Saturday, December 30, 2006


Around Christmas, you hear many pastors and other people talking about the mystery of incarnation: isn't it amazing/unbelievable/mind-boggling/etc that God, the Creator of the Universe, lowered himself and became a human baby. They're dumbstruck that he would do such a thing for us- that he would put himself in such a position.

I guess I'm weird, but I don't find the concept all that strange. God made us and he loves us. We're made in his image, so it makes perfect sense to me that he would be one of us in every way- grow in a womb, born tiny and vulnerable, be a teenager, and live as a young man. We're his kids and his siblings (co-heirs with Jesus-Rom 8:17), so it is reasonable that he would look like us and hang with us for a while. (Let's not get into the anthropocentric statement I just made. I know that we look like Him.)

It's also not as if God left Heaven all undefended to come here like some comic book hero. It was what had to be done if we were to be with him, and it was done for us. For me. No- I don't suppose that I understand at all the magnitude of God's love for us nor the concept of giving up a child, but I have loved. I do love people so much that it hurts; that I can't imagine there being more; yet all the love that is in me is from God and is just the smallest shadow of His love.

So, yeah, I can fathom Jesus being a human and God at the same time. Of course, I have been raised so that this information is a part of me, and the events in question took place two thousand years ago, so it doesn't feel that strange. I suppose that it would have been quite whacked out for Mary and Joseph sometimes- knowing that the toddler with cheese on his face was their Savior and the Savior of the entire world. Trying to wrap you mind around that would be a bit odd.

I am very grateful that I have good examples of familial love, friendship, and marital love to give me glimpses and insight into God's love and character. I have always known that Jesus loves me and to Him I belong, and that is wondrous.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Updates, being social, reaching out.

First off- we're not moving to Phoenix. We may be moving a bit east of where we are now, but that's not for a few months. Hopefully Sonoma.

It looks like I'll be going to Mexico in April on a short mission trip to build a house, so that is wonderful. This will be the first of these kind of trips that I've been on since high school, which I find a little mind-boggling, but God doesn't appear to be that big on my travel ideas. Live and learn. I called the contact person today to see if there was a place for me, being that I'm not exactly a carpenter, and he was very happy to add another Spanish-speaker to the group. Their building techniques also appear to be girl-friendly, so I'll be able to do physical labor as well as talking with the family.

The world may be turning backwards on its axis or something, but we went out two nights in a row this past weekend. One night we even went to a party. I know! I can barely believe it, either. Friday we had a date night (dinner and a movie, of course) and Saturday we went to a lovely, grown-up, eat-and-mingle party with some church people. It was really great to talk, relax and be around people. I love my husband, but I really do like to see other people aside from him once in a while.

As sometimes happens when we're with his family for the weekend, I almost lost my voice at the party because my dear, sweet vocal chords are not used to being used quite so much. Makes me a little verklempt.

Have a Very Merry Christmas filled with food, hugging, presents, singing, and praising Jesus!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Humbug no more!

Finally, the Christmas spirit hit me today! I had actually been considering not decorating this year- no one comes to our house, it's too small, my husband doesn't really care, etc etc. Part of it was genuine disinterest, and another part of it was moping.

I've been listening to Christmas music for a while now- that wasn't the problem. And the music does well up emotion in me and I am so thankful for Jesus. We just don't have the room for our tree this year, and our house is so crowded and messy that I felt completely overwhelmed. Thankfully, I'm happy with little things here and there, so after a bit of cleaning was done (more to come), I got a small wreath and some garland from Michael's, and a little poinsettia from Trader Joe's that sits here on the computer desk to make me happy.

The thing that turned my frown upside down? Cinnamon-scented pinecones in the bathroom of Baskin Robbins. They struck me as such a simple yet Christmas-like thing to do, that I didn't feel so overwhelmed or downcast about decorating. So, yes, I have a bowl of those sitting on the desk as well, and I already feel as if I've made the place jollier.

Merry merry!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sand and locusts

wash me away
every drip, scrap, scab
that remains of the old me- the one I hate
leave just you
the love, the shiny new growth
pink, painful, clean
to bloom. to flower. to reach out into
more of you-
and less of me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm inspired by James Hetfield to finally write.

Yes! I finally downloaded some Metallica so that I can actually hear them once in a while, and I am very happy about it. You see, I really don't listen to the radio often, since I don't have a car, and you would not believe how difficult it is to just friggin' hear Metallica when I do happen to have the car. You would think that they weren't the biggest rock band in the world or something.

We had an excellent Thanksgiving weekend, with lots of loafing in front of fireplaces, watching movies with family, and the requisite eating, drinking, and being merry.

There, I put "Wherever I May Roam" on repeat so that the inspiration can continue...

Husband stubbed his toe on a turkey leg last night, so that is exciting. He also has been interviewed for a temporary transfer (1 year) to Phoenix, so we're waiting to hear about that. I'm not exactly doing cartwheels about living in the fastest-growing city in the country, but at least it's hot. I do think that I'll like being in the desert for a spell. We'll see what God has in store for us!

Okay, I just looked, and Phoenix is actually the 4th fastest, with San Antonio & Houston above and below. Hmmm...not sure what I think of that. On another list, it's 8th, so I'll just calm down.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I see your point. Wait. No, I don't.

I just finished the book To Hell with All That and I must say that I'm mostly flummoxed. The praise on the jacket, as well as the reviews (good and bad) on Amazon lead me to believe that other people actually got a coherent and controversial message out of this book, but I can't seem to figure out what the author actually thinks.

Perhaps that is the point, in a way, but I don't think it is worthy of a published book. Flanagan attempts to address the conflict that many women feel between wanting to work and feel accomplished and worthwhile outside the home and pining over starched sheets and Martha Stewart-inspired handicrafts. Obviously, Flanagan herself is conflicted- she extols the virtue of being a stay-at-home mom and her desire to get dinner made for her kids, but she has had nannies and a maid ever since she had children. Actually, there was a maid employed before the children, too, but she feels terrible and conflicted about this. But she was writing and felt good about it. But she wishes that her mother wouldn't have gone back to work when she was young. But her mom was happier once she went back to work. But, but, but...

WE GET IT!!! You're conflicted, women are conflicted- everyone is fighting over the right answer, but a flowing, articulate book clearly cannot come from this issue. At least not from this author. This would have made a lovely, short article in a magazine, but somehow this mess got approved and printed. For not the first time this year, I moan over the apparent lack of sober editors, and I guess over the state of the book world in general. The people who submitted their blurbs for the jacket clearly didn't read the book, and the reviewers all seem to have pulled one or two sentences out of thin air on which to base their opinions- something not so rare anymore.

Flanagan is called an "anti-feminist" and seems to ruffle quite a few feathers, but I say to those rabble-rousers, "How can you tell?!"

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Quick Update on Father-in-law

It's not Alzheimer's, and it isn't progressive, whatever is in his brain. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Just like trash

Some would say that I like throwing my vote away. I guess that I always have done so, since my first election in 92. Not even half the precincts are in yet, but I looked at the results so far, and a whopping 4 of the candidates I voted for out of 13 appear to have a chance of winning a seat.

Also, I apparently have much different feelings about things than many Californians, and I also care more than I thought I did. While reading over the results on the "issues", I keep having outbursts like, "You're kidding!" and "What?!"

Well, it's good that I care. I'll check on the results more tomorrow.

So I'm hypocritical AND naive. Good to know.

I have nowhere NEAR the same feelings about Britney divorcing Cheesehead that I do about Nick&Jessica or Reese&Ryan. I guess that, like everyone else in the world, I've been judging Britney as trashy and stupid for a while now, and my first thoughts on her filing are, "Good riddance!" and "It's about time!"

This really isn't the way I should be thinking about people, or about their marriages. I do see a theme, though, in my thoughts. I seem to be all for women dumping husbands who are worthless jerks. Not to say that I don't think people can change- not at all. I hope to be changing every day. But I have the desire to change and put forth effort to do so.

But how do I know that Kevin Federline isn't a good father and isn't striving to grow as a human being? Perhaps he has a close walk with Jesus. I don't know. I mostly think he's an idiot because of the way he dresses. How shallow is that?

I'm not trying to sound high and mighty here. "Oh, we shan't judge the stars. They're people, too. I don't judge anyone." I just think that it's something I take note of, and need to work on.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sometimes I'm Cantankerous with Luddite Tendencies

Glance at this article about sun exposure, please.
I very much respect Paula Begoun, and I heed her opinion on many things, but I just cannot get behind "sun avoidance" and the hype about the sun.

This is the luddite/head in the sand/whatever you want to call it comes in. I know that skin cancer is a real danger, and I know that tanning is bad for you, and I know that medical science has discovered all sorts of things that refute what everyone used to take as truth, but I get a little, anti-establishment, hippie streak that comes out sometimes.

I am well aware that "natural" does not equal "safe" or "good" all the time, but I find myself more and more leaning towards trusting God-made things instead of man-made things. I was reading about vegans the other day and thinking about what they would rather wear instead of leather or wool. Cotton and...polyester? Yes, I know, there are flax and hemp, but I'm talking jackets, shoes, etc. This may shock some who know that I would love to be a tree-hugging vegetarian, but I find it a bit shocking that people would wear something completely synthetic that won't break down or anything and comes from oil rather than wool or leather. And this is coming from someone who resists leather!! It's just something I'm thinking about.

And, no, chewing on willow bark isn't going to get rid of my headache as well as taking Tylenol is going to do, but maybe I think it's a better idea in the long run.

My original point? I can't get down with the anti-sun folks. I'm not completely stupid. I wear sunscreen sometimes, I don't spend hours outside in the sun, and I don't worship having a tan, but I need the sun. I am often crabby when I don't get a little direct sun on my face. I think that everyone looks better with a tan, and I think that it's suspicious to not ever want to be outside for long or recognize the importance of being in and enjoying nature.

It's raining, it's pouring.

I need a car.
I really have fun on my scooter sometimes, I do, but it just sucks in the rain. I've been wanting a car for a while, because actually taking anything with me on the scooter is a bit difficult. If I want to go to the park and walk when I'm out and about, I have to take a backpack and carry everything with me. This isn't all that conducive to building speed or really taking a good, long walk.

These are the material things I'm praying for right now: a car, a bigger place to live, a job (?). So, a job isn't "material", but it's a thing. And I'm praying about it. Join me, won't you?

Oh, and since I haven't posted it before, this is basically what my scooter looks like. But it's black with a tobacco-colored seat. Looks a bit more substantial than this one. Perhaps the black is just more imposing. (It's hard to be imposing, though, when you sound like a leaf-blower. Poor girl.)

New TV Lust!

As time marches on, and with it, the shows that I tune into change, new boys, new men, new eye candy end up parading their way in front of me. On a small scale, we have Chris Nuñez from Miami Ink, the old standby of Sawyer on Lost, and even the occasional Jack on Lost. The big guns, though, the ones that make me sigh just a little, are Jesse Spencer from House (in addition to Hugh Laurie himself, who has already been mentioned on this blog) and Henry Ian Cusick from Lost.

They are the ones who make me smile. Yes, I know that Jesse Spencer is a bit young, but he's blond, Australian, and his character on House used to be in the seminary. I mean, he's basically irresistible.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I guess I'm naive.

I don't know why, but I am surprised and saddened whenever I read of another Hollywood couple separating or divorcing. I'm actually disappointed for them, as if they were my friends. I stupidly keep waiting for one of them to surprise me and just be committed to each other and stick it out. I suppose that it is also childish on my part to think that the couples wherein at least one is a professing Christian should have a better likelihood of surviving. (Divorce rates are no different within the church than without, so it's a bit insane of me to think that way.)

As the rumors were flying, I really had a hard time believing that Nick & Jessica were going to divorce, and I stubbornly believed that they would work it out. (How? Spontaneous wisdom and maturity that has been completely non-existent in the past? That her ex-pastor dad would actually remember what he learned and back off or give wisdom? That her mother would grow a pair and remember who she was and what she taught her daughters?)

Even though I may be certifiable to expect wise actions to come from Mtv's Newlyweds, I did expect more from Reese & Ryan. I guess that they just struck me as smart and calm. I don't know. I know that I am not in their situation and that I have no idea what goes on in the lives of others, but that doesn't mean I'm not a little crestfallen. I would really love to see young people in Hollywood show some real character and difference from the rest of the world.

p.s. I guess that I'm also naive to think that I could actually use the correct punctuation on "naive" and that it would work correctly in the template. Oh well.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


My father-in-law might have Alzheimer's. That just sucks.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Happy! Joy joy!

It is NOT too late to donate to LLS and help me meet my fundraising minimum! I have one month after my event- so November 22nd. I have about $800 left, so anything you can do would really help.

Watcha waitin' for? Just click here. Or here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Medical Expenses-ARGH

Today I got to try to contact our health insurance company to straighten some things out, but this didn't really work out. Does that surprise you?

It really frustrates me that even with good coverage, we have so much money that we have to spend just on medical care. Both of us had issues that needed to be addressed within the past few months, so we were grown-ups and went to the doctor. References were made, prescriptions written, therapies attended, and bills were sent.

Shall we add in the dentist? Let's just say that there's a lot to be spent there. I feel that I really do need to find a job soon, and that is basically so that we can pay our doctor and dentist bills. How much does that suck?

I had forgotten about this little diatribe that I wrote while sitting in the dentist's office in September:

So, I've been pondering & wishing for socialized medicine. Even with good insurance, anything that requires more than one doctor's visit ends up becoming a hurdle. Follow-up, specialists, prescriptions, x-rays- it all adds up. And our dental insurance only covers one office in town. ONE. This office is so crowded that grown men are sitting in chairs with their knees practically touching. The sounds of cries and drilling are coming over the wall, and it's almost as if the whole place is specifically designed to wear down the spirit. It feels like we're all being punished. But I am grateful for the dentists and for the insurance that I do have.

Sometimes I have fantasies of running off to an island or some backwoods country where the tentacles of bureaucracy and western capitalism haven't reached, but I would miss the medical care. The movies. The toilet paper.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Completely Random

Sorry it's been so long, but I really don't have much to talk about. I am currently in chilly Michigan visiting friends and family. It hasn't been too bad here, but I do miss California. My husband went home yesterday and I found myself jealous that he got to see the family when he went to pick up the dog. Oh well. I'm glad that I am able to stay for another 11 days or so, because I really am enjoying this visit much better than the last, since I don't have to rush around and feel pressured to see people.

My random thought for the day is this: big crush on Hugh Laurie.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Book Funk

I've been reading like a beast for the past year or so, and I fear that this streak is coming to an end. Very little is grabbing my attention or keeping it for very long. I feel a little like an empress or queen being presented with jesters- "You bore me! Throw him to the lions!"

I do believe that I have started and stopped reading 6 or 7 books in the past month, and the two that I did finish weren't satisfying. In fact, one pissed me off. This situation is a little depressing because I do so love to read. I have a list of about 150 books that, at some point, I decided that I want to read, but as I scan the list at the bookstore, I just think, "No. No. No. Not now. Ugh. Why is that on here?"

This entertainment apathy started with movies quite a few months ago. As with the book list, I have lots of movies in my queue, and by the time they arrive, I often have no idea what they are or why I decided to rent them. Aside from DVDs of TV shows, most movies we rent end up sitting on the floor for quite a while before they are finally watched. Or before we try to watch them, decide that they're boring, and send them back.

I'm sure that there is a deep statement that can be made about our consumerism and constant need for entertainment, but I'm just not in the mood for that. There are thousands and millions of books and movies out there- WHERE ARE THE ONES FOR ME???

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Amazing Grace- I am a wretch

I had a bit of a breakdown/pity party last night thinking about how long I've been praying about being loving, trying to be a more gracious person, and still failing miserably. I thought of times I've been snotty, mean, judgmental, difficult- some from years ago. I'm not sure if the meat of this breakdown came from God or from Satan (if it was conviction or accusation), but I know that God used it.

I've prayed to be more gracious, to be full of love, and also to be humbled. I am thankful for the humble perspective that I gained through realizing how much I have in common with Paul and with all people on this planet: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Romans 7:15. I was glad when this verse came into my head last night, because even in my tears, the temptation was there for it to still be all about Me. But I don't run across anything that is uncommon to man, and I can always overcome.

It is so easy to be proud and to have no real grasp of the concept of grace when I don't have what people would consider huge sins in my past- no drugs, promiscuity, murder, violence. But I am no better than anyone, and nothing that I do earns my salvation or God's love. Grace is unmerited favor. A free gift.

I've been reading a book about grace and it has been focusing on God's grace to us so that we can see how little we deserve and, in turn, be more gracious to others. Everything I read I understood in my head, "yeah, yeah. Exactly. I don't deserve it", but it wasn't really clicking. I am extremely grateful for the small kick in the pants that I received, and I hope that I won't need further, bigger wake up calls in this area!

2 Corinthians 9:15

Monday, September 18, 2006

Why I heart myspace/the internet

I haven't written here in a while, and I have nothing new to say, but I thought that I would copy a blog I did a month ago on myspace:

This isn't a plug or anything, but a response to the many people out there who are so turned off by myspace and think it's full of sexual predators and freaks.

A shallow reason is because it is a place where I can pretend that my opinions count. We all design our pages and list what we like, and we get to feel like we are finally movie stars and people are reading about our favorite colors and movies in the pages of Bop magazine. This is fun.

The better reason is that it has expanded my social circle beyond the little, hand-picked group that naturally forms as time marches on. I have gotten to know people that may have otherwise stayed acquaintances or faded away altogether. I learn things about people that I didn't know, and I form new friendships that I probably wouldn't have had a chance to experience.

People still seem to look upon the internet with disdain or suspicion. We all tend to mock those who date people they meet online, or at least find it too weird to understand, but I'm starting to understand. Where I am right now in my life, I actually talk to more people online than on the phone, and definitely more than I talk to in person.

One of my best friends right now is someone I haven't yet met in person, but we have a real friendship and affection for one another. We talked on the phone for the first time last night, and it wasn't very different from conversations with some of my oldest friends where we think that we're almost done or don't have much to say, but it just keeps going and we ended up talking for an hour and a half. I think that's really cool.

I'm not sure if it's the product of an internet friendship or simply comes from our ages and stations in life, but it's almost like we laid our cards out on the table and had a little game of "Are You Sure You Want a New Friend?" Early in our online chatting, we were pretty honest about wanting friends vs. knowing that friends can be a big pain or take up time. Things like, "Well, I'm pretty anti-social sometimes, so don't be offended..." were said (mostly by me, but she agreed). It's probably a matter of age. We know that it is hard to make good friends at this stage, so we want to cut through the crap and tap-dancing.

A month after the original post, we now talk more on the phone than online. It seems sort of fake now when we chat online, like, "Why am I typing this when I can just talk to you?!" My friend's mother died last night, and I'm glad to be someone that she can lean on and I'm honored that I've been with her through this and she called me to let me know.

We're finally going to meet next month, and we are both quite certain that we will be boogery, crying messes when we do. I've had close friendships in the past where I couldn't have imagined not staying bestbest friends with someone, yet we drifted and lost touch, so I'm trying to keep a little bit of perspective before I put her in my will or something. (I jest.) But I would like to think that this is the Real Deal, and that even if we have times where we don't talk often, that we'll always reconnect.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Moral Legislation

I've actually been thinking about this topic since it's been brought up a bit lately. I'm sure that I have many conflicting thoughts about it, but today I have two things to say:

1) It is not the job of the government or the Church to make a bunch of rules about what people should or should not be doing. They are to be examples of what is right, and the Church is supposed to love people and bring them to Christ. I understand that government has a protective role and that could get murky, but I guess that I am in the conservative camp of "no big government" on this one.
Y'all know that I love California, but just in my short time here I see how it could turn into a police state "for your own good" down the road. Example? Sure. I gave blood the other day and I noticed that it there is a state law mandating that you stay in the canteen area for 15 minutes after giving blood. A STATE LAW!!!

2) I don't know if this conflicts with or goes right along with my point above, but this just made me laugh my butt off: The headline on says "Brangelina won't marry until all couples can."
Well, bully for them. Their respective histories display an obvious reverence for the institution of marriage. I guess that my main point is the self-importance and delusional tendencies of stars.

Update on Sept. 11, 2006 6:42 PM

I understand that the example I gave of the California law isn't "moral" legislation, it's simply stupid, but I guess that I feel it veers towards morality by trying to tell people what to do down to a micro-managed level. I am also aware that there are many conflicts to be had in this area and the whole concept of Government's role as protector.

The law about giving blood gets into the "my body, my choice" area, which can go in many different directions. My parents get completely bent out of shape by the seatbelt law, but I don't think that they want abortion to continue to be legal. The junior college here is now a non-smoking campus. I hate smoking, don't want to be around it, and I'm absolutely thrilled that there is no smoking in any bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, etc in California, but the entire campus being smoke free just rubs me slightly the wrong way.

We live in a fallen world and it is never going to be perfect. I don't expect that I or anyone else will ever have the exact solution, much less that any government will approach the ideal in this regard. It seems that we just have to roll with it and pray for wisdom for picking our battles, because for every law that I think is ridiculous and insulting, there were obviously enough people that did not think so who could be just as passionate about it.

Here is an article of partial relevancy to this topic and a whole 'nother can of worms. It's at Christianity Today. (What else do I read, seriously?)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Silly post, cont.

Maybe I won't stop watching so much TV. I am having some seriously whacked out, but interesting dreams!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Just give me back my romance novels, 'kay?

How was your Labor Day weekend? Mine was lovely, thank you for asking. We were going to visit family but decided that it just wasn't relaxing. Our Saturday was the usual weird combo: training, TV, church, drinking. We also had the regularly scheduled late-night runs to the grocery store and Blockbuster, but I think those were last night, not on Saturday.
Both yesterday and today we went to the park to walk and even took the dog. She was mostly good and was nice and tuckered out on the way back. Today we took our chairs and sat by the lake reading for a few hours. Very, very lovely. Have I mentioned my love for California? Oh, that's right, I have.

I am not going to read all the books I checked out about feminism. I'm just not going to do it. Why? Because I don't want to and I don't have to. I'm going to skim them to get a feel for the history and what the current ideas are, but that's about it. What I've basically learned is that, as much as some of the "mainstream" feminists would like to make you think otherwise, there is no one definition of a feminist. There is the common thread of acknowledging an oppressive history and wanting continued expansion of freedom and respect for women here and abroad, but that's about where the commonality ends. So, just as I challenge some people's notion of what a "normal" Christian is, I'll go ahead and embrace the label of feminist and sometimes I'll explain myself, and sometimes everyone can just suck it!

As far as the "liberal" label, I think that I'll put that one back where I found it. The ideological baggage that comes with "liberal" or "conservative" just is too much nonsense to deal with, so I'll stick with my middle-of-the-road, independent, sometimes here, sometimes there non-label which has done pretty well for me for the last 16 years or so.

Now, I can slowly (v-e-r-y) finish reading A Generous Orthodoxy and perhaps get back to my fiction. Where is that vampire book I had?

Friday, September 01, 2006

And now for a silly post

I've been having Project Runway dreams. THANKS, BRAVO! Last night there was also a dash of Six Feet Under, and also Christa Alberts was there. (Old friend.)
The night before last was Kayne from PR, Anthony Bourdain, an island inspired by the last leg of Treasure Hunters, and I was advising on a PR task because it was the same as when my leg of The Amazing Race went through the day before. Plus, lots of drama.

I think that I may be watching too much TV.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What hath Oprah wrought

I channeled my inner Grandma the other day and wrote a letter of complaint to O Magazine. (I also wrote a letter of praise to novelist Carolyn Parkhurst, and she wrote back to me, but that's not what I'm talking about here. It's just cool.)

The subject of my complaint? Stationery. Not just any old printed notecards, but ones designed by Kate Spade and featured in a multi-page spread in the September O. Stationery that costs $189 for 50 calling cards (that's a boring design, and one of the cheapest ones, too.)

I am not often one to shake my fist at excess or deny anyone the right to have nice things- if you know me, you know that I greatly enjoy shopping and don't like cheap crap. But, as the Slacker's Prince often points out, our worldview is very much shaped by our lower-middle class upbringing. My definitions of "cheap" and "expensive" are VERY different from Oprah's definitions, or the definitions of many people that I meet here in California. Either way though, I find it vulgar to spend that kind of money on cute paper products when there are starving children in Africa.

Which brings me to the conundrum (dare I say "hypocrisy") that Oprah creates on a weekly basis. Oprah defines what is good, acceptable, desirable, and worthy of attention for millions of people worldwide. It sounds glib for me to use "starving children in Africa" in a guilt trip, but those African children are some of the people that Oprah cares most about in this world. Yet she can have an episode about her trip to South Africa air on a Thursday, and then next Tuesday the wildly popular "Oprah's Favorite Things" episode airs, where she gives away televisions, jewelry, cheesecakes, handbags, and other things that have caught her fancy over the year.

Is it impossible to both have extravagant things and provide real support for charities and worthwhile causes? No, it is not impossible. Mostly for Oprah and the SuperRich. Am I saying that Oprah doesn't do enough or that she shouldn't like Burberry jackets? Not at all. What I would like to consider is the fact that most people cannot both make a real difference for a ministry or charity and save for the latest Balenciaga dog collar or Prada silk tampons. So Oprah is sending a very mixed message to her viewers: You can make a difference! You need this flat-screen TV! You need to and can do something about the situation in Africa, or for women in Iraq, or for the kids who can't read in your city! $180 moisturizer is the only way to go!

Which is the priority?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

An epiphany, but not as impressive

I can't seem to put what I want to say into paragraph form, so you get bullet points:

  • I have wandered both geographically, spiritually, and professionally for most of my adult life.
  • I don't have many of what the cool kids like to call "accomplishments".
  • Sometimes this makes me feel like a loser.
  • There are better ways to look at this.
  • God is keeping me humble, being that I'm so fond of being a smarty-smarty.
  • I'm supposed to give thanks in all situations.
When I examine things just from my point of view, I love my life and I like all that I've done and everywhere that I've been. It's just when I think of how others are looking at me that I get all defensive. Which is stupid. I guess that I also think, "I should have done/been more," but that is pure vanity.

I started writing this yesterday, and today I feel much better about things. I suppose that writing while exhausted doesn't do anyone much good. It just results in whining.

I got this Bible verse in an e-mail message today: "The vision is for an appointed time. Though it tarry, wait earnestly for it, for it will surely come." (Habakkuk 2:3)
That pretty much says it. I know that God is doing things in and through me and one of the things that He has been trying to beat out of me is my need to control things, so I get to float. But I'm floating with purpose- being transformed and molded, so I need to do so with more appreciation and peace.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Well, nothing really has been new.

I see that I haven't written anything here in a couple weeks, but there hasn't been a lot to talk about. I haven't finished my exploration of feminism and what my definition will be, but it's always bouncing around. I'm just so tired of the old stereotypes of what makes a feminist, a Christian, a liberal. It's all one, big, churning mass of thought right now, so not too great to write about, but here are things that are informing the internal debate:

A quote from Irish writer/feminist Rebecca West that I found through a high school friend:
I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

An excellent (so far) book that I'm reading with a title too long to include, so just follow this link. The subtitle should tell you where I'm going with this.

So, what are these things doing for the debate? Well, I hadn't seriously considered the need to read the early feminists, but I guess that I need to do that. And up to this point, the book is making me firmer in some of my convictions about what a Christian should really be. And then that leads to the endless circle of "You're too judgmental. But now I'm judging you." So I guess that I shouldn't so much say, "what a Christian should really be," but rather "What I need to be."

I spent eight days with our California family, and that was very nice. Two-day trips every month or more are really not enough to truly get to know a large group of people and have good conversations, so this was really great. It was lovely to be able to spend four hours at a time talking with B and not feel like I'm ignoring the other members of the family.

Also, it was the first time that I actually felt that I would enjoy living there. But I don't want to live there! (harrumph) Well, it doesn't help matters when one of your favorite kids in the world (well, let's be honest- one of the only kids you like) says to you, "I really wish you guys lived here near us!" It's just that I love where we live, I love living near the ocean, and I love living in the Bay Area. The real desires have been to move closer to the water, closer to San Francisco, or all the way down to San Diego. This is why I wait on God to see how He directs our path.

Good for me! I actually got a real post out of the ether!
One last note: when doing the spell-check on this post, "Toronto" was suggested as a replacement for "doormat".

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why I do this

I've just spent the last hour or two listening to the podcasts of a guy from high school, one who I actually had a major crush on for about four years, but that is neither here nor there, I think.

You know what? It doesn't even matter. It doesn't matter what he is doing or what anyone else is doing. The point is what I am NOT doing. Anything. And now the phone rang and I had to talk for a few and get out of my pity party. Moving on.

My point is that I want so much more from myself. I want to be a part of the big conversations and to be smart(er) and know things. I fill this void by posting about things that don't matter much on discussion boards and vomiting out my opinions on minutae on myspace and here. I appreciate this blog and I love doing it because it is the only form of writing that I practice right now, which leads to the constant fight between writing in slacker/realistic form because it is my little corner and I can do whatever I want and trying to be grammatically perfect and write as if I'm forming the argument of a paper, just in case someone reads this page who doesn't happen to be one of my two best friends who already know what I am capable of doing.

Bill Hybels speaks of a "holy discontent" that God uses to show you where you should act. I know that this isn't completely what he means by it, but that phrase is what is in my mind right now. Perhaps this restlessness I feel is my holy discontent bubbling up in my direction. I'm in a place of transition. We'll see what's next.

I'm sure it's just me

Husband and I were both bitten by a dog this weekend. Nothing major at all; just a bratty chihuahua mix who was scared. I wouldn't say that I was upset afterwards, but I was shaken. Perhaps it was shock or something, but I was trembling for a bit. Now, here's the weird thing: even right away, I was almost glad for it. I don't know if anyone would understand this, but I look at it as almost a milestone of some sort. Let me see if I can explain.

I haven't been bitten by a dog since I was little, and not that I'm afraid of dogs at all, but no one really wants to be bitten, so there is always a little fear kicking around in the back of the mind: What if I get bitten? I'm chewed on pretty regularly by the various dogs in my life, but this was an angry bite and there is a bit of a hole in my hand right now. So here's the glad part: I was bitten, and it was no big deal. Like I crossed a line or something. Yes, it was just a little dog, not some big mutt trying to take a chunk out of my leg or anything, but I feel a little bit like, "Oh. Got that taken care of. I lived. Good to know. Moving on."

So that you can mentally prepare for an upcoming post: I am currently pondering feminism- its current definitions and my place in them. It's probably going to be a big one, and soon. Just so you know.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Copy of sad post from my training blog

I e-mail occasionally with a guy from high school who also goes to my old church in MI. He had mentioned a sick friend from church from time to time, but I didn't know who he was. From my friend's myspace page, I hit the page of another girl that I knew from choir. Her blog mentioned the same sick guy a few times and also mentioned his website. When I got to the his website, I realized that I recognized him. I don't know him, but I recognize him from church. I remember thinking that he was cute when I saw him in choir. Well, he died Monday from a very rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was only diagnosed 9 months ago (on my birthday last year) and his body rejected the bone marrow transplant that he received. I just read the past 6 months of updates and cried and cried. I know that I'm rambling a bit here, but basically I'm sad and also very glad that I'm doing what I'm doing with LLS.

If you haven't donated yet, please do so. If you have, thanks so much. Maybe donate some more. It's worth it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

World Events

It feels like the world (even the earth itself) is just going crazy right now. The fires here, the Israel/Lebanon thing, everyday there is something new in Iraq. I'm really bumming.

I know, I know. It's all about me and my feelings. I've just been aware & overwhelmed by world events for the past week or two, and I feel so helpless. I see Al Gore talking about the environment, I watched Syriana and have all that in my head, I'm reading the headlines about the Middle East.

What do I do? I cry and I pray. I ask God to tell me what I can do. For some of the situations, all I can do is pray. And that isn't a little thing as some people would think- it's a lot. But as a compassionate human, I want to make a difference that I can see and know about. Perhaps that is an area where my faith can grow- knowing that praying is making a difference somehow. And listening for God's voice to show me what else to do.

Psalm 122:6

Friday, July 14, 2006

New Shoes. Again. Oh, goodie.

I mean, I like buying new shoes as much as the next girl, but dropping $90 on running shoes for the second time in less than two months just hurts. But these should do a better job of cutting down on the excruciating pain, which is a plus in a shoe.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Summer Reality Shows

Two shows I am quite fond of right now: America's Got Talent and the World Series of Pop Culture. The first fills my need for American Idol, and the second makes me feel smart. Or like lots of my brain matter is clogged up with facts about Jessica Simpson and Hammer, but that I'm not alone.

So far, I know that I'm as good as the people on WSOPC. I'm pretty much getting all the same questions right and wrong, but I am truly impressed with some contestant's knowledge of what I think of as extremely obscure information.

I'm also watching Treasure Hunters, which is a very nice emotional replacement for The Amazing Race. And in TH, they actually have to FIGURE OUT CLUES!! Ooooh-aaaah. TAR used to have that. But the host of TH is a cyborg who will NEVER measure up to Phil, and it just isn't quite as fun as TAR. But it is its own thing, and I appreciate it. Hopefully they'll hang the editors they have now and clean the whole mess up a bit for a second season.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Oh, this is so funny.

I promise I'll only leave this up for a little bit. I just find it so stinking funny.

Rock Lobster
By Family Guy

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A thought on being a pedestrian.

You know, lady, when I'm on mile 8 out of 9.5, that is really not the time for you to try to hit me with your truck.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Death...I don't like it.

I miss my grandma. I think of her when something cool or new is going on, and I want to tell her. I think about her because I'm going to Hawaii, and she went a few times (I think) when I was young. To my mind, Hawaii is Grandma's. I wanted to tell her that my Uncle, her son, is going to be here in town a block away from my house and we're going to go out to dinner.

But she already knows.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

99 Degrees and all is mostly well.

It was 103 today. We don't have a/c. But I'm making it. Small bursts of activity with internet breaks between. There is sweat dripping down my side. There is no way I am making a hot dinner. Salad it is! If I can even muster the strength for that. Perhaps fruit and water.
This is the exciting prose you get today, but I felt that my near-misery needed to be shared with you, the loyal readers.

I went to the doctor yesterday, and she is really cool. I like that she was at one with the fact that she didn't really know what was going on with me, and after looking up her theory, referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine. She was also friendly even though she was super busy, so big points for that.

I'm trying to clean my room, which is frustrating because there isn't enough room for a lot of things, but I am trying. I clearly don't care a lot about the state of the bedroom because there are suitcases sitting there with things in them from a month ago. Hey, I don't spend a lot of time in there. As long as the bed is cleared off at night, we're usually good. Though I do occasionally heave a sigh or two when we just transfer clothes from the bed to the hope chest, dresser, or floor.

Moving has come up as a possibility, and I look forward to this because I can get rid of a lot of things again. That would be exciting. Yes, I could get rid of these things anyway; you're wise to suggest it. But it's not like I'm a pack-rat and there is all of this extraneous junk around-I am in love with getting rid of things. The things that I would get rid of were we to move would be actual useful things that I know we can just buy more of later when we need them.

Let me back up a minute- any move would be into a furnished apartment and temporary and elsewhere, so we would have next to none of our things for a good length of time. I imagine that what we would take would be necessary movies, books, clothes, and CDs. Other things would go into storage.
But this is putting the cart before the horse. Updates to come.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Knife Safety

I am such a goober. I was washing a bread knife last night and decided that the jagged edge should be pulled across my index finger. Yum. Now it hurts, but I have a Bob the Tomato bandaid to help me through it. And I'm afraid of the dishes.

Monday, June 12, 2006

New Band

Get thee straight over to the Gnarls Barkley website and listen to them. I am obsessed, I tell you. I have them in my head all of the time.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Spirituality and My Corner of the Internet

I was waiting for some moment of clarity or inspiration so that this entry would be perfect in explaining how I feel, but I don't think that moment is on its way, so I'll go ahead with it:

In poking around the blogosphere and myspace, I notice that many people have their faith right out there for all to see. Their answers to "Who would you like to meet?" are "My Lord and savior" and things of that nature. Their "About Me" sections are full of how much they love God and how all they want to do is serve Jesus better, etc, etc.

My reaction to this? Guilt. Which I know isn't from God, but there it is. I wonder why I'm not more like that; why my first instincts and answers aren't to give those type of answers. Having gone to a Christian high school, this has always been an issue for me. I look at the ones that are overtly spiritual and wonder what's wrong with me or why I don't love God as much as they do.
And I know in my mind that this is crap. Periodically, I know it in my heart- but it comes and goes. Jesus and I are likethis, and I am on my own path. I don't have to prove anything to anyone. "but but! I'm going to be a pastor! someday..."

And there's also the issue of whether these people are all really like that. If it really was their first instinct to have their myspace be their Christian calling card. I would think that not all of them are like that. Maybe it is their first reaction because they want to make sure to put it out there for reasons of insecurity, not that they are only ever thinking about God. But I know that some of them are like that. I never have been.

I don't go up to people on the streets or witness door-to-door. Some would call it a copout, but I don't- I live my life for God. I love people- that's actually my biggest goal. I want people to know that I love them. I want to be a friend to people and have them trust and rely on me and know that they are loved by me and by God. I do bring up faith with people. Quite often, actually. I've talked to strangers about God at parties- I let it happen organically.

Two quotes, one oft-used but still good, one probably unknown to you:

Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary, use words.
attributed to St. Francis of Assissi

This one is from Beth Moore's book Believing God. She calls these the phrases that make up your shield of Faith. I love them:

God is who He says He is.
God can do what He says He can do.
I am who God says I am.
I can do all things through Christ.
God's Word is living and active in me.

These help me to confirm who I am when I doubt it. Obviously, they lead me back to other things I know and what the Bible says about me. Maybe someday I will be more like "those people", but they aren't better than me or smarter or closer to God. They are walking their own walks and it is their business. I am working out my salvation with fear and trembling.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Shoes I Got Sunday

Not girly, but I'm happy. I needed the top ones; I've wanted the bottom ones for quite a while. And they were on sale!! Yay.

Also, there was no manipulation of my husband to get these, even though I said that I made puppy dog eyes at him. It was totally up to him whether I got either of them.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday in San Francisco

I got new shoes today!!!
I also got some workout clothes, but I'm more excited about the TWO pairs of shoes that I got. I needed new running shoes because I just about wanted to cut my feet off after my training walk yesterday, but the awesome store where we went in the Presidio also had some Simples I've had my eye on for only $30! I made puppy eyes at my husband and they were mine! I also got some high-falootin running socks, so we'll see how those work.

It's funny: this is really the first time I've been into a sport since high school, but my husband and I have always enjoyed sporting goods stores and could spend lots of time and money there. We're poseur athletes.

Since the store was in SF, we went ahead and drove around a bit. We went in the fort under the Golden Gate Bridge, and that was fun. There were sailboats and windsurfers in the bay- it was just beautiful. People everywhere, running, playing with dogs, riding bikes. I love it so much.

We also drove around town a bit, and I really feel like I'm over it. I've been feeling like a big loser for the past six months because I hadn't really been to the city yet, but I realized that it's just a city! I like where I live A LOT. I don't need a big, huge metropolis. So, I'm no longer intimidated by it- if there is somewhere I need to go, I'll go, but I don't feel the need to say that I've been there. I've been a bit, and it's enough. (In case you're in shock, I don't like New York either.)

And? I don't like the steep hills. We started going up Lombard Street and I finally snapped at my husband, "Get me off this street!" I've seen it enough on TV, and we saw it from another view when we were driving by. It was just too stressful for me.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Oh, the American Idol finale

Blech. He's not my Idol. But Katherine isn't that great, either. I mourn for Elliot.
I will say this: I had a kissing dream about Taylor Hicks. It was okay, but he was a tad jerky.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bumps and bruises

It has been a while since I've posted, and there are a few things I want to talk about, but just not right now. What I will mention is that I had my first fall on my scooter a couple of days ago. It wasn't huge or tragic, but it wasn't fun.
Thankfully, I was in my driveway, not on the street, and my father-in-law was there to help me pick up my bike. I think that I could have gotten it on my own, but I was a little wigged out at that moment. I was just trying to do a tight turn and the throttle got away from me and the scooter just slid out sideways. I scraped my arm up- it's all ugly and purple- and I felt like I got punched in the back, but all is well. Thank God that I had my jacket on and decided against wearing shorts.
I had been coming around to the idea of maybe getting a motorcycle in the future, but I am firmly off of that right now. I barely wanted to ride my scooter after that, but I have a few times now, so I'm okay. I was mostly sad about falling. And I felt stupid.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Will & Grace Finale

I laughed a few times, and I got a little choked up at the end, but that was it. I thought that I would cry and cry, but nay. They sort of ruined it with that idiotic "Best Friend" song, which I do believe is by Queen. Boggles the mind, the stupidity of that song.
Why am I posting this? Dunno.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

More American Idol

Okay, are the judges on crack? Sometimes I think that they are. Katherine's third song was so rockin' and awesome, and they were blech about it. It was the same a few weeks ago when she did " Black Horse and Cherry Tree". Did her 1st song suck? Oh yeah. And her "Over the Rainbow" being the best performance of the entire competition? If you mean of any season, Simon, you are sorely mistaken. I understand that you were trying to exactly reproduce Fantasia's "Summertime", but it just didn't happen. (The link above is to the CD version, not her original AI performance, which was better and gave me the stinkin' chills.) Edited on 6/15- I think the link I have now is to the original performance, though it may be the finals of that same season.

ERGH!!! I do NOT want Taylor to win, and obviously he is the crown prince. He was not as good as they claimed tonight.

I guess that I'm more bitter than I expected that Chris is gone. Maybe I'm cranky about the lack of eye candy. *sigh*

Elliot is who I have voted for the most over the course of this season, but he has bored me a bit the past few weeks, and I think that his voice is a little shot. I'll still vote for him, though.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Did I Tell You...

...that there was a gang-related shooting at the end of my block last Monday? No? I didn't mention it? Well, there was.

I knew that something was going down when I left the house around 6, and then the street was blocked off with tape, police vans, and media when I got home at 8. So, I wandered down the street to see what was up. Two neighbors I happened upon told me that 3 people were shot and that 2 were dead. Great!

Down by the park, I saw two other neighbors- ones that I know. So, I asked what was up and was told that they had been on their porch when about 5 shots were fired. Good times!
They had the CSI numbers by glass and stuff on the street and were taking pictures.

I don't really have to worry about gangs taking over the place, because the people involved weren't from this area of town. It just so happens that there is a park at the end of the street where people like to loiter, deal, and do drugs while children play on the swings.

What? Why are you looking at me like that? I didn't tell my parents. No way.

Monday, May 08, 2006

No Title Today

First things first- I miss my husband. He is currently in FL for 2 weeks of training, and I'm not happy about this. I mean, I'm a loner and all and used to my own time, but I don't think it's too healthy for me to be inside my own head and in my own company 24-7 for 2 weeks straight.

I did go to visit family, and it was nice, but I'm still a little weird.
BLECH- I need to get out of the funk I've been in.

Second things second- I love California! Not for any new reasons, but just more of the beauty of it. Flowers and creeks and birds and hills. Just awesome, and I feel that just about everyday. I thank God that I live here and still have to pinch myself sometimes.

And C) The security at the local mall ride Segways. Now, I have been intrigued by Segways and they do look hella fun, but the security guards just look like total idiots riding around in and around the mall on these. Serious goobers, and even I want to beat them up for being nerds when I see it.
Gob got away with it on Arrested Development because he is supposed to be ridiculous and Will Arnett is seriously hot.

Have a new band that I love- Thrice. I know that they've been around for a while and I'm a bit late to the game here, but they're pretty awesome. Check 'em out.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I'm breaking down and talking about TV.

American Idol, specifically. I had sort of avoided putting book, movie, and TV reviews here. I'm not sure why- maybe I just was thinking it was a cheap way to fill writing space and I wanted to explore my thoughts more or some such rubbish. Anyway, I have to talk about AI right now, all my friends are abed, and the TWoP boards are too danged cluttered!

So, I basically agreed with all the judges tonight. After Katherine sang Whitney, I was sooooo afraid that they were going to love it, because it sucked. I don't hate Katherine at all- well, maybe a little because she is too pretty to live, but she's cute and nice (seeming) and sings well, but Simon was totally on when he said that for someone to come out and sing a Whitney Houston song, they are claiming that they are as good. I've always thought that with Whitney, Mariah, Christina Aguilera, even Kelly Clarkson. For you to sing one of these big songs is pretty ballsy and you are trying to say that you are just as good as them, and most people ARE NOT. Sorry, Kat. And Holy Boobies! Ryan had to practically grit his teeth to not look at them.

I have loved Elliot right from the beginning and continue to vote for him almost exclusively. His voice amazes me every, single week. I am always surprised by how well he sings, although I do agree that he can be a smidge boring at times.

Taylor makes me frustrated when he doesn't sing a song as well as I know he can. It felt like he was being lazy, nervous, and just wanted to get through the beginning of the song so that he could get to the higher part and do his thing. Shame on him! He's done it before, though.

There have GOT to be songs out there that are appropriate for Paris. She amazes me, but I do get tired of her smoky jazz voice. I like her straight voice a little better.

I have liked Chris from the beginning- mostly because he's smokin' hot, but I also think that he's good. That said, he has been starting to bore me with his Frozen Asshole Robot Rocker thing. (Please excuse the language- it's just the title I came up for him during the show, and it stuck.)
Unfortunately, my DVR changed channels to tape Scrubs before Chris was over, so I didn't get to see the whole thing and the praise that the judges apparently gave him.
What I did see? RAWR

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Grown-up Giggles

Not many adults giggle, but one of my friends does, and I just love it. It's not like something out of poetry where, when she does it, it's like the breeze on a summer day or somesuch. It's small, not especially girly, but a giggle all the same. When I think about it after the fact, it makes me supremely happy. Yes, I will get a little poetic for a minute and say that it almost makes me cry.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I heart the dollar store

You know, there are long stretches of time in which I completely forget about the dollar stores. I may even come to disdain them during those times, but every time I go back in, I am instantly smitten again.
If you haven't been, do check one out! Once we got married, my husband and I started filling each other's Christmas stockings at the dollar store. Sometimes it includes junk, but I quite often find what I'm looking for there.

Toothpaste? Check.
VHS tapes? Check.
Wrapping paper and gift bags? Oh, yeah, baby. Never buy them anywhere else.

And there are always surprises. Yesterday was my first trip in a long time, and I went in specifically looking for tapes, but I also came upon a bath pillow, cute magnetic notepads, and decorative rocks (aquarium-type). All things that I had been wanting to buy, and would have paid abour $4 or $5 for them somewhere else. Love it.

Side note for today:
I went to see American Dreamz today. The reviews have all been lukewarm, and I guess that I'll have to say that my impression is just a tad bit above that. I definitely laughed out loud a few times- mostly at the American Idol stuff. Yes, it could have been funnier, and it sort of fizzled towards the end, but I'll give it a 45-degree tilt of the thumbs up.

ETA: another reason I was happy about that movie was because Adam Busch was in it. He was Warren on Buffy, and I think that I always liked him because he reminds me of my sister's ex-boyfriend, who was more like a brother.

Aren't you glad that I put in that rambling sentence? I know that you are.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Something Nice

I had a brush with one of life's pleasures today- hot guys who are super nice.
When I was in college, I referred to the species as guys who actually made me feel like I had a chance, although I knew that I did not. There was one guy who worked at the coffee shop at UofM-Dearborn. Awesome guy, totally breathtaking, sweet as could be. Treated everyone the same, flirted, made me blush.

A guy who works at a store that I frequent is of this variety. Not stunning, but the Hot Cool guy. Slightly skater-ish, looks like he could be a jerk or at least slightly "too cool for you", but he isn't. Every time I deal with him, it surprises me a little that he is so nice. He probably doesn't realize that he's a hottie. Of course, I'm married and he has a girlfriend, so there is none of that fear of anyone getting the wrong idea. Just good-natured jokes and conversation. *sigh*
He's nice.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Impressions of Southern California

Well, I meant to post this while I was still on vacation so that my impressions would be fresh and whatnot. Now, I forget all the terribly deep things that I was going to say, so bother.


Okay, now that we've got that out of the way. I absolutely adore Southern California. I love all of California, but I'm really a heat and beaches kind of girl at heart. I really feel that California is the prettiest place I've ever been or seen. It just takes my breath away from top to bottom. (Well, the middle part up I-5 takes it away for bad reasons--ugh, cows and urine smell.)
I was so happy to see the beaches and all the mountains- I've learned that I'm a BIG FAN of mountains. Well, seeing them, not driving in them. I could take a picture of every mountain I see. I won't show them to you, I promise.

I asked God to never take away my child-like enthusiasm and wonder with the ocean and all of His creation. I cried, I clapped, I was giddy. I just love the ocean. Of course, mofo is COLD! Not Lake Superior cold, but not too far.

While still on the freeway, I announced to my husband that I was going to find a job and stay there and he could mosey on down with our things whenever he felt like it. Needless to say, this did not happen. I can't live away from my man. And I don't want to work full-time. Together, those add up to one residence and one zip code.

2) The San Diego Zoo is a big rip-off. Maybe I'm being harsh, but I went there with very high expectations. Pretty much everyone knows that it has the reputation as the best zoo in the world, blah blah blah. I've gotta tell you that I won't be going there again. Especially not for the price. We paid $32 each to get in and have access to the bus tours, so I was expecting a spectacular experience. No such luck.
It is a nice zoo, don't get me wrong, but I'm telling you that the price really weighs into my opinion. I have been to zoos that I'm much more fond of and cost a LOT less. I adore the Houston zoo- small, awesome children's zoo, just the perfect size- and I think that the price was raised to a whopping $5 when it went private. It was $2.50 the first time I went.
We went to the St. Louis Zoo last summer and had a lot of fun- free. Free!!

3) Seriously, I had commentary and observations all ready to go while we were down there. Gone! And to whom do I owe the honor of this inane entry? The hotel we were in. Nice hotel, lovely, upscale, total cheapskates. We drive around the country a lot, and I can tell you that most of the seediest, bottom-rung motels out there advertise free high-speed internet access and free local calls. Did our lovely, citified, three-star, business popular hotel have these things? Nope.
One time we used their "business center" because we needed to get online and look at our bank, look up a map, etc. That cost $5 for about 3 minutes. My husband had to go online to send in some paperwork so we dialed up a few times using the phone (high-speed was $10 for not even 24 hours). Cost of 4 local phone calls over the course of our vacation? $11.

4) We did Mexico all wrong. I can now say that I've been, but I don't feel that it really counts.
We walked across the bridge to Tijuana and stayed for 4 or 5 hours. I didn't have a map, we didn't take taxis, so we just plodded around looking for the museums I had heard about and anything off of Avenida Revolucion. Argh. Prostitutes. Broken-down buildings. Pharmacies. Guys yelling at us to go into their stores. It was bad, but I know that it a lot our own fault.

We did happen upon a very nice park/square once we got out of the touristy part. It was a lovely, shady place with a big grandstand in the middle. Old people and families covered the playground and the benches. We sat for a while to rest our weary feet and watched some kids play with these zoomy, squealy balloons that zipped all around when you let them go. It was fun.

I was also glad to speak Spanish. Of course, I was stupid and shy sometimes about it, but mostly I stepped up to the plate. I just don't understand the times when I got shy about it. My brain shut down and I just stood there, while my husband tried to figure out something in English. I'm weird sometimes. Luckily, my man is, too, so he has to put up with me.

What number is this? 5?
5) I can totally live as a surf bum/skater-type. I loved all the skater boys of all ages. I loved the little beach towns and the surf shops. We both plan on learning to surf next time we're down there- my husband is under the impression that he will have no trouble at all being good at it. We'll just have to wait and see.
I loved all the tattoos (I was REALLY jonesing to get one), the clothes, the vibes. I would be perfectly happy dressing like a little surfer girl, and my husband wearing shorts and t-shirts and sandals all the time.

I know that the fact that it was sunny down there and rained for, like, 3,000 days straight up here has a lot to do with my opinion, but I could really be happy down there. I have learned over the years how much weather has to do with my happiness, and it is just awesome in SoCal.
I will say this, though- San Diego is often said to have the perfect weather- hot sun, cool breeze.
Well, I'm not really down with breeze, especially cold. So, it has that marked against it. Of course, it was only in the high 60's last week, so I may change my tune in July.
Also, the tap water is pretty bad. Not horrible, but not good. Water is a big deal to me, so we may have to do bottled, which I hate, were we to move there.
So there!! Two strikes against San Diego! (sort of)

I'm done for now. I'm sure that I'll have more later. Lucky you!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Baby Names

We decided a while ago that we aren't having kids. We just don't want them, but my friends and family members just keep reproducing! I suppose that we need them to do so in order to go on, etc. I do have a point here. The point is that the sad, oddly disappointing, I don't really know thing about not having kids is letting go of the names I had picked out so long ago.

My two best friends are preggo and I was knocking around online looking for middle names for the upcoming girly, and it really is fun to do. It's not that it's really sad, because I really don't want kids at all. I guess it is just a form of vanity- you think that the names you have are so cool and your children will bear them with grace and dignity and the glory of your wise choice. I guess I'll have to stick with witty names for dachshunds.

In related news, we visited family this past weekend- there are 12 kids involved in that venture, including one who was only born last Wednesday. Mind you, these are all excellent kids, cool kids, fun to be around in short bursts, but they just confirm our decisions over and over again.

It's like I'm already 80 years old when a bunch of them are together. "No, you cannot climb on me." "No, I don't want to play. I'll watch." I feel a great freedom in being able to say 'no' because I don't have to prove anything. I'm not nannying these kids, they aren't students of mine, and everyone knows I'm a mean non-breeder, so I can let the "not good with kids" misconception fly.

Of course, my husband plays the Fun Uncle/Cousin card and runs around, yells, lets them climb on him, even attempts board games. This way, I'm sure there are knowing glances and conversations along the lines of, "Oh, he would be such a good daddy!" and then I'm the mean one hoarding her uterus and not letting my boy thrive, etc, whatever.

Basically, since women are "supposed" to want to have children, I am usually the focus of all conversations of the "Are you sure?" type and regrets and junk. It's like my husband had nothing to say in the matter, and I wrestled him down one night and snipped the giblets, cackling maniacally the whole time about the demise of the family name.

Have I blabbed on enough? I suppose so.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Back to it.

Well, it has been over a year, and a lot has changed.
First things first: last night's episode of Will and Grace was just about the worst episode ever.
Many people have been bashing the show for a few seasons, but I have stuck by it, but last night was truly a stinker.

Anywhoodle. I'm out of the horrible, no good, very bad job that I had before. In fact, I'm out of the state. We have moved to sunny California where it is currently 54 degrees and raining.
My best friend thinks that my life is somehow more interesting or worthy of chronicling because I've moved, drive around on a scooter, and pet dogs in my spare time. Maybe it is.

I'm not working, which is awesome, so I'm trying very hard to be a good "homemaker". Thankfully, my husband has deliciously low standards. I feed him from time to time and, a trick I learned from a friend, run the vacuum so that it appears that more has been done than is true.

I jest. I'm definitely not as industrious as my mom would like, but things are in very good shape if you compare them to the entirety of our marriage, or even my own personal cleaning history.

So, how does a girl like me fritter away the day? Do I workout, tutor the homeless, raise children, or learn Finnish? Nope. I read. A lot. To tell you the truth, I mostly read romance novels right now. I know, it's sad. But they're entertaining and I can tear right through them.
I do believe that it's a phase, though. Maybe. Perhaps I will exclusively read romance novels and children's books from now on. We'll see how my vocabulary expands then.

Aside from reading and the occasional domestic chore, I do, in fact, pet dogs. There is a training school for service dogs nearby and I help out a few hours a week with phones and also playing with dogs. It's a rough life, I tell you. The sad part is, I've become so accustomed to my hermit lifestyle that I often resent the two whole hours per week that I have to go. Sometimes, I'm sad.

To my 3 readers, ta ta for now. I'm sure that I'll be back with more inanities within a few days.
(Who are my 3 readers? you ask. Well, I know of 2 people who have happened by at least once, and my best friend has read when I sent her the link. Next step, Oprah's Book Club!)