Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Scharffen Berger makes fantastic chocolate bars-- pure, unadulterated goodness.
Joseph Schmidt, famous for his artistic creations in fine chocolate, was a favorite since we used to get gint baskets of the stuff around Christmas time at one of my old jobs. The mint leaves were my favorite, but everything was wonderful.
Bay Area favorites, but now Hershey's is shutting down their local manufacturing. Boo.
Time to move on. sniff, sniff.
Charles Chocolates, anyone? (btw, Charles makes really good chocolate, and is a delight to chat with)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
on Obama. And when I hear him speak, he is so dreamy-- his complete, grammatically correct and yet lovingly crafted sentences! His full thoughts, the pauses where he does that thing-- what is it called? oh, right, he THINKS. Right, he thinks before speaking, and afterward too, apparently. His erudite command of the language we love, and his understanding of the democracy and ideals we love in our country.
Also? Big girl-crush on his wife. She is so strong and powerful, and humble and funny.
Now, it continues... a BLOG! How cool is that? Add it to your reader with the feed link.
So I decided to do the 100 Push-Up Challenge.
And now I'm in week three, with a little bit of improvement. I stalled out a little on last Friday's set, but yesterday I was able to complete that number. I expected that I might be a little slower than the program called for, so that's OK. I haven't missed any days.
The very best thing though, is that I have a workout buddy! Who checks in with me for status updates! So I can't skip because I would have to admit that to my workout buddy. This is truly the best way to make sure you stick to something. Be accountable.
Yes, it's funny, and terrifying.
I honestly do not know if we can get America back to its former strength. I do think we are going to try to get it back to its former meaning and morals.
Monday, January 05, 2009
I had been asked if I'd work New Years Eve, a few months back, and since we didn't really have big plans, I agreed. I had not worked at the Glass Cat or Bondage-A-Go-Go since, you know, "back in the day" when it was the Trocadero and it smelled like shit and we loved it.
The Glass Cat is a nice renovation, and overall the club smells nicer, except... ah, yes, the area near the mens'restroom still smells like the old days. How quaint. Really, though, a nice club, though I missed the old place.
Not the most exciting New Year's Eve on record, so I was glad when I was finally let off of work. Only to find that, yays, my bike wouldn't start. So at 2:30 in the morning, I texted Paul and told him, and tried to think of what to do. New Years Eve= no cabs, anywhere. Drunks, everywhere. The security staff at this particular club was not staffed with anyone I would consider able to help me. (It was around this time I began to really wish we'd had New Years Eve at the DNA, where I could have gotten help) The end result was that Paul hauled himself out of a warm, cat filled bed to ride up amongst all the New Years' drunks at 3 in the morning on one of the coldest nights of the year. It was "The Awesome." We got home around 4:30 in the morning after Paul arrived on his shining steed and rescued me in minutes of work, shaming all other men in the Greater Bay Area.
It's only sort of funny that I had been mentioning earlier that day that I noticed my bike didn't like to start up like it used to. Ha ha ha. Damn, so the SV needs at least a new battery. I rode it to work Saturday night, and the ride back nearly killed me because I couldn't run my electric vest. I literally had to pull off the road and thaw my fingers out by removing my gloves and shoving my hands down my pants for ten minutes. That was the coldest ride I think I've ever had, and I think proof that the electric vest keeps your extremities more comfortable by heating your core. Anyway, damn.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
I've been using this inventory for the past few years or so. a lot of these things don't seem to apply to me very well anymore, but I'm always loathe to give up anything that might be *tradition* so here it is:
1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
- Saw a Snowy Plover
- Got married!!!
- Changed my name (I know! in my extended family, this is usually, like, a yearly occurrence)
- climbed the stairs to the top of the Duomo in Florence
Erm, no, I failed big on that, didn't I? Here's what I said:
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
- Get my PMP certificate: This is something I'd like to do anyway, but my boss is really keen on me getting done soon. A Project Management certificate would help me in my career, if only for the way it appears to people reviewing me on paper.
- Learn basic Unix for Mac (starting this with a book right now)
- Gain a working knowledge of networking, firewalls, DNS, etc... especially as it pertains to work.
- Get involved in the "extra-curriculars" at work to create more connections
- max my 401K
- bolster our emergency savings for the shit economy that is in the mail, coming soon
- Start practicing Mandarin on at least a weekly basis
- Spend a lot more time sewing
- Spend a lot more time riding my motorcycles (now that I am no longer commuting on them-- oh, right, I used to do this for FUN too!)
- Get involved with birding... and maybe some wetlands cleanup projects?
This year, some of my big goals (I won't call them resolutions!):
- apply for PMP, see if they'll accept my application to take the test
- develop a plan for career. When people ask me what I want to do in the future, I should have some sort of answer. Right now, I have no idea, and it is sort of embarrassing.
- I've decided to do the 100 pushup challenge! Because, why not? And I need trackable goals, as I don't do well with things like "lose weight" or "gain muscle"
- My main concern this year is getting my heart in shape. I need to talk with my doctor to be able to figure out exactly what this goal is, though.
- Max my 401K
- Save more cash for the shit economy
- Sew and craft more, and specifically: sew more and start making my own shampoo, etc. (the chemicals they use in body care products are really fucked up)
- Get Things Done.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, a coworker!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Italy. And Atlanta, GA.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
More stability, simplicity, and focus. Getting married was a lot of fun, but also very disruptive. On the other hand, it was a god catalyst for things. (hey! that wedding dress satisfied one of last year's goals: more sewing!)
7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
September 27th, 2008! My Zero-th wedding anniversary!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not in the sense that I faced some incredible struggle or provided great benefit to anyone else, but I'm pretty happy with my marriage and wedding. I found the best man in the world, and we threw a damned good party, which through family involvement and handcrafted goodness, really reflected who we are, and did not end up with family fighting or mountains of debt.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I stopped lifting weights after the wedding, allowing the honeymoon to disrupt my workout habit.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
no! I have been pretty lucky!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
our squirrel groom cake topper was pretty great. The wedding cupcakes were a big hit too.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Paul is so good to me, and to the others in his (our!) family. I love the watch him with his nephew, and his mom, and my grandma.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
John McCain. Gawd, what happened to him??? What an embarrassment.
Everyone involved in giving financial bailouts. Paulson and Bernanke in particular, but all of our congresscritters and "leading" economists. I am not sure whether they are just paid hacks, or are truly convinced that this is the way to go, but it is wrong, wrong, wrong, and will wreak much more havoc on our society and economy than the company failures and foreclosures already did. Even a five-year-old could tell you that the solution to the problem cannot be the same as the cause of the problem. So? more loans and new debt can't fix the old loans and debt problem.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Savings! And the wedding and trip to Italy! Then, rent, food.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The wedding was fun, but the reality of spending my life with my best friend in the whole world to start something bigger than us was the best. Also, frequently got really, really, really excited about cupcakes. And, very much: the election of Barak Obama! It felt like a huge weight started to come up off off my heart. It does not fix everything, but it gives me hope, which I have not had, in a political sense, in a long time.
16. What songs/bands will always remind you of 2007?
The RIAA has convinced me I should not listen to music anymore.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
iii. richer or poorer?
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Sewing, crafting, writing in this blog. Of course, I wish I'd been more productive: why didn't I get farther on my projects? Why didn't I learn more Mandarin?
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I try to read the whole internet. It is to much, and I wish I could figure out how to stay so informed with less time. Without giving up all the cool blogs I read (yay Scienceblogs!)
We spent Christmas with family, as always. I am a totally Christmas junkie, and really look forward to all the time with my family. Paul and I have our tree up and decorated, and lights outside. It is great, but the real goodness is family time.
22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I still fall! Every day!
23. How many one night stands?
No. I think I'll change this question going forward to "What's on your night stand?" and the answer is: a cordless phone (going away soon), earplugs to block out our neighbors, a glass of water because I drink a lot of water while I'm sleeping, my NTI mouthguard which I LOVE, and my glasses, because I am legally blind.
24. What were your favorite TV programs?
We do not watch TV. No, really. I mean, people say that but they are usually lying. Actually, the TV is only setup to play Nintendo (old school!) and Playstation 2, and that is pretty rare. Come February, when they convert to digital, it will be incapable of even getting signal. fine. We do like to watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report for free on Teh Internets.
(what happened to 25?)
29. What did you want and not get?
26. What was the best book you read?
It's terrible, but I don't think I finished any good books that I can think of. I have a bad habit of not finishing books. I have no idea, for instance, why I didn't finish reading Joseph Stieglitz's Three Trillion Dollar War. It was good, I just got distracted. I read a lot of wedding crap and financial stuff. I'm not sure which was more depressing.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
89.1 FM KCEA. It is THE BEST.
28. What did you want and get?
I wanted to get married, and I wanted Paul to propose to me. I got both of those things, and they were worth the wait.
A Beer Donkey for the wedding. Really. You must see this.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
30. What was your favorite film(s) of this year?
hmmm... we don't see many movies either. The instructional video that came with our Print Gocco was pretty fabulous.
I think that was the day I went to the mall with my wonderful sister. I don't get to the mall often, and usually find it stressful, but we had a fun time trying on makeup and shoes and such. My sister is totally the best, and we always have fun.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My grandfather. I think of him every day, and James too.
Wear clothes often. Many in the winter, and less in the summer. Shoes are great, and a good pair goes miles to making you happy.
34. What kept you sane?
Paul, who is always my pillar, even when I am disagreeing with him or bugging him. He knows my foibles and loves me through them, and he supports me in all I do, regardless of how silly or outlandish it might be.
35. Which celebrity/public figure(s) did you fancy the most?
I have Obamamania, and I think Michelle Obama is, like, totally hott. And by hott, I mean, beautiful, strong, warm, funny, and fascinating.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Buster Taint Palin. It was too disgusting for words. And the incredibly negative campaigning that came with it.
And, in a near-tie, the bank and auto and failed-homedebtor bailouts. Blech. What a disgusting debt we are creating for future generations. A debt of finance, but also of innovation and competition.
37. Who did you miss?
Grandpa. James. Still, every day. I keep thinking, oh, James can help me with this, or, occasionally, thinking I can go see him, you know, at the races, or the shop, or something. Or a funny story I think he'd enjoy, and maybe we could go out clubbing.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
I need to get out more. Are there new people in my life?
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
As bad as it seems, this country can choose a better way.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
It was just a neighborhood dance
That's all that it was
But, oh, what it seemed to be
It was like a masquerade ball
With costumes and all
'Cause you were at the dance with me
It was just a ride on a train
That's all that it was
But, oh, what it seemed to be
It was like a trip to the stars
To Venus and mars
'Cause you were on the train with me
And when I kissed you, Darling
It was more than just a thrill for me
It was the promise, Darling
Of the things that fate had willed for me
It was just a wedding in June
That's all that it was
But, oh, what it seemed to be
It was like a royal affair
With everyone there
'Cause you said "Yes, I do" to me