Reality Bites

Random musings of reality bytes ... when reality bites.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fridge Shopping... Day 1

Day 1: We visited several stores last night trying to determine what our new fridge will be.

We went to Sears, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe's and a local appliance store.

It's a tough choice, we are torn between the classic white or the stainless look. We both are not into the stainless look for a fridge, I just think it's too industrial looking.

The fridge we buy now will dictate the look of the stove and dishwasher we will get in the near future so it has to all blend in.

Also, the color/finish of fridge we'll get now will determine what color our kitchen cabinets and counters need to be when we remodel in a few years.

Currently we are leaning towards getting a french door bottom freezer in stainless steel (see picture).

Why stainless steel when I just mentioned we are not into it? Well, the stove and dishwasher we prefer looks better in steel than in white.

Decisions, decisions.

Question of the day: Do the fridge, stove and dishwasher all have to match in finish? Does it look good mixed (all steel, all white, white fridge, steel stove/dishwasher)?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Where is the Maytag Man?

Came home last night to discover our refrigerator is on the blink... well, actually, more than that... more like kaput.... dead.

The freezer was semi-cold. Ben & Jerry's pistachio ice cream was reduced to milk. Everything else was semi-frozen. They were still salvagable so DH & I packed the meat and perishables in a cooler and transported it to our in-laws house to store in their fridge. It wasn't a lot as we did not want to impose on them.

DH said his fridge is about 20 yrs old so it had its run. We were looking online for different types and might settle for a bottom freezer drawer type. It's hard to select a new one as our kitchen is old/dated and we are thinking of remodeling it within the next few years and get new appliances in the process. So we have to pick a fridge that will fit in with our future kitchen design.

The new fridge is going to cost us around $900-$1400. :( Ouch!!

Question of the day: Do you like the stainless steel look or the classic white design on a fridge?

Monday, January 29, 2007


DH & I had a relaxing weekend. We needed it as we both felt so drained emotionally (attended 2 wakes in 1 week) and mentally (work).

Friday night, we went to North Beach, the little Italy of San Francisco, and ate at one of our favorite restaurants: Calzone's. It's a fun bistro to hang out in on a weekend evening. They make a mean mojito and a delicious calzone.

Saturday: DH volunteered, I did errands at Costco and tidied around the house. In the evening, we went out for Japanese food. We feasted on sushis: tuna, salmon, california, yellowtail and tempura. Ahhh.... gluttony.

Sunday: We watched "The Illusionist" with Edward Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giammatti. This is my fave movie of the year so far! I thoroughly enjoyed this slick and stylish romantic thriller set in 1900's, Vienna. It's about a masterful Illusionist who devised a very clever plot to win the heart of his childhood love. It's not all romance -- for the guys, it has mystery, intruige, great magic illusions and scandal... you won't be dissapointed. Throughout the movie, you will ask yourself: what is real and what isn't?

The first 10 minutes of the movie may seem slow, keep watching and you will be lured into a magical tale...

Hope you all had a fun weekend!

Question of the day: What is your favorite weekend hangout?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Should spanking be banned?

This proposed law could turn out to be a heated debate from parents and psychologists alike:

California lawmaker proposes no-spanking law.

Both sides can argue the pros and cons of spanking all day long. Who is right? Who is wrong? Are parents wrong? Are child psychologists right?

To me spanking means bum swatting. I've received a few as a child, my husband too. In our family, it was a bum swat and a lecture. It wasn't our parent's first form of discipline, nor was it frequent. I was lightly spanked when I did not listen to reason and was the last resort to instill that what I did was not acceptable in our household.

I turned out ok (in my opinion).... I was not a bratty kid, I knew my bounderies my parents set and respected them, I was not spoiled. I have a loving close relationship with my parents then as a kid and now as an adult.

DH and I see so many kids today (some are our own friend's/relative's) whom are just running rampant in their own homes. They do not listen to their parents, they do not understand the concept of "No", they are spoiled and they rule the house. Are the parents instilling enough discipline in their kids? Should the parents be doing more to discipline them?

Maybe or maybe not. That's for the parents to decide for themselves not anyone else. That's not for the government to decide either except, if the child is endangered, abused or battered then by all means they have every right to step in. However, each parent should have that right or choice to decide how to discipline their children in their own home.

DH and I have talked about this and when we do have kids, we would like to have that right to decide as parents if spanking is the way to discipline our child, not Uncle Sam.

Question of the day: Should spanking be banned from private homes?

Monday, January 22, 2007


DH & I are soo excited!!!

We have finally joined the 21st century and connected TiVo!!

My boss bought himself the new HD Tivo and his old Tivo was just lying around waiting for a new home. He asked me if I wanted it including the 10 month paid subscription -- all for FREE, yes FREE. I jumped at the offer thanking him profusely at the generous offer. :)

He brought it to work last week and only tonight did we have a chance to learn to hook it up for 2 opposing shows tonite. (24 vs Heroes on tv). I must say, this is slick... to be able to record live shows, pause, rewind, record your show for the whole season among other things. Very very cool! Up until now, we were recording our fave TV shows via the VCR... I know, it sounds archaic and technologically challenged.

Boy, I guess what they say is true... once you go Tivo, you don't go back!!!

Love it love it... thank you Boss, for giving us Tivo! :)

Question of the day: What do you record on your Tivo? (24, Grey's Anatomy, Survivor, Top Chef to name a few of our shows)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Bloody Sunday

We've been busy since yesterday....

On Saturday, DH & I attended a funeral service for our friend's Dad who had passed away earlier. We just had time to grab a quick lunch before meeting up with my friend AS.

AS dad is being released from the hospital this week. His mobility is a little impaired since his stroke so his place needed to be rearranged so that he will be able to access things easier. AS asked for our help earlier in the week... she needed DH for his labor (move a couch).

Her dad's place had a lot of big furniture, so we just had to rearrange things more against the wall and move the bulky ones upstairs. Her other friends also stopped by to help out... that was nice to see... the kind hearted ness of friends giving up a weekend afternoon to help a friend out.

After we helped out AS, we went home and quickly cleaned up to go to dinner at Fisherman's Wharf. See earlier post.

Today, DH has softball playoffs in his weekend recreational leauge. His team lost 1 game last week and it is double elimination. They are slated to play at least 1 game ... up to 4! Basically, they have to keep playing until they lose. DH & I had breakfast at home and headed to the field at 9.30a, prepared for a full day on the field. I usually go watch DH play on his weekend games. I love watching him play ... seeing his intensity and passion for the game.

DH has been working towards this game, going to the park and working on his swing with a soft ball toss machine. I go with him and I record his swing for later playback and analysis. I've even hit a few rounds with him while he videotaped me. Mind you, I don't play even recreationally. I just did it for fun. I did 40 swings and missed probably only 5 balls much to my surprise. DH said later while analyzing my swing on video, that I have a very compact and efficient swing... he said that some of my team mates could learn from my compact swing. :)

Unfortunately, their team lost by a number of runs (Sunday, Bloody, Sunday comes to mind). There were a few key plays in the beginning of the game that could have resulted in a more positive outcome. DH was dissapointed at the loss but the team gave it their all. He's trying not to dwell and is looking forward to the Spring season coming up in 2 months. He's already making plans to play pick up softball during the weekends in between seasons to keep himself sharp and conditioned.

From now until the spring season starts, his/ our Sundays are free again. :)

Question of the Day: Would you rather watch the World Series or Super Bowl?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Dine about town

One of the cool things about living in San Francisco is a event they have every year during the full month of January.

It's an event called Dine About Town. For foodies it is an event to look forward to. Many participating restaurants in San Francisco offer a prix fixed menu, 3 courses for $31.95 dinner ($21.95 lunch). The restaurants that participate are highly rated restaurants and from different cuisines.

DH & I love seafood and took this opportunity to dine at a landmark restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf called, Scoma's Restaurant. Scoma's has been in business since 1965.

Scoma's is a first come first served basis restaurant, so DH & I headed over there around 6p, hoping to beat the weekend rush. No such luck... when we arrived, the line was out the door. We checked in with the hostess to put our name on the list, she said the wait would be 40-45 mins. DH & I walked around Fisherman's Wharf area to kill a little time.

DH & I returned to the restaurant 30 mins later and another short 15 min wait later, we were seated. The restaurant is very cozy. Cool factor: the walls were decorated with autographed pictures of celebrities, actors, politicians, local heroes. No such celebrety sighting while we were there.

The regular menu itself is very extensive and offers many delicious entrees. We ordered the prixe fixed menu.
  • Starter: Caesar salad with bay shrimp (and a sprinkling of anchovies)
  • Main Course: Crab Risotto for DH; Mahi Mahi, vegetables and mashed potatoes for me
  • Dessert: Chocolate Truffle Cake with Berry Puree
It was delicious!! Everything cooked to perfection, the crab risotto most especially.... very flavorful, the rice cooked right and lots of crabmeat and mushroom in the risotto. My fish was moist, tender and seasoned right. I wish I could cook fish this pefectly! ;)

If you're ever in San Francisco/ Fisherman's Wharf area, this is one restaurant I highly recommend.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite seafood dish/ recipe?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Live Life

Sad news.

DH & I learned yesterday one of our good friend's parent passed away the other evening. :(

The parent had a stroke over the weekend and had been in a coma since. The doctors informed the family that he would not make it through the week, so they were prepared for the worst. Well, as "prepared" as one can be.

We had dinner with him earlier in the week and he shared the prognosis. Still, learning his passing, still hit me like a punch in the chest.

It's times like these that send me reeling and think of my own mortality and those close to my heart. I'm fortunate that both of my parents are alive and well. I see and visit them weekly. To think that one day, they too will pass, just takes my breath away and .... whew, wow, it's too painful to even think about or comprehend....

Services will be held this Saturday. DH & I cancelled all plans and will be attending the services.

*Live live to the fullest each day.*

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Too many cooks spoil the broth

Setting: At home, Kitchen
Time: Last night at 7:00pm

(Me cooking spaghetti with ground turkey meat, mushrooms with a tomato sauce reduction) - ok I added the last part as it sounds better and that's how the Top Chefs would say it. :)

Me: Hi honey (Kisses DH while mixing sauce)
Me: Dinner should be ready soon
DH: It smells different (wrinkling nose).
DH: Did you do something different this time?
Me: No, same as I've always made it
DH: It smells different
Me: It doesn't. Try it, it tastes the same.

After this short exchange, I was slightly annoyed at DH. I spent the last hour preparing our dinner, chopping and slaving over the stove and that's what he says to me?

DH is usually very complimentary of my cooking and appreciative of my efforts. There are times though that his comments slight me, like this instance. Sometimes he'll comment -- the garlic's cut too big or the rice is mushy. I think I'm really sensitive about my cooking. I spend time preparing food and any non positive comment about it feels unappreciative of the time and effort I spent cooking. If you do not have any positive comments, keep it to yourself unless you are having an allergic reaction or if I ask for your opinion.

When he cooks, he likes neutral tasting food so his dishes come out blander than I would like. I don't tell him "Your food is tasteless or bland". Instead, I just add more flavor to my plate.

Am I over reacting? Possibly? ... Absolutely!

I guess it's like art. If you're an artist and spent your time and effort on a painting, and someone comments, you didn't use the right color, as an artist, you would feel it was an attack against your work.

I welcome constructive criticism.... but it's all in the delivery and timing of it.

I don't know how the contestants on Top Chef or Project Runway take it. I would probably tear up once the judges assess my "creation". But hey, for a chance to win $1M I would suck it up and take the criticisms! :)

Later after dinner, DH loved the spaghetti. He said thank you for making dinner, it was delicious. Needless to say, I got over my earlier annoyance at DH and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

Question of the day: Is there something in particular you are sensitive about?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Left to my own devices

Yay! Got today off.

Poor DH has to work today so I'm left to my own devices. Our office decided last minute (Fri at 4p!!) to declare today a holiday. So DH & I didn't have time to plan properly for today. If we'd known ahead of time, DH could have taken today off and we could've headed to the mountains for a day ski trip.

Luckily, I checked my work email at home, my manager sent an email after I left Fri that today would be a holiday. If I didn't check my email, my bum would be at work today.

Anyhoo, I'm glad for the day off. It's only mid-afternoon and I've already been so productive and haven't sat on my bum (yet)... hehehe..

7.30ish am- woke up to see DH off to work
7.45: put a load of laundry
8.00-8.30: went for a run
8.30: shower
9:00: went to the bookstore to return 2 books. got $50 in credit for future use. :)
10.00: got caught up browsing at the bookstore; went to the grocery to buy food
11.00: went to the market to buy vegetables
11:30-1:00: organized my closet (long overdue!)
now: LUNCH :)

I think after my lunch, I'll relax for a bit and curl up with a good book and hot choc. It's COLD, or shall I say crisp or blustery cold, again today (low 40s). That's cold for San Francisco. :)

Question of the day: What do you like to do on a cold, winter day?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Belated Birthday(s)

Do you remember the time when you looked forward to each birthday? The party, the friends, the gifts, the cake. You did not focus on the number of candles on your cake or your age. You were young and birthdays represented gifts and cake for you.

Recently, I have been feeling non-chalant on my birthday, or to be specific, acknowledging that I will have to add another year to my name. Don't get me wrong, I still want to be greeted happy birthday and celebrate but I'm not so keen on the +1 year.

I have been feeling this way since turning 30. I am still in my early 30s but now that I'm in my 30s, I can't help but think the 40s are looming and just around the corner! yikes.

I have been fortunate and blessed with my 30+ years. I have a wonderful loving husband, I have great parents/siblings who don't drive me insane,I am surrounded by great supportive friends, I have a stable, good paying job. So why do I use my birthday as a way of measuring what I've accomplished in life so far?

Honestly, ever since hitting 30, the bio-clock has been ticking louder... and louder... I feel the pressure, not from my husband, parents, friends but mostly by me on me. I definitely want to have our first child by 35. I approach that age, I feel more pressure to have a baby, a race against time. Even though I'm young, 35 seems to be the cut off date before the medical community labels you as "high risk pregnancy".

DH and I have been trying to start a family in the past year. The time is both right for us. We both want to have a baby. I just wonder if the pressure I put on myself to have a baby is due to the age or the fact that we really do want to conceive and start that family.

Don't worry, a part of me still knows how to enjoy and celebrate the birthday and I do take advantage of "my day". Usually, I like birthdays spent low key... with my husband/family and/or with friends.

This year, my group of girlfriends & I planned a get together last night. It's a celebration of all 4 of our birthdays (2 in late 2006 and 2 in early 2007) ... one of my friends live in SCal so we thought it would be a good idea to celebrate all of our birthdays in 1 one evening while everyone was present.

We went out for dinner with spouses/sig others at a contemporary Thai resto: Osha's on 2nd Street. The place is decorated very trendily/Zen like. When my friend & I pass by during lunch, the line is always out the door. Lunch dishes are reasonable at $10, expect more during dinner: $15. At night, the place glows with a nice ambience, low lighting and candles. I like the food... very tasty and presented cleanly and with pizzaz on white plates. My favorite is the green peppercorn pork with basil... if you like spicy food, this is a great dish. The fried banana with coconut ice cream, ginger creme brulee and sticky rice with mango were excellent choices for dessert.

It was a fun evening, and I got to spend time with my husband, close friends. It was the perfect way to celebrate our birthdays. :)

Question of the day: When or have you lied about your age? (Exclude trying to get into a 21+ bar) :)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside

Woke up this morning to a gorgeous day in San Francisco... sunny, crisp day. There's a cold front this weekend bringing down the temparatures down to high 20s and low 30s. That's pretty cold for SF. Normally, our weather is around 50s at this time. It's currently 40 deg with a wind chill of 35 deg.

I'm excited as my group of friends are getting together tonight for dinner and to celebrate our birthdays.

More later.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Could you live a year without shopping?

The wheels are in motion!

Progress is being made on resolution 3 - save more/spend less.

My husband (DH) and I were studying our savings. (ok - it was a Tuesday and there was nothing on TV). As we analyzed DH's forecast matrix in Excel (sounds complicated but it really is just a spreadsheet), we learned that we did not save as much as we could have. We saved an acceptable amount in 2006 but we would have liked to seen more in the bank account. We both work and have above average incomes and live fairly modestly in this expensive city. We don't have extravagant tastes nor live or spend like there's no tomorrow. Yet, where did the money go??

As we racked our brains on what we've spent during the year, we came up with the following items: big trip to Hawaii last year, DH went to the east coast to visit relatives, we went to Vegas and I also went on a weekend trip with my girlfriends. Those are they only really big ticket items we spent on. Then there are your general stuff: clothes, shoes, books (mostly mine), sports equipment for him. Sigh... it all adds up.

So DH and I agreed to try and conciously save more this year, at least 20% more each month. I think it's a goal we can achieve and still be able to maintain our current habits, lifestyle and play.

I came across this interesting article on how this couple curbed shopping for 1 year.... yes 1 year! They only bought the necessities and went cold turkey on splurges. Motivated by the premise, I sent the article to 2 of my girlfriends, SCal and AS, and we decided to give it a try.... for 2 months. Hey, we have to start slow.... We girls can't stop shopping cold turkey altogether. :)

Each of us listed items that we would give up buying for the next 2 months. Mine are: clothes, shoes, make up, books. I chose those as they are my weaknesses.

We will see.... I've been good and have stuck to my pact and so have my girlfriends. It's only been 1 week so we have a looong way to go. :)

It will be an interesting study for us and hopefully we will learn more about our spending habits by doing this.

Question of the day: What can you give up buying/splurging and for how long?

Monday, January 8, 2007


It never fails. During this time of the year, people make a list of resolutions they would like to achieve for the coming year.

I'm no exception. When the new year ushers in, i think about what i'd like to improve on for this year.

Making that list is not hard. Sticking to it and accomplishing it is the challenge. For the past few years, my resolution list have been half accomplished. It dissapoints me that i lost sight of my goals and i didn't put in the effort for most of the items on my list. Maybe this year, #1 should be to stick to my resolutions.

On that note, here are my 2007 resolutions. You'll have to check back this time next year and find out if i did stick to them (or any of them!). :)

1. Stick to my resolutions
2. Work on my fitness level (work out more regularly and increase stamina, cardio)
3. Save more money (i.e. Shop less)
4. Eat healthier/ improve diet (more greens/fruits)
5. Career: work towards path of proj mgmt

Question of the day: what are your resolutions/goals for 2007?

Friday, January 5, 2007

Why do you blog?

I just can't believe its 2007.... 2006 came and went, fast.

Since this is a new year, i decided to journal my thoughts more regularly, that is in a sense what blogging is, isn't it? It would be interesting to see a year from now, where i was today and see what changes or experiences i've gone through in the past year.

For those of you that kept diaries, have you found any of your old ones from jr high or high school? I found a few of mine a couple years ago from 9th grade. One word: embarrasing! Hahaha.

I was 13-14 yrs old, my entries were mostly boys, my crushes, where i ran into them at school, what they said to me, friends, classes, typical teen age stuff. Boy, when you read your teen age diary as an adult, you're just thankful you're out of that awkard phase.

I'd be horrified if anyone ever read any of my teenage diaries.

Blogging seems to be different. More empowering. To me, i think it's because you have the power to reach so many audiences and share your experiences, thoughts and adventures.

Question of the day: Why do you blog?

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

A New Beginning

How did you spend your new year's? Out on the town? Friend's party? Stayed in?

My hubby, or dh, and i stayed in this year. Very low key. Last year we went to a friend's house for potluck and boardgames. Is this how 30 somethings in sf spend their new year's?? Afraid so! Hahaha.... For some of us anyway.

This year, DH and i went to his sibling's place for dinner. Stayed for a bit and played with their son, tt, who is 7 yrs old. He is so into transformers. This franchise is doing well. I remember playing with transformers when i was 13 or 14 with my all guy cousins. It was popular then and it still is to this day. They did something right.

When we got home around 10.30p, dh and i had planned to watch the fireworks somewhere in the city but i think we were both pooped from the past weeks holiday activities/parties that we decided to stay in and ring in the new year at home. :)

The past few new year's has been low key too. We've been leaning towards intimate low key gatherings at a friend's house or just by ourselves. The holidays are already too busy with all the flurry of christmas activities and parties.

So for the new year's eve, dh & i tend to lay low and enjoy the festivities away from the crowds.

Question of the day: Do you prefer to stay in or go out for New Year's Eve?