Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another BONES post

WARNING: Last comment under the cut is a spoiler for the current season.

I love all of the Christmas episodes, but I think Goop on the Girl is my favorite (yeah, I'm watching reruns again). The best thing about the Christmas episodes is the sheer volume of fan service. Brennan undressing Booth? Really? Does it get any better? And the look on Booth's face.

Is it just me? (BONES)

Totally unrelated to the plot of the series, but do the Nationwide Spokesperson and the lady he saves from the deductible boulder remind anyone else of Sweets and Daisy? No? Oh, okay.

Link: The commercial on YouTube.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Balance Ball

Balance Ball

It all started when a friend suggested sitting on a balance ball to keep awake as I was falling asleep while reteaching myself Excel. After realizing it wasn't very expensive and dropping a hint to my mom, I got one as a Christmas present. And I've been trying work out more at home, so it will not be exclusively used as a weird chair, though I have yet to see the workout video that came with it. There's still time, right?

It looks like there is debate online about whether or not using a balance ball as a chair is beneficial or healthy or dangerous or just plain stupid. But, then again, that kind of debate exists all over the internet about everything.It's definitely more fun to sit on than a regular chair; I'm the type that just can't sit still. One possible negative side effect is that bouncing on it might be making me motion-sick.

 I figure I'll give it a week or so.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gymboss Timer

Gymboss Timer

I had been eyeing the Gymboss timer for a while and early this month I finally got a pink one for myself and a silver one for my dad for Christmas. It's capable of counting down two intervals for up to 99 repetitions. You can make it beep or vibrate or both and the number of seconds it goes off. It also works as a stopwatch.

It takes some time to get used to the controls since it's just 3 buttons, but after a day of messing around and making some mistakes, it becomes second nature. There is an elegance to its simplicity. As much elegance as a bright pink timer can have anyways.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's Raining, It's Pouring

The mushrooms are growing.

Mushrooms

The past few days have brought an abnormal amount of rain to Southern California and this has caused mushrooms to sprout up in both the front and back yard. The ones in the back yard are small and brown while the ones in the front yard, as pictured above, are white and rather large.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sing-Off: Final thoughts

So it's over. That was a quick three weeks. Though I'm sure anyone who is reading this blog already knows who won or just plain don't care about Sing-Off, I'll keep the winner behind the cut. I don't have much to say other than it was a good show and I'm glad the winner was the winner.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Sing-Off: Before the Final

Just a few quick thoughts before the last episode since I didn't write anything about Episode 3 and 4.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sing-Off: Episode 2

I was away from a TV Wednesday night, so I couldn't catch the second episode in real time, but thankfully NBC has full episodes available online. Just a few thoughts this time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

BONES Season 6 Episode 9

Warning: Total Spoiler Alert

I was going to do another few posts of the lines that made me laugh, but after this episode, I have one thing to say:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advertising my own blog


I love love love today's photo for Chicago's blog. Everything about it. But mainly all of the things that just happened to make this photo what it is.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Validation

I posted this on another blog, inspired by fellow blogger's epic photo post of happiness. It's one of my favorite videos ever. It's a gorgeous short movie about validation and the magic of a smile. Sure, it's a bit kooky, but there are few things on this planet and the internet that are just plain good; they should be enjoyed whenever possible.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sing-Off

Okay, I'm hooked.

As obvious as it was in the last entry, much of my Berkeley life was steeped in a cappella. I love the stuff. Well, collegiate a cappella. I suppose for me it's the mix of constant group tradition and pride combined with ever changing group members and dynamic. Not unlike Morning Musume and AKB48...which creeps me out, but I'll let that one go for now.

Anyways, for as much ridicule I received and will receive from my dad's friends and as much as my two-hour occupation of the main TV in the house annoyed my dad to no end (no matter what he may say to deny it), I truly enjoyed the first episode of Sing-Off. Reality competitions are one of my guilty pleasures, but this one is entertaining on a completely different level.

In my humble opinion, it showcased the various genres within a cappella rather well. Ben Folds does a fantastic job describing each group as he gives his thoughts on his Sing-Off blog, so I'll simply refer you there for the details. I have my personal, extremely biased opinions as well and anyone who cares to read them, please read on.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

The UC Men's Octet

After a slightly frustrating hour of climbing (or not, as the case was) yesterday, my climbing buddy and I went down to the Tustin Marketplace to check out the new REI. It was huge and shiny! Anyways, during the drive, remembering my obsession for collegiate a cappella back during my Berkeley days, she brought up NBC's SingOff that is starting Monday. She enjoyed the first season and was really excited about the second season, particularly an all-men's group that performed Lady Gaga. I was very intrigued because some of my favorite performances have been guy groups singing women's songs.

Through a link she posted later, I found out that the group she was talking about was none other than University of Oregon's On the Rocks. (OtR performing Lady Gaga.)

On the Rocks was possibly my favorite non-Cal a cappella group. On the Rocks was a relatively new group and blew us, a very spoiled a cappella audience, away at one of the ICCA competitions and they became a regular guest for the West Coast A Cappella Showcase held at Cal. What I remember the most clearly is the coolest a cappella version of Linkin Park's In The End ever and the most amazing VP (vocal percussion) I have yet to experience. I bought their first album, which, thanks to a moment of sheer fangirlness, is signed by all of the 2002 members. It's one of my prized treasures.

But as I mentioned, OtR is my favorite non-Berkeley group. My favorite has always been and always will be the UC Men's Octet.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy (Late) Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2010

Had a nice Thanksgiving at my aunt's place. It's was good to see the family. Sorry there's no shot of the turkey before it got carved, I lost to jet lag and woke up just before everyone helped themselves to the feast.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Photos up!

November 7

Still working on different sets, but all of the Japan photos are up and can be seen on my Flickr.

I'm working on streamlining the travel sets: Fujinomiya, Nagoya, and Tokyo. I've also made sets for each day as well as food and Nyanko-sensei (my mascot for the trip).

Monday, November 22, 2010

What I take photos of

Chicago

I downloaded the last photos from the trip off of my camera's SD card and started to sort through them when I realized the last photo from the trip was of my comparatively decent in-flight meal and the next photo I took was of Chicago. In fact, the next 30 photos were of Chicago. Then a shot of the sandwiches some friends brought over for lunch today. Then Chicago again for another 30 shots.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm baaaack

After an all-too-short trip to Japan, I am back in the States. Lots of pictures and stories to share. First things, first, I will be uploading photos to Flickr for the next few days...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

NGO to NRT

And will be back November 19th. I may or may not update from Japan, but I'll link to some photos when I get back.

Laters!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Jesus is not a zombie!

Booth: Voodoo! Who's gonna believe that stuff?
Brennan: It's a religion, no crazier than... well, what are you?
Booth: Catholic.
Brennan: They believe in the same saints you do... in prayer... what they call spells, you call miracles... they have priests...
Booth: We don't make zombies.
Brennan: Jesus rose from the dead in three days...
Booth: Jesus is not a zombie!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Japan trip


After posting the previous entry, I realized that I hadn't said anything about going to Japan on this blog. My bad.

I wasn't planning on going, but things just worked out where I got a price on a round-trip ticket that I just couldn't refuse. So I'm off to Japan from November 1 to November 19. My trip will include meeting up with friends and family, going on a few trips, one concert and hopefully a job interview (I'll elaborate on that later). I'm looking forward to a great trip.

I know I haven't been that great about updating, but for the next few weeks, it will be because I'm in Japan and away from the internet. Really. Not because of my usual general lack of updates. Really.

Though I don't promise a bunch of updates when I get back. It'll probably be the usual link to the Flickr albums. (^_^)v

Nostalgia

Wakayama

In preparation for my trip to Japan, I was checking to see if I had written down all of the phone numbers I'd need since I'll be without internet for most of my time there. I was missing a few and sifted through the hoarding horror that is my room for the notebook I used on my trip last year. I found it, amongst other things, and put it aside. Predictably, I have no clue where I put it aside and I am again without the numbers as well as frustrated at myself.

Moving along,

Monday, October 18, 2010

BONES Season 6 Episode 4

I have many friends who cannot watch the current season of BONES so I've been keeping this to myself, but I just can't. I love quoting my favorite lines and this episode has been just too damn good.

My dear friends, you know who you are, don't click "Read More" Total spoilers. Especially one in particular.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

30 before 30

Had to stick this on my computer

A number of my friends are doing it, so I figured I may as well post my list on my 29th birthday. It's also going to be a theme for a year-long photo project I've decided to tackle. (More information on that here.)

30 things I want to do before I turn 30. In no particular order. Or maybe when it came to mind.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Food Friday: Squash Soup

Squash Soup

In an attempt to use some squash before it went bad, I made soup. There was pattypan squash, a bit of zucchini and a white-ish squash whose name I don't know. The thing is, I don't care much for squash, but I figured I might be able to consume them in soup form.

After a bit of internet surfing and illegible scribbles, I made my way to the kitchen. I don't remember the measurements, but I used butter, olive oil, onions, garlic, potato, squash, basil, milk, salt and miso. A bit of sauté. A bit of blending. I added a bit of miso for the hell of it and it worked quite well.

My dad tasted it and had neither positive nor negative things to say about it, but I liked it. Especially as a person who does not enjoy squash in general, I'm glad I tried this out.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chicago's book


I just realized I haven't advertised Chicago's book here. Well, pretty much everyone following me here is following Chicago's blog, so it would be a little redundant, but yeah, Chicago's blog first year anniversary book came out about a month ago. $5 from every book purchased will go to the Orange County SPCA.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another dry spell

There are times when I can't help but blog and others when I just walk away. I'm not sure if I'm ready to come back in full force, but I thought I should say something to say that I'm still alive.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Food Friday

Sashimi

Some of my dad's friends love to fish and when they come back with a fishing trip, more often than not, they come back with a lot of fish. I'm not a huge tuna fan, but I will eat fresh maguro any day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Minilla (Mini Matsui Bobblehead)

Angels vs Mariners: September 10, 2010

I was out at the 14-inning Angels vs Mariners game with the Kenjinkai and we all got mini Matsui bobbleheads. I carried mine around in a pass case and took random photos of him. And a few videos. (^_^)v


Took me a while to realize he didn't have his bat and it took my friend telling me for me to find it in the styrofoam.


It was a great game. 14 innings is really long. And it must have felt even longer for the Angels after their 16-inning game two days before.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Food Friday: Honey sticks

Farmer's Market: Honey sticks

Bought some honey sticks at the local farmer's market. So far my favorite is strawberry. Mmmm honey.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Countdown rings

Ichiro countdown

We, as a family, are Angels fans. But my mom is also an Ichiro fan and every year she looks forward to the end of the season when Ichiro gets closer to hitting 200 hits. I don't remember when she started to do this, but she makes a countdown every year when he gets to around 150 hits.

This year there is a colorful paper chain hanging in the living room. Each link is numbered and with each hit, she takes off another link.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Food Friday: Helmet Fries

Angels vs Blue Jays: August 13, 2010

I spent two full innings looking for these fries. (Found them at the Ruby's near the fountain.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

I love my cat

When my cat looks at me condescendingly for squeeing at Booth and Brennan being cute together

Chicago

and when I say "What?" in response, he looks away in indifference,

Chicago

would it be safe to assume that I have an extremely intelligent cat who thinks I've been watching too much Bones?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Food Friday: Lemon cookies

Lemon cookies

Sometimes I have to wonder how some designs get all the way to production and onto the shelves. These lemon cookies are quite yummy, but I have to make sure not to look at them while I eat them. Otherwise, I can't get the images of spiders out of my mind...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Day at the Beach

August 3, 2010 Huntington Beach

I spent the day at the beach today. It was a gorgeous summer day. Perfect for laying out and getting a tan. And playing with shells. (^_^)

Link: Photo set on Flickr

Random Link


I'm pretty sure everyone has played "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" at least once in their life. You know the game. Start with Kevin Bacon. Name a movie he has been in. Name another actor in that movie. Name another movie that actor has been in. And so on and so forth.

This site lets you start with any actor and then displays their movies. Selecting a movie, gives you the actors in that movie. It will let you go 6 actors deep.

It also has a function where you can enter two actors' names and it will show you the movies and actors needed to connect them.

Quite nifty. I'm not a huge movie buff, but I had fun clicking around and thinking about movies I want to see again.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Food Friday: しょうが焼き (Ginger Pork)

Ginger pork

しょうが焼き (shogayaki) ginger pork is one of my best dishes. So easy and so yummy.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday Three: Summer Anime

Top three anime available through Hulu for the summer season.
  1. 黒執事II (Black Butler II) - I fell for the bait of the first episode. I was disappointed by the second episode. I loved the third episode. The story is finally starting to become clear and I think I like it. In any case, my favorite characters look like they will all be making some sort of return and I'm really looking forward to it.
  2. 伝説の勇者の伝説 (The Legend of the Legendary Heroes) - I gotta say, I love the title. It's just glorious. I still can't quite see where it's going, but I am intrigued. And I love the web radio show. Which reminds me, Kuroshitsuji II's radio show should be up and running soon.
  3. ONE PIECE - Nowhere near "new" but out of the series available on Hulu, I have to put this in the top three. That horrendous opening is gone and we're finally getting into the Marine Ford battle.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Movie Monday: Inception

Inception

First off, I'd like to admit that I have a unjustified prejudices against certain actors. If I don't like them, I will probably not watch their movies. If I like them, I am willing to watch their movies. That being said, I'm sure you assume I have a thing against Leonardo DiCaprio. And I do. Or did. I am one of the many who disliked Titanic as a movie vehemently* and grew to dislike DiCaprio in the process, which is unfortunate because I liked him before and have missed out on a number of good movies because of it.

In the case of Inception, I truly enjoy the mind games of Christopher Nolan, the surreal imagery in the trailers were enough to pique my interest and the unanimous praise from my friends who had gone to see it was more than enough for me to give it a chance. Plus I don't dislike Leo that much.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Greetings 暑中見舞い

2010 暑中見舞い

I'm almost done sending out all of my 暑中見舞い (shochuumimai) summer greeting cards. And I still have over a week left in July. Yay!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday Smile

Good friends, good food, good conversation (99% of it in Japanese).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday Thanks

Dear Kinokuniya,

Thank you for having a store in Orange County where I can buy all my wonderful things. Thank you for taking random orders like my Vitamin Radio DJCD that has just come in. While I wish it weren't so expensive to buy things over here, I'm willing to deal because at least I can buy them. Because of you, today's ride home will be to KENNU, Maenu and Tatsu (wonder what his nickname will be) being the silly boys they are.

Much love, Mel

Wordless Wednesday

Calpico (aka Calpis)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

10 Things I Love Tuesday

Idea from The Girl in the Red Coat who got it from someone else. (^_^)

10 things I love, in no particular order other than what came to mind first, with links when appropriate and without pics since I would run around trying to take appropriate pics and that would take a lot of time.

  1. Chicago - The love of my life. Still working on his book.
  2. Bones - As if you couldn't notice. Halfway through Season 2 and I've seen most of Season 3 on TNT. Last night was the season 3 finale and I was in tears. I unwittingly read some spoilers, so I kind of knew how it would end, but it doesn't make it any less sad. I was just prepared.
  3. BACCANO! - Again, as if you couldn't notice. Both anime and novels. I'm up to half of the second 1934 arc. I'm liking Ricardo and Christopher is cool and Graham is wreaking havoc. It's fun, but part of me is still dredging through because what I really want to know is how all this Chicago stuff connects back to Firo and Ladd in Alcatraz. I know I don't make sense, but I'm just saying.
  4. 種村有菜 (Arina Tanemura)'s Twitter - I love her manga too, but her Twitter has been one of my recent favorite sources of entertainment. She constantly uploads photos of her cats, has random conversations with one of my favorite seiyuu, and regularly tweets about her everyday life. Most recently, she burned herself between her breasts with mushroom that came flying out from her ramen and is treating it by applying miso to the burn.
  5. My camera - A point-and-shoot digital camera. Nothing fancy, but durable and reliable and, as one of my friends said, it is surgically attached to my hand. Though I misplace it constantly, so I almost wish it really was. I'm considering investing in one of those key-locator thingamajigs.
  6. Wall climbing - Hopefully getting some time on the walls tonight. I've been going about 3 times a week and going to my regular gym for the soul purpose of training for climbing. Currently I'm working on my fear of falling and building strength and technique so my friend and I can start lead climbing. We got a free lesson the other weekend and we're both hooked. I also want new shoes, but I'll have to save up some money first.
  7. CAL by 鈴村健一 (Kenichi Suzumura) - There's something about this song. It has a rather nostalgic feel to it and I sort of freaked out when I found title of the song is "CAL". It refers to "calorie" and has nothing to do with my alma matter, but that nostalgic feel was definitely how I feel when I think back to my Berkeley days.
  8. Looking for out-of-state license plates while stuck in traffic - Usually I'm surrounded by California plates, which makes sense considering the size of the state and life without a car in Southern California is extremely inconvenient. On the other hand, there are many tourists and I live near Disneyland, so out of state plates are not that rare either. The other day, I saw Texas, British Columbia, Utah, Montana, and Arizona. I was really excited one day when I saw a Guam. Slightly off topic, but I also love that you can get a ♥, a ★, a hand (either left or right) or a + in your licence plate.
  9. Teflon - Non-stick frying pans make me happy. I don't consider cooking to be one of my hobbies. A lot of times, it's more like a science experiment; curiosity is the biggest driving factor. The easier it is to cook and clean, the better. 
  10. Stationery - I recently had a situation requiring me to clear out half of my room. Those who know what my rooms are like know this is not an easy task. In the process, I unearthed more of the stationery that I've collected over the years. Time to start writing random letters again. If only postage, particularly international, wasn't so expensive. My ultimate goal is to start designing and printing my own stationery. I would love to make a living off of designing and making stationery. Maybe I should look into that...

Monday, July 5, 2010

日本語日曜

独立記念日と花火

30分しか残ってないけど、日曜日である間に書けばOKでしょ♪

ま、短くなるけどね。

今日はアメリカ独立記念日だったけど、何故か花火を見なかったし、違法だからもちろん花火もやらなかった。初めて花火と全く触れない独立記念日となった。どうしてなのかは考えもしなかったし、なんとなく考えたくもない。

ヤバイ。記事を書く理由なんて全くなかったみたいだね。

でも書きたかった。

だから書いた。

ではでは、ドラマ観賞を続けようっと☆

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday Smile

Booth: You know, I won't say anything about the scream, if you don't say anything about the gun.
Tempe: Those terms are satisfactory.


Made me laugh when I saw it on TV and when I saw it again on Hulu.

And yes, I'm not going to shut up about Bones for a while.

Food Friday

Nasu Aburayaki

Last summer, I discovered that I *love* sliced eggplant sautéed in sesame oil and dipped in soy sauce with ground fresh ginger.

There are a lot of eggplant plants in the garden. It's going to be a fantastic summer.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thursday Thanks

Bones

Dear Person who decided to sell Season 1 and 2 of Bones to my local BookOff,

Thank you for selling your DVDs when you did, where you did. While I hope that you will also one day know the amazingness that is Bones, I am grateful that you sold your unopened first two seasons of Bones to BookOff when you did.

Not only was I able to purchase the first 43 episodes of a series I am currently obsessed with for a mere $25, but I had money to buy it because I found the DVDs on the shelf as I waited for the staff to total up the worth of some manga and CDs I brought in that day.

You made my day. If not my week. Though it will admittedly be a very sleepless week, it will be a very happy sleepless week.

Cheers, Mel

Also...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday Tea

Lupicia Tea: Tochiotome
Lupicia's Tochiotome

I have only tried a few of their teas, but I adore Lupicia.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Music Monday

flag on the hill

On my way home from work yesterday, I dropped by the Japanese bookstore and picked up two CD singles that were waiting for me. OLDCODEX's flag on the hill and TOKIO's Haruka (which is a fantastic single that I may write about another time).

I put OLDCODEX into my CD player and listened to it on full blast as I sat in traffic on the 55. The car was stopped long enough for me to grab my camera and take this picture. Hopefully since I took this with my camera and not my cell phone and I wasn't texting, I haven't broken the law. I also played the CD on full blast with the windows down after the getting through the traffic. Not bad at both 0mph and 65mph.

OLDCODEX is an eclectic mix of seiyuu (voice actor), music producer and visual artist all rolled into a band. I have a general idea of their sound, but each CD has had a completely different vibe. I'm really looking forward to see what else OLDCODEX has up their sleeves and I would love to see them live some day.

Links:
OLDCODEX Official Website
OLDCODEX MySpace

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blog Changes

Had to stick this on my computer

Blogger now has share buttons so I've added them to the bottom of the posts. I've also enrolled in AdSense -more out of curiosity than anything else- so you'll see an ad in the sidebar once it all goes through. I'm still working on the order of things in the sidebar. I can't quite get them in an order that I like. It's a work in progress.

I've also been pretty good (now that I've said it, I've probably jinxed it) on the Days of the Week entries. They've given me things to think about when I'm away from the computer and gotten me writing in my notebook again in a generally positive way. This is good.

Not sure where I'm trying to go with this blog, but at least it's going somewhere.

Food Friday

Lasagna

Every year on Father's Day and my dad's birthday I make lasagna. This year's lasagna was a simple one with ricotta, mozzarella and spinach using whole wheat pasta. It was quite yummy. And we still have a whole bunch in the fridge. (^_^)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Thanks

Dear TOKIO,

Thank you for being you. Thank you for all of your randomness and your awesomeness. Your passion, dedication and positive attitude towards your work have been a constant comfort and driving force in my life. I haven't been an active fan lately, but of all people, I'm sure the five of you would understand. You are and always will be worth coming back to.

With love, Mel

Wordless Wednesday

Fullerton Arboretum

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Change

Decided to change the look of the blog again. (^_^)v

I've been rather indecisive lately. Well, for the past year.

A lot to think about. A lot to consider. A lot to ask myself. A lot to face. A lot to answer for. A lot to experience. A lot to try.

And I've done so little.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Movie Monday: The A-Team

The A-Team

Like many children of the 80s, I grew up watching The A-Team. And I loved it. It was pure and simple. The heroes always defeat the bad guys and save the innocent civilians in some good, clean, over-the-top violent fun where no one got killed, or even seriously injured.

When I heard an A-Team movie was in the works I was more than doubtful.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hokto Mushrooms

♪Kinoko no ko no ko genki no ko♪
Hokuto Mushrooms
♪ Eringi, Maitake, Bunashimeji ♪

Hokto is a major mushroom company in Japan and they also sell mushrooms in the States. They have a catchy little jingle that gets stuck in your head. My mom and I sing it all the time. All the time. Especially if we're cooking with mushrooms. I don't know if it's from the influence of the commercial or not, but I tend to use Hokto mushrooms both when I lived in Japan and over here.