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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Nam's LiveJournal:

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Friday, July 6th, 2007
12:09 pm
1st Week of July Weekend + 4th
Friday

Does Your Soul Have a Cold **

I watched a jap documentary at the LA film festival. It chronicled the lives of four japs living with depression and the effect the drugs had on them. It was slow and I became groggy as the movie went on. Some of the stuff was a tad funny like the cross dressing jap who lived with his parents. but for the most part it dragged and you felt sorry for them. being depressed sucks.

Saturday

Standard

i went to this crazy hollywood pool party in the late afternoon with my gay cousin huy and his sister anh. i felt like i was on another planet.

http://www.danceright.net/vault/sharks2/

R23

at night we ate at r23. i dropped $100 bucks and helped pay for some of his huy's sister's meal since she was visiting from out of town.

http://losangeles.citysearch.com/profile/11301238/los_angeles_ca/r_23.html

the sushi was not as good as the time i ate there for lunch but i ate raw sweet shrimp for the first time and it was truly a different experience. we had a lot of entrees like halibut, crab salad, and sashimi. i think lunch was a better value and the sushi tasted better the earlier time i went.

Hipster Concert

we ventured to a loft hipster concert after and it was a little more down to earth than the standard party. it was a nice chill relaxing night.

i ended the night eating ramen in little tokyo.

Sunday

Moved

we are in the process of remodeling our house so i had to move my shit out of room to downstairs. i hope the remodel looks good.

Tuesday

Nike Free

i bought a new pair of shoes, a pair of nike free's for 35 bucks at ross. i couldn't resist. they are really comfy but not that much support because it is so light and it doesn't have air. you're suppose to run without socks in these shoes which i did but it resulted in me getting blisters.



Transformers ***1/2

i watched transformers that night on tuesday and it was excellent. the special effects, voice work, and acting of the bots were fluid and seamless. shia laboof was funny and the plot was simple, cheesy, and action packed much like michael bay's previous work in armaegeddon and the island which i both enjoyed.

the bots could have been developed as characters more but that can be done in a sequel or a prequel. megan fox was kind of a bad actress and her stock dropped even more when i found out she is engaged to brian austin green.

Wed - 4th of july

Pasadena

i spent fourth of july in pasadena at my cousin anh's new house. we hung out, ate ribs, played pictionary, and watched kobayashi lose the hot dog eating contest to chestnut. it was a great event.

Thurs

Target Closet

i got a make it yourself closet wardrobe from target last night and it's great. it's actually more spacious than my actual closet and has a plastic vinyl cover to prevent dust. it's a cheap solution to store my clothes whil ethe remodeling is going on in my house.

Friday, June 29th, 2007
3:04 pm
Pan's Labyrinth, Dinah's (again), Stranger Than Fiction, Knocked Up, Dinah's (again), Bandera's ....
Pan's Labyrinth, Dinah's (again), Stranger Than Fiction, Knocked Up, Dinah's (again), Bandera's, Owl and Sparrow, weight goal

Saturday

I went to Phil's house and hung out. He was in town from grad school in texas.

we watched pan's labyrinth, ate ribs at dinah's and watched stranger than fiction.

Pan's Labyrinth - A

this was an excellent children's fairy tale for adults. the story and music were both good. the villian was a big big time ass and the heroine was brave and strong. the whole movie was in spanish which i liked because the few words that i knew in spanish would come up and it was fun to follow along. i wish there were more fantasy scenes and i don't think the ending was too depressing because in the fantasy world of hers, it was a happy ending. i like how the director, guillermo del toro, is totally uninhibited when he films and tells whatever story he wants to. i like his generation of directors like robert rodriguez and quentin tarantino. they are film geeks who seem to tell whatever stories they want to and it's usually different from most of the stuff out there.

dinah's in culver city

phil and i ate at dinah's in culver city. it was my third time going there that week. we split the pork ribs and golden apple pancake. phil enjoyed it. the pork ribs were not as good as the beef ribs. we had creamed spinach, chicken noodle soup, and mac and cheese for the sides. all were yummy.

stranger than fiction - A+

very entertaining movie. very funny, clever and witty. queen latifah was kind of useless and i usually don't like emma thompson but she did a good job of being a deranged writer. will ferrel was right on and maggie gylenhall was hot and adorable in the movie. i usually think she isn't that cute but she was in this movie. it was nice to see a solid humorous movie with a happy ending.

Sunday

victor ws in la so went to go hang out at the howard hughes center. we went to nordstrom rack where i bought some penguin shorts.

knocked up: B/B-

this movie did not live up to the comedic hype. some of the dialogue was classic and witty and the lead actress was HOT, but the male lead became annoying and gross and his friends kind of bugged after awhile too. the "cute" chick flick story was a little bit much and the cliche story soon dragged. the writers should make a solid guys movie with that dialogue and the right plot, but this movie missed it's mark.

Dinah's

i wanted to show victor dinah's so we went there. it was my fourth time eating there that week. we had the beef ribs which weren't as good as the ones as we ate on tuesday. we also had the banana walnut pancakes which i liked. it's pretty much like the golden apple pancake except with banana and nuts and instead of golden apples. victor didn't like it too much because it was mushy but he approved of the ribs.

monday

bandera's

josh was in town and it was good to hang out with him. i think i have not seen him in a year and i was in need of hanging out with a funny friend from my past. we ate at bandera's which happens to be the restarant where his old roomate and my old co worker ed rhee works out. but he was not on shift that day. we had the artichoke dip (it was okay), french dip sandwich (it was okay), rasperry tart a la mode dessert (it was okay), and josh had some kind of steak (it was okay). this restaraunt tries to be classy and stuff but mostly the food is very very MEDIOCRE. it's a good date place in that the food isn't bad and the atmosphere is cool but for the part, boring food, but interesting enough that your date won't throw up on you.

owl and sparrow - A-

this is a vietnamese movie that i caught by myself on tuesday night. this is the only vietnamese movie at the festial and it was directed by a half french half viet director who is french by nationality but was born in saigon. he speaks vietnamese okay. this was a really good movie and it made me really happy to see what potential there was for vietnamese cinema. most of the vietnamese made movies i've come across have to deal with the war or are depressing love stories. this was a humorous fun city adventure romantic comedy like story that caught the present day vietnam that i journeyed through last summer. they stayed in the same parts of the city i stayed in and made references to suburbs of saigon that i came across. it was good to see a modern day story of vietnam. it was strange to watch this movie with a bunch of americans in the audience but i'm glad they enjoyed it. i hope they don't think vietnam is super poor and destitute. it's not as bad as it can come across on camera. i particularly enjoyed the fact that i understand vietnamese so i could follow along with both the subtitles and the spoken language. if i watch more viet movies like this with subtitles i'm sure my vietnamese would improve. i hope this movie gets a wider release.

weight loss

i've been exercising and eating right since around fall of last year. and 8 months or so later, i finally hit my weight goal. i was hovering around 175 - 180 lbs but now i'm a fit 165 lbs. i probably haven't weight that much since high school or some shit. i'm going to continue to work out to get rid of baby and fat and what's left of my moobs just so that i will be fit. i will have a very busy third year of law school so i don't want to gain it all back. so i have to do what i can do to control it now. losing this weight is one of the most difficult things i have ever done in my life. studying is one thing but working out 3 times a week and giving up cheese, fat, oil, regular soda, fast food, fried foods and eating salads and sandwiches without dressing or sauces was freakin hard.
Friday, June 22nd, 2007
11:10 am
working out, dinah's, apc jeans, ocean's 13, father's office
working out

this week has been good. mon and wed i went to drake stadium after work and i ran three miles with my new new balance shoes. they are nice and squishy and it feels good to run on a real track as opposed to the dirt track i have to use in redondo beach. i hope i can keep up the running and it makes a difference as i strive to lose five more pounds. in the meantime, i have had more time for my other hobby as a foody so it may be tougher to shed off those last few pounds.

dinah's

i went to dinah's on tuesday night to catch up with my cousin nguyen who i have not seen in six months. he has gained a lot of weight from the stress of working, a 2 hour commute, and a pregnant wife. i hope he stays healthy. we had a great meal and a good update. we had the falling off the bone ribs and the golden apple pancake - both of which dinah's is known for. the ribs may have been the best i've eaten in la. and the apple pancake was deliscious - especially the crust. i also liked the 60's ambiance with all the old timers eating there. it's a good throw back place if you want to eat 1000 calorie dinners.

go there if you can it's great! -

http://losangeles.citysearch.com/profile/75884/los_angeles_ca/dinah_s_family_restaurant.html

apc jeans

with my first paycheck from work i've been shopping like crazy for work clothes. i decided to get some jeans so i talked to my cousin viet who is a denim whore/expert. he told me to get APC jeans because they are great quality for a "reasonable" price and they were also his favorite pair. he taught me new words like "raw denim" "selvedge". i got the apc new standard jeans. they fit will, they stretch, and they are not super skinny but skinny enough with a straight leg appearance. they ended up costing $140 but it's good knowing you have a quality jean that not a lot of people have because their store just opened up in la. so another cool thing about their jeans is that you're not suppose to wash them for 6 months so you "wear and tear" them yourself so each individual jean is a canvas that you will "paint" over the next 6 months before its first wash. we'll see how that works out.

here is their site: http://apc.fr/us/en/index.php



ocean's 13 ***

i watched ocean's 13. it was a solid movie but i was dissapointed by the lack of character development and the plot wasn't that super crazy like the first two. i still think the first one is the best and then the second. ocean's 13 also didn't have enough "star power" for me. it would have been nice to see more cameo's from big name actors. but yeah, ellen barkin is hot.

father's office ***1/2

i ate dinner at father's office after i caught ocean's 13. the place was loud, difficult to get seating and uncomfortable. next time i go i will just order to go. but the burger was great. the meat in the burger was better than other premier la burger eateries like the counter, apple pan, and 25 degrees. it was not too big, the bleu cheese was just enough, the bread was good quality and crispy, and the focus was the patty. i had the burger with the sweet potato fries but it seems like once you have had one sweet potato fry you've had them all. a lot of people were eating the mushroom appetizers so i'll check that out next time i go.

http://losangeles.citysearch.com/profile/11416036/santa_monica_ca/father_s_office.html
Sunday, June 17th, 2007
1:15 am
it's 1:15 am and i've been at work since noon.

i worked with my boss for 10 hours today going over his closing argument presentation. i've been working on the presentation all week and have been putting in mad hours.

i'm going to watch the closing on monday and i hope we win the case.

today for lunch i tried out a famous burger spot on the west side: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Apple_Pan

i also got two ben sherman shirts from nordstrom and some new balance running shoes at the nordstrom's half yearly sale:

m8505



i heard they are good for running.

ok that's all :)

i'm rich bitch!
Monday, June 11th, 2007
4:30 pm
On Friday we had our first happy hour at my new firm.

It was good to meet other lawyers of the firm. I hope I can work with them and do good work for them.

On the weekend I put in 24 hours worth of overtime. It felt good to kick ass and finish a project for my boss early.
Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
9:23 am
summer is here.
It's been tough to write consistently in my journal for the past school year.

I was burnt out from lj'ing after vietnam and then when school started, the shit storm that was the 2L year overwhelmed me physically, mentally, and emotionally.

But now I am done with 2L year, kept my scholarship, finished the law review write on competition and am working in Westwood for the summer.

Subsequently, I now have time to attempt to write in my journal again and do what I love best, review movies and food.

Let's see if I can keep this up.
Thursday, December 21st, 2006
3:15 pm
another letter from iraq
another entertaining letter from iraq from my friend in the army.


Today, December 21st, is day 23 of this mission.

Christmas is almost here. But what could possibly be merry about my current situation? Here's what. I'm alive. I still have all my body parts. All my buddies are alive and in good health. I get to use the phones and internet almost every night. Today for lunch I had chicken strips and a barbecue sandwich that tasted much like the legend that is the McRib. I was actually able to shit in a toilet today. I managed to do a bit of Christmas shopping online. I finished a really good book today. I have a bootleg copy of all ten seasons of Friends that I get to watch each night when I come in. I have a couple of care packages on their way to me as I write these words. It's not raining. I have a wonderful girlfriend, a loving family, and awesome friends all waiting for me when I make it home.

I hope the holidays are working out better for you than they are for me. I'm not a God fearing man, but I do recognize the happiness that this time of year brings out in people. So whatever your faith make sure to enjoy this holiday season. Being out here I've definitely learned that tomorrow isn't promised to me. Nor is it promised to you. So we should all take some time to enjoy ourselves however we can. This might not be the ideal holiday season for me but that doesn't mean I can't find some enjoyment in it. I hope you can do the same. It's going to take a lot more than a war to ruin my Christmas. Merry Christmas and happy Hanukah everybody. Iraq sucks. USA rules!

Some interesting points regarding my current mission:

I've lived in a cemetery for ten days.

One of my buddies, Josh, took a shit on one of the graves. I'm fairly certain he has an executive vice president position already reserved in Hell.

I accidentally drove over two other graves smashing the headstones to pieces. I'll be joining Josh in Hell as a mid level management type.

I've learned that Provigil is not a drug, but rather Satan's kidney stones. (Story to follow)

I once lost my balance while squatting down and as a result accidentally stepped in my own shit.

I've had many interesting conversations. Topics included world politics, war, sex, money. Every one of these conversations was completely silent. In my head. Speaking to my weapon.

I helped escort a wounded British security contractor to our Aid Station. In the excitement I still managed to notice he was wearing the same $300 Oakley sunglasses I have back home.

I finished Michael Crichton's State of Fear in three days.

I've had gasoline spilled all over me.

I've narrowly avoided setting myself on fire by remembering, just in the nick of time, to change out of my gas soaked uniform and take a shower before smoking a cigar.

I was totally called out rocking to "Sweet Child of Mine" on my buddy's Ipod when I was supposed to be manning the machine gun in the turret of my Humvee.

I've watched a dog through my night vision goggles sneak up behind our position and pillage our trash bag for leftover food.

I've reveled in making male chauvinist cat calls to nobody in particular every time I hear a female voice come across the radio.

I've dropped a piece of chicken in the sand, picked it up, brushed off most of the sand, and put some barbecue sauce on it rather than throw it away and resort to eating another MRE.
Tuesday, November 28th, 2006
11:14 pm
ethical lawyering
we have a class called ethical lawyering in law school.

basic facts: my friend had a partner in this class. his partner was a super flake so my friend told on him to the teacher and the teacher said it was ok to drop him. in reply, his lazy partner sent this email:

You are the scummiest person I have ever met. You will never succeed in real life, and I am surprised if you have any friends the way you act. You tried to intimidate me and that's why I didn't cooperate. I don't mind doing my own work as you seem relatively unintelligent to me anyways. Just please don't use any of my work, as I will consider it plagiarism, and pursue the matter if I can. You have given me nothing in return for my work, and can not use mine. You are an unsophisticated brute. For gods sake 5 minutes after I told you to tap me if you wanted to interrupt, you interrupted me like 5 times during our counseling session. I didn't say anything to let you be a happy little boy with what you considered good work. Good luck in life, I think you'll need it. I have the records to prove that what you might use is my work, and I have nothing of yours. What Dant said is irrelevant, don't even read my work.

-tom

this goes to show how feisty law students can get especially around finals time.
Monday, November 27th, 2006
2:16 pm
my friend from iraq
his best email yet

In
the past three months I have:

































Been
shot at.

Watched
an up armored Humvee in my convoy been blown up by a land mine, and land upside
down.

Blown
things up using C4.

Seen
my buddy smash a gate down to allow a team to enter and clear a building, using
his Humvee as a battering ram.

Driven
my Humvee down a heavily traveled road, frequently used to place IEDs,
backwards.

Fallen
asleep driving 60 mph down the same road, with no headlights.

Seen
bodies burned and mutilated by IED detonations.

Been
to memorials for fallen comrades. Three times.







Witnessed
schemes rivaling plots of most James Bond films, unfortunately resulting in
unbelievable failures for us and successes for the enemy.





Rode
in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter.





Dismounted
from said Blackhawk to interdict vehicles driving through the desert in the
middle of the night.





Conducted
five consecutive combat missions in three days, running on approximately 30
minutes of sleep.





Run
five miles in 35 minutes 57 seconds, my fastest time ever.





Watched
the enemy place land mines in the road and get away with no repercussions.





Scored
166 lines in Tetris.





Schemed
several ways to steal an internet connection from Battalion HQ, all
unsuccessful as of yet.





Seen
Delta Force enter and clear small portions of local villages.





Witnessed
firefights rivaling fireworks shows.





Helped
built a patio.





Bench
pressed 185 pounds.





Failed
miserably trying to bench press 205 pounds.





Learned
to fire a sniper rifle.





Had
to shit in a Port-a-John, in 130 degree heat, nearly puking my lungs up from
the smell.





Seen
buddies puke from running two miles in the desert heat.





Got
my Humvee stuck in the sand dunes in the middle of the desert.





Used
my Humvee to pull other stuck Humvees out of the same sand dunes.





Captured
corrupt IA(Iraqi Army) soldiers selling stolen gas.





Captured
other corrupt IA soldiers doing numerous other bad things.





Scared
the shit out of a local Iraqi man by pointing my weapon in his face because he
wouldn't stand still while I was trying to search him.





Seen
the wreckage of Humvees ripped to shreds by land mines.





Nearly
been blown up in my own Humvee.





Passed
out toys to local Iraqi kids.





Seen
a buddy of mine swing a stick at a local Iraqi kid because we wouldn't give him
more toys.





Used
my Humvee to tow an 18 wheel truck full of stolen gas down that same IED ridden
road.






Yes,
my time here in the sand has been nothing if not adventurous. I've experienced
things that most people don't even see in the movies. I complain about it every
day I'm here but sometimes when I step back and try to look at the situation
from an outsider's point of view it really amazes me.





I
wish I could tell you all that things here are getting better but they're not.
The IA and IP(Iraqi Police) are as corrupt as ever. And I'm not talking about Washington politician,
I'll accept $100,000 to vote for your bill, kind of corrupt. I'm talking about,
I don't like your tribe so I'm going to kill your family, corrupt. The higher
ups from our own side are working against us as much as the enemy. When we spot
somebody planting an IED, it takes us over an hour to dispatch a platoon to
react. By that time the guys are long gone and unfortunately don't have bullet
holes in their heads. These people have no desire to save their country from the
crap hole it's become. We are accomplishing exactly nothing.



But
all is not lost. I'm still alive, and so are all my friends. In a few months I
get to come home for two weeks of leave, and a few months after that I come
home for good. I'll see you all then.

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006
10:59 am
Wednesday, August 30th, 2006
5:00 pm
Sunday, August 27th, 2006
9:18 am
Hard hip-hop Dance

seriously, one of my goals in life
9:06 am
Kanye West making a beat on MTV's Stripped

one of my fav artist at work.
1:27 am
Twista - Slow Jamz f/ John Legend & Kanye West

she got a white friend look like....
1:25 am
1:20 am
The Police - Message In A Bottle (Synchronicity Concert)

i hope that someone get's my
i hope that someone get's my
i hope that someone get's my
i hope that someone get's my
12:40 am
Michael Jackson & The Jacksons - Blame It On The Boogie

i discovered this song on my flight back to la from singapore.

after all these years, MJ is still my fave.
Friday, August 25th, 2006
6:36 pm
3:12 pm
new burger place
ate here:

http://losangeles.citysearch.com/review/37446

check it out if you have time.
1:25 pm
first week of school
so i have come back to my first week of school.

does it feel like i have never left now that i'm back in classes hanging out until midnight?

yes it does feel like i've left and come back after awhile. that's why i can hang out at the library until midnight.

it's nice to see the familiar face of good friends and engage in banter again.

i'm hesitant to give advice to new students because it takes a lot of energy out of me to talk to them non stop for an hour. but i'm more than happy to give them my screen name and any course materials i happen to have.

for some reason i try to find the 1L version of my good friends but i think it might take awhile before the 1L's come out of their shell and the banter begins.

2L year has been better because there has been less reading, less class time, friday's off, and no midterms. however there will be intro to appellate ad, ethical lawyering, byrnes trial ad team, and on campus interviews. it's going to be a hectic year nonetheless so i still have to put in a lot of time to keep my last 30k in the bank.

last night was the welcome back party. i started drinking at around 5:30 or so at zuma. we then headed over to hotel fig to drink somemore and i ended my night at midnight totally exhausted and drunk. it was nice to spend time with good friends and meet a couple of new ones. i crashed at justin's house, took a shower, and now i'm in the library about to study.

i really need to brush my teeth.
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