November 2007

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November 29, 2007: Well tomorrow Im going to get laser eye surgery done! Im gettinng PRK laser surgery done It's LASIK Without the Flap. Click here to learn more . Though It'll take a bit longer to heal up (up to two weeks before I can drive, yuk!), it's the best option for me. I just don't want to have to depend on eye glasses for driving at night (and would really like to get some new sunglasses! LOL perscription Oakley's cost a lot!) I'll be having the procedure done at the Pacific Vision Institute in San Francisco. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Faktorovich, who is quite reputable, so I'm very confident that all will go well :) I had my pre-op scans done on Tuesday, so I'm ready to go! Updates to follow as soon as possible :)

November November 24, 2007: Well it's been a BUSY and FUN past week Let's see, where to begin?!

On Wed the 14th, I caught an annoying sinus cold which knocked me out for a few days. That Friday, Paul and Kara flew into town for Kara's cousin's wedding up in Napa. I met them at the airport that morning and took them out to breakfast at Savor in Noe Valley. We had a tasty meal there, after which, I took them back to the airport where they could meet up with Kara's grandfather and head up to Napa. The rest of the day was pretty chill for me and I just took it easy hoping to feel better.

The next day, I was feeling good enough to work the open house at Rosenblum Cellars. The day went by quickly and it was a fun day to work there. That night, took it easy and the next day, I met up with Paul and Kara. We'd head out to Half Moon Bay where we met up with Paul's good friend Jon Godbout and his wife Lori 'n the kids. They are renting this sweet house on the beach in HMB. We spent the afternoon/evening with them catching up, drinking and eating and having a very nice visit. After killing a bottle of run and a few bottles of wine, we'd eventually leave and head back to San Francisco.

On Monday, we'd get up and head out to explore the city a bit. Justin joined us for the day and we had lunch at the Thai House Express cafe in the castro, which is always a good meal. After that, we did a tour around SF hitting some of the 'hot spots'. Hahah along the way, we even stopped and got manicures and pedicures which was first for Paul (LOL of course, Kara was loving this!). We'd end up dropping Justin off at the house so that he could start dinner while we met up with Paul's aunt for a bit and have the chance to visit her. That night, we had dinner at our place and Justin made an excellent Italian chicken dish with rosemary potatoes and homemade cheesecake that was delicious!

On Tuesday, I took Paul and Kara down to Fisherman's Wharf where they met up with Kara's aunt/uncle. They did the Alcatraz tour and hung out at Fisherman's Wharf while I worked. That night, we had dinner over in Oakland at Baywolf! We brought a couple of nice bottles of wine and started with:

  • Cornmeal crepes with smoked trout and anise-scented beets
  • Duck charcuterie plate: duck liver flan, smoked breast and confit-stuffed gougère
  • Fried Hama oysters with bacon, chicory salad and creamy herbed dressing
  • Red wine-braised calamari with baked polenta and arugula salad

Kara had the "Butternut squash ravioli with curly endive, pecorino cheese and crispy sage", I had the "Liberty Ranch duck tagine with spiced couscous, preserved quince and olives" and Paul had the "Slow-cooked shoulder of beef with garlic mashed potatoes and gremolata. " For desert we shared:

  • Apple and poached quince crostada with cinnamon ice cream and apple cider sauce
  • Chocolate soufflé cake with crème anglaise and chocolate sauce
  • Tangerine panna cotta with citrus confit

Yeah, it was a good meal :)

On Wednesday for lunch we went to Osaka Sushi in the Castro for an excellent meal. Heheh Paul got his sushi fix there!

On Thursday, it was Thanksgiving with Rob and Susan. Justin, his brother Christopher, Paul, Kara and I all went over to the house in Atherton. We brought about a case of wine with us along with about $120 in cheese that we picked up from the Noe Valley Cheese Co (oh yes, that's a lot of good cheese)! We got there a little after noon and spent the first few hours sippin' wine, eating cheese and catching up. Around 3:30 the turkey came out of the oven and a few of the side dishes went in. When the meal was ready, we found we had a feast before us! The main course was the 23 pound fresh turkey that Susan has brined over night. It was cooked to perfection! Along with that, there were two different types of stuffing (both served with the giblets on the side, thank you very much), homemade cranberry dressing, squash, string beans, garlic/bacon/buttered mashed potatoes and gravy! For desert, it was Kara's fresh backed apple pie a la mode. Hehehehe, a feast fit for kings and devoured it :) After dinner, we watched Cars and drank coffee as our digestive systems worked overtime :) Rob and Susan were wonderful hosts and we all had a great time!

On Saturday morning, Paul and Kara took off for home at 6:00 AM. It was a great visit and I can't wait to do it again sometime soon :)

November 9, 2007: So for those of you who didn't know, I live in a 100 year old 3 story victorian house. There are three floor, and each one is a separate unit. The owners of the building won a city lottery which allowed them to get a permit to convert the units into condominiums (yes, in San Francisco, you have to win a freakin' lottery to begin the process. It's worth more than gold.). So, a couple of months ago, the city inspectors came in and inspected the house to see what would have to be done to bring it up to code. Well, 8 pages later, the report came back and 3 weeks ago, the construction begin, Working their way down the building, they finally made it to my apt on Wednesday. 8 very nice Mexican construct on workers invaded my place with drop cloths and power tools and soon began cutting through the plaster ceilings in each room. They are capping off the 100 year old still active gas pipes that used to be for the lights (yes, not very safe if there was an earthquake) and also replace each of the electrical boxes for the lights (which sit next to the pipes). On the average they have taken about a week and a half to do each apt. Happily, it looks like my unit will only take 4 day, as it had already had some work done to it years ago. Cleaning wise, it's been a nightmare. Plaster leaves this 'wonderful' fine dust that takes about a day to settle. I've spent a couple of hours each day trying to keep up on the cleaning and this dust sucks! Today they are doing the kitchen and the laundry rooms (the last two where they have to cut through the ceiling) so I'll be spending most of my Friday night cleaning this place up. Joy!

Other than that, all's well! I'm looking forward to Paul and Kara's visit on the 18th! Gonna be great to see them :)

Got an update on Perky about his wife Tanya who had a brain tumor removed last month. As you can see, Perk's sense of humor is still active (and we're thankful that he didn't have brain surgery: First there's not a hell of a lot to work with and second, he wouldn't be able to sit down for weeks! :)

"thankfully there hasn't been much new to report.  We are still waiting for the 2nd opinion to come in.  That should be any day now.  She had a follow up MRI yesterday and that looked very good.  The hole was still in her head where it was supposed to be.  They did a chemical injection during the MRI which allows them to tell if the tumor is growing back and as of right now there is no sign of one.  Her Dr. said everything looks like he expected and this scan will serve as a base line for her future scans to see if the tumor is growing back.  Next MRI is sked for Jan 11. 

She went back to work 2 weeks ago and seems to be doing fine.  However she is still getting very tired from time to time.  Which is normal and will most likely continue for some time (as long as there is work to be done around the house).

I will update you again when something comes up, but no news is good news!"

That's it for now (sounds of a mexican fiesta with power tools in the background). Time to go check on the animals :)

~Penz

November 5, 2007: Last week was a very tough week for the family and friends of Dan Rodriguez. Dan was killed in a car crash on the night of Sunday Oct. 28 (see news article below)

Dan was a very close friend of my sister Gini and her best friend Johnson. I had the pleasure of meeting Dan and having the chance to hang out with him on numerous occasions during my trips back East. He and his fiancée Michelle also stayed at my place a few years ago when they came out on a vacation with Gini.

Charming, always smiling, down to earth, the kind of guy who just brightened a room by walking in, Dan was a prince among men. His early departure from this world is a profound loss to anyone who had the honor of having him in their lives.

My heart and thoughts go out to his family, friends, and his fiancee Michelle.

You will truly be missed.

Penz

The following is a brief obituary that was sent to me:

Daniel D. Rodriguez, 27, of Ferncroft Dr., Nashua New Hampshire died Monday October 29, 2007 from injuries sustained in automobile accident. Mr. Rodriguez was born in Bronx, NY on September 13, 1980, a son of Hector & Barbara (Klingner) Rodriguez of Shelton, CT. Daniel had been raised in Connecticut and New Hampshire. He attended Notre Dame High School in Connecticut and Rivier College in Nashua. Daniel had been employed as a sales manager by Toyota of Nashua.

Besides his parents, Daniel is survived by;

One son; Gabriel D. Rodriguez of Virginia Beach, VA
His fiancée; Michelle Cardoso of Nashua
One brother; Hector M. Rodriguez of Shelton, CT

SERVICES: Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday October 31, 2007 from 4 to 8 PM in the ANCTIL-ROCHETTE & SON FUNERAL HOME, 21 Kinsley St., Nashua. Burial will take place at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Bishop Wicke Health Care, for Hospice Patient Services, 584 Long Hill Ave., Shelton, CT 06484

"Friend charged in fatal crash
By RYAN J. HALLIDAY Telegraph Staff

NASHUA – A city man is dead and his Derry friend is behind bars facing homicide charges, after a night of watching the World Series at a local bar ended in a drunken car crash, police said.

Michael Gorsuch, 29, of 10 Fairway Drive, No. 3810, was arraigned Monday in Nashua District Court on one count of negligent homicide stemming from an early morning car crash near Thornton Road that killed Daniel Rodriguez, 27, of Nashua.

Gorsuch and Rodriguez, of 8 Ferncroft Drive, had been drinking at the Sky Lounge on Amherst Street on Sunday night while watching Game 4 of the World Series, according to a police report filed in district court.

The pair left the bar less than 30 minutes after the Boston Red Sox clinched the world championship. Police allege that Gorsuch was drunk and driving Rodriguez's 2007 Scion tC, according to the report.

Moments later, the Scion skidded off Thornton Drive and into the woods before crashing into a tree, less than a mile from the bar, the report said.

When police and fire officials arrived at the scene they found Gorsuch, who was wearing a Red Sox jersey, standing outside of the car and talking on his cell phone.

Gorsuch, who had suffered minor injuries, told rescue workers, "My friend is still in there." Rodriguez, who was lying in the back seat of the car, was declared dead at the scene, police said.

Gorsuch later told police that he and Rodriguez had arrived at the bar seconds before the first pitch of Game 4. He said he drank four Red Bull-and-vodka mixed drinks and "quite a few" beers over the course of the night, according to the report.

Police obtained two blood samples from Gorsuch at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, but the report does not say whether his blood alcohol content was over the legal limit.

Gorsuch told police that Rodriguez was driving the car at the time of the crash. But police accident reconstructionists say Gorsuch was the driver, after finding that his explanation of how he exited the wrecked car was "not consistent" with the damage to the vehicle, the report said.

During the arraignment, Gorsuch, who was wearing a black T-shirt, repeatedly chocked back tears as Judge Laurence Cullen listed the conditions of his release.

Judge Cullen ordered Gorsuch held on $25,000 cash bail and continued his case to Nov. 8 for a pretrial conference.

If convicted of negligent homicide, Gorsuch faces between 7-1/2 and 15 years in prison.
"

 


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