Friday, October 31, 2003

Happy Halloween (part 2)

Dick, Mykail and I carved our pumpkins tonight.
Can you guess who carved which pumpkin?

Here's a great site where we found the stencils for our pumplin carving.

Happy Halloween!!!

We'll be having our Halloween Party tomorrow night. I'll post pictures after the event.

Here's Noe in her Halloween costume from a few years ago when she was still a kitten.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

The BEST Surprise EVER!!!

I just got the best surprise!!! Really!!!

Mykail called me this morning as I was ready to go out to run some errands. He asked me when I was going to return so we could talk later. I told him between 5 & 6:00......

The next thing I know, he calls my sister on her cell phone (she's here running errands with me) asking her what time we'd be back so his friend could talk with her.

Anyway, long story short: We come come, I'm emptying the car (lots of stuff for the Halloween party) and I hear someone say "You need some help with that?" It was Mykail & Jessica!!!

They drove up last night with Vicky - completely spontaneous. They all came up for various reasons - one of them being to surprise me, and come to our Halloween Party on Saturday!!!! :)!!!!

It's even more great because Dick is away for a business trip for a couple of days. this was the case the last time Mykail came to visit over the summer, too. Each time this happens, I say, "Now filling in for the roll of Trina's Boyfriend...."

Yay!! Best Surprise Ever!!!

Fired for Blogging?

Yikes. This employee was fired for blogging.

Better watch what I say. My boss could fire me.... ;)

Seriously though, if you think I've blogged about anything I shouldn't have, or have written anything inappropriate, let me know. Would hate to offend anyone, or write anything that I shouldn't.

Now I'm all paranoid.

Opus' Dad

Tuesday, September 28th was a very exciting day for my Mom! My mom, sister and I met up at the Border's Book Store in Palo Alto for a book signing by Berkeley Breathed.

Who's Berke Breathed? Well, he's Opus' Dad, of course. He is perhaps more widely known for being the creator and artist of "Bloom County" and "Outland". However, in our family, we call him "Opus' Dad".

My Mom started to have a small collection of penguins in the early 80s. What really launched her love for penguins had to have been when Bloom County came out - she immediately fell in love with Opus.

Just to make things clear: (pretend you're taking a SAT test again)

Trina: Raggedy Ann
Barbara: Opus the penguin

get it?

Berke Breathed is known to be a very private man. I can't imagine he does many talks or book signings. I can't imagine he needs to - he has quite a following from Bloom County already. He just came out with his latest children's book titled "Flawed Dogs: The Year-End Leftovers at the Piddleton "Last Chance" Dog Pound". That was the book he was promoting.

It was the quickest book signing I've ever attended (although I've actually only attended two). He spoke for about 3 minutes, then started to sign books. I think this is because it was Noon on Tuesday afternoon, and he figured most people were there on their lunch break.

Here's a picture of my Mom meeting Mr. Breathed. She had him sign his new book, and an Opus Poster that I found on ebay for her a few years back. She was really excited. Kind of like when I had the opportunity to meet the family of the creator of Raggedy Ann for the first time! :)

Oh - keep your eyes open! his new Opus comic strip will start appearing in Sunday Papers at the end of November! they're going to be 1/2 page strips! Woo-Hoo!!!

Monday, October 27, 2003

Southern Cal fires


Really bad fires down in Southern Cal. I'm hoping that all of my friends who are down there are okay.

I talked with Mykail yesterday. He lives in San Diego. he said the fires were about 10 minutes from him, and he didn't think that he'd have to evacuate. He packed a bag, and was ready to leave, just in case.

The description he gave was really surreal: he said it looks like the first fall of snow outside - only it's ash. The sky was black - this was at 3:00 in the afternoon. He described how all of the TV stations were only covering the fires... until the local FOX station had to go off the air because they had the evacuate the TV station.

It's really awful. If you're one of my Southern Cal friends, and just happen to be reading this, please check in.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Gay Boyfriend

Check out this video:"Gay Boyfriend".

It's really funny, and kind of reminds me of my first boyfriend (who yes, was indeed, ultimately... gay). The people who made it used software from Re:Vision Effects (Pete's Company).

Friday, October 24, 2003

My talented friend, Jason

My friend Jason just left after a quick 3 day visit. He was in town for the SF Travel Expo. He lived here for several years, so he has plenty of friends, and favorite places to visit.

Jason is a man of many talents. First of all, kudos to Jason - he just signed his first book deal!!! I'm just thrilled for him. I'm not sure how much of this is for public knowledge, so I'll write more later when I know.

Another one of Jason's talents? I think I may have mentioned it in an earlier post. Jason shares my love for the original Star Wars trilogy. Last night, we found that we are worthy opponents for "Star Wars Trivia". We had a great time playing. Here's the part I love: Jason is the only person I know who can speak "Greedo". For those of you who don't know, Greedo was the green alien with the pointy snout who had a discussion, and was then shot by Han Solo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Random thoughts from the middle of the night

Here are some things I've learned by waking up and working from 2:00am-6:00am:

It's really dark outside
The cats are still asleep
the garbage man comes *really* early.
No one is logged-on to Instant Messenger
junk mail never sleeps
I get some pretty good work done. doesn't put new stories up in the middle of the night
it's too bad I don't drink coffee
i come up with more reasons to blog

Crazy Artist hours

Here's one of the great perks about having your own business: you can establish your own hours.

For some reason, I woke up at 2:00am today. I got out of bed, and walked down the hallway to the office. (I call this my "commute"). I received an email from a new client giving me the go-ahead to start a new design. Suddenly, I was creatively inspired. That's what happens at 2:00am.

So it's 5:45 now. The creative juices were flowing: I managed to create a really great design. (i think - we'll see what she thinks)

Oh, BTW, the new client is "the other" Trina Chow's cousin! Yep, it all worked out, and she hired me to design her new site. I'm giving her the "Friends and Family" rate. :)

I'm trying to decide whether or not to go back to bed now. It's almost 6:00, and I have to get up at 7:00. Yeesh. I'm driving Dick to work today, then going to Milpitas to spend the day with my Mom. (once again, another perk of working for yourself) Dick needs to be to work by 9:00, so we need to leave the house by 8:00.

Oy. I'm thinking I'm not going to be such a happy camper in the middle of the afternoon today....

Thursday, October 16, 2003

2 for 1 sales - friend or foe?

I think I have a love/hate relationships with 2 for 1 sales.

I went to Safeway yesterday. I was very excited, because Oscar Meyer Bacon was on sale, 2 for 1! Those of you who know Dick know that he LOVES bacon. Not that he over-does it, but he does have a few slices on weekends. He's also very picky about bacon - it must be Oscar Meyer regular cut. None of that thick slice stuff....

Anyhow, I always get excited when I see that it's on sale. I have to stock up, and put a whole bunch in the freezer. I figure, I know we'll eat it, so I might as well buy as much as I can on sale. And so I did - I bought 8 packs yesterday.

That's a good 2 for 1 sale story.

Here's a Bad 2 for 1 story: while perusing around the store, I came across the 2 for 1 Lay's potato chips. No, I don't need potato chips. If I don't have them around the house, I certainly don't miss them. But, there they were: 2 for 1! what a deal. Plus, we're having a Halloween Party at the end of the month, so I thought I'd buy them now, and keep them for the party.

Silly me. What was I thinking?

Yep, I'm snacking on them right now.

evil, evil, evil.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

My best friend from First Grade

This is such a great story. My family moved around a lot when I was a kid. We moved from Stockton, to Modesto, Visalia, Fresno (had two houses there) then to Milpitas by the time I was 8. My sister and I were pretty accustomed to going to new schools and making new friends.

In January 1976, we moved to our first house in Fresno, on Prospect Ave. We went to school at Fig Garden Elementary. Believe it or not, we actually walked through the fig orchards to get to school! (that sounds so "Little House on the Prairie" to me now) I was in first grade at the time. It was then that I met my first "best friend".

Terri was in my class, and lived down the street with me. I can remember being in school with Terri just a little bit: I remember writing and reciting a report about "The Bald Eagle" and how Terri told me how proud of me she was. :) I also remember her singing me Happy Birthday when I turned 6.

Here's a picture that I took during a field trip to the Fresno Zoo when we were in first grade. There's Terri in the background - she's the cute little blond girl waving at the camera. There's my Mom - who chaperoned that day - she's on the left side.

Terri and I became fast best friends. I have so many fond memories of playing with her during our summer break. Terri was (and still is) a movie fanatic! she used to write scripts for us to act out. (yes, we were only 6 years old!) I also remember that she was a huge fan of "The Six Million Dollar Man" - she wrote a script where she insisted that I play Oscar (was Gorman his last name? Random Trivia). Wasn't he the boss, or something like that?

Terri was my very first business partner! We opened my first and only lemonade stand that summer - Actually, we sold Kool-Aid. We made signs, and posted them all throughout the block. I think we made some $$, but honestly, I don't remember that part.

Terri has wonderful parents - I remember that they were always so kind to me. She also had an older brother, Christopher who has downs syndrome. It's interesting looking back at this. Now I know what an amazing gift and lesson Terri's family taught me at such an early age. Chris was the first person I can remember meeting with any kind of physical or mental disabilities. I don't remember thinking anything of his disabilities at the time - which I think says so much for Terri and her family. I just thought of him as Terri's older brother, who had some special needs.

Sadly, Terri and her family moved at the end of the summer. They moved a few hours away to Fair Oaks, near Sacramento. (which, to a kid, seems a world away) I remember being very sad that my best friend was moving away.

Here's the amazing part: Terri and I managed to stay in touch by becoming pen pals. Think about that: 2 6-year olds writing letters to stay in touch. Think about it: snail mail. That's right... no email, no instant messenger, we didn't' even call each other because long-distance phone calls were too expensive back then.

So, we wrote, and wrote and wrote... all throughout our childhood, and into adulthood. We both had strange fascination with SciFi (Battlestar Gallactica and Star Wars). Sometimes, we sent cassette tapes to each other of the other talking, or playing the latest piano song we just learned.

Terri and her family came back to visit Fresno once that I can remember. I think we were in second or third grade. Here's a pictures of us in my family's backyard with my sister, Tiffini.

The next time Terri and I saw each other again was in 1985 - we were both sophomores in High School. My parents have a time-share condo up in Tahoe, and we invited Terri to come up with us for the week. Mind you, I'm sure Terri and I were both a little nervous, since we hadn't seen each other for such a long time. Luckily, we got along really well, and rediscovered our friendship! I think we both made trips to visit each other that summer. Come to think of it, that was the summer that we filmed "Star Wars" using Terri's High-8 camera, and all of my Star Wars action figures, ships, playsets, and "The Story of Star Wars Soundtrack". Really. it's a hoot. Someday, I'll have to get a copy of this from Terri.

In 1987, we both graduated from high school. Eventually, Terri moved to San Francisco to go to State, and I moved to the mid-west for color guard.

The next time we saw each other was in 1994 at Terri's Wedding!!!! Can you believe it? My best friend from first grade was getting married!! She was so sweet to invite my entire family, too. Here's a great picture that she sent me from her wedding! Note: I had just finished teaching 2 weeks of band camp (outdoors). That would explain why I'm unusually dark.

Terri is married to a great guy named Derek. They met while in film school at San Francisco State. My favorite part of their wedding was the "Star Wars Theme". They sent out Star Wars-style trading cards with their wedding invitations - collect them all! it was so clever. each one had a different picture of them standing in front of an important landmark in their relationship - the hospital where they were born, where they had their first date (which I believe was Mel's Drive-In), etc. Really cute.

Terri and Derek live down in Burbank now. They have a beautiful little boy named Deacon. I've managed to make it down a few times over the last few years to visit with them, although I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Deacon yet.

anyway, I'm writing all of this because Terri and I just exchanged emails yesterday. Whenever we see each other, we always marvel at how we managed to stay in touch over all of these years - especially since we were so young.

What a wonderful and special friendship we have. Thanks, Terri!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Gafas de Soul

Check out the sounds of Gafas de Soul. Dick just uploaded some sample tunes! They sound terrific.

Have an event that you need a jazz band for? Send them an email.

Jesus Christ - The Musical

We just got back from seeing "Jesus Christ, Superstar" with my family.

here's a little background: Until 2 weeks ago, I had never heard the soundtrack. To be honest, I didn't even know the story - apart from the (very) obvious that is. You may say, "isn't the whole story very obvious?" No, not to me. I'm probably one of the very few people you know who has not read The Bible. For the record, (because religion is such a touchy situation) I have nothing against the bible, or religion for that matter. I was brought up without any religion, and was given the opportunity to make my own spiritual/religious choices as an adult.

So, back to the story at-hand. A couple of weeks ago, Dick and I drove up to Napa Valley for the day. He had grown up listening to the soundtrack of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and LOVED it. I'm pretty sure he can sing the entire album. (or CD, or whatever it's called these days) We had just been to Amoeba Records on Haight Street, where he bought a copy of the soundtrack. Yep, we listened to the entire CD on our way to and from Napa. Dick was kind enough to explain the story along the way to me.

My synopsis of "Jesus Christ Superstar"?'s like "Schoolhouse Rock" for the Bible.

editor's note I hope I did not offend, or shock anyone with this post. I try to make it a point never to talk about religion or politics among friends. I figured that since this was a Broadway musical, I could slip it in. :)

Friday, October 10, 2003

What a nice day...

Today was one of those really nice days that just happens unexpectedly. Nothing major, no huge news. Just a nice day :)

First of all, I've been nice and busy all week with work stuff. I've been working with several different clients doing updates, and also had a meeting with a potential new client earlier in the week. (for those of you keeping track, that was Trina Chow's cousin). The meeting went very well, and I sent her an estimate today.

So I'm feeling nice and productive this week, which is always nice. I still have more work to do (it's piling up a bit) but really, that's the way I like it.

All kinds of small, nice things happened this afternoon. I had a hair appt scheduled at 4:00 in the Castro. For those of you who haven't seen me lately, my hair is surprisingly long these days. I haven't had it cut since March, so I figured it was past due.

On my way to the Castro, my friend Tammy called from Chicago. (nice thing #1) We had a nice chat about her weekend in Palm Springs, and she gave me the full report on our mutual friend, Bill's wedding.

While I was talking with Tammy, I explained that I had to go get the battery in my watch replaced. I found the local Sunglass/watch Hut on Castro Street, and went in. As soon as I was inside, I asked Tammy if I could call her back. I simply don't like to talk on my cell phone much in public. It's fairly unusual to find me having a conversation on it while I'm walking around, but I don't like to talk when I'm in restaurants or stores. Anyhow, the clerk at the store noticed that I got off my phone, and he mentioned how much he appreciated it. He said that a lot of customers come in, talking on their phone, and signal him by pointing at sunglasses they want to try on. Tacky. Anyhow, he said he could replace my battery, and that I could come back in 10 minutes. Perfect! I stood outside, and chatted with Tammy while I waited. When I went back into the store, he informed me that he wasn't going to charge me the $10 for replacing my battery - he insisted that I had made his day by not being rude with my cell phone. Well... that, of course, made my day! what a nice guy! So, if you're in San Francisco, and need Sunglasses, or a watch.... Go to The Sunglass Hut on Castro/18th. Ask for Ion. What a nice guy. (nice thing #2)

Went to my hair appt at 4:00. Had a wonderful time catching up with my hairdresser, Ramiro. Haven't seen him in a long time, and we had a good time catching up. (nice thing #3 - plus, I got a good haircut to boot!)

Oh, and did I mention that my tenant gave me his rent check today - all paid up through October now! (nice thing #4)

That's it. Like i said, nothing major, but all nice. Got some work done, sent out a job proposal, had a nice phone conversation with a friend, got my watch battery replaced for free, and have better hair.

Life is good. :)

just found this...

thought it was kind of funny - in that sick and twisted kind of way.

Or, maybe it's not funny at all, and I'm the sick and twisted one.


Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!!

Yesterday was my parent's 36th Wedding Anniversary!!! :) (sorry, I wasn't able to post this yesterday because I spent the day with them)

Happy Anniversary Barb & Henry!
36 years! They were married when they were 19, but they first started dating at 14 (I think - Is that right, or is it 13?) The story goes: they met in junior high school, while competing against each other for student council. :)

Here's a picture of them from their first date. Aren't they cute? Hmmm... just thought of this: they would have been too young to drive, so what's the deal with the car behind them? I'll have to ask.

My dad took this whole week off for vacation, and my Mom was able to take a couple of days off as well. Yesterday, they came into the City, and we went to The Waterfront Restaurant for lunch. It was really nice - beautiful day, covered, outdoor seating, yummy salads. Plus, we had the added benefit of watching The Blue Angels practice for this weekend's Fleet Week Festivities.

We also went to check out the new Ferry Building, since they hadn't seen it yet. We picked up some Porterhouse Steaks, and some huge Heirloom Tomatoes for dinner. Came back home, (where my sister met us for dinner) and Dick fired up the grill. Delicious!

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Costco Gasoline!

Most of you know I'm a big fan of Costco. As my friend Sheri would say, "Kirkland is my middle name". (those of you who actually shop at Costco would understand what that means)

I'm so lame! For years, I only shopped at the SF Costco. This year, I expanded my horizons a bit, and started going to the South San Francisco Costco - near the airport. I found the experience to be much more pleasant - larger facilities, less crowded, etc,

Pete & Richard told me about the Costco in South San Francisco - near Colma a few months ago. I figured I'd check it out someday, but no rush. Last week they mentioned that this Costco location has a Gasoline Station! WHAT? For some reason, I just assumed that none of the Costcos in this area would have gasoline. I've bought gasoline in Santa Clara, Hayward, and Tracy, but no where near SF.

So I went today... get this: Regular gasoline: $1.77. Premium gas: $1.91.

Pretty cheap. When I drove home, I saw signs for gasoline at local stations for up to $.30/gallon.

I'm such a geek, but these are the things that make me happy.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Out-blogged by a 5-year-old.

Dick's 5 year old nephew, Peter, has started a blog in his Kindergarten class. I just looked at it, and discovered that he's been faithfully posting every day! That's a lot more than I can say for myself, or Peter's Uncle Dick!

Imagine: blogging in Kindergarten! Times sure have changed! :)

Friday, October 03, 2003

Another Trina Chow?

This is very funny.....

About 5 years ago, I received the following email:

Is this the Trina Chow who was my childhood best friend from Coffman Drive?
If so, What's Up? If not, please disregard this message.

Thought that was interesting, as I always thought Trina was a fairly unusual name. And really, what are the chances of another Chinese girl, with the last name of "Chow" having the same, fairly unusual first name? Surely, there couldn't be any other Trina Chows in the World! Little did I know...

I replied to the writer, and said I was not the Trina Chow she was looking for. She told me that she and Trina grew up in Montebello, CA (10 miles east of downtown LA). A few months/years later, I received another email (which I can't find at the moment) from someone else looking for "Trina Chow" from Montebello, CA. I was able to quickly figure out that both messages were asking for the same Trina Chow.

So now I know that there are 2 of us in California! (2 that I know of at least - who knows: perhaps there are thousands of "us" out there!)

This Trina Chow sure sounds like a popular girl! Coincidentally, I think we may even be around the same age.

It was around this time that I registered my domain name, I started to become paranoid that the "other" Trina Chow was going to get to it before me!

I hadn't heard anything else about the other Trina Chow for a while.... until today!

I had received an email earlier this week from a potential client. As always, I asked how she came across my work/name. (always interested in knowing this info) Here's what she replied:

I found you at Kristi Yamaguchi's site. Your name is exactly the same as my
cousin's and I was surprised that she was doing web sites, so I looked into
your site and found that you're not my cousin. My cousin's down in the LA
area. But in trying to find out if you were her, I discovered I like you work.

Isn't that funny? it's like I'm becoming one degree closer to the "other" Trina Chow.

I have a phone meeting with this potential new client on Monday morning. I'm looking forward to learning more about the "other" Trina Chow!

Random (and funny) Tidbits about my name

I will occasionally do a search for my name (Trina Chow, in case you forgot already) on I like to make sure that my website, portfolio, and other sites that I have worked on come up, and are registed. Seems like a good business tactic.

I've never found anything else on another Trina Chow.

The funny part is that there are several web sites out that about women/girls named Trina, and their Chow dogs. That is, the dogs are of the Chow Breed. I've always thought that if I had a dog, I would have to get a "Chow". The lucky little guy could be the "Puppy Chow", who grew up to be "Dog Chow", or even be known as the "Chow Chow". (this is why I don't have a dog)

BTW, my Mom's nickname for me is "Puppy". Yep, that's right. I *am* "Puppy Chow".

I was teased relentlessly when I was in first grade because of my name. Think about this: Those Purina Cat Chow commercials had just come out. "Trina" happens to rhyme with "Purina". You do the math..... I remember coming home in tears from too much teasing, asking my Mom if I could change my last name.