#vacation


Black Rock “Jump”

Flickr Video

There are times when one must step up to the plate. This can be one of those times… I think(?) haha =)

First of all excuse the noob video edit­ing skillz—this is the first time I played around iMovie ’09 (iMovie in gen­eral). The clear water below do tricks to the mind, at least it did to me as you can tell.

As you’ll see (and maybe hear) on the First “Jump”, I totally wasn’t expect­ing to be off course lol. As for the Sec­ond “Jump”—I just wanted to go down quick and get it over with… though I did it “nor­mally” and not too loud this time =)

Good times! Thanks to Keno and Lou for jump­ing off with me. And to those at the Beach film­ing and watch­ing, I hope you guys had a good laugh haha. Till next time, I need to prac­tice =p

¡Salud!

@ Black Rock. Ka’anapali, Maui, HI.

The 70–200 Conversation

So, I haven’t done one of these in a while. I was con­vers­ing with Juan about what gear to pack for my Big Island trip next week. Com­ing up with at least these: 

  • 20D + SD400
  • 17–35/2.8–4
  • 28–75/2.8
  • bat­ter­ies + chargers

He then sug­gested to bring the 70–200 as well. Now, for those non-shutterbug geeks, this lens is huge and heavy but it packs a wallop.

Any­ways, here’s how it ended:

juan: (-) addi­tional weight w/ the above pack
juan: ?!?!?!?!?!?
juan: what good is work­ing out if you can’t carry an extra 10 pounds?!
juan: wuss
juan: I’ll fight you
*** “juan” signed off at Wed Jul 26 00:39:08 2006.

Oh man, that cracks me up HA! This guy keeps it real =p

The True Un-told Chicago Story: Highlights

Allow me to re-introduce my self… my name is Ho…”

So yes yes, long time no write. Its been really visual as of lately. The week after Chicago was just “back to real­ity” even though it was a short week, for me at least. We took some new and old cowork­ers (who were leav­ing) out to Buca on Howard. That was fun, even though it took up a bit over 2 hours for an hour planned lunch on a Fri­day. Any­ways, things were busy and what had to be done were done for that week.

Mean­while, I almost missed my stop get­ting off the bus this morn­ing at the Trans­bay Ter­mi­nal. Thank god to this dude who woke me up. I was com­pletely knocked out with my hoodie and iPod on. Its just that the 20–30 minute usual com­mute that I take have been going up to 30–45 min­utes. Its really the stu­pid Bay Bridge con­struc­tion that have been going on lately. I guess they close the 5th Street and Har­ring­ton Street exit which caused a lot of bot­tle­neck for com­muters going to work in the city start­ing last Friday.

Any­ways, I guess I was doz­ing off in the bus while lis­ten­ing to John Mayer’s Room for Squares. Just haven’t heard that in a while. That and I just needed some­thing mel­low for the morn­ing being that I am freak­ing sore from play­ing lots of soft­ball this week. Prob­a­bly close to 7 hours of it. Yah, hard­core… 8 for 11 at the Alameda Pickup Soft­ball (Sat­ur­day at noon) and 2 for 3 at the Daly City league (West­lake Park, Sun­day afternoon).

In rel­e­vance to the topic at hand, I’ve been mean­ing to write about Chi-town for days now. But I just haven’t had the time because of other stuff. Any­ways, it was really good times at the City of Wind. Hope to do it again some other date in the future. I really hope that I can catch a Cub­bies game at Wrigley Field before they win a World Series.

Fri­day, 9/2: Hipoc­racy Within Our Midst
Bright Early Smile

Illinois Pandora's
Back­track­ing to last-last Fri­day AM, Jenn and I took a cab to the air­port for about $25 (includ­ing tip). The dude was cool but I think he was try­ing to get some more mileage on us. Thank god I remem­ber the shortest/fastest way from Biggy’s pad through Otis (the street).

Any­ways we got to the Oak­land Air­port and through secu­rity with ease. We also got on Group B for seat­ing with South­west which was really weird because we checked-in online at 1am. I didn’t really think peo­ple do that too, at least not that many.

So fast for­ward to the most excit­ing part of the morn­ing, the Group B line dilemma. Yes, what a dilemma it was when this lady tried to be all high-and-mighty for leav­ing our lug­gage un-attended. The story starts when we got in line. We put our lug­gage down, and I told Jenn to just get some cof­fee and break­fast for us as I stay there and watch our stuff. So she goes and I put the stuff down in line, walk over 5–7 feet away to an empty seat and chill. Time flies slowly, and after 10 min­utes I got up from my seat and grabbed my iPod in my cam­era bag; and walked backed to where I was sit­ting down.

So min­utes passed and new peo­ple got on line. Two ladies fol­lowed the gen­tle­man behind my spot within a 5 minute span. Fast-forwarding to about near board time (which was at 8:45am), Jenn came through with the bagel and some cof­fee. As I got up from the seat, took off my head­phones and walked over to the line where our bags where, the two ladies spoke out. Lady #1, the one that was orig­i­nally behind the gen­tle­man (and now in front of Jenn and I) said to me, “you shouldn’t leave your bag­gages unat­tended. We were gonna call secu­rity…” yadda yadda yadda.

Lady #2 I guess was in re-assurance of what the the first lady was say­ing. So I replied as I was gaz­ing at the gen­tle­man (who knew I was there from the begin­ning when I got up and got my iPod), “Oh, I was just a cou­ple of feet away.”

Lady #1 replies, “But still…” blah blah blah. Still try­ing to get her point across. Mean­while, I was think­ing about the dude behind us. Didn’t he tell them that I was there? Any­ways, I then said, “Ok, granted. But weren’t you orig­i­nally behind him?” [got ‘em]

She then blabs and try to be Lady Jus­tice, when all she can be is a hypocrite—one of the things that I hate most, with a pas­sion. I stood there think­ing, “Does [Sher­win] really have to choke a bitch!?!?” (~Chappelle’s Show) haha. I also started think­ing on how funny it would have been if Biggy went with us, oh man… that would have been a sight to see.

Being the grown up (between this 40–50 year old lady and I) I told her, “you know, its the week­end. Have a good one.” No one is about to ruin this freak­ing week­end, no one. Not some­one who is bitch­ing about fol­low­ing the rules and not fol­low­ing com­mon cour­tesy, as well as com­mon sense in that sense.

Fur­ther­more, as we were board­ing the plane. As Lady #1 found a seat as you walk-in to the cabin, she just blurts out, “I need help with my lug­gage” Jenn and I were like (at least I was), “Are you kid­ding me? You aren’t even gonna say PLEASE, or at least be sin­cere about it?” I swear, she said it like every­one near her were her ser­vants. Damn.

So I just help another man push her bag into the space above. Funny thing is, she didn’t even say “thank you” to either one of us. “Ain’t that a bitch?!” (~from most of Samuel L. Jackson’s films).

Other stuff for Fri­day were: Giordano’s, H&M and meet­ing up with Cat and Olivia (for bar-hopping and some Chicago dogs at Hogie Hut).

Sat­ur­day, 9/3: Trekking of Chicago
Chicago by the Lake

Stop Motion Kapoor's Bean
Sat­ur­day AM? More like Sat­ur­day noon. We pretty much got home around 4am. Even tough it was only 2am CA time, we were still tired and needed much rest for the upcom­ing day. We pretty much dis­tin­guished Sat­ur­day as our Tour Day of Chicago, and can I tell you the places we went.

But before start­ing the explo­ration, Joe­mama, Jenn, Cesar and I went to this 24hr. cafe called Tempo. Yummy stuff might I add, but the lady that was serv­ing us seemed to be not on point with our food. Any­ways, after our brunch, we met up with every­one to ride the Red Line to head towards the Chicago Jazz Fes­ti­val at the Grant Park area.

While on our way, we stopped over at Mil­len­nium Park since its nearby. There were a lot of cool and neat stuff there to see like: Crown Foun­tain, Kapoor’s Bean (aka. Cloud Gate), Jay Pritzker Pavil­ion and the BP Bridge to name a few. How­ever, what made our tour of Mil­le­nium Park (to me at least) was the per­for­mance by Gin­garte Capoeira.

Capoeira 6134

It was just plain awe­some! Makes you think how far we can take the human body to and to what extent we can define nature’s law of grav­ity. Its both a cre­ative and pow­er­ful form of the mar­tial arts. Not to men­tion, music is involved and deeply rooted to it… “Parana e’, parana e’, parana.”

After the per­for­mance, we made our way to Grant Park to quickly check out Buck­ing­ham Foun­tain. This fountain’s pop­u­lar­ity lies within the intro for one of the most enter­tain­ing fam­ily tv-series of all times, Mar­ried With Chil­dren. “Love and mar­riage, love and mar­riage. Go together like a horse and car­riage This, I tell you brother You can’t have one with­out the other.” Oh man, mem­o­ries of “No Ma’am”, “The Nudy Bar”, “Big ‘Uns” and Kelly’s girl friends. Oh the laugh­ter and drama of the Bundy family.

Mean­while, the Jazz Fest had great enter­tain­ment and food. Mostly every­one stopped over to get some fun­nel cake topped with a scoop of ice cream. After that, we pretty much headed back to the hotel (Dou­ble­tree Suites on Delaware St.) to get ready for din­ner and the night-time festivities.

For din­ner, Group A went to Cheese­cake Fac­tory (located below the John Han­cock Tower) and Group B went to Ed Debevic’s. I went with Group B. It was a weird place. I guess the wait­ress aint sup­pose to be all “Pleas­antville” on you but just straight-out blunt. Either way, the food was good. I ordered the Roasted Chicken din­ner meal, and that got me full.

After­wards, we just met up with every­one at the Sig­na­ture Lounge atop the John Han­cock Tower. Drinks and desserts were expen­sive. I ordered a dessert which wasn’t all that for $8. I’d say the dessert cakes over Costco would prob­a­bly worth it. And thats a whole, huge cake and not just some dinky slice of a slice of cake. Any­ways, it was just chill. Too bad they had to split us up in two groups because seat­ing is hard to come by for 16 peo­ple (given).

These Crowded Streets

After a cou­ple of hours, a bit after 1am (Sun­day), we all headed back to the hotel. I guess it was just a lot of walk­ing for the day, so every­one was tired. How­ever, a cou­ple of peo­ple headed to Tempo for some mid­night snack. Joe­mama and I went for a walk with our cam­eras. I bor­rowed Lou’s tri­pod to help me get some long-exposure shots of Chicago. I’d say most turned out pretty well. Other than some secu­rity con­cerns by a guard over at John Han­cock Tower (which we totally under­stood because of the height­ened secu­rity alert) our night-time pho­tog­ra­phy ses­sion is a must for a town spe­cially known for its architecture.

Sun­day, 9/4: More Walking
IMG 6275

IMG 6298 Butt Dart
Sun­day came up fast. By the time we woke up in the morn­ing, we all knew that there are a lot of things too see that we wont have time to even check out. But what would a Chicago trip be with­out eat­ing at Kitschn’s. We were gonna roll to the one at Roscoe but it was just too far from where we were located. So we took a cab for a quick ride to the one on River North.

Mostly every­one ordered their famous“Green Eggs and Ham Sam. The best thing that I tasted from the restau­rant would prob­a­bly be the Tiramisu Twinkie. Damn. That sucka is just daaamn bad for you but its so daaamn delicious.

With that, we were enroute for the Sears Tower. On our way to take the train, Belle dropped her sweater with­out even know­ing it. Light bulb… and whats a bet­ter way to enter­tain our­selves by pulling a prank out on Belle. So we all passed Belle’s sweater to the back of the pack, end­ing up with Joe­mama. And the rest was just his­tory, hilar­i­ous his­tory in that case.

IMG 6316

Get­ting to our des­ti­na­tion, we prob­a­bly were in line to go to another line for about 30–45 min­utes. After that, we then saw a 15-minute short film about Chicago and the Sears Tower. Then, got on the ele­va­tor which shot up 103 floors up in about 15–30 sec­onds. Come to think of it, after com­ing out of the ele­va­tor, I felt a lit­tle dizzy.

But it was all for­got­ten by the awe­some view of Chicago’s cityscape. Too bad it wasn’t all clear. That, and the win­dows weren’t cleaned recently. Maybe its just because that we were on the 103rd floor. I mean, come on, you’ll have to pay me a lot of dough to clean just one side of the build­ing that way up.

Any­ways, after being amazed by the view and rem­i­nisc­ing a bit about the scene in Fer­ris Bueller’s Day Off, we headed down and out of the build­ing. Some went back to the hotel to relax, and oth­ers headed to go check out the River Tour by Wen­della. So we all took the train.

The most fun­ni­est part of the ride was prob­a­bly almost los­ing Joe­mama in the crowd. You just gotta imag­ine that each cab was packed by peo­ple. I mean, it just wasn’t funny see­ing it at all. I guess the humid­ity of the tun­nels were get­ting to em, and they just needed to get to some­where else. Any­ways, Joe­mama didn’t get the oppor­tu­nity to get out when every­one couldn’t get in a cab. There were no cell recep­tion at all and the exit that we were sup­pose to get out at was under con­struc­tion. But alas, Joe was a trooper. He even went back to the hotel, waited for our call to meetup, and arrived at the des­ti­na­tion spot before us—which was about a cou­ple of miles to walk. Far if you’d ask me. I prob­a­bly would’ve taken a cab.

Riverview

The tour was great and quite educa­tive. It pro­vided every­one with a lot of his­tory about Chicago’s past, its present and future. Not to men­tion, a great alter­na­tive per­spec­tive to the one we saw from above the Sears Tower… a per­spec­tive from the ground-up. One fact to take note of was prob­a­bly when the tour guide asked us why Chicago is called “The Windy City.” I quickly replied (just to her, as she was next to me), “because every­one has gas.” Oh schnaps, oh schnaps… a lit­tle gig­gle was good. But she stated that its because of the ever-changing pol­i­tics in the city. Like a wind, it comes and it goes; no con­crete des­ti­na­tion of where it’ll end up at.

Other stuff for Sun­day evening were:

  • eat­ing at Sushi Samba and pay­ing a $400 bill ($100 gra­tu­ity and tax!)
  • par­ty­ing at the Funky Bud­dha while think­ing that it was $10 cover for every­one, and later find­ing out that its $20 for guys and $10 for the ladies
  • last but not least, pack­ing our stuff and spend­ing our last night in Chicago… *tear*

Mon­day, 9/5: Gino’s and Goodbye
IMG 6453

Ponder and Ponder Want to Touch the Heini
For Monday’s sched­ule, we planned an hour or two for peo­ple to go do what they want and just meet up at Gino’s East at noon. A cou­ple of peo­ple went to Nike­town, Urban Out­fit­ters and H&M (again). But it was really hard to buy a lot of things as our lug­gage space was lim­ited to new things. Any­ways, Gino’s East was good. I think that their crust was bet­ter than Giordano’s. That and their restaurant’s atmos­phere was cool. Prob­a­bly the best way to describe is that “the writ­ing is on the walls”.

…and they all went back to Cali and lived hap­pily ever. Till then, don’t worry, be happy.

From my mind to yours, there’s noth­ing more than a great vaca­tion if you can laugh out the ter­ri­ble times with friends. For exam­ple, walk­ing lost in Chicago to go to a club with a bunch of girls wear­ing high-heels. Awe­some, good times.

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