Monday, December 28, 2009

New favorite thing: Olay Definity Color Recapture

I wear makeup nearly every day. I think between being raised as a good Southern girl and having terrible under eye circles and various other things that need to be covered up, leaving the house barefaced is just not me.

On the weekends I don't want to go through all the hullabaloo of a full face of makeup, but I still feel naked without something on my face. Given all this I am sort of constantly on the hunt for a tinted moisturizer in particular that looks natural, doesn't get all weird by midday, provides some coverage but isn't too foundation-y, doesn't make the oiliness of my skin worse AND matches my fair, sort-of warm-colored complexion. It's a tall order, and since I've been wearing one form of foundation or other since I was I think about 12, I've tried what seems like everything out there. And it takes a lot for me to really embrace a product.

One of the skincare/makeup message boards I frequent was full of raves for Olay Definity Color Recapture, but I was skeptical. Most Olay products I've tried have been a disappointment, even since they've reformulated and made themselves all fancy, and at almost $24, this was pricey for a drugstore product. Too, my local Target and drugstores didn't carry it and, even if they had, Internet postings indicated that there were no testers available at brick-and-mortar stores to check for color matches. But the online raves were compelling and consistent, so when I was making a order, I threw in a bottle in the fair/light shade.

And I have to say -- I'm impressed. The tube of product is pretty large, and a little goes a long way, so while the price is definitely higher than that of other drugstore options, it also seems like you're getting more for your money. The color is forgiving, so the handful of available shade ranges should work for most people. It provides a little coverage, just enough to hide some redness and make me feel presentable, and after it dries the finish is really nice. And, best of all, it didn't exacerbate my oiliness or wear off oddly in the oily parts of my face. This stuff definitely competes with department-store tinted moisturizers I've tried in the past, and I have to say I really, really like the end result. Several people at church yesterday told me I looked great, which I attribute to this stuff.

I'll still keep more traditional foundations on hand for work and dress-up occasions, but the Color Recapture has earned its place in my makeup rotation.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Song of the day

I'm not sure how many people know of the late singer Eva Cassidy. She reinterpreted many folk, rock and jazz standards, performing them largely for Washington, DC audiences. She released a couple of albums prior to her death from melanoma in 1996 at the age of 33. A BBC broadcast of her version of "Over the Rainbow" several years after her death (an amazing interpretation of a great song) brought posthumous attention to her work and her album "Songbird."

One of my favorite songs ever is Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time." It's been covered by artists ranging from Ronan Keating to Matchbox 20. But Eva Cassidy's version remains my favorite. Her clear, haunting voice just stays with me.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

--Luke 2:1-21

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'O Holy Night' as sung by Cartman

I love "O Holy Night" -- it's definitely my favorite Christmas carol and probably up there in terms of my all-time favorite hymns.

After Sharon posted the lyrics to the song in both French and English, I felt compelled to poke around on YouTube to see if I could find a nice version to post here for the holidays. And -- well, this just made me laugh. I think it's the way most people sing and know the song.

Monday, December 21, 2009

An old dog learns a new trick

Life can be hard when you're a nearly-15-year-old dog. Winters are tough, even relatively mild California ones, and just getting around like you used to is a bit more challenging. Even at her advanced age, though, Daisy has remained remarkably sprightly and springy. Until about a month ago, that is, when she was trying to jump up onto the couch -- and missed. She fell, hard, and both of us sat on the floor afterward, shivering and crying a little.

So I have finally and officially entered the realm of Crazy Pet Owner with the purchase of this thing -- a pet ramp/step contraption. Yes, I realize that I am now actively enabling (with furniture, no less) one of the very behaviors I've spent most of the time I've had her trying to make her stop. But that spill she took was really nasty, and since she spends most of her time when I'm away at work sleeping on the couch, whether I want her to or not, it seemed like an almost reasonable purchase to keep her safe. Almost.

Of course, not unlike her owner, Daisy resists change. So the ramp/step contraption has spent the last two or so weeks here in the family room totally unused. I've tried to pick Daisy up and put her on it, lure her to it with baby talk and by crawling on it myself (shut up), but no dice -- she's eyed it warily and acted like it's some satanic device from outer space to be shunned and feared. No amount of coaxing on my part could change her very small mind.

Until I had a stroke of genius -- cheese! Or, more accurately, "cheese" since she's only ever eaten Velveeta. It's her third favorite thing in the world (her favorite being a tie between French fries and her SnuggleSafe fresh from the microwave), and food is one of the few things that can motivate her stubborn little self.

Here is the clearly menacing contraption with cheese on its three steps, just waiting to lure Daisy into its evil clutches.

And here's Daisy, almost literally as far as she can get away from it and still have me in her field of vision. I think she worried that I was so close to the wicked thing, but not so concerned as to jeopardize her own safety.

Eventually, she nervously, carefully crept toward the couch, the Velveeta's siren song working its magic.

And then, finally, she commits, snatching the cheese morsel off the bottom step.

Almost before I knew it, she was more than halfway up the steps, snarfing "cheese" as she went.

And then -- victory! On the couch, having used the steps to get there, Daisy was quite pleased with herself.

Of course, she immediately jumped down, waiting for me to produce more "cheese" to reward her again for her fearlessness.

Now, after this episode, she goes up and down the steps without a second thought. Like it's her J-O-B. Which, in a way, it sort of is.

And here's a picture of Boo. He didn't use the steps, but then again he never does anything he doesn't want to do.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not sure what I think about this

Lynnie asked today if I'd seen this video yet, and I had not. It is compelling and a clear gospel call. From the Catholics.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Pap schmear?

A coworker said he'd seen this public service announcement last night on CBS, and sure enough, lookee here. Once again, I don't have words. The perfect Christmas gift is, apparently, a Pap smear:

Or Hanukkah gift, even:


Monday, December 7, 2009

Appalled. Disgusted. Aghast.

I am rarely at a loss for words, but after reading Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat's recent piece about a single mother of two children earning less than $19,000 a year who was audited by the IRS, I am. Not only was she audited, but after her parents (with whom she and her two little boys lived) hired an accountant to help her with the back-taxes fiasco, the IRS audited them, too.

Here's the whole column. I have no words.

Rachel Porcaro knows she's hardly rich. When you're a single mom making 10 bucks an hour, you don't need government experts to tell you how broke you are.

But that's what happened. The government not only told Porcaro she was poor. They said she was too poor to make it in Seattle.

It all started a year ago, when Porcaro, a 32-year-old mom with two boys, was summoned to the Seattle office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She had been flagged for an audit.

She couldn't believe it. She made $18,992 the previous year cutting hair at Supercuts. A few hundred of that she spent to have her taxes prepared by H&R Block.

"I asked the IRS lady straight upfront — 'I don't have anything, why are you auditing me?' " Porcaro recalled. "I said, 'Why me, when I don't own a home, a business, a car?' "

The answer stunned both Porcaro and the private tax specialist her dad had gotten to help her.

"They showed us a spreadsheet of incomes in the Seattle area," says Dante Driver, an accountant at Seattle's G.A. Michael and Co. "The auditor said, 'You made eighteen thousand, and our data show a family of three needs at least thirty-six thousand to get by in Seattle."

"They thought she must have unreported income. That she was hiding something. Basically they were auditing her for not making enough money."

Seriously? An estimated 60,000 people in Seattle live below the poverty line — meaning they make $11,000 or less for an individual or $22,000 for a family of four. Does the IRS red-flag them for scrutiny, simply because they're poor?

I asked the local office of the IRS. They said they couldn't comment for privacy reasons.

"We can't give you any kind of broad interview because your request is associated with the case of an individual taxpayer," IRS Media Relations said in a statement.

So I'll just tell you Rachel's story.

She had a yearlong odyssey into the maw of the IRS. After being told she couldn't survive in Seattle on so little, she was notified her returns for both 2006 and 2007 had been found "deficient." She owed the government more than $16,000 — almost an entire year's pay.

She couldn't pay it. Her dad, Rob, has run a local painting business, Porcaro Power Painting, for 30 years. He asked his accountant, Driver, for help.

Rachel's returns weren't all that complicated. At issue, though, was that she and her two sons, ages 10 and 8, were all living at her parents' house in Rainier Beach (she pays $400 a month rent). So the IRS concluded she wasn't providing for her children and therefore couldn't claim them as dependents.

She stood to lose what is called earned income tax credit, a refund targeted to help low-income workers. You qualify only if you're working, as Rachel has been.

Driver quickly determined the IRS was wrong in how it was interpreting the tax laws. He sent in the necessary code citations and hoped that would be the end of it.

Instead, the IRS responded by launching an audit of Rachel's parents.

"I was floored," says Rob Porcaro, 59. "I get audited now and then in my business, so I've been through it before. But to have them go after me because of my daughter, well, I've never heard of anything like it."

Rob and his wife, Patty, had to send in house blueprints, bank statements, old utility bills. Rachel was asked to prove her children were hers, as well as document the money she'd spent on her children's clothes, health care and so on.

They racked up $10,000 in accountant bills — $8,000 of which Driver is trying to recover from the IRS.

In the end, the parents were cleared. The IRS also backed off trying to reclaim Rachel's earned income tax credit.

But the agency insisted Rachel couldn't prove she was supporting her children — she didn't have enough receipts — so she had to stop claiming them as dependents. A few weeks ago she paid back $1,438 (plus penalties and interest!) on that issue.

Way to go, IRS. You did an investigation likely costing tens of thousands of dollars (counting both sides). To squeeze a grand out of a single mom who did nothing wrong.

Legally, Rachel's kids now are in tax limbo. I met them at the Porcaros' house and they seemed real enough, jostling and pleading to play video games. But as far as the IRS is concerned, they don't exist. Neither Rachel nor her parents can claim them as dependents.

"I tell you, we don't buy a roll of toiler paper anymore without keeping the receipt," Rob said.

Why did this happen? The IRS won't say, but Congress has been fighting for years about the earned income tax credit for the working poor.

Republicans have called the credits "backdoor welfare" and tried to cancel them. When they controlled Congress, they ordered the IRS to ramp up audits of people who claim the credit.

In 2006, credit recipients such as Rachel were more than twice as likely to get audited as the rest of the 140 million individual tax filers.

The Porcaros say they get that the IRS can't just audit the wealthy. Poor people commit fraud, too. But the intensity and duration of the IRS' "obsession," as Rob called it, as well as that it appears the agency was trolling for the working poor, remains a sore point.

It's why they agreed to talk about their finances in the newspaper.

"I feel they're persecuting the people who are down in the mud making the bricks," Rob says. "I'm sure there are tons who don't have the resources to lawyer up. What a way to go, to have your own government take you down because you're too poor."

Driver, the tax specialist, says it's well-known that the system targets the weak — people with sloppy returns, for example, who don't tend to be well off.

"It's the way a wolf goes after the weakest sheep."

Rachel says an irony of her year in tax hell is that the IRS is right about one thing — you can't get by in Seattle on what she makes. That's why she's living with her parents. To try to make a life in our shimmering city without relying on welfare, food stamps or other public assistance.

"We're an Italian family," she said. "We're surviving as a tribe. It seems like we got punished for that."

OK, maybe I have a couple of words.

If it wasn't possible for her to provide for her children on so little money, according to the federal tax people, why was the IRS reviewers' response to that finding to audit her for missing income? If that theory were true, shouldn't social services have been notified of a case of potential neglect? I guess not. Or -- how about focusing the audit to be sure she took all deductions available to her? No, apparently not.

Um, what?

So I was minding my own business this morning, reading online weather reports because the snow level is supposed to drop low enough today for Sacramento to get snow and I was worrying about the morning's commute. Like Sacramento drivers need a reason to crash into each other.

ANYWAY, so I was checking the weather. And this ad was on the ad page for my suburb. You may need to click on the image to en-bigger it:

The "homeowners fail to take advantage" ad is what caught my eye. Does a bearded, bare chested man with long straggly hair have something to do with refinancing? Is it a play on the Geico caveman ads? I am at a loss here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Comic of the day

Modern day Three Little Bears. Click on image to en-bigger it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kitten jazz hands

Yes, I know -- YouTube is like a library of cute baby/kitten videos (mixed with equal parts of footage showing people extracting their own tonsil stones and/or demonstrating how to use a flat iron).

But this kitten video is, even in that great repository of kitten videos, a stand out. So cute.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A month of laundry

What happens when you have a migraine headache for more than a month, off and on, more or less? Well, a few things, but one thing is, if you're me, that you don't do laundry. At all. Not a sock, not a pillowcase, not a dishtowel.

Until the day you run out of underwear, that is, and mercifully, that day happens to fall on a day you're pain free.

I have done I think 10 loads of laundry all told yesterday, including sheets and towels. Ten loads. For one person. That's a lot of laundry.

And here the majority of it sits, more or less folded or draped on the dining room table and chairs, waiting for the next wave of ambition and domesticity to hit me so I can put it all away.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Whom do you follow on Twitter?

Twitter is a strange, wonderful thing.

By reducing people's thoughts and comments effectively to haikus with its 140-character limitation, strange, funny, beautiful phrases and observations come often from people you'd least expect. Too, it's a little like the great equalizer -- so many famous people tweet under the own names or obvious handles (like Ashton Kutcher, who tweets under aplusk) that non-celebrities can get a small window into their lives and minds.

So -- who's following whom on Twitter? I follow many friends and colleagues, obviously, and lots of publications, but here's a list of other folks who amuse or inform me with their little blurbs.
  • WilliamShatner: Need I say more?
  • HalfPintIngalls: Yep, Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie is a hilarious, anachronistic poster.
  • MarkFinan: Local weather guy. Hugely helpful to have weather forecasts tweeted to my phone a few times a day now that rain's on the menu.
  • NotRickWarren: He gets it, even if Pastor Warren doesn't.
  • FakeJohnPiper: Screamingly funny at times. Actually makes me laugh out loud.
  • FakeAPStylebook: Does anal retentive have a hyphen?
  • HowardKurtz: Writer for the Washington Post and CNN media commentator.
  • Sh*tMyDadSays: Generally profane, mostly amusing posts of a 29-year-old man who lives with his dad and tweets the little gems of wisdom his dad spouts throughout the day.
  • Dooce: Mom of two kids in Salt Lake City who blogs and tweets about her life and raising a precocious five-year-old and baby, living with dogs (one of whom is crazy) and a funny husband.
  • Wonkette: Caustic, potty-mouthed political commentary from the left.
  • ShoeBlogger: Very, very funny man who blogs and tweets in an homage to Manolo Blahnik about shoes and society.
  • PostSecret: The postcard art project I love so much in a Twitter version.
  • LigonDuncan: Mississippi pastor I admire (and have a small crush on) provides bits of doctrine and God's Word.
  • Hodgman: The humorist and embodiment of the PC in Apple commercials is a regular and frequent poster. His brain is a strange and funny place to be.
  • ESVDaily: A daily Bible verse from my preferred version of the Bible.
What are yours? Share in the comments, please.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all

This time last year I was in New York with Eric and Shu! and their beloveds, surrounded by real cold weather and hustle and bustle and about 8.3 million other people and the start of the holiday season. It was an amazing, amazing holiday.

This year I'm in California, looking forward to food and fellowship (and fun!) with my church family. The pecan pie is in the oven, the black bean corn salsa is macerating in the frig, and Daisy and Boo are both snoring on the couch while "Modern Family" blares from the DVR. This, too, is amazing.

I'm so, so blessed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Jimmy Fallon does Neil Young doing Will Smith's "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Sorry about the dumb ad that may or may not be at the beginning of the video. But it's worth sitting through.

There are no words.


President Obama in remarks to some Washington, DC school children on Monday:

"As president, I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering. And I also want to keep an eye on those robots in case they try anything."

I'm so with him on the robots.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

16 golden retrievers + the atom = science!

Via BoingBoing, a bunch of (incredibly well trained) golden retrievers show us the basic mechanics and construction of atoms. If Daisy were somehow part of this atomic demonstration, she'd be making a quark or an isotope or something.

I love science. And golden retrievers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Um, what?

Those crazy French. I have to say -- this is not an experience I've ever wanted to have myself.

From Reuters:

French hotel offers guests a night as a hamster
Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:15am EST

NANTES - It's a unique concept according to its creators, a hotel in the French town of Nantes is offering the chance for people to become a hamster.

For 99 euros ($148.10) a night, you can eat hamster grain, run in a giant wheel and sleep in hay stacks in what is called the "Hamster Villa."

It's a unique experience and, the guests say, just something

The owners, Frederic Tabary and Yann Falquerho, run a company which rents out unusual and bizarre places.

"The Hamster in the world of children is that little cuddly animal. Often, the adults who come here have wanted or did have hamsters when they were small," Falquerho said, dressed as a hamster.

However, the price is soon to go up as today's hamsters need, according to the owners, Wifi and a giant TV screen. (Editing by Paul

Saturday, November 14, 2009

So, so proud

So two of my sisters in Christ, Lynnie and Doria, are running a marathon today. I mean, running it on purpose, because they want to -- not because someone with an axe is chasing them, which is I think what it would take for me to run 26 miles.

I've watched them over the months leading up to this race, and their example has just been amazing. They've been committed to their training regime -- consistent with a schedule of running and time in the gym, mixing up running outside together and pacing themselves alone in the gym on a treadmill to get their distances up and their times down. It's been convicting and inspiring, their ability to see a far-away goal and deliberately, one day at a time, take the necessary steps to meet it. Challenging steps that pushed them physically and mentally. Uncomfortable steps that they worked through time and again.

On top of this, they are are also beautiful and smart and kind and generous and godly and funny and all-around great women.

I am so proud of them -- and I am a better person for counting them as friends and sisters in Christ.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What's wrong with this picture?

I wore two different colored shoes to work today.

And I didn't even notice until a coworker pointed it out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembering veterans today

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
-- John F. Kennedy

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Two great things that go great together

I love the Beastie Boys -- this is not news. And I love "Star Wars" -- the original trilogy, anyway.

Apparently there are other Star Wars geeks out there who love the Beastie Boys, too.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Poor Piglet, scapegoated again

More swine flu humor at Piglet's expense. From Lindsay. Who I miss and think should go to a community college here in Sac for a couple of years instead of going away to school.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pet flu

Not swine or Asian or bird. Pet flu. They both have something that has caused them to barf all over the place since about 8:00 this morning. Maybe they have some sort of Stoever sympathy virus?

Probably hard to tell from this picture, but they are very subdued. Definitely out of sorts.

At least they're sleeping now. But I'm leaving the paper towels and Spot Shot out on the counter for a bit longer.

I love this commercial

Geek humor. I just saw it on teevee for the first time and laughed and laughed.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween, y'all

My exciting day (and evening) consists of dodging the hundreds of kids who flock to Wisteria Lane to trick or treat and parsing various bills comprising the water package that's up for a vote Monday in the Assembly. Woo!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


So after a literal lifetime of migraines, I finally had an MRI of my head this morning.

It was an open MRI, since I am claustrophobic as it turns out and had quite a, um, spell when I tried to do a closed one about two years ago.

Results should be to my doctor by Tuesday. I'd appreciate your good thoughts and prayers in the meantime.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Statement concerning Capitol Ministries

I worked for Capitol Ministries for nine months. Most of you know that I returned to legislative life in the State Capitol this April. When I made the change, what I shared here about it was that I wasn't comfortable discussing all the reasons for the decision, and that even as I left full-time vocational ministry, I loved CM, its mission, those it sends out and the dear brothers and sister in Christ with whom I was blessed to work. And I've encouraged friends who are fellow believers to support the ministry with their time and treasure both during and after my employment there.

Sadly, I can no longer do this. Following is an abridged version of a statement the elders of my church sent out to members about CM:

As most of you know, over the last few months there has been a difficult and grievous situation developing with Capitol Ministries and Ralph Drollinger, President of CM. Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA (John MacArthur, Pastor-Teacher), where Ralph has been a member for many years and a sent-out missionary in his work with CM, recently issued a final statement regarding their relationship with Ralph and CM. With this final statement from GCC, and because of [our] long history and relationship with Ralph and CM, we believe it appropriate to pass this information on to you.

Our intent in sharing these things is three-fold:

1. To warn you, and encourage you to warn others, that Ralph Drollinger has been determined to be biblically disqualified for spiritual leadership by the elders of his home and sending church. Inasmuch as we agree with and support the determination of the GCC elders, we believe Ralph is not to be trusted or regarded as qualified to be in a place of spiritual leadership. Because Ralph is continuing in his role as President of CM, in spite of GCC’s determination, we believe he is a deceitful and divisive danger to the body of Christ (Rom. 16:17,18; Titus 1:10,11; 3:10,11). Therefore, neither Ralph nor any ministry endeavor he presently leads should be supported financially or otherwise.”

2. To encourage you to continue praying for God to be glorified in this situation, for God’s grace to be extended to Ralph in granting repentance, and for the Gospel to continue to go forward, particularly in capitols around the country and around the world. Likewise, please continue to pray for God’s sustaining grace to be provided for those directly and indirectly impacted by this situation...

3. To give you perspective and understanding regarding why Sean, Lynne, David, and Nora were compelled to resign from their full-time work with Capitol Ministries, why Pastor Greg resigned from the Board of Directors, and why we as a church no longer support or endorse Capitol Ministries.

GCC’s final statement follows some previous statements they had given concerning the situation. Here are GCC’s statements, which have been available to any who ask:

1. From July 17, 2009 –

“The elders of Grace Community Church have agreed to temporarily suspend our affirmation of Ralph Drollinger, pending the resolution of our inquiry into allegations made against him.”

2. From Sept. 24, 2009 –

“In the summer of 2009, five of the Capitol Ministries Board of Directors resigned. These men are well known to us and we have no reason to question their wisdom, discernment, or integrity. One of those former board members, John Anderson, is a respected member of our church in good standing; the other, John Bates, is one of our elders. It is the estimation of these men that Ralph Drollinger is not biblically qualified for spiritual leadership.

“We, the Grace Community Church elders, stand behind the assessment of these former members of the Capitol Ministries Board of Directors about Ralph’s disqualification from leadership in Christian ministry. The attacks Ralph has continued to make on the character and motives of these men, as well as our elders, regrettably affirms to us this determination.”

3. From Oct. 15, 2009 (this is GCC’s final statement) –

“After much observation of and interaction with Ralph Drollinger, we, the Grace Community Church Elders, maintain that he is not biblically qualified for Christian ministry. Consequently, we do not endorse Capitol Ministries under his leadership. Ralph Drollinger no longer has any relationship with Grace Community Church.”

These statements from GCC follow a lengthy process over the last 7 months which has resulted in the following within CM:

  • 4 full-time staff of the Headquarters Office in Sacramento have resigned;
  • 2 part-time staff of the Headquarters Office in Sacramento were effectively terminated;
  • 6 of 8 Board of Directors have resigned, leaving just Ralph and his father-in-law Dan Madison (Note: the 6 who resigned did not all do so at the same time, and 2 new members were added a few weeks ago);
  • 17 of 21 full-time State Directors have resigned.


P.S. The majority of former CM State Directors who have resigned have formed a new organization called The Capitol Commission, through which they purpose to continue their ministry in state capitols. If you have previously been financially supporting CM, we encourage you to direct your gifts to this new ministry.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Morning giggles

Via Manolo the Shoeblogger. I have watched this four times in a row and can't stop giggling.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In which I am apparently not dressed correctly for the weather

Scene: I am approaching the corner of L and 11th streets. Like most work mornings, I am met by Anthony, a homeless guy who sells his art and newspapers to Capitol community members streaming in and out of the building. It is sunny, but cool.

N: Good morning, Anthony! How are you today?

Anthony: And where is your COAT?!

N: Uh....

Anthony: And your HAT?!

N: Uh. *nervous giggle* It's not quite cold enough for all that, is it?

Anthony: (grimly) Well, it's very DAMP.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Best headline ever


Skateboarder Cleared of Assaulting Homeless Physicist
Fission and quarks figure into quirky case

It's not every day that disputes over particle physics leads to assault charges.

But that's what happened when Jason Everett Keller, 40, joined a conversation about quantum physics in South San Francisco in March.

Keller was accused of attacking Stephan Fava while Fava and his friend were discussing physics in the Bay Area town.

The charges didn't stick, however, as Keller has been acquitted by a San Mateo County jury.

The verdict is still out string theory, however, so there's no indication that physics-related violence will abate any time soon.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Is anyone else's Google Reader freaking out lately?

For about the last 10 days or so, roughly every other day, my Google Reader reports I have 1,000+ unread posts. Like, an hour after I last checked it. It seems to be spastically refreshing, or something. Maybe?

Anyone else? Or is it the drugs talking here?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

All too true

Not sure of the source of this. Somewhere on the Interwebs.

I know a few people who could use this

Ha. Via, a postmodern apology slip. Click image to see it full size.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Seasonal repost -- Daisy's favorite thing: SnuggleSafe microwave heating pad

Given the recent storms and dramatic turn in temperatures, Daisy's Favorite Thing has come out of mothballs for the season. She just loves it so much -- I thought it was a topic worth reposting.

Our winters are mild in Northern California, but there's still winter. Cold, damp, gray.

And if you're a 14-and-a-half-year-old dog with short hair who weighs 11 pounds, you feel it. The house has wood floors throughout the downstairs, and while I can throw on my Ugg slippers and some sweats, neither is really an option for Daisy. When I was home more between Christmas and New Year's Day, I noticed her shivering at times, even while curled up in a ball on the (seemingly warm) couch. It was time to do something.

I read on the Interwebs about the SnuggleSafe, a microwavable pod that you can put in your pet's bedding. After being microwaved, it maintains a nearly constant 123 degrees for about 12 hours, and since there's no electricity or cords involved, it's safe for use without being monitored by a human.

And here it is. A solid Frisbee looking thing filled, apparently, with some sort of space-age gel inside.

And here it is in its Polarfleece cover. The surface of the thingy gets pretty warm, so the cover enables it to be moved and touched.

Five minutes in the microwave in the morning...

... and then it gets tucked into Daisy's dog bed under the "covers," where it gently radiates warmth throughout the day.

I was worried that Daisy wouldn't take to it, or wouldn't want some weird thing in her bed with her. But I needn't have been concerned.

It's her new best friend.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stormy weather

The first major storm of the season blew in to the Sacratomato region overnight. The remnants of a typhoon, apparently, the storm's winds topped 45 mph throughout the area. Some 25,000 homes in Sacramento alone were without power and commutes into and out of downtown have been at a near stop all day.

It took me nearly three hours to drive the 15 miles from my house to the Capitol -- and I exited I-5 at the first opportunity and took back roads. Which were littered with downed trees, awash in surface flooding and plagued with nonworking street lights.

Rain is supposed to continue through tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

New favorite thing: silica powder

I have oily skin. This is both a blessing and a curse -- a blessing, because oilier skins tend to show aging less, which as I get older is definitely a good thing. A curse because, well, I'm oily -- my makeup tends to break down and slide off pretty early in the day, I'm more prone to breakouts, and then there's the shine that I have spent literally years fighting.

Powder is an oily goily's best friend, and I think I have tried most brands' products to fight the shine. And -- hardly any of them really work. They do for a while, but eventually, the oil gets the better of them. MAC Blot is, to me, the best pressed powder I've used for touching up during the day, but for a loose powder to use in the mornings when I'm getting ready, I hadn't found one that I really liked.

Some of the makeup-type message boards that I visit have been showing raves lately for Make Up For Ever's HD high definition loose powder. Oily skinned folks in particular raved about this stuff -- that its main ingredient, silica, didn't make oiliness worse, stayed matte all day long and blurred fine lines and flaws in the process. It sounded too good to be true -- I've heard it all before. And at $30, I wasn't going to take a chance on a product I couldn't sample first.

But then, I stumbled on Coastal Scents. This website offers a lot of cosmetics at vastly reduced prices from department stores (or even drugstores, in some cases). And -- they have a loose silica powder. Same ingredient as the MUFE version, same translucent shade, but at a fraction of the price -- $4 for an ounce vs. $30 for .35 ounce. And they sell samples so you can try before you buy.

And -- it's all that. I now see what the silica hoopla was about. It keeps me shine free longer than any other powder I've used, it does blur imperfections as advertised and the translucent shade (which is a stark white in the container -- it looks like baking powder) doesn't change the color of my foundation underneath. And at $4 a pop, I can use it liberally. It's my new mainstay.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Song of the day

kd lang's voice is just so beautiful. So lacking artifice, so unadorned -- and just wrapped perfectly around the lyrics. And few people write lyrics as spare, lush and poignant as Leonard Cohen.

Here she sings his "Bird on a Wire." So beautiful.

Friday, September 18, 2009

On the mend?

A few thoughts, in no particular order, as The Week That Was winds down.
  • Lots of medical stuff here Chez Something this week: migraine Saturday through Monday; doctor visit to assess said migraines on Tuesday; icky oral surgery on Thursday (which Sweet Colette got me through with flying colors); icky oral surgery recovery day today.
  • I am now the proud owner of two prescriptions for migraines and three prescriptions for oral surgery recovery. I am basically taking pills like it's my J-O-B.
  • If any of you see me driving a car before, say, Saturday at noon, please effect a citizen's arrest, because the odds are very good that I will be altered by some sort of pain medication.
  • Of course, all these drugs have different dosing schedules. Which, since one of them is for pain, I basically can't keep straight (see Bullet #3 re highness). My current medication strategy is to take at least one pill of some kind every time I wander into the kitchen. So far, so good.
  • The mouth stitches come out Thursday. It will be nice to bite and chew again, but I can't really argue with the flatness of my stomach today.
  • The new migraine drugs should kick in within a couple of weeks. I say "new," but really they're old -- I was on them several years ago for a long time and they worked well for me then. Right up to the point they quit working. Maybe they'll do the trick again after a few years' lapse. I have a follow-up doctor appointment in late October and, if things aren't better, I'm off to the neurologist.
  • I'm also scheduled for an open MRI of my head near the end of October. I hope I behave myself this time.
  • I am so looking forward to getting out of my pajamas, running errands and doing chores -- rejoining the world.