Birthday Achievements, Unlocked?

Today is my first day of 31. So far, it’s not anything spectacular: had a great dinner at Patina with Patrick, but there’s also been some unfortunate changes at work that happened this week and I’m slowly coming to the realization of what it means.

Now, let’s go back to a year ago when I was setting goals for myself and trying to make a big deal out of 30 (which actually wasn’t that big a deal because most of the time I can’t actually remember how old I am). I made a list of things I wanted to do last year. Like an over ambitious new year resolution, it started out with a bang and lots of enthusiasm, but then life caught up with me and I didn’t care so much anymore.

Here’s what I did end up doing:

1. Swim with a Beluga (or some kind of up close and personal experience)
2. Steampunk Party

Aircaptain Cooper
Aircaptain Cooper

3. Get a scooter
4.Host a masquerade party

Mysteriously Masked Me
Mysteriously Masked Me

5. Learn how to sail
6. Disneyland


7. Do laughing yoga
8. Learn how to drive manual
9. Indoor skydiving
10. Visit (caution: this site has auto play sound)
11. Have a Thanksgiving feast (not on Thanksgiving)
12. Kayak in Hawaii


13. Dim Sum Party!
14. Travel overseas (Hong Kong? Europe? Bali?)

We traveled over an ocean. That counts, right?

The view from Diamond Head in Honolulu, HI

15. Make and eat a pizza (being really ambitious here)

It was delicious
I made myself a pizza

16. Get a goldfish!
17. Host a private screening of a movie in a theater (
18. Screen an old movie (with a projector preferrably) and wear clothes from that era
19. Ride a train to a destination outside of L.A.

We got beds in a sleeper car!
This is Ann and I, en route to Memphis from New Orleans

20. Visit a museum
21. Go on The Price is Right (kind of dreading this, actually)
22. Make a movie – I shot and directed this:
23. Have a big Chinese family dinner gathering at parents’ house
24. Do a factory tour (of anything: donuts, tortillas, furniture, cars)

We toured the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis. Missouri
We toured the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis. Missouri

25. Go to a farm or petting zoo

I touched this guy!
I touched this cute lil guy!

26. Celebrate at a barcade (Dave and Buster’s or other arcade/drinking/dining environment)
27. Learn CSS
28. Visit New Orleans

Ann eating a real beignet from the real Cafe Du Monde

29. New tattoo in a new city

This almost happened
I was this close to getting my feet tattooed in New Orleans

30. Go to Graceland


I’m going to Graceland (Graceland), Memphis, Tennessee.

Tomorrow though, Patrick and I embark on an 11 hour flight that will take us to a very far place on the globe, Hong Kong.

Next Stop: Hong Kong

Patrick and I have booked our tickets to Hong Kong and we’re leaving at the end of the month. I’m trying to hold off my excitement since I’ve still got the rest of January to get through before I even start packing. We did watch a lot of travel shows yesterday though for planning purposes. You know, I’ve actually been there a few times but I honestly couldn’t give any tips about where to go and what to see because I haven’t been since I looked like this:

No time for love doctor Jones!
No time for love doctor Jones!

That was about 10 years ago. I pretty much look the same so that may not have been the best picture to use, but it WAS taken in Hong Kong!

Anyway, the travel shows we watched were half with Anthony Bourdain, and most of them mentioned the HK film industry, which was a bit weird. It’s not something that tourists could ever really participate in when going to the area so I’m not sure why they all seemed to have a segment featuring the host doing some type of martial arts and rigged flying stunts.

Really looking forward  to all the food, exploring the city without a guide, and seeing my aunt and uncle. WOO!


Goal Setting Time

So I was running yesterday (1.5 miles on a treadmill – this is really amazing for me) and was thinking about what I wanted to do with this year. I’ve come up with some new guidelines for living and got really excited about them because I think they are things I can commit to and can definitely achieve. Very much like my 24 books in 12 months goal: even if I don’t hit the end goal, I’ll still get pretty far and that’s just as good.

So without further ado, here they are:

– I will be active every day. Most days this means gym, but I will also start using my cheapo Reebok pedometer to make sure I am meeting that 10k steps/day min.
– No meat on weekdays (very lax on this one as I’ve been eating lots of fish this week)
– Brain training. I’ve started using Lumosity and it’s kind of interesting, supposedly it’s exercises to improve neuroplasticity. I’m only on day four so we’ll see how I feel after about a month. I’ve also started using DuoLingo to teach myself Spanish.

Soon I'll have conversations *worth* having.
Soon I’ll have conversations *worth* having.

– This will be the year of blog. I will blog once a week. I will also learn how to fix this WordPress template.
– 12 items, 12 months. I’m bringing this one back. I want to save money so I’m only allowed to buy one new article of clothing (including shoes and purses, excluding bras, panties and socks).

I’m pretty sure I thought of more on that 15 minute mile but I think those are probably the most significant ones.

Isn't it a bad idea to run from bears?
Not sure if I’m supposed to run or play dead so I’ll just act like a fast zombie.

Journey (Not The Band)

The other night I finally finished playing Journey. It’s fantastic. It’s an emotion evoking adventure, I’m calling it that instead of a game because its so different from video games that I’ve played.

I’ve always had a hard time relating to the game characters. I’ve never looked at Mario, Link, Donkey Kong and thought “that is me.” I’ve never felt like that person or thing on the screen is me, right there, I’m getting through this level, I’m getting through this castle. That’s me throwing the barrels, this is weird.

It was different in Journey and I’m not exactly sure why. I felt like I was the on learning this new world, I was learning how to jump and fly and slide. It was me figuring things out.

The part that made it so good for me though is what happened this last time. I got to a point in the game where I ran into another player, I had heard that there were other players that could play through your game. Most of the time when something like that happened, I would let them play through and not interact. I don’t like playing with strangers because I don’t know what I am doing.

This time I interacted a bit, we learned from each other and I started thinking this other player must be an NPC because he or she was incredibly patient and waited for me. I played through to the end of the game and only after I had finished and was talking to people about it did I know that it was actually another person, a stranger, out there playing with me. I was just really touched at the fact that the other person stayed with me through the rest of the game, even though I didn’t catch on as quickly or was a little slow. That’s what made it so good for me.

Greetings from Hawaii

Getting back into the swing of things! (posting I mean) I’m in Hawaii and I’m on vacation (also accomplishing the “travel overseas” and the “kayak in Hawaii” items on my 30 for 30 list). I made some observations while here on Oahu:

  • Waikiki is full of young Japanese families. This means lots of new parents with cute, fat little babies everywhere.
  • Those Japanese families like to shop, and not just shopping at say… Target or Banana Republic but like, Coach, Ralph Lauren, Armani shopping.
  • Marketing for shooting ranges in Waikiki is like “escort” advertising in Vegas. Why are there so many shooting ranges in the tourist area?
  • Japanese restaurants are in abundance (duh)
  • Coconut syrup is greatness. I might get some from just to show everyone in LA how good it is.
Waikiki Beach from Diamond Head Summit