Went to the Obon festival in San Jose yesterday – it was fun but a lot smaller than I expected. We got to see the dancing though which is what I really wanted, though I was hoping for more Japanese street fair food. Also, JP was in the news about the festival and the same article mentioned this:

“one of only three Japantowns left in the United States. The other two are in San Francisco and Los Angeles.”

So sad there are only three, and two in the Bay Area!

Happy New Year!

Got VixenArts.com running today for a friend, read most of Spirits in the Wires (borrowed from same friend) – who we had yummy Japanese with at Katana in Sunnyvale yesterday. Also went to see The Princess and the Frog – it was great!

Having a family dinner tonight, the cooking started at three, and folks should start to arrive shortly. Tomorrow we plan to see either Avatar or Sherlock Holmes.

And before I forget – Mel’s brownie sundae sucks, bleh! Only one as bad or worse than Baskin Robbins so far.


Wednesday night papa and his wife drove down. We had dinner at IHOP and then watched Juno (which was really good). Thursday we drove to San Jose. Mom, her husband and my brother drove down to meet us. We then all went for lunch/dinner at my pirate’s aunt & uncle’s house. Lots of good food. Most of the youngin’s went for a walk later on (after mom and crew left for home). Friday papa gave my pirate a ride home so he could go in to work (ugh!) while I stayed to hang out with MM on Saturday. We had lunch at a Japanese place, played some WoW and watched a bunch of anime.

Sunday I just relaxed, baked everything cookies for AP and did chores.
Monday night I finally got the save the dates done. So Tuesday they went in the mail as did the cookies. Tuesday night I made it out to salsa night. Wednesday I fussed with the computer some while I figured out what cookies to make. And tonight I got two batches of dough finished and it’s bed time with gym time at 8am tomorrow. Bleh! Too early!

Oh, and I’m thankful for such wonderful future in-laws, and such wonderful family and a great fiance. I’m also thankful dad gave my pirate a ride so I could spend time with one of my best friends.


I’m almost done designing the Save the Dates, so I hope to get those printed and mailed sometime this week. I’m not getting them out as early as I’d hoped so I need to call my aunts and uncle and remind them about my wedding next year before they make Thanksgiving plans.

This weekend I got a bunch more stuff cleaned up and reorganized at home. We need to pick up the wifi dongle that we think is at my future-in-laws place so I can relocate the computer desk.

We had a chance to go to Disneyland on Saturday, but as tired as I was all last week, and this weekend, and still some this week, it’s good I stayed home to rest. Plus I messed up and read my calendar wrong for one of my medications so I’ve been all hormonal last week and this weekend. Definitely not a good time to be traveling and dealing with crowds.

We had the Primerica guy out with our “FNA” Financial Needs Analysis. It was fairly interesting and we’re basically on track with where I want to be. The mutual funds and bond funds he gave us info on seem interesting, so we’re going to run that by my pirate’s dad and see what he thinks. Most of what I read online about them is that their products are fairly standard, but to avoid their “work part time for more money” offer since they’re basically yet another multi-level-marketing corp (like Amway/Quixtar).

Email cleaning:
July 3rd I got to hang out with MM, JL and a few other folks at MM’s new place. AP unfortunately had to work. We were in the bay for the Fourth of July, so we got together that night to play board games and hang out. Good times as always with that crew.

New Miyazaki movie to look forward to: Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea, which will be released in Japan in July, 2008.

My pirate sent me this article June 27:
Explosive Art: Explosive Art Created With Rocket Fuel, Gunpowder, Propellants and Bullets
Someone I know happens to work at the SCAD, so I forward it to them and got this great response:
“I remember receiving his purchase requisition for that rocket fuel and a couple rounds for that uzi. It was fun explaining that one to the VP for Financing”
Now that’s what I call an interesting day at work!

Fourth of July weekend I think is also when we went to see the San Francisco Theological Seminary – really nice location but not one that would work for us. Great for an outdoor spring or summer wedding though! And I think this might also be when we stopped in SF and found my wedding dress?

Mom’s wedding shower was in June, I think I blogged about that already, but if not, my new step-sister helped host it and was really awesome. We had it at her place and she was a huge help in making it such a success.

My pirate’s cousin’s daughter’s (is that second cousin?) birthday was in June (I think?) and we put together a pot of colorful flowers for her. CE (his cousin’s wife) also started taking massage certification courses, so we got to be practice dummies, which was wonderful.

July my cousin JH was down for a martial arts convention (where he passed his black belt test!) so we drove to the bay area to meet up and hang out. We stopped by a Starbucks to get drinks and chat for a while, and then we decided to see Hancock, which I really enjoyed. It definitely had some interesting twists.

PSA: If you use Gmail – go to Settings (upper right corner) then scroll to the bottom and select the option to always use HTTPS and save your settings. This forces gmail to always use the encrypted https instead of http (which leaves it open to attack).

August 18th Cookie was constipated really badly (which can signal serious health problems in a cat) so we took her to the vet the next day and a few time afterwards for more test. Turns out that her kidneys are starting to fail from old age as she’s almost 9 or 10 and her breed (Snowshoe) on average live only 10-14 years instead of 18. 🙁 So she’s now on a special diet and gets fed separately from the other guys. So she’s put weight back on which is good, and next month when they all go in for their annual check we’ll do a blood test to see how she’s doing.

September 20th was a bit crazy. I helped set up JG’s bridal shower (and then attended of course) then drove home to grab my pirate and we were off to the bay area for a BBQ and games with MM, JL, AP and gang. So super busy, but a ton of fun that day too.

Then the 26th both my parents and my brother came to visit and celebrate my brothers birthday. Then my pirates folks joined us for lunch on the 27th to meet my dad & his wife. That night was JG’s bachelorette party, then the next day was Peanut’s baby shower. Whew! Talk about a non-stop weekend.

I baked everything cookies (3 batches!) as birthday gifts… I was so tired by the last batch though that I forgot to add any of the sugar. And it turns out that the brown sugar is a key ingredient for the shape and texture – it’s what lets the cookies spread and stay soft. So the last batch came out as hard crumbly balls. They still tasted good, so I took some to the office and my pirate took some to the lab (and kept them for himself instead of sharing, hehe!). So I got two batches off in the mail and have one to remake still.

JG&BW’s wedding was Oct. 11. My pirate went there for the bachelor party on the 9th, and the bride and I drove up together on the 10th. We stayed at a nice cabin that is owned by the parents of one of my pirate’s former coworkers. Wedding was awesome, almost everyone danced for the whole time, the dance floor was packed – memorable moments: being Rick Rolled, the Conga line and the teenage boy hiding under a table to avoid participating in it. We hung out and had brunch buffet together.

The gang’s joint birthday bbq was the 18th. And as always, awesome food and great company. I almost forgot that I was just getting over a cold. I think maybe the tequila helped get rid of my sore throat. 😛

November 1 J&SP had a Halloween/Day of the Dead party, the monster finger cookies were especially tasty. We got in some zombie flux which was fun. Also earlier that day we checked out a possible wedding location in Fairfield, but we ended up deciding on the golf course in Santa Rosa.

And I’m down to 22 emails in my inbox finally. Yay!

Last Year As A Twenty-Something

Le sigh. 29 on the 6th. Went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse on Saturday the 5th with a bunch of friends and had the brownie sundae – yum! And on Sunday I went on the Jelly Belly factory tour with family and my pirate & Meow, followed by dinner at Red Lobster. 🙂 Fun times! I stil love the dancing robots.

The following weekend I got to see some of my other really good friends down in San Diego. I was sent to a weekend work training in LA, so my pirate and I drove down together. I got to meet more of his family and he got to meet more of my friends. Plus the work training was super useful, so just a great trip overall.
“We’re driving down the 10th, I have class at the Anaheim Convention Center the 11-12 and we’re planning to head down to S.D. on the 13th and drive home on the 14th.”

My pirate sent me this great video: Music and Life – Alan Watts

EA graduated from vet school! (And wow is the cute card I got her going to be late…once I find it again in the den.)

I get some interesting stuff on the TSP (Technology Support Program) email list at work. Like this:
SCIENTISTS LINKS LAPTOPS TO DETECT EARTHQUAKES – Scientists at UC Irvine are working on a project that harnesses data from laptops to help analyze seismic activity
Agam Shah, Washington Post, April 4, 2008
URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/04/AR2008040400041.html
Related: Quake-Catcher Network – http://qcn.ucr.edu/ ; BOINC – http://qcn-web.stanford.edu/Join.html
Excerpt: Elizabeth Cochran sensed an opportunity to save lives when she realized laptops can be used as seismometers to detect earthquakes. Many laptops have an accelerometer, a sensor that detects motion and free fall, and that can be used to detect the intensity of earthquakes when a laptop shakes. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) is a project that harnesses seismic data from sensors on Internet-connected laptops in different locations to help capture earthquakes. When the laptop isn’t being used, special software on laptops collects sensor data, which along with the laptop’s location, is sent over the Internet to an earthquake data repository where the data is analyzed.

Getting Caught Up Again – 200+ email backlog

I finally have some time to clear out my mailbox and get somewhat up to date here. I think some of this I may have made time to blog about, but not all of it.

For wedding stuff scroll down to 11-16-2007.
Continue reading

Winter Speeds By

Lets see… actually mailed all Christmas cards BEFORE Christmas for the first time ever! 😀

The office is all decorated, including my desk, and people have started adding to my penguin collection. 🙂

Last weekend was San Jose to have lunch with my pirate’s parents for his birthday. Then a nice nap followed by a holiday party in Redwood City. Lots of good food, conversation and a fun white elephant exchange. Sadly I didn’t find my pirate’s bears from last year till the next day. So they’ll have to wait till next year to pass on!

The next day we had dinner with his cousin & family and had a great time. I made the slow cooker chicken again (without the insane lemon this time!) and we’ve been having leftovers all week.

I found some pilates videos I liked at the library – the Gaiam dvds by Ana Caban. So those are on my Amazon wish list to get at some point.

I also got my Amazon gift card in the mail so the last Harry Potter book should be showing up soon. 😀

This coming weekend is going to be relax time and chore time. Which will be great after so many busy weekends! Oh, and I’m donating blood tomorrow morning. I can make the early appointments now since I can take time off work to volunteer.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The thing I’m most thankful for is the abundance of wonderful people in my life for me to love! *hugs*

The chocolate factory tour was educational, interesting and yummy! Lunch at their cafe afterwards was tasty, and we followed that up with wandering 4th Street in Berkeley and then Emery Bay Street Mall and dinner there at Askew (a kabob place – I got yummy grilled artichoke and butternut squash soup).

I don’t recall too much of Sunday, we watched some anime and avatar online, and then went to get the ring! After that I was kinda in a giddy cloud. We did stop by REI which was nearby and they had a hang board of the right color in stock! We’ve been looking for a month or two now for one in a color I wouldn’t mind installing. So now we just have to find a couple studs above a doorway to install it. I dragged my pirate around the Expo Design Center some too before we headed home.

Monday night my friend JG took me out and got us both french manicures (since I’ll be showing off my hand for a while yet!) and then to dinner where we looked mostly at wedding dresses in magazines. We have a lot of similar tastes we discovered when discussing wedding ideas.

Tuesday night I cooked my carrots vichy recipe and my sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving. I replaced have the sweetpotato with a butternut squash I needed to use up, and I accidentally dropped somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of pepper in (I was trying to only tap one shake in) but luckily I had decided to use the black and white pepper I have which is milder. So it actually turned out really well. I think so at least, which is good since I’m going to be eating leftovers from it for the next week.

Wednesday night we were allowed to go home early, which for me ended up being around 5:30. By 6:30 we left to drive to San Jose.

This morning we all piled in the car and headed to Santa Rosa. It took about 2 and a half hours and traffic wasn’t too bad. Getting onto the Golden Gate Bridge and the Novato Narrows were the only bad spots. My brother was able to join us in time for dinner, and we just barely managed to fit everyone at the table except for my future step-father. He stood in the kitchen next to us eating and serving the food. Everything was good and we all had a good time talking and laughing. I think if we can eat together and laugh together, our families are going to get along just fine. We went for a walk after dinner and my pirate gave the dogs a run like we’ve gotten into the habit of doing when we’re with my mom. The dogs love it and my pirate usually has the energy to spare. We had pie and Belgian chocolates for dessert and then headed out. I got dropped off at home to take care of the kitties (who are all curled up in bed with me now) and my pirate and his family headed back to San Jose.

I’ll miss him, but I want to go through the wedding books my mom lent me and also get my Christmas cards done, along with laundry and some other chores and projects.

Time to do some reading and kitty cuddling!



Originally uploaded by JennyUsagi

Ok, so we went to a B&B in Napa to celebrate one year together…. Saturday night we were cuddling on the floor in front of the fireplace enjoying the flames and talking. And my pirate mentions how hard/scary it is to say “Will you marry me?” and I practically die even though I know he just said it as an example. So I replied that of course my answer would be yes. So I’m sitting there going nuts thinking that who knows when he’s going to say it for real… when he does. 😀 I think I said something like “Yes, absolutely yes!” and then tried not to cry from happiness. Then he realized that our actual anniversary wasn’t till Sunday and said he’d propose again then so he wouldn’t have to remember two dates. Which he did do in the morning, but I’m still going to tease him about. Besides, 3+4 = 7 which is one of my favorite numbers (along with 3).

Sunday we wandered Napa some more after a tasty breakfast (and finding out we forgot to set the clocks back) and of course browsed the jewelry stores too. We stopped at Fenton’s on the way home to try their ice cream. It was good, but since they didn’t have the dark chocolate with raspberry I wanted to try I ended up just getting dutch chocolate which wasn’t anything super special.

Monday we went to the Shane Company store in Roseville and picked out a band. Wednesday my stone came in and we approved it. They had it set by Sunday, but I didn’t get back from Georgia till Tuesday night after they closed. Wednesday we went to get it, but it was set too high, so it won’t be ready till Saturday after 4pm. If we don’t get back from the chocolate factory tour before they close we’ll go pick it up Sunday. At which point I’ll take a picture and then post it here. 😀 😀 😀

We’re aiming for Nov. 7, 2009 for the wedding date. 😀

Week’s end

Things have been interesting the last couple days. I biked with my pirate to the ARC Thursday morning, but had to bike back once we got there. On the way home a guy fell coming down the steep part of the Putah Creek Undercrossing. He got scratched up pretty bad so I asked him to come home with me so I could patch him up. So my first aid kit finally came in handy, as did my athletic tape to keep the gauze pads on. Then work was crazy busy all day. On the way back to work from lunch, a huge branch cracked and fell from one of the olive trees lining the exit drive. Luckily no one and nothing really got hurt, but the little kids playing outside and I were really startled. I stayed a few minutes after work to change Jin’s water. I’m starting to get good at it. It’s tricky getting him out of his big vase into the little one I use for him when I clean and refresh the water in his big one.

Friday was more normal, though still really busy at work.

And today we’re going to the Scharffenberger chocolate factory tour! Wheeeee! 😀