Sunday, October 7

One more month before Asia trip!

YouTUBE fan: I haven't posted for over 2 months now and I am trying to pay my dues. Recently I have been on the youTUBE craze. I have fallen in love with Ben Sharkey. Yes that's his name. :) He reminds me of Enrique Igelasias. He tries to immitate Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble and Jamie Cullum. Hence, I would categorize him as a Jazz singer more than anything else. The other youTUBE-r that I am also following is Lisa Lavie. She is probably the new rockstar, the closest match to her is probably Alicia Keys. I am supporting all these new and upcoming solo artistes! If you search them on MySpace, you would probably find them as they have tons of hits. I even bookmarked their names so that I can listen to them everyday! It's my HAPPY musicka....

Asia trip: It's coming up!! In 6 weeks, I am heading to Hong Kong and then off to Malaysia. I am so not ready for that vacation. Of course it's a LONG awaited vacation as I haven't taken any time off for 2007. It's long overdue. Nowonder I am so stressed out at work.

iPhone SUCKS: So because I got it as a present, I am hanging on to it. October marks my THIRD iPhone replacement. The first one had a speaker malfunction, second one had a connection problem, and finally I am onto iPhone #3 which is so far working quite decently. Bare in mind that I got my iPhones replaced within a 45 minute window whilst sitting at the so-called GENIUS bar.

Seriously these Mac geniuses should go through better customer service program to learn how to improve on their customers service skills and not going to lunch in the middle of helping me out. I was in the Burlingame Apple store and with my appointment made 4 days prior, I was able to get the Geniuses attention 15 minutes into my original appointment slot. Then in the middle of helping me out, he decides to take a lunch break and doesn't return till 1 hour later, but still didn't attend to me upon return. I went through 3 Geniuses to help troubleshoot my problem (which was simple), hardware issue (me the non-computer geek) could identify that. Anyway, Mac has some great software and hardware but their technicians or IT personnel needs to be aware that BOTH soft skills and technical skills are VERY important. Currently I feel that their technology is churning out much faster than these techies can fix the machine.

On top of that, my iPhone was purchased before that price adjustment, hence I was entitled for the $100 instore credit. Apple has changed their policy for the 3rd time now that you have to go to the store to get this credit. So I was sitting in the Portland Apple store waiting to get some tutorial and getting my rebate, no one knew how to help me. So I get back home to SF, and tried to go online to enter my serial number so that the rebate could be issued, again it failed. Then I went to Burlingame, as my iPhone was acting up again and they couldn't figure out what was wrong and told me to call the 1800goapple number. So I SAT THERE calling the number and they told me that the rebate should be done at the store. Yes the trouble I have to go through. Finally a sales associate (NOT AN ARROGANT GENIUS) at the APPLE store approached me and helped me after I was talking real loud at the Apple store trying to create a scene. Someone decided to calm me down and finally 'help' me. :)

Oh well, let me reconsider going back to Toshiba now. I am sure there are other people out there who can agree.

Spa and salon: Recently I seem to be on this quest around San Francisco, trying to find the best massage parlors. There are some really nice facilities out in the city but I feel the spa is trying to make up for the lack of massage expertise. After 100's of dollars later, I found this small spa called Fruition Day Spa. The lady I have been going to has amazing hands and just deep long strokes. I also walk out a happy camper after my 80 minute session!

Weddings: #1 There seems to be so many weddings this year. My good friend who has been with her boyfriend of 7 years finally tied the knot. The details of her wedding was incredible but I couldn't be there because it was in Vancouver! Congratulations to Sandy and Bruce!

#2 Then another couple, who I hardly knew, but helped out on the day of the wedding. I was responsible for making the bride's bouquet and the corsages for 30 guests. Bare in mind I have never done this before. But the results I thought was favorable. Although anyone hardly complimented on the flowers, oh well, I posted them so that I could share my creations with the public. The bride was pre-occupied with the biggest night of her life and her bridesmaids were 'looking' busy. The seating arrangements were all screwed up and to make matters worse, family was dispersed all over the place. I think the planning was poor and I am sure at every wedding, pressure builds up but still, the bridesmaids have no entitlement to be rude to me. Long story short, I thought the bridesmaids or her closest girlfriends could have helped out a little more. I walked in with a HUGE vase filled with water, rocks and roses, but no one volunteered to help me carry the items into the restaurant. I felt like I was a free slave from a third world country. They were too busy sitting on their asses or was afraid that they would lose their precious seat. Oh well, I'll take a mental note and recruit the best and the brightest wedding planners of all time! My experienced friends, everyday people who think outside a box AND works well under pressure. :)

Happy Columbus weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 26

Cupcakes and flowers

Thank you for all the birthday wishes. I feel that my roommates made up for my horrible experience and took me clubbing. A scene which I haven't visited and/or experienced in awhile. I felt free happy and of course with a bottle of Grey Goose on the table, who wouldn't be? Girls night out finally happened. It was postponed way too long. We had random guys come up to us but I had the Bouncer personally throw them out. Unfortunately the girls were not too fond of male presence that night cause it was all about me!

Thanks to Jen for wanting to throw me your extraordinary surprise bday party. I too would like to experience that first hand. I am sure it would definitely be out of this world as you are the best party planner there is with a lot of heart and personal touches!

I received flowers for my belated birthday and made cupcakes as a thank you gifts to all my pals. Everyone was estatic when they received it. They are super moist chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. OOh La la... Anyone care for some?

Friday, August 3

Birthday wishes not made, as there were no candles...

I couldn't make it in time to blog this unexpected, unforseen, unhappy experience and date the event on its actual day itself. I have never been so bitter on my birthday till now. Actually I lied, birthday last year sucked and birthday this year sucked. So that makes two birthdays in a row that sucked. Expect more procrastination tomorrow. This is just the beginning.... Too depressed to blog about what I thought was an exciting day but due to ONE individual who changed the concept and enthusiasm of birthdays, hence ruining my very own birthday.

Last year, I sugar coated my entry on xanga. Excluding all depressing details of my birthday. I got a beautiful watch for my birthday with diamonds on it, dinner at an expensive restaurant that was overlooking downtown San Francisco (with mediocre food and horrible service). My significant other made reservations at this restaurant in attempt to celebrate my birthday. I did enjoy the view but the rest was at par. There was no birthday cake nor was there candles for me to make a wish. The night ended fairly early and that was it.

This year, he made reservations at a restaurant that we frequently dine at. He came to pick me up from my house bearing a cake and left it above the shoe rack. He didn't bother to come in or take off his shoes. He was standing at the doorstep, awaiting for me to get ready. Then I saw the cake and was all giggly because he got me a cake. Being as excited as I was, I carefully made space in the fridge to place the cake. Then I realized that it might be an ice-cream cake. So his reply was, "Put it wherever you like to." I repeated the question, "Is this an ice-cream cake?" His answer once again was, "Put it wherenever you like to." Obviously he was not comprehending my question. So I stuck my finger into the cake to find out whether it was going to melt. Indeed NOT ice-cream cake, hence left it in the fridge.

This restaurant that we were dining at, I would call it casual dining as men can get away with jeans, sweatshirt and sandals. Hence, casual dining. Me dressed up all cute hoping for an exciting night to come, OUTCOME:5 stars out of 10. We had dinner as usual like how we would any other night. The S.O did not announce to the waiter potentially it was my birthday. Let me take that back, it wasn't YET. Maybe that was why. I pulled out my camera, hoping to capture this moment of pre-birthday celebration but he insisted that it was embarassing to be taking pictures in a restaurant. So I put the camera away. He paid for dinner and we just went back to my house. Sat around and watched tv. Yes what a birthday celebration.

I was in for a treat when my roommates came home with a cake and the spirit of celebration. They were snapping pictures all over the place. Of course the S.O had to snap pictures because we were in the presence of other people. My roommates were so excited just being there with me and whole heartedly singing the bday song. Since it wasn't my bday yet I had to wait till the following day to open my presents although my S.O was pestering me to open them. As the clock struck midnight and my roommates went home (to her parent's house), my S.O was urging me to open my presents. He passed me one and started to open my other present. I was irritated because I love slowly un-tying the ribbons and reading the card PRIOR to opening the presents and they are MINE not his! I just snatched the present away and he said, "Ok, I am going to leave you alone. I am tired and goodnight!"

Monday, July 30

Vegas baby!

I have to say that 4 days in Vegas was the max that I anticipated that my body could take. 4 hours of drinking per day and hardly any sleep. As age creeps up on me, I think the ol' alcoholic consumption has also deteriorated. Recently I have been indulging in dessert wines. Muscat or Muscato as some regions would like to call it. I thought Robert Mondavi was my ultimate pick but then I discovered Doony Boon at Daniel Bouloud. Of course I paid $12 for a small glass, come to realize that the entire bottle cost the same.

My 5 day/4 night mini vacation-conference was at Wynn Las Vegas. I upgraded from the resort rooms to the Tower Suites. Definitely impressed with the room decor and the outstanding service. I had the view of the golf course and the pool. The suites and the 'regular rooms' have separate entrances. I guess Mr. Wynn wanted to make it exclusive. Even the pools are segregated. Access to the top two pools are for the Tower Suites guests and the bottom 4 pools are for the Resort guests. The green fess are a mere $500 which includes caddy, gold cart, rented Callaway clubs, drinks and some kind girl dressed in her skimpy Vegas attire? The entire 5 days I was there I SAW no one playing golf. ABSOLUTELY NADA. The temperature was 103F to begin with. I saw a lot of Italian men sunbathing at the pool side and they turned bright pink. Literally they looked like some BBQ pork ready to be eaten. So juicy and pink. I saw the same guy 3 days in a row by the pool and he was back for more sun. He looked overcooked and terribly burnt. No SPF could help him now.

The room was gorgeous. The bathroom and room was a total of 550sq ft. That's a NY studio for you right there. Amazing room and impeccable service. They turndown service actually encompasses filling up your ice-bucket, placing a little map by your bed so that you can wipe the crumbs and dirt off your feet before you enter into bed.

The housekeeping lady who attended to my room each morning, knew what I liked, she placed all my makeup on a towel, gave me a little spa pillow for the tub and extra chocolates. :) 2 nights in a row, I was eating at Daniel Boulud. The food was a cross between French and Calfornian. The presentation was beautiful and the taste was so refined. Nothing could have completed my stay without the pairing of great food.

I have to say that life is pretty good from sitting just right here...

Saturday, July 7

Weekend Adventure

My de-stress tool and weekend habit is to bake a cake or cookies. I have recently been exposed to the art of icing. I bought myself a set of icing nozzles and sprinkles to teach myself how to decorate. Not only did I realize that it was hard, it can be really messy. Now and then I still find a sprinkle or two hiding somewhere in between my carpets.

After neglecting the Food Network for sometime now, I decided to dig up old recipes of pies. Yes the good ol' fashion pies. There I was flipping through the pages and realized that I have never baked a sweet potato pie before. I decided to mess up my kitchen and spend my time mashing up potatoes for a good 10 minutes. Trust me, best triceps and biceps workout yet. Top it up with some whipcream or ice-cream, or just eat it as it is.

As ambitious as I should be, I baked another first time pie, but this time with a fruity twist. I made a lemon curd with fresh fruit pie. I can't bring myself to put my knife through it. Too pretty to be eaten. But I love the presentation of this pie.

Finally, something more practical, down to earth, that is having to make my house smell like fresh baked goods, the Ultimate Peach Crumble Cobbler. It's gooey, oozing with peach syrup, crumble bits and finished with vanilla ice-cream. What else could go wrong? I just dug my spoon in the dish. *slurp*

Saturday, June 30

I decided to share a couple of my creations. Back by popular demand with a new twist, SPRINKLES! I baked 2 dozen super moist chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese filling. Ooh la la.. I ate three just by looking at them. I couldn't stop licking my fingers whilst icing these delicious cuppycakes.

Believe it or not, out of the 2 dozen that I baked, these are the only ones left. Yes, everything else was consumed and eaten (not by me!). I did a little teaser by sending a pic of these high sugar rush to my friends and everyone's taken a number. So these are officially 'sold'. Yup, none left. Stay tuned for recipes! Yes I will share. Gratefully.

Friday, June 29

Trend setting

I just spent the last couple of hours researching on the new iPhone. The word has been out for the past couple of months now and anticipation has been building up. What's Apple got us hooked onto now? First I went out to purchase an iBook and I realized that two years have passed. Now they've replaced my AMD processor with the Blue Man group (Intel). Fine, so time for an upgrade. Before I grab my check book to purchase the new iPhone, I realize that tomorrow's lines at the .mac store is going to be absurd. I have decided to protest again this madness and just wait till the craze is over. Indeed it is a cool phone but AT&T is not able to support it. Trust me, downloads are still going to be slow. I have a Palm Treo 650 and I think it's great, even when I am underground in the subway. But connection tends to drop off now and then.

I forsee tomorrow, the lines out the AT&T stores are going to be horrendous and because AT&T is right across the street from my office, I MIGHT consider getting one. It's $499, the same price as my good old beat up Treo (installed with a iPhone lookalike software) and will my company support the e-mail and other crap? (maybe not) Wish me luck while I get caught up with the craze and hopefully I won't get elbow-ed by some maniac who probably wants the iPhone more desperately than me. So I should start lining up on the street CLOSE to the door at 5pm as the iPhone sale begins at 6pm!

Last night there were a couple of crazy kids who posted ads to stand in line (for a fee, of course) and there are some guys on the sidewalk with signs on their t-shirts (will wait for iPhone, ask me how much). I can't wait to see this chaos happen as I sit in my Herman Miller's. Who knows I might be one of them.

Food for thought: Steve Jobs is giving away iPhones to all employees at Apple who's been there at least a year. Oh great!

Note: I was led to believe I was the first few people who got my hands on the Wii. :)

Thursday, June 28

New address

There seems to be some problem with my xanga. Hence after clicking on my friend's blog (thanks, Jen for re-introducing me a new way to 'unconditionally articulate'), I have decided to migrate to the new 'outer-xanga-space'. The features are not as intense but it looks a little more on the user-friendly end with no costs incurred.

I have been recently feeling awfully tired and overwhelmed. Both at work, with life and trying to catch up with old friends. I always had a passion for work and for fulfilling my dreams/desires. Now it's time to focus on what's best for me and what do I 'really' want to do.

Life happens in chapters:
  • First chapter, learn how to walk.
  • Second chapter, learn how to talk.
  • Third, learn how to fight.
  • Fourth, learn how to study with all your might.

Pretty soon, you are off and on your own. The world of politics, the world of work-a-holics, the world of Assholes. The art of 'B.S-ing' comes handy if and when your intention is to climb up the good ol' Corporate America. Want to survive the brutality at your workplace, READ: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton. Brilliant! The basic common sense and 'tactics' of surviving a harsh work environment! Pretty soon it's going to be a mandatory orientation hit with the H.R personnel (or better known as Talent Management these days..) or perhaps have it embedded into company's policy?

Finally I've gotten the hang of it. After 7 years of mingling and observing from the sidelines. I am not up there yet but patiently building my fort, awaiting for the next opportunity to open up before I charge and conquer! Those endless nights and sick days are showing some ROI's. I wouldn't call being sick 'invested time', but I felt that I have paid off my dues.

So much has happened over the past few years. I feel that everything has flown over my head. Friends, family that have passed, friends that have moved on/away.... Let's just say, it's about time to reconnect and rekindle some relationships.