Tuesday, January 31, 2006

We are a loser

This latest losing streak the Sharks have been on has made me realize an unsettling correlation between the Sharks' record and my blogging record. When they loose, I can't seem to face the thought of blogging about their loss. I don't want to be one of those fans who gets nasty when their team is sucking; I don't feel like the Sharks owe me anything in particular (unless I buy a ticket, in which case they owe me a seat.). But it makes me sad to see a team so full of skill and potential play so poorly. Sad and disappointed and not much like talking about it. So that's all I'll say about that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

No pictures for a while

My beautiful Sony laptop is sick again. While it's at the hospital, I'm using my trusty old IBM laptop which, of course, is not on friendly terms with my Sony memory stick from my Sony digital camera. Plus, I've been taking an extended leave of absence from my small but respectable collection of Lomo cameras, so no blog pictures for a bit. There, there, no need to cry over it. It's only temporary.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I can no longer be trusted

Yesterday was a beautiful day to turn 30.

It was a beautiful day to spend driving around in L's convertible with the top down, walking the dogs at the Palace of Fine Arts, visiting the Presidio, making pigs in a blanket...hey, it's my birthday, I can have pigs in a blanket if I want to.

I think Ozzy had the best time of all.

I'm just glad I was able to resist the temptation to have a party a Chuck E. Cheese.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Gift Ideas

In case anyone is wondering what to get me for my birthday, I've come up with a few suggestions to make your life easier:

1. The gift that keeps on giving!

2. Everyone needs a box full of kittens.

3. Jet pack!

4. Hey. It could happen.

While I'm on the subject of birthdays, let's have a great big cheer for my great big brother, Paul! Happy birthday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hello, I Must Be Going

Back from Tucson just in time to spend a couple of days with my very best friend...then it's back to our transatlantic love affair. Sigh. Who ever said that absence makes the heart grow fonder--or anything romantic, for that matter--must have had a fiance who lived 10 time zones away. I've said it before and I'll say it again: thank goodness for hockey, my drug of choice.

And thank goodness for birthdays! I'm counting down to the one year anniversary of my 29th birthday, and the celebration begins on Friday!

Friday, January 13, 2006


Seriously, they're everywhere!

Instead of trees, Tucson has cacti. I know, duh it's a desert. But as a first-time Southwestern US desert visitor, I'm pretty impressed. The stuff and brush I'm used to; both Eastern Oregon and parts of California are lousy with the stuff. But it's the gigantic, pole-like cacti that are just totally blowing me away.

I feel like I should be seeing a chuck wagon or Yosemite Sam or John Wayne or something. All of a sudden, I want to go to a rodeo.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

One cson or tu?

The first thing I noticed about Arizona was that the cars don’t have license plates on the front. It was an odd thing to notice, but it really stood out to me. The next thing I noticed was just how deserty it is here. I’ve traveled to a number of different places to attend a number of different conferences, and most of them have been places I would expect to be desssrty-—Dallas, San Antonio, Palm Springs, Las Vegas (well, not Las Vegas—I know well enough that Las Vegas is a thousand other things before it’s a desert). Yet none of them were all that deserty. They were either far too urban or far too resorty. But Tucson—-now that’s a desert! Even if it’s only because it’s covered with those cactuses-—you know the ones.

I’m here for the annual USASBE—SBI conference. You know, the one where Rhonda and I karaoke-ed to “I Got You, Babe” last year. The one where I saw Mickey Rooney (and perhaps more noteworthy, a rock that looked just like Mickey Rooney). It’s hard to believe a whole year has gone by since then. And what a year! New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas, Israel…no wonder my arms are so tired.

The conference hotel is downright schmancy. These entrepreneurship folks sure know how to confer! Between the giant coolers of iced tea everywhere you look and smell of tea tree and lavender wafting in from the spa, it almost feels like I’m on vacation-—sure smells that way. I’ll enjoy my surroundings while I’m here; I’m cutting my trip a day short. L’s going to be home for a week-—just long enough to help me celebrate the one year anniversary of my 29th birthday-—and I can hardly wait to see him. I see a shoulder massage in his immediate future; that’s the perfect cure for jet lag.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year

The Planning Shop's annual holiday party is always held notoriously late. We usually get our act together around April, before the craziness of Book Expo ensues. 2004's holiday party was finally held on January 7th, 2006--quite possibly a record for the longest put-off party.

Obviously, it was worth it.

We had such a great time! 10 Planning Shoppers and Planning Shop well-wishers out for a night on the town in North Beach! We saw Beach Blanket Babylon (punsters Rhonda and Mireille were positively giddy) and drank champagne like real socialites (the classy kind, not the Paris Hilton kind), then we hit Rose Pistola for a 4-course butter and garlic fest. It certainly wasn't the rock 'n bowl karaoke parties we used to have in the olden days, but it sure was fun. When you're a group as small and close as ours, the party goes where we go. Next year, I'm thinking party trolley...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

105 dog minutes of fame

As a person who has a job and works with other people, I enjoy many varied perks. The people with whom I work know other people, and sometimes those other people are famous. I've got autographed photos on my office wall of Marc Summers (both Double Dare and Unwrapped versions), Gary Sinise, and Sarah Barrable-Tishauer. I've seen Wicked from the house seats twice. I interviewed Stephin Merritt when 69 Love Songs came out about what it's like to manage your own music career (that was a sham interview; I needed a way to get into the sold-out concert). Yes, working at The Planning Shop has proven to be a perk-heavy experience.

My taste for perks and fringe benefits ("Are you sure they're not French benefits?") began before I'd ever even heard of "Planning" or "Shops" or "books." Back in college when I worked for the holistic vet/acupuncturist, we offered a seminar on this touchy-feely animal mind-control massage technique--something that the Eugene, Oregon local news channel found worthy of their camera crew. Every relative, every dinner guest, every repair person who has come to our home in the last 6 years has seen this video. Now that's a perk.

Friday, January 06, 2006


I'm sure at least a few people were upset at the apparent approval of violence in my last post. So a couple of things:

1. Trevor Letkowski was not seriously injured. He was back for the third period. Sure, he didn't stay for the whole period, but it's not like he got a puck in the face and lost 3 teeth, or was punched in the back of the head.

2. It was a clean hit!

Cheechoo's Hat Trick, Part II

He did it again! And I get to wear the chicken hat for another day in honor of Cheechoo's second hat trick of the season.

I might even consider wearing the chicken hat to The Planning Shop's official 2005 holiday party this weekend. We're all going to see Beach Blanket Babylon and have fancy Italian dinner in North Beach. Obviously, the chicken hat is totally in order.

Yes, the hat trick was fantastic. But this hit was the real play of the game. C'mon, feel the wrath of Kyle.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Evil, thy name is Discovery Health Channel

There's a new boogeyman on the horizon. Not a new boogeyman, per se, as this particular fear is well documented, but rather a new identity for an existing boogeyman: Traumatic Head Injury. This is some seriously nasty stuff.

Did you know that the inside surface of your skull--behind your forehead--is a jagged mass of pointy bits of bone and sockets? It's true. And guess what else is right behind your forehead. Your frontal lobe--that's the part of your brain that controls things like empathy and impulse control. It also controls what Neurologists refer to as the spark of humanity. All it takes is a pin prick to destroy your frontal lobe, and it sits nestled up against the equivalent of 50 rusty razor blades.

Then there are your temporal lobes--one on each side of your brain--which are our speech and language centers. Our temporal lobes are also the place where we store old memories and form new memories. Damage to these lobes impair our ability to speak, to comprehend speech, to recall memories and to remember anything new (remember Ten Second Tom from 50 First Dates? Not so funny anymore.).

Car accidents are the number one cause of brain injuries. The abrubtness of the collision causes our heads to whip back and forth, to and fro. And our poor, squishy brains get whipped around inside that craggy skull of doom. It's absolutely astounding that more people aren't walking around with frontal lobe trauma, unable to feel empathy or love, pleasure or pain (although that would certainly explain the behavior of our government recently.).

Traumatic Head Injury. Jeez louise. You can bet I'll be driver slower and safer in general from now on. Heck, I may start wearing a helmet just for extra protection. And roller coasters? Out of the question, as are horseback riding , participation in contact sports, and any sort of punk rock concerts.

This is what I get for bucking the crime dramas last night and watching Discovery Health Channel instead. I know it sounds like I'm a major TV junkie. In fact, I am. But that's beside the point. The thing is that I have to have the TV on in order fall asleep, but it's got to be something that isn't too terribly engaging so it won't keep me up. And nothing with a laugh track. Poirot works really well, so do those documentary-style reports like those on Discovery Health Channel--the narrator tends to have a soothing, calming voice. Even when he's talking about Roy King, the English guy who can no longer feel love for his wife and 3 year old son due to his brain injury. He can't hold a job either because of his lack of impulse control, also due to the brain injury.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

No need to call dog protective services

This is Ozzy wishing that the Law & Order madness would end and belly rubbing madness would begin. He doesn't mind when I go into a Netflix-induced Six Feet Under marathon because he thinks Lauren Ambrose is hot. But the Law & Order marathons tend to frighten him.

Law and Orderer

Praise cable TV! Between USA, TNT and A&E, there has been a Law & Order marathon on TV for the last four days. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday--96 glorious hours of SVU, CI and savory original flavor.

You heard me! Praise cable TV and praise Dick Wolf!

I realize that I have an addiction. And I realize that my addiction can be, at times, less than healthy. In fact, I came to this realization most recently on Sunday afternoon as I sat up on the couch, light-headed after moving from my mainstay horizontal position, rubbed my sofa upholstery indented face and looked down at the Triscuit crumbs on the floor. I blinked, looked at the light coming in through the venetian blinds and thought to myself, "Is that hazy mid-morning light or hazy mid-afternoon light? What time is it? Good lord, what day is it?!" Excited by my stirring and no doubt excited by the prospect of food, Nanna began to run around the coffee table in circles, carrying her stuffed goose toy and snorting with excitement. "What is it, girl? What's happening?" Nanna looked at me with exasperation and explained that she hadn't been fed in two and a half days. I actually stopped for a second and tried to remember the last time I had gotten up to get a diet Coke. Surely I had fed the dogs and cats on at least one of those occasions. I mean, if I hadn't, by this point Miru and Milhouse would have engaged in the only activity they both enjoy doing together: meowing pitifully for food. Loudly. That's when I realized that dogs, too, are capable of sarcasm. I put on my shoes and took the poor hounds for a walk.

Then I came home and watched another 17 hours of criminal justice doled out doink-doink style.