Posts Tagged ‘work’

My court date

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, stories,Tags: , , , , , , ,
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Back in November, I got a ticket at IAD when I was picking up my parents. I felt it was completely unfair and the officer was very rude, so even though it was only $40, I decided to contest it. Part of it was also a curiosity of that whole process. I called in about three weeks after receiving the ticket, when I was sure that I wanted to go forward with contesting my citation. The gentleman let me know the next available slot was more than a month out from that point – Feb 3rd at 1:30. Apparently in VA, officers have a certain slot where they handle all their cases from the previous weeks and for my officer, that was his next time. I booked it and was told I’d receive some more information at home.

loudoun county sheriff's car parked outside in dark

I meant to get a picture of what went down in our foyer, but in the excitement I forgot, so I got their vehicle before it drove off.

Weeks went by. I worked, took time off for the holidays, returned to work, and went on with life as usual. Then one night I got a message from Panda that sounded totally ominous. Officers had stopped by and needed to talk to me! This totally threw me off. What officers? Why did they need to talk to me? Panda just said they’d be back later that night, so I needed to get home around 7. Apparently they needed to issue me a ticket for running a stop sign or something? No such thing had happened, so that had me very confused. It all sounded very odd to me, so I called up the local police station to check in on whether that was standard protocol. They looked it up and determined that there was something the officers needed to deliver to me. I suddenly remembered the court date and figured out it was probably the summons for that. So I got home, called the police station to let them know I was home, and the officers came by. They were really nice and said they just had to give me the paperwork in person on behalf of the officer who wrote me the ticket. Loudoun officers need to deliver summons on behalf of the airport officers it seems. Must be a jurisdiction thing.  The officers also let me know that it could go pretty quickly or I might be waiting at the courthouse for hours, so I cleared my schedule for that afternoon, just in case.

loudoun county courthouse in leesburg virginia

Beautiful day and a very nice courthouse.

Finally, my court date rolled around today. I went to work as usual in the morning and worked until lunch. I ate a quick meal before heading out with plenty of buffer time in case I got stuck in traffic, lost, or otherwise diverted and delayed. The drive was good and I arrived with plenty of time to spare. It took me some time to figure out where to park and which area of the building to walk to. Upon entering the courthouse, there was a security check where we were told that cell phones were not allowed except for lawyers. There were free lockers you could put them in – I had also brought my iPad to play a game while waiting, but I figured they probably wouldn’t want that either so I locked it away as well.

When I walked through the metal detector, it beeped and I looked worried. The cop monitoring it said not to worry, they were there to help and attributed my shoes for setting it off (metal in the heels I guess). I then continued in where another officer was able to take a look at my paperwork and direct me to an area with two possible courtrooms. She told me to check the monitors outside for my name so I’d know which one to enter. I skipped the windows where clerks of some sort were helping other people. The whole area was very bright and clean – very impressive. I thought it’d be a stodgy old place that smelled kind of strange and had off-yellow light, but it was airy and quite white.

At first glance, courtroom 1D only had 4 names for 1:30, so I went to 1C. That one had a list of names for 1, so of course I wasn’t on it. After standing around waiting with everyone else for awhile, I noticed the screen outside 1D change. Turns out I had only seen the last few names – the first screen had the bulk of them, which included mine for 1:30. A good 15 minutes beforehand, they opened the doors and we filed in. Nobody talked, so I wasn’t sure what to do, but I figured I was at the right place so I’d follow them in. The courtroom had a bunch of padded benches for us to sit on. Everyone chose a spot (I went for the second row, left side) and settled in. I gazed around at the room – tons of lighting, a portrait of some man on the wall closer to me, the judge’s seat with a nice big chair, tables for both sides, and a podium in the middle.

It felt like hours of sitting waiting at people came in and out. Some folks had lawyers who came to talk to them, then exited to talk to others. It was all very confusing. I just hoped I wasn’t first, since I would have no idea what to do or say. The police officers came in and took the front right area, where a jury might normally be. Most were in uniform but I think a few plainclothes people were also part of them. It was hard to tell who was a lawyer, who was an officer, and who was a normal citizen. At first I sat rather straight, but my back quickly started to hurt. The seating was soft, but the back of the benches were pretty far back and it seemed too relaxed to lean back like that. Alas, I caved and sat back after awhile. Right around 1:30, the guy who must have been the bailiff (who I thought was just another police officer attending court) had us all rise for the judge. We then took a seat as the judge quickly explained how it would go.

We had the option of 3 pleas: not guilty, guilty, or no contest. For the latter two, he would provide a sentence since you are basically admitting wrongdoing. No contest was meant that we recognize there is enough evidence against us. The majority of people before me entered “guilty with an explanation” – I guess they just wanted reduced sentences. Many of them had lawyers, so I felt rather alone. The judge was very kind and I got the impression he was looking out for our well-being. When one gentleman approached with no lawyer, explaining he tried and couldn’t find one he could afford, the judge suggested appointing one. The guy refused (he just wanted to plead guilty and get back to work), so the judge made sure he understood the ramifications before providing the paperwork for him to waive his right to an attorney. Another guy – a kid, really – seemed dumbfounded when the judge told him he’d have to get back to that case since the attorney for the Commonwealth of VA had not yet been consulted on whether to pursue jail time as part of the sentence. The judge was so concerned about him he had the kid return to the podium, look him in the eye, and confirm that he was ok before moving on.

The majority of pleas were guilty, so the judge would quickly provide a sentence. When there was proof that the person had started to fix the problem – take a driving course, apply for a VA license, or change out a car that had expired plates – the judge was more lenient and gave a lesser fine. When the person was a no-show, he would quietly let the officer know what the final fine amount was and the officer noted that in some giant binder they seem to come with. When there was representation, the case got pushed back for later. When it was more complex than a few quick minutes, the case also got pushed back. The whole process was rather efficient, getting as many cases out the door early in the process as possible. Finally, after a dozen names or so came the officer I was up against. Or so I thought. He had two no-shows, the judge issued a fine amount, the officer thanked him, and walked out. I was immensely confused. What about me? Had I somehow not shown up in the docket? Suddenly I started to question whether I was in the correct courtroom. After all, nobody had confirmed anything when we first entered.

Just as I was considering going to the back or outside to ask someone, I heard the judge call my name. Oh, and another thing I really liked about him – he greeted each defendant with “good afternoon” and asked if he was pronouncing the name correctly. With me, of course I had to correct him and I actually remembered it as he addressed me. When he asked my plea and I said “not guilty” he told me to take a seat. I got grouped into the “more complex” ones since I wanted to fight my ticket. However, the officer then spoke up and told the judge that since he did not have notes on the matter, he wanted to dismiss (or did he say withdraw?) it. I stepped back to the podium as the judge let me know that due to the officer’s request, my citation was null, so I was free to go. That was it! I thanked him and walked out pleased that I didn’t have to go through the whole explanation later.

As I picked up my electronics and exited the courthouse, it all felt surreal. Should I have gotten some sort of signature or stamp? How would I have proof that this was actually dropped? Did I really not have to do anything?! What a strange feeling. I didn’t even need the summons and ticket that I had brought with me. It really couldn’t have been simpler or tidier of a process. I walked back to my car and drove off not really believing it was so easy. I guess with a minor ticket like mine, they figure they have bigger fish to fry. People who actually committed a serious offense, like running a light, speeding waaay over the limit, driving without a license, or driving under the influence (all cases that had come before me today). So less than 25 minutes from the moment I stepped in that courtroom, I was already back in my car driving back to work. I’d say contesting my ticket was totally worth it!

Power Supply Week of Dec 22 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , ,
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The week we went off to the holidays, it was a short one so they only did a delivery that Monday. The Thursday that week was already Christmas so there was no second delivery and it became a 3-meal week, which worked out since we left Wednesday anyway.

Power Supply is around $9.50-$15.50 per meal (when you sign up for a recurring plan – single orders are 5% more) and offers a variety of ready-made meal types, all gluten- and dairy-free. Boxes are sent once or twice weekly (depending on your plan) and you have total control over customization of which meals you get. You can easily switch between plans or choose to skip some weeks. They offer a referral program that earns free meals for referrer and referree.

Tagine Chicken Salad w/ Peppercorn Dressing

power supply tagine chicken salad with peppercorn dressing mixitarian/paleo lunch meal in box

I have no idea what tagine means, yet somehow I decided to try this dish because of the name.

power supply tagine chicken salad with peppercorn dressing mixitarian/paleo lunch meal open

The salad was decent, but I’ve found I’m not much into their style of salads. I’d rather have more veggies and stronger dressing.

Roast Beef Brisket on Gluten Free Almond Bread w/ Apple Sauerkraut

power supply roast beef brisket on gluten free almond bread with apple sauerkraut mixitarian lunch meal in box

This intrigued me because of the sauerkraut.

power supply roast beef brisket on gluten free almond bread with apple sauerkraut mixitarian lunch meal open

I think I got a poor cut of meat – it was all tendon-y or something. I cut out quite a bit because it was difficult to chew. If they had softer meat, I might try this again.

Cuban Pulled Pork w/ Mexican Spiced Carrots & Parsnips

power supply cuban pulled pork with mexican spiced carrots and parsnips mixitarian dinner meal in box

I’m always willing to try pulled meat, since it’s likely to be more of the texture I like.

power supply cuban pulled pork with mexican spiced carrots and parsnips mixitarian dinner meal open

I liked the meat, but the veggies were a bit too crunchy after awhile. Not too much flavor either.

Power Supply Week of Dec 15 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , ,
1

After pausing for a weeks for the holidays, I’ll be receiving my next batch of food next week. In an effort to keep up with the reviews, here’s the second week’s worth of food I got! We’re starting to see repeats of the dishes from the first week so it looks like they’re cycling through the meals every 5 weeks.

Power Supply is around $9.50-$15.50 per meal (when you sign up for a recurring plan – single orders are 5% more) and offers a variety of ready-made meal types, all gluten- and dairy-free. Boxes are sent once or twice weekly (depending on your plan) and you have total control over customization of which meals you get. You can easily switch between plans or choose to skip some weeks. They offer a referral program that earns free meals for referrer and referree.

Sundried Tomato Basil Grilled Chicken w/ Citrusy Carrot Salad

power supply sundried tomato basil grilled chicken with cirtusy carrot salad paleo lunch meal in box

I decided to begin with a lighter fare.

power supply sundried tomato basil grilled chicken with cirtusy carrot salad paleo lunch meal open

Chicken wasn’t super tasty, but the dressing gave it a bit more flavor. I liked the carrot salad – crunchy and tangy.

Jerk Chicken w/ Garlic Spinach, Brown Rice & Coconut Sauce (NEW)

power supply jerk chicken with garlic spinach, brown rice, and coconut sauce mixitarian lunch meal in box

I forgot a pic of this after I microwaved it. It didn’t stand out as particularly good or bad.

Garlic Baked Cod w/ Tomatillo Dressing, Spinach & Herbed Mashed Sweet Potatoes

power supply garlic baked cod with tomatillo dressing, spinach, and herbed mashed sweet potatoes mixitarian dinner meal in box

Grabbed this one for lunch during a meeting.

power supply garlic baked cod with tomatillo dressing, spinach, and herbed mashed sweet potatoes mixitarian dinner meal open

I enjoyed the cod and the tomatillos were nice and soft. I didn’t end up eating the sweet potato mash since it was kind of sour.

Beef Stew w/ Braised Root Vegetables

power supply beef stew with braised root vegetables paleo dinner meal in box

A coworker had extras so I decided to try this one out.

power supply beef stew with braised root vegetables paleo dinner meal open

All quite tasty, but far more meat than I prefer. I cleaned up the vegetables!

Spanish Frittata w/ Kale, Brussels Sprout & Bacon Hash & Pumpkin Mousse (NEW)

power supply spanish frittata with kale, brussel sprouts and bacon hash, and pumpkin mousse mixitarian lunch meal in box

I took this home to eat over the weekend.

power supply spanish frittata with kale, brussel sprouts and bacon hash, and pumpkin mousse mixitarian lunch meal open

I really liked the salad. The frittata turned out to be a bit too heavy for my taste, but with the salsa it was more refreshing.

Spring Turkey Salad w/ Green Beans & Dried Cherries

power supply spring turkey salad with green beans and dried cherries mixitarian lunch meal in box

I gave this to Panda to eat for lunch and he loved it.

power supply spring turkey salad with green beans and dried cherries mixitarian lunch meal open

I will be ordering this again the next time around so maybe I can try it. If not, at least I know it’ll be enjoyed by someone. 🙂

Laser tag holiday party

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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Yesterday our company had our holiday party celebration at a laser tag place! I think it was my first time, but then I have this faint memory of darkness, glowing lights, and being downright awful at the game. I don’t know if that was just a dream from my childhood or an actual memory. Either way, I was very new to this experience and had a lot to learn. We booked the whole place for over 4 hours and it was quite the night of fun and exercise!

shadowland laser adventures laser tag in chantilly

Arriving at the holiday party after the Secret Santa at the office.

laser tag gear hanging on the wall

We signed waivers, gathered in the break room, then moved on to the briefing room before putting on our packs.

I’d show you those pictures, but some of my coworkers might not want to appear on my blog. 😛 Just imagine a break room painted with some sort of alien landscape with observation domes. There are a bunch of long tables and chairs there for people to sit (in our case, eat and drink). Across the way are doors leading to the briefing room, which is mostly kept darkened. There are other things painted on to these walls and it sort of looks like the background in the next picture. Three sides of the room have wooden benches lining them, one row in front, one row in back much like bleachers. Along the forth wall are the rules, a sample gem (glowing thing on the wall that can give you power-ups but also tag you), and a blown up example of what the display screen on the gun look like.

They walk you through the basics and then let us choose how we wanted to play each time. The first time it was two teams against each other. The second time we went crazy with four. The third time we toned it down to three and the forth time we had team captains split us into two teams (I’m pretty sure I was the worst player on my team then, but we still won!). And finally they went a fifth time with free for all. I really wanted zombies and didn’t want to get demolished in the free for all, so I sat out and got to stand by the entrance to watch everyone else battle it out. The same 6 or 7 people kept running around and around the area closest to me. Seems like many people had zones they preferred, so some sort of pattern.

girl wearing laser tag pack for laser tag game

Got my pack 14 on and ready to rumble!

laser tag gun display panel showing stats

The display on our laser guns let us know all sorts of stats that thoroughly confused me. Half the time I couldn’t tell if someone got hit or hit me.

laser tag arena with everything painted black and glowing lights everywhere

In we went! It wasn’t until later that I realized there was a gem right at the beginning.

sign reserving and welcoming company party to laser tag venue

A few rounds in, I suddenly noticed the sign for our party!

scoareboard listing ranking and stats for players after laser tag round

After each game, we’d convene outside to check out how everyone did.

laser tag score card summarizing stats of game for each player

They even handed out score cards! I was pretty consistently one of the last (usually third to last).

Power Supply Week of Dec 8 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
1

At our office, we started ordering Power Supply for our meals. My company helps subsidize the cost and it’s a whole lot easier than going out trying to figure out what to buy! I’ve enjoyed not feeling limited to the restaurants within walking distance and not even having to step outside into the cold. Ok, so here’s how it works: you can choose 3, 5, 6, or 10 meals per week. If you go with the 3- or 6-meal plans, they are delivered for pickup on Mondays. If you go with the 5- or 10-meal plans, the first 3/6 are delivered on Monday and then the remaining 2/4 are delivered on Thursday.

There are three sizes: boost (small for snacking or sides), standard (for most normal people’s portions), and XL (for those massive eaters who can’t get enough). There are three breakdowns: mixitarian (meats, veggies, some grains and legumes), paleo (“cave man” food – meats, veggies, fruits, nuts), and vegetarian (well you know, vegetables only). And then there’s the option of lunch and/or dinners: lunches are meals that are easier/faster to eat, sort of like grab-and-go, while dinners are meals that are slower and generally require silverware to complete the task. Portion sizes do not vary between the meal types, so you can freely swap between any of them on a given week (though you can’t get meals slated for Thursday delivery on Monday delivery). Pork and fish are only available on Thursday deliveries, so you’d have to get the 5 or 10 meal plan for those.

Does that all make sense? Basically they’ve made it veeeery flexible to get what you want. It’s easy to “mod your meal” as they say. 🙂

Power Supply is around $9.50-$15.50 per meal (when you sign up for a recurring plan – single orders are 5% more) and offers a variety of ready-made meal types, all gluten- and dairy-free. Boxes are sent once or twice weekly (depending on your plan) and you have total control over customization of which meals you get. You can easily switch between plans or choose to skip some weeks. They offer a referral program that earns free meals for referrer and referree.

power supply dc fridge at office

Power Supply delivers to fridges at gyms and offices like this.

power supply meals packaged for each person and put in fridge

First day ever receiving their meals and the fridge is packed!

Turkey Pot Pie

power supply turkey pot pie mixitarian lunch meal in box

The very first one I go for is the Turkey Pot Pie.

power supply turkey pot pie mixitarian lunch meal open

I loved it! I wish there was more though… but it did fill me up for a good 5-6 hours.

Cinnamon Ancho Beef w/ Acorn Squash & Chocolate Pana Cotta

power supply cinnamon ancho beef with acorn squash & chocolate pana cotta mixitarian lunch meal in box

Somehow at least 7 of us in the office all decided to 1. get this meal and then 2. eat this meal on Tuesday!

power supply cinnamon ancho beef with acorn squash & chocolate pana cotta mixitarian lunch meal open

The beef was fantastic and I liked dipping it in the sauce. The squash was not as soft as I would have liked and the pana cotta was an odd sort of chocolate pudding (good enough to eat the whole container though).

Citrusy Chicken w/ Oyster Mushroom, Broccoli & Cauliflower Fried Rice (NEW)

power supply orange chicken with oyster mushroom, broccoli & cauliflower fried rice mixitarian dinner meal in box

I wasn’t too sure about this so I put off eating it earlier in the week, but I liked it.

power supply orange chicken with oyster mushroom, broccoli & cauliflower fried rice mixitarian dinner meal open

Surprisingly, I ate the broccoli completely. The only thing I didn’t eat was the peppers.

Blackened Mahi Mahi w/ Herbed Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Sautéed Kale

power supply blackened mahi mahi with herbed mashed sweet potatoes & sautéed kale mixitarian dinner meal in box

Thursday came with a fresh delivery and my fish dish!!

power supply blackened mahi mahi with herbed mashed sweet potatoes & sautéed kale mixitarian dinner meal open

The blackened mahi mahi was the reason I went for the 5 meal plan. I also happen to like kale and sweet potatoes! The fish was very black peppery, which I love.

Vanilla Maple Glazed Pork w/ Sautéed Spinach, Tomatoes & Brown Rice

power supply vanilla maple glazed pork with sautéed spinach, tomatoes & brown rice mixitarian dinner meal in box

And then came the pork dish, which a sweetness that the rice helped balance out. This dish was ok and I totally forgot a picture when I removed the lid.

Gifting Yuzen boxes

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,
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I’m lucky enough to get Yuzen boxes sent to me and I had some extra this year, so I decided to gift some to my friends at work. I was trying to decide between bringing in all the same box (the winter one) or three completely different ones. I was talking to Panda about this and he voted for equality across the board. He figured that way one person wouldn’t be less pleased because she wanted something that came in another box. I thought it could be fun to have them trade with each other if they wanted. What do you think?

three people's hands each on a different yuzen box lined up

Each gal claimed her mystery box!

I ultimately decided to ask the ladies and they all said it’d be more fun to have different things, so that’s exactly what I did. I brought in a winter box, summer box, and one of the gift boxes with a mix of items from previous boxes. With each packaged in the same outer box, I shuffled them up and as I pulled them out, they each lay claim to one. It was fun to watch them open them and see what they thought of what was in their box. It’s amusing how perfectly it turned out too – one person was super excited about the shower bombs and sleep essential oil in the winter box and another loved the lash serum from the summer box. Meanwhile, the third was drawn to the hand cream and foot cream in the gift box (I think the nail polish was rather fitting for her and her daughter too).

I found it interesting that we all thought variety would spice things up and make it more entertaining, whereas Panda would have gone the conservative route and offered the same thing to all. Is it a difference in personalities? Do I just tend to get along with people who like a little sprinkle of uniqueness? Who knows. All I know is that it couldn’t have worked out better. I’m happy, they’re happy, we’re all happy. 🙂 And so goes the season of giving!

When the weather is dreary…

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,
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We are so listless

We are so down

Lethargy is tangible in the air and conversations consist of how icky it is outside, how tired we are, how awful it all is…

All I want to do is drink cozy hot drinks like apple cider, hot chocolate, and tea. I want a fireplace to sit near, a soft comfy couch. I don’t want to have to think too hard. I don’t want to go outside.

My coworkers feel it too. We commiserate over the lack of light, lack of energy, and short days. Was it this bad last year? I suppose it was, but at least we had a room where we could close the door and turn up the music. This time around we barely see each other. I’m often off in a room or a corner, conducting a demo or webinar. When I’m at my desk, our faces are all buried in our computer screens. The day drags, yet the time still flies. The longest week manages to be the shortest and the weekends never last. Soon enough, we’re at it again. It gets darker earlier and earlier. Oftentimes it’s raining, cold. There’s no hope of getting home when it’s still light out. Oh how I miss the fairer seasons.

Yet, I get home and after dinner the night zooms past. Too soon, I need to rest but my body and mind aren’t ready to. If only there were more hours in the day, right? So then I succumb, finally. Rest is a wonderful thing. While it may be gloomy outside and totally zapping my motivation to move, at least it’s warm in here. If only I could sleep in a little more and just enjoy it.

Working remotely in Hawaii

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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I spent a week out in Hawaii while doing everything to make it seem like I wasn’t even gone work-wise. It was a last-minute thing: when I realized Veteran’s Day was the following week, I had asked Panda what our plans were (anticipating taking Monday off to enjoy a 4-day weekend). Instead of the type of answer I was expecting, I discovered that would be the week he was slated to go to Hawaii for work. I was so disappointed because I was really wanted to enjoy the weekend with him, but work travel meant he’d be leaving me Sunday morning. In other words, what I thought would be a long weekend would actually only consist of Saturday. For the first time, I was actually serious about joining him on a work trip. I really didn’t want to lose out on making it a holiday weekend worth my time.

So, once it was confirmed that he was going, I decided to make a decision and book tickets too. I’ve never planned a trip like this on such short notice, but it was one of those things I knew I’d regret for ages if I didn’t go for it. I figured I could still get all my work done at the normal EST hours I work and then I’d have the afternoon to enjoy the surroundings in Hawaii. Just like that, we found tickets for times I felt were reasonable and least interfered with work. By Sunday, we were off on our journey to spend a week out at the North Shore.

turtle bay resort at north shore hotel room with king bed

My office for the week.

I woke up daily (except Veteran’s Day and the weekend) at 4:30 HST to start work. I joined meetings remotely, answered emails, and worked on projects. Before I knew it, the sun would be rising and people were going off to lunch. I’d usually have a late “lunch” break and go enjoy the breakfast buffet downstairs. I savored the meals and watched the waves coming in as the heat began to build outside. Then it was back to the room for more work, which flew by pretty quickly. I found myself to be more productive (or at least it felt so) working from the hotel. This was probably because I had very few distractions. I hardly even got up for a drink or restroom break whereas usually at work I’m up at least once or twice an hour.

view of sunrise from turtle bay resort hotel room

Being awake for the sunrise was pretty cool.

view of turtle bay beach and ocean from turtle bay resort hotel room

The daytime view was pretty awesome too.

breakfast spread from breakfast buffet at turtle bay resort

A typical breakfast halfway through the work day!

I tried to finish my day around 1, but it usually went past that, though for the most part I was able to stop working by 2. At that point I had the choice of beaches to play at. One day I went the less traveled route and happily caught dozens of hermit crabs, snails, and even fish. Another day I found other crabs lurking by the rocks and swam around in the bay following a variety of fish around coral reefs. Yet another day I caught more critters and had a staring contest with some ghost crabs. I kept meaning to go to the banyan tree everyone checks out, but there were so many distractions along the way that I never quite made it there. I did have fun filming storks taking off in slo-mo, getting super close-ups of the creatures I caught, and generally basking in the sun.

clear plastic cup with a fish, hermit crab, and sea snail

Just the beginning of my catchings.

As the sun went down, we’d search for dinner and my night would wind down. I’d shower off the sand from the day and spend some time online before calling it a night. I tried to sleep around 8, but oftentimes it was closer to 10 when I got to bed. And then the day would start anew just past 4 as my alarms began to ring. It was much easier to wake up at that time than I thought it might be. I was quickly alert and ready to go! On our days off, we’d sleep in until 9 or so and then grab breakfast before embarking out on some adventure. Panda didn’t get the weekend, but luckily was free on Veteran’s Day and had some opportunities to leave work for a few hours. We went to Waikiki twice, hiked Diamond Head, visited Pearl Harbor, and even swung by the Dole Plantation. Not bad for a working vacation!

Billionaire lessons

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,
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Today I watched a show about billionaires that was quite interesting. I particularly liked the guy who told his children not to chase after making big bucks, but aim for impacting more people’s lives instead. Now there’s a good goal to go after, and a far better approach than just trying to make a ton of money. Funny enough, when these billionaires went after what they liked to do (and worked hard at it), they made their fortunes. If only we all were more motivated to pursue our passions and interests more than riches, power, or fame. Alas, we live in a world where passion feeds the soul but not the belly and greed is laser-focused on money and possessions.

What I thought was cool about these billionaires is that they don’t just sit back on their heels, which isn’t surprising given the work ethic it took to make it to their position. With the personality types to achieve that sort of financial status, I don’t think they could “retire and live a good life” – their inner drive would go insane without being pushed a million miles an hour. A lot of people talk about how great it would be to not have to work another day, but what they don’t seem to consider is the fact that they need something to occupy their time and attention. Generally, the relaxed life of leisure gets boring after awhile. I know I can get listless with too much free time.

So what I took away from the show was that we may think billionaires have it easy, but really they work harder than most of us. They’re just the type of people to dream big and shoot for even greater goals when they have all that extra loot. Whether it’s space travel, advances in science, or improvements to health, there’s still plenty to be worked on in this world. The pursuit of money for the sake of having more of it isn’t a worthy cause and that approach won’t get you nearly as far as working on something that makes you light up when you talk about it. Find that and you know you’re on the right track. Whether you make millions or just make a living, you’ll certainly be richer either way. I’m still searching for which of my many passions are ones I can sustain. With so many directions I want to go, it’s hard finding the path forward. I’m sure there will be plenty of trial and error!

Our first Halloween

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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It’s our first Halloween as homeowners and you can tell by the massive bags of Sour Patch Kids we gave out (along with Rice Krispy Treats too). The Sour Patch Kids were a hit with pretty much ever kid who came to our door. I think we had a total of twenty-some-odd visitors over the course of about half a dozen doorbell rings. A mostly quiet night, but that’s probably partly due to our neighborhood still being new and many condos still standing empty. It wasn’t easy to tell whether people were home and/or living in each unit, plus with our condo style, the doors are down a sidewalk between the walls of our buildings. The other style condos in the area have the front doors all along the front facing the street, so it’s easier for the kids to run from one to the next.

We made sure to turn on our front door light and we lit up fairy lights in one of the windows facing the road. Inside the front door, we lit up the tiny pumpkin I got from my recent HelloFresh box. Panda originally wanted to shine a light on it to cast a shadow like the bat signal, but the shadow was either too small or too blurry, so we decided to light the mini pumpkin instead. Next year we’ll have to make sure we carve a pumpkin and light it up out by the end of our sidewalk to get more people to our door. It also took use some time to hop off the couch and run down the stairs, so maybe we can read books on the stairs or something to be closer to the door.

Overall it was a fun Halloween, not too crazy, but it had its moments (especially at work). Here are some highlights:

laughing girl dressed up as waldo for halloween blending in with whiteboard with red stripes drawn on

This idea for Where’s Waldo sounded much better in our heads, but still provided for some great amusement today.

halloween trio dressed up as lumberjack with axe, shark, and waldo

In no other scenario would you find a lumberjack axing a shark attacking a Waldo. What fun!

mini pumpkin held in the palm of the hand

Fits in the palm of my hand.

light shining on mini pumpkin inside window by door

Our makeshift lighting for the “pumpkin signal” that didn’t quite work.

mini pumpkin inside window by door lit up by lamp

From the outside, I think you get the idea that we’re open for business, right?

cat chewing on bag of candy in basket of halloween candy

Smokey tried to dig in as soon as the kids were gone and the doorbell stopped ringing.

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