I cheated by using Prima Taste pre-mix. It's soooo easy and yummy! Even better than some hawkers'!

This is Lemon & Herb salmon with baby carrots and tomatoes.
I only have soy sauce and sesame oil in the house so I marinated the salmon with both. When it was time for dinner, I melted some butter and flipped the salmon into the pan. Added a sprinkle of lemon & herb and voila!

This proves how good Haagen Dazs ice cream is. It melted as I was taking this picture! Dessert that is pleasing on the eye. Hee!

Of course I have bay days too. Tried to thaw this chicken in the microwave and parts of it ended up cooked. So I cut it into pieces, threw in some ham and rescued my lunch. At least it was good enough for me.
Labels: 0 comments | | edit post
It's like how people read the papers before they go to work each morning? I have a habit of reading blogs, news and checking out shopping sites the moment I wake. And I do this religiously. Time flies by but then I am in no hurry. :)

This week however, I have volunteer myself to help in the LA asian film festival. So I have to rush through chores in the morning and show up at the office in the afternoon. It's late when I reach home and I have to make dinner and chat with my friends online. It's an all-consuming task because I give them my full attention (some to the TV too but that doesn't really count cos I can still keep track of our conversation) Today I came home at 11pm and headed straight to the computer. The TV is not even on. I have not moved at all and it's 1.14am now. Way to go ...

Labels: 0 comments | | edit post
I was waiting for a bus when a car drove past and 'BANG!'. I jumped, then realised I am still alive. It was just a burst tyre. A guy walking past the bus-stop said to me, "Hell, that scared me!" Me too.

Later the thought crossed my mind, 'Don't kill me cos' I am Asian.' I was thinking about the Virginia Tech shooting and wondering if it has affected the way Asians are perceived. There are many Asian-Americans and Asians here in LA so I do think most people see that 1 bad apple does not equal a whole box of rotten apples. It's people who don't that scares me. You wonder if you have become the unwanted visitor/intruder? Sensibility dictates that you will be treated cordially but deep inside, are there doubts? That's the power of the press for you. Everyday, crimes are committed by all races. But a Virginia Tech shooting happens and all the spotlight is on the Asian.

Ok, I am indulging in fear. It is a beautiful day and I am going to be at the same bus-stop later.

It's great having you around. Though around here means we are in the same country! So I can visit you, go tour together, chat, ask for cooking advice and to convert a Wordpad document to MS Word. It may be all little little things but seriously, having you makes it so much better!
It's been a long time. A long time. I can't remember the last time you laugh. The last time you were happy. I wish I can help you. But I can't. Not now anyway. I can only pray you guys be a little stronger. Time is not on our side. They are not on our side. But it's up to us to make us happy. Is it not? Am I being too optimistic? Are these the words of someone who is not shouldering your burden? But I am. Do you not see? Each time you talk to me, it only gets a little heavier on my shoulders.

Even if I could help, would you be happy? Sometimes I wonder if it's you or the circumstances? We won't find out for now since the circumstances aren't favourable. But someday I hope you remember that we can't change the things we cannot control. But the things we can, let's do our best.

Saying a silent prayer for you. I wish I could be in both places at once if my presence brings a little comfort.
Meeting nice people just makes your day.

I was in the Starbucks queue and the guy in front of me was the same one at the security checkpoint. We started talking and he immediately guessed I was Singaporean from my accent! Apparently he goes to Asia for work at least 10 times a year so he's familiar with most Asian accents. He even offered to buy me coffee which I declined. We had a short 10min conversation but a nice friendly person really starts the day on a cheery footing.
Labels: 0 comments | | edit post

I am headed for the Berryessa Flea Market today. Founded in 1960, this is THE flea market that started the trend across US. On a weekend, there are as many as 2000 sellers. Yay! I anticipate good buys ahead!

I drop off Berryessa station but see nothing that resembles a flea market. There are no directions or signs either. The hotel receptionist had told me it is within walking distance so this is very suspicious. I asked an attendant at a nearby petrol station. I am in the right place but it's further inland. She points me to where I should be walking. I moved towards the highway. Along the way, a guy I met tells me it is 5mins away.
More than 5mins have passed. Still no market in sight. I walked on, my hands cold and shivering in the chilly weather. 20mins later, I see people! They tell me it is 5mins away. 5mins again?!

45mins later, I arrive. *Pants* I have found the mother of all flea markets!

I love flea markets and was looking forward to a day of unique finds and souvenirs. Instead of Hongkong's Ladies Street, Taipei's Shilin or Thailand's Chatuchak, this place is more like your neighbourhood pasat. Ooh, there were so many Mexican thronging the place and mainly Mexican sellers, I soon came to the conclusion that the Berryessa flea market is just your neighbourhood Mexican pasat! Still can bargain la if you have the guts and language skills.

Aha! Instead of walking all the way back to the Berryessa station, I discovered a bus route to another train station. I feel so smart.

This is interesting. One is used to seeing instructions in English and Spanish. But Vietnamese? I guess this means there is a huge Vietnamese community in this Mexican enclave.

I look at the bus guide and see that this tourist attraction is nearby. Since there is still time before nightfall, I head to the Mexican Heritage Plaza. The driver who is Mexican tells me the plaza is new and she herself has never been to it.

The cool drawings along a wall leading to the plaza's entrance.

This place is pretty big and ... quiet. For a heritage centre, there isn't anything going on. No exhibitions, no museums.. Just a small garden and a lot of buildings. Hmmm.. let's explore.

I find a small gallery with an interesting installation. That white thing hanging off the ceiling is supposed to be a body bag with a hook through it. The artist is protesting the Iraq war here. Then there's this strip of paintings outside the gallery. And that's all. Nothing else here. What a white elephant ...

Ok, time to head home! I got Kelly something from the flea market - Mexican Piniata. If he is stressed at work, he can vent by smashing this to bits to get the candy inside. How sweet am I?
An hour from San Jose and I arrive at Santa Cruz!

I like the name of this cafe!

This building looks like a bank but would you believe it's a supermarket! Though sometime in the history of Santa Cruz, this used to be a bank. That's why it looks so imposing.

I am spending way too much time in the stores especially Urban Outfitters. It's becoming an unhealthy obsession. I put back everything I picked up and head for the ocean. Hmm.. there is nothing to indicate that this is the way to the ocean and the whole way looks so un-resort.
Am I going the right way?

Aha! I see it now!

I arrive at the wharf!

A school of fish?? No! They are ...

SEALIONS! They are mostly males and the wharf is their resting point along the migration route. I see more sleeping sealions than moving ones and they are enjoying the sun so much I am not sure they are migrating anymore. Plus I see many people fishing so the fish supply must be good. What a life! Ok la, these sealions are super noisy, going 'Ug, ug, ug' the whole time. But but aren't they cute?

I need to build some sandcastles later!
The sights and sounds along the wharf. From top left: Seagulls feeding, a man fishing, sea birds queuing for something and a man strumming a song on his guitar.

Strolling along the beach ...

Isn't he hunkalicious? I sat on a bench to watch them for a while. Makes me want to play some beach volleyball too!

The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is 100 years old! I spent so much time at the wharf and beach that the theme park had closed by the time I got there.

My bus back to San Jose was scheduled to leave at 6pm so I left the Boardwalk and headed downtown. Today has been pleasantly warm and sunny so much so I am reluctant to leave. Hehe, I might as well catch the 7pm bus! I wandered around town and was soon busy trying on clothes in Roxy. Gosh, I nearly lost track of time. It's now 6.45pm! Run!

I made it to my bus station ontime! Thank God! Weirdly, all the passengers were completing survey forms for the bus company. It immediately reminded me of how we avoid the people on Orchard Road waving surveys in our faces and asking for '5mins of your time'. Well, people can be helpful here because they aren't bombarded by requests to do a survey, take a flyer, buy insurance, buy tissue and make a donation everyday in every 5 steps they take.

Santa Cruz is so beautiful - the ocean, the beautiful tanned bodies, the old Victorian style buildings, the shady shopping street. Weirdly though, the relaxed vibe of this place seems to attract a lot of wackos! I saw this guy dressed as a clown walking down the street slowly and smiling. He painted his face pink, wore pink clothes, had pink fluffy balls on him and carried a pink cane. Completely beating the many other wackos and punk kids 'pink' hands down! Kelly says Santa Cruz has a reputation for attracting 'free-minded souls'. Whatever that means, I guess you could say they add local flavour. I hope to come back soon.
This is rush hour in San Jose. I see a lot of tall buildings but very little people and cars outside. Americans prefer to start the workday early at 8am and leave by 4pm. This is past 5pm and there is no one in the streets! Where did they all go?

The hotel receptionist tells me that San Pedro Square is the place to go in the evenings. This is where people hang out after a long hard day at work. BUT ... WHERE IS EVERYONE?

I walk on and stumble upon this alley. Very Tuscany.

This quaint Victorian style house looks puny next to the modern apartments. But hey, surprise! It's not a house as I thought. It's a law office! How cool is that? Imagine working here! ;)
Just look at the tree and you will have an idea of how windy it is! I seek refuge in Starbucks. Mmmmm, white chocolate mocha and a magazine. Watching the world go by...