Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I have a question

So where was the government when I had credit card bills like crazy and school loans to pay?
Yes, some of my credit card bill spending was frivilous. But most of it wasn't. There were a lot of times I would think, Thank gawd grocery stores take credit cards.
And I was "lucky" for the school loans I did qualify for. Even though I paid for EVERTHING (rent, food, tuition, books, car insurance [when I had a car--at one point I sold my car because I could no longer afford the insurance], etc.) I still had to submit on my school loan application my mom's salary. And "lucky" ??? for me my mom didn't make a whole lot.
I was fortunate that my mom worked at the University of Arizona, which means I got a tuition discount and a book discount, if my mom shopped with me.
I may have had high credit cards bills. But I NEVER missed a payment.
Thanks for listening to my rant.

I promise to post more pics from our Portland trip and write about all the fun stuff we did. I am sorry we didn't get to see everyone we know who lives in Salem and Portland. We weren't even in town for 48 hours.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Back from Portland

We got back home about 9:30 tonight. I am pretty much ready for my workday, well, I am trying to convince myself of that.
We had a great weekend, great visits, Alex was adorable, Lenore is beautiful and the Oktoberfest party was a blast.
A few highlights:

Top: Alex in his super cute hat at brunch. He got many compliments on that hat. Middle: Lenore decked out in her super cute tutu from Aunt Ann and Uncle Curt with her ballet shoe sockies. Bottom: Uncle Curt and Aunt Ann with sweet little Lenore at coffee.
I promise to share more pictures soon.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

Paul Newman is dead at age 83. Click here for a story. (Photo by AFP.)
What an amazing actor and an amazing career. Paul Newman is my mom's favorite actor. When she was still working (she worked in a lab and didn't have a desk, just a corner), but in her corner she had more pictures of Paul Newman than her own two kids. HA!
I have seen many, many Paul Newman movies. I have even celebrated many of his birthdays. I am sure my mom will still continue that tradition.
I still think my favorite Paul Newman movie is Cool Hand Luke. Spend a night in the box.


Curt and I are in Portland now. We landed a little after 7 p.m. last night. We met Angela at Montage about 9 p.m. and had a great dinner and a good time catching up.
Shortly we are meeting Aaron and Stefanie  and Baby Alex for brunch, then Craig for late lunch, then we will meet Lenore and then off to Oktoberfest. Whew!

Friday, September 26, 2008

3 1/2 months

So I can't believe it. But it has been 3 1/2 months since I have been on a plane. The last time I flew somewhere was to Phoenix (in the middle of June!!! Ugh! HOT!) to hang out with my friends and go see the Sex and the City movie.
Curt and I are heading to Portland for the weekend. First stop (after the hotel) will be Montage. I mentioned to Jen over IM the other day that Curt and I were heading to Portland. Her first question was, are you going to the macaroni place? And my response was, HELL yes!
Saturday we have brunch plans, then--this is super cool--Curt's brother, Craig, is in town for work. So we are gonna meet up with him for late lunch/drinks. At some point we will head to Angela and Michael's to meet Little Ms. Lenore!!!! I can't wait. After our visit we will head to the Klotters' for Oktoberfest. Don and Kristin have this huge party every two years. We have never been able to attend until this year. Angela and Michael are going with us, too.
Sunday we will have a leisurely day hanging with with the Carpstead bunch in their hood.
Looking forward to our Portland weekend.

Fall TV

So Thursday nights are a hot TV night. I haven't been able to watch everything yet. But I watched Ugly Betty and ER. And Curt and I watched The Office. The Office is great, as usual. Oh, and I did watch Law & Order: SVU the other night. Good stuff. I am so happy fall TV is here!


Don't forget to check out my new blog, Go Fit Girl! See this post for details.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wool Beanie No. 11 done

So I finished No. 11 last night. Just 9 more to go.
I have received wool hats from Alicia and Lauren and 11 blend beanies from my friend Sue's mom's kitting group.
Penny and her mom are working on beanies for this shipment and a few others here and there said they are making some.
If you are making beanies for this shipment I need them by the last week of October. I have to mail them between Nov. 1-7.
If you don't have them to me in time they will be taking another mailing Jan. 1-7. (No mailings in December.)
We are going to send our hats to The Ships Project. If your beanies are wool please include instructions on washing and drying. I have to label all the hats with The Ships Project address and if wool, include washing/drying instructions. If they are blend beanies no instructions required. Only 100% wool beanies will go to the ground troops.
The Ships Project takes other items like, slippers, cool ties and what they call extras: jerky, lip balm, coffee, etc. If you want to send extras make sure you check on what you can send and how they want it sent. Recently people sent huge things of coffee, which don't fit in the boxes The Ships Project sends to the military.
Or you can also donate money to them to help pay for postage. The budget for postage is really small. So if you don't knit, don't want to make any hats or whatever, think about donating some money to them. That way you can help send hats and extras to the troops. There is a donate button near the bottom of this page.
Thanks to everyone who has donated/is going to donate some handmade hats.


Don't forget to check out my new blog, Go Fit Girl! See this post for details.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ahhh, Bill

So last night I was knitting away. About 2/3 of the way done with Beanie No. 11. (Hope to finish it tonight.) I was watching Freaks and Geeks last night while knitting. Man, that is such a great show. I had never seen it until now. Why, oh, why was it on for only one season?
Anyway, once I was done with the disc it was almost time for The Daily Show, which I rarely watch since 11 p.m. is either my bedtime or way past it. But we saw that Bill Clinton was the guest. So I had to stay up and watch it. I even struggled to knit a few more rows to keep myself awake.
Though knitting while tired it almost as bad as knitting while drunk.
I love Bill. But I had to laugh when he kept saying well, Hillary and I said or Hillary and I did. He is the perfect advertisement for himself and his wife.


Don't forget to check out my new blog, Go Fit Girl! See this post for details.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Obama mobile

As I was leaving Longs Drugs yesterday (who was out of my rewetting drops and doesn't know when they will get any in!) I saw this car pulling out.
I quickly whipped out my phone and hit the camera button and luckily got a shot before it slowly pulled away. I just thought it was funny, that's why I took a pic and why I am sharing with you.
Don't forget to check out my new blog, Go Fit Girl! See this post for details.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Today my granpda turns 87. Initially Sept. 22 was my due date. But apparently I was toasty and wanted to stay in the oven a little longer.
Happy birthday Grandpa Frank!
I called my grandpa today to wish him a happy birthday. He said, are you at work? Yes. Are you allowed to talk on the phone? Apparently. :)
As a little girl I was so lucky to have so many grandparents. I had two grandmas, two grandpas and three great-grandmas. My parents and I (and probably my brother, too, once he was born) would visit often. My parents would say, we are going to visit grandma. And my response would be, which one??? (I am sure there was so sass in that question, too.)
So I named most of the grandparents to distinguish them. My dad's mom had proclaimed when my mom was pregnant that she would be called Nana. My dad's dad we call Grandpa Frank.
I named my mom's parents Grandma and Grandpa Lisa. My mom has a sister, named Lisa, who is autistic and lived with them (and now with my grandma).
Then on to the great-grandmas. My dad's grandma was Grandma Chihak. My two mom's grandmas both had dogs. So I named them after the dogs: Grandma Chula and Grandma Peanut. And people called them that until they died. Actually people still call them that. After I got older I started calling Grandma Peanut Granita (since she was a little grandma).
I am still so lucky to have Grandma Lisa and Grandpa Frank and Curt's grandma, Grandma Phyllis.
My granita came to our wedding as a surprise. We didn't think she would come. I mean the woman was 95! But she came and she looked beautiful. Everyone got to see her. She had great food and wine. She died two days later on her birthday at the age of 96. I believe she waited to see me get married before she went to heaven.


Don't forget to check out my new blog, Go Fit Girl! See this post for details.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My new blog and my weekend

So Curt and I are working on an exercise, health, etc. blog together. I am providing the content and Curt is doing the maintenance. The other night Curt was in the office working and I was in the living room on the laptop. Fun!
The new site is called Go Fit Girl! I plan to write about my own experiences when it comes to food, exercise, general fitness, etc. and anything related. Curt has imported some posts from this blog to the Go Fit Girl blog, which relate to the new blog.
Sometimes you may read similar posts on both my personal blog and on my health blog.
I would love feedback. This is a works in progress.
Also, if you would like to guest post on Go Fit Girl, please e-mail me at ann@gofitgirl.com and let me know what you would like to write about.

My weekend

Friday night after yoga I came home, did some knitting, had a few homemade bloody Marys, and watched the rest of My So-Called Life.
Saturday morning headed to the gym, then afterward the grocery store. Came home, showered and Curt and I headed to Jim and Jennifer's for brunch and baseball. Jim made this awesome baked French toast. Curt and I brought over our coffeemaker and coffee. Jennifer had this mocha Splenda. Yum, it was so good!
I really didn't watch much baseball. I did finish No. 7 beanie and started No. 8.
Later Jennifer's friend/co-worker Chrystal came over. The girls had some fun girl chatting.
Last night I watched some Freaks and Geeks and we had sushi for dinner. I am close to having No. 8 beanie done.
This morning I headed to Target soon after it opened. I have to say that is the best time to go. No crowds, no lines, no crying babies.
After Target took Joey to the vet for a nail trim. That went very well. Joey hates to have his feet touched. So I have to take him somewhere for the every two month trim. This time we let it go for almost three months. The vet is more expensive than Petsmart. But the vet is closer and it is just less stressful on everyone.
After the vet I came home and worked on the Go Fit Girl blog for some time.
Now I need to go through a huge pile of mail, pay some bills, do some laundry, finish Beanie No. 9 and hopefully start No. 10. I am sure there are a few others things I have to do that I can't think of at the moment.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oven-Fried Chicken with a Corn Flake Crust

I have talked about this oven-fried chicken recipe many times. And I have had a few requests for it. So I am finally going to share it with you.
I got this off of the Safeway Corn Flakes box:

Oven-Fried Chicken with a Corn Flake Crust

Oven frying produces a crisp, crunchy crust with a minimum of fat. To reduce the fat even further, remove the chicken skin before coating.

3 1/2 lbs chicken pieces, rinsed and patted dry
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups crushed Safeway Corn Flakes cereal
2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 to 3 tbsp melted butter

Position rack in upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with heavy foil and grease the foil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a pie dish or shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. In another shallow dish, stir together cereal, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture and then into the cereal mixture, patting with your hands to make the crumbs adhere. Arrange chicken on prepared banking sheet. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake until crisp and golden, 40-50 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Curt loves the chicken. We have had friends over and I have made it and they love it, too. I never use all the eggs/milk. So you could probably cut down on that. And I find that I need more than 2 1/2 cups of corn flakes. Oh, and I "grease" the foil with Pam.
A healthier and yummy way to eat friend chicken.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bumper sticker

On a bumper sticker I saw while driving home tonight:

If you can't trust me with a choice
How can you trust me with a child

Enough said.

Fall is in the air

Last night Curt and I went to an A's game with Monica and Cyrus. I left work about 5, got home, changed into my A's gear and headed to the BART station to ride to the game. As I stepped out of the house I felt fall in the air. I mean we barely had summer. September and October are supposed to be the best weather months here. We have had some nice weather this month. But we have also had some cold weather this month.
We had a good time at the game. It did get quite chilly. Good thing I had my A's blanket to keep me warm. And the A's won in an exciting fashion.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I have been like watching My So-Called Life

So for the past week or so I have been getting DVDs from Netflix of My So-Called Life. It was an MTV show that was on in 1994. I remember watching some of it then.
It is a pretty good show. It is funny to watch it and be annoyed by the angst of teenagers. Though some of the stuff is serious.
They say LIKE all the freakin' time. It is like so annoying!
If you haven't seen it or saw it a long time ago I recommend renting it. Unfortunately it was only on for one season. Claire Danes and Jared Leto are in it.

Have like a good day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pretty darn cute

OK, this isn't the cutest thing ever, but it comes close as pretty darn cute.

When I saw these overalls I had to get them for Kate's baby boy-to-be. Kate's shower was in Phoenix over the weekend, which I was unable to attend. But I sent lots of gifts, including the outfit pictured above.


I am humming along with my 100% wool beanies. Six done. The Ships Project takes acrylic beanies, too. But they have said no camo, brown, black or gray. Hmmmm.
Top picture: All the beanies I have knitted so far. Middle picture: The 100% wool beanies I have knitted in the past 11 days. I started No. 7 last night. Bottom picture: The acrylic blend beanies I made before I realized that ground troops can NOT have any synthetic fibers. The Ships Project says they will take blend beanies for the wounded and ship troops. But they ask for no black, brown, camo or gray. And look at the colors of my beanies. So ... maybe these will still go to a shelter. Some others have given me some blend beanies that I think I can still send.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I love three-day weekends

Even the ones I create.
I took Friday off. You know when you just need a day off. Well, that was Friday for me.
Friday morning I had the carpet cleaned. If you live in the area and want a good carpet cleaner then I recommend Skyline Express. Al did a great job and I really enjoyed chatting with him.
After Al was done with the carpet I headed to Bittersweet for a yummy roll and a super sweet White Chocolate Dream. I don't know what it is, but, man, it tastes gooood! I came home and kept my feet off the carpet and did some knitting until Sue came over.
Sue came over a little before 1 and we headed to a sushi place she likes in Lafayette. The rolls were HUGE and very good.
After sushi back to Rockridge. We went to Market Hall to pick up dinner. I bought fresh spaghetti and a yummy sauce along with some fruit salad. Sue bought some delicious biscuits and some raviolis for home. We dropped off the food and then went to Tootsies for mani/pedis. Tootsies is hiring right now. Curt has encouraged me to apply. I did get an application. So we'll see. I mentioned to Sue during our manis that I would only be able to work weekends. And her manicurist said the owner was just saying she needed a weekend person. It could be fun. Plus I would get a discount on shoes and for every hour you work you get a dollar to spend in the store. They said for people who are full time they can get about 2 pairs of shoes free a month. DANG!
After mani/pedis back to my place. Soon after Alicia joined us for dinner and knitting. We had a fun time. Alicia is also making beanies for the military. She is on No. 4 beanie right now. I started No. 6 yesterday.
(I found an organization called The Ships Project that you can send your hats to and they will make sure they get to the right places. I also found out that they will take blend hats (hands that have synthetic fibers--like acrylic) for the ship troops and the wounded troops. Though for those hats they request more cheerful colors. So I think I can still send some of the acrylic beanies I made.)
Saturday for some reason I woke up exhausted so I didn't go to the gym. It took me some time to get going that day. I had a bunch of stuff to do before our friends Stefan and Sandra came over. I had a little housecleaning to do, grocery shopping, etc. to do. Stefan and Sandra showed up about 7 p.m. Saturday. (Stefan and Sandra are from Germany--Stuttgart area. They have been on holiday in the States for about 3 weeks.) We chatted a bit and then headed out for dinner at Rustica. (Curt was flying back from D.C.) They loved the restaurant and thought the food was really good. Steafan did tell me it was good, but not the best he has had in the States (they have been to Italy a couple of times). The best they had was at a restaurant in New York, which Curt and I got a gift certificate for them to thank them for hosting us while we were visiting Germany in the summer of 2006. I told them my friend Kaly lives in New York and I asked her for recommendations. Once I saw the Italian restaurant listed I knew that was the right one for them. (When we were in Germany we ate a lot of Italian food.)
After dinner back to the house to stay up before we had to get Curt at the airport. About 11:10 Curt called saying he had just landed (about a half an hour early). So the three of us headed to the airport to pick him up. I stayed up that night until 1 a.m. Don't remember the last time that happened.
And for some reason my body didn't want to sleep in. So I was awake at 7 a.m. I finally got up about 7:45 and just watched TV and knitted. For breakfast we got pastries at the Market Hall bakery and had coffee at home. About noon we headed to the A's game. The weather was absolutely perfect. Warm, but not hot. At some point during the game I was truly ready for a nap. And the warm weather and beer didn't help. At some point I bought an ice cream to wake me up a bit. We had a bunch of kids in front of us. When I bought the ice cream I had a captive audience. They actually seemed to find us rather entertaining throughout the game. I would find a little person staring at us. :) There were 4 boys in front of us--probably between the ages of 6 and 12. And they were really good kids I do have to say. Unlike some of the other crybabies around us.
After the game we headed home to relax a little and then go out for sushi. Stefan and Sandra seemed a little hestitant for the sushi. But they ended up feeling that it was a good choice. I think sushi in Germany is probably not that great and it is expensive.
Those two went into the city today for their last tourist day. They dropped Curt off at work. And they headed home early tomorrow. (They are staying in a hotel tonight because of the early flight.)
And today back at work. And believe me I didn't want to get up today ... at all. I could use a nap right about now.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Take a moment

I can't believe 9/11 happened seven years ago. Can you? I was living in Phoenix working second shift at The Republic. It was my mom who called about 8 a.m. to tell us what had happened. I was dead asleep. I was confused on what she was telling me. Curt turned on the TV. We just sat there and watched TV all day until we had to go to work.
That was a crazy week at work. We put out a special edition every day. People came in on their days off to help out. I switched back and forth: One day I would work the daily newspaper (we still had to put that out) and the next I would work on the special edition. It was exhausting and tough. But I was proud to be able to put out a good product to keep people informed.
9/11 has a few meanings for me. On 9/11/02 Curt proposed to me. And on 9/11/04 my nana died. Emotional in many ways.
A good cause and a fun bag
I noticed on my Lean Cuisine package this morning that there was a promotion for an insulated lunch bag. So I googled it and found the site selling these cute bags. They are only $9.95, which includes tax and shipping and $5 goes to breast cancer research. What an easy and fun way to support a good cause.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On my own

Curt is out of town for a few days for a convention. So it is just Joey and me.
Joey has already taken over the Curt role as you can see in the picture below:

Curt texted me to let me know he had landed in D.C. safely. Then he called to check in. Then a little later he called to tell me about some wasabi nuts he had eaten. And he even sent a picture:

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Military beanie No. 2 finished ...

No. 3 has been started. I went with navy for my next beanies. Mix up the colors a bit--keep it exciting. :)
I made No. 2 a little wider than No. 1. But then it ended up an inch shorter than No. 1. Penny mentioned on her blog how her second beanie out of the same skein got shortened by the fact that she ran out of yarn. I came pretty close myself.
The pattern calls for 72 sts. I have made mine at 64 and 68. My friend Alonzo at work, who has a big noggin, tried on the beanie with 64 sts. and it fit him. Luckily the yarn stretches out pretty good.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Fun-filled yet relaxing weekend

Friday night Curt went out with friends so I had some Ann time and watched movies and knitted.
Saturday morning hit my spin class and then abs/core class. About 1 we headed to Phil and Lisa's to pick up Phil (Lisa was out of town) and head to Alameda Oktoberfest. It was a pretty warm day. We had nice cold beer and yummy food. I had strudel and ice cream for dessert. Yum! It was so warm my feet were swelling up!
That evening Curt and I came home and crashed. Then the rest of the evening was just relaxing.
Sunday morning I hit the grocery about 10:30. Then I came home made some salsa and cleaned up the kitchen.
A little after 2 we headed to Becky and Cyrus' for a farewell barbecue. These two are heading to France for seven months to teach English. They are gonna have an amazing time. Ahhh, think of all the great places they are going to get to visit, besides the fact that they get to live in France!!!
Sunday evening relaxing and knitting.
And we are back to Monday again.

Friday, September 05, 2008


I am sitting here knitting my first 100% superwash wool beanie for a troop while watching last night's episode of The Daily Show.
There is an entertaining segment about choice.
One woman actually says choice doesn't mean pro-choice. Hmmmm, what part of choice am I not understanding? So I went to the wise Wikipedia to see what it had to say.

OK, I am ready to knit me some military beanies

I got my Moda Dea 100% superwash wool in the mail yesterday. And I took a picture of it with my iPhone. :) I got three skeins of navy, three of black, three of gray and three of chocolate brown.
And yesterday I finished No. 3 of four baby blankets I am making this year. (And actually No. 3 I did twice. I didn't like the way the first one came out.)
So besides the fun stuff I have planned this weekend I will be knitting like crazy, too.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ocho Cinco

I have two sources for my sports news: my husband and Sassy Sports with Greg the Gay Sportscaster on my morning drive to work.
Anyway, I had heard Fernando and Greg discuss the fact that Chad Johnson wanted Ocho Cinco written on the back of his Cincinnati Bengals jersey. It couldn't be done because that wasn't his legal name. (And he already has 85 on his jersey!!!) This morning they talked about how he actually legally changed his named to Chad Ocho Cinco. And now he can have it on his jersey.
Click here for some info on Chad Johnson and other name changes.
Oh, did I mention that I think this is dumb!?!

I have legally changed my name twice. When I got married I added Curt's last name to mine. My parents never gave me a middle name. So after I graduated college I legally gave myself a middle name: Soltero. That is my mom's maiden name and still part of her last name. (I thought the process was gonna be a lot easier after watching an episode of Party of Five when Jennifer Love Hewitt's chararcter--Sarah?--legally changed her name. Can't believe everything you see on TV, eh?)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I wouldn't vote for John McCain even if Bill was his running mate

My dad recently joked with me that if McCain becomes president (gawd, I hope not!) once he kicks the bucket we will have our first female president. This is when I told my dad that I wouldn't vote for McCain even if Bill was his running mate.
I haven't talked much about politics lately. Mostly because I don't care--sad, but true. You all know my true feelings about our current Commander in Chief.
And I am not sure if we should be more scared of McCain or a little less. Either way he is a bad choice for president.
I would never vote for McCain. And I have done about zero research on Obama. From what I do know he has the same feelings I do about important subjects to me: the war, health care, women's rights, education, etc.
And we usually vote for the lesser evil anyway, right? RIGHT? (That's for Faith.)
I don't know much about Palin. But I know just enough to be disgusted. The fact that she is anti-abortion even in cases of rape or incest is all I need to know. That makes my blood boil.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

No labor on Labor Day

Yesterday was a pretty lazy day. I was supposed to go to the gym and the grocery in the morning. Uh, nixed that idea around 11 a.m.
I did do laundry and worked on my baby blanket. I am more than half way done with my baby blanket--and I started it Friday evening. I was gung-ho ready to have it done yesterday. But when I knit sometimes my back gets sore. I have weak back muscles and poor posture because I have slight scoliosis. So sometimes sitting can can be painful. Once my back starts to hurt I just lay off the knitting for a bit. Sometimes just a little bit and other times I can't continue anymore for that day.
But I should have it done soon. And I want to have it done soon so I can start on my 100% superwash wool beanies for the troops. I checked the tracking on my yarn and it arrived in the area this morning. So hopefully I will get it delivered today.
Curt and I did have dinner out last night. Our plan was to hit Sushiya. But they are closed on Mondays. We were gonna go to Barclay's--bar food. On the way walking to Barclay's we passed another sushi place that I had eaten at once with Mia. Tachibana--I think is the name. So Curt and I ate there. Very good sushi. Yummy!