Friday, February 27, 2009

Why I Listen to the Dan Patrick Show

While I desperately clung to the vestiges of my former life in LA, Dan Patrick announced he would be soon leaving ESPN and his ESPN radio show in August 2007. In the well-there-goes-my-favorite-sports-talk-radio-show sense I was devastated. I couldn't even get ESPN radio in the Bay Area, and had just found the podcasts to his show on iTunes--I could feel another tie to Los Angeles loosening.

But, the knot didn't completely undo itself and several months later I stumbled upon Dan Patrick's radio show again. Somehow, the internet led me to his new home with Sports Illustrated ( I was teeny-bopper happy again to have found Dan on the radio. I still get his shows on podcasts because the tape-delayed version is played in the Bay Area some time in the afternoon when I'm at work.

You might wonder why I listen to Dan Patrick, or why I even turn on sports talk radio. First of all, Dan is funny. Then, there's his crew, Paulie, Seton, Fritzie and McLovin'--they have the best work dynamic and they always sound like they're having way too much fun. Of course, there's the fact that I love sports. Finally, it's because Dan has a way of sharing some new bit of information with the audience, and in the process, makes me laugh.

Before I tell you what I learned from Dan today, I must admit that I am extremely far behind in my podcasts, so I was listening to something from November 2008.

So, the best reason for listening to Dan is because you can learn stuff like the fact that Peyton Manning once asked Justin Timberlake to get him a pair of bowling shoes because he had no idea who Justin was; and JT actually went along with it and got him the shoes! At the time, I would venture to say that JT was bigger than Peyton since N'Sync was together and Peyton had just been signed by the Colts. Of course, the exchange between Dan and JT is much better, so go download the podcast from November 12. It is Peyton-Manning-MasterCard-commercial-priceless.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On Being Friends With the Library Again

Somewhere between high school and a couple of years ago, I forgot about public libraries. Maybe it's because in college there was a built-in library, and mostly I associated it with textbooks and exam doesn't really matter though because I have become friends with my library again!

I thank the Burlingame Public Library for this reunion. When I started working on the Peninusla I stumbled upon the most beautiful library I have ever seen (Burlingame). It reminds me of a very large home (maybe a small mansion), filled with books. I love it there. Unfortunately, now that I work on the East Bay it makes no sense to drive across the Bay Bridge and through the City just for the ambience.

The Pleasant Hill Public Library doesn't have the charm or warm atmosphere of Burlingame, but it gets the job done. The best thing about the Contra Costa system is that you can go online to reserve a book, and the book will be sent over to the library of your choice; you get an email or a phone call telling you to pick-up your book. I have picked up books from Clayton, San Ramon, Lafayette--all at Pleasant Hill. I love the use of technology and I love the convenience! The only problem is that my stack of books is HUGE since I thought there would be a much longer wait. This means that Sense and Sensibility is on hold as I have three weeks to get through four of the books from the House of Night series (done), Into the Wild and Coraline.

If you're interested, I am currently reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I have seen the movie already, and mostly it made me angry. The book has evoked different feelings from me, and I think I understand Chris McCandless better, but we shall see.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


"You don't like the cold." It wasn't a question.

Geez, Edward might as well have been talking to me. There are times in my life when I think I never really belonged in Hawaii, and then I realize that there are things about my home of which I will never let go. Family is numero uno of course, and then there's the weather.

When I first moved to Southern California I thought that I would never live by the beach; at the time I thought everything was backwards. It could be hot in Whittier, and then you drive 40 minutes West to the beach and it would be cool...a little too cool. Then I moved to El Segundo. It was then that I and figured out the beach life in SoCal meant temperate weather and perfect summers. How can you complain about 80 degrees in the summer and laying out on warm sand?

It was the move to the Bay Area that made me realize that I would never let go of home. In comparison to other parts of the country or the world, low 30s in the winter is warm, but that's freezing to me. Really, anything below 70 is just uncomfortable to me. In other words, the extended period of below 70 up here in the Bay Area is a bit torturous.

At this time of year, I can only dream about wearing shorts and a tank top rather than jeans, a sweater and a coat. *Sigh

Monday, February 23, 2009

Everyone's a Little Bit Dorky

One of my non-fact based theories is that we all get dorky about something. For me, it's a range of things. I love Angels baseball, but I also love watching certain movies again and again (LOTR is a big one here), I knit and sew, sci-fi fantasy is my favorite book genre, and then there's Twilight.

This weekened--specifically on Sunday--I got to dork it out over Twilight at the Salute to Twilight in San Francisco. Thankfully I have a friend from home who is just into Twilight as I am (although, I like to think that maybe she's just a little bit worse than me in her own way). She flew up from the rock and we braved the throngs of teenie boppers together. Okay, truth be told, there were actually a lot of thirty-somethings there, and that made us feel so much better.

The salute actually took place over three days, but attendance on Sunday meant sitting in on question-answer sessions with Rachelle Lefevre (Victoria), Ashley Greene (Alice), and Jackson Rathbone (Jasper). This was by far the best part of the day.

Rachelle Lefevre was nothing short of awesome. She was so animated, bubbly, and happy that you couldn't help but like her, the person, even though Victoria is so bad. I loved that she admitted that her celebrity crush has been, and always will be Johnny Depp. I might not be a huge JD fan (sadly, I did not watch 21 Jump Street), but this confession, along with her being a Joey McIntyre fan made her so much more of a real person to me. If you are in your early 30s or late 20s, you get this since these were exactly the heartthrobs of our days as teenie boppers.

Jackson Rathbone and Ashley Greene were fun, but Rachelle Lefevre had so much personality that she was my favorite. I wish the vendors had been better, and I am not sure I will ever go again, but I am glad I tried it out once.

Next there's Wonder-Con in a matter of days and the ultimate, Comic-Con, in a matter of months. Call it dorky, but I say it's got huge potential to be fun and definitely worth experiencing once. Besides, this is a HUGE year for pop culture and super hero movies. Just think, the Watchmen, Harry Potter, Transformers, X-Men Origins Wolverine, G.I. Joe, and New Moon. There's got to be more, but that's what I am looking forward to in 2009.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Adventures in Eating

One of the best things about San Francisco has to be all the good eats. Tonight I joined a friend and a friend-of-a-friend for dinner at Foreign Cinema in the Mission ( Once again, the City did not fail me; the food was...well, it was lovely.

I started with the baked formage, which conjured up memories of fondue. Basically the formage was melted brie, toasted bread, potato and apples; every bite was worth it. My main dish, or "feature" as FC calls it was the pork chop, but I also got to taste the fried chicken and the duck. All three were fantastic. Pork chops can be risky since many places overcook it, but FC did it right. Dessert was an apple tart and the Ruby port. Yummy.

We sat in the courtyard and you should too. FC projects a film onto the back wall, and drive-in speakers are set-up along the wall. Tonight they showed the Fountain, and even though you can hear the movie playing in the background, it's not too distracting or annoying. Instead, it adds to the ambience of the restaurant and makes for a pretty cool dining/social experience.

Monday, February 16, 2009

couvertures de bébé

It took awhile, but finally two baby blankets for the stockpile I am trying to make in anticipation of all the babies my friends are expecting. I have used the top pattern many times before, so no surprises there. The heart pattern is a new attempt for me, and by far the most adventurous. To make this heart blanket again, I need a smaller set of circular needles, probably a size 4 or 5...suprising considering the amount of knitting needles I have.

This One's for Me

Here is another interpretation of a table runner pattern. However, after much internal struggle, and against my better judgement, I think it will end up on the floor as a mat. The truth of the matter is, Seth and I don't own a table big enough for this, and our "dining table" serves as my sewing table.

Friday, February 13, 2009

What's in a Name?

Apparently names are meaningless and artificial conventions if you believe online sign-up forms. Tonight I filled out a form on NPR and when I tried to submit it, I received the response which basically stated "First name is invalid. Please enter a valid first name." I made the educated guess that it was because there is a space in between "Lee" and "Ann" so I fixed it so my first name would now read as "LeeAnn." That worked. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Recent news about old-workers and their loved ones can only be summarized with a sigh. Today I joined a group on FB called "We Love You Carter." Carter is the young daughter of a former co-worker, and she just had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in her brain. The other day I heard about a former office-mate who lost her husband to suicide. Before that, it was news about one of the nicest people I have ever encountered at work; this woman's husband has terminal cancer. Like I said, "Sigh."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Here is a Twilight inspired shirt I made (well, not the shirt, just the hearts and the quote at the hem). Twilight fans will recognize the embroidered words. The hearts are detailed with the buttonhole stitch. A better picture of La Tua Cantante is needed, but I think natural light is necessary.

Strawberry Crush Cupcakes

I was asked for this recipe after my FB post yesterday, as well as at work today, so here is a very easy and yummy cupcake recipe. Be prepared for a massive sugar rush.

Strawberry Crush Cupcakes
from Kim S.

Cake Ingredients
1 box Duncan Hines Deluxe Strawberry cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1 C Strawberry Crush soda
3/4 C Wesson oil

Glaze Ingredients
2 T Strawberry Crush Soda
1 C powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a separate bowl, beat 4 eggs, 1 cup strawberry crush soda and 3/4 cup Wesson oil.

Combine dry and wet ingredients. Pour in greased and floured bundt or 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. For cupcakes, follow time on cake mix box.

Glaze when cake is still hot with mixture of 2 T strawberry soda and 1 cup powdered sugar. Double glaze recipe for cake baked in 9x13 pan. Use pastry brush to spread glaze.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Taking it Back to the Old School

It's funny how years and years can go by and you don't think about the little things that can make you happy. I'm talking about mom packing you spam musubi for lunch or unwrapping a can of Hawaiian Sun on a field trip. By the way, the juice in the can is half-frozen, still slushy and wrapped first with paper towel and then tin foil.

A few years ago I was trying to figure out what to take for home-lunch at work and I had an ephiphany--spam musubi! Then I remembered that having homemade spam musubi meant I also needed a frozen can of Hawaiian Sun. Lunch was so good that day.

I had another one of these moments this summer at my sister's bridal shower. Her friend made Hawaii-kind strawberry cupcakes (Strawberry Crush is the secret ingredient). I was back in my own olden days. I ventured there again tonight and made strawberry cupcakes. Unfortunately I couldn't quite get all the way back since I couldn't find Strawberry Crush here in the mainland. Oh well, as with many other Hawaii foods brought over to the mainland, these were good enough.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Encounters With My Sewing Machine

Made this table runner yesterday. It took me forever to figure out what combination of fabric I would use--probably because the pattern wanted eight different colored squares. I opted for two.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

On the Mat

On nearly any given Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. I am entirely unreachable. Yoga trumps nearly everything on Saturday mornings, and I hate missing a class. This is rather amazing considering that I am quite the lazy bum when it comes to exercise. I do run and I hop on the elliptical at the gym, but it takes a lot of self-shaming to get me to put on the workout gear and out the door. Yoga is different for me, and it is something I got into after I moved to the Bay Area. I imagine that this about as Bay Area as I'll ever get.

You might think that I sought out yoga because I wanted to calm my type-A tendencies, but that's not it at all. I don't deal with stress any better than I did pre-yoga, but it is the best way for me to deal with the physical manifestations of my stress. The chest opener (laying over blocks) my teacher had me doing on my first night of class brought me over to the om-side, and the block-helped bridge poses made my stay permanent. I detest any sort of inversion, and I don't practice savasana as I should. My mental hamster keeps spinning on the wheel during that quiet time, but this is also probably the most at-peace my mind ever finds itself. I love pigeon pose and basically almost any sort of hip opener I have tried, and my rhomboids and shoulders are happier parts post-yoga session. And yes, I actually do home practice.

My teacher is Lauren Davis, and she is the best. She rides a Ducati [in warm weather mostly] and her off-color humor fits my temperament exactly. She explains poses in a way that my non-spiritual mind can easily grasp. I never have to wonder just how my skin is supposed to move down on its own when my hands are otherwise occupied. If you ever find yourself in the Bay Area, go to one of her classes. You can find out more at (when reading in your head, put an extra emphasis on "live" and say it with an "!").

Friday, February 6, 2009

Encounters With My Sewing Machine

Since this blog also meant to be a place for me to discuss my adventures in crafting (particularly sewing) I figure it's time to post something related to my original intention. I worked on this blanket over this last week, and it's a first birthday gift for my friend's son. I am a little tired of the pattern, so I won't be doing another one of these for a little while.


Thoughts of food filled my head all day long. I blame it on my friend who created Last night I read her post on focaccia bread, and I was hooked! Eventually I found my way to the posts for peanut butter cup brownies and sweet potato haupia squares. YUM. ONO. OISHI.

If you know me, you know I am not usually one for dessert, but I love peanut butter and chocolate together--it's the salty-sweet mix that does it for me. Speaking of sweet and salty together in a dessert, now I am thinking of Mari's New York caramel sea salt brownies. I had a rare moment of true appreciation for chocolate when I ate that brownie. Thanks Miche for breaking that box open in the parking lot of Ala Moana.

Back to "real" food. Reading the blog and thinking of focaccia, pesto, and a gnocchi army made my dinner seem down right boring. I just made baked ziti (well really rigatoni). This brings me to what went down with dinner: my favorite $6.99 wine from Trader Joes, Novella Synergy. It's a blend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


More traffic than usual on Lake Chabot Road made my commute home longer and more "interesting" today. It was a stalled car blocking one of the two existing lanes that made all the traffic.

While I waiting out the congestion my car lurched forward--seemingly on its own. Right...on its own. It was the girl behind me in the beige Camry! She rear-ended me, and thanks to her I now owe Seth a dollar for our swearing fund. When I looked in my rearview mirror at her, she was just looking at my car and then reversed her car a little. Smart move, right? Yes, reverse your car on the packed road while we all wait for the stalled car to move. My turn for a not-so-smart move.

I got out of my car to take a look at my bumper (or is it fender). Thankfully, there was no mark on the car. Unfortunately, the culprit did not bother to get out of her car, or at the very least roll down her window to apologize. Boo on you girl-in-the-beige-Camry!

This happened to me once before on my way to jury duty in the City of Compton. I think it might have been a girl driving in a green Camry that time. Of course, that time I did not get out of the car. Today's game of bumper cars felt the same, but since I was in Castro Valley and generally feel safer there than I do in Compton, I got out of my car.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Love Books

My infatuation with Twilight has been driving my boyfriend, family and friends crazy, but I don't really mind because some good changes have come from my obsession.

Reading Twilight [the first time] reminded me of all those intense feelings of teenage love, as well as those of first love. I think Stephenie Meyer got it exactly right when she wrote the story.

As a result of this, I have found that I do like mushy love stuff again. Prime example: I am back to watching Moulin Rouge again and again.

Finally, I just love books again. It has been so long since I have read and enjoyed books in the way that I do now. Since I moved to the Bay Area in 2007 I did start reading more, but that was because I sat on the Bart for over two hours a day (I cannot stand just sitting and being bored; I need to be doing something). Twilight has done something more for my reading than riding on the Bart ever did--I am now going through the classics because of Stephenie Meyer's constant references to books like Wuthering Heights. I am almost done with Pride and Prejudice, and it was fun to recognize Ms. Meyer's inspiration/homage to the classic romance. Here is the quote that did it for me:

I knew enough of your disposition to be certain, that had you been absolutely, irrevocably decided against me, you would have acknowledged it...

That would be Mr. Darcy speaking to Elizabeth Bennet.

Suivez-moi, s'il vous plaît.

My first ever blog. Well, I have been saying for the past couple of years that if I had a blog I would definitely blog about four-way stop signs. When two or more cars reach the intersection at the same time, I noticed that no one knows how to yield to the right anymore.

I find the most amusement and frustration in the difference between drivers in California and those in Hawaii. Everyone in California wants to go first. In Hawaii, drivers want everyone else to go first. It really is funny. Californians have the whole "California roll" thing going for them, so no wonder they don't really want to stop. People in Hawaii are just trying to be polite; they also all wave "thanks" when making lane changes, merging, etc.