A small peek into the madness of Myong's mind. Only a small peek cuz I don't want to reveal how truly insane and disturbing my mind is.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
New TV Show - Heroes
I just finished watching the premiere episode of NBC's new drama Heroes (thanks to Gee Why for the tip on how to watch shows you missed when they originally aired - just as good as tivo!).
I gotta say...I am hooked! The premise of the show is that there are some people on this earth who are more special than others, meaning they possess supernatural powers. There's a young high school girl who seems to have Wolverine like healing powers. There's a young nurse who believes he can fly. There's a single mom who strips online for money who seems to have a double personality. There's the Japanese businessman who thinks he can bend time and teleport. There's the junkie artist who paints portraits of disasters weeks before they occur. Somewhat similar to Lost, they are all connected somehow.
It's like reading the #1 issue of a new comic book series where you learn all the origins of the characters. There was even a reference to X-Men comics in it! And this show kind of reminded me of a show I watched when I was a kid called Misfits of Science which starred Kevin Bacon and Courtney Cox as people with super powers as well, except so far Heroes isn't cheesy.
I haven't watched too many American dramas as of late but I will definitely be keeping my eye out on this one!
Just finished reading Scott Smith's The Ruins. I found it to be a very tough read as it never really got anywhere in the middle portion (the meat) of the book. I bought this book because I really enjoyed the movie A Simple Plan which was based on Scott Smith's novel. I thought the movie A Simple Plan was a great character film and was looking for more of the same from The Ruins. Nope.
The Ruins is about 2 young American couples vacationing in Mexico who decide to go on a little adventure. They befriend a German man also vacationing there but the German man's brother has run off after a girl to an archeological dig site. So the 2 American couples decide to help their German friend retrieve his brother. On their way to the dig site, they come across some Mayan ruins where the indigenous people still live and toil. Little do they know what secrets these Mayans are protecting...
Ooh...sounds good yeah? I thought so too, which is why I bought the book. I thought, "Ooh, this is gonna be another creepy character driven story like how A Simple Plan was!". Wrong.
The Ruins is a very boring book. Once the characters reach their destination, the pace slows to a crawl. It's like Smith is trying to build atmosphere and suspense but it didn't work for me. I kept waiting for something to happen. When it finally did in the last 1/4 of the book, I already knew how it was gonna end.
It was a very disappointing book and I wouldn't recommend it.
After a month's layoff due to my knee surgery on 8/21, I finally went back to taekwondo class today. Actually, on my follow up appt. with Dr. Kan (Khaaaaannnn!!!!) last Tuesday, he told me not to do anything active for another month. Another MONTH? That's too long! I've done nothing active since my surgery and I was feeling like it...all listless and lazy. So I decided to get off my ass and go to taekwondo anyway cuz I was feeling pretty confident in my knee.
So I went to class and was surprised by a few changes. First of all, they had a young girl who looked like she was in high school running the class. And man, she had an attitude! She sure was acting like big boss! Thankfully, she only ran class for warmups and another teacher (who I like...not in that way...not that there's anything wrong with that!) took over. But even then, I was purposefully taking breaks here and there (not often, I just missed 2 drills all class) on the more difficult kicks due to wanting it to take it easy on my knee on my first day back, especially on any spinning kick drills. To that, I got this snappy statement from high school girl:
(I was partnered with another guy)
Sassy girl: Did you guys both go? (We were doing kicking drills and I decided to skip the spinning heel kick drill due to my knee)
Me: No, I didn't go.
Sassy girl: Well, go!
Me: I'm resting my knee (I had told her at the beginning of class that I was coming back from knee surgery).
Sassy girl: Gives me a look of disgust
Whatever. I think she just became the teacher this month cuz she wasn't there the whole time I was there from February to August. I don't care that she's a girl nor that she's young, but don't give me no 'tude!
So I got a little riled up and decided to give it my all on the next drill which was combo kicks cuz when I try, I'm one of the stronger kickers in class and I wanted to show that little girl up. (I know, I am petty. So sue me!) But man, after class and even during...I was whupped! One month of inactivity really does take a toll on you! And today's class wasn't even that grueling compared to others I've had!
I was originally gonna stay for the hapkido class after too like I normally do but taekwondo took too much out of me so I went home after. I think I'm gonna need a few days to recover from today's kicking (in class) and screaming (in pain after).
I can't bring myself to watch NBC's football highlight show Football Night in America. First of all, they have 4 hosts, Bob Costas, Chris Collinsworth, Shannon Sharpe, and Jerome Bettis and I am not a fan of any of them. I don't know what it is about Costas but I've never liked him. It always feels like he feels like he's better than doing what he's doing. I know he's a pretty intelligent guy but he just doesn't seem right for a football show. The other 3 guys are former players who are just trying to match ESPN's over the top guys like Salisbury, Irvin, etc. But the ESPN crowd knows they're ridiculous while these guys try to be entertaining by making cheesy comments and raising their voices for no reasons.
And what the hell was that? A weather report for New England? I don't need to see that! Give me highlights! I'm not kidding when they showed exactly 2 plays from the St Louis / Arizona game. A whole 2 plays. Gee thanks! I don't want weather reports, interviews, a view of their clubhouse setting. Give me Berman and Jackson with their awesome highlights.
A highlight show is not just about showing clips from games. You have to know how to pick and choose them, edit them together, accompany them with good music, and provide entertaining yet insightful commentary. ESPN Primetime had this down to an art. Compared to Primetime, Football Night in America is a really bad joke.
Another week in college hanging around the .500 mark. No complaints here! As long as I'm not in the negative, that's fine by me!
Georgia Tech --> Lose (These guys really don't care about covering the spread) Nevada --> Win (A very lucky win as Nevada returned an INT for a TD with 1 minute left to cover) Illinois --> Win Utah State --> Lose California --> Win Marshall --> Lose (Should've been a win but Tennessee went for a TD with :30 left instead of taking a knee. Good thing to keep in mind the next time I wanna lay points with the Volunteers. These guys know the spread) Wyoming --> Lose Hawaii --> Win (Bittersweet) Michigan State --> Tie (ND scored 19 points in the 4th to make the push. What the hell?!) Utah --> Win Oregon State --> Win
College this week: 6-4-1 College year to date (as of 9/23): 23-16-4
The #21 ranked California Golden Bears laid a spanking on #22 Arizona State in Berkeley, CA today 49-21. All American RB Marshawn Lynch had an easy 127 rushing yards on just 17 carries and QB Nate Longshore had an effecient 18-26 day for 270 yards and 4 TDs. WR DeSean Jackson had 1 punt return for a TD as well as a receiving TD.
It was a basic overall shellacking as the Bears scored on offense, defense, and special teams.
After a comfortable 3 straight games (and wins) at home after an embarassing opener at Tennessee, the Bears now face the 2 Oregon teams: Oregon State on the road and Oregon at home. Both very winnable games and games they shouldn't have any difficulty with.
Yun Jin Kim has been making the publicity rounds lately, appearing in magazines like the one Wayne's World showed, TV Guide, and the British mag Empire.
Now she's on the cover of Stuff magazine. Personally, I'm not that into her but am super glad that a Korean is getting the publicity that she is. I just wish that she didn't have to play the "sexy" card to get it. Oh well...baby steps...
Now 2 episodes of Survivor: Cook Islands (aka Race Wars) has aired and I am not ashamed to admit that I am wholeheartedly cheering for the Asian American team. Is this wrong? I don't see why.
Before the show even aired, companies were pulling out of advertising on the show because of its racially based competition this time around. For those who don't know, CBS has decided with this latest edition they will pit teams against each other based on race: Asian American, Hispanic, African Amerian, and white. This caused a bit of an uproar in these hyper sensitive politically correct times and advertisers shied away from any potential source of controversy.
Personally, I never had a problem with it. If anything, it's got my interest in the show going again cuz I haven't watched the last 2 or 3 editions due to its repetitiveness. It's not like these contestants are being exploited against their will. They knew going into casting that they would be participating in a racially themed show. If they decide to go on the show to try to show America that minorities are people too and are just as strong as anyone else, where's the harm in that? Like it or not, minorities in the US are still labeled and stereotyped everywhere you go. Maybe this show gives them a window to show the majority that "Hey, I'm a regular person too." I'm not just another math nerd, or spicy tamale, or gangsta rapper like you see on TV and in the movies.
I know I'm getting a little too deep over a simple TV reality show but I think it's absurd that people get all riled up over this. Jeff Yang of SFGate wrote a very interesting column about his gathering of Asian American friends to watch the Survivor premiere episode. I found it to be very entertaining as well as thought provoking. Of course the Asians will be rooting for the Asian team. But is this ethically acceptable? For us to want to be better than the other races? Anyways, check out the article here: Jeff Yang Survivor Party Article
Well, back to the actual show. Touching on what I said earlier, I am so stoked that the Asian team is kicking ass! They've won both challenges so far and haven't had any form of inner team bickering as of yet besides Cao Boi's annoying habits. But then again, does this further promote the stereotype of Asians being a passive, non-confrontational people? See, everything on this show triggers questions and discussion and thought!
I gotta give my props to Yul. My Korean brother made me proud yesterday by finding the immunity idol on Exile Island. He's got juice now! It was also interesting to see the two Korean people, Becky and Yul sharing a nice moment together. While everyone on their team is Asian there's also of course the subdivision of Asian culture by countries. It was natural that these 2 Koreans bonded like they did.
I also thought that Brad and Yul made some very resounding comments on Cao Boi's Asian themed jokes. Cao Boi, the Asian hippie dude, was making some bad jokes about Vietnamese, Asians, etc. and the other team members were not appreciating them. Cao Boi said that they've gotta have a sense of humor and be able to laught at themselves, but Brad very intelligently stated "We get it, but other people won't." How true.
As for the other teams, the Hispanic team just played it absolutely stupid yesterday. You NEVER throw a challenge, no matter what the circumstances. I don't care how lazy and unhelpful one of your teammates is. He's still a teammate and as they say, there's strength in numbers. They foolishly threw a challenge to get rid of heavy metal lovin' Billy just because he wasn't helping out at camp. DUMB!!! I don't think other Hispanics watching the show would be too proud of the slimy way they played yesterday.
But the other jaw dropper was Billy claiming at Tribal Council that he found his true love in Candace, a member of the white team. What had happened was, after the Hispanic team lost their challenge, Billy uttered kind of to himself but facing Candace who was standing next to him, "I'm next", meaning the next to be voted off. Candace tried to console him by saying "Well, we love you". One of those BS expressions that you don't really mean but say just to be nice. Well, at Tribal Council, Billy took that as an invitation to true love and announced that he didn't care about the $1 million prize because he fell in love at first sight. And not a one sided love either! He really felt that Candace was sincere and loved him back!
Aw come on Billy! I'm as vain as anyone else (probably more even) but even I wouldn't think that those words were sincere! Host Jeff Probst tried to be diplomatic and not ridicule Billy too much when he asked him "In this short time we've been on this island, what makes you think she has these feelings for you?". What he actually meant was "Get your head out of your ass, you overweight, lazy headbanger! There's no way that hottie's got a thing for you!"
Anyway....I'm finding this show to be very entertaining and will continue to root for the Asian Amerian team and I'm not afraid to admit that.
The last day in SF. Plane left at 3:00pm so we had the morning to cruz around and do some last minute shopping. Checked out of the hotel at 11:00am and headed to Union Square.
These are the stores where I buy my bling...Macy's...Cool poster for Niketown. They're saying to embrace "me"...Wow! They have a Neiman Marcus in SF too? Cool! (Too bad sarcasm doesn't translate in print)Also went browsing in this place called Gump's which I guess specializes in selling expensive crap for the house. Here's a $6,000 bunny!These 3 pumpkins cost a total of about $3,000.This little plaster piece costs a whopping $35,000! What what what?!After all that shopping and walking around, it was time for some lunch! The final meal in SF! So we went to the ground floor of Macy's and ate at Boudin's Bakery. Boudin's is famous for their sourdough bread and man, was it delicious! I had the Tuscan chicken sandwich which came with goat cheese. Mmm....goat cheese...Right next to the food court was a vending machine that I think Gee Why would like. A vending machine full of iPod products! Sadly, it was off to the airport after that. No more vacation, no more fun...But I had a blast in SF and I can't wait to go back! Thanks to everyone who shared all of these cool moments with me and I look forward to sharing more of these awesome experiences with you in the future!
Gameday baby! The SF game actually kicked off at 1:05pm but we wanted to get there early to check out the stadium and cruz in the luxury suite while watching the early round of NFL games on TV. Surprisingly, it was only about a 20 minute drive from downtown SF to Monster Park (formerly known as Candlestick Park and then 3com Park). We finally parked our car in the VIP parking lot at around 10:30am.
View of Monster Park from the parking lot.Walked around a bit, checking out some tailgaters. Cute 49er helmet grill!A fun place to be indeed!When we got to the security gates we were surprised to see people lined up outside because the website said that we'd be allowed in 3 hours prior to kickoff (which meant 10:15am)and it was already 10:45.We then learned that people with the luxury suite passes could enter at 10am but everyone else had to wait till 11am and were then directed to what gate to enter. Sweet! We felt like Wayne and Garth in Wayne's World flashing their backstage passes to show everyone our privileged passes. LOL
Finally, we found our suite!Talk about an awesome setup! Our suite was located at the corner of one endzone and it felt like we were right on top of the playing field. The glass windows looking out onto the field could slide open to give you cool air ventilation. Inside, there were about 25 seats and a mean food spread.
Ribs and corn on the cob....Chicken wings and killer bbq steak sandwiches....Buffalo chicken and lemon cheesecake...Not to mention the chips with various dips, brownies, and cookie assortment (not shown)!There was also a fridge loaded with several types of beers, sodas, and bottled water.
Here's a look at the suite next to oursThen went for a walk around the stadium and went down to field level which was pretty cool.Gotta have a shot with the cheerleaders!To my surprise, the cheerleaders even visited the luxury suites during the middle of the game to give out autographed photos and take pictures. Sweet!I also had the great pleasure of seeing one of my fantasy WRs (Antonio Bryant) take it to the house for a 70 yard TD. Aw-right!
It was an awesome game with the 49ers defeating the St Louis Rams 20-13. Too bad WW's team had to lose! LOL
After a full day of awesome football fun, it was time to grind! For the last dinner in SF, we decided to check out an experience only SF could offer. Here are a few of the women I met at the restaurant.
Amber...Naya...Dee...Look great, don't they? But...they're all men! Enter AsiaSF! Not only known for its fine Asian-Pacific cuisine, they offer service and entertainment by what they call "gender illusionists". Gotta admit, a few looked pretty good! These gender illusionists wait on your table and then they do an hourly show where they get up on the bar and lipsync and dance to music.
Here's a clip of Naya...
Amazing, huh? What a crazy dinner that was.
After that, it was off to a jazz show at the famous Jazz at Pearl's Club where a saxophone band called the Eaton-Barics quintet was playing. The show started at 10:00pm and lasted about an hour and a half. I saw this guy sitting in front of me closing his eyes as the band was playing and I decided to try that myself. I have to say that it really did make a difference! You aren't distracted by the performers or the lighting or anything. You just concentrate on the music and you can really hear all the parts blend together perfectly. It turns out that the guy I saw closing his eyes was also a sax player and the Eaton guy of the Eaton-Barics quintent asked him to join them onstage for a song. Cool!
Due to the long day on Friday and the alcohol consumption, got up late on Saturday morning at around 11am. Headed into Berkeley to visit my old college campus and to go to the Cal football game against Portland State.
First of all, had lunch at Zachary's Chicago Style Pizza on the border of Berkeley and Oakland. Zach's pizza has won just about every pizza award imaginable and rightfully so. It's a Chicago style pie which means it's a stuffed pizza. We ordered a pepperoni, mushroom, and olive pie.Then it was on to Memorial Stadium to watch Cal pummel Portland State 42-16.A glorious victory! After watching the Cal game and buying some souveneirs and gifts, it was off to dinner at The Public restaurant, which is owned by a friend's cousin. It was a small sized restaurant with a lounge on the ground floor and a dining area upstairs. Nice ambience and the food was winnahs. Here's the duck sugo I had...Someone else ordered the braised short ribs...Then it was "2-cha" as we say in Korean or 2nd round at a neat little Japanese themed lounge called Nihon. Here's a cute waitress who worked there.There was even a 3rd stop for one last drink at 111 Minna Gallery, a combination of art gallery, lounge, and nightclub. African (or was it Brazilian? couldn't tell) music was playing on one side and an interesting live band (kind of a mashup of folk, blues, and alternative) was playing on the other. Here's me standing in front of some of the art displayed that night.Finally called it a night and went to bed cuz had to get up early the next morning for the 49er game which was the purpose of the whole trip!
Arrived in SFO at 6am and got to the hotel at around 7am. The room wasn't ready yet so I dropped off my bag, had a quick breakfast at a nearby diner, and went for a (long) walk around the city.
Great view of the Bay Bridge and Transamerica BuildingCrazy streets of San Francisco - How do these people park?ChinatownFamous corner of Haight and Ashbury - Home of the hippie movementBongs...And more bongs...A squirrel eating breakfast in Golden Gate ParkDelicious taqueria in Haight-Ashbury called El BalazoPollo asado burrito - Yummy!Welcome to The Rock!Sea lions at Pier 39Dinner at House of Prime RibLook at that meal! The prime rib came included with salad tossed tableside, baked potato or mashed, creamed spinach, and Yorkshire pudding. Honestly, this was the best prime rib I've ever had.After dinner, went to a club owned by a friend's cousin which was literally across the street from the hotel. Had some drinks and took in the atmosphere and got home around 2am. Full day!