Monday, March 30, 2009

"American Idiot" : The Musical

My sister just sent me this:

Michael Mayer and Green Day Create American Idiot Musical, to Bow in California

So, yeah - I love Green Day.

I can't explain it. I saw them in concert 3(!) times way back in 1995 when Dookie came out, then again in Sept '05 for their American Idiot Tour.

It turns out that the director of Spring Awakening (which I saw last year, and really loved) is going to direct a new musical adapted from the Green Day Album, "American Idiot"!

This isn't exactly shocking news, in that I think it makes perfect sense. American Idiot is a Rock Opera, much like "Tommy" by The Who. But still, very cool news, and very exciting.

Even more exciting: it's going to premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theater in the fall.

Oh, yeah. I am so there. :)

article in today's

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Half Baked

I've mentioned before that Dick and I order our pizza delivery from Amici's. They have really good salads, pizza and pastas.

We usually order a couple of salads (the chilled broccoli is our fave) and share a small pepperoni pizza.

Tonight, when I called to place our order, I remembered that they offer half-baked pizzas. For some reason, we never tried this before.

So, the salads and pizza came. We heated the oven to 475 and popped in the pizza while we ate our salads. The pizza only took 5 minutes to finish baking.

The pizza was fantastic! OMG. Best pizza delivery experience ever!
It's totally the way to go. The pizza is (obviously) fresh and piping hot out of the oven, and tastes so much better than when it's delivered fully cooked.

If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hey Look - There's my cousin, Bruce, on the cover of again!

How many times can one person make it on the cover of

That crazy cousin of mine sure knows how to make the rounds 'round here.

I was just doing my thing - checking email, seeing what my friends of facebook are up to, and refreshing my page.

Hmmm... SFgate's headline story: City Brights with a headline reading "The Voices Among Us". Pictures of noteworthy San Franciscans in thumb size boxes underneath. Cool. Let's see who's there....

Hey! I know that guy! That's Bruce! Again!

Turns out that my cousin-extraordinaire, Bruce, is going to be a regular blogger on SFgate's new "City Brights" column.

Here's the description of this column:
We live in an area that has more than its share of luminaries. We're talking about our public figures, the recognized experts in their fields (from science to the arts), and the local notables that make the Bay Area what it is. SFGate has reached out to a number of these personalities, and we're very excited to have so many of them contributing to our Web site. They add to the diversity of local voices and opinion on our site and will deepen the connection that we have with our community.

...and I should say, I think Bruce is a great choice. He's a 30-something year old father of 3 girls, has been married for almost 20 years, has lived in San Francisco for almost 20 years, and oh, yeah - he holds the highest elected office in the Presbyterian Church. He's also rides a motorcycle, hangs out in coffee shops, knits, and used to be in a drum and bugle corps.

You can bet he's got some interesting things to say.

Oh, yeah. He's an avid blogger, too.
What's this make? 4 blogs? 5? I can't keep up with him.

I'm looking forward to seeing what my dear cuz, "Boo", has to say...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dick's Goodbye to Marcel

Just when I thought I couldn't love my husband any more than I already did....

Dick wrote his own tribute to our beloved Marcel.

Goodbye, my Big Cat

I cried and smiled the entire time I read it.

We love you, Marcel.

Sunday, March 22, 2009



It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news of the passing of our dear kitty, Marcel.

Marcel passed away early this afternoon, after having fought a hard battle against his ailing kidneys. He had been diagnosed in late December, but after taking antibiotics, eating prescription food, and receiving IV fluids on a routine basis, his heath improved tremendously until last week. The last couple of days were especially hard, and it became apparent that it was time for us to let him go.

I was able to find a wonderful veterinarian, (Dr. Bolivar of Vets on Wheels) to come to our house to take care of Marcel here in our home. It made a huge difference to me, Dick, and I'm sure Marcel, that he was able to spend his last moments on his bed, on his blankie, with people who loved him.

We will miss Marcel tremendously. He was such a special kitty. He gave us a lifetime of happy memories in the nearly 9 years that he lived with us.

August, 2008

Dick and I adopted Marcel from the San Francisco SPCA on June 4, 2000. Marcel had only been dropped off from his previous owner less than one week before. His previous owner had left a 3-page letter with him, explaining what a remarkable cat Marcel was, and how it broke his heart to have to give him up (the owner traveled too much for work, and knew it wasn't fair to Marcel to leave him alone so often).

Dick and I had seen a picture of Marcel on the SPCA's website. We recognized him from his name and picture when we first saw him. The SPCA has separate little kitty condos for each adoptable cat. There was a volunteer playing with Marcel when we saw him, and they invited us in. Dick sat down on the floor, and Marcel immediately walked up onto his lap, sat down, and started purring.

Marcel's SF SPCA page

We always say that Marcel chose Dick, and that he must have known that we would give him a good home. He slept with us in our bed that very first night.

Marcel & Dick getting acquainted on his first day home.

Marcel was the most hospitable cat I've ever known. He was happy to sit on anyone's lap, and loved anyone who would pet him. Marcel loved sleeping with me - I called him my "teddy bear cat". I would often wake up with Marcel sleeping in the crook of my arm, with his paw across my chest, and his head against my shoulder. It was as if he was always giving me a big hug.

My Cuddle Cat

Marcel purred on-demand. All he needed was one touch, and his purring motor would get started. He liked to sit on Dick's lap as he played piano, and often sat on my lap while I worked on my computer.

Marcel - the piano cat

The Food Connoisseur

He loved food, and he loved to eat. The poor little guy was on a diet almost the entire time that we had him. He would stand on his hind-legs and give me a "high five" when I offered him a treat.

"High Five, Marcel!"

He loved to pull and bite on buttons on clothing (we called him the "button-biting cat"), and would give us love nips on our noses. He loved his buddy, Claude, and was not-so-secretly in love with him. :)

Kitty Love

We called him our "big cat" because he usually weighed in around 16 lbs (as opposed to Noe's 8.5 lbs.) He was a chatty boy who could hold a decent conversation of back-and-forth "meows" with you.

The Big Cat - in all his glory

He was a good big brother cat to little Noe. Every time we trim Noe's claws, she always screams and fusses like we're doing something terrible to her. It never failed: Marcel would always come in from another room, meowing, to make sure that "the kitten" was okay.

Marcel and Noe

He was a love-bug. He was always ready for a good cuddle, and would fall asleep, purring in our arms.

He was always such a good sport about being in our Christmas Cards every year, although I think he secretly hated that I always made him wear the reindeer antler hat. He never actually told me that, though.

Christmas, 2004

We're going to miss our "Big Kitty". Life won't be the same without him.

I am comforted knowing that he was never in any pain, and that he was home with me when he passed away.

We have many, many wonderful and funny memories of Marcel. There will never be another kitty like him.

Rest in Peace, Big Cat. We will always love you.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I spent the late afternoon and evening catching up with my 'ol friend, Cody, today. It was great.

Cody and I met way back in the late fall of 1990. We were roommates (there were 5 of us in total) when we marched in the Anaheim Kingsmen together and lived in Garden Grove, CA. I was 20, and Cody was 17 - he graduated from high school early (in Illinois) so he could move out to CA to march the season with us.

Cody and I haven't had a chance to spend much one-on-one time together in a very long time. Since our years of marching together (1991-1993) he's lived in Newport Beach, Madison, Atlanta and now San Diego. We see each other about once a year when we both go to WGI. (Cody is a judge now)

Cody is in town to judge the big power regional this weekend in Union City. My parents and I picked him up from the San Jose airport this afternoon, we all had dinner together, then I drove Cody to his hotel in Newark. Once we were there, we went down to the bar and had cocktails and chocolate cake while we chatted and caught up.

What a great evening. I love those special friends in life who you can pick up with immediately, even if you haven't seen each other for years.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Like Ike's!

The latest installment of the "What Trina eats while Dick is away" saga...

Oh, my...

Blane has been telling me about a sandwich shop called "Ike's Place" for several weeks now. Somehow, I've managed to live in the Castro for over 10 years without ever knowing this place was just a few blocks away!

Blane and I have both just finished a couple of major work projects, had some free time this afternoon, and decided to treat ourselves to a little decadence.

Here's the deal with this place: it's so popular, and so busy, plus the bread for each sandwich is baked to order, so wait time is usually between 15-40 minutes, depending on how busy they are! Whoa! Blane suggested that the best strategy is to phone in the order about half an hour before you're ready to pick it up.

...which is what we did.

I called in our order at 1:15, asked them how long I could expect for it to be ready, and they said 1:45. Blane and I got there around 1:35, waited 10 minutes in line, and as we were paying the cashier, our sandwiches were just being finished. Good timing!

So, what makes these sandwiches so good? I guess part of it is their "dirty sauce", which, according to their web site: Ike's house garlic aioli sauce, made with numerous herbs, spices, of course garlic, and some of Ike's own secret ingredients. Dirty Sauce is spread on the tops of Ike's sandwiches and baked with the bread, turning it into Dirty Garlic Bread, and then re-spread on the bottoms, just for that extra flavor.

Choosing a sandwich is a monumental feat. Take a look at their menu! (and that's not including the vegetarian and vegan sandwiches!)

What did we decide on?

Both Blane and I ordered the "Say Hey", or #24: Hot Pastrami, Bacon, Swiss
I had mine on wheat, and ordered it without mayo, but with mustard.

Blane had his on dutch crunch with extra dirty sauce and mozzarella sticks! WOW!

We did run into a couple of snafus. When I called in the order, they were out of bacon (what?!) and the french fries and onion rings weren't available yet. (again: WHAT?!)

By the time we picked up our order, the bacon had come in, but alas, no french fries or onion rings for us this time.

The thing is: I certainly didn't need bacon on my pastrami sandwich - I mean, come on! :)

The verdict:

The sandwiches were pretty spectacular. I was only able to eat half of mine, but oh, was it so very satisfying. I'm looking forward to my eating my leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

things that make me laugh...

"Trina is the wikipedia of guard"
- as said by one of my former students.

There are several old photos from when I used to teach a local high school color guard floating around Facebook, and someone asked what the name was of one of the guys. Someone else remembered his name, but I swooped in, and mentioned that this guy had moved to another state after high school to join another guard, then I proceeded to say which guard, and which years he marched. :)


Early Morning Sugar Therapy

This should help...

I dropped Dick off at the airport this morning at 6:45. I'm still really bummed that I'm not going to North Carolina with him, but still positive that staying home with Marcel was the right decision.

On my way home, I decided that since I was up and about earlier than usual, that I should drop by Tartine Bakery on my way home and treat myself to a Morning Bun. A little sugar in the morning is certainly a good way to get out of a funk.

I got to the bakery around 7:10am, but alas, they didn't open until 7:30. Only in San Francisco - it's such a sleepy town. Don't bakeries usually open at 6:00am or earlier?

Not a problem - I found a parking spot in front of the store, and waited in my car until they opened.

I'm brewing a pot of tea, and getting ready to sit down and enjoy my breakfast.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Unfortunate change of plans, and silver linings

Well, it hasn't been the best week so far....

Poor Marcel (our big cat) hasn't been doing too well. His appetite decreased significantly towards the end of last week. After changing his food (same food, but it turns out that when it's w/chicken, it's a better different consistency, and he seems to like it more) he is eating a fair amount again, so that's good.

Unfortunately, he seems to have slowed down over the last week. He isn't getting around very much, and is spending most of his time in the bathroom on the heated floor (which I'm so glad we have for him). I wouldn't say he's lethargic - he's still pretty happy - purring a lot, napping, still pretty chatty, but he just doesn't have the energy that he usually has.

Dick and I have been giving him intravenous fluids for almost 3 months now - 3 times a week. I called Marcel's vet today, and we've decided to increase the dosage to every-other day, and hope that it helps.

Dick and I had plans for us both to go to North Carolina to visit his family, and watch March Madness with them - we planned to be away from tomorrow through early next week.

We decided last night, that we just didn't feel comfortable leaving Marcel right now. Even though we always have friends come in to feed our cats and check on them, I know that Marcel requires more attention then I'd expect anyone else to give him right now. So, we decided that the best thing to do was to have me stay home with the cats, and take care of Marcel, while Dick goes to visit the family.

I've obviously bummed about this, as I was really looking forward to the trip, and to seeing everyone. However, I have no doubt that this is the right decision. I would have worried about Marcel the whole time, and would hate to put any of our friends in a terrible position if something bad happens while we're away.

The silver lining to this story is that the Northern California Color Guard Power Regional is this weekend in Union City. I have been asked by several friends over the past few months if I was going to be there, and of course, I wasn't since I was planning on being in NC. But, now, I'm able to go, so that's nice! It's in Union City this year - at James Logan High School, where I used to teach, so a lot of my former students are planning to go. I also just heard from Mykail that he's coming into town to watch the show, so that's an extra bonus.

So, yes, change of plans, but at least there's some silver linings in there as well.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy 40th Birthday, Diana!!

Happy Birthday to my dear frien, Diana !! We realized this year that
we've been friends for 25 years- Wow! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

CA Academy of Sciences

I took the afternoon off and went to the new California Academy of Sciences with my parents today. We had a really great time!

We started at the top - we went to check out "The Living Roof" first. It was super cool. I think it was one of favorite parts of the entire museum.

Next, we walked around the top level (level 3) to get an overview of the building and exhibits. Here's a photo of the Rain Forest exhibit, which, unfortunately, closed later in the afternoon right before we were going to go in. Apparently, their elevator system has having problems, and they are the only way out of the exhibit (except for fire escapes).

The Steinhart Aquarium is now on the entire lower level. The exhibits were really nice, but my favorite part was the open walkway tunnel where you could sit underneath the aquarium, so through it, and above it into the other two levels of the museum.

We were lucky that the three of us were able to go on a weekday afternoon. It was certainly crowded enough, with plenty of families, seniors, tourists and school kids on field trips, but I'm sure it was far less busy than if we had tried to come on a weekend!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!!

Happy 87th Birthday, Grandpa Chow!! Here's a picture of Grandpa &
Grandma with their children (my Dad and his siblings) and their Great

Friday, March 06, 2009

Tree Trimming

Every three years or so we have to get the two trees in front of our house trimmed and pruned. Unfortunately, we have cable/electrical lines in front of our house, so the trees have to be trimmed down so that the branches don't grow up into the lines. It's too bad because these are really beautiful, mature trees, and we have to stunt their growth because of these lines. Our neighbors across the street have the same trees as ours (and planted at the same time), and they are all so tall, pretty, and well shaped. Oh, well, I suppose that's part of urban living.

I took this photo from inside our house, through the front window. It's pretty funny to look out the second story window, and seeing a guy in the tree. (as long as you know why they're there, I suppose!)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Demise of the Tonga Room?

The Tonga Room, in all it's kitschy glory

I've been reading for a few weeks that the end may soon be near for The Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel. had an article today saying that end of the Hurricane Bar may be very soon.

Why? It seems as if the owners of The Fairmont want to build a new tower of condos where the current tower that houses the Tonga Room currently is.

That's too bad. The Tonga Room has been there since 1945. It's pretty much a San Francisco institution. Where else can you go to a Tiki Bar that has occasional thunderstorms, complete with rain, and a floating barge for the band?! Now, I admit, I've only been there a hand full of times since I've lived here, but still - it's one of those things - it's just good to know it's there!

Come to think of it, I've actually been twice in the last two years - Dick and I took his sister, Kathy, while she was out visiting in January, and we took some friends from Shanghai there in July, '07.

I suppose it's not one of those places where locals regularly go, but it's certainly a fun place to take out-of-town guests.

Apparently, there's a "Save The Tonga Room" Facebook group, that's planning to meet there between 5-7 this Friday.

We'll see what happens....

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A Day of Decadance!

Apple Fritters

I can't remember how or why it all started, but a few weeks ago, I started to have a craving for a donut. And, not just any donut. I really wanted an Apple Fritter. I haven't had an apple fritter in a long time - possibly years. It just sounded really, really good!

This information went public sometime last week when I had my Facebook status read:

Trina is craving a donut. An Apple Fritter to be exact

I recently reconnected with my friend, Judy, from high school. It turns out that she lived in SF for a long time, and moved to Oakland a few years ago. It also turns out that she also happens to love apple fritters.

Judy responded to my Facebook status, mentioning our mutual love for fritters. That's' when I suggested that we meet for apple fritters! What better way or place to reconnect with an old friend, than in some random donut shop, eating fritters!

Judy was just as excited as I was: we made a date to meet this morning at 10:00am at Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop on Polk Street. I used to live near this place, but never went in (I can't imagine why). I read a lot of reviews, and everyone raved about their donuts, specifically, their apple fritters!

So, Judy and I met this morning at 10:00. It's the first time that we'd seen each other in almost 22 years! WOW!

Trina & Judy together again, after 21 years!

We had a great time. She brought her 2-year old son, who seemed to enjoy eating donuts as much as we did. We attempted to catch each other up on the last 22 years, which was great fun, but we agreed that we'll have to make a routine of this, so we can really have sufficient time to catch up. :)

Oh, and the apple fritter did not disappoint. In true Trina fashion, I was too busy yapping to eat very much, but what I did eat was perfectly divine. I brought the rest of it home with me, and will enjoy it this afternoon.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to drop in to U-Lee to visit my friends, (and owners of the restaurant) Judy and Ken. I placed my order to go, but had a really nice time chatting with them, while they prepared my food.

It was a morning of pure decadence: an apple fritter, followed by pot stickers and tomato beef curry chow mein from U-Lee. It was also (and more importantly) a really wonderful day for me to see old friends.

I just realized that I saw two friends named "Judy" today! That's a fun coincidence!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Moustache March

Yep, it's that time of the year again. (I was hoping he might forget.)
Let's see what happens this year....

Monday, March 02, 2009

"I Don't Know Dick"

I just had a friend invite me to join his network on LinkedIn. I have a LinkedIn account, but don't really use it much.

Anyway, as I accepted his invitation, I noticed a short list of names on the left side of "People you may know".

Lo and behold, one of them was "Dick Craddock".

Well, it turns out that I do indeed know Dick Craddock, so I clicked the "Invite" linked to have him join my LinkedIn network.

The next page that came up asked me "How do you know Dick?"

My choices:
  • Colleague

  • Classmate

  • We've done business together

  • Friend

  • Groups and Associations

  • Other

  • I don't know Dick
Um, none of these choices really apply, do they? I realize that LinkedIn is a professional networking site, so I suppose it would be inappropriate for them to have a "we dated" or a "we hooked up" option. I guess I could chose "Other", but that just seems to darned impersonal.

Now, I know that I've been with Dick long enough now to have heard all of the "Dick Jokes", but I have to admit, I still get the giggles when I read something like "I don't know Dick".