Archive | Return to the US

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Looking Down 100 Stories on Chicago

Going to the Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) and capturing this photos was one of the things that I had to do while visiting Chicago.

If you haven’t been before, you cannot imagine what the feeling of looking down 100-stories beneath your feet is like. It was incredible.

Published on June 19, 2012
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Egg & Bacon Sandwich

Tommy made this for breakfast when I was in Los Angeles at his studio downtown.

I hadn’t met Tommy before arriving in Los Angeles that time (he’s old friends with Nemo), but his culinary skills are incredible. We’d return to his place after a late night out and he’d casually prepare elaborate middle eastern snacks (he’s a caucasian raised in Saudi Arabia). Snacks is under-selling it, they were¬†hors d’oeuvres.

This was one of those small meals which I absolutely had to catch a photo of.

Published on June 13, 2012

Back in China

Herro!

After a full day of transit, (6 hours to NYC, 15 hours to Beijing, 2 hours to Chengdu) I’m back in my apartment. It’s really great that I wasn’t robbed while I was gone. It’s great to be back, but it feels strangely different. This is my first time coming to China from America and coming straight to my apartment. I guess it really hits me that this is my home when I arrive here and take a taxi straight to my apartment which I open with my key. Maybe that doesn’t make much sense; it feels strangely natural to come back here after being reacclimated to hamburger and CNN environment for 30 days.

I knew I was back when I started hitting my head on everything again; I hit my head twice on the plane, and one time a woman saw me and instead of laughing made a total “oh shit! ow!” grimace which made me laugh. Welcome back to Asia.

I haven’t gotten a full night of sleep in four or five days, but sleeping sporadically for a few hours at a time. First I had to wake up early for the dentists appointment, then for my flight out of NYC, and then I could only catch a few hours of sleep at a time on the transcontinental flight. It’s cool though, even though it’s 4:30am here I’ve almost completely unpacked and cleaned the place up a bit. Dust tends to collect when you leave your apartment for a month.

Tenzin and Jovian are still in SF, but I think Kensho is in town. Ben is in London but arrives Sunday and Sascha has finally made it to Thailand, so I have some quiet time to get everything together.

I had a great time in America for the month though and really appreciate the time I was able to spend with my good friends. I regret not being able to see a few of them (Kat, Steve, Marcus, Alexandra) but I know that’ll come with time.

Hopefully the next time I leave China will be for the Phillipines.

Published on April 22, 2006

Health & Exquisite Pain, USA Tour 2006 Conclusion

Today, my last day in America before leaving China, I didn’t really have plans outlined, but thought I’d do something fun and American.

Instead I got a root canal and spent 7 hours at the dentists office and spent a few thousand dollars.

It’s cool though, because the dentist took half an hour to help me with my golf swing when everyone else had left his office. Your first instinct is right; I’m no golfer, but it made me feel better to chum with the guy who spent the entire day staring at my mouth. He’s a good family dentist though and my Dad generously offerend to split the bill with me, so despite the considerable financial hurdle, it’s all good. Rather than go into descriptive detail about the exhaustion I feel from my body being rigid for 7 hours, I’ll pass out now and get 4 hours of sleep before traveling NYC tomorrow morning and then to Beijing from there tomorrow afternoon. By this time tomorrow I’ll be halfway back to Asia.

End of USA tour 2006!

Published on April 20, 2006

Buzz Again, Five, Nemo's New Ink

I spent the afternoon with Emily yesterday before going to Georgetown to pickup Nemo after getting the outline finished on the giant tattoo on his right calf. I watched some of it get done and got sweet photos of it but now I’m too sleepy to continue so I won’t. Good morning-

Published on April 16, 2006

Friction & Noisia @ Five

Tonight I popped into Eye-bar to catch up with Brian (DJ Geometrix) for a few minutes before heading to Five to see Friction on 3 decks in the main room at Five in DC. It was the first real drum & bass show that I’ve been to in almost a year, so I’d say it was eventful. I drank a variety of fancy drinks including foreign stuff I can’t pronounce followed by more traditional party spirits like Jagermeister and rum. I ran into Deinfamous, Scott, Luis, Apple, Ali, and a handful of other people that I haven’t seen in a few years, so the two-week DC reunion continued in usual fare. I’m more impervious to drum & bass rhythm than ever before, but Friction played a few choice tunes which I haven’t heard in a while, including Signal. When we left the club my Persian friend Nemo put on his Yassar Arafat headgear and yelled at people out of the window in faux Arabic which made me laugh so hard that my throat hurt. Just before leaving I took 15 minutes to talk to Courtney about her impression of India and that I’m planning on checking it out for a few weeks this year. It’s fresh in my mind because I visited my old office today and caught up with an Indian coworker that I haven’t seen or thought about in a few years. Her nephew is in Goa and she gave me his contact info. Exciting things for the future!

Cici has been trying to negotiate with Delta Airlines for the past few days to get me a ticket to the west coast before I leave with the 100,000 frequent flyer miles she has. I think her confidence is dwindling as she’s finding out that Delta is nearly bankrupt and about to completely go out of business. I’m not sure what to do about it but suppress my disappointment.

Published on April 13, 2006

Ghostface @ Sonar

I just returned from Sonar in Baltimore (the second time this month) to check out Mr Killah, Tony Starks, with Jill. The place was much more packed than it was for Qbert and I believe it might’ve sold out just on the hype of the 9:30 Club show the previous night alone. When I arrived A-Alike was performing and they really killed it. After them there was an R&B-influenced duet without a DJ which was pretty weak. Before Ghost came out the place was getting hyped through the roof by half a dozen MC’s like “Porkchop” (not to be confused with Lambchop) freestyling and bigging up Ghost and the Wu.

I’m glad I saw the show in Baltimore instead of in DC as the crowd just seemed so much more genuine than it surely would’ve been at the 9:30 Club. After hearing one of the guys from Dead Prez go through the long-winded, politically-charged psuedo-speech “Fuck George Bush” stuff, it was pretty sweet. I think I understand that hip hop is a vehicle to transport ideas, but I guess I had hoped that it would’ve evolved past N.W.A. by this point. Oh well, I could totally relate to my deadlocked negro brother when he was preaching about the fight against white America. It sort of made me feel like a traitor, or a fake, for just coming for the music and not the idealogy. I haven’t felt that way since I was in Thai monestaries; I was raised around Buddhism, but I still feel like a fake when I’m around life-long Buddhists with calloused foreheads whose religious commitment make me feel like I just jumped on a bandwagon. Music and philosophy aren’t supposed to be judgemental, but that’s the way I feel when I’m around people who’s commitment make mine feel insignificant. Or maybe that’s just a bad analogy.

Tomorrow I have a golf lesson at at Belle Haven country club. I bought some khaki slacks today and I have a really silly bright yellow polo shirt that I would probably only wear on a golf course which I’ll reserve for the special occassion. :)

Published on April 12, 2006

2006 Reunion, Goodbye Buzz

Friday night I met with a large handful of old friends at Dr Dremos, just as we had done a year and a half previously before I left DC for Los Angeles. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time talking to many people there, but it was a blast to be around the people who used to play such a big part in my life. We ordered one pitcher after another of exotic domestic beer (Purple Haze and Brooklyn Brown come to mind) and talked about the events of the last 18 months of our lives. I can’t great it is to catch up with friends after a year of not seeing them at all. Unfortunately I wasn’t smart enough to coordinate a big group photo, but here’s one taken by James which he posted online:


After spending a few hours at Dr Dremos we went to check out Buzz at Nation for the last time together. Buzz, for those who don’t know, is the most legendary and long-standing club night in DC history. For almost the last ten years the same party has been at the same venue in SE DC, an infamous venue called Nation. This summer it’ll be torn down to make room for new development, which will dramatically change the face of nightlife in Washington. Most clubs have moved to nicer areas in the Northwest quadrant of the city while Nation has managed to maintain success in the heart of the ghetto of the nations capitol. From the balcony at Nation you have a great view of the capitol building which you can’t see from any other clubs I’ve ever been to around here, ironically. I share countless memories of that venue with most of my friends, and I think that even though we rarely (if ever) go there anymore, we’ll all be a little sad to see it finally go. I don’t think any of us can say that we didn’t spend enough time there, though. Here’s a photo from Buzz on Friday:

Published on April 11, 2006