Sunday, September 25, 2011

Really fun weekend


We had a really fun weekend. Wow, and now I feel exhausted. I have been tired and lazy all day.
Friday night we had drinks with our friends Eric, Loesje and Esteban at The Trappist. After a few drinks we headed to Tamarindo for dinner. Everything we ate was amazing. And I had a really good white sangria.
Saturday night we hung with the same crowd and headed to Dolores Park in the city for movie night in the park and watched the cheesy Top Gun. Eric brought some awesome sandwiches and we all had a great time eating, drinking and watching that movie. Man, who knew how dumb it was. The lines are so lame. And those guys sure liked to hang around in their towels. Hmm.
Anyway, it was a fun time. And I am definitely not ready for that 5 a.m. alarm clock tomorrow morning. Bleh.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Giving to others


Curt and I met a guy on BART yesterday who is blind. He ended up sitting next to me and we had a great conversation.
He told me that he was about to get a guide dog. He will be heading to LA soon for a month-long training. I asked if he had been on a waiting list. He said he had been on one for about a year.
He was looking forward to getting the dog so he wouldn't have to rely on others and he could feel "normal," like he was before he was blind. He said he just wants to be able to walk down the street and feel like he did before.
Curt and I have donated to the Guide Dogs for the Blind before. But just once. After meeting that guy on BART I am ready to donate again.
As a human being I feel that it is my duty to donate money to others who are less fortunate than me. Curt and I don't have a house or children so we get hit pretty hard when it comes to taxes. Regardless, we want to help others.
Some of the regular charities we donate to are: Food Bank, Humane Society; women's shelters; Planned Parenthood; alma maters; charity gift cards; Brighter Beginnings; toy drives; Jr. Giants; food drives; KQED; most organizations our friends walk, run, bike or work to raise money for; etc. (If you look closely at the picture on the Jr. Giants linked I posted you can find Curt. He is on the left near a guy with a light green shirt and a dude whose head is turned.)
I also have recently started focusing my knitting on charity. Whether hats for the troops; scarves for college students who grew up in the foster system; tiny hats for preemies in the NICU (pictured above--I gave these to my mom who volunteers in the NICU); I knitted a hat for a high school friend's husband who was in Afghanistan and I am about to make another one for another husband; my friend Monica did the 3-day Susan G. Komen walk a couple of weeks ago, she asked me to knit her a scarf, I had enough time to knit two ...
I also run the food drive and toy drive at work around the holidays. I enjoy doing and encouraging others to donate as well.
I realize not everyone can afford to give monetarily. But there are so many ways to donate: your time, your talents. For me, it is hard right now to donate time. I really wish I could. But my monetary donations and knitting skills will have to do for now.
My mom is retired and probably volunteers close to 20 hours a week. She works in the NICU; food bank; soup kitchen; shelter (I believe for men to eat and shower and get some time off the street). I am probably missing something. I think she also does some sort of meal delivery as well.
It feels good to give to others. I am thankful I was raised by someone who feels that it is an important part of life. (Making sack lunches on Sundays after church for the soup kitchen really stuck.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Celebrating Grandpa's 90 years

Featured in the collage above are: Grandpa; Ann; John; Alex; Alison; Tim; Emily; Ashley; Dad; Uncle Pat; Aunt Gen; Tony; Curt; and Marshall

This past weekend was truly amazing. The only negative was the heat. I was excited for the temperatures of 90ish. That is until I arrived. I have no idea how I survived 23 years in Tucson. And then later 3 1/2 years in Phoenix. That heat is wretched.
OK, get ready for my quick summary of the weekend ...
Curt and I arrived Friday night.
Saturday we had a late breakfast at The Arizona Inn with my mom and stepdad. Then it was time for errands: BevMo for drinks for my grandpa's 90th birthday party; Michaels for a frame for the collage I made for Grandpa with pics of all the grandkids, shown above; grocery for a few ingredients Dad needed for the meal; eegee's for my strawberry slushie (and one for Alex, too). We got back to Dad's to help with a few things, run another errand to get ice and corn tortillas, then get ready and head out about 2:15 to pick up the guest of honor for his 3 p.m. 90th birthday party.
Party was a success. It was fun. Grandpa was so appreciative. There was no family drama. Delicious food. Grandpa absolutely loved the collage of the grandkids younger and older with and without Grandpa. He got emotional over the collage and the card I created where all six of us grandkids signed. It was a fun party. It was so important that we did it.
After the party some of us headed to The Buffet for a drink. I have a tradition of taking my younger cousins there for a drink after they turn 21. All who joined us was: Of course Curt and myself, Fred (stepdad), cousins: Jackie, Emily and Alex and Emily's boyfriend, Adam. It was a good time. We bought a round of drinks with 2-3 more drinks and only spent 30 bucks. Gotta love The Buffet.
Sunday morning Dad made chorizo and eggs for breakfast. Emily and Adam joined Dad, Hilda, Curt, Alex and myself for breakfast. Then we hung around for a bit and chatted. Eventually Curt and I headed to my Mom's to fulfill family obligations on that side. My grandma came over for a visit along with my Uncle Mike and cousin Daniel. Mom had appetizers and drinks. It was a good visit. After the gang left we hung out for a bit and then the four of us headed to dinner: pizza and beer. After that Curt and I headed back to Dad's to relax for the rest of the evening.
This morning we headed to 4th Ave. for a little breakfast and coffee and then off to the airport to come home.
Here is a link to all the photos I took from the weekend.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What 09/11 means to me

My brother and me in front of the twin towers circa 1989.

Today many people are reflecting on 09/11 and how they were affected by it. I had no personal ties to any of those who died.
My dealings were different. Curt and I worked second shift at The Arizona Republic. We were asleep when the first tower was hit and asleep when both towers had fallen.
My mom waited until about 8:30 a.m. and then called us. She woke us up. Curt answered the phone and then handed the phone to me and turned on the TV. I was confused and didn't understand what my mom was saying. She was very upset and said something about planes and one crashed in Pennsylvania and she and my stepdad were supposed to fly to Pittsburgh later that week.
For the rest of the morning Curt and I just watched TV.
We eventually got ready and headed to work. Some of my co-workers had been called in to work on an EXTRA. The newsroom was buzzing. Anyone who had the day off was called in. We all worked long hours, worked on our days off and a team that normally put out one daily newspaper was putting out two for a week.
The Republic newsroom has a lot of TVs. They were usually on but without sound. That week was one of the few times we had the volume up.
I experienced 09/11 as an American, a citizen and a journalist. It was hard, sad, tiring, exhausting and tough. But I was proud of the products we produced every day, whether it was the daily paper or the Extra.
I remember a couple of days in someone made a joke--probably inappropriate (but journalists have a different sense of humor) and it all gave us the laugh we so needed. Later that night we went out for drinks. Also needed.
Curt and I flew to Missouri about a month after the 09/11 terrorist attacks. It was an interesting world being at airports with armed men.
I am OK with all the rules that are in place to keep us safe. Some may be a pain: taking your shoes off; going through scanners; long lines; liquid restrictions. But isn't our safety worth it?

****
09/11 has some other meanings/significance to me as well. On the first anniversary of 09/11 Curt proposed. He was working at a different paper at the time and got off work at about 5 a.m. He
came home and woke me as he figured I would want to watch the ceremonies. Curt seemed to be acting a little weird that morning. But I couldn't figure out what was going on. Eventually I told him I had to go back to bed as I knew work would be busy with anniversary coverage. Then he proposed. And I couldn't go back to sleep. I don't know why he picked that day. Maybe he just finally got the guts to do it.

****
In 2004, on 09/11 my nana died. She was briefly ill for a second time. When I was in high school Nana had an aneurysm explode in her brain. She, by some miracle, survived it, but she was never the same Nana.
Nana was at my wedding and looked beautiful and had a great time. I am grateful that she was there.
The following year she died from a heart thing. I saw her weeks before she died. And I talked to her the night before she died.
She is pictured to the right when she was much younger. She was a beauty--inside and out. She was probably one of the most genuine people I ever knew.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Fake shots and long weekend

For my readers who aren't on Facebook, here is a pic of Joey getting his fake shot. It got a lot of "likes" and comments on Facebook. It still cracks me up when I look at it.
Joey is still getting his fake shot every evening. And Curt is the one who seems to enjoy giving it.
Joey and I will visit Dr. Miller at the end of this month to see how Joey's sugar is doing and his kidney function as well.
********
We had a good weekend. All weekends should be 3-day weekends!
We had a loungy weekend. We had dinner last night with our new upstairs neighbors. They made dinner and invited us up. It was fun and delicious. I think we have made new friends.
Today after my yoga class Curt and I walked to brunch. On the way there I decided to call my mom's house because I knew the family would be over and I could talk to my grandma. (If you call her house she never answers the phone--so why bother calling, right?) I talked to my mom, grandma, one aunt, one uncle and two cousins!
I am excited to go home in a couple of weeks to celebrate my grandpa's 90th birthday (my dad's dad) and see lots of family.
OK, it is a little after 9 and time for bed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

One fake shot a day

Joey, my 17-year-old man furbaby, had an appointment at the vet on Friday. Joey needs a check up every six months because he is an old man. He gets his geriatric profile and diabetic check up.

Joey hates getting into his carrier. And I had to do it by myself Friday morning. It was a struggle getting him into the box. Once in the exam room while we were waiting for Dr. Miller Joey seemed more anxious than normal as he was whining and crying way more than usual. The barking dog outside our room probably contributed to both our angst. Joey wasn’t too excited to be examined by the vet. Once Dr. Miller was listening to Joey with the stethoscope Joey was getting pissy. As Dr. Miller started to feel Joey and check on his newly made bald spots on his body (apparently old man cats pull out their hair) Joey started growling and hissing. I got a little nervous as I did not want to get bit by my super unhappy probably angry cat.

Yesterday Dr. Miller called to give results of the tests and blood work. It is possible that Joey's diabetes is reversing. So we are going to one shot a day and will have Joey's fructosamine checked again in a month. The last time he was at the vet and had tests done they found that he was in very early renal failure. This time around it has advanced. So Joey is now taking potassium to help with his kidney function. The diet he is on right now for his diabetes is low carb, high protein. For kidney issues they usually want them to be on a diet that is low in protein. We will have a better idea of things in a month when we go back for more blood work.

Joey is very used to getting two shots a day. On the weekends he actually wakes me up to tell me it is time for his shot. After a shot he gets treats. So he wants the shot. So yesterday and today we gave him a kitty placebo--we poke him in the back of the neck with a pen. He seems satisfied with that and waits for his treats after his fake shot. We'll see how long the fake shot lasts. Especially if he ends up not needing any insulin shots.

Keep my furbaby in your thoughts. I want him to feel good and not be in any pain ever. I have had my furbaby for almost half my life. I have had him for 17 1/2 years.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Good genes


After the gym on Thursday night I hit BevMo. I got some Spanish beer and wine for a paella party Curt and I attended last night.
I was carded as I was making my purchase. I have a hard time getting my license out of wallet. The cashier told me it was fine and leaned over to look at the date. I pointed out the '74.
Of course that created a conversation with the cashier, the guy bagging my booze and me. The two guys went on and on at how young I looked and that I have good genes, blah, blah, blah.
My grandpa is about to turn 90. He doesn't look 90. He still lives in his house, drives (really slow) and goes to the veteran's bar every afternoon to have a couple of Miller High Life's with his buddies. My mom's grandma died on her 96th birthday. Granita was healthy until about 92 or so when she fell and broke her shoulder. At the time she was still living alone.
Those who know me know I don't want to get old. I haven't figured out how I am going to prevent that.
****
Last night Curt and I went over to my friend Pam's house for a paella party. Pam's paella is pictured above. It was delicious. This was the third spin party of the year. I have become good friends with a group of women (and a few men) in my Saturday spin class and we have started hanging out. They are a fun group. They all are the main reason I haven't quit the gym yet. Because of my work commute and the fact that I have a gym at work and attend the neighborhood yoga studio and only go to 4-6 classes a month at the gym I have seriously contemplated quitting the gym. But the Saturdays keep me going ...
Anyway, the party was fun. Amazing food, good wine, a little dancing, a lot of eating. Just a good, fun time.
Today I hit the yoga studio. After that I met Curt for brunch. Then home for a nap and have been pretty much lazy since.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My new purse to celebrate 5 years


Wow, three posts in ONE WEEK! Woot-woot!
October of 2010 my 5-year full-time anniversary occurred with my company.
Earlier this year Onyx came up with 5-, 10- and 15-year rewards.
I contemplated over what gift I wanted. I finally decided on a purse. I don't really care about brand-name purses. If I like the purse I like it whether it comes from Target, H&M or somewhere fancy.
There were two purses to pick from in the many gifts I had to choose from. I also contemplated a watch and a couple of other items.
I also received a plague, which you see pictured above. I just got my purse yesterday. I hemmed and hawwed over what to get and I finally decided on my purse. I think it was a good choice.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Shaking hands with one of the greats

Curt and I donate a lot to charity. A charity we have donated to this year and last is called the Jr. Giants Stretch Drive.
If you donate a certain amount you are invited to a little reception before a Giants game. Curt and I went last year and unfortunately Willie was sick so we missed meeting him.
We attended the reception again this year, which was tonight. One of us gets to go out on the field. I think Curt appreciates it more than me. He walked out last year and this year. Though he told me next year I am doing it.
He also got to shake hands with Willie McCovey, which was super cool.
I can't wait to tell my Grandpa.
After the ceremony Curt and I met up for our Crazy Crab sandwiches. We decided to skip the game and eat dinner out by the water. We headed to BART to get on home. BART was (and still is) having delays. We waited more than a half and hour and decided to forget it and cab it home. Good thing we did. We ditched BART a little before 8:30 and the trains are still down and it is 9:20 and they have no idea when the computer will be back up.
OK, 9:20, time for bed.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Girls' weekend

Curt recently told me that he may remove me from his bookmarks, you know, since I haven't updated in weeks and hardly update.
Sorry 'bout that. I can't imagine that will change anytime soon. My time is limited with my long commute these days. And seriously, there seems to be nothing that exciting going on lately.
And I am about to sign up for a course. So the little bit of time I have will go toward that for the next couple of months.
Curt went up to Tahoe this weekend with some guy friends.
So I had the whole weekend to myself!
Friday I worked from home (as I usually do on Fridays). During the day I took a yoga class. Then for dinner I met my friend Monica at Enoteca Molinari, a new tiny restaurant, which recently opened in the hood. Everything we had was amazing. We both had wine, we shared a Gorgonzola and onion crostini, shared a tomato and mozzarella salad, each had a pasta dish (Monica had pesto pasta and I had carbonara) and, of course, dessert, which was delicious as well. I couldn't believe how good all the food was. The flavors were just popping. Wow.
Saturday morning I went to two yoga classes at the yoga studio. I had a hair appointment in the afternoon for a trim. I ended up getting 5 inches trimmed and I still have a lot of hair. After that I did a little shopping in the hood with some gift certificates I hadn't used yet.
Then I came home for some wine, chick flick watching and take out Pad Thai.
This morning I just lounged around. I tried a different yoga class today. I normally take a 10:45 Vinyasa Flow class. But today I tried an Ashtanga class at 12:30. In a little bit I am heading to the 6 p.m. Restorative class. I am so looking forward to it.
The picture above is the salad Monica and I shared on Friday night. Wow, it was so amazing. The photo to the right is a sampling of my Girl Night In.
OK, it's almost time for me to leave for my Restorative class. Have a good night and week!