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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

checking in

so we're on day three of our road trip extravaganza and have learned some fun tidbits about massachusetts:

* they love them some dunkin donuts. there's one on every corner, and sometimes they're right across the street from each other.
* traffic here is about as shitty as in l.a. but it's kinda cool to drive in tunnels under the bay.
* "turnpike" is fun to say.
* the accent is cute. like, our trolley driver called the arena "the gaaaaaahhhhhden."
* it's really green out here.
* drivers are pretty stinking impatient. folks honk their horn if you don't take off a nanosecond after the light turns green.
* parking anywhere is a pain in the ass.
* mmmmm, lobster rolls.
* the history here is amazing (which I'm sure will apply to the entire east coast). seriously, it's awesome to see buildings, landmarks, etc. that have been there since the 1600s. incredible.

we even got to squeeze in the midnight premiere of "eclipse" that capped off a great afternoon with my SFAM trish and her hub. we're still not adjusted to the time difference and have been sleeping till 10. d-oh!

but we're having a blast, and the girls are great travelers. good times. plus, I'm writing this post via the iPad as we head down the highway.

rhode island, here we come!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

sweet, sweet iPad

in the midst of packing for the big trip, i managed to squeeze a little project to tote my fabby iPad in my carry-on:

it's a little long - there's a bit of a gap at the top when i close the flap, and i can't slide it in with the hello kitty skin attached to it, but that's okay. it works, and i love it.

by now, i've made so many of these things that i can pretty much complete it without having to check the tutorial too often.

cute, right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

drivin' by the seat of our pants

okay. it's almost road trip time! so i made a stop after work here:

picked up these:

oh, and these:

and then stopped at the mailbox to get this, delivered just in time:

um, that's kind of about it. we've got a hotel booked for the first night, and then one for the 4th of july, plus a one-way car rental. we have a general plan in our heads of where we'd like to stop along the way from boston to fort lauderdale, but other than that, we's wingin' it!

i'll have internet access thanks to my trusty iPhone (and the iPad, too), so i'm still taking any and all suggestions for stops for good grub, fun attractions, cool places to visit. i might still be able to post an update here and there, but my guess is that posts for the next couple of weeks won't have much in the way of visual aids.

that's gonna make for some fun posts when we get back, though, huh?

miss ya! mean it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

new addictions

so okay, since i started working at dot's, i've found myself taking a cupcake or two home after work more often than not. oy. i'm still in that honeymoon stage - it still smells heavenly when i walk in, my mouth still waters as i fill the cases with those scrumptious nuggets of happiness, there are still flavors i have yet to try. while i limit myself to the mini size vs. the regular (gigantor) versions, it still doesn't bode well for the size of my ass.

by the way, if you were wondering, my current favorite is the fleur de sel. i'm downright obsessed with that thing - fresh chocolate cake topped with rich chocolate frosting, a swirl of buttery caramel, and a sprinkle of pink french sea salt. of course, it's a daily flavor - and it's damn hard to resist.

ooh, and i served my first celebrity customer too! just the other day, i was chatting with the boss about the various well-known folks who come in for a cupcake fix, and she mentioned that marlee matlin came in often. and sure enough, i was cleaning the counter and restocking the front cases when i looked up and there she was, walking in with her super cute daughter.

she was really friendly, and smiled graciously as another customer gushed over how much she loved her in "dancing with the stars." she was picking up treats for a local fire station, which made me admire her even more, and i tried my best to face her directly when i spoke to her so she could read my lips. and i swear, i didn't speak any louder than i normally would to anyone else. i think. now, if oscar de la hoya makes an appearance (which i've heard he does, also fairly regularly), i'll be stoked.

so anyway, i don't have a gym membership. it was one of the many casualties of last year's operation downsize, and although that means i work out much less than i should, i still haven't been able to bring myself to get motivated to do other [free] stuff. but with this new element in my everyday life, i figured i'd better get off my duff and do something or i'll end up weighing about six hundred pounds.

you already know that i've tried zumba - a really fun aerobics-like workout that incorporates latin dance moves. i'm awful at it, but after trying it with my buddy kelley, i found that i liked it a lot. so i looked online for a class nearby, and found that a new session was starting up fairly close to home, and they were offering a free introductory class to entice attendees.

it was at the dance center where the teen used to take a jazz dance class (which is totally funny to reflect on now, since the teen is firmly in "i don't dance" mode):

one of my cousins was a student here too back in the day. i found her in one of the framed photos on the wall, right in the middle (she'll probably kill me if she sees this):

i was able to follow along, get a pretty darn good workout, and sweated my ass off (of course). while chatting with the instructors (a team of boyfriend and girlfriend), i learned that they also taught a class twice a week at a facility even closer to home.

this was a nicer studio, and there was lots of room to get our groove on. i decided to take advantage of the special - individual classes are $8 and a card good for 10 classes was on sale for $70. prices are scheduled to go up in a couple of weeks, so i figured i'd buy in now, plus paying in advance will force me to go.

they were doing a raffle for a free zumba tank top. i ended up with ticket #1. i didn't win.

there was a table full of other zumba-themed workout attire and dance shoes for sale, too.

i had a blast, especially since i was in a class of other newbies, and although i still suck at it, i put in extra effort to get the most out of the session. i stayed in the back of the class, and made sure to stay behind one of the ladies so i didn't have to see myself in the mirror. i like to look at me a lot, but not when i'm working out - and especially not when i'm dancing and jumping and sashaying rather awkwardly. i was sweaty and super hot (and not in the fun, sex-hay way) afterwards, but exhilarated and feeling good about getting active.

yes. yes, i took pictures of myself in the mirror and in the car afterwards. what of it?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

sadly grateful

if you've been reading for a while, you may remember that while i was pregnant with the bean, the hub took off on a 2-week trip to zimbabwe with a group from our church. it was a life-changing and eye-opening time for him, and while i missed him like mad, i knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience that he would carry with him for the rest of his life.

during the trip (and in the months of planning, preparation, and countless meetings prior), he'd gotten to know the rest of the group quite well. they leaned on each other for support and motivation, and became quite a tight-knit little family. we hosted a thanksgiving dinner for the whole group and their family members that year, which was a fantastic evening. they're all wonderful, beautiful, funny, and sweet, but as it so often does, life moves on and we've not seen them a whole lot lately.

but the last few weeks have brought some super sad news about one of the ladies' husbands. he'd been sick on and off since last november or so, and then, to add insult to injury, lost his job. on top of that, as if they didn't have enough to deal with, his doctors delivered another huge blow: the big "C." it's just terrible. this family is just so fantastic, and the handful of times i've spent with them have been so happy and cheerful. it's hard to believe that this could be happening to this man, who i always picture as incredibly strong, happy-go-lucky, jolly.

cancer - such an ugly word. and yet so horribly common - i'd be willing to bet that every single one of you has been touched by the awfulness of this disease in some way, whether it's a family member, a friend, a co-worker. maybe your loved ones have fought like hell and beat that bitch...or perhaps you've had to say goodbye. either way, there ain't nothing happy about cancer.

and this morning, we got word that the news from yesterday's surgery was the worst-case scenario. they got him in the operating room, went in to check things out, and discovered that the cancer had spread everywhere. there's literally nothing they can do to fix it. and they sent him home to be with his family and make him as comfortable as possible in anticipation of the inevitable.

i cannot even imagine what they must be going through right now. i know that the hub has been in touch with them, as have the ILs (who are in their weekly sunday school class). i've sent up countless prayers for them, and my heart just aches not only for what they're facing today, but for all that they'll be dealing with in the weeks and months ahead.

all this makes me just want to hold my family tight and never let go. it reinforces the fact that nothing is more important. no new phone, house, that pair of awesome shoes in the store window, none of the material crap in the whole world matters for shit when all is not right in one's world. it's sad when it takes something like this to hammer home how blessed we are, and yet i suppose it's kind of okay to be grateful for what we have as we grieve for others and share in their pain.

that is some effed-up shit though, man. for real.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

the house of bean

so i'm trying not to jinx the house thing (i was even hesitant to mention it yesterday, but it's such a biggie that i couldn't NOT say anything). although i did take some pictures over the weekend, and found a little surprise in a couple of them:

the bean is a total crack-up. she's made herself really comfy in the house already, running through the halls, hiding in the closets, even acting as a tour guide for the grandparents and the teen when they came to see it for the first time. "here's kitchen. food goes here," she would say with a hand on one hip and the other flung out at her side, vanna-style. and then she'd trot off, pausing to turn around and say "come on, follow me!" as she entered each bedroom and declare it as "mommy and daddy's room" or "sister's room" or "my room."

she likes exploring the back yard, too.

over the weekend, we brought over some folding chairs and some dee-licious grub and had ourselves a picnic in the living room. awww, our first lunch in the new house.

such a ham.

the next 30-45ish days are going to drag and fly at the same time. i can't wait to move in and start making some new memories.

btw, i wasn't implying yesterday by any stretch of the imagination that i'd stop blogging. i started this thing as a way to document our day-to-day lives...so we could look at it later on and enjoy the memories. having you all to share it with is a happy, unexpected bonus, and whether you keep reading or drop me from your list, i'll still be here. i really enjoy blogging, so i'm not going anywhere!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

an oldie but goodie: yay!/boo.

i haven't done this in a while, and it seems fitting today. let's go:

i love my new job, and i'm having a blast at it. yay!
it's keeping me from being able to KIT with my online friends, and it's making me sad. boo.

i seem to have finally weaned myself off of constantly posting on thenest.com's message boards - a habit that's five-plus years old. yay!
my absence seems to be contributing to the dwindling numbers on my weekly blog stats. like, as of last week, my visit count is down to half of what it used to be. either y'all are on vacay, or i'm getting utterly boring. boo.

my iPad is awesome. i love that thing so much, and it's really come in handy a few times. yay!
updating my OS on the mac (doing it the cheapy way, remember?) has really fucked up my system. i can't get my photoshop or printers to work, and i think it's also got something to do with the fact that i can't update my iPhone software that just came out yesterday. i may have to pony up the $169 after all, which i should've just done to begin with. boo.

today is my brother's birthday. yay!
we haven't spoken since his wedding...in november. and i don't know why. yet neither of us seems to be able or willing to pick up the phone to clear the air. boo.

the teen is off for summer vacation. yay!
this also means that she's back to the week-on, week-off schedule with her dad. boo.

we're headed off for our two-week road trip extravaganza in less than a week! yay!
i am SO not ready for it. boo.

and lastly...

we're finally getting out of the thimble! we opened escrow on a house that we found last week and fell in love with, and we're closing in about a month. YAY!
packing. boo.

let's hear your yays!/boos for today. i know someone's still out there reading. i hope.

Monday, June 21, 2010

laker game = kobe sliders

now, you know the wans are huge laker fans. and when we found ourselves in the position of watching them play a tiebreaking, championship-winning game 7 last week, the hub and i hit up MIL to watch the bean for the evening so we could go out to dinner and watch it.

we wanted somewhere that wouldn't be too crowded, where we could relax and enjoy some good grub. somehow, the subject of the langham hotel in pasadena came up (formerly the ritz-carlton, where my friend trish got married a couple of years ago), and after perusing the bar menu, we decided to hit 'em up for some of their kobe sliders and lobster corn dogs. oh, yeah.

note: as usual, these pictures are pretty shitty. i blame it on bad lighting and a lackluster point-and-shoot. heh.

having arrived just after the tipoff, the bar was already lined with patrons, as were a lot of the tables in front of the other (rather small) tv. damn.

we ended up taking a table behind these women, who were quietly cheering on the celtics. i hated them at first clap.

we checked out the menus and placed our orders. i remembered seeing the langham tweeting about their special bar food for the world cup.

my drink of choice: a fancy $15 cucumber cooler. it was good, although those cucumber chunks kept getting sucked up in the straw and i damn near choked more than once.

i liked the ginormous ice cube in the hub's johnny walker.

the game was quite disappointing through the first three quarters, but i never lost faith. i just knew my boys would pull it out somehow. in the meantime, the food arrived. from that world cup menu, duck fat-fried fish and chips:

pommes frites with three dipping sauces, plus those kobe sliders in the background. the buns were slathered with homemade bacon-tomato jam - to. die. for.

the hub didn't love the lobster corn dogs as much as he'd wanted to. so i ate two.

later, as we savored the beauty that was the 4th quarter, we indulged in this chocolate gateau with caramel popcorn ice cream. yeah, not as good as it sounds.

while we likely would put the langham on the bottom of our list for future game watching, it wasn't an awful choice. it got pretty lively as more and more folks from the, uh, laser convention began to arrive, and we were amused at watching an older dude sitting on the couches next to us. he was surrounded by about six fairly decently hot chicks, and we cracked up as we overheard him using super cheesetastic pick-up lines on each and every one of them. the celtics fans in front of us were dejected as their team ended up losing the championship, and slunk away in defeat even before the final buzzer went off. buh-bye.

i kind of wish i could go to the parade, but i'll settle for watching it on tv.

woo-hoo, back-to-back champions! i love me some lakers.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

livin' la vida lakers

i've actually been cooking this week - yay!

with the summer heat in full effect, i thought it would be nice to make an entrée salad for dinner. and i was feeling kind of asian-y, so i winged it by sprinkling a little five-spice seasoning and sea salt on a couple of pieces of chicken, baking it, and then shredding it (which is a giant pain in the ass). i decided to try the dressing in this recipe, shredded a little carrot, chopped up some romaine, added a handful of almond slivers, and tossed everything together.

looks good, right? it was, and the hub and i happily crunched away. for dessert, i'd used up what was left out of a box of rice krispies cereal to make half a batch of krispy treats.

it's been so long since i made some, i'd totally forgotten how good homemade krispy treats are, yum! i totally need to make another batch. hey, they're low-fat - at least, more so than lots of other sweets that typically make their way into the wan house.

for game 6 of the NBA finals, the hub decided to hang out with his cronies at the cigar shop. so i decided to treat myself with something really delicious: bacon-wrapped shrimp. and thank god for the meat department at my grocery store - while my raw shrimp weren't peeled, they'd been deveined. cleaning shrimp is seriously gross, and i was pretty stoked to be able to skip that icky step. i seasoned them with some sea salt and garlic powder, cut my bacon strips into thirds, and wrapped every shrimp like a present. which it was - to me, the best kind!

they cooked quickly in the broiler, and about 15 minutes later, i pulled them out and grubbed down.

being far too lazy to make rice or salad, i ended up making myself a bowl of easy mac. haha! i'm sophisticated like that. and after the bean was done feasting on her own meal of scrambled eggs with cheese and sliced ham (her pick), she relaxed on the floor and watched some OG mickey mouse 'toons on youtube as i washed the dishes.

just another day in the wan house.

and in honor of tonight:

oh, and:

translation: "good shot. yay, kobe!" the other day, as i was turning the tv on for game 5 of the NBA finals, she came over, grabbed me by the face with both hands, and said "yell at tv, mommy. it's okay."


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

out with the old, in with the...well, you know how it goes

last week, my now ex-boss treated me and the other girl in the office to a goodbye lunch. i was feeling like sushi, and since i'd read some pretty favorable reviews on yelp about this tiny little place, we headed into old town monrovia for mooncat's.

there were a few small tables outside, sushi bar seating, a counter along the wall and window, and a couple of little tables inside. we chose one of the latter.

i think the menu was bigger than the restaurant. heh.

we chatted and checked it out, and i ended up going with their bento box special. i worried that the box would be bigger than our table, but hey - this was my special lunch.

my soup and salad came first.

then came a caterpillar roll and assorted tempura for my pescatarian co-worker.

piggy me ordered a crunchy dragon roll, too. mind you, i did share it with the others.

just as i'd predicted, my box lunch took up a good portion of our coaster-sized table. heh. i enjoyed every morsel, though.

the boss went with the udon and a spicy tuna roll. she's always looking for good asian grub for the big boss when he's in town. this passed the test, apparently.

as excited as i was about my new gig at dot's, i found myself slightly wistful and sad to say goodbye. i'd actually had a fairly decent year working in that office - the hours were great, the pay was decent, and the work itself was a cakewalk. the boss was still asking me up until that morning if i was sure i was leaving. ha! but i'm sure they'll find a great replacement - someone who will work the full-time hours she was always asking me to take on, and possibly one who'll be fluent in chinese, too. i wish 'em all luck.

and as for the new job...well, i'm having a ball! i'm getting the hang of working with the public for the first time in *mumble* years, and although i seem to be suffering from a phone phobia (i don't love talking on the phone anyway, let alone when there's a pretty good chance that i'll sound like an idiot as i stammer out unsure answers to questions), i think i'm doing a pretty good job. i'm finding easy ways to talk customers into buying a third or sixth or whatever cupcake, and even managed to sell our gift wrapping service yesterday to a dude buying a box of anniversary treats for his wife. see how happy i am?

it is wonderful to have fun at work at last. and the fact that i had monday off (and next monday too!) only adds to my enthusiasm for this job. rotating schedules kinda rock.

a visit to the forgotten fantasy

also during spring break, we scooped up the bean’s bestie and headed out to l.a. for a super fun outing. luna luna originally opened in 198...