Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Birthday And False Alarm

Last Sunday, February 7Th was my birthday in time of the NFL's XLIV Super Bowl between Indianapolis and New Orleans. New Orleans won the championships by the way.
Knowing that some of my friends are busy with the games, either watching or betting, I decided to lessen my preparation for my own birthday party. Almost half of Kaba-Maasin members that I invited were not able to attend my party. Nevertheless, I still enjoy the time with my close friends that evening. After watching the games on TV, we watched Michael Jackson's "This Is It" movie/documentary on our Blu-Ray player since most of my friends were not able to watch it during its limited run in the theaters. We ended the party doing karaoke while most went home because of work or school early in the morning. Overall, the small party was a success. We have so much food in excess though even if we encourage or force the visitors to take some food home.
The following day I just spent it in the house watching TV or surfing online. The following morning though was an excitement for me. I was thinking about my driver's license and something inside me has been pushing me to check if its still valid for use. I remembered that renewal dates always fall on birth dates so I sprung out from bed and checked my driver's license. I was horrified when I saw that it was expired since Feb 7, 2009...2009??? That means I've been driving my car for a year with an expired driver's license? This can't be true! I hurried to hit the showers in order to head out to DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to supposedly renew my license. After I took my shower, my dad told me that I could have missed the renewal notice from the DMV and I said that I never got any notice from them. The last notice I got was for the renewal of my car's registration. While dressing up, I went online to the DMV website to check my records and I was surprised that my records are still on active status and there is no "Expired" note on it. My dad then told me to check at the back of my card since he remembered that he received a sticker after he renewed his own driver's license. I checked my card again and there I saw the sticker. My driver's license is yet to expire on February 7, 2013. Whew! That was close. Everything seems a bright morning once again...even if its raining cats and dogs outside.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snow Mountain

I don't really hate the snow but I cannot imagine myself living day and night in a snowy environment. Maybe I'm too old for this where my aches and pains starts popping up when its too cold. That's one of the reasons why I'm here in the middle of the desert oasis called Las Vegas. During winter season, Las Vegas will also have its share of snow fall but since we are blessed with a gorgeous weather even during winter, we can still hit the slopes to enjoy the snow. We have our very own ski resort up in Mt. Charleston. As shameful as it can be, I must admit that I went to the snowy slopes of this mountain only twice for the past nine years. The second time was actually last Sunday.
I just got off from work and my friend invited me to go with his family up the mountains. Armed with my camera, we spent the whole morning playing with the snow. It was about mid 20s up there but there was no snow fall at all. I felt not much cold on my upper body but the longer I stayed standing on the snow, the colder my lower body had become. I actually didnt have the right foot gear for the snow but it was okey since we did not plan of staying there for long. Maybe I would like to realize my dream of actually try to ski. Got to go to Utah as they have one of the best ski slopes in there, Winter Olympics was held there before.
Follow the link for the pictures: http://lemueljon.multiply.com/photos/album/77/Mt_Charleston_Winter_2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

A traditional Chinese New year greeting, "Gong Xi Fa Cai" which is loosely translated to "Congratulations and be prosperous", is often mistakenly assumed to be synonymous with "Happy New Year". Unlike western calendars, the lunar Chinese new year calendar has names that are repeated every 60 years. Within the 'Stem-Branch' system is the shorter cycle of 12 years denoted by animals and 2010 is the Chinese year of the Tiger. In particular, this is the year of Gēng-yín (Metal Tiger). Gēng is the seventh of the ten celestial stems and Yín (Tiger) is the third of the twelve terrestrial branches, thus February 14th 2010 marks the year of the Tiger with its association to bravery. Tiger people are sensitive, given to deep thinking, capable of great sympathy. They can be extremely short-tempered, however. Other people have great respect for them, but sometimes tiger people come into conflict with older people or those in authority. Sometimes Tiger people cannot make up their minds, which can result in a poor, hasty decision or a sound decision arrived at too late. They are suspicious of others, but they are courageous and powerful. Tigers are most compatible with Horses, Dragons, and Dogs.

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Lunar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most. Celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. Las Vegas is no exception, with an exclusive area within the city named Chinatown, both locals and visitors will soon see the Lion Dance, red envelopes and the firecrackers.

The best place to witness the passing of the season from Christmas to Chinese New Year is at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Armed with my camera, I took some photos from the indoor garden. This exhibit will be open to the public through February 28th. If you are in town, don't forget to drop by.

To all my friends, I want to greet you "GONG XI FA CAI".

Follow this link for the pictures:

2010 Chinese New Year of the Metal Tiger