Friday, February 29, 2008

Toro. The anti PDA cat.


I suppose equal air time is in order, so here's Toro, in his bed. I think she's not so happy with me, tho I managed to somewhat force a kiss out of that cat. So she got to eat today. We'll see if it happen tomorrow. Winston is very funny. He keeps dragging out Pei-Sun's clothes into the living room and ... ah ... sorta goes at it. It's very strange. I don't even know where he's getting the clothes from! But there's like a sweater, a skirt, a blanket, and one other item I'm forgetting at the moment. I'm just folding them up and creating a laundry pile on the dining room table.

Tonight was relaxing. Just came home, watched Strictly Ballroom, and tried to make a lemon drop with some _really_ sour lemons from Choon's tree. Oye.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Metro fun.

I worked late tonight, I'm trying to make up some hours because Jeremy's going to be traveling soon and I'm going to have to go to work late a few days in a row - I don't think I can ask the sitter to come at 5:30 am so I can get to work on time. So tonight I got on the Metro at 6:45 and at that hour, there is less of the "I'm so exhausted, I can't wait to get home" mood and more of the "Oh, let's go out to dinner and a beer" mood.

Look, this cute couple - I think they were on their first date. I'm not sure though, because I think they were speaking Portuguese. But they were laughing like crazy and close together, but not too close.

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Here's a doggie who I guess is suppose to be some sort of helpful dog. I wish Ruby could ride the Metro.

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Well...

I found this video on digg, entitled, What if the iPhone Stopwatch Hits 1000 Hours. Video provided here:



And I just glanced on my iPhone to see what the formatting of the number was like under "normal" usage. Lo and behold:


Yup. my stopwatch has been running for 1108 hours. That's about 46 days now. I don't even remember starting it.

I wonder if my battery life will improve now.

Housesitting



So I'm housesitting this month for Choon & PS.Just took them to the airport today. I can't believe they brought a 4" memory foam topper as baggage. It's for PS' sister in Singapore, but they are making a stopover in Taiwan first.

Of course, this means that I am taking care of their two cats, Toro and Winston (pictured). I have my set of rules about how to feed them. Winston has to sit first before he gets his food, and he gets a little less than toro since he's a smaller cat. That went fine. But for Toro, not only is he supposed to sit, but he's supposed to kiss me too before he gets any food. Sufficed to say, I have no idea how this is accomplished since I never actually saw Pei-Sun feed them. Is he supposed to kiss me before sitting? On the cheek? What really counts as a kiss? I tried twice anyways, and Toro's going hungry tonight. He's looking kinda miffed at the moment, glowering at me from the corner of the room...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Orange dinner.

A few days ago, we had a mono-color dinner.

Sweet potato.

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Carrot.

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Orange.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

1991 Cadillac.

Jeremy's cousin, Seth, went out and found himself a top-of-the-line 1991 Cadillac.

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Look at these seats... yummy.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

The logistics phase of marriage.

Abruptly, we have entered the "logistics" phase of marriage. It seems like every encounter between me and Jeremy ends up being a discussion of logistics and planning. OK, who's going to be home in time to relieve the babysitter, who can cover Thursday's dental appointment and oh, could you remember to call the realtor and pay the credit card bill and also on Friday, I need to go out to a work dinner, so you'll need to come home 30 minutes early...

A few weeks ago, we discussed the logistics of getting the mail from the mailbox. Who gets to get it and open it, where to recycle the junk mail, what trays we need to sort the mail - it was a 25 minute discussion on household mail processing. See how exciting being married can be? Call the reality shows.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dance!

Last night Vanessa invited me out to another last minute dance party. The preparty was over at Tina's and again, I didn't know anyone there. Jane was around so we talked a bit. Funny that she's only hung out with Ted a couple times at best. So she really doesn't know Ted at all. Funny how connections are made in this world.

Anyhow we moved off to a lounge in the Mission and here's my wonderful low light photo of people dancing. Someone almost left the bar with my jacket. I managed to stop him, but man I would have been pissed.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bad haircut month.

I declare February bad haircut month. Some we paid good money for, others were cut by a parent who shall remain nameless.

Let's start with me. It's not too bad a little uneven at some points, I did have to fix it myself by cutting off half an inch in the front that somehow was missed. Also, I'm teetering on the subtle male/female line.

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Jeremy's main complaint is that his haircut is too short. You can call him Sarge and don't get him mad, or else he will make you do pushups.

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OK, OK, I cut Edda's hair and you can't tell too much from this photo how badly the haircut turned out, but I tried to give her a baby-doll hair cut. I did it while we were in the tub and she fell asleep on me and then I had to try and cut her hair while holding her head above water and then I just got frustrated and stopped. (I did fix it yesterday, it looks much better now.)

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And the piece de resistance! Vince's haircut. He refuses to let me touch his hair anymore because he says he loves it.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

It's winter around here.

A little sleet is falling around the DC area, schools have been canceled. I am home today with the kids - all day - all by myself, it has been a while since I've done this, I'm a little rusty; Vince is still in his PJs watching youtube at 2:45pm.

Ruby is sick, sick, sick. She was scheduled to have her teeth cleaned today, but I had to cancel because she puked twice in the last 24 hours and this morning, she refused to eat her breakfast - such unRuby-like behavior.

This is what it's been like (I took this photo a few days ago while I was walking to the Metro after work).

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The weirdest thing...

Tonight, Edda had a little "episode". I'm doing the regular evening routine and I lay her down on her bed and turn around to get some PJs and my the time I turn back around, I know something unusual is going on with her brain. I don't think they are exactly seizures because she remains alert to sounds and to our voices, she can drink water and she smiles when we comfort her. But her body is tense, her hands are cold and her eyes are wide, wide open and she moves her head around as if she's looking for someone above her who is playing tricks on her.

Edda had these 5 minute long episodes almost daily when she was in the midst of her most pronounced regression over a year ago and it especially seemed to increase when we gave her some melatonin to help with sleep. But they had gradually faded away when we stopped the melatonin and actually she started sleeping better on her own. I had hoped that we had seen the last of them. I guess not, but she didn't seem too bothered by this one...

A few days ago, Edda fell asleep on the floor which has never, ever happened before.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Test mobile blogging

Saturday night. Hanging with the Frank.

Target run.

Target is my favorite store. When I am blue, I go to Target; when I am happy, I go to Target. This weekend we went to Target to stock up the pantry because the cupboard is bare. Vince is clutching a LEGO set and a twenty dollar bill given to him by Pua Pua for Chinese New Year. Edda is happy that the shopping is almost over, she looks really slim in this photo even with the horizontal stripes on her shirt. I am enamored by the Target house brand. In our cart you will find Target brand diapers, shaving cream, dishwasher powder, wipes and "Ziploc" bags.

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Chinese New Years Performance

Last night, we invited all the DC Martins to Vince's Chinese New Year's party. The school had gotten a lot of raffle prizes in the attempt to keep parents around after their kid performed in the show including a Wii, DVD player, a CyberShot camera, lots of red envelopes, etc, etc. Our neice, J. really, really wanted to win the 100 dollars and was camping out in the front of the room waiting, waiting, waiting and fretting that she wouldn't understand if they read the numbers in Chinese. We lasted only until the first giveaway, and came out with a big fat goose egg - nothing! But we do have a cute video of Vince. And Seth took lots of nice photos!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Taking a break from cleaning the bathrooms.

Saturday mornings are my time for cleaning the bathrooms of the house. The last weekend we were at the Rett Clinic and didn't get a change to reboot the house in terms of laundry and recharge the house in terms of cleaning and groceries so this week we were a little bit frazzled and unorganized.

On Friday, Vincent had his second appointment to fill the third and forth of the eight cavities. The dentist is great and has a space theme to the whole cavity filling procedure. Vince is the captain and he's going into outer space which makes the whole thing less scary. That and, of course, a nice sedative and nitrous oxide doesn't hurt either.

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This week was also crazy in terms of scheduling, on Tuesday the kids were at home all day because the schools close down for election day, on Wednesday there was a 2 hour delay due to the ice, on Friday, Vince needed to stay home from school all day to recover from the sedative and our sitter B. could handle all the schedule changes without a problem and because of her, Jeremy and I were able to work through all this without a hiccup. (My mom's huge lasagna that she made last weekend for us helped also, I ate a slice every night this week.) Whew!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Women and Vday.

Being a single guy, of course I've got no plans on Valentine's Day. Well actaully, did plan on sitting at home, eating all those chocolates that my parents mailed me (thanks!) and crying myself to bed. JK. :P

Laff. anyhow about 5pm yesterday, a friend of a friend, Jane, invited me out to come hang out with all of her cute single girlfriends at Farmer Brown's. I tried to rustle up another guy friend to come with me, but interestingly enough, all my single guys friends were busy, so I just went on my own. So it actually just ended up being me and 4 women of low alcohol tolerance hanging out. Ha. There was some guy at the bar that was trying to sell Jane some boots. I met a poet.

We all went off to eat indian, Where the waiter asked all the tipsy women whether they were okay or not. I think he wanted to swap seats with me. Laff. We gossiped about what movie stars are hot (who's a hot guy?), restaurants, and what size medical gloves people were. I also learned that a woman is interested in a guy if her pelvis is pointed in his direction, and that all nail salons are run by vietnamese women.

All in all. As fun of a vday as you get when you're single. Thanks for the invite Jane!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love to all.

I had taken Vince and Edda's leftover Valentines (Superman and Dora the Explorer) and I wrote my co-worker's names on them and handed them out this morning. I was a little embarrassed, but I think they were amused to get a school-aged valentine this morning.

Jeremy and I each agreed to spend less than 3 dollars on each other for Valentine's Day. I got him one of those giant Hershey bars with almonds. He got me a bag of heart shaped Reece's peanut butter cups which I inadvertently brought to work to give away not knowing they were my own gift.

V-Day!

Tho it's V-Day (Happy V-Day folks!) and I'm single, I'm not really bothered by it like some people are. Last night, I listened to the radio, and the DJ sounded so depressed that she didn't have someone in her life. Her complaint about it was more depressing than not actually having anyone.

Anyways, I'm browsing all the press coverage and online chats about V-day. I came across this funny piece of advice:
Janis Spindel: Funny you should ask that because that is one of the things I tell people depending on their situation. Single people should totally be in a big city where there is a large ratio of well educated, attractive people looking for LOVE!
I suppose I'm doing the right thing... Laff.

Live

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Staying up late.

There was an ice storm last night that shut down main freeway interchanges in all directions, co-workers 30 minute commute turned into 2.5 hour sagas. Thankfully, the Metro was the one dependable mode of transport and I made it home pretty much on schedule. In the midst of it all, people went to the polling places and voted in the Potomac Primary. And it's great to see Obama take the lead and pick up momentum after a week's worth of decisive victories.

I woke up this morning to find my car covered with a thin sheet of ice. Someday I'm going to learn how to use a garage properly. Government workers (that would be me!) got a 2 hour delay, but it wasn't icy outside (except for the car) so I headed out at my usual time and didn't have a bit of trouble.

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Cycling Weekend


I'm always a bit late with my posts....But it was a beautiful weekend to go biking, and biking we went. Saturday, it was Arastradero with Yi-Ling and Charles. Yi-Ling just got her new Giant mountain bike. Arastradero is known for it's bowl. It's usually dry in the summer, but it was a little wet due to the rains last week. Here's a photo of Charles attacking the bowl on his cross/touring bike. Go Go Gadget fenders!



Also Sunday, I managed to get out across the Golden Gate with Andrew. We climbed up to the the lighthouse parking lot. The city is just behind the cliffs. Andrew called his mom on his bluetooth cycling specific helmet mounted wind noise cancelling headset.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mike Huckabee called!

So much political campaigning happening here! The Potomac primaries are happening tomorrow in MD, VA and DC and there is so much more excitement here than I have ever seen in my entire life as a Marylander. We had Clinton and Obama supporters wearing their allegiances while riding the Metro as well as enthusiastic sign holders at the exit of the Metro as I got out to go home. These campaigners are determined, it is freaking cold and windy today! Mike Huckabee kept warm by staying inside and calling. He left a message on the machine. We spent dinner trying to figure out the other races besides the presidential one, there is a local school board seat up for grabs (there are 2 nice candidates so we had to read about each one) and also various delegates which for some strange reason are separated by gender (vote for 4 girls and 4 boys). I'm going to bed and tomorrow I'm going to go vote!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rett Syndrome Clinic.

As my father mentioned, this weekend we went to New Jersey to participate in a Rett Clinic, which means that we are part of a 3-year study on Rett Syndrome. We see the doctors twice a year and this is the 2nd time we went. There are 2 appointments, one is a measurement appointment where Edda's height and weight are measured as well as her various bone lengths and also they do a skin fold test. Then we meet with doctors, (ours is Dr. Skinner) and we get to answer questions on Edda's health and we get to ask any questions we had. Actually, Edda's remarkably healthy, our only question was this weird swallowing she does sometimes right before she goes to bed and if it had anything to do with reflux.

They were apologetic for the long wait times, but I actually enjoy being in the waiting room because we get to chat with old friends and also we get to make new ones. It's nice that even though we don't know each other that well and we are far apart, that we are not alone (that goes to all my internet families as well!).

Here we are in the waiting room.

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The next morning, we ate at my parent's favorite diner.

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Chidren Hospital at Rutgers, NJ

Yesterday noon, Jeremy, Doris, Vince & Edda were here in our apartment. After lunch with delicious food from Mom, we went to Children Hospital at Rutgers, NJ, just about 30 miles away, for Edda's 6-month regular physical.

Her physical sizess and shape were normal with respect to her non-Rett counterparts. In short, she was okay, big and strong. Yesterday, I found out one more thing from Edda. She could grap my extended hands and lifted herself up from the floor. It was very pleased to see her improved abilities.

Last night, Vince would like to sleep with us and Mom was very glad to offer. Guess what, Mom and Vince had their own bed. I slept on a Mattress and even Ruby slept side way across with me. I had no room to extend my legs and Vince had a dream that needed some sort of assurance. So, almost no where to sleep and half awake all the time. Better wake and write this blog :)

Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. Much love.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Getting my crap together.

Today was one of those days in which I felt like everyone else has their crap together and happily moving down the express lane of life and I'm in the slow lane behind the jalopy with the left turn blinking for the past 2 miles. What can I say? I missed a phone call, I got some flack for some things I sold on ebay, and the two shirts I bought Jeremy from the thrift shop were too small even though the neck size clearly stated 16.5 inches. Apparently, clothing manufacturers cannot agree on the size of an inch.

Yes, I have been shopping for some clothing at thrift shops around town. It's really a gleeful experience for me. I scored two brand new work chino/khaki pants for $6 each and also sweaters. It pleases me to no end that I'm saving money and recycling at the same time. Oh, and it's also a means of exercising. There is a thrift shop about 1 mile from my office. So it takes me just about an hour to change, run to the thrift shop, browse for 10-15 minutes, run back, shower and change and then go back to my desk.

By far my best score was an official Redskins jersey for $2! Vince practically ripped it out of my hands when he saw it and he wore it to school today. I had to look #11 Ramsey up on Wikipedia. Apparently, he was the quarterback for the Skins from 2002-2005 and now is no longer on the team, so I guess we are a little behind the times. But hey, as long as he wasn't the guy with the fighting dogs or whatever else players get in trouble for, I guess it's OK.

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy year of the Rat!

Well, it's my year again, the year of the rat. Why couldn't it be the year of the mouse? So much cuter and somehow thought of less of as a disease vector. Since this is my year, it should be quite clear, I'm turning 36 this year, smack dab in middle-age-dom.

According to Wikipedia, the year of the rat is associated with:

Good: meticulous, intelligent, shrewd, compassionate, charismatic, charming, ambitious, practical, industrious, honest, eloquent, versatile, familial, creative, hard-working, neat, organized, lovers of music, loving

Bad: controlling, obstinate, resentful, lacks-a-sense-of-humor, manipulative, cruel, vengeful, power-driven, critical, possessive, stingy, bossy, fickle, defensive

Of course, I only show the good side of myself on this blog. My fickle, bossy, defensive, cruel side is certainly there somewhere in my psyche and I try really hard to keep it under wraps, but every once in a while it reveals itself to me in ways I cannot believe. Did I really say that? Did I really do that?

Jeremy's job is heating up (ha ha, global warming joke). There are two new articles in Science about how biofuels may not be the right approach to solve the global warming issue. There's a lot of press about these new Science articles, keep your ears and eyes alert.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Call a lawyer!

So I like my job. But every once in a while, I have to call a lawyer and talk to her. I don't like calling lawyers even though everyone says that the particular lawyers that I have to call are generally the kindest, most sincere type of lawyers there are (if you can believe that.)

So everytime I reach a calling-a-lawyer point in my work, I think to myself, OK Doris, you have to call a lawyer now. I stick a post-it note on it and I move on to another thing in which no lawyer-calling in necessary.

This is not an entirely good thing because my pile of need-to-call-a-lawyer post-it-note covered work was just getting bigger and bigger. So basically, I had to just do it. I spent the afternoon calling one lawyer after another, and you know what? Except for the intense blushing on the first and second calls, it went pretty OK. After I was done, I was sweating a little bit. And now I'm glad it's over.

High five to me.

Paper or Plastic?

I was reading this article in the Washington Post about how plastic bags are out of vogue now... Here's a fun quote:
"I remember life before plastic bags. There was no "paper or plastic" at the Giant in the 1970s. Just paper, which kids dutifully recycled into book covers for elementary school texts."
I loved this line, simply cause I remember learning how to do this and how Dad would write neatly and deliberately the book's title on the cover in black marker.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ronnie's


Super Bowl Sunday! Yea! I was rooting for the Giants for about 3 quarters, and then for the Pats when the Giants scored. And then back to the Giants and finally the Pats. In the end, when it was all over... I kinda wanted the 19-0 season.

Ronnie just bought an HDTV and his Tivo is driving all three screens. :) Nice eh?

Larry too was being sneaky in his own way. Ah damn you Larry! (Women issues. He knows what he's done.)

Flat...




On Thursdays, I generally have an (relatively) early meeting that I have to wake up for. Last Thursday, was somewhat cold, and I didn't feel like biking into work, so I decided to drive. Lo and behold, when I got to my car, I found my rear left tire flat to the ground. So I was sitting there, in the middle of the street, changing it. Usually I'm okay with doing man-stuff like this. But it frustrated me a little. I tire wouldn't come off with all the bolts undone. I had to really wrestle it off. And of course, I was worried about driving 50 miles to work too on the spare.

In the end it was fine. There was a nail in the tire, and I went back to the place I bought it, and they patched it for free. Nice! Here's a photo snapped from my phone.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super duper Tuesday.

We managed to not see an iota of the Super Bowl last night. Even though it was on FOX, the only TV station we get clearly over our rabbit ears. Are we anti-sports? Maybe. But you can be sure it's wall-to-wall primary coverage tomorrow. Since we don't get any TV reception other than FOX, I think you'll find me knitting and Jeremy doing the dishes in front of our little transistor radio.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

So productive.

Since we know we can't waste time on the weekends, we can become really productive. Jeremy and I cleaned all bathrooms in the house, vacuumed the downstairs, mopped the kitchen floor. Did all the laundry and ironed all the work clothes. Went grocery shopping. Did paperwork for respite care/dependent care/medical insurance. Worked on taxes. Went to a dance party. Went to gymnastics. Went to Chinese school. Went to open houses. Went to Sunday night dinner. Jeremy and I fit in one run each. Did some therapy with Edda and intensive potty training (2 poops in the potty this weekend, a record for us!).

Ruby thinks it's spring already with the warm weather. She's shedding her winter coat.

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Special Olympics.

Yesterday, we joined Special Olympics Young Athlete's Program held at the Fredrick Gymnastics Club. The gym is amazing and a little stinky, a huge warehouse with every sort of professional gymnastics equipment. Edda was asleep when we showed up and then we nudged her awake and, boy, was she grumpy. But after a little while, she perked up and we did some (very much assisted) trampoline jumping and fast walking on the springy floor routine floor. I even did a few cartwheels on the sprung floor. I wonder if I'm too old to learn how to do a back hand spring.

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Field Trip to NY City







Today, we had a field trip to New York City in GREEN - using public transportation and just by walking. It was fun but I felt a little bit unease because our car was not at our side.
Just like two country persons went into a big city. We asked almost on everything - where to get a parking space and parking ticket, where to buy train tickets, when the conductors will check our tickets, where to make connection and transit, etc. Boy, if the public transportation is the right way to go. It should make it much more clearly to the persons like us. The big problem, I see, is the last few miles to get to your destination. Sometimes, it is just too long and too dangerous to walk. Improvement is needed to be really effective.
Attached pictures were from New York City - construction in progress, steam pipe blowing and, of course, smiling Mom.

Hip mom.

Last night, Vince's school had a beach party in the gym. You were suppose to get dressed up in shorts and Hawaiian shirts. Vince's really, really wanted to dance with a certain girl he knew was going to show up and made it clear at the beginning of the party that he would prefer if I didn't dance with him. You know, I think I'm a pretty hip mom. I can "get jiggy" with it. I know all about Hanna Montana and I listen to Avril. What else can I do? I think that I'm not really a prude, but there is something about having your 5 year old dance to the Pussycat Dolls, "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"

There was the standard YMCA song.

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There were glow necklaces

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Edda, the homebody that she is, took one look at the dance floor and heard the loud music and declared that she was going to have none of the ruckus and promptly fell asleep.

Watch out Tom Cruise.

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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...