Saturday, September 30, 2006

We are here!

...and you are there. whereever "there" may be.

After 22 hours of travel from door to door, we arrived to our hotel here in Madrid at 7:30pm.

The trip all went quite well, and we were very pleased with the trip so far. Our flight from SFO to Chicago was about 45 minutes delayed due to the fog in SF. We had a 1.5 hour layover in Chicago, which was cut down to 45 minutes once we arrived. Luckily, our gates were in the same terminal, so we walked off one plane, and onto another with time to spare. Flight time: about 4 hours.

The flight from Chicago to London (Heathrow) went very well. It was a great 777, so we had lots of legroom, and comfy seats. The food was quite yummy (including the ice cream for dessert!) and I watched a couple of movies ("X-Men" and "The Family Stone") before napping for a couple of hours. (with the help of one pink pill, and a glass of red wine). I probably slept for a couple of hours before we were awoken for breakfast. Flight time: about 8 hours.

Once we landed in Heathrow, we collected our luggage (which thankfully made it just fine) and made our way from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1. We checked in to our British Airways flight from Heathrow to Madrid, with a couple of hours to spare. The extra time worked well for us. We had to go through Security, which was a bit tighter than what we experienced at SFO. We grabbed a quick bite (because it´s all about eating when you travel) had a Coke to wake us up, and waited to see which gate we should go to...

The flight from Heathrow to Madrid was super - well, I´ll assume it was all good, because I was asleep the entire time :) Our flight (and luggage) all arrived on time.
Flight time: 2.5 hours.

Madrid Airport

Let me say here that I'm in love with the airport in Madrid. It is by far the most architecturally beautiful airport I've ever seen. I took several photos of it, but alas, I didn't bring my computer, so I won´t be able to download my photos until I get home.

Another treat at the Madrid Airport: "Trina" soda vending machines. Yep, we're in the land of "lots of Trina" again! More photos were taken... geeky photos, of me holding a soda can, in front of a soda dispenser...

Dick posing with a whole lotta Trina

Trina with Trina.

We caught a shuttle to our hotel, which is near the airport. The rest of our family is flying in tomorrow morning, and we´ll be meeting at the train station.

Happily, our hotel has a mini internet cafe, comprised of 2 computers. They charge 2 euro per half hour. As you can see, I really wanted to blog :)

I'm having a hard time adapting to the Spanish (European?) keyboard. All of the characters are in different places from what I'm used to, so it´s taking me a bit longer to type than usual. Hopefully, I'll have it down by the end of the week.

It's 10:45pm. We just finished a yummy dinner (onion soup, with fried egg, potato and jamon for me, and a fried cod for Dick) and I just *had* to hop on the internet before going to bed.

hopefully, we´ll find another internet cafe tomorrow in Seville....

good night.

Friday, September 29, 2006


We're taking off for Spain in about an hour! We're all packed and ready to go!

This should be a really great trip - we'll be traveling (for part of the time) with my parents, as well as Dick's father, older sister, and niece. We'll all be going to Seville together (flying into Madrid, then taking the train down to Seville), then going our separate ways after that. My parents, Dick's sister and niece will be going to Granada, where Adrianne (Dick's niece) had studied abroad for a couple of years. Dick, his Dad and I will be going back up to Madrid. Once the rest of the crew is done in Granada, they'll be heading back to Spain where the Craddock Clan will be flying back home, my Mom and Dad will spend some time in Madrid, and Dick and I will head out to London for a couple of days.


I've already had a few people ask whether or not I'll be posting photos during the trip. That was such a great experience when I was able to do that from Shanghai and Tokyo earlier this year. Alas, we have decided to travel sans computers on this vacation. It's simply too much stuff to cart around, since we're going to so many cities (and trains, planes, and subways). I'm sure I'll check in from some internet cafes along the way.

Our thanks, as always, to Uncle Christopher for taking care of our home and kitties while we're away.

I'll check in again once we're on the other side of the pond!

Ugly Betty

We just finished watching the pilot episode of "Ugly Betty" from last night.

Did you see it?

It's High-sterical. So funny, well written, and smart.
It kind of reminded me of watching a sitcom version of "Strictly Ballroom" (one of my favorite movies of all time!)

I hope they can continue to make the entire series as fantastic as the pilot.

we shall see...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

When it rains....

We're leaving for vacation in a couple of days! :)

As always, I sent an email out ot all of my clients two weeks ago letting them know that I'd be away for a couple of weeks. I always give them my schedule and ask them to please send any work that they need to have done by the Friday before I leave.

I usually get a reasonable response, with some updates to be made whenever I send the "going on vacation" email, but this time, I set a new record!

In the last week-and-a half, I've launched three new sites, and I also provided updates/additions to 12 separate clients! It's probably been the busiest two weeks within what has also been the busiest year that I've had in my 9 years of business.

Needless to say, it's all be a little stressful and hectic around here, but I'm very, very grateful for the amount of work that's been pouring in.

Here are the 3 sites that I've recently launched:

Cafe Casa Curry
McInerney & Dillon
Your Second Act

gotta get back to work now.... :)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Reasons why I love my hubby.....

Reason #879...

He's my voice of reason when I get a little out of whack.


I have a bad feeling about this....

extra brownie points to anyone who can tell me what movie that line is from, and what its significance is...

I have pilates every Monday morning.

I try to make sure I eat a fairly substantial breakfast before I leave.

This morning, I made a bowl of oatmeal with dried cherries. After I had scooped out the oats, I realized that I didn't had quite enough milk. No problem... I'll just add a little water to balance it out.

Bad idea: the oatmeal overflowed in the microwave (which tends to happen when I use water instead of milk) and my oatmeal was a little too thick to eat, since I didn't have any extra milk to put in it.

down the drain...

"No Problem" I say. I pulled out a small pot to boil water for a hard-boiled egg. I set my timer, as I always do, and wait. The timer goes off, I rinse off my egg, then crack it. For the first time in the history of me boiling eggs, I've somehow managed to undercook this one. The egg shell comes off in pieces, taking the egg white with it, and the yolk is still runny. Crap.

down the drain...

Now I have a scant few minutes before I need to take off for class, and I haven't managed to eat anything yet.

Last resort: a frosted Cherry Pop-Tart.

What could possibly go wrong with the rest of my day?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

One for my sister

My sister, Tiffini, doesn't blog, but she told me a story today that was so blog-worthy that I felt the need to publish it on my own blog to share with the world....

My family had a BBQ today at my parent's house. My sister went to Oakland Chinatown this morning to pick up some baked goods - Dan Tot (egg custard tarts) and Pineapple Bread (not actually bread, and no actual pineapple, but a really tasty pastry). They were still warm when she got home so she decided to eat one, and also offered one to her boyfriend, Graham.

Graham had never had pineapple bread before, so he asked what it tasted like. He wondered whether or not it was too sweet to eat for breakfast.

My sister's explanation:

"You's Chinese. It's sweet, but not too sweet..... like me!"


My sister shared this very witty story with my parents and me this afternoon, and the four of us couldn't stop laughing.

Tiffini and Graham
Sweet, but not too sweet.

Angry Little Asian Girl

because it goes so well with "One Grumpy Dick"

Now, I know this is completely un-PC, but it really kind of cracks me up.

I'm generally a Happy Little Asian Girl, but, like anyone else, I have my moments. :)
I just might have to get me one of these.

I've seen this line of graphics on tote bags in one of our neighborhood stores, and the illustrations just kill me. It turns out that they are from a comic strip called "Angry Little Girls" by an artist named Lela Lee in Southern California. I think I read that she's originally from the Bay Area.

Andrew and I saw a calendar called "Still Angry Little Girls" while we were in Japantown yesterday, and it reminded me of how funny her art is.

My favorite comic that I've seen (which was in the calendar) was a comic of two girls laying under a tree in the fall. One girls says, "Pretty Leaves". The other replies, "Yes, it does. Depressing, isn't it?" I've searched the web for the graphic, but couldn't find one. You'll have to make due with my description.

Here's an image of the tote bag that Christopher and I first noticed about a year ago. It cracked us up!

I know, it's so wrong but it's oh, so funny!

Friday, September 22, 2006

My new Totoro Shirt!

My friend, Andrew, and I have a lovely tradition of taking each other out for lunch on our birthdays.

His birthday was last Friday, so we had a belated lunch celebration today.

He suggested that we leave our neighborhood, and venture out to Japan Town for lunch! What a wonderful idea. We found a terrific restaurant in the mall where we had Tempera and Odon Soup. Yum!

After lunch, we ventured into the mall, where he took me to his favorite Japanese Character stores. Andrew and I both love the Totoro Character from My Neighbor Totoro. A friend of mine had first introduced me to the movie way back in 1988 or so. He had just returned from his 2-year mission in Japan. He and I were both huge animation fans, and he thought I'd really love the movie. I remember that I did love the movie, but I especially loved the characters. I honestly haven't watched the movie in years, although I should see it again to refresh my memory.

Anyhow, I was always enchanted with the Totoro characters - they're so cute, plump and slightly mysterious. Plus, secretly, they kind of remind me of our big cat, Marcel. (don't tell him that)

That's why I just *had* to buy this t-shirt when I saw it today. SO cute.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

One Grumpy Dick

One day, about a month ago, Dick had a bad day at work.

He announced at dinner that he was "One Grumpy Dick" and decided to go upstairs and immediately made that the title of his blog.

When he came back downstairs, he told Christopher and me that for his birthday he wanted a t-shirt that said "One Grumpy Dick" on it.

Of course, I listened and I remembered.

Without his knowledge, I immediately started to work on a logo and t-shirt design.
I found a great website that makes custom t-shirts/clothes, and sent in my order.

The result?

"One Grumpy Dick" t-shirt.
Dick's Birthday present. requested.

here's the logo:

and here's what the t-shirt looks like:

Dick proudly wore his new shirt to work yesterday. I hope it amused many people.
I know it makes us laugh :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Today is Dick's Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my techie-honey!

How are we celebrating tonight?

Why, we're driving down to lovely Morgan Hill to go to the opening reception for my Dad's new bank :)

I really want to show the present that I gave to Dick, but I can't quite yet. It'll have to wait another day or two while he shows it around. I'm very excited about it, though :)

I can share that I'm also buying him a pair of "Custom Vans". Dick told me several months ago that he always wanted a pair of Vans, but never felt that he was "cool enough" to pull them off. I thought this would be a really great way to get his first pair. The make your own Vans website is really cool. Very much like customizing your own MINI Cooper online!

Happy Birthday, Dick!

If you feel so inclined, drop him a birthday email :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Beef with Star Wars 2006

(begin Star Wars rant)

I wrote a blog post back in May about the original theatrical releases of the original trilogy of Star Wars being released in September.

That day was yesterday. I hadn't done any research prior to going to the store to see what I could expect from the new DVD release.

What I saw was such a disappointment.

I should preface this by stating that I'm a Star Wars Geek. I know I am. I'm also a Star Wars purist. I wanted to see Star Wars (Episodes IV-VI) unedited, the way they were shown when they were first released in theaters. I never really liked all of the "digitally enhanced" additions - I especially didn't like when they added a bunch of fluff into the scenes that were never really there. I mean really, do we need to see a jawa fumbling, and falling down a tall creature when Ben and Luke go to Mos Eisley? Silly stuff.

So, here were my expectations. (because I didn't do any research)

I thought George Lucas and Co. had finally listened to the die-hard/purist fans. I thought they were finally going to release a DVD set for the Unedited, Original Theatrical Versions. I had thought that it would be packaged as such.

Here's what I found.

Each movie is being sold separately. Not in sets.

The new cover stresses the "Limited Time Special Edition" but the actual cover fails to mention "Original Theatrical Version".
But lo, there is a small sticker on top of the plastic wrap that says, "Limited Time Only: Includes The Digitally Remasterred Movie plus the Original Theatrical Version."

That's what got me: PLUS Original Theatrical Version.

Wasn't that the whole point of this new release?
Didn't all Star Wars fans already buy the Digitally Remastered Version with all of the extra scenes and special effects that we never really wanted?! What do you mean, Plus??!!

That was when the "uh-oh" popped into my head.

I turned the package around to read the contents:

Disc 1:
Star Wars: Episode IV with Commentary..... blah blah blah

Disc 2:
Original Theatrical (1977) version of Star Wars... blah blah blah

WHAT? Disc 2?!
Can you make it any more obvious that the original version was not the point of this new DVD release? Must you cram the New Digitally Remastered Version down our throats yet, once again?

I had some serious beef with this.

The purist in me put the DVD down, and walked out the store without purchase.
Shocking, I know.

It wasn't even about the money. I had first gone to Costco, where the price was $19.99/movie. I honestly would have been happy to pay that if the DVD was only of the Original Theatrical Version. The fact that they made me buy yet another copy of the New version just ticked me off. It made me second guess my decision of wanting to buy the new set at all.

My sister was with me yesterday, and had to listen to me bemoan about the lame DVD release all day.
I couldn't stop talking about how slighted I felt - George Lucas doesn't really care of about the original: he just released it to try to appease us, but he didn't do a good job. He never wanted to release the original version, and it shows.

Later in the day, we went into Best Buy because I wanted to find a CD.

There they were on the "New Releases" table.
The new "Limited Edition Star Wars" DVD were sitting there, taunting me with an even cheaper price of $16.99.

I picked them up, read the back again, and sighed.

I gave in.
I had to buy them. I really wanted the Original Version on DVD.
I've kept my VHS set all these years, refusing to give them up. Now at least I could have them on a better media.

I came home, and showed my new set to Dick. He had the same reaction that I did.

In a moment of blind optimism, I thought that maybe, just maybe the "Digitally Remastered" version on Disc 1 actually meant that they cleaned up and remastered the Original Version, sans extra scenes/special effects.

No such luck. As soon as I opened the packaging and read the Chapter Titles for both DVDs, I could tell that Disc 1 was indeed the lame, updated version.

The dead giveaway?

Chapter 24: Jabba the Hutt

Now any good Star Wars fan would tell you that that scene didn't exist in the original Star Wars. (It did, but it didn't. They filmed it with an actor, but cut it out. They later went in to digitally place in Jabba the Hutt (as we know him))

So then it was made clear: I know own 2 copies of the new, Digitally Enhanced version. Although, I'm not sure if the first version that I bought 2 years ago has the commentary... I'll have to check.

In my mind, here's how the Original Theatrical Versions should have been released:

One DVD set, with 3 Discs.
Each one with the original theatrical versions of the first 3 movies.
As it is now, the original theatrical version is in 4:3 Letterbox. It would have been nice if they could have converted it to 16:9.
As it is now, the original theatrical version is in Dolby 2.0 Surround. Dolby 5.1 Surround EX would have been nice.

Is this asking too much?
Oh, and I would've been happy paying the same price for my version, as what I just paid yesterday for the extra-bloated 2Disc set.

Again, I realize that Uncle George wasn't going to put in any extra time or $$ into adding these extra touches to the original theatrical versions. But, come on, George! Don't forget about those of us who grew up with the originals. We *want* the originals more than your updated versions. After all, it was the original versions that made you who you are today!

I can see from these reviews on that I'm not the only disappointed fan out there.

Okay, I'll be hopping off my soap box now.
(My soap box is covered with my old Star Wars Trading cards decoupaged on all sides ;) )

(end Star Wars rant)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Reflections of September 11, 2001

I knew that I needed to somehow acknowledge that today is the 5th anniversary of 9/11, but I didn't quite know how to put it into words.

Tonight as I was checking in with my fellow blog peeps, I saw that lef had posted some pictures that he took that day from less than a half-mile away from ground zero. These images speak for themselves, although with the commentary that lef added, they are even more incredible.

The Castro on "The Daily Show"

I've heard about this episode of the "The Daily Show" but I never saw it on TV.

At last, through the wonders of email (thanks Andrew) and the internet (isnt' everything on youtube?) we can finally see:

The Castro on "The Daily Show".

Simply hysterical.

Why on Earth did this crazy man move his family into this neighborhood?
What was he thinking?
Now we're going to have to watch for him on the streets!

A Stupidity Reprieve

After talking with a few people about my stupidity of letting our Macy's gift registry card expire, everyone suggested that I go to a store to talk to someone to see if they could extend the expiration date.

I had to head over to Serramonte Mall today to run a few errands today, so I thought I'd pop into the Macy's. The clerks there weren't able to help me directly, but suggested that I call the number on the back of the gift card. (Don't know why I didn't think of that sooner.) The person on the phone was very nice and understanding, and after talking with the merchant at the store, agreed to extend my expiration date for another 30 days! :)

I was ready to just buy something on the spot today, but thought that since I had 30 days now, I'd wait until Dick was at the store with me.

Yes, I'll remember to spend it within the next 30 days now.

I promise.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

In Your Eyes....

Today I saw Dick standing in front of a mirror, looking at his reflection.

He was squinting.

On occasion, he has asked me how can I see when I smile, since my eyes squint. (I'm not kidding, he really has asked me this!) At first, I thought he was joking, but later realized that he was quite serious. I'd just answer, "Of course I can see!" Could you imagine how bizarre that would be if everything you smiled, your range of site decreased?

So today, he was squinting while looking at his reflection in the mirror.

To his amazement, he realized that he could see just as much when he squinted his eyes a little, as he could when he opened them wide.

Seriously, he was surprised.

Now he knows that my line of site doesn't actually change at all while I'm smiling.

What a goofball.

Trina and Dick: both of us smiling with unobstructed views

I'm a Loser, Baby....

Oy. I hate it when I do things like this. You know... the things that you forget to do, and you find out too late. And you have no one to blame but yourself...

I'm so lame.

Several months ago (probably 6 months or more) we received a Macy's Registry gift card in the mail. As part of the Macy's Wedding Gift Registry, they send you a gift card after your event with a credit amount equal to 10% of all of the merchandise that was bought off your registry. It was worth a reasonable amount.

It has an expiration date.

I had completely forgotten about the card until today. For the first time in many, many months, Dick and I were thinking about going shopping in Union Square. I found my little envelope that i keep all of our gift cards in, and went through it. That's when I found the registry gift card.

"Hmmm... what is this?"

Then I found the letter that went with it, reminding me how much credit we had on the card.

Then I noticed the expiration date:


Fricking frackin fricking FRACK!

I'm such a loser.

I'm going to walk around all day with a big "L" pasted on my forehead.

I hate it when I'm stupid.

The day part of my car flew off on 280.

this is so weird

Yesterday late afternoon, my Mom and I were driving from Menlo Park back up to San Francisco. We were riding in my MINI.

We were on 280 (N), just past the Father Serra Statue, when we heard a loud noise, and suddenly, something was flapping on the side of my car.

We quickly pulled off at the nearest exit, and discovered that a part of my car had somehow come loose, and had flown off! It's a cover of a pillar between my windshield and the driver's side window. The foam strip underneath was what was flapping in the wind.

It's the strangest thing. I can't say I've ever "lost" a part of my car before.

I'm going to call the dealership to try to make an appointment for this week.

I'm going to have to check in with my MINI forum to see if this has happened to anyone else.


I've heard from 3 people on my MINI forum so far, and each of them said that they have heard of this happening to many MINI owners (although not to any of them personally). Interesting.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Glory Days

My good friend, Rob, flew in from the UK yesterday evening, and we've had such a great time catching up.

Rob and I have known each other since 1988, which today I realized is the equivalent to half my life. (!)

Yes, it is another one of my long-lasting color guard connections: Rob has been involved with the color guard activity in the UK for many, many years. ( I could probably say "decades" but thought that might age him unfairly.) My sister went to study abroad for a semester in London way back in 1988, and wrote a letter to the color guard circuit there, offering to help teach a local group. Rob was the directly of a guard named "Trilogy" back then, hired her on, and they became fast friends.

I met Rob that summer while visiting my sister in London, and the color guard that I was teaching at Saratoga High School hired him on as our drill designer.

Rob came out to teach drill/visit for 3 weeks in the fall that year, and the two of us (and my now-gay-ex-boyfriend) had a great time teaching together.

That was 18 years ago. (good grief!)

Considering the distance between us, Rob and I have managed to see each other nearly every year since. Granted, our meetings usually happen in the lovely city of Dayton, Ohio, but nonetheless, we're always very happy to see each other. Unfortunately, we were usually each too busy with our respective units to ever have a chance to really have a good quality catch up.

Lucky for us, we've both been able to schedule a couple of vacations to coincide with real non-color-guard related visits. Rob came out here in 1997, and I've been to London, and later Spain to visit with him.

Since Rob has been out to San Francisco a couple of times before, he didn't feel the need to do the usual touristy things around town. Instead, he asked if we could just "hang out and relax" a bit before he takes off for Southern California this weekend.

So what do two old guard geeks do together on their first day of vacation?

Why, watch old color guard tapes, of course!

This morning, I popped in my WGI Fans Favorite 15 DVD which spans from our "Glory Days" of 1983-1993. It was so much fun to watch and reminisce with him. (really, how many people do I get to do this with?)

To top things off, I had just recorded this year's DCI World Championships on ESPN2 yesterday afternoon. We watched the full show this evening, and really enjoyed it. (Philip, I'd be happy to watch it again with you, too!) Kudos once again to Mike Gaines - the drill design for the Cavaliers was once again amazing!

Don't worry, we didn't spend the entire time watching color guard! We did make it out to Union Square today to do some shopping, and to enjoy the sunshine.

I'll have to dig out some of my old photographs of Rob and I from the late '80s. He said he just found a few back at home, and was amazed at how young we were. (Plus, that was in the heyday of my big hair!)

In the meantime, I'll leave you with one of our annual photographs from WGI. (this is from 2004, since he didn't make it out in 2006, and for some reason, we didn't take a picture together in 2005!)

Rob and Trina at WGI, 2004

Consider Yourself.....

Part of the Family

When I checked our mail today, I noticed that there was a birthday card addressed to Dick. (His birthday is next Thursday)

I recognized the handwriting immediately, and was very touched.

My Grandparents had sent a birthday card to my husband.

How thoughtful! :)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

International Day

Today is "International Day" here at His 'n Her Condos.

This morning, I had a quick Instant Messenger conversation with Pete, who's in Amsterdam for a few days.

I later had a video conversation over Messenger with Reeves, who is in Dublin, Ireland.

I'll also be picking up my friend, Rob, from the airport this afternoon. He's from the UK, and will be visiting with us for a few days.

I love technology.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Weekend Wrap-Up

Oops. Sorry about that. I went MIA for a while there.

We had a very nice, low-key Labor Day weekend. :)

We started the weekend off by celebrating Jim's Birthday Friday evening. We went to Tamerine in Palo Alto. Coincidentally, I had just been to the same restaurant two nights before with Lora and Megan. A little funny, since I've hardly ever been to University Ave before, let a lone this particular restaurant. It was a really fun evening, full of LOTS of food, and LOTS of laughter. Happy Birthday, Jim!

Sunday afternoon/evening, we had Kimi, her husband, Manuel, and their two boys over for a Labor Day Weekend BBQ! It was long overdue, as we've never all gotten together for dinner before. We had such a good time catching up, sharing stories, eating burgers & hot dogs, and yes, playing Xbox. Actually, the only ones playing Xbox were Dick and Daniel. Dick has a new buddy to play Project Gotham Racing with now! Daniel was a natural at playing the racing games, as his Dad is in the Go-Kart business, and Daniel is a seasoned pro at racing Go-Karts! Kimi has a really nice review of the evening on her blog. (she was much more timely about posting than I was!)

Dick and Daniel racing on the Xbox.

The rest of the weekend was spent chilling out, taking walks around the neighborhood, and playing a little Xbox.