31 July 2007


I love Chicago. The city, the people, the buildings, the bars...it is a great place.

Despite all this, it is one city in which I have to confront a particular fear of mine over and over again. That fear? The revolving door.

I am not sure why I hate these doors so much. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps my darling brother locked me in one when I was younger. When presented with the option, I take the regular door. I don't care that doing so makes the building less energy efficient. I care about not getting stuck in that damn door.

This is something that has been with me for as long as I can remember, and I always feel silly. But when there is no other choice but the revolving door, you can see me gripped with a bit of panic until I can push my way through and land on the other side.

30 July 2007

I was Running

I watched Forrest Gump last night, so was feeling a little inspired this morning.

I am here in Chicago, in a hotel right on the River and about 2 blocks from the Lake. It was a beautiful morning; by the time I dragged myself out of bed it was already around 70 degrees and lovely. No humidity. Sun shining, nice breeze off the Lake.

I need to start training for the Nike in October, and frankly I have been a little lazy about this. But, it's time. So I started running.

It felt good. It was the first time in quite a while where I felt like I was really working hard. I didn't go too far, I didn't want to hurt myself (my knee already started hurting a bit), my shoes aren't the best for running (but they're so cute), and, I am not in shape yet. But, at least I did it!

29 July 2007

On a Jet Plane

I am once again on a plane, this time en route to Chicago.

This was an interestingly quiet flight. Not much going on, until just now, when the guy in the row next to me, bothered by the kid behind him kicking the seat, asked the flight attendant to make it stop. The mom got really defensive, saying he's only two, what can I do. I'll tell you...walk him up and down the aisle a bit, and, while you're at it, change his diaper. She made the "we paid for his seat" argument, but the fact is, the kid was standing up in front of the seats, bumping things. Invading territory, methinks.

I just headed to the back to stretch my legs, and got a peek at what people were eating. It never fails to surprise me how much crap we put into our bodies, myself included. I am not a perfect eater. But I also exercise, and fit quite nicely into my airplane seat. In the back, there was a woman, already pushing the edges, with a bagel sandwich of some sort, and a huge bag of Doritos, and a Sprite. I am sure a lot of this was what was available at the airport, which is part of the problem. I don't know, it just makes me sad.

We're almost landing. Whoo-hoo.

25 July 2007

Vegas, baby, Vegas

We were so money.

I can't go to Vegas without thinking of Swingers, especially since that movie came out not too long before my first trip there. In fact, that was one of the last times I've been there for fun! I tend to travel there for work, rather than for me. What a mistake that is.

I arrived on Friday night, and my friend Natalia arrived shortly after. As I was waiting for her at the airport, I saw a bunch of NBA folks, and BizMarKee. Dude is fug! I should have known the weekend would be a little crazy when she walked up to the baggage carousel with an older guy and said he was going to give us a ride to the hotel. Randy was a nice guy, if not a little strange. He had just gotten back from New Zealand and his son was picking him up. They were a nice father/son team. And they were kind enough to drive us to the hotel.

We stayed at the Planet Hollywood, which used to be the Aladdin. Entering the lobby, we felt like rock stars. It is totally redone with bright lights, bright walls, and bright crystals dripping all over the place. We were both a little awestruck. We said goodbye to Randall and headed up to our room, which they haven't yet redone. I say in about 2 years, that place will be off the hook. They just need some time to redo everything.

Got all tarted up and headed out to eat. We went to the buffet in the PH (that's hotel speak for Planet Hollywood), where we were totally overdressed, and stuffed our faces. Well fed, we were ready to hit the strip.

It was fun to go to Vegas with someone who'd never been. It brings back all the awe I felt that first time I saw the bright lights (although a lot of the hotels are new since I first went there 10 years ago). We walked past the Bellagio fountains, which were, for some reason, dancing to tunes like "This Kiss" and "Proud to be an American." Weird; I like it better when it's Pavarotti & Celine Dion. We walked inside and saw the fantastic Route 66 exhibit they have inside. I had no idea they changed it up so much (I was last there in May and the exhibit was different).

After that we headed over to Cesar's, where we were supposed to meet one of my brother's friends. We were early, and the table minimums were a little too high, so over to the Imperial Palace we went. That place is awesome. I sat down at "Michael Jackson's" table, where I promptly lost about 100$. I did not like Michael Jackson. We then went to the Roulette table, where Wang was our dealer. We were there for a while and even got to catch the impersonator show on the casino floor. Awesome!

It was time to get over to Cesar's. The party was at OPM, and was apparently for the Chris Weber foundation. Upon walking up to the door, we saw Nick Van Exel and a few other NBAers. I was, of course, a little star struck. Our friend didn't show up, and we weren't quite sure what to do, so we went to some jankie bar in Cesar's called "The Slice" or something. While there, a girl gave us a pass to PURE...we thought what the hell!

Off to PURE we went. The line was huge, so we went to check how long it would take. The security guy told us an hour, but that since it was just the two of us ladies, we could go to the "Ladies Only" line and get right in. We went over there, but the line had just closed, so they sent us to another one. Within 5 minutes, we were inside and ready to boogie down in PURE.

After grabbing a drink, we went to the dance floor, where I heard them say something about "DJ AM."I thought, no way is he here, it must be his remixes or something. But then we got in there and sure enough, there was DJ AM. It was awesome. Then I looked up to the VIP area, and there was Adrian Grenier. This was the most stars I'd ever seen in Vegas! PURE was great, I got felt up more than I had in a long time ;-) and we danced and danced until I couldn't walk anymore. I made the mistake, before we headed back to OPM, of sitting on a counter, and I when I put my feet back down, I literally could not stand. So Natalia decided to switch shoes with me. It could not have been comfortable for her, but I went with it.

Back at OPM, we were waved in. It was about 2.30am, so all of the big folks had probably left. We went upstairs to meet with our friend, who promptly pointed out Chris Weber and Sway from MTV. Then I looked over and saw Joakim Noah. Dude is tall! The night went on and on...by that point we'd both had a lot to drink and were just having fun!

Finally, around 5am, it was time to go home. Although we weren't far from the hotel, we caught a cab. For some reason we ate some really nasty food, which did not sit well with either of us. Soon enough...we were both passed out. And that was just day 1!!

Wednesday Answers

Time to sate my cravings with Blogdriveinsanity.

Cone, waffle cone, or dish?
I like a plain cone, or a dish. For this exercise, since I can't have all this on one cone, I'll take a dish.

What flavors (you get three scoops)?
I'll go with 2 scoops Cookies & Cream and Mint Chip

What toppings?
Hot fudge, strawberries, diced almonds

Who are you going to share it with?
Ummm...no one

24 July 2007

Tuesday Answers

Another one from Tina's Tuesdays...

# What is your favourite flavour of gum?
I like the new purple gum from Orbits. It is Rasberry Mint or something. I also like the lemon flavor.

# What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?
Hard to chose one...I would say Mint Chocolate Chip or Rocky Road.

# What is your favourite flavour of _____? (fill in blank and answer question)
Food. I like salty, savory foods.

22 July 2007

Sunday Answers

This one is straight from Randomness...

1. What is your favorite vacation spot?
This is a toughie. My favorite short-term spot is our campsite on the Russian River. I can get up there for the weekend, chill out, and not have to take any time off work. If I have more time, I like to get out and visit new places, rather than going back to one place over and over, so picking a favorite would be impossible.

2. Would you rather drive or fly?
I would rather teleport, but given the two choices, I guess fly.

3. Have you ever been on a cruise? Would you want to go on one?
I have. They were really fun, and I would go on one again.

4. What has been your best/worst vacation?
Too many to pick from for the best. As for worst, I can't really remember one. I try to forget the bad things and just remember that I was on vacation!

5. How long do you think is long enough for a vacation?
I think for a significant vacation, one or two weeks is the absolute minimum. But I also think you have to make do with what you can get.

6. Do you spend alot of money while on vacation? Do you buy alot of souvenirs? What's the coolest one you've gotten?
I spend it on things like museums, hotels, food, etc. I don't buy too many souvenirs, and if I do, I try to make sure they are something particular to that place. My favorite, and I still kind of kick myself for not getting a second one, is a beautiful leather purse from Buenos Aires. It was hand-tanned and adorned. So pretty.

7. If money were no object, where would you go on vacation?
It isn't a matter of where, but for how long. If money were no object, I would probably travel in a similar manner (on the budget side), but for a lot longer.

randomness...feed your mind and your blog

18 July 2007

My City

Having a visitor this past week allowed me to see the City through new eyes. It is so easy to get involved in my day-to-day life, and forget how fantastic this place is.

For instance...The first night, we went down to In 'N Out at the Wharf. I haven't been down there in quite some time, so it was kind of interesting. We saw the Bush Man, who never fails to crack me up. We sat next to a group of guys, who I assume were there for the All-Star Game, who stopped talking to one another and just stared at the Bush Man scaring people. We had to walk off our meal after, and we went to look for the seals. There are so few there these days, it is very sad. Walking back to the car, we got to watch a lovely sunset over Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

One of the biggest things that struck me is how I forget that lots of tourists come here, and thus there are all the great tours, events, and tourist services - like hostel fun - that I have used in cities I had visited. Overnight trips to Yosemite, day trips to Muir Woods, big red buses through the City...these are things I just don't think of around here. It made me jealous, she did so many things that I haven't done here. But, jealous in a good way, because I am so happy to hear they have these things.

17 July 2007

PPP Blog Roll

Some new blogs!!

You never know what you'll find at The Daily Random.

Keeping in that vein...you can find a Little of Everything.

Show off with a little Sparkle Motion.

Tuesday Answers

This one is straight from Tina's Tuesdays.

  1. What is one thing you regret you never did?
    I wish I would have stayed longer when I lived in Sevilla, and then traveled longer

  2. What do you regret not saying to a loved one?
    I love you, and it's ok if you leave, it's better where you're going and you'll always be with me.

  3. Do you have more regrets now than you did 5 years ago?
    No...I really try to do things so that I don't have regrets. I have increased my "doing things" as I get older (or, try to at least)

15 July 2007

Wonders from the Sea

On Saturday, Stacey, Natalia, Luca & I took a trip down to Monterey. We made sure to stop at the lovely aquarium.

12 July 2007

Thursday Answers

This one comes again from Booking Through Thursday...
I will say...it is hard to limit to one of these things, but I will!

1. In your opinion, what is the best translation of a book to a movie?
High Fidelity - I thought while it was Americanized, it was adapted well and John Cusak was the perfect person for the part. About a Boy also comes in a close second...something about those Nick Hornsby books.

2. The worst?
In Her Shoes - They made the Cameron Diaz character far too sympathetic, and the Toni Collette role far too shrill. Plus, the dog walking storyline was very important in the book, and made the rest of it make more sense, than in the movie. The movie kind of glossed over it.

3. Had you read the book before seeing the movie, and did that make a difference? (Personally, all other things being equal, I usually prefer whichever I was introduced to first.)
With very few exceptions, I like the books better. Sometimes, like with Circle of Friends, I think of them as separate entities. Certain things have to be dropped for a movie, but, when done well, it can be rather seamless. This doesn't happen that often. The first Bridget Jones is one where I liked the movie better, because in the book she is really someone I want to smack.

10 July 2007


I am currently hosting my first houseguest. She is a friend of my brother's (and now, my friend, too), here from Australia.

I have lived alone for the past four or so years, so having someone else in the house is kind of new to me. She is a fantastic guest, keeping things neat, helping me with the dog, being generally a nice person.

What has been cool is that she wants to see things, so it makes me have to go out at night after work. This is a good thing, since usually I just hang out at home after work. Last night we went down to Fisherman's Wharf, which I usually avoid like the plague, to get In 'N Out. Most of the tourists must have been out at the Home Run Derby, because it was a pretty quiet night down there. It was great walking around, and nice to see all the beautiful views that area affords.

Tonight we went to this Mexican Restaurant in the Outer Mission. My friend had gone through a recent "Best of San Francisco" edition of a local newspaper and picked out a bunch of things she'd like to see, and this restaurant was one of them. Playa Azul is a Mexican seafood restaurant and a mariachi band plays there every night. The food was pretty good...although I wish I could eat seafood because the selections on that part of the menu looked really yummy.

Wednesday Answers

This one is coming from Loaded Questions...

Hypotheticals: If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
My life...although that may be boring. I think I would do a bunch of short stories, which are all somehow interrelated. How? I am not sure.

Anything Goes: What three food items would combine to make the most disgusting concoction ever?
Liver pate, fish, pickle relish

No-Brainers: What is your favorite time of the day?
The morning when I am walking my dog.

Personals: On a scale from one to ten, how would you rate your health?

05 July 2007

Thursday Answers

Hypotheticals: If you could only work on one body part at the gym, what would it be?
My triceps

Anything Goes: Use one adjective to describe the game of baseball?

No-Brainers: What would you like to know more about?
What happens when we die

Personals: What is the last movie that made your eyes tear up?
Paris, Je T'aime

From Loaded Questions Meme.

04 July 2007

Wednesday Answers

I am going to try a new thing here on my blog...a weekly/daily/as I feel like it meme.

This one comes from Booking Through Thursday:

What’s the most desperate thing you’ve read because it was the only available reading material?
If it was longer than a cereal box or an advertisement, did it turn out to be worth your while?

When I was in Argentina, I found it incredibly difficult to find books in English. Those that I could find were pretty expensive. Finally I found an 8$ book on the history of Argentina.

It was definitely longer than a cereal box, and it was kind of worth my while. It was obviously written by a non-native speaker of English, and someone who really loved his country. It was pretty light and fluffy, but did make me interested in learning more Argentinian history.

Those Were the Days...

In today's age of TiVo, TiFaux, and other DVRs, is there a such thing as appointment TV? With all the spoilers going around about every show, are there any surprises left?

I am sitting here watching old episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 (yes, I know...I am not ashamed), and it brought be back to the days when it originally aired. This, for me, was appointment television. Each week, we'd rush home to make sure we were there when the show was on. We would park right in front of the TV, waiting anxiously for the show to start. Kids at school talked about it like the characters were real people. Once in a while, you "heard" things about where the plot was going, but nothing could really be confirmed.

Looking back, it was fun. This excitement last throughout high school through college, when Melrose Place and Party of Five were added to the schedule (I specifically remember that I was watching the season finale of Melrose Place, it must have been season 2 or so, when I got the news that my grandma had passed away).

If we weren't going to be home, we'd set the VCR and hope it worked. Often it didn't, and we were left to wait for a friend to finish watching her tape, or until they reran it.

How things have changed. I am not worried about being home for any show, even the ones I love and are time-sensitive (like The Amazing Race). I simply set the Tivo, and know that it will work, and that it will find a rerun if there is a conflict. Or, if I fail to do that, I can get on the Internet and either find out what happened, download the episode from the network site, or go to YouTube for highlights.

Were those simpler times? Because there were these "appointments," we were forced to stop and relax for a few minutes. There was no email to check, no chat boards to catch up on, no spoilers to go read to see what will happen next week. Sometimes I miss those days.

03 July 2007

Concert for Diana

A few months back (maybe more than a few now), when tickets for the Princess Diana Birthday Extravaganza went on sale, I wanted one. The idea of royalty fascinates me, not just from a "what would it like to be a princess" perspective, but a "wow, these are real people" perspective. Diana was no exception...how a little girl becomes a princess, and the reality of what that means, to someone who used her celebrity to forward some important causes...this was all amazing to me.

It is incredible that her sons chose to honor her in this way. The monarchy in the UK seems to hang in a tenuous balance, and it is important for their survival that they get in touch with modern society. What better way to do this, and to celebrate a life, than a huge concert where the proceeds go to several charities.

I am partial to festival-type concerts, allowing the audience to be exposed to several different artists in one fell swoop. I came into this one (from the comfort of my living room) about the 3rd or 4th act in. I loved it!

They kept the acts moving, putting some on a large stage and those who could on a smaller stage, so there were very few gaps. They mixed it up with older artists and new modern artists. Take That, who was, if I recall correctly, the British version of N'Sync, has made a comeback, but they played their schmaltzy ballad, "Back for Good." This was fantastic. It is one of those songs you know, but don't want anyone to know you know, but when it's on, you can't help singing with it. But, you're not alone, because everyone else knows it, too. The band seems to know that, too, and just had fun singing it.

Ricky Gervais was also a highlight...poking fun at the young royals in a way that was funny, but not mean-spirited. He revived one of the great television characters of all time, David Brent, and along with sidekick Gareth, sang a lovely hymn.

This was a fun show to watch. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and was able to keep in mind that this was not a memorial, but a celebration of a life cut tragically short.

PPP Blog Roll

I am not a mom, but if I were, I would check out MomReviews for lots of good advice.

Randomness Rules over at The Daily Random.

A day in the life...Wonderful.

Check out these two... Just for Today and Debt Free Living.

A little cat wisdom at The Crazy Cat Woman. When you're done, go Quietly Into the Night.

01 July 2007

a mobile we will go

I figured I would test out mobile blogging, so here goes! The blackberry isn't the easiest thing to type on, but I thought I would give it a shot.

It is sunday night, a lovely weekend here in SF. It's like we are really having summer, which makes the case for global warming. I'll take it, though. It does mean, however, that I'll have to get new summer clothes, because I am not prepped for this!