Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

So far I have had the best Christmas imaginable!  

Paul and I landed in Pittsburgh after a quick 18 hour trip around the world where Debbie, Paul's mom, picked us and Steve, Paul's brother, up.  We went immediately over to NACL (Salt) for Aunt Lynn's birthday dinner.  The family reunion was a fantastic introduction to the family.  Steve, Katie (Paul's little sister), Paul and I all chatted on our end, and Debbie, Aunt Lynn and her daughter, Jennifer, chatted on the other.  What a great family!  I have never seen brothers and sisters so close and sweet to each other!  They have all these cute inside jokes and are just so sweet and affectionate to each other.  Day 2 and we had an amazing breakfast with Debbie and opened our Christmas gifts.  We had such a nice time chatting, unwrapping, and getting to know each other; Debbie's the best!  We picked up Steve and head to Monteray Bay, Paul's favorite restaurant, on Mt. Washington.  From the restaurant you can see all of Pittsburgh; the 2 stadiums, downtown, the convergence of the 2 rivers, and the foods fantastic to boot.  What really stuck me about the (ultra nice) restaurant was the customer service. Living in Asia for so long, I had forgotten what that was.  No tip, no care-y about you.  Eat and get out is the general philosophy from my experience, so it was nice to be catered to.  Yes, I would like some more bread.  Yes, yes, dressing on the side.  And it happened!  Oh America, how I love thee. 

Post lunch we went to the Phipps Conservatory to check out the greenhouse's Christmas decorations, then we left Debbie to have dinner with Paul's dad.  We sat around slurping spaghetti and talking mostly politics.   Paul's dad and my dad would totally get along, as would Debbie and my mom.  I can't wait to have a big family get together!! 

Our final day in Pittsburgh was so much fun!!  I woke up super early due to jet lag, and went downstairs.  His dad, Paul, was downstairs also, so we sat and chatted all morning while Paul slept.  Then it was girl's day.  Katie, Debbie and I hit the spa for facials, which were amazing!, shopped, and had a sushi dinner.  Then Katie I met up with the boys and went to Paul's best friend's house to meet the friends.  Even though our trip was short, I feel I got in one on one time with everyone in the family, I met the friends, and most importantly, I feel that I have doubled my family.  The Fiehlers are the warmest, most gracious, generous people I have ever met and I am so excited to spend more time with them!  <3

Christmas Eve and twas time to head to NJ.   I had cereal at Paul's and felt fine.  We hit the airport and after a teary goodbye (I'm going to miss those Fiehlers!) Paul and I got lunch.  I got some marinated vegetables and Paul had a burrito of which I had a few bites.  Poor Paul always has to endure my "just one more bite."  Flash forward to the flight and I'm not feeling good.  Blame the lack of sleep.  Blame the slight hungoverness.  Blame the food.  But I was sick.  Who doesn't love puking on a plane!?  Yeah, good times.  I go back to my seat and Paul whispers to me, "The stewardess asked if you were pregnant."  haha Does she know something I don't know? She returns to give out drinks and mouths to me, "Are you pregnant?"  Oh I forgot to mention that Paul and I were both rocking Steeler's jersey's that his dad gave us that morning. Just cause I'm wearing a jersey, doesn't mean I'm hiding a bump. We get off the wretched hour flight to run to the bathroom yet again, and she mouths to Paul, "She's pregnant."  haha, WTF!? 

Anyway, Christmas here is amazing!  I feel much better, and Paul got to meet my family!!  It doesn't feel like it's been almost a year and a half since being home.  When you're home, you feel like you never left, you know?  This morning we all came downstairs to open presents, and open presents we did!  For 2+ hours!  Paul and I totally made out!  We got Wii, a camera, Kindle, tons o clothes, and a bunch of other great stuff.  As I'm typing this Stacy, Scott and Paul are playing Mario Party 8 on the wii.  Paul is so sweet and got me my favorite perfume from Marc Jacobs, a bag I fell in love with, and my old blog printed into a book!!!  I made him a photo album and got him a beer making kit.  We have so much fun stuff to do in Hong Kong!!

I just feel so lucky right now.  I love the Fiehlers.  I get to spend a week with my family.  I get to see my best friends.  And I have the best fiance in the whole world.  Life is good. 

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last night in Asia...

For 2 week! Paul and I are in the middle of (he's in the bathroom) a nice
Little groupon date. Lobster, grouper, n sparkling wine. Maybe I should think about packing...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Quick Catch Up

Well, hello.  It's been a few days now hasn't it?  And for good reason.  I've been busy!  Saturday morning I head with Greg and JC out to the Gold Coast.  I was completely unaware that Hong Kong even had a Gold Coast, I thought it was just the magical land where Emily works on her tan all day.  But no, if you drive way past Tsuen Mun as far West as possible, there it is.  It's an upscale neighborhood with cute restaurants, nice apartments, and a beautiful boardwalk from which the billionaires can take out their 200 meter yachts.  Anyway, it was cool to check out, the weather was nice and there weren't many people, so it was a relaxing way to work...on Saturday!  Then I had to bail to go get ready for dinner.  Nina put together a little get-together-before-the-holidays at one of Hong Kong's (well actually Singapore's) notorious restaurants; No Signboard.  They're famous for their chili crabs, so for the 8 of us we got 2 giant chili crabs, 2 giant white pepper crabs, noodles, rice, fried and unfried buns, and of course a green.  It was delicious!!! The crabs were already cracked for us, but it didn't matter you still had to work, and wear, your dinner. It was awesome to get everyone together again (first time since Thanksgiving) before we all take off.  

Kenny, Nina, Me, Kira, and Paul about to embark
Sunday funday indeed!!!  As we're heading up to our helicopter at the top of the Peninsula hotel in TST, this young Asian woman with a very much older white dude, walks down the stairs with her hand up in the air, "I just got engaged!!!"  Pretty smooth old dude!!  Our trip wasn't quite as eventful, but it was fun to listen to Kenny talk flight talk with the pilot as the rest of us oohhhed and ahhhhed from the back.  We saw the entire island in just 12 minutes.  Pretty cool.

Yesterday was my first full day in the office.  No events thankfully, and I was finally able to get a lot done!  We're making some progress!  And post work was even more successful.  I'm on about 4 million email lists at this point of events in Hong Kong (hey got to fill your time during unemployment) and somehow I got invited to a Glenlivet tasting.  It was on the top of Pier 6 where the Mongolian Village pop-up tent is and it was just stunning at night.  We had our own private tent for the event and I'm guessing Paul and I were the youngest there by at least 10 years.  The Scottish dude got up and gave a brief history of their whiskey (and why everyone else in the world tries to copy them), talked about the make of it, the tastes and aromas and then told us to try the two unnamed whiskeys in front of us.  We had to guess which was the brand spanking new only released in Asia 12 year Excellence whiskey.  Paul got it, and I preferred the other, which I later learned was Macallan.  Yum.  Then we were left to our own devices to drink as much whiskey as possible as waiters came by with little snacks.  Then my favorite part of the evening.  The lucky draw!!!  And guess who was called first!?  ME!!!  I answered a question, "What color is the 12 Excellence?" "Golden."  And won a bottle to take home!!! Asa.  I think the best part of this was Paul's reaction.  We don't drink much whiskey and after the tasting he was totally getting into it saying we need to go buy some...umm I don't generally spend $80 on my boozes, but hey, here we are for free!  So yeah, fun evening and now Paul can get his fancy pants drink on. 

Today is another day in the office.  Paul has off and is loving it.  He's currently sleeping while I get ready and catch up on this.  It's 9 am man, get up!  ha.  But after work we're going to meet in Causeway Bay for a free flow wine dinner complete with lobster and grouper, then head back here to pack, watch movies and then head to the airport at 5 am.  AMERICA tomorrow!!!!!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kina's School of DP (dinner parties)

Kina hosted us for the most amazing dinner last night!!  Now I am totally petrified to ever have them over, but I definitely will.  I just need to fine tune some skills first!  We turn up at 8 and they're going full force in the kitchen.  I know Nina (and Kenny) can cook, Thanksgiving was amazing, but dinner for just us!?  This was superb!  We started with a cheese plate and Kenny's mulled wine, which in all honesty is probably the best mulled wine I've ever had.  Christmas in a cup; start anise, cloves, orange zest, yummmm.  The cooking continues, but we are instructed to move over to the table where Nina shows us how to assemble our own Vietnamese shrimp summer rolls.  Shrimp, cucumber, carrot, sprouts, and mango rolled together in a wet rice paper, then dunked in Thai chili sauce.  We seriously bit into summer.  Then we sit down.  We started with what I can only describe as stuffing soup.  Parsnips, mushrooms and who knows what else topped with chorizo and my contribution, truffle oil.  Next round, beet salad.  This is always a favorite of mine and I have decided that it will be serves as part of my last meal.  Well, you know, if I have a choice.  Then the main.  Kenny roasted rack of lamb and Nina made a gravy.  Yum. Yum. Yum.  The whole evening was just totally impressive.  I think they should open a school on how to entertain.  And then enroll me.  Here are some photos:

Summer Rolls
My favorite; beet salad

Rack of Lamb
And here's what I did at work all day yesterday.  I ran all over Wan Chai and Central gathering goods to make wine hampers.  The finished product, which incidentally, didn't even get delivered on time.  Rrrrrr.

And here's Paul and his co-teacher June at his last day of school in 2011!!!  Woohoo!!  Homeward bound in just 4 days!!!!

But now I'm off to way far away in the New Territories for yet another Christmas fair...outside.  Boo, but I only have to go for half day then it's spicy crab dinner with the crew.  Peace out. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

That's the best looking Santa I ever saw

Perfect Job for Me

So far this job seems like it was written for me.  It's casual, flexible, a little work, a little play.  Even though I've been working 12+ hour days all week, the time flies and is never stale.  Except when it's 10 pm and you're packing up boxes among trash and broken saltines.  Yesterday I spent all morning in the office installing new software and getting orders and things in place.  Come 5 and it was time to pack up the van and go down to Central where HOFW was hosting a wine tasting during Banker's Nite.  There were a bunch of bankers, but as I mentioned earlier, a lot of FLA-ers too (hey, that's why I would have gone too).  One wine for you, one for me.  One foie gras for you, one for me.  We have a nice little system going here.

As I'm sitting in the office yesterday I ask Greg, my boss, when the last time he went home to Ireland was.  "1994."

"Where have you been since 94?"

"I was in Thai prison for 12 years."


He had me going for a while there, and it was starting to make some sense.  Small wine importing company...but no, he was "have a go at me."  Anyway...

Today I have Agnes at 10 for tutoring, heading down to Wan Chai to pick up gift baskets for some hampers we're putting together, office work, and dinner with Kina (Kenny and Nina).  We haven't seen them in two weeks, so I'm pumped to catch up!

Other good things about work.  Well not mine, but Paul's.  CHOCOLATE.  People love to give their kindy teachers fancy chocolates, and kindy teacher's girlfriend's sure appreciate it.  For breakfast today I had a kimchi and salmon roll (made by Paul!) followed by Ferro Roche.  I believe for lunch I shall have some Godiva and for dinner Marks & Spencer.  Tis the month foie gras, chocolate, wine, homemade Irish cream, and let's not even think about what will be consumed over Christmas.  I can't wait for my mom's cooking!!!  Calories don't count at Christmas, right?
The Tasting Table


According to Greg, my boss, Paul is pres! Free loadin association. Nice event of fl-ers tonight at Hyde. More when I haven't worked a 12 hour day...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Would post more but....

I spent the last 13 hours behind a table at the Conrad hotel in Admiralty. Tots crowded, good sales, good choc, and tots exhausted. Back to the office at 10 tomorrow for the new software to be installed, then it's bankers night at Hyde, which is my first event organized by me! More on my job as Commercial Manager coming soon...

Ps USA one week!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Working Girl!

HFW Table
Trapped behind the table
After a cold, yet fun evening Friday, it was straight back to work on Saturday.  I head over to Kwun Tong at 9am to meet JC and Greg, who was still asleep, and who can blame him?  He was up til 2 getting stuff ready, orders together, and putting away Fridays stuff.  ANyway, JC and I went down to LKF where we set up our wines and products on a tiny tiny table!  The room was not much bigger than my tiny bedroom here and there were 6 different vendors set up.  There was a blanket company, water bottles, some jewelry, and us!  And then there were several other floors with different stuff, but I didn't wander too much as I had basically built myself in behind my table.  I finally left at 2:30 to get lunch, and then returned to stand behind the table until 6.  It was fun and time flies, but the event was kind of a bust.  The location was hard to find and uninviting due to the small size, so I don't think we did too well.  Although we did do better than most everyone else.  Truffles be popular!  And I got to sip on wines and make friends with all the other vendors.  Who doesn't like the wine guy!?  It's fun to see how this small community of entrepreneurs works.  Everyone kind of knows everyone from different events, and there seems to be lots of support and encouragement.

Paul came toward the end of the event and drank some wine with me Greg and the other vendors, and then we set out for Clockenflap!!!  It was on the West Kowloon waterfront which is stunning!  As you walk in there are lights and glowing chairs everywhere and you can hear the techno blaring in the distance.  Again you have to buy coupons (what's with the stupid coupons!), and then turn them in for wine and beer.  I opted for wine and we made friends with the sweetest wine guys.  They looked to be high schoolers, were freezing, and I think just trying to pour out all the wine to get home.  I can't imagine how cold they must have been if they'd been there all day!  It was cold (50s), windy, and on the water, so we didn't make it too long either.  Brrrrrrr.

New friends
Sunday was my day off!!  Paul and I took the surprisingly quick bus up to Yuen Long to use a groupon.  We've had this one a while on account of the fact that Yuen Long is FAR!  Way up in the New Territories.  The lunch was ok, lots of mayonnaise (odd), and then we head back home to relax. Long trip for a subpar lunch, but at least we saw something new.   Paul's coming down with a cold.  I think it's got to be the change in weather.  Seems like everyone's sick!!

Today it's back to 12.  ha love it!  Then I have to leave at 1 to come back here to tutor.  Tonight I'm going to cook a nice dinner and get some shopping done, because it's go go go all week.   Ta Ta!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oh, yeah

My official title:  Commercial Manager.  I'll take it!

Best Job Ever

Day 2 of HFW and I wasn't totally convinced this is what I should be doing.  Yes, Greg bought me lunch,  but I spent an awful lot of time running around from the bank to the post office doing a lot of admin kind of stuff.  Day 3 and I LOVE IT! I spent the am (11:30-3) categorizing, organizing, and filing expenses, which I love.  Again it's admin stuff, but fulfilling because there's an end result of organization.  I also suggested we write a year end thank you to all of our customers suggesting party ideas for the holidays.  So I spent some of the afternoon writing that letter, and come 4 it was time to head to our event.  JC and I took a van to the King George V school in Kowloon where we set up our table and started to sell.  We're really pushing foie gras, truffle sauce, and of course, wines.  But, we get to drink wines while working! And we got some tasty Indian and Japanese food from the function as well.  Basically we stand out with plates of truffle sauce and foie gras crakers soliciting people to buy and try our wines.  Did I mention this is at a primary school!?  This would not happen in America.  Come 7 and Paul came to check out our table.  Greg generously poured him wine, told me to show Paul around, and then when I went back to work Paul helped by filling the crackers with our products.  Paul went over to the beer table (again at a primary school!) and a kid asked if they could have a Coke.  "No we can't serve Coke because it's school policy." ha!! I love Hong Kong!!!  Toward the beginning of the night I was not feeling selling.  I don't like to be in people's faces.  By the end of it, it was such a thrill to entice people to the table and actually sell a bottle or tin of foie gras.  I think I could get good at this.  And here's the kicker.  We're sampling wines all night, and guess who takes the open bottles home.  Yup, me!!!! Paul and I came home with 6 bottles of wine.  He's sold on my job.  And so am I :)

17 month anniversary cheese and crakers (not related at all to this post) 
My Wednesday night (first) event with HFW at the Lanson

The leftovers from tonight that P and I took home.  Asa!

JC packing up the goods.  
Tomorrow is an LKF event followed by Clockenflap.  More on Cloken Sunday.....

PS got cold tonight!!! We're pushing high 50s!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Have the Best BF

As I open the fridge this morning I see 5 bacon wrapped scallops from Paul.  He made me a first day of work surprise snack and had a congrats card to go with it.  How sweet is that??  We have been joking about bacon wrapped scallops for over a year now.  It's the only thing he ever made for his ex-gf (also Lauren) and I wondered why I never got any.  But now I have.  So eat that Lauren.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 1 Employed

And I didn't quit, freak out or fall asleep!  Success.  ha.  After Greg took me to a nice dim sum lunch, he told me a little more about what all I have gotten myself into.  Apparently they're taking a big risk taking me on because finances are so tight (they're entirely internally funded), but he "has a feeling about me."  And I really see a lot of potential for what I can do here.  Everything is kind of thrown together.  They move from one event to the next and really need to spend some time on the administration, finances, and organization.  But we need to get through the holiday season first.

Yesterday we held a tasting for the residents of the Lanson executive suits.  My job was basically to man the kitchen; cut the bread and cheese, spread the foie gras, truffle sauce, roll the hams, and make sure the trays kept coming.  I haven't worked in a restaurant since college, but it was kind of therapeutic to be so engrossed in what I was doing.   My job was to free up time for Greg to be out with the guests. Sales Sales Sales.  I did get to taste one wine, a $1,300 Alasace from Spain.  Yum.  And then come 10:30 it was time to go home.   Today I'll be in the office and hopefully will learn about their invoicing and all that nonsense.  I have definitely already worn a bunch of hats, and it's just one day!  Tomorrow and Saturday and I will be working events.  More on that when I find out.  Oh and because they pay so little they're totally flexible with me keeping my tutoring.  Sweet.

Now tis time for breakfast and then off to the office :) 

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 7th, 2011

Shall be known as Lauren's first day of (real) work since June 18th, 2009.

Greg called from House of Fine Wines (HFW) and wants me to come in tomorrow at 1:30 to start my first day as an employee!  As of current there is so much to do that I will basically be doing a bunch of everything.  Everything includes marketing, finance, sales, logistics and operations, and I'm hoping lots and lots of tasting :)  Once we get a little bit of order in place we're going to sit down and talk again about my specific role in the company going forward.  Again, I need some help with some fun titles here.  Lauren, Ambassador of Grand Cru.  Something along those lines, no?  Tomorrow WE are holding a large event at a 5 star hotel for an executive Christmas party.  Not bad for a first day, huh!?  I assume my role is to get everything set up, make sure a glass doesn't go empty, and keep the crackers full of foie gras and truffle oil.  Asa.

Interesting how things all fall into place.  Today I also got a response from Steve at Portrait Wines who informs me that lack of experience doesn't necessarily matter in this business.  They are very busy this week, but we are going to arrange a tea for later this week (if I have time with this NEW JOB and all!!!).

Today was also my lunch with the women I met at HFW's tasting last week.  We had a lovely time chatting about their products over Thai curry pumpkin and a whole fish.  I don't think I will ever get sick of that pumpkin.  Yummy.  Soon I have to tutor for an hour and head down to Central to meet Dean, the wine guy.  Hopefully he'll have some good insights into the industry here, and I'm hoping he knows HFW and has something positive to say.  Ahhh can't believe I have a job!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

catch Up!

Oh I am so far behind on this!  No posts in 3 days.  I'm telling ya, there's something in the water.  Laziness water.

Paul in our new fav restaurant
Friday evening was bike night!  Paul and I took the MTR all the way up to the second to last stop (in Hong Kong) on the East Rail Line to Yan's house to pick up our brand new (to us) bikes.  They're super old with no gears, but they're awesome florescent colors and both have bells!!  And mine has a basket!   While out in almost China  we popped into the only restaurant nearby.  The place was awesome!  It was filled with families who all sat around big circular tables that were filled with awesome looking soups, hot pots, and meat.  Of course the menu was all in Chinese, but based on the food on our neighbors tables we figured we couldn't go wrong.  We had picked two random things on the menu when a woman came over to us and asked if we needed help.  How sweet is that?  She got us a seafood soup with vermicelli and a chicken noodley soup.  Both were awesome and the whole experience was just really  cool.  It kind of reminded me of being back in Korea where I always felt like such the outsider (in a good way).  You don't really feel that when you're sipping European beers at a pub filled with Aussies, English, Americans and a couple locals...

The scene

Yummo seafood mushroom soup

chicken noodley soup

Post dinner we bring our brank spanking new bikes to the MTR where we are immediately informed we cannot bring bikes without removing the front tires.  How are we going to get it off?  With our hands?  The MTR man tells us to take a cab.  We're not taking a cab from almost China and PS our bikes probably wouldn't fit.  The man tells us to wait, and returns a minute later with a borrowed wrench from a convenience store!!  People are so nice here!  We got the wheels off, MTRed it the hour+ to Kowloon Tong, hand screwed the wheels back on, then rode 3km in the dark.  But we made it!!
Paul on the new (mini) bike to the MTR

Saturday I decided that I didn't want to go to the MBA program, but I did get back into running!  It was a beautiful day so I went out for a lovely 8k run.  Not bad.  I officially quit for two days.  Cathy informs me that's not quitting, but I can't remember the last time I went two whole days without a run.  ha.  I have to do a post on the perils of running aka Can't-ever-get-full-ness.   Another day.  Later I met up with Cathy in Soho for a shopping event.  We bought our tickets and then walked all around Soho from boutique to boutique shopping and sipping on wine which was provided.  The boutiques ranged from home goods to clothes to jewelry and we discovered some really cool streets and stores we had never noticed before, my favorites being General Store and Homeless.  Who knew about Gage and Gough Streets???  They're amazing!

Paul had his Christmas dinner with all billion of the Tutor Time employees.  It's their ten year anniversary being open, so of course they had a James Bond style dinner.  Weird, I know.  Paul said it was OK, but still kind of like work.  And hey, can we please invite the significant others next time!?  We met up afterward in Soho for a flight of wine at Hong Kong's only winery Portrait.  I was informed 8th estate doesn't count because they're grapes are procured elsewhere.  I started chatting with the owner Steve and told them I was interested in getting into the industry. Steve told me they're always looking for help, so fingers crossed he writes back to the email I sent to remind him today!!
Waiting for the boat to go to Top Deck
Sunday was Funday with Nina and Kenny!!  They're our new Sunday brunch go tos.  Last week helicopters and this week boats.  Jumbo Floating Restaurant is a notorious place here in the SAR. Everyone knows it's the place to go on a beautiful day for a free flow champagne brunch.  Despite it's proximity to Ap Le Chau (remember the 8th estate fail?), the place is amazing.  It is literally a jumbo floating restaurant.  We hit up Top Deck for a 4 spot on the water.  We had amazing views of the marina and all of the insane boats docked there.  Reminds you of how much money there is to be had here.  If only I knew where it was hiding... And then the food.  There was a cold buffet and a hot buffet.  Cold buffet boasted crabs legs, sashimi salmon and octopus, a bunch of salads including a delicious pumpkin one, and oysters!! I couldn't begin to count the amount of oysters we ate during our 4 hour brunch.  Then the hot bar had eggs Benedict (awesome), naan, curries (both Thai and India), veel, chicken skewers, make your own pita sandwiches, and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember.  Then there was a dessert bar with a crepe making dude, ice cream, and cheese (but only 2).  The food isn't the best I've had, it is a buffet afterall, but the whole set up is perfect for an all day occasion.  You get to sit outside on the water as boat float by (you actually have to take a boat to get onto the island), get to munch on endless food all day, and to top it off waiters never let your glass even get near empty! We're glad we got it in now because it'll probably be a touch too cold for the next couple months.
Plate1: salmon, octopus, crabs legs, pumpkin salad, oysters, artichoke hearts
Plate 2: boa, tuna salad, eggs benedict, naan, brussel sprouts, cheese pasta, thai green curry cauliflower

One of many oyster plates

A few glasses of champagne later and I got better at plating; oysters, salmon, tuna pomegranate salad, parma ham, pumpkin salad

Monday Monday Monday.  Slept in til the nice hour os 9:30 this am.  Biked over to have lunch with Paul, then spent the entire afternoon sipping coffee, catching up on my magazines, and hitting the bookstore.   Tonight Paul and I are celebrating (2 days late) our 17 month anniversary.  Big one I know.  I had picked up some duck pate and a wheel of brie a few weeks ago, and Paul surprised me with a bottle of Baileys (how sweet is that!?) , so we're going to party tonight.  I also picked up a block of sage cheese, foie gras, and a couple other cheeses.  Should be a rager!
Meet Boo, the cutest dog in the world (according to the title).  I <3 bookstores..

Thursday, December 1, 2011


So I was going to write a blog about my exciting news with House of Fine Wines, but something much MUCH cooler just came into my inbox.  Remember when I mentioned I had gone to an aviation fair with Paul, Kenny and Nina?  Well, Kenny entered a raffle.  And guess who won third place?  And guess what third place is?!  A helicopter tour for 5 of Hong Kong!  And guess who he's bringing!?? Nina's sister just happens to be in town that week, so it's Kira (said sister), Kenny, Nina, Paul and I!!!  Check it out:

This will be my first helicopter ride!  I'm so excited!!!  And we're going December 18th which is officially the start of Paul's Christmas vacation.  What a kick off!!!!

Ok so other maybe exciting news, I met with Gregior at the Chungking Mansions for some Indian food in TST last night.   If you've never heard of Chungking Mansions, google it.  It's notorious.  Anyway, he voiced some concerns.  Concerns being the lack of cash to pay me, me running away with company secrets, potential conflict of personalities (he has a tendency to say fuck. He's Irish.).  But, I think overall they need me.  They have no systems in place, they could use the help in sales, and hell I'm willing to work cheap.  So he's going to chat again with Sean and JC, but he thinks we'll be able to work something out.  Basically I would start with a 2 week trial period just to make sure we can all work together.  I would be in charge of implementing all the new systems, organizing the office, putting more structure into events, sales, social media and marketing, and most importantly tasting :)  I need to think of an awesome title.  Lauren McPhate, Wine President.  I don't think they'll go for that.... So we're going to reconvene Monday and I'll have more news.  WINE!

This week has been weird.  I've lost my will to run; I am now on a haitus.  To network.  To schmooze.  Even to blog.  Have you noticed?  Perhaps it's the weather (it dropped from 80 to 60!) or the holidays, but I am just feeling lazy.  And you know what, who cares!?  haha.  I'm on break from...unemployment(?) until January!   Although, today I woke up early and went down to Central for the monthly Social Media meeting at PURE.  I went last month and really enjoyed it.  Even though it means me getting up at 7.  Today we had a great speaker come tell us about social media's use in the wine industry, oddly relevant to what I'll be doing.  She was great and really inspirational.  Wine entrepreneurship seems pretty sweet.  It's so funny at these events though.  There are 50+ people, and when you look around the room, I guarantee 90% of people are on their phones or ipads.  Mostly Tweeting.  hah But I always learn something and get some new apps.  Again, didn't feel like networking, so I just booked it after.   I did try to go find the December issue of Foodie, but I guess they haven't distributed it.  But if you would like a look, check here:

Check out page 1 contributors.  Yeah, that's right.  LAUREN MCPHATE.

I did the food review, Street View, and Word on the Street.  Notice Nina and Victor.  They're both my friends :)

So yeah, just finished off some panetonne, doing some laundry, then Paul and I are heading up to the New Territories to get bikes!!!!  Two bikes for $300 (<$40)!!  Wooohoo!!!!  Tomorrow is another early AM.  I'm going to head over to Sai Kung to HKUST for a presentation about their MBA program.  For someone who quit unemployment, this seems awfully networky....