January 11, 2011

Christmas in Lacon, 2010

POST #    3081

My first Christmas in Illinois with the in-laws! In previous years I was just a boyfriend or fiancé. But now a son/brother-in-law. Crazy times! As always though, it was a fantastic time with an absurd amount of gifts.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 5:43 PM



August 24, 2010


POST #    3070

Look what we did over the weekend: We got married!

The ceremony and reception was at Benmarl Winery in upstate New York. The photo above is by the wonderful Steph Goralnick, who took photos for us. Our wedding even made it into The Times (with a photo in the print edition too!). Steph's got a couple more photos online as well.

And if you're curious about our honeymoon, here's the plan: Africa! We've gotten our shots and are going to South Africa (cape town), Kenya (Masai Mara) and Tanzania (Zanzibar).

Photos when we get back, I promise!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 10:32 AM



March 30, 2010

At the Circus! Ringling Brothers at MSG

POST #    3024

Yay, the circus is in town. For the first time in ages, I went to the circus! I'm positive I went at least once as a child, but it was my first time as an adult. Sunday morning, Shannan and I went with the Epsteins to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden. It was the first time that Jonas and Willa went to the circus and Shannan's first time seeing Ringling Brothers.

And while watching the 7 motorcycles in that cage was very impressive, the greatest show on earth may have been watching Willa devour gummies off Neil's hand.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:00 PM



February 25, 2010

Eating Portland: Le Pigeon

POST #    3021

D'oh! Really, really slow in getting to these images even though I told myself that I would be better about it.

One of the "fancier" places that we ate at back in our November visit to Portland was Le Pigeon, which is barely in Southeast. I say "fancier" because in Portland, there's really no such thing (or at least that I experienced). But a reservation is recommended and I think the guy sitting next to me was actually wearing a sportscoat, thus making Le Pigeon fancy.

Le Pigeon is an intimate restaurant with an open kitchen with three chefs doing all the work. We elected to sit at the bar (I enjoy watching the pros cook) for our meal. Since the meal was so long ago, I can't really remember what we ate (oops), but we had a gnocchi to start, Shannan had the fish, and I had the beef cheek bourguignon (something always on the menu). There was also a burger at the table. I do recall that we all loved our food. My dessert was a crème brulée with what I think was a coffee pot de crème.

In 2007, Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon was named one of Food & Wine Magazine's best new chefs.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Oregon, Travel at 6:29 PM



February 18, 2010

Chinese New Year Dinner 4707/2010: Welcome Year of the Tiger

POST #    3019

We celebrated the Year of the Tiger Saturday night (New Year's Eve) with dinner at my parents apartment. As is the custom, my mom prepared a feast.

Saturday night we had ten total dishes. Pictured above is: smoked chicken, fresh loofah, lion's head meatballs (tiger's head?), shrimp, rice cakes, mini dumplings, whole fish, glutenous rice cakes. Not pictured were soy beans (maodou/edamame) and a fish ball soup.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 8:50 AM



February 8, 2010

Here's Why The Saints Won Super Bowl XLIV

POST #    3017

Because lots of people jumped on their bandwagon! But really, congrats to their fans and the city of New Orleans. I think it's fair to say that anyone who wasn't a Colts fan (or had money on the Colts) was pulling for them. It's kind of a shame that the 'Aints nickname will have to be abandoned.

Or maybe they won because of the excellent play by Drew Brees, the interception return for touchdown by Tracy Porter or Garrett Hartley's kicking abilities.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Sports at 12:21 PM



January 4, 2010

At the Lawrence Historical Society, They Know How to Party

POST #    3007

Who says the center of the universe on New Year's Eve is in Times Square? Not I! For Lawrenceville, NJ was clearly the place to be to ring in 2010. Prior to watching Dick Clark count things down (how sad was that?!?), we went to the Lawrence Historical Society's Hogmanay Bonfire. The fire was a welcome source of warmth on the drizzly night. And, as if the bonfire wasn't awesome enough, Calvin scored some tight 2010 glasses that made us the sight to be seen at the bonfire.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 3:38 PM



December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009 in Lacon

POST #    3005

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 9:49 AM



November 2, 2009

Halloween and the 2009 NYC Marathon

POST #    2991

For Halloween, which I really hate dressing up for (as an adult), Shannan made us some bobble heads. They both came out really, well and actually bobbled. Somewhat creepy though, were the eyes that were painted onto the head.

The day after Halloween was the 2009 NYC Marathon and event with almost 44,000 people from around the world running in the streets of New York. I love the marathon, but I don't think I would ever run it. So maybe I should say "I love watching the marathon."

In the 1st marathon photo, you can see eventual women's winner Derartu Tulu (blue top on the right). Leading the men at mile 12 was eventual winner Meb Keflezighi, the first American to win the NYC Marathon in 27 years. Does that guy in the 3rd marathon photo look familiar? That's because it's Anthony Edwards! You may recognize him from such movies as Top Gun and Revenge of the Nerds and TV shows like ER. If you're wondering, he does respond to people (me) yelling "Go Goose!" Edwards was running for the charity Shoe4Africa, which is raising money to build a public children's hospital in Kenya. And, yes, that last photo is of a guy carrying an Eiffel Tower replica.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos, Sports at 8:48 AM



October 31, 2009

Oooooh, Scaaaaarrrryyyyyy

POST #    2990

Two weekends ago, we went down to the Princeton area to visit Johnny and Katie at their wonderful new home. One of the fun things we did was go to a farm to pick pumpkins (they were already out of the patch) and then carve them!

From top to bottom: my pumpkin, Shannan's, Maggie's, Calvin's, Katie's, Johnny's and the fun you can have while carving pumpkins.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:45 AM



September 9, 2009

Breakneck Ridge in Hudson Highlands State Park

POST #    2984

This past Saturday we took a short drive with Calvin and Maggie upstate to hike Breakneck Ridge. Let the name scare you, for Breakneck does indeed have its scary parts. In fact, one description of the trail said, "If you deviate much from the rock ledges that comprise most of the trail, you'll fall hundreds of feet down the mountain's south face. Take utmost care on Breakneck, as carelessness has occasionally resulted in deaths." Another description reads, "while the clearly marked trail is easy to navigate even for first-timers, Breakneck Ridge may not be recommended for height-fearing folk prone to vertigo." Wonderful!

The start of the hike, a scramble up very rocky terrain, is the most difficult and time consuming. I would show you multiple pictures of the amazing view, but I was too exhausted to take out my camera more than a couple of times. For a good idea of what the climb looks like, check out this Wikipedia image. The start of the hike is from the stone structure at the foot of the mountain (left side on the Hudson River) and you essentially work your way up next to/along the exposed rock.

Once you reach the top, the trail becomes slightly easier, but the key here is to choose your descent wisely. We went with what seemed like the longest trail down the mountain. It didn't help that we got lost (despite having a trail map), resulting in an extra 1/2 miles of walking. Nor did running out of water with about two hours left on the hike help either.

If we go again, we'll probably take the shorter route down.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 12:25 PM



June 18, 2009

Willa at the Big Apple Barbeque

POST #    2973

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 5:23 PM



May 20, 2009

Shannan in the DC Metro

POST #    2967

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 1:29 PM



May 11, 2009

Ying and Pat's Wedding

POST #    2964

This Saturday, Shannan and I drove down to Maryland for my cousin's wedding at Montpelier Mansion. Since we had a 4 hour drive down to the wedding, we decided to change once we got to the wedding, which we got to just as it was starting. We sat down as Ying was walking down the isle with her father.

Lessons learned from this wedding: Don't let my uncle (or my dad, for that matter) speak at our wedding and there's a reason, the bride and groom don't traditionally speak at the wedding.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 1:08 PM



April 21, 2009

On Mountain BBQ in Vail

POST #    2960

While skiing at Vail, you can eat barbecue at 11,000' at Wildwood Restaurant. As with all the on-mountain food, it's not cheap. But if you've already eaten your homemade sandwich for a really early lunch, a late lunch of BBQ is good stuff. And since the weather was so nice on our final day, we ate our food outside in the glaring sun.

Posted by tien mao in Colorado, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 6:21 PM



March 9, 2009

Happy First Birthday, Willa

POST #    2949

Yay Willa! 1 year old.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 11:25 AM



January 7, 2009

Jonas Saves Some Cake For Later

POST #    2926

The cake that Margaret bought for Shannan was so tasty that Jonas kept some around for eating later.

Jonas actually did a very good job of washing the cake off moments after this photo was taken.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:33 PM



January 6, 2009

My Year in Photos / Project 365 For 2008

POST #    2925

On January 1st, 2008, I started out on an insane project that many other people have done: taking at least one photo every day for the entire year. After taking the photo, I eventually (usually not the next day) put them onto flickr. Some, but not all, of the photos have appeared here. But the photos are all in one set on flickr.

You may think taking a photo every day for 365 days is easy, but I actually found it really, really hard. It was extra hard in 2008 because there were 366 days.

I encourage you to take a look at the photo set that turned out. It's an interesting capsule into one year of my life.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Illinois, Mortimer, NYC, Photos, Randolph, Sports, Travel at 12:08 PM



January 2, 2009

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

POST #    2924

Woo! Or maybe good riddance? More on flickr.

It seems like we really, really loved those 2009 glasses.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:10 PM



December 30, 2008

Oh Yeah, This Happened Too

POST #    2923

"Thing" said yes.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 4:09 PM



December 29, 2008

Christmas Tree in Lacon

POST #    2922

After a horrific day of travel on the 23rd (we're talking like 15 hours to get to our final destination), we did up Christmas with Shannan's family. And I challenge anyone to show me a tree with more gifts under/around it than this one. There's a whole toy chest with gifts in it as well as some obscured gifts on the left side. It puts our tiny Brooklyn tree to shame. Shame!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 6:56 PM



December 4, 2008

Shannan Models on the Stairs

POST #    2909

I thought she was sitting somewhat model-like, so I told her to hold the position while I took some pictures.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:55 PM



December 3, 2008

Beware of the Bear

POST #    2908

You don't have to worry about the football Bears, but on occasion you have to watch out for bears walking the streets of NYC. Or drinking beer in NYC.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:07 PM



December 2, 2008

Dante in Brooklyn

POST #    2907

I've never met Dante and the last time I saw Mike and Rion was a year ago, but over the weekend, they brought Dante to Brooklyn to meet everyone. Even though Dante's everywhere on the Internet, meeting a baby in person is still totally different. I mean, I've never seen him fall, hit his head on the floor and cry in pictures, but in person I was able to see it three times! And he managed to stop crying soon after each time.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:12 PM



December 1, 2008

Food from Thanksgiving, 2008

POST #    2906

I love Thanksgiving! Too bad those football games sucked. This year, Shannan and I made garlic mashed potatoes as well as a pumpkin pie. It was the first time I made pumpkin pie and it turned out really, really good and I discovered it's absurdly easy to make.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 2:54 PM



November 17, 2008

Shannan Outside Dia:Beacon

POST #    2899

I took this picture Saturday outside Dia:Beacon. It was my time there and I must say that it was very cool.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Friends/Family, Photos at 3:59 PM



November 13, 2008

Who Likes Beer?

POST #    2898

Neil does!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 5:30 PM



November 6, 2008

Best Halloween Costume from 2008

POST #    2893

As usual, there were several great Halloween costumes, but I think this is the best one I personally saw. Dan is dressed up as the Gorton's Fisherman. Well done, Dan!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 5:54 PM



October 27, 2008

Congratulations Jori and Matty!

POST #    2886

Last night at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Jori and Matty got married! The wedding reception had the most dancing at a wedding that I've seen in a long time. I think there was maybe one song the band played that wasn't danced to. It was crazy.

And the table I was at had an insanely large centerpiece (it didn't even fit in the picture). The most popular food related item last night had to be the chocolate fountains. Right after I took this picture, people swarmed the fountain - like bees to chocolate, if you will.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 3:53 PM



September 3, 2008

Willa Hangs Out in Her Car Seat

POST #    2849

One moment she loves the camera, the next she's tired of it, and eventually she just wants to play with her feet.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 6:19 PM



August 19, 2008

Mr. T's* Community BBQ

POST #    2839

Sunday in Prospect Park, my first BBQ in that park. There was tons of food. Seriously. More than one could possibly eat.

*By Mr. T, I mean Terrance.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:35 PM



August 11, 2008

Kim and Mike's Wedding at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

POST #    2833

Whenever I go to an outdoor wedding, I always worry what the weather will be like. What happens if the couple experiences bad weather?? All those plans down the tubes. That wasn't the case Saturday evening for Kim and Mike's wedding at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The weather was beautiful and it was one of the best venues I've attended a wedding at.

There was also lots of vodka at the reception (thankfully, I didn't have much) - we're talking like 10 vodka options.

Anyway, congratulations to Kim and Mike, both of whom I've known since sometime during high school.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 2:37 PM



August 4, 2008

Willa Margaret Gets Baptised

POST #    2828

Sunday afternoon, I attended my first Baptism ever! It was for Willa Margaret and I guess it went as planned. There was crying when the priest put holy water on Willa's head, but in all fairness, the older boy also getting Baptized cried as well.

Considering all the other religious people I know with children (like 2), this could very well have been my first and last appearance at a Baptism.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:32 PM



July 29, 2008

Jonas Eats Cotton Candy at Mets Game

POST #    2824

After Jonas finished (what could have been his first cotton candy ever), he was a sticky mess. Just brushing against me left a sugar stain! Longtime readers will know that I too love cotton candy at baseball games!

And it should be pointed out that I was using a wide angle lens. Really, really wide angle.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos, Sports at 6:34 PM



July 21, 2008

Not Exactly the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

POST #    2819

There's nothing like cramming copious amounts of food down your throat on a hot and humid day. The challenge: first to 6 hot dogs (max of 10 minutes) and no reversal of fortune. That's what went down Saturday afternoon on Adam's roof, except the Marlon didn't need 10 minutes to down 6 HDB, just a little over 5:30. It wasn't really much of a contest for Marlon.

I think with training, Marlon could be a contender on the professional eating circuit.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 10:49 AM



July 14, 2008

Jason and Elena's Wedding

POST #    2814

This weekend, Shannan and I went down to Virgina for Jason and Elena's wedding. Not only was it a perfect day for the wedding (not too hot, not too humid), but it was a super fast and casual wedding. No long ceremony and I got to wear shorts. That's the perfect wedding in my book.

Not so perfect was the occasional flyover by F-15s (even though I thought it was awesome).

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 12:45 PM



July 10, 2008

Sparkler Jonas

POST #    2812

By the end of the weekend, Jonas was getting tired of having his photo taken, so he covered his face with the sparkler in the photo. Okay, not really. That kid loves to have his photo taken.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 6:03 PM



July 9, 2008

Jonas and His Bug Catcher

POST #    2811

I believe Jonas was scared of showing us the bug in the 2nd picture. Even though he was showing the bug just seconds before and after.

No bugs were harmed in the taking of these photos.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 6:48 PM



July 8, 2008

How a 2 (Almost 3) Year Old Eats a Cracker

POST #    2810

It's done by saying cheese a lot (when having your photo taken) and showing the contents of your mouth (also when having your photo taken).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 6:03 PM



July 7, 2008

Lots of Shannan, Lots of Yellow

POST #    2809

More photos of Shannan in the yellow/black and white hallway of the Olafur Eliasson exhibit at MoMA.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 5:59 PM



June 11, 2008

Eating at Peter Luger Steakhouse

POST #    2792

If you go to Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn, this is what your eating experience will look like. That is assuming you've ordered a steak for three with creamed spinach and German friend potatoes and a "Holy Cow" sundae for dessert.

That thing to the right in the 1st picture is the fish of the day. Sole, I believe it was.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC at 12:38 PM



April 24, 2008

Jonas Does Shake Shack

POST #    2762

A plain old hamburger (with lots of ketchup) and a vanilla shake.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 12:00 PM



April 9, 2008

Limes Are Sour, Learns Young Colton

POST #    2756

A lesson from his Aunt Shannan.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 6:09 PM



April 8, 2008

Jessica and Chanse Get Hitched!

POST #    2755

I've got a lot more images from their wedding, but I have to sift through them all. I especially like this image that I took. And because Shannan loves her brother so much, we're going to tag along on Jessica and Chanse's honeymoon.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 2:48 PM



March 31, 2008

Eating Cold Pizza is Best Done Pantless

POST #    2749

Pantless, yes. But with the rest of your Easter outfit on.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 8:34 AM



March 27, 2008

Jonas the Train Conductor

POST #    2747

Taken with a Holga on Easter Sunday using Illford Delta 3200 film.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Friends/Family, Photos at 5:15 PM



March 20, 2008

Holga Babies

POST #    2742

The top photo is of Shannan and Colton using the blue flash. The bottom photo is of Margaret and Willa using the yellow flash.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Friends/Family, Photos at 11:37 AM



March 13, 2008

Making Dumplings With Family

POST #    2737

Sunday night, Shannan and I went over to my parents' apartment to participate in a traditional Chinese expeience...dumpling making. I'm not sure I've actually ever done this, but apparently people all over China do this on New Year's Eve when members of the family return home for New Year's celebrations.

There are a few stations involved in the process: the dough maker/chopper, the dough flattener, the skin former, the filling stuffer, and the dumpling pincher. I'm sure there's some official terminology for the actual people in those positions and that some of these roles can be combined, but for the five of us (Aunt Bonnie was there too), that's how the roles were split and that's what I'm calling the process. The easiest job fell to me most of the night - filling the dumplings (if you know how to use chopsticks, you can do this job).

It took us a little while, but we made something like 200 dumplings - pork and shrimp with Chinese leek and pork and shrimp with Chinese cabbage. The best part about the labor intensive process of making dumplings has to be the family bonding and of course the dumpling eating afterwards.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 5:13 PM



March 3, 2008

Jonas Attempts to Eat a Rib at Hill Country

POST #    2729

Some of the meat items at Hill Country are rather large. For some reason, Jonas wasn't keen on trying much of the food (perhaps it was the ice cream that he was eating), but he did seem to enjoy the spare rib once he got his hands on it. It's unfortunate that actually eating the rib wasn't an easy task. Jonas also enjoyed dancing around on the stage with some random kids, but I don't have any pictures of that.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 10:35 AM



February 7, 2008

Chinese New Year's Feast for the Year of the Rat

POST #    2711

It's a Chinese New Year feast fit for a emperor! A king! A prince!

Last night, my mom did her yearly Chinese New Year cooking and as usual it was extremely delicious and filling. From top to bottom are: peanuts, jellyfish, chicken and something to wrap in lettuce, lion's head meatballs, eight vegetable dish, a shrimp dish, vegetables with dried scallops, a whole fish, and glutinous red bean rice cake.

Welcome, Year of the Rat!

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 4:53 PM



February 4, 2008

Mustache Makes Jonas Look All Grown Up

POST #    2708

Jonas is growing up so fast! So fast that he's got a mustache. Who cares if it's from chocolate cake!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 2:42 PM



January 7, 2008

Celebrating Shannan's Big 3-0 at The Gutter

POST #    2689

To commemorate her 30th birthday, Shannan decided to have a bunch of friends meet up to go bowling at The Gutter. She was treating 30 as a big deal, so she was happy that so many friends came out. I'm not sure how I'll be treating my 30th birthday when it rolls around in two months. Probably as just another year.

Note: There were more people than just the few pictured. There were actually LOTS of people.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 10:55 AM



December 31, 2007

Colton's Got a Tasty Glove

POST #    2684

There's nothing quite as tasty as a fleece glove to young Colton.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 9:19 AM



December 27, 2007

Colton Can Fly (With Help)

POST #    2682

Note the cute reindeer slippers!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 5:28 PM



December 26, 2007

Christmas Day in Lacon

POST #    2680

For the past few days, Shannan and I went to Lacon, Illinois (that's Lacon, like bacon) for Christmas with her family. In addition to gift giving/receiving, it was also the first time that we got to see Shannan's new nephew Colton.

Santa was good to me, because I got some mighty good gifts: a Holga camera, Guitar Hero III for the Wii, a Wiimote charging station, Top Gun (collectors edition DVD), V-MODA vibe earbuds, a copy of The Simpsons Movie, Taboo, a copy of Sneaker Freaker magazine, a nice shirt, another thin wallet (mine is falling apart), and a gift card to Pizza Hut (mmm!). Shannan and I also got a chair, some towels, and a wine refrigerator. Thanks to Santa (and those that act on his behalf) for all the great gifts!!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 10:39 AM



November 29, 2007

The Bear Celebrates a Birthday

POST #    2664

Tuesday night, Adam celebrated his birthday at Joe’s Bar. Ever fond of his bear suit, that's what he was wearing. You may remember the bear from such posts as: Wiimbledon at Barcade.

Happy birthday, bear. You furry, furry man.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 5:32 PM



November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

POST #    2661

Looking at this photo, you can kind of see what it was like at Thanksgiving for me. Sadly, you can't really taste what it was like or smell what it was like.

Pictured clockwise from the turkey are: two types of cranberry sauce (one with walnuts), garlic mashed potatoes, yams, corn with pine nuts, some strange avocado/shrimp, and green beans.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 9:35 AM



November 12, 2007

Jonas Eats the Pizza

POST #    2649

I think I've figured out one reason Jonas and I get along so well. Our mutual love for pizza (and his snacks). Though I think if he suddenly decided one day that he didn't like pizza anymore, we would probably still get along.

And if you're wondering why he looks so disheveled, it's because he was eating after he got up from his long nap.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 11:43 AM



October 19, 2007

Special Guest Cat: Bobo

POST #    2632

When my parents are on vacation, we're usually stuck with Bobo to look after. It takes her a while to come around, but eventually she's very affectionate. When she first arrives, she won't even eat her food and doesn't let anyone pet her, but by the time she's ready to leave, she's super hungry and following me around.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 3:53 PM



October 17, 2007

Is Jonas Pregnant or Is He a Dog?

POST #    2630

Toddler Soccer Interrupted from HarperBklyn on Vimeo

When asked where his baby is, Jonas will point to his belly. And with the ball, which he seems to enjoy eating, stuffed under his shirt, he really does look pregnant. Too bad he's just not built to handle pregnancy.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 3:19 PM



September 25, 2007

Perhaps a Future Michigan QB?

POST #    2613

Jack's almost 2 now, and if this play action fake is any indication, we could have a future quarterback on our hands.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 12:58 PM



September 20, 2007

My Cousin's Daughter Catherine

POST #    2609

Which makes it my...? I was never good at the whole 2nd cousin, 1st cousin once removed stuff. So confusing! That or I'm too lazy to remember how it works.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 11:47 AM



September 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jonas!

POST #    2598

Jonas threw himself a big bash on Friday to celebrate his 2nd birthday. He gathered his friends at Two Boots Pizza in Brooklyn. He got a bunch of great gifts (I got him a T-shirt and some MTA toy trains (works with Thomas and whatnot), including a nice big tricycle that made another kid in the neighborhood a little jealous.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family, Photos at 8:30 AM



August 21, 2007

Celebrating Kaoru's Birthday at Beast

POST #    2583

Friday night, we celebrated K's birthday at Beast in Prospect Heights. Not only were some of the items finger licking good, but the mussels were so good that Kate had to help herself to some of the sauce when the mussels were finished. And I don't know what it is with all the bike helmets at birthdays recently, but things devolved as the night went on.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 8:26 AM



August 9, 2007

An Early Celebration of Calvin's Birthday

POST #    2573

Calvin's birthday isn't until tomorrow, but he wanted to celebrate on a weeknight, so we went out last night for dinner and drinks. After dinner at 'inoteca (see how much Calvin enjoyed the singing of Happy Birthday?), we went out to The Back Room where a few people tried on Lauren's Stormtrooper scooter helmet.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family, Photos at 9:25 AM



August 6, 2007

Grilling it Up in Fairfield

POST #    2570

Saturday morning, we went up to Fairfield, CT to hang out with Kim, Cyrus, and James. After hitting up the beach, we hung out on their porch, eating and rehydrating. I had to come back Saturday night, but I hear Sunday was fun too. It was a fun little trip that we'll have to do again sometime.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 9:24 AM



July 24, 2007

Grandma Wong's Vegetable Stand

POST #    2559

One of our stops in Hong Kong was to the vegetable stand that Calvin's grandmother used to own (Calvin's great aunt currently runs it). While his grandmother is now in New York, the stand is still there. I thought it was a pretty cool, non-touristy stop for us.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Hong Kong, Travel at 8:22 AM



June 21, 2007

Last East Coast Playdate with Jack

POST #    2524

With Necia and Mike moving to San Francisco this week, last night was my last chance to play with Jack. It's too bad I won't be able to play with him as he grows up. When I see him in San Francisco, he'll be bigger, talking more, and all laid back-like.

I'll always remember him as a raging party dude though.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 9:32 AM



May 29, 2007

The Bustling Nightlife of Abbeville, LA

POST #    2495

[Note: To help slog through my backlog of photos (I still have some Japan photos to go through in addition to Hong Kong and Taiwan), I'm going to attempt and do two posts a day from Monday-Saturday to help work through the glut.]

No trip to the Abbeville, Louisiana would be complete without a night out on the town, right? Right? Our first night there, I was way too tired to head out after the rehearsal dinner/roast. The night following the wedding though, we went out for Tram's (pronounced Chum) birthday. I barely have a photo of her (back to camera in the 3rd picture), but our first stop was The Oaks in Abbeville. To say that the place was dingy would be an understatement. I was told that the place was the size of a trailer. It was probably closer to a double-wide. The best part wasn't the thimble-sized $1 shots, but the light they would flip on when playing rap music. If that doesn't scream classy, I don't know what does.

After a brief stop there, we went out in Lafayette. When in Lafayette, it was super crowded out as it happened to be graduation day at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 2:45 PM



May 28, 2007

Out in Lafayette, LA

POST #    2493

After the night got bad because of Jägermeister shots, there was some hitting/punching/maybe kicking of testicals. Luckily, I escaped that.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 11:42 AM



May 23, 2007

Rehersal Dinner and Roast

POST #    2489

Thuy and John's rehearsal dinner was followed by John's roast - a first for a wedding that I went to. There were lots of off colored jokes, all of which were funny. Except the one about me.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 9:16 AM



May 22, 2007

More from Thuy and John's Wedding

POST #    2488

Because photos from the ceremony weren't enough, here are some from after and the reception at the VN Hall.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 10:16 AM



May 21, 2007

Thuy and John's Wedding

POST #    2487

This weekend was Thuy and John's wedding extravaganza in Abbeville. The wedding at St. Mary Magdalen was just a small component of the whole weekend.

A lot more photos to come.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 10:17 AM



May 14, 2007

Heather and Ryan's Wedding

POST #    2480

Wedding season has begun! Over the weekend, Shannan and I went to Illinois for her friends Heather and Ryan's wedding. The ceremony was at the Luthy Botanical Garden in Peoria with the reception at the Hotel Père Marquette, also in Peoria. Shannan got to catch up with all her old high school friends and, though I was feeling ill, it was a good time.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Travel at 11:50 AM



May 1, 2007

One More from Sakura Matsuri

POST #    2467

Matty claims to be itching his beard, but I'm not so sure.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 8:00 AM



April 19, 2007

Eleanor and Dan's Wedding Thingy

POST #    2455

Oops. These photos are from almost two weeks ago. I'm a little slow.

Eleanor and Dan had a wedding-type reception deal two weeks ago to celebrate their nuptials almost a year ago. So it was kind of a wedding reception/anniversary party at Rialto. Towards the end of the night, we decided to have a little fun (maybe too many glasses of sangria?). Masako and Shannan practiced hearts, crowns, and other things. I don't think the results were too bad.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 9:18 AM



April 16, 2007

Getting Bombed at Propoganda in Roppongi

POST #    2452

In my first night out in Japan, I wasn't able to stay awake. It was bad. I would have a beer in hand and be falling asleep. The second night out I was a little better. We spent most of the night at Propoganda in Roppongi (a popular district for Gaijin). After teaching the bartender how to make an Irish car bomb, the three of us had quite a few.

The best part of being the person with the camera? You can edit the pictures of you out!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:56 AM



April 9, 2007

Beheading the Lamb of God

POST #    2445

I don't think I've ever seen a Lamb of God before, so I've certainly never seen one beheaded. Well, that all changed yesterday. It's a good thing Jonas was occupied while Margaret lopped the lamb's head off. She also made a stuffed toast (2nd image) that had cheese and bacon on top. Inside was a whole egg! It was tasty, but probably would have been even better if warm. Best food item of the day - Margaret's brandied pear dessert topping.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 9:11 AM



February 20, 2007

Welcoming 4705 and the Year of the Pig with a New Year's Feast

POST #    2394

Hello, food photos! When was the last time so many of you appeared on this site? Saturday night, we went over to Brooklyn Heights to have dinner with my parents. Also there were my cousin Julia and her husband and my other cousin Stephanie. What we encountered was a 13 dish meal (plus dessert) to help ring in the Chinese New Year. Based on the Lunar calendar, it's 4705 (2007 is so far behind) and the Year of the Pig. As we do every year, my mom made an amazing assortment of dishes. My favorite was the lion's head meatballs and the rice cakes. I could eat those every day!

See also the Year of the Dog, the Year of the Rooster, and the Year of the Monkey.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:31 AM



January 15, 2007

Wonder Woman and Friends Pay a Visit

POST #    2367

It seems like Shannan, Jess, and Mickala were digging through some old boxes and found some old Halloween costumes.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:59 AM



January 1, 2007

Faces for the New Year

POST #    2353

Resolutions for 2007? Go through my vacation photos quicker? I still have photos from our Oregon trip to go through.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 1:35 PM



December 28, 2006

Shannan and Her Brother Throw Down in Wii Boxing

POST #    2349

If there's one thing that's more amusing than actually playing the Nintendo Wii, it's watching people play the Nintendo Wii. It's like any other video game (facial expressions, sounds of joy/frustration) except amplified and exaggerated due to the nature of the motion sensitive controller design. In the Wii Sports title, boxing is pretty amusing to watch. Shannan defeated most challengers in the ring, except for one match where she lost to her brother. She even managed to K.O. someone on their first knockdown. The key to Shannan's success seemed to be punching as frantically as humanly possible without breathing until knocking someone down, being knocked down, or the end of a round.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Sports, Tech at 7:53 AM



December 14, 2006

Olive Media Holiday Party

POST #    2339

It's the holiday party season! Last night, I went over to Olive Media's holiday party, which was held at their offices. There might have been some photocopying of butts, but that's the best part of a holiday party held at the actual office, no? I did learn that Olive puts people to work at a young age (they need to check his papers), those employees then go on benders and return to work drunk!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:04 AM



December 7, 2006

Santa Comes a Tad Early

POST #    2330

Monday night, I went to The Wonderfactory's holiday party at Bottino. Santa even made an early appearance, but the funny thing was that he's skinny! You would think that he'd be hard at work in the North Pole or fat, but no.

- A couple more photos on flickr

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:06 AM



November 28, 2006

At Least We Had Turkey

POST #    2320

I showed this picture to Shannan and she said, "Where are the mashed potatoes? Where's the pumpkin pie?" Well, at least we had a turkey. Clockwise from the turkey is the cranberry sauce (homemade, though I prefer canned), Asian sweet potatoes, green beans, sweet corn with pine nuts, yams. We didn't have stuffing either - which is fine by me as I'm no fan of stuffing. I thought everything we ate was great and the turkey was very juicy.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:47 AM



November 27, 2006

"I better be on your webpage tomorrow."

POST #    2319

I recognized less than 50% of the people at the Woolworth Tower Kitchen Saturday night at my 10 year high school reunion. It seemed like there were about 200 people crammed into the space mingling and asking the question, "what are you up to these days?" My standard answer, "you know, not much." Perfect when you haven't seen most of the people in 5 years.

I didn't take out my camera until Sue (pictured in the center and with a fun name) demanded I take her picture.

Posted by tien mao in Education, Friends/Family at 8:24 AM



November 8, 2006

The Many Faces of John III

POST #    2301

From the trip to Michigan. John (or Jack as he's called) has a lot of facial expressions. I think the first came after I stared eating his cereal-like treats. But once I started feeding them to him, it was all good.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:42 AM



November 7, 2006

Joe's Bagels in Harlem

POST #    2300

Okay, so "Joe's Bagels" isn't an actual store, but it could be. On Saturday Joe invited a few people to make and eat bagels at his apartment in Harlem. He had the dough made before everyone got there and it had extra gluten in it. Everyone rolled their dough, formed bagels, applied toppings, and waited for the end result. How did they taste? Pretty damn delicious. Whether or not they were better than the best bagels in New York is hard to say as they were fresh out of the oven.

Because the bagels weren't enough deliciousness, Joe also made apple pie and pumpkin ice cream with ginger chunks.

Joe was so prepared for the event (maybe overly) that he'll be eating creamcheese all week! For a more detailed analysis on the whole process we went through, check out Bagel in Harlem.

A few more photos in my flickr set.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:50 AM



October 30, 2006

Soktoberfest 2006

POST #    2293

Another excellent Soktoberfest! Last year, Calvin wore a pair of toe socks and this year there were lots of toe socks. I find them kind of creepy - they're like hands!! The best socks were Christina's shark socks. We even had a rhino on the loose early on during the party.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:52 AM



October 24, 2006

Playing Chubby Bunny

POST #    2288

Friday night at the hotel and Saturday before the game, there were some hilarious games of chubby bunny. What's chubby bunny, you ask? Well, you stuff a food item in your mouth and say 'chubby bunny' afterwards. Kristin and Schreiber played first with Schreiber easily winning that competition. Later, I played against Shannan and Mickala, which I won despite shoving one less mini powdered doughnut in my mouth. They both shoved six in their mouth and I put five in my mouth (I could have had one more, but Shannan had one doughnut, gave up and started over). They lost because they didn't swallow after putting six doughnuts in their mouth. I had no problems with that.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:05 AM



October 11, 2006

Ladies Love the Gay Adult Website

POST #    2275

Some sounds that emanated from the crowd around the computer included: "eewww," "ughhh," and even a "mmmm."

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:36 AM



October 9, 2006

The Big Pig Gig at Daisy May's BBQ

POST #    2271

Friday night, I gathered a bunch of people to Daisy May's BBQ on the West Side to join me in their Big Pig Gig. While it's a little expensive, it's a very unique experience and the food is very good. The whole pig is so moist and very tasty. In addition to the whole hog, we also had the pork butt, which I didn't like as much as the pig. With all the sides and meat, I think it's safe to say that we were all full afterwards.

If you didn't get your fill of pictures, there are some more in the flickr set.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:24 AM



September 25, 2006

Catching Up with Jonas

POST #    2254

I missed Jonas's first birthday party because I was on that Oregon vacation, so I paid Jonas and family a visit yesterday. We all grabbed lunch, Jonas got mostly naked, he took a nap, and I got to hear him say things like yeah and uh oh.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:31 AM



August 30, 2006

Brynn and Whalen's Wedding

POST #    2229

One of the reasons we went to Oregon was to attend Brynn and Whalen's wedding. The beautiful wedding was at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland. They did this unique thing where members of their family and wedding party each contributed a flower to a vase for a community bouquet (3rd picture) that they would have to remember their special day. The reception took place later that evening at the Governor Hotel.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 7:44 AM



August 14, 2006

A Wine Tour of the North Fork

POST #    2223

While last Sunday was Eric's birthday, he and his wife organized a trip to the North Fork of Long Island this past weekend to celebrate. Of course we had to travel in an H2 limo. Nothing like gas-guzzling, prom-style class. We had some major problems with our limo driver: he was an asshole, two of the vineyards we went to wouldn't accept large groups without appointments (he said we didn't need any because he knew all the places), and he charged more than the contracted amount. Despite those problems, the trip was fun as we went to 3 vineyards (and not the promised 5). Oh, and the douchebag driver was also talking on his phone while driving (not handsfree) and looking at a map while driving.

And in case you didn't notice, there was some tasty macaroni salad.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:51 AM



August 3, 2006

Celebrating LP's Birthday

POST #    2212

Last night, an intimate group of people went out to celebrate Lauren's actual birthday (she'll have another celebration later) with some food and a little beer.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:09 AM



August 2, 2006

Shannan Puts Her Muscles to Work

POST #    2211

...by lifting very light pieces of wood.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:45 AM



July 10, 2006

Tasty Burgers, Tasty Faces

POST #    2184

At the Gothamist-A Hamburger Today QBQ BBQ last month. Perhaps some pictures of the tasty food tomorrow. And I think that 2nd picture is one of my favorite pictures ever.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 7:59 AM



July 5, 2006

Babies Galore!

POST #    2178

It was baby craziness yesterday with not one, but two babies in my apartment. Jonas came over and Jack came over a little later. It seems like Jonas likes kittens and Jack likes to follow Jonas around. If you're wondering, I believe the two are about a month apart.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:35 AM



July 3, 2006

Calvin's Castle of White Castle

POST #    2176

It was the yummiest castle-like creation around. I could eat another half of that castle right now. All in our preparation to split a crave case.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:46 AM



June 26, 2006

Jesse's Juicy Elbow

POST #    2170

Jesse was injured a little while ago in a nasty spill on his bike. He's been chronicling the recovery process on Flickr. It looks nice and juicy, eh?

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:46 AM



June 12, 2006

Matt Is One Sexy Bitch; Two Awful Days for Food Diary

POST #    2155

Matty is so sexy that I'm just not sure what to say.

I've had two crazy days of eating. Saturday was a group trip to Belmont, affectionately called Hellmont. It was a bus of 56 people and lots of alcohol. Sunday, I went to a barbecue in Palisades Park in New Jersey.

2006 Food Diary, Day 5
10:15 a.m.: Miller Light, everything bagel with scallion cream cheese.
10:44: Milwaukee's Best
11:56: Miller Genuine Draft
12:19 p.m.: One cup Chatham Artillery Punch, which includes: win, rye whisky, gin, rum, brandy, grenadine, tea, brown sugar, and champagne.
12:28: 1/4 ham and cheese sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion.
12:34: Small piece of brownie
1:27: Half cup of punch (the other somehow fell out of my hand)
2:40: Two handfulls of Cracker Jack
2:43: Potato chips
5:52: Sausage and peppers
7:03: Half a plain bagel
7:10: Vitamin Water (Power-C)
7:43: ~20 Pringles, 1 Sapporo
10:19: 2 strawberries, 1 glass water, 1/2 mango

2006 Food Diary, Day 6
9:46 a.m.: Tea egg, cup of water
11:16: 20 oz bottle of Coke
12:00 p.m.: Blue Corn Tostidos
12:11: Rice Crispy treat
12:21: BBQ chips, Blue Corn Tostidos with salsa
12:34: Hot dog with ketchup
12:39: Cheeseburger with ketchup and onion, potato salad
12:51: Corn
1:02: Hot sausage
1:53: One piece of beef from a shish kebab
1:54: BBQ chicken
2:03: 2 cups Pepsi
2:09: Pound cake with strawberry topping and vanilla ice cream
3:51: 1 cup Pepsi
3:56: 2 chicken drumsticks
6:10: 2 gulps of water
6:38: 2 gulps of water
7:42: Handful of popcorn
8:39: 2 gulps of water
9:01: 2 gulps of water
9:25: Hoegaarden with lemon
9:57: Regular pizza, 6 slices, with pepper, 1 slice, with pepperoni, 2 slices.
10:30: 8 oz of water
11:07: Pint of water

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:59 AM



June 7, 2006

Calvin and Jess Graduate; Food Diary Returns

POST #    2151

Believe it or not, Calvin graduated from Brooklyn Law yesterday. Jessica, his sister also graduated, but with many, many honors. Both of them will be great lawyers, especially as they will never be late for a deposition, meeting, or court date (they might not ever have these) because of their fancy graduation gifts from their parents.

Also yesterday, Youngna pointed out a New York Magazine article which details the eating habbits of 5 New Yorkers over a week. Longtime readers may remember that I did this for a week back in 2004 when the NY Times had an article about Tucker Shaw. Shaw had been keeping track of everything he ate in photos and was also the co-author of the New York article. This time, no photos of everything, just a list every day of the previous day's items and maybe some photos.

So I invite those of you who wonder how I'm not 500 pounds (my clothes hide the extra weight well) to follow along and compare what you eat to what I eat.

2006 Food Diary, Day 1
9:00 a.m. - Work, everything bagel with cream cheese from BP, can of Arizona Green Tea with ginseng and honey (the ginseng makes it healthy)
9:56 - Work, started 24 oz of water from my Nalgene bottle. Finished at 10:56.
10:49 - Work, Portuguese egg custard from Egg King Custard Cafe. I have no idea how the Portuguese egg custard is different than a regular one. It just seems to be burnt and heavier. I need to do a side by side comparison.
12:37 p.m. - Turkey sandwich from BP. Including tomato, lettuce, mayo, cheddar cheese, smoked turkey on a multi-grain bread. 26 oz of water from Nalgene. Finished at 2:14.
3:20 - Chinese milk candy
3:26 - Chinese milk candy
3:31 - Starting on 18 oz of water to get that nasty milk candy taste out of my mouth. Finished at 6:00.
7:19 - Oriental Garden Seafood Restaurant for Calvin and Jessica's graduation party. 2 cups of Coke, 1 cup tea, pickled vegetables, one shrimp, 1 glass red wine, 2 sea scallops with mayo, 2 bowls fish soup, fish, squab and chinese broccoli, 2 crab legs, lobster with noodles, 2 bowls rice wrapped in lotus leaf, 2 pieces of watermelon, a mini almond cookie, a mini moon cake-like ginger thing.
10:02 - Palais Royale, 32 oz of Bud Light
11:14 - Palais Royale, 32 oz of Bud Light

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:52 AM



June 5, 2006

Guns On Display at Roller Derby

POST #    2148

While there were lots of guns on display, none were more intimidating than Shannan and Christina's.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 7:52 AM



May 23, 2006

Julia and Jeremy's Wedding

POST #    2134

Saturday evening, my cousin got married on her rooftop. The ceremony was intimate with about 30 or so family and friends on the roof of their building. After the ceremony, Julia and Jeremy had the reception in their apartment (still the nicest I've been to in Brooklyn). They are currently in Italy for their two week honeymoon.

Two weddings down, two more to go. It seems like wedding season is in full swing. The good news is that I don't have as many this year as I did last year.

- A lot more photos in my Flickr photoset from the wedding.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 7:54 AM



May 11, 2006

Christina is Getting OLD

POST #    2124

I shall ignore the fact that she's actually younger than me, but dram, she's OLD. Last night, Christina celebrated her 20-somethingth birthday at Trailer Park. Why there? Because as we drove by it a couple of weeks ago, she proclaimed "that place would be perfect for my birthday party." And it was - especially since her boss was nice enough to pick up the tab.

And Christina loved the strawberry-rhubarb cake so much that she just had to lick the pan clean.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 8:07 AM



May 8, 2006

Me at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

POST #    2119

This always happens. I say I haven't done something here and my parents are all "yes, when you were so and so age, you went." Last week, I said I've never been to the Cherry Blossom Festival before, but of course I was wrong. And these are the pictures to prove it. I was two months in the first picture and four in the 2nd. There's also this picture from when I was 3 with a nice Tonka truck.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 7:58 AM



May 2, 2006

The Sakura Matsuri Festival (Cherry Blossom) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

POST #    2116

Sunday afternoon, a group of us went to take in the Sakura Matsuri Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Screw the flowers, the highlight of the day was clearly Jonas. I don't think I've ever been to the festival before [note to mom: going while I was Jonas' age may count, but I don't remember], so it was quite an enjoyable time despite the throngs of people.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 7:53 AM



May 1, 2006

Corie and Alexis Celebrate in Red Hook

POST #    2115

Saturday in Red Hook, Corie and Alexis celebrated their upcoming nuptials with a bunch of friends in a truly unique way. They had a marching band and a procession of their friends walk from the waterfront to a local bar. It was a great way to get all their friends together before their family ceremony this weekend. Bravo for the brilliant vision, Lex.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 7:58 AM



April 17, 2006

Jen and Jay's Wedding Reception

POST #    2103

Jen and Jay were already married a couple of weeks ago in Hawaii (yes, fancy), but over the weekend, they had their reception at Battery Gardens New York. It was a perfect night for the reception, making it possible to use the outdoor area of the reception venue. The bride and groom looked great (one a little more tan than the other) as did Jonas. But his friend Blue Bear seems to have a little problem.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:59 AM



April 12, 2006

Happy Early Birthday Matty!

POST #    2100

Oh that Matty. So, so young. Matty had a bit of an early celebration for his birthday yesterday as he'll be away on his actual birthday on Friday. It seems like he tried to re-enact his mozzarella eating, but it's just not the same. He gathered a whopping 17 people for a dinner at Frank.

Food pictured is the antipasto, garlic bread with anchovies, black linguine (black with squid ink!) with calamari, and the skirt steak. All very tasty. The garlic bread could have used some more garlic though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:58 AM



March 9, 2006

Two Faces from Cogs

POST #    2062

And she wasn't even drunk when making these. Just deliriously tired.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:40 AM



March 2, 2006

The Wong's Big 3-0

POST #    2058

Thirty years of marriage is an amazing thing. So amazing that singing karaoke is probably the perfect thing for it. That and having your son stuff his face with cake.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:06 AM



February 27, 2006

Calvin Just Loves the Camera

POST #    2053

I kind of wonder at what point Calvin will stop posing for the camera...maybe after seeing the pictures of his new glasses and his injera mugging.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:02 AM



February 20, 2006

JK's Birthday

POST #    2052

Saturday night we went out to celebrate Johnny's birthday (he's old) even though it's actually this Wednesday. As a gift, here's his huge face on this site. Lovely, no?

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 8:18 AM



January 30, 2006

Happy New Year! The Year of the Dog and 4704/4703

POST #    2032

Arf! Arf! Bow wow wow yippee yo yippee yay. Hmm, can't think of anymore. Over the weekend, we celebrated Chinese New Year with some crazy eating. Pretty much the same as last year (the title of my post is even the same). The food did change slightly though.

On this year's menu: beef with eggs, "lion's head" meatballs, whole chicken soup, shrimp, duck, eight assorted vegetables, a whole fish, and glutinous rice cake. Not pictured are the cumquats.

And for more, check out food pictures from last year (year of the Rooster) and the year before (year of the Monkey).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:55 AM



January 26, 2006

Friends All Over the Place

POST #    2027


Last night, my friend Margaret was on Jeopardy!, which I think is one of the best game shows on TV. I remember watching it during dinner when I was a kid, but from what I understand, playing the game in real life is much harder than watching at home. There's the clicker, the penalty for clicking early, and of course the prospect of making a fool out of yourself on national television.

Margaret, however made her hometown in New Hampshire proud. She was up against a Naval officer and some bald two-day champion. That Navy guy was such a jackass, building off Margaret's "Happiness is a Warm Gun" answer. Not only that, he had a retarded story about how he got out of a ticket on a Saturday. It certainly didn't match Margaret's story about how Steve proposed to her on the Jumbotron of Yankee Stadium. I especially like how Margaret is "from" New Hampshire but actually lives in New York. And can I just ask how the answer for the $2000 baseball answer was "Commissioner Bud Selig is a former owner of this Midwestern Major League Baseball team" - come on! That's just tooo easy. Despite coming in 3rd behind douchey Navy dude and cue ball, you can't help but be impressed. Despite watching plenty of Jeopardy as a kid, I'm not sure I could have made it all the way to Final Jeopardy. I just wonder what her parting prizes were. Clearly Margaret needs to do an interview with me so I can find out all the juicy details.


Another pair of my friends - Jeannette and Yvan - are currently selling their apartment in DUMBO. They even have a nice looking website to show prospective buyers their apartment. I must say, their apartment cleans up nice. It looks like they put a lot of stuff in storage and I don't know that I've ever seen it so clean. They don't even have the extra bed in their living room that I've slept on before. And I'm not sure if I've ever seen their bedroom (pictured) so well lit before.

Also, showing the house over Chinese New Year is a nice touch - they won't even have to sweep after people come. That would be bad luck!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, TV at 7:58 AM



January 3, 2006

New Year's Eve Dinner at Casa de K

POST #    2001

Before heading over to Mark's party, we went up to dinner at Katie and Johnny's. On the menu was a really tasty osso buco using a crock pot (!!) and an excellent creme brulée. Sending out the 2005 with a delicious meal was a good way to go. But lesson to the wise, champagne can be dangerous.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:02 AM



January 2, 2006

New Year's at Mark's

POST #    2000

Saturday night, I went over to Mark's place (well, his family's apartment) for a gigantic, slightly-wild, party. It might have been the biggest New Year's Eve party I've ever been to. And in the nicest New York apartment I've ever been to. One of my earlier memories of that apartment was watching the Knicks and Rockets in the NBA Finals as OJ Simpson cruised around Southern California in his Bronco.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 11:46 AM



December 28, 2005

Christmas Dessert

POST #    1995

After eating an insane amount of food for dinner, we moved onto dessert which included a Bûche de Noël from Bouley and a tiramisu cheesecake from Fairway. The Bûche was a Bûche Jivara (milk chocolate and vanilla) and was really, really good. The tiramisu cheesecake was good, but it was just overkill. Combining the two is pure madness.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:15 AM



December 27, 2005

Christmas Dinner

POST #    1994

Sunday night, I went over to J-Dub's as he and Jen graciously played host for a Christmas dinner. They ordered an insane amount of food from David Bouley's Boulet Bakery. It was an insane amount of food, especially purees. On the menu for dinner was a lobster bisque, string bean and walnut salad, butternut squash puree, potato puree, zucchini mint puree, chestnut puree, roasted chicken and a roasted pork loin. See? Insane amount of purees. Needless to say, I'm pureed out for the rest of the year.

Pictured are the butternut squash puree, zucchini mint puree, string bean walnut salad, Bouley's signature bread, the pork loin and roasted chicken. And yes, the zucchini mint puree was kind of strange tasting, but not in a bad way. Just something I've never had before. I'm not sure I could taste zucchini at all.

Tomorrow, pictures of dessert including a really tasty Bûche de Noël.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:00 AM



December 21, 2005

Duncan the Dog

POST #    1972

A few weekends ago, while visiting baby potato (Jonas), I also took some pictures of Duncan. I've read that Duncan is a little sad with all the attention that Jonas is getting. Since Jonas, who is thankfully okay after a bout with the big P (no, not penis), wasn't cooperating with me while I was holding him, I was more than happy to give Duncan a little attention.

I think Mortimer is now extremely jealous. "What the hell? Another pet on your blog? And a dog at that? For shame, Tien, for shame."

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:06 AM



December 6, 2005

His Name is Jonas

POST #    1970

Over the weekend, I finally made a visit to Margaret and Neil's to visit Jonas. It didn't seem like Jonas liked it very much when I was holding him as he pretty much started to cry within 5 minutes of being put into my arms. I think it's okay though, we're still cool.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:03 AM



November 29, 2005

Baby Jack

POST #    1966

The last time I probably held a baby was when I was a young child. What I discovered when I held Jack is that babies are damn heavy. It's like an arm workout that tires you out in 15 minutes. Holding Jack a couple days after these photos, I think he pooped himself. I couldn't tell if that was his "natural" smell or if he actually pooped.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:59 AM



November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving '05

POST #    1962

Mmm...Thanksgiving. It's a good thing there were lots of leftovers, because I can eat the meal all over again for the rest of the weekend. Okay, not all of the meal. Just a couple of items.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:55 AM



November 15, 2005

Janelle Can Multitask

POST #    1950

Did you know that Janelle can walk, eat a bagel, and smile all at the same time? Yep, it's true. I witnessed it on marathon Sunday.

The photo was previously buried in that huge flickr marathon set.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 7:59 AM



October 23, 2005

The Socks of Soktoberfest

POST #    1928

Alert for all the sock fetish people out there! Are there even people with sock fetishes? Well, if so, here are some socks from last night's Soktoberfest.

And if you think that 6th photo is disturbing, you should see the other angles and be grateful you didn't see it in person.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 10:52 PM



October 22, 2005

Tailgating a Week Ago

POST #    1923

From one week ago when I was in Michigan. Yes, that is a huge match lighter. It was actually pretty awesome. And yes, that's a gummy worm hanging out of Andrew's mouth while he's drinking beer.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Sports at 9:48 AM



October 18, 2005

Michigan vs Penn State at Michigan Stadium

POST #    1918

This past weekend, I made my annual trip to Michigan for a football game at my alma mater. The football season started with such promise, but it's been largely disappointing. Saturday's match-up was between a top-10 ranked Penn State team and an unranked, .500, 3-loss Michigan team. With 111,248 other people in attendance (including a few thousand Penn State fans), I witnessed my best game at Michigan Stadium ever. Our tickets in the South end zone were pretty good as far as endzone tickets go, but much of the first half action was at the far end of the field. Lucky for us, and unfortunately for Penn State, the deciding play took place in front of us.

The first half was mostly uneventful. A couple of missed field goals by Penn State, one by Michigan and a field goal in the 1st that gave Michigan a 3-0 lead that lasted into the 3rd quarter. In the 4th quarter, things got exciting as the two teams combined to score 39 points. Towards the beginning of the 4th quarter, Penn State scored 14 points in 17 seconds. The first was on a Michael Robinson rushing TD (he was virtually unstoppable) and the second on a fumble return for touchdown. At this point, the Michigan crowd was pretty stunned. And if that wasn't bad enough, Penn State picked up 2 points on a botched PAT. At this point, the visiting crowd was going crazy.

Luckily, Michigan answered with a touchdown of its own as Chad Henne threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham. Michigan added another field goal to go up by 3 with 3:45 remaining in the game. Way too much time for Penn State. Especially considering Michigan's obscenely soft prevent defense. Robinson scored another touchdown that put them up 4 with 53 seconds remaining in the game.

At this point, there were some Michigan fans leaving, but with 2 timeouts, it the game was hardly over. Those that stayed witnessed one hell of an ending. After a huge kickoff return by Steve Breaston, Michigan drove 53 yards and used all 53 seconds on the clock to get to pay dirt. The game was won on a last second (literally) pass from Henne to Manningham that left Penn State fans and players devastated (their undefeated season gone) and Michigan fans and players going crazy. Final score, Michigan 27, Penn State 25.

The victory was Michigan's 7th in a row against the Nittany Lions and led to chants of, "We own Penn State!" (Penn State fans chant "We are Penn State!" all the time, which is clearly necessary because their uniforms and helmets don't say anything.)

- Michigan vs Penn State set on flickr, which has a lot more photos from the game

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Sports, Travel at 8:07 AM



October 12, 2005

Happy Birthday, Jeannette

POST #    1911

Yesterday was Jeannette's birthday, so her thoughtful husband Yvan gathered a bunch of people for some karaoke fun at Japas 38. It was a lot of fun, especially with the all you can drink sake and beer. As you can see, Jeannette likes to sing and shake her booty.

But any rumors of me singing are just that. Rumors. Nothing but innuendo from people trying to drag my name through the mud! So don't believe them no matter what they say!

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 8:05 AM



October 2, 2005

Dinner in PA

POST #    1898

There's nothing quite like outdoor dining. It's even better when the food is made for you. The only problem with it is that tasty food goes cold after about 5 minutes.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 11:53 AM



October 1, 2005

Photobooth Fun, Take 2

POST #    1897

A couple of days ago, a few of us went out for some more photobooth adventures. Thankfully, there wasn't any Dobkin skin exposed, so it made for a much better evening.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 11:07 PM



September 27, 2005

Jennifer and Rutledge's Wedding

POST #    1894

Over the weekend I went down to Virginia for my last wedding of the year! Thank the lord!! Jennifer and Rutledge had a "designer's wedding" - with lots of meticulous details (the program alone looks insanely complex). There was a possibility of some rain, but it passed and then held off for the actual wedding.

But really, as great as weddings are, I'm happy I have no more to attend this year. It's a drain on the wallet and I've travelled pretty far for most of them. I'm happy for all my friends that wed this year, but next year has to be the year of no weddings.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:10 AM



September 14, 2005

Kristan and Josh's Wedding

POST #    1876

One more wedding down, one more to go. Last Saturday's wedding was for Kristan and Josh and in a seated clearing of a campground. It's getting closer and closer to that winter snow wedding that I would find ideal. Too bad it was 90 with no breeze.

I honestly can't wait for all these weddings to be over. As beautiful as they are, there should be a maximum number of weddings a person can go to in one year. I would like that number capped at 3. So to all my friends, I tell you now, I can only go to three weddings in 2006. I can take only so much joy and happiness.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 8:08 AM



September 8, 2005

Josephine and Eric's Wedding

POST #    1871

The main reason I was in San Francisco this past weekend was for the wedding of a childhood friend. I've known Eric ever since we were infants and it was great to see him get married. What's also great is that I'm halfway home in the number of weddings I'm going to this year and I'm done with my groomsman duties for the rest of the year! Of course, this shouldn't detract from the beautiful wedding that Joey and Eric had as well as the vows he gave that seemed to stir up the allergens in the air.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 7:58 AM



August 31, 2005

Necia and Mike on Long Beach

POST #    1866

I've never been a big fan of the beach. Sand gets everywhere, it's usually hot when you're on it and sand gets everywhere. If I had to pick an outdoor wedding venue, I always think winter, snow, forrest, but with Necia and Mike's ceremony a couple of weekends ago, I suppose I can see the beauty in a beach wedding. I just choose to ignore the fact that I'm still finding sand around the house.

And if you want to see more than 200 more photos of the wedding, there's a set on Flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:53 AM



August 27, 2005

On the Blue Wall

POST #    1861

On our way to dinner, a blue wall. The same blue wall that just had its graffiti cherry popped. Incidentally, you can see the building's structure during construction in the 4th photo in this entry.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 5:23 AM



August 24, 2005

Photobooth Fun

POST #    1856

Last night, Jake, Janelle, Jason, Jesse, Youngna and I (eventually Shannan too) went to check out a couple photobooths in Brooklyn. Our first stop was Enid's followed by Union Pool. Fun times had by all.

The actual photos from the photobooth were scanned in by Youngna and can be seen here.

As far as I know, photos 2 and 3 are by Youngna and the last one is by Jesse?

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:05 AM



August 13, 2005

Celebrating Calvin's Birthday

POST #    1842

Last night, a bunch of people celebrated Calvin's birthday. While it wasn't his actual birthday (that was on the 10th), it was still a good time. Dinner at Paprika (I had the meatballs again) followed by drinks at Musical Box.

As a great present, we get to row in the Dragon Boat race today. Fun! Yay!

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 7:58 AM



August 9, 2005

Sunrise in Cancun

POST #    1829

Some people were up really late the first night I got to Cancun, essentially staying up all night. I went to bed at 2 am, much earlier than not sleeping at all. Why on earth did I get up early enough to see the sunrise? Because we were going deep sea fishing that morning. So while others may have partied all night, I managed to get a minimal amount of rest that certainly helped later that morning.

And yes, Eric (the bachelor) looks a little tired and drunk.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 7:49 AM



August 1, 2005

Digging the New Digs or Just Confused By Them

POST #    1820

Too tired to come up with a real post, but after a busy weekend and some crazed moments, two residents of Virginia are now in New York. Relief. No more moving necessarily. But there is now fun with cat hair and furballs. Joy!!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, House and Home at 7:50 AM



July 16, 2005

A Bizarre Night at the Brooklyn Brewery

POST #    1799

I love the Brooklyn Brewery, and why wouldn't I? It's close to home, the beer is good and reasonably priced, it's a fun atmosphere, and you can have pizza delivered. Last night, however, was odd. Apparently, they do karaoke at Brooklyn Brewery once a month (which is odd enough), but last night was a "showcase" of amateur singers, which to me is odd. Are the Friday happy hours at the brewery not successful enough that you have to add another component to it? Are they not fun enough? The singing made it so loud in the brewery that it was hard to carry on a conversation.

Our group, including a temporary pirate, forged on. There were some drinking games (Kings and a failed attempt at Asshole), some Chinese Poker, which I probably haven't played in about 8 years, and some regular poker. Kings was very hard to play with all the noise and it's a game where you actually have to hear people.

And if the whole singing thing isn't odd enough, towards the end of the night, there was dancing. Dancing! There was some Hova playing and there were people were grinding. It was all kind of disturbing. I wonder if the brewery has a cabaret license...hmm.

Not enough oddness? Well, they are having a speed dating event today. Speed dating in Williamsburg? Hipsters roll in their graves!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 11:18 AM



July 14, 2005

Parental Pond

POST #    1796

Last year, my parents had a pond built in their yard in Pennsylvania. In my pictures from last Ocotber, you can see that it was pretty barren besides the landscaping around the pond. Now, there's lots of algae that has grown on the rocks, making the pond and waterfalls much prettier. And I can confirm that there are fish and they did survive the winter.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, House and Home, Photos at 7:55 AM



July 7, 2005

More Sparklers

POST #    1786

It seems like we just can't stay away from sparklers when we go to Pennsylvania.

See the last set of sparker photos and my "Not Macy's" set on Flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:52 AM



July 5, 2005

Even Less Need for Macy's

POST #    1783

More fun in Pennsylvania with fireworks. Every year the Macy's fireworks look the same, but with backyard fireworks, you get to light them yourself, a satisfaction I just don't get from Macy's. That and the risk of blowing my fingers off. But it was all very safe. Really, it was.

Compare and contrast with the pictures from the 20D.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:43 AM



July 1, 2005

Nighttime Sparklers

POST #    1782

One more set from last Saturday night. Gotta love that 20D and ISO 1600. Look dad, no graininess!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 11:32 AM



Who Needs the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks...

POST #    1781

when you can do your own 25th of June fireworks. From last weekend with the 20D.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:59 AM



June 27, 2005

Curios in PA

POST #    1775

Over the weekend, I headed to my parents' house in Pennsylvania with some friends. Yvan brought along his Canon 20D and I took the opportunity to take some pictures. I've got to say that it was very, very, very nice. The "film speed" and quality of the photos is great. It's almost like you can't take a horrible picture with the camera. That's not to say that I didn't take any of those.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, House and Home at 7:42 AM



June 8, 2005

A Blast From the Past

POST #    1750

About nine years ago this month, and some 100 pounds since then, Calvin, Johnny and I graduated high school. After seeing us together in some of the photos from Johnny's wedding, my parents sent these photos to me.

And my hair is only parted like that because of the mortarboard.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:04 AM



June 1, 2005

Wedding Related Food From the Weekend

POST #    1733

The top two are from the rehearsal dinner when I had to order the key lime pie (that's something I have to order if it's available). Dinner at the wedding is pictured in photos 2-5. It was a pear salad, some steak related item with tasty mashed potatoes, and a chocolate containing wedding cake.

Many more photos on Flickr including the wedding cake before it was cut and the awesome looking groom's cake which I didn't get to try.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:09 AM



May 31, 2005

Kristin and Dan's Wedding

POST #    1730

Over the weekend, I headed over to Philadelphia for Kristin and Dan's wedding. As if being in a wedding last week wasn't responsibility enough, I was the best man for Dan's wedding. I must admit that being the best man was a semi-horrifying experience. Standing up in front of about 160 people, maybe 15 of which I knew, was quite nerve-wracking. But I suppose these are the things you do for friendship. During the ceremony, Kristin even corrected the Rabbi during the Kidddushin, which must have been a first. The only problem with the wedding was Dan and his weight. It was quite a task lifting him up in his chair. I am proud that he never did hit the floor though. Whew.

No matter how the speech was (you can read it in the extended entry), the wedding was beautiful. Congrats to Kristin and Dan who are now going to spend quite a long time in Hawaii.

This is more or less how the speech went or was supposed to go:

First, I'd like to thank Kristin and Dan, the Stanellas and the Kobells for inviting me here and Dan for actually allowing me to get up and make a speech. I've known Dan for almost 9 years now, which is a crazy thought in and of itself. In fact, Dan was the first person I met at Michigan. My initial thought, "Man, that's one tall, pale, pale guy." Through college, we essentially lived together the whole time we were there. A year in West Quad as neighbors, a year on South Forrest with an ant infestation, a hellish year on Mary St. in an 8 person, one squirrel house, and about half a year on South Division with the band waking us up every morning. It was a great time in Ann Arbor, but I won't bore everyone with those "Crazy Dan" stories because where's the fun in that? But my duties as best man are done at midnight, so see me then!

I will say that Dan and I quickly became good friends after we met but I know why our friendship has remained so strong, beyond our similar ambivalent, anything goes, attitude...it's our devotion to eating mass quantities of food. Often times, that would manifest itself in late night food. The food ranged from Nikko's - which he probably still remembers the phone number of - to Bell's pick-up special, to the inexplicable late night trips to the grocery store. So maybe it wasn't the best thing that we became friends. Despite the damage that our friendship may have done to our waistlines, I can honestly say that it's been fun the whole time.

I remember Dan saying several times during college that he would never marry; that he would remain a bachelor his whole life. What I'm sure he meant though was that he was just waiting for the right woman to marry. And in Kristin he's found that. That may sound very "un-Dan like", but I know and I'm sure Kristin knows that Dan is in fact a big softee. Sorry for outing you Dan. Despite the miscommunication over me being the best man here tonight (I only found out when I was told to check out the website), it's my honor to help Dan out on this special day. A day that, despite this speech, has turned out to be a beautiful one. I can only imagine the problems for the couple every fall for the rest of their lives. Penn State vs. Michigan, the Ravens vs. the Steelers.

Congratulations to Kristin and Dan.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:57 AM



May 27, 2005

More Wedding Goodness

POST #    1728

Because being in one wedding last weekend wasn't enough, I'm in another one this weekend (and another in September). And noooo, being a groomsman/DJ Mao isn't enough pressure, I'm slated to be the best man! So if anyone has any last moment tips, I would appreciate it. I've got a speech, but it's not one of those funny ones (unless you count dry sarcastic humor as funny), but more a reminiscing one. Dan - the guy that is getting married - usually reads my site, but he said he took the day off, so no worries about him knowing anything.

Tips? Anything? Getting rip roaring drunk and slurring a speech has crossed my mind, but I don't think I want to do that. I did the gift, supposedly have a tux, have some sort of transportation in mind, and a hotel room. Am I forgetting anything?

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 9:07 AM



May 23, 2005

Katie and Johnny's Wedding

POST #    1721

(all photos by Shannan)

Saturday's wedding and events afterwards for Katie and Johnny went pretty well despite the DJ stylings of yours truly. And when I say DJ, I mean moving songs around on a playlist. No cold feet, no fainting, a little crying and some very amusing speeches.

It turns out, they even made The New York Times (took you long enough!). One thing their NY Times wedding announcement failed to mention is that they are an excellent Taboo team. With focus. Lots and lots of focus.

I've got so many more photos of the wedding, but those will all go in my Flickr photostream.

Congrats to the lovely couple. And no, I wasn't one of the people crying.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:04 AM



May 22, 2005

Food From the Rehearsal Dinner

POST #    1720

After the wedding rehearsal Saturday afternoon, everyone made the quick walk over to Amsterdam Restaurant and Tapas Lounge for dinner. Of course I took pictures. The first picture was of chicken with prosciutto and spinach, the second is steak and the rest is dessert. The desert options were an apple crisp, some crepes, and a molten chocolate souffle.

More pictures from the wedding to follow. And yes, Tom, I take a lot of food pictures.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 11:38 AM



May 21, 2005

St. Paul's Chapel at Columbia University

POST #    1719

Katie and Johnny's wedding today is at St. Paul's Chapel at Columbia. Yesterday was the wedding rehearsal (I play a semi-integral part) and I took a few pictures of the chapel while I was waiting around.

The chapel was designed by I.N. Phelps Stokes and was the first building at Columbia that was not designed by the firm of McKim, Mead & White. Construction began in 1904 and St. Paul's was dedicated in 1907. In 1966, as they point out on the website, it was one of the first buildings in NYC to be designated a landmark by landmarks preservation.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 9:29 AM



April 23, 2005

Stuffing Ones Face at the Brooklyn Brewery

POST #    1665

If you thought my two bite ingestion of a Patsy's slice was impressive (or disgusting), you should have seen Calvin in action. It was an impressive and disgusting display of gluttony. The slice of pizza he had was thicker than my Patsy's slice, maybe two times so, yet he managed to eat it all in two bites. Don't try this at home folks, because Calvin was close to throwing up. I guess cramming all that pizza in your mouth triggers that gag reflex.

And to think he wanted me to put these pictures up.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 12:29 PM



April 18, 2005

JK's "Last Days of Freedom"

POST #    1655

Johnny won't love the fact that I put these photos up, but I had to rent a tux on Friday for his wedding, so I figure he can only complain so much. For the bachelor party festivities, a big group of people went down to Atlantic City on Saturday for some fun. Unfortunately, I don't have too many pictures of the weekend. I won't go into many details, but dinner was great. Not so much the food (as good as it might look in the picture), but because of all the funny stories. Besides, they toss your salad at the table and prepare banana's Foster at the table as well.

And isn't Johnny great at drinking tequila? Note the fine way he disposes of the lime...into someone else's coffee.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:07 AM



April 16, 2005

Celebrating JG's B-Day

POST #    1654

Janelle's birthday, like my mother's, happens to fall on April 15th - tax day. To celebrate, she invited scores of people to the Dove. It was absurdly full by the time I left, and I'm convinced that at least 50 people came to wish Janelle a happy birthday.

And isn't stealing flash great? I think the photos turn out quite well when I do that.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 8:48 AM



April 15, 2005

Mom's B-day Dinner at Tempo in Park Slope

POST #    1652

For my mom's birthday, which is today, the family went to Park Slope to dine at Tempo. Conveniently, Tempo is also participating in Dine in Brooklyn. For $20, I had the duck pastilla roll, roasted chicken and nutella gelato. Pretty good deal. The duck pastilla roll was amazing. I highly recommend that.

Happy birthday mom, your birthday is on a day that I can never forget.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 9:01 AM



March 23, 2005

Going to The Homeland

POST #    1622

Today I'm off for a week in China for some family business. Not sure what my Internet access will be like, so expect posts to be spotty, at best. Photos, posts, stories from the road when I return. Oh the joy that I will experience with 18 or so hours of travel.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Travel at 5:45 AM



March 7, 2005

Gifts for My Birthday

POST #    1599

While I'm not a huge gift person - giving or receiving - anything I get is always appreciated. Pictured, is the first commissioned piece of art that I've ever had. Shannan was nice enough to get this painting of Krispy Kreme for me, which is perfect on so many levels. It should be great for my barren off-white walls.

Other gifts I received include a Stussy jacket from Jake, Porco Rosso and The Warriors from Jen and JDub, Pizza, A Slice of Heaven from Adam, the TLA Video & DVD Guide 2005 from Kim and Mike, who also gave me a doughnut from Krispy Kreme.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 7:55 AM



March 6, 2005

Birthday Dinner at Peter Luger

POST #    1597

Last night, to celebrate my birthday, a few friends and I went to Peter Luger Steakhouse and gorged on meat. As always, there was an insane amount of meat and we left uncomfortably full, which made for a not so fun rest of night at the bar.

Earlier in the day, I decided to donate some blood (warning! blood pictured!) because it's been a little while since I last donated.

Thanks to all that came out to dinner and to Ace Bar at night. Nothing like celebrating a birthday with a big group of friends - all making fun of you. Awesome.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 12:47 PM



March 5, 2005

B-Day Dinner with The Rents

POST #    1596

With the birthday two days away, my parents took me out to dinner last night at Patios in Brooklyn. I had the 14 oz. sirloin, not pictured. The gelatto is quite a filling dessert at Patios and it's almost like frozen fudge.

You know the craziest part of dinner? My parents have become very cooperative with my picture taking.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 11:23 AM



February 23, 2005

Celebrating JK's 27th at 'inoteca

POST #    1584

Last night, a few of us gathered at 'inoteca to celebrate Johnny's 27th birthday. Damn, those 27 year olds are old. Us youthful 26 year olds are so chipper in comparison. 'inoteca is a great space, but the light makes it extremely difficult to take pictures, especially of food as the colors are all lost in the lighting. Oh well, you'll just have to imagine what they look like as the images might be too dark on the PC.

Later this year, Johnny will be the first of three (!!!!) weddings that I'll be in this year. At least I won't be the best man at his, just a lowly groomsman. On the plus side, no need for a speech. Or is there...? Anyway, the food was good, but I have no idea what all of them were called. Some meats, cheeses, calamari salad, panini, truffle bread, mozzarella bread, eggplant, and beets.

Oh, and if you don't know what Johnny looks like, here are two pictures.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:29 AM



February 17, 2005

Cupcake Crazy for Gothamist

POST #    1573

Happy Birthday, Gothamist! To celebrate its second birthday, there was a concert and cupcakes. Sounds like you can't go wrong. Especially when you start stuffing them in your mouth.

See, I'm trying to remedy that whole lack of me stuffing face picture thing.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:56 AM



February 9, 2005

Happy New Year! The Year of the Rooster and 4703

POST #    1561

Well, another New Year's Eve, another feast at the Mao household. It looks like my mom even out did the dinner from last year. People born in the Year of the Rooster are supposed to be hard-working, definite about their decisions, not afraid to speak their minds, which can sometimes come across as boastful.

Plenty on the menu this year: cucumber; eggplant; peanuts; beef with tofu and eggs; duck (with dipping sauce); chicken; loofa with fresh bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and dried scallops; shrimp; striped bass; "lion's head" meatballs; and glutinous rice cake. On top of that, there were oranges, cumquats, grapes, and lots of alcohol.

There is no doubt in my mind that I'm still full as you read this.

More information:
- Last year's feast
- All these photos, full size, on flickr
- Wikipedia on Chinese New Year
- Chinatown online on New Year in NYC

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:42 AM



January 24, 2005

Snow Fight in Central Park

POST #    1535

With all the snow in New York City, it was naturally time for a snowball fight. Youngna and Jesse organized one for Sunday and it was a grand old time. The only problem, besides being late, was that the snow wasn't exactly packing. People had already been playing for a little bit when I got there, but there was more fun to be had.

I didn't take any photos of the actual fight, just photos from after. As you can see in the last photo, Jake looks kind of cold and dreading life. Not like what he said on his site at all. Need photographic evidence? Two photos from Keith are proof enough, no?

More photos:
- Dan on "The Snowdown"
- Jake on "People I Destroyed at the Snowball Fight" (all lies)
- Jesse's photo gallery
- Karen's photo gallery
- Keith's Flickr gallery
- Rion on "Fresh Snow for a Snowball Fight in Sunny Central Park"
- Youngna on "Central Park Snowball Fight!"

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC at 7:32 AM



January 9, 2005

Saturday Dinner and Drinks

POST #    1510

Last night, I went to dinner and then drinks with a few friends for Shannan's birthday since she was in town and everything. Seemed like the right thing to do. Dinner was at Zipi Zape, a slightly out of the way tapas bar in Williamsburg. I thought it was great, and I'm going to try to go again sometime. Takers?

Afterwards, we went to Antique Lounge, also slightly out of the way, for some drinks. It was surprisingly empty for a Saturday night, but it was nice. I liked it because there were lots of velvet/velour couches. "If I could ensconce myself in velvet..."

Before leaving, a song came on that sounded a lot like an 80's song. I couldn't place my finger on it last night and my friends were no help, but today, thanks to Google, I know what song it was. Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield". [Side note: What is up with this new look?!? Or, when did it start?] I wonder, how many times I can listen to this song on repeat until I get sick of it.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 1:13 PM



January 6, 2005

Happy, Happy

POST #    1505

It's not often that I talk about my personal stuff on this site, despite the fact that it is a personal site. I don't really talk about my relationship much, because, frankly, I prefer not to make my readers vomit. Anyway, today is a special someone's birthday, so I'd like to say, "Happy Birthday" to the owner of the eye pictured.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 12:00 AM



December 25, 2004

Recycling the Holidays

POST #    1485

Recycling the image from last year, but you get the idea. Happy Holidays.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 11:00 AM



December 13, 2004

Sunday Dinner and Glove Puppets

POST #    1465

As previously noted, there was dinner to be had last night. Quite tasty. With my newly acquired pizza peel and pizza pan from King Chef (as per the recommendation of Slice), pizza was in order for the night. Turned out great. A very thin crust, with some tasty homemade sauce.

Jeannette also made some nice glove puppets which you have to watch the video of to get the full effect.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:53 AM



December 12, 2004

Tasty Hanukkah at Bluejake's

POST #    1463

Last night, Shannan and I headed over to Jake's after a long day of wandering and such including lunch at Katz's. All we needed to top off our artery stopping day was some latkes. They were delicious. Top them with some homemade applesauce and I think the heart attack was easily averted. Thanks to Jake and Karen for helping me get back to my roots.

- Jake's "Hannukah 1"
- Jake's "Hannukah 2"
- Youngna's "A Tale of Two Parties Volume II, Jake's Place"

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 3:02 PM



December 10, 2004

My Netflix Peeps

POST #    1460

Netflix is currently testing this new feature they call Friends. Mike over at Hacking Netflix was nice enough to invite me after I read about it over on his site. It's kind of like Friendster meets communal movie review. You can invite people to your list of friends and see the movies they watched recently, their ratings for movies, their top favorites, and find out the movies that they disliked (click image below to enlarge), a feature that may prove to be very useful.

For example, I can see that one of my friends gave The Prince and Me three stars. While I'm generous with my starts, I can't imagine watching The Prince and Me, let alone giving it three stars - and I watch a lot of crap movies. I can also see that there are a bunch of movies that I should never watch with the "Movies Your Friends Hated" feature. That may allow me to streamline my queue a little, but with all these other movies that my friends liked, I might end up increasing my queue substantially.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Movies at 8:59 AM



December 6, 2004

At My Cousin's

POST #    1449

Went to my cousin's again last night for dinner, who, I still maintain, has the best apartment I've seen in Brooklyn. She made a tasty beef stew and Thai chicken curry. Not only is the apartment nice, but it is finely decorated as well. Together with Jeremy, she has two cats, both of whom tip the scales at 13 and 14 pounds. Coco, pictured, tips the scales at 13.

Oh, and the cat made my eye itchy after I left and I wasn't there for more than 2 hours.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:57 AM



November 27, 2004

The Thanksgiving Meal

POST #    1434

Down in Virginia for Thanksgiving, in possibly my first Thanksgiving away from home since...ever? I might have had one away from home during college, but I think I returned home every year. Shannan and I did some prep work Wednesday night and some cooking Thursday morning. It really wasn't all that hard making all the dishes, but the timing of it all was kind of difficult.

A rather small oven is not conducive to getting several items ready at once. Besides turkey, the menu included (clockwise from turkey): butternut squash with apples, cranberry sauce (fresh), green beans with bacon and onions, mashed potatoes (with lumps), cranberry sauce (canned), and candied yams. For appetizers, we had some cheese and crackers, deviled eggs, salad, and lobster bisque. Dessert was poached pears and pumpkin pie. An insane amount of food for five people, but ample leftovers for all those delicious turkey sandwiches.

Notes on the meal, no gravy since nobody really liked gravy much and the turkey didn't even need it. The turkey was prepared by brining it for a day, resulting in juicy and flavorful meat. There was no stuffing either because, again, nobody at the meal really liked stuffing. And we had plenty of food already.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 12:47 PM



November 21, 2004

R.I.P. Hole, Hello Feet

POST #    1424

With a fixed hole, it was another time to have a party. There are some minor issues left, but that wasn't going to stop me. At my last party, people wore shoes, which made it a major pain to clean afterwards. This time, no shoes. Some people took it upon themselves to wear nice/unique socks, which actually never occurred to me. Next time, it will be a fancy sock party.

Thanks to everyone who helped out by bringing stuff. Bonus: I have a new umbrella. If someone lost/forgot an umbrella, please leave a message with management.

Now with shoe. Photo of the shoes c/o Youngna.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 12:03 PM



October 24, 2004

A Bitrhday for Satan

POST #    1364

Mike's birthday is on Monday, so he had a little gathering at his apartment. He made several of his guests don a disco suit that was a little tight (note the camel toe moose knuckle) and has polaroids for blackmail later. Janelle, who came with, somehow managed to escape without a photo.

As you can see, Mike's got a fair collection of Mao trinkets. Who doesn't need more Mao trinkets? That clock is especially cool. Turn the numbers mechanism and the date increases.

Anyway, happy birthday, Mike. Pity it was so cold, as there was no chance to grill bacon in the yard. No robots, but obviously with disco.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 12:18 PM



October 19, 2004

Pizza - Runs in the Family?

POST #    1352

Does cooking run in the family? I certainly hope so because my mom's a damn good cook. Over the weekend, she made some pizza, which was good, but almost overloaded with toppings. The dough was homemade, something that I have yet to do, and the dough was thick. There's nothing quite like a weekend away with good food, despite the manual labor.

Tips for mom, heat the pizza stone more, make the dough thinner, and ease up on the toppings. As far as the rest of your food, no tips necessary.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:47 AM



October 18, 2004

A Weekend Away

POST #    1354

Over the weekend, I took a trip to the C-House where my parents had a "surprise" for me. They told me about the surprise more than three weeks ago, but wouldn't let me know what it was until I actually went to Pennsylvania. My mind was wild with ideas, money, car, money, money and car (really, I'm not that materialistic, but what else could possibly be a surprise for me). Turns out, the surprise wasn't really for me. It was just a "look what we did" surprise. They built a garden pond.

Totally a surprise...just not for me. As if you need something to make the countryside even more relaxing, they built it. It's nice. Nothing quite like the sound of trickling water, mini-waterfalls, rocks, pools of water, and fish that hide when it's cold. Makes me want to pee just thinking about it.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, House and Home, Travel at 7:41 AM



October 4, 2004


POST #    1327

Rachelle blew into town last night for business and Jeannette, Yvan and I met up with her for a little while. We hit up dinner at Chat 'n' Chew. Chat 'n' Chew is a restaraunt that serves all sorts of comfort food. From meatloaf to mac and cheese (blech). Lots of greasy, heart stopping food. After dinner, we headed over to her hotel room at the SoHo Grand, which is apparently very expensive to stay in. By the looks of the design, that sounds right. It is beautiful though.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:41 AM



October 3, 2004

An Early Birthday for Jacob Dobkin

POST #    1325

Jake Dobkin's birthday is actually Monday, but Saturday night, he got some of his peoples together for some drinks at Double Happiness. By my count, Jake had quadruple happiness and was not carried out. Then again, I left before Jake, so for all I know, he was stumbling down the streets of Chinatown on his way home.

I was just too hungry not to leave early. I had a desire for some soup dumplings, so I had to excuse myself. For that, Janelle and I hit up Joe's Shanghai. While it may not be the best anymore, it totally hit the spot.

- Jake on "28th Birthday 1" (what, he's got more than one entry?!?)

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 1:48 PM



September 27, 2004

A Weekend at Michigan

POST #    1314

Over the weekend, I headed west to Michigan to visit the old college haunts and attend a football game. There was loads of food, great company and good times had by all - especially since Michigan beat Iowa. 30-17.

The weekend started with some flight delays because of some airplane issues. Typical Northwest airlines. After a brief pit-stop at the hotel, we went to Leopold Brothers, "the world's first environmentally sustainable brewery."

Saturday, there was much fun had. Sleeping later because of the late game time and lots of tailgating. Food, drink, food, drink. Not to mention, some gummy objects in between. The game was excellent. There's nothing quite like a Michigan football game. The band, the team, the stadium. Spending time with 111,000+ like-minded people.

I've got a few more photos from the weekend that I'll post tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great time.

- Last year's trip to Michigan

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Sports at 6:49 AM



September 24, 2004

Pizza, Movie, and a Surprise

POST #    1311

Last night I made my first pizza with toppings and it turned out pretty damn good. Using homemade tomato sauce again (also spicy), the pizza was topped with mushrooms and pepperoni. Just like a pizza at Grimaldi's, the mushroom made parts of the crust soggy. I had some issues getting the pizza off the peel, but that might be a combination of waiting too long to get the pizza into the oven and not enough flour.

While eating my tasty pizza, I watched In the Cut. Meg Ryan's in the movie, but it's no Sleepless in Seattle. It's more like the scene at Katz's from When Harry Met Sally - over and over and much more graphic. There's no denying that Meg looked good in this movie despite being 40+.

Towards the end of the movie, I was greeted with a surprise at the door that I thought was my idiot neighbor, but thankfully it was not. The surprise has given me a smile that will carry right up until Monday morning though.

I'll be out of town this weekend enjoying a football game in Michigan. See you when I get back.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Movies at 7:53 AM



September 20, 2004

Congrats to Julia and Jeremy

POST #    1300

Recently, my cousin Julia got engaged to Jeremy and they had a combination engagement/housewarming party yesterday. They moved into their apartment a while ago, but just got around to the housewarming thing. I'm still convinced that their apartment is the nicest that I've personally seen in Brooklyn.

Yeah, I have no pictures of them, or the ring. I am very smooth. Anyway, congrats to Julia and Jeremy.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 9:18 AM



September 12, 2004

Happy Birthday, Christiona

POST #    1277

Today is Christiona's birthday and to celebrate, she had some people over to her apartment last night - despite returning from Costa Rica earlier in the day. A trooper, I say, a trooper. There were mashed potatoes and meatloaf topped with bacon (made by her roommate and roommate's boyfriend), both of which were both excellent. They totally hit home twice; once when I arrived and again later in the night when I was a tad inebriated. Their apartment on the Lower East Side has spectacular views of the rest of Manhattan.

Maybe a bit eerie to celebrate birth on a day of remembrance, but life has got to go on, and indeed it does.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 11:53 AM



September 11, 2004

Who Has the Cutest Kids?

POST #    1265

Sure a case can be made for almost all young children, but are Asian kids not the cutest things ever? Pictured is my cousin's daughter. What that makes her to me, I'm not quite sure. But she's too cute.

Okay, okay, all young children are cute. Except those monster babies like the one from Seinfeld.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:41 AM



September 9, 2004

Leftovers from the Weekend

POST #    1263

Some photos I have from the weekend, which was really great. I loved almost every minute of it. Up until the moment when it was all over at about 8:26 Monday night.

And while I love buying shoes for myself, I do not have a shoe fetish. I just love the colors in that photo - despite the slightly out of focus quality to it.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 7:29 AM



September 6, 2004

Jeannette and Yvan Finally Get Married

POST #    1258

On Saturday, Jeannette and Yvan finally had their wedding ceremony. I say finally because they actually got married back in March. Their ceremony and reception were at the Hyatt Jersey City, which was absolutely beautiful. An outdoor wedding with breathtaking views of Manhattan and a reception with the same view.

The ceremony was followed by some appetizers before the reception. During the reception, there were some more traditional activities with several wardrobe changes. From the looks of the Korean/Chinese ceremonies, the happy couple is supposed to have about 23 children - all boys.

As an appetizer, they served blasted tiger shrimp with a roasted corn and pepper cous-cous. They followed that up with a chilled wildberry soup, which was kind of like a fruit smoothie. The entrée was a filet of beef, chilean seabass, and some mashed potatoes.

All it all, it was pretty much a perfect evening. Congratulations for a second time.

- Rachelle on "Jeannette & Yvan's Wedding"

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 9:51 PM



September 2, 2004

Go West, Young Dahlia

POST #    1254

Another friend, another farewell, again at Croxley. WTF? This time for the recently engaged Dahlia, who is moving out to Palo Alto to attend graduate school.

Sam and Dahlia will be embarking on a two week cross country trek. The Sam/Dahlia tour, stopping at a town near you. I'm convinced that they should map out their destinations and do a mini ballpark tour of America.

Congrats and good luck!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:30 AM



August 14, 2004

Halo's Last Day

POST #    1220

Yesterday was Halo's last day at work. We've been working together for a long time, and he's moving on. He'll still be in New York, and still in Brooklyn. No more runs to White Castle, McDonalds, or ordering insane amounts of pizza. Ho hum.

We went to Croxley (yes, Croxley again!) for a couple of drinks and some food after work. No wings were consumed since we can't eat those every time.

For a photo retrospective on his last day, check out his site. He even has a nice picture of me from a while back and with shorter hair.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 11:19 AM



August 3, 2004

Happy Birthday, Necia

POST #    1197

Yesterday was Necia's 2xth birthday and a whole bunch of people went to the Bowery Bar to celebrate. I think there might have been 17 people there at one point. I'm not even sure I have 17 friends!!

I had actually never been to Bowery Bar before - for reasons I won't go into, but it was a good time and nice to see Necia on her "special day".

And I refuse to call it "B Bar" - blech.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 7:36 AM



July 25, 2004

Welcome to My Home

POST #    1177

Last night, I had some people over to warm the apartment. Friends were brave enough to come all the way to Greenpoint just to see the place and to drink. I had a good time and I hope everyone that came did too. Only now am I getting to the mess that was left behind. I didn't get many pictures from the night, but I know there are some that might be floating around out there - including one with me getting my hair braided. Yikes.

Thanks to everyone who came, thanks for the gifts, thanks for the booze, thanks for coming out to Greenpoint. No thanks for the mess that I am now cleaning. Sigh...I hate cleaning as it is, and now I have to clean. That's what I get for having a party.

More information:
- Jake on "At Tien Mao's" (awesome photos of the evening)
- Joe on "Tien's Housewarming Party" (evidence of braiding)

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, House and Home at 5:13 PM



July 17, 2004

Dahl's Birthday

POST #    1161

Yesterday was Dahlia's birthday and to celebrate, she invited a few people to The Porch for some birthday-related libations (like I need an excuse to partake). Due to a minor detour in Flushing, I was a little more than fashionably late. No matter, I had a good time and hopefully Dahlia enjoyed herself as well.

In a related thought, when the hell did I become so old? It wasn't too long ago when I could stay out really late. Don't get me wrong, I'm no party machine or anything, but back in the day, at least I wouldn't be yawning my ass off at 1:30. Due to the yawning, I had to head home at 2, which is the latest I've been out in ages. Ages, I say, ages!

Dahlia, it looks like you have a lot to look forward to in a year.

- Dahlia on "Birthday Success"

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 11:32 AM



July 14, 2004

This is Why Traditions Are Good

POST #    1157

Christiona and Jeannette, composite photo.

Bubble blowing contests and bets to see who would drink wing juice - that's why coming Wednesdays to Croxley Ales is a good idea. I mean, the wings are 10 freaking cents. Why wouldn't you come?

The weather was a tad crappy last night, and I was the first person to show up. I waited and waited, but Joe finally showed up, and I knew Halo was coming, so that got us a table. Christiona showed up the same time as Halo and Jeannette and Eleanor came a bit later. I was very worried that it would be a bust at first, but turnout was pretty good and hopefully it can last. Get tired of wings, you ask? At 10¢, I refuse to get tired of them.

Next week, same time, same place. Mental note though, find out who is coming beforehand so you can tell the waitress how many people are in the party.

- Joe on "Wings and Bubbles"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:40 AM



July 8, 2004

Fare Thee Well Shannan

POST #    1145

Last night, a bunch of people got together to wish Shannan good luck. See, for some strange reason, she's moving to Virginia. Something about a job with a nifty title. Lucky for everyone in New York, her plan is to return within a year. She also promises to visit frequently and have a housewarming party. So if you're in Southern Virginia...you know where the party's at.

There were over 20 people and 200 wings ordered. Good thing the wings were only 10¢ each. Really, an insane amount of food, drink and fun. Good times. Too bad it was for such a sad event.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:38 AM



July 3, 2004

Reunion Dinner

POST #    1136

Last night, "the families" had a reunion dinner, something we try to do once a year. Eric, Mark, and I have been friends since early, early childhood (like infant early), so every time Eric comes home from California, we try to get together for dinner. The dinner took place at Fu-Lai in Chinatown and was fabulous. At least twelve courses, nine bottles of wine with seven different varieties, all for twelve people. There was some serious eating going on.

Such a great way to get a long weekend going.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 10:40 AM



June 20, 2004

Moving Guns

POST #    1113

After helping Christiona move, I developed these strange things...things that enabled me to show people where the beach was. I like to call them, "my guns".

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 9:36 AM



June 6, 2004

Farewell to Sharon

POST #    1086

I've been at my job for more than 3 years at this point, and people come and people go, but Friday was the last day of someone else who has also been there for more than 3 years. My coworker Sharon decided to move on and help the family business. After work , everyone went out to dinner to bid her adieu and for a little celebration.

Dinner was at a Chinese barbecue place on Northern Boulevard and was followed by some karaoke next door. I can't say that I'm usually a big fan of karaoke, but I had a surprising amount of fun. I even sang a couple of songs. First, I sang Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. That went well, considering I know the lyrics to the song and I know the timing of the song. A drink or two later, I did a William Hung-like rendition of She Bangs. That did not go so well. I knew none of the words or timing, but I still think I sounded better than Hung, who I absolutely hate.

Anyway, it's sad that Sharon's switching jobs and leaving the NYC area, but it's been a fun time working with her for the last 3 years.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Work at 6:02 PM



June 1, 2004

A Really Long Weekend

POST #    1075

I went to Pennsylvania over the weekend and had what truly felt like a long weekend. For some strange reason, when I spend a long weekend in the city, it just seems to vanish, but maybe because I did a lot this weekend, it felt really long. Lots of eating courtesy of the rents, which is always better and tastier than anything than I can make (see previous entry). To "pay" for these meals, I had to do plenty of yard work - move dirt, trim trees, shovel mulch, buy and move bricks, and fix a mailbox. I even developed a blister or two. Crazy!

We also went hiking Saturday on the Appalachain Trail. What was supposedly a 4 mile trail was actually 5.5 miles and a 3.5 hour hike. Nice job on the planning. Lucky for me, I had a trusty Snickers Bar. What's really surprising to me is that next day, I was barely sore. Given my sloth-like lifestyle, this was truly a shocker.

The weekend also netted me some more kitchen items and some items for the home. I guess there is a good reason to hang out with the parents.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 8:23 AM



May 15, 2004

Farewell to Lana

POST #    1036

With Lana leaving for Hong Kong soon, of course she had to have a going away party. The decided venue was Link, a place I had never heard of, but probably passed at least once. After fretting about my casual attire, everything worked out okay. At Link, there is even a nice little outdoor place where smokers can go and non-smokers can go inhale second hand smoke. Lovely.

You know what's crazy? I have known Lana for almost 10 years now. How insane is that?!? I think the first time we met was in Dr. Nicole's history class in high school. Sadly, she's moving away for work, but what can you do, I guess we're all getting old and responsible (ack!!). I overheard someone at the party someone at her party say, "I won't wish you 'good luck' because I'll see you!" What a load of crock. You still wish people "good luck" even if you do plan on seeing them. So Lana, I wish you good luck and I'll see you when you come back to visit, or in the unlikely even that I go to Hong Kong.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 12:10 PM



May 12, 2004

The Dreaded "A-Word"

POST #    1010

Am I becoming an adult? My friends and I are trying to plan a football weekend this year, and we can't pick a date. Is this the end of carefree living? Is it time for me to move on, start planning for wife, family, future? My college friends are mostly 26, two are already married, and one more just got engaged (congrats Dan), but are we all so responsible that we can't get together for a weekend that is at least four months away? I guess so. There is just one weekend where I can't go, but for the other five games, there are conflicts as well.

I suppose the first steps that I took to becoming an adult was a few months after I graduated college. In August of 2000, I got my first mortgage, buying an apartment with help from my parents. Since then, I have sold that apartment and bought a new one, taking on another mortgage, this one for the next 15 years. Ownership of an apartment is a step towards owning an apartment, but why no football? That's what it all comes down to - no football with my buddies anymore.

On the plus side, one more friend getting married means one more bachelor party. Know what that means? Vegas, baby. Vegas. (A man can dream, can't he?)

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:45 AM



May 3, 2004

Dos de Mayo (?) Dinner

POST #    996

Last night, Jess and her roommate invited a bunch of people over for a pre Cinqo de Mayo dinner. I'm not a huge fan of Mexican food, but I figured what the hell. I had never been to her place before and heard that it was amazing. It was an excellent time and I'm glad I went, but it's not like you need a reason to go to someone's apartment to eat, drink, and enjoy a great view. As you can see, dessert was also pretty good.

Thanks for the great time Jess.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:22 AM



April 25, 2004

Don't I Look Sexy?

POST #    973

Necia, Christiona, Christina, and a very feminine looking Tien

This might be worse for me than this entry, but what can I do? At least I was hanging out with some sexy ladies...hello foursome!

Yes, bring on the jokes.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 5:46 PM



April 13, 2004

Monday is the New Wednesday

POST #    941

With my friend Schreiber in town from San Francisco, it looks like I will be going out a few nights. Last night, Schreibs, his friend Miko, and I hit up a few of those Japanese places around Stuyvesant St and 3rd Ave including Angel's Share. Thankfully, not a lot of drinking, but not a lot of sleep either.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 11:04 AM



April 11, 2004

Pseudo-Mao Family Reunion

POST #    932

Andrew, Stephanie, Tien, Janice

Over the weekend, several members of the Mao family were in town - aunt and cousins mostly. Aunt from California, cousin from Cali, cousin from Cali via Boston, cousin from Ohio via er...Hell's Kitchen. Anyway, it doesn't seem like that many people, but only one aunt and uncle were missing (in Asia), and three cousins (two in Asia and one in Baltimore).

Yesterday afternoon, we all met up and grabbed lunch at Wu Liang Ye and had a jolly good time. We took some pictured and all went our separate ways (they went to do touristy stuff - gag!).

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 10:30 AM



April 1, 2004

April Fool's Memories

POST #    907

As a family, we never did many things for April Fool's Day. I'm not sure if it was an Asian thing or if I'm just suppressing all the horrible pranks my parents played on me. All I can remember is telling my dad that his glasses were lost, but they were really hidden in the cabinet (I still remember the smell of that cabinet). I think I did this for maybe 4 years in a row and every time, he would just say, "Really?!?" He was probably humoring me, but you never know. Memory on my dad's side never has been the best, so maybe it wasn't just an act.

So in lieu of me pulling a prank here, I offer up some humor from The Onion on the left.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:13 AM



March 21, 2004

TV, Monopoly, Trivia

POST #    873

I spent today yesterday chilling with friends and watching some basketball action. Jeannette, Jess, and Yvan came over to watch some basketball, which evolved into playing Simpsons Monopoly, which then turned into playing Trivial Pursuit, and ended with a movie. Quite an exhausting day, but lucky for me, I took a nap.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 10:08 AM



March 3, 2004

Congrats to Jeannette and Yvan

POST #    804


The sampling platter or something like that.

Ack! Jeannettezilla is on the prowl.

Oh yeah, gimme some tongue action.

Jeannette polishing off the dessert.

Yesterday, Jeannette and Yvan got hitched (I know, the way I put it was romantic). A few people then went out for a celebration dinner at Sui. Way too much food, and a good amount of alcohol was flowing. Of course, this made for some great photos and laughs.

Congratulations to the bride and groom again. More wedding events for them are planned for September and I'm sure they will be as much fun as this one.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:30 AM



February 29, 2004

So Long Rachelle

POST #    796

Rachelle, walks to her truck, friends in background.

Someone had to blow their nose.

Tears dried, Rachelle and Jess ready for the road.

Yesterday, Rachelle moved to Chicago, packing up her stuff and heading west in a Uhall. One has to wonder how Rachelle could accumulate as much stuff in a room the size of a shoebox, but Rachelle seemed to do it. We finished packing relatively quickly and sent Rachelle and Jess on their way. A friendly neighborhood man wished Rachelle well and after learning that she was moving to Chicago, he said that he would "see her in a week!" One hopes that that's true, but I think she might be there for good. It's was sad day in the West Village.

Almost a year ago, I met Rachelle briefly at a Mets game. Thus was the beginning of our friendship. Obviously, I wish her the best of luck in her new city, but I also wish she would have stayed. A job offer came along that was perfect, and all of us here in New York reluctantly told her that it was a good idea to take it. She had a good run in New York, but she made a move that will help her career and move her closer to family. I, like all of her friends here will miss her. I'll miss the countless fun things we did together and all the bad photos that we took of each other, but she'll be back in September, so we'll take some more then. Maybe I'll take a trip out to Chicago this summer; I've always wanted to catch a game at "The Friendly Confines."

- Rachelle on "Moving Crew" and "Move Morning"

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 10:23 AM



February 12, 2004

Serious Camera Envy

POST #    761

Last night, my dad received his recently ordered Sony DSC-T1. He wanted a smaller digital camera since his other camera was "too bulky" to carry around. Damn, now I want a new camera as well. Lucky for me, he said I could borrow the new and old camera when I want.

Some specifications on the camera: 5.1-Megapixel, 3x optical zoom, 2.5" LCD display, and a mere 0.4lbs. More specs and photos at Steve's DigiCam and Dynamism.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Tech at 9:24 AM



January 29, 2004

I Am a Travellin Man...Well, Kind of Anyway

POST #    731

42 states, 82% of the United States.

13 countries, 5% of the world.

I was checking out Eleanor's site and she had an entry on the places she has traveled in her life. It seemed like a fun thing to try out, so I gave it a whirl.

Using World 66, you can create your own visited states map and visited countries map. Clearly, I need to do more world travel.

Where has everyone else been?

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 10:06 AM



January 22, 2004

Happy New Year! The Year of the Monkey and Year 4702!

POST #    716

Food from last night (clockwise from top) - the full spread, sticky rice cake, chicken, "lion's head" meatballs, fish, vegetables, shrimp, Chinese sausage, beef.

Happy New Year! Today is New Year's Day according to the Lunar Calendar and is Chinese New Year. To wish people a happy new year today (don't even ask me how to pronounce them over this medium), Mandarin speakers say, "Gong Xi Fa Cai," and Cantonese speakers say, "Gung Hay Fat Choy" There are many traditions to this holiday, wearing red, cutting your hair, cleaning the house, not using knives, but the best one is that unmarried people get money from married people. This is enough to make Chinese New Year better than the actual New Year.

To celebrate, my family and I had Chinese New Year's dinner last night, since New Year's Eve is the night to gather for dinner (I think New Year's Day is too, but we aren't doing that). It was a feast to be reckoned with, with even greater quantities of food than when we had hot pot.

On the menu, shrimp, fish, vegetables, Chinese sausage, "lion's head" meatballs, sticky rice cake, chicken, and beef. It was quite a meal and I think I'm still full. What a good way to ring in the Year of the Monkey, Lunar Year 4702.

More information:
- Gothamist with plenty of New Year info
- Bluejake with photos of some serious Chinese folk
- About.com: Chinese New Year 2004
- Chinatown Online: Info about New Year and festivities in NYC

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:19 AM



December 25, 2003

Happy Holidays To All

POST #    667

Happy holidays! Entries to resume tomorrow and to continue until I leave for California!

Until tomorrow. - Tien

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 5:05 AM



December 22, 2003

Ack! Only Three Shopping Days Left!

POST #    662

Snow in Brooklyn, since we won't have any on the 25th.

On this, the first day of winter, there are only three shopping days left until Christmas! There seems to be some sort of insane shopping crowd out there, as reported by the NY Times. Apparently, someone brought his whole family to the Toys 'R' Us in Times Square to buy a GameBoy - one freaking GameBoy, but he brings his family of five to the store. Who does that? Yet another reason to avoid Times Square.

Today is also the shortest day of the year, with the sun setting at around 4:32, so those with shopping to do better hurry, lest those criminals we have here in the city mug you of your precious gifts. Oh wait, we don't have those anymore.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 9:50 AM



November 27, 2003

Gobble, Gobble, Chomp, Chomp, Chomp

POST #    596

A very Mao Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I am so stuffed. Two Thanksgivings in one week! What more could one want? Three, maybe, but that would be a little insane. Now to go pass out.

Google is so great!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 9:44 PM



October 27, 2003

I am Now a Rich Man...Hello Ladies!

POST #    507

$2,423.00 + $82,601.19 = $85,024.19

This morning was the closing on my apartment, I (I guess some of it is my mom's) am now a lot richer (at least cash-wise). I was moving stuff last night until 1 am and went to the apartment early to clean before the walkthrough. I am so tired. At least closing went smoothly and quickly. It only took an hour and a half.

To celebrate, my first post-closing splurge was a roast beef sandwich from Garden of Eden and a mini key lime pie made by Steve's.

Fare thee well, 210 E. 36th St.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 12:42 PM



October 26, 2003

Scenes from Moving

POST #    506

Nice paint job behind the Murphy Bed, no?

This is about half of my NYC shoe collection.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:05 PM



October 23, 2003

My Aunt and Her Rabbits

POST #    470

Sweet Sixteen is a rabbit?!?

About a week ago, Audrey (by way of Lynn and yes, that Audrey), sent me a link about rabbits. Just seeing the link made me think, "hmm...Betty Chu. That name sounds familiar." Well, low and behold, the reason it sounded familiar is because it's my aunt's site. I knew she was a rabbit breeder and had champion rabbits, but I had no idea that she had a she had a website too. We're not really that close, since she's in California and since she's a Notre Dame alum.

Sweet Sixteen, my aunt's rabbit, has quite a resumé. It won best in show 12 times, best of breed 20 times, and won best in show at the American Rabbit Breeders Association National Convention. This was the apparently the first time an angora won best in show at that convention. Seeing this site reminds me of the great movie Best In Show, despite the movie being about dog shows.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 9:44 AM



October 21, 2003

"Hey, Deng Xiaoping Died!"

POST #    466

My buildup of Saturday and Sunday papers has come in handy! Since I'm moving soon, I have to pack up all my crap, some of which are dishes and glasses. Having these may come as a surprise, but I need a plate every now and then (usually to put pizza on). I've wrapped most of my dishes, but only used one day's worth of paper. I hear New York makes money by selling paper, maybe I can sell mine for a pretty penny. Okay, since they sell by the ton, I'll probably only get a hundredth of a cent.

Why the title of this entry? It's a reference to an episode of The Simpsons. If you've seen all the episodes, you'll know which one. One of my favorites actually.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 11:33 PM



October 20, 2003

moving is never fun

POST #    463

in one week, i have the closing on my apartment where i get one very large check and hand over "ownership" of my apartment to someone else. i have to pack up some stuff for the mover by friday and pack up some other stuff for my parents to take. a lot of stuff will also be thrown out, like all those weekend newspapers that i planned on reading. i think the biggest pain might be changing all the addresses for my mail.

since i'm moving back home/into my aunt's apartment, i'll be saving on living expenses, which is good. hopefully i don't blow it all on unnecessary purchases, that would be bad.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 10:27 AM



August 21, 2003

still kicking it

POST #    314

as promised, some more photos.

at my birthday party. just take a look at the shoes. roos!!

i'm not afraid of anything...except the dark, spiders, snakes, and kryptonite...

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 6:14 PM



kicking it old school

POST #    313

since retro stuff is so in nowadays, and since my dad found some photos today, i'm going back to the past...

1981 at our 105 hudson st. apartment - dad left, son right. notice the sweet vest i have on.

more photos later.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 5:34 PM



July 20, 2003

hiking the AT

POST #    239

this afternoon, my dad and i met up with my friend justin to hike the part of the appalachian trail called lehigh gap, which is about a mile long. armed with my bottle of water, sunscreen, camera, iPod, and trusty in-N-out burger hat, we climbed to the top in about 45 minutes. there were parts that were flat and parts that were challenging which justin said are probably about a 4 rating. for those parts, we grabbed a hold of some rocks and made our way up, rock by rock. once atop the mountain, we had a clear view of the surrounding area and plenty of sun exposure. after spending 20 minutes on top of the lehigh gap re-hydrating ourselves and enjoying some skittles, we cautiously made our way down, which was much harder than the climb up. overall, it wasn't too difficult of a trail, despite me being out of shape, but it was still challenging, and a good time.

pictures tomorrow.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Sports at 9:59 PM



July 19, 2003

reliving past events

POST #    236

today and tomorrow, i'm in pennsylvania re-living my july 4th weekend. after getting little sleep, due to loading music onto my new iPod, i headed here with my dad (mom's visiting relatives in cali). before heading up, we got some take-out dim sum. mmm...i can't remember the last time i had dim sum. i now want to actually sit down and have it. if anyone is down, let me know.

tomorrow, i'm meeting up with my college buddy, justin, to hike a short part of the appalachian trail. this will be hard for my inactive-ass, but a cakewalk for justin, who hiked the whole AT, from georgia to maine, two years ago. it should be fun, but hot. i think i've mentioned my dislike of heat before, no?

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 6:41 PM


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