Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Behind the scenes at the Opera

Tonight, I have the honor of playing chaperone to two of my nieces who
are in the SF Opera. We took this picture backstage, in their dressing
room. We're not allowed to take pictures while they're in costume, but
asked if we could take one before they changed.

The Great Backyard Landscape Project of 2008!

Today is an exciting day here at His 'n Her Condos!

After being in the planning stages for nearly a year, we've officially begun work on our backyard landscaping project!

The crew came in today and removed the remaining deck and railroad ties, then proceeded to dig the trenches for the retaining walls and leveled out the ground in the back section. (we're going to have about 3 main tiers.)

I was going to scan in what we thought would be the final plans and post them on my blog, but alas: we made more (and significant!) changes to the layout this afternoon! Our architects are hoping to have the final, final plans to us by Thursday. I'll have to wait until then to post them!

Oh, almost forgot to mention:
we now have a lovely Port-o-Potty temporarily living in front of our house.

Nothing says, "We're doing a big house project" like a port-o-potty on the sidewalk. ;)

Monday, September 29, 2008

A day with Jason

Jason came into town for a quick visit today! My sister and Graham
hooked up with us for the afternoon. We had lunch at The Beach Chalet,
followed by ice cream at Mitchell's! (which, amazingly, neither Jason
nor Graham had been before!)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Milk": The Trailer

The movie, "Milk" is set to be released on November 26, 2008, the day before the 30th anniversary of Harvey Milk's assasination.

I just found the trailer for the movie. It looks like it's going to be great.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Well, that's a new one...

Even after 8 years, Noe stills finds new ways to surprise us...

She stayed/slept in there for 6.5 hours. She just got out. Now, I can do some laundry! :)

Happy Birthday, Mike!!!

On my birthday, back in April, my friend Mike tried to think of 10 different ways to send me a Happy Birthday message: from Instant Messages to Facebook, calling both my home phone and my cell phone, etc,. Somehow, he did come up with 10 different ways, none of which included sending a hand written note! :)

Well, today is Mike's birthday. He's in Ohio this weekend visiting his family.

So far, I've sent him a text message, an Instant Message, an email, I posted birthday wishes on his Facebook Wall, said Happy Birthday to him on my Facebook Status, sent him a greeting on the SSR Alumni site, sent another email from my iPhone, sent him an eCard, and now I'm sending him this blog post.

Let's see, that makes 9 so far.

Guess I'll have to break down and actually give him a call! :)

Happy Birthday, Mike!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Size Matters

Christopher is over for dinner tonight. He's been routinely working
out for more than a year now, and the hard work is paying off!

Dick and Christopher compared biceps tonight. Um, ......

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

TV Sadness

Less than two weeks ago, our LCD TV decided to kerbust overnight.

At first, it didn't seem too bad. With the symptoms that it was showing (what looked like snow/interference lines) we just assumed that the video card in our old Media Center was finally calling it quits. Our Media Center is almost 5 years old, and we've been planning to get a new one soon, anyway.

But then, we turned on the Xbox, which uses a whole separate input from the Media Center. Same thing. Uh-oh.

Well then, that means that the trouble isn't with the 5-year old Media Center. It's with the less-than-two-years-old, but no-longer-under-warranty television!


I called Samsung a couple of days ago. They stated the obvious "you are no longer under warranty", and gave the the name and phone number of a couple of different authorized service centers in SF.

The guy came out this afternoon to have a look at our set, and decided that he'd have to bring it back to his shop before he could fully diagnose it.

Best case scenario: it needs a new logic board (around a couple of hundred bucks)

Worst case scenario: it needs a new display. (upwards of a couple of thousand bucks!)


He should get back to us within the next day or so with the final diagnosis.
If it's the latter, then we'll just have to get a new TV, as it would be cheaper than the cost of repair.


Monday, September 22, 2008

BEST Music. Video. Ever.

Last Wednesday, we went out with a bunch of friends to ROE to see Graham play in Jonathan Douglas' Band.

Jonathan does a really nice acoustic version of A-ha's Take on Me.

Our friend, Ayumi, had never seen the music video of Take on Me before. The rest of us were simply raving at it - how great and beautiful the animation was, how ground-breaking it was at the time, and how so many people think of the video when they hear the song play.

Apparently, Ayumi remembered to look the video up on youtube today, and sent us the link. I hadn't seen this video in SO many years, but I'm happy to say that it really holds up! The animation is really fantastic. Plus, come on, who doesn't love this song?

I'm probably totally dating myself when I say this, but I still think it must be one of the best music videos of all time. (not that I've watched any music videos in the last 20 years or so...)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

We Got the Beat!

I bought Rock Band 2 during the week, and we played it for the first time tonight!

We totally went for it: we started our band (Trick SF) and immediately tried all of the songs on expert level, just to see how we would do. Dick and I are both somewhat amazed that we both seem to exhibit a fair amount of hand-eye coordination (at least for this) because we're doing pretty well!

Early on, we played "We Got the Beat" by the Go-Gos, and well, it turns out that we do indeed, got the beat. :)

There were many songs that we tried that we were unfamiliar with, but still managed to do pretty well on. This was the first time that we tried a song called "That's what you Get", and Dick, Mister Groove Master, got a 100% on Expert Level! Impressive!

So far, we're really enjoying Rock Band 2, and we've got plenty more songs to unlock!

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Hello Monster"

We're out at Broadway Studio in North Beach watching Paul's Band,
"Hello Monster".

Family Bowling Day

The whole family (except for poor Dick) took the afternoon off to go
to the bowling alley!! I can't remember the last time we all bowled
together - at least 20+ years ago.

Here are the scores from the first round. Not bad! (My Dad's score got
covered. He got 110.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I'm at the Apple Store in Union Square listening to a talk by the Founder, and two of the lead developers of Pandora. Geeky stuff.

The Day I actually made money at Costco

As most of you know, I'm a huge fan of shopping at Costco. I've been going to Costco (and Price Club before that) for well over 20 years.

...but I've never had this experience before!

Yesterday, I went to Costco to pick up just a few things. My list wasn't long, but we were running low on tissue.

I went to the return line first. I had bought a few things a couple of months ago that for one-reason-or-another didn't work out. BTW: Costco has the best return policy ever. My return credit (which was put back onto my Costco Am Ex Card) was around $75.00. Now, I realize that a return doesn't count as "getting money back" but it's better than spending money on something that isn't being used.

I did my shopping around the warehouse, and it turns out that I really didn't need much this time around. I got my TP (with a $2 coupon!), tissue, some juice and another random thing or two that I can't recall.

Anyhow, I get to the register, and the total comes to just under $50. Pretty low for a Costco bill.

But, here's the thing: I had a rebate check sent to me in the amount of $90.00. (I have an Executive membership and get 1-3% back on purchases for the year.)

I assumed that since my bill was lower than my rebate check, that I wouldn't be able to use it this time around, and would have to wait until another time when I purchased more.

It's a good thing I asked, because they said, "Of course you can use it!"

They took my rebate check, deducted the $50ish purchase, and gave me $40 back in cash!

So, I actually left Costco with more money than I went in with.

That's never happened before!
Thanks, Costco.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Backyard Demo, Take 2

We are finally getting underway on our next home project: The Great Backyard/Landscaping Project of 2008!.

We've been working with our Landscape Design Architects since January. We had the backyard initially cleared of most of the plants and trees in late February, leaving only two trees that we were considering keeping.

Having the yard cleared back then really helped us get a better sense of the space. We found out that the large tree was in pretty bad shape, so we decided to cut it down. The palm tree is actually in great shape, so we decided to incorporate it into the new design.

We took our time, and worked on the design from January through July. We sent the designs out to 3 different contractors and hired a landscape contractor last month.

The job will start off slow: we'll have the yard cleared again today. We'll be keeping the palm tree, and the railroad ties (to make access easier for the time being) then will mark out the yard next week. We've had a lot of rain, and a lot of sunshine since the yard was first cleared in February, so the weeds have really grown and run wild! I expect the dumpster that's been left in front of our house will be filled by the end of the day.

The real work will begin on Monday, September 29th. The target completion date is Friday, November 7th. We'll see how it all goes!

Monday, September 15, 2008

You just knew this was coming....

It was inevitable, and boy, did they do it right!

In case you missed it, like I did, (I was in Vegas, and not paying attention to TV) here's the opening skit from last weekend's Saturday Night Live. This is one heck of a way to open a season!

I heart Tina Fey.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dessert Heaven

4 People. Seven (count 'em) desserts!!
(we ordered four, and they gave us 3 more!!!)

Birthday Dinner at Bouchon


Happy Birthday, Dick!!

Happy Birthday to my Hubby,
The Talented Mr. Craddock. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008



Da Boyz

Martin & Dick, ready for some sushi!

Cabana Boys (and girls!)

We thought we'd do something new today! We rented a cabana at our
hotel's pool for the day.

Sun, umbrellas, cabana, mojotos, fresh fruit, and a big huge pool! It
just doesn't get better than this.

Round Midnight

It's 12:20am. We're just starting the desert course.

I do believe that this is the latest meal I've ever had!

Friday, September 12, 2008

'Nuff Said....

It's Dick's Birthday weekend, so that must mean....

Vegas, Baby, Vegas!

Yes, it's true. We're going again.
In my defense, this is only my second time going this year. (last went in March)
Dick, however....

We're going to spend the weekend with Martin and Celeste. Should be a lot of fun!

Uncle Christopher will be staying at the house, watching the kitties, and no doubt, playing Rock Band. Thanks, Bro!

I'm sure I'll be checking in plenty of times while we're away!

until next time....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Night at the Opera

Well, here's something I don't get to do everyday!

I'm at the San Francisco Opera House waiting to watch the dress
rehersal of Amy Tan's "The Bonesetter's Daughter".

But wait... It gets better!

Two of my nieces have parts in the production. We're very excited to
see them in their opera debut!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Men with Hats

...as opposed to "Men Without Hats"...

We're having a night on the town tonight! We had dinner at Yoshi's in San Francisco followed by an evening if Jazz. We're seeing "The Bad Plus", a band who Dick has been listening to over the past year or so.

We met Tiffie and Graham here at the venue. We all loved that both of the boys wore their cool jazz hats!

The show was amazing! If you have a chance to see it tomorrow night, (Wednesday) I highly recommend it!

Plus, they do the best rendition of Rush's "Tom Sawyer" that you'll ever hear. :)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

We Still Don't Fear the Reaper!

Tonight's Rock Band Update:

We were playing a thee song mystery set of "London" songs on Expert
Level. (again, Dick on Bass and Trina on Guitar) The second song in
the set was "Don't Fear the Reaper".

Tonight, we managed to get 5 Stars for the first time of both of us
playing on expert level! Woo Hoo!! Dick even managed to improve his
score to 97%!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Girl with the Enormous Calves

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

I have enormous calves.

As women go, I'm pretty sure I'm in the running for "largest calves ever". My calves are practically cows. They are very muscular. I blame the one season of Soccer that I played in fourth grade. :)

This afternoon, Dick and I went shopping in Union Square. I had a fleeting fantasy that I would find a nice pair of knee-high black boots with a heel.

Now, we've been through this process before, and I remember that we weren't able to find boots that would fit around my enormo-calves.

But, today, I was hopeful! We found two contenders: one pair had an adjustable buckle towards the top of the boot, the other pair (which sounded even more promising) literally came in two calf widths: regular and "extended calf".

So, I tried on both boots.

We tried the extended calf boot first. Sadly, it only zipped half way up my enomo-calf, and stopped there. Really? This is the Extended Calf size?!

The next boot fared no better: half way up, with the adjustable buckle at it's end.

No boots for me. :(

I told Dick, "You know I'm going to blog about this."

I just came home, and did a search for "Extended Calf Boots".

First thing I found was this shoe blog with a post specifically about the problem of finding knee-high boots for someone with large calves!

I'm not the only one!!!

Here's a pull quote from the blog post about a specific pair of boots:
...the best feature is that it has the circumference around the calf of 18 inches! This should fit even the most athletic of legs.

I had no idea just how wide my calves actually are, so Dick and I pulled out the tape measurer to find out: they weighed in at a whopping 16". (yeah, I know... that's really big!)

So now I know that there are possibilities out there.
Too bad: This blog was more than two years old, and it looks like the specific boots that they recommend are no longer available.


But, at least I know what to look for now.

I sense a quest coming on!

Running into old friends at Macy's

Dick and I went shopping in Union Square today. While we were at
Macy's, I spotted a couple of old friends at the FAO Schwartz Toy
Section: my old friends, Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy! I haven't seen
these guys out and about in stores lately, so it's always nice to know
that they're still around. They look a lot different these days, but
it's a definate improvement from the last few versions I've seen. (I
think they should still have button eyes, though.)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Susie and Trina in Chinatown

Susie's in town for business this week! We both took the afternoon off
for Dim Sum and some tea tasting in Chinatown!