Happy New Year! Let the race against the Mayan Calendar begin!

Happy New Year, y’all. As I reach for my Excedrin after a night of sending 2011 out on its ass, I can’t help but revel in my New Year’s dinner conversation with my sweetheart about all of the places we want to travel to this year. Those conversations with me can be crazy because my list is so long it really does require a lifetime to actually make a dent in the list.

But seeing that we are all on limited time due to the pending doom coming our way on December 21, 2012, I guess I better try to tackle my short list of places to see before my Mayan ancestors pull the plug on me.

Waikiki-Strand auf Oahu/Hawaii

Image via Wikipedia

First up: Oahu. No, seriously. I love Oahu. Many poo poo it and call it nothing more than New York City on a beach but I have always enjoyed Oahu and Waikiki Beach for the simple fact that it is an easy destination to get around in, has snorkeling, nightclubs, surfing, and poolside bar service in a relatively small area, and Waikiki Beach is undeniably a beautiful beach. Of course, I want to visit other islands in conjunction with Oahu, but I have always appreciated how huge Waikiki Beach is and how shallow it is for quite a long stretch. It makes it easy to just wade in the water all day long and feel completely relaxed, in spite of the amount of activity going on along the beach. Oahu also houses Pearl Harbor, which I think is necessary for all Americans to experience if you haven’t already, as well as the Dole Pineapple Plantation. I know it’s not old Hawaii but it still provides that necessary break we all need and it is America’s paradise. I love it. Always have, always will.

Next on the race against death: Thailand and/or Bali. It’s a tie between these two for me. I have been wishing to experience these two destinations for years now and just haven’t had the time to do so. I predict, (acting as my own Nostradamus) that I will see at least one of these this year especially, since my beloved and myself, love Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine. For that matter, we’ll eat almost anything you put in front of us but we tend to lean towards Asian cuisine more than anything else. I would love to experience the sights and sounds while enjoying an authentic Indonesian or Thai meal with my honey before my time runs out.

Africa-Oh Africa. The life-long dream. When ever will I make it there? Where do I start? There’s so much to see, I think the best way to see it is the way my friend saw it years ago. He went to South Africa on holiday, and stayed for three months. That is the imprint that has been left in my head and I have been subconsciously planning to experience all of Africa in that same fashion. Which is why I haven’t seen it yet. I know, I need to start small because for God’s sakes, it took more than one trip to experience Europe all of these years, but like my friend, I know that once I get a taste for it, I won’t want to leave. But it’s coming. I guess I better squeeze that in before December 21st, huh?

Copyright ciaocarla

Italy-I have to see Italy again before the Apocalypse. I don’t know when, but I have to. I’ll never go back in the summer because as much as I love Italy, I hate that friggin’ heat. I know all of the cool stuff happens in the summer but I also like to interact with the locals when the overall atmosphere is calm instead of experiencing death stares because I’m just another Californian pronouncing everything in Spanish instead of Italian. I totally get it. High season tourist overload. They, like the French, tend to be a little more forgiving off-season just as San Franciscans are with them when they visit in December instead of July. Interactions aside, I want to meander through the streets in Florence with a large scoop of gelati, and I want my honey to experience how special San Gimignano and Siena are. (There is also a torture museum in San Gimignano I haven’t seen yet which really piques my interest.)

Yes, the world is too big, too interesting, and too vast to experience in less than twelve months. With any luck, my ancestors were cracked out on some ancient peyote when they threw some numbers into the mix and created THE CALENDAR. Should that be the case, then we all have a little more time to experience those dream trips we all want to take. I believe that life is short anyway and we don’t know what is around the bend from one day to the next so in general, I think we have to participate in life when we can, and not put off the things we want to do. I don’t make resolutions but my overall goal for this year is to create those opportunities for myself, the best way I know how and live life to the fullest! I wish the same for all of you and hope you all get your wish list going!

Here’s to beating the Mayan Calendar!

P.S. Weren’t we supposed to expire at the millenium?


Oh Tacky Tannenbaum!

I have always had this family tradition of going to the woods and cutting down my Christmas trees, no less than a 15 feet usually. I still take my uncle to get his monster tree for his apartment but in the recent years, my pals and I put up a standard 8 foot tree in the living room and I have also resorted to setting up my little tabletop, astro turf tree with one string of lights, on my desk or chest of drawers. I usually deck it out with my travel ornaments and pretty, girly ornaments but those ornaments made it to the living room tree this year. So, I threw the tree in the back of my car with intentions of using it to decorate any unused space at work. As it turned out, it looks like Christmas and Hanukkah threw up simultaneously in our building so my little tree wasn’t needed. Until last night. I discovered that my boyfriend didn’t have anything festive around his place so I put my little tree up on top of his file cabinet. It dressed the place right up! The sad part is that I forgot to bring over some ornaments so we just had an astro turf tree with lights and no ornaments. Leave it to my uncle with the 18 foot tree in a small apartment to have a bag of ornaments he picked up from the thrift store. He collects Christmas ornaments so he usually picks up a $1.00 bag of crappy ornaments if  he finds one ornament in the mix that is of use to him. Consequently, he ends up with bags of crap while all the good stuff of course ends up on his tree.

So, in the effort to create some sort of Christmas tree like atmosphere, we took our bag of rejects and created the Tacky Tannenbaum. Since I didn’t have time to put a proper tree together in the first place, you guessed it, I also didn’t have time to buy hooks for our new ornaments. We used dental floss to hang the ones that didn’t have leftover hooks or strings already attached and produced a 4 foot marvel that only Charlie Brown would appreciate.

Do you have a hammerhead shark on your tree? I didn’t think so.

How about a nice Halloween spider for your Christmas tree? I love that this is actually a Christmas ornament.

Of course, living in San Francisco, we like to celebrate everybody’s holidays. We got a two for one deal with the star of David Christmas ornament.

Ahhhh…..the Love Tree.

This is my favorite. You gotta love an ornament that depicts a child snatching Santa.

This is proof that it’s never too late to get into the Holiday spirit. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and your decorations obviously don’t have to impress anyone but yourself. Though I make it a point to visit the tree at Union Square every year, I know for a fact that the Union Square tree does not have a hammerhead shark on its branches, so there you go.

~ Oh Tannenbaum, oh tannenbaum, wie treu sind deine blatter!

Christmas Music Wars In The Workplace

Didn’t you notice? There is a Christmas CD for any style of music your little heart desires. Sounds great in theory but trying to find proper Holiday music in a work setting is utter crap. I work in a setting that caters to upscale seniors and last week, every time I sat down to chat with one of my clients, I heard Mariah Carey screaming at me. I love Mariah Carey and actually love that song, “All I Want For Christmas is You,” but somehow the WW2 generation doesn’t seem to click with her. I promptly jumped up and turned her ass down so she wouldn’t be screaming throughout the lobby. That came on the heels of my effort to hide the twangy Country Christmas CD that someone slipped into the lobby CD player last week when we had guests coming through the building. Now, look. I know there are people who like Country Christmas whatever and Justin Bieber’s version of Silent Night but again, we work with seniors. I’m sorry, is this rocket science? It’s not like my jobs in the past where everyone got to torture their coworkers with their favorite Holiday CD (mine was always Charlie Brown’s Christmas.) But come on people, who are your peeps? Who are your guests? Who are your clients? All I can say is that these people are lucky that ABBA never did a Christmas album or I might be equally tempted to settle my own appetite for what I want to hear in spite of what everyone else wants. 

I know someone who has to listen to his coworker’s talk radio station all day without fail, listening to subjects he could give a rat’s tukus about. On the other guys days off, he actually gets to listen to the happy music he longs to hear to get him through the work day.

You know you’ve suffered the same irritation at some time or another, so come on. Tell me what music you would torture your coworkers with if you could, even if it’s not Christmas music?



Black Friday- I don’t get it!

Come on people. Let me hear it. Let me hear from you if you seriously got a deal worth all of the trampling, fighting, hair pulling, swearing, and camping in line when you should have been having turkey. Somebody has to justify this madness to me. I like a discount like anybody but do you seriously come away with a 48″ Sony tv for forty dollars? If so, did you have to kill somebody to get it? Please, inquiring minds want to know.

Earlier tonight, in the middle of a second piece of pie, the news came on and showed two guys who had camped out in front of Best Buy for HOURS waiting to get in on a great deal on electric toothbrushes. That’s right, TOOTHBRUSHES!  I remember the days when my cousins and I would get up early the next morning and run off to the mall just to get a start on Christmas shopping but this is a whole different animal all together. Now, you have people barreling through the front doors of anything from Walmart to Macys, but I’m not really sure of why. My friends went to Walmart last year at midnight, knowing that the Black Friday sale didn’t start until 6:00a.m. but the store was still open for business. They saw people in the camping section…..well………camping. In Walmart. Waiting for the sale to start.

I was getting out of bed when my friends came home with a nice amount of wares from their shopping excursion. When asked if it was worth it, they responded that they were happy with what they got but they saved about twenty dollars per item on average. Hey, twenty dollars is twenty dollars but that is not enough for me to go into Jackie Chan mode in order to survive a shopping spree. So please. Enlighten me. What have you been able to show for your Black Friday shopping experience? Anything worth boxing over?!

Dear Blog, I miss you.

Dear Blog,

God I hate when life gets in the way of my obsessions. Getting used to a new job and new schedule really creates a world of hurt to someone who thinks the word, “change” is a dirty word. I know it’s inevitable, yada, yada, yada, but to a creature of habit, it’s pure hell. I know, excuses, excuses. I have neglected you and I’ve missed you. You are my outlet, my cheap solution to therapy, and you never give me any lip service…..kind of like my cat. Now that I’m having to actually wake up at a decent hour like the rest of the world, my pea brain is suffering and all I can do is hope to stay awake long enough in the early evening hours so I don’t pass out too soon. I have officially become a disgrace to all nocturnal creatures and98.9% of the writing community. I have reignited my addiction to coffee so hopefully I will learn how to turn my late-night creativity into a day job. God. Is that possible? I know people do it but is that possible FOR ME? We’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. 

Oh, and then there’s the issue of having a travel blog and paying $4.19 a gallon for gas. Did I mention I have a small SUV?  I don’t see myself turning into Forrest Gump anytime soon, having the need to just run here, there and everywhere so we may just have to REALLY appreciate my own backyard for a while. No, seriously. I can’t afford to leave my backyard. SUV……San Francisco……$4.19/gallon, having to get up before 11:00a.m. You figure this out. Me loves a challenge. 🙂

See you soon blog,