Apr 11

Taking in CicLAvia

There are times when an idea is good. There are times when the implementation of that idea is excellent. CicLAvia falls into the latter category. To make it even better, the weather in Los Angeles was perfect for a bike ride through the city.

On Sunday, I packed up the kids and we went over to Hollenbeck Park to see one of the end-points of CicLAvia. We’ve visited the park before and enjoy it immensely. There is rarely more than 50 or so people around the park, so it was even more amazing to see hundreds of Angelenos congregating at the northern end of the park with their bikes, scooters, skateboards and feet.

LA Cyclists

According to their site:

Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout Latin America and the United States, connecting communities and giving people a break from the stress of car traffic. The health benefits are immense. Ciclovías bring families outside of their homes to enjoy the streets, our largest public space.

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Sep 09

NHRA Museum at the Fairplex

Did you know that there is an NHRA Museum on site at the Fairplex in Pomona? I didn’t. All these years and I had no idea. When we went to the LA County Fair on Saturday, we stumbled upon this place. It’s packed full of racing history. Admission was $1 for adults and frankly, should be more. The place is detailed in racing history, complete with roadsters, motorcycles and drag racers from the beginning of racing history on down to today.

Melrose Missle III

Melrose Missle III




Original Batmobile


Wally Parks


Bench with racing stickers



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Aug 09

AUG. 8: Korean BBQ Cookoff

kbbqLet’s toss this event under Reason #873 Why I Love Los Angeles. That’s right, Yelp and the Korean American Coalition have partnered to bring us Los Angeles’ first Korean BBQ Cookoff. Some interesting details:

Los Angeles’s first Korean BBQ Cook-off will showcase some of the best dishes by top Korean BBQ restaurants. Presented by the Korean American Coalition – Los Angeles (KAC), in partnership with Yelp, the Cook-off will be judged by distinguished judges who will present the prize for best the BBQ dish on Saturday, August 8, 2009.
• 5,000 participants expected for the event
• Ten restaurants are participating in the competition including Beverly Soon Tofu, Byul Dae Po (Star BBQ), Ham Ji Park, Jinju Galbi, Mu Dae Po, Park’s BBQ, So Hyang, and Soowon Galbi.
• The restaurants will sell dishes for $10-15/plate. (It’ll be worth it….it’ll be good quality meat)
• Other food booths will include (tentative list): shaved ice, drinks, grilled corn, and more.
• Barbecue categories will include LA galbi (marinated bone-in beef ribs), galbi (marinated boned-out beef ribs), pork ribs, bulgogi (marinated sliced sirloin), and grilled intestine barbecue.

It’s no secret that I enjoy meat, eating and BBQ. I also enjoy Saturdays and ogling cute Korean boys. Needless to say, I’m going to try my best to get over to this event.

Saturday, August 8, 2009
12:00pm – 8:00pm
The Summit at 6th
3223 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA

You can find more discussion on FriendFeed.

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Nov 08

Musings on last night’s election

the 44th President of the United States...Bara...

Image by jmtimages via Flickr

am not going to try to write a long intellectual entry on what happened last night. I can only post snapshots on we witnessed.  My feelings are still too raw.  I woke up this morning, like in 2000 and 2004, with a knot in my stomach; expecting a different outcome.  I rushed to grab my morning paper to make sure it was all real.  That today wasn’t Election Day and I just dreamt that Sen. Obama had won over 330 Electoral Votes.

It was real.

It did happen.

Senator Barack Obama is our President-Elect.

My 5 year old, who has been an Obama fan since last Spring, kept asking me this morning, “Did Obama really win?”  Through tears, I said “Yes. Yes he did.”


I spoke to some of my older family members last night.  The constant refrain was, “That young man did it.  He ran a great campaign and didn’t let anyone tear him down.  I never thought I’d live to see this day.” They reminisced on growing up in segregated towns in the South and Midwest.  One 92 year old cousin, in Arkansas wept as he talked about he had to keep his head down, just so he would stay out of trouble, “Today, I hold my head high, like Obama did throughout his campaign.”  I cried.


Sen. McCain’s concession speech, was the most classy concession speech I think I’ve ever witnessed.  Even though from July on he ran the exact same campaign Sen. Clinton did, his concession speech was exactly the one she should have given in June.


The first black President won this election without the Self-Appointed Godfathers of Blackness.  We didn’t have to see Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton pontificating on our TVs last night for the first time in my lifetime. Rev. Jackson was shown, tears streaming down his face, as he stood with thousands in Grant Park.


Scholars will study the Obama campaign forever.  Not just political scholars, but in business classes, PR majors, technological studies.  Every tool out there was used, even abused if my text messages and emails are any indication. The branding was simple and consistent, from slogan to font, to color.  The business acumen of where and how to raise and spend money, would make many major corporations jealous.


Social media came into its own this election cycle. Twitter broke most stories before even blogs had a chance to write up something.  This election cycle belonged to black bloggers.  It seemed that they alone were taking advantage of social media tools, not just to announce new posts, but to organize GOTV and appearnces.  It was a simple way for them to stay in contact with their readers outside the blog and get more on-the-ground reporting from around the country.


I still haven’t received my shirts from the Obama-Biden campaign. I’m sad.


The ground campaign of Obama’s was probably the best of any campaign ever.  Speaking to friends who worked for the campaign and speaking to people who volunteered from the campaign, they all said the same thing, “This is the first election where people from DC who had never stepped foot in my town, didn’t come in to tell us how it is. They gave us ownership and listened.”


A few weeks ago, Republicans started whining about how Democrats shouldn’t have a majority because that would be dangerous for the country.  All of a sudden they despise the idea of one party controll the Administrative and Legislative branches of government.  I’m still trying to find where they were so distraught about this in 2000 and 2004.  It’s a disengenious arguement and insulting to my intelligence.  Republicans need not fear. Democrats do not govern to abuse power.  A Democratic majority will have it’s hands full rolling back and repairing the damage of the last 8 years.


Best quote of the night, after the election was called for Sen. Obama: “Meanwhile, in D.C., two guys named George and Dick have placed the single largest order for industrial strength paper shredders that Office Depot has ever had to fulfill.”


When I had heard that Fox News (!) had called Ohio for Sen. Obama, I thought I was going to faint.  When I saw that he had also won Florida, I had to sit down.  Thank you to both states.


I can only hope that we never have to hear or see the hatefulness that is Gov. Sarah Palin.


And finally, we’ll never learn what Republican voters liked about Sen. McCain.  It’s a testament to spin, that when asked the most intelligent offering was the tired, “Obama’s a socialist/radical/communist/Muslim”.  That never explained McCain’s appeal.

Oct 08

Los Angeles Meetup – Oct. 30th

Title: Los Angeles Meetup
Location: My house
Description: Los Angeles Meetup for Plurkers, Tweeters, FriendFeeds and Seesmicers
Start Time: 16:00
Date: 2008-11-01

Email me at faboomama [at] gmail for information. Be sure to include your user ID and service you use, as we are verifying identities.

Thank you and hope to see you there!

Aug 08

The Democratic National Convention is over

What an emotional and historical four days it has been.  There’s a lot to talk about and I’m sure the chuckleheads on cable news are babbling incessantly and stupidly coming up with vapid memes to instigate the Republican party with–that’s their specialty.

You already know how much I cried during Michelle Obama’s speech.  Oddly enough, I did not cry during Sen. Barack Obama’s speech.  I just may be cried out.  It’s amazing to me the range of emotions I feel for this candidate when this time last year I had no plans to vote for him.  I did recognize a year ago that he was going to challenge every state and the American public. That much I gave him.  But I just didn’t think that he could break through the cynicism, apathy and ignorance that is the American voter.  I’m pleased to see that he did.  Even me and you know I’m cynical as hell…I believe.

Watching my friends and family participate in this campaign has been very rewarding.  People who had no idea how our elections worked, are now precinct captains because the took the time to learn and put their best foot forward.  My husband, who was born in a Communist country and looks at our politics as theatre and a vast charade got wrapped up in this election.  Family members who were always active in their local Democratic party, devised ways to help Obama become the frontrunner in the primaries.  These people show what the American public can do when they put their minds and hearts toward a common goal. Tonight, Sen. Obama reminded us as he always does that this election isn’t about him, it’s about the people.  The efforts of these people prove that he was right.

Tonight we watched Sen. Obama become the first black man to accept the nomination for president for a major party.  That’s history and that was moving.  When Sen. Ted Kennedy passed the torch to Obama, that was moving.  And I’m even willing to admit that it was moving when President Bill Clinton, delivering the speech his wife should have given, passed the baton on to Obama.

I hope to never forget this night, this week.

Apr 08

LA Time Festival of Books

I’m more than a little excited about attending the Festival of Books this year.  See the last time we went to the Festival of Books was in 2002.  We had big plans on going in 2003, but Ilia was born the first day of the event and I spent the weekend in the hospital.  Every year after that, it was either not looking forward to pushing a stroller on the grass, morning sickness or just too damn hot.  Ilia is tickled that the festival starts on her birthday and she’s excited about seeing Julie Andrews, though we’re not going that day.

Contrary to popular belief, Los Angeles is home to a lot of readers.  Attendance is always high and it’s so much fun meeting people who can give you new tips on authors or books to check out.  Many of the booths have authors there signing their books and you can chat with them if the line’s not too long.  Sadly, this past year has seen the passing of several LA bookstores.  Their presence at the Festival will be missed.  It will be odd not to see their booths at the Festival.

There are several panels and speakers this year, but not that many or appealing to me so I’m only attending one this year (got my ticket!).  Check the link above for panels that will interest you.  You can also see what exhibitors will be there and which authors will be signing their books.

Hope to see you there!

Apr 08

Cherry Blossom Festival

We attended the Cherry Blossom Festival in Little Tokyo yesterday. It was a lot bigger and more fun that I expected. Kudos to the organizers of the event. As usual, with things like this in Los Angeles, it emcompassed all of Asia (though Indians were not represented at all), so we got to see things from all along the Pacific.

We started out our morning in the Plaza. Our original plan was to have get some coffee and pastries from Homeboy Bakeries but they were closed. So we wound up in the Japanse Plaza at the bakery there. BTW, they had surprising good coffee and the baked goodies we got were tasty. While we had our coffee, we sat outside the shop and watched this group. I guess they’re jazz singers and usually they’d be using a piano…I don’t know, I hadn’t had my coffee when they were introduced. Anyway, later on in their set, they sang Sukiyaki but the original Japanese song. I know some of the Japanese, but I know the English like everyone else. My husband asked me, “What is this song?” I was shocked. Mr. Music didn’t know this song? “It’s Sukiyaki!”. He looked at me, “How do you know that? See, I told you you know everything.” Whatever.

Something totally unexpected and random, Red Hat Society singing on stage. Yes. You read that right. I have pictures if you don’t believe me. We walked around, everyone and their brother were giving away trips to Hawaii. There was a section for kids with bouncy thingies. We watched a Hawaiian group play. Ilia liked that because she has a ukelele too. The kids made Chinese lanterns, something that took a lot longer than expected. There were quite a few tables set up for kids. They could learn origami, do a fish kites, paint a pet rock or make a lantern.

We walked around a bit, and looked for lunch. That should have been an easy task, but most of the places we usually eat at were closed. We wound up at an okay place, but $1.50 Kirin on tap. How could we not? Really? After lunch, we went to rejoin the crowds on the street. We caught the tailend of the Kabuki dancer.

Ilia loved it, but Alton did not enjoy the music. Then we went on the other side of the stage to see the Geisha dancers:

We also got a chance to watch the Japanese groups (I call them dance crews, since I’ve never seen them do anything but dance) do a dance in a circle. There were 4 “crews” and random people in a circle doing a dance who’s name is escaping me right now. It’s always fun to watch and it was even better to see more people under the age of 60 involved.

My little girl just loved all the dancing and the music. She wants a taiko, she wants a kimono, she wants to learn hula and kabuki. She wants to learn Japanese! That she wants to broaden her horizons and learn more about the world means the weekend was a success.

Apr 08

Descanso Gardens Spring Festival: World of Good Weekend

On Saturday, we went to Descanso Gardens for the World of Good Weekend. (see photos here)I had never been to Descanso Gardens before, but I heard it was more like the Arboretum than the Huntington and it was. In theory. Even though the Descanso gardens has a lot of different kinds of gardens and pathways, I prefer the Arboretum.

The one thing at Descanso that was truly impressive were not just the number of lakes and ponds on site, but the different layout of them all. It is a beautiful place that seems more like a large nursery than a place to study plants. Sadly, there is also a severe lack of customer service onsite. From the moment we got there until we left, no one who worked there knew anything about what goes on 4 feet beyond them. The guy at the ticket booth didn’t know procedure on if we give our receipt to the lady or what. The lady at the entrance had no idea if they sold sweaters or jackets in the gift shop. “You can ask”, is what we were told. The little girl had to go to the bathroom. We hiked all the way up the hill to the Boddy House couldn’t find a bathroom. I asked two people who worked there where it was and neither of them knew. I’m expected to believe that they were up at the top of the hill, working, and had no idea where the bathroom was? I could say that you get what you pay for, but the Arboretum and the Zoo both cost the same and the workers at both places are unnervingly friendly and helpful that you almost believe they’re robots…or not from LA.

One of the most wonderful parts of Descanso was the lilac garden. Yummy. It was like heaven with that scent in the air. Every time I found a lilac that was beautiful, I found another that was even better.

The camelia forests were also nice. I wasn’t too dazzled by the California garden and was very underwhelmed by the succulents and cactus there. The iris garden was amazing and most of the irises hadn’t even opened yet. I should go back to see the other hundreds of cultivars available. There were only about 10 open this weekend.

The kids loved the little train and even Daddy thought we should get one for the back yard (yeah right). Oddly enough, I loved the tulip garden. That was outstanding.

At the entrance of the park, there is an installation titled Edible Estates. As you know, I’m virulently anti-grass, especially for Southern Californians. We are slowly getting rid of most of our lawn and had considered giving it over to food. The subject came up again, as my husband tried to convince me to move my veggie garden to the front yard so we can put the pool in the backyard. The Edible Estates installation, prodded us a little closer to that goal, though I still need more sun than I get in the front yard.

The artist, Fritz Haeg, will be back at Descanso on May 17th for a book signing and artist’s reception. I believe he’ll unveil his summer theme at that time too. (Brasil Brazil is also playing that weekend, so I’ll definitely be there!)

Apr 08



Just wow.

I’ve gone to opening nights before and the act is always good.  Ernie Andrews just blew them all away.  I listen to a lot of blues.  I like the blues.  Jazz…it’s great, when it has a more blues infusion.  Otherwise, that vocal jazz or the smooth jazz crap make me want to slit my wrists.  There are times that I’m listening to blues and in my head thinking, “Gosh, this sounds the same.  Boring.”  Every once in a while, I hear a singer who makes your heart break just listening to them sing the blues.  Ernie Andrews is that man.  Even the funny lines, and there were plenty, made you want to laugh through tears.

The opening night of the Friday Night Jazz series at LACMA is never to be missed.  I’ve been going since ‘ 95 or ’96 and it has always been one of the best ongoing series in Los Angeles.  Back then, it was truly a cross section of the city.  They used to have about 3 or 4 rows of seating in the front.  Then a few tables in the middle.  People would bring picnics to eat there.  I remember these two guys would come with lawn chairs and a cooler and sit there all evening.  That was back in the days when you could show up at 5pm and start getting served a drink and stay until 11pm without the security guards harassing you.  You could smoke on the patio, until 2002 when they banned smoking cigars and then in ’04 when they banned cigarettes too.  Times have seriously changed.

It’s always strange, since I’ve seen the same group of people at LACMA, off and on, almost every Friday night for 7 months of the year for the past 12 years.  I still have never spoken to most of them.  But we smile, nod, wave hello.  When I started going there, I was single.  now I’m married with two kids!  We were joking that next year they’ll probably institute a dress code, the year after that, they’ll ban kids, then by 2012-ish, they’d have a cover charge.  Times definitely change.

Ernie Andrews plays at LACMA

We arrived pretty late, thanks to my lameass husband.  Seriously.  If I tell him, I have to be somewhere at a certain time, guaranteed, he’ll find some reason to linger.  I had planned on leaving the house at 4pm.  I told him that, repeatedly.  We didn’t leave unil 5:30pm.  When we finally got to the museum, it was almost 6:30 and he was like, “Wow!  It’s packed!”.  Ya think?  Needless to say,  we didn’t get a table.  Not that it matter anyway.  The stupid museum only set up like 4 tables.  They used to have between 12 and 15 tables set up.  I counted 4.

Oh, and as for the other bloggers…I got 12 emails from people.  Unfortunately, none of had considered doing the obvious thing of sharing phone numbers.  I didn’t even know what blogs some of them wrote for!  So, I didn’t get to meet any bloggers.  There were a few people that my husband insisted looked like blogger (?), but he was being such a tool, that I thought it better he wasn’t around people.

At any rate, if you were there, I’m sorry I missed you. If you weren’t, I’m sorry you missed a pretty awesome show.