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Another blogger in the family

I guess I don't write about him much. Every night he never fails to ask me what I wrote about him. Sorry honey, I tried :-)

What does he do? He goes and creates his own blog. mmmm....

Check it out

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker


A not so wasted weekend

It felt like it had been a lazy weekend. I can't seem to get any household chores done. I think it has something to do with the warm weather here. I had planned to take a walk at the Crystal Springs reservoir before the sun sets high but couldn't wake up early enough.

By Sunday morning, I felt I haven't been productive at all. Sis and I decided we should start cleaning up the garage since we finished the built in project a week ago. We had a lot of left over lumber from the project. Here we were able to get rid of the old desk but instead accumulated extra wood that won't have storage space in the garage. Sigh.

So much to the dismay of my sis, I decided to build a headboard from the scraps. Well, half dismayed, that is, because it's going to be her headboard.

With left over fabric and three and a half hours later, we actually finished it!

Three and a half hours later....(it looks like a mabuhay first class seat--haha--I have to get some decorative trim to spice it up a bit more)

Clever cat appraising the new headboard from a comfortable spot

Ever the curious cat, now wondering how she will get down from way up high

This week, I really have to make a list of what to do and have to seriously stick to it! Just ONE more weekend and we're off to the beautiful island of KAUAI--woohoo!!!

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker



Tug of war

I didn't have the energy to post yesterday. I was in major pain but I just have to face it, this is how it's going to be. So enough of that! :-)

I feel like i am having an affair--but not the kind you are thinking!--

I say this because the female population in this company I work for is what you may call a minority. Yes, the testosterone level here is too high. In the beginning, I thought, that's great, less intrigues and gossips. But no--not the case, we STILL end up in cliques no matter what. I've learned to like this environment now than before because everyone gets along very well already. In this company's earlier years, there were too many young (bagong salta) college grads trying to make their millions and it could get rowdy and somewhat of a collegiate-or-university-attitude kind of an environment at times. After the numerous layoffs, I've seen a change in the demography of the company not only in age but also with experience. The female population did not increase unfortunately, we are still a minority but the relationship between us are better and friendlier.

There are three of us girls in our department. We've been pretty close and somewhat kind of exclusive in the eyes of others. I don't think we wanted to project that image but somehow that was just how it ended up since we work on the same schedule and work in the same area. Then here comes a new girl who we thought wouldn't even think of hanging out with us from the light of day. It turned out she was also a Pinay but initially I was turned off only because when asked what her nationality was, she said half Spanish, half Filipino (nauna yung Spanish, at parang kinahihiya yung pagka Filipino ang dating). Anyway, that was the first impression, the real one isn't that bad, she actually turned out to be a down to earth person.

The problem started when we'd go to the gym and the other girl started to act like she doesn't appreciate the extra company. I was upset because it felt like I had to choose between the two of them. It had gotten so bad that there are times I have to meet up with the new girl discreetly so that the other girl doesn't get upset. Now doesn't that feel like I am having a friendship affair?! well, it sure does feel like it to me! I am definitely not liking this situation. I even went to talk to each of them but it's going to take sometime for this to be in my level of comfort.

For now, having to cope with my teeth/jaws/mouth pain, I don't deserve to add 'splitting headache' on my pain list just trying to make things work out. I think I just want to avoid both and will join if all of us will be in one group.

Hah! for those of you who think I was going to write what's in your curious mind--shame on you! :-)

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker



Metal mouth

I finally have the full blown braces installed today. Looks cool except I can't chew well. My overbite's worse than I expected the top front teeth are hitting the appliance on the lower teeth directly below it. So it's either I eat Gerber baby food, rice cereal, soup or swallow my food whole. They won't see me again till October, I wonder how I will manage.

In the meantime, the ortho gave me a prescription to get my dentist to extract 2 wisdom teeth and one more first molar, she said to get it done soon. I am going by this day by day and not even anticipating what will happen in the next two years I am supposed to wear these braces. I just hope that the company I work for will last a few more and not lay me off until I'm done. Although not too much, we do have ortho coverage under our dental plan and how I wished I'd done this sooner.

The fun part about dental visits are the free stuff (well it's part of the whole deal) you get. Like a lollipop to help you get over the unpleasant experience. As if it can soothe the pain I'd have to deal with later.

Here's what they gave me:

  • Dual head toothbrush
  • Mouth mirror
  • Floss with floss threaders
  • Travel toothbrush
  • 3-minute sand timer (!)
  • Tiny spiral brush
  • Toothpaste
  • Ortho wax
  • Anti-cavity flouride rinse
  • and a prescription for a stronger flouride gel treatment

Now why haven't I heard about anti-cavity flouride rinse and gel treatments before? I could have prevented a lot of cavities there. As it is right now, I dread it when they tell me I need to get some fillings done. Scared not so much with the drilling but with the novocaine inoculation.

Then they bombard you with visuals of what happens when you don't floss, brush properly and rinse regularly. The pictures are enough to drive you to spend hours in front of the mirror relentlessly checking if you've missed a food particle or morsel between your teeth.

I keep revisiting my original question since I started treatment and still wonder why I pursued this --->Am I putting more harm than good to my teeth??!!!

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker


Circus mania

A couple of years ago, we discovered this world renowned circus. I highly recommend watching this entertaining show if they happen to be in your town. We've been hooked and we're trying to see all of their shows playing everywhere.

This was our first show when we went to Las Vegas @ Treasure Island hotel. It's what got us hooked and even if there is the famous O show in Bellagio just a few doors down. It still remains to be the best show for us. This show is funny, dark and very entertaining.

We were in Palm Springs then and on a whim decided to drive all 400+ miles to Las Vegas just to see this show. Tickets for this show are always dear and hard to find but it will be worth it. The show was named O which sounds like the french word 'eau' meaning water. The stage is elaborate and one of a kind with its gigantic water reservoir as stage. Even saw a pinay celebrity (Vina Morales) watching the show there.

These were travelling ones. They come to a city and set up a Grand Chapiteau--plainly, a big tent. We caught Verakai here in SFO and Dralion in Sacramento.

Our latest show to add to our list. This is a resident show in Orlando, Fl in downtown disney. We made sure we'd see this when we went there on a recent trip to FL.

These girls are about 13/14 years of age but they were so tiny you'd think they are 8/9 year olds and very effective in keeping those diabolos (spinning tops) under their control throughout their routine. The talents come from all over the world, they must be truly honored to be picked but I just wonder--too young to be working, don't you think? I just hope they get paid well.

Here are some of the acrobatic routines. Some of the photos are blurry because I took it from the brochures. I've yet to find the actual pictures I took of the shows.

There are still a lot more these, I want to completely see every show there is everywhere. Cirque du Soleil shows are playing in quite a number of major cities around the world. If you are in a city where they are playing, don't miss it! I guarantee you will be in awe of them.

I still want to see Saltimbanco (Europe), Alegria (Canada, Japan), Quidam (down under and NZ) and another one that sprouted in LV-- Zumanity (replaced Lord of the Dance in the NY,NY hotel).

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker



Sin Bandera

Translated, it means-- Without a Flag.

This band transcends borders. They sing with passion, carry a tune that can be a cross between Kenny Loggins and Savage Garden and a style very appealing the audience were very concerted with the artists. They are not too well known outside the Latino world but they definitely have the potential to break into the US scene.

this is an audio post - click to play

It was a toss up between Gloria Estefan (doing her farewell tour) or them, I think we didn't miss anything.

I wish I had learned the lyrics since everyone else seem impassioned with it. Everything was in Spanish. I came without any idea how they look like. I totally wasn't expecting to be going to a concert this weekend. I thought they were Americans who lived in South America and learned the language but they weren't. One of the guys even looks like a friend at work, I can't stop smiling because my friend's gay but this guy's not and every female were deliriously screaming their heads' off. We had good front seats and the only non-latinos--again but we seem to never fail to tremendously enjoy their concerts.

Hubby though is nursing a sore back after being pushed out of the way by an insane group of female fans who were trying to catch the towel tossed from the stage. I guess his 6 ft frame wasn't a match to the throng of female fans who deluged him. I wasn't happy about that at all--geez, for a towel??!! But now we laugh it off after we recall what happened that day.

Album cover and tickets Sin Bandera @ Redwood Ampitheater Great America Argentina's Noel Shajris and Mexico's Leonel Garcia

My friend look a like..they cry when he starts to sing

After a string of Latino concerts, I told hubby it's my turn to pick. We were supposed to see Britney Spears this month (just for the heck of it) but of course she cancelled her tour and we got our money back. So now my wishlist: Sarah McLachlan, Matchbox twenty, Jewel (again), LeAnne Rimes, even Ashley Simpson.

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker


A cat's lazy weekend


My sister-in-law recently married in Japan. We just told them about my blog that is now becoming a page of our (husband and I) daily life here. I think it's a good way of keeping in touch. My hubby's only sister and her hubby both are very busy working people (some of you may know this is a culture in Japan)that this seems to be the best medium to keep them abreast of the goings-on here.

I am totally bored

hellewww??!!! can someone PUH-LESE just give me a goooood massage

I hate pictures and cuddling!

it's either she's saying "no paparazzi!" or "talk to the paws"

"Apparently I am not the only one having a lazy weekend but my owners are too!"

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker


Bobblehead parade


My hubby took some pictures this evening. This is turning to be very much his blog as well. That is okay since it's also his way of keeping in touch with his family back home.

This ones are for you, Yumiko, from us--may you have many more to come.

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker



Idea on paper -- $0,

Additional materials for the project -- $350,

Storage boxes -- $90,

Labor -- $0,

Turning your sadness to a sense of accomplishment -- PRICELESS

This what happens after a week of disappointments. We suddenly finished the built-in entertainment unit. I think I poured all of my frustrations into this project that was taking longer than I am accustomed to accomplishing these days.

My sis has been supportive of all my home improvement projects through and through, and had been a big help in assisting me with the painting and the building and in no matter what it is I come up in my 'crazy' mind--THANKS SIS!!!

We had this blank niche in our family room, huge enough to hold all of our stuff. I've been wanting to do something about this wasted space but was reluctant to make any holes in the wall. After all this is the first time I've done something close to building a furniture.

In contrast to other wives, I really do not find it therapeutic to go shopping for clothes in the mall. I love Lowes or the Home Depot. Strange isn't it? I think I am a frustrated architect.

This project started with our extensive collection of DVDs. Frankly I really do not like much clutter at home but hubby loves to collect practically everything. We've been buying shelves to store these but it's becoming an eye sore.

The idea sprouted in one of those lazy weekends (very dangerous for my restless mind). I started to doodle an idea on a paper napkin over breakfast. I didn't want to spend much on this project thinking there is still a possibility of failing but the idea on paper made it very inviting, I had a positive mind and a strong determination to succeed. I decided I will drive the cost really low by recycling the wood of my hubby's unused desk that was sitting idly in the garage. I even borrowed the circular saw and cordless nail gun from my cousin.

With just the trim missing and a can of buttercream paint from Restoration Hardware.

I used to finish a project over one weekend--a true weekend warrior--but this time, I decided to take my sweet time and take it slow so there won't be any major mistakes. I knew this won't be an easy one, we did make some changes to the original plan and the wall spackle had turned out to be a favorite and very useful buy.

I think it was quite an accomplishment when we finished it this weekend, we can't stop looking at it (haha!)...

The original plan called for three drawers to mirror the ones on the bottom and to create a good balance overall, but making the drawers were too time consuming, we decided to just leave it as a shelf

We bought some nice baskets for the top shelf to give it texture and interest. It will also serve as additional storage. We are still going to remove the cd racks on the side of the TV--it still feels overly cluttered--what do you think?

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker




Just tired, today was an emotional roller coaster. I thought having lunch and a good talk would make it better. I was so wrong about that but totally right about my instinct. Don't really like to talk about the details of it as of yet--maybe later. Feeling even crappier that it didn't solve the problem but like I opened a can of worms instead.

I think I've been too trusting and naive about keeping certain people as friends. Hubby has reiterated and confirmed that she is not what you call a friend when instead of being happy for you, it's jealousy that gets the most of her. When hubby says something like this, reality suddenly kicks you right in the face.


Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker




I just noticed that I've been feverishly posting one entry after the other. I think one's emotional state can do that to you.

Today was a day I felt sadly betrayed by a now 'so-called' friend. I tried to ignore it for quite sometime now always giving her the benefit of the doubt but at the end of the day I got blasted by a IM message that was NOT intended for me. She's resorted to talking behind my back. It's the most awful feeling to see that from someone you thought was a friend and a confidante.

I am devastated that she took a side without even knowing mine. What made her do it? Is it jealousy, spite, misunderstanding or all of the above? It's been racking my brain for quite sometime now. I am not a confrontational person at all and this is the reason why I just kept quiet the entire time, however, she's hit me below the belt and I think I just got to know what made her do this to me.

I think for the sake of our past friendship, a talk is in order, so I called her and left a message to have lunch with me tomorrow. Wish me luck and I hope she makes the date.

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker



We've been wondering why a small stuffed toy that H brought home from his recent Japan trip kept ending up on the floor.

I caught her doing this --

with precision, determination and with silent grace she had been plucking the toy from atop the table when she thinks we aren't looking and would attack it like it was alive on the floor. The picture was blurry just because I was caught by surprise. We tried to get her to do it again but she definitely knows when the lenses are on her. She hates it when we take her picture.

H and her seem to understand each other so well. She just gives him a look and hubby knows she wants either food or water. She never learned to meow for anything she needs, she just gives you that "ESP" look. I believe she thinks we can read her mind.

One of her habits these days is to drink water fresh from the tap on a porcelain cup that's placed on our bathroom floor. When we get home she'd go straight to our bathroom and chug it down like she hasn't drank one drop the entire day. She totally has us wrapped around her little paws and has turned into some kind of kitty diva.

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker


On the chair

What can you do when you are at the mercy of a dental assistant who has heavy clumsy hands? I’d say tell her so.

That’s what has happened on Saturday morning, I don’t even know why I ended up with her in the first place and I hope she doesn’t have to see me again next time I have an appointment. I am doubting if she even knew what she was doing. Saturday meant installation of the metal bands and oh-- more separators! *ughh*.

The entire process shouldn’t even take too long but she took more than an hour with me, sighing under her breath whenever she can’t get those bands in between my teeth. So what do I get for this? Metal separators!

If I wasn’t in a rush to leave to get to the ball game, I would have complained to my ortho about it but because this lady took her sweet ol time, I had to tell her I have somewhere to be that time and she has to hurry up. I am sure she must be cursing me in her mind for it but hey, if you get pinched and metal instruments hitting your teeth due to HER clumsiness, I just can’t take that sitting down (even if technically I was).

I think I should have delayed this for another month because I just realized we are leaving for Hawaii in a few weeks (yay!). Here’s hoping I won’t set the metal detectors off at the airport.

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker


Marathon game

It has been baseball games that have occupied my hubby and me for the last three days. H has been on a roll and I am sighing for eating all those hotdogs I so hated before. It’s the only food I can eat with ease these days. I don’t like hotdogs very much only because of the preservatives.

We got some more of those freebies they give away for the first few thousand guests. Of course, the last two days going to the Network Associates Coliseum to get these freebies meant falling in line as early as 10am for the 1pm game. And you know, H will not let this chance pass without trying. So no sleeping in during the weekend either.

Got these for being there early. I almost didn’t forgive myself for getting there on Sunday at 1045a with a line already a football and a half field long just because the bobble heads are so much in demand. I think this hall of famer bobble head will fetch a pretty good sum of money on ebay considering people got them for free. I really felt downright rotten in line because I felt I let H down for having convinced him to make a pit stop to fetch some outside food before going to the game. What a big relief that in spite of the line and how late we were, those 15k bobble heads stretched all the way to our spot! Whew!

Saturday’s game, I drifted in and out of sleep until the middle of the 5th inning and cheered the rest of the way. A’s won 6-1 against the Royals. Sunday’s game was terrible, same score except the A’s lost. And oh, I missed a foul ball that fell on my feet—what a dim-wit—I’ve been beating myself with regret for not being fast enough and also because the guy who got it wasn’t even an A’s fan but was rooting for the other team! I was actually shocked when I saw the ball coming our way and all these people anticipating to catch it well before it landed! H was away fetching me some drink, I wasn’t just ready to scramble for the ball on national TV.

H got four free tickets to a Giants’ game for Monday evening. With my sister tagging along, we are left with one free ticket. We tried to find someone to give it to but ended up with no one by Monday morning. We’ve been hesitant on inviting either my uncle or my aunt because one of them will have to stay behind. It was luck that the game wasn’t sold out and so I was able to get another ticket in the same section. Both of them were able to watch the game. It turned out to be a fun evening because the Giants’ won!

The park is amazing, the site where they built it (by the waterfront) will get you entertained during those slow innings. They just built this about three years ago for the Giants to replace their usual venue in the Candlestick Park (now 3Com or some new name), so everything is still new and exciting to see. We had seats in the third level but we get to have spectacular views of the bay and of course the entire field. We’ve been there before but do not go too often because the ticket prices can be so pricey.

On a sidenote, H was wearing an A’s shirt on a Giants game! What was he thinking?

Barry Bond's HR career score

Getting ready to bat, everyone was waiting for the 6-9-0

...but they've been making him walk these days

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker




Had my ortho appointment on Monday and they jammed 8 separators (tiny thick rubber bands) in between 4 of my molars on each side, upper and lower jaw. They are to remain in place for a week to create spaces for the metal straps on Saturday. These straps will act as anchors to pull my teeth in their proper places.


YES, I am getting braces and YES, I am getting them this late in life.

I had retainers on when I was in College and my ortho back home went gung ho and pulled all of my first molars which created all these gaps in between my teeth. So now it's creating a problem because my teeth had started to shift and my bite is quite off. My friends here think there is absolutely nothing wrong with my teeth. In fact, I think it looks fine superficially but lately I feel I've been clenching my jaws too hard it's giving me a headache.

Now before I even allowed myself to be tied up for this, my good ortho here, wanting to be thorough, had referred me to another dentist who specializes in gum surgery. I was told that I've lost some bone on the spot where one of my first molars used to be. Most probably when the tooth was originally pulled, it broke the bone that held it as well.


So off I see this other dentist and the appointment went this way:

dentist: Interesting case. The bone lost is bigger than I've expected, you need an oral surgeon who specializes in actual bone grafting.

me: what does the oral surgeon do in a case like mine?

dentist: (shows me a dummy with removable gums) In surgery, they will pull open your gums and will transplant bone into that open spot,close it up and see if it will assimilate with the surrounding bone (somewhat in that premise, technical words forgotten). It will take a year for it to heal.

me: (shocked), and do I still get to function normally during that timeframe?

dentist: yes, well, of course maybe with some discomfort, bruising and swelling. They will prescribe something to help you with the pain (here in the US, painkillers seem to be the answer to everything and oh, he forgot to tell me that maybe infection may be another factor, right?)

me: (double shocked and after a brief loss for words) er, so did you tell me where they will exactly get the bone from?

dentist: oh anywhere from your back jaw or from your chin where there is more bone.

me:(EGAD!!!!)I see.

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker



The versatile natto

Have you ever tried eating this in a Japanese restuarant?

I'd say liking this is an acquired taste plus it can be mentally challenging if you've not come across this Japanese breakfast staple before as it is glutinous in texture and has that funny smell to it. When H first introduced this to me, I just looked at him and wondered how he can say this is good food.

They sell this here frozen in small styro containers (a serving) with individual packets of shoyu and mustard that you mix together until the frozen beans becomes gluey in consistency. The mixture is usually eaten with a bowl of rice.

I only started liking this after a restaurant (We be Sushi in Geary) served it as a maki sushi (rolled sushi). In another restaurant (Kisaku, San Mateo) they served this as an appetizer. They wrapped the natto in shiso leaf and then dipped in tempura batter and deep fried--yumm! that's when I got hooked--well, I don't crave for it but I like it now.

Apparently, he's convincing me to eat this daily for health reasons. Just one advice, this is not date food material :-)

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker



Volcano tales

I never got around to continuing the post from last month's Redding trip, so here goes..

That weekend we went to see the new bridge, we also made a lot of side trips. I love driving but don't really like repeating a trip once I've been there especially if it means driving more than 4 hours by car one way. It's a trait I had probably inherited from my Dad. I remember when we used to live in Mexico, where my Dad was assigned, we'd make weekend trips to visit different places which required all of us to be expeditious, quick and constantly alert (lest we get left behind) as he likes to cover a lot of ground in one day.

But I digress.

Here are the pictures. We took lots of pics but most of them I am on it, so can't post those, it just ruins the views (haha)...

Mt Shasta, taken after our cave tours, this is the closest we've come to this mountain, we were running against dusk because we needed to still find our hotel for the night. At the foot of the mountain is this quaint town which reminded me of the movie Dante's peak for Mt. Shasta is a volcano after all.

Mt Lassen -- it looks pretty similar to Mt Shasta, in fact I had a hard time distinguishing them from each other. We decided to do this side trip because it's nearby and I figured we can swing it on our way home. Guess what? to go there means having to drive all the way up to get to the other side that will lead us to the freeway to get back home. It's a good thing we had the entire day to spare and the drive thru it was well worth the time. Although not comparable to the grandeur of Yosemite, it has its own beauty and endearing characteristic that will make you connect back to pure nature. This is mountain is another volcano that last erupted in 1917. See why they call California earthquake zone?

The pine trees are so much different from the ones I've seen here around SF and they are so packed like crayons in a box. I've noticed that the formation of the trees looked like they were lined in neat rows and arranged to have an illusion like they've been planted in an alternating pattern when seen from afar. Here we are trying to stop every so often thinking we will not get a better view of the mountain for a good pic and not knowing we were actually going to climb the 8,000 of the more than 10k foot mountain!

A jab at a picturesque shot from a photographer wanna be

The rivers are prestine and super chilled!!! You would think the water is good enough to drink---naaah--wouldn't dare it.

We found another river and went down actually to put our feet in----brrrrr--- not such a good idea to do for so long, my feet almost turned blue in just under 10 seconds. Would probably be good to white water raft in it though..

It's called Castle Crags, on our way to Mt Lassen. They are granite peaks that jutted out of the mountains a million years ago. Kitchen counter material galore? *haha*

I forgot the name of this lake but right now I call it the Crystal lake. Somewhat similar to the one in Yosemite (Tuolumne) but smaller. Visitors get to picnic or set up camp around the lake. Nice!

On the mountain, climbing up to get to the other side...Our first glimpse of the packed snow we thought was hardened ice. I was wrong, one can make snow cone from it, just need the syrup to go with it.

A view from the top! It feels like we were on top of the world and we were kind of feeling dizzy from the altitude. The air is quite thin up here at 8k feet but the view is just breathtaking, you now wonder which one is causing this to happen. Do you also call it the bends when one has climbed such altitude so quick? haha

We went to the edge of the mountain and saw a lone deer below. My hubby zoomed in for this pic of wildlife in the park.

I love taking pictures of trees especially when they're way so high!

I told you I love taking pictures of trees. Nature is my stress reliever.

Copyright 2004 Wandertrekker