Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Social Hours

I’ve been having a ton of fun just getting together with friends.  Most weeks I have had lunch or dinner with a friend, or been out doing stuff with friends.  That was one of the things that I had stopped doing as much in the last year.  Work was leaving me too exhausted to socialize with friends.  I am glad to be cultivating my friendships again, because I think it’s really important for my mental health. 

What I haven’t been remembering to do is take photos with my friends every time we get together.  Hopefully I can remember more often than not!

On Tuesday 8/15 I had lunch with my friend Erecca at Stir Fresh.  I forgot to take a photo of us, but I remembered to take one of my food, LOL.

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I actually have a story to tell about this lunch outing.  I was in line at Stir Fresh, getting my ingredients together for the Mongolian grill.  I was in the inner line and when I finished getting my ingredients, a bunch of guys from the outer line got in front of me with their food.  I asked what the line procedure was, since it seemed to me that they were cutting in front of me at the grill.  They said I had to go to the back of the line behind them, and I didn’t agree.  One of the other guys in the back of the outer line started arguing with me and then said, “Yea, you’re a genius” in a really sarcastic way.  I said, “There’s no need for name calling.”  After we got our food we sat down and I was slightly rattled.  I don’t normally get into verbal arguments with strangers in public.  But Charlottsville had just happened a few days prior, and I am Asian and my friend Erecca is black.  Maybe I was more sensitive due to recent events.  So Erecca and I talked about Charlottesville and racism, and how she wants to talk to her biracial kids about it but didn’t know how yet.  At the end of our meal, when the waitress brought our boxes for leftovers to us, she said that someone paid for our check already.  On the way out, I asked her who paid for it.  She said the guy said he felt bad for acting like a jerk in line, so he wanted to pay for our food.  I was totally surprised by it.  And I was also humbled by it.  Because of recent events and how my view of our beautiful country is clouded by racism, I was humbled to see that what I had assumed was racism was not, and that I shouldn’t make assumptions about people in general.  I was humbled because I was sort of doing exactly what I didn’t want other people to do. 

On Thursday 8/17 I met up with Sally for dinner at a new dim sum place called Fung Fung Yuen

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I’ll just state up front that I would not recommend this place to anyone right now.  The service is slow and horrible, and the food is just so so.  The saving grace was that this was my first adult girlfriend date with one of my best friends in YEARS.  So I treasured the conversations that we had, despite the very slow and terrible service at the restaurant.  If I had been in a hurry, I would have pulled my hair out.   Dim sum is usually a place where the food come around on rolling carts and you point to what you want and they put it immediately on your table.  Well, this place just didn’t have enough food and carts to go around, because we didn’t see many carts with food come by our table, and we had a LONG time in between dishes.  I was so hungry.  I didn’t take photos of all the food, but here are a couple we had.

Xiao Long Bao

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BBQ pork buns

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Shrimp balls

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The wait staff hardly ever came by our table.  We asked for a menu and it never came.  We asked another person for a menu and got one 10 minutes later.  Then it took forever for anyone to show up to take our order.  We wanted to actually order some food because there wasn’t enough food on carts coming around.  Then they never showed up with the check and we had to ask for it several times while waiting for a long time.  Then after we up our credit card down, nobody came to get it.  I actually had to wave the bill and credit card in my hand for a couple of minutes before someone came to get it.  It was the worst meal experience I’ve had in a long time.  But it was contrasted by the best experience of hanging out with a long time friend and chatting like adults, without kids.  I like hanging out with all of them, but it had literally been YEARS since we had adult girlfriend time.  And this was only the 2nd time we’ve done it since the kids were born 5.5 years ago.

On Saturday 8/19 we went to Todd’s company picnic at Liberty Station in Point Loma. 

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We saw lots of Todd’s friends there, as well as my friend Daryl’s family.  We failed to get a photo with anyone, LOL.  But I do have a couple of photos of the food!

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We saw this big sign and had to take a photo in front of it.  Liberty Station used to be the US Naval training station. 

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On Tuesday 8/22 I had lunch with my friend Susan from work at Curry And More.  Good food and good service at this place!

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I had a lot of fun catching up with Susan and talk work gossip as well.  I don’t miss work, but I do miss my work friends and hearing about what’s going on at work!

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On Wednesday 8/23 we went to Todd’s friends Jonathan & Kameran’s house for dinner.  Once again we forgot to take photos of people, but I took a photo of my plate, ha ha.  They have a smoker and served up some smoked BBQ ribs!  We brought the broccoli and dessert.  It was a fun evening of chatting.

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On Sunday 8/27, I drove to Miramar Lake at 8:30 in the morning to meet up with Sally and her mom and kids for a morning walk.  When I first got there, there was still fog over the lake and the view was really cool!

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We walked for two hours and got about 4-5 miles in.  I had 12,000 steps on my Fitbit when I left.  It was fun to get some movement in while hanging out!

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Todd has said to me that he’s glad that I am hanging out with girlfriends while I’m on leave.  I’m thankful for them.  Many of them have reached out to me to schedule fun lunch dates.  I have not felt isolated at all, even though I am not working right now.  It’s been a blessing!

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Sunshine in My Pocket

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I cannot get over how happy & joyful I have been since the start of my leave of absence from work.  On various days, I would just randomly text Todd while he’s at work and say, “I’m SO happy!!”  It really has been the best time of my adult life.  I need to figure out how to carry this mindset with me when I return to work. I also need to figure out some coping mechanisms for the stress.  Work has not been my friend the last two years.  It was a perfect storm where I got way more responsibilities dumped on me, and then just massive changes happening every few months, and not being appreciated.  I was really unhappy at work and I let it permeate into the rest of my life.  No more!  I will write a separate post soon about my relationship with work and what I have learned since going on leave.

I’m behind on documenting the stuff we’ve been doing!

On Friday night 8/11 we drove down to the Embarcadero Marina to see the San Diego Symphony orchestra play all the scores from the ET movie while watching the movie.  I haven’t seen the movie in years!  As always, the combination of the San Diego waterfront, sunset, symphony, and movie is amazing.

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Before the show, we had a quick dinner at The Kebab Shop.  We usually share a plate.

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On Sunday 8/13 morning, Todd went swimming in the ocean with the San Diego Triathlon Club.  Someone got a group photo this time (I downloaded it from Facebook)!  Todd is on the left, right behind the waving hand.  Ocean swimming is no joke, so I’m glad Todd has the Tri Club to swim with!

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After he came back, we went to Little Italy for some lunch.

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We went to Monello, one of our favorite Italian restaurants in San Diego.  For weekend brunch, they have these croissants with nutella!  There are actually a few fillings you can pick from.

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Todd had the fish.

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I had the squid ink pasta with octopus.  This is my favorite dish there!

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We thought the Little Italy Mercado (farmer’s market) was on Sundays, but it’s on Saturdays, so we missed it.  We walked around and went to Lofty Coffee to share a latte.

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It was a fun outing in Little Italy.  We hadn’t been in a long while.  That evening, we took a walk after dinner, on the trail by our house.  The light was just perfect, and it was so picturesque.  Of course, we had to walk quickly so we could go back home and start watching Game of Thrones!

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Todd took day off on Monday 8/14, so we went to lunch at Bongiornos.  This is Todd’s favorite casual pizza joint, so he’s always happy & excited to go there.

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On Tuesday 8/15, we cooked Lemon-Browned Butter Cod with Hazelnut Pilaf.  One of our favorite fish dishes!

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On Wednesday 8/16 I got my haircut and pink hair coloring done.  It took 4.5 hours!  If I were working I would have had to take a half day off for it.  Afterwards I met up with Todd at Punjabi Tandoor nearby for dinner.  This is our favorite Indian food in San Diego.

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Afterwards, Todd’s softball team Mean Green Peace Machine (MGPM) played their playoff game against Natty Ice.  My friend Daryl plays on Natty Ice, so I went to game to watch it.  But my loyalty was with MGPM, of course!  Smile

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Todd played well.  He had a couple of hits and caught a couple of fly balls for outs in the outfield. 

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But unfortunately, they lost to Natty Ice and were eliminated from the playoffs.  One last team cheer!

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The team captain, Jared, told Todd afterwards that he nominated Todd for “Most Improved Player” this year.  That’s fantastic!  I’m so proud of Todd, especially since this was his first year playing.  And I loved seeing him bond with his teammates, be a team player, and having fun. 

On Friday 8/18, Todd led his work lunch book club in a discussion of the book “Meddling Kids”.  He got up early to make these chocolate chocolate chip cookies with chocolate cream cheese frosting, so he could bring it to book club!  These were fantastic.  He left two cookies for me and they were gone in no time.

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Of couse, Monday 8/21 was the solar eclipse.  We didn’t have total eclipse in San Diego.  I think it was around 55% eclipse.  I went outside with a colander a few minutes before the max 55% eclipse and took some photos and a video during the max eclipse at 10:23 AM.  So fun!

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Check out the crescent shaped shadows in the holes!

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And I watched the total eclipse on TV as it went across the US.  So cool!

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Gray & Pink


I thought I would take advantage of the time that I’m not working in the corporate world to do something fun with my hair.  Something that would reflect me.  So I went pink!  I also decided to NOT color my salt & pepper roots anymore for now.  I don’t care that people know that a middle-aged woman has some gray hair, LOL.  I am tired of covering the gray that I do have.  I feel fine about them and see no reason to hide them for now.  But I also know that I wanted to have some fun with my hair, so I asked my hairstylist Mel at Ahura Salon to add in the pink. 

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The pink was actually like two or three pink colors mixed in there.  One of them glows under black light!  Here’s the before and after of the back.


She actually had to lighten strands of my hair first in order for the pink to really show.  So the pink will fade eventually to a strawberry blonde color.  I got a little bit of length taken off, and more layers put in.

And since I am working out every day, and it’s still summer, I have my hair in a ponytail quite a bit.  So I asked Mel to put in some pink strands on the underside of my hair so that they would show when I put my hair up.

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I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  When my hair is mostly gray or all gray, I’ll be able to have rainbow hair without having to strip color off first!  Something to look forward to!  Smile

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Stuff We Cooked + Noodle Antics

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Noodle says “hi” on International Cat Day on 8/8.

We cooked a couple of new dishes that are really good.  First up is this Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Black Pepper Sauce.  It seriously was better than restaurant!  The beef was so tender and the texture was awesome.  The sauce was  perfect.

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We also made this Farro Salad with Asparagus, Sugar Snap Peas, and Tomatoes.  I went grocery shopping and had a hard time finding the farro.  I tried looking in the bulk grains section and couldn’t find it.  Finally the store clerk found it for me in the packaged grain/rice section.  It was Bob’s Red Mill organic farro.

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We also made homemade chocolate ice cream.  This is custard ice cream, it has egg yolks in it.  Super creamy and super-chocolatey!  After churning in the ice cream machine it looked like soft serve.

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Then we put it in a glass container and put it in the freezer.  It becomes real ice cream

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We invited our next door neighbors Fred & Annie over for chocolate ice cream one afternoon and they loved it! 

Here are the latest Noodle antics.  He climbed onto Todd’s recliner chair and squeezed himself onto Todd’s lap while Todd was reading.

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Belly up and flirting for pets.

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Sleeping at the front window, “guarding” the house!

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Jumping up onto a high shelf, trying to find treats.  We used to keep a bag of treats up there, but one day after work we found that he had jumped up there, batted down the bag, and chewed it open and ate a bunch of treats!  I guess he thought it was worth a try to see if there are still treats up there!

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