Be it indoors at a museum or outdoors at the beach, I'm happy as a clam as long as the company is good, the weather is agreeable, and we cap it all off by having a really flavorful and satisfying meal at some non-pretentious eatery. (My recommendations of the moment: Mama Lu's Dumpling House in Monterey Park, Viva Madrid in Claremont, Ōomasa in Little Tokyo, Turmeric Thai in La Jolla, and Urban Solace in San Diego.
But this is not set in stone. I have no particular agenda, and I'm open to any and all possibilities and experiences.
I am easy-going, levelheaded, and charmingly weird.
I'm not much a reader of fiction, but I have to say that I love Jules Verne. "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" really captured my imagination as a child and I must have done at least two book reports on it growing up. I usually gravitate towards books about history, political science, liberalism and progressivism, and current events. I just finished reading Rachel Maddow's "Drift" (it was AMAZING) and I'm in the thick of Thomas Friedman's "From Beirut to Jerusalem". My favorite books are Nakae Chomin's "A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government", Hillary Rodham Clinton's "Living History", and Paul Krugman's "The Conscience of a Liberal". I also love reading poetry. TS Eliot is my favorite. Although I try to avoid getting caught up in the zeitgeist, I am considering plunging into "The Hunger Games" series.
I love historical epics and period movies, comedies, sci-fi movies, and foreign LGBT movies. I especially love scary movies. I don't like watching gratuitously violent and/or unnecessarily macabre movies - hence my aversion towards action flicks and slasher movies. I also decry most romantic comedies (since they're somewhat predictably godawful), inspirational sports movies, works by Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay, and also anything that includes "Madea" or "The Twilight Saga" in its title.
I have pretty simple and quirky TV tastes. When not binging on Love It or List It (both Toronto and Vancouver versions) or Fixer Upper, my repertoire right now is comprised of Veep, The Mindy Project, New Girl, Big Bang Theory, Madam Secretary, RuPaul's Drag Race, The Man in the High Castle, Turn, The Expanse, Face/Off, Brooklyn Nine Nine, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Grace & Frankie, and reruns of Downton Abbey, Community, Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, Hell on Wheels, Star Trek: Voyager, and Will & Grace. I'm also about to start in on Game of Thrones, Into the Badlands, and Stranger Things. Depending on my mood, I also love watching shows about the paranormal or haplessly wandering into NatGeo, History, Discovery, Animal Planet, or Science to watch documentaries on the most random subjects from WWII shipwrecks to maneating giant catfish. I'm also down for a night of PBS - be it a multi-part Ken Burns documentary, a provocative Frontline special, or a sophisticated Masterpiece Classic spectacle that makes you forget that the country that originated such great shows decided to commit suicide not too long ago with an ill-informed Brexit vote.
My ears are open to anything that sounds good and has great lyrics. I love Rilo Kiley, Of Monsters and Men, Florence + the Machine, Kylie Minogue, Temper Trap, Tim Myers, Mayer Hawthorne, Scissor Sisters, The Like, and Nelly Furtado. I worship the ground that Lady Gaga walks on, and I'm quite enamored with HAIM right now. I also like great musical scores (James Horner, Steve Jablonsky, and Hans Zimmer are my favorite composers) and classical music.
I love food, and I love to eat. Be it french fries or foie gras - the promise of good meal will almost always get me in a chipper mood. Japanese, Korean, Indian, vegetarian/vegan, and soul food are my flavors of the moment. I also adore tea houses and love tea house fare. And there is a special place in my heart and appetite for SPICY food - the hotter, the better. :) I'm not too big a fan of garlic, although I do cook with it and I'm constantly teaching myself to like it. I'm also not a fan of Sriracha (I prefer sambal). And speaking of cooking - every now and then, I do like to cook and bake. My best dishes so far: Cayenne-crusted pork tenderloin with a lemon pepper jus, and my Snickerdoodles to finish. Normally, the way to get on my good side would be to get me a bag of those Trader Joe's Gummi Tummies. But since I'm trying to be healthier, a bag of their orange-flavored cranberries should suffice. Or a bottle of their Green Dragon sauce. Or a tub of their Tahini dip. Or a bag with all three items, plus the Gummi Tummies. ;) My biggest food-related pet peeve: a horrific three-way tie between people who compromise flavor and temperature by taking pictures of their food, sanctimonious vegans (although I do love vegan fare), and pretentious foodies with a major Anthony Bourdain complex (and I find him to be quite irritating too) who think ordering uni suddenly makes them the most sophisticated gourmet on the planet.
2 - My MacBook. (Even without internet access, I can make myself busy with my laptop and Microsoft Excel).
3 - Lego. Other people gamble, go clubbing, engage in wanton acts of debauchery. I'm at my most virtuous, gleeful, and serene when indulging in this Danish vice and hearing bricks snap together.
4 - Public transportation. (Long live Metro Rail.)
5 - Sunshine. (Cloudy and overcast days, rainy days, and the end of Daylight Saving Time make me really sad.)
6 - Condiments. Especially original Tabasco, Tapatio, and/or HP Sauce.
1.5) Building Legos. He got me hooked on them again, and he's at that tender age when his head is getting turned by silly ladies and not sturdy Lego bricks. I'm an unabashed and unapologetic AFOL. And bonus points if you know what that is.
2) At the gym working out, swimming, and/or having a steam.
3) Hanging out with one of my sisters or friends.
4) Doing laundry. I find the sorting, the folding, the warmth, the static cling, the scent to be sublimely cathartic.
5) Luxuriating in bed catching up on my stories in the DVR.
6) On the southbound Amtrak Pacific Surfliner bound for San Diego.