Chiara: November 2004 Archives

The need to write


It's been awhile since I last posted, so I'm feeling the need to write. The problem is, I'm not sure what to say. I have something rather exciting that I'm working on, but it's not quite ready to be announced to the world yet (oh, the mystery!). So stay tuned.

I had a really nice week off. Really nice. Poor Freesia and Smudge. I'm sure they are wondering where Mommy is today. I think they really enjoyed me being home all day with them. I certainly enjoyed being with them. I love my cats. They followed me everywhere. I couldn't sit down without one of them being in my lap and the other next to me. *meow*

Looking back over the week, I really didn't do anything. I slept. I finished reading 2 books. I napped. Watched a couple of movies. Played a lot of Civilization III. Got some mending done. And that's pretty much it. But that's okay. That's what I needed. I needed days where I got up just to go back to bed. I've been so tired - physically, mentally, and emotionally - I needed to just rest.

The Fiery Cross


The Fiery Cross

Lotta Love the Love Quiz


The Princess Bride
I'm sure it's no big surprise to you that your
romance is The Princess Bride. A heartwarming
tale of "Twue Wuve" that has giants,
Spainards and swashbuckling. You really do
think that love can overcome anything. You may
be a touch naive but your heart is certainly in
the right place. You've probably got one of
those relationships where proper nouns have
been replaced with "Snookums" and
"Pookie Pie". Eww. Beware a cuteness

What Romance Movie Best Represents Your Love Life?
brought to you by Quizilla

Bein' Lazy


I'm really enjoying this home-yet-on-vacation thing. I'm slowly chipping away at the things I need to get done. Very slowly. I'm spending way more time playing Civ than I should. I need to bake the Sally Lunn today. And I should also make the broc bake so I can have something real to eat for dinner tonight.

Last night I was up until midnight reading (yay! reading!), but I slept soundly until after 8. Did you hear that? I SLEPT SOUNDLY FOR OVER 8 HOURS! *happy dance* Who knows, maybe the drugs are starting to work. Maybe the fact that I'm being lazy and taking it easy is letting my body recharge on multiple levels. *shrug* I'm not going to fight it though. It feels good.

It's so lovely to just wake up in the morning. Not have the alarm rip me out of a deep slumber. Just to wake up. And then spend a half hour snuggled in the feathers and flannel, with a cat or two curled up around me. That's the way mornings are suppose to be.

Stupid Computer Games



I just lost 4 hours playing Civ III (I bought it yesterday for the Mac). I never played it for the PC (though I have it). I always played Civ II instead. I don't know why I always thought the interface is so hard to use. *shrug*

Anyway... I should like, take a shower and stuff done and shit.

Morning Crazies


I wish I had a digital camera, or at least a scanner, so I could subject you all to the fuzzy cuteness that is my cat Smudge. Smudge is growing up to be quite the handsome little man. He's lost that bed-head, hair sticking up in all directions look. He actually has the softest, silkiest coat that I've ever felt. He's softer than Freesia, but shhhhhh, don't tell her. And he's gotten bigger. Yay. He's still smaller than Freesia, but he's no longer skin and bones like he was for so long. He's actually starting to get that pudge in his middle. I'm beginning to think he may just be a tiny cat.

Like most cats, Smudge's crazy time is usually in the evenings, shortly after I come home from work. He'll run around like his tail is on fire, leaping and jumping on every surface he can find. I like to think that he's just so excited to see me after I've been at work all day, running around like crazy is the best way for him to show his love for me.

This morning however, we were graced with an episode of the Morning Crazies. Oh my good lord, I don't know what got into him. He was leaping onto the kitchen table, almost sliding off as he turned to run off the otherside. He went running into the kitchen, slammed on the breaks, smelled the mornings cat fud in the dish, and then raced out of the kitchen back to the kitchen chairs.

In an effort to save my furniture, I did the only thing I could do - I got out Spot (also known as the laser pointer). Smudge LOVES Spot. He knows the sound it makes coming out of the drawer and he gets ready by crouching down low. So I raced him up and down the length of the living room for awhile. Let him chatter and stalk it for awhile.

Now he's lying down by the sliding glass doors, his sides heaving quickly with each breath. Good. I think I tired him out. At least for another half hour or so. :)

Holiday Cheer


I am one of those annoying people who put up their Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. I figure, this is Thanksgiving week, so it's okay to start now. It's not like it's still Halloween or something. I'm on vacation from work all this week, and it's Monday and I'm already looking for things to do. So, yes, stringing the Christmas lights on the porch is a way for me to procrastinate about cleaning the bathroom. Believe me, it's much for fun than scrubbing grout.

In a lot of ways, Thanksgiving is feeling like it doesn't count this year. I keep skipping ahead to Christmas. Since that's when I'll see my family and I'll be with my sweetie (he's with this dad this week). That's not to say that I don't have plans for T-day. I do. I'm going to spend it with friends - we are all bringing/cooking something - and it should be scads of fun. Really, I'm looking forward to it. But it's hard not to be cleaning the house and pressing the tablecloths and searching for the gravy boat and otherwise preparing to have T-day here. This will be the first year in 4 years that I haven't had T-day at my house. So I find myself prepping the house for Christmas instead.

I'm holding off on putting up the tree though. So far I've just done the lights outside, gotten a wreath, put up a garland, and put out the Christmas stuffies.

I'm also trying to take it easy and relax. I know, I know, it doesn't sound like it. But I am. I took a nap today. Can you believe it? Slept for 2 hours. I also finished reading Harry Potter, Book 5 (which was kinda slow starting, but I thoroughly enjoyed the last third). Last night I watched a movie. I have lots of little chores and things to work on, and I have plenty of time to do them. I have a whole week. *grin*

Vacation is fun.

So Beautiful


I came across this picture recently on an old CD that I have. Now that I have a Mac again, I was able to read it.

Photograph of a bust of a statue of a girl.

Isn't she lovely? I want to say she is the daughter of one of the Medici, but I'm not sure. She doesn't look like this anymore though. She was damaged in WWII and is now missing her nose. This photograph was taken by Clarence Kennedy.

Tis the Season


At my woman's group tonight we spent a fair amount of time talking about holiday traditions. We each shared memories from our childhood or some ladies talked about when their kids were small. It was really neat.

I'm starting to feel more feastive. Being in California always throws off my internal calendar, since I can't tell the time of year by the weather. The leaves are just changing color and falling now, there's finally a nip in the air, and I need to wear a coat at night. To me that means that Halloween must be getting close. I forget that Halloween has come and past and yo and behold, Thanksgiving is a little more than a week away. Cripes. I am so not ready for the holidays.

Part of it I think is that this is the first holiday season as a divorcee. Holidays have always been very "couple based" for me, especially since college. It will help a lot that E and I are going back to CT for Kitmas. We'll get to see our mothers, and I can see my brother's new house, and visit with the kids. It will be lots of fun. Really, it will.

But I keep forgetting that that is coming up soon. And I need to buy presents for everyone so I can bring them with me. And I need to dig out my heavy coat and gloves and boots. And I need to order the baklava from Jordan. And what about Christmas cookies. And the cards - I don't even have cards yet. And goodness gracious, it just seems like so much work. But yet it doesn't feel like the holidays without it.

This is me with my Cousin Eric and Papa Artie, at my grandparents' house in Fairfield. This must have been Christmas 1976, so I was 2, almost 3 and my cousin was almost 1. I miss those days. I miss how the holidays were such joyous, happy times. I looked forward all year to Christmas. I'm sad that the holidays don't feel the same anymore.

Photo of me and my cousin Eric at Christmas, 1976.



I just bought the DVD of Moonstuck and I watched it last night. I love that movie.

It reminds me of the Italian side of my family. Or at least, my memories of what that side of the family is like. The scenes in the kitchen with everyone talking at once and the mother cooking for everyone and hands flying around while they talk - that's how I remember The Family. Everyone is in each other's business but they do it out of love and would do anything for the other.

Here's a photograph from my grandparent's house in Fairfield, CT. It's my Great Aunt Helen, Great Aunt Millie, Great Aunt Jo, my Nana, Papa Artie, and my Great Uncle Sil, all playing cards. It must have been taken in the early 80's, since my Aunt Helen passed away in 1985.

Photograph of my Nana, Papa, Aunt Jo, Aunt Millie, and Uncle Sil at the house in Fairfield.

That movie also did a lot to form my romantic notions of love. I'm still dreaming of the day where I get to meet my love at the Met (or some other fancy performance hall) and see an opera or play or symphony. And I surprise him by being all dressed up and gorgeous and he is all dressed up and gorgeous. Later we stand together at the window, watching the moon, wrapped in a shawl. *swooning sigh*

Cher's character is beautiful and strong and tender. She's coming into her own, taking control of her life, to live a life of passion (with Ronnie) rather than playing it safe (with Johnnie). She looks equally good dressed to the nines at the opera as she does in her oversized sweater and leggings in the morning. She knows what she wants and asks for it.

I always wanted to be like that. *heh* You know, I think maybe, just maybe, I am becoming her.

Pain in My Neck


I've been having a lot of trouble with the top of my right shoulder and right side of my neck this week. I've had trouble with this spot before. It usually happens when I spent too much time in front of the computer and don't take enough breaks. I used to get numbness in my fingers on my right hand. But that hasn't happened in years, since I got the whole ergonomic set up at work.

The pain is really bad this time. Wednesday evening I went and got a massage, and that helped A LOT. But by the time I went to bed the spot was sore again. Yesterday it was bad again (I could barely lift my arm up to put my hair in a ponytail). I dug out my heating pad and sat with it on my shoulder while I read before going to bed. Again, it helped a bit but it still hurts. I rolled over when I was falling asleep and couldn't help but whimper. It feels better when I wake up in the morning, but it's still there. You can actually see the muscle knot.

I've switched my mouse to my left hand - it feels so awkward! I'm hoping that will help. I have a bunch of meetings this afternoon, so hopefully that will help as well, since I won't be sitting still. I need to find out what stretches I can do to help that area. I've missed yoga the past 3 weeks (too many other fun things happening at the same time), but I'm going to go on Monday. Maybe Kate will have some suggestions. *sigh*

A Cloud of Fresh Pork


Tonight I get to sleep on THIS:

Photo of featherbed.

Oh the feathery goodness. My bed is now so TALL. And SOFT. And WARM.

And yes, I do realize the hypocrisy of a vegetarian with a featherbed and down comforter. But you know what? No one is perfect. And my bed is niiiiiiiiiiice. So you'll just have deal.

Everybody Hurts


Somehow this song from R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People seems to really fit today.

When your day is long and the night, the night is yours alone, When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on. Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along.
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on.

'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends.
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand.
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone.

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
when you think you've had too much of this life to hang on.

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes.
But everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on.
Hold on, hold on. Hold on, hold on. Hold on, hold on. (repeat & fade)
(Everybody hurts. You are not alone.)

Oh thank god




Progress is in spirals. I have to keep reminding myself of this. This place that I am currently at - not eating well, not exercising, eating cookies for dinner - looks very familiar. I have been here before. But it is not the same place as before, because I am different. Other circumstances in my life are different. My perspective is different.

This is not a failure. I have gained back all the weight I had lost with WW, plus some more. I am now currently at my heaviest ever. EVER. But this is not failure. There is no win or loose. This is who I am right now. I have to accept this. Because there is no other way. This is me.

I am writing this because I need to remind myself of it. If I tell myself this enough times, I hope it will begin to sink in. And I'll believe it.

I am not happy with my body right now. I am uncomfortable in my skin, as I feel that I am in my own way. And I will do something about it. I will. I know I will. I'm just not ready at the moment. I need to sit in this holding pattern for awhile, collecting myself, loving myself.


This is hard. Really hard. Someday I will figure it out. But not today.

IAs in San Jose


Lou Rosenfeld is in town with Steve Krug for their Enterprise IA and Usability workshops. Last night they had a cocktail hour followed by dinner after Lou's workshop. I fought the traffic on 680 and joined them.

I love going to these things. It was so good to see Lou. I worked at Argus only 10 months. I've now been at PeopleSoft 3.5 years. I can't believe that I've been away from there for so long. It seems like just yesterday. It was such a short time, yet it had such a profound influence upon me.

I had lots of fun talking with Erin and Sarah. Javier is also in town, and he joined us for dinner. He's such a sweet man. I hope I can get to know him better. He sat at the far end of the table from where I was, so I didn't get a chance to talk with him that much.

I also met some neat folks from the workshop, including a woman who used to be the intranet manager for JD Edwards! We had quite a good time talking about PeopleSoft and JDE and what happened. I told her how sorry I was for the way PS treated all of them (she was in the first round of JDE layoffs) and how terrible I thought it was. Luckily it sounds like she has landed on her feet. It really is such a small world.

Feline Love


I love waking up on mornings like this, in ways like this. I dug out my old body pillow and slept with it last night. Combined with my new down-like pillow and the three other pillows on my bed. I also broke out the flannel duvet cover for my down comforter the other day, since it's been getting cooler at night (notice I didn't say colder, East Coast folks).

So, I was supported on all sides by pillowy-goodness. And was snuggly-warm with the flannel and down. Then the love was applied. Freesia came on the bed (yay! something she hasn't been doing a lot of since the baby came) and settled on my chest. Then Smudge decided he would join in the love and curled up at my shoulder. I had purring in stereo.

I love my cats. I love my bed. I love waking up and knowing that there is no place I have to hurry up and be. That I'm waking up because my body has decided that it's time to wake up.

Good morning.

Happiness is...


going to bed at 9:30, sleeping soundly until 4:30. Then falling back to sleep until 8ish. And then falling back to sleep yet again until 9.

Ahhhhhhhhh. I actually don't feel utterly exhausted this morning.

Public Service


In the effort to move the photo of the monkey farther down the page, here's another photo to look at.

This was taken at Point Lobos State Reserve back at the end of August. I wish I were back there again. Actually, I wish I were back there and under the water this time. There's suppose to be great diving at the reserve.


| | Comments (2)


Photo of Bush.

But, but, HOW?


I don't get it. I honestly don't understand. How can so many people think he's doing a good job? How can so many people not care that their civil liberties have been slashed in the false name of security? How can so many not care about women's reproductive rights? How can so many ignore the environmental rollbacks? How can they not see that we have lost what little respect we had in the international community?

How did we fail? What should we have done to make more of those red states blue? Everyone I talked to, so much that I read, all agreed that he had to go. Anyone but Bush was a given. How could all that passion not matter for anything?

What do we do now? How can we make the best of this horrible situation? What can we do, as individuals, to ensure that we don't slip back even more? How can we hold on to the bits (right to choose, the civil liberties, environmental protections) that are still intact?

A lot can happen in four years. I'm scared. And I'm sad. So very, very sad.



I found my polling place. Yay. I was able to walk right in and vote. There was hardly anyone in there are lunch time. I hope they were/are busier this morning and tonight.

Driving back to work after voting my heart was all aflutter. I was all excited. I can't wait to see how everything turns out and at the same time I'm dreading it cause I'm so afraid that idiot is going to win again. I can't see how he can; I really don't understand how folks can believe he is doing a good job.

I'm going to be on pins and needles all night.



Anyone know where the Walnut Grove Elementary School in Pleasanton is? I thought it did, but alas, I was wrong.

So much for voting first thing in the morning. Now I have to brave the lines at lunch. Though from what I've heard, there were lines this morning too. Yay.

On to MapQuest....

Life with Cats


I don't know why, but the shear volume of cat hair that I find in my dryer lint-trap always amazes me. I could make a new cat out of the amount of hair that these two furballs loose.

November 2


Tomorrow is the big day people. Remember, vote early and vote often.


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