Monday, December 29, 2008

Ode to 2008

I realize I'm jumping the gun on this silly little thing by three days, but since I did it for 2006 and 2007, I thought I would make it a tradition by honoring 2008. I also figured nothing too noteworthy would happen in the next three days that would change my answers. Happy New Year!

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I moved to Michigan to live with the boy I adore beyond all reason.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions?
I do not believe I made any last year.

3. What countries did you visit?

4. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
I would like a job and a very large emergency fund.

5. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 4th because Sly came to Ecuador and make my world there tremendously better
July 2nd because La Liga won the Los Libertadores Championship and I was in Quito to celebrate
July 3rd because I arrived home to the US after 10 months in Ecuador
September 10th because Peter asked me to move in with him
October 4th because I arrived in Michigan, which became "home"
November 17th and December 14th because I realized how much he cares about me.

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I completed my service in Ecuador. I also painted my parent's front porch red with my dad. It looks gooood.

7. What was your biggest failure?
Not having realistic expectations about my return and reintegration into life back home after spending 10 months living in South America. It has been much harder than I anticipated.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had amoebas, parasites, and an upper respiratory infection while in Ecuador. I also had a rash on my stomach that refused to go away, even when I came home. Hot huh? It eventually healed.

9. What was the best thing you bought?
The only thing I bought for myself this year was pants in May. Nothing else all year. So I have to say I did not succeed in this category.

10. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Peter's, Erin's, and Sunshine's

11. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
no one really

12. Where did most of your money go?
What money? This was the worst financial year to date. I'd rather not talk about it.

13. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Anything by Celine Dion, a plethora of reggaeton songs, "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, and Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a ring on it) ~ I just started bouncing in my chair.

14. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder? the same
b) Thinner or fatter? thinner
c) Richer or poorer? drastically poorer. Hence the desire for a VERY LARGE emergency fund.

15. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I wouldn't have worried as much. As my aunt says, "You can't get blood from a turnip." I wish I would have spent more time doing things I wanted to do like reading books, baking, watching movies, writing letters, volunteering, etc. I know my parents, aunt, and Peter all encouraged me to spend my captive "free" time doing productive things because I probably won't have time like this again, but I just couldn't get out of my head. I am working on it.

16. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying and wasting time

17. How did you spend Christmas?
In the candle light with Peter's family. It was an old fashioned Christmas because we didn't have power. Lots of card games, snacking, and just hanging out.

18. Did you fall in love in 2008?
It was more like rekindled love. Cheesy I know, but I'm happy.

19. How many one-night stands?
That would be zero.

20. What was your favorite TV program?
Burn Notice, NCIS, Iron Chef America, The Martha Stewart Show, and The Rachael Ray Show, Anything on Food Network really

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

22. What was the best book you read?
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Jason Mraz and whatever my love sent my way

24. What did you want and get?
Well, I finally managed to win the affections of a boy I've had my eyes on for a very long time. I also lost all the weight I gained in Ecuador. That was awesome.

25. What did you want and not get?
A job

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Peter sang to me at midnight and then my mom sang after him. I had a quiet day with my parents. Mamita made me blueberry bread and they bought me some awesome sneakers I really wanted. It's was my "golden birthday".

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finding a job

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
There's always next year.

30. What kept you sane?
My people. The cats and Peter.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Bobby Flay

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
The elections

33. Who did you miss?
My friends and family

34. Who is the best new person you met?
Wil and Kate

35. Tell us some valuable life lessons you learned in 2008.
Have a back up plan.

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Maybe this year will be better than the last." Counting Crows, Long December

Sunday, December 28, 2008


"It took a long time, but I've finally figured it out. When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it's really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do."
~ a Colleague of Dr. Pausch and the advice he leaves to his daughter, Chloe.

The Last Lecture

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quotation, "The Witch of Portobello"

"Learn, but always learn with other people by your side. Don't be alone in the search, because if you take a wrong step, you'll have no one there to help put you right."

~ Liliana

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


This little boy:

and his older brother Ke'ano now have a little sister:

If she looks big, that is because she is. She was 10 lbs and 21 inches long. I also believe she was early. Whoa! Aren't they cute? (I need a picture of Ke'ano too. I'll work on that.)

Congratulations to Kate and David and their family :)

Wine Quiz

Every day, I check to see what the titles are on so I can chat with my dad about them. He likes to look too. Today they featured an interesting wine quiz. I did fairly well but I include studying wine as part of my daily personal curriculum, which I developed to keep myself somewhat sane while looking for a job, still.

How much do you know about wine? Find out HERE.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Interesting take on the Auto Industry

My auntie sent me this in an email last night. I thought I'd share:

"A Modern Parable

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses... and now wants the Government to 'bail them out'.