Monday, May 30, 2005

My first real three-day weekend

This Memorial Day weekend was my first real three-day weekend. In newspapers you don't get three-day weekends, holidays or weekends off for the most part. News happens every day. And by three-day weekend I mean one where I have Saturday and Sunday off and then Monday is the holiday. I had many three-day weekends in the past--but I had to take them as vacation days--so they don't count.
Well, Curt and I went to Napa this weekend. We drove up yesterday and came home today. I am still buzzing a little from all my wine tasting. Yesterday we drove up, checked in to our hotel and then went exploring. We went to downtown Napa--a little dead on a Sunday. But we found a little restaurant to have lunch--pasta, salad and of course wine. Well, I had wine, Curt didn't. Our next stop was a little later for dinner. We had an appetizer and then shared a pizza for dinner. Very yummy! And of course I had wine. After that we drove around and found a nice restaurant with patio seating--we had drinks and enjoyed the weather and scenery. We went back to our hotel for a rest and then headed to the Red Hen Cantina (though we call it the Redhead Cantina), which was right next to our hotel. We had drinks there while they showed "Blade II" on the big screen TV.
Today we hit the wineries. I did a little research and I found four potential stops. We hit three today. The first was Trefethen Winery. I did some tasting there. The wine there was good. The only one I didn't like was their Chardonnay. I am not a huge Chardonnay fan anyway. Our next stop was Monticello Winery. Their wine was OK. But they did have a good Chardonnay. Our third stop was Andretti Winery--as in Mario Andretti. This was my favorite winery of the three. I liked all of their wines. I did two different tastings. The Andretti label wines were excellent. Then I tried their Montona wines. Those were a little fancier and more expensive. But they were very good. So I decided to join their wine club. I get two wines in the mail every 3 months and get discounts at the winery. My tastings were free and I bought a bottle of wine at a discount and received a free glass. And we are invited to the annual dinner with ol' Mario. I can take up to three "friends" for FREE wine tastings there and a bunch of other good stuff. So when are you coming to drink some wine?
Before we left town we had lunch at a nice little restaurant near the Napa Valley Inn--where I wanted to stay. But when I checked for rates their rates had gone way up. So maybe we can stay there next time. Anyway, we sat outside with a view of the river. We had a yummy cheese plate and salads and I of course had a glass of wine.
And there is a Napa Valley Wine Train. I am all about that. Who wants to join me for a girl trip?
Here are a few pics from our trip.

Friday, May 27, 2005

OK, I am freaked out

So in the past week Curt has been getting "baby" things in the mail. First he got a catalog, which sells strollers, car seats, sand boxes, etc. All things for baby--and a fashionable baby that is. That stuff ain't cheap. Then he gets diapers in the mail from Huggies--they might have been more useful if they were Depends. And then yesterday, a postcard for those ultrasounds that are in 3-D and color.
Is this some sort of joke? Who had these sent? Speak up!!!! I guess it would freak me out more if they were sent to me. That is not a hint to have them sent to me. And if you are wondering, NO, I am NOT pregnant.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Party Sushi

So our friend Dan, from Oregon, is in town. His parents live in Lafayette, which according to Dan is about a half-hour drive from Berkeley. Lafayette is where he grew up. His is visiting family and friends. We went out to Triple Rock Brewery on Saturday night. And of course we had ... (one guess) garlic fries. We had dinner and some drinks.
Then last night he came on over to Berkeley and we had dinner at Party Sushi. We were gonna have dinner Tuesday night--but Dan's parents planned a family dinner. Well, it was a good thing that they did as we found out Party Sushi is closed on Tuesdays.
Curt and I came upon Party Sushi on his birthday. We drove to Japanese Restaurant #1--we looked at the sushi "menu" and there were like four items listed. We knew that wasn't that place to have sushi. Japanses Restaurant #2 had a waiting list. So we signed up. The place was small and cute and looked pretty authentic. After about 10 minutes of standing around and starving to death--yes, to death, we decided to ditch #2 and try our luck somewhere else. I had seen this Party Sushi before--it looked kinda crazy. Well, if you are familiar with Berkeley or San Fran you know the parking is slim and you usually have to pay for it. Well, there was an open spot right near Party Sushi. DING--Must be fate, huh? So we walk in and there is crazy stuff hanging all over the place--on the walls and from the ceilings and lights in the window--just like a ... party. The prices were cheap ($30 for 2 beers, 1 glass of wine and sushi) and the sushi was VERY good. The only two negatives is that it is run by like two people so the service is slow and they are cash only. But the benefits far out weigh the negatives.
So Dan seemed to like Party Sushi. We had a little left over and I have it for a snack today when I got home from work.

Monday, May 23, 2005

My blog's new look

So you may notice my blog looks a little different. Curt helped me change the colors. Blue is my favorite color and now my blog reflects that. You may also notice some links. If you would like me to add a link just let me know and the cute online boy can do it. (When I first met Curt that is what I called him. That is when we worked together in Salem, Ore.)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

What to drive ... part deux

Oh yes, the Camry. Thanks for the reminder Casey. I didn't used to like those cars. But one time my Corolla need maintenance and they gave me a Camry as a loaner. I really liked it. And I sat up a little higher. So, that is a contender.
As you might know I am partial to Toyotas. Most of my cars have been Toyotas. And I have owned three Corollas in my life. Our truck is a Tacoma, so we are a Toyota family. I wouldn't mind staying with a Toyota.
I hate having to go to dealerships. Those people are vultures. When we bought our Corolla in Oregon right before we moved back to Arizona we had a really nice vulture. He actually wasn't pushy or salesman-like at all. Curt said he was the guy who dealt with the old ladies--since he made you feel comfortable and you felt you could trust him. I even got a rose when we bought the car. Though someone I knew at The Republic was sent flowers at work after she bought a Passat.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Giants vs. A's

Tonight Curt and I saw the Giants vs. the A's. As you all know I have a heated hatred for Barry Bonds. So that means I hate the Giants. So that makes me an automatic A's fan. Curt bought the tickets from a guy off Craig's List. (Craig's List is how we found our apartment, sold Curt's bike and sold our extra fridge in Phoenix.)
After work I came home and changed--made sure I had lots of warm clothes. Then I headed for the BART station. I met Curt at work and then we walked over to the ballpark.
I had garlic fries at the ballpark. They were good, but I still think Triple Rock's are the best.
So, at a ballgame in Phoenix they have a guy walking around selling margaritas strapped to his back. In San Fran they have a guy selling hot coffee strapped to his back. Plus, I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt, fleece jacket thingie (kinda light) and my Oregon winter coat and I was still a little chilly. And we were in the less windy part of the stadium. Now in Phoenix I would wear a T-shirt, shorts and take a sweatshirt or sweater for when I got cold because they blasted the coolers there.
Speaking of Phoenix, it is supposed to hit 113 on Sunday and Monday and it is only May. That is just insane. Now Phoenix gets hot, but May is usually the month it hits a 100 and that is it. June is 105ish and then July is the hot tamale. And you don't even want to be there in August. It cracks me up when people say it is a dry heat. The monsoons bring a decent amount of humidity. Thirty to 40% humidity when it is 110 is just awful.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, the A's won, 8-4. Though we left a little early since I was chilly.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

What to drive ... hmmm ... what to drive ...

So Curt and I have decided that we will be consolidating our vehicles into one. We are going to trade the Corolla and the truck in for a new vehicle. We really only need one vehicle. Curt takes the BART to work. I drive to work--it is only 10-15 minutes away. It is crazy to be paying two car payments, insurance, registration, gas, maintenance, etc. for two cars. If we were rich, then great. But we aren't. We are just in the hmmm, what do we think we like stage. But we are thinking of: Rav4, Jetta, Outback, Forester, some sort of Saturn, etc. I find myself looking at cars on the road. I have recently riden in a few co-workers cars and I inspect the cars. I figure sometime this summer we will have a new vehicle.

Monday, May 16, 2005

A Joey blog

I realized tonight that I don't talk about Joey in my blogs. And after I thought about that I realized that there isn't much to say about my fur baby. He has adjusted well to our new home. He has never had a problem with any of the moves he has had to endure--whether moving across town, in an airplane or on a long road trip.
He has recently started sitting outside the bathroom waiting for Curt or me to get out of the shower so he can jump in the bathtub. He has done this before--but it is in waves. He didn't do it when we lived in Mesa or Phoenix. But he did it when I lived in a cottage in Salem. And I had sliding doors to my shower--and he was able to open them. Amazing little kitty. Anyway, he gets in there and walks around and laps up water. Very gross. And I don't quite understand since he has fresh water sitting next to his food bowl.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Everyone LOVES me!!!

So my dad was telling me the other day that he was at The Republic for meetings. He said different people kept coming up to him and asking how I was doing. Even people I really don't know. He was rather flattered by it. I asked him if he was telling people that I am working to cure cancer. That makes my job sound more glamorous.
Speaking of my job ... my supervisor has been on vacation. So I have picked up some of her duties. I work more with the lawyer right now. He is very nice and so down to earth. He takes the time to explain things to me so I understand the way things work around there better. I really appreciate it. Well, Friday he and I were chatting. He asked me what my situation was at Onyx. I told him that the paralegal (my supervisor) had requested a temp for 4-6 months. He told me that with all the stuff going on at the company we would likely be getting much busier very soon. He wasn't sure if this was something I was interested in. But he more or less told me that if I was interested there would probably be a permanent place for me there. He told me I should start familiarizing myself with a few confidential documents and then I can start producing them myself. It feels good when someone can tell that you are a hardworker and competent to deal with more than filing and making travel plans. He has never once treated me like a lowly temp. One day his wife was in the office and he made it a point to introduce us.
So, does that sound like everyone loves me? You all know how self-centered I am. :)

Friday, May 13, 2005

And the anonymous is ...

... Erica. Apparently she couldn't figure out how to sign on with her own name. But she figured it out and I am very proud. Hey, Erica, Curt set this blog up for me. I wouldn't have figured it out on my own.
And I found out from my friend Leah that our friends were talking about my blog lately. Deb said she reads it. Everyone was asking her what the address is. And Erica said, isn't it on Like it is the new hip Web site of the week. Curt and I are hip. Woo-hoo!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Ouch ... my feet

So after work tonight I took BART into the city to meet Curt for dinner. We went to a co-worker's going away party at a bar. We got there about 6:30-ish and it was over. These people just don't know how to party. So Curt and I went to another bar/restaurant for dinner. I had a watermelon wheat beer. I know that sounds nasty, but it was actually pretty good. We had appetizers and beer while we waited for another co-worker of his to call. We got hungry and ordered dinner. I had fish and chips and Curt had pizza. Both were good. After that we headed back to BART and home. While we were on BART Jim called. So we missed him. (He leaves in Nova Scotia and is only in town for a week at a time.) We will catch him next time around.
But all that walking wore my poor little feet out. I remember how excited I was when we first moved here. I figured I would be walking all the time and loose a bunch of weight. Well, neither has happened. I have lost a little weight being away from that food table at The Republic. But I am working out regularly so the weight will just slide off.
OOOH, ER is about to start. Carter is gonna leave. :( Later.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Happy (belated) Mother's Day!

Curt and I were very good and sent out our Mother's Day cards early. We chatted with Grandma Phyllis, my mom and Curt's mom, Marilyn, on Sunday. My mom was in New York with Fred, my stepdad, celebrating their 5th anniversary. They got back to Tucson tonight--safe and sound.
My friend Stephanie said that she has noticed a theme on my blog postings ... Curt and I are actually doing stuff together. Crazy, ain't it? We actually have dinner together at night and spend our weekends together.
So Saturday Curt and I headed to Alameda--a little island south of Berkeley. They were having a street fair in their downtown. So we checked out the booths and then had some bratwurst. We sat at a table with some really annoying people: Two men and a woman. And these grown men were having a conversation about Paris Hilton and the fact that she and Nicole Ritchie are no longer friends. Unfortunately I can't remember any of their other annoying conversations. But I really wanted to tell them to Shut Up!
After our bratwurst--I had mine with sauerkraut--we took a walk around part of the town or city--not sure which it is. It was a beautiful day. And Alameda is a super cute place. The houses are really nice. There seems to be more room in Alameda than Berkeley or San Fran. Houses are bigger and most people have driveways. Here things are tight and houses are smaller. And most people park on the street. As we took our walk we came upon a Kentucky Fried Chicken--yes, NOT a KFC. They actually had a sign on the building that said Kentucky Fried Chicken. Guess they didn't want to lie to anyone. Like we don't know what KFC means. HA! So after that we headed to Starbucks for drinks and back to the car. We drove around a little and then came back to Berkeley.
Sunday we had two minor earthquakes in the East Bay. The first one woke me up. Our building shook--but not even a rattle from our dishes. The second one happend while I was doing crunches with Maya during my workout with Yourself!Fitness. The second one seemed more like thunder to me. It was raining Sunday. I would prefer to never experience a natural disaster in my lifetime. But living here I just may not be able to prevent it.
Who is this anonymous who commented on my Target post? You already want to move to the Bay Area. And now because of the cart escalator at Target you want to even more. :) My only guess is that this is Kate or Jen? OK, that was two guesses. So my guess is Kate.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

A disappointment at Target ... reposted

Had some technical difficulties here. So I had to repost this one. Some comments on my original post are below on the disappearing Target post.
So I went to Target the other night--one of my favorite stores. Let me give you a little background on the Target I shop at now. This Target is two stories. (I had heard about such things--but I didn't realize I had access to a two-story Target until my first visit to our local Target.) Anyway, you have two ways to get to the second floor--escalator and elevator. I like to take the escalator because you can put the cart in it's own little section of the escalator to ride along side you. It is so cool. Well, Thursday night I get there and the cart escalator part going up was blocked off. I was so disappointed. I had to take the elevator. And let me tell you that was just not as fun. Luckily, I was able to take the escalator down with my cart.
I told my friend Kate about the cart escalator. She told me I had to take pics with my camera phone. Even though I felt like a big ol' dork I did it. She was so excited over the pics. She said it was way cooler than she imagined. So I share these pictures with you. There are only two because my battery was low. And of course they aren't great quality. Curt told me that I could take our regular digital camera in there to get better pics. I told him I felt dorky enough just using the camera phone--but thanks anyway. :)
So take a look at the pics if you are so inclined.

A disappointment at Target

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Proud to have friends who live in Berkeley ...

is what our friend Ken said after a visit over the weekend. Ken works for a small cruiseline for 2 months and then is off for 1 month ... and then back to work again. He stopped by to see us in his off time. He came in Saturday at about 6 p.m. We ordered pizza from North Beach Pizza. Our fave pizza place. About 8 we headed over the Richmond bridge to meet another friend, Eric, for drinks at the Marin Brewing Company. We headed back to Berkeley about 10:30 and I was worn out. I get tired early these days. It is kinda sad. Though I did stay up for a little while and to watch "Saturday Night Live."
Sunday we had lunch at a Thai Buddhist temple near our house. We heard that they had good, cheap food. And it was. The food was amazing. I had some green beans with dry curry--it was so GOOD! We all enjoyed our food. And it was such a nice day to sit outside and eat.
Later we had dinner at our fave place. Yup, you guessed it ... Triple Rock Brewery. We had drinks, dinner and of course, garlic fries. Ken liked them so much we ordered more. So I got to bring some home. Woo-hoo!
Monday morning when Ken was getting ready to head out he said how proud he was to have friends who live in Berkeley. What a wonderful compliment.
So when are YOU coming to visit us?