Tuesday, June 30, 2009

inked

Last week we had a company picnic at the Santa Cruz boardwalk - I love a work day spent in the sun. I ate hot dogs, played air hockey, rode on roller coasters, and got some airbrushed ink (my arm is on the right). Later that day when I was walking around Palo Alto, I wondered if it looked real enough for people to think it was an actual tattoo. I think the blue was too blue...

Monday, June 29, 2009

like a fish

Yesterday I went swimming at a community pool in Menlo Park. It was my first swim of summer, and just what I needed on a hot day.

p.s. this was just one of their two pools - one for family swim, one for lane swimming

Sunday, June 28, 2009

the Sunday paper

Interesting article on data centers...

and

should we take our honeymoon in Southern France? This sounds pretty awesome...

I love lazy Sundays.

photo: taken yesterday in the Marin Headlands, right before sunset

Friday, June 26, 2009

mj

There are two Michael Jackson songs that I love - that I could listen to everyday - that have changed my life. The first is Billie Jean. In college it was the song I blasted while I was getting ready to go out. My roommates always started by making fun of me, but in the end we were all leaping around to Billie Jean with a drink in one hand and our make up in the other.

The second song is called "Ben" and I have put a link to it below. My best guy friend from college is named Ben and I used to sing this song to him. I believe the song was for a 1970s movie called Ben about a guy who befriends a rat (remade in the last ten years). It is a sweet song about friendship and it still makes me smile.



friday

On Friday's I like to post fun photos. Here is a friend with one of his chickens - Ashlay. Looking forward to the opportunity to try fresh eggs in a few weeks. :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

home improvement

A few months ago we got some design advice on what to do with our living room. Knowing that I loved the blog thisyounghouse.com, my fiance had bought me their design service for a Christmas present. They suggested that we recover our piano bench. Many months later, I just got around to recovering our piano bench last night.

I had bought two yards of the recommended patterned fabric in February from fabric.com - some to cover the bench, and some to make pillows (eventually).

I didn't actually know how to recover a bench, but luckily John and Sherry at thisyounghouse.com had written about it a few month ago. I bought a staple gun at target last weekend so I was all ready to go.

I think that the finished product came out pretty well!

Pretty awesome change I think.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

strange flowers

On Friday, we were walking in the Sunset to meet Alison and Eli for dinner when I stopped to take photos of these strange flowers that caught my eye. They were growing in a flower box in front of someones driveway. I had never seen anything like them before - what crazy blue fringe, what an unusual spectrum of colors, what an interesting raised center!

Does anyone know what they are?

UPDATE: http://www.passionflower.org/
"We had these all over Mississippi. The maypops taste like slimy guava. The flowers refer to the passion of Christ. Read more above! I love you! Mom"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

perspective

I wish to be misunderstood,
that is,
to be understood from your perspective.

- Bill Knott "wrong"

The summer before I met my fiance, I bought a book of poetry and read them before bed. I had just read this poem a few days before my first date with my now fiance and for some reason it has always stuck - a poem that I memorized by accident. There is something sly and subversive about this poem and I like it.



Monday, June 22, 2009

spring cleaning

I just realized that if you subscribe via reader to my blog, that you will need to change the subscription settings from "seablueseegreen.blogspot.com" to "www.seablueseegreen.com" to continue to see the feed. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Have a good week and let me know if you have any problems.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy father's day dad! I went through my photos from the past few years and pulled up some good ones to celebrate the day. My dad is one of the most generous people I know. He is always there to help others and is a constantly inspiring me to be more generous with my time and energy. He has always been there to set a good example for the six of us and we appreciate it all the time, but especially on father's day.

Here is a good photo - this is how much banana pudding we were able to convince my dad to try at New Year's. Notice that it consists of 1 nilla wafer and a little whipped cream. My dad doesn't eat fruit (bananas included). I think that is pretty funny.

My grandmother memaw lived with us for many years before she passed away. Here is my dad in 1981 with my mom's mom (we called her memaw). Notice the characteristic white linen suit.


Here is a cute father daughter pic taken at the wedding of a good friend (Tracy). He drove all the way out to the very furthest suburbs of New Orleans to pick me up so I wouldn't have to drive. All through high school Tracy and I had joint birthday parties, so my dad came in to say congrats.

Here is my dad with two of his brothers - John on the left and Jim on the right. His brother Joe passed away a few years ago. This photo was taken after a post-Christmas trip to Galatoire's a few years ago.

Somehow my parents have managed to stay sane after raising SIX kids. This photo was taken about 2 years ago. The biggest difference is now Patrick is literally a foot taller - and is now the tallest one in the family.

No father's day post would be complete without mentioning my brother and his sweet baby girl - now two years old.

Happy father's day to all dads and dads-to-be!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

crabs


Last night we went out to dinner in SF with Alison and Eli at a restaurant in the sunset called Thanh Long. They are known for their roasted dungeness crab (see above). Between the four of us we ordered 3 and dug in - bibs and all. It was a great time! Alison - have a safe trip back to Shanghai!

Friday, June 19, 2009

friendly friday

Last night I had the good fortune of seeing my former roomies Julie and Julia. We got dinner at Plutos and then ice cream at a new place in Palo Alto where you pay by weight (thus the big cups above). Tonight I will see Eli and Alison (who is in from Shanghai for the weekend), and I am so excited. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Joe T. Wilson Ball

This is a photo of Joe T. Wilson Ball - my maternal great grandmother (my mother's mother's mother). I thought it was an interesting photo, I particularly love how Joe T. is framed by the tree and its shadow.

update from my mom: "I love this picture, too, it's very atmospheric. It was taken in Kansas right after she married my grandfather. I think she was lonely there and she didn't like how flat Kansas was and how the wind blew all the time and blew dust into every crack and cranny in her house. She's standing behind the wall because she is pregnant and in the 20's one didn't advertise when they were "in the family way". Mom"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ryan and Red McClure

My cousin Marie Louise lives near Aspen, CO. Usually I only get to see her at Christmas, so imagine my delight when my mom passed on this article from my aunt Beth. Marie Louise is featured in the Aspen Daily News for her work bringing the red McClure potato back from the brink of extinction.

*photo from the Aspen Daily News

Way to go cuz! Keep up the good work! I would ask you to send me one to taste, but that wouldn't fit well with the local, slow food movement's goals I suppose... :)

through the hoods

Image of Ride MSP Poster

I read a lot of design blogs, and this poster was featured the other day. While it isn't really something that I could imagine putting up in our home, but I still love it. If I lived in Minneapolis/St. Paul I would be very tempted!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tommy time

This past weekend my little bro came to visit me in SF. We had a great time!

When driving to the airport, I asked tommy about his favorite moments. So here they are (in no order):
  • eating sandwiches in Crissy Field (see picture below)
  • dinner at the Cuban restaurant on California Ave in Palo Alto
  • dinner with my fiance's family on his dad's birthday
  • dinner with my fiance's brother and sister and law
  • walking across the Golden Gate Bridge (see picture above)
  • coming to visit me at work
Thanks for coming to visit! Hopefully next time you come, you will bring your fiance and lovely daughter!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday

I'm excited for the weekend because Tommy is in town! Among other things we are going to check out the Golden Gate Bridge. I hope it isn't foggy...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

service

This week at work everyone was encouraged to take some time and volunteer in the bay area. Along with most of my team, we decided to volunteer on Tuesday at the Youth Science Institute at Sanborn Skyline County Park in Saratoga. There were about 30 or so volunteers in total and together we worked on repairing an Ohlone hut, repairing a fence, and sanding and staining 13 picnic tables. It was really nice to spend time outside doing a little manual labor.
.
Here is a close up of the woven reeds that make up the Ohlone hut.

The non-weathered wood in this photo is what we replaced over the course of the afternoon.

The Youth Science Institute (YSI) has a number of insects, and the volunteer guide showed us one of their biggest residents - the tarantula spider. While they are poisonous, this spider is used to people handling it and usually won't bite unless very aggitated. The YSI would be a great place to bring kids - and the park surrounding is beautiful.

*All photos from Jun Gong

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

today

Thinking of you! Good luck today!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

blueberries and oatmeal

Thursday when I got home from work, I sat down and flipped through my new issue of Bon Appetit. They have a column called "Cooking Life" where writer Molly Wizenberg describes a delicious meal. This month's column was written about Blueberry Oat Scones from the Standard Baking Company in Maine. Given that Dave and I had a clamshell full of sweet blueberries in the fridge (from our CSA bag), I decided on a whim to bake scones instead of figure out what to eat for dinner.
Here they are just before they go into the oven.

And then just after. As a treat to myself, I bought this double devon cream half off at the grocery store. A warm scone with the wonderful cream was AMAZING. These are probably some of the best scones I have ever had - I really liked the flaky oatmeal in the batter. Is it wrong to think that blueberries are better this way?

Friday, June 5, 2009

suddenly summer

I love Fridays the most. The anticipation of the upcoming weekend is tantalizing - like noticing your delicious meal waiting on a counter at a restaurant before the waiter brings it to your table. Fridays in the summer are even better - the best in fact. There are so many more possibilities when the weather is warm and the smell of charcoal is in the air...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

sweet treats

New Orleans is a city brimming with incredible food. I wish that I could promise that this was my last post about the meals I ate over Memorial day weekend - but I am not quite there yet.

In college, this email went around (several times) - "you know you're from New Orleans if..." For a bit of insight into my personality, the one that I related to the most was something like "the major topics of conversation when you go out to eat are restaurant meals that you have had in the past and restaurant meals that you plan to have in the future."

For a city known for food, beignets are probably one of the favorite desserts. In fact, my fiance's maternal grandparents came to New Orleans on their honeymoon and ate beignets. I always thought this was a nice coincidence, as my parents who took their honeymoon in San Francisco (its like they traded). While beignets are good at any time of the day, my favorite time to eat them is late at night after leaving the bars.

At our engagement party, we had cake from the Swiss Confectionery, along with 5 dozen petit fours. Petit fours from McKenzies were the best, but they went out of business long ago...

I ordered this cake because I wanted to have a wedding cake at the party for dessert (do a little taste testing). Here is a slice of almond flavored cake with white royal icing served on my parents (and grandparents) wedding china (they had the same pattern).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

memorial day... a little late

As I have mentioned, over Memorial Day I was in New Orleans. While eating at Galatoire's that Saturday night, a woman struck her glass and raised a toast to all those serving in the military and all vets in honor of memorial day.

This thoughtful gesture struck a chord with me, as my brother Tommy is in the Army Reserve (with 6 years left to go). The above picture was taken the day that he graduated from intelligence training in Texas several years ago. The fact that he is looking down in this photo is a bit of a fluke - taken as part of a series where I wanted to get him smiling under a helicopter (I was working in a helicopter research lab). Althought it was a bit of an accident, it has remained one of my favorite photos of Tommy in uniform - the slight bow of his head and the stiff posture speak to me.

To all those serving in the military - past, present, and future - I bow my head to you in thanks.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

cafe brulot

Cafe Brulot is a tradition in my family - we have it after big holiday meals and at special occasions. It is also served in some restaurants - like Galatoire's on Bourbon (photo below taken last weekend).

With my fiance's parents in town (and staying with my parents), we knew that cafe brulot would be a fun experience. Cafe brulo is essentially a bunch of warmed alcohol (warmed so it will catch fire) and spices that is put into a silver bowl and briefly burned. A special ladle shows off the blue flames as the liquid drips back into the bowl. For shock value, a little is dripped on the tablecloth.

At our engagement party on Sunday, my parents took out their cafe brulot set. Below are our set of diablo brulo cups which are based on an 1890's design from the restaurant Antoines (one of the locations we looked at for the rehearsal dinner).


To finish the story, here is a video of my dad working the cafe brulot last Christmas. Every year on Christmas Eve, lots of friends and family gather at our house for dinner and celebrating. Every year my mom amazes us all by cooking for a small army with grace (have I mentioned she is a superhero?) and my dad threatens to burn off all the alcohol in the cafe brulot. As you can see, it is very popular with the entire extended family.

video

Monday, June 1, 2009

crickets

As some of you know, we are getting married at St. John the Baptist church in New Orleans, LA next year. While in New Orleans over Memorial Day, we decided to check it out. Although my parents were married in this church 29 years ago, I had never been inside. After Katrina it was closed for everything except weddings and funerals. We decided to get married here for many reasons: the church I grew up attending has been closed (Our Lady of Good Council), my parents were married here in 1980, it is close to my home, and it was free on the day and at the time we wanted to get married. It is absolutely beautiful inside.


I knew all of these things before setting foot inside the church. However, there were many more things to learn as we wandered around that were just as magical. My fiance's nickname is cricket (given to him by his grandfather). When we entered the church, there was this seal on the floor - which has what looks like a cricket. Mary Ann (the volunteer wedding coordinator) said that after Katrina, when she came in to clean up - all she found were hundreds of dead crickets (the church hadn't flooded). She said that St. John the Baptist survived on crickets (or maybe locusts?) for a period of time, so she found it interesting. Another sign that this is the perfect place for us to get married? I don't know, but we both felt like it was a little wink in our direction.
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