Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fire and Ice........Mood: Chill

Looking back, I would say June was a month of coping. With the political strife in Iran, and the death of Michael Jackson, destruction, violence and mortality very much persisted on a psychic level. What I found particularly interesting was that with these two occurrences, I observed how social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have changed the current of news and its existence in real time. Their usual mindless chatter was replaced by real sentiments and ideas, and for a couple weeks, I felt people’s consciousness was united through the collective sharing of information. During this time, I couldn’t help but to feel just a bit uneasy about the world and its future. I suppose one just trudges on, hoping to do your best, be your best individual; with the other option of being swallowed up by the futility of it all, which really is not an option, especially when it comes to shoes.

Socially, the first month of summer began with Christle’s visit from Wisconsin. Was great cause she was my date at Deathguild, now at DNA Lounge, which is a good, practical (has a taco bar), divey venue but just doesn’t have the same grown and sexy appeal as it’s previous location, the Glas Kat. We also saw Peaches at the Regency, a beautiful venue with not so great acoustics, with Dee. Peaches was great, she climbed the balcony of the main ballroom, incorporated some gyration moves, and pseudo-married two gays on stage. However, someone threw a waterbottle onto the stage which had hit her in the head, so she was quite vocal in letting SF know she was not amused.

Joey’s birthday party at Quinn’s Lighthouse was great fun. Who doesn’t love eating peanuts covered in hot sauce and then throwing their shells on the floor?!!! Lindsey’s birthday party at the Tonga Room was fabulous fun as well; sad to think the place will turn into condos if is not considered a historical landmark. Seeing Rye Rye at 330 Ritch with Hottub was AMAZING!! For a little girl, she packs a lot of energy and just puts on a SHOW!

Rye Rye’s Hardcore Girls

The Bird Flu show at Space Gallery featuring Amanda Lopez‘s photography was fresh as usual. Liz and I also stopped at Bootybassment that night, making a pupusa run as well at 3:00am, before returning back to the east bay. The month ended with the Alameda Buddhist Temple’s Summer Bazaar, which was a fun and food filled family event, and where I was a volunteer.

Liz, Amanda, me (in front of her photography) at Space Gallery SF – Bird Flu Show

JULY 2009

Rocket at July’s Oakland Art Mummur

I’m always extremely excited for my birthday month, and this year was no exception. Started the month off going to the Oakland Art Murmur with Liz, Errico, and Rocket. Was a good time, love that the galleries and live music (DJ Brandon Gobi), provide a fun, safe, and artistic setting for those in its city.

Installation by T. Joseph Enos – Artificial Nature – Autobody Fine Art

Also art related, Joey’s installation at Autobody (gallery) in Alameda was phenomenal. Every part, every color, every concept, every nerve of it – was absolutely awe-inspiring to me. He is truly one of the most talented artists I know, which is demonstrated in the quality and depth of his work.

Went to the Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason to check out friends, Handmade Whimsy and Nora Aoyagi, and although I didn’t buy anything crafty, it was nice to be out amongst the crafters in the beautiful, balmy SF Marina. Mid-month, took a family trip to Las Vegas, where we stayed at the Wynn, and where I ate an insane amount of really, really good food, including a delicious and very rare 20 oz. ribeye steak from the Steve Wynn Steakhouse.

20 oz. of Pure Love at the SW Steakhouse, Las Vegas

Seriously, I think in terms of my eating habits in Vegas, the saying should go, “What happens (on my plate) in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” And despite the dry heat, which I’m actually getting used to now, I had a really fabulous time, and am ever so grateful for having such an awesome family.

So the big day came, July 23, and it was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. The party was at Life/Style at Beauty Bar SF, where friends Tony and Raul DJ and where Liz was guest DJing that night for my party. She decorated with balloons and a Hyphy Birthday banner, and my sister baked homemade red velvet cupcakes. It felt like a really great wedding reception, sans the husband of course, with friends and family, all dancing and mingling, and just having a hell of a good time.


Family, friends, and good food was the prevalent theme for this last month of summer. There was the Surf n’Turf Ladydate at Amedee’s, (potluck style while we watch Top Chef). Her seafood stew was perfect, (the seafood wasn’t overcooked, and it was well seasoned with a bit of a kick), and Jessica’s homemade ice cream and sorbet were absolutely heavenly. August also happened to be the month in which I lost my nettle virginity, as my friend Sophie, The Supertaster, hosted a grilled pizza (my favorite way to eat pizza!) dinner party, which included sautéed nettles as a topping. Her fresh figs stuffed with mascarpone and marcona almonds were incredible as well. More dinners were eaten at Puerto Alegre and the Front Porch in the Mission. The Kwan siblings took a field trip to the Academy of Sciences and of course made stops at Tartine and Mitchell’s Ice Cream too that day. That night, met Liz and Michael at the Silverman Gallery for an art show featuring new SF designers. And later that week, my sister and the Barneys (Liz and Michael) had a garage sale at my aunt’s house, where I had nothing to sell, but kept busy by making conversation and lemonade.

Speaking of Barneys, I went to the Barneys Warehouse Sale and ended up getting my birthday present to myself: a pair of AMAZING Manolos (Cuerta) for a very good price.
I also bought a new pair of glasses for $3 that I'm very excited about!

With an abundance of fruit in the house, I also started experimenting with sorbet recipes based on this one I found from Live2Cook. The first was plum/Chambord. My second was cantaloupe/honey/lavender, and my third was plum/Chmabord/Godiva Liqueur, which appears to be the winner. For my cousin Paula’s birthday it was girls night out at Asia SF and Slide, complete with my first bottle service ever. Cheers!

On my mind this week:

Two of my favorite people in one of my favorite songs!

1. If we don't start to look for a better life, the whole world will be destroyed in a time zone...Seriously.

2. June 25, 2009 - The day pop music in America died....For M.J. R.I.P.

3. We used to rock out to this in my high school Espanish class...

But this Frenchy made it famoso first...

4. Isn't her hair AMAZING?!!!!!!!

4. I ADORE her. I should have gone to Paris this summer!! There is always next year...

5. The summer of 2009 will forever be my “Picasso Summer”.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Where the Wild Things Aren’t ........... Mood: Wondering

April started with Saks/Sugar Publishing event, where I was happy to snag a Marc by Marc Jacobs tote and one of the very large Shepard Fairey designed Saks shopping bags.
Saks Shopping Bags Designed by Artist Shepard Fairey

Later that night Liz and I stopped by Le Cirque(The Brooklyn Circus) at Yoshi’s Fillmore, hung out with Cas and his friend from Steel Closet, and then danced the night away at Beauty Bar’s Life/Style. Went to 111 Minna for Jay Alexander’s birthday party to see Ryan and Dylan dj, no one asked me if I was a tranny that night thank god, cause that’s what some moron did two years ago at the same event! Later that night met up with Natalie and Lindsey at Bar 821 and then had a late night corned beef sandwich with Liz and Josh at Tommy’s Joynt.

“World Walking,” by William Kentridge

Checked out the William Kentridge exhibition at the MOMA, which I liked, was dark and charmingly grotesque. However, the Nick Cave exhibition the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts absolutely blew me away. It was colorful, textural, fun, and really just brilliant.

From Nick Cave's Meet Me at the Center of the Earth Exhibition (Mar 28 -
Sun, Jul 5 2009 YBCA Galleries)

Stacy’s birthday BBQ at the SF Skatepark was a blast, and included burgers, chorizo, and some drunken playground gallivanting. Lee, Dee and I had a dinner and theatre date, went to Cav for dinner, since Zuni was closed for remodeling :(, and then saw Wicked. For the majority of the month, I experienced a horrible intestinal bug, which I believe was healed by the probiotic properties of Dannon Activia yogurt. Hallelujah for that cause it was NOT a cool time!

May always signals the official start of birthday season for me, and the month got off to quite a spectacular start with its first birthday party being Jessica’s. The night included dressy pre-partying at the birthday girl’s house where we sipped on deliciously concocted Manhattans and Aviations. Dessert and champagne were had next at Bix, and drinks in the Russells Room at Bourbon and Branch followed making for an ingenuously fabulous night, and the perfect birthday party.

The following weekend Liz and I saw Hottub at Vessel, and checked out Amanda Lopez’s art show, where The Park put on a pretty impressive performance as well. The next day was Brandan’s birthday brunch at Dolores Park, it was a decadently fun time, this classy braud brought Jello-shots, a Brandan birthday tradition I’ve been doing for a couple years now. But Teddy’s homemade jumbo coconut shrimp were absolutely beautiful, and therefore stole the show; receiving an initial gasp and then clapping as he lifted away the lid of the serving tray. Alex’s homemade salt caramels were absolutely to die for and Dan’s scones, and Dee’s savory bread pudding were certainly hits as well.

Too Much Fun at Dolores Park – Eric spent at least 3 hours being pregnant that day!

At PST at 330 Ritch Liz provided Jesse Boykins III with his stunnas for the show, and I couldn’t stop singing Pantyhose. Oh, and by the way, one of my new obsessions is vintage dead stock pantyhose! Okay, so I digress a bit.

Jesse Boykins III – Pantyhose

Then, for Errico’s birthday we hung out with him and the boys at the house, eating tacos and shootin the shit with the A-town crew. That Friday was Adrian’s birthday party which started at Badlands, moved to Toad Hall, whose DJ was so on it that night, followed by late night Nizario’s (I actually brought my Escape from NY Pizza into Nizario's cause I like their crust better, but had Nizario’s Castro Special earlier that night for dinner). The following night went to Bootybassment with Jessica, slumbered partied with her, and then had to run through the Bay to Breakers to get Sunday brunch. We had a really nice lady date that afternoon, walking through downtown SF to Hog Island at the Ferry Building, where we had our own beer and oyster festival, since I didn’t make it out to the O’Reilly’s one that day. Sara’s birthday party at Buck Tavern was nice and chill, as was hanging out at the Forbidden Island (Alameda tiki bar) with Christle, Dee and Enrique.

The mixer at Foreign Cinema with the SF Chapter of Ladies Lotto was full of female bonding fun. Was great hanging out with Natalie of Ladies Lotto, Jenny of Acrimony and Terry of Evil Monito. Liz, Gabriella, Christle and I went to Beauty Bar after, and the next night went to Vessel again with the ladies (Liz, Gabriella, Katie, Lin Lin, Sarah) to see Jubilee spin at their happy hour, went to Osha for dinner, Rickshaw to catch her again, and ended the night with Hottub at the Uptown in Oaktown. Was a nice relaxing day catching up with Jesse and Sophie (foodie - writes The Supertaster) at the Ferry Building’s Farmer’s Market, and I’m really excited to try the Rancho Gordo yellow eye beans she gave me. I’m totally gonna cook them up with a with a ham hock. Mmmmmmm I can already taste it now!

On my mind this week:


I LOVE this 90210 intro!!!!


Speaking of 90210, my sister first showed me this video...HILARIOUS! BYEsies!!


I can’t wait for the show tomorrow night!!! :)


The company of wolves is best.


So simple, so perfect, so lovely. Refreshing to see true talent still exists out there in the world of new-ish music.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dragon Ladies, Pillow Books, China White...Mood: Fiery

The rest of January consisted of the first ever Bootybassment at Oasis in Oakland, where the BB crew: Errico, Liz, Danny, Moshe, Stacey, Tracie, Ryan, and Darcy shut it down literally. (Reina, Liz, and I had been there a few weeks earlier, was super crazy packed that night, like a hip hop video.) Then Amy’s birthday party at Encore Karaoke was way out of control, so good I can still hear Rick Astley...Never gonna give, never gonna give, give you up...

The Hottub album release party at Loaded at Rickshaw Stop was a really good time, helped the folks get ready, and was designated the official confetti thrower.

Dessert with Amedee, Nate, and Liz at Candybar was delightfully amazing, my faves included: Hennessy mango and sea salt smoothies, the 50/50 soju creamsicle concoction, and the sesame ice cream.
Some of our sweet treats at Candybar: Lemon Tart with Black Sesame Ice Cream, White Sangria, Choc. Creameux Cake with Thyme Ice Cream

February started nicely with me and Peter taking the fairy to Sausalito, then returning to the city only to find ourselves engulfed by the Chinese New Year parade, which quite a fun surprise for two people who had never been. And despite my tendency to get over stimulated, the floats, firecrackers, kids, and crowds were enjoyed to the fullest.

Spent most of February with a terrible cold, and then cold and all, was off to Vegas with the M.I.S.S. ladies for the trade shows: Project, Pool, Magic, and Guild. Even with the congestion, and the cold medicine brain fog, it was a good trip, and always a blast hanging out with the crew: Liz, Gabriella, Stacy Pants, Amedee, Radio Rose and Skinny Pants. And the parties: Stussy/Camp Lo party, Adidas party at the Peppermill, Fruition/A-Trak party at Planet Hollywood, and the parties that we arrive too late for and missed: Diplo at Ghostbar, another at the Encore.

Me, Gabriella, and Liz at the Project/Adidas Party - Las Vegas February 2009 courtesy of Hypebeast.com

Highlights of the trip included trying on one of Chanel’s most beautiful and most expensive bags thanks to Ruby at Encore's Chanel boutique, (diamond encrusted and white gold black alligator handbag over $260k!) – see the M.I.S.S. post here about it and also Forbes’ article.
One of the world's most expensive handbags: Chanel's "Diamond Forever" tote

Thrifting in Vegas with Liz was so much fun that I missed my flight home, but luckily the airport gods were looking out for me that night, and I was home only 45 minutes, and without any additional fees, after my original flight was scheduled to land. And thanks to Hyphy Wifey, I somehow acquired and for little money: 1 very large chinchilla stole, 5 pairs of shoes – 1 of them being ultra buttery Casadei thigh high boots!, 2 purses, 1 leather jacket, a belt, and a Dior wallet.

March was a blessed month featuring decent health and some pretty fabulous parties. The Shotwell/Jasko after party at Gallery Arcane with Spank Rock was a blast, Hottub at Detonate was out of control, and Computer Rock’s 2 Year Anniversary Party at Laszlo’s was great fun too.

Spank Rock performing at Gallery Arcane SF -
March 2009

Hottub at Detonate – SF March 2009

On my mind this week:

1. A shop in Vegas had the Samsonite Black Label/Alexander McQueen hero pulley in silver, and god knows it took quite a few minutes, and a whole lot of will power to walk away from it, and still my mind contemplates, for I am totally, uber-utterly haunted with browser’s remorse. Big sigh.

2. I’ve been cooking up all sorts of homey comfort foods lately, and have been working on perfecting my Chinese salt fish pork (a Cantonese peasant food - they usually don’t serve this kind in Chinese restaurants) a.k.a. Hom Yu, or harm you as I like to call it, which ironically seems to be the case, as studies show it gives you throat cancer when eaten in excess.

3. Speaking of things Chinese, acculturation at its finest.

4. Here’s some random family trivia: He passed away before I was born, but my Uncle Howard was married to Anna May Wong’s sister.

5. Before Amanda Lepore, there was....Amanda Lear. Doesn’t get more fabulously chinois than this!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Non-Collige Virgo Rosas...Mood: Flower Powered

“Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eye are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye.” Plato's The Republic, in Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon

Year in Review: 2008

2008 played out like a Broadway production; lots of set and costume changes, music, dancing, starts, conclusions, and the confusion that accompanies any theatrical endeavor. It was a quirky year full of random changes; good, bad, transitional, and not so transitional, propelling me into a state of instant adoption – or just needing to go with the flow.

Met many interesting new people through M.I.S.S. in 2008, and attended New York Fashion Week in September, covering fashion shows and events for the blog, which was an amazing experience in itself. Working in advertising at MNI Time Warner had been going pretty well until they decided to restructure in October, so I was laid off, which turned out to be somewhat a blessing in disguise, since I was already feeling ready for another opportunity. Dating in 2008 was packed with rapturous highs and then some abysmal lows, but I suppose that’s just the delicate nature of romance in today’s modern world. So far, 2009 has been a seemingly odd, but fun year. I keep telling Liz it’s a “year to try new things”. I’m going to stick to that mantra as well, so hopefully the following months will be filled with beautiful and wonderful things and events and states of mind, more perfect and fulfilling than ever assumed, and of course, lots of flowers too.

December 2008/Early January 2009

December had a busy start. Kira and I spent a day at the SFMOMA catching up, where Martin Puryear’s wood sculptures were the happiest I’ve ever seen, and Matthew Barney's wall drawing might have been slightly more exciting if he had incorporated greasy sandwich fingerprints or something into his work atop the walls of the SFMOMA.
Matthew Barney SFMOMA - As you can see, I’m getting better at taking pictures sans a flash. Kira’s bf, Aaron, gave me the wonderful advice to exhale deeply while snapping away.

My favorite of the day though was Katharina Fritsch's sea of black poodles/baby installation, kinda silly, kitsch at its best, with just a dash of insane - which is one of my favorite combos btw (yum, Combos, remember those delicious dog food like junk food crackers/chip things). Okay, so I digress a bit.

Anyhow, my second favorite was Robert Gober’s chest – such a gem, especially considering I’m strangely attracted to amputee looking art…

Liz, Reina, and I checked out the new Joe’s Jeans store opening downtown, and then randomly hung out with the Nike Skateboarding Team brigade (Hunter, Reese, Joey) at the Hotel Monaco, where after the longest night ever, not so great bacon cheeseburgers at 4am never tasted, well…so good. Liz’s and Trent’s karaoke b-day party at DoReMi was super fun. Afterall, can’t go wrong with homemade cupcakes, Lambic floats (Liz’s invention), and boozed up group karaoke. Scott and I saw Milk, which is an exceptional film on many levels – Sean Penn's performance, the story of Harvey Milk and the Castro, and the dire importance for the continuation of the Civil Rights Movement to secure equal rights for gays and lesbians in our terribly homophobic society. Hung out at the Attic after, where the most intimidating, yet freakishly intriguing bartender ignored us, served us, and then ignored us some more.

Julia’s wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay was a pretty spectacular event; fire pits, beautiful views of the ocean, Asian junk food, 90s/00s hip hop wedding jams, Frette bedding, orchid and antique shopping with Dee and Adrian, and killer blueberry French toast brunch at original Johnny’s (their cook randomly belts out opera!) made for a very eventful weekend.

The holidays with the Kwans are always a two-month celebration filled with parties, activities, and insane amounts of good food. My gingerbread house brothel was complete with gimps and slaves thanks to my brother, Jeff, and John. Christmas was spent at four family parties, which consisted of cooking, eating, and then crashing. My homemade Christmas gift for 2008 was home brewed Kombucha tea, something I’ve been doing since the craze started in 90s.

My jarred Kombucha Christmas gifts (left), Kombucha fungus brewing process (right)

Engulfed by a wedding, two births, a death (my grandfather, who had been dealing with cancer for the past few years), and a multitude of holiday parties with friends and family, December was a month pervaded by reflection: mortality, coupling, family values, traditions, and legacy were all topics of relevance tapping around in my head lending to the most conspicuous headache; the kind whose dull omnipresent pain is later regarded with joy and appreciation, having the same likeness that of a love hangover, but respectively erring on the side of a life hangover. My answer: Ibuprofen.

New Year’s Eve was really fantastic this year. To start, Jessica cooked up the most amazing spread for us, which included: Tater tots and caviar (a really superb combination btw), a leek confit tart, stinky cheeses, champagne, and Lambic. Then Liz and I headed off to Sophie’s where Patrick threw the most seriously awesome hyphy hip hop party I’ve been to in months. I had sooooooooo much fun, despite my hair getting soaked with champagne at midnight, though I didn’t get as drenched as hyphy wifey Liz. Thank god she was wearing leathers that night! Lex had hooked it up for us at 1015 to see Diplo. (Thanks Lex!!) Then at 4am, we ended up in Oakland, in front of a house where Hottub and the Official Tourist DJs had been, but it was all dark, and everyone was gone, so at that point we called it a night, both agreeing we had brought in the new year pretty damn right.

January started with Paula’s Poker/Ornament exchange cousin party (Christmas doesn’t end until Chinese New Year in my family). Card games make me really nervous, poker in particularly, so I channeled my inner Jennifer Tilly to help me out, which somehow worked, since I was ahead for half the game, and then won the second place pot of $30. Christle, Dee and Sara and I went to Addis for Ethiopian food, which was a great way to catch up, but not so great was almost getting caught up in the Oakland riots. The Brooklyn Circus Le Cirque event at Yoshi’s SF with Liz and the Hasans was a bizarre, but fun night, and all I have to say is going to Beauty Bar to see Tony DJ with the ladies, (Liz, Jessica, Stacy, Tara, Amedee, and Ritz) should have been called, Thirtysomethings (but not Jessica yet) Gone Wild Night. Highlights included: Jessica and I serenading each other with interpretive dances to Pulp’s “Do you Remember the First Time” and working it out to George Michael’s Freedom. We also stopped off at Amnesia, and then at House of Shields to check out Louder than Bombs’ Morrissey night, where their aggro bartender was unnecessarily rude to me and Ritz. Whatevs.

So this week, thanks to beautiful weather from scary global warming, was able to spend Sunday at the flea market with the fam, and spent yesterday afternoon with Liz eating ceviche at the beach and opening Christmas presents. La dolce vita indeed.

On my mind this week:

1. After months of contemplating a new eyeglass purchase, I finally got the Oliver Peoples Ari frames, and I'm hoping their new presence will further enhance my vision and hence, powers of observation...

2. Speaking of visions, this is quite an extraordinary one.

3. So in 2008, parts of my life were like this:

and like this...

4. It would be nice if 2009 plays out like this:



Yeah, Welcome to the Jungle pretty much said it all at this point…
(my video of Liz and Trent’s karaoke party)


This is so beautifully awesome. God Bless Pete Burns for this and for just existing.

7. In the wee morning hours of New Year’s Day, Liz and I saw this sign when she was dropping me off…

Totally "A-town Story".

Hmmmmm, maybe god will find me too this year.

Cheers to divine intervention's magical signs in 2009!!!