Saturday, December 20, 2008


In my truest nature, I have neglected the things that I like.

Well, not really... I just haven't found the time to update this little old thing.

Good news is that I'm working on some things, and I might even have a new blog to call home. It's currently in the works. But for now, I'll jump in here and there with even the littlest things like music reviews, random things I like, and a photo or two.

Until then... the balcony is closed. Or empty. Or something.

Monday, July 14, 2008

taking pictures to make it last longer.

walking The beat goes on. Ferry Building ... dark? sexy legs.

I've always liked taking photos... the first camera I ever got was a Kodak. I don't really remember what the model or make of it was, but let's just say it resembled what might have been considered a disposable camera of today. It was red, and it looked a lot like a Holga. My aunt and uncle gave it to me for my birthday, and I pretty much used it up in an hour. And it was the best.

Looking back on it now, I realize that photography is one of the hobbies that I have kept going ever since. It's just one of those things I've grown accustomed to. The ironic thing about me liking photography is that I hate getting my own photo taken. I liken it to when movie stars say they never watch their own movies: it's just something they never want to see. I love to do black and white, and mainly because of the simplicity. I also like film photography, so of course my pockets feel a little lighter after getting them developed at Photoworks in The City (it's only because I don't have access to a darkroom like I did in the past).

Anyway, here's a bit of what I've been able to do lately.

Even b-boys get the blues
Salt -n- Pepper
flashing lights

Visit: my flickr for more photos

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Louross is BOSS.

I don't know about anyone else, but this season of "Hell's Kitchen" has literally kicked my ass. While watching the season premiere there was a certain contestant that stole my heart immediately.

His name? Lou Ross. Or Louross... something or other. What a spunky monkey. It's not just the hair, the nicely shaped brows or hipster glasses, or that I don't give a damn attitude, but I just loved how he was ready to take over. In the season premiere, I liked it when he took charge and Gordon Ramsay made him captain. He owned it. BOSS ALL THE WAY. He's my surefire winner because he knows what he's doing, can be in control, and seems to like it when Ramsay gives him hell.

The only person I would think could give him a run for his money? That other guy with the hipster glasses ... Ben. He won them the halibut challenge, seemed like he was in control and knew what to do as well. If there were two guys in the end, it'd be Ben and Louross.

As for the women, I like Corey. She's the only one who's shown any kind of personality that isn't showy or super bossy. Though I did feel bad when she called out Christina ... but I later took it back because she started crying. Cry baby. As for Jen, the one who talks too much, I'm just waiting for her to get booted off. "AND I worked in Belgium..." Who. Cares. She also comes off as a tattle tale.

Visit: Hell's Kitchen (Fox)
Watch: episodes are available on Hulu, my new best friend.
Photo credit: Louross's mySpace!!!

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Monday, March 31, 2008

from the bin: "Before I Speak" by Kyle Riabko

While filling up my iPod with some of my favorites, I came across some old $1.99 albums. What better way to bring back From the Bin, even though I've technically only done one installment so far.

Brief Intro: I bought "Before I Speak" because I was heavily into Ryan Cabrera for about five minutes. I thought I should venture out and find something else to obsess over that was very similar to Cabrera, and when I saw this album on sale, I decided to get it. Also what caught my eye about Kyle is that he is on the same label as John Mayer, so I thought I couldn't have gone wrong. Only the best for me.

Brief Bio: He sings... he now apparently acts! Well, more is here on the official bio.

Upon first listen...: I didn't like it. I kept skipping from song to song, hoping that I'd get my fix of some Ryan Cabrera-like stylings, but instead I turned it off. It went on my shelf of a thousand CDs.

Upon second listen...: I didn't give it the chance it deserved. I guess I was looking for some Ryan Cabrera in this guy a little too much, due to their similarities (guitar playing cute guys). Now as I listen to it almost two years later (yes... two years), it has somewhat of an edge on Ryan's first album. Kyle is less pop, but his album sort of builds a bridge between pop and ...jazz (contemporary jazz). There, I said it, even though some might not think so, but I think some of the arrangements have the elements, as well as elements of funk and the blues. It's very interesting, and considering how old he was at the time of the recording (barely out of high school)... dare I say, but it's very "way ahead of its time."

Songs to check out: "What Did I Get Myself Into" (I love this one because it's tinged with the blues), "Carry On"

Final thoughts: A lot of my final thoughts were stated in my "second listen," but now I feel super judgy for not giving Kyle Riabko the chance he deserved. I do like this album, and can't wait to see what he comes out with next.

Worth the $1.99?: Yes, upon a second, careful listen.

Buy it at: Amazon.
More info: mySpace

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Kara's Karrot Cupcake!

She teased me with "Cookie Week" ... and now it's "Cupcake Week" on "Martha" and I can't be more excited.

Apparently, a buttload of cupcake shops around the country sent her samples of their goods, including my favorite, SF's own Kara's Cupcakes! I was so delighted when I saw on the table that she had one of their famous pink boxes neatly displayed among the others. I was hoping that Martha would say her favorite was the Chocolate Velvet (because it's mine!), but it's not really surprising that she would pick Kara's Karrot, which is better than most carrot cupcakes I've had.

And besides Martha picking Kara's among some of the best in the country, I'm just ecstatic! I love Kara's Cupcakes. They're delicious and reasonably priced. My favorite, as stated above is the Chocolate Velvet, but I also enjoy the Ghirardelli Chocolate, Java Chip, Fleur De Sel. All of these are chocolate, I know, but I live for chocolate. I also like that they use ingredients from local businesses, more notably local chocolate juggernauts Ghirardelli and Scharffen Berger, which are two of my favorites. No wonder it's so tasty!

All in all, I believe Martha made an excellent choice in naming Kara's Cupcakes among the best. Oh, they're so good... and even though this day is really, really far away, I want to have some at my wedding (Because they do weddings!). If you ever want to catch me around, I'll most likely be at their location at Ghirardelli Square.

Visit: Martha's Favorite Cupcakes (MSO)
Photo Credit:

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Friday, March 28, 2008

redux: Brushfire Fairytales

(Albums I have, which I revisit in times of need ... or when I'm utterly and completely bored.)

Coming down...

I forgot where I first heard about Jack Johnson, but I don't think it really matters. He's mellow, he's from Hawaii, plays a guitar and has a voice to go with it.

But Brushfire Fairytales, his debut album, has to be one of my favorites. It was the album that introduced him into the mainstream, and it doesn't get any simpler than that. It's pretty much straight forward pop-acoustic tunage that you can listen to on a road trip or while you watch a sunset at the beach. Nothing complicated, and I think that's what sets him apart from the rest. It's good for a rainy day, just like this one.

Songs from "Brushfire Fairytales" that I like a lot: "Inaudible Melodies," "Posters," "Fortunate Fools," "F-Stop Blues"

Jack Johnson will be in San Francisco for the Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park, August 22-24th. Tickets are going for, gasp, $225 bones PLUS fees! Holy crap. But you'd have to expect it, especially since others like Radiohead (!!!), Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Wilco, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Broken Social Scene, and so many others are going to be there. Maybe he'll come back another time, just him ... and cheaper, too.

Visit: 1% For The Planet, an organization Jack Johnson is highly active in.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

random tv thoughts - from LOST to Hell's Kitchen and beyond!

Jin's grave? Noooooooo....

- "Lost" has been good lately. Not bad for a show that was in the can about a season and a half ago with its Dharma Initiative-obsessed storylines that were turning viewers off. But really, was I one of the only few who really liked it when they got all mythological about things? What about all those stations that were on the blast door map? What's up with the rest of The Others? I care, ABC. I. Care.

- "Hell's Kitchen" is coming back (April 1st), but originally just to fill the void of there being no written television. Now that it's on before it's usual summer airdate, this leaves me pleased that it is on really soon, yet, what the hell am I supposed to watch in the summer? Certainly not anything stupid.

- "The Office" is coming back. There are no words. None.

- The big news of the week is Britney Spears doing "How I Met Your Mother." Photos of her on the set have been released, and all I can say is that she looks really happy and upbeat and normal, which is better than she's looked in years. I know she did "Will & Grace" about two years ago, and she looked happy and upbeat and semi-normal there, but there's something in the air this time. Can't wait to see what goes down.

- I said I wasn't into American Idol this year, but I admit that yesterday I was up until about 1:30am watching back video of all of the contestants this year (in part due to boredom). My favorites are:
  1. David Archuleta - this shouldn't be a "real surprise," but this kid has killer pipes and he's such a cutie pie.
  2. Jason Castro - he appeals to me because he has dreads and talks like he has possibly smoked a lot of weed ... I mean, he's really laid back and awesome. And that story he told about ripping a dread out of his head was just too funny.
  3. Carly Smithson - I loved it when she sang "Come Together." She's also Irish and has a cool accent.
  4. David Cook - I really liked that emo-tastic "Hello" he did. Too bad he's a biter.
- My least favorite American Idols:
  1. Amanda Overmeyer - I get that she's rocking the "rock chick" thing, but her hair gives me a headache, as well as her voice. It always looks like she's getting ready to puke, too. Not my cup of tea.
  2. David Hernandez - He's gone already, but he just reminds me of this guy I don't like.
  3. Danny Noriega - Also gone. I did like his audition, but he tended to be a little too much on the flashy side for me. Good voice, though. Nice hair.
- AI's that make me go "meh:"
  1. Ramiele Malubay - Yeah, woo hoo, Filipino people. However, I agree with the judges in that she's picking a lot of "safe" choices and it's getting b-to-the-oring. She has a good voice, but she needs to stretch it out a little bit, otherwise people are just going to forget about her.
  2. Michael Johns - He's like the grandpa of the group, btw. He's hot and everything, but when he busted out with "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" I just thought that was a big fat no-no.
  3. Syesha Mercado - I didn't think her "Saving All My Love For You" rendition was all that great, and it sounded like kareoke. Meh.
- I watched some of "Dancing With The Stars" tonight and caught Mario dancing. What a hottie pie.

Photo credit: Lostpedia


Monday, March 10, 2008

gym class hero.

Pic from Jer's Crossfit Zone Blog

Besides going to the gym to get healthy and work out, I really only go because it's an excuse to listen to my iPod. It's been many a strange workouts when I haven't had it (or it died on me) and I've had to listen to whatever 24 Hour Fitness was playing, or listen to other people breathing hard and running on treadmills. Not even the sounds of Yellowcard (I know) could drown that out. Having music playing really does get me moving faster and makes the time go by really easily. Listening to the iPod works in two ways: I work out and listen to music. Multi-tasking is a beautiful thing.

Now, this isn't a post where I give health tips or tell you about how "fabulous" my gym is (it's pretty mundane like all the rest of them, I suppose). I am nowhere near qualified to give any kind of health tips besides telling others that a cupcake a day doesn't keep the doctor away.

But, I do feel that I am qualified to give tips on the ultimate music playlist. How many times have I read an article in a health/fitness magazine, and they give the absolute lamest playlist? I look at the titles of the songs, and I'm like, "This is supposed to get me motivated?" Hell to the no.

Other than the typical artists that are suitable for workout music (Gwen Stefani's "Love.Angel.Music.Baby.," anything by Britney Spears that isn't stupid, some Black Eyed Peas songs), here's what has made it to my list:

- "Rumpshaker" by Wrexx N Effect: What else gets you moving than someone telling you to shake your rump?
- "The New Workout Plan" by Kanye West: I'm kinda-sorta over this song (because I skip over it now), but the end part is actually what keeps you moving. I also like it when he shouts "Double time!" much like Jane Fonda or Kathy Smith would in the days of yore.
- "Bebot" by the Black Eyed Peas: The beat wins you over. Also good for us Filipino people who don't speak Tagalog well, or at all. You learn AND you exercise.
- "Beat It" by Michael Jackson: It's badass, and it's a classic. I also recommend "Smooth Criminal," but sometimes it can be a little too slow for me.
- "Toy Soldier" by Britney Spears: I didn't really like this song at first, but after hearing it in a shoe store in NY (haha), I got over her wannabe sexy/cutesy voice, and gave in. The soldier beat during the bridge is the kicker. Also good from the "Blackout" album is "Hot As Ice."
- "Maneater" by Nelly Furtado: Synthesizer + beats = cool for the elliptical. Haha. I also enjoy this nice mash-up of this song and The Killers' "Somebody Told Me." (find it on YouTube)

Now that you've got somewhat of a basis of workout songs, it's time for you to go crazy and make your own.

Further reading: Brlliant Playlists (Macworld) - this is pretty old (2005), but it has the right idea.
Certain songs found from typing them into: Project Playlist (what a beautiful site)