The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Sleeping Like a Baby

Now that some of the big TO DOs are off my check list, I finally got my first good night's sleep in several weeks. There is still a ton to do and a lot of details and coordination but I'm feeling a lot more confident about the plan. I have my movers confirmed, I have a general idea of a time line, etc. Now it's just up to going down my list as the days go by.

The best news is that Don will be here tomorrow night! I'm even somewhat excited about my garage sale as a lot of our family and friends will be stopping by. We do have some things to do like signing escrow paperwork and taking the dogs to the vet, but it will be nice to have someone to help me out around the house -- at least for a day or two.

Off to lunch to release the hounds and put them in the dog run for the afternoon. It's so nice here, I am going to have a hard time coming back.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Whirlwind of a Trip

Things continue to fall into place!

I almost didn't get there. I am usually so very careful about making sure I have all my travel documents. I got to LAX 2 hours prior to flight time, had the skycap check my bags and check me in, and headed to security. I had a sudden panic attack as I realized my ID was not in my wallet! I retraced my steps and didn't find anything. I went back to the skycap desk and didn't find anything. Luckily, I didn't completely lose it -- I grabbed a cab, went home, got my passport and headed back to the airport. All in all, from the first time I checked in until I actually cleared security, took about 35 minutes.

My flight landed at 11:30 MSP time. It was a long walk but as I descended down the elevator I saw my reward -- Don!! I was so happy to see him and hold him and be held by him.

Don got Friday off so we were able to have breakfast together and I got the cook's tour of the area, including the Vikings' facility. We drove by a bunch of houses, trying to put them in some semblance of order to see on Saturday. Out of 12, I think we culled it down to 10 we were interested in. I also had the chance to go into downtown and meet my boss and see my new office. It's a great office building. It has a 3 floor atrium lobby with live trees and one whole glass wall is a waterfall. Since it's all financial AMEX people, there is tight security. I'll be on the 8th floor, which is right in the middle as there's a total of 16 floors. There is a sundry shop, a courtyard and an on-site gym. They have underground parking and the cost ($80 a month) can be taken out of your paycheck. The other option is a Metro pass for $40 a month, but I don't think the bus is an option, although I may change my mind come the first snow fall. My boss seems very nice. He's really young and could pass for Clay Aiken's brother. The one surprising thing is that it's a very casual office. I thought it would be much more business attire, but I'm glad I don't have to worry about trying to deal with nylons and snow.

We met our real estate agent on Saturday morning. He was very cool, and a transplanted San Franciscan. We ended up seeing 16 houses. It actually wasn't too bad -- some we put in the "A" pile and some we knew right away we weren't interested. On the forth to last house, we finally found The One.

It's 4 bed, 2 1/2 bath, with a deck, 3 car garage, 12000+ sq. foot lot, 2 blocks from Lake Mitchell and about 30 minutes from my office. We plan on closing on Friday, Oct. 29.

I'm trying to get my last day to be Thurs. Oct. 21, which is in 3 weeks and 2 days, or 17 work days. Not that I'm counting or anything.

Of course, leaving was hard but Don will be here this weekend and then it's just 3 weeks until I make the final move.

Piece of cake!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Bags Are Packed

Well, mostly. I have determined that I will need to take 2 bags to check in. Now, the suitcase is pretty small, so it's not like I'm piling it full of stuff. Plus, I have to have both casual and business wear for this trip. I could probably jam it into one large duffel, but I hate the idea of trying to wrestle with it as I board. I'd rather check and only carry on my backpack.

I don't actually travel well. It's not that I'm afraid to fly, but I hate the hassle of standing in this line and then standing in that line -- heck, there's usually a line for the lav on the plane! I'm so not a line person. What I'm hoping is that I can get engrossed in my book, crank my iPod and relax for the 3 1/2 hour flight. More than likely, I will be worrying about the dogs (did my dog sitter get there OK?). She's very responsible, but she's only stayed over night once and that was just for 1 night. This time, it's 4 nights, and I know they can be a handful.

In addition to my overall malaise from the stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, excitement, etc. TTOM arrived (but, of course -- I haven't seen Don in 17 days. Ya think I might want to "renew" my vows? wink wink) and I'm running a low grade fever. My counterpart in the office has been out all week with bronchitis. Just what I need!

Part of my nervousness is meeting my new boss for the first time. He pretty much hired me and we've only spoken, so we don't know what the other looks like (sounds like a blind date -- maybe he'll be wearing a carnation in his lapel). Obviously my fears are rooted in my self-esteem and body image issues. I know, in my heart of hearts, he hired me because of my skills and talents, and even if I had interviewed in person, these would have outweighed (no pun intended) my appearance.

Anyway, I need to wrap up a few things and finish packing. Maybe with a little rearranging I can fit it all into one bag.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


1. Home Inspection
2. Termite Inspection
3. Laundry
4. Pack for MSP
5. Lose my mind

The Home & Termite Inspections have me in fits. Most of the recommendations were things we expected -- cleaning the gutters, chimney, furnaces -- but I didn't expect them to suggest that we rewire the house for safety reasons. I also figured we had termites (almost every house in California does) but we can tent the last 2 days of escrow so that shouldn't affect me that much.

I'm just on pins and needles until I know what they are going to want fixed or credited. I don't want this sale to fall through, but I also don't want to invest a ton of money or time -- neither of which I have a lot of right now.

It's becoming very overwhelming for me. There is so much to do, and so much can go wrong between now and the end of October. I am re-thinking the plan for my last week,. Originally, I was going to work until Friday, 10/29 and start my new job in MSP on Monday, 11/1. Now I'm thinking I should have Friday, 10/22 as my last day and use the following week to wrap up everything here as well as starting things there (buying a new bed, for instance). It's probably going to be around Thanksgiving before I have a chance to breathe.

The great news is that Don will be able to come home next weekend! So I will see him this weekend and next weekend. It also looks like next weekend will be our yard sale. I'm not much for yard sales -- I don't even know exactly what to do, but he'll be there along with my mom and some friends. We're in a pretty good location, near major intersections, so I'll have to get some good signage posted. Just as long as I don't have to have it start at the crack of dawn.

I leave for MSP tomorrow. I will try and post before I leave, but probably won't have a chance to post while I'm there as Don is on dial up (gasp!). Just another reason why we want to get into a house as soon as possible!

Monday, September 20, 2004

For Sale Sold!

We're in escrow! It's scary & exciting. It seems so unreal, but so very real. Things are falling into place.

There is so much to do. I will be in MSP this weekend, hopefully to buy a house and to meet my new boss. The following weekend, which is a bye weekend for the Vikings (meaning they don't play, for those who are not NFL fans) so I am hoping Don can come home and help me with the yard/garage/estate sale. We should have the home inspection and termite report done this week. It's daunting, but at the same time, exciting because I know this means we'll all be together soon. The good news is that the moving company that Don's company uses will pack all of our stuff, so that is one thing off my TO DO list. That will be very useful since I tend to be a little anal when it comes to packing. They will want to do it right for insurance purposes so I don't think I have that much to worry about.

According to the offer sheet, they want closing on October 29th. That's slightly later than I wanted because of the dogs, since we've pretty much decided to fly them (per our vet and trainer). The buyer is actually the mother of the husband & wife who will be actually living here. They are a young couple, so I am happy that my home is going to them. I'm sure they will love it as much as we did.

Now, my task is going through my printouts of the houses in MSP to put together a final 5-8 we want to see this weekend. I can only hope that we find one we love like this one.

As much as I will miss this home, I am looking forward to when Don, the dogs and I are all together again.

Weekend? What Weekend?

So much for my semi-relaxing weekend. I had to take my car in to get the tire replaced, and goodness knows you can't just buy one tire. They didn't have my brand in stock, plus I had to wait for the alignment rack, so what should have taken 1 hour, took 4. This was just one more illustration as to how my life has changed since Don's been gone. In the past, he would follow me over and I could leave the car. Instead, because I came in after their last shuttle run, I had to wait. I did go and have lunch at TGI Friday's (FYI, if you have acid reflux and you forgot to take your meds, DO NOT order the jalepeno burger) and I did finish my book.

Sunday, I had to get out of the house once again so total strangers could traipse through my home. I went to Pasadena to catch my brother on his way back to Vegas, and my parents and their respective partners joined in. We had the rudest waitress, though. She brought the wrong dressing for the salads, and when we asked for the right one, she got very belligerent. Deb, my mom's partner, complained to the manager and we got a new waitress and 2 free desserts.

It was an absolute beautiful day -- breeze, slightly warm, clear. It really made me realize how much I am going to miss the weather.

And, not to bury my lead, my agent called about 30 minutes ago with an offer. I'm meeting him at 12:00 PM to review it and see if we want to counter or accept with some alterations. I don't want to dicker (I suck at playing the bargaining game -- places like Tijunana are just wasted on me) so I'm fine with the offer, which is about $20K less than the asking price. At this point, I want to sell it and spend this upcoming weekend finding a new house for us. I'm not ready to let my guard down -- at least until I have everything in writing, but it seems like things are falling in to place. The buyer wants the escrow to close on 10/28, which is fine by my timeline. That means we can make an offer this weekend and have it close that weekend as well and that would be slightly longer than 30 days.

Yikes! It's really starting to feel real!

Friday, September 17, 2004

One Task Down

So I officially have a job in Minnesota. It's an administrative assistant position, which is entry-level, however it seems that there is going to be a good chance for advancement as I learn my responsibilities. It does mean a significant pay cut, but one that can be recouped as I learn and excel at my duties.

There is also interesting news on the home front. One of Don's former co-workers contacted him via e-mail inquiring about the house. Not sure if that's going to go anywhere, but maybe something will develop.

Last night was my birthday dinner with my parents and their partners. We went to La Boheme in West Hollywood. As I was driving there, a cabbie got my attention and let me know that there was a nail sticking out of my tire. Of course, it was 5:57 PM -- so AAA wasn't going to get there quickly. I decided to try my luck at my Honda dealership which was a block away. Even though they had the bays closed, two of the service men put my spare on without any charge. I do have to go back on Saturday to get a new tire put on, but they had me back on the road in 5 minutes. I was so impressed. I did write a letter to Honda HQ as well as the dealership.

Dinner was wonderful. I had the mussels and clams in a wonderful broth to start and then had the NY strip steak. I only ate half the meat and then shared my fries with the table. I took the rest of the steak home for the dogs. I did cave in and have dessert, but it was my birthday. I had a tasty butterscotch pudding parfait. Yummy!

I'm getting off early today to try and spend some quality time with the dogs, maybe even attempting to walk them at the same time. I do have a coupler and that should cut down on one dog going left and the other going right. I also want to use tomorrow, other than my 10:00 appointment to get my tire replaced, as a full on relaxation day, spent on the deck, reading (Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell) and watching the USC game. I think, after this week, I deserve it.

On Sunday, my brother is going to be coming through town on an impromptu trip to Disneyland and we'll be meeting for lunch in Pasadena.

I also have to start planning my trip next weekend to Minneapolis. I'm going to meet my new boss and get a tour of the office as well as start looking at specific neighborhoods and houses. At least now that I know I have a job, I can work on seeing what commutes are going to be like.

So, that's my weekend in a nutshell. Not very exciting -- just how I like it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Shannin's Web

I've been observing a spider in my backyard for the past week and a half. She comes out every afternoon about 5:45 PM and spends the waning hours of twilight spinning her web. At about 8:30 AM the following morning, just as the strong sun hits her web, she tears it down and scurries under the eave of my neighbor's roof. Her web is about 9 feet off the ground, anchored on top by some phone lines and at the bottom by the tops of my seagrass. The web itself is about 3 feet across, and it's amazing to watch her methodically recreate it every night. It's almost like having my own Charlotte's web, but without the sayings weaved in. Anyway, I've kind of been meditating while watching her spin, thinking how nice it would be to have the simple life of a spider. Then I realize that I would spend it eating bugs and spinning silk out of my ass. Maybe not so easy.

Anyway, after my emotional meltdown, I'm feeling a little more together. I went home on Monday night, took my contacts out, started taking my pills (probably not a good idea to not be consistent with my thyroid and blood pressure medication), rested with a cold washcloth across my eyes, and remembered not to stress out. I'm trying to get home, get what I can get done before 6:00 PM and then spend the rest of my evening reading or watching TV. I can't keep every flippin' dog hair off the couch. I don't have to sweep and mop every day. Heck, if you aren't going to buy the house because of a little dog hair or dust, I don't want you to buy it.

I'm still trying NOT to stress about not having gotten any offers on the house yet. I mean, it's only been on the market for 4 days. The market has slowed down and houses are not selling in 15 minutes like they did a few months ago. It may take 3 weeks instead of 1. I know I had unrealistic expectations. I dreamed that people would be beating down the door to make offers on the house. At this point I would be relieved if it just sold by the end of the month. Of course, this means that I couldn't move until the end of October or beginning of November. Gotta have faith, right?

I am looking forward to a very laid back and mellow Saturday. It looks like we will have an open house on Sunday, but I think I can leave the dogs in their dog run and maybe take in a movie and a bite out since it's only for 3 hours. Overall, I don't plan on doing much more than playing with my new Pink iPod that came yesterday!. I did download all the music that I currently had on my iTunes, but I think I may want to change that up a bit and see if I can't organize a little better.

Anyway, I just finished up 2 days of training on How to Coach for Stellar Service. Pretty fun, and it was great to be in class with several of my co-leaders. Plus, it's nice to get out of the day-to-day routine. Luckily, it didn't get me behind in my work, so I may cut out a little early tonight and spend some play time with the dogs. I think a round of bubbles for Baja is in order.

Monday, September 13, 2004

We Have a Sig-Alert on Emotional Highway One

(Sig-Alerts are the So Cal term for major accidents that tie up 2 or more lanes of a freeway for more than 2 hours)

Yes, I had a big, emotional meltdown today. Definitely enough to tie up 2 or more lanes for more than 2 hours. I was crying into the phone while talking to Don, and even he couldn't understand what I was saying. Geeze....

It started yesterday afternoon. My agent came over to set up for the Open House about 15 minutes before it started. There were literally people who had been waiting outside to get it. I had to load the dogs into the car since I was going up to my Dad's (no easy feat when you have one dog who loves the car and one who doesn't) while watching people walk into my house. It's like they couldn't even wait until the body was cold, so to speak. As I was pulling away, I could see others exiting their car and walking toward the house and I had a panic attack -- dry heaves, cold sweats, ringing in my ears, tunnel vision, shaking -- the whole 9 yards, all while trying to drive and keep Jager out of the front seat.

The good news is that about 75 people went through the house. The bad news is we haven't gotten any offers.

I woke up this morning feeling so not rested. If I was flying today, the airline would have to charge me excess baggage for the bags under my eyes. For the last few days, I have been having tummy problems. Without hitting TMI levels, I haven't been able to eat on a normal schedule, and nothing sounds or tastes good (AH, HA -- a new diet!). My hands tremble. I have a headache that won't go away. My left eye is twitching. I have a very short temper and a low threshold for anything that annoys me (OK, that's not new, but it's shorter than usual). I started to cry on the way to work and had to pull it together because I got a business call and then was pissed because I couldn't have a good cry. So, I cried on the way home for lunch, got Don on his cell phone, and bawled my little eyes out (not so hard as to cry my contacts out, which I have done, but that's a story for another day).

At least I feel better. I actually ate lunch -- El Pollo Loco salad. And I haven't thrown up. All good signs.

I think the issue is that I'm trying to be too strong. I don't want to complain to Don or bitch too much to my parents and friends because I'm tough. I was always encouraged to "tough it out." You know, not show emotional or physical weakness. My mom would always say, "You're tougher than that. Pull it together." For a long time I despised people who showed emotion, cried or got hysterical. Hey, the heart is a muscle. You work exercise at being tough, and you won't get hurt. Ummm, not exactly.

The heart is a muscle, and like and muscle, it can get strained, bruised and torn. It's not impervious to stress. If you try and hold your emotions in too long, the muscle will get hurt. Ever try to hold a 50 lb. barbell in a curl for a few hours? I thought not. Just like that, it's unnatural to hold your emotions in, and, trust me, emotions are much stronger than a silly barbell. At some point, the heart is going to tear and all that is going to come flooding out. The best thing to do is acknowledge what I'm feeling, address it and move on.

See, it's not that hard.

"All lanes are now opened on Emotional Highway One."

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Bottoms Up

Well it sees like my mishaps continue.

I was so good yesterday, wearing my knee brace all day despite the heat. Once I finished my errands and was home for the day, I took it off to air it out. As I was walking to the kitchen for some water, I noticed my flag had gotten caught on one of the hooks we have along the porch roof for Christmas lights and it was tearing in the wind. I went out, shutting the front door behind me but not latching it. As I was on my tiptoes, unhooking the flag, the front door blew open and the dogs charged out to bark at some kids on bikes at the corner (our front yard is fenced, so I really had no worries, but it was just instinct to try and stop the dogs). I pivoted on my bad knee, it went out and I fell from the top step into the flower bed (on the rose bush, natch), about a 2 1/2 - 3 foot fall. The was I was turned meant I fell on my ass. Even though that is the most padded area of my body, it still hurt like a bitch. I can now empathize with Danelle. I now sport a very funny bruise and find it hard to sit in certain positions, and trying to sleep was an adventure in finding comfort.

In other news, my favorite time of the year is finally upon us -- football has kicked off! I spent yesterday afternoon watching my USC Trojans kick the stuffing out of Colorado State, 49 - 0 (it could have been 56 - 0, but Coach Carroll allowed the clock to expire when the Trojans were on the 1-yard line). I am now rivited to NFL Sunday Ticket that DirecTV offers, flipping between all of the games. The best feature is the scoreboard channel where they not only have all the real time scores and time left, but they have the Red Zone Alert where they indicate which team is about to score. Don always thought if they had the technology to do that, they should also indicate which games are in commercials. Of course, it's not the same without Don here. The game I'm waiting for is Dallas at Minnesota -- the Cowboys are my favorite team and the Vikings will be my new hometown team.

The Open House starts at 2:00 PM this afternoon. I spoke to my real estate agent this morning and he said he has received "over a dozen" calls on the house and it seems many potential buyers are coming with their agents. I'm hoping that means we might even have some offers by the end of the day. I think we still will have the Agent Caravan on Tuesdayt (when the house is open to all agents), but I would love not to have to have another Open House next weekend. I haven't felt like I've had any time to relax for the last few weeks. The idea of an uninterrupted afternoon of lying on the deck (probably for the last time), enjoying the fading days of summer, reading is very appealing right now. It seems like I've spent every waking moment the past week doing something -- making sure the house is clean, there is no poop in the yard, entertaining the dogs, running errands, packing, getting the house ready -- not to mention work stuff.

I am keeping my eye on the prize, though. Don and I have discussed going on a short vacation after the season, maybe as early as February after the Super Bowl. My first choice to to revisit Las Ventanas where we spent our honeymoon. Click on the link, trust me. Just looking at the photos relax me. Suddenly, though, I'm craving fresh fish tacos and a cold Corona from the swim up bar (remember those, honey?). How about the couples' massage on our suite balcolny? I wonder when the next flight to Cabo is?

Anyway, off to finish getting ready. I swear, putting our house on the market is bring back all kinds of feelings. I just want people to love this house as much as we have.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

We Will Never Forget

Just as my grandparents remember where they were when they first heard about Pearl Harbor, and my parents remember JFK, I will always remember 9/11.

I had the day off. Don was getting ready to get in the shower and I was in the kitchen making coffee. It was about 6:45 AM, California time. My mom calls. She's hurrying her words. "Do you have the TV on?" she yells into the phone. "What?" I ask. "Do you have the fucking TV on?" she yells again. All I could think of was Columbine. She was a teacher at La Canada High and I thought there was a shooting. "The country is under attack. New York has been bombed." I turned on the TV and got my first glimpse at a beautiful New York morning, marred by smoke.

I hung up the phone and went to get Don out of the shower. Tom Brokaw was talking about the Pentagon and planes and bombs. I was trying to relay it to Don, and probably not doing a very good job of it. He finally got out of the shower and came into the kitchen to see what the ruckus was about. As I'm trying to tell him what's been going on, I look at the screen and the second tower wasn't there. I think I might have yelled over Brokaw's commentary, "There's supposed to be two towers. Where is the second one? Where the fuck is the second one?" I watched the early footage of people jumping or falling with horror. I remember hearing someone talking about how hot jet fuel burns -- over 1000 degrees. The images of people jumping, choosing their fate rather than fate choosing them, will stay with me forever.

I lived in NYC for a few years. I knew people who worked in the Towers. AMEX had an on-site office at March McClellan in the North tower. My aunt worked for MM. I had friends in the South tower who worked for my old agency.

I called my dad who confirmed that my aunt, Patricia, was in at work early that day. It was Election Day, and she and her husband, Warren, went to vote and then had breakfast together. She was on the phone with a friend making plans for dinner that night when the first plane hit the North Tower. She never had a chance. They estimate the plane entered between the 92nd and the 99th floors. She was on the 97th, next to the window. If she had been standing and looking out the window while she was on the phone, she probably would have seen the plane coming right at her.

Of course, we didn't know all of that right then. All we knew is that she was at work, but didn't know which tower or what floor. Phone connections to NY were spotty at best and they couldn't get through to Warren to confirm anything.

I called the office to check in. Of course, all hell had broken out there. There were rumors of other hijacked planes. Airports were closing. We had passengers on planes and travel managers were calling to find out where their people were. Our desk that handles CBS was trying to handle all the calls for the western CBS stations and affiliates trying to get to NYC. It was chaos. I spoke to my boss at the time who told me to stay home. She knew that I had friends missing and didn't think having me here would really help. Don went to work, but promised to come home right away. As it turned out, the NFL closed their offices in NYC and decided to close LA as well because no one, at that time knew, who was or was not a target.

I remember standing in the kitchen, watching the second tower collapse. I've been in those towers. Even though it was early, I knew thousands of people had died. If they had been struck even an hour later, at 9:46 AM instead of 8:46 AM, the toll would have been significantly higher.

What I didn't know, until much later, maybe even the next day, is that my aunt, 13 AMEX employees and 3 friends all perished. My aunt and and AMEX employees probably died instantly, maybe even "vaporized," which, given the alternative, might not have been a bad thing. My other 3 friends were in the South Tower. Again, they weren't usually in before 9:00 AM, but had decided to hold a staff meeting prior to work. They were high above the impact point in the South Tower and could not escape. Although this is speculation, they probably knew, at some point, they were going to die.

One of the AMEX employees was actually about to enter the building when the first plane hit. She was hit by the falling landing gear, which crushed both her legs. She survived, but her life was changed forever, like so many that day.

While Don was still at work, before he knew it was closed, I went to the local drug store. I can't remember why I went, but I did get an American flag. While we had lived in the apartment, we didn't really have a place to hang one. We had only been in the new house for about 2 1/2 weeks, and getting a flag had not been a high priority, although I knew I wanted one, harkening back to the days of my dad unfurling the one we had stashed in the coat closet for special occassions. I flew that flag for 1 year, until 9-11-02. It's battered and tattered. This will be the last time I fly it. After today, I will cut it from its pole, fold it, and bury it in Minnesota in honor of my aunt, co-workers and friends as well as the countless others who lost their innocent lives that sunny day -- in New York, in Pennsylvania and in Washington.

My heart aches in remembering the stories of my NY friends -- a huband that was supposed to be doing carpentry work in the North Tower, but who was running late; the husband who was a messenger in the building, but who had just left for a run uptown; those who walked from their mid-town office buildings to Harlem because the trains and buses weren't running; a co-worker here finding out the next day that their mother was safe.

We lost so much that day. Some more than others, but each of us lost something. I don't know if we'll ever recover.

I'm not sure I want to.

I will never forget.

Dedicated to those who so innocently lost their lives.

Though the voice is quiet, the spirit echoes still.

Friday, September 10, 2004


No truer words have been spoken. This has been one hell of a week -- between the heat, humidity, heart ache, chores, the house going on the market, various work-related dramas, etc. this has to be one of the hardest weeks.

The sign for the house went up yesterday. I was just pulling up for lunch and I see the guy digging a hole in the yard. For some reason, it caught me off guard and I had a mini-break down in the driveway (behind the gate -- can't let the neighbors see me cry and all) but I couldn't really wallow in it as the dogs were barking to get let out.

Work has kicked my ass this week. To give you an idea, we base staffing levels on the number of projected transactions an agent does. Our ballpark is 2500, so if an office was projected to do 7500 transactions, we would need 3 agents. Right now, we are operating with each agent projected to do over 3000 transactions, and we were being told there was no way we could add more head count, even though -- technically -- we could support 6 more agents. Well, with enough graphs, numbers, analysis, etc. (wow 'em with colored graphs), I have been able to get permission to add 2 head count. It's not 6, but it's help. There was a point this morning where I seriously considered quitting next week if the house sold that quickly. I even had my resignation letter typed up.

On to the Friday Meme!

In honor of the current Los Angeles Heat Wave:

1. What is your favorite beach to cool off on? When do you go to beat the crowds? Zuma or Summerland (not exactly LA, but the burgers at Shacky are worth the drive).

2. If not the beach, where is your favorite cooling-off spot outdoors? indoors? Our backyard is pretty nice, especially if we can get a breeze. As far as indoors, I would say Cinema De Lux at The Bridge.

3. Where is your favorite spot for ice cream/sorbet/gelato? Cold Stone Creamery, although I really like Haagan Daas lemon sorbet. I also like the Whole Fruit juice bars -- lime, please! Finally, I'm not even sure if it's still around, but I would love to have one more sundae at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor.

4. What is your favorite flavor? Raspberry, lime and lemon for sorbets, anything with chocolate & caramel for ice cream.

5. Stuck at home? What are you making in your blender? Margaritas! With salt!

6. Got any original concoctions you want to share? Not original, but when it's hot, I like iced coffee with cream.

7. Favorite winter-themed video or book? Fargo

8. What was your favorite water-themed activity as a kid? Boogie boarding at Imperial Beach (San Diego), cannonballs in Jackie's pool, running through the sprinkers at my grandmother's.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Now this kind of shooting I can support.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

List Living

With everything going on right now, I am totally relying on my lists -- lists of my daily schedule, my chores, my packing, my things to do, meetings, etc. I literally have to write everything down in order not to forget what I'm supposed to be doing or where I'm supposed to be. At least I seem to be getting in to a routine at home. With everything that's going on, I rarely have time to plop my butt onto the couch to veg out. Last night, my moment's respite was paging through the latest Williams-Sonoma and Crate & Barrel catalogues before I went to bed.

I did get almost 2 closets pretty well packed up. I do have to leave some things like the ironing board (in case I feel the need to break it out, which I do about every 8 months), the laundry hamper, dog food, etc. but they do look cleaner. The funny thing is that I am realizing just how well I could live without all of this crap. I am taking this chance to get rid of some of it, either by tossing it or putting in a box for the yard sale. The Open House is officially on Sunday from 2P - 5P. It will be weird to see the For Sale sign in front of the house, but I am kind of excited now, hoping that the house sells quickly. I'm planning to head out to Minneapolis on 9/23 for some house shopping. I'd love our house to be in escrow by then so I know what my wiggle room will be.

I did forget to add, with all the excitement, that one of my wish list items was Don's birthday gift to me. It's Pink. It's actually on back order but should be here shortly. That will keep me out of trouble!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


It looks like it's going to be another scorcher today here in Southern California. It was 102 yesterday and 90 degrees in the house at bedtime. I think I have a touch of heat sickness as I can't seem to keep anything down but cold beverages -- preferably with ice.

Don got to Grand Junction last night at about 11:00 CST, meaning he drove for just over 12 hours. He was hoping to make Denver, but that would have been another 200 miles and he really didn't want to go through the mountain passes at night. He should make it to Des Moines tonight, and, depending how he feels, he may press on to Minneapolis. I would overnight in Des Moines and get a good night's sleep, but I'm sure he's thinking getting there tonight would mean a little more time in the morning to get it together before going into the office to fill out his new hire paperwork.

I fared OK last night. Between the upset stomach, the heart ache, and the heat, I was pretty miserable. At least the dogs weren't too energetic. And, in a way, it was nice to be able to sprawl all over the bed -- there was always a cool spot in the sheets to move to. I did wake suddenly at about 1:30 AM and I think I may have even called out for Don.

Overall, I think I'm doing fine. I still feel like crap, and would love nothing more than to lie in an airconditioned room, on a cool floor, with ice water and a sleeping mask. I had to get up at 5:30 AM to get everything done before work. At least the rest of the week I don't have to be in until 9:00 AM, so that means I won't have to get up until 6:30 - 7:00, although Baja may feel he has something to say about that.

My goal for today is just to get through it without crying (I think I may be out of tears, anyway). I just hope this heat wave breaks soon -- it's just adding to my crankiness.

Monday, September 06, 2004

The Sound of Silence

The house is so quite now that Don has hit the road. He left this morning, after several crying jags, at 9:45 AM. The last few days have been very emotinal. When I saw his dresser drawe ajar, and realized there was nothing in it, I cried. When he rubbed Jager's tummy for the last time, or chased Baja for the last time, I broke down.

Depsite all the waterworks, I have to have faith that if fate played a part in our meeting, fate is playing a part in our moving to Minnesota. I have been repeating several mantras like, "This is going to be so good for us" and "we'll get through this." Sometimes I'm convinced, sometimes I'm not so much.

Anyway, it's been hotter than Hades here in LA. I mean, it was 101 at LAX yesterday, and 85 in the house at 10:00 PM. I tossed and turned last night, waking every 2 hours hoping that it was morning, praying that it wasn't.

Foods have hardly been on plan -- In-and-Out, Baja Cantina, Togo' birthday dinner last night at Cafe Del Rey which included a wonderful Chocolate Caramel Tart. Ahhh, well, the party is over in more ways than one.

Off to pack more boxes. Oh, the joy.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Friday Meme

Compliments of LA Blogs:

Since this is one of the standard BBQ holidays, let’s get to it. The drill is, copy these questions to your blog, complete your answers on your own site and post a link here in the comments so that we can find them.

1. When you do fire up the grill, what do you put on it? I tend to go with theme BBQs -- Mexican, traditonal, etc. but I love the marinaded brisket from Trader Joe's, my stuffed burgers, skinless chicken breasts, beef ribs and my BBQ chicken.

2. Where do you buy your goods (any secret meat markets)? Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Gelson's

3. Besides your house, where do you/would you BBQ around your area? One of my favorite places is at my dad's weekend home in Santa Barbara. It's gas, but you can't beat the scenery.

4. Gas or charcoal? Charcoal, but of course.

5. What is your favorite drink to accompany the grill? Ice cold beer

6. When you bring a side dish, what is it? Red Potato Salad with bacon, Spicy Coleslaw, grilled corn with spicy lime butter

7. If the host burns the main dish, where do you go out to eat instead? The Pig on La Brea

8. Post BBQ games: dominoes, croquet, bocci or badminton? Uno, Scrabble -- nothing that requires a lot of exertion.


In other news.....

The signage will be put up on Wednesday or Thursday with the first open house on 9/12. I'm feeling a little better about things, but then I realize that Don is leaving in 2 days, and waves of sadness overwhelm me.

The painting of the trim is going well, although it's taken much longer than I thought. They should be done today, so we can get the dogs back to a more normal schedule. Their whole routine has been thrown into chaos -- strangers in the yards, people over, etc. At least they are sleeping good, although when I can't sleep, they join me on the couch to make sure I'm OK.

I did have a good interview for a positon with AMEX Financial Advisors. It's for an Admin. Asst. and I think it went well. I even offered, since he's looking to have someone there probably sooner than I could move, to work virtual if he set me up with a laptop. The more I think about that, the better -- I would stay here, work from home and be able to pack in my down time without having to cram it in after work. I'm all over that!

This weekend is mostly going to be spent together, even if it's packing boxes and getting Don ready to go. I'm trying to be strong. As Satine sings in Moulin Rouge:

Inside my heart is breaking
My make-up maybe flaking
But my smile still stays on

The show must go on
The show must go on

Hey, it's only for a few weeks, right? I mean, how bad can it be? Right?

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


I am finding that as I need to cull my possessions down for the move, I have become very emotionally detached from items that I really liked. My mom came over last night and left with a truck full of stuff -- 4 citrus plants, 2 house plants, 3 planters, our Weber BBQ and all of my liquor (except for some crappy pear brandy we've had, unopened, for almost 8 years). Granted, none of the items are ones I bought or had some story behind (except for the citrus plants -- those were housewarming gifts from my mom when we moved into this house). However, as I wander through the house, deciding what's going to be sold, tossed or given to Goodwill, I'm finding that I could really do without most things with the exception of my photos, my computers, my TV, my CDs and DVDs, and some art work. The furniture could go. My clothes, kitchen appliances (well, maybe not the George Forman grill), shoes, etc. could all be easily (not cheaply) replaced.

I know Denise wrote about this, although under different circumstances, last fall when the California wildfires were wrecking havoc in San Diego. I think my emotional response of complete cleansing (as opposed to cleaning) is because this is so hard that I need to distance myself from this as much as possible.

In the meantime, I am down for the month (despite it being TTOM -- I may start posting my weight loss progress mid-month to avoid this going forward) however I have eaten 2 large cinnamon muffins from The Corner Bakery. Not good. This continues my living in extremes -- binging/not eating, 4 hours of sleep/sleeping like the dead, motivated/withdrawn, etc. I like my life to be fairly straight and even-keeled, with a few peaks and valleys, not a turbulent roller coaster of dips and dives, loops and corkscrews. While I feel mentally prepared to handle this situation, I am not emotionally ready for this -- at all.