Monday, August 25, 2008

Whales in Pacifica!

Very rarely have I found exercise as rewarding as I did tonight. No, I haven't lost inches or pounds. Instead, I was completely entertained and distracted during my workout (yippeee!). As I was stretching at the foot of the Pacifica pier, I was staring out at the ocean noticing the volume of water at high tide, the choppy waves and the seemingly-oversized sun. Then, I saw a large puff of water really close to shore. I thought I was seeing things and just chalked it up to seaspray and my poor vision. But then it happened again and suddenly I got a peek of the back of a whale.

I ended up running along the beach and climbing up Mori Point for a better view as the whales traveled south. As I walked back North to the pier, the whales must've made a U-turn because all of a sudden there they were again, this time treating their audience to fins raised up in the air, breaches, and tail slaps. My 30 minute run turned into a 1.5 hour whale-watching excursion. The entire time I kept thinking to myself (and even said to several people I ended up talking to along the pier): Jason is NEVER going to believe me. In three years living in Pacifica we've seen dolphin once or twice and that's about it. We have the worst luck! And the one night I go running without him, this happens. His reaction to my story? "I don't believe you! You are totally making this up!"

Amidst all my excitement I couldn't help but think about the stories I've been reading lately about all the plastic floating around in our Oceans and how it ends up in the stomachs of sea life (and eventually back into our food supply). I found reading this paper very helpful in understanding what is going on and why it's such an issue. Hope you find it interesting, too.

Now, back to my Flickr search for whales at the Pacifica pier since of course I didn't have a camera with me for my Monday night run!

Monday, August 04, 2008


When people talk about new things happening in their life, lots of familiar sayings tend to pop into your head (i.e., "change is good," "maybe a change of scenery will do the trick," "people are afraid of change," etc.) In my world, change is a pretty common thing - in fact, anything routine is more of an oddity. My world is in constant motion. It's just the way I live - I've become accustomed to it, and I kind of like it that way!

So over the last eight years while I was working with/for HP, I had so many jobs within that company that I can barely remember them all. It's a big place filled with really fantastic people and between the constant opportunities to change my "beat" and the relationships I had built with so many of my co-workers, there was no real reason to leave. Until about a month ago. It's like a lot of stories you hear ... "I wasn't looking, they found me!" ... and long story short, I accepted a position on the communications team at Omidyar Network. You can read all about the organization on the web, but the short story is that this place is doing some really good things in the world, and I get to be a part of it. It was an opportunity that just felt so right I couldn't ignore it. So there you go - a big change for me personally and professionally and so far, so good.

Part of the benefit of getting this new job is that our guest room no longer has to serve as my office! Instead of working in my PJ's all day, I'm now commuting down to Redwood City (a big shock to the budget given the state of gas prices these days!). So while Jason will tell you that he's sick of me "re-doing" everything in that room, the truth is that it was never "done" in the first place. It was the leftover room - all the boxes from our last move that we didn't know what to do with (or ever bothered to unpack after three years) had been shoved in the closet and the place had just become a dumping ground.

So with a little paint, Jason's handy electrical skills, a lot of late-night online shopping, and a talented seamtress that I found on craigslist, we now have a new and improved guest room. My inspiration started with a black and white Ansel Adams print of a New Mexico graveyard at night (the first gift Jason ever gave me) ... and extended all the way through some art deco influences and finally ended with the shell prints that I made using oyster shells from Bora Bora.

I'm now starting to "re-do" the master bedroom but here again... it was never really done in the first place. More on that in a few months when we get all of that figured out. Part of our problem is that we're both incredibly picky (stop laughing Mom, I can hear you despite the 3,000 miles between us). More often than I'd like (and in order to get what we really, very specifically want) I usually just end up figuring it out on my own. Anyone ever made their own headboard? If so, drop me a line!

The other big improvement in our house is our new fireplace... through my near-obsession with Domino magazine, I found a great place in Sausalito that makes their own incredibly gorgeous tile. Luckily, they have a "secret backroom" where this (did I mention completely out of our price range) same tile sells at a huge discount. After two visits and sifting through more dirty boxes than a person with allergies should be legally allowed to handle, we emerged victorious. We put together a pattern and Jason tiled the whole thing by himself. Now, I know it sounds like "voila! we have a new fireplace" but trust me it didn't go that quickly! It did turn out really, really well and considering Jason's never done any tiling before, I'm pretty amazed with the results.

Other than that, we're waiting on some wall art from Blik for our downstairs bathroom, which has experienced a few small changes too. Honestly, no room is safe in this house! After three years, you just need to shake things up a bit... which Jason just calls "changing her mind a lot."

Anyway, I hope that next time you visit our house you agree that change is good! :-)