Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It's been a tough last few days. Dick got sick with a cold on Saturday, and I came down with a flu on Sunday. We were both out for a few days, and are on the mend, but there's an awful lot of sniffling, coughing, and general exhaustion in our house right now.
Much worse: we had to take our big cat, Marcel, to the v-e-t today. While we were sick over the last few days, we noticed that he wasn't feeling well, either. He hardly ate anything yesterday, which was the big red flag we needed to get him an appointment early today.
We brought him to our favorite vet down in Milpitas who always takes such good care of all of our animals friends. We've been bringing birds, rats, and cats to him for over 20 years.
Sadly, after a blood test and urinalysis, Marcel was diagnosed today with failing kidneys. :(
I'm afraid the prognosis isn't very good, but we're going to do what we can to make sure that he's comfortable and as happy as possible. We don't think that he's in any pain, or is very uncomfortable - more that he's low energy and a little lethargic.
This news makes me so very sad. :(
Dick and I are home with the kitties tonight - sipping some Sleepy Time Tea, and ready to spend some quality time with our kitties. Not the most exciting way to ring in the new year, but I can certainly think of worse.
Happy New Year, everyone. Hope everyone has a fun and safe celebration.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Apparently, there's such a thing called golf elbow, which is pretty similar to tennis elbow. It got really bad in September, so I've been laying off the golf, and trying not to lift heavy objects, etc, since then.
I saw a doctor about it a few weeks back - that's when I got the official word that I had tendinitis in both arms. He told me to take 600mg of ibuprofen 3 times a day for 7 days. He said it should feel better at the end of that time, but that I would still need to keep off of it for a while. For the record, it is feeling better, but I think I still have a ways to go.
What bothers me about this is that I hate not having full use of my arms. I'm used to being able to lift heavy things, and being self-sufficient.
Actually, what really bothers me is that I did color guard for over 10 years without (thankfully) developing tendinitis on my wrists or my elbows (like many of my friends had) but 8 months of golf, and BAM!
Of course, this is just one life's not-so-friendly reminders that I'm getting old.
Getting older, I don't mind. I just don't want my body to start falling apart. :(
I've been using this great Elbow Ice Wrap for the past several months. It works really well.
It's by a brand called "Cold One" and the name is written across the strap of the wrap.
This morning, as I was putting it on, the "C" fell off from the name.
Now I'm wearing a brace that says "OLD ONE".
How ironic, yet appropriate.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Here are a couple of good ones:
Trina, Christopher (our Gay Boyfriend) and Dick
...and here's my personal favorite
Reeves, Christopher, Shan, Dick and Omar
It's very silly, but very, very funny!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
This past weekend was Dick's Company's Holiday Party. They always have a photographer, and everyone always looks mildly stiff and posed. Dick and I decided to throw in another Prom Picture pose to lighten things up.
Trina & Dick
Winter Ball 2008
(yes, we're going to have a putting green! How crazy is that?!) came
Friday and Saturday. They got about 2/3 done and were planning to come
back Monday to finish the job.
We got a lot of rain since then, and had to call for rain days (no
work) on Monday and Tuesday.
Today is bright and sunny (and cold!) so the whole crew is back today.
This cracked me up: before the putting green guys can continue to
work, they had to dry out putting green that was already installed by
vacuming it. :)
Monday, December 08, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
We're on our way to Maui!!
Mike and Bunny are getting married Monday morning, and a bunch of us
are tagging along to help celebrate! Should be a ton of fun.
So far, this trip has gotten off to an excellent start. We had seats
in economy plus (United) but were able to upgrade with our over-
abundance of frequent flyer miles last night! Yep, first class on a
777. Very nice.
We hooked up with Our Gay Boyfriend early on at the airport. Here's a
pict I took of of Christopher and Dick while we enjoyed a little nosh
at the United Lounge before boarding the plane.
Next stop: Paradise!! See you on the other side!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I've been meaning to blog about this for a while now...
Yes, the Great Backyard Landscape Project of 2008 is still going on. Yes, the original target completion date was roughly a month ago, and yes, we're a few weeks past due. But, that's okay. Really. I absolutely love the team of men and women and we have working on it, and they are doing an amazing job. The craftsmanship and workmanship that they've put into this project ha been incredible. We're really pleased with how it has all come together, and how amazing it looks.
I'd guess we still have another week and a half or so before everything is completely finished.
But, back to the port-o-potty...
So, yes, nothing says "Big House Project" like a Port-o-Potty sitting in front of your house. Our port-o-potty has been sitting proudly in front of our house for 2-1/2 months.
Funny thing is, we're one of four port-o-pottys on our block! That's right, just on our one single block, there are four major construction projects going on. That doesn't even include the project around the corner (with yes, another port-o-potty) or all of the PG&E construction that's been going on for several months.
It's a busy time in the neighborhood, and a loud one. Lots of jack-hammering and sawing going on. Lots of dumpsters and work trucks parked on our street. It has actually been fairly difficult to park on our block during the weekdays.
I don't know about all of them, but I know that at least two of the projects (including ours) should be done within the next couple of weeks. It'll be nice when it's a little quieter on our street.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Yesterday, the newest version of the Windows Live Home Page was launched.
It's very cool. I use hotmail (all of my email gets forwarded to this account for easy accessibility) and Dick and I both use the Windows Live Calendar for keeping track of our individual and combined schedules.
The new home page is really cool. It has everything upfront so that you can see your latest emails, your next calendar appointment, the temperature outside, etc., all at a glance. Very handy.
My favorite part? (cause I'm a dork) The dynamic themes that users can choose from.
I'm using the one with the little dark haired girl, and her little cat. They are so cute! What's so dynamic about it? Well, the header picture changes according to what time of day it is, and what the weather is like.
For example, here's what my home page looked like around 7:30 this morning:
Foggy early morning
Here's what it looked like around 8:30 this morning:
Still foggy, but some sunshine
...and here's what it looked like around 10:30 this morning:
Cool, and sunny
Isn't that seriously cute? I love following my little girl and her cat around throughout the day.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
It's that time of the year! The holidays have arrived, and I am woefully behind in all things holiday related. I usually have all of my Christmas shopping done by now, but this year.... well, let's just say that I finally got started by shopping online last night!
I always appreciate when friends and family share their wish lists for gift ideas. I find it helpful, as I know that I can get them something that I know they would like.
I've been a fan of amazon.com's wish list for several years. I try to keep my wish list updated, and hope that it's helpful for others. (Not that I expect anything!)
The only problem with the amazon.com wish list is that you are limited to what is available to buy through amazon.com. (Not that their selection isn't entirely enormous, so you can generally find anything that you want there.)
Recently, amazon.com introduced something new and exciting!
The Universal Wish List Button!
That's right, with this handy tool, now you can put any item from any website onto your amazon.com wish list! All that you wish for in one handy place! (well, almost anything, anyhow) You can even add items from ebay.com! (no, really, I'm not addicted to the internet.)
Pretty cool, isn't it?
Now you, too, can add that adorable sterling silver "I Love You" heart charm from Tiffany's to your very own wish list!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Christopher and I are going to see the 7:00 show this evening. We plan to join the line at 6:00. We'll see how that goes.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
A friend of mine loaned me the first two books of the Twilight Series. I read them both within the last week, and just finished the second one this morning.
First of all, I totally get what all the hype is about these books now. I'll admit, after I read the first one, I thought it was a good, fast read, but didn't totally love it. I certainly enjoyed it enough to go right to the second book, though! After I started to read the second one, I totally fell into it, and became somewhat addicted, just like half of the adolescent tween girls in our country. Yes, I'm feeling a little odd about clumping myself into that mix, but hey, I love Harry Potter, too, so there you go...
Actually, I had a funny conversation this afternoon about the series with my 60-year-old mother, and my 12-year-old niece. Pretty funny!
But, I digress....
This post is about my new found love for the Kindle!
Dick bought the Kindle the week before we left for our Alaskan cruise in August. He really loved it - everything from the ease of buying books, the cost of each title (cheaper than buying a physical paper back) and the form factor (about the size and weight of an average paper back).
I've been in a bit of a book slump lately, so there weren't any titles I was dying to purchase and download to the Kindle.
I was out all day, and just came home. Dick has an evening of Gears of War 2 planned for the evening. I might play a bit (because I love it!) but can't play too long because I have developed tendinitis in both of my arms. (originated with golf several months ago, exasperated by a couple games of bowling, and has been on the mend for 2 months now). But more on that later.
Anyhow, I was anxious to get started on book 3 of the Twilight series, so I picked up the Kindle, did a search for the book title, and purchased it for $10.00. Within seconds (literally) I had the book downloaded, and ready for me to read!
That's so cool.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Today's big project was hanging a set of 4 prints that he's been meaning to hang for 3-4 years now. (it takes us a while to get inspired sometimes.) The prints are Chinese in style, so one would naturally assume that they are family pieces from my side of the family.
They are, in fact, family pieces from Dick's family! :)
Dick's parents family bought these in the 60s or early 70s. They were hung in the dining room of the house that Dick and his sisters grew up in. When Dick's Dad sold the house several years ago, the siblings divided up the family pieces that he would no longer have room for. Dick's sister, Kathy, originally claimed ownership to these prints, but a few years ago, Dick and Kathy swapped out a set of Silver for the prints.
Kathy shipped these to us at least 3 years ago. We've been meaning to put them up in our stairwell, but we weren't quite sure where, or even how.
The stairwell is naturally a tough place to hang anything. I never had anything hung there in the 10 years that I've owned the upstairs condo.
Well, today was the day that Dick woke up and declared that we were going to hang them. My first question: "How do you intend to do that?" I was envisioning precariously perched ladders, with precariously perched people dangling off them them, attempting to figure out where to hammer nail or screw into the wall, over a flight of stairs. It wasn't a pretty picture, and just imagine how many things could go wrong.
And that's when I came up with my brilliant idea of the week: We have picture-hanging molding (which we use to hang pictures from throughout the rest of the house). Why can't we use it in the stairwell, too?
Long story short, Dick fashioned a clever tool consisting of a wire hanger, duct tape, and an extension rod that I had for some unknown purpose. In total, it gave us about 7 feet of extra length, which turned out to be enough for us to reach the molding with.
First step: hang the picture-hanging clips onto the picture-hanging molding. Dick was able to accomplish this task surprisingly easily with our newly-fashioned, Macgyver-Inspired tool.
Last step: Dick held the frame in position while I used our handy-dandy tool to loop the fishing line onto the picture hook. Worked like a charm! We had to take them down a couple of times to make final adjustments to the length of the wire, but all-in-all, it went very well!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
It's still gorgeous outside - my guess is low 70s, and perfectly still weather.
We decided to have dinner at one of the sushi joints on Castro Street. When we walked down (about 6:30) we noticed a group of people assembled on the corner of Castro and 18th. That's not unusual because that is literally the heart of the Castro, so things pertaining to the community usually form there. I noticed that everyone in this group was dressed in white, and we also noticed that they were standing together, singing. It was odd.
So, we had dinner. It was a long dinner. We sat at the sushi bar, and the sushi chefs kept giving us new yummy treats. :) But, I digress...
Two bottles of Saki, and several platters of sushi later...
When we left the restaurant, we saw about half a dozen cop cars parked around the corner of Castro and 18th. We went over to see what all the hub bub was about. From what we could gather, a group of Prop 8 SUPPORTERS thought it would be a good idea to come to the heart of the Castro and raise a ruckus.
Now, seriously. That's just stupid.
Obviously, they came to cause trouble. They came to slap our community in the face.
Basically, they came to be complete asses.
It was breaking up by the time we got there, so we started to head home.
Now, as I mentioned, it's a really warm evening out. That alone is reason for a lot of people to come flocking to Castro Street. As we walked up the street towards our block, we passed many people who were walking down to Castro.
That's when we got to the intersection of our block - which is about 3 blocks from Castro Street.
I wish I had gotten a picture of it, but I was too stunned at that moment. There was literally a police barricade blocking our block. Yep - a line of police officers spread across the street. We had to show I.D. to prove that we lived here.
After we were let through, I asked one of the officers what was going on.
His response, "I have no idea. I was hoping you could tell me!".
From what I gathered, the Prop 8 Supporters had actually marched down our block, fairly recently, and must have stirred up some trouble if there was now this much police presense. That's really strange to me, because as I said, we're a few blocks away from the heart of things.
Anyhow, I'm afraid that chaos of some kind is bound to happen tonight. Between the crowds of people coming in because of the warm weather, coupled with the Stupid Prop 8 people trying to raise a ruckus... well, that's just not going to go over well. I hope things don't get out of control.
I expect we'll hear something about this in the news later.
I decided to walk by the actual square to check out the new Holiday
It was unusually warm today, and was still in the low 70s when I went
by the ice rink at 5:30. It was a bit surreal to see the ice rink, the
Union Square Christmas Tree (not yet lit) while having this
unseasonably warm weather.
It was really pretty, though. It'll be nice to see it again when the
tree is lit and more people are skating.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The weather has been so nice lately, that I've been going out to the backyard, enjoying the peace and quiet. Even though the job is not finished yet (probably another couple of weeks, easily) I really enjoy looking at the plants, and visualizing the final product.
One of my favorite plants out there is called a Foxtail Fern. That's its standard common name.
I like to refer to it (or them, as we have 4) as my "Sideshow Bob" Plants.
It's the first thing that I thought of when I first saw them. It's as if someone took Sideshow Bob (from the Simpsons, in case you didn't know) and planted the poor guy in a pot up to the top of his head.
See for yourself:
Sunday, November 09, 2008
I caught this short video clip of the birds this morning. Bonsai is the one behind the Diet Coke box (that they like to play in and chew). Bonsai is the one whistling to Crissy.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Paula just reminded me that Reeves had taken this picture of me and Dick way back in October, 2005. I don't remember what the exact circumstances of the photo were, but we were at an opening show at the Adler's Gallery. I also remember that it was the week before our wedding.
This picture makes me laugh every time I see it. It has got to be one of my favorite pictures of Dick ever!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
It's Official: Prop 8 has passed.
Anger and disappointment do not begin to express how I feel about this.
I realize that I live in a bubble: I live in the Castro, in San Francisco, in the Bay Area. I'm lucky enough to live in a place that doesn't believe in discrimination. I was beginning to believe that we were growing as a state and as a country. It turns out that not all Californians have the same belief system that I do, and I sometimes forget that.
But really: the fact that California voters care more about the treatment of chickens, cows and pigs, than the civil rights of people just baffles me.
I know this isn't the end. The fight will go on, and we will reach a point of equality for all some day.
It's just too bad that that day isn't today.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I was randomly checking SFGate (I must do it 20 times a day!) and look who I see on the front page?
That's my cousin, Bruce, captured on film!
How cool is that?
Not sure how he'll feel about me blogging about this before him, though. (Sorry, Boo! I couldn't help it!)
Here's a larger version of the photo, and mention of his name.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
We had our (almost) annual Halloween Party last night - yes, the day after Halloween. We wrestled with which day to have it on - the Saturday before (almost a whole week before Halloween) the night of (which would be a work night, and a crazy Friday night) or the night after (after?!). Clearly, we decided on having it the night after, which, all-in-all, seemed to work out quite well.
It was a surprisingly stormy day, but thankfully, the rain let up a couple of hours before the party started. We had a great crowd again this year - I'm guessing 40-50, and really, in my opinion, some of the best costumes yet!
I have to give Dick full credit for our Halloween costumes and full theme this year. It was brilliant. We created "Stock Market Hell" in every room on the ground floor of our house.
What does that mean? Let's start with a Stock Market Graph (complete with a hanging, severed head) of the last year welcoming you as you when you enter. Nothing can be scarier than that! The graph line went from the grid, down along the hallway wall, along the floor, all the way into the kitchen, and directly into the trash. :)
We had a room dedicated to "All Hallows Bank" where you could find toxic mortgage loans. The body outlines of the Lehman Brothers were found on the floor of two different room, and the dining room was converted into a cemetery where the names and end dates of all of the failed financial institutions were recorded on the tombstones.
Dick dressed as Mr. Dow Jones, and I came as Ms. Nas Daq. We were a little battered and bruised from a tough year. We even wore scrolling ticker tapes!
Many thanks to everyone who braved the rain and came to the party! We had a blast, and hope that you did, too!
Friday, October 31, 2008
that they throw each year for employees and their families. It was
really great and fun to see all of the little kids dressed up. Super
cute! Since we don't get any trick-or-treaters at our house, this was
a real treat for me!
Dick's team took a vote on what costumes Dick and his colleagues would
have to wear today. I think Dick lucked out: they wanted him to be
Batman, which, of course, he loved!!
Have a safe and fun Halloween! (and please... Stay away from the
Thursday, October 30, 2008
We passed our water and gas inspection on Monday, which allowed us to finally move ahead!
The concrete forms were finalized just in time for the concrete pour on Wednesday afternoon. We were so lucky that we were able to do that yesterday, as it rained this afternoon! Lucky for us, the concrete set overnight, and we were able to take all of the forms off of all of the concrete retaining walls, stairs and pads this morning.
The concrete retaining wall, landing and stairs. The conduits in the stairs are for the lights that will be installed later.
The bluestone for the patio was delivered today. The pieces are enormous, and so gorgeous. It's really shaping up, and we can now get a really good idea of what the final product will look like.
Pretty (and huge!) bluestone for the patio
We should see a lot more progress over the next few days. Here's hoping that the rain won't interfere with our schedule too much!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Generation WE: The Movement Begins... from Generation We on Vimeo.
I think this is fantastic for so many reasons.
It's a very good video that's based off of a recently released book called Generation We: How Millennial Youth Are Taking Over America and Changing Our World Forever.
It gives me hope for the future of our country and our world.
On a personal note, one of my nieces (my cousin's daughter) is in it. I'm so proud of her.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
"Milk" - World Premiere at The Castro Theater
Tonight was the World Premiere of the movie "Milk", at the Castro Theater.
Dick and I weren't able to attend (it was a benefit, and sold out quickly) but it looks like it was an amazing evening.
Here's an article, with photos, of the event from sfgate.com.
The movie opens on November 26th. I can't wait to see it at The Castro Theater.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I am delayed in reporting about the outcome of the burst water pipes from Thursday morning. All things considered, it all went well, and we even managed to find a silver lining amongst the chaos.
water pipes - before
You can barely see it, because it's painted to match the back of the house, but it comes from the right side, goes up and around the door frame, then across the concrete, and around a pillar
The plumber was scheduled to come back Thursday morning anyway to finish up the work on the gas line. While he was here, he did a quick fix on the pipe connection that had slipped of that morning, which caused the leak.
While he was here, I discussed the situation with my contractor. She said that in the future, once we were ready to really tackle that problem, the solution would be to dig out a trench on that side of the patio and put some copper pipes underground. This is something that we knew we'd want to do in the future, but it wasn't on our list of things that we immediately wanted to do.
That's when I came up with a bright idea (I love it when that happens): since we just dug out the trench for the gas line to go out to the yard, why couldn't we use that same trench for the water? After a little more thought, it became obvious that it was a brilliant idea: the water source was already on the same side of the patio as the gas line. The old water pipes had been haphazardly strung along the base of the house, up and around a doorframe, down the concrete patio, around a post, and down to the garden. This solution would alleviate all of the craziness, and would actually make it much more direct.
The even better part was that we only have a very narrow window in which to make this happen. The trench was just dug out on Wednesday, and would be filled again this week after inspection for the gas and water. That's a one week window in which we could take advantage of our situation!
So yeah, it was an additional expense that we weren't expecting, but a really good thing to do while we had the opportunity. It's nice not having to worry about the old pipes giving us more troubles in the future.