Friday, February 26, 2010

I Just Have To Share This

Because I have no access to FB at work:

On the way to work this am, a block away from the parking lot, I saw a man in his mid to late 20s jogging on the sidewalk ...... with a goat!!!!!

This is Oakland, California!!!! You don't get to see that every day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Let's Hear It From The Boys

I have very little time to write right now so let me get straight to the point.

FAVORITE PERFORMANCE: Casey James. He didn't disappoint. He is my favorite coming out of the Hollywood round. A bonus for me is that I totally love that song he sang.

DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE NIGHT: The entire show was a disappointment. The boys didn't deliver.

I have to say that Ellen is so spot on with her critiques/remarks/comments. She really belongs in that table.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Girls Night

This season of American Idol I aspire to write a post after every performance. I aim to list my favorite performance and the one that disappointed me. Disappointed me, not the weakest performance according to me, because after all who am I to judge a singing contest when I myself am tone deaf.

So I begin with tonight's show where the girls took to the stage and show America for the first time this season what they are about and what the public can look forward to in the coming shows.

Thankful for DVR, I managed to devote my full attention to AI without peeking at LOST (shocking!), but only because of DVR (grin).

The entire show (2 hours) was a bit boring for me. And I tuned in for the entire two hours, talk about devotion, shame on me!

So here is my thoughts of this show:

FAVORITE PERFOMANCE: Siobhan Magnus who did a Chris Isaac song. I liked everything about the performance from the song choice to her interpretation. Heck I even thought that flower on her hair was a nice touch.

DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE NIGHT: Lacey Brown. What can I say, coming out of Hollywood round I thought she was the most exciting after hearing her sing What A Wonderful World. But tonight's performance - what is it that she sang again? - was not up to standards I thought. I hope she survives to sing another day, but if I were voting, I wouldn't vote for that performance.

OLYMPIC WOWS

Tonight also is the night the ladies figure skaters perform their short program. I only caught three performances - the one from USA (sorry forgot her name, but Japanese sounding), Mao Asada's of Japan and Yu-na Kim of South Korea. Yu-na is ahead of Mao with some 4 points. Unless Yu-ma makes major mistakes and not land any of her jumps in the long program, I thin it would be difficult to catch her. This is the Olympic games after all and golds are won and lost by less than a point, so 4 points is huge. But I can't wait to watch the long program.

So far, still my favorite figure skating event in the Olympics is at the 1998 Nagano Olympics where Tara Lipinski came from behind and scored an upset over heavily favored Michelle Kwan. Boy that was some dramatic outcome.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Weekend Gone By

It's Monday again and the oh-so-short weekend passed by quickly like always. Why does it go by so fast anyway? Sometimes, it doesn't even make waiting for it for five days worth it.

I've been meaning to blog this weekend, but aside from about 15 minutes where I posted this, I had no time with the computer at all. I loved to participate in some memes that run on weekends, but I simply cannot fulfill my bloghopping duties on this meme, so sadly I had to pass.

And speaking of time zooming by, this is the last week of February. Already!!!!
So what have I done this weekend aside from the house needing cleaning, the meals needing cooking, the dishes needed washing, the laundry needing ironing?

We went to dinner with an elderly couple that have treated my husband as their "good son" and me as their good son's wife. My husband has felt "responsibility" towards them too and I feel the need to go and visit them occasionally to see how they are doing, especially after a challenging last two years where both of them had some medical setbacks. Plus whenever they introduce us to their friends, we always get wide eyes and uneasy expression; after all my husband looks Indian (he's from Bangladesh) and I look Asian (from the Philippines) and the couple are both Caucasians.

The place we chose for dinner was a local restaurant serving Italian cuisine. It's been in the neighborhood, in a strip mall next to a fabric store and across from a dollar store, which made it a suspect to begin with. But Yelpers have voiced their approval and their dismay that its unfortunate location may have given many eaters second thoughts about going.

However, I have been wanting to go for ages and since husband and I are keeping a close watch on our pocketbook, we don't just eat out without plan and without budgeting it first. Luckily, this time around we had a reason to go. We promised the couple, our American parents, a dinner and this was the timing we have been waiting.

The dinner went really well. The portions were huge so we could all share. They were delicious too. Needless to say we were all stuffed and couldn't lift our butts off the chairs when dinner was over.

Serendipitously, this week was their wedding anniversary (they never celebrate, although this year marks #49), and the husband/dad is having his 75th this week too. So it became a celebratory dinner without meaning it to.

That's how the weekend went, a dinner, church, and housework. So how's your weekend?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Should He or Shouldn't He?

To start, let me say I have not seen the video of Tiger Woods’ apology. I have heard snippets of it on the radio. Worry not; I have all the intentions of checking it out later tonight.

But I question the decision to come out and make a public mea culpa. Should he have asked for apology to the public? Which public did his “actions” hurt? Which part of the public did he intend the apology towards?

What was he sorry for? If it was unfaithfulness towards his wife – shouldn’t he have conducted this apology in private with the one he hurt? I am sure that he had come down on his knees before his wife. So why the need to do it publicly?

Is this action part of his eventual return to golfing? Does he want to clear his path so he could go back to being what he used to be in people’s eyes?

I get the need for elected public officials who have been caught with their pants down to make a public apology. Sure Tiger is a public figure, but not in the same category as those people the public elected. Hence, I don’t get this apology.

What do you think, should he or shouldn’t he? Or do you care at all?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Blog For No Reason

I just wanted to acknowledge my husband's thoughtfulness last night. You see we separately went to church directly from our respective jobs. The Ash Wednesday service lasted one hour, prior to the service the priest asked me if I could clean up (the altar) after the Service because the one in-charge had attended the morning Service instead. And so I said, "Of course".

It was about half past eight when we got home and started to fix dinner. Sometime during the dinner husband asked if there was any American Idol on tv? I lost track of the days despite knowing it was Ash Wednesday. If it wasn't for his reminder I would have totally missed the show where they announced the rest of the top 24.

Now the excitement is on. I'm quite ready to see what's the short, spiky-haired girl is going to sing. I don't have any favorites yet, too early. Plus, I don't remember them and what they sang.
So I see a lot of channel surfing next week, particularly on Tuesday. I am hoping that AI and Lost would not overlap in timeslot.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Today is Ash Wednesday

And I still haven't boxed up all my Christmas decors yet. Whatever happened to the time between Christmas and Lent? Where did it go?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Post-Valentine post

I began my three-day weekend by waking up earlier than usual on a Saturday. The cause? I had Altar Guild responsibilities that Saturday. I wasn't in the schedule, but all new members, three of us, had to meet with the head of the group to learn how to dress the altar for a baptism. Fortunately, we had one that Sunday. It took us about 2 hours (1 hour is the normal prep time for regular Sunday) to polish, wash, and prep the altar.

By the time I got home, I joined my husband for a cereal breakfast (twas past 12 noon). Then it was my weekly duty to drive mom to her weekly errands. When all have been checked on her list, it was time to run my errands.

Foremost in our list was to get another bird. My female parakeet named Scully died on Friday. We arrived to find her lifeless body in the bottom of their cage. It was most distressing to come home and find your pet dead and you don't know why. And especially if it's original mate Mulder also dropped dead a few months ago. Also, without warning. And after the new Mulder - yes we named the replacement Mulder as well - and she are getting alone quite nicely too. But we made that the last thing on our to-do list because we we coudn't get a bird and take her along for the ride while we run all our errands now, can we?

Since it's springlike here, we thought that now is the time to buy a flowering tree for the front yard, one that would give minimal shade and have showy flowers. We were thinking of Albizia (or silk tree) and jacaranda and also acacia. The past weekends we have been driving around town looking for such trees, and we couldn't find then.

We went to this Berkeley nursery that we knew carried a lot of inventory, but also closed early. We went there first and found that all of our choices are in their inventory. We brought the small car so we couldn't take the tree just yet. Also, hubs and I were having second thoughts as to which one we really need to take home. We only have room for one tree. A wonderful dilemma isn't it. So we drove off without any tree in our trunk or overhead, but we knew where to get it next time.

We went to get another bird at Pet Smart. We tried to go to this local guy who has a BIRDS FOR SALE sign outside his house, but his parakeets are still very young and he's not willing to part with them. In a month or two, I think we can add to our brood courtesy of this guy.

We named our new female parakeet LOVE because, well, it's Valentine's right? And as expected Mulder and Love weren't exactly having a lovey dovey time, yet.

Sunday didn't turn out as planned. Tentatively, I planned to take my mother out after church. But we woke up late that we had to skip church. And mother wasn't in the mood to go out. The sky was blue and the sun was out. The weeds in our garden were growing profusely, so it was a no brainer what to do that Sunday. We worked the garden, pulling weeds, and pulling some more weeds. Despite spending about 4 hours in the garden, there is so much more to do, so much more weeds to pull.

It is Valentine's Day after all and that fact wasn't forgotten so after a quick trip to Home Depot and bumping into one of our friends who informed us that she's about to lose her house (so sad, another face to the thousands who lost their homes to foreclosure), we decided to treat ourselves and get a Subway sandwich and a bottle of vino. Yes, we have plenty of wine in the house, but husband said we don't have any that's for everyday use.

So for dinner we had Subway sandwich and a glass of wine while watching some romantic movie on tv. That's how married couples celebrate the day (or just us since we are penny pinchers).

On Monday, President's Day here in America and a federal holiday, we set our sights on a relaxing day. And relaxing for us means drive around town. Our target destination is Sonoma County where we wanted to go and do some tasting at Korbel Winery, makers of champagne and brandy. This wasn't our first time, but the first time was so long ago it seems and the day was bright and sunny and a perfect one for wine tasting.

Along the way, we passed by Martinelli Winery. And on the spur of the moment decided to backtrack and do a wine tasting there too. I didn't realize that this is NOT the same company that produces apple cider. Their wines are good too, I think I liked two of them, both reds. But we didn't purchase anything because the bottles are quite above our price range at about 20-40 per.

The drive makes me relax, so does my husband and the spectacular scenery of mustard blooms covering the vineyards is something I look forward to this time each year. We arrived in Korbel just in time for the free tour to begin. On our first visit, we came in later and so the tour was over. This time, we decided to take in the free tour, which was conducted by a very knowledgeable and engaging fella who took us to the old distellery/winery and old cellar. When the tour was over we were ushered in to the tasting room. In Korbel tasting is free. In other wineries, you have to pay between 5 to 15 dollars per tasting session. In Korbel it's free, or did I just mention that.

I made the mistake of tasting with my stomach empty and I felt the kick of champagne after the first drink. We tasted about 5 different kinds and thankfully there was some chocolate covered butter cookies out and I had about 5 of them to go with my champagnes.

It's not a must to buy something after wine tasting, especially if you didn't like any of the wines you sampled, but if the tasting is free and you liked the wine or whatever it is, then go ahead and buy. We however still have about 5 bottles of Korbel in the house, but didn't want to go empty handed so we bought a small brandy, which would be good for flavoring some of husbands dishes.

Since this is sort of a vacation for us, we took the long way home. And ended up in downtown Guerneville. Our hungry stomach led us to this hole in the wall, mom and pops whose name wasn't in the marquee. We had fish and chips and an order or nachos with jalapenos. While this is a down to earth roadside eatery, the fish was surprisingly fabulous and the fish and chips was not as greasy as the others. I was going to Yelp about this but I really don't know it's name. It is located on Main Street across from Safeway and it's popular for its ice cream and sundaes. I also had a taste of their organic brewed coffee, which was really good.

Our day didn't end there as we stopped by my friend who offered to make us chai and samosa. I couldn't take in any more food. My head was pounding and I was not feeling any better even after the meal. So we didn't stay long at friend's house.

We ended the day by skipping dinner, and watching Olympic games on tv.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Found on Facebook

It was a typical night where the tv was on and still there was a need to take a peek at Facebook. I am not addicted to it. I just like peeking every day. I rarely post status updates, but I want to see how my "friends" are doing and if by chance they have posted new pix.

When the screen came up, I saw that I have one message. I opened it and it said something like ....hi i'm your cousin we met in san francisco a few years ago, do you remember me? And of course she called me by my nickname. The one that only family uses. So of course she is family.

Curiousity overtook me as my folks raised us without any relationship with cousins. Don't ask me why, I still don't understand whenever I ask mom what's up with that. Maybe it's the way I ask the question, but one of these days I will find a good way to ask her. Mom's answers to that question have never satisfied me at all. I just didn't get it.

Here's a backgrounder. My mom is the youngest of 11 children, or was it 10. Right off the bat, it would tell you that I know squat about my genealogy. So mom was the youngest, and I am her youngest of 7 children, which means that my cousins from my mother's side were generations older than I am.

When I was about 8 or 9, we have relatives come for a visit (very few stayed longer than one day). They would come with kids my age or older. I thought these kids were my "cousins", but no it was their dad or mom that is my cousin. So there alone, there is a disconnect. Cause, seriously how could an 8-year-old treat a seldom seen cousin that's old enough to be a parent? I wouldn't know.

In my own family alone, my parent's oldest grandchild was born 2 months after I was born. So mom was a new mother to me and at the same time a first-time grandma to my nephew. I grew up with my nephew as like a buddy. We went to school together and ran with the same circle of friends. We would be joking around and he would be calling me TITA (tagalog for aunt), which I learned to live with after initial awkwardness.

Anyway to go back to the cousin who messaged me on Facebook, I vaguely remember her face. But I certainly know her name. She belongs to my favorite uncle, on my father's side, which really makes our relationship seem closer since we have the same family name prior to marriage. And the funny thing is I have not indicated on my FB account my maiden name - I go by my married name. I thought that's another way to filter those who would "accidentally" add me as friend. If you are really close to me, you would know my married name now, wouldn't you?

So what I did was go into her account, browse through her photos and see her siblings, my cousins, now much older. Of course, I have no recollection of what or how they looked years ago. I wonder if facebook did us a favor by connecting us. I just hope so. I don't know how to establish a blood relationship with my blood relations. I also hope to get to know more blood relations.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's Kate's Night on Lost

I've been checking one of my fave Lost resources for a little spoiler/background for tonight's episode when I chanced upon this poem that a reader has sent to EW's Totally Lost page. I thought it was really nice and decided to "borrow" it and share it with any Lostie out there.


INVOCATION FOR THE NEW SEASON OF LOST
A poem, by reader Tom Holland

May Lost be all you hoped for with answers swift and sound;
May the hours ripen quickly and joyfulness abound.
May Juliet not have died in vain with the pounding of her rock
Let Sawyer live free of pain and survive the coming shock.
May Jack and Kate deal with the things that frustrate us so much
And Sun and Jin share a time that allows them love's fine touch.
Provide us with more moments that shine on Daniel's mind
Oftentimes these are the clues the viewers need to find.
May Hurley break the ''curse'' that follows him around,
Let his spirit salve the cuts our Losties may have found.
Give Sayid a solid peace he so desperately desires
Shield him from the evil plans that Ben tried to inspire.
Let us know where Claire has gone and how she stayed alive
And lead her back to Aaron's life so motherhood survives.
Help us to remember Charlie's sacrifice
Let it have more meaning than simply tumbling dice.
Give us a bright future for Desmond and his Penn
If a reboot is in store, let them find their way again.
Protect our dearest friends, the lovely Bernard and Rose,
Explain the young Walt's powers before the end of shows.
Know we have a special place for Vincent in our hearts
Keep in mind our knees are weak from all the stops and starts.
Tie up the big loose ends like what happened to John Locke
Let us know what happens to the shepherd's misled flock.
Inform us on the feud that has stained the beach's soil,
Is Jacob the white light or just the loophole's foil?
Does the Man-in-Black represent all that is so evil
Or does he just protect the island from upheaval?
But all these questions pale to one from our Lost designers
Are the eyes of Richard A. really natural or guy-liner?

Monday, February 8, 2010

It's No Longer January

A monthly recap was what I promised to do at the beginning of this year.

So here's what I think of January.

For a beginning, January sucked - a lot. I got handed lemons and I don't even like lemonade so what would you suggest I do with them lemons? I got thrown curve balls, and I swung too hard and found myself at the seat of my pants. Geez!

I was afraid this would happen, you know, when I posted this over at my photo blog. Long ago I learned not to attract attention to my own blessings and "achievements" because the opposite would quickly happen. And I was right.

But enough about me and my worries for now, as my husband is wont to remind me, THY WILL BE DONE.

If I did not have a good January, who had a great month? Sandra Bullock comes to mind. Imagine winning the best actress award on both the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Hope her winning streak continues until next month (?) when the Oscar is held.

Two people who didn't have a rosy January either are Tiger Woods and John Edwards. Yap it's the infidelity factor that did them in.

In and around me, there were two deaths. Two co-workers lost family members that somber the atmosphere around here. May they rest in eternal peace and may the ones they left behind be comforted in the thought that they have finally returned to their maker and no disease could ever inflict pain on their bodies ever again.

I'm not superstitious but I know and subscribe to the law of averages. What comes up must come down, the wheel of life, the vicissitudes of life. Call it whatever name, it is what it is.

I hope February is a little bit rosy. Who would have thought that Valentine's Day, Feb 14, is not only that but also Chinese New Year as well. And for us here in America it's a three-day weekend, because the following day is a federal holiday, President's Day. That alone sounds really good isn't it, even though I'm not big on Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Beginning of the End - But What a Beginning It Was

So fellow Losties, did the two-hour season premier slaked your eight-month Lost hunger? I sure hoped so. It was one heck of a return, if I may say so. I was thrilled that it was back and that I got hit left and right with WTF moments. I'm not one of those deeply involved fans that would dissect every single scene with precision of a Gil Grissom, but I liked the sideways flashforwards that the genius team of Cuse and Lindelof and Abrams has concocted for this final season.

While I don't really care too much if the questions were answered (really I could live with unanswered questions, I am that type of person), I really wished that at the final episode on May 23, 2010, they would tie up this pretty confusing package with a big red bow before they bow out to the standing ovation of devoted fans.

What I liked from the two-hour premier:
~ Seeing Boone, Claire and Charlie again was like reconnecting with old friends on facebook
~ Being confused by the introduction of sideways flashforward
~ Smoke monster + fake John Locke + Man in Black = same person (WTF)
~ Ben being befuddled - he's not that tough looking anymore
~ Poignant moment between dying Juliet and Sawyer [although I really didn't get on board with their hook up in the first place]

While I may dismiss all the unanswered questions that avid Losties lose sleep over, I have some questions to ask too:
~ Where is Shannon?
~ Do the passengers of Oceanic 815 remember anything about the crash?
~ Why was Desmond on the plane? (A universal question in Lost Universe)
~ Where are the rest of the passengers like Ana Lucia, Michael, Walt, etc?
~ Is the sideways flash forward a reboot as many ravid Losties wanted?

And so last night I was totally completely in Lost Nirvana. My poor harrassed husband couldn't help but utter, GROW UP, when I almost jumped out of my skin in excitement at certain scenes. I also monitored what fellow Losties were saying on facebook. Yep, I totally lost it last night.