Thursday, December 21, 2006

Getting into the Season

Those who know me, know that I'm the biggest scrooge. But those who know my wife, know that she is the biggest X-mas lover. I have made it my goal this year to change my ways and fill myself of the holiday spirit. So Merry Christmas everybody! I promise I'm not being sarcastic.

For the last 2 weeks I've been working hard prepping the condo for my wife's Christmas decor. So I've rigged our balcony with lights, I'll post pics later...and we got rid of that old entertainment center that came with the place, so that we would have space to put our Christmas tree. Check it out below.

Props to my wife for making this time of year and our place so special.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dinner Parties are Fun! (If you are a guest!)

Last Saturday, all of my family came over to visit the new place. I didn't realize how nervous I was about it, until the day of, when we were preparing everything for their arrival. Just like Señor RAR, I guess I also wanted my parents approval, or at least a sign that they thought we made a good investment.

So Señor RAR graciously made dinner for my entire family, which was no easy feat since there were 9 people coming, plus ourselves. He made his delicious Bruschetta, Chicken Cacciotore and Steak Salad. I made a delicious dinner salad, and dessert, Lemon Merengue Pie and Chocolate Satin pie (Thank Goodness for Marie Callenders!!!)

It was madness though! Cooking, cleaning, decorating. It turned into a "dinner party" because as the day went along, we thought of different things to make (Mojitos/micheladas) or to decorate the place. We even had a chance to set the table with our new china, which we hadn't been able to use since the wedding, and very formal place settings. It felt like playing house, I tell ya! I don't think we sat down since 10 a.m. until after 11 p.m., when my family left!

All in all, the dinner party turned out to be a great success!!! My parents really liked our new place, especially the color scheme we have going in the different rooms. It's nice to see that all that effort we put into picking the "right" colors for each room, really pays off when people comment on how nice everything looks. They also enjoyed dinner very much, so Señor RAR gets props on that one.

I feel a little bad for my family though, because since Señor RAR was cooking, he wasn't able to give his very thorough "condo tour." Instead, my parents had to experience my version, which is significantly shorter, but perhaps not as interesting (wink, wink).

I think we are now ready for the housewarming party!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sort of Failed Experiment

Last night I couldn't resist the urge to go to Best Buy and look at the wirless video senders. As you may recall from a prior post, I am trying to send a video signal wirelessly to a portable dvd monitor in my kitchen.

So just my luck, I came across the Leapfrog LF-30S transmitter open item that the price had been slashed to $95. So I said, what the heck lets try it out. So I took it home and connected it to my second cable box in the bedroom, so that my wife can see one channel in the living room and I can watch something else in the kitchen. The installation was painless, although I was not happy about the added cables that come with the transmiters. Regardless I turned them on and they worked. Wow, I even set-up the infared feature on the unit so I can change the channels from the kitchen....very cool.

Uh oh, whats this? Static interference, no! It can't be, I was right the 2.4Ghz frequency is an issue. The wirless internet I got going, plus our cordless phone, and believe it or not our microwave are causing too much interference. I tried changing up the channels on the transmitters but nothing. Ahhh! Why don't things work how they are suppose to work. Oh well, I guess I have to keep looking for that 5Ghz transmitter that is all over the Internet, but impossible to buy because its out of stock in most places.

So now what? First return that piece of junk transmitter and then I have another expirement I want to try. Lately I have a theory about the HDTV genre. I've been intentionally avoiding getting an HDTV cable box, because I believe there aren't enough channels available in High Def to make it worth paying the extra $5 a month. So since the FCC has mandated that all public channels be available in HD as of this year, available over the air, I am considering just buying a powered HDTV antenna, which will hopefully allow me to view all the standard channels in HD (thats about 19 channels)... which are a lot of channels compared to what Time Warner offers, especially since a lot public channels are still not available through their service. Anyways, since our tv has a built-in HD tuner I think that forking out $45 for this antenna may be worth it. By the way, the whole Comcast/Adelphia buy-out by Time Warner is such a scam. Why can't people get all the channels available?

Ok, by now anyone reading this blog probably thinks I'm the biggest geek ever. So if I totally bored you with my tech rant, go enjoy some of the techno pleasures that are available online. I'm sure Truthiness can tell you all about it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Somewhere in heaven, an angel got her wings (or My Wife's Cooking, Part II)

I gotta say that it's been a great year for Señor RAR. First, the Democrats win the House. Then, the UCLA beats USC (Go Bruins!). And so I decided that I would give him the third miracle (hence the title post) and make him dinner. Yes, I know....Shock!

Contrary to popular belief, though, I do cook and I think I'm pretty good at it, if I may say so myself (you can even ask my family and college roommates and they'll vouch for me as well!). I have lots of experience since I was in charge of cooking for my family (8 of us total) for about 3 years. However, this is why I never thought of cooking as fun. It has always been a "chore," well at least until I started cooking for Señor RAR. But yes, sadly, life and work and everything gets in the way sometimes and it doesn't leave much for room for cooking a real meal.

So the other day, I was searching on the web for recipes for some of my "famous" Mexican dishes (since I had not cooked in so long, I kind of forgot how to make them!) and I found this great recipe for Chicken Tequila Fetuccine, which is my favorite at CPK. It was surprisingly easy to make, particularly since I was never taught to follow recipes when I cook. And it actually tasted like the dish at CPK, with alot more kick to it...after all, I do love spicy foods!

I have to admit, it was pretty nice cooking in our new kitchen. I don't have a "triangle offense" when it comes to cooking, but it was pretty cool to have so much counter space to prepare everything. It definitely made cooking easier and dare I say it, fun. The best part was seeing how much Señor RAR enjoyed it. I think this will get me off the hook from cooking again for at least a couple of months. And yes, I did school him and that feels a little more satisfying than the actual meal!*

*For those of you who don't know us, Señor RAR and I have always had a little competition going on when it comes to pretty much everything. So the last sentence is in reference to that. I am not a mean person, I am just AWESOME! :)

My Wife's Cooking

I don't know who said it, but someone said that the key to a man's heart is his stomach. I'd have to agree with that, and long ago my wife won me over with her amazing Mexican dishes she would cook for me when we were dating. However as we both got busy with work and school, very soon those meals were mere distant memories.

Well, last night my wife won my heart forever when she surprised me with the most amazing meal ever. She made me a chicken tequila and lime fetuccini that was the absolute BOMB!!!!! I don't know what made me more excited, whether it was the fact that she was cooking again or that she was cooking in a kitchen that she once hated (before we renovated). I tell you, that dish has put a spell on me so that everytime I think of how good it tasted my mouth begins to water. Dang, I can't wait to finish off those leftovers later today.

Since normally I'm the one that cooks at home and I usually brag about my cooking to my wife, I have to say that with this meal she schooled me like a third know like at the age you can do multiplication, but not much else. Dang it, I better start watching Food Network again.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Friends, Beers and UCLA Football

Wow, on Sautrday UCLA beat USC and took them out of the championship game. Ah, that was as good as seeing USC get clobbered by Texas last year...wait, no. UCLA beating USC is always by far better than anything else. It took seven years, but this victory couldn't have been sweeter...and watching it in our condo with brewskis and good friends was the icing on the cake.

Anyways, this weekend I called up my best friend form UCLA, and invited him and his wife to join us Saturday and watch the big game. Both my wife and I are proud Bruins and one day hopefully our kids will be too. It was nice having our friends over, we got a chance to show them our place and entertain them. We had a great time watching the game and eating. I made a nacho fiesta platter and my wife made a delicious but spicy guacamole, which we washed down with plenty of Pacificos and Dos Equis. As the game went on, we kept knocking on wood so we wouldn't jinx the game. As the game approached the 5 minute mark we started to believe. Yes, the Bruins were going to win it...and then they intercepted with lik a minute left and we knew it was all over...we were jumping up and down making a ruckus, it trully was awesome.

One irony is that before this season, the last time I went to UCLA footbal game was the last time they beat USC in 1998. I guess I should go to more games. GO BRUINS and good luck in the Emerald Bowl.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Parent's Approval

Believe it our not, next week will be 2 months living in our condo. Its amazing how time flys, however its only been a few weeks since our place was finally presentable. With less boxes to unpack now, I feel a lot better about showing our place to friends and family.

Anyways, one of the things that had been bugging me after getting our place, was that my parents had not seen the place or had they expressed any interest in seeing the place. What bugged me even more was that my wife's parents were so eager to come over and I was jealous at how excited they were about seeing the condo. Well, I figured since I was heading down to Anaheim (aka Anacrime) for Thanksgivng I thought I would invite them to come up that weekend. While their reception to my invitation was lukewarm, nevertheless they accepted.

Since my wife and I spent Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving with her family, we ended up spending all Sunday morning getting the Condo spiffied up. I had wanted to cook my famous salmon dish with orzo risrotto, a favorite of my parents, but I ran out of time. Well, 5:00PM hit and my parents arrived. My parents were accompanied with my grandma, my sister and my sister's fiance. Oh the stress, what will my parents think? Will they like it or hate it? For some reason I was desperate for my parents approval.

So upon arrival I began giving my grand tour of our humble little condo. They were really impressed with the color schemes, and how well they blended from room to room. They loved our dinning room area and kitchen. They liked our bedroom and bed frame. My dad loved the seperate his and her closet space, which is a luxury he does not have at home with my mom. All and all they were very happy for my wife and I and were proud of what we had accomplished with the place. Phew what a relief. Also, it turns out that their uneasiness about coming up to see our place stemmed more from their general phobia of Los Angeles than anything else...OC people, they might as well become their own state.

Since I didn't have time to cook, we ended up going to a local italian restaurant C&O Cucina in Marina del Rey...a favorite of my wife and I. We had a great time and really pigged out.