Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the worst time of year

"It's the most wonderful time of the year..." for millions of people that flock to NYC between Thanksgiving and New Years to get into the holiday spirit, shop, walk around and whatever else it is they do.  So far the weather has been wonderful so all those people are outside on the sidewalks enjoying their vacation.

What does this mean for commuters?  Let me tell you, this is the WORST time of year for me.  OK, so maybe I AM one of those 'typical rude New Yorker' I hear so much about.  But there are two sides to every story.  1)  I think I am nice. I will answer questions about directions or take a picture.  I will let you know if you dropped something.  I do not go out of my way to be rude, but I have places to be.  BUT 2) I really just want to get from Grand Central to work and from work back to Grand Central in a somewhat rushed fashion.  There is a difference between subways and trains, mainly that the trains do not run every few minutes.  So for commuters we really just want to make our train so we don't have to wait 30 - 60 minutes for the next one when it is off-peak.  So YES, we do walk quickly and YES we do get annoyed when there are 5 people in your party and you are taking up the WHOLE sidewalk so passing becomes difficult.  We DO get annoyed when you suddenly stop and we (almost) bump into you.  We are frustrated that the sidewalks are so crowded.  And we are annoyed when you are walking on the wrong side - not that that part is a real thing, but if you drive on the right, you should walk on the right...this saves a lot of zig-zagging time.  When it rains/snows it is like you've never seen it before and don't know how to walk...sure you might get a little wet but keep moving!  And be courteous with that umbrella; you don't need a monstrous umbrella if you are teeny-tiny. And those of us that are not addicted to our phones/MP3 player or whatever else get annoyed because you don't know how to talk and walk at the same time and you DO drastically slow down when you text and walk.  Finally, even the trains/subways are more crowded...but listen to the announcements and use your common sense, do NOT waste the seats with your big bags - put them on the overhead rack, talk in civilized voices and is it so hard to keep your 5 year old from screaming the whole train ride, they aren't a baby anymore - teach them manners and how to be respectful when out in public.

If I could work from home for the next 40 days, I would be really happy and my stress level would be decreased.  Unfortunately I do not have that luxury, so this time of year is the absolute worst time to commute to work and makes me want to add to my New Year's resolution to find a job closer to home.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


When you think of Arizona, what do you think?  I've been there a few times, but always the northern part near the Grand Canyon.  I've always wanted to see big cati.  When the opportunity came up to go to Phoenix, I jumped on it.  I knew the Saguaro National Park was in Tucson, so that made it to my must see list. 

What I was not prepared for was that there were big cati all over Phoenix too.  Arizona was so brown with all the dirt - YES, I know that cactus is a desert plant and in the desert is dirt/sand. But I don't know if I can live there (not that I was/am seriously thinking of it - I just always keep that in the back of my mind).  So for a day and a half we drove around and saw the Saguaro's, hiked the Picachio Mountain and went to the Biosphere 2.  It wasn't the nicest, prettiest or most adventurous short road trip, but it was still nice to get away.

When we got back to Phoenix, we had time to drive a little through Tempe and Scottsdale.  Now THAT part of Arizona I could live in.  It was much more civilized.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Kayaking the La Jolla Sea Caves

When my co-worker & I were looking for things to do in La Jolla for our business meeting earlier this month, we came across kayaking the sea caves.  A simple look at each other & we need this made it to the top of our list.

But, not everything goes as planed...two days before our tour, La Jolla had some rainstorm / downpour.  The day of our appointment, it was cold and rainy.  The gave us all full wetsuits to wear (and thank goodness for that) and off we went.  The rain was light but steady and the water was fairly calm in the middle but rougher by the walls. 

We get out there after paddling and were so excited, to only find out that we were not going to go through the caves because hf the choppiness near them.  Let me tell you, I was willing to risk it!  I was a bit disappointed, I wished our tour company told us we wouldn't go in and give us the option to reschedule (not that we had a lot of free time). 

It was fun anyway.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am thankful for...

I have wanted a child for a while, but I am thankful that I do not have a child with a man that I am no longer involved with.  Seems like something obvious, but the truth is with divorce rates so high, there are a lot of people that have to raise children with people they no longer like.  Sure, you have a few cases where everyone is happy - but a majority of the homes struggle with the balance, the consideration, honesty, fighting, etc. 

Sometimes I think back to what my life would have been like if things didn't happen the way they did.  What if I had a child with someone that I didn't end up with for more than 20 years?  I am 98% certain that I would be bitter and have more hatred for that person based on their actions, their constant nagging and pissing me off intentionally that I probably wouldn't be happy; especially if they left me for someone else and still wanted to emotionally abuse me.  To know that I would have to remain in contact with them and see them in order to raise our child 'together'. 

So, SI, thank you.  Thank you for not knocking me up and not having a child with me.  Although the kid might have been cute - I know I couldn't handle having to see you move on with your life and rub it in my face constantly; It was hard enough as it is.

Not only are there divorces or separations, but what about all those other people that just get pregnant when they are dating or not even dating someone?  To those few guy - thank you for mostly wearing a condom or pulling out or having sperm that my uterus & egg rejected.  The last thing I'd want to do is get knocked up with someone I don't even like enough to date.

And thank you to my body - for so many years of not having a regular period which made it difficult to even think about getting pregnant.  You probably saved me from a few pregnancies knowing it wouldn't have worked out in the end.

And last but not least, I am thankful for my fh who will father my two children.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


While at an work related exhibit where I interact with potential clients and other exhibitors - I have realized once again that I have trouble initiating useless conversation.  In the past, when I attended the shows alone, I rarely met/talked to anyone, except my first time when I met a doctor and we spent the next 3 days hanging out. But the other times were boring. 

The past year I had my coworker come with me, and perhaps it is because she is short & pretty & nice but now our booth is constantly filled with other vendors trying to win their time talking to her/us.  In June we met an exhibitor; we hung out with them and then they came to NYC for something and one night we went out and now most recently for the third time last week in Arizona.  It has truly made the events a lot more fun when you know people...and usually the same people go to most of the shows -so it is something to look forward to. 

This past week our vendor neighbors were nice and chatty...but right away they pinned me as the bossy "HR" type person.  Why didn't I smile? Why do I look serious?  etc.  Do I really need to explain to people that when they smile all the time it is fake?  Can people really walk around with a smile all the time?  And why assume because I don't have a smile at one particular moment...that I am not happy.  I am very content.  And I DO smile...when I am speaking with people, I even laugh.  But because I don't have that fakeness...when I do it, it is genuine.  Boys must learn this at some point.

So these guys think they figured me all out; in the few hours we were there.  But the one guy- that we've known since dinner one night he said that Quirky was the perfect adjective to describe me.  I am fun& nice & laid back, but yet I am serious & bossy & unusual.

I liked that after I thought about it.  I have been told many times that I really am unique...(I know everyone is..but apparently I am more so).  Saying I am quirky is way better than saying I have issues/am strange/or other things that people think at first, but are surprised when they actually TALK to me they find out I am not necessarily what they thought I was. 

Can't judge this book by my cover.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Work travels

One of the good things about my job, which I have been at 5 1/2 years, is that I have been able to travel (of course we've had meetings in NYC too).  Some of the places are duplicates due to conferences - but for each trip I made sure to go out and see the surrounding area.  I am also allowed to bring guests, and I did on rare occassion, which made some of the trips even more enjoyable.
November 2011 - Phoenix, Arizona

November 2011 - La Jolla, California

June 2011 - Las Vegas, Nevada

June 2011 - Anaheim, California

May 2011 - New Olreans, Louisianna

March 2011 - Chicago, Illinois

November 2010 - Savannah, Georgia

October 2010 - Chicago, Illinois

June 2010 - Chicago, Illinois

March 2010 - Chicago, Illinois

November 2009 - Puerto Rico

June 2009 - Anaheim, California

April 2009 - Chicago, Illinois
March 2009 - Washington, DC

January 2009 - Orlando, Florida

October 2008 - San Diego, California to Cabo, Mexico (cruise)

October 2008 - Toronto, Canada

June 2008 - Pointe Vendra Beach, Florida

March 2008 - Chicago, Illinois

October 2007 - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Saturday, November 19, 2011

There's no place like home

I can't even tell you how happy I am to finally being back home.  Now that I have returned, I can tell you how crazy November turned into. 

First, I had a business meeting planned for November 3-6 in San Diego...but I rarely go to new parts of the country without taking an extra day or two.  So the 6-8 were 'play' days.  From previous posts (or posts of just pictures) you can see how nice our hotel was.  The weather wasn't ideal but it was nice to not be in NY.  The meeting was OK, but come Sunday we went kayaking to the La Jolla sea caves; unfortunately for us we were on the tail end of a huge rain storm, and it was raining that day so we were not able to go into the caves, which was disappointing.  Even though it was raining and cold - we made the best of it I even wore my first full wetsuit (kayaking post to come later this week).  From there we drove up to Santa Barbara and on that Monday we went wine tasting.  The day we left, we took out the bike hotels and went for a nice ride to Monticeto to Butterfly Beach. 

In the mean time, right before I left for California, I found a tenant for my apartment, who wanted to move in on the 15th, so I started packing a little before that California trip - but at the meeting, I found out I was to go to Arizona the following weekend...not much time to catch up on work AND move AND pack AND go on a blind date.  Thank goodness for my super supportive family! 

Arizona was fun too.  The weather was pleasant during the day and a bit chilly at night.  I went to Saguaro National Park, hiked part of the Picacho Mountain, went to the Biosphere and drove by Talisean West (posts of these to come).  Then for the work meeting, it wasn't bad at all.  We'd met some vendors at other meetings so our nights were never dull.  Drinking, hot tub, watching the meteor shower, etc. 

I am just starting to unpack and get set in my new routines.  The next year is going to be a little challenging...but hopefully well worth it in the end.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gas Lamp Quarter - San Diego California

On the way back to the airport we stopped at the Gas Lamp Quarter in San Diego.  We were not sure what to expect but were shocked with the two streets that were about 5 blocks long of restaurants. Lots & lots of restaurants.  How to decide where to eat?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wine Tasting in Los Olivos

I love wine and what better activity to do in California? OK, so I wasn't in Napa Valley, but in Santa Barbara and we hired a company to come and pick us up at the hotel and drive us to some wineries in Los Olivos.

We started at Bridlewood

Next was Carhart (our favorite)

Then olive oil tasting, which was fantastic!

Then time to drink again!  Off to Lincort (my least favorite, I think I only liked one or two) where we had lunch and the tasting outside on their covered patio.


 And finally Koehler.

The tour company we used:

Oh, and what famous person lived here?  Michael Jackson's Neverland is right down this road a few miles