Then for the meal, instead of turkey, my family eats Hot Pot which is basically a version of fondue, but instead of dipping food in cheese or chocolate, you cook the food in a steaming broth - then dip it in a sauce for flavor.
In other words, it's just another sure-fire way of eating a lot without feeling it until later.
And, this morning, I braved the shopping mall. It looked like predictions were right - that spending was going back to pre-9-11 rates. JCPenny, Target, Mervyn's, and even Sears had snaking lines. The parking lot in Fry's was so filled at 6 a.m. that my brother drove back home (less than a mile) then walked there, only to wait in line just to go into the store. He bought a $150 digital video camcorder. When he got home, he found that there was a tape with footage of Christmas two years ago from another Asian family. Weird.
Tomorrow, ch-check out this story on the latest media search engine called GoFish, which finds digital music, audio books and ringtones. Quick-and-dirty summary on siliconbeat.com and story in the Mercury News tomorrow.
Also, to work off the food, ch-check out this entertainment:
WHAT: Pete Escovedo & Family Thanksgiving
WHERE:Pete Escovedo's Latin & Jazz Club,400 S. First Street, San Jose
WHEN: Friday, 11/26 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Saturday, 11/27 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
TIX: $25.00 (advance purchase); $30.00 (day of show); (408) 947-7500.
WHY: A legend in Latin Jazz in their own beautiful club in downtown San Jose
WHAT: Vicente Fernandez WHERE:HP Pavilion at San Jose, 525 W. Santa Clara St.
WHEN: 7 p.m. tonight 11/26
TIX: $40-$150; (408) 287-7070, Ticketmaster WHY: Mercury News writer Mark de la Vina writes: "He is a cultural icon in Mexico" and is known as the "King of the Rancheras."
It's a charming enough premise - a couple which skips out on Christmas for a cruise because their only child decides to stay in Peru for the Peace Corps rather than come home. But with Tim Allen at the helm, the movie unravels like "Home Improvement," except instead of just "true meaning of Christmas." (link to trailer)
This movie may be appropriate for parents to watch though, as a way to remind them not to skimp out on their kids this holiday season.
Also following the Jay-Z and R. Kelly disagreement (R. Kelly alleging he saw a gun in the audience, then being supposedly pepper-sprayed by a member of Jay-Z's entourage, leading to a break-up of the power duo's tour and subsequent suits.) - a number of " Jay-Z and friends" concerts have been canceled included Thanksgiving's concert at the Oakland Arena (along with Indianapolis, Sacramento, Las Vegas and Glendale). If you ordered through Rocafella.com the refund is automatically credited to your card, and if you ordered through Ticketmaster, refunds will also be granted.
At the Big Game (Berkeley vs. Stanford) this past weekend, Stanford decided to play dirty. Full disclosure: I'm a Cal grad.) Even though Cal receiver Geoff McArthur was already out of bounds, Stanford cornerback Leigh Torrence judo-threw him. On another instance before Cal cornerback Tim Mixon even caught the ball, Torrence clobbered him and was subsequently ejected.
WHAT: The Wiki-Wiki Duva-Duva DJ Battle presented by Distortion 2 Static
WHERE: The Depot (inside the Cesar Chavez Student Center at San Francisco State University)
1600 Holloway Avenue
WHEN: 5 p.m.-8 p.m. tonight 11/20
TIX: No cover; all ages
WHY: Check out the Bay Area's up-and-coming DJ's
The Christian rockers are good and silly in concert.
Also I never knew a church would be a good concert venue but Valley Bible Church was nicer and bigger than a lot of clubs I've been to. With the raised stage and flashing lights, it made you forget you were sitting in a pew.
WHAT:Lumpia DVD Release Party
WHERE: Tower Records Stonestown, 118 3205 20th Ave., 2nd Floor, San Francisco
WHEN: 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday 11/20
TIX: No cover
WHY: Check out a cool Filipina DVD, get free food, plus hear performances by Asian American artists Natalise, Next Phaze and Janice Aranas
WHAT:Bento WHERE:DNA Lounge, 375 Eleventh Street, San Francisco
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday 11/20
WHY: Check out this Asian American alternative band on the come-up.
WHAT: San Francisco Hip Hop DanceFest
WHERE: Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon Street at Bay Street
WHEN: Nov. 18-21
TIX: $25; sfhiphopdancefest.com WHY: Check out the best in the Bay's hip-hop dance scene.
Davey D describes O.D.B. (or Russell Jones) as "a man in transition. A man who truly had to come to grips with the consequences of his life."
He goes on to describe a man who was real to himself and real to his fans. ODB had a crazy sense of humor, sticking his welfare card on his album cover, pulling off Dracula gold fronts or revealing his naked self in drawers.
"He was brutally honest when he said, 'I don't know how to deal with life without drugs,'" says Davey D.
"I think ODB's legacy for us will be that he represented that time in hip hop when it was coming out of its adolescence and into adulthood and was looking for direction, and that direction led some of us down that dark path on the insatiable quest to keep it real," says Davey D.
This third time around the name of the game is quite fitting (Up Your Arsenal) with the fox-like creature and robot duo fighting with 60-some weapons. My favorite is a ray that changes enemies into ducks (the last version changed them into chickens).
Britney Spears also makes a robotic cameo in this game with a legion of dancers who try to take you down. Every time she hits you, she exclaims, "Oops I did it again."
While I'm on videogames, the 2nd annual Spike TV's Video Game Awards just came out with the channel's categories and nominees. The awards will be broadcast Dec. 14th at 9 p.m., live from LA. Snoop Dogg, an avid gamer, will host and perform. Also be performing will be The Doors (with Snoop), Sum 41 and Ludacris.
You can log onto spiketv.com to vote on this year's nominees. I would personally support Katamari Damacy for most addictive game and best soundtrack.
The games with the most nominations (5):
"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" game of the year
best performance by a human male (Samuel L. Jackson)
best action game
designer of the year
"Halo 2" game of the year
best first person action
designer of the year
"Half-Life 2" game of the year
best first person action
best PC game
best new technology
For tonight, ch-check it out.
WHAT:Simple Plan WHERE: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco
WHEN: 7 p.m. tonight, 11/17
TIX: $17; (408) 998-8497, (415) 421-8497 or ticketmaster.com
WHY: They're wonderfully good at expressing teenage angst.
Many of the audience were younger than I expected: in their teens to thirties, and much of the pit was made up of teenagers. (Yes, I was in the pit. I'm sore and bruised from the elbows, but I was so close to the stage, I could catch the band's eye contact.)
"I talk about dating and what a loser I was growing up," said Spade, 40, about his comedic act. "Now I'm a loser and famous. It definitely adds to the mix ... People go, 'How do you feel if girls date you because they know you from TV?' I say, 'I hope that's why. Why else?' I say, 'I'll never know, so why worry about it?' Well, it's more like an ice-breaker. I'm not the guy they look across the bar at in, like, college and say, 'I'm taking that dude home.' "
I didn't know if I should laugh or go on, because if I laughed I would be laughing at him, so I went on.
WHAT: Guitar Fest with Bob Brozman WHERE:Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway, Redwood City
WHEN: 7 p.m., Nov. 14th
TIX: $18 advance/$20 door; foxdream.com; (650) 369-4119
WHY: This world music artist is as well-rounded as they come and a delight to listen to.
Iris Chang -- journalist and author of "The Rape of Nanking" -- was found dead in her car in Los Gatos Tuesday, an apparent suicide. Chang was sort of a hero for me. I looked up to her for bringing new light to a piece of history that has largely been ignored.
The subject of her famous book, the Japanese atrocities in China in WWII, has been called Asia's holocaust. The topic was a popular one in my home when I grew up with my grandparents, who are from China.
A Los Gatos writer, Richard Oxman, wrote to me in an email: "I fear there was some deep sadness, unrevealed to others, that drove Iris...to want to leave us. It is something we should all ponder. What do we do to others? What do we not do with them? Where are we in all this?...Life is filled with mysterious omissions. Missed opportunities. Blessings in solidarity with Iris in mind."
Eminem is asking for an "Encore" plus it's a "White Christmas" in San Francisco
Due to the leaks online, Eminem pushed his latest album release "Encore" from next Tuesday, Nov. 16th, to this Friday, the 12th.
The whole album is available for download on quite a few sites, and you can get a listen here.
The album is a must listen. Like his previous albums, it's catchy, and whether you like him or not, it'll have you bobbing your head and mouthing the words.
"I may be a little fast paced and racy," he warns in "Never Enough."
Besides literally making puking sounds, Eminem spills his guts on the album, admitting:
his disgust for Kim in "Puke" and his dependency for her "Crazy In Love
his exhaustion from the fight with Benzino and "The Source" in "Like Toy Soldiers" - "The same one that made me famous ...now has a grudge on me for nothing."
his insecurity of never being good enough in "Never Enough"
his remorse for a past mistake in speaking badly of Black women in "Yellow Brick Road," saying that he: singled out a whole race, and for that I apologize.
Last night, I had the chance to catch the opening of "White Christmas" at San Francisco's Curran Theater with Merc's theater critic Karen D'Souza. It was not as much of a remake as promised, but a tale reaching back to celebrating Christmas ten years after WWII.
The sets and wardrobe are beautiful. Mufflers, tweed and cinched waist dresses - if they ever made a line inspired by this show, I would go get it. There was one main eye-sore however - in the last song the men were wearing Bridget Jones-like sweaters.
Karen mentioned there were many times she felt the show was an unending commercial - first Gap with dancers in sherbet colored clothing, then Target with dancers in red.
It would be a perfect show to take the parents or grandparents, but for teens and twenties, it needes to be updated. The WWII details could have been changed to the current war and the anti-German jokes were offensive.
One bright note: the little girl who saved Ben Affleck's movie "Jersey Girl," Raquel Castro, is the single charmer in this show as well.
Halo 2, King of Fighters and Grand Theft Auto test-spins
Although I'm not one for violence, it's a great stress reliever-- virtually.
The other night, I tested out yet another "Street Fighter"-wannabe, the newest "King of Fighters." Now this game has been around for a decade, but I wasn't thrilled with the characters or story line. They weren't fighting for honor, family or face, but driven by a Joker-like boss in what seemed to be a fight for fun. Later after some research, I learned it was a turf war among gangs. (Here are some cheat codes and a free Street Fighter online game.)
Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for "Halo 2." It's expected to sell $100 million the first day (today). Over the weekend, MTV aired a behind-the-scenes look - here's a link. Stay tuned for Dean Takahashi's review on Saturday.
But if you're not fragging virtual enemies tonight, ch-check it out:
Nas in San Francisco soon and The Incredibles flying
I recently interviewed Nas over the phone from New York in his "crib."
Known as the "street prophet," the 31-year-old rapper was introspective, laid back and, as he says, "chillin' out.''
He thought carefully first before answering, quite the opposite of Ryan Cabrera who outright said he ate cookies before concerts.
In response to last week's Nas question:
Q:How was it like working with your dad on the album?
A: It was the best thing I've done yet, the best experience I've ever had, something with so much meaning. It was a good experience to also be able to look at your father and say "wow," look how he's influenced me.
And, on Saturday, I saw "The Incredibles." The movie matched its title and its soundtrack is fun too. It's superhero music that you can imagine you can fly with.
Unlike "Finding Nemo," there were no extras at the end (I stayed through all the credits, just in case), but there is a short called "Boundin'" in the beginning, which scales a lot younger than "The Incredibles" PG rating. It features dancing animals.
There was also a tease to Pixar's next film, "Cars," a NASCAR-like flick with Chevron-like talking cars, which comes out next year. Here's a link to the trailer.
So when the Michael Jackson spoof "Just Lose It" dropped, fans were waiting, thinking that the song had to be too juvenile for even Eminem and something else must be boiling - either that or he had lost his touch.
But, Eminem pulled his rabbit out, a single named "Mosh" that mainly criticizes President Bush and his policies. This emcee has already shown his ability to affect music and movie culture, now he's checking politics. (Here's a link to the singles' videos.)
It has been called "Eminem's Fahrenheit 9/11" and many think it may spur young people to vote.
But I wanted to see more out-takes like Jay-Z and Beyonce canoodling or R. Kelly and Jay-Z interacting. (This weekend, R. Kelly was taken off the tour with Jay-Z. On Friday's show in New York, he said he saw people waving guns in the audience, left the stage, and then was pepper-sprayed by a member of Jay-Z's entourage. Now the whole tour is supposedly off.)
In the movie, there were some scenes that lead up to Jay-Z's last album, like when Pharrell got so excited in explaining a beat to Jay-Z, but Jay-Z was like, that's your story?
The documentary did lay out nicely the making of the single "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," starting from choosing the beats to Jay-Z making up the rhymes off the top of his head. He usually doesn't write lines down.
Another interesting scene was when Jay-Z and his friends debated the value of rapping about violence and the effects it has. He says, "See what you [fans] did to rappers? They [rappers] scared to be themselves."
This probably won't be a hit movie, because it's always more fun to see a concert live than in a theater, but it may make a fun DVD if they add more extras.