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Monthly Archives: August 2008

Heeding Hillary

                                          

After last night’s speech, it all made sense to me to throw my full support to Obama.  I must admit I am into this election not just for Hillary.  I am into this election because I have had enough.  Enough of the last eight years.  Enough of high gas prices.  My little Toyota eats up $40 a week, double from eight years ago.  Enough of trying to dig up for oil and start searching for alternative fuel.  Enough of never ending parade of faces on the local news notifying us of another local soldier’s death from the war. Enough war.  Enough high prices for commodities. Enough of foreclosures and more of affordable housing. In short, enough of Republican rein.

Here’s my favorite part of Hillary’s concession speech a few months ago:

So I want to say to my supporters:  When you hear poeple saying or think to yourself, “If only, or, “What if, ” I say, please, don’t go there.  Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.

Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been.  We have to work together for what still can be. 

And I am listening to her.  You better do as well.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2008 in hillary clinton, politics

 

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One cup is one cup.

I am a coffee drinker.  Well decaf.  Still a coffee drinker.  On weekdays, I bring my mugfull of coffee to work.  By 3 pm, I go down to the coffee cart for a second hit. 

On weekends because of the irregular schedule, I usually just have one cup at breakfast.  Too busy to crave for coffee, that’s me on weekends. 

So, one Sunday when I brewed coffee for breakfast I made sure I had made extra for my afternoon craving.  I drink my coffee with whatever I am having for breakfast.  Hubs usually drinks his about half an hour after he finished his breakfast, while reading the Sunday papers.  OJ is his drink of choice for breakfast. 

 I made mention that there is extra coffee after he fills his cup and instructed him to keep it in the fridge as I wanted to have iced coffee later in the day.  I ran my errands, did my chores, surfed online, watched the tube, etc.  I completely forgot my coffee.

At dinner time, I thought I’d have my iced coffee then.  No worry it was decaf.  I fixed it to my taste and added some ice cubes.  When I sat down and drank it, it tasted like blah.  WTF?  I looked at my hubs and told him my coffee tasted like crap, okay it tasted like coffee-flavored water.  He smiled and said, he added water to it because there wasn’t enough left to fill one cup.  One cup is one cup he said.  I expected one cup, one cup is what I got.  Hubs can be funny sometimes.   Oh well, he shared the drink with me. 

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Have you heard American Idol is adding a fourth judge next season?  Is it really to follow the original pattern of the British Pop Idol having four judges or to have some female on the panel that can have a sensible thing to say? 

Do I want this shake up?  I don’t.  If I want to hear something truthful and sensible, I’d want to hear it from Simon anyway.  My take:  if it aint broke, don’t fix it.   What do you think?

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Better late than never post.  I have particularly enjoyed the Olympics this year.  Being a Winter Olympic fanatic, I found myself following the summer version this year.  The last summer Olympics that I remember watching was during the time of the Magnificent Seven, the victorious American gymnasts. 

Anyway, this year, I found myself watching diving, swimming, volleyball, basketball, track and field, rowing, and of course gymnastics.  That Shawn Johnson is too cute, isn’t she?

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2008 in american idol, personal

 

When Weekend Plan Goes Kaput

Funky.  I am in a funk this week.  I don’t know what’s eating me.  A co-worker suggested I’m probably hormonal and to make me feel better she promised to bring me a piece of Red Velvet cake.  Said cake always works as funk-buster around here.  And first thing this morning she was ringing me to say come and get your cake so you can feel better.   So sweet of her.

And because I was in a funk, I thought I’d give myself a much needed stay-at-home-and-do-nothing weekend.  At least a Saturday of doing nothing and watching Olympic games. Or DVDs.  Great plan, don’t you think?

Maybe not a sensible plan considering that in one week, the unofficial end of summer begins when we celebrate Labor Day.  Why not take advantage of summer and greenery before the leaves turn into the magnificent colors of red, brown, and yellow?

But I was hellbent on vege-ing out for the weekend.  Until hubs announced that we are going to Yosemite this weekend with some friends (the berry picking couple included) of his from work.  Hah! I told him about my do-nothing weekend, but he said this would be a better funk buster for me because this is Yosemite, one of my favorite places in the world and I would be able to take a thousand photos again.  Yes, the hubs knows what buttons to push and what to say.  Well, an opportunity to go outdoors and take picture is one I wont say no to.  So, old plan out, new plan in.

I’ll keep you posted on Monday or any time next week if the trip was able to get me back on track. In the mean time, happy weekend!

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Let me just say I admire the courage and determination and strength of Christina Applegate in battling the big C head on.  I also applaud her decision for double mastectomy.  Health (and this case peace of mind) comes first before vanity.

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I have been too in the funk to write something about Ninoy in time for his death anniversary.  Not that I have got a lot to say about this topic but I did have some sidelights, some stories connected with his death.  May he continue to rest in peace. 

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My college roommate Lisa is marking another birthday this Saturday.  Happy, happy birthday my dear Lisa.  More to come.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2008 in personal

 

Can’t Think Of A Title

When I was pulling up to a parking spot at work this morning, I realized that it felt like a lifetime since I went to work instead of just two days/weekend.  I haven’t felt this satisfied with my weekend before.  I felt refreshed as I was leaving my car and of course the first thing that crossed my mind was to blog about this.  This is a documentation that yes I did have a relaxing weekend just being home.  It simply for my sole purpose, you see.  Hence, this post.

So what happened or not happened this weekend that recharged my batteries?  Help me run through my weekend and probably in the end I may discover the secret to a relaxing weekend.

SATURDAY:

  • Woke up the usual time–to the Redeem team facing the Pau Gasol-led Spanish five. 
  • Continued to watch as we fix breakfast, typical for Saturday brunch actually is tater tots straight from the package, two eggs over easy, four pieces of turkey bacon, OJ, and coffee.
  • Run to the Asian grocery store with my mom leaving husband home to clean up the house.
  • Called friends to see if beach combing is still on [the expected high is 61 on Sat at Stinson Beach], they said they’d pass, it’s too cold to go to the beach.  Hubs and I agreed.
  • Change of plans but we still needed to get some fresh air so we decided to drive a few minutes from our place and check out Point Molate where we discovered the East Brother Island Light Station.  We couldn’t get there er, we couldn’t find the way to enter the island, but had a good time driving up to the marina and picking dried flowers along the way. 
  • Hubby got a call from the same friends who begged off beach combing to tell us they were already outside the park. 
  • We reached the park in no time.  Our mission today was blackberry picking. Our friends have friends who live a few feet from the park entrance and have never really gone to this trail that hubs and I take each time.  The beauty of this trail is that while it has a climb to it, once you reach a certain height, there is a sweeping view of the bay and the bridges. 
  • We had a fantastic time picking berries.  This is one of my favorite summer activities.  And this park has plenty of berry bushes scattered every where. 
  • Went home to fix dinner and watch some Olympic games.

SUNDAY:

  • Went to church.  Gospel reading hit me in the middle.
  • Ate breakfast, cereal on Sundays. [we’re a creature of habit when it comes to what’s for breakfasts on weekends]
  • Tackled a mile-high pile of ironing while watching EAGLES FAREWELL TOUR for the nth time.  Hubby was in the backyard sunning himself while surfing.
  • Put on HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY while we both surf.  Very funny movie.  Sometimes, I just want to laugh out loud and not really give a darn tooting to the plot or the believability or even the foul language.
  • Two hours of the movie meant two hours of surfing for me too [wink wink], which meant that I had time to blog!!!!
  • Stop to get IN & OUT burger for snack.  Hubs and I are  not burger lover per se.  But you see my brother gave me a whopping $50 In & Out gift card for my birthday.  Fifty dollars worth of burger and fries!!!!! So we decided to get some burgers, we’re famished by this time.  And lo! I can’t believe that I had forgotten how those freshly cut fries taste like. I used to devour their fries. 
  • After the snack, went to Costco for OJ and cake for my SIL.  Sunday was my SIL’s b/day.  I was 80% sure she and brother went away for the weekend but I was hellbent on delivering her a cake anyway.  I do that every single year.  This time I saw a sinful looking Key Lime Pie which I thought my nephews would love so I picked that up and delivered it to her house.  They were not home, my nephew informed me. 
  • Hubs and I drove around the neighborhood for a bit checking out for sale houses.  We combine online checking with driving around when it comes to house hunting.
  • Went home and decided to make the most delicious pasta ever.  Of course I am biased.  My Iron Chef never fails to impress me with his kitchen skills.  Told him to add chicken breast and enter this recipe in one of those national cooking contests.
  • Watched a portion of the Bob Saget Roast on Comedy Channel.  Hubby left me alone; he’s not into these shows.  He just didn’t get it why I was cackling incessantly.  He took his cue to take a shower.
  • Surf a little [synchronized activity for me and hubby] and visited my fave photoblogs and of course left my mark with comments.

 

So what was it about the weekend that made me come out of it stress-free?  I still don’t get it, but I ain’t sweating it.  I let it be, enjoy the work week, which as far as I can tell is not particularly heavy on the work load.

Here’s hoping you all have a stress-free work week ahead.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2008 in personal

 

Teen Meme

I have been extremely preoccupied with this and that lately folks that is why I haven’t posted any thing in a week.  And my brain is still not functioning fully so I may as well do a meme that I have stumbled upon one day on my bloghopping expeditions. 

Here goes:

1.  If you could go back and tell your teenage self one thing, what would it be?

I’d probably tell myself to lighten up, enjoy high school, worry less, and it’s okay to be a geek.  Well, that’s more than one thing right there. 

2.  Did you  do any extra curricular activities in high school?

I did girl scout for two years, participated in declamation, brain whiz contests, spelling bees, and participated and directed in school programs.

3.  What did you do with your free time?

I don’t remember.  But I was into letter writing during those times.  Well, I did hang out with my friends and spent a lot of time at church.  We befriended the priest and the deacon and we were there every free time away from school.  We cleaned the pews, swept the yards and of course raided the church’s fruit trees for snacks.

4.  Coolest thing you did as a teenager?

I thought directing the Christmas Program for the entire school on my senior year was cool.  Directing and writing [and acting too] our comedy skit for the Talent Night at the Boys and Girls Scouts campfire night was cool too. 

5.  Did you have a boyfriend in high school?

No.  It was not the “in” thing to do at that time.  Plus, there wasn’t anyone I wanted enough to be my boyfriend.

6.   Songs that come to mind?

Ocean Deep, Lisa’s favorite; Love at Second Sight, my favorite at that time.  I cannot remember anything.

7.   If you could change one thing, what would it be?

In college I belonged to a clique.  We were not the mean girls, but sort of.  On the side, I started to hang with this girl who has a little bit of problem, scent-wise.  I believed it was a clinical problem.  Anyway, my regular friends showed off their fangs (not all of them, there were 10 of us in the group), and sort of bullied me into stopping seeing her.  I resisted, but eventually I did stop seeing her.  I did not explain why I stopped showing up.  My regret.

8.   What did you think you would be when you grew up?

When we were fourteen, my bestfriends Gina and Aura and I were in a room together and were talking nonsense.  We were daydreaming when we were supposed to be studying.  Anyway, we all believed at that time that when we grow up we’ll all be in the United States living close to each other.  Yes, we all are here but not too close to get together for coffee.  I don’t remember having dreams at all, I mean I have always wanted to write something.  I had ideas and stories up here but putting them in paper was the problem.

9.  Craziest thing you did in high school?

I was very straight in high school.  I never did anything interesting at all, least of all crazy.  Oh, I cut my hair short a few months before graduation that was totally out of character and raised a buzz in school.

10.  Picture of self.

I have no picture of myself from high school.  May be next time.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

A taste of Burma

I cant remember how long we wanted to eat there. We have heard good reviews of the place. Plus, we have been dying to find out and taste Burmese cuisine. So on my birthday after taking in a day game at AT&T Park, we decided to go and check the place out. This was not the original plan. We initially intended to eat at neighboring Troya, a Turkish-Mediterranean place which also garnered good reviews. However, once we had parked the car and was crossing the street towards Troya, we had a change of heart. Or a change of appetite. In an instant we no longer have a taste for kebabs and wraps and dolma, etc, but found our stomach craving for something different, something untested, something from Burma Superstar.

Luckily at 15 past 5 pm on a Wednesday, the often full to the rafters restaurant had two tables vacant. I can’t understand why because there are people milling outside of the small restaurant obviously waiting to get in. They may have been waiting for more dinner companions. Lucky for us then. We were seated immediately next to a couple who were 3/4 of the way with their dinner.

The place is small, really small. Its dining space looks like smaller than a normal two-car carage. The walls were decorated with artifacts, Burmese arts and crafts and With the restriction in space, there was very little elbow room and if you have to get up for some reason, there is little maneuver space. But all this is minor because once you’re seated, you will not even think of getting up, unless you’re leaving. Plus, you will take time reading the items on your menu. For a first-timer, I was reading them all including all the ingredients.

There were about five people one is more like a buss boy than a server looking after the 15 or so tables. One table is a big round one at the corner next to the kitchen that may be can fit 8 people. At that time it was occupied by a group of 20-something Asians. The other tables were meant for two, but some were put side by side to accommodate group diners.

Once we put in our order, not 10 minutes passed and here were our TEA LEAF SALAD and SAMUSA SOUP, both of which were featured on Food Network, according to the menu. Yes, it said that. The samusa soup is also featured in Bay Area Backroads, one of my favorite local shows. The tea leaf salad is amazing, anything with peanut or nut is devoured by me without hesitation and with much gusto and was prepared/mixed on the table by a server who educates the eater about the salad. The combination of all the ingredients was perfect. The samusa soup was made up of broken samusas and with falafels, etc. It was spicy hot for my taste, but I gulped it all up, because the combination of flavors was simply enjoyable. It was that yummy. And the heat remains in your mouth long after you have devoured your soup.

The servers pass by the table and asks if everything is okay. We smiled and said oh yeah. I like that. I like being asked how the food was. This is not fussing is it?

We ordered Spicy Lamb and Okra Egg Curry for our entrees. These did not come with rice so we ordered two kinds—cinnamon basmati rice [yummy] and coconut white rice [creamy]. The Spicy lamb has a notation on the menu that this could not be prepared mild. So spicy it was. My husband can tolerate spicy hot food and I am just starting to appreciate it. But they were not kidding when they said it was spicy. It was full of spice alright, but it was HOTTTT too. I mean really hot for my liking.  The thinly sliced lamb meat was juicy and tender, perfectly cooked. The creamy coconut rice came as a perfect match with this dish as it quashes the heat a little bit. The heat generated by the samusa soup still lingered on my mouth prior to the intake of the spicy lamb so you can just imagine the heat. It was delicious. No wonder people are giving it favorable reviews.  I was not particularly crazy with the Okra Egg Curry as okra happens to be one of my least favorite food, but the rest of the dish was okay. 

We did order just one specialty drink–they called it that. I could taste beer and lemon and some bitters and syrup. It was nothing to write home about really.

However, the experience was wonderful. The crowd eclectic. Next table was a 70-something couple, Greek [they sounded Greek to me and that is not a figurative speak] who marveled us at their tolerance for spicy food. Okay, so they probably did not order the spicy lamb, but the other dishes have a little bit of heat too. Anyway, I think it’s safe to say that this little superstar in the lesser-known tourist area of Outer Richmond [Clement and near 4th St] had hit a home run with my husband and me. We would surely return, as long as we don’t have to wait for our tables. It is no wonder the crowd of people we see waiting outside each time we pass by, they have every reason to wait for a superb meal.

I learned that Burmese cuisine is a combination of Indian, Thai, and Chinese cuisines. Very gooood.

 (Photo borrowed from:http://onokinegrindz.typepad.com/ono_kine_grindz/burmese/index.html)

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2008 in personal, review

 

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August Sixth.

Early post.  I might be busy tomorrow.

Here it comes again, my annual personal anniversary.  You know what I am talking about.  My birtday of course.  Well, I don’t intend to flaunt my age; I never did even when I was in my teens.  For some reason I was never comfortable announcing my age, at any age I was in.  Okay go ahead and go Freudian on me, but I stopped counting somewhere after 30.  I even once stopped to think how old I was when asked by a nurse at a doctor’s clinic a few years ago.  I admitted to her that I stopped counting; hence the hesitation and mental calculation.  She laughed.

So here comes another one.  I am thankful for another year, for  relatively healthy years passed and praying for more healthy years ahead. 

What is it about birthdays that people get into a celebratory mood?  I have never really gone gaga over planning for a big to-do.  I know my folks gave me a first birthday party attended by neigborhood kids.  I don’t remember; the pictures say I had people over; my brothers mentioned their playmates were around.

On my thirteenth birthday party, my mother begged me to invite some people over.  I did on short notice and my mom fixed a few things for them.  We have pictures to remember that day.  It was not a celebration; it was more like I had people over for snacks.

When I turned 18 I was in Manila at the dorm, my father died  8 months earlier.  I never intended to do anything for my birthday but I woke up sobbing.  My father visited me in my dreams.  Then a wonderful cake was delivered to the dorm from Brother #2.  I can’t remember what I did for my 18th, but I believed it was a school day.

Last year, as with the past years, I took a day off.  We are allowed [even encouraged as we are given 2 days a year as our personal holidays, mostly taken on birthdays] to take a day off on our birthdays.  I stayed at home but hubby could not get a day off but he showed up at lunch time with a cake.  And that was last year.

This year, hubby and I are taking a day off.  I am actually approved to take three days off; I am still thinking about the extra two days.  We’ll probably see a game, the Braves are in town and since the Giants suck this year and it’s a weekday day game I am guessing there’ll be plenty of tickets for walk up patrons.  I vetoed hubby’s idea of getting tickets online.  I thought we might change our plans.  And there’s this Mediterranean-Turkish restaurant we want to check out in the Richmond District, think it would be a good idea to get something to eat there.  I also wanted to walk the length of Mission District for some photo ops.

OTHER AUGUST BORN:  I share a birthday with Gary Valenciano, David Duchovny is August 7 and Gillian Anderson is August 9.   I was stoked when I found out Scully and Mulder and I are August born, yay!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2008 in personal