Saturday, June 25, 2011

bowen road at night

bowen road hong kong at night

i know, i know, the photo quality is absolute crap, but this was taken with 3g iphone (hey, it still works!). anyhoo. this is what bowen road looks like at night.  scary no? the typhoon warning finally let up.  i was too lazy to do anything but forced myself to run.


saturday, july 2

i did exactly the same as last week with the running thing, so i thought i'll just add it here.  well except that this time there was this (south asian? middle eastern?) guy who was just there smoking pot at the end of the path, in the dark, with a few bottles of beer.  and walking back to my apartment i passed by this small indian hole-in-the-wall, "indian village", so i tried their chicken briyani, even tho i've had dinner, even tho it was already very late, even tho i was soaked in sweat, and even tho i thought it cancelled the whole running thing.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

shoot and then focus?

in case you haven't read about this, there's supposedly a new camera called lytro that lets you focus the photo after taking it (in the example above, from their website, click anywhere on the photo to see how focus shifts). i said supposedly because they're keeping mum on the details. there isn't even a physical description or photo of the camera (surely if they're just protecting the technology, it's not something that can be stolen from showing what the camera looks like?).

what do you think? i'm doing the wait-and-see.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

king prawns

king prawns - photo by Joselito Briones

unlike their much smaller cousins who were jumping all over the place when i passed by the fish market tonight, these king prawns were already swimming in ice water.  i bought them anyway because they were so big (that's a proper sized fork for comparison) and they looked so yummy. i was gonna throw away the heads because of that gooey yellowy heart-attack stuff that's in there but i didn't. between that and the massive earthquakes i felt in my heart after drinking the long black coffee that i got from pacific coffee (i don't know what the hell they put in the coffee - 5 espressos?), i was desperate to run in bowen road again.  only there's a typhoon signal no. 1 hoisted, so i just stayed in and waited to see if i was gonna fall into a coma.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

hotel room drama

divas in villa sassolini, firenze, italy - photo by Joselito Briones

this photo was taken spring last year, in villa sassolini, in italy's tuscany.  i'm showing this because i liked this room so much (this is actually a huge living room adjoining wil's bedroom - this was the only unit with such a room, with a long communal table in the middle which we used as our very own hq in the hotel) that it inspired me to write a short story that the divas are helping me turn into a short film.  they will play themselves, of course, and hopefully we'll be able to find someone to play a character that michael would've been able to do (he has since moved to thailand).  anyway, knowing these strong-willed divas who'd insist on what they want, i won't be surprised if this ends up nowhere.  the least i can do is finish the script, then i can at least declare that i did something.


Monday, June 20, 2011

connetable tinned sardines in mustard sauce

connetable tinned sardines in mustard sauce - photo by Joselito Briones

i was intrigued when i saw this in the market. i mean, i've always seen tinned sardines in olive oil or tomato sauce but this is the first time i saw one in mustard sauce. the brand is connetable and the product itself is called "les fillet de sardines, moutarde a l'ancienne" and i really liked it. it's got a very rounded creamy taste, very nice mustard flavor but without the kick (and i actually like the kick so i put a bit more moutarde de meaux when i ate it). i ate half on a slice of whole wheat bread and the other half i tossed in with mesclun salad.

i'm always on the look out for good tinned/bottled food because it's always nice to have a fall-back food in your cupboard that you actually like.  Even if you don't eat it often, it's just waiting there and you know you'll enjoy it when you eat it eventually. kinda like the mini wini.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

first beach day this year

beach items - photo by Joselito Briones

the other night i rented "the endless summer" from iTunes, and it made me want to go to the beach. not to learn how to surf, you crazy?  just to go to the beach.  so this weekend i did just that.

woke up mid-morning.  had breakfast at "the flying pan" where for the last three weekends i've ordered the same thing (spanish-style egg white omelette with smoked salmon, wheat toast, fruit bowl, orange juice, long black coffee) and left tip, tho not customary here in hong kong, just so they'd remember me and my order, but they always manage to give me a wrong omelette anyway (once with egg yolks, once plain - without the things that make it "spanish", and once without smoked salmon).  i'll give it one last time next weekend and if they still don't get it right, i'll just make my own omelette breakfast.

i asked rene, benj, and josen to come with me to the beach but they said they'd rather go to a soho bar to drink the afternoon away, so i went by myself. dumped everything in my tote (photo, above): my big-ass towel, pretty floral shorts, sunscreen, sunnies, and most important - a nice book to read (isaac asimov's "the complete robot" compilation).  took the mtr in flipflops, got lost in shaukeiwan, especially after asking locals who pointed me at the wrong direction, then finally got to the minibus (craziest drivers in hong kong) that took me to shek-o beach.  my first time going to this beach - really nice weather, and rather crowded so i just went and stayed in one end.

i had a ticket for "x-men: first class" in the evening so i didn't stay in the beach very late.  movie was great. it wasn't until the movie was over and i was brushing off popcorn from my shirt that i realized i locked myself out from my apartment yet again. (i was in such a hurry from getting home from the beach to going to the moviehouse, while being on the phone with rene and benj who were still drinking in soho and asking me to join them, that i forgot my keys again). so i had to go to emi to borrow her copy again.

when i finally got in i got an email notification from iTunes saying there's a new doctor who episode that i can download. yay! only it turns out it's just a teaser.  new episodes won't be availabe until fall.  sigh.

anyhoo. i love my color today.  next time i'll try a different beach.


revit rendering study

revit rendering study of a boutique hotel

one of the main advantages of revit over autocad is instant visualization.  basically you can work with the visuals at the same time you're doing the planning.  this one was a preliminary "look" study of a boutique hotel, rendered natively in revit.  i read somewhere that there's a (3rd party?) rendering function that uses cloud-accessed files, but i don't think that's a particularly good idea for now, because basically it means you'd be limited by your internet connection.  it's bad enough that so many things can go wrong with windows while doing a complex rendering, and the occasional power failure, with cloud computing you'll also have to worry about internet connection.  soon maybe, but not tomorrow, and definitely not today.


Friday, June 17, 2011

yellow clams

yellow clams - photo by joselito briones

these clams were different from the other batch in that these are prettier - the shell and the meat are yellowish, and the brown lines on the shell make for a pretty pattern.  they're more lively too.  when i bought them they were spitting water at unsuspecting passers by at the market.

things were kind of decided for me:  i had half a day-old baguette that won't be any good at all tomorrow, so i thought i'd make some soup to dunk it in.  i was thinking maybe cold tomato soup, but when i passed by the market i saw these pretty clams so i thought, well, clams in soup, maybe asian spicy style. but the stall where i buy herbs was out of cilantro, so i bought broad-leafed parsley and dill instead, and onion.  when i got home i found out that i ran out of chicken stock, so i just dumped half a bottle of white wine in it.  i really should learn how to cook properly.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

get your own ewan mcgregor now! cheap!

screen capture of an ad from, selling ewan mcgregor for cheap

who knew he's for sale? and for cheap, supposedly.  but then what's cheap for them is probably still not affordable for me.  and anyway i don't think i'd want to own ewan. i mean he looks good and charming and all, but i wouldn't know what to feed him, really.  tho from the persona he projects onscreen he looks like a very good-natured low-maintenance guy, so maybe it isn't so bad. nah. i can't even keep cacti alive for a long time, much less an ewan.

the screen shot above was from an ad in  clearly the advertiser just scans keywords in the article (the article was about a new ewan mcgregor movie) and tempts reader to buy it from its website for cheap.  stupid bot. 


mini mango (pahutan), and silly things

pahutan, or small mangoes, or Mangifera altissima, photo by joselito briones

when i was a kid i loved toys that looked nothing like the real thing.  they can be the ugliest one-color plastic toy car with nothing but air inside - two pieces of thin molded plastic halves with untidy joint right in the middle, or a teeny weeny solid plastic gun no bigger than a coin, so small and unrecognizable in shape, never mind in details, that one couldn't really make out what it was until one saw on the candy wrapper it came in that indeed it was meant to be a toy gun.    it made me feel special that adults had to create something especially for my kind, the child whose only source of spending money was the occasional spare change from my mother's pocket.  i thought, how nice of these people to try to amuse me with these silly things. of course even at such a young age it occured to me that they were what they were not because of purposeful design but because they had to be the cheapest possible product  that can be wrapped with a piece of candy, but why spoil romantic notions with practical ideas?

it's somewhat the same way with the tiny mangoes (pictured above, Mangifera altissima, or simply "pahutan" where i grew up) that i found in the market today.  i loved these when i was a kid.  i'd bite a small bit from the pointed end and start peeling the skin off like a tape going round all the way, then pop the whole thing in my mouth (about the size of a sushi).  the pit is very thin and i used to bend them in my mouth because small as they were, they were still a considerable chunk in a child's mouth.  my mom used to bring some home and make a big fuss of how special these are.  i, of course, believed her.  it made me feel special that there was a mini version even of this common fruit, something specifically for me.  until of course i was older and she kept buying these, at which point i realized that  she was buying these for herself.  and of course at that age i was already well aware that not everything was about me and that adults enjoy their own special things, too.


Thursday, June 09, 2011

victimless dinner

fried spicy squid on a bed of rocket salad - photo by joselito briones

last night's dinner wasn't as much fun.  the squids (HK$20, am enjoying how cheap and fresh food here is) were already dead when i bought them, so there wasn't any of that splashing thing. no silent screams, either. ah well.  and anyway even if they were still alive in the market they'd have died when i left them outside my door when i left to get emi's (girl who cleans my apartment) copy of my keys because i locked myself out.

this one's a quickie. as soon as the squid was cooked (on a really hot pan, about 3 minutes, probably less) i just tossed it with some rockets (HK$15 for a big bunch). so nice and summer-y.


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

jane's visit

jane and i at the rooftop of my apartment building in central, hong kong

photo above is of jane and me, taken at the rooftop of my apartment here in hong kong.  remember her?  she always puts me up at her place whenever i visit new york.  she's the bestest.  she dropped by last week on her way back to new york from the philippines.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

jogging path in bowen road, hong kong

jogging path in bowen road, hong kong - photo by joselito briones

it's gotta be the age.  sometimes i wake up really really early (4am) and there's just no going back to sleep no matter how much i try.  yesterday i tried something new.  instead of trying to sleep i got up and went to bowen road for a run.  i just walked from my apartment (about half an hour), about an hour's worth of jogging and walking (about 8km total, return), then another half an hour's walk back to my place.  

sunrise in wan chai as seen from bowen road look out - photo by joselito briones

photo above is sunrise in wan chai as seen from numerous lookouts along bowen road.


Friday, June 03, 2011

my guests tonight: clams

clams with pasta - photo by Joselito Briones

they were just huddled there together, a bunch of big clams, in a bowl, in the fish market, looking bored, a tag of HK$20 (US$2.50 - supah cheap!) dangling on the side, so i thought i'd bring them home and make their lives a bit more interesting.

so yeah, when i saw my pot with stock and mixture of herbs already steaming, i let my freshly washed guests  dive in (ok, i slid them in) and covered the whole thing.  they must have felt very much at ease, because when i removed the cover a few minutes later they all really opened up to me.  we had so much fun. by "we" i meant "i", of course.  they were already food at that point.  


Thursday, June 02, 2011

soho extension

this is a few blocks from where i work, the photo was taken a few months back, you can tell because people in it are wearing coats.

rene phoned just before i left work to say he was standing somewhere here and would i like to have a drink so we did and we had beer and pizza and watched people passing by and calculated the time it will take for this area to get cleaned up like the main stretch of soho and how it won't be good because then the place will lose its character and after a few drinks decided that we should go out more especially now that i've made plans to leave hong kong.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

AutoCAD for Mac is a keeper

i finally got to download the free trial version of AutoCAD for Mac and was impressed by it.  used to be that i kept an extra windows-operated machine just so i can use AutoCAD, but now I can finally say bye bye to the stupid thing.


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