Thursday, January 31, 2008

Check is in the mail!!!!

Woo-hoo! Curt and I have paid off his school loan. I thought we would be paying that thing off until we died. Anyway, this is very exciting for us. Now we are pretty much debt free--unless you count the car and I really don't. And school loans I pretty much look at as an investment.

Anyway, off to Excel training shortly.
And Aaron, that can't be geeky. There are so many cool things I am learning in my training I had no idea even existed.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Training for 3 days

Starting today through Friday I am taking on-site Excel training. Ugh! But it will really be worthwhile.
I didn't sign up for the first module. So I start at 10 today. Then Thursday and Friday I start at 8 a.m.
I did some Power Point training earlier this month, which was great training and the trainer was a lot of fun. Hope the Excel teacher is fun, too. I have taken classes from LearnIt before and I have liked all the teachers.
Then next Thursday and Friday I head to Palo Alto (Stanford area) for CPI database training--more stuff for my patent paralegal work. My boss wants me to take over the duties pretty soon. Which means we also need to hire a new admin soon.
So if I am not blogging much in the next few days you know why.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My heels

So when I was younger I wore crazy heels--super high and I coulda killed myself. But hey, they looked good. I, of course, didn't wear these things to class. But if I had to dress up there ya go.
Then I got out of that habit and got more into my Dr. Martens. That was probably when I started in newspapers. Pretty much a pair of dockers was appropriate.
I am back into heels again (not a ton). But more so. I am actually starting to get into shoes. I never really was. But now that I have cute clothes (after my weight loss) I must have cute shoes to go with the new clothes.
Anyway, today I am wearing my cute Mary Jane heels. When I was leaving this morning Curt told me to be careful in my heels. I have had some close calls in these heels (and others, too).
So today I am stepping onto the elevator at work. And you know that part where there is that gap? I wonder what will happen if I ever drop my keys or badge down there. Or if my heel ever steps in there. Well, guess what? Today I stepped my heel into that gap. I kinda lunged forward. But luckily no fall or break of the heel. It was almost like I tripped. And I, of course, was not alone. There were others there to witness my clumsiness.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

More rain

Apparently we got a break from the rain today. I have been inside all day long.
Anyway, the current storm is leaving--or maybe it already left. But another one will be coming right along.
That is the excitement around here. Woooooooo!

If you want even more excitement, click here for a story about the rain on the Chronicle site.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

We're home

Curt and I just got home a little while ago.
Alexa made delicious short ribs for dinner Friday night. The polenta she made was so good.
Saturday morning at about 7:30 Nick and Kelly and Nancy and Catherine showed up. They told us they called and left a voicemail. Unfortunately our cells were out of range. We figured they decided not to chance it (The weather was bad when we were driving up and we were driving during the day.) OR they started out and turned back or they started out and decided to stop at a hotel. Well, they decided not to even venture out Friday night. So they left the Bay Area about 4 a.m. and got to the cabin between 7:30 and 8. The weather was perfect for driving.
Soon after the second gang arrived Curt, Alexa, Stephan and Gabby headed to Sugar Bowl. Nancy made the rest of us a Hawaiian breakfast.
We did some lounging. Nancy, Catherine and Kelly headed out for the snow. Nick wasn't feeling well so he slept. I just watched TV and did a little knitting. Eventually Kelly came back. And then the other two came back. There was a lot of saucer sledding in the snow--not by me of course. I had my share of snow frolicking Friday night. (Oh, and I have to say Uggs are very good boots to wear in the snow. They kept my feet dry and warm.)
At about 6:30 or so we all sat down to a delicious lasagne that Gabby made. We had good wine, good food and great conversation. It was a good evening.
This morning Kelly made blueberry pancakes and we had partial Hawaiian breakfast. (Alexa, Stephan and Gabby went back to Sugar Bowl.) The rest of us packed up and headed out. Curt's and my plan was to meet Alexa at about 12:30 and head home. Alexa told us it would probably not be a good idea to come and get her--Stephan would take her home. I guess the road was pretty bad. And as we found out Friday night the Volvo doesn't do so well with hills and snow and ice.
So Curt and I headed on. At first we were wondering if we should take the chains off. We were driving on straight asphalt. But eventually we realized it was a good idea we didn't take them off. At one point we had to have them. Then we got back into slush and finally were able to take them off. Once out of the snow we were pretty much getting beaten on by major rain.
We stopped in Sacramento and had lunch and then got home about 4:30. We made really good time considering the weather.
There are guys who stand on the side of the road and will put your chains on and take them off. Talk about a miserable job. As we drove by people getting their chains on we saw a Mustang and a guy standing outside of it in shorts. So we weren't the biggest city slickers up there. WE will definitely be more prepared next time we go: 4-wheel drive and I will make sure to check that the safety kit flashlight actually has batteries.
Time to relax, shower and maybe watch a movie. Gotta mentally prepare myself for a 5-day workweek.
Here are a few pics I took from our weekend.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

We made it!

We are in our cabin having drinks and chatting, having snacks. Alexa is making us dinner. Not sure if the whole gang will make it tonight. The weather is pretty bad.
Right now it is Curt, Alexa, Stephan, Gabby and me.
It was an adventure getting here. Most of the trip was easy. It was raining a lot leaving the Bay Area. Once we were near Sacramento it got better.
When we got closer to Tahoe we had to put our chains on. We had issues with the chains we bought. I think something was wrong with the chains--we pretty much drove them off. And Curt knows how to put on chains in bad weather at night.
We lost one of the chains. So we had to have a big dude put our chains on for way too much money--we had to buy another set on chains. But those suckers are on and we won't take them off until we are out of Tahoe and the snow.
So we were fine once our second set of chains was on. Once close to the cabin the driving was tough. Our Volvo didn't like the hills with ice and snow. So we were going pretty slow. We had problems finding our street where our cabin is. We finally found the street. Then finding the cabin was a bitch! There was so much snow it was hard to see the house numbers. We thought we found the place but we had to turn around to get back to it. The driveway we pulled into ... well we got stuck. (Oh, I didn't mention ... Alexa rode with us.)
We tried to get out and it wasn't happening. So Curt sent me to find the cabin. I walked down to a few cabins away from where we were stuck. There was a couple who had just arrived at their cabin and I asked about the address. They told me where our cabin likely was. And then the husband asked, Is that your car stuck in the driveway? Um, yes. So the husband who we never got his name ... told me he would change his clothes and come over and help us. So in the meantime we unloaded the car. That was a workout. I even had to take a hit off my inhaler. Our wonderful neighbor pulled our car out. And then he snowplowed our driveway to our cabin. There was no way we would have gotten our car up there. We gave him a bottle of wine. But we owe them so much more. They were so helpful and nice. We were very lucky.
Thanks you to true Tahoe residents helping the city slickers. We will pay you back.
Next time we come up here in the winter we are renting a 4-wheel drive!
I am tired and have had some wine so if something doesn't make sense I will edit later.
Good night.

P.S. I forgot to mention our wonderful neighbors' wonderful dog. A lab named Lilly. She was so sweet. She was right by my side a couple of times. Makes me want a dog. I think at some point we will get a lab. (Lab or greyhound.)
Oh, and I have to say my Uggs stood up well to the snow. I wasn't planning on wearing them in the freakin snow. But I really didn't have a choice. They stood up well and my feet never got cold.

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Off to Tahoe

Just getting stuff together for our weekend in Tahoe.
Curt, Alexa and I are driving up together and meeting 6 others there tonight.
Alexa is making dinner tonight, Hawaiian breakfast in the morning, a Bavarian/Italian dinner tomorrow night and I think good ol' American breakfast on Sunday. We will head back Sunday.
As you all know I hate being cold and am not a fan of the snow. So my weekend plans are knitting, reading, drink cocoa with peppermint schnapps, relaxing, maybe some sort of spa activity. I will at least throw one snowball--but that is likely it.
OK, gotta make some salsa for the trip.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lame workout

I went to the gym after work last night ready for a hard and sweaty cardio workout. Didn't happen. Almost all of the machines were taken ... again. So I walked on the treadmill--I hate running. I still felt it and at least I did something. But I had almost talked myself out of going to the gym. I will be happy when the gym is back to normal.
I am going to take the 1 p.m. yoga class today.

Just read this interesting story on Yahoo about how stores try to trick you when it comes to sales and disounts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Yummy off-site

So the Breast Cancer team was gracious enough to invite other people from other departments who have helped them out. Since Legal helps get their contracts out we were also included.
For this portion of the off-site we cooked at Paulding & Company. There were 7 stations set up and we were split up to the different areas. We made "Mexican" food. The food was amazing. My station made Chile relleno poppers. It was a lot of work--but they were really good.
Some stations made appetizers and others worked on the meal or the dessert. So while cooking we were eating appetizers and drinking wine. There was wine next door that we got to sample. Yum! Oh, and Paulding & Co. was where the first season of Top Chef was filmed in "San Francisco." I don't watch that show, but it is still cool trivia. When everything was ready we served up a buffet and all sat down and enjoyed the meal we had all created. It was so yummy. One station even made tamales.
Afterward I came home and Curt and I headed to Albatross to meet friends for Tuesday Night Social Club. It was a small group, but still always fun. Albatross was freezing so I sat near the fire most of the night. This was the first time Curt was able to play darts (at least right-handed anyway) since his shoulder procedure in November. He kicked butt!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger is dead

Holy moly!
Click here for the rather short story.

I forget

As I was driving in to work today I had two things on my mind that I wanted to blog about. And I can't remember what those two things were. Oh well.

Lots of meetings today at work. Then at 2:30 I am outta here. The Breast Cancer team invited Legal to part of their off-site. So today I get to cook while teambuilding and then eat!!!!! Should be fun.

Tonight is our first 2008 Tuesday Night Social Club gathering. Hitting Alatross. That's always a fun place. And Curt is excited because he can play darts now that his shoulder is all back to normal. Tho. I have to say he does pretty well left-handed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Opt out

So Ed messaged me a Web site you can sign up on and opt out of getting all of those annoying credit card applications. Sounds good to me.

So some people have today off. I don't. But I can't complain. Onyx gave me the week off between Christmas and New Year's. That was very generous. Last night as I was falling asleep Curt said something to me along the lines of, HAHA, you have to work tomorrow. Now that wasn't very nice! I made sure not to rub it in when I had 11 whole days off. Anyway, I hope he is washing that huge pile of dishes in the kitchen.

Today would have been a nice day to be home, in my jammies, cozy under a warm blanket watching movies. The weather has turned yuck again. Cold, dark and rainy. Bleh!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Busy shredding

I got a new shredder today at the office supply store. I love those stores. I could spend a lot of time and a lot of money in one. Actually, I spent a lot today. Anyway, our old shredder was on its last leg. This new one is pretty fancy. I have been working on shredding like a year's worth of stuff and I am not joking. Discover sends us applications to us way too often. Stop mailing us the applications, we don't like and don't want your card.
Had a kinda lazy weekend. Yesterday I made a new chicken recipe I found on someone's blog. I revamped it a tad and it came out really good. I liked it. Curt and I watched the first season, first disc of the Extras last night. I am not a big fan of British humor, but I like this show. It's funny.
Our spare room/office is a complete mess. So I have been working on it today. Shredding, throwing stuff away, rearranging. It still has a ways to go. But at least I got it started.
I hit the gym this morning and I have to say there were a lot less people there. It was nice. Hopefully things are back to normal and I can have whatever machine I want when I get there and my regular spot in yoga class.

Ollie's birthday weekend pics are right here. I have finally posted pics from my Phoenix trip last weekend. I took video of Ollie, too. But I am having issues getting that to post. I will try later or maybe ask that Web-savvy husband of mine for help.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You'll be drunk and scared

That is a quote from one of the Brit's we were hanging out with tonight. It was in reference to some sort of music festival or something.
Anyway, this week has been Macworld Expo. Curt has been super busy at work and attending many interesting and cool parties in the evenings. The other night he saw Devo.
Tonight a big group hung out at 21st Amendment. I got there a little before 6. (When I got into the city I went to T-Mobile to check out some phone possibilities. The one I found online that I liked I couldn't get the damn thing to turn on. The one Curt is eyeballing I might like more than "mine." But I don't really know since "mine" wouldn't even turn on.)
Anyway, saw our old Salem buddy Jen and her sister, Holly. Some other friends were there, Jacob and Cyrus. Saw many of Curt's co-workers and met some new people--esp. the Macworld UK people. They were a ton of fun--a total crack up. And they are planning on showing us a good time when we are in England in April.
Anyway, I am super tired and must crash.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Did you miss me?

Were you wondering where I was yesterday? Well, I didn't have much to write about. Well, maybe except for the crazy fog we had yesterday. I couldn't see my work building until I was almost right next to it. Nuts!
I was gonna post the pics from my Phx weekend when I got home last night. But by the time I got home from the grocery store, took a shower and had dinner I just wanted to veg.

Work was nuts yesterday. It always seems like when I am gone one day it is more of an issue than when I am gone for an extended period of time. I think because people tend to try to take care of things themselves. But everyone had an emergency yesterday. Hey people! Your lack of planning is NOT my emergency. People seem to think I can just drop everything to help them with something. Or they want that contract now. Well, there is a process and I must follow it.

OK, now on to serious business.
BOOK YOUR VACATION TIME NOW at the Chihak Poff/Poff B&B (Or should I say F&RC [Futon & Rockridge Cafe]).
As soon as you know when you might be coming out let us know. We have lots of friends/family planning on coming out for visits this year. And we have some travel planned, too.
January is of course out the window. I am planning on vegging this weekend. Then the last weekend of the month we are heading to Tahoe.
February is pretty much booked with my mom coming, a possible stay from our friend Ryan, us being out of town one weekend.
March, I think my cousin (Jackie) may be coming out.
April--we start traveling: wedding and then our big England/Ireland trip ...
which goes into May. Another possible wedding in May.
June: I have a conference in Portland; Kate and Jason are supposed to come out. When is that Kate? I may be going to Phx for a weekend in June.
July-August: I don't know of anything at this moment.
September: Stephanie and Jim; Stephan and Sandra from Germany!
Last long weekend of October we are likely going somewhere for our 5-year-anniversary. We aren't sure where yet.
I think that is it for now. I am not sure what we are doing for holidays. We are still trying to figure that out. Yes, I realize it is still only January--but with our families in 3 states, 4, if you count us, it makes it worthwhile to plan ahead.
So, first come, first-served. Lemme know ...

Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm back!

I just got back a little while ago. When I walked out of the BART station Curt was waiting for me. How nice.
I had a really great visit this weekend. Thank you to all of my friends who gave me rides (Erica, Casey, Kate and Leah) and those who let me crash at their house (Erica and Casey) and all of those who came out to knitting brunch and/or came to G&D for dinner/drinks.
I got in Saturday about 2. My flight was actually early. Erica picked me up from the airport. We went back to her and Casey's place and just hung out. Then Kate came over and the 4 of us went downtown to hear a band play before the Suns game (a possible contender for Erica and Casey's wedding). Downtown was happenin'. It didn't feel like Downtown Phoenix. It felt like a real city. And the Sheraton right next to the Republic ... holy cow! Huge! Last time I was in Phx (March) there was a lot of construction going on for the hotel--but not much. So I was amazed at the progress. And thankful I am not working there anymore.
After the band we headed to Leah's parents for Ollie's first birthday party. There were lots of friends and family there. I got to see some Republic friends (Jodie and Penny) and an old Salem friend, Kaly. Saw Mike, Ellen and Edyta. Of course Robert, Leah, Ollie, Erica and Casey and Kate. Robert's sister and parents were also in town. It was nice to see them, too.
We had yummy food, then Ollie got into his cake (great pics) and then PRESENTS! There was a little doggie Penny gave him that he just loved!
Sunday just lounged in the morning. Then about noon Erica and I (Casey soon after) headed to Wildflower for knitting and brunch. Luckily we got the big table--which we filled up. Penny was there when we got there. Jen and Dave showed up, Leah, Kate, Deb, Kayla and Kayla's new little sister, Abby, and Erica's friend Linda. We ate and chatted and knitted and had a good time.
After that Leah took me home and she headed back home for family time. I got ready and then Erica, Casey and I headed to George & Dragon for dinner and drinks. Kate joined us soon after that. And Ryan also did. Ryan is an old Republic buddy of Curt's who has come out a couple of times to visit. My other friend Casey showed up with Abe. Then Jen and Hugh. Not a big crowd--but it was a good time. I got home about 12:15--rather late for me. I was so tired I never heard Erica getting ready for work this morning. And actually Leah calling at about 8 is what woke me out of a hard sleep. I was tired I guess.
Leah picked me up a little before 9 and we headed to breakfast. Third time was a charm. We tried to go to 2 differences places in downtown Phx and they were both closed. So we found a third place, which was pretty good. The service sucked--but what are you going to do?
After breakfast back to Leah and Robert's. Ollie was napping. Soon after Robert's parents and sis went to run some errands. Leah and I just hung out and then Ollie got up from his nap. He had lunch. Carrie (Leah's mom) came over. At some point all the ladies and Oliver headed to the Botanical Gardens. It was really nice. We walked around a little and had a nice visit. The strollers they had there looked like little jeeps. Ollie really liked it.
After that Leah dropped me off at the airport.
My visit was short--but it was actually pretty good. I got to see almost all of everyone I wanted to see. If I missed you I will be in town again before too long.
Thanks again to all of my friends for making my visit so much fun!
I will post a few pics now. I will post all of them later. I am tired, so maybe tomorrow.

Top pic: Ollie and Aunt Ann. Middle: Ollie and his cake. Last: Ollie and his new doggie.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Ollie!

Today Oliver turns 1. What a happy time for Oliver and Robert and Leah.

I didn't see the little guy today. But I will spend some time with him tomorrow.
Today was knitting and brunch with my girlfriends. It was so fun. I wish I was here to knit with them more. I love all my friends in Phoenix. But that is really the only thing about Phoenix that I miss. Well, I do miss having a house with lots of space, storage and a pool.
There has been talk of me coming back when the Sex and the City movie comes out. We started off as the Sex and the City girls. We would watch the shows together and have pizza and drink beer. The group first started as Leah, Erica and me, which the three of us were already friends. Then slowly we added girls to the group. And now it has expanded to a knitting group. Kate and I are the only non-regulars these days. :(
In a little while I am heading to George and Dragon to eat, drink and hang out with more friends. I have been really lucky and already spent a good amount of time with my friends. It has already been a great visit.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ollie's party

Just got back from Oliver's first birthday party. It was a great party. Great food, great company and great presents.
Saw lots of friends. Got to watch Ollie rip into his presents. That was fun. I have lots of great pics I will post once I am back home.
Tomorrow friends are getting together for brunch and knitting. I can't wait. I hardley ever get to knit with my good ol friends.
OK, I am tired. It's been a good but long day.
Good night.

2008 travel begins

Shortly I will be heading to the airport (Oakland) to fly to Phoenix. I will be in town for the weekend to celebrate little Mr. Oliver's first birthday. I can't believe that was a year ago. I can't wait to see him. He is so cute. I love keeping up with his blog.
I will be back Monday evening. I will likely blog a time or two while away.
But to keep you entertained until then you can read my 2007 reflections. I copied this idea from Jen.

2007 Reflections


My brother, John, had emergency gall bladder surgery. He did well with the surgery and the recovery. What a relief!
Sweet Oliver (aka Starbean) was born Jan. 13 in Phoenix. Congrats to our good friends Robert and Leah!
Curt and I headed to Tucson for the UA/N. Carolina basketball game. It was nationally televised and a huge deal. Arizona ended up losing by something like 28 points. It was horrible. It was my Grandpa Frank's first time at McKale Center.


Onyx Pharmaceuticals had great news about its drug, Nexavar, and a liver cancer trial: Nexavar shown to significantly extend survival for patients with advanced liver cancer, Trial to be stopped early based on positive outcome. This was great news for my company and liver cancer patients.
Angela and Michael came for a visit.
Curt and I spent a wonderful week in Maui. It was so beautiful and relaxing. We had such a great time. We can't wait to go back.


I went to Phoenix to visit Oliver for the first time. He was 7 weeks and a cute little blob. It was great to see all my friends, too.
Cody Busch was a young man my family knew since before he was born. Unfortunately, he was found dead in a lake. He had been missing a week before he was found. A true tragedy.
Curt had another birthday.
I got a promotion at work from Administrative Legal Assistant to Senior Administrative Assistant, Legal & Compliance.
I also started working out--just walking the first 4 weeks.


My mom had minor surgery--she had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If she didn't have the surgery she would have lost the use of her thumb. The surgery went well and her recovery went much faster than anticipated.
We were without hot water for a couple of days. I tried to take a freezing cold shower and that sucked.
We bought a new flat screen 42" plasma TV.
In my exercise regime I decided I needed to run. I ended up hurting my knee. I took Aleve for the first time and it was wonderful for injuries like that. I slowly rehabed myself and decided I didn't need to run, especially since I kinda hate it.
Joey turned 13.
Some crazy person drove his gas truck or whatever and crashed and had a big explosion. And part of a critical part of a freeway was just gone.


Curt and I put in our very first garden.
Erica and Casey were in town for Casey's niece's graduation. They stayed with us. We were able to do some hanging out.
Attended a tea party for Mia's birthday. That was a lot of fun. Yummy teas and finger sandwiches. So fun and girly.
Old Salem buddy Jay was in town. We got to see him briefly for dinner and hanging out for a few hours.
Curt and I hit Portland for Memorial Day Weekend. We stayed with our friends the Klotters. We also had dinner at Montage with Aaron, Jim & Stephanie and Kristin. I LOVE Montage. Annie had a birthday party at the Portland Zoo.
We hooked up with Dan for dinner. Dan lives in Salem--but was in the Bay Area while we were in Oregon.
I made my goal weight with WW on May 30, 2007. (Curt sent me some lovely daisies to congratulate me.)


Republic buddy Jodie was in town. We had dinner one night with her and two of her friends in North Beach. Good times.
Old high school friend Ilysha and her husband were in town. Her husband, Eric, is a comedian/magician. We attended a dinner theater to watch him perform. It was realy cool. Our friend Edwin, who also lives in the Bay Area, came, too, with his girlfriend. We had a lot of fun.
Ed came out for a visit. We actually got to be with both of our dads on Father's Day. That was pretty cool.
Tomato plants grow like crazy!
Attended the San Francisco Pride Parade with my friend Mia. Man, it was so much fun. My first time.
The admin group at work had an off-site. It was an amazing experience. After the two days we were different. We all had a different relationship with each other and I still think that exists six months later.
I joined the gym, Mavericks.


Little tomatoes start growing on our tomato plants in our garden.
I became a lifetime member of Weight Watchers on July 6, 2007.
The admin group at work started their first round of Secret Pal. My first S.P. was so excited about it. The first three days I got a gift every day. Doing S.P. was a lot of fun.
We hit Vegas for Jim and Jennifer's wedding at the Little Chapel of the West. It was so freakin hot. But we had a really fun time at the wedding and for the weekend.
Curt's parents dog, Bear, went to heaven. He was a great dog and has been missed.
We had a good-sized earthquake. When it woke us up around 4:40 in the morning I thought it was the big one. It was long and violent.
Tomatoes got much bigger on our tomato plants.
Took my first Kickboxing class, which kicked my butt. Two days later I could barely walk. I was in some pain.


Poff family trip at Glacier National Park to celebrate Marilyn's 60th and Grandma Phyllis' 80th. We spent 5 days in Glacier. We had such a great time. It was a lot of fun to be with the whole family. Curt and I headed north for a few days on our own on the Canadian side--Waterton. The Prince of Wales lodge was gorgeous. It was a nice and relaxing week. We had no cell service, TV or Internet. It was nice and weird. We pretty much had no idea what was going on in the world for a week.
Erica and Casey got engaged. Congrats guys!
Red tomatoes on our tomato plants. Woo-hoo!
Meet up with old friends: Curt's friend Rachel from Portland and my friend Bridgette from Tucson. Bridgette and I had just found out we both lived in the Bay Area.
I ate the first 3 red tomatoes from our plants.
Oliver came to visit me the last day of August. He was here for Labor Day Weekend. After work I met Robert, Leah and Oliver at Cato's Alehouse.


Continued visit with Oliver. We had a great visit with the Beckidads. Oliver is such a good baby. He rarely every cried--usually just if he was hungry. He was so happy most of the time. What a great little guy he was.
Curt and I attended Kate and Jason's wedding in Westbrook, CT. It was a beautiful wedding and a great weekend.
Curt and I are overwhelmed with tomatoes. We are giving them away like crazy. Even strangers see Curt with homegrown tomatoes in a plastic bag and actually ask for some.
First round of Secret Pal was revealed. Mary was mine--she was a wonderful S.P. I was Graciela's. Graciela had no idea I was hers. Woo-hoo! It made me happy when she said she felt like her S.P. really knew her.
Alex Marvin was born in Salem to parents Stefanie and Aaron. Congrats!
Curt and I saw the New Pornographers in concert.
Don and Annie Klotter came to visit us from Portland. We had a good time with them in Chinatown and Stanford for football.
Jalapenos started growing in our garden. Very exciting news.


Round 2 of Secret Pal at work started.
I had a birthday--the big 33--age of Christ. (As Leah pointed out, Christ didn't have a jumping castle for his 30th. Or did he?)
The outside of my mom's house was filmed for a movie called "Fable."
I had a pedi party with some of my girlfriends. People still talk about what a great party idea that was. It was a blast.
Our car had "software issues" and at first we couldn't get the car out of our parking spot. Next day a way better tow truck driver came and got it out--bumped it a little. But that was the least of my worries.
Curt headed to Toronto for a conference for about 5 days.
I started my Patent Paralegal Course.
Curt and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.
Had a fun night with my friend Alex giving out candy on Halloween. There were some great costumes and some funny kids. I had a blast.


Second Round of Secret Pals revealed. Viengna was mine. And I was Danielle's.
For the first time ever I exercised some Onyx stock options. It was scary and exciting.
Curt and I noticed our first and only green bell pepper in our garden.
We got a new iMac. Woo-hoo!
Curt and I headed to Tucson for Thanksgiving. We had a nice visit. And surprisingly it was stress-free.
I took over the food drive at work. I enjoyed it and really encouraged some good donations.


I realized when Curt moved all of our stuff from our PC to our new iMac that my Excel spreadsheet of addresses was lost. I am still working on getting addresses. I think it is almost back to where it was.
Onyx had their holiday party. It was at the Dunsmuir, which was beautiful. It was a good party, great food and a fun time. I am still miffed that I didn't win a raffle prize. Oh well. :)
My cousin Alex came for a visit for about 5 days.
I collected almost $1,200 for the work toy drive. I was able to get a lot of great toys. All 4 bins were overflowing when they were picked up.
Stef and Jim came to stay with us for a night on the way to San Diego.
I got 11 days off from work--Onyx for the first time gave employees the week off between Christmas and New Year's.
Curt and I celebrated Christmas on our own. We did Christmas Eve just the two of us. Christmas morning we talked to all of our family. Then in the afternoon we headed to an open house hosted by our friends Alexa and Darius.
We had a fun and safe New Year's Eve at Mia and Todd's. It was a lot of fun.
I had a good and not very productive 11 days off from work. I did stuff with friends and just relaxed. Didn't go to the gym as much as I had planned. Oh well.

Here's to a great 2008!

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'm in training today

I am in training today learning about PowerPoint. I have already learned so much. Pretty cool stuff. Our trainer, Tom, is a lot of fun and pretty funny, too.

I learned how manipulate clipart. So cool!
Enjoy my weird looking clipart.
Back to training.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fellow women: We have the power

OK, whatever your views are on the presidential candidates doesn't matter. I actually haven't decided who I will vote for.
But look at the primary in New Hampshire. I mean, they thought Obama had a lock on it. And who went out and voted and changed that? Women!
Ladies, we truly have the power to decide who our next president will be. So get out there and vote!
Story on the Chroncile site if you are interested.
From the story: Garry South, a California Democratic political consultant, said that women - who proved crucial to Clinton's big win in New Hampshire - might simply have said "enough is enough" as they watched a parade of cable TV pundits, mostly male, all but pronounce Clinton's White House bid over in the final 48 hours of the campaign.

I have to say the idea of having a female president is very encouraging. I really like the idea of it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I'm annoyed

I don't know why I let certain things bother me and other things don't. But here are my rants:
The bill for our garbage and recycling goes to our landlord. So once she gets the bill she sends a copy to us and we just pay her. She either sends it to Curtis and Ann Poff or Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Poff (which annoys me, too). But whatever. Yesterday we got the bill and it was only addressed to Curt!!! What the H!!! I am the one who always writes the checks to her for rent and garbage.
One time I gave money to some local charity. Now whenever they want money it is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Poff. So I refuse to give them anymore money. Um, I wrote the check and I have a first name! It is so old-fashioned. I did not lose my first name when I got married!!!! (I would like to point out that the Alameda County food bank always addresses the requests and thank-you letters to both Curt and me--with each of our full names! Right on!)
OK, on to my next rant:
I really don't like getting e-mail forwards. I had a friend who that is all he ever sent. I never got a regular, hey, how are you doing e-mail. Just forwards--and annoying ones. And one time he even accidentally sent one with a virus. Nice! At that point I was not reading them--just deleting when I received them.
Now once in awhile you get a really good forward--great story or hilarious one. I like those. And if I just get the occasional forward from someone I am cool with that.
But to get numerous forwards that someone just clicks forward and empties their whole address book in is just irritating.
I got a forward the other day (from a forwarder--as I will refer to them). Normally I just delete, but for some reason I read it. This was I think 3 days ago and it is still p*ssing me off. I found it to be blatantly racist. It was a petition to sign (yea, Bush is never gonna get it people!) to encourage Bush to veto some bill to allow "illegal aliens" (I CAN'T STAND THAT TERM.) to receive Social Security. I have no idea if this is true or not. But there was also mention on how these "aliens" don't contribute and we need to take back our country. "Those people" contribute every damn day! Feel free to pick the tomatoes and cabbage for them, OK? The forward also mentioned that even if you don't agree with this, forward on. Um, no I won't. Instead I will just complain about it on my blog.

OK, thanks for listening to me go on and on.
Now for some fun lightness. Here is a down-right hilarious video about Bill Gates' last day. I was having embedding issues so here is the link. It is a little more than six minutes long--but totally worth watching.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Goodbye, Keith

A wonderfully written obituary about family friend Keith Busch.
My condolences to Kathy, Nellie and Zach.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Wet weekend

Didn't do a whole lot this weekend since the weather was so miserable.
When I drove home Friday it had stopped raining. So the drive home was just fine. I was so tired Friday night that when I got home I took a little nap on the couch. After that I watched Spider-Man 3. Ehh, it was OK. I just recently watched 2 so I was excited to see 3. It was OK. Not bad, not good.
Saturday I was pretty much a lazy bum and layed around all day. Watched For Your Consideration. It was better than I thought it was gonna be.
Saturday night we headed to The Trappist for Cyrus' 26th birthday. Almost everyone we hung around with that night was in their 20s. Now there is nothing wrong with being in your 20s. It was just weird. And it made me feel old. Anyway, had good beer at The Trappist. Then afterward we had dinner at a place called Spices 3. It was a Chinese restaurant. We tried all kinds of crazy stuff. Everything was so good and spicy. Yum! I bet Joe 10 bucks he couldn't eat one of those crazy red peppers. He did it. He told me if I ate one I could win my 10 bucks back. Those things aren't that hot. I really thought they would be on fire. Joe said he felt bad taking my 10 bucks. Curt even ate one.
Sunday more laziness. Tho. the sun came out, which was nice. Joey and I headed to Petsmart for his every 2-months nail trim. We get there and there is no one to actually cut his nails. Apparently you have to be certified to cut a cat's nails. You have to be kidding me. So I buy what I need at Petsmart--but I have to stand there waiting for a cashier for like 5 minutes. The customer service at that P-mart sucks. They are never busy. I have no idea how they ever make money. The Petsmart I worked at in college was always busy on weekends. All 5 registers were running. Anyway, I finally get to buy my stuff and head to Petco. Luckily there was a groomer there who could cut Joey's nails. Whew! Both Mama and Joey were stressed on that one.
Came home and put away all the Christmas stuff. Took down our tree. Curt put up a window ledge for Joey. He hasn't quite taken to it yet.
Vegged the rest of the day. Watched The Artic Tale. It was pretty cute. Man, global warming is really happening. Why are people denying it?
This morning yoga was packed. Like double the amount of people normally in the class. Some new person took my regular spot! Jerk. :)

I found out some very sad news this morning. A family friend, Keith Busch, had a heart attack over the weekend and died. Keith was only in his 50s. Last year in March, (I am having linking issues) Keith and his wife, Kathy, lost their son Cody. Cody had been missing a week and his body was found in a lake. The Busch family has already been through so much. My heart goes out to the family again for another horrible tragedy.

Friday, January 04, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring--updated

Man, it is pouring out there and really windy. It started raining about noon yesterday--nothing too bad. Then last night it really started pouring. It was so loud I slept so badly. Then about 4:45 our electricity went out. Great! So I got up to find my cell phone and set the alarm. I went back to bed. I was gonna go to my yoga class this morning but I was so exhausted from the bad sleep that I decided to try to sleep until 8 and be at work about 9. On the radio this morning they mentioned we had already gotten 3 inches of rain. And before the storms go away we could get up to 8-10 inches by early next week. Story here.
Curt is working from home today. Just easier than trying tackle the storm to get to work. He lent me his REI rain coat. I need to get one. I have a rain coat. But in heavy rain that thing gets soaked. Curt's rain coat kept me nice and dry. Luckily at work there is garage parking. But today is our work Legal "holiday" lunch and we will have to battle some weather then.
Happy Friday!

This storm is getting nuts. One bridge has closed. Parts of freeways are closing. Winds are crazy. At work I am on the 12th floor and I guess some people can feel the floor swaying. A conference room windows were leaking. Some dangly light fixtures at work were swaying earlier.
Curt just told me our windows at home are leaking so our landlord is coming over.
HR sent an e-mail earlier pretty much saying if you need to go home because of the weather talk to your supervisor and go home. Luckily I am close to home and I shouldn't encounter too many problems.
Some winds are 70 mph in certain areas. This is nuts: As much as 8 inches of rain have fallen in the past 24 hours in some parts of the Bay Area.
The rains are supposed to continue. But apparently today is the worst of it--so that is some good news. And we have really needed the rain--it has been a slow rainy season this year.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I'm finished!!!

I took my final exam last night. Got a 92% on my quiz. I am still unsure of two of the answers I got wrong. I really think I was right. But whatever, I am now a certified patent paralegal. It could take up to six weeks for me to get my certificate.
There will likely still be at least a couple of months before my job transitions. I would like to slowly take over the patent duties. And then we can hire someone to take over my job.

Stormy weather

Supposedly we are going to get 2-4 inches of rain today. The storm will start later this afternoon. There is supposed to be flooding and multiple storms moving in. Should be fun. But this will create snow in the mountains--which is good since we are going to Tahoe at the end of this month. If you would like to read all about it, click here.

All you New Year's Resolutioners step off

I went to the gym last night and it was packed! I was kinda annoyed. Especially because I couldn't use my regular elliptical machine. I had to use something else. But they will all be gone soon, right? How long do you predict they will last? Gail says 2 weeks, a co-worker said 3 weeks. I think a month or two. Mia said probably just a few weeks. Let's hope so.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Back to work

I am so spoiled. I so didn't want to come back to work today. Bleh. I only had 39 unread e-mails in my inbox. Not too bad.
It is gonna be tough to get back into the swing of things. Good thing this week is only 3 days. :)

Yesterday was relaxing. Just hung out. I made my oven baked "fried" chicken. Curt and I vegged. He watched football. And was happy to have his Tigers win the Cotton Bowl.

I also am ready to take my final exam for my course. If I am up to it I will do it tonight. If not, then definitely this weekend.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What we did last night

Last night we headed to Mia and Todd's (and Lexie and Coop's) house for New Year's Eve dinner. Three other couples also came. Curt and I were the only ones there without kids--which was fine. I am starting to get used to being "the childless couple." Actually, we have a lot of friends who are married and don't have kids. Anyway, enough of that ...
We had yummy appetizers: cheese, guac, my salsa, etc. Then we had fresh pasta from Market Hall. Man, fresh pasta tastes so much better than the dried stuff, hands down.
So we all hung out, had dinner. And then most of us migrated to Lexie's room for XBox karaoke. I don't normally do karaoke unless I am drunk. I have a horrible singing voice. But Lexie pleaded with me. So she and I sang "I Love Rock n Roll" together. Later one of the other kids sang "Play that Funky Music" with me. It was fun and funny. We were cracking up.
Later we played charades. Let me just say I suck at charades. Plus I got The X-Files. Man, that was a tough one. I am much better at guessing than acting them out.
We all got glasses of champagne and waited for the ball to drop. We were rewinding something on the DVR and it got stuck. So we all ran to Lexie's room to watch the ball drop. We hear Mia and Todd yelling in the front room. We run in there. They were watching the ball drop on the Spanish station. HA! (And we found out Lexie doesn't have cable in her room.)
Curt and Lexie had a bet about whether or not she could stay up until midnight. I was the holder of the 2 bucks. At midnight I handed the money over to Lexie.
Soon after that we came home. Drivers seemed OK at the time--it was about 12:15.
Funny thing was we were only planning on staying for dinner and coming home to be "safe." But we were having such a great time that we ended up staying and hanging out.

Isn't Natalia super cute? She is a beautiful little girl. Ann and Lexie in the second pic. Ann and Mia in the third pic. Curt and Ann in the fourth pic. (I wore my blue shoes. Gotta get as much use out of my pretty shoes as I can.) Last pic is Natalia again. She was mesmerized by Shrek on TV.

Happy 2008!

Happy New Year to everyone!
Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year.
We had a great time at Mia and Todd's tonight. Just got home. Now in jammies. Ha! Gone are the days of partying like crazy people.

Happy New Year!