Wednesday, December 28, 2005

a few images from the o2

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This is the view from the porch, the smoking area outside the house that Nikki and I have sequestered. We call the tree "Six Feet Under". Last year, it was reddish brown because we here here during the fall. Sage spotted two squirrels and a couple of birds who made the tree their home. Around the tree is the expanse of the golf course.

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Santa made an appearance at the house (courtesy of Grandma Mina) and surprised the little girl who suddenly experienced her deepest wish come true. Too bad that Santa's surprise gift (Barbie Pegasus) was something her parents bought for her in Manila a month ago. Still, she rationalized that it was probably some other little girl's and gave it back to Santa, opting to wait for her real Christmas gift. On Christmas Day, Santa gave her a V-Smile (a wonderful educational video game set). She was delighted.

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This is Ace, Sage's cousin. Her Uncle Rob and Aunt Rose have no kids of their own, but do have a cat named Smudge and this loving dog, Ace. Ace is 13 years old and deaf but still acts like a puppy. Sage adores him and was happily shocked when Ace gave her a pink tutu for Christmas (When I read the card, she gave him a kiss and said thank you).

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My beautiful wife looks even more devastating in cooler climes. She's been incredible on this trip, given the fact that she takes care of two kids - Sage and me. But she loved the diamond ring I gave her... yay!

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I brought thin cotton shirts and linen pants and things like that, because of course how can anyone think it could possibly be cold in Florida? To survive, I began to pack on the pounds...

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...so that by Christmas, I was tall lump of smiling putty. Make that smiling and singing putty - because apparently the community of friends we met last time we visited remembered my "one man show" and requested a reprise of everything in my tiny repertoire. Me, I'm just glad for our weekly videoke singouts back home with Vin, Drew, Alex and Kate.

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We eat out everyday for almost every meal, from breakfast to dinner and everything in between. Here are Sage, Nikki and Grandma Mina (Nikki's mom) at Japanese resto Takeya, where a single order of sirloin for me had me struggling with a 12-inch plate pilled high with succulent medium rare meaty goodness. I also became an instant convert to zucchini (saute lightly in oil, drizzle in soy sauce and munch away).

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That's Jack, Rose and Rob. Jack's platelet count has dropped to 14, so it's back to transfusions, which is truly depressing to all of us. Rob is Nikki's brother, Rose is his wife. Rob is Ricardo Cepeda's twin brother. Yeah, my brothers-in-law are kickass.

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