Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing in a new Decade

Today is the last day of the year 2009, and indeed, the last year of the Y2K decade.

A few of my friends on Facebook have posted photos from NYE 1999, showing what they were doing as they entered the new millennium.

I dug into my archives, and found a photo of me and Dick, taken on December 31, 1999.

Trina & Dick
December 31, 1999

We had a low-key evening at home with Pete & Richard, and Mitch and his brother, Bruce. We made dinner at home, then ventured out on MUNI to the Embarcadero to watch the fireworks. Funny thing is, once we were there, we decided it was all too crowded and crazy for our taste, and we took MUNI back home well before the clock struck Midnight.

Tonight, we'll be having a low-key evening at home with Pete and Richard. We'll be making dinner at home, and honestly, will probably retire before the clock strikes midnight. Some things never change. :)

It's interesting reflecting on the past decade, and how things have changed.

Dick and I had been dating for a year at that time. Since then, we've each moved a couple of times (and yes, that does mean moving in together, and eventually setting up house at "His 'n Her Condos"), we've added some furry companions to our family (We got 3 cats in 2000 - Claude now lives happily with my parents, Marcel sadly passed away just this last March, and little Noe is still as fluffy, spunky, and funny as ever), we did some wonderful travel (London, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Granada, Seville, Madrid, Shanghai, Tokyo, Alaska, Hawaii, etc.), got married, and created many, many wonderful memories with family and friends, old and new!

Overall, a pretty fantastic decade for us. It's amazing just how much can happen in 10 years when you take a moment to think about it.

Happy New Year to all of my friends and family out there.
Here's to a Happy and Healthy 2010!

April, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Green Day Collection

the perfect way to top off my Green Day year.... :)

I just discovered that iTunes just released (okay, on December 22nd, so I'm a little late) The Green Day Collection!

What does that mean?

Well, it means that you can now buy every single song, album, bonus track, video, etc., in Green Day's long history.

Why would you want it?

Well, if you're like me, you won't necessarily want to buy the whole thing (and for $99.99, it's not cheap, but frankly, for all that it includes, it's pretty inexpensive), but you may need to pick up a few songs here and there. I own most of the albums - I think I'm missing their very first, and perhaps one more in the middle, but I'm pretty well covered. However, this did give me the chance to buy some bonus tracks that I don't think were available before.

Hearing Green Day cover The Clash's "I Fought the Law" is pretty awesome. :)

They also do a cover of "Like a Rolling Stone". Fun stuff!

I need to start a new blog label devoted to Green Day. I seem to devote a lot of posts on this blog to them. ;)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from my parent's house!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Very San Francisco Christmas (Eve)

I admit, I haven't been in much of the Christmas Spirit this year. With my Grandfather's passing, and following the period of mourning, we decided not to put up our Christmas tree, or even decorate for Christmas at all this year.

We've done a couple of things over the last few days to try to get into the Holiday Spirit: We watched "Elf" the other night, went down to Union Square yesterday to look at all of the Holiday Decorations, and had a really nice dinner at Pete & Richard's house with Blane last night.

Even so, I was still feeling the Holiday Blues this morning. To rectify the situation, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood, and specifically, to walk to "The Christmas House" on 21st Street.

This is Tom and Jerry's House in Noe Valley. No, I don't know them personally, but they have their names on the huge stockings on their house. :)

I love walking to their house during Christmastime. It really has a magic about it, and you can just see how much love goes into putting this all together year after year.

Dick, bringing the perspective

We stopped by Dolores Park to take in one of our most favorite views of the City. It's always so beautiful, but even better on a cool, clear day.

View from Dolores Park

On our way back home, we decided to stop by Harvey's on Castro Street for a drink. :)

As if a drink at Harvey's wasn't reason enough to make me happy - they were also showing "The Empire Strikes Back"! :)

Darth Vader at Harvey's

Hello, Bloody Mary!

One last picture to wrap up our walk around the Castro on Christmas Eve:

Here's a night shot of our neighbor's house. They add a little bit to it each year. Always makes me happy to see.

Happy Christmas Eve, to all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


it's always a fun time in Trina's Playhouse!

I'm still loving my cabana out in the backyard. I thought i had finished furnishing it, but i had a couple of people (including my Dad!) suggest that I should look for a small ottoman to put out there.

So, I've been on the hunt for the last few months, and hadn't found anything...

...until today.

Today, I hopped inside the new (to me) CB2 in Union Square, (fun store, but the way) and found the perfect ottoman!

Actually, it's called a "Pouf"! Gotta love that!

It's round, and comfy, and green - perfect for the Cabana. :)
Plus, it fits in with my circle motif I have going in there. Who could ask for anything more?

Bonus: I have yet another reason to keep saying "Pouf". ;)

Now, I do believe that my Cabana is fully furnished. Come on over and hang out with me. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Well, Cuss Me!

I've decided that I'm going to take a cue from the "Fantastic Mr. Fox" movie (which I loved, by the way. You should see it) and I'm going to use the word "Cuss" instead of any actual 4-letter cuss words when I feel the need to use expletives.

I generally don't swear much at all (except if I'm playing Xbox), but every now and then, I do feel the need. :)

Some examples:

"Cuss Me!"
"Are you Cussing Me?"
"Don't Cuss with Me!"
"What the Cuss?!"

...and my personal fave...

"Cluster Cuss"

(seriously - go see the movie!)

Why am I feeling the need to say this now, when it's been 2 weeks since I saw the movie?

It's because I just got home after spending the last 3.5 hours of my life sitting in traffic! "Cuss ME!"

I left Stockton at 3:00 this afternoon - hoping to beat the fog and the traffic (or, at least most of it). No go. There was a really bad accident of the big-rig nature in Stockton, and it took me 1 hour to get out. It should usually take about 15 minutes.

By the time I was in the Bay Area, I also got stuck in regular Friday night traffic, and Bay Bridge craziness.

It was bad.

Under normal circumstances, even with a little bit of traffic, it should only take 1.5-1.75 hours.

Oh, and did I mention that I stopped off at Tracy to grab a hot chocolate from Starbucks? Oh, and instead of putting in my one shot of peppermint, they decided to put in one shot of espresso instead. I try to avoid caffeine in general, and the hot chocolate was already pushing it, so by the time I made the discovery that it wasn't right, I was already at the Costco getting gasoline. I drove back to Starbucks to have them fix it. Good thing. That wouldn't have been pretty...

But I digress...

With my new, cleaner, cuss-free plan, I do believe that this blog is now officially rated PG-13.

It may even be PG...

Who the Cuss knows?


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Green Day: Rock Band!

oh, yeah, baby! Just call me Billie Joe!

'Green Day: Rock Band' Coming In 2010
Version of the popular game will feature songs from the band's entire career.

I admit it: If I didn't already own Rock Band, I would buy it just for this. :)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dinner at Grandma's

I'm back in Stockton, spending time with my Grandma. Here's tonight's
dinner. Yum!

Monday, December 07, 2009

In the news....

adding another minute or so to my so-called 15-minutes of fame...

Check it out! Andrew and I are quoted and photographed in this news article about the Fantastic Mr. Fox exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum!

Fantastic Mr. Fox Trots Through the City

Just another example of being in the right place at the right time. :)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie


Chicken Pot Pie!

Wow! Dick and I just made what may be my most favorite recipe that we've made yet!

While we were in New York in October we had some fantastic little chicken pot pies at the Boat House in Central Park. I think this was the first time that I realized that it was a dish that we both enjoyed so much, and something that we should try to make someday.

We've been doing a lot of cooking since then, especially out of the cookbook Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. I had bought this cookbook for Dick years ago (he's a big Jacques Pepin Fan) and we've used it for a couple of recipes, but never really paid much attention to it. We watched the movie Julie and Julia a few months back, and were completely inspired. As this is the only Julia Child cookbook that we currently have (we'll be fixing that soon) we decided to dive into it, and have been trying out several recipes. We've also been recording and watching the Julia & Jacques Cooking At Home series on PBS which are on the air again.

Anyhow, we finally tried the Poached Chicken in aromatic vegetables recipe last night. It's fantastic - it's a whole chicken, leeks, celery, carrots, baby onion several different herbs, and white wine. Very simple, very yummy.

As much as we enjoyed this recipe, one of our favorite parts that are mentioned both in the book as well as on the TV series is that you can use leftovers from this dish to make two other dishes: Chicken, rice and vegetable soup and Chicken Pot Pie!

After dinner last night, we portioned off the amount of chicken, vegetables and broth that we'd need for the Chicken Pot Pie that we planned to make tonight, and used the rest as soup for lunch. Really yummy.

This evening, I made the dough (I used to make pies with homemade pie crust, but it's been a long time) and boiled done broth to start a roux. The roux was pretty simple - butter, flour and a little bit of cream was added to the condensed broth.

The chicken pot pie was SO good! It turned out just as good (or better!) than we had hoped! Success!

...and pretty, too!

This recipe is a keeper for sure. I can't wait to make it for company! :)

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Fantastic Day with Mr. Fox & Andrew

Thanks, I needed that!

I spent the early afternoon with my friend, Andrew, today. Andrew and I have many similar interests: Raggedy Ann, Animation Art, children's literature & illustrations, animated films, etc.,

Today we went to see the movie "Fantastic Mr. Fox" at our local theater. What a great film - if you enjoy Roald Dahl books, or enjoy and appreciate stop-motion animation, I highly recommend it.

The best word I can think of to describe it is Charming. Everything about it: the story, the style, the music.... it was all indeed, "Fantastic".

After the movie, we walked over to the Cartoon Art Museum to see the Fantastic Mr. Fox Exhibit. We did this several months ago when we saw the movie Coraline. We're so lucky to have the Cartoon Art Museum here - they always have such good exhibits, like both of these, and how wonderful to see them right after seeing the films!

The Fantastic Mr. Fox exhibit features two sets from the stop motion animated film, “Flint Mine – We Took Everything” and “Farmer Scale Yellow Door,” which include puppets and props used in the film’s production. Very cool. The detail on the characters was so amazing!

Fantastic Mr. Fox set and props

After the museum, we walked over to Jeffrey's Toys to see if they had any movie-related merchandise (they did not) or Raggedy Ann dolls (they only had two small dolls). While we were perusing through the store, we spotted a little wooden doll who, shockingly, was a cross between Raggedy Ann, and, well.... me.

Hilarious! We just *had* to get it, so Andrew offered to buy it for me. :) I figured she could live in "Trina's Playhouse" in the backyard. :)

Trina with Wooden-Trina

One of Andrew's hobbies is that he has a little wooden doll named Hitty, who he takes around the world with him, and takes pictures of. Hitty is quite the World Traveler, and the girl has a much larger wardrobe than I. :) Here's a link to her very impressive photo album.

Today, she was sporting her little Fox Hat, which she wore when taking a photo with Mr. Fox.

Andrew taking a photo of Hitty and Mr. Fox

While we were writing for a train in the MUNI station, I decided to take a photo of Hitty and her new wooden friend, Trina.

Trina and Hitty at the MUNI station

It was a fun afternoon, and a nice break for both of us. Thanks, Andrew! (and thanks to Hitty, too!)

Green Day With the 'American Idiot' Cast, '21 Guns' -- Song Premiere

Here's a recording of the cast of “American Idiot” singing “21 Guns” with Green Day!

I really liked this version during the show, but I have to admit, as I listened to this version, my heart skipped a beat when Billie Joe's voice rang in. *sigh* :)

Oh, and here's an article about it on Rolling Stone.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Photos in my Grandpa's Wallet

I'm spending a couple of days with my Grandma - keeping her company,
and trying to help out around the house.

I brought my computer and scanner along with me, hoping to have time
to scan a lot of old family photos at high resolution.

I'm going through a box full of photos from the last 60+ years. Pretty
amazing. Some of them I had scanned about 15 years ago for my Multi-
Media Family Tree project. At the time, scanners and computers were
much slower and I didn't have the time or drive capacity to scan them
at high res. So now, I'm going back and rescanning as many as I can.

I just found a little packet of wallet sized photos that my Grandpa
kept in his wallet. I never knew he had this.

In it are photos spanning back to 1947. He had photos of his Mother,
his Great Grandmother, his wedding to my Grandma, a portrait of her,
his kids (as kids in the 50s), each of his Grandchildren, his Great
Granddaughter, and a family portrait from 1982.

I'm pretty overwhelmed learning that Grandpa kept these photos with
him all the time.

How is it I keep finding reasons to love my Grandpa even more than I
already did?