Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fear & Stuff

Fear is a funny thing. It sometimes comes at moments when you least expect it, it sometimes comes at moments when you expect it most. It can sneak up and envelop you or it can tap you on the shoulder and like an annoying child, you can learn to ignore it.

The past weeks fear has become a consistent feeling in my life. If you know me, you know that doesn't make me happy. I don't like things that beat me, I don't like things I understand, and I don't like things that scare me.

As Wendy mentioned a couple of weeks ago we went up to Shasta for snow school and to hike around.

Castle Crags was the hike that we did on Sunday.

It had been raining and snowing the whole entire weekend which made the climb basically up wet rock. It was that day, I came to realize my smallishnotsosmall fear of heights. In a little over a month I will be climbing a mountain that is over 14 thousand feet high. A smallishnotsosmall heights issue is something I should have figured out prior to this, no?

But it's one of those things. You learn to cope, you overcome, you succeed. The view at the top of Castle Crags, so worth it. The view from the top of Shasta, I am sure will evoke the same emotion.

And all in all, there is something to be said about fear of nature, it reminds me how human I am and how awesome things are, even when you can't control them.

And you know what, it was one of those experiences that made me realize how much the team is going to be important in this whole journey. I have determination, Wendy has an amazing light that shines when she's out in the great wide open, Laura has the experience of other Shasta Summits, and Gil has a hand that he's willing to hand me, when I miss a step.

Things that helped, singing Kings of Leon down the hill...

"Im on call to be there,
one and all to be there.
When I fall, to pieces,
lord you know ill be there waiting"

... hot tamales, and keeping my head down, because sometimes that's the way you go.


The other recent fear in my life, after running way to many miles, and doing some other silly things, I threw my back-hip-leg out. One week off and it started to feel better, second week and there is still a limp, and I am not quite sure how the packs going to feel.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Adding a Bit of Rock & Roll to the Rock

So Thursday April 23rd was the first and last official Breast Feed here at Clif Bar, presented of course by Wen and myself. Hours and hours, months and months of planning all came down to an event that was about 4 hours long. But 4 memorable hours they were.

I know Wendy would agree, that for a couple of months the Boob Dinner, as we affectionately called the beast, took up most of the free moments of our lives and sometimes the not so free moments. Emailing, calling, begging business for raffle items and food and drink donations seemed to be all I did for awhile. Justin started running the opposite direction when Wen and I approached, scared of what we would demand of him next... ok it wasn't that crazy.

But planning an event, any event is stressful. Planning a fundraising event, where you foot the bill, a little on this side of a heart attack.

The crazy thing was, that night everything came together. Businesses were generous with donations.

The kitchen came to play and won.

Our co-workers who volunteered, worked there butts off that night.

The bands showed up, the sound was awesome, and more than once I heard, "the event just seems to be easy." Which I have been told in the event planning world, is about the highest compliment you can get. Making something that makes your insides want to burst seem like a cake walk.

Thank you to all who made the event, thank you to all who helped make the event, and if you ever had any doubts, Wen and I can roll with the best of them.

And yes the meatballs were bomb.

Clif Bar Auditorium, not so shabby.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Breast Cancer Fund Mania!

So in the last 10 days, we've had our fundraising event Breast Feed, hiked from Stinson Beach to Mt Tam and back, went to the Breast Cancer Fund's Annual Heroes Tribute and spent the weekend at Shasta for mountaineering school and a group hike up Castle Crags SP.

More detail on all of the above to come...just didn't want you to forget about us. :)


Friday, April 17, 2009

Meal On

Wendy and my Breast Cancer Fundraising Dinner, aptly named The Breast Feed, is fast approaching. Less than a week from now, Justin, Scott, Ian and Jen will be cooking up a storm, and stirring up their passion for you guessed it…meatballs! (Ok so maybe you didn’t guess that part). And no, no one will be actually breast feeding, if there was any confusion on that side.

Months ago, in January, we learned we had to raise a lot of money for the Breast Cancer Fund, mulling over ideas we decided, why not talk to Justin L., fan of My Morning Jacket, self proclaimed walking EMO disaster, jiu-jituser, and most importantly lover of fantastic food, to make us a dinner. I personally would love for Justin to make me dinner every night, or just someone to make me dinner every night, (i have a tendency to think cereal makes a square meal). We asked him to make a big dinner, with 150 guests. He told us he’d talk to his cohorts in R&D and see what he could do.

A little background-

Here at Clif Bar we do this thing called the Big Dinner. Our event will not be the Big Dinner; it’s a little messier than that, I'm a little more on the punk rock side. But at the Big Dinner there are multiple courses or gourmet food, entertainment, and plates that cost a lot. But the plates are well worth it, with all the money going to a charity of choice. Last year it was The Mosaic Project, a nonprofit based out of Oakland, which helps young youth strive for peace in their communities. Well, the gourmet food is made by the chefs here around the office, with a big help from Justin.

After talking to his partners I got a reply, “April 23rd, let’s do this Sh...” So we were on. With one stipulation, there had to be meatballs. Justin and the boys are passionate about meatballs (his words not mine), and whats not to love about a ball of meat so we agreed.

Here’s the lowdown-

We are doing it slow food organic style. What does that mean exactly? The Slow Food Movement was started in Italy, basically to resist the opening of a McDonald’s by the Spanish Steps in Rome. It’s about using what is local to the region, using local artisans, local farmers and local flavors and taking the time to connect, back to food and our neighbors.

What does that mean for our dinner here? We are using local organic meats from Prather Ranch, organic sustainable poultry from Petaluma Poultry, chocolate from Guittard and bread from Acme.

J is planning to pick the produce that day from Monterey Market, a small produce market that focuses on bringing in season produce to Berkeley -- unlike our conventional stores where you can get grapes out of grape season and tomatoes in the middle of winter. So it’s sure to be the freshest, that’s what it is sort of all about. Picking what’s best at the time and planning your menu that way, versus planning your menu and trying to find out of season ingredients.

Tickets are still available so contact either Wendy, myself, or do it yourself.

And if you do end up coming next Thursday, remember to thank the chefs, the food will be fantastic.


Monday, April 13, 2009

No Calculator Needed

Wendy and I did the Dipsea steps tonight. Thats Mondays from now until the end of June. Today it was all three sets four times each. And yes, without a calculator and a little winded from all the climbing the two of us deduced we climbed about 698 steps four times...cary the 2, add the eights and we got to 2792 steps.

I dont know which was crazier, the steps, or the math in the head. All I know is on a Monday, after a work and a workout, its a lot. But with an I-pod, a good play list (i still need to make that), some fresh air, and good friends, its not so bad.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Abbs is a good nickname, but...

It has recently come to my attention (because there aren't many small children in my life) that there's a character on Sesame Street named Abby Cadabby. Great new nickname to drive Abbs crazy, huh?

Although she has taken to saying "that's so magic" just like her new namesake so I think she likes it more than she'd admit.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Corazon, Food with a little Extra Love

As you can see from our posts, food is one of the easier ways to earn some extra dough around the office.

Healthy foods are consumed for the most part, organic salad bars and such, and not so healthy foods because we aren't all saints. Delicious food always finds a home here and in our stomachs.

Cora sits behind me at Clif, she is the always payroll guru, sometimes match maker, and an institution here in the office, (she's about employee 50 here, (not as in 50 total, but as 50 in the original number of folks who have come and gone) earned one sabbatical (7 years of service) and is well on her way to number 2). She arrives to work early, around 6 from what I'm told, Rainey in hand (her dog) and she is gone in time to get home to watch Oprah, so make sure you get your questions answered early in the day.

Cora decided she wanted to help Wendy and I out on our fundraising efforts so staged her own lunch day for us here at the office. On the menu Lumpia, basically a Filipino egg roll.

"lumpia is filled with ground pork or beef, minced onion, carrots, and spices with the mixture held together by beaten egg. It may sometimes contain green peas."

Not all lumpia are fried but these ones were. With the help of some of her friends around the office, a traditional rice dish, some amazing flan, and a punch was also ready to be had by anyone willing to stop by conference room 1.

Cora is just another testament to all the help and encouragement we have had around the office. Its a little cheesy to say, but it helps to have all these people here who have our back. It also adds a little to the pressure of really wanting to succeed, but I have never been one to back down from a challenge and Wendy's about as tenacious as I am.

So maybe the lunch wasn't the healthiest we've ever had around here. But it sure did fill a lot of bellies and add to some smiles (I would have a picture for you, but the food was gone before I could get that far).


Oh and by the way, she's trying to find me a husband, all on her own accord, if you do it for her, she'll probably throw you a party.

& be careful when you ask why she doesn't go to the gym...