Back to the Bay

First I’d like to thank Chris for being such a great host. Next I’d like to thank Dave and Lexie for showing us around Monterey Bay.

It looks like I was able to escape part of the Seattle heat wave this weekend. I flew down to the bay area to visit Chris and Dave. I’ve been meaning to visit Chris and the bay area for some time. When I went back to LA in May, Dave had mentioned he had a hapkido tournament in Berkeley sometime in August and I thought it’d be great to meet up then. After some coordination, the trip was set.

I flew into SJC. The airport was really nice and apparently I was in the new terminal because Chris didn’t even know the terminal I was at existed. On my way back, there was also a lady standing in front of my gate telling people getting off the plane that this was the new terminal and they should definitely check out the bathroom. A bit weird, but okay… It was also awesome that SJC had free wi-fi.


The only thing I wanted to check out in Berkeley was Ryowa, a really good ramen place. When Chris mentioned that there was a Ryowa in Mountain View, we knew we had to go there for lunch on Friday. The ramen was awesome as expected, but I was sad that the special fried chicken was only offered during dinner on weekdays. Mmmmm, special fried chicken. Next time!

Update: Forgot to mention that while eating ramen, I get an unexpected call from Derek C. Apparently he’ll be in town the same weekend Darryl and Heang are coming up. Sweet!

Santana Row

Dave and I hung out at the Valley Fair mall and Santana Row while we waited for Chris to get off work. Santana Row looked very familiar and when I saw the Maggiano’s, memories of eating there came back. It wasn’t until I saw the Ramada Inn next to Mercado that I began to piece things together. The memory is still a bit fuzzy, but Carol, Dave, and I apparently took a trip to visit the Monterey Bay aquarium a few years ago. Along the way, we thought it’d be nice to visit Chris, but it turned out he was out of town. Apparently the hotel we stayed at is literally just ~5 mins from Chris’ current apartment.

Getting Chris Drunk

The highlight of this trip was getting Chris drunk.

We had dinner at this really good Indian place in Santana Row called Amber India. After dinner, we tried looking for a quiet bar where we could sit and chat, but was unsuccessful in locating one. We opted to pick up some stuff at the supermarket and chill at Chris’ place. We picked up some rum and coke and went back to watch Role Models on Dave’s laptop. It was like back in our old college days.

Halfway through the movie, we got the munchies. Since none of us were in the condition to drive, we decided to walk to Safeway. We all took another shot before leaving. The stuff was pretty gross. I believe it was Southern Comfort. Turns out Chris is also a happy drunk and the walk to Safeway and back was filled with very fun stories. After getting back, we decided to do another round of shots. Apparently I suck at measuring shots, which turned out more like 2 shots each. I guess it didn’t help that we took shots out of mugs. ;p

I don’t think we ever finished the movie, as chatting and catching up was so much more fun. Dave passed out on the couch and after a bit more chatting, we all hit the sack.

Monterey Bay

There were originally plans to drive up to San Francisco, but being unable to decide what we wanted to do in the city, we opted instead to go down to Monterey Bay and check out Point Lobos and the Purple Beach. We met up with Lexie and she was an awesome guide! We learnt really interesting tidbits about the area, why there were currently so many seals and sea lions around the area, how to spot whales from land, what the difference between a seal and sea lion was, and so on.


Did you know that seal’s pectoral fins (flippers) are less developed compared to a sea lion? As Dave would say, seals are like sausages in the sea, flopping around. Also apparently seals don’t make much noise if any, and if you hear barking, it’s most likely from a sea lion.

Lexie’s also about to begin training sea lions and dolphins to tag sea mines which sounds so cool!

China Beach

I didn’t take any pictures on this trip so I’ve decided to steal a couple from Dave. Plus he has the nicer camera. ;p

I was sad I wasn’t able to try out Lexie’s Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut bread that Chris and Dave praised so highly about.

Before leaving Monterey, Lexie and Dave recommended Turtle Bay Taqueria for dinner. They had some really good Mexican seafood dishes. Their salsa was awesome too. They had this really hot salsa called X’nipec (meaning dog’s nose or something like that) and you just can’t stop eating that salsa, because it’ll burn like crazy.


We didn’t get back to San Jose till later in the evening. Since neither Chris nor I could ever decide on anything, I suggested watching Inception. Chris hasn’t seen it yet and I had wanted to rewatch it for some time. I also got Chris to invite his friend who had also wanted to see Inception and she joined us on the adventure.

It was just as awesome as the first time and this time I picked up on the several new parts which I had missed. I still couldn’t make out what Mal said during the train scene. I swear to god I still hear her shout, “You’re the devil.” Guess I’ll have to wait for the DVD/Blu-ray.

Things definitely close way too early in San Jose. We were trying to find a coffee shop or boba place after the movie, since how can you not have discussions about the movie after something this epic. Both Yelp and Urbanspoon failed us. Everything close by appears to be closed by 10, even on a Saturday night. Unfortunately, we had to part ways after the movie.

Half-Moon Bay

On my last day down in the bay area, I requested we go to In-n-Out for lunch. Mmmmm. It’s been years since I had In-n-Out and the burger was awesome. Zagat just released that Five Guys beat In-n-Out, taking the crown for the best fast food burger. There’s actually a couple Five Guys here in Seattle. Should definitely check them out sometime.

After lunch, we drove to Half-Moon Bay and hung out at the beach for some time. In retrospect, it would’ve been awesome to have brought a football with us or anything to throw around.

Finally it was time for me to go home. I wasn’t looking forward to returning to 90F+ weather after being in the bay area which was 78F and sunny. Look what happened to the soda can I left in my car! When I got back to my house, my thermostat registered 89F (this was at 9PM). After opening all my windows and waiting half an hour, it dropped back down to ~80F.

Final Thoughts

Listening to the Inception soundtrack and falling asleep on the plane is awesome, especially when there’s a screaming kid sitting across the aisle. According to my Zune, I’ve listened to the entire album 50+ times already.

After switching to my messenger bag, I had opt to leave out a bunch of things since there was less space compared to my backpack. However, during this trip, I realized I needed to add the following back:

  • Zune charger
  • Ethernet cable
  • USB Jump Drive

I got a bit sunburnt again, but not too bad, just a reddish hint.

It looks like I found some new travel buddies. One of the many conversations we had that night was about traveling. There’s a lot of places I would like to visit, but I hate traveling alone. Traveling with companion(s) is so much more fun as you get to share the experience. So Chris, Dave and I were talking over places we’d like to visit. (Side note: For some reason I thought Dubai was in Africa, but it’s really in the Middle East.) Anyway, we decided to start small, with places in the US (New York, D.C., Chicago, Boston, etc.) and then move onto far away lands (Australia, Asia, Europe, etc.). On a similar but unrelated note, we’re trying to plan a snowboarding trip up to Whistler in December or January.

Bite of Seattle + Inception

The password for the following post is: inception

Felt a bit weird to just have a post telling you the password of the following post, so I’ll talk a bit about Bite of Seattle.

Bite of Seattle was fun as usual, though also very crowded as usual. The worst part was getting off the freeway on Mercer. Finding parking wasn’t too bad once you got past the Seattle Center.

All of us got the sampling plate from The Alley which consists of a samples from 7 different restaurants in Seattle for $10:
The Alley Plate
This samples were surprisingly delicious, though I wasn’t too fond of the chilled soup.

When I first saw the Dungeness crab and Berkshire pork sausage, I thought they were cinnamon buns. The sausage was really good!
Dungeness crab and Berkshire pork sausage

We walked around a bit more and checked out some more stands. We then went to the Pacific Science Center IMAX where our movie was going to start at 8. Surprisingly the line wasn’t as long as when they were airing The Dark Knight, though it was sold out several days ago. Guess word of Inception hasn’t gotten around yet, but this movie was definitely amazingly awesome!!! It was not only really fun, but very thought provoking. Don’t want to spoil anything here, but you can check out the trailers. I’ll be making a follow-up post for discussion, and the password for the following post is: inception

Awesome Saturday

Today was so nice! Weather was just perfect!

Since neither Xyon nor Chad have ever tried dim sum, we had been planning to do dim sum for sometime. This weekend turn out to be a great day to do dim sum. I took them to O’Asian, one of the better dim sum places around here, but even that’s not really saying much. If you really want good dim sum, you go to LA or Vancouver, but we had to make do with what we had. Surprisingly their favorite dish was 合桃蝦 (shrimp and walnut), which technically isn’t really a dim sum.

After dim sum, Xyon had to go help Janine pack, while Chad and I went browsing through downtown. Chad had to meet a friend in the city later and his choice was to go home and come back later or hang around till then. I had nothing better to do, so we just hung out around the city. It was such a nice day, so we just walked everywhere.

We first headed to Pike Place Market. At first I thought this was my first time here when everything was opened given that I used to wake up at 4pm on the weekends, but then I recalled I probably took my mom and sister here at a reasonable hour. While going through Pike Place Market, there was this long line in front of this donut shop called Daily Dozen. I asked a random girl if the donuts were really good, and her reply was “They’re awesome!”

Daily Dozen donut making machine

I snapped this picture. Now I want my own donut making machine! I already have a deep fryer. I just need something to make dough turn into O’s.

After chilling at Pike Place Market for awhile, we headed over to International District as I wanted to find a red envelope and a wedding card and Chad wanted melonpan. Oh yeah that reminds me, during dim sum, we had wanted 菠蘿包 (pineapple bun), since I told Chad it’s basically the Chinese equivalent of melonpan, but they had already sold out at noon. Technically pineapple bun’s don’t have any pineapple in it. It’s just that the top crust resembles a pineapple. According to Wikipedia:

Melonpan and pineapple bun from Hong Kong are very similar. By comparison the Japanese style is lighter in weight and taste, slightly dryer and has a firmer outer layer (including top cookie crust) which resists to flaking unlike its Hong Kong counterpart which should be treated with care as the top cookie crust tends to flake easily. The Hong Kong version is also more moist and is generally soft on the outside and inside and has a stronger butter flavour.

Unfortunately there’s no Japanese bakery in International District, so no melonpan. I have been told they sell awesome melonpan somewhere in Lynnwood, but they sell out around noon everyday.

We browsed through Uwajimaya and Kinokuniya, but I wasn’t able to find anything that I particularly liked. They also didn’t have any wedding red envelopes. I had found some wedding red envelopes in the Bellevue Uwajimaya, but they didn’t look that nice and came in packs of 10. Why would I ever need 10 wedding red envelopes. Save for the future? This bigger Uwajimaya didn’t even have wedding red envelopes, just regular lucky ones.

We walked a bit more around International District trying to find a store that might sell wedding cards or red envelopes, but that ended up being fruitless. I personally wouldn’t know what type of store would sell wedding cards and red envelopes. My best guess was a gift shop. We stopped by Gossip to get boba milk tea and sat at the park across the street while we enjoyed the sun and let our legs rest for a bit. It was quite funny trying to explain to Chad what boba meant in Chinese, since it doesn’t mean tapioca. I’m not going to explain it here, but you can read more about it at Urban Dictionary (2nd entry).

Afterwards we took a bus to Westlake shopping center and just hung around Nordstrom and Pacific Place and checked out mostly clothing stores. We ended up in a real Papyrus store (not one of the fake ones where you see a section inside a supermarket) and Chad helped me pick out a really nice wedding card, which I approved. Now I just need to figure out what to write inside of it. Haha. Chad took a big hit in his wallet when we went through Express for Men. Our trip ended in Barnes & Noble, where we hung around there until Chad had to leave.

Earlier, I had planned on getting roast duck for dinner. I was already downtown and it’s been awhile since I had roast duck. However, Tekman and texted me earlier asking if I was coming to his Cinco de Mayo party and I had totally forgotten about it. I replied asking when it was going to end as I was still downtown with Chad at that time. His reply was probably very late as usual. So now that Chad was gone, I called Tekman asking if they wanted roast duck (I still had that roast duck craving). He said he would very much like roast duck. Perfect! I didn’t have to finish all the roast duck by myself + now I get all the extra goodies Angel and Tekman were making.

While I was at Ocean City waiting for them to chop up my duck, I asked the waitress where I could find red envelopes and they pointed me to a book store a block up the street. I guess I should’ve asked for instructions earlier on instead of walking around International District looking for a gift store. Turns out this bookstore sells red envelopes individually and it was only $0.60. Hating carrying change around, I told the shop owner to keep the change (唔使找 – interesting… to make change in Cantonese uses 找 which means to find). However the shop owner insisted I take the $0.40. Oh well.

I headed over to Tekman’s afterwards and enjoyed really awesome tacos and enchiladas. Angel also made these awesome sugar cookies (with lime and zest?). The company there is awesome as usual and the conversations are always intellectual, intriguing, and fun. I played a bit of Rock Band and later switched to Dominion. I got pwned in Dominion every time. Haha. I ended the night by having some of Angel’s awesome margarita cake.

I wonder how many times I used the word awesome?

Christmas Came A Day Early

My Amazon package wasn’t suppose to come till tomorrow, but I guess the delivery guy decided to bring Christmas a day early!

First I got the 2 books I ordered:

Sh*t My Dad SaysLeast I Could Do Beginnings - Look At Me!

Sh*t My Dad Says is by someone I follow on Twitter (@shitmydadsays) and his dad says the most hilarious stuff. I expect no less than cracking myself up when I read this book. Least I Could Do is a daily web comic which I follow and I love their Sunday strips as that’s when they do the “Beginnings”, a strip about when Rayne was a kid. I’ve been looking forward to pick up The Beginnings comic books for awhile, but they’re quite expensive if you purchase them directly + there’s a hefty shipping fee. So when Amazon decided to sell Look At Me!, I knew I had to pick it up. Now I’m waiting for Amazon to carry the 2nd volume of Least I Could Do Beginnings: Adorableness. I asked the artists during Dragon*Con on when they’ll be making a Rayne kid plush doll and they tell me it’s in the works.

Next we have a box of Creme Roulee Dark Chocolate European Style Rolled Wafers which was on sale for $9 for a box of 6. Who knows how long these are going to last me. Don’t think my scale would be happy with me if I finish these too quickly.

Creme Roulee Dark Chocolate European Style Rolled Wafers

Finally I got myself a nice looking wall clock. I’ve been meaning to get one for my living room for awhile, since I often forget when I should go eat or go to bed when I’m watching TV/movies or playing video games. Whenever friends come over to play Rock Band, 2am just suddenly hits us because no one’s been paying attention to the time. The one I got was the La Crosse Technology WT-3102S 10-Inch Atomic Analog Wall Clock and one neat feature is that it automatically synchronizes the time with radio waves.

wall clockwall clock

How To Cook A Wolf

As I mentioned previously, Denise had came up for a workshop in Seattle for her graduate program. She was free on Saturday, so VonLobster and I hung out with her. I was glad Saturday turned out to be such a nice day.

We took her to the Seattle Center and checked out the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum. It was VonLobster’s and my first time there too. It was interesting. It was fun to see Denise and VonLobster jamming on a real guitar.

Afterwards, we headed down to Olympic Sculpture Park. Part of the park was closed because a wedding was going on. The ceremony was held in the Gates Amphitheater:

Gates Amphitheater

It was so BEAUTIFUL! Chairs were placed along the stairs. The building (completely in glass) you see in the back was where the reception was being held. What you can’t see from the picture is immediately to the right is the lake. The scenery was just breathtaking. Did I mention it was so beautiful?

We walked around downtown a bit more and the topic of dessert came up. Denise decided that she wanted cupcakes and apparently the best cupcakes in the Seattle area is Trophy Cupcakes. We dropped by the one in Wallingford. Denise got the Chocolate Hazelnut Peanut Butter Chocolate, VonLobster picked the Carrot Walnut, and I chose the Vanilla Chocolate. We decided to save these till after dinner, so not to spoil our appetite.

trophy cupcakes

VonLobster introduced us to the restaurant called How To Cook A Wolf. The name of the restaurant was so cool, that I decided to use that as the title of this blog post. Their menu was also very unique and apparently it changes often. Everything on it just sounds so good!

Here’s what we ordered and shared:

  • Treviso (Cauliflower, Orange, Pine Nut, Anchovy Dressing)
  • Quail (Garbanzo Bean, Asparagus, Saffron Aioli)
  • Skate (Brown Butter, Caper, Lemon)
  • Rigatoni (Spicy Sausage, Tomato, Marjoram)
  • Casarecce (Bacon, Onion, Black Pepper)

It was so delicious and now has become one of my favorite restaurants in the Seattle area.

VonLobster had mistaken me for becoming a wine-enthusiast due to my recent Facebook status update of being carded for buying wine. Unfortunately I had to disappoint him. Some time later, the discussion of getting a girl’s number a bar came up, and the fact was, I had previously gotten a number from a girl at a bar. I then realized I never told anyone of what happened in Texas. For those that recall my tweets:

Got either drunk /typsy for the first time in my life. Must’ve drank 5x tonight more than I’ve ever drank ever. Dunno how my brother does it. That’s 3x Long Islands + 3x Starf*ckers + 1 shot of Pitron Tequila + 1 shot of hypnotic. Surprised I can still type.

(Source, Source)

And there’s a good reason why the story is still under wraps, but we were in good company, and I told them what happened. No, I will not discuss what happened on this blog as it was rather embarrassing and a night I would very much want to forget. I must not have been drunk enough as I remember pretty much every detail. VonLobster was jealous. Throughout college, many have tried to get me drunk and never quite succeeded. One night in Texas and everything just goes out the window. I guess my brother has something to be proud of.

Kickin' it at how to cook a wolf

After dinner, we hopped across the street into the game store and we learnt to play Piece ‘o Cake. It was actually very interesting and fun, but since it was our first time playing, no one really figured out the strategies until later in the game. Our scores ended being pretty close, but VonLobster was ultimately the winner.

We went back to VonLobster’s place and played South Park – Let’s Go Tower Defense Play. The game is REALLY fun in co-op mode. I had purchased the game several weeks ago, but since I’ve been really busy, I haven’t gotten a chance to play yet. It’s funny how both VonLobster and I have unopened Xbox 360 games just sitting around. Before we knew it, it was past midnight already. We enjoyed our cupcakes. I would have to say VonLobster’s choice of Carrot Walnut was excellent. We decided to call it a night after those Jackovasaurs kept dominating us.

Due to complications with her hotel, Denise decided to stay over at my place for the night. Before calling it a night, I introduced her to “How I Met Your Mother” and she enjoyed it. I dropped her at the airport earlier today. All in all I had a great time. I presume the others did too. 🙂

As Long As I Exercise, I Can Eat Anything I Want

I had a pretty awesome weekend. I finally had a weekend I could relax. ChewyDenise came to Seattle for a workshop, so we got to hang out. I’ll talk about that in a separate blog post.

For the 1st time since college, I’ve dropped below 140lbs. My scale read 139.6lbs this morning. I’m excited and scared at the same time. I appear to stick at a certain weight (within a pound) for most of the week, and then suddenly drop 3lbs overnight. My eating habit has also been changing. I don’t think I’m becoming anorexic, as I still love eating. But I’ve noticed I’m eating less and less these days, not that I ate that much previously. I think I’ve dropped to VonLobster’s level of eating.

With my busy work schedule these past few weeks, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been skipping out on weight training, but at least I’ve continued with the elliptical. I was surprised I was still able to do 8 pull-ups the other day.

Here’s a picture of me when I first started working at Microsoft (July 2005):

profile picture

I believe I was ~135lbs back then.

I’ve mentioned my motto to several friends before:

As long as I exercise, I can eat anything I want.

The funny thing is the 1st time I mentioned this, my friends “claimed” I said As long as I exercise, I can do anything I want. If I recall correctly, Chad’s response was, “Does that include murder?” Ah, my friends. ;p

So there you have it. My motto. Eating delicious food is one of my favorite things to do and I find it very sad to see people giving up tasty food because of health reasons. The day I’m told I can’t eat this or that anymore, is the day I’ll seriously consider if it’s worth living anymore. I’m not on a diet, but my body (or shrinking stomach) seems to be limiting what I eat. Therefore it makes even more sense to eat more of the good stuff, since I can only eat so much (e.g. cheesecake for dinner instead of the entrée).

On a somewhat-related topic, Xyon had mentioned that Costco sells mozzarella sticks. Mmmmmm. Unfortunately the last 2 times I went, they’ve been sold out. I did end up buying these vegetable spring rolls which comes with deep fry instructions. Haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but they look tasty from the box. Plus what deep fried food isn’t tasty?

Since we’re on the topic of Costco, there’s 2 things I wanted to also mention. It looks like my Costco is carrying this new product called Santa Cruz Organic Sparkling Lemonade. Being a big fan of lemonade, I just had to give it a try. And it did not disappoint.

Santa Cruz Organic Sparkling Lemonade

Another thing I don’t quite get is dress sock sizes. Costco carries 2 brands of dress socks: Kirkland Signature and Gold Toes. They only have 1 sizing: Shoe Size: 6-12.5 / Sock Size: 10-13. I thought cool, my shoe size of 8 falls into that range, but when I tried it on, it’s a lot bigger than I had expected. The sock feels very loose and if I pull it very tight, the heel of the sock doesn’t align with my heel. Is this normal?

Friday Gathering!

It’s been long time since I invited Perry-tachi (see definition #2: tachi) over for dinner and games. I’ve seen Perry a few times since New Years, but everyone’s been really busy lately. There was that potluck over at Valerie’s sometime earlier this year, which was really fun. I still remember Ike (pronounced EK) shouting “grape tree house” over and over again during Pictionary. Oh yeah, congratulations on Sathana for getting his Ph.D. candidacy! This gathering had been long overdue and I was happy to see everyone again and that everyone was doing fine.

I sent out an email on Monday asking if people were interested in coming over on Friday/Saturday night for dinner and movie/games. I was a bit sad when only 3 people had responded and only Perry and Carolynn accepted. I sent out another email on Wednesday night and got 1 more accept from Sathana. It turns out that somehow my email ended being caught by UW’s spam filter. Here’s the email in full:

Hey guys!

It’s been awhile since we last got together at my place. I was wondering if people were interested in grabbing dinner followed by either a movie or Rock Band.

I recently acquired The Good, The Bad, The Weird, a Korean movie that looks hilarious:
Of course there’s English subtitles.

I’m open to other movie suggestions as well.

Or we can always do what always do and play Rock Band. Since we’ve last played, I’ve gotten plenty of new songs. Let’s say Friday tentatively, but if people prefer Saturday instead, we can do that too.

//Toland (^_^x)

Maybe I had too many links in my email or maybe is considered a spam domain? Saran and Tom found out earlier today and wanted to come. Valerie also found out last minute and came over too. Perry even spoke with Joe and coordinated some Halo 3 over Xbox Live (he currently works in New Mexico). It was a full house once again.

We decided if 4 or less people, we’d have dinner a Sushiland. 5+ and we would go to Yea’s Wok. Only 4 were available for dinner (or found out early enough to join) so we ended up eating at Sushiland in Bellevue. I was surprised that at 7pm on a Friday there was hardly any line. It did get a bit busier later on, but previously on Fridays we had to wait upwards to an hour.

Afterwards we came back to my place and setup another Xbox 360 console using my 24″ Dell LCD. I really need to get that projector for my basement. That’ll be sweet. The few of us who had arrived early played some Beatles Rock Band while we waited for the others to arrive. I noticed that they now show you your friends’ score and I was surprised we actually beat Tekman’s and Angel’s score in Yellow Submarine.

Most of the people arrived and we started some Halo 3 4 vs 4 multiplayer action. It was hilarious hearing Joe and Perry speak over the microphone as it’d be delayed a few seconds on a screen and as someone mentioned Perry sounded like a high-pitched chipmunk. And for some reason, the chat wasn’t blocked per team, so we were able to hear everything they were planning. The teams actually turned out to be quite even after a few matches, but I think Joe was just goofing around after the 3rd round. Having Perry and Joe on the same team originally was slaughter for the 4 of us. Our team was much more even, where everyone would have about the same number of kills. On the other team, Joe and Perry would have 20 kills each, while the others would have about 5 kills each.

Joe called it a night and some people switched over to playing a soccer game. In the meantime, I deep fried some shrimp tempura. Did you know that Costco sells these awesome Panko Breaded Shrimp (Kirkland Signature brand). At first I thought it was shrimp with Panko mix where I would dip the shrimp and deep fry them, but it turns out they come pre-breaded. Yet another win for lazy Toland! The instructions provided actually tell you to use the oven, but after experimenting a few times, I find that 2 minutes at 350F is perfect for 3-8 shrimps. 2.5 minutes is still good, but at 3 minutes you have black charcoal shrimps. People seemed to enjoy them. 🙂

Afterwards, we switched over to Rock Band and tried out some of the new songs I recently got. Rock Band was a blast as usual. Singing Lady Gaga was really fun. We also got to try out OneRepublic, White Stripes, 3 Doors Down and a bunch of other music I’ve acquired since our last gathering. I even tried expert on drums and guitar for several easy songs. Expert on drums can get crazy difficult.

The last of us splitted around 2:30am and ended the night with Silversun Pickups – Panic Switch. Did I mention it’s been a long time since I had so much fun. Few probably know the reason why I setup this gathering. And today was going so well too! Sigh…

Perry’s birthday is next week, so we’ll probably do something again to celebrate.

Getting Drunk for the First Time

So I’m still not sure if I was drunk or just tipsy, but as those who follow me on Twitter have found out, I drank a ton of alcohol for the 1st time in my life. As my brother puts it, “My plan was to get get you F*ed up last night.”

I’m currently in Laredo, TX visiting my brother. Last night, he took my sister and I out drinking at a local lounge. I still recall most of the specifics of what happened last night, so that’s why I don’t think I was exactly drunk, but definitely beyond tipsy. My brother just ordered drink after drink for my sister and I. The drinks weren’t too bad (you can read my tweet to find out what I drank exactly) and I had a fun time.

All this time, my brother’s also been trying to get me to dance with some random girls. Being in an unfamiliar place, it’s not really something I find myself comfortable doing. In fact, I’m probably not comfortable doing it even at a familiar place. However, let’s just say after a few drinks, there was some dancing, some grinding, and somehow I ended up on stage. In all the midst of this, I lost my headband, but I think someone took it off my head when I was dancing. I also ended up somehow exchanging numbers with some random girl, but I don’t really want to get into that story.

The lounge was finally closing and we got our bill. I was a bit shocked at the total, but somehow managed to calculate 15% tip. I wobbled when I walked afterwards, but was still able to recite the alphabets in reverse. We ended up hitting a taco joint which had some awesome tacos, but too bad I wasn’t exactly hungry. I ended only eating about 3 bites from my taco. Is it me, or does time move a lot faster when you’re drunk?

Anyway, we got home, I drank a glass of water, tweeted that I was drunk and hit the sack. I was surprised I was still able to type. I had a hard time trying to fall asleep. Not sure if I ever did. Then some time around 10 or 11am, I hear someone rush into the bathroom barfing. I wasn’t feeling that well myself and had problem getting myself up.

So never having experienced an hangover, I’m going to consider what I had this morning to be a hangover. I didn’t have any headaches, but I was definitely nauseous and my body wasn’t feeling well. Certain smells also made me want to vomit. After an hour or 2 of feeling really nauseous, I decided to get it over with and induced myself to vomit. I felt much better afterwards, but still not too great. I still didn’t feel like eating and just wanted to sleep.

We went to Hayashi Hibachi for lunch later on and after eating the some awesome grilled salmon, I think I was finally starting to feel okay. Ended up taking more naps afterwards. I think I’m back to normal now. Definitely something I’m not looking forward in experiencing again anytime soon.

Pepsi Natural vs Pepsi Throwback

Awhile back I tweeted that Costco was now selling Pepsi Natural. I heard Pepsi was releasing a version of the soft drink using real sugar instead of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). It was now available at Costco.

Pepsi NaturalPepsi Natural at Costco

I was surprised at how Pepsi Natural turned out. It tasted very different than regular Pepsi. It was definitely less sweet and a lot lighter than regular Pepsi. I’m not even sure which one I liked more, regular Pepsi or Pepsi Natural. If I had to choose one, I would say regular Pepsi wins by a bit.

Later I read someone had tried and enjoyed Pepsi Throwback. Wasn’t sure what Pepsi Throwback was, but it turns out to be another variation of Pepsi with real sugar. At first I thought it was just 2 different names for the same product used in 2 different markets, but it turns out there is a real difference!

According to Lucrative Investing:

The difference between Pepsi Natural and Pepsi Throwback is Pepsi natural has natural caramel and kona nut extract, while Pepsi Throwback has all the regular ingredients but with sugar instead of HFCS. Pepsi Natural will also be sold in glass containers.

So whatever they removed from regular Pepsi in Pepsi Natural, has given it a lighter and less sweet taste. I’ll definitely need to try Pepsi Throwback one of these days.

Of course Mexican Coke still beats all.

Mamma Italia – Mixed Berry Gelato

Kirkland Signature Hawaiian Sweet Roll Did my regular Costco trip yesterday since there were new coupons which started earlier this week. I was sad to find out that they had sold out of their Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (from their bakery). Guess that’s what happens when you go during the last hour of when they’re opened. Those things are so soft and delicious. I usually pick one up whenever I go.

Mamma Italia Mixed Berry Gelato However, not all was lost. I found a different reward instead. Turns out Costco now carries Italian Gelato. I’ve been craving ice cream earlier this week and this was perfect. They only carry one brand/flavor: Mamma Italia – Mixed Berry Gelato. It is a bit more expensive than regular ice cream, costing $8 for 1.9 quart. However, compared to other gelato, this is a great deal!

The even cooler part is that the cute cashier was talking about how awesome it was but said some found it a bit too sweet. I said, that’s even better, I have a sweet tooth. Then it happened again at the receipt checker. He commented that the gelato was very delicious and I definitely was going to enjoy it. I just smiled in return. 🙂

After trying it, I do have to say it was extremely yummy. The gelato was so soft and sweet. 🙂