wan-na find something?

Friday, October 29, 2021

celebrating mama wan

2021 happens to be a milestone year for mama wan too - she turned 75 in august.  my aunt had suggested throwing a big party to celebrate, and while covid was still a concern we decided to go ahead and plan it.  after looking at a few local options, we settled on an italian restaurant in pasadena that lilcee had suggested, and a couple of weeks after we got home from hawaii it was go time.

lilcee also has a magic touch with flowers, and graciously offered to handle centerpieces for us.  she and i headed out to the flower mart in downtown l.a. the day before the party and picked up lots of fresh, pretty blooms in my mom's favorite color.

the next morning, the hub and i headed out early so that we'd have time to stop at party city for the balloons i'd ordered and then to lilcee's to pick up the arrangements that she put together.  my aunt and cousin were already at the restaurant when we got there and the hub helped me arrange all of the decorations and put the cookies i'd made at each place setting.  we managed to finish everything up just before the guest of honor arrived.

i think she was pleased with how everything turned out, and as friends and family arrived she glowed more and more with happiness and excitement.

before long, the room was full of happy guests.  the food was set out buffet-style, from salads to pasta to pizza to entrees.  and before long, everyone was seated with a full plate of food to enjoy together.

my aunt and cousin had put together an extensive slideshow that covered the majority of my mom's life, from childhood to present day.  it seemed to go over really well, especially if you base the level of success on whether you manage to bring tears to the guest of honor's eyes.

lots of photos were taken, which also included our "four generations" portrait - complete at last, with both of my girls in attendance.

we even managed to get a huge group photo - i think we got everyone here.

and then it was time for cake - because every birthday involves cake, amirite?

it was a lovely way to celebrate my mom, and i was really glad that we were able to gather most of her loved ones together for the afternoon.  yay for mama wan!  

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

let's go, peloton!

once we were settled back home after our whirlwind week in hawaii, the hub threw me a giant bone (heheh) and gave me the green light to place an order for something i really never ever thought i'd want:

those few rides i got to take in the surfrider's fitness center really got me hooked.  i was terrible at it, but i enjoyed it so much that i couldn't wait to do it again.  and luckily, my wait wasn't too long - just a week later, the delivery truck pulled up in front of the house and these guys brought in our new toy:

they were pros and had it all assembled and in place within minutes.  after giving me a quick overview, they left me to get it all adjusted for my first ride.

as you can imagine, i'd ordered myself some sweet cycling shoes that arrived while i waited for the bike to be delivered.  i pulled them out and sat right down to start attaching the cleats - which would probably have been pretty comical to watch as i sat there muttering and fumbling for a youtube video to watch.

and of course...i bought accessories.  i got the special towel that fits right on the handlebars (which comes in very handy because this thing makes me sweat like nothing else), plus a little fan that's quite the lifesaver.

unlike in hawaii, with a full subscription i had full access to all of the classes - which, as i found out, included a full 30-minute session with a spice girls playlist.  so good.

and check out this super fun shirt my friend dailygluttony gifted me for my birthday!

oh, and the old lady and i have been taking an aerial yoga class at a brand new studio pretty close to home.  we're really enjoying it, and the hour goes by so fast because we're having so much fun.

the old lady created her own profile on the bike, and she comes over to ride a few times a week - alternating with sessions on the treadmill, which we both still use and enjoy.  along with the rowing machine and the few free weights we have, we've got a pretty nice little home gym setup now and i love it.

and before i knew it, i hit this milestone:

and last week, i finally got myself together and took a live ride - with cody rigsby, of course.  i'd heard lots about him before i joined the cult, and he totally lives up to the hype.  he's so entertaining and his playlists are always right up my alley.

i got the hub to try it too, although he didn't love it as much as me.  and i'm working on the bean too, trying to entice her with an all-BTS playlist, but so far it's still a no-go.

give me time.  i'll get her on this bike at least once, i swear.  it'll happen!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

definitely not a professional game show contestant

way back in, like, june i had responded to a casting call for a new show on the game show network - because i still felt like i needed redemption from my first (losing) game show appearance.  it was for some sort of word game, and when they asked me for a teammate i knew just who i wanted to play with.  it took just one text to my friend weezermonkey, who said yes immediately.  i gave her contact information to the casting producer, answered some questions and then we were set for a joint interview via zoom.

for the background, they wanted a clean, quiet and well-lit room with us dressed and camera ready.  i put makeup on my face for the first time in ages and propped my laptop up in the gym with a blank wall behind me.  super professional setup, no?

the interview went pretty well, i thought.  we spent almost an hour talking to one of the producers, answering questions about how we knew each other (haha), what we did when we hung out, what we'd do with the prize money if we won.  and then he gave us a quick overview of how to play the game and we went through a few mock rounds.  it was fun, and i felt pretty confident that we'd do well if we were chosen to play on the show.

it took a few more weeks before we heard back from the network, and this time they wanted us to provide them with some wardrobe options that we'd bring should we get a taping date.  it proved to be a little harder than you'd think for me to come up with 3-5 options - they wanted bright colors, no big prints, no black or white, no logos.  you know...something that would look good on camera.  i managed to scrounge up a few different dresses, snapped some selfies that i'm not sharing because i looked kind of a hot mess in them, and sent them on over.

and wouldn't you know it - less than a week later we heard from them again, this time telling us that we'd been selected as finalists with a date to tape the show a few weeks later.  i was a little surprised to find myself not only excited but also really anxious about the whole thing.  sheesh.  and then we were given instructions to come to the studio to get tested for covid within 48 hours of our tape date.  since the studio is out in culver city, we decided to make an afternoon of it and scheduled our tests together so we could grab lunch afterwards.

it was a little weird to pull up to a studio again, especially knowing that i'd be back a few days later to actually go inside and film a show.

the testing site was right in the parking structure, and it was a quick and easy process.  weemo had already scouted out the area for the best place to have lunch and we headed over to the platform shopping center to enjoy a meal together, something we hadn't done in a very long time.  it was really nice to hang out with her and just get caught up and chat in person after so many months of separation.  we had a little time to kill before the restaurant opened, so we stopped in at the boba guys for a drink.

we were able to grab a table outside at roberta's for some delicious NY-style pizza.  the umbrella we sat under was red, so it cast a really weird light on everything we ordered.  oh well.  we started out with a lovely prosciutto plate, which was super delicious despite its rather odd appearance in this picture.

and then we each ordered a pizza to share.  she went with the "bee sting" - a unique-sounding combination of tomato, mozzarella, and soppressata...with chili, basil and honey (hence the name).  you wouldn't think that honey belonged on a pizza, but i (even WITH my weaksauce tolerance for any level of spice) was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.  like, my mouth is watering just remembering how good the flavor was.  and now i want to go back.

mine was called "cheezus christ," which i'll admit was partially why i ordered it.  but it was also really tasty - several different kinds of cheese topped with fresh cracked black pepper and a cream sauce.  very indulgent and worth every calorie.

we were originally scheduled to check in for our taping at 6:30am on a monday morning.  i toyed with the idea of staying in a nearby hotel just to make it a little easier on myself, but ultimately decided that the drive at that hour wouldn't be bad at all.

and then the day before we were notified that our call time was pushed back to 9:00.  talk about a double-edged sword - not the ass crack of dawn after all, but right in the middle of rush hour traffic.  ugh.  but it was fine.  i gave myself plenty of time to get through the freeways and pulled into the studio right when i needed to get there.

it was a pretty long day of doing a lot of sitting around and hanging out, which we were prepared for.  we met with some of the other contestants for practice rounds, had snacks, ate lunch, got hair and makeup done, and then headed over to the set to sit and watch the first few teams of contestants play the game while we waited for our turn to play.

unfortunately, it was not to be.  since it was literally the first day of taping this brand new show, there were quite a few hiccups during the first couple of tapings.  and it was probably around 4:00, after a bathroom break, that we learned from the casting manager that the rest of the day had been cancelled.  SUCH a bummer.  we gathered up our stuff, hopped into a golf cart for a ride back to the parking structure, and headed home.  WOMP WOMP.

even worse?  we never did get a single selfie together.  d-oh!  i guess it'd been such a long day and we were both really tired...which sounds funny since we didn't actually do much.  but for me at least, having to be "on" for hours on end - peppy, cheerful, excited, blah blah blah - especially after months of mostly being home with just my family around me was utterly exhausting.  the bright side was that i got to spend a lot of time with my friend, and hey - it's a story to tell, right?

(you know i had to take at least one selfie because i had a full face of makeup on)

and back home, i snapped one more in my full outfit, just for shits and giggles.

so yeah, my game show losing streak continues.  i didn't get my shot at redemption.  and after the level of anxiety i was feeling that day...well, who knows?  maybe i never will.  but hey, it won't be through lack of trying.  heh.

Monday, October 11, 2021

the long way home

it all seems so long ago now, but i still have one final hawaii recap to share.  our flight home was originally scheduled to take off at noon, but while i was up in the gym for one last hotel workout the hub texted to let me know that we'd been delayed four hours.  

flight delays are always such a mind game - you're already resigned to the fact that you're heading home from a fantastic vacation, but now you find yourself having to kill time until you get to board that plane.  ugh.  so i made one last coffee run, picking up a bag of beans to take home to my friend lilcee.

this also meant that we didn't have to rush around that morning as we'd anticipated.  i had time to sit down and enjoy my coffee while taking in the view from our room one last time.

below us, the hub was taking his last morning yoga class.

we took our time getting our stuff all packed up and ready to check out of our room, but when we couldn't stall any longer we made our way out of there and took one last look around. bye for now, moana surfrider!

we decided to grab one last delicious poke bowl from ono seafood, taking the scenic route and enjoying the views along the way.

we stopped at starbucks for a bathroom break and while i truly didn't need them, i scooped up a set of hawaii-themed reusable cups to take home.  i managed to do some shuffling around in my carry-on to accommodate them, despite the glares i was getting from the hub.  eek.

because we still had time to kill, the hub swung into the driveway for queen emma's summer palace so we could check it out.  there really wasn't much to do though, aside from browsing in the gift shop and saying hello to their resident pooch.

and since we hadn't been yet on this trip, we stopped at waiola shave ice for a cold treat.  i, of course, had to recreate a photo from about six years ago...because why not?

another text from the airline told us that we'd been delayed even further - now we weren't taking off until 7pm.  ugh.  and with nothing else really to do, the hub pulled into ala moana shopping center and we got out to do some window shopping.  we knew we didn't have any room to actually buy anything, which was probably a good thing anyway.  but it was fun to browse around and suck up some free a/c, which we earned while waiting in line to enter some of the stores.

when we got hungry, we headed in for some korean bbq.  that pretty much killed most of the time we had left, and then it was time to head to the airport at last.

we dropped off the rental car and then made our way into the terminal to check our bags and find our gate.

when we got there, we found a cart full of free snacks and bottles of water - their attempt to make up for the delays we'd had to work through.

and then it was finally time to board the plane.

this was dinner - it looks terrible, and i'm not gonna lie and tell you it was better than it looked.  luckily i wasn't super hungry, but i ate the parts that were somewhat palatable and then settled back to nap for the rest of the flight.  we didn't luck out with those awesome pods this time around, but we were still fairly comfortable in our seats.

the flight was uneventful, just the way we like it, and it was nice and cool in the plane so i got to put on my new favorite sweater - from the gift shop at turtle bay resort.

welcome home to us!

until next time, hawaii.  thanks for a wonderful week.

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...