I got a phone call from the Philippines this morning and received a news that my cousin, Manay Amy is in critical condition. On my way home from work this afternoon, I got a text that said, "she passed away." She fought a long and very hard battle with a nasty disease. Now it's time for my cousin to rest. I am so sad but happy that she is not suffering anymore. Rest in peace Manay Amy.
Last weekend was the end of the school year here at UCLA. Students attended their graduations and packed their belongings for the summer. Double yay for me!!! Traffic this morning wasn't as bad, there were parking spots everywhere, campus wasn't swarming with kids. So, I took advantage this afternoon of a few moments I had while I was waiting for an experiment to finish.
Guess what? Warm sunshine on my face, sweet smelling Jasmines are in bloom, beautiful sights of the bright, sparkly brick buildings that dotted the campus, and the there is this quiet sound of peace that I enjoyed while I was walking around the campus. The sweet smell of summer is definitely here and hopefully a few more days of these blissful zen feeling before summer classes begin will definitely bring a smile or two.
My sister and her husband picked up their new puppy dog yesterday. They named her Lexie, she is so cute:) Ressie was begging for puppy treats that were meant for the little one. Our family is expanding.
Our delivery man this morning was grinning from ear to ear. No I didn't wear my shirt on backwards.
He: So Jesusa, who are you rooting for (with a thick Spanish accent)?
Me: What do you mean?
He: You know, soccer. World Cup is starting and Mexico is playing on Friday!
Me: "Oh," with a shamed look on my face. Well, I don't have a team.
He: Just choose Mexico and wake up early on Friday to watch the game.
When he left my lab I felt so disturbed, I immediately run to my computer and googled "World Cup." I was thinking to myself, "Gee, I was just warming up for the Lakers!" Not that I don't like soccer, I guess I just wasn't expose to it much with basketball, baseball, tennis and football as the main sports in my little world of sports. I know, being "sports challenged" is not a valid excuse.
It will be Father's Day soon and I was quite delighted when I found this 2007 Malbec from a Paso Robles winery where I usually order from for gifts. My dad likes wine, therefore, wine it is! As I was finishing with checkout I kept on thinking how easy it is to shop for gifts with a click of a finger. Then I started an email to my siblings telling them this and like an executive order told them how much it was and for them to give me check or credit card for their share. I guess that's one perk of being the oldest! As I was clicking the "send button," out of the corner of my eye I saw that I accidentally clicked a friend's address instead of my sister's address. As fast as the speed of sound the email was sent and there wasn't a way for me to stop it. I wonder what my friend will think of me now asking her for a share for someone that's not her dad, hahahaha.
We were blessed with a summer weather for this 3-day weekend. We started it off with an overdue bday lunch for Greg on Saturday.
The starving family
Sizzling Fajita Plate
Molten Chocolate Cake
Fried Ice Cream
Then the grill was fired on Sunday for a BBQ (chicken, turkey burger, corn) with friends and family. My sister cooked the best beer battered fish taco ever. I was so hungry that I forgot to take a photo of that. Today is the last day of this awesome weekend, what to do? I guess just a quiet day to rest after the "food binge marathon" all weekend long:)
This happened when I got home after work yesterday.
Niece: Auntie, do you want to play with me?
Niece: Let's play with my Play-Doh, it will be fun!
Me: Hmmm, what shall we make?
Niece: What about tacos?
Me: Why don't I try peas first and we can start there?
Niece: I'll make a bowl!
a-ha's farewell tour after 25 years, the last concert in America, a fabulous venue, intimate setting, still close even for an almost nose-bleed seats, and guess what? I forgot my camera! On the high notes, last two songs of the night, "Hunting High And Low," and "The Sun Always Shines On TV." Last but not least, the encore song, "Take On Me." What a night:)
I had a whirlwind adventure in Houston, Texas! Nope, not that kind. My cousin called me in the beginning of the week and said that they'll be having their "house blessing" that weekend and would love to have us for the festivities. My first reaction was, "good for them" and second, "too bad, can't take time off work."
Luckily the boss gave me 2 days off, Friday and Monday. I got my ticket and became an official representative from Glendale, Ca. since the rest of my family already made plans for that weekend. My other cousin and his friend will be flying the same day from a LAX, while I chose Burbank. My dad will be a day late coming from Washington, DC.
The first thing I noticed when I landed at Dallas, Tx for my connecting flight to Houston was,"a man on a segway sporting a cowboy hat and cowboy boots." Then I was off to Houston.
The houses are huge compared to our circa 1920 humble abode. My cousin and his wife's house is huge, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, formal dining room and family room for just the two of them.My dad's cousin's house in my eyes is a mansion, imagine at least 3,000 sq ft for the three of them! Big trucks and SUVs on the freeway, mind you, my dad's cousin drives a Humvee (just her and her son).
That weekend was the house blessing, "Pacquiao fight" and the "Rodeo. Lots of food, laughter and never ending talking. I had a wonderful time reminiscing old stories from my childhood and hearing stories from my dad and his cousin's childhood years.
I was lucky enough to see Jon Bon Jovi at the Staples Center last night for their "Circle Tour," thanks to my brother in law who didn't want to accompany my sister for this event. Yup, I'm not embarrassed to admit it, "I'M A FAN!" He's on the top of my "guilty pleasures" list, LOL :) He still looks good, sounds great, and still sexy. He's probably one of the few musicians that survived the industry without too much drama. My kind of man!
With the significant others left at home due to a "cold virus" or just plain "no more room in the car" reasons, my family and I ventured to Venice Beach for an unusually warm sunny day in Southern California in the middle of winter to have lunch. So thankful to have this weather (since my dad sent us photos of his snow packed driveway just a couple of days ago) and to enjoy the company of my family, good food, and beautiful Valentine's Day!
Here's hoping that you guys had a wonderful Heart Day and looking forward to an exciting Tiger Year!
I remember the day my boss told me about an assay when I first started at UCLA 7 years ago. I told myself, "what did i get myself into?" I scared myself to death because of the horror stories I heard from people who tried to do it and were unsuccessful. To make the long story short. I worked on this study for probably on and off since I started 7 years ago and finally last year my boss finally said to me, "remember that assay we talked about, you have to do it, our "piece de resistance" in this paper.
Let me say this, timing is everything. In due time, this assay was developed and became commercially available. My boss found this kit to do this ChIP assaythati was so scared to do. I didn't have to go through the grueling process and disappointments. Suffice to say, I did the experiments and we found that protein-dna interaction in the nucleus of the cells we were looking for, and voilà, got good results with the first try. A very good icing on the cake I should say. Patience is virtue indeed. Waiting it out to do this assay saved me a lot of anguish. Luck is on our side. Science didn't like it, however, PNASwill be publishing it! Loving what you do makes it more fun.
Data and paper, the two incredible ingredients that can put a smile on my face any day. That's my kind of cake!
The torrential rainy week is finally over. The sun was out today although it was a bit chilly. No more mudslides, floods on streets and broken trees on rooftops and cars. The change of weather was nice for a little while (maybe a for a day), but not so nice when the cabin fever settled in.
I guess I'm very spoiled when it comes to weather. I like it warm and sunny. Or maybe, just maybe, that I can blame it on my tropical genes that are encoded in my DNA. Well, well, spoiled or not, sunny days are here again and that makes me soooo happy!
Today is MLK (Martin Luther King) day, and is a holiday for most of us. What to do on a rainy Monday? We decided on going to a matinee. My sister, brother, and I took Hayden to see a Jackie Chan movie, " The Spy Next Door." It was really entertaining. The movie brought back so many happy childhood memories back in my hometown. I remember watching his kungfu movies that were dubbed in English while eating hot garlic peanuts sold by the street vendors just outside of the cinema. I heard from my cousins that there are no cinemas in my hometown anymore. That's really sad. The smell of buttered popcorn, kids and adults laughter, Jackie Chan's funny antics still fresh in my memory sure made this rainy Monday a very warm and happy day.
I'm so blessed that I shared a wonderful Christmas time with my family and friends from near and far. They came as far as Australia, Philippines, East Coast, Midwest, and as near as, just my neighborhood. I thought the parties would never end (I wish, sigh). I met a bunch of relatives I haven't seen in ages in a series of family reunions. I laughed a lot, talked a lot, reminisce a lot, and ate a lot. Here are some of our photos, it's too bad I can't fit them all in this blog (would probably overwhelm all of you). Enjoy!