Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"The Loop"

If you know my family, you know that we are all very close. I can't recall a time when I ever fought with my parents. My sisters and I had small squabbles when we were younger, but we were always great friends. To this day, I consider my sisters as two of my very best friends.

When my sisters and I each graduated from college, we all moved back home for a period of time. But, then we of course each eventually moved out. My two sisters have always lived within a few miles of my parent's house. But I...I moved almost 20 miles away! Not only was it required to take the freeway to my place from my parents, but you had to go on TWO different freeways, which is practically forbidden in my mother's book! In the year and a half that I lived there, my mom came over three times: once to move me in, once to move me out, and one time to pick me up on the way to my grandmas! The line was that I had moved outside of 'the loop!' Even Jason was living in the loop for over half our relationship since he move in with my sister almost a year before we got married.

My parent's house - where I grew up

Well, I can now say that I am officially back in 'the loop.' Here is how the loop works: from our place to my sister Mel's it is 2.3 miles (about a 5 minute drive). From my sister Mel's house to my parents it is 1.2 miles (about a 3 minute drive). From my parents to my sister Elyse's place it is 2.9 miles (about a 7-8 minute drive). Then to complete the loop (which is almost a perfect circle), from Elyse's back to our place it is 2.5 miles (about 5 minutes). My mom officially has her three daughters all within 5 miles or less and no freeways are needed to get to any of us! We are all in three different zip codes, but they are all adjoining zip codes, so it works. She sure is one happy mother!

Friday, June 17, 2011

SuMmEr is HeRe!

Officially one week into summer, and I must say, it has been wonderful! I was initially freaking out a bit about summer because I really had no plans. I know that sounds strange to most people, but I like to be busy, to have something to do, to feel productive. With wedding planning for six months, I especially got used to being super busy and always having something to do. So, when all that ended, I really didn't know what to do with myself...and I was still working at the time! However, with the first week of summer winding up, I have found plenty of things to keep me busy and am not too worried about the weeks to come!

Summer was kicked off with the usual end of the school year gifts
from students. Lots of gift cards to Starbucks and then a few fun ones thrown in the mix (Macy's, Target, movie dollars, Barnes and Noble). Remember my post during Christmas about some of the unique gifts I received? Well, I think I got a winner this year. Check it out...

A frozen Indian dinner with an Indian yogurt shake to go with it. Definitely different!

Jason and I had a fun, but relaxing weekend - we went to Berkeley on Saturday afternoon for Brazilian food. Amazing. (More to come on our crazy food adventures). We then went and saw the movie Bridesmaids. If you haven't seen - go! Hilarious and maybe worth the $22 it costs for two to go to the movies (thankful for movie dollars!)

On Monday and Tuesday, my mom and I went to visit my grandma in the Central Valley. She's still going strong at 99 and only has four months to go until she hits triple digits! She didn't come up for the wedding, so I brought the wedding to her and showed her the video and lots of pictures. I was also able to meet my cousin's baby...who was born on my birthday. My uncle and I also share the same birthday, so in one family, we have three February 7th birthdays! Pretty cool!

My uncle Denis (2.7.41), with his niece (me - 2.7.84) and his grandson (Max - 2.7.11)

Yesterday I was able to meet up with my college roommate of four years for some shopping in Corte Madera out by Marin. Such a fun day and so excited to have her back from Seattle and living in CA again!

I'm really excited about this summer. Last summer was so busy with tons of trips every week or two. This summer will be a great mix of working (I'm tutoring lots), relaxing, and a few fun little trips planned to Tahoe and SLO. And, I haven't forgotten about my '30 before 30' - planning on checking off some of my reading. Chronicles of Narnia is currently in progress...then off to the classics!

Happy Summer!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Man Vs. Food

Since the beginning of our relationship, Jason and I have been watching the show Man vs. Food on the travel channel. The show's host, Adam Richman, goes to different cities across the country and visits some of their best restaurants. Then, in each city he visits, he takes on a food challenge at one of the city's restaurants. The challenges range from holding down an 11 lb pizza or 72 oz. of steak to enduring the heat of some of the spiciest buffalo wings made. We love this show, and Adam is such an entertaining host!

If Jason were to compose a '30 before 30' list, I'm pretty sure it would be a list of 30 food challenges to take on! A month or two into our relationship, Jason set out to tackle the 'Hellfire Challenge' at Smoke Eaters in San Jose. Unfortunately, they weren't offering the challenge on that day, so he wasn't able to do it. Instead, we went to Iguanas, which was also featured on the same episode as the 'Hellfire Challenge'. Here they serve a 5 lb burrito. While there is no challenge attached to this burrito, we decided to make one up. The challenge was for Jason to eat the entire 5 lb burrito in less than 30 minutes. It was painful to watch, and the whole time I was telling him to stop because I didn't want him to get sick...while his cousin Donnie was yelling at him to man up and not be a quitter. Haha - the difference between guys and girls. In the end, Jason made it through about 4/5 of the burrito, which I must say was pretty impressive.

Making of the burrito

Jason holding his 5 lb. burrito

Half way done and feeling good!

Starting to hit a wall...

And, we're done.
Ever since then, Jason has been waiting to do another 'challenge.' For a while he was talking about doing the 'Kitchen Sink' challenge at the San Francisco Creamery. He then came to his senses and realized how insane that challenge is!

Well, last Saturday we went down to Cupertino to buy a new bed, and Jason saw it as the perfect opportunity to try the Hellfire wing challenge at Smoke Eaters since we were so close. I must say that he was quite confident in his ability to conquer this challenge and was very excited about the free shirt he would get if he accomplished the challenge. Twelve flaming hot buffalo wings in ten minutes and then sit for another five minutes without a napkin or beverage to marinate in the heat. Just have to fight the heat for a few minutes, no big deal, right?

After signing the waiver (which literally said you are an IDIOT if you attempt this), Jason ordered the wings. There was a one inch binder thick of waivers, with only 11 people having finished the challenge.The server came out with the timer as Jason prepared to take down the hellfire challenge. My heart is pounding. Three wings in, and Jason was no longer able to sit on the stool. Soon, his body literally begins to shake as he spits out in anguish how freaking hot the wings are. Sweat is pouring down the side of his face, his eyes are blood shot, and by the time he finishes up the fourth wing, he is saying, "It is so hot I can't swallow. My throat is closing up." At that point, I was like..."Um, this needs to STOP." I seriously started having visions of taking my husband to the hospital as a result of a stupid wing challenge.

When all is right with the world...

The pain hasn't quite sunk in yet

He then throws the fourth wing bone in defeat and rushes to the bathroom to splash his face and try to cool off. For the next 45 minutes, we sat in the restaurant as he chugged down milk and sucked on ice cubes. In Jason's words, "That was the stupidest thing I have ever tried." (And if you know Jason, he has quite the adventurous past...).

As far as he got...

Sitting in the pain (note the bright red lips and swollen face)

The after effects lasted well into the following day...Never again will Jason attempt another wing challenge. I'm definitely okay with that, too!

Our Saturday night...

Friday, June 3, 2011

One Mirrored Car...

If you've ridden in my car (or even just seen my car) sometime in the past year and a half, you most likely experienced this...

Yes, the missing passenger side view mirror. In September of 2009 (yes, over 20 months ago), my side view mirror hit the trash can while I was pulling out of my garage. I was shocked when the whole mirror was left hanging by wires, especially considering that I was only going like 2 mph (if that). I went that day and got a few quotes on the cost to replace it and couldn't believe that it was going to cost me close to $300! My mirror was perfectly undamaged, but I would have to buy a whole new mirror in order for them to reconnect it to my car. I refused. Once I found out that it was legal to drive with only one side view mirror, I decided to delay the process of replacing my mirror.

Six months later, in April of 2010, the worker who was remodeling my parent's bathroom decided to make it his mission to find me a new mirror. He found a matching one at a junk yard and removed it from the car himself. He brought it to me in perfect condition, and it was much cheaper than the $300 the mechanic was trying to charge me. Well, I was hesitant to put it on my car because I was afraid that I was going to knock it off again (the garbage cans in my garage made it a very tight squeeze into my parking spot). So, I decided to delay putting on the new mirror...and it sat in my trunk for another six months.

In November of 2010, I moved back in with my parents for a few months to save money for the wedding. This would have been the perfect time to put my new side mirror on since I wasn't dealing with the garage issue anymore. But, I guess I was so used to driving with only one side mirror that the whole thing just was bugging me that much anymore. I had perfected parallel parking without a side mirror. Plus, I was so busy with wedding planning, that my car's side view mirror simply wasn't a priority.

Another 7 months went and finally Jason had it. He refused to ride in a car with only one side mirror. I admit, it did look very tacky! Considering that I even had the replacement mirror, it was even more ridiculous that I was still driving around with only one mirror. So, last weekend, Jason and my dad put my new mirror on my car! It did involve a little bit of 'jimmy rigging' since the wires didn't match up perfectly, but in the end, it all worked out. And now, 20 months later, my '98 Camry is looking back to normal!