Showing posts from October, 2007

Flying Tiger

I was up in Maine yesterday visiting Ba Noi. I was put in charge of driving my nieces and nephews to a couple of Halloween party. Our first stop was Midred L. Day School in Arundel where Dylan and Sabrina attend the elementary school now. They were excited to see their new best friends. The PTA was hosting a magician. We stayed for about 30 minutes and then headed to the Sea Road School in Kennebunk.

At the Sea Road School, the Parks and Rec's was hosting a small fair for the younger children. The children were so cute in their costumes. Sabrina was a witch, Maggie was the Scream, Dylan was Robin and Molly was dressed as a tiger.
Once Molly was in her costume was role playing. She was roaring at everyone she...cracking everyone up.
The first stop was the bottle game. Each child had three rings to throw at the bottles lined up. If you got the ring around the bottle than you were given treats. Molly tried to cheat every chance she got. She would go under the bars and get as close to t…

The Wall Street Boys

Dave and I had our second meeting with the financial advisers from Northwestern Mutual Financial last night. Dave refers to Michael and Scott, the advisers, as the "Wall Street Boys." They are very polished in their pressed suits. Having lived in the burbs for 6 years, going into Boston and arriving at the posh One Beacon Street makes you feel "small" and "innocent". I get a daily quote and it's a coincident that I would get this quote on the same day as our meeting.

"Most people want security in this world, not liberty." H.L. Mencken
I would like to think that I would chose liberty over security but now that I have liberty I'm not so sure I would chose it over security. Dave and I are very content in our lives and are starting to think about our future. After meeting with the advisers last night we have a lot to think for the future, life insurance and what we will need when we retire. They did an analysis for us. By …


I woke up this morning thinking about Brandi. Brandi was my little sister from Big Brother, Big Sisters. Brandi was a shy 9 year old girl when I first met her and as our relationship progressed she began to open up and she even started making friends.

I thought about Brandi this morning because at this time last year, we were carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkins seeds and in a month and half we would be putting up a Christmas tree. It was nice to have a young person in our home. Brandi brought youth in our lives...our weekends weren't so structured and our home was filled with unusual noise. Our home was filled with the noise of a little person.

On our first get together, I asked Brandi what she loved to do and what she wanted to do with our time. She told me she loved to do crafts, go swimming, wanted to go to a Red Sox or Patriots game, go to a concert and go horse back riding. I said, "wow, that is a nice list." For a shy young girl she wanted a lot. We didn't alw…


There's nothing like your hometown business. I have to give "kudos" to Morris Insurance, Mom Nguyen, a.ka. Ba Noi's home owner's insurance company. Last week I went to pay her premium and found that it had increase by more than 30%. I called Morris Insurance on Columbus Day and left a message. The next day I received a call from Paula telling me that they would take a look into the account and would get back to me the next day.

Paula called me the next day and had found Ba Noi a new company with a drop in her premium (even lower than her previous agency) and she was getting more coverage. It nice to know that I can call the smaller company and get wonderful customer service. There's no pushing a thousand buttons before you can talk to a live person or there's no rehearsed message.

It's quite annoying waiting on the phone line for 10 minutes before you can talk to customer service of those big companies. When you ask a question there's no quick respo…

Guest Room

The guest room is finally done (excluding the door knobs). Dave finished the painting the trim and the closet yesterday. I made him put up the gear for the curtain rod and move in the furniture before he went to the gym and Lowe's today. The room looks great except we had to move the office into the room making it feel tight. We plan on painting the office next. It's a never sending process. Once we're done with the upstairs room there's the down stairs that needs touching up. I think Dave needs a break...

Looking Happy

Image's been a busy work week. I received this email from a friend just in time. I hope you enjoy it.

All personnel will be expected to look happy at work. Rubber bands and paper clips will be provided at no cost.
How to look Happy at work * Workload getting to you? * Feeling stressed? * Too many Priority 1 assignments?
Here is the new low cost way to cope with multiple Priority 1 assignments!
Take 2 paper clips and rubber bands. Fig 1
Assemble them as shown on the picture. Fig. 2 Apply as shown in fig 3.
Enjoy your day.This new office equipment will help you to reach the end of the day with a smile on your face.
**Unfortunately, I unable to give credit to the originator of this email. I'm sure it's been out there for years and it's just now getting to me. Perhaps you will run into the guy in the mug shot some day.

Law of the "In-Laws"

Van and Tuan stayed with us for a couple of days this week. They visited a friend while they were here. I can’t imagine having the life style that they have…going out until after 1:30 AM in the morning. It was Boston one night and Foxwoods the next. Van describes us to her friend as the “married old couple.” Perhaps this is true or just the fact that we have to get up at 6:00 AM the morning for work.

This reaffirms the question Dave is always asking me about Van (his sister-in-law)…“what is your sister going to do with her life?” I don’t have an answer for that and my only response to the question is, “stop it.” Is it the law of the in-laws? The brother-in-law will always question the spouse’s sister. What is she doing? What is she up to now? Why does she do what she does? How does she make do living the lavish lifestyle she has?Is she broke yet? Van is constantly adding fuel to the fire when it comes to Dave. Last night she told Dave her next car would be an Acura MDX. I had to roll m…


I received a call from Van yesterday. She was a little emotional (she may not be happy I am writing about it :)). Her call brought to mind the question I often ask can we as SISTERS be so different in many ways and yet have that connection?

I've always been the supportive one who had to take care of my younger sisters. Van, being the middle child, has always been the emotional one. In one moment the sun is shinning and her world was wonderful and in an instant it's raining and everyone around her will hear it. The good thing is that she never holds a grudge (by gones). Hoang, the youngest, was the quiet and loving one...she didn't judge you. Van and Hoang were on opposite ends of the extremes and I tended to be in the middle.

Is our order of birth what makes us act the way we do (nature) or is it our environment (nurture)? It could be a combination of both but the nature aspect seems too gray to me. I tend to think its nurture that defines our roles as sisters. …

Aliza's Baby

We went to Aliza's 4th birthday party was a small gathering which was nice. Aliza gave us a tour bedroom and showed us her new "big girl" bed. She's so tiny for her age she's still adjusting to getting on the bed. She uses her sheets to pull herself up.

Shortly after we were given the grand tour, Kevin, a three month old baby arrived at the party. Once Aliza heard the word "baby" she ran out the door to greet him. She wouldn't have cared who was there at her party as long as she got to hold the baby. She kept saying, "isn't he cute."
After the party Dave asked me, "what is up with little girls and baby? I didn't realized they loved them that much."

TV Sitcoms...Our Moments

There are some great TV sitcom moments we can relate to in our lives. Some of these moments help you laugh because if they were not there you would only get mad or frustrated with your situation. Seinfeld and Friends have some great episodes that Dave and I laugh about all the time because we can relate to them. We have the running joke from a Seinfeld episode with the one liner..."no food for you." Those who know Dave will laugh because they know how he hates to share his food. If I ask for a bit he says, "no food for you".

About 5 years ago when Dave and I were moving into our apartment on Nicholas Road, we moved all the furniture ourselves. The funniest moment (not so funny at first) was when we were trying to get our new sofa up the stairs to the apartment (it was too big to fit in the elevator). Dave was leading the way and had it all planned out in his head...much like Ross did in the Friends Pivot episode. He was leading the way and telling me when to turn an…


Van and Tuan are having her engagement party in November and I have the privilege to create their invitation (they had no choice). It's one of my favorite things to do...create cards and invitation. My source for inspiration and material is The Paper Sources. They were my source for card stock when Dave and I were getting married. I'll get over there this weekend to get supplies and ideas.

I came up with some ideas tonight but will see what I come up with this weekend. The location and time is to be determined so the information is for mock purposes only. Being a true romantic, I love planning weddings.