Drinking Buddy of the Year: Dave the New Guy
Well, at this point, Dave is not new any more.Â Since Celeste has left the company, Dave has stepped up to be the man to call on for a little happy hour action.Â As a matter of fact, Dave led the pack to the fun night in West Hollywood a few months back with Nik, Erin and I in tow.Â That was quite a night.
Bar of the Year: Suede Bar, Downtown LA
Oh, how have we survived the hard day of work before Suede?Â Suede opens up in the Bonaventure across from our office.Â Pretty much the closest bar in our vicinity and therefore leaving any other bar in the dust.Â The vibe suits us just fine.Â The comfy seating suits us even better.Â And their special $4 drinks and appetizers from 4 p.m – 7 p.m. also suits us extremely well.
Newcomer Award: Thrill the World LA Gang
I’ve got to work with really cool people at Thrill the World LA this year.Â Mahdroo and Amanda, the two spearheads. Ines, the creator of the whole movement.Â And Babette, the producing goddess.Â I am very proud of my decision that one day to get out to the beach on my own for their practice.Â We are going to rock in 2009, I am sure of it!
High Point of the Year: Being with my dad on Father’s Day
Originally, I was going to leave Bangkok on December 4, the day before Thailand’s Father’s Day.Â Because of the airport closure, I actually got to be with my dad.Â I have not been home for Father’s Day before.
My brothers were nowhere in sight that day because we had agreed to do a Father’s Day dinner at my oldest brother’s condo on Sunday.Â My dad was disappointed at that.Â However, I was home.Â We went together to get our haircut and we went shopping.Â I was going to cook dinner but it was so late that we decided to eat out instead.Â And after that, leaving Brandon at home, dad and I took to the streets of Bangkok to look at the lights lining the streets in the King’s honor.Â We didn’t quite go far but it was quality time spent.
Low Point of the Year: The Aliens in My Nose/Eye
Good god, starting with the one in Hawaii and a few more occurrences during the year of the skin infection in my nostrils.Â AND one in my tear duct.Â I practically lived 2008 on antibiotics.Â It wasn’t pretty.Â Not at all.
Best Holiday: Halloween
Halloween this year was spent with friends and their kids.Â Jim and Karen’s clan struck again with the entire family of Batman characters. Adorable!Â The best yet is Dresden as Yoda.Â Paul and Lupe opened their home to us and I believe started a new Halloween tradition.
Song of 2007: Everything, Michael Buble
Okay it’s not a 2007 song technically, but I get it stuck in my head and I love everything about it.
Movie of 2008: Iron Man
Not even a question.Â Iron Man wins my summer super hero fight.Â I agree that Dark Knight was a better movie, but I don’t crave to see it more than once.Â Iron Man, I watched twice in theater and the DVD will get played many more times to come.
Surprise Movie of 2008: Run, Fat Boy, Run
I just finished watching that.Â Totally a surprise.Â The film has heart and humor.Â And even gross humor.Â The blend of everything turns out perfect.Â Michael Ian Black, Simon Pegg, and David Schwimmer created a fantastic movie.Â Who knew!
Halloween Costume of 2008: Princess Leia – zombie and regular.
Restaurant of the Year: East Third Steakhouse
I ate at East Third many times this year at first because we had to test it out as a potential spot for my office’s holiday party.Â But the food is so fabulous that I am actually hooked.Â Oh god, the thought of Imperial (short) Ribs makes me hungry.Â The vibe is great there too.Â But my god, THE FOOD!
Book of the Year: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
Reading Kitchen Confidential felt like watching Bourdain doing one of his shows.Â It’s just happened to be his life instead of the countries and restaurants he visits.Â Very funny indeed, and it does give me a good look at the restaurant business.Â Writing this entry, I have come to realize that I really didn’t read much this year. Damn television!
The few I read are Bill Buford’s “Heat”, Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns” (prepare your hankies!), Paul Yeager’s “Literally, the Best Language Book Ever” (which is intriguing at first but, ironically, the worst book I’ve ever read. Please remind me to pick up Eat Shoots and Leaves and burn this one), Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” (Make sure you have something sunshiney and happy to read afterward), and finally, I’m half way through Daniel Wallace’s “Ray in Reverse” and am quickly losing interests.
TV Show of the Year: Life / Avatar: The Last Airbender
NBC’s Life caught my attention one day.Â I started with the first episode of the second season and was hooked.Â I rented the first season and got Brandon hooked at well.Â The chemistry between Damien Lewis and Sarah Shahi as LAPD partners Charlie Crews and Dani Reese is magic.Â Actually, everyone’s chemistry is magic.
As for Avatar: The Last Airbender, now that’s a discovery and a half.Â Brandon’s nieces were watching it on Nickelodeon while he was out in New Mexico.Â He got hooked.Â We started renting them and I got hooked.Â I am not the proud owner of all 3 box sets.Â They just don’t make light hearted cartoon like this any more.Â I mean, it has action and humor that adults and kids will understand with moral lesson and enough drama to keep you hooked. It teaches good lesson about life in not a froo-froo way.Â You are responsible for your actions, that not everyone has a perfect life, that love and kindness is powerful.Â It’s awesome.
Biggest Change of the Year: Taking dance lessons at Moondance Studio
My friend Debi opens Moondance, a small dance studio in Long Beach, this year.Â Very intimate spot and it is as casual and friendly as it gets.Â I have been doing a class a week for a few months before I took a 2-month break for the gala and for our Thailand trip.Â It was good to dance again for both health and for my being happy.
Plans for 2009
We are sure about a few things.Â First, we are heading to Miami in May for Irena and Danny’s wedding.Â Then we are going to visit Brandon’s parents either in July or September.Â And if everything goes as planned, February 2010, we’ll be in Thailand again for a visit to Koh Samui.
Personal goals are flexible.Â I hope to find a kung-fu/wu-shu lesson and give that a shot.Â You know, dance one day a week and kick-ass another day a week, that would be interesting.Â I also hope that the Fresh & Easy store will really materialized in Cypress so I can actualy bike there without killing myself in traffic and/or going up two huge bridges.Â Brandon and I plan to start hiking, having bought new shoes for ourselves recently.Â We also want to take a trip up to Hearst Castle sometime this year.
What’ve you done this year?Â And what is your plan for the next?Â Spill!