Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 30 (30 days of June)

Here we are at the end of the month. The first half of 2012 is over. Still can't believe it. So quickly are the days of 2012 going by.

I've embarked on blogging daily for this month so that's what was prevalent for this month for me.

Also I just got back from our church fundraiser. My truffle was one of the winners for Taster's Choice. I was ecstatic. Imagine people liking my truffle. It's my first time to participate in Chocolate Extravaganza and I was one of the chosen favorites.

This month had been quiet for me, thank God. All work and church activities, mostly prepping for the fundraiser. Now that it's over I can focus on the vacation.

Hope our July will be quiet and peaceful.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 29 (30 days of June)

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Tomorrow, June 30th is the second annual Chocolate Extravaganza, a fundraiser that our church hosts to benefit us and the local high school's music program.

Last night I started to make my truffles. Yes plural. I'm participating with my creations of truffles - creme de menthe truffle and almond truffle. The former is taken from another blogger and the latter is from Nestle.

Making truffles is time consuming. It's not done yet. Hopefully tonight we'd get all things completed and prettied for the presentation.

Last year, I manned the cash box so I wasn't able to circulate and taste the offerings, but this one that fellow church member Kim and Karsten made was spectacular. In fact it was the 2nd place winner of People's Choice Award.

I'm not really hoping for placements for my truffle. May be in the coming years I'd be able to develop a recipe that would be worthy of People's Choice.

Hah! We're almost in July.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 28 (30 days of June)

As I sit here contemplating about our upcoming trip to India for a week and 3 weeks of visiting the in-laws in Bangladesh I pray that I would enjoy the trip. Let's back-up here. It's not that I don't enjoy the trips I have had, believe you me I have had a ball. Except that minor things seem to upset me pretty quickly, like suffocating heat and humidity for instance. I would like for this time to let something like that to just roll off my back and into the ground. I wish I would find the sense of the here and now when I go on vacation. Just like when we were in Paris for the short 6 hours. In that span of time, a very short layover, we managed to see Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Arc de Triomphe while we spent a large chunk of that 6 hours trying to retrace our steps because hubby lost his wallet in the train. Can you believe that? However, what is more unbelievable about this trip was that hubby dropped his wallet on the train, I am the messy unorganized of the two and yet I had all my credit cards and cash all tucked in my person and he's the organized one who lost everything. I was calm and sensible when we reported the incident to the police and spoke on the phone with our credit card companies to report the lost. Still, we managed to enjoy the brief stay in the city of lights.

That is exactly what I mean. I want to just enjoy the trip to India for instance. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for anyone, especially me. I want to be brave enough to feel the sunshine when the moonsoon comes down, I want to be peaceful in the middle of chaotic New Delhi. You get my drift.

I want to see and feel and remember what I felt when I was there. I want to capture the moment and seize the day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 27 (30 days of June)

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Street shots are my favorites lately. I try to capture many of street scenes as I could.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 26 (30 days of June)

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"The camera can photograph thought." - Dirk Bogarde

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 25 (30 days of June)

It was a busy weekend, both for me personally and the region in general. We had Gay Pride weekend in San Francisco, Nascar in Sonoma, and another festival in Berkeley/Oakland the name of which escaped my mind at the moment.

I knew about the Gay Pride parade and the festivities all weekend long and also the one in Sonoma. That's why even though I wanted to go to the Lavender Festival in Sonoma, I didn't. It would be traffic crazy right there. I was right. A friend and his folks got stuck in traffic on the way to wine tasting. They chose Sonoma instead of San Fran to explore (the parents are visiting the area) because they knew it would be a headache with traffic and parking in the city given the magnitude of Gay Pride weekend. They weren't aware of the Nascar at Infenion raceway though. Well....

On Saturday, I performed my weekly obligation to take mom out and drive here to where she wants to go. Tapsilog and halo-halo later, hubs and I were getting ready to watch a movie. I wanted to see Snow White and the Huntsman but I was over ruled. We watched what he liked - Prometheus. Sci-Fi. I know very little about this movie before I watched it. And I came out of the movie theater a bit disappointed. Why? I don't know why or what my expectations were, except that I knew something was missing.

Sunday was all day bbq at the reservoir - see pic from yesterday's post.

Today, I need to go to church meeting after work, then hopefully I still have the energy to do some laundry.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 24 (30 days of June)

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Today is a perfect day for bbq in the park with friends. Good food, perfect weather, and fun company. What more can one ask for?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 23 (30 days of June)

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The sky was this gorgeous today. A lovely day altogether with 70 F and a little breezy.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 22 (30 days of June)

When I was in school, I was very active with various curricular and extra-curricular activities. Among the many areas I participate in was declamation. I did declamation contests in elementary and high school and even opted to declame instead of write a book review in college. Well, it's more of a monologue in college than a declamation but you get my drift. I think I liked it enough to volunteer to go up infront of people and speak, which can be real horror.

Anyway, back in the high school days, the very first piece I was given to memorize and perform was O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! by Walt Whitman. I recently just learned that it's about the assassination of US Pres. Abe Lincoln. I really never learned what the poem is about because no one discussed it with me. I never asked the question of what the poem is about. I knew how to put emotions into it. Yet I was totally ignorant of what I was voicing out. Until I wikied it.

I cannot fault the teachers. Back in those days when you go to a public school, well even private schools, the resources are limited, if not entirely absent. Unlike today when you can easily find what you want to find via the internet. Learning is so much easier and faster in today's world isn't it?

Anyway, here's one of the most popular declamation pieces back in my days of competition:

O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:


But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.


O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.


My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 21 (30 days of June)

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On the 19th I had a dental appointment. My dentist replaced the temporary bridge she put in 6 months ago. I know it shouldn't be that long, but there were insurance issues. So I came back after 6 months. The temporary bridge was generally not giving me any trouble. Still, she needed to take new measurements and put in new temporary bridge.

I was the last patient of the day. At work the next day, it came loose while I was eating lunch. The ironic thing is I wasn't even chewing on that side. So I called the office for emergency appt.

I went this morning. She fixed it, put more glue as she said. Two hours later it's loose again.

I called the office and left a message. They're closed on Fridays. I will have to be back on Saturday.

I don't know what's different betweent his temporary one versus the one that stuck in my mouth for 6 months without any hassle.

I just don't like going to the dentist like majority of Earth's population.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 20 (30 days of June)

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Can you believe it's summer? I don't have many summer memories while growing up, because we didn't do anything special during the sweltering heat of the summer months. We stayed home, ate halo-halo and ice candy and ice drop, stayed out of the scorching rays of the sun and I read a lot.

When I became and an adult I was working then I moved here and summer months were working months too. Nothing that would stand out in memory.

Maybe this year I'll have some wonderful summer memories, fingers crossed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 19 (30 days of June)

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Today I'm walking down memory lane. These two boys pictured here recently graduated from elementary school. This image is 5 years ago this August.

This was from a camping trip we took as a family, the only one so far. We thought the boys would benefit from a camping trip so we made arrangements. Nowadays with them all grown up and everyone seemed to have always something to do or somewhere to go to, the camping trip never had a part 2.

I'm hoping we could again go camping as a family. It's a rare experience to be away from all the routines of daily life and be in a cabin with family with no tv, no cell phone coverage, no internet access. In the darkness of the night, we had to entertain ourselves by completing jigsaw puzzles, playing board games, and talking.

Breakfasts were also grilled anything from bread to fruit. It was a fun time. Really wonderful to look back to.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 18 (30 days of June)

We took the kitties yesterday to get their annual vaccinations. As usual, Buster cried the whole way and back. He can't seem to adjust to car rides. He never likes them. This would probably his third or fourth car ride only in 2 years that he lives with us. Maybe we should take them driving around town.

I remember when we fetched him from the shelter - he had to stay a few days after adoption because he needed to be fixed and then recover - he also was crying. So I let him loose inside the car. It was evening and dark and so the car lights were all on. He was freaking out with all the different noise and the lights.

The cries coming from him are those deep throaty cries. They're not meows. It's more like MAAAAAW. I had to sit in the back seat with both of them, they were both in their container boxes.

Emma doesn't cry, but you can tell she was unsettled. I had to rub their heads throughout the ride - which was probably less than 10 minutes.

After the vaccinations and when they got home, they immediately were treated to tuna. Both of them love tuna.

Last night though the kitties were sluggish, just like humans feel when we have our flu shots. Here look at them:

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Emma on the left was acting like a little child with fever. She slept on her bed, which is located on our bed. She cuddled up with me when I went on the bed and that's where she stayed the rest of the night. I woke up to find her on my side.

Buster found comfort in cuddling with catpapa. Oh these cats are so cute.

The whole experience took more toll on me than them I think.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 17 (30 days of June)

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You saw how hot it was yesterday right? Well, as I said yesterday we went to a beach. Not as pretty as this one photographed here, but it has it's own charms.

And today, the temperature dropped significantly and the breeze came back in full force. Thank Heavens.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 16 (30 days of June)

HOT

It was hot here today. So what did we do? We drove about an hour to a little beach town called Bolinas. It is our first time there, we always pass by it, but today we spent time dipping our toes in the cool water. Needless to day, the beach was crowded with people kayaking, surfing, waterboarding, swimming and people soaking up some sun.

It's 11:20 pm and it's still in the 80s here. Really hot.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 15 (30 days of June)

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One of the many bonuses of travelling is meeting wonderful people like them.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 14 (30 days of June)

A PERFECT NIGHT AND THE MORNING AFTER

PERFECT NIGHT

In my 19 years of watching baseball, I've never seen it happen before last night. Well neither did the organization that I pull for. In their 128-year history, the San Francisco Giants didn't have a pitcher who pitched a PERFECT game. A perfect game in baseball is when 27 batters come to the plate and not one gets on base, either by hits or error. Well, until Matt Cain performed with flawless precision last night.

I should have known something was going to happen. You see as I was leaving work last evening around 6 pm, my head was busy with SF Giants thoughts. I know. I know. You can't believe I'd waste precious times thinking about the Giants when there's so many things to think about. But just the same, I was preoccupied with the Giants as I walked to my car. My thoughts were mainly on Tim Lincecum, the other Giant's ace who has been struggling big time this season. He can't seem to find his groove and no sign of his brilliance is coming out yet. I was thinking that the only way to get his groove back is for him to pitch a no-hitter, well a perfect game really if I'm dreaming.

So last night when the game went on, I switched the channel from reruns of Big Bang Theory to the baseball game. I thought I'd watch them again since there is nothing else on the tv that night. Doncha worry I wasn't vegetating. I was actually doing my stretching and my made-up yoga poses while watching the tv.

I wouldn't have stayed on the game except that the giants were offensively wreaking havoc to the hapless opponents, the Houston Astros. And I love to see high-scoring game. It's fun.

As the game progressed, my hubby who was in the couch with me by this time begged me to change the channel since it's a lopsided game anyway. I showed him that the game wasn't the scoring game he can see but the fact that Matt Cain wasn't giving anyone a chance to be on base. He has zero hits and the game is on the 6th innings already.

And so it happened. The magic oozed through my tv set. I'm so happy and excited and glad I tuned in last night. Boy that was great. I was too tired to write on facebook about it last night.

I watched all the post-game coverage and all the interviews. I think my baseball mojo is back, baby!!!!

THE MORNING AFTER

Who would have thought that after such a perfect night, the morning commute would be anything but perfect. There was a fire in the transbay tunnel that prevented any trains coming from the East Bay to enter San Francisco. Without the trains, buses were called to transport stranded passengers who did not know the overnight fire.

However, many have chosen to drive. Now more cars in the roadways mean more traffic. And there was a barrage of cars in the roadways. My 20-mile commute turned into an hour and half drive. Luckily the talk radio was all abuzz with the perfect game last night that I didn't really mind the delay, however, I was still late coming in to work.

That's all I have to say.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 13 (30 days of June)

For today, I'd like to show you pictures of what make me happy:

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Trees, the giant redwood trees, and walking under them.

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Shopping at made-up stalls on the sidewalk with my gal pals.

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Beautiful skies.

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Popcorn and movies on tv.

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Having a quiet time with my hubby.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 12 (30 days of June)

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Today.........

is Philippine independence day. Well yesterday, back in PI.

some guy complimented my shoes. I know he's not gay. Made my day when he noticed.

I need to make up for the sleep I lost last night. Can you make up sleep at all?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 11 (30 days of June)

AN OPEN LETTER.

Dear G,

You sneaky little devil you! I thought we were tight? Why didn't you say goodbye? You weren't keen on making a scene by saying goodbye? Or were you afraid I'd make a scene when you say goodbye? Either way, I'm sure you're right.

The thing is by not saying goodbye you robbed me of the chance to say how much I appreciated working with you. Sure you spread your nervous energy with everyone around you. My husband thinks I absorbed the most of my nervous energy from you :)

I thank you for your friendship and your sense of humour. I enjoyed working with you especially during the stressful times when we felt like we've been wrung out dry of energy, of enthusiasm, or even the will to work.

You're far too young to retire, although that's what I've heard you did. I wouldn't be surprised if you're punching your time card somewhere else. Good luck. And if you're up to it, drop by and say hi someday.

Thanks for the laughter,
M

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 10 (30 days of June)

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It was a beautiful day today. Hot and sunny, typical summer day. We hit the 90s, can you believe it? So after church and church meeting, hubby lit up the bbq and we had a little yam and ribs. I miss the grilled yam (camote).

I wonder how long our heat will last before our natural airconditioner (marine layer aka fog bank) shows up.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day 9 (30 days of June)

Today, I'm really thankful for the FREE facial that my aesthetician gave me. I'm going to keep coming back to her for services. She's so cool!!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 7 (30 days of June)

falling in love with their bedsheet design

I love this pattern. Can you guess what this is? It's a blanket. I bought one in 2008. I don't exactly remember if this was the same design that I bought. The blanket is sitting in my linen closet, unopened, unused. I don't dare use it for everyday. I don't even think I'd be using it for it's purpose. We bought it so we can hang it on our wall, like a tapestry. We have a floor to ceiling walls, high ceilings too.

This is one of the reasons why I'm excited about going back to Bangladesh. The shopping for fabrics at the bazaar is simply enjoyable.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 6 (30 days of June)

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays were considered market days in my lilttle town. On these days, the public market is full of vendors. On these days the people go to the market and buy supplies.

We had refrigeration in those days – many had them – but still we only buy enough produce for 2 days. We never let fresh vegetables sit in the refrigerator.

So we go to the market on market days.

I have lovely memories of going to the market with my mother. I consider them lovely now, but then it was a chore. I was with my mother so I can carry the basket of goodies. It was also some sort of training for when I become an adult and have a family of my own.

She would take her time choosing the best vegetables, the freshest fish, the best looking meat. It would take us 2 hours to round the whole market, especially on Saturdays when outsiders come to our market to sell their goods.

Mother would take time for a little snack at the many food stalls. Or on days when we were definitely short on time she would take some home so the entire family could enjoy the rice cakes or pancit or the steamed corn on the cob. Boy the corn on the cob was delicious. You eat it as is, no butter, no salt, nothing added.

There were many snack items that I looked forward to, but my favorite was halo-halo. And when the budget allows for it, the halo-halo special – the one with a scoop of ice cream on top and a slice of leche flan – is one that I crave for.

My mother knew how to haggle. Sometimes I feel ashame that she would be very aggressive in getting the price she wants for a particular item. To this day, she still calls her price for any item you know. Until now she would quote a price for a particular item and when she gets inside the supermarket and finds the price is higher she would ask me to get someone that works in the store to make sure that the price she saw (months ago in an advertisement) is the right price. No change in attitude.

I also loved it when we go to the section of the market that sells only dry goods – fabrics, clothes, dishes and other household items, shoes, etc. We always bought wedding gifts here. I was so fascinated when they personalized the items right there and then. Oh how simple life was back in the day.

Day 5 (30 days of June)

I missed the Venus transit yesterday....so did posting here for my daily June. Yikes!!!!

Will be back later for Day 6.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 4 (30 days of June)

There was a clean up day for the neighboring city on Saturday, and because our church is located in that city and the church is a member of the Chamber of Commerce we thought it best to get a team to sign up for clean up. This isn't the first time that our church has fielded a team for clean up. A few years ago during the good years when the city has money to spare, they would pay local citizens to clean up the city park. We then would sign up for an hour or two every Saturday (different teams) to clean up the park and the church would get paid by the number of people who signed up. Then a local bakery volunteered to feed us with coffee and donuts or danish after cleaning up, which is a good deal indeed. Imagine our summer time weather here is really perfect, cool in the morning when we start picking up trash, and we get fresh cool air while being outside. But the money has dried up and so this program has been stopped for a couple of years now.

So this new program of getting people to volunteer to clean up the city is well received. There's 6 people from our church who signed up and two others were added to our group. They are individual volunteers who did not belong to any group. One of them is a high school student, a leader in school who needs a few hours of volunteer work to add to her record. Of course she also brought her boyfriend along.

Anyway, it's another one of those things I can totally say was worth getting up early for. It's nice to participate in causes like this one. And guess what just his luck again my husband's photo appeared in the local website article about the clean up. He really gets the attention.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 3 (30 days of June)

Extremely happy to celebrate my catblog's first anniversary. I cannot believe that I'm also blogging from a cat's perspective.

Adopting cats made me a crazy cat lady and I'm proud of it. Who wouldn't when your cats are these cute - of course I'm 100% biased.

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Emma was 2 when we adopted her. She's now 4. We took her in while I was in the middle of a month-long recuperation from a major surgery. Needless to say, I had a very smooth recuperation time. She kept me company the whole time.

And because the experience with Emma was heavenly, we naturally came to the conclusion that one cat is just not enough. We took in from the same shelter a 5-month old ginger cat, that's really naughty and clumsy, and funny. A total opposite of Emma. I was telling the hubby that if the situation were reversed and we adopted Buster first, I would have to think twice about getting another cat. He was a handful, still is. But he's totally adorable. Look at this face:

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Now he's two years old, still the baby in the family. I am trying my darnedest not to adopt another cat. It's a constant struggle. But I suppose the fact that we're feeding many homeless/feral cats give me the satisfaction of having more cats, because I feel very proprietary of these cats already. I have been feeding them regularly/daily and interacting with them. I even named a few of them.

So today my story is about my being a crazy cat lady.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 2 (30 days of June)

Just got back from cleaning up the city streets, it's the first clean up project for the city and a small group of us from church signed up to do this. It's a very good day to do that. Started at 9 am for registration. Then walked up a about 15 minutes to get to our designated street to clean. Ours is from Appian Way to Downtown, about 7 blocks. We did more than that in less time than required. We were given lunch tickets but we finished before the lunch was set up so we didn't get lunch.

Am now about to jump into the shower and then fill my afternoon with errand: lunch with mom - some tapsilog I'm sure, dressing the altar - I volunteer to prepare the altar for Sunday service and finally I'm getting my facial. My aesthetician is back from 3-month long maternity leave, so I'm happy.

My back is killing me. Too much bending to pick up trash, but it's all worth it. People stop and say thanks to me for picking up trash. Community spirit, let's go.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 1 (30 days of June)

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I'm embarking on reviving the life out of this blog. I thought I'd do some daily blogging for a change. The daily postings will not be following a template of sorts, I'd just wing it I thought with what comes up in every day living.

For example today, as I was paying for my coffee from the coffee cart, the lady voiced her disbelief that anyone would take time to sit there and color/paint a 25-cent coin. I gave her a combination of dollar bills and quarters for my coffee and one of the coins is colored red. Naturally, she would inspect if the coin is really a quarter or even an American coin. It was, of course it was. But the fact that she was surprised that there is someone out there who would do this piqued my interest. There are many things that people do that other people would find queer. Can you think of any that would make you say, WHY DO THEY DO THAT?

Off hand, here is my short list of things that people do that make me shake my head:
***The hoarders. Have you seen them on tv? They keep everything, every single thing. I know of someone close to me who are in that borderline category of hoarding. I don't know if I'd have the guts to tell them something's not right here.

Well, I guess that's all I can think of right now.