Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Come Support the Kitties! ICRA Silent Auction Sat 4/25, 7-10pm in Alameda

Many of you know that I volunteer for a local organization called Island Cat Resources and Adoption (ICRA) here in Alameda. We help rescue abandoned cats and kitten litters, educate the public about the importance of spay/neuter, catch feral cats for trap-neuter-release, and also hold adoption days at the Alameda Petco every Saturday. Coming up on Saturday April 25th, we are having our BIG fundraiser event of the year, the Annual Silent Auction & 15th Anniversary Celebration! This Silent Auction fundraiser is our largest source of revenue generation, and I am very excited to be helping out this year!

The event is open to the public, so please consider attending if you're interested! David and I will definitely be there, both to help out and to celebrate. Again, the event will take place on Saturday, April 25th from 7-10pm in Alameda. Tickets are $25 at the door, or $20 with a bag of cat food - unlimited food, wine and champagne are included with the entry fee. This is the eve of my 30th Birthday, so I'd love to see as many of you there as possible!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Kitties Say Good Morning!

Oliver LOVES to get under the covers with us in the bed, and this morning we woke up to him snuggling between us....too cute. I wouldn't mind it at all if I didn't have a mild allergy to all the cat hair that gets in our bed....but he's so cute, it's hard to kick him out.

When I was taking this picture of Oliver and David, Misty was VERY interested in the camera, and even stuck out her paw towards me. I think she felt left out, so I took her picture too. :)

And after I got up and fixed my tea, Aimee was sitting on the living room table just like this, with one of her front paws lifted up so daintily....what a silly little cat.

OH, and of course I can't leave out my gorgeous Molly! Yesterday we went down to a local carpet store to browse and talk with a salesman (we're gonna get new carpet soon and wanted to check out some samples and get a quote). As we were leaving, the owner gave us a sample carpet square to take home to test for stain resistance and water absorption, and of course the cats LOVE it. Especially Molly - I think she believes it's her special sleeping throne. : )

Gotta love our kitty congregation!

Saturday Family Day

Mom, Dad, Leah, Lukasz and Hayden all came over yesterday to have lunch and hang out - I love my family so very much and I savor all the quality time we get to spend together. Now I'm looking forward to more family time with the extended family from my Mom's side on Easter Sunday just 2 weeks away.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

David's Ink..

About 2 weeks ago, David finished the outline for his Egyptian back piece....and it looks amazing! I forgot to post this earlier, so just wanted to share this with all of you today. He's quite a trooper, and I think the result is awesome! He plans to fill-in the wings with black ink, and do the remainder of the pyramid, pillars and the hawk in full color. And if you're wondering, the wings actually incorporate David's old tattoo into a cover-up....pretty nifty.

Cesar Chavez Day.....

I'm so happy to announce that today is my Friday! Yes, thanks to the amazing life and activism of Cesar Chavez, tomorrow, Friday March 27th, is recognized as a holiday at UC Berkeley and the campus is closed. While I am obviously thankful to have a 3-day weekend, this holiday has also prompted me to learn more about Chavez' life and accomplishments.

For those of you who don't know, according to Wikipedia, "Chavez was a Mexican American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. Supporters say his work led to numerous improvements for union laborers. His birthday has become a holiday in eight U.S. states. Many parks, cultural centers, libraries, schools, and streets have been named in his honor in cities across the United States.

Later in life, education became C├ęsar's focus. The walls of his office in Keene, California (United Farm Worker headquarters) were lined with hundreds of books ranging in subject from philosophy, economics, cooperatives, and unions, to biographies of Gandhi and the Kennedys."

There will even be a Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Parade and Street Fair in San Francisco next Saturday, April 4th.

Just wanted to share....have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

They say that March.....

..."Comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb." I've never really understood this saying, but I guess it supposedly refers to the month of March starting off with strong, inclement weather, but ending with warmer temps and less winter-like storms. While I have been enjoying the sunshine we're having this week, it is still way too COLD for my blood! But if the saying is true, then hopefully the last week of March will be kind to us weather-wise. And if March will indeed "go out like a lamb", let's hope it's as pure and gentle as this little guy....too cute (Thanks Cute Overload!) : )

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Brisk, Spring Sunday....

Despite the gusty, howling wind we're having in Alameda today, I still decided to get out for a nice brisk walk to soak up the sunshine and the colors, smells, and beautiful images of Spring in the Bay Area. I love Alameda so much, that I though I'd capture some pretty pictures of my community to share with all of you. These shots were taken along Alameda Beach, Crab Cove, and Washington Park along my normal walking route, ending with 2 pics of me and my kitty Molly back at our condo. Happy Sunday...Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring!!

Yes folks, today is the first official day of Spring, aka the Vernal Equinox!

And this makes me very happy! Because I love the sunshine, the beach, and outdoor activities, and considering I naturally run very cold, I've always been much more of a "warm weather girl". And now that Spring is here, it means that Summer is just around the corner!

I've been noticing more and more beautiful flowers blooming around Alameda, green grasses and vegetation cropping up along the beach path where I walk, and the trees near our complex are coming to life with colorful leaves once again! For those of you who prefer seeing photos on my blog, stay tuned because I plan to go out and capture some beautiful shots of Alameda this weekend.

Happy Spring and Happy Friday! : )

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My car made me $325!

I love my Mazda 3. Its sporty, fun to drive (Zoom Zoom Zoom!), and comes with great amenities (heated leather seats, moon roof, Bose sound system, etc)....but it's also roomy and practical for a young couple like David and I. I've had my car since December 2006, and overall I am very happy and content with my Black Beauty!

But who would have guessed that my car would actually help me MAKE money? Well on Tuesday I was invited to participate in a focus group on the topic of car shopping preferences, where we were shown new car models being developed by an unnamed manufacturer. They brought in a diverse group of people who mostly drive other makes of cars, and basically picked our brains about our lifestyle, or passions, or values and priorities, and our motivations that led us to purchase our current vehicle. We also got to share our opinions about these new car models! It was a fun and engaging 90 minute discussion, and I walked away with $125 simply for sharing my opinions!

At the end of the research event, 3 of us from the group were asked to participate in a follow-up study that was to take place at our own home - for an additional $200 bonus! The goal was to further investigate our lifestyle, interests, and priorities as a consumer and car owner. So yesterday, 2 guys from the market research company came over to our condo and interviewed me - they took pictures of my car, all the stuff inside of it, my condo, my CD collection, my closet, my kitchen, and even my cats! It was too funny. They said their goal was to "get inside of my mind" in order to understand my lifestyle preferences and how I've ended up where I'm at today. It was so much fun - heck, who wouldn't love talking about their life and their interests for 2 hours, while getting paid $200!?

So in summary, my lovely Mazda 3 made me $325 over the past two days - and my car payment is now covered for the month! Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cuddly, hairy kitties...

Our friend Cameron was out visiting from Tennessee this weekend, and stayed with us on Friday night after a fun evening. On Saturday morning when I woke up, I noticed that Oliver had made a new friend! He was cuddled up sleeping peacefully with Cameron on the couch - too cute. Later that day David and I were resting on the couch watching TV, and suddenly we were surrounded by kitties! Our feline children love laying on blankets and pillows whenever they get a chance, and also considering the fact that it was a chilly, gloomy day, we all enjoyed snuggling on the couch together. The only downside of having 4 cats is all the HAIR they leave on our clothes, our couch, our blankets, and our bed.....but it's definitely well worth-it. : )

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Meet Charley

What an amazing cat, and a touching, precious video. To all my fellow cat/animal lovers out there, enjoy! : ) I hope you enjoy meeting Charley as much as I did - what a special kitty!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Let's consult the crystal ball....

This has been a very busy, hectic week for me. Between work and personal stuff, I've been quite tired and needless to say I'm so glad its Friday!

Regarding work, my poor students are so stressed and anxious....nervous about graduating into this tough job market, scared about their job search, confused about their futures, unsure about their path, etc. I do my best to offer support, guidance, resources, and hope...but the majority of the work and decision making still falls on the individual. Right? All of us must make our own decisions in life, even when we are confused and overwhelmed. However, many of my clients wish that I could simply tell them what to do with their life, essentially make their tough decisions for them. "What do YOU think I should do?", is a question I get more often than you'd think! Now of course I use my counseling skills to turn that question around and direct it back to my client, but sometimes I wish I could say...."Wow, you're going to let ME decide what career you should do? Ok, cool! How about a blimp pilot? Or a swimsuit model? Or a sanitary worker?? Those sound like interesting careers....", and simply wait for the shocked response. Other times I joke with my clients and say, "Well I don't know, let's consult the crystal ball....", and I motion towards my bookshelf, as their eyes grow big with confusion and curiosity.

Now of course I don't have a crystal ball in my office, but at this point I think I am going to hunt for one! How fun and silly would that be to actually pull it out during a session! Now I don't mean to patronize or minimize the significance of the major decisions and life transitions my clients are facing. I simply wish to lighten the mood, bring some humor into the situation, and help them understand that unfortunately they must make their own decisions, even though it is SO appealing to let others, or inanimate objects, do it for them.

Perhaps some of you have a burning question or a tough decision that's on your mind? Well perhaps this Crystal Ball can help you! May the force be with you... : )

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Countdown to SF Giants 2009 Opening Day!

As many of you know I'm a big SF Giants fan. Ok, so I know my team hasn't done very well the last few years, and all the hype about Barry Bonds hasn't done us so good either, but I still love my Giants! And opening day is less than 1 month away! Check out my new Countdown Widget on the right hand column of my blog - yay!

Hopefully this will be OUR season! : ) If you're also a fan, you might want to check out this blog.

Monday, March 9, 2009

David's Birthday Bash

We had a great time celebrating David's birthday on Saturday night! We rented out the clubhouse in our condo complex, and got a chance to celebrate and party with all our closest friends! Thanks to everyone who came out!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy Birthday David!!

Today is David's 30th Birthday.....yay! I love you babe and I hope your special day is amazing, memorable, and fun-filled. We shall celebrate tonight!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Who lives in this nest??

Directly across the way from our living room window and balcony is a big deciduous tree, which is currently bare of leaves due to winter (yet starting to sprout for Spring). The only current signs of life in this tree are random birds that land on the branches, and the snarky tree squirrels that live in our neighborhood.

And there is also this nest. David and I have wondered for quite awhile who this nest belongs to, or if it's even occupied at all. A few weeks ago we saw Mr. Squirrel poking his head into the nest and I was very concerned! How dare he disturb the birds in that nest (if there were any) and disrupt their home! But still, we had never witnessed any birds landing in the nest or even going near it.

Last weekend during one of the many torrential down pours we experienced, David and I began to wonder where the squirrels go at night or during rain storms? Where do they predominantly live and sleep? I decided to research this question online, and low-and-behold we learned that squirrels actually build nests up in trees! So our mystery was solved - this nest belong to our lovely, snarky Mr. Squirrel. I wonder if he has a partner who resides there with him....if so that would be quite a cozy, tight living space. I'll be curious to see if any baby squirrels emerge from the nest later this Spring. : )

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This is where I'll be tonight. Although I hate working late evenings, this should be a fun and interesting event for our students - Career Speed Dating!

A Pink Dolphin!?!

Yes, it is true.....a pink dolphin was discovered in Lake Calcasieu, an inland lake/salt water estuary north of the Gold of Mexico in Louisiana. This special, colorful creature is actually an albino, and appears to be healthy and normal despite its unique coloration. How cool! Click HERE to read the full article.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Cow urine? Bilk? Diet water?
Check out these 10 Most Bizarre Soft Drinks! Yumm.....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Marble Month

When I was a student at Lincoln Elementary School in Manteca back in the late 80's/early 90's, I used to LOVE playing games and sports at recess. 4-square, tether ball, hopscotch, Chinese jump rope, around-the-world....all were very fun as a rambunctious school kid. But my favorite game of all, and the most anticipated time of the year, was March Marble Month! Does anyone else know about this phenomenon? Did you also have Marble Month in your school?

Well every March, our school allowed kids to bring marbles for competitive play during recess and lunch breaks. The game is very simple - you and your opponents each select your shooter and place any marbles you wish to play with as targets inside the designated playing area. Shooters are designated marbles used to knock targets. Your shooter should be larger than the other marbles so it's powerful enough to do its job. It should also look different from other marbles so you can distinguish it from them easily. Take your turn when the time comes by shooting your marble from the perimeter of the playing area at any marble or marbles inside. Shoot by kneeling on the ground and flicking your marble out of your fist with your thumb. Each player takes turns, and any marble that you hit you get to keep.

I LOVED bringing my colorful collection of glass marbles to school in my little cloth sack, coveting the bag close to me during class and counting down the minutes, seconds until the next recess. I was quite the competitive little girl, and I had no fear playing against the toughest boys in my class...and I often won!

Oh the nostalgia...I wonder if I kept any of those beautiful marble memories up in my collection of childhood toys in my parent's attic?