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.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

youth

1) today's is jacob's birthday. i love how all the nephews have their idiosyncrasies. jacob displays a more serious demeanor on the surface but under the layers, he's jokey and blithe. probably knows more about fantasy football than any other 10-year old boy!
2) i always wanted a snoopy snow cone maker when i was a kid. i didn't get one until i was 22.
3) whether it's disneyland, baseball games, or a county fair, i always need to buy a churro! centuries ago, churros were a daily staple in the diet of spanish shepherds. it remains a popular breakfast in spain.
4) y has trouble on wednesdays when all the kindergarteners gather in the pod for music. he made it out this morning. i sat about 20 feet away while marisa facilitated. he then told her he wanted me to sit next to him. =) he has made tremendous strides! he used to run away from any teacher but now he's requesting to be near them.
5) the ethnic side of me devours boiled peanuts! in the philippines, they are eaten as street food. since they are boiled, antioxidants from the shells are added to the peanuts producing four times more than raw peanuts.
6) anemonefish, commonly known as the clownfish, are a popular aquarium fish. cindy had a few of these. there are 28 different species, but i especially like the orange, black and white striped creature.
7) on the jim rome show, jim was talking about a listener who detested the show and refused to tune his radio to the station during the duration of it. jim rome said to give his show a chance, to listen to it for two weeks then formulate an opinion. james used to rave about him ten years back. i agreed with the disgruntled listener - i couldn't stand him but this was based on less than 10 minutes of his babbling. i listen to his show every chance i get while traveling between cases.
8) nine - the first composite lucky number according to wikipedia. i'm still trying to figure out what that means. this has been my lucky number since 1994 when nick van exel was playing for the lakers. his game was flashy and he was known for his clutch shots. nine also happens to be my birth month number too. this number is my strategic approach in making decisions (poker, menu dishes, tracks on albums).
9) i hung out with j this afternoon. it was a two-hour session but seemed to go by in minutes because we had that much fun.
10) i called jakes this evening to wish him a happy birthday. it was nice to hear all the familial laughter and voices in the background.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

potpourri

1) one wouldn't normally associate a dentist with a happy thought. j had some dental work on friday. he had to get a few fillings and, since he's unable to sit still in the chair, the dentist had to give him an anesthesia to put him out. the procedure took three hours and he had to spend another hour in the recovery room. he was quite uncomfortable and unhappy. he has such a hard time expressing these emotions, but the great thing was that he was able to tell his mom, "head hurt".
2) i feel like i have more time on my hands than i did say six years ago. the ironic thing was that back then, i'd have the time to read an entire harry potter book. maybe it was the fact that the movies hadn't been produced so my imagination was being challenged. despite all the controversies, i think harry potter is a whimsical, inspirational character.
3) we usually have our coordinator meetings at someone's house or a coffee shop. we took advantage of the sunshine though today. we spread out our picnic blankets, ordered some sandwiches and chatted about business matters. we were interrupted for 10 minutes or so due to city lawnmowers, but being out soaking in the rays was a refreshing mid-day joy.
4) dad used to sing me this song, "dream" by the everly brothers. he would play his guitar and insert my name "jean" in the chorus.
5) dementia causes deterioration in the areas of problem solving, attention, language and memory. mental exercises such as sudoku do not only reduce stress level but can provide your brain with a cerebral workout. one study claims that crossword and sudoku puzzles could help give you the brain power of someone 14 years younger than you! i do realize that if i don't habitually attempt to solve a puzzle, the longer it takes for me to decipher.
6) jill got me these bacon bandages a few months back. i think they're hilarious! i haven't had the chance to use one on myself yet. j appeared to enjoy the silly adhesive on his hand a few weeks ago.
7) you always hear that whole grain is the way to go. while i've cut out white bread in my diet, i realized that i eat a lot of white rice. we've started mixing in brown rice with the white rice to slowly wean ourselves off. i do like the texture of brown rice i must say. the chewy-ness of it leads me to believe i'm eating more thus reducing my serving. the other nutritional values of brown rice are the presence of vitamins B1, B3, iron and magnesium which are absent in white rice.
8) by far, the best concert i've been to is the killers. their first two albums are sensational. i could sing or listen to their songs repeatedly. plus, it's equally enjoyable to hear a good brandon flowers impersonation as it is to deliver it!
9) i read the lovely bones by alice sebold on my first flight to hawaii in 2003. not a feel-good book, as its story is about a teenager who was brutally raped and murdered. throughout the novel, the victim (susie) watched from heaven as her family and friends move forward. her sister (lindsey) and father continue searching for her murderer when the police drop the investigation due to exhausted leads. but they don't give up and eventually uncover enough information to reveal susie's killer. susie gets to watch lindsey experience things that she never will...fall in love, get married, have children, establish a career. the character ages which is evident in her narration. while she spends time in her "personal" heaven while uncovering the details of her death, she moves into the larger heaven at the end of the story, symbolizing the perpetuation of her spirit. it's written to provide hope and familial love in wake of a tragedy.
10) ryan and i worked from home the last half of our day. i was surprised with how much of my reports i was able to complete. it was nice to knock a few action items off my list.

Monday, March 10, 2008

sweet & savory

1) the most popular piece written by johann pachelbel is his canon in d major. in music, a canon uses a melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration (think row, row, row your boat)! i find this piece very moving - classically played on the piano or a modern version like zox's punk/reggae rendition with violins.
2) jacky bought me a bottle of burt's bees naturally nourishing milk & honey body lotion for my birthday. it smells so sweet and is a delicate, silky lather.
3) jeff thomas is an 18 year old working on getting accepted in an illustration program in pasadena. i first came across his work on youtube. he draws characters named pon and zi. this picture reminds me of something that ry and i would do. this artist has plenty more delightful pieces, definitely worthy of happy thoughts.
4) the giving tree, written by shel sivlerstein, is a widely popular children's book. the parable is about an evolving relationship between a boy and a tree. everything the boy desires, the tree provides - from the branches to the apples to eventually the stump. although the story has endless interpretations, i view the tree as a parent with unconditional love for his/her child. the tree gives and gives without wanting anything in return. there are environmental angles to this story, as well as thoughts of the responsibilities of adulthood. others perceive the boy as greedy and never-satisfied. however, i love what timothy jackson, standford university professor had to say about this tale: "should the tree's giving be contingent on the boy's gratitude? if it were, if fathers and mothers waited on reciprocity before caring for their young, then we would all be doomed."
5) doodling spirals indicate personal stress and tension but with the readiness to challenge them. doodling houses refer to safety and security. i tend to doodle flowers, indicating a gentle personality and a childlike wistfulness. luckily, i don't draw roses with thorns which implies betrayals in love. national doodle day was march 7th.
6) again, to satiate my chocolate craving, i picked up a slice of vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and colored sprinkles.
7) i think i can go on an all beef jerky diet for a month! i especially like jack link's peppered selection and oberto's classics - oh boy!
8) cebu is my mental vacation spot! one of the most developed provinces in the philippines, it possesses all the attributes that define a tropical island. with its five-star hotels, golf courses, casinos, and white sand beaches, it's a highly desired destination!
9) when ry was living in the city, we went shopping in the marina district. we specifically wanted to check out the blue jean's bar, specializing in designer label jeans. i ended up buying this lakers shirt from retro sport. i can't imagine spending over $50 on a t-shirt now but it gets plenty of use - once a week now during basketball season.
10) "that it shall never come again is what makes life so sweet." simply put!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

rising sun

1) spring forward - ugh! an hour of my sleep lost! oh, wait...happy thought, happy thought! the sun will stay out longer in the day!
2) i laced up my team jordans then ry and i hit up the basketball court again. i rushed through my free throws this time and improved my average, hitting 5 out of 10.
3) after a good hour of dribbling, bricking, swishing, and traveling, we munched on some oranges straight from ry's backyard.
4) scrabble has been one my favorite past times. sometimes the greatest weekends with ry are spent playing this board game. my highest score is about 325 and i've "bingoed" about ten times (that's when you use all seven of your letters to spell out a word, giving you an additional 50 points to your score)!
5) love the strokes. their song "last night" attracted me to this band. i drove cindy's car a few months back and her ipod was playing "you only live once". we went to the mall today and in the puma store, this song came on.
29 different attributes
and only 7 that you like, uh oh
20 ways to see the world, oh oh
or 20 ways to start a fight

6) cost plus world market is one of my favorite stores. beignet mix, green apple licorice, plush stuffed animals, patio furniture, beers across the world, crazy fun pens, and travel size packets of nutella all in the same store!
7) grant hill is definitely a hall of famer for my "top 5" list! he's been through crazy amounts of injuries throughout his career - sprained ankle, a staph infection due to the splint inserted in attempts to realign his ankle with his leg bone, a bruised left shin, sports hernia, and an emergency appendectomy. he's currently playing for the phoenix suns and is having a solid season, averaging 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. aside from his amazingly boyish looks, i'm mostly impressed with his field goal percentage.
8) we bought some brats and kraut to chow on some dogs this weekend. i love me them pickled condiments!
9) it was a warm day today. we relived our childhood days with grape, cherry and orange popsicles with riddles on the sticks.
10) the main purpose of daylight saving time is to make better use of daylight. whether it's for economical reasoning or personal preference, who could be upset with a few extra hours of sunshine?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

ambivalence

1) everyone who plays poker with me knows that i fish...and about 70% of the time, i win...but since i'm trying to play a bit more conservatively, i tend to fold on cards that i would normally go "all in". it backfires for some reason when we play with the guys but is usually a good strategy when i'm on celebrity poker on bravo's website. thanks to cindy and james for introducing me to the website!
2) the bourne supremacy was on tv tonight. the funny thing about this trilogy is that i watched all three movies with three different guys. however, the movie that i remember most vividly and thoroughly is the bourne ultimatum with ry. the past five years for some reason, i fall asleep during movies (rented or in the theater). action-packed...i comprehend the meaning of this word. i loved that movie.
3) what influenced me to create this blog was the book the secret written by rhonda byrne. while reading the secret, i realized by nature, i adopt a lot of the philosophies. i tend to have an aversive reaction to negativity. i'd rather not be surrounded with that energy, but ironically have a lot of detrimental feelings about myself. i am working on it though. noralie loaned me her copy, and it's very uplifting to hear so much optimism and enthusiasm in her voice. the law of attraction - sounds like endless powers.
4) after watching a bachelor edition of everyday italian, ry and i were inspired to try out giada's rendition of mac n' cheese. ry was my sous chef and grated a good 2 1/4 cups of asiago cheese for me. we added some ham and broccoli to our dish. i don't think i'll use as much cheese next time, and make sure to thoroughly mix all the ingredients so that the cheese sauce is creamier. otherwise, it was quite tasty!
5) innocence...something so precious but can easily be destroyed. i was profoundly moved by this word a few times this week. james was talking to me about a baptism seminar that he attended and the thought process of cleansing infants from their sins. you look at peyton's face, stare into zoe's eyes, or for any child for that matter...how can there be any sin? during j's last team meeting, we talked about how his peers are getting older and misguiding j, taking advantage of his innocence. it angers me.
6) ry made me a margarita tonight. prior to his, dad's was my best homemade margarita but it might be a close race. perhaps a pitcher of each and i'll be able to draw a conclusion.... :)
7) when his mom told me that j started therapeutic horseback riding, i thought it would mainly strengthen his core muscles and improve his body awareness. however, the additional benefits of THR include exposure to sensory integration, improvements in auditory processing and cognition and concentration of communication and social skills. amazing.
8) i have never heard of a red panda. physical appearance alone, it looks more like a raccoon to me but similar to the panda bear, red pandas feed off bamboo. their population continues to decline due to a process of environmental change called habitat fragmentation. they sleep during the hot noontime in the shady crowns of treetops.
9) i've spent 8 consecutive hours tossing grenades, whacking an opponent in the back of the head with my pistol, sniping in the corner and running people over in a tank. i miss those halo days! i remember ron and i spent 8 and a half hours driving down from the bay area, stopped off at james and penny's and played a 3 hour game! or watching the sun rise as cindy and i drive back to mom's after a night of halo at james' place. we definitely have to bring that back!
10) making decisions have always been tough for me. i'm definitely wishy-washy and waver when making choices. but the great thing is that the reason i have that difficulty is that i have been blessed with options.

Friday, March 7, 2008

sensory input

1) sight – i was hooked on alias circa 2003! i could watch the reruns repeatedly. i worshipped sydney bristow’s character and fantasized over michael vaughn. i have yet to find a drama to fulfill those needs.
2) taste – deep fried dough sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. be them plain, fruit filled or drizzled with chocolate sauce, i love beignets!
3) hearing – my favorite game on the wii is guitar hero. i get all those songs stuck in my head…smashing pumpkins’ cherub rock, metallica’s one, weezer’s my name is jonah. definitely satisfies my aural desires.
4) aside from the five conventional senses, humans have at least nine different senses. although my family doesn’t fall under any of them, there is another definition of “sense” that categorizes mine. “an ability to perceive and be motivated by moral and ethical principles”. this intelligence is something that i know was inspired by my family.
5) sight – ordinarily you would associate the topic of food with the sense of taste, but with the show top chef, it strictly completes my visual cravings.
6) smell/taste/touch – i’m stunned that i enjoy smoking cigars. i’ve always been opposed to cigarette smoking but for some reason have taken such a liking to cigars.
7) touch – susan lazar came out with a clothing line for babies called egg. her symbol represents the beginning – pure potential.
8) body awareness – many kids with autism struggle with proprioception. y seemed very disorganized during the majority of our session. i tried deep tissue massage, the brushing method, using play-doh as a calming technique. nothing worked. it wasn’t until i took some paper and laid on my stomach on the floor to draw did his energy stabilize.
9) smell - noralie bought me a candle from the white barn candle company years ago. it was pralines and cream scented. it was the most fragrant and aromatic candle i’ve ever had.
10) i studied sign language and deaf culture in college. i work with children who are challenged with regulating their sensory needs. without my glasses or contacts, my sense of sight is impaired. i am happy that, for the most part, my senses are fully operating.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

a darling girl named peyton

1) i begin most of my mornings listening to the sarah and no name show on alice radio 97.3. i get the recap of news headlines, movie reviews, word of the day, celebrity trash and a bunch of random games.
2) y started the morning off roughly. he was crying when his dad dropped him off. usually, with y, if he has a difficult start, that translates to a problematic school day. it wasn’t the case today. a tweak in his routine throws him off completely. today’s deviation was spring pictures. much to my surprise, another boy was being noncompliant and refused to join the group. y stood perfectly in the middle, listening to the photographer’s directions.
3) if kirsten dunst had a miniature sized clone, she would look exactly like this girl named payton in y’s class. we were both wearing denim jackets today and payton was quite entertained by that. she kept bringing it to everyone’s attention, pointing out her “twin”. when i wrapped my jacket around my waist, she did the same. so darling!
4) it’s rare for ry and i to have lunch together during a workday. it was nice to have a meal with another adult. one of my favorite adults to boot!
5) my mornings are spent with the alice crew, and my afternoons i spend with dan patrick. when he still worked for espn, his radio show wasn’t aired in this area. now that he’s currently working for sports illustrated, i’m fortunate to hear his show. i’ve always appreciated his humor on sportscenter and his “outtakes” column in espn magazine. his topic of the day: “is it ok to name your child after a professional athlete?”
6) this beautiful tree is growing in the front yard of my house. the pink flowers are even more vivid on this tree than the ones at orchard school.
7) i usually opt the economical side of things, but with lump crab meat, i’m willing to pay the extra bucks. at whole foods, you can buy a pound of it for $30. ry and i usually only need a 1/3 of a pound. veggies, brown rice and crab make for a yummy dinner!
8) another lovely writing on the wall from my favorite website of scribbles.
9) my strong two-month old niece was in the hospital overnight this week. she had an excessive temperature so james and penny took her in. she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. poor peyton was poked several times for blood samples and iv tubes that when they took her home, james said she would lift her arms up to defend herself when someone touched her. scrappy that little girl is.
10) i am so thankful that peyton is home and healthy! between zoe’s broken leg and peyton’s spinal tap, those two courageous girls have endured more than i could even imagine! my most happiest moment today was james asking me if i would be peyton’s godmother.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"fierce" luxuries

1) i'm not sure when and why i became a coffee enthusiast. starbucks certainly falls in the "unnecessary luxuries" category. at $4 a coffee and $3 a pastry how can it not? the company came out with their "skinny" line a few weeks ago, but it'll cost customers $0.30 more. way to reward the healthy alternative! however, i noticed this week that my regular libation (tall skinny vanilla latte) is the same as its richer counterpart.
2) not exactly a necessity, but i used my tomtom gps navigation system today. i received this as a christmas present from j's family last december and haven't needed to use it until today. pretty handy tool.
3) this is the picture i brought to paul mitchell for the stylist to emulate. danielle and i attended an iep this afternoon together. i had just seen her the day before at our coordinators' meeting with a different 'do. after the meeting, she cut about 6 inches off her hair. cute results! she said my haircut inspired her new style. i love short hair!
4) erin came over to the house to watch the project runway finale. i hadn't seen her in months and it was so nice to get caught up with her. she has had the most unfavorable history of health and, unfortunately, is experiencing another pained case. she masks her ailments pretty well though.
5) all talk and no action...i say i'm going to write a children's book all the time but lack the resources. on blurb.com you can actually publish, print and sell one! so what's my excuse this time?
6) as i mentioned earlier, the finale of project runway aired tonight. overall, i was left disappointed with all the contestants' collections. regardless of his attitude, i was rooting for christian to win. he demonstrated a strong and focused work ethic and appeared to have "put in his dues", working out of his tiny nyc studio.
7) the first time i went to dim sum was when i met ron's parents. i learned two things that day. one: you don't eat chicken feet like you would chicken nuggets. two: chinese restaurants do not serve lemon tarts. needless to say, i wasn't too huge of a fan of the experience. that has changed. some of my favorite dishes include har gau, bao, shrimp cheong fun, and siu mai. a reasonable luxury is my thought on this dining experience.
8) i love ryan's fleece usc blanket. within half an hour, curled up with his blanket on the couch, i am out like a light!
9) as much of a brand-whore that i am with fashion, i appreciate a good deal. i found this website frugalfashionista.com. it's smart. it shows a picture of a celebrity gussied up in their designer labels. next to the picture, the author of the blog displays her finds of similar clothing at fractions of the cost. i like sarah jessica parker's proclamation, "fashion is not a luxury. it's a right."
10) "we act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements in life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about." - charles kingsley...this is a nice way to look at the things that get us excited.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

food and wine and other things

1) 150 bitsize cupcakes for an autism event. the puzzle pieces are made with fondant. additional fruitless minutes of glancing on my favorite dessert blog.
2) yesterday i went to fedex kinko's to fax something to the office. it wasn't until 24+ hours did i realize that i left my credit card in the machine. surprise - there are still honest people amongst us! i safely retrieved my card without any damages save the blow to my youthful memory.
3) maeve is back! our company has trouble with finding good therapists. maeve is an exceptional one. she has been gone since mid january, traveling europe in hopes to find inspiration for her screenplay. it's relieving that i can delegate assignments to someone so competent. she's good times!
4) ok, so the guy has grown on me...more so for the ease of his recipes rather than his humor, but i most admit that his corniness is growing on me too. sam the cooking guy offers cooking classes in san diego. i sent the link to veronna and cindy, indicating that i agree with their testimonies.
5) about a month ago, ry and i submitted a volunteer form for the first annual pebble beach food and wine event. when asked to list your related experience, i entered "i've watched all three seasons of top chef. i have accumulated over 10,000 points on opentable.com (i believe that i can take credit for this seeing that i am ryan's dining partner over 80% of the time), and that i enjoyed watching the film ratatouille. i was contacted today with a welcome letter and schedule attachment, asking me to submit the times that i was available to assist! ry was not - we were both confused. over 50 award winning chefs and 200+ wineries will be represented. it will truly be an epicurean event. so amusing that i will be part of it!
6) yet another thing i miss about san diego...karl strauss beer on tap! here you have the taster - six 5-ounce samplers of six different beers. from left to right - woodie gold, windandsea wheat hefeweizen, the amber lager (my personal fave), red trolley ale, stargazer i.p.a., and the special release. not bad for under $8!
7) i ended my workday fingerpainting with r. the easiest money i have made in my life!
8) "like a kid in a candy store" i'm sure this quote would be fitting when walking through powell's sweet shoppe in willow glen. as curious as i am to check out the mouth-watering treats, it would probably be wise to visit this store when i can actually eat the chocolate sweets! what is it...18 more days?
9) i was thinking today that if i move back to san diego, i would easily put on ten pounds within the first month. i envision myself eating carne asada chips from super sergio's at least once a week! it irks me that they call them "super nachos" in the bay area.
10) something to simply be happy and grateful for is food. i love to eat, and evidently, food occupies a lot of my thoughts. something to be even more happier is the fact that i haven't set foot in a gym in the last two years and am still 105 pounds! hmm...maybe i should rethink that whole carne asada idea.

Monday, March 3, 2008

catching up

1) after two months or so of passerby hellos, ga and i finally sat down for lunch to get caught up. after an argument of great magnitude with adam, things are going strong for them. trivial disputes amongst teachers and administrators and exchanges of family endeavors were discussed. she has been one of the most essential components of j's success in the mainstream setting. professionally and personally, she's one of the best!
2) rommel knows me pretty well. it's astounding how many things we have in common and how similar our tastes are. we had breakfast last time i was down there. he told me i should watch that television show how i met your mother. i caught up on an episode yesterday. pretty good stuff.
3) i'm a big lily allen fan but much like most situations in my life, i tend to adhere to comfortability and preference. i usually just listen to smile and ldn. today i heard alfie for the first time. pretty fun song. definitely one of my favorite tunes right now (two years too late!).
4) as usual, i did a bit of of browsing on my favorite cupcake blog. i discovered this contest. submit a simple comment about why cupcakes rock and enter a chance to win this cupcake tee. cute right?
5) while i was catching up with ga at lunch, we got to talking about san diego. we both grew up there and eventually want to move back. she was asking if the reason for me returning was more about my sister's illness or if i wanted to be in that city. definitely a bit of both, but i just love it there. that's really where i belong.
6) "nook time", "let's nook it" some of my favorite phrases and activities with ryan. i fit perfectly in his.
7) i wasn't expecting too much from our take-out dinners at l&l. i ordered the kalua pork with cabbage. true to their description on the website, the meat was moist and succulent. i was quite pleased.
8) if you added another zero to my salary, i would definitely shop at anthropologie everyday! but a girl can window shop and thumb through catalog pages without causing too much damage. i was first introduced to this store my junior year of college. i was working as a student worker for the county and a social worker supervisor handed me the catalog, saying this store was perfect for me. some of the clothes are a bit out there (either too hippie or too loud of prints) but you can equally find as many chic and elegant pieces.
9) 90% of the time i talk to nagata, the topic of mochi in frozen yogurt is mentioned. he was the first one to recommend pinkberry. i'm excited to try this concoction of heavenly goodness. soft, creamy vanilla frozen yogurt, slices of juicy selections of fruit, airy pillows of mochi. yummy!
10) it's so easy to put things off...how quickly our lists of things to catch up on multiply. we shouldn't be so certain that the things we delay will be there the next time we choose to make time for it. i'm glad i was able to cross a few things off my catch up list today.