Thursday, December 17, 2009

I have a busy weekend so I better blog now! Let me first start with last week. It was a relatively quiet week. On Thursday Nick and I went on a date to the Old Spaghetti Factory and then to Christopher's winter band concert. The concert was pretty good. It wasn't as long as we thought it was going to be. Christopher told me that the set was 45 minutes long, but it didn't feel that way at all. Nick said that he had a pretty good time for sitting on metal folding chairs and listening to a high school band play. I also got A Collection of Essays By George Orwell from Half Priced Books while we were out for only $2! I also got 1984 by Orwell, but that one was $5. Still, two books for $7 is exciting! I haven't started either yet because I've been reading Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis, but I want to look through the essays soon. Less Than Zero is a pretty quick read so I think if I just sit down and read it (and not watch Grey's Anatomy) then I can finish it quickly. I'm in love with Ellis' writing style even though American Pyscho had me fearing for my life in my own bed.

On Saturday I spent a good portion of the day Christmas shopping. I got most of it done on that one day, so I was quite happy. TJ Maxx is my best friend. It just so happened that the day I picked to do all of my shopping was one that Mother Nature tried to turn Concord into a bog. I was soaked and my feet were freezing. The next day I went down to Fremont to meet my friend, Linda, so that we could go shopping in Gilroy. I know it's Christmas time and I shouldn't be buying stuff for myself, but I did get myself a new Coach wallet. After a whole bunch of shopping we went back to Fremont and had some much needed Phó before I drove back home.

This little one is for when I don't want to carry a big purse and just a wristlet. It doesn't fit that well in my flat wristlets, but I'll make due. I can't fit my keys and cell in them anyway. I was going to get just a flat thing that I found in the men's department for credit cards, but Linda said that this is much cuter. It is, but it doesn't fit like I want it to. I can get it easily into the wristlet that Josie gave as a bridal party favor, which is a puffy wristlet, so it works out. I actually use that one the most because I can fit my cell phone, little wallet, and keys in there. I can also fit some extra makeup in case I'm out somewhere. In hindsight, I guess this little card holder is better than the men's version.

This is the main wallet that I got myself. I had the other little one in my hand and then while I was in line with Linda I saw a brown one of these sitting where someone had left it. I had missed it! It's a good thing Linda had seen them. I was literally pushing through the mob to get to the wallet and get back in line. The inside is just like every other Coach wallet, but it's the front that attracted my attention.

This week has also been a mellow one. Very lazy actually. The only exciting thing so far is that I had my weekly dinner with Melanie and her family and was able to give them all their Christmas presents. I love giving presents! I gave Talan (their little boy) a VTech game (similar to this) for their TV. I thought it was pretty cool. I spent way more time in the toy section than I did in any other. I got really excited about the little games that it comes with. I got him Noah's Arc game that teaches animals and also a Mother Goose game that goes over rhymes and stuff. I think I was more excited about it than he was. He's only one and a few months, but it seemed like he had more fun with the glowing blue power button than the rest of the game.

Going to Melanie's was like going to a CVS. Not only did she give me my Christmas gift, but she gave me all these lotions and stuff out of her cabinets. We were talking about the anti-aging wrinkle cream that I've been using as a preventative and she started pulling stuff off her shelves that she had but never used. She also gave me one of those Wave face cleaners. You all should try this thing. It makes your skin feel super smooth. I made Christopher and my mom try dad didn't want to try. I better go out and get more cleansing pads.

I'm in for a very exciting weekend. This afternoon I made gingerbread dough for the first time ever. (If you hadn't noticed I consider Friday nights the beginning of my weekend.) Anyway, I was going to make my own royal frosting, but Safeway didn't have some of the ingredients that I needed. I figured that I had to go to Micheal's to get it, but I didn't feel like going out there. So Christopher and I resolved to use premade frosting for cookies. Nick is coming to make Shrimp Estouffe with me and finish off the cookies. The dough is chilling in the fridge right now. I used this gingerbread recipe from I read in one of the reviews that the dough texture depends on how you pack your flour, which makes sense. The baker writing said that she does hers as a light pack before sifting, where as others just said that they packed it and stuck it in the fridge. Since I'll be taking a whole bunch of cookies to parties this weekend I decided to make two batches. I tried light packing and heavy packing and marked each batch so that I can see how they come out for future baking. We will see how they turn out. The heavily packed flour mixture was really dry so I had to add about 1/4 cup of molasses to the dough because it was really crumbly.

Tomorrow I will be picking Bonnie up around 10:30 so that we can head to Burlingame to Abby's house for a luncheon. My first batch of cookies will be going with me to this engagement. I think the menu consists of turkey wrapped in bacon, green bean casserole, cheesy corn-potatoes, potatoes, and my cookies. Note: There are only three of us eating this lunch. I think that we will be rolling home. After this, Nick and I will be heading over to the Ryan family house for our annual tamale making party. I will be bringing the rest of the cookies there since it will be a much larger crowd. Then on Sunday I will be going to lunch with my friend Tim from Riverside. He will be back home from Washington today so I wanted to snag some of his time before he takes off after the holidays. The day after that I will be heading up to the snow with my family, Christopher's girlfriend, and Nick. It's going to be a busy weekend and I'm looking forward to it. This week seemed like it went by so slowly because I was waiting for this to come! Now I'm off to have some fun!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Happy Holidays

Well, it's been a while, as always, but I'm back. Thanksgiving was great as usual. Lots of brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. Those are my two favorite dishes of the season. I love brussel sprouts! Yummy, yummy, yummy. As I write this I've realized that I don't have any Thanksgiving pictures! My camera hasn't been working as well as it should be so I haven't been taking many pictures lately. For some reason it always goes into video mode even when I put it in picture or play back mode. Once it's into the right mode the pictures come out just fine, but if I'm trying to catch a quick picture it fails me. I have to give it a whack or two to get it to where it needs to be. I've had it since my Riverside party days, so this baby has been thrown around quite a bit, not to mention been to multiple countries and states. I think it's ready for its retirement. So now I'm on the market for a new camera. Maybe Canon will have some awesome after Christmas sale. Right now the Canon Powershot SD1200 in charcoal I've been looking at is at Costco for $150. Not bad, if you ask me. All of these digital camera companies come out with so many cameras a year that I just don't know when the best time to buy is. By the time I get around to getting this one, they'll have a new model out. I will go check them out, but I have a feeling just letting everyone else take pictures and then stealing them is easier. Haha. It's a good thing that everyone else in my family has functioning cameras. All of the pictures that I put up on this post have been stealthily stolen from my mom's camera (even though she'll know that I took them from her as soon as she reads this). On the downside, now I have boy scouting pictures that I really don't care much about. Oh well.


I look like a turkey-stuffed gremlin, but everyone else looks happy.

Too bad our family is too big to all sit at the table to eat anymore. Well, the more the merrier!

Right after Thanksgiving my mom, Mrs. Ryan, and I headed down to LA to watch Christopher's marching band perform in the Hollywood Christmas parade. We headed down there on Saturday afternoon and got in around 7pm. Once we got into the motel I was trying to find somewhere for us to go out to get a drink after our long ride, however, they didn't really feel like going out. Instead we headed to Vons, which is now Pavillions, to get snacks and drinks. Oh my goodness, they bought so much food you'd think that we were going to be gone for a month. We were only going to be staying two nights! Below is the conversation that I had with Nick after we got back. I had been texting him their ridiculousness while we were at the grocery store and he had to remind me that they're boy scout moms so they were "being prepared". My mom and Mrs. Ryan just feed off each other and get a little overzealous sometimes. (This came directly from my chat transcripts sans timestamps.)
Nick Fong: how much stuff did u buy?!
Nick Fong: lol
Allison Chin: let me list it
Nick Fong: lol
Allison Chin: individual lays potato chips, biscotti, wheat thins, string cheese, bananas, vegetable chips, fruit cup, cottage cheese, milk, kirin ichiban beer, chardonnay, and merlot....for three little girls in a best western
Nick Fong: lol
Nick Fong: sounds like u guys are having one heck of a party!
They also stole some wooden chopsticks from the deli department because I had mentioned that I eat my Spicy Cheetos with them. I didn't even end up getting the Cheetos, but they had gotten so carried away that they took them anyway. After they talked themselves out of getting individual sized key lime pies, we headed back to the motel. Man, I really should have taken a picture of all the stuff they got.

The next day we went to Mel's Diner for some breakfast and early drinks. My mom and Mrs. Ryan had Bloody Marys and I had a Mimosa with my omelet. Way to start the day! After that we did some shopping on Hollywood Blvd. The way I was shopping you would have thought that I had never seen these stores before. I hit Sephora first and then moved on to Victoria's Secret and a boutique (I think it's a boutique) called Baly's. My bank account is suffering now. Heheh. After that my mom and Mrs. Ryan were undecided on whether or not to get tickets to sit in the stands. By the end and after a call from Mr. Ryan, we came to conclusion that since we traveled all the way down there that we may as well put out the money to sit in the stands.

We met up with another band family to watch the actual parade and then went out to dinner with them. Right after the parade we stopped by Mann's Chinese Theater and I took some pictures with the hands. I don't think I've actually stopped to look around Hollywood before. I always just thought it was a dump, but it's not so bad. I generally just dislike LA. Part of me disliked it even more this time because Juni wasn't there. It actually made me a little grumpy on the drive down knowing that I was going into the city and not going to see her. When I think LA, I think Juni. I took a whole class on LA literature and how the city consumes your soul so my opinion of LA isn't exactly the best. The only positive thing about LA was Juni, but she currently resides in China. (Should anyone be interested, Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis...also the guy who wrote American Psycho, which gave me nightmares, is an awesome book. Both are awesome books. Ellison's detail is amazing.) Anyway, the company I was with helped. I sat with a sibling of one of the marchers. She was a pretty cool kid and very well spoken for a 12-year-old. At dinner I decided to be bold and try sushi again. Back in Riverside I had it, but didn't enjoy the texture at all. After having raw oysters with Nick and realizing that my tastes have changed quite a bit, I took the plunge and I liked it! Now I want to try more. Oh, the world is opening up for me. I better start scrapbooking again!

My mom walking down the red carpet where the parade was going to be with her much pondered ticket. The tune to "I've got a golden ticket" is going through my head as I type this.
Mrs. Ryan, my mom, and me. Go Minutemen!

So Erik Estrada was one of the announcers for the parade. My mom and Mrs. Ryan got pretty excited when they saw him. I had no idea who he was, but by the way all the moms around me were reacting I figured he was a movie star of some sort. Apparently he was in the show Chips, which I don't think I've ever seen. I recognized his name, but didn't know who he was. I had to look him up on my phone while we were sitting there to see what all the fuss was about. I love Wikipedia.

This man, however, I was swooning over. I was whacking my mom's arm so that she would pull out her camera and take a picture of him. Unfortunately, it's not a good one, but if you click on this Gilles Marini link that I've provided you can see him in his Sex and the City: The Movie hotness. He also was the runner up to Shawn Johnson for Dancing with the Stars, which made him even better. His Bolero was awesome! I believe he is now on the show Brothers and Sisters. I used to watch the show but then stopped when they had that writer's strike a while back. Maybe I should get back into it. Hehehe. Besides Eric Dane from Grey's Anatomy, Gilles is one of the only actors that I really find very attractive. Taye Diggs from Rent and Private Practice is a runner up (it doesn't matter if Benny was a jerk). I also have a not-so-secret older man crush on Anthony Bourdain because he's just plain BA, but that's beside the point.

Anna Trebunskaya and her husband Jonathan Roberts! Both Dancing with the Stars pros. I also got quite excited about seeing them. I do have to say that being at the parade watching it live is not as cool as watching it on TV. All of the retakes made it a little too real for me. I prefer the perfect version that they air on TV.

The moment we've all been waiting for.

Just a bunch of pictures of me in front of Mann's Chinese theater since I was, for once, in front of the camera and not behind it.

Gene Kelly had really small feet for a man, seems like. He was the first cement print that I saw. He is a legend. OMG, I love Gene Kelly. <---This is a clip from Singing in the Rain, one of my all time favorite musicals. He's just so amazing! I've linked the DVD two-disk set, but if you want it I have it so I can make you a copy.

Sushi that I actually liked! This was from my phone, which explains the horrible quality.

Can you tell that the kid in the middle has spunk?

Well, as soon as Thanksgiving was over Nick and I couldn't keep our Christmas gifts to one another a secret. Hahaha we're like two peas in a pod. I fondly call us Legos because we fit together so well. He got me a super, super awesome Shun kitchen knife. You should feel how easily it cuts through potatoes and big hunks of salami. It's wonderful. My mom believes in this old wive's tale that if you get someone cutlery that you are cutting apart the relationship. It's a good thing I don't believe in those kinds of things. He also got me a new Coach bag. It's beautiful. I actually punched him when I opened it. There were a lot of "no you didn'ts" and "no ways" floating around the room and then I couldn't stop smiling. I don't think that my pictures do it justice, so I've also link the official picture. He's definitely a keeper!

I love, love, love the purple on the inside.

Also, here are a few back logged pictures from the Big Game. I just pulled them off of my mom's camera.

Look how huge this piece of meat is compared to my hand.

Mmm...a heart attack in a crab shell.

This past week I have been obsessed with Grey's Anatomy. I go over to Nick's place so that he can play Assassin's Creed 2 for the new PS3 I got him and then I lay on the floor and watch episode after episode of Grey's. It's a nice little system that we have going here. Hahah Forget buying me cutlery for Christmas, I think I may have doomed our relationship with getting him a video game counsel, but we'll make it work. I take precedence over the game!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Blogging will commence tomorrow, December 9th. I have a lot to say, but don't have the time to put it all down today.