Sunday, December 31, 2006

100+ Things About Me

1. I’m a Christian. I belong to a Lutheran church and I teach Sunday school. But, most of all, I am a Christian. Plain and simple.
2. I’m a liberal. I am a member of the Democratic party but I think I identify myself as a liberal. And even more than that, as an American.
3. I never thought I’d get married. But I actually found Prince Charming and got married at the ripe old age of 31.
4. I’m a joiner. I’ve always loved joining clubs and groups. I’m always looking for an opportunity to get involved and meet people.
5. I love volunteering and doing community service but it seems like I never have enough time to do everything that I’d like to do.
6. I am owned by one black and white cat named Toulouse.
7. I’m a Texan (fourth generation…not a fake Texan like the former President) living in California.
8. I have taken up knitting and sewing and I love it. It’s a meditation and it makes me happy to make things for people.
9. I love giving gifts and shopping for people. It is one of my great joys.
10. I am a big reader. I love surrounding myself with books. I collect signed first editions and my books are always one of the first things I unpack when I move. Getting them in order gives me a sense of comfort.
11. I’m a movie buff. I will see just about anything. Within reason.
12. I’m a cookie monster. I can’t control myself around chocolate chip cookies.
13. I adore Baskin Robbins peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.
14. My comfort food is macaroni and cheese.
15. I’m a highly sensitive person. Some might call me “high-strung.”   And they have.
16. I read the definition of “Success” commonly attributed to Emerson almost every day and I feel frustrated that I’m not achieving it.
17. I don’t suffer fools gladly.
18. I am impatient and I have a temper although I'm getting better at controlling it.
19. I like freebies and goodie bags.
20. I enjoy reading parenting magazines and celebrity entertainment mags.
21. I love cookbooks although I don’t do much cooking.
22. I'm a wee bit claustrophobic.
23. I would have liked to go into musical theater but I lacked talent.
24. I like traditional church services. Give me the standard litany and old-fashioned hymns. Electric guitars and Starbucks coffee cups don’t belong in my idea of church.
25. I have a weird sense of humor and love to laugh.
26. I like shows that have conspiracy angles like “X-Files” and “Lost” and "Fringe."
27. I love the shows on pay channels like HBO although I feel guilty subscribing to them.
28. I have been known to get involved in reality shows much to my embarrassment.
29. I became a mom on May 18, 2008.  I never thought it would happen. It's my greatest blessing.
30. I work in a library although I’m not a librarian.
31. I actually have a Master’s degree in anthropology and museum studies.
32. I love to travel. I wish I could do it more often. On my wish list: Spain, Ireland, Thailand, Kenya, China, India, anything in South America.  And I have to get back to Italy.
33. I can’t stand to be hot at night. I have to have the room freezing cold to be able to sleep.
34. When I sleep, I have to have the covers pulled up under my nose.
35. I’m an only child and I am adopted.
36. My father died when I was 23. He was hit by a car while walking across the street. I miss him every day.
37. My maternal grandfather was in the Texas House of Representatives. He survived being picked up in his car by a tornado.
38. Although people will tell you differently, I am very shy person. I never know what to say and I am awkward in social situations. I find it difficult to make friends.
39. I never feel like I do enough for or give enough to other people.
40. I peaked in high school. My grades were good, I got in lots of honor societies and won awards and my potential was high. I burned out in college. Grad school was pathetic. But I finished.
41. I would love to own a bookstore. I pass an empty storefront where I live almost every day and imagine what it would be like to turn it into a children’s bookstore or a rare books bookstore.
42. I have a weird body thing where I think I am actually thinner than I am. I’m always amazed to see how big I am in photographs.
43. My husband embodies the top five on my list of characteristics in a man that I vowed I would never consider. Guess having all five together cancelled out my vow. Never say never.
44. I used to have a pretty bad shopping problem. I was trying to reinvent myself and ended up overdoing it. That and the fact that I love buying things for other people.
45. I love it when I get handmade things from my creative friends. Handmade gifts are the best. Second would be gift cards that allow me to have special outings with my loved one. (ie. movie gift cards or gift memberships to museums)
46. I love getting things in the mail. Especially random cards from friends. Nothing makes my day like getting a surprise card or package in the mail.  Real mail....not e-mail.
47. I am addicted to tall, non-fat, no whipped peppermint Starbucks mochas.
48. I can’t live without sparkling water.
49. I can’t leave a bookstore without buying a book.
50. I want to be runner. I really do. If I can just figure out how to get started and stay motivated.
51. I love shoes. No matter how much weight I seem to gain, my shoe size stays the same.
52. I’m like a child. I get really cranky if I have low blood sugar, if I’m hot or if I’m tired.
53. I hate my teeth. I’ve had braces three times and they still aren't the way I want them.
54. I have to sleep with two pillows….one for my head and one for between my knees.
55. Keb’ Mo’s music inspires me and makes me happy. So does Lyle Lovett's.
56. I have lots of favorite books but some of the best are POSSESSION by A.S. Byatt and a ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M Forster.
57. I am a chronic nail-biter.
58. When I was younger, I didn’t want to grow up. I liked being a kid. I still miss it.
59. I had a whole host of imaginary friends when I was younger. In fact, I had whole fantasy worlds. If only I had had a Wardrobe to go through.
60. I love body products and anti-aging products. I keep thinking I’ll find a miracle cure for wrinkles and perfect skin.  So far, I haven't. 
61. I was in therapy for several years. It didn’t help. But I have seen it help other people.
62. I had really bad depression for a few years. I think it was hormone-related.
63. I would love to drive a minivan someday.
64. I really really really love NPR.
65. I am an INFJ in the Myers-Briggs personality test.
66. I am a 4 (romantic) in the enneagram. (with #9 [peacemaker] coming in second)
67. I love getting dressed up in costumes. My favorite costume is my Lara Croft costume.
68. I really like a good Renaissance festival. And sometimes I even dress up.
69. I wish I could go to the theater more often. I really enjoy the symphony, ballet, opera and plays.
70. I am passionate about Shakespeare.
71. I am half Mexican and half Irish.
72. My mom's hot tea with lemon always makes me feel better.
73. Even though it was tough growing up there, I miss the community I grew up in in Dallas.
74. My favorite clothing stores are Sundance, J.Jill and Anthropologie. (and Neiman Marcus although I rarely buy anything) I almost exclusively shop for clothes through catalogs and I buy more children's clothing than clothes for myself now.
75. I really love driving around looking at Christmas lights. Gary thinks my fascination is crazy.
76. I enjoy a good night of board games and I'm constantly looking for new ones.
77. When I was younger, I really wanted to be a comedic actress.
78. I'm a member of the Junior League. (since 2002!)
79. I'm a member of my local Woman's Club. (it's kind of like the WI in "Calendar Girls" but with more food and alcohol) I'll be President in 2012.
80. Halloween is my favorite holiday but I love Christmas too. In fact, I love the whole holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year's.
81. I enjoy giving parties and having people over to my house.
82. I love taking baths. My bathroom is filled with bath bombs, bubbles and bath oils. It's my private time to relax and read.
83. If Gary would let me, I'd fill our house with delicately scented candles.
84. I have a compulsion to put things into order. Which is probably why I work in a library.
85. I used to have a preschool storytime. I think it is so fun to work with toddlers and preschoolers.
86. I enjoy singing even though I'm not much of a singer. I got a karaoke machine one Christmas and I used to go in the back bedroom and use it all by myself.
87. I can be very misanthropic sometimes. People can really frustrate me.
88. I love museums. I make a special effort to attend traveling exhibitions. Sometimes, I will even travel to a city just to see an exhibition.
89. I used to work in the Latin American Art department of the San Antonio Museum of Art. It was wonderful.
90. I was in a local sorority in college. I never thought I would join a sorority but these women were so cool that I did it. I regret that I wasn't more active in it.
91. I took piano lessons from age 5 through age 15. I didn't like it when I was taking lessons. Now, I find it relaxing.
92. I love to dance. I never took ballet although I wish I had. I did take tap when I was younger. And some jazz dance in high school.
93. I was a cheerleader in middle school. Along with 100 other girls. We were part of a pep squad that took turns cheering. I hated cheering. I loved the dancing.
94. I have a fear of cyborgs.
95. I have regular nightmares about Gary leaving me or something happening to Noodlebug.
96. It comforts me when my cat sleeps next to me.
97. Someone once described me as a combination of Mary Katherine Gallagher (from Saturday Night Live), Daria (from MTV) and Xena/Lara Croft. I see myself as someone more like Amelie (from the French movie of the same title).
98. All of my romantic sensibilities were formed by "A Room with a View." When I went to Italy for the first time, I searched for a handsome Englishman in a wheat field. I didn't find him. I went back years later with a handsome Italian-Irishman on my honeymoon. We stayed in the same hotel where the movie was filmed.
99. I can get very emotional about fictional characters in books and movies. They often become real to me.
100. I love being a mom. I hate being a full-time-work-outside-the-home mom.
101. The first Christmas present I ever specifically asked for as a child was a Nat King Cole record. I still love him today. (I'm a big fan of classic pop/jazz standards)
102. I have developed a new fear of being homeless. 
103. If I could just win $150,000 in the lottery my life would completely change.  I dream of getting out of debt.
104.  I wish I were creative enough to come up with a wonderful handmade product I could sell on Etsy. Instead, I spend way too much money on Etsy buying other people's wonderful handmade products.
105. If you have read this far, I'm impressed. One of my greatest desires is to be understood.

2007 Cometh...

Well, it's almost the new year. I can hardly believe it. 2006 was quite an eventful year for me. I quit my job of five years, sold my house, moved to California, got a new job....oh, and got married. I have now been married for six months. wow.

I was thinking back to other New Year's Eves today. New Year's Eve is typically a disaster for me. I have almost always had a bad New Year's Eve. December 31, 2003 was a particularly bad one. No one would commit to doing anything so I broke down and agreed to organize something at the last minute. We had a pretty large group and went to a restaurant for an all-inclusive dinner. Everyone hated it. And then we found out that the place didn't take credit cards and didn't have a cash machine. The whole thing was crowded and unorganized. Some of the group blamed me for the snafu. My boyfriend at the time was a particular jerk. I thought at one point that he had left me there. My close friend was particularly pissed off about the whole thing. Later that night, she attempted suicide. It was awful.

Four months later, I dumped my boyfriend. One of my friends who had been struggling with infertility told me that she would pray for me to find the right person. A month later, I did. I prayed for her, too. And that friend....she now has an almost two-year-old child. I think about that New Year's Eve of 2003 and I am amazed at how much has changed. I am now married to a wonderful man and living and working in a new place. Four of my friends have had children. I've let go of some friendships and made some new ones. Lots of changes.

This year, I would like to:

1) Strengthen family relationships and friendships ....I'm going to try and be better about keeping in touch with people.

2) Lose weight and get healthy....I'd like to start running.

3) Improve my knitting skills.

4) Start thinking about having kids.

5) Love my husband even more.

I can't wait to see what 2007 brings.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Bunco Night and Holiday Wishes

Well, we had our Woman's Club meeting last night and I learned how to play bunco. Now, if I just learned to play bridge and mah-jongg (sp?) , I think I'd be set. Actually, it was quite a nice evening. Bunco is pretty easy to play. Although it is all luck. No strategy. I'm not sure I like that. It makes me feel like I'm not in control of my own destiny.

Anyway, just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. (and Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa etc) I will be out of state for a week so I probably won't be able to blog. So, no freebies or boring posts from me for a whole week! But I hope your holidays are very merry.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas....

LBC Freebie of the Day

February 2 is Go Red for Women Day. It raises awareness about heart disease and women. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. I observe this day every year. If you sign up with the American Heart Association, they'll send you a free pin.

Red Dress pin

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Let it Snow!

I have been talking to my friends in Denver and they have been telling me all about the blizzard. I'm so jealous. I always loved a good Denver snowstorm. Usually, the library would never close, so I'd be stuck at work but people would still trudge over to the library for DVDs. If it was a really good snowstorm, I loved getting stuck at home. One big snowstorm, I organized my basement. There is a good feeling about not being able to go anywhere to get anything done. It is almost as if you have been given permission to relax a little bit. Or catch up on things. We don't get anything here but rain.

I really miss the snow.

In other news, I was excited to hear about HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS. Gary and I are currently working our way through "Chamber of Secrets." I have read them all but Gary hasn't, so some nights when we don't want to watch t.v., I read it out loud to him. It's a nice cozy thing to do. ;)

LBC Freebie of the Day

I hope this one works. We could all use a little "holiday cheer."

Pravda Vodka sample

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

LBC Freebie of the Day

Yogi Tea

Yogi Tea Sample

The Big Switch

Well, I'm going to try and switch over to the new Blogger today. I'm kind of scared. What if it doesn't work? What if I lose three years of blogging?! I'm going to try and remain positive.

In the meantime...

I listened to the President's press conference this morning....


You know what? The man is the President of the United States and he will have my respect for that. However, he makes me so mad when I listen to these press conferences. He acts like a petulant child. He is so rude to the press. Even when they are asking perfectly valid questions. One woman asked him if he would overrule his generals etc if they disagreed about sending more troops into Iraq. He basically refused to answer the question calling it purely "hypothetical." Then, he said to her in a very sarcastic way, "Nice try." Like instead of asking a perfectly reasonable question, she was trying to trick him. I don't understand why he is like that.

I got caught up on the Daily Show and the Colbert Report last night. I've been missing them both because I go to bed earlier now. But Colbert's commentary on Republican "cojones" vs. Democrat "cojones" really made me laugh. I especially liked it when he said that ladies can have balls but he prefers to call them "Thatchers." I love that Stephen Colbert.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

LBC Freebie of the Day

Pretty Feet and Hands rough skin remover

Pretty Feet and Hands Sample


Gary and I watched "Scrooged" last night for a little holiday fun. It is one of my favorites. There are so many good lines in it. I just have Albert Finney's "Scrooge" and "A Christmas Story" left and I will have watched most of my Christmas favorites.

I came into work today and had several little gifts on my desk. It was as if the Christmas fairy had come in the night and delivered treats to my desk. I was so excited! I finally got all of my gifts mailed and/or passed out. I have even found a few on my own doorstep that I promptly placed under the tree like a good girl.

It's hard to believe that Christmas is less than a week away. Where has the time gone?

I don't have a freebie for today. Yet. I'm pretty picky about what I post. It has to be a decent freebie with no strings attached. I'll keep looking but the freebies may be a bit sporadic from now on. I promise to keep posting them as I find them. If you are a freebie addict, I suggest starting a free junk e-mail account to use for registering for this stuff.

Monday, December 18, 2006

LBC Freebie of the Day

Reach Access Flosser--I just received this one two days ago.

Flosser Sample

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Lights and a Book Wish List

We went to the city this weekend because I wanted to see the decorations. Well, I was sorely disappointed. We only saw one outdoor Christmas tree. No garland. No lights. No decorations. It was disappointing. However, there were really cute adoptable cats and dogs in the windows of Macy's. That almost made up for the lack of general festiveness in the city.

As some of you may know, I collect signed first-editions on a small scale.

Here is my current wish list:

1. Thomas Pynchon, AGAINST THE DAY


3. William Goldman, PRINCESS BRIDE


5. any Jimmy Carter book that I don't have

6. Bill Clinton, MY LIFE

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hoops and Yoyo Fun!

My co-worker Donna gave me a Christmas present today! It was a Hoops and Yoyo Christmas ornament that plays three Hoops and Yoyo sayings. I love it! I'm going to keep it on my desk at work.

So, in honor of this terrific gift, I give you my favorite Hoops and Yoyo moment:

The Mincemeat Pie Bit

LBC Freebie of the Day

Well, I have now offered two weeks of freebies. I will continue to post them if people like them. So, if you want me to keep posting freebies, please drop me a comment.

Biz Stain Fighter in powder or liquid

Biz Sample

Holiday Party

Well, tonight is our office holiday party at my boss' house. Should be interesting. I haven't really had the chance to socialize with any of my co-workers yet. It's hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner. In a week, Gary and I will be flying home to Texas.

I wish I could share with Gary some of the traditions that I grew up. But I can't recreate some of them. One of my favorite holiday traditions growing up was a block party that one of my former neighbors hosted. When I was almost four, we moved to a house one block over from our former one. So, we still stayed in touch with all of our old neighbors. One of them, Libby, was a very sweet elderly lady who had been a nurse and had traveled the world. As she got older, it was difficult for her to decorate her home so she would host a holiday party every year and the neighbors would gather and decorate her tree and home. I looked forward to it every year. Her house would be so cozy. And everyone would bring treats to share. Libby always had a small gift for every neighborhood child. And, for a reason I can't remember, I always got to put the star on top of the tree. Evidently, that had been my job since I was too young to remember. And I was still performing the task into my teens. After decorating and eating, we would listen to someone read the Christmas Story from the bible and then we'd sing carols. Sometimes, one of the neighbors would bring his trumpet. It was so great! I really miss that. And Libby.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Kinder, Gentler Malady

As I read back through some earlier posts from a few years ago, I was struck by how frustrating my former job was. In every post, I'm whining or complaining about some aspect of my job. It was turning me into an angry and bitter person. I used to wonder why the people at the DMV were so grumpy. Now I know. Jobs like that can wear you down after awhile. And the part that makes me really sad was that I am really not *that* person. I'm not truly an angry bitchy person. (at least, I don't perceive myself to be) So, I took some time off (nine months) to reclaim some of myself. Now that I am working again, I'm starting to see the original workplace Malady coming out. The one who is fairly pleasant and like getting along with co-workers. The one with a sense of humor. And I like that. I want people to see me and think, "hey, that Malady girl is really a nice person." I shudder to think what people thought about me at my old job.

LBC Freebie of the Day

I just had to post this one. When I went to a Shecky's event, they had these in some of the goodie bags. My friend got one. They are for women who don't like wearing panties with jeans/pants.

Commandos sample

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

LBC Freebie of the Day

Eucerin Calming Creme

Eucerin Sample


I have never really thought of myself as a traditional person. Lately, I have come to the conclusion that I am more driven by tradition than I thought. I think that the holidays are bringing this to light. I have my little things that I like to do every year. Especially at certain holidays. There are specific things I like to eat, prayers I recite, decorations I use, activities that I pursue. Because that is what I have always done. And I tend to be pack rat when it comes to family things. I have my grandfather's LaZBoy and my grandmother's bedroom furniture. I have the rocking chair that my parents rocked me in. Quilts that my great-grandmother made. The fireplace tools that my great-grandfather made. Gary thinks my attachment to "stuff" is ridiculous. But those things help me feel connected to the past. I sit in my grandfather's chair and it reminds me of all of the times he sat in it. Every time I use the fireplace tools, I amazed to think that my great-grandfather used them for the same purpose. These things connect me to the past. It's sort of a more personal version of a museum. It's amazing to go into a museum and look at ancient combs from Egypt and think about the people that used them. It's even more amazing to look at something and think about your own family using it. Of course it is true that each of us has our memories of the people we have lost. But, sometimes, a particular item can recall memories that you may have forgotten. Especially smells. I am always tempted by the bold packaging on boxes of Coty face powder at the drugstore. My grandmother used that powder and every time I smell it, it brings her back to me. I guess I'm just sentimental that way.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

LBC Freebie of the Day

Soft and Glide deodorant --Scroll down page for link to sample

Soft and Glide sample

A Bad Way to Start the Day

Well, I am ashamed to admit this but I almost lost my temper this morning. It's been raining so I decided to go through the Starbucks drive-thru. (is that spelling right? it looks weird) Anyway, I decided to add a little something to my coffee so I asked for a bagel. The Starbucks guy said he would need to be sure they had some and that he'd be right back. So, while I am waiting for him to return, the people in front of me have already driven on. The guy behind me sees this and starts honking impatiently for me to move forward. I am still doing business over the intercom, so obviously I can't move forward yet. I gesture to the man behind me that I am still ordering and he honks again. I wanted to jump out of my car and throttle him. It was so rude! I understand that we are all in a hurry these days. And I understand that sometimes, some of us will space out and not realize that it is time to move forward. But really!!! I think some of us need a few lessons in patience! (including me)

Monday, December 11, 2006

LBC Freebie of the Day

You can get a whole bunch of Post-It freebies here. Just go to the site, choose one the ladies and then click on the "Free Stuff" tab on the right-hand side.

Post-It Freebies

No Surprise Here....

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Christmas Blahs

I love the holidays. I look forward to them every year. I decorated the house over Thanksgiving and got all the packages wrapped and under the tree early last week. And now I've been experiencing the Christmas blahs. Christmas will be different this year. I miss all the holiday fun in Denver. I had my little traditions. Taking the day off and going shopping and ice-skating with my girlfriends. Going to see the lights on the 16th Street Mall downtown. Attending the "Santaland Diaries" at the Bug Theatre. And the snow. I know I need to start my own traditions here but Gary isn't really into the holidays and I don't really have friends here yet so it's hard. Gary did take me to see a performance of some holiday readings this past weekend. And I stayed at home and watched "Miracle on 24th Street" to pep me up. Now, I just have to watch "Scrooged," Albert Finney's "Scrooge," and "A Christmas Story" and I will just about be caught up.

Friday, December 08, 2006

LBC Freebie of the Day

Here is a link for a sample of Olay Definity Intense Hydrating Cream. I love their stuff!

Olay Sample

The Other Type of Breakup

With the prospect of reuniting with a lost friend on the horizon, I've been thinking a lot about friendship breakups. Have you ever been through a friendship breakup? I think for women especially friendship breakup are a lot like romantic breakups. Some of the same feelings are involved. I've been through about four friendship breakups over the course of my life. Two of the people I eventually made peace with. We are now friendly although we won't ever be close friends again. But the others... Sometimes it's hard to get past the bitterness and the hurt. And sometimes, the feelings of betrayal. I decided I would reach out to one of those people yesterday. We'll see what happens. Probably nothing. But I still wanted her to know that, in spite of everything, I wish her well and I hope she's okay.

In happier news, today is National Brownie Day and three out of the four people in my department brought brownies. Woo hoo!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

LBC Freebie of the Day

Sample of Sunsilk Shampoo
(I tried this and ended up really liking it. My hair felt so soft!)

Sunsilk Sample

Big Night

So, we had a fun time at the restaurant event last night. There was quite a crowd. We got to drink some good wine and have some great food. We even met a few nice people. I don't tend to do well in crowds. I was getting ready to throw in the towel but we found a place to sit down out of the throng and then it got better. Tony Shalhoub, the actor, even showed up. We didn't get to talk to him but it's always fun to see a movie/tv star in person.

It's funny. I love going to charity events, martini lounges, events involving goodie bags (wink!), home tours, etc. But usually, when I get there, I get fed up with the crowd and want to leave right away. It reminds me of my time in a sorority. I would got to mixers and parties for about 15 minutes and then I would leave. Gary, on the other hand, never wants to go to these things but when he gets there, he has a good time. And he usually convinces me to stay. Maybe we are a good complement to each other.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

LBC Freebie of the Day

Noxema Blackhead Cleanser Sample

Noxema Sample

The Lure of the Goodie Bag

So, like most women, I love a goodie bag. When I first starting attending charity events, I was introduced to how great goodie bags can be. I've gotten some great swag. Makes me consider how fun it must be to be a celebrity who gets all kind of great free stuff.

Working on committees to put together events for the Junior League, I got to learn first-hand about what goes into gathering items for goodie bags. And it's hard work. But people love them and, often, they expect them.

The best goodie bags I have gotten have come from sample sales. Billion Dollar Babes has a nice end-of-year goodie bag that is not only filled with great swag, but also unzips into a garment bag. And Shecky's Girls Night Out bags are full of great full-size hair products and other freebies like Hane's panties. A few friends attended a Shecky's event with me and we had a lot of fun. It is $25 to attend (although they tend to offer 2 for 1 deals you can split with a girlfriend) and you get to do some shopping and have lots of free drinks. The other night, Gary and I attended an InStyle magazine party in the city and got a pretty nice goodie bag. It even had a plate in it! (a sample of Corelle)

Gary doesn't understand the lure of the goodie bag and walked out of the event without getting his. Phooey!

Tonight, we are attending a special event at our favorite local restaurant. We are told a well-known movie actor may be there. I doubt there will be a goodie bag but I know there will be lots of great food!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

LBC Freebie of the Day

I think I might start posting internet freebies that I find.

Today's is a sample of Folgers Lively Columbian blend. Follow the link and look in the lower
left-hand corner of the page.

Folger's Sample

One Word Meme

From Vieve:

1. Yourself: Bookish
2. Your spouse: Lover
3. Your hair: Brown
4. Your mother: Outgoing
5. Your Father: Missed
6. Your Favorite Item: books
7. Your dream last night: weird
8. Your Favorite drink: fizzy
9. Your Dream Car: Volvo
10. The room you are in: Cubicle
11. Your Ex: Grrrr
12. Your fear: Alone
13. What you want to be in 10 years? Happy
14. Who you hung out with last night? Hubby
15. What You're Not: Cheap
16. Muffins: chocolate
17. One of Your Wish List Items: knitting
18. Time: ????
19. The Last Thing You Did: Ate
20. What You Are Wearing: jeans
21. Your Favorite Weather: Fall
22. Your Favorite Book: Possession
23. The Last Thing You Ate: Sandwich
24. Your Life: good
25. Your Mood: tired
26. Your best friend: far
27. What are you thinking about right now? home
28. Your car: Suburu
29. What are you doing at the moment? daydreaming
30. Your summer: eventful
31. Your relationship status: newlywed
32. What is on your TV? dvds
33. What is the weather like? pretty
34. When is the last time you laughed? monday
35. Who do you tag? Ellen


Okay, so more drama.

I'm going home for Christmas for the first time in several years. There has been a yearly holiday event with some of my high school classmates at a former teacher's house ever since we graduated. I've always enjoyed going and this year I may actually get to attend.

When I got the e-mail about the event, I noticed that a former friend of mine will probably be attending. He was just about the best friend I had. And he dropped me out of the blue. Just quit responding to my phone calls and e-mails with no explanation. We didn't have a fight. Nothing was wrong. He just disappeared out of my life. And I have been really hurt by it. I can't imagine what it would be like to see him again. How awkward it would be. Would I be able to be civil? I just don't know. So, now I'm not sure if I want to go. I know it sounds silly. I should just go and have a good time and see old friends that I haven't seen in years. And introduce Gary to everyone. But I'm not sure that the whole thing wouldn't be just too upsetting. What to do?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bookish Things

In honor of the beginning of the first ever BookSwap (which I am so excited about!), I thought I would talk about one of the books I'm reading right now. It's called the THIRTEENTH TALE. (see sidebar) It was a little slow to get going but now I am completely hooked. I haven't been this enthralled by a book in a long time. (I think SHADOW OF THE WIND was the last book that drew me in like this) I don't want to put it down. In fact, I'm feeling a little resentful of work for getting in the way of my reading! I'll let you know if it fulfills its promise.

In other news, I was unpacking a box of new books for the library today and saw that MARCH by Geraldine Brooks had won the Pulitzer. I thought that book was absolutely awful. It should have been called DEATH MARCH because that is what it felt like to read it. Oh, well.
At least I have something good to read.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Holiday Meme

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate, definitely.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Wrapped! We all love surprises!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White lights. They make it a fairy-land.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? yes

5. When do you put up your decorations? Usually, the first weekend in December. However, we decorated after Thanksgiving this year so my mom could help.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? hmmm...I just love food in general. Any excuse to eat decadent things.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Getting to sleep next to the Christmas tree at my grandparents house on Christmas Eve. They left the Christmas lights on all night for me.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember ever really believing in Santa but I still want him to be real.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We open one gift each on Christmas Eve after going out to view holiday lights.

10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree? I like vintage Christmas ornaments and bubble lights.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread? I love the snow but I won't be seeing any where I live now.

12. Can you ice skate? Not really but I like trying.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I'm lucky. I've had too many good ones to narrow it down to just one.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? The festiveness. And I love getting gifts for people.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I love holiday cookies!

16 What is your favorite holiday tradition? Watching all my favorite Christmas movies like "A Christmas Story" and reading a Christmas book

17. What tops your tree? this year, a vintage looking glass tree-topper

18. What is your favourite holiday book? Christmas Carol

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Joy to the World" and "O Come All Ye Faithful"

20. Candy Canes! Yucky or Yummy? Yummy! I love them in hot chocolate and, if you get the porous ones, you can stick it in an orange and use it as a straw!

Masochist Book Club

My friend Greg and I started an informal book club several years ago. Every January, Greg would choose a particularly painful book for us to read to start our new year with. His wife, Sara, eventually joined in the fun. We have read the Tale of Genji, Epitaph of a Small Winner, the new translation of Anna Karenina and the new translation of Don Quixote among other gems. This year, Sara has chosen the new translation of the Aeneid for us to read. Woo hoo! And to cap off our reading fun, we'll be reading the new Thomas Pynchon book in February which rings in at about 1000 pages. Feel free to join in the fun! I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Monday, November 27, 2006

BookSwap Registration Closing Soon!

Registration for our very first BookSwap will be closing on November 30. So, if you have been putting off registering, now is the time to do it! The more people we have, the better it will be. Click on the BookSwap 1 button to the right and follow the instructions. Hope to swap with you soon!

A Good Time was Had by All

Well, we had a nice Thanksgiving. My friends Andy and Jen came down and one of my co-workers also joined us so we had six for dinner. Gary cooked a wonderful meal. The turkey was great and we all fell into a food coma after the meal. My mom's trip was great. We all had a good time together which made me really happy.

I was catching up on my celebrity gossip today (I's one of my flaws) and I sighed out loud after discovering the latest celeb divorce. (Pam Anderson and Kid Rock) Not that I particularly care about that couple but it seems like divorce is the trend lately. The only marriage we have seen is the unholy union between Katie Holmes....I mean Kate Cruise and Tom Cruise. Everyone else is getting divorced. And now, Britney and Paris are best friends?! It's a very scary time in celebrity-land.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Turkey Cometh

Well, Gary and I have been frantically trying to get the house ready for my mother's arrival tomorrow. It seems like the boxes are multiplying behind our backs. I went into the garage yesterday and burst into tears. We have been working so hard and everything still seems chaotic. I just wish I could take a few days off and really get out in the garage and work. But, we'll get there eventually.

We are going to have seven people at our table this Thanksgiving. My mom is coming from Texas and a family friend from San Francisco. Then, we'll have a couple from nearby and one of my work colleagues who didn't have a place to go. It should be an interesting bunch. I love entertaining, so I'm looking forward to it.

Today, it is cloudy and cold outside so it is making me feel sluggish and sleepy. I need to find some energy, though. I have to take a group of preschoolers on a tour of the library in half an hour. Wish me luck!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Out of Africa Part 2

Well, we did it. I think a good time was had by all. The clubhouse looked great. We used some Ethiopian recipes and had doro wat (chicken stew) with creamed spinach, anjara (Ethiopian bread) and cream puffs for dessert. For appetizers, we had fried plantains and sweet potato croquettes along with Jungle Juice punch. The speaker was great. He gave a talk with slides about his work in Africa with wild dogs. I think the ladies of the club had a good time. I certainly hope so. I'm exhausted. I am working on the Mardi Gras committee in February but at least I don't have to chair that event.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Out of Africa

Well, tonight's the night. I am a co-chair for a safari-themed event for our local woman's club. It has been quite the process. We even had our guest speaker cancel on us two days ago. But the committee went to the clubhouse last night and set everything up and it looks great. And my co-chair found a last-minute speaker. I just hope things go okay and that everyone has a good time. I'll try to post pictures in the next few days.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Before I went to bed last night, I got sucked into a new documentary on HBO called "Thin" about women with eating disorders. I couldn't stop watching it and stayed up way too late. It broke my heart to see these women. I had a friend who suffered from anorexia and I'm not sure she will ever be able to move past it. I think it will be constant battle throughout her life.

When I was in high school, I was about 5'7" and weighed 115 pounds. I know by Hollywood standards that seems about right. But when I look at pictures of myself now, I think I looked too thin. My therapist at the time was convinced I had an eating disorder and even bullied me about it. She wouldn't take no for an answer. She even hinted to my parents that I might be bulimic. I wasn't. My eating habits were just fine. I just happened to have a high metabolism at that point in my life. My weight fluctuated a little in college between about 115 and 125. I got sick my junior year and had trouble eating. I got too thin again. It wasn't until I moved to Colorado that I discovered that an overproduction of yeast in my abdomen was causing the problem. It made my stomach upset everytime I ate something. After that, I was fine. I've been gaining steadily since then. I was about a size 6 when I moved to Colorado. Now, I'm a 10 on top and a 12 on bottom. And the funny thing is, in my head I think I'm thinner than I actually am. It is strange when I see myself in photos because I'm always surprised at how big I am. I think part of it may be that Gary loves me just the way I am and is so supportive. It helps me to be comfortable (for the most part) in my own skin.

I have tried to keep scales out of my house. I'd rather focus on how my clothes fit rather than a number. I have a tendency to overeat. I've been known to binge eat. But I have never starved myself and I have never made myself sick. I try not to place restrictions on myself where food is concerned because I don't want it to become an issue. When I looked at those women in the documentary last night, my heart went out to them. I hope that someday they can find the strength to love themselves. Before their disease kills them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A LBC Helpful Hint

A public service announcement from your friends at Life by Candlelight (LBC):

Last night, Gary and I decided to roast some garlic and have garlic and the olive oil we brought back from our honeymoon with some lovely locally made bread. It was delicious. However, we both woke up with upset insides. So, if you are faced with some yummy roasted garlic and you think to yourself, "I'm gonna have another clove because it's good for me and it tastes good too!" well, don't do it!

All day, I have felt yucky. And the thing is, every time I complain about feeling yucky in the morning now, people start to "wink wink nudge nudge" and ask me if I'm pregnant.

Nope. Just garlic belly!

Here it comes...

I was notified this morning that I will have the first of two provisional evaluations next month. I've been through this before. It seems like most jobs now have a typically six month provisional period for new employees where either one of you can part ways with no repercussions. (except the loss of your job!) After that, it tends to be a lot harder to get rid of an employee. So basically, my first six months are an extended audition.

I find myself really worried about these evaluations. I want to do a good job. But it's hard to know what people are thinking about you. And, because I'm an emotional person, I worry that I will break down in an evaluation if there is negative feedback. Isn't that silly? Nothing says "nut job" like a high-strung employee who starts to cry after receiving less than stellar feedback. But that's just the sort of tightly wound person I am. (remember my knitting story?)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I'm Lost until February

How will I be able to make it until "LOST" returns in February?! These cliff hangers are killing me. I'm grateful that Sawyer's demise was delayed. I'm almost embarrassed to say this, but I started tearing up when I thought he was going to die. I couldn't lose both Eko AND Sawyer! That's asking too much!

Somebody tell me why the Bible verse on Eko's prayer stick was important. Was it a message for John? What is the deal with the Frenchwoman's daughter? Is she truly one of the Others or not? Why did they take her boyfriend and what did they do with him? Are the Others related to the original research team? Or did they just take over the old research base? Are they going to kill Jack? How will Kate and Sawyer get off the island if they do get away?

Too many questions!! And now we have to wait until February. Phooey!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


So, I sat on the couch watching the returns last night while I was knitting. (I have five different projects on needles right now. I think I may have overextended myself. But I'm working on Christmas presents) While I am happy with the outcome, I am worried about how divided our country is becoming. I don't want to see us separated along north/south lines. Or red states and blue states. And it made me think of a movie I saw awhile back...

Did any of you see the movie "Miracle" about the U.S. hockey team that went to the Olympics? I don't usually like sports movies but I do love a good underdog film. In the movie, the coach repeatedly asks the players who they play for. They invariably answer with the name of their college team. At one point, every time the coach asks one of the players that question and they answer with the name of their college team, he forces them to continue doing drills. It looks as if he will keep pushing them until they fall over. When they are almost at their breaking point, he asks one of the players, "WHO DO YOU PLAY FOR?" The player yells, "THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!" And the coach lets them leave the ice.

I would like to go to Capitol Hill and make Congress and the rest of the administration run drills until they stop saying they play for the Democrats and the Republicans. I want them to say, "I play for the United States of America!"

I wonder how much a plane ticket to Washington DC will be in January? Hmmm....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day!

I'm a big ol' nerd so I love Election day. I was at the polls right at 7am and I am proudly wearing my "I Voted" sticker along with my Todd Oldham "Gone Voting" t-shirt.

I know. Scary.

But I think voting is great.We get to stand up as a people and make our voices heard. And in the past six years, we have seen that a single vote CAN make a difference. Some of the elections have been very very close.

It's no secret that I'm a liberal. But no matter what your political affiliation, please go out and vote. Your vote is your voice.

Here is a link to some basic voter information:

Smart Voter

It's non-partisan and can give you any information you need to go out and exercise your right.

Happy voting!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Virtual Model

This is my virtual model that I created. It's hard to know if it's accurate or not because I seem to have a skewed perception of what I really look like...

This is me after losing the 20 pounds that I want to lose:

Free Stuff

Vieve and I love free stuff. I really enjoy getting samples because it gives me the chance to test drive a product before buying it. Plus, I just really love getting things in the mail. These are some great sample links that I have found. Some of them are message boards where people post online freebies. Enjoy!

1. Start Sampling

2. Deal Tracker

3. Slick Deals

4. Volition

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pumpkin Queen

Well, my simple little pumpkin won 2nd place in the staff division. I made the only interactive pumpkin. I carved the Library of Congress call number for ghost story collections into my pumpkin. ('cause I'm a big ol' nerd) I encouraged people to go find that call number in the stacks to see if there were ghosts in the library. If they did, they found an envelope filled with ghost stickers. People seemed to like it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Goodbye Mr. Eko

I am a big "LOST" fan. It filled the gap in my life that "X-Files" left. (one always needs a good conspiracy show in one's life) If you don't watch "Lost," this post will pretty much mean nothing to you.

My favorite character on the show is Mr. Eko. I find him fascinating. He is such a complex character and I just knew he was going to do great things for the other Losties. I can't believe they killed him off! Why? And why did the black smoke kill him and not Locke? I thought Eko was supposed to be one of the "good" people that the Others wanted to kidnap. Was Eko's brother a manifestation of the island? Was the island punishing Eko? Why did the polar bear take him in the first place? Who is going to finish building his church? So many questions!

Maybe the island will bring him back. I hope so. I don't find any of the other characters as interesting. (although I have to admit that Sawyer is pretty darn hot)

Bookworm Bites

I am introducing a new sidebar feature on my blog called "Bookworm Bites." Since I always have a book or two going at the same time, I thought I would let everyone know what I am currently reading. The link will take you to the Amazon description. As I finish a book and start a new one, I will change the links. That way, you will always know what I'm reading. (if that sort of thing is of any interest)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Serious Moment

I'd like to mention something in my blog today that will be very difficult for people to read. I'm warning you now in case you find you need to pass this one over.

The subject is female genital mutilation (FGM)

As an anthropologist, I have been aware of this practice for years. It is most common in Africa but crosses many ethnic, cultural and religious lines. In countries that practice FGM, the clitoris and often labia are removed from young girls to make them more "marriageable." It is believed that if girls do not find sex pleasurable then they will be more virtuous. The "operation" is often performed using scissors or sharp glass or rocks and many many girls wind up with serious medical complications.

It is important for everyone to understand that this practice DOES take place within the United States. Although federal law bans FGM, many states do not have any laws addressing it. So, many individuals have gotten away with it. Especially in cases of religious freedom.

Today, the first criminal case in the U.S. on this issue was decided. The father was given a 10-yr-sentence.

See this article:

Please find out about your state's stance on this issue. I think it is so important that we push for legislation to protect young girls from this horrible practice. And part of that is making people aware that it is happening.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I'm a punky flower

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Happy Halloween!

Well, I decided to go ahead and wear my Sally costume to work. My long red hair is getting in the way but people seem to enjoy it.

Later on today, we will be having a costume contest and a pumpkin judging event.

This place is pretty festive.

I have placed a cauldron of candy on my desk for co-worker trick-or-treaters. I hope they come so I don't end up eating the candy myself.

Here's a fun Halloween activity for you. Don't forget to click "Done" when you are finished:


Monday, October 30, 2006

3-D Nightmare

So, we went into the city to see NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS in 3D and it was great! The movie wasn't originally intended to be in 3D so it didn't pop quite as much as I thought it would but it is always wonderful to see it on the big screen. 3D technology is getting really good. Evidently, Disney is planning on releasing more 3D projects. They will be releasing a new 3D animated adventure next summer. It adds a really fun element to it.

Gary enjoyed it so much that he insisted on taking our 3D glasses home with us instead of recycling them. Not sure what we are going to do with them but I'm glad he had a good time.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

New Life Band

Today in church we were visited by the New Life Band from Tanzania. They performed all of the music at our worship service and told us about their ministry in Tanzania. They are working to build a vocational school and hostel and are almost finished. We learned so many things this morning! Most people in Tanzania are lucky to make the equivalent of $1/day. The cost of a visit to the hospital to have a baby is only $10 but most people can't get that kind of many together. Primary school is now required there and the children have a great thirst for learning. 60% fo the children qualify to attend secondary school. However, only one third are able to go because it costs $250/year for a student to go. That doesn't seem like much to us but it is a great deal of money to these people. It's amazing to think how little of our money could make such a big difference there.

When they finish their hostel, they have invited us to come and visit and see the work first-hand. I would love to do that. It sounds amazing. It isn't just about religion. They are working to educate their future leaders and workers. And they want to teach them life skills as well such as education about AIDS. We were blown away by the music and the ministry.

More info here:

Thursday, October 26, 2006


1. What is your favorite book of all time and why?
I have so many! But I really love POSSESSION by A.S. Byatt. It has a mystery to it but it is also romantic and very literary. Extremely well-written. I love stories that keep you guessing. Especially if they have a good twist at the end.

2. What type of book do you most enjoy reading?
Fiction mostly but I also enjoy the occasional non-fiction book. I also like mysteries.

3. What fictional character do you most resemble?
I used to joke that I am a combination of Daria from MTV, Mary Katherine Gallagher from Saturday Night Live and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. I'm a goofy fun-loving librarian type. Maybe Evie from THE MUMMY would be a good match?

4. What is your favorite type of sweet or chocolate?
I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.

5. What are your hobbies?
I collect signed first editions of books. I like to knit and I'm a big movie buff.

6. Do you collect anything?
Books. And Mexican folk art.

7. What is your favorite color?
I like bold primary colors. And pink!

8. What is your favorite movie and why?
Lots of favorites but I'd have to say PRINCESS BRIDE and NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I like things that are whimsical.

9. When is your birthday?
May 25

10. What is your favorite scent?
I like light floral scents. I'm not into musky scents.

11. Do you have any allergies?

12. Do you have wishlist on Amazon or another site?

13. What kind of music do you like? Are you MP3 compatible?
I like all kinds of music but especially Tori Amos, Keb' Mo', Tom Petty and Lyle Lovett. (and I am MP3 compatible)


I am co-hosting a special internet secret pal/swap with Princess Genevieve called BookSwap. You fill out a questionnaire and get matched up with a secret pal. You then send two packages to your secret pal within a certain time frame and you should get two in return! We are asking people to send books along with other themed items. Read all about it here:

Registration opens soon! (pass it on....we hope to get 50 people)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sandy Claws

So, Gary has agreed to take me into the city this weekend to see NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS in 3D. It's one of my favorite movies and I can't wait. I have always found it to be kind of romantic. I've been known to get a little weepy at the end when Sally and Jack kiss on the hill in front of the big moon. A little strange, I know. But it just appeals to me.

If I'm feeling really nuts, I may even break out my Sally costume and wear it. And then people can point at me and whisper to each other.

As Ada says in THE PIANO, "I'm something of the town freak. Which satisfies."


Friday, October 20, 2006

Where is the Pride and Respect?

I work at a community college library. The library is brand-new and just opened at the end of August. It's a beautiful library. As large as my undergraduate library. And so many great resources. They library itself is wonderful and was carefully planned to include many "green" features.

Well, I was reading in the campus paper that someone defaced a wall inside the library last week with a black Sharpie. When the paper interviewed other students about the vandalism, the common response was "I don't really care. I have no real connection to this school." That just made me so mad!

I know community colleges are typically for students just passing through to a four-year college. But this one is so great and has such tremendous resources for a junior college. People just don't appreciate anything. It's this whole sense of entitlement that I often experienced at the public library. And it hard to know how to instill a sense of pride in the students. And a true appreciation of all the benefits and privileges they get by being students here. instead, they take things for granted and don't even care when their wonderful new library gets defaced.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Adopted Child Syndrome

When you work in a library, you tend to see really interesting books cross your desk. Today, I couldn't help flipping through a book that contains different viewpoints on adoption.

I am adopted. (and an only child to boot!) I was adopted when I was about three months old. I have never had any desire to find my birth parents. A few of my adopted friend found their birth mothers and it was not a good experience for them. I feel that I already have parents so I don't need to go looking for others.


This book talks about a term coined in the 1980's called "Adopted Child Syndrome." Apparently, a "noted" psychologist saw in "case after case" common behaviors in adopted children. He created a term for these behaviors called "Adopted Child Syndrome." The ACS behaviors most commonly referred to include:
-conflict with authority
-pathological lying
-running away
-learning difficulties, under-achievement, over-achievement
-lack of impulse control
-fascination with fire, fire-setting
-shallowness of attachment
-serious antisocial behavior
-an extremely negative or grandiose self-image
-low frustration tolerance
-an absence of normal guilt or anxiety

Now, this troubles me. Mostly because it makes all adopted children sound like they are on the road to becoming serial killer psychopaths. Of that list, I have had learning difficulties, lack of impulse control and perhaps low frustration tolerance. But none of the other items apply to me or to other adopted children I know. Quite frankly, I have seen non-adopted children with the same qualities. I'd say the most you could attribute to adopted children as opposed to birth children is a fear of abandonment. Something I definitely have sometimes. I get tired of psychological labels sometimes because I don't feel they reveal the big picture or take into account all circumstances.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bring Out Your Dead

Growing up, I had some really great Halloween costumes. My mother handmade almost all of them adn they were wonderful. I remember one of my favorites was my pumpkin costume. It was really comfortable. I wore black tight and a black turtleneck and then a bubble-like pumpkin body with elastic around the base. Other years included Strawberry Shortcake (store-bought), a witch, Statue of Liberty, and a mime/clown. She also made me a poodle skirt when I attended cotillion. (a southern thing) I was really lucky to have a mom who could do things like that.

In recent years, I have gone as Vanessa from Austin Powers, Trinity from the Matrix, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas and Little
Bo-Peepshow. I'm thinking of going as Frida Kahlo this year. Or maybe Sally again. Costumes are great. But none of the store-bought ones are ever as good as the ones my mom made.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Knitting for Dummies

So, I have taken up knitting. I took a class in August. I can now do pretty basic stuff. I'm currently working on a basic poncho, a scarf and a throw. I like to move back and forth between projects. To advance any further, I will need to take the next beginner class where they teach you things like increasing and a dropping a stitch. I find it a relaxing thing to do while watching tv. It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something.

In my class, I discovered I had issues with casting on and knitting too tightly. My teacher asked me, "Are you a pretty intense person?" That kind of embarrassed me. I don't think of myself as an intense person but I guess I am "tightly wound" and "high strung." I just didn't think it would show up in my knitting. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Open the Box

My boss introduced me to this great website called Pandora. It's part of the music genome project. If you can listen to music at work, it's especially great. You type in artists or songs that you like and it creates a "station" for you. Then, it chooses songs by that artist along with other artists that are similar. I'm really enjoying it. It introduces me to artists I might not otherwise listen to. Go open the box...

(by the way, I finally found the hardware to my desk and had been stuffed in the bottom of a trashcan. Sigh.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Moving Stinks

We are currently in the middle of moving from an apartment to a rental house. We are excited to have more space but the chaos of moving is really difficult for me. I have had most of my things in a storage unit since I moved in February. We almost have the storage unit emptied out. Then, we have to empty the apartment. At least my things will finally be in one spot. But I hate not being able to find things. The worst part is that I am missing the hardware to assemble the computer desk and matching shelving units. I know it will turn up somewhere but I have no idea where it is. Grrr...

We spent the weekend working on the move. I did go to church to teach and attend services with my friend Lara. An entire Korean family got baptized which was really neat to see. I was baptized when I was 14. In my church, we had a small pool under the altar. I got to go down into the pool and get totally immersed. I thought it was a great experience. I really like the idea of people waiting to get baptized until they are older and can really make the decision for themselves.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

NPR Junkie

Okay, I confess. I love NPR. Now that I have a small commute to work, I have the opportunity to listen to it going and coming. Sometimes, I am so engrossed in a story that I don't want to get out of the car. It seems that I always learn something new.

They have a series called "Perspectives" where people comment on various issues. Today, someone talked about Rep. Foley. The person was a Democrat and she talked about how people shouldn't assume that Foley was going into rehab as a typical celebrity reaction to scandal. She pointed out that Foley probably wakes up each morning thinking "I want to die" and then faces the day in rehab supported by people who have similar problems. I think that is a good point. One of the greatest tragedies of this whole episode is that it will give certain conservatives more ammo against gay people. And that's terrible. But I hope taht some good can come out of this. That we learn something from it. And that Rep. Foley gets the help he needs.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Learning Curve

At most jobs I have had, I have caught on fairly quickly. This new job is proving more difficult than I had anticipated. There is a high learning curve. I'm doing things I've never done before. There are lots of different accounts to deal with and I have to learn how to enter things into ledgers and to process purchase orders. I'm slowly getting it. But I feel like I have to ask a lot of questions. And I worry that I am not getting it fast enough. I will probably start learning cataloging soon so I want to be sure that I have receiving and invoicing pretty well down. It is frustrating for me to go from being the person who knows everything (like at my last job where I had five years of accumulated knowledge) to being the person who knows nothing and has to ask tons of questions.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Library Girl!

I have been having trouble posting in Blogger so I hope this works.

Well, I am almost finished with my first week at work. I really like my job. It is challenging. Lots of information to learn. But there is a lot of variety. I have been focusing on learning receiving/invoicing this week and then I will shift to cataloging. I was also given a special project. I get to work on processing a special collection of books donated to the library for the rare books room. I really enjoy that. I can use skills from my museum days.

It's strange how the universe keeps pushing me towards books. I worked at Barnes and Noble off and on for several years during college and graduate school. After two years in museums, I was laid off and ended up at a public library with a little help from my friend Greg. I spent five years there. I was hoping to go into non-profits here in California but I ended up in a library again. I love being around books. Especially working in an academic library. As I unpack each box, I get a chance to see all the wonderful things coming into the library. There are so pretty esoteric topics out there! The junior college environment is also nice. I work in a beautiful new library and people are all really nice. We'll see what the coming weeks bring.

No babies yet. We might start trying next year. Gary just turned 45 on Tuesday so we don't want to wait too long. I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

We're Back

Well, we made it back safely from Italy. It was a wonderful two weeks. We started in Rome and then drove up through Umbria, over to Tuscany and then ended in Milan. The big cities always have a lot to see but we really enjoyed the small towns. We especially liked Lucca. What a great city! Very pleasant and cosmopolitan. And we got enough good weather to get a chance to bike along the city walls. We were sad to leave but hope we will get a chance to return to Italy. We both threw a coin in the Trevi fountain just to be sure.

Now, we are facing some more big changes. I start my new job tomorrow which I am nervous about. It has been a long time since I have started a new job. It will be a big adjustment. But I am excited. Also, we are moving into a rental house. There is no big rush to move so we are taking our time. Just a few things at a time. I'm excited to move because of the extra space. We'll be able to entertain easier and have more room for guests to come and stay. I'm really looking forward to having my mom come out. We won't be as crowded as we were during the wedding planning.

I hope I'll be able to sleep tonight. I'm nervous and we still haven't quite gotten back on schedule after our trip. And I will have to start getting up pretty early from now on. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Greetings from Rome

Well, we made it to Rome. We walked around last night viewing the city and trying to stay awake. We started in the Campo di Fiori and walked to Navona Square where we ate dinner. We threw coins into the Trevi Fountain and rested at the Spanish Steps for a few minutes before heading back to the hotel.

Today, we walked through the Forum and Colosseum and visited the Pantheon.

We hope to go to the Via Appia tomorrow along with the Vatican Museum.

It's hot and humid! We are walking everywhere or taking the subway and are getting around the city pretty well. Having a great time! Wish you were here!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Much Ado About a Room with a View

Well, this is it. We leave on our honeymoon tomorrow morning. I'm excited and nervous. I haven't travelled out of the country in six years. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well and that we have a good time. I'm such a worrier. But the first time I went to Europe, I injured my ankle the day before I left and ended up having to go on crutches. So, things happen.

Anyway, I'll keep an eye out for internet cafes and perhaps I'll be able to post. If not, I'll be back online after Sept. 20!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Luke 12:48

In my bible, which is a New American Standard version, part of Luke 12:48 says, "And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required." I have taken this verse to heart for many years. It talks about blessings and responsability. If you believe, as I do, that God has blessed you with both material and spiritual gifts, then you should do something positive with them.

I have had some wonderful role models in my life. Namely, my parents and grandparents. I remember my mom always being involved in community activities when I was growing up. And my parents were both involved in our church. We even hosted bible studies at our house. My parents were generous to a fault. They always tried to help other people in any way they could. And my grandparents were the same way.

And I am adopted. I was adopted through Lutheran Family Social Services when I was three months old. And my parents didn't put any restrictions on the adoption. They were willing to take whatever baby they got. And they ended up with a half-Mexican half-Irish baby girl with some serious diaper rash but overall good health. And to this day, people tell me I look exactly like my parents. And I do.

I was blessed with a good home, loving parents and excellent health. I went to the best public school and never lacked for anything. We weren't rich but I always had everything I needed and more. I never lacked for toys or vacations or activities. And I was able to go to the college of my choice. I couldn't ask for a better life.

I have been blessed with wonderful family and friends and now, a wonderful husband who loves me wholeheartedly and without reservation. And my mom has always helped me to make the most comfortable of homes for myself. Often, giving me things that I didn't deserve.

I am very mindful of how my "cup runneth over." And I have tried very hard to give back through my time and my money. My friend Vieve recently blogged about overcommitting oneself. I have a habit of that. There are so many voluntary activities I want to be a part of. So many ways I'd like to help and give back. I am trying to be good about not getting carried away. I've limited myself to a few activities. I continue my work with the Junior League. I've joined the local Woman's Club. I help out with a project at my church. And I teach Sunday school. Now that I will be working full-time, that will have to be enough. Although I am sure I will help out with various single-day projects from time to time.

A whole lot has been given to me over the years. I just hope I take enough time to give some of it back.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Attention Italy Travelers...

I would love suggestions of things to do, places to eat and places to shop in Italy. Especially in Rome, Umbria and Tuscany. So, if you have been to Italy and know of a few good places, please comment. Especially you, Frank!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Get to Work

Well, I will "romp with joy in the bookish dark" yet again. I have been offered the job at the junior college and I have accepted. And I'm really excited about it. I'll be working in technical services in a behind-the-scenes job. It will be fun to learn some new skills and the library is brand new. It just opened last Monday. I officially start when I return from my honeymoon.

All my life I've been around books. My parents encouraged me to read and I spent many happy hours as a child organizing my "library." My first real job was at Barnes and Noble. Then, when my life took a turn after graduate school, I ended up at the public library. Although I was trying to focus my job search in California on non-profits, this particular job description intrigued me and I will now be in a library once again. But I love being around books. Secretly, I would love to have my own children's bookstore. It's hard to make a business like that profitable in this day and age. But I would love it.

I collect books on a small scale now. I try to get first/signed editions. But they have to be book I will read. My current hardcover library is somewhere in the region of 1200 books right now. Although, they are mostly in storage. I can't wait to get my books and my piano out of storage. Perhaps we'll find a house to rent by the end of the year so I can make that happen. Also, I'd love to have my mom and Gary's family come for Christmas. A real family Christmas! Wouldn't that be lovely?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

More Cowbell

I am embarrassed that I think this is so funny.

Follow the link and click once on Christopher Walken's picture. You can think make Will play the cowbell along to three song choices.

I've got a fever....give me more cowbell.

More Cowbell

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Malady Held Hostage, Day 3

Well, my interview on Friday went well. At least, I think it went well. The Dean told me I would hear something early this week. "Probably Monday." Well, it's Wednesday and I'm still waiting. And, as Tom Petty said, "waiting is the hardest part." I'm trying to stick around the house in case I get a call. In the meantime, I'm working on our Italian itinerary and thinking about what to pack. We leave on September 5. I'm looking forward to our honeymoon adventure!

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Room with a View

I began my love affair with Italy in my teenage years. I'm not sure exactly where it began. I suspect E.M. Forster and Merchant Ivory had something to do with it. I can remember sitting in my friend Maya's room watching "A Room with a View." I think many of my romantic sensibilities were formed in that moment. Maya and I believed that the only worthwhile films were foreign ones. So, we limited ourselves to movies in the "Foreign Film" section at the video store. (English films counted, of course) We went through every Merchant Ivory film that we could find. Julian Sands, Kenneth Branagh, and Hugh Grant were two of our favorite actors. But there was something about "A Room with a View" in particular. Finding true love in a field of barley and poppies on a hillside outside of Florence. And then came Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing." My favorite of all Shakespeare's plays. I saw myself as Beatrice and wondered when I would find my Benedick. And it was set in Italy. Maya and I eventually headed to Italy when we were eighteen. In Florence, we acted out the scene from "A Room with View" in Santa Croce. And we pretended to fling postcards into the Arno. And we saw lots of barley and sunflower fields. But no Julian Sands-like love interest.

Well, many years later, I am returning to Italy. My wedding was inspired by the wedding scene in "Much Ado About Nothing." Full of sunflowers and ribbons and attempts to recreate Italian countryside. And I've finally found my Benedick. Who loves to engage me in a battle of wits but loves me like no other and allows me to be myself. And he is taking me to Italy for our honeymoon. And we will spend one night in the hotel where "A Room with a View" was filmed. Lucy and George will return to Florence in the guise of Amy and Gary. I can hardly wait.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Job?

Well, I interviewed for a position at a nearby Junior College library on Tuesday. I didn't feel that I did very well. The interview part went all right even though I had to keep saying that I didn't have "specific working experience in that area." After the interview, they had me take a skills test and I think I did poorly on it. They gave me an empty catalog record and asked me to identify certain numbered fields. That is exactly where I don't have a lot of knowledge. I left thinking the whole experience was over.

This morning, I found out I got a second interview. Tomorrow. I can't believe it. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Librarian

Okay, this is really embarrassing to reveal...but I have really been enjoying the cheesy reality show "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" It is so silly but so fun. And I find it laugh-out-loud funny. I have become enamored of Major Victory with his catchphrase "Be a winner, not a wiener." He really hams it up. And I love seeing how the superhero wannabes respond to the various challenges. And, when they fail, they must put their costumes into a trashcan to be incinerated by a lightning bolt. Cheesy good fun!

I told Gary that if I were on the show, I would be the Librarian. (or...the Bibliophile) My superpower would be to have the ability to recommend a book for any occasion or need. I would carry information on the Dewey Decimal System with me as well as some paper and a pen to write down recommendations. It would be all about access to information! And, instead of going from a "Clark Kent" secret identity to a spandex suit with a cape, I would go from normal street clothes to a skirt suit and heels with my hair in a french twist and glasses. Woo hoo!

I told Gary he could be Dictionary Man. He would carry a small dictionary on his utility belt along with a magnifying glass for seeing the small words. A word for every occasion!

What superhero would you be?

Monday, August 14, 2006

A New Trend in Concerts

Well, we had a good time at the Death Cab for Cutie concert. It was a great show. We did note a new trend, however, that made us laugh.

In California, you don't see a lot of smokers anymore. A lot of towns are smoke-free. And with the whole "healthy-living" kick, the only people who seem to smoke are models and movie stars.

Well, at the concert, we noticed a handful of puffs of smoke rising above the crowd. But, of course, those were the marijuana partakers. So, when the inevitable moment came that the band struck up a moving song that at any other time would ignite hundreds of lighters....well...there really weren't hundreds of lighters. Because people don't smoke. So, instead of hordes of little flames throughout the crowd, we saw...cell phones. People were flipping open their phones so they would light up and holding the cell phones up as they swayed.

Wow. The time are a-changin'. I've never been a smoker but I always enjoyed those moments in the dark at a concert surrounded by little flames. Waving cell phones just aren't the same thing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Concert Etc

Gary and I are started to set up our household together. We're changing our insurance, setting up a joint account, looking into life insurance, planning a possible move into a larger place. All the little things you do when starting a life with someone.

After losing our friend Raj (R.G.) a few weeks ago, we started to re-evaluate certain things. Gary is thinking seriously about getting his real estate license. And we are thinking about estate planning. Raj had a very moving funeral and memorial service. There were about 700 people at the memorial service. You could really see the legacy he left behind. He touched the lives of so many people. And it made me think about what (if anything) that I will leave behind. And about making plans for my funeral.

I lost my father very unexpectedly when I was 24. He was walking across a street and was hit and killed by a courier van. You just never know how much time you have left. So, you have to make every second count.

In other news, Gary and I are going to see Death Cab for Cutie tonight. It's going to be a busy weekend. I have a Junior League service project tomorrow and then we are going on a local Heritage Home tour on Sunday. Busy busy!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Happy Housewife

I just started reading Caitlin Flanagan's new book To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife. Flanagan has some interesting (and un-popular) opinions about domestic life in the post-feminist world. And a lot of it is very interesting. In the last forty-odd years, women have made incredible strides. We have more choice than we ever have before. And, if you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I have been very interested in the concept of "choice" for awhile. It sometimes seemed we are burdened by the endless array of choices we have. And now you often see women who just want to return to domestic life. There seems to be a movement in that direction.

For all intents and purposes, I have been a housewife since February. And while I am anxious to go back to work, part-time work is seeming more and more attractive. I'm not a particularly good housewife. My mom made it seem so effortless. And then there are those examples set by Martha Stewart and even Bree on Desperate Housewives. No matter how hard I try, I can never seem to run the flawlessly well-organized home that these women like my mom did.But there is something very appealing about all of that. I imagine even more so when you have kids. It has got me thinking a lot about the changing roles of women and the home.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


We got a first glimpse of our wedding photos yesterday. There are a lot of good ones but overall I was a little disappointed. It's hard to capture all of the moments that you want to. There is some pressure because you only get one chance. We are missing quite a few important moments. And it is also hard because you realize after all of that work and a year of planning, it's all over in the blink of an eye. And then you experience the post-wedding blahs. All the fun and excitement is over. That isn't to say that I don't enjoy every moment of my new life with Gary. It's fun setting up house and getting used to being a married couple. And we always find fun things to do together. There is just a big letdown for everyone involved once the big event is over. And the pictures didn't do it justice.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Gary and I just went to see the new Woody Allen movie "Scoop." While we were in the movie, I experienced my first earthquake. The epicenter was fairly close to my home. It was a 4.4 earthquake with no reported damage or injuries. But what a weird sensation! It felt like the movie theater was on top of a subway and a train was going through it. Or some ride at Disneyland. It didn't last for very long and only two people left the theater. The walls swayed a little bit and then that was it. The movie didn't even stop.


Monday, July 31, 2006

A Day at the Races

We went to the local fair yesterday and watched some horse racing. I don't understand how all of the betting works but Gary ended up winning $150. We are saving it to use on our honeymoon in September. It was a lovely day to be outdoors. We walked around the fair and ate lots of bad-for-you fair food. Yum!

I am currently focusing on job hunting and I'm having some difficulty with it. There are just so many things I have an interest in doing. It's hard to focus in on one specific goal. I had an interview on Friday and I think it went well. I made it through to the second interview. The trouble is that I'm not sure I would take the job if it were offered to me. It's administrative and I'm not sure it would help me to accomplish any of my goals to take it. I don't want to get stuck in another dead-end job.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Obsessive Compulsive Cat

Since moving to California, my cat Toulouse has been meeting creatures he has never seen before. One day, I found him chasing a lizard. I grabbed the video camera and got some footage of it because it was so funny. He had never seen a lizard before. After a few minutes, I scooped up the lizard and sent him outside. Well, the lizard continues to make appearances in our home and Toulouse just loves him. Over the past few days, he has become obsessed with finding the lizard. He sits at the front door for HOURS waiting for the lizard to return. Gary and I can't coax him away. We've tried treats and all of his favorite toys. All he wants to do is wait for the lizard. We're starting to think he might need a kittie psychologist.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Heart Trouble

Another thing that made the past week stressful was that Gary was undergoing several tests for his heart. It looked like there might be a problem. And then losing R.G... But we recently got all of the test results back and Gary is fine. It was so scary to think about losing him.

Now, I have switched gears and I am job hunting. The hard part is that there are so many things I take an interest in. I would be happy doing any of them. It's really hard to narrow my interests down and focus on one particular goal. I have a job interview tomorrow but I have lost enthusiasm for it. It will be good interview experience, though. I'll let you know what happens...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Forever Young

One of Gary's good friends passed away yesterday very unexpectedly. R.G. was only 39 years old and left behind his wife, a three-year old son and a three-WEEK old baby. He had a massive heart attack yesterday morning.

When people talk about R.G., they invariably say how kind and friendly he was. And "generous to a fault." I only had the opportunity to meet him twice. The first time was at a Heather Combs concert. He was just so easy-going and friendly. He immediately took me aside as if we were old friends and jokingly advised me to get a pre-nup if Gary and I got married. The second time I met R.G. was at one of the restaurants he was a partner in. You could tell he was just so happy to have his friends there and to be able to entertain them and give them a good time. He bought me a cucumber martini.

I know R.G. meant a great deal to Gary and to so many people. An article about him ran on the front page of the Business section of the local paper today. While I was reading the news story, the song "Forever Young" by Alphavilla came on. It seemed so fitting. R.G. was a man who truly enjoyed life and tried to live it to its fullest. He made every moment of his short life count. And those who are left behind will have the difficult task of going on without his warm and generous presence.

My prayers go out to his family and friends and the many people whose lives he touched.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

It's Hot in Here

Like the majority of the nation, we are experiencing a heat wave in our little town. It is currently 106. I am told this is very unusual. Hardly anyone in town has air-conditioning. Many businesses have chosen to close as I am sure trade is down since no one really wants to shop/eat in unventilated and un-airconditioned stores. Our home does not have any air-conditioning or fans. We leave the windows open all night to cool off and then go into lockdown mode in the morning. All windows are shut and blinds are closed. It's dark but not sweltering. But the heat is really getting to me. Is there relief in sight? I think we may go see "An Inconvenient Truth" just to be in air-conditioning.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Long Tall Texan

For my birthday in May, Gary got me tickets to see Lyle Lovett. We went to the concert last night. It was so great! I love Lyle! He has such a great voice and draws on so many musical traditions. Country, jazz, bluegrass, blues, gospel... It makes for a really good show. I think Gary was impressed too. In the next few months, we'll be seeing Death Cab for Cutie and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I have a few must-see artists. Tom Petty is one of them. I also try to always see Tori Amos and Keb' Mo'. I may have to add Lyle Lovett to that list. I also found out the Brian Setzer Orchestra will be coming for a special Christmas show. I saw his Christmas show in Denver a few years ago and it was great. There's nothing like a good concert to put you in a good mood!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Job Hunt

Well, now that the festivities are over and I am settling into married life, it's time to really focus on my job hunt. I am very anxious to find something. I've been sending out resumes since I moved to California but I haven't gotten a single interview. It can get you down. I know everyone has been there. Luckily, I'm not in financial dire straits but I would really like to be working again. I don't want another library job. I'd like to teach at a community college or work in a museum. And, if that doesn't work out, it would be nice to work at some sort of non-profit. Most of the jobs I would like are difficult to get because those institutions tend to hire from within. Grrr... In the meantime, I keep trying to network. Hopefully, something will turn up.

On another note, check out the new "plain and simple" book by Ellen. It's called "WHAT JESUS SAID" and it is great! When is that girl going to start publishing and making some money?!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wedding Recap

Well, it was a wonderful day. My mom really gave us the day of our dreams. Everything went just about perfectly. The weather was great. Music was on cue. No one fell down the stairs during the ceremony. (Especially me!) Gary's vows were especially heartfelt and wonderful. My mom walked with me down the aisle. The reception food was great and our friend Heather played several songs for us including our first dance song. She was joined by fellow band members James and Janese. And we were surrounded by friends and family which was really the best part.

It all goes by so quickly. You spend a year planning eight hours and then it's over. I think we have all been experiencing post-wedding letdown. Especially since Gary and I have chosen to wait until September to go on our honeymoon. But we couldn't have asked for a better wedding day. Now, it's on to settling into married life. Scary!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A New Beginning and a New Life

I have lots to say but I'll have to get back to you. For now, I offer photos compliments of Princess Genevieve:

Wedding Photos by Genevieve

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Crazy in Love

Well, this is it. I'll be signing off for a few days. While I get married.

It's finally here. I had a bachelorette party in the city last night with some friends. It was great seeing everyone. High school friends, college friends, Denver friends and even a new California friend. My friend Sonya even showed up and I haven't seen her in about five years. She looks great. I wish we could all get together more often.

We're about to leave to go check into the hotel and then it's off to the rehearsal/dinner. At 3:00pm, I'll be a married lady! I'll tell you all about it when things die down. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Final Countdown

There is a hardware store here that is the oldest business that is the oldest business in town. It became a hardware store in 1907. The building itself is thought to be older than that. I love going in there because everyone is very knowledgeable. They also have fund things like pedals cars for kids and salt and pepper shakers of every shape and size. Kind of like an old-fashioned mercantile.

Gary and I decided we'd hit the hardware store to get some needle-nosed pliers. As we turn the corner, we see smoke and fire trucks. Our beloved hardware store burned to the ground. People here are in a state of disbelief. It is such a landmark and a local treasure. We are all keeping their fingers crossed that the owner will be able to rebuild. But it won't be the same. One thing I really appreciate about this community is its pride in its history and historic buildings. We'll miss our hardware store.

In other news, I will be getting married one week from today. It overwhelms me a bit to think about it. Everything is basically done. I'm just trying to stop myself from throwing new ideas into the mix like extra favors. Whew! Wish me luck...