My kind of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day. Most girls in relationships love it. Everyone else hates it. Cat Wrangler and I? It’s an excuse to have cheese fondue at home. A much better, cheaper option than dining out in LA during one of the busiest restaurant nights of the year. Also, traffic is horrendous because everyone is trying to get to their date location. To put it in perspective, there’s traffic, LA traffic, LA holiday traffic and then LA Valentine’s Day traffic. Yeah.

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Shredding blocks of cheese isn’t CW and my idea of fun. Plus, I’d be more likely to shred my fingers instead. I’m really accident prone. Like “see a pot hole a mile away and still fall in it” clumsy. It’s a wonder I haven’t injured myself more while in the kitchen….

To save ourselves time and prevent a visit to the ER, I just buy those fondue blocks you melt in your pot. Get a loaf of good bread (I recommend La Brea Bakery’s Rosemary Olive Oil or Roasted Garlic loaves), some of those Lil’ Smokies sausages, some veggies/fruit like celery, apples, broccoli and you’re good to go. Quick, easy and delicious.

 

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When we fondue, CW and I plop ourselves in front of the tv with the pot and a bottle of wine and chow down while geeking out over some tv show. Last night, it was Star Trek. So romantic….
Me: “What was the name of the guy that invented warp drive?”
CW: “Zac Efron”
Me: “………..no.”

God Morgen

I like mornings that start off with Copenhagen Pastry.

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This Food is TOO Cute

With the VFX on OZ wrapping up, I’ve been crewed to a new show at work – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2: Revenge of the Leftovers. Oh. My. Gawd. The food in this movie is cute. Like SQQQQQQQQQQQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I will never look at food the same way again. I may not be able to eat food again. Oh, who am I kidding? Nom nom nom…. But now I kind of want to play with my food.

Check out the first look! http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2013/01/17/first-look-cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballs-2/1840839/

It’s Too Early in the Morning For This….

Help! I’m having a little bit of an identity crisis. I told the barista that my name was “Rosa” but apparently, I’m “Posa”. Now, was he saying my name is “Posa” or is this a new slang/spelling for “poser”? I’m a poser? Who/what am I posing as? Rosa? I’m not Rosa? Obviously… But if I’m not Rosa, then who am I? Oh dear. At least I have some caffeine in me to fuel me as I sort out this existential quandary.

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Seriously… “Posa”? Do I look like a “Posa”? Is that even a name?

Getting in touch with my inner food self…

“Work on Saturday”, they said, “and we’ll give you Monday off.”  Okay. Of course, what was supposed to be an easy 8 hrs turned into 14 hrs. (T_T) Oh well, I got paid OT. But I sure was glad I scheduled a spa day for myself on Monday. The catch? I booked it at a Korean spa in K-town. While I had been to a “Korean” spa before, I had not been to a true one yet.

Korean spas. Not quite your typical place where you lounge in tranquility to the soothing sounds of pan flutes and aromatherapy and enjoy treatments in a private room. No, Korean spas are different. Jacuzzi pools may include green tea or mugwort in the water. Dry saunas may be enhanced with jade walls, salt bricks or some other mineral while wet saunas may have some herbal concoction scenting the air. Also, everyone is naked. Wait, what? Naked? What do you mean “naked”?  Uh… naked. Nude. Au naturel. Birthday suit. Boobies and bushes everywhere! Well, except for those that go for the full Brazilian… TMI?

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Yeah, if you’re in anyway uncomfortable with nakedness, Korean spas are not for you. I mean you could cover up with the provided towel or robe but you’ll have to be naked to get into any of the pools. And you’ll still have to deal with seeing everyone else’s junk. It’s not that big of a deal since no one is looking at you and judging (at least not outwardly). There’s all sorts of body types and ages from college kids to old grannies. Trust me, if I can get over being nekkids in front of strangers with this awesome post-preggers body (read: overweight and still look 6mths pregnant, stretch marks galore), then so can you.

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I booked a treatment but wanted to make use of the pools and saunas beforehand so I arrived about an hour earlier. I guess Korean spas like to set their heat to 11 cuz while the pools and wet sauna were tolerable, the dry heat rooms were ovens. I was boiled and steamed in mugwort and roasted in salt and cedar wood rooms. I’m pretty sure this is not unlike what dumplings feel like. I could be a dumpling…

The idea of multiple types of heat is that you raise your body temp in one of the hot rooms and then cool yourself back down with a cold shower/jump in the cold tub (which is like an ice bath) and then return to a different room to reap multiple benefits. I don’t know if it did me any good other than cause some water weight loss but I did think about eggs hard-boiled a la Julia Child’s method.

I opted for the silver package – 2 hrs of pampering for $130. Seriously a good deal given what similar packages cost at other spas. So there’s no private room but there is a sectioned off area where anyone getting a treatment goes. While you still hear everything from conversations to the showers going on and off, you can surprisingly reach a state of zen relaxation. Or snoring sleep, in my case.

First, I was scrubbed clean. Pretty sure every dead skin cell and then some was scoured off me. Then I had my hair washed and a conditioning treatment put in. Then there was the seaweed wrap where they covered my body in green sea-smelly goop and wrapped me in foil. I also had my face slathered in a cucumber mask. I was very tempted to just stick my tongue out and taste it as it smelled very much like slightly pickled cucumbers, but I didn’t. At this point, I was pretty sure I was going to get rolled into the dry sauna to bake but I wasn’t. After I was rinsed off, I was oiled down and massaged. Not the kind of gentle Swedish massage but the kind where they dig into you with their elbows in an effort to tenderize any tough meat muscles. I think I may have experienced the life of a Kobe beef cow out of order…

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Overall, it was a pretty good experience. Once the initial awkwardness of “OMG NEKKID!” wore off, that is. And I walked out of there feeling smooth and gooey. There was a noticeable enough difference in my skin that Cat Wrangler declared that I should go to the spa more often. I’m okay with that. Moo.

Eating Humble Potato

One of our coworker friends who lives in our old neighborhood of Westchester told us about a new place that opened up in the area, Humble Potato. This place boasts American comfort food with a Japanese kick. I was hooked at the mention of curry fries. The Japanese version of poutine? Sure!

The Cat Wrangler was game to try it as well since he likes Japanese curry, one of the few Asian foods he actually enjoys as opposed to just barely tolerating it. Yeah, I’m married to a white guy who isn’t that into Asian cuisine. Don’t ask how our marriage survives… or what he eats at my family gatherings. So for dinner on a Saturday, we headed over with the kidlet. The place wasn’t too packed; turns out, we ended up just beating the crowd because a line formed out the door shortly after we ordered. Lucky Cat was smiling on us that night.

I have to comment on the decor because, if you’re a fan of Japanese pop culture (anything ranging from old monster movies to Harajuku), this place is pretty neat. There’s a hodgepodge of murals on the wall, figurines and even the order markers are cutesy cool. Hadoken!

Food-wise, this place was sugoi (Japanese for “great”). CW went with the Katsu Sando ($8.50) sans the yuzu jalapeno slaw, curry sauce added ($1 extra). I didn’t know what to get; the waitress at the order register iPad recommended the Battle Royale burger ($8.95) so I went with that without the exploding collar… (Battle Royale reference for those not familiar with the book/movie. And, of course, we got curry fries ($3.50).

The fries arrived first and just the way I like, crispy on the outside, fluffy-hot on the inside. The curry had little chunks of veggies, a whole lot of flavor and some heat from jalapenos. The kidlet was raging for grub at this point so I let him have some. Either my kid’s got mad tolerance for spiciness or I’m weak cuz he chowed down without a single indication this was too hot for him. Yeah, baby! Also, I discovered after the fact you can order it with a fried egg on top… How did I miss this?!?!? Actually, you can put a fried egg on most if not all the items here… Egg slut heaven!

When the rest of our food arrived, I was impressed with the size of the sandwiches. American comfort portions with Japanese restraint. In other words, you’ll be stuffed but you won’t need to be rolled out of there. The chicken katsu cutlet in CW’s order was lightly breaded, fried to a perfect crispness, and not heavy on grease. My burger was a monstrosity that had to be tackled with a knife and fork. An Angus beef patty cooked medium/medium-well, topped with a fried egg, avocado, shredded romaine, tomato, onion, bacon and their spicy HP sauce on a soft toasted bun… You can get cheese for a $1 extra; I opted for Pepper Jack. The avocado helped tame the HP sauce for me. I fed bites to Kidlet and he was enthusiastic about it with the exception of the lettuce which he promptly spat out. I blame his father for that one. My child WILL eat vegetables, his father’s bad eating habits be damned!

There was a bit of lag between getting our fries and our burgers and Kidlet was not happy (ill-prepared mama did not bring snacks) so I made CW order another batch of fries, this time the shichimi & garlic parmesan fries ($3.75). Shichimi is a Japanese red pepper powder, FYI. I didn’t really see any on our fries, which ended up arriving after we had finished our food. Between the large number of orders and the two cooks, I’m guessing the kitchen fell a little behind. I didn’t mind the slow service too much though since our food came out freshly made and was delicious. We ended up being too full to finish the fries and ended up taking them home.

I actually woke up the next morning wanting to go back and get the Katsu Sando (with the slaw AND egg, of course) and more curry fries (with egg) but CW vetoed that suggestion. :( I think I may force him to go back this weekend… And I’m willing to use Kidlet to manipulate him into agreeing. “But, honey, your child really likes this place and he needs to eat!” Also, it was pretty friendly on the wallet.

4 NOMs for Humble Potato!

Ryan Gosling… it’s what’s for breakfast.

When it comes to round breakfast foods with holes in them, the bagel is #1 in my book. A good glazed yeast donut is a close 2nd but I actually prefer the twist version. I don’t know why… Maybe it has to do with me being able to tear it apart like string cheese. But let’s go back to the bagel….

What exactly is so lovable about the bagel? Is it the way it squishes when you squeeze it gently? Maybe it’s the dense softness of the interior contrasted with the somewhat tough skin. Or could it be its comforting warmth after being toasted? Or how about how delicious it is naked or covered in schmear or slathered in melted butter and jam? OMG, the bagel is the Ryan Gosling of breakfast foods!!?!?!?!?!

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I guess my only gripe with this holey grail of breads is the fact that they are too much of a good thing for me. I can’t stop at one. Once I eat a bagel, I want another one. And another one. And another one… Breakfast, 2nd breakfast, elevnsies, lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert. Plain, toasted, schmeared, as a sandwhich, buttered and cinnamon-sugared. Oh yes, I have all sorts of uses for a bagel. Yes, I know there are those “diet-friendly” bagels out there. The 100 calorie ones and Bagel Thins but those I shun and shout “BLASPHEMY!”. I mean, honestly, would you want Ryan Gosling if he were stripped of the things that made him desirable?

And on that note, I’m considering Bagel #3 now… Hey baby, how’d you like to get schmeared?

Unsinkable

Tuesday night, the Cat Wrangler (my husband) and I took advantage of an invite from media agency, Taylor, to view a screening of a short documentary, The Unsinkable Henry Morgan, followed by a Q&A with Director Michael Haussman and underwater archeologist Fritz Hanselmann. We unscrupulously used this event to have our first “date” night in months.

VFX is a brutal industry on relationships/marriage. When production is on normal hours, there’s really no problem. But when overtime starts, it can go on for weeks, even months, starting with 10hr days, then moving on to 12hr days, Saturdays, full weekends, holidays… It’s easy for people to grow apart, for resentment to foster, for more fights to break out. With both of us in the industry, on different shifts, I guess you can say we’re doubly at risk. We grasp at any chance we can get to spend time together and keep finding common ground to connect on. That night, our common ground was Captain Morgan.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, people!  I spent mine drinking cheap champagne with mango puree and playing board games with Husband and some friends. Then we watched the ball drop in Times Square while Jenny McCarthy made out with some dude in uniform. Her lipstick smeared all over his mouth and made it look like he was the Herpes King of 2013…. Awkward! Though not as awkward as Kathy Griffin trying to grab Anderson Cooper’s package all night…. (o_O)

It seems various cultures have some sort of “lucky” food you are supposed to eat on New Year’s Day. There’s noodles, pork, black-eyed peas, collard greens…  Koreans eat “duk mandu guk” (rice cake dumpling soup). When I was a kid, my mom would put my sisters and me to work making mandu while we watched the Rose Bowl parade on tv. She would pack most of them into the freezer for future use but some were used for duk mandu guk which was our breakfast, lunch and dinner for that day. I kind of miss that. The dumpling making, that is. I’ve been wanting to do that again but haven’t mustered the energy or found the time. Maybe I should just have a dumpling making party…

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This year, I was too lazy to make a pot for myself despite it being fairly easy to make. Instead, Husband and I went out for Mongolian BBQ and then for dinner, I fried up some dumplings. I also napped. Don’t judge me….

Resolutions wise, same ol’, same ol’…. lose weight, exercise, blahblahblah. I want a croissant.

California auto insurance facts

Auto Insurance Minimums for California

Drivers in the state of California must carry a minimum auto insurance coverage ratio of 15/30/5. This works out to about $15,000 in Liability Bodily Injury coverage per person injured, $30,000 of Liability Bodily Injury coverage per accident and $5,000 of Property Damage coverage per accident.

The California Department of Insurance recommends purchasing approximately $100,000 for bodily injury and $300,000 per accident, plus uninsured motorist insurance since more than 18 percent of all California motorists are uninsured. Of the 4.1 million drivers that drive without insurance make sure you get your auto insurance quote today.

Being caught without insurance in the Golden State could leave you with a suspended license and an impounded car. On top of the towing and storage fees you may have to pay a fine no less than $100, plus penalties. Multiple citations will result in fines up to $500, plus license suspension.

With the average California auto insurance quote at $1,320, having coverage is worth more than being caught without it.

California DUI Law

Drivers in California face a serious offense if caught while driving under the influence. DUI penalties included interlock and assessments and fines up to thousands of dollars.

The blood alcohol concentration level limit in the state of California is 0.08%. If you are caught driving with a BAC of 0.15% or higher, you may face additional charges.

If you are arrested for a DUI in California, you will have your license suspended for four months, during which time a driver may apply for a limited use license. A person arrested for a DUI will also spend four hours in jail and be given two days of community service. In addition, DUI arrests must complete a 15 week DUI class and will be on probation for three years.

California Teen Driving Laws/Auto Insurance Requirements

Due to extremely high rates of teen auto collision related deaths, California created the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program in 1997. California’s GDL program is stricter than most states. To start, teens starting at 15 ½ must apply for and carry a provisional learner’s permit for at least six months.

After receiving a provisional learner’s permit, teens must complete at least six hours of driver training with a professional, as well as complete a state approved driver education course. They must also complete 50 hours of practice driving with a parent or guardian, or a person above the age of 25. After completing these steps, they may apply for a provisional driver’s license.

A teen may then receive what is called an interim license. This is valid for sixty days, during which time a teen’s provisional application may be approved upon the completion of all required tests. After this, a provisional license is awarded, with certain restrictions that expire on the driver’s 18th birthday if the teen maintains a clean driving record.

During the first year of owning a provisional license, a teen may not drive between 11 pm and 5 am. They may also not allow passengers under the age of 20 in the car with them alone.  There are some exceptions to these rules, including medical necessity and employment necessity. In order to assess whether or not a teen is exempt, they should contact their local DMV.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles lists the exceptions to these restrictions below, when reasonable transportation is not available. In addition, the teen driver must carry a note at all times, which explains the necessity and the date when the necessity will end. This rule does not apply to emancipated minors.
In the state of California, it is illegal for a teen to drive a car or any other motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% (the amount usually found in just one drink) or above. If caught, a teen will face a DUI and face suspension of their license for one year. If a teen does not possess a license, they must wait one year longer to apply for one. Teens must also complete a DUI program, and any probationary period will continue after their 18th birthday.

Teens must drive with the California state minimum liability coverage. However, it is strongly advisable for teens to drive with more coverage than the minimum amount. Teens can lower their auto insurance premiums by maintaining a B average in school and completing a state approved driver safety pro

Read More:
https://www.carinsurancecheap.net/car-insurance-in-california

Getting car insurance in texas

Auto Insurance Minimums for Texas

The state of Texas requires by law that all drivers have minimum liability coverage in the amount of 25/50/25.  This ratio breaks down to $25K of Liability Bodily Injury coverage per person, $50K of Liability Bodily Injury coverage per accident, and $15K of Property Damage coverage.  This may seem like a lot, but it is very easy to find reasonable auto insurance quotes if you take the time to shop around.

The state’s Department of Insurance strongly suggests that drivers purchase more than the minimum requirements in addition to uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (UM/UIM).

Choosing to drive without insurance in Texas will result in the suspension of your license for up to one year.  You will also have to pay a $175 – $350 fine and a license reinstatement fee in addition to application fees. It is far better to be covered. Purchasing car insurance is simple.  Using resources like Save Today you can easily find affordable auto insurance quotes.  Just consider the financial and emotional stress of the alternative.

Texas DUI Law

Texas takes drinking and driving extremely seriously, and has a no-tolerance policy when it comes to DUI. If you get caught driving under the influence—even if you have a perfect driving history—you will face fines up to $2,000 and you will go to jail.

The blood alcohol concentration level limit in the state of Texas is 0.08%, although if you are caught with a BAC of 0.15% or higher you could face even harsher charges.  Drinking and driving may also raise your auto insurance quotes in the long run, because insurance companies will see you as a high risk driver with a history of recklessness on the road.

Texas Teen Driving Laws/Auto Insurance Requirements

The Texas Graduated Licensing program (GDL) has two major phases that teens must complete: an instruction permit phase and a provisional license phase. After completing these phases a teen may apply for an unrestricted license.

DUI laws in Texas state that it is against the law for any teen to drive with a BAC of 0.02% or higher. If a teen is caught drinking and driving, they may face license suspension for up to 90 days.

Teens must drive with the Texas state minimum liability coverage. However, it is strongly advisable for teens to drive with more coverage than the minimum amount. Teens can lower their auto insurance premiums by maintaining a B average in school and completing a state approved driver safety program.

Read More:
https://www.carinsurancecheap.net/car-insurance-in-texas