Friday, January 30, 2009

Random Thoughts...01/30/09

I was tagged on FB the other day and I realized that I have hundreds of random thoughts that go through my head every single day that it would be fun to write them out so I could later look back at it and laugh at how silly/mundane/annoying my thoughts can be. Sorry if you have to be part of it.

Random Thought 1: I wish I had more friends.

No, I'm not sad and I'm not trying to be melodramatic either. That said, a few minutes ago a thought crossed my mind - I wish I had more friends. Do I really want more friends? Not really. It's hard for me to trust people hence why I only have a few friends. The few friends I have are dearly cherished - every single one of them, through thick and thin. Why did this thought cross my mind then? I honestly don't know. I was looking through some pics on FB and I saw pics of big groups of people hanging out and looking like they were having tons of fun. I'm actually not sure if they are all friends or if the camera just caught a moment of fun between acquaintances but it sure looks like they're having a blast. Maybe the thought crossed my mind because we always want what we don't have (and more than likely I won't want it once I have it, haha). Now that I think about it, I probably wouldn't be able to stand a group of people. I get annoyed too easily.

Random Thought 2: I'm so freakin' indecisive.

Well, this one's not such a random's a fact. Before I buy something, I ask everyone I know which one I should pick. I just had another thought - what if it's not because I'm indecisive but because I'm seeking approval? Yikes! I think I'd rather be indecisive. Haha.

Resolutions - One Month Update

Okay, after 1 month, this is where I stand with my NY resolutions:

1. Exercise - sporadically but the point is I've been exercising

2. Soda - still not a drop. Yay me!

3. Shopping - haven't shopped

4. Work on my apartment - YES, but still in progress

5. Spend less - it's funny because I haven't shopped but my money keeps going to food. Must rethink this last one.

So far it's been good but then again it's only been a month. Let's see how I do next month.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WTH is wrong with me?

It's dineLA week and I kicked it off by taking my mom to Ruth's Chris for dinner last Monday. I was only too excited to go. Everyone knows that a good steak is my weakness and Ruth's Chris is in the upper echelon of steakhouses. Needless to say, I had high expectations.

I ordered a medium rare petit filet (not that petit at 8 oz.) and was expecting it to be mind-blowing. As I usually do with my steaks, I cut it open in the middle for a temp test. It was cooked perfectly so I was happy. Now came the weird part. I cut a piece and it tasted ok. Another piece and there was a weird taste to it. Halfway through my steak I was about to throw up. I gave the rest to my mom to take home while I sucked on lemons to get the taste from my mouth.

As we were waiting for dessert, I sat there and pondered why that happened? I had my mom taste my steak and she wasn't bothered by it. After a few minutes it occured to me that I hadn't had red meat in a while, maybe since the beginning of the year. A lot of people I know who have given up meat for a while have always complained about after taste when they start eating meat again. Mind you, I would never intentionally give up red meat. I've been eating a lot of fish lately and even chicken (I know, I'm shocked too). I can't explain why I haven't eaten meat since the beginning of the year and I can't explain what happened that night at Ruth's Chris. Although the next time I'm going for a steak dinner, I think I'll have a big, juicy hamburger the day before.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

This year is not a great one for me, according to my Chinese horoscope. I guess my horoscope should serve as a warning with regards to my spending habits (although I haven't really shopped since the Saks sale). I guess my last big splurge for the year should really be my new bed and mattress. Anyway, to those who are Goats like me, here's our horoscope for 2009:

With their fluctuating luck this year, Goats should be flexible to cope with sudden change. Basically, this will be a rough year for Goats. They will be surrounded by rumours and envy, so they have to be patient and keep a low profile. They should take this challenge as part of their life, i.e. be patient while in darkness waiting for the sun to come out. It is important that they should not put a finger in every pie; they need to concentrate and work with their whole mind and whole heart and strive continuously to make new progress at work. Goats may lose money because of spending, but it is important that they should not act as a guarantor for friends or relatives. In love affairs, Single Goats should be patient with their lovers. If not, they will end in separation. Married Goats should reach mutual understanding with their partner. Goats have to keep away from sharp objects and be cautious on the road. They have to control their diet as well and regulate their blood pressure and prevent stroke. Apart from this, they should not go to funerals and wakes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I finally got a chance to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and I finally finished reading the book. I'm not sure which I prefer.

The movie was beautifully made and beautifully acted. I understand that they made the story a bit more dramatic than was originally written to pull in the big names as Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Of course, both completely delivered. The movie moved me to tears and I walked out of that theater with red and swollen eyes. Benjamin's tale was beautifully told through a diary he left behind. His tale is tied to a story about a grieving father who built a clock that went backwards to remember his dead son. It seems that the underlying theme of unconditional love kept the movie flowing right - Queenie's unconditional love for the strange infant left in her care, Daisy's unconditional love for Benjamin despite his differences, and a father's unconditional love for his son. Apparently, love is timeless.

The book had a completely different intention. Fitzgerald's tale was influenced by a statement Mark Twain made about the unfortunate state of man at old age. His short story is a sardonic and satirical take on Twain's statement which has Benjamin succeeding at 'fitting in' despite his differences. From the beginning, Benjamin's parents attempt to gloss over his differences and force him to act his age despite of his appearance. It seemed to work in the beginning but in the end youth caught up with him. He ended up in a miserable marriage, living with his ungrateful son, and in the care of a nanny. All because people around him failed to notice that there was something strange about him. A tale of the consequences of fitting in despite obvious differences. A cautionary tale of the dangers of squashing individuality - a highly American concept.

My Brother's Blog

My brother, James, is a film-lover and an aspiring screenwriter. Read his blog here.

I love you James!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Currently craving... French Macaroons

I haven't had these in a while and right now I'm craving for some. I did myself the favor of eating a light lunch (fruits and cottage cheese) to leave room for a hefty dinner tonight and for some reason "French Macaroons" popped into my head.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2008 Movies I Missed

I used to be a huge movie buff. I guess I still kinda am but I used to watch movies at least twice a week. Now, I'm lucky if I get to see a movie twice a year. Sad, I know. That said, the following movies of 2008 are ones that I really want to see (in alphabetical order):

-because everyone says it's good and because I really want to see it

-because the trailer looks good and people have been raving about it

-because I love Jason Statham and car chases (I'll probably just get this on DVD since I have the other 2)

-because I've heard good things about it

I guess I still have the chance to see Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire. Here's hoping I get to these movies before the theaters pull them out.


Location: Culver City, CA
Food: 3.75/5
Drink: n/a (had iced tea and water)
Service: 3.5/5
Ambiance: Casual Elegant (if there was such a thing)
Price: $$
Overall: 3.63/5 (lol)

I've passed by Fraiche so many times on my way to Ford's Filling Station. I haven't had the inkling to wander in until last night when my Mom wanted to try someplace new. At first glance, the place is really nice - it's big and open. As soon as you enter, the bar area is to your left and the dining area is to your right.

We were seated at a table along the wall and my eye immediately went to their specials board which included 3 different types of oysters - Kumamoto, Malpeque and Gold Creek. I love oysters and I knew I had to order at the very least a half dozen. Since I really can't tell the difference between them, we got the sampler which consisted of 2 of each oysters.

The server told us the names of each oysters as soon as the tray was set down. It came with three different condiments - wasabi, vinegar and cocktail sauce. Yummy, yummy oysters. They're unlike the humongous ones from the Philippines but they're definitely yummy. My mom and I enjoyed every bite. Unfortunately, a half dozen was not enough to quell our appetite so we ordered another half dozen. This time, I picked Malpeque which I thought were the medium-sized ones but apparently we were misinformed. We enjoyed them, nonetheless.

For our entress, my Mom really wanted fish and the server suggested the Monkfish which my mom happily ordered. I went with the Lamb Spezzatino with Gnocchi and Gremolata since it's been a while since I've had Gnocchi.

The monkfish was good. The mashed potatoes were really creamy and the fish was well-seasoned. I was happy with mine as well, although I think it was a little bland. The lamb was perfectly moist and the gnocchi were pillowy puffs of goodness but the dish definitely lacked some depth.

We ended the meal with Banana Crepes and coffee. The coffee was good (although it came late). The crepes weren't anything special. The honey ice cream on that dish was probably the highlight. Overall, it was a bad experience. Our server was definitely attentive when we first got there but as soon as her section started filling up, we kinda lost her. Fraiche is good for a first date when you're not trying to impress someone with the food, it's not that expensive and it's not loud so you can actually have a conversation. It's also a great place to meet up with a friend for a chat so the attention is not on the food. I might come back...we'll see.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Location: Sawtelle and La Grange
Food: 4.5/5
Drink: n/a (they do serve beer, wine and sake but I've never tried any)
Service: 5/5
Ambiance: Casual
Price: $$$
Overall: 4.5/5

Starting the new year off with good food is the best way to start anything. Having been deprived of food all day long, I dragged my Mom to Orris to watch me eat (she already ate). I think I've mentioned Orris before. It's one of my good old standbys for good food. They never fail to satisfy my somewhat discerning palate.

Since I was the only one eating, I decided to just keep it light and ONLY order 3 things. As always, I started off the meal with their best-selling Grilled Romaine. It's basically grilled romaine hearts drizzled with parmesan dressing and topped off with shaved parmesan. A little plate of vegetable heaven. The cheese can be a bit overwhelming but it's awesome if you're a cheese-love like me! My Mom tried a little bit (as she can't resist just watching me eat) and she loved it (of course). Next course was the Manila Clams in Sake Butter Broth with a side of sourdough bread. This was the first time I ordered this dish since I'm not big on clams.

I think I surprised myself with how much I liked this dish. I practically ate the whole thing and I even put a few empty shells on my mom's plate just so I don't seem like a pig. The broth was buttery good and the sake was subtle. Mmm, I want some more now.

Lastly, I can't leave Orris without my Filet Mignon and Rocquefort Butter. And as always, I pair it with the creamy Potato Dauphinois.

The bite-size filet portions are so perfectly cooked (and perfectly red and bloody on the inside) and a dip in the rocquefort butter all but screams perfection. As always, Orris does not disappoint. A perfect way to start the new year.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolutions - 2009 Edition

Ah, resolutions...resolutions that hardly get resolved but I make them anyway. Here goes:

1.) Exercise at least once a week for at least 30 minutes - doable at the very least. Maybe this can also be interpreted as "be more active" or "be less lazy".

2.) No soda - I've done this before but only lasted a few months. This time I'm gonna try for a whole year.

3.) Less shopping for unnecessary things - I haven't quite decided what qualifies as 'unnecessary' just yet. I'll keep you posted.

4.) Work on my apartment - I've decided not to move coz it's too much of a hassle and I really like my area so I guess I just have to work on making my apartment look/feel more grown-up.

5.) Spend less - this should really be a no-brainer given the state of the economy and the fact that I might be going back to school full-time this fall.

I guess it all boils down to self-control. I guess we'll see what happens at the end of 2009. Wish me luck!!!