Friday, December 30, 2005


Matt and I have been looking forward to camping this weekend for months. We arn't camping. They kept saying high surf and bad rain. So we decided to have Prime Rib, and friends over for dinner.

It will be AOK to sleep in our bed and not in a tent in the cold.

Chances are it won't rain, and the sun would have be bright and shiny the whole time. Our loss.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


My sister encouraged my mom and I to watch Project Runway. So yesterday, I spent 4 hours catching up. I really enjoyed it, so many funny personalities. But really I'm most drawn to the actual designing.

My friend Katrina has decided to master making lingerie. She wants to be able to look back in a number of years and say "blank" is my thing. Hooray for lingerie! I hope she'll let me help, and teach me in the process. All I have to say is thank goodness she has a dress makers form!

She also has a new iron. Katrina has mentioned her new iron both in person and in email. It must really rock. The iron junkie in me is afraid to try it; it may be instantly addicting. I'll be making excuses to bring over my wrinkled clothing just to use it. A sewing day is planned for January. Maybe we can use all the fabric for bridal veils for lingerie? I'm way more likely to use the lingerie.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The new camcorder

We got a call from UPS last night offering to let us pick up the package. We agreed and drove to the UPS place this morning.

UPS was pretty much a nightmare. Lots of mad people that they can't find their packages.

They found ours in minutes. We got the hell out of there, as some people were waiting for well over an hour.

As Matt was getting the package out of the truck I noticed the taped up hole on the botttom. We opened it up and everything seemed there, but the camera box was open and there was no manuel. So rather than risk keeping something that was damaged in shipment, we are returning it.


Friday, December 23, 2005

No video record of Christmas 2005


I'm sad, I was planning to spend the weekend learning how to use our new camcorder.

Monday, December 19, 2005


I paid for over priced 3 day UPS to Maine from California just so I wouldn't have to stand in line at the PO for 45 minutes.

In the time I saved I
1. Bought a crappy pathetic Christmas tree. I love its retardedness, it fits. I will post pictures when it is decorated.

2. Went to Target to purchase all of Matt's gifts. I bought pretty much all chick presents, a new sugar bowl, a new stainless steel (no Teflon) 10 inch frying pan, and a wallet. He doesn't read this, so I'm not worried about being a spoiler. I'll might get a gift certificate to the new sushi place down the street.
The no teflon is because they are scratched after a day and a half.

3. Dropped of 4 bags of crap to me/new to you items at Goodwill.

I was home 1 hour after I left work!

Sadly, a co-worker passed away this weekend. Not the cancer co-worker, she thankfully is still holding on, day by day. This co-worker drove a laundry truck, every morning we'd greet each other as he was pulling 3 or 4 carts of linens. He choked on a piece of food and freaking died. So sad, he has 4 children the youngest just a baby. He worked 2 full time jobs to support his family. He worked at the hospital for 15 years. Crazy.

We of course then debated the Heimlich maneuver throughout the day. Could you do it? Most of us decided that if it was a bigger man there is no way we could do it. I'd have to throw them over a chair and hope to clear the passage. We don't know if anyone was with him at the time he choked so we don't know if they attempted to use the Heimlich.

Blogger doesn't know the word Heimlich. It does however suggest that you use Homology. Homology doesn't mean what you might think it means, or at least it doesn't mean what I thought it meant. And to be honest, even after reading the definition I'm still not sure what it means.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I have the tickets to the show in February! I'm super excited.

The only possible snag could be the Grammy's. They are 4 days later, right in the middle of the worst time of the year for Matt at work. So if he can't go, I'll have to take a friend. I wonder if any of my friends would want to tag along with me?

We have semi good seats.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

creative slumber

I am ready to arise from my long absence of creativity. I had decided to take the summer off so that I could take a bit of a break from working with clay. It gets to be a bit much to look at; clay isn't the kind of project one can put away and get out each time the mood strikes; it sits on my craft table and honestly I'm a bit messy. I did not expect to extend the break throughout the rest of the year. I am mending well and I think I can get back into the creative mode soon. I have my hopefully last dr. appointment on Monday.

I’m a little stagnant. I plan to purchase some inspiring magazines or perhaps a whole new thing altogether. Recenlty, I’ve pulled out a few different projects that are incomplete and I have no desire to complete them, so I just put them back for another day. I hate that.

I’ve thought about doing some sewing, painting and various other activities but they are all unattractive at this moment.

I think maybe after the holidays I will awake from my slumber. Even if I really don't have any new and fresh ideas, sometimes they don't strike until I'm actually working, I will get everything out in early January.

Today I am Christmas shopping. I know what I’m getting the nieces/nephews and my parents. Now to find the perfect gift for my husband; we’ve decided to stick to gifts related to our trip, but it isn’t too much fun to just open long johns and flannel shirts. I’ll find something fun.

Matt keeps asking what I want for Christmas. Today the answer came to me in the form of a commercial on the radio. Coldplay, with hopefully backstage passes, the Forum February 4, 2006. Tickets go on sale Saturday. If we buy the tickets, the passes will come, right? This is Hollywood after all and I do have a husband with the hook up. Oh and if the rumors are correct, stupid Gwyneth won't be in my way to spoil my fun cause who wants to go on tour with a toddler and be like 6 months pregnant. Right?

Please Santa Claus bring me front row Coldplay tickets to me for Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

2 things I know for sure

1. I booked our tour for Denali National Park today.

Tundra Wilderness Tour, 54 Miles One Way, 6-8 hours Round Trip For visitors wanting to know about Denali National Park’s varied landscapes and wildlife, this 6-8 hour fully narrated tour takes visitors to the Toklat River at mile 54 of the Park Road. While we can’t predict nor promise when and where wildlife may show up, this tour travels deep into the heart of the park and will allow you ample opportunity to look for Dall sheep, moose, caribou and the elusive grizzly bear. On days when Denali (Mt. McKinley) is visible, it may be possible to travel to Stony Hill Overlook at mile 62 where the mountain first becomes fully visible from base to summit - an impressive view. There are two general departure times daily: the AM departures leaving generally between 5:30am and 7:30 am are designed to get you back for the afternoon train to Fairbanks, while the PM departures allow you to arrive on the noon train from Fairbanks, departing generally between 1:30pm and 3:00pm. Exact departure times are not guaranteed and are based on availability.

2. And cousin Tom's amazing set up

I want to do this (and the air boat and the kayak and of course the flight tour):
Hunter Creek Adventures is pleased to offer our fully outfitted wilderness tent camp, located at the face of the Knik Glacier. Glacier Camp has a front row seat to one of south central Alaska's most spectacular natural wonders. This is the Alaska you dreamed about; wild, rugged, and stunningly beautiful! Knik Glacier has been in a retreat for 7 years and puts on a spectacular show daily. Listen to the sound of white thunder echo off the mountains as Icebergs the size of 5 story buildings tumble into the new lake. Watch Dall sheep, moose and bears graze in nearby meadows Glacier Camp is fully outfitted for a quick visit or a multi day adventure. We supply Tents, sleeping bags, bear proof food storage, tables, chairs, bbq grill, ice box and camp kitchen. You supply a sense of adventure warm cloths, sturdy footwear and lots of film. This is a remote camping experience and we are the only overnight camp here. When the boat leaves chances are good you will not see another person until the boat comes to pick you up the next day. Bring your own food or allow us to provide meals for you.

We pick up the camper on Monday and I made the Denali reservations for the following Sunday. We'll have almost a full week of unscheduled adventures!


I've made russian tea cakes, triple chocolate almond biscotti and hiden mint chocolate wafer cookies (they kinda suck). On the list to do, truffles, various dipped in chocolate items, thumb print cookies and ginger snowflakes. Maybe more, maybe less. Oh and rum balls once I get my mom's recipe.

Also in very exciting news, I'm seeing Coldplay at the Tonight Show tomorrow with Katrina. Coldplay is my most favorite band.

There is also an off chance that I will get to go to an Ellen taping, hopefully during the 12 days of giveaways! That would rock.

We have the whole VIP set up for the Tonight Show and Katrina has never been to a TV taping. Sir Anthony Hopkins and Howie Mandel are the guests. But really it is all about Coldplay. The last time I went to a taping teh musical guest was Enrique Iglesias, Leno couldn't pronouce his name correctly, Inglesias, he did about 12 takes.

I do not have to return to work until Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

my grandpa

He died today.

It's freaking freezing

Usually my work area is hot, today it was so damn cold that I used a heel warmer to warm my fingers. (A heel warmer is an instant hot pak that we use to warm heels of babies so they bleed real nice) I normally always have a sweater, and today I wore a jacket. I will not make that mistake again, I think I look sloppy in my jacket working at my desk.

I met our new Chief of Staff today I was embarassed at how cold my hands were shaking his hand.

I ran into Bill today, that was a wonderful suprise. Bill was a life long friend to Jimmy. He always says he'll call me when making rounds and never did, I hope he will next time.

I also ran into my favorite Dr. Patel, it is always nice to see him and get a quick hug.

Friday, December 02, 2005


I've decided to make a sconce. I watched Ty Pennington on Oprah make a very cool sconce out of a piece of wood and an uplight last season. I use to really like Ty, back when he used his inside voice.

I plan to develope the concept into something with clay. I want to acheive the look of fused glass, but without the super bright colors. I'm not quite sure how I will make it work. I thought about magic mesh, but I really don't want the grid look. What is clear, plyable and heat resistant? And of course affordable?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

More on death

I wrote the earlier post this morning at work. The blog from work thing works just fine, I only need to remember to bring my memory key so I don't have to email it home. But anyway, on to death.

While of course I still miss Jimmy, I know it was his time and I hope his afterlife is exactly as he described in fascinating detail to Matt and I one afternoon.

More death is around me today. I work right next to the pathology transcriptionists. They are allowed to have food and drink in their room; sometimes when I don't want to be be in total gross violation of my department rules, I'll drink some of my coffee in their area and chat. I got to know them pretty well when I started my job as the lab secretary a number of years ago. They are a fun group of women, I really enjoy them. One of them has ovarian cancer. Today the girls quietly made the rounds to all of her friends that she has 48 hours to live. She hasn't wanted visitors, so really only a couple of the pathologist (are your doctor friends visitors?) and one other transcriptionist visit her. BTW for context, she is a patient at my work, so visiting is only an elevator ride. So today myself and 2 of my other close coworkers went to visit our friend. In between treatments she became well enough to come back to work, she wore her wig at first, then when her hair was long enough she was all natural, full cute head of hair. Today, she looked 90. It is so completely weird to see her as a 100% different person on the outside. But her spirit is alive and kicking, she was looking forward to getting her lung drained, she said it was a pretty cool experience to have that happen yesterday.

The worst was her husband. He was the saddest man I have ever seen in my life. He couldn't stop crying. I was told to be prepared for both him and her and that I needed to be ready to visibly see them. Even though she looked like a little old lady, he broke my heart. I reached out to touch his shoulder and asked if there was anything we can do for him, he just looked at me with blood red eyes and tears streaming down his face and said no, but thank you.

There are good people around them. I will keep them in my good thoughts and I hope that he can look back in one year and find peace.

More death? No there can't be, right?

Grandpa. He can't swallow, he has tumor in the bronchial area. He doesn't say much anymore, and is on pain meds so he isn't really present. My aunt Kim said, Despite his crotchity shortcomings, I do love him. I'm sad that my mom is loosing her dad. And even though I have selfishly joked about how I'm eager to use the bereavement pay and stay home and paint, I will miss not having any grandparents. Although he isn't in what they call "dying mode" he isn't going to bounce back.

Jimmy 3-12-27 to 12-1-04

December 1, 2004 it was the day before the set up for my first big craft fair. It was a 3 day deal at the fairgrounds and I had a ton to do to get ready.

I need to purchase carpet and a few last minute items from home depot and various other things that a year later I can’t even remember. I went to the carpet store down the street from his house, they are always over priced and I continually get frustrated with their Arab style of customer service, especially when dealing with a woman. They quoted me $80 for a remnant 8x5, I declined and said I’d go elsewhere. As I drove out of the parking lot, 3 blocks from his house I thought about turning right and just popping in to say hello. I’m really not the stop by unannounced type of girl so I decided against it, and anyway I’d spend too much time with him and then not get done all that needed to be done. I turned left.

I drove knowing I could find a carpet store that wouldn’t charge so much for scraps, I did. I paid a perfect $10 for a 10x8 piece of crappy brown carpet. It was perfect. It must have been late morning by the time I got home, maybe even just a bit after noon.

There was a voice mail, it was from Pete, it was Jimmy. He is bad and he is going to the hospital. Please call him back right away. I called and told Pete that I just had too much to do today and I can help him out. I called Matt and told him Jimmy was going to the hospital, at some point in that conversation I decided to call Pete back and tell him I’d meet up with him. Jimmy was taken to Pacifica Hospital, not my choice of hospital, but you go where they take you. I left to pick Matt up from work and then drove the few more miles to the hospital. We ran into Pete in the parking lot, he was being Pete. Matt and I went over to the ER, Jimmy already had 2 people with him, but soon Brian came out and I went in. Jimmy was grey and pale and seemed to be in a tremendous amount of pain. He was hooked up to various machines and Denise was sitting on a stool holding his hand under the piles of blankets. He seemed so pleased to see me, I would have regretted forever had I not gone to be with my friend Jimmy when he needed me.

Jimmy and I met not too long after I moved here when I began working as a bartender at the Queen Mary. It was during a rather personally difficult time in my life, I was honestly a bit lost. We didn’t get to know each other until later; he had some medical issues and I ended up working his shifts until he recovered. He came back to work and he was the best bartender that I have ever worked with, he was fun, clean and didn’t waste time flirting with the customers. Not that one wants to flirt with a 60 year old man in a ball gown and wig pretending to be Sally for the night. Did I mention that the Queen Mary is a drag bar? We forged a friendship behind the bar, the difference in our age was never an issue, he was 70 I was in my late 20s and we could talk about anything. Our friendship grew and I began visiting with him for hours on end at his house.

I long for the afternoons with Jimmy or the whole days for that matter. He lived just a couple of miles away from me and always welcomed me with open arms. During my various unemployment stints, you could find me on the couch next to him, solving the issues of the world. He was my confidant when it came to Matt. He loved watching our relationship unfold and grow into what we are today. He would scold me and praise me and comfort me, and always had great advice.

Jimmy was the first place Matt and I would visit after returning from a trip to AZ to visit his dad. Matt’s dad use to winter in an old folk’s retirement trailer park, the old folks float away the day on a noodle in the over heated salt water pool, complaining about their aches and pains and looking at pictures of the grandkids. Jimmy was our dose of reality; old age can be hip and cool.

At the hospital, Denise and I were trying to comfort Jim. We were both scared; we were all scared for that matter. Jimmy couldn’t get warm. I found the linen closet and covered him with a few more blankets. I tried to hold his hand, but my hands were too cold. “Child your hands are like ice.” The words ‘Oh Jo it hurts so much’ ring in my ears today; him sitting up writhing in pain, asking for something to make it go away. Even with my limited clinical knowledge I knew that they couldn’t give him anything for the pain, but that didn’t stop me from asking the nurses to see what they can do for him. The physicians came in to discuss the situation with Jimmy, Denise and I. The doctor drew a diagram on the bed sheet, telling us that Jimmy had a bleed in his lower abdomen. He looked at Jimmy and asked why he didn’t have surgery when they told him he had this bleed. Jimmy spoke right back to the man and said he was never told anything. Even through the pain, he still joked and was the Jimmy we all loved. He said that he was ready for what ever will happen, we didn’t mention death, but we knew that was what he meant. He was at peace and he wasn’t scared, at least not scared of that. I’m sure that one is anxious when you are in a hospital bed no matter how “ready” you may be.

Selfishly, I’m glad they delayed the pain meds as long as they did I will never forget what we saw when they did finally give a morphine injection. Denise said it best; he went out on the high of his life. We left our numbers for the doctor to call us when he was out of surgery. I know that I left feeling that it was probably the end, but I don’t that any of us voiced our deep down feelings.

I got a phone call from the physician sometime after 5. Jimmy didn’t make it through the surgery. He had lost liters of blood and it was just too much for his body to handle. He was bleeding internally, probably for months. I called Pete and Denise. I knew that we needed to go over to Jimmy’s house. We were one of the first people to arrive that night. The longer we sat the more people came. Soon it was a room full of people, more people than places to sit. We talked about how long we knew our friend, how much he meant to us, how we had just been there the day before or the week prior and he seemed fine. Most of all we talked about how much we’d miss him. We sat around his living room a new community, and new beginning.

One of Jimmy’s passions was making mixed tapes. He would take the best and make it even better. On November 30, 2004 Jimmy completed his final masterpiece. The compilation CD is entitled “Immortal Spirit”.

How is that for knowing that the end was near? In hindsight we knew he knew that the end was near. He had fixed all his finances, he had arranged for the Neptune Society to deal with his body, but best of all he went on a HUGE shopping spree.

In the days after his death the boxes started arriving. Boxes filled with the beautiful items he lusted after in the glossy catalogs that came nearly every day. He bought all of the fine glass vases from the Smithsonian; he bought a fairy that looks remarkably like our Max; a stunning Lion statue for Pete, forever the Leo. Best of all he bought t-shirts for all of his friends. Pete asked that I come open the boxes and determine who is who and what is what. Included in the many boxes was one box from a Chef magazine, 2 mandolins, 2 sets of silicon spatulas and 2 strainers. All of the items we both coveted and I knew he had bought for me; I split them up between Lisa and myself.

We had a beautiful party a couple weeks later. I burned a few dozen copies of his last mix and made cd covers with a wonderful smiling Jimmy for us all to treasure. The weather was more than perfect, we gathered inside and out. We remembered and cried and reconnected. Of course we all promised to keep in touch. We all had good intentions I know we think of each other and the wonderful man we all shared, even if we don’t still talk today.

Over the last year Denise and I have created a great friendship, we have a special bond knowing that we were there comforting him and each other as he died. We both believe he was gone as soon as that morphine hit his blood stream.

I still managed to get all that needed to be done for the craft fair done. I’m sure the events of the day prior to the event put me in a whole different mindset for the fair, but my friend Rose was wonderful. She kept me laughing and kept things entertaining and gave me warm hugs.

A few weeks before he died he told me he got me a subscription to TIME. I always would page through TIME while visiting him discussing the current events and how we felt about the leaders of the world. I received my first issue the day after he died, I received my last yesterday.

I miss him and always will.