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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The 40th Birthday! 

Yep, today was my 40th Birthday (Gasp!), and what a GREAT day it was!

I woke up to find dozens of birthday greetings on my Facebook wall. Facebook Birthdays are the best - it's so nice to hear from so many friends, and really makes you feel special. I took a snapshot of ALL of the greetings on my wall throughout the day (thinking I might save them on my blog as a keepsake), but it turned out to be 14 screenshots long, which seemed like way too many to share here. :) I'll just keep a copy of them on my computer - it's like dozens of birthday cards, but I will post one here:

Facebook Birthdays are the Best!

I also had the fun birthday banner on my Windows Live screen. That made me happy, too. :)

It's a Windows Live Birthday Party!

Now, as nice as it was to sit in front of my computer all day, I had a great day away from it as well!

Dick took the day off from work, which was such a special treat.

We started the day by going to Bakery Tartine for breakfast. Can't beat a hot Morning Bun to kick off a day!


After breakfast, we headed to the Metreon to catch a matinee showing of..... Avatar. It appears that Dick and I may have been the last people on Earth (or, at least in San Francisco) to see this movie. We figured we'd better see it while it's still showing in a theater - plus, we were able to see it in 3D!

Actually, before the movie, we had some time to kill, so we played a few games of The Lord of the Rings Pinball! Birthday Pinball is the best!

Birthday Pinball!!

...and here we are dorking out with our 3D glasses in the theater.

3D Geeks

In the evening, my parents and my dear friend, Diana, came over and we all had dinner at the House of Prime Rib. It was a fantastic evening. Great food, great company. A perfect way to celebrate my milestone birthday. :)

Dad, Mom, Dick, Trina & Diana at HoPR

and one last shot of me with my hubby and the birthday dessert. :)

It was a very nice day. Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes - I appreciate all of them, and you all made my day memorable.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

They're Back! 

Banana Combs are back?! Go figure...

Does that mean that big, permed hair is going to make a comeback, too?

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Which Chow? 

Last night, I had dinner with my friend Alice the restaurant, "Chow" in Lafayette. It was very good.

I paid our bill with my credit card. When I got the receipt to sign, I had to giggle.

Typically, credit card receipts usually have "Customer Copy" or "Restaurant Copy" at the bottom. (so you'll know which copy to leave with the restaurant, and which copy to take with you.)

This receipt had **Chow Copy.** at the bottom.

So, which Chow is this receipt for? ;)

**Chow Copy**

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new geek t-shirt.

Am I the only one noticing how small women's t-shirts are becoming?

I fully recognize that I am not as petite as I was, say, 20 years ago. But, considering the fact that I will soon be entering the fourth decade of my life, I think I'm still in pretty good shape. I could be totally fooling myself into thinking that I'm still fit, but I do workout regularly, and generally eat pretty well, and well, I think I look okay. :)

I usually wear a size Medium, and I'm perfectly okay knowing that I no longer fit well into a size small.

But, when I was selecting this shirt, I realized how small the medium seemed to be, so I grabbed a large instead.

Good thing I did. It fits well - exactly how I would want it to. (but it still seems a tad ridiculous to me.)

So, this is me.
Size: Large.

go figure.

I want to know who's responsible for deciding clothing sizes...


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"The iPad" - Really? That's the best name you could come up with? 

worst. product. name. ever...



This just goes to show that sometimes all of those brilliant engineers and marketing specialists just don't see the whole picture.

I'm pretty sure you could ask any woman on the street what the first thing she would think of when hearing about a product named "iPad", and she would say: feminine hygiene product.

I can guarantee you that (at least before Apple's announcement this morning) no woman who hears of a product called "iPad" would think, "Fantastic, computer gadget! I must get one now!"

No. that's not how it works.

Just say the word "pad" and our minds go elsewhere - somewhere much less fun and exciting.

I haven't even looked into the new iPad yet. I still can't get past the name.

But I'll tell you this, seeing the headline that Steve Jobs calls the iPad “truly magical” and a “revolutionary device” has a whole new set of connotations for me now. :)

Note to Apple: make sure you include smart women into those important meetings when you name those new "must-have devices"!

It just may stop you from sounding like an imbecile.

"The New iPad! Now with wings!"

No surprise: the net has been buzzing with iPad jokes all day.

Here's just one article about Apple's big goof:

Apple's iPad becomes big fat ‘intimate’ joke

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Our Wii Fit Family 

Wii Dick, Wii Trina and Wii Noe!

Dick and I just got a Wii Fit, and tried it out for the first time last night. So far, I really like it!

I know I weigh a lot for someone my height - part of the I'll contribute to muscle (hello - my calves probably weigh 10 lbs. each!) but I can certainly stand to lose a decent amount of weight that I've gained over the past few years.

I've been doing pilates and walking/elliptical machine fairly regularly still, but it's fun to mix it up with things like this.

One of the most fun things that we found on the Wii Fit last night was that you can include your pets!

Yes, little Noe has a Wii character now - a pretty good representation!
She didn't seemed to mind being weighed on the board last night, either. :) (I was carrying her)

We'll see how this goes!


Friday, January 01, 2010

My Year according to my Facebook Status 

For those of you not on Facebook (or, at least, not my friend on Facebook) you may not realize that I'm on Facebook (embarrassingly) regularly, and frequently update my status.

It's a bit interesting updating my status on Facebook while also keeping a blog. I've realized the my blog has been hurt a bit because I tend to put my more day-to-day-random-thoughts on Facebook now, when I used to publish them on my blog.

Anyhow, I found a neat little FB app that commpiles select status updates from your account in Facebook and puts them all together in a pretty little collage. I have far too many status updates to squeeze into this screen - I think it only made it through February, but it was fun to read through my status updates for the year.

So, again, if you're not on Facebook (and that's you, Mom & Dad), here's a taste of what you're missing. (exciting as it is.)

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing in a new Decade 

Today is the last day of the year 2009, and indeed, the last year of the Y2K decade.

A few of my friends on Facebook have posted photos from NYE 1999, showing what they were doing as they entered the new millennium.

I dug into my archives, and found a photo of me and Dick, taken on December 31, 1999.

Trina & Dick
December 31, 1999

We had a low-key evening at home with Pete & Richard, and Mitch and his brother, Bruce. We made dinner at home, then ventured out on MUNI to the Embarcadero to watch the fireworks. Funny thing is, once we were there, we decided it was all too crowded and crazy for our taste, and we took MUNI back home well before the clock struck Midnight.

Tonight, we'll be having a low-key evening at home with Pete and Richard. We'll be making dinner at home, and honestly, will probably retire before the clock strikes midnight. Some things never change. :)

It's interesting reflecting on the past decade, and how things have changed.

Dick and I had been dating for a year at that time. Since then, we've each moved a couple of times (and yes, that does mean moving in together, and eventually setting up house at "His 'n Her Condos"), we've added some furry companions to our family (We got 3 cats in 2000 - Claude now lives happily with my parents, Marcel sadly passed away just this last March, and little Noe is still as fluffy, spunky, and funny as ever), we did some wonderful travel (London, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Granada, Seville, Madrid, Shanghai, Tokyo, Alaska, Hawaii, etc.), got married, and created many, many wonderful memories with family and friends, old and new!

Overall, a pretty fantastic decade for us. It's amazing just how much can happen in 10 years when you take a moment to think about it.

Happy New Year to all of my friends and family out there.
Here's to a Happy and Healthy 2010!

April, 2009


Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Very San Francisco Christmas (Eve) 

I admit, I haven't been in much of the Christmas Spirit this year. With my Grandfather's passing, and following the period of mourning, we decided not to put up our Christmas tree, or even decorate for Christmas at all this year.

We've done a couple of things over the last few days to try to get into the Holiday Spirit: We watched "Elf" the other night, went down to Union Square yesterday to look at all of the Holiday Decorations, and had a really nice dinner at Pete & Richard's house with Blane last night.

Even so, I was still feeling the Holiday Blues this morning. To rectify the situation, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood, and specifically, to walk to "The Christmas House" on 21st Street.

This is Tom and Jerry's House in Noe Valley. No, I don't know them personally, but they have their names on the huge stockings on their house. :)

I love walking to their house during Christmastime. It really has a magic about it, and you can just see how much love goes into putting this all together year after year.

Dick, bringing the perspective

We stopped by Dolores Park to take in one of our most favorite views of the City. It's always so beautiful, but even better on a cool, clear day.

View from Dolores Park

On our way back home, we decided to stop by Harvey's on Castro Street for a drink. :)

As if a drink at Harvey's wasn't reason enough to make me happy - they were also showing "The Empire Strikes Back"! :)

Darth Vader at Harvey's

Hello, Bloody Mary!

One last picture to wrap up our walk around the Castro on Christmas Eve:

Here's a night shot of our neighbor's house. They add a little bit to it each year. Always makes me happy to see.

Happy Christmas Eve, to all!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


it's always a fun time in Trina's Playhouse!

I'm still loving my cabana out in the backyard. I thought i had finished furnishing it, but i had a couple of people (including my Dad!) suggest that I should look for a small ottoman to put out there.

So, I've been on the hunt for the last few months, and hadn't found anything...

...until today.

Today, I hopped inside the new (to me) CB2 in Union Square, (fun store, but the way) and found the perfect ottoman!

Actually, it's called a "Pouf"! Gotta love that!

It's round, and comfy, and green - perfect for the Cabana. :)
Plus, it fits in with my circle motif I have going in there. Who could ask for anything more?

Bonus: I have yet another reason to keep saying "Pouf". ;)

Now, I do believe that my Cabana is fully furnished. Come on over and hang out with me. :)


Friday, December 18, 2009

Well, Cuss Me! 

I've decided that I'm going to take a cue from the "Fantastic Mr. Fox" movie (which I loved, by the way. You should see it) and I'm going to use the word "Cuss" instead of any actual 4-letter cuss words when I feel the need to use expletives.

I generally don't swear much at all (except if I'm playing Xbox), but every now and then, I do feel the need. :)

Some examples:

"Cuss Me!"
"Are you Cussing Me?"
"Don't Cuss with Me!"
"What the Cuss?!"

...and my personal fave...

"Cluster Cuss"

(seriously - go see the movie!)

Why am I feeling the need to say this now, when it's been 2 weeks since I saw the movie?

It's because I just got home after spending the last 3.5 hours of my life sitting in traffic! "Cuss ME!"

I left Stockton at 3:00 this afternoon - hoping to beat the fog and the traffic (or, at least most of it). No go. There was a really bad accident of the big-rig nature in Stockton, and it took me 1 hour to get out. It should usually take about 15 minutes.

By the time I was in the Bay Area, I also got stuck in regular Friday night traffic, and Bay Bridge craziness.

It was bad.

Under normal circumstances, even with a little bit of traffic, it should only take 1.5-1.75 hours.

Oh, and did I mention that I stopped off at Tracy to grab a hot chocolate from Starbucks? Oh, and instead of putting in my one shot of peppermint, they decided to put in one shot of espresso instead. I try to avoid caffeine in general, and the hot chocolate was already pushing it, so by the time I made the discovery that it wasn't right, I was already at the Costco getting gasoline. I drove back to Starbucks to have them fix it. Good thing. That wouldn't have been pretty...

But I digress...

With my new, cleaner, cuss-free plan, I do believe that this blog is now officially rated PG-13.

It may even be PG...

Who the Cuss knows?


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Monday, December 07, 2009

In the news.... 

adding another minute or so to my so-called 15-minutes of fame...

Check it out! Andrew and I are quoted and photographed in this news article about the Fantastic Mr. Fox exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum!

Fantastic Mr. Fox Trots Through the City

Just another example of being in the right place at the right time. :)

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Friday, December 04, 2009

A Fantastic Day with Mr. Fox & Andrew 

Thanks, I needed that!

I spent the early afternoon with my friend, Andrew, today. Andrew and I have many similar interests: Raggedy Ann, Animation Art, children's literature & illustrations, animated films, etc.,

Today we went to see the movie "Fantastic Mr. Fox" at our local theater. What a great film - if you enjoy Roald Dahl books, or enjoy and appreciate stop-motion animation, I highly recommend it.

The best word I can think of to describe it is Charming. Everything about it: the story, the style, the music.... it was all indeed, "Fantastic".

After the movie, we walked over to the Cartoon Art Museum to see the Fantastic Mr. Fox Exhibit. We did this several months ago when we saw the movie Coraline. We're so lucky to have the Cartoon Art Museum here - they always have such good exhibits, like both of these, and how wonderful to see them right after seeing the films!

The Fantastic Mr. Fox exhibit features two sets from the stop motion animated film, “Flint Mine – We Took Everything” and “Farmer Scale Yellow Door,” which include puppets and props used in the film’s production. Very cool. The detail on the characters was so amazing!

Fantastic Mr. Fox set and props

After the museum, we walked over to Jeffrey's Toys to see if they had any movie-related merchandise (they did not) or Raggedy Ann dolls (they only had two small dolls). While we were perusing through the store, we spotted a little wooden doll who, shockingly, was a cross between Raggedy Ann, and, well.... me.

Hilarious! We just *had* to get it, so Andrew offered to buy it for me. :) I figured she could live in "Trina's Playhouse" in the backyard. :)

Trina with Wooden-Trina

One of Andrew's hobbies is that he has a little wooden doll named Hitty, who he takes around the world with him, and takes pictures of. Hitty is quite the World Traveler, and the girl has a much larger wardrobe than I. :) Here's a link to her very impressive photo album.

Today, she was sporting her little Fox Hat, which she wore when taking a photo with Mr. Fox.

Andrew taking a photo of Hitty and Mr. Fox

While we were writing for a train in the MUNI station, I decided to take a photo of Hitty and her new wooden friend, Trina.

Trina and Hitty at the MUNI station

It was a fun afternoon, and a nice break for both of us. Thanks, Andrew! (and thanks to Hitty, too!)

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My new pink/grey gorilla-feet shoes 

Pink Gorilla Feet!

You may remember that a couple of months ago, Dick and I each purchased Vibram Fivefingers shoes - the ones that make our feet look like gorilla feet.

It turned out that the pair I bought were one size too small, so I had to return them. The store apparently sells out quickly, and doesn't always have much inventory in stock. They were sold out of my size, and gave me store credit. I went back in today, to see which style/colors, if any, they had available today.

My choice: pink/grey or bright blue.

This style (called "sprint") is slightly different from what Dick got - there's no additional material covering the top of the feet. It made it easier for me to get in and out of them, which I like, and I *think* make them slightly less gorilla-like. :)

So, I got the pink/grey pair, figuring they were slightly more neutral than the bright blue. (Pink shoes?! Gasp!) I might have to start calling myself "Magilla Gorilla". ;)

I'm wearing them around the house now, trying to get used to them. so far, so good.
SFgate.com had this interesting article yesterday about the shoes. It was actually what reminded me to go back to the store to see if I could get another pair. :)


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Out and About 

It's a beautiful day here in SF - mid-70s, clear and sunny. Happily, I was able to get out to enjoy the today.

My day started with a dentist appointment at 11:00. My dentist's office is on the top floor (26) in a gorgeous art deco building just off of Union Square. Here's the view I had from my exam room. You can see Alcatraz on the left, and Coit Tower on the right. Not bad. :)

View from my Dentist's Office

After my appointment, I had lunch with my friend, Philip, at Yerba Buena Gardens. The weather was just perfect. We found lunch at the Farmer's Market inside the Metreon, and ate outside.

Yerba Buena Gardens, with the SF MOMA in the background

I went to the Powell Street MUNI station to catch the MUNI Metro home. They had an interesting advertisement campaign up for the Monterey Bay Aquarium's new Seahorse exhibit. It was actually quite pretty.

The Secret Lives of Sea Horses

Once I was back in the Castro, I stopped off at our local grocery store to buy stuff for tonight's dinner. On my way home from there, I walked past the neighborhood park, and noticed a girls softball game going on. I stopped for a bit to watch, then overheard some kids in the stands cheering for "Rooftop". I realized that's the same school that my 3 nieces attend, and remembered that my eldest niece was playing softball this year! I asked some of the kids in the nearby stands if she was there, and they pointed out that she was playing in Left Field! Go Evie! That was a nice surprise! It turns out that I caught the last 3 plays of the game, and was there to witness their first victory of the season so far. Cool!

"Go Rooftop!"

That was a nice way to end the day!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fun with Anagrams! 

A couple of weeks ago, Dick were having a slice of pizza at our local "Escape from New York" on Castro street. They recently put the frame back on the wall of celebrities who have left autographed photos for them. One of the photos was of our friend, San Francisco-based author, Armistead Maupin. The headline under his photo read "Armistead Maupin is a Man I made dreamt up".

I explained to Dick that "Is a Man I Made Dreamt Up" is an anagram for Armistead's name. People have been speculating for years that this is his pen name, not the actual name he was born with. After all, one of the main characters in his "Tales of the City" series is named Anna Madrigal, whose name is an anagram for "A Man and a Girl". (her character was born male, but had a sex change as an adult.)

Well, seeing as Dick's Father was Armistead's Junior High School English Teacher, it's safe to assume that it really is the name given to him by his parents, and that it just happens to make one of the best anagrams ever.

After remembering how cool of an anagram Armistead's name makes, it made us wonder if our names would convert to any interesting anagrams.

My cousin, Bruce, just led me to this site that makes anagrams out of names:


First I tried my full name: Trina Kristin Chow, which came up with:


...not thrilled with that one, so I tried just my first and last name and got:


that's a little more fun!

Not nearly as cool as Armistead's but it'll do. :)

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Donated Blood - at last! 

My iron level was finally high enough (40% - the minimum is 38%) for me to donate blood today.

The last time I successfully donated was in April. I try to donate every two months, but the last 3 times I went to donate, my iron count was below the 38% minimum.

I'm always so bummed when I'm turned away, and can't donate. It seems like such a waste.

I was very happy that I was finally able donate today. Makes me feel good. :)


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thunder & Lightening 

Last night, I woke up around 5:00am to the sound of very loud thunder. Next came the lightening, and finally, heavy rain. This lasted for about half an hour, and started up again around 8:15am.

The thing is: we hardly ever get thunder and lightening storms in SF. On top of that, I didn't think it was even supposed to rain this weekend, so the whole thing really took me by surprise!

I'll admit, I'm not a fan. I know some people (my Mom) LOVE thunder and lightening storms. Not me.

This morning, I went to my computer and went to all of my usual pages, including Windows Live. What I saw absolutely cracked me up! I literally laughed-out-loud!

I've always loved this little girl and her black kitty, but this morning, I love her even more! She feels the same way about thunder and lightening as I do! (and the kitty doesn't seem to be bothered at all!)

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Green Day Concert 2009 - Take 2! 

Best. Free. Concert. Ever!

If I didn't love them enough already, I love them even more, now....

The concert was simply fantastic!

After seeing them at the Fox Theater in April, I was a little hesitant about going to another Green Day Concert this year. I mean, that concert was epic. How would it compare?

It was a completely different experience, and very different kind of show. That was great for me, because there was no need to compare this concert from the last.

The set list for the two shows were entirely different. When I last saw Green Day in April, it was a month before the new album was released. They played their entire new album from top to bottom, then played a bunch of old stuff afterward.

This time around, they opened with about 3 songs off the new album, but mixed it up after that with stuff from American Idiot, Dookie and other albums.

I found this set list from another show earlier this week from the Idiot Club site. It's roughly the same as what they played for our night's show.

Song of the Century
21st Century Breakdown
Know Your Enemy
East Jesus Nowhere
The Static Age
Before the Lobotomy
Are We the Waiting/St. Jimmy
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Hitching a Ride
Welcome to Paradise
2,000 Light Years Away
Iron Man/Crazy Train/Sweet Child O'Mine/You Really Got Me (brief medley)
Brain Stew
Basket Case
King for a Day
Shout/Goin' to Kansas City/Break on Through to the Other Side/Earth Angel/Free Fallin'
21 Guns
American Eulogy

American Idiot
Jesus of Suburbia
Last Night on Earth
Time of Your Life

The biggest difference between this show and the one in April was the interaction that the band, and mainly lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, did with the audience. That was fantastic! The show started with the lights off, then Song of the Century started to play. A spotlight shined down on the floor (where the general admission/crazy crowd was) and showed the band entering the floor, making their way through the audience, up to the stage. It was awesome! How many bands would start off their show by going through the audience! Billie Joe also went into the crowd several times throughout the evening, and pulled up several audience members (including kids) up to the stage. He had a few of them sing along, and even had a young man play the guitar part of "Jesus of Suburbia". Super cool!

Billie Joe out and about in the audience

The venue was much larger than the last - it was at the Arco Arena in Sacramento. Our seats were way up high, but honestly, we were plenty happy up there - still could see everything, and the sound quality was quite good.

The thing is: these guys are amazing performers. Not only do they write great music (in my opinion, anyhow), they perform it well live, AND they can entertain a crown for 3 hours straight! Yes, 3 hours. I can't imagine how wiped-out they must be at the end of each show.

And, I must admit, I'm no-so-secretly enamored with Billie Joe. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the man's got charisma. Lots and lots of charisma. He can energize a crowd for hours, and in the end, he still hits every note perfectly. I &heart; Billie Joe. :)

Okay, I admit it, I was a bad girl, and snuck in my camera. (who didn't!)
I couldn't help myself!

I took a few photos, and a couple of short videos.

here are my favorites:

"American Idiot"

"21 Guns"

"Last Night on Earth"
This is quickly becoming one of my favorite new songs. Billie Joe played it on his acoustic guitar. He may not have realized it at the time, but I'm quite sure that he was actually singing it especially for the woman sitting in section 222, row Q, seat 17. :)


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Saturday, August 08, 2009

My new gorilla-feet shoes 

Fascinating, Captain.... not pretty, but fascinating!

Dick and were walking down Castro Street, on our way home, when we popped into a store, and made the most spontaneous purchase for the two of us that I can remember!

As we walked past the In•jean•ious store, Dick noticed a shoe display in their window.

The shoes are called Vibram FiveFingers. I had never heard of them before, but Dick had recently read an article about them in the New Yorker magazine.

The theory behind these shoes is that we, as humans, were "designed" to be barefoot. Shoes, however, have been designed to protect our feet by encapsulating them. These shoes are like gloves for your feet. They are very snug, but breathe well, and let you feet be as close to barefoot as possible, while still being protected.

The description from their website:
The typical human foot is an anatomical marvel of evolution with 26 bones, 33 muscles and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised.

That’s why we recommend wearing FiveFingers for exercise, play, and for fun. Stimulating the muscles in your feet and lower legs will not only make you stronger and healthier, it improves your balance, agility and proprioception

Because I live in the City, and because I walk so often, the shoes that I wear are all about comfort (and if they're cute to boot, all the better). These shoes are meant to be comfortable, as well as healthy (because they stimulate your muscles in your feet and lower legs).

The one possible drawback of all of this: the sales guy was telling us all about the benefits of wearing these shoes, including building the muscles of your calves. Well, dear blog readers, as you know, this girl does not need to build the muscles in her calves any more than they already are!

Anyhow, as I mentioned, this was a very spontaneous purchase. Considering I hadn't even heard of these shoes 5 minutes before I tried them on, I was intrigued enough with the idea of them (and the instantaneous comfort when I tried them on) to buy them on the spot! Dick bought a pair, too.

As it turns out, In•jean•ious is the only store in San Francisco to carry this brand. They also happen to be in a store in our neighborhood, and I got the last pair of shoes that they had in my size.

It was meant to be.

I was meant to have gorilla-feet.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Aphid Attack!!! 


I am officially completely grossed out.

It should come to no surprise to anyone that I'm not a huge fan of "nature".

...and when I say "nature", I mean all the little bugs, spiders, and creepy crawly things that I associate with being outside amongst the pretty part of nature like trees, plants and flowers.

When Dick and I had our new backyard garden designed last year, we specifically requested that it be low maintenance. I figured, if we planned it out right, we could have a backyard that wouldn't require much more maintenance than regular weeding and simple pruning. After spending so much dough on our yard, I was determined to take care of the week-to-week needs, and only have our gardener come in for big jobs like pruning the trees, things associated with the drip irrigation system, or anything else that required actual knowledge of how things work out there. :)

So far, I've been doing a pretty good job, if I do say so myself! :)
My parents came over early on and helped disperse 20+ bags of mulch, and also helped me transplant a couple of plants.

I'm usually out there about once a week, working on the day-to-day maintenance. This mostly involves weeding, which, if I do it once a week, is pretty easy to keep under control. I've also busted out my pruning shears from time-to-time to trim away old growth, and have even taken a stab at shaping a few plants.

it was all going so well....

...except for the aphids.

I noticed the aphids a few months ago, and bought some spray that I thought would help. Well, it turns out that I wasn't spraying often enough.

Yesterday, my contractor who built the garden came over to see how everything had grown since she saw it last. She immediately noticed the aphid infestation on the plants underneath one of the maple trees. I told her I had been spraying, but she told me that wasn't enough.

She suggested that I take a bucket of soapy water, arm myself with a pair of rubber gloves, and wipe each leaf individually with the soapy water. She said it would be much more effective than spraying alone, which makes sense.

My initial reaction: Ewwwwww!!!
I hate bugs! There's no way I'll do this.
Then I sent out an email to my gardener, asking her to come over sometime soon to tackle it.

...which should be the end of the story.

But, it's not.

This afternoon, out of the blue, I decided to put on my rubber gloves, and attach those aphids myself!

I filled a bucket with soapy water, and wiped those leaves, one by one, scraping off all of the aphids, and drowning them in my bucket of water. I emptied the bucket out 4 or 5 times. That's a lot of aphids.

It probably took me about 45 minutes to complete the task. All the while, I managed to stay composed and not get too grossed out, knowing that would get me nowhere. After I rinsed out my bucket for the final time, I went back to the plants and sprayed them with the solution to try to keep them away. I now know that I should spray at least once a week - much more than I had been.

After I finished the job outside, I came in, put my clothes into the washing machine, then hopped into the shower.

This gives you an idea of just how miraculous it is that I even talked myself into doing this chore in the first place.

We'll see how it goes. I certainly hope this helped.

...and now, I'm pretty sure that I need a drink.

I hate bugs.

As Dot from the "Animaniacs" would say: Deeee-sgusting!!

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Note to self: 

For future reference:

Never ever have Fried Chicken, Mac and Cheese (w/Blue Cheese and Bacon) and Chicken Fried Steak on the same day.


I feel huge.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Brown is the new Black? 

I was just folding the laundry, and noticed that my pile had an usually large percentage of brown clothes in it.

when did that happen?

When did I start buying so many brown clothes?
Did someone tell me that Brown was the new Black, and I took them literally?

It's funny, because I used to wear mostly black clothing. I think somewhere along the line, I thought I should introduce some color into my life.

Apparently, I didn't go very far down the color spectrum!

Truly, I do own clothing with color in it, but apparently, I didn't wear much of it in the last week or so. In my defense, I started the laundry by doing a load of "darks" first, and this was the only load that I've folded so far.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Birthday Greetings 

I woke up this morning, turned on my computer, and was inundated with a barrage of wonderful birthday greetings! Wow! What a nice way to start my birthday.

I signed into my Windows Live Homepage, and what did I find?
My little girl and her black kitty (from the Windows Live theme choices) were in the top banner celebrating my Birthday, complete with party hats, streamers, dancing frogs, and party raccoons! Someone even brought balloons - clearly, they didn't get the balloon memo ;). Super cute!

Windows Live Birthday Party!

It gets even better:
I went to Facebook, and found a couple dozen birthday messages waiting for me. That's SO nice!

My Facebook Profile page this morning

I also had a couple of voice-mail messages on my home phone that I was able to access from my computer.

I feel loved. :)

What a wonderful way to start the day.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Coffee Cake 

I made a coffee cake this morning. It was probably the first time that I've made one in over 15 years.

That's kind of funny, because years ago, I used to bake coffee cakes quite often. Back in the days when I was 19, I had just moved out of my parent's house for the first time, and was living in Dayton, OH. For some reason, I baked a lot. Most kids smoke, drink, do drugs, or party hard when they're 19, and out on their own for the first time.

But, not me. No, Ma'am. For some reason, I decided to embrace my inner Betty Crocker and bake. Go figure.

The coffee cake from this morning turned out really well. I had forgotten how much I enjoy them!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Success at last! 

As I've mentioned before, I try to donate blood every two months (which is as often as one is allowed to donate blood). Every year or so, I go through a bout where my iron level is just under the minimum to donate. (The minimum reading to donate is 38, and I come in at 37.) It's not that my iron level is low in general (no worries of me being anemic), just a hint too low to donate. When this happens, I usually try to go in 2-3 times before my iron level is high enough to donate again.

The last time I went in and successfully donated was in late November. I tried to donate again in February, then again in March. No luck.

I do what I can: I have the list of iron-rich foods on my refrigerator door, and try to beef it up (literally) a couple of days before I'm scheduled to go in. Alas, that doesn't always work.

Today was a success! My iron level was at 38 - just high enough for me to donate. :)


Friday, April 17, 2009

Left Out 

something is missing...

After I woke up this morning, I was doing my regular catch-up-on-the-internet-thing: looking through all my usual web sites: SFGate, MSNBC, Facebook, etc.,

I was just looking at my Facebook Home page, and noticed this silly poll on the side where the sponsored ads are.

Blonde, brunette, or redhead?



I think you're missing an entire category!

This brought me back to an incident way back when I was in 2nd grade. My teacher was teaching us how to make graphs. She took a poll of "hair color" of all of the students.

Guess what?

In a class of 25+ students, I was the only one with black hair.

I distinctly remember this because, let's face it, when you're 7 years old, and the only Chinese kid in class, all you want to do is fit in with your peers. You're not looking to stand out.

But stand out, I did. Everyone had one column on their graph labeled "Black" and only one square on their full sheet of graph paper was colored in. The column titled "Blonde", "Brown" and maybe even "Red" were much taller than the one labeled "Black".

Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I was the only non-Caucasian kid in the class. In case you're wondering, we were living in Fresno, CA at the time. Not exactly the Great American Melting Pot in the mid-70s.

That was more that 30 years ago, and yet, here I am looking at this silly poll on Facebook asking what hair color people prefer: Blonde, Brunette or Red.

You'd think we'd all come further than that by now.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Best. Concert. EVER!


That was, without a question, the Best Concert Experience I have EVER had!!

The whole thing - just over-the-top amazing!

If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I joined Green Day's Idiot Club late last week after hearing that they had done two surprise shows in San Francisco during the week, and the only way to know about the shows, and get in, was through their "Idiot Club".

Best $20 I've spent in a long, long time.

They posted the announcement for last night's show late Saturday night, which I saw Sunday morning. The first 100 club members to send an email with their club member name and info would have 2 tickets reserved for them at Will Call. Well, I don't think I made the final cut, as they posted a list early, and I wasn't on it, but then it turns out that they opened up more tickets for the fan club, and I got in then!

The show was a the newly restored and recently reopened Fox Theater in Oakland. According to this article, the theater was originally opened in 1928, closed since 1970, and reopened on April 5th of this year, after a $75 million restoration project. The theater itself was simply gorgeous.

The Fox Theater

but i digress...

I invited my friend, Miguel, to come to the concert with me. (Unfortunately, it was too late on a school night for Dick to be able to go.) I was told that the doors for the general public would open at 7:00, but that Will Call for "Idiot Club Members" would open at 6:00, and that club members would be let into the theater immediately upon getting their tickets.

Miguel and I met after work at the Embarcadero BART station at 6:30. We took BART to Oakland, walked 2 blocks, and arrived at the theater around 6:45. There was a HUGE line formed around the building. When I went towards the will call tables that were set up in front, I was told to go to the line. When I asked about "Idiot Club Members", the guard smiled, and said, "Oh, that's different. You can go around the building the other way to your own special Will Call".

So, we walked around the corner, found the will call ticket booths, walked up to the "A-C" window (no line), gave my name, bought out tickets, and walked immediately into the auditorium. Apparently, the other club members had been waiting in here for the past 45 minutes. We were only in the auditorium for less than 2 minutes, when the doors opened!

The Fox Theater has standing-room-only floor space, closest to the stage, and arranged in three levels. We got a spot in the very front of the second level - about 40 feet from the stage, slightly raised (by about 2-3 feet) from the bottom level, and with a railing separating us from the people in front of us. I couldn't have been more perfect. (we could have gone to the lower level, closer to the stage (within 10 feet, easily) but I didn't want to get caught up in the mosh pit!) :)

We ended up standing by a couple of guys, who happened to be from Noe Valley (about a mile from my house). We talked to them and their SO's for the next two hours while we waited - talking about favorite concert experiences, and holding each other's places while the others went to get drinks. Pretty Fabulous.

We were given concert programs, which included the set list, as well as the lyrics to all the songs from the new album. We also knew that this evening's performance was being filmed for an upcoming DVD! :)

The Program, and my ticket (I am such a geek)

It was a full house. Totally sold out. I had heard that it sold out on Ticketmaster within 10 minutes. We wondered what the capacity of the Fox Theater was. I found out (on the web today) that it can hold 1,500 - 2,800 people, depending upon how the main floor area was being used. (ie: standing room only versus chairs, versus cabaret tables.)

The show started just after 9:00.

The band played for 2.5 hours straight.


They said that they were going to play their entire new album (which they did). That was the first hour or so.

Opening song: "21st Century Breakdown"

After that, they played a second set which included songs off of American Idiot and Dookie. I was in Green Day Heaven.

The band was simply incredible. SO much energy, such great performers, and such great musicians. I had seen Green Day perform live at concerts 4 times since 1994. This was Miguel's first. He/we were simply blown away by this performance.

Billie Joe Armstrong is just an amazing performer. I've never seen a more charismatic front man. He totally draws you in, keeps you entertained, and his voice was just perfect all night. And really, the whole band was fantastic. You could tell that they were all really into it, and really excited to be playing to this crowd.

Here's an article I found on MSNBC.com that has a review of their show at the DNA Lounge from last Thursday. It looks like they played the same sets, so you can get an idea of the play list.

They finished the night by playing "Homecoming" off of American Idiot, which was of course so fitting since they are from Berkeley/East Bay, and they were playing to their home crowd. They made many references to that all night.

The concert finished around 11:30. They gave away posters as we left. I may have to hang one in my cabana. ;)

The new CD, 21st Century Breakdown comes out on May 15th. I can't wait!

...and yes. I know... I'm a total Green Day Groupie.:)


Here's a good review on the show.

and another one from Rolling Stone

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Friday, April 10, 2009

I seriously suck.... 

Green Day Surprises Everyone Again.

Does anyone know how to find out about these last-minute gigs when they're announced?

Maybe I should just start going club-hopping...


Okay - I'm an official fanboy now. (fangirl?)

I've joined the Green Day Idiot Club! (now I really *am* an Idiot!)

Yep - for $20/year, I'll be in-the-know!
They have a new album coming out next month, and are said to be planning to playing more surprise local shows to test out the new material! I'm determined to make it to one!

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Friday, April 03, 2009

The Great Haircut of 2009! 

I'm feeling short and sassy now!

Yes-sir-ree! After thinking about it for months, I finally took the plunge and cut off all of my long hair!

The best part? It's for a good cause. I'm going to donate it to Locks of Love. Locks of Love is a great non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

This has actually been my plan for quite a long time. My hair grows very quickly, is fairly healthy, and I knew that at some point, I'd want short hair again. So, I let it grow, and grow and grow... probably the longest it's been since I was a kid. It was halfway down my back. I've been letting it grow (with cuts to shape it now and then) for about 3 years.

But the time has come!
You know - sometimes, you're just ready for a change.
I had a lousy last couple of weeks, so I figured, it was time to do something drastic, and really shake it up.

So, I made an appointment yesterday, and went in this afternoon - fully prepared. I had a picture of the cut I wanted, a couple of ponytail holders, and a zip lock back to bring my hair home in. I had also done my research online yesterday to see what the guidelines are for donating hair to Locks of Love. I knew that my hair was longer than the minimum 10 inches necessary to donate, so I was set to go.


The process was all very exciting and therapeutic at the same time. My hair is very thick, so my stylist had to section my hair into 3 separate ponytails before she cut my hair. This makes me feel great, because I think my hair will be able to help out more than one child. In the end, we were able to use 2 of the ponytails. They each weighed in at around 14 inches. The third one, which would have had the most layers in it, was just a bit too short.

I knew what kind of hair style I wanted - it's something I had many, many years ago. It's more or less a asymmetrical bob - longer in the front, shorter in the back.


My stylist did a really great job. She even allotted extra time before her next appointment because she knew that my hair is really long and thick. The whole process took an hour and a half.

View of the sides

I'm really happy and excited about all of this. It makes me so happy to know that my hair can be put to good use, and hopefully make a child (or two) very happy! What a great experience! :)


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