Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shake a finger at me

Down in dumps today.
Ate chocolate, felt better.
Worth the calories.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stuff and Nonsense

- I go to the gym often enough that they don't need to look up my name. I like that.
- The sun's in my eyes.
- I looked around this morning to see where the nasty smell was coming from, and realized it was me. (I use the same workout clothes on multiple days, until I can't stand the smell anymore. It may be time.)
- I had 1/3 bar of chocolate and several (5) cookies yesterday. Two factors led to it: girl scout cookies arrived from my sister, and spent 2 hours at REI to find a pair of hiking boots (where I bought the chocolate as I was checking out).
- I drive to the gym, which is a mile away. I know it's wasteful and expensive (given that gas is over $4 a gallon here) but I allow myself to do it.
- I got my alumni magazine yesterday. Hoity toity place. Wonder if they'd allow me to write a note to the alumni section saying I really need a job and give me one.
- If you had a disgusting tenant and were cleaning out shit they left behind, would you keep the razor if it were a good one?
- NOVA tonight is about the Japanese events. Should be interesting.
- Have discovered we get Robot Chicken, and it is now the new thing to watch. My favorites are the really quick ones that take you a minute to get (or in my case several minutes, or hours). One I remember in the last several shows was a shot showing a Seizure Center in the background (at least, some kind of Seizure treatment place) and in front of it was one of those inflated 20 foot high tubes with arms that go spastic all over to call attention to a store. Took me 10 times as long to describe it as it did to show it. Even then, not sure I described it such that you understand.
- Off to Death Valley next week. Alas for me, it's supposed to be close to 100 (which is high for April). M just got very excited about it - he likes hot dry weather.

Monday, March 28, 2011


So, highlight of the weekend was going skiing for a day on Sunday. They've gotten a lot of snow so really looked forward to it. What do I mean by a lot of snow? That's the parking lot mound.

I carpooled with 3 others. The driver was a nice guy, but he really likes to listen to comedy on Sirius radio (snippets of comedians). I guess there's 4 or 5 stations on it, one of which is Crude or Raw or something like that. So, add my general neutral to negative desire to listen to comedy and raunchy/rude humor, and it was a little not so fun. I couldn't block it out either... It's funny that the one person I laughed at was Rodney Dangerfield. I must be old.

It was a great day to try lots of things since they had had so much snow. I went to the top of a really intimidating Wall (it was windy and cloudy):

Also went into the trees, though with not enough downhill power to keep me going, so I had to get out of my skis. And promptly was knee/thigh deep in snow. Took one really interesting fall in which my skis ended up tips down, parallel, and I got thrown off of them. Also took one fall in which I heard crack crack crack up or down my neck (each vertebra) - I didn't get paralyzed though so that was good.

When I get home and take a shower, I see the stress points on my feet (heel and side of the upper foot) from the ski boots. Hmm... can't be good. Oh well!

Some sky shots on the way home.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Singing Cake for Tara

It's Tara's birthday, and I wanted to post a nice photo of a cake for her, like she does for everyone else. So I googled 'singing cake', and it turns out there's a recipe for a cake that sings when you cook it. There are multiple recipes! Here's just one.

So, Tara, you make need to bake one and see if it sings you happy birthday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I do love my Billy Boy

Does that make me a crazy cat lady?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


My name is Pamela and I have an eating problem.

It's not horrible - I'm not bulimic! I just have been stress eating more and more frequently. And I need to stop. My face gains the weight first - or is it that I can't ignore it when I see it in the mirror?

I'd like to blame it all on M. Who has cookies and candy lying around but has the self control to eat one or two at a time. Who can survive on 80% carb diet it seems, and not gain weight. Who doesn't like to leave food lying around nor have leftovers so he serves out and eats a big big serving of whatever it is for dinner.

I grew up with candy and cookies all around. I thought I learned how to say no to it. At some point or another I started saying yes all too often. I used to be militaristic about sugar - no cereals with any sugar, no soda, no candy bars, no chocolate before lunch... And over time became lax.

Yesterday for example. Half a candy bar at 10:30 instead of my banana. Soup for lunch, good. Doctor's appointment at 2:15 where they had a big bowl of M&M's. I knew I didn't really want or need them, but took a small cup anyway. Leaving the office, I tripped and dropped all of them. Instead of taking that as a sign, I picked them up and ate them. Kidding! I picked them up and brought them inside to throw away, and got another cup. They lasted until I got home and I ate the whole cup. And then I had a banana for my snack AND a big piece of Irish soda bread and something else. And dinner was a much too big plate of rice and string beans and pot stickers. I was fine but right before I went to bed I was feeling hungry, so I had a little cheese, and then for some reason had a big piece of cheese.

OK, it doesn't sound like much, but it adds up over time. And I'm 44 so the metabolism is slow. And I don't bike to work every day like I used to.

OK, so my mantra is now, Stretch, Don't Eat. It's on my monitor. I will follow it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

a potato in the oven

I went this weekend to help a friend with her rental - prepare it to show and rent out April 1, hopefully... Yesterday was the first day she had gotten in there. OMG. What a disgusting horrid state it was left in. I'm not exaggerating. First off, let me say she at first defended him, saying that he always paid on time or before, and didn't cause any trouble. It's the first time she rented.

I wish I had taken pictures, because it's just too amazing to believe. And apparently I didn't even get to see the potato he left in the oven. Cobwebs everywhere and lots of them. I shudder just thinking of it (I hate hate hate cobwebs). One year old carpet completely trashed. Tape left around the windows where he was supposed to paint, and maybe did a year ago. Burn/oil marks on the linoleum countertop. Mold everywhere in the shower and fridge. Pieces of various appliances, countertops, outlet covers, walls - missing. The new blinds - bent and destroyed. In all the rooms.

I can't even go on. And the SMELL. Ugh. After a couple hours, she moved to not being able to speak his name. Ugh. She didn't get a deposit from him, but he had paid for all of March, so she has some money from that. Not enough to cover all the damages though. Ugh.

So, we started cleaning and fixing. I was not required to clean the fridge or shower, thankfully. I patched walls, cleaned countertops, washed windows, etc. Doesn't feel like much, but it did look so much better after a day of work. We went to ReStore to look for things, but didn't find much, and went to Goodwill also. I happened to mention that I liked her hammered aluminum cups (I sort of collect it), and we get back to her place, and she gives me the set of six. Very nice, and couldn't be dissuaded.

She felt really guilty that we didn't do much/anything. She wanted to do something today, and I mentioned that the only thing that would be nice would be to go to an olive place. So, she pulls out a bottle of olive oil - the first pressing of the first batch of olives from her friend's house.

I jokingly said, hey, I have a big car and can take some furniture. She looked around for something to give me - kind of joking. I had to say No No No!!! :-)

In any event, a nice weekend. It's good to pay it forward a little. Apparently she helped me with one of my houses, so, she didn't feel so bad with me helping all weekend...

I seem to be fascinated by the light and clouds out here...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Another Book

So, this one I read in a little over 24 hours.

love walked in: Marisa de los Santos

It seems I agree with the Washington Post: ' the kind of book that makes you want to hunker down on a chilly day in a comfy chair and read straight through until dark'

The problem is, I read it way too fast. I skimmed in the beginning because there was just much to much reference to old movies. I understand now why it was there, but it irritated me, in part because she gave away endings to old movies I haven't seen! Of course, I could also look at it as recommendations for movies to see... so I'll try and do that.

I kind of feel like I fast forwarded a movie. I got the gist and I read certain parts slowly...but not enough in depth. My overall vision of the book is that it was actually quite good. Real characters. Believable situations. Etc.

I liked this: "knowing what you love and why is as real as it gets."

Hmm...might be a girly book. But it's good.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Recent Reads

Say You're One of Them: Uwem Akpan
Nigeria author of these short stories. An Oprah book selection. I normally don't read short stories but I decided to try anyway. They are extremely well written. All cover violent times in Nigerian history. From the back cover: 'pays tribute to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances.' In some cases, resilience is to be assumed - because several leave one hanging as to their future. Tough read though.

Alive in Necropolis: Doug Dorst
Set in the San Francisco area (specifically Colma). An intelligent and sometimes thought provoking easy read. Not your average mystery/horror story - more of a look at human behavior.

Look Me in The Eye- My Life with Asperger's: John Elder Robinson
Robinson is the older brother of the guy who wrote Running with Scissors. He has Asperger's (this end of the autism spectrum - vs the end that cannot communicate) but was not diagnosed until he was 40. He wrote this himself, and is really able to communicate what he went through and who he is. He's done some fascinating things in his life (quite a character), and I would recommend this highly.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Self

This is a shadow of my former self (this past weekend).

I was not chosen to move to the second stage of interviews. My mother's voice rings in my head, though I can't recall the exact words, it's something like 'I guess it wasn't meant to be. Something else will come along.' I'm glad it's there, and I'm sure it's true, but I must acknowledge that I am disheartened, demoralized, and generally sad.

It's the first bite I've had in 8 months. Yes, it's good to have had a bite in this economy. But I guess I never thought I would be impacted like all those other people. Ha! I am indeed like other people.

So, I keep looking.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not a Rhetorical Question

Would you use a condom branded with the rock band Kiss with Gene Simmons' tongue unfurled? (no, not the package, the actually condom itself)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nosferatu and Organs

M and I went last night to see Nosferatu at the California Theater in San Jose. What an amazing place. The guy who played the organ had created the score for the film (at least the one he played that night) based on a small piece that had survived. I had never seen Nosferatu and the fact that it was accompanied by this grand grand organ (Wurlizter console) was amazing. The guy who played (Dennis James) is pretty much the top organist in the world (ok, so he said that - here's his bio) and has played all over the world and he says this venue is the best - the best organ and sound (I'm not sure they are able to be separated). He said it's a less frequent experience - he used to play at least 140 shows in a year, and now it's down to 32-ish. (a show is accompanying a silent film - most are 4-5 hours long while this was 1.5). Apparently Packard the billionaire likes such shows so he gets called in to play periodically.

When we went to get a closer look we started speaking with the older man - the one pointing. He is Edward Millicent Stout III, who restores old organs and I believe restored this one. Knows his stuff for sure, and loves it and loves to talk about it. The usher was supposed to get us all out of the theater but didn't have the heart to stop him speaking. He went into much detail about how they are made, how they are played (demonstrated the various sounds that can come out, including chimes, drums, etc, the deep bass that rumbles your stomach..), the history of that organ, the tear down of the Fox Theater in San Francisco (he spat out the name of the mayor who ordered it torn down) [apparently the Fox Theater had a 140 foot high ceiling while this one has a 40 ft one - so it was VERY grand ), etc..

Anyway, it was a great evening. But I've always loved organs anyway...

Edward Millicent Stout, III can be seen in this video: San Francisco Pipe Organ Encounter 2005

Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthquake and Tsunami

Well well. Exciting events here. Tsunami warning. Thankfully it's low tide, so likely there will not be much impact. The only way we knew about it was because a friend from the East coast called. Then we turn on the news and find out what's happened.

Billy is very concerned about the tsunami warning.

Then finally checked my gmail, and turns out my brother was at Narita airport when the quake struck.

At approximately 2:40PM local time the Airlines Lounge floor felt like it started to sway. It was the "typical" -is this an earthquake- type response from most folks ... for about 30 seconds anyway. It just ramped up from there for about the next 4-5 minutes (eternity?). The world continued to shake for every bit of 30 minutes. Note: It continues to shake as I write this and it is 9 hours after the initial jolt. We were evacuated on to the tarmac about 45 minutes into the episode and stayed there for about an hour. We (maybe 500-700 folks) were then allowed back in to the downstairs only part and kept there for about 5 hours or so. The airports' emergency "feed the people plan" was bottled water and Ritz crackers - really.

So, he won the lottery! Very glad he's ok...

Crazy times.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Here fishy fishy fishy...

Tonight I got one of my Christmas presents. A cooking class - how to cook fish! It's one thing I've always been insecure about. Now, one class will not make me a master chef, but it was really good to do. And it was a hoity toity one, so I got to eat all the fish, and have a glass of wine. Mmmm....

en papillote (in a bag - really parchment paper)

plebian en papillote

Brown butter sauce


The party favor. (very very sharp knives we used)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Action Packed

The interview went well, and we'll see if they pick me to continue to round 2. I think I will get to that point, but I could be surprised. It's all making me think...

After the interview I drove to a motel, so I could get up early and go skiing. It was a really cute family run business with a neat back garden/yard area. Though with a few freaky things, below.


Oh deer.

It just so happened, as often happens to me, that nearby was a thrift store. They just are attracted to me! I went in and found these below - a Video disc the size of a record album. I had never ever seen them before. I almost bought one, but figured I could just take a photo instead.

A star is born

They also had a bunch of 45's, and I bought a Sesame Street one because it had an accompanying book, and I thought it was really interesting. And for 25 cents, why not?

I went skiing by myself and tried to challenge myself. I got on a couple black diamond runs. The photo below is at the top of a real one. Stand on that edge, and it's almost a vertical drop down below. !!! But I didn't die.
The edge

I got back later than expected, and then we went out yesterday evening to the Banff Film festival, which was great. So, I was a bit tired and migraine-y this morning, but took it easy since I can (only working half time) and all seems to be well.

I know, sorry, I have to catch up with people's blogs...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Howdy ho

So, I'm collecting some miles tomorrow and Thursday - off to Chicago for work. 36 hours I think? I'm trying to find the line between being paid for my time and being a professional. I guess I charge for only the time we're meeting? I'll ask M. I'm hoping I don't get sick/not getting sick. M has been sick with various things, and I hope I don't get it now, but I feel something!

I guess some exciting news is that I have an interview on Friday. Getting an interview makes me feel validated. I'm not sure I want the job, but I'm glad to be having an interview for sure, and I will find out more when I'm there. Thing is, I might be bored to tears and stressed out by it at the same time. If I get offered the job, it will mean a bunch of decisions. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

I think I might go take a nap. The glories of working from home half time. But, really, it's to stave off sickness. Really! My throat hurts!

Oh, btw, watched 28 days (later?) finally. Really good zombie movie if you haven't watched it. Fast zombies and not slow zombies.