Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nice Day for a Run

Photo today: Photobucket This was at the start of our 6 mile run with West Coast Road Runners today. The sun was just rising above the San Diego skyline. We ran from Tom Hamm's Lighthouse at the end of Harbor Island down to Anthony's Fish Grotto by the Star of India, then turned around and went back. Total of 6 miles and I did it in 1:05:09. Under 11 minutes per mile! That's a better pace than last week's 5 mile run. Very exciting! I felt pretty strong during the whole run. The last quarter mile I felt my achilles start to tighten up. After the run I stretched it out and it feels fine now. Todd has found his groove with his pace group of 4 people. They are exactly the same pace and ran together the whole way. I wish I found a couple of people like that. With a mile left I passed this women and heard her talking to another woman that she was having a hard time finding someone who ran her exact pace as well. She had been following me but I pulled away from her in the last mile. Some scenes from the run: Photobucket The Star of India is the world's oldest active ship, permanently docked in San Diego Bay, but she still sails from time to time: Photobucket I stopped to take this photo because I thought it was a great scene: Photobucket After the run we had a seminar on finding the right running shoes with a guy from Road Runner Sports. I need to go and get my feet and running form analyzed to make sure I'm in the right type of shoe. My left calf and shin sometimes hurts, but never my right. I wish I had two right legs. If I did I could probably run a marathon, no problem! After that, Todd & I went to a cafe in Little Italy called Caffe Italia (name is self-explanatory, LOL) and ate some breakfast: Photobucket Photobucket We got back to our parking meter a few minutes after it expired, really relieved to find that we hadn't gotten a ticket yet! We drove up to Morena Blvd and went to Standards of Excellence to check out some kitchen appliances, since this place was recommended by one of the remodelers we're considering. We spent a while in there looking at gas range cooktops, but nobody came to help us. Which was just as well, since we were not ready to make a choice anyways. Just looking! Then we drove south on Morena Blvd to San Diego Kitchen & Bath's showroom, only to find it still closed at 11:00 AM. We took it as a sign that it was lunch time, ha ha. Drove down to North Park and had lunch at Mama's Lebanese Bakery. This is one of Todd's most favorite eateries, but we don't usually get to go down there because it's far, and because of their limited hours of operations. Photobucket After lunch we went home and showered and immediately turned around and drove back down to Mission Valley to Mission San Diego. After living here for 9 years, we've never actually been there! It's California's first mission and first church, established in 1769. Photobucket We met Sally there for a "Photo Date". I bought the book "Photo Secrets San Diego" by Andrew Hudson (who happens to live in my neighborhood) from Amazon. In the book he describes all the scenic places in and around San Diego to take photos, and he gives advice on what time of the year and what time of the day to go for the best shots, plus camera setting tips! When we first arrived around 3:30 PM it was still a little too bright outside to take good photos, so we went inside the church to look around. The front: Photobucket The back: Photobucket I thought it was very cool how the sunlight was coming in the window and the back door. Then we went inside the garden: Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Finally the "magic hour" arrived: Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket After the photo date we decided we were all hungry and drove back down to Hillcrest near Sally's neighborhood and had dinner @ Baja Betty's, a place that we always liked at the Taste of Hillcrest but never had a full meal there before. It really did not disappoint! We all loved our meals, and believe me, we are pretty picky about Mexican food around here, being on the border and all. Todd had a Coochie Coochie Carnitas plate (and he ate it all): Photobucket Sally had a burrito as big as her head, of which she only ate half: Photobucket I had a combo plate of fish taco, chicken enchilada with red sauce, and rice and black beans. I came home with leftovers! Photobucket What a day! I'm exhausted from the run and the fun. Until tomorrow!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Gig

Just a quick post tonight with photos from Todd's gig with Kim Divine at Lestat's West. I gotta get to bed so I can sleep 6 hours and get up and run 6 miles! I'll be back tomorrow with the full story. (Photos are grainy because I had to up the ISO to 1600 since it was indoors and dark and I didn't want to use the flash.) Our next door neighbors Fred & Annie said they wanted to come see Todd play, so they also invited us to eat at the Burger Lounge in Kensington beforehand. How could we refuse?? We've already been to the Burger Lounge in Coronado and La Jolla and loved it both times. It's like going on a Burger Lounge tour this month, LOL. Photobucket Fred is a huge coffee nut so he wanted to come to Lestat's to also try out their coffee drinks. He told us they have good coffee there, which is actually very impressive considering he's quite the connoisseur. Sally also came to see Todd play, but we hung out before the show too, since I had to get there so early for the band's sound check. Sound check is very boring so I was glad to hang out with Sally & Fred & Annie. Todd at the start of the show. He hadn't played a gig in a while so I think he was very excited. I think his enthusiasm makes him extra cute! Photobucket Kim played some new songs from her new album that she's recording now called "Square One". She also played a couple of songs from her previous album "Hummingbird". Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Do you often wonder what the backstage looks like? This is it. Photobucket When you don't have roadies, you gotta pack and carry your own stuff! Photobucket The whole backstage at Lestat's West is plastered with posters of the musicians who played there. Photobucket If you want to see a previous clip of Kim, Todd, and Matt appearing on "Inside San Diego", a morning talk show here in San Diego, click here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I've been tagged!

by Michelle Filo - the extraordinarily talented digital and hybrid artist behind the awesome "Playing with Paper" templates and now paper piecing templates at Little Dreamer Designs. Here is the tag:

1 - Link back to the blog that tagged you: With Love by Mushy

2 - Make a list of 6 (un)interesting things about yourself. Six *un*interesting things about me:

  1. I went skydiving in 2005. Yep, jumped out of the airplane at 13,000 feet.
  2. I've worked for the same company for 15 years.
  3. I got braces for my teeth at 31 years old.
  4. I appeared as a background actor in several episodes of the TV show "Veronica Mars".
  5. I was a camp counselor for one summer in college and lived in a platform tent the entire time.
  6. One of my undergraduate degrees from Ohio State was in Psychology.
3 - Tag five other blogs, and let them know by leaving them a comment. I'm going to tag some recent visitors to my blog who commented:
  1. Erika
  2. Debra
  3. Sandra
  4. Tracey
  5. Sherrie
Photo today: Photobucket A photo of our kitchen. Why not right? In a couple of months it won't look the same anymore since it'll be remodeled. We had another company come out tonight for ideas and an estimate. Their price was slightly cheaper and we liked the guy, who is the owner of the company. So we'll see what they present us with next week. This week I've only run twice in the morning (instead of three times), so we'll see how I do for the 6 mile run this Saturday. I'm looking forward to the weekend! :) Tomorrow night Todd is playing music at Lestat's with Kim Divine. Besides being chef-extraordinaire, you didn't know he's a rock star too, did you? :p Then Saturday early morning is our 6 mile run. Saturday afternoon I have a photo date with Sally to go somewhere cool and take pictures. I hope there's eating involved too! Then Sunday is the Super Bowl and Todd & I are making homemade guacamole dip and chicken tacos. Yum! We actually have a tortilla maker. I'm wondering if we should bust it out instead of buying store tortillas? Hmm...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Orange you glad you stopped by?

Photo today: Photobucket I've been eating at least two oranges a day from my dad's friend from Bakersfield. They're so sweet & juicy. I'll be sad when I run out of them. Today one of the remodelers that we're considering came to give us ideas and a rough estimate. His company got a bunch of great reviews on Angie's List, plus they came highly recommended by someone at my work. He came and consulted with us, then took measurements so that he can go back and do a detailed kitchen and bath design in his software and present it to us next week, along with the PRICE TAG. The scary price tag. Dinner tonight was Citrus-Glazed Chicken: Photobucket It was a new recipe and we thought it was pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. You have to marinate the chicken a few hours ahead of time though, so it's not a last minute dish.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One Last Push At The End

Photo today: Photobucket Poor Todd got a mole removed from his left arm at the doctor today. Thus the bandage. He gets his moles checked yearly because of his fair skin. A couple of months ago he went to get checked and they took off a part of that mole and sent it to the lab. The lab found some not-normal cells, but not melanoma or anything. They wanted to go back in and cut the entire thing out, just to be safe. They don't need to tell us twice to be better safe than sorry! My first motto is "Embrace Life". Second is "Better Safe Than Sorry". I havent' come up with a third one yet. :p Tonight we had dinner with Sally & Brian at the Dakota Grill downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter. Sally alerted me to their anniversary special going on this week, where each person can eat a three-course dinner for $20.09. Sounds good, right? How can we resist? ::evil laugh:: Photobucket
  1. Biscuits & butter
  2. Tomato Bisque
  3. Roasted Garlic Flatbread
  4. Tempura Calamari
  5. Marinated Skirt Steak
  6. Dakota Meatloaf
  7. Cedar Plank Salmon
  8. Fudge Brownie a la Mode
  9. Creme Brulee
No, I didn't eat all this! This is all our food and we gave each other little tastes. Everything was really good and this is like half their normal price, so we were really happy and full! Sally & I: Photobucket Todd & I: Photobucket Last but not least, I entered several layouts into the Wacom Penscrappers Contest a few weeks ago, and January 31st is the last day for the voting. If you have a minute, could you please vote for my layouts? It is REALLY easy and only takes a minute, and you don't have to register at the site or anything. I posted about it here - you can just click on each layout and get to my entry at the Penscrappers.com site and simply click "Vote For It" in the upper right. I appreciate it very much! Several runners-up will receive a Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet (I'm not sure what size), and that's what I'm aiming for. :) BIG thanks again!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Year of the Ox

Photo today: Photobucket Today is Chinese New Year and it's the Year of the Ox! So what do we do to celebrate? Eat beef of course! Actually we didn't plan it that way, it's a coincidence. Tonight we cooked Filet Mignon with Peppercorn-Orange Sauce. Photobucket I say "we" because I actually did half the chopping and cooking today. :: proud look :: Photobucket The veggies are leftovers from yesterday. So, it being Chinese New Year and all, my thoughts went to my Chinese-ness. I feel like I'm losing my Chinese-ness day by day. When my mom was alive she only spoke Chinese Mandarin to me, so my Chinese remained quite fluent even though I've been living in the United States for 29 years, since grade school. Ever since she's been gone, I feel like I'm slowly losing the language and it really bothers me. I mean, I need to at least be able to read the Chinese menus in the good Chinese restaurants around town, you know? Photobucket My dad mostly speaks to me in English now. I don't know why, but he does. Probably out of courtesy to Todd. But Todd actually understands quite a bit of Chinese. He took a year of Chinese at Ohio State and knows enough such that we can't talk about him without him knowing most of what we're saying. Photobucket It's only been two years since my mom's passing and I've lost so much of the language already. I struggle to speak a complete sentence sometimes. I need to somehow practice my Chinese speaking and reading more often, so I don't lose my mother tongue so fast. One billion out of the six billion people on Earth speak Chinese, and I want to remain one of them!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Chinese New Years Eve!

Photo today: Photobucket Photo processed using Aged Photo preset (included) in Adobe Lightroom 2. Yesterday late afternoon we drove an hour and 45 minutes to LA to visit Dad. He had been traveling in Asia for a month and just returned, so it was a good time to visit him. Plus, his friend gave him a whole box of Bakersfield oranges and he wanted to give me some! If you've never had oranges from Bakersfield, CA, you're missing out. Only the BEST tasting oranges I've ever had! It's juicy and it's sweet. I look forward to my dad's friend bringing the oranges every winter! Photobucket So the four of us went out to dinner at Canaan Restaurant, which is actually a Chinese restaurant and not Israeli. My dad and his wife Shelly: Photobucket Yes, my dad has remarried since my mom passed away. People always ask me how I feel about it, out of concern for me. Ultimately, the short answer is that I'm really happy for my dad that he is able to find happiness and a companion at the age of 64. If he were single, I'd worry more about him. He met Shelly a few months after mom died. At the time he actually called me and asked me if Mom had said anything to me about him finding someone again. So I got to tell him that yes, in fact she did. Three nights prior to my mom's passing, she and I had a heart-to-heart talk and she had the foresight and kindness to tell me that she wanted Dad to remarry and find happiness again, and not be alone. Her unselfishness is such a great blessing to all of us. It freed my dad to feel okay about dating again, and it freed me from any resentment towards my dad finding someone else. That was the kind of person my mom was, always thinking of others. I tear up just thinking about it. God really gave me a great Mom. Shelly is there for my dad but she never tries to replace my mom, or try to be a mom to me. I appreciate that a lot. Today Todd and I had lunch in LA before leaving. (Dad and Shelly had previously scheduled engagement.) We went to one of our old favorite restaurants called "Yi Tiao Long" in Chinese, which basically means "Dragon". Some sauteed green beans: Photobucket Leafy green veggies: Photobucket Green onion pancake, one of Todd's favorites: Photobucket Our favorite dumplings. The photo doesn't do it justice. It really tastes better than the photo looks! Photobucket After lunch we went to a Chinese grocery store across the street and saw Chinese New Years decorations all over the store: Photobucket Look at all the available types of ramen noodles! I like Asian ramen noodles better than American ones because they're more flavorful in my opinion. And people in Asia eat them, not just poor college students! Photobucket All the seafood in their tanks. (I feel sorry for them sometimes...) Photobucket Driving home, I saw some big white fluffy clouds over the bridge in Fallbrook, so I had to take a photo: Photobucket I finished my Week 3 layout for Project 365: Photobucket Full credits here. Tonight Todd made Pilaf with Chicken, Spinach, and Walnuts. We haven't had this dish in a while and it's yummy! Photobucket After dinner, Todd practiced some songs with Kim Divine and Matt. They are performing at Lestats on January 30th @ ~9:00 PM. If you're local in San Diego, you can contact me if you want to come and see/hear them. Photobucket I took the photo from our upstairs balcony looking down. Really like the perspective.

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