Tuesday, May 30, 2006

wow.

at the top of diamond head. cool breeze. breathtaking view. i'm lucky to be here.

Movin' On Up

Woo-hoo! My mom and I are out of the ghetto! A nice guy managing our former hotel managed to transfer us to a nicer building across the way. We now have separate bathroom and kitchen sinks, a real door with a lock separating the two, no human excrement smeared on the curtains, drawers for our clothing, a clean environment, and a better view. Plus, there's a refrigerator, stove and microwave here in case we bring back food. The best thing is I'm not afraid to leave my mom here when I go out, which was really putting a damper on things. Now I can really relax and enjoy this vacation!!!

Yesterday I relaxed all day. After moving our stuff from the old hotel to the new one, I took a walk around Ala Moana Blvd and found a seafood place for lunch. Then walked along the Ala Wai canal which was pretty cool. My mom and I took a trolley around Waikiki and saw a lot of cool places we'll probably be visiting today. Out of curiosity, we went to a British pub near our hotel called Ye Olde Fox and Hound - Pub and Grub, which was totally awesome as my mom got very happy after sipping her one gimlet (see picture). They're having a "closing for good" party this Wednesday, after which they'll be taken over by new owners. I guess there's not really a market for a British pub in Hawaii. Go figure.


So today, I'll probably tour around Waikiki with my mom, then go to a BBQ at Ric and Courtney's place. I'd like to go to Diamond Head today and hike up the crater - that hike always clears my mind and just gifts me a lift energetically. I'd also like to get down to the beach but not sure I'll have enough time. If not today then tomorrow, check back for the update.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Rockin' the Hula

Aloha, from Oahu!!! My good friend, Ric Figueroa is getting married over here this Thursday so I'm taking a week off to celebrate the occasion with him and his bride-to-be, Courtney, and to do a little visiting of family with my mom.

We got in early yesterday morning, and then promptly got lost trying to find our hotel after picking up the rental car. Lots of one way streets over here and the
layout of the roads is fairly confusing. Plus, there are a lot of long, Hawaiian street names, all starting with the letter "K". "Take Kapi'olani to Kalakaua, and if you pass Kuaoumo'o or Kalaimoku St., you've gone too far." Uh... sure.

When we finally made it to the hotel after about an
hour of driving in circles, to our dismay we discovered the quaint, economical hotel I found on Expedia was, in fact, a decaying Tijuana crack-den, not unlike something you'd witness on DOG the Bounty Hunter. I've never been to a hotel where the bathroom and kitchen are separated only by a folding partition and really didn't need to experience that with my mother. Also, having a place to store clothing is apparently not a priority in this place as there are no dressers. There is a tiny closet (in the kitchen, of course) right across from the small bathroom sink (again, in the kitchen). Needless to say, we've spent most of our time away from there. Since everything's pre-paid, we have no chance of getting even some of our money back to find someplace at least marginally adequate.

Anyway, after checking into the crack den, we fled to the nearby Ala Moana mall where we had noodles at Zippy's. All the food is so cool here as the sides are so much more interesting than on the mainland. Instead of fries with my (teriyaki) burger, I opted for saimin. At McDonald's, I got a Taro pie. Neat. I always miss this stuff back in L.A.

Later, I fe
lt guilty and somewhat terrified about leaving my mom at the den to meet up with Courtney, Fig and his nephew Jacob, for a late dinner at Sorabol, a 24 hour Korean restaurant. We had lots of spicy food, some sake, and some BBQ ribs. Yum. Then it was off to the local theater near Waikiki to catch an 11:45pm showing of X-Men : The Last Stand. Whatever. Bryan Singer, wherefore art thou?

After the movie, I got back to the hotel around 1:30am
or so, the equivalent of 4:30am in L.A., so I was completely exhausted, especially since I had woken up at 5am earlier that day to make it to the airport on time. Due to this, I didn't mind sleeping within the crusty covers of the hotel until I woke up a few hours later, completely skeeved.

Not sure what's on the agenda for today. Procuring other living arrangements is at the top of the list, as remote a chance as that might be. Oh, and getting me some Kahlua Pig. Been totally jonesing for some of that since we got to the islands.

That's about it, thanks for reading. Check back tomorrow for an
update.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Oso Scary!

There's a black bear lumbering around, somewhere outside the office building where I work in Westlake Village right now. Yeah, it's probably a couple miles down the road, but it's a freakin' bear!!! Helicopters have been buzzing around the skies all morning, police cars have been zipping by, HR sent a building-wide email trying to quiet the mounting panic - it's quite the scene. This is the second bear sighting within a month - could these two bears be the scouts for a massive bear army forming to take over Southern California (or at least Agoura Hills), even as I write this? Is this how L.A. will go down? Not by fire, tsunami or earthquake, but by bear? Maybe the image on the California flag was more portentous than we were led to believe...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

XBLOG

Click here to check out my XBOX 360's blog. It's auto-generating, tracking what I play and how long I play it, but because I've been busy lately, the blog consists mostly of my 360 bemoaning the fact that I haven't done much gaming recently. Yes, it seems my 360's a testy little guy, especially when I go for a day or two without powering him up. Kinda funny, here's some examples from the past couple of days:

jefbot's Xbox - 05/25/06
I have seen some crazy stuff in my time, but
jefbot not showing up to game yesterday really takes the cake. permalink

jefbot's Xbox - 05/24/06
I was all ready to write in my blog about how great of a time I had playing with
jefbot yesterday, but then my plans changed when I was ignored... all... freaking... day... permalink

Bought The Elder Scrolls IV : Oblivion for the 360 over the weekend and have liked what little I've played of it so far. Amazing just how open-ended the gameplay is, and the graphics are just beautiful. Playing in HD on the 360 has spoiled SD for me; I know I'll have to go back to finishing Kingdom Hearts II and Metal Gear Solid 3 : Snake Eater on the PS2 but I'd be a lot happier about it if the graphics didn't look so muddy and last-gen. And wired controllers. Blech!!!

I'm none too proud of my Gamercard yet (I don't really have the luxury of being a point hog), but I'm seriously dedicated to getting more Achievements out of Geometry Wars. Check it:



Send me your Gamertag if you wanna play online sometime (mine = jefbot). I'm looking for an excuse to buy Joust and Gauntlet from Live Arcade, and finding friends who wanna play would do the trick.

Friday, May 19, 2006

CornNaked

Hm. I think this image may have just made my blog not work safe, but if any of you readers are in the L.A. area over the next month or so, check out the new play my roommate, Michael Cornacchia, is in : Naked in Idaho. It opens tonight and I'll be checking it out tomorrow.

Here are the times/dates:

Friday and Saturday nights @ 9pm
May 19 thru June 17
The Raven Playhouse
5233 Lankershim Blvd NoHo, CA 91601
Tickets $17, CASH ONLY
For reservations, call 818-771-7202
www.tnaonesies.com

Yeah, that's him on the postcard and I think he's at least partially naked during the production, so make your decision to go accordingly. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Totally Bananas

Well, it was about a month overdue, but a couple of Saturdays ago my friend Kellee and I got it together long enough to celebrate our April birthdays with a party at her house in Northridge. The theme was "White & Yellow Trash BirthdayPaLooza" so people came dressed in their favorite Caucasian or Asian gear - y'know, trucker caps, ripped T's, hapi coats, etc. and brought their favorite "trashy" foods and beverages including mini corn dogs, Spam musubi and Schlitz Malt Liquor.

A good time was had by all (or at least most) due to the alcohol and two player Guitar Hero action going on on the projector screen Kurtis (Kellee's husband) set up outside in the backyard. I actually brought a Karaoke machine over in addition to Guitar Hero, thinking people would play GH for an hour or so but then tire of it. Not so, as I never even had to bring the Karaoke machine out – people were pretty much rockin' on the guitars 'til the wee hours of the morning, much to my delight.


Anyways, thanks to everybody who was able to make it. Kellee and I had a great time. Here are some shots documenting the evening:






The White & Yellow cake my sister Laura made for the occasion. Yes, those are Peeps and Twinkies. It was both horrifying and delicious.











My hapa sister Linda and her haole husband Ted.











Me, rockin' it Asian style. John, rockin' it Zaphod Beeblebrox style.










Amber and Jody. When Amber rocks, she rocks hard.












My sister Laura, keepin' it yellow, keepin' it real.











George and Erin. Rock stars.











Tiger Woods and Balloonhead.








Laura and Scott. Funny, they showed up like this without even knowing the theme of the party.










Kurtis "the Cable Guy" and Jenn. Surely rocking to "I Love Rock 'n Roll" by Joan Jett.








Beware the Cornfather when playing Guitar Hero. He is not above using mind games and intimidation to win.









Me and Kellee, shortly after her collagen treatment

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

180 on the 360

Not sure if it was the hype coming out of the Electronic Entertainment Expo currently going on here at the L.A. Convention Center this week, the 10% off coupon for Best Buy that expires shortly or the handful of Gift Certificates I've saved up over the past year or so, but I finally gave in and bought an XBOX 360.

Although initial impressions are mixed (my controller has a broken shoulder button which is upsetting), so far I'm having a good time with it.

This is the first gaming console I've bought that I didn't pick up any games for at initial purchase. Instead, I'm downloading demos off XBOX Live (of which I get a month for free), the XBOX's online service which is truly amazing. One can download game demos, full games, and game and movie trailers, all in HD. I've downloaded the demos for Fight Night Round 3 and Geometry Wars and both are really sweet. The HD trailers for X-Men 3 and Poseidon look better than the actual movies will probably turn out to be. The Halo 3, Gears of War and Lost Planet trailers all looked nice, too. Still gotta try the Oblivion and G.W.A.R. demos before I buy - now that games are $60 a pop I gotta make sure they're worth it and with XBOX Live, that shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Captured On Film

This afternoon I'll be checking out Captured, the student film I shot a couple months back, at a screening on the Loyola Marymount University campus. I have no idea if it's good or not. My co-star Sabrina Bolin and I did some looping for a couple scenes that needed audio touch-up last week but our director, Leigh Gaston was rather tight-lipped on the quality of the actual film as a whole. Generally not a good sign but artists are seldom undercritical of their work so I guess I'll find out when I see it up on screen and turn my own critical eye on the film and my performance, as well.