movies: I have loved watching movies for as long as I can remember. In fact, I daresay that a huge portion of my education has come from movies. Mostly I like indies and foreign flicks, but I will watch pretty much anything except for horror. The truth is that I'm a total chicken and am even afraid of the dark to this day. I also especially like British movies as I have a weird infatuation with British guys (and Australian, Scottish, Irish, Kiwi, etc.... basically generic pasty white guys). Anyway, before the IMDb came into being, I would spend hours checking all the hits for a particular obscure British actor to find any information at all. Being that I live in America and I tended to favor small British actors, I ended up watching a lot of PBS for reruns of popular British shows on "Mystery" and "Mobil Masterpiece Theatre" and random British movies that would only play for a week in small arthouse theaters. I used to drag my parents and friends to these movies, and unfortunately there were several really bad ones that they've never let me live down. Spending hours at Borders going through various British movie magazines, with Empire being my favorite, was also a regular pastime of mine.

NEWSFLASH!!!! I saw Christian Bale (the one who started the whole British guy obsession) at a sushi place in West LA on 1/14/05... with his pregnant wife, but nevermind that. My life is now complete... (Just kidding, although it definitely made my week.)
photography: I first started doing photography in the tenth grade when I decided to sign up for a photojournalism class. I then continued on to work as a yearbook photographer for two more years. I never particularly liked having to attend every school/sports event and probably did look horribly annoyed most of the time. I also never did and still don't like photographing people. Still, having a journalism pass defintely had some perks, one being that I was literally allowed to leave class or even school whenever I pleased. After graduating from high school--and the free darkroom with all the free film and paper I could ever need--I took a whole year off from shooting because I guess I was a bit burned out. However, I am now trying to get back into it as I really do enjoy it. Although I started out developing and printing all my own black & white film, I now mostly do digital. It's much cheaper (you only print what you want) and far less time consuming and dirty. For two years straight, I had yearbook class right before lunch, and I remember having to eat my lunch everyday with the smell of developer all over my hands. But you know what? I never thought I'd say it, but I do actually miss the horrible fume smell now. Whenever I go to a camera shop, the smell kinda makes me happy.
traveling: I really love traveling and just generally the outdoors. Countries I've visited so far: China, Hong Kong (before it became part of China), Mexico, England, Scotland, Spain, Morocco, Japan, Peru, France, and Italy. Also, I enjoy taking road trips whenever I can, even just close by. Another HUGE perk of visiting new places is that it gives me an excuse to stuff myself silly with food. And since I pretty much love every type of food (except for Thai), I always end up over-eating. Traveling is also a great excuse to take photos ;)

I'm currently mostly interested in exploring ancient ruins and hope to someday check out all the major ancient civilizations. So far, I've only seen Aztec/Mexica, Mayan, and Incan ruins. And someday I'd like to check out Greece, China, and the granddaddy of them all: Egypt.

TENTATIVE: Antarctica. January 2010
martial arts: For most of my childhood and early adulthood, I was horribly sensitive about my bare feet, and only a handful of people had ever even seen them. Because of this, I never really even considered taking martial arts as a kid. Incidentally, I did do gymnastics briefly for a few years, before my insecurities had set in. Many years of covered feet and general lack of exercise ensued. Then, after I graduated from college, at age 22, my then-boyfriend, Nick, decided he wanted to start up training martial arts again, and I tagged along just to watch. Unfortunately, I really liked what I saw, and after much deliberation (I even tried to convince my senseis to let me wear socks or ballet slippers without any success), I decided it was time to get over my silliness and just do it. I must say that it was one of the most important decisions I ever made as I have found that I really like fighting, and it was just retarded that I let something like that stop me before. But hey, I figure late is better than never.

I attained the rank of Shodan (1st degree black belt) and became an instructor in the Shotokan Karate style, which I trained in regularly from October 2003 through May 2007. I've since moved on and am now doing personal training at a gym (yes, I've turned into a yuppie sell-out) with a professional MMA fighter. I'm trying to learn American boxing with some Muay Thai. And someday, maybe I'll get over my distaste for rolling around on the ground with dirty sweaty people and learn some Jiu-Jitsu as well. I may continue to change styles over time, but I would like to continue training in some form of martial arts indefinitely.
doggies: I LOVE DOGS!!!! I've had only three dogs in my lifetime as I started fairly late (got my first dog when I was 13), and I unfortunately can't have my own right now for the same reason why I got started so late in the first place: apartment living. We have planned ahead however. Nick and I have decided that our first dog together will be a Welsh Corgi--Pembrokeshire to be precise--and we will name her "Corgi." Corgi means "dog" in Welsh so it's like naming your dog "Dog," but it's just so cute sounding! They are small weiner-shaped dogs, perfect for the city, but with big dog personalities. Later, after I've gotten a larger place to live (which could be years from now if I stay in LA), I'm getting a Great Pyrenees (haven't chosen a name yet). Until then, I content myself with reading about them and watching dog shows on TV. (Pictured here are Phoebe and Apollo.)

UPDATE: While I still love Corgis, I'm now leaning more towards a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier or Dachshund. I was at Bed Bath & Beyond recently, and there was a "therapy dog" there. Normally I try not to be a spazz and run up to strangers' dogs and start petting them, but this dog actually had a vest thing on that said "pet me." Now, I simply could not refuse. So I ran over there like a 'tard and started hugging it. It was the sweetest and softest thing, and it turned out to be a Wheaten. I've also since learned that they don't really shed much either, so it's currently a frontrunner for when I do manage to get a dog. I also have a Dachshund calendar right now with a photo for each day. That's 365 Dachshunds! What can I say, I like weiner-shaped dogs I guess.

WE BOUGHT A TOWNHOUSE ON 4/23/08!!!! No excuses for not having a dog anymore. We're aiming for next year :)

Screw next year! We brought Odin home on 12/15/08 :)
eating: Some people eat to live, but I most certainly live to eat. This may seem to be an odd interest to list, but when both your boyfriend and mother have independently suggested that you should list "eating" as an interest, then I believe it does in fact qualify. There is really no limit to what or how much I will eat. I appear to possess a stunted or dull sense of satiety which results in my never actually feeling full. I just kinda figure it out eventually when I notice that my stomach has grown considerably and is about to explode. I also become very "difficult" when I haven't eaten. This is further complicated by the fact that I seem to be perpetually starving; food simply does not fill me up for very long. I have been lovingly referred to as "bottomless pit" (by my boyfriend) and "garbage disposal" (by my parents). I suppose I'm just lucky that I have a very fast metabolism and exercise a lot. And all during my childhood, I tried soooo hard to GAIN weight.