Monday, April 30, 2012

Fish Tacos

It has come to my attention, that posting pictures about food on the Internet is a bit...shall we say, cliche. Or even- dare I say it?- obnoxious! =O

I have noticed that I post about food a lot on this blog. But what can I saw? I am the spawn of two amazing cooks. So naturally, food is a big part of my life. And that's really why I post pictures of food on here. I think food brings people together. We are constantly eating together, inviting others to eat with us, joking, conversing, talking about deep things. They say, that in literature, whenever the characters eat together, a communion is taking place. Not necessarily a religious communion, but a communion of spirits. And I think it's awesome that consummation of biodegradable products can bring people together in such a deep way.

In California, Milea and I met up and we visited cooperative housing at the college she is attending in the fall. And there was one guy we talked to who held the same view: food brings people together. He is working on an agricultural degree and he really hopes to work with food or educate people about food. He was an interesting guy and I loved his take on food, and I realized that he was right. It does bring us together!

So that is why I post pictures of food on this blog: because food is an important part of our life and it brings us together.

These are some fish tacos dad made for us. The menu for the Tyler Tacqueria is almost complete! (Just kidding- but we do almost have enough recipes to open a Mexican restaurant. How cool would that be?)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Place of my Childhood

I didn't think we'd actually make it, but we went to Round Table Pizza!! Granted, it was ten o'clock at night, but that's not the point. The point is that we made it!

I did all the things I did when I was little. I ordered a personal sized "Misha Special," which consists of pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and olives. I skipped the sausage this time and I didn't pick off all the toppings and leave the rest, but otherwise, it was exactly like all times.

The place looked exactly the same too!! And the little arcade room with the candy machines was still there! I actually wasted two quarters in one of those machines. All I got were two dinky little pieces of candy, but it's the memory that counts!

Rest Stop Yoga

On the way home, we stopped at a reststop and while I was waiting for mom, the grass just looked so inviting! So I made myself at home, and did a little "meditation."

Maybe if I hadn't been so long in meditating, we would've avoided THIS!! *cue scary music* (bumper to bumper traffic on the highway) Notice the non-blurriness of these cars. That's because they WEREN'T MOVING. It was awful!

Scott and Suzanne's!

We had a lovely evening at Scott and Suzanne's. I told Scott about my collegeplus studies and future plans. We exchanged jokes and stories. Ate some delicious Chinese food (We ate it all week, but I never tired of it.) And I think I speak for both of us, when I say we left their house feeling very refreshed! Love my godparents! <3

Grandma's Apartment

So I will be really honest here (I can be honest on my own blog right?), my grandma's apartment is kind of.... Boring. I feel like a reverse hermit, stealing away to the Atrium to get on the wifi to check my email and cruise the Internet and make phone calls to a certain Someone... ;) I spend a lot of time here. In fact, I am here right now!

So I've found myself with a lot of time to kill. And it is during these times that I find myself doing strange goofy things. Like snapping pictures of myself (not my most favorite thing- makes me feel ridiculous and yet, as any self respecting teenager would do, I do it anyways.) wearing big sunglasses .

Or writing poems about Flower people:

"A row of Terra Cotta houses,
Made of small flower pots,
Where the flower people,
Sing their songs,
And their music is not sung with words,
But with water,
In a never ending liquid dance,
Of sound from their throats."

And pillaging things from the FREE TABLE!!! There is so much to say about the free table. It is quite a novelty . You just add things you don't want and take things you do. People just come and go. There is always a few items there. (Except now, because the room is being occupied by a group of coupon clipping ladies.)

I like cruising by it, just for kicks. And Free is the best price anyways. (Even better than thrifting!) The other day, I was doing laundry and as I passed by, I saw a beautiful black skirt with white embroidery and beading on it... I snatched it up!

And then, I pulled out mom's sewing machine and I made a few snips here and sewed a few lines there and in thirty minutes, I had myself a dress!! I'll post the before and after pictures from my camera once I get home. It looks great!

For now, I have provided a cellphone picture that makes it look purple.



 Gotta Love DIYs! I did this from a tutorial:

from this blog

Unfortunately, I cannot take any credit for the genius idea. But I loved the way it turned out!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Squid Fries and the Cute Asian Guy

The interesting thing about our hotel was that it was a cheap, fleabag hotel. The elevator sounded like a dying whale when you went up (or down) in it. Or it could've sounded like a ferry boat. A sick ferry boat.

The hotel itself wasn't that bad, but one of the reviews complained about... *whispers* prostitutes... Which, I've really got nothing against the ladies- I mean, they've got to make a living (though I do not agree with prostitution.)

But here's the funny part- down the street from the hotel was a place called "Ho's Chinese Cuisine." XD (Another review for the same hotel said, "Can't wait to get me some Ho's!" which is what makes the whole thing funny and ironic... Bad joke maybe. I dunno. I thought it was funny.)

Anyways. Me and Mom went to Ho's for dinner. And if you have been reading my blog for any significant length of time, you ought to know that we are in love with these delicious magical things called "Squid Fries." and they are fried baby squid tossed with garlic salt and jalapeƱos. Sooo tasty! They had then at Ho's and they were pretty good. (Naturally, we couldn't not order them.) They were a little overlooked, but still good.

Annnnddd... Our server was a cute Asian guy. (I have found more and more on this trip that for some reason, I really like the way Asians look! I wish I looked more Asian. I wish I could get away with wearing a Chinese dress. I wish I didn't feel so foreign on Clemente street...) the Asian guy had a cool haircut that came to a point on one side. We decided that Cam would look very attractive with the same haircut. (Not attractive to us... That would just be weird. Incest and Oedipus complex? Haha no.. But attractive in general.) So I tried to discreetly take a picture of it (the haircut)/him, as I thought it would be really weird if I just asked him if I could take his picture. But I ended up with a really blurry picture of him because he was moving and a really weird picture of mom. I should've asked instead.

Pier 39 and Being a Bus Noob

Post-surgery, the week has rapidly progressed while the inverse has occurred on my blog. But that will change thanks to automated posting! But here are the pictures from when me and mom hiked from our hotel, through Ghiradelli Square, and all the way to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.

It was such a beautiful day, that I didn't even take a sweater with me!

One thing about San Francisco, is that those little crosswalk lights aren't fooling around. (Real quick on the subject of crosswalk lights we invented names for each sign: "green man of joy/life," "blinking hand of [imminent] doom," and "the red hand of death." just thought that might interest you.) If you want to cross the street, you'd better book it! So me and mom are running across Lombard street and her ankle pops! Oh no! What do we do now?

She took an Advil and roughed it out while on the wharf. But there was no way we were going to make it up that hill. So what did we do? San Francisco Public Transit System to the rescue!! That's right, folks. We took the bus.

Rumor has it, that my grandma didn't even get her license until well after she turned sixteen (her age shall not be disclosed here.), simply because the public transit in San Francisco was so amazingly GREAT that she didn't need her own car! Talk about being economical.

So we got our own taste of wonders of the San Francisco bus system. And I must say, it was exciting! I believe this was my first time ever riding a public bus that was not on its way to or from an airport. At first, I was quite self conscious about this, because I was quite obviously, a Bus Noob. Even Mim got a little confused as to which stop(s) to get off at. But nice ladies who rode the bus helped us out.

So we bought our tickets for two dollars each (only to find out I only costed 75 cents) and then, we got a ninety minute free transfer ride. (I am certain it was called something much cooler than that.) but what all this fancy schmancy stuff means (for you other Bus Noobs out there) is that for 90 minutes (or an hour and a half) after you purchase your ticket, you can get on any bus you want. After that, you have to pay another fare. But our bus driver was super duper nice and gave us two extra hours!!! So we ended up taking the bus and transferring three times (which inly would've been possible with the little Chinese lady who showed us which stop to get off at and which bus to transfer to next.) to the hospital where Grandma was. (I shall refrain from sharing details of the surgery and outcome here on my blog, but if you have any questions, comments, concerns, condolences, spare candy wrappers you don't want...whatever it is you have for me, you can talk to me in person, by phone, text, and/or email.)

The bus ride was a little hectic, not knowing what to do, but altogether a fun experience! I am now a bus advocate for life. Yay bus rides!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wasabi and Ginger Sushi

In my previous post, I mentioned that me and Mom ate sushi for dinner, so here is an obligatory post about it.

This was the first time, mom and I had ever walked away from a sushi restaurant slightly hungry- even after we'd ordered an extra roll. (This was probably due in part to walking all over China town all afternoon.)

Despite this, the sushi was amazing! We wanted to order salt and pepper squid and it was on the menu, however the waitress said it was discontinued because it was not ordered enough.

We ordered a California roll (spicy tuna roll with avacado on top), the Super Dynamite roll (a spicy tuna roll lightly fried, coated in eel sauce with fish eggs and a line of chile paste across the top.), and some maguro nagiri. The super dynamite roll was the best. It was so spicy, my lips were tingling for a while afterward.

After we'd finished that, we ordered a wasabi ginger martini roll. It was an all fish roll, lightly fried and served in a martini glass. It was a rather anticlimactic end to the meal as there's was no spice and the waitress had taken away the wasabi.

However, I was able to eavesdrop on a riveting conversation at the table behind us. A woman was telling the story of her sister (in law?) announcing her pregnancy on Facebook around April Fool's Day. "We've told the grandparents and now it's time to tell the rest of you..." No one believed it was legit. And all the signs said it wasn't. The woman refused to congratulate her sister because she didn't want to be fooled and even if it was legit, she was upset that it went out over Facebook instead of personally. It made her feel like the rest of the family that wasn't the parents was chopped liver. Poor gal. I don't blame her. She was still animatedly telling her story as we left the restaurant so I never found out if the announcement was legit or not. But lesson learned- it is better to send personal notes to close friends and family before broadcasting.

I am starting to get very good at judging people's relations to one another by how they interact with each other and talk to/about people.

Chinatown and Beyond!

Our first morning in NorCal, mom and I hit a thrift store! (So the monster emerges!) We are only there for a few minutes as I needed a new purse (the strap on my other one was breaking), but mom promised we would go back- later.

So we're driving towards the Golden gate bridge and parts of it are shrouded in fog. I am now concerned about my wardrobe choices for the weekend. However, it seems to have worked out, as the weather man reported San Francisco to be quite warm. Yay! Concerns abated.

Grandma couldn't eat after noon, so went straight to our favorite Dim Sum house- called Banquet. It was crammed full of Chinese people all talking at once. The only table that opened up right away was a big round table that seated eight, but the server directed us there, so our little party of three sat down and began to order.

About fifteen minutes into the meal, another party of three joined our table! A little Asian family: a mother, father, and teenage daughter. And I thought to myself, "this is going to be interesting." As I watched our food mix together on the lazy Susan. They kept to themselves, speaking to one another in their native tongue. The girl kept getting worked up over one thing or another, laughing one moment and indignantly tittering in the next. It was rather intimidating with them sitting right there. I could just imagine them laughing at my poor attempts to use those chopsticks and chuckling at our "safe" orders.

We were the only white people in the whole restaurant. It was interesting. The nonsensical Chinese chatter was strangely comforting, but I also felt like an alien in that place. Outsider. Foreigner. White-y. As if my tiny 25% Chinese heritage meant nothing because my skin is not dark.

It is a very humbling feeling.

After we ate, we checked into the hotel. Grandma wanted to lay down and take a nap, so mom and I went on an adventure.

She took me to Chinatown! ^-^ It was incredible! The pictures of the tall buildings are in the financial district which we passed through on our way to Chinatown.

In Chinatown proper, there were so many neat shops! It's the year of the dragon, so the vendors pulled out the stops on everything. We went from shop to shop, looking at all the trinkets, buying some, passing over many more. As I ran my fingers through silky fabrics, I debated whether or not I could get away with wearing a Chinese dress without looking costume-y. I regretfully decided that I couldn't pull off the look. (the employees trying to sell the dresses were disappointed also.) But I did buy a beautiful summer scarf with blue flowers on it. It was a steal for four bucks.

We walked up and down the street, stepping into souvenir shops, and wok shops, and kite shops. The place was so exotic and alive with color and sound- dragon murals, the tones of Chinese employees talking to one another, and the rustle of people along the street. We passed a park where small groups of old men were playing games at tables and yelling in their familiar yet unrecognizable dialects.

Mom and I had a great time. And it was totally worth the sky-high parking fees and less than stellar (bad) boba tea we got. The sushi we got for dinner also helped the boba tea. But we've taken so many food pictures already, they deserve their own post.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On the road again

Another day, another road trip.

Not two days after arriving home from San Diego, mom and I hopped in the car and headed for the Bay Area!!

My grandma's surgery was suddenly scheduled for this Friday, and my mom had promised to be there. So we left on Tuesday and arrived on Wednesday.

I got to spend a little time behind the wheel, and a lot of time in the passenger seat, taking phone calls, playing DJ, and overall goofing around with licorice and sunglasses.

It was a good drive, uneventful. But by the end, I was itching to get out of the car!

(As with blogging on the road, I will have to go back and format my pictures later.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunny Sunday Morning!

The chill of Saturday had thankfully warmed up by Sunday morning. We showed mr. Sun our gratitude by chillin on the beach all day.

The boys were busy jumping in the surf, finding cool seashells, and digging their hole to china. The adults hung out and talked and I floated in between. I flew a kite for a little while. Tried to bribe one of the boys to find me a sand dollar once Dylan found one; it didn't work.

Uncle Brian, Dad and I ended up people watching the boardwalk and eating chips and guacamole for most of the afternoon. It was nice.

And I can't forget the squid fries. These wonderful things were the ones that started them all. (Maybe you remember when I wrote about squid fries a year or so ago. These were even better!)

 And just for kicks, the three of us had to try on the teeniest pair of sunglasses in the house. (They were Jack"s.) I ended up borrowing them for people watching.

 All in all, the trip was purdy nice. Maybe a little short, but it just gives us all the more reason to go back again someday.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Drunk on the Beach

 This is a funny story. And if you know my dad, he is probably the best storyteller in the family and listening to him tell it just does not compare to any way in which I would be able to tell the story. So, I recorded him telling the story to my mom on the phone and that is my skeleton for the following story.

So we went out to dinner with Aunt Nancy and Uncle Brian and the kids. Nice place in old town San Diego. And we decided to hang out at their rental house for a little while afterward. Not being loaded down with three children (boys under twelve, no less.) We beat them to the house and were locked out. So me and Dad are hanging out on the boardwalk and Cam goes off on the beach, which was right there.

And he's sitting on the beach, lies down in the little hollow where the boys' big hole used to be (now filled in by the wind.) And he's just watchin' the stars and hanging out.

A little ways down, there were these college kids who were obviously drunk and one of them says, "Look! There's a dude on the beach!" and they're laughing and pointing at Cam and being drunk. They let well alone for a little while and then Cam gets up and he's packing the sand down to make the hollow space more comfortable. One of the guys shouts, "He's digging his own bed!" And they all laugh at him like he's some kind of fascinating zoo animal.

Eventually they see us and they ask, "Hey! Is that your buddy?"

Dad goes, "That's my son."

"hahahahaha. I remember my first time..."

Dad mutters "whatever" under his breath.

"...Except I was naked!"

We just kind of ignored the guys. But dad was like, "I love drunk people I don't know."

So they're hanging out and they start dragging out the bikes to go cruising down the boardwalk. They come rolling towards us and the one guy (I know I keep saying "one guy" but there were a lot of them and hard to distinguish.) and he says, "Is that really your son?"

Dad's all, "Yeah, that's my twelve year old son."

"He must be really drunk."

And very calmly dad says, "Um, no. My twelve year old son."

"Is he okay?"

Dad says, "Yeah, he's find. He's just doing what twelve year olds do."

The guy says "Alright man." And they go off on their wobbly bicycles, while me and dad sat there chuckling and Cam, still laying in the sand, had not a clue as to the conversation that took place.

The Zoo

This is probably one of those posts which I will return to, once home, and add a bunch of (better) pictures from the real camera. I left my phone in the car on accident and didn't realize it til we'd gotten inside the park, so these pictures are from my dad's phone.

But we had a fun time at the zoo. We ended up riding the trolley around the whole park and snapping pictures of the animals. It was rather fortunate that they let us stand up on the ride (we sat at the top of a double decker bus), as the boys would've been dreadfully disappointed at the number of things they would not have seen. As it was, Jack in front of me kept scaring me, he was so close to the rail! I kept sticking my hand out to steady him now and again.

The monkey exhibit(s) were, by far, the greatest and most exciting. Simply because they were the most active animals and entertaining to watch. (Plus they are my favorite animal.) Alas, we did not get many quality pictures of them. ("Quality" being the operative word here.)

Dad brought me and Cam back to the hotel after the zoo. (We were pretty much fried by the time we reached the monkey exhibit and I'd seen what I wanted to see, so there wasn't much point in staying longer. We'll just have to go back. Brian, Nancy, and the kids ended up staying a while longer). At the hotel, we lounged around, attempted cooking popcorn in the room's crappy microwave, watched the tail end of Indiana Jones (Temple of Doom, if I recall) on cable, and I blogged on Bernard about the road trip until we left for dinner. (which is why I am blogging now, late at night, with my eyes drooping. It's amazing I can focus at all right now.)

I will probably add a few more details regarding the exhibits (because the place was huge and this dinky little post does not do it justice in any sense of the word) when I add pictures. For now, this will do.

Enjoy some pictures: