Thursday, June 28, 2007

Surfing in Malibu- Day 2

We went back out this past Sunday and I went with some new people. My friend Kevin, me, Yung, Chaz and Lauren went and I met Chaz and Lauren at the movie screening the night before- they are friends and co-workers with Yung at Kaiser. We are all basically beginners, except for Chaz who has been surfing on and off for some time. Again, I didn’t have time to buy my board so thanks Ly for letting me use yours—I promise I will get on it and get my own soon! This day was so nice, except the waves were really small. I know, like I am a pro or something and can even handle big waves, right? The sets were just really far apart and although every single one of us caught a wave right after getting in the water, it was like another 10 or 15 minutes until the next set would roll in. The water is getting warmer and I think I am going to buy a shorty since I don’t need a full wet suit. Who knows, in a few weeks I might not even need one at all! It was really surprising how warm the water was actually.

After about an hour or two in the water, the waves were getting weaker so we decided to paddle out to the point which looked a lot closer than it actually was! So needless to say, the next day, my shoulders were hurting so bad! It was a great time though and we are going to try and all go again soon- hopefully this weekend. Ron couldn’t make it because his knee has been bothering him but hopefully it gets better soon so he can come out and play! We missed you this weekend….

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tenants move into Rizaville…

Yes “Rizaville” as my friends call it. Vanessa started calling it that and it just caught on! Well, I finally got my house in the Philippines rented out, thanks to my agent and everything- Auntie Malou. Oh yes- and my mother too because she has been my translator/second agent. Hope you both are reading this because this is a shout out to the both of you!

I’ve never bought anything internationally and don’t think I ever would have if I didn’t have someone like my Auntie Malou taking care of everything- literally… from showing it to fixing everything around the house and finally to finding tenants. I am leaving to go there in about 3 weeks and can’t wait to finally see it in person. Here is a picture of what it looks like now- the house that is on the property- which looks nothing like it did when I first bought it. It used to be pink, with pepto-bismol colored bedroom walls but she had it painted and it looks brand new! This property is right next to my mom and dad’s place so we are neighbors! My cousin Joel and his wife Winnie and their kids live in my mom’s place and we will be staying there too since there are now people occupying the house. I have 2 little apartments to rent out still and then it will all be rented out! I am counting down the days until I fly to the PI!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Surfing in Malibu

Man, I know its been a while since I've blogged... things have been a bit hectic. I have been doing a lot of traveling and in the next couple of weeks I hope to update my blog with some fun past times, but for now I just wanted to post some pictures of us surfing a couple of weeks back.
We went to Will Rogers State Park in Malibu, a couple of miles north of the Santa Monica Pier. Its a nice place to go since the waves tend to be smaller there and it's where a lot of beginner surfers go to learn. Ron, Ly, Eric and I went up one weekend and Ron showed us the ropes... it was Eric's very first time and he did great! I have only been a couple of times before but it felt like the first time since its been about a year since I've been on a board.

The water was a bit chilly... but we were in the water for almost 3 hours so it wasn't too bad! We also met some other beginners- Geeda and Brandon and we are looking forward to surfing with those guys next weekend! I just got a new wetsuit (the f-bomb series from Rip Curl- its wayyy comfy and will totally keep you warm... you could definitely surf in this one all year round). I'll hopefully get a surfboard soon... I'm hooked!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Backstage in Culver City: HBD Ben!

Last Friday night, we celebrated Ben's birthday at this cool little dive, karayoke bar called Backstage in Culver City. It looks completely cheesy from the outside and is definitely a dive... and you wouldn't even know it has karayoke there until around 9:30 or 10pm... the screen comes down and its full on singing! We got to meet some of Ben's friends and had a group there ourselves and Ben and Joey (oh.. and Dena too!) sang there fair share of songs! It seemed like everytime they called a name out, it was either one of their names. Below is a picture of me, Kara, Vun and Dena at the birthday bash... I love this picture of me, Mike and Rick... they both look like Mr. Clean! It was nice meeting Rick this night- he is originally from Chicago and just a really genuine, all-around nice guy (Mike you are too!). Oh-- I got to give him props too because he got up to sing... and danced with the sistas too! Get low......get low, get low, get low.... ha!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Rebirth comes to LA!

Wednesday night, we went to The Mint which is a really cool, small venue here in Los Angeles that reminds us of The Maple Leaf in some ways. It only holds 250 people and its a great venue to go see shows! That night, the Rebirth Brass Band from New Orleans came to play and I invited some friends I made here in Los Angeles to get a taste of what real New Orleans music sounds like! It was a packed house! We had a great time and a couple of us brought a neck full of beads to pass out to the crowd and white hankies to wave during the show. We had about 15 of us show up and everyone had such a great time.... so great that we are going to try and catch The Preservation Hall Jazz Band coming to the mint on Thursday, July 5th (if you live here and are interested in coming along, give me a call!).Below is a pic of Mike and Ron and the next one is of me and Stu.. he is also from New Orleans (his whole family still lives there) and Miranda brought him along for us to meet! We met so many New Orleanians that night and are looking forward to partying with all of them again soon! Its great to see how many people from New Orleans are here and in the 9 months that I have lived here, its truly amazing just how many people the city has touched in one way or another. When you meet people here that have ties to the city, it instantly creates a bond like no other. They are immediately your friend and so far, everyone that I have met that has that same connection has been truly wonderful and glad to have met them. The spirit of New Orleans lives on.... even all the way over here on the west coast.

Monday, June 04, 2007

BBQ in Hermosa Beach : Memorial Day

For Memorial Day weekend, we went to a bbq down in Hermosa Beach (about 3 beaches South of me below Manhattan Beach) to meet my friend Cedric who was in town for a few days to visit his friends from Cali. It only took us about 15 minutes to get down there (I love being on the west side!) and Dena drove down there with me. I'm glad we went becauase we ended up meeting a bunch of new people that were very welcoming and fun! We stayed at the bbq for a good 6 or 7 hours before heading down to the Hermosa Beach Pier to check out some of the places down there. We spent hours playing guitar on the balcony, eating some great food and they definitely kept the drinks flowing. The best were Nick's real mango margaritas! Delicious!
So I tried to hang with the boys and played a few songs with Ben who was so fun and knew a ton of songs! He is a great singer and with Joey, Cedric and Nick accompanying him along with everyone else, it was quite a concert! I can't believe how long we were out there singing. The weather started out overcast and cloudy, then the sun busted out a little bit but went away again pretty quick.. I can't believe how chilly it was!
Here is a picture of Vunn and me at this place on the pier that has live music! I have to say that the pier was pretty cool, very scenic and I am sure there are great restaurants. However, its sort of like a mini-beachy-hollywood with the long lines, stand behind the rope, only the beautiful people can get in (ok... not really) kind of thing. Thankfully Nick and Joey knew everyone on the pier so we didn't have to stand in line but I don't know if I will be hanging out there much without those guys! Anyway, Vunn was great and will hopefully see those guys this weekend at Ben's birthday party!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Culver City Arts Walk

This past weekend, we took part in the Culver City Arts Walk which is just right next door to my hood. To school you just for a bit, technically I live in Mar Vista, which is just on the edge of Venice. Most people don't know where that is, so I just tell people I live in Venice. Next door to me right on the east side is Culver City. There aren't really any lines that define this entire area on the west side--or at least none that I know of-- but Marina Del Rey, Playa, Venice, Mar Vista, Palms and Culver are just sort of mixed in together.

Culver City is an area which I haven't really explored much except within the last month or so. This walk was a nice one to do because we walked all around Washington Blvd. that runs through Culver and all down the side streets and into the "downtown" area. In the last 5 years, this area has really grown with new galleries, eateries and businesses popping up left and right. There were 42 galleries that were included in this walk and we got to sample some great restaurants as well. I went with my friend Dena, Cordia and her friend Ruthie and then we all invited some people and had a nice group at the end of the walk. Its always nice to meet new people... especially Kevin (K-Fed) and Jack (or Jorge as we like to call him here). Here are some pictures of us at Ford's Filling Station, which is right on Washington Blvd. and is owned by Harrison Ford's son. Its a great place for cheese and olive trays, flat breads and salads. Next door there is also a great place called Tender Greens that serves awesome, healthy lunches so if you are in the area, you should check it out!
Besides the art, food and people, we enjoyed the music and finding this great little place called the Industrial Jazz Cafe that has soul food and live Jazz 4 nights out of the week! I am sure I will be frequenting this place in the near future! This is a picture of one of the bands playing on one of the corners during the artswalk... can you tell the difference between this band and one you would see in New Orleans?