Thursday, March 30, 2006

...where i totally cruise timezones and deny reality for another day...


I can't sleep. Yes, i realize it's 3:30 am. Yes, I am a freak. But you see, I'm still operating on vacation time! California time, at that -- where it's only 1:30 am and the night is still young! Um, yeah. So the combination of being unemployed for two weeks now (can you believe it??? I can't), the banishment of the alarm clock, and a delicious vacation in a delicious timezone -- well I'm screwed, pretty much.

So I thought since I'm awake anyway, and because I can surf the web all night long but can't buy anything because I'm unemployed, here I am, Internet. And I might add i'm typing this in my comfy bed on my brand new (refurbished: bargain) iBook!! Which I lurve. But it's going to take awhile to get it all loaded up like the one I had from work. That, btw, is the worst thing so far about losing my job -- I lost a year's worth of computer stuff from my (company) laptop. Live and learn.

And now, I present my vacation account for your envious pleasure:

Wednesday, 3/22
Arrived in San Jose at 7, where Sarah picked me up. We then picked Danny up at their apartment and proceeded to a cool Italian restaurant near Stanford. I can't remember the name; Pomodoro something? But it was awesome -- the pasta was homemade -- thick and yummy. Then we went home and stayed up late talking. This was the beginning of the end, as far as my sleeping schedule goes.

Thursday, 3/23
Danny went to work and Sarah didn't. We got up around 11? 12? and went to my favorite Menlo Park breakfast joint, Hobie's. YUM. Had their famous blueberry coffee cake and a magnificent omelet. (I'm hungry right now, so please excuse the emphasis on food...).

After breakfast, we drove to Muir Woods, a majestic Redwood forest about 1 1/2-hours from Menlo park. The drive was beautiful -- right through San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and up a windy mountain. Awe. Some. I have pics I'll post tomorrow, but i'm too comfortable/lazy to get up and go find my camera right now. Heh. Anyway, we hiked for over an hour, and even though it was slightly muddy, it was amazing. The air was so fresh, the kind of air you only get high up on a mountain away from a city. It smelled loamy and woodsy and wonderful. It was sprinkling a bit, but the tree canopy totally protected us. When we got to a part of the trail that was blocked because of a recent mudslide, we turned around and hiked back out. Dude, those trees. Are gigantic.

Then we continued up the twisty, two-lane mountain road until we got to Mt. Tamalpais, this awesome lookout point. We hiked up a steep hill (stopping to pant every 15 steps or so) until we were greeted with a panoramic view of the bay and the city and many green rolling hills in between.

I walked to the edge of a steep rolling hill and looked over the edge, which was a straight-down plunge lined with thick, green, grassy grass all the way down. Way, way, down. The grass was so plush I was tempted to roll down the hill. It didn't seem that steep because it was so thickly carpeted, but it WAS. Sarah looked a little nervous while I frolicked near the edge, but I'm in a phase of my life where I think I'm going to do a lot of frolicking near the edge. Hee. It was awesome.

While we were here, the only other people we saw were the remnants of a film crew; they were wrapping up a shoot of some kind; parts of the windy mountain road had been blocked off and there were several trailors in the parking lot along with a "stunt car" that had a giant camera "arm" attached to the driver's side door. I imagined Brad Pitt barreling down the mountain, camera trained on his intense face, but then I remembered he's in Paris right now with that bitch Angelina. *cough*

After all the hiking and breathtaking views and all, we were exhausted so we headed home. We were planning on going out to dinner, but once we hit the futon and couch, there was no getting back up. I was achy from hiking, but in a good way. A way that seemed to justify the awesome takeout I ordered from a nearby restaurant. I think this is the night Sarah and I drank a whole bottle of wine and giggled until 2am or so.

Friday, 3/24
Today Sarah went to work and Danny worked from home and I slept. Pretty much all day. Off and on. It's cool because I've been to San Fran enough times now that I don't feel compelled to madly squeeze in all the sights - I can relax and veg too, which makes it feel like more of a vacation. Plus I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.

But I was up and ready to go by 4, when Sarah picked me up and took me to her fave salon where we both got spa pedicures and haircuts. I'm happy with my haircut -- the first one in a couple of years -- and my toes look purty. Then we went straight to a pizza-making party at the home of some people from Sarah's church. There were 8 of us, and this home was amazing. The woman who lives there is a professional chef who has actually written a few cookbooks. She had a tv-like professional kitchen and taught us all how to make dough, roll it, and make our own pizzas. There was red wine and interesting conversation and yummy food. It was very cool. Sarah and I were by far the youngest foliks there, and the only non-married people, but it was neat to hear about the other people's lives and how they'd gotten to where they are now. I feel like I got a glimpse into the "real" CA lifestyle. Afterwards we went home, drank more wine, watched silly t.v. until 3 am (are you seeing a pattern here?) and finally went to bed.

Saturday, 3/25
The three of us got up around noon and barely made it to The Pancake House in a neighboring town before it closed. But we made it and that's what counts. It was delightful and we were full and sleepy when we got back home. Sarah and I napped until about 4, when we drove to a neighboring town to visit a Nordstrom Rack. Shoe nirvana. Then we swung by the apartment to get Danny and went to In-and-Out, where they had the most delicious burger I've ever had in my life. I even loved the dusty, weird french fries. It was worth all the hype and I can't tell you how glad I am that there aren't any here. Geez. Late night, wine, TV, blahblahblah -- 3 am bedtime. sigh.

Sunday, 3/26
So this was the last full day of my trip, and we spent most of it in San Francisco. I just love that city. I feel little butterflies of excitement driving up and down the steep hills, and the rows of narrow homes in various shades of pastel make me yearn for a different life. Sarah and I shopped -- we went to a LUSH store and I spent less than I have ever EVER spent in that store -- under $20. WOW. We walked and window-shopped for a couple of hours, then we got the car and drove over to Sarah's workplace so we could park for free. We then walked to Union Square and did some more shopping, mostly at Macy's, where I helped Sarah buy stuff for her upcoming wedding. We also visited H&M, which I'd been curious about, and damn. Good thing I wasn't skinny and employed, because that place is a goldmine of cute, trendy, tiny, inexpensive clothes. It's like the Ikea of clothing, if that makes any sense. Then we hiked over to Chinatown and had a fab Chinese dinner at one of Sarah's fave restaurants. By the time we got back to the car and drove home, we were weary -- but the exercise felt good and I got my San Fran fix. Late night routine same as always, only I found myself still awake at 3:30am, which is 5:30am here. The utter decay of my sleep schedule was complete.

Monday, 3/27
I got up "early" (comparatively) and took a cab to the airport. Flew home and got to my house about 7:30pm. Collapsed in exhaustion after briefly updating my blog.

So that concludes my trip account. We did a lot, but managed to relax and sleep a lot too -- a perfect getaway. I'm so glad I got to go see them again before they move this summer! It was awesome, as always.

Now I shall slumber.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I'm baaaack!

This is going to be the world's fastest update, because I literally just stepped into my home after being gone for 5 days. And I am tired, people. My head pounds, my tummy growls, my kitties shun, and my feet ache. It was a great trip :)

I have much to share, but for now, I just wanted to check in and say that I'M ALIVE and I'll be back for more! Thanks to everyone who participated in last week's theme -- looks like I'll be digging through old photos to post for this week's theme by Crazy Momcat.


More Soon. I Promise.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Theme of the Week - Trust Your Instincts

So tonight I am going to relish the fact that I do not have to get up early tomorrow and try to make a 9am meeting. In fact, I’m so relishing this fact that I've decided to take over this week's theme. Several of my friends have been doing this and I think it's an interesting way to learn more about people you think you know pretty well ;)

So, this week's theme will be "Trust Your Instincts." You know what I mean -- that time you had a really bad feeling in the pit of your stomach and everyone thought you were paranoid and then - boom - you were right? I know of several such occurrences in my own small world lately, so I thought it might be appropriate. I will of course begin -- feel free to join in if you like!

I am going to talk of one of the times I've had NO DOUBT that my instincts were talking to me, as they didn't leave it up for discussion. I was on my Freedom Trip 1997 with Tam and we were in the last leg of our trip, Paris for New Year's Eve. That whole night is a story unto itself, and a pretty good one, but for now I'm going to recount the incident I will never forget.

Picture this -- two radiant, joyous ladies in their late 20s, on their own in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We were on top of the world by this point in our trip, and our New Year's was turning out to be every bit as fantastic as everything else that had happened to us in the past two weeks. We were in an upscale Parisian apartment owned by a French man named … omigosh, I cannot think of his name right now. I can see his face and hear his laugh, but his name escapes me. Wow. Getting old sucks. (Tam, maybe you remember? Seems it started with an R…?). Anyway, he was also in his late 20s, and had family money. He was very hospitable and didn’t find it odd at all that his friends had brought along two American girls they met on the Champs at midnight. I knew he had family money within 5 minutes of meeting him for three reasons: 1) he didn’t work but talked of all his travels 2) his apartment was un believable, and 3) he was pouring toasts with champagne made at his family’s vineyard. Yeah. So anyway, we spent maybe an hour there with a smallish group of French people, all about our age, all beautiful, all who spoke English almost perfectly. We felt very welcome. We decided at some point to go to another party. Somehow on the way out of the building, Tam and I got separated. Well, it’s not a mystery – the elevators in Europe only hold about 0.75 of an adult, so we simply didn’t squish into the same one. I found myself in front of the building in the middle of the night with a gorgeous couple. They had been pretty quiet, but suddenly they were speaking to each other rapidly in French and telling me to get in the car, they’d drive me to the party. Maybe if they hadn’t been switching from French to English so I couldn’t understand what they were saying, my radar wouldn’t have gone off. Maybe if I’d finished my glass of champagne – but I had not. So as they tried to shuffle me into their tiny car, I pulled back. They laughed and told me I was being silly. I kept looking over my shoulder, waiting for Tam and the rest of the group to appear – it seemed to take forever. They were cajoling me, peer pressuring me to get in their car, going from coaxing me gently to gruffly telling me to get in the car.

Never in my life had I had such a strong feeling of danger curdle in my stomach. Every warning bell in my body was going off. Even if I’d wanted to get in the car, I don’t think my body would have allowed it. I turned around and went back into the building, right into the arms of Tamara and the others. As I was breathlessly trying to explain what happened, the couple got in their car, muttering in French, slammed the doors, and drove off into the night.

The rest of us got in cars, together, and went to the other party. (I should note that although we didn’t know the others much better than the strange couple, I had no dangerous vibes from them – we could both tell they were okay. And we were right.). And here’s the spooky thing about it all – we stayed at the other party for hours, and that couple? Never showed up.

I have no idea what would have happened if I’d allowed them to whisk me away into the Paris night. But something inside of me told me that would be a huge mistake, and I listened – and I am safe. That night went on to be the BEST New Year’s Eve I have ever spent anywhere. We made friends we were sure we’d keep for life. And we did, for a while. But then time happened and life happened and here it is more than 8 years later.

But I’m ever so grateful I trusted my instincts that night. And they have rarely let me down since.

So, what about you? Let’s hear it!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

day 4

So. Now i've been home for 4 days now. Home and unemployed. I've had time to think a little. Time to worry a little. Time to sleep a little. Time to eat a little chocolate. sigh.

The biggest epiphany I've had in the past 4 days? My cats? They Sleep. All. Day. Long. No kidding. Like 9 hours in a row. Without budging except when I nudge them or scream in their little ears -- haha, just kidding. (or am i?)

As for me, I'm home and unable to nap. It's the weirdest thing. I'm sleeping okay at night, but the days are long. And dull. So far. Thank God I leave Wednesday to visit Sarah in sunny CA -- that will be a nice break and I can get some perspective then. Sometimes you just have to GO, you know? I SOO need to GO.

I wish I had some riveting updates, but erm, I don't. So. The "I see dead people" movie is on in the other room and i'm going to watch the end of that. Just checking in to say "no news".

no news.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Well. My prediction was right, Tuesday pretty much sucked. Wait, was that just yesterday??? Wow. If you haven't heard or guessed, I got laid off from my job at which I have been slaving my ass off for some time now. Along with some good friends. But oddly, I'm not...well...freaking out. I'm not saying it didn't SUCK, or that I wasn't filled with mixed emotions yesterday. But oddly, when I woke up this morning (in time to actually make it to work by 9, OH THE IRONY) imagine my surprise when I felt not pain, but relief. Because, YAY, I didn't have to go to WORK! Who wouldn't rather stay in their PJs all day?

The thing is, this happened to me more than 4 years ago, but it felt so much worse that time. I was younger, and at the time losing my job seemed like not only the greatest professional insult ever, but I thought I was going to lose everything without that bi-weekly paycheck. It wasn't easy, but I made it through almost a year like that, working contract jobs, and never lost my house -- my mind, but not my house. The big difference now, I suppose, is that I KNOW there are things worse than this. And I still have freelance work. And I'm a little better off financially now than last time -- getting laid off makes you paranoid about money for LIFE, people.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do, where I'm going to go, who I'm going to see, etc etc. I just know that my biggest regret about my last bout with unemployment was that I had 10 months off and didn't. really. do. anything. I didn't go anywhere or enjoy the time off at all. I vow not to do the same thing this time, because life is too damn short and unpredictable. Perhaps the universe just said "get off your ass and LIVE a little, girlfriend" -- so that's exactly what I intend to do. You Only Live Once. Do Not Waste Opportunities. It's Only Money. It's Only Stuff. People Are More Important Than Things. blahblahblah. but it's all true.

Now, we'll just see how i'm feeling this time tomorrow... heh.

Monday, March 13, 2006


So I fell off the radar for awhile; mainly because I was unbelievably busy at work last week, and had no energy left to write or even look at a computer screen by the time I got home every night. And since I generally make it a rule not to blog about my job (hello, dooce) my blogs would have been...well, nonexistent. Like they were.

The irony here is that although I am still busy at work, things are not looking so hot there at the moment. Without going into detail, tomorrow is going to be a very hard day. No matter what happens. It will be long and emotionally draining and I predict that one way or the other I will feel like I'm 100 years old by this time tomorrow night. I hope i'm wrong, but I don't think so.

This time tomorrow, I will be changed in some way. I guess it's good that at least I have a pretty solid deadline. I work better with deadlines.

oh, the irony. be continued...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


So as I was leaving for work this morning, the maids drove up. And they were cute and peppy and didn't seem at all scared of the task in front of them! Although, they hadn't been inside yet... jump ahead 2 hours ... then a few minutes ago, the maid service called to tell me they were out of time but not finished and did I want to pay the diff for them to finish? Hell yeah! I was relieved she wasn't calling to tell me they left in a panic and were never coming back and were going to blacklist my home in the Austin maid community... I can't wait to go home and see what my floors really look like! yay!

When I arrived at work this morning, I found this waiting for me:

Um, yeah. Apparently, this Boobah has been making the rounds at work. No one will admit to moving him from desk to desk. My theory is to blame it on the MAIDS -- what other fun do they have, besides messing with the building occupants at 3am when they're bored and tired of eating off the Snack Rack? Only time will tell...

Monday, March 06, 2006

just passing through....

...but I wanted to give a quick update since my last entry sounded so despairing. I have ...wait for it... ACCOMPLISHED some things! Yes, some things! From my list! Here are the Things That I Have Accomplished since the last time we spoke:

- income taxes -- and I'm actually getting a refund! yay tax man!
- I lost another pound
- scheduled the maids (for which I've had a G.C. for over a year now...) to come [drumroll please] TOMORROW!!!
- mailed a package, AND my taxes, AND another netflix movie (that I actually WATCHED) at the P.O.

So. It ain't much, but it's something, and I'll take it. And it's worth it because I'm feeling just a little less frantic today.

In other news, here is a blog entry that made me spit out my Diet Dr. Pepper today at work. (the comments are worth reading, also)

And finally: never, never, ever try to clip your fingernails after having just applied lotion to your hands. I think I damn well dented my iBook with the airborne clippers. sigh.

that is all.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I want so badly to update, but I don't have anything i feel like talking about. I feel antsy, but nothing is really new. I've been busy at work, but am currently at a stalemate. Babs pointed out that it could be my Cheat Night tonight, and I was like, oh, yeah -- already? Seems like I just had that, last Thursday at Matt's El Rancho. Mmm. So I guess, in summary, I feel drained and mostly blah. There are lots of things floating around in my mind that I need to do/plan soon, but I haven't made the time. For the sake of stretching this post out just a little bit more, and to entertain the Internet, of course, here's a brief list of the disjointed stresses bopping around in my brain right now.

To Do
-Make two follow-up Dr. appts
-Make dentist appt, for the love of God
-Get taxes ready for tax guy this weekend
-Write a book
-Blog more
-Go to Central Market and buy fancy groceries I can't get at the lame Albertsons by my house
-Mail package at P.O.
-Call maids and set up appt -- since I have a G.C. and all
-Fill giant hole in backyard OR fill it w/a hot tub
-Freelance more to pay for yardwork and vacations
-Work out more
-Get garage door fixed ONCE AND FOR ALL
-Get oil changed in car
-Return jeans I bought 2 weeks ago since they're now too big -- heheh heh
-Return stupid ugly giant bra for same reason as above
-Catch up on Netflix movies (I have TWO NEW ONES right now, people -- it's a miracle)
-Call cable co. and find out about upgrading to HD cable

and the list just keeps on going. It never ends. These are the things that keep me awake at night. Well, when I'm not crashed out so hard I wouldn't even hear a nostril calling my name... (shout out to my little sis :) )

and that is all.