Saturday, January 30, 2010


chair 005

This is my Crate and Barrel desk chair. I have had it for about 12 years. It has even traveled back and forth across the country.

If you look carefully, you will notice that the legs of the chair are not quite even. My ex-boyfriend like to lean back in this chair when he was on the computer. It's a good leaning back in chair, very supprotive. Or at least it was for a little while. One day, after he had leaned back in the chair one-too-many times, the bolt holding the 2 sets of legs together broke in half. We went to the hardware store, and he fixed the chair up the best he could. But ever since then, the chair has never been the same. Case in point…

chair 006

Here it is with the back legs doing the splits.

chair 002

Here it is with the front legs doing the splits.
I really like this chair, which is probably why I’ve had it for so long. However, at least once every time I sit in it, it slowly does the splits in one direction or the other – not particularly comfortable.

After 12 years, I finally replaced this chair with one that doesn’t fall to the ground whenever I sit in it. I received it last week and put it together over the weekend. It’s so comfortable.

chair 004

I’m so proud of me.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Luck or Divine Intervention?

In case you were wondering, I did finish The Last Symbol in time for book club. Three hundred pages in two days may possibly be a record for me.

The book was ok, but it did make me stop and think about something that I never thought I would. One of the main characters in the book is a scientist who studies noetics which is the science of intellect or thought. There were two parts that struck me (granted it’s a work of fiction). First, her research showed that a person’s thoughts has a measured weight. Second of all, they were studying the power of collective thought. Of course, this is the simplified version of the book. canstock1089753I’m usually skeptical about this type of theory, but there is something about it that makes me wonder.

Just this week, I might have seen the power of collective thought in action. Last week, it rained and rained for days on end. I’ll tell you what, when you are a school teacher, the rain sucks. Looking at the weather forecast for this week, Tuesday was going to be a very rainy day. Well, I logged onto Facebook and told everyone to think dry, sunny thoughts because I just couldn’t handle another rainy day at work.

Can you guess what happened Tuesday? That’s right, it did not rain until late in the afternoon. We got through all but that last 10 minutes of the day without rain, and even then it was just a light rain.

Now, it could have just been luck. The weather forecasts are often incorrect. Or it could have been that all the teachers who are my Facebook friends put their collective heads together and hoped and wished the rain away.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

Last week it rained and rained and rained so it was a good week to make soup. In addition to my Chicken Tortilla Soup, I tried out this new recipe. It was almost as good the tortilla soup. The sour cream trick at the end was delish on both.

Black Bean Soup
10 slices bacon, finely chopped
1medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth
1 can chopped tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheddar, for garnish

1. Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes.
2. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they turn clear, about 4 minutes.
3. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute.
4. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
5.Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
6. While the soup is cooking, chop the cilantro leaves coarsely. Add to the soup after the above 10 minutes.
7. Cook until the soup is thickened, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the garnishes.

09082009-Black-Bean-Soup-00 Sour Cream Garnish
Grate 2 limes ( I used the one for the soup and one additional). Add the lime zest to 1 cup of sour cream and mix thoroughly. Add to your soup for a wonderful touch.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I’m the Worst Book Clubber Ever

I have been part of my book club for about 7 years now.  I am one of the founding members.  I love book club.  I love reading the books.  I love having dinner with my friends.  I love discussing the books.  I love the gossip that happens before, during, after discussing the books.  Why is it then that I wait until the VERY LAST MINUTE to finish the book?!?!  Currently we are reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, of The DaVinci Code fame. 
There are 509 pages and I am currently on page 203.  Book club is Thursday.  Sheesh, I feel like I’m in high school all over again; under pressure to get finished with it.  I start everything else I do in my life early and get it finished so I don’t have to think about it anymore, except my book club book.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a short book or a long book.  I start it right after finishing the previous book and then end up putting it off and putting it off until 3 days before book club.  At that time I go to bed and read and read and read, trying to get it finished.  Usually I begin to nod off and the book falls out of my hands and hits me on the head.  This time it is particularly dangerous as Symbol is a 500 page hard cover book. 

OK, I’m off to read as much as I can before falling asleep tonight.  Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t wake up in the morning with a black eye.  Also, keep your fingers crossed that I can read 300 more pages by Thursday.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


  wanted copy






My winter vacation is officially over after Monday’s holiday and I don’t want to go back. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

That’s My Name, Don’t Wear It Out

If you are a regular Facebook user, you have most likely seen the “how original were your parents” quiz. It turns out my parents received an F- in originality as Kimberly was the 4th most popular name in the year that I was born. Which really doesn’t surprise me because I went to elementary, jr. high, and high school with anywhere from three to five Kimberlys in each of my classes.
My parents named me for no other reason than because they liked the name. If I had been a boy they would have called me Sean.
I’ve never thought too much about my name since there’s not too much I can do about it. As a kid, my family called me Kimmy. I got to a point in my preteens that I couldn’t stand it and so now friends and family only call me Kimmy when they are making fun of me, which I also can’t stand. Throughout my life, most people have called me Kim. I don’t like Kim. To me it’s boring and sounds harsh. It’s funny though, because the few times that I have had a major change in my life(college, new jobs, etc.), I’ve tried to go by Kimberly. I’d initially introduce myself that way, but over time everyone just ended up calling me Kim.
I looked up my name on a couple of the baby name sites and it was difficult to pinpoint a true meaning. The name seems to have been city or town names before becoming a first name. Some of the meanings are “From The Meadow Of The Royal Fortress”, “Chief/Ruler”, and “Diamond”. I like the “diamond” meaning best, however I know my friends are giggling that “Chief/Ruler” is a meaning because they know I like to be in charge. Which is true.

Kruger Day 4 111I’ve only been to one city with my namesake, Kimberley, South Africa. It’s actually the capitol city of the Northern Cape Province. The city has had a turbulent history due to its diamond mining history.
Even though my name was very popular back in the 70s, its not anymore. In fact, off the top of my head I don’t think I know any Kimberlys anymore. I’m sure there are many, my age out there, but I don't seem to run into any too often.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More Celebrity (kind of) Sightings

This weekend, I spent some time at the Grove/Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles. My last celebrity sighting at the Grove was pretty hard to top since David Beckham is a pretty big celebrity. This weekend though it was quantity over quality as I spotted five semi-celebrities.

Upon arriving at the shopping/restaurant mecca, we had lunch at Maggiano’s. After lunch we headed across the street to the Farmers Market to start the shopping part of our visit. Within minutes of arriving we walked right past Gilles Marini. He is best known as hot, naked guy Dante, Samantha’s sexy neighbor, in the Sex and the City movie.
gilles-marini-dwts-season-8 He, sadly, was not naked fully clothed and holding the hands of his two young children as they walked towards the entrance to the Market.

After a little bit of shopping it was time for a movie. We saw Leap Year and then did some more shopping. All that shopping made us thirsty, so we headed to Monsieur Marcel’s wine bar for a drink and a cheese plate. As I sipped my prosecco, I looked to my right and these two were sitting next to me…
chrisvance_narrowweb__300x429,0 danay-garcia-2
If you were a Prison Break fan, you would no doubt recognize them from the 3rd season. Chris Vance has more recently been on the show Mental. He’s adorable by the way AND British.

Now my 4th sighting was actually sitting next to these two, but I don’t know his name. I guess he would be a semi, semi celebrity. But I do know he has been in shows that I watch. I just can’t come up with any of the names.

After some refreshments, we headed back to the car stopping first at Sur La Tab, one of my favorite stores. There was a cooking class taking place so I walked past to see what they were up to. The voice of the chef sounded so familiar. That’s because it was Marcel Vigneron, the runner up on the 2nd season of Top Chef. untitledHe was the instructor of the cooking class!

It was a fun day at The Grove. I actually wish I lived there.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


This weekend I saw the movie Leap Year.

18 The reviews haven’t been too positive, but it looked cute so we went ahead and saw it.  It was kind of cheesy and pretty predictable – a typical RomCom, but it was cute and the Irish backdrop was breathtaking as usual.  This isn’t a movie review, but I will give a little synopsis and then get to the point of my post.  Anna is disappointed when her cardiologist boyfriend doesn’t propose to her before leaving for a conference to Dublin.  She decides to take the bull by the horns and fly to Ireland in order to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Year, the one day that it is ok for a woman to ask a man to marry her in Ireland, or so the story goes.  Of course, the weather is terrible and an emergency landing stops her quite short of Dublin.  She hires a cranky, but charming Irishman called Declan to drive her to Dublin.  Mayhem ensues, but they get to know each other.  Upon arriving in Dublin, they are in love, but the boyfriend ends up proposing to Anna when they arrive at his hotel.  I won’t give away the ending, but you can probably predict it. 
leapyearNow for my point…In the middle of the movie when Declan had had enough of Anna because of her materialistic attitude and his broken heart over a lost love, he asked her a question.  This was the turning point in the movie.  The question was…

If there was a fire and you only had 60 seconds to gather your most treasured possessions, what would you take?

That’s a really good question and it got me thinking.  I live alone in a 1400 square foot home that is pretty full of stuff.  Of course, my dog would be first.  And sure, there are photo albums and books that mean a lot to me.  I would also want my cameras, computer, and cell phone; maybe my art supplies too.  My shoe collection is also quite good.  However, other than Koho, there is nothing inside my house that I can think of that I just can’t live without.  As I go from room-to-room there are a lot of things I want and even a few things that I don’t, but nothing in those rooms that I really need.  I think it’s time to do a little spring cleaning.

What about you?  What would you take with you if you only had 60 seconds.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Is Winter Over Already?

Today it is a chilly 78 degrees in Southern California. As the rest of the nation is being hammered with cold and snow, I am starring at the thermometer on my patio whining that our cold, 60 degree, weather didn’t last long enough. I’m not saying that I want it to be blizzard like or so icy that I have to lift sheets of ice off my car windows only to skid and slide on that ice as I drive to my destination. However, I do miss the bundle up and curl up thoughts that come from cold weather and snow, and since we don’t have that weather here, I think wanting it to be 60 degrees in the middle of winter isn’t too much to ask.

My favorite poet, Billy Collins writes about what I like best about snow…


Snow Day by Billy Collins
Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows
the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.
In a while I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch,
sending a cold shower down on us both.
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news
that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed,
the All Aboard Children's School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with -- some will be delighted to hear --
the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School,
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and -- clap your hands -- the Peanuts Play School.
So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.
And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.
art 002
GPP Street Team Crusade #36

I don’t miss the mess and frustrations of winter, but I do miss the feeling of a snowy day.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What If I Had Been A T-------?

Note: Letters intentionally left out as the author does not wish to be on a government watch list.

This past weekend I flew home from Las Vegas. After the Christmas day t-------- threat, I expected my check-in time to be terrible. However, upon arriving at the airport, it was anything but. I went from the car door to airplane door without showing my ID one time. I know, right!?!?

Now, to be honest, I don’t really fit the t-------- profile being a blonde, blue-eyed white girl and all, but I really think that’s beside the point. They didn’t know for sure that I was who I said I was when I checked in. They didn’t know if I had a b--- in my pants. Plus, I was only flying one-way. Who else do they let slide by because he/she doesn’t fit the profile.

Of course, going through airport s------ is never fun and is often a pain in the butt, but it is necessary. I would rather show up 2 hours before my flight and be checked and scanned and checked again than have someone board a plane who shouldn’t.

Did you fly anywhere this holiday season? What was your experience?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Part 2, Koho’s Big Adventure

Last week I wrote about my dog Koho’s mishaps at her soon-to-be babysitter’s house. I was so worried dropping her off for the real stay, not wanting her to be a nuisance. However, I didn’t have any other options really, so I dropped her off the night before I left. By the time I left to go out of town on Thursday morning, there hadn’t been a email or phone call so we went on our way.

Not wanting to hear distressing news, I put off getting in touch, but when I finally did the responses were actually quite funny.

These are the actual responses to my emails…

Email #1
Me: Hi there! Just checking to see how it is going? I hope well!
Sheila: Sorry, I am not giving her back. What a sweetheart. She kept me warm all night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the amazing part is that Kane does not seem to be jealous at all. Have fun.

Email #2
Me: Hi there! Hope all is still well?
Sheila: K
oho doesn't want to go home, ever, but if she has to Sunday is best. So sweet and so easy. I am increasingly amazed at how well the two dogs are getting along, or ignoring each other. And Koho has managed to stay out of the pool. A real plus. And another super poop in the house!!!!!!!!!!!!! Arf arf.

What a relief. Is is bad that I’m a “proud mama”?