2007 Awards

Drinking Buddy of the Year: Celeste

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It wouldn’t be a good time without this one. She is present at almost any work party I threw. We drink after work. We drink at her house. Hell, when there was that accident at Candice’s wedding, I was even there when she downed tequila to numb the pain while waiting to get out of the damn place. And of course, if we look back at 2006, she’s the one who started us on the Bar Hopping Shopping!

Bar of the Year: Library Bar

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The Library Bar marked a LOT of the milestones since we discovered it last year. The departure of the former Big Boss. The last hoorah with Cool Cat VP Greg (RIP). More debauchery that one could remember. And the last time was my birthday Friday and it was fantastic! Friendly people. Cool and relaxed atmosphere. And Wolfgang Puck’s next door. Best. Bar. Ever!

Lifetime Service Award: The Bangkok Three – Joy, Tong, Lily

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You know who your best friends are when tragedy strikes. When my mom passed away, the ladies came out in force to support me. Lily pretty much was my chauffeur and assistant the entire trip, driving me all over town. Tong, with her great aunt passed away about the same time, still came to my mom’s wake and cremation. I cried on her shoulder. Joy couldn’t attend because of her new born baby, but sent her love and support through email and phone calls through the whole ordeal. Without them, I wouldn’t know what to do.

Newcomer Award: Downtown Drinking Gang

It is amazing who you meet while working in Downtown LA. I gathered a few new friends to join us at happy hour from all sorts of places. Dave the New Guy. El Heffe. Dancing Fools Robb and Al. The more, the merrier!

High Point of the Year: Awards Dinner

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The Awards Dinner in November was the most involving and insane project I have ever been involved in and yet it was the proudest moment of my career. Oh, and the after party? It was an anti-party party, but it was fun too. Heh.

Low Point of the Year: Mom’s Passing

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I don’t think I have to explain that one.

Best Holiday: My Birthday

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Christmas was fun, but my 2-part birthday party was the best time of the year for 2007. Friday night boozing with Downtown friends and Saturday night home-cooked meal with a group of close friends, drinking wine and singing karaoke in our tiny apartment. I could not ask for more!

Song of 2007: Far Away, Nickelback / Code Monkey, Jonathan Coulton

The first one was already a favorite song of mine that took a whole other meaning since I went home to see my mom for the last time.

And the second one, since James introduced me to the wonderful little world of JC, I just couldn’t get the song out of my head.

Movie of 2007: Pan’s Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth is technically 2006 movies, but I didn’t see it until 2007, so sue me. Anyway, the movie still haunts me to a point where I’m dying to see it again but at the same time so afraid to get my heart broken again to do so. The movie that makes that much of an impact on me deserves to be on the best list.

Halloween Costume of 2007: Padawan OakMonster

Well heck, I spent a lot of time and money on this and I looked damn good. 🙂

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Restaurant of the Year: Takami / Chronic Tacos

Takami is THE place for me this year with celebration of Amy’s birthday and our company Christmas party to top it all off. But as for home town cheap eats, Chronic Tacos, a late discovery, is the best damn joint in Long Beach!

Book of the Year: Atonement

HP7 was indeed a great book. But all things considered, the book that left a lasting impression and captured my imagination more is Atonement. I just hope that the movie would do the book justice.

Oh, and I came to realize I only read almost 7 books this year. Not many at all! Doh! Little Children. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. The Dresden Files: White Night. The Kite Runner. Atonement. Out: A Novel. And half of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. Now I’m a few chapters into Middlesex.

TV Show of the Year: Top Gear

I’m probably the last person on the planet who just now fell in love with Top Gear.  My favorite episode so far?  The Car Football Part II.  You just cannot help smiling at this!

Biggest Change of the Year: Living Room Upgrade

It started with the couch. Then the entertainment center. Then the computer armour. Then the big screen HD TV. Then the X-Box. Soon the end table to match.

Best Decision Made This Year: Separate July Vacation

Brandon and I went our separate way this year in July. I went home and he went out to New Mexico. I got to see my mom one last time and we had a few lucid moments together and I didn’t have to worry about Brandon. And Brandon got to spend time with his family and away from the madness that was the Sad Summer of 2007.

Best Plan for 2008 So Far: Hawaii

Oh yes. First time for me and my dad and first for Brandon since he was 12. This quick trip to paradise may be a short stay but we all should have a lot of fun.

2007 Monthly Highlights

January: USC beat Michigan at the Rose Bowl. Our fridge died and resurrected. Mario Danelo, USC’s kicker, died in an unsolved mystery. OakMonster.com was born. Snow in Malibu. Frenchy got married. Departure of the Big Boss.

February: Proud owner of the red Swingline stapler. My first Oscar nominated films marathon. My first adult pink eye.

March: Las Vegas with the Aunties. My first set of Moo cards.  St. Pattrick’s Day’s impromtu party sprung up around a vat of stew. 5 seconds of fame on KTLA Trafficast man-on-the-street promo. Bono became a knight. My first American air show at Point Mugu.

April: Departure of Amy. Legally change my name at Thai Consulate. The beginning of the Summer of Sorrow with Justin’s mom fallen ill.

May: Brandon in DC.  Departure of Michael. Renaissance Faire in Thai costume. The beginning of Karaoke Revolution addiction at James & Aurora’s. Impromptu sing-along session at Amy & Pete’s.  Meeting J.C. & Erick’s son Joshua for the first time.

June: Hope in humanity is restored when a middle school boy returned my credit card wallet to his teacher.  Brandon in turn gave him a family pack of tickets to the K-9 benefit show.  Justin’s mom passed away.  Coworker Lianne gave birth to baby K.J.  Coworker Candice’s wedding and the pyrotechnic accident that injured Celeste.  Cousin Nicky’s graduation.  My first geocaching trip.  BFF Joy gave birth to baby Jett.  Team Lesser Weevils breaks last year record raising funds for AIDS Walk Long Beach.  Got a bad sinus infection and had to get on the plane to go to Thailand.

July: Seeing my mom alive for the last time.  Watch Harry Potter 5 twice–once before finishing HP7 and again in IMAX 3D after.  Finished Harry Potter in 26 hours.

August: Amber visited from Colorado.  Reggie the Alligator captured and displayed at LA zoon.  My first Bat’s Day Black Market.  My first time at an American zoo at San Diego Zoo. Departure of Eva.    My mom passed away.

September: Baby boom – announcements from Aurora, Nan, Beth and Celeste’s brother.  Talk Like A Pirate Day caught on at investor’s meeting. 14-year-old hairdryer died. USC’s (and frankly, the entire BCS) crazy football season began.  Girls Night Out in Downtown LA.

October: K9 Benefit Show.  Avenue Q. Marking 50 days after mom’s death, my first time at a local Thai temple.  SoCal’s fiery Fall.  Spectacular Halloween.

November: The Awards Dinner.  Operation Jingle All the Way got us a Marine to adopt.  Shane’s dad closed his beauty supply store.  My 2-day birthday celebration.  Cool Cat VP Greg W. passed away.  Marking 100 days after mom’s death by myself.  News broke on USC football may be going to the Rose Bowl.  20,000 visitors.  Mom would’ve turned 66.

December: Girls Night In at Nhien’s.   Mad holiday season at work and at home: 2 parties at my work, one at Brandon’s, and dinner at our place.  One week without hot water.  And now hot water is coming out of the cold water tap as well.  *sigh*

New Year’s Eve Plan: Nora is coming over tomorrow to have dinner and spend the night.  We don’t have any invitation to any party or to go count down at anyone’s house as yet.  So we might end up at home, by the beach to watch the fireworks on the Queen Mary, or at someone else’s house.  We shall see.  🙂

Wishing you a VERY HAPPY 2008!

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