Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mustard Magic 09'

Today Laura Lynn is coming to Greystone to put the finishing touches on the Mustard Festival's kickoff event. The building takes on a another kind of energy. Tonight many people will show up wearing costumes and finery to see and be seen. Great food and wine will be showcased throughout the event.I will be meeting lots of the locals tonight when they arrive. It is always great fun. Marnie Cunningham is my co-worker and she will be helping with the cameras at the cooking demos which are the regular part of the weekend activities here at the C.I.A. The weather continues to be pleasant and bright as Feburary peeks its head around the corner tomorrow. February is going to be a month of big changes.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Business as usual...

I just finished filing my 2008 Federal and State Income Tax return. I stand to get a refund of around $1000. this year. I made around $250. more this year than last year.It feels good to get these little chores out of the way. I am using Turbo Tax again this year. I must say that the process is pretty interesting. They even have little worksheets, a live support team and frequently asked questions section that explains EVERYTHING. Not bad, and yes, fairly painless. Tonight, I got a ride home from my boss... Charles. He drives a nice Mercedes. We talked about the World's of Healthy Flavor Conference that just ended. This year I am learning to be more flexible. At least this is my motto for 09'. The day went by pretty smoothly. Lately, i have been experiencing lots of itching all over my legs, arms and head. I told a few people about this and they have told me that it is part of the healing process. I think I am coming out of shock. In another week, I will be going to the sentencing of the man who ran me down.I will be requesting that I be allowed to keep the settlement that his insurance company is offering. Many Insurance companies will go to great lengths to make sure that victims of vehicle accidents are not "overcompensated" by the system (too many fraudulent claims). I feel that it is my job to make sure that I am justly and fairly compensated. I want a new vehicle, and a chance to get on with my life.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Last night before I went to bed I recognized a challenge that needed to be faced. Sunday mornings are when I usually get up to go to mass in St. Helena, after which I head off to work. My car runs, but unfortunately it has a flat tire and is in need of a whole new set. It also needs a catalytic converter in order to pass smog. Then, of course I need to re-register the vehicle and get sufficient insurance coverage. My life has become frustratingly difficult since I was mowed down by a drunk driver. To top it off, I still have a rash on my left arm where the cast was; and two of my teeth need to be re-capped. Naturally, I started my day checking the bus schedule only to find out that the first bus leaving Calistoga for St. Helena is at 10:15 am., exactly forty-five minutes after the time I am supposed to start work. Great. I tried calling my neighbor to see if I could get a ride. I woke him up and he was not happy about that. I walked into town thinking I might see someone heading 7 miles down the road to St. Helena. It's 9:15 am and no such luck. I stick out my thumb on Hwy. 29 only to watch numerous people whiz by in their S.U.V.'s and sports cars. The migrant workers hanging out at the local gas station are probably watching me with a mix of curiosity and amusement. Finally at 9:30 am I walk back into town to Cal Mart trying to revise my game plan. A friend finally drives by and I call her name... Carol !! She keeps driving, and I suddenly remember that her name is Eleanor. Damn it ! I have a hunch that the number she gave me is for her cell phone. Luckily, I have the new IPhone, so I call the number and she answers. Eleanor has been giving me rides home from the local AA meetings for about a month now. She turns around to pick me up at Cal Mart. Her dog keeps the front seat of her car warm for me. I offer her ten bucks to take me to work but she refuses the money. Once I am in her car I cannot help but think how utterly dependent I am on people and realize that these are the kind of situations I used to drink over. You know, the "F it all and get drunk attitude" can still haunt me no matter how many years of sobriety I have.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thinking Spring already

The weather here is unseasonably pleasant. Today it hit the mid 60's, which is something of a heat-wave for the early part of January. The weather people say that it is an "El NiƱa" effect. This probably means that February will be a torrential downpour with much flooding ( ... we shall see ). Today was rather uneventful at the CIA. We had a training for the captains of the Special Events Team of Banquet Servers and that was about it . The Campus store and Demo Theater were the only venues that were available today. There was an average amount of foot traffic coming through and I gave one tour to some guys from North Carolina.

Friday, January 09, 2009

2009 on the edge

So New Year's Eve and New Year's Day with the run across the Golden Gate Bridge came and went. Now MacWorld, sans Steve Jobs already came and went. Today, the sun is shining it is the 9th of January... time is flying by as we are concerned about other things like doing the laundry. Today I am heading off to work and will be working the cameras for our regular cooking demos and with the restaurant closed for cleaning, it still should be pretty quiet.( I actually kind of like that ) Lately, it looks like everyone is hunkering down for the winter, and catching up on their correspondence. Yesterday, three more members of my family joined Facebook. Now if only we can get my sister Rita to join. We shall see.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Useless Worry

It seems like everyone is concerned about getting money these days.The economy is still in a tailspin and people seem to be squeezing their nickles a little harder these days. This is an "On Demand" society now that the internet has facilitated an unprecedented quickening of information ( i.e. services and billing ). I have received some medical bills in the mail and have to wait to be paid until I talk to a Civil Litigation attorney on Monday morning, just to figure on the best way to proceed. I am the victim here, and the man who hit me has to make restitution. But as the saying goes, "you can't get blood from a turnip". We shall see... Earlier today I heard my co-worker talk about how the teenagers in half moon bay walk around with droopy jeans. That made me think about the picture I created in Photoshop here.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Charmed, I'm sure

Yesterday, I received a document in the mail for $15,000. If I sign off on it, I will receive this money from the insurance company and the case will be closed. I need to be a little more cautious at this point. Tomorrow I will consult with a personal injury lawyer, a human resource person and my insurance company. Should I take the deal of this "under - insured" motorist or try to get more money through a civil case. The medical bills already total more than $19,000. and I am assuming that the insurance I have received through the Culinary Institute will pay for most of my medical expenses. Thus the reason to call HR in the morning... to verify that this is true. Tuesday is MacWorld Day in SF ... the last one I am told.