Archive for July, 2008

It’s 7am

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Don’t know how coherent this will be. Watching the rain come down and now I miss the heat. LOL!
Just a shout out to our Corri who is sore but doing alright after her surgery. Corri’s been having such a tough time of it but she is such a fighter and has a great attitude. Between her and the docs, I know she’ll be back on her feet in no time.

We love you, girl! Hang in there.

Wed was a long day. After still not sleeping well and being out too late (we’re blaming it on Nick!) the whole IT department went to dinner at the Asian buffet. It was actually pretty good, a mix of Chinese and Japanese foods. Shingo must have thought it was ok to judge by the number of plates he went through. Unfortunately they were doing Tappan Yaki, which was good but they have 5 large cook tops going. Between that and the Germans’ nearly pathological aversion to A/C (except Vince of course) the place was a great big oven. SO most of us ended up outside on the stairs.

Then we walked over to a billiards place a few blocks down were I proceeded to shark the other IT guys at least for the first two games. I’m really not usually that good but for some reason I was just on! Even sank a cross-table bank shot… left handed. I kid you not. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it dropped either.

Wrapped up a little before 11 and Nick helped us navigate the U and S bahn back to the hotel. Actually, the train system here is pretty easy to work with and of course is fast and efficient. And usually pretty clean.

Last night we had dinner with Nick his fiance Connie and got to meet his 4 month old baby Lucy. Middle name Fer. Just kidding but that is what they call her. LOL. She’s actually a very sweet baby. Needless to say with a wee one around, the family called an early night. Joe and I grabbed a drink at a bar near our hotel, then came back via the crepes cart on the corner of Koeningstrasse.

Well, time to get ready for work. Last full day in Stuttgart. So far looks like I get to come home on Sunday but keep your fingers crossed!





Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Is what CalTech has downgraded the earthquake in Chino Hills to… Learned about the quake when my love texted me – the “I’m OK” definitively did NOT stop my heart from leaping into my throat though, let me tell you. So far all family and friends accounted for and only slightly shaken or stirred. My brother called me from NY just as I was calling Darren. LOL! Happy to report I was nowhere near it. But my buddy Vince who’s from Germany was all excited because he finally got to experience a real California earthquake. πŸ˜‰

Another long but productive day. Cantina food for lunch today unfortunately. *sigh* Maybe back to the Turkish place tomorrow. We’re going out to an Asian bufffet with the rest of my IT co-workers tomorrow and then billiards. Ought to be interesting. Shingo-san is here from our Yokohama office so we’re laughing about him coming all this way just to eat sushi. πŸ™‚

Also got to see the Marktplatz. Lovely meats, produce and OLIVES! *VBG* Sat in the park munching our loot before wandering over to the biergarten for Haehnchen mit pommes frites (basically fried chicken and french fries) and some weissbeir.

Ran into Shingo on the way over to another bar. Shingo likes to go to Hawaii (it’s cheap for folks from Japan to visit) and learned to play ukulele there. He spent a few hours in the Schlossplatz playing for tips. Then played a little for me Joe and Nick after we dragged him out to dinner (for him) and (more) drinks. He’s very good.

Finished up a bit later than I would have liked. Hopefully I can still get enough sleep tonight to go out on the town tomorrow!




Little Bit Tipsy, Whole Lot Tired

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Been a long day and I am still ‘laggin’. (I really don’t sleep well without you, darling Darren.)

Discovered I can still remember enough German to understand when I was asked by the waitress at breakfast what I wanted and what my room number is and even enough to tell her what I wanted and and give her my room number – even if it was only by ones. Zwei einz drei is the same as 213, right? πŸ˜‰

A long day at work. The training room has air-conditioning (thanks be to All that is Holy) but my German compatriots kept getting cold and turning it off. *sign* Learned a lot though. SCCM is actually a good solution for us, even if it is yet another M$ product. Always fun to learn something new, too. Hopefully I’ll still say it was worth the trip by the end of the weekend.

Speaking of which… Lufthansa is on strike. Please pray, send energy, dance under the moon – whatever – that they resolve it successfully before Sunday as I would really like to be home come Sunday night.

Lunch in Little Istanbul at a Turkish place. 6 Euro for delicious but mysterious meat, salad, rice and a drink is actually not bad in my book.

Just got back from an evening out with coworkers. Great Thai place for dinner though not as good as Lotus of Siam. The “Chinese” waiter was a hoot! Gave the guys crap as I ended up paying. πŸ˜‰ Now 3 bars, several drinks and a Haagen-Daaz run later, I am back at my room.  Just texted my hubby. Now I am going to swallow a bunch of ibuprofen and water and go to bed.

Miss my husband and my cats, but it was a good evening and I’m a lot more relaxed.

Blessings all!



In Germany

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Just a brief post.

I am here in Germany and it is about 9:30pm. I am pretty darn exhausted but trying to stay awake so that I will sleep through the night. Unfortunately I need to be at ETAS in Feuerbach before 9am tomorrow ready to work so I cannot afford to wake up at 4am! πŸ™‚

Mostly uneventful travel other than I got to the Oxnard airport just as they were calling my flight. Fortunately the nice customer service rep was able to get me checked in all the way through to Frankfurt. Really nice because I a) had to change terminals (going from Terminal 8 to Tom Bradley International for those who know LAX) and b) got to miss out on the loooong line at Lufthansa at LAX. Although it was annoying to go through security twice. *sigh* Still way worth not having to drive to LAX.

They had to bus us out to the back-of-beyond to board the Great Mucking Plane to Frankfurt. Met my Ann Arbor compatriot in Frankfurt and grabbed the train to Stuttgart. (ICE train very nice!) So with the car ride to Oxnard I now only need to find a boat tour somewhere to be able to say I’ve traveled by all the major modes of transport on this trip. Heehee.

Really cool things going on in Stuttgart right now. The exhibition of the Buddy Bears is just awesome. And there is apparently a GLBT festival taking over a large part of the pedestrian areas of downtown. Also went by the Stiftskirche (sorry, it’s only in German. You can run the site through Google for the English translation) which I had not seen before. Really wishing I had bothered with bringing the real camera out because there are some awesome statues, tombs and effigies I’d love to have better pics of, including a relief of the counts of Stuttgart in their armor. I don’t think the cell pics will do it justice. Also the gift shop was closed and I couldn’t even buy post cards or the guide book. *double sigh*

Walked around the rest of the pedestrian areas which were busy even though most of the shops are closed (it being Sunday and all.) One does not expect to see a group of musicians in Native American costume in Germany. Very interesting…

Decent Swabian dinner here at a restaurant I will have to find the name of again later. Now I’m back at the hotel.

That’s all that’s fit for print for the time being. Going to read and pass out.

Blessings all!



Vegas, Obama and Germany

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Not much time for a real post so just a few highlights. Some pics from our Vegas trip. Anita and Vince, this will have to tide you over till I get back from Stuttgart and post the rest!

Janice and Anita

Janice and Anita at Lotus of Siam

Janice and Darren in the Palazzo (new part of the Venetian one of our favorite hotels)

Vince, Maria and Edgar (Vince’s folks) same scene

Also, in case you’ve your head in the sand and/or don’t watch the news, Obama is on a tour through the Middle East and Europe. He was in Germany yesterday and spoke in the Tiergarten Park in Berlin. If you get a chance, find the speech on on YouTube (no time to find URL, sorry.) It’s well worth the time.

I love my country though sometimes my fellow citizens (especially my government!) frustrate the crap out of me. But I was extremely proud these last few days as I’ve watched Obama’s journey and the reception he has gotten. He represents so much of what is great about this country and it is awfully nice to hear Europeans chanting “USA!” at a big freakin’ rally rather than watching them trash the symbols of our country.

Have I mentioned I REALLY want this guy to be our president?

Now, just because Darren and I can’t stop talking about him doesn’t mean we have swallowed the Kool-Aid and are on the messianic train. I realize he’s a politician and just a man. I don’t agree with everything he stands for. I think he’s a little soft on reproductive rights and I am still ticked at his FISA vote.

And at the risk of sounding cynical, I’m really, really hope that he doesn’t completely disappoint us. I’m prepared for the fact that there will be some disappointment. I know he is not perfect. But he’s generally been straight with the public and right about a lot of things, so I’m willing to extend him a lot of trust. I am willing to have some hope.

If you are, too, please consider donating to his campaign. He’s funding this largely with small donors (under $200 per donation) – a true grass-roots movement and he needs all the help he can get.

Alright, ’nuff said.

In other news, I’m taking off for Germany tomorrow. For work unfortunately. I’ll only be gone a week though. Wish I had time for a side trip to the Netherlands but work and home stuff means it’s not in the cards. I supposed I shouldn’t complain too much – if one has to travel for work, at least DE is a reasonably nice destination. However, Stuttgart is not really the prettiest of cities so… oh, well. I’ll try to get in some fun time, too, then rush home to my darling Darren.

That’s all for now folks.




For the Joss Whedon fans out there…

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008


I Loves me some LolCats

Sunday, July 13th, 2008


We have a running joke at home about our cat Kipper taking the car to play trivia in bars. (Long story – ok, not really so long but still… don’t ask.)