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May. 23rd, 2009

MONKIEEEE

Whats in your purse?

I am a regular reader of the site homemakerbarbi.com and they have interesting articles from time to time. There was an article that is mainly focused on moms but I think it can be applied both to men and women when going to every day places. If you want to look at the original blog, look over here.

I usually carry 3 items in my handbag: cellphone, wallet, and keys. Sometimes I carry my  hefty coupon book just in case we head out to buy random stuff and save a buck or two.

Here is the suggestions of what 13 items someone should carry in their...daypack and my comments afterwerds. Sorry for the non uniform fonts. This rich text thing on livejournal is acting funky right now.

1.  Allergy medicine.

              I have none known allergies and I do fine in nature. So I shall skip having this in my bag.

2.  Swiss army knife (or other multipurpose tool). 
           
            i might consider this. There are random times when I am in the car with my mom and she randomly asks if I have tweazers in my bag so she can pluck her eyebrows or something.

3.  Address labels.

          I'm going to skip this.

4.  Traveler’s check.
       
         I has no job so I'm not going to bother with this right now. :)

5.  Spare car key and house key. 

        I thnk this is a good idea because I tend to lock myself outside of the house. Trait runs in the family...on my mom's side.

6.  Pen and paper.

        Very VERY useful. There were number of times I had to jot down someone's address, email or phone number or directions. Pops always nagged me on this.
       
7.  Cell phone and/or address book.

         Its hard to live without the cellphone this day and age.

8.  Lighter or matches.

        
Still pondering on this one. I should steal the boyfriend's idea to carry a lighter but kind of weary because I'm a klutz. Do any of you guys trust me with something flammable?

9. Emergency Snacks.

        This is a must do for me especially when I go out with mom. There are several times when mom's sugar suddenly goes REALLY low. Scary stuff.

10.  Tissues.

       I should do this because its very useful.

11.  Book, magazine, or blog posts. 

       This is where the data plan on my smartphone comes in. But I do carry an extra book or mag when I know I am REALLY going to be stalled for a good amount of time.

12.  To do list.

       Another item pops keeps nagging me to keep. I tend to forget to buy things so the list is very helpful. Now if my mom just sticks to the list and not buy random junk...

13.  Safety pins. 

       Kind of scratching my head at this one. I can carry them I guess...but maybe.

Right now I carry 3 times: my cellphone, wallet, and keys. Occasionally I carry coupons and thats it. I might consider expanding my stash just maybe.

May. 10th, 2009

MONKIEEEE

A little glimpse into the Revlon 5k




Yesterday was the Annual Revlon Run/Walk for Women Fundraiser for Cancer research. For the past 16 years without fail the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) has hosted the Revlon Run/Walk at Exposition Park and every year the number of participants has grown exponentially. This year it has grown to a whopping 55,000. With that large number you are guaranteed there will be heavy traffic heading to the designated parking lots in a relatively small area around the event.
 

My group so happens to be stuck in said traffic. We were staring at the behind of this Lexus RX  400h Hybrid similar to the above image for more than 50 min while stuck in an intersection. On the license plate it read "IAM RUNNER." I turned to Richly and go "Gee, I'm guessing this is one of the runners?" He just looked at me and goes "you think?" So from there we made a little story about the driver of this car even though I can't recall seeing the actual driver. The story goes:

The driver most likely went to Berkeley for college and is now a very succesful yuppy since he/she drives an upperclass Hybrid. Since he is very succesful and a yuppy, he only shops at the alternative food stores and goes to the local farmers market so he can be "Green" as possible. Since he is very succesful, he is too good for Trader Joes and only shops at Whole Foods where all the products are made from organic  and/or sustainable ingredients. Also since he wants to support the local farmers, he goes regularly to the Farmers Market early in the morning and probably know the farmers by name.  The End.
 

Apr. 24th, 2009

MONKIEEEE

I think I watch too much BBC Kitchen Nightmare


Today I ate at the Blue Lotus Restaurant in Carson. Its a sit down restaurant where the decoration is simple and modern and has a cozy atmosphere. The place seems a bit crowded with the amount of tables and chairs packed into the small place. They had a quaint waiting area in front of a flat wall waterfall near the entrance while you wait.

Me and mama went there around 12:30 - 1:00ish so we were expecting the jam packed crowed.The waiters and waitresses were pretty busy so it took awhile to have one take our orders. The good thing was a few minutes after we ordered, the hot foods came out hot and the cold foods came out very cold.


 
The menu is plain and simple. Even though the dishes are in Vietnamese, the descriptions are in English and there is a number next to each dish like how you order in a Chinese Restaurant. I ordered the Pho Ga (Chicken with noodles and beef broth), mom ordered this cold shrimp dish with noodles and we split the vegan spring rolls.

Like other Asian restaurant/fast food places in the area, they also served boba ice blends like taro, mango, strawberry, or honeydew to name a few. Both me and mama ordered the taro boba. Mama was able to request for the boba drink not to be too sweet since she can't have too much sweets.
 
When being served I was given a plate with little extras for my soup like fresh bean sprouts, some sliced chilis, lime and a sprig of this one herb that tastes like licorice. It let me control what I like in my pho. When they first serve it, its very basic and bland with the clean beef broth, translucent noodles, thin slices of chicken meat with cilantro. I could control how much of the extras I want in the soup. They had a jar of sweet chili sauce, Sriracha hot sauce, hoisin sauce, and I think soy sauce, and fish sauce at the side of the table next to container of disposable/non disposable chopsticks and soup spoons.  I think I put too much Sriracha hot sauce in the soup midway into my meal and it was a bit too spicy for me.

The price is not bad at $7-$8 a bowl the size of my head and is very filling. VIsa and Mastercard is also accepted at the place so that is a big plus. That alone wins me over  compared to Mami King where its Cash Only.

The only thing I found a bit confusing is the way the bill is handled. Its not like a regular sit down where the waiter will give you the bill when requested. You have to go up to the front, tell them your table number which is displayed on your table, and pay in the front. I don't think that is a good practice because a lot of people could do a dine and dash. Maybe they just did that this time since the place is swamped. I saw a pile of black leather bill jackets they use at other restaurants on the front desk. I guess when things are a bit slower they would have have the waiters bring to the customers.

I'm pretty impressed at the menu for this start up restaurant.

They did the right move and used beef broth as the base soup because most people prefer it to the other kinds. Chicken broth can be too bland, and not everyone can have pork broth.

About 40 items on the menu which can be seen as daunting for the chef but you can see several dishes have similar ingredients. I.E. All of the Pho dishes basic ingredients are translucent noodles, beef broth and cilantro with licorice herb, chili and fresh bean sprouts on the side. The noodles for the Spring Rolls are the same as the Pho and the noodle dishes. It keeps the cost down if the restauarant gets them common ingredients in bulk. Also the dishes can be prepared fast and is out to the customers fairly quickly.  If prepared correctly with fresh ingredients, this restaurant can succeed.

Mar. 11th, 2009

MONKIEEEE

Saw something interesting this morning.

Today is Wednesday, Trash day where everyone leaves their bins outside so the trash collectors can collect the trash/recycling/cuttings etc.

What I saw amusing when I walked the pup was this one blue recycling bin. Someone taped a sign to the side of it with the word BASURA on it. From looking at the overflowing trash in the recycling bin, I'm guessing they had a big party and the trash bin was filled to the brim.

I can't remember what ethnicity the people who are living in the house are. Maybe they are Hispanic and put the sign in spanish just randomly? Or they did it because they know the trash drivers are hispanic, or Im just labeling stereotype and assuming they trash drivers are hispanic. Or the people in the house are stereotyping and thinking the trash people are hispanic.

Food for thought.

Mar. 3rd, 2009

MONKIEEEE

In memory...

Can't sleep. Its 5 min till midnight. Just realized its the one year anniversary of when we had to put Mocha to sleep.

Time flies by fast...

Feb. 20th, 2009

MONKIEEEE

(no subject)

February 24th is Mardi Gras meaning February 25th is Ash Wednesday begins.

Ash Wednesday is the kick off the lent season, which marks 46 days before Easter. Back in Irvine, me and my friends called it "Catholic Awareness Day." I know by the power of wikipedia, it is also observed by other Christian denominations, but the name just stuck by my fellow classmates. It was amusing at our night labs seeing random people having a black cross on their forehead.

My last year in Irvine was a very memorable one. We had two priests at the mass I attended. One was a Vietnamese priest named Fr. Nguyen, and the other one was an Irish priest name Fr. Pat O'Brian. Yes the latter one sounds like a very big Irish Catholic stereotype.

Father Nguyen did the sermon and he was easing us into the scriptures by telling a joke. How a priest  who taught at a private school was a very patient man. His students were very naughty and pull tricks on him. The saintly priest just took it in stride and brushed it off. When Ash Wednesday came, he took revenge. When it was time for the students to come up to have ash put on their forehead, the priest put the largest cross their forehead can take.

This brings me back to my situation. When it was our turn to have ashes put on our forehead, Fr Pat O'Brian, put a cross that practically took 50% of my forehead. I think he thinks I've been naughty that year. 0.0 I even have a picture on my phone just to prove it.
 


I'm used to having  a tiny cross that looks like a dot on my forehead.

Jan. 31st, 2009

MONKIEEEE

A trip to the store.

 
Today I went to Babies "R" Us with sis, chad, and mom. When you first enter the store it overwhelmed me. There were sooo much stuff to take in. The baby walkers  were REALLY busy looking and got complicated from just looking at it. The one I had was very very simple with 3 beads to push back and forth to entertain me.

My mom did buy a baby blanket and while in line, I saw the good and evil of having a baby.

Good: There were parents and grandparents holding their little ones or seeing they look peaceful in the baby carriage. I know my mom is waiting to see that again.

Bad: TANTRUMS! Especially when they hit toddler age, you would see a lot of tantrums, especially the little girl in the front who was in a cart in  front  of me. I don't blame her though. This is based on an assumption. When they entered the store, they grabbed a rattler or a small toy from a display shelf for her to keep busy with when they shop in the store. She is content with playing with the toy, bonding with it even though they had to wait in a very VERY long line at the cashiers. When they got up to the cashier lady, the dad took away the toy from her and set it aside on the table where they have other sale items. She threw a REALLY big tantrum. Like I said, I wouldn't blame her if I was that age. I think that was really REALLY mean.
 

Jan. 29th, 2009

MONKIEEEE

Going Green

I tend to go "Green" especially when its free or nearly free.

Most types of paper that can be recycled, I put it in the blue bin. I say most because paper products that is covered in wax like fancy paper plates and paper cups from McDonalds or Coffee Bean and Tealeaf cannot be recycled. Also gift wrapper with shiny metalic paper are not recyclable.

Most people don't know it but Styrofoam can be recycled, if you look at the bottom of the cups, they usually have the universal recycle emblem on it with a number 6 on the bottom.

 
Any plastics with the universal recycle emblem, I put it in the blue bin. But if its soda cans, soda bottles or singular disposable drinking bottles, I put it aside to get a refund. We already pay for it when we purchase the beginning product. (check the CRV on the grocery receipt)

Don't worry, I am not THAT much of a recycle nazi that I might end up looking like this:

 

In my house I pushed in using those $1 reusable bags at the grocery stores. I don't do it all the time because we need those bags to through are garbage away. But sometimes we have such an excess, that it takes up a lot of space in the house. I cringe every time we go to seafood city because they give out too much plastic bags, doubling groceries where it is not necessary.You can imagine how much Seafood City can save by not giving out excess plastic bags.

I think I have gotten in the habit of bringing my own bags while I was in Irvine. A large percentage of O.C. people bring their own bags, then again, most of these people are of the yuppy class and shop more often at Trader Joe's and Whole Paycheck Foods. Also I have been influenced by one of my old roommates, and my Spanish teacher who both were very "Green" enough that they became vegan and air dry their clothes. Don't worry, I do love my meat, and use a dryer because air drying in my backyard is a no no especially when you have a refinery station practically in the back of the house.

What brought on this semi-rant? Well its because my mom was brushing her teeth and she LEFT THE WATER RUNNING!!!! Since I was little I was taught not to let the faucet run while brushing your teeth so you can conserve water resources. Its also wasteful spending on the water bill.
 
When we had that faulty kitchen faucet where in order to close it you would have to put it in 3rd or 5th gear, my mom wouldn't make sure its closed properly and the water would be running a bit and she wouldn't do anything about it till I either complain or close it myself.

If you are lucky, or insane, to reach this point, you might be thinking I'm a Green freak. I don't really force my views onto others, I'm just putting information out there. If I have a plastic bottle from a function, and I have a bag to hold it, I would keep it in my bag till I get home to put the bottle away. Probably its the tipid  (cheap) pinoy in me who is willing to go the extra mile to get an extra 5 cents in my recycling. And no, I don't collect other people's bottles or cans for my own financial gain...even though I did that last Monday...whoops.

In reality...not really. I actually have an ulterior motive.

I'm trying to declutter the house and save money. The more stuff that goes in the blue recycling bin, the more stuff can go into the trash bin. The more stuff that goes into the bins, the more stuff gets out of the house. Its a HUGE project, been doing this since August and it still doesn't look like I even made a dent. Its that bad.

Right now I don't always buy much Green products because its actually more expensive than regular items. If it is a really good investment, i.e. a Sigg bottle, I would do it. If its like recycled printing paper, not right now because regular paper is cheaper.

The verdict is out if I want to invest in compressed fluorescent lightbulbs. Even though its supposedly a good investment, I'm not so keen in having that much mercury in the house, especially in a fragile object.

I'm also trying not to have excess waste like leaving lights on in the kitchen even though no one is there. In these tough economical times, every penny counts.  Which brings me to coupons...but thats another story.




Nov. 16th, 2008

MONKIEEEE

Departing with...

Today I departed with my favorite piece of luggage.

My cousin Jung is going back to the Philippines and he needs a bag to bring his clothes home. My mom told him we have lots of bags and we are happy to give one. In my mind frame of releasing clutter from this house I agreed with her.

Today, the day where my cousin will pick up the bag, my dad chose three of them. A black roll away, a green roll away, and a purple classic style. My cousin chose the green one which both parties were grateful for. He, for he doesn't have to spend a large amount of money to send his stuff, and my family, to let go a large piece of clutter.

Several hrs later I realized something. That was my favorite piece of luggage! I had that thing for 14 years. That sturdy piece of luggage accompanied me to the Philippines 3 times, and a trip each at Florida, Chicago, Texas, and Hawaii. It was VERY sturdy and it never had any damages associated with well worn items. I guess that is why my cousin chose it.

Its kind of interesting. Everyone knows that whenever you think of me and color, a big chance I will chose black. But this piece is forest green.

I do have a hand carry and backpack I can use for travel, but for long travels more than a week, I would need another large roll away. Ideally, I will get another solid color because printed fabrics are not really me. Push comes to shove, if I have to travel, and I have no time or money to buy a solid colored one, I would have to use the dreaded aloha print piece which I just shudder when thinking about it.

Its bittersweet. A part of me is still attached to it because it was my favorite and it served me well, and another part of me feels good that I was able to help someone out. Oh forest green roll away, you served me well. Make your new owner proud.
MONKIEEEE

Omg!!!

Richly got me a Wii Fit out of the blue!!! Have yet to try it.

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