1.) Cocola, the foofy bakery/cafe in Santana Row, has fabulous pastries (I'm quite taken with pain chocolat), but they make lousy espresso. Their mochas are too sweet, and the coffee is too week, and they used Reddi Whip insted of real whipped cream. Ugh.

2) Clinique Mascara doesn't give me raccoon eyes the way every other kind of mascara does. Yay.

3.) I'm in love with my new Aveda makeup stick/crayon/thing. It's like an eye pencil, only fatter, and once side's a natural pinkish-beigey-blush color, while the other is gold. It's safe for eyes /and/ lips, too, which means, that and blusher, and I'm set to travel, except that now I need to find a pencil sharpener big enough to fit it.

4.) I /love/ my new showerhead. It has all these nifty massage settings AND I can reach it to adjust things. This is good.

5.) My happy purple tulips are still mostly okay at the office, and my iris and daisy combination at home looks really amazing.

6.) New desk *buying* will happen Friday night. Next weekend: new computer.

7.) I'm listening to Bond's most recent cd, which I've had for months but never managed to open. Ironically, they've included the James Bond theme. I love their arrangement of it. But I still like their first cd better.

8.) It's raining. And I love rain. Rain is wonderful.

9.) Yes, I have overdosed on caffeine today. A chai, and iced tea, and a mocha. FEAR ME.

Lazy Sunday

It was two pm before Fuzzy was out of bed and I bothered to change out of my pajamas, but we were hungry, and neither of us wanted to cook, so finally, there was motivation.

We went to Fridays, our usual choice when neither of us can make a decision about where to go. It's not that it's a great restaurant, hardly that, but there's always something each of us is willing to eat. And their iced tea never tastes canned.

Afterwards, we went out to spend gift certificates from Christmas. At Target, funded by Chris's sister, we bought rather mundane items: New shower curtain liners and a new shower curtain for my bathroom. The old liners, left here as a courtesy by the previous owners of the house, were white, and were getting beyond the point where scrubbing bubbles would help keep them clean, or I was willing to look at them. Ugh. So now I have clear ones. I couldn't find any actual shower curtains in the shower stall size. (My tub is a jacuzzi tub, and because the shower bar follows the curve of the tub, the extra length requires that we use two 59″ long curtains, instead of one 72″ curtain.), but the liners were the right size, and, I reasoned, an couple inches on either side isn't going to look horrible for now. So the outside curtain is a translucent rice-paper white, sheer enough that light from the window filters through, but opaque enough that it offers privacy. I mean, you know, married-people privacy, which is different from single-people privacy.

The pale color is a switch for me. We'd had suns and moons in our condo, keeping a running theme with said pattern from bedroom to bathroom to office. Now, though, the blue carpet I picked is just a little off from the sun and moon stuff, and the windows don't lend themselves to such bold prints, and I'm in the mood for soft pastels in aquatic colors – pale blue, sea foam, lavender – NO PINK. I did buy a new sun and moon curtain yesterday, but I'm sending it to my mother, because she saw my old one, and wanted one, and couldn't find one in La Paz.

Our other stop was Home Depot, for another gift card purchase, this time a new shower head. I'm five feet tall. The shower in my bathroom was designed, apparently, for a basketball player, because even on a stool I could barely reach it to change the angle. And it was old, and icky. Now, though, I have a wonderful massaging showerhead with a gazillion settings (or seven), and we put in a swivelling extender on the pipe that the hose screws into, so that I can reach things, but it can be raised should anyone of basketball player stature ever need to use my bathroom. Not that this is likely, but Fuzzy insisted, and since he was the one who was going to be installing the damned thing, I let him win that battle.

He also won the battle with the various screws and pipes, and I now have a working spiffy showerhead behind my brand new shower curtains. Thanks, Fuzzy!

We stopped for coffee on the way home. I've found that I get grumpy on the weekends, and have realized that it's because during the week, my daily ritual involves some kind of uber-caffeinated beverage around ten AM, and while I claim that I'm not addicted /really/, I'm hooked enough that when I don't have coffee on weekends, I get snappy and grumpy and bitchy. And Fuzzy doesn't deserve that.

So: Fuzzy's Productive Things for the weekend, despite our lounging in bed and indulging in afternoon cuddling, were the lawn and the shower head installation. And mine were the much more pedestrian dishes and laundry. Zorro doesn't have to be productive – he's just cute – but Cleo has a new mission. She's learning to hunt mice. I was looking for something in the garage last night, you see, and one jumped at me. I'm embarrassed to admit that I screamed, but it was NOT because I'm afraid of rodents – I'm not – it was because I wasn't expecting anything grayish brown and furry to jump out of a box.

In any case, it's nearly eight, and I need to get ready for another assistantless day at work. *sigh* Only a month, and I'm dependent on having him around. I'm hopeless.

Read this book!

If you haven't already, go out *right now* and pick up a copy of Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I read it yesterday. Well, I read the first 40 pages of it on Friday evening, and then I read the rest of it Saturday night in the bathroom, and finished it yesterday morning, but that's not really the point.

The point is: this is a great book.

While many of the events it describes are far from gentle, the overall tone is one of gentility. It's a calm book, the kind you read while sipping tea. It would be a good bath book, I think, as well.

It's presented as if it were not a novel, but the actual first-person account of a woman, Sayuri, who was a geisha in the '30's and 40's. It's about love and loss and destiny.

And it's got the period backdrop that makes it feel like an old movie.

What shocked me, though, after I read it, was not that it was fiction, because, after all, I knew that going in, but that a man – a straight man – could write a woman's POV with such quiet sensitivity. And it's just that feeling that made this book so haunting.

So…read this book.
(ISBN #0-679-78158-7)

*Edited to note that yes, there is some controversy about this story. It's presented as fiction, but the person the lead character is based on says that it's really her life story, and her own people are pretty pissed. Whether that's true, or it's just a ploy for media attention, the fact remains it's a great read. And isn't that what really matters?

Only in California…

From, as per

Frost Advisory – Urgent – weather message has been issued for Santa Clara county CA valid from Sun Feb 09 2003 03:46 PM PST until Sun Feb 09 2003 09:00 PM PST .
Napa county-santa Clara county-alameda and Contra Costa counties- Salinas valley/interior Monterey county/san benito county- Sonoma and Marin counties- 343 PM PST Sun Feb 9 2003 …A frost advisory tonight for the inland valleys of the san Francisco and Monterey bay areas… Clear skies and calm winds will Result in temperatures lowering to near or just below freezing for a Short duration by dawn Monday morning. A frost advisory has therefore been issued for the valleys of the North and East bay as well as the Santa Clara and Salinas valleys. Those with tender vegetation should cover or protect it from the cold. Also…Potted plants normally left outdoors should be covered or brought inside away from the cold. Residents in the advisory area should take precautions to protect outdoor pets.

Subdued Saturday

I had the worst time getting myself motivated to leave the house this morning – my salon appointment (brow wax, manicure, if you must know) was for 12:30, and at 11:48 I was still hanging out in the computer room in ratty sweats, reading. Admittedly, I still have a sinus infection (lately I feel like I /always/ have a sinus infection), so breathing was an issue, is an issue, but usually I at least look forward to such me-time.

While I like new experiences, there's a part of me that likes to have a routine as well. One such routine, recently intiated, is that Fuzzy and I have crepes in the square before my salon appointments. It's one of the few times we're both awake, in the same place, and NOT logged into something, and it's become a really important part of my weekend. Today, though, he didn't get out of bed, and I wasn't motivated, so it didn't happen, and I've felt even more off-kilter as a result.

Afterward, I popped into Bunches, the flower shop at Santana Row, in a building modelled on a French chapel, and found the most amazing purple tulips for $2.50/bunch. I love flowers. More, I love purple flowers. So I bought the last two bunches, and then added a bunch of irises and some daisys, and still spent less than $20. I'm hoping if I trim them tomorrow night, I can bring them to work and they'll last a few days, because I need something to replace the paperwhites that finally blossomed after taking over the room :)

We came home, after lunch, and I had every intention of diving into the thousands upon thousands (well, maybe fifty) still-packed boxes in the garage, and went to lie down just for a minute while Fuzzy mowed the lawn, but then all of a sudden it was three hours later, and I just don't feel like dealing with boxes any more.

I need to hire a pool cleaner.
I'm considering hiring a maid.

I've been sort of pushing away a person a consider a dear friend, and I feel bad about it and miss them at the same time that I know it's, in part, a necessary sort of pushing.

It's nearly eight, and all I've accomplished today is posting blather and having girly stuff done at the salon.

Ah, well.
Tomorrow will be different.


I left work early today, because it was Friday, and I could. Fuzzy had gone to /his/ work at some frightfully early hour (four AM) so that he would be ready for the important task of plugging in a cable. (Well, there was more to it than that, but his original explanation was that the client demanded that someone be onsite for the duration of their maintenance window)

So, it's a sunny California afternoon, and we were sitting in the square in Santana Row, eating Thai-fusion food from Five Foot Way (which, apparently, is connected to Straits). Five degrees warmer and it would have been a perfect day, but it still wasn't bad, and my ginger chicken was fabulous. (And I don't even really like chicken.)

Then Fuzzy went home to rest, and I went to check out MaiDo, a predominantly Japanese stationery store. This. Store. Is. Dangerous. Seriously dangerous. Everything in it was either high-tech, cute, or both. Mostly both. I hadn't thought of exploring it before, for reasons unknown, but then brought me that purple pen, so I was compelled to check it out.

I only spent $36 dollars.

But $9 of that was for a lavender aromatherapy pen.
No, I'm not making this up.

So, after they gave me my little black bag, and showed me how to make the aroma part of the pen work, I went to my salon and had a mini-facial and played with their new 100% natural make-up line. These people keep choosing colors for me that I'd never think to choose, and then I look in the mirror and go, “Wow.” And I liked what they did, but Fuzzy'd kill me if I spent any more on cosmetics this month. Except that technically, I haven't spent anything on cosmetics this month. Last month, that's another story.

Afterward, I wandered over to Borders and bought a few books. I'm in a curl-up-and-read mood, which is good because I should really avoid the computer as much as possible this weekend and give my wrists a chance to rest. At the moment, I'm half-way through Snow Falling on Cedars, and I read the first 40 pages of Memoirs of a Geisha while nibbling apple crisp and sipping cafe au lait in the Borders cafe.

And now we're home, cozy in the computer room, chatting idly during the commercials in the various Friday Sci-Fi shows that Fuzzy loves so much.

Let the weekend commence!

January Reading Journal

I didn't read much last month, and haven't even finished ONE book so far in February, though I have a stack of novels in the closet that's built into the headboard of our bed. We were going to go to Baja for Valentine's Day, but now we're not, and I'm kind of hoping, with the exception of maybe meeting friends for dinner over the long weekend, that I'll get to curl up and read at least some of that time.

In any case, here's the list:

Jennifer Government, Maxx Barry.
Anyone who's played with knows this book, because the game was created just to market it. Matrix-y in tone. Alternately thought-provoking and hilarious.

Tara Road, Maeve Binchy
I think this was my least favorite Binchy book ever, but I finished it despite not really liking it much. It's an entire book of depressing dysfunctional relationships, and one amazing house.

Body of Intuition, Claire Daniels.
A murder mystery involving a dectective who can read auras, and taking place at a spa. A little too new-agey for me, but not a horrible read.

Breakfast with Scot, Michael Downing
Yes, sometimes I read male authors. And it's not even science fiction, or fantasy :) Scot's a rather odd eleven-year-old who is taken in by Sam and Ed. The tone and rhythm of the book really threw me. Sort of F. Scott Fitzgerald meets James Joyce. Also, I was never quite certain if it was a period piece or not. It had a sort of timelessness that I found confusing more than compelling.

Mr. Maybe, Jane Green
Still in my BritCom phase, this is about a young woman searching for the One, and almost settling for the Nearly-the-One.

For Better or Worse, Carole Matthews
If you have to write divorce comedy, this is what you should right. Entertaining. Light. Total mind candy.

Fishbowl, Sarah Mlynowski
Amusing tale of three young Canadian women sharing an apartment, and becoming friends.

The Eight, Katherine Neville
I couldn't find my own copy of this, so ordered a new one, and the smell of freshly unpacked book made me *have* to read it *right then*. It's a long-time favorite of mine, anyway, and worth reading again.

A Little Help from Above, Saralee Rosenberg
A comedy about relationships, told from the POV of the lead character's dead mother. No, really.

Office Supply Stores Are Dangerous

Re-posted from OpenDiary.

I've had a fetish for stationery ever since I can remember, but lately that fetish has branched out to include more generic office supplies.

At my office, we're a premiere account with Viking, who seem to give us deeper discounts every time we buy something.

Recently, for example, (like last week) we bought chairs. The list price was $120, the published sale price was $80, and we paid $67 each. Can't complain.

And then there are the pens. Pages and pages of pens, ballpoints that retract, but still have comfort grips, are the current favorite among half my officemates. The rest of us use Pilot micro-fine rollerballs in blue. (Always blue. I hate blue ink, but we have to use it at work, because it's generally the only way to distinguish a 'wet' signature from a copy or fax.)

My assistant brought me a PURPLE rollerball pen the other day. I love it. I love the way it flows so I can fill in the forms we use with happy purple inkstrokes. I love the way it's so striking against the white paper. It's impossible to use this pen and not be in a good mood.

It's not just little bits and bobs like pens, either. This weekend Fuzzy and I were going from store to store looking for desks (still), and I got lost in Organized Living, because I was so taken with all the little boxes and trays and…officey things.

I need a bigger house.

Paw Prints

I don't know how I managed to miss them for the three hours I was home alone tonight. Probably it has to do with the fact that I have my desk, and Fuzzy has his, and neither of us share well.

Zorro was burbling at me when I got home this afternoon, and for a moment I was convinced our run of Seizure Free Months was over, but then he settled, curling up on my sweatshirt, which I'd tossed onto Fuzzy's chair.

Fuzzy found the paw prints when he got home. At first we thought one of the dogs had had an accident of the lawn-gift variety, but our dogs don't generally do such things, and never under desks. Then we suspected they were chocolate – I'd left half a Krackle bar on my desk, and found the remains – shredded foil – on the floor.

But, no. It was blood. Little Zorro-prints in dried blood. Ugh.

But neither dog seemed to be in pain.

And then I picked up my little Z. And looked at his feet.

Somehow, in a fashion known only to chihuahuas, I'm certain, Zorro had snagged a nail on something, and snapped it off at the quick. (For those of you who aren't dog-owners, if you cut a dog's claws too closely, they do bleed. This would have bled more.)

We cleaned it up, cuddled the dog, and that was that. He's still subdued though – didn't even growl at Cleo when she stole half his dinner.

Silly boy-dog.