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Dear Delta,

While I appreciate your desire to perform safety checks on your aircraft, I really wish you had waited a few days. I've already seen enough of the Atlanta airport in the last few weeks, what with my roundtrip 8 hour layover for Caymans, and now my 4.5 hour to home.

And I'm stuck in the terminal where there is one Starbucks and it's literally on the other side of the terminal from my gate.

No love,
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Day 5 - 3/16/08

Final day. Got up, saw sunrise. Took pictures. Many pictures. Went back to bed for several hours. Dreamt of ninjas attacking me just as I sat down to mess about with an Excel spreadsheet. Wonder what that's all about. Ninjas. Eventually got up again and went for lunch. Had blue margarita to coordinate with outfit. (I begin to believe that margaritas may take the place of my previous favorite drink, the screwdriver.)

Went back to room, read, went swimming, got bowled over repeatedly by waves, given how strong the wind was. Went home, took shower, went on sunset boat cruise. Too cloudy for good sunset, but drank punch and lounged about on the boat for two hours. Nice catamaran, good to go sailing, given that snorkelling doesn't work with glasses. Came home, ate dinner and rum cake. Mmm, rum cake. (Where has all the rum gone? Into the cake. Why? It tastes better that way.) Decided that a question on my "Informational Questionaire for Prospective Dates" should be "What's your opinion on cheese?"

Read some more, determined that we both had long layovers in Atlanta. Were vaguely displeased. I threatened to buy another Phillipa Gregory novel to keep me entertained during the long hours. Henry offered one of his books, telling me not to stoop to such ludicrous depths.

Getting up relatively early tomorrow, inclined to remember to wear more clothing, given how cold I was on the flight out. Am looking forward to being home; forced relaxation is rather tiring and I can only imagine how the porridge is doing.

Needless to say, but I'll do it anyway, AWESOME idea, whosever it was. Warm warm warm all of the time, even at night. A little too humid sometimes, but the everpresent seabreeze keeps the temperature just right. I will say, though, that I will not miss the feel or smell of sunblock. Or what the sea breeze/water does to my hair. I believe I'm more tan -- I daresay that my tummy is, given the tanlines, but I couldn't say how noticeable any of the rest of it is. Come to think of it, I have very few, if any, pictures of me in the sun. I doubt anyone will believe I was even there. Clearly, I'm just playing hooky from work and ordering rum cakes online.
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Day 4 - 3/15/08

I'm slightly tipsy, so this entry will be short. Well, that and we're getting up at 415am to watch the sunrise. Yes, I know, we're crazy. Ask me again, and I'll tell you the same.

So we got up, drove to Hell and back. I would have stopped to take a picture, but there wasn't much there. Odd to think that Hell is actually the backstreets of a small tropical island. We drove along 7 Mile Beach, which is where all the touristy hotels (like the Hyatt and the Ritz) are, admired the oh so white sands. Then stopped at Georgetown to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe. My luck to choose the island that HAS a Hard Rock Cafe. I was thoroughly amused by their guitar selection -- Roger Waters parked next to Slash; it doesn't get much better than that. Then we wandered up and down Georgetown, looking for touristy knicknacks, Tortuga Rum Cakes (which, OMG, so good at the Hard Rock), and a long sleeve button down for Henry, none of which we were particularly able to find. We also went looking for a bookstore, which turned out to have a very limited selection, although they did have several Erikson books, but nothing that particularly struck our fancy. I guess good ole Atlanta will be my hope and salvation. Although I haven't yet started my Asimov book. Maybe it'll last.

By this point, we were fully sick of the tourists, so we decided to go home, back to the East End, where you're more likely to see fish than people. We stopped off on the side of the road and went wading in just because we could. As I was standing knee deep in water, holding my pants up to keep them from getting wet, a Vespa went by and honked at us. I was terribly amused. I think they were also tourists, saluting us for being as touristy as we could possibly be.

Following our beach excursion, we wandered into a Pirate Cave place, which also had a zoo and nature walk. I got to pet a goat and it wagged its tail at me! There are a bunch of pictures of me and Henry crawling around searching for gold doubloons. We didn't find any, of course, but we almost got attacked by a bat and almost got lost deep within the caverns. The proprietor told us a story of an Australian guy who spent 2 and a half hours in the caves just clambering around. He was, I'm sure, smaller and more appropriately dressed than either of us were at the time.

Then back to the hotel and a 2 hour nap before hitting the beach bar where I ordered a mango daiquiri (eh) and a shark bite (yum, but really strong). We determined that tomorrow, I will wear blue and get a blue margarita or sapphire martini and then there will be overly coordinated pictures of me. Anyway, that's why I'm tipsy. (I was thinking that at some point, there should be a drinking game of all the drinks featured in songs, while listening to that song. "Tequila Sunrise", "Margaritaville", "Escape (the Pina Colada Song)". I worry what would happen if I listen to Thorogood's "I Drink Alone". Large quantities of alcohol poisoning, I shouldn't wonder. Maybe this would be an awesome mix CD; I could call it "The Drinking Game". "10 Rounds of Jose Cuervo", "Gin & Juice", etc. Hmmm, there might be something to this...) I've determined that I'm not a huge fan of rum.

And also, here, I'd like to put in a plug for aloe, which is so awesome on sunburns. Well, mine at least. It made Henry's hurt more, but I might actually be able to sleep on my back tonight.

So, then, up in 6 hours to catch a sunrise and begin the last day on the island. Ironic how I said this would be short and it's the longest entry yet.
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Day 3 - 3/14/08

Happy Pi Day! So okay, ow. Sunburns suck. Like, really. Did you konw that if you take a hot shower, you find out exactly where you're burned, even if you didn't think you were? Yeah. Painful.

Anyway, today we slept in until noon and then put on as much clothing and sunblock as we possibly could, to the point of nearly being dressed for California winter, and then we went to the Botanical Gardens, the only major nature preserve on the Grand Cayman Island. The specialty is the Cayman Blue Iguana (aka, the Blue Dragon), of which we were fortunate to see 3, two in the wild and one in captivity. The ones in the wild were larger and bluere than the one in the box. And of course my camera ran out of batteries. Happily, Henry's still had juice, so we got tons of iguana pics. I swear, from the number of pictures we have, you'd think we ran into a giant pack of iguanas. There were parrots and other lizards and pretty tropical flowers too so all in all quite pretty.

We then decided to actually drive up to Rum Point, which is a major landmark on the map, but nothing more than a pier, a foodshack, a gift shop and a scuba rental place. This seems to be a tendency of the island as well as my map, which considers Rum Point worth a ! and a picture. The water was crystal clear and very shallow. We got to see a really skinny trumpetfish-like fish in the water, even without snorkel gear. I guess Rum Point is mostly a nifty beach and everything else is a sidenote.

Anyway, we got food, which was a good thing given that I almost collapsed from lack of it (or the heat or dehydration, I don't know. All I know was that my vision started to narrow and I did almost pass out.). Then we watched the tourists (yes, we finally found them -- they're at Rum Point!). Then we came back to the hotel, ate some ice cream, and read books. Amazingly, I've now finished 3 books -- "The Hedonism Handbook", "The Other Boelyn Girl", and Ellison's "Approaching Oblivion". I've only got my small Asimov book left before I'm without reading material. Good thing we're going to Georgetown tomorrow and seeking out a bookstore.

Left to do on this vacation: 1) drink fruity drinks; 2) buy souveniry things; 3) go snorkeling; 4) find, eat, and buy rum cake. Given the 2 days remaining to us, objects 1,2,4 can all be accomplished tomorrow with our drive to Georgetown and 3 will happen Sunday when practically the entire island shuts down. And 1 could happen more than once anyway.

Do I feel relaxed and rejuvenated? Yes and no. I don't think I ever have this much down time, and all I kind of want to do is sleep. Sad really, but I guess that's better than running around like a crazed tourist. still, too short of a time and not as much done as I'd like. Need to start planning a trip to Egypt. Who's with me?
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Day 2 - 3/13/08

Today was the day in which everything broke, so Henry and I will be forced to do nothing tomorrow. The microwave and toaster are practically nonfunctional (where nonfunctional is defined as 'broken start button' and 'sets off the smoke detector', respectively), the water was cold, the light on our balcony is half on, half off and flickers between these states relatively rapidly, to the point of driving me batty. I meanwhile am covered in sunburn all over. It's not a BAD sunburn. I did cover myself repeatedly with sunscreen but am apparently too fair even for SPF 45. That or the sun just loves me. I mean, okay, sure, I did fall asleep lying on my stomach in the sun reading "The Other Boelyn Girl", and it's entirely my fault I'm burned, but STILL. Yes, yes, I know -- Ah, me, look at my terrible life.

Anyway, we sat on the beach and went into the ocean and read a book and had some lunch (actually, just french fries, which brought me back to Saudi where I'd sit by the compound pool drinking ice tea and eating french fries. Such is the memory of childhood that I had to recreate it), and went back in the water and lay on the beach and eventually went back to the room with the lofty goal of dinner and driving up to Rum Point. As I mentioned the toaster/microwave were broken so dinner was cheese, crackers and apple, bought from the RIDICULOUSLY convenient convenience store across the way. Rum Point didn't so much happen either as I was content to fall asleep for a few hours instead.

I am not quite the color of the lobster I had last night, but my back does hurt abysmally. Henry, despite his care to put on sunscreen and sit only in the shade is also burned although not as badly as me.

So, yeah. Tomorrow, we have high ambitions of going to Georgetown and trinket shopping, reasoning that another day spent on the beach and the toaster won't be the only thing that catches on fire -- we will both be crispy.

I have been very good, however, about not thinking about work. I realized that my timecard was due today and I'd failed to approve it before I left. I tried to send a text message to my coworker to make it work (considering that we have no internet readily available), but was unsuccessful. I guess Sprint's digital roaming doesn't take texts. Ah well. I'm not working, unlikely Henry who is doing work even as I write this. he claims it's all in fun and is terribly interesting, but c'mon dude. Stop being useful.
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Day 1 - 3/12/08

So a few days before I left for the wondrous world of the Grand Caymans, I stumbled upon "The Hedonism Handbook" at the Stanford Bookstore. Intrigued, I picked it up. The back said, "Dare to go on vacation without your laptop and cellphone. Let red wine and great sex improve your health. Embrace your secret urge to do absolutely nothing today." Huh, I thought. This is precisely what I need to help me enjoy my vacation in the Caribbean. So I bought it.

In the end, leaving the Bay Area to go on vacation was somewhat more difficult than expected. I was at work late, trying to set up things for porridge emails, kept wondering if I should bring my laptop so I could do work during my 5 hour layover in Atlanta. After 4/4 people said, with varying degrees of emphaticness, "No, you're on vacation," I left it at work. By the time I actually boarded my flight, I had already thought of at least 6 or 7 emails I'd forgotten to send before I left. But as my handbook says, my coworkers will deal. How do I know? What would happen if I had died? They'd go on. So vacation will be no different.

Anyway, Henry met a very groggy and sleep deprived me in Atlanta, we flew down to the Cayman Islands, rented a car, got lost, figured out where we were, got to our hotel. We're staying at the Reef Resort, which is on the opposite end of the Island from everything else. We're very happy about this, as it means that for most of the afternoon, we were the only people in the water, and there were only three people on the beach. And it's spring break time. Good choice, us.

Anyway, the water is remarkably clear and this feel very like something out of a movie, complete with bad DJ and couples dancing outside the beach bar. I have yet to order a fruity drink, but I lay in the sun in a bikini and went swimming (well, wading, given how shallow it is here), lay on the dock and looked at the stars, and had lobster for dinner.

Also, I bought a hat. Bright blue, matches excellently with my sarong and bikini, and generally looks pretty cute. There are pictures. By the way, did I mention? SUN, WARMTH, and OCEAN that doesn't freeze. It was a little cloudy, but honestly, if that's all I have to worry about, I'm doing all right.

I think tomorrow, I will do absolutely nothing.
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Thing I'm happy about: It's the last day in November, which means this is the last happy/unhappy/working on post that I have to post. I may do it again anyway, but for right now, that's it.
Thing I'm less happy about: I feel very underprepared for the backpacking trip I'm doing this weekend.
Thing I'm working on: No stress! NO STRESS!!!
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Thing I am happy about: OMG, off of plane and in California again where it is a sensible temperature and not trying to snow. Don't get me wrong, cold can be a wonderful thing after a long period of nice weather, but I do like my sunshine.
Thing I am less happy about: Actually, again, I haven't yet found something to not be happy about today. I'm going to claim a win and move on.
Thing I am working on: unpacking. I know, small bag, but it's getting up the oomph to actually pack things back in my closet that's the problem.

What do the stars say about me? (meme stolen from lunabrd.) )
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The day has dawned sunny and cold, should be down in the 40s for most of today. I had dinner with my brother yesterday, which was awesome, minus the fact that we were both some level of exhausted. We only did dinner and chatted over Italian food But, as I pointed out, we'll see each other for Christmas, and that'll be good.

Christmas is turning into such a complicated affair this year. I think I'm visiting not one but both of my grandmothers, which will include me being in a car for 840 miles or so. I'm looking forward to it, but it means that I need to start planning presents NOW, before I get swamped with vacation planning.

Thing I am happy about: It's FRIDAY!
Thing I am less happy about: I'm still sniffly, and the lack of restful sleep has not been helping.
Thing I am working on: Remembering to wake up in time tomorrow to get to the airport for my 830am flight.
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So just ignore the last entry. Today, I definitely rolled out of bed, took a ten minute shower, threw on jeans and the first sweater I grabbed, and ran out the door, slightly late. We went bowling last night and I slept badly, so go figure. Also, it was not sunny yesterday, although it was definitely not cold, and today it is supposed to rain. So that just goes to show you that things are not always as you expect them to be.

[ETA: which is not to say, by the way, that I'm no longer in love with this city. I am still very much enjoying my time in New York. Just all the expectations of yesterday kind of fell apart, although I did manage to schedule meetings with people...]

Thing I am happy about: Having dinner with my awesome brother at someplace other than Joe's House of All Things Peanut
Thing I am less happy about: Excel sheets full of sites I was supposed to look at yesterday but didn't because I was asleep.
Thing I am working on: I should really do that whole "get more sleep" thing.
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Working in New York is always odd. I wear heels and dress pants and nice sweaters, and get up half an hour earlier than I would normally just so I can look prettier/my hair can dry. This is kind of different than my rolling out of bed, taking a shower, throwing on a pair of jeans and whatever tshirt I happen to grab from my closet, grabbing a jacket and running out of my door. I'm not sure which one I prefer more. On the one hand, additional sleep; on the other, putting on some dressy clothes makes that whole work-life division that much clearer. I stay more focused.

In any case! New York, as always, is awesome. I'm still in love with this city, and the office here is very nice. I got to hang out with some of the engineers and that was particularly joyous. Also, my hotel room is very large, has a nice kitchen, and decent water pressure. If I could kick the last vestiges of this cold, I'd be really happy.

Thing I'm happy about: It's supposed to be warm and sunny here today.
Thing I'm less happy about: OMG, stupid cold. I sound like a sniffly five year old.
Thing I'm working on: Remembering to set up meetings with all those people I should really set up meetings with.
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In New York. Really tired.

Thing I'm happy about: It's not as cold here as I feared it would be.
Thing I'm less happy about: I'm ridiculously tired at this point, given the red eye with ridiculous turbulence. Even if you're in first class, turbulence will wake you up and/or keep you from sleeping.
Thing I'm working on: working up the motivation to go make myself coffee.
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I was very unmotivated yesterday -- I think the rain dampened my spirits. Whatever the case, I ended up spending ~90% of the day in my apartment, alternately watching Deep Space 9 Season 1, reading a book, and staring at various lyrics online. I didn't actually leave the house until 10pm, when I was invited to go play board games at Green & Brown's, so I went over and we played Monopoly. I know, group of 5 gamers, and we decide to play Monopoly! Weird. In all fairness, there was a tiebreaker between Monopoly and Apples to Apples. No one had played Monopoly in a really long time, so it was kind of fun...

I honestly can't remember the last time I played Monopoly. I feel like it must have been sometime during freshman year of college or the summer after, but I can only remember playing Monopoly in Saudi with Kati. We'd eat cheese puff balls, read Calvin and Hobbes, and play epic games of Monopoly. I used to always play with the horse and cowboy when I was little, so that was my piece of choice. Anyway, David took an early lead, but by the end of it, I had rent immunity on enough properties and had enough well placed properties of my own that I ended up with total assets of over $16,000. Which is a lot of money in Monopoly, but not as much in real life. I doubt somehow I'd be able to build a house for $50, even if it were on Connecticut Ave. In any case, the game was relatively short (aka, 3 hours) since David and I decided not to duke it out after the other three players went bankrupt, but then there was some Smash and I didn't get home until 330am.

I love watching Smash. I have no idea why. I don't really have any interest in playing it, but it's fun to watch. This is odd, since I didn't play any of the games that the characters are from, so I'm constantly asking, "Who's that? What's that stage from?" Anyway, it reminds me of my last year at Stanford and going over to EAST and hanging out with various people in the lounge playing Smash. I don't really miss being in college, but I really miss having the ability to be online at 3am and find someone else to hang out with who's a five minute walk away. And how large group things just kind of materialized of their own accord -- now it's all about the planning. Ah, we could go here, we could do this, etc etc. Which reminds me, I should try and organize a Girls' Day with the few in-the-area girls and go up to the city or down to Santa Cruz or something.

Thing I'm happy about: sleeping in until 1145. Sleep is fantastic. Also, digestive biscuits with nutella are AWESOME for breakfast.
Thing I'm less happy about: This cold. It was supposed to clear up rapidly, but it seems to be hanging on a week later.
Thing I'm working on: Errands and packing. I'm going to NYC tomorrow night for a week...
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I didn't really remember to post yesterday, so I'm backdating this entry. This might be because I got up, I went to work, I went home and went to bed. At six pm. Boy, I have an exciting life. Admittedly, this is coz I was still slightly sick, but so it goes. I feel a lot better today. Er, tomorrow. Whatever.

Anyway, it was a rather inauspicious day (or sarcastically auspicious, either way). I left the house without my glasses, had to go back and get them; nearly missed my train; fell asleep on the train and nearly missed my stop; discovered that the plane tickets I'd bought to NYC were wrong so I had to change them; and I was still sick. All in all, I could have done without the additional stress.

Thing I am happy about: Normalization of drama. This means, in short, that all-consuming emotional things are starting to settle out one way or another.
Thing I am less happy about: The price of tickets at Thanksgiving. While it is 150 dollars cheaper to fly from MA to CA than from CA to MA on the same days, it is still too expensive for Jeremy to come out and visit me.
Thing I am working on: Getting less sick. This one was obvious.
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In California, safe. Unlike my bag, which is still in DC. Avoiding checking work email until tomorrow morning.

And for those of you craving new england fall:
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::bounces around:: It's so Friday.....

And I'm leaving on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again.

Well, no, I do. I'm going home, and I'll be there until Tuesday.
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Back from Yosemite. Didn't get eaten by bears. Still have all my limbs, fingers, and toes. More later.
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back in bay area.

aaahhh!! quick, run run run run!! work work work!!! quick, run run run more! work some, meetings more!! run run run run!!!! minigolf?

also a big shout out to my homie [ profile] onetruedavid for feeding my fish and driving me places last minute when my work and social engagements conflicted with the public transportation schedule.

right? what time is it? AAAHHHHH!!!! runrunrunrun
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Drinking iced coffee, while sitting in the middle of a heretofore unknown coffee shop, with an auspicious name resembling a famous poem by Mary Howitt, and discussing the downfalls of Objectivism as portrayed by Ayn Rand while attempting to make sense of the lyrical graffiti scribbled all over the walls of said coffee shop, is a pretty good way to have dinner. There was unspectacular food also involved, but it was more or less only body fuel and not relevant.

It also calls for an interesting (and yet not unreasonable) comparison to Conan's Pizza, which, in deference to its namesake, has laminated pictures and story snippets from some of Robert E. Howard's most read stories. Also had a truck driven through it at some point. All I could think while I was there was, "Dad and Jamie would LOVE this place." And then I got massively homesick. Really good pizza, though.

Starting thinking about going back to school to get another degree. Now if I can only figure out in what... CS is a little above my reach, methinks, but perhaps business or law... Maybe not law, now that I'm remembering the days that my brother spent locked in the back bedroom, studying for the bar, coming out only for tuna fish sandwiches and Dr. Pepper. And the look that he shot Lesley as he said "Never become a lawyer." You want terror? That was it, boys and girls.

Leaving tomorrow, back to the Bay Area. Don't wait up.
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And now I'm going away for the weekend.

And I'm NOT leaving them with that stupid dissolving food. I found someone to come in and feed them on Sunday.


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December 2011

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