Saturday, February 28, 2009

YouTubing it in

Random thoughts for a random Saturday.

First, Baby Selah. For those of you who don't know David and Christina, she's the sweet little glow-worm baby used in last winter's experiments with Daisy and baby cuddling. So far, she's still the only baby who, after I've spent time with, Daisy smells on my clothes and me and gets all giddy about.

Anyway. Baby Selah is now almost 13 months old. And as cute as the day is long. Here's a video of her being adorable. It makes me want to chew on her face. And can we talk about the wee little ears on her hoody? Just too much:

Next, a song for today. I have been haunting YouTube looking for scary metal music to play on my iPod while running. And in looking through Metallica's offerings, I found this. Dare I say it's ... sweet? Thoughtful? Loving? Apparently these guys do have hearts after all, when they're not chasing down Napster scofflaws and defending their copyright:

Last, this commercial. Have y'all seen this? I am so horrified by the, um, hair that I didn't even know it was advertising a cell phone company until I was searching for it on YouTube. It's like my brain just screams the whole time I watch. And the look on the face of the guy on the back of the bike is priceless.

Friday, February 27, 2009


I'm always surprised when spring shows up every year. Our winters here are so mild, but distinct -- lots of rain, dark skies, snow up the hill. But even in winter, the northern part of California has the sun and breezes and blue skies that make the state famous.

So when winter finally loosens her grip and starts to slowly, unwillingly, give way to spring, I'm always caught off guard. It's like, "Oh. Right. You're here." We may still get rain, the temperatures may turn cold again, but there's this shift that happens where you just know it's temporary and the sunshine and warmth have won.

Yesterday was the day I made that realization this year. I snuck out for lunch and sat in the window of a cafe like a lizard, soaking up the sun and people watching. Folks pouring out of the cathedral from noon mass. Walking around in their shirtsleeves and sunglasses. Laughing and smiling with each other.

It's that time of year.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New normal

Cora and I have had a standing Wednesday night date for nearly six years now. We aren't able to see each other every week -- the Legislature used to get in the way pretty regularly, and recently it was more likely to be her crazy 16-year-old life and schedule -- but more often than not, Wednesdays are our night.

These days, we have company on our date nights. When Baby Belinda joined the family in January, Cora's carefree schedule and life clamped down pretty considerably. She's home a lot more now, for obvious reasons, and less inclined for us to go off adventuring or to eat dinner in a restaurant somewhere on our Wednesdays. So the new routine is that I swing by her apartment, she leaves the baby with her mom, and we two drive somewhere, pick up dinner for all of us, and then return home to eat and visit and cuddle the baby and watch her nearly-two-year-old brother, Jerry's, antics.

All the way to get food and back in the car, Cora is just a chatterbox of stories and anecdotes and cute retellings of what the baby did since I saw her last. Downloading. Last night was no different -- I got a blow-by-blow recount of the weekend spent breaking the baby of her binkie addiction. It's always wonderful. By the time we get back, we've had a little time to ourselves, a glimpse of how it used to be for so many years. Just the two of us.

But when we walk in, juggling dinner, the apartment is positively awhirl with the new normal. Jerry the toddler is giddy at the prospect of food from the outside world -- and flirty for attention from the nice lady who brings it. Cora's mom is ready for adult conversation. And without fail, nearly the minute I cross the threshold, Baby Belinda is placed in my arms -- where she stays while the rest of the evening unwinds in a rush around us.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

'It's going to space!'

This video has been making the rounds lately on the Interwebs, but it bears reposting.

Comedian Louis CK in an appearance on Conan O'Brien talking about the amazing time we're lucky enough to live in and how we're basically spoiled brats with no appreciation for the countless miracles happening around us every day.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Last night

Daisy, Boo and I rallied long enough last night to watch a DVR-ed version of the Oscars. Was it just me, or was it a particularly uninteresting show? Hugh Jackman was adorable, but the multiple previous Oscar winners giving little speeches to the night's nominees? Meh.

Anyway, here's the fam. They jockeyed for the coveted spot in my lap for a few minutes before working out this truce.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Song of yesterday

Yesterday, before today's headache struck and I could still listen to noise :/, I played this song over and over.

Ben Harper's voice is like velvet. And having brown eyes I'm favorably disposed to their mention in songs.

So enjoy (hopefully): Ben Harper's "Brown Eyed Blues."

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Four years ago today, I became a Christian. I am nearly as surprised by this now as I was then. I was telling a friend just this week that there are times I can't believe I believe what I believe.

This was the parable that closed the deal, so to speak. God used this story, and Skinny Spice, to show Himself to me. I knew the story and had heard references to it hundreds of times, but it just took one sober reading and some gentle questioning from Skinny Spice to make everything come together. God, as it turns out, is good.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
-- Luke 15:11-32

Friday, February 20, 2009

This morning

The break of day, from the back yard.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ode to my lost sunglasses

I bought you in a last splashy splurge
Full price at Nordstrom.
But you were perfect:
My headaches were the justification.

But now you're gone,
Lost to a weird Wednesday that had me whispering on my cell in a public bathroom
And bailing on Bible study
To talk to stressed friends and former coworkers.

Oh Michael Kors, you minx.
You design overpriced-yet-unquestionably-fabulous sunglasses --
Enormous lenses that were *just* dark enough
In the perfect tortoise shell frame.
Jackie O.
Carole Migden told me I looked like a movie star in them,
But of course that's another story.

What shall I do, now that you've left me,
And all that remains is a memory of your exact rightness?
Sullen, forlorn, I'll haunt Nordstrom Rack,
Searching for your doppelganger
And squinting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blaming it on the rain

I know I'm a couple of posts behind in meeting my "post every day" resolution. And I'm sorry about that. I just haven't had a lot to say over the last week or so.

I knew I was in trouble when I actually considered writing about the fact that I'd smacked my head really hard Monday night on the mantel over my fireplace -- I mean, really hard, like to the point that everything sort of went black around the edges and I heard a CRACK! noise on impact and thought to myself, "Oh. I'm going to pass out." But didn't.

See? Not the most interesting subject matter.

I'm wondering if it's the rain -- we have just been socked in with it lately, and since we so desperately need both rainfall and snowpack in the Sierra, I am trying not to whine. I think the darkened skies, constant dripping, nasty driving conditions and general lack of interaction with the world outside are getting to me a little, though.

We're supposed to have a few days' break until the next system comes through on Saturday, so we'll see, I suppose.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Song of the day

I love this song. Matt Maher apparently wrote it as a Valentines Day gift for a former girlfriend, but I won't hold that against it.

It's inspired by Song of Solomon. And this is not a great recording, but the best I could find of him performing it. I love that the screen to his right keeps getting the lyrics wrong, skipping ahead, losing its place.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The weekend so far

Book club! Yay!

I love my book club and the great, funny, smart, irreverent women who comprise it. The women are all connected to the Capitol in one way or other, so there's always lots of good gossip, tall tales and speculation. It's a very good time.

Last month we read Doubt (all 50 pages of it...) and coming up next we have Honeymoon with My Brother, which will include a field trip to see the author who's promoting his next book.

Sunshine peeking through the clouds

Lots of errands today. The gym (three minutes of running! woot!). Filling up the car. Off to Chick-Fil-A for lunch (my sole concession to today being Valentine's Day). And Smart & Final. More about that in a minute.

Several days of cold, overcast, drizzly weather gave way to some glorious, warm sunshine. Just a few minutes, but it was enough to get me to open the sunroof and revel.

Smart & Final, and communion

I was tasked with doing the grocery shopping for Sunday night's communion meal. So today found me at Smart & Final buying baked potato fixings for 100.


Anyway, here you can see most of the bags of food for tomorrow night. This doesn't include the desserts, which were in the freezer already, and the 200 pats of butter which I hustled into the refrigerator.

I am convinced I completely overbought some things (broccoli) and underbought others (cherry tomatoes). But it will all be fine in some way I can't see right now.


Wall-E, a fire in the fireplace, a glass of wine and early to bed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kittens! Inspired by kittens!

I have nothing to say because my head hurts; therefore, I will leave you with this video, which is random and funny.

I love the Interwebs so much.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Um. What?


Now Batting, Rod Blagojevich?
Minor League Baseball Team Offers Disgraced Ex-Illinois Governor A Contract

(CBS) The Joliet JackHammers, a minor league baseball team in Illinois, has reportedly offered Rod Blagojevich a contract for the 2009 season.

Blagojevich's publicist said he wasn't sure how serious the team's offer was, but that the ex-Illinois governor would be interested. "The governor is a huge baseball fan, and playing in the minor leagues is something he has wanted to do as a kid and would do for nothing," Glenn Selig told the Chicago Tribune.

The club has said it would give the 52-year-old Blagojevich a standard rookie contract. Additionally, the team would hold special promotions surrounding Blagojevich, including a "Bobblehair" giveaway and the sale of "golden seats," a tongue-in-cheek nod to the ex-governor's attempt to sell President Barack Obama's Senate seat.

Also, it seems the team would give Blagojevich some extra perks. According to the JackHammers Web site, "Travel arrangements will be made exceptionally comfortable for Blagojevich. He’ll have his own seat on the luxurious coach bus during the JackHammers road trips. As is the case usually for only team veterans, Blagojevich will get his own room on the JackHammers overnight trips."

The JackHammers play a 96-game schedule as part of the Northern League.

While some fans have blanched at the prospect of seeing Blagojevich on the team, JackHammers executive vice president Kelly Sufka said he would have to earn his spot on the squad.

"He would have to work hard in spring training to find himself a regular spot in the lineup," she told the Tribune. "Most fans see the humor in it, but not all of them."

This week, Blagojevich lashed out at the lawmakers who impeached him from office. "I feel like I can serve the people in a good way now because I have all kinds of insights that virtually no one has," Blagojevich said on a Chicago radio show. "And I can give anecdotes and all kinds of stuff. I don't know if it's dirt or not. It's just facts."

"I've got my crayons ready, I'm ready to write it. I'd like to tell those stories," Blagojevich said during a Wednesday interview on WLS Radio's "The Don and Roma Morning Show."

Too true

And too funny. From the hilarious Natalie Dee:

Natalie Dee

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More crazy Facebook tagging

Here's the latest. Interesting in that you only get to make one-word answers...

USING ONLY ONE WORD! It's not as easy as you might think! Copy and change the answers to suit you and pass it on. It's really hard to only use one word answers. Be sure to tag the person you received it from!

1. Where is your cell phone? COUNTER

2. Your significant other? IMAGINARY

3. Your hair? MESSY

4. Your mother? GONE

5. Your father? DEADBEAT

6. Your favorite fruit? NECTARINE

7. Your dream last night? SLEEP

8. Your favorite drink? SUPERFOOD

9. Your dream/goal? PEACE

10. What room you are in? DEN

11. Your hobby? COOKING

12. Your fear? ALONE

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? HAPPY

14. Where were you last night? HOME

15. Something that you are not? PERFECT

16. Muffins? YES

17. Wish list item? FITNESS

18. Where you grew up? HOUSTON

19. Last thing you did? SLEEP

20. What are you wearing? SWEATS

21. Your TV? CNN

22. Your pets? FUNNY

23. Friends? AMAZING

24. Your life? MIRACULOUS

25. Your mood? AMUSED

26. Missing some one? YES

27. Car? GERMAN

28. Something you're not wearing? SOCKS

29. Your favorite store? JCREW

30. Your favorite color? PINK

33. When is the last time you laughed? MORNING

34. Last time you cried? SUNDAY

35. Who will resend this? DUNNO

36. One place that I go to over and over? PRAYER

37. One person who texts you regularly? CURTIS

38. My favorite place to eat? CHICK-FIL-A?

39. My favorite food? CHEESEBURGER

40. Favorite time of day? TWILIGHT

In which it becomes clear I am not meant to make friendship bread

OK, I don't believe in getting a "word from the Lord" or signs or whatever, but even I am beginning to catch the drift here.

This is what I woke up to this morning:

Yes, Gentle Reader(s), that is friendship bread starter. In a puddle on the floor and dribbled down the front of my cabinet.

Apparently in the night, despite my having burped the Ziploc last night before I went to bed, the yeasty starter managed to break through the seal, tip itself over and then proceed to leak out onto the counter and floor.

You can see from all the bubbles how active the yeast has been. I had high hopes for this batch, that I might both be able to keep it alive and then successfully bake. But alas, no.

A pretty big puddle. Of yeasty, sugary, creamy goodness. It's particularly fun to clean up. At 6 AM.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


First night on Finance Committee

It was great. The people are really smart and concerned about the church's well being. They are also pretty much hilarious. Why they want me there with them, I'm not sure, but I'm clearly the weak link with a huge learning curve ahead of me.

If the church suddenly experiences a fiscal lurch or we authorize funding for unicorn hunting or something, it's so not them -- it's me.

Sean is very happy.

We're all quite happy (maybe the more appropriate word is "relieved,") but Sean especially.

Here he is yesterday, kissing the object of his happiness. So to speak. It's a bit of a long story.

There is a Bathroom Bandit at work

I have no idea who this person is (and I say "this person" because there's at least one man who uses the first floor women's bathroom with some frequency) (which is a whole other post), but he/she is some sort of cretin. He/she leaves the counter top around the sink awash with pools of water, empty toilet paper rolls strewn on the floor, and, um, things unflushed. It's seriously gross and concerning.

It could pretty much be anybody, given the size of the Senator Hotel and its many offices, but I am on the case.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Song of the day

In working out playlists for running, I've been going back through some old CDs. Led Zeppelin's fourth album keeps cropping up, and this song, "Going to California," has been on near-constant repeat.

Some people think it was written about Joni Mitchell who both Robert Plant and Jimmy Paige were infatuated with. I don't know about that, but Paige's sweet guitar and Plant's singing get every time. The mandolin's good, too.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It was just coffee

Lynne and I kept saying this all week: "It's just coffee."

Because I had a date last night. A blind date, specifically. The first date I've been on in more than five years. Even before I became a Christian I didn't date a whole a lot, but accepting Christ has certainly complicated matters in this area.

None of the three of y'all reading this will know the person, but I'll protect the innocent nonetheless by calling him C. He's the friend of a friend (who he's known for 28 years, so I wasn't terribly concerned about being ax murdered in the Starbucks parking lot). Divorced with two kids. We chatted briefly on the phone to make arrangements to meet and then I had to reschedule last week when I came down with the Dreaded Cold of Doom.

So. 5:30. The Starbucks on Broadway. I of course got lost even with my GPS and already being downtown (is it wrong that one of the reasons I yearn for my glorified body is so I'll finally have a sense of direction?). He was there waiting when I arrived -- tall, handsome, with a nice smile. He had obviously put effort into how he looked -- there were a couple of small red spots on his left cheek from trying to get a close shave. That was endearing.

We got drinks and found a table. I had a chai and the worst piece of banana bread I've ever eaten. He'd brought a paperback with him to read while he waited for me, and I was encouraged to see it was a Janet Evanovich novel -- I read her books, too, and thought it was a nice thing to have something in common. And it was.

But there wasn't much else. In the first place, he was probably about 20 years older than I am. His "two kids" are grown women with lives of their own in Los Angeles and Seattle. It occurred to me at some point while we were talking, "Oh my gosh. I'm the younger woman. I'm never the younger woman!" In the second place he didn't ask me a single question about myself until we'd been chatting for 45 minutes. I know about nerves and prattling on without realizing it (and I am certainly guilty of doing this myself), but yeah, that wasn't great.

Third and perhaps most importantly, he's a Christian but said he's not read the Bible in its entirety. Skinny Spice tells me she thinks this is common in Christendom and likely true for the majority of Christians, but it was a point of, shall we say, demarcation between us. When he said he'd just finished Ezekiel, for example, and that it had been really tough reading (which it is for sure), I said, "Well, but when you got to the Valley of Dry Bones, didn't that make it all worth it?" Because that's one of my favorite sections of Scripture and truly amazing stuff. And he just looked at me blankly. OK, then.

After an hour of talking and coffee drinking, he asked if I wanted to get dinner. But I begged off, saying I had other plans. Which I did -- to play WoW and watch stuff from my DVR. There's clearly no spark when Tivoed Grey's Anatomy holds more appeal than a shared meal.

So -- done. The streak broken. I managed not to choke on my beverage and keep up my end of the conversation. I think I looked OK and didn't commit any grave social faux pas. So, in some respects, a success. But I don't know that I have it in me to do the blind date thing again.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Inside out

I grew up in a place that was wet and came of age in a place even wetter. I don't think I'd ever owned a bottle of lotion or moisturizer until I moved to Northern California, and the concept of going weeks, never mind months, without rain was unthinkable.

It was raining for every drivers' ed class I took in high school. Rained sometimes daily throughout the summer, often on just one of the street. Alaska actually smelled like rain, like ozone and greenness and just generally damp.

I'd heard of droughts before I moved here and I certainly knew about deserts. But I don't think I really understood there were places where even without drought or other extremity of climate, it just didn't rain at all except for a few months a year. It would have been unthinkable to me. How do you live apart from water? What about the plants and trees and yards? And just the general cycle of earth to sky and back again?

It rained so hard at times last night that it woke me up. It's been an exceptionally dry winter so far, and we're desperate for snow pack and rainfall total increases. And the long, grim summer looms, where our farms and yards will suffer without water.

It felt like a blessing, the rain. And being awake for it gave me time to think and pray. About living in a dry place. About a life so changed that rain in the night is cause for celebration.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

'I love Jesus but I drink a little'

I've seen this a few places online, and every time I watch, it's just as funny as it was before.

Ellen and Gladys. Good times.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oh my gosh! A groundhog bit Mayor Bloomberg!

This is all kinds of wrong. And what happens when we force poor hibernating groundhogs to be meteorologists.


Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid a visit to an apparently-disgruntled constituent nicknamed 'Staten Island Chuck' on Groundhog's Day -- and got bit for his trouble.

Staten Island's famous groundhog, Charles G. Hogg, inexplicably bit Mayor Bloomberg during his annual holiday ceremony on Monday, drawing blood from the billionaire.

Said Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser: "It nicked his hand."

Bloomberg wrapped the cut with a napkin until he could check with his doctor.

He was told there was no risk of rabies. The 2-year-old animal was born and raised in captivity and has had no interaction with other animals.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I concur

My thoughts on Groundhog Day. Brought to us by the irreverent, inappropriate geniuses at

Sunday, February 1, 2009