Archive for March, 2008

26
Mar
08

just do it

Last Monday, I was so frustrated with my laptop; I broke down and decided to buy a new one. I’ve been complaining and hating on my ancient laptop for months now – maybe even a year. It was time.

I ordered it on Tuesday morning and it was delivered on Friday afternoon. It is sleek, sexy and works beautifully. I couldn’t be happier. For anyone who is debating on making a technology upgrade, don’t wait – just do it. I feel like a new woman!  

Details: purchased it from Frys.com (they have great weekly specials) – $799

Laptop: HP Pavilion Entertainment PC (dv6755us); HP dv6755us Notebook Pc,15.4″ Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo T5450, 2GB,250HD,DVD-/+RW DL LS,Windows Vista Home Premium.  

25
Mar
08

washington state ferry workers

Generally speaking, I try not to make big sweeping generalizations like “all dogs stink” or “all frat boys are cocky assholes”, but I think I may have found a generalization that I’m willing to support and standby: Washington State Ferry workers are the grouchiest, most unpleasant bunch of people I’ve ever met.

There, I said it. I feel like I’m qualified to make this assessment because having grown up on the Peninsula and living on Bainbridge, I’ve been riding the ferry for years. I even commuted daily to Seattle from Bainbridge for a year. I have never met a pleasant ferry worker. They are always scowling, taking themselves way too seriously and being rude to commuters and unhelpful to tourists. If they think you are driving too fast or if you have your headlights on, they will CUSS you out. They love nothing more than to crucify people for this. And don’t even think about accidentally parking in the wrong lane.

Let me give you a few examples:

Example #1

Ferry workers are total control freaks. You would think they were in the FBI the way they boss people around and act like they are hot shit. Let’s be honest, they are human stop lights. They tell cars where to park, when to stop, when to go and when to turn off their headlights. All of these tasks can be accomplished with either a stop light or a road sign. And yet there are more ferry workers per passenger than there are teachers per student in your child’s school. Go figure.

Anyways, back to example #1. The other day, I drove onto the boat. They pointed me in the general direction – this isn’t my first rodeo, I’ve done this before. I pulled up about a foot from the car in front of me and parked. Done – turned the engine off. As I was getting out of the car, one of the ferry workers walked up and INSISTED that I get back in my car and pull forward six inches. WHAT?!? Are you crazy? It wasn’t even a full boat! Jerk.

Example #2

Random story. My mom is a regular commuter. She commutes from Bainbridge Island to Bellevue everyday (it’s crazy, I know). One summer day, she was riding the ferry and had her bare feet kicked out the car window. As she often does, she fell asleep and took advantage of the extra time for a little nap. She woke up because one of the ferry workers was tickling her bare feet. EWWWW.

Example #3

During the summer, it’s common to get a lot of tourists riding the ferries. Most of the time, they are riding to Bainbridge and then riding right back to Seattle. The tourists don’t know that they have to “disembark the vessel” when they get to Bainbridge. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen ferry workers treat the tourists like they are the biggest idiots because they are confused by this.

 

For anyone who thinks this sounds like a good gig, successful Washington State Ferry workers:

  • Display a permanent frown and enjoy going out of their way to be rude.
  • Have an uncanny ability to get worked-up over minor things.
  • Enjoy standing around with coworkers.
  • Have a family member that already works for the Washington State Ferry system.
  • Enjoy making unsolicited passes at passengers.
  • Mullets are preferred.
    23
    Mar
    08

    post-vacation blues

    The posts were scarce last week – I know. Mentally it has been a rough week. I have a horrible case of the post vacation blues. Without a doubt, it’s the worst case I’ve ever had.

    I’m sure you can relate. Our recent trip to Mexico was a serious eye opener for me. I don’t care what anyone says, Mexicans do not live a sub-par life. In fact, I’d say their quality of life is better than ours. They’ve got it good. They focus their attention on important things like family, friends and food!

    This last week I’ve been totally distracted. I haven’t gone to the gym all week – I just can’t bring myself to go. My apartment is a disaster zone – the dishes are piling up. I’ve been eating horribly because the grocery store just seems ridiculous. My job is boring me because it seems trivial. And to top it all off, I’m sporting a bad attitude.

    In general – I’ve lost my focus. No matter how hard I try, my thoughts drift back to Punta Mita. My body physically aches for the warm breeze and hot sun. I can practically taste the fresh seafood and tart margaritas. Most of all, I miss the simplistic life that Mexico represents. It’s a place where work wasn’t a primary focus of my life (monopolizing 9 hours of each day). It’s a place where I was able to be an attentive girl friend. A place where I could read to my heart’s content. A place without the stress of my daily life. I know those of you who know me are rolling your eyes right now and are thinking “Kindra, you bring unnecessary stress and anxiety on yourself. “ I know. But I can’t help it. Punta Mita helped me to escape all of that.

    Soon, it’ll be just another vacation. My tan will fade. The sand-flea bites will disappear. And my body will forget the warmth of Mexico and will stop recoiling at the damp Seattle weather. At this point, I’m hoping it happens sooner than later. I’m not sure how much longer I can take this horrible case of post-vacation blues. Here’s to a new week.

    18
    Mar
    08

    two stories of sisterhood

    Last week while on vacation, I read two books The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and After Long Silence by Helen Fremont. These books are both very different. They take place in different centuries and they detail different tragedies, but they do have one common theme. They are each narrated by a sister and they each explore the relationship between sisters.

    The Other Boleyn Girl is about the friendship, loyalty and betrayal between two sisters. “We’re sisters. And therefore born rivals.” It portrays sisterhood as a constant struggle of love, devotion and competition.

    After Long Silence tells a different story of sisterhood.  A story that explores two sisters who thought they were very different growing up and who come to realize they have more in common than they thought. They discover they need each other.  “Lara and I were opposites in every way until we grew up, left home, and discovered that we were more alike than we’d thought. Sisters only get to be opposites within the family, separated by the world, they become practically identical.” I love this quote and I agree with it completely. Encompassed by the unique setting of family life – each child has to differentiate themselves.

    I have a younger sister. In my experience, sisterhood hasn’t been a competition, nor have we ever doubted our need for each other. I have been lucky. Our relationship has morphed throughout the years, but it has always provided companionship, love and support. Yes, there have been hard times. I think much of my experience stems from my role as the eldest. Naturally, I’ve always been compelled to protect and guide her. I haven’t always understood her decisions, and I’m sure there have been times where she’s resented me for constantly butting in. Now that we are both adults, I have to be confident that she will make the right decisions for herself. And celebrate with her when they work out. And console her when they don’t.

    Everyone’s version of sisterhood varies. I’m sure my sister’s story is different from mine. But I will say that my version doesn’t follow The Other Boleyn Girl or After Long Silence. It’s my own story – maybe someday I’ll have a chance to tell it.

    16
    Mar
    08

    fishing in banderas bay

    Yesterday was our last day/night in Punta Mita and we wanted to make the most of it. We decided to blow up the air mattress and sleep on the balcony, which turned out to be very cozy and romantic. It worked out well because we needed to wake up at sunrise for our fishing trip.

    When we got down to the marina, we were initially a little disappointed with our captain. He was a young guy and he had clearly been partying all night long. The boat and fishing gear weren’t ready yet and he looked like he might puke at any moment. In the end, he turned out to be a pretty good guy, and led us to a fishing victory.

    We fished for two hours and we each reeled in two fish – FOUR good sized sierra mackerel in total. Sierra Mackerel are a tasty fish with beautiful yellow/green spots. I caught the biggest one – and he put up a great fight! We also saw a dolphin that was swimming and playing near our boat. All in all, fishing was a lot of fun and well worth the money ($120). It was so beautiful and enjoyable to cruise around the bay in the early hours of the morning with all of the other fishermen. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    camping out on the balcony

    Derek fishing

    My big fish

    The fishermen

    Derek and the captain with our catch

    Fish fillets

     

    14
    Mar
    08

    dinner…mexico style

    Yesterday, we cooked an amazing dinner. Everything was grown, prepared and purchased locally. See photos below (although the photos don’t do the dinner justice – we were too anxious to eat the food).

    Menu:

    Jumbo Shrimp – Purchased fresh from a local fisherman who was driving around the roads of Punta Mita selling to the community. ($10 for half a kilo)

    Mahi Mahi – Purchased fresh from a fisherman at the marina. ($4 for a half kilo)

    Homemade Mexican rice, refried beans, pico de gallo and tortilla chips from our favorite restaurant. We got it to-go. ($7)

    In our complex, there is full kitchen setup (under a palapa in the sand). It is complete with a refrigerator, bbq, sink, etc. We prepared the meal drinking beer and listening to Jimmy Buffett’s satellite radio station “Margaritaville” (btw, if you have sirius radio it’s channel 31 and it’s perfect for tropical vacations). We bbq’d the shrimp and mahi mahi with butter, garlic and lime juice. It was so delicious – quite possibly the best meal we’ve eaten since we arrived (and for $11 each). It was such a lovely experience to be cooking and eating under the stars and in the sand.

    Punta Mita marina

    Kindra enjoying the palapa

    Derek & JUMBO SHRIMP

    BBQ

    Dinner

     

    12
    Mar
    08

    more mexico

    Yesterday – Tuesday

    We were planning on going to Sayulita for the day, but Derek was too sunburned and didn’t want to be walking in the sun all day. So we postponed it and instead lounged around Punta Mita all day. I was happy to stay put for the day. Highlights include: Coffee on the balcony, G&Ts by the pool, an afternoon nap and dinner down at Swimmers. I also finished the book I was reading, The Other Boleyn Girl. It was a quick read and I finished it in less than three days (which surprised me considering it was over 650 pages). On a side note, I’m thankful I wasn’t a Boleyn.

    Today – Wednesday

    Today, we woke up and drove up to Sayulita. It is a great little town – bustling with activity. First, we had breakfast at a small outdoor restaurant and then we hit up the beach. The beach was busy and a little crowded, but it provided fantastic people watching – which I love. After sitting on the beach for a bit, we walked around the town a little more and stopped at a restaurant called Sayulita Fish Tacos for fish tacos and a couple of cervezas. The restaurant was recommended to me by a coworker – and it was well worth the stop –the fish tacos were delicious.

    All in all, I have to admit, I was slightly disappointed with Sayulita because it had been built up so much to me. It’s the perfect destination if you are looking for a smaller, quainter version of PV. I think I was expecting something a little more rustic and authentic. There were more tourists than locals and there were real estate offices on every block.

    We got back into the car and decided to continue driving north and stopped in a small town called San Francisco (the locals call it San Pancho). San Pancho is JUST the charming, rustic town I was hoping for. It’s not overly developed and there were very few tourists there. In fact, the beaches were practically empty which surprised me because San Pancho showcases the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. It’s surrounded on all sides by a lush, green jungle. The contrast of the blue water, the white sand and the green jungle is absolutely stunning. So far, the San Pancho beach has been the highlight of my trip.

    On our drive home, we were pulled over by the Mexican road patrol (not to be confused with the federale). They told Derek he was driving too fast over the speed bumps (which is a bunch of crap). They asked for his driver’s license and then told him they would have to keep the license and he would have to go into the office tomorrow to pick it up and pay a $66 ticket. It became increasingly obvious that we had committed no offense and they just wanted money from us. I guarantee this was not the first time they’ve pulled this trick. Derek stayed calm, but firmly assured them that he had no money for them and that he would be needing his license back. After ten minutes, they shrugged, handed the license back and drove off. JERKS!

    Right now, Derek is down at the small harbor seeing if he can buy a fish or lobster off of the local fishermen. I hope he comes back with our dinner! And it’s time for me to start sipping on this margarita and turn my attention to the sunset. I love it here…this is the life.

    Limes

    Derek’s advertisement for home-grown limes..yes, we do have limes growing out front. Jealous?

    Sayulita

    Sayulita’s beach

    Fish Tacos

    Sayulita’s Fish Taco

    San Pancho 1

    San Pancho’s Beach

    San Pancho 2

    More San Pancho

    Derek in San Pancho

    Derek chillaxing in the sun.

    Kindra in San Pancho

    It’s me!

    Derek

    The water is great!

    Derek with Lobster

    Dinner!




    a blog for anyone, but mostly for me.