Friday, June 25, 2010

Back to School?

Sitting in a classroom for 3 days, not working, was pretty awesome. I love learning new things! Now I know how to tell the difference between all sorts of lighting types, how to identify components of an HVAC system, how the refrigeration cycle works, how to calculate energy use of a motor, and so much more! It will be very useful to my work.

Unfortunately, now I want to go back to school so I can learn more! There's always something, isn't there? Matt asked me what I want to do with any new knowledge, and I have no idea. I just want knowledge for knowledge's sake. That's not very effective in life.

Anyway, I am thinking:

Certified Sustainable Building Advisor: Not really school, but school-like, and I get to learn more about energy, water, and green building

MBA in Sustainable Management: Although I am pretty sure I am not the type of person who should ever end up in Business School. It sounds so fabulous! And an MBA is probably a marketable skill, unlike anything I have picked up in the past.

And then there's always the PhD. Berkeley and Stanford both have some pretty awesome interdisciplinary energy and environment programs. That's a commitment I am nowhere near ready to make at the moment though.

Hopefully in a few days all this will wear off! Would you go back to school if you could?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Get your Groupon

How have I lived without Groupon all this time? I've heard about it here and there but didn't think much of it until I discovered that two of the people on our introductory sail had paid $20 instead of $40. What a good deal! And what a good reason to do something new and different!

I finally checked out Groupon yesterday and bought my first deal today - super cheap tickets to the Conservatory of Flowers - super beautiful, but I never go because I hate paying. You should sign up for Groupon too! They have pages for Phoenix, Portland, Tucson, and gosh knows where else my readers live. Or perhaps you've been a Groupon aficionado for years and have just been withholding it from me...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Streets

San Francisco has the great event series called Sunday Streets, in which they shut down a few roads to cars and open them up to pedestrians, bicyclists, and pretty much any form of non motorized transportation you can imagine. The route is filled with activities, music, and food stands, and it is in a different neighborhood each event.

I would love to get rid of cars in the city entirely (I realize I am a hypocrite, but at least I only drive mine once a week or every other week...), but since that isn't going to happen anytime soon, I will certainly support this awesome event. After participating a few times, we decided to volunteer.

Here's me, just off my shift of stopping traffic. My fashion consultant has already spoken out against by fabulous outfit, but hey, whatever gives me authority :).

A similar event also takes place in Portland and is just getting started in Oakland and Los Angeles. And I'm sure I'm forgetting something as well. Find out if your city has one!

Let the Sailing Begin!

When Matt and I went on our first sail a few weeks ago, the other four people on our boat were young, outgoing, fun, and very friendly. And of course I have met some great people through Team in Training, so naturally we assumed that this whole Sail for a Cure program would be full of great people as well. Turns out we may have been a wee bit wrong... At kickoff yesterday, the other people in the room were a bit odd and not too friendly. Now I hate to judge a book by its cover, and I sure don't want to go into the season with a bad attitude, so I'm definitely hoping that all the participants are good apples and perhaps just a bit shy. Or awkward. Being rather awkward myself, I can certainly handle that.

Despite this possibly minor hiccup, I am still looking very forward to learning to sail! And to race. I am a slight bit competitive, so I'm hoping that I am competent enough to at least not come in dead last. I've already started reading my textbooks!

In the meantime, I want to sail with you! If you live in the Bay Area or want to be here July 10th, please make a donation to our fundraising campaign. You will be making a huge difference to someone with blood cancer, like Max Harris, and the highest donor will receive two passes to join us at a fun sail and BBQ! Imagine spending up to 6 hours on the water of beautiful San Francisco Bay! There's even a "Sore Loser" prize. Check out our website for details.

After we become certified in the fall, we will be able to rent boats, and we look forward to actually taking you out on the water as skippers. Of course that means you'll be our crew. What could be more fun?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dear Parents

Please use this story as advice for how not to be.

On my 6 hour flight home from Boston today (please don't remind me that I can fly to Hawaii in less time than that), I sat next to a father and about an 8 year old boy. I was in the window, the boy was in the center, and the father was in the aisle. Now personally I think it is polite to insert yourself between your child and a stranger, but I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. When the boy first sat down, the father told him to stay on his side of the armrest, to not stare over my shoulder, and not to play with the phone on the back of the seat. He also brought a cup with a lid that he informed the flight attendant he brought because the kid has spilled his drink too many times. But then the father started watching a movie on his itouch. The boy proceeded to throw his seatbelt in my lap at least 8 times, kick me repeatedly, try to take food off of my tray table, try to move my finger when I was adjusting the channel on the armrest, lean his head on my chair, set his hand on my chair, and play with my seat belt.

Then the father decided to switch places with about a 6 year old boy who was sitting a few rows up with his mother. So two young boys in my row; no parental supervision. Then the boy immediately proceeded to play with the phone, broke it, asked me for help to get it out again, and after I told him to ask his parents, proceeded to throw a tantrum that involved hitting the back of the seat in front of him repeatedly and yelling. Later on, when I leaned forward, he put his hand on my back and left it there. I had to physically pick his hand up and put it in his lap. Then when drinks were served again, he ordered cranberry juice. Which in case you aren't aware, is red. He then proceeded to play with his cranberry juice which involved picking up cranberry juice-covered ice out of the cup and dropping it in his lap and between us on the chairs so that I had to clean it up if I didn't want red juice on me. Then the power on his DVD player died, which resulted in him yelling "Help, help'" repeatedly, which of course was not heard by anyone of relevance. This tantrum also involved more thrashing of the limbs. He of course finally managed to spill the entire cup of juice, which sprayed across my tray table, fell all over his lap, and got all over his arm, which he proceeded to hang over my side of the armrest.

I finally managed to get the attention of what I presume to be a late teen/early 20s sister who was sitting across the aisle. She came over and proceeded to clean him up with wet wipes. When the father finally came back to find out what was going on, I asked him politely if one of them could please sit with the boy. He said, "Has he been bad?" And I nodded my head. So he sat back down in the aisle seat. At this point he became slightly more attentive - making sure the boy stopped putting his feet up on my seat, and mostly making sure he did not hang over the armrest toward me. Then the wife yells back to the husband to ask what the kid is watching on the DVD player and decides the younger brother should come back and watch it too. The father informs the mother that I asked one of them to sit with the boy. The wife proceeds to get indignant and say, well you can't choose who you sit by. She suggested I go sit in their other row, but the father informed her I had a window seat. She then suggested that they just put the younger boy in between me and the older boy. The father told her he didn't think it was a good idea. I left my headphones on and ignored it.

Awhile later the wife was back by the husband talking about how she had never in her life asked someone to not sit next to her and could not believe how ridiculous it was. I of course, since I can never keep my mouth shut, finally took my headphones off and asked the lady if she wanted me to list all the things her son had been doing. She looked at me disgustedly, and asked me how old I was. Regrettably I told her although it was none of her business, and then told her that was irrelevant. Of course the next step - "I'm sure you don't have kids." To which of course I responded, no I don't, these are your kids, and you should be responsible for them. Then she continues to talk about how kids are just kids and how she can't imagine how rude I am to tell them the kid couldn't sit next to me. "You can't choose who you sit next to on a plane." To which I informed her that I had merely requested that one of them sit with the boy. She of course just kept talking about how rude I was, so I just said, "look, lady, whatever" and put my headphones back on. She walked off muttering about how she can't imagine ever thinking the way I did.

Ultimately they sent the older boy up to the row next to the younger boy, the father stayed in my row, and the mother stood in the aisle. They didn't send the older boy back until the descent, and the mother never sat down until we were well below 10,000 feet.

Look lady, I understand why you wouldn't want to sit next to your own kid, but for god sakes, don't make a stranger on a plane babysit your delinquent child and then get upset about it. In case you haven't noticed, I was not involved in your decision to have a child, and I certainly didn't agree to help raise it. Have some respect for your fellow human beings!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

San Diego RNR

I love how a marathon and "rest and relaxation" can have almost the same abbreviation. How is that fair?

Anyway, Matt and I spent the weekend in sunny San Diego for my 4th half marathon - the San Diego Rock n Roll. My whole family came out to support me, which was fabulous, although there was some disappointment that I wasn't running my 1st full marathon as had been originally planned pre-injury.

Here we all are post-race:

And here's me pre-race with my TNT running buddies and some of my mentees at about 5am.

It may have been my slowest race yet, by about 4 minutes (and a whopping 24 minutes off of my PR), but I had a fabulous time and was barely tired at the end.

A big thank you to my family for supporting me, my TNT running buddies and mentees for making a fabulous season, and all my friends who have graciously supported me and the LLS during my year with TNT.

My next vacation will be race-free - what a novelty!