Archive for October, 2008

This Halloween is going to be a low key one for me.  I’m not really “dressing up” for school, although I did buy a really cute t-shirt from CafePress to wear:

I used to love Halloween as a kid – going Trick-or-Treating and enjoying the candy after my parents went through it to make sure it was “safe.”  I’m not a huge sweets person, so I’m not very tempted by the Halloween candy that will surround me all day.  I may indulge in a small sized bar or two, but nothing that would send me over the edge with my Points.  I still love Halloween, and if I had a costume party to go to, you better believe I’d be dressing up.  I love getting into the character of the chosen costume.  I remember having such great costumes when I was a kid, all the way through high school.  I’ve dressed up several times as an adult, and enjoyed it just as much.  One of the best Halloweens as an adult was going down to the Castro in SF at the Halloween street party they used to have.  It was absolutely wild, as you might imagine, and such a fun time.  They don’t officially have any major Halloween celebration down there now, because a few years ago things got out of control and there was a shooting.  Like all good things, I guess it had to eventually come to and end.  Still, I have really fond memories (those that I can remember though the multiple cocktail haze of that evening) of Halloween on The Castro.  A blonde wig might have been involved.  🙂

I do have some fun (I hope) plans for the evening, but I’ll leave those mysterious for now.  Let’s just say that K and I are supposed to have our first date, if you even want to call it that.  It’ll be the first time we meet, and I told him I wanted to keep things casual.  I mean, who knows if we’ll even want to be around each other for longer than 35 minutes, you know?  I’ll write more about this at a later time.

So, I’ll leave you with a this:

When Pumpkins Drink

When Pumpkins Drink

Happy Halloween, EVERYONE!!!!


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On Sunday, I joined Cynn for a hike in the foothills of Saratoga, at a place called Garrod Stables and Winery.  It sits at the foot of Mt. Eden.

Cynn has been sending out emails about getting together to exercise, which I think is an idea that is fantastic in its simplicity.  She just turned forty, and as luck would have it, she was also in a really bad automobile accident just a few days afterward.  I think she’s decided that life is really too short, and it’s important to make the most of the time we have.  She wants to go on one of these hikes once a month, at different locations throughout the Bay Area.  I told her I’d love to join her, even though I hadn’t been hiking in over 20 years.

(The last time I hiked, I went with a friend of mine in high school.  She lived near Quicksilver Park and I had slept over at her house for a slumber party.  The next morning, she asked if I’d like to go for a “walk,” and I agreed.  I was completely unprepared for the hike, and had on espadrilles.  Not the footwear of choice when you’re running for your life from a bobcat, as we would later be doing.  Yes, we heard a bobcat near us, but weren’t sure where it was.  We head someone yell out, “Wow, that’s a big bobcat.”  And then we heard something in pursuit of us.  I have to say it is one of the scariest memories I have.  Literal fear for your life.  I thought this bobcat was going to tear us to pieces, and I vividly remember trying to run up this hill, in my espadrilles, and being so tired that I dramatically (but very earnestly) told my friend, “you go on ahead without me, I just can’t make it anymore.”  I thought I was done for, but somehow I gathered the strength to make it up the hill and we got out of harms way unscathed.  Looking back, I guess the bobcat wouldn’t have killed us, but being a city girl with no knowledge of wild animals, I really did think we were both going to die).

So, you can see why I haven’t become an avid hiker.

As vain as it sounds, my my concern about this hike was what to wear.  I had no idea what kind of clothing a hike required.  Cynn said I would be fine in jeans, a tank, and tennis shoes, which is what I told her I was thinking of wearing.  Even though the day was really warm (over 80 degrees), I was fairly comfortable the entire time.

I was also surprisingly physically ready for the hike.  Sure, there were times that it was hard for me and the thought of going up another, even steeper, hill made me cringe.  But I did it.  Mostly because I didn’t want to be the fat girl who couldn’t complete a simple hike.  But when I reached the top of the peak and saw an amazing view of Santa Clara Valley, I was so glad that I had done it.  I was proud that I’d not only completed it, but that I’d enjoyed it, and knew that this was another emblem of my weight loss efforts.

I’m not sure how far we hiked in distance, but it took about an hour to go up and about half an hour to come back down, so it was a fairly sizable hill.  It was nice to know that at the end of the “adventure” we’d be enjoying wine, cheese, and crackers outside at the winery.

All in all it was a lovely day.  A day filled with the celebration of life, of movement, of nature, and of friendship.

{As soon as I get the pictures that Cynn took, I’ll post them, because it was a breathtaking view.}

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Since my last post about the possible match with K, he and I have exchanged even more emails and had one long IM conversation.  I’ve gotten to know even more about him, and found out that a few of my other assumptions were incorrect:

  • He does have a daughter.  I thought he didn’t because he didn’t mention her in his profile at all.  It turns out that she lives in South Carolina with her mom, and he only sees her in the summers.  She’s 12.
  • He doesn’t want any more kids.  This is great because I decided some time ago that I don’t want to have children either.  He asked me about whether or not I wanted children and I told him that I feel that at this point in my life, having my own children aren’t in the cards.  Plus, I told him, I help and nurture 150 kids every year, which is great for me.  Turns out this works for him, as well.  In fact, he told me that he was going to be getting a vasectomy last Thursday.  I was a bit shocked at how he came out and told me this information, but I guess that he must meet quite a few women that really want kids, so it’s good for him to put his cards on the table right away.
  • He is incredibly smart.  He has 2 Masters degrees and is going for an MBA.  He said that he wants to get a PhD someday.  He feels like he’s a lifelong learner, which I can totally relate to.
  • He can speak Arabic.  I thought this was really interesting and worldly.
  • He was in the military for 7 years as a translator/linguistic expert.  (I’ve never dated anyone who was in the military, and think that those who serve are exceptionally brave, but I’m not sure my politics meld with a military mindset, generally speaking).
  • He’s lived all over the world and says that Behrain is one of his favorite places.

The conversation revealed that he has a wonderful sense of humor and just enough quirkiness about him to make him quite endearing.  He’s got a quick wit, and seems interested in pop culture.

“On paper” we’re a really good match.  He seems interested in me, as well.  So far no phone call.  In fact, he hasn’t asked for my phone number yet at all, but hopefully that’s coming soon.  The one thing about eHarmony is that it’s a s-l-o-w process.  But then I remind myself, it’s been 2 years since I’ve gone on a date worth mentioning, so taking a bit of time with someone who has a lot of potential is fine.

Hopefully there will be a bit more to report soon.

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Lisa over at Defying Gravity tagged me to share 6 interesting things about me, so here goes:

  1. I come from a long line of proud Italian-Americans.  My Nana and Papa (paternal grandparents) came to the U.S. from Bari, Italy in the early 20s to escape Mussolini’s dictatorship.  My father’s first language was English, but because my grandparents wanted to assimilate, he was encouraged to speak English exclusively at home. As a result, he understands Italian, but can’t really speak it.  Such a shame.  On my mom’s side, her grandparents came from Corleone, Sicily (yes, the same town that they showed in The Godfather II ) at the same time my paternal grandparents did.  She grew up with a strong sense of family, but sadly, doesn’t speak Italian at all.  Well, except for a few “choice” words.  People often think I’m overly proud about my heritage, but I was brought up to be extremely proud of being Italian, and I think that was a great thing.
  2. I once had the pleasure of meeting Antonio Sabato Jr.  *sigh*  I first established my crush on him when he was on General Hospital as Jagger.  It was unrequited love at first sight.  I remember that I was so enamored with him that my fiance at the time bought me an issue of Playgirl (I was too embarrassed to) because he was the featured cover/spread.  Anyway, the aforementioned fiance and I went to a bridal expo, mainly because Antonio was going to be there.  I was able to sit next to him as he signed an autograph for me.  It was heavenly.
  3. Speaking of fiances, I was engaged to my first love.  F was a guy that I met when I was 18, and we dated for 5 years.  We grew into adulthood together, but sadly, as we grew up, we also grew apart.  We came from two different worlds, and in the end, they couldn’t meet in the middle.  He broke my heart by telling me, after we had been engaged for 8 months (and having dated for 4 years before that) that he “needed space.”  I got so upset that I threw my engagement ring at him, and have never seen him since.  I think about him often, and have heard through the grapevine that he’s married now and has 2 kids, but isn’t happy in his marriage.  He mentioned to his sister that he never should have left me.  I tend to agree.  I wonder “what if” all the time.  But there’s no use in that, is there?  The problem is that I haven’t met anyone since who’s so fully captivated my heart.  We’re talking 13 years.  It’s about time, don’t you think?  I’m hoping that there isn’t just one special person out there for everyone; I’m hoping there is at least one more waiting for me.
  4. I love to travel to new places and soak in the culture of the place and the people.  I’ve been to Mexico, Canada (BC), Italy, Spain, Jamaica.  Sadly, even though I’ve traveled to 5 foreign countries, I haven’t been to too many places in the U.S: all over California (where I live), Miami, Boston (and other places in MA), Connecticut, Las Vegas and Reno, NV, Oregon, and Washington.  Someday I want to go to NYC, New Orleans, Austin, and Greece, to name a few.
  5. I’ve always known I wanted to be a teacher.  When I was 8 years old I had a small chalkboard in my bedroom and “taught school” to my sister and all of our stuffed animals.  I used to drive her crazy because I’d ask a question and then “call” on all of the stuffed animals instead of my sister.  Poor thing, I really was a brat sometimes.  Still, thanks to me she learned to read very early.  My sister is a brilliant person, and I like to think that in some small way I had something to do with giving her an early start on her education.
  6. I want to write a book someday.  I have no idea what it will be about, but I know that it will be non-fiction, because I’m not gifted with creative writing.  I want to take some writing courses to hone my skill.  Also on the docket: reading a few books about writing like Bird by Bird and Reading Like a Writer.  One of the reason I love writing my blogs is because they allow me to express myself.  I don’t think I could function unless I could write in some way, shape, or form.

So, that’s it.  6 things about me.  You can decide for yourself whether or not they’re interesting.

Instead of tagging someone who would rather not be tagged (cuz I know some of you out there feel like this), I’ll leave this as an open “Tag, you’re it” to anyone who wants to write 6 interesting things about themselves.

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I thought Sarah Palin appearing on SNL would be more noteworthy.  The one thing that strikes me is that Palin doesn’t seem to “get it” that even though she’s standing in the room with them, they’re still making her look bad.  I guess, as they say, you really can’t put lipstick on a pig…or a pitbull.

[clearspring_widget title=”Saturday Night Live – Gov. Palin Cold Open” wid=”4727a250e66f9723″ pid=”48fb9f731eed7ef5″ width=”384″ height=”283″ domain=”widgets.nbc.com”]

The funnier bit of the night, in my opinion, was the Amy Poehler rap.  Of course Palin was never going to do the rap, but I think she made herself look pretty dumb (like that was a stretch) by trying to “dance” to the music.

[clearspring_widget title=”Saturday Night Live – Update: Palin Rap” wid=”4727a250e66f9723″ pid=”48fba0d055732f26″ width=”384″ height=”283″ domain=”widgets.nbc.com”]

So Sarah, I’m going to have to go with MY gut and say that I’m going to gladly vote for Obama.  Otherwise, it would be a bad idea for our country.  You Betcha!!

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So, without jinxing myself, I wanted to share an update about my eHarmony experience.

Up until last week, most of my “matches” were anything but.  I was starting to give up hope, and kept reminding myself that I signed up for 3 months and I hadn’t even hit one month into it, so I should try to be patient and see who comes up.  If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that patience and I don’t mix.

Then K was matched with me.  He is literally the first guy who:

  1. Looked like someone I could see myself on a date with (from a superficial standpoint)
  2. Didn’t have kids (not that this is a deal breaker, but since I don’t, it makes it a bit easier)
  3. Holds a job that he seems to really enjoy
  4. Lives in my city and not 100 miles away (even though I specified that I wanted to see matches within 50 miles, eHarmony keeps sending me people from all over the state.  Yes, sure, I’ll just take a quick flight down to LA so I can go to coffee with you.  Right!)
  5. Has a great sense of humor.
  6. Seems really intelligent (I can tell this because his sentences are well-written and he talks about things that have some substance).
  7. Responds quickly to the multi-leveled communication hoops that eHarmony has set up.

He is also the first person that I’ve gotten to “Open Communication” with.  🙂  That sort of sounds like 2nd base, doesn’t it?  Trust me, it’s not that much fun.  Open Communication just means that he and I can write emails via eHarmony or off of it to each other.  We’re done with “sending questions,” “answering questions,” etc.

So far he’s written me 3 really lengthy emails.  He’s got a lot of interesting things to say, and I like the personality that comes through in his writing.  I don’t know if anything will come of it or not, but it’s sort of fun.

I’m just glad I’m not feeling like an eHarmony loser anymore.  LOL.

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Today my mom and I went to the outlets about 30 miles from our house in search of a few new items to add to our fall wardrobes.  The main draw was the Coach outlet, because I’ve had a Coach knock-off for about a year now, and it’s seen better days.

These outlets have four different sections, with at least 20-30 shops in each section.  There were tons of people and a crazy parking situation, which did cause a bit of frustration.  But the great finds far outweighed a little rise in blood pressure.

I got two great pairs of flats at Aldo:

black flats for only $15!

black flats for only $15!

brown flats

brown flats

When my mom suggested we go into the Liz Claiborne store, I scoffed saying that it was too conservative for me.  Oh, how wrong I was.  I got two cozy sweaters: a rust-colored one with short sleeves that really shows off my waist and a chocolate brown long-sleeved one with a hood.  Both sweaters were each only $14.98, originally $48.  I found a great, dark brown purse for $29.99, and because Liz Claiborne was having a Columbus Day sale, (buy 3, get one free) I also got the cutest graphic shirt:

(I’m going to wear the shirt tomorrow with my new black flats and some black capri pants).

The pièce de résistance was a gorgeous, black Coach purse that was normally priced at $400, which I picked up for $150!  I can’t tell you how buttery soft the leather is on this purse.  Plus the market bag style is classic, yet contemporary.  I think it’ll be in fashionable for quite some time.

After our day of shopping, my mom and I were famished (we hadn’t eaten since breakfast – too busy spending money to worry about food, I guess), and we met my dad at my parents’ house, had a glass of wine and some appetizers and then headed to a delicious, hole-in-the-wall sushi place for dinner.

Between yesterday’s biking adventure with my sister in Half Moon Bay and today’s shopping excursion with my mom, it’s been a fantastic weekend.  I usually like weekends where I have at least one day to catch up on cleaning and laundry, but this weekend was so much fun that the laundry can definitely wait!!

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