Friday, May 31, 2013

After all these years, I'm still shy.

Lately my favorite thing to do is bloghop. I had some free time and I just wanted to see what people are posting in the blogosphere. Many have tackled the age-old topic, WHY DO I BLOG? I don't think I'm going to tackle that here. I'm just not. Not right now at least. I really have to figure out why I started blogging in the first place. What's more appropriate topic is have I gotten the results I wanted from blogging? As I was walking down the hall today it suddenly dawned on me that I did not get the results that I initially expected from blogging. This blog specifically. I have other blogs aside from this.

I was expecting to be more open and sharing about my feelings, my opinions, my views - given that this platform gives me anonymity. Shyness have always been my foe. I don't think it's because of my birth order. Last-borns are known to be quiet and more fun loving; not opinionated, although I've met some who falls into that category.

Alas, not even hiding behind the computer screen would make be divulge my true feelings. I guess when you're shy, you're just plain shy. Do I have opinions? Sure I do. I remember one time I had this fierce opinion about transportation solution that I voiced to the hubby. He commended me saying it's a great idea, why don't I write my senator and congressman about it. Seriously?

Well that's all I wanted to say today. Tomorrow's another day, another month. May June be good to all of us. Happy summer!!!!!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Still here

Memorial Day, the unoffical start of the summer season, had come and gone. Personally, I feel it's all downhill from here. The rest of the year would be gone before we know it. But it's a nice change to have a little more heat than we normally have. Although I'm pretty sure I'd be whiny when I can't get some sleep because it's too hot. Still summer is a time of creating happy memories. I have a camping trip in July at the same cabin we stayed at a few years ago with family. I'm going with friends this time around.

I took a short 3-day get-away this Memorial Day. We drove out on Monday, Memorial Day itself, happy that the traffic was all on the other side of the road. We stayed in Mendocino at the Mendocino Hotel courtesy of a Travelzoo voucher. I fell in love with Mendocino at first sight many years ago and vowed to return and stay at this historic hotel. I was a bit deflated when I was given my room number and was told that my room was on a separate location. It's actually just behind the hotel, they have two garden houses that double as garden suites. I have no complaints about my room, have been dreaming of staying in a Victorian room. The garden setting is likewise very charming - well all of Mendocino is charming.

We timed our arrival perfectly. The flowers are all blooming. Each house is decorated by blooming garden.

We didn't have a plan or a list of what to see, although we did research about them. Most of the eateries close at 8, some shops close earlier. We looked around for places to eat, but nothing attracted us. For one, we don't want to spend too much for meals. Not only were we conserving our pennies, we were also planning on avoiding ingesting too much calories on this trip. Thankfully we found a local grocery store (like Whole Foods) that has a good deli. We bought salads and Mexican food and Indian food from them. Their food is amazing. Plus, they don't give you a paper or plastic bag with your purchase. You have to make a separate purchase for bags. Then they give you a token (dime for a bag) signifying you bought a bag. The token is to be placed inside one of the four glass containers before leaving the store. Each glass container is for a local charity. What a nice gesture.

At a Vegan/Veggie store I found an ylang-ylang oil, which brought me home to the Phil just by smelling its fragrance. I wanted to buy one bottle, they come in small bottles, but it's way too expensive for me, it was $18.99 for a small bottle. Can't afford it.

This part of California is wet and foggy. We had rain for the first two days. Well, more of a drizzle on and off on the second day, but it was foggy. We went to see the Albion river, the Mendocino Botanical Garden, the Mendocino Headlands State Park and the Glass Beach. We stopped at stores to browse merchandise. Also stopped at a nursery to find the plant we wanted and found. It's called Tower of Jewel. We forgot to stop on the way home to buy it though, yikes.

The hotel didn't offer free continental breakfast, so we went looking for breakfast. On the second day, we went for brunch (yes we were on vacation so we got up late) at Eggheads, a local dive. Good food. We both had omelets. I was craving for hash browns, but they only have country potatoes. Not the same. So on the third day, despite all good sense, I dragged the hubby to Denny's for hash brown. It's the only one we could think of that has hash browns, so we forced ourselves to have some Denny's breakfast. Not that their food is bad, it's just not good. You know what I mean.

The rocky, rugged coastline, the charming Victorian houses, the plentiful wildflowers, the tall trees, the cold wind, the salty air, kelp all over the beach, the scenic Highway 1 - there's so much to enjoy in the north coast. I didn't realize that last year we were up here on the north coast again for our anniversary, except we went further north in Eureka as our base. It's just beautiful up there.

Especially when the sun comes out and the fog lifts and the sky is blue and the ocean is pretty shades of blue. Yes, it was like that on our third day, our last day.
We found ourselves singing the California state song while watching the waves crashed on the craggy bluffs..... I love you California, you're the greatest state of all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Remember when?

Do you remember when our e-mails were full of "spam" from our dear friends? Our inboxes were littered with funny pictures, funny anecdotes, and inspirational slideshow.

Then it all stopped because now we have twitter, facebook, instagram, etc. People now have other venues for sharing.

I missed those days when my inbox is full of junk from people that are dear to me.

Thus, I was so pleased that there is still one person I care about that still sends me all these "junk".

Now that our inboxes have larger capacity, we don't need to delete msg anymore, no matter what they contain.

That is why I still have these images that a dear old lady friend sent me a while back. If not for her e-mail I would have not seen these amazing pictures. This is actually an ad campaign.

Enjoy the images:










































Friday, May 17, 2013

Nope, This Isn't A Weekly Blog...

.....I just happen to be lazy.

And in a rut.

Don't ask me why. It might be the monotonous routine of 5-day work and 2-day errands/church. I need a little change of scenery so to speak.

One more reason I don't have time for blogging here is that I've been trying to keep up with all the season finales of the many shows that I follow. Sweetness, I didn't realize that I watch way too much television. Although let me tell you that my husband has been telling me that for years. He said we should find other things to occupy our time after dinner. He suggested listening to music while he reads the newspaper. Yap, we still have newspaper delivered to our house daily. Yes, we get most of our news online, but I suppose it's the tradition of the newspaper that we are keeping here, or else we're trying to singlehandedly keep the newspaper business alive.

Last night was a good example of how crazy our tv viewing schedule is: the teams we follow all were playing last night - the Giants, the Warriors and the Sharks. The Giants started and ended early; I completely ignored the Sharks. And I flipped back and forth between the Warriors and the finale of American Idol.

I taped THE BIG BANG THEORY and SCANDAL. Then watched them later last night, after the 11 PM news. That is the reason why I'm yawning and tired all day today.

If I'm not mistaken the only shows that have yet had their finales are PERSON OF INTEREST and THE GOOD WIFE.

Hopefully, after all these regular Fall Shows take a summer break, I too would break from tv viewing. I really need to have something to do after dinner and it shouldn't be blogging or facebooking either.

Tomorrow, Saturday, I'm looking forward to seeing the TERRACOTTA WARRIORS in San Fran at the Asian Art Museum. In case I don't get to go to China, I'd be able to see the terracotta warriors. Plus, they say here at the museum you could see them up close, whereas in China you could only see them from a distance.

Another event worth looking forward to is my wedding anniversary at the end of this month. We initially wanted to keep it open just in case we have to do this "thing" that we need to do; but this "thing" that we need to do has been pushed back to August, which leaves the dates free for us to do what we can do. And we can finally go spend a couple of nights in one of my favorite coastal towns - Mendocino. I cannot wait to go back there.

And I broke tradition this year. Hubs and I vowed never give gifts to each other on b/days, anniversary, Christmas, etc. In lieu of gifts, we agreed to go on a get-away or road trip that we both could enjoy the experience. But this year, I saw this little thing on Group-On that is hopefully an answer to his needs. And I couldn't keep my mouth shut I told him about this gift. He was a bit pissed because yes I broke the vow, but when I told him I could use it as well and that the price was a deal - of course he knows the price, just like me he monitors GROUP ON, TRAVELZOO, LIVING SOCIAL, et al daily.

So one more week then. I can't wait for this litle road trip to the North Coast. I need to breathe the invigorating ocean breeze.

Enjoy the weekend.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Food Craving Friday

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Cocktails and appetizers, perfect munchies when cruising the bay.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This is just me talking.

We are just into the 5th month of the year and I'm already on my second bout of colds. Yap. It's not going to be a fun year, will it? Last year I was thinking out loud how I've managed to be colds-free for a number of years consecutively. I remember the last time I was in bed nursing a cold and fever - flu - it was the year 2000, yes it was that long ago.

This year, I already stayed in bed because I was too sick to get up due to colds - sore throat, cough, body aches, low-grade temps, chest and head congestion. I refuse to lie in bed this time around. So here I am. But to be honest, I feel horrible.

Change of subject to a more cheerful one. Our weekend was fun. On Saturday my mother freed me from my duties to drive her around while she runs errands, which she does on a weekly basis. She also runs errands with my brothers, but I have to drive her when it's my turn, which is Saturday. But this particular Saturday, she was a little under the weather, arthritis is acting up and walking is a pain in the ass, so she decided to sit it out.

As it turned out, last weekend was the first weekend of the month, which is when Bank of America sponsors free museum days. We've been wanting to infuse some fine arts and culture into our life once again, so we hightailed it to the city on that beautiful warm sunny day.

My bad because I didn't jot down the addresses of the museums we planned on visiting (Legion of Honor and De Young Museum). So when I put search Legion of Honor in my GPS, it took us to city college Legion of Honor. Who knew there were two Legion of Honors in the city. Turned out that the complete name of the museum is California Palace of the Legion of Honor. Whew! That's one long name to enter into the GPS. But we managed to find it and also find a parking spot. Truthfully though, without the help of the GPS, we know where it is and we know how to go there, we just want to see if the GPS can find us a quicker way to get there.

By the time we were entering the museum, the fog has arrived and overtook the neighborhood. Gone is the sunny warm upper 70s just an hour ago. We took cursory look at the exhibits, but it was the same things we saw before and artworks didn't keep us there. I didn't even entertained the thought that I might be taking pictures for the sake of a blog post.

What I was aching to photograph was the newlyweds having their photo shoot by the portico. I really really wanted to photograph them, but well I exercised supreme restraint on my part. I don't want to be rude and ruin their moment.

From here we drove to the Golden Gate Park where the De Young Museum is located. However, the park is closed off on weekends in some areas for sole use of pedestrians and bikers and rollerbladers, which meant we were to walk about 15-20 minutes from start of the road closure to get to the park. It was a good walk, but the wind by now had picked up and it carried with it cool breeze. Thankfully, I always leave a little jean jacket in my car for such emergency. My husband wasn't thinking ahead as I was.

At the De Young Museum, we only had one thing in mind. While the general admission was free courtesy of BofA, the special exhibits were not and we did not flinch when we paid the admission to see THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING and other collections that belong to Mauritshuis, the museum at the Hague. The collection is here while their home museum is being renovated.

The entire collection is amazing. Rembrandt and his co-horts paintings were incredible, but the centerpiece of the collection is the one called the DUTCH MONA LISA. It's really well made, beautiful. As a shortie, I managed to squeeze in and stand in the very front staring at it, and being in awe of the beauty of the painting.

I have a problem with paintings in general. Why do I have to stand there, look at the painting and think what the artist was thinking when he painted it, or what he was conveying. I do not like that.

This is why I like photography. If you look at a photographer's shot, you stand there, look at it and make your own interpretation of the photograph. That is why I prefer photos over paintings.

I simply don't have time and knowledge of the arts to fully comprehend the artist's interpretation of the piece. Having said that I spotted a Salvador Dali - I believe it was at the Legion of Honor - that I truly enjoyed.

We were cold and hungry by the time we reached the car, despite walking for 15-20 minutes. Then we remembered the little bakery/café we stumbled upon a few months ago in Balboa - the Cinderella Bakery and Café. The suddenly cold weather was asking for a bowl of hearty and piping hot solianka.

Again, we don't exactly know where it is in Balboa or what the nearest cross street is, and we plugged it in the GPS, found ourselves driving towards the water. Who knew Balboa is such a long street. I think its from one end of SF to the other end, which is the water.

Anyhoo, we found it, parked a couple of blocks away and found the place packed with hungry patrons. It's a very small place. Two tables inside with a little barstool/bar on one side plus a few tables on the curb. People were definitely enjoying their pickeled eel salad, which I was tempted to buy, but at $10 a tub, I wasn't ready to shell out that money for something I might not like. Perhaps I should have asked for a taste.

Since it was packed and we didn't want to sit outside and freeze to death (although there weren't any seats available), we got our soup to go along with a cup of hot coffee and a slice of cake and a cabbage piroshki.

That was Saturday.

Sunday was for church as usual. Also it was our massage day. It was my first time to have a massage with a guy, always have a female masseuse, but it was no big deal. He was good and the pressure he put on his fingers was just fine, although I was sore the next day.

We capped Sunday with a hearty home-made Mexican dinner of grilled chicken tacos and grilled chicken huaraches. BTW on Saturday before we visited the museums we made a stop at the Alemany Farmer's Market for a little lunch which consisted of a huarache. That's where the inspiration was to make huarache at home. The dinner was not complete without a margarita. It was Cinco de Mayo afterall.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chartreuse

Last night reality tv show AMAZING RACE had their finale for the season. This year the tandem of Anthony and Bates won the grand prize which is $1,000,000. Okay let me admit, I was rooting for them. One the boys, I can't tell who it is but he has a resemblance to Prince William. And I like the Prince so there.

What this post is about is general knowledge. In competitions like this, general knowledge in combination with athletic skills is a very good tool to complete tasks or road blocks. Case in point last night at the finale.

One of the tasks is to serve the meals to diners. The menu was the exact menu served at the Titanic, because they were in the dock where the Titanic was built, or something. So the dishes were spread out and they have a menu on the board. They have a list of who ordered what and they have to pick out the dishes they think would correspond to the dishes their table ordered.

One of the courses have a "chartreuse" something, it's a dessert thing I believe. I have heard of the word chartreuse before. I know it's a color description. But I don't know what color. The players also did not know what chartreuse meant and so they kept bringing the wrong dessert dishes and taking them back.

While I was watching I googled chartreuse and I found out that it's a combination of green and yellow. I will never forget that word again, I'm sure the players wouldn't either.

So I decided to post some color descriptions here for general knowledge purposes. We might find ourselves a word away from a million dollars, who knows.

• aeneous........ shining bronze color
• albicant .........whitish or becoming white
• amaranthine........deep purple red
• atrous............jet black
• aubergine........eggplant, dark purple
• aurulent.........gold colored
• badious.......chestnut colored
• cardinal......deep scarlet red color
• celadon.......pale green
• cinerious.....ash green
• columbine......dove colored
• ibis......pale apricot color
• magenta.......reddish purple
• maroon..........brownish crimson
• mauve........light bluish purple
• meline........canary yellow
• periwinkle.......bluish or azure color
• porphyrous.....purple
• primrose.......pale yellow
• russet.........reddish brown
• sepia......fine brown
• terracotta......reddish brown
• topaz........dark yellow
• virid.......green
• xanthic.......yellow or yellowish
• zinnober......chrome green


Will post more next time about color synomyms.