Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Goodbye, Uncle Sam

Sam Isamu Nakagawa (1927-2009)

"Gee. You sure have a strong grip for a girl."

That's what he said the first time I met him (and everytime I saw him after that).
He would extend his hand, confirm my grip strength, then let me hug him.

Uncle Sam was a close friend of my husband's family. He was known for being
soft-spoken, quiet and a man devoted to his wife and family. At his funeral service last Saturday, his grandchildren spoke tenderly about him. The slideshow of his life revealed the things he loved (his family, his friends, Pismo Beach).

At his memorial service, he requested "Three Times a Lady" by Lionel Richie play for his wife (Auntie Barbara). When it got to the part, "... to touch you, to hold you, to feel you, to need you. There's nothing to keep us apart," people started to cry (including me).
Uncle Sam wanted Auntie Barbara to know that she would be fine when he passed on. Asian men usually aren't public about their private emotions. He wanted to reassure Auntie Barbara. Uncle Sam was that kind of man.

People may not remember
exactly what you did,
or what you said,
but they will always remember
how you made them feel.

Yes, he made me feel special (and strong).

Goodbye and thank you, Uncle Sam.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Triangle Drive-In

Lauren asked to have Sunday dinner here (our Small Group barbeque was cancelled a few hours earlier). Yesterday was my first time here - we picked up a strawberry milkshake and a drink enroute to Uncle Sam's graveside service.

For no particular reason, Kirk hasn't stopped here for years. I like the old neon signs and 1960s-architecture of this roadside eatery (at the 99 and Belmont exit). This place opened in 1963 and was so surpringly clean and tidy (no papers strewn either inside or out, no dirty tables, and the cement floors were shiny). Today's fast food splurge was fast, reasonable and tasty (we're not here for healthy fare). Tonight, Kirk and Lauren were in the mood for seafood (fish & chips and clam strips & fries).

Triangle Drive-In's neon sign against the evening sky (approximately 7:10pm)

I liked this big neon with a bygone era font. This eatery was so neat and tidy.

1960s era sign. The blueness of the twilight sky is beautiful

I was eyeing someone's ice cream order on the counter

Triangle's window sign

Kirk and Lauren chat while waiting for their order.

Dedication sign by the front door

This eatery was so tidy (no rubbish outside and the cement floors were so shiny)

There are 3 windows: Fountain Drinks, Pick-Up, and Order

Lauren's basket of clam strips and fries

Kirk's basket of fish and fries with tartar sauce

Part of the inside wall menu. Burger next time?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sheri's Day

You know how God brings
special people into our lives?
Literally, that's how I met Sheri.
In church.

She's my friend.
She's my sister, in Christ.

Lots of us feel the same about her.
If love and friendship are currency,
she's a rich woman.
I'm richer, too,
for knowing her.

Love you.
Happy Birthday, Sheri.

This (anonymous) poem describes her:

The happiest people don't have the best of everything.
They just make the best of everything they have.
Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fresh Seafood

Supermarkets advertise "Fresh Seafood" but I consider it "fresh" if it's alive when I buy it. We were in Stockton for Lauren's travel softball tournament. After the tourney, we stopped for groceries at SF Supermarket (an Asian market). I tried to take pictures in here before, but they stopped me. To me, Asian markets are interesting. I brought my camera again (hidden inside a bag), but I could only shoot a few pictures.

Asian Markets in larger communities carry lots of live seafood. Tanks are stacked in the back of the store (seafood section) with live seafood. Pick what you want, then have it weighed and priced. After, you can ask to have it either boiled or fried (this service is included in the price/lb) and you're ready to eat when you get home.

Here's a tank of Dungeness crab. We like to select the large lively ones. Then, boil them at home. Hold the lid down because the crabs want to crawl out of the pot. Then, make sure the rice is ready with melted butter, lemon and soy sauce on the side. Yum.

The sign says carp. Not the same variety as the huge pretty ones in Japanese gardens.

These are geoduck clams. Huge! Shells are the size of my hand. Don't think I've ever eaten these.


These huge frogs were also in the tanks. Their bodies are bigger than my hand! Lauren screamed "Gross!" I wouldn't know how to cook these (although not appetizing to me). Oh, and these frogs are $3.69/lb. (Sheri - you still standing?)

I asked Lauren to find sayote squash (I believe it's "chayote" in English. It's sayote in Tagalog). She didn't know the name of the squash, but asked if it looked like this face she made. Yup, that's the sayote squash-face.

Here's Kirk with our groceries. (No, I don't know what that store sign says).

Then, we had lunch in this hole-in-the-wall. (I'm not exactly sure what Cambodian food is, but we like it. Vietnamese food is delicious, too). If we're in Stockton, we're stopping here!

Kirk ordered the marinated/grilled pork and shrimp, fried rice with an fried egg on top.

I ordered lemongrass-marinated grilled chicken, with fried rice and an egg roll.

Lauren's plate: lemongrass-marinated grilled chicken and shrimp with fried rice.

I shot a picture of the restaurant door (for my brother Teddy)

Tummies are happy and full (with a doggie-bag for the road). We're headed back to the hotel to shower, change, and the 2-hour drive back home.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Senior Yearbook Photos

Lauren's senior yearbook pictures were taken by Maxwell Studio. The studio was bustling with teenagers getting their pictures taken two weeks before the yearbook's deadline. She wanted me to sit in the room while the pictures were taken and the photographer allowed me to take a few shots (without flash) to document the session. She looks beautiful in the black dress we picked up last night at Forever 21. This senior year is moving so fast!

The glass door on the studio entrance

She felt like a movie star with these lights

The photographer had long hair, too, so she carefully arranged Lauren's fresh curls

She flashed a quick smile at me

The half-moon reflectors lit the shadows on her face

The photographer was giving Lauren some ideas

They reviewed a few of the photos as they shot the session. I know it's not customary to review the pictures with the client (because the waiting room was PACKED), but I appreciated her extra care with Lauren

Last shot of the session for this senior!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Barrio Logan

We were visiting San Diego some weeks ago, when I noticed a brightly painted building from the freeway (under the bridge at I-5, Exit 15B, outside of Coronado). After spending the day at Silver Strand Beach in Coronado, we stopped at Barrio Logan.

I didn't think much of the stranded grocery carts and the homeless people sitting across the street. Later, when I mentioned to relatives where we were, they frowned. Stated that we shouldn't go there. That it wasn't safe. Maybe the sirens and lights flashing from police vehicles were indicators?

Lauren standing in front of a garage-type door and I had to get in the middle of the street for this shot. Kirk was watching for cars and shielding Lauren from passers-by who were pushing grocery carts (without groceries in them).

Against a wall mural

Lauren adjusts her belt. Shot of legs and feet (both Lauren's and the mural behind her).

Lauren's a good sport. We just came from the beach and her hair is full of sand!

I liked the color of this wall

When Lauren gets tired, she starts making funny faces

A closer look at the beautiful wall murals

This mural is huge (Lauren is there for scale)

Painting on the sheet metal wall. See the carts on the right? I asked Lauren not to move them because the owners were watching us.

Outside of the painted warehouse building. Behind the blue car on the right are a couple cots with homeless people sleeping outside. Across the street (on the side where I'm standing) are a couple dozen homeless people just watching us. These are hard times with so many down on their luck right now.

Another side of the painted warehouse

A sign in front of the building with the mural dedication

Great job on this East Village Community Beautification project. Thanks.