Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here's what is happening in Geneva tonight. Maybe I will be there, but who knows! I'm hoping to end up dancing on the roof like the people in this picture.
Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Au Revoir

I tried to post last night from my parent's house, but the internet connection was giving me fits. Just wanted to say au revoir - I'm in Dallas right now - thank you Admirals' Club for the free internet access - and I'll be back on January 6th. Wish me luck tomorrow when I land in a country where I do not speak the language. Like - at all. Maybe instead of sitting here in the Admirals' Club, I should be out buying a "How to speak French" book at the book store???

Life is hard - isn't it?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

My wonderful friend Andrea created my Christmas Card this year. Hopefully you received one. If you didn't, send me your address so I will put you on my card list. You like how I'm transferring the responsibility to you? They did get out a little late - so cut me a little slack, OK?

Isn't it awesome? I really really love it.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Resolutions in retrospect ...and other things.

I've been waiting for my Christmas miracle today - that little elves were going to come and pack my suitcases since I'm going home in a few hours AND THEN GOING TO FRANCE AND SWITZERLAND ON FRIDAY HOLYCRAPI'MGOINGTOFRANCEONFRIDAY.... {deep breath} ANDIHAVEN'TPACKED!!


In the meanwhile, since this might actually be one of the last "live" posts you're getting from me this year, I thought that I'd tell you that I made a resolution last New Years Eve that I don't think ever went public. It went something like this: "I'm going to make my bed every single day this year."

And I just want you to know that I have.

You can ask my roommates. You can ask my friends - my bed is always made and I am proud of it. That doesn't mean that my room is always clean - that is definitely to the contrary, but for me, if the bed is made, I feel better about myself and about my life. Sounds silly, but I know that there are a lot of you out there thinking that you'd like to make a resolution this year to make YOUR bed every day, if you aren't already. And if that is the case, I'd like to encourage you.

{that was a picture of my old room in the lovely Presidio - pictures of my more 'quaint' room will be posted shortly}

Monday, December 22, 2008

More Christmas Miracles

I feel like the past three or four days have gone by in an absolute blur. I just feel that I have so much to be grateful for. Details are forthcoming on San Franidazzle, but to give you a little preview, I have to say that everything about it was incredible. The decor was unbelievable - I never thought our kitchen could look so good! The food - the best dinner I've ever eaten. The games - how can you beat reverse charades and bingo?? The neighbor - crazier than he's been in a long time. My date would have won the Mr. Congeniality award if we had voted. I think that my girl friend's dates have bigger man crushes on him than anyone else. I could go on for days. I also don't want to ruin any future blog posts that there may be on the subject, so hopefully I wet your palette enough that you will come back for more on that.

On Saturday I felt like my body had been glued to my bed. At noon I peeled my face off the pillow and attempted to wake up and get my day going. The good news is that I was able to pull myself together by the time dinner rolled around and I was able to go to Target with LaNae and Kirsten and finish buying everything for Christmas and get some things for around the house. Successful trips to Target are the best. On our way home from the store, LaNae mentioned something to me and Kirsten about a lavishly decorated house that was close to ours. San Francisco is definitely more of a "Happy Holidays" type of town than a "Merry Christmas" town, so I was more than shocked to see this a few blocks away from my own home:

Can you see the size of the tree compared to those people? Just remember that Christmas trees are generally about the size of people. Holy cow! Amazing! We decided to walk up closer and look who we found sitting on the front porch!

Seriously - that was the Christmas miracle of the day. Sitting with Santa in Noe Valley. What was your Christmas miracle this weekend?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Miracle of the Day

Fitting the already prepared food for tonight's party in the fridge at my house.

I'm still waiting for Saturday's Christmas miracle to happen: introducing my body to a concept called "sleep." I hear it is nice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In Wednesday's News

Newsflash - still have a cold. Not getting better. To show you all how committed I am(Rachael), I ran in the freezing cold and officially started my marathon training. Tonight was five miles and wasn't too bad for the first day. I sadly opted out of going to my monthly LAC party since I didn't want to get anyone sick. I'm forced to be at work all week due to some deadlines that must be met, so at least at the moment I don't care so much about getting anyone there sick - you don't want me there? Send me home! I am trying to be as considerate as possible and not touch things that I don't have to, so despite my unruly attitude, you can give me a little manners credit.
This Friday some close friends and I are throwing a little holiday bash and I'm actually getting pretty excited about it. All the plans have come together nicely and though only half of us girls have dates as of right now- ahem - , I can't wait for it all to happen! The food, the company, the laughs - this will be a party to write home about. So - more details on that to come later.

In the meantime, I'm heading to Vallejo to have dinner with my parents to celebrate my Dad's birthday before they leave town on Thursday. And maybe go running, go to the dentist, schedule a hair appointment, attend a potluck. Oh - and countdown to France/Switzerland - 8 days and 5 hours. Eeeeeek! Here's a picture of one of the towns I'm going to be visiting. Yowza!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday Oddities

I'm still sick and even though today was my first real day of marathon training, I didn't go running. Don't judge me - just tell me that I'll make up for it tomorrow when I go running right after work! That's right! I still have time and so help me, I'm sick of this runny nose!! I must have eaten about 20 Halls cough drops today and I still don't feel any better.

My parents and grandmother came over for dinner tonight - wasn't one of my best creations, but it was fun visiting with them and I was even able to pull out my good friend Vinny and play a few diddies for my roommates and family. I'm grateful for my dad who makes politically incorrect statements at the dinner table, for my mom who was wearing some new sparkly jewels on her left hand - she claims the jeweler was having a sale!, and for a grandmother who still makes me laugh at age 95.

Moving back in time; this picture was taken of me last week at a work holiday party. I'm not sure who I am looking at here, but holy cow - have you ever seen me give that look before? (click to enlarge) Let's hope not. But - I do think it is rather entertaining. Gladys, be grateful you were standing next to me, OK? :)
But since I would hate to end this post on a negative note, here's a better picture from the same evening. Apparently, I love fake snow!

Happy holidays! This week is insane for me - so hang in there even if I'm not around to cheer you up. Or go back to Justin & Silvia's blog and watch them dance again... I know that always cheers me up!

Monday, December 15, 2008

America Vs. Brazil

I caught whatever it was that has been going around the past few weeks, so this weekend was pretty low key for me. Well, other than hanging with my parents in Marin to celebrate my Grandmother's 95th birthday!

I stumbled across this gem of a blogpost today and I'd like to keep a little tally in the comments section of who you think is the better dancer - Justin or Silvia. - or as they put it: "America vs. Brazil"

If you'd like to leave a comment anonymously, that is completely acceptable.
I know you will.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I needed a wing man.

After work on Wednesday I was obligated to attend a holiday reception for an association I belong to. I always feel dumb walking around with my diet coke - not that I'm ashamed, but that the parties are always more about the wine than the food and then people look at me weird and then I end up leaving early. I always need a wingman. Luckily, tonight I had one for part of the time. Thanks Gladys!

But really, I'd much rather talk about my recent obsession with Elton John's music circa 1970. Here are a few for your viewing pleasure.

or here for some same genre but not Elton John. Why is it that I'm finally discovering that I love this music? I think my love spawned after I saw this movie:

I really love it. I only own maybe 10 movies and this is one of them. Check it out.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Valentines Day weekend I'll hit a milestone in my life. I'll be in San Diego at the wedding of my friends Deb and Blair and I'm going to be a bridesmaid. What's the milestone you ask? This is going to be my 10th time being in a wedding party. The reactions that I get when I tell people about this are varied. To be honest, I always feel honored that someone would want me to be a part of their special day and if that means that they want me to wear a dress and smile for the pictures, I am more than happy to oblige.

And if I make it to 12, my boss told me that she's going ot make a documentary about me. I mean - I just thought you should all know so that you don't all get the same idea a few weddings from now. :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Presidio Relay - or David Parker's 7th Annual San Francisco Relay Race

On Saturday morning, I was in a relay race in the Presidio with some friends. And I'd better tell you before you scroll any further - this post is full of good looking people. Men especially (And women named Rachael). Watch out!

And you can't really tell by the looks of it, but it was absolutely freezing outside. Well, cold for San Francisco and for everyone to be outside for 3.5 hours in it! But here we are - keeping ourselves warm and preparing for the race.

Me and Rachael - in our glamorous weekend outfits. At least this time we actually did go running. Last weekend, maybe not so much. Anyway - moving on.

I know you all love some Marshall. I was lucky that I convinced him to come and run the second 3.5 mile loop for me the night before. He was super speedy - even if he did get lost on the course. Which I find extremely ironic since he's lived in the Presidio for about 6 years now. ha! Now I know that all my married girlfriends out there (ahem -Shelley and Karli) are wondering why I'm not dating these guys. I do believe that at least 3 of them have girlfriends, so there's your advance warning to not give me crap. ha!


Dave & Marshall making the baton hand-off.
Unfortunately, Marshall wasn't quite ready!



I wanted a picture of our 2nd place team - we did really great, no thanks to my 12 minute pace. Seriously - these guys are all so speedy!!! Lucky for the other team, I was a great handicap. :) Right as we were taking the picture, Scott came and put his arms around me all prom style, which made for a hilarious shot if I do say so myself.

The winning team - and I will say that it was OK that they won since they were part of the Young Single Adult team. Rachael won a special award for being the fastest female runner, Scott for having the most amazing sweat band, and Jared for being best dressed and skinniest legs.

Gloating a little, are we?

Monday, December 8, 2008


So maybe I've been on a bit of a blog break and I didn't mention it beforehand. I've been pretty stressed the past week, so I apologize for being a little out of it. Obviously the fastest way to lose readers is to stop blogging. Let's have an update then shall we?

In no particular order, here are the things that I've been thinking about lately:
  • I was browsing Britney Spears's celebrity playlist the other day on i-tunes and I realized that I already own every single one of the songs. Does that scare me or you more? I'm not sure. Five minutes before that, I downloaded some Jonas Brothers. If you want your own secret copy, shoot me an email and I'll hook you up. :)
  • I've been on the planning committee for my office holiday party the past year and this past weekend is when the big party happened. For the most part, everything went fine - no major drama and even after being on my high-heeled feet for 6 hours straight, I'm able to walk again. And I wore red tights - so I got a picture with Red Pants himself. Pictures to come, my friends.
  • I was in a race on Saturday morning - a relay to be exact and although my pace is slow, my teammates were super competitive and we came in 2nd place. I do think that I ran pretty well though - and I was faster than I usually am, which is a step in the right direction. I will have pictures of that tomorrow.
  • I was supposed to run in another race Sunday morning, but I was tired from the party the night before and I was stressed about the next bullet point.
  • I taught a class at church on Sunday about family history - I haven't been given any negative feedback, and I think it went well. I was happy with the way it all turned out and I think that I met the goals I set for myself.
  • My parents are coming to town this weekend for my grandmother's 95th birthday party. Yes, that's my still-living-on-her-own-and-taking-care-of-the-yard-work-herself grandmother. I like to think I got all my good genes from her. No offense, Mom.
  • In my car, it's been non-stop Christmas music since I got home from Costa Rica. I love me some Christmas music.
  • Lost my Santa costume from last year's Christmas party. Seriously - does anyone know where it is? Poor Santa is naked somewhere and needs his clothes back.
  • Last Friday was our church's annual Christmas auction. I purchased grocery shopping for a month (thanks Jane!), a ride to the airport, and some adventurous activity involving a shotgun and a horse. You probably think I'm kidding, but seriously. A shotgun and a horse. Probably not at the same time, but I'll keep you posted.
  • 90% of my Christmas decorations are finally in place - and preparations for my roommate holiday party are underway. Bring on the holidazzle! I can't wait!
  • Anyone interested in going to Thailand in April?
  • I watched High School Musical on Saturday for the first time. Stop judging me. And I liked it. Stop judging me. Sometimes I miss EFY for keeping me in touch with tween trends.
  • I have to give a shout-out to Rita who qualified for the Boston Marathon on Sunday morning. I am so proud of her. If you know her, you should email her and tell her what a rock star she is - since it's the truth. Way to go, Rita!
Life is good - and this week will be busy as usual. I will do my best to keep you updated. After all, that's what this silly little blog is here for.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Costa Rican Adventure!

I'm up to my eyeballs in the aftermath of Atlanta and a week-long vacation, so please don't hate me for taking so long to get my life back together. This morning I made a critical to-do list - things that I've been procrastinating for months and the crap has finally hit the fan and ohmygoshIhavetogetitalldonetoday. or else. As of lunch time, I have crossed 6 things off the list - hopefully by the end of the day I'll be much closer to getting done. ...breathe...

So for your enjoyment, sit back, relax and pretend that you went to Costa Rica with me for a few minutes.

The first thing we really did upon our arrival in San Jose - other than sleeping - was get in an armored car (I was obviously traveling with my Dad) and get on our way to Guanacaste, which is a region of Costa Rica. Along the way was the Costa Rica temple. Here I am with my Dad in front of it - super small, but I was glad that we got to at least stop by and see it.

After a few hours of driving through the countryside, we arrived at La Pacifica, which is a restaurant on Hwy 1. Considering that I live in a town that Hwy 1 also runs through, it is strange to think that if I just go south for a few days, I'd be able to drive there. Little did I know that I'd be eating most of my meals at this restaurant over the next three days. Good thing it was delicious. The best part of each meal was the jam - homemade of course - that went with their warm bread. Oh deliciousness. I brought some back home and my resident experts have informed me that it is guava jam.

And on our way out of the restaurant, this was next to the driveway, wishing us a nice day. Please note that there was no zooming involved on my camera's lens. I seriously just opened the door of the armored car and took the picture. Remember that one time that I was so grateful to live in the US where these animals aren't the normal varmints in my yard? Oh yeah - I remember that time.

We arrived to our beach house in Playa Coco in the afternoon and enjoyed the warm weather. Here I am with my Mom out on the patio.

And then I met my new best friend - I asked her in Spanish what her name was several times, but she never answered; just followed me around the entire time we were there.

All too quickly the sun set, but lucky for us, the view was spectacular. Check that out! I'm not so sure anymore than pollution makes for beautiful sunsets. We weren't exactly in LA, ya know? To escape from the bugs, we shut ourselves inside the house - (mosquitos are to my legs like Edward is to Bella. Seriously - they lurve me.) - and my dad, Gary, and I proceeded to play various card games until about 1am. Yeah, that's about 7 hours worth of card games. Hearts and rummy - my bum was sore by midnight and I had to stand around the table to finish. I knew that I wasn't going to win, but I don't think my dad wanted me to have the pleasure of having a sore bum AND winning. :)

In the morning, we had the option of going fishing or giving the zip lines a whirl. We unanimously decided to go with the zip line. Here's a picture from the club house of someone in the group before us going on the first segment of the line.

And this is the only picture of the entire gang - all ready to strap ourselves to a cord and swing across the jungle. I think that Kim and Gary look a little nervous - don't you?

We were on the lines for about 2 hours - you zip from platform to platform through the tree canopy and dodge snakes along the way. Well, maybe not at least while I was there, but I hear it's possible. And I even wore flip flops (my all-weather-all-terrain shoes of choice) without a problem!

I should have taken more pictures of the bridges and ladders we had to climb during our adventure. If you are afraid of heights, I'm afraid to say that maybe this isn't the activity for you. My sister Allison NEVER would have made it. Swinging bridges aren't even on my top 10 list, if you know what I mean.

But hanging out with hot Costa Rican guys, ok, twist my arm.
Of course I stood on the hill so it makes me look like Gigantor next to my zip line crush, Giovani. Of course all the guides were quick to learn my name and luckily I speak just enough Spanish to get by and talk a little with them. And no, I wasn't dumb enough to do any of this with my Dad around. :)

That evening, we drove back to La Pacifica, which is by Canas. My dad's boss owns the ranch, which has some hotel-like rooms, tilapia farms, horses, and other random things. Here's a picture of the little room I stayed in. My parent's was much more like an apartment, but mine was just a little bit more rustic of a hotel room. Supposedly there were little frogs in the shower, but I didn't see them if they were there.

The next morning, we got up early and after eating some more delicious food, we went horse back riding. I took a basic equitation class my sophomore year in college, so it was nice to be back on a horse after so long. My horse didn't seem to like me too much, but here was my view as we went around the ranch that morning:

Rice paddies

Some canals with signs that (translated) said: Danger - crocodiles could be in the water. Eek! I was very glad to be on a horse.

I tried several times to take a self portrait but being jostled around by a horse who doesn't like you doesn't always make for a steady or good picture. :)

Here's a tilapia pond. In fact, all of the tilapia that is raised here is sold in the United States. I could have seen your dinner. Weird. The age of the tilapia determines what pond they live in - and here are some guys harvesting some of the tilapia with their nets.

I didn't take any pictures inside the restaurant of our Thanksgiving Tilapia, but I had mine with a side of plantains and avocados. Oh yummy. I'm not a huge fish person, but the tilapia was quite delightful if I do say so myself. Our flight was early early the next morning, so we left after dinner to go back to San Jose and stay the night close to the airport. Before leaving though, we checked out some of the rescue birds that they keep outside of the restaurant. Based on the personality of these birds, I'd never want a parrot for a pet. MEAN birds - sheesh. I'll stick to a mean cat, thank you very much.

I thought Costa Rica was a beautiful country and even though my Dad scared me half to death about the snakes, I didn't have a single problem with a bug or a varmint of any kind. I'd definitely like to go back and have more time to enjoy the scenery - and maybe some of the locals. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008


I was not eaten by snakes in Costa Rica. You can stop worrying. I'll be back tomorrow.