Natala la la la ... ... ...


Friday, December 31, 2004

mum is funny 

I'm thinking about getting a dog and was flipping through Flickr images to see what types of pups people had etc. I found this cute white dog:

By Flickr Member: anamaria.

Which gets me thinking that maybe a doggie like this one, similar to Biz's dog, Maggie, would be a good choice. So I bring my mum over, and she says:

"I love westies. They're my favorite. You could get a scottie and a westie. Then you'd be a scotch and whiskey couple!"

Hahahahah. My mom making jokes about drinking liquor!


tsunami pictures 

Before, during and after...

Images from DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite of the coast of Sri Lanka at precisely the time the tidal wave hit the beaches. Apparently, it was pure coincidence.
via MetaFilter.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


I've been in a slight state of shock w/r/t the Tsunami in SE Asia -- - We have family in Madras (that we think are OK, but haven't heard from) and I've been there on multiple occasions... so this is hitting closer to home for me than i expected. I feel both disengaged -- as if i am an observer -- but connected through past experience and family ties. Below are a few things i've been thinking about:

Images: Everything i've seen has just been crazy. Nature is one hell of a beast.

Communication: I remember the MONTHS of discussions Palo Alto had regarding the alert system for flooding after the small floods we expereinced in 1998. In comparison, many of the people in SE Asia had NO idea that a tsunami was coming. The lack of communication, of any type of warning, is truly alarming.

Blogging: I find that bloggers are my best source of images and on-the-ground analysis of what's happening.

Aid: The US is *stingy* -- the fact that president Bush has taken 3 days to respond is ridiculous. An initial $15 MM in Aid is so small -- given what we can provide as a country -- is just amazing to me. This is the time when we as a -- perhaps the -- world leader need to do the right thing. We should be giving hundreds of millions of dollars and flying our best people to these devasted areas immediately. We should help structure not only immediate relief but plans to rebuild these communities.

Amazon. They created a splash page to donate money to relief efforts. I just checked and they are almost at $1 MM. amazing.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


I had dinner tonight at La Bodeguita with my friends Alexia, Dulcy & Pat. It was such fun to hang with the girls. We talked about everything from laser hair removal (a must for modern women) to the perils of dating to good shoes and good wine. Nights like these -- deep conversation, laughter at every moment -- are just impossible to replicate and make me miss my friends so much. Friendship is so precious.

This trip has just been chock-full of warm fuzzies. Had a wonderful breakfast this morning with Amit -- we had a good conversation about how to create happiness. Saw JB this afternoon. Talked to Brooke last night and caught up with her and her new life as a mom. Tomorrow I'll get in some time with the boys -- lunch with nico and riyad, dinner with kyle...and then the week continues...

I really am so lucky.

Monday, December 27, 2004

15 is the new 20.  

JB and i went to dinner tonight at Osteria. It was a good dinner, nice wine and hearty food -- which we needed to battle the cold, wet california weather. At the end of dinner, we got the bill and discussed the tip. JB decided that we should tip 15%. Lately, like many people, I've been tipping 20% on average.... but after some discussion, we agreed - that 5% hasn't brought an a notably improved level of service and with the price of food increasing, thus the bill increasing, thus the tip in actual $ increasing, there isn't a need to go to 20%. So there, we're decided, 15 is the new 20. I am sure I will be getting flames on this one, Jeeves.

Update: An article on holiday tipping. very useful.


"While there is no suggestion that left-handed people are more violent than the right-handed, it looks as though they are more successfully violent. Perhaps that helps to explain the double meaning of the word "sinister"."

From an article in the Economist....
(thanks to Kottke for the tip.)


i'm really liking Coverville. sometimes the commentary is a bit wearisome, but the music is fun and it is a nice variety to listen to at work. His voice his melodic enough that you can ignore it.
iPodderX rocks.

review: SF Ballet Nutcracker 

Source: San Francisco Ballet, Nutcracker 2004

I saw the new nutcracker tonight (SF Ballet, War Memorial Opera House) after my friend, Minnie, said I "had to" go. She was right -- it was *AMAZING*. The SF Ballet completely redid the set, costumes and choreography and it was just magical. Typically my favorite dance is that of the Sugar Plum...with all of her wonderful dancing flower-like-ladies-in-waiting. But this time i found the duet of the Land of Snow to be pure magic. I kept wondering why they didn't slip on the snow-flakes -- they just seemed like hazards! The lighting made everything glow and the sets were subtle giving full attention to the beauty of the dance. The SF Ballet did a wonderful job of mixing in classic, balanchine-esque choreography (perhaps better said as just purely classical patterns) with vibrant, cirque-de-soleil type color and costumes. I just loved it! I think I had a smile on my face for most of the show. It was really a delight. I have to stop gushing!

Anyways, it could also be that the evening was framed by syncing up with two of my favorite couples. Before the show I stopped by Adam & Rox's for champagne and cheese/grapes. It was lovely to see them although it was much too brief (i think i had all of 33 minutes to spend - i really need to plan my time in CA better). After the show I synced up with my friends Oliver & Maya. We went out for post-ballet drinks. Oliver & Maya are my "new" friends from Seattle, but Maya grew up in SF so she's home for the Holiday. They also saw the Ballet (and loved it too). We marveled at how rainy SF is right now. It was pouring after the show -- and really in seattle you get more of a drizzle. It was nice to spend some quality time with M&O, and getting to see them in SF as well as Seattle was a nice treat.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

boxing day 

I've actually had a mostly good christmas this year. I'm not a big fan of the holiday generally, so i have pretty low expectations -- I don't like all the gift giving (on demand) and I generally think two-days of pure parties and family time is just too much. But this year it's been wonderfully low-key and enjoyable (outside of a few rocky points). I think this has been in part due to my Mom's amazing cooking. She really outdid herself this year.

Christmas Eve dinner is always a curry with rice. It's always yummy - but this year she spiced it up. My sister made a delicious moroccon dish -- sort of like a chicken filo pie. The bottom layer was chicken with spinich, onions and egg? with a dash of cinnamon and then a layer of filo and then a top layer of almonds and honey and cinnamon, then more filo. It was really tasty. A great combo of sweet and savory. My mom cooked a butter-chicken curry (which actually doesn't have any butter, it's a creamy tomoto-based curry) and then instead of rice she cooked a cous cous with winter vegetables. It was delicious.

THEN! for christmas brunch she made the most amazing crab cakes I have ever had. They were slightly spicy, totally savory and just amazing. She served the crab cakes with an egg dish (also mouth-watering), lean bacon (who doesn't love bacon?) and then a cinnamon twist bread. I don't think i've had food that amazing back-to-back in a while. I think she's definitely raised the bar for our New Year's Day crab curry -- which I'm going to be making...

Friday, December 24, 2004

no meth for me... 

did you know there are limits on how much cold/allergy medication you can buy at once? I had no idea. i have a little bit of a cold or maybe tonight after the christmas eve festivities, i went to walgreens in search of cold medication (NyQuil) and a sweater de-piller. I didn't find a de-piller :( but i did find good meds. When i went to buy these three items: NyQuil, DayQuil and Sudafed I was told that I had exceeded my purchase limit of cold/allergy medications and that I would need to be rung up seperately if i wanted to buy all these meds at once. Which was fine for me, but seemed like a common practice for the clerk and a clear disobedience of the intention of the law...

Monday, December 20, 2004

home sweet home 

I closed on my new house today! yeah!!!! OMG - it's mine! all mine...oooooh my.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

ER update 

interesting: I just got a phone call from the Swedish Hospital. It turns out that one of the people who "worked" on me while I was there has been identified as having an early stage of shingles. ICK.
Luckily, it looks like my exposure is irrelevant -- as I have had Chicken Pox which makes me immune to shingles. PHEW.

on other news: my toe is fine. I just can't wear sexy 4 inch heels right now.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

ER ramblings 

I spent part of the morning today in the ER. I sliced my toe on a piece of martini-glass last night during pre-party preparations. oh my. this morning i went to the ER to have the slice checked out because it was still bleeding every now and then and that seemed to be inconvenient given that although i love to wear flip-flops, i also really need to be able to wear shoes.

spending a slightly-hungover morning in the ER is just as fun as it sounds (i.e. not very). I learned a few valuable things from the experience:

- when you can drive yourself to the ER, take the time to stop at starbucks for a coffee and pick up the newspaper or bring some magazines. The ER does not offer magazines or drinks. I actually ventured out to get something to read and sadly ended up with USA today. They don't even publish on the weekends -- instead they offer a Fri-Sat-Sun edition. I kid not. I recommend also packing your ipod.

- ER = waiting, unless you are visibly bleeding. If you've got anything that's semi-serious (which i didn't) it's probably better to call for an ambulance. When you arrive in an ambulance -- no matter your state -- you get taken to the front of the line. Obviously, my condition was not ambulance worthy, but had it been slightly more serious (i.e. if i had wanted to go to the ER last night when my toe was bleeding profusely) it would have been most efficient to pay the $50 ambulance transport fee and be first in line.

- You can't get stitches on wounds that are over 4 hours old. This was my case. If they stitch you up after that time period it is likely that they will trap bacteria and that's bad. Instead of actual stitches I got a "butterfly" (i.e. topical) stitch -- basically they *glued* on sterile strips to keep my wound closed. I'll add that my wound was considered (by both myself and the medical staff) to be superficial.

- be nice to the staff and espy. your nurse. Your entry into the ER room (as opposed to the waiting room) is dependent on order and severity of injury. However, once you get into the ER (i.e. you're assigned a "bed") they have some flexibility as to when they will see you. I had brunch scheduled at 2:30 so I kinda wanted to keep to my schedule. At one point I asked my nurse if I should reschedule my appt. and (because he liked me) he was able to get the doctor over as an "inbetween." This meant i was able to leave quicker than expected AND i made brunch. Yeah!

chocolate factory 

Source: Warner Bros.

interesting: Yahoo! has an exclusive on the preview for Tim Burton's remake of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Burton is calling his version Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Johnny Depp stars as Willie Wonka (in the preview he's appropriately creepy)...hmmm....

it's a good party when...  

* your're martini bar includes: chocotini mintini o'cosmo ... & all the classics
* cupcakes are served
* salmon toasties are delivered at 2 am
* the DJ get's multiple requests for copies of his sets
* your sister takes over bartending responsibilities with an inventive spirit

i had my first party in seattle tonight. the last guests just left and i've still got that slight bit of post-party energy... not quite enough to do all the cleaning up...but enough to post the drink list from the bar:


2 fluid ounces chocolate liqueur
1 1/2 fluid ounces vodka
1/2 ounce grated chocolate – garnish

2 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz Peach schnapps
pomegranate garnish

Crime Scene Cosmo
2 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Cointreau Liqueur (or Triple Sec)
Splash of Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz. white Cranberry Juice

1 1/4 ounces Absolut Citron vodka (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
1/4 ounce Rose's lime juice (about 3/4 tablespoon)
1/4 ounce triple sec or Cointreau (about 3/4 tablespoon)
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1 cup ice cubes
Garnish: lime twist

The Perfect Manhattan
1/3 dry vermouth
1/3 sweet vermouth
1/3 whiskey

Vodka Martini
1 1/2 oz vodka
dash dry vermouth
stuffed olive

Standard Gin Martini
6 ounces of freezing Bombay Sapphire
5 drops of dry vermouth.
2 small twists of lemon rind.
2 Picholine olives.

1 oz Dry Gin
1 1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps
1/2 oz Water
Garnish: Peppermint Candy

Long Kiss Goodnight Martini ...
1/2 oz Stoli Vanil Vodka
1 oz Stolichnaya Vodka
1/2 oz Bols White Creme de Cacao
shaved white Chocolate

House Specialty: O'Cosmo
Absolut Mandarin
Triple Sec
Cranberry Juice
Lime Twist

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

baby, it's cold outside... 

it's really cold in seattle. in fact, it is snowing at low altitudes. i know this because the "pass" is closed, which according to seattlites means it is officially winter. I have no idea what "the pass" is... but it definitely feels like winter.

i tried to complain about how cold it is out here to my friends in CA, but it didn't work. Apparently it hit 30 degrees today in the bay area. Since no one out there actually owns a sweater or warm socks, my bet is that they are, perhaps, even colder than i was (was: i am now inside and the heat in my corporate-subsidized apartment is at a number too high for print. let it just be said that i am now *toasty* and i'm wearing flip-flops....)

because i was cold, i ate soup for dinner. not just any soup, but my favorite tomato soup:

yumm... it is cream of tomato, but there's really not a lot of cream. It's 100 calories per serving and has a nice, fresh tomato-y taste. I get mine at Whole Foods.

Monday, December 06, 2004

mele kalikimaka 

i don't really know how exactly it happened, but i am addicted to holiday music and having holiday spirit this year. I've downloaded a ton of cheerfulness.
it has got to stop....
to counterbalance all this glee and delight, i've put together a little mix: holidays on ice (rocks, not blended)...

NOTE: I intend to publish the list here, but i just got instead - check out the slightly altered iMix i made on itunes:

holidays on ice (rocks, not blended)... iMIX
if that doesn't work try this link:

Saturday, December 04, 2004

my eyeball 

i debated not posting these pictures to my blog, since well, they could be perceived as being a bit graphic / gross. but well, i just think they are so interesting!

scoop: i went to get my vision checked at the bellevue vision clinic (thanks vladka for the tip). It looks like i'm becoming near-sighted from all my time on the computer. yikes! My doc has prescribed reading glasses so that we can maybe correct it....we'll see. (bad pun... i know).

anyways, what impressed me most was the technology! all the tests they did were automated and produced really accurate results -- and there was so much data! One of the cooler things was that they actually took a picture of my retina -- thus the creepy picture below. I recommend clicking on the picture and seeing it on Flickr -- as i've posted notes on the picture to highlight some of the cool details.

retinal photo 2

Thursday, December 02, 2004

"now playing" in iChat 


One of my favorite Yahoo Messenger features is that you can choose to show what music you are listening to on Launch...well, today i found a plug-in that does the same thing for iChat! "now playing" in iChat runs a script over iTunes so that your status message in iChat is the song you are listening too.. LOVE love LOVE it!

You can download it here from Doug's Apple Scripts for iTunes.

taking space 

ok, i just set up my "space" on MSN's new product: MSN Spaces. It's actually pretty cool. The slide-show is just awesome, and i liked how easy it was to move the modules and things...check it out:

another reason not to move to provo... 

Source: Children's Art Prints

I heard this bit on NPR yesterday about a woman in Provo, UT who tried to adopt a kitten for her children but was denied because she already owned two cats. Yes, i'm serious. Turns out there's a law in Provo that limits each household to two pets. Although the law is slightly unclear, it says you can have two dogs or two cats...and it is generally extrapolated to say that you could have a cat and a dog...but you definitley cannot have two cats and a dog. That would make you a law-breaker. Yep. It brings up some interesting ideas -- how many pets should a household have? What if you have fish? Are they counted in your pet count? What about chickens? Do you need to get a farm license? These are seriously the things that the people of Provo are going to have to figure out...