Wednesday, November 19, 2008

blessings

our company received authorization to perform an assessment for a family who has three children with mental retardation and congenital muscular dystrophy. another coordinator and myself sat down with the mother for two and a half hours this afternoon for our initial interview. this amazing woman had nothing but life and hope in her eyes and voice. hearing all the idiosyncrasies about each individual child was heart warming. she gets on the topic of a few recent misfortunes involving some of her close friends - their home burning down, a close friend passing away and leaving two young children behind - and she talks about blessings...and how fortunate her life is. you hear about putting things in perspective all the time, but hearing this incredible mother speak really put everything into its correct place.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

presidents and gentlemen

the blogger gods heard my rant from last night! i was at the very same starbucks at approximately the same time as yesterday. i was looking for a place to work before my last session. my hands were full with my students' binders, my laptop bag was falling off my shoulder, and i was holding a cup of coffee while trying to sit down at a table. a man at the table in front of me got up, took my coffee to place it on the table, then did the same with the binders. we had a lovely conversation about what i do for a living and how his cousin has autism as well. then we both went back to working. well-mannered men are still out there, and i am thankful for that.

congratulations, president obama. congratulations, america.

"courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage."
-theodore roosevelt

Monday, November 3, 2008

angry

i know that this blog was meant to focus on the positive moments that occur during my day. i have an exception today, and it's worth mentioning because it bothered me so much. i was sitting in starbucks on a drizzly, gloomy afternoon. the coffeehouse was packed with people trying to warm up with a cup of joe. this lady ordered over 6 hot beverages, carrying a double stack of drink carriers. she was obviously struggling while approaching the door, and what does the man in front of her do? he steps to the side. doesn't even think about opening the door for her...ass!

then later that evening, i took out a large bag of trash, and a full grocery bag of cans and bottles to be recycled. a few bottles fall on the ground as i walk out. there's a man talking on the phone in the parking lot, with a clear view and earshot of my clumsiness. i walk closer to the lot, with my hands full, needing to pull the door open to get to the lot where the trash chute is located, and what does this man do? he steps even further away from the door, and as i walk towards the trash chute, he exits from the very door i entered...ass!

my happy thought is to appreciate the true gentlemen out there. the small handful that there are!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

beer, beer, beer...oh yeah, and boarding!

ry got us tickets to the sf ski and snowboard expo. it also happened to be a beer tasting event as well. we thought we'd be able to find some good deals, but the prices and the crowded lines weren't really worth it. we did get to sample quite a few beers and got two free lift tickets!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

little miss sunshine

1) the first week of october, 16 days into fall, and the sun was shining today! that has to be one of the top reasons people move out to california!
2) james sent this picture of pey today. she's about 8 months now...i spent most of the weekend with her, and she still occupies a lot of my thoughts! this picture is hilarious though. it captures a lot of this girl's character.
3) world smile day celebrates the ever popular yellow smiley. it also offers us an opportunity to do an act of kindness. the intent of world smile day is to do an act of kindness, or help one person to smile. harvey ball, a commercial artist from worcester, massachusetts is said to have created the smiley face in 1963.
4) the second presidential debate aired today at 6pm. it's embarrassing to admit that i have never voted, nor participated in a presidential election. being 30 now, and somewhat responsible, it is crucial that i partake in the election process come november. in so doing, i would like to make the most educated decision as possible which is why i chose to pay close attention to this evening's debate. i will definitely tune in for the third debate come october 15th.
5) this may not be the perfect segue from the presidential candidates, but new kids on the block are going to be in san jose on friday!
6) noralie sent me a link to a song that she recorded on myspace today. she had written a song influenced by her love and passion for the hawaiian culture. she sang it at steve's party on sunday. her voice is still as amazing as it was when she would sing in high school. it was the first time i have seen and heard her sound purely happy in a while.
7) james got me hooked on a game on espn.com, cameraman football . there are two pictures of a football play side by side and you're supposed to find five differences in the pictures within a certain time frame. the leading scores are ridiculous - scores that i will never achieve! but all in all, it's quite entertaining and addicting.
8) this month is breast cancer awareness month. the disease itself is not a happy one at all, but as i was shopping in safeway today, the employees rallied to raise a certain goal within the hour. they were quite enthusiastic and appreciative of any donation. it was inspirational to say the least.
9) jessica sent a family photo album labeled "fall" today. her family keeps growing, and the pictures keep looking more and more like they should be in some magazine.
10) i certainly don't appreciate all the freedoms that come with being an american. it's something that i feel like i take for granted. my rights are undoubtedly what i have to be happy for everyday.

Monday, October 6, 2008

life is sweet

1) vodka collins, or ketel collins to be exact. i have jill to thank for introducing this delightful beverage into my life.
2) pewter necklace with "love" engraved
3) san diego zoo has a panda cam widget. i can see these cuties 24/7 from my macbook.
4) a great scene from sex and the city is when miranda and carrie are sitting on a bench outside of new york's magnolia bakery, licking pink frosting off cupcakes they devour.
5) i came across this site on stumbleupon: 50 ways to chill. i have to figure out a time to read through some of the suggestions one day.
6) green apple gummies sprinkled with li hing mui, one of my favorite candies courtesy of marianne.
7) love this sign. i'm the exact opposite of ryan. i haven't worn a watch since the 4th grade, as if i even needed to be wearing one at that age seeing that i didn't have a ton of places i needed to be! be it the principle of style or punctuality, i do not feel the need to sport one.
8) love you forever, written by robert munsch, is a short story about the evolving relationship between a boy and his mother. so sweet and tender and always leaves me choked up a bit when i read it.
9) in the spirit of halloween, these adorable ghosts are created by smothering melted marshmallows over pears. mini chocolate chips for the eyes finish off this spooky treat.
10) it's so cliché to say "life is too short" but it's so true as well. might as well live life as sweet as you can.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

there's no place like home...

1) more lego building with yz
2) yz and i having fun with photobooth on my macbook equals non-stop laughter for both of us
3) i love trader joe's!
4) commercials for habitat for humanity with the catchy phrase "that's what makes a house a home"
5) back in my "fear of commitment" days, this song from cake would have been my theme song..."let me go and i will want you more"
6) mongo guisado - mung beans with vegetables and pork. yes, i'm a fob. but this dish is the epitome of comfort food and is the best meal to eat whenever i return back home.
7) i printed this picture of mom and dad by the golden gate bridge and had it framed for them.
8) it pains me to spend more than $100 on myself, especially for things that aren't essential. but my ugg cardy boots are an indulgence that i just couldn't resist!
9) if i am feeling very homesick, there is no way i can listen to michael buble's home without tearing up. may be surrounded by a million people i still feel all alone i just wanna go home.
10) a man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. - george moore

Thursday, September 4, 2008

fee, fi, pho, fum!

1) the defending super bowl champion new york giants kick off the 2008 nfl season for thursday night football.
2) apple gave ry a few recyclable grocery totes which i have found a multitude of functions for them.
3) barbie's dream house - was on my christmas wishlist for a few consecutive years, proving that i actually grew up as a girl.
4) a magnificent ring!
5) i am quite serious about writing a song about my feelings for pho. i miss authentically divine mexican food living in the bay area, but when i visit san diego, i have cravings for this vietnamese beef noodle soup that no restaurant can quench.
6) before i met ry, this picture would just resonate andre the giant, wwf champion who wrestled greats like hulk hogan, bret "the hitman" hart, big john studd, and jake "the snake" roberts. turns out his picture is linked to shepard fairey's obey propoganda.
7) heroes - currently one of my favorite tv shows.
8) james and the giant peach - one of my favorite books as a child, and a cute film back in '96.
9) sam the cooking guy's original recipe of goat cheese, sauteed spinach and porcini mushroom pizza replicated by my favorite chef, ryan.
10) standing at barely 5 foot tall, i am no giant by any means. i used to hate being so short during my childhood days but as i am accepting of the cards that were dealt to me, i must admit that i've embraced my petiteness.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

getting high

1) maui skies - although this is a spectacular view, clear blue skies with a slight breeze through palm leaves, i should have taken a picture of maui's sky at night. the stars were endless and gave you the illusion that they were twinkling a mere ten feet above your head. nature, man...it's underrated.
2) freckles - growing up, i've always been a bit self-conscious about the lightly brown sprinkle of freckles on my face. i've grown to not only accept them, but love them, as they seem to be a well-known characteristic of my appearance.
3) swingers - so many memorable quotes from this movie. my favorite conversation would have to be between mikey and rob, that goes a little something like this:
rob: you don't look at the things that you have, you only look at the stuff that you don't have. those guys are right about you - you're money.
mike: then why won't she call?
rob: she won't call because you left. she's got her own life to deal with, man, and that's in new york... alright? and she's a sweet girl, and i love her to pieces, but fuck her, man. you gotta get on with your life. you gotta let go of the past. and mikey, when you do, i'm telling you: the future is beautiful, alright? look out the window. it's sunny every day here. it's like manifest destiny. don't tell me we didn't make it. we made it! we are here. and everything that is past is prologued to this. all of the shit that didn't kill us is only - you know, all that shit. you're gonna get over it.
mike: how did you get over it? i mean, how long did it take?
rob: sometimes it still hurts. you know how it is, man. it's like, you wake up every day and it hurts a little bit less, and then you wake up one day and it doesn't hurt at all. and the funny thing is, is that, this is kinda weird, but it's like, it's like you almost miss that pain.
mike: you miss the pain?
rob: yeah, for the same reason that you missed her... because you lived with it for so long.
money.
4) john legend - he's definitely on my list to see in concert. blessed with a voice full of soul and skilled at playing beautifully melodic tunes on the piano, john legend won me over with his song so high.
5) fashion alices - i've got a bit of a fascination with the whole alice in wonderland theme. as previously mentioned, the disney film and lewis carroll's book make up a big portion of my childhood. now in my thirties, this same theme has taken a more sophisticated approach in that it has evolved into fashion! this is an evening gown by designer, robert cary-williams, that is covered with illustrations from the classic.
6) reef flip-flops - i bought a brown pair three years ago in oahu. out of the 30+ pairs of shoes that i have, my reefs get the most use.
7) riesling - thanks to noralie, my love for the riesling wine was developed. between our maui trip and dinners involved for ryan's birthday, we've ordered a few bottles of dr.loosen's reisling. although i've never met a riesling wine that i didn't like, his seems the crispest and sweetest.
8) chicago - skyscraper day, celebrated on september 3rd, is a day to appreciate and admire the world's tallest skyscrapers. the sears tower ranks fourth in the world's tallest buildings, built in 1974 and hovering 1,451 feet in the air. i would probably consider chicago my mid-west home away from home.
9) shade - again, another form of mother nature's nurturing features.
10) “a girl without freckles is like a night without stars”...such a lovely quote.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

baby

1) johnson's baby powder
2) 1000 piece disney mosaic puzzles
3) extra virgin olive oil
4) seattle's crumpet shop
5) braces
6) wheat paste art
7) dreamworks' kung fu panda
8) kimora lee simmons' life in the fab lane
9) love actually
10) babies are born with very poor vision but can recognize their mothers almost right away.

Monday, September 1, 2008

dancing in september

1) september by earth, wind and fire - this song gets me excited for so many reasons. i love that it's a song about my birthmonth. i love that if this song plays during a wedding, the dance floor fills up. i love that at the age of 4, cj requested this song in everyone's car.
2) spa week - a list of deals from local spas are sent to your e-mail all week.
3) ichat - the ability to "meet" with people from the comfort of your own home.
4) asparagus risotto - a creamy dose of carbohydrates.
5) macanudo cigars - americas best selling and most popular cigar brand known for its mild flavor and body.
6) oprah - she's coming to san francisco's metreon!
7) philips sonicare toothbrush - helps remove plaque, whiten teeth and improve gum health, giving you a clean you can feel.
8) ukulele - as the strings of a guitar is plucked, so are my heartstrings for my sentiments of hawaii.
9) bike - a playful way to spend my afternoon session with justin.
10) mayo clinic researchers report that dancing helps to reduce stress, increase energy, improve strength and increase muscle tone and coordination. additionally, the national heart, lung and blood institute (NHLBI) says that dancing can lower your risk of coronary heart disease, decrease blood pressure, help you manage your weight, and strengthen the bones of your legs and hips. why not spend a night or two this month dancing in september?!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

illprepared

1) i worked with r today. in the past, he's demonstrated aversive behaviors associated with fine motor tasks, including tracing. behaviors such as dropping his body to the floor, throwing crayons across the room, defiantly scribbling on the worksheet...he traced his name beautifully today! without frustration or reluctance. i was quite taken back.
2) ry and i joke about creating a dictionary of our inside phrases and meanings. "frogs" refers to an unlady like behavior which i perform quite frequently.
3) i'm a fast food junkie, i'll admit that i am. with my job, and my lack of planning skills, i lived in and out of drive-thru restaurant windows for consecutive weeks at a time. to minimize my fat intake (and guilt), i would order the kid's meal. i got this happy meal toy a few months back but just opened it this past weekend to see if it would interest any of my kids. if you push the microphone up to the figure's mouth it plays a little beat. more of a novelty item for ry and i. the song's been stuck in my head all day!
4) what my kids snack on typically generate my cravings. last year, i favored gluten free pretzels from whole foods. this month, it's calbee's snapea crisps. these crispy bites originate from sun-dried peas and are baked which gives them their light and airy quality. very addicting...
5) in many ways, i am very female...i'm sensitive and emotional, i nurture my students, i love a good cosmo. in many ways, i am very non-female in that i do not accessorize. i don't wear much jewelry save a meaningful necklace. i have only one pair of sunglasses. i wear scarves functionally and not so much for fashion. and, i purchased my first belt this year! when i went down to san diego in june, i wore my favorite pair of citizens jeans with a tube top. my ensemble seemed to be missing something, so i grabbed cindy's brown woven belt. it was the perfect accessory and i've been on a mission to find one that is just as flattering on my hips!
6) although i still value a good cheeseburger or plate of carne asada chips, ry has influenced my thoughts on fine dining. for the first time, i watched a full episode of check please, bay area on pbs today. the program sends out three people to the same restaurant and discusses their opinions about the dishes on the show. stimulating debate among the diners which, in turn, causes the viewers to formulate a final answer by tasting the food themselves.
7) so after all those mock drafts yesterday, i still wasn't ready for my espn draft. i didn't care much for the application used for the live draft. it didn't list out all the picks that were chosen and what each team looked like. i'm such a visual learner, that these missing components threw me off. it was my first online draft so that in itself was pretty exciting. i'll be ready for tomorrow!
8) i fell in love with the west highland white terrier during the oscars last february when a cesar's dog food commercial aired. i saw a second commercial for the product this afternoon. this dog is adorable - it has so much personality and animation!
9) as much as i love to give my thighs and legs a golden tan, i love long boardshorts. this is a pair of billabong teacher's pet boardshorts. an eye-catching color scheme and a classic madras plaid print...wish i had these while we were milling around maui.
10) most of the names in my cell phone are coded. it worries me that if i ever lost my phone, a complete stranger would have access to all the names and numbers listed. ryan's name is saved under "boyscout"...he is always prepared. i constantly tease that he is. i like not always preparing for things and wait for them to happen, but i am also grateful that in those moments where being prepared is essential, i have my boyscout with me.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

are you ready for some football?

1) the nfl kicks off on thursday, september 4th! i'm in two fantasy football leagues - one with the family and one with ry's friends because they were struggling to get ten teams to join. i was hooked on mock drafts on fantasyfootballcalculator.com all day today! literally, hours of entertainment.
2) san miguel beer is the leading beer in the philippine and hong kong markets. in general, this beer is on the lighter side. with college football starting today, ry and i kept up the tradition of beer and football. the san miguel light beers, purchased at trader joe's, came in handy this afternoon.
3) labor day is meant to celebrate the millions of men and women in the nation's work force. in 1894, president cleveland made a campaign promise to enact the holiday to win votes and he followed through with his promise. it is celebrated on the first monday in september. ironically, i will be working that day but with an agreeable and voluntary attitude!
4) my kids finished their first week of school. i was surprised with how well all of them adjusted to being back at school - most of them with new teachers and aides in unfamiliar classrooms. nonetheless, they managed to get through the week with minimal disruptive behaviors.
5) candles instantly change the mood of a room. ry's aunt and uncle bought me this jo malone candle last christmas. it has been put to good use, to say the least! it has been used for ambiance purposes, to mask odors around the house and even to wax ryan's snowboard!
6) this school year, i anticipate that i will need to use a calendar more than i've needed to in the past five years. seeing that i have 9 cases in 6 different school districts, i have been consistently updating my schedule on my ical application.
7) have i mentioned that football season is upon us? being a lakers fan for nearly two deacades, i am accustomed to close call, buzzer beater, blood pressure rising games! as dominating of a force that sc football is, games don't usually play out this way. when the score is 35-0 by the second half, more than likely it is usc's band that keeps me amused.
8) every labor day weekend in reno, competitive chefs vie for the best in the west title in the rib cook off. i went several years back with ron. imagine a huge outdoor party dedicated to cooking and eating ribs! jill and kevin went this year. we were supposed to join them but our plates were full - pardon the pun!
9) i came across this website dayswithmyfather.com. philip toledano documents what daily life is like with his 98-year old father after his mother passed away. the photographs are simple but powerful, depicting moments of struggle, somber and sheer joy. the descriptions of the photos are equally moving. should none of those reasons persuade you to check out the website and/or you possess no soul at all, the navigation on the site is worth exploring.
10) the great vince lombardi said, "football is like life, it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority." couldn't agree more.

Friday, August 29, 2008

hot child in the city

1) playing legos with y this afternoon.
2) with temperatures reaching the 90s, so thankful for air conditioning in the car and apartment.
3) kimi got ry tickets to a preseason nfl game for his birthday. we watched the niners vs. the chargers tonight.
4) my white pair of chuck taylors...timeless.
5) since tanning on the beaches of maui, i happened to pick up too much sun in certain areas. nothing a little aloe vera won't fix.
6) since moving into our apartment, i've been looking for ways to decorate our walls but capture a bit of my personality. this panda/flower wall decal seems to sum it up!
7) a sincere compliment, regardless of it coming from a creepy pervert, is a compliment nonetheless.
8) i have the tendency to fall off the fastfood wagon several times a year, leaving the drive thru with a feeling of guilt. however, on hot days like today, an orange hi-c from mcdonald's leaves me with zero remorse.
9) perry como's papa loves mambo reminds me of niko dancing in the living room in our 1595 house. some of my best saturday mornings.
10) i don't ever remember it being "too hot" in the summer as a child. perhaps we're so engaged with fascinating, carefree activities that rising temperatures go unnoticed.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

feeling weary

1) t-shirt with the asl symbol for "fly".
2) shaun tollerton's web design of london at night.
3) coach's newest line of bags named zoe and peyton.
4) dangling earrings.
5) today's clip of unnecessary knowledge.
6) everybody's changing from keane.
7) a canvas bag with a mustache.
8) "and boom goes the dynamite"...words uttered by news reporter, brian collins.
9) human version of a sunday on la grande jatte by georges seurat.
10) "the truth is more important than the facts." - frank lloyd wright

Sunday, August 24, 2008

the french laundry

1) lunch at the french laundry to celebrate ryan's 30th birthday.
2) the signature french laundry clothespin clipped to each perfectly pressed white napkin.
3) some type of fish atop a bed of seasonal vegetables.
4) wagyu beef that tasted more like meatloaf to me. i ended up giving half to ry.
5) a "deconstructed blt" i believe was my exact description of this dish.
6) passionfruit sorbet with crisped rice as a palate cleanser.
7) a special dessert for a special birthday.
8) an item on fl's secret menu, ry was clever enough to order the coffee and doughnuts at the beginning of our meal.
9) the french laundry garden in yountville.
10) despite my horrendous culinary vernacular and leaving the restaurant $800 poorer and my dress unzipped halfway down my back, this was the best meal that ry and myself have experienced.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

vegas, baby! vegas!!!

1) staying at melanie's timeshare just a shuttlebus away from the strip.
2) the first time marianne, myself, melanie and theresa have been together in months.
3) lunch at espn zone in new york, new york.
4) lounging outside in front of the pool with a lazy river.
5) melanie's brilliant idea to stop and pose by the infamous las vegas sign - a first for all of us!
6) giant slot machine in the paris casino.
7) who wants to be a millionaire?
8) sipping peach bellinis in the bellagio hotel.
9) walking the strip and showing off some leg.
10) thankful for melanie for organizing the entire trip. fortunate to have good friends to chip in a few bucks to have mare fly back to sd earlier to spend some time with her family. bewildered that we spent five hours in the car, not turning on the radio once, and even more shocking, not even noticing it until we arrived in vegas. grateful for best friends.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

top chefs

1) the first annual food and wine event at pebble beach march 27-30, 2008.
2) charles phan of the slanted door.
3) hubert keller of fleur de lys.
4) yoichi saito chef de cuisine at roy's at pebble beach.
5) elizabeth falkner from citizen cake.
6) tre wilcox, contestant from top chef.
7) ted allen, television personality on food network and occasional guest judge on top chef.
8) ming tsai from blue ginger and several cooking shows.
9) tom colicchio from gramercy tavern and new york and several others.
10) a weekend of volunteering turned into celebrity glitz with sampling of tasty snacks.

Friday, March 28, 2008

at your service

1) the polar bear is classified as a marine mammal. its feet are partially webbed for swimming, and its fur is water-repellent. even though a polar bears fur looks white it is actually colorless and is made with hollow tubes that scatter light and give a white appearance. the hollow tubes help the bear to stay warm by channeling the sun's energy directly to the bear's skin.
2) ry and i went down to pebble beach for our first volunteer shift at the first annual food and wine event. given the fact that it was an inaugural event, there was serious chaos from the get go! when we arrived at the spanish inn, the volunteer coordinator did not have our assignments ready. after an hour or so of lingering, the staff at roy's assigned us our duties for the day. we got to sit in during a staff meeting before the lunch service and listened to some great chefs share the details of their amazing culinary masterpieces. elizabeth faulkner, charles phan and roy yamaguchi were among the distinguished gourmets.
3) we passed on the boxed lunches that were provided for the event volunteers and headed down to pacific grove for a bite. we went to the red house cafe for lunch. we both ordered the corn chowder soup. as usual, ry had a chicken breast sandwich and i had the warm tomato mozzarella sandwich.
4) ahh...oscar de la hoya. he is such a charismatic, alluring figure. back in college, i noticed that his fights were usually scheduled the saturday near my birthday. in fact, for my 21st birthday, we just so happened to be in vegas at the same time. definitely one of my most embarrassing moments involves this iconic boxer. james had told me that de la hoya was on the cover of a playgirl magazine. so we headed to the bookstore in the mall so i could purchase it. the salesperson didn't have any more copies, so she had to retrieve the issue they had on display on the wall. to add insult to injury, i was then asked to show some i.d. to prove i was over 18 years old in order to purchase it!
5) i ordered an apple juice with my lunch this afternoon. the juice that was served was a cloudier version. it tasted great but what i didn't realize was that the appearance of the juice was the result of a more natural form of the beverage, therefore not undergoing the additional processing that its "clearer" counterpart experiences. the final product generates a juice with more antioxidants.
6) three good rules to keep in mind to provide exceptional customer service are 1) listen to your customers, 2) deal with complaints, and 3) be helpful, even if there's no immediate profit in it. with the abundant amount of chaos at the food and wine lunch event, the staff at roy's definitely complied to these rules.
7) 1 in 4 children has a vision problem that can interfere with learning. there's this commercial that makes me laugh. check yearly see clearly is a campaign which promotes eye exams and vision care for children. there's this boy who has poor vision and exhibits this problem by throwing a basketball eight feet to the left of the basketball hoop. or mistakes a squirrel for a dog. reminds me of some of the crazy things i experience without my contacts or glasses!
8) i wish i had the desire to wear a fedora when i had long hair. it doesn't quite look right with my bob haircut. but the sight of one of these hats always seems to catch my eye!
9) ry and i had steak for dinner tonight - filipino style. soy sauce and a squeeze of lemon is the way i like to eat my steak.
10) march 28 celebrates something on a stick day...i experience a mix of happiness and childlike memories when i'm snacking on something on a stick - corndogs, popsicles, chicken skewers, shrimp kebabs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

raw

1) edible arrangements specializes in creating delicious fruit designs filled with fresh strawberries, pineapple, grapes, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, bananas and pears. the first time i saw one of these exquisite creations was at a event on maiden lane in san francisco to kick off fashion week. the arrangement was quite eye-catching and impressive, and the fruit was heavenly.
2) as corny and tasteless as the writing is, i cannot resist an austin powers flick! i love the overwhelmingly crude innuendos and comedic one-liners. i guess its raunchiness is what makes it what it is – a movie that obviously shouldn’t be taken seriously but one that is filled with refreshing comedy that will have you laughing the entire time.
3) poke is hawaiian for "section" or "to slice or cut". the modern form of poke consists of roughly one-inch cubes of raw fish garnished with a selection of seaweed, chopped scallions, chopped onion, soy sauce and a variety of other components. although you can use mussels, crabs or octopus for your poke, i prefer ahi. no contest, the best poke i’ve ever had was in hawaii.
4) cindy introduced these series of books to me. kokology is the study of kokoro which in japanese means "mind" or "spirit". the series of kokology books were created by isamu saito, a professor at rissho and waseda universities in japan and an author of a number of bestselling books regarding psychology and relationships. the books present a series of psychological games and hypotheticals that are designed to reveal one's hidden attitudes about sex, family, love, work, and other elements of one's life. it is essentially a game of self-discovery that can provide interesting, and often hilarious insight by answering questions to seemingly innocent topics. these tests are fun on road trips or breaking the ice (i.e. the first few e-mails that ryan and i exchanged when we first started dating!).
5) when i went to vancouver, i had the best lox cream cheese bagel at granville island. topped with capers and cucumbers, it was the perfect piece of cured salmon.
6) so i guess i must like grape juice a lot since it was a happy thought about a week ago. besides the antioxidant factor, what else can i say…? research, while still in the early stages, suggests that the antioxidants in grape juice may also protect brain cells directly. for example, experiments at tufts university suggest that grape juice may improve the strength, memory, and coordination of laboratory rats.
7) i found this specialty school on yelp.com. the national holistic institute is a massage school that offers 50-minute massages for the price of $35, or $25 when they have specials. my back is in desperate need for some serious rubbing!
8) tetris is a video puzzle game originally designed and programmed by alexey pajitnov in june 1985, while working for the dorodnicyn computing centre of the academy of science of the ussr in moscow. he derived its name from the greek numerical prefix "tetra-", as all of the pieces contain four segments, and tennis, pajitnov's favorite sport. loved this game back in the day, and currently prefer to play the original version of this game.
9) i’ve been wanting to go to sugar, butter, flour for a while now. i finally did today and took home an individual dessert – a chocolate truffle cake. so rich but so yummy!
10) today is national joe day, a chance to change your name if only for today. i have ambivalent feelings towards my name…there are times when i wish it was more feminine, had more than one syllable or didn’t rhyme with too many words. i love the meaning of my name…God is gracious. back in 1926, my name was ranked 12th for popularity.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

young at heart

1) mr. men is a series of 52 (only 43 published in english) children's books by roger hargreaves started in 1971. little miss was an accompanying series of 39 (only 30 published in english) books by the same author with female characters that started in 1981. each book in the original mr. men and little miss series introduced a different title character and their single dominant trait in order to convey a double simple moral lesson. i remember veronna introducing us to these characters while she was in college. she had a coloring book if i can recall. these tiny books make for great personal gifts.
2) i had a session with y this afternoon. i’m so glad that i’m working in the home with him now because, after almost a year, i finally feel like i’ve gained some value. he loves silly things – saying the opposite of what you mean, hiding things in silly spots, turning things upside-down. we used my cell phone to take a picture of us.
3) the first balloon was invented by brazilian-born portuguese priest, bartolomeu de gusmão. the rubber balloon was invented by michael faraday in 1824; it was inflated with hydrogen and used in his experiments with that element. the more familiar latex balloons of today were first manufactured in london, 1847, by j.g. ingram, but mass production did not occur until the 1930s. as blithe as balloons that float through the air, these magical spheres spark up carefree memories of my youth. to this day, if someone is passing out balloons, i will take one just to feel those lighthearted days of childhood through the touch of a thread.
4) if someone told me that i would be getting paid for drawing cars with sidewalk chalk, i would’ve told them they were crazy! that’s what y and i did this afternoon. it striked up some great language samples with him…it’s amazing how people perform when the proper motivation is present.
5) here’s another humorous gadget i found on the ‘net. it’s a calculator disguised as a chocolate bar. very cute!
6) i think i found this plush set on redenvelope.com there are six different emotions on each character – grateful, scared, shy, hurt, jealous and loved. designed to develop a child’s emotional vocabulary, these characters can be used teach expression through the use of puppetry and play.
7) i like the vibrant color and mellifluous movement in this picture of jellyfish. a fascinating fact about jellyfish is that they do not have a brain, heart, bones or eyes.
8) ryan cooked katsu curry for dinner tonight. it was nice to come home to a kitchen filled with wonderful aromas of pork cutlet, carrots, potatoes and a killer curry sauce!
9) ok, i don’t think i would ever consider buying these, but these bear gloves are pretty entertaining to look at!
10) “the heart that loves is always young.” forget anti-wrinkle cream or the acai berry. all you need is love!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

springtime

1) rebel yell reflects the nostalgia of a childhood spent in the glory days of the late 70’s and early 80’s. andi ballard, designer of rebel yell clothing, set out to create a line of clothing reminiscent of the styles she grew up with: playful, comfortable and all things vintage. i love her line because of the “ry” logo. :)
2) operation is a battery-operated game of physical skill that tests players’ hand-eye co-ordination. i loved this game growing up! i was always able to fish out “water on the knee” because the tweezers fit perfectly around the handle of the pail. another simple “surgery” was the rubber band stretched between two pegs at the left ankle and knee that has to be unhooked. i always feared having to remove the pencil for “writer’s cramp”!
3) i found this hostess cupcake coin purse on fredflare.com. a delectable little coin purse shaped like one of my favorite snacks! and the icing on the cake… “i love cupcakes” stitched on the other side of the purse!
4) again, another breathtaking picture of the cherry blossom tree.
5) it’s been a while since i’ve taken my doctor-recommended yoga class. for a beginner’s class, i must admit that the expectations are quite challenging. ry is really good at the tree pose while i master the rocking bow pose. i should take another class soon…i’m always in a much happier disposition and have a clearer and calmer mind afterwards.
6) it is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees, especially the domesticated western honey bee. honeybees are the only insect that produce food for humans. honeybees are a great scientific mystery because they have remained unchanged for 20 million years even though the world has changed around them.
7) with most of our kids on spring break this week, we decided to have our coordinators’ meeting at a park in cupertino today. it was nice to have the sun shining above us and the sound of birds chirping while we conducted our business.
8) one last picture of my board until the next snow season…ry took the racks off his car so officially the season is over. it was definitely a good one, even better with my new board!
9) bell & ross watches have taken the luxury world by storm, with their dynamic combination of bold style and uncompromising capabilities. coveted by divers, pilots, and professionals in many demanding fields, bell & ross timepieces have become equally sought after by collectors and enthusiasts around the world. i have ryan to thank for attracting me to this particular face.
10) “spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.” and wow, what He can do!

Monday, March 24, 2008

back in the day

1) ryan started up a league on yahoo fantasy sports for the ncaa men’s division one basketball championship, aka the beginning of march madness. aside from my senior year of high school, i never really got into this event. however, the competitive nature of my personality now that i have my brackets set up, will have me glued to espn’s scoreboard.
2) when we were kids, we all shared the atari. we had all the classics – dig dug, centipede, pacman. my favorite had to be frogger. i was so trusting of james when i was little…he told me once your score reached 100,000, a dragon appeared out of the water. determined as i was, i stayed up until 2 in the morning just to be disappointed by my gullibility.
3) being the fourth child, it was inevitable that i would reuse a lot of the things my older siblings broke in. for instance, in kindergarten, all the girls in my classroom had pastel colored lunchboxes decorated with their favorite princess or pony. i had an aluminum lunchbox with all the nfl helmets on the cover. i don’t really remember it embarrassing me at the time. in fact, looking at my current interests, it’s actually quite fitting.
4) i came across this necklace on elsewares.com, a website that i “window shop” often. each pendant is printed on white and set in a closed-back sterling silver bezel. some of the different words available are “lovely”, “spirit”, and my personal favorite, “sauce”.
5) during christmas, i had bought an itunes gift card for niko. while packing for my trip to san diego, i misplaced it and had to buy another one. i found it today.
6) i found this alarm clock on another website that i like to browse. “clocky” is a clock for people who have trouble getting out of bed. when the snooze bar is pressed, clocky rolls off the table and finds a hiding spot, a new one every day.
7) tonight i sat in the twelfth row at the oracle arena cheering on my boys. i made this sign before we left, quoting baron davis’ statement on the dan patrick show of kobe being his number choice for mvp. after a controversial no-call on derek fisher, the lakers pulled off the win in double overtime!
8) there’s something so comfortable and simple about a grilled cheese sandwich. whether it’s prepared in an upscale fashion with four different types of cheeses on artisan bread or just plain ol’ cheddar on a good slice of rye, this is one of my favorite sandwiches.
9) it never fails…when i go to starbucks, i figuratively change genders. 99% of the time the baristas write out “gene” on my cups. today that 1% change made my day!
10) “if you carry your childhood with you, you never become older”. a lot of my happy thoughts are composed of childhood memories. i’ve been 30 for about half a year now, yet hardly feel old at all!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter chicks

1) today is easter. i never really understood the meaning of eggs during this holiday. i figured with the resurrection of jesus, the eggs symbolized new life. the custom of decorating and exchanging eggs was originated by the egyptians and persians who believed earth hatched from an egg. i like england’s tradition of writing messages and dates on eggs and exchanging them with their loved ones.
2) i can’t remember which website i found this ring on. it’s a silver lever. the first tool that my dad taught me to use was a lever. he spent a lot of my childhood building things – birdhouses, patios, decks, a skateboard. while growing up, i would spend a lot of time hanging out in the garage with him. he explained how to use a lever to make sure the wood was a balanced surface.
3) cindy posted this picture of zoe on our family’s blog. she must have set up an easter egg hunt for the kids. when we were kids, veronna was good about celebrating easter with us, from dying easter eggs the night before to buying our easter baskets. it’s nice that cindy’s carried on the tradition.
4) emperor penguins are the largest species of penguins, standing at about 4 feet tall. they can dive up to 1700 feet and hold their breath for up to 22 minutes. emperors are also unique because only the male incubates the egg. upon laying the egg, the female passes it to the male and heads to the sea to travel to distant feeding grounds. the male is left to face the antarctic winter, carrying the egg on his feet for 15 weeks or more and losing half his body weight in the process. that’s crazy considering after human females deliver their babies, it’s common that they struggle with losing their pregnancy pounds.
5) so with the arrival of easter comes the completion of lent…well probably not exactly according to the liturgical calendar. but i know it means that i can eat chocolate!
6) here’s another picture that cindy posted on our blog. i love this picture of peyton! she makes me smile every time i think of her, and my smile gets bigger when i see a new picture of her. i’m always eagerly waiting for the next time i see her.
7) the lakers play the warriors tonight. i always get excited when i can my l.a. boys on tv! they match up pretty well with the warriors so it makes for a thrilling game!
8) i think these wind-up toys are hilarious! i’m tempted to purchase a few for j because he loves noodles, shrimp and eggs!
9) veronna left me a nice comment about this blog today. she inspires me to live a happy life.
10) i spoke with my parents today. sounds like dad’s planning quite a feast for dinner! it’s too bad that i’m not able to celebrate with them, but i like knowing what’s going on – i even appreciate what’s on tonight’s menu even though i won’t be sampling any of it!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

cold and hot

1) we left friday afternoon to snowboard at sugarbowl resort. ryan nagata was able to get a comped room at the peppermill casino and tekeshi hooked us up with $25 lift tickets. perfect weather to board! after lunch, we stripped down some layers and i just need a t-shirt under my jacket. it was a good day on my board.
2) we stopped at ikeda’s to pick up some snacks on our trip up. since i’m still fasting from chocolate, gummy bears had to fill the void.
3) kimchi is a traditional korean fermented dish made of vegetables. when we were in hawaii, marianne took us to this place to take some plates back to the beach. we found a good place in j-town that has good noodle and kalbi rib dishes. it’s their kimchi that definitely stands out.
4) i stuck to video poker while we were at the casino. i did win over $50 on a 75 cent hand of deuces wild poker by hitting five aces.
5) the hotel room that we stayed at had a magnifying mirror. i am obsessed with every stray hair and freckle on my face. every time i go down to san diego, i spend many a nights in front of cindy’s mirror, decorated with soft lighting, scrutinizing my visage.
6) my mouth gets so dry when i’m on the slopes. when we ate lunch, i went through a bottle of powerade like water, and again at the end of our day.
7) i brought a few cliff bars for us on the mountain. handy way to build up your energy.
8) we kept the bottles of bud light going while we were gambling. ry figured if he kept ordering, we would always end “up” with our earnings.
9) this picture is taken at the carlsbad flower fields. you can see this beautiful landscape off the 5 freeway.
10) a weekend of snowboarding, gambling and beer drinking…some weekends can’t get any better.

Friday, March 21, 2008

i think i'm turning japanese

1) it seems like every time we go to sushi maru, i develop a new craving for a different type of sushi! this month is the hamachi roll. it’s not too fishy of a flavor and the chives in it provides a freshness and crunchy bite.
2) even before i met ryan, i loved sunomono. i may not have known the name for the pickled cucumber salad until we started dating, i’ll admit to that.
3) it is said that 317 orchid species are indigenous to japan. i’m not too crazy about the fragrance of these flowers but they appeal to me visually.
4) when i travel (and this is just 500 miles south to san diego for the most part), i always need to bring my camera.
5) i’ve been looking for a cheap, simple but elegant pearl ring. even the ring in this picture might be a bit too elaborate for me. and it needs to be inexpensive because a) my preference for things shift quite frequently, b) i shouldn’t be trusted with costly items and c) i don’t accessorize much so this could easily be a phase.
6) $3.99 for a box of six, these delicate, fluffy bites of mochi ice cream are a perfect way to end a meal.
7) genmaicha is the japanese name for green tea combined with roasted brown rice. there are plenty of potential health benefits from consuming green tea. prevention of cancer, raising metabolism, and halting alzhimer’s and parkinson’s disease have been linked to green tea.
8) there are certain dishes that i can’t eat without soy sauce. a study in Singapore suggested that darker forms of soy sauce contain 10 times more antioxidants than red wine and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
9) ry has turned me into a lover of hamachi kama. hamachi is also known as yellowtail and kama refers to the collar of the fish. the meat found in this area is so tender it melts in your mouth.
10) i love how close ry lives to japantown. whenever my stomach needs to be settled, or i feel like eating light and healthy, it’s nice to know that we can get a good meal around the corner.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

run its course

1) “a show about nothing”. such a classic theme. seinfeld is one of those series that just becomes a form of pop culture which formulates social mores (“close talker”, “master of your domain”, “sentence finisher”, “face painter”). i don’t think i’ll ever understand why ry never got into this show. although, it was sweet that he attempted to netflix season one in order to comprehend my world.
2) maeve and i rallied some people up for happy hour this afternoon at el burro. through the art of text messaging, we were able to get at least 15 people to show up on just a three hour notice! margaritas, bottomless chips and salsa, and plenty of laughs!
3) i heard once that everyday in your life, you see a cow. not necessarily a live one grazing in the field per se, but perhaps cow print or its face on an ad. i take a mental note of this phenomenon when it strikes me, but it’d be interesting to test out this theory.
4) so our happy hour had one sad moment. rebecca announced that she and her boyfriend, ghislain, were moving to colorado. they are definitely a couple who would make the most of all the boulders that state has to offer! she is an absolutely amazing coordinator! i’ve sat in team meetings and ieps with her just thinking in my head “i wanna be that good!”
5) how many times in our lives have we crossed a fork in the road? i haven’t watched the movie sliding doors, but often think what my life would have been if i chose different options…stayed in san diego, flown out to Kauai for that therapist interview, and maybe a few other private thoughts. i’ve never really looked at any of those “forks” with regret though. after all, the decisions i have made have shaped the person who i am today. and i can say, for the most part, i am pretty darn proud of that!
6) his show may not be entirely accurate, but i still like to watch bear vs. wild. it’s mainly bear grylls’ british accent that entices me to watch this show. i usually close my eyes when he’s eating his way through a dead carcass or shoving living insects in his mouth.
7) i observed my middle school student today. t is a bright 6th grader who loves to draw, plays the clarinet and memorizes a lot of things. his biggest struggle is “turning the tv off.” he constantly views television shows and movies in his head, often impeding his learning in the classroom. it used to be as easy as showing t a picture of an outlet to "unplug." he’s been telling his aide that he needs help turning it off and doesn’t know how to make it go away. it was heartbreaking to hear, but it’s good to know that his awareness is high enough to know that it’s a problem and that he can communicate it.
8) correction tape – my most prized possession in my laptop bag! this tool is sheer genius.
9) there’s something about bubbles that captivates me. blowing them is a relaxing activity in itself. i joke with ryan that next time we’re on a golf course, i’m going to bring a bottle of bubbles with me and start blowing them. i know if it was unexpected, these soapy spheres soaring through the sky would bring me joy.
10) so many things in our lives run its course…relationships, careers, preferences. i can look back a few years and know that things that once interested me do not anymore. that’s not necessarily a bad thing. could it be that i’m growing?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

fairytales

1) i found this picture on one of favorite websites that i like to browse on a weekly basis (www.picturesofwalls.com). it’s definitely a good reminder when things aren't working the way you wish them to.
2) y constructed this project for his kindergarten class. it seems like such a magical place, filled with flashing lights and glittery decorations.
3) i came across these cupcake wrappers on cupcakestakethecake.com. they sell them on fancyflour.com for $14 for a package of 10. they have seasonal wrappers as well as wrappers designed with train, dinosaur, beach and star themes.
4) i forget how much i love the taste of grape juice sometimes. i especially like a cold glass of it on a warm day. it contains antioxidants such as flavonoids which are linked to a reduction in coronary heart disease and cancer.
5) apple sent ryan to new york city in may of 2006 for a conference. he had offered to fly me out there to spend some time with him but i wasn’t comfortable with that, nor was i sure of my schedule. a few days before he was scheduled to leave, i decided to surprise him and fly out to the big apple. it was by far the most impulsive thing i’ve done in my life! i took this picture while i was out there. his hotel was located right across the street from madison square garden. i literally flew out there for less than 48 hours of dining and shopping, and didn’t really get to spend too much of the day with ryan, but it was the best thing i could’ve done for my own personal growth.
6) i wish i watched the original iron chef series, as i hear they are far better than the current shows. nevertheless, i still look forward to sunday evenings to watch this intense cookoff.
7) perhaps i was more of a girly girl than i’d like to admit growing up. sleeping beauty was one of my favorite disney movies. i loved how the princess’ name was aurora, my grandmother’s name on my father’s side. i love the gifts from the three good fairies – song, beauty and a slumber that shall only be awaken with true love’s kiss.
8) jacky sent me this snl link to a skit the cast created for project runway. i can’t count how many times “christian” said “fierce”, “tranny,” and “hot mess”. hilarious stuff!
9) a simple particle of snow floating in the air seems like such a magical sight. i have yet to spot a snowflake on the slopes.
10) “life itself is the most wonderful fairytale.” i guess this is true. the world is full of different variations of princes, villains, and fairies. it is our choices that create the happily ever after part.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

detox

1) in hopes for a more healthier lifestyle, ry started planning our meals around the special k diet. this diet claims a six pound loss in a matter of two weeks. i don’t necessarily want to lose weight. i definitely need to get things tight and right though! so i stocked up on some special k cereal, cereal bars, and fresh fruits and veggies.
2) no need to argue by the cranberries is one of the few cds where i can listen to all the songs on the album. the lyrics are lovely and dolores o’riordan’s voice is heavenly. my favorite track is probably “dreaming my dreams” but i often fondly remember niko at five years old, screaming out the words for “zombie” in the car.
3) ah…george clooney…regardless of your sexual persuasion, who can not find beauty in this man? classically handsome with irresistible charm, he absolutely falls under the category of a happy thought.
4) my roommate has a chi hair straightener. it’s a pretty handy tool that flattens your hair and adds shine.
5) bobbi brown’s tinted moisturizer is one of my favorite beauty quick fixes! it’s just a daily moisturizer with an spf, but contains traces of a foundation. i am clueless on how to apply anything other than lip balm and, most recently eyeliner, to my face so this product is quite user friendly to the cosmetically challenged.
6) sugar snap peas were a vegetable that i picked up for our “diet.” snap peas are nutritious and filling, yet not as high in total carbohydrates and fats as normal peas. the pods themselves contain mostly water and vitamins.
7) asian pears, or as mom would call them, apple pears. this is a crisp, refreshing fruit with just a hint of sweetness to it. growing up, i remember mom saying how expensive these apple pears were so eating them was a rare treat. turns out they grow in great quantities in korea but are imported to the u.s. for this reason, the price tends to be higher and this fruit is often reserved as a gift or eaten together in a family context.
8) one of zoe’s favorite television shows is wonderpets. one of her favorite lines is “this is serious.” it’s amazing how she can pick up on language and use it in the appropriate context. she had repeated this phrase when she misplaced amy coe…definitely “sewius” stuff!
9) this is one of my favorite magazines. i think i’ve renewed my subscription with real simple at least two years now. i love all the articles…it’s a great combination of health, beauty, recipes and organization tips.
10) “happiness is never stopping to think if you are.” this was a daily thought my real simple magazine. simply said!

Monday, March 17, 2008

me lucky charms

1) today is st. patrick’s day. in illinois, the chicago river is dyed green on this day. while the four-leaf clover is a symbol of good luck, the three-leafed shamrock is mainly an irish christian symbol of the holy trinity.
2) i always make a mental note when i spot 9:19 on clocks. i played these two numbers, along with others, while playing roulette a few years back and i couldn’t lose!
3) this pic was taken the very first time i set foot on a golf course as an actual golfer rather than a designated cart driver. i went out to national city golf course with dennis, niko and ry and had such a great time! i was a bit worried because every time i’ve hit balls off grass as opposed to mats my contact and swing are horrendous! ironically, i hit the ball pretty well my first time out.
4) my parents bought me a cabbage patch kid one christmas. it was one my most memorable gifts as a child. her name was gerta nadia and i used to write noralie letters about her when she was living in the philippines. i remember taking good care of her. on my birthday the following year, my parents bought me another one but she was a preemie. her name was Gabriella. i remember the scent of both dolls were very distinct and baby fresh.
5) although it’s not looking too much like spring in the bay area, it’s just around the corner. for me, and plenty of others, that means allergy season! usually if i take a dose of benadryl the night before, i can make it through the day. fortunately, my allergies have been controllable the last two years. when i first moved up here, they were horrible! but i hear that’s common when one experiences a change of environment.
6) back in high school i dreamt about owning a british racing green mazda miata with tan leather interior and an optional hard top. i have quite a collection of photos of myself in a few of them. i should rent one for the weekend just to experience what it’s like to drive a convertible.
7) i don’t pamper myself as much as i used to when i was younger…although i get the occasional compliment of my skin being so soft, i took much better care of my skin years ago. i loved using loofah gloves in the shower! it was a great way to exfoliate daily. i guess i can always just pick up a pair the next time i’m at target.
8) my initials…i like how the look i this picture. a few years back, marianne and i went to vegas on a whim. since that trip, she has nicknamed me "jb".
9) i’m in a few ncaa tournaments on yahoo fantasy sports. i must admit that up until this year, i hadn’t seen a single college basketball game since senior year of high school. i’m not really sure why, but i followed that tournament closely. even now, and my memory is dreadful, i can name at least eight players who played in 95 (toby bailey, tyus edney, george zedek, ed and charles o’bannon, corliss williamson, harold deane). random, right?
10) not quite sure if i believe in luck. perhaps in keeping in accordance to “the secret”, that is probably the reason i haven’t witnessed too many chance opportunities. i do, however, remember some circumstances of luck. hitting that flush on the river comes to mind. but could it be that easy that just changing one’s expectations could determine an outcome? we shall see…

Sunday, March 16, 2008

in good hands

1) so we went out drinking at a neighborhood bar last night…i had a few bottles of beer which i can handle with no problem. what got me were the shots! this morning i woke up not feeling too well. ryan, as usual, took good care of me – buying me advil, gatorade and stroking my hair as i recovered on his couch.
2) i don’t know why i waited 10 years to start wearing eyeliner! i love this cosmetic! i alternate from brown to black depending on my outfit. but just a pencil thin line on my eyelid goes a long way!
3) mine and my family’s open and comfortable sense of humor most likely stems from several episodes of three’s company. i’m not too sure what i found so hilarious in this comedy during my elementary years…it’s amazing how so many peers of mine enjoyed it just as much without understanding all of its innuendoes!
4) i painted my nails. i never really paint my fingernails because an occupational hazard is chipped nails, thus chipped nail polish. the paint lasted the weekend.
5) one more week to go before sinking my teeth into a hunk of chocolate! this is a cute bar wrapper. on bloomsberry.com, you can find several novelty wrappers from climate change to a wonder bar, decorated with wonder woman’s costume.
6) we went to ryan’s sister’s certificate of merit piano recital. other instruments that accompanied her were the cello and violin. a piece that i found moving was johann sebastian bach’s cello suite #1, or what i previously called “a lexus commercial song”. after researching a bit more about this particular piece, i’ve learned that the prelude is probably the most recognizable set of the suites because of its regular play on television and films. that explains it! the cello is an intriguing instrument to me…although my focus in this blog is to highlight moments of happiness, i find that emotions of somber and melancholy are somewhat cathartic in achieving the state of joy. listening to musical notes of the cello fulfills that need.
7) again, my obsession for these trees continue to grow. within the last few weeks i am appreciating nature more than i ever have. i look at the changing colors of trees for the first time in my life with a deep admiration for mother earth’s works.
8) my splitting headache was quickly relieved with just two tablets of advil.
9) yet another addiction that veronna introduced me to! i used to eat a box of red vines each week in highschool! i’ve even finished at least 5 tubs of licorice in my lifetime!
10) i am very fortunate to have been so nurtured and sheltered by people in my life. being surrounded by my family – parents and siblings – i have never felt unloved for a minute! same goes for my relationship with ryan. i always feel loved.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

the incredibles

1) nikolas – the first grandson, nephew, son of noralie and steve, niko was born 2 months premature. he’s an eye-witness example in my life of incredibleness. strong enough to make it out of the hospital after living in an incubator his first month of life instead of his mother’s arms. he’s definitely more the “little” brother i’ve always wanted, hovering eight inches above me!
2) zoe – separates herself from her boy cousins by breaking her leg and walking in a cast for a month! definitely earns “incredible” points for that! at 18 months, she could count to 10 in english, spanish, french, chinese, and tagalog. upon speaking her first words, she was able to communicate to mommy and daddy using baby signs. she can name positions of football players as well as name nfl and nba teams. plenty of potential for my intelligent niece! i can’t wait to see what else she’s learned!
3) christian – my first godson! unyielding and reserved as a child, but he and i were very close when he was a baby. he’s a wiz with football facts – plays, stats, videogames. i remember his first season of pop warner football. the coaches worked the kids pretty hard and cj had a tough time keeping up with the rest of the team during laps. not once did he stop running…he kept his legs moving until he finished his last lap. he’s now 20+ pounds lighter and is one of the best players on his team.
4) j & e – i go on and on and on about all the remarkable things that j accomplishes. the seven years i’ve been working with him, he continues to surprise me with his abilities. he’s learning how and when to use question marks, calculating the value of combinations of coins and is ahead of his entire class with his multiplication facts! his sister, e, is as bright as they come! chinese classes, piano lessons, synchronized swimming and tennis lessons keep this middle schooler quite busy! what’s even more incredible about her is her patience, kindness and unconditional love for her brother.
5) peyton – my feisty soon-to-be goddaughter occupies a lot of my thoughts. it could quite be due to the fact that i ‘ve seen less than ten pictures of her, and have spent less than ten hours with this beauty! her two nights stay in the hospital a few weeks alone makes her the most incredible infant i know! i can’t wait to see her in april!
6) a & a – another dynamic duo of siblings! i believe al is going to school now without an aide. a year ago, his mom made the best decision in her life by eliminating his home program hours. since then, she’s been able to spend a lot more time with him as a mother and not a therapist. aside from his academics, his sense of humor is what i find most extraordinary. his sister, ab, is another great sibling. she’s creative, funny, intelligent, and kindhearted.
7) jacob – i forget what his reading level is because it continues to improve each time i see him – he’s probably surpassed me in the harry potter series! a chess master, a walking almanac of sports facts, a photographic memory of 10+ dinosaurs and individual facts for each of them, jakes brainpower is substantial. his sense of humor, guitar hero skills and signing voice are not too shabby either!
8) y – this boy is so bright that he’s smart enough not to display it to everyone in fear of the expectations being raised! every now and then, he lets it slip…words that he can read, instructions that he can follow, pictures he can draw. this boy went from disliking any form of instructional control to walking up to teachers to hug or smile at them. his art work is phenomenal! i wish i could get into his brain for ten seconds to see his perception of objects and space.
9) dennis jr. – i can’t believe how much this boy has been through – stitches, a lazy eye, allergic reactions, speech sessions, seizures, and fungus! enough to keep any mom or dad on their toes! and despite all his struggles, he remains a happy boy full of wonder and surprise. i love dj’s eyes – they are constantly smiling.
10) campfire usa created this day as a day to show kids they are loved and cared for. this day is also a campaign which encourages adults to write letters of love and support to the children in their lives. i am so blessed to be surrounded with incredible kids every day of my life!

Friday, March 14, 2008

mind your manners

1) one can analyze the adventures of alice in wonderland by dissecting each character and formulating interpretations. in my younger days, and especially as a child of 30, this disney movie was a mere escape to a world of enchantment. however, in keeping to this posting’s title, i’m realizing that this fairyland defies alice’s perceptions of good manners by constantly assaulting her with dismissive rudeness.
2) i’m a total geek for my sheer adoration of mr. clean’s magic eraser! some coworkers of mine suggested to use this product to clean my macbook. after transforming my laptop to its pristine condition, i investigated to see what other things i can use this handy cleaning tool on (walls, counters, purses – you name it!).
3) today is national potato chip day. potato chips were first made by chef george crum in saratoga springs, ny on august 24, 1853. why they chose to celebrate the crispy snack in march is beyond me. some examples of regional varieties of chip flavors that i’d be intrigued to sample include south africa’s beef jerky, the uk’s mozzarella tomato and basil and china’s cucumber. since trips to those countries are not in my immediate future, i’ll settle for a bag of kettle brand potato chips flavored with salt and vinegar.
4) as much as i pride myself in being an independent, self-sufficient woman, i enjoy the occasional niceties including the gentlemanly act of holding the door open. i am equally in agreement of returning the favor, so i think that’s why i appreciate it so much more. my dad never sat me down and told me what i should look for in a man. he demonstrated characteristics of what i should look for in the man of my life – someone who drives me to the entrance if it’s raining, someone who’s willing to carry a heavy load, someone who opens the door for me.
5) my funnel cake rule is basically my churros rule: ballparks, fairs, amusement parks or any vendor selling, i’m buying!
6) jill and i tried a red stripe at d&b about three years ago. since then, i’ve been hooked on the jamaican lager! in addition to this smooth libation, its campaign ad “hooray,beer!” is one of my favorites.
7) ryan bought us tickets for the alicia keys concert in may. it’ll be our first time hearing her live. she’s an extremely talented artist as well as a philanthropist. there’s millions of songs written about a love deeper than material or money. somehow, alicia’s songs hit me harder.
8) up until now, i’ve learned how to pronounce one of my most loved designer labels, joie (or “zhwa”). with his clothes sold at neiman marcus, bloomingdale’s, bergdorf’s and several boutiques, i’ve been lucky enough to find my joie apparel at loehmann’s. my favorite cropped green apple hoodie was designed my joie rucker. i’ll wear it until it disintegrates!
9) since i’ve already shared my love of beer again and again, i’m happy for a non-alcohol alternative….martinelli’s sparkling cider! just discovering that this juice company is based in the very city of my company’s office – watsonville! random. light, crisp, sweet – this is a great drink!
10) “thank you”, “please”, “excuse me”…sometimes hearing these small words at the right time is enough to brighten your day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

strength

1) penny press word seek puzzles – veronna introduced me to these probably when i was in third grade. she taught me that words with double letters in it were easier to find. each issue has a timed word seek that penny press’ “expert” completes. i usually only need half the time (if that) that their expert needs to complete the puzzle. i can’t get enough of these!
2) unagi roll – ry loves unagi, i love cucumber…the unagi roll is the perfect combination of tasty fish with a refreshing, vegetable crunch! we can order a bunch of these!
3) tiffany bean pendant – noralie bought me this necklace a few christmas’ ago. it’s probably my favorite piece of jewelry. when i was working with a more difficult, challenging student, i would take my necklace off before our sessions. he had made attempts to grab it a few times. one saturday last fall, i forgot to take it off. he broke the chain. i need to get it repaired soon. absolutely love that necklace.
4) kites – this picture was taken at seaport village in san diego. there’s a store in the shopping center that specializes in a variety of kites. the location of this shop just happens to be near one of the best parks for flying kites anywhere in san diego. the waterfront area makes the breezes perfect for flying kites of all kinds. such a whimsical, eye-catching toy!
5) spring blossom trees – i took a picture of this same tree at school on february 29th. it had light pink flowers at that time. less than a month later, the leaves have turned a crimson red. not quite sure what happened to the tiny, delicate flowers.
6) victoria secret’s love spell scent - "a lavishly lush blend of cherry blossom, mugues, red apple and Georgia peach, with hints of tamarind and blondewood." or as jill would say, “you smell like hawaiian punch!”
7) terrell davis – born and raised in san diego, terrell davis made history in superbowl xxxii by scoring three rushing touchdowns. despite suffering from migraines and having to inhale extra oxygen during football games, terrell davis earned mvp honors in back-to-back superbowls. how’s that for strength?
8) lemon lime jelly belly beans – i think i might have consumed a pound of these chewy candies in college!
9) mom – i was on the phone with her this afternoon for about two hours. she had some heartbreaking news to share with me that left me in tears. it hurt me so much to hear her pain – an affliction that i think every woman can empathize with. she is, indisputably, the strongest woman i know.
10) “that which does not kill, makes me stronger.” i’ve been through my share of troubles, challenges, obstacles. as frightening as they were while experiencing them, i survived. knowing this makes facing any barriers to come easier.