In case you didn't notice, its been rather quiet here on the Claremont front and I am quite certain that some folks thought I dropped off the face of the earth. I am equally certain that there are a few folks out there who hoped that was the case... To the first group I say "I didn't" and to the second group I say "I'm sorry" :-)
So here's what's been going on part of the time and some of what has kept me quiet... It all started way back in October when the C.A.R. (California Association of Realtor's) convention came to town. I headed off to the first event of the convention - Tech Tuesday to continue stuffing my head with tantalizing technical tidbits.
(A side note here, this was a very well organized event but I have to tell you that I probably won't attend Tech Tuesday again. Predominatly because while it gave a great beginner's overview of what is going on in the world of RE tech, I didn't find any classes that were geared toward taking a tech savvy agent to the next level. I took one class on photography which was touted as a session on how to get the most out of your Flip Video camera only to find that although the instructor was very knowlegable about photography in general and definately had a good grasp of lighting, he didn't know the first thing about the Flip camera. I actually wound up answering almost all of the Flip questions and I am by no means an expert. Incidentally, this wasn't the photographer's fault, he had the Flip thing sprung on him at the last possible minute and freely admited that it was not his mileu.)
After the training classes ended the cocktail reception and opening of the showroom began. As we all know, I am a confirmed swag scavenger and view a convention showroom with a level of lust and avarice other women reserve for George Clooney, Brad Pitt or Chocolate. In short, I couldn't wait to hit the floor and hit it I did!
After gathering all the goodies my little bag could hold the first raffle of the event was slated to take place. I dropped my business card into the mix and urged my friend Diana to do the same. Unfortunately, she was bang out of cards and insisting that it didn't matter to her but it sure did to me so I made one for her and then we waited anxiously to see who would win the prizes. They were giving away 6 Flip Video cameras (ironic, huh?) and I really wanted Diana to win one. Having won my own at Inman Connect in San Francisco (Thank you again Zipvo), I had told her that should I win another (yeah, like THAT would happen, right?) I would give it to her.
Well, they started pulling cards and wouldn't you know it out came my card and one other but with a flick of the finger my card sank back to the depths and low and behold the one I made for Diana rose to the top! How cool was that? I was thrilled for her!
The next day I again attended the convention and my lucky streak continued. I entered the drawing for the Toshiba Laptop and was shocked to hear my name called as one of the lucky winners. I hear tell that my patented "happy dance" was quite something to behold (btw, if anyone has any pics or video from either days events I would love to get a gander at it). Now, however I had a problem. I had told everyone who would listen that I wanted to win the Laptop not for me but for my wonderful hubby Mel who really wanted a Laptop of his very own. Now I had won the thing for him, was bursting to tell him, and was threatend under mock pain of death to not tell Mel about my good fortune and to hang on to the thing until December (his birthday is 9 days before Christmas).
Where's the problem you ask? Well, I'll tell ya... My Mel subscibes to my blogs and I realized as I came down off of my raffle induced high that I not only couldn't tell him what had happened, I couldn't write anything anywhere for fear that someone would inadvertantly tip him off in a well intentioned comment so silence ensued.
Then, to further enforce my silence, the following day I was extremely fortunate to win a Wii (Which I gave to Diana since she had told me that she really wanted one and I only entered the raffle to try to win it for her... really!) and to round off the day nicely I won a 32G Ipod Touch (a really cool toy but more about that another time) which was actually the only thing I had truly wanted to win for me.
I have to tell you that I was half expecting to be rolled in the parking lot by a group of disgruntled agents bent on evening the odds.
So, I kept my mouth and fingers silent. The holidays finally arrived... I was busier than all get out making personal appearances (as either my clown character "Ellie" or my esteemed balloon artist self) at The Americana, The Grove and various other locations for holiday events. Incidentally, My Mel was shocked beyond belief and THRILLED with his shiny new toy and I was preparing to share my story and start running off at the fingers yet again despite getting that nasty cold that seems to be making the rounds, when I was hit with what can only be described as a double whammy.
My beautiful cat Oliver who I raised by hand from infancy (he and his brothers and sister were between 5 and 8 days old when I got them, I kept two and the other two were adopted) took ill and unexpectedly but peacefully passed away on January 2nd. He is survived by his brother Simon who, please God, remains hale and hearty despite his approaching 15th birthday, "The Monster" his sometime companion and frequent nemesis and his bereft family.
And, to compound the sorrow, my dear friend Jodie's father after a three month illness, protracted hospitalization and ultimate return home for hospice care joined my "Boo" in death the following morning.
Roger was a kind, loving, funny, sardonic, sarcastic, smart and very special son, husband, father and grandfather whose absence will be missed by all who knew him.
Both our families do take comfort in knowing that while we miss them terribly and I am quite sure they miss us as well, hopefully they have found each other and can share with each other on some other plane the companionship, comfort and loving touch we can no longer share with them.
So, that pretty much knocked me for a loop and it was only today that I was finally ready to put fingers to keyboard once again and rejoin my community of colleagues and friends.
Well, now you know where I've been and why things have been so quiet 'round these parts. I hope things have all been well for everyone, am glad to be back.
Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!