Whoop. There went 2010

It has been a crazy year.  You can tell by the infrequency of my posts.  Despite the fact that I have given up my involvement with Thrill the World almost completely (I still do twitter for TTW headquarter), I managed to remain as busy as ever.

I mean, look at how neglected this blog is!!!

Let’s take a look back this year, see what all I did, and give out some 2010 awards, shall we?

2010 in Pictures:

2010: Year in Pictures

Drinking Buddy of the Year: Bus Buddy Amanda

We’ve been riding the bus together for a few years and carpooled together numerous times.  But it was this year that Amanda and I started hanging out outside of the bus.  We grabbed a few drinks either in Downtown LA or right here back in Los Alamitos.  We occasionally dragged our husbands with us too, like when we went to the Night Dive at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Next up on our agenda is shopping.  Our wallets should be afraid. Very afraid.

Bar of the Year: Chaya Downtown

I actually have visited less and less Downtown LA hot spots since last year.  Work dynamic continues to shift and happy hour gathering has become more and more difficult to manage.  Yet, I kept finding myself moseying over to Chaya Downtown whenever I have an excuse to do so.

At the beginning, I didn’t really give Chaya much of a chance.  Compared to the cozy vibe at the Library Bar, I felt Chaya was a bit more snooty.  I was proven wrong on that.  Also with Library Bar having become so popular it was too crowded for my liking, Chaya has plenty of space to spread out either right up to the bar or out in their Japanese beer garden.  It’s one of the better places in the financial district for happy hour these days with great menu and strong drink specials.  I mean, that $5 cocktail specials they have would knock a lightweight on her ass, I tell ya!

Chaya bar is not just for drinks, but for lunch too.  Bartender Greg always take a good care of me whether I was just picking up a very reasonably priced to-go bento box or sitting down to pig out alone.  The food was surprising fast out there at the bar versus sitting down at the proper restaurant section.

Newcomer Award: USC Trojan Nation

Amy and Oakley

Gridiron Goddess and the OakMonster at the top of the world. (Photo @ Gridiron Goddess)

It only took me 11 years since graduation to get around to buy USC football season ticket.  Bless her heart, at the time of purchase, Gridiron Goddess Amy shouldn’t be spending her money on the ticket, but she did. And we roamed and ruled USC campus as tailgate nomads, lugging our own food and beverages, looking for a place to crash.

During the sesason, I reconnected with old friend Roy aka USC Psycho and crashed at my rarely-seen Trojan brother Joel and his wife Zoe’s tailgate.  I never quite made it to Hawaiian Jen’s group at the engineering quad though, my one regret.  I also made new Trojan tweeps as I tweeted my away games from my couch or at the bar with USC Long Beach Alumni Club.

Yes, the Long Beach Alumni Club is back and very alive!  As destiny would have it, it got resurrected this year.  And naturally, I joined and soon became their director of technology, handling their twitter account and soon to design their website.

More Trojan Nation shenanigan will ensue through the spring, I am sure.  Thank god I’m not a basketball fan too or else my husband will never see me again…

High point of the Year: NaNoWriMo

I have great friends who always supported me through everything I do whether it’s AIDS Walk Long Beach with Team Lesser Weevils or joining GuerilLA in a spectacular improv musical unleashed upon the unsuspecting crowd at Universal City Walk.

This year I took a swing at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and raised money for the foundation set up in my grandfather’s name in memory of both him and my mom.  Friends were super supportive with donations and encouragement.

I was writing on the bus on the way to work. I was writing it at lunch at work. I was writing some of it at home too.  50,000 words in 30 days proved to be too much for me as my inner editor and procrastinator kept chipping away at my words and my time.  However, I did have half of that for a draft of a memoir about our family’s ties to mom’s two big folders full of fortune teller notes.

Low point of the year (other than a disappointing USC football season): Sickness and death among friends

This year has sucked for so many friends healthwise thus make it a low point of the year.  Friends have been afflicted with fibromyalgia, MS, and cancer. I hate you, diseases, for making my friends’ lives unnecessarily harder. My fist. Your direction. Grrr….

Also,  a former colleague who had been dealing with kidney issues unexpectedly passed away.  He was okay one day and died in his sleep over the weekend. It was quite a jolt.

Holiday of the Year: Halloween for a completely different reason!

The past two years, weeks leading up to Halloween had involved running around with Thrill the World.  This year, I passed on the torch so I get to have my favorite holiday back!  Then again, the costume change this year was the most I’ve ever done.  5 costumes leading up to Halloween, if you can imagine.

  1. Halloween Friday: Nerd Herder for work
  2. Halloween Friday Party: Slave Leia for a Star Wars party at Amy’s house.
  3. Halloween’s Eve: Crazy USC fan gear.  Well, I just topped off with what became my signature Dr. Seuss hat for the game.
  4. Halloween afternoon: a Jedi costume was thrown on to visit Gregg at the hospital. I did tell him I was going to bring out Slave Leia but I didn’t think it was appropriate for a hospital.  David said if anyone was to have a heart attack, that would be a good place for it. LOL.
  5. Halloween: Resident Evil’s Alice accompanying Brandon’s Tallahassee from Zombieland to our usual trick or treat evening at Paul’s house.

Song of the Year: Teenage Dreams, Glee version

Can’t. Stop. Listening.

Movie of the Year: Toy Story 3.

No, I haven’t seen the Social Network, Inception, The Kids Are Alright, or anything critically acclaimed.  Naturally, Woody and the gang won this round.

Surprise Movie of the Year: Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

It’s a straight-to-video gem.  I’ve grown up knowing the story of the original Hachikp in Japan so I was curious to see this movie Entertainment Weekly and my friend were raving about.  I knew it was going to be a 3 hanky type mush so I expected a little tears in my eyes.  But oh, no. No no no no. THAT was the middle of the movie.  At the end, I was sobbing so hard Brandon asked if I was okay.  I never cried like that for a movie. Ever.

Book of the Year: Delivering Happiness

Amy G. knows me more than I know myself sometimes.  She definitely knows something I don’t when she saved me a pre-release copy of Zappo’s CEO Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness she had received at an event.  It only took me months to get to read it.  And once I did, I was inspired and depressed all at the same time.  You know, excited about the future and the fact that there’s a company out there that has the same perspective about “work should be a happy, inspiring place” as I do. (Damn you, Zappos for being in Las Vegas!)  And of course, it’s a little disheartening to look at my current situation which is not quite what it could be.  Then again, there’s not much fun you can really wring out of the line of work I do. *sigh*

TV Show of the Year: Doctor Who

I might have just become a late fan of the show (helloooo Martha Jones!), but my attachment to David Tennant is pretty strong.  So I was very skeptic of Matt Smith’s taking over.  But the show managed to change my mind and kept me glued.  So, hats off to you, Doctor!

Runner Up: Hawaii Five-O.  Alex O’Loughlin’s taking his shirt off every other week?  If this is not the best show on television I don’t know what is. But to tell you the truth, it’s Scott Caan’s performance that is keeping me hooked.  His big softy, smart alecky Danno is the only real character on the show. Everyone else is kind of two dimensional.

Oh, and you’re welcome for the following clip. (Good luck, Aquaman!)

Restaurant of the Year: Koi Sushi, Seal Beach

We have always known of Koi Sushi.  As a matter of fact, my memory of it was that Brandon’s parents wanted to take us there once but the line was out the door.  We rediscovered it one day as a part of my quest to find a true Japanese restaurant, not just a place that serves sushi and teriyaki.  Koi was exactly what I was looking for.

They hooked us at our first visit with a huge hunk of braised pork belly “appetizer”.  I mean, we could’ve split that for dinner, it was that big.  And it was delicious.  The teriyaki beef got Brandon addicted.  Tender beef cooked perfectly and the teriyaki sauce that’ not cloying.  What I like most is that they a special menu that changes every week I believe.  Food was fresh and portion is generous.  Service was great.  As long as we get there off peak hours, there wasn’t any line.

When it’s a restaurant that Brandon actually craves, that gets on my favorite restaurant list!

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Well, that’s my 2010. How did you year go?

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