Friday, December 14, 2007

Love this bag!

Francis Ford Coppola decided to demolish some old building at his Rubicon Estates, so about 20 photographers, 10 reporters and a bunch of winery people were there to watch him do it. While FFC didn't actually do any demolishing, he posed for plenty of pictures and gave a speech. Meanwhile, I spotted this awesome handbag.
Hellooooooo lover.

My editor is a real angel.

Came to work Thursday to see this tree topper on the Christmas tree on my desk. That's Mike, my editor up there. Crafty Kudos to Kelly D for creating this cool cup topper. The wings are cut from just one piece of styrofoam cup.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

So much to do....

I’ve got a million things to do, but what happens instead? Oh, I read the paper, drink more coffee, check emails, read other people’s blogs (Michelle’s, Heidi Swapp, etc), walk around the house, think about what to wear tomorrow and generally procrastinate.

Why is hard to get started? It is because I feel like I have the whole day ahead of me? Why rush to hem those pants… it’s only 1pm. Why start addressing those Christmas cards… I’ve got all day. Even the girls are cooperating, for once. They’re all playing upstairs in Allie and Ava’s room. No arguments, for once.

Lately, during the weeknights, I’ll eat a quick dinner and then hit the computer to put in some time on my second job, or other projects, often working often until 8 pm.

But on a Sunday afternoon, I float aimlessly, daydreaming and feeling a little lost.

Checking the clock, I see it’s 1:15. Ack! I better go. I have so much to do.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Four days off...

There was one thing I really wanted to do over this long holiday weekend.
Enjoy it like a real vacation, instead of trying to cram in all the usual household and daily stuff that always needs to be done.

Four days off seems like an eternity on Wednesday night. But then Thursday’s gone, and Friday’s over. And now it’s Saturday night. Tomorrow, there’s church, and then it’s back to work.

Many times over these past three days I had to remind myself, “Stop running around. You’re on vacation! Stop worrying about next week. You’re on vacation! Stop obsessing about what the girls are/are not doing. It’s a vacation!” Well, it mostly worked.

I read, watched a movie, shopped a little. We visited with a bunch of family, talked on the phone to others in different time zones. I never did have that relaxing coffee at Peet’s.

But it’s ok. I’m on vacation. At least for another 24 hours.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s

Friends Elisa and Nancy turned 40 this year, and to celebrate fifty of their good friends took a trip back to the 80s at their “Totally 80s” birthday party.

Come as your favorite 80s character or as yourself in 80s, said the E-vite. My 80s self!? This was rich territory, good for a long walk down memory lane.

For me, the 80s included all four years of high school, college and even our wedding. Which 80s self would I be? Catholic High School Jennifer? College Jennifer? Newlywed Jennifer? Oooh, decisions, decisions.

Turning the pages of my photo albums from the decade, I could see my dubious fashion and hair choices. For a bunch of years I favored vintage clothes. Thrift shop wear. A spiky crew cut. Baggy shorts and t-shirts. Huaraches sandals from the San Jose flea market. Men’s dress jackets with sleeves rolled up. Colored jean jackets.

Digging through my closet, I pulled out a few pieces I still had from the era. A straight, short black leather skirt… ooooh, nice. A vintage 50s cocktail dress (too tight). A white Betsy Johnson dress bought on Fillmore St in San Francisco (also too tight), and a billowing black Japanese style coat I got in London in 1988.

Focus, I thought. I don’t have to duplicate my actual 20-something self. This is a chance to dress like how I always wanted to in the 80s. Live large – it’s just one night!

Like any college student, music was big to me. Hours were spent listening to favorite bands like B-52s, The Clash, Devo, Oingo Boingo, Madness, Scritti Politti, Sex Pistols and Brit-Ska band The Specials.

And then I knew what I’d become for the night. The ‘punk’ version of 80s Jennifer. Out came a red and black plaid dress with zippers. Out came the black Doc Martens. Making a trip to Claire’s Boutique, I found today’s 'goth' style accessories, which double for the 80s punk style decorations. Pinning on a bunch of safety pins, and my favorite Specials button, the outfit started coming together. Next I made a trip to my hair stylist for the perfect Faux-Hawk hair-do.

The “Totally 80s” party was a blast. The decade was well represented with Flashdance girls, Gordon Gecko, Ferris Bueller, a Petaluma High cheerleader, mullet wigs, a Reagan-Bush ‘84 sweatshirt, shoulder pads, big earrings, and gaudy prom dresses. A Ska Rude Girl and I bonded over talking about our favorite “New Wave” bands. I won for “best female” get-up in a costume contest.

Later, listening to the music, Don and I hung back, but when a block of Clash, B-52s and Violent Femmes came on, we danced, and it all came back to me -- that free feeling, when anything was possible, and the world seemed unlimited. We laughed and screamed until my voice was hoarse.

Later that night, taking off my ‘punk’ accessories, I was a little sad. Being a grown up is hard work, and everything was easier in the 80s. Would I want to go back for good? I guess not. But on Monday morning, when I take the girls to school, I know what I’ll be listening to:

“Now the king told the boogie men
You have to let that raga drop
The oil down the desert way
Has been shakin to the top
The sheik he drove his cadillac
He went a cruisin down the ville
The muezzin was a standing
On the radiator grille””

"The shareef don’t like it
Rockin the casbah
Rock the casbah
The shareef don’t like it
Rockin the casbah
Rock the casbah”

Monday, November 12, 2007

Newsroom ransom note

Found in the newsroom:
A ransom note of 1980s paste-up art snippets, in the bottom of old wooden advertiser file cabinets:

Angled Legs. Sturdy poly plastic tub.
Rocky Road
Only $598, $30 per month
All at prices you can't afford to m...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Garage sale, halloween, shoes...

Here is my latest blog entry about our family garage sale and making Halloween costumes and new shoes… blah blah BLAH.

Here is what I really want to say:

I had my first really serious argument with my boss on Friday. It was about a project I was working on. I can’t be more specific but I disagreed with his direction. Of course, he is the boss. So what he says goes. And he is more experienced than me. So I have to believe that his way is right. But on Friday afternoon at 1:15, I did not.

Oh, I gave him a piece of my mind in the parking lot. And that is so unlike me. I like peace at almost all costs. I would never have told him my feelings so directly but I later realized why I did.

I love this job.

I love getting paid to ask nosy questions, and find out stuff before anyone else. I love that I don't have to put a spin a story in a certain way, just tell the story from start to finish. I love that every day is different. I secretly love it when someone says "I saw your story in the paper today." I love that even when I'm not working I look around me for something noteworthy or newsy that I can bring back to work. I love that when I'm at home I wonder if I'm missing out on something at work. I love the people I work with, even though my boss may not be at the top of that list right now.

So now what? I guess my boss and I will have “a talk” on Monday. Sheesh, I could be shown the door for all I know. But I hope not. Because I love this job and I want to keep doing this. And until now, I didn’t realize how much.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

$1395 coin purse.

Who wouldn't like to wear Chanel? But on your ankle?

Old news.

About a year ago, I teased Kevin about piles of old notebooks scattered around his desk.

Last week, we had a clean-up day at the newsroom. We were all in a toss-away mood that day. I was relentless in my vacuuming, wiping and cleaning. Then I started pulling my used notebooks out of my desk and... ummm.... this is what I found.

In case we ever get called to court on a story, we're not supposed to "hoard" notebooks. On that clean-up day, I gathered my notebooks up, 18 months worth of interviews, stories, phone calls and scribbles. I moved towards my garbage can. I knew I should do it. But I just couldn't. It'd be like throwing away all that work. Carefully, I filed them back in the bottom drawer of my 1970s yellow file cabinet.

I don't know what Kevin did with his old notebooks. But mine weren't going anywhere.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Do not eat this cake!

Found in the newsroom. Do not eat cake Norma. Please.

FYI -- the ad dept is selling holiday spec ads, so they do Christmas in October.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A 10 year-old's lament...

"Dear Mom and Dad"
By Allie H.
(Sung in dramatic opera style.)

Mom & Dad - we're sick of doing chores! We're tired of having no allowance!
We need at least $20...... so give it to us right now!
(guitar solo)
We don't like picking up poop or washing dishes!
So stop right now!
Or we will rebel!
We want allowance to buy stuff and have cool things.
We want to watch Hanna Montana! Whenever we want!
Take us to the movies!
Let us get sick of candy!
LET US GO ON CLUB PENGUIN and get brainwashed.

(To be continued...)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A day in SF.

We spent the day in SF: Allie, me, Isabel, James and Judy. Started at the deYoung to see the Nan Kemper exhibit (no photos allowed but that didn't stop me) and then had tea at the Japanese tea gardens. Fun!

Well, would you?

Sure, why not? Never say no to Marc Jacobs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

$3,000 and 30 months later...

Before... and after....

Annabelle got her braces off the very morning of school picture day. Perfect timing for a graduating 8th grader. She was a pretty good patient; only a few broken brackets and usually wore her rubber bands. Tomorrow we'll pick up a new high-tech, wireless, thin plastic retainer. Isn't she beautiful? It was worth every penny.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Back to School: Week 2

6:07 am -- my alarm clock goes off. I drag myself out of bed. I'm dead.

got a good 7 hours of sleep the night before but I feel like I could sleep at least 3 more hours. During the summer, I was getting up about 6:45 am and always felt so rested. What is is about that extra 38 minutes that is killing me?

Is it because I know how freakishly busy I will be all day? There was no easy transition from summer vacation to school this year. Almost daily volleyball practices started immediately, homework like a vengeance and additional work from my second job. Not to mention making dinner that all five of us like (impossible!), finding time for the treadmill and breaking up constant battles between the girls.

Makes me want to HOLLA !!!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007


Isn't she FABULOUS??? Thank you to Aunt Shelli for the best birthday gift EVER!!! Love, love, love her. She is now on display in the newsroom, even her pots and pans. You can never have too much Barbie in your life.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Club 33 40th anniversary.

Check out this fabulous Club 33 key chain. My friend, who happens to work at the county Jail, is a Club 33 fanatic like myself. He's actually been able to eat at the club, whereas I, of course, have only gotten to tour it. My friend recently went to Disneyland and brought me back this goodie. It's hard to read but under the 33 it says "40th Anniversary" which of course makes it super special. The round red dots are meant to look like rubies, which some of the other 40th anniversary collectibles supposedly feature. My friend got himself a souvenir plate (only 333 made, his is number 116) which set him back $95 ! But no expense should be spared when visiting Walt's private club. Thanks to my friend at the Jail for bringing me back such a treasure.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What I've been writing lately...

<>Real estate gap grows in Napa County in July
A record 906 Napa County homeowners tried to sell a home in July. Only 61 were successful. The number of homes for sale in the county peaked to an all time high in July, up 18 percent over 12 months.
Aug. 18, 2007

Mortgage changes hit Napa County buyers and sellers
Talk of real estate buyers and sellers usually leads to another hot topic: Mortgages. Lenders are tightening up on the qualifications, for most loans, said Martha Pedroza-Ramos of Cal-Bay Mortgage Group in Napa.
Aug. 19, 2007

Bottle Xing: JV makes the move
Moving 144,000 bottles of wine and liquor is a daunting task, but luckily for the workers at JV Wine Spirits, the final destination was only half a block away. The longtime Napa retailer opened for business in its new home on Tuesday.
Aug. 15, 2007

Parents load up at local stores on kids back-to-school gear
Even though there s still more than a month left of the summer season, local merchants have marked down and moved out warm weather supplies in favor of long pants, backpacks and other back-to-school goods.
Aug. 13, 2007

Disney outlet store opens in River Park
A little bit of Disneyland has come to Napa. Faster than you can say It s a Small World After All, a team from Asset Management & Sales...
Aug. 13, 2007

Businesses make sales, connections at the fair
Baby blue alligator boots, personalized Wanted posters, hearing aids, brightly-painted ukuleles, and oysters with a pearl inside: Vendors at the Napa Town Country Fair hawk a little bit of everything.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ava's onions.

Ava won first place at our local city fair for her red onions. Grandpa Donnie helped her plant and water them...


Diana exhibit at the State Fair.

State Fair

Annabelle won an Honorable Mention at the State Fair for her entry in a poster contest.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

From the newsroom...

I say this with complete understanding and acceptance: Our newsroom is a shabby, dirty place. The cleaning people do a fine job in the bathroom but I think someone told them not to disturb anyone's desk, so each workspace is covered in a fine, or thick layer of dust, depending on how reachable a surface is. I finally brought my own shop vac in one morning to try and suck some of the dust away. It only blew it around and made Mike and me sneeze.

The carpet is rumored to be recycled pig hair. I kid you not. PIG HAIR. Brown and red. Like the Durocs my husband once raised. I believe it's cleaned now and then, but couldn't say for sure.

Our desks are yellow Steelcase from the 1960s. There's a reason Steelcase is so expensive. They really do last forever, and our newsroom is proof of it. One of my desks had duct tape holding the faux woodgrain top down. The drawers don't close all the way. The garbage cans match the desks, and are covered in drips and stains from discarded Coke cans and coffee cups. Yuck.

One reporter, who has been with the paper for 41 years, has a desk literally covered, COVERED, with papers, folders, magazines, letters, newspapers, press kits, a painted coconut, a half dead plant, christmas decorations, and more. You name it, this guy has it on, or in, his desk. He even piles stuff on top of his garbage can, rendering it useless. Sometimes he borrows another reporter's desk to do his work. Here's a picture (see above).

My mentor's desk has a plant that must have been starved for water, and managed to survive by growing out of the BOTTOM of it's pot, from the tiny hole water drains out of. All the plant material coming out of the top of the pot is dead. Seriously. This is a plant that wants to LIVE.

At least the computers are pretty up to date. And the phones work, although I sometimes have to tap my headset to get a signal.

I'm not complaining. Like the song goes: "I've grown accustomed to her face." Or, the place. I think I'll stick around a while. Besides, where else can I display my Barbie trinkets without looking like a cuckoo?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New backpacks.

Found and bought: Three new backpacks, each selected by its owner after careful consideration over pattern, color and style. They will make their debut at our family vacation in Colorado, then enter active service on August 27 for the first day of school. Carry on.

Friday morning break.

Enjoying a mocha, cappuacino and apricot tart at ABC Bakery on a Friday morning. KC gave his drink poor reviews for overflowing foam. Tsk tsk. There was no complaining over the tart.

Monday, July 02, 2007

At church on Sunday morning.

Grandma sits next to Ava stroking the top of her hand, Annabelle sits next to Ava holding her fingers on the other hand, I sit next to Annabelle with my arm around her shoulders, Allie sits next to me holding my hand. Three generations, arms, hands and fingers linked together in a row. All are still, all are quiet, at chuch on a Sunday morning.

What I've been writing lately...

'Purls forever'
Jonelle Raffino said two passions brought their Italian family together -- good food and good yarn. In remembrance of the family's favorite hobby, the author has written "Purls Forever," a family history, scrapbook and knitting book in one.
Jul. 1, 2007

The Queen cuts jobs
Facing a $2.6 million budget shortfall over the next fiscal year, Queen of the Valley Medical Center announced cutbacks this week, including eliminating positions, a hiring freeze and decreases in hours or status for several workers.
Jul. 1, 2007

Business of the fourth
For the past five years, Rob Remboldt has been unflagging in his quest to blanket parts of his neighborhood with Old Glory. Remboldt, a ReMax Realtor, explained his flag fancy.
Jun. 29, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

What I've been writing lately...

Two Napans vie to be Miss California
Maggie Stewart and Kayla Goldberg have competed for the same crown before, and next week they ll take the stage together again, this time each hoping to win the title Miss California. The two are familiar with sharing the spotlight. Goldberg was firs...
Jun. 20, 2007

Chefs Market switch in '08
A victim of its own success, the Friday night Chefs Market will move to Thursday nights next year. The market is hurting business of nearby high-end restaurants that cannot compete with the hurly-burly pull of market night, merchants said. The Chefs ...
Jun. 15, 2007