An amazing vet, typhoid medicine, and a trip to Orlando

So, first things first, we have an amazing vet.  I was texting Brian about my crappy run this afternoon, and he told me to come home – that he had something that would make me smile.  When I got home, he handed me a letter from the UC Davis Vet school.  As I pulled out the letter, I tried to figure out why we might have received it, but I couldn’t think of one.  As I began to read the letter, I almost cried. It was a letter informing us that our vet had made a donation to the school in the name of our cat, Gordon.  The cat we loved, and she had only known in the last few days of his life. We already knew she was amazing (seven hills vet in diamond heights – go there), but this is so above and beyond. I can’t think of a better way to remember my first mammal pet.

In other news, we had our annual field conference last week in Orlando. It was a good time, but exhausting. I flew in early to help, whichever as quite the adventure.  I started the following during my travel adventure, but never got a chance to finish and post it:

I love Uber…order on the phone and a ride shows up three minutes later – even at 4am. However, the adventure began once I got to the airport.  But, flying united is never anything less…

So, first, I get to the airport and try to check in…should be easy. Swipe credit card and enter destination. Of course the system tells me that my ticket and itinerary don’t match and to see an agent. Which might not be an issue if, oh, I don’t know…there were any around. So I try again and enter my connection city. Same thing. So I try to ask the guy behind the counter…and he just blows by me. Awesome…and the ‘I hate united’ thoughts begin. 

Luckily, I was able to flag down one of the ladies directing people to kiosks. Of course by then the message is gone, so we have to start over. Destination city, connection city, and confirmation number all yield the same result – ticket does not match itinerary. So she takes me to an agent…

The agent takes my confirmation sheet, ID, and credit card….tells me there isn’t an issue.  Oh wait…the system has kicked me out incase I want to take a direct flight at 9.  Right…cause there’s nothing I want to do more than hang out at the airport for three hours…if they had asked last night, I probably would have taken them up on three more hours of sleep.

To their credit, the two ladies that did help me were very polite and in good spirits for five am.  

Of course, this has taken time, and now I’m hoping I’ll still be able to grab breakfast. And the security line is a cluster…why wouldn’t it be. The guy checking tickets at the end of the line looks at mine and asks me – are you part of a group?  No…not really. I mean, gap travel booked my ticket… Oh wait, he’s asking cause he has my boarding pass…or someone else’s…or just a random handful of them in his pocket…cause that’s normal. Then he decides it’s not mine and lets me go on my merry way. 

Like I said, the conference was fun, but exhausting. I spent the first few days putting together packets and name badges and running from here to there. The highlight – the packing party involving tequila. I worked the registration desk the second day of check in, so got to see a lot of people and hang out with the territory assistants – a great group of ladies!  Biggest learning – it is actually possible to be so tired that the glass of wine three feet away is just too far to grab. 

By the time the conference started, heels were actually more comfortable than running shoes for a day. Until I had to open the door for the mass entrance…haha. It was fine, just a little crazy. I got to ride a roller coaster again – yay evening event at marvel island and the hulk.  I rode it twice – note to self, pee before you get in line for the roller coaster. Haha. I also checked out Spider-Man, which was fun, but hulk was better. And I still like roller coasters :). 

But, like all good things, it had to come to an end.  And, I was ready to get back home. Since then, we’ve been continuing to prep for our trip – six weeks from Saturday…squee!!!!  We have most of our stuff, I took Tuesday off and we went out to the friends and family mountain hardware store and got my gloves and hiking pants. We tried to get prescription sunglasses, but they were going to be $1200….yeah, not happening. I’ll go for daily contacts and sunglasses.  And pray I don’t get an eye infection. But, I did get to make a custom pair of oakleys. That was fun…black and purple, nothing crazy, but still fun.  

I also started taking a typhoid vaccine.  I’m not sure what’s more amusing…the fact that there’s such a thing as a vaccine via pill or the fact that I’m traveling somewhere that I need to have taken said vaccine. It has a host of fun side effects, but I’m half way through and have been ok.  

Other than that, the get back in shape project continues.  I can’t wait to dive into the 50 miler training when I get back. Pirate’s cove, I will conquer you. And muir beach…and the rest of you. Haha. 

Ok….up early for a friend’s 50 miler tomorrow. Until next time….

Long December

So, this probably be a long post, written over several days, because…well, it’s been a long December.  Apparently, the year decided to go out with a bang.

The month started out normal enough…marathon planned, zero training, first trail marathon.  Typical me.  haha.  and, as I mentioned in a previous post, it was so much fun.  I need to train better, but I do really want to do the 50 mile race next year.

After that, it seems like it all went crazy.  Some good crazy, some not so good crazy.  The following Tuesday, I had my last class ever.  Very surreal, and a stressor ’till the end, but it was over. Brian surprised me with some wine and a poster when I got home. Thursday that week our good friends got married at city hall.  It was a beautiful wedding, city hall is really pretty, especially all decorated for Christmas.  I can’t believe I hadn’t been there before.  Following the wedding, we spent the day in Sonoma and had dinner at Seven Hills here in the city.  The following day, my parents arrived for my graduation, which was later that evening.  Graduation was fun, and I still can’t believe it’s over.  But, I am excited to have more free time.

Throughout all of this, Gordon, our oldest cat, got sick and kept getting sicker.  He had stopped eating his regular food, so we changed him to wet food, and he started eating again. The. He stopped eating that…sometimes, he’d pieces of ham, or chicken, and we started feeding him baby food. And then, force feeding him baby food when he quit eating all together.  We took him to the vet, and they couldn’t find anything wrong, and then took him back to the vet, and for an ultrasound. And, they still didn’t see much wrong…a kidney infection, but his numbers weren’t bad.  Ugh…poor kitty.  They gave him pain pills and antibiotics and different food, and he seemed a little better for about a day.  They were going to give him a feeding tube, which was a little more invasive than I wanted to sign up for, but if for some reason getting him to eat was the key to him getting better, I wanted to give him that chance. But then he started to have trouble breathing. We took him back to the vet, and she let us know that there was something pretty bad going on – brain tumor, advanced heart disease, or both. None of which are good. She offered to send us to a specialist, but, what would come of that?  Torture him a little longer to find something we can’t fix?  No, that’s not right. So, we made the tough decision to let him go.  Which, was awful, but the vet was wonderful.  Seven Hills Vet in diamond heights. Highly recommend. Highly. The vet called later that night to let us know she was thinking about us.  Today, we received a card in the mail with a sweet note from the vet and a paw print from our kitty. Very touching and very nice.

Then we were off for the holidays!  Somehow, we flew first class to buffalo – I’m still not sure how we swung that, but it sure was nice. It was nice to get home and see the family and extended family, really busy though. Lots of people to see, but it was a good time. I did have a bottle of wine crack/burst/something in my suitcase, luckily, it didn’t escape the plastic bag it was in. We also ordered a bunch of stuff – coats, pants, etc. for our trip after consulting with Brian’s uncle. Getting excited about that….other than having to buy a bunch more stuff. Fun, but ugh….

Work wasn’t that crazy, what was it I said….an alert a day keeps the boredom away…haha. A couple of fire drills at odd times, who doesn’t love working at 3am ;).  But, it’s been fun, and I had a really good store visit while I was there. However, I am looking forward to some time to relax.

And, now 2013 is coming to a close.  Where did it go?  It really doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that I was eagerly awaiting the departure of 2012, and  announcing that 2013 was going to be the best year ever. I had goals, wishes, things I was going to accomplish.  Did it all happen?  No, but…I do feel like I’m in a better place than I have been the past couple of years. It must be all about a positive outlook.

So, what was 2013?  It was a year of a second ironman, which I still didn’t finish….it was the year where one of my neighbors tried to blow up the apartment building, nothing like hanging out in the street all afternoon..the Jetta exploded and now we have another car payment….it was the year my first pet died, and I’m sure the year of plenty of other things I don’t care to revisit.

However, it was also the year I turned 30 and had one hell of a party. It was a year where I presented a paper at not one, but two conferences.  It was a year where I got to visit and find my way in Germany and had so much fun doing so. I visited a lot of places – Colorado, Louisville, Raleigh, Chicago, Arizona, Bremen, Hamburg, and I’m sure there are others.  I met up with a lot of friends, both near and far, and realized I know some pretty amazing people. I heard Hillary Clinton speak and saw Kelly Clarkson sing.  I discovered the headlands, and know I will always have a place to lose myself.  I bought a bright green car because I could and drove it home blaring Katy
Perry’s Roar. It was the year I finally got to walk across the stage at USF, something three and a half years in the making. It was a great year, for these reasons and more. But, I’m ready to turn the page.

So, here’s to 2014 – here’s to new adventures and getting back in shape.  Here’s to Everest basecamp and a Rhone river cruise.  Here’s to more free time and finding something to do with it all.  Here’s to another exciting year that’s better than the last.

Best Coworkers and Team Ever!

Quick blog post, because I have the best coworkers and team.  I returned to work after the weekend and two days of PTO, and really feeling like I needed a weekend to recover from my weekend.

As I came down the hallway, towards my desk, I saw what looked like the edge of a congratulations banner.  What I found, and continued to find all day, was so much more.  There was a banner, and balloons, and tinsel, and confetti stars. Who could forget the confetti stars.  No one…and for years to come, no one.  Since they’re all over the building. Literally.  Haha…

Megan told me I had to work all day with the confetti and stars….so of course I did…mad it was a blast!

People came to visit and say congrats all day…my team, my department, my friend Ed, cross functional business partners.  And, every time I came back to my desk, it seemed like something else had shown up – flowers from Kimiko, wine from Lauren….Marie brought brownies and cookies…a card from my entire team.  So nice, and a fabulously unexpected surprise….and I’m sure others had a hand it.  I’m so glad I work with all of you and thank you all so much.

In other news, the vet called….kitty’s tests are normal. Which is good, but he’s still sick. Poor guy.  But, he goes back for some antibiotics tomorrow, as well as some X-rays. Hopefully that helps, he’s a good, nice, cat, and I hope they can help him.

Until next time….

Graduation Weekend!

So, great weekend…I’m not really sure where to begin, and on some level, I still can’t believe it’s over.

My parents got to town on Thursday night, and our friends from San Diego got here Friday. It was great to see them, and I’m so glad they were able to come.  

I bought a dress on Black Friday, so I was excited to wear that…of course it’s orange and pink, and they recommend dark colors for under the regalia. Oops….haha.  My parents and brother brought a necklace and a charm.  Which was perfect, since I couldn’t find one to wear, that worked with the dress.  So, I wore the necklace, and can’t wait to wear the charm.  Kevin picked it out – it’s a heart with the Japanese symbol for love on it.  He looked forever, and chose that one, since it would mean something to me since I love to travel and loved Japan so much.  

We took two cars over, which was a little nerve wracking, since we only had one parking pass, and parking for classes over there was always challenging.  We passed the barrier in front of the church, and it made me smile.  I’m sure it was annoying to anyone not involved with graduation, but I enjoyed seeing the no parking, special USF event banners in front of the church.  Luckily, there was a ceremony that had just gotten out, so we were able to find two spots pretty close together, and close to where we needed to be.  

Once we arrived, I headed over to the library where they had asked us to meet, and the family went to get in line to get seats. We were supposed to be in the library by 5:45, but that time quickly came and went, and we weren’t really sure why we were there so early.  It did give me some time to catch up with the people I knew, and there were more than I thought there would be, so that was nice.  I was also able to have one of the Josten’s guys fix the hood on my regalia, that was nice too.  Finally, at 6:20, we were ushered out into the cold to line up.  We still didn’t really know what was going on.  Luckily, they got us in some from of a line pretty quickly, and through the grounds and into the church we went. 

The processional was cool.  I found my family and got to wave, yes, it was like I was five again.  Haha.  We got to watch the faculty come in, and it was cool to see them in regalia. They all had different stuff and outfits and hats on.  Not sure what it meant, but still cool.  The Dean’s assistant sang the national anthem, wow…she had a great voice.  Then the dean and the Prevost said a few words, Prof Yang, who I wrote the paper with, did the opening prayer.  There were two student speakers, and then the honorary doctorate was awarded.  I don’t remember much about her, other than she centered her speech around labor unions in Guatemala. Perfect for a class of business students…..

Then the Prevost did the presentation of the graduates, congratulated the class of 2012, and told us to move our tassels. Yes, you did read 2012 right.  Funny thing, my family didn’t notice it, but all the students did….

Walking up to get my diploma was pretty surreal, and over way faster than I wanted it to be.  Once they read through the undergrads (thankfully, it’s December and there weren’t many of them)., they started the grad students. As we walked up, they took two photos of us.  The whole thing happened really quickly and we were pushed and pulled in multiple directions – stand in the right spot…fix the tassel and hood, etc.  Then we were up, up the stairs, card to the attendant, and walk across the stage. Or get pushed across the stage. It was a little crazy. The guy collecting the cards with our names on them was  telling everyone to keep moving and pushing them forward. Then when I got to the Prevost handing out the diploma cases, he shook my hand, and pulled me forward faster.  It was fine, but I do wish I’d had a second to enjoy the moment. But, my professor was on stage, along with another that I really liked, so it was cool to say hello (albeit quickly).  Once I shook the Prevost’s 
hand and made it down the stairs on the other side, I followed the directions from volunteers around 
the church and back to my seat. I couldn’t believe I had really graduated. And I was pretty sure the smile was going to freeze on my face.  We patiently waited for everyone else to have their rushed moment – and placed bets on whether or not they would shove the baby carrying guy across the stage – they did….

The ending speeches and prayers went pretty quickly, even with one of them in Chinese. The Prevost joked about how he’d given us the most expensive Christmas gift we’d ever get….haha, kind of funny, but not really.  He also pulled out a Santa hat and joked about how he should have worn that with his graduation garb.  It was one of those hats where the top flips back and forth. That was pretty funny.  Then, it was over and the recessional had begun.  We went out a side door, so were out in the courtyard pretty fast, and it was crazy.  So many people everywhere….students trying to find families, families trying to find students….and of course, I had no idea where my family was.  Picking a meeting place may not have been a bad idea.

I did run into one of my professors, Stackman, so that was cool.  He said congratulations and did this cool bow thing. Then, I realized it was cold and getting dark, and I should find my family.  I went around to the front of the church, thinking they might be there, or inside.  But, they were kicking people out of the church, so I decided to wait at the top of the steps – they’d find me eventually. And they did.  Sylvia found me shortly after I stopped there, and took me back around to where everyone was. Brian had flowers for me, and everyone had hugs.  We quickly decided to head to dinner and take pictures there, since we were short on time and it was dark out. My friend Mark gave me a pen on our way home.  A nice, fancy, handmade pen….very cool.

We took the cars home and Uber(ed) to dinner.  Uber is great, similar to a cab, but way cleaner and faster. We had dinner at 7 Hills – a nob hill restaurant owned by one of our friends, and our go to for special occasions. As is typical, they didn’t disappoint. They have an appetizer that I really like, a ravioli uvo thing. They only had two left that day, and they were saving them for us…so delicious.  We toasted with champagne, had good food, and good wine…and some port, and overall had a good time with awesome family and friends.  And, I wore the grad garb for the entire thing….haha…I had intended to pull it off, but we needed photos, and then it was an additional layer in the cold. Kind of like a giant blanket. 

In other news, our old kitty has pretty much stopped eating. No fun, but hopefully the vet can help figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. We should hear from her early this week, and will go from there. Hopefully it’s something easy to fix.