Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Despite getting an offer a few weeks ago, I got a call from Digene's HR telling me that I didn't get the job.

That's OK. Now I can concentrate my time and effort on winning the lottery.

Happy Birthday, Alexis!

The Diva

Last weekend my family threw a HUGE party for my niece Alexis' 1st birthday. It was held at the Jaycee's Community Center in Oxon Hill. The party went from 4 to about 9:30pm and about 100 guests attended. We had 12 round tables with 10 seats at each table, but I don't think every single seat was used and maybe one table wasn't used at all.
Here's half the crowd watching the clown.
Here's the other half, but there was still a table or two that didn't fit in the pictures.
Arrangements for the party started back in March when it originally thought that Alexis would be baptized in Maryland and we would throw the big party for that. But full force preparations probably started a little over a month ago, shopping for decorations, steamer trays, plastic plates and cutlery, etc. etc. And food prep (chopping chopping chopping) started a week prior to the event. Food was also ordered from a Filipino restaurant.
This is what we served (* indicates cooked at home):

1 whole lechon (roast pig)
lechon sauce*
12lbs of sliced roast hanger steak*
30 cups of rice*
pancit malabon*
pancit canton/bihon mixed*
chicken and hotdogs* (chicken, hotdogs, sweet peppers, potatoes in a tomato based sauce)
2 kinds of mixed veggies
300 halves of lumpia*
100 veggie eggrolls
spaghetti in meat sauce*
macaroni and cheese* (modified america’s test kitchen recipe and freakin awesome. a kid even said it was the best macaroni he had ever had)
two bags of rolls from Sam’s
pizza rolls
pigs in a blanket

chocolate fountain filled with 5lbs of Ghiradelli double chocolate
strawberries, pineapple, marshmallows, poundcake, bananas
¾ sheet double layer strawberry shortcake from Desserts by Gerard
4 leche flan* (another 4 not eaten)
sapin sapin


The venue had a kitchen so melting the chocolate and baking the finger food was done on site.

The party started out a little rough because we didn't have enough time or hands to finish decorating on time. Thankfully some early guests and good friends helped finish. We had streamers, helium balloons, pink, purple, yellow, green, and white vinyl tablecloths with scattered confetti, and short carnation, daisy, and baby's breath centerpieces that were arranged by Rachel and me the night before.

Also, not allll of the food was there when the guests arrived, nor was my mom, who was hurriedly trying to finish cooking and get dressed. At the beginning of the party, my aunt thought there was too much food. Was she wrong! In hindsite we should have had more pancit and probably more rice. AND more plates! My dad had to run out and buy more half-way through the party. But in the end it all turned out well. There were only a few leftovers and relatively lots of left over dessert. The cake was HUGE so lots of people went home with giant chunks of cake. So I think/hope everyone had enough to eat.
An hour and a half into the party, the clown arrived. His name was Teddy from Amazing Clowns. He made balloon sculptures (including bicycles!) for half an hour and did magic for the other half hour. I guess there were 10-15 kids at the party, but everyone was entertained. Three kids were especially entertained by the clown and were volunteers in the magic show.

Alexis, me, and Teddy the Clown

After the clown left we hung up the pinata. It was shaped like a star and bought at a party supply store. I decorated it further with curly ribbon and and glitter glue. The kids had a lot of fun busting that open with my Astro's mini-bat. And nobody got hurt! The kids also got goodie bags with candy and toys as well as top hats for the boys and tiaras and feather boas for the girls.
Did I mention we also had a DJ? Nobody really danced except the kids and my mom. I wanted to dance but by then I was BEAT.
It was crazy to think that I would be totally stuffing myself with all that great food. There was WAAAAY too much to do. And by the time I ate at about 8:00 a lot of the food was GONE. Ah well, I was too tired to eat a lot anyway.

At about 8:45 I started clearing tables. We had to be out of there by 10pm. Clean up went well because we were all there to pitch in. Big thanks to the guests that helped clean up.
By the time we got home, I was SOOOO sore and tired and thirsty. It took a couple of days to recover. And now I'm achey from a cold. But it's all over now and I think it went over very well. A lot of people seemed to be pretty impressed and asked, "What in the world are you all going to do for her 16th birthday or wedding???" I dunno, maybe we'll rent an island.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nothing special

I am still waiting to start working at Digene. The exec retreat ended yesterday and I called to check in on what was going on, but nobody had any info for me. I am a little worried that the job won't go through. That would suck. So, you know, cross something for me.

Not a hell of a lot has been going on.

We've been prepping for Alexis' birthday party. Decorations, party favors, food, venue, etc etc. My dad estimates that he alone will have 100 guests, which includes families. Then there are Edward's guests and Mom's. I guess with that many people, a party just sort of runs itself.

If I ever get married I think I will elope.

What else...Goo and I went for a little tiny bike ride in Cosca park. I had to learn how to ride a bike again using my dad's mountain bike. I hadn't forgotten, but I did have to learn how to shift gears. I decided I'll be more adventurous on the bike once I get regular health insurance.

I visited Grace and Andrew for a day last weekend. I arrived just in time to join them for the 11am service at the Unitarian Universalist church. I liked the service and got a little bit of a better understanding of what UUism is. I guess in a nutshell: everyone is welcome because we are one human family and if we all work together, it is possible to make heaven on earth.

After church, we had lunch at the house and then I helped knock down some walls. Not entire walls, but just the plaster and the wooden lath behind it. It was super dusty. We looked like we were wearing powdered wigs. Mmmmmm....80 year old dust.

I was rewarded for my work with dinner at Kuba Kuba, a Cuban restaurant. Sorry Marivonne, but I just have to talk food for a second. I had a pork shank (huge) with white beans. For dessert I had Luz del Sol. I love that name,"Light of the Sun". It is flan on top of yellow cake. The caramel soaks through the cake and it was so good.

Grace and I finally got to exchange Christmas presents while I was there. She got me an awesome silk, fair trade, yoga pillow for sitting on the floor and meditating. And I gave her a necklace I made with flat, oval, Picasso jasper and sterling silver. And since it was her birthday on Wednesday I also gave her a bookmark that I made with some light green aventurine beads, wire work, and a long strip of black suede.

I'll blog again once I start work or something amazing happens. Let me just say I can't wait to start working, not because I'm bored, but because I would really like some money. Life is more fun with money.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Merry Christmas to ME

I got the job from Digene!!!!!!! Nothing official yet (has to go through HR and all that and the higher up bosses are on retreat until Jan 10th) but I got an offer from person I'd be directly under.

Now I got some serious birthday party planning and vacationing to do!

Merry New Year!

I don't usually get to cook main dishes for holidays at home; that's Mom's domain. But this New Year's Eve I made coconut chicken curry, spicy coconut milk spinach, and fried potato and pea samosas. I don't really know much about Indian cooking but I made the first two dishes for my family a few weeks ago and they really liked it. I also pan fried some onion roti (kinda like tortillas) from Grand Mart. Oh! and for the fried samosas I mixed up some cilantro dressing based on the (unofficial?) Cordua restaurant recipe I found online. It wasn't green but white with green bits. I wonder if they add food coloring or just let it sit for a while or maybe using a food processor to chop the cilantro would create cilantro juice to make it more green? Mine tasted yummy nonetheless. And since the Frayna family really can't just have one meat per holiday meal, my mom made a ham with an apricot jam glaze and fresh pandesal. For dessert, I made leche flan. It boiled so I wasn't happy with the holes that remained, but it was still freakin delicious. And Sara and Goo enlightened me to the fact that it's good when the holes fill up with the caramel sauce. Awesomeness.

And so we sat around the dining table for our late dinner waiting for the new year. Then all of a sudden it was 11:58! I didn't realize we sat down for our late dinner so late. Oh well, at least we didn't miss it.

My resolution this year is to do at least one volunteering activity this year. Make the world a better place and whatnot.

Happy 2007 everybody. I hope this year is happier.