Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Discovering the iPhone's Limits

When I first decided to get the iPhone, I just decided. Like that. I suddenly imagined blogging and yelping on it and taking pictures and texting by touch (which I know is how one would normally take pictures and text -- by using one's opposable thumb in conjunction with an index finger -- but you know what I mean). It sounded easy: I'd walk into the Apple store, tell them what I wanted and join Nathalie's family plan. But when you really want something, it's always easier said than done.

So on the day when we went to the Apple store together, I started sweating. It was hot out, but not only that, I really wanted an iPhone. Because we couldn't get our questions answered to our satisfaction, we went home, without an iPhone. A few days later we went to another Apple store on our lunch, and as we waited with all the other greedy consumers in line, I worried something would go wrong and that I wouldn't be able to get what I came for. The man in line behind us fretted that he wouldn't make his 1 o'clock work meeting. It was 12:40 P.M. So there we all were, all sweating and fretting together over a small mobile phone, available in high-shine black and in calming white. After a small eternity, I finally spoke to someone who knew what was up, and shortly afterwards, I walked out with my new iPhone.

While I haven't figured out how to blog on it yet, I have gotten heavy use out of the maps app and it's only been about a week. I've also found a good boba place in Westwood on Yelp, checked the weather, checked the time in Phnom Penh, calculated how much to save per month to retire comfortably by age 65 and recorded voice memos to remind me of locations of safe keeping, like where I've placed my stamps. It takes care of me so well that I've forgiven it for it's small, rectangular, impossibly uncuddly shape. I've grown accustomed to its screen lighting up whenever it feels my touch, and it's become a companion I've come to love as though we've known each other for years.

I do not doubt it and never once did I check Google maps on a PC before leaving home to explore uncharted territories. The problem was that I had also grown accustomed to Nathalie's Garmin GPS and its ability to advise on when to make U-turns. If you don't know, the iPhone doesn't do that. I know this because this weekend, after visiting the Cal Academy of Sciences, I equipped Sophie with my iPhone and instructed her to be my navigator, and as we tried to find our way home, she kept telling me to drive straight. The conversation went something like this:

Me: You're sure? Just go straight?
She: Yea, just keep going straight. Then turn right on Stan-Yan.
Me: Stanyan. Like Canyon.
She: Yeah, Stan-Yan. Right on Stan-Yan.
Me: So just keep going straight?
She: Uh huh.
A few blocks later and with expansive views of Ocean Beach ahead of us...
Me: OK, if I keep going straight I'm going to drive into the ocean.
She: Oh. I guess you should turn around now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

24 Hours in LA

A few days after Alan was released from the hospital last Thursday, my mom and sister flew in for a week long visit. A few days after that, because I have grown used to feeling like my eyelids have been filled with sand, my sister and I decided to go on a short trip to LA. The main reason for the trip was so Sophie could tour UCLA, but it seemed that the main reason for me was to melt into a giant, sappy, nostalgic puddle. Friends! Oh, I missed them! UCLA! What a beautiful place! Food! How I love thee!

First stop, Silver Lake. Jennifer took us to this amazing gelato place where all the flavors tasted exactly like what they were supposed to be. I got a scoop of grape thinking I'd taste some Groovy Grape Bubblicious flavor, but it tasted exactly like I was eating a bunch of grapes. And my scoop of PB&J tasted like a Goober filled sandwich. The gelato place was also conveniently located across the street from the Casbah Cafe, the cafe where Jennifer often sees Scott Speedman. And who doesn't want to see herself some Ben from Felicity?

A cute, quirky boutique with decorative pillows that would look amazing on my couch. But that would cost about as much as 20 medium, 3-topping Pinkberrys.

Dinner at Honda Ya in Little Tokyo. I could eat Yaki Onigiri for every meal.

My roommates at some point in time.

Jennifer and Karin

Ending the evening on a sweet, tangy, ultimately refreshing note.

The next morning we woke up early to prepare for the arduous 17 mile drive from Silver Lake to Westwood for our 10 o'clock UCLA tour. An hour after leaving, we were still stuck in traffic. And why, oh why, there is traffic between 9 and 10 A.M. after everyone should be at work already is beyond me. The only thing I could think of was that they were all headed to the UCLA tour, too.

I know, I could have given Sophie a tour myself, but I wanted her to experience the real deal for herself. And what a great idea it was. The tour guide did such a good job of pumping us all up, not only did I want Sophie to go to UCLA, I wanted to go, too!

I forgot how pretty the campus is. This building is where I took one of my first psych classes. I can't remember the exact class title, probably because I was too focused on the way the professor pronunced her words. Like how the word process was pronounced PRO-cess.






Does this look familiar? Our tour guide told us Tom Hanks filmed Angels and Demons here.




I never knew the Powell Library ceiling cost $300 million until this tour.




Bruin love.

Sophie loves palm trees. This is why she needs to go to UCLA!


After our tour of UCLA and Westwood, we paid a visit to Roy. And because he hates us and wanted us to fall into a deep food coma and crash our car and die, he cooked us a gigantic meal that we continued to digest well into the next morning. Who knew bomb diggityness took so long to digest? He started us off with a wonderfully light, aromatic tomato basil soup with ridiculously garlicy bread.

Spaghetti Carbonara tastes like MMmmm.

It took a whole hour to drive 20 miles out of LA and seriously, why hasn't anyone invented teleportation yet?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Onion Rings, Burgers, Birthdays, Oh My!

Justin and Denise

Lucy Liu and her new baby!

The cutest quarter Japanese baby ever.

The cousins.

I was on the fence about getting the new iPhone because do I really ever talk on the phone? I really just have it to call 911 and I believe I have only ever done that once in my 8 years of owning a cell phone. But after eating this cake, something in the digestion process convinced me otherwise.

For example, maybe if I get an iPhone my teeth will become as ridiculously straight as Justin's.

Pictures by Eric -
I gave Eric my camera for a while to take pictures for me since he was in a much more mobile seat. These were the award-winners.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Weekend Celebration Bonanza

Tasha and James' Wedding
Rengstroff House, Mountain View

Seriously beautiful outdoor wedding. I love the flower petal aisle!

Eric and I were sitting in the very last row. Good thing we still had a nice view of everything. I'm beginning to see the benefits of having a small wedding.

You may kiss the bride!

The happy couple

My marketing team and James

Outdoor reception.


Jennifer's Birthday at Vung Tau

Vung Tao puts the delish in Vietnamese food.


Irene's Stanford Graduation


Getting hooded. Which sorta sounds like something a gang member would be involved in, no?


All smiles. Inside she is screaming FREEEEDOOOMMM!

The LA people.
Congrats, Irene!
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