Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meet Basset

Mordsith's post on Casper inspired me to find these photos. These photos were taken on New Year's Eve in Hawaii. Hawaii's love for fireworks is a nightmare to my dog, Basset. Whenever a loud bang would go off, she starts cowering, crying, and trying to find any corner or room to hide.

On this instance, underneath the table. There you can see just her front paws sticking out of the table cloth. Even the most delicious smell of barbecue couldn't coax her out of her hiding place.

I lifted the table cover and took this photo of her. She gave me this tired, sad face. I really think she was annoyed I was taking photos of her most embarrassing moment. I was laughing when I took this photo.

This is how she spent the rest of New Year's Eve. I made sure she was calm the rest of the night, and I think she did understood the fireworks were just for one night.

This is Basset when she's calm and composed , and she's giving me the "what you doing" look.
Basset is a mixed Hungarian Vizsla, and she's now 7 years old. Basset's Mom, Snappy, was found by my Dad at an old sugar cane plantation in Ewa Beach. She was still a puppy at that time. My Dad was surprised to find a lone puppy wandering the area, and he decided to take her home. My parents wanted to take her to the animal shelter as it was expensive to keep a dog, but I insisted we keep her. I actually hid Snappy and didn't let her out of my sight. I think that, that was one of the best decisions we made. Snappy gave us unending friendship and loyalty. She gave me the time of my life.

A careless accident took Snappy away from us in 2000.
But great dogs like her are never forgotten.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

So "Ono"

This is a late post on a new restaurant I visited last weekend. It's an Asian-Pacific restaurant called Ono Grill. It caught my attention because of the word "Ono." Ono in Hawaiian means "really good" or "delicious" in terms of food. Anyway, I looked at their menu and they have some Hawaiian dishes that I'm familiar with, so off I ordered.

The minute I sat down, I was served with these lovely crispy sesame crackers, but what really got my taste buds was the mango butter. It went perfectly with the crackers, and it tasted like mango ice cream.

Picture0084.jpeg, originally uploaded by Ewa Girl.
The sushi was okay, as I've tasted better. My favorite is the grilled unagi (eel). I also ordered a pot of green tea with my meal.

Picture0086.jpeg, originally uploaded by Ewa Girl.
The pork kalua is traditionally served during luaus (parties), and this one in particular was moist but not that tender. There was a difference in the taste though, and I think it comes from the preparation. If you know how a kalua pig is made, I'd say this one was made in an oven or some sort, unlike how it's done in Hawaii, which involves the whole pig, cooked in an imu [underground oven] for at least two days. I really was impressed with the mac salad, but I would have preferred my kalua pork shredded finer and a bit saltier.

Picture0085.jpeg, originally uploaded by Ewa Girl.
Still, the food was "ono" for Maryland standards, but not for my Hawaiian taste buds. I still want to try their other dishes though.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Missing The Simple Life

Today, I am so disappointed because we had to cancel our lunch at DC Coast. My other two foodie buddies couldn't make our reservation. This is the hard part when work gets in the way of fun; I do miss the times when life was easier and simpler. These days, even the simple task of scheduling a lunch or dinner can be complicated. My friends and I have to check our calendars all the time and try to insert a lunch or dinner in between the days filled with meetings, conference calls, and business trips. Anyway, since DC Coast couldn't accommodate the time we were available, we canceled and made reservations at Old Ebbitt Grill instead. Old Ebbitt Grill is very close to where I work and according to DC experts, it was a favorite of Presidents Grant, Cleveland, Harding and Theodore Roosevelt. I do know that it is still a meeting place for political insiders, journalists, and some celebrities. But, all I'm hoping for is that we'll all be able to meet and chat at lunch tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Review Of Ceiba

The ambiance at the restaurant was calming, quiet, and relaxing with each table lighted with candles. It was a warm and friendly atmosphere. B and I decided it's the perfect place to dine after work and yes, perfect for dates. There was music playing softly on the background as B and I settled on our table. Service was unbelievably wonderful, as our waiter helped us with the menus and announced the specials of the day. I started with a Yucatan Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail. There were five tender shrimps, soaked in pico de gallo with bits of avocado. The Ceviche was perfectly paired with crisp corn tortillas kept warm underneath a blanket. The Ceviche was tasty and the pico de gallo had a perfect balance of sweetness, sourness, and a little bit of spice. I loved it. The Ceviche is on point.

For my entree, I ordered the "Cochinita Pibil" (Yucatan Style Grilled Pork Tenderloin) which came with pickled shredded cabbage on corn pita, with slices of sweet plantain. I highly recommend this dish. The flavors here complemented each other. The pork was tender, sweet, and tangy, with the evenly pickled cabbage, and appeased by the sweet plantain. This dish was a delight, devoured with great gusto. I ate everything except for the cilantro garnish.

For dessert, I got the Tres Leches Cake, which is heavenly delicious. The cake melts in your mouth, paired with crisp caramel coated popcorn and a shortbread cookie.

Ceibe Entree, originally uploaded by Ewa Girl
This was an amazing dining experience, and I would certainly go back and would highly recommend this restaurant. Nothing beats spending time with a friend paired with terrific food. I'd give Ceiba a ten!


Next stop - DC Coast.
  • DC Coast Restaurant: a re-birth of a classical Beaux-Arts style that has recently surfaced and surprised historians throughout the city. It offers beautiful architectural details in and around which the restaurant is designed. In keeping with what was of the Machine Age, the design approach of the owners Gus DiMillo, David Wizenberg, and Chef Jeff Tunks was to preserve the distinguishing characteristics of architectural styles of this era. As a more futuristic idealism embraces designs of today, the owners were inspired to also bring those decorative details to life.
  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Contemporary American
  • Neighborhood: Downtown
  • Cross Street: 14th St NW
  • Executive Chef: Brendan Cox
  • Dress Code: Business Casual

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First Stop For DC Restaurant Week

DC restaurant week kicked in yesterday, and tonight, we're dining at a place called Ceiba. This restaurant specializes in Contemporary Latin American cuisine, specifically Yucatan, Brazilian, Peruvian, and Cuban. I rarely dine out at these type of places, so restaurant week is such a great time to explore the different dining experiences DC can offer. My friend, B, will pick me up after work then we'll head to Ceiba. It's just 1 PM, and I can't stop fiddling on my chair. I'm very excited.

My first plan was to dine at five restaurants, but the possibility of that is now bleak. It's been tough getting reservations to the other places that we've planned to visit. For now, I only have two restaurants confirmed, and the other restaurants have odd open times for our schedules. As suspected, we might end up just trying two places this restaurant week. We'll see...maybe a better schedule will come up.

Here's a short profile of Ceiba:
  • Ceiba: Located at 14th & G Streets NW in the historic Colorado Building, is the latest creation of the team that brought DC Coast & TenPenh (these two are also participating in the DC restaurant week). The cuisine is contemporary Latin-American featuring Brazilian, Cuban, Jamaican & Mexican influences.
  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Cuisine: Latin American, Contemporary American
  • Neighborhood: Downtown
  • Cross Street: G Street
  • Executive Chef: Jeff Tunks
  • Dress Code: Business Casual

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend Update

My three-day weekend is coming to a close...sigh. The thing is, there'll be no holiday for the next three months, so it will be a long stretch. Thinking about it is exhausting me. I really should move to a country that has more holidays. If you live in one, let me know.

Anyway, I spent Sunday with these three (photo above). I have no complaints because we had quality time. I also organized my photos and saved them on disks, which is a relief because some photos got corrupted. I really don't know what happened. I've probably just been careless, but I'm hoping my Mom won't chew me; it's her Monticello vacation album.

Today, I went to see my Hematologist, and I'm so disappointed because my Platelets were in the 40s. I kind of suspected it will be low because I've been feeling fatigued. I just didn't expect it to be as low as this. I was in the 70s three months ago, and I can't still figure out how it went to 40. This is like riding a roller coaster, and it's been this way for the past three years. What's really frustrating is not knowing what's causing my condition. My doctor said not to worry, but still, I can't stop worrying. Who wouldn't?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Highlight Of My Saturday

I was supposed to go out and pick up some groceries after lunch, but I ended up watching a horror flick on sci fi channel. It was one of those badly made horror movies, but you've just got to see how it ends. After the disappointing ending, I fell asleep on the futon and woke up at 4 PM. Yes, I was surprised myself. I guess I really needed that nap.

Anyway, my Valentine's Day was quiet and restful. I managed to cook some pork sinigang. This dish always comforts me especially in the winter. The highlight of my day wasn't the food or the horror flick, but these tickets.

Last week, I was able to snag these opera tickets online, and they arrived today. I will be seeing "Peter Grimes" in March and "Turandot" in June. I am very excited most especially for Giacomo Puccini's "Turandot." Here's a short description of both opera:
  • "Peter Grimes"- Peter Grimes is accused of murder when his apprentices keep mysteriously dying. Only Ellen Orford has faith in the tortured fisherman, but even that is not enough to save him. Britten’s turbulent, sea-tossed score, conducted by Ilan Volkov, comes vividly to life in Paul Curran’s psychologically gripping production. (From the Washington National Opera website)
  • "Turandot" - In ancient China, any brave suitor seeking the hand of Princess Turandot is subjected to three impossible riddles. Failure means certain death, but Calaf risks everything in Puccini's celebrated opera of soaring melodies, including the sublime “Nessun dorma.” (From the Washington National Opera website)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Have Yous Tag

I was tag by Mordsith, so here we go.

1. Have you ever been on TV? Yes, during an impromptu competition in high school.

2. Have you ever sung in public? Yes, several times. I used to conduct and lead the singing of "Bayang Magiliw" in elementary.

3. Have you ever dyed your hair blond? No and never.

4. Have you ever eaten frog legs? Yes. I tasted fried ones at a Chinese restaurant. I didn't like it.

5. Have you ever received a present that you really hated? I think hate is too strong of a word. I've got presents that I didn't need, so I gave them away. But, I appreciate all presents given.

6. Have you ever walked into a lamp post? Yes. I was talking and walking with some friends and just suddenly hit a lamp post. I think it was planned.

7. Have you ever cooked a meal by yourself for more than 15 people? Yes, I cooked for more than 15 people for a friend's birthday.

8. Have you ever fallen or stumbled in front of others? Yes and a lot of times. One incident was when I was still working in Alaska, I was walking towards the office building and fell/slid through the icy pavement. There were men smoking outside, and they were very nice not to laugh at me. Instead, they pulled me up and asked if I was okay. I thanked them with a red face.

9. Have you ever done volunteer work? Yes, I have scrubbed walls in Honolulu, cleaned up garbage in Dutch Harbor, and delivered flowers at a hospice in Trenton.

I am tagging Toni & the V, Artemis, and Josiet.


It was as usual a crowded morning train to work. I usually read the news or listen to my iPod, but today I decided to close my eyes and take a power nap. When you close your eyes during a train ride, your hearing gets heightened. As I began to lull in the the train's humming noise, I happen to overhear a young couple talking about Valentine's Day. I tried to refuse the urge to eavesdrop, but the conversation was just too interesting.

Guy: So, what would you like or like to do for Valentine's Day?
Girl: Oh, anything, maybe flowers and a dinner.
Guy: Ok, where do you want to go?
Girl: How about that restaurant at Dupont?
Guy: That sounds good. I'll make reservations.
Girl: Why are you asking me what I want? A surprise would be nice.
Guy: Aaa...
Girl: You men are so different. It would have been nice if you surprised me.
Guy: Aaaa...

At this point, I was chuckling and roaring with laughter inside. I immediately opened my newspaper and pretended to read the comics section and pretend to laugh at the "Pearls Before Swine" section. After my amusement, I really don't know what happened to their conversation, but when I got off my stop, they were getting off too. They kissed and wished each other a good day at work. As the guy walked away, the girl just stood there watching him, as if she won't see him for a year or more. I walked to my office and started writing this post.

I wish everyone a wonderful Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Photo Tagged

I was tagged by Muffled Solitude. Thank you, Angeli.

Here's how the tag works:

Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures. Go to the 6th Folder, then pick the 6th picture in that folder. Post that picture on your blog and the story that goes along with the picture. Tag six other people that you know to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.

Here's the picture:

This photo brings me back to my 29th birthday celebration.
These flowers were from the bf - now the ex.
We had a small party with his parents and our friends.
It was a happy day.
Flowers really cheer me up.
I can't wait for spring - when I can pick up some wild flowers again.

If you'd like to do this, please consider yourself tagged.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekend Update

Yes, the recent warm weekend energized me. On Saturday, I was out walking and enjoyed the warmth of the sun. I ditched my car and walked to the grocery store instead. I wanted to ride my bike, but since I haven't used it for months, the tires deflated. I'm really looking forward to riding my bike this spring. I think I am getting ahead of myself again. I mean, winter is not over yet. Be warned that when summer comes, I'll be complaining about heat and humidity as well.

On Sunday, I drove to the nearest office store and finally bought a new printer/scanner. My old printer from college gave up on me a few months ago, but I just didn't bother replacing it. I thought it's about time to get some serious printing and scanning done. Also, it's tax season so I really need paper proof on how much I owe/paid Uncle Sam. I get really stressed at this time of year. I hate preparing my taxes, but I do it anyway. I don't know when I'll get the courage to sit down and sift through my receipts and W-2, but it has to be S-O-O-N.

Finally, Monday came too soon, and it was a so-so day. I hope Tuesday's better.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Missing Baguio

Suddenly, I miss Baguio. It's probably because I was speaking to my cousin who has lived there since I can remember, and we talked about our favorite hang-outs. We talked about the famous Pandesuelo and the Lechon Rice I used to eat all the time. I think it was his way of coaxing me to go for a visit. Now, I really miss this city.

Who could forget Wright Park? My sister and I used to walk here and have picnics.

Inside the Baguio Botanical Garden guarded by the noble Igorots.

I think I have so many photos taken at "The Mansion."

This is Abanao Street getting ready for a busy market day.


It is so quiet, too quiet. My boss is out-of-town, somewhere where there's beach, rum, and sun. Most of my colleagues are cooped in their offices. It must be the cold weather that makes people weary and frustrated. I intentionally came in late this morning. There isn't much to do, but knowing myself, I'll probably start reorganizing my files - again. I think I just did that two weeks ago. It's my nature.

Don't get me wrong. I relish these moments of peace and quiet. I know things will pick up again soon. We're getting new commissioners in place, a new hire will be starting after Valentine's Day, and we're all adjusting to the new advocating policies. This is a period of transition.

It's nice to have these relaxed moments at work. I'll cherish it while it lasts. I suggest you do too.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sense and Sensibility

I like Elinor. She's reserved, composed, and seems to be in control of her emotions at all times. I saw Elinor as the voice of reason, just like when she reacted towards Marianne accepting the horse from Willoughby. Elinor is more in-touched with reality, and I guess that comes easily becuase she is the eldest of the three Dashwood girls. As the eldest, Elinor has the responsibility to be of help by any means to her mother.

Marianne on the other hand is Elinor's opposite. I don't like Marianne's explosive, emotional, and showy characteristics. She's the type of person who'd follow her heart and emotions before anything else. But, she seem to value Elinor's opinion a lot, and vice versa. Marianne allows her emotions to cloud her judgement. For example, by choosing the younger and philandering Willoughby over the honorable Colonel Brandon. Well, of course, Marianne doesn't know that at that time.

In this novel, Jane Austen portrays two different characters. The "sense" and the "sensible." I think she was trying to teach balance - that women can be both sense and sensible. In the end, Marianne and Elinor have their happy ending, but I think that's because both characters have truly supported each other; teaching each other that both characters can come to a middle ground.

This weekend, I'll be watching the movie as well. Happy reading!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

It's Groundhog Day, and it's bad news. Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog, saw his shadow, which means this winter could last six more weeks. I'm hoping Phil didn't really see his shadow, and that he was just having a bad hang-over from the Steeler's win over the Cardinals last night. Honestly, I am tired of winter and ready for spring. I am so ready to spend my weekends on road trips again, see the Cherry Blossoms bloom, and most of all, be able to wear my flip flops and sandals.

Speaking of February, I am looking forward to DC's Restaurant Week. An open week (Feb. 16-22) to try out DC's finest restaurants at affordable prices- $20 for a three course-lunch and $35 for a three course-dinner. The $20 - $35 range is cheap compared to how much you'll pay at these places dining at regular price. Anyway, my friends and I have decided to try out the really expensive places. We have about three to five restaurants on the list, so we're all excited. Let's see if we could fit our schedules to eat at these places within a week. Last year, we were able to hit three, so five won't be too much.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The ex and Jane Austen

It felt that my supposedly relaxing weekend was tarnished by seeing the ex with another girl. I actually decided against getting a massage as a treat for my birthday because it is expensive, but I was so ecstatic when I received a coupon offering a massage with hot stone therapy for half the price. So I called the spa center and got a mid-afternoon appointment. It was interesting that at the exact moment I was turning into the parking lot, my ex's car drove by. I could not be mistaken. The ex was talking and wearing a new haircut while there was a girl sitting on the passenger's side. The girl had her hands on her chin, leaning against the window, long black hair, huge eyeglasses, and she had that bored look on her face. I actually thought my eyes were cheated, so I took a second glance and I was right. It was an awkward moment.

I tried to shake that stingy feeling, and it was perfect I was headed for a relaxing massage after that encounter. The massage was so relaxing and the hot stone therapy melted the pain and stress away. I closed my eyes and drifted away. It was interesting that in the calm and quiet of the massage room that I felt invincible and alive. It felt good. I felt great. I hope to keep feeling that way throughout the year. Heck, throughout my life.

After the massage, I was so happy to find this package waiting at my door. It really cheered me up, and I can't wait to start writing on this journal. It is so beautiful, and the pen is so adorable. Thank you, Jo of Witsandnuts, for these beautiful prizes. These are from the Jane Austen Online Book Club contest.

The journal and the pen makes you want to write and write and keep on writing. Thank you, Jo. I love the stamps too. I'll be adding them to my collection.