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?!?!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Quick update

On Friday I met with the lady about my possible new career. For those who are curious, it is doing permanent makeup. Although I love makeup and would be interested in this even if it were just about makeup, there's more to it than that. More and more plastic surgeons and dermatologists are offering this service in their offices, mainly for women who have had mastectomies, to recreate the look of a nipple. Also, women who have arthritis or parkinson's disease have a hard time applying makeup. I like the idea of being able to help people in that way.

It went quite well, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it. I want to do a bit more research first, but I'm excited! I think the fact that I'm excited and happy is a good sign that it's the right move for me. Not to mention that I would only need 6-8 clients per month to equal what I make right now. What a sad comment that is about my current job!

More on this later...we've had a bit of a family emergency this weekend, and I'm wiped out (more on that later also).

Monday, July 16, 2007


Serendipity...the faculty of making fortunate decisions by accident.

It's one of those words that just doesn’t come across my radar very often, but it’s a word that I like to read and/or wanderlust...or canoodling. I love hearing about celebrities being spotted canoodling, partly because I’m strangely fascinated by celebrities, and partly because I love the word!

But I digress. I read the word “serendipity” last week, and other than thinking about how much I like the word, I quickly forgot about it.

Then something happened.

After almost a year of procrastinating, I started reading “Eat Pray Love”. I was in tears by the end of the first page. While I’m not finished with the book yet (I can’t bear to read too many chapters at once), it’s definitely made me look deep and hard at my own life. What do I really want out of life? A family? Yes (soon, hopefully!). To keep traveling, both to my beloved Italy and to many other places? Yes. A job I look forward to going to? Yes.

Therein lies my problem. I can’t imagine looking forward to going to a place every day that controls my life, a place that tells me when I can take vacation and for how long, a place that tells me I can only spend so much time at home after I have a baby, a place that limits my salary based on some arbitrary salary range.

As I am in the midst of this job search, something keeps telling me that, even after I find a job with more vacation time, I am still going to feel trapped. It's my life, shouldn't I be allowed to make these decisions for myself?

So I've been pondering various options. I'm sure I must have some hidden talent which would allow me to make a living doing something I enjoy and that I am good at. But what might that talent be? What do I enjoy? And where might those two things intersect?

Here's where serendipity stepped in and perhaps helped me out. Last week I was skimming the local newspaper. I don't read it very often, but this day I saw it sitting on a table at work and picked it up.

Right there staring at me from the front page of the Life & Style section was a fascinating article. I don't want to say what it's about yet, as I'm afraid typing it will somehow jinx it! Anyway, it involves a training program for something that I find very interesting and that I think I would be very good at. I've done a bit of research over the last few days, and the woman who does this is apparently rather well-known for her expertise in this area...and as luck would have it, she offers her training program right here in Reno!

I'm going to meet with her to discuss the training and potential for this field. The training is expensive, but I'd rather spend some money now to make it all worthwhile in the end.

"Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for." ~ Lawrence Block

Monday, July 9, 2007

What I don't want

My horoscope for yesterday was very interesting:


"Always the optimist, you look to a day that's much like the present, except you have more of what you want and less of what you don't. By eliminating three of your "don't wants," you're closer to heaven."

I've been so busy focusing on all the things I want, it didn't occur to me that I might need to rid myself of some negative things. Let's see, what don't I want...

1. I don't want to be around people who bring me down, energy-suckers, if you will. I have a couple "friends" who are very negative and seem to exude bad energy. I've discovered that when I spend time with them, I walk away feeling pessimistic. This just isn't going to work for me anymore. I have made deliberate decisions regarding my life, and I want to be surrounded by positive energy that will help me achieve my goals.

2. I don't want to settle, in any aspect of my life. Since I started looking for a new job, more than one person has told me to quit being so unrealistic and be glad I have a job. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to have a job. However, there is a better job out there for me. Why should I settle for a job where I'm not very happy when I know that's not what's meant for me? I have to go out and make this new job happen, nobody is going to call and offer me my dream job unless I'm out there looking for it. I'm not going to stop until I find it!

3. I don't want to do what society says people are "supposed" to do, unless it's what I want to do. I want to enjoy life, on my own terms! More on this later...

I don't think it's wrong to want to live my life my way. I won't do anything that would interfere with my family, but yes, I want it all! I only have once chance at this life, and I want to make the best of it.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

My eight...okay...ten random facts!

Sognatrice did this the other day, and I said I would participate. It only took me about two days to come up with something!

1. I love to be afraid. I love to watch scary movies, even ones I've seen before that give me nightmares. I suppose it's that adrenaline rush.

2. When I was little (about 10-12 years old), I used to stay up late on Wednesday nights and watch Dynasty. Of course, my parents didn't allow this, so I had to sneak. I had a small, black & white TV in my bedroom, so I would pretend to go to bed, then turn on the TV with the sound so low I could barely hear it. Looking back, I'm sure my parents could see the light flickering under the door (especially since they had to walk past my door to get to their bedroom), but they never said anything.

3. I assumed I would grow up and live in a house like they had on Dynasty. I just knew I would have servants and wear elegant evening gowns all the time. I had no idea how this would happen, I just thought I would be rich and famous, so I never planned for it. That's probably why I have a relatively small three bedroom home today.

4. Even though I don't get to wear evening gowns, I love dressing up and going out. I love putting on makeup, jewelry, nice clothes and shoes, and doing my hair. I'll spend hours searching for the right necklace or bracelet. I'm a girly-girl!

5. I don't leave my house without some type of makeup on, even if it's just mascara and lip gloss.

6. I love fruit. Love, love, love it! However, I generally do not like it mixed in with other types of food, for example, in a salad. I will pick out all the fruit first, then eat the rest.

7. Bent or mis-shaped paperclips really bother me. If I can't straighten them out to the point where they look new again, I throw them away. How the heck do people get them all bent like that?

8. I dislike talking on the phone. I will go to almost any lengths to avoid answering the phone at home. Yet my cell phone is my constant companion - I love text messages, and I get my email on my cell.

9. I'm in a music video. As I've mentioned before, I am a huge Rob Thomas/matchbox twenty fan. Back in 2000, the fan club invited members to be in the Mad Season video. The invitation was extended on a Wednesday, and the only provision was that we had to be able to be in Los Angeles by 6:00 am Saturday morning. Being as I'm only about 1.5 hours away by plane, that was easily accomplished. Not only did I get to be in the video, but I met the band (the first of many times...they are truly great guys) and made several new friends - people I am still friends with today!

10. If you watch the video, you can see me twice. Of course, you have to know exactly when and where to look, and you have to look quickly, but I'm definitely in there!

"You are about to make an important decision"

The other day my mom and I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant. We had spent most of the time discussing my need for a new job and my desire to spend time in Italy. My mom is very supportive, to the point of using her free time to search online for jobs for me. I love my mom. She even offered to make up the difference in my salary if I find a job that pays less than I make now. I would never take her up on that offer, but I love that she just wants me to be happy.

Anyhoo, at the end of lunch, I opened my fortune cookie and it said, "You are about to make an important decision."

A sign, perhaps?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I love motorcycles

A little background first...

My husband's life revolves around motorcycles. He manages a Honda/Ducati dealership. He's worked there for about 18 years. He started riding dirt bikes soon after he started walking. He started racing dirt bikes when he was 5. His parents met at a motocross race, where his father raced with his mom's brothers. Motorcycles are in his blood.

Thank God I like them too.

Friday night I was waiting for him to come home from work, since Fridays are our "date night". Instead of hearing his truck in the driveway, I heard the unmistakeable sound of a motorcycle. I rushed outside to see what toy he had decided to bring home with him. It was a brand new Ducati something-or-other (I'm not good with all the different types!). He just said, "Go change your clothes, grab your helmet, and let's go for a ride!"

It was a beautiful evening for a ride. We spent a couple hours enjoying both the new bike (it's fast!) and the scenery. The weather was perfect, not too hot and just a slight breeze.

Turns out he didn't buy this bike, as his shop is only allotted three of this particular model, and there is a long waiting list of people who want to buy one.

But that's okay, that's not the best part of the story...apparently Ducati allows authorized dealers to rent (not sure if "rent" is the right term, but that doesn't matter) bikes from their headquarters. Which wouldn't appeal to me very much, except they are located in Italy! Somewhere near Milan, I believe. And my husband thinks it would be a fun way to see Italy!

Slowly, the pieces may be falling into place to allow me to spend more time in Italy.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Curly hair

For those of you who read Annika's blog, you know about her no-poo experiment. I've been trying it too, although not as consistently as I probably should for the best results. I've been fairly pleased with how my hair looks and feels now, and I think I'm going to continue using only conditioner.

However, as if I needed yet another reason to go back to Italy, I made a little discovery while looking through photos of my recent trip. This picture, which I didn't even know was being taken, shows my hair in its completely natural state. Earlier that day, I had stepped out of the shower (after using only conditioner) and did absolutely nothing to my hair.

Look at those curls! Look how naturally my hair takes to Italy! (Yes, I realize the top is messed up a bit - I think I had just brushed it back with my hand, but let's ignore that part...)
It's as if it's saying, "Stay here, and I'll look like this for you every day!"

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I want...

I’m feeling a little sad and discouraged today, so I thought I would write a “wish list” of things I need to address. I’m a big list-maker, and seeing things written down makes me feel better. Feel free to offer any suggestions or input!

I want:

●To lose 32 pounds. I gained about 50 pounds after my father died, so I ended up hiring a trainer. I’ve already lost 18 pounds by following what my trainer taught me, and it really works, but it just takes time because it’s not a crash diet or anything.

●A new job. Not only have I lost interest in my current line of work, but I only get 2 weeks of vacation per year! That really doesn’t work for me anymore. I’ve been trying to get on with our university for almost a year, with no luck. I’ve now started looking other places, getting the word out to people, etc. I’ve decided I need a new job by October 1st. (Yes, there’s a reason for that date, but I don’t want to go into it unless it really happens!)

●To learn Italian. I took 2 classes at our local community college - they were nice and all, but they weren’t “real” graded classes. Considering I didn’t study once outside of class, it’s amazing I learned what I did. I can understand a bit when people speak (as long as they speak slowly!), but I can’t form a sentence at all! There are “real” classes at both our university and community college where I would have to do assignments, take tests, and receive a grade, so I would have to study. I’m about 95% sure I’m going to enroll in one for the fall semester.

●To stop thinking about something I shouldn’t be thinking about (long story…I may post about it soon…)

●To find a way to spend more time in Italy each year (which I'm hoping the new job/more time off will help me accomplish)

To be continued…

Monday, June 25, 2007


I have just returned from my third annual trip to paradise…er…Positano. It gets harder to leave each time. I wish I could just pack up my belongings and move there. Yes, I know it’s not perfect, and reality would be different than I imagine – I read Nicki’s blog every day - but please allow me to live in my little fantasy world…

This year:

  • I traveled with two of my best friends. One has been with me each time I’ve been to Positano, and the other experienced her first trip to Italy.
  • Said friends had never met each other before, and got along famously.
  • I finally met Nicki! Unfortunately, we were only able to chat twice for a few minutes each time, but we shall rectify that the next time I’m there.
  • I resolved an ongoing “issue” I had with one of the locals. We had a great time hanging out together after the issue was resolved, but now I miss this person terribly!
  • Strangely enough, I did not drink a great deal of wine, but what wine I did have was delicious...and from the Campania region.
  • I swam in the beautiful water of the Tyrrhenian Sea, spent entirely too much money in Sorrento, saw Amalfi for the first time, and took in the beauty of Capri for the second time.
  • I bought an unbelievable amount of candy. I'm not much of a candy eater, but the fact that it's Italian candy and I won't see it again for a year makes me go a little crazy!
  • I witnessed the annual Saint Vito festival for the second year in a row. I am constantly in awe of how Italians celebrate very different than life in the states...
  • One morning I spent hours just wandering the streets of Positano by myself, and I felt more comfortable, more at peace, more at home than I have ever felt before. I felt like I was "home". I know some of you understand exactly what I mean.
  • Since I couldn't carry-on bottles of limoncello, due to the new safety rules, I packed several bottles very carefully. All of them survived the trip home.
  • I managed to hold back the tears until I was safely alone at home, locked in the bathroom so my husband wouldn't see.
  • Within 48 hours, I was planning next year's trip...

  • Introducing my new blog!

    Considering I haven't posted in my old blog for almost a year, and also considering that I'm working on a new and improved ME, I thought I would create a new blog as well.

    First, confession time: I blatantly stole the name for my blog from my favorite songwriter/singer, Rob Thomas. As he says in the song of the same name, "we're all looking for something, something to be". This describes how I feel at this stage in my life, and I'm assuming he won't mind if I "borrow" the name!

    Second, stay tuned for my post about my recent trip to Positano...

    Third, I'm not happy with the template, colors, etc., so this will be a work in process. I'm just feeling inspired tonight and I wanted to write while the mood struck me!