Thursday, April 17, 2008

Finally, an explanation!

For years, I've been mildly annoyed by the fact that the airport in my city calls itself an international airport, when in fact there is not one direct flight to anywhere outside of the United States. C'mon, if you market yourself as "Reno-Tahoe International Airport", shouldn't that mean you can fly somewhere international, without a connecting flight? Even if it were just one little flight to Mexico, I'd be okay with the name.

A recent newspaper article listed several unknown facts about the airport (apparently there hasn't been much news in Reno lately!) :

"8. Reno-Tahoe is indeed an "international" airport, even though all the commercial flights are domestic. Private jets and charter flights sometimes arrive from Mexico and Canada..."

Oh, well that explains it all... *rolls eyes*

Monday, April 7, 2008


Isn't it funny how certain scents can transport you back in time to a treasured memory or place?

This morning I used a conditioner on my hair that I haven't used for many months. It also happens to be the conditioner that I keep in the little travel size containers when I travel. As soon as I smelled it, I was back in Positano, standing in the tiny shower in my villa. All those wonderful feelings of peace, contentment, and happiness washed over me.

Only 69 more days and I'll be there again.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

RIP Brianna

In the early morning hours of January 20th, a young woman was abducted while she slept on the couch at a friend's house. A massive search began in our city, hoping she would be found alive. Police used DNA to link her kidnapping to the attack and/or rapes of at least two other women in the same neighborhood over the last few months (interestingly, each attack has occurred between the 13th and the 22nd of each month). Her story was featured on Good Morning America and America's Most Wanted, and there is an article in the most recent People magazine.

I do not know Brianna or her family, but I have been completely shaken up by this. Not only because of the fact that somebody is terrorizing young women in Reno, but because of where each attack occurred - either on the university campus or in the area immediately surrounding campus. I spent 4.5 years going to that university, and I lived in an apartment directly across the street from the house where Brianna was sleeping. It is a beautiful, charming area, and I hate knowing that some bastard has caused so many people to be afraid. I'm a bit nervous myself, as I currently live about 1 mile from there.

Yesterday afternoon, a body was found in a field about 8 miles from where she was kidnapped. Just a few minutes ago, the police department held a press conference to confirm what we all knew the minute we heard that the body was that of a young woman - it was Brianna's body. He strangled her. The body has been in that location for at least a week (the field had tall grass, and we've had a good deal of snow the last few weeks). Other evidence was found in that field, but they aren't releasing the details. I can't even imagine her family's heartache.

Rest in peace Brianna.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A late thank you, and more Italian class!

I’m a little late in posting this, but I’d like to thank Robin of My Melange for my lovely gift. She asked her fellow bloggers to participate in a holiday card swap, and from those who participated, she randomly picked a winner – me! A few weeks ago, my surprise arrived in the mail: a basket of wonderful Christmas items!

Thank you Robin! I enjoyed participating, and I hope to do more of this in the future.

Last I began my second semester of Italian. I meant to study over the holiday break, but well, yeah, that didn’t happen. At any rate, it came back to me very quickly, and I am very excited about this class. It’s a small class, only 13 of us, and 9 of us know each other from last semester’s class. We have the same instructor for four semesters, which is good. It feels comfortable.
Off to study!

Friday, January 4, 2008

How I spent my December...and the first few days of January!

December started with my birthday on the 1st. I don't usually do much of anything for my birthday, so it was a complete shock when my husband surprised me with a brand new car! We had been talking about getting me a new car in the spring, when his truck was paid off. However, the day before my birthday, a warning light came on in my car, and the warning was that the computer was getting ready to go out.

We decided to think over the weekend and decide if we would get the computer fixed and sell my car or just sell it as-is (for less money). Unbeknownst to me, he had already called his buddies at the local Honda dealership (he manages the local Honda motorcycle shop) and arranged to bring a car home the next day. It was just like the commercials, except the car didn't have a bow on it, but I can overlook that!

I sold my old car, and then promptly managed to get a deep chip from a rock in my new car, which was fixed yesterday. At least I got that first ding over with!

Oh yes, this new car is an automatic. I have never had an automatic before, so I'm struggling a bit. My left foot has finally stopped looking for the clutch and slamming on the brakes, but I'm finding it hard to remember to put it in "park" when I stop! Luckily, the car is smarter than I am, and it won't release the key until I move it into "park". So much fun.

I also finished my first Italian class, with a grade of "A"! My presentation was nerve-wracking, but I did okay. I don't mind public speaking too much...when it's in English...but this was hard! But it really helped me learn and I felt just a bit more comfortable speaking Italian. The next semester starts at the end of January.

We went to numerous Christmas parties, where I drank entirely too much wine, but had a great time at each of them! I spent time with family and friends, and I am so grateful for everyone in my life.

I've been contemplating various new ideas for my career. I don't think I'm going to pursue the permanent makeup or the laser hair removal (long story), but my research has opened my eyes to a couple other things that I'm very interested in! I've set a timeframe for myself...I've decided I want to stay at my current job until mid-May, because I will then receive 500 shares of stock. However, by that time, I want to have decided on what to do next. Then, I can quit my job right before I leave for Italy in June, then start my new career when I get back. I am so looking forward to working for myself. Both Tina and Farfallina have made me realize that it's possible and wonderful!

I've had several more dreams about being in Italy...only 161 days until I'm there again!

Weather-wise, January has been crazy already! The "biggest storm in the last 20 years" was predicted to hit California and Nevada this weekend. Yesterday it started raining, heavily, which is very unusual for Reno. In the afternoon, it turned to snow, and by about midnight, our neighborhood had about six inches of snow. When I woke up this morning, another couple inches had fallen. Not too bad, (especially compared to the 3.5 feet we received a couple years ago!) but it's supposed to snow again tonight and tomorrow.

Unfortunately, a little town about 30 miles from here has had a rough time this morning. A levee broke and several thousand people have been evacuated. Here's an article about the storm and the levee break. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this storm.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Almost done

I am almost done with my first semester of Italian. Tonight was the final exam. I think I did well - I certainly hope I did! So far I have an "A" in class. I am quite pleased with myself, not only because of the grade, but because I can feel myself learning. There are times when I'm studying and a lightbulb will suddenly go off, and it makes perfect sense. And there are other times when I find myself thinking in Italian!

I have two classes left, this Wednesday and next Monday. We will receive our graded tests back on Wednesday, and then begin our oral presentations. I am by no means ready for my presentation, but I am looking forward to listening to everyone else. My weak point is listening and comprehending, so I'm glad for every chance I get to listen to the language.

I am so happy to be learning the language of the country I love!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How Far I've Come

I'm feeling much calmer now. It's funny how a good friend can put things in perspective. Last night one of my best girlfriends emailed me a gratitude list that she created for me. Not only was it very nice to read, but it was even more special because this friend has had a rough year (to say the least!), and even though her own gratitude list is much shorter than mine, she took the time to make me feel better. Friends like that make all of my frustrations seem insignificant.

So...I've decided that my life is pretty good and I really don't have too much to complain about. However, I'm going to make my life even better! Yes, I want more!

I feel that I've made quite a bit of progress this year. I wanted to learn Italian, lose 32 pounds, and find a new job, enabling me to spend more time in Italy. I'm almost finished with my first semester of Italian, I've lost about 10-12 pounds (depending on the day!), and I've identified what type of job/career I do and don't want. I just need to stay focused and continue making progress. Unfortunately, patience is not something I've ever been very good at, so I need to make sure to take a step back periodically and see how far I've come.

Another bright note: I managed to finally get some decent concert tickets - 4th row center. That's more like it! I'm taking my above-mentioned friend to the concert with me. Now all I need to do is sell the other FOUR tickets that I bought while trying to get decent seats! And I might have found good tickets to the show in Vegas (I wasn't able to get any decent tickets for that show).

The concert isn't until March, so tonight I've been busy watching matchbox videos on You Tube. It's been a couple years since I've seen them live, and I'd forgotten how their music speaks to my soul.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Somebody please make the world stop so I can catch up!

I am so frustrated.

I am frustrated because I have so many things I want to write about here, yet I can't seem to get my thoughts put into coherent sentences when I have time to write.

I am frustrated because I'm not making much progress on my new career. People are not calling me back and I'm getting discouraged because I only have my lunch hour every day to work on this.

I am frustrated because I have realized I will need a new "regular" job while my new career is getting started and I'm not having any luck. I had a great interview last week, for what would have been a great job doing something I've done before that I loved. However, the administrator informed me that she's making lots of changes, and I would be responsible for implementing said changes....and that the other employees had been there 9+ years and were already resenting the changes so the environment would be "uncomfortable" for me. thanks, I don't want to deal with that.

I am frustrated because I want a baby and my husband wants to wait a few months before we start trying. I'm getting older and don't want to wait!

I am frustrated because I feel as if life is passing me by while I wait for it to happen. I don't want that.

I am VERY frustrated because my beloved band is touring next year for the first time in four years, and we have a new fan club that sucks so I've only been able to get 11th row tickets. The worst seats I've ever had for their concerts were 6th row. This may sound petty, but going to these concerts is a little escape for me and it makes me so happy. And...matchbox indirectly led me to Italy. I never would have gone to Italy if I hadn't been invited that first time by friends I've met through this music. The ordeal over the sucky tickets has become very nasty, and luckily the fan club is working on possible rememdies to the situation. Let's hope it doesn't become all Hannah Montana! lol

And yes, I also managed to use the name of another matchbox twenty song as my post title.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Back to Good

How about that…I managed to use another matchbox twenty song for a post title. I wonder how many others I can use? Hmmm, I sense a theme here!

Anyhoo, yes, I’m getting back to good! I’m pretty much healed, except for some swelling where the uvula was – apparently it will take 3 months for the swelling to subside.

A nice benefit of my surgery – I lost 10.5 pounds! I thought I would gain at least a few pounds back, but I’ve not only kept all of it off, I’ve lost another 1.5 pounds! Now I’m about 20 pounds from my goal. I went back to the gym yesterday, and I’m hurting today! I tried to take it easy, since it’s been 6 weeks, but my muscles are aching.

My Italian class is keeping me very busy. I’m doing well (95 on the first test, 93 on the second test), and really enjoying it. My professor’s family is from Sorrento, and when I told him I go to Positano every year, he said, “Ah, we are neighbors!” The only bad part about my class is how much time it consumes…I have so many things I want to say and post about, but I’d forgotten how much work studying is! I can’t believe it’s been almost 14 years since I graduated from college!!

I have managed to read The Alchemist, however. I'd been meaning to buy it, but just never got around to it, then it practically jumped off the shelves at me when I was in Target buying the new matchbox twenty CD. Coincidence? I think not! Thanks to
Cleopantha and Tina, who have both mentioned this book

What an inspiring message about following your dreams! This makes me more determined than ever to follow my Personal Legend. I've sort of put pursuing my new career on hold while I was recovering from my surgery, but now I'm ready to get right back into it!

"When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it..."

Friday, September 21, 2007


I am in pain. Not just, "Oh, I don't feel well" pain, but the excruciating, vicodin-doesn't-help pain that comes with surgery.

On Monday I had some much needed surgery: my tonsils were removed, tubes were inserted into my ears, my uvula was removed (little hanging thing in the back of the throat), and I had turbinate restructuring. This article explains the turbinate thing pretty well.

My ears have been plugged for over a year, which was caused by an inflammation in my eustacian tubes. The tubes in the ears are to correct this, and appear to have already worked.

I get strep throat/tonsillitis on a regular basis, so that's why my tonsils were removed.

The other two procedures were the most necessary for me, to help me sleep better. I cannot recall a day in my life when I haven't been tired, regardless of how much sleep I've had. My doctor sent me for a sleep test last month, where it was determined that I have mild sleep apnea (which is a condition where you actually stop breathing many times during the night!) My doctor figures my body hasn't been completely rested in years, and he predicts that I'll add about two hours of productivity to my day!

If you've ever had strep throat, this feels like strep x 10. The fact that it takes me an hour to eat a popsicle or a bowl of pudding doesn't help! I sit, miserable, but trying to reassure myself that in about 10 more days, it will all have been worth it!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

At least now I know

After having another dream about Positano, it has become painfully obvious what my unfinished business is.

It's not going to make things any easier, but at least now I know!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Every year at this time, we have The Great Reno Balloon Race.

I live about one mile from the park where the race begins. Occasionally, the wind will blow the balloons away from my neighborhood, but most years they float my way. They drift along, their various shapes and colors delighting children of all ages. There's always a bit of excitement when a balloon lands on a nearby street.

These pictures were taken last year. (For some reason, I didn't take any this year).

View from my house:

A few blocks away:

Not great quality, but this is just around the corner from my house:

There are two bees, but I could only get a picture of one:

These guys were laughing at my dog because she was barking at them:

Landing in the street:

Another one landing in the street:

Landing on the edge of a park:

Humpty Dumpty in the background:

A strawberry!

There is also a Jack Daniels bottle, an eagle, a stagecoach, an ark, the Energizer Bunny, and even a cow!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bright lights!

Ah yes, as if stealing a Rob Thomas song title for the name of my blog wasn't enough, I've now found a reason to use a matchbox twenty song for a post title! (Which, btw, their new album will be released on October 2nd!!!)

It's no secret that I often look at the Positano web cam. As summer fades and the days get shorter, I usually only get the chance to see the sunset, nighttime, and sunrise, due to the nine hour time difference. No complaints though, the sunsets and sunrises are spectacular.

The nighttime view is uneventful, but still pretty. In recent weeks, however, somebody has been leaving a light on at the church. The positioning of the light and the web cam creates a horrible glare!!

I can't even see "my" villa!

Would somebody please turn off the lights after say...midnight perhaps? Thanks!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Office Space

I love this movie. Okay, so it’s not the greatest bit of film out there, but it never ceases to make me both laugh and nod in complete recognition at the same time. Now that I have decided to make a career change and leave the business world, it's taken on a whole new meaning for me.

While watching this movie a few weeks ago, it dawned on me that I have become Peter Gibbons.

I don’t care anymore. I pass the workday doing as little as possible, because frankly, I have lost all interest in my job. I'm trying very hard not to have a bad attitude, but some days it's quite the struggle. I would love to just stop going to work, like Peter. Luckily I have enough sense to realize that I have bills to pay, and no rich relatives ready to leave me a great inheritance.

But now that I finally realized I never wanted to work in an office, I'm almost desperate to get out. (I can't believe it took me so long to realize something so simple!)

One of my favorite lines from the movie: "Michael, we don't have a lot of time on this earth! We weren't meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements."

I'm still deciding between learning permament makeup and laser hair removal, but I've been busy researching my options regarding training and employment. Unfortunately, I can't just quit my current job until I have something else lined up, so I'm contacting various doctors/spas/salons/etc. With enough persistence and luck, I'll be able to secure an employment contract, contingent upon successfully completing training. I know it's a long shot for someone to take a chance on me, considering I will have no experience, but all it takes is one person to believe in me!

Thursday, August 9, 2007


While Tina is busy dreaming of Siena, I'm dreaming of Positano. I've gone back there four out of the past six nights. Three of the dreams have been pretty much the same, and they leave me feeling completely unsettled when I wake up.

It's my last night in Positano, when suddenly I realize I haven't done most of the things I wanted to do. I panic. I cry.

In one dream, I was talking to one of my friends who lives there, and I said, "I didn't get to..." (I can't remember what it was, but that doesn't matter). He said, "It's okay, we'll do that on Sunday." I cried, "No! We can't! I'm leaving tomorrow!!!!!" He looked at me, completely bewildered that I was so upset.

In another dream, it dawned on me that I hadn't spent any time with the friends who had traveled with me. We had all spent our time doing our own thing, and now it was too late to spend more than one day/night with each other. We wouldn't see each other again for a long year.

The details of the third dream are fuzzy, but it was the same concept - having to leave when I wasn't ready.

I can't quite picture being able to leave Positano and feel "ready" to leave. But I don't like the idea that there are so many things I want to experience there that they have invaded my subconscious mind.

Carole described it best a while back: "I feel as if I left things unfinished, in process, in suspense... "

I need to be there. I long for it.

People tell me, "Oh, you were just on vacation, that's why you're so happy there." NO. That's not it. There's so much more to it.

I'm progressing slowly on my new career. I need to step that up, so I can have more free time. Time to travel. To be where my soul needs to be...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Italy on fire

This subject was brought up a couple weeks ago by Sognatrice, and now it's hit the news in America again today.

I'm not sure what to make of this...what do those living in Italy think? Whatever the cause, it's such a shame that beautiful land is being destroyed.

Organised crime suspected in Italy's fires

A new rash of fires broke out in southern Italy on Tuesday, with officials increasingly accusing organised crime of being behind many of the blazes that have claimed six lives this summer.

The sixth death was recorded Tuesday with the discovery of the body of an 80-year-old man near Foggia in the southeastern Apulia region, the national forestry service said.

Meanwhile authorities in the southern Campania region have opened an investigation after a fire services helicopter was shot at while it was hovering over the Volturno River north of Naples to fill its water reservoir.

In the incident Monday, the pilot was unaware that the helicopter was peppered with 18 rounds, but his colleagues noticed the bullet holes when the aircraft returned to the site of the blaze they were battling, a public safety spokesman told AFP.

A regional representative, Corrado Gabriele, described the incident as "an offensive of organised crime."

In another incident on Monday, vandals cut cables linking the Campania region's operational centre with rescue workers.

An agricultural official told the ANSA news agency that "criminal intentions" were suspected, calling for police to take urgent action against "pyromaniacs and criminal organisations prepared to do anything to generate a profit."

Environment Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, speaking on Italy's Sky TG24 all-news channel on Tuesday, alleged "a veritable criminal assault against natural parks and many parts of Italy."

"The fire starters are not mentally ill or pyromaniacs," said Pecoraro Scanio, the leader of Italy's Greens party. He accused "gangs linked in many cases to criminal associations and in other cases to property speculators" of responsibility.

The deputy chairman of the parliamentary anti-mafia committee, Mario Tassone, for his part said organised crime was "giving logistical support to arsonists."

Several of the new blazes were in the far south Calabria region, while others were in Campania including a Naples suburb.

The environmental group WWF late last month estimated that some 9,000 hectares (22,500 acres) of protected area had burned, blaming arsonists for "most of the fires."

It said: "It is well known that fire almost always serves to get rid of trees and other natural obstacles to make way for new hotels, villas or pastures."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

One of the loves of my life!

This is Kasey Mae, an English Springer Spaniel. She's already 9 years old, and so far is our only "child". When we brought her home, she only weighed 24 she's about 65!

I took this picture last summer (before we redid our yard/fence/etc...ignore the background please). I was trying to get her to look into the camera, but she kept getting distracted by birds!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Learning Italian & cell phone addiction

I'm excited...I am now officially enrolled in my first "real" Italian class! The other two community education courses don't count, because, since they didn't involve assignments, tests, or grades, I never once bothered to open the book and study. It's amazing that I picked up what little I did.

This is something I really want to learn, and I figure that a more structured class will be good for me. Classes start August 27th. A friend at work wants to take the class also, which would be nice, but when she tried to enroll she found that the class is full! She's on a waiting list, but most likely won't know if she can enroll until August 23rd, when payment is due and those who don't pay will be dropped.

I have to admit that I am addicted to my cell phone. I pretty much knew this, but this morning it hit me hard. My phone was working as of 3:00 AM, because when I woke up I saw a text that had arrived then. By the time I left for work, I had no service. This lasted all the way to work, and I proceeded to get extremely nervous and panicked. My stomach was in knots...I receive emails on my phone, I've given my cell number for all these jobs I've been applying for...what was I going to do????

Once I arrived at work, I called my carrier, who found that many cell towers from Sacramento to Reno were not working. They didn't have an estimated time when it would be fixed, but I did get 100 free minutes. Lo and behold, less than 30 minutes later, I was back up and running. Yes, I completely freaked out when I had only been without service for an hour! (Well, it was longer than that, but I didn't know about it so that time doesn't count). I can't even go an hour without my cell phone...what does that say about me?!

I need to turn the damn thing off once my class starts so I'll be able to get some studying done!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Discovering Italy

I haven't always been in love with Italy.
There, I said it. I hate to admit it. I wish I could say that for as long as I can remember, I've wanted to go to Italy, but that's not true.

Until May 2005, Italy was only #5 on my list of European countries that I wanted to visit (behind England, France, Spain and Greece).

I have, however, always loved maps. When I was a child, my parents used to get National Geographic, and they would give me the maps that were included with each issue. I would spread the maps out on the floor and spend countless hours poring over them. My mom still remembers me doing this. Of course I loved the Italy map, because of the country being shaped like a boot, and well...even back then I loved shoes!

While unpacking some boxes recently (we moved over 3 years ago...I'm trying to finish unpacking!), I came across a stack of these old maps, and started looking at them. The Italy map was one of them, and it made me think of the countries that I used to long for, and how Italy was not at the top.

So how did I fall so completely head-over-heels in love with Italy? Well, to clarify, how did I fall in love with Positano? I've only been to the Naples/Sorrento/Amalfi Coast area, so I really shouldn't speak for the rest of the country, although I have no doubt I'll feel the same about it when I explore the rest of it.

Four friends of mine decided to go to Positano in 2004. Two of them live in Europe, two are from America, and all had been to Italy before. They casually invited me to go, and for some reason that I can't recall, I said no. After their trip, they told me all the details, and it sounded fun. A few months later, they were planning another trip for May 2005, and invited me again. All I could think was, "How can I pass up this opportunity?"

We flew into London, and spent a day there. It was everything I had dreamed of, but nowhere near enough time. I'll be back there someday, with my mom, as that's also her dream.

The next day we flew to Naples, where a car picked us up and drove us to Positano. From the moment I walked off the plane and saw the chaos of Naples to the time I stepped out of the car at Piazza Mulini, I was hopelessly in love.

But it was more than "love". I was home.

When it was time to leave, I cried. I've never cried before when leaving somewhere; I'm usually always excited to get to the next place. This was different. I felt panicked, like I needed to be there. I spent hours staring at the web cam (still do!). I've googled "Positano" more times than I care to admit.

I've been back twice, in June 2006 and June 2007. I have a trip planned for June 2008 (the villa is already booked!) But it's not enough. I want more!

If the job thing sorts itself out, I'm going there this fall. By myself. I have to be there. I feel so at peace and content and happy there.
Isn't that how you're supposed to feel when you go home?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

So many decisions!

I've been researching the permanent makeup thing, which has only led to more questions, which in turn leads to more decisions to make!

Such as: I can't just quit my current job until I have something else lined up because we have bills to pay. My husband makes about twice as much as I do, but we still rely on my salary. And I can't take the training until I have a job lined up, because I have no more vacation time at my current job and they won't let me take time off without pay! (How ironic that I'm trying to create more free time for myself and that's what's stopping me from doing it!)

So do I stay at my miserable job until January, when I can take time off for the training? Or do I find another job and take a week off in between jobs for the training? Maybe a part-time job, so I can pursue my new career the rest of the time, then quit the part-time job once I've built up a bit of clientele?

While I was debating all of this in my mind, my research led me to an article about laser hair removal. I've had this done on my underarms, which only partially worked, because my hair is so light. But since I'm very hairy, I've always been fascinated by the methods of hair removal. So I started looking into training for that. It intrigues me!

The training is quite a bit cheaper (which I thought was odd), but I would have to travel out of state for it, so add in airline tickets, hotel, meals, etc., and it would be about the same price.

I made a list (there I go with the lists again!), and I'm going to contact several people in each line of work. I have quite a few questions, and I think hearing from people who do these things every day will help me make a decision.

Ack!! I know things will all fall into place, but why does this part have to be so difficult?!?!