My First Time Bar-hopping!

Hey guys!

So I went bar-hopping for the first time today! What is bar-hopping? It is synonymous with pub crawling, and basically means exactly what its name entails: visiting different bars for drinks. You will have to put up with my grainy photos with terrible lighting. To be fair, I did the best I could given I was using an iPhone camera and pubs are not usually known for having the brightest lighting.

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The Storm Crow Tavern

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The Doctor Who table!!

We decided to hit up the Commercial Drive area first, since one of my friends worked near there. The first place we went to was the Storm Crow Tavern. This was not our first time there– actually, it was our third visit this month I think. The Storm Crow is this great little pub with cheap food (all their food items are $6 from what I remember), and a great atmosphere. There are board games that anyone can just grab and play when you are enjoying your drink, and the whole pub has a nerdy/geeky-esque decor. They play Star Trek on their TV, as well as other awesome geeky favourites. Their wall decorations are also awesome! There are signed photos from several of the Doctors, Game of Throne actors/actresses, and other fancy memorabilia! The washrooms also have World of Warcraft figurines to indicate which one is for males, and which one is for females. If it is not obvious, I love this place.

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I had a Screwdriver here, which I enjoy. Screwdrivers are great because the orange masks the taste of the vodka so well. I like alcohol, but I hate the taste of alcohol if that makes any sense.

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Food at St. Augustine’s

Our drinks at St. Augustine's. I had the one with the cherry garnish-- the Tequila Sunrise.

Our drinks at St. Augustine’s. I had the one with the cherry garnish– the Tequila Sunrise.

After Storm Crow, we went to St. Augustine’s, which was just down several blocks. We also ordered food here. I knew we were probably going to go to another pub, so I went for a salad and stole a slice of my friend’s pizza. 😛 I tried the Tequila Sunrise. It was pretty, but I thought that it did not mask the taste of the tequila very well, but I still ended up downing it. St. Augustine’s had good food, but of course, was pricier than Storm Crow. However, they have a huge selection of beers here. In all, the food was good, but soon enough we were off again.

Food at the Cove

Food at the Cove

Drinks at the Cove!

Drinks at the Cove!

We picked up the car, since our driver only had one drink so far, and he had time to let it wear off. We then headed to the Cove, which also had board games. I opted for some greasy food here and had their pulled pork poutine. For drinks, I first had their Dark and Stormy– only to realize I hate ginger beer. I have never had ginger beer before, but I thought I would like it since it was basically pop. I was wrong. I gave half of it to my friend to finish, and then ordered a Bloody Caesar. That was good. I have never had a Boody Mary before, but to me, a Caesars tasted like cold soup with hot sauce. Not in a bad way.

Overall, bar-hopping was fun, but exhausting. You get pretty buzzed from the drinks, and you know how a bit of alcohol makes you feel warm, nice, and sleepy? I really felt tired of it after switching over from our first pub, but we decided to keep going. We finished off with three pubs, which is not a lot, but for a first time, I thought it was decent. It was fun to settle down in various pubs, and sip on different drinks in a new atmosphere again and again. But like I said, it does get physically tiring.

It is now New Year’s Eve! I better hurry and make some resolutions (that I will ultimately fail, but they are fun to make regardless)! Feel free to recommend some bars/pubs around the Vancouver area that you particularly liked! I LOVE places with board games, because alcohol and board games mean only one thing: hilarity! So drop down some pub names below!

Cheers!

-Karen

To read or not to read?

The second season of Game of Thrones premiered on Sunday! My friends and I had a little premiere of our own at Monica’s house. At first, we were going to cook food inspired by the books/ TV show, but since it was the last week of university and everyone was super busy and preoccupied, we ended up going to Safeway to choose Game of Thrones-like food. Basically, we bought roasted chicken, loads of bread, bread dip, salad, cheese and sausages. Very Westeros-esque? Well, we tried. Oh and to add to the authenticity, we ate with our hands and dressed up.

Our take on food from Westeros. Thank goodness for Safeway!

I attempted to dress up as Irri...

The first season of Game of Thrones corresponded to the first book in George R.R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. I watched the first season before moving on to reading the books and I did not like that experience. I then read the second book, and am now on the fourth book (which for some reason, I cannot get past. I keep putting it down because I can’t seem to get absorbed into it). After watching the first episode of season 2, I can now safely say I definitely prefer reading the books before watching the TV show.

IT BEGINS!

I think one thing that annoyed me to watching the show first was that it robbed me of my chance to create my own interpretations of the characters and setting. While reading the first book, I already had premade images of who the characters were and where they lived. For the second book, although some characters were in the first book and I did not get to mentally create them myself, there was still lots of new characters and settings. I found it really fun to watch the second season and realize certain scenes were just as I imagined, or even the opposite—they were nowhere near what I had in mind!

Although creating my own characters based on what I read is, in my opinion, one of the most important part of the experience, there was also a negative part to reading the books first. As I was watching the season two premiere, I realized I knew what was going to happen next. It was as if everything was spoiled. I hate knowing how something is going to end before I watch it. But despite this, I still enjoyed reading the books first.

On a similar note, I watched the Hunger Games with a bunch of friends the day after it was released. I have already read the whole series well before the movie was even announced, so I found that I had forgotten a lot of the plot. However, as I sat in the cinemas watching the movie, I found a lot of bits and pieces were coming back. And then I remembered how the series ended and I actually started crying in many of the scenes that reminded me of the ending. People were obviously thinking I was crazy because the scene that was playing was not even sad. But for me, I kept thinking about the ending and thus wept. Story of my life.

My opinion towards the Hunger Games movie is that it was really well made. A lot of movies end up deviating quite a bit from the book and making a lot of changes. I thought this movie stayed well on track and kept changes to a minimum. Along with Holes, I would say the Hunger Games were one of the movies that allowed for a pretty accurate portrayal of the book.

So what is your take on the topic? Book first or movie first?

-Karen

Releasing my inner geek!

Just kidding, I do not think I am that big a geek. But I have my moments.

Anyway, my friends and I recently ordered a bunch of stuff from thinkgeek.com! I was super excited when the package arrived this morning because I have been wanting to get ahold of my…. LIGHTSABER CHOPSTICKS! I have been wanting these forever (well, a while anyway) but it took me a while to find them. I also got a lightsaber laser pointer, because you never know when that may come in handy.
It annoys me how my friend got a watch on the site for like $15 and my chopsticks were $13. But oh well! I will feel like Jedi while I eat dinner every night! Another complaint? Shipping fees to Canada. It always costs so dang much.

Extreme monkey-powered awesomeness enclosed 🙂

Goodies ^.^

Lightsaber chopsticks!!!!!!

Since we are on the topic, HBO released another Game of Thrones teaser! Cannot wait! My friends and I were thinking of doing a themed night for the premier! 🙂 I am currently on the fourth book and I am so slow… One of my new year’s resolutions was to stop feeling so guilty every time I pick up a novel instead of a textbook, and I have been doing pretty well. But it is still very hard to squeeze out time for reading. 😦 It also does not help that A Feast for Crows lack a lot of the characters I am used to from the previous books. But then again we get to see what is going on in Sunspear!

Moving on to a slightly less cheery note….
So the past few weeks has been pretty good work load wise, but I am NOT looking forward to the next two-three weeks. I am swamped with midterms, term papers and presentations! I found out I will be having my macro economics midterm, Chinese midterm and an in-class english essay all one the same day. Wonderful. But I have to say, this is already significantly better than last term. If only I have the self control and motivation to actually get my butt to work and start doing everything now I know my life will be a lot better off when the time comes. Sadly, I work best under pressure and although I am expecting stress, it just is not close enough yet to kick me into hyper work mode! I got to look into that and find ways to see how I can get over that whole only-working-under-pressure thing.

Ending this post off, has anyone SEEN the weather in Vancouver? It is beautiful! Not too cold, not too hot– in other words, perfect! So excited for spring!

-Karen

Contingent Contemplation: Re-watching Star Wars

Ever feel like you were born too late?

Yes, I am talking about me not being able to feel all the hype that surrounded Star Wars way back then. Okay, maybe it was not too long ago, and there were more recent Star Wars films released, but what I am emphasizing on is the ones from the 1980s. I have watched these with my parents when I was younger, but re-watching them again this winter break made it clear to me: They are gold. Seriously, I am addicted and really sad that I cannot be there to get excited about its original release. Looking around, there is still lots of pieces of the Star Wars legacy that exist around me, but it is not the same. I really wish I could have been there.

So, moving on from what I cannot change, watching Star Wars again made me fall in love with Han Solo. With all movies, I usually fall in love with some actor or character and it happens that this time it is Han Solo. I thought I would like Luke more because he was one of the only characters I remembered from watching Star Wars all those years ago. However, Solo is just such a charming character (not to mention a badass) and I loved his relationship with Princess Leia. Again, too bad I cannot find many Han Solo fans around my age anywhere close by because I would definitely be rambling about him all day. Just like I do with a million other actors, such as Shia LaBeouf to name one. And of course, that is my segue into a slightly related topic. I also re-watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull just so I can see Harrison Ford. I have never paid much attention to him as my eyes are usually on Shia LaBeouf, but this time I kept my eyes glued on Harrison Ford. Amazingly (or not), I still see a lot of his Han Solo days in him and that delighted me lots. However, I still wish I could be a adoring fan girl who was obsessing over a 30 year old Harrison Ford. Being 18, I feel more appropriate obsessing over Han Solo instead of the current Harrison Ford.

I vaguely remember watching most of the Star Wars movies in my past but not enough to remember what it was really about, so it all seem a bit new to me. I did watch Star Wars in the way it is supposed to be seen (according to most people– and I definitely agree): IV, V, VI then I, II, III. Before starting my marathon, I honestly believed I would like the prequel a lot more because I was more used to modern films. However, after watching the fourth to the sixth ones, I was beginning to wonder if the prequel can live up to it. It did not in my opinion and I was slightly disappointed. Despite them being made with way less technology and had to make do with what they had back in the 1980s, George Lucas did a pretty good job at depicting an exciting galactic adventure in episodes IV-VI. At the same time, it was interesting to see the prequel, understand the circumstances for what followed and see how George Lucas directed films closer to my time. Now I want to read the books to get even more in depth…but, I am still not done reading Game of Thrones and my second term in university is about to start. Woes of a student.

While I was Boxing Day shopping today, I was on the lookout for Star Wars merchandise, namely Star Wars posters with Han Solo and Princess Leia. Of course, I failed miserably and only managed to find some posters with either the entire ensemble of all the Star Wars characters (which was pretty cool, but I did not feel like getting it) or ones that focused on Yoda (who is also really cool, but again, not what I was looking for). I also wanted this:

But the chances of me randomly finding that in a Vancouver shopping mall was definitely really low, so I gave up the search before it started. Okay, that is a lie because I went to custom t-shirt places just to check, but my suspicions came true. I also found moleskine Star Wars notebooks, but that was kind of lame. I guess if I wanted any good Star Wars merchandise, I would have to go online. Which I promptly did when I went home and found these:

Lightsaber chopsticks! I am asian so we eat with chopsticks everyday anyway! WANT WANT WANT!

Ugh I cannot believe I am getting into Star Wars now. I feel so behind…Oh well, at least I found something to do over my holiday. 🙂

-Karen

Tis the season to be jolly!: Part 2 (Legit Christmas dinner)

So my friends decided that we needed to have a ‘legit’ Christmas dinner as we have not had one throughout the years. Yesterday was when it happened! To begin, my part in the preparations were really small, so many thanks to those who went a day early to prepare! And thank you Edna for letting us do it at your house! Everything was delicious and overall and it was really fun!

Neil carving the turkey 🙂

Legit dinner right there

The main part of the dinner consisted of all the regular Christmas food: Turkey, peas, corn, mashed potatoes…you know, traditional Christmas stuff. I do not think I have had such a ‘legit’ Christmas dinner for either a very long time, or never at all! Being asian, Christmas dinner always consisted of somehow incorporating rice or some other asian touch to the dinner! 😛 After dinner came dessert– and this is where I wished I saved more room in my stomach. There was three times as much desserts as there were for the main course! Butter tarts, pumpkin tarts, cupcakes, cookies, cheesecake, apple pie..the list goes on! But I was so full by the time dessert was out that I could only sample a bit of the overall selection!

Dessert!

After dinner we all headed out the the living room to watch Christmas movies and play some games. We had a gingerbread making contest! It was super fun and to make it more challenging, we had a 20 minute time limit. We were also only allowed to use one hand per person. Of course, these were pre-made gingerbread and we just had to assemble and decorate it. Connie and I reunited thebomb.com and David and William joined us. Although we did not win, it was still fun to build a gingerbread house (well, train really)! I haven’t built one in ages! I think the last time I did was almost six years ago!

You know I got serious when I tie up my hair and am not sitting down, being my usual lazy self.

Our gingerbread train!

After gingerbread house making, a majority of us decided to watch SAW. I could never stand gory films so I volunteered to leave the living room. 😛 Josh and I went to Edna’s room and we played our Game of Thrones card game. Eventually we heard our friends screaming and exclaiming as they watched people die on screen…and then some other friends started to trickle into the room as well. Yeah, talk about having a Christmasy atmosphere. Josh and I decided to block out the scary sounds and reactions and we turned up Christmas music on Josh’s MacBook. Safe and sound in Edna’s room ❤

It felt like the party ended too soon, but by the time we left, it was around 2:30 at night! I was not at all tired…until I got back home and the fatigue kicked in. It was awesome to get to see everyone again. After university started, it felt like all I was doing was no-lifing school! But, it finally felt like the old times when I could just go out whenever I wanted without having to worry about an upcoming midterm or project! In other words, it felt wonderful! Hope everyone else’s winter holiday is going swell as well! 🙂

Until my next post,

Karen