This Friday is my birthday (October 30th). Now that I am over a certain age, I no longer feel its necessary to tell people exactly what birthday it is. But its my birthday. A few years ago, I started an evaluation period of my life. I choose to do it around my birthday rather than around New Years Day. For the week leading up to my birthday, I start making lists of important accomplishments and goals for next year.
I try to evaluate each year taking into account the various events that have taken place* (war, birth, death, etc) to see how I did. This years asterisk is definitely the effect the economy had on my job, financial aid opportunities for Andy, and his continued difficulties finding part-time work.
This year was definitely a ‘mixed blessings’ kind of year. My layoff in allowed me to re-prioritize the things in my life. But it also had a terrible impact on my 401k and our savings. I was able to take classes at the community college that I had been eyeing for the last year or so. I’ve developed great relationships with individuals who saved me during the months I was laid off. Andy and I were able to have a pretty great time this summer camping, splashing around (I refuse to call it swimming!), and traveling to get oysters. And I now have a job that I enjoy!
I don’t want to lose any momentum that I’ve gained. I need to continue taking classes on Adobe Creative Suites4 because it’s definitely a use-it-or-lose-it type of skill. Photoshop will be the next class that I take. I also want to set up a few websites for myself one of which will show case some of the work I have done in the last year. And of course there is the marathon.
I’ve put some of my writing and craft projects on hold for the time being. I recognize that at times I do bite off more than I can chew. I want to be able to devote the time, energy and passion to projects that I take on. I am also electing not to volunteer with the Portland chapter of the American Marketing Association again this year. I do think that I might volunteer with the Oregon Road Runners Association.
I am channeling a lot of time and energy into a side work project that is providing me with a lot of valuable experience. I’m also getting to work with a small company which I absolutely love! The vast majority of the project will be complete at the end of the year (or I will have figured out how to better juggle all the activities I’m involved in) and I will then take some additional classes. At that time, I will probably reevaluate what I’m spending my time, energy and passion on. So stay tuned!
Posted in Aleta 2.0, Marathon training, running, School, technology, technology issues
Tagged birthday, Marathon training, personal evaluation, Photoshop, running, side work
Last night Andy and I attended the Tillamook Macaroni and Cheese and Cheese event held at Kell’s. We met up with our friends Irik & Amy. The event is to judge which macaroni and cheese dish is the best. It is free to attend. You get a couple of beers, little buffet, and an opportunity to sample each of the recipes in the contest.
Us at the Event
It was great to hang out with Amy and Irik. The majority of my coworkers also attended. It’s always nice to see such hardworking people take some time to enjoy themselves. But I don’t think this is the event for Andy and myself. First off, you only got 2 small beers. You couldn’t purchase anymore in the tent. 3 hour event with food on a Friday night? You could leave the tent and go into Kell’s to purchase more but couldn’t bring them outside into the tent. Second, the samples were cold. So it was hard to tell how good the macaroni and cheese really was. Third, only one of the six recipes didn’t have meat in it. So Andy was bummed. And fourth, it was really loud in the tent.
Keegan Gerhard, host of Food Network’s Food Network Challenge was the emcee of the grand finale cook-off. He was pretty entertaining but didn’t know anything about beer. He said that Widmer’s Drifter Pale Ale (which was being served at the event) was a “Very German Beer”. No, it wasn’t. Please don’t come to Portland aka Beervana without a fair amount of beer knowledge.
Andy and I ended up bored and thirsty so we headed into Kell’s and had a beer. Next year I think we’ll give it a miss. Cheers!
**Please note: photo of Keegan Gerhard was taken from the Tillamook Macaroni and Cheese and Cheese site.
I’ve made the decision to train for the Portland Marathon (10/10/2010) Keep coming back for updates on my progress. I’m sure I will have tons of stories to write for this experience.
Am I crazy? Maybe.
Each time I go back home to New Mexico, I have such mixed feelings. On one hand, I absolutely love the food, my family, the scenery and usually the weather. But then on the other hand, I dislike the fact that the mass transit system is relegated to Greyhound and a few city buses in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The poverty in New Mexico is not only staggering but sobering. You can’t help but feel privileged when you see the large hungry eyes of small children clad only diapers on a cool day.
Living in Portland, Oregon has changed me in many ways. My views on animals mirrors organizations like PETA (I know my father would cringe if he read this), I eat things like TVP and drink microbrew beer. I haven’t carried an umbrella in over ten years and don’t run inside when it rains anymore. Summertime now is an exhausting couple of months filled with as many outdoor activities as I can fit in. My skin has turned a lighter side and is now prone to peeling sunburns. But I love it! All except I cannot find good spicy New Mexican food.
My recent visit to New Mexico was a mixed bag of sadness and joy. As most of you know, my Nana has been diagnosed with ALS and its marching through her body quickly. My nephew Trenton said that her muscles were broke which is the best description I can think of. I used to think the worst part of getting older was gray hair and wrinkles. Now I know its watching your loved ones suffer from a disease in which there is no cure and virtually no treatment for. All you can do is try to make them comfortable. I tried to be strong the first morning I went to see her but you know me…I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Gone was the vibrant, out going woman who has had such a huge impact on my life. Instead she was replaced with a little old woman who couldn’t talk. She put her head on my shoulder and allowed me to cry softly into her hair. I was happy to get to tell her that I loved her.
Nana and Trenton
After that my brother Jimmy took me on what I initially thought was a 20-30 mile bike ride. It turned out that it was 50 miles. I’m still very surprised that I was able to finish the ride in one piece. My legs were shaky afterwords and I think I told my sister-in-law that I loved her. She picked me and my brother up rather than having us ride an additional 12 miles uphill!!! You’d love her too! My brother Jimmy took me for a beer and wings while my sister-in-law got her nails done. That Fat Tire and barbecued wings were the best things I had consumed in a long time!!
My dad and I hung out on Friday. He took me to two museums (New Mexico Museum of Natural History and the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology) and to get the worlds best beef jerky. We don’t get to spend a lot of time alone which is unfortunate because we are very similar. We both like striped shirts, BBC, history, and making fun of people. We met my mom for lunch at Blake’s where we all enjoyed green chile burgers. It was a good day!
I had a good time in New Mexico but am happy to be home with Andy and my cats. I must say that I did enjoy having Jimmy’s dog Bodie sleep behind my knees.
Posted in Aleta 2.0, Beer, New Mexico, Travel
Tagged Albuquerque, Blake's, Family, Fat Tire, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Nana, New Mexico Museum of Natural History, OR, PETA, Portland, Rio Rancho, sunburns, TVP