Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I just finished reading this article about the 1,000+ "pet" rats that were found in a house with a Petaluma man. Actually, there were more than 1000 of the rats found, but this was the amount that was euthanized today.

For those of you who don't know, I owned pet rats for several years. I got my first for my 13th birthday, and my last one passed away when I was 28. I only had one at a time, but I don't think I ever went for more than a year without one.

"One" is the operative word here. I never felt the need to have more than one-at-a-time. I certainly never felt the need to have hundreds or thousands. (for the record, I do think that guy is crazy - literally) Individually, these little guys were my companions. The last two (again, separately) were my roommates in San Francisco. Rats make fantastic pets - they are small, intelligent, and actually quite cuddly. The one big problem is that they tend to only have a lifespan of 2-3 years. For me, this meant instant heartache every couple of years. This is the main reason why I eventually switched to cats. (from rats, to cats - that's a natural progression, isn't it?) Actually, Dick is responsible for introducing me to the wonderful world of kitties.

Here's a picture of me with my last rat, Java. (named because I'm a geek, not because I'm a coffee drinker.) This was taken in 1996 in front of my first San Francisco apartment. Java often rode around on my shoulders. She even came to art school with me once or twice. Wow - that's such a stereotype - an art student with a pet rat. I wore black and Doc Martins, too :)

Monday, June 26, 2006


We had a really fun and great dinner last night at Benihana! We went with Christopher, David, Miguel, Michael & Ramiro. It was a blast.

It turns out that Dick has a not-so-secret love for Benihana: the food, the cooking show, the steak and lobster... fun for all! Since there were 7 people in our group, we occupied an entire table, which is so much more fun than sharing a table with strangers. We had a blast. I think half of our group had never been before, so the presentation was quite a surprise to them. Our chef was actually the best that Dick or I had ever seen: he was reallly funny, and did all kinds of tricks that we hadn't seen before. We told Christopher that we expect him to learn how to do all of those cool tricks when he cooks. :)

David took this really cool picture of us from the opposite side of the table.
(Dick isn't bored - he's watching in utter awe...)

Bad Dreams

For as long as I can remember, I regularly have bad dreams/nightmares. You know, the kind where you're running or hiding, because someone is trying to kill you, or End of World dreams where you bombs are exploding around you. (graphic, huh?)

This happens to me on a regular basis. I can't really explain why I often have such graphic, violent and scary dreams. Dick theorizes that it's because my real life is actually quite calm and happy, and that my subconscious is just making up for it somehow. It's always such a relief when I wake up and realize that I'm just lying in bed, safe and sound, next to my hubby.

Last night I dreamed that Dick and I were driving in his car, he was driving really fast, and lost control... so we plummeted over the Bay Bridge. (don't worry, we survived.) The night before, I dreamed that we were held up at gunpoint while standing in line at a fast-food restaurant, while we were on vacation. Again, no one was actually hurt, or killed. Just scared.

I don't actually ever really get hurt, or die in my dreams (although I remember that happening once). It's always just on the brink of extreme violence or death. They also tend to be very graphic, detailed and realistic.

Nice, huh?

I'm sure that somewhere, some dream analyst would have a field day with me.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Shanghai Surprise

We just came back from a really fantastic night out!

Dick has three colleagues visiting from the Shanghai office on business. One of the three is our friend, Aditya, who moved from SF to Shanghai in December. The other two are from China, and neither of them have been to the US before.

They are staying (for the weekend) at the Westin St. Francis in Union Square. Dick and I met them all in the lobby for cocktails. Dick had mentioned to me yesterday that the two Chinese colleagues were having a hard time finding something that they wanted to each at the Campus Cafeteria at work. He knew they'd really love some good Chinese Food. I suggested that we should all go to my favorite Chinese Restaurant, U-Lee! I figured that it's the most authentic Chinese Food that I know of in the City, and hopefully, they would like it, too. Plus, I'm always looking for an excuse to go there myself!

U-Lee was a huge success! I've been going there for more than 11 years now, and am on friendly terms with the family that runs it. What I didn't know is that the family is from Shanghai, and the food style is considered Shanghainese! This made our guests feel that much more welcome, as they were able to read the menu, and also speak to our hosts in Shanghainese. I only made one food suggestion (because you simply must have the potstickers when you go), and we left it up to our Shanghainese guests to order the rest.

We started with a delicious egg-drop soup, which I have to say is one of the best that I've had. Now here's the funny part: For years, I have teased Dick whenever he orders something like "Kung Pao Chicken" or "Sweet and Sour Pork". I have always assumed that these were Americanized Chinese dishes that weren't really "authentic Chinese". Apparently, I was wrong! Our guest from Shanghai ordered both! She did mention that the preparation of the Sweet & Sour Pork was just a little bit different than what she was used to, but otherwise thought that both dishes were excellent! Dick was so excited! All this time, he had been ordering authentic Chinese Food! We also had an amazing dish of baby bok-choy with Chinese Mushrooms, a beef dish with green onions, and a braised tofu dish prepared with curry. We had a great time chatting away with the owners of the restaurant, and our guests even took their business cards with them, in case they decide to return tomorrow night for dinner!

U-Lee is located right on the Hyde Street Cable Car Line. We figured we should give our guests (and ourselves) a treat by taking the Cable Car back to Union Square. As luck would have it, we waited less than 5 minutes for the Cable Car to come (we hadn't seen any pass during our entire meal). Another bonus was that today is another Spare the Air Day in which all forms of public transportation are free for the entire day. Seeing as cable car tickets cost $5/each way, that was a big savings for the 5 of us.

We enjoyed the Cable Car ride for several blocks (we all hung off from the sides) then we stopped at the corner of Washington and Powell. Something happened to the cables underground, and they had to empty out the car. This was fine with us, as we'd already had a nice ride, and figured it would be a nice walk back to the hotel.

Once we reached the corner of California and Powell, we realized that we simply couldn't go any further without first bringing our guests to The Tonga Room in the St. Francis.

Now, if you've never been to The Tonga Room, you really must go at least once in your life. Come to think of it, in all my 10+ years of living in SF, I've only been once, and it's been years. Anyhow, it's as kitsch as kitsch can be... it's basically like "The Tiki Room" at Disneyland, only, there's no talking birds. But, it's got everything else, and then some: tropical/luau set, fruity drinks, a boat/barge that floats out in the middle of the restaurant, and even an occasional rain/thunder shower!

We actually caught it on a pretty good evening. The radio station 97.3 (Alice) was hosting a party there for their morning show. When we walked in, the band on the boat were playing/singing "Jump" by Van Halen, and closed with "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.

After hanging out for a couple of songs, we headed back out, and eventually made our way back to their hotel.

I'm really glad that the night worked out so well. It was all fairly spontaneous, and I think everyone had a really great time.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hot Hot Hot

It's supposed to get up into the 90s today in San Francisco.

This is unusually hot for us, and we only get a handful of days like this each year. Most people who live in SF don't have air conditioning, so all you can do is open the windows, and keep the shades closed. Ocean Beach is going to be crowded today!

If it's this hot here, imagine how hot it'll be for those poor folks down in Menlo Park without air.... ;)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Spare the Air Day

A "Spare the Air Day" has been declared for tomorrow (Thursday).

In an effort to keep people from driving their cars and reduce vehicle emissions, all the major transit agencies across the Bay Area will be offering free rides all day!

This is quite good timing for me, as I'll be heading out to the gallery all day tomorrow, and will be riding MUNI.

If you must be out and about tomorrow, please consider using Public Transportation.

Summer Solstice

Today is the longest day of the year, and the first day of summer.

..and what a gorgeous day it was.

This evening is still quite warm and still, and the sun was out forever.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tonight's Dinner

because it's all about food today...

I managed to make a really yummy, and good-for-you meal for dinner tonight.
We had grilled trout - rubbed with olive oil, rosemary, sage, pepper and limes.
We also had corn on the cob on the side.


I'm getting into this whole grilling thing. This was my first time grilling a whole fish!

Mmmmm.... Panini....

I love a good panini.

My sister-in-law gave me a great sandwich/panini grill as a wedding shower gift last year. I'm embarrassed to admit that I hadn't used it until today. (D'oh!) It's been out of the box, sitting in a very accessible spot in the kitchen since late last year, and for some reason, I never used it!

That all changed today: I had some left-over tuna that Christopher had prepared for sandwiches a couple of days ago. I had a craving for a tuna-melt, and realized that I had all the means to make one! I sprayed the bread with olive oil, popped in the tuna, and added a slice of cheddar cheese.

A couple of minutes later, I had a most delicious tuna-melt panini!

Success! I have a feeling that the sandwich grill will be making many more appearances during lunchtime :)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Check me out: I'm watching Hockey!

I can honestly say that I've never watched a hockey game in my life...

...until tonight.

Tonight was game 7 of the Stanley Cup. It was the Carolina Hurricanes vs. the Edmonton Oilers.

Generally speaking, I wouldn't have any interest at all, except this year, I have a little more personal interest in who wins. I have a friend whose husband is on the Hurricanes, plus, you know, they're from Carolina, so we have to root for them!

So it was with great excitement and relief that the Hurricanes won tonight. Dick and I watched the 2nd half while eating dinner. What a crazy sport! I couldn't get past all of the bodies slamming into each other, and the walls!

Hyper Achievement

One of my favorite pictures of Cheri. Circa 1988

Our entire family got together yesterday for my cousin Cheri's graduation day from Stanford.

There are 5 cousins on the Chow side of the family. Cheri is the youngest. The five of us are actually quite close, and try to get together for a "cousins dinner" once or twice a year.

Cheri graduated yesterday with a degree of Bachelor of Arts and Science in Biological Sciences and Psychology. She also graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction.

Needless to say, we're all extraordinarily proud of her. She's going to attend Stanford for one more year to complete her Masters Degree.

Which reminds me...

I realized this weekend, that after Cheri gets her Masters Degree next year, out of the 5 cousins, I'll be the only one without a Masters Degree! How's that for a generation of over-achievers?! (not to mention that cousin Kenneth is currently attending UCSF Med School)

I mentioned this to cousin Bruce at the family BBQ yesterday. He laughed, and joked that they'll all have to call me "the slow one" now. :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006 of those days. Already?!

Hmmmmm. I might have to consider crawling back into bed.

My day so far:

  • I was awake from 3:00-5:00am. Just couldn't sleep, so I went downstairs to read.
  • I realized that a dress that I wanted to wear today is still at the dry cleaners (which is closed on Sunday).
  • There was a spider in the shower with me this morning.
  • My shaving gel ran out during the middle of my shower. I had to crawl out of the shower to get another can, all-the-while trying not to get the entire bathroom wet.
  • There's a pimple the size of Texas smack in the middle of my forehead.

Something tells me that today may be "one of those days".

Could be worse, of course. Christopher is on his way to the airport right now to fly to Chicago. I'd be having second thoughts if it were me hopping on an airplane after starting my day this way!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Orange Popsicles and Lemonade....

It's one of those perfectly gorgeous days here in SF.

I love days like this.

It's too bad we don't have sprinkles to run through.

...although I suppose that would mean that we would also need a lawn.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Gay Friend Friday

Dick and I are going out tonight with Pete & Richard.

We mentioned this to Christopher the other night. He generally insists that Dick and I spend some quality time with our friends sometimes, and not to worry about him. Contrary to popular belief, Christopher doesn't have to do everything with us. Anyway, we told him about our plans tonight, in case he wanted to make other plans.

He said that it was no problem, and that he'd hook up with some of his gay friends.

So now we've established that today is "Gay Friend Friday".

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Broken Hearts

I came home this morning, and found that our cleaners had broken both of Noe's food/water dishes.

That's too bad, because they were really cute.

They were pink, heart-shaped bowls with "Princess" written on the inside. They also had cute little white paw prints on the outside.

Now, I realize that this certainly isn't the end of the world, but we're both a little bummed about it. I'm probably more bummed than Noe. After all, she can't read ;)

I think I bought them at least a year ago at the Ross Store in Potrero Center.

If, by chance, you happen to find them somewhere, could you let me know?



I love the web! (and ebay, too!)

I found two new dishes - that took no time at all!

It's the little things that make us happy :)

A new Workout

Oh My.

I just got back from my first workout session of The Bar Method. My friend Vivian has been going for about a year or so, and invited me to come with her this week. They're having a special right now where first time guests can come to their first session for free.

So, I did some research (ie: read their website) and figured it was definately worth a shot: It's got everything I'm looking for in a workout: weight loss, strengthening, and muscle toning and elongation without adding bulk!

Between what Viv had already told me, and from what I read on the website, I *knew* that this class was going to Kick. My. Ass.

Oh, yeah.
It sure did!
Just as advertised.

Viv has a friend who calls it "yoga and pilates on steroids". That's a pretty good description. You sure get a lot of "bang for your buck" for a one hour workout. It was seriously one of the longest hours ever. There were moments (and I knew it would happen!) that my legs felt like rubber, and were shaking and wobbling, and I thought I wouldn't make it through. I also sweated like a pig - which is never very pretty!

I just know I'm going to be super sore tomorrow!

The work out was really good. It really kicked my butt, and I certainly had to take a quick break or two, but on the whole, I think I did okay considering it was my first session. I'm sure it'll get better as I go along...

They have a special for new members: 30 days of unlimited classes for $100. That's a great deal, of course, since the classes are usually $20 a pop.

Dick and I have a vacation planned early next month, so I'm going to wait until we get back to take advantage of the 30 day newbie special. After that, I'll *try* to go 3 times a week. We'll see how that goes.


Did anyone else feel the Earthquake this morning?

It's always nice to know that I'm not imagining things....

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Wax On, Wax Off

My little MINI Cooper has been feeling a bit neglected ever since my Mom bought her new MINI.

Since we don't have a driveway, I have to wash my car while it's parked on the street. It's a bit tough - always watching out for traffic, plus we don't have a whole lot of room.

It's much easier for me to wash my car at my parent's house in Milpitas. Unfortunately, I've been really busy lately, so I haven't had a chance to go down for a visit in months.

Yesterday, my Mom and I spent the day together, had lunch, ran errands, etc., We also made sure I had enough time to not only wash, but also wax my car. It's such a small car, that the whole process only took me an hour, which isn't bad at all.

After giving my car a bath, we both felt much better.

My Dad took a picture of my Mom and me, posing with both of our MINIs - looking clean and sparkly. (the cars, not us - after all that work, I'm looking a little rough around the edges!)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


06/06/06 06:06

(I really did happen to wake up just now, go to my computer, look at the clock, and realized I should probably blog about it....)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Random Coincidences

I just had the most random coicidence happen just a few feet in front of our house.

Dick and I were walking home from having dinner out and as we were just a couple of houses away from our home, we walked past a couple of guys. After we passed, I heard one of them say, "Trina?"

I turned around, but the sun was setting, so I couldn't quite see his face. He kept walking towards me, and said, "It's Teddy".

OMG! Teddy Chagoya!

You have to understand: I've known Teddy since 1985. We marched together in Sparks - the first color guard I ever marched in. Here's a picture of the Sparks Color Guard (in all our glory) at Nationals in 1996 and 1997. Teddy is the one with the big, new wave haircut. I actually see Teddy at least once a year now, because he organizes the ROTC (Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps) of San Francisco for the Pride Parade each year. They rehearse at the park right by our house, and I usually go to check it out, and visit old friends.

So, that was cool to bump into Teddy on the street...

But wait! There's more!

I turned to introduce myself to his friend, who shook my hand, and said his name was Mark. I asked if he was in color guard, too, and he said yes. Next I asked where he'd marched. He replied: I was in James Logan High School in 1993-94.

For the record, that's the High School that I taught at from 1993-1995.

I looked at him, and thought and thought, and told him that's when I taught there, but I couldn't place the name or face.

He said he was in the rifle line for one year, and that he quit because Mykail was so mean to him.

And that's when it struck me:

"OH! You were that kid!

It all came back to me: he was the white boy in the rifle line (there were only 2 of them, out of 10-15 boys). And I specifically remember that he used to drive Mykail crazy!

Who'd of thought that I'd meet up with this kid again - more than 10 years later.

I came home, and immediately left a phone message for Mykail. He's going to crack up.

It's a small, small world.

If I had a dog...

I've always thought that if I ever got a dog, I'd have to get a "Chow Chow".

...and then I'd have to name it something like "Henry" (my Dad's name) or "Chuck" (my Grandpa's name).

That way, I could introduce my dog as "Henry Chow".

I mentioned this to Dick today as we were walking through Dolores Park, watching all of the dogs run around.

Dick's suggestion:

We should get a "Chow Chow" and name it "Trina".

That way, when we introduce it to people, we'd be able to say:

"This is Trina Chow's Chow Chow, Trina."

if we were talking about the dog's food, we'd say:

"This is Trina Chow's Chow Chow, Trina's Chow."

how's that for a tongue twister?

the possibilities are endless.

We'll have to get a dog now, for this reason alone....

Beard Papa

Who's your Puff Daddy?
(that's their tag-line. Not mine.)

My Mom called me about a week ago telling me about a new Cream Puff store that opened in San Francisco in mid-May. She just read an article about it.

It's called "Beard Papa", and apparently, it's like the Krispy Kreme of cream puffs.

Actually, the store in SF is the first store in Northern Cal. They are a Japanese chain that also has stores throughout Asia. They also have stores in the US - Boston, NY, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Hawaii. Now that I think of it, I do remember that when we were in Shanghai with Dick's friends that they had mentioned a great place for cream puffs. This must've bee the place.

Anyhow, my Mom, my Auntie Junie and I went to Beard Papa in SF yesterday afternoon for a snack.

let me tell you:

It's all that.

Yep, as advertised, it was a stupendous creme puff. The cream puffs are stuffed with the vanilla (or chocolate) custard right there before your eyes.

Starting at $1.75/puff, they aren't cheap, but my, are they worth it!

Time to go get your puff on.