Posts Tagged ‘ Writing

London: Arrival

I arrived around 5AM GMT, feeling surprisingly rested from my flight from Chicago. After retrieving my bag from baggage claim, I proceeded to the Heathrow Express where I exchanged my online voucher for a train ticket to Paddington Station. It was very quick and easy ride into the city and there I met a woman from New Jersey who happened to be heading to Prague. After talking to her for a while about the time zone difference, the ticket taker came by and she soon realized she had just missed her stop.

We arrived to Paddington Station, I wished her luck and I got off the train. Determined to figure out the Tube I proceeded to the underground entrance only to see the gates closed. It was still very very early in the morning. So, figuring I had intended to take a London cab ride at some point, filed in the queue (yes, queue) for one. Soon the black cars pulled up on the left side of the road and one by one we said where each person said where they were going and clamored in. There was some confusion because an Asian woman was in line behind me and they assumed we were together, but that cleared up quickly. The ride itself was neat, like everyone had said it would be, but my cab driver seemed a bit on the grumpy side and didn’t speak much. But again, it was early and the sun was not up yet.

When we pulled up to my hotel, someone came to open my door and take my luggage. The doors spread open and a sweet perfume smell filled the air. And suited men and women stood to greet me behind shining black marble. The lobby was extremely swank, but in an overly aseptic kind of way–felt like I walked right into a design magazine. That aside, I was lucky and able to check-in early and proceeded to my room to unpack and shower.

By this time, it was around 8AM and I decided I should follow some advice and take an hour nap before attempting to start the day. However, as you can imagine this was difficult as I laid thinking of what to do first, watching the light begin to come through my window curtain.

Week of 10/15-10/22

Last week was pretty eventful and chipper. Haven’t done this in a while, so here’s a daily log:

Monday night after work Ryan made dinner and we ate together before I left to Capoeira. I usually get off work too late to do anything before practice, so it was a nice exception.

Tuesday night I cooked fried rice and met up with Val to attend a Stroum series lecture at UW by Dr. Schiffman, titled “God, Humanity and the Universe in the Dead Sea Scrolls”. It was brief but insightful, with standing room only in the HUB auditorium.

Shrimp Boil!Wednesday night Ryan came over, I made a shrimp boil, and we watched the Top 50 Most Devasting [Sports] Hits on TV. Wham. Val then came and made her weekly visit.

Thursday night was Irene & Chrysti’s show at Nectar. Since her set wasn’t until late, I had dinner over at Ryan’s and bummed around there first before heading back to my place.

Hungry Pines at Nectar From there, I met up with Julian and Val and we drove down to Fremont for the show. I had never been to Nectar before and it had a nice atmosphere. We sat outside under heat lamps, which I’ve been having a growing affinity for as of late in this cool fall weather. They had a good show and it was nice night out. Read more

Nauseating Ride Home

Sitting across from me on the bus was an overweight woman, wearing black velvet pants and a hooded sweatshirt. She sat beside a round-faced, blond-haired teenage girl, who was murmuring about her recent pregnancy. I had stayed later than usual at the office and found myself on this non-express route. The bus was packed and it was standing-room-only before we left downtown.

Soon, a skinny, black, adolescent boy stopped and stood near where we sat, unable to find an open seat. The pregnant teen began to gag and her velvet-pant companion rolled her eyes in agreement. “Oh God do you smell that?” one exclaimed, as they both grimaced, holding their hands to their mouths, pointing at him indiscreetly. As the bus wobbled from stop to stop, they continued to make gagging noises, claiming to be vomiting in their mouths out of distate, and talked loudly to one another saying, “I feel so sick. He is disgusting.” But the boy did nothing and kept his head down low, silent through their alternating laughter and supposed dry heaves.

“Here, let’s hold him down and spray this on him,” a cocky well-dressed young man smirked, as he pulled off his headphones, holding a can of deodorant spray from his bag. All three were laughing now, as the others on the bus looked away. My throat tightened.

Suddenly the velvet-pant woman dropped her purse, spilling its contents everywhere on the floor. As people around began to lean over to help, she stopped everyone, looked directly at the boy. “Excuse me, get away from here! You’re going to have to move. I DO NOT want my clothes touching you!” she barked, as she pushed him back to retrieve her things. Read more

Volunteer Day @ Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity in TacomaToday I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity for the first time, through an event sponsored by my company. It made for a very early Saturday morning, but it was actually pretty cool. I went with Lesley and we got staffed on a project to build stairs up to two of the Habitat houses. Other projects on the site today included painting, putting up a wall in a backyard, working on a roof, and building tool sheds. Albeit I’m not exactly your ideal concrete block carrier, but it was amazing how much work got done with so many hands. It was also just interesting to learn more about Habitat as an organization.

What always gets me on volunteer projects are the people you come across. Today it was the project leaders with their construction expertise and patience with us office-acclimated volunteers (I mean, try directing two analysts and an accountant to build the top of a stairwell, hah). Or actually seeing one of the families who lived in the house next door peek their heads out of their own Habitat home. Or hearing about the couple who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by sponsoring the particular house we were working on, and still made it out to work on the site. It’s always about the people.

Also there, Habitat was presented with a check for $10,000 from aQuantive, which was pretty neat and unexpected from us. We still don’t know who provided our snacks and lunch (it looked very home-cooked, possibly from the church group who worked with us?). However, I did learn that the coffee laid out was donated by a local Starbucks, making this my second aQuantive sponsored-volunteer day with Starbucks contributions present (the first was at the Cheery Street Food Bank).

Anyway, after today’s work I’m pretty exhausted. I spent the rest of my Saturday cleaning off the dirt, hanging out at Ryan’s, eating pasta, and watching West Wing on his computer. Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.

The West Wing - The Complete Fourth SeasonCurrently Watching
The West Wing – The Complete Fourth Season

Hiroshi’s on Eastlake

Ryan and I went to Hiroshi’s on Eastlake for the first time tonight. It wasn’t what I expected, but in the good sort of way. I had figured it was just a small teriyaki joint, similiar to what you’d find on the Ave, only to walk into a restaurant warm with color, bustling with people, and live jazz playing. (Yeah, Fridays are “Sushi and Jazz Nights”, who would’ve thought?) Anyway, the place is more cozy than it is small, the food was pretty good, and it just had a lively atmosphere. The service was a tad slow, but given how busy it was, it was pretty reasonable. Food-wise, I really liked the yellow tail and green onion roll. Given it’s proximity and good first impression, we just may have found a new sushi place to frequent.

In other news, I’ve realized how much I usually blog about places I’ve eaten at and have begun wondering if I should aggregate this somewhere other than here. While it’s nice to write a blog post here or there, it’d be nice to either flush out my neglected CitySearch profile or take up writing in Judy’s Book. I haven’t quite decided what I want to do yet though.

Tangent aside, Hiroshi’s = Thumbs up.

A Beautiful LieCurrently Listening to:
The Kill
A Beautiful Lie

Back from Vegas (again)

Family Trip - Las Vegas '06This last week my parents, brother, and I were in Vegas for a couple days on a little family vacation. I love Vegas and all, but it was weird being back only having been there just a little more than a month ago–making it my third trip in only 12 months! But it was good times and a different kind of vacation since I was traveling with family, something we haven’t really done together in a while.

Although my brother and I did stay at our usual Flamingo Hilton Hotel for a few nights, we mostly were at Caesar’s Palace where our parents had a room. It was my first time staying at Caesar’s and it was really nice. Everything from the pool area, to the rooms and spa was pretty over the top. It was neat to see a different side of the hotel than just the casino and Forum Shops I usually go to there.

Family Trip - Las Vegas '06Over the week, Frankie and I saw two shows (my parents saw five). The first was “Le Reve” showing at the Wynn and it was pretty spectacular. Probably one of the best shows I’ve seen. It was very similiar to Cirque’s “O” at the Bellagio, both being water-themed and produced by Dragone, the biggest difference being “Le Reve” was more sensual whereas “O” was more “scary-clown-dream”. As weird as that sounds, both are amazing to watch. When in Vegas next, I’d highly recommend seeing either. Read more