1. Be Better at…Life.

    Friends, Lovers, Haters…this week’s a biggie. Two of my very best in the whole wide world are getting married.

    To each other. 

    This is them. Absolutely the cutest. Meet Becky and Victor.

    Here’s my week in a nutshell:

    Tuesday+Wednesday: Gym, Tan, Laundry…and cleaningfest 2012

    Thursday: Bachelorette Party aka “The Day I’ll Get Pretty Drunk and Tell Becky I Love Her Over and Over on the Corner of Essex St. and Allen”

    Friday: Rehearsal of the best day ever and eating at a legit Chinatown restaurant (stoked)

    Saturday: Wedding Day…also know as “Crying in my Champagne Day” or “The Day I Sucked at Giving A MOH Speech”

    Sunday: Recovery and Bye Bye Boyfriend Day, also known as “Jealous I’m Not Going To A Tropical Honeymoon” Day

    So as you can see, I’m going to be a busy gal this week with probably very little time to write really sarcastic things on my corner of the internet. Forgive me? I’ll be back Monday with a wedding recap and just so you know…I’ll probably still have a lingering hangover headache.

    Here are photos of the people I am really excited for this weekend: 

    The Groom and I, Victor Paguia

    The Best Bride and Probably the Best Person I know…Becky!

    And of course…excited to see the Cali boy for some wedding time fun!

    xo Chinae

    (first photo by the very talented Eric Ryan Anderson, the rest by my best friend, iPhone) 


  2. Be Better at…Moving.

    Moving might be my least favorite thing in the world. Thanks parentals for making me do it every 3-4 years of my life until I was 22, if I become a weird hermit by 30, I’m blaming you.

    Anyway…by the end of my adolescence, I just learned a fun little trick…throw everything away and you can always get another one if you’re desperate enough. Well that was all good and well until now…I moved to New York City.

    Moving in NYC is just different than most places…normal Americans get professional movers, adequate/sturdy boxes, appropriate vehicles, and spend weeks packing their huge amounts of stuff and utilize items like dollies and sharpies to label things…but not New Yorkers. 

    No, we decided a long time ago to just to bribe our friends with bagels and mimosas, throw our stuff in the 10385 canvas bags we’ve received for free at the museum/IKEA/concert/Whole Foods, and take some sketchy van we rented on Craigslist to our new abode. We really suck. No wonder people will continue to live in a total shithole just to avoid this. 

    Here are 5 Be Better Tips to Moving:

    1) Packing is a Virtue: I have showed half-drunk/half-asleep to several moves and wipe my little eyes in disbelief, because I feel like I’ve showed up on the wrong day. Why you say? BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS STILL INTACT (and my friend is enjoying a mimosa at the dining table reading the Times). Friends, if I come help you move, and give up my Saturday…you better be prepared. I don’t want to crate up your crusty thong underwear or sort your Morgan Freeman dvd collection. I signed up for moving, not packing. This was not in the contract of friendship we signed long ago…and the only thing that can appease me now is a fully-paid for, beach vacation. Your punishment will be, forever reminding you that you are the worst. 

    2) Boxes of Books and Other Horrible Strategies: I seriously love my friends, but some of you couldn’t pack a f*cking box if you had a gun to your head. I mean, I’m going to say it…I think big boxes suck to move in-city…unless you live in the ‘burbs and have a car/van/moving company…they make almost no sense. BUT even worse is when you have a 5-fl walk up and someone hands you a snack-size ziploc baggie full of stuff and tells you to make the trip up. NO, make each trip worth our while with medium sized boxes, crates, and large bags and pile them on me like I’m a donkey (burro) in Little Mexico. But on the other hand…(and I’m only going to say this once) stop packing your entire Encyclopedia Brittanica collection in one box. We are not the American Gladiators, we are just your ex-friends and we cannot possibly carry 367lbs of knowledge in one trip up the stairs. How about volumes A-E with some sweaters on top? Good? Good. 

    3) Bribery Tips: Newsflash…mimosas are no longer a good way to bribe your friends to help you move. The champagne you bought costs $8 dollars and we are now tispy AND have a massive headache. We also have to drive that crackvan from Craigslist around the city for you…which is already a terrible idea since most of us haven’t been behind the wheel of a car (much less a windowless cargo van) in years…so adding in mimosas..not great. Bagels are in theory a good idea…but then who really wants to sit down and eat when you just want to get this damn thing over with. ***I have to say, my friend Rachel did it right this past weekend…come help me move, and get treated to brunch after.*** It’s the perfect tactic because people are going to need some serious yums after all that rigamarole and it’s way better than some god-forsaken donut platter from the grocery store. Also, just a protip, go to the store and get a slew of bottled water, sounds simple but it’s rare when it happens. (oh and if you are rich enough to get real movers, make sure you still offer them water, don’t be an asshole)

    4) Teamwork: Make teams on the front and back end of the trips…that way people can commit less time and they can potentially stay as near to where they live as possible. They’ll love you for this and may even volunteer to help on both ends.

    5) Information Station: I don’t like being lied to. You know what’s the same as lying in my book? Misinformation or not giving full disclosure. When you are asking people to help, give them all the info. 6 floor walk up? Pack of wild dogs living next door? Russian mob in your new building? I WANT TO KNOW. I don’t want to show up to a surprise of 20 flights of stairs, I need to mentally prepare for that sh*t and choose my footwear accordingly.

    Happy moving and yes, I’ll still keep helping as long as you follow these rules!

    xo Chinae


  3. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Apple Redux Cocktail Edition:

    In concordance with my post yesterday (re: Whiskey), I think today dear readers, we shall make a Bourbon cocktail. 

    I want Fall to be in my mouth right about now, even though it’s muggy and raining in New York today…we should revolt and drink Fall in anyway.

    (The only thing this photo has to do with this post is the relation of how much bourbon she had to drink to get an apple tramp stamp. I couldn’t resist)

    Apple cocktails have gotten a bad name in drinking history (thanks you TGIFridays and Applebee’s for your bright green appletinis with a maraschino cherry to garnish). Let’s take back the reputation of the apple right here and now in the world of libations.

    Apple Redux Cocktail:

    What you’ll need:

    2 oz Bourbon
    0.5oz lemon juice
    0.5oz maple syrup
    1 oz fresh organic apple juice
    1 oz passionfruit juice
    ¼ oz campari
    1t honey

    Combine all these ingredients into a shaker, shake and strain over rocks. Add some fresh cut apple slices to garnish!

    Happy Fall b*tches!

    xo Chinae


  4. Be a Better…New Yorker.

    Visiting the West Coast Edition:

    We New Yorkers famously have a chip on our shoulder about living, visiting, or thinking about another place…and immediately dismiss it as a total sh*thole compared to our great city. And most of the time…we’re right. 

    If NYC and LA were superhumans, they’d be archenemies fo sho. Of course no fiber of my being wanted to like LA LA Land…especially because my previous trip there sucked big time (hello Beverly Hills and Hollywood).

    BUT, much to my chagrin, I went on my journey out West…and I liked it. A lot. 

    I think I just got carpal tunnel from that sentence. Sigh.

    I would say though, that I had a few helpful things working in my favor…so I’ll share.

    5 Ways to Be a Better New Yorker, in California:

    -Stop Comparing it to New York: New York is (to me) the best city in the world. We’ve got everything in a tiny 23 sq mile vicinity: food that makes your toes curl, style that makes the ugliest sh*t tolerable and somehow beautiful, loads of history that matters, superior architecture and art, and we do it all in 6 inch heels. So what?

    On my trip, I had to let go of the notion of comparing NY to LA…and switched to the mindset of NY + LA. I hate to say it…but there are some things that La La Land is just better at than New York is. And that’s ok. Getting over the fact that I have to defend where I’m from like a 90’s East Coast vs. West Coast Rap Battle, made it so much easier just to love Cali and my time there.

    -Wear Color: Typically, the New York go-to is black, white, grey, and maybe a tan thrown in for contrast. If we’re feeling crazy. But wearing that garb when it’s 75 and sunny just doesn’t jive people. Wear color, show your legs, and hope for an opportunity to incorporate some sort of Indian headdress during your journey (there’s always next time for me, fingers crossed). 

    -Learn to Like Nature: My usual dealings with nature consist of, avoiding Lipton Iced Tea bottles full of urine on my 1 block walk to the train, dodging trannies on Christopher Street, or the occasional trip upstate to go “see nature” (i.e. vintage shop in close proximity to mountains and a river). So you can imagine I’m not exactly used to being one with Mother Earth. (besides my mermaid tendencies) Channel your inner surfer/hiker/mountain climber/roller blader, and just get in there. Where California lacks in urban planning/architecture, they make up for in the natural beauty of the state. I can guarantee the best parts of my trip, were times we spent outside, whether that was laying on the grass at the Griffith Park Observatory, sitting on dunes over-looking the Pacific near Malibu, or discovering rescued sea lions in Long Beach. Embrace the nature folks, I promise you don’t have to wear sensible shoes the WHOLE time.

    -Get Over Being in the Car: I think at one point during the trip, my leg muscles started to atrophy from not using them enough, but that’s part of getting to the best of California…driving. You’re going to do a lot of it. Put on the right music, keep the right company, and that 4 hour drive won’t seem long enough.

    -Have the Best Guide Ever: Now, this is something I can’t really help with…but having the best tour guide ever can make a ho-hum trip to LA seem like the vacation of a lifetime. I can say that being with someone that loves California makes all the difference in the world. I’m pretty sure that none of you are gonna get as good of treatment as I got, but hey…at least there’s Tripadvisor and Yelp. 

    California Dreamin’,

    xo Chinae

    p.s. These statements in no way affect that New York is indefinitely, forever and ever, the best place in the universe. 


  5. Be Better…at Transportation.

    Subway Personality Edition:

    Public Transportation is either the best thing or the worst thing about New York City. It all depends on the day, mode of hauling your ass somewhere, and approximate time of departure. But you know what makes the situation worse? Those annoying subway characters who plague my journey along the way. 

    Now, I usually love like MOST people…but there is some behavior that makes me want to set my ombre hair on fire mid-commute. 

    Let’s try to NEVER be these people, k?

    The Pole Crusher: It’s that medium sort of crowded on the train, no seats but I’m not quite at the point where I’m tasting someone else’s armpit hair. The train driver seems like he may or may not have had a sniff of whiskey pre-shift, so I think I should probably hold on to the pole. OH WAIT. That pole seems occupied. BY YOUR ENTIRE BODY.

    How you ask?

    Well there’s a frontal option and a rear option. The frontal attack has our dear rider, doing a full-body lean-and-hold onto the pole. Usually involves some sort of newspaper option or god-forbid a f*cking Kindle. I’d like to make a suggestion…if you resemble any sort of animal (obvious Koala here), while riding the train…you should probably change your behavior. The rear option is just the best though. Sometimes, it’s just a back lean…but when the day is right and God smiles upon us…it’s all in the ass. 

    What do I mean dear readers? No hands needed, full-on, butt clenching goodness. It happens. 

    The point is…I just want to be able to put my hand on some part of the pole without having to wedge my fingers between your fupa/boobs/lower back/neck and the cold, metal pipe. That’s it. 

    The Stair Master: You know what sounds like the worst idea ever? Having any part of your body touch the subway stairs. Oh yeah, and you’ve decided to SIT THERE DURING RUSH HOUR. Perfect. Glad you are comfortable. I actually had a dude get upset with me for almost stepping on his fingers the other day.

    OH, I’m SO sorry that I almost stepped on your fat sausage fingers while walking down the stairs to GO TO WORK while you were using the bottom three steps as your f*cking VIP lounge…hope you are your lady friend weren’t too disturbed that day at your version of “da club”. I should have kicked over your Snapple right then and there. Consider this my public apology. 

    Super Power Business Guy: There are two versions of this. Let’s call this business guy…Ron. Ron can’t get off his f*cking Blackberry until the VERY last subway stair. He knows there’s no reception down there but insists on yelling into his mobile device “Can you still hear me?” while lingering (blocking everyone else) in the stairwell.

    No, Ron…they can’t hear you anymore. Because you are in this thing called a subway station. Sounds like someone needs to get out and take a cab. 

    You know what else Ron loves? He loves to pull out his work-commissioned Dell laptop while on the train. Since, that makes sense. Shit Ron. You need a new job for a lot of reasons. First off, they gave you a freaking Dell. You’re doing it wrong. 

    But to end on a good note…there are a couple Subway Characters who I’ll never be mad at. Thank you: Churro Lady, Full Mariachi Band, and MJ impersonator with portable amp for ALWAYS making my commute better. 




  6. Be a Better…Commuter.

    NYC Subway Rider Edition:

    If you want to appreciate having a car… I have the perfect solution for you. Live in NYC, be relatively poor, and be forced to take public transport.  Mainly the NY subway system. Alright, it’s great in a lot of ways…I’m totally not a subway snob, but the majority of my time spent on the subway is spent trying: to avoid vomiting in public, averting my eyes away from awkwardness, and stopping myself from punching people in the face. 

    So here goes…how to Be a Better Subway Rider:

    -The Train is Not Your Excuse to NOT Join a Gym: This phenomenon is pretty exclusive to the male commuters…but ladies, there is an addendum for you too. Now, I get that the gym is expensive, and budgets can be tight, but if I see one more person using the overhead railing as a pull-up bar, I will waterboard you. This is typically behavior of drunk Guidos but I’m also looking at you popped collar frat guy. It isn’t cute, funny, and moreover it makes you look like you may have something you’re seriously compensating for in your Southern region. Every time you do this, I’m silently wishing that some nasty fool ate some fried chicken while riding the subway, used the rail as a napkin, so you slip right off, smack your little gelled faux hawk on the seats below and learn to behave. Ladies, the only note I have for you is this…I understand that you had a tough childhood, but you really don’t need to express your angst by exhibiting your best stripper moves on the pole. We have to put our hands on that. I’d reallllly prefer to not have to involuntarily touch where your crotch once existed while commuting to my 9 to 5.

    *Some ideas to deal with that childhood angst: Xanga, Myspace Music, and bottling your tears and selling them on Craigslist (I’m positive there’s a market for this).

    Honorable Mentions in this category are: conga lines, push-ups, and hip hop dance crews that almost kick my teeth out during rush hour.

    -The Train is Not Your Bathroom: OK…I’m not even going to state the obvious about doing #’s1/2 on the train…because if you are reading a blog, I’m going to assume you have the mental capacity to not defecate in a public space. So we will chug on forward (train reference…I’m lame). Do you want to accidentally blind innocent people? Do you want me to have to walk with one of those sticks to feel where I’m going and inadvertently almost fall into a deli trap door? No? OK. Then think twice about cutting your f*cking fingernails on the train. You, over there…you aren’t catching them all…your renegade finger shards are flinging around the train car like little crap-encrusted boomarangs…just ready to induce lifelong blindness or at least wage a war of social-life-hindering Pink Eye. 

    Also, I agree, you stink like garbage on the 4th of July…but spraying “Smells Like,  JLo Glow” perfume that was purchased on Canal street in some sketch backroom, while riding the train is really foul. I’d rather have a face-to-face encounter with your midsummer pit stains than be locked in this steel coffin, scented like a rip off version of Latin music sensation, Jennifer Lopez. Oh, unless we are on the 6 train, headed to the Bronx…b/c then it would make sense. Spray away. 

    Honorable mentions in this category are as follows: nose picking, hair brushing, and plucking your eyebrows. 

    -The Train is Not an Audition, Concert, or Listening Party: Why is it that the music blaring out of someone’s headphones is never like…Arcade Fire, or the new Bon Iver album, or even some nostalgic 90’s hits like “Pony” by the artist Ginuwine? I feel like Apple has engineered their headphones to only let really bad music escape from their devices so we are forced to upgrade to better quality headphones to drown out our neighbor’s abhorrent taste in the Rock and Roll genre…I’m looking at you Chad Kroeger, lead singer of the worst band ever created, Nickelback.

    So, someone once told you that you had a “nice” voice…they lied. You can’t hear anything with “Umbrella” playing at 160 decibels in your ears and therefore you have become tone-deaf and are causing every cocker spaniel (and me) in a 2 mile radius to have a mild stroke. Save it for the shower, or have a kid and sing to it…because they can’t run away with those little under-developed legs of theirs and they are required to love you.

    Honorable Mentions in this category are: humming with no music, playing video games with the sounds on with no headphones, and talking to me without the go-ahead.

    -The Train is Not Your Personal Library: The train is packed, I’m actually starting to digest the girl’s hair in front of me…YOU ARE TAKING UP ONE PERSON’S WIDTH BECAUSE YOU’VE GOT TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF BEJEWELED ON YOUR iPAD. I am very excited for you that you have such a fun piece of technology (yay for you butthole)…but when we are all just powering through sardine-like conditions, Imma need you to put that away. Yes, you too Kindle lady, Danielle Steele will still be there after we unload some of these bitches. And the worst subway reader award goes to Newspaper Guy. You have the Korean Daily News spread just about as far as your average sized arm can stretch…you could fold it (because its paper) but nah! You’ll just spread your arms Kate and Leo style until your muscles start to atrophy while making me smell your fingers from two seats away. 

    -The Train is not a Restaurant: Reference my previous post HERE. 

    Last thing, no babies, no bikes, and no shopping carts during rush hour. 

    Making less people hate you…one post at a time,