So, as mentioned previously, I went to LA for Christmas with the family and family friends. It was nice to see everyone and hang out with them, but it was also physically exhausting. As expected, we ate out a lot, and at some pretty nice restaurants. I had a $30 steak at this horrible steak house at Universal's City Walk. The place was called the Saddle Ranch Chop House and had a cool theme, but the food wasn't worth the money. We also ate a lot at various restaurants in Korea Town. One of the more frequent places we went to was this Korean food court. Got to have dol sot bi bim bap, neng myun, kim bap, kim chi, and lots of other Korean food. The last night we went to this Korean owned Japanese restaurant, that my parents had been to previously. One of those places where you have like a 7 course meal. I don't remember all the courses, but I do remember that there were 6 adults and 1 nine-year old there (and a 101 day old baby), and they brought us lots of sashimi. And by lots, I mean they brought out these two 24" long ceramic boats, filled with ice, and then lots of various sashimi on it - I remember abalone, fatty tuna, sweet lobster, frozen yellowtail, etc etc.
Christmas was good - got a lot of books (Rise of the Creative Class, Crichton's State of Fear, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, and the Life of Pi), lots of various snowboarding clothes (pants, gloves, face mask), some clothes, and some other things. I also inherited my parent's digital camera, as my dad wants to get a new one. Score!
I also remember stopping into a bar at LAX because I had time to kill, and I ordered a tall India Pale Ale - being an airport, I expected to pay a bit much, but was surprised when it was $7.03. Apparently it was $6.49, and then 54 cents of tax. This college-age couple comes up beside me while I'm drinking my beer at the bar and the guy orders a Bud Light, takes a sip, and then says to his lady friend, "It's REAL BEER!" From the gist of the conversation I overheard it sounds like they'd been abroad . . . but still, Bud Light is a real beer?
I already posted the pictures from New Year's Eve - we were at Bullwhacker's, and it was a pretty good time. I think I totally missed a cue that I was supposed to kiss a girl (she came up to me at like five minutes into the New Year, so I was long past the "kiss someone at midnight" phase), and put her arm sort of around me and looked me in the eyes . . . whoops.
Anyway, my brother came to Montana for New Year's, and we've gone snowboarding the last two days. Saturday was a bit of an adventure as I skidded off the road on the way up to Great Divide and ended up stuck. Fortunately Tony has a AAA membership, so a tow truck came up and got us out. Unfortunately, my right front tire was flat, and I ended up driving on a donut for the rest of Saturday. My tires had 57,000+ miles on them, so I went in to Walmart this morning (they were the only place I could find open on Sunday), and got all new tires (fortunately, in the Korean elder tradition, I had received some cash from various relatives, which covered the vast majority of the cost). Anyway, I like having my brother in town as he treats my poor ass rather frequently (he bought me some minor groceries, washed my dishes, and took me out to dinner tonight . . . yea!)
I've got books I want to write about as well, but I'll post that later.