Feb 25 2015

Slap Sticker

Category: Art,Friends,Schoolshisoneko @ 10:56 pm

Meanwhile, life continues. I highly recommend you get this app, if you have children:





It is the only way we got through two stops post-swimming Saturday, when it started to wet-snow, to move along phase 3 (yes, 3… the basement and eventually the driveway and deck). Once again choosing tiles, countertops, fixtures, etc.



They took all these themselves!


Because without the phone, at the marble place, this is what they did:


Another remodeler commented, Gee, that sink is much bigger than I thought!

Tashi had an in-school visit Friday, so we could watch 19 videos (19 students). Here is most of Tashi’s. They are learning to speak in front of an audience. I have to say she did better than I would have:

Then I did a Chinese New Year thing for Rio, bringing Tashi with me. Another mom did a thing for Year of the Sheep (Goat, Ram) too, which was great:

Chinese New Year Sheep

I have a photo and video from the final ski lesson of the season—just need husband to make it unprivate. Next week I am off to California from Tuesday to Thursday for Sateeb’s funeral.

Feb 19 2015

Roll the Pill

Category: Friendsshisoneko @ 10:25 am

Screen shot 2015-02-19 at 7.35.14 AM

After living with terminal, inoperable/untreatable cancer for about nine months, my friend Sateeb passed away overnight Tuesday. I found out Wednesday night, from a call from my friend Jefe, who happened to be in San Francisco (he’d moved to Vancouver), and, as he put it, had had plans to see Sateeb Wednesday night. Instead he and Craig were making calls around to everyone from our Bangkok days. We’re a far flung group—Hongkong, New Zealand, Cambodia, Philippines, and of course East and West Coasts. I felt horrible as it’d been on my list to Skype with him for the past couple weeks. But I guess that happens when it’s sudden—you first think about what you didn’t get to do, but then you start to remember what you did get to do. He had a great crew of people he was hanging out with this month, including bar-hopping Monday, and since I knew he wanted to go out peacefully, without prolonging things or burdening anyone or, for that matter, suffering a lot of pain and indignities like the last time… I really think he lucked out. It’s just what he would’ve wanted. I’m glad I got to spend time with him in LA in August.

The photo at the top is from February 2006, when I went out to Bangkok and then Penang, Malaysia with him, and, incidentally, had a daily email exchange with now-husband from there. The photos were taken at his favorite chicken and rice spot. And that’s Coke in a bottle, with the Thai script looking like “Tan” to us English readers.

I’m hoping we can get together some kind of memorial, virtual or actual. I really had thought we’d be able to swing seeing him when we go to Thomas and Hannah’s wedding next month in Palm Springs, as he sometimes was back in LA.

Speaking of which, here’s one in Dylan’s apartment in LA, both of us feeling sort of foolish doing a selfie:

Screen shot 2015-02-19 at 10.20.51 AM

And the title above? One of his references from his memoir. I’ll really miss him!

Feb 15 2015

Cards, and Elsa

Category: Friends,Holidays,Sportsshisoneko @ 10:05 pm

A sampling of the cards we got from the kids! From Rio:


And the inside:


One of several from Tashi (she is mad for holidays, all of them! Was the reason husband got red roses):


This another one:


After swimming Saturday we had Daria’s birthday party at Sweet & Sassy, which was pretty much Tashi’s dream party, between the girly girl setup of makeup, nail polish, costumes, makeup, and “Frozen” for good measure:


group snap

And Elsa appeared!

elsa appears, for other elsas

In addition to swimming Saturday and skiing Sunday (one more lesson to go!) we have been doing movie afternoons on the occasion of our four-day February break (through Tuesday). “The Empire Strikes Back” Saturday afternoon, in the swirling snow and high winds, and Sunday “The Return of the Jedi.” Rio needed explanations all around but then afterward wanted to build a Lego mini fig like a character he’d seen. “I can build that one…” Kids were troupers for skiing Sunday in the minus 6 windchill for their 5th lesson (one to go). Empty, so they got a lot of longer runs in (once the magic carpet was running). Wish I could say we took video, but it was seriously cold.

Feb 13 2015

Hearts and Arrows

Category: Family,Holidays,Schoolshisoneko @ 10:15 pm

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and our holiday-obsessed daughter is all over it. But we no longer do handmade cards (circa age 3 and 4); this year was Oriental Trading cards that had an X’s and O’s theme tied in with tic-tac-toe (which she soundly beats me at every time). I didn’t bother with Rio’s class—and it was discouraged at Ivy anyway with the treats factor. (As for ordering from Oriental Trading, I also had to get Chinese New Year paraphernalia for Year of the Goat/Sheep/Ram coming next week!)

Rio did a craft at Ivy, thanks to the class parents (including Luca’s mom):

valentine's day craft

Today was super-cold so for the first Friday since school I picked Tashi up by car, and then we all went to the library, where we ran into Nathan’s mom (they live in our short-sale house) and Tashi and Rio crashed a Valentine’s Day craft (pipe-cleaner flowers in a recycled Crystal Light vase) in the back room. Tashi also checked out, no joke, 35 books. She’s taking this reading marathon thing really seriously! (Most are shorter chapter books like Cam Jansen.)

We passed 100 days of school! I neglected to take a photo of the owl thing she did, printouts of owls including her drawing glued onto paper in the shape of one, zero, zero.

Yoshi-budgie (budgie being a term of endearment that Rio made up for his owl) by the radiator today—double-downing on the warmth with the sun, too:


And finally I had said I neglected to take a photo from Rohan and Arjun’s birthday party last Saturday—here’s one from the candle blowing! (From sister.)

long candles

Feb 09 2015

All Black Cats

Category: Art,Birds,Books,Cats,Videoshisoneko @ 9:14 pm

Our friends Amy and Peter are Kickstarting an effort to do a book about cats, with the clever, and true, name: All Black Cats Are Not Alike!


We are trying to get Yoshi into the book! I sent a link to these photos to help our case (after joining in the campaign, of course!).

This weekend was swim and skiing, and in between Rohan and Arjun’s 12th and 9th birthday party in the city. Tashi dressed up for the occasion:

sparkle dress

And we saw Jenn and the twins, Annabelle and Sarah, beforehand. I didn’t manage to get a photo but we did get this snowman outside her building:

snow cylinder

From Friday: Picking up my contact lenses with Rio, we met Spectacles the parrot at the eyeglass shop:

spectacles the parrot

And finally, Tashi’s drawing for Rio as he was freaking out one morning (see her note in the top left):


Rio’s drawing of him snowboarding… with the purple mountain and snowflakes. Then he realized he doesn’t snowboard!


A video husband took of Tashi skiing. She’s the third or fourth one down—gray helmet, green coat, blue snow pants, pink gloves, and goggles that day:

Feb 05 2015

Space Lego and Tie-Fighters

Category: Art,Videoshisoneko @ 9:24 pm

By Rio (possibly with assists from husband? Not sure):



Rio explaining his drawing:

And the drawing—he added the black shooters after I took the video:



Feb 02 2015

Second Snow Day

Category: Friends,Parenting,Videoshisoneko @ 9:35 pm

First, the last snow day, I neglected to post this photo husband took:

Sledding home Monday no-blizzard day:


Friday on the walk to Travell to pick up Tashi:


And racing through the snow after the bell:

far afield

Friday night kid dinner involved flank steak shredding for the ropa vieja dinner Saturday:

shredding, part 1

I managed to get Tashi to poll more people for her science fair project, here with Ben answering questions:

science fair project

Late-night shredding (not that late):

shredding, part 2

And Cuban dinner Saturday night! This was around 11pm:

Screen shot 2015-02-02 at 9.24.37 PM

Also, for posterity, the final holiday card board (a couple late arrivals toward the bottom):


Sunday we finally had lesson three of skiing. Rio needs to be a little more assertive while Tashi is up on the taller hill. I think next time around (next year) we do semi-private lessons. Afterward we went to Abuelo’s (finishing up “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” on CD en route—still LOVE that book, and I think got at least Tashi hooked on it):



Rohan’s birthday is today. Absolutely nuts to me he is now 12. Time flies!!!

We had our second snow day… I didn’t believe it would happen given post-Super Bowl (I watched the critical last five minutes) there was barely anything, but come 530am today the call came that school was closed. I was happy the recycling got picked up though! We got about eight inches, wet, heavy, and with an icy crust on the top.

I attempted to work all day, while looking forward to afternoon playdate with Ayla and family. (Or as I put it, a new venue for Rio to scream—he was good most of the day, except when he wasn’t.) We did looming, Lego, lunch. Sledding over (while husband finished up a call):

Brown-haired gals enjoying Jell-O post-snow mayhem outside:


School has a delayed opening tomorrow, due to ice forming again overnight. It’s also kindergarten registration. I might collapse. Hello to Popo who just arrived safely in Taiwan, where she will be for a month.

Jan 28 2015

The Blizzard That Wasn’t

Category: Friends,Videoshisoneko @ 11:10 pm

School was a half day Monday, and husband took the 115-ish bus. Everyone in a mad panic about the impending blizzard. We picked up Rio by sled and pulled them both back home on about two inches of snow.

walk home

And then we didn’t get much more than that! Officially just under 4 inches. Definitely less than Saturday. But school was called closed for Tuesday by 1pm! I guess the good thing was that it wasn’t so cold Tuesday and the sun even came out. The morning was long, though. Mid-afternoon we had some front-yard sledding a couple streets over. Everyone had various work calls and emails throughout the day to deal with but there was sledding to be had!


Slow-mo videos!

Tashi and Ayla showed incredible focus digging out this igloo:


Kid snacks afterward!

cheddar bunnies

Jan 25 2015

Wet Snow

Category: Friends,Music,Videoshisoneko @ 9:36 pm

After lots of false alarms since late last year the snow forecast actually happened! Friday night into Saturday morning, pretty wet but a lot more than I thought would actually happen overnight:

jan snowman

attacking the photographer

reaction shot

We got like 6 or 8 inches? I can’t tell. But a neighbor came by with a snow blower to help clear things away.

6-8 inches

Snow fallen on Buddha:

Buddha in snow

Saturday late afternoon we had movie night with early kid dinner of mac and cheese (homemade) and pulled pork at Robin’s:

kid dinner

Crafting firstborns:

first borns

Sunday we had skiing after missing last Sunday because of the ice storm. Tashi moved up to the slightly more elevated and definitely longer:

waiting in line

And Sunday afternoon while Rio went to Jack’s fifth birthday party at Monster Golf, we had a playdate with Daria over at our house (arranged over winter break!):

40-degree day

Thursday JJ’s mom Amanda, who is a teacher of the deaf in the city (and very pregnant), led the Daisies troop in learning about sign language:

"molly and ben"


And a random song the kids made up:

Jan 18 2015

Shoulder Dance

Category: Art,Friends,Videoshisoneko @ 9:29 pm

Rio cutting a rug, so to speak, to Rolie Polie Guacamole on Friday. He wanted me to take a video to show Tashi:

We bought three (!) CDs at a library performance way back when (March 2013!).

Recent Rio artwork:


As he explains: “Daddy is the big blue one, Rio is the small black one with the bug eyes, Tashi is the other blue one. And the black one front and center? That’s Mommy! With scissors in her hand, to cut out her white hairs!” (That’s seriously what he said!)

And Chinese; the newest character learned was the one for “sit”:


We just got the town’s 2015 calendar, featuring Roger’s house! No one in the family knew it was happening. The theme this year is about front-door styles:


I instantly recognized it from this photo from May:


Also, art from Tashi I came across while organizing stuff (all long MLK weekend):


And finally, I went into the city Saturday in the early evening to meet up with Tracy, who was with Dan, another friend from college… here we are! I for one was feeling a lot older than the 20- and 30-somethings out on a Saturday night in the city. (And, note to self: There’s no bus between 830pm and 945pm on a Saturday!)


We had a very wet and icy Sunday (did not go ski lessons, after the dozen emails, texts, and phone calls saying not to go out onto the streets covered with black ice). Tine and family came over in the afternoon—a good thing too! We had already done science fair prep, coloring, painting, Model Magic, baking… I am sure I am forgetting other stuff. O, of course the perpetual laundry and vacuuming. I made sister’s lasagna.

And on MLK weekend… well, Mrs. A. in the library showed a presentation about his life, and death, which I wondered about how it’d be presented. Then in the question and answer afterward, one of the kids knew all about Eric Garner, by name, which was kind of crazy to me. And separately, speaking of guns, this happened (site of our preschool), but we truly never felt threatened—and hats off to Amber for helping to get it on everyone’s radar (included village officials and school administrators) at the appropriate level of concern.

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