Valentine’s Day: for the Husband

My husband is a man of no needs, wants, or complaints. He doesn’t want anything for special occasions/holidays and I can’t remember a time when he stated what he wanted for any of his birthdays. The good thing is, if I don’t get him anything, he can’t blame me, (haha!). The bad thing is, I do feel bad and I have to guess what he would appreciate.

So here are my guesses, and maybe it would help you think of gifts for your husbands too.

  • Tickets to a basketball game: He would have enjoyed going to a Warriors vs. Lakers/Clippers game, but too bad the Warriors are done playing at the Staples Center this season. ehehe. Next time I’ll try to remember to buy tickets at the beginning of the season.
  • PS4: Oh, I’ve known he would like this very much, but I’ve been disinclined because he is such a game addict! He has grown up playing video games and once he starts playing, he has to play nonstop until he beats it. My sister bought him one of those old Nintendo consoles for Christmas and he beat the Mario game in a week’s time. I don’t know; I’m still reluctant to let him get a PS4. This is last on my list, but I know it would be one of his first choices, if he had a choice.
  • Guitar stands: His guitars lay scattered on the floor or stand tilted along the wall gathering dust. This is definitely not on his wish list, but it would be me giving him a chance to do something about it. :P
  • Tickets to a concert: He loves concerts. He bought Mute Math and John Mayer tickets last year but we couldn’t go because I was really sick those days. This tends to happen more often than not–canceling events due to me getting sick last minute. I have to figure out what bands he likes listening to and if they have concerts in SoCal in the coming weeks/months, and hope and pray that I don’t get sick that day.
  • A new laptop/computer: Way too pricey, therefore very unlikely. And I need a new computer too. We need to save up for these.
  • Weekend getaway: He would appreciate lounging around doing nothing, enjoying good food, and maybe even a spa day with a professional massage session.
  • A smart watch: He loves his tech gadgets. Since he wants to switch to a Samsung 9 phone (goodbye, Apple) for his upgrade this year, I have to research which watches would be compatible.
  • Amazon Echo 2nd Generation: Although Alexa often fails many commands, she is still somewhat useful for certain tasks. I think he would appreciate one in his new office.

I’m out of ideas, and I still don’t know which one to go for, but I’m leaning towards the watch.

If you have other ideas, please let me know!

Day at the Beach

Elaine began showing cold-symptoms on Friday night. She couldn’t go to preschool today because she had a lingering cough and stuffy nose. Since she was caged inside the house all weekend, we took a short trip to the beach for some sunshine. (Plus, the weather’s been unusually warm (70s-80s)). She enjoys playing in the sand, often rolling and crawling on it. One hour flies by when she’s playing with her bucket full of water and sand, stirring the mixture and scooping a shovel-full for us to “eat,” and by the time we have to go home, she wants to take sand home. I told her she could take it home as long as she could hold it in her hand. She tried piling as much as she could in her tiny palm as most of it slipped through her fingers. Again and again she scooped and tried to hold onto it, but she eventually realized she couldn’t hold much of her beloved sand in her hand so it wasn’t worth taking. That was my art of manipulation. With kids, you learn to choose your battles. “Let’s get changed.” [runs away]. [chase after the kid, yell, or wait]. Some days I chase her, some days I yell, some days I wait. Sometimes I lose, sometimes I win, and that’s how it goes. Today, I won. ;)

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Field Trip: L.A. Zoo

Elaine really wanted to see the jaguars. Fortunately, the jaguar was the most interesting compared to the other big cats (i.e., lions, tigers, etc.) who were in deep slumber. There was a monkey family (mom, baby, and dad) that was also fascinating to observe. Overall, it was a fun day. I forgot how large wild animals could be, like the zebras and hippos. My recommendations would be to go on a weekday (it was so crowded today (Saturday)), purchase tickets online before coming (which we did and we bypassed the long line for tickets. We also received discounts through my husband’s work but I’m sure there are other discounts available online, such as Groupon), bring a stroller for your little ones, wear a hat and/or sunscreen, bring snacks, and be prepared to walk a lot (i.e., wear comfortable shoes).

 

A little of Virginia Woolf

Google search revealed that it was Virginia Woolf’s birthday yesterday, and naturally, I dug up some of her books. I’ve read Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Jacob’s Room, and A Room of One’s Own, and I remember enjoying her stream-of-consciousness style and mellow tone. Having moved so often since college, my copies are lost somewhere and all that’s left on my bookshelf are Mrs. Dalloway (not my original copy) and To the Lighthouse. An unfortunate case of lost scribbles, notes, and underlinings, forever forgotten. [sigh]. On the bright side, it gives me reason to read them again.

Here are some excerpts, lines I’ve starred or underlined throughout To the Lighthouse: 

“…sunk as he was in a grey-green somnolence which embraced them all, without need of words, in a vast and benevolent lethargy of well-wishing; all the house; all the world; all the people in it,…”

“…for [the sun] was bright enough, the grass still a soft deep green, the house starred in its greenery with purple passion flowers, and rooks dropping cool cries from the high blue.”

“Naturally, if one’s days were passed in this seeing of angular essences, this reducing of lovely evenings, with all their flamingo clouds and blue and silver to a white deal four-legged table… naturally one could not be judged like an ordinary person.”

“…never did anybody look so sad. Bitter and black, half-way down, in the darkness, in the shaft which ran from the sunlight to the depths, perhaps a tear formed; a tear fell; the waters swayed this way and that, received it, and were at rest. Never did anybody look so sad.”

“…how strangely he was venerable and laughable at one and the same time.”

“A light here required a shadow there.”

“For it was odd; and she believed it to be true; that with all his gloom and desperation he was happier, more hopeful on the whole, than she was.”

“So with the lamps all put out, the moon sunk, and a thin rain drumming on the roof a down pouring of immense darkness began. Nothing, it seemed could survive the flood, the profusion of darkness…”

“But what after all is one night? A short space, especially when the darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollow of the wave. Night, however, succeeds to night. The winter holds a pack of them in a store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers. They lengthen; they darken. Some of them hold aloft clear planets, plates of brightness. The autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take on the flash of tattered flash kindling in the gloom of cool cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages describe death in battle and how bones bleach and burn far away in Indian sands. The autumn trees gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of harvest moons, the light which mellows the energy of labour, and smooths the stubble, and brings the wave lapping blue to the shore.”

“‘What beautiful boots!’ she exclaimed. She was ashamed of herself. To praise his boots when he asked her to solace his soul; when he had shown her his bleeding hands, his lacerated heart, and asked her to pity them, then to say, cheerfully, ‘Ah, but what beautiful boots you wear!’ deserved, she knew, and she looked up expecting to get it, in one of his sudden roars of ill-temper, complete annihilation.”

“…all sorts of waifs and strays and things besides.”

 

Birthday Celebration Continued…

Since my husband couldn’t join me in the fun on my actual birthday, he made reservations at Cicada restaurant in downtown Los Angeles for some music and dancing, albeit minus the dancing on our parts. Truth be known: I told him to make the reservations at that restaurant on that specific date. The restaurant was a place I wanted to visit on my 30th birthday, but I don’t remember what happened that year and why we couldn’t make it happen. And the other truth is, I planned my own birthday celebration: going to get brunch at Bottega, the pier, etc. etc. I’ve been planning my birthdays for some time now and I think this has come to be the norm because I like to celebrate my day my way, and I prefer it that way. (rhyming unintended). Although my husband has good intentions and some thoughtfulness, he often doesn’t know what I really want.  Hilarious incident this year: On my birthday he left for work before I woke up (and he had to work until late that day) and to my expectation (I saw his purchase on our credit card statement), he left a turquoise box on my vanity table as a birthday gift. A turquoise box meaning, something from Tiffany’s. Most girls would be giddy, but I was skeptical because the past two times he bought me jewelry was rather… not to my taste. haha. I opened the box nervously and BOOM: another “not to my taste” jewelry.  I couldn’t help but laugh out loud because it was a large silver cross on a long silver chain, something that reminded me of what the Pope would carry around or what gangsters would wear on top of wife-beater shirts. Later when he asked how I liked the gift, I told him, “Hm,” and recounted exactly how I responded and why. His excuse was that he didn’t know what it would look like in person because the website didn’t specify dimensions or measurements. It was all very funny and he later got me something I wanted after returning the necklace, so all was right with the world. :)

The reason I recount the birthday gift incident is because the hilarity continued on the day we went out for dinner. 1. My husband made dinner reservations for a time that was  wayyy too early (1.5 hours too early) and we had to take our sweet sweet time eating dinner before everyone arrived, including the musicians. We spent about 30 minutes for the bite-sized appetizer and 40 minutes for our rather meager main course.  In between each bite, I munched on a lot of bread. The crowd didn’t appear until an hour after we arrived and the music didn’t start playing until an hour and a half later. You see, my husband didn’t make reservations on the restaurant’s website where it described the event and dinner options. He made reservations on Opentable.com and had no idea what the restaurant was like and that there would be a live jazz band with people actually dancing to the music. It was so like him! I told him to make reservations at that restaurant providing him with a link to the restaurant’s website that described everything and what was required, but he simply found another way to make reservations in the simplest possible way. I smacked myself in the forehead [hypothetically], thinking, “I should’ve made the reservations myself.” I should have known when the restaurant called a few days prior to make sure he had tickets to the event. He was surprised there was going to be music and that we needed tickets. I should’ve known then and there. But alas, I let it slip and that’s what happened. 2. After observing other women wearing strings of pearls with their black sequin dresses, I told him about how matching pearls with black sequin didn’t occur to me when I was trying to plan my outfit. It was regretful because I had a nice string of pearls at home that my grandma gave me years ago and I had never worn them. My husband said that pearls were not really my taste and that he at least knew that. Haha, which was not true because I do like pearls, it was only that I have had no occasion to wear pearls on a regular basis. Oh, dear Husband, I love you anyway. At least you knew I do not dance. (And I knew you do not dance).

All in all, it was a lovely evening eating a (very) leisurely dinner, listening to good music (live vocals are the best), and watching others dance in a setting that transported you to a glamorous past (similar vibe to Midnight in Paris, one of my favorite films).

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