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Happy Birthday, Willy Wonka!

Instructions for Commenting


1) Make up a name--don't use your real name.
2) Click the "Post a Comment" link at the bottom of the blog post and then type your comment in the "Leave your comment" textbox.
3) If you have a Google or Blogger account, then click the "Google/Blogger" button in the "Choose and identity" section.
4) Otherwise, click the "Name/URL" button, and then put in your fake name in the "Name" textbox. You can leave the URL blank.
5) Or, you can chose Anonymous. In that case, put your fake name in your comment.
3) Make sure to put your fake name in your comment somewhere. Repeat commentors will be entered on Nonny's Hall of Fame!
4) Use the same fake name each time so we all know who's saying what.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hang in there, Owen!

Various news sources have reported that Owen Wilson attempted suicide yesterday and that he is addicted to heroin and cocaine (see, e.g., Us Weekly). This is so sad. Owen Wilson isn't the best actor in the world, but I always liked him. He seemed spunky and fun, and optimistic. How wrong was I, huh? It's sad to see people who are responsible for the laughs in the world fall into such depression. It almost makes people stop believing, you know? Anyway, I hope he kicks this. It seems like there are a lot of people who care about him.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Shamelisted: Poorly Signed Hikes

This is about as bad as what Stillman and I saw on Sunday when we went on our latest hike. OMG, I couldn't believe this thing. Okay, lemme start from the beginning.

We went to the Upper Stevens Creek County Park. It's only a 5.5 mile loop, as compared to the 7+ mile loop at Phleger Estates. I hadn't been hiking since MonkeyPig visited, which was almost an entire month ago, so you can just imagine how out of shape I am (I've also slipped off my running schedule and Mr. Nonny Nu has threatened me with morning calisthenics again--I HATE THOSE). Anyhow, we get there and it was bad from the beginning. The hike synopsis told us to "look for a narrow, unmarked path heading east." Okay, seriously, WTF, right?

Anyway, after a false start (I parked at the wrong place and Stillman had to set me straight), we found the entrace and off we went. Folks, if I'm lyin' I'm dyin', but not one sign matched the county-provided map. Needless to say, we headed 2 miles out of our way because we were led astray by the non-signs. And, if you look at the elevation description, it's a steep hike. It was all downhill from the beginning, so, once we figured out our way back, it was all uphill (nearly 800 feet ascent) and not at the strollable 7 degree slope either. Get this--the hike synopsis says: "A few early switchbacks lull you into the false confidence that this will be a gently graded ascent. As you get further uphill, steeper sections set you straight." Right. It wouldn't be so bad if the signs actually told us where to go.

I was looking forward to a good strenuous hike since I hadn't been hiking for almost a month, so I didn't even bring Professor Know-It-All or my hand-me-down camera. I just wanted to focus on the hike. Personally, I had a great time because I was confident that we'd find our way out of there eventually. And, we had a nice little rest with a couple of clementine oranges, so everything was just dandy. But, I just think it's such a disgrace how poorly marked this trail is. Here, take a look, this is what one of the junctions look like:We were supposed to take the trail to the left where the reflector "marker" is, you see? You see?

...there's more to this story--click me!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Speaking of Prices... At What Price? by guest blogger Man fom U.N.C.L.E.

My little grassroots organization is funded through grants, foundations and private donations. We barely keep our heads above water, operating at a deficit in most years. As a community based social service organization none of us are employed here because we seek to pad our bank accounts, drive Ferraris, or furnish our summer cottages/mansions. We're here because we want to make a difference. The philosophy of the organization has always been give to those who have not, despite the hardships it may cause ourselves. Our paid staff consist of 3 full time workers (who average 60 hours of work per week {I'm one of them}), 3 half time workers (who average 40 hours of work per week) and 3 quarter time workers (who average 20 hours of work per week). The rest of our organization's work is carried out through volunteers. Last year, 1,400 volunteers provided over 31,000 hours of community service in support of our clients and community. We have a Board of Directors who serve on a voluntary basis but are fairly removed from the actual service of our work.

Here's the ethical dilemma that I face. At what price would you sell out a colleague? I'm so filled with guilt as I write this.

Each year we apply for grants requesting outrageous sums of money with grandiose plans of new programs that we'll implement, with goals to hire new staff, and upgrade the services we'll offer. If the grants are awarded, they are usually at amounts far less than what we have asked for, and then Scopes of Service and budgetary allotments need to be revised, adjustments are made accordingly. As a result, each position within our organization is funded by a peicemeal budget with percentages of people's salaries spread out among several grants. Grant A may fund 32% of Staff A's salary, 47% of Staff B's Salary, 11% of Staff C's salary; while Grant B may fund 45% of Staff A's salary, 23% of Staff B's salary and 89% of staff C's salary. This year our organization asked city government for $150,000 to continue implement an enhanced Consumer Care Program, and were awarded only $45,000. Last year the city funded us at $50,000 for the same services.

Well, last year I was supposed to get a $2,000 dollar raise because I would be doing the job of two people; as 100% funding for the position of "Volunteer Coordinator" was cut, as was the staff person, but meanwhile the service was still needed. Somehow that raise never happened, and the $2,000 was allocated so the organization could pay utility bills. I didn't raise a fuss about it, because I knew it was for the betterment of the organization.

The problem this year with further reductions is that our board of directors is advocating for further reductions in staff by cutting a half time fellow who they perceive as unproductive. This guy is a 70 year old dude who holds 2 Master's Degrees (in Human Resource Management and Social Work), and is our organization's Intergenerational Director. They are recommending that his percentage of this $45,000 be totally reallocated to increase our services and also give me that $2,000 that I didn't get last year, in effect, severing this guy from our organization while rewarding me. Temporarily, without an Executive Director within our organization, these decisions fall on me. God, I'm so conflicted about submitting that to our funding source.

Sorry for laying this out there. Next time I'll provide government cheese with my whine.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Oooh, look at those gas prices!!

I drove past an Arco station this morning and was absolutely floored by the gas prices! The premium grade gas was only $2.99 and 9/10 cent per gallon!! That's about 30 cents lower than the beginning of summer. Is this just a function of summer (and road trip season) coming to a close? I haven't seen those kinds of prices since I was in The Dark Place (June 2000-December 2002; mid-west--almost).

[edit] Okay, I just read what I wrote and thought, "What?! $2.99 a gallon?? Is that supposed to be a favor to us or something??" Does anyone remember the 99cent Fridays that Arco used to have?? Those were the days. This almost makes me want to go environmental, but really, I'm not INSANE...

I wonder what prices others are paying for gas these days?

...there's more to this story--click me!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Message from Coach Nelson

She disapproves.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Nightly Dinner Ritual

I forgot to take out some Magic Kitchen stuff to thaw this morning (btw, we are expecting another order to arrive tomorrow *nods*), so we have to eat fake food tonight. Generally, the nightly ritual starts off with me emailing Mr. Nonny Nu about it being quittin' time and asking what's for eats. The conversation ultimately heads onto a dead end road where neither of us are willing to make a U-turn. Starvation ensues. As an example, here is tonight's exchange:

Me: coming home now. din?

Him: yes, i'd eventually like to have some. (aren't i just hilarious?)

Me: yes, very!! now, what should i bring home and how are you going to pay me?

Him: i have only my body >o:3 what do *you* want?

Me: not your body, but i will take some gallo prison.*

Him: "not your body" >o:3 i'm not that bad! (i don't like you.) gallo? -=sigh=- well, okay. whatever you wish.

Winner: haha! i win. two nights in a row...

Non-Winner: hmph.

Come to think of it, that wasn't much of a dead end road. Normally, we just go around and around, though, and it takes much more than 12 minutes to decide what to have for dinner. I promise (cross my heart and hope to die) that we usually argue a lot more. Well, as soon as we get our shipment of Magic Kitchen tomorrow, this will all be a dream.

*"Gallo Prison" is Nu-speak and coined by Mr. Nonny Nu for Sonoma Chicken Coop.

...there's more to this story--click me!


OMG, I'm bidding on this watch right now. There are only 3 mins 37 seconds left. We'll see.

Okay, do you guys think I should get a maid? You know, someone to come in once every other week to tidy things up. Don't get me wrong. I just love to clean the house after working 60hrs a week. It's so relaxing...BARF. Yeah, remember when it was trendy in Hollywood to clean one's own house? I think that Sharon Stone and Gwyneth Paltrow said that they liked to vacuum. Please. I can understand if Paltrow found it novel. But, Sharon Stone? According to IMDb, her dad was a factory worker.

OMG!! I won the item!!

Anywho, that "I love cleaning" trend was pretty short-lived. Probably because people could smell the poop dribbling out of the corners of their mouths. EWWWWW. I need to chew a stick of Orbitz gum now.

The thing is, I don't really like people rummaging through my stuff. I just get the feeling that I'm going to have to screen the area before the cleaning lady shows up. And, nobody cleans house the way I do. Well, except for my sisters. I don't know. Does anyone have any experience with this?? I also don't want to hire someone who also cleans the house of other people I know. Don't want any of my secrets being leaked, you know? Advice? Comments?

...there's more to this story--click me!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Heart Brooklyn!

Boy, am I glad to be home!! My 8:05PM EST flight was delayed until 11:30PM EST, so I didn't get home until 4:26AM PST. This past week, Mr. Nonny Nu and I haven't had much interaction since I've been away. So, now, he has a lot of pent up energy. At this very moment, he said, "I have a legal right to bother you, you know." Upon hearing that I am quoting him on the blog, he informs me, "I'm going to sue you for libel."

Anyhoooo, Brooklyn was awesome!! I've been to NYC before, but only visited Manhattan and just hated it. It's the only city I've ever visited where I felt like I was inside even though I was outside. I guess it's too big for me. Brooklyn was different, though. There were actual houses (I think they're called brownstones) and single story streets, etc. And, it wasn't jam packed with people all the time. Also, the people there were super friendly and nice. It felt like a real neighborhood. Even though I spent 90% of my time in the hotel (my room and a conference room where I worked), I thoroughly enjoyed the 10% spent outside at Kinko's, eating dinner, and walking down to the shore to see the Manhattan skyline.

...there's more to this story--click me!

My New Favorite Band

...there's more to this story--click me!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Magic Kitchen: My New Friend

Yes, it's like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, folks. Magic Kitchen products really are magical! A few weeks ago, Stillman told me about this place. Basically, they sell frozen chef-prepared food that is delivered right to your door, promising easy preparation, nutrition, and no clean up. They might as well have said, "Even husbands can do it!" So, I ordered their Favorite Meals bundle and their Comfort bundle. Sure enough, the very next day, I received the foods at home.*

The first thing I tried out was the Beef Tri-Tip and Asparagus with Lemon. I left the tri-tip and asparagus out in the morning to thaw. All I used was this knife to cut open the packages. The tri-tip went straight into the oven for 25 minutes. While that was cooking, I popped in some rice in the rice cooker. Then, when the tri-tip was done, I microwaved the asparagus for about 2 minutes while I was plating the tri-tip and rice. The asparagus came out looking like this, and the entire meal looked like this. As for clean up, all I did was throw away the packaging that the tri-tip and asparagus came in, and stuck the rice cooker, knife, plates, and utensils into the dish washer. VERY EASY, FOLKS! The tri-tip was not too bad. Of course, it's well done and not medium rare, but for having to do practically nothing, it turned out just fine. The asparagus was a bit mushy (most cooked veggies tend to turn out that way when you freeze them), but the flavor was good.

Subsequent items sampled:
BBQ Ribs--before and after (these were really not bad at all)
Brocolli with Cheese Sauce--before and after (I liked these. These cheese was mild.)
Stuffed Potatoes--before and after (Definitely MMD--I wouldn't recommend these.)
Finished meal looked like this.

The true test came when Mr. Nonny Nu was left all alone to fend for himself with help only from Magic Kitchen. The reports have come in--Magic Kitchen passed the test. Tonight, Mr. Nonny Nu fixed for himself the Teriyaki Chicken with asparagus and made some rice in the rice cooker to go with it. Here are his thoughts:

* One thing to remember is to reserve some space in your freezer for the food. Mr. Nonny Nu spent all afternoon cramming stuff into the freezer, and finally resorted to putting a chicken pot pie in the ice maker.

...there's more to this story--click me!

See people, I told you Nonny Nu was in New York!

Not to rain on her parade, but her arrival is getting news coverage, to the cat is out of the bag. (Or the bunny is out of the hat if you prefer).

...there's more to this story--click me!

Monday, August 13, 2007

This just in...

A little ditty from Mr. Nonny Nu:So, all of you are wrong, but some of you are wronger than others. For example, the chap who guessed that I am in Burbank but postulated that I could even be in Guadalajara is the wrongest of all people who have been wrong in the history of wrongness. Stillman, clever girl that she is, did the most with the least info. (I am indeed in one of the NY burroughs.) But, Cl. Panic was off by a few miles, and unbelievably so, since we work in the same office and he can actually check certain charts to find out exactly where I am. That, or he could just ask my secretary. (People just don't know how to use insider information to game the system nowadays. It must be a lost art.)

Anyhooo, here's clue number two--I'm across the street from this place:

...there's more to this story--click me!

The Digs

Okay, so here I am, all moved in. This will be home for me for the next five days. At least the bed looks comfy (PortaBear approved). Of course, first thing I do was to do about 1.5 hours of work (in addition to the full 6 hours of work I did on the ride over here).

Here's the next clue as to where I am...this is my view from my hotel room.

Anyhow, here's more furniture. Notice anything? Yes, those are my provisions. Don't laugh. By the time I checked in (approx. 1:30am local time), the kitchen had already closed, so I am going to have to dig into one of the noodles (maybe even two). I'm so starvinsky!! I haven't really eaten anything after those noodles at SFO.

I took JetBlue and they are, hands down, the best long-distance fliers. They had SO MUCH LEG ROOM!! There was too much for me, actually, since I'm shorter than the average American woman. What put them over the top, however, were their snacks. They were awesome! There were those blue chips, animal crackers, cashews, gourmet chex mix, and shortbread cookies. Of course, I sampled all of it. The best were the animal crackers. Not only were they tasty AND low cal (only 4 calories), they were the most detailed animal crackers I've ever seen. Here's the hippo (I'm not opening these until I need an extra snack). I give JetBlue two paws way up.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Guess where I'm going?

So, I'm at the San Francisco Airport waiting for a flight that will take me to a far away place. It is a place of fairytales, the kind of place any girl would want to visit for her job. Can you guess where I'm going? btw, I just had this at SFO:
Can you guys believe there's a Harbor Village SFO branch?? It was just MMD, though.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Has anyone else been busy this week? (And, Inaugural TWoNN Hall Meeting.)

I can't believe this. I was in 7 1/2 hours of meetings yesterday. This is on top of having to do actual work. And, I just now got out of a 4 1/2 hour meeting. I have another 1/2 hour meeting coming up, but the rest of my day is "free." GAH!! Does anyone feel like there are just too many darned meetings in the world?

Anyhow, let's have a TWoNN townhall meeting (now, appropriately dubbed "TWoNN Hall Meeting"), shall we?


I hope every likes the marquee along the top of the blog. I had known about it for some time and had even experimented with it on off hours (hours during which I didn't think blog members would be watching, like 3:45am, which is between meetings for me sometimes). I launched it when MonkeyPig was visiting us as sort of a welcoming gesture for her. I used green at the time because that matched with the whole decor of the blog. But, now, I'm going to use the colors to represent the crisis level in my head. To start off, Nonny Nu Crisis Level was at its lowest (green) when MonkeyPig was in town. At that time, I was on vacation and was having fun getting burned by the San Francisco sun. Then, as some of you may have noticed, on Monday this week, when there was only one serving of Magic Kitchen panna cotta left, Nonny Nu Crisis Level was at its highest (red). Today, NNCL is only elevated (orange), what with looming deadlines and yet more meetings. So, I think this may be a good method to convey my innermost feelings and anxieties to the world that is outside of TWoNN.

Okay, meeting adjourned.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Friday, August 3, 2007


I wonder how Mr. Nonny Nu's Magic Kitchen turkey dinner turned out for lunch...?

...there's more to this story--click me!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Remember When...? by Terrified Guest Blogger Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Think back to those "Golden Days of Yesteryear", (or "Yesterday" for young 'un, FM), when you were taking that first step from adolescence to young adulthood. What do you recall as the transitioning event that signaled your alleged maturation? Was it actually having someone that admitted to being your first girl/boyfriend? Was it earning the big money from your after-school job? Do you think it's different for girls and boys?

Speaking for myself, that big signal of being "grown" was when I was first starting to drive a car. The thing is, though I don't remember being all that big-headed about it. Driving allowed me to get back and forth to my less than minimum wage earning, grease pit cleaning, bus boy job. It was functional. Now, my little brother has been taking $6,000,000 driving lessons this summer offered by the driving experts at SEARS. Of course, after 12 classroom meetings of 2 hours each and 8 trips behind the wheel with 1 hour as driver and 1 hour as observer, my little brother is now The Universally Recognized Messiah of The U.S. Transportation Network! This dude knows it all!

After all this extensive training, he is still supposed to get completely unnecessary (according to him) road experience driving with me. I even had to go to a class to learn how to be both his non-judgmental and supportive "driving coach." So we loaded up the family vehicle. Little Bro was doing fairly well with his driving distances and awareness of traffic signs, etc. for the first 15 minutes. During the next 30 minutes, we took a drive through our city and headed to the bank. I asked him to execute a left turn at an intersection from a complete stop, (execute being the operative word, as you read on!), and thus began the Domino Effect. A guy behind us Honked! - Little Bro failed to look right! - Little Bro Panicked! - Little Bro floored it! - Little Bro didn't see the oncoming 300 ton municipal bus careening our way! - "Non-judgmental and supportive" Big Bro driving coach, (me), seeing that I was about to become significantly intimate with a diesel engine cam shaft, screamed out, "BUUUUUUSSSS!!!!!" - Little Bro swerved dramatically still further in front of Sandra Bullock! - Little Bro lectured, "Don't Yell At Me! That's NOT At All Supportive!!!" - Big Bro said, "Get out of the way of the bus!" - The barreling 55 mph bus switched lanes to avoid us! - Little Bro pulled in the bank parking lot! - Big Bro collected his wits! - Big Bro drove home! - Little Bro sulked! So we're still patching that up.

What are your memories of learning to drive?

...there's more to this story--click me!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

MPBSFA Day 4: Monterey Bay Fish Bowl (Part II)

This entry isn't just about jelly fish. It's about other stuff, too, but I'll start off with jelly fish. They were my favorite exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I think that it was also MonkeyPig's favorite. These photos were taken with my $99 cheapo camera, but MP took photos, too, so you can see much better ones when she posts them.

The entrance to the jellies exhibit had an oval ceiling with jellies and a bunch of golden anchovies swimming around and around. Jellies are like umbrellas, and MonkeyPigs are like dorks.

Baby Jellies

Crystal Jellies
These are transparent jellies. Their transparency serves as a camouflage, just like my pink shorts served as a camouflage among the wild flowers.

But when you turn on the light, you can see them.

Sea Nettles
MonkeyPig and I weren't the only ones intent on seeing the jellies.

These guys have sticky stingers all along its arms. When the arms come into contact with prey, the stingers sting and clamp onto the prey. When the prey has gone out of its mind, the arms draw the prey into the jelly's mouth.

Egg-Yolk Jellies
I guess these are pretty self-explanatory.

Lion's Mane Jelly

Nonny Nu's Experiments with Cheapo $99 Camera Settings
Sepia toned:

Black and white:


Moving Coral

Large display cases:

Leopard sharks:

In this area, people could actually touch starfish and other stuff:

Notice the shrimp, star fish, coral, and small fishes:

Part III will include group photos, Cannery Row, and the restaurant that MonkeyPig declared to be "pretty good."

...there's more to this story--click me!