Friday, March 19, 2010
Ask me anything http://formspring.me/natala007
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
On the Road
I'll be travelling for the next 5 weeks! I'm going to relocate to San Francisco as my "home-base" during my travels, along with my pup Abbey Road. Here's the plan:
Wed Feb 24: Fly to CA, relocate to San Francisco & Silicon Valley
Sat Feb 27: Fly to New Orleans, LA for Rachel & Chris' wedding!
Mon Mar 01: Fly back to CA
Wed Mar 03: Fly SFO-CDG(Paris)-TelAviv! In Jerusalem for ~4 days.
Mon Mar 08: Fly to Amman, Jordan. In Jordan for ~5 days
Sat Mar 13: Fly to Cairo, Egypt. 1.5 days in Cairo = Pyramids! Camels! Oh My!
Mon Mar 15: Fly to Paris - 1 day in Paris
Tue Mar 16: Fly to CA, in CA for ~3 days hopefully skiing one day!
Sat Mar 20: Fly to Kona, HI - 7 day yoga retreat, followed by 2 days of beach.
Mon Mar 29: Fly to SFO
Wed Mar 31: Fly to SEA - back to sea!!
This really should be in a tube -- maybe i'll update it.
I'm really excited for some adventures, relaxation and mind-clearing!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
so for the last few weeks i have been in a crazy, dark, sad, funk. a bunch of things have just gone awry and my birthday is coming up (which is when i do my annual plan and get all reflective)...and well, this year has been kind of whack. the result of this funk is that i've been reclusive and lonely -- and angsty. like a kid i want things to be different, but i'm not doing things differently.
I am officially declaring war on my funk. And so, in the words of Jay Z, "I got my mojo back, baby, oh behave."
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
i've decided to do a 30-day food challenge. i like challenges, and i've been eating less ideally than i would like. the challenge is pretty simple -- in fact the point is simplicity. I can only eat basic ingredient foods. This means if it is chicken - then it should just be chicken - it can have spices and oil etc, but NO processing. No xantham, no preservatives, no things I don't recognize as whole foods. For basic foods like salads and meats, I think this will be pretty easy. But for things like grains or pasta - simplicity is probably going to cut most of them out. I'm excited for it. The challenge begins tomorrow and ends 30-days later -- on my birthday, Sept 19th.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Happy Dad's Day!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I'm not catholic (i was raised episcopalian) but i do celebrate / honor lent. it's one of my favorite religious practices because it provides an opportunity to reflect for a lengthy period of time about something in particular. Plus it ends with easter whcih has all these great "rebirth" overtones (plus bunnies & chocolate!) Over the years I've given up lots of things for lent - sweets being the most popular choice.
This year I have decided to give up "non-whole grains." What does that mean? Basically I'm not eating processed grains. The grains I eat need to have the whole kernel with the wheat germ and all the fiber from the outer bran layer of the wheat, and all the protein from the inner endosperm.
In general, as I restructure my diet, I want to focus on local, whole, and organic foods. I love breads (and carbs) but I don't think they always serve me well...and since i'm good with rules, I've decided that this would be a good way to try life without processed carbs for a meaningful period of time.
So what can I eat?
- whole wheat bread (i'm going to check on this as i may need to go to whole grain not whole wheat)
- steel-cut oats
- stoneground things (like corn) or organic farina (i.e. stone ground wheat berries)
- barley, buckwheat, quinoa, millet
- brown rice
things i can't eat (and will miss):
- french bread!
- any kind of instant cereal
- granola (i think -- i'm checking on this one)
- luna bars
There are many more things I can't eat...
I do have two exceptions planned -- i hadn't realized lent started so soon!
(1) Dinner at the corson building (where i went tonight -- and it was awesome)
(2) Dinner in CA with my family at some Indian restaurant tomorrow night.
Outside of these two identified exceptions, i'm going to rigorously keep to this lent commitment. i'm excited!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
My good friend wrote a haiku for my dog, Cuba, who passed away in December. She shared it at the memorial we had for Cubes. It's awesome.
Small, grey, and fuzzy.
Her size not matching her heart.
Beloved by all.
It's a funny thing ...
how something so darn tiny
can mean everything.
Onward she frolicks
in fields and gardens above.
Down here, we miss her.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
my little dog, cuba: 2006-2008
my little dog, cuba, died on weds dec 10th. she died from complications from an emergency surgery she had on monday. she ate a rock -- i will never know or understand why -- and she had to have it removed. unfortunately the surgeon made a mistake and didn't close her intestines completely causing her body to go septic over the next 48 hours. i was there when she died and i think a part of me - a cuba-sized - part of me died too.
cuba was a 5 lb morkie -- a maltease yorkie mix. I got her when she was 6-weeks old. she completely changed my life - she had a frolicky, whimsical spirit that brightened every room. over the last 2+ years we spent a lot of time together - she traveled with me, she went shopping with me, in many ways she has been my closest and dearest companion. now that she is gone, i'm a little bit lost and i'm lonely. I feel that gap in my life and i miss her cheerful, sprite-like greetings when i came home. i miss snuggling in the morning and going on our exploratory walks all over queen anne. she may have been little, but her favorite thing was to go on walks and check-in on the neighbors.
Someone wrote to me that cuba represented a sweet and disarming part of me. I think that's true, she often acted as my ambassador - providing sweet joy to those around with little licks and some of her cute moves (downward dog stretches, over the shoulder winks, running around for toys, jumping with glee). She had a lot of cuteness to her. She would eat her food one piece at time -- i'd line it up in a row and she would eat each one bit by bit. it was adorable and silly.
i'm so sad by the tragic circumstances and i feel that time was stolen because of human error. losing a pet is always hard, the unexpectedness of it, i think, has made it a bit harder for me. i am incredibly grateful for my friends and family (and my co-workers). they have all been amazing. i'm not a very emotional person, but this has broken me and i'm deeply sad. my friends have come and taken care of me - cooked me food, taken me out, saved me from complete loneliness. my dad has come up to stay with me for a few days. it's been great and the connectedness i've felt from all the support has been a blessing.
i don't yet know how to commemorate my little one properly. the nearness of her is still close - i woke up this morning expecting her little self to be in bed with me.
all i can say is this: cuba, my little morkie, was awesome. i cherished my time with her -- and i loved her completely. i will miss you little one.
Below are some cuba pictures -- for more go here.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Last night, at the War Room in Seattle, I watched as Barack Obama was elected president. I am so excited! Change has come to America and wooohooo i am ready to do my part!
Here's a pic from last night -- what's missing is the champagne and the cheering.
I was glad to be in seattle, a city that is quickly growing on me now that I actually admit to living here :) At the same time, my people back in CA are having a rough morning as it looks like Prop 8 will pass. It provides a bittersweet reminder that we have a lot of work to do.
Monday, July 07, 2008
sunny in seattle
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
it's a little bit geeky ...
a couple of weekends ago David and I went to San Juan island for a mini-break. It was awesome (as you can see from the pics). We did hit one snag -- we decided to play a board game (Scavenger Hunt -- there's more strategy to it than one would think!) but the game required a pair of dice...which were no where to be found...and we didn't have the internet...So, david wrote some code and voila we had dice. See below (the formatting is a little off because of my blog -- sorry david!):
UPDATE: hrm i seem to have broken the code. it worked wonderfully on vacation :)
Update: 6.6.09 Amitp helped me fix the code so now it works!
Monday, June 09, 2008
SMX Advanced Presentation
Last week I gave a presentation on adCenter during the "Amazing PPC Tactics" session at SMX Advanced. My presentation focused on three things: Keywords, Bulk Tools & Tricks -- check out the presentation below for the details. It was a really fun session with lots of interesting information -- if I get links to the other presentations i'll post them.
This conference was a particularly exciting one for me as a product I've been working on shipped in Beta -- adCenter Desktop. Here's a link to an article on the launch. If you are interested in trying out the bulk management application, fill out this form and let us know.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Going on Vacation: Australia & New Zealand
I'm flying out to Brisbane Australia for a few weeks of much needed vacationing. Below is my schedule. It's an interesting vacation for me as I've been to all the places I'm going to sometime before ... usually i try to break out and do something completely new. However, this will be my first multi-day-week bike trip...so that should be interesting. Yes, I plan to blog...
Sunday, March 02, 2008
ok, so i haven't blogged in a long time.
Note: It's been ~6 months since i last blogged. Lots has happened. really. I think though that the thing most people want to know about are the triathlons. So I will write about that.
Yes, i did 6 triathlons last summer -- 3 sprint and 3 olympic. It was honestly one of the hardest and most insane things i have ever committed to doing and i don't think i would do it again without being in considerably better shape and having a lot more free time. It was hard on me mentally as well as physically. I would never have done the last triathlon -- where the water was BELOW 60 degrees and the temperature outside was just above -- if it wasn't the last olympic i had signed up for and not doing it would mean I would have to do 6 more triathlons the next season in order to finish my 3-3-tri challenge.
"Triathlons seemed easy enough"
Initially I thought that doing 6 tri's would be fun, interesting and not so tough. I had done 2 sprints before. The distances of an olympic are very approachable: 2K swim, 40k bike, 10k run. And, since I'm typically one of those over-achiever types, Triathlons seemed easy enough: get from A to B, quickly and efficiently. It turns out that when you travel pretty regularly, have some shoulder issues, don't like wearing a wetsuit and probably have a reasonable amount of extra weight to carry around that getting from A to B is often harder than it would seem and may be in conflict with my usual "win" mentality. This was probably the best thing about doing a bunch of tri's: i lost all the time. I never won. I was never even able to compete to win. I just had to focus on what i was doing, what my race was and what I wanted to get out of it.
"I hate wet suits"
Initially, when i first evaluated my triathlon goals they were pretty simple. Get in better shape and don't be last. Well, these goals came to an end during my 2nd Olympic Triathlon. I wore a wet suit for the first time in a race and it was horrible. I had a panic attack. I have issues with things touching my neck. I actually get a little bit uncomfortable when people wear turtle necks around me. Well, it turns out wetsuits touch your neck -- and need to so that your chest doesn't scoop water when you swim. This was a problem. A big problem.
Of course, I did try on a wetsuit before my race. We splashed around in our wetsuits the day before the race for like 3 minutes and although it seemed like it would annoy me, I thought it would probably be ok. This was not the case on race day. On race day we had a mass start. I dove in and started to swim and the neck part of my suit started to rub my neck and i FREAKED out. I had one of my only panic attacks ever. I tried to get over it, then i tried to loosen my suit and get it off. Funny how you can't really do that when you are in a race situation in the water. The result was that i struggled a lot during my swim (and burned my neck with the suits edge) and when i finally got out of the water i was right behind someone else, but i was last. Which meant i was last in the race.
This was a horrible place to be. The swim -- until then -- was kind of my strongest bit. Since it was a mass start, there was no one behind me to "beat" and as i got on the bike i was completely mentally off my game. I was consumed by being last. By failing at my objective. By hating my wetsuit. I was clumsy and cold. I was angry and disappointed. More than anything, I was mad. I dropped my chain on the bike -- a beautiful ride btw -- 3 times. I never drop my chain.
What does being last mean?
I did the run and finished the race last. I started crying as soon as I crossed the finish line and got a private moment. My friend Diedre (who had also done the race with me) came over. She was so excited. I was a total mess. Overachievers aren't last! What did this mean for me? Was I now a failure? A loser? My self-image was a mess. It turns out it didn't mean as much as I thought. The huge significance I had put on myself -- and the wasted energy being frustrated with the race and mentally being off my game, wasn't worth it. I'm not going to say that it didn't suck -- but now months later, I can say that this was one of the most important failures in my life. It's made me more human, more relaxed. I am more comfortable in my own skin.
I did eventually get better at swimming in a wet suit -- i still don't love it but i now see the value. I'm planning to do some more triathlons this summer -- but easy ones that I don't have to stress about -- i.e. all sprints! I'm also going to focus on cycling. I really love cycling now. Doing 6 triathlons was definitely insane (for me) but it was also great -- as I did them all and proved to myself that yes, I can set some specific health goals and achieve them. Maybe not how i dreamed but successfully none-the-less. I also proved to myself that i can stay focused on a ridiculous challenge just to persevere. Which proved to be a useless victory, but it's good to know.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Race Report: Triathlon #2 = sprints are fun
Two weeks ago I completed my 1st of 3 Sprint triathlons and a week later I finished my 2nd of 3 Olympic triathlons. This brings me to the mid-point of my 3-3 triathlon challenge. Now that I know what I’ve gotten myself into, I’m alternatively freaked out or excited. Below is the race report on the sprint tri.
Benaroya Research Institute Triathlon at Seafair (Sprint) – July 14
.5 mile swim, 12-mile bike and 3.1-mile run.
This triathlon was a ton of fun – there were over 2,200 participants and the energy was really good. There were lots of fast people and lots of first-time triathlon people. I ran into a bunch of people from team in training, it was nice to see familiar faces.
Since it was a local race, I got to sleep in my own bed. This was tough! I hit the snooze button many times – and only left for the race at 5:55 am after brushing my teeth and packing my tri-bag (a timbuk2 messenger bag) in a flurry. I was lucky I didn’t forget anything – like my bike! I arrived at the race site ~20 minutes before they closed the transition area. Which basically gave me enough time to find a location for bike + gear and lay things out and check the air pressure on my tires.
Swim:The swim was not warm, but it was short enough that the temperature didn’t slow me down. I had that initial “ohh, it’s cold I can’t breathe” feeling for about 50 yards and then I warmed up and it was fine. The hard part of the swim was the milfoil. This is a water plant that basically grabs onto you while swimming. It was scratchy and a little unnerving.
Bike:The bike was shorter than I thought and when I got to the turnaround I was surprised. That’s it? Oh man, I should have pushed harder!
Run: I think this may have been my best run all month. Even with walking up part of the steep hill at mile 2, stopping for water and needing to go to the bathroom…I ran my fastest 5K time in the recent past. I think it was partially adrenaline and partially just the realization that it was going to be quickly over..and hey, that wasn’t so bad.
Things I learned:
I highly recommend this race and definitely plan to do it again next year. Just, you know, faster.