Thursday, December 27, 2007

My New Books

Book Description
Kaplan GMAT 2008: Premier Program is designed to maximize a student’s score on the GMAT, including an accompanying CD-ROM with additional questions and tests, as well as an interactive online study planner that provides fresh practice questions every month and quizzes that can be downloaded to PDAs and cellphones for test-prep anytime, anywhere.
This comprehensive, up-to-date guide also presents Kaplan’s exclusive test-taking strategies for achieving a higher score, as well as an online diagnostic test to target areas for score improvement. No serious test-taker should be without it.

*6 full-length practice tests (1 in the book, 1 online, 4 on the CD-ROM)
* Hundreds of additional practice questions
* Detailed answer explanations
* Personalized online progress report that adapts to a student’s goals and schedule

About the Author
World Leader in Test Prep and Admissions

Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions has helped more than 3 million students achieve their educational and career goals. With 185 centers and over 1,200 classroom locations throughout the United States and abroad, Kaplan provides a full range of services, including test-prep courses, admissions consulting, programs for international students, professional licensing preparation, and more.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yet Another Sweet OOF Message

Since it is the holidays and all the FTE's are on their 3 week paid vacation, all I receive are OOF messages. Since everyone is in a good mood becuase they get a 3 week paid vacation, we get some crafty OOF messages back. Here is another one:

Dec 13 - Jan 1: Not in the office, like most everyone else. But, I'll be mostly in town, and therefore on email but probably less responsive.

PLEX stuff: plexpert
Complaints about me: IlanB

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Sweet OOF Message

I love when I actually get personality from the people I work with:

Hello and thanks for emailing me,

I’m currently OOF until Thursday January 3rd 2008. I'm pretty much out of reach so it's probably not worth trying to find me. Well... unless I've won money... then just leave it under my keyboard. No one will notice it. Really, just leave it there. I'll get it when I'm back. Thanks.

What I Did at Work Today

Absolutely nothing! I took a long lunch and met Kara for Thai food in Factoria. All of the FTE's are on vacation from December 15th to January 6th which means I am stuck at work but cannot do anything. I am trying to browse the internet that Julie loves so much, but I am having a hard time finding something interesting. Booooooooooooooooored.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Kitty Alarm Clock

Hiking at Twin Falls

Conor, Kara and I went hiking at this trail near the Snoqualmie Falls called Twin Falls. We expected it to be a good workout, but instead just turned into a pretty walk.

Friday, December 14, 2007

San Francisco Half-Marathon

Jingle Bell Run

On Dec. 9, 2007, Julie, Kara, Kat, and I ran in the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run. It is a 5k run starting at downtown Westlake Center and running on the express lanes of I-5. It was a cold morning and it even snowed a little bit. But it was exciting to see so many runners and it was a really fun event! Everyone was dressed in red and green and some sported bells and some had amazing elf, santa, or reindeer costumes. And it started snowing!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Walk Score

Stealing this from Julie's blog because I like it a lot:

My Kirkland apt has a walk score of 89

How it works:
1. Type an address
2. See what's nearby
3. Get your Walk Score

What is Walk Score?
We help homebuyers, renters, and real estate agents find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods. Walk Score shows you a map of what's nearby and calculates a Walk Score for any property. Buying a house in a walkable neighborhood is good for your health and good for the environment.

How It Works
Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.

What does my score mean?
Your Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100. The walkability of an address depends on how far you are comfortable walking—after all, everything is within walking distance if you have the time. Here are general guidelines for interpreting your score:
90 - 100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.
70 - 90 = Very Walkable: It's possible to get by without owning a car.
50 - 70 = Some Walkable Locations: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require a bike, public transportation, or car.
25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must.
0 - 25 = Driving Only: Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!

How it Works
Walk Score™ uses a patent-pending system to calculate the walkability of an address based on:
The distance to walkable locations near an address.
Calculating a score for each of these locations.
Combining these scores into one easy to read Walk Score.

This website rates locations based on their proximity to established businesses. For example, the Friend's (TV Show) apartment has a walk score of 100, while Bill Gates's suburban Medina house has a low walk score of around 6.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friends in Foreign Lands

Right now, two of my best friends are traveling with their boyfriends. It seems like most of my friends love to travel, just like I do. I am absurdly jealous that they are able to travel. I love looking at all the pictures.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Getting In Shape

My number one priority right now is to actually get in shape. It is super frustrating becuase I go to the gym everyday and eat right. I have not drank in the last month and have decided to not drink until New Years (except for maybe a glass of wine with turkey dinner). When I go to the gym I do cardio for an hour and then lift weights, depending on the day and how tired I am. I always end with about 20 minutes of abs followed by stretching. It has seemed to me that the more I work out and try to get in shape, the more of a battle it is. I am not losing any weight and I hate looking at myself in a mirror. I went to the doctor to have blood drawn to see if there is something wrong with my thyroid or adrenal glands. I truly hope that there is something wrong with them because if it isnt then I really dont know what else to do. I have tried just about everything to get in shape. I have tried every diet and I have always struggled with my weight and hated how skinny and petite my sisters are, despite how active I am. I hate having the nurses weigh me at the doctor's offices and comment "your a big girl!" or how I can't share clothes with any of my friends. Or how my skinny friends bitch about miniscule "cellulite" on the back of their firm ass.

So I am at a complete loss at what to do. I should know within a week about the bloodwork to see if it is internal. In the meantime, I think I will begin running. Julie runs all the time now and she looks amazing (not that she didn't before, she is lean now, not just muscular). Despite how much I hate it and how much it hurts my knee, I am literally at my wit's end here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sweet OOF

This is an OOF message I received from a GM today:

Message Body:
Once upon a time, giant monsters attacked a group of insects. A flea fled and a fly flew. I flu too. Therefore I'm not at work today. I'll probably jump on mail once or twice, but frankly I'm not willing to commit to anything right now.

I enjoyed it so much I figured you should too !

Monday, October 15, 2007

In a Day of the Life

I am feeling much better these days. Although I am still looking for a new job, things are not nearly as stressful and overwhelming as they recently have been. It also helps that I now play volleyball at a an open gym twice a week. Also, Raazi found Shaunna's 24 hour card and I have worked out everyday since I got it. I love going to the classes that are held. Although the gym in Kirkland is kinda small and definately cramped, I still enjoy being able to walk to the gym. Especially this last weekend because the sun was out and it was around 60 degrees, which is super warm compared to what it has been recently. Another great thing is that there are so many of these gyms around. There are two more in Bellevue, so if I want more space, I can drive 10 minutes and go to one of those gyms.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Humor for Lexophiles (lovers of words)

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. And then it hit me.
Police were called to a day care where a three year old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.
The butcher backed up into a meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.
Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.
We’ll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.
When the smog lifts in Los Angelas, U. C. L. A.
The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.
The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.
If you don’t pay your exorcist, you can get repossessed.
With her marriage the bride got a new name and a dress.
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I’ll show you A-Flat Miner.
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.
A calendar’s days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted: ‘Taint yours and ‘taint mine.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
A plateau is a high form of flattery.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Comings and Goings of Gus

In between terrorizing me, my slippers, anything with bells, poor bugs that fly into our apartment and sleeping on my hair, Gus has a few favorite activities. I will take you through our normal routine.

1. Sometime between 4:00am-6:00am:

This is when Gus decides to be cute, cuddly and purry. He will rub into my face, with his little motor going and start to knead my hair. While I love this part of his, I prefer to get my last hour or two of sleep before work. This kneading into the scalp usually comes with a few meows to be let out of the bedroom to use the litter box.

2. 7:00am

Shower time. As I shower, Gus plays in the curtain, either nearly tearing it off, (and for those who have seen my shower curtain, he loves the pink poofs). Or he will watch intently at the water droplets. On more than one occasion he has actually showered with me, not minding the water or me scrubbing him with shampoo at all.

3. 7:20am

As I blow dry my hair he sits on the counter and plays a game of chasing the moving cord. I battle back by blasting hot air at him. This however, usually only excites him more.

4. 7:30am

Getting dressed is usually impaired by him terrorizing any string or moving object as I clothe myself. Also, in route from bathroom to bedroom and vice versa he sits behind the corners and flies up to attack my leg as I walk by (this attack usually continues into the kitchen, living room, as well as all through the evening)

5. 7:50am

Makeup. This is probably his favorite time of day due to the variety and assortment of toys (aka my makeup) to play with. His favorites include a small brush and q-tips. Most mornings, if I am running late, I throw a q-tip at him to fend him off my other items. This is now when Gus realizes I will be leaving him for the day, and once again, goes into cute purry mode. This includes rubbing against me and placing his paws up on me to smell my face. While this is cute and all, it usually makes a me later now that I must use a hair remover sticky thing (what are those called?)

6. 8:00am

As I run around to gather my purse, keys, phone and some breakfast, Gus continues with his stealth to hide around corners with the amusement of flying (you should see the height and distance he can go!) at my moving body parts. This also includes the battle of the door. He has been taught not to bolt out the door, but he still believes anything moving=a game. So now, from squishing him under the door, my foot goes into extra battle mode to shove him away and detach him from door and my foot while trying to hold everything and close the door behind me. After I lock both locks (these must be done from the outside) I walk towards the stairs. Faithfully, every morning I hear the one final attack to the door as I reach the top of the stairs. This makes me smile as I head to my car.

7. 5:30-6:30pm

Depending I errands, I arrive home in the evenings to two kitties waiting faithfully at the door. (My guess is that they hear the first lock and coming running in time for me to struggle with the second and open the door). They sit there with puffy eyes, obviously had just woken up from a 8 + hour nap. This begins the evening battle with the door, trying to get in. While Gus does not run out the door, Bootsie does have a history of it (and of me coaxing her out from under a bush for 40 minutes straight). While you may think "awww, they missed you" this is not the case. It is dinner time. While there is plenty of food left in the bowls, asking the question "Are you hungry?" always starts a new level of battle. While the attacking around the corner reaches new levels, Bootsie is now involved as well. Sometimes, these attacks at me happen to land on her, which is always entertainment for me. So while tripping over two meowing kitties who are battling for my attention I give them each of spoonful of wet food over their dry. You would think I never feed them. Bootsie wolfs down the wet food then goes to the balcony to clean herself. Gus, sometimes waiting patiently, most of the time not, waits for Bootsie to either finish her spoonful or wait for her to be so annoyed by Gus checking out her foodbowl that she feels it is not worth it. While I try to intervene most of the time by shoving Gus away from Bootsie, it is constantly a losing battle.

8. 7:00ish

Time for my dinner. Which of course Gus wants to be involved in. It bothers him that he cannot see onto the counter to what I am doing so he runs around to the table and either jumps on the table, and just recently, has started jumping on the counter. Once I flinch in his direction to scold him he tears away to a bedroom. This happens a few times. Sometimes, I just hold him on my left hip as his feet dangle below his ever-growing body. This is his favorite position, just hanging there. He is utterly content and comfortable and is in full view of everything I am doing. While this slows my cooking time down tremendously, sometimes it saves me a lot of trouble. If I not chasing him off the table then I am dragging him out of the fridge, yet another favorite place.

9. Dinner

You would think I never feed the kitty. He is climbing all over me to get a tiny scrap, especially if I cooked chicken. This encourages Bootsie to see what all the fuss is about. Now I have two kitties wanting to eat my food. As you can imagine, this takes a while to eat.

10. Post-dinner

As I am a loser and grandma these days, I really do not do much during the week besides taking a walk or jogging outside. So while I relax and cuddle on the couch, this is when Gus goes nuts. Most times, I give him a ball with a bell inside (thank you sooooo much for sending those Mom, he absolutely loves them, as do I!) which entertains him for a good 1-2 hours. Although I do have to listen to a bell ringing around during this time, it is worth it. Some other entertainment that are amoung Gus' favorites: the blinds, the nosier the better; chasing his reflection in the sliding glass doors; my slippers; my hand, arm, leg, etc; Bootsie, which usually I have to mediate; bugs; invisible bugs; shadows, especially his own; his tail, always a classic; the flashlight, I have yet to buy a laser but I know he will go nuts with one; the indoor plant; the outdoor plant; etc. These are just a few of them.

11. Getting ready for bed

Since this involves the bathroom, Gus is again in terror mode. This time it usually involves unrolling the entire roll of toliet paper all over the floor. Or chasing a bead that was once attached to a dress of mine (he had a good time taking that off). Then the sink will be turned on. He blasts up to the counter, of which I must always close the lid to the toliet because he has flown in their more than once. This starts a new game, running water. While literally standing in the sink playing with the running water, Gus also drinks the water, like a dog would out of a hose.

12. Bedtime

Since I usually like to read before I go to sleep, Gus plays with his nighttime toy, my book. The changing of pages is his favorite part. Or my moving feet/toes/hands, especially if they are under the covers. Or the lamp, which has been knocked over more than once. While his shadow blocks the light onto my book, he seems obsessed with this source of light/heat. This is normally when the ball with the bell comes out again. As I switch off the lamp and fall asleep to the tinkle of bells, I look forward to when he will be my cuddly baby, in a few hours.