Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ack

How could it be almost October already?  This year has really flown by!

I was looking at my blog posts today and NOT to my surprise, I've posted less this year than last year. Last year I did the whole Project 365 thing and actually had 365 daily posts. When I think about that now, my head hurts. BUT I can't say that I don't love the byproduct of that, which is memories captured every day. I'm reminded of that today, when Todd emailed me a link of an entry I posted last year and said he loved it. He does that sometimes and it totally warms my heart that those daily moments and reflections were captured and that we can go back to read them and relive the good times.

I actually have a lot of different things going on right now in my life. Some project are surprises so I can't share on the blog yet. A lot of my posts lately have been about food and what/where we've been eating. It's been a mix of cooking at home and eating out. I think I need to share some new recipes of cooking stuff soon.

One reason I've not posted on my blog as much lately is because I've finally joined the Blackberry crowd. Yes, I finally got a smartphone. The thing really amazes me and is worth a blog post by itself, so I'll save it for that. But remember last September when I quit my cell phone plan and went to a pay-as-you-go phone? That phone itself cost me $48 up front, then it was pay as you go with no contract. Guess how much I spent on using that cell phone the whole entire year, up to about 3 weeks ago? $16. That means all together, with the phone itself, I spent $64 over the last twelve months on cell phone. Granted, since I got Google Voice, I hardly had a need for a cell phone since my number rings at home, at work, and on my mobile phone. But I think $16 for a year of service is hard to beat!

So, with all the money I saved over the last year, I bought a Blackberry and signed up for the $35/month unlimited text and data plan with 300 talk minutes with Virgin Mobile. Still no contract, yay! I haven't used a whole lot of the talk minutes, but it's nice to know they're there when I need them. But BOY have I used the unlimited text and data plan! With the Blackberry, I hardly ever need to be on the computer anymore. I can email, IM, check Facebook, Twitter, take photos and instantly upload them to Facebook and Twitter, play games, etc. That's why there's been less blog posts. The blog posts are important to me and that's definitely something that's staying around. BUT if you would like to see some more regular/random updates (sometimes with photos even), feel free to follow me on Twitter. Oh and I've added a Twitter updates module to the right side bar of this blog now too, so you can see my latest tweets.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nommy Photos

Two weeks ago a new love arrived at my door.



I was so excited! This Canon T2i came out in April, and it's been sold out everywhere. About three weeks ago, Todd found it in stock at an online store, and it was a pretty good deal. My first DSLR camera! Along with the body, I got a 50mm f/1.8 lens. I had researched and asked on Facebook and by far the majority of the people who answered said this lens was awesome. So for now, this is what I have.

So right after I ordered the camera, Ami Collofello said on Facebook to me, "Even better food photos!" Oh the pressure! Ha ha, I'm kidding. But I was curious how this would change my food photos, especially the home-cooked meals. My opportunity came soon that Saturday, 9/11, when Ohio State played Miami in the second football game of the season. (By the way, hooray for the start of the football season!) Our friends Dejah and Roby went to college at Miami, so we invited them over for a pre-game meal and to watch the game.

We started cooking in the morning. Since I was still so new with the camera, I took photos on Auto. We made mole turkey tacos, homemade guacamole and salsa, and homemade caramel popcorn. Dejah brought homemade coleslaw.













I'm still trying to get used to the fixed lens and the sensitive depth of field. But I think I love the food photos! :)

Because of the 50mm fixed lens, I had to step WAAAAAY back to get a photo of Dejah, Roby, and Todd.


It was also a great football game. Ohio State won 36-24. I think Dejah and Roby were slightly sad, but I hope the homemade turkey mole tacos made up for it. :p

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Todd Goes the Olympic Distance

After training very diligently and persistently for three months, yesterday was finally Todd's big day. He raced in the San Diego Triathlon Classic, an Olympic distance triathlon. (1500M swim, 40K bike, 10K run.)

It wasn't easy getting out of bed at 4:45am! We got to the start of the triathlon at Point Loma before 6am. Everyone had to rack their bicycles by 6:15am. It was still dark when we arrived.



This is the transition area between the swim and the bike, and the bike and the run.


Getting the swim cap on. Each age group got assigned a color. Todd was in the "white cap" group. :p


Almost ready! Todd refused to tuck his blonde hair into the swim cap, LOL.


Sportin' the goggles now!


We found our friends Dejah and Roby at the start of the swim. They brought Todd Shots On-A-Stick!

When we saw them, we seriously could not stop laughing!

At right before 6:50am, Todd got in the water with the rest of his group for the swim start. Water temperature was 67 degrees.


The fog horn sounded for the start of Todd's group, and off they went!


Go, White Caps, go! I can't find which one is Todd!


Dejah, Roby, and I stood around the exit of the swim area to wait for Todd to finish his swim.

Dejah and Roby with their awesome Todd Shot Heads On-A-Stick.


Hey, these are life-size Todd Shot heads!


After about 36 minutes, Todd swam 1500 meters and came out of the water.


Todd said the water was really "disgusting".

I'm sure he was super happy that the swim part of the race was over!

After an eight minute transition (during which time he ate a few bites of his cookie), Todd and his bike come out of the transition area for the 40k bike ride.


We moved our cheering headquarters to the end of the bike route to await for Todd.


Our friend Monika arrived to cheer Todd on. She made this "Team Todd" sign as a surprise for Todd. She emailed me a picture of it the night before and I could not stop laughing! But alas, I could not show Todd, since it was a surprise.


The other side of the sign: Domo is Team Todd!


I thought it would take Todd an hour and 40 min for the bike part of the race. Todd was 10 minutes ahead of his bike schedule! Good thing we paid attention and saw him! Go Todd go!


Almost the end of the bike ride!


Todd inside the transition area, getting ready to run.


Running shorts on, switching shoes.


Ready for the 10k run!


And off he went! Last leg! Go Todd go!


Roby took a video of Todd running by at the beginning of the run part of the race. Thanks Roby!


He was so fast that the camera thought he was just an orange blur!


At the end of the first lap. He's run 5k now, only 5k more to go!


Todd coming through the finish chute. He finished his first Olympic distance triathlon!


I rushed to the finish line to get a photo of Todd getting his medal.


A tired but happy and proud finisher of his first triathlon!


I was so proud of him. What an accomplishment!


His official finish time was 3:05:53, which is about 10 minutes faster than he thought he would be. After the race, we drove down the street to Point Loma Seafoods and chowed down on halibut sandwich and soft-shelled crab sandwich. Todd was HUNGRY!

Todd wrote a blog post from his point of view. You can read it here.

Our friend Monika also wrote a blog post about it. You can read it here.

We truly appreciated Dejah, Roby, and Monika coming out to cheer Todd on! Their enthusiasm was infectious and their crafty artwork was much admired by everyone around us! Thank you guys!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Waaaaaiting for Food

It's not my favorite thing to do.

When I'm hungry, I'm hungry, LOL. But waiting to eat is exactly what we did on Sunday 9/5. We made a date with our friends Dejah and Roby to eat at Phil's BBQ. Phil's is lauded as THE BEST BBQ in San Diego. We decided it was time to go check it out, after many years of living here. Even though, we had heard that the line to get inside the restaurant is LEGENDARY. It just so happens, by accident, that Todd got to go to Phil's BBQ with some work people a few days prior to our date. He hadn't planned on it, because we already had our date with Dejah and Roby. Todd and his coworkers had tried to go to Carlo's favorite Mexican restaurant in Chula Vista. But on the day they went, parts of Chula Vista had lost power, so the restaurant was unable to serve. They ended up at Phil's BBQ. When Todd came home from work that day, he could not stop talking about it. He said it was THE BEST FOOD he'd EVER had. Well, that's quite an endorsement, and set the expectation very high for me.

So on Sunday (9/5) afternoon, we arrived at Phil's BBQ at 4:30pm. Yes, 4:30. Because we wanted to wait less long for food. Guess what the line was like at 4:30pm?


You couldn't even see the end of the line from there.


It was like Disneyland.  The line wrapped around and just when you thought you were almost there, you see more line hidden around the corner.

So guess how long it took for us to get inside the restaurant to order our food? An hour and a half. That was just to get to the counter to order the food. We thought the food would come out at the counter right after we ordered it. But they gave us a buzzer and said, "It'll be about 20-25 minutes." Ugh! We were grouchy because we already had to endure two teenagers making out in front of us in line the entire time. In front of the girl's mother! It was the most disgusting public display of affection I had ever seen. They looked like they were 14 years old. And her mother was right there with them in line! Dejah and I were astounded that the mother just let her daughter make out with her boyfriend in public, right in front of her. It basically left us speechless.

We waited at our table exhausted and hungry.


Finally, our buzzers sounded and Todd and Roby joyously bounded up to the counter to get our massive amounts of food.


I ordered ribs and they did look delicious. Just about now I'm thinking, "This better be worth it for the almost two hour wait."


Todd was quite ready to bite into his tri-tip BBQ beef sandwich!


After the food came, we were much happier and perkier, even in our bibs.


So was it worth the wait? Maybe.
The food was very good, but in my opinion it was not so astoundingly good that it's worth waiting in line for that long. San Diego has a lot of excellent restaurants with hardly any waiting time, so I personally would not wait this long for food. However, at least we had fun with Dejah and Roby. It was definitely worth it for a first time experience.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Friends and Music

Last Saturday night (9/4), we got to hang out with friends, enjoy some good food, and hear some music.

We met up with Stacy and Sally at Parkhouse Eatery for dinner. We had a Restaurant.com certificate for $10 off, which we kept meaning to use. Parkhouse Eatery gives you gigantic portions, so Todd and I shared a dish (halibut). They even split it for you onto separate plates.

Just my half of the halibut dish.


The meal came with really nice bread and olive oil dip.


We also got some panko potato cakes and mac n cheese. I guess the mac n cheese really was for me, since Todd doesn't eat cheese.

Except that Sally ate almost half of my mac n cheese. :-|

Stacy and Sally shared a salad and shrimp pasta.




Todd took a photo of the girls.


After dinner, we walked over to Swedenborg Hall and enjoyed a concert with musician/singer/songwriter Randi Driscoll. The reason we all heard about the concert is because Todd's acquaintance Noah Heldman plays percussion and guitar with Randi. We just found out via Facebook a few weeks ago that my high school friends Stacy and Sally are also friends with Noah. Small world! The venue, Swedenborg Hall, actually was a pretty nice place to see a small concert. Randi et. all played lots of songs and Todd ran into more people he knew.

Randi and Noah on stage.




Most of the time Randi played the piano and sang.


It was a fun evening of food, friends, and music. :)

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