Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I had another chill out weekend, and it was sunny to boot! (I don't know what that means, I just heard that somewhere and I hope I used it right).  Tiana and Julien were in town and we went to go yum cha at Wong's King.  It was so good, I haven't had good Fung Jaos (chicken feet) in a long time.  Julien never had them before and I was hoping he'd try them but he mentions that they look like a baby's hand O_O.  Haha, I see where he's coming from, but I still love my Fung Jaos.   They went to Saturday's Blazers-Suns playoff game and got me these!:
(thats the sound it makes, for real)

Now I can twang by myself in my living room!  (you're sick)  Ahh.. they're so lucky to be there, it was a great game too! With Brandon Roy making a surprise appearance and Blazers with a W. RIP CITY!!!

So a lot of people wonder why Portland is called Rip City.  Even my cousins didn't know.  So here it is:

From Wikipedia: 
"The term was coined by the team's play-by-play announcer Bill Schonely during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 18, 1971, the Blazers' first season.[13] In the days prior to the three-point field goal, Blazers' guard Jim Barnett took an ill-advised long distance shot that nonetheless went in, giving the new team hope for a victory against the powerful Lakers. Excited, Schonely exclaimed "Rip City! All right!" Schonely admits that he has no idea how he came up with the expression, but it became synonymous with the team and the city of Portland.[14]" 

Interesting how Jim Barnett is now the announcer for the Warriors!  Also from Wikipedia, Portland is called Razorblade City....for its relatively high depression and sucide rates....wonk..wonk..wonk....

ANYWAYS, on Monday Nate called me up to go watch the Blazers game at Mission Theater (a bar theater).  It was awesome, packed with Blazers fans watching the game on a movie theater screen.  Man the 1st few minutes of this game was a blast! We came out in full fury and the Sun's were ice cold.  The theater was going crazy, it felt like I was at the game, so fun!  but.. the Blazers streak got stopped dead in its tracks with relentless foul calling the whole game.  The most memorable and ridiculous one is this one:

Watch it! Even if you don't watch basketball, its so ridiculous!

McMenamin's Mission Theater was a great time out.  They show movies here too and you get to drink, eat meals while you watch!  For those that don't know McMenamin's owns a bunch of restaurants and pubs in Oregon.  Nate and Emily told me that they even have a place called the Kennedy School, which is a ex-school turned into a hotel!  wowza.  another place on the "to check out" list

 What it kinda looks like in there.  Imagine a sea of red and black, with an endless supply of beer pitchers.(please excuse my poor photochopping skills)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Goals in Brief

It's been awhile! Half because of all these goals.  I gotta learn how to pace myself.  I was tackling them down full speed the first week, and I got burnt out.  The other half is Call of Duty again, I starting using the sniper rifle and I got unhealthily hooked. 

Here's my first installment of Goals in Briefs:

1.  Cantonese/Mandarin Fluency:  My mom was so excited that I was doing this that she bought me this!  The 跑跑高 E-900.  Thanks mom! This gives me extra motivation to keep up with this goal.  The writing translator function is what I really need.  I've been reading, writing (typing), watching, and speaking Chinese almost everyday now.  My uncle helped me hook up the Direct TV and I now have TVB! Haha, I never had that stuff as a kid, so now I'm catching up.  I will 加油 and 努力进步。 

2.  Juggling:  I was thinking first that I'll be able to scratch this one off my list first, but the balls aren't falling my way.  So hard! So far the best I've done was 5 catches.  3 pairs of socks are no longer in my wearing circulation :P

3.  Violin:  Working on Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto all 3 movements.  I've been off and on playing this for yeaaars now and I'm going to buckle down and learn it!  Problem is, with all these goals, I'm finding less and less time to practice.  Or maybe it's the video games.  damn video games.

4.  Free Throws:  I'm seeing big improvements in this.  I'm actually expanding this to basketball in general.  My free throw drill right now is to make 5 in a row before I can leave.  Haha, the first time I tried it, I started at 8PM and didn't leave till it was 8:40PM and it was almost pitch black.  So many 4 in a rows!!!  and then I cracked under pressure.  I felt like one of those kids in those movies who has a dream of being in the NBA.  The only thing is I'm 23, not 12.  I shot again today,  and it only took me 5 minutes to get 5 in a row.  woohoo .

5.  Write Left-Handed:  This one's kind of fun!  I was talking to Angel and she said she wants to learn too, so we're now Left hand Pen Pals.  It's pretty ghetto how we do it.  It's a form of snailmail and E-mail.  or... E-Snail?   chicken scratch on paper, take a pic, and send through email.  Anyone else want to be left hand pen pals with me?

6.  Pullups:  meh, i'll get around to this soon.  Doing pushups with Kenneth for now.

7.  Swimming:  Last week I swam 1/2 mile.  I was so determined going in, and when I came out I almost passed out haha.  It was 18 laps and my leg cramped the last 3 laps.  I think I'll be able to do a mile soon, but my main problem is I'm helllla slow.  I shared a lane with this overweight dude thinking, meh no pressure, nice and easy.  The dude was passing me every other lap! man the guy was blazing and he didn't look like he was trying!  damn.  I found out from this cat that I was kicking all wrong.  I was bending my knees and now that I'm relearning how to swim with my legs completely straight, I get tired in one lap.  Bummer. 

8.  Reading:  I picked up some books at the local library!
  • Catch-22: Read the 1st 2 chapters and it's ironic as hell.  Nice!  I'm liking it so far
  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu:  Heard good things about it concerning strategy.  Recommended reading for managers and business peoples, something that I'm not very keen in.  Interesting, but kind of textbooky.
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad: college roommate told me about it.  Read the intro, sounds pretty interesting.  I think I'll like it because it's about money but is also written so that I won't fall asleep.
  • Freakonomics:  (on the cover) "a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything" and with chapters such as: What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers have in common? and Why do Drug Dealers Still Live with their Moms?  heh Haven't gotten to this one yet.  But looks promising!

Yea this post is pretty long, but I gotta do it so that I stick to my goals.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Food Tour Weekend

This past weekend was very eventful.  I've been wanting to post about it, but I was waiting for Angel's pics to be uploaded.  That and I got lazy.  Julia and Angel decided to come up for their spring break to checkout the raved about food scene in Portland. Yay! Friends!  Dillon and David (happy bday) came up too, I was psyched. Now I got the chance to try food places with buddies.

Food Tour:
1.  The Big Egg:  Great breakfast egg sandwiches and wraps here.  Only 4-5 bucks!  I got "The Portlander" and it was this stacked egg sandwich.  The bread was thick and flavorful and the scrambled egg was perfectly fluffy.

2.  Voodoo Doughnuts:  After many people telling me to go, I finally got some!  They have two locations here and they are both RIDICULOUSLY packed.  We had to wait half and hour to get into the store.  We got a dozen of our own picks but they ran out of my long awaited Bacon Maple Bar.  I gotta say my favorite was the Portland Creme. mm..  Chocolate covered, custard filled.  The other ones were unique but sugary as hell.  The bubble gum flavored one actually tasted like bubblicious, blegh. 

3.  Potato Champion:  Known for making the best french fries ever.  I gotta say, they are pretty good.  Not big on french fries, so I won't be rushing back.  But I did invent my MusKetchRacha sauce here! Equal parts mustard, ketchup, and sriracha, with 3 drops of vinegar.  Stir until evenly orange.  It's damned good.

4.  Waffle Window:  Really delicious waffles.  You order from a window in the side of a building!  I got the strawberry cheesecake waffle and it was the best waffle I've ever eaten.

5.  Pok Pok:  Southeast Asian dishes.  This was our last stop of our tour.  This place is so popular that the wait was an hour long! So what did we do?  We ordered to go and ate in the car in front of the restaurant lol.  It was ghetto as hell, but we were hungry.  Hey, they had the top 10 best chicken wings in the US in 2007!

Devil's Point: At the nudie bar!  It was my first time at one, and it was a lot of fun!  This place is great, totally deserves the 4.5 stars on Yelp.  No cover, cheap beer, friendly staff (talking about the bouncer and bartenders).  Judging from the dive bar interior, I did not expect the girls to be very pretty.  But they were hot!, and a few were extremely talented on the pole.  We missed out on their fire dancers and Stripparaoke (Stippers + Karaoke on a Sunday night!)  So next time ya'll are in town, let's gooooooooooo.

[Sorry no pics haha]

Dollar Scholar:  The coolest dollar store I've been to.  It's on Hawthorne (I missed it the 1st time I went).  The guy is hilarious.  When I was about to walk into the store, he starts throwing sticky blobs at the door. haha I was like wtf.  I go in, and he gives me a turn while other people try to walk in.  He lets you play with anything in there, and the best thing is everything is a dollar or less.  When I left, he gave me a flier for a Pirate Treasure Hunt on 4/18 on Hawthorne Blvd.  Damn! my costume is in SF


Powell's City of Books: It is definitely a city of books.  You can get lost in here.  Great place if you love books! Me not so much.  So Dillon and I mischievously browsed the Erotica section.  Point, Laugh, Giggle, "what the??"  I spot the name 'Chadwick' 

Places we didn't get to hit up:  Ground Kontrol Barcade,  Glowing Greens (black light indoor mini-golf!), Pho Le (Vietnamese Sandwiches and Pho from a cart!, Koi Fusion. 

It was fun to go exploring with friends, despite the gloomy rainy weather.  I bet it'd be an even better time if it was sunny.

Thanks Angel for the pictures.  In return, I will use your Yelp posts as links.

Me 2.0 beta

I've actually been thinking about this for a few days now.  I've noticed recently that I'm in a rut, I'm plateauing, starting to coast.  What do I mean by this?  I mean that I'm not really improving anymore since I've graduated from college.  You guys remember that huge "sigh" of relief, "Yay! no more school, no more books!"?  Now that I've been out of school for a while, I've become stagnant and I'm starting to hate it.  Here's what I noticed:

  • My mind started feeling slow.  My little brother Wiltr0n kicks my ass in solving the Rubiks cube now.
  • I started misspelling words.  I used to be great at spelling! (Nod to my spelling brutha Hen)
  • I struggled with words when I was explaining things.  "uhh... what was that word again?... oh yea, potato"
  • I forgot a LOT of important engineering things.  My co-worker used to ask me mechanical questions involving basic laws and theory and I would have to dig so long and deep just to be wrong.  Please tear my diploma in half, thank you.
At first glance, I'd say I was drinking and partying too much and killing brain cells.  But then I thought about it, and I knew it was because I wasn't challenging myself anymore.  I had the mindset of coasting after college, and it is totally not working.  I don't want to be the guy that USED to be good at certain things.  I want to keep being good at the things I'm good at and beyond! a Me 2.0.    I've been coming up with a few challenges/goals to keep me challenged and goaled. 

Me 2.0 Challenges:
  1. Become fluent in Cantonese/Mandarin:  Now I know what you're thinking.. "Over-ambitious!" "won't last a month!" "buffoon!" (see, I just spelled it baffoon thx spell check).  I think I have a good foundation from high school, and there's plenty of non-Asian guys that become fluent in a few years like this man. or this guy:

    Write a Chinese e-mail a few times a week to my parents and relatives (this is a double win!).  Watch a Chinese movie every week.  Start watching a TV series.  Spend some time every day reading news headlines (using FireFox's translater plugin)
  2. Learn how to Juggle:  Why?  Always wanted to learn, and supposedly helps your brain
  3. Grade 8 Violin: I love playing the violin, but I haven't pushed myself to progress after college.  I've neglected it for a while, but I've been playing again recently and it's like meditation for me.  Haha, I've taken the exam before for Grade 2 back when I was a kid.  I want to be good enough to pass the Grade 8 exam!  I want to do this so that I'll be more qualified to teach. 
    How?: I'm going to keep up with Wiltr0n's progress for a while, then start learning songs off of the Royal School of Music Syllabus
  4. 75% Free Throws:  Why? same with Juggling.  My hand-eye coordination is pretty horrible and I want to work at it.  If some preacher can shoot 2,000 in a row.  I'm pretty sure I can get up to 75%.  
  5. Write Left-Handed: Just in case I lose my right hand haha.  :)  Or so that I can be awesome like Demetri Martin
  6. Do 20 pullups:  I've had this goal for so long! I went up to 15! but now I'm at 10 again. -_-
  7. Swim 1 Mile:  For health and to work on my willpower (my biggest flaw). 
  8. Ongoing Study:  Review Math, Engineering.  Read about Investments, Real Estate.  Keep up with current Events.  Internet makes this a cinch!
Wow that's long.  Sorry for the long post, this one's for myself.  I'm going to do this!  I'm serious.  I'm printing this list right now (minus the Iranian dude).  Me 2.0 here I come.

    Tuesday, April 06, 2010


    Actually, I am the Champion, not you.  'Cus I won my 2010 NBA Fantasy League!!!  Before I signed up for this league, I always thought, "what's so fun about fantasy sports? sounds hella boring".  But it was one hell of a nail biter because I won by the smallest margin ever.  Here was the scenario:

    • I had one player (David Lee) left to play on Sunday afternoon. 
    • My opponent was beating me all week and the score was 4-5. 
    • I needed David Lee to get either 10 rebounds or 3 blocks to make the score 4-4-1 and tie up the Finals. 
    • I yelled, "C'mon David Lee!! Do Your Thang!!" and the man produced.  
    • He got 10 rebounds exactly. 
    • With the score tied up, I win by default because I had a higher season record (Seed 1 baby!) phewf!

    No time for losers cus we are the champions of the World!

    My Final Roster:
    1.  Stephen Curry (MIP) - I took a gamble picking him up and I'm glad I held on to him all season.  A lot of people were iffy about this choice, but he blew up mid-season.  And now his turnovers have gone down too! 
    2.  Kobe Bryant
    3.  Andrew Bogut (MVP) - This guy was ridiculously good all season.  and he kept me alive in the playoffs until the very end; the unfortunate freak injury.  (Not for the faint of heart).  Hope you get better soon! He's a great player and hilarious too.  I am a fan!
    4.  Rashard Lewis
    5.  David Lee (MVP#2) - Thanks David (Huang) for the tip.  Double Double beast!
    6.  Andrea Bargnani
    7.  Rajon Rondo
    8.  Richard Jefferson
    9.  Channing Frye
    10.  Jason Terry
    11.  Paul Pierce
    12.  Reggie Williams
    13.  Anthony Tolliver

    Honorable Mentions (dropped due to Injuries)
    1.  Kelenna Azuibuke
    2.  Andrew Bynum - It was a huge hit when he got injured.  Big reason why I was hurting on blocks and rebounds.  Alex warned me he was injury prone from the beginning, so it's a wonder he lasted as long as he did.
    3.  Richard Hamilton

    Dishonorable Mentions (bad choices)
    1.  Andris Biedrins - what happened to yoU!? lowest free-throw percentage evar!
    2.  Allen Iverson - Injuries Injuries Injuries
    3.  Tracy McGrady - Injuries Injuries Injuries

    Looking Back
    In the beginning of the season I was completely lost at sea with this.  Sure I watch basketball from time to time, but I didn't know 90% of the players out there.  It was a lot of fun keeping track of my players every week (probably 'cus I was winning haha).  My lessons learned are:

    1. Don't go after aging All-Stars with a history of injuries no matter how big the name.
    2. When there's news of an injuriy, look at who'll start in place of them.

    I would like to thank:

    1. Dillon for giving me tips on most of my draft
    2. Beginner's Luck (most of my star players stayed healthy)
    3. My love for statistics?? 

    Hahaha oh Andrew Bogut Funny Guy.  I understand if you blazed through this post, but please at least watch this video!