Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Preparing for Year of the Tiger

Here's a kagami mochi altar I created in honor of 2010. Unlike traditional Japanese kagami mochi, Ajumma's consists of plastic rice cakes (the 2 layers represent the past year and the upcoming year) and a plastic mikan (which represent family). I bought the fern leaves at my local florist. Kagami mochi run the gamut from simple to decked out. In true modern style, ours sits below our television.

Jenn, a baker and blogger, molded these cute new year mochi out of fondant and placed them atop cupcakes. Awesome idea! See Jenn's finished product here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Is a man in Fuggs still a man?

Nowadays men are free to do almost anything like get facials, play the flute and marry another man. I would have gladly accepted these things more than I did seeing several dudes in Uggs at the beach. Why? Because Uggs are not real boots. Because it never gets cold enough in Southern California to warrant wearing boots anyway. Because we were at the BEACH for goodness sake. Because Uggs are horrid enough on women, let alone on men. Maybe these guys lost bets with friends, so I'll just let it go.

Turn left at the giant Buddha heads

Favorite store on Abbot Kinney in Venice: Grow
Grow carries a myriad of succulents, leafy plants and colorful pots in their courtyard. Inside the cottage, unique houseplants and boutique items greet you at every turn. If I were to rewrite my life in a sunny flash, I'd work in or own a place like Grow.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The girl can't help it

Ajumma knows it's uncool to like Orange County. The place is infamous for its planned communities, spralling shopping malls, spoiled, fake housewives and conservative mega churches. Other than the gated communities which I despise (it's unfair that rich people own the best views of the ocean), when I think of Orange County I imagine beaches, sun, diverse people and delicious food.

Huntington Dog Beach, a little slice of heaven

Giant Robot show at Japanese American National Museum

Blame the Germans

Yogurt is the new boba! You can't walk a block in Southern California without running into a yogurt shop. Yogurtland, Yogurt Fun, Yogurt Passion, Delight Yogurt, Sweet Sixteen Yogurt, YoGood, Froyolife and of course the one that inspired them all, Pinkberry.

Short dresses or long sweaters worn with black tights and boots seem to be the new winter trend among L.A. women. I witnessed numerous girls in this exact getup shivering at the market last night. I wanted to tell them the reason they're freaking cold is because they're not wearing any pants.

BMW must have had a sale, because everyone and their brother is driving Bimmers.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

L.A. or bust

Off to Los Angeles for Christmas, assuming a huge winter storm doesn't have its way.

Monday, December 21, 2009


IKEA was starting to feel like IKEBLAH. A recent trip through the lower section, however, showed me they've kicked it up a notch in their glassware section. I particularly like their Godis line of midcentury-esque geometric shapes. I love their Snall collection featuring delicate turquoise lines. I brainstormed ways I could use the narrow glasses and decided they'd look nice with a baby lucky bamboo in them.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mmm, bap

Usually for office potlucks I boil a box of Suddenly Salad and throw it into the nicest ceramic bowl I own. For this year's holiday party I made yubu chobap.

4:30 am Drag myself out of bed to turn on rice cooker.
5:00 am Spread the cooked rice to cool onto a sheet of tinfoil.
6:00 am Lay in bed dreaming that I'm stuffing the rice into the tofu pouches.
6:30 am Wake up and actually season and stuff rice into the tofu pouches.
7:00 am Pray that my coworkers will eat something resembling rice stuffed into testicle sacks.

Thank god it's the freakin' weekend

Ajumma gloves sighting

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jason Segel loves Rush

One of my favorite scenes from Freaks & Geeks. Ajumma grew up listening to Rush because my brother was into the Canadian band in the 1980's. Long live LP's.

Jason Segel did not appeal to me five years ago, but he does now. The same goes for Ralph Macchio, Rock Hudson and Han Solo. I'll assume this is part of the aging process for women.

Revolutionizing ramen

I got my first Christmas gift! Two Ramen Spoon + Forks arrived at Ajumma's doorstep courtesy of my aunt and uncle, yesterday. Masami Takahashi originally designed this utensil for use at his noodle restaurant chain in Japan so his customers could drink the broth and grasp the ramen. MoMA sells them and touts they're stylish and environmentally-friendly vs. disposable chopsticks. Ajumma's excited to use them as I've never been able to navigate chopsticks in one hand and a spoon in my other.

Nooschi received the Ramen Spoon + Fork back in May. Nooschi's food blog includes a review of the product and nice photos (like the one above. Thanks, Nooschi!).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Daniel Henney on Taster's Choice

I finally got around to buying a Daniel Henney version of Taster's Choice, today. I swear, put his face on car batteries or light bulbs and I'd probably buy those, too. The last time I was this excited to see a person's face on a box was when freestyle skiing bronze medalist Toby Dawn appeared on Frosted Flakes with Tony the Tiger.

I just realized the official title is Frosted Flakes of Corn.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

3 best pop songs not on iTunes

Sick of Myself - Death Cab for Cutie's cover of the 1990's Matthew Sweet song

Unbeautiful -Jason Nevins' dance remix of Lesley Roy's single

Wake Up Boo -The Boo Radleys are the most horrific band I've ever seen live, but I still like this song

Envying those who get to see waves

My dad, who once shaped his own surfboard, thought I'd be missing California right now so he sent me some beautiful photos of ocean barrels.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The 90's are back

I came face to face with rows of colorful, shiny Doc Marten knock-offs at Wal-Mart last weekend. I haven't seen designer combat boots since 1992, so I was pretty excited. Feeling nostalgic, I even tried on a black pair. I don't care if 90's fashion ever really comes back as long as 80's trends finally go away.

Monday, December 7, 2009

No love for big noses: Jun Ji-Hyun and Zhang Ziyi

I can't get used to Korean actress Ji-Hyun Jun's new nose. Before her plastic surgery in 2008, Ji-Hyun's face had lovely proportion and a softness to it. Her new nose is too small for her face and makes her borderline unrecognizable. Perhaps Ji-Hyun's trying to move away from sassy, girl-next-door roles into vampier ones.

Zhang Ziyi is another Asian actress with a major nose job. While Zhang's new nose is proportional, her voluptuous, earthy appeal was thrown out the window when she went under the surgeon's knife.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sean Malto for Fourstar

Representing Minneapolis in style

Bought my first Secret Santa gift today. This t-shirt, designed by Minneapolis' own MFM apparel, is for my sister-in-law who is an artist turned elementary school teacher. She doesn't know this blog exists, obviously.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spinning under the disco lights

Jason Nevins' dance remixes of "Better in Time" and "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis will make you feel just like this.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kotatsu time!

Arctic weather is expected to blow into Minnesota this week. The *&%^$#* freezing temps have me longing for warm Korean ondol. There's no feeling like sitting on a toasty floor eating jjigae while snow flies outside. Practically as wonderful as ondol, but less likely to melt your CDs and whatever else is on your floor, is a Japanese kotatsu.

Kotatsu is a special table with an electric heater mounted underneath. A heavy duvet is placed between the table frame and the tabletop. Kotatsu are so commonly used to get the Japanese (who don't have central heat) through winters that Rement released a kotatsu toy.

The warmth and coziness of kotatsu are awesome. Leaving a kotatsu behind, however, can feel like torture. Marukai markets sell square kotatsu for $228.

Kermit's family enjoy their kotatsu together.

Non-reality TV

Despite what the writers of Knocked Up, King of Queens, and now the Fox comedy The League would like to think, super gorgeous women do not marry average Joe, potbellied men. It's like having show after show about women with size 14 butts and Crocs married to male models.

Nadine Velazquez (My Name is Earl) and Leslie Bibb (Taladega Nights) are married to the guys in The League. Yeah, right.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Daniel Henney got snubbed!

People Magazine should call their "Sexiest Man Alive" issue the "We Only Acknowledge the Same Five Actors Over & Over" issue. While actor John Cho is a hot piece who has starred in several blockbusters and may be recognized by soccer moms, do women scream his name on multiple continents? Does his face appear on Taster's Choice?
Speaking of packages, Ajumma did get a few chuckles out of the issue's multi-page spread of Jerry O'Connell going out his day in a red speedo. It made my trip through the line at the grocery store more enjoyable.

L.A. Premiere of Ninja Assassin

Yea, Sung Kang!

Friday, November 20, 2009