Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Travel year in review -- in pictures

Travel year in review.

Miles flown --- 91K.
Miles flown on average the last seven years -- 150K.

Not bad, not good, but just enough.
Miles redeemed for awards --- 260K
Money saved by redeeming -- 30K

Best trip -- Southern France in March - landscape, food, company, weather
A trip I would rather not repeat - a six hour delay to Kauai in February which basically sucked the life blood out of a short trip
Most memorable trip - Greenland, as if.

Best Hotel stay -- Versailles - March - Marie Antoinette's sheep! Versailles by myself!
Second best -- Four Seasons Lanai - The Lodge -- croquet anyone?
Third Best -- Camp Eqi - facing the glacier - Greenland - glacier, glacier, glacier?

One that we would never wish to repeat -- November, Westin Seattle
Another one -- The Youth Hostel - Ilulissat Greenland

Best Flight -- BA F to London, CPH and back - definitely worth the price of admission
Crap Flight -- Hmm, let me count the ways --- waiting for Air Iceland Nuuk - Rekyavik, Seattle to Lihue with major delays, anything over two hours that wasn't in seat 1A.

Best food experiences -- too many here - New Orleans, lurchery breakfasts, Ducasse in France, Roman trattorias, anything that involved a ripe papaya, anything at home or with friends

Trips planned for 2009 -- nothing major so far -- babies, weddings, work, economy and what not.

Butte, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Boulder, Berkeley, Portland, Kailua-Kona, and Lanai are pretty much happening. Oh yeah, Paris at the end of February, thanks TH!

So, what are your favorite trips or travel experiences of 2008?

nm holder of various pieces of plastic that make me feel entitled

Sunday, December 28, 2008

All it takes is emptying your kitchen to do a remodeling job to realize that there are things you haven't seen in 17 years, but they have such sentimental value that you can't bear to get rid of them.

What do you do?

I guess you move them forward and enjoy them.

I will be drinking from venetian glass purchased in Rome ca. 1995 and supping on
plates from the 1930's and worth a mint for the next few months. Yesterday, I relived trips numerous trips to Italy; my last serious relationship and the ensuing breakup spending spree; TH's father's lovely Christmas gifts; cafe au lait bowls purchased in France and wrapping the Portmeirion pottery I purchased piece by piece as a starving student and brought back in my luggage from London.

Ernest is back, ringing, I have a pizza in the oven, TH has lamb chops from Oxboro to supp on.

Life, though packed in boxes and stacked in the main floor bathroom , is good.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008


height of decadence

I can't say it enough.

May your days be cheery and bright.

TH and I spent the day making sure my parents had yogurt, bread and ham. The ham is something that is new to them. We'll see if we can get to it tomorrow. The plan is to meet at their house and try and do something festive with some friends and family.

If only the weather would cooperate.

Last night, a few of us gathered to feast. Bravely our guests trudged through rutted streets with varied tire gauges. It was a good and needed thing. Everyone had tired of their walls, their spouses and their freezers, we all needed a break.

Today driving around felt like we were taking a land rover through the Kalahari. I have never really had an appreciation for AWD until this week. Tonight, with all the water on top of the slush and ice proved to be challenging, but doable.

My parents have felt completely trapped this past week. I'm not sure if its lacking the confidence and sure footedness of their youth or twelve years in the 92037 that have made them so timid. All my mom wanted to do today was to go Christmas shopping and to see others excited. All her paranoid daughter could anticipate was her slipping on the slush in the parking lot or on the variable yet, urbanely planned slick surfaces of the pedestrianized retail experience.

As the weather abates, I will try and take her out, braving the crazed post-Christmas shoppers, but only if its dry and over 42 degrees.

Its been hard to watch the be cooped up, at least my mom has a sense of humor about the whole thing. My dad, as much as he's happy to be with his kids etc., misses the warmth of Southern California. I remind him of the wildfires, the smog and republicans and he nods and then sighs at the weather map.

At least he's regained his appreciation of polarfleece jackets and my mom has two new down vests on order, they are de rigeur for this climate.

According to the Norad reports, Santa just stopped by the 98105. I better wrap this up and make sure the milk is at a temperature to his liking. Things are a bit difficult since we removed the wood stove. He leaves his presents on the front porch and I better check that the dog gate is pulled back, I wouldn't want him to trip and hurt himself.

nm happier this holiday than many others

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

arrested delivery

Happy Christmas to me.

December 22, 2008 05:56:00 AM REDMOND WA US Arrival Scan
December 19, 2008 06:30:00 PM REDMOND WA US Arrival Scan
December 18, 2008 05:53:00 AM REDMOND WA US Arrival Scan
December 18, 2008 04:27:00 AM REDMOND WA US Arrival Scan
December 18, 2008 03:53:00 AM SEATTLE WA US Departure Scan
December 18, 2008 12:46:00 AM SEATTLE WA US Arrival Scan
December 17, 2008 06:36:00 PM PORTLAND OR US Departure Scan
December 17, 2008 03:04:00 PM PORTLAND OR US Arrival Scan
December 16, 2008 10:50:00 PM SPARKS NV US Departure Scan
December 16, 2008 05:00:02 PM US Shipment has left seller facility and
is in transit
December 16, 2008 04:33:00 PM SPARKS NV US Shipment received by carrier

On truck, returned to truck, never to be seen again.

On the other hand, I used B&N pick up in store option for later. Much more satisfying.

Local retailers are doing great thanks to the shit weather. A toy store and some twee furniture stores are the closest to us, so very little use to either of us. Maybe if we needed a recovered empire style chair or legos.

Alas and alack, I burned TH's croissants.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I have lots of very important things to say, but really, it is getting too late and I'm tired.

I have very little motivation to do the things that I need to feel like the holidays are complete. I have a few presents to wrap and those last minute things are not going to be here by Wednesday. I guess we'll be having 12 nights of giving chez nm.

So, after dinner we created the first of four things I have committed to make for Christmas. One recipe I followed to the T and the other I hacked.

Both look mighty tasty.

I'm waiting for sexy whipping pictures to upload to flickr.

Be patient.

Tomorrow is a work day, the roads are treacherous, but we're still to report in.

Should be tons of fun.

nm slip sliding away

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday wrap up

Cabin fever sets in
U vill for sheer entertainment and exercise
Green chile stew thanks to N, M and I
Eggy crumpets for breakfast a al Kerri
lots of snow shoveling
Incredible levels of sloth all around
Remembrances of last year's rudolph ramble in the same amount of snow and 16 F!
Negotiations for the release of Ernest for technology
Wondering if the snow will ever abate
Realizing that tomorrow is an adult snow day, but there are piles of work to be done
Wishing and hoping that friends make it home wherever that is
Stay warm and dry people

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Friday, December 19, 2008

A snowstorm paralyzes Seattle, however at our local grocery store yogurt cups, milk and string cheese is still on the shelves.

Have my friends' kids moved onto goat cheese, hummous, pita and beer?

I sit here with a nice cold courtesy oh the TH, a dentist appointment at 9 am, lunch at a lovely restaurant that I fear has a windy road or major hill as obstacles and a crap load of work to do.

Ernest is three mountain passes with traction devices required and a wind storm to contend with. Hold tight bud, you may be spending Xmas with your bio family.

Yeah, I am whining.

I have plenty of food, electricity, a warm house, clothing, the ability to drive a AWD vehicle if I choose to. I also have great restaurants and local diversions if I get really get bored.

Others are not so lucky. The merchants who had a crap last weekend because of the snow, those who have to be at work or do not have the option of telecommuting, or those who can't get adequate amounts of food or shelter..

Reach out to your circle of friends -- wait go even further and check with your neighbors and see if everyone is okay. Sweep or shovel past your house if you need a diversion, it is the neighborly thing to do.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Right where was I?

London, Brussels, selective amnesia about flying through JFK, flight delays, work issues while traveling and football hooligans on my Eurostar train.

Honestly, why can't I remember the good things ....

Staying at Tigh Gadhar and the love of the lurcher, meeting RedSnapper, TH finally meeting the SUMDs and Kerri, Pat and Brian.
A lovely short ride to Oxford and a nice visit with Heather. These are precious moments dear ones.
Watching the elegantly dressed entering the Dorchester, the Hilton and other lovely hotels on Park Lane on our way to our own hotel.
A nice suite waiting for us at the Park Lane with a view of St. James Park.
Finally finding dinner at a old favorite after being skunked at three places on Thursday night.
Provisioning for Christmas and having a great time doing it, before the crowds really started.
Walking from Park Lane to Westbourne Grove to lunch and walking by my brief childhood home.
Window shopping at the posh shops.
Buying my future niece/nephew their first bear (nom, nom, nom).
Dinner with the aunties - always a pleasure.
Realizing that in 2 and a half hours one can be in Brussels from London.
Chocolate shopping in Brussels.
Finding a new and cheap restaurant in Brussels that does not involve moules and frites.
The Galleries St. Hubert in all its glory.
Napping on the way home.
Seeing a childhood friend at JFK.
Knowing that our house was taken care of by our amazing neighbors who protected our plants from the exceedingly cold weather.

I'm happy to be home, no jet lag, back in the swing of things even at work -- probably more out of fear of deadlines than anything. No travel for two weeks and then it seems every two weeks after that for the next three months. As much as I try, it doesn't seem to abate -- weddings, vacation, work trips are part of the package. I am just learning to roll with the punches here.

As for the festive period -- We have a tree, lights, cookies, a pudding, egg nog, cards to write and something to be joyful about.

We hope to pick up the boy this weekend, cross your fingers the weather improves or we may not see him until after Christmas.


Friday, December 12, 2008


Christmas provisioning
Lunch at Hereford Road
Wandering around Westbourne grove
Dinner with the aunties
Chavs on the tube
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Thursday, December 11, 2008


Eggy crumpets
Fast train
Moules and fish pie
Catching up
Slow ride into london
Walking around window shopping
Skunked for dinner
Suitable substitution realized
Sleep not happening
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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

When did travel become so bleah?

We have a nearly four hour layover in Chicago. Its really no big deal, but the last time I flew through Chicago was in January.

Its the first time I have flown on American since I self demoted to their mid tier. I am even putting these miles on my Alaska account to save me a flight in vain later this month.

For someone who used to calculate their status mileage to the last mile, things have changed.

With fewer expectations, I am less likely to be disappointed.

It will be the first time in over a year I have seen my aunties and TH's auntie. You don't get these chances all the time so we take them when we can.

We are also travelling in a time when the dollar is stronger. Fear not, I will not be hitting the boutiques on New Bond Street or Avenue Louise, but we are endeavouring to use cash we have on hand instead of paying international fees on our credit cards.

I will post as I can, don't get too excited. I am planning on hitting hamley's for a present for our new arrival and for me that is one of the coolest things that I get to do this year!

Lots of deicing going on here -- cross your fingers


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Monday, December 08, 2008

Hi bye

Leaving, busy, busy, busy.

See you all from somewhere else if I get packing done.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


I need a pedicure.

Long day, emergency meeting with emergency managers, much driving, good conversations, good lecture, good dinner.

I'm pooped.

I cannot fathom that this time next week I'll be in London.

JK -- do some groundwork for me. I'm sorry that we are not there at the same time, pish posh on work travel restrictions.



Tuesday, December 02, 2008


JK wants me to spend some dosh to keep the economy going and make sure she can retire. While her job is not tied to the manufacturing sector or retail, she wants me to help her retirement account by making the consumer confidence index soar and make you all buy more stocks.


Imagine if we had this conversation last year.

I took her up on the challenge. I bought a new tv (first one in 25 years), some cables for the tv, two dvds, some dog food, a few Christmas odds and bobs and groceries. That alone wiped me out...not so much financially, but mentally.

Tonight I plopped my credit card down three times to buy gifts. Really peeps, I should have gone to the cash machine and taken out the cash, it would have made it more real. I don't think I would have spent any more or less, I just would have felt it sooner.

I was emailing a girlfriend today who bemoaned not having any money -- on one level she doesn't have the expendable income she had before, but on the other hand she drives a nice car and lives in a pretty magnificent house and has seen no cut in pay.

How long before her kids realize that things are not so hot out there?

I remember the recession of early 80s. For the first time my parents really cut things back. We turned the heat down in our house and bundled into one room (our rec room) for eating, showering and hanging out. My mom would get up and make dinner with a coat on and honestly, it was pretty pathetic if you think about it. We lived a very affluent lifestyle, but my parents were worried about high heat bills and not spending more than we needed to. To this day, I would rather put on a sweater than turn the heat up past 60 degrees.

While I'm hoping this downturn doesn't last too long and do worry about my friends who small businesses, I am hoping that a few kids out there will not walk past a penny, learn to put on a sweater and squeeze the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube from now on.

Monday, December 01, 2008

heart stopping

Jaw dropping -all in a days work.

The market needs some mood stabilizers. We need to get our heads out of asses, our troops out of Iraq and Bush should just resign right now.

pissed and no where done with it


Sunday, November 30, 2008


Thank goodness for the end of the month.

Nothing to say.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Seven channels of television and nothing to watch.

Just saying.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

To ponder

I thought that a 40 in television would be puny. A 32 inch is ginormous in the space deemed appropiate for its entry into the house with no microwave. So alas back to the local purveyor of such goods to find a suitable substitute for such a luxury.

Just so you all know in the brave new world of consumer durables batteries are included but the 200 dollars worth of cables, gold plated hookup cables are not.

Nm causing citibank early detection fraud office some grief today
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Thursday, November 27, 2008


The yearly post, skip if you don't like sap.

My mom is healthy and disease free.
My father continues to thrive and drive my mother nuts.
My brother has found his dear soul mate and we cannot be more pleased to add her to the family.
Babies have entered our lives from every angle and are healthy and thriving and bring us hope.
Ernest continues to make us laugh.
My legs have taken me at least a thousand miles this year and that is a feat into itself.
TH remains my anchor and for that I am thankful.
We still have a roof over our heads, money in the bank and the freedom to travel.
The people spoke, voted and listened with their minds and their hearts and picked a new president.
My friends remain true, happy and always there when I need them and I would do the same for them.
I have connected with childhood friends and that makes me very happy.
My parents are nearby and while they do not need me, I am thrilled to have them within the same neighborhood.
I wake up every morning realizing that I am alive, healthy and living a life that I made for myself without a gun to my head or social stricture that narrowly defines my role.

For all this and more I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vive la republique!

Two things to note -- Banana Republic has marked a crap load of merchandise including coats and denim 40 percent off, how stimulating.

It is astoundingly easy to find seat availability to Paris in early March. Too late for sales, but timed just right with the end of the Brussels chocolate.

Okay, four things. I really will start blogging via the computer soon. I am so freaking tired when I get home the last thing I want to do is stare at a screen.

Fourth -- Friday marks the beginning of march of the Christmas cookie love fest. 15 or so batches lovingly made in the next week. Yikes.

Must dash, fifi requires my attention.

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Monday, November 24, 2008


Work buy dog walks sunny dahlia lounge joan baez bliss

Night night
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday wrap up

roman rooftops
sun, brunch, laugh, nap, visit, dinner, collapse

Really, that was it. Much deserved, much appreciated.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The grocery store the weekend before Thanksgiving is not for sissies.

Just sayin'

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Friday, November 21, 2008


summer seems so far away

Am I the only person in the world that has not heard of Twilight?

Am I the only person in the world that does not understand the draw of Radiohead?

Am I the only person in the world that believes that one should make gravy the day before Thanksgiving?

Okay, now that is off my chest, I'm bidding you all good night. Tomorrow should be a long day and I'm ready to nod off.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

i need to take some more pictures
Today in my first meeting of the day we were talking about social networking application in relation to projects that my organization uses for public outreach. Not only blogs, but facebook, youtube and twitter. Imagine -- updating your twitter to tell your constituent/data users that there is a new cruise's worth of bottle data available for their viewing or that you have updated the most recent model runs with last year's climatologies reanalyzed the way a MBA massaged the derivative markets in the last five years.

In some cases, I'm seeing amazing uses for some of these outlets. As long as you don't get sucked into them as a vortex that causes you amnesia and makes you forget why you started looking on the tubes of the internets in the first place. My guess is not to search the latest sourceforge.net site for some library or API you might need to make the widget work better. ;)

Sending a text message about an update to a forecast might get more attention than the 100th reply all that is sent to a large newsgroup that should have just been addressed to the original poster. Linking with someone on linkedin.com and then recommending some connection who might have skills you need is also useful. I'm not a big facebook fan, but I'm sure there must be some reason that you would have a facebook page featuring marine protected areas, but I'm not sure quite why.

Hey, these days nothing shocks me.

signing off the tubes, they are filling with smoke as we speak.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good things

A seven pound box of jules destrooper biscuits and cote d'or goodies from Antwerp via Berkeley arriving on your doorstep.

Waking up at 4 am to pill a sleepy dog and have you TH offer to do it.

A chocolate cake with mocha buttercream frosting and a glass of cold milk.

Finding a dress three months before a wedding that all your friends and your mother agree on.

Having your basset sit on you feet while snoring quietly.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

persimmon solo

I have nothing witty to say today. I'm putting off canning quince preserves, making turkey stock and ironing a bunch of shirts.

It must have been all that sunshine that alluded us yesterday and showed up today to taunt us.

I was more than happy to come home at lunch and take the dog for a walk. I wanted so badly to find a sun patch and lounge for an hour. I did take my sweet time getting back -- running a few errands along the way to postpone the afternoon in front of this infernal machine.

In the fall and winter, I marvel at the kids I see walking to school in their shorts. We take advantage of even the weakest sun here in the 98105 to absorb any vitamin D. Today I did the same --- skirt with bare legs -- it appears that those hours sitting and reading in Lanai revived the little tan I procured this summer. I will milk it and enjoy it while I can because jeans and slacks are soon on the way.

I did draw the line at footwear. I have retired my flip flops until the temperature reaches 70 degrees, I do have my standards.

I am currently plotting another trip to Kauai. I'm not sure when (probably in mid April) and not at a resort, but maybe where there were old Plantation cottages with croquet grounds. All sorts of new and restrictive frequent flyer rules go into effect soon and I want to make sure that I get all my tickets in a row before I lose my favorite award redemptions.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

squash redux 2

Erm, I have consumer lust.

I am trying to contain it.

I may have to succumb.

Well, only with free shipping and another 300 dollars off and all that other good stuff and after I review my spending plan for the next quarter.

TH and I watched a bunch of movies when we were in Lanai. Really, there is absolutely nothing do there after the sun sets other than go to dinner or play canasta. I fell in love with a tv. I, who rarely watches any tv, but is now impressed with the clarity of Matt Damon's sweaty pecs on a 42" LCD HD tv.

Listen, I didn't even turn the puppy on to see what the regular stations looked like, I just want to watch Flight of the Conchords in living color.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

fall bulbs, cyclamen II

Today was an amazingly sunny and warm day, the kind that makes you check the calendar to really make sure it is the middle of November. Sixty degrees means gardening in short-sleeves, laundry that dries on the line, and prolonged bulb planting sessions that don't make your knees ache.

TH and I ran errands this morning -getting ready for Thanksgiving feasts and the days between those feasts. We purchased cranberries, potatoes, celery, carrots, brussel sprouts and chanterelles to be used for stuffing, dressings and chutneys. Blackberries, rhubarb, raspberries picked from the garden will be used for desserts. Hubbard squash and apple sauce will also appear on the table, whether I like them or not, they are standard fare and every year they disappear.

This year, our family has a lot to be thankful for -- marriages to happen, new life added to the family and more on the way, good health for all of us and hope, even among all the bad economic news that things are going to improve.

The next few weeks are going to be hectic. Work is ramping up with new projects, TH is swamped, yet more travel and the holidays are creeping up. I cannot believe how fast the year has gone by at times.

I hope things can slow down enough tomorrow that I can savor every moment in the warming autumn sun.


Friday, November 14, 2008

recession, what recession?

I will admit that we're all a bit on the edge about the economy. I hope this is what is contributing to my eight tums a day habit.

If you were to walk into a hip Seattle eatery on a Thursday night, you would be hard pressed to believe that we're in trouble peeps.

A couple of weeks ago, I ate at Poppy, Jerry Traunfeld's new place. While the food was good, the service was atrocious, the setting bland and cheap looking and the meal was expensive. The place was packed with hipsters galore and they just keep on coming.

Allen Wong's in Honolulu -- packed.

Barolo last night - at 8:30 -- packed, so packed that we came in and turned right back out and went to the Dahlia Lounge instead and still had to wait.

Tonight (I know, this is bad) , we got to Pair at 5:20 pm. We were one of the first people seated - by 6 pm, the resto was 3/4 full, by the time we left --7:30 pm it was packed.

None of these places would be considered inexpensive and my guess is that most of the people eating didn't save up their pennies for a once a month splurge. These are regular restaurant goers and they are still going in droves.

Maybe its because some of us are seeing the recession differently... I'm not so much hurt on a day to day level, but all the money we have carefully put away is dwindling away. Its not a bad place to be in comparison to many others. However, at times I feel guilty as heck for not staying home and eating rice and beans.

For some, grabbing dinner out is just sustenance and fuel. I believe these days, some of us are going out to dine finely only to be reassured by seeing others out enjoying a meal and not so much drowning our sorrows, but shoving them to the side to enjoy a fennel salad or a perfectly cooked veal chop and enjoy being entertained and being entertaining.

vip diner -- opentable.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

getting better rice grain by rice grain

Dang, I'm tired.

4 am dog stomach coating sessions are really overrated.

The patient is much better.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nothing sucks more than trying to figure out what is wrong with your
tiny dog
This seriously sucks, but his grandmere has provided him with freshly poached chicken breast and we are being good dog moms and holding his paw

Poor ernest
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

15 minutes home and
laundry has started
Bag unpacked
Bag put away
Sick Dog walked
Mail sorted
Rice started for sick dog

Vacation is really

a. Over
b. Overrated
c. All of the above
d. None of the above
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Eternity --- five hours in Lahaina without wheels nor a need for a maui tee shirt.

So happy to be back in Lanai where TH and I were treated to a croquet lesson. Sweet.

Tomorrow we schelp back home.

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Here today

Gone to Maui

Lahaina to be more specific
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Croquet with mai tai
Too many people by pool (can't drink at beach)
Bournes 1 and 2 watched

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Friday, November 07, 2008

We are in Lanai surrounded by pine trees and wild turkeys with nary a palm tree nor grass skirt in sight.

The middle of the island is lovely and cool. Approximately 15 degrees cooler than the beach.

I could get used to this.

Tomorrow we head to the beach and then siesta up at the lodge. The Lanai farmers market should be fun and so will walking around the very cute Lanai City.

Later taters
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Diamond head
Sherwood forest
Corner room with views of ocean and diamond head
Alan Wong tasting menu
A mild breeze lulls one to sleep
Aloha sweet dreams
Tomorrow lanai
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes you did

All I have to say is this restored my faith in America.

This is one of the happiest days of my life.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

who let the freaks out

This thread in particular.

Other than that, I am particularly looking forward to a large cup of hot chocolate and cookies and some sort of sleep aid tomorrow night.

If you haven't for some insane reason voted yet, for shits sake, if you don't tomorrow, I will be really pissed, even if you vote a completely republican ticket.

I am seriously amazed that in this day and age, people still just don't vote.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday wrap up

Dog park
Hanging with homies
Dutiful avoidiance of leaf raking and bulb planting
Dvd watching
Quince jam making
Lazy blackberry blogging
Good night
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

as far as the eye could see

Today is the beginning of NaBloPoMo. Really. I promise.to.write.a.post.everyday.this.month.

Even with my desire to drink mai-tais and pretend that the last few months of this wretched back biting hideous makes you feel dirty campaign to pick our next commander-in-chief didn't unfold the way it has.


When we contemplated going away for a few days in November, I considered leaving on election day because well, we would be over the Pacific with absolutely no clue as to what happened for five lovely hours. Then I realized that that would drive me batty. In 2000, we thought we had it in the bag and lost it due to dirty Floridian politics and the election went on forever. It was not a happy time for us, Jacques was deathly ill and we were scared for our lives. We also missed nearly of a week of a ten day vacation to Italy to visit our friends and do some touring. The whole time we were in a haze. Every time we would think something would seem resolved, something else would hurtle us backwards. By the time we got to Rome -- via three I kid you not changes to our tickets (keeping our upgrades the whole way) and a detour to Milan we were nervous wrecks.

This time, it seems that we are nervous wrecks without a sick animal.

So, this Tuesday, I will tele-work so that I can get some uninterrupted writing time. I will shut off wireless so that I do not obsess. I will go to class at 6 pm as usual. What is my waiting around listening to NPR and do other that make me even more anxiety ridden? Our television is black and white, so this whole blue/red thing is not happening for us. I am definitely an aural person these days.

Again, I do not believe anything is sewn up until I see the newspaper headlines that are going to make me scream from the rooftops and cry with joy because we may actually regain a few civil rights and give this country some hope and glory that it desperately needs.

Don't you think so as well?

On Thursday, around 9:40 am, I am planning on drinking my first of many mai-tais -- ushering in good times for a few days in the sunshine and hopefully for the next four years.

If you get what you want -- election-wise what are you planning on doing?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Know someone who is being a bit waffley this election season or just complacent, or just not thinking their vote counts.

Well, get thee to this site and send them a little love note, with apologies to Ernest.

He already voted.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Saturday
I can't say it any better again.

The economy is still in the crapper. I went to the Vill today to pick up something from the pharmacy and decided to wander around. H&M was empty, lucky, Red Mango, Lucy, the Coach store and Victoria Secret, even the freaking Apple Store.

Fear not peeps, I did not go on a spending spree, I just noticed this as I walking by.

Well, okay, I bought a sweater at H&M, seventeen little 'droids on the sales floor and one could not be bothered to help me. I think I'll stick to catalog shopping and Nordstrom, in one case, I don't have to worry about being polite to the sales person. In the other case, I may actually get some customer service.

Gosh, if H&M is what is going to be the first step up the retail ladder to working in some small boutique in Belltown, managing a banana stand or an internship at Lucky Brands, these 'droids have got to learn a thing or two about personal interactions with their customers wielding cash.

nm would you like a belt to go with your hat?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Today I sat with childhood friends to support our incumbent governor and hear Al Gore discuss climate change and how far we need to go to change our lifestyles, our way of thinking and our dependence on fossil fuels. He is a great speaker, and while preaching to a choir of already fiercely democratic voters, I'm sure he enlightened more than one member of the packed room.

Gore also acknowledged a group of scientists that I am affiliated with who are assessing climate change impacts in the Arctic and others who work down the hall from me thatlook at how anthropogenic CO2 affects ocean acidification. My friend who accompanied me to this event, actually did some of this sampling off the West Coast.

Wouldn't it be cool to have your work highlighted?

It was wonderful to listen to a former vice president who understands the impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and necessity for better monitoring and assessment of these problems. Imagine life with a vice president who supports independence on foreign oil by doing more damage to the the Arctic Ecosystem and our near shore environments. I shudder and think and pray that it won't ever happen.

Imagine what we could do if we could start researching alternatives to fossil fuel- algae and other biofuels. We would be integrating biologists, chemists and engineers towards a greater good while solving some basic research issues.

Today I filled my tank up with gas that was under three dollars a gallon. Does the decrease in the price of gas mean that we'll continue our love affair with our car? Does this mean that we'll stop doing the practical and healthy things we have been easing into the last few months -- the carpooling, bike riding, and errand combining? Does this mean that you will get back behind the wheel of your SUV and drive for the sake of driving because dammit you can?

God I hope not.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

giving up/giving in

things from the market

Yesterday I had my lawn mowed and edged for the season. I held off for the whole year, but finally decided it needed doing. Now my lawn looks like it had a bikini wax, the normal, modest kind. Visualize it yourselves.

I hired the dog walker that takes care of Nicki, my neighbor's dog when he's out of town and Ernest's friend, Finnegan. Why? Because I just can't handle leaving work in the middle of the day. For some reason it breaks up my day to no end and Lord knows I am having a hard enough time focusing. So, when TH is gone, Ernest gets to hang with his homies and I get a break.

Giving in -- I am seriously reading too much news of the day and the news is giving me hives.

Giving up - reading too much news. I hate hives.

Larry David says it best.

The weekend is supposed to be sunny and beautiful. Other than dog walking, some distance walking if I can get it in and oven cleaning, I am going to try and put the long season garden to bed and soak in the sun. There is nothing I can do about my attractive thigh high tan before I go to Lanai, but at least my heart and soul can turn off the news and get back to basics.

over and out squeaking all the way

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

S is for Socialist

Happy saturday!


Honestly, this election makes me want to take three showers a day. I will be so happy when its over and we can focus our blogosphere on more important things like how to stretch a can of chicken noodle soup to last two meals and what it really means to be green.

As I tweeted earlier, every investment banker in the world can rot in hell.

God, I am so happy I have a job that is not dependent on the economy per se. I suspect that us scourges on the system (civil servants) will not see a COLA or a merit increase for the next four years. I see less travel and more videoconferencing. I see myself cringe when I see the bill for my professional society dues that I have to pay before I can justly chair or organize sessions in good faith.

I see some hard times past the two years some economists believe the "recession" is going to last. I see some hard choices that some of us are going to have to make. We are super lucky that we are blessed with a home, good jobs, no debt and some semblance of a dwindling nest egg.

I just hope this time we learn from this history that we are making.

If you have a few minutes while waiting for America's top model goes to rehab to come on - read Margaret Atwood's piece on the credit crisis and then turn off the boob tube or the laptop and go read a book.

nm which does not stand for neiman marcus