Thursday, June 29, 2006

Portland Part-timer

Well, I am wrapping up tomorrow at my current client. It's been a good, busy and productive seven (7) months and I will definitely miss the folks here. Next week, David and I will be spending my birthday down south! For those who got the evites, can't wait to see you there - it's going to be so much fun!!

But the big news is that David and I got an apartment in Portland!! We are so excited to start this new chapter of our lives. I don't know where my next assignment is (most likely San Francisco), but wherever it takes me, I will be flying up here once or twice a month instead of my house.

This living arrangement will be a litmus test of our thriving and growing relationship. No, we not moving up here, David is more than happy and prepared to move down to southern cal. However, I personally haven't ruled out the possibility of moving and raising a family (yes, we already talked about that!) up here.

Don't fret, we have months to decide and together, David and I will make the right one for both of us.

We are drunk with love which means we'll always be home in each other's arms.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

It's HOT in Portland!!!

Just a quick note... it got to 101 degrees today! David and I were shopping all around town by default since it was so hot outside! I think more than shopping for myself, I love to be able to pick out a nice shirt and tie for a real man!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Rocco's Reception

Our family welcomes its newest member: Rocco Andreas Leoncio

He was born on April 12th, 2006 (same day as my cousin, RJ) and his baptism was this past Sunday. Our family gathered for a small celebration at a restaurant.

What a cutie!! Click here for pictures from Rocco's Reception.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Who is this... David guy??

I know you guys are wondering about the pics... So let me set the record straight: David and I are officially a "couple". Please let us enjoy our first few moments/months together. I offer no details for now. Just know that this wonderful, kind and caring man has told me he loves me ...and I've whispered these same words back to him.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Concert of a Lifetime

My friends and I saw Andrea Bocelli's Hollywood Bowl concert last Sunday. Wow. I mean it, WOW!!

I didn't know what to expect. I certainly was impressed with the Opera classics from Verdi, Puccini and Bizet selections that made up the bulk of the evening's first half, in which the Italian tenor was joined by baritone Luis Ledesma and soprano Ana Maria Martinez with Steven Mercurio conducting the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Cal State Fullerton choir. What a treat!! We were all tickled pink (or was the sangria?)

Anyway, it was quite a diverse audience: I saw a girl wearing a button with the rock band KISS' logo on her jacket as she accompanied her grandfather, Donald Trump and (I heard) Kirk Douglas in the front boxes, and the proud parents of "American Idol" runner-up Katharine McPhee, who performed two duets with Bocelli later in the show. Sorry folks, not a fan of American Idol to begin with, now I am less of a fan.

There was a decidedly looser feel in the second half of his performance, both in the audience and on stage, where the music skewed to movie (they showed the classic American cinema kissing scenes that were part of the movie, "Cinema Paradisimo") and romance standards, Italian mixed a little with English. Damn, I really missed David then.

What was clear from the moment Bocelli returned to the stage for his first song after intermission and was greeted with whoops (mostly me) and wolf whistles — eliciting the cutest, most genuine sheepish grin from the Andrea, who had been fairly staid and somber in the first half. It was hard to take a picture of his elusive smile!

To Andrea's credit, although he didn't stray far from the tried-and-true in the operatic portions, he also didn't pander to the audience. The only everybody-knows-it piece in the first half was the Toreador song from "Carmen," performed by Ledesma, hamming it up thoroughly. (Remember the theme song to the original Bad News Bears?) The singers separately and together showed notable talent (if in limited settings, certainly not as demanding as sustaining a full opera performance). And Bocelli may not be the most artistic of singers, but he has fine control and the rich tone of a classic Italian tenor, besides, the man just plain rocks!!

Even Mercurio (the most handsome, athletic, energetic conductor I've ever witnessed) got in the act, nearly tripping on the podium and turning it into a little slapstick gag. Bocelli too became more of a showman as things wore on. Following a singer-less orchestra showcase of a tango, Bocelli returned, having changed from his black tails into a white dinner jacket. This, he explained, was the way he had to dress to perform songs from his recent "Amore" album which is a collection of classic love songs, and then sang "Besame Mucho" in crooner mode with a hand-held microphone. (swoooonnn!!)

The mood continued as McPhee slinked on stage to show off her crossover chops on "Somos Novios", taking the role sung by Christina Aguilera on Bocelli's recording. How do I say this... uhm... it was bad. It didn't get any better when she took on Celine Dion's role on an encore duet of "The Prayer," with composer-producer (and all-around-great-guy) David Foster joining at the piano. Her appearance in the show was disappointing and they should have just let the soprano Maria do those songs.

Can you imagine?? Even Donald Trump got into the act, coming on stage to present Bocelli with a platinum CD award for the million-plus sales of "Amore," it almost felt like an old-fashioned variety show. Almost. ;) Regardless of younger newbies Josh Groban and Michael Bublé, For me, Bocelli stands above the all crowd-pleasing romanticists.

...and yes, darkness cloaked the tears bringing in my eyes during the last half of the concert. This was such a fun, touching and memorable times of my life. I am glad to have shared it with my best friends and look forward to many more concerts at the bowl.

Click here for pre-concert and Concert pics!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Je t'aime mon cherie

David and Jenn at thier favorite tapa spot, Fernando's Hideaway!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Chick Day 2006

Chicks:(L-R,T-B) Sher, Leo, Diana, Mylene, Eunice, Mariah and Jenny

It's been too long. These women are my dearest and, for some, our friendship extends beyond a few decades!!! It's been 3 long years and I miss our get-togethers where we become silly girls again!

I couldn't wait to cook for these ladies and to plan the fun games for this year. Eunice came early and, as usual, caught a haggard Jenn desperately trying to do last minute cleaning. I made the entree - a fantastic Greek dish, called "Pastisio" - the day before, so I needed help with the appetizer, which I am proud of and consisted of an:
- Asparagus Tart
- Smoked Salmon, creme fraise and caviar on melba toast
- Blue cheese stuffed olives
- Fresh salmon and avocado sushi
- mini buffalo mozzarella on cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinaigrette dressing

The entree was Pastisio - the Greek version of an Italian lasagna, but better!!

For dessert, I whipped up a Ghiardelli chocolate fondue with poundcake, strawberries, pineapple, bananas, mangos, kiwi and other fruits to dip in!!

The games were "Set the Table", an idea stolen from Martha Stewart's living magazine and what we learned this chick day was..."How to play Poker!!"

Eunice won the former and we all learned that Diana can bluff like a character out of HBO's Deadwood!! Fun was had by all and I can't wait to plan the next one.

Love you guys,


Click here to enjoy the Chick Day 2006 Photos!