Project 365…

So, I decided that I was going to do my Project 365: A Picture a Day project from March 22, 2009 – March 21, 2010. Since the week normally starts on a Sunday, I decided why not just document Gary’s 45th year. So, my first picture of the year is of my birthday boy. You can read all of the details regarding this birthday on my previous post.

Since the project also makes sure that I document what happened on the day, I thought I would also bulletized things:

  • Gary’s 45th birthday
  • Sang to him in bed
  • Eclipse practice 10-12 Sunnyvale Community Center
  • Picked up Panda Express for lunch
  • Opened presents when I got home
  • Watched Twilight (again.)
  • Organized scrapbook desk
  • Started to work on Jasmine’s Cat Album
  • Went with Gary to do his call
  • Watched Twilight (again.)
  • Finished Laundry (I actually put everything away as well.)
  • Read New Moon (again.)
  • Got ready for practice

Here is my picture of the day. Gary with Neo in the backyard. You can totally see the love or enjoyment they have for each other.

Gary & Neo

45 years ago…

Yesterday was Gary’s 45th birthday. Because he was on-call, we couldn’t really do anything special. We already knew on Friday that he was going to have a call between 4pm-6pm.  Apparently, some lady knew she locked her keys in her house. The sad part was she was on vacation in the East Coast. So, we basically had a low-key day.

I had Eclipse practice 10-12, so I picked up Panda Express for Gary’s lunch. When I got home, we opened presents. I kept my presents under $50, which is a good thing for me. I really wanted to purchase his bowling ball, but that’s something I can’t really do without him. So, now I’m up to 2 bowling balls I owe him, one from Christmas and now his birthday. If he keeps this up, he’ll have at least 4 new balls by the end of this year.

I ended up picking up a dress shirt for him.

Gary Dress Shirt

I also picked up a new pair of boxers: Marvel Comic Characters.

Gary Boxers

And last was a box full of gum and M&Ms.

Gum and M&Ms

Happy Birthday Babe!! I love you. I hope you had a great day.

Gary & Neo

 

Our kids…

Here are some updated pictures of our children. I took them last weekend when it was very nice outside.

This is my little girl. She used to weight 11 pounds, but for some reason, she’s dropped to 9 over the past year. We ran tests, but the doctor’s couldn’t give us a reason for the weight loss. As long as she’s eating and drinking and still the same loving cat, we’ll be okay. I knew how I felt when we went through the challenge with Neo in January. I don’t want to imagine what life would be like if something happened to Jasmine or Abu.

Jasmine

 

 

Here is our big boy, Abu. He’s still the Alpha Cat even with the adoption of Neo. They do get along better now, which is a good thing. There are times though when you can hear them having a sibling issue, but they tend to last only a minute before someone walks away. He weights 19 pounds now instead of 20. He’s still considered obese, but to us there’s just that more to love. Yes, he still sleeps with us and wakes us up when he’s ready to eat. So, at least his routine hasn’t changed over the years.

Abu

And last but not least, is our new boy, Neo. He’s adjusting very well to living inside. I think it really helps that he does get his moments to play outside. He probably should have been a dog though. He loves to follow us everywhere. He also greets us at the door when you arrive home. It’s awesome. If he’s sitting in the window seal of the front window, he’ll run to the door just to be the first one to say hello. He’s still doing okay. He’s starting to get too smart for his own good. He doesn’t always take his medicine the way we want him too, but eventually it gets down his throat. He’s such a sweetheart.

Neo

So, that’s our kids.  Aren’t they cute? We think so. Life would be boring without them.

Our hospital visit…

On March 5, I received a call from mom asking to come see her because she wasn’t feel well. She wanted me to take her to the hospital. So, I left work early to go to her house. When I got there, she was in bed looking like death. We called the advice nurse for Kaiser to figure out what to do. Since I couldn’t carry her, we decided to call an ambulance. About an hour later, we were on our way to Kaiser emergency room.

Mom hospital bed

We were in less than 20 minutes when Roy showed up, which was good. I’m sure Mom was happy that he was there. About an hour or two later, the doctor finally showed up to exam her. It turns out that she has a very bad case of veritgo. So, the doctor wants to run some additional tests to make sure that there are no other issues with her. All of the tests came back negative.

So, the scrapbooker in me decided it was time to start taking more pictures. The picture above was taken when we first was in the hospital. I took this picture of Roy and decided that the blank wall made it look like a mug shoot.

Roy

After she was given her actual meds for her vertigo, Roy was being really loving.

Roy & Mom

I already knew I wanted to get a picture of Mom & I, so I was going to hand Roy my camera. Then I realized he might not get the picture I had in mind. So, instead I did the famous self portrait:

Mom & Me

When I saw this picture, I could not stop laughing. This is so classic. Mom is passed out because of the drugs and I’m taking pictures smiling. Even today, I totally laugh when I see it. I’m such a loving daughter. I’m just lucky that my mom doesn’t carry a camera in her purse. Otherwise, I’m sure she would gladly get me back if I’m ever in the emergency room again.

Overall, Mom is doing better. She’s still on some meds, but she did a follow up with her actual doctor this past week. She said that she probably had some type of virus that brought on the ear infection that caused the vertigo. As long as she takes it easy, she’ll be okay.

And just to make sure that everyone knows, this wasn’t the first time my mom called me to take her to the doctor. Back in January, she was complaining about a toothache. So, she wanted to me leave work early and take her to see the dentist. I figured since I had to document my day, why not utilize this perfect opportunity to take my picture of the day.

Mom Dentist Chair

Yes, I know, I’m a very loving daughter.

Breakfast of Champions!!

Mt Dew Code Red

Moutain Dew Code Red – Kalae got me on this soda a long time ago. I can easily drink a can just like water. When I started Weight Watchers awhile ago, I decided that I should drink diet soda. I really dislike Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke, so I thought why not stick with what I know I really like. Diet Mt Dew Code Red does have that diet after taste like other diet drinks, but this just tastes better to me.

Because I’ve been waking up early to start my day, I’m finding that having one of these a day helps me get through it. So, if anyone wants to try a diet soda, try this one. WARNING: drink it with ice or cold.

Don’t get me work, I also have my Fiber One Pop Tart too.  So, at least I’m getting in some type of food besides just the caffeine.

Does it really matter after all?

When I got into work this morning a little before 8, my boss stopped by to ask me if everything was okay since I was here so early. When she said that, I could not respond because ever since I found out that she or one of her spies was watching everything that I do, I’ve been coming to work before 8 for the past couple of months. I know that I should be working my full 8/40 hours a week, but I’m exempt. I should not have to worry about punching a clock.

Truth be told, I do enjoy coming in early because I do beat all the traffic, so that’s a HUGE positive. I do get my daily things done earlier like check voicemails, emails, etc. So, there are some positives to actually coming in earlier.  But for her not to notice that I’ve actually been coming in early since January, just blows me away.

I really do love my job. I love the work that I’m doing. This is the position that I’ve always wanted, so I’m grateful that I finally have the opportunity to do what I love. Plus, I still get to coach afterwards. But sometimes, I think I’m not appreciated for what I do bring to the department. Because I’m not allowed to get away with some of the little things, like getting in at 8:30 or working from home a day here or there.

I know I need to just do what I have to do. I need my job. The other side of the coin would make life much uglier for me. I guess that’s what gets me going in the morning when I don’t want to make the drive.

Okay, that’s enough of venting for me. I can’t do anything about it, but it just feels better that I let it out.

Picture a day for 365 days…

I signed up to get a Kit of the Month from Creating Keepsakes on January 1. But, they were not expecting such a HUGE demand that their ordering system kept crashing. Since I wasn’t sure if I actually got one or not, I decided that I would just start taking a picture a day and record about my day in a journal.

Well, it turns out, that my order was backordered and they weren’t sure if I would be receiving a kit or not. So, in February, I stopped recording about my day and taking pictures.  Wouldn’t you know it, the kit arrived yesterday!! 2 months after the fact. So, now I’m going to have to try to figure out how I go about approaching my picture a day project. Do I continue working off of January 1.  And for the items that I’m missing, try to remember the big things that happened during that week? Or do I just start from say April 1 forward? I’m thinking I should just use what I have, but we’ll see what happens.

I’m going to Karen’s house on Friday for a crop. I was originally going to the crop with Maureen, but she can’t make it now, so I’m going alone. I’m going to be working on a project for Maureen’s preschool class. It’s going to be hard to remember that these are 4 year olds, so the project has to be very simple. If I get done with that project, I’m thinking that maybe I’ll start putting together the KOTM. Maybe that will motivate me to get started on it.

I guess we’ll see what happens.

CKU-Provo here I come…

So, Gary said it was okay for me to go back to Utah for CKU-Provo again. I’m so excited. This time though, I’m not joining a dorm. I am going with my girlfriend, Melannie.  I actually met her the last time at CKU-Provo when we were part of the same dorm. I figured if I don’t join a dorm, the cost will be cheaper. Plus, I’m splitting the cost of the hotel room and rental car with Melannie. I will be staying at the Marriott Provo again. I would never go back to CKU without staying at the hotel. It was so nice to return to the room to drop off things.

Melannie and I have already spoke about our schedules and what we plan on doing regarding the album track and core classes. All we need now is for April 22 to arrive.

In the mean time, I’m going to try to get some of my other scrapbooking projects done from the last CKU. It would be too weird to go back knowing the projects from the previous year aren’t completed yet. Luckily, one of my goals for 2009 was to complete projects, so majority of the CKU projects are done. I just need to add pictures or journaling. I’ll try to take pictures of the different projects to post. This way, it will remind me what I’ve accomplished over the past year.

Twilight

So, during Neo’s recovery, I had to take a week off of work to make sure that he was okay. During this time, Rebbeca, my assistant coach, told me to read the Twilight series. I heard about the books, but never had any interest in reading them.  I started to read Twilight the 1st book and the next thing I knew, I read it very quickly. I couldn’t wait to see Rebbeca to get the 2nd and 3rd book from her. It turns out that she didn’t have the 4th book because she lent it to a friend. Since I knew I was going to have time to read all the books, I ended up going to Costco to pick up the complete series.

Twilight Series I ended up reading all 4 books within a week. Since the movie has been out since November 2008, I wanted to see it. So, Gary ended up taking me to the drive ins. Now, if you read the book first like I did, you can tell that some things were totally different. It didn’t build up the relationship of Edward and Bella as the book did.  However, Gary enjoyed the movie. I’m thinking if I saw the movie first and than read the books I probably would have enjoyed it better.

The crazy part was after we saw the movie, I had to come home and read the first book again. I had to try to figure out what the differences were between the two. Of course, I couldn’t stop so I ended up reading all of the books again. I know I’m a crazy person. But I really did enjoy the love story.

The actual DVD is coming out on March 21 for the movie. I can’t wait to see it again. One of the bad parts about a drive in is the quality of the sound along with the dark scenes of the movie. When I’m at home, it’s like watching the movie for the first time again, but with better quality.

The 2nd book is also becoming a movie. They are starting to film it this month with a release date of November 2009. Hopefully, it will be released some time around my birthday so I can ask Gary to take me to see that one at the drive ins as well. I’m so excited. I’m now one of the millions that fell into the Twilight Series.

Thanks Beca!!

Stanford

So, I received this email this morning from our Provost:

“Dear Colleagues,

Over the course of the past month, we have been carefully evaluating the campus budget reduction proposals submitted by all of the schools and administrative units. The deepening and extended national and global economic downturn requires that we make some difficult decisions, and today, we will begin sharing with campus units their final general funds allocations for fiscal year 2009-2010. I am writing to provide all of you the context for these decisions.

When I last spoke to you in January via Stanford Report, the investment climate was difficult. You have all seen the worsening activity in recent weeks, with ongoing and precipitous declines on Wall Street, in real estate and private industry. Our budget planning assumptions estimated a loss in our endowment of 20 to 30 percent; that figure is now trending higher, and it is increasingly clear that it will be a long time before we see the endowment’s value return to previous levels. Since the endowment is the university’s primary source of investment income, the result will be a long-term decrease in university revenue.

Investment income supports about one-third of our campus operating costs. The other main revenue sources, federal research funding, tuition and clinical income, will not rise considerably. The trustees last month announced a 3.5 percent increase in tuition, room and board, and we believe at this time we cannot ask more from our students or their families. Their need for financial aid is rising and we are meeting those obligations. Federal economic stimulus programs that will increase research funding are encouraging, and we believe Stanford will be competitive in obtaining some of those funds. But any research stimulus the university receives will not be enough to counter other losses.

I am frequently asked why the university does not borrow or spend down the endowment to alleviate short-term budget pain. This in fact happens automatically due to our endowment spending policy and the “smoothing rule” I have described in earlier communications. In the current year, 2008-09, we will spend more than $900 million of the endowment to cover operating expenses, over and above the investment losses mentioned above. Next year we will spend nearly that much again. Clearly, spending even more than is allowed by our policy would be irresponsible. The endowment is meant to provide long-term support to the university for decades to come, not short-term relief for this difficult economic cycle. Consuming more now would simply delay unavoidable cuts by a year or two, and the cost would be long-term damage to the university’s future resources.

Given the decline in the endowment, the president and I are convinced we must adjust to a reduced level of investment income as quickly as possible. Earlier this year, I asked schools and administrative units to submit a range of possible budget reductions to eliminate as much as $100 million in base expenses from the $800 million general funds budget over the next two years. This week, I will reduce next year’s budget by almost that full amount. This will require virtually all units to take general funds cuts close to the 15 percent level and to achieve those reductions by September 1, the beginning of our 2010 fiscal year.

The impact of these reductions will vary from unit to unit, depending on what proportion of their budgets come from general funds. Most administrative units are entirely funded through general funds, while schools receive between seven and 35 percent of their revenue from this source. Schools that depend heavily on their own endowed funds will, of course, see declines in these revenues comparable to the general funds decline.

As I announced to the Faculty Senate last Thursday, we have also decided to reduce the university salary program. The university will not provide salary increases to either faculty or staff in fiscal year 2010. The only exceptions will be individuals promoted during the year, who will receive an increase appropriate to their promotion.

We hope that a salary freeze might help to preserve some jobs, although more layoffs are unavoidable. We understand that the cumulative impact of these decisions affects many loyal Stanford employees. These have been hard choices made very reluctantly, but we are convinced they are necessary.

We have also worked hard to identify other sources of savings. As announced earlier, we have cancelled or delayed $1.3 billion in proposed construction projects. We will move forward only on those projects that are already under way, or would be too costly to delay, or have significant sources of funding from outside the university budget.

Throughout the campus, many of you have looked for creative ways to achieve efficiencies: sharing office equipment, cutting back on energy usage, eliminating events, curtailing travel, using vacation balances. I commend all of you for your efforts. In these challenging circumstances, your help is extremely important.

We know that this continual news is unsettling. I encourage you to take advantage of workshops being offered now to all Stanford employees encountering uncertainty and organizational changes. You can find more details at

We also will continue our ongoing communication. President Hennessy will speak about the university’s financial situation in his annual address to the Academic Council, to which you are invited. We will at the same time convene a panel of our own academic experts to discuss the recent economic events. Mark your calendars for 4:15 p.m. on April 30 in Cubberley Auditorium.

http://hrweb.stanford.edu/. And information about the budget will be promptly posted to http://budget.stanford.edu/

. There you will find all budget-related communications from the president and me, as well as news from individual campus units.

 We are continually monitoring the economic situation and will take further actions as needed. We remain confident that our budget measures, while extremely difficult, are prudent to preserve the excellence of Stanford University in the years to come. We have weathered difficulties before and we have consistently emerged a stronger, more robust university. Thank you all for your ongoing patience and dedication.

Sincerely,
John Etchemendy
Provost”

So, the scary part is that it looks like Stanford is 1) having a salary freeze – which I thought would happen 2) layoffs are going to be happening. I know that everything depends on the specific departments, but it’s a scary thought that I might get laid off again. I really thought my job was secure because I really don’t think anyone else in the department can do it. But if push comes to shove, they will do what they have to do. I’m wondering if I should take this opportunity to get my resume updated. You just never know. I’m hoping if they do decide on layoffs, they will give us some time before it actually happens.  This way, I can start networking sooner than later. The economy is so bad out there just the through of looking for something is scary.