Saturday, October 31, 2009


Liz and I went to see Sophia in her costume last night at Liz's parents'. Her Miss America costume was awesome and I think they are going out to Union Street tonight. Lynn's saw the MJ movie this week, and she was inspired. Check out her costume- she has the moonwalk down cold!
Liz has been on a pancake frenzy lately, and this morning made some festive ones. Since the bridge is still closed, we are staying in the East Bay tonight, dinner at our former neighbors Greg & Lisa's in Orinda. Kickin it suburb style!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bi-t It

Check out this vid from the New Hope fundraiser last weekend. Resolution makes it kind of hard to tell, but I think that Bi is the one in the black vest who gets into the knife fight!

You know it's a skit because everyone knows better than to get into a fight with Bi!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

They Come in Threes

1. When it rained like crazy last week, we found that we had a leak in the seal of the Murano's windshield, which resulted in a puddle in the car and a trip to the dealership. They said they'd fix it for $200, which I declined. They did some free recall service while it was in there, but when they were done, the car wouldn't start! Long story short(er), they put something together wrong and had to go in and fix it. Took the car to Safelite to get the windshield fixed- $40!

2. Left the Passat in SF Saturday night after the MosDef show. You know I constantly have work stuff in my backseat, so I thought I was being clever by covering it with a sheet. But I think my plan backfired and made someone curious about what I was hiding. Result: broken window (they left my box of files), and a trip back to Safelite. They remembered me, took pity and gave me a 25% discount!

3. Right after I got the window fixed, had to work late at Summit Hospital. Parked in the pay lot, which closes at 7. Cases finished at 8. Garage gate down, car trapped til morning. Thanks for picking me up Liz and thanks for driving me back Vern!

So that makes 3 and nothing bad will happen to our cars for a long time. That's the rule.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Weekend

  • Played at Crystal Springs with Gerardo, Chris and Anh. First round for me in a couple of months.
  • Liz went to Sophia's volleyball game at St. Vincent DePaul (lost in 2)
  • Liz had some friends over to dinner (pix please Mel!). Liz tried making a new salmon dish- it was delicous!
  • Hit up Mos Def at 330 Ritch. Nice show, but not as billed. I just wanna hear some of the old jams!
  • Spent some of the night at D&G's, but the Passat paid the price....

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Serious Waste of Time and Money

SPOILER ALERT: Nothing Happens!
Wow is all I can say. Though there are some redeaming qualities to this movie (or "film," as the fanboys would assert), there simply was not enough movie there. This story has been told, and Larry is too luch of a wuss to be sympathetic. Very nice cinematography, though.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


so Liz and I began Dan Brown's latest novel- Lost Symbol- on our road trip as an audiobook from iTunes. I am not a huge Dan Brown fan, but the books I've read are fun and move quickly. The audiobook was unabridged, and checked in at 17+ hours! We got a little past chapter 100, and my iPod crapped out. I think it has something to do with the charging.

So, this is a rant againt the Apple store. Since I can't load the audiobook onto another iPod to resume the book (DRM), I brought the iPod into the store. Figured I could drop it off and they could attend to it sometime in the next few days. But nooooo- I had to have an appointment at their humbly-named GeniusBar. No Drop-offs. And there are no appointments for 5 days. Or I can "fly standby," for a no-show, but if there is a real emergency (like "someone who is running his business from his iPhone") then I would get bumped.

If these things run so well, then howcome their teach support is booked for 5 days and they have people coming in for emergencies?!

And the 'tude! Freaking employees there think that they really are the "cool" Mac guy from the commercials. All hipster-rific and self-important. I have been pretty happy with the few Apple products I have, but I am also easily annoyed by poor service, especially poor service with attitude. I really want my iPod fixed, but am loathe to go in there and have the Genius ask me questions like I am an idiot like their greeter did (did you try to reset it? did you plug it in?).

Just let me drop the thing off, and you can call me when it's fixed. And don't tell me how the book ends. (I'll bet it has to do with explosions, though!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweet Swedish Reading

This author Stieg Larsson (official website link, Wiki link, YouTube)has been blowing up in the US since his novels have been translated to English. He's outsold Harry Potter in Europe if that means anything to you. He's kind of like Michael Crichton + Dan Brown, but he's Swedish.
Larsson started what was supposed to be a 10-novel series, but died after he wrote the first three, and only two have been translated into English so far . The Sweden Larsson wrote about is not your Ikea, Abba, Bikini Team Sweden, but rather the darker side of Scandinavia: Nazis, death metal, and human trafficking.
What stuck me as doubly tragic is that not only is a very talented author gone, but so are all the characters he'd created. When you are reading his novels, Lisbeth & Mikael are like living breathing people, but unfortunately they can't exist without Larsson, and we'll never know what he had inteded for them. What a loss!
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest is due out this month in English. Movies based on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire have already been released in Sweden and are international hits. Check him out, you won't be sorry!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wicked, Joy, Viv's Dress

We ran around a little this weekend and saw some people we haven't seen in a while:
- Joy was visiting from Hawaii- we hit up Aunt Mary's for brunch. Liz's pancakes were incredible & we also split a bread pudding muffin.
- Liz got together with Vivien, Roxanna, and Kirsten for girls night out- dinner at Nopa and Wicked
- I went out with the boys and ended up on Derek's couch.
- Liz, Viv and Rox went to go check out a few wedding dresses (while I went to Zeke's to catch a few games)
- Dinner with Larry, Laurie, and Sophia (who won her game Saturday)
- Watched part of the Dodgers game- ouch
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Thursday, October 15, 2009


Left over ham bone from the Woodland shower = pea soup! I made it yesterday, but we're already near the bottom of the pot. That means I get to gnaw on that bone soon...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I am kind of cynical of weather reporters (and the TV news in general), so when the forecasters got all worked up over the storm that they predicted for today, I didn't really take them seriously. It's kind of a joke that the first few drops of rain always initiate a "stormwatch," right?

Well today they were not kidding. Heavy rain started sometime before 5 am, and it didn't let up a hair until around 5pm. Almost 4 inchces of rain in Oakland today! I saw no fewer than 10 car crashes, including 3 overturned cars and a big rig whose entire cab was over the center divide! Standing water everywhere in the freeway made it extra-treacherous. So I went home early.

Looks like the worst has passed, though. Maybe we'll get our October Summer now?

Presidents Cup, Harding Park 2009

We had to leave my mom's house at around 6am on Sunday morning after the baby shower so that I could make it back for a training session for the Presidents Cup. I got a job as a marshal on the 17th hole, which was pretty cool. The entire event was really fun, but being able to particiapte and get inside the ropes made it truly memorable.
My favorite day was Tuesday, the practice round, where there are few other spectators and they allow cameras onto the grounds. I had tons of run-ins with players, players' wives (Elin sat next to me at the 2nd hole), and lots of really cool and happy volunteers and fans. Everyone was stoked to be there, resulting in so many cool moments I can't even list them all. (but here are a few)
  • Watching Phil chip on the practice range
  • Talking to Michael Jordan
  • Elin kneeling down next to me at the par 3 2nd
  • Meeting Stewart Cink and Kenny Perry

It's crazy to see how get a glimpse on how these guys live- they're constantly on the road and have high demands on their time and energy. It's a wonder that they are able to practice at all. It looks really taxing and I give credit to the guys who really seem like good guys and spend time talking to the fans and especially the kids. I've got a new favorite player- Sean O'Hare. But I won't gush....

It was a really exhausting week, but well worth the time and energy! I would definitely do it again- US Open at Olympic in 2012!
Click here for my pics from the practice rounds.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tidepools and Babies

We left Santa Barbara and made the quick drive to LA to have dinner with Cheryl and Tony and meet their daughter Chase (age 3). Cheryl is about 8 months preggo but kindly made us dinner anyway, which allowed us to be leisurely and catch up. We finally left and arrived at Mom's in Stanton around 11pm.

Liz and I went to the beach on Thursday, to a part of Newport that I haven't been before- Crystal Cove. We were lured in by the Shake Shack (gets us every time). We ended up walking down to the beach to discover a little village and lots of tidepools, teeming with hermit crabs, fish, and anemones. Then we headed even further south to Laguna to hang out on the boardwalk there, where they were celebrating Mr. Laguna Beach's 90th birthday with free gyros. We ended the night going to Downtown Disney to check out the fireworks- walking around in shorts at night- something we rarely get to do in Oakland!

Finally on Saturday, we had dim sum with Co Khanh and Kevin. Nice to go to a dim sum spot where I can order exactly what I want in vietnamese!

Around 2:00 we picked up my mom and went to no less than 4 restaurants to pick up food for the baby shower, which was a blast. There were two of my friends' babies who I had not met before, and two girls who were preggo in addition to Liz. pretty soon we are going to have a football team. There were plenty of kids, babies, pregnant women, and food to feed us all.

For pictures of Road Trip part 3, click here.

Second Leg- to Santa Barbara

On Monday Sept 28, we left Cambria and headed down the coast again to Santa Barbara. The drive from Cambria to Santa Barbara isn't as stunning as the drive from the bay to Cambria, but it's still very scenic. The coastline changes from rocky and craggy to more conventional beach. We drove by Morro Bay, which is famous for a big rock. Also thorough San Luis Obisop, Ventura and Oxnard (shout out!).

We stayed at the Orchid Inn, which actually didn't have many orchids, but it was pretty and central to everything. Going to Santa Barbara was like coming back to civilization after being in Cambria for 2 days. Lots of people walking around and they don't care that you're there to visit their city. But we had fun there, and it is a really beautiful area with lots of good food.
There's a mission, gorgeous (expensive) hillside homes, nice beachfront, and plenty of restaurants. We visited the botanical garden, but most of it was closed to repair damage from a recent fire.
Perhaps my favorite thing was LotusLand, another wacky place build by a really, really rich person, this time a lady named Madame Ganna Walska. She spent the last half of her life gathering and arranging specimends for her dramatic gardens. There are seven or eight different areas, and some have rare species of trees or flowers brought from overseas a hundred years ago. The cactus garden was especially cool.
While in Santa Barbara, we also celebrated our THIRD anniversay. Yay us.
For pictures of the second leg of our road trip click here.

It's been a while...

...over two weeks, but I have some good reasons why I have been off the bloggo.
Liz and I started our road trip on Saturday, Sept 26, headed for Cambria via Monterey and Hwy 1. First of all, AWESOME DRIVE. So many picturesque spots it would be impossible to stop and absorb even half of them in a day. Cambria would be about 4.5 hours away if we drove from Oakland straight through, but I think we took about 7 hours, stopping in Monterey for fish and chips and various other spots just to hang out.
Cambria itself is a very small tourist beach town, about seven miles south of San Simeon. It consists of two basiclaly two streets lined with inns, restaurants, and artsy-craftsy storefronts. Super quaint and cute, where the townsfolk are really nice to you because you're a tourist in their town.
We chose Cambria because it's really close to San Simeon, where Hearst Castle is located. Hearst Castle is one of those things that really, really rich people build and keep on adding to. It is outrageous inside and out. It once had its own zoo with a polar bear and everything; even now the grounds have zebras hanging around. Hearst brought in centuries-old fireplaces, chior stalls, ceilings, and furnishings. They say he had wild parties. We did one of five possible castle tours.
We spent two nights in Cambria- very relaxing and a great way to get a vacation started. For pictures of the first leg of our trip, click here.