Monday, August 30, 2010

Of funerals, food festivals, and markdowns

Or how my weekend went.



Funeral:

On Saturday, I was dragged to a funeral of someone I don't know, one I never met. Sorry to use the word drag but that's precisely what it was. My husband's ex-coworker had expired and Saturday was the funeral. I have nothing against going to my husband's company functions. In fact I have done so many times. But this was a funeral of someone I have never met in any of these functions before. And there is something about funeral that I dread when I go. To make me more peeved I found out that I was the only spouse present. Why can my husband go to these things by himself????

And so it was a wonderful ceremony, although a tad long I'd say. It was a Buddhist rite and except for the chanting which was Sanskrit, the language used was Lao. The atmosphere was somber and me and my soft heart (pusong mamom) I shed a tear. I HATED THAT. I dislike the fact that I was shedding tear when I don't know the dead.

Anyway, it was a solemn ceremony, a first for me. I do pray that he will be with his creator at peace.

FOOD FESTIVAL:

Oakland's Jack London Square was the site of the REAL FOOD festival featuring - food trucks. Food trucks all over Jack London Square. Food trucks by the fountain, food trucks next to the waterfront, food trucks every where. How delectable is that?

I heard this was the second year in a row that this festival is being held. On Friday, they had the breweries out. Not on Sat when we went. Nevertheless we alloted $40 dollars for the event. Most of the food were either $3 or $5 each. We saw SPENCER ON THE GO at the entrance of the festival - tis a free festival, but their truck was the first one to get to coming from the parking lot. And because of that, we didn't get anything they had to offer as we wanted to round the entire place and scout which one we wanted to eat.

I saw 2-3 trucks of Filipino cuisine. There was nachos with sisig on top (did not taste), sisig taco (not technically sisig but they're calling it sisig, however it was yummy), and the usual lumpiang shanghai. There is one booth - not truck - that sells adobo over rice. The $5 adobo serving was not worth the price, I thought. Of course I didn't taste that.

Many different cuisines were there: Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, El Salvadoran, Cajun, Chinese, Korean (they are selling the original korean taco *grin*), etc.

Our $40 dollars filled us to the gills. We had a whole lot of food. We even took home a jerk fish sandwich from the truck GET JERKED and a Cuban sandwich which we ate for dinner the next day.

Next year, I'd organize a group to go and stay longer and take more photos. I will post photos in another blog.

MARKDOWNS:

Have you ever encountered superior customer service? I have. From Fry's Electronics last week. The tv that we have been lusting after and waiting for months to go on sale, finally went on sale to a price we could stomach. So we hurried off after work to purchase said tv. We were helped by a wonderful tv guy named Pat who patiently answered every question we had and helped us with the purchase and made sure we could get the best deal possible. He was very friendly and we felt like we were treated like family. It certainly was the best we've been treated in a store before.

But his assistance did not end there. Two days after our purchase, the store brought the price down another $200. We saw the newspaper ads. And we also got a call from Pat asking us to return to store to get our adjustments. And again, when we returned he was there by our side the entire time until the transaction was completed. We really felt like we have been right all these years in patronizing this store.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Street Photography 2

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Tiled Sidewalk. Alexandria, Egypt. November 2009

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Has Finally Arrived

Yap no kidding.

This week we're seeing three days in a row of 80+ temps. Finally some summer around this area.

Not that I'm crazy about hot weather. Not that. But a lot of people living around these parts are groaning about our exceptionally cool summer. It's about time they had their hot weather, doncha think. After all, I had my way with cool weather for most of the summer.

And while we're on the subject of wonderful summer days ahead, this past weekeend was a glorious sun drenched upper 70s in Sonoma Valley where I found myself tagging along hubby and his cohorts, er co-workers on a day of wine tasting.

The day was glorious, never mind that we were late in meeting up with the group because of the horrible traffic jam. We were guessing it's the race in Sonoma that caused the logjam, but this is the Bay Area where there's a traffic jam anytime, rain, shine, fog, mist, or smog. So, who knew really why the crowded streets.

Anyway, we met up with the group in Chateau La Jean and tasted a few varieties, none of which made an impression to my discerning palate (yikes!). Or my frame of mind was more on the photo taking rather than wine tasting.

Our second stop was Blackstone, a little smaller than the first one and the tasting room did not provide samples of dips and gourmet olive oil and gourmet vinegar, etc. But there was one red that I completely enjoyed - except for the price. At $17 a bottle, it was more than what I really am prepared to pay for my wine. But a good experience.

It's funny how when the lady giving the tasting ask our group where we were from and we almost in unison said, across the bridge, she didn't seem to understand that a group of over 10 people - relatively young and Asian looking - would be spending a lovely day wine tasting. We all said we just love to drink :)

It was around 2 pm when we left Blackstone and headed out to a deli a few blocks away - a deli I've been before and was not wowed by the food. We begged off and told the group we'd be on our way as we intended to attend Sebastopol's Apple Harvest Festival. We drove some 20 minutes and found out that we missed the festival by one week :) so we drove back home and ended up hungry in this hole in the wall combination of grocery and Mexican restaurant called Pepito's Mexicatessens. Clever naming isn't it?

The food was superb and well seasoned. I simply found another favorite spot.

Sunday was church and lazing around the house watching some tv and doing a lot of surfing - while Emma did a lot of sleeping. That cat can sleep for 24 hours if you'd let her.

All in all, twas a lovely weekend.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Street Photography

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No reason for this post other than I thought I'd begin a photographic series here - once a week or something.

Street Shot. NYC. April 2009

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Would You?

I got a msg on FB from a dear gal pal asking me if it's okay to be facebook friends with a guy she was crazy about back in the old days - some 20 years ago. Honestly, I was surprised that she would ask me, because I don't see anything wrong with it. Of course in those days it was obvious to everyone that she was heads over heels in crush with this guy. Or maybe not obvious to everyone but me.

Anyway, I told her there's nothing wrong with befriending someone who we already consider as "real life" friends from the old 'hood. Besides whatever feelings she had for him were based on juvenile emotions. Plus, both of them have moved on, married and have kids, and are happily enjoying the next stage in their lives. So what's wrong.

Then I asked what her husband's reaction was to this development. According to her she's still waiting for the right timing to tell him. She fears endless teasing from her very understanding husband :)

Now I have to blog about this because in relation to this I was in the same position when a boy I really liked in high school turned up on FB and sent in a request to be my friend. Without hesitation, I accepted.

While I had major crush on this guy back in the day when I weighed less than 100 lbs, I certainly did not carry whatever emotional baggage I had for him around me to this day. So it was just fine for me.

I have doubts about him though. I am fond of making comments on my friends photos and wall posts and when I noted that one of the "very innocent" comments I made on his photo was missing I had doubts and was a bit miffed. However, he replied to this missing comment. What's up with that?

So would you fb friend an old flame, crush, etc?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Guess Who

Guess who will be on the panel of judges when American Idol opens a new season next year. Do you think it best to go with all new set of judges, or keep Randy Jackson and add new faces?

I am writing this without really knowing what's going on. I am too busy too google or bing this information, which I am sure is not available yet.

While I love Ellen, I thought she wasn't effective in AI last year. Plus, whatever happens next season, whoever sits in judgement, it would never be the same without the caustic Mr. Cowell.

Let's wait and see.

And nope I don't want to see J. Lo there or Mariah Carey.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Six Pack

Burst of Beauty

Once upon a time in another blog I posted a weekly post I called Six Pack. It's a list of 6 of whatever I wanted to post. That ended when that blog became a meme blog. I toyed with the idea of picking up where I left off with regards to jotting down six of something every week. And after months of considerations, I finally found myself reviving this post.

So here's my Six Pack for this week:

Six movies that got my attention:
  1. The Sixth Sense - the quintessential curve ball at the end of the movie when it was revealed that the Bruce Willis character was a ghost. Come on now tell me if any one ever thought, ever guessed, ever imagined he was a ghost! I don't think so.
  2. LOTR Trilogy - just the mere scale of how Peter Jackson told this Tolkien saga was jaw-droppingly amazing. Add the perfect casting that made the characters come alive on the big screen - perfection.
  3. Little Miss Sunshine - a delightful storytelling of an ordinary family. I can't stop laughing while watching this. Great cast, fabulous acting.
  4. My Big Fat Greek Wedding - laughfest. Funny to the max. It's one of my favorites and I don't tire of watching it over and over.
  5. Harry Potter - what can I say? I love the characters, the way the story is told, the CGI is fantastic and the humanity of the main characters. The first one is still my favorite
  6. Inception - what a well made movie this one is. I find that when you watch it intently from the beginning, there is no confusion at all. I love how the director told the story, how masterful was Leo's acting [can't believe he turned out to be such a good actor] and how the supporting characters were all magnificent in their portrayal. And oh, I also love the subject matter.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Post B/day Ramblings

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Two posts down I mentioned my birthday wishes. Wishes that I knew wouldn't happen, materialize or be fulfilled. It's still nice to jot them down, in case I'll find myself with enough extra cash to splurge on myself.

What you should know is that my husband and I made a pact when we got married that we will refrain from giving each other gifts on our b/days, Christmas, anniversary, and Valentines.

Instead, we will plan a get-away or a vacation, or go out on a day out with meal and movie included.

That way we both can enjoy the day. We both thought that anything material will be another clutter to add to the ones already gathering dust in the house. Don't you agree.

Although, a month before my b/day, we went to a one-week getaway in Cancun, which we both agreed is my birthday treat this year.

However, we also picked up another point and shoot (still no budget for Canon) that would be good for photographing food. You see we have been frustrated with our cameras. They take lousy food pics and the subdued lighting in restaurants don't help any. I wonder how the photobloggers take those lovely food pics.

I had a three-day b/day weekend! On Friday, which was the b/day, we went out for a day long drive to the Sonoma Coast and visited Fort Ross and Salt Point State Park, enjoyed the waves at Grestle Cove where the tide pools were a joy to watch and photograph. Also went to hike Anderson Redwoods State Park - imagine hitting three state parks in one day. That was lovely and a stop at Cafe Bazaar for a quick caffeine jolt.

We didn't need any other sustenance because earlier that day we had a heavy filling breakfast at Sukie's a local dive next town that's been there forever.

And on Sunday, we took in a movie "Inception", which was a fantastic movie. I will try to create a review of sorts on this movie.

Additionally, my sushi craving was satisfied with a meal at Happy Sashimi, another local fave, although their prices are a bit on the high side, but the quality of sushi, sashimi and especially the Hennessey chocolate mocha mousse for dessert were the best.

Thank you, I had the best time. I am tired though. I could use another three-day weekend just to recuperate.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Very Frustrated


EGPT_0022, originally uploaded by M'roy.

I store my photos at Flickr. They revamped their page. And with this "new" layout comes new bugs or frustrations. My case is that I cannot use the link to my photos so I can blog them. Oh my, oh my. This just ruined my day. Hope the day will change gear later today after I read all the new FAQ on the new page of Flickr.

Monday, August 2, 2010

You've Been Told

My birthday is this week. And if there is a Birthday Santa, Birthday Fairy, or Birthday Genie here is my list of things I really really need ...er want:

That's all. Thank you!