Thursday, June 28, 2007

Argentina 4...

Ouch! That's how I feel after the portion of the US v. Argentina game that I got to see. The game started off promising. I missed the first few mintues, but turned on the TV just in time to see the foul in the box that ended in a US PK goal. Not a horrible way to start the game after 8 mintues. Sad thing is, that's the only goal they'd get all game. I had to run out for the rest of the first half and 20 minutes of the second half. I returned to a 2-1 game with Argentina in the lead. I thought, not good, but there's still time. Needless to say, time didn't help.

Argentina played clean. Lots of crisp passes and good movement of the ball. They only turned over the ball because of good defense. The US on the other hand had problems. They didn't create space and couldn't settle the ball. I felt they didn't have a sense of urgency when they needed it. But in all fairness, I will say the goals scored by Argentina were nice. Good passing, good crossing, good finishing. (At least the ones I saw). Fot me, it's off to soccer now. Hopefully my game goes better than the one I just watched.

Highlights should be on soon. I'm hoping they were just getting the kinks out and the next games will be better.

Quarter Century

It's a bit strange when I tell someone that I've been playing soccer for almost 20 years. I'm not sure I ever thought that I would be doing anything for 20 years. In 20 days, I will be 25 years old. I'm a college graduate, I have a good job, an active life, and great friends. I'm doing pretty well. In the next few weeks I will embark upon a test that may change my future. I'm not saying the test itself will make or break me, but a surprising score to the positive could open up many opportunities.

This time last year I had a countdown running. It wasn't a countdown to the GMAT, but one to an annual trip that I grew so very fond. VEGAS. Four years running, we took an annual trip to Vegas. Each year, more girls attended and less guys. It was about being with my close girlfriends to celebrate a holiday that I find very special for each individual. This year though, I canceled the trip. It wasn't something I did yesterday, but something I put lots of thought into. It just wasn't me this year. I would hate to say I've grown out of Vegas or even more that I've grown out of birthdays. But something was off. Luckily, I'm still happy with my decision.

I will admit that when I glance through pictures, and browse through old blogs, it touches me. There was a time when celebrating birthdays and throwing the biggest bashes was me. Somehow, I've lost that. I suppose I have lost the innocence of it. Nowadays I just hope that the day will pass like any other. Perhaps a few good birthday wishes from close friends to remind me what day it is. However, I just long to have no tears and a good night rest. I'm not "celebrating" my birthday this year.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Turf Shoes

It is about time that I purchase a pair of turf shoes. When I started playing indoor in Colorado, we wore cleats. The field was new and quite nice. Not to mention, cleats worked quite well on it. Three years ago I moved back to California and had to find a new indoor arena. The place I chose wasn't quite as nice or new as my original field, but it is close to home.

I bought a new pair of "women's" indoor shoes. They were the first of their kind and the sales guy didn't actually know if they were better, but I figured I'd try them. Needless to say, they've held up quite well. I only fall on my bottom once or twice a game. ;)

Recently, I've played a few games of outdoor on turf fields. Although, because it is outdoor, I tend to wear cleats. I haven't figured out if they grip any better than the indoor shoes, but again, thus far, they've worked.

Lately however, I've decided it's time to invest in a pair of true turf shoes. I have two bad ankles and play enough soccer to justify the cost. Here's the ultimate problem, I have no idea what to buy. I've thought about popping into my local soccer shop, but I will admit, I would like the shoes to be a bit stylish. Basically, add some color damn it! I started to browse online, but the choices are vast and my knowledge is limited. On top of which, it doesn't seem that anything is "made for women". In the end, I have no idea what the actual benefit of being made for a woman is, but the idea is nice.

Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Meaning of Life

It's been one of those days. I've had two friends in the last few hours basically start a discussion with me on the meaning of life. I'm not quite sure if it's the age, or something in the air, but I honestly don't have any answers for them. I'm 3 weeks out from my 25th birthday. It tends to be a big deal in the world of birthdays, but I feel this one, for me, is going to pass as any other day would. I've been studying for the GMAT and plan on taking that in 3 weeks as well. Then grad school will be on the horizon after that is complete. Perhaps I don't feel the crunch because I'm making the next step. But honestly, at 25, do you have to know what you want to do with your life?

I'm often told by my parents that they still don't know what they want to do. Once upon a time people held jobs for decades. Now, it seems that after a couple years, it's time to move on. People switch directions more than they used to as well. I'm not sure if it's the evolution of technology or our attention spans are shorter. Technology extinguishes about as many jobs as it makes. The new jobs are more thought provocative and often require more training. At the same time, people like to try new things more often. As a society, we don't like to be routine. So we move in and out of jobs for something bigger, better, or simply higher paying. The loyalty to corporations isn't what it once was. It's vanished.

I feel the meaning of life has changed as well. A person used to build themselves from the bottom to the top in any given company. But today, it's often more beneficial for an employee to take a similar position at a competitor. People would marry "for better or for worse". I hear about more 30-somethings that couldn't make a marriage work after two years and divorced instead of working for it. Children are being had later. This could be a positive as hopefully the adults are more responsible, but at the same time, adults may not be as active as they were in their younger years.

I can only hope, for a solid education, a good job, great friends, a strong family and a companion in my life. I would like to marry, but would rather not if it ends in divorce. I would like to have kids, but would rather not if I can't provide for them. In the end, I want to be happy and passionate. Passionate about who I am, who I am with and everything that I do.

Monday, June 25, 2007

3 Weeks

Three weeks from today, right about this time, I will be sitting in a center in San Francisco writing the first essay of my GMAT test. It's a bit bizarre to think that in three weeks I will be starting a new path. The next step of life will be graduate school. I haven't given much thought to if I want to stay in California or if I'd prefer to try another state or even country. I bounce ideas around, but not enough to make any concrete decisions. The test is my focus right now and it's what is important. Twenty-one days, the ring is a bit more relieving than three weeks. Three weeks may be more than my annual vacation, but it's definitely enough to scare me. I am overwhelmed right now and just need to focus.

Some days I feel confident that my quantitative skills are up to par. Some days I know I can correct sentences. Others I fail to answer questions quickly. I should have started looking at the Analytical Writing section earlier. It isn't going to be difficult if I know the topic. However, thus far, my knowledge on the test topics has been limited. Looks like I will be reading the Economist and the Wall Street Journal for the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The World Disappears

The first step is light
But as the pace picks up
The steps stomp harder
Your breathing rate increases
The music infects your soul
The hustle and bustle vanishes
The further you go,
The more you realize
The world just disappeared.

It isn’t until long after you finish
When the breathing finally normalizes
That you realize,
You’ve been thrust back into the world
But by then,
It doesn’t matter.
The thrill takes over
The thoughts that consumed you before,
You are at peace,
And you smile.

Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd

Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd, you know what it means, but perhaps you don't realize that you do. How about this, Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd? Or let's make it one simpler, IKEA. It's a brand that you know and recognize. It's a great place for fairly inexpensive furniture and home accessories. But without the acronym, you have no idea what I'm writing about.

I found that personally, I could give the full name for designer brands that I've been in constant contact. However perhaps that's because those designers tend to variably use the abbreviation for the name as well as the full name. It's companies such as CVS and 3M that although quite recognizable, without a list of choices I wouldn't get close to the actual name of the company. And even with choices, I missed.

Test your knowledge here: Company Abbreviations Quiz

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Personality via the Internet

Do you project personality when you type? I would like to think I do, but there again maybe I don't. I can hear the words in my head as I hit the keys - my tone and my sentence structure. Does your interpretation of one's writing differ depending on your relationship with that person? I would like to say that it doesn't, but truth is, it probably does. If you're mad at someone, something harmless may be taken as cynical. If you care about someone, a simple hello may be blown out of proportion. We often miss visual reactions and casual tone of voice when conversing via the internet.

Emoticons are one way of showing emotion. A smiley face :) to show happiness, appeasement, lightheartedness. A sad face :( to show sorrow, dislike, or discontent. There are many other icons like this one :-/ showing confusion or thought. They all represent somewhat human expressions. I try to use them especially during IM conversations. I like to think people know if I'm serious or joking, being playful or not. But I guess the truth is, you don't know how others interpret you. Sometimes you can gauge their misinterpretations by their reactions. Other times you move along as if nothing happened.

Just a random thought.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

US Soccer's Idenity Crisis

I came across a post today by Slate. It's a slide show about the US Soccer team's growing uniform crisis. I found it ironic seeing I recently attended a game at the beginning of June. As much as I love the game, I will admit, that I've recently become a fan. I don't own a US soccer jersey and I was trying to figure out what to wear to the game. I opted for a bright red USA sweatshirt that was bought half-off in Canada after the Olympics. Roots, a Canadian company, made all the gear for USA, Great Britain, Canada, and few smaller countries. Needless to say, I can empathize with the identity crisis. I saw people in jerseys, MLS gear and various colored t-shirts/tanks. Why is it, most sports in our nation can get a crowd to match, but out national soccer team has an identity crisis? They need a national vote on what the jersey should look like. Pick one, stick with it. I like the quote about Mexico's jersey, "the national team is the jersey, the jersey is the national team." We need to strive for that.

The Thrill of 5

I've been an avid runner since 7th grade when I joined the cross country team. I'm not sure what appealed to me, but I know it definitely wasn't the 6 am runs. I had a natural talent, if you will. I was fast and I enjoyed running - two things that are hard to come by. You typically get one or the other. Post high school, my running fell off. I concentrated more on my love for soccer than running long distances. Plus, the snow made it a bit cold during the winter. I've been playing soccer for 20 years and although people think it's a great work out, it's nothing compared to a long run.

About a month ago, I decided to get back into the gym. I'd been slacking and my ankles were getting worse. I have not one, but two weak ankles and I refuse to give up soccer. It's a passion. I started lifting again and doing some mild 2-3 mi runs. I found that squats improve my stability tenfold and the running helps my endurance as well as my play. As much as I love the game of soccer, the thrill of 5 may actually surpass the feeling of a W. 5 miles is a long way to run and when you're pacing about 8 minutes a mile, you finish knowing you pushed yourself. Perhaps that's what it actually is, you feel accomplished. And you know you did it on your own.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


It's Sunday morning and logically I should be fast asleep, but instead I'm writing a blog. Tonight was the Spinsters Annual Ball. I took 4 fabulous dates and we had an unbelievable time. :D I also got my cards read. I'm not sure how much you believe in psychics, palm readings or tarot readings, but this was definitely a bit freaky. Three of us did the tarot reading and a few others opted for the palm reading. Besides putting your energy into the cards, the tarot card reader doesn't know anything about you. You place your feet flat on the floor and repeat your full name 3 times. You shuffle and remove 3 cards from the deck face down. The tarot reader lines the cards up. The majority of readings are done past, present, future, one card symbolizing each. There is an option to ask a question for each card, however the lack of privacy makes it a bit difficult to feel comfortable. The insight this woman had is incredible. Without going into too much detail the first card she turned, with me, she interpreted that I am very emotional, which is quite true. She also said that I don't always show emotion and people don't always know what's going on with me. This again, is quite true. I found it ironic that of all the cards I could have picked, I picked that one. Emotional is also a common trait of the Zodiac sign Cancer, which is the sign I was born. Each person identified closely with their reading, but I didn't feel they were too broad to be interpreted any way you wanted. My last card was the Chariot. The Chariot shows that you are going for something. You have convition to accomplish something and if you work hard enough, you will. Lately, this is me - work, study, gym. Accomplishing what I've put on hold for far too long.

Finally we each picked an angel card. Another form of learning a little about ourselves. Mine was Simplicity. And I'm definitely keeping it simple Overall a great night, but seeing it's 5 am, I should stop this and head to bed.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I sit here with my nose buried in a book, going through quantitative and verbal problems testing material I haven't studied in depth for anywhere from 7-10 years. It's a bit surreal, but leaves me wanting more. When I first began my job 3 years ago, everything was new. Every new thing brought a good challenge to keep me occupied and learning. Lately, those challenges have fallen by the wayside. I started thinking about the GMAT over a year ago. I took a class, but found that I didn't recognize most of the material presented. Instead of doing the smart thing and sitting down to study it, I basically let it all go. My parents would ask from time to time what I was doing about the GMAT. I tended to leave that question on hold. Other close people in my life would bring it up, and I would feel a bit of ill will for them asking. But the truth, it wasn't any of them that frustrated me as much as it was me. I had just let the GMAT slide. So here I am, studying. No class. Just books. So far, it's going well. Although I will admit that I make stupid mistakes from time to time and I need to focus more on the content in the question in front of me than what I think it is asking. A little recharge this weekend will be nice. Time to get out of the house, but still no drinking until this test is over. The weeks are passing quickly.

In honor of all the GMAT studying I've been doing lately... a comic to make this Thursday a little lighter.

Gotta smile

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

SF Giants

I wouldn't quite call myself a Giants fan. There again, I wouldn't call myself a baseball fan either. I know enough to understand it, but it is definitely not my passion. In general, I'd rather watch no TV than a baseball game. I find that they are often boring and I end up napping through the majority of the game.

However, recently I've been invited to two Giants games in the last couple weeks. I attended both and I must admit, it was a great time. I probably spent more time talking to the person/people next to me than watching the game, but I guess that is what I found so amusing. It's no college football game, but I can understand why it's called America's favorite pastime. In the game I attended last night, Barry Bonds hit a home run, Matt Morris pitched a full game and the center fielder for the Giants made one hell of a catch as his body hammered into the wall. The company has been superb, the hot dogs not bad, and the two games I've attended quite good. With the two wins I've seen, I'd never know the Giants are in last place.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Why is it that destruction of personal property gives people a thrill? Intentionally and willfully destroying something someone has worked hard to achieve is unfair in my opinion. What gives these people the right to take away what others have accomplished? Is it jealousy, thrill, or just some absolute satisfaction (that I may never understand)?

Vandalism in my day consisted of TP wars. Occasionally letting the air out of someone's tires or perhaps leaving an awkward mess to clean up. You'd hear of people blowing up mailboxes and egging houses, but for the most part, you didn't hear that people slit tires or broke windows. If anything they contributed to minor inconveniences that recipients eventually got over. The bad stuff only seemed to happen down the wrong alley in a bad part of town.

My weekend wasn't exactly peachy and it hit hard at 4 am on Sunday morning. My brother had returned home from the bars somewhere around 3 am. I woke when he pulled my door closed on his way to his room. Somewhere around 4 am, I heard a loud crash. At first thought, I wondered what the hell my brother was doing. But then there was another crash, a slightly louder crash and the car alarm outside my window started blaring. I hopped out of bed probably at the same moment my brother did. We both asked if it was the other causing the commotion. Of course not.

I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting, but it was nerve wrecking. I live in what I would deem to be a safe community. I live at home with my parents, my brother and 2 dogs that typically don't let a deer walk by without going crazy. Our property is completely enclosed by a fence with a drive-in gate as well as a walkway gate. Both are protected via keypad code. Basically, I feel secure at home, as most people should. We get action occasionally when people flip their cars coming out of the turn before our house too fast, or decide that egging the house is a good idea. We've even had kids slingshot our front main window during the day, breaking the glass. They were caught though. None of this prepared me for Sunday morning.

My brother and I turned on the hallway light. We immediately noticed the lower bottom pane of our deck door was shattered. Luckily it's double paned and only shattered through one pane. My brother walked onto the balcony and yelled a little, so if anyone was out there, they'd know we were up and around. I went downstairs and outside, not quite sure why now seeing the car alarm had ceased. Sure enough, what I saw scared me, I ran inside the house screaming for my brother to come down.

My grandmother's car had been picked up Saturday afternoon from the dealership. My parents returned from their Florida trip on Sunday night. The car was to be ready so my grandmother could return home. Needless to say, it's not ready anymore. These people took either a baseball bat or a golf club to the front windshield, what looks like twice. They completely destroyed the driver and driver passenger side windows. They slashed all four tires and you could hear the air rapidly draining from one. I had my brother immediately call the police.

The police showed up shortly after we called. We had one officer. We showed him the car and the window, noticed that the window upstairs was actually broken my a D battery. Found another D battery on the front porch as well. Not sure if they missed or if the grates on the window for the front door saved it. The culprits also left the knife they used to slash the tires. The unfortunate thing in all of this is odds are nothing will happen. No one got murdered, no one was assaulted and property damage seems to be on the bottom of the crime list. I will admit we are quite fortunate that no one got hurt, but this incident has instilled a fear in me that wasn't there 2 days ago. I have nightmares about what if and wake in the middle of the night. It seems like it's all a bad dream until you walk outside and see the car shattered in the daylight.

Friday, June 08, 2007


I am recently single. What exactly does that mean? The word recently seems to take on new meaning when you realize it’s been 1.5 months.I guess recently means that I am not over him. I spend days waking with him on my mind, and hoping, today's the day he'll say hi. It never is. I spend hours wondering what is wrong with me and what I did wrong? But the answer is nothing. For various reasons, "we" didn't work out. I know this. But that doesn't mean I automatically forget everything that was he, me, and us together. I'll think about deep dish and immediately jump to you. I can't explain how good our time was together. I'll think about soccer and I move to your passion. A passion for the game that is exuberant and naturally, shared by me.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Natural High

There's a natural high that I get from being active. It encompasses a feeling of euphoria where you feel on top of the world. Most of all though, you feel good about you! In that first moment, you're a bit untouchable, and after that, you're consistently positive. I don't strive to reach this point, but lately, I can't escape it and I've begun to get addicted to it. There are two specific activities that bring me to this type of euphoria. A great gym/weight-lifting workout will take me to the cusp, but it's not quite enough to get me there. Running and soccer on the other hand, take me above and beyond.

Some will refer to this natural high as a "runner's high", but you don't get the feeling only from running. Depending on who you talk to, this natural high can be explained a few ways. Wikipedia has a great explanation of endorphins and how they explain this runner's high. It "is said to occur when strenuous exercise takes a person over a threshold that activates endorphin production." Another entertaining post by an avid runner, Scott Dunlap, goes into other explanations of why we reach the runner's high. His view of the runner's high is good for a laugh as well, but also explains the feeling in laments terms. "It’s not exactly a “drunk” effect, although it does make it a bit more difficult to remember to eat/drink/take the next turn (remember – always carry a map!). I would equate it to two Red Bulls and vodka, three ibuprofen, plus a $50 winning Lotto ticket in your pocket." There is discussion as to whether this natural high actually exists, but if you've felt it, you know it does.

This natural high is different to everyone. Sarah Willett has an excellent research paper deducing exactly "What is runner's high?". Definitely take a moment to read it. I spent Tuesday night talking to a slightly intoxicated friend about her first marathon. She has never been a runner and since she completed the 26.2 miles, she's been on cloud nine. This is what I would call a natural high. You have a sense of accomplishment at the same time as this euphoric feeling during the actual run. Combined, it is a wealth of positive seeping out your pours. Most people dislike running, which is sad because the benefits are vast, however I will admit the hardship it can have on the knees. If you can reach that threshold of sticking with running, it becomes easier. With ease, you start to feel you can push yourself. As you push the threshold, you'll know exactly what I've been talking about, runner's high. After that, the addiction takes over and you can't get enough. This is my current path.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Women of SF Spinsters

There's something empowering about being in a room with the creme de la creme. I'm not talking about millionaire CEOs. I'm talking about the highly sophisticated and motivated members of Spinsters of San Francisco. It's hard to believe that nearly one year ago, I was trying to join this organization that I knew very little about. I was looking for an in to meet new girlfriends and diversify my current "to-dos".

There are many ways to explain Spinsters. A post college sorority is an easy stereotype, but hardly describes these ladies in the proper light. Drinking in the name of charity is another quick way to exit the question - "what is a Spinster?" But honestly, that's hardly just or dignified. These ladies have drive. They are college educated, many with advanced degrees. They want to better our community on not only a city level, but a national level. These are the girls that become your best friends, accidentally. They push themselves, grad school, work, marathons, charity parties. They make the daunting tasks of bi monthly meetings something to look forward to. They are an inspiration to me, and I am grateful to be called one of them.

I walked into the Elks Lodge last night forgetting what the camaraderie of Spinsters truly means. It is not an organization for everyone, but I have been lucky enough to fall into the right crowd. I've been distant the past few months for many reasons, but none that I feel like pinpointing. The GMAT studying is consuming me right now, and will continue to do so for the next 6 weeks. But it's these ladies that help me remember why I joined Spinsters. I do enjoy hands-on philanthropy and bettering the world one child at a time, but walking into a room full of friends is a feeling hard to beat. Without missing a beat, you'll simply be asked how you are. It doesn't matter that you have "disappeared" from the forefront of once common rendez-vous. The important thing is you're there to talk, to laugh and to bond. Thus far, I can't explain what Spinsters means to me, but the experience has been one I treasure.