Thursday, May 29, 2008

the dog that hates me

There is a mean, little chihuahua that hates me, especially whenever I get near its owner. It barks at me everytime it sees me. And if I go anywhere near its owner, even I just reach out to give her a napkin, the yapping chihuahua will snap and bark at me and will try to bite my leg off.

It has bitten me twice already. Once when I gave its owner a hug and totally forgot about the dangers of hugging her when the chihuahua is around. And once when I tried to give her a book she wanted. Fortunately, it's not rabid (I suppose that's a fortunate thing), but I'm getting really annoyed at it barking at me.

Sure, it looks sweet in the picture above. That's because it's sitting far away from me and I'm on the other side of the couch. But the video below shows its true nature -- that is how it greets me everytime I come home from work, and what it does everytime I take a step in the house.

Its name is Palamino. But I call it Kudro (is that how you spell it?).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

130 baby!

The last time I weighed myself was at the last time I went to the gym, which was some time towards the end of April just right before finals started. At that time, I weighed 145 pounds.

So, let's just say it's been a little over a month since I last exercised and weighed myself. I found a scale in the bathroom yesterday at my current abode (summer sublet), and weighed myself. Much to my surprise, the scale showed that I currently weigh 130 pounds.


All this walking up and down the hills of SF must be paying off. Everyday, I walk at least 20 minutes to get to MUNI/BART to take me to work across the bay, and then another 20 minutes of walking to go back home. Walking to work is all downhill, but damnit, walking back home is all UPHILL, which kills me and leaves me out of breath. After the first week of work, my gluteous maximus was so sore, I couldn't move without feeling pain in my butt muscles (and leg muscles).

Although the legs are getting a nice workout, the belly is still not up to par for the summer six pack challenge. Must get started on those crunches...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

testing out the video feature

I took this video back in 2006 on July 4th. We went to see the SF Symphony play at an outdoor amphitheater, and they timed the fireworks show to one of the songs.

I'm just posting it here to see if I can successfully post a video.

Monday, May 26, 2008

domesticated diva

I have a little secret to share -- I'm a closeted homemaker and I actually enjoy it. Just don't tell The Boy because he'll make me do stuff for him if he knows I enjoy this stuff (don't worry, he doesn't read my blog often and if by the time he gets around to reading my blog, hopefully this post will be off the page and be replaced with newer posts).

I like to sew, knit, cook, bake, felt applique, and even clean the house. And it's all very relaxing and almost a stress reliever for me. Especially cleaning. When I'm in a bad mood, I'll just pick a room and start scrubbing and dusting, and the harder I try to scrub out a stain, the less stressed I feel. It's also just a lot nicer to be in a much cleaner room. I also have to admit that I don't do deep cleaning often because it just takes up a lot of time that I don't have lately. Cooking and baking also relieves stress for me, but only if I'm in the kitchen by myself. Weird, I know.

Oh, oh...I also LOVE putting together furniture. IKEA is a great store to buy cheap furniture, but the only downside is that you have to put everything together yourself, which most people hate to do, but I absolutely love it. It's like a giant puzzle waiting to be put together. And, using a hammer to pound in the nails is a GREAT way to destress, especially if you're extremely angry at someone.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to help L out around the house. She's redecorating her home, so I put my skills to use and helped make some of her ideas into reality.

First, throw pillows. L had some old pillows she wanted to reuse so picked out some fabric and I sewed some new covers for them. After a half hour and about $5 later (it was like $1.75 for the material for each pillow), I sewed covers for three throw pillows.

Then came something a little more complicated -- updating an old lamp shade. I should have taken a before picture, but I was too intent on getting the shade redone that I forgot. The old lamp shade had this hard, beige material wrapped around in an accordian style. We actually went looking for a new lamp shade, but we couldn't find the right type of frame for the lamp. So I suggested we just buy some fabric and cover the old shade with it.

L and I picked out a light blue stripy material (that matches one of the throw pillows I just made) that we thought would give the lamp shade a better look. We came up with the idea of using velco instead of sewing, so that if L wanted to change the material again later, she could take off the material and velco on the new material.

And here's the finished product:

And I'm also working on making stockings for Christmas. I started this one today, and I think I'll be able to finish putting on the last few peices tomorrow.
Next weekend -- reupholstering a rocking chair and painting that lamp stand white. Oh, also putting together an outdoor table and potting some plants.

I'm kinda glad to know that if my goals of becoming a rich, successful lawyer ever fails, I have so many other skills to fall back on.

choc-mint mouse cupcakes

Double Chocolate Mint Cake --
4 oz square after-dinner mints
2 oz dark chocolate, chopped coursely
2/3 cup water
6 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup self-rising flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond meal
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder extra

Chocolate mousse --
5 oz dark chocolate, chopped roughly
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, separated
3 tbsp sugar

1. Make chocolate mousse -- Combine chocolate, extract and half the cream in a medium heatproof bowl over a medium pot of simmering water; stire until smooth. Cool mixture 5 minutes, then stir in egg yolks. Beat remainig cream in small bowl with electric mixture until soft peaks form. Beat egg whties in another small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form; add sugar radually, beat until dissolved. Fold cream into chocolate mixture, then egg whites. Spoon mixture into a shallow baking dish. Cover; refrigerate 4 hours until firm.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 6 hole oversize or 12 hole standard muffin pan with paper baking cups.

3. For large cakes, using 1 1/2 inch long petal cutter, cut out petals from after-dinner mints. For small cakes, use 1/2 inch long petal cutter to cut petals from after-dinner mints. Coarsely chop remaining mint pieces; reserve for cake mixture.

4. COmbine chocolate and the water in small pot; stire over low heat until smooth.

5. Beat butter, extract, sugar and eggs in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.

6. Stir in sifted flour and cocoa, slamond meal, warm chocolate mixture and reserved after-dinner mints. Divide mixture among baking cups; smooth surface.

7. Bake large cakes about 40 minutes, small cakes about 30 minutes. Turn cakes onto wire rack to cool.

8. Place a lightly greased collar of foil around each cake. Divide firm chocolate mousse evenly among tops of cake. Freeze cakes for about 30 minutes to help set the mousse quickly.

9. Dust mousse with extra sifted cocoa; arrange petals on top in a flower. Gentl remove foil; dip spatula in hot water and smooth sides of mousse.
Below is a picture of my attempt at making this recipe (sorry, I forgot to rotate the picture, so just lean your head to the right). I skipped the chocolate petal making part because I couldn't find after dinner mints. And I messed up the chocolate mousse part because I overlooked the part that said "refrigerate for 4 hours". Oops. So the mousse was a bit runny when I put onto the foiled lined cupcakes. But after a half hour of freezing, they looked okay. Most important, they tasted DELICIOUS. I love mint-chocolate and these were to die for. I still have a small bowl of the mint chocolate mousse left over too -- which is like a bowl of pudding now.
And this is a picture of how they're supposed to look like: See, big difference from what I created. I'll make to make another attempt at this recipe sometime later this summer.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

weekend of the dogs

I spent the long weekend at L's house, and I arrived on Friday evening just in time to see L go off to work. As she left, she tells me that she promised the dogs I would take them on a W-A-L-K. When L is home alone, she usually walks one dog at a time for a half hour each, so she ends up going around the block twice but each time with a different dog.

Well, I was too hungry, and pretty much too lazy, to do two 30-minutes walks, so I just took both dogs out at once. If you recall, Beau is the puppy, aka the hyper energetic one that bounces, tugs, jumps, licks, and runs all over the place. Beau is the one on the left. Brandy, the more mature and much calmer dog, is on the right.

So this is me being tugged by both dogs. I felt like my arm right arm was going to fall off. Because Beau is so hyper, he drags me as I'm jogging along to keep from tripping. Then there was a cat, and both dogs started pulling me. Um yeah, that was fun.

The next morning, L and I walked the dogs to a nearby park so we can throw a ball around and let the dogs run to catch it. This is the only way to wear out Beau -- after a half hour of playing catch at the park, Beau will just lie down with his tongue hanging out, which is a sign that he's out of energy and wants to go home.
Brandy just likes to chew on the ball. She doesn't chase after it much.
And after today's walk around the neighborhood, I found a cherry tree with lots of big, round, juicy cherries! I had never seen an actual cherry tree before and was so excited at the sight. The actual tree was in somebody's yard, but there were lots of branches hanging over the side of the fence and cherries were falling onto the sidewalk. So, I jumped up and snagged a few cherries. Much to my disappointment, however, the cherries were way too tart to actually consume. With the color such a deep red, you'd figure the cherries were ripe and sweet enough to eat.

That's what I get for taking someone else's cherries.

There was also a lemon tree right next to the cherry tree...unfortunately, there were no branches hanging over the side of the fence. Or else I would have snagged a lemon too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

take me out to the ball game

One of the perks of living in the Bay Area is that there will always be a baseball game whether you are an A's fans or a Giants fan. A better perk is when you don't have to pay for tickets to see the game. And an even bigger perk is when you get free tickets to the box suite -- aww yeah!

So on my first day of interning at a city attorney's office somewhere in the Bay Area, I had lunch with the City Attorney himself, and afterwards he gave us interns each two box tickets to the A's game, each intern to go on a different day.

So, I went to Tuesday's night name. And here was the view from the box:

We had the box suite to ourselves for the first five innings, then a few more people came in at the top of the 6th inning. Makes me wonder though - why would you come to a game so late? With other people in the suite, we had to stop talking smack about the A's...

And that's as much of the elephant mascot that I could see.

Anyway, it was pretty awesome sitting in the box suite, especially when it was so windy and cold outside. It was a very close game, but the A's lost 3-2. The A's were leading by 1, but in the 8th inning, one of the A's catcher "lost the ball to the lights" and allowed the Rays - who had bases loaded - to make a grand slam.

I'm still a Giants fan, although I may switch sides just to partake in the A's $2tickets/$1hotdogs Wednesdays. It's all about the $1 hotdogs, especially when The Boy had to pay $3.50 each for the teeny weeny ones we had at the game.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

goals for tomorrow

1. Sleep in past noon.

2. Finish packing.

3. Clean the bathroom.

Most likely what will happen:

1. Wake up at 7am because for some unknown reason, my eyes pop open at that time without any help from an alarm clock or the sun.

2. I started my marathon viewing of "The Prison Break" Seasons 1 and 2, so I don't think it's likely I will have the motivation to finishing packing all the crap in the room. How did I accumulate so much stuff in two years?

3. Yeah, definitely no motivation for that.

Good night y'all!

Countdown to sunny SF -- 3 days to go!

Friday, May 09, 2008

finals countdown is OVER

Turned in my last paper and now I'M A FREE WOMAN!!

Well, at least until August 2008...but then I will only have one more year to go.


Now to finish all that packing and then figuring out how many of my 25 pairs of shoes I can pack for SF.

Monday, May 05, 2008

finals countdown


Just a research paper stands between the end of 2L and the beginning of 3L.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

oh the embarassment

Several years ago, my mom bought this Samsung cell phone solely because of one ringtone it provided. The ringtone consisted of some pop/techno music with a voice that said "hello hello" on every other beat. I didn't understand what was so spectacular about this ringtone until she said that the voice that said "hello hello" sounded exactly like MY voice. And so everytime the phone rings "hello hello", it makes her a bit excited because she thinks I might be the one calling.
I didn't believe that this voice was mine, so I had to go hear it for myself. And you know? It WAS my voice. I swear someone recorded me saying "hello hello" while I was walking down the street or something.

Anyway, her Samsung phone died earlier this year, and Samsung doesn't make that model anymore. So my mom was devastated that she couldn't have that ringtone anymore because she could no longer hear my "hello hello" when the phone rang.

For mother's day this year, I bought her one of those Hallmark music cards, where you open it and it plays a song. The song on this card was "Whomp, there it is!" because I think that's one of the only English songs my mom recognizes. This card also allowed me to record a message that would play before the song started, which was why I thought my mom would really like it. So for the recording, I started off with "hello hello? mom home?" and continued with all the gushy miss-you-love-you-happy-mother's-day mumbo jumbo, which I will spare you the details. I figured that if she actually keeps the card, she can open it and hear my voice anytime she wants to.

Well, today I called her to see if she received the card yet, because my mom has this habit of never calling me to tell me that she received anything I sent her, let alone a thank you for sending it. My mom said she just got the card this morning and it made her day. She then continued to say that she brought the card to her work and has been continuously showing it EVERYONE she comes into contact with -- her boss, her coworkers, my aunts and uncles, the clients who come in for a manicure, the Cingular phone people next door to her work, the CVS photo people. I swear.

Because I am not known to be a sentimental person who openly shares her emotions with her mother, I know I will be teased for all eternity. Now I just have to avoid the majority of the Boston and South Shore area whenever I go visit. Because I'm pretty sure the mailman will soon know my voice too.

Friday, May 02, 2008

finals countdown

Another exam DONE!

One more exam to go and a research paper to go!

I cannot wait for the semester to be over.

Now, I must go take a much needed nap.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

finals countdown

Two exams DONE! Two more exams and research paper to go!

I cannot believe what just happened to me in my family law exam. The exam started at 9am, and I was there and ready to go at 9am. The professor came and passed out the exams and we all started at 9am.

I started reading the question. I started outlining my answer. I started typing up coherent sentences for my answer.

After an hour into the hour, AN HOUR, the proctor comes in and said "EVERYONE STOP TYPING! WE NEED TO STOP YOUR EXAM RIGHT NOW. THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE EXAM."

This is 9:50 am. What the hell? Something wrong with the exam? What does that mean? Do we still have to take it? There wasn't anything wrong with it. I made all the assumptions before I stated my answer. Was it the correct test? Please say we don't have to reschedule this exam.

So everyone takes a quick stretch/bathroom break while the professor is discussing with the dean what to do. At 10am, the professor announces that there was a clerical error and the wrong version of the exam was handed out to us. So she's going to give us the new version, THE CORRECT ONE, and we will have to start all over and the exam will be 3 1/2 hours long.

And you know what? There was one, ONE, additional sentence added to "new correct version" of the exam. And that one sentence made my previous answer completely irrelevant, so I had to start over anyway.

It's a good thing I am not taking any more classes with this professor. And also because I have now determined that family law is a complete waste of my time.

Now I must study for my more exciting class of commercial transactions, which I have a 9am exam tomorrow.