Tuesday, May 30, 2006

scrapping for glory

So we all know that Downey is home to the oldest existing McDonald's located on Florence and Lakewood. If you didn't, now you do.

What I just found out today: according to Wikipedia, Downey is also home to the very first Taco Bell too.

What a star-studded town!!


Who am I kidding, this is pathetic.

Friday, May 26, 2006

hard to grasp

the Promethean sunset.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

song of the week #8

Gavin DeGraw - Meaning

I gotta admit, it took some time to really appreciate this guy's music.. a late bloomer for me. But this guy is good. Hear some of his other songs, such as "More Than Anyone" and "Chariot," and you could definitely hear him belt it out.

"Meaning" is one of those anthemic songs you like to sing along to on the way home with the windows rolled down. Unless, of course, you're stuck in traffic.

Sometimes our only way is jumpin'\ I hope you're not afraid of heights

Monday, May 22, 2006

back to school

Traffic school, that is. =/

Figured I pushed off attending traffic school as long as possible, with my traffic school completion date coming up next week. This was for a ridiculous speeding ticket I received last December for going 80 mph. So I'm attending the illustrious Pizza-4-U Comedy Traffic School, having just survived four hours of class today and four more tomorrow. It's really interesting how so many of these traffic schools have "pizza" and "comedy" in the title, obviously in hopes that it will make traffic school appear to be less painful and mind-numbing than it truly is.

Anyways, the instructor is this really quirky guy who has a knack at reciting traffic law ordinances by heart. Do you know what vehicle code two-two-three-four-nine represents? It's blah blah blah... Truth is, he shouldn't even be teaching traffic school, because he has twenty-four tickets under his belt. He would shake his head in disbelief, slap his knee, then tell us another story with another traffic law ordinance squeezed into it.

Well, I took some notes because it was the only way I could stay awake:
  • it's really NOT illegal to change lanes in the middle of an intersection
  • the horn must be audible up to 200 ft.
  • motorcycles should always have their headlights on during the day
  • the 605 freeway issues 17,000 tickets a year
  • "Don't hit pedestrians. They're squishy."
  • "Do not use flares if there's a gas leak. It's kinda self-explanatory."
  • "Traffic school is organized torture, you do realize that, do you?!"
Sigh, I do. ARGH!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

berkeley, i missed you

An overdue recap of an overdue trip:

  • The drive up with roach. We stopped for food and the night was unusually humid. We went to a Jack-in-the-Box that was SO swarmed with flying insects that we resorted to the drive-thru (and also because of the fact that the line inside was ridiculously long). Seeing some of these bugs up close as they were crawling over the windshield was friggin gross. Roach improved the situation by keeping his windows down and letting these hellish creatures inside.. roach and bugs.. should have known..
  • Arriving in berkeley right before Top Dog closed. Took one bite of my bratwurst and threw it away. When the heck did they start using sesame-seed buns?!
  • La burrita restoring my confidence five minutes later
  • Randomly going to the library and running into ivy, danny park, david lim. Broke my heart to see everyone studying.
  • Staying over at brian hwang's and richard huh's joint. Thanks for boarding us guys! But you sheks better stop it with the shek-like behavior.
  • Seeing my small group boys: danny park, jacob, david kim. How big you guys have grown.
  • Waltzing to the Bearcade where I find an out-of-place gelato shop in its stead. Where did all the arcade games go?!? They no longer exist.
  • Taking an unnecessary psych 160 final with roach. Being the first one to finish a final was something I've always wanted to do (it was actually on my things-to-do-before-I-leave-college list from two years ago) because I wanted to stimulate fear in everyone else. As I finished the test twenty minutes later, I realized that I didnt want three hundred pairs of eyes staring at me as I walked up to turn in my test. So as a GSI walked up the nearest aisle, I seized the opportunity by thrusting my test to her and leaving roach behind.
  • Walking around the b-e-a-u-tiful campus.
  • Meeting up with andy, rob, kwan and frank for some amazing dinner at a texas steakhouse. We had the best waitress ever. Great food, great conversation, great laughs.
  • Bowling at Albany Bowl with the same group plus dennis. Dennis bowling the best game of his life. Socal (me, andy, dennis) vs. norcal (rob, kwan, frank). Norcal loses. Licks bowling balls for punishment. You can get hepatitis by doing things like that.
  • Seeing some of brian's shekki videos. Brian, the shekki things you did. Take those off YouTube.
  • Dropping by 2390 Parker St. Too many memories.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

song of the week #7

How can I go seven weeks without paying tribute to one of my musical heroes?

This week's song is Gravity by John Mayer, a singer-songwriter virtuoso whose song-writing skills, god-like guitar playing and soulful vocal chords I tremendously admire.

Some people only know him to be the guy who made a ridiculous move by mixing the electric guitar and pop together (i.e. Bigger Than My Body, Your Body is a Wonderland). Or the guy who makes weird facial expressions when he sings. Well, both are somewhat true. I'm not a fan of all of his pop-ish sounding songs, but you have to respect the ingenius elements that permeate throughout his music. Besides the mind-blowing electric guitar solos and riffs (which he's more known for), there are the less-noticeable elements that are still equally or even more important: his lyrics of substance, clever instrumental and lyrical arrangements, his underestimated vocal control, his passion. Yes, passion is the reason why he looks like he does when he sings. It's because he's in the zone. When you're in the zone, the crowd disappears, you forget about the guys behind you, and you just get lost in the music. His mind's on cruise control, his fingers and heart take over, and voila, he's in the zone. Everything just becomes so much sweeter.

Gravity is a bittersweet number from his latest album, Try!. It is definitely an album that's more true to his musical roots... raw blues and rock. Yet, so much of John's unique style is fused in that this type of blues/rock becomes his own. The John Mayer Trio is comprised of two other world-class musicians as well: Pino Palladino (bass) and Steve Jordan (drums). A while ago, I read an interview in which he admitted that if playing blues is something he could do for the rest of his life, he wouldn't even think twice about it. Even though this album isn't doing nearly as well as Room for Squares or Heavier Things, I think he's most proud of this one.

I'm not ready to say that he'll be next Stevie Ray Vaughan, but his guitar IQ is definitely one of the highest that the music world has ever seen. However, I was quite disappointed that Fender jumped the gun by issuing out a John Mayer signature Stratocaster, because those signature guitars should really be reserved for accomplished legends. John's not quite there yet, though he does have all the makings to be one. He also has all the unique distinguishers that already set him apart as a great artist than an ordinary one. Be assured, he will continue to grow in musical prominence in years to come.

I hope he gives you the chills.

Monday, May 08, 2006

photo outburst

Jinny Kim (in the shadows) & Koo Chung. Clippers playoff game vs. Nuggets, Game 1. Bku's 24th bday @ Speedzone.

Monday, May 01, 2006

the critical question for..

...our generation - and for every generation - is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?
-God is the Gospel by John Piper