Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Heartfelt Thanks to all of my Sponsors!!!

My Sponsor Thank You t-shirt

Well, tomorrow is the big day! Tomorrow I'll be joining hundreds of other women and men as we walk 60-miles together over the next 3 days!

With the help of all of my sponsors, we have raised $6,240.00!!!

This is an astronomical amount of money. I am so grateful to all of you who contributed and who have helped me reach this astounding amount, as well as all of you who have supported me with your words of encouragement over the past few months.

I had planned all along to make a t-shirt with the names of everyone who has donated to my walk. I had the shirt made last week, and it turned out great! I designed it on, an online site that I have used before, and I'm very happy with the final product.

I plan to wear the t-shirt at camp at the end of each day, and possibly during the walk as well - depending on the weather. (I've been training wearing water-wicking shirts, which this is not, which is why I will most likely wear it at camp.)

I want to thank you all again for making the fund-raising part of this experience such a pleasure. With each donation that came in, I felt more and more motivated to train each weekend. You all have carried me along on this amazing journey, right up to this weekend's event!

I will carry each of you with me as I walk the 60-miles over the next 3 days. You will be with me in spirit, helping me along the way.

I promise to do my very best to complete this 3-day journey, and I hope to make you proud!

Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement!

Video from Billie Joe in "American Idiot" - Curtain Call

Just found this video clip on

This is from Tuesday night's show (September 28, 2010) when Sharon & I were there!!

Last night, September 28, Green Day frontman and the musical's composer/ co-author Billie Joe Armstrong made his Broadway debut as "St. Jimmy" at the St. James Theatre in AMERICAN IDIOT. Armstrong will perform through Sunday, October 3, 2010. Immediately following this engagement, Mr. Armstrong will join Green Day in Caracas, Venezuela on October 8, 2010 to kick off their South American Tour. BroadwayWorld was on hand for his debut Broadway bow and brings you video coverage below.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

3-Day SF Route and Cheering Stations

The walk is only 2 days away!!!

We meet Friday morning between 6:00-6:30 at the Cow Palace (moo). Opening ceremonies start at 7:00, after which, we head out on the first day of 20 miles!

In case you're interested, the 3-Day web site posted the general description of the route that we'll be walking Friday, Saturday and Sunday:

The Route

Friday: Approximately 20.1 miles
It will begin with an emotional Opening Ceremony at the Cow Palace, where we'll gather together to pay tribute to the many women and men who have lost their battle with breast cancer, and honor the survivors. We'll remember the reason we're walking as we make our way west towards the Pacific Ocean. We will walk along beautiful Lake Merced and through Stern Grove on the way to lunch. The remainder of the day is filled with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and North Bay while walking along the Great Highway and through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Be sure to enjoy the contemplation station, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, before entering camp.

Saturday: Approximately 19.6 miles
On Saturday morning, we'll rise and shine, ready to hit the trail. This second day of walking will take us over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and into picturesque Sausalito towards Mill Valley. Most of the route will be on the water’s edge and along the Sausalito / Mill Valley Bike Path. After enjoying lunch in Mill Valley, we will return through Sausalito and enjoy another breathtaking walk over the Golden Gate Bridge and into camp for another night of community, camaraderie and fun.

Sunday: Approximately 14.8 miles
The final day of our journey will begin with a beautiful and peaceful morning walk through the Presidio. Upon entering the city, we will make our way through Golden Gate Park then through Cole Valley. After lunch, we’ll pass through the heart of city and other neighborhoods including: Hayes Valley, Civic Center, Union Square, Chinatown, the Financial District, North Beach, and the Marina. Be sure not to miss the view of Lombard St., one of San Francisco’s unique calling cards, before descending upon our final destination, Marina Green, to join family and friends for a celebratory Closing Ceremony.

The Closing Ceremony will begin at 5:00 p.m at:
Marina Green
310 Marina Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94123

here's note from the 3-Day about closing ceremonies:

Your friends, family and supporters should arrive at the Closing Ceremony site at least one hour early to secure a space by the stage that will give them the best view of the program.

The Participant Holding Area is closed to spectators. If you wish to meet with friends and family before the Ceremony begins, please exit the Holding Area and join them at the Closing Ceremony. Just remember to return to the Holding Area no later than 4:30 p.m. to join the victory walk.

It's pretty excited to see a general idea of what to expect of the route. It looks similar to routes from previous years, according to what I've heard from friends who have participated in other events.

Cheering Stations

Last year, I went to cheer my friend (and now fellow-teammate) at one of the cheering stations. It was that experience that made me decide to participate in the walk this year.

If you have the time, and aren't too far away, please feel free to come visit us at one (or more!) of the cheering stations!

If you plan to come to one, please let me know which day, and which cheering station. I can send you a text message when I'm at a rest to estimate what time I'll be in the vicinity of the cheering station. This method worked well for me and Carol last year.

Friday, October 1

10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
San Francisco Zoo Parking Lot
At SW corner of Sloat Blvd. & Skyline Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94116

11:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Ocean Beach, just north of Lincoln
San Francisco, CA 94121

Saturday, October 2

8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Fort Baker - (Limited Parking)
On East Rd, 0.2 mi South of Alexander Ave.
Sausalito, CA 94965

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Fort Baker - (Limited Parking)
On East Rd, 0.2 mi South of Alexander Ave.
Sausalito, CA 94965

Sunday, October 3

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Conservatory West - Golden Gate Park
(JFK closed to vehicles on Sunday)
Where Conservatory Dr. W meets JFK Dr. in Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Duboce Park (East End)
Duboce & Steiner
San Francisco, CA 94110

It would be really nice to see some familiar faces at some of the cheering stations.
Please let me know if you think you might be able to stop by!!!

Those Crazy Raccoons!

Those pesky raccoons are at it again!
(For the record, I tend to automatically blame the raccoons when I see any awry in the backyard. I do not have any evidence to prove me correct, or incorrect.)

This is what I found when I came home this morning:

It appears that the raccoons decided to take a shower last night because of the heat. They figured out how to reach in to our water feature, grab onto the fountain tubing (and here's where I blame the raccoons - cats don't have opposable thumbs!) and PULL it out a few feet!

I think they only did it last night. The water was still trickling out the tube, and the pump motor didn't seem to be having any troubles from it.

I turned off the pump, carefully fed the tubing back into the water basin under the water feature, added more water and turned the pump back on again. It didn't seem any worse for wear. Let's hope the raccoons don't make a habit out of this.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Billie Joe's Broadway Debut!!

Billie Joe as St. Jimmy!
photo from this webpage..

The show was AMAZING!! Billie Joe was AMAZING!!

The crowd went nuts at the very beginning of the show when the announcer said, "The role of St. Jimmy will be performed tonight by Billie Joe Armstrong".


This is the third time I've seen American Idiot in just over a year. (Hi, I am a groupie.) I've always like the show, but I do notice that I like it more each time I see it. I noticed a few small changes that they made here and there, and a few of the cast members have changed since they opened on Broadway.

Billie Joe in the role of St. Jimmy was simply perfection.

Here's the thing: I love the actor (Tony Vincent) who usually plays the role of St. Jimmy. He is memorizing, and it's just such a great character.

But, seeing Billie Joe in the role was a whole other story. This is his alter ego, so of course he's a natural in the role. The crowd went absolutely nuts when he first appeared singing "St. Jimmy". WOW!!!

Now, of course, there are no cameras or recording devices allowed during the performance. I understand that - my sister works in theater! :)

However, after the the final curtain call, the curtain went back up showing all of the cast members and Billie Joe each holding a guitar. Billie Joe started strumming the beginning of "Time of Your Life", and sang the first verse, and was eventually joined by the rest of the cast.

This was phenomenal!

At this point, the professional camera men had made their way down the aisles down towards the stage and everyone (and I mean everyone) had their cameras out taking photos. I confess, I had to join in. I couldn't miss this opportunity.

My photos aren't very good. They are a little blurry, but you get the gist.

I found a few professional photos online at this webpage. These are so much better than mine.

Finally, here's a little video I took of the curtain call.

I'm so glad that Sharon and I were able to fly out to NY for our crazy 1-day adventure! Seeing Billie Joe in the show was absolutely worth all the money, frequent flyer miles, time planning, stress and lack of sleep!

It really was an experience of a lifetime!

We Made It!!!

My flight on Monday was delayed about 3 hours (due to weather in NY) but I was only about 1.5 hours late to arrive. I was checked into my hotel by midnight, Monday night.

Sharon had a flight from SFO to Dulles, which was on time, but unfortunately, she was delayed in Dulles for about 3 hours. She made it to our hotel around 2:00pm Tuesday.

The first thing we did was walk to the St. James Theater, which American Idiot is playing. We picked up our tickets (thanks, Lizz!) and took a few photos outside the theater.

American Idiot at the St. James Theater!!

Here's my hot little ticket!

Two California Groupies here to see Billie Joe!

After we picked up our tickets and took some photos, we walked about 10 blocks to Carnegie Deli for a late lunch. Dick had brought me there last year, and I still think it's the very best pastrami I've ever had!

We WAY over-ordered, but we knew that as we were doing it. We couldn't resist!

We split a pastrami reuben (open-faced) sandwich and an order of Mac & Cheese "sprinkled" with pastrami bits! (because we needed more pastrami!)

The reuben cut in half - just so you get a sense of the magnitude!

After eating way too much, we walked back to the theater through Times Square.

We made it back with plenty of time to do a little shopping, buy a drink and get to our seats.

a notice saying that they would be video taping the performance last night! i hope it ends up on a cool DVD!

In our seats, ready to see Billie Joe as St. Jimmy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's Official: I'm a Green Day Groupie now

In case there was any question before...

Here's some very exciting (to me) news that I've been wanting to share since last Tuesday:

It's Official!

Last Tuesday, my sister's friend (and fellow Green Day fan) sent us the following message:

listen girls, you need to come to NY next week. it's not being "announced", but Billy Joe will be playing St Jimmy all next week.

My response:
that would be AMAZING!!!!
Crap! I can't go (I've got my big walk next week!), and ironically, I'll be there in 3 weeks.

My sister (who started a new job 3 weeks ago, and is unable to go) called me soon after and brought me back to my senses. She basically said, "What do you mean you're not going?! You HAVE to go!"

To which, I said, "Oh, you're right! I should go!"

So, I checked with Dick that evening, and he was totally on board with me going. Actually, for a very brief moment, he considered going himself, but his schedule at work is way too busy for such a crazy adventure this week. :(

(for the record, I have the best. husband. ever!)

I called my friend, Sharon, another avid Green Day fan, and mother-of-4-extraordinaire. She scrambled to find a way to get away for a quick adventure, and we worked it out!

By Thursday, we had our flights, a hotel, and tickets to see American Idiot on Broadway Tuesday night, September 28th at 7:00pm.

At this point, no announcements about Billie Joe had been made yet, so we were careful to book things that could be refundable if we needed to back out. I used my miles on United to get a flight, and found a hotel with a great cancellation policy that I would only need to let know 24 hours in advance.

The announcement that Billie Joe is going to join the cast of American Idiot was officially announced yesterday, so now all systems are GO!

So, here's the crazy plan:

I'm leaving today in the early afternoon, arriving at JFK late this evening. Sharon is taking the red-eye tonight, and will meet me at the hotel tomorrow morning. We'll have a few hours to rest/run around before seeing the show at 7:00pm. We fly out at 6:10am Wednesday, arriving home by 11:00am Wednesday morning.

...and let's not forget that I have my 3-Day walk this weekend, starting early Friday morning!

So, I'll have almost two days to rest, catch up with work, and prepare myself physically and mentally for the walk.

I know. I'm crazy, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I couldn't pass up! This is going to be an amazing, whirlwind adventure!!!

I can't wait, and I'm SO excited to see Billie Joe on stage! This is going to be AMAZING!!!

Woo Hoo!

Wooden Trina's New Friend

My friends, Sharon & Rob, surprised me (and Wooden Trina) with a new friend today! Sharon thought she looked like me, and thought she would be a nice friend for Wooden Trina.

I see the resemblance, but since she has a little bird on her head, she reminds me more of my sister, Tiffini! Seems appropriate, doesn't it?

We're not sure what our new friend is made of. She seems too heavy to be made of wood. Perhaps more of a hard plastic?

We can call her Hard Resin Tiffie. :)

Thanks, Sharon & Rob!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We're on a Boat!

Today we celebrated Dick's Birthday (a couple of weeks late) by sailing on the bay on a great catamaran with friends and family.

Dick loves boats. They make him happy. This makes me happy. :)

The weather was amazing - low 80s in the SF, but a little chillier on the Bay. We've done this a few times before, but this was, by far, the best weather conditions we've ever experienced.

We were out from 11:00am - 2:00pm. A three hour tour, if you will. :)

Thanks to everyone who was able to join us on the boat today!!

Here are some photos from the day:

Sharon, Kathy, Lynn & my Dad

Miguel, David & Bunny

Mike, Aditya & Rob

Kristen, Mitch, Pete, Richard, Eve, Abbe, Dick and my Mom

Dick, Trina, and the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge

A perspective the bridge that you hardly ever see!

I love this picture from David's camera of Richard, me and David

Okay - one more thing:

All day long, I kept hearing Dick rapping about something about being on a boat.

I had no idea what he was doing. But he was happy, and he was on a boat, so I just thought he was being silly...

So, it turns out that I'm the only person (except perhaps my Dad) who had never heard that "I'm on a Boat" song/video!

Dick played it for me when we got home. Hilarious!

What I can't figure out is why he, and the rest of the guys who were on the boat with us today didn't take advantage of the fact that we were, in fact, ON A BOAT and do their own version of the video themselves!

Lost opportunity, I say!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Last Training Walk of the Season!

Today's 10.94 mile route

Today was the last Warming Hut Hotties Training Walk of the year! The San Francisco Susuan G. Koman 3-Day for the Cure 60-mile walk starts this Friday, October 1! We had a "short" 10-mile walk today, followed by a fun "Walk Luck" (pot luck) lunch at Crissy Field.

I kept thinking that it felt like the last day of school. :) The weather was just gorgeous (clear, and eventual high in the low 80s), the route was shorter and flatter than usual, the views were picturesque, and everyone was very excited in anticipation of the event coming up so soon.

Golden Gate Bridge at 7:00am

Sunrise at 7:00am

We started walking at 7:25. We had three bathroom breaks along the way (two of which being at the beautiful Argonaut Hotel, which have the nicest bathrooms that we've stopped at in SF!) and had our food break at the Ferry Building. Some of my friends and I celebrated the last walk by having yummy baked goods from Acme Bread - I had a delicious chocolate croissant. :)

We arrived back to the picnic tables at Crissy Field at 11:00, where the party had already begun! Let me tell you - the fine folks of the Warming Hut Hotties know how to eat! Everyone brought such yummy food to share. I brought homemade mango salsa, which appeared to be a huge hit.

The "Walk Luck"

The leaders of the Hotties put a lot of work every year in planning all of the training walks for the group. They put in even more work at the end of the year creating and assembling goodie bags for all of the members. The Hotties are known for their fuzzy deeleeboppers that they proudly wear on the heads during all of the walks. They were included in the bags, along with other fun things for the walk.

I am not an official member of the Hotties because I joined my friend Carol's team "Dancers Fighting Cancer". There are three of us on this team: Carol, Melissa and me. Carol and Melissa both live in the South Bay, making it difficult for us to train together regularly. Carol was the one who had suggested that I do training walks with the Hotties since I live in San Francisco, and she had joined them for a couple of training walks over the past couple of years. Everyone in the Warming Hut Hotties have done an amazing job of making everyone feel so welcome, and part of the team, even though some of us are officially on other teams. I'm so glad that I joined them on all of these training walks over the last couple of months. I've met so many inspiring and amazing people, who I consider my friends now, and I'm looking forward to walking in the big event with them next week!

Hotties with their deeleeboppers

Judy, Lizelle, Sandra, Tanzeem, Catriona and Monica

I can't believe that we've finished our last training walk, and that the big event is coming up so soon! Very exciting! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Bunny Day!!

They're back!!

I see these guys (and a girl this time) at least once a year at the corner of Castro & Market?

Why are they there?

Just to make people happy. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Clipper Card

I bought and used my new Clipper Card today at my local Muni station.

So far, so good. It's going to be a whole heck of a lot more convenient than making sure we have $2.00 in change every time we use the Metro!

Here's a few things I learned about it today:

It still allows you 90 minutes for transfer time. Meaning, if you use it again within 90 minutes of the time that you first used it that day, it will not charge you an additional fare.

It also has an option to auto-load your card (via a credit card or bank account) so you don't have to load it at a station. Handy!

I'm so excited that this system is finally in place. Assuming it runs smoothly, it's going to be hugely convenient!

Monday, September 20, 2010

15 Years = 15 Pounds!

Yesterday was Dick's 15th Anniversary at his current company! Apparently, Dick's group at work has a tradition of bringing 1 pound of something (usually candy) for every year at the company to share with the rest of the group on the anniversary of the date of hire.

Since Dick's anniversary landed on a Sunday this year, he decided to celebrate today...

...with 15 pounds of Gummi Bears!! :)

Dick loves Gummi Bears, so we thought it would be fun to see what 15 pounds of gummi bears look like. ;)

I made the delivery to his office this afternoon. They seem to be quite the hit!

Happy 15th Anniversary, Dick! So proud of you.

Enjoy those bears! :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Another 13 Miles...

Today's Route

Today's route was supposed to be 12 miles, but my iPhone's GPS app had us at 13.18. I'll take what I can get. :)

The day started out dryer than yesterday, which was nice. It was overcast, but not foggy. We had a beautiful sunrise, and could actually see the Golden Gate Bridge from the Warming Hut.

Sunrise at 7:00am

The Golden Gate Bridge makes an appearance!

On the whole, today's walk was nice and moderate - compared to all of the hills and stairs that we tackled yesterday...

...until we reached the Mosaic Stairs!

One of my favorite things about these training walks that I've been doing is discovering new parts of San Francisco that I've never known about. I've lived here for 15 years now, and I can't believe that I've never seen these gorgeous stairs!

Here's some great information about the tiled steps Project which says that there were 163 mosaic panels created by over 300 neighbors. I think it may be one of the most beautiful man-made sites in the whole city.

I wish I had more time to really look at and study each of the panels, but alas, there was climbing of the stairs to be done. These are some steep stairs!

The Mosaic Stairs

Close-up of some of the mosaic risers

Looking down from the top

But wait, there's more!

We made it to the top, caught our breath, then saw that there were another short flight of stairs, followed by yet another large flight of more stairs!

But wait, there's MORE!

The stairs led us to the top of Grand View Park - which has this name for a reason. What a view! Again, it was overcast, but not foggy today, so we had a great view of the entire City!

View from the top - You can barely make out the Golden Gate Bridge, on the other side of the large green hill. That's where we started this morning, which at this point was about 7 miles ago.

Another view of Golden Gate Park and the Pacific Ocean

The weather started to lightly drizzle during the last 5 miles of our walk. Not too bad, just a little wet, and luckily, it only got chilly during the last mile or so.

When we got back to the Warming Hut at Noon, you could barely see the Golden Gate Bridge - such a contrast to this morning.

The Golden Gate Bridge at Noon today.

Today's Stats
The speed indicated here includes the breaks that we take throughout the walk - today, we had two 15-minute breaks, and one that was probably about 30 minutes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Today's 16.8 mile training walk

I had another great training walk with the Warming Hut Hotties today!

We usually don't know the route for the day until that morning when we all arrive.

However, Thursday afternoon, Hottie Linda (fearless leader of the Hotties) posted the following status on her Facebook page:

Planning a wicked hard 16 mile training walk for Saturday: Lyon Street Stairs, thru GG Park, uphill behind UCSF Parnassus, around Twin Peaks, Vulcan Street stairs, back to the Presidio and down to the Warming Hut.

It sounded uber-cool - lots of great stairs, lots of steep hills, 16 miles!
But wait minute... aren't we supposed to be "winding down" before the big event in two weeks? ;)

Well, the walk was great, but boy, it was quite a walk!

First of all, the weather was totally wacky today. It was overcast, foggy, dark, and surprisingly warm and muggy! It wasn't hot by any means, but we're not used to humidity or mugginess here. I think I took my jacket off within the first 30 minutes.

It was also wet. The fog/drizzle made for the wettest training walk that I've had yet. By the time we got to the half-way point, I realized I looked like a drowned-rat (as my Mom would say). Really not attractive.

Today's Route

Today's Stats

Did I mention all the stairs and hills? I laughed when I saw that the fourth line of our directions was to "Turn Right onto Lyon, go up the stairs!"

The Lyon Street Stairs are very pretty, plentiful, and very steep! It was quite the way to start the day.

The first section of the Lion Street Stairs
Thanks to Graham Godfrey for the photo - mine didn't turn out well

We walked through the Presidio, through Golden Gate Park (passing the De Young, CA Academy of Sciences and the Japanese Tea Garden), onto Judah and Parnassus. (Which, yes, is another hill)

We had a quick break, then went up the stairs up Medical Center Way, onto Laguna Honda.

After another break at Tower Market on Portola Drive, we walked down Portola, onto Ord, and UP the Vulcan Stairs!

San Francisco Skyline from Portola Drive

We walked up and over 17th Street, down to Stanyan, back into the Presidio, and eventually back to the Warming Hut.

Linda had noticed early on how many of the Hotties had on Pink today, so she put everyone in order of shade of pink and I took this cute picture. :)

Pink Hotties!

Tomorrow, we have a 12-mile training walk, another 10-mile next Saturday, a Sunday to rest, then the big event starts on Friday, October 1st!