Wednesday, April 30, 2008
No, no.... I'm fine!
I know it's been a while since I posted. It happens every once-in-a-while, usually for no particular reason. I guess I've been busy, but truthfully, no more busy than usual.
Monday was my Birthday.
Although I didn't do anything on my birthday, I certainly had a grand time celebrating over the weekend!
Dick and I played two (count 'em) rounds of (9-hole) golf on Saturday morning with Andy and Aditya. That was great fun. It was the most beautiful Saturday morning that I can recall in recent memory - sunny and low 70s. To top it off, I played my best game, and scored my best score - twice! (got the same score both times.)
After golf, we came home, packed a bag, and drove over the Bay Bridge to the Claremont Resort and Hotel. Dick treated us both to a massage in the spa (which was quite wonderful) and dinner (watching the sunset over the SF skyline) for my birthday. What a treat!
Yesterday, my sister and I had a wonderful visit with my dear friend, Kimi. Kimi and I are best friends from way back in Freshman year of high school. Our birthdays are only 15 days apart - her birthday is May 13th. We celebrated our joint birthdays by treating ourselves to an afternoon together, complete with strawberry cream puffs. Yum!
Birthday Girls - both Taurus-Dogs!
Oh - forgot to mention that Dick and I woke up yesterday at 6:00am to meet Andy at the golf course to play at 7:00am! Yes, we're a little crazy, but it was a ton of fun. We played at Flemming, which I have never played at before. (I had only played at Golden Gate.) It was beginner's luck for me, as I had my best score yet! I think I'm addicted. :)
So, that's about it. Birthday celebrations, golfing, work..... It's all good. :)
But I do appreciate the friends who checked in with me to make sure I was okay!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Trina is blogging.
Once you're signed in, the Facebook Home page shows status updates for your friends, as well as a News Feed that shows recent activity. The activity might show recent comments your friends have made to your profile wall, photos that they have posted (or photos that your friends have been tagged in), or groups that they have joined.
This morning, I saw that a photo had been posted by someone that I don't even know. The photo had two of my friends tagged in it. (It told the name of the two people in the photo). Only, I had no idea that these two friends knew each other at all. And, this photo showed these two friends smooching!
I sent an email to Dick with a link to the photo asking:
Is this our xxx kissing our yyy?
He replied, "Yep!"
We laughed about it when he came home.
I emailed my friend "xxx" telling her about the small world that we live in. She thought it was hysterical, too.
Yep, you never know what you're going to learn about your friends on Facebook!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
When we had dinner together last week, I mentioned the "Milk" movie to him, and how the production had transformed our neighborhood for a few weeks. Jason had heard about the movie, but had not seen any behind-the-scene footage. I told him I had a few posts on my blog with some photos of Castro Street as it was thrown back to the 70s.
Jason emailed me the next day saying that his Web Editor wanted him to do a blog post about the Milk Movie and wanted him to link to my blog post with photos.
Here's the article: Milking It
I promised Andre that I would give Sticky Twisty Bob a good home with me in my office where we can keep each other company every day.
I also promised Andre that I would make a stop-motion animation for him out of the multiple photos that we took together of Sticky Twisty Bob playing golf.
I put the animation up on Sticky Twisty Bob's very own web site:
The Adventures of Sticky Twisty Bob!!
I figured this sticky twisty guy may have a few more adventures coming that we may need to document someday. :)
Monday, April 21, 2008
Here's a picture that I took as I passed a Chevron Station on the corner of Fell and Masonic today. Look at those prices!
When I was in the Mid-West, my friends asked me if gas in San Francisco was much higher than what we were paying out there. I'm looking at my receipt for gas that I bought in Dayton Ohio last Saturday. I bought regular unleaded for $3.24/gallon.
I told my friends that I actually don't buy gas very often, so I don't pay as much attention to the prices that I used to. I figured we were somewhere around $3.60 or so.
I think that the Chevron that I took this picture of is higher than average around here. Or, am I crazy? Are gas prices really all over $4 now?
One of the big perks of working from home: no commute. That's good for so many reasons.
Big perks for living in San Francisco: I can walk to most of my destinations (grocery store, post office, good eats, fun shopping, etc.,) and can take public transportation to get downtown.
I can't remember the last time I put gas into my MINI. Now granted, I've been on vacation off and on for the past month, but still, I know it's been at least 6 weeks since I had to buy gas. At these prices, that's a really good thing!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Before I left on vacation, I ordered this Samsung SyncMaster 2253BW 22" LCD Monitor. I'm always amazed at how for television/monitor technology has come, and how much cheaper they are each time I buy a new one.
This thing is humongous. It's gigantic. It's ginormous.
It's amazing how much larger 5 inches is.
The monitor is supposed to support 1680 x 1050 resolution.
Unfortunately, the highest resolution option that my Mac is letting me choose is 1440 x 900.
I tried to download the driver software, but apparently, it's only meant for the PC. I'm going to have Dick look at it when he comes home. I'd really like to utilize having more screen resolution.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
(does anyone remember the Raggedy Ann animated movie, circa 1977?)
What a difference a week makes.
My sister and I flew home today on an American Airlines MD-80 plane from ORD to SFO. The flight was on schedule and non-eventful. Let's assume they took care of all of the wiring issues last week. :)
It's nice to be home.
Home is where the happy kitties come greet me at the front door.
Home is where it's sunny and 75 degrees.
Home is where my hubby will be in about 1/2 hour.
It was a really great trip, and I'm so thrilled to have had the chance to see so many of my friends. But, as the saying goes, "There's no place like home."
Essentially, they are like an overpass, spanning over the freeway. You just exit the freeway directly into the parking lot of the Oasis, and once you're ready, you can immediately hop back onto the freeway. The Oasis is indoors, and resembles a very large shopping mall food court. There are 8-12 different fast-food options, plenty of seating, convenience stores, and large restrooms.
Each of the Oasis(s) also have a gas station to the side. They're so handy. I don't know how many other states have them, but I've never seen them anywhere else.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
When we sat down, the kids got little packages of Wikki Stix to play with while they waited for their dinners.
Andre sat across the table from me. We had tons of fun. He spent a good part of the evening creating "Sticky Twisty Bob", and we spent the rest of the time posing Sticky Twisty Bob and taking pictures of him.
At one point, Andre gave Sticky Twisty Bob a golf club, and we decided to take multiple pictures of him in slightly different poses so that we could make a stop-motion-animation of him. (That's my job when I get home.)
When we left the restaurant, Andre gave Sticky Twisty Bob to me so he could live with me in San Francisco. I promised him that Sticky Twisty Bob will live in my office with me, and that I'd take lots of pictures of him in different poses to send back to Andre.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Greetings from Madison, WI!
As we were driving today, I realized that my sister and I have driven through five states in the last five days:
Wow. I haven't driven around this much in years. It's been great, as we've had plenty of stops along the way, plenty of activities, and have had a chance to see many friends.
We've been really lucky with the weather. For the most part, it's been clear and sunny.
As we were driving up to Madison from Chicago, I was reminded how much I enjoy this drive. I used to do it semi-frequently when I lived in Madison years ago. It's a nice drive - very scenic, and easy. It was actually kind of relaxing.
We went to Sal and LuAnn's this afternoon, and had a chance to see their new (to us) home and meet their two boys for the first time. We all went to Chuck E Cheese's for dinner (the boys are 9 and 4). It's funny - this is the same place that Sal and LuAnn took me when they arranged a surprise birthday party for me when I turned 22 oh-so-many years ago.
Hey - I just realized that I had a picture from that birthday. That's kind of funny. I haven't been to a Chuck E. Cheese's since then! I think Mr. Cheese and I have both aged a bit since then. :)
Trina and the Big Cheese, 1992
I love a good road trip!
After flying into Kentucky, driving to Dayton, Ohio, driving through Indiana and into Illinois, today my sister and I are driving up to Madison, WI!
I haven't been to Madison in about 9 years. I can't believe it's been so long. I love that place. I lived there for two years, and have so many fond memories.
We'll be visiting Sal and LuAnn and their two boys. I'm very excited, as I haven't had the chance to meet their sons yet.
Whenever I take a road trip, I can't help but hum the "Moving Right Along" song from The Muppet Movie along the way!
(I love youtube!)
I haven't quite figured out if I'm Fozzie or Kermit.
I have a feeling that I'm the bear. I'm a little goofy that way. :)
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
GPS device) took us on a slight detour.
It took us down a narrow, windy road. We all thought it was odd, but
pretty, and we didn't want to question Skynet. (why would Skynet lie
After a couple of minutes, we were by a river. Skynet told us to turn
left towards the river. The next thing it said:
Board the ferry? That's hysterical!
When I say "ferry" what I mean to say is that it looked like a raft built by Tom Sawyer! (no kidding!) We didn't board the ferry, and instead turned around and found the freeway.
But, we couldn't stop laughing. I mean, come on.... that's hysterical!
Given the nature of our trip this evening, we kept laughing at all of
the other interpretations of "board ferry".
Um, this might be one of those instances where you really had to be
When we walked out to the lobby this morning, here's what we saw.
Apparently, we're missing the 4th District Republican Convention.
Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore....
... Oh, wait...
Friday, April 11, 2008
With any luck, I'll be heading out this morning to fly into Cincinnati, OH. WGI finals are tomorrow, and I'll be hooking up with a bunch of friends.
Dick and I started a tradition a couple of years ago: I go away for a "girls weekend" (usually, it's just me and Tammy traveling together, although this year, there will be 6 of us!) and Dick and Martin get together for a "Boy's Weekend".
So, I'll be in Dayton, while Dick and Martin will be in Las Vegas.
(Hmmm... somehow, that doesn't seem right!)
Dick had an early flight and left a couple of hours ago. I'll be heading out in about an hour.
Uncle Graham is here to hold down the fort and to stay with the kitties. (Thanks, Graham!)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I only fly to Chicago once a year. I usually fly on United. I can't remember the last time I flew on American Airlines.
So, what are the chances that the one year that I decide to buy a ticket on American, it coincides with one of the three days that American has to ground 2,400 flights (most of which are flights to Chicago and Dallas).
I should be boarding a flight to Chicago right now. Instead, I'm at home typing this blog post.:)
First of all, I should say that my story has a happy ending, and that it is all going to miraculously work out. I have heard from from some friends who were not so lucky and had to cancel their trips all together.
So, it's that time of the year again! That time in early April when all of the World's Color Guard geeks converge onto Dayton, OH. I've been going to WGI as either a participant, an instructor or an spectator for almost every year since 1986. (I've only missed 2 since then!)
The last few years that I've been attending in spectator/social butterfly mode, I've flown into Chicago on Thursday evening, hooked up with my friend Tammy, and the two of us would drive to Dayton on Friday, arriving in the evening.
We usually get up early on Saturday, and make our way over the Kentucky border to make our annual shopping spree at the Gap Clearance Center in Hebron, KY.
So, here's the funny part:
My sister (who is coming to Dayton for the first time in 10 years!) and I found out yesterday afternoon that our flight to Chicago for this morning was canceled. Not a huge surprise, given that American had been grounding flights for the past 2 days already. The only thing was: we really didn't know what kind of options we would have, and whether we would make it to Dayton at all.
There was no way we were going to get a flight into Chicago anytime today - it just wasn't possible. Plus, flying into Chicago on Friday wasn't an option, as we would have missed our ride to Dayton. Instead, we managed to secure a flight on Delta Airlines from SFO direct to the Cincinnati airport. Cincinnati is only about an hour away from Dayton.
Luckily, Tammy and I are planning our trip this year with 6 people (!), instead of just the two of us. This means that Tammy will have plenty of company (and fun) on her drive from Chicago, and the whole gang will get in just in time to pick up my sister and me from the airport.
But wait: that's not funny yet, is it? Here's the funny part:
Little known airport trivia: the Cincinnati airport is actually just over the border in the state of Kentucky. Even better, it's less than 5 miles away from the aforementioned Gap Clearance Center!
What does that mean?
Well, that means that a light bulb went off in my head, and I reserved 3 rooms for our party at a hotel near the Cincinnati airport/Gap Clearance Center. This way, we won't have to drive the additional 1 hour, 15 minutes to Dayton on Friday night, only to turn back and do the drive back on Saturday morning! Now, we'll be able to relax for the evening, have a nice dinner, certainly have a few drinks (because really, after all of this, I'm going to need a drink!) get a good night's rest and not have to wake up extra early on Saturday morning. Score!
So, yes, it really looks like this scenario will all work out just fine. Our flight back home is still out of Chicago next Thursday on American, but let's just hope that they get their act together before then.
Frankly, I'm amazed that this all worked out as well as it did. I know that we essentially lucked out. I've already heard from one friend who was supposed to travel from San Jose, whose flight was canceled, and they just couldn't' find a way to get him there. That's really too bad. He said he had already tried that flight that my sister and I got on, so I'm guessing it's fully booked now. I also heard from a friend who is already in Dayton who knows of at least 5 groups (Scholastic A High School guards) who had to cancel their WGI trips altogether because of their flights on American. That's really too bad. I feel sorry for those poor kids - how disappointing for them!
So, that's my story. With any luck, I'll be in the air tomorrow, landing in Kentucky, on route to Dayton. We'll see what happens....
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I met my parents and my sister at the Embarcadero at 1:00 to wait and watch for the Olympic Torch to run by. As expected, there were thousands of people lined up waiting to get a glimpse of the torch, and protesting along the route. Christopher actually saw my last blog post right after I had posted it, and came out from his office to join us.
I had my iPhone with me, so I regularly checked the internet to see what the latest news was on the torch. It came as no surprise when we found out that the route had been rerouted, and that the torch was being brought to another part of the city.
Oh well. Not a surprise at all, and it was kind of interesting just being there, and watching all of the hoopla anyway.
After we left the Embarcadero, we made our way towards Chinatown. My parents had a gift certificate that they had bid on at an auction last year for a tea tasting at a tea shop on Grant Ave.
Along the way, we decided to make a detour to North Beach. My sister was raving about an Italian bakery that she had found there, and she claimed that they had the best éclairs she had ever had. Never one to turn down a snack, we all decided to make an Eclair-Detour. (It was very good).
We finally made our way to Vital Tea Leaf on Grant Ave for a tea tasting. They actually regularly offer free tea tastings which we really enjoyed and that I would highly recommend. We tasted 9 different teas, and learned a lot along the way. The gentleman who gave us our tea tasting was very knowledgeable and friendly, and honored our gift certificate with whichever tea we wished to purchase.
After tea, we decided to have an early dinner and walked to my old neighborhood of Nob Hill to our favorite Chinese restaurant in San Francisco, U-Lee. Potstickers, fried Chicken Wings, Tomato-Beef Curry Chow Mein, and Green Beans. It doesn't get better then that!
After dinner, we decided to walk a bit longer - a good idea considering how much we ate and drank all day! We walked down to Union Square and went to visit Graham at the Post Street Theater. After a quick visit, we all walked back down to Powell Street @ Market to BART/MUNI.
A lot of Chow Fun, and a lot of Chinese. All wrapped into one fun day. :)
I just plugged our walking route into Gmaps Pedometer. Looks like we walked about 3.5 miles. Not Bad!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
It's been a long time since we've seen Mrs. Butterworth. Wonder what's she's been up to. The best part is that this is not an ad for Mrs. Butterworth syrup - She's just the D-List celebrity spokesperson!)
Monday, April 07, 2008
I miss hanging with my Gay Boyfriend.
Anyway, yesterday evening was just like old time: Bro made dinner for us - meat loaf with brown/wine gravy, mashed potatoes and asparagus. It was delicious. The three of us even managed to polish off an entire bottle of red wine....before we even sat down to eat. :)
After dinner, we played a little Gears of War on the Xbox with Pete and Reeves. That was loads of fun. It's been ages since we all played anything on Xbox Live with each other.
We're hoping that we'll be able to make more of a habit of having Christopher over again. I told him that he doesn't even have to
Thanks for coming over, Bro. That was fun!
Sunday, April 06, 2008
It's interesting: it's Spring, and it's definitely "Open House Season" but there seem to be more open houses on the market now then in recent memory.
Before we go out, we usually check the Open Houses in San Francisco Site to get an idea of what's open, and we'll map out our walking plan.
What's also interesting is seeing the number of houses listed at, or above $1.5 million. Clearly, we all know that there's a housing crisis happening in our country, but you would never know by what these people are asking for these properties. San Francisco Real Estate seems to still be as crazy as ever. Dick and I go out often, and while we do notice that some properties are on the market for weeks, and sometimes months (as compared to days and a couple of weeks) the prices for these properties still seem ridiculously high.
Whenever Dick and I check out a new property, we like to play "The Guessing Game" with each other. One of us will pick up the property brochure without looking at the details. After we walk through the property and leave, we will each take our best guess at what the listing price is. We've been doing it for years, and we've gotten pretty good at it. Usually, we're able to nail the price within $50,000 or so. Lately, though, we both have been taking the "housing crisis" and possible recession into consideration, and we both have been guessing figures much lower than what the actual listing price is. Go figure.
Here are a few houses that we saw today.
really pretty Victorian, nice location, updated maybe 10 years ago
offered at: $2,200,000.00
545 Sanchez Street
1880 Stick Victorian, seems to have a lot of original detail, and original floorplan (small rooms), double lot
offered at: $1,795.000.00
221 Danvers Street
I actually couldn't find a listing on the web for this location for it's current listing, but I did find one from when it was on the market more than a year ago. According to zillow.com, this property did sell in February of last year for just over $1.5 million. Dick and I saw the property when it was lasted last time, and the buyers/now sellers didn't do much to it since then. It's a really odd space - would need a lot of work, and probably a lot of permitting, but it is on a double lot.
offered at: $1,675.000.00
360 Eureka Street
This was a really cute and charming house - a cross between a Victorian and Cape Cod style (whatever that means). Small-ish (for the price, at least) but on a large lot. This was probably our favorite property that we saw today, and the only one in which the thought the price was near a reasonable range (which is still really high).
offered at: $1,495.000.00
New construction on an old Victorian. Ridiculously large (who needs 6 bedrooms, and 5.5 baths?).
offered at $2,395,000.00
That's just a small sampling of what we saw today.
I'll say it again: do these people know what's going on in the housing market and the economy these days? Who is spending this kind of money on houses right now?
Whenever Dick and I go out to look at open homes, we always come home to our cute little His 'n Her condos, and feel so lucky that we have a home that we both love so much.
Friday, April 04, 2008
This doesn't happen very often. It turns out that I am on Day 5 of a unintentional vegetarian diet.
Unintentional? How does that happen?
I've recently realized that when I cook at home, I tend to cook a lot of vegetarian meals. I think it's because I like fresh produce so much, and Dick and I both love veggies of all kinds. Plus, it just makes me feel good.
But, it's not intentional. I don't go out of my way not to cook meat, it's just that most of my favorite recipes don't incorporate it.
I've been trying to cook at home more often. I think it satisfies some domestic goddess in me that I didn't ever know existed.
This week's dinner menus have included: vegetable chili (2 nights), Egg Foo Young (my Grandpa's recipe) and last night, Capellini Pomodoro. It was all very yummy!
Since I work from home, I usually will eat leftovers for lunch, so it's just more of the same. Although, come to think of it, there was a day this week when I had an unexplainable craving for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (It's the Cheesiest!). Not the best lunch ever, but still fits into the non-meat category.
Hmmmmm..... now we'll probably go out and have a big, fat steak this weekend. lol.
Battlestar Galactica returns tonight for it's fourth and final season!
This is such a great show.
I can't believe it's been more than a year since that last episode aired. I need a refresher synopsis in a major way.
Here's a good article about the series from sfgate.com.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
It started with a walk down to Bi-Rite Creamery, where we had decadent sundaes with 2 scoops of ice cream, brownie bits, hot fudge and whipped cream. YUM!
Then, we walked down Church Street to Market, and went shopping at Crystal Way, a store which I had brought Evie to before, and she just loved. Dick and I had given her a gift certificate to the store for her birthday, so she was able to have fun shopping with that yesterday. (incense, cone incense, holders for each style, and a rose quartz crystal in the shape of a skull!)
On our way home, we also stopped by The Castro Theater (Aliens is playing tomorrow night at 9:15!), Cliff's Variety Store, Chocolate on Castro (another favorite spot of my niece with a sweet tooth), and finally, the grocery store.
The highlight of the day was when the four of us played Rock Band on the Xbox later in the evening.
I've been meaning to blog about Rock Band for a while now.
A few weeks ago, we went to Jud & Melissa's to celebrate Jud's 40th Birthday (He's a leap year baby, so technically, it was his 10th Birthday). They had Rock Band set up, which Dick played a lot. He was addicted.
He was so addicted that he ran out to buy it the next evening (while I was away!) and even more addicted after the first evening, that he went out to buy a Guitar Hero Guitar the next day so we could have a bass guitar as well as a regular guitar. Oy.
It has been a ton of fun, and Evie was especially excited when she learned that we had it.
So, we formed a 4-piece band: Tiffie on bass, me on guitar, Dick on drums, and Evie on vocals. (We switched it around a bit throughout the evening - Dick and I switched, and Evie also tried her hand at guitar and drums.)
It was quite hysterical to hear Evelyn sing rocks songs from way before her era. Let me tell you, it was a bit disconcerting hearing my 11 year old niece sing "I think I'm Paranoid" by Garbage:
Bend me, break me
Anyway you need me
All I want is you
Bend me, break me
Breaking down is easy
All I want is you
I'm not sure what her parents are going to think when they see her walking around the house tomorrow singing these lyrics! They probably won't let me have Evie over anymore. :)
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
So, what does one do when one's a little down with a cold?
Why, one plays with one's camera and takes some fun and goofy cat pictures, of course!