Friends' blogs


This Week

  Friday 12/26/14

My friend Ellen has an interesting new website. Please check it out!

I was supposed to post this a few weeks ago. I've just been so busy! Like crazy. The holidays and other stuff going on have kept me from my regular routine of work and blogging.

I put up all of my Christmas decorations, finally. It was only about December 10, but it seemed like I was way behind on everything already. The place looks great. You can see the photos here. I'm particularly happy about the lights I put up on our lanai. They look great from the street (as does the tree). I'm hoping to get some good photos of that this week from down there. I bought a new digital camera that I want to use on it.  Also, some of the lights came from Syfy (formerly The SciFi Channel). They sent me some icicle lights to help promote a new movie. That was very cool.

Unfortunately, not too many people saw the decorations besides us. Our friends Cynthia and Tom went away and won't be back for a while. Our friends Matthew and Sara have been very sick. Our friends Lena and George did see them, so that was great. Also, we have this great light-up wreath on the door, and the security downstairs were complimenting me about it. Hopefully some other people enjoyed seeing the decorations on Facebook and such. It's much better when there are others to appreciate the decorations besides just me and David! I will hate taking them down. It took me a little long to put them up because it was just so hot for a few days. In general, it's cooler now, but we still have some pretty hot and/or humid days.

Anyway, after the decorations went up, I also had to work on getting my cards out, so that took a day or two, and they went out way later than usual. I usually like to get them out near Thanksgiving. That way a lot more people send them back. People are weird. I sent out about 125 or more and only got back about 50. I might still get more, though. They trickle in.

I made tons of cookies, too. First I made some for my band, and they seemed to enjoy them. Later I made a whole lot more for our friends here, and some of the people David works with, and for the management and security people downstairs. A few for us, too! For me I just made some chocolate chocolate chip ones (they're low carb and gluten free). It's pretty easy to take the tollhouse recipe and just change things a bit. I usually like to put a lot more chocolate chips as well as add in some white chips. At Christmas, I like to add in a little peppermint extra, or dip the cookies in melted chocolate that has peppermint extra. One time I went to the story this month and couldn't find any more regular chocolate chips, but I did find mint Andes candies chocolate chips, so I used those and some chopped up baking chocolate chunks. They looked great. I also made some of my regular Christmas cookies in shapes like trees, stars, bells etc. and some pralines. The pralines are more candy than cookies, so you have to use a candy thermometer and make sure it boils at exactly the right temperature, or it won't set right. I was worried about the ones I made because they didn't seem to be setting. I put them in the freezer, and that hardened them, but then they stuck to the foil. Later I discovered that after they thawed out, they were fine!  I also made macarons, which are a very delicate cookie made mostly with egg whites, almonds and powdered sugar. These are so yummy.

Our Christmas concert went great! For the most part... we'd lost our drummer in September, but another drummer that they know, Paul, joined us for one rehearsal and for our concert.  We needed a lot more rehearsal because we had a lot of new songs (especially Christmas ones), but it went okay anyway. I got to sing a lot, so I was very happy. You can see the videos of some of our songs. We did have some technical problems... our PA died and so we had to then plug in the mics into the amps, which is not as good. We're working on fixing the old one as well as getting a new one.

I've been recording some Christmas songs for my karaoke sites, so here they are if you're interested in listening to them. Just click on the song to play it, or right-click to save it to your computer.

I was very happy to see that Safeway has more gluten free items from Udi's. Great!!

Every year we get on the phone with our friend Barb and open each other's Christmas presents and chat. This year, we did it on Google Plus video, so that was fun.

I was really dying to hear Christmas music and see decorations besides my own. I missed seeing the big tree lighting ceremony they have here every year. I used to go to the mall all the time with my MIL and we loved all of the stuff there at holiday season.  Lena and I went to Ala Moana Center, which is a big mall here, and we did some Christmas shopping. That was a lot of fun! Not my favorite mall, but it was nice to go somewhere different for a change. It was great fun to hang out with Lena, too. We ate at the Nordstrom cafeteria, which was very good. I had done most of my shopping, but I was looking mostly for stocking stuffers for David.

A week or so later, we had Lena and George over. First we went to dinner at Duc's Bistro, which is right near our place. George is going to visit for a while at Vietnam, so he wanted to try the food. They really loved the place, as everyone does.  It has great food. Then they came up here to have dessert, and drinks, and to see my decorations. It was a very fun evening!

We went to a couple of nice holiday parties at David's work. One was at the country club and the other one was the club at the top of the Pioneer Plaza. Both were really nice! I'd never been to the Plaza Club before. There's a great view up there. I'd gotten a nice new dress at the mall for the party. It was loads of fun.

 The local church down the street, St. Andrew's, has many lunch time concerts during the fall and winter, so I went to many of them. Then I went to a Sunday afternoon Christmas concert there last weekend and it was wonderful. Not only did they play most of my favorites, but it was a sing-along, so that was so much fun.  Then the following day, some of their singers sang in this caroling group at the coffee place near the college, so I went over to listen to them. I sang along with them there, too. I just love Christmas music!

I finally got around to watching "Guardians of the Galaxy" on DVD. It was pretty good. The ending reminded me of Star Wars quite a bit. I've been watching a lot of holiday movies, too!

I've had pretty bad allergies off and on this winter, but not nearly as bad as last year when they were so awful, and I also got a bad cold and then bronchitis.

We had a lot of wind and rain this week, and then it was warm and sunny for Christmas day! I hope we get the cooler weather back soon.

David hates shopping and always waits until the last minute to get my presents! I get all of his and the rest of the family's presents. I do it in advance, of course. This year I got the really expensive phone for myself, so I told him that he could make it my birthday and Christmas presents. But he does get a little something for me, anyway. I just don't know why he waits until the last minute, since he hates shopping!

We had a very nice Christmas day. We slept in a little and then went to Zippy's for breakfast.  Then we came home and finished putting together the presents and stockings, then we opened them. We had a good time! Then we had a nap a little while later, and then for dinner we went to waikiki to this Italian restaurant we like, Il Lupino, which is near the Sheraton and Royal Hawaiian. I always like the place because they're very aware of gluten and usually have gluten free pasta and other foods. It was a really nice dinner. I had osso bucco, which is one of my favorite dishes, and a delicious risotto. They had some really delicious drinks. I had one called a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Then we went over to Kelley O'Neal's, and I had some more drinks.

The waiter at Il Lupino mentioned that they now have gluten free pizza and ravioli, so that's great! We'll definitely go back there.

What did you get for Xmas? I got the Star Wars Shakespeare trilogy, a teddy bear for my collection, 2 shirts, some jewelry, a Starbucks card, a new mixer, and a TCM book about movie moms, and DVD's of Falcon Crest season 1 and West Side Story 50th anniversary! I may get a few more gifts in the mail from one of my brothers...

It's been very difficult to get any work done during the holidays! My mind just hasn't been on it. I'm always sorry when they're over.

Next week should be fun, though. I got David and I tickets to see Bill Maher on New Year's Eve! He comes here every New Year's.

I wish we'd been able to go to Vegas to see his mom and sisters, or to San Diego to see my family. Well, maybe next year!

I spent a lot of time this week on Facebook... it's difficult because people are on vacation and busy so they're posting a lot more than usual!

It didn't feel like a weekday today since David had the day off. It felt like a weekend. Also, there were lots of people walking around downtown, like it was a weekend.

The dry cleaner guy usually delivers our dry cleaning on Thursday, but instead he delivered it today. Since David was at home, he got it for me, so I could stay in bed! Which was a good thing.

We went to lunch at Gordon Biersch, which always has a great view of the harbor. It was beautiful out today. I just had a cheeseburger. My stomach wasn't feeling good, though, and I ended up getting sick at home (my usual problems - somewhere that I ate within the past few days was not gluten free as they claimed). Then I went back to sleep for a long while. Later I was sick some more.

We tried to go to dinner at J.J. Dolan's, but it was too crowded. We walked over to the French restaurant I like, and I just had a salad. When we got back home, I made David some of the frozen shumei he likes. It was a pretty mellow day of just sitting around and relaxing, mostly. I've been trying to get some things done. I managed to get laundry and dishes done, and straighten up a little. Not much else!

  Saturday 12/27/14

I've been getting up later than I like - after noon today - so I'm going to have to keep trying to get up earlier! That's my new year's resolution: get up earlier, lose weight and exercise. The usual, in other words! But I can't complain because otherwise, life is great.

I didn't get too much done today. I spent a lot of time getting sick and sleeping (my usual problems).  We went to lunch at Hooter's - they're a good sports bar, so David can see his games. I like it because it's right on the pier (great view of the harbor) and their food is pretty good. Plus, both this place and Gordon Biersch are a mile from our house, so every time we go, we walk 2 miles! Yay! Of course it's an easy walk, mostly flat, but still!  They have really good grilled chicken, whether you have the salad or the sandwich. It's not overcooked, like most places.

Later on, we went to dinner at J.J. Dolan's and just had pizza. I spent most of the evening just updating my music pages . I still have some left to do, but I need to take a break from it.

I didn't think to check the weather before we went out, and it's been warm the past few days... so I was wearing my usual t-shirt, shorts and sandals. It was a bit chilly out since it was the low 70's and very windy! I had hot chocolate later on. I went to bed very late (working), about 4 am, and it was down to 67 degrees! That's cold for here. :) I even wore pajamas for a change.

  Sunday 12/28/14

I got up around 11:30. We went to O'Toole's and just had snacks for lunch. The guy there is always nice, and they put out free hot dogs, chili, meatballs and chips! Another place where David likes to watch football. I stopped at Walmart on the way back and got a few things.

I only got 7 hours' sleep, so I'm going to try not to nap.

It's 77 degrees and breezy - perfect weather. It's always warm in our apartment, though, particularly in the afternoon. I could close the blinds, but then I'd just have to open them again to show the Xmas decorations. Plus, it would block the open sliding glass doors. It's fine, I just put on the fans again. Yes, I'm picky. I prefer it to be around 70 degrees and no wind.

A good friend is having a tough time right now becase his family is going through a major problem. So sorry for anyone who's having health issues, money issues or worse. Hang in there!

I did a lot of work on my site for a change, updated the music pages quite a bit. Then I did a lot of work on my TV site.

We went out to dinner to our usual place, Downbeat Diner. It was too cold for me at that point! The wind had really picked up. The food there is always great.

I did end up trying to nap in the afternoon, but it didn't work. So instead I went to bed really early, about 10pm.

  Monday 12/29/14

I woke up around 8am, which would have been great except I ruined it later by going back to sleep. I didn't sleep well because of allergies, so I was really tired and crabby all morning.

We tried to go to the DMV later on, but it was just too crowded, for one thing. We want to both get our driver's licenses transferred over to Hawaii (we still have our Georgia licenses) but here they require a lot of different things. I have my license, and my birth certificate, and proof of residency, but I don't have a social security card (I can't find it) nor do I have a W2 or 1099 (since I'm self employed!).  I took my tax forms along to show that I own my own business and that I have my social on there, plus my tax ID, but the awful woman at the DMV couldn't or wouldn't help me. She was pretty awful.  Not nice and Aloha like most people here. David was going to get his, but the line was really slow, so he's going to try again tomorrow.

I'm going to keep looking to see if I can find my social security card or an old W2, but I think I'm out of luck for now. I'll have to get a new card, which is a pain and a half. I think my card is probably somewhere in a box with my business cards, but that will take quite a long time to we'll see. Mine actually doesn't expire until 2017, but still... I really wanted to get a Hawaii driver's license if possible.

I know I complain a lot, and I thank those of you who read this and listen to me complain, and talk about my boring life! :)

My eyes keep watering so much lately, especially when I first wake up, that I worry that I'm getting pink eye (which I used to get a lot), but so far, I haven't. Just had really horrible allergies with itching all over, and watery eyes (so bad that it's like I'm crying) and being stuffed up, and sneezing. UGH.

We stopped at Jack-in-the-Box on the way back from the DMV and then I took a very long nap. Too long!

We went to Epic later for dinner. That place is always freezing, which is nice during the summer, but not so great right now. I had a duck salad, which is very good there. Then we walked over to Murphy's, and I got a coffee because I was so cold. I got it with lots of cream, sweetener, and some Bailey's. Probably not a good idea to get the caffeine that late at night, though. They had no hot chocolate.

Otherwise, just been working on my site and trying to get some cleaning done around the apartment. Seems I always start in the bedroom and then only make it about halfway before it gets all messed up again!

Tonight I discovered this great phone app called Sing! Karaoke, which is run by a company with the great name of Smule! Sounds like something fun and cartoony. Anyway, it's great because you can install it for free and just sing along with karaoke songs, and record yourself. Of course, they only give you so many songs for free, but it's only $4 a month. Pretty good deal. Now, for those of us who like to mix our own songs and make them sound great, it's not great quality sound. But it's great just for fun. I had used this other one, Karaoke Anywhere, but they only let you record on iPhone or iPad. On the Android you can use it just to sing a long.  Sing! Karaoke also has some effects you can use to make your voice sound different afterwords. It doesn't have a key-changer, though, which would be very helpful.

Anyway, that's all for now. Have a happy new year!

Don't forget to also check out my TV Blog! Both are updated about once a week.

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This page updated 3/24/17

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