Sunday, December 21, 2008

2 weeks' notice

So now I can weigh in after almost 2 weeks at Keystone. The people there rock! They are truly awesome individuals, with humor, piercing intelligence, multitasking ability, friendliness, and drive to help people solve problems. And there are some funny quirks. They're like my dream co-workers, so that makes me pretty darn happy.
About the work. I have been mostly researching organizations, composing drafts for fact sheets (yay for fact sheet exercises in Climate Change class!), and learning the ropes of the conference call software and hardware. It's a wide variety of tasks, and an even wider variety of topics: electricity transmission, biofuel sustainability, clean energy technologies, and more! I am still digging into the thick of things, but at least feel like I can separate DoE from EPA projects now! lol...
In other news, I will be in Cali for Christmas, down with the OCers. Then, I take off for a cross-country rad road trip with Brian, from Pasadena to DC in 6 days. I am sure we will find plenty of funny and amusing things of which to snap pictures, so stay tuned! We're a couple of funny folks!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

High Times

And, as is common in my life, we swing from high to low and back to high again. I got a job offer at what looks like a terrific firm, with what appear to be terrific people, with a terrific mission! Check it out here: or settle for my simplified version: a firm that researches complex policy issues in the energy, environment, and health sectors, convenes stakeholders to discuss these issues and hammer out workable solutions to become policy proposals in Congress. Basically, it's trying to get people face-to-face to be productive and find solutions, instead of waiting until they're across a table of discord, with lawyers at hand to lobby policymakers and throw money at them to get their way. Conflict mediation with the goal of consensual solutions. Hmm... see the site for examples. I will be focusing on energy and climate issues, in the DC office. YAY! The search is OVER! I start Dec 3rd. :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Truth in Cookery

So now that I've gotten the hang of uploading photos here (i.e. have found that after 2 minutes or so, they actually do load), here are some more I've been dying to share. As you know, one of my goals has been experimenting in cooking, and the following are 2 recipes I tried recently:

Ok, did I say I had learned my way around loading pictures? Nevermind. We'll see what different formatting does. Anyway, this is parsnip and tomato casserole, with lots of cream! Something I usually don't stand for, but something I loved to sit down for, in this case! With recipe picture- what do you think- how does it compare? :o) I do still use recipes, but almost always end up substituting or fudging a few ingredients because of the cooking process or the disinclination to go to the store once again, etc.

So here is the second one, "Baked Spaghetti Squash," and I would hazard a guess to say that it is like a lasagna to make, even though I haven't made one of those. Cook a bunch of stuff separately, monitor the timing, layer it all in, and bake. Yummy, but I think I should have used regular black, or even green olives, instead of kalamata. Live and learn. Kim and Juan liked it! :o)

And so finally, my wonderful breakfast this morning. One thing I will miss a lot about going back to work is the relaxed pace in the morning. I make steel-cut oatmeal, which takes about 25 minutes on the stove, and it is so filling and comforting and nutritious! (-feeling, anyway). This morning, I put in chopped dried apricots, raisins, cinnamon sugar, sesame seeds, and flaxseed bran. Oh, and sliced fresh ginger. Definitely good for standing over and getting a facial. ;-)

Oh, and shame on me for forgetting:
Don't forget to vote! For Obama!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wet Ingredients

Hey! I know, I know, I just posted yesterday, but that was just mixing the dry ingredients. Now for the eggs, butter, and milk! Haha... I have had a much better run for the last few days, so I think the funk of last week is over. I got my new month calendar started, sent out some job emails, had an Exercise Sampler this morning, dressed up, and am just in general feeling better in my skin. Maybe it has something to do with dancing to Big n Rich's Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy song from YouTube...
I also have a new motivation for keeping tabs on paper piles- those little creepy crawlers that loooove to live in paper piles! That's right, house centipedes. Icky, rapid-moving creatures with too many legs. So at last, I may have to frame the Amelie poster and hang it, instead of leaving it ... in a pile. ;o)
Ok, so here's your update on apartment. Bear in mind, a few things are awaiting collection from Freecycle people or Craig's List-ers, so it's a little more 'stuffed' than I'd like.

Bedroom, including organized filing system! That took a half a day.

Bathroom and Mini-hallway again. However, when the lovely wingback chairs (which I got for free) are moved out (hoping for this weekend), this loveseat will go in the living room, instead of sideways in the hallway. Much more room that way.

Living room, with a view of my 'front door' (in quotes because it opens up into an interior hallway of the building), and living room with view through to the kitchen.

And here is the kitchen! Cozy and warm (for the heater and the oven are both in here, unfortunately) and fairly organized...

And just for fun, here are the 2 wingback chairs I got for free that will be leaving this weekend, to make room for ... me! :o) Quite the antique, and I do like wingbacks, but it was quite dingy and it was just too much for the little living room that could(n't).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Statistical Progress

So October is at an end and now I can tabulate (inner nerd rejoices) my success rate for my 5-a-day goals...

Exercise: 48%
Cooking: 45%
Job search: 39%
Social Activity: 58%
De-clutter: 42%

Not to sound like I'm weasling out of high-scoring, but... I am not daunted by the low percentages. The goal was to get going on all these goals at the same time, and I have developed my skills in each area. I would say job face-to-face interaction and exercise need the most help. So if you have good suggestions in these areas, or would like to help, please do drop me a line! :-)

Friday, October 31, 2008

And Confusion Reigns Again

Booms and busts, ebbs and flows, ups and downs. How comforting it is to return to that feeling of confusion and enfeebling inferiority, and to know that it will go away again, some time. *sarcasm* Sometimes it changes from day to day; sometimes the funk or the lift of energy will last for weeks at a time. It is just one of those things. We wish we had more control over how we feel; we resent the mystery of the source of our 'bad' emotions, even as we let the positive side wash over us without question. That's a society judgement, since I believe other societies have honored the mysterious origins of both good and bad...
Anyway. Thank you to Nina for turning me from a basketcase into a functioning human bean, as I told her today (yes, I said 'bean' on purpose, relax). And thank you to Brian, who tells me I am his world and that he cherishes my encouraging words. I want to move forward; I want to claim my life. But sometimes a great notion lands on my motivation and I can not push it off. The battle of today is a draw. The momentum forward? must be constantly tended, and I really hope I can at least move on to the next stepping stone to take a rest before continuing (read: find a job)!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apple Pie Victory

This deserves a post all its own. I made an apple pie from scratch (well, except for the crusts- but they actually stayed together this time because of some advice taken ;o). And it was yum-o!

Monday, October 13, 2008

October Victory Update

We've all felt it, the ups and downs of confused life. Even confused life with set goals has its ups and downs apparently. I am reporting back to my "public" *ahem* about my Goals- my 5-a-days, you will recall, and here are the polling numbers (from Oct only, since my 2 weeks of Sept have already been rolled up and filed in the closet file:

Exercise: 38% - obviously room for improvement
Cooking: 62% - woo-hoo! and on a tightening budget, no less!
Job search: 46% - part of the up-and-down process of motivation...
Socializing: 69% - another woo-hoo for a recognized introvert
De-clutter: 54% - a good way to spend time when nothing else appeals...

So I think that's pretty good. Especially for depending on my own lights for kicking my butt into action. I think I need to get more systematic about exercise and more inventive in my job search- as in, more face-to-face encounters. But I'm loving the social activities, and the apartment is starting to look pretty schnazz. Before pictures:


Bathroom and Mini-hallway

Living Room (where I spend the most time, on the COMPUTADORA)

And my kitchen! where I also spend a substantial amount of time, and not just raiding the chocolate stash (although it does happen from time to time)...

Monday, October 6, 2008

October Victory

So when I realized that I hadn't made my steel-cut oatmeal happiness since last year, which meant that I couldn't remember the right proportions, or the right timing, or whether I used milk before... I was aghast.
Thankfully, my second attempt was this morning, and it all came back. Delicious victory for wholesome, healthy food in the morning. Shout out to Melia! :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oy, how time flies!

October already?? Goodness, me. Well, I have been busy, after all. Even though I don't have a job (situation for 2 weeks), I am fairly content. I spend days job searching, following up leads, shopping for new recipes, brightening up the new apartment, and hanging out with friends. This is a direct result of my "5-a-day Plan" or what could be called my Anti-Depression Plan. Because I have been busy and not as attentive to the blog, Melia has beat me to the punch on my snappy title! Ah well. May all who endeavor to live by their values each day succeed!

So here are my 5:
1) Exercise.
2) Job search.
3) Cooking/ healthy eating.
4) Social activity.
5) De-clutter!

Whaddya think? Like the compulsive researcher and team player I am, I have assembled my own little library of articles and books about these topics to keep me company and give me some inspiration for how to diversify the activities. I would love to hear your input. :o)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Autumn and New Beginnings

So... big changes: new apartment, new job search, new social scene. And some leftover inner debates: what to do with the car, how to figure out loan payback, where to strike out on the job scene, how to gauge old relationships.
It is September now, and I am glad of my friends. Nina and Jess helped move me in to the new place. Steven, Rajiv, Tonya, they all keep me busy with interesting outings and new learning. I feel more settled here than even a few weeks ago, but I still have lingering doubts about the car issue- it's like a proxy for all commitment phobias- am I really staying out here? Will the expense of moving the car and changing its status be worth it? How will I use it so that I am getting savings out of it instead of pouring savings into it? Still not sure, so I put off making a make-or-break decision. Sounds kind of familiar, eh?
Next soul-searching question: have I really exited that phase of "I don't feel like pursuing anything" that had me in its clutches a couple weeks ago? I feel less constricted and restless, but still as uncertain about which direction I am facing, and how I can affect my own future.
I am, in fact, afraid of regular work which douses the soul of inquiry in cold water so that it ends up looking like Nerval from Garfield: a bunch of wet hair and two eyeballs: ridiculous and out-of-place.
I need to commit to looking for or creating a money-earning job that does not make me feel like I am losing my uniqueness, dulling my creativity, and wasting my enthusiasm. Where, O where, could that job be?

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Hey, so I was just inspired to broadcast the fact that I am inspired by my friend Melia. Her blog Reschool Yourself (see left) documents the journey of her decision to reschool herself. And as I watch her video clips, she is tired, pulled in many directions, persistently trying, and it gives me a surge of happiness to see what she is doing. The self-care we will remind her about as she needs it, reminding her that we would all like to see her healthy and happy and relaxed and full of life: life-ful!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Unearthing the Victories

So a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away know as California, my friend Melia passed on to me this bit of wisdom: to get some clarity and positivity out of a long day, think about three things that you would call Victories. Victories over: fatigue, procrastination, negative thinking, wasteful habits, whatever else you're striving to do better on. These three little things will remind you that you're a winner! in the Game of Your Life... lol. They do make you feel better. :o)
Friday, 8/08/08:
1) Got absorbed into work research and kept a list of sites visited so I didn't get lost and keep visiting the same places over and over again (organization for effectiveness)
2) Finally went through my edition of The Santa Clara- Winter 2007 with a fine tooth comb so that I could recycle it instead of moving with it yet again (along with a *few* other magazines...) (decluttering)
3) Fixed myself a snack lunch composed of crackers with pesto and robusto cheese, and cottage cheese with strawberries. Delicious and nutricious! sort of. :o) (health and happiness)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

First Ever Step into Blogspot World

Hi y'all. Since I have concluded from substantive quantitative studies that none of you (except Emiley) are aware that Xanga exists, I have decided to switch over to the more traversed Blogger environment.
I don't plan to make any extra effort to keep it updated; after all, I am not doing anything too terribly exciting, so it will continue to serve as a convenient black hole where I can express my angst or joyfulness, depending on the moment. Maybe someone might comment.
That's all for now.