Monday, October 25, 2010

Surviving!!



I survived my move and am 98% unpacked.
I survived my cold which made my move a living hell.
I survived my trip to Portland.
Heck, I even survived coming home.
I survived finding out the condo closing has been delayed.

Now I am working on...

surviving the holidays
surviving adopting a new dog
surviving two of my employees applying to be agent
surviving unpacking that last 2%

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Service to self, service to country

Growing up in a military and strong civic minded family, it was always stressed to us how important service to ourselves and service to our country was. As a result, I have always strongly believed in volunteering my time, my words, and my money to important causes, even if I am the only one who finds that cause to be important. I give money to a couple charities through the Combined Federal Campaign, I give my time (and Millie's time) to Furry Friends Pet Assisted Therapy Services and the Wildlife Conservation Network, and I give my voice to a variety of causes who send me emails asking me to speak for them. I vote.

This country is this country for everyone. Black, white, brown, gay, straight, man or woman. You have a voice. You have the ability to make a difference in people's lives. How can you not use that voice. How can you not use that ability. How can you not want to make a difference. You can and you should.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead.

Make that difference. For yourself, for everyone.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Survival of the fittest

I survived the office inspection. Office construction is winding down, my office is finished, everything else is just gravy. I am getting packed up at the condo, this week I am packing up my bedroom and bits and bobs in the living room. This weekend will be the mad crush of panic. Stand by for hysteria.

This weekend was the Wildlife Conservation Network's Wildlife Expo. I LOVE the Expo. Not only is it an excellent opportunity to talk to people about the Wonderful World of Wildlife Law Enforcement, it's also a great opportunity to talk to the other side of the bridge, the biologists. There is this weird divide between biologists and LE people, I don't get it, but I freely admit to contributing to it. We had the great opportunity to have one of the snow leopard biologists from Mongolia translate some Mongolian paperwork we had. How handy is that! We also spoke to researchers from the Saiga Conservation Alliance, we get tons of Saiga products in, so they are going to provide us with some of the photos, both live Saiga and poached Saiga, to add to our outreach materials.

We also had, in addition to the multitudes of public attendees, representatives from the Oakland Zoo, San Francisco Zoo, Animals Asia, Coyote Point Museum, Small Cat Alliance and a host of others stop by and talk to us. It was a great opportunity to see old friends and make new connections.

Working Saturday and Sunday makes for a long weekend, but it was so worth it. Long live the snow leopards!!




Monday, September 27, 2010

When it rains it pours

This has been a very quiet year for me. Nothing huge going on, been taking Millie to the beach and just biding my time with the condo situation... until now.

NOW, the Universe has decided, it's time to get busy.

We started construction on the office a couple weeks ago. My office has to be packed up by tomorrow morning. They are putting down the glue in the hallway and I am about to be trapped in my office for 2 hours.
I finally got the condo sold and have to move in 2 weeks, so I found an apartment and just need to schedule some movers.
I went to Seattle for work, now I have to go to Portland the week after I move, then again sometime before the end of the year. I have to go to San Diego for my brother in law's Change of Command ceremony where he is being awarded the Bronze Star.
Thursday is our big office inspection, which should go well when you refer back to my first point on construction.
Then it's Christmas and time to make my annual cross country trek to the homeland. The only question on this trek will be one dog or two. I guess we'll see.

Gotta love a good time!! Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brags, stats, and YIPPEES!!!

First, the brag. My brother in law Phillip will be receiving a Bronze Star medal for meritirious acheivement in combat. He kicks ass and I couldn't be any prouder of him if he were my own brother. We love you, we thank you for your service, and we are SO very proud of you!!!

Second, the stats. In Laurie's blog this morning, she talked about checking her stats. I had no idea you could do this!! So apparently, Laurie and I are quite the international phenoms!!

United States 73
India 9
Australia 8
Ukraine 3
Canada 1
France 1
Netherlands 1
Slovakia 1

Viva Slovakia!!! I had a lovely lunch on the Slovakian border, it was delightful.

So now, on to my yippees!! At the risk of jinxing myself, I am posting this for 3 Ukrainians to see, I sold the condo. *HUGE sigh of relief*. Closing is set for October 15, I have rented an apartment, and I am due to move on the 12th. Finally. Once I get past the stress of getting moved, I foresee much better sleep in my future.

Oh, and I have food poisoning. Yay me!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The one with "stuff"

Laurie and I watch Hoarders together. If you haven't seen Hoarders, it's a sad, scary, eye opening look at how disgusting people can be. And what's sad, is that this hoarding can be seen in the young children in these families. They cry when asked to throw away school projects, that throwing away the project is tantamount to throwing away the effort.

When I was a kid, I was a big ol' slob. My sister and I shared rooms at some of the houses we lived in and my mom would hang Department of Health notices on the doors and threaten us with bodily harm if we didn't clean up. We grew out of this, her more than me. My place is still clean, but it can get cluttered. I live with the clutter for a little while, then I snap and go on a throwing away and cleaning frenzy. She keeps her house (4 kids, 2 dogs, 1 husband) spotless. It's awe inspiring.

Which leads us to today. We're doing construction at the office, building a new evidence room and property room. Since I have one of the only 2 doors that currently lock, my office is filled with evidence. 1 elephant skin, 1 giraffe skull and skin, 1 hippo skin, 5 capiz shell lanterns, 33 cartons of snake wine and other Asian meds, flattened fish boxes, ehrus and pool cues, PLUS all of MY office stuff - shelves, locker, desk, chair, aquarium, etc. For SIX MORE WEEKS.


I am not going to make it. I already had a mini meltdown this morning and shredded a bunch of paperwork. I don't know what else I can throw out, but I am going to have to find something. Maybe I can just take the next six weeks off. Please????

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Seattle

I had the joy, once again, of spending a week in the glorious Pacific Northwest. Wow. I had never been to Washington before and it was everything I thought it would be. I spent a couple days in Blaine on the Canadian border (they didn't even talk funny) and 5 days in Seattle. It never once rained, I think the Pacific Northwest people say it rains all the time to keep people like me from wanting to move there!!

Some day, Pacific Northwest, you will be mine....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Making a change

I have always had curly hair. When I was little I would cry and cry as my mom tried to brush it out for pony tails. Even though she was as gentle as could be, my sensitive scalp just couldn't take it. After that, she did what most mothers of curly haired daughters do, she had it all cut off. I remember going to school and my best friend saying, "you look just like a boy" and I just cried. I don't blame my mom at all, as an adult I know curly hair isn't always easy. In 2000, I discovered naturallycurly.com and it was like the skies opened up and the angels sang. Suddenly, my hair was easy, I stopped fighting it, embraced it, and ended up with what I think is pretty amazing hair.

So why am I getting it straightened?

That's right, I am taking the plunge and getting a Brazilian Blowout this weekend. I would not consider a relaxer as I am not interested in having my hair grow out and be all weird. The blowout wears off, much like a demi-permanent color. I am a little apprehensive. It's one thing to get my hair blown out and wear it straight for a couple days, it's another to know that every day, when I wake up, I will have straight hair. Supposedly, you can wear it curly or straight, but I am not the curliest of girls, so I don't know if that will hold true for me or not.

Stay tuned, there will either be cheers or tears. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pay attention!!!

Someone told me about Notes from the Universe and since there is nothing I love more than uplifting emails, I subscribed. Funny thing though, when the Universe started emailing me, I started thinking, I should do these things, because as we all know, when the Universe tells you to do something, it behooves you to sit up and listen. FYI, the Universe also isn't really a big fan of run on sentences like that one. Just sayin'.

Today, amongst other things, the Universe told me
All things are indeed looking possible and you alone decide how your tomorrows
will unfold.

Indeed.

All things are possible and it is up to me to affect the change I desire to see. But what does this mean for me in the trenches? I guess the Universe can't tell me everything and I will have to figure it out for myself. Thanks Universe, who loves ya, baby!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

For Laurie

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You know

it's been a while since you blogged when your blogging account doesn't remember you.

I haven't blogged as I have had nothing to blog about, really. I went to Oregon - amazing!

Millie and I had a fabulous time!

Next on my list is Seattle. Even though it's a work trip and not vacation, I still won't have to get up at 530 every morning, so it will seem like a vacation!! Plus, I get to see Alida and Michaela, and that's the best part!!

The condo is back on the market, the buyer backed out. I wasn't surprised, short sales are a bitch and I don't think they really knew what they were in for. They started getting antsy, I think they thought short sale meant short time. C'est la vie! I think we are having another open house this weekend. I am buying vodka.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The buyer backed out

and my condo is back on the market. I figured they would, only crazy people are willing to go through the headache of buying a short sale.

I had a fantabulous trip to Oregon. I miss hanging out with KA and it's hard to believe we have been friends for 15 years. Time flies.

Seeing Millie playing with her dog makes me realize that Millie needs a friend and Millie really needs a yard. The latter probably won't happen, given that I live in CA, but the former will definitely happen. I will just have to dog hunt with her in mind, she needs a specific kind of personality in order for this to work.

We made jewelry while I was there, always fun, I haven't done that since I left FL in '98.

I also have to say, given a chance to move to OR, I would go tomorrow. GORGEOUS!!!! I think my next road trip will be to WA and BC. I love the Pacific Northwest.

Friday, July 2, 2010

First Creepy

then Facebook, now nc.com.

Slowly but surely, TPTB are cutting me off from my online world. I won't really miss nc.com, yeah, I will. I love the crazies. I admit it.

Slowly, but surely my time wasters are being taken away from me. I don't understand it, I work hard(ish), give me my online reading!!!

This is why I need a field job, I am not good at utilizing my time wisely when I am chained to a desk.

Bah!

I am headed to Oregon tomorrow morning. Have a good week!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shake Shake Shake

Notes from the Universe (thanks Booyah!!!) told me to shake shake shake this morning. While I do tend to dance around my condo ESPECIALLY when KC and the Sunshine Band are on, there is someone in my household who does it so much better than I ever could -


This weekend also included some stellar card making!!

Birthday card for Jody - shhh, don't tell her!!

Birthday card for NA -

Friday, June 18, 2010

I can see clearly now....

the whine has gone.

Periodically, I like to indulge in whining. Generally speaking, this whining is kept between me and Mom or me and the people I chat on messenger with. With the advent of this blog, the whining has become more public and for that, I would like to apologize.

I am not (usually) a whiny person. I am a pull yourself up by your boot straps, put on your big girl pants, and deal with it kind of girl. I realized, looking back at some of my blogs, that I am allowing my inner whiner to replace my outer kickasser and I don't want all of you avid readers of my blog (you know you're out there) to think that is who I am. So, I apologize. Not for the whining, but for the repeated whining, everyone deserves a down day. However, repeated whining gets you no where, the squeaky wheel doesn't get the grease, it gets off its squeaky ass and gets its own grease.

I have a metaphorical lemon drop martini and I know how to use it.

This weekend is shaping up to be busy, I have to go to the gym tonight (and gym, I will). Tomorrow, I have to drop Millie off for beauty parlor day, pick her up for therapy day at the old folks' home, then I am off to a birthday cookout, finishing up my day at an NMSU alumni Mexican and Margarita potluck. I have been assured that my presence at the potluck will allow me to try the "perfect margarita". I certainly hope so. Sunday, I will gym again (that's how I roll) and get all my errands run.

I hope everyone has a good weekend and I leave you with this utter cuteness -



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The whining

OMG, the endless whining.

Yes, I am talking about me.

Recently, I have whining and and eeyoring ALOT.

This morning, I read Booyah's blog. She has been handed some serious shit recently and yet, she is bouncing back and I am, well, whiny. Then I see the difference between her blog and mine and she is all about going out with her friends and doing things and I am all about sitting on my couch and whining about how my life sucks. Do we see a problem here? I know I do!!

So, here in lies the issue.

How does one motivate one's self to go out when one is whiny. How does one make themselves more like the inimitable Booyah, out there taking lemons and turning them into lemon drop martinis.

This is my challenge.

Accept invitations from friends, stop being so freakin' WHINY, and recognize that sometimes life sucks and when it does, you can't let it get you down, you slam your lemon drop martini and yell YEE HAW.

This blog brought to you by the makers of a slap upside the back of the head. Thanks, Booyah, you are just what I need these days!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nothing to talk about?

Maybe I am dumpy mcdumperson. I can't think of anything to blog about.

I went to training.
Millie is good.
The shortsale is progressing.
I am still fat.
I keep saying I need to workout more, but I don't have anyone to motivate my workouts.
I am not so sure I want to get out there and date since I am so fat.
Work is work.

I don't know, maybe I need a swift kick in the ass. My friend, Kristin, works out a ton and looks amazing, you would think that would motivate me. Instead, I get whiny and dumpy.

I think it all goes back to the condo. *shakes fist at sky*

Maybe I should just move, regardless of the condo and get on with my life. I hate being in a holding pattern, I am not a holding pattern kind of girl.

This whine brought to you by the makers of the "new" Whiny Gekko. Stay tuned for Cranky Gekko and in 2011, Fit Gekko.

Friday, June 4, 2010

So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good night

Headed to West "by God" Viriginia this weekend for a week of punching people (defensive tactics), reckless abandonment (albeit not as reckless and some years were), and classroom boredom (SITC overview, really?).

Have fun!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Re-entering the dating pool

Every once in a while, I like to dust myself off, pretty myself up, and attempt to re-enter the dating game. Last time I did this, I ended up on a date with someone who told me that he was a Nazi in his past life. Needless to say, there was no date #2.

Enter match.com.

I uploaded a couple pictures of me, typed up a witty and pithy assessment of myself and my life and actually PAID for the membership. To take it a step further, I even promised my friend Susan that I would either wink at or email one guy a week.

Enter "the player".

He winked at me, I sat on it for a couple days, decided life is not lived without a little risk, and sent him an email. He immediately emailed me back and told me to hit him up on his phone. This, to me, just screams "player". So, why am I subjecting myself to this? He's cute, plain and simple and I am a total sucker for the cuteness. I know I am setting myself up for disaster, but what's life without a little mayhem.

Stay tuned for tales from the dating world.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Some Memorial Days are more memorable than others...

My brother in law is home from Afghanistan.



Welcome home, Phillip, we missed you and are happy you are home safe.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wow, I am tired

My parents left today, they were here for a week. I love planning people's vacations, but in all honesty, people who participate in my vacation packages ending up taking a lot of naps and talking about how tired they are. I don't get it!!

Monday, we hiked Pinnacles National Monument looking for condors. Sadly, we saw none. We did manage to have a phenomenal time and see some great scenery.


Tuesday, we shopped until we dropped! Thanks for the great graduation present shopping spree, Mom and Dad!! And to think people told me my Master's was useless! Cha-ching!!

Wednesday we headed to Monterey for lunch and scenery.


Thursday, we participated in a endangered plant survey at Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. Lots of flowers, lots of picture taking! Not a bad way to spend the day, hiking along the San Joaquin River looking for flowers! Never mind that we had to be out of the house at 630am!

Last day, I set Mom and Dad up with a meet and greet with some larger than life friends.


They are headed to San Diego today for some rest and relaxation!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Voting

I am voting today.

It's been an hour and I have voted on one proposition so far.

I hate voting. That's not true, I love voting. I hate reading website after website and argument after argument. Being an informed voter is no walk in the park!!

Back to research.

Proposition 14.

Thank goodness there are only 5.

Of course, then come the candidates.

*sigh*

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Li Hing Mui

How do I love thee, let me count the ways.

When I lived in Hawaii, I developed a love for some of the finer things in life.

Hurricane popcorn
Kua Aina burgers on the North Shore
Mini loco moco at L & L Drive in
Kaka'ako Kitchen
and all things li hing mui

Most of those, sadly, can not be replaced here on the mainland, but Rickey's mom, bless her, sends Rickey care packages from Hawaii all the time. Sometimes she throws in things I just can't live without. This care package it was li hing mui dried cherries. SO good. Ridiculously good. I am now sick from eating approximately half the bag. Sweet, salty, sour, an explosion of awesomeness in your mouth. I can only hope that the next care package contains the nectar of the Gods known as li hing mui gummy bears. I cherish the thought!!

We finally eased up on the hurricane popcorn, we had about 12 packages (hurricane and typhoon both) and we got pretty popcorned out. Again though, popcorn, butter, salt, nori, and mochi crunch. Really. Mainland movie theaters have NO idea how to serve popcorn. At all.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I am a coward

I admit it.

The woman I gave my cat to called me last night, I deliberately didn't take the call for fear she is calling to give back the cat.

I am that pathetic.

I can't avoid her forever though, that's not cool, so I am calling her back this afternoon. Maybe. Kidding, definitely. In the interim, just in case she is calling to tell me Mao is still under the bed and this isn't working, I have downloaded a bunch of stuff on cats in new homes and how long it can take them to adapt. I feel bad, since I don't want her to be unhappy, but on the flipside, I don't want me to be unhappy either. So, there we are.

One of my iris bloomed, I have no idea which one it is. I assumed it would be Catchy Name (creamy yellow standards, lavender falls) since it is a very prolific bloomer, but clearly, this is not Catchy Name.
This is cool, whilst (love that word) wandering through someone's website looking at iris pictures trying to id above iris (should have kept the list that came with the box from Mom and Dad), I came across this -

$ 4.00 SATAN'S MISTRESS - SELIGMANN, 1983, 28, E-M, -, TB Red black; dark red black B.

Gus Seligmann was my grandfather, and Satan's Mistress (which is a gorgeous iris) was created by my brother. So, too cool!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Breaking up is hard to do...

Actually, when you're breaking up for all the right reasons it's not as hard is it might have been.

No, I didn't fabricate a boyfriend and break up with him for the sake of this blog post, I am still happily single.

What I did do, however, is give my cat away. It's been a long time coming. I thought I would be sad, but to be honest, I really wasn't. The woman I gave him to came recommended by a vet tech at one of the local hospitals and I ended up spending about 2 hours at her house talking to her and looking at old family photos. I am going to check in with her later today and then check in with her again on Saturday to see how things are going, but I am confident this is in everyone's best interests, especially his.

So now I am a single pet household and I think I am okay with that.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mother's Day is upon us

So I made some cards.




Thanks, Rosie, another fun afternoon!!








Thursday, April 29, 2010

Time to decompress

Life has been a wee bit stressful recently. Nothing I can't handle, but it does creep up and get me sometimes. Last weekend was the open house for my condo. Now, I live a pretty neat life, but living a neat life and having an open house ready condo are two very different things. So, last weekend, I worked ridiculously hard getting my condo to open house readiness, then had the open house, then had a 14 hour day on Monday, and I just am not bouncing back.

My shoulders ache, I am exhausted, I can't get to the gym, I just come home and collapse. So, this is not where I need/want to be.

Tomorrow, therefore, is officially Decompression Day. I plan to sleep in, take Millie to the store to pick out a new toy celebrating her status as an AKC registered pooch, and then nap. I canceled my Saturday morning plans, so I can take it easy on Saturday too. Saturday night, I am going to see a concert in Berkeley with some friends and on Sunday, I have a card making class. Then Monday, I will be bright eyed and bushy tailed once more.

On the bright side, Saturday while I was preparing for the open house some people stopped by unexpectedly to see the condo. Of course, it was in pre-open house disarray, but they loved it and made an offer. I have accepted the offer and it is now up to the bank to agree. Fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

She is now official

Since finishing my Masters, I have more time on my hands to devote to mindless pursuits. Mindless pursuit #1 is French. Mindless pursuit #2 is dog obedience. Technically not mindless, since an obedient dog is a happy, safe dog, but still. So today, I took that next step in Millie's obedience training. I registered her with AKC as a mixed breed so that we can compete in AKC mixed breed trials. Her first trial will be a Rally Trial in June. I am hoping to title her twice, once in Obedience (her CD) and once in Rally (her RA, she will need an RN title to get her RA, but RA is the ultimate goal). Technically, she is already titled as she has her CGC and is a therapy dog. But we (meaning I) want obedience titles.

We start Rally class in 2 weeks and then the trial is in June. Not long, but she has a multitude of obedience classes under her belt, so I think we will be okay. Once I get moved, we will move up from advanced obedience to show novice where we will start perfecting our form for the obedience ring.

I didn't hear anything more from the NatGeo people, so I assume we didn't make it past round 2. Oh well. She is still a star to me!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I need to carry my camera

Every day at lunch, I walk across the street and do mile loop along the bay. Sometimes I take Millie and sometimes I go on my own. What I never take is my camera. And today, that bit me on the ass. I ran into a guy with a 12' fishing pole, I said wow, what are you catching? He says, sharks.

Dood.

Millie and I did the fastest mile I think we had ever done, so I could get back and see if the guy could catch a shark. I did pause long enough to take this picture -


Not bad, considering it's from my phone and really, how cute is she??


Anyway, shark guy. He ended up catching a 40 pound bat ray! We watched him haul it in, wow, those things do put up a good fight.


Next time, I need to have my camera!!!

Of sociopaths and me

I had my first run in with real crazy people. And not like homeless crazy people, these are supposed mainstream types.

Anyway, Saturday morning, I went to my local Starbucks drive thru to get coffee. HUGE line, I thought what the hell and went ahead and pulled in. I order my coffee, then pulled up and called my Mom. I am all chatting away and I feel my car move, I said to my Mom, I think the people behind me just hit me. Then BOOM they hit me again. I get off the phone and get out of the car, make sure there is no damage and say STOP HITTING MY CAR. Something I feel is a reasonable request. She ROLLS HER EYES AT ME. I am floored.

Get back in my car, pull away from them, and like 5 minutes later, BOOM, they hit my ****ing car AGAIN.

I am like are you kidding me??I get out of the car again and I say seriously, what the **** is your problem, STOP HITTING MY GOD DAMN CAR.

Now, these aren't kids. This is a woman in her 60s and her, apparently psychotic, 90yo mother.

The old woman start mimicking me being mad and starts flapping her arms. That's when I realize, these people not sane. Seriously, like Deliverance not sane.

WHO DOES THAT.****ing psychotic sociopaths.

Anyway.

Got my coffee and left.Made it to my hair appointment and regaled my hairdresser with tales of the crazies.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I like days like today


We headed across the Bay Bridge to go to PCC in Oakland to look at a shipment of antiques being imported, they had declared a giraffe head and an ostrich. So, yes, they had an 8' tall giraffe mount (head and neck) and a baby ostrich. People are so weird. The baby ostrich was creepy. From there we headed over to Bobacc and met up with CBPAg. Nothing much happening for us, they were having a big cookout (Bobacc, not CBP), but we moved on. Cut back across the San Mateo Bridge and over to San Mateo to see if I could get Armadillo Willy's for lunch. No luck. But, it was okay, we drove up to the Coyote Point overlook, I just love that view. Then back to the office, of course, by then it was after 1 and my day is looking pretty short.

I love a good Friday, happy weekend to you all!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Parlez vous Francais?

Time to learn yet another foreign language. Though, in all fairness, it's relearning. I took French when we lived in Liberia, it was part of the kindergarten curriculum, and I took French in high school. I can get by with basic greetings and food ordering, but I need (want) to take it to the next level and actually develop it as a marketable skill. I know, you're thinking HELLO (HOLA) Spanish!! But while Spanish is widely spoken on this half of the continent and further down south, French is the go to language for much of Africa and more than a couple countries in Europe. So, French it is!

This, then, of course, begs the question, am I really going to leave my job and move overseas. The answer to that is I don't know. I said once I had my Masters (did I mention I got my Masters?? Take THAT, To Do List!) that I was going to get out of OLE and get into OIA. But, after registering for the Foreign Service exam, I skipped it. And really, I love SF. However, I am sure I would love Geneva just as much!!! So who knows, this may just be an awesome time filler. We'll see.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Friday!!

Here is how Millie and I spent our lunch break -

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Round Two!!!

I submitted Millie to be in a National Geographic special being filmed here in the Bay Area. Something on domestication of pets. Anyway, we made it to round two! So fingers crossed we make it to round 3!!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Welcome Back!!

Today, I was on the phone with Laurie and she said welcome back. I said from where? And she mentioned how I had been absent from chats, I hadn't been texting or calling her, etc. and she is right. I had really withdrawn from my friends. This whole business with the condo, I referred to this a couple blogs ago, is really getting me down. I am attending a lecture this evening on Mindful Stress, being taught by my friend Julie. One of the things she talks about is "creep". Where stress doesn't just slam you with one big stress-y thing, but rather wheree many stressful things creep up on you and the need to recognize the accumulation of this stress.

My stresses -
the condo
the move
the weight
the money

She also talks alot on the need to breathe. I don't do mindful breathing, but I will. I also need to take more walks. I have begun taking walks at lunch along the bay. It amazes me how it sets me up for the afternoon. Instead of being all yawny and whatnot, I won't say I am energized, but I am definitely more focused.

I hope I can use what she teaches me to put me back in a better mind set. Even though I say I have made my peace with losing the condo, clearly I have not. And I need to. I can't change it, I can only survive the process and move on with my life.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This weekend I _______________________________

Totally stolen from Booyah....

This weekend I made fabulous cards with Elizabeth. I would post pictures, but I have none and I can't remember what they looked like. I had a fab time with the OTHER Annmarie, she spells her name all wrong, but she is a doll nonetheless.

Saturday morning, I got up and was off to the beach with Miss Millie for an awesome morning hike. I am also reveling in my new Body Bugg. I had been thinking about buying one for a couple years after seeing it on the Biggest Loser. Well, since I have been trying to lose the same 20 pounds for 20 years now, I decided to step up my A game and see what the Bugg could do for me. It's awesome! It tells you, based on fancy pants science, how many calories you burn no matter what you are doing. Then you enter in your food and it tells you how many calories you consume and what your calorie deficit is. (3500 calories = 1 pound). My goal is to lose the 20 pounds by Christmas, which I think is more than reasonable.

The purchase of the Bugg made me realize, I really need to get off the couch too. I broke up with my gym, Curves a couple weeks ago. I realized it just wasn't doing it for me anymore and I joined 24 Hour Fitness. I have 3 close by. I went to 24 Club #1, but it was small and crowded, so I don't think that we are going to have any sort of committed relationship. Tonight, I am headed to 24 #2. It's a Sport club, so it's bigger and has a pool. I like the idea of having a pool, but we'll see. Bally's had a pool, but it was not a pool I would ever swim in.

Oh, I was supposed to be talking about my weekend.

It rained Sunday.

The end.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Things that suck and things that are awesome.

Things that suck. I am losing my condo. I have shed more than my fair share of tears over this. When I bought this condo, I had a vision for it. The first year, I would replace all the blinds, the second year, new flooring throughout. The third year I would redo my bathroom and the big culmination would be the fourth year and would be a kitchen redo, complete with new cabinets. Yet, here I sit, year 4, with the sale documents in front of me and a hole in my heart. It's not even my fault. I bought a condo I could afford in a neighborhood far FAR from work because that's what I could afford. What I couldn't know, what no one could know, was how bad the market would plunge after I bought it. I bought for 300k. My condo is now on the market for 128k. I hope someone can see in it what I saw and love it like I did. I hope the short sale goes through and BoA allows it. I don't want this to drag on for a year, I want to get over this and move on.

Things that don't suck. My friends, my family, and my little dog, Millie. Everywhere I live, I have had friends, and of course my online friends are with me always, but somehow, here in SF, I have Friends. Friends who would do anything for me, true friends, real friends. I got a text message from my friend Jacie yesterday, somehow she thought I was moving this weekend and wanted to know what I needed, did I need help packing, did I need her to take Millie for me so I could get moved. My friend Kristin has somehow become my life coach and personal trainer. My friend Susan is my cheerleader, my dating coach, and my shoulder to cry on. I know none of them read my blog since I don't advertise it, but there is my shout out to them. Thanks guys.

And because she is the center of my universe -




Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So, there I was....

in San Francisco...
Ok, I live here, but still, I do love this view -


My friend Jody flew up from LA to birthday with me. I have to say too, if birthdays set the tone for the year, this year is going to be awesome. My friend Michelle was in town and joined me for my office birthday lunch, my employees bought me a delicious cake and a lovely card, then we topped it all off with sight seeing in the big city. *happy sigh* Awesomeness.

Also, I bought a new, fancy pants camera. It's not an SLR, but it is a bridge camera, so hopefully I can start learning more about picture taking. Expect more pics.

Like this one.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wow, midMarch already...

I have been in a funk. A big, ol' fat funk. I am fat. Yesterday, a friend of mine who is a big girl, referred to the two of us as big girls. That took me aback. I have never thought of myself as a big girl. I workout (did, anyway), eat right (still do for the most part), and keep active. It stopped me in my tracks when she said that. And I realized how much weight I have gained and how fat I really am. And wow, am I one not happy camper about this. I have been wallowing and in my wallowing have not been going to the gym and have been indulging in foods that I would normally only consider a weekend treat.

That 20 pounds that I wanted to lose 2 months ago (or whenever it was I posted my to do list) is now 25 pounds. And while, yeah, it's only 5 pounds, it's five pounds when I already needed to lose alot more than 5 pounds.

The gloves are off, bitches and it's on.

I am starting walking at lunch TODAY, not tomorrow, TODAY.

I am firing up the Wii TODAY, not tomorrow, TODAY.

I am eating right.

I am not drinking Dr. Pepper whenever I want.

I am getting active again and taking my life back.

I do not want to be a big girl (if you're a big girl and don't care, then that's fine for you, not me).

I am joining a new gym this week.

I will lose this weight.

I will get fit.

I will not be a big girl.

I will be me again and that is what really matters.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New year, new post!!

Not that anyone has missed me, since only Alida reads my blog. And even then I wonder if she really does...

So, dude, you're getting a Dell!! I ordered a new laptop today. It's weird to think about having a pc again, I will miss my little iBook, but I just couldn't pass up on the value. I will say, I did get my money's worth out my iBook. It will be 7 years old this year and the only reason I am replacing it is that it's so old, I can't update the software anymore.

Check out this clock I made for my sister for her birthday, total cuteness! -

I might start using this blog as a crafting blog. Start posting some of the cards and what nots that I make.