Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookies 2008

Well, this year I had to bake cookies without my girls. It took all day to make the 6 types. I forgot to take the photo while they were layed out, so here they are boxed up. If you want to see cookies from the past, here's the link.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Cats

These are some funny pictures of my cats, thought I would share.

- at the vet

- looking out the window

- would this be a good place to take a nap?

- Molly

- Max

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ah, life... I can't keep up.

Well its not life that's bogging me down, its just work.
I have spent 0 days in my office over the past 4 weeks. Instead, I've been driving around southern Arizona, staying in Tucson hotels, and flying back and forth to Fort Worth Texas. I am seriously hoping there is some calm over this Thanksgiving weekend. I even said a prayer... it went like this:

Please have everyone take the weekend off! Please let the emails and phone calls stop!

So, I'm sitting on a conference call right now, and I'm so burned out, I'm sick of working... so I'm venting into my Blog about the insanity that is the pace of work right now. I am hoping beyond hope that this ends soon... and I've had that thought a million times now. Everytime I think I see an end, a light at the end of a tunnel, it gets extended.

I joke with people about it...
- at one point, about 8/9 months ago, I joked that I was going to get pregnant so that by now I'd be on maternity leave;
- then I started trying to get fired, noone would buy it;
- my latest is to ask someone to shoot me.
There are a lot of people at my meetings with guns, and I figure if they give me a good shot somewhere, I'd be able to be in hospital for a couple months; they won't do it.
- so, I'm starting to realize that the only thing left is to quit.

But I'm not a quitter.

One day it has to end on its own, don't you think?
Eventually all of this will be built, it has to end.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Once Upon a Time in an Urban Jungle...

Two people went into a coffee shop for breakfast.
It was a cold fall morning in the middle of some tall tall buildings.
As they approached the door, a homeless man was speaking to himself with few intelligible words.
The couple went in, placed their order, made their purchase, and waited for their food and drinks to be prepared.
Without saying anything, the man of the couple went back to the counter and made a second purchase of coffee and breakfast.
When the couple left the coffee shop, he asked the homeless man if he liked coffee,
and passed on the drink and food.
As the couple made their way to continue their day,
they looked back to see the homeless man with his coffee and breakfast wiping his eyes.

Friday, October 03, 2008

An update, of sorts

so, a lot has been going on over the past couple of months, and its not easy to post here because there are things that are still in flux. I thought I would post an update anyway, so that if you do visit this blog, you would know where I am.
I have been
- releasing the habits
- recognizing patterns
- letting go of the fetters
- thinking about all the "one days"
I've been making plans for tomorrow, and next month, next year, and my life
I have accepted that I am not young, and need to stop putting off the things that I want to do. Instead, I need to embrace my life and demand that every second count.
I have learned quite a bit...
I have learned what I need from friendship, I have learned to be selfish, I have learned to put my own needs first, I have learned to ask for what I want.
I have come to recognize what I deserve, and its much more than what I have been getting.
I've come to understand the characteristics I appreciate in people, and those I don't.
I am learning how to have healthy conflict. Conflict that resolves, builds trust, and allows growth.
I am learning to accept care.
I am being cared for.
I am having fun
and it is not only fun that I have created; fun is being created for me.
I have found peace.
real peace.
not just peace created by denial and compromise
I am grateful for the people in my life who see it as it is, who accept me for who I am, eventhough they may not understand.
I am remembering who I am, and I am making choices that pay homage to that person.

Monday, August 18, 2008


ever changing
my future

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Existing ATT customers, guess what?! ATT doesn't like you

If you are an existing ATT customer, it seems that they don't really care about encouraging you to join the bandwagon and become an iPhone user.
I have been with ATT for as long as I've had a wireless/cell phone... and that's about 8/9 years.
Because I upgraded (!) my phone in January (my phone died and I got a new one, which I guess in their world qualifies as an upgrade), I am not eligible to get an iPhone at the "new customer" prices until SEPTEMBER 2009!
well, I could get one... it will just cost me $200 more than if I was some fair-weather cell phone user looking for a deal. That is TWICE as much!
I'm glad they appreciate my loyalty!
I realize here that it would cost me less to break my contract and cancel my service; and then sign up as a new customer! than it would to purchase and use an iPhone as an existing ATT customer.
Its really hard for me to believe that in this world of serious commercial competition on wireless carriers that ATT is so lackadaisical about keeping their existing customers. Its actually insulting.
Way back when, I wrote an entry here about the cell phone carrier management philosophy... which was about offering incentives to get new people but not rewarding the existing; glad to see the cell phone carriers are maintaining their end of my analogy!
but before I go, lets just think about one other concept.
Fine, I'll pay the extra money... for an UNLOCKED iPhone! that's how much the "no-commitment" phones cost; no commitment means no commitment to ATT, right? so you think they will give me an unlocked iPhone for the extra $200??
I'm betting the answer is a resounding "no"... and if they are so concerned about monopoly, then I can only do that which any customer/consumer has the power to do - not join the bandwagon, not give them my money, boycott the frenzy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Well, I haven't posted in a while, and that's because there has been a lot going on. I know that there are a few people who read this who actually know me, and probably haven't heard first-hand the news that I'm about to share. I apologize, then, that you are reading about it here, and that I have not told you in person. But then, that is the purpose of a blog, no?, to keep a journal of your life by which people can keep in touch with what you're doing.

I also have been resisting the resulting comments and emotions that will result in the sharing of this info...
Since I feel badly that I have not shared, I'll suck it up! and deal with the repurcussions.

At the end of June, I moved out of the house, and ended my relationship with Greg.
Since this is a public forum, I won't go into too much of the details, so if you want to know more, you'll have to let me know.

He and I have been having concerns for the past couple of years. Since he is a very private person, its not something that we have discussed openly. And since we are both adult, we were able to continue our lives without it having too much of an effect on the outward expression.

I have moved into a 2-bed condo that's in Phoenix, close to South Mountain (near where Matt used to live). I have the cats. Greg is going to stay in the house.

He and I are still talking and after some time, I'm sure we will be able to have a friendship, but right now, we obviously need to let some of the emotions pass and the intensity die down.

It has been interesting having the opportunity to start over, and I'm excited about some of the possibilities that come out of a future that is an open book. I am thinking that I will leave the Phoenix area, as this is not a place that I have ever really wanted to live. How that will happen, and when, I don't know... I would obviously not do anything until the responsibilities of my current work situation have been met.

So, that's the news.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


This is how I like Sat to be.
Calm, cool, and peaceful.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Swimming Lessons

So, I have a friend with a 3 year-old. I have a soft spot for him. I would take him as my own any day of the week, and I joke that its a good thing his parents keep him away from me because I might just kidnap him if I had the chance. Anyway... due to some trauma in their family history, they are very nervous about him being around large bodies of unprotected water. Since we have one of those, I feel bad when they come over because I don't feel that they can allow themselves to relax at our house when he's with them. I don't like that. Also, his mom is one of my best friends, and usually when we get together, its just for us... so I don't see the little guy very often. I suggested earlier this year that maybe I could take him to swimming lessons (at first I was thinking dance classes, but didn't think that would fly!). But the swimming would be a way for him to cope and know about water, they would relax, and I could spend some quality time developing a relationship with him.

Just because I don't want to have kids of my own, doesn't mean that I don't like kids. I actually love spending time with children, especially small ones, because you are always surprised, entertained, and educated by the way they process what's around them; and I love that!

anyway... Dad and son came over to get me... I haven't seen the 3YO since last summer, and I thought maybe if they picked me up, there'd be a lot about my house for him to remember, and he wouldn't be so shy. It worked. He was taking my hand, talking to me, and letting me pick him up right away. Off we went to the swimming lessons and dad and I were talking about how we were both expecting a FREAK OUT! Last summer when they were at my house, the 3YO would not get into the pool, even with someone holding him, he was very afraid!

When we got there, we had to wait a while to fill out paperwork, and he and I walked around looking at all the rooms of kids swimming, playing, etc. He got pretty excited to be one of those kids. I thought that was a good sign, but thought that as soon as the reality of what it meant to be IN the water hit, he'd freak!

When we went into the room with the pools, he desperately wanted to jump in and make a big splash like all the other kids. Dad and I knew that would be a bad thing because it was obvious that he hadn't associated the big splash with being under water, so we held his hand and explained he had to have his swimming lesson first. This was not an easy action to stop. Its not that easy to negotiate with a 3YO when you can't even hear yourself talk from the noise and the stimulation in the room is overwhelming!

When it was our time to go to the lesson, we were in a class with another 3YO who knew what he was doing, and a 10MONTH old baby! The teacher takes each kid out into the pool one at a time and does the exercise... all associated with saving yourself if you fall in the pool... NOT about actually swimming. I was really impressed at her patience, how easy it was for her to get him in the water, floating, following her direction, doing what she was asking. It was amazing! He was smiling, and looking at us, very pleased with himself. That was, until he realized that the instruction to "blow bubbles" meant there was the potential to get your WHOLE FACE IN THE WATER! and he did not like that! now you could see a little bit of the panic, but the teacher was so calm, that he was ok, but refused to blow bubbles again! He did the rest of the class, and kept asking if he could go swimming; I think that the jumping and splashing was what he associated with "swimming".

So after the lesson, we went back into the free-swim pool, and thanks to my planning (!) at least one of us had on appropriate attire for "swimming" with a 3YO in a pool that had a step-off that would result in him being over his head in water! so, we walked around the step for a while with me explaining to him that if he crossed the blue line he would have to blow bubbles. Eventually he got it, and we just circled the pool until Dad did the "time-to-leave" count down.

After they had dropped me off home, and left, I realized how crazy this whole parenting thing is. Not once during the time that I'd been with them had I thought about my life, work, me, my needs. I'd been in situations that were incredibly overstimulating for the senses - noise, colors, movement, activity - and had to be very focused on the reality of a little guy who had the potential to be in panic. I was actually amazed that the insanity of the location wasn't throwing the kid off the edge; but I think that his daily life at daycare must be just as full of stimulation... so maybe he's better equipped to cope than me.

I am also sure that when you are a parent, you get used to the giving, and you learn to cope with getting life done at the same time. But I can tell you, that after they left, and Greg and I looked at each other to decide what we were going to do for the rest of the day, every decision felt indulgent, OVER indulgent.
But boy, was I glad that I had made the choices in life that I have, and that the afternoon Greg and I planned together was possible!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Its a....

Greg made a decision on what he was going to be adding to the family as his daily commuter....

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Panda joke.

Adrian told us, and some dinner guests, that he'd seen a segment on television about how they are trying to get pandas to mate by showing them video of other pandas mating. Adrian being who he is phrased it in his own special way. He introduced the topic by saying that he'd seen a show on TV about "panda porn".
Coupled with my purchase of a shirt by the company Panda Snack, and being told that I shouldn't wear it to Thailand because I might be mistaken by panda's as a snack...
as you can imagine, the panda has taken off as an inside joke here amongst those who never stop working.
When I got back to my office from vacation, this is what I found in my lovely picture frame on the wall.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Last Day

Took longtail boat on river, visited king's barges (highly decorated) and had last Thai Pad Thai.

Off to airport for grueling flight home.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Up the street from our hotel. Luxury next to hovel. Monks next to businessmen.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

One night in Bangkok

Our hotel has a little restaurant and bar next door. Pretty much the only respite from the smells of fish sauce, beggers, people selling and tuktuks in the area. In the distance are the skyscrapers reminding us that we are in a world class city. I think we found the "other".

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Thailand day 10

Yesterday we basically sat on a covered couch at the beach all day. Greg and I went out on a sea kayak for a while, and we were entertained by the swimsuit catalog photo shoot in the swimming pool for a while.

Today, it is raining as if it won't stop, which is fitting because it is the day of family separation. Greg and I are at the Phuket waiting for the flight that will take us on the final leg of our adventure - Bangkok.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thailand Day 8

After a tourist day of speedboating to Phi Phi and being tourists numbered 408,635 through 408,642, enjoyed a Thai sampler menu at the Sala restaurant with the lovely entertainment from all over Thailand.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thailand Day 7

Moved to this crazy incredible resort on day 7.
Mary's friend's huband is the exec chef and told us we need to make the move.

It was an overwhelming experience to walk around this place. Will share more photos on return. Or look up Sala Phuket online.

And that's where we are at...

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Thailand day 6

Left rainy dismal Patong.
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Thailand day 5

Was pretty dismal and I chose not to record its existence.
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Thailand day 4

Left Samui for Phuket. Had to check out pretty early and hung around the rest of the day waiting for flight. Here are the brothers waiting at the hotel for the ride to the airport.

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Thailand Day 3

Greg and I went kayaking and I did a good job with the sunblock on my back and upper arms, but not my legs and lower arms!

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Thailand day 2

The beach on Samui.

Its been very muggy and humid while we've been here. Some days it rains and that helps. We got caught in the rain during our scooter ride around the island. Have not spent much time on the beach.

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Thailand day 1

Resort 1 had all these lilyponds with streams leading between them. Here is one of the fish fountains swimming towards a pond.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Breakfast in Thailand...

Sushi - 2 days in a row!!
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Thailand Day 1

Took a scooter ride around Samui.

Will update more later
Working on BlackBerry, please excuse short responses.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Last weekend, Greg and I went to see the Parsons Dance Company at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.

We see a lot of shows at SCA, and every now and again, they are noteworthy.

We realized a while ago that the people who put the program together select artists that are unique, innovative, often well-known, but always interesting. We get to pay between $30 and $40 to see shows that probably cost over $100 in their resident locations. The amphitheater honestly has no bad seat. And our experience is always enjoyable.
We mostly go to the jazz, latin music and dance shows. The organization allows you to pay a "series" price when you purchase 4 or more shows from the whole program, so you are not restricted in your selection. We started out going to only 4, and as our salaries have increased, we have purchased more and more tickets; to the point where we are close to seeing every show in the program that interests us. I say all this because I think it exemplifies exactly how much we appreciate SCA (and if anyone lands here because they Googled it, I want to make sure that's understood).

Anyway... we see a lot of dance shows. They are always interesting and entertaining; and we are always impressed by the skills of the dancers. But last weekend, was a show that was remarkable. The only other choreographer that has made me speechless is Ohad Naharin, whose pieces we have seen performed by the Hubbard Street and Le Grande Ballet de Montreal.

Last week, it was David Parsons.
Every piece was energetic and fun and happy and positive. There wasn't even one solo/duet that had a little dramatic for the reason of being dramatic moment. The dancers were having so much incredible fun you could see it on their faces. They weren't just smiling, they were laughing, and ooh'ing, and connecting with each other in the exuberance of the choreography. The movement was creative and different, there wasn't any running in circles, or just running around to "use the whole stage". And specifically, here are the pieces of note:

Caught: who would ever thought that this was possible! a pairing between a dancer and a lighting person to truly take advantage of the strobe. You have to watch to believe!

Shining Star: Homage to the 70's.

Sleep Study: dancers in pajamas, sleeping on the floor - seriously, the whole piece was on the floor, moving around as you would in sleep! how come noone has ever thought of anything like that before?!

In the End: dancers in jeans! and T-shirts dancing to a medley of Dave Matthews Band music. Unbelievable! Its been a long time since I've seen music expressed by dance so effectively. If Dave Matthews has ever seen this piece, I'd love to know what he thinks because if I were him, I'd make it my music video!
If you watch the video for Satellite, you'll see that he finds patterns beneath the music that he brings to the foreground through the choreography... amazing! you'll never hear that song the same again!

Oftentimes you want to get up and dance in your spot when you see a show at SCA, but this time, I wanted to get up and run on stage to be with these people in this piece! I wanted to quit my job and start training all day so that I could be part of the Parsons Dance Company, and you know what... that's the first thing Greg said too when we walked out!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I live with 2 (old) men

I was going to do Dishwasher Watch this week... since I loaded and ran the dishwasher on Friday night and as of Monday morning when I left for work, it was still loaded with clean dishes... and the sink was FULL of dirty ones (I was trying very hard to not be the one who did it, again!).
But I had a helper during dinner time who did the honors of moving dishes around.
There are many inconveniences when you live with two old men. They talk about nothing for hours while you are looking for some peace and quiet. They are stubborn. They are set in their ways. They tell you that you are always wrong... when all it is, is that they don't understand what you just described because they still use 8-tracks. They watch annoying television. But the most annoying part of all, is that neither of them will do anything that is constued as house-maintenance.
Maybe, just maybe, if you put some stinky fish remains in the trash, they will take it out.
But that's it.
and my dishwasher watch was going to document their incredible ability to ignore filth.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Changing office view

Remember these?

Well, I changed my view....


yip, that's the view from the top of the hill on our land in Costa Rica.
And aren't you impressed with how well I framed it with the tree leaves coming down around the edges?
I did that on purpose.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cactus Truck

I saw this on the highway today, thought it was interesting.



Sunday, March 23, 2008

Car manufacturer emblems

I'm been thinking about emblems lately. I think its because I look at cars coming around the course and I don't know what they are. I think, how will I identify this car if it hits a cone, because I don't know what it is. So, I started thinking that I should pay more attention while I'm driving and maybe I'll figure out what's confusing me.
It worked.

here is a selection of the most common brands at autox:
They are all round!

here are the exceptions:

of course this one is a hybrid:

and this is what marks me as a "girl"; do you see the differences between these 2 cars?
the only way I can tell is to look at the logos.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

"SAT words"?

I've started thinking that the reason why some of our younger staff don't follow my direction is because they don't understand the meaning of the words I use.

here are two that have come up recently:

status quo

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saving Daylight: for what?!

I hate daylight savings.

Mostly because we don't do it here in Arizona.
What that used to mean is that 1/2 the year I was 2 hours behind at work, and then the other 1/2 I was 3 hours behind.
There is a big difference between 2 and 3.
Being 3 hours behind (I get to work at 9, its now Noon in DC) means that the people I work with/for are going to LUNCH when I get to work.
At this point, they are frustrated that the emails and phone-calls they left for me all morning are still not answered.
When its 2 hours, its still "morning" when I return the messages. Not as frustrating.

Frustration number 2: Most people don't realize that AZ doesn't change time. So, I get phone calls at 6am (oh, I'm sorry, I thought it was 7!); those meetings that I said I could get up for at 6am so that they could do them first thing in the morning? now I have to be awake and alert at 5; all that traveling I do? now my body has another hour to go before its awake while I sit in meetings wishing I drank coffee.

Our lovely President went and changed the daylight savings months last year.
Instead of it being 6 and 6, now its NINE and 3... I ask you, what is the point?! 
If the time is saving daylight for more months a year than its not, why don't we just permanently change it!! and stop all this nonsense!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Maybe Max isn't so dumb

He just smelled the milk in a little jug but it was too low for him to reach it to have a taste, so he dipped his paw in and licked it.

Now, in some contexts, that could be considered a "tool".

Maybe I'm watching evolution in action, and the next thing you know he'll be walking upright on his back legs!

Friday, February 08, 2008

need . more . seconds

every morning as I drive to work, I think of profound things to muse upon here for your enjoyment. By the time I get to work, I've forgotten... and I don't have time to post anyway...

There was a profound thought about John McCain, something moaning about men and dishwashers... oh, I remember that one!

The other day, instead of unloading the dishwasher, Greg put DIRTY dishes IN it.
I asked myself... how can you not think to look at the FULL dishwasher to see if maybe the dishes are clean? How can you not notice that there is no food or beverage on the inside of the tank? Am I asking too much of you?
And so I ran it again!

Work = busy
Life = low-key

we have some events coming up... autox this weekend; Greg's 24 hour bike race next; so mayhaps there will be some photos a-posting.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The news, and why I ignore it

I don't watch TV news. ever.
I don't read the newspaper - the ink makes me sneeze
I get my news from the 30 mins or so of NPR in the morning
and listening to Slate Magazine daily podcasts
I give my attention to these sources because I generally feel that they are unbiased and present just the news.
Well, I know that they are biased. And most of the time, I don't notice the colorings and opinions of the presenter woven into the general text of the presentation.

The other day I did.
There was a story about the bombing of a compound in Afghanistan where an alqaida leader was killed.
And the announcer phrased the sentence like this:
...bombing of a compound where 21 people were killed including an alqaida leader. This is great news 'cause this guy was high up in the chain and having him dead is good for the WORLD...

of course, a bunch of people died in Iraq too, so a couple sentences later we had:
...over 15 people were killed in a suicide bombing, this brings the death toll this morning to 20..

or something like that.
Anyway... the gist is that when a guy "we" think is bad gets killed, doesn't matter how many innocent bystanders are also gone.

Dead people are dead people... it doesn't matter who did the killing or what the reasoning was. Don't pretend its otherwise.

What I did on my summer vacation!

no, wait, that was actually the middle of winter... here. But in the tropics! its never winter.

We stared at a lot of this:

and this:

we stayed here:

we saw lots of these:

and these:

we did some of this:

and even got to satisfy our professional cravings:

and of course,
Sunset on our Farm:

Sunday, January 13, 2008


This was an eventful weekend for me and Greg...

I got an award...

and he got a medal...

I received my award for coming first in the Novice Ladies division of the AZ Solo II Fall Series.
And Greg ran the PF Chang's Rock-n-Roll marathon in 3 hours and 45 mins.

Monday, January 07, 2008


it is RAINING! seriously, like nonstop.... and everywhere...
and when you live in AZ, that is NEWS!
also - gotta take the cats to the vet for their annuals today; lordy, they don't like that!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Holidays - a short Recap

So here we are in 2008.
I really like the whole Xmas on Tues, NYE on Tues thing... psychologically, its nicer to have days off AFTER the weekend rather than before.
So what did we do?

Small - family friendly present exchange on Tues

A delicious M&M dinner

A post-dinner gift exchange with friends
Cocktail party at friends on Friday
Chilling on Sat
Cocktail party at our house on Sun...

And chilling at home on NYE.

and back to work.
I spent most of the first week back (all 3 days of it) with a headache 'cause I was not ready for the pace!