Thursday, January 31, 2008

The end of January

This month flew by, no? I did not get called out today. Whew. I got to spend another day at home. Today was a free day. Charlie and I went to see the movie Juno. I really liked it. Not a typical, selfish, "Oh, I am preggers, whoa is me!" kind of movie. You gotta go see it. Then Charlie and I spent about an hour at the half price bookstore. I took my old unused books to sell and they gave me $24.50! That felt so good. But then I turned around and bought $12.00 worth of books. One book is called 52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity and Streamlining Your Life. I definitely have a book addiction. But at least I applied one of my 101 goals of selling at least 5 books, before I buy one. I get a pat on the back for that one.

I walked the dogs. The wind was alive today. Roaring through the trees. Literally. I love walking through the greenbelt this time of year. There is something about not hearing the roar of all the air conditioners on the entire block. There is a stillness in the woods that is endearing. And when the wind blows, there is an aliveness I cant explain.

I did some grocery shopping tonight and I bought all the fruits and veggies for my juicer. Why oh why am I semi-scared to try it? Part of me fears I am going to hate it. I really want to eat healthier though. So I must do this. As I am checking out, I stare at the computer screen and watch the price pop up at every bleep. Bananas. Cilantro. Spinach. Yes, I am mesmerized. Until I see my blueberries pop up at 2 for 10 bucks. Yes, you read that correctly. I freeze. I think to myself, should I be one of those annoying people in line that say, "WHOOAAAA, that is not the price of those blueberries....can we have price check on those blueberries!" And as I say this, people give me evil eyes in line behind me. But man, if I don't speak up, I will sacrifice a big fat 10 dollar bill. I decide to split the difference. I go to the shopping bag, and pull out one of the containers of berries and tell the lady to take one off because I did not know they were so much. And of course, she does the dreaded price check BUT as a result she changes the price of the blueberries to $1.50 each (as I originally saw them). And what do you know? It was not the end of the world AND I did not see any dreaded evil eyes behind me. In fact, the eyeballs were quite busy checking out those tabloids. Thank God for Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie. I am so happy I spoke up.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Weekly update.

Wow, I cant believe a week has gone by.  I wanted to write tomorrow instead but to keep to my goal of writing in this blog at least once a week, I am committing to doing it now.  Although most of my week was spent flying, I do have some highlights to post.  Charlie and I had a really nice dinner at Phuong and Jason's on Saturday.  They had invited other guests and we really had much in common.  They were really into movies and had the same dry sense of humor that Charlie and I appreciate.  Phuong cooked a wonderful meal.  She really is amazing hostess, no matter what she says.

Sunday, I was off to Portland, but then I was in bed with the worst headache.  I slept most of the day.  I bet you are wondering, what happened to my self portrait project.  I had to start all over.  I was sick for a week and hated the pictures I took.  I never thought sick could look so scary.  I need to get over that and move on with it.  Being sick is just part of real life.

On Monday night, I was sent to Phoenix.  They put us in a hotel downtown and the Superbowl craziness had already begun.  The convention center across the street was holding a media convention and there were media peeps everywhere.

I have family that lives pretty close to the airport in Phoenix and I gave them a call, worried that it was too much trouble for them for such a short layover but of course, I worried for nothing. My Uncle came out, picked me up, and I had such a wonderful time.  I thought my cousins would be too grown up to want to hang out with me but was I ever wrong.  We ate pizza, looked at photos, played video guitar, and colored with crayons.  Time just flew by. They are such a beautiful family.

Now I am home.  Still on call for tomorrow though.  I did not get called out today and I was able to do quite a bit around the house.  I am hoping I get the same opportunity tomorrow.   Mom, Charlie and I went out to eat tonight at a yummy Italian restaurant.  I made a monthly plan of menus for February, so I thought we could splurge just one more night.  I got my juicer ready to go, and I am starting to get psyched for my early wake up calls.  I have decided the date I will begin my 30 day trial of getting up early is February 4th.  And I am almost pretty sure it will be 5:30am.  Oh, and I will post some new pictures tomorrow. Oh and one more thing...I registered Charlie and I for the half marathon next year.  Yes, it is official, we are doing it again.  :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Finish Line.

So here it is! Charlie and I running across the finish line at the half marathon. Actually, it is more like hobbling! Charlie is wearing a white and gray baseball cap and I am wearing a black sweatband.Check us out! You will see us about 20 seconds into the video.


Okay, so I have been doing a lot of reading on eating more fruits and veggies. Writing back and forth to my friend Alyssa about the benefits of cutting back on animal products. And lo and behold, what do I see on TV today but a special on Montel Williams on the importance of eating fruits and veggies. Is that not a collaboration of the universe leading me in the right direction or what? But do I listen to the messages? Well..sort of. I have brought a bag of fruit with me on this 3 day trip I have started. But then on the otherhand, I just ate some amazing BBQ next door to the hotel in New Orleans. I am a work in progress. When I get home, I am dusting the cobwebs off my dad's old juicer. And although, it is a slow start,there will always be room for improvement. So one might wonder, where is all this coming from? It is another book I have been reading called "Eat to Live" which is not about becoming a vegetarian per se, but about eating foods with a high nutrition density. So far, it has been very inspiring and it has me eating better as a result of it.

So I am on this easy trip. Tomorrow is supposed to be a hard day, but really, it wont be tough with the loads so light. I am to go MSY-EWR-IAH-SAT with a short short night in SAT. Now I know why my friend Phuong (another flight attendant) calls me all stressed out of all these airline mergers. Because it is the favorite topic among crews. We had a maintenance delay and that was the favorite topic of discussion. It drives me nuts because everything is speculation. SPECULATION PEOPLE! But oh, everyone seems to want to torture each other with the ideas of what can happen and how miserable we will be. That said, I did actually hear of some combinations I like. So at least if it is going to happen, I am going to focus my energies on the best case scenarios and not the worse case ones. Ask me in person about these combinations if you are interested, so I dont reveal these secrets to any airline spies. (wink-wink)

Oh so the cold I had became worse. I was so miserable the next few days. But I feel much better today. Good thing my colds only last 2-3 days. I dont have the patience for them to go much longer. We were able to go to the Foo Fighters last night. Oh my GOSH! Amazing show. The lead singer really knows how to put on a show. Little ole me, with my short attention span, if I dont recognize a song, I am off in la-la land. But not with this guy, he had my attention front and center, even with songs I had never heard of. We were in the Toyota Center arena (which does not have the best sound construction) but even that did not seem to matter. The stage stretched across the entire floor and the lead singer of Foo Fighters made those in the rafters (which is where we were sitting) feel as if they had front row seats. I loved it! Even feeling under the weather...I had such a great time! If they come to a city near you, you wont be sorry if you go. It was worth every penny. And it was funny how relaxed the night was. I was scheduled to work so we did not buy tickets. Luckily I landed at about 6:30PM. On the way home from Charlie picking me up from the airport, we decided to go straight there, buy tickets at the door and avoided the $25.00 convenience charge by doing so. We got there right on time since the show started at 8 and ended at 12. Everything went perfectly and we had a blast. Needless to say, we were very happy campers. It was a very good night.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Go Giants!

Wow, I did not realize so much time has passed since my last entry. Sheez. Where does that time go? Well, today is the Giants game, so I am all decked out in my gear (actually it is Charlie's gear). I am starting to come down with a cold...but I am still fighting it. That, or I am in denial about having one. At least I am not flying. Its hard flying with the sniffles. All those boogers get backed up in the ears and it HURTS like the dickens when descending.

The rest of my vacation was very productive. I got caught up with a friend of mine that I had not talked to in over 2 years. And before you know it, it was a 3.5 hour lunch. Time always seems to be suspended when you have a good time. I got all the Christmas decorations put away. I was treated to a massage and lunch with my mom. Wrote that first letter to my Grandmom. Cleaned off my desk so that I can write again. Started on my pile of receipts to record for my 2007 taxes. The doggies were walked and although I still havent run since the big marathon day...I am hoping to start again next week. I am considering signing up for the Bayou City 10K in March. But my biggest hurdle of all, I have started on my art projects again. I have been working 1 hour minimum a day. If I want to do more I can, but it has to be at least an hour.

I am a fan of Jerry Seinfeld. And I found this article on what he did to become a better comic. It is very simple. Every day that he took some time to write jokes, he made a big RED X on that day on the calendar on his wall. You will see that these red X's make a chain. The object will be to not to break this chain. So I am going to make a chain with my artwork and if I break it, I will start all over. How long can I make a chain? I will have to set a personal record.

And another kudos to us last night for saving money and avoiding a fatty diet. I wanted to go out and this urge was something fierce. Hooters for some wings with beer so we can also watch the Rockets vs. Spurs game. Then to catch the movie Juno afterwards. Easily we would of dropped 50 bucks. But, we opted to eat in and watch the game at home. And I worked on my art while we watched a movie on Showtime. It was tough to do, but it is more important to do this than satiate my inner child for the moment and go into debt. That, and I also really did not need to attach those deep fried buffalo wings with special sauce to my inner thighs.

Well, the kick off just happened so I better concentrate my energies on the game. I will download some more pictures soon. I have to start over on my self potrait project, because I missed Friday and Saturday's photo. Ah, que sera!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Angel lady

So I went to an meeting called "Angel Circle" today. Basically it is 12 people who gather around in a circle and talk about where the energies of our society is headed and the changes taking place in our world today. The circle is headed by a lady I like to refer to as "The Angel lady" because she receives messages from angels. I know it is "out there" for some but I am open to many things people normally would block out. I find these things very interesting. Anyway, the coolest coincidence occurred. First let me give you a background story...

I returned last Friday from New Jersey with Charlie. As I took my jacket off, my ID badge fell out of my pocket. When we got off the plane, I was trailing behind Charlie looking for my ID. He exited security and I followed. When we got out of the employee bus I still am searching for my darn ID. I get a phone call on my cell from a gate agent who had my ID. We planned to meet at departures so that I could get my ID back.

When I get to the employee lot, now I can not find my car keys. Charlie is getting frustrated with me. I sense his frustrations and now comes Niagra Falls. I finally find my keys and we jump start my car. So when I finally meet Lori, the gate agent, I am pizza faced. What a first impression I give!

So fast forward to today. I go to the meeting and sit down next to a woman who says she knows me but we cannot figure out how we know each other. After a series of questions we discover that she is the same agent who turned in my badge. Isnt that crazy?

It was such a nice day. We had Chinese food after our meeting. The next one I will attend will be in April. I went to a Holistic net working meeting last week with my mom where the Angel Lady was the speaker. She gave the outlook according to the angels in 2008. I will eventually post the notes so I can see how the year progresses according to this point of view. Very inspiring experience and I am definitely looking forward to what is to come. Life is good!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Intro to Toastmasters

Tonight was my first meeting at Toastmasters. I bet you are wondering why in the world I am even interested in joining. Well, as most of you know, I went to the training center last year so that I could be home more with Charlie. At first, I was petrified at getting up in front of a crowd. But slowly, it began to get easier and easier. It has slowly turned into a high that I can only describe as "superstar". Let me explain.  The flight attendants who have been flying awhile, well, most of the time, they are trying not to count the tiles in the ceiling. But the new ones coming in, they can make you feel like a "superstar". They want to hear every story. They laugh at most of your jokes.  They hang on to every word  you utter.  That said, I feel I have only scratched the surface. I have only had one class in college on public speaking. And all I can remember learning is how to sweat balls. The training center does not give any special training on how to speak.  So, I feel I have so much to learn.

Enter Toastmasters.  Ever read Jeffery Gitomer's books? He has these great little colorful books filled with cartoons and witty sayings on how to improve yourself. This particular book, Getting Your Way, gives you tips on how to speak. One of his tips is to join Toastmasters. I had to do a search on the internet to find a meeting in my area.  There are 2 of them and one was tonight.  I have to admit, I almost chickened out. I didnt know what to expect. I am glad I decided to do it.  The people were very nice and welcoming. They start out with the business aspects of the meeting and then they go into the speeches. They begin with short impromptu talks around the table and then 2-3 people of various levels of experience get up a present a prepared speech. The first speech was a very advanced speaker who told us a fascinating story of his history. The second speech was a first time speaker who had only been a member 1 month. She was a cute girl from Russia who talked about her life. There is another meeting Friday morning and I thought I would check out as well.  Then I will decide between the two which one I will join.

And although I am scared out of my mind to do this, I think this is a weakness I really want to master. I can only see it as doing wonders for my life. Get ready for me to cross another goal off the list! :)

Monday, January 14, 2008


Charlie and I at the Houston Half Marathon

Well, in the past week, I got in from a four day trip (Ontario-Indy-Sacramento) and the next day I hopped on a plane to NJ. I have to admit, getting on another plane was the last thing I wanted to do when I got off work but I am so glad I did. I had a great time! The weather was nice. I fell in lust with the deli sandwiches with extra oil and vinegar. I never understood the connection until I landed in Newark and Charlie took me to a local deli. I cant seem to find a sandwich here in Houston that measures up to what you can find in Jersey.

We had a nice visit with his Grandparents. Then Fab, his cousin, took us to a nice Sushi restaurant and we met his Fiance, (who was the absolute cutest.) Fab thinks there are crazies out there out to get me, so for his sake, I will protect her name to save the innocent. We had a wonderful dinner at his parents the next night. We got to see our niece Kaitlyn who will be one year old tomorrow. She was such a ham. She loves to dance to the country song, Honky Tonk, as she girates her hips. Danny's kids have grown so much as well. Charlie was kept very busy. Poor thing came down with a nasty cold though, I could tell he was having a rough time keeping up with everyone. All of this in the matter of 3 days. :)

Yesterday, was the half marathon. It is the first goal I am able to officially cross of my list. It was absolutely, without a doubt, the hardest race I have ever done. The first 10 miles were easy, it was the last 3.1 that were the longest miles of my life. Charlie and I have been hobbling around the house since we finished. But we crossed the finish line 2 hours and 55 minutes. But hey, we can finally say we have done it. And I am not quite sure yet if I will do it again...the pain I have caused my body has not been a fun side effect.

So now I have one more week of vacation. I took my car into the shop today. 700 bucks down the drain. And then there was Charlie's books for school today. Ouchie. But now I get to practice, goal #14...and repeat the mantra, there is always enough, there is always enough. Good practice, eh?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Antsy day.

View from Hotel Room

I am sitting here in Sacramento with a 17 hour layover and I am antsy. I have so many options but am unable to make a solid decision. I guess writing in this blog is some kind of decision. Strangest thing happened. I am sitting here relaxed eating my salad when a wave of nervousness came over me. I lost my appetite. Where the heck does that come from? I would like to get to the root of it. I am reading another book called Find Your Focus Zone. It is so interesting! It talks about how TV sucks your energy and makes you feel drained. Sometimes it feels like ADD is an epidemic in today's society. This will be explored better when I do my 30 day, no TV, trial. Just looking ahead to what is to come. I didnt bring my USB cord so I am not able to upload my pictures. But I plan to when I come home. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


So I have been debating and debating about when I am going to start my 30 day wake up early trial. It has been decided. I am moving the trial to February. It is tough trying to pick a time to consistently wake up while I am flying. For example, I was just given a 4 day trip with 5am check in's every day. One on the west coast, the next on the east coast, and then back on the west coast again. So if I were to pick a time to wake up at every day, like 5 am central time...that is 3am on the west coast. Psychologically, that is just not gonna work. So it would be best just to wait until February, when I am back in the training center, and I have a consistent schedule.

So the goals I am going to work on in the meantime is:

  1. Run the half marathon. This is in 8 days. Jan. 13, 2008. I am running it with Charlie. I have been training since July but the most miles I have run is 8. The race is 13.1 miles. Im just a wee bit nervous.

  2. Work on this blog weekly. I am not committing to writing in it daily since with my job, I dont always have access to a comptuer. I am going to aim for at least 4-5 days a week. One of the biggest responses I have received so far is that I write too much. We all have busy lives and we have to do what is best for us. So I dont mind if you only read the first sentence. Carry on.

  3. Continue using cash only. This one has been working great. When I go to a restaurant, I am suddenly more conscious of how I spend my money. I am already saving more than ever before. So far so good. Now, I just need to cook more at home and save even more. :)

Well, I leave tonight for Ontario, California. I will be on the road again for the next 4 days and then I get to meet Charlie in New Jersey. And when I get back, I will be home sweet home for another week. Life is good. I plan to use that time to get the house put back together from the holiday aftermath.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Another lazy day

Living in a momentWho dat?

Another lazy day with not much to report. These pictures were actually taken by Charlie. We were down in the garage doing the laundry. He leaves for NJ for the week tomorrow without me. So I really just wanted to some spend time with him before he leaves. We went to walk the dogs and I finally got the kitchen cleaned (with ALL the holiday party dishes finally put away). And that is pretty much it of my uneventful day. At first, I found myself getting upset. I had my list of things to do and it was 2pm in the afternoon and I had not done a thing. But then, I have to remember to live in the moment.

My dad passed away almost 10 years ago. If you told me tonight, that tomorrow, I will get to spend one more day with him. Would I be upset that I did not get to do anything on my "things to do" list? Heck no! I could care less about it. That really help put things in perspective for me. There will be time to do what needs to be done. Sometimes, I just need to step back and appreciate what I got. So I did. And I do not feel the least bit guilty about it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Home sweet home.

Gorgeous sunset tonight

Wow, I feel like I havent been home in forever. And it is COLD here! I am not used to coming home to a cold Houston. We have the fireplace going on right now. I have so much to do before our NJ trip, but today I took it easy. I will be ready to hit the ground running tomorrow. We had a lovely day today. We went for lunch at Raffas with my dear friend Phuong. I stopped by my Mom's for dinner. I am still trying to decide my wakeup time for my trial. I think I am going to wait one more day to start. Just because I want to recover from flying and then start fresh. Yeah, that sounds like a plan. One more day. :)

My pictures of the day is Gizzy sniffing out in our backyard and the sunset that we had only a few minutes later. It's SO good to be home. Sigh.

Sunshine Gizmo

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Day one of 1001.

Washington DC

Pretty anti-climatic I must say. I am in Washington DC and I am a nut to stay up way too late last night. I had a 4:30am wake up call today and a 4:00am (eastern time) wake up call tomorrow. That should help me in getting a jump start to my 30 day trial of waking up earlier. Ha! I have been taking my photos like a good girl, and will be posting them tomorrow. I did my workout tonight and stayed on the treadmill for an hour while watching the Biggest Loser (which is very motivating to watch when working out, I must add.) So far, it has been a productive start to 2008.Now, why do I want to do a trial on getting up at the same time every day? Well, I discovered a few interesting facts on the subject. Take a look at the magic of waking up only 30 minutes earlier a day. Did you know that only 30 minutes a day will equal to 182.5 hours in a year. That’s more than a month of working full-time (40 hours per week). Double it if you save 60 minutes a day, and triple it if you save 90 minutes a day. For me the savings can be monumental. And if I decide to get up only 90 minutes earlier, that’s like getting a free bonus year every decade. I can use that extra time to get those things done that I always feel there is never enough time to do (ahem, like my friggin artwork!)

Now I have always believed that you were born with a gene that makes you either a night owl or a morning person and there wasnt anything one could do to change that. It was like fighting mother nature if you tried to change it. But now the tides are turning. After reading this article, How to be an early riser, I think I have discovered the secret: self discipline. Ack! Is that it? Well, gee, I wonder where all that self discipline goes when you are deep under the cozy covers at 5am in the morning? But apparently, everyone has some ounce of self discipline inside them somewhere. If you can hold your breath, then guess what, you have self discipline. So there is HOPE for me yet. Woo hoo!Self discipline is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets. My self discipline muscle has shriveled up over the years. Hence, my attempt to making the habit of getting up early is to be my first trial of the year. I am hoping it will pave the way for the others. If I can do this, then all the other goals will become only that much easier. It will open up extra hours in the day, every day to do everything else I want to do. Now if I could only decide on what time that lovely hour will be. Hmmmmm. This will be soon to be determined.