Friday, November 22, 2013

It's About The Double Date and The Scenic Route

On Tuesday night the dinner with another couple finally happened. I honestly didn't think it would happen. Each time we bump into the couple we make cursory attempts at getting together. Anyway, it's nice. We spent a good evening with them. Except that they are so into PDA (public display of attention). So touchy, so feely-feely. One can easily tell they're not married, by the way they are pawing each other in public. :)

It's nice that we chose the Pear Street Bistro in downtown Pinole, not only for its proximity to both couple's homes (although the other couple's guy lives in another county), but also because I've been wanting to eat there. Apparently of the four of us, I'm the only first-timer in that restaurant that night. Pity that we didn't really explore the menu. Maybe next time I'll find another chance to eat here. For one the ambiance is suitably relaxing. The wait staff is there when you need them and invisible when you don't.

This week I've taken the "scenic route" to work. It's a lot longer in terms of miles but with the congestion in the freeways (the downside of living in the Bay Area) I have not choice. This route cuts through the hills and the road is flanked by trees, whose leaves are a-changing. It's curvy and rural.

At the end of the scenic drive I arrive just outside of Caldecott Tunnel in Berkeley and only a few miles/minutes away from my workplace in Oakland.

Taking this road is beneficial to my emotional health. Driving here is the opposite of taking the freeway that's always stop and go and most of the time is at stop. When I take this route, it feels like I'm on a roadtrip. This Tuesday I drove here and the weather was gloomy and gray. The fog floats on the top of the trees with the hills behind it. So pretty. On the part where it's curvy the fall leaves are in full display, I was so happy to be driving to work.

Speaking of commute to work; today happens to be one of most horrible Friday commute I've had in a while. I have taken the scenic route but was delayed significantly by a fender bender near the junction to 580.

I think I need a rootbeer float as a reward for enduring daily stressful commute to work. Happy weekend.

Monday, November 18, 2013

This and That

It has been a busy few days. And I don't mean physically busy. I don't mean application of elbow grease. Just busy. Things around me are busy.

This weekend my aunt from Texas passed on. I found out on facebook. My relationship with that part of my family is sustained by facebook. It's sad I know but before facebook we hardly had any relationship at all. So yes, facebook made it better to communicate with relatives. When I told my mother, she said, "Oh no, we can't go right? Apparently all day Sunday her mind was filled with thoughts of this aunt and her husband, my uncle, my dad's younger brother. I think the spirit of my aunt was visiting my mom.

The news about possible turkey shortage spurred the hubs and I to run to the grocery store yesterday and grab a turkey before they run out. Funny I know. But it's better safe than sorry. The fact that we only have turkey once a year on Turkey Day makes the availability of the fowl on our table on that day much more important. I remember one year for Thanksgiving as we were shopping for turkey we saw a lot of goose. Every grocery store carried so many frozen goose that year. Since we were having turkey for thanksgiving we decided that we'd have goose for New Year's instead, ham was for Christmas. And so when we got back to the grocery stores after Christmas for goose, there were no more goose to be found. We drove around for goose but no goose. Since then, we vowed to buy something when we find it just to be on the safe side. However, we never attempted to serve goose after that failure.

There is another park in Pinole! I mean a park that I like to walk and bbq at. It's mind boggling how one can live in one place for decades and still find something new. I'll be back here bbqing in late spring through summer. It's a lovely spot and there's a walking trail that is perpendicular to the Pinole Creek. We weren't ready to walk the length of it but the trail from the park will definitely lead to the shopping center where there's Five Guys Burger and Jamba Juice, not to mention Chipotle and Peet's Coffee. Will take that walking trail another season.

I had a wonderful day yesterday. I made dinner plans for Tuesday with another couple, and the hubs and I went to dinner at friends' house. We got invited when the male friend mentioned he was making paella. His paella was excellent. He really has talent in the kitchen, I suppose that's why my hubs and him getting along so well. They both love to cook. I promised to have them for dinner someday (they've been to the house for 49ers watch party and bbq) where I'll have them sample Filipino cuisine.

I'm exerting immense patience by not putting up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. I think I'm going to fail, because I really want it up by next week. What do you think, early tree up okay?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kitties, Before Midnight

I'm going crazy. Batshit crazy. Over kitties.

I started to dream about them. In my dream, I'm feeding them. In my backyard and even at my friend's backyard. What is wrong with me?

Or is there?

In other news, I recently watched BEFORE MIDNIGHT, which is the third installment of the Before movie series (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset). The main attraction for me in the movie is its witty dialog. Like its two predecessors, this movie is filled with talking. Real talking about relationship, about feelings. If you are a fan of the movies, you'll know why this is a home run for me. If not, I don't know how to convert you.

I watched it with the hubby. He was a bit dejected. Okay maybe dejected is not the right word here. Let's say disappointed at my choice of movie via Netflix, but he stuck around the whole time. Well he got nowhere else to go, plus he was also reading the papers at the same time.

However, he was really fascinated by the screenplay. He seemed to relate to the characters and I laughed at the same places he did. We both pointed fingers at each other and saw that relationship are the same everywhere.

I just love the relatability of the characters. To me it doesn't feel like I'm watching a movie. It feels like I'm privy to real people's lives. The actors, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy (I heart her a lot.) are so good at being natural. Hats off. I hope there's a fourth installment.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Life at random captured forever.

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11_29_2012 px roatan 053

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another Week Later

I had a horrible dream yesterday. It's almost a nightmare. I woke up (twas 5 am according to the clock on my bedside table) with my heart racing and I was feeling very very hot. The former is attributed to the almost nightmare, but the latter was because I was buried under a blanket, a quilt, and a throw and two cats. Both cats were snoozing on top of my legs and feet. The throw is our futile attempt to have a hair-free quilt. Except that the cats when we're not in the bed like to burrow under the throw and sleep on the quilt. I don't know why we keep the throw, but it's still there. Minimizing the amount of hair that goes on the quilt.

I finally got around to eating Vietnamese food yesterday. You'd think I was pregnant by the rabid craving I have for this Vietnamese dish (vermicelli bun - like pho without the broth). And I only want to eat it at this little hole in the wall, no frills Vietnamese-Cambodian restaurant. Glad hubs wanted to eat as well.

And speaking of Cambodian, a Cambodian couple mistook me for another Cambodian. Now I've been mistaken for a Thai, Indonesian and now Cambodian. Without a doubt I definitely have Asian features.

And also we have finally cleaned out the other half of the garage. It's not completely clear and clean, but there is more leg room in there. We need more shelving and hooks to hang the bikes and the ladders.

I'm also seriously considering putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. Our neighbors already have lights up, not lit just yet, but up just the same.

In addition, I have completed my Twilight Saga books. This weekend I found ECLIPSE at a Goodwill Store. We dropped off some donations and then stayed for a little browsing. Got some items including a kitty mug set and the Eclipse copy for $2.99. So I started to read it. But too many things got in the way this four-day weekend that I haven't gotten past the first chapter yet.

One more thing I think I've forgotten to mention in the past posts, I baked scones. They were good. However, there were some errors in execution, so I'll try again. My niece came and tasted the cookies while I was out and when I got back and she was still there, she knew they were scones. So this is definitely very encouraging results. I shall try again.

In the same night while I was busy making scones, the hubby's project was home-made Mexican tamales). Oh they were good, a tad dry but they were good.

Until next week (kidding).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One Week Later

So one week after the last post, I'm still struggling to write a post. I've got something to talk about but somehow drafting it takes a lot of energy on my part.

Some days, writing comes easily. Other days, like lately, it's like pulling teeth.

Despite this obstacle, I'm finding so many little things that make me happy. I choose to be happy.

Costco's rotisserie chicken makes me so very happy. It's so good I have to snack on it on the drive home.

Another happy occasion happened when I finally got to see BREAKING DAWN Part 2. I'm so pathetic. A woman of my age should not be watching these kinds of films; but I suppose it's the romantic bone in my body that make me crave these chick flicks.

In addition, my kitties continue to make me happy. I love watching them sleep. I love playing with them. Buster has gotten to be very vocal and we engage in full blown conversations. I don't care if you call me crazy cat lady, but Buster and I understand
each other.

Hopefully I will find the inspiration to write more, because first and foremost it makes me happy.