Sunday, December 31, 2006

I love flying


Breakfast in First Class

I really love flying and I suppose it's because my Dad was a pilot - first for the Navy and then for a commercial airline, Delta. Flying doesn't scare me. Turbulence is unsettling, for sure. I enjoy sitting in the Exit row and being asked by the flight attendant if I am able and willing to help. I like thinking I'd do my best to help everyone if something happened.

When I fly Delta, I have some privileges, such as a cheaper fare (they charge by the mile) and being able to sit in First Class if there is availability. The cons that go with that are, I am not guaranteed a seat. I always have to fly stand-by. I missed my High School reunion this year because of that. A foolish move. In some cases it is definitely best to purchase a normal ticket.

I also have to dress up. There is a long list of things you cannot wear on the plane because you represent the airline. I can't wear jeans. I was once denied entry on the plane because I was wearing pedal-pushers, and I looked nice too. I was also asked to remove my jean jacket before I got on a plane in Portland. Another time our family was flying together and my little brother wore a coat and tie. He was only about 9 yrs old, got restless and his shirt became untucked. A crewmember came over to ask my Dad to have my brother tuck his shirt in. My Dad got a little my brother. I wish he would have gotten mad at how ridiculous his airline was.

However the times I do get to sit in FC, I get pretty excited. I look around and wonder if the people around me are super rich, and if so, what do they do for a living? I like getting a hot towel and free cocktails, free movies and extra room. And the food isn't too bad either. When we were little, my brother and I got a little spoiled. We loved the hot fudge sundaes they served to the first class passengers. When our family sat in coach, we were served pecan pie, which looked like it came from a jello mold and we were so jealous when we saw through the curtain - saw the lucky passengers getting their sundaes.

Once when I was in 5th grade we sat near James Brown, rest his wife-beating soul, whose music I love. My Mom pointed out, that is one ugly dude - and she loves his music too. As a sophomore in high school, I sat near Jermaine Jackson, who happened to have a briefcase with his new record album in it. He autographed it and gave it to me. I listen to it all the time. Do you know I'm joking? The big song on that one is "Do What You Do".

My boss tells me JetBlue is pretty awesome to fly on. I hope they expand their routes because they are inexpensive, you get to see movies, and there is more room for the passenger.

Takeoff from BWI on a commuter plane to JFK
Over Colorado on a 7-57
Entering the Bay Area

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Tahoe Christmas

It was one of the best ones ever. Good time with family. Only thing missing was Jay. Bobby really learned how to ski, thanks to Tim and Patrick. Time to pack for Baltimore. Love to everyone.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Frost in San Carlos

Below freezing last night. Have some new flannel sheets that rock. Got in a fight on the phone with my guy this evening, but everything is better now. Went to McDonald's after that. Usually go to McDonald's when I'm a little depressed (always order the "Happy" Meal). Still have to wrap all presents. Better do that now. I work well under pressure.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Quirky, Beloved Baltimore

My boyfriend Jay is from Baltimore, MD. He took these photos a couple of years ago when we were there during the holidays. This area of Baltimore is called Hampden and they are known for their over the top, amazing and quirky light displays. Jay is going back home on Thursday and I hope to meet him there on the 27th, if I can get on a plane. I'll be flying stand-by. Cross your fingers for me, will you? Thanks.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Recipe of the Month


Serves 8 to 10.

1 pound package wide lasagna noodles
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
5 cloves garlic, sliced (or minced garlic in water)
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups fresh spinach, washed
1/2 jar julienne sliced sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
Marinara Sauce (about 3 cups or 1 & 1/2 jars)
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese (shredded)
Parmesan cheese (shredded) to taste

Boil water with salt and add lasagna noodles, one at a time, to the boiling water. Mix occasionally to keep them from sticking to each other. Boil for about 8 minutes until al dente. Lay noodles on aluminum foil to cool.

Mix together ricotta, egg, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Sauté garlic in olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add spinach and sauté for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and chop spinach. Heat oven to 350.

Place a thin layer of marinara sauce on bottom of lasagna pan. Layer noodles, spinach-ricotta mixture (spread relatively thinly), some sun-dried tomatoes and small amount of marinara sauce. Repeat with 2 or 3 layers ending with layer of noodles and marinara sauce. Top off with mozzarella cheese.

Cook covered with aluminum foil in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 10 more minutes. Cut in squares and pass the parmesan cheese. Serve with warm bread and enjoy!

Disclaimer: When I post a recipe, you can be sure I have cooked it on more than 2 occasions, and that it has been served to others with positive feedback.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

An ode to bacon

I sure love bacon. My mom taught me that you can microwave bacon, and that works just fine. I put 4 pieces or so on a dinner plate, with 2 paper towels underneath and 2 on top and cook for about 3 mintues. It depends on how crispy you like your bacon, and how high the temp is on your microwave. The grease gets absorbed in the paper towels.

My friend Lissa introduced me to the most delicous bacon I've ever had. You can find it at Whole Foods. Wellshire Farms - Dry Rubbed Center Cut. It's natural, with no nitrites. Guilt-free bacon eating? Well, almost!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Night in HMB

Stormy in Miramar
Jay under a Jeff Clark surfboard
Bob Welsh, John Nemeth, Robbie Bean - Half Moon Bay Brewery

A little more Christmas spirit

Eucalyptus Ave., San Carlos

I have a little more Christmas spirit, and that is because of my beautiful girlfriends. It really started a few weeks ago, when they surprised me on my birthday with brunch and a gorgeous hand-made book with photos and beautiful writings about our friendship. I thought I could die that day, because I was so happy.

This week I had a good chat on the phone with Lil' Mo, Jay's sister in Baltimore, whom I feel like not only is she a relative, but a true girlfriend. I also chatted with Sush in Ft. Collins and I'm sure I'll catch up with Marns in Portland very soon. Happy Birthday Daisy!

I'm super excited about this weekend, where I'll get to go hiking with Jen-dawg, then a family reunion dinner at Mom's. Sunday morning is coffee, a la Sex and the City - with Jess, Clare and Liss who are leaving their babies behind to get some real girl time in. And it's a surprise for Liss, (who doesn't read this blog) and who lives kind of far and doesn't get to hang with girlfriends often enough. I just can't wait. I love and need all of my girlfriends. Now I'm really feeling Christmas spirit.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How I got a little Christmas spirit

Eucalyptus Ave., San Carlos

I'd been feeling a little down lately and my attempt at a 3-day fast came to a halt tonight (my 2nd day). I realized I didn't need a fast, I needed a pastrami sandwich. I confidently made this decision and high-tailed it over to Max's, which is the only place I know that makes a killer Reuben with turkey pastrami.

After eating half of this delicious sandwich and giving the other half to Jay, I went for a cozy walk where there are some amazing lights on display down the street. I can't resist Christmas lights, they have always made me happy. I am content, in a way I haven't felt in several days.

Monday, November 27, 2006


My family and I lived in Covington, Louisiana from 1978-1986. Covington is a town across the Lake Ponchatrain from New Orleans. I missed my high school reunion this year, but hope to go to NOLA next year to meet with the friends I'd want to see most.

I found this writing in a journal and thought I'd post it. It was from 2004 when I went back for a quick trip with Jay and our friends who live in Houston.

NOLA 9-4-04

I loved going back there. I didn't get too annoyed at the humidity even though sweat was sliding down my back. It felt - the feel of NOLA, the look - the people, felt like part of me I had long forgotten.

It made me happy to be there. I want to take things home - art, food, entire houses on Magazine St. or St. Charles. Weathered faces of old black men, tug at my heart like they did when I lived here.

Plants are lush and evergreen.

The art in House of Blues reminded me of me, and I hope I can focus on that part of who I am as I work on my prints. It is fun and exciting to me and gives me satisfaction and peace - because I don't even care or think about what other people might think about it. That to me, is the secret of art.

Abita beer still tastes like water.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Plants as an inexpensive decorating tool

If spending money could be my hobby, it would be top on my list. But since it can't be my hobby, and since I love decorating, I was happy I remembered something great this past weekend.

I needed something to spruce up my buffet in the dining room. What could it be? That big empty spot on top of it was looming at me. I went to the Home Depot with Jay and wandered into the plant section. Plants are beautiful, inexpensive and easy to care for. Plus, they give us oxygen. I saw the solution for my dining room.

The tropical plant with colorful leaves was $1.67 and the classy little pot was under $10. Not only can you decorate with the plant itself, but you can get creative with choosing the pot! You might have a plant at home that needs a little sprucing up. Maybe it has grown and needs to be repotted into something a little bigger. Wella! A whole new look.

Some folks think they don't have a green thumb, but all I ever do is water my indoor plants once a week and pay attention to their lighting needs. Plus, if you purchase a plant from Home Depot and it dies within a year, you can bring it back and get another one. How cool is that. It's also fun to go on a small adventure to your local nursery because they have more interesting choices, plus it's so peaceful to wander about.

Plants are our friends!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Get a massage

Hello, I am here to tell you something I strongly believe in. Getting a massage is not decadent. It is preventative maintenance and healing. So many women I talk to say that they feel guilty about getting a massage because it is decadent. Just because something feels good does not mean it is decadent.

I could argue that getting a pedicure is decadent because we have the ability to paint our toes ourselves. OK, it is a little difficult and can get a little messy if you don't have a steady hand. But can we rub our backs ourselves? No, we can't!

Is having someone rub our backs necessary? Who doesn't work hard these days? Is there anyone out there who just lays around all day smelling roses? I seriously doubt it. We are hard working at our jobs, as mothers, as wives, partners, good friends. To have assistance with easing the stress or working out knots that have built up in our muscles is good for you.

We should all try to eat healthy food and drink lots of water and exercise, even if it's for a brisk walk. Please add a massage 4 times per year. I usually get one per year so I even need to take my own advice. All you need to do is save roughly $25 a month for 3 months and there you have the massage + tip.

Ask around for who is good. You might like deep tissue or a light touch. Promise you'll get one at least after the holidays.

You deserve it for the well being of your body, soul and mind.

p.s. I believe every woman should have a spa day, but my dear friend Clare reminds me...if you have a special friend to give you a massage at home, well YES! In the words and accent of Borat, "VERY NICE"!

Friday, November 10, 2006

A recommendation for the ladies

Sparkle tank tops, sold at Urban Outfitters. I remember the days when I got the tank tops with the built in bra at the Gap. They were bulky to wear and too short in length. Now when I open my drawer, I have a rainbow of fun colors to choose from to wear under my t-shirts, sweaters and work blouses. (Is there another word I can use besides 'blouse' here)?

- Great length
- Non-noticable shrinkage
- Made of durable yet soft cotton
- Cute!
- Holds up very well through many washings
- Adds warmth while providing a peek of color under your main top
- Tons of colors and I mean tons!

The best part is the price - 2 for $20. If you can get to the store, you'll find some of the colors on sale for $4.99 or $5.99. Or, you can get them online. Shucks, many of the colors are missing get to a store near you, if you can. That way you can play with the Napoleon Dynamite doll while you're in line.

online link: Sparkle Longer Strappy Tank
store locater: Urban Outfitters Store Locater

Monday, November 06, 2006

Turning 38

My Mom's mom, Noni as I called her, told me something when I was 18. She hoped I'd have a nice date take me to the Top of the Mark, as her husband used to take her on dates way back in the day. For many years afterwards, I did not feel sophisticated enough to even try going on a date there. On the other hand, maybe it says a little something about my dates that they did not take me to places like that. I was a bit of a hippie; people used to tell me I should have grown up in the 60's.

Well I think I'm sophisticated enough now and what does it matter, I want her wish for me to come true. So since it is on my birthday that I get to do whatever I want, I will be turning 38 at the Top of the Mark Hopkins with Jay this year. We will get dressed up and go next Saturday evening. We'll toast at midnight and have a kiss and a dance. And that will be a perfect and meaningful way to spend my birthday this year. Yes 20 years later, I have waited for the perfect date to go with.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Halloween Candy

Damn these Whoppers! I have a milk quart sized box of Whoppers here at work and I keep eating them. I actually put them on the desk of the person across from me, but he's not here. And all I have to do is stand up to get them. Duh. Oooo this reminds me of a good story from a woman I deeply admire. Are you ready? She wanted to stop eating a bag of potato chips so she peed in them! Perhaps I could contaminate these Whoppers with a bunch of salt!

Today I went for the lamest run I've probably ever done. I wonder if I have OCD sometimes. Before leaving the house at 6:40am to go on my run, I first decided that I had to put some laundry in the washer. Then I decided I had to put away one utensil from my dishrack into its drawer. Then I had to fold a blanket that was on my bed and put it on the couch. Then I didn't like how it was folded so I did it again. Now, it's 6:50am and I finally left the house.

It rained on me. I didn't run to the best of my ability. I got to a street that has a view of the bay and I stopped for a long time to marvel at it. I was going to run on another street after that, but I saw a man jogging on it and decided I wanted to be alone. So I ran home instead.

Perhaps I just don't have direction now that I've run the half-marathon.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Willie Movie


One of the things I'd like to do with my little blog, is something that I love to do in person. That is, tell people about something or someone I love! In future postings, I'll probably extol the virtues of Smith's Rosebud Salve and Aerosoles but for now, let's take a look at photography.

The name is Watson - Jay Watson. He is an ultra-talented photographer who happens to know how to train squirrels. He's like a young Johnny Cash singing in front of Sam Phillips and his future is bright.

Also, I love him.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I did it for the bling

"I did it for the bling" and "I did it for the chocolate" - two captions I saw on the back of t-shirts worn by groups of girls at the Nike Women's Marathon SF. When you sign up for the full or half-marathons, you pay $85 which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - $16 million was raised from this race. That's the best part.

The other excellent parts are the views of the Golden Gate Bridge running through the Presidio and the bagpipes at mile 11. Then at mile 12, they hand out Ghiradelli chocolates. When you finish, either at 13.2 miles (me) or 26 miles (other amazing women) there are men dressed in tuxedos that hand you 'the little blue box' with this inside:

However nothing compared to hearing Jess Nichols cheer me on at the end, and crossing the finish line with Jenni Adair.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Willie is a squirrel. Not just any squirrel. I'm going to sound cheesy right now, but we treat her kind of like a baby - and we can't wait to show her to our guests.

We discovered her in our backyard in the Spring. We saw that she came day after day, so we named her. Once she got closer to us and we found out she was a girl (the teets, ok!) we rationalized that 'Willie' could be short for Willemina.

One day, we went to four different stores looking for peanuts for her. Four. That is no exaggeration. We started putting the peanuts on our patio, so we could watch her from the sliding glass door in our kitchen.

Jay, who has the patience of a Saint, was determined to get her to take a peanut from his hand. I wasn't so sure he could do that, but eventually he did. The next stage was coaxing Willie into the kitchen, then onto the couch in the kitchen. The real feat was when Jay got Willie to eat a peanut from his lap - twice. During the first few months of all this, each morning one of us would get up to make coffee and yell excitedly to the other, "Wille is here"!

We were so happy to play the peanut game with her that sometimes Jay missed the train and I was a little later to work than I meant to be.

A few months ago, she stopped coming around. We were very sad. I told Jay, "Maybe she fell in love". But she is back and cuter than ever! The other day she came into the house and got on our piano! And this morning, I was outside watering and called her name, and she ran towards me. Until we have our own baby, Willie is it.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Two years ago, I thought I'd never want to be a runner. It just seemed like something I'd hate, even though my Dad enjoys it. Over the last five years, I had gotten interested in surfing and cycling - purchasing my own Klein bike with a bonus, and trading a sweet TV and DVD player for an 8-ft. board. I liked these sports and put some time into them.

I'd have daydreams that all I needed in life was a pair of great jeans, a cool shirt, a beautiful necklace, long-flowing hair, a guitar, an old convertible cadillac, a surfboard, and a bike. I liked the idea of simplifying things. One day I thought, running is probably the most simple sport there is, in terms of what you need. You can do it anywhere, any time. All you need are the shoes. I think that's what got me started.

I thought trail runs would be a cool way to go because of the nature aspect and the softer ground. I was right.

My girlfriend Jenni and I have been training at 6AM on Mondays and Wednesdays, for a Half Marathon in SF soon. In preparation for this big event, I signed up for a 10.5 mile race in Big Basin, which is my third trail race.

Big Basin is California's very first National Park. It is a beautiful park with lots of big redwoods, and although you feel like you've gone to the middle of the earth, it is only one hour from many places in the Bay Area.

Yesterday's race was the hardest run I've done, not only because it was it the farthest I've run, but there were a lot of tough situations - mainly the climbing. We ran up and alongside steep waterfalls, ran uphill for what seemed like forever, got stung by some angry bees at mile 5 (behind my ear - ouch!), and just the constant navigation of tree roots, rocks and tight spaces. My legs are completely sore right now.

But I did have fun, and I'm proud of myself. I even got a 2nd place medal, for being 2nd in my age group.

I thought I'd never want to do a marathon, mostly because I didn't believe I'd ever be able to. But because I feel good about yesterday's run, I'm contemplating signing up for the Big Sur Marathon in April, 2007.

I'd need to keep up and increase my training over the winter. A wonderful movie that I saw the night before Big Basin, will be one of the sources of my inspiration. It's called "Saint Ralph" and I'd recommend it to anyone, as my Dad had recommended it to me.

And now, I will hobble away from my computer.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm amused

My ears are tuned in to the jazz on the radio in the kitchen, which is in perfect stereo with the sounds from the TV in the living room. The living room is where Jay is now. He is watching one of his favorite rare indulgences that I only recently just learned about - men selling knives. This is like QVC, but all they sell are knives. The voice emanating from the TV is very hyped up, very excited, very aggressive. "YOU COULD BUY ALL FIVE OF THESE FOR WHAT YOU SHOULD BUY ONE OF THESE FOR - ALL FIVE".

I walked quietly down the hallway and peeked around the corner. I could only see Jay's feet in his blue and red cycling socks, resting on the ottoman. I felt some sort of amusement and happiness. The floor creaked as I walked back to the office, and I heard him change the channel.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Soon after Jay and I moved in to the nice, green house 9 months ago, I started thinking about chickens. I got books in the library about how to raise chickens in your backyard. I'm hoping we really get one or even two. I'd like the eggs, the entertainment, and perhaps the friendship of a chicken. Gosh that sounds funny. But there's a story my mom recently told me about her parents.

Her father was an accountant. During the depression, he was asked to trade his accounting services for a chicken, which he did because he was a good man. He brought the chicken home and my grandmother put her in the cellar. They planned to cook the chicken the next weekend. Every evening my Papa came home, the chicken ran to greet him. When it came time, my grandmother killed the chicken, plucked it and cooked it. They were ready for their feast, which would have been a real treat during the depression. They sat at the table and stared at that chicken that had become attached to my Papa, and they cried. They couldn't eat it.

I have a sweet, 85-pg. book to recommend to anyone who has it in their library. It's called My Fine Feathered Friend, by William Grimes, a restaurant critic for the New York Times. It's a true tale of a black chicken who mysteriously found her way into the Grimes' backyard in Queens, and how it won their hearts. Here is an excerpt:

It was nice to know that the Chicken could eat anything , but I still didn't feel right about the cat food. I started looking for advice on the ideal diet, but in New York, it turned out, chicken knowledge is hard to come by. The bird specialist at Petco said, "We have birdseed for specific kinds of bird, but because the chicken is not a specific bird, we don't have any specific food". That stopped me cold. It's specifically a chicken, I wanted to say.

Should Jay and I end up getting a chicken this Fall, I will post a bit of the adventure.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Surfing: The perfect antithesis to working in an office

I am always concerned about the amount of time I spend sitting in a chair staring at a computer. I have made several visits to a chiropractor to help with shoulders that have started to hunch forward. I have gained unneccessary weight due to the sitting (uh, and laziness when I get home), and I hate the lack of fresh air.

I went surfing on Sunday. I noticed how great I felt arching my back on the board, stretching my arms to their full capacity while paddling, feeling cold water running through my hands, and generally grinning the entire time. I realized that this was the perfect antithesis to working in an office.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A New Treat

I love snowcones and today, I ate a raspado for the first time. They make them down the street from where I work in Redwood City, at a place called "Sweet Stop". Raspados are from Mexico and they consist of shaved ice, a layer of fresh fruit syrup, another layer of ice and a topping of more fresh fruit syrup...with condensed milk drizzled on top. Mine was raspberry and mango. I couldn't believe how good it was.

This is my brother: