Sunday, December 31, 2006

Return to Paradise

I have come back to Key West an engaged woman.

Our trip to the west coast was very eventful, exciting, and busy! We packed a lot of visits with friends and family into 9 days.

We began our adventure on Friday, December 22 after work. We managed to finish packing and prepare the animals for our absence and get to the airport on time thanks to a ride from Brandon. We checked in and found our flight was overbooked and they were in need of people to fly the next day. Fortunately enough people jumped at the chance to stay in paradise for another day that we were able to leave on our scheduled Delta flight to Atlanta.

The planes that come in and out of Key West are of the smaller variety, and altitude and turbulence are felt stronger than on a bigger jet. By the time our two-hour flight landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International airport I was feeling a little more than quesy. We had about a two hour layover before our flight out, so we rested and I took a dramamine to face the next leg.
We arrived into San Fransisco around 12:30am and Gary and Carla picked us up at baggage claim. Once at the Cumpston house, I stayed up for about 20 minutes, long enough to discover that the box of presents I had shipped by UPS 3 day a week previous had not arrived yet. I went to bed and we agreed to try and track down the package in Menlo Park the next morning.

I woke up on Saturday when Kevin and Katie arrived from their flight in. Carla and Scott were out "shopping for dad" and trying to track down the UPS package. I heard a doorbell and found the missing package on the doorstep. Scott and Carla arrived back at the house about an hour later and we all drove together to Fogarty Winery up in the hills.

We did some wine tasting and took a couple of fun pictures on the hillside overlooking the valley.

We made our way back down to Woodside and stopped at the Woodside Bakery for lunch, enjoying fresh baked bread and wood-fired pizza with leftovers to take home.

After a nap, Gary, Carla, Katie, Kevin, Scott and myself got in the car and drove to Gary's cousin Doug's house. Doug's wife Liz and kids Ray, Cate and Jane also joined us and after homemade hors d'oeuvres we all went into downtown Palo Alto and sat down to dinner at Spago.

After ordering, Scott wanted to take a walk outside for some fresh air, so we crossed the street to a small park. It was quite cold out and Scott had not brought his jacket out of the restaurant, so we walked at a decent pace to stay warm. After making a few laps around the park we stopped next to a park bench, and after he got out of my grip, went down on one knee on the sidewalk and proposed. I must not have answered and he said "Please say yes!"

I said yes (of course!) and we went back to dinner and celebrated with the family.

We were treated to a chocolate lava cake with ice cream and whipped cream and champagne.

Sunday morning we went back to the jeweler to pick the final setting for the diamond Scott had picked out (astounding in it's own right) and did a little last minute shopping while waiting for it to be ready to pick up.

Pizza for lunch again but this time at "Pizza My Heart" in downtown Palo Alto, where we bought t-shirts for $5 each and got a free piece of pizza.

Christmas Eve dinner was Potato Cheese soup, salad and paninis. We watched The Devil Wears Prada and then went to bed around 1am.

Christmas morning Scott's sister Katie and her husband Kevin ran yelling "Santa was here! Santa was here!" through the house at about 7am. There was a beautiful sunrise through the trees as we opened our stockings and gifts.

There was a little time for naps before Doug and his family came over for hors d'oeuvres, and then a quick dinner before Gary delivered Katie and Kevin to the airport for a flight back to Portland.

Scott and I stayed up for a little while and then went to bed, only to be woken up at about 12:30 to pile into the car and leave for our drive north. We hit rain going through San Fransisco and it didn't let up until it turned to snow just south of Weed. The snowflakes were about 3 inches in diameter and blowing sideways. We braved the blizzard and it got better by the time we reached Yreka, coinciding with daylight.

We finally pulled up to my mom's house in Clackamas right after noon on the 26th. The first visit was to Monica and John Paul's house, where we watched the kids open their presents. Mom had asked that we be back to her house by 5pm to begin preparations for our pseudo Christmas Eve traditional evening. Our evening began with dinner and the traditional lighting of the advent wreath candles, and ended with opening yet more presents and crashing into bed around 10:30pm.

Morning of the 27th we drove across town to the home of Keith and Julie Thomson, parents of Scott's brother-in-law. After opening gifts and enjoying homemade shortbread, we proceeded to Scott's Grandma Virginia's house minutes away and opened MORE gifts.

Once we said goodbye to Virginia, we drove back across town and stopped at the Ouchida house for about a half hour, where we discovered that Britt and Dan got engaged about two hours after we did.

We dashed out to the Oregon City McMenamins to have lunch with Tiffany at about 3pm, and then made our way back to Mom's house to nap.

Applebees off 112th in Vancouver was our destination for dinner with Andy, Adam, Kelli and Sarah Rodriguez. They enjoyed their "Chou-lendars" and we shared engagement stories.

Thursday morning we met Britt and Dan for breakfast at Jam On Hawthorne and then enjoyed a couple of hours with TJ, Michelle and Taylor at their home in Milwaukie. We had just enough time to drive to Mom's to change and then head to The Ram in Lake Oswego for lunch with Carla, Grandma Eloise and Scott's other cousin Jane.

In the short amount of time between lunch and dinner, I had the opportunity to spend my Target gift card and a little time at Bridal Exclusives in Clackamas Promenade and may have found THE dress.

7pm found Lou, Mom, Scott and myself parking in the lot at Riverplace, and braving the very cold wind to walk down the plank to the Marina Fish House (previously Newport Bay). Gary and Carla joined us shortly after and we enjoyed a fantastic meal capped off with Gary and Lou sharing a berry cobbler.

Friday morning we woke early and drove to Monica and John Paul's house, visited for a few minutes and then delivered Sammey to Brusett's house for a birthday party. Kevin agreed to perform our ceremony, whenever it ends up being.

It was great to see the girls at my old office for a few minutes before heading south into Portland.

Scott dropped me off at my hair appointment and then we grabbed lunch on the way to visit Julie and Ella. Ella is 4 1/2 and very smart. It was great to catch up with them and we were sorry Keith wasn't able to be there.

I dropped Scott off with Andy and spent the afternoon at the downtown Clark County Title branch saying "hi."

I met Roxy and her family and Tony at the Spaghetti Factory in Vancouver for dinner, and then sped to Tualatin to meet the gang at Hayden's Lakefront Grill.

JVA rocked the place out and I even got to play a little cowbell before TJ took over. It turned out to be a bit of an un-official engagement party, attended by Monica & John Paul, TJ, Andy, Travis, Pete, Jen, Chad, Bill, Bob & Chelsea, and Matt and Tiffany. We stayed until the very end and finally got to sleep around 1am.

Saturday morning I got up at 7am and went to Bridge City for rehearsal before singing and playing keyboard for worship during church. Mom and Lou brought Scott for the service and I got to hold Connor for about 1/2 of the message.

Scott and Sindos' wedding started just after 2pm a few miles away and then we had a small window of time to pre-pack for our flight out. The wedding reception was at the Oswego Lake Country Club and we bailed after dinner was served.

Packing up and loading out managed to only take us about a half hour, helped by the fact that we decided to ship a lot of stuff from Portland to Key West so we didn't have to cram it into our luggage.

We arrived at Bob's house around 9pm and had an hour to hang out with Rachel & Gary, Mike & Erin, Monica & John Paul, Brooke & Nate, Andy, Bob & Chelsea, Chris and show pics of Chou to Jeff.

After a round of goodbyes, Bob dropped us at the airport and we checked in for our flight back to Atlanta.

Scott gave up some toothpaste and lotion at security, and we were able to board our plane without having to wait too long.

The three hour layover in Atlanta was taken up by napping, especially after I took a dramamine, which knocked me out hard.

The flight to Key West went quickly and smooth, considering I was sleeping.

Shaunta picked us up and we were happy to get home and greet the kitties right around 1pm.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Countdown to Christmas - 6 days

We are leaving Key West for California in just 3 days. All that remains to be done at home is pack and clean, as we are having guests over New Year's Weekend.
We'll put our Christmas tree out on the back porch before we leave so it can have some sun.

I found this festive fellow enjoying his holidays on our front porch last night. I googled him and he's quite common to the area - a Spiny Orb Weaver. Not harmful, good with bug catching.
Anyone want one for Christmas? He's about the size of a dime.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Countdown to Christmas - 10 days

One week until we depart for California. We've been notified of a little added time to our layover in Atlanta, but the rest of the plans are still looking good.
We finally got a new key to our mailbox and were able to receive the mass buildup of Christmas cards (and bills) that were waiting.
The last two UPS shipments of presents are going out today, and my company Christmas Party is tonight.
We are enjoying near 80 degree weather every day, and only a little rain. I recieved a text message from one of the tenants in my Vancouver house "you have a tree in your driveway" but I verified with my co-owner that everything is ok, and they only lost power for about 5 minutes.
The picture is from Scott's Christmas Party last weekend.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Countdown to Christmas - 12 Days

I have 2 Christmas presents left to buy or make, 3 boxes of presents to ship out to their destinations.

We attended Scott's company Christmas party on Saturday night, and my company Christmas party will be this Friday evening.

I've been decorating at work since the first week of December, and it's looking very festive, if just a little hodge-podge.

The stockings are laying under the counter with care... or in the case of the dog - hung on the cupboard handle, and in the case of the cats, hung on the wine rack above their dishes.

Chou still sits under the table, even though the fort of presents has been dismantled.

Scott and I are each working just 7 more days and then we depart for San Fransisco.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Countdown to Christmas - 21 Days

The tree is up and decorated, 90% of the presents are made or purchased.

I watched one of my two yearly Christmas required movies on Saturday night: Mixed Nuts. It's a Nora Ephron film with a ridiculous plot and great cast. Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, Madeline Kahn, Adam Sandler, Juliette Lewis, Anthony LaPaglia and Liev Schreiber. I believe the movie was in theatres the Christmas season of 1994.

My other favorite is White Christmas (not Holiday Inn) with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Countdown to Christmas - 25 Days

3 weeks from tomorrow we will fly to San Fransisco to spend Christmas with Scott's parents.

We're looking forward to spending the holiday in parts of the country where you can tell a little easier that it's winter.

We purchased our Christmas tree Tuesday night and will hopefully get it inside and decorated this weekend. From the picture, it looks like we are giving lots of flip flops as presents this year.

In actuality, all the presents that are already wrapped are sitting under the kitchen table, and Chou likes to hide behind them.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I'll Be Home For Christmas

You can count on me...

Scott and I will be heading out of the Key West airport after work on Friday, December 22nd and flying to San Fransisco by way of Atlanta, arriving around 11:15pm. We'll enjoy the weekend and Christmas Day with Scott's family, and then pile in their vehicle and drive to Portland.

We should arrive in Portland sometime on the 26th (ETA TBD). The only plans set in stone so far for the Portland part of the trip are that we are pretty booked up for Saturday the 30th. We'll be attending church at Bridge City that morning, and then attending a wedding and reception in the afternoon and early evening. Our plane leaves at about 11:15pm Saturday night, so we're hoping to hang out a little with the gang before catching our ride back to Key West.

Friday night we'll crash with Monica and John Paul, and I'm hoping to get in a trip to Colour Authority so I look a little blonder when we get back.

I'd love to have dinner with the Bob's World crew also on Friday if possible.

The interim will be spent largely with my Mom and Lou, with a possible trip up the gorge to Walla Walla/College Place. My cousin's twin boys are keeping their mother on bed rest as they'd like to make their debut a little earlier than due (January 12). If they've arrived by then, we'll probably make the trek to meet them.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, we are enjoying our new couch, delivered Friday afternoon. I've already napped on it twice.

Our house is shaping up and looking more home-like every day, come visit!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Time Flies and Cockroaches Don't

It's almost been two months since I arrived in Key West.

I've enjoyed a major festival (Fantasy Fest), visited the local Starbucks (which is privately owned and does not take Starbucks cards), gone to the beach once, to Miami twice, almost quit my job, been locked out of the house three times, gone to the pool three times, been late to work a few times and early a few times too.

Life is pretty normal, except for discovering a cockroach on it's back in the bathtub as I was turning on the shower. He's now working with the cast of the new movie "Flushed Away."

The drive from Key West to the mainland is beautiful. The speed limit is 45 for about half the trip, so while it's only about 130 miles, it takes a good 3 hours. There's never a time where you can only see ocean, the longest stretch over the water is the Seven Mile Bridge.

The most authentic Mexican restaurant in the area is Salsa Loca. Considering how far we are geographically from Mexico, it's nice to find good Mexican food! The servers are all older white ladies, but whoever is doing the cooking definately knows what they are doing.

On Halloween evening Scott and I enjoyed dinner at Monty's, which is an outdoor bar and restaurant right on the boardwalk. We enjoyed a taco salad and watched the sunset, then walked on the dock out to a boat that was moored but had it's underwater lights on. There were 6-8 Tarpin fish swimming and dining on minnows in the light. It was an incredible view. We sat on the dock and watched them for a good half hour and then got 50 cents worth of fish food out of a dispenser and tried to feed them. They weren't interested.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Media Review

Heroes - NBC: Great show. Hard to pick up in the middle but I'm all caught up in it even though I never saw the first episode.

Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip - NBC: I really enjoy this show. I like the dynamic of Amanda Peet, Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry together. Wacko with a little drama thrown in. And it's great to see that Wings guy as a bit of an butthead.

Running With Scissors - I know the movie just came out also, but two Saturdays ago I spent the afternoon reading the entire thing. A true account of the teenage years of the author, raising himself with the help (or hindrance) of a psycho psychologist and even more psycho mother. I'm looking forward to the movie even though I know it can't possibly be as good as the book. WARNING: It is a graphic book. And I don't mean pictures.

Get Fuzzy - It's true, I like a comic strip. This one features Rob, a poor schlub working in advertising, his dog (mother was a sharpei and father was a lab) Satchel and siamese cat Bucky. I bought two compilations on my own and was given two more as a birthday present. There are four more I'm going to have to acquire.

Jackass 2 - Had to close my eyes to keep from throwing up a few times.......

Saturday, October 14, 2006

One Month

As of tomorrow morning, I will have been a resident of Florida for one month.

I've been working at a new job for about 3 weeks, and recently had some issues there that have inspired me to continue to keep my eyes open for another position elsewhere.

The dog and cats are getting comfortable with each other, even being willing to share space on the bed together. Chou has come down off the refrigerator, but it looks like he has taken to eating Buster's canned dog food and regurgitating it back up.

Our condo is shaping up nicely, we're adding furniture as we can and enjoying the four decks attached to our unit. I've also been enjoying the small pool located in the middle of our complex.

I do miss having certain things nearby; Old Spaghetti Factory's closest location is in Georgia, and Costco, Old Navy, WalMart and Target are all in Miami, but there are new fun local places too.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Dream Come True...

You may think yesterday was Saturday, but it was Murphy-Day.

We attempted a purchase at K-Mart with a check from a brand-new local account. Apparently brand-new accounts limit the initial number of checks you can write, so the check was declined and we left the store without our silverware, curtain rods, spatulas and strainer.

Later I discovered the long-awaited debit card in the mail and went back to K-Mart with cash (just to be safe). I carefully re-selected all of our purchases and checked out.

As I was loading the new silverware into the dishwasher, I discovered that one box had 12 soup spoons and 8 knives instead of 4 sets of knife, big fork, little fork, big spoon, little spoon, and the OTHER box was short a big spoon.

We went back to K-Mart for the third time (a charm) and from the SINGLE last box of that style of silverware on the shelf, created two full boxes.

Meanwhile, back at Good-News Ranch, we bought a mattress and box springs which were delivered FREE the same afternoon.

I have now slept on a REAL bed and eaten my cereal with a REAL spoon. I can die a happy woman.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The New Frontier

Frida, the office Pomeranian is asleep on the floor. She belongs to Donna, who hired and is training me. Donna is negotiating an add in the Yellow Pages with the Bell South guy.

Today is my second day at SeaTech Electric, Inc. located on Rockland Key. They are an electrical company that does government contracts. They have business all over the Keys, the U.S, and even embassies outside the country.

I am the Assistant to the Director of Finance (Donna). She has been overwhelmed with work over the last few months and got authorization to hire an Assistant.

It's good to have an intellectual outlet finally, I've been basically on vacation for almost a month. While it's nice to have a break, I've been a little stir-crazy the last week or so.

We'll make our first venture back to the mainland this weekend to pick up the BMW and make a Costco run.

Monday, September 25, 2006

At Home in Key West

I've been home for one week as of yesterday.

We commemorated the event by spending the afternoon on Picnic Island - which is really a sand bar. The water is shallow enough to just anchor and wade around. We enjoyed a few games of frisbee (I was knocked in the head only once, remarkably) and I don't know if anyone was counting, but I should have gotten double points for landing the frisbee on the bow of a strangers boat.

Apparently we left our brains in the northwest, because even though we are now living in Florida, neither of us has purchased any sunscreen. Fortunate for us there was a mother with two children on our adventure, and she provided a menu of spf 30 and spf 50 for our enjoyment. I chose some 30, but not soon enough and am a bit pink.

Scott's furniture arrived today, moved off the truck in about 2.5 hours. I have unpacked two boxes of dishes and glassware and started the dishwasher running. I am greatly looking forward to putting clothes away in a dresser in the closet, and not just in organized piles on the master bedroom floor.

We are now one step closer to the dream - sleeping on a real bed. The bed frame arrived with everything else today, but the movers would not bring the mattress or box springs as they had mildewed in storage while in North Carolina. We will have to purchase a new mattress and box springs, along with a couch, since it's predecessor (I've always wondered if this word literally means "previously deceased"...) was also denied transit due to mold.

We have a full set of dishes, glasses, chargers, a toaster, what I think is a juicer, and some other various kitchen items. There is also a lovely set of tables that include a small dining table, a coffee table and side table.

The cats are getting used to the dog, on Thursday night Maui (the siamese) "kissed" Buster (the boxer) briefly. Progress from hissing. Chou can usually be found on top of the refrigerator, although we are doing our best to discourage this. Minx ate some of Buster's dog food yesterday, I don't know if it was because she felt she hadn't had enough cat food or if she was just trying to get Buster to notice that SHE is the alpha dog.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Road Trip: Day Seven and Eight

Sulpher LA to Key West FL

This long-push-drive-through-the-night thing is crazy. The much needed hotel room was enjoyed until right about noon on Saturday. We had slept long and hard, and once we had packed everything out, discovered that we had lost the room key while looking for my phone. About a half hour down the road I noticed the room key on the dashboard. ooops. That thing is going in the scrapbook!

We made it across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and rolled into Florida around 7pm central time. I sent a bunch of bulk text messages to let everyone know we had made it to the home state safely and had about another 12-15 hours to go.

Having a cat that has her own internal clock is interesting. I don't mind being reminded to feed them on time, but when she decides that everyone should be in bed, she means business! We had a full encore of the night two nights before, where she ran around the car yelling and running on the windows. Not conducive to my attempt at sleeping, which was already much hindered by the fact that my legs are a lot longer than the space I had to put them in.

Scott was getting tired, and as he was driving, I finally convinced him to pull over so we could both nap for an hour and maybe the cats would calm down as well. We were on the Florida Turnpike at this point, at about 5:45am on Sunday, so we pulled into one of the many Service Plazas, filled up with gas and tried to sleep.

Minx was not to be fooled. She knows the difference between people napping in a car in a parking lot and being AT HOME in a real bed. What had worked two nights before was not to be. I finally tuned out the meowing, but about 35 minutes into the experiment, Scott got out and walked off his frustration. I gave him a few minutes, got out and ushered him back into the car, and took over the drivers seat.

I drove for about an hour and a half and then handed the wheel back over to Scott, who was fully awake by this time.

We enjoyed the sunrise somewhere between Orlando and Miami, and I fell asleep shortly after.

I tried really hard to stay awake to enjoy the drive out over the Keys, but was feeling pretty crummy and a little nauseous, so I crashed out and Scott woke me up as we pulled onto Roosevelt Boulevard.

Our condos are just a mile or so down Roosevelt and we pulled in safely to the carport. I snoozed in the car while Scott took just the necessary items and the cats upstairs and then he came to fetch me.

I stumbled up the stairs and then he carried me over the threshold. Very sweet.

We napped for about 3 hours and then met one of Scott's coworkers for dinner at Kelly's.

Thus endeth the Vancouver, Washington to Key West, Florida saga.

Road Trip: Day Five and Six

Scottsdale AZ to Sulpher LA

My alarm went off at 6:45am so we could make it to breakfast at Dad & Heather's by 7:30am. We turned into the Thunderbird Adventist Academy campus at about 7:40am and parked in the shade (the cats we left at the motel). Heather had prepared eggs, and pancakes with strawberries or an assortment of jams. Just before we sat down to eat Dad opened the last two years worth of Christmas presents: a foot massager for Heather, Pooh and Tigger jumpers for Makayla, and a new watch for Dad, along with an M&M scrapbook.

Dad handled the requisite interrogation of Scott's worthiness while I watched and took pictures of Makayla enjoying her breakfast. Her clothes enjoyed it, too.

After breakfast we took pictures of me and my little sis and Makayla and I opened the goodie bags Dad had brought home from his trip up north on Southwest Airlines: plane shaped cookies and a set of honorary pilot's wings for each of us.

We headed back to the Motel with the intention of taking a nap before getting back on the road. When we opened the door to our room, Chou was there waiting happily to greet us, so I put food in the dishes for the cats' "second breakfast". Chou remained alone at the buffet and our concern grew as we searched the suite for Minx and Maui. Not in the closet, not in the bathroom, not in the sitting area, not in either of the windows, not behind any of the furniture, and not even meowing. When we left for breakfast we had left the "do not disturb" tag on the door to avoid an escape courtesy of Housekeeping. Scott and I went downstairs into the courtyard and I searched in the plants while Scott notified the manager of our situation. The manager informed us that there IS a way to get under the bed (the bed frame from all appearances is solid), and he would come help us look in a couple of minutes.

Back upstairs, the mattress and the box springs were dismantled to reveal two very guilty looking beasts. They were pulled out, the bed was put back together and we napped until about 1:15pm.

Loaded in and ready to go, I had found Chou and Maui and deposited them in the crate, but couldn't find Minx. We ensured that the bed hidey-hole was not accessible and finally discovered her behind the dresser.

The 101 loop south took us to 202 south and then back to 10 east. We got off on the Baseline exit and found our way to Duff's office, where Duff and Denise were waiting to visit for a little while before Denise had to go let the kids in the house after school and Duff had appointments.

We were out of Tempe by 4pm and headed east. I was driving for this leg and made it for about an hour and a half and didn't feel so hot, so Scott took over.

Just above Las Cruces, New Mexico, we pulled into a rest area to shuffle some things around, feed and water the cats, relieve ourselves, take pictures of the city lights and switch drivers. While Scott was searching for the flashlight, Minx managed a daring escape (maybe she sensed that we were near the state prison) and took off toward a small building. Scott hollered at me and took off after her. I shouted "don't chase her!" so he stopped, went back to the car to shut the door so the other two hooligans wouldn't get out, and I followed Minx around the building for two laps before Scott came back and went the other way and caught her.

I drove as far as Van Horn, Texas and we switched again so I could take out my contacts and try to sleep. I had pulled the down comforter out of the trailer and tried to fashion a bed in the back half of the car, taking care not to put my feet in the litter box. By this time Minx had decided that it was well past everyone's bedtimes (something she's always kept track of at home) and became very agitated. It was pretty hard for me to sleep on an incline that was much less than comfortable, and it didn't help that Maui wanted to snuggle, Chou kept standing on my chest to look out the window, and Minx was still yowling.

Around 6:45am (now Friday morning) we stopped to rest at a lonely gas station in the middle of nowhere. We slept for two hours after I sprayed more Feliway (a cat pheromone that has a calming effect) in the back of the car and Minx calmed down and went to sleep,

At 8:45am we got back on the road, Scott still driving, and I managed to sleep for another two and a half hours. We stopped for brunch at a McDonalds, had salad and continued on our way. Side note: my two cheeseburgers-without-the-burger had meat in them the first time around, and my Bacon-Ranch-Chicken-Salad-without-the-chicken-but-with-the-imitation-bacon-bits-that-were-NOT-imitation-bacon-bits had to be dismantled to get all the icky bacon off it.

We had discussed taking Highway 290 to bypass San Antonio, since Highway 10 takes a pretty deep turn to the south before heading back up to Houston. At the appropriate junction we headed off onto a beautiful country highway 290. I don't know if it was any faster overall, we ran into traffic in several small towns and some construction. We made it into Austin and through and then into Houston and got back on the 10.

After hour upon hour of driving and short naps, we decided to spend the night somewhere where we could all stretch out. My legs were feeling crampish and Maui was acting lethargic, not wanting to eat or drink in the car.

5 attempts at motels that apparently don't take pets, and we finally found a La Quinta in Sulpher, Louisiana. Everyone is resting and comfy and we're going to spend a relaxing evening. We only have 18 hours left to Key West of driving time

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Road Trip: Day Four

Corona CA to Scottsdale AZ

Scott and I both woke up at about 9am and went outside to grab some stuff from the trailer. Inside Audrey was making breakfast – eggs, bacon, and cinnamon bread from a farmers market near her work. We enjoyed breakfast and fresh coffee around the table with Audrey and Crit, sharing stories about funny things we had said lately and were proud of. Crit left for work, we got ready for the day and then talked with Audrey for a bit while I trimmed Maui and Chou's claws.

I had decided it would be a fabulous idea to get a baby-gate to put behind the front seats in hopes that the cats would stay in the back half of the car unless we allowed them to join us up front. From Audrey's house we stopped at WalMart to get said gate, and were on our way at about 2pm.

I was the pilot for the day, so my wonderful co-pilot attempted baby-gate installation. Success! For all of about 10 minutes and then Chou just wriggled underneath it and was in Scott's lap again.

Mapquest said that Corona to Scottsdale should take about 6 and a half hours again, but by now we had learned that we were running about an additional hour for every Mapquest 3 to 4 hours, so did not expect to arrive in Scottsdale until 10pm or even a little later.

We filled up on gas in Indio, and again in Blythe at the recommendation of my dad. Gas was $2.88 in Indio, and $3.27 in Blythe. Just past Blythe is the Arizona border and the next gas station advertised $2.43.

We saw many beautiful and interesting sites, ranging from the sunset and a first lone cactus, to an exit sign that said "State Prison next exit. Do not pick up hitchhikers."

Once in the Phoenix metro area, we took the 101 loop north and found our motel, rolling in at about 9:30pm. We had chosen this motel from the AAA "Traveling with Your Pet" handbook and had made reservations about 12 hours previous. We checked in, hauled animals, gear, and animal's gear up to the second floor, and enjoyed a two-hour Mythbusters Movie Myths episode before heading for bed.

Road Trip: Day Three

Woodside CA to Corona CA

Scott again woke up before me, at about 9am, and again let me sleep, but this time only until 10am. Gary was getting ready to go to work and Carla suggested she take us to breakfast. We took some pictures outside the house, said goodbye to Gary, and headed down the hill into the township of Woodside.

We enjoyed a meal at Buck's Restaurant, convincing our server to allow us to order breakfast even though it was one minute past the 11am cutoff time. Carla and I both had the Woodsider Omelet, with Jack cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and topped with avocado. Scott had a Divine Omelet, which had meat and onions. Our meals were served with grilled red potatoes.

After breakfast Carla dropped us back at the house and we decided to take a nap before heading out. We slept a little longer than planned, but were on the road by about 4pm.

Central California is a big place. Mapquest estimated our journey should take about six and a half hours, so we hoped to arrive around 11pm or 12 at the latest. We headed out with Scott driving and made our way onto I-5 South. Our plan was to take I-5 down over the grapevine into Los Angeles, but had noticed several signs for at least 100 miles notifying us that I-5 was closed at Highway 138.

Since the map and directions we were working with didn't say anything about 138, or where it is in relation to our plans, we continued on hoping that we would magically figure things out. Just south of 99 joining I-5, we stopped for a little bit of Taco Bell at a Travel America, and were informed by a helpful truck driver that 138 was totally stopped up and no one was going anywhere. We purchased a California map and after talking with a different Mr. Helpful Truck Driver, decided to go ahead on I-5 to 138, and then take 14 down in to the basin.

Once on 138 it was clear that whatever the problem had been there, it was gone now and we were nearly alone on the way over to 14. Coming down the mountain into L.A., there was a close call for everyone on the road with a large amount of scrap metal spread all over the freeway.

We finally made it back to I-5 below the wildfires that had caused the original detour, and caught 210 to 57 to 71 into Corona, with Minx asleep on the dashboard. We pulled up to Audrey & Crit's house around 1:30am. Cats and accoutrements were hauled in and everyone went to bed, Chou under the covers.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Road Trip: Day Two

Yuba City CA to Woodside CA

Scott was up by 9am and smartly let me sleep in until about 11am. While waiting for me to finish my beauty sleep, he and Carrie went to Starbucks in town.

Once I awoke, I made my way into the kitchen to find that Grandpa Lysinger had already been giving Scott the Spanish Inquisition (except I think Scott may have expected it a little bit) which I'm pretty sure he passed, considering that when we left, Grandpa told me that I'd "better hold on to this one". Smart Grandpa.

We prepared ourselves for the day and then went out for lunch with Dixie and Grandpa to a great chinese place in town, enjoyed crispy tofu, egg fu yung, vegetable chow mein and vegetable fried rice. Very tasty.

After lunch we decided to let the cats stretch their legs a bit since they had slept in the car (IN THE SHADE WITH WINDOWS DOWN, DON'T FREAK OUT). We put them each in a harness and on a leash, which lasted for several hours with Chou and Maui, and about 10 minutes with Minx. At the earliest opportunity she crawled under the Uhaul and wriggled out of the harness. That is when I told her that if she wouldn't wear the harness, she goes in the crate. She doesn't seem to object to the crate too much.

When the yard boy was ready to mow the front lawn we retired to the back porch, where Maui and Minx chilled in the crate in the shade and Chou got out of his harness and roamed free for an hour or so. He investigated both ends of the porch but pretty much just laid happily on the cool concrete.

Carrie arrived home from school around 5:15, I opened my birthday cards and presents, and we got on the road after taking the obligatory group pictures.

We traveled west on 99 to I-5 and then took 80 into and through San Fransisco. We paid $5 to go over the bay bridge (great nightime pics) and then hit 101 towards San Jose.

We arrived at Gary & Carla Cumpston's house around 9:45pm and got the cats settled into our room. We took a tour of the home, which has recently been totally overhauled and remodled from pseudo-internment-camp to a lovely quintessential California hills home. There is even a beautiful view of the valley.

Once Gary arrived from the airport, we sat down to a great meal outside by candlelight of salsa/sour cream pasta and awesome salad.

Hit the hay around 11:30pm and called it a night. Until there was meowing and running on the windows courtesy of Minx, but she chilled out around 1am.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Road Trip: Day One

Vancouver WA to Yuba City CA

We finally left Vancouver with Scott driving around 4pm on Sunday (10th) and our first stop was on the side of SR 500 to make sure that Scott's wallet was indeed in his backpack and not on the bakers rack at home. After the successful discovery of the wallet IN the backpack, we continued on to I-5 and into Portland, where we stopped at a gas station off Broadway to fill up on gas and meet Bob and Chelsea to say goodbye (and collect a swimsuit I had left at Bob's).

Rush hour traffic in the south end of Portland was avoided for the most part, and we made it to Riddle by about 8pm. We stopped for a fill up (courtesy of the $100 Chevron card given by my co-workers) and a snack at McDonalds, and continued on into California with me driving.

Traveling with three cats has been easier than expected, once they realized the door to the crate was open, Chou came right out and after checking out the entire car, decided my lap was the best place to be. Maui came out and also decided my lap was the place to be (thankfully Scott was still driving). Once Minx came out, she decided the best spot for her was on the floor on the drivers side under Scott's legs. So far she has not gotten under the pedals, but we plan to discourage this as her main hang-out.

Going through the Siskyous our attention was drawn to a truck in the fast lane which notified us with useful hand gestures that the door on the Uhaul was open. Thankfully nothing had come out, we secured the padlock and carried on.

I got tired and needed to take out my contacts, so we took advantage of another Chevron to fill up again and switch drivers.

Also about this time we kicked all the cats into the back where Chou made himself comfy in the front of the crate, Maui huddled up in the back of the crate, and Minx had the whole kitty bed to herself.

Scott was good for another couple hours and then I took over so he could nap for about an hour.

The final switch was around 2:15am and at 2:34am we missed the exit to take Highway 20 towards Yuba City. Thankfully there is another exit not far down the road and our turnaround only took a couple of minutes.

We rolled into Yuba City at about 3:45 in the morning. We greeted Carrie and Dixie briefly, parked the car where it would be in the shade all morning, and opened the windows.

We enjoyed the best night of sleep either of us have had in several weeks, thanks to a feather bed on top of the air mattress.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

To Me...

It's been my 30th birthday for about 45 minutes. My kitties are snuggled nearby and I made some progress packing tonight.

Suddenly I am stressing about my decision. Not questioning it, but still a bit scared.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It's all coming together.

As I start my next-to-last day at work, there's not a lot to do. I have farmed out all my files and am now at the point where I'm just helping out and answering the phone.

I have found a renter for my bedroom and now need to find a renter for the other available bedroom.

I have reserved the Uhaul trailer and marked out a space in the garage the size of the trailer, so I know what I have to work with.

Almost all of my clothes and personal items are packed up, and I have packed for the Dave Matthews outing as well.

I feel like I'm ready to go to Key West NOW and have to wait. It's a very surreal feeling.

Monday, August 28, 2006


I only have three more working days with Clark County Title Company. I have really enjoyed my job here over the last 5+ years, and will miss my co-workers very much.

Props to Consuela, Goldfish, Teets, Jones Balones, Beyonce and Lee Ann. You have made every day at work a hilarious adventure, and kept me sane (as sane as I can be, anyway).

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I'm Not Scared

Some people ask me why I'm going all the way to Key West. "Just for a guy?"... no, not JUST for a guy. Mainly I'm going because I can.

I have a great job here in Vancouver that I really enjoy. My boss has virtually guaranteed my job back and I've had another job offer for when/if I come back to Vancouver. I'm excited about the opportunity to check out the rest of the job field and broaden my skills.

I have a great house I just purchased in March. I am not going to sell it for a couple of years, and in the meantime will rent it out.

I love the northwest and have pretty much always lived here. I am really looking forward to living somewhere completely different and am not that concerned about heat and humidity. I like hot weather, and as long as I can sleep in AC (which my house does not have, but the apartment in Key West DOES), I'll be fine.

The cats are going with me, and technology will keep me in contact with friends and family in between visits.

AND the guy. He's fabulous and compassionate and intelligent and funny. And I'm in love with him.

So, I'm NOT scared to move to the opposite corner of the country, I'm excited!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Adventures Are Us.

The plan is being finalized...

I will be buying a hitch for my car and renting a U-Haul trailer to get the rest of my stuff to Florida.

I still need to get rid of the desk and the bed otherwise they will just be stored in the garage until I need them.

I feel like I am already on vacation. Work has become primarily doing cleanup so no one who comes along after me has to deal with it, and closing the few files that need to close by the end of the month.

Monday I have a BBQ to attend, Wednesday night is one of my last performances with Ella Mental, the 31st is my last working day. The next day the cats go to the vet to get their health certificates to travel, and I'll drive up to George, WA on Sunday the 3rd for my first Dave Matthews Band concert EVER!

The following day Rikki and I will head to Walla Walla/College Place where I will meet up with my mom and have farewells with all the family in the area. Mom and I will head back to Portland/Vancouver on the 5th, the 6th is my 30th birthday, 2am on the 9th Scott arrives at PDX, and that night is Comedy Sportz and Papa Haydn.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Traversing the countryside

Originally the plan was to drive to San Fransisco in my car and pick up the BMW being given to Scott by his parents, and drive both over to Florida.

Scott's parents said they would ship the BMW so Scott and I can drive in one car (mine) which sounds safer and more fun anyway, so Scott is now flying into Portland on September 9.

If I ship all my stuff in boxes to Key West, we'll probably spend a good $350 to send them.

I can buy a hitch for $119 and have it installed ($?) and rent a 4x8 Uhaul trailer ($203) to pull all the way.

I can sell my car here and rent an SUV or Minivan for about $800.

Anyone have advice?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dental Adventures, Part II

Back to the Dentist today. Another crown.

I was shot twice, pried numerous times, drilled, scraped, lasered, and glued.

My face feels like I've been beat with a chain.

I'll be eating potato salad and guacamole, thank you.

Dr. Edwards is still the best dentist in town though...I'm not complaining or anything.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

All Gone

I just woke up from a three-hour nap. The last 10 days have been fun and friend filled with guests from all over here for the Bob's World Message Board BBQ.

Dani, here in the states from New Zealand, picked up Jordan in Fresno and they made they're way to my house via Highway 1/101. They arrived on the Tuesday before last. Rikki, from Abbotsford BC, Canada arrived the next Tuesday, and Aaron and Kelsie arrived from St. Paul Alberta, Canada (by way of San Fransisco road trip) on Friday.

Friday's event was an enchilada dinner at my house, attended by the houseguests along with John, Tony, Roxy and Jessica. We enjoyed the enchiladas by the light of video clips of the Flight of the Conchords and Russell Peters. After I went to bed, Terry stopped by to greet everyone.

Saturday after church was the BBQ... John was back, with his son Jesse. Tony returned as the grill master and Roxy re-joined us along with buckets of potato salad. Terry and his sons Alex and Andrew joined us and took the initiative to set up the Ultimate Croquet set. David came all the way from Lake Oswego, Jim arrived from Bremerton, Bob and Chels (with Blake, Megan, Michelle and TJ in tow) from Portland and Milwaukie, Bobby McGhee finally flew into Portland at about 11pm.

We were treated to breakfast at Elmer's this morning by the guest of honor and then everyone continued on their way... Rikki drove back to Abbotsford, Jim went back to Bremerton, Dani and Jordan and headed south back to Fresno, Aaron and Kelsie left for Pasco on their way back to Alberta.

Now I have no excuse to start sorting and packing for my move to Florida. I have started four piles.

1. Take with me in the car to Key West
2. Ship to Key West
3. Pack up and store
4. Get rid of (sell or give away)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Best $6 I've Ever Spent

I went to the Clark County Fair last night with my coworkers. I paid my $5 to park, $8 admission, and $25 for an unlimited ride bracelet (with which I rode 3 rides). I spent $6.50 on raspberry lemonade and french fries, and later $4 on a large coconut and mango shaved ice.

I had a great Fair experience, but the best expenditure of funds was the $6 I handed over for the "power jump". The attached pic is my fellow escrow officer Tamara as she is preparing to be flung into the air.

For a mere $6, you are hooked into a harness while standing on an inflated trampoline. Your harness is attached to bungee cords which are then tightened and you are pulled into the air.

One of the facilitators grabs your feet and pulls you down, stretching your bungees, and then releases you and you FLY! Awesome. Unbelievable. The most fun I've had in YEARS. I did back flips and screamed for joy.

If you get the chance to take part in antics such as this, spend the $6. It's worth it.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Stuff for Sale...

I need to get rid of a bunch of stuff... some will be given away, some I'd like to sell.

$50 - Corner desk, two parts, shelf top on desk bottom.
$10 - tall, narrow bookshelf, probably 6x1x1.
$300 - CA King bed and 2 sheet sets that fit it.

I'll add more as the list grows and changes.

I'll also be giving away some clothes and shoes... clothes 8-12 and shoes 9-10.

Friday, August 04, 2006

And the Countdown Begins.

37 days until departure for Key West, Florida.

An apartment/townhouse has been decided on and confirmed, including approval of the wild kingdom.

I am now starting the sorting and selling/giving away/packing and storing process, with more claimants for my stuff coming out of the woodwork daily.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Details go marching on and on...

My official last day of work for Clark County Title is currently scheduled to be August 31st. If I have managed to pack up my house by then, I will probably work the following week (excluding Labor Day) just do have a little extra money.

Scott is nailing down housing right now, and is buying a plane ticket to come out for my birthday, arriving in Portland on September 8th.

My birthday party is on the 9th and we will head out of town on the 10th.

Stops scheduled:
  • Yuba City, CA to visit Walt, Dixie, Carrie & Grandpa Lysinger
  • San Fransisco, CA to visit Gary & Carla Cumpston and pick up the other car
  • Phoenix, AZ to see Dad, Heather, meet Makayla, and maybe see a few AZ Bob's World-ers.
  • possible stops in Texas to see Frakes family and/or my highschool buddy JT.
  • Little Rock, AR to enjoy a respite at the home of Melva Hicks, gracious mom of my good friend Kiri.
  • ???? There's a crowd in the Carolinas that want to meet me... so that may be a detour.

AND... I already have a potential job starting to look like a good possibility!

If anyone is interested in stuff... I will be giving away and selling a bunch of stuff. Clothes, some furniture, etc.

My plants are pledged to my mom and Kirsten, and I'm giving all my yarn to Michelle A. and Christina.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Progress and Timelines...

Scott will be heading to Key West as early as the 11th of August. He has been researching aparments, condos and houses to rent in the area, the trick is finding a place that will accept a dog and three cats!

I am planning to work here until August 31st, but if I can manage to get everything packed up by then, I will work through to September 8th. We are hoping that Scott can fly into Portland on the 9th to be here for my birthday celebration and then we will leave on the 10th or 11th.

The plan is to drive together in my car to San Fransisco (stopping in Yuba City, CA) where we will pick up his car from his parents and head east. We'll stop in Phoenix to see my Dad and Heather and meet my baby sister Makayla. Then we'll continue the trek east across Texas and Louisiana, etc. We may be able to connect with Frakes family in Texas too... which would be great!

I have potentially two renters lined up for my house, which is what I need, so I'm not too nervous about that either.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Over the River and Through the Woods

To Florida we go...

I Decided. Yes. It's true. I am willing to move to Florida.

Here's the scenario for those who haven't heard about this yet...

My boyfriend Scott has been offered a very lucrative position for a company in Key West, Florida. He has worked for this company before in this location and enjoyed it very much.

After a lot of thought, planning and prayer I have decided to join him. I will be keeping the house I just bought with my roomate in March, and I have been guaranteed a job if/when I come back.

This is not a permanent move, it is 2-4 years. I will probably work full time until my personal debts are paid off and then my plan is to work part time and go back to school, which I've been wanting to do for a long time.

Am I throwing everything away for a guy? No. I'm not throwing ANYTHING away, I'm just not taking everything with me! If I had decided not to go to Key West, Scott would decline the position.

I will be able to travel to the west coast multiple times a year to visit family and friends, and if for any reason I hate living in Florida (Riiiiiiiiiight) we will move back.

Scott is now in the negotiating stages of the accepting process and then once he is out of the Marines (August 13), he will head down and find us a place to live. I won't be leaving until after my birthday.

Love you all... and when you're done visiting Jake and Kara in Hawaii, come visit me in the Florida Keys.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Moving across the county is a heavy decision. And I still haven't made it.

If I move, do I keep my house and rent it out or do I sell it and lose money?
If I move, do I put the majority of my stuff in storage or sell it or take it with me?
Do I move my cats?
Do I keep my car or sell it?
Do I get a job? Full time? Part time?


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Don't Be a Jackass

In my recent revelation about how life should be (see Life Is About Choices), I am discovering that this idea I had to live life out of love is a pretty good one.

It's mostly about choosing love as a motivator over gratification. This is not rocket science. If you break it down this simply, what jackass is going to step up with their hand raised and say "I choose gratification please…"? Ok, granted a few jackasses WOULD do that, but mostly people have a little bit of pride.

There are those, when faced with Christianity being thrust upon them, say "I don't want to be told how to live my life". To them I say they are having Religion forced on them. Run. Quickly. Far Away. One of the best lines in modern cinema is from Kevin Smith's Dogma: "No one religion has it right".

Growing up in Christianity a lot of us are told that if we give our hearts to Jesus, life will be all cotton candy and puppies. Others of us are told that Christianity as a lifestyle is hard and painful and we should just suffer through it. What is the truth?

The truth all comes back to living life out of love vs. living life out of gratification.

For many years I was uncomfortable with the idea of being held accountable by others. This idea felt to me like being told what to do and having someone follow you around to make sure you did it. I have never been good with being told what to do, as my mother will attest.

Now that I am choosing to live my life out of love I am discovering that it is a comfortable medium. Life itself is not easy. Anyone who believes that it is easy is delusional. Living life at all entails making difficult choices. How we equip ourselves to make those choices has a lot to do with the ease of living with the consequences of the choices we make.

I'm not preaching. I am a non-denominational Christian. I will not tell you or anyone how to live your life, what to drink or not drink, what to eat or not eat, what to wear or not wear. Those things have very little to do with living my life out of love. They are trivial in the grand scheme of things.

I WILL tell you that I love you and your individual life and beliefs are the important things when it comes to making decisions.

If you want to make decisions out of gratification, go for it. Sometimes those ARE the easy choices. But often, the decisions made out of love are the easy choices.
Life is not easy, therefore choices are not easy. Just don't be a jackass.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I am truly Blessed.
I have a wonderful group of friends who are all VERY talented individuals. Musicians, writers, photographers, teachers, artists, you name it, I've got a good friend that does it fantastically.

I have a fantastic boyfriend. When you are not looking is when you find them, if anyone wants my advice. Smart, good looking, cute ass and a great sense of humor. OH YEAH... and he flies across the country to see me. Can't Beat That with a Stick.

I have an amazing family. Very diverse, but still very accepting. Spending a weekend with the older generation can be a little intimidating at the outset, but turned out to be very educational and spiritual growth inducing.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Life is About Choices

We make choices every day based on our feelings, our needs, our desires and our convictions.

We choose to feed ourselves, bathe, interact with society and love.

Everything is a choice. Love is a choice. If you choose to love, you choose to honour that with everything you have and everything you are.

You cannot choose love and then fall prey to desires or "needs" that contradict that. If you choose those things you are chosing AGAINST love.

Life is not both. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. You can cater to the desires of the flesh and the desires of your ego, but you cannot cater to these and cater to love at the same time.

If you choose to love, protect it. Don't let yourself get caught up in the other stuff. As important as it may seem now, there is nothing more important than love.

Thus endeth the soapbox for the day.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

These Are A Few of My Least Favorite Things...

My pet peeves. Not a long list. But a good one, or bad one I guess, depending on how you look at it.

1. public restrooms that smell like strangers' asses. I can take it if one of my friends leaves something dead in the bathroom at my house, but if it's a stranger and not my bathroom, it makes me want to puke.
2. other people's dogs. Ok... I like dogs. I do. I even like most of my friends' dogs. If a strangers dog licks me it's disgusting. If it's a dog I love, it can lick me on the lips and it's all good.
3. that ice cream makes you fat. That just sucks.
4. people that are SO against a particular thing or person, that they rule out acceptance as a whole. It's all well and good to believe in something, but when it makes you violently against something else, someone has become a little misguided, and here's a hint... it ain't me.
5. that love is hard. Things do not go as planned. It will find you when it wants to, and it is not necessarily going to be logical.
6. cat poop. This is self-explanatory.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I'm a Love Tool.

Anyone ever been heartbroken? Yeah… me neither.

Ok, now that we're done lying to ourselves, I've had my heart broken numerous times. My first "true love" was when I was 17 and 18 and when we broke up I was convinced that life was over and I would never and could never love again.

Needless to say that was not my last relationship, I have had the fortune to date a handful of guys in the 11 year interim, and yes, a good share of them broke me yet again. I may have done a little breaking too, you'd have to ask them, but I think it kind of all evens out.

When you fall in love the first time it is not necessarily that everything is perfect or fairy-tale-ish, but that you feel like soul mates. You can be ridiculous together and not feel self-conscious or like a dumb-ass. You have enough in common to really be able to enjoy your time together… and of course you're attracted to each other enough to want to hump like rabbits.

Love like THAT may only happen once in a lifetime. I was under that impression for about 10 years. I assumed that the amazing feeling of unconditional love that I had given and received could never be re-created in that way, but I was wrong. Last year I met someone and fell madly in love with them. It was completely irrational and ridiculous, we are 10 years apart and this was his first serious relationship. While I can say now (after the relationship is over) that I am not trying to rekindle that relationship, it's brief existence reminded me that you CAN have all those things in one person.

It is possible to have someone be as crazy about you as you are about them.

That sole truth is what has led me to accept all the heartbreak. I am a very emotional person and it's true that I have had a hard time letting go of all the pain that I feel was dealt to me in various breakups, but it was all worth it to experience whatever the next relationship turns out to be.

For awhile I thought I was just another "learning tool" to all these guys… they end up treating the next girl fantastically and leave me wondering why they couldn't learn the lesson in the context of the relationship, but now I am happy to have blessed them in whatever way I did. I am good friends with the majority of my exes and their now-spouse or girl-friend, and very happy for them. Would I have wanted to ultimately end up with them forever? Looking back now I can generally say no… so there is no harm, no foul.

It's not so bad to be a Love Tool. Just as long as I'm not JUST a tool!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

5th Grade Sucked

Ferrets are pretty cool, if you like them. I think they are very entertaining. My cousin has a ferret named Farrah, after Farrah Fawcett.

In fourth and fifth grade, our classroom had a ferret. I don't remember the ferret's name, I just remember that it was a source of entertainment for the class. It was also a source of trauma for me.

Starting in fourth grade I had a nemesis. I may have been a little young for a nemesis, but I had one, just the same. Her name was Thea. I was very skinny growing up and after somehow offending Thea one afternoon, she called me the worst thing she could think of... "You, you... you Ethiopian Fatso!!!". Crushing, let me tell you. I was actually able to laugh that one off because it was kind of ridiculous.

The following year, however, things got much worse. For whatever reason, Thea took our ongoing feud to new and glorious heights. She decided to start sabotaging my sack lunches. I don't remember ALL of the atrocities I would discover in my mashed-bean-and-pickle sandwiches, but there were rubber-cement boogers, shreds of paper, and paper clips. The ultimate horror was the day I discovered the ferret turds. From then on, I had to give the teacher my lunch and have it locked in her desk drawer until lunchtime.

Eventually the war solved itself, probably because we combined efforts against a much more formidable foe - Lisa. By eighth grade, Thea and I were friends and busy defending ourselves from the "You stole my gap v-neck sweater!" assaults after P.E. class.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Magical Avocado

Today is Cinco de Mayo. Being a good American, I celebrated this opportunity to eat guacamole and chips all day at work with great gusto.

We have an assistant in our office that is half Mexican, so she added to the festivities today by forcing us to listen to a radio station en espanol all day. I closed my door and listened to I-tunes, but that is beside the point.

For our office potluck today, I was charged with the Guacamole assignment, should I choose to accept. I brought in 6 lovely and perfectly ripe avocados, some LaVictoria Verde Salsa, lime juice, garlic powder and Lawry's seasoning salt.

I combined the appropriate amounts of the ingredients and put out a beautiful beaming bowl of the green goodness at about 10:30 this morning. I just now put it in the fridge at 4:10pm and it was STILL GREEN.

I was told by a co-worker this morning to leave a pit in the guacamole and it would stay green, so I did. And it worked. And I am mystified. I see no scientific chemical reason why this should be so but I looked at living proof all day long.

I tried Googling "why does the guacamole stay green with an avocado seed in it?" and only came up with numerous sites telling me that it does NOT work at all. That is a lie. My guacamole is still green.

Explain this to me, Scully!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What Makes It Tahitian?

I am enjoying a blended Tahitian Vanilla Latte from Brewed Awakenings. Blended means it has been mashed up with ice to make it soft and cold and kind of foamy. Vanilla I understand. Latte I understand. But what makes it Tahitian?

I tried to look up the website for this lovely coffee purveyor and discovered that while there are several of them in my hometown, there are thousands of coffee shops all over known as Brewed Awakenings that are not the same chain. I was hoping for a magical description that would make me feel tropical as I sip my tasty beverage, but it was not to be.

So, I googled Tahiti. "Oral history recounts the adventures of gods and warriors in colorful legends where javelin throwing was the sport of the gods..." Does this mean I will find a tiny javelin in the bottom of my drink? I hope not.

Does anyone in Tahiti drink a Vanilla Latte? The closest Starbucks are in Hawaii and New Zealand, which is a bit of a trip. I can't imagine that if someone FROM Tahiti came here, ordered one of these concoctions from the local B.A (B.A. - ha ha ha) they would say "mmmmm, tastes like home..."

Ah, the mysteries of the universe.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fear of Dentists?

I grew up having no fear of the dentist. My paternal grandfather is a retired dentist, and he was always very gentle when looking at my teeth.

My nightly tooth-brushing routine went something like this: 1. lock myself in the bathroom 2. run the water in the sink for a few minutes while I sat on the edge of the tub 3. wet my toothbrush and put it away 4. if I was feeling REALLY motivated, I would put a tiny dab of toothpaste on my tongue so as to smell minty-fresh.

Combined with the amount of candy I consumed from about 7th grade through high-school, I am now paying the price.

Yes, I brush my teeth daily. Twice. I even floss a few times a week. That has not saved me from developing cavities now in the Later Years and even two dreaded root canals.

I was tricked. My first root canal was necessitated by a fantastic mountain bike crash when I was 13. I was on the mountain bike, but not-so-much on a mountain... my aunt and I had ridden into town to get the mail and on the way back I woke up with my face ground into the gravel and my bike on top of me. They sewed up my lip at the hospital, courtesy of the local plastic surgeon, and then we took a trip to the dentist where I was told that the tooth would die eventually and I would probably end up with a root canal later in life.

Later In Life was a couple of years ago. Since the tooth was totally dead.. nerve and all, the root canal was a breeze. The worst part was the shot in the mouth to numb anything that wasn't already dead, and then it was all just fun and games. I healed very quickly and the posting and crowing procedures were no sweat.

Then a few months ago I started having some pain in my right upper jaw when I would step with my right foot. I decided to have it checked out, and they discovered that there was infection hiding out above my tooth (a whole different tooth, mind you) and we needed to do a Root Canal!!! Yay!

No problem, I thought... I've done this before and it was easy-peasy. Apparently infected flesh does not react to numbing agents and chemicles in the same was as healthy flesh. So the whole proceedure was HoRRIBLe! I had two anesthetic shots and almost a third but we finished just in time. Couldn't bite down for 4 days and had to be careful not to put my teeth together when I sneezed.

Today, I am going back. They will put a tiny screw up through the middle of my tooth into my jaw and screw it in with a tiny screwdriver. Pretty cool. If you see me this evening and I'm crying, you'll know why.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Another Sunny Day

Here in my office, I have the luxery of a large picture window in each of the four walls. Today is a beautiful sunny day, with a slight breeze. It is almost enough to make me forget the horriffic customer service I experienced at the hands of a Kohls cashier on my first-ever shopping trip there.

I'll just say there was an issue with a 60% discount and some cute underwear. I won. I will shop there again, but if any display has a sign on it I might steal the sign and carry it to the register with me when I'm ready to check-out with my purchases.

The things we go through for brightly colored lace. Fortunately My Assistant (Jessica) was with me and shared the trauma. She came away with a cute pink bra too.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Yes I am a slacker. I've been back from Vegas for two weeks at midnight tonight, but life is chaotic you know. Damn this becoming-an-adult business.

Housewarming party was great, we had 65 people in and out between 4pm and 11:30pm... received some lovely gifts and had fun visiting.

Now that the wireless is up at my house you would think I would actually post more often. Maybe I'll try that... or maybe I won't.

Here's me thinking about it.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Airport fun

I'm currently sitting in the airport waiting for our flight to Vegas... I heard it might rain while we are there, which I'm not excited about.

Hopefully it's all a lie and the weather will be beautiful.

We have dinner reservations tonight at the Grand Luxe and then will probably hang at the pool this evening.

I can't wait to see the penguins.

Friday, April 07, 2006


Friday. Jeans day (with a golf theme, due to the Masters tournament). My last working day before vacating.

The horrible time phenomenon that makes last-work-day go at 1/2 speed has arrived.


I feel better now.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I'm on my waaaayyyy.... to Vegas-Land!

Counting down the days! As of this very moment, in 3 days I will be arriving at the airport to catch a plane to Vegas.

It is my first trip and I am very excited. I'm not really much of a gambler, so my gambling budget is pretty small, it's actually smaller than the eat-cool-stuff-and-see-cool-things budget.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Another Day, Another Yawn.

I'm yawning again. Been at work for all of 23 minutes and feel like I could take a nap.

Coffee? Maybe. Iced Tea? Perhaps. Go for a walk around the office and harass my assistant? Fo Sho!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Of Course it's Random? Why is it?

So about the title... I am a bit ADD. Ok, a lot ADD. That "let's go ride bikes" joke just slays me. My sense of humour is very random and very dry. And of course, I think I'm even funnier if I've been drinking just a bit.

If I have to sit and pay attention (i.e. "listen") to something at length, like say, a sermon or a lecture or something, I have to be doing something else with my hands. Finger-knitting, or doodling or something. It's either that or I'll fall asleep or get REALLY fidgety.

I can, however, read for great lengths of time. Weird, I know.

Just a Newborn

It's the first blog. For me. Ever.

Not that I'm SUPERBLY intelligent, but I am funny once in awhile.