Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tiny Desk Concerts

Thank you NPR Music and Tiny Desk Concerts... I LOVE You!
For this...

And this...

and this...

and this...

and this...

and of course this...

Oh and so many, many more.
Check them out there may be a favorite of yours waiting to be discovered.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Spectacularly Special

Another year of my life has come and gone. Yep I am older, slightly more wrinkled and possibly wiser (ok maybe not). This "big event" happened over a month ago and yes I have neglected to tell you how amazing it was.

Well it started off with the decision to wear my favorite red dress, if I have to age then I better look good doing it. Then a walk up to my local polling place to vote for all the many candidates and propositions California had to offer. Yeah sharing my day of birth with election day has never been my favorite thing. Then off to work, why write about it, granted they sang the B-day song and ate pumpkin tart, YUM!

After work I met some friends at Pho84 for delicious Vietnamese food and opening of presents and then we quickly ran up to the church so I could babysit baby Cal while his parents and the others played Volleyball. (With my Klutzy nature it is best I stay on the sidelines)

Thank Goodness for an awesome roomie or else there would not be a photo from the days events.

I love Miss Hadley's face on this one. She was so excited to "help" me open my presents.

Showing off the lovely bracelet Britta made just for me.

Other amazing gifts included this print I have been wanting forever from the ever so talented Emily Martin aka The Black Apple. It is one of my favorite sayings from one of my favorite artists about the very best things, books. Speaking of books I received this gorgeous book that I have spent many nights pouring over the pages and also this fabulous book from A-gril, who knows I heart David Sedaris this much (imagine arms stretched to infinity).

I also received many pieces of jewelry that are amazing. AND the kicker tickets to see Margot and the Nuclear So and So's. The show was AWESOME even if I had to convince myself to go out at night (after the mugging).

The gifts received were thoughtful and amazing! I had a fabulous time spent with friends and loved all of the sentiments from those near and far.

My Mother insisted that I celebrate the whole month long and I received from her everyday an e-card telling me to have a fabulous Birth Year. Who knew Hallmark had so many choices.

I loved feeling Spectacularly Special on my Birthday and that is because I have amazing Family and Friends who make me feel so very loved.

Here is to another year filled with family, friends, love, laughter and all things good and some things bad (only because it makes the good really fantastic).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Through the Eyes of a Five Year Old

This is what happens when your niece gets her hands on your camera. It was fun to see that she has quite the potential. Granted some of the photos are quite blurry. She ran around taking everyone's photo and was quite excited to do so.

My Brother the Art Professor (it's fun to say that now) showed this picture to his art students. 

Then the eight year old takes over and we see what is most important to him.... His newest Bionacle

Back to the five year old who managed to take this creeptastic photo

It may be time to give her my old camera.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blowing Bubbles

My Niece is brilliant at the art of dish soap bubbles. It makes dish duty bearable, not that she has to hand wash that much. They do have a dishwasher.

The final result was perfection!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


That way the day my perspective on my little neighborhood changed. The day actually started out fantastically, my dear friend Amber came into town for a short visit. I always love to see her, I loaned her my car so she could visit a few of her friends while I worked and we met up for a lovely lunch. She was so kind to top of my gas tank, little did I know that was a huge blessing.

Later that evening another dear friend Traceylee arrived to spend the weekend at The Green. We went out to Xyclo for a delicious Vietnamese dinner and then off to Ici for scrumptious ice cream. We laughed the entire time, talked about all of our many plans for that weekend and I thought this day was quite a blissful one.

In a few moments it changed from pure bliss to well not my favorite moment ever. As the three of us were walking up our well lit driveway, giggling and having an all round grand time little did we know a new phase of our lives was about to begin.  Being the last of the group (A-Gril was already at the door, TL right behind her on the steps) I turned at the movement I saw out of the corner of my eye and smiled big at the man walking up the driveway with a gun pointed right at us. I thought at first it was a neighbor, hence the lame smile. My brain was not recognizing what was going on fast enough, that is when I asked him if he was serious. Yep now I know what my first reaction would be when a gun is pointed at me. As if he was going to rethink what he was doing and walk away. I guess I am snarky (or dumb) in every situation, not that I ever want to go through this again.

He told us to get on the ground, not to look at him and hand over our purses. I guess we weren't doing it fast enough we he put the gun to my head. NEVER do I want that to happen again nor would I wish that feeling on anyone. We handed over our stuff and he told us to run towards our neighbors and not look back or else he would shoot.

We pounded on our neighbors back door, poor guy he had yet to meet us and now he had 3 hysterical women in his living room. I called 911 going through all of the regular questions, what, where, how. Another one of my stellar moments came when the dispatcher started asking personal questions about myself. What is your race, hair color, description of the other two and my age...that is when I stumbled. Wah? I asked, Your age she replied. I had not yet come to terms with my recent birthday and now I had to mention out loud in our rather good looking neighbors house my age. Hurriedly I whispered...37, ugh seriously I had just be mugged at gun point and that is what I worried about.

The Police Officer arrived rather quickly, 6 min to be exact, and another arrived shortly after he checked the gas station on the corner. They were both amazing and talked us down. Asking us which way he went and of course we didn't know they figured he ran down hill. We all had to give our own statements and while A-gril and TL were giving theirs the neighbor stayed and kept me company. Of course A-gril and TL said I was flirting...I was not, we don't know how to flirt in my family, I just needed someone to talk to and something else to think about.

After I gave my statement we all went inside and bolted the door, called our banks, stopped credit cards, etc. and then the shakes and the realization started to sink in. There was no way we were going to sleep. I called my boss to let him know what had happened and that I had much to do on Friday, spoke with my friend Marielle, because she is always up late, then watched as A-Gril and TL discussed the merits of real vs l.e.d candles (funny conversation to have after being mugged)

We all went to bed, slept restlessly, awoke early only to call my boss again. That is when all of the phone calls started and my voice started to get raw. I swear telling my parents was the hardest. Then we were off to banks to get some money  so that we could go the the DMV (blech). Funny thing you need an id to get money and money to get an id, granted TL did not find that amusing. The DMV took forever as expected and we are all waiting for our new DL.

It was 3 before we were able to eat lunch, while the others went to get Trueburger (because we deserved it) I waited for the locksmith. Oh he was interesting and I was so happy when Britta called, just because I needed to talk to her and not him. Thankfully the others returned and chatted it up with him (not that it was fun for them either). Later that night Britta, Shay and Baby Cal brought over soup and well needed company. Who knew how therapeutic it could be to have a simple dinner and good friends over.

We have all had our ups and downs that past few weeks. Relayed the story at least a hundred times between the 3 of us. Relied on the Lord and good family/friends to get us through, laughed when needed, cried when needed, breathed deep when having to face going outside, forced our selves on long walks, forced ourselves to go out at night,  flinched at the memory, been deeply grateful that what was lost could be replaced, changed our routines, worry incessantly about others and if they are safe or not.

I have learned that I still hate guns, to travel light, everything is replaceable (some for a fee), I strongly dislike the word mugged (it makes the situation sound trivial),  that I don't care what you would have done in the situation ("maced him", "taken him down because I know some moves", "used your gun") because what we did was absolutely the right thing and to finish my ice cream cone faster because I didn't get to that night.

And there is my story about the day Oakland lived up to it's image. I am determined not to let that ruin my love and image of this little part of town. It may take awhile to regain trust in the general human population but I will, I am determined to do so.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Happy November!!! 
This is my favorite time of year. I have much to post...more on SAL's trip to the Bay (I know we did so much), a recent trip to Idaho and SLC, Halloween, Birthday, a mugging (yep you read that right, it sucked), visit's from lovely friends,  Margot and the Nuclear So and So's and much much more.
I am off to the above mentioned show (Thanks A-gril for the present) and I promise not to let you hang much longer.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Classics

Every Halloween I must watch "The Nightmare Before Christmas". It is a family favorite. We are big Tim Burton fans. It always get me in the mood for the holiday. I especially love the music. Granted I also watch it at Christmas, it is a 2 in 1 Holiday flick. That is why it is so awesome!

I also have to watch "Arsenic and Old Lace". Why because of Cary Grant...duh, and it is a perfect "scary" comedy.

Oh and then there is this classic.

"Watcher in the Woods". Granted it seems silly now, but when I was younger, my older Sister made us watch it while she was babysitting, it scared the bejeezus out of me. We also joke around with the whole Narek thing.

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Exploring the Exporatorium

After asking SAL what their favorite thing was in the Bay Area they all said the Exploratorium. I have to agree it was truly a great experience. We had so much fun playing and learning. We were there for hours and even forgot that we were hungry. By the time we left we were exhausted, famished and our feet hurt, that did not diminish the total fun we had. 
If you get a chance I highly suggest going with or without kids.

I made all three of them drink out of the toilet. They weren't going to do it until I did. I have to admit it was very surreal. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Walking down a path in Golden Gate Park SAL and I came across this giant. I am not going to pretend to know the species, let alone the name, I am not a botanist, just an admirer. A became obsessed with it, touching it's rough leathery leaves. She imagined that an Elephant would feel similar. It towered over her and made her feel just a bit small. 

Comparing her hand to the leaf.

A lovely lady who has walked this path for years stopped and chatted with us. She even stated the name of the plant, yeah I still don't remember. She was a native of Germany and it was fun to listen to her perspective of the City.

Also on the path we admired these

And these pretty little yellow ones

And this funny little tree. I think it is brilliant, instead of accepting the bad hand it was dealt, it moved to a better and brighter spot. Not letting anything keep it down.

We also saw this gigantic plant, again not a botanist. A was enamored yet afraid of it. Funny girl. She thought it was going to reach out and grab her.

Group shot of SAL. It was a good although chilly day for a jaunt in the park.