Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday shopping

I think most of you know how much I hate Christmas shopping. Now I love shopping. But I don't love it when tons of people are in my way. Crowds make me anxious. I avoid the mall all times of the year. If I go, I know exactly where I need to go and what to get and then I get out! Right near work and not far from home is an outdoor mall called Bay Street. They have just about every store I need--except for Hallmark. If they had a Hallmark that would be perfect. For some reason I am OK with the outdoor malls.
I did a ton of my shopping online yesterday. I had all the stuff picked out and in my cart. Yesterday I pulled the trigger. We are going a little more modest this year on gifts. Everyone has everything they need. And there are people out there who need a lot more than we do. So there will be some donations made. I still like to get stuff for the kids. But I have even reeled that in a bit. I try to focus on books for presents. Plus they are cheap to mail--just an added bonus.
And those of you who really know me know I finish my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. I have been so unprepared this year. Not sure what the deal is. Maybe because I am doing my course and working a lot. And going to the gym cuts into my time at home in the evenings a couple of nights out of the week. Thanksgiving snuck up on my this year, too.
Anyway, most of my shopping is done. I think I will be done by the weekend. Well, except for Curt. I usually take my time with his stuff.
There is a radio station here that is playing non-stop Christmas music. I put that on sometimes in the car and I just haven't gotten into the Christmas spirit. Maybe because it is still November? This weekend I want to put up the outdoor blue lights. Curt and I are debating what weekend to put the Christmas tree up.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holiday Pictures

OK, got my Thanksgiving weekend pics up and cutlines written.
Click here to enjoy some family weekend pics.

Ann and Sabu.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Whenever I go back to Arizona my hair calms down. I have been in the Bay Area for almost 3 years and my hair has never gotten used to the climate. When I lived in Oregon it probably took about 6 months--but eventually my hair stopped with the frizz. The frizz continues here. I hate it. Over the weekend (in the Old Pueblo) I would blowdry my hair and it was all smooth and looked nice. When I do that here my hair is all big and puffy. Sleeping on it helps calm it down. But it is still frizzy in the morning. I have tried all kinds of products. My current ones are gel and hairspray. So frustrating.

While in Arizona I got 3 mosquito bites. Can you believe that? It was November. I got two on my leg and one on my butt! We saw at least one mosquito flying around at my dad's house.

Check out the Cold Weather Workouts I found from Yahoo. These work for those of you who live in the desert during the summer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back at work

Ugh! It's Monday after a long holiday weekend.
I came into work today with a task from my boss that he needed right away. I hadn't even looked at my e-mails. But I got it done and we are both happy with it.
And I am very proud of myself. I went to yoga this morning. Believe me, it was tough. But I did it. Man, the "practice" was tough. I am not sure if it was because we were doing some new things, I was tired or because I was a little out of practice. I think it was a combo. But somehow I made it through.
And back to the studying today. Leaving early to get back into my course. I have taken about a week off.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We're home

Just got home. We are exhausted. But happy to be home. I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.
Joey is happy we are home, too. Ruff Ruff Pet Care did a great job with him. Thanks Bettina and Joey! I am so happy with your care for my fur baby.
Gonna get my bag ready for tomorrow, get in my jammies and jump in the sack!

Ruff Ruff had a report card on Joey. Joey received an A+. He was a pawsitively puuurrrfect kitty! And there is even a picture of Joey on his report card. Now that is what I call service. If you live in the Bay Area I recommend this service. We will definitely use them again. They were awesome.

Oh, and we were so tired we decided to splurge on a cab tonight. Got home much quicker. It was totally worth it.

And for you sports fans out there: Mizzou is No. 1. But Curt isn't too happy that the stupid head chickenhawks are somehow No. 2 in some poll.
I really woulda loved to rub Aaron's face in a KU/Arizona loss. But we came home to find out Arizona lost--but not without a fight in OT!

Good night!

Today's our last day

Just lazying around until Curt and I head to brunch at the Arizona Inn with Mom, Fred, Francine and Frank.
Friday night we ended up having dinner with Hilda's sister Thelma, her goddaughter Luna and her brother-in-law Marco. John and Jessica couldn't make it. We ate at the Barrio. Excellent food and desserts. Luna is almost 10. Man, is she an entertainer. She has this sweet little voice that is hard to hear. But she is a talker. She was funny and sweet and fun to have around. Curt told her about my pedicure party. Her comment was, that has my name written all over it. She is smart, too. She already speaks Spanish and English and she is learning Chinese. Her parents adopted her from China when she was 6 or 9 months old (I can't remember exactly how old she was). I am glad we finally got to meet her and her parents.
Saturday morning I went to a yoga class with Dad and Hilda. Afterward Hilda went to prepare for the yoga class she was gonna teach. Dad and I headed back to the house to get Curt. We tried to have breakfast at The Cup. But there was a 45 minute to hour wait. So we went to a place called the B Line. I had a chorizo burrito. I hadn't had chorizo in years. After that Curt and I ran a few errands: Bookmans, Eegee's, and a few other places. Eventually I went to my Mom's house and Curt headed to a bar he had scoped out to watch Mizzou vs. the dumb chickenhawks. Mom and Fred came home and we went to pick up my grandma, then head to a family engagement party. There were second cousins I hadn't seen in years. It was crazy. I mostly hung out with my mom and Fred, Jackie (my cousin), Uncle Mike and Aunt Vera and Grandma. Good food, good drinks and a good time. After that we dropped Grandma off and the three of us headed to The Shanty to meet Curt for a drink. There is some business about how The Depot changed the channel. Curt was annoyed (and rightly so) so he left and headed to The Shanty. Mom, Fred and I weren't there long. I was tired. But right before we left this guy comes up to me and just looks at me. I realize it is Al from The Republic. He was in town hanging out with the guys for the weekend in Tucson. I used to work with Al and argue with him a lot, too. He is the copy desk chief at The Republic. Talk about small world.
Oh, so I didn't mention the most important part, Curt's team won. I bet it was the lucky shirt his wife bought him.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Black Friday!

Is a half off whatever electronic worth sleeping in a tent for two nights to be the first in line to buy the thing at 4 in the morning? Simple answer, NO! I went onto Wikipedia to find out what the actual definition of Black Friday was. It more or less has to do with making a profit. But feel free to read all about it on your own.
Lounged around this morning. Went down to 4th Ave. to meet Shelly and the girls for lunch. I wanted to go to Bisonwitches. They were closed. The last time Curt and I tried to go there it was closed! Lame. Anyway, the five of us waked to Magpies. They have great pizza there. We sat outside and soaked up the nice weather. After lunch we walked around a bit. Did a little shopping. At Native Seed Search I bought an ornament. When I was paying the woman asked me if I had shopped there before. I told her it had been years. She plugged Chihak into the computer and my dad popped up. So I got his discount Woo-hoo!
Now we are just hanging around the house relaxing. Zipper, my hairy little brother, is napping in the chair with me.
Tonight we are having dinner with Dad, Hilda, John and Jessica. So for now just hanging out and relaxing. Maybe a nap may be in the mix, too.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today has been a good day. I have visited with a lot of family and it wasn't too stressful or overwhelming. A little after 11 we headed to my mom's. We had drinks and appetizers. Curt ordered a Burger Smokehouse ham to be sent to my mom's. We all enjoyed it. We visited with my mom, Fred, Grandma, John and Jessica (and Sabu), Aunt Jennie and Bobby and Uncle Mike. About 230 we came back to Dad's and visited with Grandpa Frank. Unfortunately we didn't get to see my aunt Gen or cousins Alison and Emily.
We had a nice dinner with Dad, Hilda, John and Jessica. Eventually Dad and Hilda headed to Hilda's sister's. The four of us hung out.
Eventually those 2 took off and Curt and I headed to The Shanty to watch football and have a drink. We then drove around Tucson and reminisced.
Now we are back at my dad's.
Will blog more later.
Hope everyone had a great holiday. And if you are nuts, good luck shopping tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

23 hours

So last night I checked Curt and myself in for our flight tonight. I checked in about 23 hours before our flight and we got B seating. What the H???? We also have some weird numbering in addition to our B seating. I think it is gonna be crazy.
Curt and I are attempting one suitcase since he is working today and I am not. I can get to the airport as early as I need to for checking the bag in. And then Curt doesn't have to schlep a suitcase around the city. I don't have all of my stuff in the suitcase yet. We always bring a dufflebag in our suitcase just in case. And I know this time we are going to need it. We have to bring home tamales, Christmas presents and presents from India (my dad and Hilda were there last month). Oh and I think my brother has my birthday presents from the past 2 birthdays. No, apparently he has not heard of this thing called mail.
I am sure I will be blogging while we are away. But just in case, everyone have a great Thanksgiving. Here are some Turkey Day tips for you from Hungry Girl. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Small World

So my friend Bridgette called last night to chat. Bridgette and I grew up like a block away from each other. We went to school together through 4th grade--then I moved. We have recently gotten back in touch since we found out we both live in the Bay Area.
We are both going to Tucson for Thanksgiving. Bridgette asked me, Are you on the direct flight from Oakland to Tucson on Wednesday night? YES! How funny is that?

We are having a potluck today at work--so the gorge fest begins! I made my WW recipe Butternut Squash Salad with Curry-Apple Dressing. I think it tastes pretty good. In a little while I am heading down to the third floor to help decorate for our lunch today.

I am not working tomorrow. Packing, last-minute laundry and whatever else I have to deal with. Then off to the crazy airport with all of the other crazy people.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Finicky weather

So last weekend I wrote about how rainy season was here. And I think I wrote about it in October. For some reason the weather is teasing us. I mentally prepare myself for months of wet and rain and then it lasts like one day! It has rained today and I am guessing will again. The cloud cover is a good bet.

Trying to get things wrapped up at work. I am out Wednesday. (We fly to Tucson Wednesday evening.) And the office is closed Thursday and Friday. I am a little stressed. I love going home, but it is tough making sure I see everyone. It usually works out that I miss someone. Only so much I can do. And hey, they can come visit me!

When I lived in Oregon for 3 1/2 years the only family members who came to see me were my mom (and Fred for a visit), my dad and my brother. That is it!!!! I lived in this beautiful place and they all didn't take advantage of it.

We have been in the Bay Area for almost 3 years and have had a ton of visitors. But as far as family goes: only Mom and Fred and Dad and Hilda (Hilda used to live here--so she likes to come back as often as possible. Can you blame her?) and Ed and Marilyn and Grandma Phyllis.
I just checked the weather for Tucson. Today is 85! Looks like by mid to end of week it will be 70s and 60s. That seems more reasonable.

To my Phoenix friends: I would love to come see you all. But there just isn't enough time during this short holiday visit.
I will likely be there in January for a visit. See you all then.

OH MY GOSH! I knew there was something else I wanted to blog about. I just couldn't remember. Onyx (and Bayer) received FDA approval today to sell Nexavar for liver cancer. It has been approved for kidney cancer for about 2 years now.
Thanks for the congrats e-mail Aaron and for reminding me to blog about this. :)
Click here for the story Aaron sent me.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Way too early

Today while driving around I noticed that one of my preset stations in the car is playing back-to-back Christmas music. Now I love the holiday cheer and all that. But we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet. I don't feel Christmasy yet--but apparently it is going to be shoved down my throat whether I like it or not. I also noticed a Christmas tree lot is going up. No trees yet. I suspect they will be there next Friday. How can people keep their tree "alive" that long? Curt and I went to the Gap today for their friends & family sale. They were playing Christmas music, too. I asked about that. The cashier told us that a few years ago they just started with the Christmas "cheer" right after Halloween since I guess you don't really buy gifts for people at Thanksgiving. Which maybe we should change that. What do you think?

I am typing this post on our new iMac that we just got yesterday. Curt set it all up today. We have this beautiful flat screen monitor and this tiny keyboard that I am still getting used to. I am actually supposed to be taking Chapter 15 quiz online. I am procrastinating. There are so many more fun things to do than take a quiz.

Curt and I hit the Gap sale this evening and then hit our favorite sushi place to get take-away. We had a yummy dinner. Yes, and I had sushi for lunch yesterday. I could eat it every day.

OK, I must get the quiz over with.
Hope you are all having a good weekend.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just sittin here waitin

I went to lunch today with work friends ... sushi. YUM!
We weren't in too much of a hurry. But I had a meeting at 1 I needed to be on time for. We come back and the meeting was postponed. KERAP! Oh well, sh.. happens. Now I am sitting here waiting for the food bank people to call me so they can come and pick up the generous donations from the people of Onyx. They were supposed to be here at 1:30 and it is 1:53. I have to leave work no later than 2:40 to meet some pet sitting people at our place at 3. They are going to watch over our place and Joey while we are in Tucson next week for Thanksgiving.
I found out today that we now have three places to go on Thanksgiving: My mom's, my dad's and then my dad's wife's (Hilda) sister's. Dang! I am gonna get to see a lot of family while I am home and that will be a blast and exhausting.

UPDATE: Food bank people just called. They are running late. I have asked my wonderful friend Mia to help me when I have to leave. Thanks Mia! You rock!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I had to get gas last night. My little light turned on. And I paid $3.49 a gallon. Insane, eh? I wonder if it will reach 4 bucks. One of my favorite DJs, Greg the Gay Sportscaster, was saying he paid $3.93 the other day. He lives in the city--so the gas is a little more expensive there.


I guess there is a new company taking over our building parking garage at work. So this morning there was free coffee and pastries and a raffle drawing. I got a cute little muffin.

Tuesday Night Social Club ... Thursday edition

Our "drinking" group is meeting tonight. Special night since our friend David will be gone for like 2 months and he leaves next Monday or something. So we wanted to squeeze one in for him before he misses a bunch.

Work is still insane. I feel like I never catch up. So back to it.
Have a good day! Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"My baby" is 27 months

I have blogged about this before, but it has been some time. Anyway, soon after Curt and I got married he started getting catalogs and coupons for "our baby." Lately, I have been getting some stuff. We got some coupons from Huggies or Pampers the other day telling us our baby is 27 months old. Even at one point Berkeley sent us a letter asking if we wanted to put our baby in some trial. I really have no idea why we started getting this stuff and why it has followed us from Phoenix to Berkeley to Oakland. And initially all the stuff was coming for Curt. We thought maybe it was a joke from somebody.


I was out of the office Monday and when I came back Tuesday it was like I had been gone a year. I was so busy and overwhelmed. I hate days like that. I never have any time to do my project work. And I have a self-eval due next week.
Curt talks about his shoulder and procedure on his blog if you would like to read more. I am so glad he is not in pain anymore and can actually move his arm/shoulder the way he is supposed to. He had a procedure on Monday to have it put where it is supposed to be.

Weird fog bank

So it was sunny and clear this morning. Once I got into Emeryville I noticed a big cloud cover hovering. When I got closer to the clouds I realized it was fog. So for like a minute I was driving in fog and then clear, bright and sunny again. Bizarre.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Check out our bell pepper!

The other day Curt noticed that we have a bell pepper in our garden. Our first one. It kinda looks like a large jalapeno. I think eventually it will turn red.

Got through three chapters yesterday. Chapter 12 was about filing via the Web. We don't currently do any of our paperwork via the Web with the USPTO. But I would like to do it this way. There are only a few things you can't do via the Web and still must use Express Mail or First Class Mail. I was actually really excited to read that Chapter. I mean, I am learning so much. But for some reason I got excited with learning all the stuff I can do via the Web. Makes life so much easier. And a lot easier to meet deadlines than having to run to the post office before it closes.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Rainy season has begun

Which in a way is a good thing since I unplugged the timer for the sprinklers a couple of weeks ago to plug in my Halloween lights. So I have been having to remember to run the sprinklers manually.
Last night had drinks with my former co-worker Sanjay and a few other current co-workers. It was a good time. And it had been some time since I had seen Sanjay. He always has funny kid stories.

Curt and I came back from dinner a bit ago from a place called Art's Crab Shak. Curt has been wanting to try this place for sometime. It's a little sketchy looking from the outside. But we finally went tonight. The crab was so good! One interesting thing was you had to pay before you got your food. Which was fine since we could leave as soon as we were done and ready to go.
As we were walking out there was a machine dispensing gum for 25 cents. It was spearmint or peppermint. It noted on the glass that this gum hides the alcohol on your breath. Lovely!

Friday, November 09, 2007

I'm a lightweight

So last night I had a glass and a half of wine and it knocked me out before 9:30 p.m.!!!!!!
The night before I had about the same amount and had to fight to stay awake for that movie Premonition--which wasn't as good as I had hoped.
I have been getting up at 6 a.m. during the week--to either hit yoga at 7:15 or to be at work around 7ish to make up for the time I take off early on Mondays.

Speaking of yoga ... we were doing these lunge things today and I felt pretty confident about my posture when my wonderful teacher Sarah said, Nice Ann! She told all of us we had lovely lunges.
I have to say I am definitely getting better and finding some postures much easier. About a month or so ago I was actually able to clear my mind a couple of times during meditation. I was so excited that I started thinking about how I wasn't thinking. Dang it!
But lately I have noticed that my slight scoliosis and kyphosis are really showing more in some of my postures. (Maybe I just didn't notice before.) Especially in plank pose. I look like a total hunchback. The more I exercise the better my posture will become. I slouch--it hurts for me to sit up straight because of the curvature of my spine. So sitting for long periods of time really bothers me--like on a plane or sometimes at the movies.
Anyway, Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I exercised today

So for the first time ever I exercised some stock options. Onyx stock did very well yesterday. All day long I debated, do I sell some of my espp? Do I exercise some options? Luckily Curt's dad, Ed, is an investor and always has advice for me. His best advice yesterday was, no one ever went broke making a profit.
All day yesterday I went back and forth. Sell, exercise, let it ride? I am so indecisive. Typical libra.
I made sure I got my preclearance to sell from certain people at Onyx--the preclearance team. Then this morning I exercised.
It is quite exciting. And I feel really good about doing it. So it was the right choice. :)
And I still have options and shares.
I feel quite savvy!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

47 days

On the radio yesterday they were talking about how it is 48 days until Christmas. I haven't counted to see if that number is accurate. But it sounds about right.
On Nov. 1 I started seeing Christmas commercials. Now, most of you know I like to start my Christmas shopping early. But that is mostly to keep my stress level down. I don't like freaking out at the last minute. I don't want to spend a ton of money. I don't do well in crowds--they make me very nervous and anxious. And I make a lot of my Christmas gifts. Oh, my point was, that is just way too early for Christmas commercials.
We had drinks last night with our Tuesday Night Social Club. It was a good time. We went to Cato's Alehouse, which is always crowded. Curt and our friend David were talking about the conference they attended in Toronto. They didn't know the other was going to be there ... until Facebook brought them together. They hung out one night and had drinks with others. According to David Curt brought up "my wife" 20 times. HA! Good boy. Actually, I never worry about stuff like that.
Oh, man, it was super foggy this morning. When I got close to work I couldn't even see my work building. It is still pretty foggy. Can't really see out of our windows on 12.
Anyway, back to the holidays. My friend Alex was over last Wednesday to hand out candy to the kiddies with me. She took a few pics. Here is one of me.

Now who wouldn't want candy from this woman?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Not much to report

Read Chapters 8 & 9 yesterday. Man, the chapters are getting smaller and smaller. So much more manageable that way. I am almost "halfway" through. Halfway in chapters. But more than halfway in actual pages. I am learning a lot of stuff. The patent office has some crazy rules. The average inventor (not associated with a company) better make sure they have a lot of money or a credit card with a high balance. Lots of fees.

Yesterday, Sue, Toni and I took Alonzo to lunch for his birthday, which was Sunday. We went to T-Rex. If you are a veggie there are very few options there for you. I had a yummy burger. We had some cornbread, mac and cheese was eaten. Lots of things were spilled. And believe it or not, but not by me. We had some interesting conversations. It was a good time.

That's all for now.
Happy Tuesday.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Nice Sunday afternoon

OK, it is 4:50 and it feels a lot later--damn that Daylight Savings!
This morning got a few errands done, including getting organic and safe repellent for our garden. It has gotten out of hand with that damn cat using our garden as a litter box. It is just gross.
Today hung out with my friend Mia. We went on a nice hike/walk in her neighborhood, then hit Starbucks, then got mani/pedi, then hit Bed, Bath & Beyond. There were many cool things I wanted--but I have a gift card for that place--just didn't have it with me. So I am thinking it would be good to start carrying my gift cards in my purse.

I got little flowers painted on my big toes. Cute, huh? Mia got flowers, too.

Fresh veggies

Check this out. We still are getting a few red tomatoes. And our first ready (or should I say the first one to fall off of its plant) jalapeno.

Foggy day

Friday was a foggy day. I happen to have my camera in my purse, so I took a couple of pictures. Not sure if they really do justice.

The photo on the left has my work building to the right. And in the right photo a good shot of my work building in the fog.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Taking a study break

So I just reread Chapter 6 and retook the quiz. I got a 96% this time around. But here is the weird thing ... when I logged on, it showed that I had not taken Chapter 6 quiz. Weird! I was planning on retaking it anyway so I don't care. But it is good that I print out all of my quizzes just in case one of my 90% and above quizzes happens to disappear.
After my little break I will attack Chapter 7. The chapters seem to be getting to be more of a reasonable size to attack in one sitting. I think gone are the 40 page chapters, which take 3 hours just to read.

Secret Pals revealed

We had our revealing lunch yesterday. Viengna was my SP. And I think I was pretty good at having Danielle fooled. For the revealing I made her a raspberry scoa and a pretty pale pink scarf. She loved them. Danielle loves magnolias. I was pretty sure I would never find one to give her. But, believe it or not, I found a magnolia e-card to send her along with some lovely music. My favorite gift to her was the mummy pail. I decorated a pail and put in all her favorite snacks, white powdered doughnuts, pickles and cheddar cheese popcorn. Oh and I also added some gummy worm things to the pail for her son.

Here is the pail I crafted for Danielle.

Knitting night with the girls

Alicia, Sue and Toni came over last night to knit, gossip and eat some good food. Alicia brought over a pumpkin ale, which was really good. At first we were a little unsure of how it would actually taste, but we tried it and liked it. We ordered salads and pizza from Rustica. It was a good night. I didn't get a lot of knitting done, but I had fun. Hope to arrange another stitch 'n' bitch soon.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tricks or Treats

That's how they refer to it on It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Had fun giving out candy last night. Alex came over, we ordered pizza and hung out. We watched some cheesy scary movies and I had recorded the Charlie Brown show from the night before. Unfortunately they had Breaking News twice during the cartoon for the dumb earthquake. There wasn't even really anything to report!
We weren't swarmed with kids. But we had a decent amount. There, of course, were tons of cute little kids. There was a sweet little girl dressed as a tomato. The coolest was probably the marshmallow. There was a Rubik's cube, twin pumpkins, a barista with a Starbucks apron and a pencil mustache. There were two adorable little ones dressed up as chickens. I gave them each two pieces. And one of the chickens offered their second piece to mom. How sweet. Mom reminded them to say thank you and one little chicken turned around and said: cockadoodledoo! Hilarious. Another kid was reminded to say thank you as they were walking away, turns around and screams, THANK YOU!
At one point Alex and I were just watching from the front door we saw a group of kids at the house across the street. We saw a stick figure. Eventually they got to our door. It was a group of older kids, but they all had costumes and quite creative ones at that. One guy had a dress on and said, Hi, my name is Janice. I handed him some candy and asked where he was keeping his candy. He stuck it where his boobs would be. HA!
Oh, one set of kids irked me (besides the older kids who don't bother putting on a costume and beg for candy). In this particular group one kid asked if we had lemonheads. Can you believe that? I had good candy, Snickers, Almond Joy, Resse's up the wazoo, Hershey's--lots and lots of chocolate. Then another kid in that same group was looking in my bucket o' candy and was trying to make requests. I told them they get what they get.
Other than that it was a good night. We had a lot of fun watching the kids and seeing some pretty creative costumes.