Monday, November 28, 2011


have you guys heard about a website called before i go on and talk about it, i want to sum up all my thoughts on the website by borrowing the words of Kanye. tha shi cray!!! 

one day my cousin started talking about this search engine site that he'd found that listed all sorts of information about him that he didn't want known. it intrigued me, so i asked him to look me up. just by plugging in my name the website laid out all of my business. my name, my address, the value of my house, my email address, my zodiac sign, ethnicity, my chinese zodiac sign, a google image of my house, my parents names and ages, my brother and his age, etc. were all listed. and that's WITHOUT paying for their service. that's all the information  you can get about somebody for free. 

now imagine what information they've got about you if someone decides to pay the fee to find out more information. there are icons listing hobbies and interests, whether you like kids or not, etc. they obviously gather the information from other social networking sites such as the monster Facebook. ever notice that when you hit "Like" for (let's say) the 49ers, all of a sudden ads on the side of the page are for football, or sports, or the colors red and gold? the second you allow a social networking site know you like something, you are dumped into a demographic and are immediately targeted. this fucking scary spokeo website collects all of that information and displays it for anybody who is searching for you. now i'm aware that there is a shit ton of information on the internets and just about anybody in this world can be found (well, unless you're from a small lip plate wearing tribe), but the fact that all of this information is condensed on one website that you never even signed up for is sort of scary. any creep out there can easily stalk you with one quick search. i mean, what happened to the ol' days when stalkers really had to work hard at what they did? pull out the giant yellow pages and physically sift through pages of names and phone numbers, peek behind bushes to find out what movies you watch in your living room, or call and hang up after hearing your voice. now they can just type in your name to see a photo of where you're living, discover your favorite movies and find your vimeo or youtube page to hear your voice. creeptastic!

anybody that doesn't want to be found, good effing luck! if you weren't aware of the site (like i imagine many people aren't), check it out. search yourself and see what you think. then please delete your ass off of that shit! go to the page, scroll to the very bottom and click "privacy." you just have to put in the html to your specific page and give them an email address. they'll take your info off immediately....but guess what! now they've got your current email address in their files too! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

just because you look good doesn't make you awesome

ever see a toddler that is so absolutely cute that your are sure that they are going to grow up to be stunningly gorgeous or handsome? when i see a kid that cute, most of the time i just think "awesome! job well done mom and dad!" but sometimes i can't help but wonder whether they're going to end up being heart breakers or cocky assholes/assholettes. sure they start out as innocent kids who happen to have the right gene combination, but some of them will grow up to be jerkfaces.

we've all come across that striking guy who knows he's hot. he's been treated differently his whole life because he knows how to use his looks to his advantage. he gets the girl. he gets the better table at a restaurant. there's that promotion that you've been working hard to get, but guess who gets it. the handsome devil whose numbers fell short but damn does that confidence make him seem like he's perfect for the job. she gets the guy. she gets free drinks. oh, and she says the dumbest things but somehow everybody seems to want to listen. and it doesn't happen just because they're good looking. it happens because they know they're good looking and act with that in mind. the world seems to revolve around them so they don't need to acknowledge the world.

often times i find these people use their looks to their advantage. and who can really blame them? they're just working with what they've got, right? sometimes for that guy or girl, it's easy to play the field and hook up with whoever they wish to. because it's so easy for them sometimes they get cocky and become self absorbed. sometimes they find themselves tired of who they're with and break hearts. on to the next one! i find these people to be arrogant. their worth to the superficial world would make them kings and queens but the value of their character is far less than what the eye perceives.

then there are the awesome people out there who are equally good looking yet are clueless to that knowledge. there is a good number of people roaming around unaware that they, too, could be heart breakers and could easily find shortcuts in life if they'd use their looks to their advantage. some of them are masked by a geeky exterior or simply a pure heart. they don't walk with a strut, they just walk around like you or me a normal person. they get that raise because they worked hard at their job, not because they flirted their way up the chain. they get the good table because they waited just like everybody else or made a reservation rather than flash their blaring white shiny teeth at the host. they are just participating in life as an average Joe, no better than anybody else.

so sometimes i see those little cute toddlers in all their innocence and wonder which type of person they'll end up becoming. it breaks my heart to know that some of them will end up hot and unawesome. but it also is refreshing to know that some of them will become humble, incredibly cool people.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Napa wine train

a few weeks ago Stefan and i went back to Napa to take a ride on the wine train after our last failed attempt. clearly we went sometime in October when the sun was still out. it seems the weather has finally taken a turn and decided it wanted to switch into winter mode. 

Stefan likes train rides, so when my coworker offered me a pair of free tickets, i knew i had to take him up on the offer. it was a three and a half hour train ride from Napa to St. Helena and back. during the ride we were fed a three course meal and had tickets for wine tasting as well. the train has a nice old timey charm to it. i imagine that having lunch on a train like that was quite luxurious at the time that the train was first in operation. 

the walkway to the train was covered with locks with written or carved names and dates on them. love locks, i imagine. i thought the idea was cute.

we were seated on the "gourmet train," and had a three course meal. the food was presented nicely, and to some might have been very good, but i'm somewhat of a food snob. to me, the food was a bit better than what you'd imagine mass produced food served at a wedding would taste like. 
green salad with goat cheese and candied pecans.

pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes. it was tender and the potatoes were pretty good.

beef with artichoke heart

after lunch was served, we were moved to a different car for coffee and dessert. the car was lined with individual swivel chairs so that you could face into the car or out of the window for nice views of Napa Valley.

creme brulee

tiramisu truffle

driving home, we decided to stop at Ici in Berkeley. they've got some awesome ice cream flavors and homemade cones that are better than any sugar cone you've ever had. i got the darjeeling cinnamon ice cream. yuh-ummm!

Monday, November 14, 2011

simple fried rice

fried rice is probably THE easiest thing to make and it costs little to no money. with just a few ingredients you can feed a ton of people. and you can put practically anything you want into a fried rice. i chose to make the simplest fried rice evAr with bbq pork, egg and peas. seriously it's so simple, i'm not sure why i even put it up on this blog.

1st, start off by heading to your local Chinese chop shop. that's not really what they're called but you know those hanging ducks and chicken in the window? you order, they chop. chop shop. makes sense in my head. ask for a 1/2 lb bbq pork. because they probably won't understand you if you're speaking in English, try to master saying "yut boon bong cha siu. jaam. doh je sai!" haha! really, please PLEASE do this. it's hilarious picturing you (whoever you may be) trying to say this. essentially what it means is "one half pound bbq. chopped. thanks for everything!" that's the hard part. the easy part is paying. again, you probably won't understand each other so when he/she tells you how much it is in Chinese and sticks out his/her gross-bbq-pork-juice-covered-glove, just hand her a $10 and she'll give you the appropriate change back. don't worry, it probably won't be any more than $4 MAX. that's the easiest way to avoid having a long confusing conversation with the Chinese. and please remember that if he/she seems mad, it probably isn't the case. that's just being Chinese. loud and faces lacking emotion. it's just the way it is. 

2nd go home and gather up your ingredients. OLD rice is the best for fried rice. seriously. at least one day old rice is necessary. don't even bother with fresh rice. it'll just be mushy and unfitting for fried rice. i used about 4-5 cups rice, about 1 cup frozen peas (thawed), two eggs (scrambled) and the bbq pork (chopped [jaam!] up even more)  i worked so hard to get. 

3rd, heat your wok (in my case, pot) to very hot. you can throw in a little bit of oil if you want but i didn't. start to heat your rice through, breaking up the chunks. the rice will soften as it heats up. somewhere in there you can throw in some soy sauce or whatever you wish to season your rice with. i used a little bit of soy sauce, some salt and some sriracha sauce. 

4th, dump in all of your ingredients and mix around until evenly distributed and everything is heated through. 

this fed two people on a very hungry night, but it could easily serve 3-4 depending on who's dining with you. now wasn't that easy? seems silly to pay $8 for something that you can make at home for $3 in less than ten minutes, doesn't it?

In Time

without going into too much detail for the sake of keeping your interest in watching this movie, i'd like to say that everybody should spend the $10.50 to go out and see this. the premise is that time replaces money. you pay with time. you want a sandwich? that'll be ten minutes please. the rich can be immortal and the poor might die in a day. the concept is incredibly intriguing. who hasn't ever heard that "time is money," or "you're wasting my time?" with this whole Occupy Wall St. business going on, the movie came at just the right time. please, go see it...then talk to me about it. it's definitely a conversation starter and can branch off into so many different topics. time. money. power. politics. order. worth. GO SEE IT!!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

shiitake mushroom and leek cod

i had a ton of half and half left over from making banana pudding the other week and had to think up ways to use it up. so i took a look in the fridge and threw together whatever i had. and i came up with leek and mushrooms in a cream sauce over fish.

cod with shiitake and leeks 

-3 cod filets
-2 large handfuls shiitake mushrooms
-1/2 stalk of leeks sliced
-2 cloves garlic chopped
-1/2 c half and half
-1/2 c water
-salt and pepper
-olive oil

1. rub fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
2. broil fish for approx 4 mins each side or until flaky
3. over medium heat, add a bit of olive oil to pan and brown shiitake mushrooms 
4. once mushrooms are just browning, add leeks and garlic. cook until leeks become tender
5. pour in half and half and water 
6. allow the sauce to come to a simmer and simmer until desired consistency. (it should thicken and be pourable but not as thin as water)
7. season sauce with salt and pepper
8. pour sauce over broiled fish 

i served this with rice but a better match might be something like orzo pasta. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

why they call me Tracy

sometimes people want to hide behind another name. sometimes they want to portray themselves in a different light from what the world currently knows them as. people will make up a whole new character to present to the world. alter egos have been around forever, wouldn't you say? from the early days when Samuel Clemens wished to be author Mark Twain, to comic book characters such as Clark Kent and a super version of himself, Superman. nowadays they seem to be popping up everywhere in the celebrity world. Beyonce has Sasha Fierce, GaGa has Joe Calderon, Nicki Minaj has Roman Zolanski, Martha Zolanski, and The Harajuku Barbie among other alter egos. and hell, she isn't even really "Nicki." she was born "Onika."

for those of us who aren't celebrity or have no real reason to have an alter ego, it seems silly to make up a fake name just for the fun of it. but as a woman i think it's fair to have a going-out-name. these days people can take your name and in an instant figure out your life story by sifting through everything on the internet and i find it's important to protect yourself from creeps and crazies. i think it's pretty common for a group of chicks to make up fake names for when they go out and aren't looking for anything but a good time with the girls. a random guy asks you for your name and you're far from interested? good thing you have your very own semi-alter ego to freely blurt out because you sure as hell don't want to be found the next day.

my friends, as i've alluded from the title of this post, my alter ego-esque name is Tracy. it'd be easy to come up with a random name or a different name every time i went out, but it's so much better to have a solid standing name. you might wonder how i got that name. see, when i was a wee little one in elementary school there was a classmate tyke of mine named Tracy. i don't remember anything about her or think there was anything particularly awesome about her but somehow i recall really liking her name. in my little kid mind i somewhat cursed my parents for having not thought to name me Tracy. i even asked my mom if i we could make it my middle name, as i don't currently have one. for some reason i always thought that i was meant to be a Tracy. then one day i came home from school with a note from my teacher attached to my backpack. the note read:

Mrs. Choy, Regina can no longer write her name down as "Tracy." it isn't acceptable for her to use a different name than her own.

Thank you,
Dream-Name Killer

okay, the note wasn't exactly signed by "Dream-Name Killer," but i can't remember what teacher it was and it's not really important. my mom obviously hadn't been looking at my homework because for weeks i'd written Tracy Choy as my name. she then told me i couldn't be Tracy anymore and all hopes and dreams went out the window.

fast forward to current day and i've adopted Tracy as my going-out-name, though i don't go out that often so it's not used much in terms of avoiding random guys. however, upon hearing my elementary school story, my coworkers have begun calling me Tracy whenever we go out for drinks and get a bit tipsy. they have even brought it to the workplace for days when i get overly sarcastic or sassy. i'll say something blunt and i'll hear "where's Regina? all i see is Tracy!" haha!!!

so there it is. i introduce you to my alter ego, Tracy!
hey, uhhh nice to meet you!

Friday, November 4, 2011


a couple of weekends ago Stefan and i decided to head down to SoCal to visit some friends, Chris and Niki, and go to Disneyland. during this season Disneyland is transformed into Halloween Time. there are pumpkins everywhere, the Haunted Mansion is completely taken over by the characters from the Nightmare Before Christmas and Space Mountain turns into Ghost Galaxy. and while i loved the differences they made, i sort of wished they transformed it even more. i was hoping that the characters i saw would be in costume as well (think Mickey as a dinosaur or something) or that the roaming characters were only the villains from all of the stories. either way, you can never have a bad time at Disneyland, right? it's the happiest place on earth!
it sounds a little cheesy, but Disneyland is the only place in this world where you step foot inside and you feel like you've left real life. Main St is from a different place. the second i see a glimpse of Minnie or Snow White, it brings me back to when i was a kid running around with an autograph book in hopes of filling it with every storybook character i can name. then at the end of Main St you come to the symbol of Disney; the castle (that seemed a lot bigger when i was a kid), that is ingrained in my mind from the beginning of each childhood movie. i always imagined seeing Tinkerbell flying around the castle and thinking that i had just missed her.

whatchoo you know about Dole whip? this was my first time having a Dole whip. i've heard about it from people who've traveled to Hawaii and had yet to try one. finally at the best place on earth i had the most magical smooth, creamy, light, pineapply goodness!! 

Niki and i

i'd always seen turkey legs at Disneyland yet never had the desire to try them. then one day Libby introduced me to them and i've been hooked ever since! 

this was Stefan's first time on the Tower of Terror. so. much. FUN!!! this ride is second to Space Mountain on my list of top Disneyland rides.

then it was time for World of Color. i didn't think it was going to be anything spectacular. i had already seen the water show at the Bellagio plenty of times and figured it'd be similar but with splashes of color and familiar Disney music playing in the backround. i'm happy to report that i was so very wrong. World of Color is what i imagined, except it's what i imagined on crack. it is insanely awesome. i couldn't take my eyes off of the floating colors and was in awe of the work that must have gone into such a production. it is definitely a spectacle to see! 

i <3 Disneyland!!...even if the Matterhorn is a waste of time!