Thursday, November 30, 2006

Santa is Coming!!

Another item is done on our kitchen checklist...the floor. The tiler and his helper took 3 days to finish and the floor looks great. The person who calculated did a little good a job because there are no extra tiles at all!! I mean zero, there are only little bits and pieces left.

The cold tiles will take some getting used too but should be nice in the summer. I need to wipe the tile down a bit because of the dust and grout but I like the look.

The police department sends out Santa through the neighborhood to say hi and pass out candycanes. Tonight was our turn for our area...a police car drives ahead to announce Santa's arrival while other police cars block the street ahead & behind Santa for safety. I almost forgot about it and managed to get the kids' coats & hats on. We're lucky because Santa stops right at our corner one house down. It's a nice tradition that the city does for the community.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New Math

Last night during Josh's bathtime, he was counting but this time he went past twenty...twenty-one...all the way to twenty-nine...inside I was happily reciting with him waiting for Josh to say THIRTY! Twenty-nine, TWENTY-TEN!! I started busting up because he obviously thought that is what comes next. He even went further with twenty-eleven and twenty-twelve. Too cute!

Cold Snap

Is it cold where you are? The cold swooped in suddenly this week and it's a welcome change for me. It rained in the morning Monday so now we have smog free skies and cold, chilly weather. Southern Cali doesn't get too cold so this is nice! I enjoy wearing sweaters and Uggs...I'm eager to fire up my wood burning stove but I'm waiting for Hector to get my 1/2 cord of firewood. I get to use my little hachet that Hector gave me to make kindling. I totally dig my winter fires although I'll jump at any chance to light a fire in my stove! I was practically rubbing my hands together with glee when I saw that some old kitchen shelving looked perfect for kindling.

More Lantern Festival

At the Lantern Festival, we had fun goofing off. There was an area of cut-outs for faces for Batman, Bruce Lee etc. The kids had fun doing that.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ramblings of a hectic household

I started off the day with good intentions. I was planning to sit-in on Josh's class to see how he participates and also show his teacher how he interacts with me. We dropped off Tyler at school then Joshua had a follow-up checkup with his dentist. He did very well...he didn't seem to remember anything bad about his last visit. Josh ran in the building and even knew which door to go in. The dentist was really sweet and nice so Joshua didn't fuss too much at all. I took the extra time this morning to run to Toys r Us to see if I could find a certain toy that Tyler saw on TV. I had to ask Tyler what the name was because I couldn't remember; he told me and I was able to find it. Yeah! But now I think I'm gonna return it because I saw it at Target on sale $20 cheaper. When we got home, the phone rang. It was the kitchen company saying that the tile guy was coming and so was the granite guy! Ugh, there goes my plans for the day. I had to hang around and supervise. Then there is the question of grout...apparently there are about 40 choices of grout colors. I have until tomorrow morning to make my decision. The picture frim the showroom has the same exact tile we are installing but a light (grayish) grout but Hector thinks a darker grout will look better. I'm leaning towards the darker brownish grout too which can be sealed so it won't stain or discolor. Okay, on a different note, I went to dinner with He-man and She-ra last night at Joe's Crab Shack which was so yummy and nice. Hector was not feeling like going out for dinner so we changed it to Joe's since Hector wasn't going (he doesn't like crab). He also took care of the kids so I had a leisurely and fun time out. I definitely needed those few hours of no kids, no house issues etc.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Lantern Festival 2006

Last night we went to the Lantern Festival in Inglewood. A few weeks ago, Hector could see the lights from his work and found out about it. There was lots of exhibits lit up, a few carnival type rides and food court. Another cool exhibit was a dragon made of dinner plates and Chinese soup spoons. The best part was the Chinese acrobat act which we really enjoyed.

Final Cabinets

On Saturday, our cabinets were finished. I really like how they came out. I now have storage galore and soon plenty of counter work space.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving pics

Here are some pics of the kids at my mom's place Thursday.

Joshua needs a haircut...

Tyler and Joshua with their Thanksgiving hats.


The cabinets are mostly up and the men will finish with them today. We have Lowe's coming out today to measure to install the range hood over the island. For some reason Hector thought the cabinets would arrive already assembled but no, everything was still in flat boxes. The 2 men put the cabinets together and will do the pantry and remaining island today.

Here is the section where the microwave is supposed to go. Currently we have a large microwave on the counter that took up the entire counter and it also collected various junk on top of it. My goal with this new kitchen is to eliminate clutter and keep things minimal.

As you can see, painting is not yet finished. I didn't paint the backsplash area because we ordered a full backsplash of granite. I might have to double check that because to me it looks like a lot of space to cover. The painting that I did do (near the cabinets) already suffered some scrapes/peeling in my new paint. Bummer!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Guitar Hero 2

Last year, my friend Kat gave me Guitar Hero for Christmas. This is an awesome game for the wanna-be rocker that really has no musical talent (like me). There are some great songs (old and current) to play that even Tyler recognizes the songs on the radio as the song from Guitar Hero. I didn't let Tyler play this game because I thought he was a bit too young. Of course, Guitar Hero 2 came out in time for this Christmas and Tyler wanted to give it a try. He only plays Shout At The Devil but he loves to do the tutorials and practice. So we have to go practice now so we can challenge Uncle Carlos at the Christmas Eve dinner!
Yesterday's dinner was an experience. My mom wanted to host the dinner this year which was fine with me because our kitchen is under construction. My mom lives in a 1100 sq ft condo so she is not used to entertaining so she asked for my help. It's a good thing that I knew where my flatware and serving bowls are. My mom ordered all the food from Whole Foods where she shops all the time. I arrived around noon at her place to help heat up the turkey etc. and guess what? Her oven doesn't gets warm & I can see the pilot light on but no heat! aunt and her family are on their way! I called Hector to come over and look at it. Thank goodness, he fixed it so the oven works. Phew. Other than that minor snafu, it was a very good dinner. I think everyone(except out kids) went back for seconds. All the sides disappeared and some turkey was left for sandwiches today. My mom was so tired after it was all done but she did it. Maybe I'll be adventurous and host next least I have some time to think about it.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

one more thing

My oldest son, Tyler, was downstairs while I was getting ready. I set my hair and while coming down the stairs, I met Tyler.

Tyler: You look really pretty, Mom!

Me: Thanks, Ty....but I'm wearing curlers in my hair to curl it.

Ty: Oh...I thought you looked kinda funny!

It was a sweet thought, though!

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally, is a great dad who can balance fun & discipline and keeps me happy. I'm thankful for my two sons who never fail to amaze me with their antics and can remind me to live life to its fullest. I'm thankful for my mom for all her hard work & sacrifice to raise me even though we don't always see eye to eye. I'm thankful for my friends who listen and allow me to be me. There are many things that I'm grateful for so I'm going to enjoy today and relax. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Appliances

For the kitchen, we'll be going the stainless steel route for appliances. After we purchased them, we realized that each item is a different brand which is funny. Some people would want everything to match but we're okay with our assortment.

The refrigerator is LG French Door type that will be cabinet depth. I guess the cabinet depth types are popular because they don't stick out as much as the traditional types. A typical fridge will stick out about 6 inches from the cabinet while the newer ones come out about 3 inches. You lose cubic feet since they are only 2 feet deep but I will be able to see everything and not have to bend down to find something.

Our range will be a Frigidaire gas slide-in range. Your basic stove and oven. It has a convection oven which I'm not familiar with but I guess it'll be time for me to learn. I was never much of a baker but I think I will attempt more once the kitchen is complete. As for the dishwasher, I really loved my recent one that Hector bought about 3 months ago. It's Whirlpool and we found the same exact one in stainless steel so we're set. My mom will inherit my white Whirlpool since hers went kaput. Lupe will get out white, side by side refrigerator that goes with her updated kitchen. See, everyone is happy.


waiting for the guys to put down the subfloor...if they ever arrive! I got the phone call confirming their time around 10 am. and it's already 11:30am. I called to find out what's going on and the answer is, "They're on their way now." Hmmpfh.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

blast from the past

Ok, my friend sent me an old pic from Halloween circa 1995 or something like that. I was working at the pharmacy in Rolling Hills with Kat and all the other fun people. I can't believe she had this picture...I think this is the year she went as Catwoman (yowza) so I'll check to see if she has a pic of that!

This was a risky outfit for me at the time since we work in a professional place but I was always pushing the dress code envelope. I was actually showing a bit of midriff...gasp!!

Saturday was lots of fun. We went to Tyler's soccer party at the bowling alley and had pizza. Tyler did pretty good bowling with his left arm and won the game in our lane. He was so happy to receive his own trophy and gift bag! The trophy is engraved with his name and he already put it on his bookshelf.

Hector's nephew, Anthony came over to visit and we went to Koji for dinner. We stuffed ourselves with kalbi ribs, bulgogi and sushi. Yum. After dinner, we headed over to Gameworks where Anthony was going to compete for a plasma TV. Last time he was at Gameworks, he qualified by winning his heat in an Indy 500 racing game. When we got there, he found out that there was a mix-up and only one other guy showed up. We had to wait to find out if the contest would go on with only 2 players (there was supposed to be six). Meanwhile we took the kids around to play various games and win tickets for prizes. Finally we found out that the race was on and Anthony had a 50/50 chance of winning the TV. The first contest was for Lakers tickets that had 6 contestants and a girl in car #2 won. Hector was trying to tell Anthony to take that car for his race but he took the first car. It was a close race but Anthony lost...bummer. Oh well, better luck next time.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Some pics to enjoy over the weekend. Here are the kids enjoying their dump truck. We bought this about 6 years ago for $10 and it's still going strong. The best part about this truck is that they can sit in the back so if we push the truck hard enough, it goes all the way across the family room. Weee!

Today is the last day of soccer. Although Tyler got his cast off Wednesday, he still cannot play sports. We're heading off to the end-of-season soccer party at the bowling alley. I compiled all the pics I took over the season on a CD to hand out to each of the players. We need to head out and do some kitchen related shopping so I'm outie.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Poor Josh...I've neglected his playtime at the park this week because of the kitchen remodel. He has adjusted to our new routine of driving the 2 blocks to school. We usually walk but once we get to school, the park is right outside the gate and he'll want to stay & play with Amber and Alex. I've noticed that Joshua is adapting to change more easily without tantrums (although those were rare). His teachers were happy to report his great progress and they were surprised how much he talks when I'm around. They invited me to spend some time during his school so they actually see how much he talks & interacts.

Josh's teacher was excited to share about him interacting with a little girl. They showed a video about how to talk to someone by looking at the person's eyes and speaking in a clear voice etc. When walking to the playground, Joshua looked at the little girl and said, "Hi Rachel." The teachers' said they don't speak out loudly or excitedly because it startles the kids but they were gesturing wildly as if to say, "Did you see that?" It was great to hear that Josh is listening, understanding and applying what he learned...I got a little teary. It seems like such a simple thing but it's a big deal to know he has improved so much.

I'm so READY for the weekend. The hard work still continues but I have a week to prep and paint the kitchen. I think that our nephew Nathan will be helping out with painting so that's fun and good. I am leaning toward a green color that is more on the olive side but not as dark. My recessed lights are almost finished and the ceiling is done. The framing is not even from when the house was originally built but it looks okay.

I've also begun working on a Christmas photo card. I bought Photoshop Elements so maybe something very cool and creative will emerge. I rounded up some travel pictures which is my theme for this Christmas. Well, see how it turns up. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I've been super busy. Of course the kitchen redo is stressful but it's coming together (a bit faster than I expected). The lighting and electrical is today along with Josh's preschool evaluation. He is doing very well and since he started their SMILE program, he is progressing quickly. Because his birthday is late December, he gets to benefit from another year in preschool before starting kindergarten.

Last night I was stressing because I had to choose the pendant lights for our island but it all worked out okay. First of all, I can't believe how much the store wants for each pendant light (I was thinking about 3 of them). I ended up getting a pendant-like light which actually works out better. I only need one box in the ceiling versus figuring out 3 spots for regualr pendant lights. The fixture I chose has to be ordered and shipped but we can leave it for later. Mostly, I need to pick a paint color and get started on that this weekend.

Yesterday, Tyler had a MD appointment and his cast is off! What a relief! His arm was dirty, slightly smelly and had sand stuck to it. Tyler still needs to be careful and no sports but at least he can bathe properly and hold a pencil/scissors. And definitely NO MONKEY BARS!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Buh Bye, Ugly Kitchen

Wow, the demolition part is over for now. The best part is that it only took them 1 hour to take all the cabinets and applicances out. Nice. I am sleep deprived so I'm ready for my nap now. Here are some pictures before when I was trying to pack up the kitchen.

The guys were very nice and worked quickly. They tolerated my camera but I'm sure they see that kind of behavior all the time.

They even swept up and carried all the trash out. So on to the next step.

Mission: Accomplished

Whew, we did it...the kitchen is ready to be demolished just a little before 2am. :) I'll post pics of the wrecking crew later. I can't believe how much junk we accumulated over the past 7 years. No wonder I complained that I had no storage because the cabinets were already filled with crap! I'm seriously throwing out a lot. I started off great, putting stuff aside for my sister-in-law to either keep or sell at a yard sale. But then I had to hurry and finish tonight so everything else was thrown into any available box. Maybe I can sort thru it later this week or I might just be tempted to chuck it into the garbage bin. Now for a few hours sleep then the guys should arrive between 8-10am to demolish this horrid kitchen.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Ok, I get a call around 5pm. It's the guy confirming that we're ripping out the cabinets tomorrow. Uh, yeah I guess. Hector had told me the drywall guy would do that on Wednesday which would have given me an extra day to clear out the kitchen. So I'm pounding the Diet Pepsi to give me that energy boost to finish up. Hector, of course, is at work late tonight and we were keeping our fingers crossed that he would be off Tuesday but no such luck. Sigh! But he will have to disconnect the water and gas for me plus take down our little flat screen & move the dishwasher when he gets home. Well, I'm off to work on packing up...


Lots of excitement and anxiety with the start of this remodel. I'm off in different directions with my usual mom stuff and now remodel stuff. I have to scope out lighting today and maybe check out some appliances too. I'll try to post but it'll be later and hopefully with good updates. I'm out.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!

After a couple of days, we decided to attempt to revive my dead iPod. This time I had Hector try and after 3 tries we got it to turn on with all the controls working. Then I hear music...SUCCESS! Thank goodness but next time I think I'll pay the extra $20 to have the company change the battery. It was very stressful.

This afternoon we started on the kitchen and boy, it is a BIG mess now. I helped Hector move the refrigerator so that was a great step. We even got it into the next room without removing any food. I also went through all my plastic containers/Tupperware and matched up lids etc. All the ones without a partner will be set aside and maybe I can find its match. I decided to go for a total change and get new dishes and cookware to go along with my new kitchen. Start fresh.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


So we already went to the kitchen remodel store to approve the plans. We decided to make the island bigger which makes me happy. I took pics of the showroom kitchen that I will duplicate here. I like the glass fronts on the cabinets but decided that no one wants to see my unorganized mess (nice thought in a perfect world though). the cabinets are solid wood which Hector wanted and the wood we chose is beech. I chose the same granite shown and we will have the backsplash all the way up.

A close-up of the granite...a neutral beige with light and black flecks. It looks different in various lighting but I like it.

This is the flooring I picked which is a big tile with darker tones. It has a rougher texture to it that I like. The edge of the cabinet is the beech and I like how it looked together.

Finally, here is the pic with all three parts together. Raffi the manager said they can start demolition on Tuesday if we wanted! So soon? Then we'll have our drywall guy come in to remove the soffet and finish which should take 2-3 days. The cabinets get put in (2 days) and so forth. Oi, it's a lot to take in but I'm looking forward to the transformation.

Cleaning House

I started packing up the kitchen to prepare for the remodel. I'm just putting things away that we hardly use like the glasses and others aside for a yard sale. I figured that we can set up our makeshift kitchen in the dining room and put the refrigerator in there with a small table for the microwave. I think we can get by with that. The kids will have to give up some space because currently they're using the living/dining room as their playroom. I'm slowing kicking them out! Anyways, it is good to weed out the junk we've collected or at least get more organized. I'll try to take pics of the showroom kitchen since I chose the same exact setup. For me, the less choices the better otherwise I wouldn't able to decide. I also can't visualize the entire layout with the tiny samples so I went with the display. Boring but it still a million times better than what we have now.

Today we are going to see the computer 3D version of our kitchen then Hector is going to the UCLA football game with his nephew and later tonight I'll be going to the Kings game with Sheri. This is our kid-free moment and she needs it more than me. She has 3 kids and doesn't get out much at all. Today is the day we exchange our tickets for the full season tickets in addition to moving up closer to the ice. We'll see how that turns out.

Friday, November 10, 2006

R.I.P. 2002 to 2006

Maybe I should keep my day job...I tried to change the battery on my 3rd generation iPod. This one was the one where they had a class action suit regarding the poor battery life. I could have had the battery replaced for free but I needed the original receipt which is BS but I couldn't find it. It was a Christmas gift and who keeps receipts from 2 years ago! So I missed out on the free battery exchange and this year Hector found the missing receipt. Bummer. I could just pay Apple $60 to replace the battery but I saw a blogger who replaced her iPod battery herself at about $40 from another website so I decided to give it a try. The replacement battery arrived very fast and I read the directions very carefully. It came with a tool to open the iPod which can be extremely difficult but I managed all right. The hardest part for me was making sure the hard drive was connected correctly since it just meshes together but you can't see it, you have to feel it. Oh brother. Hector had to help me with that part and we got the Apple symbol to appear correctly and the menu. I let it charge overnight and finally tried it this morning. Nothing...I see the menu and songs, etc but it doesn't play! I tried to take it apart to make sure and now it really doesn't work. I think I killed my iPod. At least I can send the battery back and get my $ back but my poor iPod is history (unless Hector can revive it later). So maybe I put in my request for a new one this Christmas (I'll be sure to save the receipt)!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Happy 10th Anniversary!!

Yep, it's been 10 wonderful years that Hector and I have been married. Add the 5 years we dated and that's a long time. Hector worked overnight so he could have today off and he only got 2 hours of sleep. He had planned a wonderful day for me that included a helicopter ride and a romantic dinner at the Sky Room...unfortunately Joshua woke up with a fever and a croupy cough so we will postpone our fun to another day. Josh is resting in bed watching his sing-a-long videos and Hector is taking a nap.

My eternity ring arrived this morning and it's beautiful! I spent a long time researching rings within my budget and finally decided on this ONE. It took me some more research to buy over the internet but I'm very happy with the ring. It came with an appraisal with a retail price that reflects my saving of about $6000. I plan to appraise it again just to make sure. Retail jewelry stores that I checked just didn't offer what I wanted in my budget and sizing was a problem (my chubby finger would bump up the price). I'll post pics later and one thing I didn't factor in is the sheer size of the ring. Since the diamonds go all the way around my finger it increases the width so it looks a little big but I can get used to it. I can either wear it on my right hand or on the left hand with my engagement ring.

I gave Hector his present, the new iPod shuffle which arrived last week. I even had it engraved from Apple and it is so small. Since I'm the iPod chick in the house, I am putting some songs on it and he'll be ready to go snowboarding with it this year. I just hope that he remembers where he attaches it so it doesn't get thrown into the laundry by accident!

I still can't believe it's been 10 years already. For the most part, we get along great. The best part that we are still friends who enjoy doing things together and we still make each other laugh. Hector has always said that we are soulmates and I believe him.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Steamboat Springs

I will wind up the long saga of our relationship soon. In March 1996, I moved into a new apartment, got a new roomie, back to dating Hector for about 3 months and about to go on vacation together to Steamboat Springs, CO and Las Vegas. We planned on driving in Hector's old Honda Civic so we stuffed the car with our snow stuff and set off. Our first main stop was at Park City, UT to visit my friend Marianne from college. Her parents decided to buy a mountain house in Utah since her dad loves to ski and they definitely went all out. A beautiful log cabin along the ski run at Deer Valley. We had a short visit and we were back on the road. Staying at little motels along the way was really fun and we did a little sightseeing at a dinosaur park (?) along a river. The museum was really cool because they built the museum right around the excavation site so there is a wall of fossils on display while they're continuing to find more fossils.

We finally make it to Steamboat Springs which is a cute town with a cowboy vibe. We booked a condo very close to the ski resort and took shuttle back and forth every day. The weather was perfect and the snow there is so light (they don't call it champagne powder for nothin). We spent 5 days snowboarding all day under the sun and had a great time. One night we took a break from cooking and went out to dinner at The Chart House. The meal was great and we decided to split a mud pie. Over dessert, Hector proposed and he totally caught me off guard. I was not expecting that in a million years but I was thrilled & said yes. Hector said that he was going to propose on the ski lift but chickened out. He was 90% sure that I would accept since we never discussed marriage with each other. We then called our families to tell them the good news (apparently everyone knew he was going to propose except me). Needless to say, we had a wonderful time then went to spent another 5 days in Las Vegas where we found my engagement ring. My best friend Kat came out to hang out with us for a couple of days so we partied the whole time. It was a perfect time!


My little Tigger is back to his normal self. I was very happy that he recovered quickly from his dental procedure and had no problems or ill effects. Josh has been chowing down since yesterday afternoon so that is always a good sign.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Oh, Becky (Hector's sister) let it slip on Sunday one of Hector's anniversary surprises for me by asking us, " Did you guys go on that helicopter ride yet?" I started laughing and said,"Not yet..." I guess Hector told his mom who told Becky who blurted it out. Usually Hector's mom forgets a lot of stuff we tell her but not that particular secret! :) This will be my first helicopter ride so I'm excited. He said we'll fly for 50 minutes around LA so that should be very cool.

Summer in November

OMG, it was so hot today! I was helping at Tyler's jog-a-thon and it was 85 degrees at 9am. By the time the 1st graders ran, it was around 90 degrees. Those poor kids...their faces were red and getting hosed with water. I could feel my face getting sunburned.

Joshua's dentist appointment was today too. Poor kid couldn't have anything to eat this morning or milk. He could have some clear liquids but that didn't satisfy him very long. Josh kept asking for pop tarts all morning long and his milk which was frustrating for both of us. The dentist gave Josh a shot and in a couple of minutes, he started looking glassy eyed and then sleepy. They put him in the dental chair and hooked an IV to Josh and started. They took x-rays of his teeth, filled cavities and cleaned his teeth. After they were done, they put him in another room to recover and wake up which took about 45 minutes. He was still a little drowsy afterwards but now 2 hours later he ate 2 pop tarts, some Doritos and milk. I hope he doesn't throw up!

Fast Forward

Our love story continued...I'll zoom thru the boring parts of our dating saga. To make a long story short, we dated for a couple of years, then decided to take a break because I wanted a commitment. We dated other people and actually crossed paths at a nightclub one night. Hector says he didn't see me but I saw him with his date and he called me the next morning so subconsciously he saw/noticed me that night. We talked and started slowly hanging out again. I was having problems with my roomate so Hector offered his place while he went on vacation. While I stayed at his place, Hector called every day and we talked about his trip. He was driving north to Canada then to Idaho, Montana and snowbording when he felt the urge. I thought it was unusual for him to call so much because I was trying to take things slow and not pressure him. When Hector came back, he did some things that showed me he was getting a bit more serious. Little things, like he bought me my own vanity mirror for the passenger seat of his car and got me a Price Club card. Hector asked me to go on his next vacation with him in March and I said yes. Things were looking up!

Monday, November 06, 2006


After living in our old (circa 1963) house for almost 7 years, we are going to remodel our kitchen. What a relief! The kitchen itself is ok because it is very big but also very outdated. Not enough counter space, cabinets and crammed into one side of the room are just some of the problems we will address in this makeover. In the above pic, you can just make out the soffet (drop ceiling) that we want to rip and raise back up about 6 inches so it will be even to the rest of the room. We're going to add an island and have the range on the side where Joshua us sitting. I'll be getting beech cabinets, granite counter and a tile floor with some new appliances and lighting. I know how these projects can drag on but the guy says we should have it before Christmas...we'll see and keep our fingers crossed.

How would you like this lovely linoleum that never looks clean or attractive? Out it goes!!

Time for the cheesy formica counter to head to the landfill! I can't wait for demolition to begin! I'll be documenting the transformation in the weeks ahead.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hollywood Night

Tonight we were invited to a surprise birthday party for my friend Ray. I know Ray from around 2000 when he was just a graduate intern at UOP and I was his preceptor. Ray then went on to graduate and continued working at the pharmacy this time as a pharmacist. We'd always have great fun working and being silly. That was when working at this location was the didn't seem like work.

So back to the party; Grace (Ray's wife) arranged for the surprise party at Memphis Hollywood on Hollywood Blvd. It is a very cool Victorian house built in 1902 and it is the last Victorian house left on Hollywood Blvd. It began as a school then over the years finally became a restaurant. They serve southern cookin which was good but overpriced. For the prices of the appetizers, entrees etc we could have spent the same money at Morton's. There were about 30 people for the dinner party and later about 10 of us went a couple of blocks to a club called Element to go dancing. There was a line of 15 people but one of the guys knew or arranged for us to bypass the line and let us in. Cool. It was a basic club with seating area, stage and dance floor. It was weird that there were six tables with seating that had carafes of juice or mixers on the the table but no one was sitting. There were some women and men standing by dressed all in black with headsets on. We later found out that to sit at a table you had to buy a bottle of booze. I guess that I've been out of the loop for a while but this was new to me. Oh well. I guess that is why everyone was standing holding their drinks because there was nowhere else to put them. Hector and I had a great time dancing but by midnight it was so crowded we decided to leave the others and go home.

We had a really fun time last night. The boys got a sleepover with their auntie so we didn't have worry about them. I don't think that we've been dancing in such a long time so it was fun staying up late.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Long Distance Dating

Hector entered his 1st year of general surgery residency at Davis, CA and it was a very rough year. He had to be on call every 3rd day which kept him so busy. It was hard to call on the phone since he was either asleep or at the hospital. I drove up there twice to visit but I could see that Hector was so exhausted on the verge of burning out. We kind of had a agreement to keep our relationship open dating other people during this time but we did our best. Hector flew down a couple of times but our visits were so short about 1 day then he'd have to go back. Hector started doubting his surgery residency because he saw how surgeons practically lived at the hospital. He began talking about other options like pathology, anesthesiology and even pharmacy. Well, I talked him out of the pharmacy part and he decided to go for an anesthesiology residency. Lo, and behold he was accepted into the UCLA program! So after a very long year, Hector moved to LA. I was living with a friend in Santa Monica so we were only about 4 miles apart. The anesthesiology program was so much better for him...he actually could have a life! Plus he would be around LA for 3 years so he wasn't going anywhere. We started going out to clubs again and everything was cool.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

part two

To continue our love birthday came up in April so Dan, Hector, Naomi (my roomie) & I went out to dinner at Old Town. We were sitting in the patio when a man at a nearby table collasped/fainted. It took a couple of seconds to realize what happened but Hector was over there in a flash. He made sure the man was okay and came back in a few minutes. I was impressed by his calm and quick thinking that made me see him in a new light.

Naomi and I were talking about our quest to find Ichiban, a cheap Japanese restaurant and Hector offered to go with us. We went to have lunch at Ichiban which had great chicken katsu, window shopped then ended it with Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I remember laughing with Naomi because Hector ordered chocolate with all the cool flavors available. Of course, in the back of my mind I remembered that I had a boyfriend and Hector was seeing someone too but it felt that we were drawn together. Pretty soon, I had broken up with my boyfriend and Hector said that things wouldn't work with his girlfriend. I was back in Orange County about 90 miles from San Diego, commuting to my full time job (80 miles round trip) and still managing to see Hector almost every weekend for a year. I even tried to slow down, determined to not see him that weekend but Hector would call and I'd be in my car. Hector started driving up some nights so we could go out then he'd go back home.

Pretty soon, it was my birthday again and my friend Kat was having a party at her place. Hector recently found out where he was going for his residency and it was Buffalo NY. I was really sad about it but just was hoping for the best. Hector arrived from San Diego and he said he had my present. Hector gave my an envelope which was already opened and I remember seeing something about Davis, CA but I was confused at what it meant. He just holds me and says,"I won't be going to Buffalo." Omg, what a relief...even though Davis is about a 7-8 hour drive from Los Angeles, it was great he was staying in California.

Next time...the big change.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Day We Met

My 10th wedding anniversary is November 9th so I was reminiscing about the 1st time we met. I was in my last year of pharmacy rotations which means the students go to a location to get clinical experience in the hospital and community setting. My school UOP is located in Stockton and there were sites all over California. At the time there were only 3 pharmacy schools in California so choice sites were limited. USC took up most of the LA area so my school had less than 10 openings available so the competition was fierce. Unfortunately, I and about 20 other pharmacy students were placed in San Diego. The good thing was that the San Diego group was a really cool bunch of people and that's where I met Hector. Our main center was at the VA hospital in La Jolla located on the UCSD campus. There were about 3-4 hospitals where we were assigned along with various community (ie. chain drug stores) and other specialty pharmacies.

My friend Dan was one of the first group of students to do the internal medicine rotation which is always tough. You get assigned to a medical team, go on rounds around 7am and those patients are your patients you follow their drug regimen. You monitor your patients for proper doses, therapeutic uses and drug interactions (to name a few). Your team consists of a couple of residents, some medical students and you. Dan was on a team with Hector who was a 3rd year med student at the time. They got off to a shaky start but became good friends. Dan & Hector began going to clubs where Dan learned some of Hector's techniques to meet girls. I remember Dan raving about his friend Hector who was so cool, etc. It wasn't until about March that I finally got to meet this Hector. I went out with Dan to some club called Sybil's and Hector would be there. I remember we were sitting at a table when Hector arrived and he said hello to us then disappeared on the dance floor. I thought that was really rude of him and he didn't seem very cool to me. He was this kinda thin, dark guy with black rimmed glasses who wasn't very friendly. Throughout the night, Hector barely said anything to us and left soon after. So our first impression didn't go so well...

Later I found out way after that first meeting that Hector thought I was Dan's date so he avoided us. Also he never really liked the type of girls that Dan went out with so he assumed that I fell into that category. A little while later, a bunch of pharmacy students went to El Toritos for happy hour and Hector showed up because Dan invited him. Well, Dan was stuck at the hospital & I was sitting next to Hector so I started chatting with him. We must have been a little buzzed since I was talking up a storm and so was Hector. I told him that I had a boyfriend up in Sacramento and Hector said he was seeing someone too. I remember another friend Mariclaire nudging us closer...I guess she could tell we had some chemistry because we were huddled together in our own little world. Hector and I had a good time so we came to an understanding and I guess that set the wheels in motion for our future.