Monday, May 24, 2010

Week of Celebrating!

Happy birthday to me! I bought myself a camera and underwater housing case so the mister and I can take it snorkeling in wowwie Maui. I'm so excited for its arrival! Yayayayy.

So, as very few may know, my birthday was last week. I kept it low key and didn't really tell anyone. Unbeknownst to many, they were actually celebrating with me! I kicked off the secret celebrations with roomie weekend a.k.a. AdVentura, our visit to Katlynland. We did some more exploring of Ventura (in addition to our prior V-Town excursion in September) and attempted to beach but it was difficult as it was quite cold and we were blown inland by the gusty winds of the sea. Luckily for some, this was great weather for surfing.

antiques! pop!
No Downtown Ventura traipse would be complete without a visit to an antique store (which they seem to be in abundance of). We also discovered the most amazing candy/pop shop that carries a gazillion different sodas I have never heard of but sounded delectable nonetheless. It was a sweet AdVentura but short, as other previously made plans called us back to Los Angeles. I just love our reunions!

Back in LA, Tom and I were quite late to meet some friends downtown at The Gorbals. It was actually to celebrate my sis' birthday. The atmosphere there was so fun and colorful and service was super friendly, but I guess it was ultra busy because there were a few mix-ups with our order. They had this dericious bread with escargot. I know escargot seems disgusting (like, ew, snails!) but it's really good and totally worth trying at least once in your life.

Afterward, we skipped along to CaƱa Rum Bar, which used to be the Doheny. The name sounds somewhat similar to Connie-yaaaa (my seester), which drunkenly became our joke of the night. The tiki drinks there sooo tasty. Not too alcohol-tasting but still strong. They also have this really cool patio that's kind of like being inside but there's no roof so it's freezing. And I guess it's more of the smokers' lounge, so I couldn't stay out there too long. I read a lot of reviews that were ragging on this place, but I think a lot of them were disgruntled people who don't like the fact that the annual membership fee isn't as expensive as it used to be and therefore not as exclusive? Who knows? It's way cooler than I anticipated and there was even a live band playing. Wee!

My sister seemed to be down for more drinking and she really wanted to go to the Varnish, a not-so-secret bar inside of French dip restaurant Cole's, but we were all pretty buzzed already and a drink at the Varnish would do us in for sure. We settled for sandwiches, pie and Atomic Pickles instead!

On Monday, Wendy Frendy and I went to get Yogurtland and then the library. I just love going to the library, as you can see. The Arcadia Library gave me the birthday gift of a library card! It was awesome. Turned out the guy registering me and I have the same birthday. haha.

For my actual birthday, my sis and I took work off to hangarang. It was a little sad because my mom actually forgot my birthday. But she made up for it in a yummy dinner of lobster and pork chops! My sis and I had planned to get up early to do Tai Chi with my dad at the park, but he gets up at the buttcrack of dawn to do that and I thought my parents would come in our rooms to wake us up in the morning so I didn't set an alarm, but they did not. We got up much later and went to get pho with them instead at Golden Deli.

After that, she and I decided to head downtown to look at locations that were in the movie 500 Days of Summer.

We were very smooth and snuck into a couple of the vintage apartment buildings that were featured in the movie. The Continental, LA's first skyscraper, was my favorite, especially because the second floor had this little section with a lending library. It's a cozy little area to sit in and read with art consisting of vintage looking mirrors and lamps and wrought iron gate looking things. According to the self-guided walking tour, the "First floor has been altered, but the second story retains its stone block design." It also has a huge window to go out onto the fire escape where we got some really cool shots.
view of barclay
fire escape

We saw almost all the stuff on the tour and even sat on the same bench as Summer and Tom! Teehee. Here's the view from it:

And on that bench, someone stuck this sticker:
you're beautiful

We also went inside the Million Dollar Theater prior to that, which is gorgeous outside. Inside was a little drab but I'm sure the apartments themselves are nice. I also always love going to the Bradbury building and looking at the fun elevators and then traveling across the street to get tastiness at the Grand Central Market.

That tour made me want to live in vintage downtown so bad! The Old Bank District is amazing! Check out my Flickr for more pics!

Ventura photos courtesy of Heren

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May Dishes: Brother vs. Brother

This month's theme appears to be chicken. The roomies did not partake in April dishing but have been pretty good about it so far this month. Bryan kicked off the month with Chipotle Chicken Pasta. It was super spicy but quite tasty. Then, a couple nights later, Tom gave our favorite Indian restaurant a run for its money when he made his Chicken Korma.

Check out some photos!
action shot! final presentation
mixy mix tom's handiwork

Once again, I was playing around with the SLR. I got some nice pictures of Tom's meal. Unfortunately, I did not know that when you take pictures off of Tom's camera, the next pictures you take replace the numbers of the old photos, so I accidentally replaced pictures of Bryan's meal on my computer. :( So, the pictures from my point and shoot of Bryan's dinner will have to do. Also, I did not really know how to work the camera very well anyway so the pictures on my camera probably came out better than what I took on the SLR.

So what do you think? Would you prefer Bryan's Chipotle Chicken Pasta?
CIMG9508 CIMG9493

Or Tom's Chicken Korma?
final presentation DSC_0086

Well, the dishes are both so different, I can't really compare them to each other. ;) I would say they were equal in deliciousness. In the end, as I imagine Hot Chip would say, it's a wild love that they have for each other and it doesn't matter who won or lost. Oh, brothers.
brotherly love

Check out the rest of this set of photos here!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Photography Monday!

So, I only work four days a week. When asked what Mondays are for, I tell people they are reserved for "special projects." I haven't totally been taking advantage of them, but I do work on special projects. I am currently working on something that I will eventually turn into my side business. Haven't worked out all the kinks yet, but let's just say it involves an Etsy and some crochet hooks.

For the past week, I've been going crazy over what new camera I want to get, because mine does not really take the best pics. I was choosing between the Canon G11, Canon S90 and the Panasonic LX3. Tough decision. I wanted something where I could play with all the manual options. The only reason the LX3 was still in the running was because it can shoot HD videos. I went to check them all out this weekend at Samy's Camera (which is amazing, btw) and the LX3 was a little difficult to navigate. Plus, I don't really like the idea of having to cap and uncap it. Guess I'm too lazy. I decided I like the S90 the most because it's pretty much everything the G11 is but it fits in your pocket! I haven't decided on actually purchasing it yet, because I want to learn how to use manual functions first. Hence today's special project: learning to use a SLR!

green leaf lettuce is seeding! lettuce babies
I went around taking pictures in my garden and I discovered some new things about it. Above are a couple pics of some of my lettuce plants, old and new. There's gonna be lots of red romaine and green leaf lettuce to go around soon enough. I love growing lettuce because it's pretty much the easiest thing I've ever grown and it's the first thing that has really grown in my garden. My plants usually die pretty fast after they bud, but lettuce has given me a little more confidence.

The other day, I discovered this little guy. I do believe that this is a pepper plant. So excoiting. THEN, today as I was taking pictures, I found another pepper plant hiding under some worm castings (peekaboo!),
second pepper that was hiding

One of the green nubbies on our tangerine tree:
green nub=tangerine

I also tried my hand at taking some indoor pictures of some random vintage items in our place. Here's a fan belt hanger that we use to hang jeans and whatnot:
Fan belt hanger, Hannover license plate

Suitcase collection...
suitcase collectionsuitcase collection

...Turned end table!
turned end table
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