Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10 Down, 2 To Go

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This was Orange October. Orange for the the October Quest post-season games that the Giants were playing. Orange October was good, in fact very very good to me because my team, my love, the San Francisco Giants won their 2nd word series trophy in three years. So yes, that would always be the highlight of October. Three glorious weeks in October were for watching the baseball games, the pre- and post-games and reading all the articles online. It was madness, and maddening at the same time. I am just in heaven right now, orange and black heaven. Today is the victory parade. I am not going. I went to the first one in 2010, it was craaazy, lots of people, shouting, crowding, just total jubilation. I am not going, because, well because I wasn't feeling it this year. I know I got a better camera and hubby just picked up a little upgrade for his camera as well. However, I am going on a cruise in a few weeks so I don’t want to use up another day off for this. But the DVR is recording two different stations covering the same parade. I hope I taped all the happenings, with DVR you don't know. It always cuts off the best parts.

In addition, I have won (or given, however you see it) a cruise. There's a lot of things attached to claiming the prize, but as long as there's no money leaving our pockets we're going to go with it. Plus, our thinking is even if we fork out some money, as long as the cruise would still be less than the regular price of the cruise then we'd take it. Right now, we are awaiting for the processing of claim to be completed. But this was really fun for me, because I join many contests, raffles and drawings over the years and I never really get to win something substantial as this is. So this is really neat!

And speaking of more winning, we received a thank you card over the mail yesterday from a fellow church member thanking us for the Pirate cruise along the Sacramento River that we donated for the church fundraiser last June. She won the cruise, which was tagged as second prize. The first prize was an overnite stay in a lighthouse converted into an inn in a little island between Contra Costa and Marin counties. Anyway, she said that after years of joining raffles and losing she was shocked when her name was picked out. They only used their prize last weekend, and she and her husband had one wonderful night and experience. And she sent us a card to let us know. How thoughtful of her. And I thought that sending cards via snail mail is completely gone. I love receiving and giving cards over snail mail. I hope to send Christmas cards this year as well.

Hubby and I also joined a local newspaper's photo contest where the prize is a trip for two in the Pacific, something like a tropical vacation. I'm not very hopeful about my entries, although I stand by them, but I've seen the sampling of the entries and boy oh boy compared to those images, mine look like a 5-year-old snapped them. I didn't do a lot of picture taking this month.

Darby came early for trick or treating. He is growing up to be such a darling of a boy. My niece is raising him so well. It's a hoot to hear him call his parents Nanay and Tatay. He yelled with glee when my mom came down the stairs to greet him and said LOLA!!!! He calls me Tita and my hubby Tito.

Looking forward to November I'm very sure I'd be more rushed than October.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Serenity and Spirited Away


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things that I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I've been mouthing off the Serenity Prayer a lot lately, because I remember in 2009 that was my mantra. I would say those three lines (there is more to it than those three lines you know) over and over again to start my day, in the car, when I'm inching through traffic. I remember still how peaceful that prayer made me feel and how great my 2009 became. It was a wonderful year filled with good stuff.

Anyway, I still have the prayer posted in my office since I put it there in 2009 and every now and then I say it aloud, those three lines only.

I feel that this year I'm more stressed out than usual. The month-long vacation that I took over the summer did not bring me the rejuvenation that I was expecting despite traveling to exotic India and bonding with family in Bangladesh. My soul/spirit remains restless. I thought I needed to be reminded to listen to the advice of the serenity prayer once again.

I believe I am so blessed to be stressed and I cannot shake off this feeling of being overwhelmed. I need the serenity prayer now more than ever.

On another note, I don't know how to segue into this but the group that I'm a part of at church that would host a monthly activity after church hours held its first one over the weekend. On Saturday we had our Movie Night. Upon the suggestion of another committee member we featured SPIRITED AWAY, which is an Anime animation. I have not heard of the movie before; but a few other members of the church has heard of it and loved it. We thought it's fine choice to start our community night as we're calling it.


In line with the Japanese theme of the movie, we served Japanese food - teriyaki chicken with steamed veggies and rice, both brown and white, with choice of green tea or sake. Our initial gathering had 26 people and the table setup in the narthex was just lovely. We even used table cloths, real cutlery and real plates. We have a dishwasher at church so there was no problem with washing all those dishes.

If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It's quite riveting and very good. It won many awards including the Oscars for 2002 Animated Film. I believe it's suitable for little kids. The only thing about it is kids might be scared at the scene where the parents turned into pigs, but with guidance I'm sure the little kids will like it as well. It is animated.






Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weather, etc

I do not have any complaints with our gorgeous weather. It's hot, even reaching the 80s with plenty of sunshine and the most beautiful blue skies. BUT, it's autumn. Where is the crisp air, where is the chill when a breeze passes by? Where is the smell of burning wood coming from the neighbor's fireplace? Where is the hot cocoa at night?

While the Indian summer that we're experiencing has been delaying its exit, I'm not sure I want the lovely weather to end. It has been gorgeous as I have said before. Today at 8:30 am it was already 77F as I was driving to work. No doubt the temp will rise some more by the mid day. I just wish I was outside today in a park or something enjoying the good weather.

I've been quite preoccupied with church stuff, as usual. As a member of the committee that puts out monthly Saturday night events, my hands are full. Not only is the first Saturday night this coming Saturday, I'm also keeping an eye on the following monthly events, as they are more hands-on. I don't know why I even volunteered to help out in the planning of the events. I can be a masochist sometimes.

I know it's good to be involved in social activities, let alone church functions. And these activities combine both the church community and the larger community. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. Opening an e-mail can be daunting sometimes. I don't know what's waiting for me out there. What other tasks I must do, what alterations I must perform, etc, etc.

It's all good. It's using one's "talent" for the good of many. I did put that quotation in there because I still am not sure what my talents are. I know my leadership qualities have long eroded and I'm content with assisting people who's leadership qualities leave nothing to be questioned.

However, my talents seem to be completely lost when it comes to the website I'm trying to maintain. It's our church website, it's just not an ordinary personal website where I can just ramble on and on about the weather and the movies I've seen. I cannot seem to generate a post about the functions/events we've had lately. A fellow church member who not only writes a blog, but also has published the contents of that blog into a book has agreed to write an article about said function. It has been a month and I have not heard from her yet. I don't know why I hit a wall when I open the website and attempt to update the contents. I feel like I don't have full confidence in myself and I'm always second guessing my intentions. In the end, nothing gets published. Sigh!

This October has been quite blah overall. It's work and church and housework. Although lately the housework part has been neglected plenty. I've also been harping about pulling out the box that contains the holiday decors from the garage so I can start decorating the house, but other than getting cat food from the garage, I haven't been there lately, let alone dig out the box of decorations. May be this weekend. Oh no, I'd be tied up with church events all weekend. Sigh!

This also leaves me very little time to blog. I play memes on a daily basis. That is in addition to the travel blog I have, which is my original blog, this blog, my cat blog, and then my project blog. I don't have enough time to do all that. So I temporarily cut down the memes I play in half and I just incorporate the memes in my travel postings.

Also in my plate is full with research of IVF facilities, so we can proceed with our baby making project. I have heard from one facility that we planned to use. I have to do more research and hit the phones and get some answers to the questions I'm trying to formulate. I'm giving myself a few more days to accomplish this so that I can then go ahead with getting excited in planning our excursions for the cruise we're taking after the Thanksgiving holiday next month.

Half of me wants another vacation so close to the last one in August. The other half is not ready to go away again, because I don't feel like I have fully settled into daily living after one month in Asia in July and August. But the cruise has been reserved since before the Asia travel was planned and taken, so we're going. Time to kick back and relax after the rush of Thanksgiving and before the chaos of Christmas preparations.

And so I ranted and rambled again. Until next post. Hope your autumn is wonderful.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One Word Answers

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I was tagged by Ms. Bing to play this meme. I'm always up for memes so here goes:

1. Where is your cell phone? Bag
2. Describe your boyfriend/girlfriend? Married!
3. Your hair? Dry
4. Your mother? Fighter
5. Your father? Quiet
6. Your favourite item? Camera
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your favourite drink? Coffee
9. Your dream car? Mini
10. The room you are in? Office
11. Your ex? Who?
12. Your fear? Disease
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Mature
14. Who did you hang out with last night? Hubby
15. What you’re not? Organized
16. The last thing you did? When?
17. What are you wearing? Dress
18. Your favourite book? Dictionary
19. The last thing you ate? Siopao
20. Your life? Blessed
21. Your mood? Varied
22. Your friends? Far
23. What are you thinking about right now? Food
24. Your car? Toyota
25. What are you doing at the moment? Blogging
26. Your summer? Hot
27. What is on your TV? Sports
28. When is the last time you laughed? Earlier
29. Last time you cried? Dunno
30. School? Fun

Mission accomplished Ms. Bing!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

10.11.12

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I'm not a numerologist, but I'm getting a kick out of today's date. I don't know if the date is significant in any way, but I like it. I like it even more because today, the San Francisco Giants completed a 3-game do-or-die series with the Cincinnati Reds, in Cinci. I'm at work so that's a bummer, but I was able to listen to the game on the radio. Thank Heavens that there are still radios.

The game was exciting and the big hit came from this guy pictured here. For those not in the know this is Buster Posey the face of the Giants. He is the catcher of the team, and just recently won the batting title. He's in line for the league's MVP. He certainly is 100% his team's MVP.

Just saying what a happy day 10.11.12 is. Hope yours is too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What Peace There May Be In Silence


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"Worry is interest we are paying on a problem we don't yet have."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Jampacked

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The Bay is full of activities this weekend. The Giants are hosting the Reds for the NLDS, the 49ers are home against Buffalo, there's music in the streets at the Blues Festival, boats race in the bay for America's Cup, then the Blue Angels show their tricks in the sky. It's going to be a gridlock in the city and any attempts to go for any reason must be given much thought and planning. No driving should be considered for many reasons, among them that traffic in and to the city would be horrendous, parking spots would be ten times harder to find and of course that gas prices spiked 40 cents overnight. It's best to just take public transport instead of getting stuck in the middle of the freeway and miss all the action.

I have insanely scheduled something in the city for Sunday pm. I would have to cancel that.

I got a text from my friend; it actually went to my husband's phone, because we swapped phones right after coming back from our vacation in Asia. The message said (it was in Tagalog): Maria my mother has passed away. I will let you know of viewing times and dates. That's all. She/he did not say who was sending the message. The phone number was not familiar to me, although it's in the same area code as mine. I read the text as we were driving home from visiting an elderly friend of ours; she fell and was bruised all over. She lives alone and had to yell for her life. Luckily she lives near the golf course and golfers heard her screams from the backyard and she got help immediately - also there is a fire station at the bottom of the hill.

And so after the emotional visit to that elderly friend, I got another shocker. First off, I couldn't really tell who was sending me the message. Then by the process of elimination, I called the first one that entered my mind. I called not send a text. She replied and I couldn't recognize her voice for an instant and then I called her name. I was lucky I guessed right.

Her mother got beat by lung cancer, which metastasized, according to her. Boy I really hate that word, metastasis, metastatic, metastasized, in all its form. Anyway, the call was short and she was planning on the viewing and the funeral. Four days later I got another text informing me of the viewing time and date. It's going to be this Sunday evening. So many things happening this weekend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In Search for the Perfect Adobo

Lately I've been obsessed with adobo, the Filipino dish of soy and vinegar. It has always been my favorite food. My mother used to have her own version, wherein she only puts soy sauce and no vinegar and calls it lutong toyo (cooked in soy sauce).

So whenever I go to any Filipino restaurant or store that has some cooked food I always seek out the adobo. You'd be right if you guess I'd go home with adobo to go. I always do.

However, it has been a constant longing on my part to find the perfect adobo taste. Andrea which is a popular Filipino restaurant in neighboring Vallejo makes a decent adobo. The fact that their chef (okay cook if you quibble with terminology)is a Kapangpangan makes their adobo more believable, to me at least.

Over at Cabalen, another Filipino restaurant, they make a pretty good version as well. However, the best adobo I've tasted so far was over at my brother's house. We were invited to an impromptu dinner last week when his daughter and her family were visiting for a few days. In order to spend time with family, especially my niece and her kids who have moved to Southern California, my SIL rushed making dinner after work.

Her adobo is superb! My husband said the adobo has been simmering in a crockpot for a long time that's why the flavor is really rich and the meat is falling off the bone. They used short ribs for the adobo, which I never even considered. I've always been using chicken and little bit of pork liempo. But now that I have tasted the short ribs adobo, oh my gulay, I think I'm going to try that one this weekend.

We've been consciously trying to eat healthy, and adobo with all the sodium content of the soy sauce, not to mention all the fat of the meat, I don't know if I can indulge in adobo as much as I wanted to.

If you are a cook and have made adobo, is there any tip about cooking it that you'd like to share with me?

(I composed this post sometime in September, have yet to cook short rib adobo.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More Fall Shows

REVENGE: I must admit that I need to rewatch the premier because I was multitasking when I watched this on DVR. I did not fully grasp the meat of the show, although it was immediately known that Victoria Grayson is alive and somehow survived the plane crash from last season's finale. Now I still have to find out how that happened. It's also clear that Daniel still has feelings for Emily Thorne. Hopefully soon, Jack will find out that he is not the father of Amanda Clarke's child, that is my guess by the way. It looks like a fun season so far.

THE GOOD WIFE: The shows last season were well written, keeping me glued in. The same is true for this season's premier. My hope for this season is for Alicia and Peter to start working on "mending fences" and find out once and for all if it's a go or no. I don't want to see Alicia and Will rekindling their romance. And what the heck is Kalinda involved in now?

ONCE UPON A TIME: Now Mulan is in? Okay so I have heard of Mulan the animated movie. Other than that I have zero clue on who she is. But now I suppose I'll learn more about her because, well she's in the show. The premise when the show started is that the fairy tale characters are living ordinary lives in Storybrooke somewhere in New England without knowing their fairy tale past. This is shattered with the premier episode where the magic followed them in Storybrooke. Emma broke the curse, they regained their memory, but they remained in Storybrooke. How the fairy tale characters would return to their own world would be the theme of this season's shows.

UPDATE:

WAREHOUSE 13 is on mid season hiatus, what is that about? It only has a handful of new shows for the season and now it's taking another break? Why??????

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall TV

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WAREHOUSE 13
The explosive season finale gave way to the story line this season, as Artie diligently goes to collect the artifacts lost. Two episodes into the new season and I'm enjoying it so far. I don't know how far into the season it will take for Artie to get all the artifacts in the warehouse.

ALPHAS
Its long hiatus made it difficult to pick up where the show ended last season. The actors' appearance have changed in a way, older. It's like watching a brand-new series. It's on DVR.

HAVEN
Finally, it's here. Haven is another one of those that seem to take forever to return. The premier was a great starter for the season. Explosive, with a hint of romance and a sprinkling of intrigue. We are getting to know more and more the origin of the leading character, Audrey Parker or whatever her real name is.

CASTLE
So they're hooked up and Beckett is no longer in the force, but they're still pursuing the case of her mother's death, which seems to be getting more and more complicated and involving more and more people in high places. She's getting her job back, I'm sure of that.

GREY'S ANATOMY
The storyline is getting tired, despite the interest the season finale garnered. Upon their return, they killed off Mark Sloane and amputated Arizona's legs. They have new sets of interns. Cristina Yang no longer works for Seattle Grace. Dr. Bailey is getting booty calls. Where is this show going from here? I suggest this be their last season. Go out with a bang. It's no use rehashing the same old tired story lines they used few seasons ago. I am getting weary of it as well. All last year, I watched it on ON DEMAND, whenever I had time to see.

BIG BANG THEORY
I enjoyed this show so much last year, when I discovered it. I voraciously watched it on syndication all through the winter, spring and summer months. My fear is that they might not find new and interesting direction for the characters to explore. They definitely have to find someone for Raj and maybe give a bigger role for Stewart as well. How about push the limit on Sheldon and have him "man up" to Amy?

PERSON OF INTEREST
Towards the end of last season, its first season, I discovered this show. It is a very interesting show, very techie but cool. At the finale last season, the main character was abducted, fooled into believing that he was saving this person, who was in trouble. Turned out she made the whole thing up so she can smoke out main character from hiding. The premier showed the continued search for him. Getting interesting. DVR this because it's in the same time slot as Grey's Anatomy.

*Still waiting for the premier of REVENGE, ONCE UPON A TIME, THE GOOD WIFE, and SMASH, the latter I learned will be making its appearance midseason.

*The three shows mentioned in the last paragraph had their premier last night and they are all awaiting on DVR for me to watch them.