Thursday, May 17, 2007

Working, working

Ok. I just took a look at the new twin pictures in their teepee and with their princess dresses and penguins. I feel so good and happy now. Thank goodness because I was starting to get a bit judgmental about the guy sitting next to me on my new project. He was eating a salad with tons of lettuce and dressing and nothing healthy and chewing it like cud...........ugh. Oops! There I go getting judgmental again. Better go have another look at those twin pictures...




Okay. I'm back. Anyway, back to the job. Yes, I am on a new assignment. Started on Tuesday. Still close to home - yeah! 10 minutes to work in the morning. For that, I am GRATEFUL! The assignment is pretty interesting and certainly keeping me busy. I will be doing overtime on this job so good thing that I got as much done at home as I did (Although I am still not finished). At least I get paid for the overtime so later I can take a nice vacation, buy that plasma TV I have been wanting, put a patio out back, new carpeting or any of the other million things that I have on my list but can't afford.

The sun is back and for that I am also GRATEFUL! Had a great spa retreat at the Four Seasons Hotel last weekend. Yoga on Fri night followed by a reception with wine and cheese in the Presidential Suite. A little drink in the bar and then off to bed on the luxurious king size bed in my hotel room with the great view of San Francisco Bay. The next morning was another yoga session followed by continental breakfast, one hour massage and then off to the pool and jacuzzi for hours of sunshine and relaxation. Needless to say, I got home Sat eve rested, tanned and exercised. Yahoo! For that I am GRATEFUL!

Life feels so good right now. Just need to hook up with Mr. Right and everything will be perfect.

Back to work.........

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Here I sit yet once again. Time passes so much more slowly when you are not busy. Even worse, I am sitting here thinking of all of the things that I need to be doing at home - gardening, shredding, walking the dogs, trading stock, painting, laundry, cleaning, planning vacations and on and on - but, unfortunately, none of those things pay me. So here I sit. I have caught up on all of my emails, closed the books for ATW and set up accounts and done research for ATW.

I even sent an email to that nice guy at the bar the other night that bought me drinks. What an unexpected surprise. I can't recall that ever happening before for no reason. No strings attached and all that. Didn't even tell me he was paying. I only found out when the bill came for me and my girlfriend (she met me there later) and there were no drinks on it. She said that she thought she heard him say that he would pay for them. Anyway, WHAT A PLEASURE!

I did a little on-line shopping for a wrought iron gate - not much success. Can't say that I am much of an on-line shopper. After all, it is just another way to spend money.

So I sit. Another hour more. Aargh. Wish I could magically transport home and do some of the stuff that needs doing there. At least, I am getting paid. Can't complain about that. Work just makes the time go by faster.

Oh well, wishing for a more interesting blog..............

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Sun is Back

After my wonderful sunny trip to LA, the weather once again turned cold and I thought that maybe we were entering a second winter. The rain was nice and oh so needed but the cold was not. Well, just in time for the weekend, my friend, the Sun, decided to come back and with what vengeance. Not just a slight warmth but a beautiful, sunny weekend.

I took advantage of the opportunity to once again fill my leaf bin since tomorrow is recycling day. Off came all of the dead roses in the front flowerbed. Everything trimmed down and ready for a new bloom. The hedge trimmers came out and I gave the boxwood a nice haircut. Cut back the iceplant around the lemon and mowed the lawn. All of that just packed the bin full. I also trimmed off all of the rogue growth from my now defunct Magnolia in the back but that is awaiting next week's bin since I am overloaded. The rose in the front and all of the roses in the back, along with the weeds will have to await the next round. It was all hard work but the results are well worth it. And, the dogs sure enjoyed laying out on the front lawn and watching the world go by as I worked. A good day was had by all!

Sunday was perfect weather for a birthday party and were the twins ever ready for it. They were so excited about turning 3. Susan made, not one, but two beautiful cakes. What an artist! The twins and their friends had a great time at the Curious George themed party - Monkeys, monkeys everywhere and really enjoyed the barbecue and cake. They really loved their Minnie Mouse shoes and looked so regal walking around in their princess dresses (even while going down the slide!). What a wonderful day. What a wonderful weekend.

And today, it is back to work with that darn See's candy box again. Will someone please eat it and put me out of my misery.........


Its funny how things come back sometimes. I was checking my United frequent flyer account and saw that they are a sponsor for Y-Me. It reminded me of the following story from the beginning of my cancer journey.

When I received the call from my doctor telling me I had cancer, I couldn't sleep at all so I got up and went to the internet (It was too late tocall anyone). In frustration, I typed
into Yahoo search and, to my surprise, Y-Me came up. What a great idea and name. I didn't know where to go but my frustration and their brilliant thinking for a name took me to just where I needed to be. Who would have thought? I wonder how many other women have done the same thing.

I spent the rest of the night on their site, reading their introductory pamphlet and support section for family members. As time went on, other resources became more helpful for me but, in the beginning, Y-Me was a great resource. It got me through that first devastating night. For that I am grateful.

Friday, May 04, 2007

still here.....

2 more hours to go. I have managed to get by with only 2 chocolates so far. curse you Mary See for making such good treats.

a few folks have wandered back in and are actually working. leave it to the finance group to keep plugging away. all of the upper levels are either holed up in a room talking, walking around trying to calm the troops or have gone home. what was an active, chat-filled atmosphere has turned into a quiet tomb as everyone waits out the day.

1 hour 55 minutes more........

Just me and a box of See's chocolates

Everyone is gone now, leaving me here alone with a box of See's chocolates. And I still have 4 more hours to go. What torture. Can I hold out? Or will I consume the whole box in my boredom? Help!!!!!


Here I sit. The life of a consultant. You never know what is coming next.

I am on this project at a bank. The last couple of weeks have brought about a lot of scurrying, whispering behind closed doors and general secretivity. I was let in on just enough to know that I couldn't say anything and that my projects were on hold because of impending "events".

Today the "events" occurred. The bank announced to the press its acquisition/merger with another bank. If you read the news, you will know just who the two banks are that I am talking about. Needless to say, after the announcement this morning, no one is getting anything done. There is lots of discussion, speculation and probably searching of the web for more information and/or jobs. The last thing on anyone's mind is work and many folks are going home. Me, however, I am paid by the hour and must put in my 8 hours so, here I sit, making up chores by the minute since all of my projects are still on hold and will be probably through the end of my tenure here.

La, la, la.............

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Weekends are made for fun

Taking off 2 days of work and making a 4-day weekend of it was a great choice for me last weekend. I came back to work this morning and felt like I had been gone forever.

Friday morning dawned with a beautiful day. I threw on jeans and a top, packed my things into the car and was on my way by 9:30 - a little past my planned 8AM but oh well......... Stopped at Starbuck's for a Peppermint Mocha and an apple fritter and then, top down (the car, not me silly!) was off for my road trip to LA. It was a little cold in the beginning since temperatures had not yet climbed over 63 degrees but, by the time, I reached I5, the weather had warmed up a bit and I was cruising. Stopped for gas at around noon and, feeling I had had enough sun, I put the top back up for the rest of the trip. Good thing I did because, when I arrived in LA and took a look in the mirror, my nose and forehead were quite red!

Hit my friends place at 3:30 and we were off to look at some lofts which are the new hot craze in LA. The downtown has been cleaned up and re-done and is looking more like NY city every day. The lofts were the next logical step. $500k will buy you about 800 sq.ft. in a high rise building with concrete floors, kitchen appliances, a bathroom and one main living space. The ceilings are 12 - 14 feet high with huge windows and great views looking all the way out to the ocean. Ownership also comes with rights to the buildings' roof top pools, gyms, party areas and sun decks. One building even came with its own dog run. For about $2.5MM, you can get a 4-level 2,500 sq.ft. loft in the same building. It was quite interesting to go around and look at all of the loft spaces and the historical buildings. Probably a good investment if you can afford it.

Next up was dinner with friends. Awesomely delicious accompanied by a nice Pinot Noir. Good company, good food, good wine.

Then, off to Pasadena for some more wine and a nice soft bed.

Saturday was another beautiful day. I arose early to take care of some business in the morning. Stopped by Mission San Gabriel for a walk in the cemetery, gardens and old mission. A baptism was taking place in the original mission church while a while a wedding was taking place in the newer mission church. The wedding was a huge ethnic affair. The brides beautiful white dress was "accessorized" with thick aqua blue cloth laced, bondage-like, across the bodice. It did not look delicate at all. Tacky was more of the word that came to mind. I soon saw the reason for the blue in the bridal dress when the bridesmaids came out in their bright, aqua blue dresses which matched the lacing. Apparently all of this was a colorful feast for the eyes to the guests since all of them appeared to be happy and having a wonderful time.

After the mission, I met up with my friend to go to Arcadia High School and watch the dress rehearsal of the Orchesis dance troupe which is made up of students from Arcadia High School. The choreography, dance and presentation were all amazing. I have never seen anything like that in a public high school. Apparently, many of the performers were slated to go on to professional careers after high school.

Then, we went off to look at a couple of more traditional properties - houses - since my friends are looking to move. The first one was about 1,700 sq ft on a huge lot, all upgraded, good schools for about $600K. Sounds like a lot of money but when was the last time you could find something like that in the Bay Area that was not an hour drive away from your job and everything else.

After all of this "hard work", we were thirsty and decided to sit down for some wine and fresh guacamole and chips - yum. After the warm up, we set off for some wine tasting in Rancho Cucamonga and then Mexican food a little hole in the wall. Back at home, we topped it all off with some more wine before hitting the sack.

Up bright and early on Sunday to head off to Disneyland for its 8AM opening. The park was much more crowded than my last visit in December which lost some of the magic for me. Still, it wasn't too bad. We started off at Space Mountain which I hadn't been on in a very long time (20 years?). The special effects are pretty awesome and you really feel like you are in space at some points. The Matterhorn was, uncharacteristically, working so we hurried to get in line there before it might break down again. At the end of our ride, the attendant took our car off of the tracks , with us in it. We thought it had broken down but, apparently, there were too many cars on the ride and not enough slots for them. After about 5 minutes, they put our car back on and gave us another ride for the wait. So, we got to go on the Matterhorn two times in a row! That helped make up for all of the times it was broken down.

Next was Thunder Mountain railroad. There was almost no wait at all and we got right to the front quickly. We were thrilled. Just as we were ready for our turn, the ride broke down and we had to leave. :( We never did make it back to that one.

The rest of the day was followed with great, magical experiences and nice breaks to eat. We used the fast pass for California Soarin', California Screaming and Hollywood Hotel (A truly awesome and screamful ride. I am not sure if my heart is back in my chest yet!).

The fireworks that evening went on for about 1/2 hour as the announcer went through many of the major rides - space mountain, pirates, haunted mansion and more - playing the voices from the rides accompanied by fireworks. The fireworks were coming up from all over the park so that we were surrounded even though we were standing in Orleans place and not main street. It was pretty amazing. After the fireworks, the park cleared out and we headed to Pirates for another ride. Then, to the Haunted Mansion where we didn't even stand in line but walked right into the reception room. It was the same with Small World. How wonderful not to have lines.

At 11:00PM, we headed off to the exit, picked up our packages and headed to the cars. There were only about 4 cars left in the parking lot when I got there. Long and wonderful day - and we still didn't see and do everything!

Monday was my last day and had to throw a little work in - Insurance, ugh! Still, it was good to see my agent and talk with her. We visited for some time before my final destination of the weekend in Palos Verdes. The day was clear and beautiful, making for some wonderful views of the ocean as I drove to my friends house. We had a long, leisurely lunch and then back to her house for some lessons in curly hair treatment. She has had curly hair her entire life and was very helpful in sharing her hair products and treatment tips with me as I try to deal with my now, very curly hair - as opposed to only wavy/curly before.

By 5:30, I was on my way home. All would have gone well except that I was treated to a mysterious LA phenomenom. The 710, a not heavily used and usually pretty good freeway had a mysterious backup at Firestone Blvd. There was no accident and no reason for it. Just a mystery - not even rush hour traffic. The radio news reports were warning of it but it was too late since I was already there. It took one hour to go 4 miles and, at Firestone blvd, just as miraculously, all of the cars ahead of and around me took off and the 65 mph speed was resumed. This all made for a very long drive home and I did not arrive until 1AM. Had a great time and feel relaxed and vacationed.

Now back to work!