December 28, 2009

Kitchen Status Dec 22nd

Filed under: Kitchen — maryparadox @ 2:07 pm

I was hanging out in the kitchen and the cats decided to come check it out. There was some hilarity with them slipping on the protective cardboard and going in and out of open drawers.

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Things are moving along pretty well. The replacement cabinet we had to order for under the bar came in early and we got all the counters in. The window is done and looks beautiful and the unusual curve for the bar is certainly eye-catching.

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Christmas 2009

Filed under: holidays — maryparadox @ 12:01 pm

For Christmas this year we went to Jackie’s boyfriend Dan’s house. Dan’s sister decided to make Christmas dinner for the extended family, which was pretty impressive considering their kitchen is about 5’x10′. Dan lives in Santa Cruz only a couple of blocks from Jackie in Pleasure point, so we walked to the beach to see the sunset before dinner.

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Before going to Dan’s house we opened presents. Dad sent a bunch of gifts from Australia (left); hats, scarves, and Ugg boots. Peter got a new cat (just kidding; this is Jackie’s ginormo cat).

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Jackie got nail clippers, Peter got a box of kitchen supplies for our new (but not yet finished) kitchen, mom got a ridiculous hat I knit, and Peter got a new coffee mug (my family long ago figured out to get Peter things associated with coffee for all holidays).

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Peter and me at Christmas dinner:


December 18, 2009

Kitty Catastrophe

Filed under: Kitties — maryparadox @ 1:25 pm

Penny went missing on Sunday. We let the cats out in the morning at around 6am (well, obviously Peter is the one who usually does this) when I assume they want to go to the bathroom. They come back in around 6:30-7am and we feed them, then they usually hang out outside for the day, with occasional visits if we are working from home to bring us leaves.
On Sunday Penny went out at 6am but then never came in for breakfast. Very strange. Then all throughout the day we called her and she never came, which is also very very strange. By early afternoon I was pretty freaked so I went door to door and asked if anyone had seen her or heard meowing. No one had. One very nice neighbor even let me look around in her back yard.

Dinner time was the big test, and by 7pm Penny still wasn’t back. Hunter was completely freaking out, having not seen her sister all day. Mixing the food for two, but faced with the idea that one would never get eaten… I finally got really upset and started crying. I took the food upstairs for the cats and at that moment I heard Peter calling my name.

He had finally found Penny! Apparently she had gone in the neighbors yard before they let their dogs out for the morning. Once they let the dogs out Penny went into hiding, but couldn’t get out — these dogs are huge, one German Shepard and one Rottweiler.  When the neighbor brought their dogs in for the night she could finally come out. Peter heard her meowing in the neighbors yard and jumped a fence and pulled back another so that she could get out.

She didn’t even seem upset, so I assume she was somewhere safe and that the dogs didn’t even know she was there. I had sworn I would never let them outside again if she did come back, but Peter won’t let me keep them locked in the house. I just have to hope she learned her lesson!


December 16, 2009

Phuket, Thailand

Filed under: Asia — maryparadox @ 5:37 pm

I went to Thailand for a couple of days with my dad in between my trips to Hong Kong and Taiwan for work. He was helping out at an orphanage there and it seemed like a good time to visit a country I had always heard good things about.

I was totally expecting some cliche orphanage from the movies where all the kids are miserable and there are yuppy white people shopping for the perfect child. Instead the kids all looked really happy — like you got to hang out will all your friends all the time. They also were surprisingly *not* up for adoption. The plan is to put them through school then set them off into the world — no parents required. It was a neat thing to see and the kids had a lot of resources available to them; in fact the parents of non-orphans complained that their kids were at a disadvantage so the orphanage opened up its job training classes to the whole community. I didn’t spend too much time interacting with the kids since I unfortunately ended up working the whole time, but they were all really sweet, and I am now convinced that being an orphan instantly makes you cuter:
2009-11-29-47 (1)The countryside was amazing and it seemed that just about anything would grow anywhere. We went down to the beach and plants were just growing out of the sand. Apparently coconuts need the salt water to take root.

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While driving from Phuket, where the airport is, to the town with the orphanage, we passed by a number of these shrines as well as stores where the shrines were sold.

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Most importantly, we ate. My dad and I both love food so we took every opportunity to try new places and eat anything and everything that looked delicious. We tried eggs over rice with a sweet sauce (left) and tons of grilled (fried?) fish. Usually you just walked in and asked for food and they brought you something, with some occasional pointing at things like eggs or rice to see if you wanted them on the side. It was always a surprise but never bad, and occasionally fabulous. Thailand is definitely my favorite Asian food destination at this point.

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Fried flat bread with (spicy) red curry and usually eggs.


A weird coconut banana paste which tasted *exactly* like banana bread. Yum!

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December 15, 2009

Hong Kong

Filed under: Asia, Work — maryparadox @ 3:25 pm

I went to Hong Kong for the first time for work last month. The work wasn’t very exciting but the hotel was pretty weird. It was the W and it was super hip to the point of being obnoxious. There were some cool parts though:

The pool on the 87th floor (roof) of the W hotel and the view of the building next to it from the roof. Apparently the building next door is the 4th tallest in the world:

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The view of the harbor from my window:

And the view of the harbor a couple days later from the breakfast buffet:

To give you an idea of the weirdness of the hotel here is the weird Alice in Wonderland whitewashed hallway:

Me at work in Hong Kong. This is a pretty accurate distribution of skin tone and gender at our company:


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