“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crossing of # 12

Well I did it. I accomplished #12 off my list; participate in the 2010 climb california, in SF for sure, but maybe another city.

Last Saturday The Girl and I climbed to the top of 555 California to benefit the American Lung Association.

Here are some stats.
The youngest climber was 6 years old. She climbed the building in 20 minutes, 46 seconds.
The oldest climber was 83 years old. He did it in 18 minutes, 58 seconds.
The fasted climber did it in 7 minutes 49 seconds. The guy who came in second was just 2/10s of a second slower. Bummer for him, but still a great feat.

My team - Team Aloha - raised $230! Woo Hoo!

I was concerned about making it to the top. I had been battling a bad cold for the 2 1/2 weeks before that. It had unfortunately turned into pneumonia. My doctor told me not to do the climb. I had to, though. People contributed to the cause in honor of me climbing. I had to at least try. Besides, I wasn't too keen on my daughter climb by herself. I knew we'd get separated during the climb, but I didn't want her to stand in line by herself.

While we were in the queue to start our climb we compared notes as to what we were rockin' on our mp3 players. The Girl chose to climb to the tunes of Brooke White, of American Idol fame. I walked up the stairs with my mp3 player on shuffle, enjoying the music of The White Stripes, Robert Cazimero and Queen with a little bit of Horace Silver and the soundtrack for Brazil thrown in.

I'm so proud of Hyla.

We hit the first step at the same time. She got one step ahead, turned around, smiled and said "see ya". That's the last I saw of her until I reached the top. Out of 967 climbers, Hyla came in 668th place. Her time was 19m25sec. Of the 22 people in the 0-18 age group, she placed 15th.

I, on the other had, did not do as well as I did last year.
In my defense, however, I had pneumonia the week before and wasn't at my best. My goal was to beat last year's time of 27 minutes, 10 seconds, but, alas, it was not to be. I came in 945th place with a time of 37m, 27sec. In my age group, I came in 165th out of 172. I'll get 'em next year.

Hubby and The Boy met us up at the top in what used to be The Carnelian Room. They arrived shortly after The Girl made it to the top. When I was at floor 26 I texted the Hubbs to tell him I was halfway there. He texted back telling me he found The Girl at the table full of carbs enjoying a snack. I figure she made it to the top when I was at about the 20th floor. When I got to the top and found the table full of carbs, The Girl ran up to me and gave me the biggest and bestest hug ever. She had a great smile on her face. We were both sweaty and bright red. It was definately a moment to remember.
The Girl wasn't sore at all. Of course she wasn't. She's 11. She's fit. She can run for an entire basketball game and not get tired. I knew she'd fare well. I did well, too. My legs were a little restless on Saturday night, but I wasn't sore, and I didn't get sore the next day.
That afternoon we drove to Oakland for a BBQ at my friend P's house. I felt a little woozy so I didn't drink any alcohol, and I felt better after having some protein - bbq pork ribs, some water and some soda.
I fell asleep right after we put The Boy to bed that night and slept the sleep of the just.
It was a pretty good day. I'm glad I got to share this experience with my daughter. I can't wait to do it next year. I hope we can grow our team from 2 people to 100, or maybe at least 10.
So a Big Mahalo Nui Loa to all of our donors and all who showed us support. We hope we can count on you next year, or better yet, we hope you can join Team Aloha!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Raise your inhalers high!

In just two short weeks Hyla and I will climb to the top of the Bank of America building to raise money for the American Lung Association.  That’s 1,197 stairs!!
We want to thank everyone who took the time to donate. Your contributions towards eradicating lung ailments are greatly appreciated. As an asthma sufferer myself, I thank you personally.
For those of you who haven’t yet had the opportunity to log onto our team page, we still need your help to reach our goals.
There are two ways:
You can make a contribution to either (or both) of our buckets.
Hyla’s link is
Andrea’s link is
2 – Join Team Aloha
Climbing 52 flights of stairs isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Last year I did it in 27 minutes, 10 seconds. Just one foot after the other. If you can walk 3 miles you can do this climb. I stress again, it really isn’t as hard as it sounds. You’ll be well taken care of. Paramedics and water station are on every other floor. And, if you feel like you can’t finish the climb, you’ll be escorted to the 52nd floor by a handsome paramedic.
By joining Team Aloha, you’ll have to raise $100 just like any other climber and you’ll get a swell t-shirt from the nice folks at Fight for Air. You’ll also be treated to a buffet of carbs on the 52nd floor of the BofA building in what used to be the Carnelian Room. Great views, carbs, mimosas …
Thanks for reading. Thanks for donating. Thanks for joining Team Aloha.
With my rescue inhaler at the ready,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crafting, and thinking something is 2/3 as cool as I think it is.

My daughter had a slumber party last night. Five girls, including her. Hubby had the good sense to take The Boy over to his parents' house and spent the night over there. I have to say the evening went smoothly. It wasn't like I had to entertain 5 first graders for 12 hours. These girls, being all 5th graders, were easy to manage.  We have a pretty small house. It was pretty easy making them think they were unsupervised while I was in the next room, but really, only about 15 feet away. When they were eating pizza and listening to music in the living room I was in the kitchen doing the same thing. When they moved to the kitchen to do a craft I got them all set up then I moved to the living room. When they got into their jammies, got into their sleeping bags and watched movies I hung out in the kitchen for a while then went into my room. In all honesty it wasn't hard and the girls, despite drinking 2 litres of soda through red vine straws, were on their best behavior.
I saw this website last week. It had neatest project. I'm glad the girls thought it was 2/3 as neat as I did. I bought some supplies for myself and will be making one later.
Here's what they made.

So a big Mahalo to the fine person behind http://justsomethingimade.blogspot.com, whoever you are. The girls had fun. Thanks for posting the tutorial.

A sweet note ended the party for me.
It deserves a little background - The Girl and I were having a talk about friends and friendship. I told her that as she grows up her friends are going to change. It's not a bad thing. It's just that as we get older our interests change, we find new things we're good at, our schedules change, etc. Sometimes in the process we drift away from people we were good friends with and find new people interesting. It isn't wrong or bad, it's just the way life works out sometimes. Sometimes it might feel sucky and sometimes you don't even notice the change, and when you finally do, it doesn't bother you.
Anyhow, a girl I knew existed but didn't really know was invited to the party. I had no idea that she and The Girl were friends until her name turned up on the guest list. Turns out this girl is a really nice girl, we share the same birthday and I hope to see her around again.
Here's the sweet note - The new girl and and a friend The Girl met last year were in the kitchen finishing breakfast. The Girl and two of her other friends were in the bedroom. The new girl said to the other girl "I didn't know I liked you until now. I mean I didn't hate you or anything. I just thought you were kind of bossy. It's funny how that changes when you just talk to someone."
When the dad came and picked her up I told him. I told him it was really sweet and it set a good tone for the day. He looked at me totally unsurprised and said "That's our xxxx. She tells it like it is."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Birthday Week, Mama Bears and the Birthday Treat Showdown.

Ah, it's Birthday Week.
According to The Girl the school week her birthday falls inside of is her birthday week.
My girl will turn 11 at 11:50am on Friday. The celebration started on Sunday. On Saturday night I made sugar cookies.
On Sunday we made frosting of unnatural colors. It turns out we have different philosophies on what a painted cookie looks like and the task wasn't as fun as it sounded in my head. I took my time to make polka dots and swirlies, The Girl took the 'lots of frosting makes a good cookie" approach.
She got mad at me for telling her to slow down and take the time to do her best. She left the table, washed her hands (perhaps metaphorically as well as actually) and went into her room, slamming the door behind her.  I ruined what could have been a fun time. It was not a great moment in Motherhood.

Later that day Hubby found a free Michael Recchuiti chocolate tasting and lecture at a bookstore in the Mission. When we got there the store was packed and spilling out onto the street. We didn't get any chocolate. We ended up taking a stroll around the neighborhood, climbing neighborhood trees and running through piles of leaves.

During Birthday Week The Girl gets to have whatever she wants in her lunch (within reason, of course). This year, as in previous years, she chose to have prosciutto sandwiches. She also added apple-cinnamon rice cakes and chocolate goldfish.

Tonight is Birthday Eve. Our plan was to go to Krispy Creme to get doughnuts for The Girl's class. There's a kid in her class with the same birthday and guess what she's bringing? (You see where this is going, right?) The Girl is mad because she told her classmate on Monday that she was bringing Krispy Creme and now she can't because that's what the classmate is bringing.

I have to apologize to The Girl that her birthday week wasn't as grand as she had planned it in her head.

I don't want to get involved with pre-teen drama over a box of doughnuts, but the mama bear in me is kicking in. What kind of treat kicks a glazed doughnut's bootie?

Any suggestions, anyone?

Tomorrow, the big day. Stay tuned . . . .

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dream on March 1 and being cross with Hubby.

I had a dream this morning.
I woke up and went downstairs to put the clothes in the dryer. I noticed the stairs were cluttered with all sorts of clothes, books, old dead tomato plants. I get to the bottom of the stairs and notice the front door open. I go to close the door but realize I am naked. I grab a piece of clothing from the floor (hubby's brownish plaid flannel) cover myself and shut the door. As the door is closing I notice a BMW motorcycle turn its headlight on and start its engine. I turn to go upstairs and notice the door leading from the hallway to the garage is open. I peek inside and notice the garage door is open, the garage is cleared out, there are about 10 bikes in various states of repair hanging from hooks on the ceiling. All of them have headlights. There are tons of fans blowing in the garage. I realize then that all the windows in the house were open all night long. I go upstairs to ask hubby what he was doing and I get caught in fishing wire and netting. I realize that all the junk on the stairs is there to let us know if someone tries to get upstairs. I wonder why the fishing line and netting didn't catch me on my way down. I marvel for just a second about hubby's engineering prowess. I call out to hubby. He tells me he know all about the doors being open and the booby trap he set and he will be there in a minute. I tell him I am stuck. He comes out of the bedroom makes a small cut in the fishing line trapping me. He tells me to be careful taking the line off and not to rip everything off quickly. I start ripping slowly. He gets mad. I tell him that he shouldn't be mad because I was ripping slowly not quickly. I ask him what he was up to last night and about the windows and doors open and all the fans. 
He's just about to tell me.Hubby' alarm goes off. His stupid rooster alarm. I never find out what he was up to. I was so mad I wouldn't let him put his arm around me after he hit snooze on his alarm. I was cross at him all morning.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Could you pass the test? Honoring my Chilean Friends and Colleagues

A friend of mine is becoming a US Citizen today.

I became a US Citizen because my mom gave birth to me on US soil (Westminster, CA to be exact). My friend is becoming a citizen because this is something he wants, not something he got. My friend had to take a test, get interviewed countless times, prove that he had paid his taxes for the time that he'd been living here (he's almost 30 now and has been living here since he was about 12). All I had to do was cry when the doctor smacked me on the ass.

Can you pass the citizenship test?

I wrote the blog entry above a few months ago but never published it. I publish it today to honor two of my colleagues Enrique and Francisco. Enrique works with me here in San Francisco. He is my friend who became a citizen last month. He is Chilean. It must be very hard for him being so far away from his family. I can only imagine how he's feeling waiting and waiting to hear from his family, making sure everyone is OK. Francisco lives in Sanitago. Just like Enrique, he is on my team.  I've met him once and speak with him every week at our team's weekly conference call. We've heard from him. He and his wife are safe. I write this also for my friend who lives in TN. She has friends and family in Chile as well.

If you can, say a prayer, light a candle, send aloha, chant, send good thoughts, etc. Whatever you do, please do it.

Welcome now my friends to the show that never ends

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Nice Pictures - Where'd you steal them from?

Some of the pictures in my blog were taken by a photographer called Julie Michele. Some of the pictures were either taken by me or someone I know. Some of the pictures were ripped right from the internet, mostly from google image searches from photographers to whom I may or may not give credit.

Rest assured I make no money from any of it.