, I woke up with the biggest headache. I guess I drank a lot more than usual but i totally didn't feel it during the night. I slept until around noon. Michelle was expecting Mike Yim and Greg Mah to come up to Vegas and we were going to go back to la with them. After they called, we got ready and went downstairs to look for them. Mike wasn't getting reception on his phone, so we wandering around trying to find them. Finally, we found them and decided to go shopping at an outlet mall. The mall didn't have any good stores so we didn't stay there very long. We went back to the hotel and ate at Grand Wok. We couldn't think of anything to do so we decided to leave for la early. On the drive back, we stopped by the outlet mall in Primm and then continued to la. That drive back to la was so painful. Mike and Greg kept wanting to play all of these stupid games to pass the time. We didn't have any music to listen to and there was so much traffic. I never wanted to get out of the car so badly. Finally we got to Michelle's aunt's house and picked up her car. She drove me back to her house where my car was. Right as I was leaving Michelle's house, there was an earthquake. I made me a little uneasy driving back by myself but it was okay. Overall, the trip was pretty fun. It definitely had some really memorable moments like drunk Emil.

I didn't really do anything on Tuesday, but I got another one of my wisdom teeth out yesterday. The surgery was really fast and Dr. Wu sewed me up really quickly, but then she tried to put the pieces of teeth back together and realized that there was still some pieces left inside my mouth. So she unsewed me and went to work again. There were actually 3 tiny pieces that had broken off but she got them all out. I feel worse than I did last week even though the swelling isn't as bad.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Weekend Getaways: Santa Barbara

Yesterday, my whole family went up to Santa Barbara for the day. It was pretty funny because none of us knew where we were going so we just drove. Finally, there was a freeway since that said there was a visitors' information center, so we decided to go there for some direction. We discovered that the visitors' center was pretty much in the heart of the tourist area, right by the pier and the water front. We decided to walk to the pier and there was a dolphin statue there. We took some pictures in front of that. It was around lunch time then, so we ate at a nearby resturant called Fishouse. I ate crab and oysters. YUM! After lunch, we left our car and went by electric shuttle to the downtown area. Some people are so stupid. They can't figure out how to put money into a machine! Idiots shouldn't be able to go on vacation! Downtown is basically a shopping district with all sorts of galleries and shops lining State Street. We went to the As Seen on TV store and to some other random places. I bought some pepper spray. Then we had dessert at the Andersen's Bakery. It was totally overpriced and not that good but whatever. I wouldn't go there again, but the interior of the bakery was really pretty. After that we walked around a little more and then went back on the shuttle to go to the car.

We left Santa Barbara to go to the Camarillo outlets. I really liked the shopping there. The stores are really good and it's really big. We didn't have enough time to shop even though we spent more than 2 hours there. I only bought a dress, a cd holder, some Harry and David cheese, and a birthday card for Chris. After shopping, we went to Alhambra to eat dinner at OK Cafe. The day was really long but fun! It was better than I expected.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

Music of the Night: Dashboard Confessional/Weezer

Current music: Hands Down - Dashboard Confessional

Yay! The concert last night was really good. I think it was the best Weezer show I've been to because both of the opening bands were good and Weezer was really fun too. I had never heard any of Sparta's stuff before but I was really impressed. I'm thinking of getting their album which comes out on Tuesday, so we'll see. Dashboard Confessional was so good!! This was my second time seeing him, and it was even better than at HFStival. I don't think all that many people were their to see him though. Their was a group of twelve year old girls behind us making fun of him the whole time. It was really annoying but I didn't let them ruin the set for me! Off the top of my head, I remember him playing Again I Go Unnoticed, Saints and Sailors, So Impossible, Hands Down, The Swiss Army Romance, Screaming Infidelities, Remember to Breath, The Good Fight, and a couple of new songs. The funniest thing was before playing 'Screaming Infidelities' Chris said, "This song is on the radio. Sorry about that." HAHAHA!!! Chris always looks like he's having so much fun and really enjoys being on stage. That's really refreshing when there are so many jaded musicians. Hopefully, he'll be back playing his own shows soon!

Weezer played all of their usual songs: Buddy Holly, Undone, Hash Pipe, Photograph, El Sorcho, Tired of Sex, Knock Down Drag Out, Dope Nose, Island in the Sun, Why Bother, Keep Fishin', Say It Ain't So, My Name is Jonas, and ended with Only in Dreams and Surf Wax. The thing that made this show different from all the other times I've seen them was the way Rivers was acting. He was being really talkative. He talked after almost every song and saying the most random stuff. It was weird because he usually nevers talks at all. Maybe he's becoming more outgoing or maybe he was really high, but anyway, it was really fun!

I also realized why I hate Verzion Amphitheatre. It takes an hour to get out of the parking lot after the show!

Thursday, August 08, 2002

SeeDo: Andy Warhol Retrospective

The next morning we drove to downtown LA to go to the MOCA and catch the Andy Warhol Retrospective, which I have been dying to see all summer. It was actually showing at the Tate Modern when we were in London but we didn't have enough time to go. So this was definitely an outing we were both looking forward to. We parked a few blocks away from the museum because I wasn't quite sure where it was. It was okay though because it was a cheaper parking lot. As we were walking, we passed by this thing called Angel's Flight. I think it's an old railway point or something but it's supposed to be historic. Downtown LA is actually looking a lot nicer now than before. Anyway, we got to the MOCA right on time because a crowd was beginning to form. The exhibit was pretty big, and there was a lot of stuff that I never saw before. The beginning pieces were a lot of gold foil and ballpoint sketches that I did not even know he did, so it was quite interesting. I thought the Most Wanted series was the most interesting plus all the famous celebrity silkscreens were there too. Stef and I also went to watch some of his silent screentests. We watched Lou Reed eat a Hershey's bar for 10 minutes. That was pretty cool too.

After the exhibit, we wanted to see the MOCA's permanent collection but it turns out the whole space was taken up by the Warhol exhibit. So we decided to go back to her apartment and order Chinese take-out. On our way back to the parking lot, we passed by a Mexican food stand called "Ye Olde Taco House #1", which I thought was a pretty hilarious name. Then we passed by Grand Central Market and went inside to take a look around. I suggested that maybe we could eat there, but there wound up not being that many food stalls. So we decided to go back to Ye Olde Taco House to eat. Not the best Mexican food you can have, but it was cheap. After that, I dropped Stef off at her apartment and headed back to Torrance. The Warhol exhibit is definitely worth checking out and it's ending in a couple of weeks.