Thursday, November 30, 2006

Vince at Edda's school.

Today Vince freaked out about going back to New York. He said that it is so much fun in Singapore that he never wants to leave. I think he's a little wary about change. It's all anticipatory, he doesn't like it when thing are about to change, but once they are changing, it's OK.

Vince participated in Edda's class today. They were a little short staffed and I had to leave school to go to my piano lesson - I felt a bit bad leaving him there, but I left and came back as soon as I could. One of my great pleasures is to see Vince make friends with Edda's classmates, it's nice to see. Another great pleasure is to see Vince make a huge mess with paint somewhere other than my own house because I hate paint!

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Common name: Powderpuff plant
Scientific name: Calliandra emarginata

Location: Choa Chu Kang Park

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Trouble in Totland!

Oh no! Cancel you concert tickets!

West coast park field trip.

Vince and I were invited on a field trip today. Edda and her school went to West Coast Park to have fun and games! NJC of Singapore was having a CIP, so a lot of young people were around organizing games and entertainment for the kids.

We were sweltering in the heat and I forgot to pack sunscreen & water. Sigh.

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Now Edda has really figured out that when she taps something, she is asking for whatever she is tapping and I usually get it for her. So today, I was at the Quick-E-Mart at the gas station and Edda kept tapping on a bottle of Coke. I looked at her and then I said, No Coke, Edda - sorry kiddo. So then she looked at me and walked straight to the stack of beer and started tapping a six-pack of Tiger. I looked at her wearily and said, No Beer, Edda - sorry kiddo.


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Common name: Traveler's Palm
Scientific name: Ravenala madagascariensis


Location: Lot 1 Shopper's Mall.

Ouch.

Okay. Like something is seriously wrong with my left leg. I can barely lift the damn thing past 20 degrees. I think I strained a the tendon that connects my hip to my femur, and by God, it doesn't make climbing any easier.

Went to the gym for class tonight. I was on a V2 and I totally would have gotten it except for a stupid move that required me to lift my left foot, frog style, to a hold a little off my left hip. Aw. But I couldn't do it! Grumble.

Looks like I'll just have to take it easy on that side... sigh.

Oh, and to top it off... I forgot a t-shirt tonight, and I had to climb in a nice Calvin Klein short sleeve button down. Grrr!

Female Science Professor

Hey Sis, my friend Dave saw the link to a blog about a FemaleScienceProfessor. I assume you don't know who it is, and you like it because it's grad school, women, sciencey things right?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mango!

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There are huge mango trees right outside Edda's school. Usually, they fall to the ground when they are ripe and feral chickens come by and eat them. But today, we saw some brave souls up on ladders and plucking mangoes out of the tree and we got to get some!

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Hopefully they will be ripe in a little while. They are hard as a rock now..

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Vince and N. from Edda's school like each other. It's really cute to see and everyone teases Vince about it. N. can't speak, but they manage to communicate their affection for each other. Usually, N. slaps Vince and then grabs his ear and he generally allows her to do it without complaining too much. Ah, true love.

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Common name: Cannonball Tree
Scientific name: Couroupita guianensis

Location: West Coast Park!

Rett Syndrome Resources - Testing

Except for the EKG, these tests do not need to be done every year, and not
every individual with RS will need them. I have amended the list below.

Long QT (EKG)at diagnosis and every 2-3 years if normal

Spinal X-ray - scoliosis survey in supine position (not sitting). Straight
as can be made. Baseline should be done at age4-5, followed by repeat
X-rays as recommended by an orthopedist.

Video EEG to establish events as seizures. Do not treat EEG, only treat
seizures. Frequency on recommendation by neurologist.


Reflux (pH Probe, Swallow Study, Endoscopy) - if there is irritability,
screaming, self-abusive behavior, coughing/choking/gagging while eating,
vomiting, discharge on pillow in the am, excessive swallowing or drooling,
refusal to eat, weight loss.

Gallbladder (Ultrasound, CCK with contrast) -- if there is unexplained gut
pain, moaning, especially after eating

Swallowing study-- if aspiration or reflux are suspected, when there are
repeated pulmonary infections, choking/coughing/gagging while eating

Upper GI series -- to rule outreflux and delayed gastric emptying

Gyn Exam and abdominal Ultra Sound for ovarian issues after puberty.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Birthday, Du Pond Circle & Malaysian Food
























































Well, this weekend we were in Washington DC to enjoy Mom's birthday, Fall Colors and, of course, Malaysian Food. Look at the pictures - Mom's birthday flowers, love bugs at Du Pond Circle, lady gesturing at table waiting for food, and with one more lady in front of a stature - don't know whose?

Third post.

Sorry for posting so many times in one evening, but I just wanted to say that Edda told us that she was hungry and wanted to eat tofu without just screaming her head off. She walked over to the wall of pictures and tapped on the tofu picture and then walked into the kitchen and did it 2 or 3 times before I realized that she was serious about asking for the tofu! She had a nice satisfied look on her face while she was chowing down on her soy product!

Take 2.

Is this better?

Embarrased.

We've been eating way too much junk food these past few weeks. Ugh.

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Common name: Crown of Thorns
Scientific name: Euphorbia milii

Location: Orchard Road!

Small World.

Yup. It is a small world. I've been talking to someone on match.com. Her name is Annie and she's 29, has some dogs, lives in San Bruno, Christian. Frank mentions that he knows an Annie from church. I ask if she has dogs - yes. I ask where she lives - San Bruno. I ask how old she is - 29. check check check. I double checked with match-Annie, just to be sure that it's her, and of course it is.

Today we all met up at a Korean BBQ place for lunch. Frank and another friend of Annie's was there - Kevin. We all ate a ton of Kolbi, and talked quite a bit about dating. Apparently, I look just like the photos in my match profile (thank goodness) and I seem pretty laid back. The crazy thing I found out about Annie, was in the past 6 months, she has gone on 60 dates! 60! Holy Jesus. That's 3 dates a week average! I don't think I got to ask all the questions I wanted to about that, but apparently. 1) it wasn't worth it. 2) dates 1-51 were bad. 3) It's easy to confuse people when you have that much traffic. But it's impressive.

Oh and nothing's happening. I think Annie mistakenly thought I was Christian, so we're just going to be friends.

We talked a little bit about other people's situations, and well, you know who you are, but do something!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Back to Aiken After Thanksgiving Holiday

We are back to SC today. Traffic was normal and did not have any major traffic jams south bound. We left at 8:30 am and arrived at our apartment at 5:30 pm.

I am officially qualified for madicare now. Another 8 months I will have my full Social Security payment. How about it?

I have not seen blog for a week. It is very slow at Sheets Farm using unpaid, unsecured broadcasting. The free connection was so slow, we have to subscribe a fast connection if we are staying home more often.

The China Job is 90%. They have not given me an official offer yet. But, I should have it soon. It will be my last job, I think. After that, I will run my MiniSystems Inc., if I still have energe left.

Mexican Jumping Beans.

Did the regular park thing in the morning. Edda swang, swung, swinged?

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Jeremy and Edda sang, sung, singed?



Oh yes, and we bought a trampoline which pretty much takes up all the space in the living room.

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Common name: Shrubby whitevein
Scientific name: Sanchezia speciosa

Location: Bukit Batok Nature Preserve!

My Favorite Band...

It's Official. They are my favorite band.

American Girls, Murder of One, Holiday in Spain, Richard Manuel is Dead, Sullivan Street, Black and Blue. All great songs in my book.

Last Day at the Bike Shop.

Well, sadly, it was the last day at the bike shop for me. Since nobody I know who works at the bike shop reads this blog, then I can talk about it as much as I want to. (That's sarcasm or should I say... Hello Brian!)

Laff. Naw. It's been pretty enjoyable. I'll miss the razzing, the comraderie at the shop. The discounts of course. Today there's always something in the back of my head that says I'm forgetting to buy something, but today, I managed only to walk out with 2 vitamin waters for lunch and a pack of Strawberry Clif Bloks. Yum.

It's 3 years of my life and it's been a pretty important part. I've definitely gotten healthier, thinner, more appreciative of what it takes to live on a non-yuppie income. I've made some great friends and have some good times. I definitely know a whole lot more about bikes, not to mention the expanded tool kit and the 4 bikes that I have right now. :)

I'll make a reference that Mike would approve of, "All Good Things...." (Guesses are accepted in the comments.)

Weekend Update Con't

Friday,

I went out on a Hike with Rich, Chi and one of Rich's friend's, whom I don't remember her name and her, niece? Valerie. We all went off to Arastradero Park in Palo Alto where it was a georgeous day and always a good view. I found out that Valerie had apparently run a 5k on Thanksgiving, and with no practice she ran it in 30 minutes - which is probably faster than I could run that in right now. She placed second, tho she said she hated running.

For dinner, Ronnie and I went up to Oakland to visit Lindsay. We went to her pad, which I've never seen before, and ate at some mexican place with really good chips and salsa. We went back to place to play another cool ass video game - Super Monkey Ball 2 on the Gamecube.


Weekend Update

Thanksgiving was pretty good this year. JT organized a flag football event in the morning. We played from 9:30 to about 3, which constituted about 4 games of football. There was some girl there that was flirting with me, but felt bad flirting back, since everyone there was Christian except me. Oh well. My legs are weirdly sore too - I never felt winded really, and my main muscles aren't sore, just those ones i never exercise biking.

I showered and went off to Arif's place around 4:30. Tahera was there, and introduced me to Guitar Hero II - and I was hooked. I pretty much played all night and I rocked! The best song was "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns 'n' Roses. That was a awesome song. I played until about 2 am. Oh there was turkey and people and blah blah blah, but Guitar Hero Rocked! hahah jk.

The turkey was good. It was dipped in some sauce I have no idea what. All the Karims were there. Arif's sisters, Shahista and Sophia, his brother - Akil and his gf Shannon. Arif's parents. Hasnain and Zainab, Nasreen and Hasnain's parents. We even got Arif's Dad to jam on the (real) guitar!


Mr. Karim rockin' out!

Turkey - Karim Style

Girls and Guitar Hero II

Yet More Guitar Hero

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Latkes!

Painting (Jeremy is the paintmeister, I hate watching the mess slowly unfold in the house):

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Latkes! Vince got his hands on a magazine with an article about latkes and he's been super excited to make them for days. (Jeremy = 0.5 Jewish, Vincent = Edda = 0.25 Jewish, total household Jews = 1). Vince loved making them, but didn't eat any. Classic Vince. Edda didn't seem impressed either. We served the latkes with pork patties. Hmmm, not exactly kosher.

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Common name: Simpoh Air
Scientific name: Dillenia suffruticosa

Location: Bukit Batok Nature Preserve.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Costus speciosus

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Common name: Cane reed, Spiral flag, White Costus
Scientific name: Costus speciosus

Location: Bukit Batok Nature Preserve.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Mom is preparing the Thanksgiving turkey and it is just for two of us. Well, it looks like about 90% that Mom is heading to Shenzhen, China early next year. She is pretty excited about it. I am happy for her too and will find a way to there if her stay is relative long.

I am cleaning up the house waiting for our gathering in December. Can't wait to see you all, especially Edda.

Friday noon time, we will go to Du Pont Circle to meet Mom's classmate's daughter for lunch. Saturday, we have a gathering for our cancer friends and spouses. We will head back to SC on Sunday.

I wrapped all the remaining persimmon fruits with plastic lunch bags with holes at bottom because I have competitors (birds). Hope, you still can enjoy them when you come back in December. I moved the Chinese Kinkgo (?) tree to the back yard and moved a couple of bamboos to the boundary of our house. Hope, they will survive the move.

Happy turkey day!

Well, may all your tummies be full and may a good night's sleep ease you into the shopping frenzy that is Black Friday! Woo hoo! I have been doing all my holiday shopping online and the packages aren't even being sent here - they are piling up in Katherine's office in NY. Ha ha ha! I'm so excited about this holiday season.

Things I'm thankful for:

1. That Vince sleeps like a log. That boy can sleep through hours of Edda's crying 2 feet away from his head.

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2. That today was a beautiful day and Edda and I got to wear flowers in our hair.

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3. That Edda is learning to dance to "Footloose"

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4. That Jeremy made a delicious lamb stew for us to eat.

5. For all our family and friends, thank goodness we got through this year. Hopefully, next year will be less stressful.

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Common name: Canna lily
Scientific name: Canna (a bunch of species)

Location: In our apartment complex.

Judy's Email...

Judy's email has been bothering me all day. Well, really it isn't Judy's email, but rather my response that got me all tangled up.

Judy invited everyone over to her house on Sunday to visit everyone and The Kid. I sorta hemmed and hawed an email saying that I couldn't make it. When I sent it, I instantly knew that something was wrong. I thought about it for awhile, and finally figured it out - I was avoiding visiting her. (Sorry Judy.) The reason? It's not cause I don't like kids or Judy or P'ng, but rather it reminds me way too much of the life that I could have had with Jocelyn. I don't mean having a kid with Jocelyn, but somehow Judy and P'ng would've been a larger part of my life had we walked down that path. (Judy and Jocelyn are best friends from med school.) Having KX has somehow brought that "whatif" into sharper focus ... and it hurts.

It's no surprise that blogs are divided along familial lines and it's no accident either. And in a way I don't feel like I belong anymore at Judy's and so I avoid it. It's not to say that I don't feel welcome - I do. Judy and P'ng always have legendary potlucks and dinner parties. In fact, I want to belong - desparately in fact, and I feel that I would, if I had someone.

And here is where I get into the general married vs single people divide. That feeling of not belonging just doesn't apply at Judy's, there's more general unbelonging with married people. I joke a lot about that recently, but maybe it's true that every joke has a thread of truth. It comes down to the fact that my path to find someone no longer lies thru my married friends. So, my goal of finding someone is at odds with hanging out with the marrieds. And, I can't shake this unsettling feeling when I do hang out with couples. Inevitably, I think my hang out time with Judy & P'ng, Choon & PS, Shwe & Xin, Lynn & Jack, Arif & Tahera will have to decrease. It has to in a way. I wish it wasn't the case, but I'm not sure there's much choice anymore.... I think Choon could see this one coming from a mile out and I think he's resigned to the fact that I'm probably not going to hang out with him as much anymore. Honestly, he understands.

On the flip side, I know I'll miss out on a lot of things turning down married events. People and friendships grow apart when they aren't kept up to date. Is that the price that has to be paid? It seems like it and I don't like it. I wish I had more single friends in their mid to late 30's. I'd be kinda curious to hear their take on this. Is this a classic battle? (Probably.) Is divergence of singles and marrieds inevitable? (Not entirely sold that it is.) Am I crazy? (Most definitely.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Fruit salad.

Fruit salad is Jeremy's dad's claim to fame. According to him, it's his "best" dish, especially when you mix granola and yogurt with the fruit. Today Jeremy and Vince made fruit salad for breakfast and we all thought of Bob.

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Common name: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Scientific name: Brunfelsia calycina

Location: Choa Chu Kang park

This plant is so cool, the flowers fade from purple to white over the course of a few days, hence it's common name, "Yesterda, Today and Tomorrow"!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy birthday mom!

First, I wanted to wish my mother a very happy birthday! May you win all your mah jongg games today!

Edda took a long nap today. Here's sleeping beauty.

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Common name: Red Trailing Bauhinia
Scientific name: Bauhinia kockiana

Location: Choa Chu Kang park!

Rett Syndrome Resources - Activites

More skiing resources.

I know there are several ski areas that offer the equipment and instructors
for adaptive skiing across the country. Here in NH I wold say the majority
of ski areas either have full blown programs or are in the process of
beginning. Sunapee, Loon, Waterville, Breton Woods have well established
great programs. Gunstock, Ragged, Crotched Mountain have also started some.
I spent the day doing training on Sunday at Waterville for our adaptive
program. I have been a volunteer instructor both at Waterville and Loon for
10 years now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Rett Syndrome Resources - Activites

Repeated line books.

Rett Syndrome Resources - Activites

Skiing! From the RETTNET mailing group.

Mt. Sunapee, in New Hampshire, offers adaptive skiing. It's WONDERFUL!!!! We took Abby, 9, there last year, and I don't remember our family ever having a better time. The lessons are thru NEHSA-New England Handicpped Sports Association. If you can get there, they'll get you skiing. We saw kids with Down Syndrome, kids with one leg, kids with no arms, kids who are blind--anyone. And it's not just kids, it's grownups too. We saw an 85 year old woman skiing with a walker! The program is entirely volunteer run, and they are HIGHLY trained. There are always two instructors with each skier. Abby tried standup skiing first, but since we were only there for the weekend, we switched to sit-down, so she could have more fun and not work so hard! She headed to the top on her first run, and you should have seen her face when she came down. Definitely saw a touch of heaven there. When we go this year we will stay longer, and she'll try both standup and sitting. The instructor skies with her in a sled with handles--like a dogsled. If the skier begins to get the "feel" of things, the instructor will begin to let the sled move ahead on tether lines, feeding them out until the skier is pretty much on their own. The instructors brainstorm to figure out how each individual skier can have the best experience. It's a real bargain, too. The family joins NEHSA, for about $40 a year, and then the entire family can rent equipment and buy tickets through them at a fraction of the regular cost. I remember rentals being 15 dollars a day. And Abby paid $25 total. skis, tickets, and lessons. You can't get a hamburger at a mountain for $25!! The people were the nicest--every single one of them.
Ruby went swimming today. It is always a banner day when Ruby gets to swim.

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Common name: Trumpet Plant
Scientific name: Solandra longiflora

Location: Choa Chu Kang Park

More Pics



Frank's Deep Eyes - Picasaized.

Weekend Pictures



Ronnie at the Left Bank in Santana Row

Christian Night.

Well, tonight, I went off to a pre-turkey dinner night at one of Frank's friend's place. Of course, most of the people there were Christian, since they were mainly people from Frank's church.

Now usually those are snorefests for me since it seems to me that nobody wants to talk to me - me being the only non Christian in the crowd. Or perhaps it's just that everyone knows each other and it's easier to be cliquey? Who knows. I went anyways, cause Frank wanted me to and the night turned out to be better than I was expecting. I found a comrade in arms - the younger brother of the hostess was sort of a non practicing Christian and we chatted for a bit.

Also there was the Chargers - Broncos game on, and everyone bonded over football and fantasy football. The Broncos lost (Sorry Scott, but you still want to trade Portis now? :P) but the better news is that Ladanian Tomlinson has scored 18 TDs in the last 6 games, and he pretty much is going to win fantasy football for me this year.

It was also a sorta funny event, since it was BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat). Frank bought some ribeye steak from costco for everyone and grilled it to perfection. There was chocolate fondue involved later on also that was quite yummy. I asked the hostess what the inspiration was to the BYOM party. She sorta laughed, and joked, "I didn't want to pay dinner for everyone." Heh.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bukit batok.

I woke up in a great mood. I had so much fun at the Thanksgiving party yesterday. Usually I am so awkward as a hostess - I never know what to say or when to offer food/drinks. But I did well! The 5 hours flew by. So many people coming and going, I hope they all had fun. I had so much nervous energy I didn't really eat. Only after everyone left and the kids went to sleep did I eat 2 turkey sandwiches.

Today was a letdown/recovery day. We went walking a Bukit Batok Park to work off some of the turkey.

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Common name: Yellow Saraca
Scientific name: Saraca thaipingensis

Location: Bukit Batok Nature Reserve

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's done.

I quit the bike shop today. Tho I'll work next Saturday. They need people for Black Friday Weekend. I think people were a bit surprised by it, but it was time anyways for me. I had been working there since April of 2003. pretty crazy. I think the break will be good for me. Let's see if I'll do something constructive with my new found time.

Best. Party. Ever.

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Forty people came to our house this afternoon, we introduced all our friends to Thanksgiving. Jeremy made a wonderful lunch, we all had a great time.

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Common name: Bougainvillea
Scientific name: Bougainvillea (a million varieties)

Location: Along the flyover of KJE right next to our house.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Well Well...


Look what the UPS man delivered a bit early...

The school year is over!

Singapore's school year is over! Today was Vince's last day of school for N2 (Nursery 2). There is a 6 week break and then the new year starts in January - new teacher, new classroom. He'll be K1 (Kindergarten 1). (Edda still has school because her school is an international school, following more the American school schedule.)

They had a nice graduation ceremony/performance/party. Jeremy persuaded me to take the tripod and video tape it, so here it is, I was a bit embarrassed pulling out the tripod, but it does make for nicer movies.

Vince dances splendidly, but check out his classmate next to him in the green headgear!



Here's the Chinese part!



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Common name: Fruit Salad Plant, Ceriman, Monster fruit, Monsterio Delicio, Monstereo, Swiss Cheese Plant, Mexican Breadfruit, or Windowleaf
Scientific Plant: Monstera deliciosa

Location: Right outside our apartment!

Girls Girls Girls

It was Jacuzzi night, and the men from Sophia House (Frank and I) and Sophia House alums (JT), all go out to the community jacuzzi to shoot the shit and drink a beer.

Of course, the main topic is women, since we're all single guys. Frank dishes about who he's after in church, and JT looks like he's got a promising lead up in Sacramento and I'm, well, just hanging out at the moment. But I think it's becoming fairly obvious to me, that I need to dedicate some serious time into branching out my social circle. I mentioned to Arif that before, meeting people was never a problem. I'd just hang out with people that I liked, and did stuff that I liked to do, and sure enough, I'd meet women that way.

But perhaps things have changed now. Perhaps I need to do things to meet women rather than do things that I want to do. I just hate hate to admit that I'd be doing something more for meeting women than it would be for doing whatever it is I'm doing. You know? Grrr....

JT mentioned that I have to put some of my passions aside for a little bit to focus on this. He got me thinking that he's right.

I think I have to leave the bike shop.

Dunno why. I've been there awhile. But perhaps I need my Saturdays back for this... It's a tough call. It's been a part of me for a long time now. I would feel too ... normal in a way if I quit.

Other random action items on my list or potentially branching out my social circle.

- volunteer at AACO - some Asian community outreach service, that some people that I know are a part of.
- Dragonboat - again, some people that I know do that.
- Join Team in Training or the Silicon Valley Tri club - I went to a SVTC meeting last week.
- Stop hanging out with married people.

Hah. I threw that last one out there since I know there are a lot of married people reading this blog now. Hello! (feel free to leave a comment)

Oh yeah. I'm climbing really well these days. The classes help a lot. I pretty much flew up a 5.9, which good technique too, until the end, where it got messy and my arms gave out. hrm... Tho I managed to do all the 14 easies bouldering routes in the gym. That was cool too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's Done.

Sigh...

Dance dance revolution.

Ronald says good morning! (Vince took lots of pictures on the way to school. Hence the low photo angle.)

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The baking for Thanksgiving has started. Vince and I made 2 pecan pies today (which are my favorite kind next to banana cream pie). Genius that I am, I managed to burn one from the top and one from the bottom. Don't even ask. Martha Stewart, I am not. These pies are being served since I have no other pecans. I'll be buying some vanilla ice cream and maybe people won't notice the burned pies underneath. Tomorrow I tackle pumpkin.

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So, do you think we should buy Dance Dance Revolution for Christmas? Edda and Ruby both think that Vince is just crazy!



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Common name: Flame of the Woods, Jungle Flame, or Jungle Geranium
Scientific name: Ixora (there are hundreds of species, I'm not sure which one this is)

Location: In front of our apartment!

Kouign-amann, pancake practice, bacon.

Ohhhh, I love these Kouign-amann.  It's like a croissant covered in a crunchy sugar coating. I'm eating poorly these days, snackin...