Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

It was about 1:15 when I was idly staring out the office window and noticed that if I wished hard enough, I could actually see teeny, tiny snowflakes silhouetted against the dark evergreens.  "How nice," I thought to myself, "snow flurries.  It will probably come to nothing though, since there was no mention of snow in the forecast."

By 2:00, there were big fat fluffy flakes falling.  "How pretty," I thought to myself, "proper snowfall.  But it won't stick and should turn to rain, since there was nothing mentioned in the forecast."

At 2:15, I got a call from D who suggested that I consider coming home soon, since it was starting to "pitch" (the British word for "sticking" snow) where we live.  "How inconvenient," I thought to myself, "a snowstorm.  But I'm supposed to visit a dear friend for dinner tonight."

At 2:30, I cancelled with my friend and bailed on work - and this is what it looked like as I walked towards my car:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Note to Santa - no waffling

Given a choice, a Belgian waffle is my preferred weekend breakfast every time.  I've never been one for those decadent Sunday brunch buffets because I'm happiest with a thick crispy waffle, a little butter and some genuine maple syrup.  A little side note - have you noticed the price of real maple syrup these days?  Its cost per fluid ounce is comparable to certain prescription cough medicines that have a street value!  Not that I'd know or anything.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shimmy... not!

I decided to inject a little variety into my workout routine and DVR'd a couple of "All Star Workout" shows.  Yesterday, I tried one based on belly dancing.  "How hard could it be?" I thought to myself.

How hard, indeed! Thank goodness this was in the privacy of my own home.  I can grapevine step, I can hip circle, I can shoulder shimmy.  But let me be clear, doing any more than one of those things at a time?  It ain't flocking happening.  I'll leave that to folks who can both rub their tummy and pat their head... or even walk and chew gum.  As if I needed a reminder that I slept in the day the Lord was bestowing physical coordination.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


During the holiday season I see this sign every day outside a nursery advertising Christmas trees.  Each time D and I drive by, one of us will exclaim "FLOCKING snow!"  I'm not sure why, but it completely tickles me.  I've decided that "flocking" will become my new not-quite-naughty epithet.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Did the Grinch REALLY steal Christmas?

I'm almost ashamed of my cynicism.  Every year, and I do mean every year, I see a story on the news about a family being broken into and all their Chrismas presents being stolen.  There are always tears and then a list of presents stolen that I frankly find unbelievable.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Because it's there

This is a somber post, but the topic has been on my mind all week.  Three people were lost last weekend climbing on Mount Hood; one perished and two are missing and presumed dead.  They went out for a 13-hour round-trip to the summit and didn't make it back.  It's a tragic story, one that has been repeated over 140 times before. 

Sometimes stories of loss insinuate themselves into my psyche and my mind keeps returning to them, worrying at it like a tongue in the groove left after a tooth is lost.  My heart is breaking for the loved ones left to ponder the fate of these three vibrant young people, well equipped and experienced climbers all, lost in their prime.  I find it disturbing that this mountain, of which I have so many fond memories, exerts a lure that can be deadly.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

O Christmas Tree

My absolute favorite part of Christmas traditions is, by far, the tree. That scene in Christmas Vacation where Chevy Chase comes home with the BEST CHRISTMAS TREE ever, cuts the baling twine and the tree literally explodes open to fill the whole room and break the windows… that slays me every time because if I had my way, that’s how it would be at my house.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Counting one's blessings: A SAAB story

I love sporty, beautiful, tight performance cars (especially European makes).  For many years, I had my own subscription to Car & Driver until I decided that the auto lust engendered by exposure to all those lovely automobiles would be deadly to my decision to stay debt free.  My beloved little Saab went for a full brake transplant on Thursday of last week.  Should be a one-day job, but it's been 10 so far.  First they couldn't find parts because, haven't you heard, GM is putting Saab into liquidation.  Then the parts they did find got stuck in a snowstorm in the midwest. Then they reassembled the brake system and the master cylinder failed, or so they say.  Funny, there wasn't a brake pressure problem when I brought it in. That part was over-nighted and the car reassembled for delivery yesterday and the brake system still won't pressurize, so now they have to keep it for the weekend to start troubleshooting on Monday. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Never leave a man behind

I work with the coolest bunch of people.  Last week I got a message on my crackberry from our CFO.  He said that with all of our hard work and accomplishments, not to mention the stress of the impending merger, we deserved a chance to blow off some steam.  We were all invited to "go postal" at a paintball event.  What?! I get to use co-workers, not to mention my boss, for target practice with a company sanction!?  I  replied immediately "I am SO there!"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The First Time: Adrenaline

D and I got married in Queenstown, New Zealand - the "Adventure Capital of the World."  D was determined to take on the bungee jump there at Nevis canyon.  This is no ordinary bungee jump - you throw yourself off a gondola suspended on cables 440 ft above the bottom of the canyon.  8 seconds of free fall.  Count that up: 1-one thousand, 2-one thousand.... that is like, forever, in free fall moments.

I am decidedly NOT an adrenaline junkie.  The rush that some people get when that natural chemical starts coursing through their blood just leaves me wishing to curl up safely under my blankie with a nice cup of chamomile tea to calm my racing heart.  So, despite all the recent til-death-do-us-part-yada-yada, I had no desire to join D in this particular leap of faith.  However, everyone on the gondola - even spectators - gets kitted out in a jump harness.  So we both got strapped into the gear and headed out to the jump platform.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More than you ever cared to know about me

The short story: I live a mostly quiet life in the countryside outside Portland, Oregon with my English husband D. in a little Cape Cod-style house that we are interminably remodeling. I have two cats, Kismet and Yoda, who were named before I ever met them but are suited perfectly to their monikers. I've turned 29 ten times so far (which, ironically, means my age is one year less than one assumes when I say that). I often get carded to buy beer at the grocery store, so I think I can carry that off for a while yet. I'm a licensed CPA - hence the beanie part of my nickname - but can't do math in my head. I enjoy good books, photography, snowboarding, surfing the interweb, and more DVR'd TV shows than are strictly good for me.

The slightly longer story: I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I'm the only biological child of four siblings - the other three are a brother adopted from Vietnam, a sister adopted from Costa Rica and an African American brother from Pittsburgh.  (My mom got a lot of strange looks when we were out together).  We all moved to Oregon when I was 14.  My family isn't very close-knit, so I have created my own "family" in the form of a few dear friends I know I can rely upon if I ever need anything.  (Bless you, my chosen sisters.)  Unfortunately, they are scattered about the globe, so I consider this blog an open letter to them.

I met my husband D when he was living in the Cayman Islands and working for the same international firm as me - though I was based in Portland and traveling all the time.  That company funded our long-distance relationship until I moved to the Caribbean for a few months.  We married on a 10-week trip to New Zealand and moved near to his family in England but after less than a year, he got itchy feet again and we moved back to Oregon.  We've been here for six years so far.

The random facts:
  • I am an unfailing morning person.
  • I don't like coffee.  
  • I love waffles.  
  • I've eaten the same cereal (Frosted Mini-Wheats) for breakfast every school morning for going on about 6 years now.
  • My pet peeves include slow drivers in the fast lane and people on the radio who aren't paid to talk on the radio.
  • My favorite color is pink.
  • I really am that blond.
  • I love shiny sparkly things...
  • But I hate shopping for shoes.
  • I could toast marshmallows as a competitive sport...
  • Which is about the only competitive sport I would excel at, since I suffer from a severe lack of physical coordination.
  • I love my husband's sense of humor and the way he smells after a straight-razor shave.
  • I am convinced I will meet a tragic, untimely end if I ever try whitewater rafting...
  • But a little part of me really wants to try skydiving...
  • Which is ironic because I've tried bungee jumping and never want to do it again.
  • My favorite punctuation marks are ellipses (duh, see above) and I found when I googled it for correct spelling they are also called wielokropek in Polish, meaning "multidot."  I'm not sure which is cooler, the Polish word or the English translation.  Trust the sensible Poles to call it like they see it.
  • Me in seven words: Smart girl - precious little common sense sometimes.