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