le cahier de kev

le cahier de kev

adventures fresh off the press

An Eventful Finish to 2015

Before I begin, I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year!  I wish you and your loved ones much success, happiness, and blessings for 2016.


I started discussing updates to the site on my Wordpress in the latest mathematics handout.  I was thinking about how should I proceed with performing the redesign of my new site.  As you can all see, there are close to 50+ entries that I had written on this blog since 2012.  It would be easy if I could just transfer them over, but I was informed by the customer support specialist that doing that was unavailable at the moment.  The other elements of the site can be recreated easily, but I don't want to lose the information on this blog for everyone to read.  Those of you who read the Comic Con entry know how much pictures and information was included, so it won't be fun having to rewrite or lose that information!


At the moment, I will continue to use this blog while I figure out a way to transition a new blog (whether to join my site with a Wordpress blog or take a look at the blog features when I create a test site).  As long as the pictures and other media still display properly on this blog, I'll be fine with it. haha  In terms of the main site, I plan to include blogs/sites that I follow and a few new surprises.  So, stay tuned!


This entry should handle both December and January.  December was a little hectic with finishing up with clients, visits from family, and taking a short holiday/break.  However, it was a nice month to conclude 2015.  It was quite festive and unbelievably warm for winter!  It was around 60 degrees F/15 degrees C on Christmas.  Usually there would be small snow flurries or at the very least, colder weather with coats, winter hats, and gloves.  However the cold weather did catch up in January and now everyone brought out their coats and winter gear!


In my previous entry from late November, I discussed finding my old notes and books from Professor Bower's East Asian Art class.


A Snippet of East Asian Art

Courtesy of Professor Virginia Bower



As you can see, she is very detailed and highlights the most important points without getting into unnecessary detail.  This is why I firmly believe that exposure to different fields and subject areas is beneficial.  Looking back, it would not have crossed my mind that an East Asian Art class would be the inspiration for my current approach to work.  It's always nice to keep an open mind, right? :)  This is why I love how interconnected knowledge and subjects areas are.  Each field contributes in their own way to give a nice balance to society and culture.  Just because you are in accounting doesn't mean you can't understand and enjoy the performing arts (and vice versa).  In fashion and design, measurement and mathematics play a role to make sure that the clothes or drapery are proportional.  You wouldn't want your curtains to extend to the middle of the living room, right?


My best friend Jenny and I had our annual holiday outing together just before Christmas.  As you can imagine, it was very fun and full of picture taking opportunities.  We met up late morning and it was pouring.  At that time, I still had my old umbrella (I bought a new one before the new year since it ended up rusting and wouldn't open).  I wore my boots to prevent the water from getting in.  I planned to print out pictures at a photo kiosk before meeting Jenny, but the photo attendant at CVS told me that they ran out of photo paper.  She was very nice about it though :)


I met up with Jenny at the Bryant Park holiday market.  As we caught up a bit, we were deciding on where to go for lunch.  At that time Jenny was starving and the rain kept on pouring so we wanted to get indoors fast.  After brainstorming and looking through Yelp, we decided to go to Gyu Kaku for barbecue since we were close by to the Midtown location.  As we were walking, we shared funny stories with each other.  As we headed into Gyu Kaku, it was packed.  We went on a weekday so we thought it wouldn't be as crowded (Big mistake!).  Since it was during the week of Christmas, there were a lot of people--not just tourists, but people going there for their lunch break.  Jenny put her name down since the wait time was around 45 minutes.  We got there at around 12:15 PM so we would still make the lunch special/happy hour at the time we would be seated.


As we sat down at the waiting area, we shared pictures with each other.  Jenny was also excited to start practicing independently after finishing up her training.  I was so happy for her!


Our Winter Collage!



After our wait, we were brought to our table with staff greeting us with "Irasshaimase!" (Welcome!).  Our server was friendly, but she was pretty busy handling the tables around us.  Despite that, she was very attentive.  We ordered the Premium Party Course for 2 people which included salad, rice, soup, smores, assorted vegetables, and assorted meats.  We also ordered a dish of the chicken garlic noodles.



Salad and Soup



The assorted vegetables included bell peppers, corn, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, and a shishito pepper (the green pepper in the middle).


Vegetables and Chicken Garlic Noodles



The assorted meats included Kobe style Bistro Hanger Steak Miso, Kobe style Sirloin Tare, NY Steak Garlic, Toro Beef Tare, and Pork Belly Shio.


The selection of meats before grilling



Those of you who are not familiar with Gyu Kaku, the servers bring you the uncooked food.  The people in the table then cook it on the grill located on top of the table.  As we cooked the food on the grill, we were talking about how the holidays were going.  We talked about attending holiday parties and spending time with family.  We also discussed how our friends are doing.  The food was delicious.  We laughed because we found our favorite sweet and spicy sauce and poured it on our rice and meats.  As we were pouring one of the sauces, we noticed a small puddle on the table and our hands being wet.  One of the bottles had a leak so we put it on top of a napkin.


Starting to grill our food

Bowl of rice and our favorite sauces at the top


The Pork Belly (Jenny's Favorite!)



We were getting full after eating 75% of our meal, so we decided to exchange gifts.  Jenny got me a portable charger for my phone and other portable devices and a small wallet for travel.  I got Jenny a gift basket of Nutella, red velvet pancake mix, lotions, and karaoke/drinks after our lunch.


For dessert we were given the smores.  The server apologized that they ran out of the sticks to roast the marshmallows so she gave us chopsticks instead. haha  After I roasted my marshmallow, Jenny told me to do it for her since she was afraid she was going to burn it.  I laughed and told her, "Watch, now I might end up burning yours!"  The smores turned out great.  The heat from the marshmallow melted the chocolate into a smooth velvet treat.


Smores with chopsticks



We were full from lunch so we got ready to head out for karaoke for a few hours.  At that time it was around 3 PM when we finished.  We headed to Karaoke Duet 48 for our fix of singing and dancing.  I usually prefer this location to the one on 35th Street since 48 is quieter and less crowded than 35.  We got settled into our room and I got us our drinks.  It was also Happy Hour here so the drinks were all 50% off.  Jenny just wanted a Shirley Temple while I got a bottle of Coors.  I originally wanted a Stella Artois, but they ran out.  The attendant putting the drinks in the fridge said the only ones available were Coors, Budweiser, or lukewarm Sapporo (since it had just come in from the delivery).  We all laughed when she mentioned the lukewarm Sapporo.


I brought in our drinks and we started our karaoke session.  I laughed when I saw Jenny loading up the site of the songs on Billboard 100 on her phone.  We sang a mix of songs ranging from Maroon 5, Adele, Ken Hirai (for me), and many songs from the 80s/90s/00s.  The time went by quickly, but we also planned to do some shopping for a few gifts.  It was around 6:30 PM when we finished and we headed out.  Before we would return to Bryant Park, we planned to stop by Rockefeller Center to get some hot chocolate and take pictures by the tree.


As we walked towards the West Side, Jenny wanted to take some pictures.  We quickly stopped by the area near the Helmsley Building to snap a few photos.  Those of you who have visited my main site know that I took a picture of the Helmsley Building back in Christmas 2013.  To continue the tradition, I took another picture, but this time, I took a wider view so that you can grasp the lights and decorations of New York City at this time.


Helmsley Building and surrounding area

Park Ave. Between E. 45th and E. 46th Streets

Christmas 2015



Facing the other side from the Helmsley Building



When we arrived at Rockefeller Center, we headed downstairs to the lower level to get our hot chocolate/coffee at Jacques Torres.  This location is cozier and more intimate with two tables.  We got our orders and looked through the pictures that we took so far.


Brings back memories!



Years ago I got the hot chocolate, but this year, I opted for coffee since I was getting a little tired.  The combination of walking around and the spring like weather really relaxed me!  Jenny wanted me to take a picture of her with her hot chocolate since she wanted to send it to her niece who loves chocolate.  It was cute.  I actually had a little trouble getting the angling correct so Jenny did it herself. haha


After a bit, we decided to stop by the tree and take pictures.  As you can imagine, it was incredibly crowded.  We headed back up via the elevator.  When we crossed the street, many of the people were looking up and taking pictures/recording.  The Christmas Light Show started to play so Jenny and I squeezed in to get a spot and take pictures.


The Light Show at Rockefeller Center





After the show everyone smiled and clapped.  As we walked through the crowd, Jenny and I tried to find a spot to take a good picture with the tree in the background.


In front of the Tree at Rockefeller Center

Picture Courtesy of Jenny



It was very festive and everyone looked like they were having a fun time.  Jenny and I had a smile on our faces because it was going to be Christmas in a few days and we were just taking it all in.  After we took our pictures, we navigated through the crowd to get back to Bryant Park.


It was around 8:30 PM when we arrived at Bryant Park.  A few shops were closed, but the ones we needed to go to were still open.  Our first stop was Sabon, a shop with bath and body items.  Usually Jenny would get soaps and box sets filled with scrubs and lotions to give as gifts (as well as get something for herself).  Since Jenny had a cold and couldn't smell well, I had to smell the fragrances and choose something for her.  It reminded me of the time I went to Sephora during my lunch break a couple of years ago and I needed to get a gift for my friend and something for myself.  Even after using the testing paper strips, I still ended up smelling like the fragrance department of a department store. haha


After looking around, Jenny picked out the Lavender box set and a couple of bars of soap.  I really liked their soaps since they were colorful and had unique designs.  Just Google "Sabon soaps" and you'll see what I mean.  After she made her purchase and the soaps wrapped, she had to get a gift for her niece.  She stopped by a stuffed animal shop to look around.  The stuffed animals were the ones which you would heat in the microwave and it'll come out warm.  I think that's how it was!


In the meantime, I looked around and saw these colorful paper lights at a shop.


Pretty nice, right? :)



It was a very beautiful display and I loved the arrangement of the colors.  After I took the picture, Jenny came by and showed me her purchases.  She bought an owl for herself and a duck for her niece (? I forgot the second one she got!).  They were cute and she told me that her niece would enjoy it.


It was already getting late and we had a long day, so we just sat down on a table and talked for a little bit before we wished each other goodbye.  We had such a great time and planned to meet again in mid-late 2016 after she finishes up her training.


2016 kicked in and I had a great time with family.  We all ate and used the usual Facetime/Skype to communicate with other family members across the country and overseas. 


I'm also working with Delia Baquiran, the President of Breast Cancer Imperative, Inc. to handle the redevelopment of the site.  I'll have a link up on my main site so that you can check it out.  We are going to have another fundraiser around Fall 2016 so we'll work on those details during the summer.  We met up after Christmas but just before the new year so that she could give me pictures and let me know how she wanted to approach the website.  It was nice and we got to create a framework for the site.


Ms. Baquiran also had a holiday party after the new year and we got to eat and catch up at her apartment.  It was so nice and festive.  It was a nice relaxing night and as always, I enjoyed seeing the doorman who is an amazing buddy who I share stories with every time I would come to the building.  I also saw a lot of familiar faces from our fundraisers and Ms. Baquiran's friends, and we all got to share stories while eating delicious food.


A wonderful night of celebration



As I had discussed earlier in this entry as well as in my mathematics handout, I do have plans to update the blog area of the site.  I'm still glad that the entries are still formatting correctly here on this blog.  What I might do is connect a Wordpress blog to make it "mynewblogname.lecahierdekev.com" with "mynewblogname" being the user name I will create.  Since my site is lecahierdekev, it would be silly to use the name again to make lecahierdekev.lecahierdekev.com.  haha But since lecahierdekev on Wordpress hosts my mathematics and science handouts that won't be a problem.


I think I covered many of the major points from the holidays.  By the time the end of December came in, I knew I had to just combine December 2015 and January 2016 into one entry for the new year.  I should be back on track for my monthly entries in 2016.  Also, thank you very much to everyone who enjoys reading these entries!  I love detailing my adventures and a lot of people enjoy the break from the technical handouts.  Let's continue moving forward in 2016 and as always, I will keep all of you updated with my entries and the renovation of my site!

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