Monday, December 22, 2008

Missed Flight

Friday was the first snow storm of the year in NYC

Our friends Mimi and Ray were supposed to fly to the West
Coast but their flight was cancelled. If you have to look at the bright side of things (some people are annoying like that), at least the flight was cancelled very early in the day -- I guess it's better to know about the cancellation before leaving for the airport rather than sitting there and waiting for three hours, only to find out about the cancellation. Since we are no going to be seeing each other for the holidays, I decided to invite then over for dinner and some Wii action.

Now, I was a little nervous cooking for them because Ray is professional chef an
d Mimi is an avid baker. I always think that they are not going to enjoy my food, but that's not how they are. As a matter of fact, Ray mentioned to us before that he is happy and always appreciates someone cooking for him. I thought that was very sweet of him to say.

For appetizer, I made this French (Filipino) Onion Soup. For entree, I made my famous (between hubby and I) spaghetti Bolognese. Unfortunately, we were so hungry and enjoyed each other's company that I wasn't able to take a photo of the dinner before I served it. The only picture I took was of soup before I broiled the cheese on top.

After dinner, we moved to the living room and had more drinks and played Wii bowling (thanks guys for the game!).

The next morning I woke up and surprised to find out how much we ended up drinking....but it's always worth it when you are enjoying time with your special friends.

To Mimi and Ray - we love you guys...cheers and have a great trip

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Not Another Goodbye

Hello everyone. This was a really difficult entry for me, which explains why it took so long. As you will see, last weekend was quite a roller-coaster ride for my husband and me, and I needed to grieve before I started blogging again. A couple of weeks ago, we decided we wanted a dog. We were considering puppies, but ultimately decided on adopting a dog from a rescue. Now, my husband has a dog allergies, so we are limited to certain specific breeds. After a lot of research on around Thanksgiving, I found the cutest bichon frise/shih tzu mix called Mickey Finn. After submitting my application for adoption, I received the disappointing news that someone had already adopted him. (Disappointing for me, wonderful news for the dog.)

By the end of November, I found another dog that I liked named Toe-Toe - a bichon frise. Off the bat, we know we love Bichons because my husband had one called Bailey who was the best dog ever. Unfortunately, Bailey died of lung cancer two years ago. We don't knows how he got it since no one in the family smoke. In the picture, Toe-Toe looked very sad but based on the description, he sounded like the perfect dog for us.

On Saturday, December 6th, we visit Toe-Toe in his foster care. He was sad but friendly and oh so cute. despite of desparately needing a bath. We took him for a walk and he seems like a very sweet and well trained boy. We noticed that he was limping a bit, but the foster mom said no one was quite sure what his problem was because the vet couldn't find anything. Despite of the limp and his desparate need for grooming, we decided to take him with us. We had a two week trial to see if things would work out.

So we drove out to Long Island with the newly named Henri to stop at the pet store and MIL's before starting our new life with Henri. He sat in my lap the whole time and didn't give me a hard time at all. At MIL's, we noticed he had started to bond to me already. He would follow me around the backyard, and whe I left the yard, he would try to find a way out. So sweet. However, the limp was still there.

We took him to our own vet to get a thorough check-up. The vet said he looked ok, but that he seems to have some tenderness in the shoulder, accounting for the limp. She did a blood work and would get back to us tomorrow. Finally we brought Henri to what we thought would be his new forever home.

We immediately gave him a bath, brush and blow dry and brushed his teeth. This boy was starting to spiff up quite nicely. The bonding continued, with him only eating if I would sit next to him. And despite the limo, he loved going on long walks outside.

On Sunday, we settled into a normal routine with the dog. Early long walk, feeding, shorter walk afterward, etc. It was then that we noticed, when inside, his limp was more pronounced, with him sometimes refusing to use the leg at all. Also, he wasn't playful at all. It seems that all he did was sleep on his bed. He seems depressed, having been shuffled around from house to house, but it was a concern that this was just the way he is - lethargic, without really giving much acknowledgement to his owners at all.

We eagerly awaited the result of the blood work. Finally, but 5PM, the vet called. He has high liver enzyme reading - it was a strange reading because only one of three enzymes was high, so the vet wasn't sure what was going on. If it continued, the next steps would be an ultra sound and then a biopsy. On Sunday, we did our normal routine with the dog.

This was devastating news. After having lost Bailey just two years ago, we didn't want to get attached to a dog who had a potentially serious illness which could pop up in a few months. That heartache would just to be too much. This is one of the hardest decisions we've had to make and we were on and off crying all day. But we had to do it quickly so we wouldn't get too attached to him and he wouldn't get too attached to us (which had started happening on both cases.)

Once we made the decision, it felt like we had already suffered a loss. The apartment felt strangely emply eventhough Henri was still there. To take our mind off the decision, we decided to leave Henri alone for few hours and go outside ourselves. This was the first time since we'd gotten him that he would be alone.

We gated him in the long entrance hallway. For a few minutes, we stood outside to see what he would do. At first there was crying and barking...separation anxiety. Then, we heard some scratching at the door. Could it be he got out over the gate? Well, the noise had stopped so we went out.

Upon returning, it was clear he had gotten over both gates. Aftaid on the destruction and mess we would find, we coutiosly went into the apartment. What we found broke our hears more. There was Henro, lying in the middle of the dining room, sleeping quitely, on my robe. He had found it, and pulled it down. He must have noticed my scent and it must have comforted him. Seeing him lying sadly on my robe brought tears to my eyes once again, knowing that we would be returning him.

Finally, on Monday night, just two and half days after meeting him, we brought Henri back to his foster home. It was very upsetting for both of and hubby were both crying. He was such a sweet boy, and he had clearly started to bind to us. But with the risk of disease and what appeared to be othe ailments, we just couldn't invest our emotions into him and risk losing him quickly. We left Henri in the arms of his foster mom (he clearly remember her and seemed comfortable, albeit sad), and cried the whole way back home. Even writing this now brings tears.

This is the only picture I tool of him using my camera phone. I think it was
good that I couldn't find my regular camera so I didn't take too may photos.
This way it is easier for me not to think of him (which I do anyway).

Henry, I'm praying for your good health and I hope you will find your perfect forever home soon.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

As I Wish or What Wesley Learned After Riding Off Into The Sunset With Buttercup

Now that the turkey has been fully digested (finally), it is officially that time of year again - CHRISTMASTIME! My husband asked me for the third time already what I want for Christmas. (This is a little game we play every year...he asks, I don't answer, he asks again, I still don't answer, he gives up asking and I tell him what I want - usually on a shopping trip specifically designed for that purpose.)

Well, this year I'm not really sure what I want, but since he insists, I'll have to come up with something to go shopping for one he stops asking. I'm sure when he reads this he will say "how many of those do you really need?" He'll then follow that up with, "too expensive!"

Here goes:

1.) A Louis Vuitton bag.

I think this new bag is perfect for work next year and it's big enough to fit my new laptop and other gadgets I carry everyday. (
Of course, so are the other countless "work bags" that he has bought me over the years, but hey....none of those are LV)

2.) These
gorgeous Christian Louboutin shoes (very prive platform pump)..oh to die for!

These shoes will not only look good, but they will make me look a lot taller (
and a lot more like Imelda Marcos who, despite her many faults, sure has good taste in shoes!) Sure I have lots and lots of shoes, but c'mon girls, who among us can say we have enough shoes?!?

A spa package at my favorite spa, D'Mai Urban Spa here in Parkslope, Brooklyn.

D'mai, if you are reading, take a note that - that was free advertising to a LARGE readership....and besides, lets not forget the $320 I spent at you a few months ago - which I conveniently told my husband was only $120. By the way, ladies, if you're going to attempt a fabrication like that, make sure YOU get to the credit card statement before HE does!

Yeah, yeah...maybe I'm materialistic. Maybe I want to have things that I don't really need....things that I already have. Ok...sure, I want to end the world hunger, I want peace throughout the world, I want to save the Siberian Tiger. But how is my little ol' wish going to accomplish all that? And besides, none of that will look any good on me! (I kid, I kid....I bet a tiger fur would go fabulous with the Christian Louboutin shoes.)

Whatever...It's just a wish list. I don't expect to get any of that (not with my cheap husband - he really doesn't understand why she who has the most shoes wins). But a girl's allowed to wish, right?

And really, the things that do, happiness, contentment....well, I've already got those. I don't have to wish for those things, because I've already got the one thing I couldn't have hope to wish husband. (and lucky for me, like Imelda, he too has suprisingly good taste in shoes.) :-D

Monday, December 1, 2008

On A High Note

I almost forgot to post this until I came across a photograph today.... Two weeks ago, my husband and I went to see Duncan Sheik in concert at Town Hall. We are both a big fans of his, so we were excited for the show. It's been quite some time since we've seen him live (although the front row center balcony seats didn't mute our excitement any.) Of course, nothing could prepare us for what was easily the weirdest concert we've ever been to.

We didn't think twice about the opening act Lauren Pritchard, formerly of Spring Awakening, apologizing for coming out prematurely early. However, it was pretty funny when she wanted to switch from piano to keyboard for a song, but couldn't get the microphone stand to reach. In the end she scrapped the keyboard idea, but all in all her set was very enjoyable and look forward to her album next year.

Finally Duncan came on, with full band, including a French horn, clarinet and cello (sorry the picture above didn't capture all of them.) He opened with "For You" from his 2002 album Daylight - so far so good. For the first third of the show, he sang songs from his albums. It was a great start and it's always fun to sing along with his songs. Then, as is typical, he switched gears and a bunch of songs from Spring Awakening. Again, these are great songs, and I am looking forward to finally seeing the show in January before it closes.

Everything seems to be going normally. At one point, the audience member were also complaining that two female singers (Lauren Pritchard again, and Holly Brooke also from SA) vocal levels were low. Duncan apologized and told the sound guy to boost the level. He then laughed when realized that the next song would not featured them. Oh well, live show are live, so a little goof like that is to be expected. What followed, though, could not have been.

After the SA mini-set, Duncan launch into a bunch of song from his upcoming project titled "Whisperhouse." Another soon to be produced stage production, this one has what sound to be a very unusual narrative. It involves a haunted lighthouse, an orphaned protagonist and ghost band. Interesting concept, but it all sounded a little goofy when Duncan was explaining it. And explain it he did! In between songs, he would try to discuss a setting of the song. However, it seems that, during his ramblings, even Duncan seemed to get how ludicrous much of narrative it sounded. Of course, this didn't affect my enjoyment of the show any - the new songs we almost uniformly great. It's just that, the way he tried to explain the songs,it was very funny. But not Joe Pesci "ha-ha" funny, but more like "hmm, how peculiar, how do I react to this" funny.

Duncan then realized that he had skipped a song and thus the narrative no longer made any sense (if it ever did). Duncan and the audience took it all in stride. But things really started to go off the rails during the encore. At one point, the lead guitarists' daughter ran out on the stage, during a song, and ask daddy to tie he shoelaces. the band keep playing, and the little girl was dancing around the stage, seemingly oblivious to the audience. It was adorably weird.

At the end of the song, the guitarist hugged his daughter and Duncan had to confess to being upstaged again by yet another woman! Then for the final encore, Duncan and the band came our, only the cellist and French horn player were missing. Apparently they were in the bathroom! What's more; they were needed to start the next song. So Duncan just sort of spoke to the audience while waiting for the band to fully assemble. Eventually they did and they did a terrific version of "On A High."

As I said, the show was very good, but the whole evening just seemed a little surreal. Its hard to explain, but a lot of things seems just a little "off" - not musically, mind you, just sort of...weird. Oh well, if anything I think it enhanced my enjoyment of the show. This was not some prefabricated music spectacle, but rather, a working musician playing a hometown show in front of friends and family, and having a great time doing it! He made Town Hall feels like a backyard bbq! I couldn't have asked for more!