Thursday, October 30, 2008

Russell Mania

Last week Rob went to Chicago Monday through Thursday to attend training for work. Knowing Chicago is not too far from my dear friend and college roommate Stephanie, I decided to combine (Rob's) business with pleasure and make a weekend out of it. I flew out on Thursday to the Midway airport. Apparently Chicago Midway and Chicago O'Hare are two different airports - oops! What would have been a 5 mile taxi ride was going to be about 35 miles. Luckily Rob was out of his training session when I landed and told me he would pick me up in ~40 mins. Un-luckily, (yes, I just made that word up), he got into a bit of traffic and took about an hour and twenty minutes to get to the aiport. Alas, he made it and we hit traffic on the way back to the hotel. Rob was tired from his trainings and I was tired from traveling so we decided to have a low key night. One of the things I wanted to do was try Chicago pizza. We went to Giordano's which is a popular pizza chain in Chicago.

I thought it was good but decided I like "traditional" pizza better. When I asked Rob which he preferred, he struggled with his answer. Finally he said "I think I prefer the Chicago style." I told him we should open a pizza joint in Morgan Hill like the Scavo's on Desperate Housewives but he shot down that idea pretty quickly.

That night we decided before we headed out on our road trip to Michigan that we would at the very least visit the Sears Tower. The next morning, sleep sounded better so needless to say, we really didn't see much of anything in Chicago. We would like to come out again someday and stay in downtown and really see the sites.

On our way to Michigan, we drove by the town of Hammond. I'm not sure if anyone lives in Hammond but I thought it was pretty cool.

We also saw the beautiful leaves - the pictures really don't do it justice.

We told Stephanie and Jason we would be in Ann Arbor, Michigan around 4:00. We had to call and tell them it will more likely be 5:00 because we hit some traffic leaving Chicago. We realized on the drive that Michigan is one hour ahead of Chicago - oops! So, we had to call back again to tell them it will be more like 6:00. We finally arrived and it was so good to see our friends! We spent the weekend with them by hanging out, going out to dinner, going to a comedy club, going shopping and cooking chili and baking cupcakes on a very crisp fall day. They thought I was crazy, but I loved the chilly weather, it was a nice change from the bay area. Much to my surprise it was a bit chilly when I came back on Monday, good thing I still had my scarf on!

Stephanie and I at a restaurant that served small plates. It was called Small Plates.

Jason, Stephanie and Bailey: Thank you so much for having us, we had a great time and can't wait to see you in December!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I am working from home today which means in between answering emails and checking voicemail, I am throwing objects across the living room to entertain Buddy with a game of fetch. I'll usually sit on the floor working and playing with him and sometimes Buddy will run across my key board. I panic for a second to make sure he didn't somehow hit the right keys to send my CEO a random email with a subject of "dfadefdsa". It hasn't happened yet but its possible. Well he didn't send an email thank goodness, but he did somehow rip the "x" off my keyboard. I guess it could have been worse, it could have been an A, E, I, O, U or sometimes Y. I came to the decision that I will live without the x key. I can still create an x (obviously) but its a bit harder than usual. I mean, how often do you use the x key anyway? I'm sure it would not cost my IT department much to replace or add the x back onto the key board but I'm just too embarassed to go there as this isn't the first time I have broken a part of my laptop. Last time it was the F4 button and the time before that I had to get a whole new screen because, well, I stepped on it. Yes, you read that right. If you don't believe me, ask Rob.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Pumpkin Patch Story

There once was a girl who loved the holidays. She would get excited when she saw Halloween decorations on neighbor's lawns, when Starbuck's started serving their pumpkin spice lattes and when the air started to get crisp enough to warrant her wearing a cute little scarf.

One mid October day, she asks her husband to take her to pumpkin patch. At the patch, husband acts less than thrilled to be there but is enjoying "watching his wife be happy."

Girl is not embarassed to show how much fun she is having.

Girl is thrifty and tells husband to look at the smaller, cheaper pumpkins but husband insists on "doing it right" and tries to to find the largest pumpkin he can carry with two hands.

Before they leave, they find a pumpkin that is worth a spot on camera's memory stick. Husband starts having fun.

On the way home, girl and boy almost get killed by someone who is either 1.) drunk, 2.) not paying attention or 3.) has head cranked in other direction. Boy swerves violently into the center changing lane to avoid a head on collision.

Boy buys girl gelato on the way home to celebrate their alive-ness.

The End.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Taco Bake

I found this recipe on this blog (click on blog to go to blog) and made it the other night. I am adding this to my recipe aresenal because I thought it was pretty tasty and Rob loved it. I forgot to take pictures of the end result but here are pictures of the work in progress.


* 1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey, or ground chicken - I used turkey)
* 1 packet taco seasoning
* 15 oz. tomato sauce
* 8 oz. seashell pasta (I could only find the smaller ones but the recipe creater says the medium and large are good too)
* 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened in microwave (I used fat free)
* 1/2 cup sour cream (I used a cup)
* 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese


1. Brown the meat, drain. Add taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
2. In the meantime, cook pasta according to directions. Drain.
3. Mix softened cream cheese and sour cream in separate bowl.
4. Spray bottom of 9x13 pan. Put pasta in bottom of pan.
5. Spread cream cheese mixture over pasta.
6. Spoon ground meat mixture over this.
7. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
8. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dear Santa,

I know they are ugly, you might even say Uggly, but they are oh so comfy and this is why they are on my wish list (again), Uggs that is. It's true, I already have a pair from 3 or 4 years ago but I use them to walk Buddy in the winter and they are a bit worn out to wear in public even though that doesn't stop me from wearing them.

You may recall I asked for them last year but you waited too long to get them at the store and they were sold out. So please, go early while they are still in stores. I would prefer the color Chestnut in the classic short style in size 8.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Supper Club

Last night was our turn to host Supper Club. What is Supper Club you ask? It is a way for friends to get together on a regular basis to catch up, eat and drink. Once a month we get together with 3 other couples and rotate who hosts at their house.

Rob did all the cooking and I did the baking. He decided to make pork tenderloin, asparagus, some sort of cheesy risotto, bread (this was store bought, we aren't Martha Stewart!) and caesar salad.

Here is a picture of Rob's loin, er, meat, um, you know what I mean.

Yes, we are in our upper 20's/early 30's but still found our main dish to be slightly humorous and very punny. Here are some quotes of the night:

1.) "Rob, I'm going to take a picture of your meat"
2.) "Wow, that's a lot of meat!"
3.) "Brian, you got a big piece of meat" - "why, thank you" - "that's what she said"

I'm sure there are more but these were my personal favorites.

I decided to try to do something festive with the dessert tonight and got my idea from here. I don't doubt this is a good recipe but there were some items on the list that made me nervous as I had never heard of them before. So I googled pumpkin cheesecake and found a recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies here. We all agreed with enough ice cream, chocolate shell and whip cream on top, they were "ok". Needless to say I will not be making these again. I was a little bummed they didn't turn out great and made the amateur mistake of not testing a recipe before serving to guests but since I was in company with our dear friends I knew they wouldn't give me too hard of a time. :)

Here is a picture of the end result. Doesn't look toooo bad does it?

At one point when I was in the kitchen, I heard someone from the dining room say "where is the camera, get the camera! Take a picture of it for the blog! Rob, don't eat it" I still don't entirely know what I was taking a picture of, but I think my friends thought Rob's art de whipped cream resembled a part of the woman's northern region anatomy.

On an entirely separate topic, I used for the first time this morning an egg poacher my mother in law bought me awhile back. It was very easy. Its called the "Poach Pod" and I believe its around $6 for 2 of them. I toasted some leftover baguette from last night and the result: a nice little Saturday morning breakfast.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Saturday & Sunday

Saturday started with one of the best massages I have ever had. Its right up there with Henna (aka "Man Hands") from Watercourse Way. It started out with this woman who had what looked like sticks made out of bamboo tied together and hit my feet with them. It sounds weird but it actually felt good. It was supposed to increase circulation. Then she took me to the private room for the massage. I don't know what type of massage it was but it was a traditional hawaiian massage. It was also my longest massage (75 instead of 60 mins).

We went on a private tour of the USS Missouri with a retired marine. The USS Missouri was the battleship where the peace treaty was signed for WW2. It was interesting to see the ins and outs of the ship.

This marks the spot where the treaty was signed on the deck.

That night Rob and I went out for a romantic dinner at Michel's. We had a great table with a view of the sunset.

Sunday we drove around all day in the car with a man who is retired and was in the navy. We drove around the hot spots of the island and he was able to get us on the navy base at Pearl Harbor. There were many signs that said we couldn't take pictures. If you really want to see pictures you can contact my father in law who I believe didn't see the signs. ;)

We are back home now. We had a great vacation but its always nice to come home. I keep craving fruity icy drinks, even had Jamba Juice for dinner last night. I think the fruity cocktails before every dinner set a bad precedence.

Thank you again to the Evans for watching Buddy! Thanks mom and dad for picking up our paper and watching the house.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Today was all about Pearl Harbor (so will tomorrow and the next day). Today we went to the USS Arizona Memorial, a memorial for all those on the Arizona the day Japan attaked the US, killing 2,390 people 1,177 of which were those on the USS Arizona. The Arizona is still in the water today and the memorial straddles the mid section of the sunken battleship.

Looking down you can see the top of the ship.

Names of everyone on the Arizona.

Very large anchor I believe from the Arizona.


Next we went on the USS Bowfin submarine which is nicknamed the "Pearl Harbor Avenger" because she sank 44 enemy ships during the course of her nine war patrols.

Toilet & Shower

Eating area


Controls for engine

Its mind boggling how much there is to know on this battleship but then I found these instructions - phew!

Kathy had to make a very important phone call.

I would try to expain this picture you guys, but I know you just won't get it. ;)

On top of the sub.

Look down the hole - you will see part of my father in law, Lou. At this point, Rob is saying "Dad, dad, look up here!" "Dad, over here!" We got nothing.

At this point, Lou starts coming up the ladder and the conversation goes a little something like this.

Lou: Did you say something?

Me: Yes, we were above and could see you so we wanted you to look up.

Lou: What? Fire?!

Noted: Don't play this game with your father in law who sometimes suffers from claustrophobia ever again.

Rob and Michael

I wonder how you get THIS job.

And finally, we went to the museum. This was, by far, Kathy's favorite stop.

She is so excited, she needs to take a second to calm down.

First message after the attack. It says "Japan started hostilities govern yourselves accordingly".

What the hell?