September 28, 2005

I'm "Lost"

I don't get it. On the show "Lost," the men never shave, their hair never grows, the fat guy isn't losing weight, and the flashlights never run out of batteries. For these reasons alone I have a REALLY hard time with the show.

September 27, 2005

Racing Family Style

I didn't think I would be this excited about the family version of Amazing race. Not only am I excited, I'm always getting choked up. I'm already voting for the Schroeder family. Er, is it the Ghaghan family? Who cares, oh boy oh boy!

September 25, 2005

Splinter Girl Lives!

Update on my slow death from lead poisoning. I still have the splinter, but I will not die.

Lucky for me, no ER required. There was a street fair going on up the road and it had a Med Tent! I asked one of the nurses if I was going to die of lead poisoning and she was very good at not laughing at me. Told me a few tricks and hopefully the intrusion will remove itself without any pus involved.

"Girl Dies From Splinter"

I decided yesterday that the beginning of Fall is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning. All was going fine until I started dusting.

Man, I was going at it. Top to bottom of every room. Starting with a duster on the picture railings, then on the baseboards, and followed up with a brush over with a "Grab-it" dust cloth then a spritz of cleaner. I was neurotic. It was like a drug.

By the 3rd room I had the routine down and was going to town on the baseboards of my Queen Anne rounded window and BLAM! Serious splinter, I thought, right under my thumb nail. Went to the bathroom to grab the tweezers and the hypochondriac in me came alive.

What has happened is that I scraped the loose paint with my thumb nail, hard enough to tear the paint and some wood away and dig in about 2mm into my nail. I tried and tried to dig it all out, but it is just absolutely jammed down and deep. Normally I wouldn't worry about this, but because of all the lead-based paint warnings being waived around here in CA, I am afraid that I have scraped some old sick lead-based paint layer into there too, and soon I will keel over from lead poisoning. Seems silly to go to the ER for a splinter penetration under my nail, but it's not as silly as dying from dusting.

September 21, 2005

Fashion Shows: Who Knew?

I went to my first fashion show tonight. Now, I have seen people go to fashion shows on TV, and well, I just wasn't expecting to be ENTERTAINED. I mean, really, I felt like I was at dinner theater or a musical. It was so bizarre.

There was no one famous there (they must save that for the Gala night). Oh yeah, also, if you ever go to one, don't be surprised if you prance like a horse as you are walking to your car afterward. You just can't help it!


The new Dockers commercial is filmed a block from Gap, Inc.'s corporate headquarters. Oddly enough, the Levi's headquarters is only a quarter mile down the street. I know this cuz I used to work at Gap HQ, and I interviewed at Levi.

September 20, 2005

Deal On

Hoo-ha! I'm working on my first contract!

September 12, 2005

Cramping My Style

I have cramps. Is it ok to swallow down 2 Midol with a Coors Light? I didn't think so. But I just did anyway. I'd swallow a 3rd one to expedite and elongate the benefits, but I'm fresh out.

Speaking of cramps, my sister-in-law has unknowingly had me crazed for the past 5 days. Now, she's a sweet girl (and I say girl 'cuz anyone under 49.5 is a girl in my book, but yes, she's a couple years my senior), but one thing about her is her totally unabashed brainwave-to-mouth vocalization of her thoughts. Basically, she thinks something then says it, before she even assesses whether it's appropriate or not.

Now, I don't have a problem with her process, or lack thereof, at all - I used to have the same problem, and still do from time to time. But let's dash back to my visit with her a few days before I went to Jamaica.... (enter dreamscape/going back in time music)

I was under a rapid-fire pre-Jamaica Q&A session: was I excited about seeing Dutchy? What did I think would happen? What if it didn't happen as planned? Did I get a new bathing suit? Oh My God! You waxed WHAT?! Was it painful? So when does Dutchy arrive? What if you get pregnant in Jamaica?

Me: Jesus, Sis-In-Law, that's not going to happen.
SIL: Well! It could! You never know!
Me: SIL!
SIL: Nothing's 100% fool proof!

End of discussion.

(Back to Present, er, well, 5 days ago. Er, well, maybe a day or two before 5 days ago)
So there I was, back from Jamaica, still revelling in the bliss of super-hot-humid-romantic days. And then a particularly monthly thought entered my head: what day am I getting my period again? And I calc'ed back, tried to estimate. But I've never been good at math, or rather, I tire of it before figuring out whether I need addition, subtraction, long division or a serious equation, and I dropped it, figuring I was in good shape. After all, I'm amazingly regular.

A day or two later I started getting the signs. A ping here, a dire need for carbs and sweets there, the tenderness we all know in the breastesses. And then a panic struck. Tenderness in the breastesses? Well! That's a telltale sign of being prego! And what if the pings and cravings can all be traced back to prego as well?! How the hell should I know? I've never been prego before. Normally, I wouldn't think this way. Mainly because Dutchy is in Amsterdam and no one's fish can swim THAT far, but also because these are without a doubt typical symptoms of PMS. And we used protection. The fear factor came from a new and very disturbing varient symptom: nausea. Not only have I had PMS the past 4 days, but every so often throughout each day a little wave of feelin' sick. That combined with Sis-In-Law's innocent words threw my over the edge.

The good news, of course, in all of this, is that I am on the Midol train, so the worry is over. But I have to have a talk with Sis-In-Law, 'cuz Dutchy is supposed to be visiting in 5 weeks, and I don't want her freaking me out again.

September 10, 2005

Not Ready for Bed

I have to be up early tomorrow for a 10 mile run. Today was supposed to be about healthy eats and lots of water to fuel the a.m. workout. Probably not enough water, and now it's after midnight and I am NOT ready for bed. Hell, I've got to get up at 6:30 to run. Hoping posting it out loud will force me to realize it's time to fait dodo (French for go night night).

September 02, 2005

In Negril, Kudos to....

Hey Y'all,
Be warned that Negril, as a resort town, has a lot of local workers that are just working for income. There are the few, the good, that offer outstanding service. I want you to experience the best of Negril so, withough further ado, my hats off to:

Rockhouse Hotel - just mind blowing. Always beautiful and peaceful. Truly romantic. Plus, if you're not romantic, at least they have high speed internet! Or if you are romantic, use the high speed internet to change your ticket and extend your stay!
Massage: Wanda, at
Couples Swept Away - Ask for her!!!! Tip well!!!
Manicure: Nadine, at
Couples Swept Away - Ask for her!!! Tip well!!!
Bar: 1)
Rockhouse - Shane, poolside - the best of the best!!!
Coral Beach - Maurice - right on, Mon! You're so accomodating!

Restaurant: 1)
Hungry Lion - ROAR! - this restaurant is awesome. Patience is a virtue, and excellent food is your reward.
2) Coral Beach - Super slow kitchen service but highly congenial servers!!!

For full details of the trip, see my previous post, Return from Paradise.

Return From Paradise, A Log/Novella

I'm back people. And let me be the first to say: I don't even know how to report about this trip. If I "tell all," this will be a novella. If I don't, well, it will lack spice and look like the Captain's Log from Star Trek Enterprise. Hmmm. Which way to go? Maybe a mix...

Location of Paradise:
Negril, Jamaica
Speed of Paradise: SLOW SLOW SLOW. Don't bother being anxious or impatient about anything. A simple meal takes upwards of an hour. Enjoy it.
Season: Low Season (too hot for wicked fun)
Resort 1:
Rockhouse Hotel
Resort 2:
Coral Beach Resort
(If you want my opinion/rating of these hotels, pls add a comment, as I have much valuable and honest information!!)
Purpose of Mission: Wedding/Fun in the Sun
Coffee type: Jamaican Blue Mountain
Coffee rating: 10 out of 10!

The trip was awesome. I had a great time with the bride/groom and their friends and family. Even though there were 60 guests, Bride was tremendous at getting one on one time in with the people who are important to her, so none of us felt snubbed.

I arrived noonish day 1. Was escorted to my villa, which I shared with another "single," Kathy. The villa is a luxe Gilligan's Island thatch-roofed hut, with a 4 post bed on the main level and 2 smaller beds on the loft level. The shower is outside, off of the WC! I only turned on the hot water in the shower once the entire trip. I put my things aside, changed out of my required SF jeans, which were melted to my skin at this point, and headed out. Met up with the gang on "The Alter," a rock cliff overlook that would be the alter of the wedding. We hung out there most days, just to let the whole "wedding" thing soak in for our "never-getting-married-ever!" bride. We jumped off the cliffs into the water as well. Actually, I only jumped once. Because I jumped funny off that 15 ft high bridge, and did sort of a backwards belly flop, and got a big-ass water spanking. Broke the blood vessels below my butt and ended up with some gorgeous black and blues for the entire trip. Well done, Gertie, well done!

Evening of day 1 the majority of the European contingency arrived, shortly after dinner, completing the guest list. It was late, so mostly we just gathered in the open-air restaurant with beers sequestered from random mini-bars.

Morning of Day 2 (day before wedding) the word was out to most guests by breakfast that the wedding wasn't the only exiciting thing going on at Rockhouse Hotel. The wedding guests had heard of my and Long Distance Guy's "romance," and how we've been talking for a year, haven't seen each other for 2, blah blah blah. Needless to say we had a lot of Q&A sessions from people. Although we tried to enjoy ourselves, day 2 was the beginning of life under a microscope. Luckily, the petri dish was poolside on a cliff-top resort, so can I really complain?

Evening of Day 2 was a wonderful poolside buffet rehearsal dinner for all of the guests. Complete with steel drum reggae band and a rapidly melting ice sculpture (too fast too even identify what it was). The food was amazing: salads, mushroom sautee melting in your mouth, jerk snapper and beef, and open bar. The men took off around 9 for a bachelor party, and left all the ladies happily chatting at the pool. We all started off at 6 different tables of Euro and American (or American imports to Europe), but by the end of the night we were just one big blob of chatting women, in the dark by the pool, with bats occasionally swooshing by the flood light above the bar. We turned in early for the big day.

Apparantly, the men did, too. As I was all cleaned up and ready for bed, having my last smoke on my cliff-top verandah while listening to the lapping of subtle waves against the rock walls below, LDG arrived. He said the designated Bachelor Party club was gross, full of Negril prostitutes and mediocre vibes. Since my villa-mate was spending the nite in Bride's villa, LDG and I had our first sleep-over. And we didn't waste it on a recap of the Bachelor Party.

The Wedding Day (Day 3) was off to a great start when she and I and 5 other girlfriends went off for a breakfast at
Aqua Moon Resort on the beach and a private chef made us whatever we wanted. Then off to Couples Swept Away Resort for massage and manicure. Got back to our resort and, while sitting on the verandah of Bride's villa eating lunch, she and I watched disappointingly as rain clouds came our way. It started raining, and Bride was bummed the wedding might not be outside. However, she was a really good sport about it! Shortly before the [delayed] wedding time, the skies opened, just in time for the most glorious sunset wedding any of us had experienced. Reception was great, complete w/after reception night swim.

Day 4, we had a "Recovery" brunch and then a chill day with the Newlyweds on the cliffs by the pool. I got stung by a water wasp in the boob while swimming through a cave. It hurt for 3 hours. I was disappointed to have the pain of a nipple pierce without the reward of the actual piercing. This was the day that LDG and I had "the talk," about whether I would leave the next day or stay on longer with him. I really wanted to stay; as I said before, we had been living in a petri dish since arrival and it would be nice to take that away. Additionally, LDG had done a few things that caused pause, and I certainly wasn't going to spend the time and money to go to Europe to find out whether those pausey things were his nature or a result of our environment. So I changed my ticket, and I stayed.

The next day most people left, and LDG and I, along w/his parents and other brother's family, moved to a beach resort for the remaining 3 days. It was door-knob-turning-equals- instant-sweat hot but I loved every minute of it. LDG and I chilled, ate, jet ski-ed, met with locals and chilled some more. We had a most excellent time. But you might want to know some other aspects of the trip:

Jamaican food is awesome; the produce is so fresh it's unbelievable. I had fruit and yogurt every morning (except the last day – fruit and French toast). The fish is also excellent and I had mostly red snapper dishes for lunches AND dinners. Couldn't get enough of it!

The difficult part about Jamaica for me was that you look out to the west, at the ocean, and it is the most glorious vision of peace, beauty and serenity one can know. Crystal blue, no waves, amazing skies. Then, you turn to look east and you see the poverty, the dirt, pollution and litter (SO much litter). It's absolutely day and night. As much as I like to think I have an ounce of humanity in me, I never wanted to look eastward. Interacting with local Jamaicans is also difficult, because they are always scheming, even the children. You think you are having a friendly conversation, and when you finally tire of the local's incessant "helpfullness" and pull away, they ask for money or cigarettes. I caught on to this quite early, it took LDG 4 or 5 experiences, and even then he was more ok with it than me. Our last evening there, he and I were sitting on the beach, right at the water's edge, watching the sunset. This cute local kid came up and started talking to us, then his brother and nephew arrived as well. Mario hung out with us for about 10 minutes before pointing to his mouth saying he was starving, and could we use our all-inclusive bands to get him some food. His pals were violently splashing in the water in front of us, one of them knocked over my drink, and I had finally lost all island patience. "Gwon now" I said, Jamaican style, "that's enough, now gwon home!" I must have said it 10 times! They didn't move, so I dragged the beach chair they had set their clothes on to the end of the resort's beach territory. They still didn't move, but at least they were leaving us alone. LDG says he's the good cop and I'm the bad cop. He's totally right. I was also the bad cop with the non-working a/c, and the missing towels, AND the unchanged sheets on the bed.

I didn't venture into the ocean much at the beach, mainly because of the hyper-active sardines. The first and only trip into the ocean off of the beach, Bride and I were standing chin deep in the water, and she was pontificating on how amazing it was that we are both now connected to the Dutch family on the beach. And then it bumped me. A fish. I screached. Then another bumped me. We started swimming back to shore, as every time I put my foot down, either a crab snapped at me or a fish nudged me, so we swam until we could sit our asses down in the sand. I was describing the shape and size of the water monsters when one came between us and scared the sh*t out of Bride. So we were out of the water. For good.

The last evening, as I said, LDG and I watched the sunset, and then went to dine at the dining hall along the beach. It was wonderful and sad at the same time. We sat on our balcony for one last Red Stripe together, listening to the insane night birds and the more insane taxis on the main road. The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast, I said goodbye to his family (who hopes to see me soon soon soon) and LDG helped me pack up. We were quiet; focused on the tasks and blocking the upcoming goodbye.

So the next step with LDG is that he's coming out here end of October for my half marathon, which he thinks he will run but I seriously doubt it as he's really out of shape (we ran like 1/16th of a mile on the beach and he quit before the end)! He's even talking about moving here, which I am a little worried about, so I plan on slowing him down in that department. Don't get me wrong; I love that LDG is already there. But Jamaica is a little piece of paradise, and although it was an excellent trip for us, it wasn't the real world. Even a visit for a week to SF or Europe won't really tell either of us if a larger commitment is right, because that's like "oh, cool, a week in SF/Europe!" You know what I mean? Seriously - do you know how good the shopping is in Europe and how fun the biking around is? I'd be swooned by that alone. Same goes for LDG over here. Too many good restaurants and new experiences to not fog the brain. Because SF can get quite foggy.