Monday, February 27, 2006

Mixed reaction

I talked with my mom today. Her surgery was postponed, which she was happy about. She told me she was really nervous the night before, didn't sleep well at all and this morning her blood pressure was off the charts. As it turns out, surgery was postponed because she has an infection which needs to be taken care of first. Hopefully the antibiotics she's taking now can stave off any thing new that may come along within the next few weeks, especially with all this cold, wet weather.

The new date is March 20. She sounded in good spirits and now she gets to do/go to all the things she had planned for this week, including a wedding on Saturday as well as my mother-in-law's 60th birthday picnic. So I'm glad she can go party, but at the same time, I was hoping she could get the surgery over with and be on the mend sooner than later.

The photo: Anemones growing in the flower beds outside of the Conservatory of Flowers, from my recent visit. I bet all this rain's got them wet and muddy now.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Family, Friends, Flowers

I was looking forward to the Pacific Orchid Exchange last weekend. Instead, I had a good time catching up with family (Woowoo! Sleep over with Ate Jing & Ate Marivie and my niece Ria at my parents!) and friends (hola Nancy, Art, Matt & Matte) and eating lots of food (Lucky Chances, Little P.I., Millbrae Pancake House, The Slanted Door) while taking in some culture too (visiting the new de Young museum and catching up on some TFC - the Filipino Channel).

Yesterday, Eric told me about the Orchid exhibition at the Conservatory of Flowers. Fr. K (a fellow orchid enthusiast) at the school told him it was actually a nicer exhibit than the POE, so I walked on over a little after noon to see it for myself.

Ever been in a greenhouse in the middle of the day? I hadn't until yesterday. Sauna city. My glasses fogged up the minute I walked in. I was hot and sweaty for the whole 2 hours I was in there. It made me realize how sad my indoor orchids probably are because they need more humidity and heat. For the most part, the displays were well done, bright and uncluttered. But I wished more of the plants had their tags in plain view. It was difficult identifying some of them.

I always wanted to take my mom to an exhibit or the home and garden show but it's hard coordinating schedules with her. She and I have a common love of plants, especially orchids. Last weekend, she walked me out to the backyard to show me some of the blooming cymbidiums and showed me a cattleya that's surviving, even though she neglected it and thought it was on its last legs. I took these photos, thinking she would like them. She goes to hysterectomy surgery tomorrow. I was going to see her today but I think I've picked up a cold (the phlegm has started to thicken along with an itchy/scratchy throat and lots of sneezing) and I don't want to be germy around her.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I remember when . . .

October 11, 2004. I was celebrating my 5th year with the company - Woowoo! I ordered the cheesy pen/pencil set and my company pin with the diamond chip! And then, 2 days later, they announced the office would be closing and the work is going to move to Anaheim. The job hunt was on - for anything, anywhere! I was on Craigslist a lot in those days, getting side-tracked by all kinds of things: naughty photos, people looking for dates, things for sale, etc.

I was looking for admin/customer service type things and I came upon a position with Flamingo International. I didn't go for the job but I really liked their website and their services intrigued me. Their researchers have some interesting papers available online and well, they do also offer up Space Invaders if you want to shoot some little aliens. I interviewed with Room & Board (phone interview with their HR lady in Minnesota, what a great accent!) but then I decided I really didn't want to work weekends. Plus, they weren't sure where their warehouse was going to be and I really needed to know if they were going to put it somewhere I could easily get to via public transportation. But I really liked their furniture and we finally bought a new couch and coffee table from them just before Christmas. Design Within Reach was cool too and they did respond to my resume but by then I'd already found another job within the company.

I still remember those stressful times and how I chose to de-stress by wandering the web.

ps - shameless plug for my sister, Ate Marivie. She sells fabulous candles for Gold Canyon Candles. She started selling a few years back when she was still living in Arizona and now she's back in the Bay Area, my distributor is closer to me now! Beats all kinds of other candle brands out there, hands down IMHO.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Believe it or not ...

I've been looking for a link to an article and I'm glad to share it with you... sort of.

While waiting for the plane on the way home from Las Vegas, I was feeling restless, just looking forward to being home again. I was knitting, people watching & fiddling with my iPod but it was running low on battery power so that didn't last long. I'm not a great reader but I did bring along some magazines, Martha Stewart and Harper's. I pulled out the Harper's- it always has a variety of things to read in there. Some are nice tidbits, small enough for my little brain to chew on, perfect for my restless mood that afternoon.

So here's a link to the article that woke me up. The magazine article was excerpted from the interview where as this link is the finished article. I have eaten a variety of meat in my day and I like meat. But I would NEVER partake of human flesh, even if I was stuck up in the Andes in some plane crash and my survival depended on it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Catching up with the kiddies

Las Vegas. I have family there and we were visiting them for the weekend. Before I get to the fun stuff, just a few things irritate me about being in the desert. The dryness for starters. Chapped lips. Dry hair, dry skin. Dry eyes. Dry. Oh and the static. I zap myself all the time and I hate it. It's not that it hurts, it's that element of surprise that I can't stand. Ewww.

My oldest niece Mikka is turning 16 this week and we wanted to celebrate it with her somehow, even though it was before her actual birthday day. We haven't seen her and her little brother Pandu (4th grader) and sister Juju (5th grader) in some time too so it was nice to just hang around, eat, shop, and play with them. It's funny to listen to them talk. They're still all cute but you can definitely tell they're growing up. They've been there a few years now and before that, they were in Arizona. I've missed seeing them grow up.

I'm not a gambler and didn't even spend a penny on any machines. We did do the buffets at our hotel a bunch of times and we also got to enjoy Nanny McPhee (a nice fairy tale) with the kiddies. We would have done some bowling but it was taking forever. So we played some Mad-Libs instead and watched Legally Blonde in our hotel room. Juju was into poo everything. Proper noun? Poo-Diddy. Need a verb? Sharting. How about a regular noun? Poop-sicle. We could have gone on and on. I'm glad it didn't go poo when we played Scrabble the next day. I think that was my first full game of Scrabble and I liked it a lot. I was the first to get rid of all my tiles too, so I'm sure that helped.

We stayed away from the Strip at a newly opened hotel/casino called South Coast. It's nice to stay somewhere new. You could still smell the fresh paint. Some of our towels were still new and the closet didn't smell stale and musty. But the hallway was very Shining-esque. Long and narrow with a tapestry-like carpet. I was just waiting for the twins to pop up at the end.

I guess I really can't catch up with the kiddies. They're growing up over there and I'm growing old over here. When we were watching the opening credits to Nanny McPhee, the THX sound check goes on. It's the robot with the baby toy that goes moooo like a cow when you turn it over. But because it's not loud enough, the robot finds a cord, plugs it into the toy and it becomes amplified. Mikka turns to me and says, "Hehe, he USB'd it." 2 things - definitely something I would not have said when I was 15 and she turned USB into a verb!

Heh, for every generation, there is a gap! Ook - interesting read at the PBS site re: the Generation Gap.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Greys & Browns

Elephant seals sunning themselves at Ano Nuevo State Reserve.

Lawn mushrooms, freshly picked, laying on the work bench.

Colma BART Station walkway.

Hook, line, and stinker

Finally saw the 2005 film version of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. I liked how Willy Wonka was pallid against his colorful factory settings. The kid who plays Charlie was really cool too, especially during the part where Willy makes his proposition. Overall good fun. Right up there with 2 other film adaptations of Roald Dahl's stories that I really like - Matilda and The Witches.

I was looking forward to a rousing, upbeat rendition of Pure Imagination. Don't ask me why but I just thought the version MasterCard's been using in their commercials was bound to be in the film, like when the credits play or something. But I was wrong. So I search iTunes for it and I'm not hearing the right version. I googled 'pure imagination commercial' and the 3rd hit found leads me to Wikipedia.

Darn! Damn commercial jingle got me again!

I thought, at least I know the song's title. It's easier to search for stuff, compared to on again-off again obsession with finding the Midge Ure single Swatch used for a commercial in the late nineties, Breathe. Still perusing used record shops import sections for it, trying to get an honest copy.