Spunky... with a dash of salt.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

OMG... It's happening again!!!

Holy cow it's been a long time. I was just going over all my old posts and I realized I haven't been keeping a journal at all these past few years. Shame on me. Especially since so much has happened.

I sold my car in December of 2007
Matthew and I stopped seeing each other early 2008
I did the AIDSLifecycle 7 ride in May/June of 2008
Went to Barcelona/Madrid/Ibiza in July of 2008
Met my future husband... I hope... in September of 2008
Went to Buenos Aires/Punta del Este, Uruguay in November of 2008
Started training for ALC8 with my new man in December of 2008
Went home to see the family over the Holidays while my man was in Rio de Janiero (NOT FUN!!)
Almost lost my man in January 2008
Did lose my job in January 2008
Found a new job in February 2008
Started that job and took a trip to Palm Springs with... my man in March 2008.

Which brings us up to today.

I now work for a great company called AnimationMentor.com. It's an online animation school founded by three animators from major studios who felt students weren't learning marketable skills. The team I work on is really cool and there's still a startup feel to the company, even though it's no longer considered that.

The only glitch is that the job is over in Emeryville and I live in San Francisco. I have to cross the bay and I don't have a car. I take BART every morning and then catch the free Emery-Go-Round shuttle (cute huh?) which drops me off right at my office building. The commute to work takes about 35 minutes on a good day when I can hit all the stops with little, if any, wait time. Coming home for some reason takes about 45 minutes, and not quite as easy to hit all the stops just right.

So I'm thinking about getting a car. Something inexpensive, probably used, so that I can jump across the bridge for work. K (as I'm going to refer to my man from now on) loaned me his car for a couple of days last week and I have to say, the 15 minute commute, each way, was AWESOME.

Now on to craigslist to find my next chariot.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It starts making sense

A few weeks ago, I received an IM from my ex. I didn't post anything about it, but it basically stated that he was going to stop paying the mortgage until I signed over the house. I figured it was just him getting desperate. Something in the back of my mind however, was telling me that something triggered it. The only thing I could think of was possibly his current bf had left him, or gotten kicked out, etc., and was no longer supplementing the payments with "rent".

I got this message today on a website of which I am a member. I've x'ed out the bf's name, since he now joins me in the elite club of having been f*cked over by my ex.

"i am [XXXX]. Jim's now x bf after he cheated on me. if you would like to talk sometime let me know."

If your life has a soundtrack you should now be hearing the Hallelujah chorus.

Queue the music.

I'll post as soon as I talk to the now kindred soul.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

He's delusional

I just got two emails from my ex! The house situation is still up in the air. Mediation has ceased to be an option, since my ex won't counteroffer, so the trial is Sept 4. :(

Well, the first email is about my ex saying that he can't make the trial date. I'm guessing that he never told his employer that he has a trial date, and has volunteered for a mission so that he has an "excuse". He also tells me that if I don't agree to do this out of court that I will have to be the one to file the motion to move the trial date to Oct 8, a date more convenient to him. Say wha?? I'm perfectly fine with Sept 4.

Then I get to the second email. The subject line says "counteroffer". I found myself becoming quite anxious opening it. I had to call B to help calm my nerves. So I read his counteroffer attachment. Bascially he states that I should pay him nearly $132,000 and sign over the house, and THEN he will stop the partition action.

Desparation and delusionment are a bad combination.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Let me be blunt

As promised, here are a few pics from the Yosemite trip. And to go along with this eye candy, I'll just tell a droll story that no one will read.

Matthew went back home to Michigan to see his family, including his new niece and nephew, so I was on my own. Granted, we haven't been seeing each other that long, so it's not like we had to spend the weekend together anyway. But we probably would have. LOL. Well, I decided to cook dinner for some of my friends from the chorus. My Thai cooking is a big hit.

I called Falzy and J, and texted Yanni and Woo. Falzy and J were able to make it so I set about running errands to get dinner ready. For some reason, you can't find authentic Thai ingredients in just any grocery store. Luckily, San Francisco has quite the selection of produce, you just have to know where to find it.
Having grown up on a family farm I learned to enjoy fresh produce. My mom was always stopping at local farmer's markets and road side fruit stands. So for me, there is something very comfortable about places like the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market. Tons of fresh organic produce, cheeses, breads and tons of other stuff line the walkways. I found some great fresh serrano peppers, shallots, Thai chilis (still on the bush stems), Kaffir lime leaves, and limes.

As much as the famer's market has, it still doesn't quite have all the essentials. I knew I would have to head to Battambang market over on Eddy. It's a great little market that has pretty much everthing I've ever needed to cook Thai food.

So, off I go.

I get to 5th & Market around 1:00 p.m. Now for those non-SFer's, 5th & Market is a very busy intersection near Union Square. The new shopping center is on this corner so the sidewalks are crawling with people. As in any high density urban area, pedestrians start getting a little forward with the cars when crossing the street.

There I am, waiting for the light to turn so I can cross 5th Street. There didn't seem to be any cars coming, but the light hadn't changed yet. Normally, I'd just skip on across, but for some reason I decided not to risk it. However, the hip-hop brother next to me decided he was in too much of a hurry to wait. He bolts across the street and nearly gets hit by an oncoming car. To make matters worse, there is a police car coming in the other direction.

The officer puts on the lights and siren, calls the guy over and starts chewing him a new one. By this time the light had changed and I was on my way across the street, walking by the "scene". As I walk by, I notice the jaywalking moron has a JOINT in his hand. I actually stop and look down at it, then up at the officer who apparently catches what I'm looking at. I just continue on to the other side of the street. I look back and the officer is making an arrest!

I don't know how stupid you have to be to jaywalk in front of a cop with a lit blunt, but apparently it still leaves just enough intelligence to dress yourself. Albeit very poorly.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Man are my legs tired...

Okay, I probably should have posted this BEFORE this weekend, but I just got back from a 3 day trip to Yosemite National Park (YNP). If you've never gotten a chance to visit or better yet, stay in, Yosemite, then you are missing out on one of the most spectacular places on earth. And while I personally find it fascinating, I will spare you the geological background. Although you can follow the link above for volumes of info.

To be honest, I haven't been backpacking or hiking in two years. The last time I went, I was completely unprepared from a gear standpoint. On that trip, my friend, an avid hiker/backpacker, was the true incarnation of Joe Mountain. An external frame pack loaded with ultra light gear, inflatable sleeping mat, and a host of other nifty, only-good-above-10,000-feet doo-dads that make life easy were atop a tan muscled, very prepared hiker wearing appropriate foot-gear.

I on the other hand looked like an 1800s Chinese peddler attempting to sell my cheap heavy wares at a local cattle auction. My less than adequate sneakers carried a lanky, ex-farmboy with a stuffed bookbag dangling a very heavy Wal-Mart tent and monstrous sleeping bag. Both items precariously swinging from small straps with every step. [I know there is a picture of this somewhere in Joe Mountain's archives. I must dig this up!]

Well, needless to say, I was far more prepared this trip. Proper backpacking pack, sleeping bag and matt, layered clothing and last but definitely not least, a swanky new pair of backpacking boots and synthetic hiking socks. I was finally ready for an awesome outdoor experience.

It's a 4-5 hour drive from San Francisco, depending on traffic. Matthew and I started out Friday at noon and it wasn't until we got to the park entrance that we realized that our camping spot was already full. We had obtained a wilderness permit (which allows persons to hike up into designated areas per the permit) or at least we had the permit reservation, we were hoping to be able to camp in the backpacker section of Tuolomne (too-ah-lo-mee) Meadows campground. This area is reserved for those who will be packing out the next day, i.e., no RVs.

NOTE: Again, for those unfamiliar with U.S. National Parks protocol, you need a camping permit, or in this case, a wilderness permit, in order to camp. Otherwise, you are fined and booted out of the park.

Now, bear in mind, we arrived at the entrance to the park aroun 6:00pm. The campground area where we were staying was already listed as full. Luckily, the backpacker section isn't monitored as closely so the kind ranger lady told us to go ahead and hopefully we could find a spot to pitch our tent. (LOL.. Get your minds out of the gutter! I just used that phrase in proper context.)

Now bear in mind, YNP is huge. From the west entrance it is 55 miles to where we were camping. The two-lane mountain road snakes up and around the Yosemite Valley proper up into the back country towards Nevada. So while we had made it to the park, we were still a long way from where we wanted to be, and now we weren't 100% sure we'd be able actually stay there once we arrived. Not to worry, however. Matthew was quite optimistic and we travelled on.

We arrived in Tuolomne Meadows around 7:30 and were quite fortunate to run into a cute forest ranger. Well, I thought he was cute. Matthew just thought I was crazy. The ranger didn't have any problem with us squeezing into a spot in the backpackers section. Matthew and I breathed a collective sigh of relief and went about making camp. [Right: The view of Tuolomne Meadows from the top of Lambert Dome. The campsite where we stayed Friday night is in the far left of the pic.]

The tent went up, the sleeping bags came out, and Matthew (who spent 4 years in Zimbabwe with the Peace Corps) started cooking dinner. It was a beautiful night, with clear bright stars, clear mountain air, and a temperature that would make a polar bear shiver. Okay, it really wasn't that cold. And being from San Francisco, I don't think it was much different than most summer nights. However, the lack of civilization seemed to exacerbate the cold.

Dinner was quite good, and we tucked in early. Matthew's 2-person tent seemed quite roomy. At least until I actually layed down in it. Once I figured out that I needed to put my feet in one corner and my head in the other, however, it was relatively comfy.

We broke camp the next morning after a bit of breakfast and coffee. Yes B, I actually had coffee. Black, hot and bitter it felt good in the chill of the morning. With the tent and gear all stowed in our bags we headed off to obtain the permit and start our hike.

The trail we had planned for, and the trail which our permit gave us rights to, was Glen Aulin. Now, the actual campsite at Glen Aulin was already full, so we knew we were going to have to camp somewhere out in the wilderness. Okay, duh, that's why we went right?

So off we go.
4.43253423 miles later we cross the Tuolumne River at a place called Twin Bridges and found a spot to camp (they're aren't any campsites in the wilderness). The rest of the day involved:

  • Day hiking

  • Naked sunbathing

  • Skinnydipping

  • Dinner

  • Quiet evening by the fire with an interesting book

Mostly in that order, although the skinny dipping happened twice. ;-) Not only was Matthew just as willing as I to strip, he was also the first one in the water! Water which was seriously 'nad shrinking cold.

And in true Aussielicious fashion, I would be remiss if I didn't have naked photos, but alas, they aren't on my camera so we'll have to post and write about those another day. (Hang on B! They're a comin'!)

This morning, much like yesterday, we got up, broke camp and headed back down to the meadows. We were planning on a nice breakfast at the Lodge, however we arrived just after they stopped serving. Tuolomne Lodge, the location of the breakfast, had conjured up visions of a large rustic cabin lodge, with fireplaces and chairs that beckoned weary travellers with hot cocoa and spiced cider.

Um.. no. "Hello, Mr. Steele? I'm afraid your reality check bounced."

It was more like a large summer camp cafeteria with the smells of butter and burn toast keeping the bears away. Okay, so maybe I'm being a bit harsh, after all I never actually saw the food. But I did actually enter the "lodge." So I'm not totally off base with my description.

We ended up heading back down to the greasy spoon cafe next to our campsite. And after a couple of days of wildnerness dining, my biscuit sandwich with egg, sausage and cheese was a small piece of heaven. Matthew's wam cinnamon roll and cappucino was calling my name too. We decided to head out of the park and eat a healthy mountain man lunch.

We targetted the small town of Mariposa, CA as our lunch stop. I know Matthew was hoping to find some small lunch place that could actually feed me so I wouldn't eye his food anymore. (j/k M) We found lunch nirvana, and it's name was Happy Burger. Boasting the largest menu in the Sierras, this little burger joint was just what the doctor ordered. The menu actually was rather large, offering copious varieties of hamburger, sandwich and breakfast items. The place was definitely popular and we found a great little booth in the back. The walls and ceiling were covered with the cover sleeves of 45rpm records of artists from Elvis to Eydie Gorme.

It wasn't long before we were flagging down our server as he walked around hawking our plate of food to the other side of the restaurant. Matthew, with his deliciously carb conscious chicken club, could only stare at me woofing down the "Mother Lode", a burger stacked with 3 patties, 4 strips of bacon and 2 slices of cheese with a side of curly fries. Yes, keeping me fed requires the economy of a small developing country. Eventually Matthew caved and savored a couple of juicy meaty bites himself.

After satiating ourselves, we headed back into SF, got cleaned up and back in our respective domiciles. I'm seriously considering not hitting the indoor cycling training tomorrow. I've just spent two days carrying around a 34-pound pack and, while Matthew's hands can work magic, my legs are feeling a bit abused.

P.S. Who's Matthew?? I'm sure you'll find out soon enough!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hello Stranger!

It's been a long long time, but I'm here. I've settled into my new apt and my job. There's been a lot that has happened in the last 6 months and it's time I start recording it. I'm back people!

Monday, December 11, 2006


Okay, over this past year I have gone through a lot of changes. As the year draws to a close I have one last change to go through. Moving. I finally got an apartment in the city. It's a one bedroom in SoMa (South of Market). It's my first apartment in SF so I went for location and affordability over style. However, it's a nice apartment and is actually quite big for a 1 bedroom.

So I will soon be leaving this place I have called home for 2 years. And I will also be cutting one of the last ties to my ex. (The last one being the house itself, which is a WHOLE other bucket of grief.) I'm very excited about moving actually. A new place I can call my own. There's a Whole Foods just a block away. Work is only 5 blocks away and the gym is 4 blocks from my flat.

I can't explain to you how good it will feel, to know that I'm close to life again. Living in the 'burbs was palatable when I was with someone. However, that hasn't been the case for a long time. Hell, even before the breakup.

Soon I will say goodbye to my old life. And finally, that's one change I'm ready for.