Monthly Archives: July 2009

Life Update

So Wednesday was just as awkward as I though it would be. We had a cake and gifts, and said our goodbyes. We were all crying. Juan Carlos was crying because of all the gifts, birthday cards, and well wishes and the rest of us were crying because we know we probably would not see him again. He mentioned to my brother that he will be back in two months, but that most likely will not be the case.

It seems my dad wrote a worried e-mail to Juan Carlos’s son. His son’s response was very reassuring. He told us that his wife already had a room prepared for him. That the whole family was waiting to welcome him and that Chile was a very nice country to live in, and that he would be loved and well taken care of.

It’s very hard to just hand over a fragile loved one to a stranger, albeit his own son, after 30+ years. My Mom tells me that my Dad is still taking it very hard. Saturday I expect will be the worst. My parents and my aunt and uncle are going to Niva and Juan Carlos’s apartment to clean it out. My mom told me that my dad has asked his sister for all the pictures and his mothers badge from her old job. It’s interesting to see who asks for what. When I was talking to my mom I asked if I could have a small piece of Niva’s jewelry, my mom said she would ask my aunt. I cried when I asked her.

I though I would handle this much better. And for the most part I am. But a few times I have broken down in tears, just to be fine a minute or two later.


On the job front I have made it through a whole week at my new job. The first few days my head was just spinning, but now I’m getting things a bit more under control. I’m hoping to be totally organized by sometime next week. The work keeps pouring in and I am still trying to figure out which event is which.

On Tuesday I went out to lunch with a group of ladies from my department and today I am going to lunch with my boss. I am still trying to place names to every face, there are a lot more employees at my new company than my old one, and after I year and a half I still did not know everyone at my old job. I wish I had a better memory and was better with names.


After 3 consultations and months of hating my basement, Russ and I have finally settled on a company and design for our built-it media center in the basement. I can’t wait till they install in on Aug 17th. I’m going to try and take before and after pictures so that I can show you all the mess that I have now, and hopefully the amazingness of my new built-in.


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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized


RIP Niva

On Friday, July 24th, my grandmother Nivida (Niva) passed away.

It did not come as a shock, she has been in hospice care for months, and I said my goodbye’s a while ago, when she was still slightly lucid.

My grandmother and I were never close. But she shared a very close bond with my younger brother Kevin. He was her golden child. Even when she recognized few other people she always lit up when he entered a room. So although her passing is sad, what bothers me most is that my dad, my mother, and my brother are hurting. Not to mention my aunt who has been at her side everyday for the last few months of her life, and had to deal with all the horrible things that people do when affected by dementia.

Tonight we are having a family dinner with my grandmother’s significant other, Juan Carlos. My grandparents were divorced before I was born and ever since I can remember Juan Carlos and Niva have lived together. I only found out a few years ago that they had never married. I always just assumed that they had.

Juan Carlos is old and frail and all of his family lives in Chile. So tonight is our last meal with him before he moves back to Chile for good. My dad and aunt have decided not to tell him that my grandmother has passed. I am angry about this, but it’s their decision. They are worried that if they tell him he will have a heart attack and die here, before he gets to see his family. Juan Carlos’s birthday is on Saturday. They plan to tell him about Niva when he is settled in Chile and perhaps a bit stronger. Till then they have told him that she has taken a turn for the worse and that she is “quarantined” which is why they can’t let him see her before he leaves. The whole situation sucks. I think he deserves to know the truth.

My poor grandmother had a very hard life. I’m very sad that things ended the way they did, but finally after so many years of pain and heartache she can rest in peace. All I can do is wear the pearls that are the only thing I still have that she gave me, and say goodbye to Juan Carlos.

Sadly I find myself using my favorite quote from Lady Jane more often these days…

“The soul takes flight to the world that is invisible. But there arriving she is sure of bliss, and forever dwells in paradise.” – Plato

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Posted by on July 29, 2009 in Uncategorized


what’s the plan?

After reading Liz’s post on plans, I thought I would talk about my own plans.

I’m a planner. I plan everything. I am a meeting coordinator by trade, nuff said.

When I was little my dad was always accusing me of having planed things too far in advance, he always thought I was exaggerating. So when I was little it always went something like this “But Dad I’ve been planning this sleepover for 5 months” and it was usually true, but he always thought it was me trying to force him to say yes by exaggerating.

When I was in the 5th grade my teacher asked the class to write a list of goals. At the end of the year she returned them to us, and lo and behold I had accomplished everything on the list without even having it as a reference.

The same thing happened in my sophomore year, and again my senior year of high school.

When I was moving out of my parent’s house into my new home I happened to find the list I wrote my senior year. It was divided by 1 year goals, 5 year goals, and 10 year goals. To my surprise having been out of high school only 6 years I had accomplished everything on my list, save for one thing. Get my masters. My 10 year goal? Buy a home. Done and done.

So I had to come up with a new list of goals.

Here it is…

This year:

  • Get a new-better paying job I love

5 years:

  • Get my masters
  • Start my own business
  • Travel more
    1. New Zealand
    2. Scotland
    3. Cambridge
    4. Ireland
    5. Spain

10 Years:

  • Pay off my house

As you can see I have already accomplished my goal for this year and we are only in July. My job offers tuition reimbursement after a year of service, so expect me to get on the GRE bandwagon next year. As for traveling, next year should be my New Zealand trip and I am soooo excited. So all that is left, is to pay off the house, and I have a plan for that too. I’m not too stupid to think that I will pay off my first house. But I plan to sell it in 5 years or so, buy a new home with the money from my townhouse, and maybe that home I will pay off, or maybe the one after that.

The point is that plans work for me. I need them to keep going. Without a plan or a list of goals I think I would be a bit empty. So for those of us that need plans and goals, I encourage you teachers to try the same project with your students and see where it gets them.

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Posted by on July 29, 2009 in Uncategorized


Grilled Cheese

Russ and I eat a lot of soup and sandwiches; in fact we love them so much that we have our own soup/ sandwich plates.

After watching an Oprah episode where Gail traveled to find the best sandwich, and gave 5 stars to a grilled cheese sandwich, I tried last night to duplicate it.

This is the original recipe:

Café Muse’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich

1 slice Havarti cheese

1 slice mozzarella cheese

1 slice Danish fontina cheese

1/2 Tbsp. butter , softened (for best results, use high-quality butter)

Honey from a squeeze bear bottle

1 tsp. fresh basil , chopped

2 slices tomato

2 slices bread (organic multigrain bread works best)

Sauté pan large enough for 2 slices of bread

Butter bread on one side with melted butter. Place in pan, butter side down, over medium-low heat. Place mozzarella on one half of the bread and fontina and Havarti on the other. Cook until golden on bottom and cheese begins to melt. Place tomato on mozzarella side and honey on fotina/Havarti side. Place under broiler for a few minutes to heat up tomato. Sprinkle basil and assemble sandwich.

What I did:

1 slice Havarti cheese

1 slice fontina cheese

1/2 Tbsp. butter

Honey from a squeeze bear bottle

1 tsp. fresh basil , whole leaf

1 thin slice tomato

2 slices bread, three cheese semolina

I used my Panini press and everything worked very well. There was more then enough cheese without the mozzarella.

All in all it was very good, but not 5 stars worthy. I think next time I would use pesto instead of the fresh basil, maybe add some more tomato, and add a dash of the garlic and wine seasoning from The Melting pot.

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Posted by on July 20, 2009 in Uncategorized


Ray’s Hell Burger

Ray’s Hell Burger

1713 Wilson Blvd

Arlington, VA 22209

(703) 841-0001


Mon. 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Tue-Sun. 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Actual Hell Burger

Today my department took me out to lunch as a farewell and oh was Ray’s good.I had never heard of it, and the sign still says Ray’s Steaks, which has moved down the street.

I ordered the B.I.G. Poppa: Au Poivre Burger With Black Peppercorn Crust, Aged Danish Bleu Cheese, Cognac & Sherry Sauteed Mushrooms, Grilled Red Onions

The blue cheese was perfect, the burger rare, and 10oz of black pepper crusted perfection.

The place is crowded, the line is long, the burgers very messy, and they only take cash but its well worth the line. They also don’t serve fries, but instead serve seasonal sides such as watermelon, corn, and mac and cheese.

It’s a must try!

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Posted by on July 17, 2009 in Uncategorized



I know I promised I would post vacation pictures, and I will, but I have much bigger news…

I will be leaving my current position on July 23rd and will begin my new position as a Meeting Coordinator on July 27th!

This new job is very exciting for the following reasons…

1. It is only 5.8 miles from my house! I’m so excited about a 10 minute commute

2. I no longer have assistant in my job title.

3. The benefits are amazing, including 3 weeks vacation!

4. I get real casual Friday’s! I can’t wait to wear jeans to work!

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Posted by on July 14, 2009 in Uncategorized


Honey, i’m home!

I’m Back from Vacation and I have pictures and stories to share. Until I can load the pictures from my camera on to the computer I will leave you with my wonderful sunburn that I received after 6.5 hours on a “do nothing all day” trip. The trip was fantastic, the burn was not.

I did use suntan lotion! And i reapplied! 😦

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Posted by on July 7, 2009 in Uncategorized