Thursday, December 15, 2005

Strange work-out day

Today my workout was successful in spite of myself. First, I lifted. I am trying to get over a newfound aversion to lifting weights. I don't know where this came from - I am not afraid of getting bulky (but at the first sign of a big neck, you better let me know). I used to do it 3x a week and loved it - you can do it at home while you watch tv, what's better than that? Lately, I've been dreading it, so it fell by the wayside. Not good, 'cause my wedding dress shows a lot of arm. Then, I went for a swim. On my way down, I realize I forgot to take off my engagement ring. It's already a little loose on me, so I put it on my fattest finger and figured it can only help my stroke by making sure I keep my fingers together (not the time for jazz hands). I then realize I forgot my swim cap. I figure I can do without it this time, hop in the pool and start out without my much needed goggles and earplugs. Sheesh! After the swim, I run on the treadmill. I liked this because with wet hair, I was cooler for longer. About 1/2 way through, a girl gets on the elliptical in front of me and let's just say, her tight t-shirt was not effective in doubling as a very important undergarment she "forgot" to wear. Without using my favorite phrase "train wreck", which I use too much, I can only say that if there was a photo of this going back to the jury - I'd have to object to it on obscenity grounds. I thought I was going to loose an eye. Despite all this, I got through my very long workout, and even did some stretching. Here's my latest endorsement of a product up to the level of my Columbia jacket (gasp!, I know!) Yoga for Athletes rocks! I have the deluxe version which has the following workouts: regular + relaxation, power emphasis, flexibility emphasis, and 6 mini workouts that are sport specific. I am familiar with most of the poses he goes through (they are fairly basic), but when I use the sport specific workouts, I stretch muscles I didn't know I could reach. Maravilloso!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Another spectacular season...of reality tv

Actually, all I watch is Project Runway. Love it! This season has great talent. I'm pulling for the Eng girl who likes her clothes to be "well researched," whatever that means. There are a number of people to watch, though. I already like this season better than last - the bar has been raised this time around, notwithstanding the guy who completely broke down after challenge two and was crying in front of the judges while he wailed that fashion meant so much to him. Train wreck. Tonight they made a design for "My Scene" barbie. I guess "My Scene" barbie is like 16-18 and hip. I'm really out of touch with barbie - are 16-18 year olds buying these, or are they for young girls to play with teenager barbies instead of women barbies? The designers had to come up with a new concept for her and show it off on a model (blonde wig included) and make a smaller version for the barbie. While the runway show was going on, the designers were sitting there holding their little styled up barbies.

Side note: last I heard about the Katie Holmes/ Tom Cruise saga was that her father was drafting the pre-nup. One look at this article on celebrity pre-nups and I understand why it's taking him so long to draft it. Apparently, they are agreeing to weight limits for the wife, random drug testing by either spouse, and many more unbelievable things!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I've had an annoying day, so rather than whine about all the things I want to whine about, I will write about my wedding. I have 2 reasons for doing this: 1) I'm excited about it, and 2) hopefully I will be inspired to do some more much needed planning of it.
All our save-the-date / announcements have gone out and now everyone knows we are getting married in Yosemite at the Ahwahnee Hotel. We sent out puzzle boxes (also known as secret boxes) with a ribbon inside. You had to figure out that you needed to wrap the ribbon around something to read the writing. The writing then directed you to our website and the final answer of where we are getting married. We did it this way because certain people were already complaining about traveling. (It may come as a surprise to you, as it did to me, that not all wedding news is happy news for everyone.) No matter where we had it - SOMEONE had to travel, so we are making everyone travel to Yosemite. The fact that it was a surprise and no one expected Yosemite - diffused it a little. Plus, once you see pictures of the hotel and the park - only grinches can really complain. Here are some particularly lovely photos by QT Luong. We are getting married outside - with a waterfall in the background. April and May are peak waterfall months, so it should be roaring!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hard Core? Only as a Columbia Sportswear fan

Yesterday it was at least upper 50s, but maybe even 60s. It was rainy and windy. When I went for a run yesterday, I saw all these severe weather warnings on the tv. Today, it was so cold - and snow flurries! So, the first snow, but not the first satisfying snow - that first time it sticks and the whole city is white and clean.
On my way home, I was almost blown away by the wind - no kidding - I got knocked off course a few times. Soon after (as I always do when I'm left to ponder the EXTREME weather this place is prone to), I see someone jogging. These people are way too hard core for me to relate to. Running outside was the last thing on my mind. Instead, I seriously spent the whole day thinking how much my coat rocks! I have a parka from Columbia. I now declare that as long as I live in this God-forsaken tundra, I will always have a Columbia jacket!
So, as I'm writing this, I'm listening to RR's latest podcast. Apparently, like our athletic goals, our minds are now melding. We're talking about the same thing. I can understand her sentiment about having to finally haul out the winter coat. I look at it like playing chicken - how cold can it get before I put the Columbia on for the first time? Today, I flinched.
On an upbeat note - RR and I have agreed to set a goal for our triathlon training - May 2006, baby. This is one I had my eye on last year, but as I had just started my training, I figured I'd do it a different year. I guess 2006 is that year.

Monday, November 14, 2005

It all comes full circle

Road Runner and I began running at the same time - after coincidentally downloading the same "From Couch to 5K" training program. We became running "partners" even though we don't run at the same pace, and she has run much longer races than I have. This last year, I was also cross-training with a triathlon program. My goal was to do my first triathlon this past fall. It didn't happen, and I'm okay with that. I realized it was a lot harder than I thought - I haven't been swimming in a while and only have consistent access to a short pool, don't have my bike handy, and have no idea how to transition from one sport to another. I did pretty well for a good while, but eventually let it fall by the wayside while I worked on my running. Recently, I found information about indoor triathlons, where you run (I think on a treadmill - though maybe on an indoor track), ride a stationary bike and swim in the pool. Thinking this is a good way to enter the triathlon world, I have just begun training for that again. Turns out, Road Runner is doing the same! Well, she's training for a triathlon - I don't know if she is going to do an indoor one first. She just started, and she is already voicing the same concerns that I had. Who knew? I guess these problems are pretty common, which must mean there are known solutions. It will be nice to compare notes. I have a different book than she does, so maybe we can swap tips.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Yay! 10K!

I have officially completed my running goals for this year. They were: continue to run, shave off time from my first 5K, run an 8K and run a 10K. Today was my first 10K. The funny thing is that the course was Road Runner's normal running path. It's very nice. I can't believe she slums it by running on my section of the lakefront with me. She has recently posted photos. My goal running this race was (like it has been for all my first attempts at "long" distances) to run the majority of the race. I ran the whole thing. Well, except for one point at mile four where I look up and see this figure - all in red - and I'm thinking...huh, that shape looks familiar. But the person's face was shielded by a camera b/c....Road Runner was there taking my picture! It was so nice to see her! (I did walk a short time to talk to her briefly.) Other than that - I surprised myself and ran the whole thing. I told Cowboy I was done training for distances and he didn't believe me. No, really. I'm done. Now my goal is be a more consistent runner and always be able to train for longer distances- if I want. I'm definitely doing the Shamrock Shuffle again, so...

Anyway, I stole this from Road Runner - it's a virtual cat. If you know me, you know all about my 7 year campaign for a cat, my short lived victory that was fast replaced by terror after realizing I adopted feral cats. This is a very happy compromise until I can win my revitalized campaign.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

So behind...

Mostly because I've had nothing interesting to say, I've been very bad about keeping up with my blogging. First, check out the shark story and video from Lost in Korea. This is my hometown beach. You can swim out pretty far in the ocean here. Sharks are always in the back of your mind, but perhaps they need to be nudged up. I LOVE sharks, but this story is still pretty scary.
On a lighter note, please check out Road Runner's podcast. Very cool! Also, a very belated congratulations to Shore Turtle for finishing his 1/2 marathon and other races (nice costume!)! For a good time, check out IP Girl's story about her "honeymoon" in Hawaii. Finally, I am taking this from Kiki - too sweet to pass up. It seems so much longer on mine, so I broke it up to include the highlights.
Have you ever:
smoked a cigarette
crashed a friend's car
stolen a car
been in love
skipped school
seen someone die
been on a plane
purposely set a part of yourself on fire (what?)
eaten sushi
been jet-skiing

met someone in person from the internet
been moshing at a concert
taken pain killers
loved and missed someone
made a snow angel
had a tea party
flown a kite
built a sand castle
gone puddle jumping
played dress up
jumped in a pile of leaves
gone sledding
cheated while playing a game
been lonely
fallen asleep at work or school
used a fake id
watched a sun set
felt an earthquake
touched a snake
slept beneath the stars
been tickled
been robbed
been misunderstood
petted a reindeer/goat
won a contest
run a red light/stop sign

been suspended from school
been in a car accident
had braces

eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night
had deja vu
danced in the moonlight
liked the way you looked at least at one point in time
witnessed a crime

questioned your heart (never, actually)
been obsessed with post-it notes
squished barefoot through the mud
been lost
been on the opposite side of the country
swam in the ocean
felt like dying
cried yourself to sleep
played cops and robbers
recently colored with crayons
sung karaoke
paid for a meal with only coins
done something you told yourself you wouldn't
made prank phone calls
laughed until some kinda beverage came out of your nose
caught a snow flake on your tongue
danced in the rain

written a letter to Santa Claus
been kissed under the mistletoe
watched the sun rise with someone you care about
blown bubbles
made a bonfire on the beach
crashed a party
gone rollerskating
had a wish come true
worn pearls

jumped off a bridge
ate dog/cat food
sang in the shower
had a dream you married someone
got your tongue stuck to something
kissed a fish or a frog
sat on a roof top
screamed at the top of your lungs
did a one handed cartwheel

talked on the phone for more the 6 hours
stayed up all night
not taken a shower for a week
picked and eaten an apple right off the tree
climbed a tree
had a tree house

broken a bone
been easily amused
caught a fish
caught a butterfly
laughed so hard you cried
cried so hard you laughed

laughed so hard you pee your pants
cheated on a test
forgotten someone's name
french braided someone's hair

been kissed by someone you didn't like
gone skinny dipping in a pool /lake

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I am getting the itch again. It's really bad. Usually, I get so restless I just want to move - lately to Oregon. This time, however, it's very clear I want to go on a trip. I've been meaning to go back to Ireland, and SAS airlines is having a 2 for 1 sale. I'd love to go back to Sweden or Paris, or go to any of the countries I haven't been to. Cowboy says to save it for the wedding and honeymoon. That's still 6 months away! And, the wedding and honeymoon are not really planned, so there's nothing specific to look forward to! I guess I really have no business running off to Europe without planning my wedding first. Not to mention that although I could scrape together the money - I should save it for all the wedding things that I haven't really even thought about like flowers and favors and whatever else people have. The good news is that I have my place confirmed, so it will be happening! I want to send out save the date cards with a puzzle or riddle or something that people will have to figure out to get the location. Any suggestions? I thought about doing a geocache, but I think I need to do something that can just come to people in the mail.
I will try and quash my need for adventure. However, I will enter the Salomon Live Your Dream contest. Check it out - seems pretty cool.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Have you met Scooter?

Last night, Cowboy and I were watching Into the West when he turns to me and says "From now on, can you call me Scooter?" ?!?!
Oh, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Aside from the fact that nothing in the show could have triggered that, who gets (much less chooses) a name like Scooter? Especially a boy who already has a bunch of nicknames - his favorite being Dr. Rocket. I'm a big fan of nicknames, but Scooter is just too funny. Especially when he said it with his Minnesota accent that pops out once in a while.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Early morning ramblings

I got in early to work today and I'm still trying to wake up. This is my equivalent of a coffee break.

I have a new alarm clock with nature sounds. I've been waking up to sounds of a brook for the past couple of days. Really this means the sound of frogs. The brook is in there, but coming from deep slumber - you only hear the frogs for a while. It's kinda cool. I like it. It's definitely a gentler way to wake up than my cell phone alarm - which is what I had been using. When the day comes where I incorporate the frogs into my dream, I can switch it to birds or ocean.

I've been catching up on the Sopranos recently. I don't have cable, so I borrow each season from the library. (Cowboy introduced me to the extensive movie collection of the various suburban libraries - it rocks!) I know there's a lot of controversy over the show. It can be too violent for me and I'm sure there's a point to the complaints that it paints Italian-American's in a bad light. What I see, though, is such great, complex writing and acting. There are so many layers to the story, that I'm sure I'm only catching some of the literary devices in the script. It's nihilistic, but the people that put it together have deconstructed the human condition seemingly as well as Joseph Campbell has done mythology. I'm on the look-out for a film study class that discusses it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

kundalini yoga is for me

I signed up for a 5 week class designed to deal with stress. Today was my first day. I've never done this type of yoga, and I have to admit - I was a bit apprehensive. I had heard there was a lot of chanting. Hmm... There was chanting in the beginning and at the end, but it was really soothing. I was surprised by how much work the class was. I was also surprised by the fact that I can't sit cross-legged for an hour. When did I get so old? When I left, though - I felt great. I ran 4.5 miles yesterday and I was a bit stiff. This loosened me right up and stretched my shoulders and back - parts of me that get tight when I'm stressed. I guess it also didn't hurt that the instructor had a voice like butter that made you want to go to sleep just from listening to her. In short, highly recommended.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Running again

I went running today with Road Runner. She totally left me in the dust. Luckily, she waited for me at the end of the pier and while we walked, she got me caught up on important news such as celebrity pregnancies and break-ups. She told me about - I love it. We went a total of about 4 miles, but only a little over 3 was running. About 2/3 of the way through, we were in a park and noticed that they had removed the drinking fountains. This was much more painful than the time we were scheduled to run 5 miles, and they had shut off all the fountains. Of course, being a glutton for punishment, I had to check every single one while Road Runner laughed at me. Today, nothing to check. It was very strange. From yesterday - high in the upper 80's, I don't think it cleared 60 degrees today. It was windy too. I hope it doesn't get too cold too fast. I was looking forward to the fall to do some running. We may not have much of one.
Also in the spirit of running, please check out Shore Turtle's video clip of him running. For some reason, I'm so amused by it. Nice steady pace Shore Turtle!
Finally, I read Trail Runner's blog about how he helped set up a race, and despite all the warnings, one woman "accidentally" ran a marathon! This seems to happen quite a bit - Road Runner is always telling me about some mis-marked race or another. I guess it's better to do more than less than you intended. Congrats!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sandy's possible replacement

For a president who has arguably already screwed us up enough, he now gets two Supreme Court slots to fill. The new nomination was announced yesterday, and I have to admit, I've been feeling too pessimistic to check into her. What prompted me to note, however, is that to me -the departure of Sandra Day O'Connor somehow signifies to me a shift in the tide in feminist politics. It's well known that Justice O'Connor, a graduate (near top of her class) of Stanford law could initially only get a job as a legal secretary. Her progression in the legal field seems at least temporally linked to the increase in momentum from the feminist movement. Then, the fight was to get women into the workplace on equal footing to men. Now, the trend is for women to leave the workplace, not long after entering it at the professional level. Like her ascension, Justic O'Connor's departure seems well timed to reflect the trend of women in the workplace. I appreciate that the U.S. is a better place and women are better off as a result of the first movement. I fear, however, that if too many of us leave - simply because we can - we will be sending the message that we weren't really serious about participating in (what was once) traditionally male-dominated fields - that we just came, collected our degrees, played for a bit, then did exactly what they all said they'd do (in justifying employment discrimination) - have babies and leave.
I guess there are two conflicting problems here: the individual feminist, and the feminist movement. I define the individual feminist as one who is empowered and knowledgeable enough to make her own decision - regardless of whether it goes against the grain. I'm wondering if we all have an obligation to make these decisions with collective feminism in mind. Do we owe it to future or past generations to maintain a presence in the workplace or politics if it would serve as a placeholder for future women or as an acknowledgement of the fight in the past? I don't know, but I see it as a difficult choice I may have to make in the future.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Seattle - Irish and Russian style

I've been so bad at posting, but nothing really exciting has been going on either. I just got back from a wedding in Seattle. This was IP girl's wedding (see link on blog), and I had so much fun! Friday night we went to this great Moroccan restaurant with a mesmerizing belly dancer. Then we went clubbing. Okay. Maybe I've just been out of the scene for too long, but this was no ordinary club to me. All the gender and race rules went out the window. Girls were grinding with girls - and then switched to grind with guys with equal aplomb. They looked like they enjoyed both equally. Otherwise nerdy looking white guys were dancing with hefty looking black guys - one even did the snake with his hand on the black guys head before leaping thru the black guys' legs. The topper was an Asian girl in a red unitard that was dancing so provocatively on the bar that I had to look around for the slot to put our quarters in so the window would stay up. Everyone was pretty young, too. I was so confused.
Saturday was the lovely wedding. It was at Ray's Boathouse - right on the water. It was a great site - the weather was really too so you could be indoors or outdoors. I saw guy I knew in college who asked me - hey, didn't something happen with you and our kickboxing instruction in college? I said, um, yeah, you could say that - we're getting married in April. I met my friend's Irish cousins, who were like a comedy routine together. Very bubbly and funny. In fact, all her guests were very nice, and my normal social phobia was not too bad.
Sunday we went to Banya 5 - the Russian baths. My friend's sister is married to a Russian and he was explaining that in Russia - you go out in the woods and into a hot house, soak up the heat, and then run out and roll in the snow or jump into the icy water thru a hole you cut in the ice. This sounded crazy, but I was intrigued. We went, and there are about 6 stations. You can stand in a shower, pull a lever and cool water will dump on you, there was a jacuzzi, a (hot!) dry sauna, a wet sauna or steam room that smelled like eucalyptus, a cold tub, and a tepid tub. We went from hot dry to cold and wow - that certainly shocked the system. After about an hour and a half, I felt like I do after a massage or after I did when I took diving lessons. Gently pummeled, but more relaxed. My friend (Dr. 90210) and I then went to get a body scrub. We weren't quite sure what it entailed when we signed up, but we were up for the adventure. This is definitely not for the timid (which would normally include me). You basically lie naked on a massage table while a woman scrubs you with salt and honey, rinses you, then scrubs you with shampoo. She does all your back first. This meant that while it was embarrassing enough for her to have to look at my bare hiney - let alone scrub it - I was going to have to flip at some point. Sure enough. I've never been so exposed in my life - I guess apart from the time I was 1 1/2 years old and escaped from the tub and ran down the street naked while the frat boys cheered me on (we lived near a university). Dr. 90210 was in the next "room" which was only separated from each other and by the main room with the baths by a thin curtain which they didn't seem too diligent in closing all the time. I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I emerged with soft new skin, so it wasn't all that bad. I heard there are Turkish baths here, but I haven't found anyone who has been. I'll have to check it out.
Now, I'm home and back at work. I loved Seattle. I realized (for the 1 billionth time) that the pacific northwest is the place for me. I just have to figure out how to get there!

Saturday, September 03, 2005


All the coverage of Katrina amazes me in many ways. First, does society revert so quickly into a "Lord of the Flies" situation? I can ALMOST understand the looting, if it were coming from a survival instinct. But the news footage shows people with shopping carts like they won the supermarket sweep. While I don't condone it, I wish that were the worst of it. Now you hear people saying that rape (including kids as victims) and mayhem prevail. I think I heard that a third of the police force in New Orleans deserted, and the officers that stayed to help had no food or water themselves, were taking gas from abandoned cars to put in squad cars, were outnumbered, and scared.
Today the military came in and are cleaning up. I've heard people say that there are plenty of acts of heroism, but that just makes me wonder what is your baseline for human behavior? Sure, next to the rapist/looters - pretty much any non-criminal behavior can be seen as an act of heroism. I don't doubt the heroes are out there. I'm just horrified that apparently the default behavior in a disaster area is not to care for one another (thus making "heroism" the prevalent behavior), but to rape and murder them.
I enjoyed the Salon article that I linked to from Road Runner. I think you can't dispute the fact that the ones who were left behind were the ones who couldn't help themselves to get out: either they are too poor or unhealthy. I completely agree that this raises ugly questions that have to be thoroughly discussed and answered. However, I picked up a hint from reading the article that (regarding the behavior) there was this "what do you expect, they're poor" tenor to the argument. I can't agree with that. I think it oversimplifies the complexity of the problem.
Unfortunately, I fear that this also gives an opening to conservative Christians to push for getting religion back into the schools. It's such an obvious, (also) oversimplified argument - because these people "didn't know any better" we have to teach them, and naturally this means we have to teach them Christian values.
As is probably clear from the earlier part of this blog, I expect people - poor, rich, in a disaster area, whatever - not to rape and murder. That's my baseline. My question of why this is not everyone's baseline cannot be answered so easily by either of the above arguments, and I acknowledge that they are only truncated versions. Both answers start with "what do you expect from THESE people?" which in-and-of-itself suggests a disenfranchisement - another issue which must be addressed. I hope that this leads to a frank discussion of the incredibly complex issues alluded to in the Salon article. That would be a silver lining on this otherwise horrible disaster.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Road Runner's family

What would I do without them? They are so sweet to read my blog. I told Road Runner that I feel like I know her family before even meeting them. (I check up on them too, via Road Runner's blog) When I do meet them, we'll be able to go out for drinks like we're old friends!
(I have a sneaky suspicion, however, that they may be reading it out of a secret hope of getting the "E! True Hollywood Story" of what Road Runner is like at work and play when not around family. In that respect, I'm afraid I must be a disappointment. She does well in isolating herself from the shady dealings of our co-workers.)
Not only does Road Runner's family constitute my entire audience, they are so helpful. Shore Turtle, thank you for your advice on submitting my site to search engines. Brilliant. I am also so impressed with all y'all's use of photos on your blog. Man, you guys rock! I will be copying you on your presentation ideas from time to time as I continue to get up to speed on this whole blogging thing.
Oh, and speaking of ideas - Road Runner suggested salt after a run. I had the best pickle of my life after you left.

Monday, August 29, 2005

tv show update

I have to follow up on this because I'm so excited that Kiki and I are "Filthy Rich: Cattle drive" buddies. I also feel compelled to clarify something. There are good shows out there. "MONK" is good show. Actually, it's a great show. I hear that there are others out there like "24," "Gilmore Girls" and "Alias" but since I didn't catch those on the ground floor, I feel like I missed them altogether. "Joan of Arcadia" is also surprisingly good, and while you may think it's like "7th Heaven" - it is not. There is a religious theme (usually not my cup of tea) - but it's done very smartly - more like universal morality, and in light of the possibility (presented in the show) that it may be true that she sees and talks to God or it may be that Joan has a mental illness, the show's layers are complex without getting too soap opera-y. So, don't get me wrong. I love tv.
And, having cleared all that up, another one to watch - purely for entertainment - is "Dog the Bounty Hunter." This is about a bounty hunter and his family who live in Hawaii, pray before going out to pick up fugitives, pray with the fugitive before handing him or her in to the police, Dog has done time for murder, and his wife is just in her own league. She's got this crazy big hair and (I have to say) crazy big rack - that unless it's on display when they go out (on a date, not a round-up - he does have standards), he won't take her out! Again, pure entertainment.
I can't watch the tattoo shows because, like Kiki, will want another one. I used to think I was safe because I only had one and didn't have an idea for others. Now I do know what I'd get.....but I told Cowboy I wouldn't - at least for the time being.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

disturbing co-worker behavior

I was at work today when a co-worker told me to be careful going home because a couple of weeks ago, on a corner near work, an incoming law student was badly beaten by a group of kids. She warned me about it because she didn't know if more groups of ruffians were making their way into town. Okay, wait. Was this a horrible tragedy, and should those kids be dealt with? ABSOLUTELY. Yet, I couldn't help thinking - do groups of delinquent kids move through in waves like rats? Her ominous warning sounded like we were in a pre-statehood territory and she done heard tell of a possible band of "injuns" coming this way. I guess her heart was in the right place. I shouldn't be so negative. But if you've ready anything of mine - you already know that I am rarely serious – dark and/or wry as my humor may be.

What I also found out about my crazy co-workers, however, warrants a negative comment. Something this same co-worker (as above) did and said made me wonder if she ever thought (or more than thought) about going through people's offices. I mostly dismissed that idea as a result of my general paranoia over getting fired. (trust me, every one in our office has some level of it). Well, the other day I found out that a different co-worker was "caught" going through someone else's office on a weekend. I say "caught" because it is not clear to me what that person was doing there. It IS clear that by all accounts; there was no reason for that person to be in the office while the office was unoccupied. How much more creepy can you get? I'm thinking about transferring offices. It's a little too (needlessly) intense here. I just turned in a first draft of a brief to my new supervisor after being warned repeatedly (granted only by one crazy co-worker) that I shouldn't giver this supervisor anything but perfection or she will forever label me as incompetent. Is incompetent better or worse than stupid? What about idiot? I'm just wondering which one to shoot for...

One last thing - am I the only one who doesn't see a psychiatrist? A few people (huh, also at work - imagine that.) have casually mentioned their "shrinks." I'm all for seeking help - this is one of the few times I'm not kidding - I just didn't realize the need was so prevalent. I thought mental health was taboo. I'm starting to feel left out...(okay that time I was kidding). Oh, and – the comment about “crazy co-workers” and the part about “shrinks” are complete non-sequiturs. Yikes. I’m diggin’ myself in deep.

Technological incompetence

I really wanted to add something so my last post is not the first you see if you should blunder into my site. I had a dream that I owned the scale used in the contest. On one hand it was a piece of history and a constant reminder of all the injustice in the world yet to be corrected. Mostly, though, I was disturbed by it.
So, I thought I'd write about my inability to master the basic technological skills required to maintain this site. As you can see, I reformatted. I thought I liked it until my formatting got screwed up somehow. Why are my sidebars not staying put??? I have all these cool links that I now have to scroll down to get to. This can't be right. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
My reformatting was all in response to wanting to spice up my blog. Road Runner and everyone she links to have all these great add-ons and tidbits. If I can't even get my standard sidebar in place, I'm never adding that other stuff.
A few posts ago I talked about expanding my site and getting my blog "out there" so that I would actually pop up when you google "buccaneer betty." As you can see from the above comments, I'm trying....I did a search this morning and found my name on Shore Turtle's blog. I've been looking at his blog for a while - very nice running site. But - that was it. I also did a search on "Golden Hind blog." Let's just say I know how to find a fish 'n chips place in London, but not how to access my blog. This is getting ridiculous. I'm thinking of changing the name. What do you think?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

"Niggers by the pound"

I've been meaning to blog about something that has been bothering me for the past few days. One of my clients sent me an internet news article about institutionalized racism in Cook County, IL. Here's the article.

The article talks about how there was a contest to see who would be the first to convict defendants who weighed a total of 4,000 pounds. Because most of the codefendants were African-American, this contest was referred to behind closed doors as "niggers by the pound." Formally, it was called the "two-ton contest." According to a study by the Chicago Tribune, since 12/31/77 there have been 326 state court convictions (207 of them in Cook County) reversed because of prosecutorial misconduct. One of the former prosecutors who was interviewed for the story has had six convictions reversed because of his misconduct - according to the article - no prosecutor in Cook County has had more reversals in the last 20 years. His comment? "I didn't do anything wrong."

I see dead people...or at least I want to

I heard that you can attend an autopsy at the county medical examiner's office, but I can't figure out how. Although I'm always disturbed by the autopsy or crime scene photos that run across me desk, something is pulling at me to do this. I have a habit of doing things just because they will be hard. Compulsion might be a better word for it. I'll let you know if I'm successful in my quest.

On a lighter note, Yay! Road runner has a forerunner too! She, of course, is already miles ahead of me (get it?) in terms of figuring it out. She also has a different model - she has one with a heart rate monitor. That seems a little advanced for me. Goodness, the one I have is currently too advanced for me.
The upshot is that Road Runner seems to like her "Garmina" and that makes me happy (even though I had nothing to do with it). I'm bummed that I couldn't go for a run with her and Garmina today. Lousy PLA...there is a kick-ass jury instruction issue though. I may just get this granted. Wouldn't it be funny to have my first oral argument on this complicated issue?

my new favorite show

every once in a while, tv surprises me. Not because there is some fantastic show that comes out that is brilliant. If that happens, the show inevitably sours. (Think X-Files, Law and Order, even West Wing is too preachy for me) Usually, what I am surprised by is the taste of the american population - as reflected in the tv shows. My new favorite show is "Filthy Rich, Cattle Drive." I actually just discovered it about 10 min ago. What can I say about a show that, within 10 minutes, has once rich girl (I don't know who she is yet) tell everyone that she has not ever looked so "uncute" before in her life - then "pull" a calf from a pregnant cow. I say "pull" because this really meant that she held onto the pulley while some hunky ranch hand pulled it from behind. Afterwards, she actually said that since she "let her guard down, she's really grown as a person." She then named the calf "Fred Segal" because it's her favorite store and she misses it. Right now they are bitching because they actually have to clean up. Before the birthing incident, the cattle boss had to tell them that if they want a clean cup to drink from, they have to wash out the cup they used before. One guy said he'd pay extra for more cups. This turned into an argument. Too funny. Can't wait for next week - the ranch crew take away cell phones and the "filthy rich" rebel! Gasp!
New show now - I think it's Jenny McCarthy interviewing strippers. That Jenny McCarthy, she's fun.
This is what never ceases to get me. How can one nation want to watch cops, filthy rich, american idol, fear factor, the list goes on and on. All this in addition to the non-reality programs. And I only have basic cable!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

GPS training

I got a Garmin Forerunner 201 for my birthday but it has been too hot for a delicate flower like me to use. I used it today and it's so awesome! I just did a basic 3.5 run - which took me a little longer than I wanted. I'm trying to get back into running after a spotty training period. It made me feel good to know that Road Runner and I have been running the distance we thought we were running. The Forerunner kept track of my distance, time, pace - everything. I came home and uploaded my stats in an effort to track my "progress." I also found out there's so much more I can do with it! I can set goal/distance/time goals and have it alert me when I finish a lap or am going too fast (not a problem) or too slow. I can also set a virtual partner who I can race. So far, I'm not too excited about chasing a little figure on the screen on my wrist. After all, that's what Road Runner is for.

mi practica en espanol

Necessito mucha practica en mi espanol. Por eso, voy a tratar a leer unos blogs en espanol. Esto es uno que is un poquito estrano. Creo que es un hombre que es enamorado con una mujer que esta casada. Si la is verdad, es muy triste. Ojala que no es correcto. Mi espanol es muy mal, y tal vez no entiendo.

Esto es un otro de un estudiante de las ciencias - especialmente de vinos y como hacer los. No entiendo muchas palabras pero voy a apprender.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Mins and the Maxs

No, this is not a mathematically oriented post (although I am a fan of math). I went to a maximum security prison yesterday. Here are some highlights of the tour. (note: get a snack - this is long)
Let me say right off the bat that I think most out of the 20 people from the office who went on the tour were depressed after taking the tour. I was not one of them. I was often right behind the guard in an effort to be the first one to see everything, unabashedly stared at the inmates, looked for guns and blind spots everywhere and listened to everything. Mind you, I was not giddy with delight at the conditions, but my heart does not bleed for them. Here we go:
Apparently, back in the day, the prisoners used to have full reign of the entire compound. They would be rounded up at night, counted in the morning, then let out. I can't imagine why this EVER sounded like a good idea - and it will come as no surprise when I tell you that people were raped, beaten, killed, and the staff members were all afraid to go to work. Here's a tidbit about a famous videotape that was "released" with Richard Speck (killed 8 nurses) sitting there with a mountain of cocaine, men dressed as women and wads of money on a table. Speck made the brilliant observation that he was living better in prison than most people were outside "the wall."
Now, the prisoners are generally in their cell 23 hours a day. They get an hour to go to lunch which starts at 9:30 a.m. They generally get gym 1x a week and yard 1x a week. No showers after yard, but showers after gym. Otherwise - one shower a week. Unless you work - then you can shower every day. They have a soap factory and a furniture making facility, where you can earn money according to your productivity. These jobs are really high in demand, and the soap factory just hired 5 guys who were on the waiting list since 1999. We talked to one guy at the soap factory who was in for 80 years, looked 15, and yet acted like he was ex-military. He must've been late 20's at least, though b/c he'd already done 15 years. We visited the commissary where you can buy shoes, sweats, and personal items like soda, ramen, soap, cigarettes. Things are generally at a discount, but not by too much.
We saw the lunch rooms (3 of them) where everyone eats in shifts. Meals are prepared by the inmates. (Side note: I have a client doing this and now wants to be transferred to a prison with a culinary arts program). The lunch rooms are in a "Round house" with a guard center at the top looking down into each. If things get out of hand, there is one warning shot, and everyone knows that if they don't stop fighting - the next one is on them. This happens about every two weeks despite the rule that you cannot pick your seat and can only get up to get water.
We saw the gym (HOT! no air conditioning in most places), the yard, the law library, the school, the hospital, and segregation.
Most people were scared by segregation. To be sure - it was intimidating. The guards warned us that whenever tours come through "they act a fool." Sure enough. We stepped inside and hear one giant yell "tour." EVERYONE started yelling. There's a little walkway, then you enter the Round House. Imagine the Senate scenes in the new Star Wars - they surround you, and yet they are faceless. I think there are 6 levels, and all in a circle. You walk into this pit, and I felt like I was the Christian about to be eaten by a lion. I was amazed at the intensity. Everyone was whistling, pounding on their cell doors, yelling their cell number so you'd be able to pick them out of the roaring chaos. Lots of lewd comments to the women on the tour and lots of yelling about how the guards are poisoning them. It was SO LOUD. Despite the content of the comments, I wasn't freaked out by this room. It was a fascinating to me - especially because everyone was acting like angry gorilla's, pounding and yelling, and then I look over and see this guy wiping down his cell. I know you have to do something major to get put in seg, so to see someone who (presumably) had a disregard for the rules at one point so concerned with the cleanliness of his cell.
The part that did freak me out was the hospital - particularly the mental health section. Everyone was locked up, and plenty of them were naked (after being deemed a risk to themselves or others) and although a few of them were loud, what freaked me out was the look in their eyes. There was no doubt something was wrong with them. There's no way I can describe this to you. I will tell you, though, that a few of them put on a show - complete with maniacal laughing. Whether intentional to freak us out - I don't know. It worked in my case.
Other tidbits of the tour - everyone gave you their unsolicited opinion. We asked how many people were on anti-psychotic meds. One nurse (not the one we were talking to) answered "too many." A few years ago, apparently there were only 73, now there are over 300. I'm not a doctor - I don't even play one on tv - but I disagreed with her "too many." I see clients all the time who need some type of mental health treatment (perhaps not anti-psychotic meds) and don't get it. I think we need to do more for mental health before it gets to the prison level.....(soap-box coming on...must not get side-tracked).
The guards seemed straight with us. They told us that the majority (almost all) of the contraband that prisoners get, come from staff members on the take. It usually starts with something simple like mailing an envelope for $500. Even I was tempted to offer my services for that. Then, you smuggle in drugs or weapons. Eventually, the guy turns you in and you are done for. According to the guards, some female guards, after being pursued by staff members, cross the lines to go with the inmates. One guard said "they have great game." That's how they get women to write them, talk to them, visit them. (The warden told us that men somehow always stay supported in prison no matter what crime they've committed, but women offenders are left alone once in prison.) It's not uncommon for males to get numbers and contacts out of tour visitors. People get married too - no conjugal visits though. According to one guard, the wife will come and visit, get the inmate all worked up, then the inmate will go back and have sex with his cellie (cellmate) and she'll go back and have sex with whomever she's with. Nice.
Sex between inmates is a given. Everyone is someone's "girlfriend." The guards try not to put a "predator" with a "vulnerable" if they know about it. They will put two predators together and "let them go at it." They will generally not put a guy new to the system with a guy that's been in the system a while - for the same reason. I guess you want to slowly introduce the new guy to involuntary homosexual activities. Showers are 15 guys locked in, the guards leave, whatever happens, happens. If it's clear someone has been violated, they can at least narrow it down to 14 suspects. The soap factory guy (remember him?) was a pretty boy - one that I'm sure had a hard time at first. In fact - his boss (a female) seemed to be looking him over too.
No one seemed particularly concerned about safety. The guards frequently had their backs to unshackled prisoners, prisoners were within arms length of us at many points, again, they were unshackled.
There are a couple of codes - inmates don't like child molesters, rapists, or those who disrespect female staff. Hmm...good to have standards.
I'll leave you with the highlights - as we were leaving seg, one inmate yelled, "all you bitches are ugly, except for the one in the brown shirt and long skirt." I was not wearing the brown shirt and the long skirt.
Also, my favorite part of the tour was "Billy" the pet groundhog they had trained like a dog. I especially liked it when they complained that they even had Billy locked up and pled for his release. I couldn't help but wonder if they had tried to train Billy to burrow a big enough hole under the fence.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Summer in the City

In the summer, the city hosts an outdoor film festival. It's basically a movie in a big park. Last night we saw Annie Hall. I'd never been before (would you believe last summer there were thunderstorms during every movie?) and I loved it! Annie Hall is a Woody Allen film about (you guessed it) relationships. Since he is so not sexy, I must admit I cringed a little every time he tried to get amorous with someone, but the movie was funny and I recommend it.
Other highlights of the evening included a lively debate between some people sitting to the side of us and a couple that came 2 minutes before the movie started. The couple tried to claim a spot right in front of the people who were already established. That didn't go over well since the other people had staked their claim long before. Just before it came to blows, the couple finally won by putting their cardboard box down in defiance. They then proceeded to sleep (loud snoring and all) through the entire movie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sexy Pirates and Penguins

I really got a kick out of two things today-
Road Runner's posting about the penguins - a must see. There are pictures that are adorable! She's right - you will want a penguin too.

On an entirely different note (but same family), Road Runner's brother provided me with an answer to the always pressing "what shall I be for Halloween" question. To get your own sexy pirate costume, please see the comment under my "blogjam" post. Ahhh...reminds me of my sorority days when I would go dress up as Sexy Nurse or a French Maid, then have pillow fights with my "sisters."
Anyone else who went to University of Chicago will know what I'm talking about.
(translation - definitely kidding!)
And for the record - RR's brother seemed appropriately creeped out by the costumes.

The big 3-0

My birthday came and went. I tried to post a blog on that day, but for some reason I couldn't post. Since I was in a much better mood then than I am today, I will try and resurrect the spirit of that email.
I thought I would be dreading my 30th birthday. Turns out, I loved it! I feel like I can look at my budding wrinkles and say, "what do you expect, I'm 30." I also get to say stuff like, "when you're older, you'll understand." See, when you're 30, you get to do those things. (Apparently, being 30 gives you license to be annoying). I think on the whole, I'm looking forward to getting older. I think it's a little like my niece who had to have a packed lunch and a "pack-pack" for years before she was old enough to go to school. I'm sure there's something good in getting older.
Anyway, I had a great day - Road Runner made me treats (always worth celebrating!) and put a cute note on her blog for me. (go ahead - check it out!) I went with Cowboy, my sister and bro-in-law to a little lake town nearby and Cowboy "secretly" talked the waitress into bringing a cake to the table to surprise me. "Secretly" means he seemingly got all upset because we asked for 1 more bread roll and it wasn't coming fast enough. He said, "I'm going to go get that roll!" and then proceeded to have a 3 minute, animated conversation with the waitress in front of us. We couldn't hear what was being said, but there's no way it was over a roll. My sister and bro-in-law, of course, thought it really was about a roll and I think they were a little shocked. I assured them that although I didn't know exactly what Cowboy was up to, it was not about the roll. We'd been to the restaurant before and I've never seen a birthday celebrated there before, and Cowboy has certainly never arranged for a surprise like that before, so I didn't know what to think until the waitress appeared at my side with a cake. Meanwhile, I got a new camera as a present, and Cowboy was taking pictures of me blowing out the single candle like it was my first birthday. Please note - out of the 9+ years we've been together - I think we have maybe 5 pictures of us - all taken by others.
Good times!

Thursday, July 07, 2005


I did a quick search to see where my blog comes up on the web. Apparently, I had a sadistic need to remind myself that nobody reads this thing. The funny part about that is that I use this more as a journal, so I am not really sure I want anyone to. To be disappointed anyway...? Such is human nature, I guess.
Anyway, a couple interesting things I ran into along the way:
1. "The Golden Hind" comes up quite a bit on a Google search, some of them X-rated. Although I find that amusing, I wonder if all those Sir Francis Drake historians out there that are also posting are laughing.

2. Interesting question - what blogger would you like to actually meet?
Hmm...I don't really read too many blogs, but I'd have to say the guy that wrote the story about the Cambodian Midget Fighting Club. Oh, that's funny! Despite the fact that he came out and said it was a fake story...(or IS it?) there are so many posts about it. My favorite heading of a follow-up blog is: "Are you a Midget looking to Move to Cambodia." The actual blog is a little too crude for my prissy self.

Of course what snags people - and gets people to think it may be true (besides the fact that he put the story on a BBC news template) is that with Fox these days - anything is possible. Remember that show they had a couple years back were they had people compete with animals in a particular race? I distinctly remember watching a group of midgets have to pull an airplane faster than elephants pulling a separate plane. There was also a hot-dog eating contest with the world champ pitted against a brown bear. Watching that with my brother and his completely uncensored wit - oh, good times.

My unfruitful search for hits on my blog also made me realize I should try changing my strategy. I don't really link to too many people - I need to get out there and meet knew people. (Put on some lipstick and go meet some Tom, Dick or Harry - as my grandma used to say). It also may not hurt to post more often myself. I'm really not making myself available, if you will, for a blogging relationship.

I'll let you know how my strategy works.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

America's most wanted

A client told me he was on America's Most Wanted before they picked him up for a drug case. I didn't see how that mattered to his case but I checked out the website anyway. Wow. I am both impressed and depressed. The site has a way that you can search captures and fugitives, it even has an area where you can comment on Does - bodies they have found with no identification. This section, as you can imagine, has a lot of comments from people who watch too much CSI. However, I was touched by how many people were bothered by a body found in a lake in New Orleans in 1986. When I read her story, I was too. I learned something too. I did not know, for example, that breast implants have serial numbers these days. Unfortunately, they didn't in 1986, so they offered no help in finding this girl's identity. You'd think the identity of a 24-26 year old girl who had breast implants and possibly a nose job in the '80's would be known to someone - who paid for those? She also had a skeletal injury from a possible past car accident, markings from a ring on her left ring finger and was three months pregnant. She had been stabbed several times, including in the face, and then had a plastic bag put around her head with duct tape. She died of asphyxiation. A weight was tied to her neck and she was dumped in the lake. It's so sad that with all that information, no one knows who she is after all this time.
But, like I said - there were some impressive things about this website too. There really is a dearth of information, and people are genuinely trying to help. One blogger posted a link to the Doe Network which hosts information regarding all the Does found and unidentified. Again, sad but informative. This blogger had made the effort to link the New Orleans woman to a missing woman from L.A.
All in all, I still can't watch that show. People do some nasty stuff to themselves and each other. I'll just defend them on appeal, thanks.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


I'm headed off to sunny So.Cal. tomorrow to see my friend from junior high get married. I was thinking about how long we've known each other and all the random things we used to do and talk about. For example, in 9th grade (still jr high in CA at that time), she only had her learner's permit, but drove solo to school. We would talk about her wild weekends - she had a fake ID. (I got MY first fake ID with her - but it wasn't until I was about 18 - and boy, was that funny when my parents found it.) We used to go to the beach at night and do who knows what but had a good time. (And boys who may be reading this - no, it did not swing that way - sorry to burst your bubble). I was to go to UCLA with her and we'd room together. Didn't turn out that way and she never lets me forget that I went back on our plans. I often wonder what would've happened if I had. Would we still be marrying our respective fiances? She thinks no. I pondered over this with Cowboy, and he insists we would've found each other some other way. I like thinking that, and I like even more that HE thinks that.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Stop looking at me!

This message goes out to the annoying coworker that won't stop passing by my office and staring at me. It's annoying enough that you go to see a beloved supervisor at least seven times a day, but I'm willing to let knowledge of those ass kissing sessions slide. I really must draw the line at the numerous round trips past my office while you stare at the Betty-monkey in her cage. Your pregnant waddle would normally evoke sympathy from me, but for that fact that it only means you are staring for longer periods of time. Why can't you just look ahead, like everyone else? Geez - at least bring me a banana or peanuts or something in exchange for the show.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

How quickly it turns on you

Road Runner and I ran the Y-me breast cancer 5K this morning. Let's just say that everything I said about having awesome weather two postings ago (just yesterday) no longer applies. It never really went past 50 yesterday, but managed to get hot this morning - too hot too fast. It was one of my hardest runs in a while. I beat my Pumpkins time (my first 5K less than a year ago) but I didn't quite beat my secondary goal of under 30 min. Close, but no cigar. I guess next race. It's only going to get hotter, though, and I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with that.
By the way, as usual, Road Runner was about 3 minutes ahead of me!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Welcome to the fam

I have added a couple of links - Road Runner is my running partner. She is a speedy little thing, and always leaves me in the dust. (Hence, MY nickname for her - not her blogger name. Don't be confused when you check her out.) Road Runner just got engaged while traveling through Europe with her man. Yea! Stay tuned for more exciting adventures of Road Runner.

IP Girl comes to you all the way from the west coast. She is the second one of our college core to (recently) get married- Yea! - and is a brilliant scientist who likes lemons, has a remarkable sleep schedule and ate like 17 cones of peppermint frozen yogurt at one time in a contest against our other friend...Dr 90210. Sadly, I don't remember who won - I just remember the sickness afterwards.

Everybody, let's give it up for Road Runner and IP Girl!


Every once in a while, you get an awesome weather day. Today started out as such. I was walking to work, and at 7:30 am, probably the only time in the day the weather will be like this, it reminded me of home. (In case you can't guess, home is California - specifically northern.) This morning it felt like maybe 50 degrees, with fog. The sun was starting to glint on the river and the seagulls were out calling to one another. If not for the blight of a crazy construction scene, it'd be heaven!
Memories of trips to the beach, especially camping trips, where you get up and out on the beach - everything is calm - the weather is a little too cool, but you wait, confident the fog will burn off. The air is clean and the birds are the only other creatures who are in the mood to make noise. Even if there are other beach-goers/campers, they are in the same trance as I am in (or at least some sort of not-fully-awake trance -equally acceptable to me). It's at that moment when I feel the most calm and contented. The beach is my favorite geographical place in the world to be.
Unfortunately, since I don't live near the beach (no, a great lake is NOT the same thing), I don't get this feeling too often. So, I had to share. Plus, I don't really have anything exciting going on right now - unless you count a supervisor with a knack for making you feel extra incompetent, and the fact that Cowboy might lose his job. That, however, is too much drama for a day off to such a fine start.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Rewards for laziness...I guess

My morning is off to a sexy start.
I wash my hair every morning. However, I just cannot be bothered with blow-drying it before work. I'm already doing people a favor by combing it, so don't get greedy by expecting it to be dry as well. My little trick is to pile my hair in a loose bun and stick a hat on top. I take the hat off once I'm inside my office building.
Today I enter the building, holding the door for this guy transporting a tray of donuts from one of the 7 Dunkin' Donuts I pass on my route to work, to the one in the building.
I dutifully take my hat off and reach up to let my hair fall. I hear this grunt behind me. The donut guy. He says, "that looked nice, the way you did that." (His) Eyes sparkling, teeth gleaming in a wolfish grin. (My) Stomach churning, poker face trying to make it's first appearance today. A hesitant "thanks" comes out of me. "You just washed it?" (As if it needed an answer) "Yes." "It smells good too." Another feeble "thanks." He's still staring at me with that smile, and I half expect an evil laugh to come next with a "my pretty." Incapable of dealing with creepiness before 8am, I look down and scurry away - allowing him to safely deliver his delicious packages. (The donuts)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The adventure begins

Should the one person who may (undoubtedly by accident) run into this blog, I figure the best way to introduce myself is to explain one of my many talents - miscommunication. Here's a sample.
My office has temperature issues. So, when a colleague walked into my office a while ago, I wanted to know if it was really the temperature of the office, or just me. I said, "you're cheeks are flushed. Is it hot in here?" As I take off my sweater, it does not dawn on me that I just asked an outed lesbian the classic come on line. I can't imagine why she's looking really uncomfortable. I think, great - now I've offended her because she thinks I'm implying that she looks sickly. To correct the blunder, I then say, "it looks really nice on you." She is now squirming in her chair. I don't know what's going on, so I'm squirming in my chair. We both look in every direction except at each other before I skillfully change the subject to work.
Since then, I have become engaged to Cowboy. Apparently feeling safe now that I'm officially off the market, she has now started talking to me again.
Sigh. Only I can hit on someone unintentionally.