Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Little Recap

Here's what happened to me this year:
  1. I travelled a lot. I have visited Vegas (Grand Canyon, Valley of Fire State Park), New York (for a wedding and little sightseeing), Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Ephesus, Izmir, Alexandria, Cairo, Valletta, and Madrid.
  2. I had my first root canal. Or should I say my first and only. It was not what I expected. No pain in the tooth, but there was pain in the neck. I think the dentist positioned my head awkwardly and so after the hour-long procedure I had pain in the neck :)
  3. I attended a black tie dinner in January as my husband's plus one in their company holiday dinner. I know their company always find a way to save some moolah so they schedule their holiday dinners in January.
  4. My pet bird Mulder died suddenly. Two days later we bought a replacement whom we called Mulder also.
  5. A friend and former co-worker succumbed to the big C after battling it for 4 years.
  6. I had my first facial. Okay this is my first with an aesthetist. I used to have one every month with a dermatologist (yes the one with MD after their name).
  7. My niece gave birth to a cute chinky boy named Alex; another niece got pregnant and found out it's going to be a boy. Due date is Feb 2010.
  8. I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr, hypothyroidism, and low iron levels.
  9. I bought a house (can't believe I only remembered it here on number 9)
  10. Went tent camping for the first time here in the USA. I used to do tent camping as a girl scout back home.

Monday, December 28, 2009

No Vietnamese Sandwiches for Christmas

What spurred my previous post about serving those crunchilicious Vietnamese sandwiches for Christmas eve dinner was a free sandwich courtesy of one doctor. As soon as I smelled the tasty bread, I knew it had been long since this goody has touched my lips and mouth.

Anyway enough about that. I did not serve it. My husband, who is the main chef of the family, made steaks, fingerling potatoes, and Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. Quiche was our appetizer. We did not have time to have any dessert at all as we hurried to the Midnight Mass service.

Christmas Day luncheon was at my sis-in-law's and bro's house. Our contribution to the potluck was roast herbed pork loin with fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts and mushrooms, jazzed up Mac-n-cheese, meat torta (meat omelette), and for desserts we brought Crema de Catalunya, which was a big hit. Yay for husband.

Need I say I got stuffed at the dessert table. It's not what you think. It's the rice cakes that did me in. I am ordinarily not a fan of Filipino kakanins, but that day we chatted around the desserts table and guess what? I had my fill at palitaw and suman sa ibos. I can't remember what else was on the other table, but the suman was outstanding.

How was your Christmas eating?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Would it be...

so bad to serve hotdogs and/or Vietnamese sandwiches for noche buena?

Just thinking out loud, because I really really love those Vietnamese sandwiches.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Way It was

At least a week before Christmas, mom and I would hie off to the provincial capital (where the "big" grocery stores are located) to buy the whole leg of pig (jamon) and queso de bola, that would be the star of our Noche Buena table. I would watch my mother start prepping the cooking around noontime on the eve. The leg would be too big for our stove, so we would cook outside in the backyard by putting stones and cooking with firewood. My mother would bring out her big cooking vessel (much like a big wok) to cook the jamon. I don't remember exactly how she cooked the jamon, but a bottle of 7-up was her secret ingredient.

While the jamon was taking it's sweet time cooking, Mom would start slicing and dicing for nilagang baka, another mainstay in our table. We were then encouraged to take a long nap, as we need to be up all night long.

In our small town, there is one Catholic church. The church services the entire town, which consists of 44 barangays. You could imagine that the church would be crowded on midnight mass service. And because my mother (the devout Catholic) wanted to always sit near the front, that meant we had to be outside the church before it opens to the public around 10 pm, or something. The mass always began at 11 pm and ended at midnight, exactly midnight when the church bells ring rapturously to signal Christmas day. Every year, I remember we had to be out the door by 9 pm. Yes that early!!!!! We live two blocks away from church, but mom needed the security of knowing she gets the prime seat by coming way too early. Oftentimes, we would be the first waiting outside the dark church yard. Some years, we would find people already waiting.

Our midnight mass service is the best that I had ever. It was solemn, despite the crowd. And the choir (which I was a part of for a few years) always managed to give the performance of the year at that service. As I look back, I remember I always felt spiritually nourished after this service.

Back home, we would gather on the table with mom slicing the ham and queso de bola very thinly and we make ham and cheese sandwich with pandesal. We have a bowl of nilagang baka with it and a cup of hot cocoa. That was our Noche Buena every year. Some years we would make buko salad and/or chicken sandwich.

That was how we celebrate our Christmas Noche Buena.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dear Santa

I hope it's not too late to put in my list. I have finished holiday preparations which included addressing and mailing all cards, buying groceries, making rumballs, wrapping presents. The tree has been trimmed and the lights are up.

I thought I'd be happy without anything this year, but I just thought of a few things I wanted for next year. Are you ready with my list Santa? They are in no particular order:

  • Sleep. Why did I feel like I was always yawning and sleepy this year? And nope, it's not all David Lettermen's fault.
  • Patience. I think I was born lacking in this virtue. I need it for next year and yes, I don't have the patience right now to explain why :)
  • Focus. I am easily distracted. What I always thought was my talent at multi-tasking was actually my inability to focus on one task and finishing such task before starting another one.
  • Goal. I need one badly. If I don't have one, I will not have something to look forward to, nothing to work hard for.
  • And as you can see, the list comprised of things meant just for me so I am asking for less SELFISHNESS next year. It's high time I think of someone else's comfort before mine.

Thanks Santa. And if you give me these things, I'll bake you some cookies next year.

It's me :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Survey

I found this survey while bloghopping and I thought I'd take a crack at it and in the process have something to post.

In 2009:

Did you do something you would never do?
>>I can't think of anything right now.

Did you keep any New Year's Resolutions?
>>I never make any so nothing to keep.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
>>Yes, Timmy has a cutie baby boy named Alex.

Did anyone close to you die?
>> Yes, former coworker succumbed to her 4-year breast CA battle :(

Did you visit any countries?
>>Yes (France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Malta and layover in Netherlands does that count?)

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
>>A child of my own.

Will any date from 2009 stay etched in your memory forever?
>>June 1, 2009 (the day we bought the house) and August 1, 2009, the day we moved into our very own house.

What was your biggest achievement of 2009?
>>Buying a house.

What was your biggest failure?
>>Unable to conceive.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
>>Epstein Barr, hypothyroidism and low iron level.

What was the best thing you bought in 2009?
>>The house.

Did your behaviour changed over the year?
>>I haven't noticed, too busy to notice I suppose.

Where did you spend most of your money?
>>Downpayment for the house, then for the repairs.

Are you happier than this time last year?
>>Most definitely.

What song will remind you of 2009?
>>Miley Cyrus' It's the Climb

What do you wish you would have done more of?
>> Diet and exercise.

What do you wish you would have done less of?
>>Blogging and tv watching.

What did/will you do for Christmas 2009?
>>Same thing every year, a day with family.

Did you fall in love in 2009?
>>Yes, I fell in love with Barcelona.

Did you get your heart broken in 2009?
>>Yes, David Letterman broke it when he announced his affair. I did not think of him that way. To me he is the one who makes me laugh before I go to bed. And this announcement simply broke my heart.

Favorite TV program of 2009?
>>Same every year - Lost, House, Grey's, Bros and Sis.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
>>No, oh maybe Tiger Woods :)

What was the best book you read and/or movie you saw?
>>Nothing comes to mind.

What was your greatest discovery?
>>Barcelona

What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
>> I can't remember what I did on my b/day. But I know I'm a year older this year than last.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
>>Having a baby.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2009?
>>I don't have a fashion concept.

FRIENDS:

Who was the best new person you met?
>>I met quite a few interesting people this year.

Who did you wish you did not meet?
>>No one.

Who was your bestfriend?
>>My husband

Who was your enemy?
>>No one.

Who do you miss?
>>My girl friends from high school.

Who will you never forget?
>>The DIY tour Cairo group.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
>>Anywhere you go, people are generally good.

What will you always remember about 2009?
>>Late in the night home renovations, Europe travel, moving in to the new home.

ASPIRATIONS FOR 2010:

What do you want to do in 2010 that you couldn't in 2009?
>>Get pregnant.

Any resolutions?
>>Walk, move, exercise.

What is different about 2010 than 2009?
>>Many many things I hope.

Anything you want to change about yourself for 2010?
>>Revamp my whole personality :)

Do you want to make more friends in 2010?
>>Absolutely!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Woke Up To A White Backyard

With our freezing temps, I awoke to find my backyard white from snow dusting overnight. I know that the temps have fallen and have been around the 40s for a couple of days now, but the warmth inside the house make me forget how cold it could get outside overnight.

So you could imagine my delight to find the backyard whitish as I munch on my pork bun breakfast. I immediately ran up to the room to grab the camera and woke my sleeping husband in the process. I told him, come down see the snow dust.

I took some photos and wondered if the front yard also look whitish. The front yard gets the early morning sun so there wasn't any sign that there was dusting on the ground, but the cars are all covered with a light layer of ice.

It was 37F as I drove off to work today. The temp is not going any higher than mid 40s today. I love it!

And here are more reasons why I love this season:
  • wearing coats, jackets, sweaters, and boots is fun.
  • seeing my breath in the morning
  • smell of wood burning
  • trimming the tree and watching it all lit up in a dark living room
  • driving around town to watch houses all decorated with lights and wreaths and front yards using way too much electricity :)
  • shopping malls are especially gorgeous with all the decor
  • seasonal coffee drinks
  • getting together with family over meals
  • sending and receiving x'mas card
  • after x'mas sale!!!!!!!

What do you love about this season?

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Monday and It's Freezing

..........but that's no excuse for an unproductive weekend.

There were so many things I wanted to accomplish over the weekend. And today I look back on the weekend and I felt like none of the things I wanted to do was ever done. Instead I the things/stuff I did, places I went were not on my plans.

I don't even want to know how many days to go before Christmas, I'll just panic more.

I still haven't addressed the Christmas cards, let alone mail them so they can reach their destinations on time.

Anyway, does anybody else still send Christmas cards via snail mail?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas....

....in my house. I have finally put up the tree last night. Why finally? After all it's only December 3rd today. Well you see that is quite late in my standards. The tree is normally up immediately after Thanksgiving. But this year as you know is different from the previous years as I wasn't around on Turkey Day.

I have a plastic tree. You heard that right. I don't mind having a fake tree. In fact I prefer it to the real pine tree. Wait, hear my reason/s. Who doesn't love the smell of pine inside the house? However, disposing of the said tree after the holidays is a bit of a hassle. I often forget the date I am supposed to put my tree on the curb for pick up. And dragging the thing out in the curb is not an activity I wanted to do every year.

Moreover, the real tree sheds. The needles are all over the floor. I am always thinking about it catching fire or something. The tree dries out quickly around here since our temps don't fall that much. And add the heater to the mix, it's really harder to keep the real tree.

Besides, driving around different lots to find the perfect tree is in itself a hassle. Yap, I don't need the extra stress this season. I have enough stress as it is with shopping, menu prep, decorating, getting the cards mailed on time, etc.

And so a few years ago, I went out and bought me a fake tree that came with its own lights. This year however, we found out that most of the lights have burned out. On Tuesday, we dug the box containing the tree from the garage, set it up and learned about all the burned out lights. Wednesday, we went to three different places to find both a twinkling and singing lights. Many years ago we had the lights that once turned on not only blinks but sang as well. We couldn't find those anymore, so we settled for the twinkling lights.

With the ornaments we have for many years, I have the tree up and lit. I am happy.

Yet, the wreath I have on my front door needs upgrade. It's far too small for the door, and way too plain I thought. I hope I have enough change in my pocket to afford one. Maybe I should make a visit to Michael's for a new wreath.

Hope your Christmas preparations are filled with joyous merriment.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back to Work Monday

I go back to work after 17 days of vacationing in Europe. I don't know if I'm ready, but it would really, really be uncool and unprofessional if I call in sick the day I was due back to work after quite a long break, isn't it?

I can't wait to see what awaits me work-wise.

BTW, still struggling with sleep patterns.

And oh I miss Thanksgiving this year. But I will compose a thanksgiving post in the following days, because obviously I have a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shoutout To Cyberspace Community

I need a kick ass cookie recipe for Christmas gift giving. This year I intend to make instead of buy the presents I plan to give away. My niece always bakes a variety of cookies and packs them for gift giving every Christmas, and they are always sought after and most anticipated.

This is a wise move on her part. Not only does she hone her baking skills, she also saves a lot of dough (pun intended) in the process.

However let me first clarify one thing. I.DO.NOT.BAKE. My minimal baking experience can be atributed to making brownies straight from the box - on two different occasions.

The first time it didn't turn out moist and chewy, but it was okay, passable for a first time. The brownie, however, did not fare well after the first day. It hardened like a stone and was too tough to eat, although a little time in the microwave solved the problem.

The second time it came out of the oven tough. But again time in the microwave solved the problem.

As you can see, I don't have the natural abitlity for baking. Therefore, the cookie recipe I need must be/have:
  • easy to follow, easy to make
  • simple ingredients
  • yummy and buttery (it is after all holiday eats)
  • will last a few days

Okay then, I will wait.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two Days and Counting

Second day of "diet" and I'm hungry, but felt lighter, which feels good.

Lord help me make it thru the rest of the week.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Good Turnout and Other Things

Hah! finally the Halloween I have waiting for came. I've been asking myself the past years where have all the kids gone? Halloween nights past the kids were nowhere to be found and I was left to gobble that giant bag of goodies they sell at Costco. Not this year folks, not this year. Last Saturday, Halloween, my giant bag of yummy miniature chocolate bars was almost emptied. And I was going back and forth from watching my old movies on tv and handing out candies. Who knocked on my door? Let's see - the pirate was there, angel, fairies, princesses, scream guy, bumble bee, etc. And what's fun was that these are tiny kids, from tots in strollers to about tweeners. Not the teens that used to ring my bell over at my old neighborhood.

My husband reminded me that our previous neighborhood was a townhouse development and there aren't many kids around. Our present neighborhood is not a development but good old normal neighborhood. I don't know how to express it. And the best part is the kids were accompanied by adults, which was too cool.

And the best part, I don't have to finish the whole bag of candies. Calories saved!

UPDATE: The Bay Bridge has finally reopened. I was as usual stuck in traffic at Eastshore Fwy somewhere between Berkeley and Emeryville when the announcement of the reopening was broadcasted on radio. It took Caltrans long enough (6 days I believe) to reopen it. I thought they were overly cautious, which is just okay with me. Better safe than sorry. Now I hope that the hellish traffic would be a lot manageable beginning tomorrow.

In another news, I have just received training to be part of what they call Altar Guild at church. I think I can manage this. This would be my way of giving my time and talent to church.

I have promised myself to refrain from blogging starting today as I have plenty of things to take care of before heading out of town for a much-needed vacation. But as you can see here I am typing away.

Another thing, I have been chatting on fb with my old girl friends from the old country (hehehe) this weekend. It was such a good feeling to chat with old pals again and revisit old memories. They are asking me if I have plans to visit the country, which I reply with plans I have plenty, but nothing concrete. I surely would relish some time with them in the near future. Isn't fb fabulous, just for this reason alone?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mixed Bag of Emotions

  • I am sad about this.
  • I am frustrated about this.
  • I am fuming about this.
  • I am happy thinking about this.

You probably guess where all these emotions are coming from right? Yeah, it's that time of the month again :-D

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Bridge is Closed

The bridge is closed, an emergency closure yesterday. And today's morning commute was hell. It's a miracle that I got to work just a few minutes after my shift started.

I am lucky in a way. I don't get to drive over any bridges to get to work. I may have the headache and stress related to the jams on this very busy Eastshore freeway, but going over one is adding half an hour to one's commute.

I thought with the bridge closure and the all the local networks invoking the use of public transport or other alternative routes that the Eastshore freeway was going to be a little lighter than normal. But NO! It was heavier than normal with majority of the commuting public making the decision to drive and take an alternative bridge - the San Mateo Bridge - which means that the commuters were driving my route. Yuck.

I knew someone who has phobia of bridges, I mean crossing one. When she worked in the city, she took the train. The train didn't cross the bridge, but went under the bay through a tunnel. Call me crazy, but going under was scarier than going over for me. Well to each his own.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Goal of the Week

Today is Monday and I'll try to limit my coffee consumption for this week. I say coffee, not caffeine :) One at a time, people, one at a time.

Hope we all have a great work week.

Friday, October 23, 2009

TGIF because I'm in a rut.

Glad to see this week end because I am in a rut. This week I have drank way too much coffee, slept way too little. Feeling so blah, disinterested, depressed and craving chocolates all week. I don't crave sweet other than that special time of the month. And it's not that time of the month. Not for another 2.5 weeks yet.

And I've been hooked on reading this blogger's journal. It feels like a novel to me. I stumbled upon the blog late last year I believe and I wondered how "they" met. So I went back and read all the posts in the archives - that's four years of posts!!!. Pathetic, I need a life!!!!

Anyway, finally I think I just came upon the post where the beginning of the friendship was mentioned.

And I am more depressed.

And the sad part is I have no clue why.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jumbled Musings

Look at the calendar and you'll see that the month of October is nearly over and that the Holidays will be here before we know it. Am I ready for the Holidays? NO. Did I start shopping, planning the menu? NO. Can I skip the holidays this year? I wish.

Chatting with my friend on facebook last night left me worried. I thought I sensed something amiss with her. It's not much what she said, but what I felt she didn't say. I raised this concern to hubs last night while I was in the middle of chatting and he advised I pick up the phone and ring her. I was afraid I was jumping the gun and I was too nosey if I did that. I should just talk to her later again and see if she's okay.

The rains we have been having make me happy. I love the rain. I only wish I have a day off so I could curl up in bed with one of the novels I have yet to open. I look out of the window it's very gloomy and I cant tell from my vantage point but I wouldn't be surprised at all if its drizzling outside.

Persimmons are in season again and that makes me happy too. I love them. I'm glad I went picking persimmon over at a friend's house yesterday. I picked way too much and I'm afraid I would get tired of eating them.

Interesting happening over at Seattle Grace. They fired Izzie Stevens. Does that mean the actress is out of the show? I don't know the answer because my computer time has been limited.

Last week we had some strange weather. I thought it felt like earthquake weather. I didn't raise my concern, but when I was chatting with a dear friend and she mentioned noticing that the weather last week felt like earthquake weather, well she verbalized my fear. No earthquakes please.

Well, that's all folks. Nothing is happening where I am except people are getting sick with flu and colds. We've been having extreme weather changes here. One minute it's gloomy and cloudy and rainy like today and the next day it's hot and humid. Yeah we had some humidity here. It's really weird to experience some humidity after being used to dry air.

Oh and before I forget our family had welcomed a little boy this October, but I only saw him this weekend because I had to get over my colds before seeing him. He is too cute and very chinky. Alex, welcome to the world and welcome to the madhouse. We love you!

Now can it be any more jumbled than that?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Diary

It was jazz an ordinary day.
The skies were clear, the birds were chipping. Angganda-ganda ng araw! Nasa SM ako noon at katatapos ko lang mamili nggroceries. Timing naman nasafoodcore si Angel Locsin, nagpro-provoke ng movie nya.Grabe, andaming fans,pull-packed talaga! Dahil fans nya rin ako, nakipilana rin ako.

Then suddenly, out of the loo, may bumulong sa akin ng: 'Indaaayyyyy. ..'
Huh? It sounded like a familiar sound. Who can it be now? 'Dodong!' sigaw ko.
Napalakas yata voice ko. Kasi the other fans turned their backs to theirbehind at napatingin sa amin. Sabi ko 'Sorry, I didn'tmean to be loud andproud.' Hinawakan na lang ni Dodong ang kamay ko atlumayo kami from the crowd.

'Kamusta na Inday? Do you come here open?' tanong nya. 'Bihira lang, Dodong. I'm just droppings by. Ethnicang schedule ko eh' sabiko. Memories came flushing in my mind. How can I forget toremember Dodong? Siya na may mata ni Piolo, dimple ni Aga, at bigote ni Rex Cortez. He's everywoman's dreamboat. I was just starting my tour of dutykay ate noon nangunang makilala ko si Dodong. Contraction worker siyasa ginagawang bahay satapat namin. Naging kami for a while then after thatwere not an itemanymore.

'Tanghali na Inday. What did you say we have lunchtogether?' tanong niDodong.
'I don't mine' sagot ko. Sa restaurant, nilapitan kaagad kami ng waiter.'What's your odor sir?' sabinung waiter kay Dodong. 'Do you have porkshop?' tanong ni Dodong. 'Yes sir' sabi nito. 'Our porkshop with a resistanceto the teeth of boastof our chef. Domestic careful selection of pork withlittle fat of femaleliking is used. The exquisite cooking which repeatedtrial and error and wascompleted. It also has healthy vegetables with saladfeeling fully' dagdagpa niya.

'And you mam?' sabay tingin naman sa akin. Hmmm..mukhang masarap yung porkshop. Pero I'm cuttingdown on my carbon kayapinigilan ko. 'I'll just have water, thanks. Liquidate diet ako eh.'sagot ko.

Pagkatapos kumain, nagyaya si Dodong manood ng sine.Teka teka, this isgoing too far. Besides, it's a long, long, way to run. 'Reality chess, Dodong. May asawa na ako, si Jay. As amother of fact, I'mhappily married' pagmamalaki ko. 'Di na pwede yung tulad ng dati. Sorry pero I didn'texpect you still havemore feelings than I expected. I don't want yougetting the way. Past isfast. Therefore, cause and defect.' dagdag ko pa.

Tumahimik sya. Parang may language barrel na namagitansa amin. The secondsthat passed seemed like fraternity. Di nagla-on,nagsalita na rin sya. 'I don't care less!' sigaw ni Dodong.
Shocks, give me a brake! The nerd ng taong ito parasigawan ako! To thinkit's his other woman that caused our separation to part.

Kinabahan na ako. I felt speedbumps all over my bodyand was having panicattach. Tinalikuran ko siya at nagmadali akong lumakadpalayo. Pero sumunodpa rin siya like a monkey on my butt. Hanggang samakakita ako ng securityguard. Biglang nawala si Dodong.

'Excuse me kuya, pwedeng magtanong?' sabi ko sa mamangguard. 'Of course miss, I can help you with my pleasure.'sagot niya. 'Saan po ba ang exit? Could you point me to the righterection? I got lostin my eyes.' 'Diretso lang.'sabi niya. 'Then turn right anytimewith care.'
'Thanks for your corporation' sabi ko.

Buti na lang nandun si kuya. Pero saglit lang, I smellsomething peachy. AsI turned, nakita ko na namang nakasunod si Dodong!Delaying static lang palakanina ang pag-disappear nya.
'Nyahahaha! You can run but you can hide, Inday. Nomatter where you go,there you are!' pananakot nya.

Oh no, is this the end? This is too much, I feel degradable. My world started falling afar.
Then suddenly, Jay come from behind! Dodong was caughtto the act! In the matter of minute, it's all over. I'm out of arm's way.

'Thanks Jay, my love. But how did you.?' bago pa manako matapos, sabi niya:
'I was in the neighborhood. Fans din ako ni Angel eh.I heard you shout butat first I didn't give it a thought. Pero nang makitako kayong magkahawakng holding hands, then I give it a thought. I know something is a missed.'

From then on, Dodong did not brother me again. Infact, he didn't evensister me. As in platonic at wala na talaga.

Pero kami ni Jay, heto, shoot sailing pa rin angrelationship. Lalo pangayon, open na kami sa isa't-isa at walang exhibitions. I feel I'm on cloudline.

~~ Hope this page from the diary brought a little smile on your face.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I Can Taste The Difference

Over the weekend, Starbucks introduced its new product, an instant coffee called Via. According to the ads they circulated over the tv, YOU cannot tell the difference between this instant brew and their house brew. They invited people to come to the stores and take the challenge. If you could tell the difference you would get a coupon for a tall house blend on your next visit.

So hubs and I went last Saturday. We were able to sneak it in between running errands because it was near the grocery store that we patronized. So we marched up to the counter and ordered our regular blend brew and we were asked if we would like to take the challenge. Of course we said.

And guess what? I guessed which one was the instant brew. Sadly hubs didn't guess correctly. In his defense, he hasn't had any instant coffee experience prior to the tasting. But I knew the minute the hot, and I mean HOT coffee landed at the tip of my tongue that it was an instant coffee. It tasted like the coffee that my mother loves. I really don't know which brand of instant coffee it tasted like, but I knew it was instant right away.

So I guess, I'm a coffee connoisseur!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Man Versus Food

Have you heard of "Man Versus Food"? That Travel Channel reality series hosted by Adam Richman where he goes to different American cities to take on the challenge - outrageously massive amount of food to be consumed within a specific time period?

Well out here in the wonderful foodie town of San Francisco, a Vietnamese restaurant has thrown down the challenge to anyone who can down a 4-lb pho (Vietnamese soup). It's called The PHO GARDEN CHALLENGE.

Click on the link of Pho Garden Challenge to make you understand this competetive eating.

So today, September 26, my wonderful husband and his daring co-workers set out to take on the challenge. Five of them signed up for the challenge. The object of the challenge is to finish all the noodles and the meat within one hour. Check the webside of Pho Garden to see how big the bowl is. Just the bowl size is pretty intimidating. However, the 4-lb pho hits about midway thru the bowl.

Almost every table has someone taking the challenge. I think our table has the most aspirants. Five. While they were gulping down massive amount of rice noodles, tripe, beef, etc. we (me and others who did not take the challenge) were eating and taking pictures. I ordered just an appetizer because I simply couldn't take in food while watching these guys stuff themselves.

Once the bowl is halfway gone, you can ask the waiters/waitress to transfer the left-over to a smaller bowl. What this accomplishes is it drains out the liquid. You dont really want the noodles to keep on soaking in the liquid because then the noodles get fatter and it's harder to eat, you get full too quickly. One of the guys on our table kept complaining that he got 3-lb of noodles instead of 2. No need to finish the soup.

And guess what? My dear husband finished his bowl. Yay! His mug will be gracing their wall of fame where photos of successful eaters are displayed. Another one finished on our table. The entire restaurant clapped when husband finished. No one else from the other tables finish. Not when we were there. It was a challenge just to see husband suffering from overeating. He did not have any thing to eat. If you finish the bowl, your $22-dollar pho is free; otherwise pony up the $22.

Hubs co-worker asked, "Aren't you so proud of your husband?" I didn't really know her enough to reply, "Proud of what? His stupidity or his gluttony?"

My dear husband said I should have replied that to her.

Anyway, I think that's the beginning and the end of his competetive eating career.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Ramblings (the first of many?)

oh its fall
the calendar told me so
but it doesn't feel it yet
too soon i guess


the tv schedule
said its fall
they started
showing their
new fall lineup
this week


house opened on monday
its usual timeslot
i wonder if it will
continue to
show at 8 pm


i watched it
but not with
my usual focus
it was two hours
and it was all
house


i guess the
lure of the show
lies with the
dynamics of
the entire cast


it bored me to watch
just house with
strangers


and yesterday
tuesday's lineup
cant remember
what i used to
watch on tuesdays
last fall


at 10 pm i tuned in
to the good wife
with nurse hathaway
and mr big


i liked the show
even hubby liked it
hope the writing
gets stronger
and the plot line
doesn't veer too
much to the left
or to the right


tonight i have to tune in
to my summer fave
the top chef
which of the brothers
stay and which one goes
or would they fight till
the finish

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm Not Ready To Make Nice

~To you Mr. Executive driving your luxury car yapping into your blue tooth and barging your way in my lane infront of me without any signal or even a wave of your well manicured fingers to say thanks. Grrr!

~To you Soccer Mom, you must have confused the roadway as your household. I know you have princess in the back in her tutu sucking a tootsie pop and the prince needed to be picked up from karate class, but you see the empty space between me and the front car is Prius-sized and no amount of "because I say so" from your part would make your Sienna fit into it. Okay? I said so. Next time, I am not letting you into my lane. Remember that.

~To you Hip Hop Boy, listen here, I want to listen to my playlist, not yours so please roll up your windows or else I'll roll down my windows and put the volume to the max while I listen to some Barry Manilow.

~To your Mr. 18-Wheeler, you have the nerve to go above 55. This aint Arizona dude. Please stay a ways off my butt, you're making me nervous. Really.

[Can you tell I've been commuting a long time to collect all these grievances on the road?]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Few Things I Want To Say

It saddened me to hear of Patrick Swayze's death, but people in the know say he has gone longer than earlier predicted. May he rest in peace.

I also heard about Maura Tierney's breast cancer battle. I hope she beats it.

And on a personal weather note, here we go again. I have a little obsession with our weather. I know, it just fascinates me. Our microclimate here in the bay area is so different from the tropical weather I grew up in. The tropical weather was so predictable. Half of the year is hot, the other half is wet, and if it's not one of those two, then it's warm and nice with a little breeze. But out here it's like an adventure. Take for instance our weather last Friday, the 11th, we had 97 and hot. The next day was 61 and cloudy and rainy. That is a difference of 36 degrees in one day. The weather keeps me on my toes.

The rain was very welcome around these parts, but there were lightning storm in other parts of the bay. Thankfully I did not see it, I was told it happened in the early hours of the morning, while I was fast asleep.

That's all I want to say right now. Let me do some surfing.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Have You Heard?

Funny gal Ellen Degeneres is reported to take the spot vacated by Paula Abdul on the judges panel on American Idol. Is this good news?

I was going back and forth on writing about this all day yesterday after I learned of the news, but not until my husband reacted to the news that the decision had been made. I was going to blog about this :)

"OMG", barked hubby after logging online last night. I was already surfing by this time. He asked me if I heard. He didn't have to complete the sentence for me to know what he's alluding to. Of course I knew. My husband does not watch American Idol on purpose. He had seen more than enough shows in the past to make him some sort of an "expert" on the subject, like we all are. I am the one that's been addicted to the show for a number of years now. I have the remote on days that AI is on so regardless of whether hubs was watching or not, he was in the same room each night AI was on.

Therefore, his negative reaction to the naming of Ellen as Abdul replacement is worth noting. He, however, doesn't care much for Paula Abdul. I don't either. As a matter of fact, whenever she speaks, I change the channel. Really. I don't have any patience to listen to her senseless babbling.

So let me break down to you why my hubs is against Ellen judging AI:
  • She is not a singer.
  • She is not a composer.
  • She is not in the music biz.
  • She will make a comedy out of the judging table.
  • Therefore, she is totally unqualified to assume the post.

And my reasons why I love to have Ellen sitting on the panel:

  • She will make more sense than Paula.
  • She knows AI ~ being a fan of her show I know how much she loves AI.
  • She will bring comic relief when the show gets boring, especially if this is a year when there are no outstanding contestants -- remember the season when Jordin Sparks won?
  • I simply love her.
  • Therefore, she is more than qualified to judge a singing contest.

So now that you know where we both stand and what's behind our stance, do you think Ellen is good for AI or not?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Because it's 09/09/09

I thought I needed to post something today because of the triple 9 date. I don't really know why I wanted, er needed to post today when the date simply has no relevance to me. I am not a follower of Numerology. I don't even know much about it. But somehow, the fact that the date will not come again in 100 years made this a significant day. I learned today that because of the date, someone rushed to get married.

Do I put much stock in numbers? Nope. As a matter of fact, I do not want to tell people my age, and that's a number. I don't want to give out my phone number. I am not superstitious about any number. Although, on Friday the 13th, I can be a bit cautious (hehehe).

Except for birthdays and anniversaries of people I love, I don't really remember dates. But there are numbers/ dates that stuck to my brain.

100 - I got a card from my boyfriend (now husband) on our first 100 days of dating. Pretty unique, I thought, since we gals are more into monthsaries, etc. But when he surprised me with this thoughtful card wishing me a wonderful 100 days and more days of togetherness to come, I knew he was a keeper.

2/20/1993 - The day I left for the United States to live permanently. Okay, at that time the word permanently was not in my consciousness; although my family were all in US.

6/28/1998 - My first day @ work here in my present job. My how time flies.

See that's all I remember. I can't even remember the time I became a US citizen. I don't remember what year it was.

So, there, that's the post. Very pathetic eh?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fall, leaves, etc.

I know it's a cliche how time flies, but it certainly does, doesn't it? This summer especially had zipped by me. I wonder where it went. As the kids have gone back to school, which signals the end of summer, even tho' summer still has 3/4 of a month to go before it's officially Fall, I couldn't say that the cooler breeze is making a return. Because this was a cool summer in general around these parts. The past Friday and Saturday did give us a taste of real summer, hot and muggy. Insanely unbearable. It was a shame that bay area denizens do not have that much tolerance for hot and muggy. We get really grumpy in weather like that.

Friday wasn't really a problem as I was inside working all day with the temperature controlled to a pleasant level. But at night, the breeze was nowhere, it was in the 90s at 9 pm. Hot, hot, hot. And continued all thru Saturday, which really gave me a horrible headache and I had to run some errands in all that heat, yucky.

Thankfully, Sunday arrived with our usual cool weather, breezy at times, and manageable in the 70s.

So what was my point again? My brain doesn't work in hot weather; although my allergies disappear in hot weather.

Still, even with cool breeze all thru this summer, there is still something to look forward to with the arrival of Fall. The changing of the leaves, of course! I am a leaf peeper. Every year we drive some 200 miles to watch the leaves. Not much leaves can be seen around here so we have to drive far to see them. It's like a yearly pilgrimmage. If I don't make it to the pilgrimmage this year, no worries, I have plenty of shots from last year that didn't get posted yet.

On the drive to work today, I was listening to the radio as I always do. One thing got me thinking. The dj mentioned that the US is ranked almost in the bottom of the list on the number of paid time off (vacation time) per year. According to the news, the national average for US is 13 days (pathetic isn't it?). And the leader of the pack is France which gives its workers 38 days of paid time off annually.

I was really saddened by the data. So upon arriving on my desk I computed how much time I get each year. Of course I have been here in this place for 11 years, so my accrual is more than say a newly hired. I get a total of 299 point something hours, which translates to roughly about 30 days. Now we have PTO which combines our sick leaves and time off.

Oh I breathed a big sigh of relief upon learning how much time we truly accrue each year. Of course I don't take all of that each year. So far this year, I have had two 4-day trips outside of the state, which isn't really that much, but of course I also took a day here and a day there in between. Thankfully, what I haven't done much (can't remember one incident) this year was call in sick.

I was about to talk about September coming, but I'm quite tired now. Besides there's a whole month to talk about September. Plenty of time to do a post --- can you tell I'm a procrastinator?

Friday, August 28, 2009

I made it!

Oh yeah, I did! I made it thru this work week without calling in sick. It was a feat that I would celebrate with a beer tonight.

Since Monday I was feeling run down. Must be the allergy acting up all week --- sinus pressure, air in ear, ringing in ear, clogged nasal passages, dry itchy eyes, and raspy throat. I thought that it would definitely take a miracle to get thru this week without calling in sick. And I guess I got a miracle of some sort.

Each night as I get home, I feel exhausted. I would get my usual 6-7 hours of sleep (cant believe I get that much, I just realized that today) and wake up somewhat energized. Midway thru my day tho' I get very tired. But each day I wake up, there was enough energy in my body to get me to work and I'm really happy for that. Not that I don't have any sick time left. If my memory is correct, I haven't called in sick yet this year. I mean I had taken sick leaves, all for scheduled medical and dental appointments. On second thought, I'd rather leave the sick leave alone :)

Well, I have been quite busy with facebook. My high school friends are there, the ones I really hung out back then and that's all I do. I have invites to a farm of some sort, but truly I don't think I have time to tend to a cyber farm right now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Life (according to the Eagles)

I was tagged on Facebook by Gzel. And I always comply.

Here is the rule:

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions with that artist’s songs’ titles. Pass it on to 15 people you like and include me. You can’t use the artist I used (Gzel used Michael Jackson). Try not to repeat a song title. It’s a lot harder than you think!

Pick your Artist: The Eagles

Are you a male or female: Witchy Woman

Describe yourself: Desperado

How do you feel: Peaceful Easy Feeling

Describe where you currently live: Hotel California

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: New York Minute

Your favorite form of transportation: The Train Leaves Here This Morning

Your best friend is: New Kid in Town

You and your best friends are: Busy Being Fabulous

What’s the weather like: No More Cloudy Days

Favorite time of day: Tequila Sunrise

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Heartache Tonight

What is life to you: Life in the Fastlane

Your fear: Hole in the World and No More Walk in the Woods

What is the best advice you have to give: Please Come Home for Christmas and Do Something

Thought for the Day: Learn To Be Still

How you would like to die: Take it Easy

Your soul’s present condition: Lying Eyes

Your motto: Love Will Keep Us Alive

[I thoroughly enjoyed this meme. And I did not find it difficult, maybe because I chose an artist/group that has 7 record albums and 2 live albums, and whose songs are somewhat reflective of my life. ]


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This (bullet) and That (bullet)

Here's what's happening/going on whether you're interested or not :)

  • I finally surrendered, caved in, succumbed to peer pressure ... er make that facebook pressure. Oh where would I find the time to update, help!

  • Had entertained close friends (on two separate occasions) last weekend. Is this what they say that once you own a house, you will be entertaining?

  • Attended my first Tomato Festival on Saturday. For $2, I got to sample as many different varieties of tomato as I wanted. My favorite was called Juliette.

  • Attended my first RELAY FOR LIFE (an American Cancer Society fundraising) after the tomato festival. Will return to walk longer next year, God willing.

  • Had to ask two different people (friend and boss) this question, ARE YOU READY TO LET GO? Both have family suffering from the big C, looks terminal for both cases. My heart is breaking especially for my friend's sister, who also happens to be an ex-co-worker. She is suffering too much. May God relieve a little of her pain, and reassure her that it would be all right.

  • Reconnected with some friends from high school. Ah the magic of the world wide web.

  • I want a little road trip, a weekend get-away preferrably near the ocean, Mendocino is my choice.

  • It took me two weeks to locate the box containing our iron. I need to have my clothes pressed so it was a major relief to finally track down the iron.

  • Oh my Shah Rukh Khan had a memorable experience with the airport people. Really, who doesn't know him? I am shocked!

Note: looks like the bullets are not showing :(

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Updates

I should write something here. After all it's been days since my last entry, and I don't want to keep this idle for a long period of time. Not that I have plenty of things to say. Nor do I have some interesting life to share.

But we have finally moved. August first was the day that we rented a U Haul truck and physically moved --- our furnitures and our bodies --- over to the new "old" house. Needless to say that weekend was exhausting. I can't remember now how tired I was. But I knew that once my head hit the pillow that night, I was immediately taken into dreamland.

And so while we continue to slowly open up each box that is filling our two-car garage, we continue to work, work, and work to pay for this house. Still missing are our pots and pans (oh we have those daily use pots and pans) so we can't cook anything for more than 4 servings.

Because I wanted so much to clear the boxes in the garage, I was toying with the idea of taking a day or two off. But at the same time I don't want to use up whatever I have accrued on vacation cache. Anyway, there are a few touch-ups that still need to be taken care of. And the garden hasn't really gotten full attention from me.

That's been really the major change in my life right now.

At work, we decided to start walking around the block (which is actually about 6 or 7 blocks). I believe we started doing the round for 30 minutes. Today we rounded the "block" for 13 minutes. We are doing good.

And Tony Bourdain did San Francisco on No Reservations last night. I liked that he didn't do the obvious things, the touristy things, nor eaten in places where people go. I hoped he went farther into the East Bay rather than stop at Oakland. And what about Berkeley. There is more to Berkeley than Chez Panisse. A whole world more.

There was another "new" show on Travel Channel last night. I think it's called ---- heck I forgot what it's called. It's a show about how a travel writer goes about his job (traveling). I put new in quotations because to me it's new. Never seen it before, but don't know if it's been around. You see I haven't been watching a lot of Travel Channel lately. I haven't been watching a lot of tv lately in general because of the move. But I love that show. I vaguely recognize one who writes a travel blog. I may be wrong. Heck when I landed on that blog, I made a mistake of not bookmarking his site.

And also I just had a birthday. Yipee! My husband said the gift was huge, it was the house. I couldn't agree more. Although I nagged for a dinner and a movie which I got.

We went to see Harry Potter and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved how the characters have grown up. Dinner was at a Vietnamese restaurant in Berkeley where the decor was expensive looking, but the food was reasonable and delicious.

That's all for now. Lunch break is over, it's back to work time now for me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ready To Give Up This 2-month's Routine

Yes, I am dying to give up this routine that I have seen myself in for a two months now since we got the house. It starts with waking up @ 8 am every day, must be on the road to work between 9:30 and 9:45. Be back @ home by 7:30 pm. By 8 pm, we would be going to the new house, fixing it, cleaning it, doing some minor repairs. And be back home to our rental before 11 pm. It's a loooong day. No wonder I feel tired. And achy. And grumpy.

But the moment I see the fruits of our labor, I just smile. The minute we put the furnitures in and I was able to sit and just look at the high wall in our living room that is painted a bold brick red and also comes under CRISP AUTUMN LEAVES (Glidden paint), I just smile. And for a moment my aches go away.

Two more days and we'll be living in this house. Just two more days. But the work is not done. I think that's how it is. One continuously keep fixing, especially if the house you bought has a little age on it. But I am happy. The house is airy, has high ceilings, lots of windows allowing for plenty of natural light to come through and since the bay is just a ways, it's a bit cooler and breezier especially in the afternoon to early evening hours.

And since I have mentioned furniture, that reminded me I still need a sofa for the family room. I have said no to hubby's desire to get a futon. My friend has supported me on this. Now though we have to find a sofa that would fit our budget. And sofas get too expensive.

That's what's been happening to me since the last post. Nothing exciting. Just lots and lots of working, tiling, grouting, sealing grout, installing toilet fixture. And many many more little chores to come.

BTW in the midst of all the move, I have some commitment with the church that needed to be fulfilled on Saturday am, which is our move date. Then on Sunday, we have a baby shower to go to. Well, we can mix work and play on the weekend, I guess.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dreaming of Harry

I awoke one morning this week from what seemed like a restless sleep brought about by a Harry Potter dream. It felt like the whole time I was sleeping, I was seeing HP images on slideshow, scenes passing through my brain and I was wide-eyed watching it all night long. Nothing in particular registered to me after I woke up. But I knew I dreamed of Harry.

Okay, so my point is I have been itching to see the movie. Not read any of the books. Will do someday. Never missed any of the first five movies; the first remains my very favorite. While I am so keen on seeing the movie, between my full-time work schedule and the never-ending tasks associated with moving to a new house, the earliest window of opportunity to see it is in two weeks' time. Which can be good and bad at the same time. Good because the crowd in the cinemas had thinned out by then, which would make the movie-going experience more pleasurable. Bad because those people who have seen it on its first day - let alone on its first hours - are also bloggers. And they blog right and left confusing me. Regardless of a few disappointed fans who thought the movie adaptation did not stay true to the plot - I trust they know what they're talking about as I would never know not having read any book - I would still go see it. Because I want to. Because I looked forward to seeing it. Because I got pissed when the showing date was pushed back.

However, I question whether I would be looking out for these misrepresentations and/or omissions that these bloggers pointed out in their thesis-like dissertation of the movie. Will my enjoyment be lessened?

Why oh why do I read bloggers' movie reviews?

Do reviews (by professionals and/or by amateurs or bloggers) affect your opionion of a movie or a restaurant, or a hotel?

By experience I could say, I never really paid that much attention to what the professionals say. Let's see if I truly enjoy this movie.

Monday, July 20, 2009

7/20/09

Another date down the drain. Again, our carpet did not arrive on expected date. One more week we were told before the carpet is to leave the factory, then maybe another two days to get to our local Home Depot and another what 2 days before installation? This is getting really really frustrating. On the bright side, the delay had given us extra time to pack. Because all our time and attention were focused on making the "new house" habitable, we have until now not packed our personal clothes and belongings. Mother's potted plants have all moved last Saturday, courtesy of Brother #2 and family.

*********
In search of a great deal on sofa/couch for our family room, we braved the 104 dry heat temperature inland to visit the furniture store where we got all our furnitures. They advertised for great deals. Unfortunately, the deals they trumpeted all over the newspapers are not good enough for us. Instead, we managed to snag a 5 x 8 rug (going under our living room sofa set) for under 100 bucks next door to the furniture store. So the quest for a sofa continues.

**********
Still to be completed are the bathroom floors, all three. We have enough tiles left over from both jobs (entryway and kitchen) to cover the bathroom floors. Over the weekend, we managed to sand and spray paint cabinets from bathrooms and the brick fireplace is now in antique white, same as our kitchen cabinets.

***********
A bit of good news I received over the weekend. My nephew is finally going to college after his stint with the Navy. I am simply excited for him. He is finally going to major in the area of study he's been interested since he was a child. Good luck!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

7/16/09

Nope, we haven't moved in the new house yet. But each night after work we still go there and fix little stuff that we can handle. It's only two days before the carpet is going to be available. Then I am giving it another 2 days for the installation. Oh I can't wait to move. I can't wait. Patience.



So after we got back from putting in liners on the cabinet drawers, we watched Twilight on DVD courtesy of Netflix. Have not read the book, but have been aware of all the hullabaloo that the book and the movie received/created when they came out.



I thought I wouldn't be too interested in it. That was why we didn't rush to see it on the big screen and opted to wait for the dvd release instead. But I guess despite the young age of the protagonists, I loved the movie. I love fantasy novels. I love fantasy stories/movies. And most of all I am a sucker for love story, especially since this one looks like it's going to have a happy ending (at the end of the series?).



I've always loved the Bella actress, Kirsten something. I've seen her in other films and I loved her looks. I can't wait to see this again. Yes, I know I wanted to see it one more time. It looks like I have to buy the dvd.



Weather-wise we're still in the upper 70s I think. Oh I'm loving the temps.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

7/14/09

It's a 100 degrees today. Wow! First time this summer I think. I'm afraid to go out. Tomorrow, our forecast calls for a "cool" 77. Now that's more like it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

7/13/09

Last night I thought about ringing my friend E whose MIL passed away last month. I have been told of the sad news and was given her new number, but it wasn't until last night that I had the time to call. It was difficult to think of other things while doing all the renovations to the house.

It was a spur of the moment decision. Five minutes before ringing her I had no clue I was going to do that. I was opening my email when I remembered that our other friend D who was the bearer of the sad news and the giver of the phone number had urged me last month to give E a call. And so I opened the email containing the phone number and gave E a call.

And what a wonderful decision that was. Not only was I able to speak to her, another girlfriend of ours J was there visiting her. I got to chat with two of my girlfriends for the price of one phone call.

I miss talking to them. I miss having girlfriends to talk to. We talked like we were back in the good old days. They kept on asking me to come home for a visit. Both of them had double-teamed me about the visit. A visit would require major planning, of course. But I am so tempted to say yes. Except that I am in the process of moving, which means no OTHER major expense in the next year or so for me. And visiting the Philippines is considered a major expense. A thousand dollars alone for the plane fare, for one. And what about the husband? There goes 2 grand in plane fare. Anyway, if there is a will there will be a way, isn't it? I shall see. I did not make any promises; although I promised myself I would pick up the phone more often. I can't remember the last time I spoke with E (or J). Must have been at least 5 years.

It's just amazing how our core group of friends have remained connected all through the years. Of course E had been the glue that kept the group together all these years. As long as you check in with E, the entire group knows about it. I was telling my hubs last night after I hung up that it wouldn't take a few minutes before everyone in my circle know sthat they just heard from me.

I've been dreaming of getting together with them, especially after they email me photos of mini reunions, our high school's grand reunion, or their dinner. I am not the only one here in Cali. There's like four of us from that class that call this state home, but we don't get together at all. It's of course more difficult to get together here. The logistics are harder to manage here than in the Philippines. But last year, my bff and I finally met after 16 years to celebrate our high school English teacher's b/day. Coincidentally, she lives around here too. I have to make a mental note to get together with them again.

I simply had to blog about this, for my record keeping. And also to remind me how happy I was hearing my friends voice. J was still J, bubbly, innocent, organic. E still the same old E, accepting, reliable, leader. I miss my friends.

Monday, July 6, 2009

7/6/09

The days were long and tiring that I didn't really had the energy to do anything, including blogging, after working at the house. So today I will continue my documentation of our home renovation project.

Fifth Day:

Brother and SIL returned for a second day of painting. What a relief to have extra pairs of hands to do that. They took care of all the upstairs painting. Well I did the closets and the finished up the master's bedroom and hubs did the upper hallway walls.

I also spray painted the cabinet doors under the sun. And today we have the granite guy who came to cut, polish, and install my granite countertops.

Again, SIL brought some delicious food for lunch. We ate at one of the bedrooms on the carpet, much like picnicking outside. It was a good day with lots of things done, but also a very tiring one.

Sixth Day:

They started to install the laminate floors today, husband had helped from Jesus. It seemed like Jesus had plenty of knowledge in installing floors and the work proceeded well and quickly. I did some touch ups on the cabinets that were spray painted yesterday. Brother and SIL didn't come today.

Around 4 pm, bad news happened. Our granite guy broke our granite slab. He had to get another slab on his own money to replace the one he broke. Lucky for him, we chose a cheap slab. So, instead of our countertop getting finished today, it would have to wait another day. Oh, the kitchen floor has been prepped. We just now need to wait for the appliances to be delivered before tiling.

Seventh Day:

Hubs came early to the site/house while I run errands with mom. I came after lunch and did some odd jobs, like helping hubs finish the flooring. Our granite countertop got installed today. Yahoo!

Eighth Day:

Happy Fourth of July. Hubs and I did some appliances shopping today and we got what we believed is the best deal we could for four types of appliances. We did a little bit of stuff around the house too.

Ninth Day:

Today is Sunday and taking it easy was the call of the day. We came to the house late. I drove mom to her errand then she went with me to the house. Hubs was already there. Mom watered her beloved plants. Then hubs and I tried to finish installing laminate floor on our master's bedroom walk-in closet.

At 7 pm, we caught TRANSFORMERS. What a looong movie that is. The fight scene at the beginning was laboriously long. It could have been better if some of those scenes were edited. Overall, I found the movie much better than the original, funnier too.

Now I am back to work and will only do some work after office hours. I also need to pick out the tiles for the entry way. I initially wanted some granite tiles (I still may get them), but now I have changed my mind.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

06/30/09

Third Day:

Today it was shopping day. First went to Best Buy to check out their combination appliances sale (refrigerator, range/stove, dishwasher, and over the range microwave). The price was good, but we didn't buy. Not yet. Then we went to check stuff at Home Depot in El Cerrito. As we were driving out of the lot, I noticed the guy who crossed the street looked like someone I knew. Then a few yards away I told my husband to pull over because I think I knew the guy. So I stuck my head out the window and yelled his name. It was Clay. My former co-worker, the one who trained me. We chitchatted a bit, exchanged pleasantries, and then it was time to move on. We went to Emeryville to check out the appliance store, but the store was closed on Mondays. So from there we took a different road towards the freeway. But before we could reach the freeway entrance (actually we didn't find the freeway entrance) we spotted a store/warehouse called Granite Expo. We stopped and managed to buy two granite top vanity for two bathrooms. And the granite top for ur island, including the cabinet for the island.

Then we stopped at Home Depot on the way back and picked up some more items. We did a little more painting.

Fourth Day:

Hubs went to pick up the bigger vanity and also to visit the appliances store that was closed yesterday. I on the other hand went to Home Depot to pick up another gallon of the paint that we were using for the bedrooms. Mother and I just arrived at the house when Brother 2 and SIL 2 came to help paint. SIL was bringing a huge picnic basket complete with lunch of Pinakbet, rice, and snails. Yummy. I didn't eat, but brother and SIL and mom did. I just finished my skillet brunch and was still very full. After lunch, Brother 4 and SIL 4 stopped by for a short visit.

Hubs arrived with some help. So today we did the following:
* paint bedrooms and hallway
*sand cabinets
*remove carpets downstairs

Sunday, June 28, 2009

06/28/09

Second Day:

Second day of "renovation" and also of the scorching heat. I was wiped out last night, mostly due to the heat. Woke up feeling blah. I reckoned it was over 80 degrees when I woke up. Hubs went to church by himself and I stayed home. I did laundry, watched Confederation Cup with hubs. Took mom to run her errands. Then it was time to hie off to Home Depot to get the materials for our flooring project. So we got:

*30 boxes of laminate flooring
*12 cases of ceramic tiles
*and everything that needed to lay the floor and the tiles.

It was late when we got out of Home Depot. Brother's pick up was filled with our merchandise. It was unloading I hated to do, but I had to help hubs unload everything.

Nothing done today, just shopping. After the heat yesterday it was best we didn't work today. Heat continues tomorrow according to the weatherman, but hopefully it would stay in the 80s.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

6/27/09

First Day:

It is the first day of vacation, sort of. I requested for a week-long vacation next week so we could do some work on the house. I am counting the weekends as part of my vacation, er work week. I thought I would do a record of what's been done so far.

A few nights ago after work we have completed painting the living room (early morning sun). It only needs a few touch ups. It looked nice in daylight.

Today, we had to help with church's yard sale. The sale was held in the church's parking lot. We signed up for the 10-2 shift where we would pack up the unsold items to be hauled to Thrift Town and/or Salvation Army.

It was a hot day today. The temps reached in the 90s. Really hot and dry. And I was under the burning sun packing up stuff in the box where other church members haul it in their pick-ups to bring to said used item store/s.

We got back from church about 3:30, way off schedule. But we managed to do the following work at home:

*paint the hallway wall (crisp autumn)
*paint the kitchen walls (cant remember our color scheme)
*paint the family room walls (two colors)
*dust the bedroom walls for painting (I didn't realized that we didn't buy the paint for the bedroom yet)

Tomorrow is another day. Right now, I am dead tired. After we left the house, we stopped by La Morena for some Mexican/El Salvadoran food. Mother has some burito while hubs and I had the plato or dinner plate of Milanese. I thought I'd put my feet up after showering (hubs is showering right now), because my entire body is aching. Thankfully, my ankle did not ache like it did a few nights ago when we were painting the living room. But it still looked a little swollen. I may have to see a doctor after all. Not too much pain but there is discomfort and pain when I bend it.

Let me play some online games to relax. The temps at 10:24 pm right now is still registering at 81 (outdoors) and 86 indoors. Tomorrow will be more of the same.

Friday, June 26, 2009

6/26/09

For the first time since I hurt my ankle (6/14/09) I have climbed the stairs without favoring the ankle and without pain. Yay!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

06/18/09

I heard a good advice today that's worth repeating so I'm blogging about it.

My co-worker just had a baby nearly two weeks ago. She brought her baby for show and tell at work today. This is her second. She had her first early, in her late teens or early tweenties. This second one comes in her mid thirties, so the first-born is already grown.

Another co-worker who has baby fever (wouldn't let the baby off her arms) gave this great advice to co-worker #1's first born. She said:

"Your momma is not done being a mother (gesturing to the baby in her hands). Do not make her a grandmother yet."

I thought that was pretty cool of her to remind the teenager that.

That's all. The end.

Monday, June 15, 2009

06/15/09

So, the camping trip was over. Finally, I have one less thing to stress about. Seriously, the camping trip was stressing me. As I have written earlier, I was worried about not knowing enough people to enjoy the trip and the fact that showering was not an option.

This was how the trip went. My brother thankfully and unexpectedly loaned us voluntarily (yah!) his pick up truck to haul all the stuff for a two-night camping trip. We met the people at hubs work. His former boss was outside seeing people off and he said hi to me. I was kinda expecting him to be a part of this trip. I guess the organizers, my husband was one of two, didn't want any from the management socializing with them.

It was around 4 pm when everyone who was going arrived at the meeting spot. We left immediately. But it was a Friday and this is the Bay Area where traffic can be a real headache. We hit every imaginable traffic we can find. We got so busy chatting that we missed our Vacaville exit to Hwy 505 en route to Interstate 5. We were already in Sacramento, after getting terribly delayed by traffic in the Davis-Sac area, when we realized our mistake. That made us extremely late that people kept calling where we were. Anyway, it was nearing 9 pm when we finally arrived at Gilman Road which is the entry to the campground. And the surprise is a bear sighting, hah! A baby bear was crossing the road as we took the curvy Gilman Road.

It was already dark and pitching a tent in pitch black was a real challenge especially for newbies like me and our next tent neighbors, even though my husband showed me how to put up the tent in the garage a few days before the trip. The lantern was insufficient, but we managed to put up both tents before the sky opened up. Yes, it rained. It poured like I've never seen nor experienced in five, heck even ten, years. Luckily, my husband has called for someone to put in the charcoal and make it ready for when he arrived. We cooked burgers and hotdogs in the rain, ate them standing in the rain and actually did not mind getting wet.

After dinner, there really was nothing to do. The rain was not letting up, it was actually getting stronger as the night gets late. It was time to hit the sack, for sure. But there was something wrong with DD's tent. Water was coming in. I was just glad our tent was holding up to the downpour. Husband was called to fix the leak and he did as much as he could. I stayed inside the tent and peeled off my clothes. I didn't realized how soaked they were. I was afraid I would catch a cold because I was soaking wet, I did in the past. But not this time. Not yet at least.

The guys and a few gals didn't let a heavy downpour put a damper on their camping spirit and plans, especially when N arrived at midnight. I did however managed to strong arm husband to change his drenched clothing for dry ones before heading out of the tent again, despite the fact that these would soon be as wet as the ones he just discarded because the sound of falling rain in my tent is not going any faint but stronger every time.

I was going in and out of sleep all night. I heard loud music, there was some hip hop playing. DD heard reggae. I must have dozed off when that song came. Then I heard N yell my name. Then he said call your husband. It was 4 am. They were drinking all night, and N and some guys are going down to the lake (Lake Shasta) to fish. 4 am!!!! And apparently my dear spouse had more than he could handle in the liquor department. He stumbled onto our tent. He was too drunk to unzip the tent, so I did. He puked the minute he got into the tent. He had the sense to do it outside our tent, thankfully. When he got in I asked, "You had enough?". I must have uttered it loudly as DD and Dada teased us about it at breakfast the next day.

I didn't notice that hubs was hung over at breakfast. He did his chores, i.e. cooking, with his usual cheerful demeanor. But when the breakfast table was cleared and the trash was taken out, he showed he was in no condition to do anything. He didn't have breakfast at all. I've never had a hang over before. I never drank more than one beer before the trip, so this hang over thing is as foreign to me as PMS is to him.

People started to make plans for the day. Most of them decided to drive to visit the sight, The Shasta Caverns, which is the closest. We were asked if we wanted to go. Husband declined and I was asked by DD since hubs needed to sleep the hangover off. I decided to stay in the campground. Half of the people stayed behind. They went down to the lake to fish, swim, or just enjoy the water. I stayed behind and took photos. And enjoyed the quietness of nature. I found a fallen log, most likely from the looks it was a pine tree, sat on it and closed my eyes. The weather was perfect. With my eyes closed I could hear the birds singing, the crows were doing a flyover above me. They were too close I could hear the flapping sound of their wings. There were four or five of them. Must be some courting going on. I don't know. The sun was barely hitting me, there was a soft breeze. I could hear the whirring of motor boats, kids yelling and laughing, people chatting and then more quiet. It was glorious.

Then here comes hubby. He found me. I thought he would sleep some more. Of course I was pissed. He was stupid. But he doesn't really drink. The last time he got drunk like this was with these same people some three or four years ago. So, I let him drink with them. But I told him, the rules include I have to do one stupid thing to his one stupid thing. He asked what it was I was considering stupid to do. I said shopping. He always thought that was a useless activity. I agree most days. But when I'm pissed and unreasonable, I could buy that expensive shoes that I wanted that I couldn't bring myself to buy when I have my senses regained.

To pacify me and to make up for his stupidity, he asked if I wanted to drive to the bridge. I said yeah, I've always wanted to see the sights around here. The landscape is really gorgeous. I brought the DSLR for this too.

We were heading out when N saw us and asked where we were going. He said that would be a bad idea after learning where we were going. He said the roads were winding and from the looks of hubs, he'd be puking all the way to the bridge. We dismissed N's concern and drove out. We did stumble upon a park only 5 minutes away and so we stopped. We saw the way down the lake was more manageable. On our campground the path to the lake was truly steep and tricky. Since I didn't have enough traction in my shoes, I always manage to bring the wrong type of shoes wherever I go, this was a good place to take a dip. We brought some change of clothes because we thought a dip would refreshed my hubs and would make him feel better.

But the soil was loose and there were rocks on the way down that I slipped on one and twisted my ankle. It hurt so bad I was wincing. I didn't want to go back because the call of the water was so strong, plus I thought soaking it in water would do the ankle good. The sight was glorious and the water was heavenly. The pain in my ankle did not bother me while I was taking a dip.

We returned in the campground and husband started preparing the ribs. The other group was cooking food already. Soon after that the rest of the people who went to see the caverns have arrived ravenous. We had sandwich fixings and chips and a ton of fruits for that.

The second night was fun. I was the one drinking. The girls were drinking. They brought Heinekin. I had two and didn't get a buzz. Ordinarily I get my buzz at 1/2 a bottle. Then the girls were passing out Hennessy shots around the campfire. One guy gushed it was the biggest Hennessy he has seen and asked if it was from Costco. Chatting over the fire was fun. Some one powered the ipod with car batteries and we had music. Nothing I could recognize, but just noise was good. Hubs didn't touch any alcohol, although I did ask him to sip my beer. He did. And I was limping like crazy and my ankle was hurting so bad. It was swollen.

It was a difficult night for me. I couldn't get enough sleep. I could hear some twig snap and I would think a bear was out there. I would freak at something that was dropping on the tent. I could hear three or four different snoring. I was surprised when I finally got to sleep.

We had breakfasted quite fast and cleaned out the campground and was out of there by 11 am. We decided to meet up with DD at the gurdwara a few minutes from the campground, but we didn't find the place. We later on found that the exit given us was wrong. Since we couldn't find the place we just decided to head home. It was a long, hot drive home. I was tired as was husband, but it was a fun trip overall.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

6/10/09

Oh things have been hectic around here. I can't remember the last time I went to bed early. I feel really tired today. Everyday really, but today particularly. And there is no end to this hectic days yet. Despite all my moanings and groanings, I am thankful for all the chaos in my head and life right now. They're the good kind of chaos. :)

Anyway, I have been meaning to write , but I guess my brain is fried from fatigue and lack of sleep. I really can't think straight right now, but I thought I'd write anyway. I'll use my favorite technique in jotting down my thoughts, I'd do the bullet style :)

* Another baby was left inside a car and found dead. This time it's a four-month old baby that was strapped in the father's car's backseat. The car was in the BART parking lot all day. The father took the train to work and forgot to drop off the baby to the sitter. The mother rushed to the parking lot when she found out that the baby did not show up in the sitter. By then, it was 5 pm and the baby was pronounced dead in a hospital ER. This is really a sad news. I feel for the parents. This is the kind of mistake that shatter and turn one's life upside down. It is human nature to point fingers at who was at fault and I'm afraid that the parents will do that to each other and instead of facing this trial together with a united front, they will be divided in their grief. And that's not all, the father could also be charged with negligence. As of the moment, no charge has been issued. I really really felt my heart sank when I heard this on the news.


* I have long since stopped hoping for a mail whenever I go and open our mailbox. For years now since the advent of email, only junk mail comes to me. So yesterday when I saw the familiary "airmail" blue and red striped envelope I got excited. It was a personal mail all right (they still exist, yay), but the mail wasn't addressed to me. It was addressed to my niece, or at least I am thinking it is. Why am I blogging about this? It's just a mail you say, but let me tell you some more info. The name is that of my niece, but the spelling of her name is incorrect (it may not be her). The address on the mail is for Fernandez Ave. Then scribbled on the lower left hand corner of the envelope is our Street name, which looks like written there by a USPS employee. My niece stayed on this address a few months some 17 years ago. Since then she has moved three or four times and in different cities. She has never received any mail in this address since I moved here 16 years ago, not a one. So after 17 years, why a letter comes to her here. Why would the mailman put our address and cross out the address that the sender wrote? My guess is that since there are at least four Filipinos working in our town's PO, they thought the last names are similar so they delivered it to our address. Why not just send it back to the sender? I emailed my niece to tell her about her mail :) Anyway, I just got curious who would be sending her a letter, that's all, just my curiosity.


* I am going camping with people I don't know; I know at least three including my husband. With all the craziness around here since June first, going away camping is the last thing I wanted to do. But the trip was scheduled long before all the craziness happened and so we cannot cancel. My worries abound. I am not a sociable person; my husband is Mr. Congeniality. I should be at least gracious, if not friendly to everyone. I don't know friendly. I don't do friendly. At least I think I don't do friendly. And most of all I don't sleep on the ground, on a hard surface unless its a papag. I tried sleeping on the ground before when my bones didn't creak and I could go 0 to 60 from a supine position to a standing position. But my girl scouting days were long gone. I want to go camping, yes, but I don't want to rough it up. I'm too old for this. What's going to be interesting is that one of the three people that I know will have the same attitude as me. However, I do promise to support my husband. He did point out to me that I signed up for this, for better or worse, when I married him. He is an outdoorsman and being cooped up with the routine of 9 to 5 work week and weekends of chores can make him grumpy without the occasional outings like this. Now that I have grumbled about this in writing, I will transform myself to an outdoorswoman and my attitude will do a 180. I'll let you know all about it next time. After all, the scenery I was told was worth all the trouble. Let me bring extra extra batteries then. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

6/04/09

I have to focus on writing. On posting here. Unlike my three other blogs, which are mostly photo blogs, I have to sit down and really think what I wanted to share. Weed out what's boring and leave the interesting pieces for publication. Although, I have no target audience and I am writing for myself. For my documentation. For my release. I guess updating is what's next here, as I post about once a week. Let me see what's been going on:

  • We've finally got all documents signed, been sealed, delivered, approved. And the American dream is ours. Now the process of knocking down walls, tearing out the carpet, demolishing some cabinetry and making this our dream home has begun. Therefore, if you want to see me nowadays, I'm gonna be somewhere in Home Depot checking paint samples, feeling carpet fibers, settling on the type and design of tiles, etc. It is a huge process, not to mention the dent it will leave on our finances. Oh my goodness. The things is when our realtor/friend told us that the house was ours, we both did not react like lunatics. We took it nonchalantly. We both smiled and thank God and some time later as I was washing the dishes I mentioned how we didnt jump for joy upon learning the good news. The good news that had eluded us for one year. Yes, we were househunting for a year. We got a lot of stories to tell, but not right now. Right now all my energies are geared towards making sure our budget gets all the things we wanted done. Prioritize what needs to be done asap and fix as the time goes along. A big sigh of relief and a humble thanks to the Lord above for making all this happen.

  • In connection with this purchase, my husband's friends are one by one looking at the house. They want him to buy first and then they would follow, sort of a guide for them to maneuver this tricky real estate market. Everyone is united in saying we did good, despite the age of the house and the cosmetic repairs it obviously needs.
  • To add to this major happening in our life, my husband is keen on getting some R&R in the middle of this renovation by pushing through with the camping trip next weekend. This weekend we will devote to weeding and making the garden, backyard, and frontyard, a bit presentable. I am having second thoughts about the camping.

  • We went cherry picking with pals last weekend. To Brentwood we went where it was the right time to pick the fruits. We first stopped at a roadside orchard and picked cherries (I brought some for coworkers), then drove a bit further inland to another orchard that has different fruits like apricots, peaches, pluots (hybrid of plum and apricot), plums, blackberry (although it's too early for them). We got full! It was a sunny and breezy day, perfect to be outdoors. There were plenty of people in the orchards. In the early days I remember that there were more orchards around. This part of California used to be all agricultural land, with miles and miles of orchards. Then the real estate boom hits and they converted a lot of these lands to housing. But I'm glad that there are still some left for people in the cities to go and enjoy a day of fruit picking.

  • The weather has been cloudy and foggy, some areas had rain, actual rain in June, which is really nice. Not where I live though, although my windshield was damp when I drove out on some days. I could use some more rainy days even if it's summer time and it will pester a lot of people. Hey, we need rain around here. If we don't, more wildfires are expected.

I think that's all I have for now. I will really try to make this a more than a weekly habit.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

5/28/09

I feel a whole lot better, psychologically, after talking to a co-worker. Physically, I feel yucky. So why does my psych side feel better? It's because I found some sympathetic ears to listen to my "pains". Apparently, there are quite a few of us here at work that suffer from allergies really bad. I thought I was the only one. I shared my aches, she shared hers. And guess what? We have the same symptoms. It does feel great to find "support" where one does not expect.

Anyway, for the past three days I have been enjoying Live with Regis and Kelly's AI guests, one after the other. Today, they had Danny Gokey and surprisingly, he was very charming. Well, he charmed me. I have abandoned my support for him midway thru the comptetion because somehow he rubbed me the wrong way after my initial liking to his earlier performances. Anyway, he was a darling today. So were Kris on Tuesday and Adam yesterday.

What else is there to share? Oh yeah we had a glorious Memorial Day weekend. Let me see if I can remember what we did and make a day to day reporting.

Saturday: Finally got a chance to see Wolverine. I know, it's been playing for over a month and we just didn't have time to see it until today. I thought the theatre would be empty but it wasn't. Apparently there are people like us who don't rush to see the movies when they first get out. The movie itself was okay, so-so, nothing to write home about. The thing with prequels is that I want to see more, but of course more is already been shown, this after all is a prequel. That part I have to get used to. I want to see my movies/stories played out chronologically, :)

When the movie was over and hubs was driving home, we didn't have plans, he had a spur of the moment thought. The theatre was a few yards away from Ground Round, a restaurant and he wanted to have some "happy hour" drinks and appetizers. I was "lets go then" with this idea. And he turned the car around and we sat down to chow down on a monstrous nachos platter (1/2 price during happy hour, thank you), and sipping our 1/2 price margaritas, oh so yummy.
With all that food, we knew no dinner for us that day.

Our we had no plans but movies day took another wonderful turn after the happy hour chow. We decided to drive another 10 miles to kill time at Ikea. This is a "research" outing, we told ourselves. We are after all going to be fixing some rooms in the house and we needed to scout out prices, designs, color schemes, etc, etc, etc.

Every trip to Ikea (because of their rarity I think) is well anticipated. I feel tingling. I like touching, feeling, enjoying, imagining myself in those showrooms. Except that some of the sofas are way too much for our budget. And since we've been watching a lot of DIY and HG TV lately, it was a hoot to see the same curtains and chairs and other home items that those two tv network's renovation shows use. They go to Ikea, just like everyone. Needless to say, those were great 2 hours or so of browsing. I love Ikea!!!!


Sunday: Went to church and everyone was greeting us happy anniversary. I was dumbfounded at first how could they know until I got the church bulletin and it's right there. Our anniversary in black for everyone to read. I just smiled and we got loads of hugs and greetings.

We promised to take Mom to this "new" Chinese (Hongkong-ese) restaurant in the next city. New to us since this was our first time to eat there. The restaurant was located in a nondescript strip mall that would easily be missed if one isn't really looking for it. But the food was cheap, tasty, and portions were generous. Also one of the dishes could have passed for a Filipino dish. I will try to copy that dish. I already have the ingredients in the house. Wish me luck.

Oh I did not mention that Sunday was cloudy, cold, grey, and felt like it was Thanksgiving holiday instead of Memorial Day holiday? Well, it was cold. One of the coldest Memorial Day weekend I can remember. And after a full stomach, we have nothing penciled in for the rest of the afternoon/day so what did we do? Snooze, naptime. I haven't napped in a long time. I think I went to sleep ahead of husband, but I remember waking up around 7 pm, about 5 hours of nap time. That's no longer considered a nap, does it? Anyway, we did watch a little bit of tv in bed until it was time to get up and fix dinner. Oh this Sunday was food and sleep and church. Good combination don't you think?

Monday: Happy Memorial Day! It was also our 2nd wedding anniversary. We planned on eating out and maybe take in a little walk or sightsee around the city, be a tourist in our own backyard. So we drove out to the city and found ourselves scouting places first, like where is Canto do Brasil, a Brazilian restaurant that we have been wanting to eat forever. And driving over to Chinatown/North Beach neighborhood for the much ballyhoed The House restaurant. Up until that last minute, we were conflicted and unsure which of the two we were going to have dinner at. Nope we did not make any reservations. We thought it was a Monday, a holiday so people would not really be eating out at this day and we could easily get seated, we thought.

Once we found where those two were located we decided to visit Mission Dolores, one of the 21 Missions all over Calfornia. A few years ago, I embarked on a mission to see all the Missions. I got to see 5, but we never got around to see the one in San Francisco, the closest in distance. We tried before, but we got lost, never really went to see mapquest, just drove around town and we never got to see it. So on this day, we not only found it, we even went inside and paid our 5 dollar do it yourself tour. Another mission checked off the list. I will be posting a series on this in my photo blog. Needless to say, I love the tour. What's not to love?

After the Mission (tour) was accomplished, we drove off to the waterfront, near the hilly area going to Fort Mason. Luck was on our side as we easily found a parking spot by the water. We walked up the hill and stopping every few feet to snap a picture from every angle, shooting photos of Frisco's waterfront, the boats, the Rock, the fishermen, the beautiful blue sky, etc. May I just tell up front that before arriving in the waterfront I was already famished? I didn't think I could wait for dinner, but we were bent on getting some exercise by walking up the hill. When we finished snapping up the hill, we came down and walked the length of the pier where fishermen were aplenty. Tourists from Vienna remarked the weather was very nice, since it was very cold in Vienna when they left. Again, photos will be posted on my photoblog.

Finally it was time to eat. It was past 5 pm. I know, we dine like early birds. But my rule is when eating out it's best to eat early because one tends to overeat when going out and a heavy stomach is a hassle when one needs to sleep.

We found our way back to Canto do Brasil, but it was CLOSED! The website did not specify that it was going to be closed on this Monday. It said on its site that it's open Mondays. Then hubs remembered seeing Espetus a couple of blocks away, another Brazilian restaurant (I yelped about my experience). It was a buffet restaurant we found out. After a slight hesitation we did go in and eat. I have a difficult time making restaurant reviews, but this I will say about the restaurant (google it and youll know more). The servers are wonderful, polite, and friendly. The atmosphere both catered to intimate dining and group dining. The noise level was minimal. The white table cloth set up feels pricey (it is!). And for the food. There is a salad station at the back where they served more than 10 ( I did not count because I did not sample them all) different salad dishes, soups, rice dishes and some more that I did not investigate. Once you get your food, they will deliver an appetizer dish on your table. The one by one men in with speared meat (14 varieties in all) come to your table and slice off a piece of that roasted meat to your plate. If you want you can make them not come to your table by flipping the red thingy on your table. If you want to have more meat switch the tab to green and meat will be coming to the table again. The meats (lamb, beef, chicken, pork) in various varieties are a carnivorous delight. I didn't really get all the names, but the filet was juicy; the grilled prawns was sweet and delicious, the lamb was outstanding. I did not try the chicken hearts. A little piece of advice, come here starving. I was starving but I got full too quickly. I think my stomach has shrunk, thank you very much. But everything was wonderful. For the price, well you know what they say, you get what you pay for, well, it was $50 p/p. We had a tab of $120 + because we tried the Brazilian beer, which was dark and sweet and yummy. I hope that brand is available in BevMo.

So with stomach full of glorious meats, and my brain still playing the beautiful landscape that is the San Francisco waterfront, we drove home to put an end to this glorious Memorial Day, our second wedding anniversary.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

05/21/09

Finally, the end has come. A new Idol was crowned. And the 2-hour extravaganza known as the Idol Finale results show featured both wow and boo moments.

WOW: Adam Lambert and Kiss. I totally agree with people who write for a living regarding Adam trying to bring back the metal rock. I am not a metal rock fan nor was I in the know during the Kiss reign of musicdom, but the performance last night was fantastic.

BOO: No solo for Anoop Desai. Not even a duet with some personality. Singing with another female Idol top 13 contestant (sorry cant remember her name) and Jason Mraz does not count. Also wanting a solo from Matt Giraud.

BOO: Idol special awards. Did not want to see that again. Ever. Did not want see bikini girl again. But that thing with Kara singing and disrobing (okay just a peek) was both a surprise and a hoot. Love the bravado of that girl Kara.

WOW: Really enjoyed the bluegrass of Megan and whats-his-name being accompanied by banjo playing Steve Martin who also penned the song. Maybe Megan should do blue grass.

WOW: Season 7 Idol David Cook singing. Love that boy. Enough said.

BOO: The group songs. Usually this is my fave part, not this year. And that includes the girls with Fergie.

WOW: Cyndi Lauper and Allison Iraheta. If you saw the show you know why. If you didn't go find it on You Tube it's bound to be there.

BOO: Mainly becasue I wanted to see him with last year's winner on last year's results show, Lionel Richie and Gokey.

WOW: Queen with the top 2. How very cool is that?????Totally outrageous!!!!!

Now to the results. I knew who won before the show even started to be shown here in the West Coast. That's what you get when they delay the showing here, all over the cyberspace the winner is announced. While I may have felt a tinge of disappointment, my husband was sure that Kris Allen was going to win. He gave me some reasons as to why he reached that conclusion. I just wasn't listening. Nor was I interested in hearing it. I guess I thought everyone was like me embracing the uniqueness of Adams' personality and enjoying his extensive range and talent. Oh well, Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson have shown that it doesn't take an Idol trophy to make it big time. I'm sure that Adam is going to fly high in his career. Can't wait to hear his first single.

And btw, that winning song, No Boundaries, sucks big time.

Before I end this post, I would like to list down my three favorite performances during the finale since the time I started watching AI, which was on Season 4 (Carrie-Bo season).


  • Bo with Lynyrd Skynyrd doing the South's anthem, Sweet Home Alabama.

  • David Cook with ZZ Top doing Sharp Dressed Man.

  • Adam Lambert with Kiss last night, amazing!

P.S. Thank God for Blogger saving my post. I accidentally exited the screen without saving and I was freaking out, but thankfully Blogger is autosaving the posts. Thanks Blogger!