Friday, September 30, 2011

It's October


The season is changing. The air is cooler. Darkness comes earlier. The smell of cinnamon would soon be in the air. Cider. Apple cobbler. Turkey. Sweaters. Boots. And most of all the greens would be turning into all shades of beautiful - red, yellow, orange, brown.

I love the fall season.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So Many New Things

It's been a week since I got back from my vacation.  I'll write something about this vacation one day when I can sort out everything, when I'm not too tired from work, when I'm not worrying about Emma's skinny frame, or nursing a headache.

While I've seen and experienced many wonderful new things and adventures in this vacation of mine, the one I'm going to share here is what I experience for the first time while riding our local subway, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), on the way home from the airport.

Despite my brother's offer to pick us up from the airport, we decided to just ask him to pick us up from the BART station, 10 miles from home.  We were arriving at near 8 pm so we didn't really want to bother.  Although he insisted there is no bother when family is concerned.

Anyway, we boarded the train from the airport and I was surprised to find the trains still full.  We made a transfer in Oakland, and when the train was travelling in Berkeley, a fight broke out between 2 guys.  Fistfight!  I 've never seen one in person and not so close to where I was sitting.

Let me give you a back story to my day.  I awoke at 3:30 am to catch a 7:30 am flight to Miami.  Had an easy 2 hour flight to Miami and ate lunch during my 4-hour layover.  Didn't have anything to eat on the plane during the 5-hour flight to SFO. 

And at 9 pm as I was nearly completing the last leg of this long journey home, a fight broke out just a feet from where I was sitting.  My luggage is infront of me and I was too tired, too hungry, too numb to react.  My hubby who was about a yard away from where I was sitting was calm - as usual. 

And I sat there. Just sat there.  I don't know what I was thinking. I was afraid someone was packing. You don't know who's carrying guns nowadays.

Thankfully it was just a fistfight.  A brave guy came in between the two.  Then another came in.  The other people jumped out of the way, others chimed in and egged the fight.

When they got separated and one of them alit at a stop, the one left behind told everyone that the guy he fought with was groping women.  My husband saw this man grabbed a woman's breast and that's when this standup guy said something. I heard him say THAT'S NOT COOL, MAN.

So this guy who we first thought was the bad guy asked us, why no one stood up for that girl who got groped?

If I saw the deed, would I say anything?  Especially since the guy who did the bad deed looked like bad news follows him around?

Why didn't the others speak out?  Some of the women and even men told this standup guy to leave it alone.  This thing happens everyday.  Really?  Will you, can you let it go if you were the victim or the eyewitness?

Call me chicken, but I'm glad that I'm driving to work everyday.  I've always wanted to take public transport, but my workplace doesn't really qualify for a public transport. If I were to take a bus or train I would first walk 9 blocks downhill to catch a bus.  Bus 1 would take me to stop 1 where I'd take Bus 2.  Bus 2 would take me to Train station.  From Train station I need to take Bus 3 to work.  All that. 

Thank heavens I'm driving and I'm blessed with a car.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

All About Eva and the Dumb Doctor


My search for the right person to ease my pain ended when I found Eva - a masseuse.  She is a little Chinese woman whose features belie the power that emanates from her fingertips.  She is little and yet so powerful.  She kneaded the knots out of my back and shoulders and neck.  I have never felt so good after an hour.

It was funny too.  It was my first time to have a little Chinese woman walk all over my back and I liked it.  I have already scheduled (in my head) my next session.  Glad I found that little place.

And I finally found time to visit my dentist.  I am aware of how important our dental health is but going to the dentist is not such a fun experience.  In the past years though I have made peace with going to the dentist especially since all I need are regular cleaning.

So today I went to see her.  I have been feeling yucky about my gums and wanted to raise this point to her even though my appointment is for cleaning.  She gave me x-rays too, it has been a year since the last one.  And there I found out I have a cavity.  Oh no! I haven't had one in over 20 years.  I must have been neglecting my flossing.

Anyway, while I was in the chair before my dentist could clean my teeth, I told her to give me a referral to a gum doctor.  Her eyes got big and was confused?  She asked, why and before I could answer her she added she needed to treat me first.

When I got the chance to reply I said, I needed the referral coz my gum hurts.  She bursts out laughing saying she heard me say DUMB DOCTOR the first time, hence her confused reaction.

My dentist is a hoot.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Fine Weekend

The long weekend aka Labor Day weekend had come and gone and the next 3-day weekend will be roughly here in 3 months.

This weekend also signals the end of summer in everyone's mind. The kids have gone back to school and daylight is a little shorter than it was a few weeks ago.

People usually take trips, camping trips as a last hurrah for summer during this time. We stayed home given that in a week's time we'll go on our long-awaited vacation.

Three things happened this weekend. Let me enumerate:

First - I finally got to cruise the bay. The San Francisco Bay that is. Courtesy of a voucher from Travelzoo that we purchased a couple of months ago, we boarded the Happy Hour Bay Cruise out of Pier 39. The cruise was a 1.5-hour ride in the bay with snacks and drink/s. I checked online for regular price of the said cruise and it was $35 pp. We paid $25 for both of us - huge savings.

Well, you know how locals always say they won't be caught dead in the tourist spots in their town, right? I on the other hand love to be there, to watch the tourists enjoy the city that I love and call my own. Of course I don't live in the city. I live outside the city, but I call this city my very own.

And so I enjoyed walking the 2 blocks from where we parked to the waterfront, watching people/tourists marvel at our very cold weather. How they enjoy everything about this beautiful city.

Anyway, the cruise boarded at 6 pm. There was a spread of snacks - chips and salsa and guacamole, cheese and crackers, assorted nuts. Our ticket also included one alcoholic drink per person or 2 non-alcoholic drinks. Of course we went for the alcoholic drinks given that this is a happy hour cruise. I had blue margarita and the hubby had tequila sunrise.

As the Blue and Gold Fleet was leaving the dock we passed by the sea lions, not as many as it used to be. Still a mystery why they came here and why they left.

Then it cruised by Alcatraz, close enought to get shots, but the weather wasn't cooperating. It was gloomy, cold, and breezy. Oh yeah, foggy too.

Then it went back and cruised along the city waterfront terminating in AT&T Park which is a jewel of a ballpark along the water. We stopped there for a moment then went back slowly to Pier 39. It was a wonderful experience, cruising under the SF Bay Bridge.

There are other itineraries, some go to Golden Gate Bridge.

We were so stuffed that we didn't have any dinner at all that night. I may have snacked myself full with cheese and crackers - they served the cheese that I liked.

Second - Our friends abducted [kidding] us and took us to this Vietnamese restaurant that they loved and have wanted to show us for months.

The pho definitely was good. Our friends and my husband all went with pho and I had something else. I cannot remember what I had but it's noodles and grilled beef with veggies. Really fabulous and full of taste.

However, I got really sleepy midway through. Could it be they have way too much MSG in their food? WE also ordered durian pearl shake. OMG, the durian smell was outrageous. I hated the smell but at the same time I loved the taste that I was torn between sipping and not the whole time.

It was indeed a good place to get pho. It was inside a strip mall with nondescript facade. The interiors were sparsely decorated and it was a local hangout. It was full and people kept coming.

Third - my waterheater died. Luckily we knew this was going to happen as it died before. But this time it was for good. It leaked and flooded the garage. Lucky that I was looking for my cat Buster who I knew was at the garage the last time I saw him and when I went there to call him I saw the floor flooded in one corner.

So there we were sopping up all the water that was dripping from the water heater. I watered all the plants with all the water we got from our garage floor. Not too fun time, but the guy that we contacted before came through for us. One day later, our new water heater is installed and I didn't have to shower in cold water. I'm really blessed. HOpefully, this will last me 30 years.

How was your weekend?

Friday, September 2, 2011


I was at the doctor's with the hubby this morning for our shots in connection with our upcoming trip next week. He was called in first and given his shot, and I came later because I needed to take 2 shots and apparently that needed more time to prepare.

Not wanting to waste time, he decided to go to the pharmacy, which is a few yards away from where I was waiting, and pick up our prescription - a thyphoid (did I spell that right?) vaccine tablets and some diarrhea medication for just in case.

So 2 patients later I had my shots and went to the pharmacy to join my husband. We were waiting for the RX to be filled up. In the meantime I decided to wait in line since the line was quite long. I was right in taking that measure because the minute my name was up on the board, I was 5-6 people away from the front of the line.

Now here's the kicker. While waiting in line I was checking my name under my MAIDEN NAME and not my married name. So it was my husband who pointed out that my name was up on the board. I wasn't checking under my married name. Still I consider myself as Maria M and not Maria R, which is really ridiculous. However, this made me think. On the spot like this, I always check M for my name first before R, where I belong now.

Funny how when people ask my name, automatically I say Maria R and that name comes out of my mouth smoothly.

But when I am by myself, I see myself as still Maria M, is that what this incident means? Or am I making too much of it?

When will I get used to my married name?

Does this happen to you too?