Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An Inconvenient Christian

I'm a Christian. I belong to a Lutheran church. I teach Sunday school. But lately, I feel like I haven't been spending a lot of time with God. It is so easy to get caught up in everyday life. I have to remind myself to stop and spending some time praying or reading my Bible. It's important.

There are some people who would say that I'm not really a Christian because I'm believer in the separation of church and state...someone who sees value in other religions. Usually, the same people who try and tell me that I am don't support the troops and that I'm not a patriot simply because I don't support the war and would rather have my fellow Americans safe at home rather than dying on foreign soil. I believe there are many paths to God. I have chosen one. But everyone has to figure out their own way. For some Christians, that is having a private relationship with God. For others, it may be extending that relationship to attending church at Christmas and Easter. For others, it may mean going to church every single Sunday. It's a personal choice.

I wear a small cross every single day. When I touch it, it makes me think of my relationship with God. But, I wear it for another reason too. There is a lot of hostility towards Christianity these days. And with good reason. I understand why people may have anger towards the Christian faith. We Christians don't always act the way we should. As we say in the Lutheran prayer of confession, "We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart, we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves." I know I am guilty of this every single day. I lose my temper with people sometimes. Especially when driving. I try to challenge myself to be kind to people in the service industry. To not get impatient. To say please and thank you. But sometimes, I need a reminder. And I hope that one day, when I am being very un-Christianlike, someone will look at the cross around my neck and call me a hypocrite. Because I need the reminder.

I have pulled out the back issues of my "Lutheran Woman Today" and "Lutheran" magazines that I haven't read and I'm going to try and make time every day to read them and to have time with God. Especially with Lent right around the corner.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Mary Kay TimeWise Microdermabrasion Kit Sample

(I just bought this and it seem to work pretty well.)

Mary Kay sample

(not tested on animals)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

LBC Freebie of the Day

Pantene Restoratives Shampoo/Conditioner samples

(skip the intro and click on start to take the quiz)

Pantene sample

I'd Give You the Moon

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I love NPR. I'm lucky in that I get to listen to it at my desk while I work. I always hear the most interesting stories. Well, not too long ago, they had a story about a man who claims to have found a loophole in lunar real estate. That's right. Lunar.

Allegedly, this man filed some sort of claim on the moon which no one contested. So, he started selling off lunar real estate in parcels. This is especially big in Israel for some reason. People in Israel are buying up large parcels in order to be ready for possible colonization of the moon. This whole concept fascinated me. I went to the website of the company and, sure enough, all the information was there. You can buy lunar property in one acre parcels and you get a deed and a map that shows where your plot is located. Although I seriously doubt that this whole scheme will ever hold water, I thought it would make a fun Valentine's gift. So, I bought Gary land on the moon for Valentine's Day. The package arrived yesterday and since Gary gets the mail, he saw it. He was so curious about it that I let him go ahead and have it.

Now, if anyone asks him what he got for Valentine's Day, he can tell them that I gave him the moon.

Monday, January 29, 2007


I belong to a product-testing panel called BzzAgent. The company works on the basis of word of mouth. They send their "agents" products and/or services to test. Then, the agents are supposed to go out and spread the word. (their HONEST opinions) It's fun to see what things you get to test. I've only gotten to do a few so far.

Recently, BzzAgent sent me a book called LABYRINTH by Kate Mosse to "test." I was feeling a little skeptical because it looked like the kind of popular fiction I don't like to read. The book has dual storylines, one in the present and one in the past. The plot centers around a group of individuals who belong to a secret society working to protect the secret of the Grail. The whole thing is connected with a labyrinth. It sounds a lot like DA VINCI CODE (which I thought was silly and poorly written) and it is similar in terms of the themes involved. But it is yet another take on the whole Grail legend. It reminded me much more of Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER series than it did Dan Brown's DA VINCI CODE. But I think it will appeal to readers of both authors. The book starts off fairly slowly but the pace picks up as you start to get into the story. A few of the clues are a bit heavy-handed and obvious. There won't be many surprises for the careful and astute reader. But it is an enjoyable read with a reasonably well-written text.

Weekend in Review

First of all, thank you to my friends who left such nice advice on my blog. Without judgment. I know I keep returning to that same theme and it makes me feel like a broken record. But I really am putting myself out there and trying to meet people and make friends. I have decided to be proactive and invite one of the ladies of the club over for dinner on Friday night along with her husband. The only way I'm going to get closer to people is to make definitive plans. I'll let you know how it goes.

Ellen reminded me that I forgot to blog about the holiday party I attended back in Texas. Even since we graduated from high school, my English teacher has invited the former literary board over to her house for a holiday party. When my mother was still living in Dallas, I attended the party every year that I was home for Christmas. It has always been an eventful party. In fact, one year, I went with my friend B. who had recently come out of the closet. We were both nervous about seeing all of our high school classmates again and stayed close to one another. Our former teacher assumed that we were dating. It was so awkward. B. and I would often joke and play off of each other to the crowd. He was more of the "straight man" and I was more of the goofball. Although, I always thought he could be wickedly funny. So, as we are joking around and entertaining the group, our former teacher says, "I see who the straight man is in this act," meaning B. I inadvertantly said, 'Well....." In my mind, I was thinking that B. was really the funny one. But I instantly realized that it was construed as something else. The room got quiet and you could see realization dawning on my teacher's face. I had accidentally OUTED my friend!!! When we finally left, I started crying. I felt so bad. B. wasn't mad. He actually thought the whole thing was funny. Anyway, long story short, these events have always been memorable.

Well, you may recall in past posts that I have been grieving over my friendship with B. He dropped me for no apparent reason. The planets aligned where I was actually able to attend the yearly get-together at my teacher's house this year and I saw on the guest list that B. was going to be there. I really hemmed and hawed over this. I didn't want to go because I was afraid to be around him. Ultimately, people convinced me that I should go. I guess word got out that I would be there. Because, B. DID NOT SHOW UP. After all of that. The party was fine and Gary got to meet a few of the people I went to high school with. And my teacher was as sweet as always. But it's pretty awful to think that someone wants to avoid you so much, he wouldn't show up to a party he had already RSVP'd to. I must be a pretty terrible person, huh?

I have spent the last year trying to reach out to people that I have had "fallings out" with. I have decided that life is too short not to try and make peace with people. Three of them responded positively and I feel good about that. Two of them (B. being one of them) have chosen not to respond. And I guess I have to just realize that there is only so much you can do. But at least I tried.

In weekend news, I saw "Volver" which was GREAT! And I attended my last knitting class. I learned how to cable which is really fun. And I finished my first sock and cast-on for my second one. I'm not convinced I like sock-knitting. I find it really frustrating. But I will keep working at it. I am determined to finish all of the projects I'm currently working on before starting anything else.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Choose one of three samples from the new Dove Pro-Age Line

Dove Sample

Friday, January 26, 2007

LBC Freebie of the Day

Swiffer Duster sample--There are three offers on this page. Select the one for Swiffer. I actually received this sample in the mail. It's a full-size duster. Pretty cool!

Swiffer Sample

Emmy Lou

Okay, this perks me up. This kitten belongs to a friend of mine and was selected as the Kitten of the Day for the Daily Kitten. C'mon....doesn't that make you say, "Awwwwwwwww?"

Get the Pacifier

I debated whether to post anything today because I am being a big fat baby. Maybe it's the weather. I'd like to blame it on the weather. It's dark and grey outside and there is fog swirling around. Very gothic. Kind of makes me want to go up to the roof of the library and run around like Mrs. Rochester. (although I wouldn't burn the building down...I promise)

Anyway, I just found out last night that my friend Jen is moving away. While I am happy for her because it's a great opportunity for her husband and they will be able to afford a house in Georgia, I am bummed for myself. Since I moved here to California, my friend Maya moved to Alabama, our friends Tom and Janet are in the process of living full-time in Hawaii, Jen is moving to Georgia and another new friend may be moving to Southern California. It's like rats on a sinking ship. Is the universe sending me a sign?

On the upside, I got the Mary Kay gift basket that I won on Spa Night and it was quite nice. (I am happy to report that they are no longer testing on animals) The lady came over last night to deliver and showed me and Jen a few products. She asked me if I'd like to host a party and I said, "Honestly, I don't have any girlfriends to ask." It felt really pathetic to have to say that. But I know most people don't like being hit up to go to house parties anyway so I probably wouldn't have done it even if I had people to ask. I, for one, usually enjoy house parties. They can sometimes be fun get-togethers.

Anyway, forgive my whining. I'm just blue. Or maybe it's the weather. I'm gonna blame it on the weather.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

LBC Freebie of the Day Part 2

Gillette Fusion Razor---these tend to go fast so get it while you can!

Gillette Sample


I love animals. I really really do. All kinds. Every shape and size. And I married an animal lover. And my husband WORKS for an animal lover. I wish I could fill my house with pets. We have limited ourselves to one cat although Gary is lobbying for a kitten of his own. If he would let me, I'd bring home all sorts of animals from local shelters.

When I was in college, I was the Vice-President for the Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I was their token meat-eater. I only eat poultry and fish. But I believe it is natural for human beings to eat meat. I have a master's in anthropology which has made me thoughtful about things like that. We are built to consume protein. And other animals eat protein as well. I think a lot of the problem comes from how we get our meat. Since our meat products are produced on a mass scale, it makes it difficult to do it humanely.

Anyway, today I was looking at PETA's website to look up a certain cosmetics company and I was surprised to see that there is an IAMS boycott going on. If you have pets, you may be familiar with IAMS. Anyway, they are evidently big animal testers. I feed Toulouse Science Diet and I'm not sure about their testing policies. I don't believe in feeding your pets vegetarian food so I am not prepared to go that route. But I definitely wanted to get the word out to boycott IAMS.

Here is more info:

You know, I think Dr. Seuss had a big effect on me when I was younger because two quotes always stick out in my head:

"I speak for the trees!"


"A person's a person no matter how small."

I feel the same way about animals.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Here's one for Valentine's Day...

KY Intrigue Lubricant---The bottle looks really fancy for this type of product!

KY Sample

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Spa Night

About a week ago, I went to my monthly Woman's Club meeting. The theme for the event was "Spa Night." The ladies on the committee had gotten some local vendors to come and do mini-makeovers, massages, manicures etc. I managed to recruit two friends to come to the event. And I had such a good time. It made me realized how much I crave having some girlfriends to do things with. Since I love bath products, I got some yummy smelling bath salts at the event. I also threw my name in a couple of raffles. Well, I just got a call that I won the Mary Kay gift basket. Now, I have never used Mary Kay because it was my understanding that they test on animals. I spoke quite frankly about that to the Mary Kay ladies who were there. They told me that Mary Kay is now PETA-approved and that they do not test on animals anymore. Does anyone know if that is true? Anyway, if it is true, I figured I'd give them a try. Wrinkles are really starting to form on my face. I try to be vigilant about sunscreen every day but I think I am just too expressive in my facial expressions.

I spent some time last night working on knitting projects. I have quite a few in the works...

1) My first sock (ever)....I'm working my way to the toe
2) Gary L.'s secret birthday gift
3)a diamond skinny scarf for myself
4) a present for my mother which is taking FOR-EVER
5) a prayer shawl for a friend....I made a mistake and chose acrylic for this one because I thought the color was pretty and it is super-scratchy. I'm thinking I may just frog the whole thing

I have my last knitting classes this weekend. For one of them, we will be learning how to cable. Once I'm done with these classes, I'm going to try my first sweater. I was going to do Knit and Tonic's Marilyn's Not-so-Shruken cardigan but I think I'm going to do her Sizzle pattern instead. I'm just waiting for the yarn to arrive. I'll let you know how it goes!

LBC Freebie of the Day

Healing Garden Organics Wild Honey body lotion sample

Healing Garden sample

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

LBC Freebie of the Day Part 2

Garnier is moving into the skincare business! Get a free sample of one of their products.

Garnier Sample

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

You know that special night every year when people go to bed with their heads filled with golden dreams? How they can't wait to wake up bright and early to see what surprised are waiting for them?

No, it's not Christmas. It's Oscar nomination morning! Woo hoo!

I hate to see it but not only am I a big movie buff but I just love awards shows. I used to throw an Oscar party each year but then I realized other people weren't as into it as I am.

There were a couple of surprises in the nominations. I can't believe "Dreamgirls" didn't get nominated for Best Picture. And how did Ryan Gosling sneak into the Best Actor category?

Each year, this day marks the beginning of a movie watching frenzy for me and my mother. We try to see all the nominated films before Oscar night. I still need to see three in the Best Picture category. I haven't seen a single one in the Best Actor category and I've only seen one in the Best Actress category. Whew! I better get busy.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop popcorn

Popcorn Sample

Monday, January 22, 2007

Back in the Saddle

As of today, I'm back on the Weight Watchers wagon. My goal is to lose 25 pounds. To keep me honest, I have added a weight tracker at the very bottom of my blog. If I manage to lose any weight, you will see it there.

I am also experimenting with blog communities. If you scroll down my page and look in the sidebar, you will see a place to join my blog community. This is a new way of encouraging people to explore new blogs and seeing how people are linked up. So, if you are so inclined, please join.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Viactiv Flavor Glides Dietary Supplement

Viactiv Sample

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"Pan's Labyrinth"

Well, I have been dying to see "Pan's Labyrinth." It sounded right up my alley. I love films with a whimsical note. I have been a big fan of Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton for years. And I loved loved loved "Amelie." When I heard that this new film was a juxtaposition of post-war Spain and a little girl's fantasy world, I knew I had to see it.

Gary has been putting me off for awhile but finally took me to see it today. I'm not one to give out spoilers so I will try to keep this "review" vague and succinct. The movie is very well-done and the fantasy elements did not disappoint. The big surprise for both of us was the level of violence. It is very graphic. I thought "Children of Men" was violent, but "Pan's Labyrinth" leaves that movie in the dust comparatively speaking. Some of the scenes made me squirm in my seat. While I think the film was great, I don't think I want to see it again. The fantasy elements just didn't make up for the level of violence and gore.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

2006 Year in Books for LBC

Here is a list of books that I read in 2006 listed in the order that I read them. I try to average a book a week but sometimes I have a slow month:

1. Seven Lies --Lasdun
2. New Kind of Christian --McLaren
3. Potluck Club --Shepherd/Everson
4. The Truth (with Jokes) --Franken
5. Liars and Saints --Meloy
6. Taxonomy of Barnacles --Niederhoffer
7. Frangipani --Vaite
8. Family Daughter --Meloy
9. Fallen --Maine
10. Holy Skirts --Steinke
11. Inheritance of Loss --Desai
12. Marley and Me --Grogan
13. Year in the Merde -Clarke
14. Sea --Banville
15. Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell --Braun
16. Intuition --Goodman
17. Eat Pray Love --Gilbert
18. Rose of No Man's Land --Tea
19. Love and Other Impossible Pursuits --Waldman
20. Vanishing Acts --Picoult
21. Third Policeman --O'Brien
22. Abide with Me --Stout
23. Night Watch --Waters
24. Memoirs of a Muse --Vapnyar
25. Adverbs --Handler
26. Last Templar --Khoury
27. Arthur and George --Barnes
28. Alternatives to Sex --MacCauley
29. Desert Run--Webb
30. Lost and Found --Parkhurst
31. Booster --Solow
32. Potluck Club, Trouble's Brewing --Shepherd
33. Riding Rockets --Mullane
34. Dirty Job --Moore
35. Girls --Lansens
36. Elements of Style --Wasserstein
37. Can't Wait to Get to Heaven --Flagg
38. Secret Society Girl --Peterfreund
39. To Hell with All That --Flanagan
40. In the Company of the Courtesan --Dunant
41. Something New --Beesley
42. Everything is Illuminated --Foer
43. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close --Foer
44. Devil and Miss Prym --Coelho
45. Between, Georgia --Jackson
46. One Sunday Morning --Ephron
47. Dissident --Freudenberger
48. Mary --Newman
49. Outlander --Gabaldon
50. Thirteenth Tale --Setterfield
51. Dragonfly in Amber --Gabaldon
52. Christmas Carol --Dickens
53. Ruins --Smith
54. Playground --Saginor
55. Devil in the Junior League --Lee

When I look back, it's a pretty interesting mix. And I'm surprised that a couple of them, I can't remember. I would say the biggest surprise read of the year for me was RIDING ROCKETS by Mike Mullane. I don't read a lot of non-fiction and my husband's boss leant me that book. It is a memoir by a former astronaut. I read it because I knew he would ask me about it and I ended up really enjoying it. It was a great read. The biggest disappointment of the year for me was EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED. I did like it. But everyone had spoken so highly of it that I thought I would love it. I found it a little ...inscrutable. I think I like EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE much better. My favorite book of 2006 was THIRTEENTH TALE. It brought me back to the days when I was reading JANE EYRE for the first time. Definitely a book for bibliophiles.

I look forward to seeing what books 2007 will bring into my life.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Well, I just finished THE MEPHISTO CLUB by Tess Gerritsen. The writing is not very sophisticated. I would put it on a par with the DA VINCI CODE. That being said, the book is pretty entertaining and a quick read. It would be a good book to take on vacation. This is the first Gerritsen book that I have read and I think the main characters have been in other books of hers as well. The plot centers around a possible Satan-worshipping serial killer and questions the nature of evil as it posits the theory that demons actually walk the earth.

I was drawn to the book because I love movies and suspense stories that deal with religious themes. I find symbology and alternative Christian history (Gnostic texts, Apocrypha, etc) fascinating. So, if you like these areas as well, you might find MEPHISTO CLUB enjoyable. Just don't expect much of a literary challenge. The book is more story driven than language driven.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Jergens Skin Moisturizers

Jergens samples

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Zeus Empathy

Well, I went to my first Junior League meeting with the new group I just transferred into. Everyone was really nice. I think I will like being a part of a smaller League. There are less than 200 women in this group. I have never had any success making friends in all the Leagues I have been a part of. It tends to be a bit clique-ish. And if you are in a large League, it's easy to get lost in the crowd.

While I was there, I started to get a crushing headache. I was twenty miles from home. So, I decided to leave the meeting early. I called Gary and told him I might not make it home. I was thinking about pulling over and letting him come and get me. The headache was getting to the point that it was nausea-inducing. I've had migraines before and this was pretty close. I made it home and Gary put me to bed and took care of me. He told me, "Don't worry. Your home now. I will take care of you." And that was the greatest thing ever. To feel safe and taken care of. Especially when you feel like Zeus right before Athena popped out of his head.

I'm feeling better today although I have some residual crud. I feel a little loopy and I have some light sensitivity. But I'm on the mend.

I saw that the first BookSwap package has arrived. How exciting! I can't wait to see what everyone gets!

LBC Freebie of the Day

Your True Sisterhood Organic Feminine Products--Where it says "enter credit card #," you can just put a bunch of zeros.

Organic Feminine Products Sample

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cooking the Books

Well, I met with the woman doing the audit last night. By the time I got there, my anger had died down. I sat down with her and said that I wished she had simply come to me rather than go to the President. She said that the problems with the books occured sometime between the former financial secretary and myself. So, it wasn't my fault. That is why she wanted to talk to the President. It wasn't a fun meeting but it went okay. They use really old-school bookkeeping techniques. And I will do whatever they want. Now, I have to go back and fix all the financial reports for the last couple of months and redo the books. But, I'll get it right eventually. Hopefully.

Tonight, I'm going to my first meeting with new Junior League that I just transferred into. Hopefully, it will be good. I'm still trying to make friends in the area.

One of my projects this week is to get a list of the books I read in 2006 posted on this blog. It will be a good year-end review for me. Not sure when I'm going to find the time to do it but I am determined.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Celestial Seasonings Herbal Expedition Kit

Celestial Seasonings Sample+

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ms. Cellophane

Well, my poor husband got sick with a stomach thing so I didn't get as much accomplished this weekend as I would have liked. I did manage to go see "Dreamgirls" yesterday. I'm trying to get through all the possible Oscar nominees before the big night. (yes, I admit it, I'm a movie-awards junkie) "Dreamgirls" was very well done. Jennifer Hudson has a wonderful voice. If you like movies like "Chicago" and "Ray," then you will probably like "Dreamgirls." However, it was still missing something for me. There were so many characters and the movie moved so quickly that I felt I couldn't really get emotionally invested in the characters. I although I probably won't see it again, I still recommend it.

So, my sensitive nature struck again yesterday. I recently took over the responsibility of financial secretary in my local Woman's Club. It's really not my cup of tea but I figured I could handle it. And I was looking for a way to get more involved. Well, I just started the position in November. In December, I had to turn over the books for semi-annual audit. I was supposed to get them back in a week but they forgot to tell me something they needed which delayed the process. Well, I got a call from the President of my group last night saying the club member doing the audit called her and said "the books were a mess" and that she couldn't do the audit. So, the President passes on this information and now I have to meet with the auditing club member tonight to "learn" how to do the books. This member is a former bookkeeper who has to have everything "just so." When I called her, she was very short with me and made me feel like I was inconveniencing her. When I got off the phone, I was really upset. I was hurt that this woman wouldn't just call me about it. Why did she feel the need to call the President? And I have only had the books for two months. How much damage could I do? They were balanced when I handed them over. I suspect that this woman is one of those people who have to have things done THEIR way. Now, I have to spend my one free night this week over at her house being berated and belittled over my shoddy bookkeeping. I hope she doesn't make me cry.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Vote on your favorite Sutter Home blush and receive a free corkscrew. If you live in certain states, you will also be entered to win a Napa Valley getaway.

Sutter Home Corkscrew

Monday, January 15, 2007

Joy and Rapture

As part of my Christmas present, Gary took me to a special bookstore in the city to pick out some books for my collection. The bookstore was almost overwhelming. Two stories with bookshelves that went all the way to the ceiling. I finally had to give up and ask for help. We had a lot of fun looking around. Gary selected a signed first of T.C. Boyle's WORLD'S END for himself. After a great deal of deliberation, I selected a first edition of A.S. Byatt's POSSESSION and a signed and numbered limited edition of Kurt Vonnegut's JAILBIRD. Both of us drooled quite a bit over a first edition of CATCH-22 ($2250) and GRAVITY'S RAINBOW ($2000) but we had to leave them behind. We can't collect on that scale. Yet.

I have started a new book. Tess Gerritsen's MEPHISTO CLUB. I normally don't read that type of book but I have heard good things about it. So, I'm going to give it a try. I just recently finished the latest in the Cat Who....series called THE CAT WHO HAD SIXTY WHISKERS. I've been reading these books since I was a teenager. They don't have much of a mystery to them and they are not especially well-written but I love them. They are nice cozy mysteries and I look forward to following the protagonist's life. That is also why I read the Agath Raisin series by M.C. Beaton. Sometimes, you just need a cozy mystery.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Books as Art

I found this on a book-related blog and it really moved me. An individual has created an art installation around giving away her book collection.

Shelf Portrait

Books have always played an important role in my life. I was one of those lucky children who got read to. One of my aunts would give me a book or bookstore gift certificate every year for my birthday. I can remember spending hours in the local bookstore trying to decide how to spend my gift certificate. Books were special treats for me. My grandfather installed some bookshelves in one of my closets in my room growing up. I would go into my closet and lose all track of time while organizing and reorganizing my books. (I was a geeky kid...still am)

I recently read the THIRTEENTH TALE (great book, by the way) and I really loved how the main character talks about getting so engrossed in a book as a child that she fell off the wall she was sitting on while reading. I read like that sometimes. I lose myself in a book and it can be like coming out of a vivid dream when I put the book down.

Over the past few years, I have started collecting signed first-editions. I always buy books in hardcover. I just love the feel of a hardcover book. If it isn't something that I want for my collection, I'll get it from the library. I haven't counted my books lately but I think I have somewhere in the region of 1000. We are working on developing a library/study in our new home and a lot of my books are still in boxes. I have a loose organization system. They are arranged by genre and then alphabetized within genre. I like to be able to find something quickly when I'm looking for it.

Perhaps one day, I will give my own collection away. I can't think of a more beautiful way to do it than as an art installation. How special. How wonderful. How moving.

LBC Freebie of the Day Part 2

Viactiv Chewable Vitamins

Viactiv Sample

LBC Freebie of the Day

Olay Cleansing Cloths

Olay sample

Thursday, January 11, 2007

LBC Freebie of the Day Part 2

Cornix Garlic Blast snacks

Cornix sample

All About Me

Inspired by my friend Ellen, I sat down and wrote out "100 Things About Me." It was an interesting exercise. It was hard to choose what to put down.

When I was studying anthropology, we talked about how it is human nature to categorize things. It helps us to make sense of the world. When begin to categorize individuals immediately upon meeting them. Are they male or female? Short or tall? Coloring? Ethnic features? Weight? And the more we get to know a person, the more categories we fit them into until we create an elaborate framework without even realizing it. It is thought that this is why people find transsexuals and transvestites so unsettling. We have a deep-seated need to put people into neat categories. It satisfies our need for order.

It is definitely a challenge to boil yourself down to 100 qualities. I hope it helps you to get to know me a bit better. You can follow the link at the right to find them.

I have also added a poll. Please answer if you get the chance. It's anonymous and it helps me to know what people find useful (if anything) about my humble little blog.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Follow the link for samples of Tampax and Swiffer Dusters.

Family Circle samples

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

LBC Freebie of the Day Part 2

Here is one for Charmin Freshwipes

Charmin sample

LBC Freebie of the Day

It looks like you could get a free deck of cards with this one.

Bacardi Shake Up the Party Giveaway

I'm Becoming a Blog Reader

I used to read only two blogs: my friend Genevieve's and my friend Ellen's. Lately, I have been reading many more. One thing I like about blogs is that they can connect you to other people you never would have come across otherwise. It's fun to see what people are knitting, reading and thinking. Here are a few I have started reading on a regular basis:

Knit and Tonic

Bookfoolery and Babble


Overdue Books

What Was I Thinking

Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Now, if I could just get more of my friends in the real world to blog. Gary L.----this means you!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

LBC Freebie of the Day

Another Vitabath Sample --this one for shimmering body lotion

Vitabath Sample

Recent Movies

I love going to the movies but it is usually difficult to get Gary to go. Sometimes, I just break down and go on my own.

This year (2007), I have seen "Night at the Museum" and "Children of Men." I thought "Night at the Museum" was cute. Definitely a kids movie. Since I used to work in museums, it made me smile to think about the places that I used to work coming to life at night.

I didn't know what to expect with "Children of Men" but I really liked it. It was kind of an emotional movie to watch. It made think of "Handmaid's Tale" meets "V for Vendetta." It takes place twenty years in the future when the entire population of the earth is now sterile. I think the most disturbing part in the film was the treatment of refugees and "illegal aliens." In a lot ways, we are not too far off from that right now.

Next up, we want to see "Good Shepherd" and "Pan's Labyrinth."

We watched "Lady in the Water" last night on DVD. I was expecting the worst but we both actually liked it. I think it may be a bit too whimsical for most people, though.

LBC Freebie of the Day Part 2

Vitabath Gelee sample

Vitabath sample

Monday, January 08, 2007

LBC Freebie of the Day

Olay Definity Age-Defying Product

Olay Sample

Sock it to Me

Well, I took my first sock-knitting class yesterday. It was hard! Because of my "intense personality," I tend to cast on pretty tightly. This doesn't work well when you are knitting socks on double-pointed needles. So, my instructor had me cast on using two threads. For our first stitch, we had to knit two together. This means, I had to struggle to knit FOUR together. Little beads of perspiration broke out on my forehead. My tongue stuck out of my mouth as I struggled to get those buggers knitted and off the needle. The effort nearly brought tears to my eyes. The instructor told us the first row is the hardest. By the time I had knitted five rows, I was exhausted. My hands felt ginormous using those little needles. (size 3) I hope it gets easier because everyone is always telling me that socks are so fun to knit. We'll see about that.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

LBC Freebie of the Day

Noxema is getting into the shaving business!

Click on the bubble that says "join our shaving squad and get a free razor."

Noxema razor sample

Friday, January 05, 2007


Because I can never read too many books...

I have decided to take the Chunkster Challenge where I will be reading

Thomas Pynchon's AGAINST THE DAY.

We who are about to read salute you...

LBC Freebie of the Day

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a BIG chocolate fan. (especially chocolate chip cookies and the combination of peanut butter and chocolate) I hope this sample comes because hot chocolate sounds perfect for this time of year!

Pure Decadence Hot Chocolate Sample

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My Own Despair.Com Poster

Gary always likes to complain about all the stuff that I have. So, I created this poster just for him.

(photo by Celeste Dobbins)

Rainy Days and Thursdays

It is a cold and rainy day where I am. The campus is closed until the 17th so everything is really quiet. But it's kind of nice.

I signed up for a sock-knitting class that I am really excited about. My friend Vieve loves knitting socks and I can't wait to learn how. I've never used double-pointed needles before. I picked out a really cute multi-colored pink yarn to make myself some Valentine's socks. If all goes well, I have decided to attempt my first sweater. I have chosen Wendy Bernard's "Marilyn's Not-So-Shruken Cardigan." I love Wendy's blog and her patterns are really fresh and hip. I hope it's not too hard. This will be an ambitious project for me. But I better finish the projects currently on my needles first.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Some of you may have heard of BORBA water before. Their products are pretty well known and have been featured in magazines like VOGUE. I'm not sure what this sample is but it might be worth trying.

BORBA sample

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Unruly Teens

I just got some comments from a former co-worker of mine: the "Other Ellen." So, Hello Other Ellen! It's so good to hear from you!

And one more quick response to Vieve's comment on blogging....I think having guidelines about your blog is a good idea. I don't really have that. I try to be careful about what I say. I try not to give out too many personal details. But ultimately, I just want to write whatever I'm feeling that day.

So, Other Ellen sent me a link to an article about a library that has decided to close its doors from 2:45-5pm every day. The prime "teens invading the library after school" hours. Now, we had this problem at my former library. And anyone who works in a library will tell you that we really want kids and teens to use the library. Really. We spent loads of money and time working on programming for these groups and developing collections that would be of interest to them. However, the teens and preteens also tended to cause a lot of problems. Many of them simply hung out at the library with no particular purpose. They would graffiti, yell, play chase and even make-out in the stacks. They would often be rude and confrontational with staff and sometimes with other patrons. We tried creating rules and guidelines and working with them but the problems continue. This one library has decided not to deal with it anymore. And it's really sad. Where will those kids go? But then again, it's a library, not a rec center. What do you think?

Here is the link to the article:


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

LBC Freebie of the Day

Celestial Seasonings Zinger Tea

Tea Sample

(have I done this one yet? Let me know if I duplicate a freebie)

To Blog or not to Blog

I have been blogging for three and a half years. I started about a month after my friend Ellen did. My friend Genevieve started blogging around the same time. I started blogging because my friends are spread out everywhere and I thought it would be a convenient way to keep in touch. They could check in on my life whenever they wanted. I planned for my blog to be sort of a loose online diary. It worked pretty well. And it enabled me to keep up with friends like Ellen and Genevieve easier. I always miss not getting to be a part of the lives of my friends who live far away. I don't get to hear about day to day stuff or see their kids. So, blogging allowed me to do that. The problem with blogging, though, is that it is a very public forum whether you want it to be or not.

C.S. Lewis said, "we read to know we are not alone." Perhaps today he might say, "We blog and read blogs to know we are not alone."

Ellen has become a very popular blogger. I think her frankness, honesty and sense of humor about her struggles with depression and infertility have really spoken to people. And it doesn't hurt that she is a talented artist and all-around creative person. But I think the pressure of coming up with something day after day and exposing your life for everyone has made her decide to end her blog. I know I will really miss it. I loved getting the chance to check up on Ellen and get a glimpse into how her life is going. I hope she will keep in touch.

In the meantime, I will continue to blog and check in on those friends who still have blogs. And I will continue to read the blogs of a few strangers that I have come across. My new favorite: Knit and Tonic.

Happy blogging.....and happy trails to Ellen.

LBC Freebie of the Day

Free almond snack tin from California Almonds

Almond Snack tin