Thursday, May 29, 2008

A ray of sunshine

I adore my boss.

I have had a pretty horrible week, details of which I can't go into here. Suffice it to say, I'm pretty disheartened with people in general right now. Let's hope that time will change my opinion. I was also unexpectedly reminded how unpredictable, short and fragile life is.

My boss knows it has been a rough few days, so after lunch she came into my office bearing this gift which totally helped cheer me right up. Looking at this makes me smile. Not only because it is so pretty and was such a sweet gesture, but also because it serves as a reminder that there are way more good people out there than jerks. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And we're back!

I got home yesterday and I am still exhausted. But never say that I didn't put aside my own suffering for the sake of my blog. :)

Anyway, my trip home was great! Too short, but totally worth it. I flew in to New Jersey Thursday night and finally left the airport a little past 1am after waiting for my bags for an hour. Not fun. Luckily I had nothing planned for Friday except sleeping in and catching up with my dogs and oh yeah, my parents!
Friday night I met up with Kim, my oldest, bestest friend from high school. We headed over to Grasshopper Off the Green, a cool Irish bar in Morristown for some drinks, dinner and good old catching up. SO much fun I can't do it justice. I love my Kimmie. :) (Hey Kim, "Mierdamente!" "I can still do whatever the fuck I want!" "You gotta honor your craft, man!" I have no recollection of what any of that means. Gotta love notes on a cocktail napkin after a few drinks!)
Saturday morning my sister, Bridget, and I hopped on a train into NYC to meet up with our other sister, Kristy for a fun weekend, just the three of us. First up: Rent at the Nederlander Theatre on Broadway. Just as good as the first time! I'm so sad its leaving. I'd go a hundred more times if I could!

After the show, we wandered through Times Square (ugh, not exactly the most fun, but necessary to get to our car) and found some fun billboards. Like this one for Sex and the City. Okay, it was really for Bacardi, but they used the girls to get more attention ;)
Saturday night the three of us went to my all-time favorite destination in all of New York: Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village. ::sigh:: This place never gets old for me! We got such awesome seats, we were literally ON the stage. Check it out. I took this from where I was sitting - no zoom.
Here's me and my sisters having a BLAST! Between all the beer, the awesome music and crowd, how could we not??
Sunday we helped celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge by walking across it. Great views and impressive construction made it something to remember.
Heading towards Brooklyn...
The construction geek in me couldn't get over how incredible the craftsmanship of this bridge was...Walking back towards Manhattan, the view to the right...

And the left...

We walked around more of the city and past Ground Zero. Not much to take pictures of there because of the construction fencing that blocks everything. Even though we didn't see anything, I'm glad we went. I kind of felt like it completed my trip into the city.

That about sums it up! I spent Sunday night eating my favorite dish of my dad's - lemon chicken (mmmmmmm....) and learning how to make it, playing with the dogs and chatting with my mom. Unfortunately, first thing Monday morning I was in the car driving back to the airport. :( Have I mentioned I'm tired? Because I am. I feel like I need a vacation from vacation! Lucky for me, I've got a 10 day trip to Orlando coming up in 2 1/2 weeks. Woohoo!!

Hope you all had a great, long Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Oh my god, all morning I've been following this story. When I woke up, 100 acres in the Santa Cruz mountains had burned. By the time I left for work, it was over 500 acres. When I got home for lunch and to finish packing? THOUSANDS of acres. We have friends who live over the hill, who will probably be fine, but I can't help but worry especially considering the 40 mph gusts of wind we've been having all day. Scary stuff. Its horrible to see the people losing their homes and also all the animals. People have horses, goats, etc. out there in addition to family pets. I just hope everyone - people and animals - get out safely. "Stuff" you can replace, loved ones you can't.

Please, even if you don't live around here, keep the residents of Santa Cruz and all the firefighters in your thoughts and prayers today. They're saying the fire should be easier to fight tonight when the winds die down... I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Photo courtesy of KGO.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Heading East

As soon as I stop feeling as though someone is twisting my stomach like a wet rag, I'll be packing to go home for a few days. I'm SO excited!! First stop: good ol' New Jersey! I'll hang with my parents and my dogs for a bit before catching up with some friends. Then its off to spend two days in NYC with my sisters - what I'm sure will be the highlight of my trip! Luckily, the weather is supposed to be absolutely perfect, because as much as I love New York City and being home, its just not as fun when its raining. Now the only thing that can ruin this trip is if I don't start feeling better...

Soooo, I'll be back next week with pictures and a rundown of all the fun that was had - Jersey style. ;)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Is it over already?

Weekends never last long enough. I'm totally pulling for the 4-day work week. Who's with me?!

We had a fantastic weekend, and yet it completely consisted of manual labor in some intense 97 degree heat. As I mentioned before, two of our best friends, Derek and Michele, just recently bought a house. So Rusty and I offered up our services to help with some of the projects, namely painting and laying their new bamboo floor. Well, I'm happy to say that as I type this, the guys are making the last cuts and laying the last few boards and Michele and I are in relaxation land since we finished the last of the painting earlier this evening. I am sore in the weirdest spots and totally covered in paint. I'm not kidding. I have paint in my hair, on my face, all over my arms and chest, my clothes, and the best? In my CONTACTS. But honestly, it was totally worth it. Michele and I had two full days of one-on-one time for some girl talk which is always a welcome distraction from my home full of boys. I cannot wait for their wedding in July! Oh, the fun we'll have...

Even though we worked from 11am to 11pm yesterday and all day today, this was one of the best weekends we've had in awhile (well, for a weekend that didn't involve traveling to some fun destination). Last night was my 5 year college reunion and I had contemplated going for months, actually I had every intention of going. Then I saw the list of attendees and when I didn't see anyone on the list who I really wanted to "reunite" with, I decided against it. Instead, the money will go into our house fund which will bring us that much closer to the weekends when Derek and Michele will be spending their weekends helping us with our house! ;)

Now its time to kick back, relax, and get some homework done for the end of the week, because next weekend? I'll be in New York!! Wooooo!!!

Just to end on a fun note - I can always find one of these cards to fit a situation in my life. Today I found three!

This just made me laugh...My friends keep getting their emails blocked when they write to me at work...Getting stoked for next week...

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend as well! Now buck up, little camper and get back to work! :P

Friday, May 16, 2008

Reason #538729 Why I Love California

Yesterday was a monumental day for equality and I truly couldn't be happier for all those who now have the right to marry the one they love. The response around here to the state Supreme Court overturning the ban on gay marriage has been incredible and inspiring. I am so proud to say that California is my home.

And yeah, this totally made me tear up... Look how happy they are?? Too sweet for words... :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hot as Hades

Where the hell did this come from????

Forgive me

... for being so incredibly boring lately, but I just can't seem to muster up anything interesting to write about! I don't have a house to renovate or dedicate an entire post to; I'm not really into partying anymore; I'm not a particularly good photographer, cook, baker, etc. so there's not a whole lot there.... (translation: I'm a horrible housewife. Hence, the reason I will always work.) ... blah blah blah. What I do have is a job I love, a husband I love (and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual ;)) and two dogs who keep me on my toes (as you can see here and here).

I'm incredibly grateful for all I do have, but I'll admit I have moments of jealousy over the things/skills I don't have. I'm always on the hunt for a new hobby that I might be good at, better than average even, but so far I haven't found anything aside from work and grad school. Neither live up to the definition of "fun" but I am pretty good at both and they give me a solid feeling of accomplishment.

So. Now that I am entering into my very last class to earn my graduate degree, I've been thinking a lot about how I want to spend my new found free time come September. I've been throwing around a few ideas:

  • Volunteer! Ideally, I would be able to do this at one of the local SPCA/Humane Society sites. If my career can't involve animals, I might as well dedicate some extra time to them!

  • Get a second job. Okay, so admittedly, this is not my favorite option because I am inherently lazy and my favorite thing to do after work Monday through Friday is walk in the door, take off my heels and work clothes and settle into my slippers and comfy fat pants. This generally does not happen when one has a second job. However, the Husband and I have upped our deadline to buy a house, so there is no time like the present to start sacrificing some free time to make a little extra cash. (Mmmmmm.... discount at Banana Republic..... drool.....)

  • Go to the gym. Hahahahaha! I know. Who am I kidding? I can't even believe I wrote that!

  • Join a book club! Take a knitting class or cooking class! Visit my grandma so she can teach me how to sew! She's just up in San Francisco, so its not that far and I really need to be spending more time with her. So...

  • Let's just go ahead and make that one a definite: Visit Grandma WAY more often!
There are all sorts of things that I could do in my spare time (once I have it). I'm going to weigh the pros and cons of the volunteer vs. second job thing, which is going to be hard because both have 'pros' that I am very passionate about. Its just that one only benefits my heart and my karma, while the other puts good ol' dinero in my pocket. Or our savings account to be more exact. So we can all look forward to the coming months as I'll actually have a life - I hope - from which I will draw upon in an attempt to make this blog thingy ever so slightly more interesting. :)

Okay, so this photo has absolutely nothing to do with my post, but I've been missing having a tiny puppy around. So in my perusal of Harley's puppy pictures, I found this pic that I had to share. Harley at about 15 weeks old greeting our niece (7 months old). She slept right through this...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's in the water

Babies babies, everywhere! Just to name a few: my sister-in-law is due in the fall, as is the wife of one of our groomsmen, the sister of a friend of mine just had her baby yesterday and a couple weeks ago I found out that another friend of mine at work is expecting! Yay! I'm so happy for everyone, I could literally explode. :) And my coworker found out last week that she's having a boy! Double Yay! This fabulous news prompted her to question what is in the water at our company because every woman at work in the last 3 years has had a boy (some of them have had more than one boy in that span of time). It makes me wonder if when we're ready, - whichisnotrightnowthankyouverymuch - should I still be working there when I get pregnant since I want at least one girl??

I kid I kid! But it has sparked a conversation or two - granted they are mostly in my head - about what exactly our plans are in terms of kids and why do we bother making plans anyway? Its inevitable that whatever we "decide"will be overridden by the man upstairs. Of course, for the most part we can control the timing of the whole thing, but there are other issues too. Anyone who has ever wanted kids has at some point said something along the lines of "I want two kids. One boy and one girl, preferably in that order." Okay, so that's what I say... whatever. ;) But I think its a well known fact that, except for the lucky few, we rarely get what we want.... or think we want. When it comes to kids, in the end it really doesn't matter if we have all boys, all girls or one of each because its not up to us. Then you've got my husband, ever the optimist, who figures with our luck we'll have one and when we go for the second, we'll end up with twins or ::gulp:: triplets! Yikes!

The point I think I'm trying to make is I'm trying really hard to not over plan our future because... well... its pointless! I've seen people try to live their life by a timeline or a "plan" and when things don't go accordingly, they're lost and upset and that makes me sad. It's great to have goals and all that and try to time things as best you can, but in the end, the best thing we can do is just let go and live by the que serĂ¡, serĂ¡ attitude.

I know I know. Easier said than done... :) For now, these two mutts are all the kids I can handle.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

May lightning strike me

... if I'm lying, but I am so happy classes have started again. I just had a couple weeks off from school and at first I really enjoyed the freedom to go out or just lay around and do nothing without feeling guilty. But by the end, I was getting really bored. I tried to get out and do as much as possible so I could really enjoy the free time I had but when you're trying to save money, there aren't a whole lot of options! Instead I spent a lot of time on the couch, vegging. And honestly, there is only so much Lifetime and HGTV a girl can stand. I know, right?

Because I've been feeling so useless, I offered up my services as Painter Extraordinaire to our good friends who just bought their first home. We spent all day yesterday at their place working on Step 1: lay the subflooring for the new bamboo floor. As a result of a few snags, including some stripped screws from the girls' attempts at drilling them into the floor, we never got to the painting stage of the project. But since its going to be awhile before the Husband and I are able to purchase our first home, I'm more than willing to hang in there for as long as it takes. I love projects like this. When I was younger I loved to watch This Old House and Old Yankee Workshop with my dad. I mean, its not like I ever actually did anything, but I love the idea of learning how to use all the tools we have. Rusty let me play with some of them and my eyes almost popped out of my head with shock when I realized just how powerful a circular saw feels in your hands. Cuh-raaaazy!

Since we're all about packing as much as we can into a narrow window of time, after we left their house, we went home to change and immediately turned around to go to the San Jose Earthquakes Opening Day at SCU. It was amazing to see so many people on campus and the new facilities and amenities we got as a result of the Quakes using our stadium as their home field for the next few years. Semi-boring game that picked up at the end but the real highlights were the fireworks they set off during the national anthem and all the service men and women who held a giant flag. Very cool.

Of course, as I'm sure many of us did, I finished the weekend with some hardcore spring cleaning. Mostly because I had ignored it for a couple weeks, but also because even though I am happy for class to start again, I will still look for anything to put off homework for a few hours.