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lfti
fri 6.22.07 ~ 8:44a ~ burbank, california

on sunday, march 4th i was staying with my friends david and kathy. kathy's working on an internet sitcom with a few of her friends, and that day they were shooting so david and i brought lunch for them. david's the official photographer, so in between takes he managed to take some shots.

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david with his super kick ass camera

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david firing away

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the show was filmed in a friend's apartment

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kathy rehearsing a scene with robb and puppet

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this mysterious green liquid played a central role as well

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a few of the other actors passing off the green slime

i held the boom for a couple of scenes, which is that long microphone someone has to hold over the actors' heads. it's tough to make sure it doesn't dip down into the frame, and you also have to watch out for shadows. then you gotta stay out of the cameraman's and director's way, and then finally you can think about how all the blood has rushed down and out of your raised arms. but it's fun being a part of a production, so it was cool.

the show is called life from the inside, you can watch it online any time.

anna and peter's wedding
tue 6.12.07 ~ 7:43a ~ burbank, california

on saturday, march 3rd my very good friend got married to her longtime boyfriend peter. both the ceremony and the reception were held at a beverly hills restaurant, and i think it worked out really well having it all in one place.

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this part of the restaurant was set up for the ceremony

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from our seats we could see peter waiting in the wings

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here comes the bride

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after officiating a very nice ceremony, mark announced the new couple

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the newlyweds emerging to a sea of loved ones/paparazzi

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they had a nice dance with the crowd circled around them

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jenny, lisa, and charles were at my table

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me and dao enjoying the dinner

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david and kathy (apologies to david for snapping this as he was having some bread)

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anna and peter giving a toast before having the wedding cake

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the new couple enjoying some wedding cake together

everyone there seemed to have a really nice time, i think it was an excellent idea to have it all in one place. it was nice not having to switch from a church to a reception, that always seems to cause a certain amount of commotion or added complication to the day. mark did an excellent job marrying them, his words were very personal and heartfelt. the food was great, and for me it was really cool since i got to see a lot of friends for the first time in a long time. i hadn't actually even seen anna since i'd been back from korea. i was really glad that the timing of my return to the states allowed me to make the wedding, it's one i just couldn't have missed.

tagged:

burbank
mon 6.11.07 ~ 7:10a ~ burbank, california

on friday, march 2nd my good friend david let me borrow his car for the afternoon and i drove around burbank looking for apartments. i didn't really have much luck, but it was nice driving around the town i had lived in before i went to korea. i was reminded by some of the things i'd missed when i was in korea.

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looking up at the verdugo mountains in late afternoon

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the rear entrance to the disney tv sonora building

i used to work in this buidling, and it's where david works now. when i was there we worked in a small section of the bottom floor, and the rest of it was totally wide open and undeveloped. for a little while we had a lot of fun playing soccer in there. it was surreal going in there and finding cubicles packed in as far as the eye can see where we'd once played soccer.

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the warm light of the setting sun reflecting off the mountains

this is by far my favorite time of day, and i love that warm light that you can find everywhere once in a while, but never as often as in southern california. a very welcome change from the colder, harsh winter light i'd lived with in korea over the previous five months or so.

꿀?지
fri 6.8.07 ~ 9:17a ~ burbank, california

thursday, march 1st my friends koizu and natalie took me to a koreatown pork barbecue restaurant i'd never tried before called ??????? (gool doeji, translated as honey pig).

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the sign and entrance to the restaurant

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you cook your meat on these huge grills at your table

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this kimchi (top) and 콩나물 (congnamul, bean sprouts) are cooked along with the meat

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vegetables and green onion to eat with the cooked meat

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everything piled together and cooking on the grill

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a closer look, that octopus was compliments of the house (aka 서비스, service)

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the pink meat is 삼겹살 (samgyeopsal, pork), and the brown is 불고기 (bulgogi, beef)

i'm pretty excited to have found another great koreatown restaurant to add to my arsenal. this one is great too since their specialty is pork, something i became very fond of during my time in korea. if you want to check it out for yourself, here's the info:

??????? (honey pig)
3400 w. 8th st., los angeles, ca
open: 11am to 1am, 7 days a week. phone: 213-380-0256

new phone
thu 6.7.07 ~ 7:46a ~ burbank, california

one of the first things i did once i got back to america was to get a new cell phone. i really wanted to try and activate my korean cell phone since i liked it so much, but after doing some online research it looked like it wasn't possible. so i went online and found that cingular had a good deal on the motorola razr for only $20, after annoying rebates, of course.

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it finally arrived about a week later

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my new phone

all in all i like the phone, it's very light and i like how slim it is, i hardly notice it in my pocket all day. i'm not as crazy about the software running on it, to me the menus are not all that well-designed. i still find it clunky to navigate around a lot of the time.

the reason i specifically signed up with cingular was because i'm just waiting to switch to another phone when it comes out. although recently i have been leaning towards waiting for the second generation to come out since i know it will probably be better and cheaper. plus i want it to have gps so i can get a google map on my phone of where i am, that would be awesome!

so i'm glad this new phone i've got is working just fine, i think i can use it for a while longer before i finally decided to upgrade to a more fancy model.

back in the usa
wed 6.6.07 ~ 7:40a ~ burbank, california

my friend koizu was nice enough to let me crash at his apartment for about a week in simi valley where he was living at the time i arrived back in the states in late february. i spent that week mostly getting adjusted to the time change and hanging out at july films, the animation studio our teacher and friend mike nguyen started. mike let me use one of their computers to research for the new apartment and car i had to find. in the meantime, we went out to eat, and here are a few of the first meals i had back here.

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first night back i had korean-style short ribs at a hawaiian place

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delicious panang thai curry at palms in hollywood

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this was a highly anticipated meal for me

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yummy double-double tasted just as good as i remembered it

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can't forget those great fries made from fresh potatoes

leaving korea
tue 6.5.07 ~ 7:20a ~ burbank, california

on the morning of friday, february 23, after two years of living in korea, i left and came back to america. i left my apartment around 6:00a, but before i left i had one last look around.

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my luggage was packed to its limits

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one thing i don't miss are those pink bedsheets

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the tiny and empty desk where i spent lots of time

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my tiny kitchen

it's funny because it's only now that i realize that while my apartment was a decent size, everything in it was small. it's was as if they just took a tight little place and stretched it out, but left all the smaller amenities just as they were.

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headed out the door

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one last look at my door on my way out

moving away is always a weird thing because you're trying to figure out how you feel about it, but it's hard to even focus on that because there are always so many arrangements to worry about. i wanted to spend some time reflecting on my life in korea and looking forward to the changes to come moving back to america, but it was impossible to ignore the heavy suitcases i had to drag down to the airport bus stop.

at the airport i was told that my suitcase was too heavy, and i'd have to move some things into a separate box. luckily they had a station for doing just that in the terminal, and it only cost around ???6,000 ($6) for the box and the packing. after all that early morning rushing to get packed and to the airport, my flight was delayed about two hours. even worse was the fact that i had booked my flight a bit late and got stuck on a chinese carrier and therefor had to fly over to shanghai and then on to los angeles. i did get a bit of good news as i waited in the crowded terminal for the delayed flight. an airline employee came up to me and said they were bumping me up to business class for the short flight to shanghai.

once in shanghai i went through a slightly strange process in order to connect to my other flight to los angeles. most of the korean passengers from seoul were simply visiting china, so there were only about four of us connecting to another flight. an airport employee personally walked us through this maze of the airport to go through customs and another security check in order to get to the terminal we needed. in all it felt very unofficial, as if they were making special accommodations for these few strange passengers who got the radical new idea they'd connect to another flight.

after that it was a typical journey from shanghai to los angeles. i was disappointed they didn't have a tv monitor in the back of the seat in front of me, but they did have an outlet so i hooked up my laptop and entertained myself that way for much of the trip. i arrived in los angeles around 11:00a and my friend koizu picked me up. from there we went straight to (where else?) koreatown for lunch with his girlfriend natalie at one of my favorite restaurants, ?????? (gil mok, the corner place).

well, for now at least my korean journey is over, but i look forward to chronicling my american adventures here in the future. as always, i want to get caught up so i'm not writing about things that happened three months ago. i'll do my best. in the mean time, thanks for everyone who checked out my site while i was in korea, and i hope you'll still find it interesting now that i'm back in the states.

last night
mon 6.4.07 ~ 7:41a ~ burbank, california

thursday, february 22nd was my last evening in korea. i met my good friend hyejin for dinner at my favorite ????????? (doeji kalbi, barbecued pork) restaurant in my old neighborhood in ????? (nonhyeon).

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hyejin enjoying some of the delicious meal

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doeji kalbi cooking on the grill at our table

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here's what it looks like after it's cooked and cut up and ready to enjoy

oddly enough, since i've been back in los angeles i've tried having this food but none of my korean friends in america seem to know this. if i say ???????? (doeji kalbi) they think of a spicy version, not this version. i wonder if it is only recently popular in korea. from how widely available it is i just assumed it has been a longstanding favorite. and even if it is sort of new thing, i would still think that korean in america would also enjoy it. right now i'm on a quest to find it in los angeles.

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salad was one of many other delicious side dishes at this excellent restaurant

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some great side dishes, including 게장 (gae jang, spicy raw crab)

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more good side dishes

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a closer look at the raw crab, one of my favorites

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ever present and always delicious kimchi

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and where there's kimchi and korean barbecue you're sure to find rice

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last and certainly not last some delicious ?장찌개 (doenjang jjigae, bean paste soup)

after the meal, hyejin and i walked down to the gangnam station area and went to an old hangout of ours, the o'sulloc green tea cafe. i had my favorite thing there one last time, a green tea shake called ????????????????????? (fredo ice cream). we had a nice time talking a lot about the previous two years and how fast they'd gone by. hyejin also had a big transition coming up for her, shortly after she moved to india to work for an animation company doing business with her korean company. i went home around 11:00p and got some last things packed to be ready to leave early the next morning for my flight back to the states.