December 2005

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December 30, 2005: Just a quick update to confirm that I'm alive and well :) This past week has been a long one. Up until Wednesday, I was waking up at 3:00 AM each morning due to the jet lag and general exhaustian from the week before. That really sucked cause I'm not a happy camper when I'm not getting my sleep :P Happily, on Thursday, I finally caught up with my sleep and by Friday I was back to feeling 'normal' again.

2005 is almost over... and like most years, I wonder where the time has gone :)

December 24, 2005:

Email I sent on December 21, 2005:

"Greetings from Zurich Switzerland

Hi there! Just wanted to drop a quick liine and say hello!!!

In a nutshell, last Friday morning I got a call from the office requesting that I be on a plane to Zurich ASAP to take ownership of a nasty customer escalation. Within 5 hours, I was at the airport and boarding a United Airlines flight off to Europe.

When I arrived in Zurich, I went from the airport to the office where I was greeted by some very unhappy Parisian businessmen. Let's just say that our first few hours together and the following day were not very pleasant together and as far as escalations go, let's just say that Sat-Tue were some of the most challenging work experience's I've ever had. Combine lack of sleep, being thrown into a totally chaotic situation, being given a 'dial-up' network access (yes, dial-up) and being paired with some Parisians who I'd classify as being some of the most nasty, impolite, unprofessional group of people I've ever worked with and at the end of it a Swiss bank who is losing LOTS of money each day due to their customers not being able reach them over the phone and you've got a 'BAD' situation.... Oh yeah, we started our work day at 6:30 AM and didn't leave the office until 9:00 PM each day at which point I'd walk back to the hotel, have some dinner and try to get to bed before midnight.

Hehehe, it was hell.... and I mean it. But late in the day on Tuesday, the tide changed, the escalation started to get better and by today (Wednesday), things are looking good. (sorry for the short description, but I'm pretty wiped out right now).

Hell or high water, I'm flying home on Friday morning and I can't wait! The highlight of this trip has been the good Spanish Rioja (tasty red wine) I've enjoyed the last two nights at the hotel and the fact that I made Premier Executive on United's Frequent Flyer program)

Just wanted to say hi and let you know I'm alive and well and missing the US (hehehe and no, other than what I've seen on my 10 minute walk from the hotel to the ofifce, I've seen nothing of Zurich. Average temp each day is about 20' :-)

Hope all is well in your world :)

Penz"

I got home on Friday December 23 at 5:10 PM PT after an 12 hour and 20 minute flight from Frankfurt Germany back to San Francisco. I went to bed at 9:00 PM and had been up for 23.5 hours.

This morning, I was up at 4:30 AM. Damn you jet lag!!!! :) Needless to say, I'm pretty tired, but I am SO glad to be home.

More later.

Hugs and love to you all!

Penz

December 12, 2005:

OK, well it's been a good and busy start to the month!

On December 3, Justin Allen's mom (Susan)flew into Oakland for a 3 day visit. Justin and I picked her up at the airport and after a brief stop back at Justin's place to allow her to freshen up, it was off to a late lunch in SF. We ended up at Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers out in Noe Valley. It was my first time there and I gotta say, they make a damn good burger :) After lunch, we drove around SF for a while, visiting the North End and few other places before it was back to San Mateo. That night, I went into SF for a few hours where I met up with Matt Consola at a birthday party for one of his friends. I got to hang out for a few hours, have a drink, meet some people and chat with Matt. All in all, a good time!

The next morning, Justin, Susan and I took a road trip up to Mendacino. Susan had always wanted to go there, and since it's 'only' a 3 hour drive from San Mateo, we figured we'd make a day trip out of it. The first half of the ride wasn't bad, as it's mostly up 101, but then we hit the windy 128 West connection and the first half of that sucked! The few times I've made the trip taking this route, I was the driver and even then I felt a little road sick traversing the windy roads. Well, sitting in the back seat, I wasn't too happy but it got so bad for Susan (sitting in the front seat) that we had to pull over where she proceeded to blow chunks on the side of the road! LOL, poor thing... I totally felt for her.... but after a few minutes, we were back on the way and finally made it to our destination.

Mendacino is a beautiful town and for an after season weekend, it was quite busy. We walked around for a few hours. Had a nice lunch at one of the local hotels (food was good but the service sucked) and did a little shopping. We ended up stopping at the Leedy Art Gallery and I totally loved it! When you walk in, you're invited to browse around and asked to laugh out loud! Heheh, well, that wasn't hard to do. Check out the web site and you'll figure it out. I left with a few small prints and I've got my eye on a larger one (hehe, yeah, the one pictured to the left). Maybe in a few months I'll drop the $299 and get the
14 x 18 Limited Edition Giclee, On Canvas ( really like that one!)

We ended up leaving and heading back South around 4 and we hit SF around 6:30. We stopped off in the Castro and had a nice dinner at Le Mediterrane Afterwards, it was back to San Mateo and then back home to Santa Clara for me.

Monday night, after work, I met up with Susan and Justin for dinner a Maggiano's down in San Jose in the Santana Row plaza. We had a great dinner there and it was a nice way to end up the day (and for Susan, the end of her trip as she flew home the next day).

Most of the rest of the week was consumed with long days at work.

Saturday was a picture perfect CA day. I headed up to SF where I met up with Rusty. We headed off to Herbivore for a nice vegan brunch (mmmm, veggie bacon! LOL) and afterwards, we headed over to Golden Gate park where we'd spend the next few hours walking around in the sun, surrounded by beautiful greenery and flowers, talking of life and such. It was about 70 degrees out and you couldn't ask for better weather. Hehehe, being the wise ass that I am, I sent a few choice picture messages back to Porky who was shoveling 12 foot snow drifts in NY. He sent back a few choice pictures of the snow :)

After the park, we took a ride down to the Presidio where we did some walking on the beach. The Golden Gate Bridge was picture perfect (and of course, I forgot my camera) but that's ok. I'll just enjoy the memory :)

Around 4, I bid the dog farewell and it was off to Pleasanton where I met up with Benny. The two of us headed up to Michael and Shannon's place for a little XMas dinner party. LOL, oh my, what a crazy night we had! We got to their place around 5, which was about 1.5 hours before anyone else. Well shortly after arriving, the pomegranate martini's started flowing and it was all down hill from there. By the time Mark and Sandra got there, we were feeling pretty good and by the time Ron and Laura (new neighbors) got there, ohhhh boy. We were toasty! Hehehe, around 7:30 the prime rib came out of the oven and by 8:00 we were at the table enjoying the feast. 4 bottles of wine later, dinner ended, all of us were now blitzed! In the haze that followed, I seem to remember a huge chocolate cake was quite tasty, a bottle of Sandemans 20 Year Old Tawny Port (that I brought as a XMas present) getting opened, more wine, 80's music blaring on the stereo, dancing, shirts coming off (wait a minute, just my shirt!?!), lots of inappropriate groping....LOL, crazy, silly stupid fun!!!!!!!! Needless to say, a fun time was had by all :)

The next morning, at 7:30 AM, I got my hung over ass out of bed and drove up to Alameda where I had breakfast with Jill, Ashish, Nikhil, Ajay and our friend David Simpson who was in town for a couple of days. I drank a pot of coffee and hung out for a few nice hours, before I headed back down to Santa Clara where I met up with Matt Consola. We'd spend the rest of the afternoon hanging out, taking a ride out to Las Gatos to do some XMas shopping and walking around. We'd hang out until about 7:00 PM and soon after he left, I found myself asleep on the couch :) Hehehehe, this pup was tired!!!!!!

And in a nutshell, that's what's been going on with me!

Hope all is well in your world :)

Penz

December 3, 2005: WTF! It's December already!?!?!! What happened to 2005!?!?!?! :)

 


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