Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Damn it, My Mom is on Facebook Filter! (SNL)

We all know we can use a filter like this every once in a while...OK, maybe a little more frequent than that!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

FDA Will Ban Alcoholic Energy Drinks "Four Loko"

Alcoholic energy drinks will be banned by the FDA according to New York Senator Charles Schumer. In a statement to the media, Schumer announced that the ban on Four Loko and similar drinks could happen very soon:

The Food and Drug Administration plans to announce that caffeine isn’t a safe addition to alcoholic beverages, ending a yearlong review of the products. The Federal Trade Commission will tell manufacturers that marketing these products is potentially illegal.

“This ruling should be the nail in the coffin of these dangerous and toxic drinks,” Parents should be able to rest a little easier knowing that soon their children won’t have access to this deadly brew.”
The momentum of state bans on the drinks has gotten the attention of the FDA. Washington, Michigan, Utah and Oklahoma banned the so called "energy drinks". One of the most popular drinks, Four Loko, contains about 12% alcohol (the equivalent of two beers) and about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

Dr. Jeffrey Huttman, Chief Clinical Officer of Challenges Addiction and Relapse Prevention Treatment Center says:
“We are actually witnessing some of our young patients coming into treatment heavily impaired by Four Loko recently. They call it quick, cheap and efficient, but their state of mind is tremendously altered by it – beyond that of an alcoholic drink without caffeine.”

Friday, November 5, 2010

Penelope Bar featured in Oakland Magazine

My buddy's bar in Oakland, Penelope, is featured in Oakland Magazine this month! Check out the cute bartender in the image above, that's Juanito, my BFF and roommate!! :)

I love this paragraph!

The brain trust of this operation consists of Tung "Saigon" Tran (owner and bartender) and Johnny K. Navarro (head bartender and drink wizard). The idea for Penelope started around the turn of the millennium. "Tung has been one of my best friends for about 10 years, and we always talked about opening a bar," says Navarro.

I'm so proud of you guys. Great work!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ebay Partners with Facebook for #GroupGifts

This is a brilliant idea! Now friends on Facebook can collaborate in a group and individually contribute to purchase an eBay gift for a friend on Facebook. Perfect for birthdays, Christmas, and special occasions.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

San Francisco GIANTS are Going Back to The World Series!

I'm a Padres fan at heart, but I must admit, it's pretty freakin' awesome to be living in San Francisco right now! The San Francisco Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 tonight, 3-2, at Citizens Bank Park.

Tim "the freak" Lincecum , Juan Uribe and Bryan Wilson are on fire. Uribe hit a solo homerun in the eighth inning giving the Giants the lead. Brian "Fear the Beard" Wilson sealed the deal in the ninth inning after striking out Phillies first baseman, Ryan Howard.

The Giants are heading back to the World Series for the first time in eight years, and will play the Texas Rangers in Game 1 on Wednesday at AT&T Park. Things are going to get even more wild and crazy out here - and I'm lovin' every second of it!

2010 World Series: Giants vs. Rangers! Click here to see World Series schedule.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Birthday: An Unforgettable Day in the Bay

Two of my brothers (David and Bill) and I posed for a "family" photo in front of the Bay Bridge.

My dear friend, Richard, who is a talented and eloquent writer, was kind enough to write a recep of my birthday! I'm so honored that he was willing to compose a meticulous summary of my special day on the bay.

If anyone is interesting in chartering a boat for a special event, I highly recommend hiring Alexander. His website is http://www.sfscatteringatsea.com/trnsprtr/. He is fun, responsive and professional. Prices are very affordable and he's down to party afterwards!

Deck Candy #1-6.

And now, here's Richard's account of what went down on September 25, 2010:

Kim’s milestone birthday bash kicked off at Emeryville Pier on "Lucky 13," a 44-ft yacht. The weather was pretty much perfect: sunny and almost cloudless with a nice sea breeze, and unusually warm temperatures for the Bay area.

Once everyone settled in, Alexander, the captain, went over a list of safety measures that included three things I could remember with complete clarity, 1) if you fell off the front of the boat while it was moving forward you’d be chopped to pieces; 2) if someone goes overboard, everyone should point to the person and shout "man overboard"; and 3) because the boat was larger than 30 feet we were required by law to go to the aid of any distressed boats in our area. Most of us didn't pay too much attention (kind of like when the flight attendants go over safety procedures before takeoff) because what were the odds that we would actually use any of that information?

What more could a girl ask for? Great company, sublime scenery and immaculate weather.

We were off and the party began with healthy bites, not-so-healthy beverages, and great tunes. Karthik brought his ever-so-popular playlist, which was a crowd favorite at Penelope's Anniversary party.

Approximately twenty minutes after leaving the dock, we were circling a boat named The Canada, and found ourselves receiving a tow line from the incapacitated vessel and headed back to Emeryville Pier. Or in other words, 40 minutes after beginning our party boat voyage, we were right back where we started. Most of us weren't too thrilled about this (and there may have been a joke or two about the cause of the boat’s problems and its name somehow being linked together), but we figured that if we had to rescue a boat, it was better that it happened early while we were still close to the pier. Plus, rescuing a boat on your birthday has to result in some good karma, right? After scooping up a wayward balloon on our way back out to the Bay, the cruise was back on track.

We were required to tow The Canada back to the dock.
 After fulfilling our role as SF coast guards, we were able to continue enjoying the rest of the cruise free of rescues. We traveled underneath the Bay Bridge and passed by Pac-Bell Park and then headed out towards the Golden Gate Bridge. Music was playing, drinks were flowing, and tons of pictures were being taken. Some planted themselves on the deck at the front of the boat, enjoying the sun and an excellent view of the Bay, while others gathered around a table in the back of the boat behind the Captain’s bench, enjoying the easy access to top quality alcohol.

After a couple of hours, those of us in the back heard the captain receive a call from a boat in distress. We were incredulous. There was no way we’d have to rescue ANOTHER boat. Surely one of the other 500 boats out on the Bay would provide assistance before we had to, right?

Fifteen minutes later, we were attaching yet another tow line to our boat. However, when the ACTUAL Coast Guard showed up in their powerful boat with six or seven uniformed officers standing on deck observing the situation, we all let out a collective cheer. Unfortunately, our joy was short lived when we found out the Coast Guards were a little busy that day (even though WE were doing all the rescuing and they followed us for a good ten minutes, creating quite the visual) and asked us to help them out. Luckily, the distressed boat only needed to be towed as far as Sausalito. Even better, their captain said that when we arrived, drinks would be on him at the Sausalito Yacht Club. The couple who owned the boat that we towed turned out to be really nice and friendly people.

The gang at the Sausalito Yacht Club.

One hour and a few drinks later we were back on the boat, in high spirits, and headed for home. The music was going again and, with Kim leading the way, people were up and dancing.

Juan accepts Tung's offer of $100 to jump into the cold, freezing waters.

Juan, Kim’s best friend, housemate, and all around good guy, capped off the day with a couple of not quite swan dives from the back of the boat into what had to be 50 degree water to a round of applause, cheers, and laughter. It was the only time we slowed down as we made our way back to the pier deftly (and fortunately) avoiding anymore distress calls. We had done our part and then some. Hell, I’m willing to bet that not even the Coast Guard could claim they rescued two boats AND a balloon on Kim’s birthday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Simpsons Collaborate with Banksy for Intro

The infamous Banksy, my favorite graffiti artist, helped to design this Simpsons' intro! It's dark, yet powerful, as is all his work.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blue Angels Whiz the Clear Skies During Fleet Week in San Francisco

Growing up in a military town, I never had the desire to watch the Blue Angels showcase their aerobatic maneuvers at the Miramar Air Show. But for some reason now that I'm in San Francisco, it became a must-see event I couldn't miss.

We watched the Blue Angels from a rooftop in Russian Hill.

The Blue Angels team is stationed in Pensacola, Florida during the show season, but the squadron spends January through March training pilots and new team members at Naval Air Facility in El Centro, California, which also happens to be where my parents live. I wonder if they'll let me check out the "facilities" next time I visit my folks. :)

The Barbary Coast Trail guided tour was led by Jeff.

Since I had Columbus Day off, when Paula asked if I wanted to spend my day as a volunteer to help support our troops, I jumped at the call of duty and blindly accepted the mission with honor and pride.

The guide talks about the history of the two connected islands in the San Francisco Bay, man-made Treasure Island and Yerba Buena.

Little did I know, the volunteer work would consist of me and the girls (Paula, Patricia, Leila, and Maya) wrangling 100 U.S. Marines and Navy soldiers while they walked the Barbary Coast Trail! The trail is 1.9 miles long and the weather was scorching hot, but we successfully herded the troops with finesse. We ended the walking tour at the American Legion headquarters to enjoy a nice catered lunch and cold beers.

The American Legion California Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Foundation has been established as a nonprofit public benefit corporation, and the specific purpose of the Foundation is to establish a support foundation for the benefit of The American Legion. Everyone greeted us with vibrant, friendly smiles and the atmosphere was lively.

We escorted the sailors to Tiernan's Irish Pub.

Who knew volunteering would be such hard work?! Needless to say, arm twisting wouldn't be necessary if you asked me to volunteer again during Fleet Week! The things that I'd do for my country - just call me a true patriot!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

¡Viva México! Celebrating Mexico's 200th Anniversary of Independence with Tequila Tastings

No it's not Cinco de Mayo, it's Mexico's Independence Day on September 16, 2010. In fact, this year marks the 200th anniversary of Mexico's independence from Spain!

With Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrating their independence on September 15, combined with September being Latino Heritage month - you're pretty much guaranteed fiestas all week long!

Bartender Johnny arrives with his hat and tache!

The Penelope crew and I went to a margarita tasting at Tres Agaves restaurant in San Francisco featuring El Jimador Añejo, El Tesoro Platinum, and Casa Noble tequilas.

To end the evening, a Jimador showed us how he uses the "coa de jima", a flat-bladed knife at the end of a long pole, to remove the flower from the blue agave plant, which is used for tequila production.

Long Live the Heroes that gave us our Fatherland!
Long Live Hidalgo!
Long Live Morelos!
Long Live Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez!
Long Live Allende!
Long Live Aldama and Matamoros!
Long Live National Independence!
Long Live the Independence Bicentennial!
Long Love the Centennial of the Revolution!
Long Live Mexico!
Long Live Mexico!
Long Live Mexico!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

US OPEN 2010: Another Reason Why Roger Federer is a God

As if his dashing good looks weren't enough, here's another reason why Roger Federer is the hottest thing in tennis!

This "in-between-the-legs" shot is PHENOMENAL! He makes it look so damn easy! Bless him :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Funny Infomercials: As Seen on TV

We've all chuckled watching the Shake Weight and Snuggies infomercials, but get a load of these old school commercials!!! They are unbelievably ridiculous ~ Enjoy!

Tiddy Bear

Comfort Wipe

Kush Support

Potty Putter

Uro Club

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Facebook Movie: Justin Timberlake Plays Napster Co-Founder Sean Parker

So the trailer for the Facebook movie, "The Social Network," looks a bit hokey - to put it mildly. However, look on the bright side...Justin Timberlake is in it. He plays Napster co-founder, Sean Parker.

I know what you're thinking - the resemblance is uncanny!

"The Social Network" will be released in theaters worldwide by Columbia Pictures in October 2010.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Do you Remember Beepers? Pagers? Numeric Code?

Boy oh boy, do I feel old! Back in the days before smart phones...before cell phones...before the Zack Morris phone...and before car phones, we carried around chunky beepers (or pagers) and clipped them to our waistline!!! How cool were we? We developed our very own language, numeric code. Ah yes, the good old days!

143 = I love you
823 = Thinking of you
411= Info
911 = Emergency

A = 6, B = 8, C = 2, D = 0, E = 3, F = 4, G = 6, H = 4, I = 1, J = 7, K = 15, L = 7, M = 177, N = 17, O = 0, P = 9, Q = 0, R = 12, S = 5, T = 7, U = 11, V = 0, W = 111, X = 25, Y = 4, Z = 2

Let's test out your skills. Can you read the above message???

It's scary to think how dependent we are on technology. I can't imagine my life without a smart phone anymore...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Gabe Leonard: Talented Oil Painting Artist with Range

Juan and I stopped by the Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco last weekend and met a very talented artist by the name of Gabe Leonard. Juan first discovered Gabe's work at San Diego State University's Art Fair a few years back, which featured his collection of oil paintings focused primarily on fantastical themes.

Image from Gabe Leonard's website: Raven's Memory

Image from Gabe Leonard's website: Mermaid

However, more recently, Gabe has been working on Wild West/Outlaw inspired pieces, which he showcased at the Fillmore Jazz Festival. We purchased a print of Dead Man's Hand to display in our new apartment, which desperately needed a final piece in the dining room (aka poker room).

It was a great honor meeting Gabe and I hope he continues to pursue his dream as a background painter in feature animation.

Gabe Leonard at Fillmore Jazz Festival 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Have you heard of Openbook? Check Your Privacy Settings on Facebook

We've all read one too many articles about people updating their Facebook statuses and Twitter updates with way too much information (e.g. getting wasted, playing hookey from work, phone sex, booty calls - you get the gist!!!). In the past, I attributed these potentially harmful updates to people who simply made bad life decisions. I must admit, I had very little sympathy.

However, recently I've started to sympathize for people who are left in the dark and unaware of the changes in Facebook's privacy settings. Maybe it's not entirely their fault afterall? The privacy settings can be confusing, especially if you're not a seasoned Facebook user who eats, sleeps and breathes social media.

Openbook is a site that let's you search public Facebook updates using Facebook's own search service. Look at how many people are still publishing way too much information that can result in loss of a current job or future job!

Here are some helpful articles and tips to help you better understand the new privacy settings:


Good luck!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pet Peeves: Why do people create pointless Twitter accounts?

I know it's Friday, but please just allow me to rant about one of my biggest pet peeves on Twitter real quick.

Every once in a while I get a reply (@NYjetsetter) on twitter that directs me to a Twitter profile that is pointless and annoying. They simply set up a Twitter account and reply to a whole bunch of users on Twitter. If they were a proper spammer, they would at least include a URL in their profile, but nah, they couldn't be bothered. I just Block and Report them for Spam. OK, there! I got it out of my system. Have a spectacular weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hiking at Yosemite Valley: Mother Nature at Her Best

 Glacier Point: View of Half Dome

Aside from the mosquito bites and massive sunburn on my back, I had an amazing hiking experience at Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Valley offers 800 miles of hiking trails with various levels of difficulty, from easy and moderate to strenuous, very strenuous and extremely strenuous (i.e. Half Dome).

Marek and I completed three trails in two days:

1) Lower Yosemite Fall (easy, 1.0 mile round-trip, 20 minutes)

2) Top of Upper Yosemite Falls (very strenuous, 7.2 miles round-trip, 4-6 hours, 2,700-foot gain)

3) Glacier Point (very strenuous, 9.6 miles round-trip, 4-8 hours, 3,200-foot gain)

Mile 2 on Upper Yosemite Falls trail. It felt like so much more!

Unfortunately, we weren't able to hike to the top of Half Dome because the cables weren't up. The hike to Half Dome is 16.3 miles round-trip, 10-12 hours, extremely strenuous, and 4,800-foot gain! Did I mention that I'm afraid of heights? After watching this video, I'm actually relieved we weren't able attempt it. I need some major cojones before hiking Half Dome. 

The Yosemite Valley Hiking Map will give you the distance of each trail along with elevation details.

Breathtaking panoramic views during trail to Glacier Point.

Yosemite Park Entrance Fees:

Reservations are not required to enter Yosemite. The park is open year-round, 24 hours/day.

Vehicle (7 day pass) $20
Individual (bus, foot, bicycle) $10
Yosemite One Year Pass $40
Lifetime Senior Pass (62+) $10

Campground reservations call 877.444.6777

Lodging reservations cal 801.559.5000

I can't wait to go back again! I recommend bringing plenty of food because the grocery store at Yosemite will certainly burn a hole through your wallet.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Best Gift Ever!

 Personalized beverage insulators (beverage not included)
I just received a little package in the mail today from Marisa, a dear friend from New York who recently visited San Francisco. Marisa sent us personalized beverage insulators from PersonalizationMall.com! What a befitting and thoughtful gift idea! We hope you visit us again soon so that we can all enjoy plenty of chilled beverages together. Thanks Marisa!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon: Mission Accomplished!

The 13th Annual Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon took place last Sunday, June 6, 2010. Temperatures reached the low 80s during the race, which is much warmer than usual for this time of year. Of course, I neglected to drench my body with sunblock and as a result, I now have a perfect tan line of my sports bra and jogging shorts! Très sexy oui?!

Evidently the heat didn't stand in the way of Kenyan Richard Limo winning the men's elite race, completing the marathon with a time of 2:09:58. Russian Yulia Gromova won the women's race, finishing in 2:27:42.

A brand new course was introduced at the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon this year.  The course started at Balboa Park and went through downtown San Diego, the Padres' Stadium, Mission Valley and Fiesta Island before finishing in Sea World Park. The race benefited the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to support blood cancer research. 

Now here's my only beef with this year's course. The course was supposed to showcase America's Finest City, but it certainly did not do San Diego any justice. It would have been nice if the course included Old Town, Seaport Village and Harbor Drive. Most runners would probably agree with me when I say that the worst part of the course was Fiesta Island. The last six miles were treaturous! Of the entire course, this was where runners needed the most motivation and it was DESERTED and MONOTONOUS.

 The image above is pretty much the view we had for the final six miles on Fiesta Island.

The San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Health & Fitness Expo took place at the Convention Center and was filled with  exhibitors, celebs and fun fair games. (Photo Credit: Lester Cacho and Ollie Neglerio)

Here I am struggling to finish the last mile. (Photo credit: Chris Del Rosario)

I reunited with my former New York running crew, Irwin and Katie, after the race and quickly headed for beers to commemorate the victory. Go Rez Dogs and Harriers!!!

I managed to complete the full marathon in 4:46, which I'm certainly pleased with considering my lack of training. Unfortunately, the pain during and after the race was excruciating - lesson learned. Next time I'll be better prepared. Wait...did I say next time? 

   Special thanks to Chris for standing patiently under the hot sun and taking photos at the finish line. We hobbled all the way back to the parking lot at snail speed and celebrated at The Wave House.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Penelope Lounge Turns One on June 19, 2010: Masquerade Party

 Juan and I went shopping for masks at Costume Party on Hyde Street today

My friend, Tung AKA Saigon, will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of Penelope Lounge, his cocktail bar located in Oakland, on Saturday, June 19th at 7pm! The evening will be a Masquerade-themed affair, so guests are expected to come dressed to the nines!

The party will begin with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, live music, and free-flowing champagne. As a bonus for the evening, Penelope will be auctioning off their charming bartender, Johnny Kobra Navarro, for a dream date at Pican in Oakland's Uptown district.

Who could resist? Start saving up your money!!! :)

And there’s more, a photographer will be on-site to capture guests in their glamorous outfits. Photos will be posted on the Facebook page.

Please be sure to tell your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Meetup, and FourSquare!

Special Promotion: From now until June 19th, Penelope's will be offering half off first drinks to all new Facebook fans. Just become a fan and post a message on the wall letting them know why Penelope is your favorite cocktail bar in Oakland. We hope to reach 1,000 fans before the Big Day! http://www.facebook.com/penelopeoaktown

RSVP here: http://bit.ly/PenelopeLounge or send me an email: kim [dot] hong [dot] pr [at] gmail [dot] com

Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop (Exclusive 5 minute Sneak Peek)

Here's an extended five-minute sneak peek of Exit Through the Gift Shop to give you a taste of the film

Exit Through the Gift Shop, a documentary-style film about street art (claimed to have been directed by Banksy), released in May. However, many critics question the authenticity of the documentary, calling it a hoax! 

Is "Exit Through the Gift Shop" just another Banksy prank?

“I don’t know why so many people have been fooled into thinking this film is fake,” Banksy, or someone purporting to be he, wrote in an e-mail message from Los Angeles, where the film had a premiere on Monday night. “It’s a true story from real footage. Does it bother me people don’t believe it? I could never have written a script this funny.”

Is the joke on US?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Adam Carolla LIVE at Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco

Adam Carolla performed at Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco last night.

After Adam Carolla's radio show was canceled in February 2009, he began podcasting, which has been quite a huge success in the podcast arena.

According to Wikipedia, during its debut week, the Adam Carolla podcast recorded 1.6 million downloads and 2.4 million downloads in its second week. By the third podcast it was the number one podcast on iTunes in both the U.S. and Canada. Just goes to show the loyalty of his fans and what they are willing to do to listen to his comedic rants. His podcasts consists of interviews with writers, comedians, successful entrepreneurs and celebrities from A-Z lists (my favorite being the dreamy Alec Baldwin). He also interjects self-deprecating humor and complains about pretty much everything and anything. What started off as an experiment in new media has developed and expanded into a huge success, while capturing an extremely loyal and dedicated fan base.

In an effort to make some sort of income, Adam started touring and doing LIVE shows, which is why the guys and I decided to check out his show at Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco to show our support. Adam did three back-to-back shows, which left him pretty exhausted by the third set, understandably so. He kicked off the set with his signature bit, What can't Adam complain about?, and continued with a clip from The Man Show and a surprise appearance from Steve Wozniak, one of Apple's co-founders, who just happened to be sitting in the crowd. All-in-all, the show was great and we remain loyal fans and wish him and his team the best of luck in this venture.

Steve Wozniak presented perforated $2 dollar bills to the audience, which Juan was lucky enough to get signed by Steve Wozniak and Adam Carolla.

Get it on, got to get it on, got no choice but to get it on, mandate get it on!