Monday, January 14, 2008

James and Dave w/end in CoMo

The boys were in town this past weekend. We just hung out and had a good time. Unfortch, I came down with a cold and had to call in sick to work on Monday morning. We went out to a bunch of bars over the weekend; On The Rocks, Generic, Deuce and Heidelberg. The weather is cold again after a Spring teaser last weekend where it went up to 70 degrees. Now I just need to get through January and February and it'll start getting much better, weather wise that is. Monday morning, I also had a phone interview with BJC for a Performance Improvement Engr position but I don't think it'll be a good fit as it's a new department and they want someone with experience in healthcare to come in and implement changes. We'll see where it goes.

PS - I just got done reading The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. Not too bad of a book, I guess good enough for me to want to read the 2nd book, The Subtle Knife. I'm about half way through The Jungle by Upton Sinclair now. Looks like target of three books every 2 months is well on its way :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

NYC with Beau

So I'm finally getting around to blogging about my third and final trip to New York City for 2007. Here's a chronological order of what happened. Work let out on Friday 12/21, I was so happy as it was going to be another eleven days before I had to return. I spent most of Saturday just getting ready and packing. We left for St Louis on Sunday evening as we had an early flight on Monday morning. We (Beau and I) got in at around 8pm and had dinner with Dwane at Bastilles. It was my first time eating there, totally didn't expect it but the food was great and it was an actual restaurant attached to the bar. After that, I went to Dwane's place and spent the night at Dave's and woke up for the flight early the next day. Flight to LaGuardia was pretty comfortable, we had to transit in Minneapolis. The burrito at that airport were worst I've ever had. After we got in, we took the bus to Linli's and pretty much hung out there for most of the evening. They drove us to Fang's. I had to stay at Fang's because Andro had some friends coming in from Cypress. The next day was X'mas day, met up with Hwee Ping and Sen Kiong (total coincidence! 2nd time!) and we had Dim Sum in the morning and then later had Nyonya for dinner while Beau left for upstate NY. The day after Xmas, we headed to Philly via buses that ran from Chinatown. It was quite an experience boarding the bus but in the end, it was a pretty decent and comfortable ride. Not bad for $20 roundtrip. We got into Philly, walked around for the rest of the day where we got to eat at the famous Geno's Phillycheesesteak, did a lil shopping and then to Liberty Bell etc. We walked around Philly alot and the weather wasn't exactly gorgeous, it drizzled for majority of the evening. So it was cold and wet. We had Afghani food for dinner that night, the food was good but service was quite bad. We later went out to the bar Woody's and Beau met a few guys whom he later went home with. I went back to Uncle's upstairs Inn, LOL. What?! It was a cheap hotel in the heart of Philly, eventhough it was upstairs of a bar. The next day, we walked around a little more and then took the bus back to NYC. I got in and went to meet up the gang at the Cuban Restaurant and we all had paella which was totally delicious. That night Beau and I went to Splash and I got totally drunk. It was fun and tons of gorgeous people there. Next few days were just spent walking around NYC and going out to clubs. The weather was quite nice but rained a few nights, washing away Beau's hair and facial products ;) We finally left NYC on Monday morning and made it back to St Louis. We went to dinner with Dave's friends and then later went to NYE party at Suredad's. Dwane got us the invitation to the party. The party had mainly older guys but the house was really beautiful and there were food and drinks served. It was pretty cool. Next day we drove back to CoMO and that wraps up my Xmas holidays. Here's to a new year!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy 2008!

So how did everyone's holidays went? I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I finished the fifth Harry Potter book shortly before I left for my Christmas holidays in NYC which turned out to be a really fun trip (I'll have more in my next entry). I started reading up on The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman while on the trip. What is it with me and fantasy books? So far GC's going pretty good and it's a real quick and easy read anyway. The next book I have lined up after GC is The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and followed by The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (Oprah's book club). I am trying to read more books as you can see, that's one of my New Year's resolution. Here's the rest of my New Year resolutions:

1. Would like to seriously pursue a new job that will facilitate my move to St Louis, hopefully by end of Summer 2008.

2. Need to start saving more (ie Max out my Roth IRA for 2008 and have my 2nd home mortgage paid off). I have let 2007 slip in terms of savings...too many trips and buying the new car will definitely do just that!

3. Toning up and shedding some extra lbs. I'm currently at 145, would like to get down to 135lb range. (Beau & I are going to join Dave & Wes in attempting The Abs Diet which is not too different from what we're already doing)

4. Definitely need to start calling home more often, at least twice a month. I rarely call home anymore. I need to improve my relationships with my brothers, Dad, Aunty Bee, Uncle Soohee in NZ and other relatives among others.

5. Be more generous to my close friends and try to donate time/money to a good cause. Would definitely volunteer when I do move to St Louis.

6. I want to be a part of a Professional organization (ie IIE and others) and get more training and schooling for my profession.

7. I want to read at least three books every two months, totalling 18 for the year. So far The Golden Compass will be first for 2008.

This is just a preliminary list of my resolutions, so I'm sure I'll be back to add or make changes to the list further down the road. So far it seems pretty complete as it covers the four very important areas of my life; Family, Friends, Finance and Career. I never really have put any resolutions down in writing before but I was sold on doing one when Dave started reading one from his own list. I think it is quite important for it creates a visual goal for me to achieve for this year and by having it published it will hold me accountable to achieving it.

So back to Order of the Phoenix, totally good book. I can't wait to finish the other books I have lined up so I can start on Half Blood Prince. This book gets darker as you can see from the movie. Harry starts having very dark thoughts and his connection to Voldemort strenghtens. Harry also loses his godfather, Sirius and almost lost Mr Weasley as well. According to Chadd, JK Rowling had originally intended to kill off Mr Weasley but she thought that it might be too traumatic for Harry. I've heard that the next two books are going to be even worse, characters are going to start dropping like flies. As usual there were many many scenes that were different comparing the book to the movie. I understand why they have to do what they did in the movie for dramatic effects and time constraints but I sometimes wished it matched the book pretty closely.