Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Mini cultural adventure

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,

Wow, I was in such a food coma last night that I totally collapsed on my bed and fell asleep soon after getting back from dinner.  Next thing I knew, I woke up sometime around 5 in the morning with the light still on!

I guess the Ethiopian food we had earlier in the night weighed pretty heavily on me.  Then again, it was a lot!  If you’ve never tried Ethiopian before (at least the Americanized version that is available in the states – who knows what real Ethiopian is out there), you should really give it a shot.  One of my friends who went last night – I’ll call her Duchess – had eaten it once before (like me) and we both enjoyed our experiences.  So there we were, many moons later, taking some others out for their first experience.

The place we went to was decided by a Tippr coupon that I bought a couple days ago, for a place called Little Ethiopia located in Little Ethiopia (hah!).  That’s a small strip out on Fairfax not too far from downtown LA.  It was a nice little place, though they had an entire room on the side that lay empty.  I guess when business was better they’d use both sides.  We ordered a veggie platter, tibs, and Little Ethiopian tibs.  The veggie platter had a variety of vegetables cooked in different sauces.  The tibs was chunks of beef and the Little Ethiopian tibs was those chunks of beef with potatoes and some other veggies mixed in.  Everything came out on a fantastically large tray lined with their special bread.

tray of ethiopian food with veggies and tibs

In the center is the Little Ethiopian tibs, the meat on either side is the tibs, and all those colorful splotches are part of the veggie platter!

basket of ethiopian bread

The bread - spongy and slightly sour and very soft and supple!

Oh that bread!  When Duchess and I were trying to describe it on the drive over, the closest thing we could come up with was a sourdough pancake.  It’s a dense, spongy thing with a hint of sour and there’s something wonderful about it.  You use the bread to grab some of the veggies or meat and then eat it in a little morsel (at least we think that’s the right way to do it).  Oh yeah, the thing about Ethiopian food is that it’s eaten with your hands, much like Indian food is supposed to be.  And so we ate, getting basket after basket of bread until we were stuffed.  The waitress then came and offered us some second helpings for free, since they had a lot of excess in the kitchen.  We couldn’t resist and spent another half hour trying to finish it all.  By the time we left, I was so full I could hardly stand.

But our adventure wasn’t over!  We decided to go for dessert and ended up choosing Persian ice cream.  The first time I went, I got the orange blossom.  This time I was too full to get a serving myself, but I shared a white rose with Apprentice.  Yes, their ice cream flavors are very flower-oriented.  I feel like I’m eating a garden and it is the strangest sensation.  It turned out to be a nice complement to the food we had earlier and both were awesome cultural experiences for the newbies.  When I finally got home, it’s no wonder I lay on the bed to recover and ended up sleeping for the night.  Next time I want to deep sleep, I’ll make sure to get Ethiopian again.  🙂


laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

Ah, the beauty of human interaction.  It’s been awhile since I’ve gone out to hang out with friends as much as I used to in college and I didn’t realize how much I missed it!  College is sort of a non-stop rollercoaster of social interactions and chilling with friends.  You’re surrounded by peers almost the entire time you’re there, which is a stark contrast to the loneliness of work life.  Nowadays I come home from work and plop down in front of the computer for the night.  I talk to Panda on Skype and maybe talk to friends via IM, email, or Facebook.  I rarely go out to meet up with my friends!

However, things seem to be changing pace a bit recently.  I’ve started to get out more and make more plans.  It’s nice to have social events scattered throughout my schedule and it gives me something to look forward to!  Actually, let me clarify – it’s nice to have social events with friends.  After all, I’ve been going to a decent number of other events, like yoga, networking events, and massages/facials.  Those types of activities don’t satisfy my hanging out with friends quota though.  You just can’t beat chilling with people you’re familiar with, whether it’s over a meal or on a couch.

I’ve got a lot of scheduling to do and I’m really looking forward to it!  It also helps that part of my chilling with friends gets to be chilling with Panda, finally.  🙂


laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

Last Saturday was EPIC.  Legend, Apprentice, and I got together for dinner at Din Tai Fung followed by boba at cha for tea.  Sounds pretty normal, right?  I thought so too.

But along the way, our lively conversation led us meandering down a path I never could have anticipated.  We talked about everything from starting a fraternity to winning watches at basketball games to more food, food, and food!  And somewhere in all that talk I decided to start making a list of all those things we had said “hey, we should do that” to.  The list?  Well, to find out, you’re going to have to follow the chronicles of our adventures on a new blog I’m creating.  (More to come when it’s ready.)

Here’s what you should know: we will follow a few simple principles in the pursuit of greatness.  We’ll make each activity a little bit more exciting because everything we do, we do it big!  We’ll live by the motto: “go BIG or go home” and we’ll set the bar high everywhere we go.  It starts with our attitude and shows in our wardrobe.  We’ll dress to impress, even if it’s to grab some fast food.  When you’re the best-dressed in a room, you’ll get noticed.  When there’s three of you having a blast as the best-dressed in the room, well – that should raise your bar, too.

Don’t be fooled, most of the things we do may not sound that amazing to you initially, but we’ll bring the flair and set the standard everywhere we go.  By the end of it all, you’ll be jealous you weren’t there with us.  I’m really excited for our plans and all the fun we’ll have.  Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to chronicle it all for you.  Then who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to go out and have some fun of your own!

In honor of Doin’ It Big and the conversation about starting a fraternity, we have dubbed ourselves Delta Iota Beta and I am proud to be a brand new DIB.  Let the adventures begin!

SuperSac stuffing

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , ,

My friend had a SuperSac he wasn’t using, so he offered it to me and this is the best I could do to get it in my trunk. LoveSacs are so huge!

supersac lovesac stuffed into my trunk

Believe it or not, that's only about a third of it you're seeing.

Not “that pregnant”

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

Once upon a time, when I was at the intersection of Gayley and Strathmore driving into Westwood, a pregnant woman was crossing the street in front of me.  To my friends, I commented that I never wanted to be “that pregnant” and they laughed, arguing that there were no degrees of pregnancy – you either were or you weren’t.  But alas, they totally missed my point!  I have absolutely no interest in my belly bulging so much that no shirt will cover the lower part of it.  I don’t want to be that pregnant.

Then, recently on radio they spoke of the “very pregnant” Alanis Morisette, which implies that you can be more (or less) pregnant than the average woman.  Hah!  I thought to myself.  She is very pregnant; I don’t want to be.  It was a little bit of vindication for a viewpoint that my friends did not share.  Sure, biologically you either are or are not, but that doesn’t mean that when you are, you can’t be more or less.  I’m just sayin’.

I like it wherever it lands

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

Today I got a message from one of my friends to post where you like to leave your purse as your Facebook status.  It’s a follow-up to the bra color trend that overtook Facebook last year in honor of breast cancer awareness.  I immediately sent it out to a horde of my female friends, then saw that one of my male buddies had posted a remark about how it doesn’t make sense and he’d rather people just donate to breast cancer research:

Why are girls playing another cryptic “game” to raise awareness about Breast Cancer? It worked last time because it actually had something to do with breasts (bra color), but this one (where you put your bookbag/purse) is just a ploy. You want to raise awareness? Donate and tell a friend to donate at and actually make a difference. I donated in honor of my Mom, the strongest woman and survivor I know.

To me, he completely missed the point of the potential that doing something as simple as this can have.  You don’t raise awareness just by putting money towards a cause – that’s merely funding it.  Raising awareness is to get dozens of others to think about the issue and get involved in their own way, whether through donating, volunteering, or otherwise.  That is so much more powerful than just donating money yourself and asking your friends to do so too.  To make something viral, it has to be more than just the usual message and this is something that gets people talking, whether they are baffled yet again at what is going on, or explaining what those “I like it” posts are about.

So here was the rest of our exchange:

Me:  Hey, it got you to talk. And what else can be said about breasts after bras? The idea is just to make people think about it, which should in turn get them to act and/or donate.

Him:  To think about it, it shouldn’t be some kind of secret game that men can’t play. That eliminates half the possible donating population. Instead of it just being a game, we should be encouraging each other to really make a difference.

Me:  Only by making it a game does it catch a virus effect that can make it spread fast. Unfortunately traditional “hey you should donate to ____ cause” just doesn’t catch people’s attention. There are thousands of great causes and you gotta get creative with how you approach it. The secrecy lets women have some fun with it and men try to find out, which gets them involved too.

Maybe it shouldn’t be limited to something just women can participate in, but seeing as most cases of breast cancer are women, it makes sense that they are the ones who are allowed to lead this little campaign. Nothing wrong with a “ploy” if it’s meant to get people talking about an important issue like this. After all, every advertisement is just a ploy for your attention, much like this is.

I believe it’s a matter of taking this to the next step.  Yes, it would be silly and foolish to just leave it at that, with no explanation.  I was actually thinking of setting up a Facebook page to help explain, but getting enough people to it for it to be worthwhile would be difficult.  I think the best thing would be for the Komen Foundation or another breast cancer awareness group to pick it up and each year come up with the theme, which is distributed virally.  A week into Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all those in the know who had changed their statuses would then all change their status to something like “Join me in supporting breast cancer awareness by going to and donating to the cause!”  The rest of the world, if they hadn’t caught on already, would then have a clear follow-up to the previously mysterious status messages.

And here was another person who wasn’t so sure about this whole thing:

I’m not saying this isn’t creative but will posting where you put your purse really cause people to think of breast cancer though? At least bras were directly connected to breasts but I know a lot of people who didn’t even know what the point of that was..

i think it would be better to be more “in your face” because people won’t know what this is about at all until waaay after the fact. i think it’d be better to maybe post a link to purse companies that give to breast cancer research or something like that.

i’m all for “out of the box” ways of spreading the message but as long as people can tell there is a message. it will just seem like any other facebook meme that has sexual innuendos..

sorry, i’m done ranting. don’t let me stop you from doing it though, if you really think it’ll put the message across.

And my response:

One of my friends wasn’t fond of it either and he said he’d rather people just go donate at, but I think that this is a good idea if after a few days of the status being up, everyone switches to something like “Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Donate at” And my thoughts on your friends points:

1. Other than bras, what is related to breasts? Not much else. By continuing this from last year, it builds a movement and each year more and more people can get involved, FEEL involved, and then donate money or volunteer or act in some way. So of course each year needs a new theme, so it’s fun for people to join in. It doesn’t have to be a “silly” Facebook fad that comes and goes – it can be something much more powerful. And seeing as how women get breast cancer something like 100:1 over men, obviously it makes sense to make it a female-centered thing to empower us to be the ones spreading the message. When guys see it and wonder what’s happening, it’s up to those participating to spread the message of awareness.

2. Posting a link to a purse company that supports breast cancer is so… YAWN. I’m sorry, but if I saw that, I would completely ignore it, like the 1000+ unread FB messages I’ve gotten from this group and that group. To create interest, you need to capture people’s attention and another “yay you should donate” message just gets lost in the hubbub of all the other junk we see. This movement is just like the NFL players wearing pink – what does that actually TELL you? Nothing. It’s up to people in the know to share the message and those curious to find out. And when things like that get noticed, news outlets cover it and they do a pretty good job of explaining.

3. Granted, it’s true that this trend needs a bit more clarification, but last year after the bra thing it got national coverage. How’s that for clarification? So that’s why I’d suggest a concerted effort to get people to actively get involved in supporting breast cancer research/awareness/prevention by changing the status right after this provoking one as a follow-up.

Traditional ways of putting the message across don’t get your attention like this kind of thing has the potential for. It is very viral, and therefore very powerful by putting the power in the hands of each participant to get involved and get others involved.

Homemade buffet

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , ,

At a gathering awhile back, we had this delectable buffet home-cooked for us. If only I could have this kind of meal more often!

a lovely display of home-cooked dishes for a gathering

All home-cooked and delicious!

a plate of food from home-cooked buffet

Mmm, a great selection of foods makes for a really appetizing dish.

Busy weekend!

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,

Ok, I totally cheated since I didn’t post yesterday, but I can’t help but keep up an entry per day (even if it’s a little late).  Friday night I was pretty tired and crashed really early.  What started off as a nap became sleep and by the time I got up this morning, I had too much stuff to do.  First I spent about an hour setting up my new phone, then I took a shower and it was off to my microdermabrasion appointment.  It was a pretty interesting experience and though I can’t be sure for another day or two, I think it changed my skin enough for it to be worth another treatment.

After that, it was off to the Hacienda Heights/Rowland Heights/Walnut/Diamond Bar area to have lunch with friends, which was quite yummy and filling.  The rest of the afternoon was spent at SpeedZone, where we a good three hours putting through an 18-hole mini golf course.  The last time I had gone mini golfing was in 2nd grade and I don’t have a knack for this particular sport, so I didn’t do so well.  But we had a lot of fun nonetheless!

From there, it was back to Westwood to pick up Houdini for dinner.  We had a nice meal, then went to visit another friend and had a good chat for about 2 hours.  Back in the room, we ended up chatting with The Legend and his friend for quite awhile before getting called away at midnight for a friend’s birthday surprise.  Maybe half an hour later, Panda finally got around to starting to pack up the room, which we had meant to start on about 4 hours earlier.  Oh well, it was a good day with a lot of friends!  Then tomorrow we’re rounding up the troops for a massive dim sum get-together, which will be pretty epic.  🙂

Garden beach party

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

backyard garden turned beach paradise, complete with jacuzzi and bonfire pitOne of my coworkers has been working hard to renovate his yard into the ultimate spot to hang out and throw some parties.  It was finally ready for its official unveiling today and he held a day-long party to celebrate!  I moseyed over around six and quickly fell into conversation after conversation.  My original plan of just stopping by for an hour or so soon dissolved and I settled in for hours of chillaxin’.  With a jacuzzi, bonfire pit, sand beneath your feet, ocean breeze swirling around, and wall projector, what more could you ask for?  This picture doesn’t do the place justice.

Between all the fun chatting and hanging out with some newly-made buddies, I took a detour to two guys’ apartments so they could change into something warmer for nighttime in the beach community.  Seeing these three places so close to the beach makes it a really appealing place to be.  Who doesn’t enjoy an ocean view?  I think I’d live a much more active lifestyle if I was right there.  It would make me want to walk around more.

I happened to have my Acu Hoop in the car, which is a 3-lb hula hoop meant for working out with.  Many tried, but few could master the moves it takes to use one of those suckers.  It was hilarious to see people try though!  Sure made for quite the entertainment when they’d try all sorts of hip wiggles and pelvic thrusts to keep it going.  Unfortunately, those motions don’t work very well for keeping such a heavy hula hoop going.  All you need to do is stand straight and move a little side to side.  I tried to teach a few, but they all attempted to move around too much.  Oh well, it was great entertainment!

I was one of the only girls there, which is quite reminiscent of my work environment, where I am currently the only girl.  It’s always an interesting dynamic, where I am either often the center of attention or pretty much ignored.  Today was much more of the former than I’ve had in awhile, and it was interesting.  I had a lot of fun even when I was teased, hassled, or otherwise talked about.  Boys will be boys, as I’ve learned.  These guys certainly knew how to have a lot of fun though and that brought out the bubbly side of me, which was great.  I haven’t been in situations like that lately, where I can be the sociable person I am in gatherings like today’s.  I enjoyed getting out and meeting new people while enjoying a really great part of LA.

Arcade win

laelene Posted in photo blog, video blog,Tags: , ,

Out one night with some friends and our group played Deal or No Deal, winning quite a bit!  Here are our tickets coming out:

arcade tickets dispensing out after a big win

And they just kept coming…

arcade tickets from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

Finally, it was done and we were 500 tickets richer. 🙂

a pile of 500 arcade tickets

And what did we do with all those tickets?

playing air hockey with over-sized sunglasses on

Oh yes, we got ridiculously large sunglasses and then played air hockey until all our coins were gone. That is a sweet victory. 😛

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