fall tv 14

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate)!

Oh man. I haven’t blogged about TV in 2 years. TWO years! That’s insane.

I’m still watching A LOT of TV but not participating in online discussions or general fandom anymore. That’s what happens when you get older — no more time! But I still like sharing my random thoughts so thought I’d list my TV schedule here… :)

SUNDAYS:
Brooklyn 99
– LOLARIOUS. I never used to be a sitcom person but I’ve come around lately. The characters make this show for me. They get into some of the most ridiculous situations but somehow it all works because they’re all so well drawn. My absolute favorite is Captain Holt. His deadpan delivery is AWESOME.

The Good Wife – Still one of my favorite shows on the air right now. But I’m bummed that they’re finally giving Cary a real storyline and it’s kind of killing his character.

I gave up on Once Upon a Time last season when they introduced Peter Pan. Didn’t work for me at all. I wonder if the new Frozen arc is worth trying to catch up.

MONDAYS:
Gotham
– I want to like this show much more than I do. The idea of exploring Gotham before Batman is intriguing. Plus I have a soft spot for Ben McKenzie. Unfortunately this has not become appointment viewing. I can’t pinpoint exactly why that is — I guess a combination of the formulaic weekly procedural storylines and the show taking itself too seriously. Also not a fan of Barbara.

Stopped watching The Originals. I got all the way through the first season but it just wasn’t grabbing me (not even with the promise of seeing Elijah every week :P). Also gave up on The Blacklist. The characters drove me crazy.

TUESDAYS:
One of my favorite nights of television!
The Mindy Project – THE BEST! I adore this show. And absolutely love the theme song. I do wish they could find more for Jeremy to do, though. I’m still not sure why they had to introduce Peter — they just sidelined Jeremy even more! Sigh.

New Girl – Still watching but it’s not my favorite. Mostly because they’ve gone SUPER over the top with the characterizations. Like, Schmidt is just straight up crazy now. He used to be my favorite!

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD – Ahhh, this show. Last season was rough. It was promising in the beginning, then it hit a creative rut, and finally it reached its potential once it had the chance to capitalize on Captain America’s storyline over in the cinematic universe. That momentum has definitely carried over to this season — I just wish the creative resurgence would equal a rise in ratings too!

The Flash – My favorite new show of the season. This show spun out of my other favorite show Arrow. It’s considerably lighter and funnier and that’s a good thing. They need to loop in poor Iris, though — her pretty much being the only main character who doesn’t know about Barry’s alter ego makes her look really clueless.

I also watched the first episode of Selfie and didn’t love it (I guess lots of people felt the same way since it’s been cancelled). I love John Cho, though — why can’t he get cast on a good show?!

WEDNESDAYS:
Arrow
– Love this show. It’s probably my favorite right now. The storylines are entertaining and I really truly like the cast and characters. They make me root for the show so hard. I even like Laurel. I just wish they knew what to do with her.

ABC Comedy Block – Modern Family, Black-ish, The Goldbergs – Lately I’ve been enjoying sitcoms more and more — mostly because there’s less of a time commitment and almost no emotional investment, lol. I was a little worried Black-ish would be cringe-worthy but I think it balances thoughtful commentary with comedy really well. And The Goldbergs is just a gem.

THURSDAYS:
Big Bang Theory – I do think they could do better by the female characters but I find the show entertaining so I guess I’m not that easily offended.

How To Get Away With Murder – UGH. This show is not good. AND YET I KEEP WATCHING. The mystery and terrible characters keep me coming back. I can’t help it. It’s a short season, 15 episodes, so I’m going to stick it out.

Scandal – I’m not sure why I watch this show either. I enjoyed the fast pace and shock value of the first two seasons but now I’m having a hard time rooting for anyone. I’m a sucker, though, so I’m sure I’ll finish off the season to satisfy my curiosity.

I’ve also been recording The Vampire Diaries but haven’t felt compelled to watch. I guess I have vampire fatigue.

FRIDAYS:
Hawaii 5-0
– Yes, I still watch this show. The cases of the week are pretty weak but I’m here for the characters and their relationships anyway.

I’ll watch Glee, Hart of Dixie and Downton Abbey when they’re back on the air. I also want to check out Jane the Virgin.

Rob watches The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy so I know enough to have opinions (ie. Gemma suuuuucks and I can’t wait for Jax to confront her).

I also tried watching Breaking Bad but it was so depressing and intense I couldn’t make it past the first half of season one. Homeland seemed promising but I finished the first season and just never felt the urge to keep going.

So what are all of you watching? Anything I’m missing?

Canada Trip Report: Toronto

After our time in Montreal, we flew to Toronto for the next leg of our trip.

I wanted to try flying Porter Airlines since they fly into the Toronto Island airport which is much closer to the downtown area. The flight was only an hour and 10 minutes but I didn’t realize we had to take the ferry shuttle from the island to the port so that added another half hour to the journey. For some reason I thought taxis had access to the island. They’re in the process of building a pedestrian walkway which will be so much more convenient than waiting for the ferry.

Anyway!

Tue, 9/2

On our first full day in Toronto we visited Casa Loma, which is a former home/castle that is now a historic museum. It’s also well known for being in many movies like The Vow, Chicago, The Pacifier — but most importantly the X-Men series where they used the exterior for Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. That’s a big part of why it was so intriguing to us. LOL.



From the Dupont station, we walked a couple of blocks on Spadina Avenue then climbed the Baldwin Steps (approximately 110) to get to Casa Loma. I was dreading the stairs but it wasn’t so bad. Seeing the house come into view made it all worth it. Though it is a little smaller than I imagined after seeing it in the movies.



We explored all the various levels of the house and got to see many guest & sitting rooms, private suites, the great hall (above) and conservatory among others.



It’s amazing how elaborate and detailed all the furnishings are.

I wanted to take a walk through the gardens but while we were there, it started pouring rain. So bummed!



Great view of downtown. Too bad it was so rainy and overcast.

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Canada Trip Report: Montreal

October marks the start of my favorite time of year. Of course there’s my birthday (YAY) but I just love the holidays. I’ve even started listening to holiday music! I’m such a sucker.

As per usual, I’m behind on my blogging. Back in late August, Rob & I took a trip to Canada that included visits to Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls & Vancouver. Thought I’d share some highlights of that trip starting with Montreal!

Fri, 8/29
I knew before we arrived that French is the official language in this province but there’s nothing like walking around and not being able to understand anyone speaking around you. It was a little overwhelming but I loved the international vibe!



On our first full day we visited Old Montreal to see the Notre Dame Basilica.



There’s a nominal fee to go inside which includes a short 20 minute guided tour (sadly our tour guide wasn’t that great). Unfortunately for us there was a mass going on in the chapel at the back so it was closed to visitors until the service was finished.



So beautiful! The detail is amazing. I forgot to take a photo but the stained glass windows all along the sides are exquisite.



We walked through the cobblestone streets to the waterfront to take a river cruise on Le Bateux Mouche.

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comic-con 2014: part 2

I know San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone but I still have a few more photos I’d like to share so hopefully you’ll indulge me. :)

As much as I enjoy the panels, I actually think my favorite part of SDCC is walking through the exhibit hall. It’s a visual treat with all the booths promoting and/or selling a variety of products. It does get incredibly crowded, though, so we visit the hall a little bit each day.



Guardians of the Galaxy was about a week from its release at the time of SDCC so there was a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding the movie (I highly recommend it, by the way — definitely one of my favorites of the year).



The Marvel booth had this great green screen photo opportunity. We didn’t realize it was a line-up, though, or Rob & I wouldn’t have posed so close together, heh.



We got a first look at Peter Quill’s mining pod.



With Rocket Raccoon, my favorite!



We found this awesome Iron Man Hall of Armor at Sideshow Collectibles.

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comic-con 2014: part 1

This past weekend Rob & I celebrated our 6th anniversary.



Here’s one of my favorite pictures of us from a trip to Disneyland. It’s been the best six years of my life and I look forward to many more adventures with you by my side. :)

So… it’s that time again for my Comic-Con recap!

For the past few years, Rob & I have gone in thinking “one last time.” And each year, without fail, despite the headache of registering for badges and the intense crowds and lines during the actual convention, we come home after having so much fun and immediately start talking about next year. We’re suckers! Unfortunately, getting badges has become increasingly difficult (we really lucked out this year with the start of the new lottery system) and who knows what the next year will bring… but wishful thinking doesn’t hurt. :)



Here we are again in San Diego!

SDCC has really expanded well beyond the confines of the convention center — every year there are more and more events and activities held outside. Some of which don’t even require a badge!



To promote the upcoming fall show Gotham, FOX set up an awesome themed zipline. As soon as I heard about it, I knew I wanted to try it. I’ve never been ziplining before and it seemed like a ton of fun.



And it was! I did get nervous while I was getting strapped in and I questioned my judgment in that first second as I stepped off the platform, but after that, it was amazing. I even felt brave enough to pose for the camera. LOL.



It was way too short though. Here’s a bird’s eye view of the zipline (30 ft high, 130 ft wide). But it was a great teaser and I can’t wait to do it again!

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first half 2014 photo dump

Just got back from a quick long weekend trip to Las Vegas. Rob & I did our usual round of eating, shopping, gambling (for him), and relaxing at the spa (me). But this time I also got the chance to meet my long-time online friend Sarah who was there for a conference. I’ve “known” her for probably around 10 years now (!!!). I’m naturally shy so I was nervous about our meeting but had absolutely no reason to be. Sarah was warm and awesome and we had no problems finding anything to talk about. :) So happy our paths finally crossed in real life.

So it’s photo dump time! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to over the first half of the year.

Ok ok… it’s more like a look at what I’ve been eating:) With some Diesel thrown in for some balance.

In March, I was in Miami Beach for a few days for work. It was a great opportunity for me to spend time with colleagues but I have to admit I really (REALLY) am not a huge fan. It’s such a scene and it’s just not me. The food scene, though, is a different story…



We went to the famous Versailles for lunch one day where I had the delicious ropa vieja with the yummiest side of plantains.



Lunch the following day was poolside at the Clevelander Hotel. It was a warm day and this Miami Vice hit the spot (it’s half pina colada and half rum runner).



On my free night, I walked over to Lincoln Road to dine at Shake Shack. Amazing! It’s seriously my favorite fast casual burger (yes, over In N Out). I CANNOT WAIT until Shake Shack opens in Las Vegas later this year. !!!



Here’s a look at what was my office for two days — yes, that’s a double decker bus!



On my last morning, I finally made it to the beach for a long walk followed by a refreshing iced cafe con leche.

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Hong Kong Trip Report: Disneyland

I’m a huge fan of the Disney parks (Rob is too — begrudgingly :)) so one of my travel bucket list items was to visit all existing parks. And earlier this year we were able to cross that item off the list!

We’ve been to the original Disneyland more times than we can count (we’re lucky to have grown up with the park practically in our backyard). In 2011 we jump-started this quest with our 10 day trip to Walt Disney World. Then we traveled to Tokyo Disneyland in 2012, Disneyland Paris in 2013 and finally Hong Kong Disneyland earlier this year.

We devoted about 1.5 days to Hong Kong Disneyland. The resort is pretty small and unlike all the others, it consists of Disneyland alone (all other resorts have a second gate). This was a good amount of time so we didn’t feel rushed.



We stayed on property at the Hollywood Hotel, which was great. I loved the Hollywood theme and the art deco touches. I found it to be a really striking hotel.



We booked a “park view” room. Yes, Space Mountain and the RC Racer track is visible but I think this is more of a parking lot view. LOL. If I could go back, I’d probably select a garden view or sea view room.



I had to go out to the recreation area early in the morning to get a shot of this sign without anyone around. I was determined! I love it.

Off to the park! From the hotel, we used the convenient shuttle bus. It runs frequently throughout the day and even late into the night which allowed us to visit the city after the park closed.



Ooohhh! So exciting!

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Hong Kong Trip Report

Ahhh, my four day weekend is coming to an end. We were doggie-sitting so we spent a lot of time relaxing at home and having friends over for an early Memorial day potluck of Korean food (I guess we’re going through Korea withdrawal even months later). Today we went to see X-Men: Days of Future Past, which was a fun movie but didn’t quite capture me the way the Avengers movies have. I’m not quite sure what it is because I love so many of the actors — Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, etc — but I’m just not obsessing or fan-girling about the series. Still recommend it for a fun way to spend a couple of hours. :)

Back to my trip report! Just two more installments, I think…

Before our time in Seoul, Rob & I first stopped over at Hong Kong. I visited way back when with my dad (must have been 20+ years ago, wow) but have wanted to see it again as an adult. Not to mention that Hong Kong Disneyland was calling my name. ;)

Compared to other major Asian cities I’ve visited (Tokyo, Bangkok, Seoul), it is a BREEZE to get around Hong Kong. As a former British colony, most people speak English. I know that unfamiliar situations are par for the course for traveling but when there’s no language barrier, it makes everything so much easier. For us, anyway.

We spent 3 full days in Hong Kong splitting time equally between the city and Disney. It definitely wasn’t enough time for the city but hopefully we’ll make a pit stop there again the next time we visit Asia.



Our adventure started SUPER early on Wednesday morning, 2/12. We had a 7am flight so we stayed at a hotel near LAX and took the shuttle to the airport. We arrived just after 4am and found that the Air Canada terminal wasn’t even open. Apparently there was a power outage the night before so all the systems were taking awhile to get back online. OMG!!! All I wanted to do was check-in our bags and get coffee. ARGH. I am SO not a morning person. We ended up being third in line which was great because the line got long really quickly because of the delay.



Our flights were uneventful (we had a short layover in Vancouver – made me wish we had a few days there) but man, the legroom on Air Canada is tight. That says a lot since I’m so short! Once we arrived at Hong Kong airport, we flew through immigration and customs, hopped in a taxi and made our way to Kowloon.

We stayed at the Sheraton Hong Kong in the Tsim Sha Tsui district and when we were checking in, I was informed that I apparently booked a smoking room. WTF. OOPS. The front desk clerk took pity on me (I was so tired by this time) and managed to change our room to non-smoking and upgraded us to a harbour view room. AWESOME.



This was our view of the harbour! We got up to our room right before 8pm so we were able to see the beginning of the Symphony of Lights, a nightly multimedia show on the water. Our vantage point wasn’t the best so I couldn’t see much and obviously couldn’t hear anything. Sadly we never got the chance to see it live along the waterfront.

We wanted to eat before knocking out so we walked down the main street, Nathan Road, and happened upon the iSquare mall which had a food court. We ended up at a modern Shanghainese restaurant Shanghai Popo where we ordered Shanghai fried noodles (OMG YUM) and beef with pine nuts and rice cake (WOW). The food totally hit the spot.



The next day was Valentine’s Day and I woke up at about 7:30am and couldn’t go back to sleep. At least I was free and clear of jet lag!

First order of business was to go to Tim Ho Wan — a dim sum chain known for its Michelin star (not the branch we were going to though). Aziz Ansari ate here on his episode of The Layover and we’ve been wanting to try it ever since! The location we visited is at Hong Kong station but it was SO hard to find (the station is enormous). When we ended up finding it, we realized it was so close to where we exited the fare gates after getting off the train. Of course.



The herd of people outside was the giveaway. We got there early (maybe around 11am?) so we only waited about 10 minutes. Seating is mostly communal and we got two seats in the middle of a long table. It was a tight fit, lol.

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Seoul Trip Report

Last year our friend Leah mentioned that she would be traveling to South Korea for work sometime in early 2014. A few of us threw out the idea of tagging along with her and at first I thought it was just a bit of wishful thinking until all of a sudden we were requesting time off and booking flights. !!!

We spent 4.5 days in Seoul this past February which was just enough time to visit the more popular tourist attractions and neighborhoods. English isn’t widely spoken in Seoul at all so we were lucky to be traveling with our friends Rob & Sebastian who acted as our tour guides (they both speak Korean and lived in Seoul for awhile after college) — they not only accompanied us everywhere but they translated for us too. We would have had an extremely hard time getting by without them — so grateful!

Also, the weather is typically in the 40s during this time of the year. I was so scared I would freeze (I’m a Californian, what can I say?) but it wasn’t bad at all. Seriously!

Some highlights…

One place I definitely wanted to visit was the Korean demilitarized zone, which is the area that serves as a buffer between North & South Korea. The USO runs a tour that visits various points of interest in the DMZ but most importantly includes a stop within the Joint Security Area where you can actually step foot into North Korea. !!!



The tour starts at Camp Kim in Seoul where everyone checks in and boards the bus for the drive to the border.



The first stop was the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, which is one of four known tunnels between North & South Korea (supposedly there are 20+ more that haven’t been found yet). The tunnel was built by the North Koreans in order to launch a surprise attack on Seoul. Their cover story is that they were digging for coal — they even went so far as to paint coal dust along the tunnel walls. Too bad geologically it’s not possible to find coal in this area and dynamite markings were found in the tunnel as well. Tourists can walk a portion of the way to see the barricades that were put up to block tunnel access. We went down to the tunnel but didn’t get very far before we decided to turn around. The space was TIGHT, the ceiling was LOW (thank goodness for the hard hats they made us wear) and it was HOT. Not to mention that on the way back we were faced with a steep incline. OH MAN. THAT WAS THE WORST. Sadly no photos are allowed in the tunnel.

Next up was Dorasan train station, which is the last stop on the rail line before North Korea.



In the past, goods were transported through this station and into the Kaesong region in North Korea. But in 2008, the North Korean government closed the border crossing due to political conflicts.



We were allowed to see the tracks after paying a few South Korean won to get a souvenir ticket.

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The Last of 2013: Van City, NYC & Paris

I think this might finally be my last 2013 blog post. LOL. Thanks for bearing with me. :)

Last year we took a couple of long weekend trips to Vancouver & NYC and also traveled to Paris for a half day at the tail end of our Disneyland Paris trip. I wanted to share a few fun photos before I officially bid adieu to 2013.



We took our annual trip to Vancouver back in May. Fourth year in a row!

One of our very favorite shows, Psych, filmed in Vancouver (*sniff*) so we decided to drive south to the city of White Rock BC, which the show used for many of its location shoots.



The Psych office!!! SQUEE. Ok ok, in real life it’s the White Rock Museum & Archives.



Rob doing a Shawn Spencer impression. LOL.

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