Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting Ready

Yes, it has been a while since I last posted. I have been spending my time reading some books and thinking about stuff.

I have decided to not post as much. I want to go from quantity to quality. I want to slow down and savor life. There are lots of things that I would rather be out doing than sitting here trying to recount my day. If I were a more interesting person, doing more interesting things, maybe it would be worth it. But on a daily basis, I’m just not that interesting of a person.

I’m still going to continue blogging, because I have some genuinely interesting projects coming up, just expect a post once a week. I definitely recommend adding me to your Google reader, so my updates will come to you, instead of you checking my site daily for updates.

If you’re interested in reading my random thoughts throughout the day, you can follow me on Twitter. It’s easy to sign up and easy to use. If you don’t want to get sucked into it, you can read my tweets from here on my blog directly. It’s up to you.

This past Tuesday, December 16th, has been 5 weeks without Coke. Personally, I am amazed. I would normally have caved by now. I still feel strong in my resolve. I wish what has been my influence came years ago. I think a friend from my past, Kara, would be proud. I haven’t had any conventional candy bars either. So far I’ve only had one chocolate bar that fit the bill. It was free trade, organic, and didn’t contain HFCS. Oh, almost forgot, haven’t had any potato or corn chips either. It sounds like I’ve gone quite militant, n’est-ce pas? Maybe I have, maybe not. Blame REI, blame Michael Pollan, blame that I’m a liberal, blame turning 35, or blame not making it to the top of Half Dome. Blame all of the above, or none of the above. I don’t think the reason matters much to me, quite honestly. All I know right now is that I’m having some surprising results. J This hasn’t come all of a sudden out of the blue. It’s been growing little by little for some time now. Part of it is the slowing down.

I had started telling a story about myself, but I removed it because it wasn’t really necessary. I spoke of growing up in the 80’s and never learning to make tortillas from scratch. Basically I was posing a theory that I had sabotaged my future eating habits growing up because I had refused to learn how to cook.

So what projects do I have coming up worth sharing? The Half Dome rematch is a big one. I still haven’t determined a date. May feels too early, August too hot. I like the thought of early June, but I know that June and July are the busiest months to hike Half Dome. I just want to make sure that I won’t have to worry about another storm on the horizon.

I mentioned this next one before, as I was contemplating even attempting it. I have made up my mind, and I have made the commitment: I have joined a LiveSTRONG challenge team. I have committed to raising $1,107.01 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and I will finally (FINALLY) be riding in my first century. (I’ve only ridden metrics in the past). In case some of you are wondering why such an odd amount of money, it’s because my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer on 11/07/01. The ride takes place during July in San Jose. I wish Lance could be there, but I’m pretty sure he won’t because he’ll be in France riding in Le Tour. Don’t panic yet-- I plan on waiting until after this holiday season before I start my passionate plea for your money.

Oh, and that thing that I wrote of previously, I have decided NOT to do it. I can’t. It’s just way too personal. I sense the contradiction in that statement, I’m blogging about my life for potentially all the world to see, yet wanting to maintain a sense of privacy. It’s times like this that I’m relieved that less than ten people read my blog. (And that’s on a good day)

There is one last thing, but I can’t talk about it just yet. It wouldn’t be prudent. If you are my friend on Facebook, you already know. I promise all will be revealed as soon as I think it is acceptable to do so. Definitely sometime in January, I think.

That is all I have for now.

Love, Yvette

Monday, November 24, 2008


How are you? I'm doing okay. Nothing major going on. This past Saturday I put in some hours at REI. Felt really good to be wearing my green vest again. I missed that place. It's my peeps. REI is genuinely the best retail job I have ever had. I do have to admit that I might not feel the same way if REI was my only job, the one I rely on for my livelyhood. Since I don't rely on that job, it's not really a job. No stress, nothing to take home, I leave the job at the job. I go in, I be myself- that friendly person you all know and love: I sing, I dance, I laugh, I help customers, I share experiences with them. I love asking my customers where they are going. Talking shop, I suppose. It's great, I love it.

I spent two weeks ago in Porterville. Good time to catch up on my reading. I read a very good book about the origin of some of the foods we eat in Omnivore's Dilemma. I definitely will be doing more research on what I read.

Early last week I was working in Merced at the Cancer Center, and Friday I worked at the Treatment Center in Porterville. Now those of you who are my Facebook friends and/or follow me on Twitter, you heard that I had lunch with a certain doctor. Yes, it's true I did have lunch with him, but my sin of omission was that I was not the only one he took to lunch. There was five of us all together. I would not have minded having lunch alone with him, but alas, it was not to be.

It's time to pull out the bike again. I've been invited to participate in a LiveSTRONG Challenge. A century bike ride in July that is a fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I want to do it. But I'm scared. Not of the 100 miles. I'll be able to do that defintely. It's the fund raising part that scares me. Those skills suck. So if I do decide to do it, please look kindly and favorably on my pathetic plea for your money. If you also see me out on the loop (up Auberry, down Friant) say hi and throw out some encouraging words for a fellow cyclist.

That's pretty much it. Getting ready for Thanksgiving. I'm baking my yams again. The kids love it. It's all the high-fructose corn syrup that goes in it. This will most likely be my last year baking yams because I'm on an anti-high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) kick right now and I'm massively reducing my intake. It's been very hard since it's nearly in everything that isn't raw food (fruits, veggies, meats/seafood). One good thing that's come out of this is that I haven't had a Coke in almost 13 days. Amazing since I am a serious Coke fiend and it has been my biggest single weakness in every attempt to lose weight over these years. Another amazing thing is that I am currently not even tempted in the slightest. Even another amazing thing is that in these past almost 13 days, I have lost weight, without really trying. The things that make you go hmmmm.

Okay, I'm out. Off to Merced again tomorrow. Going to be doing some casefinding at the path lab.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!

Love, Yvette

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Quick and Dirty

The main reason I am giving you the quick and dirty update is because I'm going out of town next week for work and I will be gone all week. Good thing cats are easier to leave with a sitter than kids!!!

Work has been busy. Every October is a major reporting deadline. Hospitals report to the central registry (me), we report to the state registry, the state reports to the feds in Washington D.C.- okay, technically Virginia. So, since Half Dome I've been working with my head down trying to get all my cases in before what is known as a "call for data". It's the first step in all studies and trials. That is over and now we start a whole new cycle of investigation for the new reporting year.

Halloween was a blast. My costume this year was Ugly Betty. I sooooo rocked the costume. For those of you that don't know, my family takes Halloween very seriously. We plan our costumes months in advance. This is how serious we are. I am already thinking of what I want to be next year. I have to think of several possibilities because I won't know exactly what my situation will be next year. I might be single, I might have a boyfriend, I won't know until then. We have a costume contest with prizes, and I have found that partner costumes fair better than an individual costume. I actually won a prize this year! I won third place. Second place was Granny and Jed from the Beverly Hillbillies, and first place was Mr & Mrs Homie the clown. Their schtick was hilarious. This year was a pretty good year for me because I ended up wearing my costume for three parties. I've never gone that many before. It would have been one more, but my shift at REI was cut.

Speaking of REI, business has been slow, so I have had zero hours. I'm not hurting for money, but I am a little bummed that I'm not earning any Christmas money for gifts just yet. I'm certain once we get into the Christmas season my hours will pick up. I miss my co-workers. I'm pretty much there to hang out with all my friends than to actually earn some money. One of my co-workers has left to take a position at our Encinitas store. I will miss her, but I'm excited about the potential future road trips. Of course this is a huge leap of faith on my part. My car does not like to drive south. It only knows how to drive north, but I have friends down in LA I miss and want to see them soon. Especially before Jenny's wedding date!

Back to Half Dome. It's going to be a reoccuring theme in this blog. I should just rename my blog The Blossom and the Half Dome :) I have a tentative date set for August 2009, but it will all really come down to when campsites are available. I want definite summer, so storms won't be as much of an issue, and later so the water level is low enough that the Mist Trail won't be so Misty and therefore slippery. I will keep you posted as that develops.

I thought I was going to have to cancel my gym membership but it turned out that I didn't have to. I'm glad because I'm going to train right this time, and I really do still want to make it to the top of the climbing wall. I don't know why, but I just do. I may never make it out to do trad climbing out in nature, but at least I want to have some climbing skills.

This kind of brings me to a new topic so to speak I'm contemplating bringing to my blog. Key word CONTEMPLATING. This thought absolutely terrifies me. Two of my favorite blogs are Fat Cyclist and Ragamuffin Soul. Both of these blogs have tackled the weight issue. The original goal of Fat Cyclist was to chronical Elden's (aka Fatty) effort from going from a fat cyclist to a thin one. He called this tool humiliation. Carlos at Ragamuffin Soul recently renamed his weight loss topic Ragamuffintop Challenge. Carlos called this tool public accountability. Sounds less painful but just as vulnerable.

I don't know, it's a terrifying prospect. It scares me on several levels. One, that I have to admit to all the weight I gained over the last ten years. Two, what if it's not enough and I'm just not disciplined enough to do this. I've already failed at Weight Watchers twice. But... there is so much I miss: *insert heavy sigh here* I miss dancing, terribly. Oh you cannot imagine how much I miss it. I don't need to quit my jobs and move to New York and audition for a company. If I was physically able to take a class once a week, be it ballet or modern, it would feel so wonderful to move like that again. To express, to emote, like that. Words- and grammar- don't come easily to me. I can't find words to express what are whole thoughts in my head, which is why I talk so flipping much. I'm better with body language which is why my emotions are so transparent. Yes, I'm rambling.

Okay, back on subject. Another thing I can't help thinking about is the fact that I wanted to lose twenty pounds for Half Dome and didn't. I keep thinking that had I been disciplined enough to lose the weight, it would have made me fast enough to make it to the summit. It's an agonizing what-if. I love dancing and I love hiking and I love facing my fear at the climbing wall. I hate that my body is not able to do what my spirit wants to do. On a side note it also really sucks that I don't fit into any of the clothes I sell at REI. Our largest sizes in the store are a 14-16. Extended sizes are available online for the REI brand clothes but it's not on all items. But I want to wear the other brands too.

Well that's pretty much what's going on with me. Oh, wait. I forgot something. After Half Dome I went to the California Academy of Sciences. It’s a really cool place if you’ve never heard of it before. It’s a natural history museum, an aquarium, a planetarium, and now they’ve added a rainforest exhibit. Back in September CAS reopened after having a new building built. It’s green and very recycled, and I love it. I have pictures, but I haven’t been able to get around to formatting them. Well, I’m going back tomorrow, because I really like the place, and I’m taking my niece Sarah with me. I’m excited because I love sharing educational stuff with “my kids” even though it goes in one ear and out the other-- Proof they are my sister’s kids and not my own.

Here’s a Halloween picture of me as Ugly Betty:

Love, Yvette

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Of Course I Asked For It

An interesting thing happened on the way to work today. I stopped by my 7-11 that's right around the corner from my office to pick up a cup of coffee and a newspaper. As I was serving my yummy cherry cappucino I could hear a dude complaining about the outcome of the presidential election. I wasn't paying attention to what he was saying, but he was upset and therefore loud, so it was hard to ignore him. All I heard was: "Blah blah blah... I can't believe Florida voted for him... blah blah blah... He has ties to the Russian mafia... blah blah blah... People just fell for it because he's charismatic... blah blah blah"

I felt really sorry for the cashier, poor girl. The guy looked like the type that would stand there and talk her ear off until someone told him to stop. An object in motion will stay in motion until acted upon by an external, unbalanced force. And, quite frankly, she looked like the type of girl who didn't want to be rude and ask him to stop.

I guess that would make me the unbalanced force. Unbalanced force- yup sounds just like me ;)

So I put my stuff on the counter in front of him, forcing him to step back from the counter. I said in my uber-polite voice (The voice I use when I'm trying to sweet-talk my way into an uncooperative doctor's medical records), "I'm sorry, but I have to get to work." He said, "That's okay, I understand, I have to get to work too." He talked through my entire transaction, but I wasn't listening. He ended with, "You have a good day sweetheart." I turned to him, flashed him my awesome smile and said, "I will, because it's a beautiful day." Before I got to the door, I turned to him -- and yes, this is where I asked for it-- I said, "Don't be a sore loser, it's not cool" then walked out the door.

Of course the dude followed suit. As I was unlocking my door he said to me, "If I were a sore loser, I'd probably call you a bitch right now, but I'm not." To which I replied still in my nicey-nice voice, "You just did. Have a good day sir, and God bless you." To that we both got in our vehicles and drove away.

Yeah, uhm, wow.

Love, Yvette

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hi! I'm Back!!!

Starting on a tanget. Bones isn't on tonight, so I'm watching Pushing Daisies. It's cute!

Man oh man! It has been a million years since Half Dome, it feels. It has been a challenge to return to my life. Truthfully, it has been a challenge to return to my life. I came back a mess, somewhat in pieces, because I didn't make it to the top. Fortunately, I came back in big pieces, not shattered, so I know I can be put back together again.

I know life is full of color; but sometimes I get stuck in black and white thinking. Half Dome was one of those moments. Do or do not- there is no try. I did not go up to Yosemite to try hiking Half Dome. I went up there to do it. Failure was not an option on the table. Yes, there was fear, but it was fear of failure more than anything else to be afraid of. More than my fear of heights, spiders, and blue M&Ms. I would have eaten a whole bag of blue M&Ms and stepped on a spider (I can't kill spiders, I have to be rescued) if would have avoided me my epic fail. The fact that the last 400 feet (the cables) are the scariest and most dangerous part of the hike goes to show that I was willing to fight through my fear of heights to get'er done.

There's more to be said, but Criminal Minds is coming on and tonight's episode has Wil Wheaton in it.

But don't worry, I'm okay. What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger. I'm already working on a plan, for Half Dome 2: The Rematch! :)

Love, Yvette

PS- My Yosemite pictures are up. They suck, but they are there. Take a peak if you haven't already. Hit my Flickr link!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


My whole two pictures from my Half Dome trip are up at Flickr now. Check it out. Link is on my list on the right ----->

Love, Yvette

PS- Hub sighting on Sunday. I saw Vera Guerrero from high school!! Her name is Kennedy now, but she looks pretty much exactly the same!

Monday, October 6, 2008

First/Last Glance

Yeah,yeah, yeah, I'm still thinking about it. I will be for a while. A bad thing, because I like to obsess. A good thing, because it shows me that I haven't given up. I will try again, and I will make it to the top.

Through the hike, all I could see was the backside of Half Dome. Coming around a bend, this was the first glance of Half Dome from the side. When I got to my stopping point, I did not want to take any pictures. I did not want any documentation of my failure. On my way back down, I started cooling down, and when I returned to this particular bend, I changed my mind.

So this picture is a picture of a little further back than as far as I had gone.

Love, Yvette

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sorry For the Communications Blackout

My cell phone epic failed me on this trip. I could only squeeze out one tweet, and I wasn't 100% sure it went through.

So in a nutshell, I did not make it. Missed it by that much. For those of you familar with the trail, I had my epic fail at the base of the final staircase. About a mile from the very top. I felt totally tapped, and I still had to make it back down. I had hiked for about 8.5 hours already, and regardless of where I stopped, it was still only half way. And to make things more hopeless, there was a storm rolling in. So unless I totally booked it - which I absolutely could not- I wouldn't be able to beat the storm to the summit.

I'm just giving you a recap, I need time to recover physically and emotionally. The emotionally part, those of you who know me can remember how upset I get when I do not have a favorable outcome. And unfortunately, there are very few picture of the trip. I'm just glad I came home with my camera. I wanted to chuck it over the side of the mountain.

Love, Yvette

Thursday, October 2, 2008

One Day and Counting. I'm

One Day and Counting. I'm out of here. Wishes and prayers, please.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Two Days and Counting....

Just before 10am. Everything looks good and promising.

Just before 4pm things get iffy again.

Depending on how my action list goes tomorrow, this may be my last post before my journey. I would love to finish my countdown, but I have a lot of things to accomplish tomorrow morning.

The weather has me nervous. There is no guarantee of good weather. If the weather is bad, we won't hike. Man o man, I do not want to imagine how disappointed I will be if that happens. It's supposed to rain on Saturday, hard. That is going to be fun, but I admit I would be willing to put up with some Saturday rain in exchange for a beautiful Friday.

Another slight bummer is that I'm not taking my tent. :( Since we have limited space available in our campsites, I've agreed to share a big tent with others. Boo.

I can't believe the time has come. I can't believe it's already here. These past 3 months have flown by so fast, it crazy. I'm excited, and to a certain degree I still can't believe it's actually happening. Maybe part of me thought that I would never actually do it. I still don't quite believe it. It will start feeling real to me tomorrow when I'm in the Valley.

So just in case you don't hear from me tomorrow, wish me luck, and say a prayer for me. I'm going to need all the help I can get. :)

Love, Yvette

I Love You Tube

Amy and Jenny, this one's for you!

Love, Yvette

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Three Days and Counting....

At least the sky is improving. Top picture is at 12:30 this afternoon. I've been checking the park site and NOAA, things should definitely be clearer by Friday. I'm getting soooooooo excited!!!!!!
This bottom picture is at 3:45 this afternoon. It's looking good. Wow, I can't believe we're at three days!!!! Sigh, I'm excited.

Today I made a promise to Carlos, owner of my favorite Half Dome video, that if I made it to the base of the cables, that I would continue on. It's a promise that I really want to keep.

I feel that as my days are winding down, that my posts are getting lamer and lamer. They are. It's because I am running out of things to say. Do you have any questions for me? I guess if you want, you can ask me any questions about my trip and I'll try to answer before I go. I really can't think of anything else.

Love, Yvette

Monday, September 29, 2008

Four Days and Counting....

See this picture? This is a web cam shot from today!!!! Not cool, not cool. This sucks. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. If we have clouds like this on Friday, chances are we won’t hike. There is no ascending the cables in inclement weather. Lightning strikes Half Dome every month of the year. People have died up there from ascending when they should not have. So the sun better shine on Friday!!!!

In 99% unrelated news, it’s been one year this past Saturday (9/27) that I found Carlos’ Half Dome you tube video. It was a year ago that I first voiced (to you) my desire to hike Half Dome. I think that’s kind of cool.

In 115% unrelated news I thinks it’s kind of strange that I know four Carlos’.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. Yesterday I got an employee appreciation award at REI. (Read: employee of the month) Not too shabby, eh?

Love, Yvette

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Five Days and Counting....

Getting closer, getting closer!!! Had my meeting tonight, we worked on organizing campsites, car pooling, timing and plans. As of today, the cables are still up. My friend who was on the ledge is still in. Now it's packing time! Woo-Hoo!!!

Love, Yvette

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Six Days and Counting

This is my wonderful cat. I love her so much. Here she is showing me how much she loves me by clawing my arm. She's like that. Okay, I just didn't have any good Yosemite pictures left to show you.

We have a trip meeting tomorrow because there's a few of us going, so we need to coordinate. Getting excited! Need to start my food shopping!

One of my friends who's on this trip is out on the ledge right now. I'm doing my best to keep her from backing out. I know just how she's feeling.

Unfortunately, the weather is now making me nervous. According to NPS, the cables stay up on the condition of good weather until October 14. So, if the weather changes, they can pull them down earlier. Tonight's weather report implied rain to the east of us. I don't know what that means for us. So please keep your fingers crossed for me that the cables stay up. Thanks! :)

Love, Yvette

Friday, September 26, 2008

Seven Days and Counting....

In only seven days, this will be accomplished. I'm starting to get really excited. So excited that my pinky fingers are tingly. I can't explain it, when I get excited and nervous my pinkies tingle, and when I get really upset my thumbs get tingly. Well today it's all about the pinkies!

Around noon today, I was looking at the clock on the wall of my office. I was thinking to myself, "In a week, at this time, I'll be at the top of Half Dome." It's an exhilarating idea. I'm excited about finally going for it. Finally. Over ten years in the making. Not quite 15 years, but definitely over 10.

I've been reading though a book these last few days- and no, not the Half Dome book. This book is one from the Dan Millman series. There was a phrase in the book that strikes as very relevant as I'm embarking on this journey and its deluge of emotion. It goes like this: "The only time you have a chance to show courage, is when you're afraid." Makes sense, because it reminds me of a similar quote that I cannot remember it exactly. "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the acting in spite of it". I guess if you're not afraid, it's not courage.

Well, I'll definitely have the opportunity to show courage. :)

Okay, bed time. I'm tired.

Love, Yvette

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Eight Days and Counting....

Before I start today's post, if you haven't done this yet, please re-read yesterday's post and then read the comment. I was pretty surprised. Wow.

Today has been a good day. Good stuff going on and it was a good distraction from my usually scheduled Half Dome drama.

This evening I had dinner with an old school friend, and surprisingly, I did not talk her ear off about Half Dome. When I came home, I watched the season premiers of two of my favorite shows: Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. Loved them both!!!!

Oh, and in other excellent news, my favorite natural history museum is reopening this weekend. The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco has gone under a big, big renovation. After Half Dome, I plan on taking a visit first chance I get :)

LOL, okay, I'm not quite drama-free this post. Every paragraph, including this one, includes the words Half Dome. Oh the insanity! Sigh, I tried.

Love, Yvette

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nine Days and Counting....

Okay, I had a moment of weakness today. I temporarily crawled back out on the ledge durning my lunch.

I bought a book about Half Dome back in June after I found out that I would be doing the hike. It's a really good book and I recommend it for any first time ascenders. (free plug here) The book is called One Best Hike by Rick Deutsch. It goes over preparation and what to expect on the hike. I read the sections on history and preparation, but I put the book down before reading the other sections. Being so close to game day, I decided that it would be prudent to finish the rest of the book.

Today while my lunch buddies had an always awesome lunch at Casa Corona, I went to Fajita Fiesta. I've come to really love their roasted chicken plate from their lunch menu. I highly recommend it. If you like garlic, there is a garlic chicken version. Exquisito! It's diced garlic, so the chunks are big enough for me to pick them off and eat them straight. :) I love garlic. Anyways, I brought OBH with me to read while I consumed my garlic with chicken.

I read through all the sections: Trailhead to bridge- Mist Trail- Vernal Fall- Silver Apron Bridge- Nevada Fall- Little Yosemite Valley- The Split- Little Spring. The next section is where I got myself into trouble. View of Half Dome and Sub Dome. Oh, I forgot to mention that the book has pictures. Well I came across a picture that looks like this. I just linked to the picture because it didn't feel right to copy and paste it since it's not my own picture. The vertigo commenced surreptitiously, then exploded into full on "Ledge Mode". You guys get that I'm afraid of heights, right? Well, what got me worried was the thought that if a picture of Sub Dome made my head spin, what would actually being in front of Sub Dome do to me? Not a pleasant thought at all :(

Explaining Sub Dome: Sub Dome is the right shoulder of Half Dome. The top of Sub Dome is the base of the cables. What looks like tiny bushes on Sub Dome are actually full sized trees and there is a series of narrow switchbacks going up to the top. According to the book, over 800 steps, oh, and no railing. Yeeeaaaah.

I worried through the rest of my lunch and for about an hour afterwards, then I was able to calm myself down. I'll get through it, I will. Ha, with all this drama I'm putting in my head, someone might think that the hike isn't worth it. I believe it is. Totally.

Love, Yvette

PS- If you're at all considering hiking Half Dome, I highly recommend Rick's book. I'm pretty sure you can find it here. ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

10 Days and Counting....

Today is my last day of double-digit counting. Still nervous, still excited. Now it's time to start getting all my stuff together, making food lists, making sure I'm familar with all my new equipment, i.e. water filter and tent. In my training I never made it to the top of the climbing wall. It's okay though, even though I haven't made it to the top yet, I did gain some vertical confidence. That is more important to me at this time- I'll need it on the cables.
On a tangent, fall is here. I love autumn, it's my favorite season of the year. I love the changing of the leaves, and how the sky starts turning slightly orange in the late afternoon. I like how it stops being so flipping hot and it becomes enjoyable to be outside in Fresno again. When the weather gets just like this, I start to want to ride my bike again. I really want to ride my bike this week, but I don't want to jeopardize my trip by crashing or pulling a vital muscle.
Hopefully, once Half Dome is put to bed, I can turn my focus back to the wall and back to my bike. It will be nice.
Love, Yvette

Monday, September 22, 2008

11 days and counting….

CAVEAT: If you have no interest in hearing about Half Dome you should avoid my blog at all cost until around October 8th. It’s pretty much all I’m going to be talking about from here until the trip is over and sufficiently documented.

For the record, I am no longer on the ledge. Thank you Steve, and all my other friends for your kind and encouraging words.

Of course, once again, I am at a loss for words. I think that being at home gives me writer’s block or something.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Half Dome (duh) and this whole thing is turning comic to me. I’ve wanted to hike this piece of rock for over ten years. What has always held me back was the fact that I was out of shape and over weight. I always told myself that I was going to get serious about getting back down to (at least close to) my dancing weight. I was going to train serious and get some hiking skills.

It never happened.

Now, in eleven days, I am going to attempt this thing. I will at least go further than I have ever attempted to go before, and I am in the absolute worst shape of my life! I am embarrassed to admit I weigh the most I have ever weighed ever. Working two jobs, I am the least active I have ever been. And here I am, going to do what I feel is the physically hardest thing I have ever done so far in my life. This is going to be harder than my previous metric centuries (62 mile bike rides)

Of course now I have this crazy paradox going on in my head. I want to only think positive, think success. I visualize myself on top of that rock, crying tears of happiness (you know me, big crybaby), dancing on top of my world (for now), singing Solsbury Hill. At the same time, I want to assure myself that if I don’t make it all the way, it’s not the end of the world. Yet, I feel that telling myself that, I’m sabotaging myself and setting myself up for failure. So, having said that, I CAN do this, I WILL make it to the top (and back down).

In my moments of weakness, I am scared. I am going to go semi-nerd on you for a second. I cannot accurately describe the scene because I am not a Ringer, but if you’ve seen Return of the King, you should be able to piece it together and get what I am trying to say. It’s the scene where Theodin and the army come to the aid of the city of Gondor. The army comes over the ridge and looks down on the freaking huge Orc army laying waste to the city. The emotion I am talking about is the look you see on Eowyn’s and Merry’s faces. The look that clearly says, “Dear God in Heaven what the heck did I get myself into?” The look that says I want to turn and run away, and run away fast, but all the exits have been removed. After that look, Eowyn puts her arm around Merry and tells him, “Courage Merry, courage for our friends.” To me that statement says it all. It says, “we’re scared, but we’re going in anyways”. That’s exactly how I feel about this. I am scared, but I am going in anyways.

Yes, I know I am being melodramatic. That’s what I do. But you also know that you cannot roll your eyes at me and call me a drama queen because that will piss me off and I’ll go all Raiders on you and burn down your house. So just put your arm around me and say, “There there now, everything will be alright.”

I’ve created a special Half Dome playlist to give me inspiration as I am mentally preparing myself. It is music to inspire me to keep moving on my hike when I feel like I don’t have the energy to continue. I’ve even made a playlist I titled Panic Button, for if I should hit that brick wall. Unlike really hard bike rides, there are no rest stops with helpful volunteers willing to refill your water bottles, and DEFINITELY no broom wagon to carry you back to the start when your body can’t go anymore. Well, there is someone who can come get you, but later you’ll get a bill in the mail for $20,000+ for the use of the medi-vac helicopter. All the food I will eat in 12-14 hours I’ll be carrying myself, and I will be carrying a water filter with me for when (not if) I need more water. For those of you who are not familiar with the route, the only source of safe water is at the bridge below Vernal Falls, 0.8mi into the hike. When more is needed, it must be filtered from the Merced River.

So, in conclusion of this evening’s rant, I share with you my playlist and my favorite youtube video of the hike.

Half Dome Playlist
Dare You To Move- Switchfoot
Viva la Vida- Coldplay (yes, I know the lyrics are sad, but the music is upbeat)
Alive- P.O.D.
Don’t Stop Believin’- Journey
Solsbury Hill- Peter Gabriel
Right Now- Van Halen
Beautiful Day- U2
Don’t Break This Rhythm- Peter Gabriel
Where the Streets Have No Name- U2
Red Warrior- The Last Samurai- Hans Zimmer

Love, Yvette

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Someone Please Talk Me Down Off the Ledge

17 days until Half Dome

I am not ready.

Tomorrow I am hiking up to Nevada Falls. Not for a training hike, but to see how bad it's going to be for me.

I'm scared.

I'm scared and I'm upset with myself for not being ready.

I keep telling myself that it's about the journey, not the destination.
(but I want the destination)

Maybe I'll feel different on Thursday.

I just hope I bring enough water. I should start drowning my kidneys now.

Love, Yvette

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!

Okay, it's not New Year's to you, but it's definitely a new year for me. There's been a shift that feels like a year in the making. Instead of mourning the time behind me (The years that felt like wasted years. The paths I took that I felt led me in the wrong directions. The milestones that I felt I should have marked, but didn't), I'm excited about the time in front of me. I'm excited about what I might learn, experience, accomplish in the next 365 days. This past year I've definitely let go of some heavy baggage, stuff that held me back from reaching my potential. I feel good, I feel lighter, I feel relieved.

Now, don't get me wrong. It hasn't been all that bad. In spite of past "shortcomings" and "failures", I do have a lot to be thankful for. And I am. It just that, usually, on my birthday I say "this is going the year that I finally get it right". Whatever "it" was supposed to be. I think my problem was that I didn't know what "it" was.

Now I'm laughing. This post has gotten too serious for the occasion. All I'm trying to say is that it's my birthday today. I'm happy and life is wonderful. It's my day to be silly, and I am. I'm wearing a crown at work, and I plan to wear it tonight at REI. Life is good.

Love, Yvette

PS- Check out my Flickr site. I uploaded a few of my pictures from San Fransisco and my first SEKI trip this year. The sets are not complete yet, but they will be.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Post Has No Title

While I was at work today, I had this post all written in my head. It was going to be awesome. You see, tomorrow is my 35th birthday. It’s a whole new chapter in my life. So I was going to reflect on the past and somewhat on what’s in my head.

Of course, the minute I got home from work, it all left me.

I’m looking forward to turning 35. I’m excited. I feel on the precipice of a new adventure. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Love, Yvette

PS- Tomorrow I'm going to keep an email open so I can jot things down as they come to me through out the day. Maybe that will help me hold on to my ideas.

Monday, September 8, 2008


And no, I'm not talking about a prostate-specific antigen test! ;)

My cousin John sent me this link. I think it's awesome, so I thought I would share it with you:

The Gratitude Campaign

Check it out.

By the way, on Friday I stood up to cancer. Did you?

Love, Yvette

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand Up To Cancer

On tonight at 8:00!!! Watch it!!!

Love, Yvette

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hub Sighting

I'm starting a new post label called REI is the Hub of the Universe and start logging all my sightings. Today I saw Louis.

Who is Louis?

When I was in the 7th and 8th grade, I went to Edison-Computech. I didn't stay there for high school because Hoover had the better band and I've been a band geek since Mr. Ayala handed me my first flute in the 4th grade.

Anyways, in the 7th grade I had Ms. Roberson for geography. Louis was her teacher's aide. He was an 8th grader. So essentially I haven't seen Louis since 1986 and I recognized him.

I am creepy, scary, and have serious stalker tendencies ;)

Love, Yvette

Back But Briefly

I forgot that I'm going to be out of the office and out of town for this week. Yup, back in P-Ville.

Today is Labor Day. I didn't have to go into the office today, but I am scheduled to work at REI in less than 30 minutes. Needless to say, I am already here, typing on the breakroom computer.

A year ago today, well, approximately--- Labor Day 2007, I entered my store for the first time. We were still under construction and the store was filled with fixtures and boxes of inventory. I spent this whole week having my front line training, and would spend the weekend and first part of next week stocking the store. We had our soft opening on my birthday, September 12th, and had our grand opening on September 14. You can read my memories here. Just scroll down to the very bottom and read your way up. I can't believe it's been a whole year already (sort-of). You know me, I'm sentimental.

In other news, I saw the movie Peaceful Warrior on Friday. Good movie in my opinion. Now the part that freaks me out: I can't remember where I heard about it. I remember seeing a print ad for the movie, but I can't remember where. I'm going through old magazines and I can't find any sign of it anywhere. I don't really know anybody who would see a movie like this and tell me about it, and I'm pretty darn sure that I read an ad for it. It's strange because I had no idea what it was about when I threw it on my queue many months ago. The movie was adapted from a book I have never read nor ever heard of. Two Saturdays ago (maybe three) I had a customer come through my line with a Peaceful Warrior hat on. Told him how I had wanted to see that movie, but it hadn't come up through my queue yet. He told me that he knew the author (who, at that time, I had no idea who he was). He said the book was more detailed and definitely worth reading. I told him that I would bump it up to the top of my queue so I could hurry up and see it so I could read the book (I will always try to see a movie first, books are SO much better). After that exchange, I promptly forgot about the whole thing and I never renumbered my queue. Friday after I got home from my shift at REI, I was going through my mail and spied the red envelope. I thought, "oh, I wonder what movie came in for me". Guess what movie it was. Yup, it was Peaceful Warrior. Strange coincidence, isn't it? Well, I was just going to watch the first 30 minutes of it while I was getting ready for bed, and I ended up starting the movie from the beginning and watched the whole thing. Good movie. Saturday after work I bought the book. I've been dying to read it, but I'm saving it for P-ville. I'll need something to do after work in that tiny, tiny town. :)

Love, Yvette

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Apologies....

I emailed a blog post on Friday, and of course I just assumed that it went through. Well, it didn't. So here is a "re-print":

I'm Going Slightly Mad (Friday, 08/22/08)

One thousand and one yellow daffodils are dancing in front of me. It finally happened!

Ok, not really, but I feel like I'm losing my mind.

I'm taking a week long blog vacation, thru Saturday August 30.

Why? Because this week I don't trust anything that is going to come out of my mouth. I'm thinking crazy thoughts that I don't know if I can trust them. Crazy thoughts like quitting my day job and going back to school. I just found out last night that someone I know was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it's a little too much to think about right now. Half Dome is in 41 days, I'm not ready and I'm afraid I will let that stop me. My bike is gathering dust again, and I can't decide if I care or not. I think I want to pursue taiko as a serious hobby. Wild stuff like that.

It's probably just stress. I have reporting deadlines quickly approaching, and back to back out of town trips.

Grrrrr. I want to go hiking. I need some soothing green trees and ferns and the smell of pine. And some really big mountains thrown in for good measure. I need a mental health day up in Yosemite Valley.

Love, Yvette

Monday, August 18, 2008

Because I'm Getting Excited About Saturday

Band reunion party. Thinking about band and my best friends. Them good ole days....

Can't wait.

Love, Yvette

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Personal Wow

This isn't really a post, per se. Just something I wanted to write down so I don't forget it. Have you ever been thinking of someone and then you run into them? It happened to me today.

For the last 3 Sundays, I have not been scheduled to work. Pretty nice if I do say so myself. I've been using the time to recover from training and amazingly keep hurting myself. Sucks, but in a way, I think it's kind of funny. I'm just weird like that. Also been doing laundry, that one task that never really gets complete for me. Anyways, since I didn't have to work today, I didn't set my alarm. I slept in today, I slept until 6:30!!!!

As I was lying in bed, I thought about what I was going to do today. I decided that I was going to go to mass today. As simple as that, "I think I'll go to mass today." I pretty much stopped going last year when I got the job at REI. Oh yeah, I celebrated my one year anniversary with REI on August 3rd. I can't believe it's been a whole year!!! Anyways back to my story. So I woke up, got dressed and left. I didn't even tell anyone where I was going, I think everyone just assumed I was going to work.

So I drive to my church and park in the parking lot across from the church. I'm walking across the street and I notice a woman getting out of a lime green new-style VW bug. First I notice the bug, then I notice the curly blond hair. Wow.... she.... looks.... just.... like............


Ahhhh....... Ruth Ruth Ruth Ruth Ruth Ruth Ruth.

Who is Ruth? Ruth is a professor of Modern Dance at Fresno State. She was my mentor, and she meant so much to me during my days I was a dancer. And I will freely admit that I was a lousy dancer. Not simply in terms of technique-- I wasn't bad, but I wasn't professional-grade either. But more speaking in my focus and my discipline. Now that I'm older and wiser, I can honestly admit that back then I didn't know who I was, or what I wanted. Hey, it's life, we grow. I wouldn't show up to class for days, but I wouldn't out right quit. Eventually I did quit, I changed my major, but I still took class with her. She knew I struggled in my head. She used to tell me "If you can get to the studio, you can thrive. Dance is the healing." She introduced me to the spiral, which is a personal symbol for me, even still. If you used to read my Blossoms blog, it was Ruth who introduced me to Taiko music.

I loved her, heck I still do. She was like a mom to me when I was estranged from my real mom. I wish I had listened to Ruth more, and talked to her more. I haven't danced in over a decade, but there hasn't been a week that went by since that I haven't thought of her at least once.

Needless to say, it was really good to see her. I gave her a big big hug and we chatted on the way to the church. We sat in different areas, because I sit in my "family pew" and we continued talking after mass. It was really REALLY good to see her.

That's all.

Love, Yvette

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Anemia Strikes Back!

But it was my own fault. When I went to San Francisco, I didn't take my iron pills with me. So I totally depleted my iron levels being without my vitamins for 3 days.

If you used to read my Blossoms blog you've read my tales of woe when suffering from anemia. It's the same ole sh...tuff, different blog ;) I'm tired. Do you hear me? I'M TIRED!!!!! I'm ready for bed by nine, and getting up at six is near impossible! Coffee and Red Bulls are not helping.

If you are not familiar with my Blossoms blog, the short story is this: My family has retarded blood. In my family, you either are severely anemic, or you have lupus. Lupus is not cool. Lupus can kill you. My mom and aunts and a few cousins have Lupus. I have anemia. I've been anemic since I was 16. I take two iron pills a day along with a regular multi-vitamin that has iron in it. That much iron you think I'd be dying of hemochromatosis, but nope, still anemic enough that the Blood Center won't take my blood. I've given up. Last time I gave blood, I turned blue. Blue doesn't look good on me.

In spite of it all, the trip to San Francisco was TOTALLY worth it. I've never had so much fun in the city in my life. We walked the Golden Gate Bridge, went to Lush, we went to Chinatown and I bought myself a tourist-grade jade necklace ($15) and a mah jongg set. I found the San Francisco Taiko Dojo store in J-town. IKEA!!!! I finally went to Ikea!!!!! Wow!!!

I already miss the view from the hostel, the sense of community, the cool bay air, the fog, all the cyclists, the kick-butt bus system (I drove hardly at all). Of course it has to be over one hundred degrees here in Fresno when I return.

The last time I was in the city (January?) I felt aggitated. I thought maybe the city had finally lost it's hold on me. Being in the city reminded me of what I like about it. Even when I was out being a tourist. I'm not sure if I would still want to live here, but I sure still like visiting :)

Yeah, this one was one big ramble. I'm tired and I feel like I've taken benadryl. Must...sleep.

Love, Yvette

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh Yeah....

One more thing. The thing I couldn't let out of the bag just yet. I got the green light and then quickly forgot about it.
I, The Big YZ, am going to be a great-aunt.
*insert disbelief here*
Allie, my niece, and her fiance are going to have a baby in March.
I'm over the inital shock, and now I'm like "whatever"
But you know, YOU KNOW, who is going to be the first one laughing at them when they realize that it's harder than they ever imagined and they probably should have waited a little bit longer.
Whatever. Yeah, I'll be going to the baby shower, but only because mom pulled the mom-card. But no games for me. I don't do games, and I don't do pretty and cute.
Love, Yvette

I'm Back (I Think)

I made it back alive from San Francisco and Berkeley. We had a blast. Yes, I did make it to the Berkley store- they are bigger and have a wider selection. But I cannot lie about this, Fresno's team is WAY nicer! No, seriously, we are. Alright, I must be open to the fact that maybe they were having a bad day, but still.

I'll elaborate more in coming days but the quick and dirty recap is: Wednesday- drive up, UC Berkeley, Telegraph Ave., check in to hostel on Ft. Mason, 1st attempt at GGB (too late). Thursday- GGB (DONE!!! 43-Things check), Haight-Ashbury, Union Square, Chinatown. Friday- North Beach, Ghirardelli Square, Japantown, drive to Ikea in Palo Alto, then home.

I worked on Saturday, no big deal.

Sunday I had off, so I went to the gym. There is a whole post in itself here, so I'll just say that I'm really sore from climbing for now.

Monday was Monday, and today is today. Hopefully I'll get some computer time tonight so I can elaborate properly.

I have tomorrow night off, so I'm trying to get together with a high school friend. Maybe we can do dinner. It's been a few years so we have lots to catch up on.

Sorry for the radio silence and for being too cheap to use the computers at the hostel for ten cents a minute.

Love, Yvette

PS- one month til my birthday people!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Where's Yvette?

In the middle

Quick hi. Sorry forgot to

Quick hi. Sorry forgot to tell everyone that I'm in SF. And w/o net. I really need a superphone like my more hi tech friends.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Life Update

Just a little status update on things....
Mom is out of the hospital and recovering. The special hospital bed she was in made her feel great, when she got home and had to sleep on a regular bed, things weren't so great. Her first night, she was in a lot of pain, but it is receding now.  She wouldn't have been able to make the trip to Yosemite with me this Wednesday. I told her not to worry about it because we wouldn't have been able to go anyways.
In case you didn't know, there is a big fire north of Mariposa. The fire is so bad, they had to cut the power into Yosemite Valley. I hear it's pretty smokey over there right now, so even if I were willing to brave it without the consession stands, the air is really bad and not worth the case of black lung.
So, instead of going to Yosemite on Wednesday, I'm going to go back to SEKI (Sequoia/Kings Canyon). It won't be as challenging as hiking up to Vernal Falls (my original plan), but at least I'll get some miles in, and be at elevation. This will give a chance to break in my new day pack. I pro-dealed myself the Osprey Stratos. 
Sorry, emailed this one in, so was unable to create a simple link. 
Speaking of SEKI, I'm still working on formatting my pictures. I don't have a lot of time to do it at home, so I do a little bit at a time. In my opinion, my pictures are kind of lame. Just cut-off pictures of big trees since they are so tall I can't fit the entire tree in my lens. Once those are complete and loaded, I can get to my Yosemite pictures. I really like my Half Dome pictures from Washburn and Glacier Points.  Stay tuned! :)
I'll have another anouncement next week-ish, but I'm not at liberty to disclose it yet. I did leak it at Facebook, but that's because no one will really see it. I just don't want to let the cat out of the bag prematurely.
Love, Yvette

Friday, July 25, 2008

Two Posts, Two Posts....

Two posts in one!

Post One: Mom

Well, mom is in the hospital again. On Monday, she fell. She landed square on her butt and hurt herself. An ambulance was called and my mom was taken to the hospital. Scans showed that she fractured her L1- one of her vertebra. Unfortunately, due to some serious overcrowding at Fresno Regional, she spent over 24 hours on a gurney in the hallway of the ER before they could get her a bed upstairs. I'm not happy about that. She presented around 7pm Monday evening (I was at work) and wasn't admitted until 11:30 pm Tuesday night.

Yesterday, mom had a procedure done to repair the fracture. They literally inject some type of cement into the bone to seal up the fracture and it worked!!! She's doing much better and has complete relief of pain. Once she is cleared by the physical therapist, she'll be free to come home. Yippie!!!

I was nervous. Still am. You see, Mom and I were going to go to Yosemite for the day this coming up week. She has never been, and it's on my 43Things list to take her. I want to before it's too late. My last two attempts were postponed because she had hurt herself. I think I've mentioned this before, she is very fragile with advanced osteoporosis and she walks with a walker. So if she falls, it's usually serious. So, once she get home and rests for a day or so, she'll be able to tell me if she will be up to going. Don't worry, I never planned to take her on a hike, I just wanted her to see the sights. So we'll see. I'm just thankful that the procedure went well or else she would have been on bed rest for months, and it would have been too late.

Part Two: Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Yesterday, I fell. I'm not as graceful as I used to be. I was walking to my car from the office and I wasn't watching where I was going. We have two doves that hang out in the car port and sit on the roofs of the cars. I was looking at one of the doves and looking around for a nest hidden somewhere, my left foot (which was already hurting) hit an uneven section of pavement- a "repaired" pothole, and I went flying. I landed on my left side, banging up my thigh, tweeking my calf just a bit, and making my foot feel even less happy.

Thankfully just minor damage. Soreness and bruise. I'm more embarassed than anything. I am a little worried about my left foot though. My arch is weak and that foot has a prounounced pronation- meaning that it rolls in big time. My foot has been hurting since I went climbing. I don't think it's broken, or that I tore something, more like just a sprain. But I do get an occasion burning sensation on my arch when I'm walking, so that's not good. Now my foot hurts just a little more. I've been icing it in the meanwhile, and I'm temped to find an ankle brace for added support: Something light that will fit in my hiking shoe. I feel I should rest up a bit, but I'm on a good roll and don't want to lose my upcoming hiking time. Only 69 more days until Half Dome!

On a sad note, a friend told me earlier that Randy Pausch passed away this morning, losing his fight with pancreatic cancer. I'm sad. Another not-so-gentle reminder that life is short and to love hard and live life to the fullest. Do what you like, like what you do (Life is Good).

Love, Yvette

Musical Interlude

Please enjoy this musical selection while I'm working on my next blog post.

Love, Yvette

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pain Is Weakness Leaving the Body


Yvette booked way too much stuff into her weekend and is now paying for it.

And to make things worse, I'm staring at an 8x10 postcard of Half Dome as I'm typing this.

Friday I worked most of the work-day in Porterville at the cancer treatment center. My partner and I returned to the office early because the medical records people weren't able to pull all the charts we requested, so we finished up earlier than normal. This was cool for me since I had to work Friday night. I guess I pretty much worked all day Friday, plus the drive to Porterville and back. It's never a fun drive, nothing to look at. I just don't like driving south ;)

Believe it or not, I had Saturday-day off. I guess if you follow me on Twitter, you would believe it. I didn't have to be at work until 5:30. It was both good and bad. I usually open every Saturday, the open until 5:30 shift, so this was a real fluke. It was bad because my zesty friend Korey (hat-tip to the Hoover Jazz Junkies) was having a party that evening and I had to miss it. It was good because it gave me time to do stuff that I normally don't have time to do during the week like get an oil change and wash. I did that in the morning, then came home and watched Billy Elliot. I had wanted to go to the climbing gym and get some vertical time in, but I was -- well, quite honestly, scared-- so I was procrastinating. I eventually made it over, in spite of the fact that the whole way over I was praying for it to be busy, so I would have to come back home. Well, sometimes prayers don't get answered, and it ends up being even better.

I got there, and it wasn't busy. Damn. So I grabbed gear and headed to the wall. I decided to ask one of the guys that worked there which wall section was the easiest wall to work on. I'm pretty glad I did. His name is Chris and he's a climber dude. He spent around 15-20 minutes with me, and it was awesome. I explained to him why I was there, the whole heights and Half Dome thing, about not being able to get back down off the wall, not being able to get all the way up. He gave me some great mental pointers and we were working this whole Last Samurai-no mind approach. It was awesome. I went from climbing back down, to letting go screaming with my eyes closed back down, to letting go with my eyes closed, to letting go. Up to yesterday, I was never able to let go. I always climbed back down, which is so much harder because you're trying not to fall. I wanted to keep going higher, but I used up all my energy and eventually my arms failed me. There is a reason that most climbers are 110lbs.

After that awesome workout, both physically and mentally, I ran home showered and changed for work. Work was good, we were super busy, and I would have been able to fly right through it except that I was exhausted, my arms were spaghetti and my feet were hurting from climbing. Either it's because I was using muscles in my feet I didn't know I had, or they were just exhausted from holding my weight up on such tiny holds.

At the co-op we sell national park passes. I sold one, and I'm supposed to hole-punch the expiration date into the cards. I had absolutely no arm strength, so I had to have the customer help me. My arms hurt like my very first taiko workshop.

After work I came home and crashed. Went straight to bed and slept like a rock, no pun intended.

Sunday morning I woke up sore. I didn't have to work, so did I rest up and try to recover? No. I went to Yosemite. I wanted to get some hiking training in. Let me tell you, going for a hike on feet that already hurt, is not the brightest thing I've ever done. Driving a stick shift with sore arms isn't too bright either, but I was going, and I went.

It was warm, humid, and off-and-on sprinkling in the valley, but I didn't care. I wanted to do a small hike to check my current level of non-fitness (the word I really want to use is gauge, but I hate the way it looks when I spell it- it always looks wrong. I really think it should be spelled gage, but it looks wrong too, but only because I know it is wrong.) I started at the trailhead and made my way to the bridge that goes over the Merced River below my favorite waterfall- Vernal Falls. It was a smooth incline, paved, no steps. I forgot how steep it was. I had to stop 4 times to catch my breath and slow down my heart rate. Not a good sign. I made it to the bridge in 50 minutes. Ideal time for Half Dome is 30 minutes, if you want to do the total hike in 10 hrs. My time goal is 12hrs, not including the time spent at the top (and I'll spend some time there because I have a list of things to do at the top.)

I rested, snacked and refilled my Camelbak. Of course I took pictures, which will be posted next week. (I'm scheduled at REI every night this week except Tuesday.) I sneezed and a U.S. Marine said bless you, and I gave him a hearty thank you with my best smile :) (Don't tell my family, because we're Army, but I've always had a thing for Marines. Must be that damn uniform.)

I was very tempted to continue on upward to Vernal Falls, which was only another mile up the hill via the Mist Trail. But I didn't trust myself to have enough energy to make it to the top plus make it back all the way down. Going down is easier than going up, but it's still not easy. So I made it back down, in 20 minutes, stopping to rest my knees at flat sections. I need to pro-deal myself some trekking poles. I have my eye on a set of Black Diamonds. Along the way down, I saw a customer that I had seen the previous night at REI. We chatted briefly as he and his friends were on their way up.

Once I was back at Happy Isles, I decided to walk around a bit before taking the shuttle back to the village. I ran into an office colleague, Lesley, and we chatted for a bit. I then made my way to The Fen, which is a marsh I'd never been to before, and took pictures. While I was taking a picture, I heard the snapping of twigs behind me. I turned to look, and I saw a coyote walking by. I'm glad it didn't care for me, because he was close enough that he could have caused me some serious damage if he wanted to.

By this time I was hungry, so I shuttled into the Village for some lunch. After I ate, I walked around for a bit, bought a postcard at the Ansel Adams gallery, found a book I want to read, and then bought a pair of earrings for my mom.

I was tired from walking, my feet were killing me by now, but I had one more stop to make- Glacier Point.

The drive up wasn't complicated. I really wanted to check the handicapped routes for my mom. When I went up in April, the road was still closed. I stopped at Washburn Point, took lots of pictures. Man, you think Half Dome is huge when looking up at it from the valley floor. Looking straight across at it, it's MASSIVE. I then continued on to Glacier Point.

Now, I could have totally left this part out, because I'm embarrassed. But it's humbling, and humility will be my strength in this endeavor.

At Washburn Point, you get a direct side view of Half Dome; you don't see any part of the face. At Glacier Point, you are a little more in front of it, so you see front and side view of the rock.

I was standing there, near the amphitheatre, looking straight across at Half Dome. And it started sinking in. The reality of my situation. This was no longer theoretical. This was no longer a someday. This was no longer in the same category with when I lose weight, when I get married, when/if I get my Master's degree (still not decided).

This is real. This is happening. This is happening in 74 days (Sunday) whether I am prepared or not.

I was scared. No, you're not listening to me. I. was. scared.

I was less scared on the wall yesterday. I was scared- the kind that makes the world spin and you think you're going to throw up, then pass out.

The tears were welling up in my eyes. I had to turn around and walk away. I almost backed out on the spot and was on the verge of having my first panic attack since 1999.

The thoughts in my head: What am I doing? What did I get myself into? What have I agreed to do?

I had to talk myself down from the mental ledge in my head. It was pretty bad, and sad too, now that the crisis has passed.

I just don’t want to fail. I know it wouldn’t be the end of the world, and it’s not like if I don’t make it, I’ll never have another chance again. I just don’t want to fail.

Love, Yvette

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My New Favorite Book

I just picked this title up at Borders. I wanted it so bad, I bought it in hardcover. I never buy hardcover. It's a new release.

I can't wait to read it. :)

Love, Yvette

Fatty Shops at REI!!!!

The Fat Cyclist shops at REI.

Every now and again, when it comes up in my t-shirt rotation (yes, I rotate my clothes), you may find me at REI wearing a pink t-shirt under my REI vest. The front of that shirt says You will find a link to that blog on my sidebar if you're not doing the reader thing. It's an amazing blog that will have you rolling on the floor in hysterics (if you're into cycling, that is), and leave you (ok, maybe just me) in tears as the author shares his experiences as his wife fights recurrent breast cancer. (No HIPAA violations there (hopefully): public knowledge, and not California data). Also, if you haven't made the connection, I'm wearing the 2007 Fat Cyclist jersey in my profile picture. You can see the whole jersey at my flickr page. And yes, I've pre-ordered the 2008 jersey too!

Being a big fan, and a clydesdale myself, I was giddy to read Fatty (a.k.a. Elden Nelson) stopped by his area REI to pick up some Clif Bars. WOO-HOO! Okay, the post was more about what he bought than where he bought it, but still, made my day. I hope his cashier was as delightful as I am (you would know, if you ever heard my closing announcment).

So even if you aren't into cycling, read his post on sports nutrition. I know you'll like his thinking, and maybe you'll even giggle a bit.

The Next Big Thing in Sports Nutrition

Love, Yvette

Monday, July 7, 2008

Vacation Over

Back to the grindstone.

First I enter my alarm code to the building backwards and set off the alarm. Then I forget my database password and lock myself out. What's the opposite of "Eureka"?

Now, I'm off to lands far away. Okay, not that far away. But still, living out of a suitcase for the next 3 days. When I was in college I used to think that it would be cool to be a consultant traveling from place to place. Now I'm not so sure.

But it could be worse. I could be in a car without air conditioning. It's supposed to be 108-110 tomorrow.

That would suck.

Okay, off to pack.

Love, Yvette

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Gauntlet is Down!

A funny thing happened on the way to the gas station yesterday....

I stopped by REI to pick up a new TSA-approved lock for my luggage that is going to Michigan without me (I was one lock short). Of course as I flow through the store I say hi to all my wonderful co-workers. I say hello to Alyson, totally awesome Outreach Specialist (she goes to schools and such) and we begin to chat. Of course I'm horrible at recounting conversations verbatim, so I am totally paraphrasing.

Me: "Hi Alyson"

Alyson: "Hi Yvette"

Me: "How's it going?"

Alyson: "Good. Hey, we're doing Half Dome the first weekend in October. Kim got a campsite, it will be Kim & Terry, me & Tyler, Heather (blah blah blah didn't hear the rest)... you in?"

Me: *jumping and screaming like a little girl* "I'M IN!!!!!!!!"


So now the gauntlet has been thrown down. The challenge is on. This is part of my 43 things, and to cross it off my list, there is another item I have to cross off first.

Now most of you are thinking, Half Dome, so what? I've already done it x times. I'd bet money that 98% of you could turn around and hike this thing tomorrow. I, right now, cannot. I am out of shape, overweight, and deathly afraid of heights (I can't even stand on a chair to change a lightbulb). so this is a VERY big deal for me. I have wanted to hike Half Dome since I nearly died (of out-of-shape-ness) on my first hike to the footbridge below Vernal Falls in the mid 90's. It's been over 10 years.

So what is that other item I have to cross off my list? #5 I have to climb to the top of the climbing wall at my gym. Haven't got there yet. (Want to see my complete updated list? See link in sidebar --->). I get about half way up, and then freak and come back down. I'm doing this because of the cables. I'm afraid to hike all that way, get to the base of the cables, and then chicken out and not be able to go all the way.

When I do this, I am going all the way. It's put up or shut time. So the challenge is on: I am losing 15lbs to help my knees out, for hiking. I'm riding my bike more, for cardio. And I'm getting my ass to the top of the wall, for confidence.

I am ready, the sky is not the limit.

Love, Yvette

P.S. Here is a link to the awesome youtube video of Carlos Whittaker and friends doin' the 'Dome. LINK

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Quickie Hi

A very busy weekend so far. This is just a quick recap until I can get back to blogging.

Saturday: Baby Shower (don't ask) in AM, then pool party at Carlos' in the PM. No details. What happens at Carlos', stays at Carlos'.

Sunday: Worked all day, then had coffee with my good friend Sara V. after a spending spree in the used CD section of Rasputin's. I love that place. I really need to visit an Amoeba, I'm told I would really like it.

Monday: Took off to King Canyon/Sequoia National Parks. I haven't been there in such an embarassing amount of time. Took lots of pictures. Will work on them this week since I'm on vacation from the day job. Still working REI, so no more out of town trips for me this week.

Today: Just chilling this morning because taking off this afternoon to drive my mom and sis to SFO. They are going to Michigan without me this year :( I couldn't commit to go. First I wasn't sure about my job, then when all was cool, I had the car fiasco to deal with. Once I thought I could, tickets jumped from 325 to 800 bucks. I just can't do that high of an amount.

So that's my weekend recap, hope y'all had a good weekend too! :)

Love, Yvette

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pieces of Flair

The black and white Say Anything button says "John Cusack has given me unrealistic expectations of men" :)

Hee hee.

Love, Yvette