Friday, December 30, 2011

There are worse problems to have

So, I was offered a job. Yay me! But, it's a job I never would have applied for had I known the salary. I was expecting it to be half as much more, and yet, no it's not. So, the dilemma now is, since I have a choice, do I go with the sure thing that will pay little, but yes, have benefits, or take a chance and do temp work to make money (but not much, especially since I still have to pay for health insurance!) and keep looking for a different job? They are nice people and I think it would be interesting work, but... but what? What's my issue? I'm nervous about lowering my salary scale so much, but as one brother said, I can always say I went for skills and lower salary in a slow economy. But where will it lead me? I'm not sure... though it will indeed increase my skill set. Am I willing to pay the price for the skills? Another kinda snotty thing was that their interview process wasn't exactly rigorous. So, do I want to work for an organization that does not have a rigorous process? Am I just nervous about losing my free lifestyle? I would start Tuesday! There's a possibility of my salary going higher if the org gets another grant that they could build me into.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holiday travels

Happy belated Chanukah and Christmas! I ran out of time before I left and didn't want to post when I was at my brother's because of browsing history.

I ended up driving to Seattle, with an overnight stop in Portland, OR so I could meet up with a former colleague. Oh, and also met Silly Rabbit in OR. Of course, meeting someone you only know from online is kinda like a blind date. We were both a little nervous, but I think mine was dampened by the fact that I had driven 8-10 hours. It was very nice to meet and we had a great time at the Chippendale's. Ha. Our shoes got along swimmingly.

I drove back in one day yesterday, but there wasn't rain ALL the way, so that was good. I had one stop in Vancouver, WA - there's a Salvation Army Thrift Store you can see from the highway. I drove 5 minutes and decided it was ok for me to stop, so I drove back and did. Got two pairs of pants and a top. I have to curb my spending in the new year, but whatever. I also stopped in Grants Pass to get Oregon info, and spent a half hour talking with the women there, who were very nice. One woman asked us other two why the elves in Polar Express were all Jewish. My guess was that only Jews would work on Christmas. Anyone else know?

I do love driving such long distances. It's very tiring, but you get to gradually adjust to your new location. It's interesting to see the changes in landscape along the way too.

OK, so I need to go hydrate. I didn't drink much at all yesterday so I wouldn't have to stop. Note that it's not the best idea to start a long driving day with a cup of relaxation tea. My first stop I bought some regular tea (Lipton actually has cold black tea with no sugar! It was great.)

Hope all is well for all!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's winter

I'm trying to make it continue to feel like Christmas. This was a photo I took last year at Mt. Diablo. There was snow up it was a zoo... because it's rather rare that there's snow within an hour of San Francisco.

In my house, since this was supposed to be temporary rental location, I don't have much at all - it's all packed. My rosemary Christmas tree from last year is outside and has doubled in size, but I won't bring that inside since last time I brought the grass inside for Billy a ton of little bugs invaded our house. So I have a jade plant that I hung an ornament on (was free at some flea market). I also found some reddish small branchy things that have red little balls at end of branches, so I'll put that on the jade plant, and maybe some outside. I also like to hang any cards I get.

So, doing what I can. And others too... One thing that was great. I was returning from an interview yesterday and on the exit ramp someone had decorated a small tree on the side. Brought a smile to my face.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

That's Life

I just finished reading Keith Richards - Life. As in Keith Richards Rolling Stones Keith Richards. I was very sad to see it end. It's excellent - really brings across the voice and you learn a lot about music. For instance, I had always heard the line in Sweet Home Alabama but never understood or looked up: what I heard as: Mussel Shoals has got the Swamprush. It's actually Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers. Muscle Shoals is a town in Alabama where many legends recorded, including the Rolling Stones. Swampers is a rhythm section for hire.

It was/is a crazy life. But you can tell he's a songwriter. Poetry just kind of jumps out. M hadn't seen it when he read it, but I couldn't help but notice things like:
-- Sometimes a kiss is burned into you far more than whatever comes later.
-- My feet were soaking from walking through tears.

Needless to say, read it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bag o' Pomegranates

So, I went this weekend to a Christmas party held by my friend B in Paso Robles. A bit of a drive, but it's a pretty drive and well worth it. Not only to see her, of course, but also to slave in her kitchen to help prepare, and sleep until 9:30 this morning. Note I put that second bit in because she now knows this blog exists and may begin reading. This is my life!! Or, a bit of it.

I hadn't been feeling the Christmas spirit, but this certainly made up for it. In part because she played Christmas music ALL DAY on Saturday... But also because Paso Robles has a now 30-odd-year tradition of closing off Vine street one night for blocks and blocks and letting pedestrians walk along and look at all the amazing Christmas lights. And experience the various extra perks, such as:
- musicians
- Mr and Mrs. Winter on their thrones
- A VERY creepy walking moving snowman posing with kids in the yard.
- Hot line to Santa (a small phone booth where kids could go and call Santa - so great!)
- Scrooge's house all lit up and Scrooge himself coming in and out of doors yelling "bah humbug" and "you smell: and all that
- A 'hill' of 'snow' that kids under 4 could sled down
- various choruses of kids
- A 'werewolf' you could pet.
- Santa himself (I only saw the one, so perhaps it wasn't quite so confusing to the kids.. not sure.. I would think they kind of organize that so every other house doesn't have a Santa)
- A beautifully decorated area. They did lines of fishing wire horizontally on high (tree tops height) and then hung various color ball ornaments at different heights and different depths into the yard. Seemingly simple, likely very complex to actually do, and very very magical looking. Everyone who came across it looked up in wonder.
- free coffee, tea, popcorn, and.... my favorite... cotton candy!!! I was walking along and saw a father and son with cotton candy. I wished for it, and then there was the line to get free cotton candy! A pediatrician (of all places, yes) had set up THREE cotton candy makers and were pumping it out. And big balls too! I stood in the long line and it went very fast. Yum Yum Yum. But it went so fast. So I wished I had more. And then I saw ANOTHER place that was giving away cotton candy. Smaller, but I didn't care. Got in that line and got some more. My Christmas wishes came true.

It was a very nice 24 hours. I left with wine made by the guy next door (who became dear to me the night before when he arrived with a bottle of good champagne - I was first in line! Apparently Leo's love champagne. Who knew. And then because I was sad there was no more, went home and brought back another bottle), a bag of pomegranate bits that were from a friend's yard, various cheeses and veggies and other leftovers from the party. So far my dinner has been nuts and pomegranates. Maybe I'll have some cheese and bread and perhaps salami...

mmm.... I'm hungry.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Movies and Books

I get Entertainment Weekly and I've saved so many because I want to write down the books and movies that seem interesting. My big problem is writing them down. So thought typing would be better. Will post periodically. It's all for me... but maybe you'll like the list too. They are different orders of important, but not marking that here.

- The Artist
- The Kids are All Right
- The Other guys. Will Ferrell Mark Wahlberg
- Crumb - documentary
- The Help
- The Circumstance (Sundance, Tehran, girls)
- Pee Wee's Big Adventure
- Benda Bilili! (music, Congo)
- Last Train Home (Chinese migrant workers once a year home)
- The Town

- You Lost Me There, Rosecrans Baldwin
- The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise Julia Stuart
- Packing for Mars Mary Roach (science, space program)
- The Dovekeepers Alice Hoffman (strong women, Bible based)
- The Warmth of Other Suns Isabel Wilkerson (Great Migration - blacks leaving south)
- Must you Go? My Life with Harold Pinter Antonia Fraser
- Half a LIfe Darin Strauss Memoir (struck girl on bike)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So, I've been let go. Believe it or not, from my dentist. Got a letter today in which he says he basically doesn't want to be my dentist anymore and he'll be happy to transfer my records to someone for a fee of $45.

I was shocked. M says not to waste any emotional energy on it, but given it's 6 hours later and it's still on my mind, you can see how well I listen to his advice. I want to figure out the exact reason and what part I played in it, but perhaps I should just give it up.

Back story is that I went last Tuesday because over Thanksgiving I had gotten something sticking up on one tooth that was kind of sharp and wanted to make sure nothing was wrong. So, I'm in there for a few minutes, he looks and doesn't see anything, starts smoothing even though he's not sure where he should be, and he hits my filling such that it hurt and I jumped. And the appointment was over and I paid $80.

So, when they sent their customary 'how did we do' letter, I wrote that I felt rushed and because of that wasn't entirely convinced that everything was ok. But writing this now, perhaps that was it. That I didn't have 100% confidence that what he was saying was true.

In the end, yes, it's all for the best. And it just so happened that M had had to find a dentist and he had one recommended. So I have someone. But still, it hurt. Oh well... as ever, life goes on.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fading, or getting brighter?

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Went to my job networking thing this morning. I so didn't want to, but did anyway. I'm still either beat up from the migraine or I'm getting sick, but wah wah wah. In any event, I was happy I went. It was a great conversation and really good people and got me motivated to send some emails out. So that's something! Step by step.

Monday, December 5, 2011


M and I did some trail work Saturday AM. There were a ton of teenagers who had to fulfill some volunteer requirements by Thursday. Most of them really did work, which was great. I have the 'leader' hat now since I've been more than 4 times in a year, and it makes it a little less fun, since I have to be on my toes and act respectfully. :-) But it does make people listen to me a little bit more, not that I have too much trouble with that.

Anyhooo, so that combined with not drinking enough the rest of the day, and stress from Sunday morning (am I the only one who possibly has stress on a Sunday morning??), came to a head at around 1:30. Slowly, and then really quickly, migraine struck. Dammit! And I had so much to do. I even resorted to taking one of my $25 pills, but I took it too late, because I ended up having to throw up, as I often do with a migraine. Because it wanted to keep it down as long as possible, for the first time in my life...well, let's say, there was a lot to clean up. M wasn't home, lucky him. He helped later by getting an ice pack and other stuff. I managed to get out of bed at 10:30 PM.

So, today I'm trying to make sure that special muscle/nerve in my back to my head doesn't get inflamed and want to create another headache. I went to the pharmacy to get medication, and also picked up some Christmas card photo holder things, because I was stressing about what photo to put on my cards I wanted to make which it's way too late to do. So, I have 9 different photos and we'll see who gets what.

This is the worst one - doesn't work all that well, but it's a neat photo anyway.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I hereby interrupt my pieces on my family with a thought...

It turns out my mom I guess had started making a sort of scrapbook about me. I found a photo album that had all these photos of me from kindergarten to perhaps 15 years ago, and a few postcards I had sent. It's great to have.


Since I don't have kids, who will want these photos after I die? Who is going to be interested in my history? I may need to make a website celebrating my life so I will exist on the internet for all eternity.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Since I was in NJ, I got to spend some time with my nieces, A (10) and E (12). Let's see...
- E is a ballet nut and built to dance. She showed me what it's like to be en pointe - in the kitchen (put on her shoes). I didn't know it was so 'clop clop'-y. It looks hard! But it certainly makes the legs look great. A has a completely different body type - more like mine. She's great at sports, but it's funny to see her try and dance. SO not for her.
- A showed me the earring she has, and was fooling around with them. It's magnetic, so she put it in her nose, and on her cheek. Didn't work so well on the tongue. In fact, I'm a bad aunt for suggesting she try it. Very well could have swallowed. But o well if she did - it would come out later.
- We played some version of charades with props - not for points, but just to do it. E did a great job with the 60's. She makes a great hippie. Neither one of them knew any of the ones from the 80's!
- Speaking of which, kind of, neither one likes the muppets. A thinks they are freaky. OH NO!
- One thing I was amazed at - we were sitting at the dinner table eating our souffle (!! my sister is a cook) and A and my sister were across from E and me. They started laughing and we didn't know why. Finally A said that I had something hanging from my nose. I was amazed that they would just laugh and not tell me. A even noted that she hates when people do that to her. Oh well. I let it slide, but obviously it still bothers me a little.
- The day before they were to leave, E apparently wanted to sleep in her own bed (which I had been using). My sister asked me earlier in the evening about where I wanted to be but worded it in a way that it was clear that E wanted to sleep there, but it wasn't a direct statement. I kind of ignored that, and later when the kids went upstairs, I told my sister that I wanted to sleep in the bed, and if E wanted to, she could ask me herself. I heard murmerings upstairs, and then E comes down to ask. It was fine, though a little rude to a guest. Again, not a big deal though.

It was wonderful seeing them. I for sure will see them in the spring as my friend is having a wedding party. So I look forward to that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Over the last week I had a chance to spend a bit of time with my mom. She's still doing well, though has trouble remembering how to play crazy eights... :-) I had lunch with her at the assisted living center, which was nice. Again, I'm so glad she's there. And apparently so is the staff. Everyone we come into contact with just loves her, because she is a sweet person. I see what they mean - as we sat there waiting for our food a grumpy old man came by with his walker to get to the table next to us - shoving her walker out of the way. My mom just laughed - I'm the one who got irritated.

It's hard for her to travel - she gets very disoriented. For the nighttime, we blocked the top of the stairwell and put a string of lights around the bathroom door, and put signs and special paper to show her where her room was. The first night...around 2:00 am my door squeaks open and there she is, looking for the bedroom. What freaks me out is she has this stare when this happens. It's a non blinking out of it but smiling stare... hard to explain but SO freaky. She apparently was up about 4 more times, though I heard none of them - woo hoo! I tagged my sister for the next night (we were sharing a room).

At the assisted living center she's at breakfast every morning at 7:30 AM. Well, we let her sleep at my brother's. First day, slept until 9:30 I think. Second day, my brother woke her up at 10:30. We did like my mom used to do with my dad when he slept late - go into the room and make sure she's still breathing.

I appreciate more and more how much my sister does for her. She helped her shower, helped her wash up, helped her in the stall when we went out for the day to a museum (my mom got poopystuff on her pants), makes sure she is engaged, helps her walk, etc. She does all this on top of being a mom, handling a house on her own, working like a dog... Superwoman! And she's so nice about it. I'd have to certainly work up to that level of patience and kindness - kind of sad to say. I mean, she laughs when my mom put a pair of her underwear under the bathroom sink at my brother's. I didn't really find it all that funny, but then again...ah, I can't really find an excuse. It's just me.

So, it was really good to see her, and I was sorry I missed a day of visiting her (I couldn't bike there on Tuesday as it was rainy and just ran out of time, as the kids were there and I wouldn't see them for Thanksgiving). What's good about having a mom with memory issues is that Tuesday evening when I talked with her I just said I would visit the next day and she was excited. She forgot I was supposed to visit on Tuesday.

Family... good to be there, good to be away. I've been there so much this year, doesn't feel like I've left.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Lass

Got a call Monday when I was visiting my mom. Area code was California. Alas, I did not get the job. The person with topic matter expertise got it. I was very calm, and OK with it because it was a great opportunity to have so many interviews and be wanted...well, at least sort of. I'm feeling worse today,though not horrible. Can't really focus to work, so I cleaned out some of my sister's garage and organized crap in the basement. She's had no time or energy. People who knew are very sad I didn't get it. The bells toll for me. Ha.

I hope everyone has wonderful turkey! or Tofurky.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Brrr chilly

Ya know, you'd think since I have control over the heating situation in my place I'd turn up the heat, but just don't do that. So I sit here cold. Brr...

Had interview #3 for the job, and I liked it. I had a bunch of questions and asked them and now I'm more interested in the job. So, we'll see what happens. I'll be ok too if I don't get it, though my bank account won't be happy.

Had my first instance of someone sending me a job announcement to see if I was interested - as a result of some networking I had done. Kind of interesting position, so I applied.

I'm off to Boston and NJ and DC area for work and family/Thanksgiving. Leaving tomorrow. We'll see how much I can post.

Still no camera. Sigh.

Don't work too hard!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What if you don't like what they see? It's so simple

So, what if you thought you were one way yet others said you were another? How many opinions would it take to make you stop and take note?


My whole family has a tendency to be low key. We just aren't energetic in a bubbly sense. I however thought that I was one of the exceptions. Yet, I hear from M that I'm not. I talk to a friend yesterday and say that I'm not ecstatic about the job and she notes that she's never known me to be ecstatic about anything. And it makes me think of my brother, who's a wonderful person but often is annoying to me to be around because he's so un-ecstatic. I'm closer to him than I thought I was. And it's me and some things aren't going to change too much - to have that energy... [I stop writing because perhaps you can change? I'm not sure...]

Life can be simple or life can be hard. Far too often I choose hard. E.g. I don't like that I'm so slow climbing. I'll agonize about it and think that people won't want to climb and I should stop climbing, etc. How about just acknowledge it and start practicing climbing faster. Done. Or, I want to volunteer and do some good work for a nonprofit but what they have is doing it remotely which isn't really what I want to do but I sign up anyway because I also like person organizing and I don't do as much as I want to / should and I keep apologizing and making excuses for not doing it. How about I just say I've done what I can and sorry but I won't be able to do more. Done.

I think I'm doing a great job learning to be a DJ. But then I get a detailed review of my 1.5 hours and see all the things I can improve. I can wallow in the details and bang my head against a wall and beat myself up, or I can change things one at a time. And if I don't want to change it and it's just too much for me, well, then I don't continue being a DJ. Done.

Simple or complex. Ecstatic or reserved. Both can be somewhere in between.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Movin' right along

I missed posting on 11/11/11! at 11:11. That would have been a way to mark the day/time. I had the great idea of sending myself a postcard from J-tree (where I was) but the 11th was a postal holiday. Arg! Even so, I think my date/time is eastern zone, so I would have had to post at 8:11... way too complicated and not about to get up early when we got into J-tree at 2 AM.

I spent some hours though in the AM at the local Starbucks. It's really a gathering place which is kind of cool. Though I'm hoping that soon people move to the old Water Canyon Cafe which is now Ma Rouge. They are local and nice and need the business.

Highlights from my weekend:
- buying and cooking a turkey in a bag as M will not really have a Thanksgiving this year. I'm going to the east to see my family and connect it with a business trip. He's not sure what he's doing yet (is any guy ever certain of what he's doing until he's doing it? most men I know don't plan).
- going for a short 1 mile hike that brought incredible views of the storms all around.
- losing my camera on said hike or someplace after that, about which I am VERY sad. I have hopes of finding it, or someone finding it, but I don't have any identifying info on it so it's easier for someone to just keep it if they find it, despite all the personal photos on there (I tend to not delete my photos!).
- climbing a 5.5 and getting spanked. The first pitch was a chimney and I am NOT used to chimneys. I did it though, and in the end was glad. But I have really nasty knees right now, and I would take a photo if I had my camera... :-( We then went and top-roped another climb
- doing work

Apparently the org called one reference on Friday, and another today, so things are moving along. People are saying nice things about me, which is good. I feel so bad and am amazed --> One reference - her sister just died a couple weeks ago, and her brother just died today AND she gave a reference for me this morning! I am so hoping it was before she knew about her brother.

OK, work calls...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adventures in SF

After some freak out crying this morning, I pulled out my steadiness and had my second interview and it went very well. Meaning mostly that I liked the dialogue and learned some good things about the organization / people. And I feel like I could work there. A good sign was that they offered me some gourmet chocolate... and though I didn't take it at the beginning, I got one before I left. Not that I need it... Since last time I didn't think I did well and I got a second interview, I won't begin to guess how it's going. Though they did ask me for references...

Standing outside the building talking on the phone, a guy came up to me to tell me that he liked my boots. Then I saw an old guy with shoulder length grey hair and line drawings on his smiling face wheel by in his wheelchair (and no legs). Then soon thereafter I saw twin homeless women - dressed alike even - walking by.

Of course, when it rains there are a few other raindrops. I have no other solid leads, but did get connected to another organization from someone I talked with yesterday, and one guy I've been in contact with wants to discuss a business proposition with me AND others (yes, it sounded fishy at first... but it isn't... I think).

So, I'm tired now. Too much excitement... :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I went to a meeting yesterday which was sort of background research for my job interview. So I had time to think - or rather thoughts bubbled their way to the surface. I realized that I am very nervous about having a job in which I have to interact with people face to face. I've done so well in the recent past in part because I have the luxury of mostly doing things via email. The two jobs before this which required me to interact day to day, I had a lot of issues with my bosses. Ok, I'm writing this and I realize it's not as bad as I make it out to be. I struggled but worked through it. I'm creating apprehension when it doesn't need to be there. I need to forget about all the implications of getting or not getting the job and just have the damn interview. Arg.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Graham Parker

Went and saw Graham Parker last night. I really had never heard his stuff, but I knew M liked him a lot so when I saw the notice I told him and we went! It was an acoustic show, except for a few songs on which he played electric guitar. He's really interesting and got a British wit about him - dry - which suits me perfectly. He's a contemporary of Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello and you can hear that. I guess the world could only handle two at the time. Very small venue - we were 4 rows back. He came out afterward to sign CD's - before he came out there was a line to buy CD's and then empty table next to it. So when he walked out and didn't really know where to go, I said 'right here!' and we were first in line - a very down to earth guy. M gets so star struck it's funny. But he was very happy.

My favorite song I heard with respect to lyrics. I can't decide amongst others as to which I liked the best. Endless Night

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I sit here eating my Halloween sized 100 Grand bar. When I was a kid, it used to be a 100,000 dollar bar. In case you don't know it, it's a hunk of caramel with puffed rice (or rice krispies) on top, covered in chocolate. I used to eat off all the rice and then eat the caramel... mm... It says on the label: 30% Less Fat than the leading chocolate brand. Huh? How vague is that? But I guess it does get the attention... And no, I didn't buy candy just for me - there's a bunch of stuff at the radio station and I took a bunch Tuesday night. Though I shouldn't have... don't do enough exercise to deserve to eat it.

I remember when Twix first came out (apparently it was 1979). The first time I tried it, the cookie was stale-ish; they must have shipped leftovers from England. I wasn't too impressed because it was stale, but over time I have grown to really like them.

I think my first love though was Canada mints. Circles of peppermint. I would eat almost a whole bag when I was a kid. Different ways including holding it in the middle and rotating it around while I scraped it with my teeth. I never was able to just suck on it until it disappeared. I liked to chew... mmm...

Stop your dirty minds and go eat some candy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Puff and stuff

Early morning in the campground

Went to Yosemite this past weekend with two guys, one my regular climbing partner and a 25 year old. We had a really nice time and did some great climbs. The 25yo hasn't really done much trad climbing so he was in the middle the whole time, whilst my friend and I led. It was kind of scary though because the 25yo doesn't know how to belay from above. He's used to using a Grigri, with which it's not so important to hang on to the rope 100% of the time. I watched and couldn't believe it, and then finally said something. But he still forgot to hang on. I think a bigger intervention is needed. Obviously very dangerous.

Speaking of dangerous, on the last climb (Super Slide), I did two difficult long pitches together. And so was tired and felt bad for going slowly. The next party came up to join me on the ledge, and I wanted to move over for him, and I took myself completely off. As I was doing it I knew it was wrong, but I was standing on a ledge and not thinking clearly... Thankfully obviously I did not fall. Very stupid me.

I mention that the one guy is 25yo because it's another world. Not too out there, as he was born in Russia and thus has a wider perspective on the world, but still rides his motorcycle fast and is interested in different things (like young women... :-) ) We had a discussion about women at one point, and apparently if he does not find a marriageable woman by 30, he'll go back to Russia for a couple months and find a wife. Really! Odd odd...

OK, I hope everyone is well. I'll go look ...

Friday, October 28, 2011


So, Halloween is Monday. I bought a pumpkin a few weeks ago and it is inside. And it's one I can cook later and eat, so that's nice. I don't know when it changed, but I just cannot get excited about Halloween anymore. It might have been when I was still married and I just didn't want to greet people at the door, and 3/4 of the time they were yewts barely dressed up, but if you said no, you'd probably get a window broken or something. So now I just avoid. And noone I know holds costume parties. So, I guess I will enjoy others' enjoyment (Mel, Laura I think...etc.).

Boo Moo Who You Too!
Candy Stripers on the Street
Mo' Candy, Mo' Mo'

Thursday, October 27, 2011

From Laura - 5 books

I drafted this a long time ago...

1. What book did you struggle to get through but is something you’re glad you’ve read? -.
War and Peace. It’s a classic, plus it’s one of those ‘top tier’ books. If you have read it, you are cool. And I like it even more that I didn’t read the last ten pages. I was just done. No more.

2.What’s a book whose popularity has baffled you?
The Secret. I mean, it’s not really a secret. I just wish I had written it so I could have made bazillions of dollars. A great review from Publisher’s weekly: “Supporters will hail this New Age self-help book on the law of attraction as a groundbreaking and life-changing work, finding validation in its thesis that one's positive thoughts are powerful magnets that attract wealth, health, happiness... and did we mention wealth? Detractors will be appalled by this as well as when the book argues that fleeting negative thoughts are powerful enough to create terminal illness, poverty and even widespread disasters.”

3. If you could make everyone you know read one book, what would it be?
Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales – the original ones. Because they are excellent stories, excellent allegories, and they show that it’s not all a happy ending. Which too many people these days expect out of a story. And life.

4. What book have you liked less and less as time has gone by?
Um, I really can’t think of any.

5. What book have you loved more and more as time has gone by?
I’m not sure this is supposed to count, but the original Joy of Cooking. It’s just such a timeless cookbook and has so much to offer in terms of reference and history and such.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wed nes day

Here is my Saturday

Went up to Mt. Tamalpais to do some top-roping. It was a beautiful, almost hot, day. We got a late start but still had a good day, and saw a gorgeous sunset, marred only by the trail of some jet in the way far distance.

Sunday was the all day concert. It was really good, but not as great as last year. Warm and sunny and hot even - a big change from last year.

Tuesday I had my interview. I went in feeling confident that I was the right person for them. And then they asked me a few questions which I didn't feel I gave great answers to, and by the end I thought the energy was low and I just didn't make it to the second round. So, I couldn't concentrate for the next several hours. I tried retail therapy which helped a little, though ultimately did not buy anything, which is good. Then 4 hours later I get an email saying I've made it to the second round. So much for my sense...

Last night I did 1.5 hours of my radio show. The DJ who is training me left me alone in the studio. What a mess! Dead air, didn't fill out the logs well, played records at the wrong speed unintentionally, didn't clear out the studio for the next DJ, etc. But people said I sounded good. Though, likely all of them were I should take it with a grain of salt. My next interview is in 2 weeks or so. I'm excited-ish for many reasons that I don't really want to get into right now. But it is definitely a good thing to have had a successful interview.

Now I must go focus.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Best Song from Yesterday

It was such a treat!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Time flees, or fleas?

I have thought so many times how I will get to the computer and write, and then I don't because life gets in the way. But, here's an update:

- Fleas are being controlled. I won't say they are gone yet, but working on it still. Three weeks in. Kind of scary though that in the past two days I've had two people tell me how they tried the whole vacuuming thing and eventually just ended up calling an exterminator. I hope hope hope I will be the exception!
- I spent nice time with colleagues, family, and friends last week. Also spent a short time with my friend migraine, sadly she had enough time to visit with me.
- I was a space cadet last week, I guess due to travel. On my connection, forgot my carry on (but got it soon after). At lunch the next day, I got up to leave and walked into a glass door. Too damn clean. Then later I tried to pay for a snack with tampons. The guy didn't really think he'd need the tampons.
- I have an interview next Tuesday! Woo hoo! We'll see how it goes, and I will let you know. It's mental health related, which I know a little about...ya think? Turns out two people I had networked with know the guy I'm speaking with so both are putting in a word for me. I joked with one woman that I'd be happy for her to put in a word for me as long as it was a good word. Such a joker I am.
- It really was nice to take a week off from obsessing about jobs. So nice.
- It was great seeing my nieces and other family. There wasn't much time, but we still had fun.

OK, will go visit.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Posting for my own reference

I was losing this part of my grammar beaten into me by nuns, so had to get a reminder.

The comparative forms of most adjectives, however, are formed by adding the suffixes
-er and -est, or by placing the words more and most in front of the positive form.

1. One syllable words form the comparative by adding -er and -est:
brave, braver, bravest
small, smaller, smallest
dark, darker, darkest.

2. Two-syllable words that end in -y, -le, and -er form the comparative by adding -er and -est:
pretty, prettier, prettiest
happy, happier, happiest
noble, nobler, noblest
clever, cleverer, cleverest

3. Words of more than two syllables form the comparative with more and most:
beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful.
resonant, more resonant, most resonant

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Advice please - kitty sitting

So, I'll be travelling for work/family in November and December. Our neighbor who has looked in on Billy before said she will be around and would be happy to help. But if I'm away for that long the litterbox would need to be cleaned out, which is not a fun thing. And I would ask for a water or two of plants. And it would be nice if she got the mail. That's a lot. Maybe too much. So that's one issue. I of course would feel like I should get her a gift, and since I don't know her all that well, though well enough to give her a key to the place, I want to give her money. And I mentioned it. And she said no. And I said, well, I would just get you a gift that I don't know if you'd like. And I forget what she said. But thinking about it, I maybe should have just left her a gift card for someplace - restaurant or Target. But I've already made the mistake of saying I wanted to give her money, which I feel has changed the dynamic. Like she's working for me. And it feels weird. And now I don't know what to do.

Any advice?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Every Inch of Her

Just blew through the following book:

Every Inch of Her
Peter Sheridan

It was good. Fluffily handled serious issues, if that makes sense. A bit of Deux Ex Machina. But why not read it?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Flea Bag

So, I literally have a flea in a bag. My cat's been scratching and I thought he must have dry skin or something because he really doesn't go out that much/that far. But this morning I combed out a bug. I put it in plastic wrap because I wasn't sure what it was and was talking to the vet and it almost made it out, so I put it in a plastic ziploc bag. Then I googled, and the fun began. Honestly, I always thought fleas were tiny round dot things that jumped. This didn't jump, and wasn't tiny and round. But it was likely moving slowly due to lots of yummy blood in his system.

So, off to the vet to get Frontline. Off to the pet store to get powder to treat the carpets. Wash all the cat beds and anything the cat has recently been near. Vacuum the whole house, and do it every day for two weeks. Wash all clothing that he's been near. I was going to go volunteer at the radio station today, but that got sucked dry by fleas.

It has one up side. I was fairly depressed about job searching today, after following up yesterday with a job I had applied for, spending literally 2 hours writing a follow up letter, only to get a fairly quick email back from one of the people saying it had been filled Friday. It's so damn frustrating. As anyone who has ever looked for a job knows.

In any event, at least I have fleas to attack to make me feel better. Poor Billy is scared of me right now though... poor guy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A week?

A week has already gone by? Amazing. But, I guess not so much, since the job search is kicking full time. I have close to only three months left, and that clock is ticking louder than my biological clock did!

I'm at this point running into the issue of meeting too many people. I have so many people to follow up with that I'm losing track. I must say though, it is helping me refine what I want. But bad mistakes can happen, like leaving my two pages of notes from an afternoon meeting at a networking meeting in the evening. Thankfully they still had the pad around this morning, because that would have been BAD. Can you imagine calling up the busy person who spent almost an hour with you and gave you all these leads of people to talk with and ask to meet again for the exact same interview? no way...

And the words of wisdom from the homeless guy as I was chatting with him waiting for my information interview: when you are in an interview, be sure to tell them 'the only reason you were born was to meet me'. I laughed at that one. He said a couple times that I look like a manager. I looked down at myself and every single piece of clothing aside from underwear was from a thrift store, yard sale, or clothes swap. Pretty funny.

I've spent literally all day today writing up notes from a meeting I went to last Thursday at which I was representing a small organization as a 'volunteer intern'. It was a great opportunity for me and I'm learning a bit about that field, but I have to 'give back'. Hence this report. Arg!

Hope all is well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My first hour

So, I unexpectedly had my first hour of programming last night. The DJ I work with got there late, and so I pulled my own music to help her out. Woo hoo! What a great time. It's a LOT of stuff to do and I had dead air and other mistakes, but overall, I did fairly well if I do say so myself. LOTS of um, uh, but I'll get over that I'm sure. I know now why DJ's play longer songs - whew, it's tough to queue up music and transition so quickly. I'm really impressed with one WFMU DJ who once did a whole show (at least an hour) of 1 minute songs. I can't even imagine.

The last song I chose was Gillian Welch, Tennessee. I chose it because it was 6 minutes long and I needed the time! Put the CD in, look for the longest song, and GO.
I'm listening to my archives now and hear the song. It's really beautiful! And great lyrics - speaking from a bad girl perspective.

"But they threw me out of Sunday school when I was nine
And the sisters said I did just as I pleased
Even so I try to be a good girl
It's only what I want that makes me weak"

Here's the song on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

from Random House

Laura, do you think this applies to DWTS also? ;-)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Joy

of Cooking.

Have you ever read it?

I don't mean the new fancy one, but rather the old one.
-The one that teaches you how to cook squirrel and porcupine.
- The one that provides a recipe for onions stuffed with sauerkraut, and notes as a subtitle: Not for a ladies' luncheon.
- The one in which the authors wax poetic about charlottes: "How dull seem the charlottes of our youth, with only a cream and a cherry, when compared with those put together in the sophisticated society we now seem to frequent!".
- The one that teaches you how to make as well as to pronounce vichyssoise: "This leek soup may be served hot or very cold. Yes, the last 's' *is* pronounced, like a 'z', but most Americans shun it, in a 'genteel' way, as though it were virtuous to ignore it."

It's great! Someday if I win the lottery and am done traveling the world, I may cook my way through this cookbook, just like Julie did with Julia's book. Muskrats might be hard to find by that time though...

Friday, September 16, 2011

another one for the list

I have another regret. This one is not life shattering.

I have been anticipating the Bridge Benefit concert for an entire year. We were willing to pay the top dollar for seats because it's such an amazing show and 8 hours for $150 is damn good, considering you can see crap for $75 a ticket.

I screwed up and did not learn the system before getting tickets. What an idiot. So when I logged on at 9:58 am, and hit refresh over and over, and got the screen for choosing tickets, I refreshed one too many times and then forgot to choose # of tickets. And so I f-d up. I still got a seat vs. the lawn ticket, but still... I'm having a hard time letting this go. Stupid me!

But whatever. I'll go for a walk and then just be happy I'm going to the damn show and have a seat. Really. I will. Soon. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I can't find nothin' on the radio

Or, is the world collapsing?

So, I decided on a DJ name, and I'll just say it's NOT HeidiHo. The DJ and I used it for one show, and both of us kind of cracked up saying it and it never felt comfortable, so I changed it. HeidiHo is what the turd says on South Park. Plus I was going for the German reference.

The trouble with archives is that I can hear myself after the fact. ACK!

You know, I thought this would be easy, but let me tell you, it's not. The list of things you have to do during a show is amazing, and you are never / rarely ever just relaxing. And this is a station that doesn't have fancy schmancy stuff like WFMU (they post videos and photos on a comment board, and even comment too). There's the board to run, FCC logs, music cuing, reading all the requisite announcements on time, etc. And trying to speak intelligently with no ums or uhs. Whew.

But I'm itching to be able to play my own music. Soon grasshopper...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Open Letter from founder of Meetup

I thought this was interesting, so sharing with you all:

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don't write to our whole community often, but this week is
special because it's the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many
people don't know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles
from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought
local community doesn't matter much if we've got the internet
and tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I
hoped they wouldn't bother me.

When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors
in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to
neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they'd normally
ignore. People were looking after each other, helping each
other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being

A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring
people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was
born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet -- and
grow local communities?

We didn't know if it would work. Most people thought it was a
crazy idea -- especially because terrorism is designed to make
people distrust one another.

A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 months
after 9/11.

Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it's
working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups,
Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups... a wild variety of
100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common -- except one

Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello to
neighbors. And what often happens next is still amazing to me.
They grow businesses and bands together, they teach and
motivate each other, they babysit each other's kids and find
other ways to work together. They have fun and find solace
together. They make friends and form powerful community. It's
powerful stuff.

It's a wonderful revolution in local community, and it's thanks
to everyone who shows up.

Meetups aren't about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it
weren't for 9/11.

9/11 didn't make us too scared to go outside or talk to
strangers. 9/11 didn't rip us apart. No, we're building new
community together!!!!

The towers fell, but we rise up. And we're just getting started
with these Meetups.

Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ)
Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup
New York City
September 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Lens

So, I found out about a job this past weekend because I finally had taken the time to look at one of my job lists. A week and a half later I see it and it's an exciting job, but as I read it, I say to myself that I can't do this part, I'm not that great at that, should I waste my time applying, I'm already too late...

I know someone who works there, so I asked him to find out about what's happening. Several days later and he hasn't gotten back to me. But I decide I should apply anyway since I have the bones of an appropriate letter, thus it wont' take me that long. When I send it, I find the email address is wrong, so ask my friend to find me the email address.

Finally he understands that it's me that is applying (earlier this year I had sent him one person who wanted to info interview him) and jumped right on it! Last night he looked at my resume and my letter and provided some great feedback, including that I had spelled the guy's name wrong! (!!! So much for attention to detail...) :-) He thought overall my resume and letter were excellent, and that made me feel so good. And so, when I went back to re-read the position description before finalizing and pushing send, I could see myself in the role, and enjoying it.

Then this morning I had a phone conversation with a woman I have worked with in the past who within the past year became the Executive Director of this organization. She is great and dynamic and energetic. She was laid off from her job in Indiana and cried a bit, but threw herself out there and within three weeks had a consulting job which paid her more than she had been making. Eventually she landed her current job and loves it. She thinks highly of me and said she'd hire me in a heartbeat - even had a consulting job I could have done for her if I had contacted her earlier. Threw out a lot of ideas for me to find a job - all of which boil down to 'get out there and meet people'. And also essentially don't be afraid to ask.

Now, all of that pushing up my attitude and ego I need to be able to do myself. It's nice to have things like this happen to remind me that despite what I may think of myself sometimes and all the errors I have made and the things I think I lack, the reality is that I'm good.

Ever forward.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Squish Poke

So, followed up with two things I had to do - get blood drawn and mammogram. Poke and squish. When I gave blood, there was a person being trained, so she was watching. "you have great veins! blood is just spurting out!" I said that might not be something she wants to say to people, as you never know who might faint hearing that. I didn't mind too much. But I am certainly one of those people who can't watch it being done. I never have, and never will. I don't feel like finding out if I will faint.

That's my exciting day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Climbing and At Home

OK, two books. One I read, and one I listened to.

Into the Unknown: The Remarkable Life of Hans Kraus
Susan E.B. Schwartz

Really well written book about a guy who put up a lot of routes at the Gunks, and who also was a pioneer in medicine/exercise. Not sure what else I can/should say about it. But if you like biographies, you will like this. If you don't, you very well could like it, and would love to know if you do.

At Home: A Short History of Private LIfe
Bill Bryson

I listened to this on CD. Sixteen CD's! A friend let me borrow it. It was the best way to digest it because it is so dense. I would listen to it driving around town, and those short bits were what I could handle. He is Mr. Tangent. But LOTS of interesting information. Highly recommended.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Town Called Panic

Watched a movie last night which was unexpectedly great. I highly recommend it! It's telling that it's distributed by Aardman Animation - which did Wallace and Gromit. French with subtitles.

Here's a site which is not the trailer, which I think showed way too much. This is a fun site with a game, CV's of the characters, and short piece.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

radio name/drive/the cloud

So, I thought I had a good name. Spunky! Until M pointed out that in Britain it's a term for Sea Men. (say it out loud). OK, maybe not.

Not going to do the drive. I need to focus on my job search. And it was getting too tight in terms of timing. And I'm obsessing about my tire balancing (silly me).

Right now listening to keynote for's conference Dreamscape. It's free online. And learning about the Cloud and using social media / social enterprise. Trying to get up to speed with the world. There are a bunch of things for free, like this. Very very interesting. It's kind of a big commercial, but that's ok. Not sure I need to be there in person, but I'll see.

Life moves along!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gloria, Irene

Reading about Irene made me remember my experience with Gloria. Back in 1985 I think? I was at school, and working as a resident counselor for my university. So, being in charge (with others) we had to keep everyone calm. Pft. Wasn't an issue. The worst thing that happened was that one of the drunk freshmen graffitied the wall with GLORIA on it. I can't quite remember if we ever figured out who did it. It was pretty exciting though looking out at the wind/rain from my room on the 4th floor!

OK, well, that was a lame story.

My poor family is in Maine right now in a cabin on a lake with no power, which means no water too. Let's see, they have 8 people in this cabin. Yes, it could be worse. They are able to use lake water to flush the toilet, and have borrowed coolers for keeping stuff cold. And it's sunny now. So I think everyone is ok. The general store has a bacon and egg sandwich for my mom, and apparently they are giving away free coffee for those without power. That's nice.

So, should I drive up to Seattle for a week? I'm still waffling. I'm going to Tuolumne Sept 10/11 so I have to be back by Sept. 8 to keep myself sane. And I can't leave until Wed after class (9:00 pm). Sigh. I don't know what to do.

OH. The Stuffed and Unstrung was really cool. It was so interesting to see how the muppets are coordinated, and it was improv, so it was damn funny because they were good comics too. I had gone with someone I knew from my old job back east who now lives nearby. She and her husband. Both great people, and we went out for wine and cheese afterwards. So nice to have a night on the town...

Back to my day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Battan down the hatches

Hope everyone in the northeast stays safe! Billy wants to rest easy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Kahn... Or maybe not.

Went to a networking meeting yesterday morning, and it's the first one I didn't like. In part because it was all this woo hah about seven levels of energy and how most people live at level 1 and 2 and there are all these amazing levels above that that you can strive for and should strive for. Unfortunately, due to my frame of mind, the only thing I heard was that I am stuck at level 1 and 2. (I won't take all the blame - the focus on the presentation was much too much on where everyone is rather than how to get to the next level. And there was a not so great mock interview - I mean, anyone who is interviewing and ends their sentences like they are questions will not get a job? I really believe that? ugh)

So, I've learned I'm stuck at level 1/2 and I leave early because I have a conference call I need to take part in, but I stop in the ladies room. And I hear a name that I recognize, and think I've done an informational interview with her. So, after a little 'what should I do' I go up to her because I think it's the right thing to do. The thing is, it's the wrong thing to do if you aren't sure if you've really spoken with her and you expect her to remember your name to verify it. Talk about awkward and confusing. And me ending before I leave with 'I'm sorry'. Oh lord.

Add it my list of 'what I do wrong'. Which also contains being insecure when I met with someone last week, someone who's dynamic and intelligent and I would like to get to know, but I'm stuck in insecure. And another contact who I had thought I contacted for further information but when I asked him about it the last time I saw him (monthly networking meeting that he organizes) he didn't know it, and it turns out I hadn't sent him and email and I couldn't find my notes about what I wanted. It's shoot myself in the foot time. I was ok for a while, but now I'm stuck in the 'I'm a dime a dozen' and 'Am I really all that good an employee?'. I've learned all the things I've done personally that aren't up to snuff, and second guessing my employment.

I will give myself credit that I pulled myself together enough yesterday to do a fairly successful meeting with someone at UC Berkeley. And I stopped by another place on the way back to my car to leave a card for someone I had had dealings with in another job life. And I am getting my hair cut today, which is long overdue and it's been dragging me down for a while.

Poo poo poo me. Vomit here, and hopefully it'll get better. It leads me along a better track, and lets me know what I'm doing to make it better even if I don't think I'm doing anything. Rah rah. Off I go!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What does this picture tell you?

Choose one:

1) I was abducted by aliens and I escaped, but as I was escaping my lower leg and foot got left behind in the other world
2) The Caribbean grew some really great mountains and I went sunbathing.
3) The extreme heat of the tropics was reduced by sticking my foot in the water.
4) I worked really hard climbing so took a break afterwards to hang out by the water.
5) I went to go climb a climb, but right before climbing up to the bottom of the first pitch, I stepped on a rock that rolled and my ankle did not like it. I tried to ignore it, but ask I climbed up to the bottom of the pitch, I remembered the book I had read on the way to the mountains, which said how people get hurt - they ignore things when they shouldn't have. They weren't careful enough. So, I asked M if it was ok if we didn't climb. So we went down and I put my foot in the icy water to as the "I" in R-I-C-E.

Hmm... wonder which one it is??

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gotta read this one slowly

Quotes from The Autograph Man, by Zadie Smith

"Instead of his life being shaped like a funnel, though which things passed and maybe refined themselves, it was more like--what do you call those things? Stress balls? Made all out elastic bands and each day you add another elastic band? Tighter. Bigger. More involved. That's how it was for him. And that's how he imagined the life of a Catholic, anyway." (p 53-54)

"Sometime Alex thought that if you got all the part-time mature students in the world and laid them head to tow around the line of the equator strapped down in some way they couldn't move, that would be a good thing. Ditto anyone in night class." (p 74)

That second one is best in context, but still might be good if you read it like this.
BTW, this is the woman who wrote The White Teeth.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I want I want I want

So, do you think that everyone puts the same shoe on first? The same pant leg? Just wondering that this morning as I put my shoes on.

Am I the only one who wakes up and the brain thinks of all the things that haven't been done, yet to do, in the future activities, things left unsaid from the day, week before... It's a helluva way to start the day. I think I need meditation.

I'm trying to figure out a plan/time to do a trip up to Oregon/Washington.
- I had wanted to go and take part in my friends' visit to the Oregon coast, but that really didn't work. I want to take a semi-leisurely time driving...
- I also was invited to go to Tuolumne for labor day weekend to spend time with my climbing friend and his family and other families, each with 2 kids. I want to go because I want to not climb at least one day I'm there - and spend it in Tenaya Lake swimming etc. But being the odd woman out...I don't always want to do that.
- I want to see my nephew in Seattle but his classes start Aug 27 and he won't be there labor day weekend.
- I want to take part in a networking thing next Thursday in part because a woman I had met through another one invited me to go, and I like her.
- I want to go see Stuffed and Unstrung with Brian Henson (muppets!), which is only open to Aug. 27.
- I want/need to do a networking call Monday August 29.

Hmmm... I think that's the list. Likely there's something more. Juggling all this is one/many of the things that's on my mind. I want to clear it out!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Am I blue like the pollen? Not really, though a tad down in the dumps from job searching (I will spare you the photo of one of my dumps). I'll get over it I'm sure, but it just sucks up sooo much time, I can't even enjoy the free time I have from not working full time! :-) Yeah, there are worse things in life.

So, Friday was my birthday. I had an idea about what I wanted to do, but instead M and I met up with some friends of his from NY who were in Sausalito for a few days. It was such a close second as to not almost even be a second. They treated me like a birthday girl - drinks on the water watching the fog and the sailboats and dinner on the water also with great great food. M got lucky that they were in town.

Saturday he spent with them and I did what I had wanted to do. Less time than I wanted because I was doing job stuff, but I did go shopping for nice smelly lotions. And didn't buy anything because they are having a sale as of today so I can get more for my money. Alas... I did buy a top that I'm not sure I'll keep. But anyway, later I went out and bought myself dinner at a grocery store (sushi and watermelon slices) and went to see the last Harry Potter.

At the movie, I was #2 in the theater. I had brought my book and planned on reading it. I was of course in the best seat. Two more people showed up, remarked that I had the best seat and sat behind me. One was a male teen, and promptly put his foot up against my seat. It is one of the things that realllly bugs me in a movie. Alas, instead of just moving, I said 'really??" and got up and moved. He apologized, but I figured being in the seat over would save my sanity.

Then more people showed up and of course many wanted the best seats (in the first row it the balcony so you can put your feet on the railing). One guy was a little obnoxious and so when he asked me if I was saving the seat to my right, I said yes (I felt entitled because of my birthday, but twinge of guilt). Later as it was more and more crowded, single people kept asking me if I was saving it. Twinges of guilt each time. Finally, a guy in a wheelchair came to sit in the seats in front of me. His wife was there, and a younger person. Since there are only two seats there (and he sat in one) the younger woman went to a single seat down the row from me. So, finally, I got up and told her the person I was waiting for likely wasn't coming, so she could have the seat. She at first said no thanks but then a minute or two later she came over. She was really nice and we both enjoyed the movie. Such a geek though - her comment at the end was how one phrase was slightly different than it was in the book. :-)

OK, I spent several hours today applying for a job and now must work. I will visit first though...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The visit

My visit to NJ.

It was a whirlwind of

- fixing up my sister's spare room that had an old kitchen in it to hold the furniture for my niece who was getting her own room.

- packing stuff in my mom's house

- and selling/giving away goods we didn't want.

I already wrote about the people I met with the giveaways/sells. I guess I am really good at it. My family was quite impressed. Lots of stuff in one week.

My nieces were at their dad's most of the time, but I did sleep the first night with my goddaughter, and we both woke up at the same time so we had 5-10 minutes of hanging out just us two. Which was wonderful. She's 10.

My siblings and I did some looking through things and allocated between us. My one brother exclaimed several times, jokingly, "but she's not dead yet!" I am sure I took way more than I should - I flew Southwest so had free luggage. One of my bags was 50 lbs and one 30 lbs on the way back.

And finally, last but not least, I got to see my mom. What a difference a couple months makes! She looked great. She has gained weight, and is overall happy I think. On the last day I rounded the corner to visit her, and there on the porch she was, rocking in the rocking chair as content as can be. "I like the breeze." All the workers say how nice and sweet she is. And she is. It's funny though, we were walking back to her room and some guy says hello. After he left she looked at me and says 'everyone says hello here' with this semi puzzled/suspicious look on her face. Kind of hard to describe, but a very mom expression.

I am so grateful she has the money to stay in a decent place. Me, I'll be out on the street in 40 years.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Staying the course

Oh, I have so much to catch up on... I miss you all! And miss puking out my life here. :-)

But a metaphor. Perhaps.

Did this traverse this past weekend. 3 pitches of it. Glorious glorious climb.

- On a traverse, you must not only move forward and protect yourself, but be sure to place enough gear to protect your follower.
- You are going horizontally, but some sections are way harder than others. You have to move forward though. And it's so satisfying when you are successful.
- You can't complete it without your partner. (unless of course you free solo, but that's another story).
- You get bonus points for stylin'

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Snapshots of Giveaways

Portraits of giveaways/sells
- Freezer: after many many calls and no shows, Frankie came through. Showed up with his friend and his miniature dog. He comes to NJ every single weekend from Massachusetts to play minor league baseball. He took the freezer and metal cabinets and a few other things-stag head shot glasses for one. Said he'd find someone for the couches.
- Toaster, rug, asian style framed prints: Shani drove for over an hour to show up. Older hippie who takes care of an old man (along with two others) and lives at his place. Needs a feminine touch. Starting a solar farm. Took a bunch of minor things and tried to take the very worn outdoor bench but she couldn't open the back hatch and so couldn't get it in. Said she would come back for it, but came to her senses and didn't come.
- Washer: Michelle shows up with a guy. Goes to look at him, hemming and hawing. Guy says it's a great deal and in great shape. She's not sure if it's big enough. I told her there was no bargaining because it was a great price. She puts $50 deposit on it. Later that day she calls and says her brother got her a washer, so could she have her deposit back. I didn't care so gave it back. Next day got a call from a guy wanting it. It had been moved to my sister's. He comes by in his Prius to look. Decides he wants it and will put in in his Prius. It managed to fit, mostly (I have a photo). While he's still working with the hatch I ask him for the money. He hands me a wad of 20's and I count. Only $100. "Oh, I looked at so many I wasn't sure what the price of this one was." My brother looks at me and rolls his eyes. I got the $20.
- Old motor: Sold for $90 - guy lives in Connecticut and had his friend come by and get it. Later we found the manual. I took it home just in case.
- Couches: Many inquiries but noone really did anything. But Frankie came through!!! He sent his cousin. On the appointed day I get a call from Frankie asking if I would meet his cousin at the exit off the highway because he doesn't have GPS. Sure, why not. I go there, and no cousin. I didn't know the exit number and Frankie keeps talking about exit numbers. Back and forth with Frankie even though the cousin had my number. Drove to the GSP northbound, got off the exit number he said and ended up exactly where I was and no cousin. Finally Frankie gets the cousin to pick up my call, and he had gone left and not right off the freeway. So, half an hour later he's following me to my mom's. Turns out he's a really sweet simple guy and had brought his girlfriend along. He's so excited by the couches and so I start showing him stuff to see if he wants it. All of these random things and he takes every single one almost. Including a box of old frames that had a few moldy ones, and the tape deck from the stereo that didn't work and lots and lots more. He refinishes stuff, has yard sales, etc etc. Goes dumpster diving to find stuff. He was the savior who took a lot of lot of stuff.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rocky Mountain High

Sorry I didn't respond on Tuesday or update my status. I felt better after I took a nap in the afternoon. I just needed that to relax I guess.

I took a photo of where I was and what a wonderful view for a meeting. I'll get that up next time. Two of us however got altitude sickness. It was not pleasant. At least mine became better after the first night - the other person had to leave and go down to lower altitude she was so sick. And she felt better within two hours.

Saw an old dear friend after the meeting. I have known her for 30 years! Amazing. I read what I wrote in the high school yearbook - I was quite eloquent. And in there I also wrote that I'll never forget the time I made her cry. And, um, I forget.

So, this week is crazy as I leave Thursday for NJ to do the moving reconstruction cleaning blitz. I hope to check people's blogs but may not be able/willing to comment as I have to sign in with my other account and haven't trusted to do that. So, take care and be safe and have fun and all that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Toos day

take my breath away
anxiety, busyness
deep breath does wonders

Going to CO tomorrow for work.
Realized just now that my three bosses and I were going to share a 2BR condo.
So last minute scrambling for me for a cheap hotel room.
I gotta be able to sleep, and get away.

Didn't get as much done for job search done this past weekend as I should have.
But did go to my networking meeting today. Yay.

Keyed up. Will go outside and bike to get my car.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday, in the park,....

This was what I did on Saturday. I went with a group of people to hack away at foliage around a trail and build up the middle of the trail that had been dug out by rain water going the wrong way. It was hard work but nice people. The fog was around us all day, sometimes misting in our faces. I worked mainly with Mickie (you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind...). His accent was strange yet familiar, so I asked where he was from. Rhode Island! So we spend a few minutes talking about Rhode Island stuff. Nice guy. And, the trail maintenance organization has been around since 1983. Someone looked at that and said - the year before I was born! Ugh. The year I graduated from high school! Sigh.

The beautiful pitcher sage plant that I hacked up by the roots. I was so sad to get rid of it. One of the park workers later took home a plant, and I tried to find this one in the rubble to give to him, but alas, not to be.

Plants below I found when I went to pee. I squatted by them. And then later we stored some blocks of wood near there and they were trampled to death. Alas. But they live on in the photos.

60 degrees in July. This is nuts.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I celebrate that I am listening to myself. I had the opportunity to go to Tuolumne this weekend, but I am declining. I want to do other things, like volunteer on a trail. M is going with my friend R, and will have a great time I'm sure. As long as they can get in since the reservation is under my name (Yosemite is rightly so instituting a policy of having to show an ID - people were scalping camping permits, when you get them for $20 a night.) It will be nice to have a weekend at home. And plus, I'm not doing enough for my job search, and must spend some time on that!

I hope you all have wonderful weekends!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LOL Out Loud

Driving home yesterday from my networking meetings (which were really quite good, thank you very much), I had to drive around a guy pulling a treadmill behind him in the middle of the street. Odd enough sight as it was.

As I was parking, he passed me, and a car stopped. The woman inside talked to him, I thought either trying to make up for an argument or telling him something was dragging.

He walked over to the car, sat on the trunk facing backwards holding the treadmill, and she drove off down the street, the sound of the treadmill wheels on the ground, his face stoic staring in front of him, but behind her.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ear Worm

I remembered the song on the radio that I referenced in my last post. I wish I hadn't remembered it because I haven't been able to get it out of my head. Actually I take that back since I was networking all morning and it was gone, and now sharing it with you it's back. Sigh. There are worse songs though.

FYI, will likely be headed back home end July to help move my mom out of her apt. She's staying in assisted living which is a good thing. She's found two friends (one is 95 and one is 100 I think) and so feels good. We just have to find a way to get her to the thrift store to volunteer.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Music sweet music

Liberace. Have any of you even heard Liberace play? Here you go.

I remember at a very young age going to one of his concerts. The trademark candelabra on his piano. His extravagant clothing and personality (similar to Elton John, and hey, surprise surprise, he was gay too). And I believe I enjoyed the music...though the memories are tenuous.

Also at a young age I went to the symphony. I remember most two things about it - sitting up towards the front and being able to watch the string instrument players closely. And wearing my long dress with the puffed sleeves (in calico, not a princess costume) with my special belt made of metal 'coins' that you linked together.

A song that stuck in my head my whole childhood (ok, from 8 or so onward) was the refrain from the following. In the years before the internet I had no easy way of figuring out what it was. Then one day, I realized the internet could help me. Thankfully, it doesn't stick in my head now like it used to.

There's a song that I have blocked out of my memory that has an event associated with it that I remember clearly. I was sitting in a car with two high school friends and a teacher and we were driving somewhere. The song came on the radio and I started singing along. "You like this song?" someone asked me. And by the tone, I knew it was not cool... So for a while (oh, just years) I was hesitant to share my feelings about a song. Eventually as you know I came to the point that I didn't give a crap what people thought...

OK, I'm done. I just heard Liberace's name and it brought me back...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Secret on the Radio

So, I'm letting my secret out. I'm taking a course to learn how work in a radio station. One that plays stuff like WFMU. So, basically anything that you normally would not hear on a normal radio station. I thought about getting my own show eventually (which would take a year) but the time commitment might be too great. But I will definitely do fill-ins. Before you get to that point though, you have to do graveyard shifts - 13 of them to be exact. It makes sense, because that's the time when most people aren't listening and so there's more room for mistakes. Of course, with a station like WFMU, everyone's listening all that time so that would be quite intimidating. Still, there might be a few people in Australia listening to this station, who knows.

I'm actually quite excited! Next week I learn how to produce and have to record a spot saying my on-air name, and why I chose it. Now that's another story. I've been brainstorming with M and some others. It's pretty important because that's how people end up referring to you at the station, and if you get any listeners, that's who you will be. I don't want anything directly related to my name, and perhaps want something that's not me. Like, for example, Sunshine. Just to have people with "Hi Sunshine!" We'll see what I settle on - Unfortunately I likely won't share here...but you are welcome to make suggestions!

That is my big news. I love music - all kinds of music - and this will keep me involved. I'll be learning something new, and hopefully having a great time. Now I have to go do my homework - how to file albums. Not a joke - apparently there's a more complex that you might think system on how to file. Like if there's two artists you do both last names and then the first names. And if the band has a number in it or some symbol, you have to figure out how they say it and file it that way. We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pt. Reyes 4th

Hi there - we jumped on to my friend's camping reservations at Pt. Reyes this past weekend. It was beautiful. We had to bike our stuff in, which is always nice because it reduces the flotsam and jetsam. Surprisingly there were a number of families with small kids!

Speaking of small kids, we were with our friends with two small kids. The ones I was with at Yosemite. It's amazing that kids really don't seem to feel cold. She was wearing a bathing suit when we all had our shirts and sometimes pants on due to the wind. A kid moment: the youngest smashed his head against the picnic table and started producing a nice egg - so his dad took the only available semi-cold item and put it against his head - a can of beer. Of course I documented the moment...

Morning light looking towards the point.

Looks pretty but apparently the grass is invasive English grass.

We only stayed one night because once you are at the campsite you can't bike and M wasn't up for too much hiking. So we left and went to the lighthouse. Windy!!!! but gorgeous of course. M at first didn't want to walk down the stairs to the actual lighthouse, but we did. Below is a sample log from when the original keepers were there. Very interesting -hopefully you can read it!

So we walked down the 300+ steps and it was great. We were almost all the way up when a ranger started down and said he was opening the actual lighthouse to see the 100+ lenses which projected the light. Much discussion but I pushed for seeing it and we went down. Well worth it! Not only to see the lenses, but also for the exercise on the way back up!

Since many of you won't be able to go, here's a shot of the inside.

And just think, you don't need to climb back up these stairs. Twice even.

Monday, July 4, 2011

happy 4th!

I'm making these today. They are great, though a little work to prepare the marinade... From Bon App├ętit.

These powerfully seasoned chicken breasts grill up smoky and moist. Serve with minted iced tea and Asian beers. For dessert, offer mango sorbet with pineapple.


* 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
* 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
* 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
* 3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
* 4 garlic cloves
* 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
* 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1 1/2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
* 1 serrano chili, stemmed, chopped

* 6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 1/2 pounds total)


Combine first 10 ingredients in processor. Process until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.

Arrange chicken in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass dish. Spoon herb mixture over chicken, covering completely. Cover dish; chill at least 2 hours, turning chicken occasionally. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)

Meanwhile, prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Three cheers for the red white and blue

'cause a duck could be somebody's mother...
Oops, joined two different lyrics. ;_0

It's July and the bushes are blooming.

Honeysuckle bush
Sort of, not quite, but fragrant
Lingers in the air

Off to Pt Reyes National Seashore tomorrow. It should be great weather. Now I need to not get burned..

Enjoy yourselves!

Thursday, June 30, 2011


So, I went to a networking meeting on Tuesday morning. It only took me 9 months to find it (well, technically a year but I'm not counting the first three months of my stay here since I was fairly depressed). It based in San Francisco and really really good. The panel this past Tuesday was comprised of a set of recruiters. They provided great input into creating effective resumes, how to interact with recruiters, how to find them, etc. Although I've always thought I tailored my resume to a job, I really haven't enough. Their feedback was to only keep info from the last 10 years and do just titles before that. And even in the most recent ten years, to delete irrelevant bullets. ACK.

It takes place every week and I plan to go every week. Next Tuesday they will have a marathon get to know everyone else session. You get 2-3 minutes to pitch yourself. Lord, it's so hard for me to do that because I have such a diverse background and am open to too many possibilities. And I hate to pick just one. But, I must.

I also need to make 'networking cards' - ie business cards with my name and contact info / LinkedIn profile. Learning the tricks of the trade.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not even done and reviewing

I have been slowing down on books since I don't sit and ride as much. But started this yesterday on the BART and really really good. I'm halfway done. It pulls you in from the first page and very well written. Guess I can't say much more since I'm not finished...

The Good Thief
Hannah Tinti

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crack attack

Wonder what I did this weekend?

M could not got to Yosemite with me, so I used the 'dating' site and found someone to climb with on Saturday. The guy has two kids so I figured he'd be safe. He was only there for the day, so we met up at 9:00 and went off.

He said he is a moderate climber, so we went to Jamcrack - pictured above. A classic 5.7 crack. He has led it many times so he let me lead. Of course the crux was at the bottom, but I made it through after one fall on the first piece of gear I put in (and he caught me). I haven't let a pure crack in a long time (ever?) so it was challenging!!! One thing that's especially challenging is to be sure you don't put your piece of gear where your next handhold will be. I did that several times and at least noticed it early enough to move it. Otherwise you get into big trouble.

Then he led the 5.9 pitch. Moderate climber...huh. I followed and it was very challenging - ie, I almost fell a couple times, and no way in hell will I lead it any time soon!

We then went down and set up a toprope to climb a 5.10c and 5.10d, both cracks also. I was excited to try them, as I don't think I've ever climbed something that hard (crack-wise). And I made it up both! With many falls, and swearing, but no pulling me up. It was great. Despite the fact that the rock is polished from so many people being on it over the years, including people who slip and slide on it because it's way too hard for their level, my foot stuck on many things that I didn't think it would stick on. Good lessons...

Thankfully he was also tired, so we walked to the next location with a stop at the deli and for lunch. Because we used all his gear, I had no pack so just had everything on me and carried his rack. So, I was the epitome of a rock climber. And felt like one of those people who work at Jamestown or Plymouth - dress up in period costumes and provide a glimpse into people's lives. A number of people stopped and asked questions of me... it was funny...

The next place we tried was full of mosquitoes, so that was a no go for me. And then we went to another area that he had never been to despite the fact that he's climbed there for 10-15 years and we did a few climbs.

Rock climbing is great because for the most part people are great. And he was great. So, had a good day.

The next day I was sore, but I had promised to take my friend and their two kids climbing, so that was good. I set up a toprope in a shady area and we did a few. They appreciated it and I appreciated the break!

This is about the point she got scared...but she did a great job overall...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Two new recipes

Hi there - I'm cookin'
Inspired and making some stuff up.
I haven't been so much recently because M's taste in food is so different than mine and it's been disheartening. So I'm learning to adapt somewhat.

Name: Pork You
(Amounts approximate.)

Thin sliced boneless pork chops. (3) Cut into 3/8 inch slices.
Cover with/toss with:
1 to 1.5 TB light honey
3 TB lemon juice
1/4-1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/4-1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (finely chocpped to almost paste)
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground white pepper.

Cook until browned and caramelized. (little bit of olive oil)

(amounts approximate)

2 chicken breasts, sliced into 1 inch to 3/4 inch slices
1 TB olive oil
1 TB paprika
balsamic vinegar
white wine

1 small-ish eggplant (regular, not japanese or those little round ones) cut into 1 inch (ish) squares (take most/all of skin off)
1/4 c olive oil (less?)

Prepare eggplant ahead of time (even day before). Cook it until soft.
Throw chicken in pan (med - med high) and cook (perhaps until 3/4 done). Throw in 1 TB balsamic vinegar. Stir and let sizzle off. Do once more - letting it almost burn.
Throw in paprika and stir. Now it gets a little complicated because the paprika is more likely to really burn (but note during this I did smell it burning but it came out ok). 1 TB balsamic vinegar again and 1/4 cup white wine. Stir some, let go down to stick to pan again. A little more vinegar, and a tiny bit more wine. Until it's brown and covered with goo.
Stir in eggplant and cook one or two minutes.
(let me note here that honestly the chicken smelled a bit gross. but with the eggplant it was perfect! so do not despair)

Serve with coos coos with cooked squash if you'd like (that's what I did).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's all about me

Now, it is all about me. I need to vent. And some may roll your eyes or even be pissed. Oh well, sorry. I need to write it to move forward.

When I lived back east I had the life. I really did. With respect to exercise. I biked to work almost every day. I had to go to the gym to shower, so I worked out a little bit almost every day. I rock climbed at least twice a week. So it was easy to stay in shape.

I've mentioned this before, but need to mention it again. It's harder here. I work at home. I do rock climb and do some exercise every day, but it's not enough for an almost 45 year old woman who has taken to really stress eating. Who lives with a guy who keeps cookies and chocolate around, and eats a lot of white bread and pasta. Who doesn't exercise, though always talks about how he should. Who likes to eat out.

My face has fat. I feel it and I hate it. I make a fish face and it doesn't look like a fish face. My stomach can no longer be sucked in all the way. I don't want to settle for what I have because everyone has it in their middle age.

Yeah yeah...Do something about it. Right now my doing something about it is to eat to make myself feel better. Or wanting to eat very very little and take caffeine to stave off appetite to get rid of it. Neither of these is the right approach. I need a regimen and have to put that together.

Sorry, had to vent.