Why, thank you.

12.18.2008 Comments: (2)
I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Healthy Organized Tree Hugger
**Please don't feel pressured to actually buy the book, I just liked the quiz**

Christmas is only two weeks away. WTF?

12.12.2008 Comments: (1)
So, I apologize for never posting about the tour and the goodness and the chocolate fudge made with Jack that we bought and the decanter that we also bought and came home and put our Jack in and it looks YUMMY. Yes, I'm sorry. My eyes hurt a little too much to really delve into all that now, but I have put big stars and underlines and circles around the item "Blog Entry" on my to do list, so it should get done sooner rather than later. I do want to tell you that Dan and I actually have been cooking fresh seasonal foods as of late, and I'm pretty proud of us. We have a Christmas tree (fake) that is decorated and Hanukkah candles all ready to light. Also, Hancock was a horrendously bad movie. I expected better of...well, all the main actors. I finished my 54th book of the year. And Laura, thanks for the comment about my hair looking good! I actually just got it cut really short again. I HEART my stylist out here. It looks good when she cuts it, when I style it myself at home, even a couple of months later. She rocks it out. I'm headed to bed. Full day of work and Christmas cookie baking tomorrow. And blog entry! Right.

Thanksgiving in Nashville, year two

11.27.2008 Comments: (5)
Well, I'm here with Dan's family in Nashville for the second year in a row. The people are the same, but everyone is a year older. Dan's nephews are still adorable and incredibly well behaved, and Dan's sister-in-law still made a ridiculously delicious Thanksgiving feast. Today was actually a big day - it was the first time Dan's nephew rode a bike without training wheels!! He actually did really, really well - I remember the process being a LOT more painful and physcially scarring than Jacob's experience today. There were many many pictures taken, of course. Anyway, I was reading last year's Thanksgiving post about what I am thankful for, and realized that I was going to have to come up with something creative, as everything I mentioned last year definitely still applies. Off the top of my head, I'm very thankful for my current living situation, job stability, and the ability to travel over the holidays (as well as the ability of my family to travel for Christmas). Also, I'm thankful for travel, email, cards, letters, text messages, Facebook, phone calls, care packages, and everything else that helps me keep in touch (however poorly) with everyone I love from thousands of miles away. I'm thankful for my friends being such an important fixture in each other's lives while we go through all of these crazy life changes we've been experiencing. I'm thankful for memories, and for digital cameras to catch all the memories our minds don't catch. I'm thankful for learning, reading, used book stores, Bookmooch, and libraries. I'm thankful for everyone I miss, and everyone who misses me back. I'm thankful for medical advances - the ones that are saving my grandmother, the ones that created life for some of my friends, and the ones that are continuing to keep some of my other friends, and their babies, healthy through pregnancies now. Of course, I'm thankful for Dan who supports and loves me through crazy plans, life changes, moods that I didn't even know I have, bad times, good times, and all the other stuff too. :) I know we haven't written about the pilgrimage we took earlier this week, and I don't want to spoil the warm fuzziness of this current post, so here's a teaser. I'll write more when we get home tomorrow.


11.24.2008 Comments: (2)
Well, here I am, a product of a mismanaged sleep schedule, awake at 2 am, Nashville time. Dan and I are here visiting his family for Thanksgiving again - we both got in on Saturday after surprisingly not late or horrendous flights, and I can not sleep. I haven't been falling asleep much before 3 am at all, which is not exciting, as then I don't wake up until around 11 am. So, I get up and have breakfast while everyone else has lunch. Today, we got out of the house and went to a really nice art museum in downtown Nashville and by the time we got back, had dinner, played with Dan's nephews and settled down, I was actually tired. And fell asleep for about an hour. You know when you fall asleep with all your clothes on and the lights on and you wake up and go back to sleep feeling kind of bashful? That is not what happened here. I got an hour of sleep and have now been awake for the past two hours, being all pissed off that my body took a nap. Dan, of course, is fast asleep next to me. *shakes fist* Tomorrow Dan and I are going on a pilgrimage of sorts - I don't want to ruin the surprise for tomorrow's post - but we're getting up early, so hopefully that will reset this ridiculousness. I'm sure you're asking, "Why aren't you reading? You wanted to read an ungodly amount of books this year?" Well, the answer is that I finished my 50 books for the year, which is cool. (I have a list on 43 Things - and I was really excited to check "Done" on that goal) I'm still reading though, my current book is about nuns. It's actually super interesting, but there's only so much you can read about nuns in one night. I hit my limit about 20 minutes ago....so here I am, rambling late at night to the interwebs. *43 Things is a place where you keep lists of things you want to accomplish. Yes, it is an online website for crazy listmakers like myself. The next goal I want to work on is cooking all the recipes in a cookbook. Dan's brother and sister-in-law actually just gave us a seasonal cookbook - the recipes using fruits and veggies that are in season (working on some of the tree-hugging goals from last night's post) so I think that may be the book to work from. Just in case this problem happens again tomorrow, can you all let me know what blogs/links you've been into lately? I don't have my computer so all of my bookmarks are currently unavailable...and I may need something to entertain me while all of this Nashville suburb sleeps...

The post in which I make you feel bad.

11.23.2008 Comments: (4)
So, it's no secret that since moving to cali I've become even more of a crazy liberal hippie than I was before. I've started getting all into farmer's markets and reusable shopping bags and all that business. And compared to my life before I got here, I feel like I do a lot of things to make sure that I'm pretty sustainable. Unfortunately, some of those "How big is your carbon footprint?" online quizzes out there tell me that if everyone lived like I do, we would need 4.53 earths to sustain all of us. And, that makes me feel bad and wears away on me until I feel guilty and ashamed and take another step to do something else. So I figured if I put everything on the blog, maybe I'll feel even MORE guilt and need to start picking up the pace on all this business. But, I think we should start with the positives - what ways of life have Dan and I picked up AND stuck with since we moved? 1. Reusable shopping bags at the grocery store 2. Local, organic milk in reusable glass bottles 3. More local and organic food - everytime we need something new we try to make sure it's local (origin within 100 miles) and always organic beef, eggs and dairy 4. Buying in the bulk aisle - reuse the plastic bags, avoid packagaing and cheeeeaper 5. Plastic, Metal, and glass recycling (home and work) 6. Paper/cardboard recycling (including junk mail, and anything that gets shredded) 7. No car. (Whatever, it counts.) Lots more walking, biking and public transit (even to the airport people. I'm committed) 8. Non toxic household cleaners - we like Method a lot, and Mrs. Meyers 9. Composting! Hooray for Berkeley for having food scrap composting available. 10. Compostable paper towels and utensils 11. No plastic bottles. Ever. Sigg water bottles as replacement. 12. Unplugging certain appliances at night (power strips, etc.) 13. All laundry washed with cold water. 14. CFLs replace any burned out light bulbs (even in the fridge, which was strange at first, but it's ok now) 15. Using one side clean paper before recycling it. At work: 1. Encouraging staff to use one side clean paper for flyers, copies and in the printer 2. Making sure compost and recycle bins are available at events (still in progess) 3. Cutting down on paper use through online surveys, and evaluations 4. Buying post consumer waste paper products (as high percentage as possible) 5. Reusing everything possible 6. Not allowing any staff funding to be spent on plastic bottles at all. My staff cried about this for about 5 minutes before moving on. Honestly, right now after writing that list, I'm feeling pretty good about myself. But, I feel like I can do a lot more. I do know this is kind of a downward spiral, because there are always people that do crazy amounts more than I do for the planet and such. Not going to focus on that though. 1. Take the reusable shopping bags other places! No idea why I have such a block on bringing them to Target or whatever, but I always forget. 2. Taking shorter showers. While Dan was gone this week, I took the kitchen timer into the shower to try and time myself and...epic fail. I need to be better about this. Showers do not need to be so long! 3. More natural personal use products - lotion, shampoo, face wash, makeup, etc. 4. Kitty litter. mmmmk. So full of chemicals and badness. There are some compostable/natural ones out there that you can flush (seriously!) which are better for kitties and people. Need to look into. 5. Make at least one fully local meal a week. Which means... 5a.Get back to the weekly farmer's market - it is ridiculous that we aren't going every week when it is made so easy for us in Berkeley. We have at least 4 or 5 around that we can walk to every week. Our food should be more local, supporting the actual people who farm. Plus, this helps us eat what is actually in season! Also, buy more heirloom varieties. 6. Trying to cut down on ridiculous amounts of packaging. For example - last time we went to Costco, we bought a big thing of Ritz crackers, which was four boxes of Ritz inside another box. Ugh. 7. Buy compostable napkins and tissues 8. Continue finding out where my stuff comes from - I recently had a bad experience with eggs, thought I was getting free range eggs from happy hens anddd no. I need to educate myself more. 9. Unplugging more things when they are not in use (especially in my office) Long term goals: 1. Make own household cleaners for much cheaper 2. Learn how to can and preserve fresh local foods What are you doing to be more sustainable? Seriously, I need all the help and moral support I can get! If you're not doing anything, here are some links to start the feeling bad about that: Sustainable Dave - this guy is doing about 14 times more than me. and he's funny in his videos. Story of Stuff - fun video

In a Glass Case of Emotion

11.14.2008 Comments: (3)
It seems LB and I had similar moods today. I'm very homesick. I miss all of you more than you know.


11.13.2008 Comments: (1)
OK, not ours, but have you seen these little pups... cute! Watch them all day, no really, you can. Just hang out on our blog ALL day. 5 week old Shiba Inu puppies on puppy cam: 3 girls, 3 boys. I want. We all know KK is the kittie lover, and i am totally in love with Lily and James, but dogs... seriously, come on... man's best friend!

Holy legwarmers Batman!

11.10.2008 Comments: (3)
So, I just watched Flashdance for the very first time ever. And....I'm kind of underwhelmed. I think if I hadn't been distracted by the copious amounts of body glitter and the big hair, I would have enjoyed it more. I do think I honestly maybe would have identified more if I had seen it when I was younger, in the 80s, when I was doing some bad hair/clothes/jelly shoes things. But, I do appreciate the message and going after your dreams and so on. My staff, in an effort to help me with the cultural norms and such, has made a list on my office door of all the movies that I "have" to see to be "normal." So far, we've gotten through Back to the Future (1 &2), Batman (with Jack Nicholson) and now Flashdance. Soon to be crossed off the list: The Breakfast Club Say Anything

November, one day at a time

11.09.2008 Comments: (2)
Well, it's already the second weekend of November, and I haven't told you all thank you so much for my birthday wishes yet, which is not cool of me. So, THANK YOU! I feel very loved and appreciated. Thanks for the cards, Facebook notes, phone calls, flowers, emails, etc. You are all awesome. A lot of people have asked what we did for my birthday. So... November 1... Hooray for birthdays! We woke up actually later than planned - we had wanted to go to brunch at my favorite place, and by the time we got down there (in the pouring rain) and realized how long the wait would be, Dan realized that I would be late for my birthday present, which was a 90 minute massage! So, we ate birthday lunch at Baja Fresh (fancy, I know) and then headed to the spa...in the pouring rain. Dan had booked a deep tissue massage for me, because of the class I had taken that week, which was great but it was intense. When I left, Dan wasn't back yet, but the ladies at the spa were sure to tell me that my husband would be back soon to pick me up. A little weird. That night we set out for a night out in SF because we had tickets to a Matt Nathanson concert at the Warfield, which is this incredibly historic venue in downtown SF (the locals call it the Tenderloin district. Could there be a more unappealing name for a location?) Anyway, we went to one of our favorite local places for dinner (Burmese!) and then headed across the bay, still in the pouring rain. Luckily, we got to the Warfield in plenty of time, and the concert was GREAT. If you've never heard of him, you should check him out. He's in the Jason Mraz/John Mayer sort of vein. Anyway, he put on a great show, and is a really funny guy, so the in between song bits were good times. November 2... Another day, another concert. We saw Jason Mraz at the Greek Theater (on campus venue, where I went to see Dave Matthews) - it was a weekend full of skinny white guys playing guitars really. The concert strangely started at 3pm, which was especially weird on the same day as Daylight Savings. Anyhow, he's also great live. He was a little too happy, the world is made of sunshine and unicorns, every little thing is gonna be alright for this sarcastic heart though. BUT, I really appreciated that live, he really sounds like he does on his album, which is important to me. November 3... Good things! My staff had broken into my office over the weekend and decorated - all week I was tripping over the balloons that were all over the floor. They were all really proud of themselves, coming by to make sure that I liked it. Also, I left the office early, because I had to get home to watch Monday Night Football. (Early, because that crap starts at 5 pm here. Which is ridiculous). Anyway, I know Redskins fans know the outcome of the game, but I just wanted to reiterate that the Steelers were victorious. And I was happy about it. November 4... So, I'm not sure if I really need to state the fact that the candidate I voted for won the presidential race, or the fact that he won in quite an impressive fashion, or the fact that I am SO HAPPY ABOUT IT. Yeah, I didn't think so. Election day was interesting here - I was still at work at like, 4 pm, when they started announcing that some of the East Coast states were either going red or blue. The polls had barely closed in California before they called the whole election - it was crazy. Students basically rushed out of the buildings and had a celebration in the courtyard, complete with cheering, chanting "Yes we can" and all out screaming. Luckily, they left the unit, but only to join the cheering MOB that took over all of downtown Berkeley and the whole campus. It was pretty intense apparently. There are pictures all over CNN and Facebook. Also - VIRGINIA? OHIO? I am SO proud!!! I couldn't believe it. What a time to be a proud Northern Virginia Democrat. I didn't do any of the rejoicing and running about, which I'm now regretting. I wish I had taken the time to celebrate, because all of my exhiliration was basically completely sucked out when I clicked over on cnn.com to check on the ballot measures and saw that it was likely that Prop 8 was going to pass in California. In case you've been living under a rock, Prop 8 is the measure that banned gay marriage in California. It ended up actually passing 52% to 46%. I was and still am shocked and completely appalled. I didn't realize how much I was emotionally invested in the measure until it passed...and now, I just don't even know what to say. Of course though, I am thrilled to have contributed to the historic moment of Obama getting elected. November 5... Moping still about Prop 8. November 6... Tech beat Maryland on Thursday night. Fear the turtle my ass. November 7... I actually missed the Prop 8 march in San Francisco on Friday night, because I had to teach my class. But, on the up side, class went really well, and I think a lot of them are really starting to make some progress, which is of course what's really important. November 8... Wow, a lot of good football today. Most of the games didn't end up the way I would have liked, but good games. Penn State, loser. LSU (who I was rooting for after the PSU loss), loser. Cal, loser - which is fine, because they couldn't catch a pass to save their lives. And wow, penalties much? In other news, I'm on my second to last book for the year - I'm actually reading the Diary of Anne Frank for the first time ever, and having some trouble getting into it. I find myself forgetting while I'm reading that she was a real person, in this REAL situation. Crazy. Any suggestions for the 50th book? Also, my grandparents (mom's parents) just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Friday. I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the concept of sixty years. Six decades! They are pretty awesome. I updated you all on the status of my grandmother actually, and I wanted to say thanks for the warm thoughts - she will be going into surgery to remove a tumor, but she is in very high spirits, her doctors are positive and the prognosis is good. So, we will keep hoping for things to go well! Saw my first Christmas themed commercial yesterday. Ugh. The rain has started here almost every day, which means winter is actually here. Between that and the sun going down so GD early, I'm kind of depressed about the weather and out of doors. I hope everyone is staying warm! **Update: So, I was reading through my old posts today and realized that I'm a total hypocrite. When it was March, and Daylight Savings Time went the other way, I was all "Woo Daylight Savings! Extra daylight is the best thing ever!" and now...where's the loyalty? *shakes head sadly*

Election Day!

11.04.2008 Comments: (2)
Well, I'm up late studying for election day. Seriously, I'm studying and doing research. Between elected positions, state proposition and city measures, there are THIRTY EIGHT items on the City of Berkeley ballot. I haven't studied this hard in awhile. I have a cheat sheet. Luckily, my polling place is literally in my unit (I can go in PJs! It's right downstairs! I don't even have to go outside!) so if there is any last minute cramming, I'll probably still do OK. I hope everyone is going to take the time to vote tomorrow. Even if the lines are long, even if the weather is crappy, even if you have to wake up early and go before work. Voting tomorrow is a new requirement to be my friend. No vote=no hugs and love from KK. Honestly, I don't care who you vote for (I mean, I care, but it's up to you) I care more that you just actually do it. It's not cute to complain about the state of things and then NOT VOTE. Um, also. NO on Prop 8. and 4. That is all.

Good news

10.30.2008 Comments: (5)
Well, I went through the three day RAD Instructor Certification training and I did the simulation, which bascially entails me getting attacked by large men in padded suits in three different situations (walking by, from behind, multiple attackers) and whooped some ass. And I passed all my tests SO now I can teach other college women how to whoop some ass too, which I'm pretty psyched about. However, after three days of the practicing and the kicking and punching pads and people my whole body is SO. DAMN. SORE. I'm doing a lot of nothing today. Just recovering, stretching, napping on a heating pad.

Congratulations v.8

10.28.2008 Comments: (1)
Well, you all know that Kelley had her baby boys almost 2 weeks ago now (10/17) but just wanted to say an official huge congratulations to Kelley and Mike on the arrival of their beautiful, healthy twin boys Ryan and Jackson. We love you all!!

Congratulations v.7

10.26.2008 Comments: (0)
Lots and lots and heaps of congratulations to Holly and Chris! They are expecting their first child the first week of June. 4W4L generation 2 continues to grow. Love you both!

It's a very sophisticated rating system.

Comments: (2)
How things are going... ~Weather. Huge thumbs up. It's been really really really warm out here all week, to the point of people laying out. Shorts, t shirts, sandals. In almost November? Yes please. ~Cats. Thumbs up. They are still adorable. And they smell much better since their bath on Saturday night. ~Trying to brush cats' teeth. Big thumbs down. You can probably imagine why. ~My friends. As always, as many thumbs up as possible. I mean, they're always awesome - but I mean come on - a set of beautiful twins, a wedding and a pregnancy announcement all in the past week?!? How lucky am I to know these people? ~Evening spent cooking with my staff. Thumbs way up. We made pumpking pie, stuffing, gravy and caramel apples. I am clearly the coolest RD ever. ~My bookshelves. Thumbs down, maybe even way down. I went and bought books again. Am addicted! Can't stop! ~Recent reads. Thumbs up. I only have 5 more to meet my goal of 50 for the year and the last two books I read are both classics I've been meaning to read for awhile and they were great. (The Good Earth, Pearl Buck and The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan) ~The upcoming week. Thumbs down for chaos level, thumbs up for opportunities! I'm going to be out of the office Monday through Wednesday at a RAD training. RAD stands for Rape Aggression Defense. It's a program for women that is in place at many college campuses - after this three day training, I'll be a certified instructor! However, that means that I'll only be in the office for two days this week and my life will be crazy!! ~College football. Thumbs...even? VT not doing so hot, but as was expected this year. Cal is doing OK, but Penn State is doing great! Way to beat OSU! ~Election 2008. Thumbs down. I just want it to be over already! There is so much at stake to be nervous about. And the things that I really care about are not faring well in the polls. Boo. ~Family news. Thumbs down. Cancer is a bitch. ~Cancer prognosis. Thumbs up (as up as it can be in this situation). Seriously though, my grandmother's doctors are optimistic and my mom says she looks great. Clearly not the best of situations, but also not the worst. ~Overall? Thumbs up.

Vitally important information

10.22.2008 Comments: (2)
Executive decision: I'll post a proper congratulatory photo of Kel, Mike and the boys when we get a really good shot of all 4 of them. They are a family after all. (Crazy!)
So, life has resumed to normal after the recent travels. I do love to travel, but going away 3 of the past 4 weekends has kind of made me feel like a crazy person at work. Seriously, I got back from Vegas with my mom on Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday, I got up and went to my Monday meeting. I'm awesome. And professional.
Vegas was nice - we really just met up out there for my birthday present, which was a ticket to go see Bette Midler. She was great live - sang the songs I wanted to hear, told dirty jokes, and had back-up showgirls who didn't look like sticks, which is always appreciated. She's so little in person! The whole time we were there, I couldn't help but think of Missy's dad, because Irv is a huge Bette fan (little known fact).
Sunday night, we went to see Love, which is a Cirque du Soleil show based entirely on the music of the Beatles. It was seriously like being inside the lyrics of the songs for 90 minutes. It's a huge headtrip. I can't believe someone was able to conceptualize that show and then someone else came along and actually made it happen! Cirque is amazing. If you ever get out to Vegas and have an option of shows to see - Love is totally worth the money.
Anyway, it was nice to see my mom - she was actually on her way back from a trip to Hawaii to visit Mike, which apparently was nice. She will be back out on this coast for Christmas - hooray for not having to travel when plane fares are ridiculous! This does mean, however, that we have to acquire a Christmas tree, Christmas ornaments, stockings and the like.
Anddddd I'm boring. I think bullet points may be a useful tool at this juncture.
  • there was some sort of explosion on the freeway this morning. an oil tanker or gas tanker or "something like that" says dan. cool.
  • i am having a serious craving for macado's - which is a southwestern VA sandwich place. YUM. they make really good queso. dan and i used to go on "dates" there. awwwwwwww.
  • so, election. soon. i'm nervous.
  • i only have 6 books left to read this year to meet my goal!
  • i am not currently enjoying the biggest loser. one of the women on the show really bothers me because she's a big liar. but i do still love bob.
  • i'm thinking about taking up yoga. rosa inspired me.
  • there is a possibility that dan and i could be hanging around our apartment for new year's eve, which makes me really sad. people should come visit!!
Clearly, the bullet points aren't working. Look! Kitty pictures!
Lily discovering the cupboards.

They love each other.

I learned how to link!

10.20.2008 Comments: (1)
10 years ago, I was in high school. 13 years ago, I was in middle school. With some of the people who read this blog. Who have been my family since then. We are close. We rely on each other. We have been through a lot. High school, college, grad school. Graduations, moves, apartments, new homes. Break-ups, breakdowns, marriage, divorce, death, and now birth. We've welcomed so many partners and spouses into the fold - and even though we can be a tough group to warm up to - now I can't imagine us without them. Now our family is growing in a whole new, beautiful way. It is hard for me to even comprehend that some of us have started a family of their very own. I can not believe that we're growing up enough to do that. And I can not believe that we still have each other to watch this all unfold together. I'm still kind of overwhelmed by it all, so you should just read Laura's post over here and I'll write some actual cohesive thoughts later.

Keep Tahoe blue!

10.17.2008 Comments: (1)
Lake Tahoe! So our 5 year anniversary was back in August, and we finally got around to celebrating it the last weekend of September. After tossing around some ideas we weren't very excited about, we decided to go up to Lake Tahoe, because pretty much everyone around here won't stop talking about how wonderful and beautiful it is. I actually found out that one of the women I worked with lived up there for 5 years...and I have NO idea what she did for so long. Place to visit? Absolutely. Place to live? My word, I could never. We had been looking into Bed and Breakfasts, but Dan actually found some rental houses that would cost the same per night as a room would at the local B&Bs. So, we ended up with a house that would sleep 10-12 people all to ourselves. It was back in a residential neighborhood, which still freaked me out when it got dark. (Did anyone see that movie The Strangers? Where the couple go out to a house in the woods and get tortured? Yeah, let's just say I had a hard time adjusting to all the little houses in the house) Anyway, we had a great time exploring the area around the lake (which is huge, so we only really saw asmall part of it), through all the little beach towns, went into Nevada, wandered around the shoreline that is a state park and such. The lake is SO clear - apparently in some parts you can see down 75 feet! Right up on the edge, the water was so clear and blue that it honestly looked like we were in the Caribbean somewhere. Before we left on Sunday, we spent the morning/afternoon on the beach and actually came home sunburned. In October. California is pretty great. I'm not ashamed to say that we also drove around from bar to bar until we found someone playing the VT football game on Saturday afternoon. This was actually a pretty chill weekend for us...I didn't go crazy planning, we ate most of our meals in the house, and didn't really have anything to do specifically. I guess we did spend most of our time being together. It was a nice weekend getaway. In the sports bar. If we lived here, we would totally be regulars. The house! With the rental TRUCK. Yes, we reserved a car, but no, they didn't have any left when Dan got there...so what's the point of the reservation you ask? We still don't know. Pretty.

Really, we can quit anytime we want to.

10.15.2008 Comments: (2)
Lily is adorable. What is she sitting in you ask? Our anniversary present to ourselves. That's actually 2 wine racks, every slot in which were accounted for when they arrived. See below. So, with our ridiculous wine habit, we had long ago outgrown our IKEA wine rack* that we bought when we first moved. All the wine in the last picture had been being stored in the cabinet over our fridge, stacked on top of each other on their sides. Everytime Dan went to get a bottle down, the entire system basically collapsed. Something had to be done. Enter two new wine racks. They hold 48 bottles combined...we're hoping being able to see how much wine we have will help us slow down on buying more. No promises. *Yes, the IKEA wine rack is also full.

FRUSTRATION. And Portland.

10.13.2008 Comments: (2)
I'm supposed to be online grading journals, but the website is really slow. I feel like I'm waiting for each page to load like I have dial-up internet (remember when you used to sign on with AOL and you had the dial-up and connect sounds memorized? Ah, the olden days) So, perhaps I will fill you in on my trip to Portland. Dana works in admissions for Ohio Wesleyan University, and she is responsible for parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Washington (state) and Oregon. So, once a year, she is out on the West Coast for recruitment, admission interviews, college fairs and the like. Last year, she had time to take a couple of vacation days and visit me in Berkeley, but this year, she had to leave right after she was in Portland to get back to OWU (pronounced O-woo). So, in order to get my Dana fix, I went to Portland to see her instead. I mean, it was a good deal...OWU pays for her hotel and rental car, so all I had to pay for was my flight. I got in on Thursday evening, Dana came to pick me up at the airport, and we headed back to the hotel in...Beaverton. Quite the lovely suburb. Anyway, she let me know that she had been asking around about what there is to do in Portland - she had already covered the Oregon Historical Society last year (seriously) so that was out. Someone recommended we check out the nearby wineries. Apparently, everywhere I go, there must be wine drinking. So Friday, Dana got up and all professionally dressed, while I barely dragged my butt out of bed to get to breakfast at the hotel by 10am. When she got back at noon, I was actually almost ready to go, and we set out for a day of excess (to be explained later). No thanks to Dana's GPS, we eventually found the wine country in Oregon, after getting lost and detoured a few times. The first place we went was gorgeous, and named their wine after the owner's daughters (cute!) But the wine pourer man was pretty much awful. We were the only two people there, and he sat across the bar and stared at us while we talked, but didn't engage us in any conversation. Um, awkward? Luckily, the next two places were much better, and the people were a lot less awkward. A woman at the second place asked Dana for scarf tying lessons, and the third (and last) place, known for it's sparkling wine, also had a winery kitty that was all white and named Snowball. How very fitting for me. No kidding, I ended up buying a wine shipper to take home the SIX bottles I bought. Obsession with wine, I haz one. Where to go after getting slightly inebriated? Outlet shopping! Have you ever had a day where you go shopping and everything fits? This was one of those times. Plus, it was outlets, so everything was cheapy cheap. Dana also did pretty darn well, and when we got back to the hotel, we had to borrow the luggage cart to haul all of our purchases back to the room. It was slightly embarassing, especially as we wheeled the cart through the lobby and Dana pronounced it our "Cart of Gluttony." Classy. Saturday, I accompanied Dana to her college fair, where I was going to hang out for a little while and then head downtown to do some sight seeing. Instead, I got a migraine! Woot! So, I didn't get to do the touristy bit for as long as I would have liked. When I finally did get out of there, I took the train over to downtown Portland, wandered through the country's largest bookstore (for reals! Powell's Books. It takes up an entire city block) and then ended up...doing more shopping. *sigh* Dana eventually met up with me, we shopped, we ate and we went back to the hotel to try to fit all of our purchases in our suitcases, while eating ice cream and watching the Notebook. At least we were supposed to watch the Notebook...we had seen an ad for it on Thursday night, Dana said she had never seen it, at which point we immediately decided to watch it together on Saturday. Good thing we rushed back after dinner, only to discover that it had been replaced with a friggin baseball game. We ended up watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" instead. Still cute, but no where near the same crying factor. There was no real Sunday in Portland because Dana's flight was at 5:45 AM. So, we left for the airport at 4 AM. I am not making this up. Also, when I landed in Oakland, I had to wait for Dan at the airport, because he got lost on the way. Super. Things learned: 1. I could never ever ever work in college admissions. 2. Do not fly airlines that are not Southwest. Dana flew United - their first bag fee is $15, second bag fee is $25. If your bag is over 50 pounds, the fee is $125. SERIOUSLY. We found this out the hard way. 3. Wilamette Valley, Oregon is known for Pinot Noir. Fun fact of the day. 4. I miss Dana. Some winery photos: This was winery #1 with super awkward guy. Winery #2 with super friendly people. Winery #3 with pretty cat.


10.09.2008 Comments: (2)
I know I've been talking a lot about reading, and how I want to read 50 books this year (I'm 42 books in!) but I want to reassure you that Dan and I are also rotting our brains with plenty of TV. Sweet Jebus, I was realizing today how many shows we've been taping lately. Dancing with the Stars, The Biggest Loser, Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money, Grey's, Burn Notice, Eureka (Dan's pick), LA Ink, Heroes... Dancing with the Stars - Anyone else watch? I'm a big fan of Lance, not only because he's good, but I mean, you can't just turn your back on years of a boy band crush. I also really like Warren Sapp. I really enjoyed Misty as well before she hurt herself and had to leave the show. If you do watch, don't be ashamed. It's OK. We'll love you just the same. Except if you watch Heroes. Then I will judge you. Just a couple of things I need to get off my chest: Private Practice. Violet. Stop the whining. You're the shrink. WORK IT OUT. Grey's. Lexi, please go away. Meredith, please wash your hair. The Biggest Loser...Bob, I wish we were BFF.

Thinking of Titles Late at Night is Awful.

10.08.2008 Comments: (3)
I was clicking around to a lot of the blogs I regularly read tonight and found myself getting frustrated that a majority of them haven't been updated lately. OH THE IRONY. Lots of fun things have been happening since my flurry of posts a few weeks ago. There was an enormous book sale, which totally ruined my promise that I wouldn't buy anymore books for awhile. There was a trip to Lake Tahoe to celebrate Dan and my five year anniversary. There was a trip to Oregon to visit Dana while she was up there for work - which included wineries, fantastic outlet shopping, ice cream, and general craziness. There were new wine racks!! (yes, you'll notice the plural. More than one new rack was needed to contain all the wine) However, each of those things deserves a post of it's very own since those were all great things. So, this one is just going to be about the books, which really isn't very interesting to many of you, but too darn bad, because this here is my blog. I found out about it on *surprise* one of the blogs I read. It's an annual used book sale held by the San Francisco Public Libraries for four days. They rent a pavilion in Fort Mason, which is in effect an ENTIRE pier. Seriously. And it is full of used books that cost, at the very most, $5. Most of them cost $1. It's really quite wonderful. I was so excited about it that I took the afternoon off from work on Thursday in order to go, because we were going to be gone the rest of the weekend in Lake Tahoe. So, I loaded up on recyclable shopping bags, hopped on the bus in SF and knew I had arrived at my own personal heaven when I walked in the door and someone pointed me towards the SHOPPING CARTS. Like I needed any more enablers in my life. Anyway, like I said, it's huge, it's cheap and it's piles upon piles upon rows upon tables of books. I shopped for two hours, eventually put back at least a third of the books I grabbed and left with 16 books for $34. And now, the bookshelves can not hold any more books, so Dan has started a pile of books next to the bookshelf. Seriously this time. Until the books on the floor have a home on a shelf there will be no more book buying. For real. Pier full of books. Please notice size of van for perspective. Um...can I live here? Is wonderful.

Other California goings on...

9.26.2008 Comments: (2)
I am on a posting ROLL people! I hope you're as impressed with me as I am with myself. So what do I actually have to talk about... *I'm 38 books into my goal of reading 50 books this year. It's feeling very accomplishable at this point. Plus, books are moving out of the house as they're being read, which means I can buy more books soon. (If you haven't heard, I'm currently banned from buying more books. Because they threaten to take over the whole of our apartment.) *Last weekend's adult plans to go to Target and Costco also ended up including Michaels, Office Depot and IKEA (twice). Oh my do I feel suburban. *I'm really enjoying the fact that I've actually gotten to watch the first three VT football games! I didn't think I'd be able to watch many this year since we aren't ranked, so I've been very happily surprised. Dan and I are hoping to watch a couple with the Bay Area VT Alumni Association and perhaps even meet some people. Only took a year... *We did go the first Cal game (Cal/Michigan State) although we didn't buy season tickets this year, as we weren't really feeling the games out here. But, I was really eager to see some college football. So, there we were. The Golden Knights (Josh - is that name right? I know we talked about it while you were here) also parachuted into the stadium at halftime, to the delight/horror of the girl behind us, who kept exclaiming "He's landing too fast!" while not thinking through the fact that this was probably NOT their first time doing this. Student Section: *My staff seriously does love Dan. See below. *Still love the fog. Photo is taken from the Lawrence Hall of Science at night (obviously)

Because urban hikes have feelings too...

9.25.2008 Comments: (1)
Well, I realized that after last night's entry, I completely neglected a hike we had done in June, the same day we had gone to the SF Pride Parade. As opposed to the hike of doom, this hike was nice and short, and not nearly as traumatizing. However, our circumstances were again not ideal, as we had already been on our feet standing watching the parade for over three hours*, but we still really enjoyed it, and the neighborhood. While Bernal Heights (previous posts) isn't overly easily accessible to us, more exploring in Corona Heights (this hike) is a definite possibility. The neighborhood is surrounded by nice parks with lots of green spaces, accompanied by views, and also has a really nice small community feel, with a street full of small everyday needs businesses (coffee shops, cafes, grocery, dry cleaner, etc.) and some community gardens.
Themes of this hike: More views, lovely homes, coyotes, and ever more public parks.
*San Francisco does not take the Pride Parade lightly. Every man, woman and child must be in the parade. It takes forever. I mean, I'm all for everyone supporting the cause, especially this year with the marriage issue on the ballot, but WOW. Is it really necessary for Levis, Google, Kaiser, several major airlines, etc. to have floats? How about more of the community organizations who are getting people involved on every level? *sigh* Rant over.
Onto the pictures, which is what you came for.
I wasn't kidding about the coyotes. They're having some issues with coyote sightings in the area right now. Thumbs up.
Fog. Has become a part of our everyday experience since moving here. I've grown to really like it and how mysterious it makes everything look. Thumbs up.
Stairs and SF beyond. Thumbs...even? This was a great walk, but not the most aesthetic stairs we've seen (unless you appreciate a chain link fence, seperating...nothing from...nothing)
Dan branching out from the described route to climb the highest hill the park we were in. Thumbs up for him being energetic enough to do so. Thumbs down for me not even looking vaguely in his direction. (That's me in the middle, standing by myself)
Totals: 1 hour, 1.36 miles

Bernal Heights City Walk

Comments: (3)
A few weekends ago (before the arrival of the CC en masse) we had grand plans for our weekend, which included venturing to a new brunch place that Dan had actually heard of. This was a big deal, because usually I'm the one doing the researching of places I want to try, or explore or whatever. So, when we looked in our city walk book, we found that the brunch place was actually really close to two city walks, and we figured we'd make a long day of it, because we were headed to a neighborhood we probably wouldn't find ourselves in often. Just so you know, brunch was so. damn. good. I had macadamia nut and coconut french toast. Seriously. I'm sure Dan's was also good, but I have pretty selective memory of the meal, since I had tunnel vision of my own plate. Looking back, we didn't make the wisest choices that day...we had brunch, and then thought we would janutily take a walk around, forgetting as we always do, that SF is a city of ridiculous hills and steep inclines. As we started, we felt good about combining the two walks because neither was long - the second was in fact, relatively short. We did not take into account that this was because the entire walk was up and down hill. Over and over again. I've taken to calling all the stairways in these walks the stairs of doom. Before we left home, I had made fun of Dan for packing enough snacks for us to survive on if we had gotten snowed in, and bringing both of our water bottles. And then later, when we were tired, sweaty and dehydrated, I looked like an ass. Anyway, even though the walks wore us out and we might have overreached a little, the area was really nice. Some themes of the walk emerged: community gardens and public parks, amazing views, VERY friendly cats (stray cats ALL OVER that were so friendly one even climbed right into my lap, purring all the way), well behaved dogs off of their leash, and, not to beat a dead horse, but stairs. This was also the first time that during the walk we passed other people also doing the same walk! I've always wondered if this would happen, since you have to continually have the book in hand while you're walking - to both get directions (which can be hard to follow in SF's nooks and crannies) and to read the fun tidbits of info the author includes along the way. But yes, an older couple walked by, with their book, and we had a lovely conversation. It felt very six degrees of seperation, or it's a small world, or some other similar cliche. Also - from now on, city walks will be referred to as urban hiking. Dan has decided it makes us sound much cooler. Gives us street cred. Or something. Community Garden and some of the stairs of doom Dan racing very hyper kid down random slide View! That's downtown SF in the center with the tall buildings and whatnot. For perspective, the Bay Bridge and Berkeley would be on the right, and the Golden Gate Bridge would be on the left (not directly, but in that general direction) Photo op in another community garden, taken by a very nice passerby Totals: 3.5 hours, 2.77 miles

Am in a Funk

9.19.2008 Comments: (3)
...because I didn't get enough sleep last night. Mainly because I had to wake up at 5:30 to take Dan to the airport this morning so he could take a business trip to St. Louis. That was fine, until I got back, tried to go back to sleep and my cats...pretty much refused to let that happen. So, today in an effort to remind myself not to be in said funk, here are five things I'm happy about/enjoying/love. 1. The Tina Fey/Amy Poehler skit on SNL. I know it was literally almost a week ago, but I've been watching it once a day. These two ladies are so funny and smart. Big fan. 2. I went to see a play at a local Berkeley theater last night with some of my staff, and the two other RDs in my unit, which was a great time. I'm lucky I get to work with awesome people. 3. I have really non-exciting but yet very exciting plans for the weekend (Target, Costco, etc.) which kind of makes me feel like I'm in "Old School" (Maybe Bed Bath and Beyond...but I don't know. I don't know if we'll have enough time!) But I'm going to just be excited about them none the less. 4. Pandora. Gets me through the work day. 5. My staff and residents this year. Last year by this time, I had probably already met with 30 students about policy violations. This year, I haven't met with ANY although I am meeting with all of two next week. The community my staff has built is pretty amazing. I'm really proud of them. Now you go.

Lists. How I love thee.

9.14.2008 Comments: (2)
Things that were amazing: 1. Having so many of our friends here for ridiculous amounts of good times. It was nice to be able to really be around people we love in a place we love (for those of you who are slow, that place is here in Berkeley) 2. Getting to take said people around San Francisco having quality fun times, even though we were sweating like crazy because........I can't read weather reports correctly. 3. Also getting to take our loved ones around Napa for a day - we had SUCH a good time. Plus, we totally helped Franklin develop an addiction to wine, and sent them home with a case. Ben and Jess went home with a case + 2 bottles. Awesome. 4. Jean and Lee's renewal ceremony. Laura, Jean, Rosa and Josh all looked hotttttttttttttt. 5. Playing Taboo in our favorite local (yet deserted) bar...as it was last call on a Sunday night. 6. No one having flight trouble!!! Can you believe it? 7. Two Dave Matthews Band concerts in three days. I heard 4 of my top 5 favorite songs. If you really want me to list them, I can. 8. Getting to watch the VT/Georgia Tech game with Laura Anne Benson yesterday down in Palo Alto 9. After dinner, which her godfamily had Dan and I over for (they are AWESOME), watching Blades of Glory with Frank, Blue, Laura and her whole god-family. I didn't expect it to be nearly as funny as it actually was. 10. Watching two teenagers breakup. Most amazing thing I have EVER seen. New things to still look forward to: 1. Dancing with the Stars, The Biggest Loser, Dirty Sexy Money and Grey's starting again. Don't judge me. 2. The rest of football season 3. Matt Nathanson concert (on my birthday!) 4. Mom coming to visit for Christmas/Hanukkah Things we should blog about: 1. City walks 2. The good times recently had with everyone here Best cupcakes everrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Ben got frosting on his pants. And then cried about it all day. Japantown. Wine is tasty. And the concerts. That's my boyfriend on the middle screen there.

Top Ten Things I am looking forward to

8.27.2008 Comments: (3)
1. WOOT three day weekend. 2. Cal vs. Michigan State game on Saturday 3. BEST WEEK EVER next week. Not the show, it will be my personal best week ever. Everyone descends for Jean's ceremony, and there will be SF touring, and boozing, and bonding and hugging in the middle and late night hilarity. 4. Jean's renewal ceremony in less than two weeks! 5. Also, since many people I love are coming to visit, next weekend was looking pretty good already but also TWO Dave Matthews concerts. I mean wow. 6. Dan and my 5 year anniversary weekend. We're not sure what we're doing yet, but it'll be good. 7. Weekend in Portland with Dana! 8. Weekend in Vegas with mom - we're going to see Bette Midler! We're excited about it, so don't judge. 9. Jason Mraz concert in November. 10. Working with my staff and living with Dan for all the days in between.

Congratulations v.6

Comments: (1)
Many congratulations to Kristen and Tommy who are expecting their first! VERY happy for both of you. The first 4W4L baby!

Upon returning to the US...

8.26.2008 Comments: (3)
A short list of cool stuff that has happened in the past two weeks with Ro since she's been back in the country. 1. Watched heelarious videos on YouTube with Jean until very early in the morning. Because we are awesome. And have awesome social lives. 2. Got Ro addicted to the West Wing. She's working her way through Season Two already. She loves Josh. As everyone should. 3. Ate overpriced tasty tasty ice cream - who knew Earl Grey and Darjeeling ice cream could be so good? 4. Went to a Giants game in one of the boxes behind home plate for freeeeeeee. It was a pretty sweet view. Pictures to come. I'm not sure I need to go to a professional baseball game ever again. I mean, I don't think the seats I get will ever be better than that. 5. Also got Ro completely sucked into Settlers of Catan. If you haven't played with us yet...your time is coming. 6. On her first full day back in the country, we went to the Berkeley Farmer's Market (since she's all crunchy now) and then we went to Costco. Just for some variation. 7. Went to Costco again with my staff and basically spent an hour spending however much money we wanted. The beginning of the year Costco run is pretty sweet. 8. Watched my staff lose their frickin minds when they saw Dan again for the first time this year. "When we walked in, they all screamed "Dan!" and I moved out of the way, because I thought they were going to tackle him and I didn't want to be in the way." Nice. Clearly, I'm not nearly as important. Note: My whole staff also now loves Rosa as well. 9. James, our skittish cat, has stopped running out of the room when Ro enters one. AND he actually sat on her lap the other day. Which was cute. And great for her cat allergy. 10. Ro has also now introduced Dan and I to fun things in all of her "I just traveled around the world" type knowledge. Which is awesome because we won't be able to get much of it here. Awesome. Mango licorice, yum. Tim Tams, yum. New Zealand organic sustainable wine, yes please. 11. Since gaping at my overly full bookshelf, Ro has starting picking books off of it and reading them at random. Currently, she's working her way through a book I bought today. Not sure when I'll get that back.

Congratulations v.5

8.17.2008 Comments: (1)
Congratulations Kevin and Sarai on your engagement!!!


8.14.2008 Comments: (1)
RA Training. Am Tired. Long Days. Just Checking In. More Later. Rosa here tomorrow!

Weekend in Review

8.04.2008 Comments: (1)
Well, this was my last full weekend before my job completely takes over my life for the next few months. I know I sound pretty melodramatic, but no. Literally, beginning next Sunday the 10th, I will be training my RA staff to do their job from about 9 AM to 9 PM every day. Our last day of training is the 22nd. Just in time for two days of students moving in on the 23rd and 24th. I do dread training starting because it's SO much. But I really do love my job, it's just that knowing I will be sleep deprived for most of the month of August is hard to get excited about. (Here's the rub: I'm the boss, so if I'm not excited, my staff isn't excited. Sooo WOOHOO about training!) Anyway. To enjoy my last weekend, Dan and I went into the city to go to the latest exhibit at SFMOMA, which is of Frida Kahlo's work. Now. Let me just say that I like art. Dan loves art. He can wander around galleries and museums for hours while I get bored about 45 minutes in and go outside to have some ice cream. But, not knowing much about Frida walking into the exhibit (actually, walking into the long line outside the exhibit) I really enjoyed it. I appreciate her painting literally, putting all her pain and other crap out there for people to deal with. I mean wow, she did some serious painting when she was pissed. Of course after the exhibit, we went out to dinner - and then the plan was to go see The Dark Knight on IMAX but it had been sold out all week. So, we still haven't seen it, but we have high hopes for this week sometime. We made grand plans for Sunday - brunch out at a new place, a city walk and then trying again for Batman. Looking back, I really appreciate our ambition. We did a grand total of none of that. We did make brunch here, and then we started watching Six Feet Under (on loan from a wonderful co-worker of mine). It's a great series so far (all of four episodes in) but if I am to love it as I love the West Wing, it hasn't happened yet. But, lots of potential, including Peter Krause being hottttt. Anyway, we also did a lot of cleaning our apartment, and giving our cats baths (mental note to take pictures next time). Yeah, we're crazy kids living the city life let me tell ya. We did also already book our travel for Thanksgiving-time. Ugh. I don't feel like flying places used to be this expensive. Has it always been this expensive?? (Did we offend someone with the Pride parade pictures? No one commented and I think some of my captions were quite witty...)

Congratulations v.4

7.29.2008 Comments: (1)

Congratulations on your engagement Christy and Brian!!!

SF Pride Parade '08

7.28.2008 Comments: (0)
I thought we would do this award show style...

Best use of flags:

Biggest crowd pleaser:

In the car there on the left side is the SF mayor Gavin Newsom. Seriously, when his car came by I thought maybe the Beatles were in the parade. People LOVE him. (Sidenote - I work with the man in the center of the photo holding up the sign. He's awesome.)

Worst job of the parade:

The poor guy who has to stand behind them and move the "bull" up and down.

Best signage (tie):

HA. Indeed. My favorite part is the kid holding the mini sign.

The other side of their sign said "Engaged 23 years, marrying 7.17.08"

Best outfits:

Why yes, they are wearing seahorses made entirely of balloons why do you ask? This company starts off the parade every year, each year with a different theme. This year was "Everybody adds color under the sea"

Love it. I like an outfit that takes multiple people to pull off.

One of the best dresses of the day.

Hey, you want to dress up like a pony and pull your master in a carraige in the parade? Sure. Just do it safely, you know?

Impressive. Added points for the shoes - it is a LONG parade.