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 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.