Monday, August 31, 2009

Some candid shots from yesterday

I forgot that I meant to post some of these fun candid photos that I took yesterday after our photo shoot.

After Rob finished taking all the photos, we had a nice barbecue, and enjoyed a nice afternoon in my Aunt & Uncle's backyard.

Here's Rob! Photographer extraordinaire!

Rob and his kiddos admiring the fish pond

Fun on the trampoline!

Cousin Kenneth Flying High!

Grandma and Grandpa relaxing in the shade

Dress-up time!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chow Family Portrait Day

It's been about 27 years since the last time that the Chow Family (My Dad's parents, his siblings, their spouses, and my cousins) got together for a professional portrait. Since then, cousin Cheri was born (in 1984!) we've all grown up, some of us have gotten married, and Bruce and his wife had their three daughters. We've had a few weddings along the way,but it's not quite the same as a family portrait.

We met at my Aunt's house in Cupertino this morning, and used her backyard as the setting. I think it all worked out very well. Unfortunately, my cousin Bruce is away on business in the Philippines, and wasn't able to make it. We may try to photoshop him in. ;)

Our photographer and friend, Rob, was kind enough to let me take some snapshots with my little point-and-click camera while he worked with his impressive professional equipment. (Thanks, Rob!)

My Dad, his siblings, and their parents

My Grandparents, their Grandkids and Great-Grandchildren.

My immediate family

While my photos are really just snapshots taken from the side, it gives us an idea of what Rob's photos will be like. We took a full-group shot, but obviously, we were all in the photo, so there was no one to take a picture with my camera. :)

Today's Tomato Crop & Dinner

Our tomato plants have done quite well for us so far this year! (who knew?)

Here's a picture of the tomatoes that I picked today!

...and here they are as tonight's dinner: Capellini Pomodoro


Friday, August 28, 2009

Todd & Sharon

Todd and Sharon were in town today for an appt. We were able to get
together for a nice lunch and visit.

It was so nice seeing them! It's been more than 7 years since I last
saw Sharon! During that time, they had 2 kids, and moved several times
(including to the East Coast!). I've missed them.

They've been down in the Monterey area for a couple of years now, and
are very happy there. I really need to carve out some time to go down
and visit and to meet their kiddos!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Green Day Concert 2009 - Take 2!

Best. Free. Concert. Ever!

If I didn't love them enough already, I love them even more, now....

The concert was simply fantastic!

After seeing them at the Fox Theater in April, I was a little hesitant about going to another Green Day Concert this year. I mean, that concert was epic. How would it compare?

It was a completely different experience, and very different kind of show. That was great for me, because there was no need to compare this concert from the last.

The set list for the two shows were entirely different. When I last saw Green Day in April, it was a month before the new album was released. They played their entire new album from top to bottom, then played a bunch of old stuff afterward.

This time around, they opened with about 3 songs off the new album, but mixed it up after that with stuff from American Idiot, Dookie and other albums.

I found this set list from another show earlier this week from the Idiot Club site. It's roughly the same as what they played for our night's show.

Song of the Century
21st Century Breakdown
Know Your Enemy
East Jesus Nowhere
The Static Age
Before the Lobotomy
Are We the Waiting/St. Jimmy
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Hitching a Ride
Welcome to Paradise
2,000 Light Years Away
Iron Man/Crazy Train/Sweet Child O'Mine/You Really Got Me (brief medley)
Brain Stew
Basket Case
King for a Day
Shout/Goin' to Kansas City/Break on Through to the Other Side/Earth Angel/Free Fallin'
21 Guns
American Eulogy

American Idiot
Jesus of Suburbia
Last Night on Earth
Time of Your Life

The biggest difference between this show and the one in April was the interaction that the band, and mainly lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, did with the audience. That was fantastic! The show started with the lights off, then Song of the Century started to play. A spotlight shined down on the floor (where the general admission/crazy crowd was) and showed the band entering the floor, making their way through the audience, up to the stage. It was awesome! How many bands would start off their show by going through the audience! Billie Joe also went into the crowd several times throughout the evening, and pulled up several audience members (including kids) up to the stage. He had a few of them sing along, and even had a young man play the guitar part of "Jesus of Suburbia". Super cool!

Billie Joe out and about in the audience

The venue was much larger than the last - it was at the Arco Arena in Sacramento. Our seats were way up high, but honestly, we were plenty happy up there - still could see everything, and the sound quality was quite good.

The thing is: these guys are amazing performers. Not only do they write great music (in my opinion, anyhow), they perform it well live, AND they can entertain a crown for 3 hours straight! Yes, 3 hours. I can't imagine how wiped-out they must be at the end of each show.

And, I must admit, I'm no-so-secretly enamored with Billie Joe. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the man's got charisma. Lots and lots of charisma. He can energize a crowd for hours, and in the end, he still hits every note perfectly. I &heart; Billie Joe. :)

Okay, I admit it, I was a bad girl, and snuck in my camera. (who didn't!)
I couldn't help myself!

I took a few photos, and a couple of short videos.

here are my favorites:

"American Idiot"

"21 Guns"

"Last Night on Earth"
This is quickly becoming one of my favorite new songs. Billie Joe played it on his acoustic guitar. He may not have realized it at the time, but I'm quite sure that he was actually singing it especially for the woman sitting in section 222, row Q, seat 17. :)


Monday, August 24, 2009


Inside the Arena

Here we are in our nose-bleed seats! Hey- free tickets! We're thrilled!!

Photos from outside the arena

Oops! Meant to post these photos with the last entry!!

On our way!!

We're waiting in line to get into the Arco Arena! The drive from SF
was faster than expected. We made it in under two hours. We had a
nice, leisurely, early dinner at a nearby Mel's Diner, then came to
the arena to pick up our tickets from will call. Doors open at 6:30,
so we should be getting in soon!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Going to see Green Day! (again!)

I think I may be an official groupie now...

You may remember that I joined the "Green Day Idiot Club" back in April, hoping to score tickets to see them play live at a local SF venue.

I was rewarded the following week when I was able to see Green Day perform at the amazing Fox Theater in Oakland! It was a concert experience of epic proportions!

They are on tour now, and were just in San Jose last week at the HP Pavilion. I had the opportunity to get seats before the general public, but decided that I couldn't top the show that I had just seen in April. I have to admit, though, that I regretted my decision Tuesday night when I realized they were in town, and I wasn't there. :)

Last night, I got an email from the Idiot Club, directing me to the Idiot Club site:


FREE tickets to see them Monday night at the Arco Arena in Sacramento!!

Um, OKAY!!

It's a 2-hour+ drive, plus it'll be a late evening, so I wanted to make sure I could find someone to go with me before I committed to the tickets.

Unfortunately, my Sister is still in Vegas, and ironically, comes home Tuesday evening! She's as big of a Green Day fan as I am, so we're both terribly bummed that she won't be able to go with me - again! (she missed out in April, too!)

Dick won't be able to go, because of work. (boo.)

Happily, I'll be taking my Gay Boyfriend along with me. This will only be his fourth live concert experience, so he's pretty excited!

I'm super excited - the big difference for me between this concert and the one in April is that the new album was released in May, so now I'll be familiar with the new songs. Can't wait!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mango Salsa

I was invited to attend to pot lucks with friends this weekend.

Dick and I have a very yummy mango salsa recipe that we've been making for years, and have shared at many parties. We actually received a request to make it for tomorrow's party, so I figured I'd pull double-duty and match a triple batch so I'd have enough to bring both days.

I love mangos, but they're kind of a pain to prepare. My sister bought me this very ingenious device last year: a mango splitter! Let me tell you: this thing is the frickin' bomb! It works like a charm, and makes seeding a mango so much faster (and neater!).

I highly recommend it, if you are in the habit of eating mangoes. It will make your life much easier. :)

Dick and Trina's Triple Batch of Mango Salsa Goodness!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

At the Toy Store

My friend, Andrew, and I went to a toy store in Palo Alto early this afternoon.

This was one of the more interesting things that we found:

"Alvin Ailey Barbie"

Who knew?

We combed the store, checking to see if our favorite red-head was there. Didn't find her anywhere.

When we asked the sales clerk if they had any Raggedy Ann merchandise, she replied, "What is that?"


Let me get this straight: You have an Alvin Ailey Barbie doll, but you don't know who/what Raggedy Ann is?

That's just sad.

Something is very wrong here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Candy Land and Pot Stickers

This afternoon, I drove across town to try to check out the life-sized "Candy Land" that was put up on Lombard Street this morning.

It turns out that today is the 60th Anniversary of the game "Candy Land", and to celebrate, Hasbro Toys converted Lombard Street into a life-sized Candy Land game!

Unfortunately, I was out of town this morning and early afternoon. By the time I made my way across town (2:30pm), they were already tearing it down! Boo.

I found some photos on the web, which gives a good idea of what it looked like:

(photo from :: CandyLand on Lombard ::)

(photo from Lombard Street Candyland: Photos & Video From SF)

It's too bad I missed seeing it. Would have been fun to see in person.

All was not lost, though....

Since I was in that part of town, I decided to drop by my favorite Chinese Restaurant in the City, U-Lee. I figured visit Judy and her husband, Ken, and order an early dinner to take home for tonight. It's been 11 years since I lived in Nob Hill, and I really miss being so close to this restaurant.

While I was there, I noticed this banner which announced that U-Lee is considered one of the Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the Country!! Congrats to U-Lee!!!

Looking forward to Pot Stickers and Tomato Beef Curry Chow Mein for dinner tonight! Yum!

Monday, August 17, 2009

For Sale: Dick's Childhood

Yours for only $209,000.00!

Dick's sister, Kathy, sent us an email this morning alerting us that their childhood home in Cullowhee, NC is on the market.


I asked him if he wanted to buy back his childhood.

I mean, how many people ever have the opportunity to do that?

"Buy back your childhood! Only $200K!"

That makes it sound like the deal of the century.

Here's the listing.

I always loved knowing that Dick grew up on Briar Patch Road.

Dick says it hasn't changed too much since he last saw it.

I think it's pretty neat to see photos of what your old house looks like years later.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today's walk around SF

Dick and I took a little bit of an urban hike around San Francisco this afternoon to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Here are a few of the things that we saw....

This cracked us up. We noticed it as we were walking past a window to a neighborhood bar. We named him "Bloody Mary Man". :)

It's hard to tell from this photo, but it was a crowded day at Dolores Park!

And finally - this was the long line outside Bi-Rite Ice-Creamery.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Golf at Lincoln Park

This is my first attempt at a 18-hole course! Wish me luck. :)


It was a really nice day. The weather was perfect - sunny and warm, but not hot.

The view from the 17th hole was amazing!

I felt pretty good about how I played. I had fairly average game for me, which was pretty good, considering I hadn't played an 18-hole course before, so our game was twice as long, and most of the holes were par 4. Even better: my arms didn't hurt at all after wards! I'm hoping the tendinitis is on its way out!

It was also my first time riding (or driving!) a golf cart, too! fun!

Sunday, August 09, 2009


Muff Me

Pete just returned from a trip to New Orleans. He was there for Siggraph, as well as to visit his family.

Surprisingly, I've never been to New Orleans - it's a place I certainly hope and plan to go someday.

One of the culinary treats of New Orleans is the Muffaletta, from Central Grocery.

here's a description that I found on the web:
Central Grocery is home of the muffuletta, one of New Orleans' great sandwiches. A circular loaf of soft Italian bread is sliced horizontally and piled with salami, ham, and provolone, which are in turn topped with a wickedly spicy melange of chopped green and black olives fragrant with anchovies and garlic.

Today, on his way home from the airport, Pete dropped by our house to present us with a muffaletta sandwich, hand delivered directly from Central Grocery!

By the way, he brought us a "whole muff", as opposed to a "half muff", or even a "quarter muff". These things are huge! Dick and I each ate a quarter-muff each. We still have a half-muff left for later!

Mmmmmm!!! It doesn't get better than that!

What a friend. Thanks, Pete!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

My new gorilla-feet shoes

Fascinating, Captain.... not pretty, but fascinating!

Dick and were walking down Castro Street, on our way home, when we popped into a store, and made the most spontaneous purchase for the two of us that I can remember!

As we walked past the In•jean•ious store, Dick noticed a shoe display in their window.

The shoes are called Vibram FiveFingers. I had never heard of them before, but Dick had recently read an article about them in the New Yorker magazine.

The theory behind these shoes is that we, as humans, were "designed" to be barefoot. Shoes, however, have been designed to protect our feet by encapsulating them. These shoes are like gloves for your feet. They are very snug, but breathe well, and let you feet be as close to barefoot as possible, while still being protected.

The description from their website:
The typical human foot is an anatomical marvel of evolution with 26 bones, 33 muscles and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised.

That’s why we recommend wearing FiveFingers for exercise, play, and for fun. Stimulating the muscles in your feet and lower legs will not only make you stronger and healthier, it improves your balance, agility and proprioception

Because I live in the City, and because I walk so often, the shoes that I wear are all about comfort (and if they're cute to boot, all the better). These shoes are meant to be comfortable, as well as healthy (because they stimulate your muscles in your feet and lower legs).

The one possible drawback of all of this: the sales guy was telling us all about the benefits of wearing these shoes, including building the muscles of your calves. Well, dear blog readers, as you know, this girl does not need to build the muscles in her calves any more than they already are!

Anyhow, as I mentioned, this was a very spontaneous purchase. Considering I hadn't even heard of these shoes 5 minutes before I tried them on, I was intrigued enough with the idea of them (and the instantaneous comfort when I tried them on) to buy them on the spot! Dick bought a pair, too.

As it turns out, In•jean•ious is the only store in San Francisco to carry this brand. They also happen to be in a store in our neighborhood, and I got the last pair of shoes that they had in my size.

It was meant to be.

I was meant to have gorilla-feet.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Adult Toys

I'm still at the Adler's Gallery (Adler & Co. for those who aren't

Cynde says she currated this piece specifically with Dick in mind.
(which I love, of course!) I told her that I can think of several
friends and blog readers who would also appreciate it. :)

"Obsession! '09"

I'm paying a long overdue visit to the Adlers at their gallery in
Union Square. They have a fantasic show up right now. The name of the
show is "Obsession! '09" - hence the title of this blog post. ;)

I highly recommend coming to see it if you have a chance.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

An afternoon with Lee

I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with my old school friend, Lee, today.

Lee does volunteer work at the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. He became interested in plants and gardening a few years back, started volunteering at the garden, and is now a wealth of information on all things plant-related.

I've been much more interested in plants and gardens since we finished our backyard landscape project earlier this year. To be honest, before we did our backyard, I had zero interest in gardening, but the more I'm out working in our garden, I find that I'm much more interested than I ever thought I'd be. (much to my parent's amazement!)

Lee offered to take me on a guided tour of the Botanical Gardens, so I took him up on it today. We spent a couple of hours walking through, as Lee took the time to point out his favorites, and attempted to educate me a bit. Lee knows the scientific plant names of all of the plants, flowers, trees, etc.. I don't even know the common names for most of them. I just kept pointing to ones that I recognized, and would refer to them as "that one" or "those guys". :)

Lee keeps a very interesting garden-related blog. ( He always camera with him everywhere, and has some really beautiful photos.

Here's a photo that I took of him - taking a photo!

After our walk around the garden, we headed over to 9th avenue. We strolled along, and peeked into some stores, until we settled upon having an early dinner at Plutos. (I love salads from Pluto's!)

Such a nice afternoon with a good friend. Thanks, Lee. I look forward to doing it again soon!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Skydivers to descend along Embarcadero

Just read this article on

I barely have a downtown view from my upstairs windows, but I'll see if I'm able to see anything.

If you're in downtown SF today around 12:15, be sure to look up! :)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

"Old" Friends

This morning, I wrote the following as my status on Facebook:
"Trina is heading out to have a picnic with some very old friends!

I had a couple of comments asking if these friends were indeed "old", or if they are friends that I've known a long time.

I suppose the answer depends on how you define "old". We were all in the same grade in school, which makes us all around 40-ish. I don't think that's old, but that's just my opinion. ;)

On the other hand, this group of friends are people that I've known since 6th grade or Junior High. That means that we've known each other for nearly 30 years! We all grew up together in lovely Milpitas, CA.

My wonderful friend, Kimi, was the only person I stayed in touch with after high school. We first met at Band Camp in 8th grade. Our friendship has survived and thrived through band camp, AP classes, college, visits to Ohio, Kimi living in Italy, marriages, children and day-to-day life. I cherish our friendship deeply, and am so grateful to have her and her family in my life.

I've known our friend, Lee, since the 6th grade. We reconnected through the magic of Facebook, just this past March. We both live in San Francisco, and have enjoyed getting together a few times since then.

Our friend, Tim, moved to Milpitas in 7th grade. Lee has stayed in touch with Tim since high school, and Kimi and I reconnected with him in May of this year.

In one of the most bizarre examples of extreme coincidences, Lee and I realized that all three of us, Lee, Tim, and I, all lived on the same block on San Francisco at the same time! We only overlapped for a little bit, but I never knew that either of them were there!

I met Amy at a mutual friend's slumber party way back in 6th grade, but we didn't attend the same elementary school. We went to the same Junior High and High School, and the four of us had many, many classes together. Today was the first time I saw Amy since we graduated in 1987! (Lee and Tim had both stayed in touch with Amy over the years.)

Lee helped to organize a picnic which we had today in lovely (but chilly!) Bernal Heights. What a wonderful afternoon it was! Kimi, Tim and Amy all brought their families, and we all had such a nice time together.

Somehow, we managed to be together for over 4 hours without actually taking a group photo. That's too bad.

I did manage to squeeze in a couple of candids:

Amy, Tim, John (Amy's husband), Manuel (Kimi's husband), Lee and Kimi, all watching...

...the kid's playing croquet!

I also got one posed shot of Kimi and Lee together! They hadn't seen each other in nearly 20 years!

Kimi and Lee - 08/02/09

...and just for fun, I borrowed a photo that Kimi had posted on her blog a while back (along with some really terrific old photos of the two of us together!). Here's a shot of me, Lee and Kimi goofing off at our Winter Ball in1986! With the exception of our hair styles, and possibly my fashion sense, I'd say we haven't changed much in 23 years!

Trina, Lee and Kimi - December 1986

It is so nice to reconnect with all of these friends from our past. It's such a joy to see everyone, meet their children, and to get to know the people that we've all become. I hope we're able to do it all again soon!

The First Tomato

Success!! I picked the first tomato from our tomato plants a couple of
days ago. We let it sit and fully ripen in our kitchen counter. We
just ate it, and it was delicious!!