Tangent Tuesday

There was no running today…Only sick baby, work, Draw Something, chocolate gummy bears, Yuca with queso fresco, J wine, family time, and a whole lotta cryin’. Poor sick G.

However, he was feeling good enough to play his drums tonight!

In other news, 2012 is officially the hottest year on record in the US. Yikes! We didn’t experience much heat in San Francisco, though there were a few hot days. But other parts of the country were just blazing! I often complain about how cold I am here, but then I go somewhere (such as Colombia) and experience the heat they’ve got going on there…I really don’t know which I prefer!

Woman gets harassed on the street (in the Tenderloin), responds, and then gets stabbed. This is a problem. So now women can’t even respond and defend themselves without further risk of humiliation and harm.

Someone needs to explain to me why anyone would want to buy Khloe Kardashian’s old underwear. Just why?! That is unacceptable. Some things you just don’t put on eBay! WTF!

I still refuse to watch the Downton Abby Christmas Special. Refuse refuse refuse. Obviously no spoilers on here, but since I know how it ends, I just…I am so stinking mad.

If you watch Game of Thrones, you need to see this vid of the Stark children beatboxing the opening credits. Amazing. I will never look at Sansa Stark the same way ever again.

Who remembers Passions? I used to watch that soap religiously after school, every day, when I was in high school. The theme song was the best, and Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald-Winthrop-Crane-Winthrop-Crane whatever whatever was my girl. Loved that crazy chick with her crocodile tears. She knew how to cry.

Les Mis

Saw Les Mis last night with Andy, Christine, and Rachel. We went to a late showing at the Kabuki theater in Japantown.

Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe my reaction. Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman were outstanding. We laughed, we cried, and I may have even cursed Javert on several occasions. I’ve been waiting for this movie for some time now, and it didn’t disappoint. After reading many, many mixed reviews, I went in with an open mind, and am so glad I did. Maybe I’m just not picky or overly critical about these sorts of things, but I just loved it, and wasn’t even bothered by Russell Crow. Amanda sounded a little tinny and off-key at times, and Russell was definitely an interesting choice, but overall, it didn’t ruin anything for me. The artistry of the opening scene with the ship was visually stunning, and the scenes with the fighting were amazing, as well. I Dreamed A Dream was…God, I cried. On My Own was perfection, but I felt that was a VO (maybe due to the rain in the scene?). Who Am I and Empty Table, Empty Chairs were just gutting. Gavroche was the best; I think my favorite character. He was perfection personified.

We got to Kabuki because it’s a great theater with a bar; we bought a bottle of Parducci Pinot Noir and between Andy and myself, we killed the whole bottle. Maybe that was the reason for the tears!

Parducci_PN_sized

New year, new blog!

Finally time to get serious with this blog. I want to be more consistent in posting, so I’m trying to sketch out some sort of routine posting schedule.

For now, a brief update on where I’ve been, and what I’ve been doing:

Christmas was nice. We spent Christmas in Colombia; Carlos and I took Gero down there to visit with C’s mom and so his sister could finally meet the little guy. He’s a year and a half, and because of issues with getting a visa, she hasn’t been able to come out to meet him. We finally changed that! It was a great visit; G had a blast meeting tons of new people, spending lots of time with his tia and abuelita, and Carlos and I were able to relax, hang out with friends, and spend some time together. All in all, it was a great visit. Sure, the mosquitos got to me (again!), and it took a couple of days to acclimate to the heat, but it was a fantastic trip. The best one yet, I think!

We flew back to SF on NYE; touched ground just before midnight, and rang in the new year at baggage claim! Unfortunately, I fell sick shortly after, and have spent the past few days battling a cold. Poop. At least it managed to be held at bay until we got back! Extremely grateful for that.

No resolutions this year; resolutions are something I’m moving away from. Instead, I found the idea from another blog to start a theme for each year, instead. My theme for 2013 is wellness. This year I want to focus on wellness; of mind, body, and spirit. What does that encompass? Well, we’ll find out. Not exactly sure yet. A little of this, and a little of that. Exercising more. Eating better. Taking vitamins that might be beneficial to my heath. Finding a therapist so I can ensure my mental health. Things like that. Basically I want to be the best I can be, and that starts with making sure every facet of my being is well.

A few instagram photos to share:

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G in Colombia; his uncle bought him a tricycle! (Yes, we hauled it all the way back!)

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He also got a new drum set. (That came with, too!)

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I swear, he’s the most hipster-esque toddler I’ve met.

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The weekend before we all left for our various destinations, we visited a Santa’s Village-type farm. C and A took this photo; hilarious!

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Alice and I after a pillow fight.

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We got our tree! And this year, it was G-sized!

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During Movember, in the fancy shop The Art of Shaving.

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The moustache was on the mirror, so we had to get crafty to take this pic.

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I trimmed G’s bangs, because they were getting too long and he couldn’t see anymore. Who knew this would cause such a riot in my house! I think he looks adorable, but apparently I was the only one.

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We had a beach picnic in Pescadero in December. G loved to dip his baguette into the jar of strawberry-rhubarb jam we picked up.

So there you have it; that’s what we’ve been up to, for the most part. We had a mini-Christmas before Alice left for LA and we left for Colombia; our present to Alice was her plane ticket to visit her grandparents, plus some $$ so she could save for her iPod Touch. Carlos gifted me with a makeover! He took me to get my hair done at a really nice place, plus a mani-pedi, and shopping for a new outfit. We had lunch out, too, so it was a really great day. <3 I gifted him some tools and supplies from The Art of Shaving. Alice bought matching sister necklaces for her and me, and she bought Carlos some soaps from his favorite soap store, Lush.

All in all, we’re a happy clan around here these days.

Fun day out!

Some pics from the day:

Family dinner last night with everyone. Awesome food, awesome company.

Getting ready for a girls + G outing.

Alice and I got our eyebrows waxed at the Benefit Eyebrow Bar inside Bloomingdales. Fun sisterly outing!

Later, we met back up with C and my MIL to grab an early dinner at Tartine. (Not pictured: amazing coconut cream pie, open-faced sandwiches, lattes, eclairs, bread-pudding, lemon meringue cake.) Pictured: Afterwards, we took G to Dolores Park to check out the kids playground. It’s fantastic! He had a ball! (Literally…he
“borrowed” another kids’ ball. We encouraged him to give it back.)

C guiding G down the slide, in his tie-dye glory. He loves him some tie-dye…

G trying to get his hula groove on, but is thwarted.

Moving on from the hula hoop. What a little handsome man. Love this kid, seriously.

Also not pictured: We came home, hung out, and watched some Olympics. Tonight was beach volleyball quarter-finals, track (men’s 100M; Bolt is seriously fast! Also, I may have the unpopular opinion that if an athlete ever tests positive for performance-enhancing drugs, they should be barred from the Olympics for life, not just for 4 years. Any contrary opinions out there? My mind is open.)

Did a little work after G was in bed, and enjoyed a little wine. Rodney Strong Pinot Noir tonight; no pictures, though. Bought it from Safeway, I think?

Wah wah wah

I am so tired. I woke up early to this face:

And he didn’t want to let me sleep much last night, either. Kept wanting the boob all night. *sigh* We’ve got to get this co-sleeping/night nursing situation sorted out stat. I just don’t think it’s going to successfully happen until we get Ed moved out back and can get G into his own room. So much work has to be done to get to that point.

So yes, we got up. There may have been Baby Einstein involved while I inhaled my morning cup(s) of coffee. I gotta admit: no shame in that game. Whatever keeps the tyke occupied for 20 minutes while I wake up: I’ll take it.

I put together what I consider to be a cute outfit:

Although maybe you can’t really tell from that picture. Anyway, here are the deets:

Jeans – Paige/ Blazer – H&M/ Blouse – Forever 21/ Un-pictured flats – Dolce Vita

Maybe a better pic?

 

(Alice wasn’t super thrilled I snuck into her room to make use of her full-length mirror.)

Onto the rest of my day…

The first full day without Jared went fine. I knew it would. I haven’t been freaking out about not being able to do the job, it’s more about just wishing team members wouldn’t leave. But, got through the first day, and it was good. Busy, but good. Had a lunch meeting and a fantastic salad that included bay shrimp and crab; not my typical fare these days, so I was happy to order it.

During the drive back to the office from lunch, there was this great NPR story Andy and I listened to. It was an interview with a British woman, Caitlin Moran, and she was so honest, witty, and plain refreshing. At first I wasn’t sure about her; we started listening when we heard the name of her book, “How To Be A Woman,” and I automatically side-eyed the radio. If there’s one thing I bristle at, it’s when people try to define what “a real woman” is. “Real women don’t eat meat,” “real women don’t do this, or do that,” and it just drives me nuts. So some author is going to tell me how to be a woman? Yeah, I don’t think so.

But then we really started listening, and God, she was so funny and dry and so open about so many things, including motherhood. She talks about how she has two children; her first birth experience was horrendous, due to lack of preparation, she admits; her second was wonderful, because she went in prepared and felt more confident. Then Caitlin drops a bomb: she aborted her third pregnancy. And the bombs just keep on coming: She felt no regret, remorse, or guilt over the abortion. When she admitted that? I knew this woman and I could be friends. She talks about how women who choose to have abortions are expected to feel ashamed, guilty, and remorseful for choosing to abort, and how while that may be true for some women, it’s absolutely not true for all women. Right on! For many women, choosing to have an abortion is as simple as choosing to have a normal medical procedure done; and that’s how it should be! But society, media, and religious zealots are insistent on making women feel like shit for their choices; even though abortion is legal in the United States, women are expected to feel like shit if they do exercise their right to an abortion. And so to have Caitlin Moran come out, in her book, and write that not only did she have an abortion, but she felt no shame afterwards; she felt no guilt, or regret, is amazing. I applaud her, and I hope that her openness only inspires more women to share their own experiences (or non-experiences, as the case may be! For some women, it may just be a non-event, and that is okay). We need to encourage our fellow women to feel what is organic to them; not to give in to the societal pressures and expectations to feel a certain way.

Wow, what a vent. I actually hadn’t meant to go that far, but I’m glad I did. I am not afraid of the term feminist, and I hope to be a proud feminist and support my fellow women in whatever they choose.

 

A sad day

Today was bittersweet; I said goodbye to my colleague and good friend of four years. He left our company to pursue opportunities elsewhere, and while I wish him nothing but the best (and expect nothing but the best for him), I am still sad to see him go. It’s hard. Four years ago, four of us banded together and forged a strong alliance; over the past year, it’s whittled down to just me. First Tej left (while I was on maternity leave, no less!), then Cedric left (while I was working remotely from France! Boo!) and now Jared leaves. While I still stand with a strong and amazing team (no doubts about that), it is no doubt a bittersweet day.

But! I am excited about the new position in which I’ve found myself: leading my team. Today I interviewed for a new PM, and hopefully he works out. It will make my life so much easier to find someone who can not only do the job, but who will mesh well with the current team. In fact, this potential new hire doesn’t even have localization experience at all; nor did I when I began. Same for Andy, other Andy, and Rachel. Now we’re kicking ass; I am a firm believer that the person makes the job, and not necessarily the experience a person can bring. (For this industry/position, anyway.)

And let’s be honest: I hate change. I moved desks today, amidst the other dramatic change going on, and I nearly had an anxiety attack. Too much change for one day. I’m sorry; I know it sounds like a cop-out, but I hate change. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. Now don’t get me wrong: I deal. I stare in the face of change every flippin’ day, and I deal with it (and gracefully, too, I might add) but that doesn’t mean I like it.

Do you ever peruse your own Facebook and realize you use too many damn exclamation points? I need to start limiting that. (Just edited several out of this very post.)

Life is hard today. At least I had my beautiful baby to come home and cuddle with. Until he bit me. What is with this biting phase? I’m already over it. I think part of it is teething (he’s got molars coming in) and part of it is he thinks it’s just funny. Not too funny when he’s ripping into your flesh with his teeth, I’ll tell ya.

Today’s wine was courtesy of work. A chardonnay; Girard, I think, was the brand. After Jared left for the day ever, the tears really started to well up, so it was determined, by the ever mighty Christine, that wine was necessary at that point. Good call, Christine, good call.

I don’t have any pictures today; I’m too sad. Good news, though: I finally located my digital camera, so I’m hoping for slightly-less-shitty quality pics in the coming days. I know, I know, so exciting. However, one cannot blog with iPhone pics alone, can one? Although I suppose I could Instagram the shit out of every pic and then, voila! Instantly better-looking pics, right?

Snapshots of my Sunday

Just a few snapshots of what my Sunday looked like:

Carlos & G, modeling their matching hats before they left for church:20120729-173233.jpg(Note: I don’t prefer to attend church; while I believe in a higher power, I’ve found that organized religious institutions are not for me. I’ll likely address this at a later date, but I’m not interesting in being a member of an organization that insists on continuing on with misogynistic treatment and ideas of women. I’ve found that all of the major religious institutions continue to behave in such a manner, so they will not be where I nurture my relationship with God.)

Moving on, Alice and Carlos finishing their tie-dye project. I watched from the sidelines; tie-dye is not one of my primary fashion staples.20120729-173644.jpg

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Geronimo was excited, though. They did a onesie for him. Watch out, ladies.

Lunch was pho (no pictures, sadly), and then some shopping. Later, there was fro-yo, Powell’s candy shop (for chocolate covered gummy bears and swedish fish!) and on the way home, we picked up an Ice Cream Pie for Carlos. Yay Ice Cream Pie! This one was Almond Joy, so it had vanilla and chocolate ice cream, chocolate graham cracker crust, coconut, whipped cream, and almonds on the top. Delicious.20120729-173735.jpg

As far as Sundays go, this one was pretty fantastic. The upcoming week will be difficult; Jared’s last day is on Wednesday and then after that I’m on my own as EPM, managing the group. I’m fairly confident in my abilities to do so, but it’s still a little nerve wracking, I’ll admit.

Til next time. -J

New promotion

I’ve recently (as in, a week ago!) been promoted at work, and I’m incredibly nervous about it. My (now) former manager, Jared, gave his notice on Tuesday evening. Wednesday, I was asked if I’d like the opportunity to serve in his stead; I absolutely said yes. I know I can do it; management knows I can do it. I’m ready for this. It’s a lot more responsibility, and a lot more work, but I really think I’m up to the challenge.

That being said? I’m freaking out. I know, I know, it’s a new role. New position, new responsibilities, new waters to tread. Once I get used to it, I know I’ll be fine. But I just went from managing 0 people (with 0 management experience) to managing 4 people directly (they report to me! me!) and in the process of hiring for a new SPM. I no longer track production work directly (or at least, my new role calls for me to no focus on that aspect of the account; the transition might not happen right away), but to focus on reporting, client managing, numbers, etc, etc. It’s a little scary. All of a sudden I’m making these big decisions. And I’m not making decisions uninformed; I’ve been an active team member on this account for 4 years. I know this. I’ve got this account down. It’s just so new, all of this. All of these new things I have to do. If there’s one thing I’m known for among my inner team, it’s that I don’t actually like change. I deal with it, and I respond to it well, but like it? No.

The other thing is…I don’t know how this will affect the time I spend with Geronimo and my family. The promotion means a lot more work, and a lot more accountability. In my SPM role, I took on a lot of initiatives independently. I worked on them at my own pace; I worked from home a lot…I won’t lie: it was ideal for my situation. So this new way of working and doing things, after a year of doing things the way I pleased? It’ll be a transition. I don’t think nowadays it would go over well for my to work remotely from France for 3 months, like last year. The EPM (Enterprise Program Manager!) needs to be visible, both to the client and to the team. Which is okay now, though. Carlos is no longer studying; he’s working full time again. We’re steady. We don’t need to go anywhere; we’ve had quite a few adventures in the past year, and to be honest, it’s time to put some bank back in the bank. We ran through a lot of our savings while he wasn’t working so that he could study; we need to replenish.

Speaking of traveling, I had to cancel my business trip to Paris/Saarbrucken last week, when news of the promotion hit. I only have 2 weeks to ramp up and get situated in my new role. The trip had to be postponed, and now it looks likely that I’ll just send Rachel instead. With her promotion to my old role (yay!) it just makes sense. She needs to be the one to build the relations with the teams in Saarbrucken now; she’s the one that will be working more closely with them.

Current wine: A Trader Joe’s-sold Chianti (red, name forgotten at the moment) and a Trader Joe’s Chardonnay/Voigner called Duet. As much as I love my J (see previous post), I don’t love and/or relish paying that much for a bottle on a regular basis. So I love TJ’s for their wine selections. Nothing amazing to rave over, but decent (and decently priced) table wines.

Time for an outfit!

Top: Forever 21/Pants: Express/Earrings: H&M/Shoes: unknown brand (Payless)

Now, I know my outfits aren’t spectacular, and I also know that my photos are grainy and not great, as well. However, I have fun just posting what I wear. I’m always looking for feedback (what looks like it doesn’t work, what does, what alternatives you’d suggest, etc). I am a working mom whose style is ever-evolving, mainly because I don’t know what style I want to pull off. Thoughts and feedback are always welcome.

Ringing in 27

Introducing my favorite wine:

Specifically, the 2009 J Pinot Noir, from Russian River Valley. Here’s the description:

“The 2009 J Vineyards Pinot Noir is a lush ruby-red wine that vibrantly showcases its cool-climate Russian River Valley pedigree. Aromas of rich chocolate and wild blackberry fill the glass. The wine delivers flavors of caramel, cinnamon and black spice. Traditional Pinot Noir fruit flavors of cherry and strawberry are also integrated in a subtle oak structure. Our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir pairs with many earthy foods, such as grilled Portobello mushrooms, smoked country ham, or savory duck confit braised in this wine.” J Vineyards

Carlos completely surprised me for my birthday this year (this past June) by arranging an amazing surprise party for me in J’s Bubble Room. He arranged for a catered lunch, accompanied by mass quantities of wine (of course!) with all of my closest friends. It was perfection, and my idea of the most perfect birthday surprise ever. I was incredibly touched (still am, whenever I think of it) and moved to tears that he put all of this thought and effort into making my birthday such a wonderful, happy day. He pulled out all the stops; we even stayed several nights in a wonderful B&B up in Russian River Valley. It was so incredible; I’m fairly certain it was the best birthday ever, and nothing could ever top it!

Photos, courtesy of my dear friend Ed (an amazing photographer):

(Above: Me, incredibly surprised!)

(Above: Andy, my best friend, who was in on it from day 1, apparently. <3)

(I love all of these people!)

(Carlos was incredibly pleased with himself. Well done, sir!)

(Above: Dinner at our hotel; below: me, passed out before dessert could even arrive at the table. Classy, I know.)


What a memorable way to celebrate my 27th…I’ll never forget it, that’s for sure! Carlos also surprised me with a J wine membership, so I’m set. ;)
(PS: Still figuring out how wordpress works, so I’m not sure why the images are spaced in such a crazy way. Whoops!)