Wednesday, August 29

quiet graffiti

little tokyo, los angeles

Thursday, August 23

tofu journey

tofu festival 2007! we braved the blistering heat in little tokyo to come eat tofu.

here's my sister and i loving the giant tofu block outside the festival.

it was not easy getting there. first we parked at one of the free lots further away from the festival (hey, it was free). the garage was empty and the escalators weren't working.

then we emerged in some weird shopping center i never even knew existed. b dalton? i haven't seen one of these in years.

after walking through the empty courtyard, we ended up outside, completely disoriented.

temple street! that was a good sign.

los angeles mall?? what is this? i never knew this was downtown.

at last - food! by the time we finally made it inside we were parched and dying. it was unbearably hot that day. this is the tofu okonomiyaki. i am obsessed with okonomiyaki right now.

ahi poke salad with tofu. this was my favorite - i had it 2x.

these tofu sticks don't look too exciting but they were actually really good - i think it was all in the sauce.

bruschetta. boring! apparently the bread was made with tofu, so it was vegan.

after the festival we ended up in korea town at some weird deserted food court. we didn't eat there, we were just passing through.

mom's hand?? what does that mean?

Tuesday, August 21

it started with guns...

waterguns, that is. as soon as they were brought out, we raided the pile, looking for the best weapons. some people tried to come and steal them from us.

miss phd and i engaged in a crazy battle royale. extraneous factors included destructor running around the parameter of the pool attacking both of us, as well as several other people in the group surprising us with their guns. i had a huge bruise on my knee afterwards.

eventually we moved to the dance floor (we were almost eaten alive by a woman determined to sit by the pool and eat her fries, although everyone was running around with water guns there. she screamed at us to stop. she was really paranoid that her fries would get wet)

there were many scene-sters and/or hipsters on the dance floor. here is one pictured above. i think he's wearing a red tie. at a pool party. awesome.

there's the dj. the music was great. oh, except he played that one song from The Who. yea, you know what i'm talking about. i have negative associations with that one; i took a video of me not liking it but i can't post it because i would definitely get sued.

and here's what's happening on the dance floor:

oh and they would bring out jello shots every 20 minutes or so.

here's a guy who looks like tobias from arrested development.

more hipsters.

there were lots of speedos that day.

check out the hipster dance:

back inside the notorious pod of the standard rooftop bar.

view of the buildings from inside the pod - gorgeous. but some of us were jumping around on it so i felt a little seasick (it's a water mattress)

bye bye pods...until next time.

Sunday, August 19

shiny tights

they got me again, those people at american apparel. i love how these tights are so shiny.

Friday, August 17

pop them in your mouth like candy

see this crab? poor little guy. he is (was) part of the platter of sawagani crabs we ordered at kiriko sushi on sawtelle. they're soooo tiny and cute. they look like they're frozen in time. i'm pretty sure they just get thrown in the fryer, which is why they come out looking like they were in the middle of protesting. they're crunchy and tasty but sometimes their little legs stab you in the mouth.

here are his other friends. we ate them too.

Tuesday, August 14

butternut squash spring rolls

i made this vietnamese-inspired appetizer for my parents when they were here. this recipe came from the NYT and i love it. if i weren't so lazy, i would make these more often. there's just a lot of parts to it, and all that rolling is kind of annoying. these delicious rolls are filled with baked butternut squash, toasted pumpkin seeds, mint and vermicelli noodles (the glassy kind).

toasted pumpkin seeds. these were so tasty it was hard not to eat them by themselves. you can also use peanuts.

i love the smell and taste of fresh mint. you can also use basil in this recipe instead. one of my other favorite herbs! i once tried to keep a basil plant, but it died after 3 days when i forgot to water it. bugs took over.

butternut squash - dice into 1/2 inch cubes, toss with olive oil, a little bit of salt and pepper and bake!

you can get these wrapper things at an asian market. all you need to do is soak them in hot/warm water for a minute and they soften up so you can put your stuff inside and roll! place a small amount of vermicelli on the bottom 1/3. pile butternut squash, pumpkin seeds and mint on top. fold bottom over pile, then wrap the left and right sides over tightly - roll up firmly. repeat a million times!

here is the dipping sauce, comprised of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and chili paste! pretty easy.

ta da! everyone ate a ton...i think i made 25 or something and we only had 4 left over.

Wednesday, August 8

i paid extra for diagonal straps

new shoes! i love these. they are so unique. here's a picture of me breaking them in the very day i got them. yes, the amazing power of the symmetrical, diagonal straps is what really won me over.

destructor got new shoes too. he wanted a picture of our new shoes together.

Tuesday, August 7


my new favorite show. i recently discovered flight of the conchords sitting in my HBO On Demand list, and once i started watching i couldn't stop! the humor is completely random. i'll let wikipedia do the explaining.

here's a clip from when they tried to shoot a low budget "music video" on the show. the context behind this is that murray, their "band manager" (who is actually an employee at the new zealand consulate), made robot suits from cardboard - but jemaine and bret complained that they wanted to be like daft punk.

check out their official site. also the live version of this is really funny.

Monday, August 6

lentils with cumin and apple cranberry chutney

in a rare moment alone at home with no one but the cat, i made something i had been craving: NOT chinese food. i cooked some lentils with cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and chopped tomatoes. the apple cranberry chutney came from trader joe's. i also found some pita bread in the fridge so i toasted that; too bad i didn't have any naan laying around. mmm what a great combo. i was so happy with my meal.

Friday, August 3

shishito peppers

one of my favorite snacks. so light and tasty. i like to brown them in the pan with some sesame oil, soy sauce and/or ponzu. top with shaved bonito flakes and they're ready to eat! oh yea, and they're also usually only $2 at nijiya or mitsuwa. easy on the budget.

capoeira practice

last night i went to capoeira class with my friend, who will henceforth be named dj bitesize. today my legs are wobbly and sore.

we first started taking capoeira 2 years ago. after a few sessions, we just stopped going due to busy schedules, etc (and really, the last time when the mestre made us do back flips over a gigantic ball, it did not really motivate us to come back!).

but we both really love capoeira and last month, made an effort to go back and attend classes regularly.

capoeira is an art; it's a brazilian fighting technique/dancing that emerged as a way to resist oppression. it's about freedom, and what i love most is the community you walk into when you go to class. everyone is so laid back, so open and friendly, and they all have such a unique type of respect for the art.

another thing i love is the concept that this is a "game", played in a "roda". you do not attack the other person you are sparring; it's about demonstrating skill (without completing the move itself) and choreography/dancing. and the music/singing/drum beats create such a wonderful vibe.

now i'm beginning to learn a few of the songs they sing throughout class. there's one stuck in my head, but too bad i only know one line. i've only been in a roda once during class; it was fun but since i'm such a beginner, i didn't know what else to do except for a few cartwheels (called "roles"), and some feeble kicks. my favorite move, however, is the "esquiva" which literally means "escape"!

capoeira also influenced the breakdancing movement (i had a passing moment in high school where i really wanted to learn this but luckily i didn't pursue it). both were a form of subculture/counterculture before being adopted into the mainstream. it's a great feeling when i'm learning something new from an activity i enjoy. oh and of course the class totally kicks your butt! i will spend the weekend recovering.

Wednesday, August 1

addicted to AA

american apparel, that is. i am currently obsessed with mixing and matching their pieces. i've always liked them, but for some inexplicable reason, lately i can't stop going into their stores/visiting their online shop.

american apparel and i first became acquainted back in college, when i randomly met dov the ceo in little tokyo while perusing a vintage store. he introduced himself and asked me to model for their catalogue (destructor was there as well; i felt him bristle next to me, but he politely shook dov's extended hand). this was way back in the day before all the negative press about him and the sketchy photos.

anyway, i did it a couple of times to make some extra money while in school (at their warehouse downtown, which was actually a really fun place mostly because the photographer had this parrot that hung out with us. and i remember the stylist ordered me food when i was hungry, except it was covered in cilantro. i saw the workspace too. it really is "sweatshop-free". they even have a cute little cafeteria, and vending machines!). got some free stuff, which was nice. that was how i first got hooked on aa.

above is a collage of items i have acquired in the last TWO weeks. it all started when we dropped by the little tokyo location before going to haru ulala. there i purchased the gray dress you see. it's so cute on. i also got a gray v neck tee (not pictured - but the one you see is what i have in RED, which i got this past weekend!!)

then, the excuse was that i needed an outfit for daft punk. so i got the gold halter bodysuit ("lame" fabric). i wanted to wear it under the navy jumper i got (as you can see from the picture, you definitely need to wear something under that). the colors worked great. i love this gold thing. check out how one magazine styled it in this photo.

then! i bought the black u-neck dress online. i want to wear tee shirts/tanks underneath. specifically, i want to get this.

basically, i need help. the problem is, everything is available in 10 million colors, which makes me a little frantic because i want to buy them all (i'm bad at choosing one). for example, i really want their fun tube socks (for what? i can't imagine where/how i'd wear them), but it's too hard to choose a color combination.

ok, my fashion post quota is complete for the time being.