Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dinner with Tiff & Graham

We had dinner tonight with Tiff & Graham at Bouchon at The Venetian.
It's always such a fantasic meal. Yum!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pai Gow Chow

:)

Look who we ran into!!

We did NOT plan this! Really! Martin made a fairly spontaneous
decision to come to Vegas yesterday, and he didn't when know that we
were here until he read my blog last night!

Birthday Greetings

I woke up this morning, turned on my computer, and was inundated with a barrage of wonderful birthday greetings! Wow! What a nice way to start my birthday.

I signed into my Windows Live Homepage, and what did I find?
My little girl and her black kitty (from the Windows Live theme choices) were in the top banner celebrating my Birthday, complete with party hats, streamers, dancing frogs, and party raccoons! Someone even brought balloons - clearly, they didn't get the balloon memo ;). Super cute!


Windows Live Birthday Party!

It gets even better:
I went to Facebook, and found a couple dozen birthday messages waiting for me. That's SO nice!


My Facebook Profile page this morning

I also had a couple of voice-mail messages on my home phone that I was able to access from my computer.

I feel loved. :)

What a wonderful way to start the day.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Sis!!

Here's my Sis - in her swingin' Vegas Pad!

And so it begins...

Dick and I just landed at the Vegas airport. We're here to visit my
Sister and Graham and to celebrate my Birthday! I'm very excited since
I haven't seen my sister since late January. Should be fun!

Thanks to Blane for watching our house and taking care of Noe and the
birdies while we're away!

The New Teller at Wells Fargo

This made me laugh. I guess times are tough! ;)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Coffee Cake

I made a coffee cake this morning. It was probably the first time that I've made one in over 15 years.

That's kind of funny, because years ago, I used to bake coffee cakes quite often. Back in the days when I was 19, I had just moved out of my parent's house for the first time, and was living in Dayton, OH. For some reason, I baked a lot. Most kids smoke, drink, do drugs, or party hard when they're 19, and out on their own for the first time.

But, not me. No, Ma'am. For some reason, I decided to embrace my inner Betty Crocker and bake. Go figure.

The coffee cake from this morning turned out really well. I had forgotten how much I enjoy them!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandma!!

Today is my Grandma Chan's 83rd Birthday. Doesn't she look amazing?

I took the day off so I could spend the day with her. We had a blast-
we hung out at her place for a bit, had dim sum for lunch, then went
shopping at Costco. Who could ask for anything more? :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tonight's Dinner



Dick is out of town tonight, so my "Stunt Husband", aka "my Gay Boyfriend", aka "Bro", whose actual name is Christopher, came over tonight for dinner.

I had a couple of new things that I wanted to try out. I had recently found a recipe for Mac & Cheese that sounded really good, but Dick doesn't eat cheese, so it's not something I would ever make just for the two of us.

I also had a couple of artichokes ($1.50 each for a large) that I wanted to try grilling.

The result: a really, really yummy meal! The mac & Cheese was fantastic, and the artichokes turned out great as well! I really love trying out recipes, and love it even more when they turn out well! :)

Thanks for a really fun evening, Bro!

Success at last!

As I've mentioned before, I try to donate blood every two months (which is as often as one is allowed to donate blood). Every year or so, I go through a bout where my iron level is just under the minimum to donate. (The minimum reading to donate is 38, and I come in at 37.) It's not that my iron level is low in general (no worries of me being anemic), just a hint too low to donate. When this happens, I usually try to go in 2-3 times before my iron level is high enough to donate again.

The last time I went in and successfully donated was in late November. I tried to donate again in February, then again in March. No luck.

I do what I can: I have the list of iron-rich foods on my refrigerator door, and try to beef it up (literally) a couple of days before I'm scheduled to go in. Alas, that doesn't always work.

Today was a success! My iron level was at 38 - just high enough for me to donate. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hot Kitty

Poor little Noe. It's too hot to be wearing a fur coat!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Left Out


something is missing...

After I woke up this morning, I was doing my regular catch-up-on-the-internet-thing: looking through all my usual web sites: SFGate, MSNBC, Facebook, etc.,

I was just looking at my Facebook Home page, and noticed this silly poll on the side where the sponsored ads are.

Blonde, brunette, or redhead?

Um......

Hello?

I think you're missing an entire category!

This brought me back to an incident way back when I was in 2nd grade. My teacher was teaching us how to make graphs. She took a poll of "hair color" of all of the students.

Guess what?

In a class of 25+ students, I was the only one with black hair.

I distinctly remember this because, let's face it, when you're 7 years old, and the only Chinese kid in class, all you want to do is fit in with your peers. You're not looking to stand out.

But stand out, I did. Everyone had one column on their graph labeled "Black" and only one square on their full sheet of graph paper was colored in. The column titled "Blonde", "Brown" and maybe even "Red" were much taller than the one labeled "Black".

Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I was the only non-Caucasian kid in the class. In case you're wondering, we were living in Fresno, CA at the time. Not exactly the Great American Melting Pot in the mid-70s.

That was more that 30 years ago, and yet, here I am looking at this silly poll on Facebook asking what hair color people prefer: Blonde, Brunette or Red.

You'd think we'd all come further than that by now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Epic.

Best. Concert. EVER!

Wow.

That was, without a question, the Best Concert Experience I have EVER had!!

The whole thing - just over-the-top amazing!

If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I joined Green Day's Idiot Club late last week after hearing that they had done two surprise shows in San Francisco during the week, and the only way to know about the shows, and get in, was through their "Idiot Club".

Best $20 I've spent in a long, long time.

They posted the announcement for last night's show late Saturday night, which I saw Sunday morning. The first 100 club members to send an email with their club member name and info would have 2 tickets reserved for them at Will Call. Well, I don't think I made the final cut, as they posted a list early, and I wasn't on it, but then it turns out that they opened up more tickets for the fan club, and I got in then!

The show was a the newly restored and recently reopened Fox Theater in Oakland. According to this article, the theater was originally opened in 1928, closed since 1970, and reopened on April 5th of this year, after a $75 million restoration project. The theater itself was simply gorgeous.


The Fox Theater

but i digress...

I invited my friend, Miguel, to come to the concert with me. (Unfortunately, it was too late on a school night for Dick to be able to go.) I was told that the doors for the general public would open at 7:00, but that Will Call for "Idiot Club Members" would open at 6:00, and that club members would be let into the theater immediately upon getting their tickets.

Miguel and I met after work at the Embarcadero BART station at 6:30. We took BART to Oakland, walked 2 blocks, and arrived at the theater around 6:45. There was a HUGE line formed around the building. When I went towards the will call tables that were set up in front, I was told to go to the line. When I asked about "Idiot Club Members", the guard smiled, and said, "Oh, that's different. You can go around the building the other way to your own special Will Call".

So, we walked around the corner, found the will call ticket booths, walked up to the "A-C" window (no line), gave my name, bought out tickets, and walked immediately into the auditorium. Apparently, the other club members had been waiting in here for the past 45 minutes. We were only in the auditorium for less than 2 minutes, when the doors opened!

The Fox Theater has standing-room-only floor space, closest to the stage, and arranged in three levels. We got a spot in the very front of the second level - about 40 feet from the stage, slightly raised (by about 2-3 feet) from the bottom level, and with a railing separating us from the people in front of us. I couldn't have been more perfect. (we could have gone to the lower level, closer to the stage (within 10 feet, easily) but I didn't want to get caught up in the mosh pit!) :)

We ended up standing by a couple of guys, who happened to be from Noe Valley (about a mile from my house). We talked to them and their SO's for the next two hours while we waited - talking about favorite concert experiences, and holding each other's places while the others went to get drinks. Pretty Fabulous.

We were given concert programs, which included the set list, as well as the lyrics to all the songs from the new album. We also knew that this evening's performance was being filmed for an upcoming DVD! :)


The Program, and my ticket (I am such a geek)

It was a full house. Totally sold out. I had heard that it sold out on Ticketmaster within 10 minutes. We wondered what the capacity of the Fox Theater was. I found out (on the web today) that it can hold 1,500 - 2,800 people, depending upon how the main floor area was being used. (ie: standing room only versus chairs, versus cabaret tables.)

The show started just after 9:00.

The band played for 2.5 hours straight.

AMAZING!

They said that they were going to play their entire new album (which they did). That was the first hour or so.


Opening song: "21st Century Breakdown"

After that, they played a second set which included songs off of American Idiot and Dookie. I was in Green Day Heaven.



The band was simply incredible. SO much energy, such great performers, and such great musicians. I had seen Green Day perform live at concerts 4 times since 1994. This was Miguel's first. He/we were simply blown away by this performance.

Billie Joe Armstrong is just an amazing performer. I've never seen a more charismatic front man. He totally draws you in, keeps you entertained, and his voice was just perfect all night. And really, the whole band was fantastic. You could tell that they were all really into it, and really excited to be playing to this crowd.

Here's an article I found on MSNBC.com that has a review of their show at the DNA Lounge from last Thursday. It looks like they played the same sets, so you can get an idea of the play list.

They finished the night by playing "Homecoming" off of American Idiot, which was of course so fitting since they are from Berkeley/East Bay, and they were playing to their home crowd. They made many references to that all night.



The concert finished around 11:30. They gave away posters as we left. I may have to hang one in my cabana. ;)

The new CD, 21st Century Breakdown comes out on May 15th. I can't wait!

...and yes. I know... I'm a total Green Day Groupie.:)

update:

Here's a good review on the show.

and another one from Rolling Stone

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Dinner

Easter Dinner (At a Chinese Restaurant) in Stockton with the Chow
Family. :)

Happy Easter

Easter Brunch out in the backyard, complete with mimosas.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cherry Blossom Festival

Today, Dick and I decided to drive over to the Fillmore area to walk around.
We parked next to the park on Scott and Jackson, and walked over to Fillmore. We strolled down Fillmore and did a bit of window shopping, then decided to head into Japan Town.

To our surprise, we happened upon the first weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival! Fun!
There were lots of festival booths, yummy food, and lots of people. We eventually found our way towards the main stage, and were able to watch a Taiko Drum group perform. (so cool!)


Cherry Blossoms in bloom!


Taiko Drumming

After we hung around the festival for a while, we decided to make our way down to Union Street. It was a really nice, clear day, and we saw lots of sail boats down in the Bay.


The view from Fillmore @ Pacific

We strolled down Union Street, then walked back to our car through Pacific Heights.
What a nice day to be out and about!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I seriously suck....

Green Day Surprises Everyone Again.

Does anyone know how to find out about these last-minute gigs when they're announced?

Maybe I should just start going club-hopping...

Update

Okay - I'm an official fanboy now. (fangirl?)

I've joined the Green Day Idiot Club! (now I really *am* an Idiot!)

Yep - for $20/year, I'll be in-the-know!
They have a new album coming out next month, and are said to be planning to playing more surprise local shows to test out the new material! I'm determined to make it to one!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mom & Claude

I spent the afternoon with my Mom and Claude kitty.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dang, I totally missed out!

Green Day Plays Surprise SF Show

Diet Coke Birdie

The velociraptors (my sister's two cockatiels) have been staying with us for the last couple of months.

They've got a pretty good set-up in our guest bedroom/Raggedy Ann room/"compromise" room. I've got sheets covering the bed, doll cases, etc., and they've got free run. Bonsai flies around a bit, just to stretch his wings once or twice a day, but Crissy is 29 years old, and hasn't flown in quite some time.

They've got what I call "birdie condos" set up on the bed. One paper bag, one 12-pack soda box, and a "double-wide" 24-can Diet Coke box. They basically just hang out and sleep and play in one of their condos for several hours a day. (we've got toys for them to chew on and play with, too.)

This is a picture I snapped of Crissy a couple of weeks ago in his/her Diet Coke box, peeking out of one of the slits on the side. The slightly-obscure nature of it cracks me up.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Go Heels!!!

BIG Game!!!

Monday Afternoon

The computer issues are still being worked on. Long story short, we got my Mac-Not-So-Dreamy up and working again, but we're concerned with the stability of the hard drive. I'm backing up all of my files, then plan to wipe the drive, then reinstall the OS, and then my files. We thought we had everything all squared away since we started using our new HP Server to backup my Mac via Time Machine. Well, as it turns out, you can't do a full system restore from that HP Server - you can only grab specific files. So, I'm reverting back to backing up on my external drive, but I had to wipe that in order for Time Machine to be able to read it again since I had stopped backing up on it about a week ago, and had switched to another drive.... blah, blah, blah....

I knew my computer was going to be out of commission for at least a couple of days, so I've already notified any clients who would need to know. There's not much I can do while my computer backs up, then reformats, etc., so I thought I might as well plan to take the day off.

Dick decided to work from home this morning, then take the afternoon off with me. The weather was supposed to be really nice again today, and frankly, he's very anxious about the NCAA Finals game tonight. :)

So, it was a mutual last-minute afternoon off for the both of us!

We had what seemed like a good idea of going to visit the new SF Academy of Sciences today. This seemed like a good idea since Dick usually wouldn't be able to go on a weekday when it was be much less crowded than on a weekend.

Yeah. Wrong.

We drove to Golden Gate Park, parked, walked to the entrance, and just when I was beginning to wonder why it was SO crowded, we remembered: Spring Break. Frak. No museum for us today.

At this point, we were pretty hungry, so we decided to walk over towards Ninth & Irving to get some lunch. We ended up at a terrific little Japanese Sushi place and had a delicious lunch.

After lunch, we strolled through the Botanical Gardens. We hadn't been here in at least a couple of years, and frankly, I forgot just how lovely this space is. I also have a newly-developed appreciation for plants/flowers since we did our backyard. We strolled along some really nice areas, and even found this very interesting fern with a very interesting name. :)


Once we finished walking around the Botanical Gardens, we made our way over to Stow Lake. I always love walking around this area. We did the lap around the lake, admiring the greenery, and watching the ducks and the people on their paddle boats. We also found clusters of turtles, hanging out and sunning themselves.


Our last stop in park was the Japanese Tea Gardens. We realized that the Cherry Blossom Trees would probably just be starting to bloom, and figured the gardens must be very pretty right now. We weren't disappointed - lots of gorgeous colors and blooming trees everywhere!


What a nice afternoon. It's supposed to rain for the rest of the week, so it's nice that we were able to spend the day outside.

Now, back to the computer problems, and the exciting game tonight!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Well, Frack. This can't be good

Got an appt at the Genius Bar tomorrow afternoon. MacDreamy, indeed.
Hmph.

WGI Finals, and NCAA Final Four!! All in the same night!

It was quite the evening here in His 'n Her Condos.
Quite busy, and exciting, actually - especially considering that we didn't leave the house, and didn't have anyone over!

It's a double whammy kind of evening. Tonight two big events (at least big events in our world) and they happened to coincide on the same night - at the same time!

What on Earth am I talking about?

Well, for starters, it was the Final Four games for the NCAA Tournament. Dick's beloved UNC Tar Heels were one of the 4 teams playing, and happily, won their game, and will be advancing to the Final game Monday evening. The first game (Michigan State vs. U. Conn) started at 3:00. The second game, UNC vs. Villanova started around 6:00pm.

Okay, keep that in mind...

Also on tap for this evening: WGI World Class Finals!
Yes - that crazy color guard event that I usually travel to Dayton, OH to attend. For various reasons, I decided not to go this year. It turns out that it's only the third time since I first went in 1986 that I haven't gone. Crazy, huh?

Anyhow, one thing that makes not attending much easier is that I was able to sign up and pay for an online live webcast of the event! Very cool!

Here's the funny part: The Scholastic World Class Finals started at.... 3:00pm.
The Independent World Finals started at... 6:00pm.

So, yes.... lots of exciting stuff happening.

Dick watched his games via our Xbox (Media Center Extender) in the upstairs front room. (We still don't have a TV in our main TV room where the media center lives).


Dick, watching the Final Four

I watched WGI from the TV in our bedroom. Dick and I hooked up his laptop to our TV so that I'd be more comfortable than in the office, and could watch it on a larger screen.


Trina watching WGI!

The part that I think is especially funny is that these two televisions are on opposite sides of one wall, with a pocket door seperating the two rooms. This means that inbetween guard shows (there was about 5 minutes between each guard for tear down/set up) I could just open the pocket door and watch the basketball games with Dick. Occassionally, Dick would pause his game (really, only the first game, when his team wasn't playing) and he would watch a guard show with me.

Another fantastic part of the evening: I was able to send SMS messages via my mobile phone to various friends who were also watching the show. I had friends who were actually in the arena, watching the guards in person, and also friends in Chicago and San Jose. We were all sending texts to each other during the shows, making comments, etc., Very fun, and almost as good as being there! :)

What a fun evening it was. I love technology!

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Great Haircut of 2009!

I'm feeling short and sassy now!

Yes-sir-ree! After thinking about it for months, I finally took the plunge and cut off all of my long hair!

The best part? It's for a good cause. I'm going to donate it to Locks of Love. Locks of Love is a great non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

This has actually been my plan for quite a long time. My hair grows very quickly, is fairly healthy, and I knew that at some point, I'd want short hair again. So, I let it grow, and grow and grow... probably the longest it's been since I was a kid. It was halfway down my back. I've been letting it grow (with cuts to shape it now and then) for about 3 years.

But the time has come!
You know - sometimes, you're just ready for a change.
I had a lousy last couple of weeks, so I figured, it was time to do something drastic, and really shake it up.

So, I made an appointment yesterday, and went in this afternoon - fully prepared. I had a picture of the cut I wanted, a couple of ponytail holders, and a zip lock back to bring my hair home in. I had also done my research online yesterday to see what the guidelines are for donating hair to Locks of Love. I knew that my hair was longer than the minimum 10 inches necessary to donate, so I was set to go.


Before....

The process was all very exciting and therapeutic at the same time. My hair is very thick, so my stylist had to section my hair into 3 separate ponytails before she cut my hair. This makes me feel great, because I think my hair will be able to help out more than one child. In the end, we were able to use 2 of the ponytails. They each weighed in at around 14 inches. The third one, which would have had the most layers in it, was just a bit too short.

I knew what kind of hair style I wanted - it's something I had many, many years ago. It's more or less a asymmetrical bob - longer in the front, shorter in the back.


...After

My stylist did a really great job. She even allotted extra time before her next appointment because she knew that my hair is really long and thick. The whole process took an hour and a half.


View of the sides

I'm really happy and excited about all of this. It makes me so happy to know that my hair can be put to good use, and hopefully make a child (or two) very happy! What a great experience! :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It doesn't get much better than this...

The Roomba is vacuuming my Cabana.
Go, little Robot, Go!

Oh - and Dick installed a wireless router in the cabana last night, so now we have WI-FI in the backyard to boot! I'm using my laptop out on the patio now. It's awesome.

It's all a little Jane Jetson-y.

I think I'll name my Roomba "Rosie". :)


Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons