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.