Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's been a while

I haven't written much lately. I suppose I can blame school for that, or my six-month-long coma, but why create excuses? I don't want to say I'm returning to blogging, just that it's nice to keep my writing honed. I mean, it's not like I haven't written. I've written for school, essays and such, but that doesn't stimulate my creative side. On the contrary, writing an essay is like traipsing sloppily through a math problem. It's all trial and error, and my good essays are those on which I got lucky.

So, an update for my friends: yes, I'm back in school. It'd been a long time, too long, and the reacclimation hurt more than jumping into an icy bath. I started fast and strong, but my efforts tapered with procrastination. I ended up reading approximately 30% of what was assigned and yet I somehow managed to pass my classes. I wrote a paper on Frankenstein and I hadn't read Frankenstein in almost ten years. I wrote papers on literary theorists without reading their work. I wrote a paper on how to perform CPR without knowing what CPR is. Cardiopulmonary reattachment, right? I got an A on that paper.

I got a much needed mental jolt at school. It was like jump-starting a dilapidated junker that was used to run moonshine and pick up street walkers.

I miss the days when I'd dribble metaphors in my sleep. Now I'm lucky if I can conjure a couple in a week. I hope to get that way again soon.

One thing's certain, though. A post like this would've taken me a long time to edit. It's like a poem, they're never done. Whitman worked on Leaves of Grass for decades. Frost, I think, felt the same way with his poems, short and sweet as they were. Eliot wrote The Wasteland over the course of several years. I guess it's not a good thing that I edit less. WHATEVS, I do what i want.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Ghetto Gourmet: Soup Edition

If you're like me, you like to eat. If you're even more like me, you're also broke, cheap and lazy.

I haven't spent an extended amount of time at home lately, so I haven't been going to the grocery to restock on food. That means when I do wind up spending even one night at my house, I'm usually home alone with very little food options except for the things left in the pantry and embarrassingly old leftovers in the fridge.

If you're really like me, your desperate MacGuyver-like culinary instincts will kick in and find a way to round up a motley lot of ingredients to create a palatable, yet ghetto meal for yourself. If you're smart enough (READ: Cheap), you can make yourself a tasty meal at home for less than a Del Taco meal!

This edition will cover making soup incorporating things you really need to use before they go bad.

Cup o' Noodles, Box o' Rice, Egg. The essential ingredient for this soup is your run-of-the-mill cup of instant noodles. To add some kind of nutritional value to this meal, I added one egg - the last one I had in my fridge. I also added 1/3 full small takeout box of rice in there because this was a box of rice that's been in my fridge for at least two weeks after I took it home from work a week after a board meeting we had (Like I said, embarrassingly old).

Chicken Broth and Sesame Oil Additional ingredients I'd strongly recommend but aren't required is soup broth and some sort of additional flavoring. I had an open container of chicken broth in the fridge that needed to be used, and I still had a bit of sesame oil to add to the mix. I would have added some soy sauce if I didn't have the chicken broth, but the powered soup flavoring and the chicken broth would have enough salt. If I had some Hot Cock (Sriracha) sauce, I could have added that, and opted out on the Tapatio or Tabasco sauces.

Start making your soup by filling your noodle cup with the advised amount of water and let it all sit in the cup for a minute or so and then pour the contents into a small saucepan (NOTE: I highly advise against substituting your broth for water. This mix is already pretty salty, you might as well dilute it, but maintaining taste).

Startchy-StartchTurn on the heat if you haven't already, then add your additional flavoring (I put about a teaspoon or so of sesame oil) and once the noodles were soft enough to yield, I added my rice. This rice was so old it almost was hard as uncooked rice, making me think it would take longer for the rice to soften than the noodles. Because I added so much rice into the mix, I eyeball added probably around 3 cups of chicken broth, or until it looked like the starch/soup ratio looked balanced to me.

How do you like your egg? I then added a dash of cayenne pepper into the mix, just to give it a little bite, and once the noodles and rice looked soft enough, I turned off the heat dropped the egg into the saucepan and gently stirred.

...and there you have it (I added the furikake topping for the looks, I didn't really like it in this soup).

Nomz away, and should you decide to make this yourself, share your experiences here.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Adventures in True Blue Love

Anyone who knows me knows that I have an undying love(/hate) for Los Angeles.

Anyone who's known me for the past few years knows that I've become a devoted Dodgers fan.

Growing up, I didn't have many people around me who I knew that loved baseball. I was raised in a house where basketball was the sport, and of course, the Lakers was our team (and still is). But as I stayed local for college and as I went out deeper into the many pockets of the Greater Los Angeles Area, I'd meet people who are Dodger fans. One former boss drove him and a few others to a game all the way from Hollwyood in his GEM car.

It was pretty much inevitable that I became a Dodgers fan, especially when I moved to Lincoln Heights, so close to the stadium where I could see the fireworks from our alley, befriending Dodgers fans and dated a pretty big baseball fan...being a bigger sports fan than I give myself credit for, the Dodgers made it very hard for me not to love them.

Of course, I am more than aware of the history of Elysian Park and Chavez Ravine and what happened to that small, tight-knit community that once lived there. For some, it’s the reason why they can’t support a team that did that to those people. As sad as I am that such a cultural gem of an area is no longer with us, I can’t blame this baseball club for what eventually happened to these people.

And then there’s this book I’m currently reading, Chavez Ravine: 1949 by photographer Don Normark, of the pictures he took of the people and sights of this world that soon ceased to be, and some of the surviving residents and their recollections of living there. These pictures represent a time gone by, of places and people that are no longer there or accessible, including the school that remains intact where it still stands, but is now completely buried beneath one of Dodger Stadium’s parking lots.

As tragic as the residents of that time had to leave their home and their community, the inevitable fact of the matter is that if it didn’t happen to them in 1949, much like every small and tight-knit community in this eternally progressing city, it was going to happen to them eventually. It just so happened that a bunch of Big Leaguers needed to find a new home at the time and the City had some land to sell at the time.

But as most of the people of Chavez Ravine dispersed to other areas of Los Angeles, another community emerged. A community of fans of this baseball team has become a part of this city and plays a part of bringing a fanbase and a different kind of community together.

I’ve had a very crazy week, which has regretfully kept me out of the loop on how my baseball team has been doing. I could kick myself for missing out on some amazing things happening, including my “boyfriend” Andre Ethier maintaining his Comeback Kid posterboy status with is walk-off homer at the bottom of the 9th last night, as well as Dodger Stadium usher William Gomez preventing Milwaukee Brewer’s Prince Fielder from getting into the Dodger locker room, preventing what could have ended the Dodgers’ successful and already drama-filled season.

Reading William Gomez’s story and his history with the team and the ballpark is just a reminder that “When a door closes, another one opens;” as unfortunate that the people of Elysian Park of old was forced out of their homes in such a manner, another community emerged from it - a community that helps, in part, to bring a little part of this metropolis of L.A. closer together, and create a history and legacy of its own, spanning well beyond the hills on which the stadium rests.

Want to be a part of Dodgertown, USA?
Be a fan on Facebook.
Follow them on Twitter.
There’s always their Official Site.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Flying Lessons Learned

[It appears that my girlfriend's taken my writing spirit and written another blog entry. Fortunately, I have many other spirits in my spirit jar. Without further adoodoo:]

Lessons learned. Or rather, lessons updated/relearned/revisited/reminded of.

Also, "Why Delta is Better Than Other Airlines."

You know, I used to consider myself to be a bit self-absorbed until I saw how people react to a delayed flight. I am not the only one on this flight that has been delayed 3 hours, but I may be one of the only ones not throwing a fit. Seriously, you're not the only one who's pissed off your flight was delayed.

(But when it comes to my boyfriend not texting me back within 2.3 minutes of the original sent text, ohhh boy, watch out because all hell is about to break loose and someone's going to end up with something thrown at their head).

I decided to entertain myself. As a girl with middle-child syndrome, I’m rather good at this. Perhaps all these people grew up with a lot of siblings and just don't know how to entertain themselves. Doubtful. But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

I decide to go sit at a bar by myself (which leads me up to where I am now). The lady next to me had some kind of voucher and her ticket said she was also on my flight. I asked her if they were giving them to everyone and she told me yes and to go get one. I go back to the gate and ask if I can have whatever they are giving out (please) and the woman laughs and says, "Okay. You'll take whatever we're giving out." At least she's in a good mood. I'd be screaming at the morons demanding earlier flights if I were her. She then asks if I'd like to move seats. She observes that I have a middle seat and I sigh because that’s the worst seat ever. Then she says, "oh, you don't need to move. The two people next to you moved, you now have the row to yourself. Would you still like to move?" I have all 3 seats to myself! That's only my favorite thing ever, aside from missing my flights and having to fly standby for the next one and then getting upgraded to first class. Now I can sleep on the flight.

Then, she tells me I have a $7 meal voucher (food is way more expensive than that, but that's nice of them). She also tells me that Delta is offering a $50 credit toward a future Delta flight. What?! I thank her and run off like a giddy schoolchild with my meal voucher and $50 credit.

Okay, as I'm claiming my prizes (I’m pretending they're prizes to get myself more excited so I don't get all pissy), this woman next to me is complaining, of course. She’s complaining that she has kids and a father and she's so inconvenienced and she's sorry for complaining but, she's inconvenienced. Bitch, you're not sorry for complaining, or you wouldn't do it in the first place. What the hell are you talking about. No one's sorry for complaining, that's the whole point of complaining.

What would you like this person to do? Put you on a magic carpet and fly you to your destination? Because we all don't have appointments and stuff to do tomorrow, right? You're the only one? I’m just as inconvenienced and I’m not bitching. I’m skipping around with my seven dollar meal ticket like a monkey with a banana.

I thought it was nice that Delta agents stayed so calm and helpful. And even offered any sort of compensation. Not many airlines do so much as apologize for delayed flights. So go sit down woman. There's clearly nothing anyone can do or we wouldn't all be sitting around waiting. What would these people like? They would have rather flown on an unsafe aircraft? I don't get it.

So the moral of today's story:

Do not complain. No one cares.
And you're annoying.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh. Hai.

Hello, potential readers of the Ad Adventurum.

If you actually try to read this blog, I am here to say that Frank and I haven't completely abandoned this blog...just yet.

Speaking for myself, I've been spending these hot, summer days out and about, going to the beach, getting eaten by waves, going to baseball and soccer games and hiking! Most of the time I'm on the computer is when I'm at work, and I'm not about to blog while on the metaphorical clock, and when I'm on my own computer, I've been working on pictures and other projects.

And don't worry, (I think) Frank and I are still friends. We're not citing artistic differences or anything, unless he's out there galavanting with the undead. Then we're going to have words. I'm happy to see some activity on his MyBrute account and heading to the beach every now and again, and one can only hope that there is some BBQing involved with him.

Do expect a few posts I've got brewing in the next few days, especially since I have some pressure from people knowing about the blog when I attended the first annual Blogger Prom a few weeks ago, and now I feel this little blog that could really should.

So stay tuned for hiking adventures and what caused two blisters on the roof of my mouth! And for Frank...I miss you.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

More Than Meets the Eye

Despite what people kept telling me and what reviewers kept saying again and again (even more to list) how TERRIBLE this movie is, I went to watch Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen last night.

Citizen Kane it's not. I did not expect to see anything near that, nor did I expect to see a cohesive plot (or one at all), well-written dialogue (both human and robot), OR even good acting (which I did; Rainn Wilson as the stuffy Princeton Astronomy professor and Shia Labeouf channeling an alien language while having an epileptic seizure is not an easy feat). What I did expect were explosions, gratuitous body shots and ROBOTS.

So if you like robots, explosions, and above all, AMERICA, you WILL like this movie.

Seriously, hating this movie is as good as hating the USA. Yes, that's even hating the USA with Obama as president. This world of transformers protecting the human race is a world with Obama as president, and as the Autobots team up with the US Army to protect our kind from rogue Decepticons around the world, our robot heroes masquerade as automobiles that come from the good ol' US of A. Their fearless leader, Optimus Prime, is a flame-accented semi that can't be made anywhere else, those waste of CGI production jive-speaking twins were Chevy Aveos, and despite my personal misgivings of changing his car, Bumblebee is no longer a VW Beetle but a Camaro in this Michael Bay franchise. All the same, because he's a sexy Camaro...a sexy AMERICAN MADE Camaro.

And what of these Decepticons? The opening scene set in Shanghai, China has the US Army and the US-car masked Autobots battle this Chinese machine Decepticon that is defeated pretty easily. Why? NOT a US-made machine! This creature was assisted by some Decepticon automobile, but it was a European-made AUDI, which was cut cleanly in half by what? An American-made car/Autobot.

And when The Fallen, this ancient bad guy Decepticon is once again ready to wreak havoc on our fleshy human-dominated world, Decepticons guised as machines around the world spring back to life, including a Volvo earth digger? Come on! Let's kick these robots in their balls! Because they have them! At least one of them has a pair, and he certainly got dinged in its metal 'gnads! YEAH! That's what the Decepticons get for killing Optimus Prime! USA! USA!

This movie is so USA that after Sam Witwicky's parents drop their son off to Princeton, an ivy league college, they head to Paris, France, only for Mr. Witwicky to dine at a French cafe drinking an All-American Budweiser as Mrs. Witwicky spits out her escargot dish.

I'm not going to glaze over the gaping plot holes. Sure, they're plot holes in a membrane-thin plot, but even the most patriotic can catch them. Because surprisingly enough, this movie DOES make you think. I was preoccupied marveling at how Megan Fox's character managed to keep her lips eternally bubblegum lip glossy pink and her mascara perfect and not smudgy even after traveling across the US by plane then being thrown around and teleported to Egypt, or how much work it took for her to keep her riding khakis scot-free after all the running around the desert and explosions bent on exploding her pretty face. More importantly, I kept wondering what went through John Turturro's head when he came out of his trailer every day while filming this movie and how much he had to prepare for his gratuitous butt shot. I was also waiting to one of Megan Fox's boob to pop out her very cute top, not because I necessarily wanted to see it, but because I thought it was a physical inevitability with all the running, jumping, sliding on the ground she was doing while running for her life...AND THE REST OF HUMANITY AND OUR SOLAR SYSTEM AS WE KNOW IT.

So there you go. Explosions that are even simplified by slow-moing the good parts of the explosions. Robots. Lots of robots. Robots fighting each other. Panty shots of nubile coeds, biker chicks and John Turturro. What more are you expecting? If you are expecting more, I have Delicatessen as my Netflix rental right now, but that's so un-American of you.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Heartfelt Letter

[My loyal and clutch girlfriend saved me from writing today by writing a letter to a good friend. This is why I love her even though she claws frantically in her sleep.]

Dearest Alcohol,

First & foremost, let me tell you that I'm a huge fan. My friend, you always seem to be there when needed. The perfect post-work cocktail, a beer at the game, and you're even around during the holidays, hidden inside chocolates, warming us when we're stuck in the midst of endless family gatherings.

However, lately I've questioned your intentions. While I want to believe that you have my best interests at heart, I feel that your influence has led to some unfortunate consequences:

1. Phone calls: While I agree with you that communication is important, I question the suggestion that any conversation of substance or necessity take place after 2 a.m. Why would you make me call my friends when I know for a fact they do not want to hear from me during the day, let alone at night?

2. Eating: Now, you know I love a good meal, but why do you suggest that I eat a taco with chili sauce, along with a big Italian meatball sandwich and some stale chips (washed down with wine and topped off with a Kit Kat after! A few cheese curls & chili cheese fries?). I'm an eclectic eater, but I think you went too far this time.

3. Clumsiness: Unless you're subtly trying to tell me that I need to do more yoga to improve my balance, I see no need to hammer the issue home with frequent trips to the ground. It's completely unnecessary, and I’m tired of playing detective with the black and blue marks on my body in the mornings. Similarly, it should never take me more than 45 seconds to get the front door key into the lock.

4. Furthermore: The hangovers have got to stop. This is getting ridiculous. I know a little penance for a night’s debauchery may be in order, but the 3 PM hangover immobility is completely unacceptable! My entire day is shot. I ask that, if the proper precautions are taken (water, vitamin B, bread products, aspirin) prior to going to sleep/passing out face down(!) on the kitchen floor with a bag of popcorn, the hangover should be minimal and in no way interfere with my daily activities.

Alcohol, I have enjoyed our friendship for some years now and would like to ensure that we remain on good terms. You've been the invoker of great stories, the provocation for much laughter, and the needed companion when I just don't know what to do with the extra money in my pockets.

In order to continue this friendship, I ask that you carefully review my grievances above and address them immediately. I expect an answer no later than Wednesday at 3 PM (pre-happy hour) on your possible solutions and hopefully we can continue this fruitful partnership.

Your Biggest Fan,



Friday, June 19, 2009

The Anatomy of a Migraine II

Last week, I talked a little bit about suffering from migraines, more specifically what usually happens to me when I suffer from one.

I've been given several tips on how to get rid of them aside from the quick and dirty powerful painkiller route, including a temporary respite from the pain by digging your finger a bit above your right eye socket and massaging the meaty part between your thumb and pointer finger. The advice that was practiced on me and managed to pass on to another seemed to be the best way around it.

When my boss came into our office, she found me with my head on my desk and looking all which ways of haggard. It didn't take long for her to put down her things and volunteer to give me a neck massage. "I'm an expert at this," she assured me.

And an expert she was. After remarking how astonished how such a pretty calm person can have so much tension in her neck and shoulders, she quickly went to work BRINGING THE PAIN. So I do have muscles so tense, they're almost firm as a bone, and with the force my boss was putting on my tense tissue I had moments thinking they'd just snap. It was a good pain, mostly, the pain you know that you'd benefit from later, but some of it was just plain PAIN.

"I think I need a break," I said to my boss a few times, after she laid her strong, slender fingers into my neck, and she agreed...I was working on a big project and reassured I needed to take it easy. Little did she know that I was subtly trying to tell her I needed to take a break from extreme tenderizing she was doing to my neck.

I finally asked her to stop, when I thought I couldn't take any more. After a little cool down, I realized I had some trouble keeping my head up; my neck was so wobbly. She managed to dissolve the tension from my neck and shoulders. Just to take some extra precautions, she also advised I do a headstand against our filing cabinet, which I did.

After all that, I still had a bit of pressure where the headache was, but within two hours, it was completely gone, and did not suffer from any of the post-migraine wooziness that usually comes along with it. My neck was a wee tender the next day (quite possibly because my skin was slightly bruised...!), but I felt great.

I was a new person. That little session was a testament I gotta make sure take better care of myself and that I need to exercise a bit more...stretch those neck muscles after holding my head up looking at a computer screen all the time.

I also wanted to pay this new knowledge forward, ready to assist those who may be suffering from what I had to. My opportunity didn't take long, as that Saturday my friend was our other friend's party completely down for the count and was about to drive herself home in such a terrible state. I quickly went to work on her, but showed a bit of mercy. Everyone could see the noticeable difference after a nice massage did for her - though I couldn't help the little lump of stressed muscles in her back which I'm sure caused a lot of the pain. I'm glad to know she got that looked at and I hope is feeling much better.

I'm sure there's supposed to be a lesson behind this, and I am now poised to lay on some awesome wisdom on you, so here I go:

Migraines suck. It's not easy to massage your own shoulders/neck, so hope that you know a no-mercy type of person to go to Tenderizing Town on your neck muscles to relieve that bad boy. You'll thank me later for it (Heck, I may help you myself).


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Less Writing, More Pictures

Man, it's tough coming up with witty writing. Instead, I'm just gonna post some cool pictures I found today.

Here is a picture from wiki of the beaches of Normandy 55 years ago:

Here is a picture from APOD of the moon rising over Turkey:

Here is a lolcat from lolcat thing:


Friday, June 12, 2009

The Anatomy of a Migraine

[Writer's Note: There will be a part of this entry where I'll be talking about some TMI stuff people may not want to read about. Don't worry, I'll indicate when that part comes and goes. Just wait for my sign. <3cmr]

Those of you who have had a real migraine would agree: they're up there on one of the worst things ever, and know the difference between a migraine and "A really bad headache." Okay, they're not the really worst things ever, but unlike sore throats, sinusits, most, if not all forms of cancer and most debilitating diseases, I would wish a migraine on my worst enemy.

My getting migraines are usually few and far between. My first real migraine (aka not a really bad headache) was in July of 2007, since then, I've had at least one a year. Crazy enough, I've had two within a month's span, the last one being yesterday (Thursday).

I knew I was in denial when I felt the pressure on the right side of my head. "Maybe it's sinus pressure..." I thought to myself, as I showered with a runny nose.

I took some pain reliever in hopes it would go away by the time I was at work, but my ability to smell the most subtle things, like the dough I smelled as I drove by the donut place, or being able to pick out the different types of exhaust as I walked to my office, perhaps really smelling the dust of all the construction in my office should have tipped me off.

"Maybe I'm just hungry..." Still trying to convince myself, as I heated up a can of chicken noodle soup for myself and ate it with crackers and drank lots of water.

That's when the nausea set in.


My head felt even worse, and now the stomach was doing all kind of horrible on me. I kept convincing myself, "Keep it down, keep it down." But my stomach said that it's time to let this sucker out! "No!" I kept telling myself, "It's nothing bad I ate, and throwing up will NOT make me feel better!" But just like a few weeks ago, I felt crappy enough that it was worth the try.

Just like a few weeks ago, though I had no one else in the office with me at the time, I hurriedly took the keys to the restroom area and made my way to the toilet.

And just like last time, even though I had something in my stomach, barely anything came out. I had my glasses off at the time, but when I was pretty much finished, I noticed the floaty bits of yellow on the surface of the water looked like an uncanny cartoon rendition of a tyrannosaurus rex. Even in my moment of suffering, I had to appreciate the absolute beauty in misery by witnessing it, and for that moment or two, I felt not that crappy.

I would have taken a picture of it if I didn't rush out of the office to vomit, and I very well couldn't have run back to my office to return with a camera at risk of it floating into something else or someone else coming in at that time and witness me return to a toilet stall with vomit in it with camera at hand. Maybe if people are absolutely curious, I may be able to recreate it to an approximate image stored in my memory.

Making Vomitsaurus Rex, as I expected, didn't make me feel better at all.

**********TMI TMI SECTION OVER TMI TMI**********

With the nausea a little better but still present, I was progressively getting worse and the pressure on the right side of my head became even more intense. I was so close to just closing the door to my office and sprawl out on the dirty, dirty floor and tried all my pressure point techniques.

I resorted to lay my arm out in front of me and place my head upon on it, allowing my forearm to smush my eyeballs into my head, creating a sort of pressure that relieved the pain from my head. After staying in that position for some time, I tried lifting my head to see if it was gone, but I should have known that as soon as I lifted my head to face my computer screen, the pain came roaring back and I was back in the same state, if not worse.

Just as I lifted my head from another head down, eye smush attempt, an office mate came in with a tuna salad concoction she made, inspired by one I did on my own, and as soon as she walked in, I could smell the tuna and spices she put in it. I had to refuse in the nicest way possible without tackling her to the ground as I wanted to bolt to the bathroom once again.

Tune in next week to see what happened when my boss came into the office to see me in this state...