Sunday, October 31, 2010

Even Silence Has an End

I just finished the memoir, "Even Silence Has An End" by Ingrid Betancourt. Ingrid was a Colombian Senator who was running for President under the Green Party. Ingrid stood for peace and wanted to end the war between the Colombian Army & the terrorist Guerilla army, The FARC.

While campaigning, Ingrid was set to go visit FARC leaders in the jungle. Her seat on a helicopter with security was given away so she took it upon herself to drive out to meet them, instead.

Ingrid was captured for SIX years by the FARC and lived in the Amazon jungle. She endured quite a lot during her kidnapping. She was always allowed to eat & bathe, though. She was stripped of most luxuries. However, the FARC did provide them with requests such as books or radios.

I saw Ingrid on Oprah & had heard about her ordeal. I hoped her book would be riveting but alas, it was not. It was actually pretty boring. For six years, all they did was move camps throughout the jungle and march to different locations. She did try to escape four times and during the captivity the French and the Colombian gov't pursued her release. I was really intersted and hoped to read about what life was like after she got out of the camps. The book drags on and on, I felt like I was reading the same thing over & over. Then, suddenly, they are released and it's over! I have tried to look up additional info on Ingrid to see what life was like after the release.

Her assistant, Clara, and some Americans were also captured. They have different stories than Ingrid. In fact, they have released statements that they do not care for Ingrid and hated her behavior in the camp. So, I am interested to read Clara's book next.

Here is one article that gives some info. You can also find her proof of life videos online. Also, they are making a movie out of this book!

In other news I am reading, & almost finished in a matter of hours, a book I swore I would never read. That is...Harry Potter. I have tried to read him in the past & had no interest. Without a book to fly home with, I thought I'd give him another try. He is a quick read & so cute! haha. So, of course, I'll probably read all of them so that I can know what happens to him.

Back to SF

I am flying back to SF right now. Love in-flight WiFi. This weekend was very fun & of course, very hard. It is hard for me to be home & know I have to go back to SF. I have a few fun days with my family & see my friends and wish I could stay. I love our opportunity that we have had to live in CA and have an adventure living somewhere else but really, a huge part of my life is missing by being out there. It hits me every time I am home that I am missing out on birthdays, being with family, seeing my friends kids grow up, and more. What is more important than being with your loved ones?

I got to just hang around & surprise my Grandparents, which was very fun. I went to the birthday dinner & there were about 15 of us there which was awesome. I will post pics when I get home!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I made a last minute decision to fly home to surprise my Grandma for her 81st birthday. I left on Thurs morning and got here last night. This AM, I went over an brought her flowers. She was shocked & thrilled. I'm here in CT all weekend & back in CA on Sunday!! SO happy I could see her on her birthday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Since Sunday was so rainy, ALL DAY, I carved my pumpkins. This year, I got a little orange one and also a green & white one. I am not convinced the green one was a pumpkin!

Decided to make the little orange one a spider. Yes, a spider with six legs but at least he is smiling!

This was destined to be an owl....

Little pumpkins are sooooo easy to carve.

Digging into the green one, after it was very difficult to cut out the top

Wow!! It's white inside. So weird!

So the texture was like a spaghetti squash with black/watermelon-like seeds

We tasted it & it had a watermelon taste. I think this is more of a squash than a pumpkin.

Cute little spider, lit up! I didn't finish carving the green & white one. It was wayyyyy too hard to carve so he stayed whole.

Happy Halloween Week!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

More Scary Movies

Well, The Thing was an interesting movie. It is a movie from 1982 & is a horror film about an alien that can imitate other life forms and take them over.

The movie opens with a dog being chased by a helicopter and being shot at. Turns out, the dog is really an alien and infiltrates the research base that it runs into.

A bunch of guys are living on this research base in Antartica & now have to deal with a possible alien invasion. But, since this life form can take the form of others (including humans), paranoia sets in as they try to find out who the alien is.

There are some pretty cool/gross graphics in this movie as this thing changes into something else. But, it's from the 80's and it was pretty cool. So, I liked it.

Another movie we watched was, Shaun of the Dead. This movie is from 2004 and is a British Comedy. The entire town becomes zombies except for Shaun & his friends. They then take it upon themselves to defend themselves against these Zombies.

It's pretty funny when they realize that these people are zombies & learn how to kill them. This movie was pretty funny but wasn't as good as ZombieLand. I would recommend ZombieLand over this one, although this one was more low-budget which was cool.

Either way - two good Halloween Movies.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Separated at Birth

Last night, we realized that Erik's twin plays for the SF Giants. I think that Erik looks like a couple of people. You know how Perez Hilton does his 'Separated at Birth'? Well, here is the Erik version...

Jonathan Sanchez

I think that Erik, Jonathan Sanchez, Maks, & Bryan Greenberg could all be brothers.

Giants Win!!!

How exciting that the SF Giants are going to the World Series!! Yesterday was a crazy time to find a bar to watch the game in. We wanted to go to Green Sports Bar and there was a LINE to get in. Amy & Janna waited in line & then when we showed up, we decided to try some place else rather than get in line with them.

We tried TWO other bars before finding a place that wasn't crowded. We walked by a funny place called 'CC's Cocktails'. It was pretty empty but they had the game on. The inside was decorated so funny - persian rug on the floor & old dining room chairs with velvet seats. We called it CC's Living Room. haha.

The bar was cash only(which they didn't tell you until you ordered a beer, it was opened & it was time to pay). So, we took turns going to Walgreens to get cash. haha. AND, you could bring in your own snacks. So, each time we went to Walgreens, we'd pick up snacks. When it was my turn, I stopped at the Buffalo Wing place & got wings. haha.

Not surprisingly, this place got full due to the other crowded bars. There were some funny characters there, getting excited for the game. It was really thrilling watching that final inning when the final batter struck out. As we walked back to the car, people were yelling 'Go Giants' and talking to one another about the game. See how sports brings everyone together! haha

Now, it's onto the World Series. Tickets are like $450 so there is no way we are going but it will be fun to root for the Giants & be here in SF.

Friday, October 22, 2010


The baseball play offs have been verrrrrry exciting! Can you believe the SF Giants are one win away from going to the World Series!? It's shocking. The city is very excited. In the three years that we've lived here, the Giants haven't been particularly good. The games are fun to attend but we never expect them to make it to the play-offs. So, this has been fun to watch them get farther in the season.

So, tomorrow is Game 6 & if they win - we are going to the World Series!

Ironically, the Yankees are in the play-offs too. I love the Yankees. So fun to see my old home and new home in the play-offs. I think it would be awesome to see the Giants play the Yankees in the Series. Unfortunately, the Yankees are looking like a bunch of geriatrics up against the Texas Rangers. The Rangers have a fun story behind them - the team was pretty much bankrupt, Nolan Ryan is one of the owners, & the team is very young. Here is an interesting article about how the Yankees and Rangers are from different planets!

So, here's hoping the Yankees win tonight & The Giants win tonight!

Bar Bambino

Last night, a couple of us went to celebrate my friend Lauren's birthday. We went down to the Mission to Bar Bambino. First though, we stopped at a little bar with a funny name to watch the Giants game before our reservation...BOLLY HOOD. haha

Bar Bambino is an Italian restaurant. We shared a couple of appetizers and dinner was family style. It's rustic inside with wood floors & thick wooden tables. We sat at a large table in the back of the restaurant. Inside, it is pretty dark, with low lighting & candles on the tables.

We had the:
Squash blossoms
Tempura-dipped, golden-fried squash blossoms stuffed with
Bellwether Farms ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

4Bs = Baby Bar Bambino BLT
Pancetta, arugula, heirloom tomato and lemon aioli. Get ‘em
while the tomatoes rock.

Classico bruschetta
Summer on a slice of bread. Heirloom tomatoes, fresh torn
basil, and garlic.

Egg, truffle salt, and Parmigiano-Reggiano
bruschetta (DELISH!!!)

Roasted beet, cucumber and pumpkin seed salad
Baby beets, crisp cucumber, toasted pumpkin seeds, wild
baby arugula and Styrian pumpkin seed oil dressing.

Egg pappardelle with slow-braised rabbit (Clearly I did not eat this!)
Rich house-made egg yolk noodles cut wide and served with
our classic, divine braise of rabbit.

Spelt fazzoletti with a market-mix of mushrooms
Our fazzoletti, or “little handkerchiefs”, are made from the
ancient relative to wheat, spelt. Local market mushrooms
are lovingly sauteed in sweet cream butter and thyme.

For dessert, there was vanilla ice cream with lavender and a chocolate cake.

Everything was delicious, however, it was pricey. It is definitely a share/family style restaurant and the portions are not large by any means. You have to order a couple of one dish to make it be a big sharing portion. With all of the Italian restaurants in SF, I am not sure I'd go back but it was a great dining experience. It was great to celebrate with Lauren & friends!!

Still Sick

Miss Evie is still sick. Erik walked into a disaster zone last night after work. Unfortunately, Evie went the bathroom in the house. She will ONLY do this when she is super sick. I just want to give a shout out to Erik for taking care of Evie while I was out for a birthday dinner last night. If your Man will clean up dog poop in the house, you know he is a keeper!

I really think she has IBS. What is going on is the same issue she has had in the past. It seems like once per quarter, she has this illness. I talked to the Vet & they think she might have to go on super-sensitive stomach food. I agree.

I am going to drop off a sample to the Vet to rule out Giardia. Hope they give us some Flagyl perscription to get her to feel better ASAP & I will also pick up the food they mentioned.

Hope she is on the mend soon!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


We picked Evie up on Sunday from Camp & she looked funny. When she gets sick, sometimes her face gets puffy & wrinkly. It's weird but when it happens, I know she is sick. At first I thought she was just really tired but then she also had diarrhea.

It has been so long since she had a little sickness like that - not since we switched her food. So, I think maybe she picked something up at camp or already had a little bug & it just came out on Sunday.

Either way, she has been lethargic, not wanting to eat her breakfast, and quiet. When she is quiet, you know there is a problem. haha.

This AM, she is feeling better. She ate her breakfast & things are looking up. Our morning schedule is working out. The darkness in the AM stinks so I moved her potty time to 630. So we walk 630-7. Then, the sun is coming up at 7 so I work out for 30 min, then get ready for work. This allows me to get her out again for a quick potty before I leave for work.

She is doing well being home all day alone but I still feel really bad. I'm interested in a dog walker but most of the ones I've seen only do group walks. I just can't see her in a group walk next to other dogs or even off leash. Plus, I don't think she would be comfortable having someone come in & take her for a walk. I don't know....if the right person comes along, maybe.

Halloween Around Town

While walking with Evie, I've been seeing some fun Halloween decorations around town. There is a house near us (that I don't have a picture of) that is really decked out with a giant spider on the front, skeletons welcoming you into the front door, and other fun stuff in the front of the house. It looks good!

Not a Halloween decoration but a spooky looking, purple house!

There is also a costume shop that we pass often. In their front window, they have some scary costumes!

Yes, he has mini Snicker bars in his eyes

This little guy moves. Here he is peeking out.

Slowly creeping up



Scary x2

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More Halloween & Zombies

I picked up the best Halloween wine glasses on Friday! Check them out. They were 50% off, too! They will be perfect filled with blood (red wine). haha!

Today, we stopped at BevMo to look for a special beer that Erik was looking for. I found this pumpkin ale to try. I love pumpkin ales. This one is realllllly spicy. It has a ton of nutmeg & cloves taste in it. It's good but it's just a shock to the mouth at first.

Tonight, we watched a movie that I was of course, skeptical about. But, I loved it. This movie was hilarious! Zombieland is a movie about a modern day USA that is taken over by Zombies. They can be hiding anywhere & you have to be prepared. One guy (The guy who plays Mark Z from the FB movie) is on his own & trying to get back to his hometown. He meets up with another guy running from the zombies (Woody Harrelson!). They team up together & find two other girls also on the run.

They go through some interesting things to run from the zombies, find some cool things, meet Bill Murray, and take over an amusement park. It sounds really strange but it was good & funny!

I love that October is a long month. I still have to carve my pumpkins & Erik has more movies for us to watch!

Weekend in Monterey

On Saturday, we dropped Evie off at camp & drove down to Monterey to celebrate our anniversary. We stayed at the Portola Hotel & Spa near Fisherman's Wharf.

I booked the hotel directly through the hotel site, online, & we received a great rate PLUS, a discount on the restaurants on the property for booking in advance. The rooms were comfortable and the beds were super soft!

After checking in, we went down to Peter B's, the brew pub on the property. Erik tried the sampler and I had a Hefewizen. We also shared buffalo wings, the crab cake sliders, and Erik had the fish & chips.

We watched the Yankees/Rangers game, too. I credit the Yankees with bringing Erik & I together. I was went to a Yankees game the night I met Erik and was wearing my Yankees shirt when I met him. They were in the play-offs that year and made it to the World Series. So, ironically, here we were - seven years later, watching the Yankees in the playoffs! Maybe if we get married, we should do it in Yankee stadium as a thank you. hahaha.

After lunch, we strolled around Fisherman's Wharf.

Despite our hot weather week, the weather was "back to normal" by being gray & in the 60's.

First, we checked out the boats in the marina

There is something very calming about being in a marina or near boats. We would love to own a boat!

Then, we helped this fisherman pull in some fish.

We saw some adorable seals in the water!

So cute!

We walked down the wharf & saw this cute sign. Very true!

Posed for a pic

Then, headed back to the room to relax before dinner!

We stayed on the property & went to Jack's

Kind of a funny pic using the self timer!

Jack's was pretty good. It had an old-fashioned feeling to it but a solid menu & wine list. Erik had the mushroom ravioli(delish) and I had the halibut which was just OK. Our dessert was awesome though - apple & pear tart!

This morning, we checked out & then drove down to Carmel Valley Village. We had brunch at this cute little place called, Toast.

This place has only been open for a few weeks but it was good. We each had the egg omelet with cheese, spinach, & mushroom. It came with a side of potatoes & a biscuit. The biscuit was amazing. I am still thinking about it & wish we asked for some to go!

We drove home & picked Evie up. She promptly passed out in the car. Actually, it's 730pm right now and she is still dead tired. That is a beautiful thing!

Here is a pic I found of Erik & I in 2004. I think we look exactly the same. haha