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Even though we were completely stuffed from having so much fantastic food, we went to Porto’s Bakery anyway. It’s a Cuban cafe that serves soups and sandwiches and desserts. We, of course, were there for desserts! Porto’s, at least the one that we went to and I can’t tell you which one because I don’t remember, has two sections. One section is for soups and sandwiches and a small selection of desserts and the other section is just for dessert. We were there around 6:30 and it was totally packed full of people and they were going to close in an hour! There were still tons of people there!

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I think this was a raspberry chcolate thingie,a flan thingie and a chocolate thingie.

I originally wanted to get just one thing. I wasn’t hungry, I mean, we just had a ton of food. But when we got to the front of the line, we saw all these goodies displayed that we ended up ordering like four things. And they were totally affordable, like $2-3 each! We ordered the strawberry cupcake pictured below.

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A chocolate pudding thing and a guava and cheese pastry.

Guava and cheese pastry you say? It doesn’t sound that appetizing, does it? But OMG, it was delicious. We ended up eating all of it. And then the next day, we regretted not ordering extra like Chris E. did. The Hubs still talks about it lo these many weeks later.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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After the Getty, Chris East took us on a scenic drive down Mullholland Drive, a street that allows for beautiful views of Los Angeles, is totally famous and is also totally windy. I became a little nauseous after the first fifteen turns or so and we had to take another road to Mann’s Chinese Theatre, which we had already agreed that we weren’t going to get out of the car to see. We were only doing a drive-by, you see. There were just too many people there and I was totally ok with that. But while waiting in traffic near Mann’s Chinese Theatre, we saw a glimpse of Danny Bonaduce who looked like he was doing some sort of reality show.

On a side note, while were on our way from Mullholland to Mann’s we also saw a dude dressed as Jesus, long hair, white robe and all. It had something to do with the Rapture, but since I am a heathen, I didn’t know what that meant.

After our scenic drive, we arrived at Daichan, a Japanese soul food restaurant. I, of course, forgot to take photos, so I Googled some links.

Daichan doesn’t serve what we normally associate with Japanese food. They serve what your Japanese Mom might make (if you were Japanese). Jenn ordered us a series of appetizers that I just gobbled down. One of them was a fried tofu dish and you know how I love my tofu.

One of the appetizers that I loved so much that I had to make it at home. It was a Japanese cold spinach and it was super easy to make.

All you need to do is wilt the spinach.

And make the sauce.

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The sauce is one tablespoon of everything above except for the sugar. You only need one teaspoon of that. Make sure you squeeze out the water from the spinach and put in the sauce and you’re done! Even I could do that! And it is delicious. I must have needed something in spinach in my diet. Because I made a lot and I ate it all!

The only thing was that my spinach was much more bitter. I’ve read that sometimes that happens due to the vitamins in the spinach. So some people boil it, but that also removes some of the vitamins.

But I digress. Daichan was delicious. I think if we return, I’m just eating appetizers!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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After breakfast, we headed over to the Getty Center.

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View from the Getty

It’s situated on the top of a hill and you can only get there by tram. The Hubs mentioned that it would be a great holdout if there was ever a zombie attack, but then we later discovered a service road did lead to the building. The Hubs then said all we would need to do was blow up that service road.

The Getty is free, but you do have to pay for parking ($15). I’d suggest going with a car full of people to be both eco-friendly and economical.

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It’s part art museum and part garden. I especially liked this hedge that looked like a maze.

We spent all day there looking at paintings. There was a whole section on religious imagery starting from the 1600′s (I think) to the present. There were various paintings of popes. I especially liked the painting of the Sleepy Pope. I would show you some paintings, except I was admonished for taking them. The security people told me that I couldn’t take any photos.

I also couldn’t drink any water. Not in any of the exhibits. Not in the museum stores. And definitely not in the hallways. We had to leave the building to get a drink of water.

You also couldn’t walk on the grass. But only some grass.

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As you can see, there are tons of people on the grass, but when we walked on the grass, we got yelled at. I couldn’t tell the difference between walk-able grass and off-limits grass.

So everywhere I turned, a security personnel was there to tell me I couldn’t do whatever I was doing. I half expected them to tell me that I couldn’t look too long. But I digress.

Amongst the paintings, there were also a lot of scary looking baby paintings. My theory is that babies back then popped out of the womb looking wide-eyed and psychotic.

Most of the paintings aren’t well known at all, but are indicative of the era. They did have some famous one’s, but we kind of breezed through those. I think it was because we’ve seen them before, and so we didn’t need to painstakingly read all about them.

While we were there, they had a special exhibit on Gods of Ankor and Paris: Life and Luxury where we learned all about what a wealthy person did during the day in Paris. Of course, no pictures. I was done getting yelled at. Right now, they have an exhibit that I wish was there when we went. It’s all about fashion in the middle ages! But alas, we were a few weeks early.

I quite enjoyed spending the day there. I’m not really big on paintings, but I did enjoy looking at them. There were little descriptions about the paintings next to each one, and I think I like the history aspect of them. There was one that Jenn was looking at that explained why there was a random lily in the foreground. Well it turned out at some point in time, they chopped that painting in half and sold it in parts!

The Hubs, of course, totally enjoyed it. Work sent me to Chicago once and I took The Hubs with me. While I worked, he went down to the art museum and spent the day looking at all the paintings.

In summary, the Getty is totally worth a visit if you’ve got a lazy weekend afternoon.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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This week is going to be all about my visit to Southern California where The Hubs and I spent the weekend with Jenn Reese and Chris East. They were kind enough to show us around their wonderful city and taking us to all the wonderful eating establishments. I hadn’t gone there with anything to do in mind.

I just wanted to hang out, really, and have a relaxing time. Previous to the visit, I had been working at my work’s annual expo. They were long days, breakfast with clients at 8, teaching classes during the day, dinner with clients afterwards. The days were as long as 14 hours. And I knew that our friends were also busy prior to the visit, so I didn’t want anything too strenuous to tire anyone out.

On Saturday, Jenn and Chris picked us up at our hotel and off we went to the first of many eating establishments, More than Waffles. (Jenn and Chris were kind enough to drive us everywhere, including picking us up at Laguna (which is kinda far from where she lives) and dropping us off at the airport! Yaaay Jenn!) There was a little bit of a wait when we got there, but I figured there would be. There is always a wait for weekend breakfast/brunch. There was a lovely bustling courtyard where there was a man playing a piano and singing. The sun was shining, but it wasn’t too hot (last year when we visited, it was sweltering, and the year before that was freezing!). I think we only waited about fifteen minutes before we were seated. We had chosen to sit indoors.

More than Waffles reminds me of an old comfortable home. The walls had that flowery wallpaper we always associate with grandmothers and the furniture was a well used country farmhouse style. I don’t know about you, but I always think dining tables and writing tables should have some dings to them. Furniture should be used, not put up for display. And when something is well used, they have this patina to them that makes them unique.

They have a ton of stuff on their menu from pancakes to waffles to crepes! I got the Ika’s crepe. I love crepes, and I haven’t had one in a while. There isn’t a good crepe place near here. Toojays has a cheese blintz, but I really do shy away from eating so much cheese these days. And we haven’t gone to Toojays in quite some time. Ika’s crepe had spinach and turkey sausage, which was totally what I was having a hankering for. I was also under the impression that I should eat a little bit healthy having eaten meat, meat and more meat during the work expo.

The Hubs had the decadent bacon and cheese waffle! You could be even more decadent by getting ice cream with your waffle, but I didn’t feel that was right. I mean, we’re told all the time we can’t have ice cream for breakfast, but that didn’t stop some of the people at the restaurant. And the ice cream scoop looked huge!

Ika’s crepe is about the size of a Chipotle burrito, which is to say that it was a huge portion. And needless to say, I over-ate. I have no self control. The Hubs loved his waffle, I mean, who wouldn’t? Cheese and bacon INSIDE the waffle? He still talks about it. Unfortunately, we don’t have anything nearly that good around here. We do have breakfast places, but we don’t have anything nearly resembling that. Hopefully we can go back again.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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As Chris and I were returning home from grocery shopping, I saw something fly into the bush beside the car. I hadn’t really thought much about it. Having lived here for five years, I’ve learned to ignore anything that I see in my peripheral vision that scuttles or flies. If I jumped at every little thing, I’d always be on alert. There are so many frogs and lizards where I live along with tons of dragonflies and (certain times of the year) love bugs that there is always something moving.

So when I saw something fly into the bush, I didn’t really think anything about it. It was, unfortunately, a big mistake.

Inside this bush was a bird’s nest and the adult birds were defending their territory. There’s nothing worse than feeling the brush of bird wing against your face to get you running. Visions of Alfred Hitchcocks’s Birds came to mind and I had no intention of being pecked to death by a fist sized bird!

My best bet was to try to make a run for it with my groceries. My strategy was to duck and weave! But the bird did not attack us further. I think the squealing and running convinced the bird that I was no threat.

We managed to bring in all the groceries without receiving permanent damage.

And of course, I had to go take a photo, but I had to be careful. That bird was totally watching me again and I had to be quick or it would attack me again. I had no doubt.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

Scabby Scab

Jun. 9th, 2011 03:55 pm
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You guys remember way back in January when I had that piece of flesh removed?

The spot is still there!

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It looks like a scab, but it’s totally flat and doesn’t feel like a scab. How long are these supposed to take to heal! Am I doomed to have it forever?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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This week officially starts my new job. I’ll be moving groups within my company to a position that has more work. Potentially, I’ll be working twice as much as I do now, which means also that I’ll also be making more money. What this means also is that I’ll most likely have less time to write.

Here’s the thing, I wasn’t writing anyway. This job requires me to meet a billable dollars quota. I know this probably doesn’t mean anything to most of you, but it basically means that I bill enough to justify my salary. And when I didn’t have enough work, I was trying to find work. I was thus, worried about getting work.

The new position isn’t like that. The group has too much work, so it was a natural decision to move me to a different group. The idea is that we’re moving me because I was underutilized.

Several people asked me how I felt about having less time to write. My answer was this, I like being employed and getting a steady paycheck. I have a financial responsibility to my family and my job has great health insurance.

I’ve recently spoken to a few writers, some were writing full-time, some half-time, and some where writing full-time and writing full time. Most of them weren’t living solely on their writing income. They had a spouse that was working and that was what was keeping them afloat.

I’m looking towards my future and what I want. And even though I’d love to have a writing career that can pay all the bills, I’m also realistic about that reality.

Some of you might think that I’m selling out to the man or that I’m giving up on my dreams.at least, that’s what some people have said to me. I disagree. I think you can have a good paying job without selling out to the man. I’m still going to write. I’m not quitting. I’m just taking a detour. And that’s ok.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Also for my birthday, Chris took me to SeaWorld here in Orlando. They have this deal right now that if you pay for a day, you can go back the rest of the year without paying for another ticket. You just have to pay for parking ($14). I don’t know how often we’ll be going back. Parking is kind of steep.

I would go back at least once though because I screwed up on my camera. I took a lot of the photos on the wrong settings. a lot of the indoor shots were kind of blurry, but at the same time, I don’t know if it’s worth it. I don’t think they have enough exhibits to spend $14 on parking. Chris and I could watch a matinĂ©e for that price!

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Pygmy Marmoset

As opposed to Disney, even on a weekday, SeaWorld seemed absolutely deserted. The people also seemed really angry. My brother said it’s because that’s where all the fired Disney employees go. Could be. They definitely weren’t all that interested that we were even around. I think they’d be happier if we weren’t there so they could go inside and enjoy the air conditioning.

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It seems SeaWorld is trying to make more money. For a few extra dollars or fifty, you could feed the seals, the dolphins, the sting rays and whatever else won’t bite your hand off. And for a few hundred dollars, you can swim with the dolphins, the baluga whales and whatever else won’t bite your hands off.

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Here’s a couple of people who did just that. I found it a little too money grubbing. Not only did we spend $80 plus tax per person, but we gotta spend some more to do anything else. I suppose this is normal since all the other zoos and animal parks do the same thing, but it felt like SeaWorld just laid it all out in the open. It kind of slapped you in the face whenever you turned around to do look at something.

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We also watched the Shamu show, which they’ve changed since the trainer was killed. I remember at one point, the trainer would get in the water and one of the whales would launch them into the air. Well, the show now has none of the trainers going into the tank at all. I don’t know if this makes them any safer since the whales can choose to pull the trainers in by the arm if they wanted to, but apparently, it’s just the one whale that’s had a history of killing his trainers.

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I’m glad I went and I had a good time, but I think if you’re coming to Orlando, you should save your money and do another theme park.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Here’s OPI’s Ogre-The-Top-Blue. I got it because it had Ogre in it. I didn’t like it so much when I put it on, but it slowly grew on me.

and then I put the silvered shattered nail polish on it. It’s the Pirates of the Caribbean edition, so I think it’s limited edition.

I like the effect it has, but I think that it would look better with black shattered, but that’s super hard to get your hands on. I’m not sure if it was limited edition (it’s shown on the OPI site with the Serena Williams and Katy Perry editions. But I haven’t been able to find it in stores, not that I’ve been looking really hard.) The shattered effect makes a blah kind of color more exciting, don’t you think?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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As some of you know, my birthday was last Tuesday. For lunch, Chris took me out to Season’s 52, which we hardly ever go. First of all, they’re on SandLake Road, which gets hella busy on the weekends and second of all, they’re kind of far from us. The last time I think we were there was Christmas 2009. Their menu changes each season (winter, summer, spring, fall) and they boast that their items are no more then 450 calories each, which Jenn and Sarah kind of laughed at. Apparently, that’s a lot of calories for a meal!

Most people aren’t that health conscious here. I mean, they’re circling the drain already, why bother, right? Go down eating greasy fatty foods! It probably explains why I have gained weight since I moved to Florida, but whatever. I’d rather be fat and happy than skinny and angry. I like food. Give me food!

We started off with the tortilla soup.

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It was good, but I felt like I’ve had this somewhere else before. I don’t remember where. It’s a nice light flavor that’s not too salty (which I find a lot of soups here are. Like drinking from the ocean.)

Then we had the garlic chicken flatbread:

Which was not the best idea as I already had the soup and was getting a little bit full, but it was my birthday, so we were splurging.

For the main meal, we had the buffalo burger. It was yummy and the perfect size for lunch (if I didn’t already gorge on the soup and flatbread). By the time I was done, I was feeling like a real fatty, but that didn’t stop me from having dessert. You can always make room for dessert.

Chris had the peanut butter and chocolate one and I had the rocky road one (no nuts). They were delicious.

I’d suggest going there if you’re around here. It’s got a quiet atmosphere and the food is good. But if you go on the weekdays, I’d call ahead first. One time we called and they said it was singles night. Yeah, no. We skipped it then.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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So it’s been forever since I posted and I feel like I should let you know the update on the e-reader.

I talked to Chris’ dad and he’s not really all that happy about e-book only editions. He’s old school. I mean, he’s like Gibbs on NCIS. A phone is used for calling people. That’s what it does!

There are plenty of other authors that have traditional books that he likes to read. So he’s sticking to those.

In other news, I’ve been following a couple of beauty gurus on youtube. For those who don’t care about such things, you can probably just skip this whole rest of the entry. I love make-up and every once in a while, I will buy a whole bunch of new lipstick shades and eye shadows because they’re always coming out with new colors and also because I like change.

I’m really into gold colored eye shadows right now and I’ve got like 3 shades of gold and they’re all completely different. I also like a pinky-reddish raspberry color as well. I took some photos, but I look the same regardless of what colors I use since I don’t wear my eye shadow that far up my eye lid. I feel a lot like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show when I do.

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Brown eye shadow vs. pink eye shadow. Can’t really see a diff, can you?

That’s because I have a hooded mono-lid, one of which has a fold and the other doesn’t, so I have to put make-up on differently for each eye. And because we have the power of youtube, I’ve found a lot of asian women who show us how they do their makeup. Two of the one’s that I like are Jen and Holly Ann. Their aesthetic is a lot closer to mine, but they buy a lot more accessories than I do. They also do a lot of product reviews, which I like watching even though I don’t buy anything that they review. Both of these girls talk relatively fast. There’s not a lot of ummss and uhhhs in their videos. They’re right to the point. I stop a lot of youtube videos or fast forward a lot of them because some of them talk so slowly. They’re like turtles.

Unfortunately for me, I am several shades darker than they are. In MAC make-up terms, they’re NC30 and I’m NC37 during the winter and NC40 during the summer. So colors that look great on them, sometimes don’t look so great on me. For instance, lipstick colors. What looks great and pink and natural on them, unfortunately makes me look like I’m wearing too light a lip color.

But there are a lot more make-up whores out there than me and I discovered make up and beauty blog whose complexion is the same as mine. She’s great in that she manages to get a lot of different makeup brands and puts them on her face. I can see which colors I like before I even go to the store. I also love this other girl named Samantha. She’s doesn’t do a lot of make-up tutorials, but she’s got a style aesthetic that I like and her skin tone is also the same as me (though she definitely likes a lighter lip than I do. She’s younger, so she can get away with it.) Plus, she’s british and has a really cute accent.

And because I can, here’s my eyeshadow for Saturday night:

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Makeup Forever (MUFE for short) star powder in #3 (honey gold), Mac Cosmetics eyeshadow in woodwinked. I know people sometimes describe their eye shadow colors as whore-y, but some people also have no sense of adventure. Urban Decay eyeshadow in Hustle (which I have as part of the Naked Palette) And I use Bobbi Brown gel eye liner in black because it’s one of the few liners that don’t smudge on me. I know everybody LOVES the urban decay 24/7 eyeliner, but I find that it smudges. A lot. The other one that doesn’t smudge is smashbox jetset liner, but it dries HELLA FAST. I use them both on my tight line and my water line and I have no problems with either.

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This is what it looks like open. I think I’m also wearing Mac’s ricepaper on the inner corners.

I also use shiseido’s mascara primer and Mac’s plush lash mascara (although I don’t love it, I got it as a two-fer at Nordstroms when they were having a sale. The brush is too big for my little lashes). I normally prefer Lancome’s Definicils, but they’re expensive and I’m looking for alternatives. My problem is that because of the way my eyes are, mascara and eyeliner smudge like the dickens and I live in Florida, which is humid, which compounds the problem. I used to love Shiseido’s mascara, but they changed their formula or something. It’s not as nice. And the lashes are Ardell Demi Pixies which are a little too dramatic for everyday wear, so normally, I wear the Ardell Babies when I feel like lashes. Most of the time I don’t, which is why the photos of my eyes look different above. The left one has no false lashes.

And yeah, I’m a girlie girl. I doubt most of you care about this stuff though, so you don’t have to worry about more of these types of posts.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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There’s been a lot of talk about Barry Eisler’s decision to self-publish his books. I’m not going to debate whether that’s a good idea or not. I don’t have enough data or knowledge to say one way or another. I have an iPad, so I can get my hands on a copy of his new books one way or another.

Chris’s dad, however, is a fan of Eisler’s and he doesn’t have an ereader. All he’s got is a generic flip phone. He’s been a fan of Eisler’s since we bought him that first paperback lo those many years ago. Every time a new book comes around, we buy him the new book either for his birthday or father’s day. Now I’m not so sure how we’re going to get him the new book. There won’t be a paper copy, which means that my father-in-law won’t be able to read the latest book.

I’m not sure there’s a good solution to this besides buying him an ereader, but would it be worth it? Would he really read from it? And is buying a device cost prohibitive? It seems expensive to buy a kindle at $139 so he can read one novel. The likelihood is that he’ll poopoo it all and stick to novelists who have paper copies of their works. He likes the feel of books. I can’t say that I blame him.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Do you remember the jewelry party that I went to a couple of months ago? So I ordered the items (a broach and a bracelet) from the seller. It took her about a week to actually place the order and then a few weeks after that, the whole shipment gets sent to the host. I had expected it to arrive at my house since I supplied an address, but I suppose that’s not the case. This is fine, since it’s easy for me to go to the host’s house and pick up my items, but it’s an extra step that feels unnecessary (The company probably wanted to save on shipping).

The broach, I gave to the hostess. It was her birthday party after all, and she had said that she liked the jewelry.

The bracelet, I kept, but I’m afraid that I’m not too happy with it. In the catalog photos, it looked like the crystals were black, but in fact, they’re more metallic, similar to hematite. Unfortunately, this means that I have nothing to match it as the necklace and earrings that I had bought it to match are actually black crystals.

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The silver plating, unfortunately, is not the highest quality. I suspect it will wear off quite easily as the material underneath is rough. There are some pointy bits that make it uncomfortable to wear and make my skin red. The plating is also a little bit uneven. In certain parts, there seems to be globs where there should be intricate scroll work.

I’m also afraid to say that it’s quite cheap looking. I’m fairly sure that the material underneath is a metal alloy of some sort (because it’s heavy), but it looks an awful lot like plastic. I won’t be wearing this, like, ever, since I’m a little embarrassed by it.

I had also expected to have a clasp, but it’s clear elastic that binds the bracelet together. The knot that ties the whole thing together is not hidden and also pokes into my skin leaving yet another red bit on my wrist. For $35 with tax and shipping, I expected a little bit more than this. I mean, I didn’t expect it to be fantasmo, but I didn’t expect it to look like something an eight-year-old would wear on Dress Like a Princess Day.

The other pieces that were on display were not nearly this shoddy looking, but maybe that’s why they didn’t bring this one to show. This is more a lesson for me than it is anything else. And I really should have known better. But at least the broach looked nice and it was something that the hostess wanted (I should have bought two of those instead!). But alas, I wanted a bracelet. The likelihood that I’ll buy anything from this company again is pretty much nil.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it since I definitely wouldn’t give it to anybody I know. I mean, I’d be embarrassed to give it as a gift. Maybe one of you has a child that might like it. And if you like it, I won’t judge you. Not much anyway. Otherwise, it’s going to the Goodwill bin. (They don’t take returns.)

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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So like four months ago, I went to the Royal Pacific buffet for Thanksgiving with half of Chris’ family. (The other half was in Boston because the little sister couldn’t get time off from work.) Chris doesn’t really like having Thanksgiving away from home. He likes having it at our house, but that just wasn’t going to happen this year, so we had our own little Thanksgiving a few days later.

But anyway, the Royal Pacific (the hotel that we stayed at along with all our guests when we got married), has a special holiday buffet for Thanksgiving. It’s all you can eat and has a variety of foods. Besides the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberries, they also have a seafood spread of oysters and crab legs, chinese stir fry, some basic sushi, roast beef and dessert.

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The meat servers. As with any buffet, you have to make sure that you’re getting the meat pieces that aren’t crap. You have to specify that you want that piece or that piece and no big fatty pieces. Or you want the cooked bits and not the medium rare bits of roast beef. They’ll give you whatever crap is on their cutting board otherwise. I mean, somebody has to eat those edible but less desirable bits!

And since this is the Royal Pacific, they like to pretend that you’re on some tropical island, so they trot out the singer with the ukelele and the hula dancers. The last few times that we’ve seen them, it’s been the same guys, which is nice. He knows a lot of Hawaiian songs including the ukelele Over the Rainbow. We’ve also asked them to sing the wedding song last Christmas, which he did gladly and did a wonderful job of it.

I wasn’t too fond of the seafood, but then, I’m never really fond of seafood. The oysters tasted like they were some nasty items from the bottom of the ocean. I’ve had very nice oysters before, and they didn’t seem like I was eating ocean poop. They also had very nice looking salmon (which I’m not fond of) and lots of crab legs (which I also don’t eat). So the seafood section is completely lost on me. But from the other tables that I saw, they devoured the seafood, so I suppose it was good.

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Since I don’t eat seafood, the buffet doesn’t seem to be very good for me. I also don’t have a huge appetite, at least not $50 worth. I ate some very nice turkey breast and roast beef, roasted vegetables and some potatoes (that I have a feeling were potato buds) because after eating just one small plate of food, my stomach felt like it was going to explode. My stomach usually feels that way after I eat something like potato buds. I drink tons of water when I eat and I never feel that way when I eat regular potatoes.

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There seems to be huge assortment of desserts, but I always seem to think that there’s only creme brule and some chocolate cupcake things. There are many mouses and fried desserts and brownies. But the brownies always seemed to be a little big dry and stale and I don’t know, these desserts didn’t look too appetizing.

And since this is a Universal hotel, some of the characters come by. We’ve seen Shrek and Princess Fiona along with Scooby and Shaggy. I don’t mind them so much, but the In-Laws have a great dislike of them. I don’t seem to have a photo of Shrek and me dancing. I can’t find it in my camera, so I think it must be in someone else’s camera. But they never gave me a copy. I like taking my photo with those mascots. I think it’s funny and fun.

Would I recommend this buffet? Well, I don’t really like buffets in general. I think they overcharge you for the food and you always feel like you have to eat a huge amount for it to be worth what you paid for it. But if you’re on holiday here, then why not? Gorge yourself and have a great time. I know I do. I just regret it afterwards.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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So after I posted the photo with Chris and myself at Disney, Abs was disappointed I didn’t talk more about the actual mechanics of doing Disney with children. In all honesty, I was lazy.

A couple of weeks ago, Abs & D, Aims and M and their two children, Princess the Older and Princess the Younger (Not their real names) came to Florida for a week-long adventure at Disney. I only did one day with them (which totally pooped me out, so I don’t know how they managed to do the whole week.) We went to Animal Kingdom.

Tag! You’re it!

When you go to Disney with children, I’d suggest going with three times as many adults as there are children. This way, not any one person has to watch the children the whole time. Now who is in charge of which child? Well, that depends. If the child holds your hand, you are responsible for her until you or she tags someone else. For instance, I had Princess the Younger (who is two years old) as we were walking to the safari ride. She walked away from me, which is fine since I could still see her. But then she took D’s hand, at which point I said, You’re it! It was then his responsibility to watch her. I don’t think any one of us had her for more than twenty minutes at a time, which makes it easier on your energy and you’re sanity.

This also assumes that you have relatively responsible friends.

The Runner
Disney has the fast pass, which pretty much allows you to jump ahead in line. You get a pass for one ride and then you have to wait X amount of hours before you can get a fast pass for another ride. Abs was right on top of getting the tickets. She remembered which rides they were interested in and what time we needed to get the next fast pass at. So I’d suggest designating one person for that. Otherwise, you may end up waiting an hour and a half for a ride.

The Non-Rider
The other thing I’d suggest is to being someone who doesn’t like the rides. Princess the Younger was not tall enough to come with us to certain rides, so someone needed to watch her while we went.

Abs, Aims, M, Princess the Older and I wanted to go on Everest. Luckily for us, we had Chris and D who did not want to go, so we left Princess the Younger with them. Aims strapped her into the stroller because she was already starting to doze. She told them that Princess the Younger could have anything she wanted from the snack bag and also told them to walk her around in the stroller. She falls asleep when you walk her around. They said ok, and the rest of us got in line for the ride.

Then we realized that we left her with two men that don’t have much experience with children. And we had fully expected to return to find Princess the Younger to be covered in empty snack bags since Aims said Princess the Younger could have anything from the bag. She didn’t specify that it had to be one at a time.

Luckily, Princess the Younger fell asleep pretty quickly after Chris and D began walking with the stroller. She actually fell asleep with her hand in her snack bag.

mini games
While we were standing in line, we played mini-games that only required your brain. One game we played was an alphabet game. We would start with a subject (Disney Characters) and take turns going through the alphabet. We started with A for Ariel. Then the next person get B and had to find a character that started with B. Like Belle.

I don’t remember what I got, but I do remember getting P and I couldn’t think of any. I was blanking. Actually, I blanked on all my letters. I apparently M put his arm to his nose and I was like, what elephant started with P? I totally don’t know anything about Disney! But eventually they gave me enough clues so I figured out it was Pinocchio. it seemed like such a duh answer after they helped me. I also got U which was also a totally duh moment. I blame a long day, but I think I just suck at that game. Nevertheless, it helped pass the time.

We didn’t end up seeing everything at Animal Kingdom. We missed the Asian section, which meant no tigers or the tapir, but that’s par for the course when you bring children. It didn’t bother us much since we’ve been there several times, but you may want to move at a slightly faster pace if you want to see the whole park.

And come in February! The weather was pretty awesome.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I know you won’t believe me when I tell you that there were two children in this ride with us. I know it looks like Chris and I decided to get on this ride on our own, taking away valuable seats, making families wait longer in line so we could have a great time on this ride, but I swear to you that there are children sitting next to us.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I don’t know what you’ve been doing of late, but Chris and I disapprove of it and we’re very disappointed in your actions.

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- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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The weather has been fairly lovely recently and I wanted to take advantage of it. Most days, it’s super hot or it’s raining, so I can’t sit out in the lanai that I have. The lanai is just a screened in patio that’s really common in Florida.

We’ve been at this townhouse for several years now, but the only thing that I bought for the lanai was an outdoor rocking chair (which I’m sitting on now.) It was totally covered in pollen and dust since I haven’t looked at it since last spring. I brought out an oversized beach towel to cover it for now. I need to buy a hose so I can clean it off.

But since the weather’s been so nice, I decided to buy a table so I can work out here. Chris says that my mood will be better if I’m outside more with fresh air. He says that I get antsy if I’m inside too much. So here’s the little table Chris bought for me at Target. It was on sale for $26.

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I just wish the scenery was better. I get to look at the big community yard and other people’s lanais. Hey, it’s better than the view of the community garbage dump.

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Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I got a phone message from the dermatologist letting me know that my biopsy was negative. I hadn’t expected the news to be anything but negative as there was no indication that it would be anything else. I think she just took the biopsy because the insurance would pay for it and also because she wanted to cover her ass.

They never explained what the green spot was. I don’t think they even know. It was probably just a blemish on my skin.

Now that I think about it, you know what I blame that on? Paintball. I blame Faust. We used to go paintballing a lot. I got some serious bruises that scarred me, and I’m pretty sure I got shot in the back at least twice in one of these sessions.

So my green spot will most likely be replaced by a brown spot. By which I mean a scar. Hey, at least I’ll know for sure why I have that.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I arrived at the birthday party only to discover I was the only one in flapper-like gear besides the birthday girl. One girl did show up with fake twenties tied around her waist. I thought she might have been a mobster moll, but it was a play on words. You get it? Twenties party? She came dressed in twenties? Everyone else came in their regular clothes and one other put on a headband and a boa. It was a sad costume party for sure, but hey I made an effort, which made the hostess happy.

Mrs. Z’s birthday party was also a jewelry party. The company is a direct sales company that sells gold/silver plated jewelry. I’m excluding the name because there’s nothing wrong with them, I just am not a fan.

During dinner, there was a description of how the company worked. It was part sales pitch and part recruiting tool. Most of it, I didn’t listen to. I’m not interested in selling items for extra money especially in a way that required your friends to hold parties or buy from you. I’m never fond of people trying to sell me things I don’t need or want. If you’re a fan of the jewelry, then fine, but I’m a precious metal girl. If I’m going to spend $50 on something, I sort of want it to be real.

But it was a birthday party, and if I spent X amount of money, the hostess/ie birthday girl would get free jewelry. I must say that I was a little disappointed with 90% of the jewelry. Maybe I’m a snob or maybe I’m too arts and crafty. But most of the items were just beads strung together or simple ring work. And when I made them for myself, that is, if I’m making it seriously for keeps, I work in sterling silver, not silver plated. Certainly anything I couldn’t make, Emily most likely could. And I know that her items are nickel free, which is not the case with this company. Some items were even nickel plated. And since I have a nickel allergy, I stayed far away from those.

In the end, after looking through the catalog four times, I found a bracelet, which was swarovski crystal that would match two necklaces and a pair of earrings that Chris had bought me a while back. (Now that I think of it, they could have totally worked for the flapper costume as well. Not all flappers wore only pearls!) There was a crystal and rhinestone pin that I liked the look and I knew no one who could make it and I thought it would make a pretty headband, perhaps on a bit of silk ribbon. So in the end, I spent a lot more money than I should have.

Besides that though, I had a good time hanging out, chatting and laughing. When the jewelry come in, I’ll take some photos and let you know what I do with them.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Samantha Ling

August 2013

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