Saturday, April 28, 2007

The most beautiful fruit basket!

Today is my birthday :)

My sister-in-law sent me this gorgeous fruit basket from What a great gift!

I love fruit, and as it turns out, this basket has all of my favorites: strawberries, grapes, a little bit of cantaloupe, and best of all: pineapple dipped in dark chocolate!!!


This is such treat!

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Dad, the golf pro

When my parents were in Vegas, they got free tickets to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. My Mom shared their pictures with us yesterday.

This picture cracks me up!

Henry Chow gives Tiger Woods some golf pointers

I think I've only been to a wax museum once, and I can't even remember which one it was. I do remember that they were all scenes from movies, or from notable times in history. Since they were complete scenes, they were blocked off so that you could not actually touch the figures, or take part in the scene.

That's why I was so surprised to see these photos from my parents. Dick said, "Of course! That's what you do at wax museums!"

I never knew!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Some favorite photos from the weekend

Here are some of my favorite photos from our trip to Vegas with the Chow Family.

Happy 60th Anniversary

The Happy Couple

Grandma & Tiffie

Another Happy Couple! Bruce & Robin

Cheri & Kenneth

Fun at the Paigow Poker Table!

Chowing Down on Dim Sum

Annie with her doll without a name
I think she later named her Nancy Pelosi

The Star Trek Experience

Trina & Dick meet a Klingon
(I was standing on my toes in this picture!)

Grandpa & Grandma bobble heads in the back of their car

Monday, April 23, 2007

Like herding cats...

Just got home from Vegas. We had such a wonderful time!

It turns out that traveling/making plans with 20 people is quite a challenge!

Dick equated it to "herding cats".

Just when you think everyone is "on board" and ready to leave...

"meow" (one of the cats strays...)

Then that cat is wrestled back into the herd, and...

"mew" (another cat gets distracted...)

Round up that kitty, and everyone starts moving along again, and...

"meep!" (yet another kitty falls behind...)

It was pretty funny, and all things considered, went really, really well!

I'm not saying that I was a "herder". I'm sure that I was just as much as a "cat" as anyone else! 20 is simply a lot of people to organize and keep together!

Now that I'm home, I'll offer a few closing remarks:

1. Happy 60th Anniversary, Grandma & Grandpa!
2. I LOVE my family.
3. Gambling at a poker table filled with family members is really fun.
4. Gambling with my family members in Vegas is a surreal experience.
5. What would we do without cell phones?
6. I think I'm addicted to Paigow. (thanks, Bruce.)
7. (and speaking of...) My cousin, the gambling pastor. enough said :)

An amazing trip that turned out to be even better that I ever imagined.

I'm so glad that we were all able to make it, and to celebrate the entire weekend as a family.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A whole lotta Chow Fun!

Another fun day in Vegas!

This morning, the 20 of us made our way to the New China Town in Vegas. My Grandparents had been about 8 years ago, and incredibly, my Grandpa was able to remember where it was, and how to get there.

Now, here's the thing. There are 20 of us, and we were going to Chinatown for dim sum at Noon. At any given time or place, we would have had to wait for at least an hour to be seated. We, however, have Grandma Chow! Anytime we go anywhere in Stockton, she always seems to know everyone, and is always able to "get us in" to where ever we're trying to go. Come to think of it, she was able to do the same thing for us when we all traveled to China together in 1992.

Anyhow, we arrive at the restaurant, and she tells them that we'll need two tables of 10. Miraculously, they offer us a private room, which just happens to have two tables! They were also able to seat us immediately! None of us knows just how Grandma manages to pull off such tasks. We just watch in awe and amazement. Like I said, it was Noon on a Sunday, and the restaurant was plenty busy.

The dim sum was delicious, and so much fun to do with the whole family.

In case you don't know, one of our favorite dishes is a (wide) noodle dish called Chow Fun. I've joked now for many years that when you're with our family, we always have Chow Fun. Now, here we were in Vegas. All twenty of us, having Chow Fun - in both senses! Great fun.

Chow Fun

I have some really great photos that I'll post once we get back home.

After lunch, my Mom, Dad, Sis, Graham, Dick and I made our way to the Hilton to checked out the Star Trek Experience. The four of us had come to this attraction about 8 years ago, but they have a whole new addition of a Borg 4-D movie, as well as other updated things. Graham and Dick have never been before.

We all had a blast! The two atractions: the Klingon Enounter and Borg Invasion 4-D were both really fun and enjoyable. It was especially fun to do all of this with my Mom again, since she is a long-term Trekkie.

After we finished with both attractionsk, we stopped for drinks and snacks at Quarks. That was fun, too.

Graham wanted to get in a few hands of poker, so we made our way out to the casino. Dick and I found a $5 Mini-Paigow table, and hung out there for about 45 minutes. (we came out $35 up!)

We meeting my immediate family for dinner again tonight at 9:00, while the rest of the family is out at a couple of shows. We're all hooking up again later tonight for some more Chow Fun in the casinos.

I can't get over how much fun this trip has been for the entire family. Who knew that we'd all have so much fun in Vegas! It's really neat to be here with everyone, and to spend time with each other in a whole new place. (Not to mention how much fun it is to gamble with all of them!)

Chow Fun!

Tomorrow we're going to check out the Hoover Dam before catching our flight home in the afternoon.

More Fun in Vegas

Oh, boy. Last night was a lot of fun.

We had a really nice dinner with the entire family at Panevino Restaurant. My sister had previously arranged this dinner with a friend of a friend who works there. It was a perfect way for all of us to celebrate Grandma & Grandpa's 60th Anniversary together.

After dinner, 8 of us went back to the MGM to see Ka which I really loved. The visuals and staging were stunning. I've never seen anything quite like it.

While we were at the show, the rest of the family (minus the 3 little girls) were out and about on the stip! We hooked up with them after the show at the new Planet Hollywood Hotel (formerly the Aladdan). They had spent a large part of the evening playing Paigow Poker. I'd never played before, but decided to jump into the table to join in. It was a lot of fun. We took up the entire table.

Let me tell you, it's a bit surreal to find oneself playing poker in Vegas with one's Aunts, Uncles and cousins! We've never vacationed together as an entire family before, let alone played poker together in Vegas!

Dick and I left the party around 2:00am, which I thought was pretty good for us!

We're hooking up with the family again later this morning to experience Dim Sum in Vegas! Yes, Dim Sum. We're all going to drive over to Las Vegas' Chinatown. (who knew)

After lunch, I think we may go our seperate ways for a while. Dick and I are planning to hit the Star Trek Experience with my parents! (this time, we'll plan to go before they close!)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Vegas, Baby. Vegas!

Here we are in Vegas!

We took an early flight this morning (8:30am) and arrived around 10:00. We are staying at the fantastic Signature Hotel at the MGM Grand. We just checked into our room, after being out-and-about all day. This hotel is spectacular. We have a full kitchen, a LCD TV, a clock radio which will play my iPod, huge bathroom, full sitting room, etc.,

Dick and I took a nice walk around some of the neighboring hotels: the MGM, New York, New York, the Excaliber, The Luxor, and Mandalay Bay. We played a little Blackjack at the Luxor ($10 table) and managed to win $115 between the two of us! :)

We haven't had a chance to hook up with the rest of the family yet. We'll all be having dinner together tonight at 6:00, then a smaller group of us will be seeing "Ka" at the MGM. Should be a lot of fun.

Okay, that's it for now. Will post more later!

Friday, April 20, 2007

On the Road Again...

Can you believe I just got home from the Mid-West on Wednesday evening, and I'm already taking off again tomorrow morning?

Where are we going to this time?

Vegas, Baby. VEGAS!

Ah, yes. Las Vegas.
Sin City.
The City of Lights.
The Entertainment Capitol of the World.

..and why are we going to Vegas?

Why, to celebrate my Paternal Grandparent's 60th Wedding Anniversary!

Yes, you read it right: 60 years! Pretty amazing, huh?

Chuck and May Chow
April, 1947

In honor of their 60th Wedding Anniversary, Grandma and Grandpa wanted the whole clan to go to Vegas together.

Just how many people are in our family?

count 'em: 20.

That's 4-Generations of Chow.

20 people

How many Chows can fit in Vegas?


That's a whole lotta Chow.

It should be a really great time. We've never ALL traveled together as a family before. The ages in our family ranges from 3 (my cousin's youngest daughter) all the way up to 85! (Grandpa)

I'm sure we'll have many-a-tale to tell.

My cousin Bruce has already begun the battle of the blogs!
Bring it on, cuz. Bring it on.

We're lucky to have Uncle Christopher here to stay with the kitties while we're away. Thanks, Bro!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'd date him

but I'm happily married, and not looking...

Dick just found this site on sfgate.

You gotta give this guy big kudos for putting himself out there (or up on the web, as it were) like that!

Bonus points for the cute logo.

you just know he's totally going to get the girl with this site.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Travel Bliss

Big breakfast with a great friend to start off the day.

No traffic on the way to the airport.

On-line check-in at home 24 hours before my flight. All I had to do at the airport was check in my luggage at a special booth, which had no lines. Total check-in time: less than 2 minutes.

10 minute line through security.

30 minute wait until flight boards.

Flight leaves on time.

Good movie on flight. (The Pursuit of Happyness)

Flight arrives 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

Turn on phone, walk down to baggage claim.

Get a call from hubby - he was able to leave his conference early, and came to the airport to pick me up! (Surprise! I was planning on taking a cab home.)

Find luggage, find hubby, drive home.

Happy kitties.

Lucky Girl.

It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip. :)

Homeward Bound...

My how time flies.

It's already time for me to pack my backs and head back home.

Our time in Chicagoland has been really wonderful. We spent the majority of our time visiting with our many friends here: breakfast with Eileen, dinner with Bill, and a raucous night in downtown Chicago with Jason.

It's been a great trip - as always. I feel so lucky to have so many wonderful friends here.

Time to go home. I miss my kitties. I miss my hubby. :)

Breakfast with Eileen ("Hi Eileen!")

Bill & Tammy

A visit to Chicago is never complete without a visit with The Amazing Jason!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Bio Trina!

This just in from my friend, Andrew, who lives in Spain:

I was thinking of you the other day when I saw the new Bio range from Trina! You will be pleased to know that you are now fully free of genetically modified ingredients and includes a yoghurt range. Go Girl!

It's good to know that I'm fully free on genetically modified ingredients!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I tried to have a mojito, but nobody knew what one was....

Another WGI has come and gone...

When I was at WGI Headquarters (essentially, the hotel gathering place/bar), my friend, Benji offered to buy me a drink. Everyone knows that I don't drink much, but I figured, when in Rome... (or, Dayton, as it were...)

So, I requested a Mojito.

Benji didn't know what it was.

I described it him.
He thought it sounded yummy.

He came back a few minutes later, asking for my second drink of choice.
Apparently, the bartender had never heard of one either.

Tammy and I just woke up. We're planning to meet some friends for breakfast before we all head home. We didn't get to bed until 4:00. (typical) We woke up at 8:00am, a bit groggy (to say the least), from our lack of sleep over the past two nights.

Tammy mentioned in disbelief that she didn't even have a drink at headquarters last night. I acknowledged that I haven't even had a drink all weekend. (which she laughed at, reminding me that I don't usually have a drink at WGI at all.)

That's when I said, "I tried to have a drink, but nobody knew what a mojito was..."

Her reply: "Trina: You asked the boy from Eau Claire, Wisconsin to ask the bartender from Dayton, Ohio to make you a Mojito! Are you surprised?"

that thought never occurred to me, and made me laugh.

So, another WGI has come and gone. The show was really good last night. One of the strongest WGIs in recent memory. I might even have to buy the DVD this year.

Have to go get ready to meet Sal and Cody for breakfast now.

Will write more once we're back in Chicagoland... :)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

webTrina: finding bargains in Kentucky!

Tammy and I have had such a great day (already!).

Gap Clearance Center, Hebron, KY

As I've mentioned from previous years, one of our favorite activities during our girl's weekend in WGI is when we make the drive over the border of Kentucky to do some serious shopping at the Gap Clearance Center!

We were not disappointed! Some great clothes, and wonderful bargains were found!

To summarize: I bought 5 pairs of pants (2 of which are for my Mom and my Sister), 1 pair of spandex leggings (been wanted to get some of these for a while) 5 tops, and one pair of sandels.

"How Much?" you say?

You'll never believe it...

To top it off, as we were nearing the check-out counter, a nice woman approached us, offering a 20% off coupon!

"So how much was it?"

But wait... there's more!

They also threw in a free Gap CD - which I'm listening to right now, and it's really great!

So, lets summarize again...

5 pairs of pants
5 tops
1 pair of leggings
1 pair of sandles
1 music CD
6% Kentucky Sales Tax

(minus 20%)

Grand Total: $73.68.

Oh, yeah!

webTrina strikes again!

For the record, Tammy found 2 pairs of pants, 4 tops, a jacket and a bag. She paid under $50.

This is why we love coming here!

After our early afternoon shopping spree, we drove back to Dayton to our favorite little High Tea Restaurant, which we just found last year.

The food was amazing: great tea, tea sandwiches, scones, and pastries.
All for $12/person.

I'm telling you, there are some great buys here!

Afternoon High Tea in Dayton!

We're taking a quick break in our fabulous hotel room, resting up for the big night ahead.

WGI Finals is tonight!

....followed by a late night at headquarters!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Good Times in Dayton, Ohio!

The drive from Chicago to Dayton went really well. We were lucky that it turned out to be a bright, sunny day - perfect for a road trip! We made it in to Dayton right on time today at 6:00.

We met our friends, Rich & Benji at 7:00 for dinner. That was a wonderful treat, as we never feel like we're able to spend enough time with them each year at headquarters.

After dinner, I talked everyone into having an ice cream with me at Graeters in Centerville. (yum)

Benji, Tammy & Rich outside of Graeter's

We decided to hit headquarters tonight to see what the scene was like. It was a bit slow when we arrived around 10:30, which was nice, because it was easy to see people. By the time that we left at 12:30, it was pretty packed, and we managed to see lots of people - several who don't necessarily come on a yearly basis, so we had some really nice surprises.

Philip, Trina & Jeff Worth! (first time back at WGI in 12 years! So happy to see you again!)

I took some fun photos, and will post them soon.

PS: to our amazement, we found out tonight that Dayton (or maybe State of Ohio) has now outlawed smoking in bars! :)
tomorrow, we'll be waking up in time to enjoy our free breakfast at our fabulous hotel. Afterwards, we're off to Kentucky to go shopping at the Gap/Banana Republic Clearance Center! :)


funny story
Here's my WGI Geek moment of the night:

I was at headquarters, and Mike Gaines introduced me to Tommy Keenum of Final Analysis and other memorable WGI shows.

When I was introduced to Tommy, I shook his hand and said, "I love your work. I've been a big fan for a long time..." (oh, what a dork I am!) I also told him that one of my favorite WGI shows ever was The Color Purple (Final Analysis, 1988)

Anyhow, I don't suppose many people compliment him on shows from nearly 20 years ago, so he was probably a little taken back, but appreciative.

Mike continued the introduction by telling Tommy, "Trina marched in Blackhawks, Kingsmen, and State Street..."

Tommy said, "You couldn't have possibly marched in those shows. You don't look like you're any older than 24!"

That's when I said, "Oh, Thank you! Now I'm an even bigger fan!"

Oy. I think I may be the world's biggest dork.

Tommy, Mike & Craig

Prelims Scores.

Greetings from Chicago!

Okay, technically, I'm in Bloomingdale...

Good morning!

It's a sunny day out, albeit cold and there's still a lot of snow on the ground!

Tammy and I are up and getting ready to head out to make our trek across Illinois, and Indiana to Ohio!

Once again, I'm proudly sporting the Ohio t-shirt.

The trip (not including any frozen custard spots along the way) should take about 6 hours.

See you in Ohio!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mid-West Bound!

It's that time of the year again!

Time for my annual trek to the Mid-West!

I'm flying out this morning to chilly Chicago. I'll be staying at Tammy's place tonight, then tomorrow we'll be taking a road trip to Dayton, OH! It'll be pretty much the same itinerary as every year: Good food, a little color guard, some discount shopping, and great friends. We're both really looking forward to it!

Last year, I started to dub this vacation as my "girls weekend". Tammy and I have such a blast, and it's always such great fun to do a road trip together. While I'm away, Martin will be visiting Dick in San Francisco. They'll be having their own "boys weekend" while I'm away. While my weekend will consist of eating at Bob Evans (yum!) and Chicago Style Pizza, their weekend will consist of dining out at some of San Francisco's finest restaurants! This is the second year in a row that we all planned the "girls weekend"/"boys weekend" thing. It's a lot of fun for all, and no one feels like they're missing out on the fun.

I plan to bring my computer and my camera along this time around. Will try to post during the trip!

...and, oh, yes. I do plan on wearing my road trip t-shirt again this year! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Marcel's new stairs

A couple of months ago, I realized that our "big cat", Marcel, would be turning 13 years old later this year.

This made me a little sad, as this means that Marcel is slowly but surely becoming an "older cat".

One thing that occurred to me is that several times a day, Marcel jumps up to and down from our bed. Our be has a pillow-top mattress, and is pretty high off the ground. Marcel is usually able to jump high enough to make it, but every once in a while, the poor guy misses.

Also, whenever he jumps down from our bed to the hardwood floors, you always hear a loud "Ker-Plunk!" when he lands. I worry that someday he might injure himself by falling or landing wrong. He's a hefty little guy, and I don't know what kind of strain his little legs are under when he lands.

I brought up my concerns to Dick, and suggested that we should be pro-active in keeping Marcel safe from injuries caused by a fall by investing in some kitty stairs for him. Dick agreed that it was a good idea.

We found several sets of stairs on the web, but decided on this one.

This was the perfect height to allow Marcel easy access to the top of our bed, plus it was more narrow than other models (usually made for larger dogs) so it wouldn't take up too much space in our small bedroom.

Bonus: we were able to order it in a leopard print, which makes us laugh.

We were a little concerned that Marcel wouldn't take to the stairs, and wouldn't use them.

When the stairs were delivered, Dick enticed Marcel with a couple of treats and voila! He got it instantly, and has been using them ever since!

It's really funny to be lying in bed at night or in the morning, and seeing Marcel climb up and down his stairs. I think he really likes them.

In my mind, Marcel is saying, "Hey, guys! This is cool! Thanks for the stairs!"

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fun with ZOOB!

One of new clients is a toy company called Infinitoy. (I love that name.) They have an existing site that they need to have updated.

When I met with them, they sent me home with several samples of their products. (I love my job!) That's right: they gave me toys!

Blane came over for a quick visit this afternoon. He had a short break in between his pilates clients, so I invited him over for a break.

We sat in the sunroom while we had a snack, and he noticed the stack of ZOOB boxes on the table. I told him what they were, and I could see that his interest was peaked. That's when we busted out the ZOOB and started to play!

Here are some fun pictures of us with our ZOOB creations!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Banana Bread

This morning, as I was cutting a slice of banana bread for my breakfast, I started to sing, "Banana Bread" to the tune of "Mana Mana".

Dick caught on, and joined me.

We were dancing around the kitchen singing:

"Do, do, doodoo do..."

"Do, do, do, do..."

"Do, do, doodoo do, do doodoo, do doo doo dood do doot"

In case you don't know when I'm talking about, you can watch the Mana-Mana video here:

I LOVE the Muppets!

The Easter Bunny wears Leather Chaps

At least he does in my neighborhood....

This morning, I was treated once again to one of my favorite Easter in the Castro sights:

A big bear of a man, dressed in a full pink (and furry) Easter Bunny suit, (ears and all) wearing a big black leather jacket, drove up on his big, phat Harley bike. He hopped off his bike, and toted his easter basket up the stairs to the home of one of our neighbors.

One of these years, I'm going to have to snap a picture of him...

More Tales of Shortness...

I bought new pair of jeans yesterday.

They were available in "Short" "Regular" and "Tall" lengths.

I bought the "short" (obviously).

They still drag on the ground, unless I wear heels.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Apologies to the RSS Folks...

A couple of weeks ago, I started to add labels (categories) to my blog posts. I also started to go through my 3-1/2 year archive to label my old posts as well.

It just occurred to me that this may be very confusing to to folks out there using an RSS reader to check for updates on my blog. Suddenly, all of these old posts are showing up as new (because I added the labels, and republished them).

I was wondering why my cousin, Bruce, had left a comment on a post that was nearly two years old. (X-Wing MINI) Now I get it!

Apologies all around.
We hope to have this all straightened out soon.


The new MUNI T-Line

"T" is for "Trina"!

The new MUNI Third Street Line (T-Line) will be starting full service today!

I'm feeling a little slow here, but Dick and I just realized that it will go from the Castro Street Station all the way past Monster Park! This also means that Dick and now take this new line from Castro Street to the CalTrain station at 4th and King!

We had no idea that this route was starting/ending at the Castro Station. It's kind of cool. This now gives Dick the option of going to the CalTrain station without having to a)take his scooter b)drive his car c)have me drive him.

It's always nice to have public transportation options! :)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cody's is closing :(

Cody's Books is closing their store in San Francisco.

That's too bad. I really liked that store.

This is the same local, independent bookstore where I went to a couple of really great book signings over the past couple of years.

I saw Jimmy Carter last January, and also (my favorite) Armistead Maupin in August. Both book signing events were pretty amazing. I felt so fortunate to have a chance to participate in them.

Unfortunately, it's really hard in this day and age to run a successful, competitive, yet independent bookstore. I admit that I've only bought books from this store a handful of times. The truth is, I don't buy books often, but even when I do, it's hard not to buy them at a discount on an online retailer.

I'm sorry to see Cody's go. I was so excited for it, as a local chain, when they moved into the San Francisco location just a couple of years ago.

Their store on Fourth Street in Berkeley will be their last remaining store. I'll make it a point to go there when they have any more great book signing events.

The new MINI Cooper

Here's a good article on the new MINI Cooper.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mad Tea Party

Today I will be attending a Mad Tea Party, hosted by my friend, Alan Greenspan. (No, that that Alan Greenspan, this Alan Greenspan.)

My friend, Alan Greenspan, is the genius behind all of the amazing hats in San Francisco's famous Beach Blanket Babylon. If you've never seen it, you really should. It's a San Francisco institution.

Alan has been designing and creating the hats since 1978. It comes as no surprise, then, he was nicknamed "The Mad Hatter". He eventually embraced this nickname, and started to collect Mad Hatter paraphernalia from the Alice in Wonderland Stories.

I met Alan a few years ago through our mutual friend, Andrew Tabbat. When Alan started his collection, Andrew taught him some of the ins and outs of building a collection.

Every year, on or near April Fools Day, Alan hosts a Mad Tea Party. I've been to one before, but it's been a few years. It's a real treat, full of wackiness and fun.

Each year that I receive an invitation, I'm always amazed at the creativity that goes into them.

This year's invitation came in the form of puzzle pieces. Once that puzzle was put together, it showed a scene from the Mad Tea Party, with a clever rhyme inviting the recipient to the party.

My sister will be attending the Mad Tea Party this year with me. We're really looking forward to it.

Happy April Fool's Day!

My invitation to the Mad Tea Party!