Posts by: nairb

Åre we there yet?

Åre we there yet?

The annual SE.DE.US Crew ski/board trip has come and gone. This year we headed to Åre, Sweden. The reason we chose northern Sweden was due to the fact that one of our members was pregnant and couldn’t fly. Being that she and her husband (also in the crew) are both Swedish, it made for an easy choice. We chose Åre not only because it’s the largest in Sweden, but also because of the additional activities they offer to supplement being at a smaller resort for a week.

We supplemented the lack of skiing with a day of snowmobiling and a day of dog sledding. Both were cool, but dog sledding was definitely the trip highlight. It’s something I had wanted to do for awhile. I had even looked into doing it when I visited my brother in Alaska, but at the time was cost prohibitive.

Frozen on Alyeska & the Downfall of Onimusha

Frozen on Alyeska & the Downfall of Onimusha

A few weekends ago I flew up to Anchorage to visit my brother. I always enjoy visiting him because we have such a good relationship.

While there, we decided to go to Alyeska, both Saturday and Sunday for some snowboarding (Aaron skied). Saturday the weather was reasonable, although the mountain was pretty crowded. Sunday was a different story. Being that it was the Super Bowl and the fact that it made for a desolate and chilly day. Adria joined us on Sunday, so it was actually a family affair. The temp was right around 0F with windchills around -20F. To give you an idea of what snowboarding in this type of weather is like, imagine this: you have zero desire to stop on the mountain (for any reason), you can’t sit still on the lift because doing so you’d probably freeze solid (why Alyeska doesn’t have covered, a.k.a. bubble,  lifts baffles me), talking or taking pictures is pretty much out of the question (except in the lodge), and any amount of skin exposed is destined to become numb (and red). That was probably the coldest conditions I’ve ever snowboarded in, and I’d think twice about doing it again.

Sunsets before Rainstorms

Sunsets before Rainstorms

As I came in to work early today, I got to leave early as well. Often times on my drive home I get to watch the sunset, but rarely have enough time to make it home and hop on my bike to make it down to the beach to snap some shots. I guess I was a little lucky, as today’s sunset was more impressive than normal due to the rainstorm that’s rolling in.

I actually ended up snapping 159 photos of the sunset and 1 of some random building I thought looked cool (though turned out to be not as cool in the picture, which is why there was only one shot taken).

Looking down the barrel: ’008

So it’s been awhile, but I am back. 2008 was a hard year for me, with only the very beginning of the year being truly happy times for me. The rest of the year I spent slowly spiraling down into a dark existence, hitting rock bottom right around the end of the year.

In the past year, I’ve lost most of my self confidence, been consciously depressed, including pissing off most of my friends who attempted to keep in contact with me, losing about 25 lbs, and finding out I’m anorexic. I spent the majority of my time trying to make someone love me the way I wanted, even though I realized a long time ago that that would never happen, and turned out to be a rather expensive endeavor, all for nothing. I kept turning to her out of complete and utter loneliness, only for her to turn a cold shoulder every time I needed her.

2008 California State Propositions

2008 California State Propositions

So it seems Californians:

  1. want a high speed train (this sounds good, but i somehow imagine tickets will initially be so expensive that hardly anyone will use it, plus i can also imagine it will take forever for any of this to become a reality)
  2. don’t like confining farm animals (i can see the price of veal, pork, and eggs going up once this goes into effect)
  3. want to improve children’s hospitals (they’re our future, better make sure they’re healthy)
  4. don’t want to force minors to wait to get an abortion until 2 days after the Dr told their parents (the fact a minor is having a kid so young probably means they need more involvement from their parents, but the parents voted and said they don’t care if their kids have kids so young)
  5. think nonviolent drug possession criminals already have enough (if it went the other way, there’d be less potheads in state prison)
  6. think police & law enforcement don’t need more money (if it went the other way, bad criminals would stay in prison longer)
  7. don’t really care about switching over to renewable energy (this just benefited privately owned utilities companies, awesome)
  8. don’t want same sex marriages (so much that they’re gonna change the state constitution, which is even more awesome than #7)
  9. think victim safety should be consideration for bail or parole (once you’re in CA state prison, it’s gonna be harder to get out)
  10. don’t care about alternative fuel vehicles or renewable energy (this is in direct conflict with #1, especially since CA claims 50% of the top 10 smoggiest cities list)
  11. think the state needs to be re-districted (yeah, this seems real important, but i guess they do it every 10 years)
  12. think Cali veterans should get farm and home aid (will provide state-backed loans for veterans’ farm and home purchases)

I didn’t vote, so I can’t complain. But I did find it interesting on the things people believe in and how some of them are conflicting. What it comes down to is this, Californians care more about farm animals and the private lives of gays & lesbians than they do about underage abortions and forcing businesses to be a part of the energy/pollution crisis (vs deterring the crisis with something that is destined for failure).

CA State Propositions: http://www.smartvoter.org/2008/11/04/ca/state/prop/

365 Days of Missing

Me, Mom, Aaron

Me, Mom, Aaron

On this 12th day of Cheshvan marks my mother’s yahrzeit. It’s difficult to fathom that’s it’s been a year since she passed. Sometimes it seems like I was just talking to her on the phone the other day, but most of the time it feels like an eternity. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of her. So many things I would have liked to ask her, from the smallest things, like where to find something obscure and specific in a grocery store (she always knew even better than the staff at the store) to random medical questions (yep, she was that good). I’m quite sure I could write a book filled only with the questions I would have normally asked her over the past year. In addition, I could easily write ten more volumes of new questions I want to know now that she’s gone.

The loss of my mother has really affected me. I’ve lost 25 lbs in the last year and although it’s nice to see my clearly defined 6-pack (vs the 4-pack + a small keg it was before), I know it’s not healthy. I’ve learned to cry again (maybe too much). I think I’ve cried more in the last year than I have in the previous 20 years. I’ve also learned to appreciate the details and express my feelings as such, since I know first hand you can lose anything in the blink of an eye.

I know most people have no idea what I’m feeling, even they think they do, unless they’ve experienced something similar. It’s sad that it took such a great loss to learn and realize everything that I have in the past year.

The last time I saw my mom conscious was September 23, 2007 when I was home for my 10-year high school reunion. The last time I heard my mom’s voice was October 21, 2007, but it was overheard when I was talking with my brother. The last time I actually spoke to her was a few days before that. I didn’t even get a chance to give her her birthday gift, which was a new iPod loaded with all her favorite music so she could listen to it while she was in the hospital. The last time I saw my mom alive was October 24, 2007, and that image is forever burned in my mind. I wish it wasn’t, as having seen her like that absolutely killed me. The last time I saw my mom was on that same day in the evening after she had passed. No words can explain what it’s like to see your mother’s dead body.

It’s very easy to blame the hospital for her loss, as they gave her incorrect medication for a headache that adversly reacted with some of the other medication she was taking causing an annurism in her brain. Leukemia unfortunately inflicted many health problems upon her, resulting in having to take many different medications. At least once before my mom had corrected the Dr about a conflicting medication he prescribed her because she thoroughly researched every medication and treatment she was or was about to receive and often knew more about them than the doctors themselves. It just goes to show that just because a Dr has a framed piece of paper on his/her wall, doesn’t mean shit and that doing your own research can pay off greatly.

Having just re-read what I wrote, I realize my thought process is all over the place, so I’m just gonna stop writing since I know I could keep rambling on about so many things ’til the end of time.

I miss my mom dearly. She was by far the best mom in the world. I’m sure everyone else has their own arguments as to why their mom is the best in the world. But that doesn’t matter, what matters is that you never forget what makes your mom so great. I love you mom. Your time came too soon…

53 Years Ago

Fifty-three years ago today, Bernard & Leona Davidson gave birth to Marsha Hermione Davidson, my mother. I know exactly what I would give her, a big hug. I wish I had made more of an effort to hug my mom more. I wish had spent every year with my mom on her birthday.

The more your mind matures, the more you take for granted the things around you, things you depend on (both consciously & subconsciously), things you always think will be there. And because of that, you tend to forget to show your appreciation for the things that deserve the most appreciation.

About 2 years ago when my mom was diagnosed with Leukemia, in a blink of an eye I realized how little appreciation I showed her and began expressing myself and my feelings, especially to her but also in other areas in my life. She took care of me, supported me, and most importantly, she loved me completely and accepted me without ever having to think about it. She did that my entire life (more than half of her own life), and I’m forever indebted to her for that. The last year of her life is when she needed me the most. I did my best to support her and show her my love and appreciation. I know it helped her a lot, but I wish I would have given her more.

If I could be with her now, I’d give up everything to do so, just to hug her and tell her I love her one last time.

Miss & love you mom…

Nanban

Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus marinade overnight)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: serves 4

For the chicken:
4 chicken legs (or breasts)
1-2 eggs
Flour to cover the chicken

For the western vinegar sauce:
4 Tbsp soy sauce
6 Tbsp sugar
5 Tbsp vinegar
Pepper to taste (for adults)
1 tsp ketchup (for children)

For the tartar sauce:
1-2 hard-boiled eggs (if you like)
1/4 onion (if you like)
1/3 cucumber or pickle (if you like)
5 Tbsp mayonnaise (if you like)
1 Tbsp ketchup (if you like)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp mustard grains

  1. Chicken
    1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces
    2. Salt and pepper to taste
    3. Roll chicken in the flour and dust off
    4. Dip the chicken in a beaten egg(s)
    5. Fry the chicken until cooked
  2. Western Vinegar Sauce
    1. put sugar, soy sauce and vinegar into pan and put any piece of ginger, onions and carrots and boil
    2. if you want, you can add red pepper for adults and ketchup for kids
  3. Marinade fried chicken in the western vinegar sauce to give it moisture and flavor
  4. Make a Tartar Sauce
    1. Chop Boiled eggs and onions and cucumber (if it is good pickles), and add salt and pepper and ketchup and mayonnaise
    2. If you have the chopped parsley and lemon juice, whipped cream and mustard, whisked together and added to the above mixture, that makes it taste much better.
  5. Put the tartar sauce over the chicken
  6. Eat it

Niratama

Although a very simple dish, the taste is amazing. The garlic chives flavor the eggs wonderfully. I’m always happy when this is what’s on the menu for dinner! 🙂

Recipe Summary
Prep Time: ˜15 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Yield: serves 2

1 bunch garlic chives
3 eggs
3 Tbsp Chinese soup stock
Salt, pepper, & soy sauce to taste

  1. Chop the garlic chives into ˜3-inch pieces
  2. Crack the eggs and combine with the garlic chives and Chinese soup stock
  3. Transfer all ingredients to a medium-sized frying pan and cook over medium-high heat until finished (like an omelet)
  4. Add salt, pepper, & soy sauce to taste

Note: If you prefer, you can add sliced pork belly (looks like bacon). Just cook the pork first, then add it with the rest of the ingredients in step 2 above.

Pumpkin Soup

I always used to think I didn’t really like soup. While I still think that’s partially true, a better statement is I don’t really like watery soups. With that said, I made pumpkin soup yesterday (and again for breakfast this morning) and it was yummy! The hardest part of the whole recipe was the cutting and peeling of the pumpkin.

Recipe Summary
Prep Time: ˜15 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Yield: serves 3

400 g pumpkin (seeded, peeled, boiled)
250 cc milk
200 cc heavy whipping cream
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Take the seeds out from the pumpkin and cut into large, bite-sized pieces
  2. Boil the pumpkin pieces until all the water has evaporated
  3. Remove the pumpkin peel (if not already done)
  4. Put the pot with the pumpkin pieces back on the stove and cook over medium-high heat (make sure there is no water left in the pot)
  5. Put the pumpkin pieces and milk & cream into the food processor and blend until smooth
  6. Transfer from the food processor back to the pot and heat until it begins to boil
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. Gently pour cream a little cream into the bowl for finishing touches
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