Being Artsy

A few weeks ago, we decided to try to be artsy and went to check out the Santa Ana Arts Disctict in Santa Ana. They hold an art festival the first Saturday of each month. Since we had the kids, we were there VERY early, maybe too early, for the real festival. But we kind of got a flavor of things.

I would say that as the evening rolled on, the festival is definitely not for young children. You will be well aware of the smokey haze at every stree corner, if you know what I mean. I would classify this area as the "not yet established" art scene. Lots of young, unknown artists, lots of unpolished art, and lots of "experimental" art. However, on a Saturday night, we learned real quick that you must have reservations at practically every single restaurant in the area. Luckily, after some walking around, we managed to find a table at Chapter One that was not yet crowded. Luckily, the food was pretty good. But if you visit the area, I actually recommend checking out the McFadden Public Market on Fifth Street. The main floor has various good food options including a very good chicken and hotdog place. The entire second floor is filled with 80's classic archade games. Overall, it was an interesting experience. We probably won't be coming back too often with the kids. Enjoy some of my pictures from the evening. Of note, a gallery that turned mannequins into art.



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Posted on October 21, 2017




Veggies

Aren't these the most colorful veggies?? That is all. I went to The Hook and Plow in Hermosa Beach the other week and got a meal with these beautiful veggies and just wanted to share. They are delicious as well.



Posted on October 20, 2017




TNK

My best friend and “little sister” (TNK) turned FOUR-O last month! When I first met her, she was only 18… maybe 19? I remember taking her to Vegas to celebrate her 21st birthday! I met her when I was a graduate student at UCLA and she was an undergrad. We couldn’t have been more opposite. I studied space physics and she studied English and Literature. She studied, I partied. Somehow that made it all balance out. We got along swimmingly. We’d go grocery shopping together and she’d make sure to pick up my lost grocery list sticky so I would remember what buy. I’d drag her away from her books on a Saturday night to hit the town with my friends. But with a blink of an eye, she’s become an established partner in an accounting firm and a wonderful mother of two boys. Though we live in opposite parts of the state, we’ve kept in touch through the years.

Four years ago, she and Mr. BAW threw me the biggest (and my only) surprise 40th birthday party of my life. So how can I top that?? I cannot. All I could do was to try to pull off a sneaky 40th birthday surprise for her. My plan was just to drive up to SF to surprise her with a small family brunch. But as planning got underway, she decided to make things difficult. I had to collude with her husband to keep her from planning any out of town trips. In the end, he couldn’t keep her from going into work on a Saturday morning (remember this is the same girl who was studying on a Saturday night twenty years ago). So our last minute change of plans was to surprise her the evening before without the party stuff! But the look on her face when we surprised her was priceless. I do wish I was a better organizer to have thrown her a bon a fide surprise party though. If only she could’ve been my party organizer…

Anyway, we had a wonderful time visiting TNK and SF. We also took some time out to visit some cousins (both mine and Mr. BAW’s) who live in the area. We even found time to see UC Berkely. Mr. BAW's cousin was able to join us on a little tour of the beautiful Berkely campus. Enjoy the campus pictures.















Posted on October 18, 2017




Lizzy

I don't even know how to feel about what's been going on in the world any more. Sadness, fear, anger, disappointment, I don't know. In a world going crazy, I just want to give my children a simple childhood.

Last month, a few weeks after school started, Buzz came home one day and told me that a couple of the older boys at school have been showing him and his friends how to catch lizards at the playground at school. I thought, "Hm...how sweet that the fourth and fifth graders are playing with the second graders and teaching them a hunting skill." Ha, I know it's silly, but it warmed my heart. One of my fears is that Buzz would be bullied or something at school. But to know that boys of all ages are playing together at school is very comforting to me. Buzz also wanted to show me where they try to catch lizards. So one lazy Sunday afternoon, while Mr. BAW was out of town, I decided to take the kids to their school so Buzz can show me where the lizards like to hang out. Somehow, he convinced me to bring a small box in case he catches one. I figured he was not going to get one. So we get to the school and there was not a soul there but us, as expected since it was Sunday. Both kids went off looking for lizards by the play equipment. I sat in the shade enjoying some quiet time. As expected, Buzz was not succesful in trapping any lizards after a while. So they got bored and started playing on the gym equipment. As Ahgoo was on the top of the slide, she yelled, "I see one!!" and pointed down at the ground. Buzz ran over and actually caught a tiny lizard in his hands. Next thing I know, we've got a tiny little lizard in a box driving home.

On the way home, I kept trying to think of ways to convince Buzz to let the lizard go when we get home. But then he came up with the perfect name for the little guy, Lizzy! So there was no convincing him to release Lizzy, at least not right away. At the same time, I thought it be cute to have a little pet. Toby's been gone for over a year now and we can not get another dog until our house remodel is complete. So the kids have been asking for a smaller pet like a fish for some time now. So I decided to let the kids keep Lizzy for a few days. When we got home, I began to put a little cozy home together for Lizzy. What does a lizard like?? Suddenly I realized that I have no idea how to take care of a lizard! Water, heat, and hiding place I guess are the essentials. So I gave up a tupleware and put a little water dish made out of a party favor frisbee into it along with some shredded papper towel for Lizzy. Next, what do we feed a lizard?? I tried to look it up on the internet and came up with tiny worms and ants. Lizzy was so tiny that I think a few of the catepillars I found on my tomato plants were all much larger than him (we actually don't know the sex of Lizzy, but just randomly used "him"). Luckily I managed to find a tiny worm and some ants to throw into the tupleware. At night, I've left an Ikea reading light shinning on the tupleware. Luckily, the weather has been hot. I change his water and clean his tupleware daily.

The kids enjoyed watching Lizzy and looking for him each morning. Sometimes he would sit in the water dish. At first I was rather skittish when cleaning Lizzy's home. Lizards are not my favorite creatures to say the least. But after a week, he grew on me! I never did touch him, but he became a little cute to me. I don't know how much Lizzy ate but we ended up having him for two weeks! I was diligent in catching ants and tiny worms for him, but I suspected that he didn't eat much. I kept thinking that we should release him soon.

One day, after coming home from work/school, I went over to check on Lizzy. I had a strange feeling about it. When I looked into the tupleware, I saw Lizzy in a stiff position and my heart sank. At that moment, I was very upset with myself for not insisting on releasing him sooner. The weather has gotten colder and the little Ikea light was probably not warm enough for him. I suspected that he wasn't eating much either, but I don't really know how often lizards eat. The kids were sad too. I felt so guilty for taking him away from his home at school and killing him that and couldn't bring myself to get rid of the tupleware and its contents. So I just put the entire tupleware out on a table on our balcony. I figured I'd clean it out on the weekend.

That following Saturday, Ahgoo and I came home from Chinese school while Mr. BAW had to take Buzz to his soccer game. I finally got the courage to tackle cleaning out Lizzy and the tupleware. It's been three days since I found him stiff. I took the container out to the front steps and opened the lid to dump out the content. Then I noticed something strange, I thought I saw Lizzy's head moved. I jumped. After a few seconds, Lizzy seemed to have thawed! He started to look around, as if confused. I was SOOOO happy!! Lizzy is alive! Is that possible?? I searched the web later and discovered that some lizards slow their metabolism way down to survive the cold. In any case, I was so happy that Lizzy is alive that I took a quick picture of him and told Ahgoo to say goodbye and let him free! Lizzy, hopefully, is now living in our front yard somewhere happily. Buzz missed Lizzy a little but I told the kids that it's best for him and that now he can go find another lizard friend!





Posted on October 6, 2017


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