Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Strangest Snack ever?

alfalfa spouts rolled up in a slice of provelone cheese.
it was kinda yummy.
but, odd.

Raggedy Ann & Friends at the Cartoon Art Museum

I just came back from my first look at the "Raggedy Ann & Friends: The Art of Johnny Gruelle" exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum here in SF. I went with Andrew who just finished putting the last finishing touches together.

I was very impressed with the exhibit, and think that Andrew did a wonderful job with it.

If you have any interest in seeing the show, please let me know. I'd be happy to try to meet you there, and give you a little personal tour - Raggedy Ann/Johnny Gruelle fan that I am.

The Cartoon Art Museum also has an impressive permanent collection on display - cartoon, comic, and animation art. I really do think it's worth a trip to check out and support this museum.

Oh, BTW, there's an opening reception next Wednesday, July 7th. Please come by if you have a chance!

Monday, June 28, 2004

Barbie gets sued

I just read this article in It tells of an artist who was sued by Mattel Inc. in 1999 because of an art piece he had created using the iconic doll. The series of photos depicted Barbie dolls in sexually provocative positions. Mattel lost the case, and the artist later pursued to have his attorney & court case costs covered. It's an interesting article, and reminded me of a few projects I did about 10 years ago while in art school.

For some reason, I was on a "Barbie kick" for a couple of years. I think the main reason was because I hardly ever played with Barbie dolls. In fact, I didn't own a Barbie, but I did have her little sister, Skipper. Hmmmm. I was much more interested in playing with stuffed animals, and (of course) Raggedy Ann dolls.

Here's a link to some of my old Barbie Installation projects. I finally added an audio link to the "Discordant Angel" project. I think it's much more affective to read about it while listening to the song by Meryn Cadell.

Pride Weekend

This past weekend was Gay Pride here in San Francisco. The parade is always one of the highlights of the weekend. Unfortunately for me, I was too tired to go this year (I volunteered all day/night at a benefit on Saturday) so I missed out. The part that I most wanted to see was the hundreds of the 4,000 gay couples who had been married at City Hall this year. My friends Pete & Richard and Andrew & Barry marched in this contingent. I'm so sorry that I missed the parade, although I realize that I was even more fortunate to actually be a witness for Pete & Richard when they got married back in February.

Pride weekend is one of three times that it's extremely difficult to find a parking spot in our neighborhood - that would be "The Castro". The other two times would be the weekend of The Castro Street Fair, as well as Halloween. Dick and I parked our cars in front of our house Friday morning, and left them there through the weekend.

While I'm thinking about it, here's one of my favorite stories about living in The Castro:

A few years back, I was walking outside my house and met my new neighbors from the apartment building next door. One was backing out their car from the garage, and I think the other was closing the door. Anyhow, the woman in the car introduced herself as "Nancy", then introduced her partner, "Nancy". (grin). They were very nice, and we discussed how they liked living on the block so far. As we were talking, Nancy #1 asked me, "So, are you part of the community?" I tried really hard not to laugh when she asked this. What I really wanted to say was, "Oh sure. Didn't I just tell you that I just live upstairs in this building?" (giggle). Of course, I didn't say that, and I was much more polite in saying something like "Oh, no, I'm not gay. But, I do have a lot of gay friends, and certainly support the community".

I just thought it was such a strange and funny way of someone to ask me whether or not I was gay. This, mind you, coming from a lesbian, and her partner, as we live in The Castro in San Francisco!

"The Nancys" only lived next door to me for less than a year, so I never really got to see them any other time. But I do have such a fond memory of our first meeting!

Still makes me chuckle when I think about it :)

We now return to our regularly scheduled program....

Ah yes, we're back to the old routine again.

After taking some time off for his sabbatical, Dick went back to work this morning to start his new job! Dick is now the Dev Manager of the Hotmail group! As Omar and Reeves can tell you, there's a lot of exciting stuff happening in this division right now.

So now, it's back to being just me and the kitties at home again. I was actually really enjoying having Dick home all of this time. The house is so much more quiet now.

perhaps this means that there will be more blogging in my future....

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Blog Updating

I was just feeling a little guilty that I haven't had a chance to post a new blog in the past few days... I have some stuff to write about, but haven't quite found the time.

I just checked my "Blogarama" list (see right column) to see what all of my other Blogging friends have been up to. Turns out that no one else has been updating their blogs much either. (since the weekend, anyhow)

Most notably: Dick! Update your blog, man! :)
We have faith in you! You can do it!

okay, more coming soon.....

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The wonder that is "Xbox Mouth"

This just cracks me up....

Anyone who has played Xbox with or against me has probably witnessed the phenomenon that is "Xbox mouth". That is, expletives come flying out my mouth at any given time, while playing any game! It's a mystery - I'm not sure why or how it happens, but it just does. The funny thing is, outside of playing Xbox, I hardly swear at all. Turn on the Xbox though, and it all comes flying out!

I used to think that it was localized to when I play Halo with Dick and Pete. The three of us really get into it. I even have a regular "nickname" that Pete & Dick use all of the time: "Invisible B****". The shotgun is my weapon of choice. It kicks A**. (do you see what I'm saying here? Xbox Mouth comes out even when I'm talking about a game!)

I quickly realized, though, that Xbox Mouth comes out on all games: driving games, fighting games, shooting games. It's usually okay on Xbox Live, because on most games that we play (ie: Ghost Recon) you have to press the white button for others to hear you. However, on other games (like Midtown Madness) the microphone is always on! oops!

Anyway, most people seem to get a good laugh from it - cracks us all up!

Monday, June 21, 2004

iPod solution for my MINI?

This just in:

Apple/BMW have announced an adapter that can be added to any BMW/MINIs 2002 or newer. It goes into the glove compartment, and can be controlled by the Multifunction Steering Wheel. It's pretty cool, although I'm not certain that it can read individual albums, or if it only reads your library as a HUGE list of song titles. You can set up to 5 playlists that I know it can read, but again, I'd want to make sure it can read individual albums.

cost: $150 plus installation - (supposedly under 1 hour)

I've been looking to get the Dension IceLink - they just came out with the newest model that I've been waiting for. I KNOW that this adapter will allow you to play individual albums (controlled via the iPod directly) then you can scroll through the album, or your playlists with the Steering Wheel.


cost: $229.00 plus installation
(I think Dick is handy enough to install one though)

Neither of the two adapters show you the title of the song on the stereo - instead, it will show "Track 1" "Track 2" etc.,

My understanding is that Dension's IceLink is working on that feature for a new version.

Both adapters are connected at the base of the new iPods, which also will continuously power the iPods when the car is running.

I'll have to find out more about the BMW adapter - could save some $$ with this one. It will be available for BMWs on July 1st, but won't be available for MINIs until the end of the summer (whatever that means).

Anyone out there using the iceLink? I'd really like to integrate my iPod with my MINI, as I feel that I'm not utilizing it yet...

thoughts? Comments?

The Big Cat gets a checkup

Poor Marcel had to go to the doctor today for his routine visit. It's been more than 1 1/2 years since he's been, so he was long overdue.

We used to bring him and Noe to a vet in San Francisco, but it is across town, took a long time to get there, and we'd never get the same doctor twice. Last year, I decided to make the switch to bring our kitties to my favorite vet in Milpitas. It's 45 minutes away, but it's almost easier than driving across town, through stop and start traffic. I've been going to Dr. Anderson in Milpitas for at least 20 years now. We've brought in all of my rats, our birds, and now our kitties. Dr. Anderson has a wonderful bedside manner, and I really think it's worth the extra drive to bring our kitties to him.

We've had Marcel for 4 years now. He's been on a diet the entire time. The poor little guy only gets fed 1/4 cup of food twice a day, and he doesn't get treats very often. Somehow, he's managed to gain a for each year that we've had him! Today he weighed in at a whopping 17.1 lbs! Oh my! Poor little guy - sometime cats, like people, just have slow metabolisms. We got a 4 lbs sample of Science Diet food, and we'll try that out on him for the next few months. The good news is, he gets to have more food with this diet than before!

I need to bring him back in a few months to get his first teeth cleaning.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

A lot of Chow

Wow - it turns out that 20 people, plus three girls (ages 7, 3 and 1) is indeed, "a lot of Chow"!

That was really fun. Everyone just left - which Dick then pointed out to me was "8 hours of Chow".

Boy, did we have a lot of food. Perhaps it goes with the name.... My mom brought some dim sum over for munchies. My Uncle Bill & Auntie Junie bought a fresh fruit, and veggie platter. One of my Grandmas brought over some of her famous homemade dim sum, and some other chinese goodies.

and that was just the snacks

for dinner we had BBQ chicken (that my mom brought, and Dick grilled - 3 dozen pieces!), I roasted a huge tri-tip and had potato salad (courtesy of Costco) , my Grandma made fried rice, and chinese string beans! Yum.

and then there was dessert

my Mom made 2 strawberry parfait pies (special request by my Dad) and brought a berry pie from Marie Calendar's.

You can see that my Mom and Dad really helped out a lot. I'm very grateful. They also brought about 10 folding chairs and stools so everyone could actually sit while we ate.

I think a possible highlight for me was watching "The Muppet Movie" with my nieces Evelyn (7) and Abigail (3). I simply love this movie - it's just hysterical. Dick came in to watch it with me (we ate dinner with them in the TV room) and Dick and I started to sing along with all of the songs, and recite the dialog. Who knew that Dick was such a Muppet Movie fan?!

So the house has survived two house-warming parties, and seems no worse for the wear. I think we've sufficiently warmed it now :)

Happy Dad's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

We're hosting a Father's Day BBQ/Family House Warming party today! Yep, the whole Chow clan is coming over. I'm figuring around 20 people. As Dick would say, "That's a whole lot of Chow".

I'd better go get ready!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Entourage Update

My calendar seems to be working now. Perhaps it was just a matter of restarting.. (roll of eyes)

Oh, what a night!

I'm having such a lovely evening so far....

Dick is away on business tonight, so it's just me and the kitties.

I was pretty busy working all afternoon, and only made it outside when I walked to the post office.
At 5:00, my friend Sheri called. She lives in Southern Cal, and we haven't had a chance to catch up for a long while. She was driving for an hour on her way to her first night of school to get her Master's Degree. Anyhow, we had a lovely chat, and are totally caught up now.

Around 6:30, I decided it was time to eat dinner. We had a left-over steak in the refrigerator from the other night when Dick grilled. (We bought an extra in case a friend was able to come over) I heated up the steak, and also chopped up a head of romaine lettuce, and made a lovely ceasar salad out of it. Initially, I was drinking my usual glass of water with my meal when I realized, "I should be having a fat glass of red wine with this meal!" So I got up, uncorked a great bottle of cab, and continued to eat my meal. Oh - and if forgot to mention, I ate in the Media room, while watching a rerun of Sex and the City. Now that my friend is a decadent meal.

Now, most of you know that I'm a light-weight when it comes to drinking. Yep, 1 glass of wine was quite enough for me. I figured I was staying in for the night, so what does it matter anyway? ;) Anyhow, at 7:30, I called my friend Tammy, out in Chicago. We haven't caught up in a few weeks - much longer than usual. We had a fabulous time, and jabbed on the phone for almost 2 hours.

Hmmm... and now I'm thinking about heading downstairs for a bowl of ice-cream.

:) Yep, it's kind of nice having a day day to yourself once in a while.

Not that I won't miss Dick tonight of course ;). I'm sure he's out having a grand time as well!


I'm using iMovie for the first time - I'm working on a project for my sister's theater's new show "The Buddy Holly Story". They hired me to create a DVD that they can play on a loop on a monitor outside of the box office.

They gave me a couple of CDs with photos and music clips from the show. It's actually a great way for me to learn this program, as well as iDVD. I'm very happy to be able to fully utilize my Powerbook! plus, I haven't had a chance to do many multimedia projects in awhile - I think the artist in me is getting excited to try out some new projects now!

(plug) If you're so inclined, go see this show! It's very entertaining.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Field trip!

My Mom had the day off today, and the 3 of us went to The San Francisco Zoo for a few hours. The new African Savanna exhibit just opened a couple of weeks ago, and we wanted to check it out. It is very beautiful! The new habitat is just gorgeous, and spacious. The best part was when we saw all four giraffes galloping at full speed from one side of the habitat to the other. Giraffes are such beautiful creatures already, but it was amazing to see them run (especially at a zoo)!

Here's a picture taken earlier in the day when the giraffes were less active.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Check the date

Time to send in those 1/4 tax payments ;)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Saying goodbye to an old friend

I just got back from spending the day at a memorial service for an old friend. Harry Ariza was an incredible man, and I consider myself very fortunate to have known him for the past 20 years.

Harry and his wife, Dee, were the directors of the first color guard that I was ever in. I met them when I was 14 years old. I spent 3 years with them, during my formative high school years. Harry was a very kind man, who was incredibly patient, and always made everyone laugh. He was such a positive influence to so many young adults who became a part of his family. I believe that he changed many lives, and that he may very well have saved a few.

After Harry and Dee disbanded the Sparks Color Guard, he went on to become a judge of the activity. As an instructor years later, I remember that he was the type of judge who gave very fair, and constructive feedback. He was well respected by his peers, and admired by those who he judged.

There were so many people in attendance of his memorial service today - a true testimony of what a wonderful and respected man that he was.

Harry will be deeply missed by so many. I will miss seeing his smile when I go to shows.
My love goes out to the entire Ariza family - and I thank them for welcoming so many of us into their hearts.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Another Entourage Bug?

Hmmm... My address book in Entourage keeps changing around the default email addresses.

That's not good.

anyone else having this problem?

Longest Blogroll ever...

I've been wondering... does Omar really know this many people? Even better, does he really know this many people with Blogs??? And if he does, does he really keep up with all of them?

Perhaps that is why he is "The Oracle".

...and how come I didn't make the list? ;) (I know, some nonsense about not having an XML feed, or something like that...)

Entourage Bug?

I think I found a bug in the new version of Entourage. Perhaps Mike or Rob (or ???) can help me see the light.

The problem happens when I add a new event to my calendar. I create an event, but when I close the window, the event does not show on my calendar. In order to make sure that it shows up, I have to go to the previous month, then back to the current month. (Yes, I have it on "Month" view)

any ideas?

It's kind of annoying since I add events to my calendar all of the time - it's how I keep track of my client work.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Dick's new blog

Heads up!

Dick changed the url of his blog to (note the change in the directory name)

Change those bookmarks, and links now :)

got MINI?

hee hee.....

Dick just got his latest issue of The New Yorker magazine.
It had a cool insert in it:

It's a "make-your-own Milk Carton" prop.

The idea is you build the prop, shake it convincingly to show your spouse that you're "out of milk", then head on out to motor.

Pretty funny.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Office:Mac 2004

I'm installing the new version of Office right now.
yikes - my entourage database is quite huge. It took a while to download all of the info.

more later....

Okay - first impressions:

I think the new Project Center is pretty cool. I'm going to start using it with a new client I have. I'll be able to link all of my emails, dates, tasks, documents, contacts, etc that are affiliated with any given project, and have them all show up on one cool window. Cool.

It's also nice having my MSN Messenger contacts directly connected with my Entourage contacts. This allows me to send an IM message directly from any of my Office apps. (so far, I've only really checked out Entourage)


Okay, I am so *not* a geek.

I'm a little geeky. I can hold my own on some topics. I am a "Mac Chic".
But I'm certainly not a full-fledged geek.

Dick and I just came back from having lunch with his MS buddies, Omar, Reeves & Mike. I knew what I was getting into before we went - actually, Dick was planning on going on his own, but I asked to go with. I get a kick out of listening to these guys get all super-geeky.

I think I recognized every 10 words or so.... Plus, they covered so many topics, it was hard to keep it all straight! I just sat there, eating my burger, smiling, trying to absorb parts of the conversation. Geekiness through osmosis. didn't work very well.

Oh, and BTW, Reeves has the coolest monitor set-up I've ever seen. I have severe monitor-envy.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Anonymous Donor

Does anyone want to take credit for anonymously leaving 4 bottles of Sparkling Cider on our back porch today? Whoever you are, we thank you very much! :)

Friday, June 04, 2004

Happy Anniversary Marcel!

Today is Marcel's fourth anniversary with us! June 4, 2000: Dick, Pete & I went to the San Francisco SPCA to visit the kitties. I had just adopted Claude a month prior, and Dick was thinking that it might be time to have a kitty in his house again.

We had already been to The SPCA's web site looked at all of the cats that they had info on online. When we were looking around all of the kitty-condos, we saw the one with "Marcel" written on the door, and said, "Hey - there's Marcel." We remembered him from his listing on the website.

There was an SPCA volunteer playing with Marcel in his condo. She saw that we had an interest in him, and invited us in. Dick sat down on the floor, and to everyone's amazement, Marcel immediately walked over, laid in Dick's lap, and started to purr. The volunteer was so amazed that she called in others to watch.

Dick wasn't absolutely positive that he was ready to adopt that day, but Marcel made quite an impression on him. We decided to grab a quick lunch to think about it.

When we returned, Dick told the staff that he was ready to adopt, and they were all so happy. They told us that they rarely see a cat take to a new person so quickly and easily.

As Dick signed the adoption papers, we learned a little more about Marcel's history. He was brought in the week prior by a man who had had him since Marcel was a kitten. The man had a job that required a lot of travel, and he didn't feel right about leaving Marcel for so long so often. The man was obviously heartbroken over leaving Marcel at the SPCA, and even wrote a 3 page letter to introduce Marcel to his new owner. He also left some treats, and some of Marcel's favorite toys.

The letter was so sad to read - it was very obvious that it was so hard for his old owner to give him up. Here's an excerpt:

Marcel is a loving kitty and I'm not around to be the best owner I can be. If you take Marcel into your home you must promise to love him. Pets require commitment, so if you're not sure, please leave him for someone who is sure. It truly is breaking my heart to write this let alone look at his little face. He has always been there to give me love when I needed him...

... Marcel and I thank you in advance for considering him as a potential addition to your household.


Needless to say, we took Marcel home, and would like to think that he's very happy with his new life with us. He's been such a wonderful, affectionate little guy, and we feel so lucky to have him here with us.

Happy Anniversary, "Big Cat"! :)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Dick's at it again....

Dick's Blog

We'll see how long it lasts this time ;)

Do Comments Expire?

I was just going through some of the archives in my Blog, and noticed that some of the old comments have disappears. I wonder if this is a "glitch" with Haloscan, or if they have some sort of automatic expiration date system. That would really be too bad. I enjoy going back, reading through my Blog, and also reading comments from all of you wonderful people. Anyone know?


Okay, just found this in the Haloscan FAQ:

Q: I have a non-upgraded account and some of my really old posts disappeared.

A: All comments over four months old are archived for non-premium members. These comments are simply moved to a different database and are not deleted. This is done to keep the performance of the site at an acceptable level. This restriction does not apply to premium (upgraded) members.

The "donation" to upgrade is $12/year. Not bad, and it is a nice service. I'll have to consider it...

Harry Potter Tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I admit it. I LOVE Harry Potter. Well, not the fictional kid, but I really love the books, and all of the craziness that goes along with them.

My sister and I have a tradition of seeing the movies on opening day - first showing at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland. It's a gorgeous old movie house - complete with an organ! Even better - since it's a matinee showing, we get the matinee price! :) It's a well kept secret - big theater, huge screen, good sound system, first-run movies, and yet, somehow, it's easy to get in a get a great seat 1/2 hour before the movie starts. We've gone to this theater for all of the Harry Potter films, as well as the two last Star Wars films.

Unfortunately, my sister has to break our tradition - she can't make it tomorrow, because she has to work. (go see her show!) Too bad. Lucky for me, my parents are both on vacation, and Dick has some free time as well! We're going to see the Noon showing. I'm so excited! Book 3 was certainly my favorite book of the first 3 books - and I think it ranks right up there with Books 4 & 5.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

One of our favorite restaurants is closing!

We just came back from having dinner at our favorite Italian Restaurant, Caffe Ponte Vecchio. It's in the Mission, just around the corner from our old house. We used to eat there about once a week - for four years!

We became friendly with the owner early on, and are on a first name basis with him. It's so nice to go to a restaurant, always know that the food and service will be exactly what you want, and never let you down.

We've been remiss since the move, and have only been back once in the past 3 months - we last went in mid-April to celebrate the closing of the house. (seems appropriate.) When we went tonight, we were shocked to learn that Corrado (the owner) is closing the restaurant, and will be moving to Florida! (I'm still stunned) He'll only be here through the end of June.

Which means we only have another 4 weeks of Italian goodness.....

If you haven't been to this place before, and can't recommend it enough. If you've been, please try to go again before it closes it doors at the end of the month.

*sigh*. It's so sad to see one of your favorite places close.

I told Dick, "This is the final straw! After everything we've gone through this year, I can't handle any more change!" (kidding, of course, but still sad)

The only other restaurant that is comparable to Caffe Ponte Vecchio is U-Lee in Nob Hill (another old neighborhood of mine). My favorite Chinese Restaurant. It's about the same size (seats about 20-25 people), and I am on friendly terms with the owners. I hope they stay around for a good long while.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Stupid People

My tolerance for people's stupidity is really wearing thin.

Today I woke up to find that some idiot decided to park their car in front of mine, and backed up into the space so much that they were literally pushing up against it. Luckily, it only did damage to the front license plate and frame, but still.....

Just for the record: there were plenty of spaces around.

I realize this is one of those things that comes with living in a city.

it was bound to happen sometime.

I just think it's disrespectful.

(end of rant)