Saturday, February 16, 2008


Someone posted this to myspace (yes, I still occasionally log in to myspace).

Step #1: Go to
Step #2: Search for "find Chuck Norris"
Step #3: Hit "I'm feeling lucky"

Step #4: Laugh.

More to come on the car, once I'm ready to tell about it...

Friday, February 15, 2008


As in, worst Valentine's Day ever. But it has nothing to do with my lovely fiance.

First off, I was mad my professor canceled class last week, when he could have this week. We were going to get out early, but still - that's a whole drive up to LA that I could have avoided.

The day started off with giving Andy his Valentine's day gift, then rushing out the door. I had to get to work early because of an all-day meeting, and a lot of work had to be done. I managed to get some things done before the meeting started, but I couldn't finish for all of the people around. The meeting was to discuss what was going to happen in April; three days after I leave they're starting a new accounting system, and aren't prepared at all. All morning we discussed the things I said needed to be done when I started, and was told no.

I worked through lunch to try and finish some work. Training really takes up the day! The person I'm training is very nice, and picking up very fast, but I'm just not that good at explaining. After lunch, we went back to the conference room - where most of the attendees did not return until 30 minutes later. They'd gone out to lunch and had super slow service. The meeting was technically complete at 3, but since it was scheduled until 4, most of the group wanted to stick around (and since I'm the "expert" - yikes! - I had to stay).

Finally, not a minute before 4, I ran back to my desk to close things up. I got to see my work friends for the first time in about a week, and didn't actually leave for class until 4:20, 10 minutes late for beating traffic.

And oh, what traffic. I called my parents on the way to wish them a happy Valentine's day and unfortunately they got to hear all of my awful road rage. The highways were no worse than usual, but the traffic around campus was a parking lot! After nearly getting hit by someone who decided they didn't want to let me change lanes (after I was 3/4 of the way in), I got to the parking structure - which had the "Full" sign out in front. But, when I looked in from the street, it seemed there were plenty of parking spaces, so I ignored the sign and went on in. I guess just a bit of added stress, since the day had gone so swimmingly already.

I met up with some friends in the cafe, and we discussed why the other people in our group don't seem to want to respond on the meeting and projects we have due next week (and why I have, for some reason, become the group's scheduling secretary). Another of my group members was in my class, and I was going to talk to him about it, but he never showed up. At least class was entertaining. And we got out extra early.

Normally, getting out of class before 8 p.m. would be wonderful. But LA traffic lasts up until about then. Once on the 110, which was stopped entirely, I thought I was pushing a little harder on the brake than I usually do. To which my next thought was, "Great, looks like I'll be spending Saturday with my car in the shop."

By the time I got home, my car was entirely undriveable.

Last time I got my brakes fixed, it was sort of slow to come on. I hardly even noticed anything was wrong until Andy drove one day. But this came on fast - within the 20 minute drive from campus home. I couldn't drive faster than 30 miles per hour, and to stop had to pump the brake for a while to get to a full stop. When I finally got home, in one piece and without accident, the apartment was empty. I looked around, but there was no sign of Andy, so I called in to work to let them know I wouldn't make it and then Andy to see where he was.

He came home with a cute little pink Starbucks cup for Valentine's day. But I think the best gift of all was that we were both home safe and sound. I spent the rest of the evening arranging for a AAA tow to the dealership, and making an appointment.

Not exactly the flowers & chocolates every girl dreams about.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

I'm spending it in an all-day meeting at work, and in class tonight. Not very romantic. :(

For this Valentine's day, I went the DIY route and made truffles! (OK, and bought flowers. But I didn't plan ahead enough to make those.)

Pictured, front to back: Kahlua flavored; rolled in cocoa; with an after-dinner mint inside; covered in white chocolate. Can you believe my camera has a "food" setting??

They're actually just as easy to make as the websites say. I used this recipe, but I forget where I found it - I reviewed about 8 different recipes. Whoever's it is, thanks! And don't pay any attention to those who said they didn't set well; mine came out perfectly.

1 12oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
pinch of salt (oops, I forgot that!)
1 tsp. vanilla
Melon baller

Melt everything together (I recommend in a glass bowl in the microwave; I further scratched up my pot). Refrigerate just a little while, maybe an hour or two, and ball away! Best if you run the melon baller under warm water, and your fingers under cold.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I filed my taxes last Thursday. It was a little tricky getting all of my tax forms in advance of the mailed copies (and, in fact, the two important ones are by download only). I've used the same e-file service ever since I started filing taxes for real. So, I was the first person I know to even be thinking about it, much less file, and I was definitely feeling my oats over it. No money, no kids, no house, no problem!

I got an email the next day saying my forms were rejected. The social security agency had never heard of me - which was scary, since I've paid them thousands of dollars over the years!! I was in a total panic. This meant I'd have to re-file, and I'd already completed my state taxes based on my federal taxes, and I might even have to (gasp!) fill out and mail the forms ...

IRS: 1 Me: 0

I went back in to my account to see what form they'd filed on my behalf, so I could copy it. And I realized I'd made a mistake on my social security number. And I could correct it, and re-file.

Karma: 1 Me: 0

I will never brag with pride again.


OK, I think I've finally dried out from last weekend.

Sunday my friend Maggie and I woke up extra early for the first annual Surf City USA 5k (or 12th annual Pacific Shoreline). It was raining just a little pretty steadily, but I didn't think it would last. This is California, after all!

We got to the parking area and now it was raining - flat out, raining. Not hard or blowing. We were damp before we even got on the shuttle to the start line. Once there, everyone was standing in doorways and under overhangs along Main Street, because the rain was blowing off the ocean and up the street. We ended up hiding out at Fred's (which was smelling amazing when we left) until the race was about to start, and by the time we got in the corrals and the race actually started, the back of my jacket was soaked.

So for 3.1 miles, I ran totally drenched. For most of the run I kept up with a military class, but after a while they passed me - I weighed probably 10 pounds more than I usually do! I could feel the water squishing around my toes, and my iPod earbuds wouldn't stay in my ears because they were full of water (amazingly, the thing still works). The rain was blowing sideways, so during the first half my left side was drenched and I couldn't see out of my left eye, and for the second half my right side got drenched and I couldn't see out of either eye. Honestly, I ran a good part of the way with my eyes closed; there was no way to wipe them because everything was wet.

Afterward we just left. I don't think either of us have ever been so miserable! My clock time was somewhere around 37 minutes, but I used the excuse that my clothes and shoes were extra heavy, and that was actually quite good.

The results & pro pictures were out Friday, and while my pictures are just too unflattering to share, my actual time was 31:34! That's a best for me. So now my excuse is that I could have gotten under 30 minutes, and a <10 minute mile if I hadn't been drenched...