Random late night thoughts

1.31.2008 Comments: (2)
*I had my first meeting with my new supervisor today, which was great. I think I'm really going to enjoy working with him. We talked about how I would like to work for Semester at Sea soon. He's going to help me out I think. Excitement. *I finished my non-fiction book of the month tonight, which is exciting, I actually met my first goal for the year. Let's see how January goes. Meghan picked my Feb. book and Ro picked my March book, so I guess I have to at least finish those two. *For my birthday, Dan got me Season 5 of the West Wing, and then we got Season 6 for Christmas/Hanukkah. You'll never guess what I got him for his birthday!!! Well, he also got Rollercoaster Tycoon - a NEW version! Can you even believe they still make that game? Anyway, he was upset he never got to play it. I'm pretty sure I'll be regretting that purchase this time next week. *Our cats will not stop trying to eat our food. It's like they're puppies who beg all the time who just also happen to fit in our laps. Also, James=attention whore. For serious. *Dan has this nasty cough/chest congestion thing that makes him sound like a really old man because he's trying to cough stuff up all the time. We've been sleeping in seperate beds because ew. No one wants to wake up to that. *We went out to dinner on Monday and I easily had the best dessert of my life at dinner. It was amazing amazing amazing. Dinner was just good, but who cares? *Seriously, no one suggested any good movies (Kevin Romano, what the heck??) *Have you heard that Britney Spears is only speaking in a British accent in public now? *sigh* I still love "Piece of Me" and I won't deny it. *Currently, it sounds like Dan is coughing up a hairball in the shower. Be jealous.

50th post. Woot.

1.28.2008 Comments: (2)
It really has been a fun month for us out here. Having a car has allowed us to get out and see Northern California beyond Napa Valley. Don't get me wrong, I could hang out in Napa for days and days, but variation is good. Last Saturday, we drove down to Monterey, which is directly north of Carmel and Pebble Beach (famous golf course, no?) and had a lovely time. There were some scenic vistas, and some beaches and a very disappointing lighthouse (Dan apparently has a thing for lighthouses...learn something new every day. I just told him that under no circumstances will we be collecting mini lighthouse figurines) Anyway, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is apparently the Number 1 aquarium in the country. Booyah Baltimore! I'm not sure who exactly ranks aquariums, but whatever. They had lots of fun things - fish to touch (Dan was totally the only person over 6 years old who was excited about touching starfish and the like), jellyfish, sharks, and OTTERS. So cute. I would like to have one as a pet, if possible. I think an otter and two cats = happiness, no? Of course, after being in the aquarium for over two hours, I was pretty much done being around shrieking (both with happiness and unhappiness) children. So, we took a lovely walk around Monterey's Cannery Row, which is a long set of old cannery buildings, that are from the 1930s-1950s when Monterey was a huge sardine canning town. No, seriously. Happily, in Monterey, some of this space has been converted into lovely wine tasting rooms in which there is, you know, wine and NO children. Ahhh relief. It really is crazy that no matter where you go in California, there is wine. Wineries on mountain roads, where the wine is actually grown. Winery tasting rooms on main streets in small California towns so that people can actually buy some wine in case they never travel on said mountain roads. Wineries on city piers. Wine wine everywhere. We're enjoying it. We went to two places, bought a couple of bottles and very nearly bought a gorgeous photograph. Please see: http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/gallery.asp?mem=74968. In non "look how awesome my life is" news, tomorrow is Dan's birthday! He's going to be 26 and he's a little sensitive about how that age is closer to 30 than 20. So, definitely remind him as much as possible. We're smack in the middle of going out to a few dinners for his birthday season, much like we did for mine and we've had some amazing meals. A-m-a-z-i-n-g. Good thing he's sick and can't really taste anything. Ha! In other news, I finished the last book I was reading, "The Stone Diaries." Huzzah, I'm up to 4 out of 100! The author's style was great (her name is Carol Shields) and I got all wrapped up in the story. Have you ever read a book and at the end, assumed the characters are real people you could run into at Safeway or something? That's what her characters felt like. Wait - or is that just me being strange? If so, please still be my friend. Anyway, I'm onto my second book for the month (the goal this year is two books a month - one off the list and one non-fiction) which is called (please no freaking out) "Marriage, A History" and is really interesting. It's just a topic interest people!! OH also - I realized that I haven't been to see a movie in the theater in awhile (I went to see "I Am Legend" while I was home with Meghan and B Drake, but before that, I couldn't even tell you). Does anyone have any recommendations? Also, someone please pick a number between 1 and 100 for my next book off the list. (And by someone I mean probably Meghan, since she's the only one who reads this)

This past weekend's cool stuff.

1.23.2008 Comments: (1)
It's been a while since I have written, with no excuses, I'm sorry. As you all know, I'm currently working on a project for YouTube that pretty much dominates my time, but I get to go to NY in Feb. and we have a car for the duration fo the project. I'll be able to tell you much more about the project after Feb. For now, we've been trying to take full advantage of the car and go exploring beyond what we can do in a ZipCar. Our visit to Sonoma was 2 weekends ago, and this past weekend we explored Santa Cruz. It's a fun little town mostly known for its beaches, a natural bridge extending into the ocean (one of which has now sadly fallen), the first site for surfing in California, and the very mighty fighting UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. Not joking. They have a pier, boardwalk and rides that feels very Ocean City, Maryland but without the Candy Kitchen and mini golf every two blocks. It even has the two lane road leading in that has horrible traffic over the summer!! But, it's also a college town, so it's a nice blend.

We of course were on the highway when we realize we had forgotten our camera!!! We stopped and bought a throw away camera just for you fine folks. I swear we only took 3 pictures, but she says we took more. It might take a while before we actually finish the roll. Remember that whole film process before digital photos?

While you wait for those... I've been wanting to do a series of "Kitties in Stuff" photos. They get into everything. We tend to document all of it, so here are the first of the series.

We'll start with the Washer. This was within the first few days of joining our family; they were so little :)

Photos from the sheep farm

1.22.2008 Comments: (1)

900 sheep on the sheep farm. Plus, some horses, dogs (Great Pyrenees, who live full time with the sheep) and 2 llamas (named Troy and Ben, for the Steelers players, who protect the sheep from coyotes...no, I don't understand how the ratio works)

It was actually sunny and NOT an Artic tundra outside as they prepared for a walk. Not sure how I'm related to these people.

Stockings! My family was excited that Dan's was blue. Awww they have our initials. We bought them at Target.

Covered bridge...these are a BFD in Pennsylvania.

Least flattering picture of a horse. Ever.


1.17.2008 Comments: (4)
Today, my friends, was a bad day at work. These are the days that I wish I lived near many of you so that I could call you and we could get a drink after work (or a few) and I could vent for awhile and you'd make me laugh and then I would feel better. *le sigh* But, today was also the last day of training that I really had to plan and organize and make sure that things got done. So, project over, but the memory of outrageous ridiculousness remains. We did service projects today - working with various sites around Berkeley who could use groups of volunteers for a few hours. My group helped clean a city park, which happened to be right across from the local high school. So, not only did we get to clean up and feel good about ourselves, we got to reminisce about high school AND we got to watch as a student almost got arrested after school let out because he smelled like pot. Which is kind of hilarious because I'm going to wager that every third person in Berkeley smells like pot. Also, one request - can those with photos from the CC dinner and New Years put them online or send them to me or something? I would love to see them! Dan is snoring and drooling. Might be time to encourage him to get to bed.

Much apprehension.

1.15.2008 Comments: (2)
So we are in the precarious place of "I havent updated in so long, that I don't even know where to start, so I think I'll put it off until tomorrow." Clearly, I have been there for a quite awhile. But, instead of starting this post with an apology of why I haven't posted in so long (like many other posts) I'm jumping right in. No apology. You all have been coddled too long. You need some tough love. Or...something. Anyway, at some point, I might write a long extended memoir of our time with family over the holidays. But we spent extensive time with the approximately 4.78 people who read this blog, so that might have to wait for a later day. There are some fantastic pictures of the sheep farm that I don't think anyone got to see - get excited. I will say that being on the East Coast for a couple of weeks was pretty fantastic, although Dan and I went through some serious cat separation anxiety. Christmas on the sheep farm with family = good. Holiday dinner at Maggianos = good. New Year's Eve with the CC = goooooooooooood times. I'm feeling pretty lucky to have you all in my life. I might start getting some support services from B. Drake though about how to be away from you all so much! As for us right now, things are going well. Dan has recently (last week) started working on a 6-7 week project with the same company that he worked with for the Levi's project in DC. They are working on a premiere type event for YouTube, which sounds pretty exciting, and then also on an event for Warner Brothers (something about the Speedracer movie??). But, it's really great experience, he's trying not to grumble about it too much. The best part about it is that outside of getting paid, part of his compensation is that he gets a rental car for the length of the project! The office he works in is about 30 minutes away. SO, basically "Cool stuff over the weekends" is totally back on! Only now we can do things that weren't as accessible with the mileage limitations of Zipcar. This past Saturday, we drove to Sonoma for, what else, wine tasting. Sonoma is further away from Berkeley, and closer to the coast of California than Napa. It took us about 2 hours to get to the first place we wanted to go (I'm still adjusting to the fact that in California, 2 hours of driving barely puts you in another county, much less a different state.) We ended up going to three different wineries that afternoon and actually joined our first wine club. Yes, we have become THOSE people. But honestly, we ended up buying quite a few bottles of wine there, and thought it would just make sense for them to, you know, just send it to us every couple of months instead of us having to trek up there all the friggin time. We're still working through it - joining a wine club has made us feel snooty and old all at the same time. Sunday we didn't really do anything fun except for welcome my staff back and start training! Spring Training is another really busy crazy week for me because not only am I responsible for getting my staff trained in a multitude of areas, and preparing them for the upcoming semester, and making sure that I'm prepared for all the sessions, planning all of spring training for all the staff on campus was my big committee project for the year. Yes indeed, it's a bit of a stressful time. But, all has been going well so far, hopefully it remains that way. So, I'm sure by this weekend, I will be eager to get out and do something exciting and fun. Some possibilities include Santa Cruz, Carmel, Half Moon Bay and Vegas (not really, but I wish!). Any opinions on these? How is everyone doing with those pesky New Years resolutions? I decided to not have resolutions as such, but more long term goals. Resolutions=setting self up to fail. But I would like to remember to take time to exercise, get out and enjoy the Bay Area, and read more. I found online the supposed list of the 100 greatest novels ever written and then with some more looking, I found the list of the 100 greatest fiction works by female authors. Now. Can I just say that I consider myself to be a decently well read person? I thought I would have a fair number of these books knocked off the list and that reading all 100 would feel doable. Yeah, I've read 3. THREE. So, welcome to my long term goal of reading the other 97 books in the next 5 years. (I wasn't kidding around with the concept of long term). But yeah. If you look at the list (and you can here: http://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/booklists/feminista.html) and have any recommendations of where to start, let me know! The first one I'm reading is "The Stone Diaries" by Carol Shields because....I already owned it. :) But for real, if you've read any...I'd love to hear about it (LB - ask your mom! I bet shes read basically all of them with her book club).