Friday, October 31, 2008

Kobe and Elphie and Mickey! Oh, my!

It's not hard to explain how cool my job is and how fun my coworkers are. My team and I headed to SoCal last weekend for some boring Finance Training (GAAP refresher and Sales/Use Tax) and some fun watching a Lakers game, Wicked (the musical), and hanging out with Mickey at the Disneyland and California Adventure.

I haven't been to Disneyland in about 20 years simply because I am not a big roller coaster fan. But being with my co-workers, I had to act tough. So I gutted it out and rode The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, and the Matterhorn. If they tell you that I screamed like a girl, I was just trying to fit in (all my coworkers are female).

Also, even though I was against Disney acquiring Pixar, I was glad to see how much of an imprint Pixar's characters have on today's Disneyland. One of my favorite rides during this visit was Toy Story Mania. It's a 3D ride where you compete against your partner by shooting objects on a screen. Of course I let Jenny win. =P

Here are some photos from the trip.

Here is my coworker Kelly answering a question from the instructor. As you can tell by my face, I am not buying it one bit!

The Wicked playbill

View from inside California Adventure
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During the Halloween season, Disneyland is decorated with thousands of pumpkins. At the entrance, all of the characters are made of pumpkin. Jenny liked how Minnie's bows leaf-shaped.

Candy Corn Acres

Candy corn carrots!
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Birds of Paradise

As a spoof, I told my boss's husband that Kobe sat next to us. He was bummed he didn't know we went to a Lakers game.
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Souffle for dessert. Can't go wrong with that!
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Sun setting beyond the Mickey Mouse roller coaster. I took this shot while my friends were searching for our car in the parking lot for 10 minutes.
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Night time outside California Adventure
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The fireworks show at Disneyland

Traditionally, I like to end my photobooks with a shadow shot. Because my boss and her husband weren't around for the shot, I decided to go with the Disney theme:

"Honey, I shrunk my boss!" =P

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Road Trip to Oregon

Wow, it's been several weeks since I've last blogged. A road trip to Oregon and a business trip to Disneyland =) isn't too shabby of a way to spend the last two weeks.

Oregon is a beautiful GREEN state and if you get a chance, I really recommend you to drive. Portland is about a 10-12 hrs drive from the Bay Area depending on the number of viewpoints you stop along the way. =P Here are some of my favorite shots of Oregon!

We left the house around 4 am (my usual time) and took off.
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How can you go on a road trip without stopping off at McDonald's?
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Thanks to Billy, my iTouch was loaded with movies. Here is Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.
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We stayed in this beautifully decorated boutique hotel (Ace Hotel) in Portland.

Here is the main lobby of the hotel. Those couches were comfy!
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This was on our way to Tillamook. The fall season brings such colorful landscapes.
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One of my favorite autumn shots.
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We stopped by a petting farm and for some reason, I really like this shot of the turkeys. Maybe because Thanksgiving is coming up.
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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Some say spooky, we say Snoopy!

Halloween is supposed to be spooky. People decorate their homes/offices with skulls, ghosts, witches ....i.e. spooky things!

Just look at what my Finance team did to our office!

I did 0.5% of the decorations. That's why it looks so nice!
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As a spoof, I added my co-worker's eyes to the skull. Mu ha ha!
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But at the Lo's home, Halloween is about decorating with Snoopy things. Well, not just Halloween. There's also Thankgiving, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, Spring Training, Back to School . . . well, you get the point. The Lo's decorate all of the holidays with Snoopy things.

We just retired the summer Baseball Snoopy decorations for the year and rolled out the Halloween sets.

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The Dracula Snoopy's arms move up and Dracula Woodstock reveals himself. Then Snoopy giggles. Probably one of our favorites in the Snoopy Collection.
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The Root Cause

So Jenny and I have been pondering why Chunky Monkey (a.k.a Sally) has gained 15% of her weight since her last vet visit. Being trained as an engineer (ha ha, I laugh every time I see that on my resume. Let's be honest here, I ain't no engineer. Just ask my friends.), I decided to solve this mystery by retracing our steps to understand what really is the root cause. That's right, we are doing a root-cause analysis on Sally's weight gain. Though this may sound like a major effort, it really wasn't and the analysis was quickly completed when we visited Sally's treat pantry. She has lots of treats. Lots!

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Aside from her extensive treat assortments, Sally's weight gain is also probably contributed by her lack of exercise. If you have seen her photobook, you'll probably notice that more than 25% of her pictures were in a sleeping/laying/curled up position. (She sleeps in her tent, lays out in the dog park, or curls up in her poang chair, to name a few.)

So what we have done in the last week is less treats and more exercise. Hopefully during her next vet visit (which is soon since we haven't visited the vet for the past two weeks), she'll be back to her slimmer self.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Teagan's Celebration of Life

I was honored to help my friend Phil take pictures of his daughter's celebration of life last week. She recently passed from her two-year battle with leukemia. She has been a tough little girl even through this difficult journey and has really inspired many of us to live life to its fullest. My friend and his family have also taught me a lot about love, family, and sacrifice.

The life celebration event took place at Nestldown in Los Gatos. It's a beautiful, peaceful place with amazing landscapes. The day was filled with a number of emotions, from sadness to laughter, from emptiness to hope, and from discouragement to inspiration. Though Teagan has left us, her courageous story will stay with us forever.

Phil and his wife have been training to participate in an endurance event (100-mile bike ride) as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. The Team In Training is raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. If you are interested to support Phil's mission, please visit and donate for a great cause.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Shirin's "29 Again" Fondue Party

It's hard to say goodbye, especially to something that we know we'll never see again. That's really what we, as 29-year-olds, are now struggling with these days. Yes, yes, I know. For those of you that are older than 30, you must be rolling your eyes and thinking to yourself "Come on, quit crying like a baby and come over to this side of the fence." And for those of you that are still under 30 (ahem, Stevo), please enjoy your 20's. It's an age where we can do a lot of stupid, meaningless but fun things without feeling guilty and irresponsible. That's our right, privilege or excuse for being in our 20's.

Shirin is the first victim of our Class of 2001 to turn 30 and in our state of denial, we celebrated her "29th birthday" again. Jolene and Neil opened up their home to a fun-filled fondue party. We had delicious food, drinks, desserts and lovely music to drown away the sad, but inevitable reality of turning 30.

One of the many fondue pots we had running
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Chicken apple sausage and sourdough bread
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The dessert table (grapes, apples, strawberries, peaches and pound cake)
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The birthday girl trying to eat her shrimp as fast as possible.
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Look at Steve eyeing Sumati's potato
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Sean was working all night =)
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Lots of people came to celebrate Shirin's birthday, including her parents.
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Steve surprised Shirin with 4 tubs of her favorite Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip ice cream. Steve doesn't even like ice cream. Well played Steve, well played.
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4 tubs of Baskin Robbins. Nice!
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Steve was serving the ice cream to Shirin's mom and almost dropped it on her lap.
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Brandon really likes ice cream. He is going to hit me because of this picture.
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The guitars came out and we were treated to beautiful music
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Jolene smiled as she gets ready to sing us a song.
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Jolene strumming her guitar.2008-09-27 Shirin 29 Again Fondue Party-119

Sumati also sang for us.
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Neil, trying to convince us he has super-elastic powers by flicking his hand and making snapping noises as his finger hit his palm.
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In his next act, Neil tried to convince us he can dilate his pupil voluntarily.
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