Saturday, May 31, 2014

2014 Immediate Impact Walk Kick-Off Party

I pretty much hit the ground running as soon as I landed in SF. My Gay Boyfriend picked me up from SFO (thanks, Bro), we had a quick lunch at Chipotle on our way home, then I had a few minutes at home before it was time to head out again.

We had the Kick-off Event for the 2014 Immediate Impact Walk at the Press Club Wine Bar in San Francisco today. It was a really great event - many of the walkers were there, as well as representatives from local beneficiaries. It was a great chance to have new people come who are interested in joining our walk to have a chance to talk with everyone, have questions answered, and to get more information. We had a few new people sign up - very exciting, and many more who are interested.

We had a really great turn out. The Press Club donated 10 percent of the final tab to the General Fund of our walk. Last I heard, we raised more than $1,000!

Linda and Tina organized a nice raffle drawing, and there was a representative from Stella and Dot selling jewelry (of which part of the sales were also donated to the walk).

It was a great event, and a great way to start us off on our new season. Our first training walk is next weekend!

Peggy, Linda and Tina speaking to the guests

nice turnout!

here are some of our walkers showing off the jewelry from Stella and Dot

Boys Weekend/Girls Weekend

In what is almost an annual ritual, Dick is off to Vegas for a few days with the boys, and I'm off to somewhere else. Sometimes, I'm in the Mid-West, last year, it was Hawaii, this year, I'm heading back down to San Francisco.

We arranged our flights to be around the same time, so we carpooled to the airport together.

Dick will be with Martin, Krish and Chang, playing at the World Series of Poker Tournament. Good luck guys, and have fun!!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

"A Very Plain Young Man" Book Launch Party

My friend from high school, Christina (Hwang) Dudley, had a book launch party last night for her sixth novel! As luck would have it, Christina lives in my new city of Bellevue, and her book launch party was in nearby Kirkland.

I caught up briefly with Christina a couple of months ago for tea and pastries. She's a busy Mom of three, and this was only the second time that we've had a chance to see each other again since I moved here.

The book launch party/signing was really fun. It was at a gorgeous house, with an impressive attendance. There were delicious nibbles and even orgeat lemonade. My friend, Paula, came with me to the party. It was certainly fun to share the evening with her, and made it not as awkward for me, as I wouldn't have known anyone but the author! :)

Christina's latest novel, A Very Plain Young Man" is the second book in a series. Both books are set in the Jane Austenesque era. (which would explain the orgeat lemonade and the dancing lessons after the book reading.)

Christina did a fabulous reading of one of the chapters of her new book. It was a bit of an odd deja-vu moment for me, as I listened to her read. We shared many classes together in high school, and hearing her read was like going back in time. Christina was very involved in the drama department in school as well, so she really had a wonderful knack for reading aloud, and bringing the characters to life through her voice.

Here are all of Christina's books, available from

Here is Christina's blog post about the evening.

The author, Christina, signing her latest book

together again after over 25 years!

Thank you so much for joining me, Paula!

the crowd during the book reading

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Not a bad day for us, Mr Fitbit

I did my (almost daily now) 4.5 mile walk, did several errands in the afternoon, and took a 2.5 mile walk after dinner today. Beautiful day for a lot of walking outside. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bellevue Sunset: A Different Perspective

Great start to a 3 day weekend

This morning, we drove over the 520 bridge to have breakfast at Voula's Offshore Cafe. It's a diner that my Sis and Graham took me to when they came to visit last month.

Dick hadn't been before, and he loved it, too. I think we may have found our new breakfast place in the Seattle area. :)

...and yes, that's a LOT of food. I brought more than half of it home. :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Oh, the places you'll go...

There's nothing like working out in the gym, looking up, and recognizing an old color guard student from over 25 years ago as a CNN Anchor. Stephanie Elam, nice to see you again. :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Progress on Market Street Painting

I finally got back to painting on my Market Street Painting today.

I had my first Skype lesson with Dean on Tuesday afternoon. It was really cool. I had sent him a photo of the most recent rendition of the painting over email, then we had a Skype Conference Call with my computer camera facing the painting. The meeting probably lasted about 30 minutes or so, after we got Skype up and running.

He gave me a list of things to work on, which I'm making my way through now.

Today, I worked on the following:

I took the cornice off the top of the building on the left side. It was all the way almost off the top of the canvas, and wasn't very readable. I still need to work on straightening up the windows a bit, or at least cleaning them up. I don't want that building or the windows to be too exact - I like the look of it being suggestive.

I also worked a bit on defining all of the buildings a little bit more. I added more colors, corrected some lines, etc., I'll have to go in and add some more lights/windows again. I also painted over the row of street lamps, which I'll have to add again.

I darkened the bus in the foreground, as well as the stripes and rail on the road.

I tried changing the color of the trolley car from the grey/blue to an orange, then to a green, then to a red. None of them seemed to work well, so I went back to what the original color was. I made it a little more substantial, which I think helped.

I made the sky more gray than dark blue, and I also lightened the sky around the buildings to give it a little variety.

I also worked on the headlights and reflections of the lights in the area of the cars coming forward.

It's getting there, and I think it's starting to come together. I'm going to try to work on it some more over the next few days. Hopefully, we'll see it completed soon. :)

Duck Family at the Park

Mallard, Duck Butt and Duckling. :)

He is his Father's Son

Dick's beloved Father passed away earlier this year. Yesterday, we opened a box of his Dad's things that his sister, Kathy, had sent to us. (Thanks, Kathy!) Included in the box were about five of his Dad's shirts. Richard almost always wore this kind of shirt - embroidered on the two sides of the front, zippered or button down, usually with four pockets. (In which he always kept index cards and pens to write notes throughout the day.)

Dick tried them, and I was happy to see that they all fit. He wore this one to work today. Between the shirt, the hat, sunglasses and goatee, he looks so much like his Dad in this photo. It made my heart smile, and a little bit sad, all at the same time.

Dick's sister, Kathy, saw this post and sent a photo of Richard wearing the same shirt (or one very similar). The photo was taken about 5 or 6 years ago in Williamsburg. He's posing with his Granddaughter, Adrianne. It really shows how much Dick resembles his Dad. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bro mowing the lawn

I showed Spencer how to use our lawn mower this morning (not how to mow, per se, but some of the attachments are persnickety). This time of the year, the lawn is super happy, and grows quickly. It needs to be mowed every week or two.

I'll mow it every chance I get, but that's not more than every few weeks.

My parents come about once a month, so this way, Spencer can help keep it maintained without too much work.

Looks great, Bro! Thank you!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Grandma Chow turns 83 this week!!

We had a nice family dinner together to celebrate.

Here's Grandma with my Sis, and another photo of my Sister with our cousin, Cheri. :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Progress on the Mission Santa Clara Painting

It's been a while, but I was able to squeeze in a painting lesson with Dean this morning.

I'm having an interesting time with this piece. The subject and look is entirely different from anything I've done so far, which is a great learning experience.

The piece finally started coming together around the last half hour of today's three hour session. There's still more work to do, but I feel like it started to form towards the end.

I mostly worked on the lower glad of the piece today: the dark sections and silhouettes of the trees.

I also lightened, then darkened, then added color to the Mission and the grounds in front.

I played a bit more with the sky, particularly near and around the palm trees.

I'm kind of liking how the painting is a little bit bit of an abstract, bit still representational. I'll be back in a a few weeks to work on it some more.

artMRKT SF 2014

Here I am again!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Back in the Bay, Day 2

I was down in the South Bay today - back to my hometown of Milpitas!

I took Grandma Chan out for dim sum to celebrate her belated 88th Birthday.

I met Carol for a quick visit at a Starbuck's in San Jose.

Then, I was back in Milpitas for dinner with Diana at Baja Cactus.

San Francisco is under construction

Sheesh, I go away for 6 weeks, and when I come back, it seems like the whole neighborhood is under construction!

Seriously- everything! From the most major street in our neighborhood, Castro Street, to our large neighborhood park, Dolores Park, down to the sidewalk at the end of our block. It's construction time in San Francisco!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Back in SF, Day 1!

I had a great first day back in San Francisco!

I got home around Noon, then was able to head over to Pete & Richard's house for lunch and a visit.

I had my long-overdue hair appointment with Mariel in the afternoon. After my hair was done, I didn't have quite enough time to walk back home before heading out to dinner, so I decided to take a nice, long walk over to Dolores Park instead. It had cooled down just enough at that point.

I met Vicky for dinner at Thai House Express for dinner. So nice being back and seeing so many friends already!

San Francisco Heat Wave

It seems as if I only come back to SF in extreme weather conditions: pouring rain, or heat wave.

To make matters even more fun, I'm having my blue streak redone today, so I'm sitting under a hair dryer.

Mind you, no one in SF has air conditioning. :-/

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Maui Sunset

Today was one of those perfect vacation days where we did nothing but lay by the pool all afternoon.

To be fair, we've been up at 6:00-6:30 both mornings so far, and have walked about 3.5 miles each day before breakfast. :)