December 2017

December was a busy month as it always is around holiday season. December started off as a bit of a down month having lost two of my grandparents in the month of November. Brian and my dad went on a fairly last minute trip, but perfectly timed trip to the Grand Canyon for a week leaving me alone at home for a week at the start of the month. Luckily they had a great time despite the cold spell in the Grand Canyon while they were there and they spent the week hiking down and then back up, something of which I have no desire to ever do. I would like to see the Grand Canyon someday, but I’ll be content viewing from the rim.  Holiday season was a range of emotions this year with wanting to celebrate, but all of us majorly missing our anchors. My brother and his wife refused to come to any Christmas get together for who knows what reason, so that made it a bit drama filled on top of every other emotion we all had.

Pizelles made using my grandma's maker!

Passion Fruit Cheesecake and Passion Fruit Soda Yumi on Christmas morning Yumi wanted Yoshi's toy Yumi helping us play a game Christmas Eve



We tried a new Filipino restaurant in Grandview called Bonifacio that was delicious. I’d been dying for some halo-halo since our trip to the Philippines in April of this year and was stoked when I searched new restaurants in Columbus and this one was near the top of the list. We sampled the kinilaw, tociburger, and grilled chicken inasal. Our friends ordered the sizzling bistek, Kare Kare, and lechon kawali. Every dish we tried we all really enjoyed. It’s a small place and we made reservations and when we walked in, we were the only ones there but it filled up pretty fast. For drinks and dessert we had the boozy bubble tea and halo-halo to end. We will be back again for sure.

Kinilaw Halo Halo

We made a return trip to Pokebap in Dublin before we went to the zoo lights. We’ve been there 3-4 times and it’s always good and tasty. They have make your own bowls or you can choose from a small menu of bowls. We ended the month and the year at another new place in Dublin called Napa Kitchen. It was just okay and didn’t wow any of us. I would go back, but probably only if someone else wanted to, otherwise I probably wouldn’t choose to return on my own accord. The food was okay, but nothing that Brian couldn’t prepare at home which is usually our measuring bar for returning to a restaurant.



  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood: I give the first book in the trilogy a 4/5. It follows Jimmy/Snowman as he believes he is the last human survivor of a massive plague brought about by a friend of his. He lives with a group of genetically engineered human-like creatures who were also created by Jimmy’s friend Crake. The novel flashes back to Jimmy’s past in his childhood and teenage years in between his life currently. The novel ends with a twist, that while not unexpected leaves you wanting to start the next book immediately.
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: I’m embarrassed to say how long it took me to re-read this book. Not entirely true as the book is over 800 pages, but the first time I read this classic it didn’t take me long at all. This time around, it took me a couple months. I don’t typically re-read a lot of books, but I loved this book so much the first time around, when I saw on the 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge to read a book over 800 pages, I thought this would be as good as opportunity to re-read Anna Karenina. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it the second time around, but the desire to read it was lost a bit with knowing the story and what was to come. However, I do think it’s an excellent work of fiction and one worth reading once.
  • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein: I give this audiobook a 2/5. The audiobook details how certain politicians have used violent shocks and events to promote the Friedman ideology of politics. It was interesting in that it laid out how certain events have transpired and led us to the certain political environment we are in and the origins of this type of polices and how they have been able to thrive dating back to the Chile experiment. But I just didn’t get as much out of it as I anticipated.
  • Home Deus by Yuval Harari: I give this audiobook a 3/5. Like The Shock Doctrine, it was interesting, I just didn’t get as much out of it as I anticipated. I enjoyed the first and final parts of the book the most where the author discusses certain maladies we have encountered and where he makes some predictions for the future for our human species. He lost me for a bit in the middle which is why I can’t rate this book any higher.
  • Daring to Drive by Manal Al-Sharif: I listened to this as an audiobook and rate it a 5/5. It is the memoir of the author as she led a growing movement in Saudi Arabia for women to drive. She was unique in that the company she worked for allowed women to drive on the work compound because it was an American company and she did a foreign exchange in the USA where she was able to gain a valid drivers license. It was an inspiring listen and recommend it for all females (and males), especially given that as of this fall the movement has succeeded and the kingdom is finally going to allow women to drive legally.
  • Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard: My favorite book of the month! I fell in love with this audiobook and the adorable little dog Gobi who followed Dion during a grueling ultra marathon in China. The true story that Dion tells about how the little dog found him and in return helped Dion deal with some of his past demons during their time together just pulls at the heartstrings. Upon completion of the marathon, Dion planned to take Gobi home to Scotland with him, but the legal red tape to cross made him leave Gobi with a caretaker in China who then lost Gobi. While the whole lost Gobi situation was a bit fishy (at which point I had to Google Gobi to make sure this came out as a happy story), remarkable Dion was able to find Gobi and eventually bring him home to Scotland. This is an absolute must read for all animal lovers!

Movies & TV:

We finished out the current season of Mr. Robot, and we both really enjoyed the third season way more than the previous season. It will be interesting to see where they take the fourth season. We started the new season of Top Chef and are enjoying most of the cheftestants this year.

Movies wise we continued our watching of Disney animated movies with Dumbo and BambiDumbo has always been one of my favorite and was fun to rewatch it. The most memorable part of Bambi is always the scene where his mother is killed and the fact that Disney chose to make man the main villain and not appear on screen is incredibly progressive, especially for the time it was made. We were talking about how everyone thinks of Disney movies and tragedy in regards to parents dying and other tragic scenes, but watching them in chronological order really made us watch the scene where Bambi’s mother dies with new eyes. It would have been absolutely shocking at that point in Disney’s history for that to occur.



We made a return to the zoo lights at the Columbus Zoo last year after missing it last year. Last year we opted not to go when the day we had chosen was like a high of 2 degrees. This year it had rained all day but it wasn’t super cold, so we opted to go anyways and it ended up being perfect. Even with the warmer weather, the rain held a lot of people off from going because it didn’t stop raining till about 5:30pm. The animals were more awake than in some years past and we got to see two of the polar bear cubs playing and swimming. It was absolutely incredible and so much fun watching them play around and jump off the cliffs.

Yumi's homemade sweater Yumi playing in the first snow Christmas Eve Merry Christmas!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *