Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good-Bye Mazda

For the past 29 months we leased a Mazda 6. Ethan has been driving this car while he has been working on his Monte Carlo. The Monte will be his daily driver, once it is running. The lease on the Mazda ended yesterday, so we had to take it back. The Monte is close to running, but its not there yet. So, as of this morning we are a one car family. Ethan and I are pretty independent with our daily activities, so sharing a car will be interesting. Hopefully it will only be for a few weeks. We want to roll the Monte with its new make over!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

CF Clinic Yesterday

Yesterday I traveled down to San Francisco for my quarterly visit to the clinic. Clinic is pretty uneventful for me, so there is really not much to report. Because my CF doctor is out of network, the insurance company will pay for the visit, but no testing: no blood work, x-rays, PFTs, or cultures. Their logic is all of those tests can be performed in network, so I have to get all testing done locally. It makes a little more work for me, because I have to schedule all my tests separately, as opposed to showing up to clinic and just having it all done in one place, on one day. This works ok, except with PFTs. I'd really like to have this done at every clinic visit, because it is a very important measurement of my health. We discussed this at clinic yesterday. We decided to do PFTs three times a year, bringing the results to clinic. Other results of clinic, oxygen sat is at 99% (sweet), I need a bone-density test, and blood work is not due until December.

After my appointments, I always spend a little time in San Francisco. I know my way around the city now, so I usually take the bus to my desired destination. Some times I hit up the gym, meet a friend for dinner, shopping, what ever I feel like to kill some time before making the drive home. I almost always end up in Union Square, as I did yesterday. Stops included Gold Dust for a few beers, dinner at Lefty O'Doul's, a little shopping at Macy's, and I finished the night off with getting a piece of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, to go. I'm sure I'll be back in SF before my next clinic visit in October, but I just love spending the day in SF.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mame, What The Hell Are We Celebrating?

Yes, the Santa Rosa Junior Summer Repertory Theatre is in full swing! Every year the SRJC puts on five different play simultaneously over the course of 7 weeks. Most actors are in at least two products, sometimes three. It is one of my favorite parts of summer. This year productions include "Mame", " Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "The Wedding Singer", "Lend Me a Tenor", and "Barefoot in the Park". I went to Mame last week and I am making plans to attend the Wedding Singer and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I wish I could attend all five productions, but it is hard to make time for 5 plays in such a short time, especially considering they only run one or two productions a day. Mame was wonderful...I love the musicals. The truly amazing part of this experience is the short time frame these productions are put together in. The sets, costumes, the band (for musicals), learning the lines, the steps. They only have five weeks to put it all together. I feel lucky to live so close the a theatre that does this every summer.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cut Backs

About 5 years ago I discovered that the local Junior College offers great physical education courses for a reasonable price. I started taking Yoga twice a week at the JC for only $56 a semester. Its probably the best Yoga class I have even taken. I took it for four semesters, up until my back surgery in 2006. Feeling ready to go back, I went to the JC web site to register. To my disappointment, almost all of the PE classes have been cancelled, including the Yoga course. I know it is "only" PE and if a school needs to make cuts its going to be in that department, but it is depressing to see any school making cuts. We should be finding ways to cut everywhere else but education.

Also on another exercise note, the Monday night water aerobics teacher is now only teaching on Fridays at 10:15. Luck me to have *most* Fridays off so I can still go. But I really like going to the class on Monday nights. The gym is really crowded on Mondays. Going to the class when it is crowded, I could avoid having to wait for a machine. The course is still offered on Mondays, it is just with a different teacher. I'll probably still go on Mondays the weeks I have to work Fridays.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back to Furlough Friday

We are back to having scheduled unpaid days off...this time it is three Fridays a month. Today is our first scheduled day off. Most State offices are closed today. I like have the flexability of choosing my unpaid days off, but I think it is more of a cost savings for the state to have them scheduled. It is nice having the extra days off, but with the third unpaid day now added, that will really hurt our pocketbook. At the end of the month the lease car goes back, so not having that payment will help with the most recent paycut. The worst part is I have so much work to do, but now with less time to do it. It just makes things more stressful.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July

This 4th of July weekend is most dedicated to relaxing and catching up with *minor* stuff around the house. After being so busy last month, I just needed a weekend to do NOTHING! I had to work Friday, but Ethan had the day off. That evening we went to a friends house for a BBQ and fireworks. The actual 4th, I didn't even leave the house. I spent a lot of time on my blog site, mostly reading other people's blogs and I watched Dial M for Murder. I like to stay home on the 4th of July because it is a really scary day for the dogs. They did ok with the firecracker nosie, but they were scared. They mostly just wanted to be right next to us. At one point in the evening, Ethan was reading comic books with Jeter on his chest and Dotty right by his side. I feel bad for them, but it is cute when they want to be so close.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Where Were You When Michael Jackson Died?

I was at work. I opened the Internet to go on to a work database, when I noticed a headline on my Yahoo home page: "Michael Jackson Hospitalized." Reading further the article said Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by an unknown, unofficial source. Thinking this would not be the first odd rumor posted about the man, I did a search "Michael Jackson Dead." And there it was, a confirmed article stating that Michael Jackson had indeed died. I was in shock. How can my childhood hero be dead?

Over the past couple of days, I have deeply reflected on the influence Michael Jackson had over my generation. The white glove, the red zipper jacket, the moonwalk, the short pants with white socks. Michael Jackson had numerous trade marks, which will always live with his memory. Michael Jackson was an 80's icon. What he did with "Thriller" is untouchable. No one has ever created such an imaginative, creative, and unique video. We were obsessed with it; everyone was. We knew the words, we knew the dance routine. We watched the video and the making of the video daily. The Thriller movement consumed our society. I don't know what it would take to top that one; I don't think anyone ever will. And yes, initially I was scared to watch it.

Another huge part of the 80's was "We Are the World" in which Michael Jackson was a big part of. I think I am very lucky to have lived during the times of these two videos.

I know Michael Jackson had developed a negative reputation over the last few decades, and lived a cryptic life of mystery. Undoubtedly misunderstood. No doubt at times I would see pictures of him and think "he is so weird." But this man needs to be remembered for all of his positive contributions to society, especially in the 80's. He needs to be remember for his powerful influence over people and the pure magic he created with his music.

Thus, I give you my Top 10 Michael Jackson Songs:

10. You Are Not Alone
9. Smooth Criminal
8. Bad
7. Beat It
6. Billie Jean
5. PYT
4. The Girl is Mine
3. Thriller
2. Man in the Mirror
1. Don't Stop 'till You Get Enough

Ethan with his M.J. jacket:

Hard to see it, but that's me with my M.J. buttons:

circa 1982

"Gonna make a change for once in my life. Gonna feel really good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right."

You sure did.