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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Odds and Ends

We had lunch with Atsi and Mark today. We decided that since they live so far away, it's hard for them to have to drive all the way to Torrance. We met them in Huntington Beach instead. There were several restaurants in the Bella Terra complex (where we decided to meet) but we settled on lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen. Even if I've lived in California for the last 9 years, this is only my second time to eat at CPK here (I've eaten in the CPK chains in Manila far more often!).

I used to really like CPK but after today ... not so much. We ordered a pesto cream pasta with grilled chicken and sweet peppers. It was very so-so. Jojo told me I could probably cook a better version than what we had. We also had a pizza with "The Works" and while it was not terrible, it definitely tasted like DiGiorno frozen pizza. I definitely could not taste the difference when CPK's was supposedly baked in a wood-burning oven. The pizza and pasta dishes were a bit disappointing. The only saving grace was the salad. We ordered a miso salad which came with fresh chopped veggies, edemame, crisp wonton strips, daikon, and instead of crab and shrimp (which Atsi doesn't eat) we had cold chicken. It was yummy and very refreshing. We all liked it but Atsi did say mom's miso dressing is still much better!

We also had a chocolate, banana cake withh ice cream for dessert. This was pretty good too. But then again when has chocolate cake and ice cream ever been bad?

So, CPK was a bit of a disappointment ... but it was nice to catch up with Atsi while Jojo and Mark watched the NBA game at the restaurant's bar. After lunch we walked across the parking lot to Kohls department store before calling it a day and heading our separate ways.

In other news ... I don't think I've mentioned this in my blog just yet. But a few weeks ago, Jojo won a raffle. First of all, how lucky is that? I must have joined a hundred raffles in my life and have never won anything. Jojo was asked to participate in a raffle at the very last minute (he was literally the last contestant to be entered in the draw before they picked the winner). And he wins the grand prize. A Toshiba, 37-inch flat screen, high definition, LCD television. Talk about LUCKY. Anyway, we got the television last week and considered selling it so we could get the set we wanted. I thought it was too small for the family room but too big for our bedroom (our tv stand is right across our bed). But since we didn't have any interested buyers, we ended up keeping it. Last night Jojo and his brothers installed it in our family room. It turns out, it's just the right size. Now our old tv set is in the garage (where the kids use it to play Wii), we're keeping the same tv in our bedroom, and we have a brand, spankin' new tv in the family room! =)

Lastly, I've been sort of going through an "Asian Lit" phase these last few weeks. Not only have I re-read some of my favorite Asian authors (Lisa See, Gail Tsukiyama, Anchee Min, Shan Sa, Aravind Adiga, Amy Tan, and Mineko Iawasaki), I've also re-read several of my favorite Asian-themed books by non-Asian authors (Arthur Golden, Liza Dalby, Pearl Buck, etc). I don't know why but I go through these phases where I only read books from a certain genre at a given time. It's a quirk, I know. Recently Jojo got me a book entitled Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah. It's Asian-themed and by an Asian author so I am super excited to start reading it. The thing with me and books, though, is I can not start reading a book if I don't have the time to finish it. I rarely start a new book unless I have a whole afternoon or better yet, a whole day with nothing else planned and the luxury of just reading. So even if I've had this beautiful book on my nightstand for the last few days, I've been re-reading my old books while waiting for the right time to start this new one. I am looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend to savor Falling Leaves. It's a 3-day weekend which will surely leave me with at least an afternoon of uninterrupted reading bliss! =)

1 comment:

joyeee said...

Nice of you to have lunch with atsi too!:) I miss her!!!:) EWant to visit you guys soon:) By the way, I so like your new tv dets!!! can't wait to try it! haha