Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

This is where I wish I was right now......

Its been a tough work week....

Monday, January 26, 2009

And then there were four....

Today our friend Jason is coming over to officially adopt two of our foster kittens, Shadow and Cali. I am so happy that they are going to such a good home, but honestly I will miss them very much! Having 6 cats in our condo this past month has been kinda crazy, but fun and entertaining at the same time. Also, David and I decided that we're actually going to keep Misty, the mama foster kitty because we've really fallen in love with her. She's so friendly and loving, and I know she will be a great addition to our home (Molly might not agree with that, but she'll adjust eventually). And in many ways Misty reminds me of our old family cat Mittens who passed away a few years ago. So in honor of our adorable foster kitties, here's a little video for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, January 23, 2009

David's off to......

.....Tennessee this weekend to play at 2 different shows! I'm very happy for him, and excited for the adventures my DJ Zion will have :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Watch out.....

Molly & Oliver can see into your soul!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A New Beginning.

I honestly can't remember a time that I felt more proud to be an American, or more hopeful about our country's future.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hiking in Tilden Park

David and I took advantage of this lovely warm January weather to get outside and do some hiking in Berkeley's Tilden Park on Sunday. We hiked about 4.5 miles, stopping halfway to enjoy a nice picnic lunch. We plan to go back to Tilden often to explore more of the trails in this lovely park. It was a bit hazy yesterday which did limit our views of the Bay from the ridge top, but it was still a gorgeous hike and a great workout with all the inclines.

Family Day!

I love my family! Leah, Lukasz, Hayden, Mom, Dad, Auntie Claudia & Uncle Thayne all came over for a yummy brunch at our place on Saturday, then we headed over to the park to enjoy the sunshine and play. What a lovely day. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A little visitor...

The other day we had a little friend come to visit our balcony! Oliver wasn't quite sure what to make of this little guy. Apparently this squirrel likes to jump from a nearby tree onto our balcony, and then over to our neighbor's balcony looking for treats....or trouble. : )

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Foot Grows in Baby's Brain

Foot Grows in Baby's Brain
Doctors Find Foot Growing in Infant's Brain, but Can't Explain Why Yet

ABC News Medical Unit

Dec. 18, 2008—

A doctor in Colorado found a surprise when removing what he thought was a benign growth from a newborn's brain. Instead of a microscopic tumor, out popped a tiny foot, partially formed hand, a thigh and another partially formed foot.

"It would be a shock to even the most experienced pathologist cutting into a tumor to see this," Dr. Paul Grabb told the ABC affiliate KMGH.

Grabb said he could not tell whether the miniature limbs were from a benign stem cell tumor called a teratoma or the remnants of an identical twin that did not split off and survive, a condition called fetus in fetu.

"It looked like the breach delivery of a baby, coming out of the brain," Grabb told The Associated Press. "To find a perfectly formed structure is extremely unique, unusual, borderline unheard of."

The baby, Sam Esquibel, was 3 days old when doctors at Memorial Hospital for Children in Colorado Springs discovered a microscopic tumor in his brain. A hospital representative said Sam is alive and recovering well after his operation, but his family declined to discuss his case further until its interview with ABC's "20/20" in January.

Whether the growth was the remains of a twin sibling or the work of renegade stem cells in Sam's body is hard to tell.

But stem cell experts who study teratoma believe the body parts are likely the result of fetus in fetu.

"This is pretty bizarre. ... It's certainly possible [it's a teratoma]," said Ed Morrisey, the scientific director of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Philadelphia.

"My guess is, it's probably not a teratoma, because the tissues themselves in a teratoma are usually disorganized," said Morrisey.

Studying Stem Cell Tumors

Morrisey and other stem cell researchers create teratoma in mice to study how one day doctors may coach stem cells into growing into specific types of tissues that doctors need.

By altering embryonic stem cells gene by gene and then watching to see what type of tissue -- nerve, muscle, hair, etc. -- they grow into, researchers can advance toward learning what directs stem cells to form full organs.

But teratoma are known to form recognizable organs or limbs.

"If you take stem cells and inject them into mice they will spontaneously form teratoma," said Morrisey. He said the teratoma that form, and the teratoma that occur naturally, usually grow into disorganized clumps of tissue instead of a fully formed organ.

"You'd form muscle, but it would just be a bunch of muscle cells together," he said. "Not like a foot or a limb."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

10 Hot Professions for 2009

It's no secret that the US economy and the local job market are seriously struggling. And while people continue to lose their jobs left and right, certain professions are still booming, and some actually (such as nursing) have serious talent shortages.

According to a recent article on Yahoo! Hot Jobs, professions such as engineering, nursing, auditing, and even Career Counseling are in great demand. But I won't lie - this is also a challenging time to be a Career Counselor due to increased competition in the job market and the heightened stress and anxiety my clients are facing. But at the same time, Career Counselors are in greatly needed in order to serve so many displaced workers and help people make difficult career transitions.

The following blurb was taken from the aforementioned Yahoo! article:

Career Counselor. More folks than usual are starting off the new year without a job in sight. How can the out-of-work find gainful employment? From outplacement agencies to government programs, career counselors and coaches will be very busy in 2009 helping make things easier. Mitchell encourages those seeking work to get professional help, saying, "Many individuals will need to completely re-engineer their careers. In order to do that, people need personalized guidance and feedback from an expert counselor." Average Yearly Salary - $54,426

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thoughts for the day.....

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry that I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I---
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Destination: Europe!

So David and I officially booked our trip to Amsterdam and Belgium in late May 2009! My good fried Torrey and her husband Dave are living in Amsterdam for one year while Dave completes a post-doc at a Dutch University. And we're taking advantage of their offer to visit them and stay at their cute little apartment for a few days! We're also taking a weekend trip together to Bruges, Belgium, just a short train ride away. David and I went to Amsterdam back in 2004, but we were only there for a couple days. So this time we look forward to spending more time exploring the canals and the beautiful city, interacting with the locals, and soaking up as much Dutch culture as we can. I can't wait!

And this is the B&B we'll be staying at for 5 more days in Amsterdam once we get back from Belgium...

And in Belgium with Torrey & Dave....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Last night there was a little fruit fly buzzing around our living room, and Aimee was on a quest to catch him! She was chirping and meowing at the lil bug, and then chased him up to the light and jumped on top of the bookcase. It was too little hunter. :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to Reality..

Well today I am heading back to work at the UC Berkeley Career Center after a lovely 2 week vacation.....sigh....

It's tough because even when you like your job, it can still be very hard to adjust back to "reality" after such a long, relaxing, fun-filled vacation.
But on a positive note, I am excited about what 2009 has in store....lots of exciting stuff to look forward to this year!
1) David and I are both celebrating our 30th Birthdays!
2) Our trip to Amsterdam and Bruges, Belgium in May to visit our friends Torrey & Dave! (We just booked our flight yesterday!)
3) Traveling to St. Louis, MO in July to present at the National Career Development Association Annual Convention, with a side trip to Branson, Mo to visit David's brother Alex. (and we'll get to celebrate the 4th of July there too!)
4) Leah & Lukasz are getting in married in September - and all the planning and fun events, showers, etc. leading up to the wedding in late summer/early fall!

I know that 2009 will be a great I am staying positive today as I adjust back to work and get ready for a new semester and a new year. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Monkey Helpers!

We've all heard of guide dogs who help people with disabilities, but have you heard about helper monkeys? This organization, Helping Hands, trains Capuchin monkeys to serve as assistants to paralyzed individuals. They can learn how to open refrigerators, change CD and DVD players, open bottles and jars, put glasses on their owner, picking up dropped objects, and turn the pages of a book. So cool!

Check out the Helping Hands website for more info, and watch the short video below about the training process at "monkey college."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Kitty Update

So although having 6 cats in our condo is a tad insane, we are SO glad we took in these foster kitties! Misty, Cali and Shadow are all doing quite well - they have our 2nd bedroom all to themselves, food and water to their hearts content, plenty of toys to play with, a soft chair for napping in the sunshine, and lots of love and snuggles from us. I am calling SPCA tomorrow to setup an appt. for Misty to get spayed, and we'll be getting vaccinations for all the cats very soon.

We are still looking for homes for all 3 of them - we would love to keep the kittens together as it would break my heart to separate them. A couple of people have expressed a possible interest in adoption, but nothing solid yet. Please let us know if you hear of someone who's looking to bring a new kitty into their home.

The Biggest Leaf Ever....and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I have a feeling that 2009 is going to be a GREAT year and I wish nothing but happiness and success to all!

Last night David and I had a blast dancing and celebrating out in the city at a party at Le Meredian Hotel. We were so happy that BART was offering extended holiday service until 3am, so we decided to take public transit out there...and I am so glad we did. Yes the BART ride home at 2:30am was quite interesting indeed, and I think we were the most sober people on our train, but it was definitely a comical experience. What an adventurous way to start off 2009. :)

On our walk back to BART from the hotel, I saw this leaf on the ground and I just had to pick it up - is it not one of the biggest leaves you've ever seen?! I am calling it my New Year's souvenir. ;)