Doan Chung-Hernandez

The blog about the life of Doan

Archive for the ‘ Beau Lebens ’ Category

Making a Pit Stop in Arizona

So I come home from work one day and Ray comes up to me and says, “Babe your gonna have to make a decision.” Well to keep me from turning a very short story into a long story as I often do I’m just gonna get to it. Turns out Ray spent the day on Craig’s List looking for my dream car, a vintage VW Bus and came across a good handful of them for me to choose from. Yeah, it’s kinda nice having a husband that actively tries to make all my dreams come true, but at the same time if you know me you’d know that making large purchases like this stresses me the fuck out. We went through the photos and at first I was hesitant but I gotta tell ya, the more I looked at all the buses the more I wanted  one. I couldn’t help but to envision myself being the envy of everyone while driving down the road. Ugh, why does he do this to me. I finally gave in and decided to go with the most expensive one. Well it was the most expensive one for a reason. She was in great condition, with no rust; just a blank canvas ready for me to make her look pretty and it had to be fate because she lives right next to the town I grew up in in California. That’s right, California here I come, right back where I started from. In less than a week Ray and I headed west to the best state ever, you got it, California.

We met up with some of our friends of Wild Line in the city for lunch.

Loving me some Mandy

I finally got to see my girlfriend Mandy. I really miss this girl. Wish I could put her in my pocket and take her back to Texas with me. The soccer tournament was going on so we paid more attention to the television screen than we did to each other.

Watching Soccer

Look Dee even came out to play today.


The boys of Wild Line.

Boys of Wild Line

After lunch we had lunch again with our favorite Australian, Beau.

Our Favorite Australian

Later that night Lana host a dinner party for me, the guest of honor, definitely don’t get to say that often, which is why I said it. My old childhood BFF and her sister who also happens to be my sister, Lana’s childhood BFF.


In my head Karen will always be my best friend. She’s the only person in the world, besides my little sister, Selena who truly knows my childhood.


The boys all got along great too.

The Boys

Every time I look at this photo it brings a smile to my face. I’m so glad to see we’re all still such great friends after all these years.

photo by Gabriel Yuen

The next day I went to see Dharma for the very first time. It was love at first sight. She loves me and I her.

It Was Love At First Sight

Seriously, just look at how clean she is.


I just wanted to be inside her, so we could be as one the way love was meant to be.

Me Inside Dharma

And then we couldn’t help but to role play. What? It was her idea.

Role Play

Unicorn straight ahead!

More Role Play

Who’s a sexy bitch?

Sexy Bitch

Just take a look at that hot ass.

Hot Ass!

It’s like a blank canvas inside ready for me to give her a new face.

My Blank Canvas

Our visit was much too short. I really didn’t want to leave my baby girl here but we made arrangements with Atlas Auto Transport to ship her to Texas for me. Good-bye Dharma. Don’t you worry your pretty little head, we’ll be together soon enough.

When we got back Lana and I went out for a short hike.

Me & My Big Sis

Oh and I forgot to mention, I met Otto, my sister’s new dog, for the first time on this trip. He’s definitely a solid 2nd for cutest dog, Kola being the first of course.

Lana & Otto

After our hike we went back home and decided the cousins needed to have a photo shoot.


The next day we went back to Dharma. Dealing with Atlas car rental was a lot of drama. You can read the review I gave them here to get a gist of what we had to deal with. As the old adage goes, if you want something done right you have to do it yourself, so we did. Up yours Atlas, we’re going to U-Haul. We had to wait a bit for Jay to get off work so he and his friends could help us load her up.

Loading Up Dharma

Thanks Jay, for making Dharma so pretty. Your one talented dude.

Jay and I

Filling up on gas before we head out. I can’t get this smile off my face.

My Dharma during sunset.

Dharma and sunset

On route 66. It was long.

Route 66

We stopped for breakfast.

Breakfast of Champions!

And then headed back on the road.

On the Road Again

Saw a sign for the Grand Canyon so we decided to take a detour.

Hello Grand Canyon!

Had to wake Kola up just to get out which is why he looks so sleepy.

Ray and Kola at the Grand Canyon

Me and my Kola.

Kola and I at the Grand Canyon!

Kola, seriously wake up. Your embarrassing me!

Sleepy Kola @ the Grand Canyon

More Us and Canyon

Here’s a new one, Dharma and Grand Canyon.

Dharma and Grand Canyon

Man it’s humid out here and we’re stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Apparently there was a fatal accident up the road and some girl died. RIP.

Fucking Humid

A couple of bugs decided to stop on our windshield and do the dirty.

Dirty Bugs

Had to stop to water the rocks. The sky is so pretty right now.

Pretty Dharma

Walked up to the drive through, yes I said, “walked,” for some dinner. Kinda excited right now because I always wanted to do this.

And denied! Kinda reminds me of the time that Ray ordered food in the drive through with a Mexican wrestler mask on and got denied because the lady was scared shitless that we were going to rob them.

The next morning we finally made it to Hack Shack. Now make my Dharma pretty.

Hack Shack

And denied again. Turns out they can’t do anything until she has an engine so I had to tow her back home. Don’t worry your pretty little face Dharma, we’ll get you an engine soon enough.

Well that was one long spontaneous trip but well worth it.

SXSW Interactive is near it’s end which means Beau is going back to San Francisco. Just like last year we made a stop by Woodland before heading out to the airport.

This pie was actually alright, but talk about sloppy presentation on with the whipped cream.

I asked for more whipped cream and the waiter said I would be charged because they had to make it. Uh, don’t you have to make it anyways? So 20 minutes later I get my whipped cream.

Ray got fish and chips and it was piece of crap. Just a fried blob. He hated it.

Don’t think we’ll be coming back. We’re just gonna have to find a new place to take Beau before the airport next year.

As sad as it is, what you see is the extent of my SXSW Interactive experience. A lot different from last year, not that I did much last year, but whatever I did it was definitely more than this. What, sorry I’m not a geek. If I would have known being a geek would have been this cool when I was in high school I would have focused more on school shit and less on whatever the hell it was that I was focusing on at the time, boys, fucking, drugs, who knows.

Well, our good buddy Steve is staying with us and he and Ray were planning to go to the after parties together instead of purchasing a $400 ticket but Steve broke down and bought a ticket when he heard Anthony and Natalie from New York were flying in.

So Ray was left alone to fend for himself, at least for the first night because Steve got bad news the next day and had to head back to Dallas which meant that Ray landed himself Steven’s pass. That’s two years in a row that Ray’s landed a free pass.

This here is our good buddy Beau. He lives in San Francisco. And below is my dinner, grilled cheese sandwich with a shot of tomato soup. Yes, a shot of tomato soup, that’s a first for me. It was good and I would have rather had a cup or perhaps a bowl of it. Maybe they ran out of tomatoes? But who cares because the grilled cheese sandwich was money. The bread was toasted to perfection and had a slight sweetness to it that left your taste buds begging for more. Money I tell ya, money.

Ray got chicken sliders. He enjoyed his meal as well. I guess that means we have to come back to Max’s.

That’s Anthony down there in the hat. Last time I saw him we randomly ran into him while we were in New York. It was nice to finally meet his wife Natalie.

Well after Max’s we went to the Iron Cactus and I’m sure a few other bars. All I know is that it was a wild and crowded night in downtown Austin.

WordPress BBQ Luncheon

Yeah, so I’m a little late on current news, what can I say, I’ve been busy making shit happen but a lot has happen since and I finally got some time to tell you all about it.

First Chris flew in but he flew in for a different conference, it just so happens that his ran into the week SXSW began. One of the first things we did was go to Buffalo Billiards for a few games of pool,

Buffalo Billiards

Buffalo Billiards

where Ray opened a can of whoop ass on us, as usual and Chris and I played the longest game of pool in history. To make Chris feel better about loosing so bad Ray let him teach him how to play foosball and pretend to really care.

Buffaalo Billiards

Buffaalo Billiards

What a boring game.



Chris knew more about the bar scene downtown than we did, which really doesn’t surprise me. He took us to one of his favorite bars called Legends Sports Bar to end the night.

Legends Sports Bar and Grill

Legends Sports Bar and Grill

The next day Beau flew in and that’s when South By South West really started for us.

Beau, the Victim

Beau, the Victim

Beau is a super nerd and definitely one of the smartest friends we have. He was way more involved in SXSW and was even there to represent Word Press.

Beau, the Super Nerd

We bar hopped to a bunch of random bars that I don’t really remember, but what I do remember is that is was cold as fuck.

Beau, the Alcoholic

Beau, the Alcoholic

So the best thing about the picture right above is the man standing behind Beau. I was actually trying to slyly take a photo of him by pretending to take a photo of Beau. I obviously wasn’t that sly because the dude knew and looked right at me and smiled for the photo. Unfortunately he’s not in focus but if he were you’d see that he had a tiny telescope attached on the right part of his glasses. He just walked around the bar like that the whole time. It was weird, creepy and hilarious.

Maria Maria

Maria Maria

Later on Ray, Chris and I had dinner at Maria Maria. It was a cute place but the service was shitty. There was a long piece of hair in my appetizer and  on top of having meat in my entree it was super salty. I sent my meal back and got dessert instead. After dinner we went around to a few more bars that I don’t remember. I took a cab home shortly after though because too much drinking fuels my fire. I’m not much of a drinker and sometimes being around certain people I can’t help but to get rubbed the wrong way where all I want to do is connect faces to my dark, brown, sexy boots. Going home was definitely the right choice because the Universe saw my nasty mood and delivered the perfect cab driver right to me. By the time I arrived at my destination I was in a completely different state of mind. It’s funny how different people can manage to bring out the best and worst in some. Ray stumbled home with Beau, Chris and our good friend Steven Ray some time later that night.

Ray Hernandez, photo by Beau Lebens

Ray Hernandez, photo by Beau Lebens

The next day I was on my own because the boys went off to do what they do best, be super nerds. They created a “Photo with Beau Scavenger Hunt Contest” that night that I followed on FaceBook every time they tweet about it. At around 3 in the morning the boys stumbled in and Ray got scalded for not calling me all day and night. Bad husband.

WordPress BBQ Luncheon, photo by Beau Lebens

WordPress BBQ Luncheon, photo by Beau Lebens

I did tag along the next day though. I was actually signed up for one event, the Word Press BBQ Luncheon. They had me at free food and organic vegan cupcakes.

WordPress BBQ Luncheon

WordPress BBQ Luncheon

I took the last of the cupcakes.

WordPress BBQ Luncheon

WordPress BBQ Luncheon

Sorry Chris.

WordPress BBQ Luncheon

WordPress BBQ Luncheon

We hit the bars after the barbecue.

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

Later on that night we ended up at the Tumblr party.

SXSW Tumblr Party

SXSW Tumblr Party

They had me at open bar.

SXSW Tumblr Party

SXSW Tumblr Party

Ray was a fan of the open bar too.

SXSW Tumblr Party

SXSW Tumblr Party

Steven was planning on leaving that night back to Dallas so we didn’t want to stay out too late. We sobered up at the coffee shop next door and bid one another farewell. I was ready to be home, but poor Ray, he had to head back out in a few hours to pick up drunken Beau.

The next day we grabbed lunch at Woodland Restaurant on South Congress and drove the last of our guests to the airport.

Woodland Restaurant

Woodland Restaurant

Creamy Tomato Soup @ Woodland Restaurant

Woodland Restaurant

Woodland Restaurant

In March of 2006 Ray and I moved to Oakland California from Vacaville. We had only lived in Vacaville for 3 months before we realized the commute was killing us. I would drop him off at work, drive back home and then drive back to the bay area and pick him up, a total of a 4 hour commute, without traffic each day. Anyhow, while looking for a place to live in the bay area we stumbled upon this building. It was an old warehouse that use to be a French Fry Factory. I would of never, ever, ever, even considered living in here, but Ray, well, lets just say he has more vision than I most do. At first I thought it was asinine, I mean have you guys seen the photo above? But I have always been one to just go with the flow, and Ray is what I like to call a hopeless visionary.

But you got to admit, it totally has potential. Even I could admit that. But again, did you see the photo above? It was taken through a hole in the front door. The building was 8000 sq ft. Uh, no that’s not a misprint, there was not an extra 0 put in by accident. Yes, we lived, worked, renovated, bled, sweat, cried and even threw a few parties in an 8000 sq ft building for an entire year. Crazy kids, I’m sure that’s what everyone was thinking.

The pile of trash we had hauled away almost reached the second floor.

It even had two walk in refrigerators, one of which I was planning on turning into my walk in closet.

We flew dad down because there was no way we could of done all this work without him.

We put a lot of work into this building. In the beginning it was scary, but I got over it and soon it was as though the Universe had answered our dreams, but with a little sacrifice and hard work on our part. Ray had always dreamed of renting out a huge warehouse that had a urinal from a rich old man that gave him a super cheap deal and turning it into his modern urban living dream. Yes, our warehouse even had a urinal. And I had always wanted to have my own massage business, with 4 rooms, one for myself and the other 3 I would hire or rent out to other massage therapist. The front of the building on the second floor had 4 rooms. The more we thought about it the more uncanny and perfect it seemed.

But soon, life just took a toll. Ray detested work and the more he saw his boss the more he loathed him. I was getting burnt out on massage. What once was filled with passion and energy fizzled and soon I felt like a well paid slave. Ray and I decided to call it quits and tackle yet another dream of mine, to live in Hawaii. Somehow, this dream seemed so much less painful and stressful. We had a 3 year lease so we took on the role as property managers and sublet the building for the remainder 2 years of our lease and for over twice what we paid, split the rent with Mel, the nice old man Ray dreamt to life, every month and started a new chapter of our lives in Oahu Hawaii.

Hawaii was a totally awesome experience. Every month we used the money we made from the building to pay off the debt we put into it. I’d like to say it was easy but it wasn’t. I can say it was a huge learning experience. This last trip to California was to find a way to come to an agreement with Kevin, the man we rented the building out to. He ended up subletting the building to Raphael, a total pathetic douche bag that couldn’t pay rent on time to save his life and couldn’t move out when asked to leave. But our main concern for coming out to Cali was to make sure we uphold our contract with Mel and leave on good terms with him. When we got to the building it was in shambles. All the hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and money we put into it seemed wasted. Did I mentioned that Raphael had secretly turned the building into an illegal club/bar he called the Radiance Factory. Just a word of advice for Raphael, it’s not smart to advertise an illegal club. Fucking retard.

Here’s a before us and after us photo.

And after then after we did more work and started to settled in. In the very back behind the glass windows is where where the 4 massage rooms laid.

From the opposite direction. Ray loved his pool table.

A closer look further back. To the left was our bed room, middle was Ray’s desk and to the far right was our closet.

A better view of our closet. I had a lot more shoes back then.

Our living room in it’s earlier stage.

The kitchen area and dining area. Ray and I built that wobbly table one night when we had nothing better to do. He swears one day he’ll redeem himself.

Here’s what the building looked like on our last visit.

Looks like they built a kitchen room.

We turned this room into my workout/yoga room.

This is what it looks like by the time we were done with it.

And this is how it looks now.

This was suppose to eventually be a massage room #4, but in the mean time we just made it a guest room and it was also Chris Miller’s room when he stayed with us.

And this is how it looks now.

A before and after of Massage Room #3.

Same room, present day.

Before and after of Massage Room #2.

Massage Room #2 today.

My Massage Room before.

My beautiful massage room after. I actually worked countless hours in this room. It was the perfect massage room.

And this is how it looks like now.

A few before and afters of the lobby we fixed up. We were planning on getting more furniture to fill it up but I think we did a pretty spectacular job.

And here it is today. Animals.

We took back our blinds.

A before and after of the mens restroom. Behind the wall next to the sink was where the men’s urinal was. I forgot to take an aftermath photo but it’s probably for the best because it was bad.

They badly built what looks like lounge rooms downstairs. But the whole are downstairs area was pretty muck a junk yard.

Oh, our mistletoe was still hanging up. I bet it launched a lot of kisses.

I’ll never forget the day we lifted the super industrial air condition unit up on the rooftop. It was insanely crazy and scary. We had to set it on top of a shit ton of pallets in order for Ray and his dad to reach it. Ray had originally wanted to tie the heavy unit to a rope and pull it up. That made no fucking sense to me so I walked over to the Chinese produce factory and asked if they would help us out with their fork lift. It took some per swaying but my charm won in the end.

There were more pallets than what you see here. Trust me, people came out of their buildings to watch. It was totally wobbly and insanely scary.

Oh course it wasn’t only us that sweat for this building,

we put our loved ones to work too.

Kola did a lot of supervising.

Of course it wasn’t all hard work. I miss our parties

Drinking wine on the rooftop.

Having friends over to play pool. Hell, I miss having friends.

I even miss the skaters.

It was definitely an experience. But I gotta tell ya, I’m so glad it’s over.

The End.

On our way to California Ray and I are contemplating places we have to go or see before we head back to Texas. The sad part is that the only thing that crosses our minds is Nara, the most delrishious sushi restaurant in all of San Francisco. I guess when one has seen and done all that there is to do the only thing left is to eat.
Earlier that day we met up with Todd at an internet cafe. He’s just a happy go lucky guy so it’s always a treat to see him.

It was definitely a nice surprise to see Robin as well because we weren’t so sure if she would be able to make it because Beau had mentioned that she had some prior arrangements to attend but I think she might have broke them on our account. If so, thank you very much Robin. It is always a pleasure to see you.

After dinner we took our full bellies on a walk to The Tavern. It happens to be the place where Ray husseled himself a date with me and the place where Bea and Robin met. Many fond memories were made at The Tavern. You should go there and make some right now.

Evan and Beau wait their turn on the pool table.

Marci didn’t make it to sushi but she did meet up with us later on and she brought a friend and he’s a lot older than us, but very nice.

BFF’s forever.

Just for old time sakes we went to Pizza Pino at the end of the night. Still taste so good after a few beers.

You know how Ray and I travel a lot, well, yeah. There’s just always somewhere to go, some other thing to take care of. This time we headed to the bay area in California to take care of and finalize the old warehouse we’ve been subletting for the past 2 years. All I can say is that I’m so glad it’s run its course because it has been just a huge learning experience and a lot more stress than I had bargained for.

We have a lot of friends in the Bay Area so we took full advantage of our trip and tried to pencil everyone we could into our short visit. We had dinner and game nite at the Miller’s. I think we had Mexican.

First time I played Apples to Apples some card game that makes a really fun drinking game. By the way, is it me or does Beau look like  he’s 12 here?

We didn’t stop at our drunken card game. Oh no, after that we tackled the Wii.

Chris is about to do the hula hoop. Not so sexy when boys do it.

Chris Miller Does the Hula Hoop On Nintendo Wii from Doan Chung on Vimeo.

Marci Does The Hula Hoop On Nintendo Wii from Doan Chung on Vimeo.

Ray Does The Hula Hoop on Nintendo Wii from Doan Chung on Vimeo.

Beau Does The Hula Hoop On Nintendo Wii from Doan Chung on Vimeo.

Doan Does The Hula Hoop On Nintendo Wii from Doan Chung on Vimeo.

Beau Does Pilates On Nintendo Wii from Doan Chung on Vimeo.

It’s been a while since I got to hang out with Marci. It’s good to know that she hasn’t been corrupted my Chris Miller.

Bea found some old photos while unpacking.  These were taken back in 2006, I think.  We’re still just as cute.