Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ready? 1, 2, 3 ... Cheese!!!

OK, it has taken me forever to get my pics off our digital camera. So be ready to view lots of fun pics.

This is Curt with his truck loaded up to head to San Francisco. If I remember correctly Curt headed out on Feb. 15. That was the beginning of our new life in the Bay Area. And so far we love it. This was a good move for us.

On March 5 Jen and Dave had a going away party for us. They were wonderful hosts. We are lucky to have such good friends who wanted to throw a party for us. And we were also so lucky to have so many people attend our farewell gig. We miss you all and hope you come for a visit.
Here is the link to the pictures from the party.

My mom and stepdad, Fred, helped Curt and I with our move. Mom and Fred drove me and Joey up here after the movers packed all of mine and Curt's stuff in a moving truck. Mom and Fred also stayed up here for about a week to do some fun touristy stuff. We spent time in Chinatown, Alcatraz, North Beach, Monterey, Berkeley, etc. Here is the link to a few pics we took while they were here.

In July the Reuterman bunch came out for a visit. Deb had some work to do in the city. So David and the kids came out for part of the time she was out here. Curt and I met up with them at Fisherman's Wharf for dinner. We had yummy seafood. Afterward it started getting chilly and as typical tourists the bunch only had T-shirts and shorts on. So they all (except Shauna--who had on jeans and a jean jacket) had to buy San Francisco sweathshirts to wear with their shorts. :) It was great to hang out with all of them. The kids were all good and we all had a great time. Come back soon guys! Here is a link to a few more pics from their visit.

In August Erica and Casey came out for a visit. They flew in on a Friday and left on a Tuesday. (Casey mentioned to me that they plan their vacations around eating. Works for me!) Friday night after Curt and I got off work we had dinner at Triple Rock Brewery. Yummy garlic fries!!! (I am making myself hungry.)
On Saturday we met Katie and Mari Flo and their kids for breakfast. After that we headed to the city. We walked through Chinatown--touristy part and then the "real" part--where they have the crazy food hanging in the windows and all that good stuff. We had some good and cheap food there. Then we went on an Alcatraz tour. (Now, Curt and I have been there twice and while it is cool and all I think I can only go one more time. There are night tours and I think that would be cool and creepy.) After the tour we were at the Fisherman's Wharf so we had a seafood snack. Casey had Clam Chowder. And Curt and I each had Shrimp and Crab cocktail. It was so GOOD! And you can buy these from a guy working at a counter outside. After that we headed to North Beach for a delicious Italian dinner. We waddled back to BART after our enormous dinner.
On Sunday we had breakfast together. Then Erica and Casey headed to Sacramento to visit her artist friend. And Curt and I went to an Oakland A's game.
Monday they came back in the afternoon and the four of us met in the city (after work) for dinner. We had dinner in Haight Ashbury and then walked around. The fog was pretty thick that night. It was creepy and cool to walk through it.
Then Erica and Casey headed out Tuesday. We enjoyed your visit guys!!! Here is the link to the pics from our camera and from Erica's. There is no link to Casey's pics because he took all of them on his cell phone and I am not sure if he has figured out how to get them off yet.

Curt's dad, Ed, came out the first weekend in October. I didn't take any pics--but he did. On that Friday night Ed, Curt and I went to a ballgame. D-Backs vs. Giants. And the D-Backs won! Ed was looking forward to trying some garlic fries. They were pretty good. After the game we headed home.
On that Saturday we had a lazy morning. Ed and I headed out for breakfast at about 8:30 a.m. We got to our fave breakfast place--The Drunken Boat--and it wasn't opened yet! Ed was like, What kind of breakfast place isn't open early? I said, Well, this is Berkeley. Then I looked down the street and it was deserted. Apparently Berkeley doesn't wake up too early. So we headed to IHOP. Later the three of us headed to the city. We walked around Chinatown, the touristy part and the not so touristy part. Had some food. Then we headed to North Beach for an early dinner. Good food. Headed back to Berkeley on BART. While riding home I asked Ed if he wanted to hit Trader Joe's to get some 2-buck Chuck. (He had come out to drive our truck back to Missouri--in case you didn't know, he bought our truck.) So we headed to Trader Joe's and Ed bought a whole case. Curt said he never thought he would see his dad buy a case of wine. :) After we got home we decided to go to ... you guessed it ... Triple Rock. I told Ed he had to try the garlic fries there. And he agreed with me that they are better than the ones at the ballpark.
Then early Sunday morning he headed toward home.

My friend Shelly came out in October to celebrate our birthdays. Shelly is a single mom of 10-year-old twin girls. So I encouraged her to come out sans children. (Don't get me wrong, I love Hope and Jade. But I thought Shelly deserved her own vacation.)
Shelly came out on a Wednesday. So that night we headed to yup, Triple Rock for dinner.
Then Thursday she spent the day in the city while Curt and I worked. We had dinner in Berkeley at a pretty good Italian restaurant we found when Mom and Fred were here. Friday, Shelly was again on her own during the day. She spent the day in Berkeley and ending it at the day spa I go to getting a massage. Afterward she and I took BART into the city to meet Curt. We headed to Haight Ashbury for dinner. We walked around the area. We headed to a bar and sat at a table for 10-15 mins with no service. So we left.
Saturday we had a lazy morning. About 3 we headed to Sausalito. (Shelly wanted to see the Golden Gate and there is an area that you can get a great view and pics, too.) So we get to Sausalito and there are a zillion people there. Well, it was fleet week and there was an airshow. So Curt dropped Shelly and me off at one spot and went to look for parking. People were watching the planes. There was a little grassy area and I noticed a woman with a glass of wine. I told Shelly, we need to find out where she got that wine. So we found a little cafe with a very rude server. But we got our glasses of wine and headed to the grassy area. Soon Curt came back. So we sat around just enjoying the great weather. Soon the airshow ended and people started clearing out. After that we had a great view of the city. So we stuck around a little longer. We decided to walk around. We passed by a Christmas shop. So Shelly and I entered it and Curt went to a nearby bar that was certain to have to football on TV. After our shopping spree we met Curt at the bar. We had a few drinks and some popcorn and just had fun hanging out. After we left we headed to the spot where you have a great view of the bridge and we took some pics. There were a lot of people there with the same idea as us. But we had a great view and I think we got some good pictures. Afterward we headed home, had some pizza and watched "Farenheit 9/11." I had seen it before--but it is a really good documentary.
Sunday was my birthday. I watched "Monsoon Wedding" in the morning. We hung out and I opened some gifts. Our friend Eric came over. The four of us headed to the Thai Buddhist Temple for lunch--had some good thai food. After that we headed back to our place--I opened the rest of my gifts. Soon after that Shelly had to head to the airport. I drove her to the BART station.
I had a manicure and pedicure as a birthday treat to myself. Curt and I had Soul Food for dinner. A woman I work with--her family owns the restaurant. We had really good food and a lot of it. We came home and I had my chocolate cake--which Sharlotte gave me--and some Pinot Noir while I watched "Desperate Houswives." A pretty good birthday in all.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Wellness Works

I get e-mails almost daily called Wellness Works. I started getting them while at The Republic and made sure to change my e-mail to continue getting them after I was no longer a Gannettoid. Wellness Works are tips about health, diet, exercise, etc. There are some really good ones that I would like to share. Please bear with me. (And read them, some interesting facts):

Tips to Maintain Long-Term Weight Loss
A recent article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (July 2005) reports that once you've lost weight, keeping it off actually gets easier with time. The article identified 6 important behaviors: 1. Get active and stay active; 2. Eat a diet low in calories and fat; 3. Don't skip breakfast; 4. Hit the scales at least once per week; 5. Maintain a steady eating pattern; and 6. Catch 'slips' before they turn into bigger problems.

Everybody knows someone who swears by a very low carbohydrate diet. However, carbohydrates are not the enemy. Most reputable nutrition experts still agree that a large part (45%-65%) of your calorie intake should come from carbohydrates, particularly vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Nutrition research tells us that a high carbohydrate diet is still the best way for most of us to achieve and maintain optimal health.

Healthy humus recipe
Here's a quick & healthy hummus (chickpeas) recipe. Blend or food process 1/4 cup reserved liquid from one 16 oz can of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), the chickpeas themselves, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, & 2 Tbsp minced garlic. Spread onto a whole-wheat pita and top with shredded carrots, sliced olives, grilled eggplant, and roasted red peppers for a delicious and healthy appetizer, snack, or light meal.

Eating out
Studies reveal that Americans consume 1/3 of their daily calories away from home. When dining out, consider trying one of these healthy eating tips: order half portions, ask for a side of veggies with your order, split your dessert, choose water or unsweetened tea instead of soda, skip the chips & salsa or bread & butter before your meal, and try to eat slowly (you're less likely to overeat).

Lots of Diets
Did you know that 65 million Americans go on a weight loss diet each year? And that as many as 48 million Americans are on a diet on any given day? Try on this idea: Dieting is not the solution for being overweight or obese. At best, diets are only a very temporary fix. Adopting gradual, but sustainable improvements to your eating and exercise habits are what can last you a lifetime.

Mock Sour Cream
Try this recipe as a sour cream substitute! Blend 1-cup low fat cottage cheese, 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice in a blender until smooth. This makes 16 tablespoon-sized servings with only 14 calories and 0.3 grams of fat per serving! Use as a topping for baked potatoes, gazpacho and low fat tacos.

2301 -----> 679

I am very bad about deleting e-mails out of my Inbox--whether it be work or personal. The other day I started going through my work Inbox. I deleted a good amount. And I made a bunch of folders to store e-mails in an organized fashion that I must keep. (But I still have a long way to go. After awhile my eyes were really hurting and I just had to stop.)
Well, today I went through my Yahoo e-mails. When I started I had 2,301 e-mails. Yes, I know!!! I started deleting like crazy and I am down to 679. When I stopped I was in e-mails back in November. So who knows how far they actually go back. And of course I started seeing e-mails that I know I need to reply back to. So you aren't forgotten--just got a little lost in the mess of messages. (I also had 87 unread e-mails--they are all gone. Most of them were from America West or Southwest, Wellness Works (health tips) and Netflix (telling me they received a movie back or what I was getting next.)
Before I deleted all those e-mails I was only using 10% of my 1 GB. Now I am at 7%. But most of the e-mails I have kept have pics attached--which I need to look at again and add to Shutterfly and then delete.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Here comes the rain again

Well, I do believe that winter or the rainy season or both have arrived. It has been cool in the mornings and foggy for about a week. And this morning I looked out the window and it had rained during the night. And it was sprinkling when I drove to work.
Time to pull out the sweaters ... oh, wait, I never put them away. So time to wear the wool sweaters and of course the others, too.


Curt and I had a really good dinner last night for our second anniversary. (Can you believe that was 2 years ago that we were dancing around with boas and having a great time at the lovely Arizona Inn?) We had dinner at the Paragon Bar & Cafe at the Claremont Resort in Berkeley. A cool and funky little restaurant. And for a Tuesday night it was really hoppin'. (Good thing I made reservations.) I had delicious halibut and Curt had shrimp pasta. For dessert I had a pumpkin cheesecake. To die for! Anyway, we had a nice evening.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Happy Anniversary!

So Curt and I were in Napa/Sonoma this weekend to celebrate our second anniversary, which is tomorrow.
Saturday we headed to Petaluma--a cute and charming town. We had lunch and walked around. Then I had my massage. (A woman Curt used to work with is now a professional massage therapist.) She did a wonderful job. (The massage was my anniversary present from Curt.)
Then afterward, Curt and I, and Ronda (massage therapist) and her boyfriend, Steve, headed to the Petaluma Oktoberfest. (First we drove to Santa Rosa and then realized that it was in Petaluma--right where we had started out.) So we had food and drinks at Oktoberfest--bratwurst, turkey legs and beer. Good food! And some silly entertainment. First there was a polka band, then some lady who walked on some pole balanced by 2 audience volunteers. She invented this pole herself--she was a crazy little woman. Then there was some young band playing rock. And then some older guys playing covers. We had a good time. (Oh, and the money earned at Oktoberfest went to Hurricane Relief--which was good since it wasn't cheap to get in.)
Then after that Curt and I headed to Sonoma to stay at the Windhaven Cottage. It was a great little guesthouse. We are definitely planning on going back. Forget Napa--we will stay at the cottage and then drive to Napa (which really isn't that far).
So Sunday late morning we left the cottage and headed to St. Helena for lunch. The we started driving south toward Napa and lots of wineries. We hit four wineries. Let's see if I can remember all of them: William Harrison; Miner; Pine Ridge; and of course Andretti. (Andretti is the winery I am a Wine Club member of. I got free tastings and discounts on everything we purchased.) We stocked up on lots of stuff from Andretti--now most of our Christmas shopping is done.
So we had a good weekend. Tomorrow night we are going out to dinner at the Claremont Resort in Berkeley.

Friday, October 21, 2005


So the fog rolled in this morning and hasn't rolled away. My office is on the 12th floor and we can't see out of our windows (it is 11:05 a.m.). It is kinda creepy. This is the kind of day where you want to stay under the covers, drink hot chocolate and read a book or watch movies.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Woot-woot for $2.72 a gallon! Can you believe I am happy about gas ONLY being $2.72 a gallon? Well, that is what I paid when I filled up yesterday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bush Cheated!

So this morning as I was driving to work I saw a bumper sticker on a truck in front of me: Bush Cheated! Now I see these all the time around here. But this one had the "ATED" in blue words while the rest of it was in white words. Am I missing something here? Why was that part highlighted? Anyone know?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dropping like fleas

So, poor Joey has fleas. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that he was scratching and biting much more than the normal cat grooming. I looked for fleas but didn't see any. So I figured he had some sort of skin condition. I made an appt. at the vet.

Then last Thursday (2 days before the appt.) I noticed that Joey did have fleas. So I called the vet to cancel the appt. and get advise on what to do. The woman told me to use Advantage. I thought you needed a prescription but she said no.

So Curt and I headed to Petsmart. They didn't have Advantage. But the guy told me they had stuff just as good. So we bought it, went home and applied the stuff to the back of Joey's neck.

By Sunday Joey was not getting any better. So Monday morning I called the vet to see what I could do. They told me that they didn't have any appointments available. But I could be a "work in."

So Joey and I headed to the vet's office. They got me in pretty quick. The vet checked him out. She said he was healthy--besides the lovely flea infestation. She also educated me a tad on fleas. (I am surprised at some of the stuff I didn't know--esp. because I worked at Petsmart for almost 3 years and I used to advise customers on what to buy and what was good.) She told me that you don't even have to see fleas to know your animal has fleas. The "flea dirt" and (ugh!!!) eggs are very noticeable.

The vet said the fleas can still get to your cat if it is indoor only--like Joey. Apparently these little jerks can jump through window screens, walk in the door when the owner does, etc. Curt and I think they came in under our door. There is a gap between the front door and the floor. (We are planning on weather stripping it soon.) She also told me that indoor cats don't need shots as often--which I had also thought--but Joey has never gone without--maybe late though. I really liked her and will be going back to that clinic.

So Joey and I got home and I put the Advantage (which you don't need an Rx for--but have to get from a vet) on right away. Then I headed to work. By last night those little jerky fleas were dying. Woo-hoo! I knew Advantage worked (Back in the day I used it as a preventative for Joey), but not that quickly. And after finding out about the eggs I was completely grossed out--so I vacuumed like a madwoman last night. And will continue to vacuum every day until the flea situation is under control. (The vet told me the eggs fall off and end up in a dust bunny of some sort, then feed off of it or something gross like that and then when Joey walks by the dust bunny the flea jumps right back on the cat.)

Now that you are completely grossed out and itching ... But now you know, BUY ADVANTAGE. Don't waste your time or money on anything else. (Frontline is supposed to be really good, too.) So I will be returning that stuff that didn't work to Petsmart and getting our 17 bucks back!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

$3.04 ... $2.89 ... $2.85

So last week I paid a whoopin $3.04 for a gallon of regular gas. Then a few days ago it went down to $2.89 and yesterday down to $2.85.
Crazy! Wish I had to get gas this week. I suppose I could top off.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Did you all know that Katie Holmes is pregnant?

The news of the Daily Dish item was that she was dumping her old publicist for her to-be sis-in-law who is also a Scientologist. Like I care about that. The pregnancy was the news to me. (And how can Scientologists act all holier than thou and be having sex outside of marriage, huh???)

Pregnant actress Katie Holmes has fired her publicist Leslie Sloane-Zelnick after nine years together, and has hired her fiance Tom Cruise's sister as her new spokesperson.

Holmes and Cruise announced her pregnancy last week, which comes only six months after the couple began dating.

Thank you cookies!

Well, I had my new hire orientation yesterday. Lots of stuff I already knew--but I got some info that I didn't.
A little after 4 p.m. Angie, in HR, came over to my cube and told me I had some visitors. Two women (from The Job Shop--the temp agency that placed me at Onyx) came by to congratulate me on my becoming permanent. They also wanted to thank me for doing a good job as a temp. And they had cookies for me--Mrs. Field's cookies. YUM YUM. I tought it was so nice that they came by. Very cool!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Foot unfetish no more ... well, maybe

I have, what I like to call, a foot unfetish. I HATE to have people touch my feet. My feet are VERY ticklish. So whenever I have a massage I always tell the therapist to use firm pressure when touching my feetsies.
Anyway, I treated my birthday-self to a mani/pedi. (I didn't do a massage since I am getting one in 2 weeks as an anniversary present from Curt.) I actually enjoyed the pedicure. I giggled a few times--but for the most part it was bearable when she massaged my feet and used that thingie to rub the bottoms of them--some sort of buffer.
I got some great gifts. I am taking myself shopping next week. Woo-hoo! Thanks for all of the great gifts.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Officially Official

Well, it is official. Onyx has hired me to be a full-time employee. My official start date is Monday.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

George Clooney said some smart things:

"Now, I would argue that (throughout) American history, it's pretty hard to find a time when liberals were on the wrong side of an issue. We thought that the conservative view was, 'Witches should be burned at the stake.' Moderate view was: 'Well, just in case,' and the liberal view was, 'There's no such thing as witches.'"

"We thought women should be able to vote and blacks should be allowed to sit at the front of the bus and Vietnam was wrong. We haven't really been on a lot of wrong sides for us to be sort of used as this bad word."


That is what I paid for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline yesterday. This is the first time since we have lived here that we have had to pay more than 3 bucks a gallon. The price had been hovering around the high $2.90s.
NUTS I tell ya.